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Category: roasted garlic

Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Dressing

Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Dressing

Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Dressing. This is one of the easiest dressings ever! It only requires four ingredients, and it is so good.

It’s a lot like Alfredo sauce, but cold, so it is great for pasta salad if you are in the mood for a creamy one instead of one dressed with a vinaigrette.

And if you love left-over chicken Alfredo, but hate the way it gets all congealed when it’s cold and then doesn’t really get a good texture back when you reheat it, this is the perfect make-ahead substitute. Just cook your pasta and chicken, put them in a sealable container, toss it well with some of this dressing, and refrigerate. Perfect cold “chicken Alfredo” for breakfast!

I’m completely spoiled to homemade dressing, but it took me a while to get my system down so it wasn’t so much work. When I make this one, I make a batch of Homemade Ranch at the same time. But now I premix the dry ingredients for my Ranch and store enough for several batches.

I also have an amazing batter bowl that my mom got from the Farmer’s Market for my birthday. I’ll have to post pictures of it later. I mix my dressings in that, using a stick blender (you can use a whisk of a fork), and then I pour them into sauce jars that I have saved.

I label them, using painter’s tape, with the expiration date of the ingredient that has the closest expiration date. For me that’s usually the buttermilk. That works better than just labeling them with the “made on” date because when I did that I still had to go look at the expiration dates on my ingredients to know if the dressing was good, and if I had already thrown out the containers for the ingredients I was screwed.


1 bulb garlic (roasted)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup buttermilk

To Roast the Garlic:

Set the oven to about 350 or 400 (preheating is not necessary). Cut the top off the bulb of garlic. Put it in a ramekin or another little oven-proof bowl-type thing. drizzle with olive oil. Put it in the oven until it’s golden brown, usually somewhere between 30 minutes and an hour. I know it’s time to check it because I can smell it.

Remove from the oven and let cool! You can roast the garlic a day or two before you make the dressing and just keep it in the fridge until you’re ready to go, but it’s easier to squish out at room temperature.

To Make the Dressing:

Squish roasted garlic into a bowl.
Add mayonnaise and Parmesan. Blend well with a stick blender, whisk or fork. Add buttermilk. Blend well again.
Pour into a sealable container or cover your bowl and refrigerate.
Label with expiration date if desired.

That’s it!

Cheesy Broccoli Spinach Soup

Cheesy Broccoli Spinach Soup

I think this is the best soup I’ve ever made! My boyfriend loved it, but said it was a little strong on the garlic for his taste. If you’re not a garlic fiend like I am, you may want to cut back to 2 bulbs.

I recommend going very light on the dill. Your need for salt will vary depending on your stock. You may not need to add any. As always, homemade stock will make a far superior soup. Do not overcook the vegetables. The flour is optional. It just thickens the soup. I have heard that leeks serve as a thickener in vegetable stock. They would go well in this soup as a substitute for the onions.

½ stick Butter
½ large sweet yellow onion
3 bulbs roasted garlic (yes, bulbs, not cloves)

2 tbls flour (optional)
Worcestershire sauce
4 to 5 cups water or stock

1 cup chopped Broccoli
1 cup Milk
1½ – 2 cups Frozen Spinach

12 oz grated Cheddar

Melt butter. Add onion and all spices except garlic and thyme. Cook for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and thyme. Cook for one more minute. Add flour. Cook for about 3 more minutes. Add stock and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. It will reduce and thicken. Reduce heat to a low simmer. Add broccoli. When it has returned to a low simmer, cook for about 10 minutes. Add milk and spinach. Bring to barely simmering and stir in cheese until melted.

Roasting Garlic

Roasting Garlic

Roasted garlic is delicious and incredibly easy to work with. It is much easier to peel than raw garlic, and other than having to wait for it, it is easy to make.

Simply place the whole bulb of garlic in a baking dish and cover. Cook at 400 for about 30 minutes to an hour. When you pull it out of the oven it will be very hot inside, so you will probably want to let it cool. Cut the bottom off the bulb (where it looks like there used to be a stem). The cloves will squeeze or pull right out of their peels!

Roasted garlic is great in just about everything. Try it in:

Mashed potatoes
Potato salad
Pasta salad
Spaghetti sauce

Meatball Potato Soup

Meatball Potato Soup

Meatball ingredients:
2 lbs ground beef
Onion powder
Garlic powder
Worcestershire sauce (optional)

the rest of the soup:
Potatoes (about 4 cups peeled and cut into large chunks)
Cheese (cubed)
Water or broth

Preheat oven to 400. Mix all meatball ingredients well. I start by breaking it up with a fork and then mash it all together with my hands. Form meatballs about 1½ inch. You should get about 25 meatballs. Place in a baking dish (it’s OK if they touch each other), cover and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Place the whole onion and garlic bulb in a baking dish, cover and roast in oven while the meatballs cook.

Peel and cut up potatoes. Place in soup pan and cover with about 4 cups of water. Simmer until tender and whip with electric mixer until smooth. Peel and process onion and garlic in the food processor until smooth, add to potatoes. Use tongs to pick up meatballs and add to soup pot. Add about 6 cups of water or stock. Add salt if needed. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add milk and cheese. Do not allow to boil after the milk is added. It won’t ruin the soup, but it will look disgusting.

Improving the Flavor of Soups

Improving the Flavor of Soups

I make a lot of soups. It’s a great way to use up leftovers, small amounts of ingredients that aren’t really enough for other dishes, and stuff that is going to go bad soon.

I have a few basic recipes that can vary a lot depending on what I have on hand, but are based in the same main ingredients. Lately I have discovered that a couple of things dramatically improve the overall flavor of my soups from good to incredible!

The first one is homemade stock. My homemade stock doesn’t seem to have a lot of flavor when I taste it by itself, but the soups I make from it are 10 times better and less “canned” tasting than when I use a prepackaged soup base.

Second is roasting the onion and garlic. It adds a hint of sweetness and a richness to the overall flavor.

The combination of the two is just unbelievable! They do add time to the cooking process and require more planning. They only add a tiny amount of work and actual hands-on time. The benefits greatly outweigh the effort.