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!
1. I started the new year learning how to make my own cheese out of a tub of Greek yogurt and a little bit of salt. | 2. We talked about where we buy and source our ingredients from. | 3. I made Dark Chocolate & Marmalade Brown Bread and Butter Puddings. | 4. I took my friend Sherin to Koba in Fitzrovia for her first ever Korean Barbecue experience. | 5. I introduced you to the art of topping off your morning avocado toast with slow roasted cherry tomatoes; a breakfast I still adore if I can remember to make the tomatoes ahead! | 6. I discovered a now favourite whole foods breakfast, brunch and lunch spot in Canterbury: KITCH.
1. We celebrated 6 years of rachelphipps.com with this Chocolate Ganache Raspberry Crunch Cake. | 2. These Dippy Eggs with Anchovy Butter Soldiers were just part of a post I partnered up with Le Creuset for to share loads of different ways you can enjoy your breakfast eggs. | 3. You really loved my French Sauteed Potatoes with Parsley, Shallots and Garlic; they were one of the most popular recipes on the blog in 2015. | 4. We spent a bit of time chatting about the ethics of restaurant blogging. | 5. My friend Jon and I settled in for a total meat feast at Porky's Barbecue on Southbank. | 6. And on a lighter note, Izy and I reviewed breakfast at Fish & Chip Shop in The City.
1. I headed down to the beach at Dungeness to put together a feature on the amazing family run seafood outfit right on the beach, Dungeness Snack Shack. | 2. One of my recipe favourites from this year, my Raw, Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Ganache Bars - I don't usually do 'free from' recipes, so I really surprised myself with this one. | 3. I learnt how to ice biscuits like the Biscuiteers. | 4. I made 'Just Add Hot Water' Jam Jar Noodles with wild mushrooms for my Borough Market column. | 5. I had lunch at The Good's Shed in Canterbury, and also took you all on a tour of the food hall down below. | 6. I made these Strawberry Buttercream and Pistachio Mini Cakes for Mothers Day.
1. Headed up to explore Newcastle with Barbour to celebrate their new Summer collection. | 2. I discovered my new favourite pub, The Compasses Inn at Crundale. | 3. I baked a chocolate cake with a fresh passion fruit buttercream.
So, a lot of things happened in May. Since, well, March I'd fallen head first back into the world of politics (you know, that thing in Westminster I'd almost convinced myself I did not want to go into after university), and against all the odds, we won an election. Now, I don't usually talk about my day job/ politics here on my blog and that is not going to change, but I felt that not mentioning the election in my round up of the year would not really explain how different the latter half of 2015 worked out for me. So, we won an election. A couple of days later, after weeks of long days culminating in a tense and emotional all-nighter, I hopped on a plane to recover for a month in Los Angeles, my beloved second city I had not set foot in in almost two years.
1. In Los Angeles Sherin and I had brunch at Salt Air on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice Beach. | 2. Where I was staying in Venice, every Friday morning I got up to walk and buy berries, Meyer lemons, Tangello juice and everything bagels with whipped cream cheese from Venice Farmers market. | 3. We sat down to talk about my recipe development process. | 4. Sherin and I watched the sun go down over L.A. from the rooftop of Hotel Erwin. With cocktails, obviously. | 5. For the first few days of my L.A. trip, I stayed at the fantastically fun Farmers Daughter Hotel in West Hollywood. | 6. Inspired by my Nordic trip Summer of 2014, I made Norwegian Surmelkslapper for Great British Chefs.
1. I interviewed the Head Chef at TART in West Hollywood. | 2. I made (relatively) cheap and super easy Crayfish 'Lobster' Rolls. | 3. My outdoor Summer entertaining spread for Borough Market was published in their Market Life newspaper - my first big print feature. | 4. Indulging in salt beef challah rolls and gefilte fish balls at Delancey & Co. in Fitzrovia. | 5. Enjoying solo one of the best lunches I've ever had at Son of a Gun in West Hollywood. | 6. Flying the flag for local producers covering the first ever Walmer Food Festival.
1. More from Los Angeles, I have lunch at Sunny Spot on the boarder where Venice meets Marina del Rey. | 2. Byron Burger opened in Canterbury. This made me and my friends very, very happy. | 3. One of my favourite things about the Summer months is developing new barbecue recipes. These prawn skewers are marinated in garlic, lemon and a whole load of herbs. | 4. Inspired by my Southern Californian break, I mixed up Gin and Watermelon Juice with fresh basil. | 5. More of the Summer eating, I took a caprese salad to the next level with a addition of griddled, prosciutto wrapped peaches. | 6. On the Isle of Man now, we had a simply flawless family lunch at The Boatyard in Peel.
1. In one of my final posts from Los Angeles, I took you for brunch at The Commissary in Koreatown to enjoy a fair few of their Bottomless Bloody Mary's. | 2. Mummy and I went to sample the Summer tasting menu at The Ambrette in Canterbury. | 3. I spent a weekend eating my way around Glasgow. For breakfast I had an Indian egg stuffed bap at Babu Bombay Street Kitchen. | 4. My favourite meal of the trip was at seafood joint The Finneston. This is also where I discovered that I really, really love oysters. | 5. Recreating my favourite Korean Barbecue flavours in these steak tacos for Borough Market. | 6. Just what you want in high Summer; a refreshing mozzarella and pomegranate salad.
1. Heading up to Scotland again, this time I spend a foodie weekend eating my way around Edinburgh. | 2. Saying goodbye to Summer with an incredible sunshine lunch with my friend Edward at John Doe in Westbourne Grove. | 3. A whole load of us enjoyed an incredibly comforting dinner at The Scran & Scallie in Edinburgh. | 4. We enjoyed a Mummy Daughter pre-Globe Theatre seafood lunch at Wright Brothers Oyster & Porter House in Borough Market. | 5. I shared one of my easy, light and comforting weeknight suppers: One Pot Roast Chicken Thighs with Rosemary & Lentils. | 6. We learned that we can serve Moscow Mules in wine glasses.
1. For my Borough Market column, I made Eggy bread out of leftover French baguette with vine roasted cherry tomatoes. | 2. My friend Eddie and I gorged ourselves on sushi at Murakami in Covent Garden. | 3. I shared my formula to make any delicious green smoothie. | 4. Elsie Mo's Diner where you can order this epic chicken platter opened up in Canterbury. | 5. For those of you working near Leather Lane, I reviewed a working lunch at KIN. | 6. I made homemade party rings in halloween colours.
1. I shared a few thoughts on why I'm glad that I'm no longer a full time blogger. | 2. My new favourite Canterbury lunch spot opened: Little Joe's Deli. | 3. I found a great spot for after work drinks and nibbles near Victoria: No. 11 Pimlico Road. | 4. This is how you make your own Raspberry Gin. | 5. One of my personal favourite recipes of 2015, I made Korean Pork Belly Bun Bowls. | 6. And if you're after a quick supper, my Easy Avocado Spaghetti is good at any time of the year.
1. To go with your festive bird, I made Bacon Wrapped Stuffing Bites. | 2. I cured my own salmon to make these snazzy looking holiday canapés. | 3. I perfected my own personal Hot Toddy recipe. | 4. I had the honour of helping judge the first ever Canterbury Christmas window competition. | 5. Thinking festive breakfasts, we ate a whole load of these Gingerbread & Pomegranate Dutch Baby Pancakes. | 6. And to round off the festive season, I shared this Watercress, Clementine & Festive Spiced Pecan Salad.
I hope you've enjoyed this trip through 2015 with me. Looking back, I love how much my blog keeps a record of my life, so that I can look back myself and be reminded of everything that has happened in a year. Happy New Year to you all, and I hope 2016 brings everything you could wish for. I know the first half of the year is going to be super busy for me, but I know that it is going to be a super awarding one, too!