Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy Holidays with Tzatziki and Mini Cheesecakes

Happy Holidays! Long time no post! There has been a lot going on in my life currently so things have been a little hectic and posts will probably continue to be sporadic for the next couple of months. I'm going to be moving to the Boston area finally and staying with one of my best friends, Lauren, until I can find my own place, and unfortunately, all of my kitchen stuff will be in storage during that time. I will definitely try to keep up the posts as frequently as possible and there may be a guest blogger here and there as well.

For Christmas I made these gorgeous little pieces of heaven with the Salted Bourbon Caramel I had leftover. I have a stand-by recipe for mini cheesecakes already and thought the caramel would be the perfect complement, and I was right. These were a huge hit! I will have to post my mini cheesecake recipe at some point.

For the New Year's party I will be going to tonight, I made my tzatziki for a lighter alternative to all of the decadent treats we will be eating. My recipe is an adapted version of the Ina Garten recipe found here. The recipe on its own is pretty fantastic but I've made it a few times now and have adjusted items based on my own taste preferences and convenience. I use fresh frozen Minute Maid lemon juice instead of fresh squeezed (a go-to refrigerator staple in my house since lemons always seem to go bad too quickly for me), I use less Greek yogurt since I can't seem to find the quantities Ina suggests, I use garlic powder instead of fresh because I found that it blends better. I don't peel or seed the cucumber, I use dried dill instead of fresh, and I use less salt as well. Wow, I guess I changed more than I realized!

l love shredding cucumber. It shreds really easily and the smells is so refreshing. I squeeze most of the water out of the cucumber as well so as not to water down the dip too much. The other great thing about this dip is that you can make it really low-fat. I used full fat sour cream when I made it this time, but I have used low-fat sour cream and I couldn't taste a difference. And the Greek yogurt is fat-free naturally. The chips you pair it with will probably be the most fattening part. I usually pair it with regular Sun Chips or Stacy's Pita Chips. Both are delicious, or if you are feeling particularly crafty, homemade pita chips aren't difficult to make.

Enjoy the recipe and have a wonderful New Year!

Tzatziki Dip

2 (6 oz) containers of plain Greek Yogurt
1 hothouse cucumber, shredded with the water squeezed out
1/4 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dried dill
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the yogurt in a medium bowl. Add grated, drained cucumber, and sour cream. Add remaining ingredients.

Note: This dip tastes better the longer you let it sit. Lasts about 1 week in the fridge in an air-tight container.

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