Friday, 17 August 2018

My 10 Best Tips For Cutting Down On Food Waste

Hello, I'm Rachel and I absolutely hate throwing things away. I'm that person whose freezer is full of scraps of things as it stresses me out to waste anything, and who washes out those plastic containers you get with a Chinese takeaway and uses them until they fall apart, instead of buying tupperware (they're brilliant, they come in two different sizes and stack really well in the fridge or freezer - my only issue is the Chinese, Thai and Indian around us tend to send two different brands, so sometimes I'm hunting around for the correct lid!) In interviews about my book, Student Eats I always get asked for tips on budget cooking and shopping for students, and most of these are actually about reducing food waste. So, as this is something so important to me that I never seem to share, I thought I'd put together a post with some of my best hints and tips!
My 10 Best Tips For Cutting Down On Food Waste #foodwaste

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Where To Eat If You Only Have One Night In Sarlat

While food beats at the heart of the Perigord in South West France, no where are culinary delights more important than in Sarlat - we're talking about a town who decided to turn one of their two churches into an indoor food market! Famed for their Saturday food market (I wrote about it here in 2016, and I've got a more practical post about planning your visit coming up), my biggest recommendation to get the most out of it is to stay in town the night before. This leaves you with a Friday night in Sarlat to seek out dinner, so today I'm choosing two great spots to choose from (in case one is fully booked!) for dinner where you'll find both exceptional food and the very best of local, traditional (read: duck heavy!) dishes.
Goose Gizzard Salad at La Petite Borie, Sarlat #salad #goose #sarlat #france #dordogne #perigord

Monday, 13 August 2018

Recipe: Roast Chicken with Honey, Peaches & Thyme

You know when you make a recipe for the first time then you go right ahead and make it straight away again? Take chicken thighs, an oven proof skillet or casserole dish, great quality honey, a bit of white balsamic vinegar, a splash of white wine, some beautiful ripe summer peaches and a few sprigs of fresh thyme and in just under an hour you can create something magical. Adapted from a recipe in Diana Henry's incredible book A Bird In The Hand you'll want to serve this with lots of crusty bread to mop up the incredible, caramalised juices. Oh, and the rest of the bottle of wine you opened to make the sauce, as cold as you can get it.
Roast Chicken with Honey, Peaches and Thyme #chicken #honey #peaches #thyme #dinner #summer #onepan #weeknight #lecreuset

Friday, 10 August 2018

A Sunny Saturday at the Wealden Literary Festival

Shockingly as an author before a couple of weeks ago I'd never been to a literary festival. While I wait around for Student Eats to become popular enough for me to get invited to one as a speaker, I jumped at an invitation to attend the very small, very lovely and very Kentish Wealden Literary Festival just a 40 minute drive away from where my parents live in Kent, right where they both grew up. The big excitement for me was the chance to see one of my favourite food writers, Diana Henry talk about her latest book How To Eat A Peach, but it was also a lovely opportunity to explore the beautiful private gardens at Boldshaves and get introduced to some fine makers of Kent products from a slightly different bit of the county than I usually visit.
Coxy's Kent Liquors at Wealden Literary Festival 2018

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Student Suppers: Mexican-style Chicken & Pepper Stir Fry

This post was created in partnership with Uncle Bens. Surprisingly, the various restaurants and cafeterias around the Parliamentary Estate where I used to work as a political researcher have provided me with so many delicious dishes when I've tried to reproduce what I had for lunch again for dinner in my own kitchen. A couple of summers ago a starter in the main restaurant inspired my Sardine and Pea Shoot Bruschetta, and my favourite lunch go-to of Jerk Pork and Jerk Chicken has me working hard to perfect my recipe. However, today we're going down memory lane with a lunch I first had at Bellamy's, the 'healthy option' cafeteria located a few floors down in my old building at 1 Parliament Street: a delicious, made-to-order Mexican-style stir fry of chicken, peppers and red onions in a chipotle infused tomato sauce, served with loads of warm, fluffy basmati rice and a generous sprinkling of fresh coriander. So quick, so simple, and so delicious. 
Mexican-style Chicken Stir Fry

Monday, 6 August 2018

Places To Eat In London: Ceru, Soho

It's summer, so while I'm spending most of my meals barbecuing at my parents house in Kent or eating salads and bar snacks with a load of drinks in the garden of my local pub, when I do venture into the city for a meal I'm after something served as small plates so I can eat as much or as little as I like, something with big, sunshine flavours, and somewhere that serves great wine and creative, fruity cocktails. Therefore, I was really excited when the team at Ceru invited me for lunch in Soho (they also have a restaurant in South Kensington) to try out their delicious all day menu of small plates inspired by the Levantine.
Lunch at Ceru, Soho

Friday, 3 August 2018

Weekly Love: Week 136

I've been watching loads of amazing Aussie television at the moment. I've already shared my love for Zumbo's Just Desserts over on Netflix, but if you're also a subscriber and you've already binged all of the new episodes of OITNB (I've been quite good and I'm only 3 episodes in!) Secret City is an amazing political/ murder mystery thriller about corrupt politicians, the intelligence services, investigatory journalism and Chinese spies - they're making a second season at the moment. Completely changing gears, Glitch starts in a small town graveyard where people who have died start waking up and exploring the town, including the local police officer's wife who died of cancer - not for everyone, but I enjoyed it! Moving to shows that have made it onto regular UK TV, The Heart Guy (known as Doctor Doctor down under) is my favourite show at the moment, with one of the creepy dead guys from Glitch as a attractive party boy Sydney heart surgeon is sent to work in the small town he grew up in. Very funny, and very entertaining. Also, has anyone started watching Harrow, the one with the pathologist? Unsure except for that massive twist at the end of episode one which has me curious!
Weekly Love 03.08.18[1]
1. Relaxing for a few days and escaping the heat of the city at my parent's home in Kent. | 2. A fantastic lunch of Levantine small plates and Middle Eastern-inspired cocktails at Ceru in Soho - review coming soon! | 3. Running errands over the weekend in the shadow of Canary Wharf's skyscrapers. | 4. Chilling in the pub garden at our local riding out the heatwave with 2 for £10 happy hour Hugo cocktails. | 5. Wishing I'd got some of these amazing aperitif nibbles when I was in Sarlat market in May. | 6. One of the best breakfasts I've had in ages at Manuka Kitchen in Fulham - their French Toast is officially amazing!

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Recipe: Barbecue Steak Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce

This post was created in partnership with Appletiser. When I was putting together my Weekly Meal Plan full of barbecue recipes it came to my attention that pretty much all of the recipes are for prawns, chicken or desserts, and literally no steak, lamb or sides, when these are also things I put on the barbecue all the time. So, this summer I've been making an effort to test more non-bird or shellfish-based recipes. Today we start with some super easy steak and pepper skewers which go beautifully with a simple, punchy chimichurri sauce.
Summer Barbecue Steak Skewers with Chimichurri Sauce #barbecue #grilling #steak #skewers #kabobs #chimichurri