Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Contest Winners! – Book Launch Pics! - Shel’s Ranch Dressing!

Drumroll please….

Today I announce the winners of the pre-order contest for Grace Under Pressure. But before I do, I just want to thank every single person who picked up a copy of my new book. As emails arrived, I assigned everyone a number. When I got home after my book launch party Sunday night I went through all my emails one more time making sure I hadn’t missed anyone (I hadn’t) and then I reached into my box of numbers (a nice thing to keep handy when running contests from time to time) and came up with my two winners.

They are:

Margaret (Mamadrama)

Ken M.

I will be in touch with both of you via email ASAP and then you can start shopping for the best treats in the world – books!


I hosted a book launch party at Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore (Forest Park, IL) on Sunday. I just wanted to include a few fun pictures here… If you’d like to see more, I’m posting the rest of them on my personal blog: Julie Hyzy’s blog. Come visit! (Side note: Krista is uploading my Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen post for me because Blogger is out of service in my area. This means, of course, that the photos I intended to post on my personal blog may not be up there right away. But I plan to keep at it until Blogger lets me in again. So if they’re not there now, they will be soon!)

Last week was super busy as I prepared for the launch and this week will be even busier as we gear up for my daughter’s graduation party. Lots of parties in a row! So, what to do when we’re hungry? What to eat?

How about a quick salad? And Shel (who frequently comments here) provided me with a wonderful recipe for ranch dressing. We love ranch dressing in this house and I usually use the Hidden Valley Ranch dry seasoning packets to make my own. But Shel’s recipe is truly from scratch and it’s great to have in the fridge because we gobble up ranch on everything from salads, to hot wings, to carrot sticks, to….. well, almost everything tastes better with ranch dressing, doesn’t it?

This one is quick, simple, and delicious. Shel is graciously allowing me to share it with you.

Ranch Dressing

Shel says:

1 cup mayonnaise (you can use low fat, but...why? *grin*)
1 cup sour cream (see above)
1 cup (approximately) buttermilk (adjust for thickness you want)

From here, it's all up to you. I use two cloves of garlic, finely minced, dried parsley flakes, dried dill, Tony Chachere's cajun seasoning, lemon pepper, and anything else I think to throw in it. You can, of course,
use the fresh herbs instead of dried, but I eat this stuff by the quart, so dried is easier for me.

Whisk everything together and refrigerate. If you use this instead of mayo on your potato salad, you might want to adjust the garlic, unless you're like me and there truly *is* no such thing as too much garlic.

I made this over the weekend and it was great! I used a bit more garlic – because, like Shel said, there is no such thing as too much. Also, because I didn’t have the Cajun seasoning, I tossed in a bit more dill and parsley. Really delicious and fun because you can adjust it to suit your tastes. I particularly liked the fact that it seemed just as tasty but decidedly less salty than what we’re used to and I’m always happy to cut out a little salt.

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for helping me launch Grace Under Pressure. Stay tuned for more details about Avery’s contest! I’m really eager to read The Long Quiche Goodbye. I’ve already pre-ordered, of course!



  1. Oh.My.Goodness. I'm speechless. This is very rare, so y'all enjoy it while it lasts...

  2. I like the idea of being able to adjust the recipe as I like it...and with lots of garlic! No, you can never have too much garlic, can you? My whole family loves Ranch dressing, so this will be a keeper!

  3. Julie, That recipe could be adjusted to make a sandwich spread... love the recipe

    Just finished grace... Had me guessing the whole way and a terrific read. Perfect for a 6 hour plane flight. Finished with 20 minutes before I landed.

  4. I want a sleuth book store! Sounds grand.

  5. Shel - speechless? No way! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. The kids are loving it!

    Elizabeth - exactly! I like messing with recipes too and ranch is a staple in this house.

    Hey Dave - Thank you so much! I'm thrilled you enjoyed it. So where were you flying to? Are you back from the Virgin Islands? A friend of mine recently talked about the *best* blackened tilapia he'd ever had which made me want to give it a try... and *whoa!* ... there's a recipe on your blog for that today. I'll be trying that one soon!

    Juju - It's a wonderful bookstore. Augie is so supportive of mystery authors, and Chicago mystery authors in particular. He's great.


  6. Lovely and easy! Great recipe.

    Congrats to Julie's two winners! And congrats on your launch, Julie. I loved Grace Under Pressure (but then you already know that).


  7. Hey Avery! If you look closely at the photo of my salad, you'll notice I added cheese! You've turned me to the dark side... *grin*


  8. Julie - Your party photos are up. Woot! I just visited your blog and your launch party looked like a great deal of fun. Congrats again on the stellar release of GRACE. Also...sweet notes on the ranch dressing! Love Shel's recipe as well as your ideas of making it your own. (And you and I are definitely on the same page with the garlic. :)

    Cheers and congrats again!
    ~ Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  9. Thanks, Cleo! It was touch and go yesterday for a while, but thanks to Krista this blog was covered! I was lucky to get in -- finally -- after several hours of being blocked. Addicted to Blogger, I guess!

    Isn't Shel's recipe great? We're definitely enjoying it here and plan to serve it on Saturday at the party.


  10. Shel's recipe sounds so versatile. A great base for so many things.

    Congrats to the winners of Julie's contest. Enjoy your books!

    ~ Krista

  11. Congrats to the winners! Books are the best treats! Lovely recipe -- thank you! Julie,
    congrats on the release and the fun looking party!
    I have GRACE on my TBR and can't wait!

  12. Krista and Jenn -- thanks for helping promote the contest and for all your support. Congrats again to Margaret and Ken. I've heard back from both winners, and we're in the process of getting their prizes to them!