Cooking with Toby: dips

Great ideas for fall social gatherings
Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2016 - 1:16pm

Toby Foster

Staff writer

I have had the thought of get-togethers on my mind lately, and snacks are a must whenever people gather for socialization. A classic fair of party goers is chips and dip. I tend to move away from the average snacks because of what I learned about cooking, but they also present a challenge to follow the pattern and break out of what is considered normal.

Guacamole is fairly common, but with some creativity, you can make it unique and flavorful. I like to make mine a little chunky and add chunks of tomato and onion to break up the texture. Along with that, some lime juice will give it zing. If you want it to stay fresh longer, leave a pit or two in the bowl with it.

Spinach and artichoke dip is not unheard of. Most people don’t make it at home, but I have never met some one who didn’t like it. I took and made a simplified version of this classic that can be made easily. I used frozen spinach for this and jarred artichoke hearts, but fresh will work for this as well. Most people choose to dip tortilla chips in this, but it is great with pita chips too.

Tzatziki is traditionally a sauce served on meats and vegetable dishes in Greece. I thickened the recipe to create a dip for pita chips. Once made, this can stay good in the fridge for up to 18 days. Make sure the Greek yogurt is plain, otherwise the dip will taste funny.

Guacamole

3 avocados

1 roma tomato

½ small yellow onion

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp lime juice

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp dried cilantro


Peel and pit the avocados. Mash them with a fork in a mixing bowl until desired consistency is reached. Dice the tomato and onion and stir into avocados. Mix in salt, black pepper, garlic, lime juice, cayenne pepper and cilantro.

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

12 oz spinach

12 oz artichoke hearts

5 cups water

½ cup sour cream

8 oz cream cheese

¼ cup parmesan cheese

½ tbsp minced garlic

2 tsp salt

1 tsp basil


Slice spinach and artichoke hearts into ¼ inch pieces. Combine spinach, artichoke hearts and water in a medium sauce pan. Cook on high heat until a rolling boil is reached. Strain and return to pan. Over medium heat, stir in sour cream and cream cheese. Stir until cream cheese is fully melted. Stir in parmesan, garlic, salt and basil. Stir until evenly mixed, then remove from heat.

Tzatziki Dip

1 cup sour cream

2 cups plain greek yogurt

1 cup grated cucumber

2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp salt

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp dried mint

1 tsp dill

1 tsp thyme


In a small mixing bowl, whisk the sour cream and yogurt until smooth. Add cucumber, pepper, salt, onion and garlic powders, mint, dill and thyme. Stir until evenly mixed. Serve with pita chips.

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