Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Christmas Kitchen: Watercress, Clementine & Pecan Salad

As we approach the New Year, I know for one that I am starting to gravitate towards fresher, lighter dishes, but still with a touch of celebration in them as we say goodbye to 2015. Here, I've got another salad that would be great for you to serve up on New Years Day as part of a spread (it serves about 10 people alongside 3 or 4 other sides), or scaled down for a simple supper after a heavy lunch. I took the inspiration and a few of the components from Waitrose Christmas Harvest Cookbook - I love these little free recipe booklets you can pick up at the check out while you're waiting to pay full of seasonal recipe ideas. 
Watercress, Clementine & Candied Festive Spiced Pecan Salad | @rachelphipps

Monday, 28 December 2015

Christmas Kitchen: New Years Day Trifle

As I explained last year when I shared how I make my cranberry sauce, I marked down the first chapter of Nigella Lawson's Feast as my go-to bible for festive feasting. Along with where I have adapted my cranberry sauce recipe from, and where I get my recipe for Cherry & Clove Glazed Ham in Cherry Coke (which I plan to share my tweaks of next year), it is where I have taken my slightly adulterated New Years Day Trifle from. 
New Years Day Trifle | @rachelphipps

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Weekly Love: Week 163

Welcome to my final 'Weekly Love' of 2015. I'm not going to ramble on too much about the year that has past just yet (I've got my usual bumper round up of the year post coming up that I've been putting together for January 1st), so really I think that all that remains at this point is to wish you all, wherever you are a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Enjoy tomorrow, be sure to eat way too much stuffing and turkey, and to have a wonderful time with the people you love. I'll see you all for some New Years ideas next week. 
Weekly Love 24.12.15[1]
1. A My Name Is Yeh inspired Israeli Savoury Breakfast Salad, with a side of the Times' Dish magazine. 2. Finally getting the Christmas tree up - our hallway is now super festive, and full of copper paper wrapped presents! | 3. I had excellent fun helping to judge the first ever Canterbury Christmas Window competition - here is one of my favourite windows in the City, our Gold Award winner Queen Bee Home. | 4. Twinkly Christmas lights down Burgate in Canterbury. | 5. Recovering from the madness that is Christmas shopping two days before the big day with a family lunch at Little Joe's Deli. | 6. Knarly local carrots on Canterbury High Street.

Monday, 21 December 2015

Christmas Kitchen: Rachel's Hot Toddy

Mulled Wine is all very well if you're catering for a crowd, but this Christmas I've added a brand new festive warmer to our family repertoire for the chilly afternoons and evenings when there is just one or more of you: my mulled apple juice, cognac (or brandy, whichever you've got really) and cinnamon vodka laced hot toddy. Curl up with a good book in front of the fire, mug in hand, or knock together a plate of festive nibbles (hello our family Classic Cheese Straws recipe) and get set in to a good present wrapping session. 
How To Make A Hot Toddy | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Christmas Kitchen: Gingerbread & Pomegranate Dutch Baby

When it comes to Christmas, some people are all about the peppermint. Other people like to sprinkle cinnamon on absolutely everything, and I try to make practically every single baked good under the sun in a ginger and pomegranate version. So, when I stumbled across a recipe for Gingerbread Dutch Baby baked pancake in one of my favourite cookbooks, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, I knew it was the perfect recipe to a) break my Dutch Baby pancake virginity (why had I never made one of these before?!), and b) adapt to suit British ingredients and pile on the fresh pomegranate seeds and molasses. 
Gingerbread Dutch Baby with Pomegranate Molasses | @rachelphipps

Monday, 14 December 2015

Christmas Kitchen: Brown Sugar & Grand Marnier Ice Cream

One afternoon, I wanted to make ice cream. I had cream and milk in the fridge, but I could not really be bothered to go to the supermarket for additional ingredients. I had not the supplies to make my Mint Aero Ice Cream, Eton Mess Ice Cream or Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Ice Cream. However, inspired by the last option I did have brown sugar, and my mother suggested I add a dash of Grand Marnier from the dusty bottle we have stashed in the back of the dinning room cupboard. Thus, my new favourite ice cream flavour was born. 
Brown Sugar & Grand Marnier Ice Cream | @rachelphipps

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Christmas Kitchen: Easy DIY Gin & Dill Cured Salmon

These 100% from scratch cured salmon, crème fraîche and dill bilinis look super professional and super complicated, right? Well, no actually. These take no special kitchen skill, specialist ingredients or equipment. They only take a little bit of time and patience, and are the perfect make ahead then assemble canapé for holiday gatherings. And stepping aside from these nibbles, if you just want to stick to the salmon, who doesn't want a piled plate of salmon you've impressively cured yourself stashed in the fridge over Christmas week?
From Scratch Gin & Dill Cured Salmon Bilinis | @rachelphipps

Monday, 7 December 2015

Judging Canterbury's Christmas Windows

On Saturday afternoon, after steaming cups of tea, coffee and hot chocolate at Refectory Kitchen, I and a group of other local judges set out for a walk around the city with the team from Canterbury BID to judge the first of what promises to be a cracking annual Christmas window competition, with shops, businesses and restaurants all over the city getting into the holiday spirit with some rather creative window displays.
Steamer Trading Christmas Windows, Canterbury | @rachelphipps

Friday, 4 December 2015

Weekly Love: Week 162

Happy December everyone! 'Tis officially the season for mulled wine, pine trees and brightly coloured wrapping paper. While this year I've been doing my best to get into the festive spirit with all manner of treats, decorations and hopefully music (once I get my Michael Bublé Christmas playlist sorted, that is), I don't blame those of you who are not totally into the festive spirit yet. So, if you check out the first half of links in this edition of Weekly Love, you'll find some of my favourite tips, recipes and DIY's for the season, while in the second half I've kept it casual with usual programming and the like. Enjoy!
Weekly Love 4.12.15[1]
1. Salt Beef Bagels and Steak Rainbow Wraps at Little Joe's Deli in Canterbury. | 2. Picking out a Christmas tree snuggled up in my brand new, super warm and uber soft Joules oversized blanket scarf. | 3. Tucking into Pieminster's 'Three Kings' Turkey, Bacon & Parsnip pie which basically tastes like Christmas. | 4. Winter veg outside the greengrocers. | 5. Stunning ruby red pomegranates, again outside the greengrocers, this time on Deal High Street. | 6. A steaming mug of Spiced Apple Tea and my favourite White Company 'Winter' candle in a hot bubble bath.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Christmas Kitchen: Bacon Wrapped Stuffing Bites

Okay, so I may have shamelessly ripped the idea for this recipe from the Christmas section of the M&S Food Hall this year, but who can think of anything better than slightly rosemary scented balls of sage and onion sausage stuffing, wrapped in bacon and topped off with a tart cranberry cooked alongside your Christmas turkey? In our family Christmas stuffing is not Christmas stuffing if it is not made with a certain sausage meat in a certain way, so I thought re-creating these little bites would be the perfect excuse to share our recipe.
Bacon Wrapped Christmas Stuffing Bites | @rachelphipps