Care to indulge in a little steak porn? This is what was rustled up for tea last night. Flank steak with goose fat chips, wild mushrooms, watercress and a mustard and cider vinegar dressing.
If you’re not one for eating with your eyes, I’ll tell you now that it was just perfect. Easily one of my favourite meals in quite some time, mainly because it was so simple to make, especially with Matt in the kitchen with me.
This wouldn’t be my usual choice of steak, I’d normally go for rib-eye, but I was mightily impressed by the flank’s flavour and how tender it was. The marbling in this particular steak was amazing, as you’d expect coming from Farmison (the free range, organic, chef supplying people).
Here is the point where I declare our obsession with goose fat. Roasts, chips, parmentier, all potatoes taste better with a little goose fat. There’s always a jar of it in our fridge and there’s always one in my Parent’s too. Oven baked, home-made, skin on chips in sizzling goose fat is the only way to go.
The dressing sitting in the ramekin is a tweak of a Mark Hix recipe. Tweaked because we didn’t quite have the right ingredients, but this works well. Very, very well. Simply combine the following ingredients and drizzle at will:
1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
2 teaspoons of whole grain mustard
I wasn’t overly thrilled with how the photos came out. My lens seemed to encounter some focussing difficulty and starting singing glitchy noises. Matt left no pause when I complained about it and flew straight in with “you’ll just have to make it all again tomorrow”. Oh what a chore that would be…
The wonderful steak, mushrooms and watercress came as part of a Saturday Kitchen box from Farmison which I’ll be telling you more about next week. I felt this steak was worthy of a post of its own for the time being.
Last year, 28 UK bloggers from all sorts of backgrounds took part in the secret gift swap and the feedback was amazing. We had beauty, fashion, food, lifestyle, craft, diy, interior design, art, film, mobile, technology, photography, PR, disability and parenthood bloggers take part – a pretty diverse bunch!
The idea is that each person gets to know another blogger that they may not have already bumped in to in the online world and spreads a little Christmas cheer. They choose their Secret Santa a gift within the £15 budget and pop it in the post before 13th December to beat the Christmas rush. In return they’ll receive a gift chosen especially for them from another blogger.
If you’d like to join in, just fill in this Google form before 21st November and you’ll receive your secret santa pairing the next day giving you three weeks to get shopping.I’ll be cutting registration off at 50 participants just because I think that’s enough presents and pairing for one person to keep track of. If you want to join in, be quick!
Once you’ve registered, it would be awesome if you’d tweet about it to spread the word. You can do just that by clicking this button:
Whilst the tradition of burning an effigy is a bit morbid, there is a lot to love about Guy Fawkes Night. Wrapping up in winter woolies, the hiss of sparklers, fireworks that light up the night’s sky for miles around, toffee apples and the warm glow of the bonfire.
For my non-Brit readers, Bonfire Night is when we celebrate a failed plot to blow up our Houses of Parliament and assassinate our King on the 5th of November 1605. That may seem like an odd thing to celebrate but to us it’s a community event with lots of food and a real winter highlight for me.
To start our night we had the traditional hot dogs and toffee apples at my Parent’s, which I swear nearly dislocated my jaw. I remarked that I much prefer the apple ones… pretty sure I meant chocolate but that’s brain fog at it’s finest.
With full bellies, we wrapped up warm with plenty of layers and headed down to watch a local firework display at Railway Meadow. How did it get so cold so quickly?
The flames of the bonfire licked the night air as we waited for the show to begin and I adjusted the settings on my camera to try and capture the display. It was my first time out with the DSLR at night time but I’d had some sage advice from a few very talented friends.
The first fireworks were met with cheers and audible ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s from the crowd. Children proclaimed their love for every firework that came. Some were so loud that I could feel them resonate in my chest. It was the quiet and crazy ones that I enjoyed the most though. I love how the small sparks lit up the sky with their trails of coloured smoke.
Just when you thought it was over, something more impressive came along. The meticulous choreography paid off with the crowd. I overheard lots of people proclaiming it the best show in the area and I agree.
For my first time taking my camera out at night I didn’t think I did too badly, that is until I came home and saw the professional versions some of my friends have snapped. Why is it that just as you feel like you’re almost good enough at something, you give yourself another hurdle to jump? I vow to get on top of my camera skills!
Now that a happy Bonfire Night has been had, I can start my Christmas shopping and finally launch this years Blogger Secret Santa. Look out for that later this week!
How long does a phone last you? Normally a handset will see me through at least 18 months and at that point I sell it on and shuffle up to something newer. This time things are different though. I’ve only had my HTC One since April and we’ve not got on well at all.
The faults I pick with it are minor, but they really grated on me. The bezel made it hard to hold in my small hands so I ended up two handed texting just so I didn’t drop it. I prefer the power button to be on the side, it just feels more natural to me and easier to access. Oh, and I made the mistake of picking up the black version, which was powder coated. This means that even the tiniest scratches stand out with the silver metal showing through underneath. Matt did point that out to me before I bought it but I still wanted the black one. Cue the ‘I told you so’.
With the announcement of the Nexus 5 last week, I knew it made sense to get one. My 8 month old HTC One still had a trade in price of £240 and the new phone from Google was only £299. No brainer. I pounced and had a new phone in my basket within 5 minutes of the launch. Goodbye HTC One, I won’t miss you.
So far I love my Nexus 5. It’s easier to hold, I can text with one hand and the notification LED is so pretty and much bigger than the light on my previous two phones. It reminds me of the glowing light on the Palm Pre that I loved so much. I’ve been playing about with Light Flow to customise it for different apps. I chose a mix of turquoises and blues depending on what the notification is for. I love being able to glance at my phone and easily know whether I need to pick it up or if it’s something I can leave. I have no idea how iPhone users survive without one!
There are still a few things I’d like to tweak but that is the beauty of Android. Matt will change anything on it that I don’t like and tailor it to my needs. It kind of helps to have a mobile geek as a boyfriend.
Before I even start this post I’m going to fly straight in with a disclaimer. I was given this gin to try with no prerequisites. This blog post is going to read like a woman in love, because I am. I haven’t been paid to be, I wasn’t asked to post about it, I just had to.
It’s the holy grain of gins. The first ever super premium. The one that’s won more awards than any other in the world. It is of course Martin Millers and if ever there was an award for romantic backstories to spirits, Martin Miller’s would win one for that too.
When I first read about how it came to be the story captivated me. Martin Millers is the gin born of a love affair and near limitless money. There are few people that could offer endless funds to create their own perfect spirit but hotelier Martin Miller could- surely that’s a sign you’ve made it in the world.
It’s brewed in a very traditional way, that is until Martin decides the gin needs to meet with the purest water in the world to finish it off. This water comes from a spring in a remote part of Iceland- a 10 day journey. Why go all that way? Like no other gin, the water that the alcohol is married with is live. What this means is that the water isn’t distilled, whatever is in the water when it’s drawn from the spring makes it in to the bottle. The minerals help with the gin’s soft mouth feel. I must say, the journey is worth it.
This is far from your normal gin. It’s easily drinkable neat. It tastes amazing warm, mulled with spices and apple. It’s being paired alongside courses in restaurants, slipped in to sabayons, sorbets, preserves. I’d read all the hype, was it worthy?
The true test for me was to make my favourite cocktail with it and see how it matched up. My favourite is the classic Bramble, created by ‘cocktail King’ Dick Bradsell in a Soho club back in 1984.
To make a Bramble you simply build the following in a glass with crushed ice:
50ml Martin Miller’s Gin
15ml Simple sugar syrup
15ml Crème de Mure
Squeeze of lemon juice
The ritual of making a cocktail makes the drinking even more enjoyable, especially when you know the work that’s gone in to making a gin this perfect. I’ve never enjoyed a bramble as much.
If you’re keen on gin and are yet to try it, I strongly recommend you pick some up. Even if you’re not keen on gin, if there was ever a gin to convert non gin drinkers, this is it.
Martin Millers may be the most expensive gin to produce, yet you’ll see it on the shelves for less than Hendrick’s. It was never about the money you see, it was only ever about the gin.