Friday, 29 May 2015

Weekly Love: Week 151

Do we have a good working coffee shop freelancer culture in London that I've never noticed? As I'm staying within walking distance of Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach, I've been clocking at least two hours every day typing away at my favourite projects with a cold pressed juice in TOMS Roasting Co. or in Intelligentsia with a delicious Taiwanese iced tea. As well as being super productive, I've got to know a little about the people in there working with me; what projects they're tapping away at, where they are from, and we've come to say hello to each other when we arrive each day to set up shop. This element of my working life here in Los Angeles has come as a pleasant surprise, and is not something that I expected at all. 
Weekly Love 290515[1]
1. Taking in the sunset at Venice Skate Park. | 2. A simply epic bowl of Buenos Dias Chilaquiles (and some French toast and pancakes in all American portion sizes) for breakfast at SALT in Marina Del Rey. | 3. Tucking into the SoCal essential In-N-Out burger in my old stomping ground of Westwood Village. | 4. One of my favourite for dinner, creamy California avocados, sunny side up eggs cooked in coconut oil and cherry tomatoes on a toasted bagel, all from Venice Beach Farmers Market. | 5. Afternoon happy hour glasses of Sauvignon Blanc with a good book at Zinque in Venice. | 6. Heading to Sprinkles Ice Cream in Beverly Hills for my favourite scoop in one of their signature red velvet waffle cones.

Weekly Love 290515[2]
7. Mouthwatering pastries, cocktails and house made sodas at my all time favourite brunch spot on a Sunday morning, The Tasting Kitchen in Venice. | 8. Shooting a little Pinterest campaign for Daniel Wellington watches at the world famous Venice Canals. If you enter the promo code RACHELPHIPPS at the checkout on the Daniel Wellington website, you'll receive 15% off of your total order from now through until June 15th. | 9. Editing photos with a side of cold pressed green juice in Intelligentsia on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. | 10. Watching sea lions frolic in the ocean at the end of Santa Monica Pier. Also, they've been planing around on the beach down by Venice boardwalk. | 11. An epic feast by way of a Cajun crawfish, corn and snow crab boil with Shock Top beers at The Boiling Crab in Westwood Village. | 12. Moon Juice on Rose Avenue in Venice has become my new favourite L.A. cold pressed juice spot.

What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I have not made any solid plans as of yet, but I can guarantee that my weekend will be full of Los Angeles sunshine, palm trees and fantastic food making the most of my last week and a half in one of my favourite cities, because lets be honest, it will probably be at least another two years before I see her again! 

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Friday Mornings At Venice Farmers Market + A Market Salad

The first time I started regularly visiting a farmers market to do my weekly shop was when I lived in an apartment on Glendon Avenue in Westwood Village on Los Angeles' Westside. Our farmers market ran (and still does run) every Thursday afternoon from 12pm through to 6pm on Broxton Avenue, and I used to go there to buy my strawberries, lemons, beef and whatever else I happened to need that week, every Thursday without fail. Often, I also grabbed a bite for lunch from the Southern barbecue truck at the end of the street.
California Berries at Venice Beach Farmers Market

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Places To Eat In Los Angeles: Salt Air, Abbot Kinney Boulevard

I've found that Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice always pulls it out of the hat for simply fantastic places to eat (Gjelina and The Tasting Kitchen anyone?) so I knew that after a lazy few hours at the apartment and a wander around the canals Salt Air would be a pretty safe bet for Saturday morning brunch. Their menu is local, seasonal and with a bit of a seafood slant; absolutely everything we ate and drank was mouthwatering, and I now can't wait to return for their evening menu at some stage; I've heard great things!
Weekend Brunch at Salt Air, Abbot Kinney Boulevard

Monday, 18 May 2015

High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin, Venice Beach

On Friday night after an afternoon of shopping at the Citadel outlet (who can say no to $25.99 Levi's and heavily discounted Kate Spade?) and introducing Sherin to Venice Boardwalk, we headed up to the High Rooftop Lounge at Hotel Erwin to watch the sun set over the ocean with plenty of cocktails and a few nibbles. 
Friday Night Cocktails at High Rooftop Lounge, Hotel Erwin

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Weekly Love: Week 150

Happy Friday, and greetings from my rental apartment in Venice Beach, California! I've already been to the farmers market and formed a (healthy) Lemonade takeout addiction, so needless to say I'm easily slipping back into my old life here for a bit. However, right now I want to share with you a few pieces that I had published in the UK just before I flew out. There are still a day left of National Sandwich Week, so head over to the Borough Market blog for my recipe for a Hummus, Spinach & Whole Chickpea Sandwich. Also, if you're interested at all in English vineyards, I've profiled 17 of them you ought to know about for Buzzfeed
Weekly Love 160515[1]
1. Making a start on my mission to drink all the cold pressed juice in Los Angeles at Clover Juice on West 3rd Street in West Hollywood. I can highly recommend 'The Quench', a blend of watermelon, watermelon rind, lime and mint.  | 2. Beautiful cherry blossoms bursting out all over the Kentish countryside. | 3. A beautifully sunny afternoon on the campaign trail (I can't believe the election was only last week, it feels a world away!) down on the beach at St Margarets. | 4. Fresh berries at Venice Farmers Market. | 5. As I said, I'm already starting to form an addiction to Lemonade, my nearest takeout place to my apartment. So far I can recommend the cherry tomato and avocado salad (I've actually made this one from their cookbook), the edamame and snap pea salad, the simply to die for kale, mushroom and citrus salad, the braised beef brisket, the guava lemonade and the chocolate caramel cake slice. You get the general idea..! | 6. A smoked ham, sunny side up egg and garlic aioli rocket breakfast sandwich and an iced tea for breakfast at Joan's on Third in West Hollywood.

Weekly Love 160515[2]
7. Shopping at The Grove in West Hollywood, my favourite mall in Los Angeles. | 8. Shooting with the fantastic John Holdship for Borough Market's Market Life magazine. I honestly can't wait to see the photos and the whole spread, and to share the recipes for the Summer al fresco spread I put together for the shoot. You should be able to pick up a copy free in the market later this month, right through until July. | 9. Filling up on one of the fantastic breakfast burritos and copious amounts of iced tea on the terrace at TART in West Hollywood with my morning edition of The Times. I'll have a full review of TART and an interview with its executive chef online sometime next week, so look out for it! | 10. Family feasting at Thai Time in Sandwich. | 11. Packing the *essentials* for my trip to California while nibbling on Marks & Spencer's new Rose & Violet Dark Chocolate that they were kind enough to send over for me to try. It is a lovely and creamy dark chocolate (full of flavour, but not too bitter) with a fantastic floral flavour, perfect for you if you're a fan of turkish delight or rose and violet creams. | 12. Pre-flight feasting at Heston Blumenthal's The Perfectionist's Cafe in Queens Terminal at Heathrow Airport. I had the Perfectionists Burger that was absolutely faultless, followed up with ice cream with plenty of Heston's wacky toppings. Along with a cheeky grapefruit margarita, I feel that it is the only place you ought to consider to eat before jumping on a long haul flight.

What have you been doing this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? Keep an eye on our Instagrams (click our names to for our profiles) for all the adventures Sherin (who is visiting from London for the week) and I get up to in Los Angeles this weekend, but one thing that I've been excited about since I booked it a few weeks ago, is Sunday morning brunch at The Tasting Kitchen on Abbot Kinney Boulevard, my favourite weekend brunch in the world! 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Places To Stay In Los Angeles: Farmers Daughter Hotel

As a former resident of West Los Angeles, I'm always getting messages from readers asking me the best places to stay, visit and eat when they're planning at trip to California. On the latter two, I can list so many amazing places to eat or visit that you simply should not miss out on, but as I used to live here and had an apartment on the Westside, up until now I knew next to nothing about hotels in L.A.. I've now moved into an apartment in Venice (my favourite part of town), but when I first arrived I decided I really ought to check out somewhere to stay for you all. So, enter stage right the Farmers Daughter Hotel in West Hollywood. 
Outdoor Seating at Farmers Daughter Hotel, West Hollywood

Monday, 4 May 2015

Recipe: Norwegian Surmelkslapper with Strawberry Compote

The rare rainy day we had on Sunday coincided with a day off from campaigning, so I headed back into the kitchen to recreate something from my Nordic trip over the Summer. 'Surmelkslapper', or 'Lapper' are a sort of Norwegian cross between an American and Scotch pancake, designed to be served with lashings of soured cream and strawberry jam (or a homemade compote!) as a sort of tea cake to be served with coffee.
Norwegian Style Lapper with Strawberry Compote & Creme Fraiche

Friday, 1 May 2015

My Recipe Development Process

Something I get asked about quite a lot is how I come up with new recipes. I don't have any formal training as a cook or recipe developer; everything I know I have learnt from trial and error, books and my Mother. Yes, I've been lucky enough with my job as both a blogger and a freelance food writer that I've been into the kitchens with some great chefs that I have learnt a fair bit from; I've been taught professional knife skills for example, how to joint a chicken and how to fillet various fish, but only in crash courses. 
My Recipe Development Process