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I use the little packets of the Original Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix that you put together with buttermilk and mayonnaise. It is far superior to the bottled version. I've never made Ranch Dressing from scratch, but I think it would be hard to beat the results you get with those little packets.

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I also use the Hidden Valley Ranch packets, but I use the one that calls for plain milk instead of buttermilk. I don't always have buttermilk on hand and the milk version is also really good. Just make sure and use real mayonnaise and not salad dressing.

Those HVR packets also make some other great sides. Mixed with some melted butter, granulated garlic, and red pepper flakes, it makes a wonderful dipping sauce for grilled chicken, or just about anything grilled. There's also a recipe using an HVR packet, 1 cup of canola oil, red pepper flakes to taste (about 1-2 tsp.), and a box of saltine crackers. Mix well and occasionally stir while drizzling a little of the oil over each saltine in layers of a container with a tight fitting lid. Let sit at least 30 minutes before enjoying. Will keep a long time. I call them Firecrackers.

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