Ginger Peach Rum Punch

Ginger Peach Rum Punch //

For Gabe and I cocktail making is often a collaborative process. Usually I start with a base idea and then he takes that and works it out until he has ounces and grams scribbled out all over his well-loved Field Notes. Where I would have probably called it, “delicious!” Gabe likes to fiddle and fuss until sweet and sour sing together like the masterful harmonies of Simon and Garfunkel’s.  We make a good team.

For our house warming party we wanted a cocktail that didn’t require constant shaking and stirring, particularly because I knew I’d be in the kitchen fussing with the food and needed Gabe to play host. We wanted something that could be poured from a pitcher and yet had the sort of flavor that seems to only come from a finely tuned cocktail that is mixed to order.

What we ended up with is a sparkling pink rum punch that is perfect for a party and what we affectionately call the Rum-Riguez. It can be mixed well in advance and is a real easy drinker. A perfect match for a late summer party where twinkle lights hang above and new and old friends hang around a table filled with corn dip (add sharp cheddar and don’t be afraid of using far more lime juice than called for), platters of figs and shaved ham, and cookies. It’s also perfectly suitable for a Wednesday evening that demands a cocktail or perhaps to celebrate the kids returning to school.

Ginger Peach Rum Punch // Ginger Peach Rum Punch // Ginger Peach Rum Punch //

Peach puree adds a floral freshness and pairs beautifully with Orgeat – a sweet, almond flavored syrup that has a whisper of Orange blossom. Ginger soda swoops in with spice and freshly grated nutmeg brings a pleasant warmth. We also used a touch of bitters, this one to be precise.

Because this cocktail was for a very special occasion I used it as a chance to try my hand at homemade Orgeat. This recipe became my map, although I toasted my almonds until deeply golden and used dark brown sugar in place of the white. Also, I made the ginger soda. There’s a very lovely recipe in my book, Date Night In, for such a thing. But if Gabe and I were to simply make this recipe for the two of us you can be sure there would be a trip to the store for those ingredients.

Here’s to a few more summer nights and days worthy of punch.

Ginger Peach Rum Punch // Ginger Peach Rum Punch //

Ginger Peach Rum Punch

Use the following ratio to make as much or as little rum punch as you’d like. The peach puree can be made up to three days in advance. It’s starts to change color quickly but still tastes great. Add a good bit of lime or lemon to preserve the color – just adjust the recipe if you do that.

Serves 2


1 1/2 ounce peach puree (simply blend pitted peaches in a blender until completely smooth)

1/2 ounce Orgeat

1/2 ounce lime juice (about 1 small)

2 1/2 ounces Rum (Our favorite is the Plantation 5 year)

4 ounces ginger beer

Freshly ground nutmeg

Tiki bitters or some other spiced bitters

2 pieces lemon peel


Combine the peach, orgeat, lime juice, and rum into a glass. Give it a good stir then pour into two glasses filled with ice.

Top with the ginger beer and give a light stir. Finish with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg, a twist of lemon peel, and a few drops of bitters.

If you are making this for a crowd you can add the nutmeg and bitters to the pitcher.

Add the ginger beer to the pitcher just before your guests arrive to limit the amount of bubbles that you lose.





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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 //


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. 

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