Author Archives: Richard

Aroamaah! Coffee of the Month – August 2014 Last Chance Discount!

Just a quick reminder that the amazing people over at Aroamaah have given us the chance to offer our readers 50% off your first box. There are only a few days left to order and take advantage of the discount. So get going!

To get the 50% off, when placing your order just use the code:

Flamingo50off

Coffee-Mill

The process is very straight forward, every month they search out independent artisan roasters from across the world and pick a selection of the best seasonal coffees. Each box contains a selection of different coffees, tasting notes, information on the coffee’s origin and tips on getting the best out of the coffee.

We get three coffees each month as we are a little bit addicted to our coffee machine and the amazing smell of fresh brewed coffee in the morning, afternoon…. night, well anytime really.

This month I followed the suggested best way of having the coffee, even if it went against how I normally enjoy my coffee. I normally only drink espresso without sugar, but I looked forward to some different styles and milk.

Coffee A:

Origin: Ethiopia
Farm: Negele Gurbitu Coop, Sidama Yirgacheffe
Rosted on: 24 July 2014

Coffee A this month again has a slight hint of jasmine, which I could detect more this month than last. As I said before i’m not a big fan of jasmine but it doesn’t stop this being a really nice delicate coffee. I had this black from a cafetiere, the flavors were very delicate and with milk lost the hints of citrus and jasmine. Still a lovely cup of coffee though.

Coffee B:

Origin: Papua New Guinea
Farm: WH Carpenters. Waghi Valley, Sigri
Rosted on: 24 July 2014

This coffee apparently suits all brew methods but is best as espresso, so espresso it is. Great as a morning or early afternoon pick me up, sweet hints of chocolate and spice. When offered a coffee this was the one chosen by friends and family by its smell. So definitely a crowd pleaser.

Coffee C:

Origin: Rwanda
Farm: Daterra Estate. Santa Colomba
Rosted on: 23 July 2014

Again coffee C got my coffee of the month this month. Smells just like marzipan, and tastes incredible! I enjoyed this as an espresso and a flat white. Both amazing and I managed to eek every little coffee ground from our mill. A really excellent coffee.

As I move to my new job, I am joining the ranks of commuters getting up at stupid o’clock so will be relying even heavier on amazing coffee to get me through the day until I adjust to the schedule. Lets hope for strong coffees and lots of it this month!

Now go take advantage of the discount code, you’re running out of time to get some incredible coffee in your life.



DRIVING A RENTAL CAR VERTICALLY IN ITALY

For our Italian holiday I have rented a car, it was a lovely new, very shiny, fiat panda. Leaving the airport I was the first person out of the multi-story car park and also had a satnav so I became the lead car, even though the other 2 drivers had previous wrong side of the road driving.

Dirty Car Italy

 

It started off fine, getting to the correct motorway, stopping off at the services for water to replace the excruciating amount lost through my sweaty palms, apparently “stop” signs are optional, lane control is optional, indicating is optional and the speed limit, a minimum target to be at least 50kmh above at all times. Once we left relatively safety off the motorway it was time to find the villa, still leading, with Sophie’s incredible navigation and quick thinking to only point out road signs once we were passed them, we started to climb.

Now the Panda showed its biggest flaw, instead of an engine it has been running off of about 4 hamsters that were all now very tired. Foot to the floor in 2nd gear and the car is still slowing down. Crawling slowly but steadily reaching our target was frustrating but doable. This was when we reached a lovely steep drop, after pulling over for a quick consultation we decided it would be best to go round the unmade cliff road. Turning round the corner we stated a very steep climb and just kept going. Dragging the car up in 2nd, sometimes 1st gear, the road quickly became just gravel and large boulders. After 15 minuets of climbing the satnav said we had arrived at our destination, and unless we were staying in a tree-house it was obviously wrong. We continued up a little further to a restaurant at the top of this mountain, there we tried to explain where we were looking to get too and were told the correct way to go… Right back down the mountain. Now in the middle of our convoy my foot never left the brake, repeatedly locking the wheels and just sliding to a halt, only a few times contemplating removing my seat belt ready to bail out.

We eventually arrived back at the bottom, our passengers leaping from the car to kiss the tarmac road.

Sophie assures me the views were incredible and that there was lots of wildlife to see, however all I had seen of it was 2 inches in front of the bonnet to dodge massive potholes and huge rocks that would of ended the holiday and my deposit on the car very quickly.

After this ordeal, arriving at the villa was one last steep gravel driveway. Foot to the floor was climbed and arrived at the top. We had arrived and the Panda was in one piece, if a little dirty.

 

Car Italy

 



AROAMAAH COFFEE CLUB REVIEW

One of the presents Sophie got me for my birthday is something I’ve been looking at for a while. With a coffee club the idea is that they source amazing beans and send them to you every month. It’s the sort of coffee you get when you go to the fanciest independent coffee shops in the expensive part of towns, but for less than £4 a cup and in the comfort of your own home. 

So let’s have a look how it works…

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THE ENVIRONMENT

Go Green!

Everyone loves to do their bit for the planet, reusing as much as they can. Here at Wooden Flamingo we hate to see anything go to the landfill, Sophie takes this so seriously she has taken to filling our house with anything she finds, channelling her Mum and the wombles.

Everything we make has something recycled in it or as part of the products manufacture, wooden signs are made from recycled wood recovered from pallets. Spindle chair/tables are made from well, recycled spindles. Our concrete vases/candle holders reuse the same moulds which are made from recycled wood/cardboard. Anything that can be made from something recycled is, not only does it help the environment its makes each piece unique as you never have the same piece of recycling twice.

So do something environmentally friendly today, you could rescue some cardboard or cans from the rubbish, or purchase one of our products from the ETSY store

If you do create your own recycled masterpiece we would love to see it so send us a picture!

WF



VENISON SHOULDER STEAKS; LOW FAT BEEF ALTERNATIVE

venison steak

 

This week on the steak front is something completely new to us, venison.  I think this was the first time we have tried venison and based on todays dinner it won’t be the last. More expensive than flat iron but only about the same as a decent butchers beef rum steak. However we got ours from the reduced section at tesco so it was even cheaper, sometimes always being on the look out for a bargain pays off.

About the size of a good fillet steak, bigger than the plate with leftovers for the next 3 lunches they are not, but good things definitely come in small packages. I used my classic steak rub and treated it the same as beef, a little research said medium rare is the sweet spot, as it becomes tougher with more cooking, but as you probably know I only cook my meat rare so thats not a problem. Thick but small I cooked for about a minute and a half on each big side, then seared off the edges to brown all over, transferred to a warm plate and covered with a foil tent to rest for about 5-10 minutes.

Venison is much leaner than beef, with about half the calories, a third the total fat and about a sixth of saturated fat. It also has more vitamins and minerals. While all this make a big difference to Sophies calorie counting all that really matters to me is the taste, at first I thought it was going to be gamey but it wasn’t at all, much richer in flavor and definitely better for it. Very tender and as easy to cook as beef its a fantastic alternative.

My Verdict: I will definitely try and get venison into our food rotation, finding a lower in fat and slightly healthier red meat that Sophie can eat occasionally is a great find, and the fact that its very tasty and tender is a massive added bonus. It won’t completely replace beef for me though, as I love the marbling of a good rib-eye and it being so big it could feed a family.  Do give this a go if you find it on your next shopping trip and i’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

Picture Via Pinterest original source Here

 



FLAT IRON BUTLERS STEAK; A CHEAP ALTERNATIVE

Warning: Vegetarians and people who don’t like where their food comes from may not want to read ahead.

Sophie can’t have much red meat these days, so its all been turkey mince and salad, which is lovely but sometimes nothing beats a good piece of steak! I’m hopefully traveling to Texas later this year for business and am already planning my menu which will include the largest steak I can find.

Recently I saw a cooking show about meals on a budget, it went through the cheaper cuts of meat, and which ones can be used for steak.  Flat iron is the American name and Butlers’ steak is the UK name. It is from the shoulder and usually best for roasting or braising. However if cut correctly and the tough sinew removed it becomes a really rather delicious steak served best at medium rare, any more and it goes back to being tough.

Readily available out in the USA but here it was much harder to find, I decided the best place to start was my usual place to buy steak, the local butchers. The local abattoir/butchery sells amazing meat at very good pricing, its all locally reared and killed. This makes the meat very eco friendly as its not been driven or even flown hundreds of miles to get to my plate. It also supports local business and I know that the animal has had a very good life up until, well you know. However, although he was very helpful and friendly the butcher had never heard of a flat iron steak. I put my hunt for the steak on the back burner as I thought if I couldn’t get it there it wouldn’t be in many local places.

Very surprisingly on a quick top up shop in Morrisons I found the elusive flat iron steak, they must have had people asking or be very ahead of the curve. It was definitely much cheaper, I got a substantial steak for about £5 which in rib-eye or even rump would of cost upwards of about £15-£20.

Seasoned with my secret steak rub, so secret it’s listed here! and taken from the amazing www.foodwishes.com. Cooked in a cast iron griddle pan so hot it instantly got amazing griddle lines. Then barely cooked, much closer to rare than medium. It was amazing and would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good steak, and if you don’t enjoy steak: 1) Why have you read this far 2) Go buy this steak and realise what you have been missing.

I’m sure now its available in supermarkets the butchers will catch up, and as it becomes more popular the price will increase. But until then ill be enjoying this, when Sophies not looking, as an amazing and cheaper alternative to my regular rib-eye/rump. All this reminiscing of steak has got me hungry so I better go cook something for dinner.

Picture from My Daily Morsel – Found via Pinterest



SECRET STEAKHOUSE STEAK RUB RECIPE

Our final recipe for Valentines day is an amazing steakhouse rub that I found from Chef John from www.FoodWishes.com I follow him on youtube and his recipes are always amazing so check him out.

I made this in bulk a few weeks ago as we love our steak, and Im ignoring frugal February and treating Sophie to a massive rump steak tonight. However it works with any steak and tastes amazing.

Ingredients:

2 tsp rock salt (I’d recommend Maldon sea salt)
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika

Combine everything and season your steak generously on both sides. Simple, but adds so much flavor and tastes just like getting the most expensive steak from a fancy restaurant.

Check out his website for his cooking method and other amazing things.



REALLY SIMPLE NUTELLA COOKIES

Third day of our Valentines treats,  I’ve decided to cheat and go for an exceedingly simple cookie recipe using everyone’s favourite (except someones partner who shall remain nameless) Nutella!

Turns out that Sophie hides a jar at the back of the cupboard, unlucky for her I now know her hiding place!

I got this recipe from www.allrecipes.co.uk and it was uploaded by EllenHolmes.

Ingredients:

  • 70g plain flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 275g Nutella
  • 60g smashed hazelnuts

Measure each item out and then throw into a bowl, mix together with a wooden spoon. I kept it close to the hob that was cooking dinner to heat the nutella slightly to help it blend better. Using hazelnuts increased the taste and adds a nice crunch.

Mixing-Bowl

Once combined you just spoon it out in equal measures onto a baking sheet (don’t do Sophie’s trick, make sure the paper is the right way up)

Baking

You can smoosh them down but I like my cookies gooey in the middle so leave them quite thick. Into the oven at 180 or gas mark 4 for about 10-15 mins. (Our oven takes ages so we always almost double the time)

Out-the-oven

Pull them out of the oven when they are still slightly gooey and transfer to a wire tray for cooling, they will go hard as they cool.

Finished1

Throw onto a plate and you’re done! Only 1 bowl to wash, a spoon and reuse the baking parchment! Simple!

Not sure what Sophie has for tomorrow but make sure you check it out as im sure it will be delicious.



Shake Your T*ts

shake-your-tits

A rather lovely sign we made for my sister to give as a secret santa present, this picture is pre-sanding.

This is her friends slogan to get her team working harder and now takes pride of place in her office.

If you would like to order your own bespoke sign, then please contact us, or you can view our current signs on our etsy store