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Hubby’s Birthday Weekend

By 3 February 2015 Eating Out, Food, General, Life, Lifestyle
Hubby's birthday weekend -

Last weekend was hubby’s birthday. He turned 29, so he’s caught up with me for a while! He likes to joke that I’m a cougar, but I don’t think it counts if you’re only three months older! Since his birthday was on the Friday I took the day off work so we could spend the day together.

As it turns out we didn’t really do too much. I had my last counselling session in the morning and then we popped over to his parents so he could blow the candles out on his cakes. I thought it would be a bit weird if we did that at home, just the two of us!

The cupcakes I baked were amazing. I followed a recipe for Cosmopolitan Cupcakes from Peggy Porschen’s Boutique Baking book. They were orange flavour with boozy cranberries and copious amounts of Cointreau. Not the manliest birthday cakes ever, but they went down very well.

In the evening, we joined my sister and our friends for a birthday meal at a new burger place that has recently opened in Folkestone. Big Boys Fine Burger Company has taken over a building in the Old High Street and it’s a good job we booked because it was packed!

Le Garcon Francais

Le Garcon Francais

This was my choice of burger, Le Garçon Français. It was a 6 oz beef patty with bacon, huge chunks of brie, lettuce and wholegrain mustard in a brioche bun. C’etait delicieux! Sis opted for El Chico Mexicano, which had guacamole, tortillas and chipotle ketchup in, one of our friends had the BBFC Mother Clucker, a burger with fried chicken in it too, and the three boys each chose the signature Fat Boy. Beef patty, pulled pork, bacon, cheese, lettuce and tomato.  Epic.

El Chico Mexicano and The Fat Boy

For sides, hubby, sis and I shared ginormous onion rings, amazing smoked bacon beans and homemade coleslaw.

Big Boys sides

It was an awesome meal and I was so stuffed but determined to give one of their milkshakes a go. Having told everyone at work that I didn’t like milkshake (forgetting that I’d previously happily supped a KFC Crushem) I realised that actually I love milkshake! But only ones without fake flavours. This one was rather special. Behold, the Bakewell tart milkshake…



From this point I decided that all desserts should actually be liquidised. They’re so much easier to consume! We finished the night with a drink at Wetherspoon’s and were home in bed by 11 pm. It’s a crazy life we oldies lead!


On Saturday we drove over to Canterbury to visit The Beaney House of Art and Knowledge where they’ve just opened a new temporary exhibition about Enid Blyton. Celebrating her life and works, Mystery, Magic and Midnight Feasts is a wonderful gallery filled with transcripts, illustrations, diaries and even the author’s old typewriter.

I grew up with Enid Blyton, from watching and reading Noddy, to sharing the Famous Five’s adventures and wishing I went to boarding school so I could have midnight feasts and play lacrosse. The exhibition brought back lots of memories, and it was great to see that young children today are still enjoying her books. My only regret is that I’m too big to go down the slide and wear the dressing up outfits!

Unfortunately, there was no photography allowed inside the exhibition so I’ve borrowed the below picture from the Beaney’s Facebook page.

Thank you to Annabelle at Canterbury Museums and Galleries for inviting me along.

We’d booked a table at Pizza Express for lunch but had time to kill so found ourselves in Costa. I also did a little bit of shopping, purchasing a new lanyard for my work pass from Cath Kidston, and of course I had to pop into Lush and grab a unicorn horn bubble bar (because I’d seen them all over the internet and wanted one!) and some solid toothpaste tablet thingys because I thought they’d be handy for when I fly to France in the summer as I’m going hand luggage only. They’re rose flavour so that’ll be interesting!

Gold chocolate!

Gold chocolate!

Massive chai latte


Waiting for pizza

Waiting for pizza

The birthday boy!

The birthday boy!

Emilia pizza at Pizza Express

Emilia pizza at Pizza Express

Canterbury purchases

Canterbury purchases

Obligatory unicorn horn selfie!

Obligatory unicorn horn selfie!


A lazy day for me but hubby went to help his friend give his car a good scrub and polish up. They then both came back for dinner, which was just an easy all in one pan roast chicken pieces with vegetables.

We also watched the BluRay of The Equalizer that I bought hubby for his birthday, which was a pretty good film if a little gory in parts, before watching Top Gear. I made up for all the testosterone by watching Call the Midwife afterwards!

So that’s pretty much my weekend! Hubby had a good birthday now I need to decide what I want for my birthday (my 30th’s in October – eek!) and start dropping some not-so-subtle hints!

What would you want for your 30th birthday? Tell me in the comments below!

Rachel x

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#BEDM – British Sandwich Week – What’s In Yours?

By 11 May 2014 Food, Life, Lifestyle
British Sandwich Week

This week is British Sandwich Week. Sandwiches can be both epic and lame. Most of the time I take homemade sandwiches to work and most of the time, they suck. I tend to have the same filling every day for a week and it tends to be either ham or tuna.

Posh cheese and pickle sandwich at the Lavender Tea House, Folkestone
This tasty sandwich is from the Lavender Tea House in Folkestone.

I like buying sandwiches but they’re so expensive for what they are. Saying that, a freshly made sarnie can be pretty damn good! The other day I bought a hot roast lamb sandwich from Butty’s sandwich shop near work. Every day they do a hot roast sandwich. I really want to try their roast pork as they serve it with apple sauce and crackling!

It’s said that the sandwich is named after the 4th Earl of Sandwich who asked his valet to bring him some meat between two slices of bread. Apparently he liked to gamble and eating this way allowed him to use one hand, which wouldn’t get greasy, and he could hold his cards in the other. Other aristocrats then started asking for what Sandwich was having and the term was coined.

The best sandwich shop in Canterbury?

There’s a sandwich shop in Canterbury called CJ’s. They do filled baguettes and have a huge menu. I used to go quite often while I was at college and while I was working in Canterbury. One of my favourite fillings was hoi sin duck, but I also liked the prawn marie rose. Yum!

Bacon sandwich at Loaf, Sandgate
Mmm… bacon sarnie. This was awesome hangover food from Loaf in Sandgate.

Awesome Aussie sangers

I briefly worked at the Parliament of Victoria in Melbourne as a food and beverage attendant. Once I’d finished my shift I was allowed to make myself a sandwich before heading home. I was told I was only allowed to use two slices of bread so I made the most insane sandwiches that were about an inch thick! I had chicken, avocado, roasted pepper, salad, ham, all sorts! I then used to sit in the tranquil gardens by the parliament building and tuck in.

What’s you favourite sandwich filling?

Tell me in the comments below!

Rachel x

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#BEDM – World Fair Trade Day

By 10 May 2014 Food, Life, Lifestyle
World Fair Trade Day 2014

Today, 10th May, is World Fair Trade Day. Every year, there’s a theme. This year’s is ‘Fair Trade People’ and the idea is to celebrate all the producers and consumers who drive the growth of Fair Trade.

World Fair Trade Day was started by the World Fair Trade Organization and it’s celebrated in six continents around the world every second Saturday in May. The day aims to increase awareness of Fair Trade, which has helped to improve the lives of millions of people around the globe. Fair Trade helps to secure fair prices for produce, improve working conditions and create long-term trade partnerships.

“Fair Trade was established to enable producers, especially the smaller ones, to improve their livelihoods in a sustainable fashion. With the support of conscientious consumers, Fair Trade has grown to become a sustainable solution to fight poverty and economic crisis. Today, Fair Trade impacts not only producers but all of us. Fair Trade is a movement of the people, by the people and for the people.” Natália Leal, WFTO Chief Executive

To support World Fair Trade Day you can buy Fair Trade products. One of the most well-known Fair Trade brands in the UK is Divine Chocolate. I’ve just checked out their website and they’ve got a fab selection of recipes on there including one for chocolate pudding with hot cherry sauce! It sounds divine! (Pun very much intended!)

Chocolate pudding with hot cherry sauce - recipe from Divine Chocolate

How drool worthy is that?

Do you buy Fair Trade?

I don’t think I’ve ever gone out of my way to by Fair Trade, and I do feel slightly guilty. The issue for me personally is price. One day I’d love to buy organic and make sure everything is Fair Trade, in the same way that I’d love to buy from my local farmers’ market and support the local economy. Unfortunately, it boils down to the nasty m word. Money. We spend too much on our weekly shop anyway, and we mostly buy own-brand products or what’s on offer.

Do you buy Fair Trade?

Rachel x

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#BEDM – It’s Cinco de Mayo, Here’s My Recipe For Guacamole

By 5 May 2014 Food, Home Cooking, Life
cinco de mayo guacamole recipe

Today’s #BEDM (Blog Every Day in May) topic is Cinco de Mayo! Rosalilium has challenged us to unleash our inner Mexican for the day.

I’ve never been to Mexico but love the food. One of my favourite foods is guacamole. I’ve always liked avocado ever since Granma dished it up with prawn cocktail in a fetching 1970’s glass dish shaped like an avocado (in the 90s, I hasten to add)! I know a lot of people don’t like it and I think it’s the texture that puts people off.

You can buy tubs of guacamole in the supermarket but it’s just not the same. Nothing beats a bowl of freshly made guac, and it’s really easy to make.

Guacamole recipe for Cinco de Mayo

Picture from Pinterest


  • 2 avocados
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 green chilli
  • fresh coriander

The trick here is to have ripe avocados. It can be hard to find ripe ones in the shop so you might have to plan ahead and buy them in advance. You need them to be ripe otherwise you can’t mash them!

Get your avocados out of their skins and remove the stones. The easiest way to do this is to hit the stone with the blade of a sharp knife so the blade sticks into it and then you can just lift it out. Mind your fingers though! I take no responsibility for your inaccuracy with a knife!

Put the avocado flesh into a bowl and roughly mash it with a fork.

Chop up the flesh of your tomatoes, discarding the seeds. Add the tomato to the bowl and mix together.

Finely chop your chilli. If you like it hot, add more chilli, if you prefer it cool. Use just half. Without any chilli it’s just mashed avocado! I can’t normally eat spicy food but a green chilli in this mixture is just fine for me, and I’m someone who can’t even eat a chicken tikka marsala!

Stick your garlic in a garlic press and add it to the mix.

Finally add the juice of a lime and chopped fresh coriander. This gives your guacamole a lovely fresh taste and a bit of zing.

And that’s it! Told you it was easy 🙂 You can adapt the recipe to suit you. Add more chilli, more garlic, add an onion if you want a bit more crunch. All sorts. I’ve even been known to make the mix to further by adding some sour cream, but shhh! don’t tell any Mexicans!

Now you can enjoy your guacamole with some simple tortilla chips or perhaps with some sizzling fajitas. Perfect for a sunny bank holiday Monday.


Rachel x

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El Cortador Tapas Bar Folkestone

By 3 May 2014 Eating Out, Food, Lifestyle, Restaurant Review
El Cortador Folkestone Tapas Bar

Over the Easter weekend, rather than buying random stuff we didn’t really need, we decided to use some money than my grandparents kindly gave us as an Easter present on treating ourselves to some meals out.

Saturday lunchtime I tried to take hubby into the Lavender Tea House but it’s a bit too pretty for him. He actually said it was for old ladies! Their vintage/shabby chic charm is obviously lost on him. As we wandered down Folkestone’s Old High Street, we spotted El Cortador, the new tapas bar in town. We’ve been meaning to try it since it opened at the end of last year.

El Cortador is a small place with windows looking out on to the high street. Inside is all dark wood, wicker chairs and warm colours. We ordered drinks while trying not to order every dish on the menu!

El Cortador menu

Eventually we whittled it down to 6 dishes and ordered from the very polite waitress who must have thought we were right piggies!

The first thing to come out was the bread and aioli. There’s no denying that we left the restaurant with a little more than a distinct hum of garlic about us! Just as we were dunking our bread into the garlic mayonnaise, out came the plate of manchego cheese and ham. I love cured meat and it goes so well with the tangy cheese. There was even more cheese inside our stuffed peppers. Mmmm…


Queso y jamon

Pequillos Rellenos

Next out was this gorgeous dish of hot, garlic mushrooms. Shortly after came the tortilla laced with chorizo and then the paella mixta.

Setas al ajillo

Tortilla Chorizo

Paella Mixta

All of the food was amazing. So tasty! The service was swift and the prices reasonable. The only other time we’ve had tapas was in Essex so I can’t compare it to the ‘real thing’ but I don’t even care it was so yummy!

El Cortador, Old High Street, Folkestone

Rachel x

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