In college, I practically lived at a bar called Hemingway’s.  You see, Hemingway’s was amazing for two very simple reasons:  on Wednesdays, they offered $1 draft Blue Moons.  Just ONE DOLLAR.  Music to my college ears.


Sadly, I went back to Hemingway’s a few years ago, and $1 Blue Moons are now $1.25.  Inflation blows. (Edited to add:  I just signed onto Hemingway’s Facebook page and discovered they are now $2 a Blue Moon.  I weep for the latest generation of PITT students.)


Anyway.  Secondly, and even more importantly, Hemingway’s served up the most delicious spinach artichoke dip.  It is the spinach artichoke dip by which I compare all other dips.  Hot and flavorful, H-way’s dip stands out for one simple reason:  it’s very ‘chokey.  A spinach artichoke dip that skimps on the artichokes will simply NOT do!


While I cannot claim this dip is as good as Hemingway’s, I guarantee that it’s healthier.  Even if you still wash it down with three Blue Moons.


And it would be an excellent appetizer for a Vegetarian Thanksgiving!


Goat Cheese Spinach Artichoke Dip


  • 1 tube packed herbed goat cheese (8 ounces).  If buying crumbled goat cheese, use 12 – 16 ounces.
  • 1 – 2 cans artichoke hearts, packed in water.  Depending on how cheesy vs. ‘chokey you want it.
  • 1 bag raw spinach.




  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • In a wok, steam the spinach with a bit of water until it wilts. Squeeze out extra moisture.
  • Open artichoke can(s) into colander.  Use hands to break into smaller bits and squeeze out extra water.

IMG_3593 IMG_3594

  • Crumble in goat cheese and spinach.  Mix thoroughly with hands.
  • Pour into greased 8 by 8 inch casserole dish.
  • Bake for 18 minutes.  Broil on low for 2 minutes.
  • Serve with chips or veggies.


Do you have a favorite restaurant dish, too? 



  • Sara October 31, 2011, 4:08 pm

    I think I just found my Christmas contribution when I’m in GA with my boyfriend’s family for a week! Healthy but looks unhealthy…DONE!

  • kathleen @ the daily crumb October 31, 2011, 4:13 pm

    our neighborhood grill serves the most AMAZING sweet potato fries. all others get compared. other than that, there was a mexican spot right down the street from my college apartment that served the best chicken quesadilla i have EVER had (and will ever have!) it was $2.99 on tuesdays to boot!

  • Alicia from Poise in Parma October 31, 2011, 4:15 pm

    I’m having a “Bloggers Night In” party tomorrow evening. I now know the surprise dish I can make for the girls! Thanks.

  • Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life October 31, 2011, 4:15 pm

    Spinach and artichoke dip is my most favorite appetizer of all times!! I hate how bad it is for you, though, so this healthier version is certainly a winner in my opinion!

  • Jo October 31, 2011, 4:19 pm

    OMG. I used to live at Hemingway’s also. They made the best Long Island Iced Teas, served with a candy necklace. The spinach artichoke dip really was amazing!

    • CaitlinHTP October 31, 2011, 4:21 pm

      I had a bad night with those things. They are dangerous!

      • Sam November 9, 2011, 3:07 pm

        ALL of their shot pitchers are dangerous. They defined my college experience, though, so I’ll give ’em that.
        God. Hemingways was so my place. I miss it! I’m visiting Pittsburgh this weekend and desperately need to stop by.

  • Michelle October 31, 2011, 4:20 pm

    I will definitely try this! Artichoke and spinach dip is the only thing I can think of when I hear “appetizer”. Thanks!

  • Faith @ For the Health of It October 31, 2011, 4:20 pm

    I’ll always associate my college years with TGI Friday’s Brownie Explosion…any time one of us had a bad day, the roomies would drag each other out for some chocolate overload, gossip and lots and lots of love. I miss that tradition so much – there was nothing it couldnt fix!

  • Army Amy* October 31, 2011, 4:23 pm

    I majorly love the grilled veggie burrito from Baja fresh. It’d probably be easy to recreate, but I just don’t think anything compares to the real thing in this case!*

  • Tatyana October 31, 2011, 4:30 pm

    dang, now all I want is some dip and beer. I also head really good hang out during college days and they served the best queso with guacamole on top, yum!!!

  • Ari @ Ari's Menu October 31, 2011, 4:37 pm

    Goat cheese is such a good idea!! I usually make mine with reduced fat cream cheese, but goat cheese sounds way better!! Yum. Thanks for the great idea!

  • katie @ KatieDid October 31, 2011, 4:38 pm

    I tried to make a healthier spinach dip last week using beans but it was so bland, wish I had seen this earlier it sounds fantastic! We have a bar where cups of beer are $1 until the keg is tapped, but it’s from 4-5 on friday when I’m usually not quite ready to start partying 😉

  • Diana October 31, 2011, 4:38 pm

    YUM!! Definitely putting this on my list for the next (first) time I have a dinner party!

    In my small college town, there was one classic “date night” restaurant that had THE BEST baked brie – I’m drooling a little thinking about it. Honestly, I wouldn’t have trusted any of the food at any of our small town dive bars 😉

  • deva @ deva by definition October 31, 2011, 4:41 pm

    I am currently loving fried pickles.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen October 31, 2011, 4:47 pm

    Now that’s a spinach and artichoke dip I could get onboard with. I usually avoid that appetizer at restaurants all the time b/c it’s always so cheesy, skimpy on the actual veg and just nasty. Your version looks pretty good though especially with the goat cheese 🙂

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) October 31, 2011, 4:52 pm

    how very very tasty!!!

  • Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga October 31, 2011, 4:58 pm

    I love spinach and artichoke dip and just made some over the weekend. I bet goat cheese is amazing in it…yum!

  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun October 31, 2011, 4:59 pm

    Oh me, oh my. Spinach artichoke dip is my favorite and goat cheese is my favorite. All together? I would be in heaven. And I would still take a $2 draft blue moon any day. It’s one of my fave beers!

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith October 31, 2011, 5:08 pm

    I love and adore Chili’s Quesadilla Explosion salad – it’s everything I love in one salad!

  • Jessica October 31, 2011, 5:14 pm

    When I was in grad school at CMU I loved the $1 Blue Moon Wednesdays! I can’t believe it’s $2 now! Of course, now I live in Washington DC, where beer is a million times more expensive than it was in Pittsburgh, so $2 Blue Moons sound awful cheap these days…

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers October 31, 2011, 5:36 pm

    Blue Moon for a dollar?! That would be my dream come true. And goat cheese in spinach artichoke dip sounds perfect. 🙂

  • Krystina (Organically Me) October 31, 2011, 5:38 pm

    Can I just say that I love that you eat pretty healthy most of the time, but you never say no to a few beers. Love!

  • Claire @ Live and Love to Eat October 31, 2011, 5:53 pm

    I indulged in the half price appetizers (especially that dip) all too often! I was never a beer drinker though so the Blue Moon inflation wouldn’t bother me. My favorite part of that dip (the original, not healthy version) was the deep fried pita. It had a decent kick to it, too!

  • Kelly October 31, 2011, 6:12 pm

    Yes! The smoked salmon at Houston’s is amazing. It is served with capers, this amazing sauce and melba toasts…best thing I have ever into my mouth!

  • Michelle October 31, 2011, 6:18 pm

    YESSSSS Hemingways. I spent my 21st birthday (and many other nights) drinking dollar Blue Moons there. And their half priced lunch and late night menu… Best curly fries ever!

  • Courtney @ The Petite AthlEAT October 31, 2011, 6:32 pm

    Favorite restaurant dish: Grilled chicken skewers at Cheddars (that amazing honey mustard dipping sauce!) and their edamame! Healthy makes me happy. 😉

  • Jolene ( October 31, 2011, 6:38 pm

    That spinach artichoke dip looks incredible – I love the big chunks of artichoke. I have a few favourite restaurant meals. One thing I love that is kind of strange, is the Perogy stromboli from Boston Pizza.

  • Nicole Mullins October 31, 2011, 6:38 pm

    Mmm… that made me very hungry all of a sudden! I recently discovered spinach artichoke dip so I’m excited to try this! I happen to L-O-V-E my local hot dog place. They have vegan dogs they make themselves and I just can’t eat any other faux dogs now, they’re so gross! Lol.

  • Emily October 31, 2011, 6:43 pm

    The chokey-ier the better, in my opinion! There’s a hole in the wall mexican restaurant on my campus that I absolutely love! Can’t get enough of it on Taco Tuesday! Every college town needs a cute little restaurant:)

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 31, 2011, 6:54 pm

    Sounds good! My favorite artichoke dip is the one I make every year on Christmas for my family!

  • Ann @ Turbo Teacher October 31, 2011, 7:04 pm

    I just recently started liking Spinach Artichoke dip and this looks amazing!!!

  • Alli @ alli learns life October 31, 2011, 7:06 pm

    spinach & artichoke dip is my fave! I love anything with that combo, so that looks fantastic.
    I’m actually making spinach artichoke pasta tonight. Now I’m even more excited for it to come out of the oven 🙂

  • Elizabeth @ reads recipes runs October 31, 2011, 7:08 pm

    I LOVE spinach artichoke dip. SO MUCH!! I can’t wait to try this with goat cheese

  • HTPDad October 31, 2011, 7:14 pm


  • Sophia October 31, 2011, 7:18 pm

    I cannot stop eating tortilla chips, rice chips, rice cakes, lately. I’ll sit down and eat whole bags of them every evening! Help!

    • Caitlin November 1, 2011, 1:18 pm

      Plate what you want to eat and then ‘close’ the kitchen. Try drinking hot decaf tea afterwards to occupy your mouth. Or go for a walk!

  • Katie (Sweet Tater) October 31, 2011, 7:40 pm

    this. looks. awesome.

  • Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) October 31, 2011, 7:44 pm

    Oh my gosh, this dip sounds AMAZING! Perfect for any Thanksgiving or party, not just veg! 😉

  • Lauren October 31, 2011, 7:56 pm

    I love the idea of using goat cheese in this recipe. I don’t know why I never thought of that.

  • steph October 31, 2011, 8:06 pm

    did the Husband rock a mohawk back in the day??

  • Kristen (inspiredbydooce) October 31, 2011, 8:48 pm

    Ok, $2 for a beer is still not bad… 🙂

  • Emily October 31, 2011, 8:49 pm

    Just read the title of the dip recipe to my mom and she replied “yummm that sounds good!” Will be making this for an upcoming holiday party, soon! Loved your running post earlier, too 🙂

  • Julie October 31, 2011, 9:03 pm

    Haha, I am legit drinking (water) out of a free Blue Moon glass I got at Hemingway’s right now. I can also vouch for the tastiness of the spinach artichoke dip.

  • Maren October 31, 2011, 9:09 pm

    This looks SO good. Especially washed down by a blue moon. I LOVE blue moon! 🙂 one of the only beers I drink…now if I could just find them somewhere for a buck (or two)!

  • Catherine October 31, 2011, 9:17 pm

    Oh, I need that dip now! It looks SO good and artichokey. Do you know if pasteurized goat cheese exists? I’m pregnant and supposedly it’s really bad to have goat cheese because it’s unpasteurized 🙁

    I also love restaurant dips. If it’s cheese-based, I’m probably going to love it! One of my favorites is the spicy queso dips they serve at Mexican restaurants. Mmmmm

  • Jessica @ Dishin' About Nutrition October 31, 2011, 9:27 pm

    Same thing happened to me! I thought it was a sign that I should never go back to college once I’ve left haha! Crazy how everyone looks so young!

  • Ashleigh - October 31, 2011, 10:20 pm

    I love spinach artichoke dip but usually don’t eat it too much. I will need to make this soon!

  • Alexa @ SimpleEats October 31, 2011, 10:31 pm

    Genius! I’ll have to try this! I love buffalo chicken dip and any type of cheese dip!

  • suzie November 1, 2011, 12:15 am

    I went to school in Pittsburgh and love Hemingways too. PS a good use for old running shirts is make a quilt out of them. You don’t have to give them up but they don’t take up room in the drawer anymore. If your not crafty there are people who make them for you. I google it a few times and had found a few.

  • Khushboo November 1, 2011, 12:43 am

    This dip sounds great- I like the use of goat cheese as a cream alternative !

  • Heather November 1, 2011, 7:52 am

    This dip looks divine, Caitlin! Cheers to making a dish off of late, drunken college memories. 😉

    My favorite restaurant dish would have to be chipotle seitan from the Garden Grille, a vegetarian restaurant in Pawtucket, RI. I can’t NOT get it whenever I visit!

  • Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count November 1, 2011, 8:41 am

    That is the easiest spinach artichoke dip I’ve ever seen! Thanks for sharing, I think I’ll be making that for Thanksgiving!

  • Kelly November 1, 2011, 9:09 am

    I went to Pitt too and Loved hemingways!!! I was in Pittsburg a few weeks ago and visited Oakland. Oh the nostalgia was glorious!!!!!!!

  • CJ @ November 1, 2011, 9:56 am

    Wow favorite restaurant dish is such a tough question!!! i have favorites everywhere I go, Panera I like the black bean soup, Chipotle i love barbacoa salads with guacamole instead of dressing. but i definitely think recently, my favorite thing I had at a restaurant was Tuna Sensation at Walt Disney World’s California Grill! Tuna Sashimi 3 different ways with a seaweed salad! yummy!!!!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife November 1, 2011, 11:59 am

    Holy YUMM. I am excited about this–thanks, girl!!

  • Amber K November 1, 2011, 1:26 pm

    The alfredo sauce from the Olive Garden. I know it’s a chain and so many people are snooty about that. But I have never had alfredo anywhere else that was as tasty!

  • Andrea November 2, 2011, 5:37 am

    I am so glad you posted this recipe! I have a garden over-growing with artichokes just now and had no idea how to use them! 🙂 This was a favourite treat back home (in Canada) but doesn’t seem to happen here in Australia!? They’re missing out!
    Thanks again!

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