Monday, December 19, 2011

Crack potatoes

This is why I love Pinterest...these potatoes. So many great ideas, easy recipes that I shouldve thought of, and drool worthy photos that give you a hankering to go to the store immediately and just cook your life away. I'm a potato girl so these were a no-brainer....super de duper easy and great for a crowd.  These were one of Justin's favorites for Thanksgiving so they will be on the do again list for sure...

2 (16oz) containers sour cream (I used one light and one fat free)
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded (2%)
2 (3oz) bags real bacon bits
2 packages Ranch Dip mix
1 large (28 - 30oz) bag frozen hash brown potatoes - shredded kind

Combine first 4 ingredients, mix in hash browns. Spread into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 400 for 45-60 minutes. I mean really??  That's it?  These are absolutely devine.  That's the only thing you need to know about this dish.

**Per the comments from readers, most people enjoyed this better with only one package of ranch dip mix, two packs was too salty for most people, although we enjoyed it the way it was. Do whatever floats your boat :)


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125 comments:

  1. Simple and delicious. I've never been addicted to crack - but I could sure get addicted to this! ;)

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  2. I am drooling looking over all these recipes! So happy I found a place to get better for you recipes and not sacrifice taste. My cookouts this summer will be a hit!

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  3. These are def a crowd favorite! Glad you are enjoying the blog, it started out as just for family and friends so I'm glad there are others that read as well now! Thanks :)

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  4. This is so close to one I make....here is the difference...crumble and brown one roll of light hot brk. sausage and stir in or dice up leftover ham and stir in before baking. One dish breakfast....add fruit and toast!!! Crack is a good way to describe it!!!!

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    1. That's a great idea! I will have to try that for the next time I have overnight guests...

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  5. did you thaw the potatoes or no? Thanks it looks amazing!

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    1. Nope, you don't need to thaw them!

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  6. This photo looks like it might be spaghetti. Have you ever tried it with any kind of pasta? We already have a similar family favorite with potatoes and I am looking for an alternative.

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    1. Never tried it with pasta, but I'm all for experimenting with recipes! That's how I've come up with some of our faves...let me know how it turns out if you try it!

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  7. searves how many? about--

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    1. I've only made it for family gatherings where there are a lot of other dishes, but if you are doing this as a side I would say it would feed 8 hungry adults!

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  8. this is probably a dubm question but do you mix the ranch dip up first like by itself or no?

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    1. You add it in dry. You will like it. In the dry form it just adds the flavor. ENJOY!

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  9. I would cut it down to 1 ranch dip pack - it was too ranch-y. It was ok this way, but it would be better with less ranch!

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  10. i agree with previous comment - way too salty for me. i would use only one ranch package. otherwise would be really good.

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    1. I have made this several times but I only used one pkg of Ranch dip as I always felt it was more than enough. I mix one package with the sour cream, throw in the cheese (by the handfuls) and then the potatoes.

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  11. Made these for the first time last night. My husband is a PICKY eater, and he really liked them. However, we also thought they were a bit too salty, so next time we probably won't use as much Ranch mix. They are definitely going on my list of "husband friendly foods!" LOL

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    1. I agree, I will use less ranch next time too....thanks for the comments!

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  12. Do you use 16 oz of sour cream total, or two 16 oz containers? Sorry, that just seems like a lot?

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    1. It does sound like a lot, but it didn't really taste like a lot, you want the potatoes to be creamy. You can try with less though, let me know if it's good! :)

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    2. So are you saying it is 2 16 oz containers (32 oz total)?

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    3. Yes, 32 oz total...I used one 16 oz container of light sour cream and one 16 oz container of fat free sour cream!

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    4. I doubled the recipe and realized to late I hadn't bought enough sour cream. I only had 48oz instead of 64oz. I think they tasted great without the extra sour cream so if I don't know what I'm missing I will probably make it without all the sour cream going forward.

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  13. Do you bake this covered or uncovered?

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    1. I baked it covered with tin foil...

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  14. Where would one find bags of bacon bits? I've seen bottles but never bags. Thank you. Sounds like a great dish!

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    1. There are little bags of bacon bits in the salad dressing aisle here...they even have turkey bacon bits which is what I use...they taste great and minimize the greasiness!

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    2. Here's what it looks like:

      http://www.kraftrecipes.com/Products/ProductInfoDisplay.aspx?SiteId=1&Product=4470002966

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    3. Aldi's has bags,and they are real not imitation for like $1.50. I buy them all of the time, I use them when I make potato skins.

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  15. If I were to cut the recipe in half, and shredded my own potatoes, do you think I would need to bake it for the full hour? Trying to make it as a side dish for a family of 4.

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    1. I would say you could cut the time in half if your potatoes are not frozen and you are cutting the recipe in half as well....good luck!

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  16. Oh my word! We are having a cookout Memorial Day weekend and these are definitely on the menu! Cannot wait to try....!

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    1. You may want to only use one ranch packet, from the sounds of the comments on here! Good luck :)

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  17. I make something like this, I get them requested all the time. I make mine with Cream of chicken or Cream of mushroom soup. I have not tried them with ranch or bacon.(i'll have to try the bacon in mine.) I use a 5 lb package of hash browns, Most of the potatoes are gone that night, But it is SOOOO nice to have leftovers!!!

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  18. do you thaw the hashbrowns ?

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    1. Nope, I throw them right in frozen!

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  19. and people wonder why we're a nation of fat whackers ...

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    1. Don't be so damn negative. If you don't like the recipe, fell free not to say anything. No one is making you eat it or cook it.

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    2. Just don't make the recipe or copy it either. I am sick to death of people who complain about recipes. Its your choice not to print or save or serve. GEEEEZZZ. GEt a life. Not all people are on a diet.

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    3. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!! We fat people appreciate your sentiment

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    4. Everything in moderation. I'm 104 lb. and that looks like a nice side dish for a party! I save most of my splurges for parties and weekends. And I'd love to attack some of that crack!! :)

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    5. Seriously? The author mentions in her comments that she used turkey bacon and light sour cream, so there are ways of making it less fattening. And yes, everything in moderation.

      Go back to your tofu and rice cakes, hater-- why you looking up crack potato recipes anyway?

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    6. Really??!! What a jerk! I would eat this in a heartbeat... just not every day. AND, douchbag, I'm almost 50, still 125lbs. and don't take any Rx drugs at all. In other words, people can have their cake and eat it too! Didn't your mother ever teach you that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all?

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  20. What brand of ranch did you use? If I remember right, Hidden Valley calls for 16 oz of sour cream and the Laura Scudders(?) Brand calls for 8 oz of sour cream when making the dips. Could this be the problem with the saltyness?

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  21. Omg! I must try this! I love potatoes too

    www.cancerinthecity.com

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  22. I make something similar but I use 1 stick of melted butter,med. diced onion, 16oz sour cream, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 2cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese with the frozen shredded hashbrowns, salt & pepper. they r so creamy & delicious I am ALWAYS asked to make them for family gatherings

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    1. How long do you bake it for and at what temp?

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    2. 400 degrees for 45-60 min!

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  23. I made and used southwest style hashbrowns, one ranch pkg, one sour cream, one chopped onion, 1 can mushroom soup, 2 cups cheese, and 4 slices of bacon crumbled...went well with my Brisket BBQ dinner!

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  24. Any ideas about preparing these in crockpot?

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    1. Should be able to just throw it all in mixed up and cook on high for 3 hours or so...

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  25. Just wondering if you mix all the ingredients together at the same time? I wasn't sure if you made the ranch packet separate and then mixed it in.

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    1. Nope, I mixed it all together at once and it worked perfectly!

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  26. Just made a pan of these potatoes and my husband grilled some ribeyes! My husband and his friend just love the potatoes! His friend said they are quite addictive :)

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    1. That's great! I love these things...perfect side for a group!

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  27. Have you ever used sliced potatoes instead of hash browns?

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    1. I have not but I bet they would be great too!

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  28. These days everyone is calling their recipes "crack" this and "crack" that. This is just a variation of "cheesy potatoes", only made a lot saltier by the addition of dry Ranch mix.

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  29. Made these the other day and took them to a cookout and my family loved them. There weren't any left at all. My dad even loved them and he normally won't eat anything with ranch in it. Absolutely awesome recipe!!! Making them again in the morning to take to a carry in at church!!!

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    1. That's great to hear! Thanks for letting me know :)

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  30. I just wanted to thank you for all the time and effort you put into blessing us all with your blog. It is infuriating to have someone complain about the name of the recipe or the recipe having too much of one ingredient or not enough of another. It would be impossible to make everyone happy (I'm sure you know) because individual tastes are as unique as snowflakes. And however "mom" made it tastes right and best. Bottom line is-you are spending your free time providing practical strangers with a recipe variation, should they choose to use it. You don't do it so people can criticize in a less than tactful way. Honestly, I don't know what people are thinking sometimes but there are also many of us that appreciate all you do! May your day be blessed in equal measure.

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    1. Thank you very much for your kind words! When I first started doing this, it was more for family and friends who had been asking for recipes but its grown to this and I couldn't be more happy to share my time in the kitchen with others! I will admit it was disheartening at first to get negative comments but I have gotten past that stage and realize there are some people that you just can't please. It's people like you who let me know that it's appreciated that keep me going....so thank you!! Hope you continue to enjoy it :)

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  31. I am wanting to make this as a side dish for my husband and I but its WAY too much for 2 people! If I was to cut the recipe in half and still use the frozen hash browns could i just cut the cook time in half?

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    1. i dont have the shredded kind of hasbrowns can i use the other kind

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  32. I made these tonight. My husband liked them but my daughter and I did not. I used 1 pkg of the ranch and to me it was still to much. I like ranch but to me this had to much of a sour taste. To each their own. Keep up the recipes though. I love to try new things.

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    1. I used chedder cheese soup and half n half. 1 package of dip mix! We'll see how it turns out.

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  33. Has anyone made this up the day ahead and baked it the next day?

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    1. I did just that when I made this...you can very easily make it ahead of time!

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  34. What about using fresh shredded potatoes?

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    1. Fresh potatoes should work just as well!

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  35. I made this last night for a breakfast-for-dinner party and it was the only dish without any leftovers! Super popular. I only used one packet of ranch and was glad I did.

    Super tasty dish, and super easy to make. Yum!

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  36. Instead of sour cream you can also use french onion dip or any other flavor. I would maybe leave out ranch packets then.

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  37. Its prolly the bacon bits making it too salty..maybe cut back on that.

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  38. I added 2 20oz packages of Simply potatoes, they are fresh shredded hash browns. 2 cans of chedder cheese soup, 1/2 c. Of half-n-half. And 1/4 c. Of shredded parmesan cheese. 1 onion also.

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  39. My problem: My husband is afraid of carbs! I LOVE them, but he's so picky about what he eats. Can I do this same thing with maybe....cauliflower? I know he likes the mashed garlic cauliflower I've made in the past. These potatoes look really goo - too bad he refuses anything that says "potato, pasta, rice, bread, flour,sugar, etc"

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    1. I bet cauliflower would be great! I love to sub cauliflower for ptoatoes too sometimes...will have to remember to try that here soon!

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  40. If you double the order, do you also double the cook time? I know that maybe a silly question, but I am NOT a cook. I have been assigned to make a side dish for Thanksgiving.

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  41. Using 40 oz. of fresh shredded hash browns (Didn't want to waste the extra 10 oz.) Also used 1 packet regular ranch and 1 packet of Spicy ranch. Used 2 cups of 4 cheese blend and an extra cup of Queso cheese to offset the extra potatos. Going to try and cover them for the 1st 40 minutes than uncover for the last 20 minutes. So far it smells great, can't wait... ...

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  42. I made these potatoes last night as a side to have along with a whole crockpot chicken.

    They were delish but I do agree with the other reviewers that one package of the ranch mix should be enough. I used two packages, and the results were a little salty and a bit tangy. They were a hit and very easy to make! Cant wait to have some leftovers today.

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  43. I made this for the 1st time for our Christmas luncheon at work. Til I was able to get there, I was able to get a small portion to taste. They were so good and I got lots of compliments. I added only 1 of the ranch mix because of the previous posts and I added some chopped onions and some fresh ground pepper. My potatoes were seasoned perfectly.....no salt or pepper needed.

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  44. Can you mix these up the night before, or will that make the hash browns too soggy?

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    1. You can most certainly mix them up before, that's what I did!

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  45. I made these tonight with one 16oz ranch package and they were delicious.

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  46. Darn. I made these before I read the comments. Used 2 packets of ranch. Hope its not too salty. Taking them to work tonight for a Christmas dinner. Wish me luck!

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    1. Sorry about that! I just modified the original post so people see that part sooner...happy holidays!

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  47. Couldn't find packets of ranch at Target, so I tried 16 oz sour cream and 16 oz ranch dip. I also halved the bacon bits and added a chopped up onion. It was OMG good! Even the Old Dude (notoriously picky!) went back for seconds - AND he ate leftovers of it the next day!

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  48. Any way I can make this in a crock pot??

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  49. Does anyone know if these can be made with fresh potatoes??
    Sorry if someone's already asked this, I don't have the time to go through all the comments.
    Thanks

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    1. You could most def use fresh potatoes, they don't usually look the same when I use fresh for hashbrowns, but the taste will be equally as delish!

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  50. Bake covered or uncovered?? Looks devine!

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  51. Christmas eve 2012. Went to walmart to get everything to make this dish and THEY WERE SOLD OUT OF HASHBROWNS! found a bag that had squared Hashbrowns, onions, and peppers. Cooked the same (45 min at 400 degrees) topped it with a little more cheese and the boys I live with are IN LOVE! This will be more than just a Christmas tradition. I'm sure ill be making this at least twice a month. Hubby won't stop eating it.

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    1. Glad to hear it! We make them every Christmas too...it's a good splurge food :)

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  52. Since this is the same recipe reposted from Plain Chicken food blog (using her pics) you probably should credit that. I realize you mentioned Pinterest but I believe credit is due to the nice lady over there. :)

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    1. In the first sentence where I mention Pinterest, the words "these potatoes" are a link to Plain Chicken's blog :)

      I did use her photo as mine got eaten too quickly to get a shot...if that tells you how good these are!

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  53. These were fantastic!! I used both packs of ranch and they were so so good! I did make a whole batch, and then split it between 2 8x8 pans, one for us and one for a family that just had a baby. I gave these a stir about half way through cooking, and wasn't thrilled with the taste, but something happened during the last half of cooking that made them so amazing! I will be making these again!

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    1. Could you divide it into two smaller servings and freeze one pan?

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    2. Yes, these would freeze beautifully!

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  54. What am I missing? Made these as described and were TERRIBLE! Couldn't even eat one serving:( And I was really looking forward to them.

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  55. I love this however, next time I may leave one packet of the range out. After 4 or 5 bites, it became way too tangy. I will definitely make it again!

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  56. Okay this recipe has some favorite ingredients in it. Sour cream, cheese, bacon, Ranch and potatoes. Oh that's all the ingredients, lol. I have to make this in a couple days. Since I was looking for a new side dish and found this, it shall be the winner. I'll try to make it as the recipe says first. Sounds so good. I'll post again once I do.

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    1. I know, pretty much my favorites all mixed into one recipe! A lot of people are commenting that 2 ranch packets was too much so you may want to try with just one first...hope you like it!

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  57. Have you ever substituted greek yogurt for one of the sour cream containers?

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    1. Greek Yogurt can be substituted any time a recipe calls for sour cream! That is what I plan on doing for Easter. Will just use 1 packet of Ranch and maybe a pinch or 2 of garlic powder.

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  58. Hello there! I just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe for the first time today, following ALL directions. (Including two ranch packets( The consensus from my Hubby: You must make more, this is not going to last in this house. Though he did say maybe I should add more cheese ;-) Thank you so much!

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  59. Made this tonight and it was fantastic! Quick and easy! My kids begged me to make this again. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

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  60. I have made these and they were AMAZING!! So so good and so easy!

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  61. I forgot the sour cream and have no yogurt, what can I use?

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  62. I make mine with jalapenos and its marvelous! Nothing but awesome responses from my guests each time I make them!

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  63. I added a bunch of chopped green onions...

    Debi

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  64. Any try cream cheese in place of one sourcream?

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  65. I made this for a party and it was great. I had some leftover, so I made them into patties, dredged the patties into a mixture of Panko and Italian seasoned breadcrumbs and pan fried them. They were awesome! If you have z y leftover, try it :)

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  66. http://world7weightloss.blogspot.com/2013/10/weight-loss-for-women-weight-training.html

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  67. If I was to make this the night before, how long would I need to put it in the oven to reheat for the next day?

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  68. Do you cover it with foil while in the oven?

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  69. I am going to a BIG family party tomorrow and will try this recipe. I'll let you know how it turns out. ( I couldn't believe how many questions there were ). Heck, I just put it all together, as printed, and baked it. .Looks good to me.!) Katie

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  70. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing powder mix also comes in a jar. I purchase it that way because I use it in a number of recipes and it is cheaper per use. You can then add a little more or less for your tastes without having to open an extra packet and then in my case loose it in the pantry.

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