breakfast sausage and egg hash browns

Nice simple recipe for breakfast hash browns coming up – and coming up quickly, mind you – but first, I want to share three little irritations. I need to get them off my chest otherwise they’ll bubble and boil and I’ll end up taking it out on the cat, perhaps by forgetting to turn on their chilled water or giving them Whiskas instead of their fancy organic shite. That’s a waste of money, anyway: yes, it might be organic, but I’ve seen my cat vomit up a bird and have another bash at eating it immediately after. They’re not picky.

Firstly, I’ve been gravely wounded. I’ve been cut up. Shanked. Given a ‘Welcome to Byker’. I jest, though I passed through Byker once in the car. They didn’t film Byker Grove there, by the way – it’s just one devastating lie after another. No see, I’ve started giving a toss what my hair looks like. Normally I like to let it grow cheerily for seven or eight weeks, spreading out however it wished like Molton Brown-scented mould. But now my face is slightly less egg-like I’ve taken to getting it cut with a straight-edge razor at a Turkish barbers that I’ve discovered in Newcastle. I only called in to try and get taken around the back to have my comb dipped, but alas, no dice. Anyway they’re usually very good and, for the most part, don’t chat, which I like. I can’t stand making small-talk especially when I’m gazing at my own reflection in the mirror – it feels like the most schizophrenic interview ever. The thing with having your head shaved with a proper razor is that you can’t move – you can’t nod or jolt or disco dance because otherwise you’ll end up looking like Carrie White.

I’m good at sitting still – being fat does tend to gift that skill to a person – but even I was on edge. We were almost done when he must have jolted and, in the process of doing so, gave me a lovely long cut right on the back of my shiny bald bonce. Worst part is, I didn’t even feel it happen – the blade is that sharp, I only noticed when he apologised and stuck a square of kitchen roll on the back of my head. Apology accepted, he then set about doing my beard, and you have to understand that there’s no tension quite like what you feel when you’ve got a man capable of random spasms holding a razor-blade right in front of your throat. Brrr! He did a fabulous job though, and gave me a free haircut. Someone said the scar would add character and make me look like a hard man: aye right fella – I’m more Ann Mitchell than Grant Mitchell.

I couldn’t find the right place to drop this in, so please, accept this bon mot floating out of place: “It’s certainly the closest a wet gash has ever been to my face“.

Second, let’s talk needless offence. This always happens when we have a swell of new people in our facebook group – the professionally offended itching for their chance to climb on their high horses and look down at those chuckling at good humour. Let me give you an example: someone shared a post of a photography business who had posted a load of ‘new parent’ pictures, only instead of a baby they used a cat. Said photos included them cuddling their swaddled cat, the ‘father’ crying with emotion and the mother whipping her breast out as if to feed. The cat wasn’t latched on. It wasn’t pushed out of her fadge. It was happy enough in a blanket being cooed over. But Christ, you’d think we’d uploaded footage of a cat being tied to the space shuttle for shits and giggles. Cries of ‘omg this is sik’ and ‘shud be band ADMIN’ rang out like bells at Christmas. There was a common theme amongst the complainants was that it only took 30 seconds to review each Facebook profile and find a ‘97% OF PEOPLE WON’T SHARE THIS PICTURE OF A BACON SANDWICH DO IT BEFORE FACEBOOK BAN IT’ meme. I wish we could take the Internet away from these folks. They’re the same cavalcade of clits that complain about men kissing in soup adverts or the fact Tesco use Muslims in their Christmas adverts. Arseholes, in short.

Lastly, elderly drivers. No look I’m sorry, I know it’s a blanket, sweeping statement, but I’ve had years of hearing how bad boy racers are at driving their little acne-carriages, let’s have a pop at the elderly. Before I do: I know there’s loads of good old drivers out there, but they’re seemingly all down South – they’re certainly not in bloody Newcastle. You know what I mean: going 40mph whether on the motorway, outside a school or ploughing into pedestrians. Incapable of seeing over the steering wheel. Rictus frown on their face. My latest encounter was outside of Lidl only today, and actually, I was on foot and yet they still managed to aggravate me. I was just stepping onto a zebra crossing to cross the car-park when a Nissan Family-Circle-Tin ran over the front of my left shoe, having elected not to bother stopping. Normally I’d just give him some Newcastle sign-language but because he’d actually kept going, I banged on his roof. Well, he almost shit himself (and there’s a certain inevitability about that). He wound down his window and muttered that he hadn’t seen me. How can you not see me? I’m the size of a vending machine and I know for a fact that my outlet-bargain Jacamo jacket doesn’t have a double-function as a fucking invisibility cloak. I waited for an apology that wasn’t coming, gave him a shitty look and hobbled off. Tell you what: I reckon a good 80% of the folks who cut me up, slam their brakes on or drive like bellends are octogenerian or plus. But of course, it’s not their fault. No-no. Argh.

Actually, fuck it, let’s add a fourth irritation: the ad-bumpers on The Chase, featuring the most excruciating raillery even committed to film. I love The Chase but I have to turn it over before it cuts to the drama students guffawing into their hands. It’s either that or I put my foot through the telly. Who approves this nonsense? The same degenerate who allowed the TUI adverts to go ahead. You know the one: some canyon-toothed dolly-dippit singing an appalling cover of Ain’t Nobody in that awful drab register so common these days whilst men who ought to be ashamed of their life tap-dance in the background. I’d sooner book a flight on a crashing plane than TUI. Dot the Ts and cross the Is? They don’t even do that! Bastards!

Eee I feel better for that – it’s like lancing a boil. And, on that attractive note, let’s do these sausage and egg hash browns, shall we? This made six, but it really depends on the size of your Yorkshire pudding tin.

hash browns

hash browns

to make breakfast sausage and egg hash browns, you’ll need:

  • about 800g of potatoes
  • one red onion
  • 80g of lighter extra mature cheddar
  • six eggs
  • a few sausages of your choice – we don’t go for anything fancy, just the 0.5 syn sausages from our Musclefood offers – grilled – and then cut into chunks. If you want to syn two pieces of 0.5 syn sausage, you crack on. I’m not stressing about quarter of a syn.
  • lots of black pepper and salt
  • a good clean teatowel
  • a Yorkshire pudding tin
  • squirty oil spray

to make breakfast sausage and egg hash browns, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 190 degrees
  • grate your potatoes (skin on) and onion – use a box grater or, if you’ve got a fancy Kenwood like us, the grater blade – it’ll take no time at all
  • using the clean tea-towel to wrap the grated potato and onion in, squeeze as much liquid as you can out of it – then do it again – you need it as dry as possible
  • add lots of salt and pepper and mix the cheese in too
  • spray your pudding tin with some spray oil (0.5 syns for 5 sprays, you only need ten at most, and this makes six hash browns, so it’s up to you if you syn them
  • press equal amounts of mixture into the tin – really press the bottom down mind and then up the side
  • add diced sausage and crack an egg on the top
  • pop in the oven for a good twenty five minutes or so
  • done!

Make life easy for yourself: don’t make the ‘walls’ of the hash-browns too thick, or they’ll not crisp up. Also, rather than squeezing with a tea-towel, use a potato ricer. Yep – the thing we always recommend for perfect mash can also be put to use here by squeezing every last drop from your potatoes in no time at all! These freeze really well, too! I’ve included the cooking picture so you can see how I made them.

Want more breakfast ideas? Please take a look:

J

slow cooker pork and apple stew

We’re all about the slow cooker pork and apple stew and we’re going to get that out to you in a moment, but first, a clarification from Paul.

Well, Cubettes, I am FUMMIN hun x (it’s Paul here, by the way). After reading yesterday’s blog entry written by James, I’m going to have to put a few things straight. Namely:

Here’s how every single holiday of ours gets planned: I suggest somewhere, Paul sucks air in over his teeth and say ‘oooh’ with that look a roofer gives you when he’s going to need to take your tiles off, I suggest somewhere else, he grimaces like he’s shitting an acorn. 

I’d just like to say this is a total lie and in fact it’s bloody James that does this! I’m totally amenable to going anywhere (as long as it’s not a shithole). In fact, I can think of at least ten places I suggested that were kicked off the list for daft reasons; “too hot”, “too cold”, “we’ve done a city break already”, “they won’t like fat people”, “that’s the kind of place your mum would go”. My suggestion initially for the ‘big holiday’ was Las Vegas but that was knocked back because it was too ‘gambly’.

Honestly. I bit my tongue so hard that it gave me piles. But then, James has always been the neurotic one – we’ve written before about how he is convinced that every electrical appliance in the house is waiting for us to leave so each one can spontaneously combust into flames. Even the smoke alarm is in on the act. Have you ever known someone take out the batteries when they go away on holiday?! He will however happily leave the Mac running 24 hours a day so now those two little bald men at the top are actually burned into the screen.

So that, dear readers, is the truth. And you can rely on it being the truth because I’d never lie to you. Unlike Fatty McFat-tits. Now that’s out the way, let’s move back onto marital bliss, and this absolute belter. slow cooker pork and apple stew

slow cooker pork and apple stew

to make slow cooker pork and apple stew you will need:

  • 500g diced pork
  • 300g baby carrots
  • 1 tbsp gravy granules (2½ syns)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely sliced
  • 175ml apple juice (3½ syns)
  • 150ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsp thyme

We found this recipe on daisiesandpie – thoroughly recommend you take a wee look!

A slow cooker is essential if you’re following Slimming World! You don’t even need to spend much money, a cheap one will do the job just as well! You can pick one up from Amazon for peanuts and help to send a few pennies our way!

to make slow cooker pork and apple stew you should:

  • switch on the slow cooker to the LOW setting
  • spray a little oil into the bottom of the dish (Fry Light tastes shite. Get this instead!)
  • chuck everything (bar the gravy powder) into the slow cooker, pop on the lid and leave to cook for 8-9 hours
  • once you’re ready, take everything out with a slotted spoon and slop the sauce into a pan – add the gravy powder, whack the heat up and thicken that sauce
  • serve with a bit of mash for perfection

See now come on, how easy is that – and cheap too! Perfect winter warmer!

Want more slow cooker recipes? Have a look at these!

Enjoy!

J

syn free cheesy leek and bacon pasta bake

Here for the cheesy leek and bacon pasta bake? WITH NO BLOODY QUARK? But of course you are, my love – the recipe awaits you at the bottom of this page. But before we get to the cheesy leek and bacon pasta bake, we have part one of our holiday entry for our Christmas trip to Sweden and Norway! Newcomers to the blog may not know this, but we’re also a ‘travel’ blog in that when we go away, we like to post the stories of what we get up to. Admittedly, this can lead to a long post, so to help you – if you’re here solely for the food, click the button below to go straight to it! I promise not to cry too much.

The rest of you settle back – this is a long one! And look, to celebrate, I’ve even tidied up the banners – I was sick of that awful messy looking banner template I had. This looks altogether more…Swedish, ja? Let’s go!

I’ve been looking forward to typing up this holiday entry ever since we came back – why? Simple: it was amazing! It’s not as though we did anything out of the ordinary or unique – just our usual pottering about in cities getting lost and having a good time – but there was just something terrific about the whole experience. Every day was a happy memory – I haven’t been able to say that about any holiday since we went on that coach trip. I jest, that was Hell in a 57-seater. But before you join us on our Scandinavian adventure, we need to dip back in time a bit further to a wet October afternoon, where you would have found me slumped over my keyboard at the end of a very, very long email exchange with the other half. Here’s how every single holiday of ours gets planned: I suggest somewhere, Paul sucks air in over his teeth and say ‘oooh’ with that look a roofer gives you when he’s going to need to take your tiles off, I suggest somewhere else, he grimaces like he’s shitting an acorn. He then suggests somewhere wildly expensive and extravagant and pouts when I point out he’s trying to live a Waitrose lifestyle on a shoplifted-from-Lidl budget. We both then give up and stop talking until one of us cracks and we’re friends again, holiday completely forgotten about. Hence, on this October afternoon, conscious of the fact we’d need to book somewhere before all the parents and (shudder) their snotty-nosed litter booked up all the fun places, I sent a plaintive little email asking if we dare broach ‘booking the big holiday’. Paul, to his credit, was very agreeable, but then we immediately started arguing about where to go.

So, I did something I would never normally do because it’s altogether too much effort: I acted unilaterally. Straight onto hotels.com to book four nights in Stockholm, flights to Oslo, four nights in Oslo, a train journey to Bergen, three nights in Bergen and then the flights back to London then to Newcastle. For good measure, I booked the train to take us up to Edinburgh Airport for our Stockholm flight and a hotel for the night before. I parcelled all the reservations in one big PDF and sent them to Paul, triumphant. His reply? ‘Ah good, sounds nice

It’s lucky he works twenty miles away and I’m so fat and lazy that I couldn’t be arsed to get in the car to go and tan his arse because damn, was my excitement punctured. He only won me around later by explaining he was in a meeting and actually he was very much looking forward to our lovely holiday and indeed I was the best husband in the world and no, he’d never sin again. I can’t say his agreement was purely because I was pulling on his balls like a farmer milking a cow at the time. Who can say…

To day one, then. Our journey begins as so many of them often do: a taxi ride to the train station by a man so Geordie and hardcore that he explained he’d recently suffered a heart attack at the wheel of his car, chalked it down to indigestion and carried on driving passengers around. It was only after a whole day of chest pains and breathlessness that he went to A&E. Great! I imagine he took my endless staring into his rear-view mirror as rapt attention to his mildly-racist stories but actually, I was just making sure his lips hadn’t turned blue and he wasn’t going to career us into a lamp-post. We made it safely to the station and I left him a generous tip. Well, something had to pay for the funeral buffet. We were due to take the 14.30 Virgin Train to Edinburgh, but, to add a frisson of excitement to the start of our holiday, they elected to jumble all the trains around and delay our train by a full hour. Super, but have no fear, we’re Rockafella Skanks – we had first class advance tickets and thus the utopia that is the first class lounge awaited us – what a treat!

No. You may know this yourself but the first class lounge at Newcastle is fitted out like the waiting room of an NHS dentist – all pastel colours on the wall, hotel biscuits and furniture that looks as though it’s blown in from a storm. It really is dreadful. We comforted ourselves with the fact we could eat as many biscuits as humanely possible and entertain ourselves with our phones, able as we were to take full advantage of the charging points. Only the charging points didn’t work, they had run out of biscuits and the toilet was blocked and overflowing. We’d have had more luxury fighting the rats on the train-tracks for some discarded Greggs and somewhere to shit. To compound my misery I spotted my old HR director from a previous job who I absolutely despised. She was to fun what I am to a chaste heterosexual lifestyle. She was very much one of those type of people who would click ‘skip straight to recipe’ on this blog and then email me to tell me she was allergic to food and how insensitive I was being by posting a recipe. She hated me especially because I burst out laughing when she fell over in the middle of the office, having stumbled into an open floor socket, falling down like one of those cooling towers you sometimes see getting blown up on the telly. I couldn’t help it: I have a nervous laugh, and anyway, she deserved it. She was Miss Trunchbull in a Jigsaw-outlet suit. We clashed many, many times – she upheld a complaint that I laughed too much, for example, and that I didn’t take the job seriously because I wore trainers to work. Pfft. I never said anything about her homage-to-Robert-Winston moustache.

I made sure to give her the sickliest, fakest, cheesiest smile I could muster up – a smile that said ‘Damn, I honestly thought you’d be dead by now, but here’s to the good times, you vile husk of a woman’ and walked past her, making sure she saw I still wore the trainers that used to irk her so. It did mean, however, that I couldn’t relax, because every time I stood up for a fresh coffee or a newspaper she would give me 100% pure stink-eye. So, all in all, a rubbish experience. Luckily, the train journey made up for it, though I wish they’d do away with the pretence of unlimited tea and coffee – we had one member of staff come around with the hot drinks, leave us a gin and gave us a sandwich, and that was it, no more, goodnight nurse. We’d polished off our ‘dinner’ by the time the train was whooshing past the house we’d left only 90 minutes before. No matter – we arrived in Edinburgh in the pissing rain, jumped straight into a taxi (why oh why oh why do people stand and wait for taxis these days? Just use bloody Lyft or Uber for goodness sake – embrace technology!) who whisked us straight to the hotel, but not before regaling us for forty minutes about why electric cars were the future. Forty minutes is a long time to nod politely: my poor neck sounded like popcorn by the end of it. Paul and I have an agreed arrangement: I deal with taxi drivers, he deals with the people who bring room service to our hotel room whilst I hide in the bathroom. It works very well indeed simply because I’m good at making small talk and he’s very believable as a fat bastard who has ordered enough food to feed two people. He’s seen many a hotel worker cast him a pitying look as they put down the laden trays of food in front of him.

Don’t worry, that bedspread soon looked as though someone had spilled Marmite everywhere   

Our night at the Dakota was very pleasant indeed, even if the room service left a lot to be desired. It’s all a bit frou-frou – I like to see people buckle under the weight of my plate, not be able to frisbee it across the room because there’s a bit of cress and a hair of cheese on the plate. In fact, we were so unsatisfied by the volume of our food that we waited a discreet twenty minutes and ordered another round. Well, when you’re on holiday, these things don’t matter, though I could have done without the judgemental ‘oh, TWO rounds of room service, my mistake’ remark from the receptionist when we checked out. I don’t think she had warmed to me because, upon seeing that the reception was full of blokes all in black kilts, full Scottish regalia and beards you could lose a dog in, I remarked ‘but I didn’t order breakfast!‘ to her with a nudge-nudge-wink-wink leer. That’ll be us on the blacklist.

I won’t bore you with the 150 minutes we spent at Edinburgh Airport only to make two remarks:

  • can someone please persuade my husband that we absolutely do not need to be at the airport so far in advance of a flight, especially when the only thing we’re taking on board the aircraft is hand luggage and chewing gum – I swear that unless Paul’s at the airport the day before he’s an unbearable nervous wreck; and
  • massive thank you to the Scottish toilet cleaner who, having not realised I was sitting in the cubicle next to the one she’d just gone in to clean, exclaimed ‘now which fuckin’ dirty c*nt has gone and done that’ in a loud Scottish burr. Thank God I was sitting on the toilet at the time because I would have pissed myself outright – it was so loud and so disgusted that I almost wanted to climb on my toilet to peer over and take a look.

Now here’s a new thing: we weren’t flying easyJet! I know! I want some reassurance from you all though – am I the only one who likes to fly with an airline they’ve flown with before? I think I rationalise it in my mind that they didn’t crash before, so it must be safe. Nevertheless, the lure of a cheaper flight won me over and so it was that we boarded an SAS flight to Stockholm. Well: what a revelation! Lovely new plane, free tea and coffee, USB sockets in the back of the seats – even the bog didn’t smell like a foot and mouth crisis in an open sewer like they normally do. I was very impressed, and even more so when they landed us safely in Stockholm without ditching us into the North Sea. Don’t get me wrong, my heart will always be with the tangerine-trolleys of easyJet, but I might use SAS on the side like the plane-hopping slag that I am.

Byeeeeeeeeeeee

Before we continue, I want to give praise where it’s due: to Paul. We’ve flown twenty times this year and each time he lets me sit by the window because he knows I like to be able to look at the engine and the wing to make sure everything is OK. I mean, I know the captain has a fair idea, but I’m sure it’s a comfort to him (or her) to know that I’m keeping an eye on the flaps from the back. Story of my life, that. Anyway, I always offer to sit in the aisle but Paul always gives me the window seat and for that he gets a gold star, or a go on my brown star, whichever he prefers. It makes the flight better for me so I want to say a big thank you to my gorgeous and lovely Shitty McGee.

I love this woman’s face. It’s like she’s being asked to blow into a smeggy knob.

We landed on time and were ushered through immigration in a wonderful Swedish efficient manner. I was pleased to see that the lady looked the spit of Agnetha from ABBA – exactly as I expected. We sloshed our way to the train station, took the airport express straight into Stockholm Central and then made our way on foot to our base of operations for the next few days: the Hobo Hotel on Brunkebergstorg. I chose the hotel simply because of the name and the fact it looked so cool and hip on the website. I wanted to see how they’d deal with two fat blokes whose idea of high fashion is a Cotton Traders. To their absolute credit, the staff – though they all looked like they were part of a really shit/unknown yah-yah electrosynth band – were unfailingly lovely and helpful.

Our room – we could watch the office workers over the road. No doubt my fat hairy arse has appeared in their company newsletter.

Our room was gorgeous too – massive bed, good steamy shower, television with Discovery on it (thank heavens – Paul was almost at 24 full hours without watching a How It’s Made) and lots of neat little touches. For example, there was a water pistol – imagine Paul’s delight when he’d just settled down for his ‘Welcome to Stockholm’ crap and I opened the door and squirted him right in the ear. How we laughed as he almost wrenched the toilet away from the wall in sheer fright. Ah, we’d arrived.

All I wanted was one nice picture.

Now, I’ve done the classic twochubbycubs holiday report opening and spent 2000 words getting us to the hotel. I did it with Copenhagen, Paris, Geneva…at this point, it would be rude not to. But let’s close part one here and get to the recipe.

Remember, folks – if you enjoy our holiday entries, please do let us know. I know they’re a longer read but we like to make it interesting. Feedback always welcomed!


Gosh, I’m spent – and now I need to do a full recipe for the cheesy leek and bacon pasta bake that you’re all actually here for! This makes a giant dish of pasta – easily enough for six – but it freezes well and tastes bloody amazing. Let’s go! This uses six HEAs but makes enough for six – so I count it as one HEA per portion as you’re using a sixth of each. Yes, we’re splitting HEAs, but hey, let’s live a little. This is a heavy, rich dish so you’ll not be eating loads in one go. YEAH RIGHT. You could knock down the HEAs by using Quark instead of Philadelphia, but it won’t be nearly as nice.

pasta bake

pasta bake

to make a cheesy leek and bacon pasta bake, you’ll need:

  • 500g of pasta – any type will do, I promise
  • two fat leeks (use onion if you prefer)
  • a pack of bacon medallions
  • optional: 200g button mushrooms, chopped
  • two cloves of garlic
  • 120g of extra mature lighter cheese (3 x HEA)
  • 220g of Philadelphia Lightest (2 x HEA)
  • 250ml of semi-skimmed milk (1 x HEA)

top tips:

to make a cheesy leek and bacon pasta bake, you should:

  • preheat your oven to 200 degrees
  • cook your pasta – boiling water, salty as Paul in the morning, remove when there’s still a bit of give in the pasta
  • thinly slice your leek and chop your bacon (and add the mushrooms, if using) and gently fry it off in a pan with a few squirts of oil from your sprayer – as they soften, add the minced garlic
  • meanwhile, make the sauce by tipping your Philadelphia and milk into a pan, put it on a low heat and gently whisk until it’s all mixed together – it’ll be quite runny – at this point, add 100g of the cheese and keep whisking – you’ll end up with a nice thick cheesy sauce – season it with plenty of salt and pepper
  • tip everything together in the pasta pan, give everything a bloody good mix, slop it into an ovenproof dish, top with the remainder of the cheese, some chopped spring onion or leek if you’re feeling fancy, and pop it in the oven for about thirty minutes until the cheese is golden and everything is delicious
  • serve with a side salad which you studiously ignore

Gorgeous! Of course, if you’re looking for more delicious pasta ideas, we’ve got you covered:

Enjoy!

J

the dirty threesome burger with the twochubbycubs!

A dirty threesome burger? Bet that got your attention, you saucy minx! You know sometimes you see something on the Internet, you long for it, you lust for it – it pervades your thoughts, wears you down and ultimately you NEED IT. You HAVE to have it. So you just do it? Well, this burger is that thought process brought to life. It seems I was in an especially suggestible mood yesterday because I only saw a picture of this sexy monstrosity yesterday and there I am, not 24 hours later, toiling in the kitchen. So easily persuaded. It’s lucky my postman didn’t offer to take my package round the back this morning – I’d have put on a condom and reached for the Flora Buttery before he had a chance to take off his satchel.

So, because something like this needs no introduction, I won’t go on and on with my usual spiel. I did want to point out that we’ve developed a new page however:

Go ahead and click – it’ll open in a new tab so you won’t lose this page. We’re just pig sick of people buying a £3.99 rotating candle from Wilkos and saying they’ve got an Actifry and they’re shit because they can’t cook chips in it. It doesn’t help that the halogen oven markets itself as an airfryer when it’s bloody well not – it’s a lightbulb in Darth Vader drag. Anyway, click the link and let me know what you think.

So what is a dirty threesome burger? Easy! It’s for when you can’t decide what you want in your mouth and thus combines pizza, burger, bacon and chips in one unholy, terrifying, WONDERFUL alliance. Shall we begin? You might want to pop a towel down to catch the sloshing. This makes enough for two BEASTS.

dirty threesome burger

dirty threesome burger

dirty threesome burger

to make a dirty threesome burger, you’ll need:

  • 500g of extra lean beef mince
  • one chopped onion
  • a good pinch of salt and pepper
  • your healthy extra breadbun – or any bun you like, as long as you syn it (cough)
  • six thick rashers of bacon
  • a little carton of passata
  • whatever you want for your pizza topping: we used peppers and a bit of chopped chorizo – a tiny amount of 5g, which is about half a syn – but you know what, who is counting
  • potatoes for chips
  • tomato sauce (tbsp – which is what we used – is a syn)
  • 40g of lighter  mature cheddar for the burger (1 x HEA)
  • 40g of lighter red leicester for the top (1 x HEA)

Wondering about the two HEAs? Remember, this makes enough for two – so you get half of each – which is one healthy extra. Simple!

Also, you can get decent mince AND bacon (plus loads more!) in our fantastic Musclefood packs! Just click here to find out what deals we’ve got on!

This looks complicated but read the recipe first, it’s a genuine doddle.

to make a dirty threesome burger, you should:

  • first, turn your gold-framed photo of Mags away to face the wall, she doesn’t need to see this
  • cook your chips however you want them – but we have a definitive guide to cooking Slimming World chips right here, which will open in a new window – you’ll need a handful per burger
  • prepare your burger by taking 400g and keeping 100g of mince for later, then squash that mince with your hands – we don’t like to over-complicate things assuming you’ve got good beef – so just add good pinch of salt, a good pinch of pepper and perhaps some garlic powder – form into two rounds
  • grill your burger however you normally do it – we used our Optigrill for this recipe (heat up, press burger, go) and it worked a charm, but it can be done just as easy under the grill or on a George Foreman – no expensive kit needed with us, remember
  • once the burgers are almost done, stick your bacon on the grill to cook
  • whilst all that is sizzling away, chop up your onion, throw it in a pan with the leftover mince and cook it off with a little bit of passata – you don’t need much, just enough to make a small amount of basic bolognese – maybe add some garlic if you’re fancy – cook until really thick!
  • once that is thick, and the burgers and bacon are cooked, it’s time…
  • first, top your burgers with 20g of mature cheddar each – better to have a couple of slices rather than grated
  • next – cut your breadbun in half and then, using your fingers, push the top down so you create a well, pressing the bread down – imagine, of all things, you were making an ashtray out of clay – you don’t want to push through though
  • add the bolognese, grated red leicester and whatever pizza topping you want – then a bit more cheese
  • whack both the bolognese bun and the burger under the grill for two minutes to melt the cheese and then…
  • assemble! Bottom of the breadbun, chips, tomato sauce, burger with cheese on, bacon, then top with the top of the breadbun with the bolognese and cheese topping! Chips topped with burger topped with pizza.

I mean really. Listen, I don’t suggest you have one of these every night – clearly it’s an ‘excess’ meal, but goodness me what a fun treat!

Oh and if you liked our outrageous burger, DO SHARE using the buttons below, and even better, why not try our other burgers?

Phew!

J

super spring greens soup, plus a new video!

Super spring greens soup is all well and good, but let’s be honest, it’s about as exciting as receiving bad medical results in the post. There’s simply no way to make it interesting, so, instead, let me post our latest video. We are messing about with making videos but can’t be fussed making ten-a-penny recipe videos, plus not sure if we can promise you diet recipes when you can see our fat wrists clawing away at the pan handle. There’s a euphemism.

What a catastrophe! Ah I hope you like it. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

So, the soup then. We wanted something nice and fresh, despite it being mid-winter. Here’s the thing: sometimes you really do need some vitamins to wash down your endless pasta, mince, cheese, beef…this doesn’t make a smooth soup mind, so if you’re one of those fannies who can’t abide soup that isn’t like drinking gossamer silk, then tough titty. This isn’t a taste explosion, no, but it’s hearty and healthy.

Do you need a soupmaker? You can use one if you like (this is the one we have) but in all honesty, this is a pan and stick blender job. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a stick blender – a tenner will do!

spring greens soup

a

spring greens soup

to make super spring greens soup, you’ll need:

  • one big head of broccoli
  • 200g of spring greens
  • 100g of watercress or spinach if you prefer
  • 750ml of veggie stock, made from bouillon powder preferably, but listen, I’m not arsed
  • lots of black pepper and salt
  • optional, but necessary if you’re a fancy-dan like me: a scattering of pumpkin or sunflower seeds (2 syns-ish)

to make super spring greens soup, you’ll need:

  • if you’re making in a soup maker – get the stock bubbling and then cook the broccoli and spring greens for about fifteen minutes until softened – add the watercress and blitz!
  • if you’re making in a pan, much the same – boil the veg, add the watercress, use a stick blender to blitz until fairly smooth
  • top with lots of black pepper and a pinch of salt
  • serve with your nuts laid on top if you’re using, mahaha!

Want more soup ideas? Who wouldn’t?

Yum! Off to mash another banana now. Someone call A&E!

J

slimming world chips: a definitive guide

What a formal title for what is a load of potatoes. It’s possibly one of the most common things people ask for – how to do good Slimming World chips. There’s a tonne of recipes out there, some more convoluted than the friggin’ Macarena (boil the chips, put them in a microwave, take them out, tumble them, put them in the microwave, take them out, aput them in the oven, die a little bit inside) and actually, I’ve always found the Slimming World way of parboiling them to be a pain in the arse too. So below, find the easiest and guaranteed way to make decent chips.

But before I get to that, I want to answer a couple of questions that we’ve been asked by newer members – and well, it never does any harm to reiterate a few important messages!

We’re not Slimming World consultants!

We get asked this all the time – admittedly, it would be hilarious if we had to run a class. I reckon we’d get about seven minutes in before Paul said something mortifyingly offensive and I compared the shrinking HiFi bars to a cold cock. Right at the very start of this blog we made enquiries about becoming Slimming World consultants – never heard back. Pity: we’re fabulous – though I won’t lie, I prefer dealing with people from behind a keyboard as opposed to face to face, and there are days when I can’t be arsed with all the fake bonhomie. So, if you have a proper Slimming World question, have a gab with your consultant – it’s what they are there for, after all! If you’re on the fence about going to a class, we say give it a go: yes, it’s not the most exciting way to spend two hours (sorry, Mags, but it isn’t) but you’ll usually meet good people and enjoy the support.

Are your syn values accurate?

They’re as accurate as Slimming World’s own syn calculator – that is, we run everything through the syns checker if we don’t know how high in syns they are. We’re fully paid-up members who attend a class and so we’re up to date with the latest changes. But if you have any concerns, check them yourself!

How many folks do your recipes serve?

It depends, honestly. It’s usually four people, but if you’re a greedy fat bastard like us, then sometimes just two. But four portions. Does that make sense? If you’re the type of greedy person who will suck your toothbrush dry rather than rinsing it under the tap, then you’ll be on bigger portions and thus two. But listen: you’ll never go hungry with our recipes. Sometimes we do smaller or larger recipes and if we do, we usually say when it serves more. So if you can’t see a comment about servings, assume 4.

Can we freeze your recipe / swap an ingredient for another / is it suitable for me and my allergies?

We’re two fat blokes from the North. We work in offices, not laboratories. We don’t mention you can freeze recipes unless we’ve done it ourselves and haven’t shat the world from our arse the day after. If we said you could freeze it, then made you seriously ill, we couldn’t live with ourselves. Same goes for allergy / gluten free posts – we don’t have enough of an understanding about it in order to make concrete comments. I know, it’s a shame, but at least we’re honest!

What makes your blog different from other SW blogs out there?

There’s some fantastic blogs out there, pumping out recipes and resources like someone shelling peas. That’s grand, but we like to be different. I can’t bear all the cutesy-poo language, omg-you-can-do-it, inspirational-quote-a-matic bollocks that surrounds dieting. Dieting isn’t fun, it isn’t interesting, it isn’t a gas. You’re never gonna burst into peals of laughter over a salad, after all. That’s why we started twochubbycubs – so we could post real recipes but also make light of this awful struggle. Yes, our language is coarse and the content can be raunchy, but we need to have fun to do this! We also try to be honest: if we recommend a product, it’s because you genuinely need it for a recipe. But 99% of our recipes can be made with stuff you’ll buy from the supermarket and use several times over. Being on a diet is expensive: why should you have to buy a ridiculously over-priced sweetener on top of that when a bit of honey will always nearly do? It’s bollocks. You can always rely on us to be honest – which leads me to the next point.

Advertising

We have a very strong policy on this: if you see a link, it’s because we own the product and enjoy it. We turn down a lot of requests to monetise this blog by shilling products. If those products could be useful, we will try them and recommend them only if we actually like them. We’re always open and honest if we’re paid to promote a product. Alongside that, we’re happy that we’ve been running for three years and still only have a couple of discreet adverts on the page. We’ve got to have them – it’s what pays for the blog – but we’d rather you didn’t have to battle through pop-ups, pop-unders, background ads, scrolling ads and all that shite to see us. To give you an example of what I mean, I just loaded up another blog of similar content and our Adblocker counted 19 adverts on the page. Ours has three. Hmmm.

Your recipe didn’t work!

Listen, we can take constructive criticism. Our recipes all work for us, otherwise we wouldn’t post them – and we use the ingredients we say we use, instead of cooking using all sorts of delicious synned ingredients for the sake of a gorgeous photo. If they don’t work for you, I apologise, but something clearly went awry, and please let us know if you think it is our fault. Let me give you an example: we had someone crashing their gash at us the other day because they made our perfect carbonara and it was ‘runny raw egg shite*’. When we responded that she must have added the egg when the pasta was cold – despite our three clear warnings that the pasta must be hot in order to cook the egg – we got a ‘omg u can’t take criticism*’ remark. We can but remember, a bad workman blames his tools.

*I’ve improved her comment by adding vowels – she didn’t seem to think it was necessary.

How do we get in contact with you? 

Leave a comment. We’ll usually get in touch if we’re interested!

Easy! All questions done. Sorry, I know it’s not terrifically interesting, but we’re obliged to do these posts every now and then just to keep things in check!

CHIPS. LET’S DO THE SLIMMING WORLD CHIPS JESUS CHRIST ALMIGHTY

We’ll do a non-Actifry route and an Actifry recipe. Because we’re canny. They boil down to the same outcome anyway.

slimming world chips

slimming world chips

to make perfect Slimming World chips using an Actifry, you’ll need:

  • about 900g of potatoes – now, any type will do but if you want REALLY nice chips you’re better off going for a ‘buttery’ type, or Maris Piper
  • oil – again, any type will do. We use olive oil, but rapeseed works well too.
  • flavouring – optional, but it really does make them so much better. Our favourites are stock cubes (lamb or beef), Steak seasoning, or good old fashioned sea salt.

to make perfect Slimming World chips using an Actifry, you should:

  • chop the potatoes however you like them (there’s no need to peel). We like them quite chunky. They don’t have to be exact, slice each potato 2-3 time across, and then each slice into 2-3 slices again. You can use a chipper if you like, but a good, sharp knife does the job just as quickly (especially when you’ve done it a few times).
  • tip the potatoes into the Actifry (don’t bother patting them dry or parboiling)
  • add the oil – you can either drizzle a tablespoon of oil (6 syns) over the chips, or use a sprayer (syn free) if you’re feeling more angelic. Avoid Fry Light if you can because it’ll clag up your machine and ruin the non-stick coating. Instead, try getting one of these and filling it with your own oil
  • If you’re spraying, spray the oil over the chips for about 6-8 sprays – you don’t need a lot. If you’re making loads of chips, maybe give them a shake in the pan and spray a bit more
  • next, sprinkle over whatever flavouring you’re using. If you’re using a stock cube (our fave!) make sure to crumble it well
  • close the lid and switch it on
  • if you want realllly tasty chips, try turning the machine off for ten minutes halfway through. I’m not sure how it works but it really does make them tastier!
  • switch the machine back on again until cooked
  • eat!

to make perfect Slimming World chips in the oven, you’ll need:

  • about 900g of potatoes potatoes
  • oil
  • flavouring

to make perfect Slimming World chips in the oven, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 240ºc
  • chop the potatoes however you like them
  • tip the potatoes into a large bowl
  • next, either drizzle over your oil or spray it over
  • tumble the potatoes well to make sure they’re evenly coated – the reason you often see blistered and crappy looking SW chips is because the oil is distributed unevenly! sprinkle in the flavourings too and give a good mix
  • next, tip the chips onto a non-stick tray and spread out into a single layer
  • bake in the oven for fifteen minutes, turn, and then bake for another fifteen minutes
  • eat!

Now, if you want really tasty chips without any of faff you really need to grab yourself a Tefal Actifry. Halos, Airfryers, Towers, Halogen ovens just don’t do the job as well at all (in our opinion)! Now mind, we’re not getting paid by Tefal for this. If you want consistently decent chips that taste almost like the proper thing, it’s the Actifry you want! You can make loads more than chips in it as well, just click some of the other recipes below that we’ve knocked up in our Actifry!

Yum!

J

baked salmon with a garlic, lime and jalapeño crust

Baked salmon? On our blog? I know, me neither but if it swims, it slims! Quick post tonight because our boot camp looms.

I do wish I could get away with fish – I’ve tried so many times to get into it, to develop a taste for it, but I just can’t – until this! Conversations always follow the same path:

“Do you not like fish? It’s so good for you”

“No, I don’t like the taste of the sea, see.”

“Have you tried cod? Halibut? Salmon? Swordfish?”

“Nah, I don’t like the taste of fish”

“Have you tried oysters? Have you tried trout? Have you tried going down on a lady of easy virtue and awful hygiene behind the bins of a flat-roof pub?”

“No, I don’t like the taste of fish.”

It goes on and on and on. Listen, I’m an adventurous lad, I’ll put most things in my mouth at least once, so don’t presume that I haven’t given it the old college try, but saying you don’t like fish seems to bring out the most fervent fish-lovers who start blurting out types of fish like some sort of sentient wordsearch. It’s very frustrating: I don’t go up to people who don’t like smoking, tug their arms and ask if they’ve tried the cool, crisp flavour of a Regal King Size. Pfft.

However, all that said, shut my big fat mouth because actually, this baked salmon was bloody lovely! But I reckon it’s got a lot more to do with the taste of the crust rather than the fish itself, although Paul declared it delicious. He’s a greedy fat pig though, so let’s not listen to him. I could stuff a sock with cat-hair, call it a haggis and he’d still declare it the best damn meal he’s ever had. To the recipe then! It’s the easiest bloody thing you’ll ever make – and you can leave out the jalapeños if you don’t like your ring burning. Makes enough for two and we served ours simply with sweet potato and broccoli.

baked salmon

baked salmon

to make baked salmon with a garlic, lime and jalapeño crust, you’ll need:

  • two salmon fillets – nothing fancy, we bought ours from Tesco
  • the zest and juice of one big lime
  • two fat cloves of garlic
  • a teaspoon of jalapeños (you can buy them jarred nice and cheap)
  • a good pinch of salt and pepper

Remember how I bang on about getting yourself a microplane grater? This is exactly the recipe for one – you use it to zest the lime and mince the garlic. Bog-standard mincer will do the job just fine but the microplane makes a nice paste, which is what you’re after here!

to make baked salmon with a garlic, lime and jalapeño crust, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200 degrees
  • mince the garlic and then add the zest of the lime, along with the juice, salt, pepper and the jalapeños and blend it with the back of a spoon into a mash
  • smear it over the top of the salmon and bake in the oven for as long as the instructions on the salmon say
  • serve!

Paul reliabily informs me that it keeps very well for lunch the next day. Who knew?

Want more fishy recipes? Of course!

Yum!

J

steak and ale pie: low syn and delicious

Steak and ale pie. No look, I’m not even going to waffle on for 1000 words about not being able to tie my shoelaces or an hilarious encounter in the office lift. You’re here for steak and ale pie, and we’re the ones to give it to you. Now let’s make one thing clear though – no amount of fancy recipe is going to allow you to have pastry all the way around the dish like a proper pie. Other blogs might suggest you use a Weight Watchers wrap instead of pastry but that’s like using a dildo instead of a toothbrush – it’s just not the same and you’ll chip your teeth. A wrap is bread. Pastry is delicious fat and flour. So, because we’re big fans of the old ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’, we say use proper pastry, use proper ale, and enjoy your dinner. Eat properly, not Frankenfood. You’re allowed 15 syns a day for goodness sake, don’t save them for some rotten homemade Hari-no jelly sweets and fifteen Muller Lights. It’s your body. Let’s do this.

This makes enough for four ‘pies’. The filling is very rich, as you’d expect, and the pastry creates a lovely thick lid to mop up the sauce. You’ll need four pie dishes or small vessels. Or just make a big one and eat it all yourself. Serve with whatever veg you like! Oh and a heavy casserole dish is better, rather than a bog-standard pan, but either way is fine.

steak and ale pie

steak and ale pie

to make a steak and ale pie, you’ll need:

  • about 1kg of braising steak – now, you don’t need to spend a massive amount here because it cooks for long enough to make it tender, but don’t go buying the Tesco Value shoe-leather steaks because you’ll be chewing it come December
  • one large white onion
  • two cloves of garlic
  • two fat carrots sliced into discs
  • a pinch of chilli powder
  • two beef stock cubes made into 600ml of stock
  • a 330ml (small) bottle of whatever ale you want – because we’re Geordies divvent-ya-knaa we use Newcastle Brown Ale. Couldn’t get more Northern if Sting came and made the stock for us. I’m glad he didn’t, because he’s a self-aggrandising arrogant prick, but sssh (6 syns)
  • two tsp of thyme (if dried) or a good pinch if fresh
  • a tin of marrowfat peas, or if you prefer, a good handful of frozen peas
  • optional: button mushrooms cut in half
  • 100g Jus-Rol lighter puff pastry (16 syns) (and actually, although you use 25g each for the lid, that’s being very generous – you’ll probably find yourself using less)
  • one egg
  • pinch of salt and pepper

If you’re wondering where we got our fancy dishes from – they’re actually soup bowls from Le Creuset, which you can still buy on Amazon – just saying!

to make a steak and ale pie, you should:

  • roughly chop the onion – you’re not going for presentation here so don’t take your time
  • cut up your braising steak into small chunks – postage stamp sized is good enough (get rid of any bits of fat) (I know, it hurts)
  • use a few sprays of oil, get the pan nice and hot and then sweat off your onions until golden
  • add the meat chunks – now, this is important – don’t keep moving them around in the pan relentlessly. Let them sit for a bit – they shouldn’t burn, but they’ll get a bit of a crust on them which is far nicer – trust me
  • whilst that’s cooking, mince your garlic and add it in along with the chilli powder, thyme, a pinch of pepper and salt
  • once your meat is browned, whack the heat right up for a moment and then pour in the ale – you want the pan hot so the ale bubbles up, then get a wooden spoon and scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the tasty crunchy bits up into the sauce
  • next goes the stock, the carrots, the peas and mushroom if you’re using them
  • now just let this bubble gently on the hob for as long as you can – the longer you cook, the softer the steak and the thicker the sauce, but feel free to add some gravy granules if you want to thicken it quicker
  • when it comes to making the pies, get your pie dishes ready, ladle in a load of the mixture and then cut out a lid (using 25g of puff pastry)
  • pop the lid on top of the mixture – nice and snug – and then wash the pastry with beaten egg and a good pinch of both salt and pepper
  • cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or for as long as it takes for the pastry to go golden
  • enjoy!

Honestly one of my favourite meals – no surprise that I do indeed eat all of the pies. OH BONUS RECIPE!

steak and ale pie

We served ours with a wee little caramelised leek, parmesan and Marmite stack! Easy – thinly slice a couple of leeks, sweat them down forever with a pinch of salt and sugar (honestly, low heat, an hour) – they’ll reduce right down. Near the end, add a dollop of Marmite and your healthy extra Parmesan, then shape into little stacks!

Looking for more pie ideas?

Yum! Enjoy, and please do share.

J

aubergine and tomato curry – absolutely gorgeous

You’re here for the aubergine and tomato curry of course, but first, I have some truly shocking news.

We’ve joined a bloody boot camp. A boot camp! Yes, like all the other New Year New Me fitness wankers. Weirdly, I feel I should explain our actions. We eat reasonably well but we simply don’t do enough exercise. We enjoy the gym, but I find I tend to stumble in my own drool on the treadmill as it faces the boxing class and well, if there’s a particularly brutish looking man getting battered around the ring, I find the emergency stop button being pressed by something other than my hands. Paul’s the same: enjoys the gym, but is very conscious that there’s a McDonalds, a KFC and a Dominos on the way home. It’s altogether too easy to think that you’ve worked up such a sweat punching the number for a Kitkat Chunky into the swimming pool vending machine that really you ought to have a treat. What can I say: I tried but I was weak and backsliding, and now the Devil has come home in the form of swollen ankles and breathlessness when I blink too much.

So: if crippling obesity doesn’t give me pause enough to do more exercise, what will? The lure of money – or rather, the fretting and angst that potentially losing money brings. I’m not going to name the company that I’m boot-camping with as I don’t want it to look like we’re pushing them – we’re not – but they offer a money back guarantee as long as you stick to the classes. If you don’t, you lose your money. All very fair and a great motivator for someone as tight-arsed as me – I’d climb Everest if I thought the guy in front of me had dropped a fiver out of his pocket when reaching for his oxygen tank. We’ve handed over a not insignificant amount of money and committed to six weeks of hell, all in the name of having slightly less fat on our arse when we roll into summer. Paul trembled at the thought of exercise, I sobbed at the thought of having to put my gym trainers back on.

We bit the bullet though and it was with a heavy heart and far heavier tits that we pulled into the car-park on an industrial estate at 9pm, something we never usually do unless we’ve pre-arranged a meeting with a lorry driver whose ‘wife just doesn’t understand him’ and ‘anyway it’s not gay if I don’t touch yours’. At least I think that’s what they say, my ears are usually muffled by thighs at that point. I had visions of walking in and everyone collectively gasping until someone rushed over and threw a blanket over us like one might do with a screeching budgie. I knew we’d attempt one exercise, find it all too much and then skulk out the emergency exit with our ears wringing. Typo deliberate, and I’m quite proud of that. But no: the crowd didn’t consist exclusively of people who looked like they’d been whittled from walnut, but rather an excellent mix of weights, sizes, ages, oxygen saturation levels and fitness. There were no shitty looks, no whispers, no redirections to a dark corner ‘for the best’. In fact, we were treated marvellously – we chuckled our way through the disclaimer (swollen ankles? I don’t know, they’re usually behind my ears out of sight, ho ho) and had our photos taken, front and profile like a mug-shot. Which is fitting, because my gym outfit was a crime to all things sartorial. I don’t care, I’m there to sweat and go blue, not pull. Judge me on my gasping, not my Lidl exercise socks.

Before we even had a chance to change our mind our class was ushered in and it began. What followed was dreadful in the best possible way – great fun, a good mix of exercises and excellent leadership – but you need to understand it’s hard to concentrate when you’re certain you’re about to shit out your own heart through over-exertion. I have genuinely never moved so much in my life: you could set me on fire and I’d still keep a slower pace than I did that night. We ran, we jumped, we threw a ball around, we did lunges and push-ups and press-ups and burpees and kicking and although we couldn’t do many, we bloody tried, and surprised ourselves with exactly how much we could do. There was no pressure: just firm encouragement, which was exactly what we needed. I could have done without the Now That’s What I Call Wrapping A Vauxhall Nova Around A Lamppost playing so loudly but if anything, it kept you moving if only to move away from the speaker.

The biggest revelation: we actually had fun. We both came out (surprise!) full of praise and looking forward to the next one. Who would have thought it?

But, by god, am I paying for it now – I can barely move. I’ve moved muscles that up until Monday night were still worried about the Millennium Bug. I’ve got aches in parts of my body that I didn’t know I had – who knew that the underside of a tit could ache so much? I feel like I’ve jumped out of a moving car. Yesterday wasn’t too bad but today I actually got stuck on the toilet for five minutes. Sat down no problem, sacrificed my dinner to the Sewer Gods without breaking a sweat, tidied up and made to leave only to find I couldn’t actually pull myself up. What to do? Spend the day with a cold nipsy in the vain hope someone would a) rescue me and b) not be repulsed enough by the fetid air that they would decide it was better to leave me to my fate? Unlikely. I had to hoist myself up using the towel rail like an old lady who had taken a tumble in the kitchen. Not just me though: I received a text from Paul this afternoon with the sorrowful phrase ‘I’m stuck on the stairs’ – like a cow, he had gone up the stairs no bother, but coming down meant bending his legs in such a way that was simply impossible. He had to shuffle down on his arse. Watching him walk across our lawn to the house was hilarious – he was walking so gingerly you’d think we’d stuck land-mines in the snowdrops.

Still: another session tonight at 9pm. If anyone wants to visit me in hospital afterwards, I’ll be in the Cramlington cardiothoracic department. You’ll be able to spot me by my cheap shoes and blue lips.

Right, let’s do the recipe for this aubergine and tomato curry, yes? That’s what you’ve come for, after all. It’s an aubergine and tomato curry from Meera Sodha’s Made in India book, adapted slightly for Slimming World. I can’t tell you enough how much I love this book – most of the recipes can be adapted if you’re feeling virtuous but they’re absolutely gorgeous exactly as they are. Plus, I’m yet to find a recipe in there that hasn’t been nice and easy to make. I genuinely recommend: you can buy it from Amazon right here!

aubergine and tomato curry

aubergine and tomato curry

to make an aubergine and tomato curry, you’ll need:

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 4cm knob of ginger, minced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 300g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp tomato pureé
  • 1 tsp sugar (1 syn)
  • 2 large aubergines, quartered and cut into half-cm slices

One gadget we swear by is a good Microplane grater – this’ll make mincing the garlic and ginger a breeze! No I know, I recommend them an awful lot, but it’s because it is worth having. You’ll use it a lot!

Yeah, we used one syn of sugar in the recipe. Divide between four and that’s quarter of a syn. I mean, really.

to make an aubergine and tomato curry, you should:

  • plonk a large frying pan over a medium heat and spray in a little oil (Frylight ruins non-stick coating, so use this instead!)
  • add the onion and cook until it’s turning a bit golden, which’ll take about 6-8 minutes
  • add the green chilli, ginger, and garlic and cook for another 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently
  • add the tomatoes to the pan and then stick the lid on
  • leave for about ten minutes for the tomatoes to soften
  • add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and tomato pureé to the an and mix well
  • when it’s looking a bit sloppy, add 150ml of warm water and then the aubergine slices
  • stir gently until the abuergine is nicely coated, the stick the lid back on again
  • cook for another 15-20 minutes over a medium-low heat – you’ll know it’s done when you can cut the aubergine with a wooden spoon
  • serve!

Enjoy? Why not click the vegetarian recipes I’ve provided below and live like a Queen?

Enjoy!

J

black pudding bolognese with cheesy mash

Black pudding bolognese: for when you’re not quite satisfied with the amount of killing done in the name of your meal. Well, we needed to counter the vegan recipe from yesterday didn’t we? I’m jesting, of course, but I’m taking the view that if you’re a meat-eater, you probably don’t mind a bit more ghoulishness. Anyway, this is a Thomasina Miers recipe I’ll have you know, and what that lady doesn’t know about cooking you could write on a flapping winnit.

Just the recipe post tonight because, due to a shitstorm of car alarms, alarmed cats and Paul’s fat ham arms hitting me every time he turned over, I had an abysmal night of sleep. When you’re still awake at 4am, desperately listening to Radio 4 trying to sleep, you know it’s going to be a rough day. So forgive my brevity, but know that I do it in the name of making sure you lot have a lovely new recipe to try. This makes enough for four generous bowlfuls. Christ, I hate that term. A generous bowl. Puts me in mind of a bowl that reassures you that no, you’re not fat, you’re pretty, honest, as your tears tumble over your dinner.

black pudding bolognese

black pudding bolognese

to make black pudding bolognese with cheesy mash, you’ll need:

  • 500g of extra lean beef mince
  • two onions
  • one large clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 100g of black pudding (10.5 syns – goodness!)
  • two tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp of red wine vinegar
  • 3 sprigs of thyme if you have it, half a teaspoon of dried if you don’t
  • enough potatoes to make as much mash as you want
  • 40g of extra mature lighter cheddar

Looking for mince? It’s quicker than Waiting for Godot. We have four Musclefood deals to suit any budget, including making your own hamper – so you only get what you want!

to make black pudding bolognese with cheesy mash, you should:

  • chop your onions finely and sweat them off with a few sprays of oil until nice and sweaty
  • add your garlic (minced) and cook for a minute more
  • add your mince – rather like I often say to Paul, you want your meat browned
  • once your mince is cooked through, add the cinnamon and paprika and then crumble in the black pudding and stir
  • add the tomatoes, vinegar, thyme and vinegar and allow to simmer and mingle for as long as you like – a good hour on low is perfect
  • once you’re starving and chewing your fingernails to stumps, make your mash – boil the potatoes, put them through a ricer (you can pick up a ricer from Amazon for just over a tenner and it really will change your life), add a whole egg and 40g of extra mature lighter cheddar
  • serve with some parmesan if you’re feeling tasty!

Easy! If like me, you’ve got a little mince leftover, why not make one of these dishes?

Remember to share!

J