Author Archives: kathysoap

Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe

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If you’re looking for a recipe for ranch dressing made with natural ingredients, here’s my homemade ranch salad dressing (or ranch dip) recipe that I came up with several years ago and have been making and tweaking ever since.

Homemade Ranch Dressing Recipe

Homemade Ranch Dressing


1 cup organic mayonnaise
½ cup organic sour cream
¾ cup organic milk (use more for a thinner dressing or less to make a thick ranch dip)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I use more sometimes)
¾ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped (*see note below on herbs)
2 tablespoons chives, sniped finely
3 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar

Whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream and milk with a wire whisk until smooth.  Stir in all other ingredients.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

*Herb variations:  I use a variety of herbs when they are in season.  Parsley, chives and dill are good choices for this recipe.  You can also use dried herbs if you don’t have fresh on hand.  Just add a little at a time until you’re satisfied with the amount of herbs and refrigerate overnight.

You can also stir in blue cheese for a creamy homemade blue cheese dressing.

This ranch dressing recipe is good on salads and baked potatoes or to douse your daily veggies into. Serve the dip version up with crackers or veggies.  Which remind me,  the kale is ready in the garden and I’ve really wanted to make some kale chips.

Enjoy!  ….and don’t forget to pin!


Natural Makeup Tips


Makeup tip for long lasting lip color: Outline lips with a lip pencil then fill in the center with the lip pencil. Cover with lip gloss or lip balm.

For a sexy lip look – Outline lips with a deep color lip liner pencil and fill in with a pinkish lip gloss.



Shown here: Island Spice Lip Liner and Hollywood Natural Lip Gloss




Makeup Tips for a sexy sun-kissed look – Brush Miessence Bronzing Dust gently across the bridge of nose, cheeks and across forehead.

Miessence Bronzing Dust

Miessence Bronzing Dust

For contouring – Miessence bronzer is great for contouring too. Emphasize cheekbones by brushing a little beneath checks. Contour nose to look more slender by brushing bronzer lightly onto sides of nose. Brush a line of bronzer just under the jawbone to accentuate the jaw line.




Mascara Application Tip: Apply a light coat and comb lashes with a mascara comb and let dry. Repeat as necessary applying only to the ends of lashes until desired result.

applying mascara

Applying Mascara

Natural Mascara

Natural Mascara

Real Hot Chocolate

Real Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate recipe

Hot Chocolate

With the beginning of winter and snow in the forecast I’m conjuring up ideas like a cozy fire in the fireplace, flannel pajamas and a really good cup of hot chocolate.

But it  just took one glance at the list on the instant hot cocoa with ingredients like modified whey, hydrogenated coconut oil, calcium carbonate, dipotassium phosphate, mono- and diglycerides, acesulfame potassium, sucralose and artificial flavor (really?!?)  to quickly decide that I didn’t want to go that route.  What, all those unpronounceable things in a simple cup of hot chocolate? Throw it away! I decided that a good cup of hot cocoa needs to be made from scratch like real food made with real ingredients! It was pretty easy too.

So, this is how we did it. We also opted for organic fair trade cocoa powder, organic sugar, organic milk and our homemade vanilla extract.

Real Hot Chocolate Recipe

1/4 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/3 Cup Sugar
Dash of Salt
4 Cups Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

In a saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, sugar and salt. Add milk and whisk often while cooking over medium heat. Heat to scalding but do not boil (once it starts to steam is usually good). Remove from heat and add vanilla. That’s it!  Serve.

If you have any left, you can pour it into a jar with a lid (once cooled) and refrigerate.  Next time I may opt to add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg!

Soap for Goodness Sake
Natural and Organic Bath

Café Olé – A Favorite Holiday Coffee at Our House

Here’s a gourmet coffee recipe that we’ve made many times during the holidays. There’s nothing quite as good as a houseful of family waking up to this special coffee treat.

Café Olé

Café Olé

Café Olé Recipe:

1/2 Cup Coffee* (We use freshly ground, fair trade, organic, French roast)
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
4 Cups Cold Water
4 Cups Milk, heated to scalding
1 Cup Organic Sugar or Brown Sugar
Cinnamon Sticks

*Use up to 1 cup ground coffee if you like a stronger coffee.

Combine the coffee and the cinnamon. Brew the coffee in a coffee maker with the 4 cups water. When brewed, stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add hot milk. When ready to serve, place a cinnamon stick in each cup and fill with Café Ole.

I have also transferred this to a pretty chafing carafe to keep warm which also makes a nice holiday breakfast center piece.


Gardening – Growing Green Beans and Peppers

I’ve been out and about taking pictures and thought I would share a couple of garden pics with you.

Green Beans

Green Beans

I wanted to show you how we grow our green beans . These are called pole beans and much easier on the back than bush beans.  There’s a bunch of varieties but I prefer Kentucky Wonders.  They are a heritage variety and easy to find.

We first set fence post and affix cattle panels before planting the beans and the beans climb the panels as they grow.  You can see a cattle panel sticking out on this end so you get the idea of what they look like.  The posts and panels are removed once frost hits the plants and kept to use next year. You can also use chicken wire but we prefer the cattle panels because they keep their shape and last forever.

We grow cucumbers the same way.



We’ve been loaded with peppers all summer long even with the 100 plus temps.  These are sweet banana peppers in the pic and we use them for just about anything.  We do have some bell peppers but the banana pepper seems to grow better for me so I will use them in recipes that call for bells.

We’ve been eating as many as we can and drying or giving away the rest.  It looks like they will continue to produce until first frost and hopefully that will be a couple of months away.

We had chickens in the garden up until a few days ago who have kept the weeds and any insects under control but just removed them so that we can plant fall veggies such as onions, lettuce, chard, etc.  Chickens and seedlings do not mix as the chickens will destroy the seedlings.

Happy Gardening!

Handmade Natural Soap

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Handmade Soap LoafHandmade Soap Loaf

Cocoa Vanilla soap in the mold

Handmade Soap Slices

Handmade Soap being sliced

This is the cocoa vanilla soap being cut into bars. This batch will be ready in about a month.

Cocoa Vanilla Handmade Soap

Cocoa Vanilla Handmade Soap

…and (drum roll) here’s the cocoa vanilla soap all wrapped up and ready to go.  Ta-da!


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Shampoo Bar



Grist Mill Restaurant

Grist Mill Restaurant

Gruene, TX

Grist Mill Restaurant - Gruene, TX

Grist Mill Restaurant - Gruene, TX

Great Atmosphere – Great Food – We love the Grist Mill and Gruene!