Nellie & Phoeb's

Design, Food, Kids, Laughter, Love...

All The Ranch!

Homemade Ranch Dressing

For those of you unfamiliar with the importance of Ranch Dressing in the Midwest, let me fill you in. OBSESSED, a lot of people are totally obsessed with this salad dressing and use it on a plethora of foods besides salad, like pizza, vegetables, chips, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, wings, french fries, chicken... etc. 
There are two types of people, there are the 'any kind of Ranch will do' kind, and then there are the 'I only like Mazzio's Ranch' kind. The latter will also pick restaurants based on how good their Ranch is, "Oh, they have good Ranch, let's go there!"

Now that you get it, and I have positioned myself as an expert, when I say this is an excellent Ranch recipe, you know it's legit! It's also like super duper easy, so that's a plus.

On a personal note, I fall into the picky group, I don't really care for any kind of bottled salad dressing at all. Sure, I buy it & consume it, but it's been because I felt like I had no other choice. Why in the world have I never considered making my own, I HAVE NO IDEA! Last week I saw an IG post of a friend that was prepping salad ingredients for the week, chopping different kinds of lettuces, cucumbers, shredded carrots, and cucumbers and bagging them in gallon zipper bags, and I had a huge light bulb go off, "I'm going to do that too and find a recipe for some awesome salad dressing!". 

The next day searched for a recipe, then purchased the following & prepped it:
Romaine Lettuce
Iceberg Lettuce
Leafy Green Lettuce
Cherry Tomatoes
Green Onions
Shredded Carrots
Ranch Ingredients
I also bought shredded sharp cheddar, high quality bacon pieces, and croutons. You guys, this is like the Midwest comfort food salad, so good!!! We ate a salad before dinner, as dinner, or as lunch for the next 5 days. 

I was able to purchase a quart of buttermilk instead of a half gallon (did you know that it's a low-fat milk!?), and went with Hellman's Mayo with Olive Oil (because it sounds healthier, ha) and I've seen several recipes that call specifically for this brand, also two packets of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix. Buy two because you will have enough buttermilk to make a second batch before the milk goes bad. 

I found this recipe online, it was a screenshot image and was labeled Texas Roadhouse Ranch Dressing, not sure if it tastes like theirs or not but it most certainly tastes a whole lot better than any bottle on the shelf! Let me know how you like it and please share your favorite salad dressing recipes with me! I AM HOOKED on making my own!

(For those of you counting WW Points Plus, 1/4 Cup is 5 points.)

Homemade Ranch Dressing

Recipe by Christy Squyres

Restaurant Style Ranch Dressing Recipe
Yield: 32
  • 1 Cup Buttermilk
  • 1 Cup Hellman's Mayo with Olive Oil
  • 1 Packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Packet
  • To Taste Garlic Powder
  • To Taste Cayenne Pepper
  • To Taste Black Pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients together and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Cheers to my fellow Ranch fans!

Egg and Sausage Fritatta

Troy's sister "Aunt Jen" makes this every time she comes to town, and we all love it (except for Phoebe, she's crazy). And the best part is, it microwaves beautifully, so you can make it, and then reheat it for breakfast or lunch for the next couple of days. Party of six here and we can finish it off in one setting! It serves 8-12, so it's perfect for a large family or a brunch party too.

You can totally get creative with this, you can add more veggies or jalapenos, do bacon or ham instead of sausage, do spinach, roasted red peppers and feta, or even do more whites and less whole eggs. Or use whatever you have in the fridge!

Egg & Sausage Fritatta

Recipe by Christy Squyres

Prep time: 20
Cook time: 25
Yield: 12 Servings
  • 12 Eggs
  • 1 Pound Cooked Breakfast Sausage
  • 1 Cup Diced Onions & Bell Peppers
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl.
  3. Cook and crumble sausage in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add in peppers and onions, cook until softened. Drain grease from pan. Add in eggs, lightly stir and cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Place pan in oven and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until there is no liquid on top. Don't overcook.
  5. Top with shredded cheese and serve.

Oreo Fluff

Aunt Wilma's Oreo Fluff Dessert
This is my husbands all-time most requested family get together dessert! His Aunt Wilma made it when he was young, and he's asked his Mom to bring it to almost every holiday meal for as long as I can remember. I've been asking for the recipe for years, and I finally got it! 
I've had lots of other Oreo desserts that look the same, but none are quite as light and fluffy as this one. And, surprisingly it's not too sweet, it's just right. It is really good, I mean, like so good that it would be impossible to just take a bite. Impossible. Consider that a dare!

There are only 4 ingredients, pretty simple, but don't skip on using the real whipping cream, the extra step is worth it!

Oreo Fluff

Recipe by Christy Squyres

A light, fluffy, whipped, no-bake Oreo dessert.
Yield: 12 Servings
  • 1 Bag Mini Marshmallows
  • 1 Quart Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 Bag Crushed Oreo Cookies, Divided
  • 2/3 Cup Milk
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat marshmallows and milk in a double boiler (or in a sauce pan on low) until they melt. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Crush cookies.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream until it peaks.
  4. Fold the cooled marshmallow mixture into the whipped cream.
  5. Cover bottom of baking dish with 1/3 of the crushed cookies.
  6. Top with 1/2 of the whipped cream mixture.
  7. Add another layer of 1/3 of the crushed cookies.
  8. Add a layer of the rest of the whipped cream mixture.
  9. Top with the last of the crushed cookies.
  10. Serve immediately or store covered in the refrigerator.


Paradise Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Extra Chocolaty Chip Cookies
I found this recipe when I was teaching Culinary Arts several years ago, but I have NO IDEA where I got it! It's labeled Paradise Bakery and Cafe Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, and I'm not sure if it really is their recipe, but I know it's a darn good recipe, and it's worth saving. 

If you are a "the more chocolate the better" kind of person, you will love this! My husband isn't a fan of semi-sweet chocolate (double eye roll), so this is not his favorite. But, I say BRING ON THE DARK CHOCOLATE!!! I find this recipe a little saltier than most recipes, which I like, but feel free to cut down on the salt if you don't. 

The recipe makes a good 4 dozen cookies if you use a small portion scoop (about 1-/14" balls of dough). They also freeze really well, you can scoop them onto a sheet pan covered in wax paper and freeze them for 30 minutes, then dump them in a zip lock, and bake however many you want, when you want. Just say no to grocery store cookie dough (JK, but you could totally make a couple batches of these and they would last a while).

I'm going to be homeschooling all three of my girls in the Fall, and my eldest daughter isn't quite on board. I am trying to make lots of plans for her to stay busy and one of them is adding an extra-curricular course in nutrition and cooking. We went shopping last weekend and let her pick out a basic set of her own cooking supplies. She got a nice saute pan, measuring utensils, mixing bowls, and cooking utensils. I let her put them to use this week and make these cookies all on her own. She absolutely loves to cook, she's also very interested in nutrition, I think we are both going to enjoy her course this Fall. I spent a few years teaching safety and sanitation, knife skills, and entry level cooking, it should be like riding a bike!

Paradise Bakery Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 36 minutes
Yield: 4 dozen
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla
  • 2-1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 12 Ounce Bag Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I used my stand mixer, if you don't have one, use a hand mixer to cream the butter and sugars. Add in the eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Then stir in the chocolate chips. Use a small portion scoop if you have one, if not, spoon rounded teaspoons onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes. They will look raw in the middle, leave them on the sheet pan for 5-10 minutes to finish cooking as they cool.

Fairytale Photoshoot

Real Fairies!
Kelly Kirby Photography outdid herself on this shoot. I ADORE these photos of my girls! And, knowing we are near the end of the 'little girl' phase with my older two, I will cherish these magical images forever! I hope they make you smile.


Baked Brie with Herbs and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Baked Brie Appetizer

You guys, this is AMAZING!!! Pin it now, save it for later!

My friend Rebecca Andrews brought this to a get together a while back, and the photo just surfaced while clearing out some images on my phone. I HAD TO SHARE. The sweet caramelized onions are what make this all come together, the flavor is incredibly rich.

Most of the recipes I blog are really for me, I don't want to lose them, but I love sharing them with you too! I'm not greedy :)

print recipe
Baked Brie with Herbs & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • 1 Small Brie, Peeled
  • 1 Tablespoon Parsley, Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Basil, Chopped
  • 1 Large Sweet Onion
  • 1/3 Jar Sun-dried Tomatoes
Preheat oven to 325. Caramelize the onion, add in parsley, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes. Remove brie casing with a cheese slicer (optional). Place brie in a small baking dish, place the mixture on top. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is spreadable. Serve with crackers or Melba toast.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4-8 Servings

Minty Fresh Baby Nursery

Mint, Peach, & Gold

Baby Nursery for Baby Girl #4

Scarlett is almost two, so I figure it's about time I post her nursery pics. I turned the room into my office a couple months ago, so now my little bundle of joy's baby room is just a sweet memory, and a beautiful place for me to work.
Having 4 kids has left me very little time or energy to do any blogging, but school is in full swing and my two higher maintenance girls are in school full day, so just maybe I can squeeze a little in.
When I was pregnant with my first baby, Penelope, we moved from Dallas to Tulsa and rented a condo until she was 9 months old. So, I never got to do a real nursery. I made her bedding, and she had everything for a nursery, but I was never able to paint or hang things, or make it a truly unique space. 
When I was pregnant with my second, Phoebe, Penelope was still an infant and I was working full time until I was put on bed rest around 5 months. That left zero time to do a nursery... I had a total freak out sad moment a few weeks before she was born and threw together a plan for her room, which consisted of a bedroom in a bag by Cocalo, it was super cute, probably the best room in the house at that point. But, it was still wasn't well thought out, it was just as nice as I could make it stuck laying down on my sofa 24 hours a day (and this was before you could buy everything amazing online).
Baby #3, Sophia, she's my poor hand-me-down child. We passed Phoebe's nursery right on over to her, zero changes.
When I found out we were having our 4th girl, I INSISTED on doing a nursery even if I didn't have room to put her in! We turned our office/playroom into a room for our sweet little baby Scarlett, and I did it exactly like I wanted. No bed in bag, no cheesy themes, just pretty. Our budget was pretty much non-existent, so I had to get creative. I did things in little bits at a time, used a lot of stuff I already had, and shopped for treasures/steals. I absolutely adore this room, and it's as sweet as she is!
My sweet friend Lauren Paull did our NB photos, it was a lifestyle shoot, she got some beautiful photos of the room. If you are in the Tulsa area, I highly recommend Lauren Paull Photography for hospital birth photos (will save that for another post), and newborn photos. She does a fabulous job with the more traditional baby poses, but I adore her lifestyle photography!

Cheers to all the Mommas of 4!