Hot Arugula Dip

Hot Arugula Dip // Hot Arugula Dip // Hot Arugula Dip //

Chips, a good Saison, and one of my favorite burgers in Seattle. The makings of a mighty fine party. 

We’re in countdown mode. Some of us are counting down the remaining days of summer that lead to the first day of school with eagerness and delight and then there are others in our house who aren’t. It’s the time of year where we are packing in as much summer into our days as we can and remembering some of our favorite memories from the past three months.

Right now the novelty of those cool, gray days sounds inviting and cozy but enough of those and I’ll be thinking back with great longing to our sun-kissed shoulders and noses as we spent all day at the beach where I showed Roman how to body surf and let little crabs wriggle in between our fingers. And our recent three days sleeping under the stars and ate a sort of camping-style Grand Aioli with dirt under our fingernails and the sound of the waves lapping at the beach as our dinner soundtrack. I’ll long for the laziness of our days where we slept in until the sun peaking through the shades woke us up rather than our alarm clocks. Where “boredom” led us to many trips to the library and helped us discover a new-found love of weaving and yarn arts in general.  

Hot Arugula Dip //


Oh you know, just drinking beer and eating delicious (and spicy!) chips. One of my favorite pastimes.

Hot Arugula Dip //


Skillet’s Fried Chicken and Kale Sandwich with a side of mac and cheese topped with FSTG mulitgrain chips. A perfect pair.

Hot Arugula Dip // Hot Arugula Dip //


Trying to make this look totally natural as per my husband’s direction. :)

Hot Arugula Dip //


Close to the top of our summer highlight list sits a recent block party that I hosted along with Food Should Taste Good. They believe in crafting better snacks and I can’t help but agree. We also both agree that flavor is king but that doesn’t mean that real and wholesome ingredients need to go out the door. They are committed to making great tasting snacks with real, simple ingredients and they also believe in bringing together people who have a passion for real, good food. That’s why they asked me to partner with them to host a summer soiree in my own backyard.

They looked to me to create the block party of my dreams and we did just that. Friends and local bloggers filled the patio at Hilliard’s while the Skillet Street Food truck was nearby. Because when you ask me to host a party beer, fried chicken, and chips are a must.

Gabe was there to capture the evening filled with laughter, new friends, old friends, great food, amazing beer and so much merriment that made me fall even deeper in love with this little community of ours.

Hot Arugula Dip //


Grilled peaches. The answer is always grilled peaches.

Hot Arugula Dip // Hot Arugula Dip //


My tip: Start with the Pilsner, then move on to the Saison. The finish off whatever is in your husband’s glass.

Hot Arugula Dip //


I love gathering together new and old friends. Food gets us there, relationships keep us here. 



Molasses BBQ pulled pork chips w/ FSTG Sweet Potato Chips

All of the above photos were taken by my uber-talented husband, Gabe Rodriguez.


We still have a few more summer memories to add to our list. This week we’re welcoming family and friends to our home as we throw open the front door and ask them to help us warm our new home. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the menu has already been planned and you can be sure the Hot Arugula Dip is on there.

We all know Spinach Dip but I am such a fan of Arugula that I use it in spinach’s place. In return there is a bit of peppery heat and more complexity to the dip. It’s not much of a looker but when hot cheese and chips are involved vanity is a silly thing to worry about.

I hope your summer is making a graceful exit as it’s mixed with a bit of “Yay! You’re almost gone!” and “Oh please don’t go!” Happy memories, a bit of longing for more but excitement about what’s ahead. I think it’s the best way to see something off.

Hot Arugula Dip //

Hot Arugula Dip //

Hot Arugula Dip

Serves 8-10 (as an appetizer)

2 tablespoons butter

½  medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

2 garlic gloves, minced

8 oz arugula, washed, dried and tough stems removed

1/4 cup milk

4 ounces cream cheese

½ teaspoon black pepper

dash of hot sauce

2 dashes worcestershire sauce

4 ounces grated gruyere cheese

Pita chips or crackers, for dipping


Preheat oven to 425°F degrees.  Grease a small baking dish with butter.


In a large saute pan over medium low heat, add butter, onions and garlic. Sprinkle with salt. Saute for 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add arugula, in batches as needed, sprinkling with salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.  Allow to wilt and cook down.  Once wilted, transfer mixture to a bowl.

Warm milk in the same pan, over medium heat.  Mix in cream cheese and allow to melt.  Add back onions and arugula.  Season with black pepper, dashes of hot sauce and worcestershire sauce.   Slowly stir in gruyere cheese, about ½ cup at a time and allow to slowly melt.

Transfer to prepared baking dish and bake on the top rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.

Serve warm with chips such as Food Should Taste Good Multigrain or Jalapeno Chips or sliced baguette.

*This post was sponsored by Food Should Taste Good because I can’t help but agree. Check out their family of great tasting food on their site and Facebook page.

Also, check out the great local BBQ I created with Food Should Taste Good. It’s my dream BBQ situation using some of my Seattle favorites. 

  • Permalink

Chicken Braised in Milk

Chicken Braised in Milk // Not Without Salt

“You are actually the granddaughter of two dairy farmers.” My dad said in an email after he saw my post about the visit to the dairy farm. I had forgotten that his dad ran a small dairy until my my dad was 5 years old. In fact my grandfather went to Ag school in Holland before he moved to America when he was 18 years old. So even more than I remembered the love of dairy runs deep in this family.

Which may explain why I’ve been so eager to try this particular recipe for so long. The one in which chicken shimmies into a dutch oven and makes friends with bacon (who wouldn’t be friends with bacon?), lemon peel (which makes your hands smell of the best perfume), rosemary (plucked from my newly planted herb garden), nutmeg (because it felt right) and milk.

It’s my take on a recipe that I credit Jamie Oliver for because that’s where I first heard about Chicken Braised in Milk. Jamie uses lemon, sage and cinnamon which sounds fine too, in fact there are so many herb and spice combinations that I think would do quite nicely here but let us agree to never, not ever, never leave out the lemon because that is what makes the sauce curdle.

No wait, don’t run away screaming, curdling is a good thing in this case. Unless you want your food to be purely aesthetically pleasing and not just plain delicious? Because I’ll tell you what, this dish may not win any beauty pageants but based on ease and flavor alone, we have ourselves a winner.

Chicken Braised in Milk // Not Without Salt


Be sure to use whole milk here. I personally would think of no other, it’s what we always have in our fridge, right next to the cream and butter. But I remember when my mom would gush about her whole milk childhood and I would cringe at the thought as I crunched on my cereal doused in 2%. Now anything other than whole just seems silly. I think both of my grandfathers would be proud.

Here especially we need that extra bit of fat. What happens in the pot is a bit of food magic when the lemon meets the milk and then they become fast friends and that friendship leaves you with a sauce that is yes, indeed broken, but broken like ricotta is broken: Meaning we make curds and those curds are flavored with chicken drippings and all the other fragrant and wonderful things we put into that pot (remember the bacon!)

Chicken Braised in Milk // Not Without Salt IMG_6805

Also, let’s remember the last post where we talked about quality and I introduced you to the Werkhoven family. The family who spends their days making sure they have barns filled with happy cows. So there are fans and fresh beds of sand, little bits of corn candy (not actual candy – the cows just love corn kernels that much) that the cows love to dig for because happy cows make the best and most milk. So we honor and value the work families like this do by buying great quality milk which we then cover our chicken with to get the most tender, flavorful and simple roast. And because I am the granddaughter of two DUTCH dairy farmers there are also potatoes along with my chicken cooked in milk.


This post was sponsored by Washington Dairy. As always, the words, images and recipes are mine.

If you are interested in learning more about the Werkhoven Farm or more on Sustainable Farming check out these great links for more information:

Sustainable Land

Cow Care

Werkhoven Dairy

The Digester

Chicken Braised in Milk // Not Without Salt Chicken Braised in Milk // Not Without Salt

Chicken Braised in Milk with Lemon, Rosemary and Bacon


Serves 4


One 3-pound (1 1/2-kilogram) chicken

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tablespoons butter or olive oil

5 pieces of bacon, thinly sliced

1 large shallot, roughly chopped

1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves

Zest of 2 lemons, peeled in thick strips with a vegetable peeler

10 garlic cloves, skins left on

pinch freshly grated nutmeg

2 cups whole milk

1 – 2 pounds baby new potatoes


Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper. Add the butter or olive oil to a large dutch oven set over high heat. Sear the chicken, getting the skin good and crisp and deep golden all over.

To the pot add the bacon, shallots, rosemary, lemon peels, garlic, a pinch of nutmeg along with the milk. I added some potatoes to the top of the pot too because why dirty two pots when I can just dirty one? Throw in another pinch of salt for those potatoes.

Slide the pot into the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours. Baste the chicken with the juices occasionally throughout the cooking. If you find the liquid evaporating too quickly you can add the lid.

Carefully remove the chicken and potatoes from the pot and onto a platter. Spoon the now separated sauce all over. Sure, it’s not too pretty but one doesn’t mind after the first bite. If you like a pop of green you can garnish with fresh herbs.


  • Permalink