Hot Polka Dot
25Jun/13

The Secret Ingredient.

Cheesy Ranch Mashed Cauliflower via @hotpolkadot

We're going to take a little detour today. This blog is normally cruising down sweet street toward glistening pink frosting, melting chocolate chips and happy rainbow sprinkles. Today we're taking the road less travelled, today we're speeding down savoury street toward crisp green onions, melting cheddar cheese and tangy ranch dressing.

Today's detour is brought to you by the kind folks at Hidden Valley Ranch. You may recall last year around this time I shared with you a delicious Vegetarian Ranch Pizza that remains one of my all-time favourite pizzas. This year for the Ranchify Recipe Challenge we are once again tasked with creating a recipe with ranch dressing that makes eating your vegetables not only yummy but fun!

At our house, we're a huge fan of mashed potatoes. As a picky kid, I used to hide my distasteful vegetables under my mashed potatoes, so I thought why not do the same thing as an adult? Mashed cauliflower is far better for you than a mound of starchy potatoes and, honestly, I think it tastes way better! I like to think of myself as a reformed picky eater. I try to sneak as many vegetables into our meals as I can and this challenge was the best excuse to go one step further.

With loads of fragrant garlic, punches of powerful parmesan, potatoes for texture and, of course, a little help from tangy Hidden Valley Cheese Ranch dressing this is an entree to fool any picky kid or stubborn adult. Cauliflower is the same colour as potatoes so it's the perfect crime. Feed it to your unsuspecting family and dare them to list the secret ingredient!

Cheesy Ranch Mashed Cauliflower via @hotpolkadot

Cheesy Ranch Mashed Cauliflower via @hotpolkadotCheesy Ranch Mashed Cauliflower via @hotpolkadot

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18Jun/13

And Now A Word From Our Sponsors.

Please welcome to the Hot Polka Dot family two new sponsors!

The first is Ezebee, a unique international community and marketplace where people looking to buy or sell creative handmade products can meet. You can find everything from trendy chevron change purses to gold and pink leather wrap bracelets, colourblock faux leather pencil skirts to industrial steampunk lighting, origami crane mobiles to knitted infinity scarves.

What I love most about Ezebee is that, unlike other online craft showrooms, it's totally free of charge to create your own shop and sell your beautiful wares. They also don't claim a commission on any of the sales. As a former Etsy shop owner I can tell you that's a pretty big deal. They even offer a bunch of ways to customize and market your shop. The site was recently redesigned to be streamlined, efficient and super cute. Check it out!

The second is Beutiful Magazine, a forward-thinking online magazine that touches on subjects like equality, racism, self confidence, eating disorders, well-being and happiness. All powerful thought-provoking subjects that we so often ignore. It's important to note the intentional misspelling of beautiful. Beutiful Magazine is not about about mascara, skinny jeans, nail polish, weight loss or hairspray. It's about loving yourself for who you are, breaking the mold and letting go of the ridiculous expectations we place on ourselves. It's about being you.

This is a message that I think we can all agree on, but so often forget. Especially as a woman, I know that we put ourselves down, judge ourselves too harshly and hold ourselves to impossible airbrushed photoshopped standards. Our “flaws” as we call them are what make us unique, special and beautiful. As Colin Firth said so eloquently in Bridget Jones's Diary “I like you, very much. Just as you are.”








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