Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Recipe: Vietnamese-style Banh Mi Street Fries

So everyone may be going on about Nigella subverting the spiralizer, but I want to share with you all my tip for getting perfect, restaurant style french fries every time at home. For years my Dad has been on the hunt for the perfect homemade chip. We've tried every trick in the book from salting, to soaking to rinsing. It turned out the secret to the perfect at home chip was a new piece of kit: an air fryer. It turns out the secret to perfect at home fries was to buy them from the freezer section (the kind that are just potato and a little oil to stop them sticking together) and to air fry them completely dry, with no added oil. There you have it, a one time investment to perfect (and healthy) restaurant fries every time. It really is that simple. 
Vietnamese-style Homemade Banh Mi Street Fries #fries #chips #vietnamese #banhmi #pork #streetfood #loadedfries #pickles | @rachelphipps

Monday, 20 November 2017

Bumper Christmas Gift Guide 2017

I went Christmas shopping for the first time this year in Canterbury with my Mum last week, and god everyone is up for a challenge this year. I don't know what it is, but there don't seem to be nearly enough fun, unique and generally lovely Christmas gifts and stocking fillers in the shops this year. It has been harder than usual to put this together too: a five part Christmas gift guide so you don't have to struggle with gifts the way I seem to be this year! I've included a selection of gifts under £10, under £25 and under £50, plus a guide geared at gifts for him and a selection of my favourite 2017 cookbooks I think would also make great gifts - I hope they help! 
Gifts Under £10 2017 Under £10

Friday, 17 November 2017

Weekly Love: Week 210

Please don't ask me what I have been up to the past couple of weeks, because I'm not really sure. I think 'busy' is the right descriptor. I know I've got a lot done but for the life of me I could not quantify what, and I'm already looking forward to my next trip to France mid-December where all I have to do for a whole week is curl up with a good book, visit restaurants and food markets, stock up on festive food and drink, and eat my body weight in local oysters. We're also looking into the possibility of another Christmas trip between the big day itself and New Year - so if anyone has visited the Black Forest (the German part) in the snowy season before, I'd love to hear from you with your recommendations/ what you got up to! 
Weekly Love 17.11.17
1. Spending a magical Sunday evening exploring the Harry Potter Studio Tour just outside London - don't worry - I'll be posting the massive amount of photos I took soon! | 2. Sushi lunches wrapped up against the chill from Inigo in Soho. | 3. Snuggling up to work on my Christmas Gift Guide (out next week for those of you who need gift inspiration!) with one of Tesco's suprisingly lovely vanilla Christmas candles, my favourite Avoca rug and the delicious chocolate The Grown Up Chocolate Company invited me to customise! | 4. Wild brunching at Mac and Wild near Liverpool Street. | 5. Sunday succulents. | 6. Meet Camilla. She likes to stare out of the bedroom window at the builders, climb up onto high objects then promptly fall off, run as fast as she can from one end of the house to the other, and to wake me up in the mornings by sneaking into the bedroom to bat my feet through the duvet with her paws.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Places To Eat In Canterbury: Wild Goose

Recently I've had the pleasure of working on a profile of The Goods Shed in Canterbury for my old school magazine. I've been taking photographs, getting to know the fascinating history of the building with its owner, and as a happy by-product of the amount of time I've been spending there I have found my new favourite place to eat in Canterbury: Wild Goose. Serving up cocktails made using local ingredients, good wine and delicious seasonal small plates from their tiny bar and even smaller kitchen they're tucked away in the corner in the shadow of the upstairs restaurant, but need shouting about to anyone who will listen.
Roasted Shallots with Goats Curd, Charred Toast, Mint & Honey at Wild Goose #smallplates #wildgoose #thegoodsshed #canterbury | @rachelphipps

Monday, 13 November 2017

Places To Eat In London: Inigo, Soho

I may not be working in an office anymore, but I stuck at my desk job long enough to know that tasty, healthy, good value lunches are a problem. If you work in a building with an on-site cafeteria the lunches may be a little cheaper, but not always good for you, and while bringing a packed lunch from home may always be the ideal, let us be honest and say that does not always happen. In these situations when it got to midday and I was still lunchless I'd usually turn to an Itsu that would usually come in at way over £10, or walk into Soho for an equally as pricy poke bowl. However, I was invited to try Inigo, a new sushi hand roll opening last week, which needs to become part of your 'I've nothing healthy to eat for lunch' rotation.
Lunch from Inigo, Soho #sushi #lunch #london #soho #handrolls | @rachelphipps

Friday, 10 November 2017

Recipe: Roast Mexican Chicken with Pumpkin & Pesto

While bacon will come in at a pretty close second, if anyone asks me what the one meat product I can't live without is I'll say chicken thighs (if we're even counting chicken as meat, because they're really poultry, if you're going to be fussy!) Skinless boneless or the whole shebang where the skin can crisp up beautifully, they are so versatile and can be used to replicate basically any nations cuisine with as much or as little effort as you want. I cook with them with such regularity that it is a surprise to me I've only got seven other recipes for them on the blog (I've linked to them at the bottom of this post for a bit more inspiration!)
Mexican Chicken with Pumpkin, Chilli & Pesto 
#chicken #pumpkin #onepan #pesto #feta #chilli #roast #lecreuset | @rachelphipps

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Recipe: Easy Apple & Cinnamon Hand Pies

I'm not a big pastry person, but sometimes I just want something small with my afternoon tea or for breakfast to get me going on a chilly autumn morning. It's apple season, so I've put together a super easy, super small batch (this makes nine, which is about two to three servings worth, they keep well in a tin for a day or two and warm quickly in a hot oven) recipe made with just one crisp, new season apple, a touch of cinnamon and a sheet of ready rolled puff pastry. Autumnal breakfasting/ snacking/ lunchboxing at it's finest (especially as they go perfectly with a small bottle/ can of Appletiser, who have again kindly sponsored this post!) Take these on as a pie-tastic weekend kitchen project, so you have a little Monday treat to look forward to!
Easy Apple Hand Pies | #applepie #apple #handpie #autumn #fall @rachelphipps

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Places To Eat In London: Ducksoup, Soho

I love new openings. They're fresh and exciting, but sometimes you need to discover something new that has been doing fresh and exciting things for years. A friend who does restaurant PR (but not for this place) chose where we were meeting for lunch the other week, so I paid my first visit to Ducksoup in Soho. What followed was one of the most delicious and interesting meals I have had in a very long time, served in small plates made with the very best ingredients, made a little unusual by pairing them with the best of all natural wines.
Small Plates at DUCKSOUP, Soho | @rachelphipps

Friday, 3 November 2017

Places To Eat In London: The Old Queen's Head, Islington

I have literally found you the perfect way to spend your Sunday. Just 10 minutes walk from Angel tube station is one of the nicest pubs I have found in London: The Old Queen's Head. What started off as a regular press review of their lunch offering turned into over four hours of sipping Bloody Mary's at the bar, cozying up in the comfortable, quirky space with our perfect roasts and killer Lucky Chip burgers, and playing childhood boardgames like Guess Who?, Operation and Ludo (played on a Fustration board because we're just that cool.)
Lucky Chip Burgers & Fries at The Old Queen's Head, Islington | @rachelphipps

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Recipe: Middle Eastern Welsh Lamb & Aubergine Nachos

I spend a lot of time trying to get people to eat spiced lamb. Lamb has always been a funny one for me. Apparently I adored it as a small child, and came to really, really dislike it/ refuse to eat it in my late teens. More recently I've discovered that lamb can be awful if you get cheap, bad quality meat and don't cook it properly, but absolutely delicious if you take the time to source the good stuff and cook it with care: case in point, I had some divine lamb ribs at DUCKSOUP in Soho the other week (review coming soon!) that I'd recommend to everyone whenever they're on. I'm a big advocate of spicing lamb mince, because I find it is the best way to turn lamb haters into lamb eaters, especially when you can go in a Middle Eastern direction and load it up with all types of fresh herbs, bright, tempting colours and fresh flavours. 
Easy Middle Eastern Lamb Aubergine Nachos | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

The Ultimate Christmas Advent Calendar Roundup 2017

I know, I know it seems a bit silly to be talking about advent calendars one month out, but gone are the days of chocolate calendars and those pretty little paper ones where you got a different picture every day (though I'll still never say no to either!) So many of the most exciting advent calendars out there are already on sale, or have waiting lists, or you need to jump on as they sell out really really quickly, so I thought this year I would put together a round up of some of the best foodie, beauty, and general lifestyle calendars out there. 
Cadbury's Advent Calendars 2017

Monday, 30 October 2017

Places To Eat In London: The Royal Oak, Twickenham

I know it is bad and lazy of me, but usually when I hear about a place to eat I'll only visit if I can easily walk there, get there on the tube, and then it is only about a 10-15 minute walk to get there once I've got off at the station. Aside from a pilgrimage in the spring to one of my London favourites, Beagle in Hoxton and the Columbia Road Flower Market, for example this has pretty much meant I don't eat in East London anymore (which was pretty much the only place I ate when I was a student living in Mile End!) So, when I needed to go to Twickenham, which while being in London is somewhere I had to get a train to (!) as the tube does not go that far out West, I knew I need to role a food review into my trip too.
Dinner at The Royal Oak, Twickenham | @rachelphipps

Friday, 27 October 2017

Weekly Love: Week 209

They never tell you all of the things that can go wrong as a grown up. Yes you get to sleep in on weekends and drink wine on a weeknight, but fridges fill up with water that you've got to figure out how to fix, and kitchen sinks collapse because they were not fitted properly getting dirty water all over the kitchen floor. If, like me you've had a few days that reflect the latter, rather than the former, treat yourself. There has to be something on your Amazon wishlist that you can prime to make your weekend that much better? I'm going to be enjoying Nigella's brilliant new book I got this week, but here is some more inspiration by way of three items from my wishlist: Nadiya's British Food Adventure, Los Angeles Cult Recipes & Milly's Real Food.
Weekly Love 27.10.17
1. Autumn leaves in Sandwich. | 2. Cured egg yolks in avocado boats at the launch of Nadine Levy Redzepi's brilliant new book Downtime. There is so much from this book I want to make, and the Spicy Chicken Liver Pasta an the Hazelnut Praline Cake that have already graced my kitchen were simply divine. | 3. Bacon, egg, crispy onion and spicy mayo brioche rolls at The Naughty Egg in Canterbury. | 4. Matcha gelato, red bean paste and mochi bubble waffles at Bubblewrap in Chinatown. | 5. Ripe red apples outside the greengrocer on Deal High Street. | 6. My first ever UK Glossier order: Coconut Balm Dot Com (a delicious, really effective lip balm - really recommended), Boy Brow (still getting used to this one), Milk Jelly Cleanser (I think I'm in love, lovely face wash, and takes all my makeup off!), Priming Moisturiser (does exactly what it says on the tin, I've been obsessed with this stuff for a couple of years) and Priming Moisturiser Rich (beautiful thick version of the Priming Moisturiser, great if like me you get dry skin easily!) You can get 10% off of your first order if you click here.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Places To Eat In Manchester: Evelyn's

For our second breakfast (well brunch, they were serving the lunch menu too by the time we got there!) in Manchester (have you seen my review of Federal Bar & Cafe yet?) we headed to somewhere else that was already on my 'to visit' list from recommendations, then came recommended to me again once people found out I was in Manchester: Evelyn's. Owned by the team behind Queenswood, Damson & Co. and Mughli in London, it was by far our favourite meal in the city, and if you're just passing through and you want to eat one meal out in Manchester, this is where you need to go (and they take reservations!)
Brunch at Evelyn's, Manchester | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Halloween Treats: Mummified Cocoa Pops Treats

While I'm more of a savoury person than sweet, I can't resist making a few bakes and sweet treats to celebrate my two favourite 'holidays' (to use the American term) that fall as the weather gets colder, outfits get cosier and we're not yet into the grey slush of January: Halloween and Christmas. As all the ghoolies and ghosties will be coming out to play on Tuesday (and most people will be celebrating this weekend) I thought I'd throw together a simple twist on childhood rice krispie treats so that you too can get your spook on! 
Easy Mummified Cocoa Pops Treats | @rachelphipps

Monday, 23 October 2017

Student Suppers: Tomato & Coconut Cassoulet

I have been waiting to share this recipe with you all since the spring. Delicious, cozy, and vegan without actually trying to be (which is the only type of veganism I'll accept!) I first made the Tomato & Coconut Cassoulet from Anna Jones' essential primer on vegetarian cooking A Modern Way To Eat as the days started to get warmer, and while it was love at first bite, I figured it was the sort of thing we'd all want to start tucking into as the days got colder. I've made a few changes to suit the fact I always want way more coconut, to suit a kitchen without fancy pans and gadgets, and so that it happily serves two (though it heats up beautifully!)
Tomato & Coconut Cassoulet | @rachelphipps

Friday, 20 October 2017

Autumnal Lunchbox Inspiration + Mastering The Work/ Life Balance

This blog post, the latest in my partnership with healthy pea snack brand Yushoi is really about about three different (but interconnected) things: autumnal lunchbox ideas (because most of us need them and are totally guilty of eating the same thing every day, in one of my last jobs a woman in my office at the same thing for lunch every day of the 18 months I worked there!), a few of my (loose) tips on achieving a work/ life balance, and a little update of where I am now, because it has been a while since we've had a good chat!
Autumn Lunchbox Ideas with Yushoi | @rachelphipps

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Places To Eat In London: Canova Hall, Brixton

Brixton is somewhere I've never spent much time in. I think, before last week I'd only been twice (once to see Maroon 5 play life at the O2, and once to a trip to Pop Brixton to drink beer and eat dumplings all afternoon) which is silly, considering how close it is to where I now live in Borough. So, when I was invited to have dinner at brand new restaurant and co-working space by day, busy bar and dinner spot by night Canova Hall, we decided to make a Friday night of it, going to dinner after drinks with friends at the Trinity Arms.
Dinner at Canova Hall, Brixton | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Student Suppers: Bacon Maple Granola Soup Topper

So, I may still be able to go out most days just wearing my new, super warm and snuggly Whistles cashmere jumper, but soup season is definitely upon us. There are loads of recipes for different soups on this blog, so today I thought I'd talk about something a bit different: soup toppers. I've talked about making punchy flavoured oils to drizzle over a bowl (see my coriander lime oil that goes great with a carrot soup, or my basil oil that goes great on a tomato soup or something a bit earthier like a squash or pumpkin soup) but let me introduce you to my new favourite thing to go on every smooth soup I've lunched on recently: savoury granola.
Pea and Mint Soup with Bacon Granola | @rachelphipps

Monday, 16 October 2017

Places To Eat In London: The Pickled Hen, Marylebone

I've got a brand new opening on the border between Marylebone and Marble Arch for your today: The Pickled Hen. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner (which is where we went one weeknight) don't let the fact it is part of a hotel put you off, the atmosphere is lovely, the dining room is stylish, the menu is imaginative (but still comforting), and the food is excellent. We went on a weeknight and had a simply lovely evening, sitting together by the window watching the rain outside with a lovely bottle of Malbec.
Chicken Tiki Masala at The Pickled Hen, Marylebone | @rachelphipps

Friday, 13 October 2017

Weekly Love: Week 208

Finally, after a month of back and forth, I'm back home and in the kitchen. I started early at my parents house just before the kitchen they moved into was ripped out for renovations with a hyper seasonal, super delicious (the three of us polished the whole thing off over a couple of days) Maple Custard Tart from One Cook And Her Cupboard by Florence Knight. The book has never let me down when I've been looking for more of a kitchen project (though, double the cooking time for the custard depending on your oven), and I must resolve to dig into it more. Dinner last night was Lucy's One-Pan Sausage Pasta Bake which we wolfed down after heating it up (I'd made it ahead as we went to see George Osborne talk about the financial crash 10 years on - you can take a girl out of Westminster..!) and I can highly recommend so easy, and so delicious!
Weekly Love 13.010.15
1. Sunny lunchtimes wandering around Chinatown in search of steamed sweet pork buns. | 2. A simply stunning scoop of damson ice cream from Ginger's Comfort Emporium in Manchester - tasted just like crumble! | 3. Tasting the wonderful Polpo autumn cocktail menu at Ape & Bird. | 4. A fantastic brunch at Evelyn's in Manchester - full blog post coming soon! | 5. A simply stunning late, solo lunch of chicken, orange, cavelo nero and toasted almonds from Wild Goose at The Good's Shed in Canterbury. | 6. An afternoon turn around Sir John Soane's museum - more here!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Places To Eat In Manchester: Federal Cafe & Bar

This morning I want to bring you the first of two 'Places To Eat In' reviews from Manchester where I spent a couple of days at a conference a few weeks ago. After a meat-fuelled evening at Red's True Barbecue (a wonderful meal with fantastic service, sadly my pictures did not come out as well as I would have hoped) the next morning we walked into the Northern Quarter to find breakfast somewhere that came greatly recommended by readers, Instagram followers and other bloggers: Federal Bar and Cafe, a small little Aussie inspired all-day spot tucked away just past one of the city's main shopping streets.
Brunch at Federal Bar & Cafe, Manchester | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Places To Eat In Canterbury: The Naughty Egg

I've been home in Canterbury the past few days catching up with old friends (as well as doing all the usual admin like going to the dentist and taxing my car!), but I've also had some chance to try out some new places I've wanted to eat for ages, but not really had the chance to since I moved to Canterbury in February. I was told about The Naughty Egg, an all-day egg bar inspired by L.A.'s Eggslut before it opened in March, but unbelievably yesterday was my first visit. Canterbury? The fact you can now get gloriously eggy sandwiches and loaded fries both in store (they have about 9 stools to perch on) and on Deliveroo makes me very jealous.
Egg & Bacon at The Naughty Egg, Canterbury | @rachelphipps

Monday, 9 October 2017

Breakfast for Dinner with Le Creuset

Escaping from the rain just off Bermondsey Street (though, I did enjoy checking a wonderful new grocer that opened a few weeks ago, the Giddy Grocer - do check it out!), up a couple of dark flights of stairs I joined Le Creuset for a spot of breakfast for dinner (in my view, the best meal ever), served up in their beautiful new city inspired collection, cooked up by chef Stevie Parle (who you might know from his restaurants Palantino, Dock Kitchen and Craft London. The table looked so beautiful, the collection was a lovely new colour (you know I'm such a massive fan of anything Le Creuset) and we ate some really great food that has inspired me with a few more brunch ideas I thought I'd share a few snaps from the evening.
Brunch Toasts with Le Creuset | @rachelphipps

Friday, 6 October 2017

Places To Eat In London: Smokin' Lotus

While it seems like summer is the prime time in London for street food, I actually like this in-between season, where you want a jumper and a light jacket (maybe a scarf) but you're in no way sheltering from the cold to hit up a few food trucks. You appreciate tucking into your treats a bit more, the warmth of your wraps, sandwiches and just-from-the-oven bakes, each lunchtime a different adventure. A couple of weeks ago found me checking out the vendors at KERB collective's Canary Wharf lunchtime market where I found one of the best Asian barbecue sandwiches I've had in a very long time from the guys at Smokin' Lotus.
Asian Barbecue Pork Belly Sandwich at Smokin' Lotus | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Sunny Autumn Afternoons in St. Malo, Brittany

A break was needed, so we piled into the car for a couple of days at the French house just to unwind, spending most days curled up with our books, keeping a ridged aperitif hour and playing mammoth (and very competitive!) games of Monopoly. We ventured out once in the middle of the week to have lunch in Combourg, but on our last day we decided to go on a little day trip to the fortified old town of St. Malo (I had not been since I wrote about it in 2011), just on the coast (well, we had to get up and get dressed anyway to go and stock up on wine and treats to take back with us to London, and it was such a sunny day!)
St. Malo Fort | @rachelphipps

Monday, 2 October 2017

A Day On The Chilli Farm with Nix & Kix

Just before I headed off to France I was given the opportunity to leave the city a day early, heading off to Bedfordshire to visit a chilli farm with slightly spicy drinks brand Nix & Kix to learn about different varieties of chilli, how chilli farming works here in the UK, and to get into the test kitchen to try my hand at creating my own chilli based product. Oh, and chilli spiked cocktails were promised to make an appearance!
Nix & Kix | @rachelphipps

Friday, 29 September 2017

Weekly Love: Week 207

I'm off to Manchester this weekend, but if you're staying in London and you've not already been, can I recommend that you head on down to the Sir John Soane's Museum? Located just of Lincoln's Inn Fields this amazing Georgian townhouse (the country's smallest National museum) is stuffed to the rafters with things like Greek vases, Roman grave markers and an Egyptian King's sarcophagus that the neo-classical architect collected on his Grant Tour - I went yesterday, and it was a wonderful place to while away an hour hiding from the temperamental early-autumn weather. It is free to visit, but barely any of the artefacts are labelled so while there are curators on hand in every room it might be worth investing in one of the £3 guide books. 
Weekly Love 29.09.17[1]
1. Taco Tuesdays at El Pastor in Borough Market. | 2. Beautiful crystal blue water at the beach in St. Malo, Brittany - lots more of my travel snaps to follow! | 3. Parma Violet and Kinder Egg Gelato from Sanchez in St. Malo. | 4. Chocolate raspberry cheesecake to round off a lovely pub lunch at The Gatekeeper in Etchinghill. | 5. Weeknight burgers, pizza and red wine at The Royal Oak in  Twickenham. | 6. One of the best dishes I've had in London for ages: schnitzel pork chop topped with bonito mayo, chilli oil, rocket, lightly pickled cucumber cubes, and the most delicious and curious pickled shimeji mushrooms at Lupin's in Borough.

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Places To Eat In London: Hot Pot, Chinatown

Sometimes there are experiences you have with food that excite you so much it totally changes the way you think about certain ingredients or a certain cuisine. A years long (and still ongoing) love affair with Korean food was born from my first Korean barbecue experience in Los Angeles' Koreatown one afternoon during my study abroad year in 2012, and the other week I had the most exciting interactive meal since that in Chinatown (which can be hit and miss for restaurants): I was invited for my first ever Chinese hot pot.
Dinner at Hot Pot, Chinatown | @rachelphipps

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

An Organic Fruit and Veg Box from Abel & Cole + A New Cookbook

Anyone who lives near a farmers market, grows their own vegetables or receives a weekly (or monthly) veg box will get excited about a brand new cookbook full of veg-centric recipes. While I love living near Borough Market it can get expensive, and while it is great my parents grow their own fruit and veg it is more than a little bit annoying carrying it with me on the train, then the tube. So, when Abel & Cole, the king of organic veggies offered to send me one of their boxes and their new cookbook to my door in honour of Organic September obviously I jumped at the luxury of having quality produce delivered to me for a change. 
Golden Maple & Walnut Parsnips from Abel & Cole How To Eat Brilliantly Everyday | @rachelphipps

Friday, 22 September 2017

Student Suppers: Baked Eggs with Black Pudding & Potatoes

We're well into autumn now, and it is getting cold out. Leaving the house without a coat is now simply not an option, so today I thought I'd sort out dinner for you with an easy, relatively quick (the only reason this does not fall into the thirty minute meal category is you need to par-boil some potatoes and slow cook some onions - both things that can be done during Sunday meal prep if that is your sort of thing) and hearty. Today I'm borrowing baked eggs from their usual tomato heavy sauces and sitting them in a bed of crisp, sautéed potatoes, rich, toasted black pudding and sweet, sticky onions. Parsley is our friend for some punch.
Baked Eggs with Black Pudding, Potatoes & Onions | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Places To Eat In London: El Pastor, Borough Market

I love me a good taco, so obviously since I moved back to London within walking distance of Borough Market, I have wanted to try El Pastor, the famous taco joint on Stoney Street bordering the market. It's had rave reviews, and while I won't mention it further because it is not fair for a business to be reduced to what is done to them, but there is a certain solidarity you can feel with a place when your place of work has been attacked by terrorists this year, too. They don't do reservations, so be prepared to wait around and have a few drinks, or do what we did - go for lunch towards the end of service when things are winding down on a weekday.
Lunch at El Pastor, Borough Market | @rachelphipps

Monday, 18 September 2017

Recipe: Chocolate Cake with Lazy Piped Matcha Frosting

I'm not a big baker. There are those people who can do bake and cook, there are the people who are wonderful bakers but don't really feel comfortable whipping up a savoury meal, and there are people who can cook beautifully but don't really 'get' baking. Then there are the people like me, who are perfectly competent bakers who could fulfil practically all of the challenges on The Great British Bake Off who simply don't enjoy baking that much. Funny, as my Super Simple 3-Step Chocolate Brownies are the most popular recipe on this site of all time. However, sometimes the mood takes me to bake something simple, with just a little twist.
Chocolate Cake with Matcha Frosting | @rachelphipps

Friday, 15 September 2017

Places To Eat In London: Lupin's, Borough

My diary has been pretty full recently of exciting street food and world flavours, so when it came to choose somewhere to go to lunch on Saturday I had just two criteria: that I would not have to get on the tube to get there (something pretty easy to manage living in Borough, within walking distance of the market, Bermondsey Street, Flat Iron Square and the Southwark restaurant district), and that the chosen spot did something exciting with local ingredients in what has come to be the 'British' way, meaning that while there were some world influences and flavours in there, it was not religiously subscribed to one cuisine.
Courgette, Chilli & Ricotta Croquettes with Spiced Honey at Lupins, Borough | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Picnic Time: Easy Almond & Apricot Sausage Rolls

With a wobbly few days at the start of the month, it looks like we are going to get to enjoy something of an Indian Summer. So, for my second post collaborating with the team at Appletiser (there is still time to make the Barbecue Pesto Prawns with Pea, Feta & Avocado Salad we made in July) I thought we'd go for a (back garden, so you can easily retreat in case of rain!) picnic together in case, like me, you have failed to get the basket out of the basement and dry clean your picnic rug to head out into the great outdoors yet this year.
Indian Summer Picnic with Appletiser | @rachelphipps

Monday, 11 September 2017

Signing Books & Cooking Live at the We Love Hythe Food Festival

I love a good food festival, so on the Sunday of the Bank Holiday Weekend my family piled into the car (my aunt and uncle came too!) because it just so happened that I'd been asked to judge the cake competition, do a cooking demonstration and sign some books at the second annual We Love Hythe Food Festival run by Hythe Life Magazine - the nearest food festival to where my parents have just moved to in Kent. As well as getting to share Student Eats with the local community some of my local foodie favourites were there so it was nice to catch up, and I've fallen head over heels in love with yet another local food truck I want to show you.
In the Demo Kitchen  at We Love Hythe Food Festival with Student Eats | @rachelphipps

Friday, 8 September 2017

Weekly Love: Week 206

Autumn is actually here, isn't it? While during the day as long as it is not raining I've been getting away with throwing a cardigan on, on Wednesday night on the way back from seeing Limehouse Golem (a rather good film, by the way) and last night trying to squeeze one more Aperol Spritz out of the summer outside a pub in Westminster I had to snuggle up in my much loved Barbour. I think later today I might put away all my summer clothes (once I've built myself up enough to actually tackle my ironing pile, that is!) and fill my wardrobe up with snuggly jumpers and through my favourite wool blanket across the bottom of my bed. 
Weekly Love 08.09.17[1]
1. Sunshine breakfasts on the House of Commons terrace. | 2. Spying Student Eats front and centre in my local Canterbury Waterstones. | 3. Epic Asian barbecue street food sandwich from Smokin Lotus at Kerb West India Quay. | 4. Signing copies of Student Eats at the We Love Hythe Food Festival - more photos from the festival to follow!  | 5. The best taco bowl I've ever had and a tasty bowlful of pesto zoodles for lunch at The Skinny Kitchen in Canterbury. | 6. Bright, end of summer blooms outside Liberty's.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Places To Eat In London: Rail House Cafe, Victoria

In years previous, I never knew the answer to the question of where to eat in Victoria. There was literally nothing good near the station. However, over the past year so many incredible new (and some old favourite) places have popped up to compliment the takeaways and chains on Victoria Street. Many of these new eateries are focused in the Nova Food complex (where I had a delicious Ahi Poke bowl and Crosstown matcha doughnut for lunch the other week), so it was obvious Sherin and I needed to choose between their two new avocado heavy brunch spots for our Sunday brunch catch up last week: Timmy Green and Rail House Cafe. Rail House had the edge because they had matcha waffles, so we booked a table and went to check it out.
Sunday Brunch at Rail House Cafe, Victoria | @rachelphipps

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Feed Your Happy: Late Summer Soft Cheeseboard

Trying to throw a dinner party in a house that only has a partial kitchen and barely other rooms suitable for guests, let alone finished is a challenge. So, while I accepted that we would have to eat inside for the main course (even though most of the food was cooked on the barbecue) for my summer party this year, I was adamant that if the weather held we'd at least have our starters in the sun trap by my parents pond. Last year at my Road to Rio themed dinner I'd had such a success with an interactive starter before we all sat down, so I settled on a soft cheeseboard everyone could help themselves to served with lots of pink champagne. 
Late Summer Soft Cheeseboard | @rachelphipps

Friday, 1 September 2017

Video: Roasted Summer Vegetable Pasta

Something a bit different for you all today: I've got some cooking videos to share! I thought it was about time I posted some more video content (I'm always being asked for it, and it's only been 4 years since my last recipe video!) so I thought I'd post my favourite of a series of videos I filmed for The Student Room from my book Student Eats. We filmed them in the very old, very cramped, 80's galley kitchen at my parents new house which I think by the time you're seeing these will be half ripped out ready for our redesign. This pasta is the first thing I make myself whenever I move into a new flat, and if anything it is even better cold the next day.
Roasted Summer Vegetable Pasta from Student Eats | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Recipe: Barbecue Pineapple with Rum, Chilli & Coriander

The Notting Hill Carnival at the weekend served as a very sharp reminder that I've still not tried my hand at re-creating the simply epic jerk chicken and jerk pork with rice, beans and a cream sauce they serve in the cafeterias in the Houses of Parliament. It is simply fabulous, and has such a cult following that there is even a Twitter feed dedicated to letting you know which cafeteria has it on on any given day. I have a copy of the chef's recipe to use as guidence, but as it was a Caribbean themed dessert I needed over the Bank Holiday Weekend to follow a barbecue (rather than Jamaican street food) I settled on barbecuing a pineapple instead.
Barbecue Pineapple with Rum Syrup, Chilli and Coriander | @rachelphipps

Monday, 28 August 2017

Places To Eat In London: The Gun, Docklands

When I approach reviewing a restaurant, especially in a big city such as London where people sometimes never repeat a restaurant, while I want to give you my take on some of the cities hottest new openings (mainly because I want an excuse to try them for myself!) I also like to seek out hidden treasures that no one seems to know about, and visit some old haunts you may not of thought of for dinner to see what they're doing now. When one of my usual restaurant review partners in crime and I were invited along to check out dinner at The Gun way out in London's Docklands the other week we had a funny little dinner that we could not quite form a strong opinion of, but found a few strong reasons why this pub needs to be on your radar.
Oysters at The Gun, Docklands

Friday, 25 August 2017

Weekly Love: Week 205

Kent people! The Bank Holiday will soon be upon us and I'll be heading back down to Kent to enjoy the last few days of the summer sunshine (fingers crossed the weather will hold, and for an Indian summer in September!) and the We Love Hythe Food Festival will be running throughout the weekend at the Hythe Cricket and Squash Club (full event details here). Why am I telling you this? Because if you pop along on Sunday afternoon I'll be judging the Bake Off event at 3pm, and then signing copies of Student Eats afterwards! Do come along and say hi because it looks like it is going to be a fantastic weekend full of lovely looking local food and drink - I'm looking forward to sampling are cocktails from Beetlejuice and a Stoned Pizza!
Weekly Love 25.08.17[1]
1. Starters and oysters at The Gun in Canary Wharf - review coming soon! | 2. Aperol Spritz by the pond. | 3. View across the water to the O2/ Millenium Dome from The Gun. | 4. A sublime pork belly confit with black pudding cream at The Compasses Inn, Crundale. | 5. Building a soft cheeseboard for my summer party - blog post about the cheeseboard coming soon! | 6. Walking to the prettiest postbox set into the wall of someones home in Kent.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Recipe: Mexican Roasted Sweet Potato, Radish & Tomato Bowl

In an average week, the amount of food I eat is frankly staggering. I don't mean the usual three meals a day, but I'm talking about the amount of samples I test, many coursed meals I have, street food I graze on, just to be able to write about food and bring the best of it to you all. I'm not complaining; I'm lucky to have one of the best jobs in the world, but this means at home when I'm not testing recipes to make sure I'm not the size of a house (I hate the gym, so my main source of exercise is walking everywhere I can) I eat lighter meals at home, mostly plants, and usually vegetarian, sometimes vegan because lighter food is what I crave.
Vegan Mexican-style Roasted Sweet Potato, Radish & Tomato Bowl | @rachelphipps

Monday, 21 August 2017

Places To Eat In Canterbury: The George, Molash

As a family after a long day, we love a good country pub for supper. As we've moved around the coast a little from our old home while we're in a familiar area close to some of our old favourites (we've had some wins and some losses with the move: thankfully we're now closer to The Compasses Inn, but now The Duke William is a little far out, so one to visit if we're in the area for something!) it is also the perfect opportunity while our kitchen is still a hole in the ground to get our and try somewhere new. Our most recent meal out? The George at Molash, just 20 minutes drive down a pretty much straight road from Canterbury city centre.
Salmon & Crushed Potatoes at The George, Molash | @rachelphipps

Friday, 18 August 2017

Places To Eat In London: Bó Drake, Soho

As you know, I'm always up for Korean food. However, there are not many in London that take reservations (if you know of any, hit me up with your recommendations!) so when I heard about Bó Drake in Soho that serves up Korean food inspired by Southern-style barbecue techniques obviously I had to grab a table on a sunny Sunday afternoon and someone open to Korean flavours (I don't know why, but people always seem sceptical when I wax lyrical about the virtues of kimchee and my copy of Our Korean Kitchen!)
Lunch at Bo Drake, Soho | @rachelphipps

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Cocktail Hour: Cheats Piña Coladas

At the weekend I gave myself Friday, Saturday and Sunday off, because to be honest all the excitement with Student Eats being published, radio appearances, filming some recipe videos (which I can't wait to share you) and the launch party I was totally wiped out. I crashed somewhere around Thursday afternoon, so I spent the most of the next three days out on the patio with All Out War (I know I usually read heavy political books anyway, but if you're at all interested in the behind the scenes of how Brexit actually happened this is very readable and very compelling, for non-politicos too!) With my book I needed a good drink, and while I got happy on the Aperol Spritz for a bit, I was very proud of my two-ingredient Cheats Piña Coladas.
2-Ingredient Pina Coladas | @rachelphipps

Monday, 14 August 2017

Places To Eat In London: Duck & Waffle, Liverpool Street

Duck & Waffle, on the 40th floor of the Heron Tower near Liverpool Street Station is somewhere I've wanted to eat since I was a student in London, so it is apt that it is at Duck & Waffle I secured an early lunchtime table the day after my book launch party to celebrate my student cookbook with my parents. Open 24/7, it is not a cheap spot, but the food is absolutely sublime the views are incredible, and I can't think of a restaurant I have been to in London in the years I have been reviewing them better for a special occasion.
Lunch at Duck & Waffle | @rachelphipps

Friday, 11 August 2017

Weekly Love: Week 204 + Ping Coombes' Brunch Club

Let's talk all things Student Eats! Yours truly has been around and about talking about the book, so if you fancy checking out my visit to the BBC London studio last week you can listen to me talk about how I took inspiration from my parents for some of the recipes in the book from the 01:08 mark. If sitting down with a long read and a cup of tea is your thing, I sat down with Study.EU to talk about my favourite recipes in the book and what it was like to study abroad in California. They're also giving away 10 (!) copies of the book over on their Facebook page. Finally, if you fancy getting into the kitchen The Happy Foodie have shared two of my favourite recipes from the book: my Banana & Nutella Muffins and my Pea, Prawn & Mushroom Egg Fried Rice!
Weekly Love 11.08.17[1] | @rachelphipps
1. Celebrating the publication of Student Eats with my parents at Duck & Waffle - look out for more pictures from our meal next week! | 2. An incredible Surf 'n' Turf and carafe of Malbec at The Butlers Wharf Chop House. | 3. Student Eats in the window of Daunt Books. | 4. Stunning, golden hour view of Tower Bridge from the terrace at The Butlers Wharf Chop House. | 5. Pink frozen champagne ice lollies from Fortnum's. | 6. Stunning flowers in my favourite colours as a publication gift from the Ebury team.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Cocktail Hour: Mango, Black Pepper & Gin Spritz

What to do when your favourite gin brand invite you to enjoy Friday night after work drinks and oysters on a rooftop overlooking the Thames, and ask you to take a bottle away with you to come up with a cocktail recipe for everyone to enjoy as we get into the swing of the final month of summer? Gin Mare have been hosting their Med Rooftops series around Europe this summer, so today I thought I'd share a few photos by way of inspiration for your own summer soirée along with my recipe for a Mango, Black Pepper & Gin Spritz today.
Gin Mare Mango Gin Spritz | @rachelphipps