Roasted Garlic Ranch Dip

Half-time Huddle

Last week’s family discussion regarding the super bowl menu yielded a surprise. Not so much that my kids wanted repeats of last year’s fare, rather it was the realization a tradition was born. That menu marked milestones for them, having tried new foods and flavor profiles, pushing their palates to the brink. I suspect the food being tied to a specific occasion was key to their recollection, but I see now it formed a building block placed upon the cornerstone of quality family time.


Roasted Garlic Ranch Dip by Cakewalker


Tomorrow is Super Bowl 2014, and a good portion of today will be spent in the kitchen preparing for the event. In my house, the event is not necessarily the game, but the food table, and the grazing surrounding it. Sure, we get a bit caught up in the spirited energy of a sporting competition; we lend an ear to listen for errant lyrics of the national anthem, find amusement in TV ads, and get a crash-course in pop culture from the halftime show. There’s no denying the best seat in my home is tableside!

This year I’m bringing an amped up crudité platter to the party with an equally vibrant roasted garlic Ranch dip. It’s what I consider to be legal tender amidst all the other rich food in the spread, and it’s a welcome departure from green salads which hit the dinner table most nights.


GF Roasted Garlic Ranch Dip

Roasted Garlic Ranch Dip with crudités is gluten-free.


Additional new players on the field this year are these Root Beer Chicken Wings from Dionne Baldwin at Try Anything Once. These bad boys stopped me in my web browsing tracks. Seriously, look at the scrumptious caramelization! With soy sauce, vinegar and garlic in a root beer based sauce; I’m looking forward to the salty-sweet tang. You’ll find her recipe here.


Dionne Baldwin Root Beer Chicken Wings

Photo credit: Try Anything Once Culinary. Used with explicit permission.


Last year’s stars making a comeback begins with Chef Dennis Littley’s Buffalo Chicken Wings. His photo inspired me to make them for the first time.The wings impart the classic buffalo flavor we’ve come to know and love in an easy-to-prepare recipe. Speaking of flavor, his blue cheese dressing included in the recipe is sublime. Use the best quality blue cheese you can find, like Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. Original Blue―it makes all the difference. Here’s Chef Dennis’ recipe.


Ask Chef Dennis Buffalo Chicken Wings

Photo credit: A Culinary Journey with Chef Dennis. Used with explicit permission.


Brooks Walker Buffalo Chicken WingsThese were my first attempt at making Buffalo Chicken wings from last year’s party table. Paired with the blue cheese dressing, it’s a thing of beauty.


Jenni Fields Pepperoni Bread

Photo credit: Pastry Chef Online. Used with explicit permission.


Another touchdown-making recipe is Jenni Field’s Pastry Chef Online Pepperoni Bread. From the dough to the filling, the complex flavors bound in ladder braided bread is a fan favorite. I had never heard of pepperoni bread until Jenni shared it last year, but the story behind it is nearly as intriguing as the dish. Jenni makes the process tangible with her easy to understand directives, just remember there’s a time element so plan your tactics accordingly. Get the recipe here.


Brooks Walker Pepperoni BreadThe Pepperoni Bread I made was an enormous hit with kids and adults alike!


Lastly, the children requested more of my Sideline Salsa and Championship Chocolate Cupcakes for tomorrow’s game.


sideline salsaYou’ll find the salsa recipe here.

New video! This short how-to demo will get you on your way to decorating these fun chocolate cupcakes. Click here to view the recipe.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this round up of recipes. Perhaps they’ll inspire you as they did me. If you tune in to tomorrow’s game, may it be quality time with family and friends!


Gluten-Free Roasted Garlic Ranch Dip by Cakewalker


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Approximately 1 1/2 cups


Serve this dip with any of your favorite veggies, chips or crackers. The easy recipe comes together quickly and it's a real crowd-pleasing condiment!


  • ½ cup rough-chopped fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 3 green onions, chopped (both green and white parts)
  • 1 tablespoon minced Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves roasted garlic
  • 1 scant teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt


  • In a food processor fitted with the blade, add the first 9 ingredients. Puree for 10 seconds. The mixture will liquefy taking on the appearance of pesto. Add the mayonnaise and yogurt; blend well until pale green in color with specks of herbs interspersed through. Place dip in a covered container, store refrigerated until ready to use.


Allow the dip to rest in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before serving so the flavors can meld.


  1. I cannot tell you what an honor it is to be part of your family tradition, Brooks! Enjoy the spread tomorrow, and also maybe the game! xoxo

    • Brooks Walker says

      We will enjoy tomorrow’s festivities, Jenni, and you’re most welcome. Thank you for contributing to our gatherings and memories.

  2. Man Brooks, I want to be invited to your Super Bowl Party. I feel like a slacker.

  3. That dip looks outstanding!

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