Friday, 29 January 2016

Weekly Love: Week 165

Thank god that cold snap is over! It got suddenly frosty, didn't it. I tried not to leave the house / office whenever possible, and at night I snuggled up under layers of White Company bedding and Avoca Irish lambswool blankets (they're an investment, but oh so worth it). So, while it is not quite as warm as before, I don't feel like my face is about to freeze off walking along the seafront, so at least that is something! It's February on Monday, which means it is basically the first day of Spring / my birthday, right? 
Weekly Love 29.01.16
1. Getting ready for pancake day with single serving crepes in the morning before work, served with salted butter and sugar. | 2. Beautiful pink tulips for the kitchen table. | 3. Lemon Ricotta Cloud Pancakes for Sunday brunch from A Modern Way To Eat. | 4. Flipping through the new season Joules catalogue with a steaming (Joules Peggy) mug of sweet rhubarb tea and an early Valentines tin of chocolate hearts from the lovely team at Lindt. | 5. Avocado, Bacon and Lambs Lettuce Wraps with Skinny Buttermilk Ranch Dressing. | 6. The first of the seasons forced rhubarb for sale outside the greengrocers on Deal High Street.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Recipe: Vietnamese Steak Salad Summer Rolls

I've been making different versions of Thai and Vietnamese style steak salads with rice noodles, aromatics, fresh chilli and fish sauce for quite a few years now. When I was running through my list of recipe ideas trying to figure out what to cook this weekend I found a scribbled note that I can't even remember writing down. The note told me that an Asian steak salad would be absolutely delicious rolled up in a rice spring roll wrapper, with the dressing acting as a dipping sauce. Thus, these Vietnamese Steak Salad Summer Rolls were born. 
Vietnamese Steak Summer Rolls | @rachelphipps

Monday, 18 January 2016

Student Suppers: Wholemeal Spaghetti with Lemon & Avocado

As you've probably already noticed, I go through phases with cookbooks. The last week of December and the first could of weeks of January I cooked an insane amount of recipes recipes from Nigella Lawson's Simply Nigella. I'm still slightly in love with the book, but as you may have noticed from Wednesday's post, I'm now all about the bible of modern vegetarian goodness A Modern Way To Eat by Anna Jones
Avocado & Lemon Zest Wholemeal Spaghetti | @rachelphipps

Friday, 15 January 2016

Weekly Love: Week 164

Welcome to the first Weekly Love of 2016! So I'm tapping this out on Thursday night curled up on my sofa in comfy pajamas, my White Company cashmere bed socks and a cashmere hoodie. Because it is suddenly cold, Winter is finally here. I think my face froze off on my way back from the post office this morning. I've got BBC Question Time on in the background, and I'm munching on Hotel Chocolat Rose & Violet Creams. What I'm really getting at, is my solution to the January blues is to surround yourself with everything pretty and every cosy. I promise you it will make you feel better. Now, let us just pray it does not snow!
Weekly Love 15.01.16[1]
1. Starting off New Year Saturday brunching as I mean to go on, pancakes topped off with Blackberry Patch Blueberry Syrup (you can buy it in the World Food aisle in M&S, it is imported from America) and Sweet Rhubarb tea in my Joules Peggy Mug. | 2. Reading the latest issue of Waitrose Food while munching down a Hot Salmon, Avocado & Pumpkin Seed Salad with Creamy Lime Yogurt Dressing. | 3. Beautiful ruffled roses brighting up a January day in Canterbury. | 4. Yet more pancakes, this time of the spiced banana variety with toasted pecans and Canadian maple syrup. | 5. Pulling out a selection of my lighter cookbooks for January: Simply Nigella (my new cookbook obsession), Total's Greek Yogurt Cookbook, My Vietnamese Kitchen by Uyen Luu, A Change of Appetite by Diana Henry, the first Hemsley + Hemsley book The Art Of Eating Well and Anna Jones' A Modern Way To Eat. | 6. I'm starting to develop a serious Little Joe's Deli habit. This time? Hotdogs and Spiced Apple Juice.

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Recipe: Easy Black Bean & Sunflower Seed Dip

I'm one of those people who reads a cookbook cover to cover. Before I even start to cook out of a book, I like to read all of the foreword and ingredient notes. You know those little asides and variations scribbled in the margins? Sometimes I think this is where you sometimes find the best bits. I've just finished reading A Modern Way To Eat. Monday's post where I outlined how you can make any grain / greens / vegetable bowl was inspired by one of the text sections in the book, and today I want to share a Mexican bean dip from another not-quite-a-full-recipe section of the book I've been snacking on the past few days. 
Mexican Black Bean & Sunflower Seed Dip | @rachelphipps

Monday, 11 January 2016

Recipe: Bulgar Wheat with Kale & Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Round about now I think is a good time to talk about Winter salads. Less of the lettuce, more of the Winter greens. Cooked elements, something that can be served warm, at room temperature or cold. Something with not many ingredients, that can be made from fridge leftovers and can be made in a double portion on a lazy Sunday afternoon to enjoy at your desk when you start to feel the Monday office slump. Use these directions to make Bulgar Wheat with Kale and Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes as a blueprint to make a big, comforting and nourishing bowl of whatever grains, greens and roasted vegetables you fancy.
Bulgar Wheat with Kale & Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Student Suppers: Strapatsada with Basil & Toasted Pine Nuts

Like many of you, on Monday I went back to work. It was pouring with rain outside, miserable and wet. I had all the paperwork that I had not got to over Christmas in my in-tray to deal with, and the internet chose the worst possible moment to pay havoc with our office system. I'd said I was cooking my own supper that night before I left the house in the morning, so if I wanted to eat something when I got home, I'd have no choice but to cook it myself. Enter Strapatsada, a Greek dish from the 'Quick & Calm' chapter of Nigella Lawson's brilliant new cookbook Simply Nigella which only took about 20 minutes to throw together from ingredients to table. 
Student Suppers: Strapatsada | @rachelphipps

Monday, 4 January 2016

My 5 (Alternative) Storecupboard Staples

Something a little different today, I thought I'd share with you some of the things I keep on reaching for in my storecupboard. Writing about food, I have cupboards stuffed with basics, such as regular dried herbs and spices, different wine vinegars, and olive oils. I also get sent a whole load of different things to try, some I like, and some I love. While usually I'm a big advocate of using easy to find ingredients, here are six items I find myself reaching for, some absolutely every single day, which I think are worth hunting down. 
My 5 (Alternative) Storecupboard Staples | @rachelphipps

Friday, 1 January 2016

Retrospective: Looking Back On 2015

My life at the end of 2015 looks nothing like I expected it would at the beginning of the year in more ways than one. Yes I've eaten some fantastic things and traveled some amazing places, and I probably saw my working on the General Election coming, but from that I did not expect to actually go off and do a job that was not related to my blog, and then there are a whole host of other, exciting life changes that I'll be sharing with you all when the time is right. Happy New Year, by the way. As per tradition, while you're all getting over your New Years Eve hangovers, I thought I'd put together a round up of my favourite posts, restaurants and recipes from the past year to kick off your 2016. Here is to another fantastic year!
January 2015 | @rachelphipps