cheesy hammy breakfast soldiers – oh, and hello Liverpool

Here for the cheesy hammy breakfast soldiers? Who can blame you: it’s like breakfast but someone tickling your molly at the same time – it’s that good. But fair warning: there’s a big entry in front of it.

It’s been a while, hasn’t it, since I really got my juices flowing and spaffed a long article all over your keyboard? Listen, I know you might not be in the mood for a long entry – you’ve turned into such a frigid cow since the days when you used to have me in your bed every night – so if you’re not in the mood to read, simply click the entirely random set of teeth below to be whisked straight to the cheesy hammy breakfast soldiers.

They say, in life, never meet your heroes. Well no, they say it somewhere on Pinterest in between all the inspirational quotes and pictures of satchels. Anyway, last Thursday, I went to Liverpool for a day out to do exactly that.

Imagine my disappointment when I realised Cilla passed away in 2015 after a quick breakdance routine down a flight of stairs. Actually, that’s a fib. My eyes couldn’t have been drier on that day, and you’re talking to someone whose eyes are ruined from squinting owlishly at the most appalling porn on a mobile when Paul’s fallen asleep.

The original plan was to go down on the 4.30am train but, as with all my plans, it all fell apart at the last moment with the appearance of Storm Gareth. Gareth! Who the fuck is in charge of naming storms these days? If you were told Storm Hercules was approaching, you’d batten down the hatches, lock the cats away and get in the Anderson shelter. Well, you would, I’d be outside in the garden with my bum-cheeks spread and ‘DON’T STOP EVEN IF I USE THE SAFE WORD’ carved in my jiggly-joggly bumcheeks. But Storm Gareth? No disrespect to any Gareth folks that are out there but the name suggests a storm that couldn’t blow the froth off a pint of piss-weak bitter. It’s like being menaced by a headache called Susan or shaken down for money by Lil Dwayne. Pfft.

However, two things: I’m prone to catastrophic thinking and I’m a tight-arse Geordie: there was fuck all way I was going to miss the escape rooms and cinema that had all been paid for simply because Storm Gareth had Selby-ed my train. So, after begging mercy from the man upstairs, praying to the good folks at First Direct and sweet-talking the husband to ignoring my demands for a frugal month, I was on a train travelling down the night before.

And what a journey! I’ve never known such opulence as the Transpennine First Class. I wasn’t expecting luxury given I was travelling on a converted bus, but fucking hell. The clues were there: the fact that first class was cheaper than standard class should have given it away. No reserved seating – I had my eye on the one individual seat but this was immediately taken by some bampot with a face like a bee-keeper’s apprentice, forcing me to share a table. Now look: I’m a social guy and I like a conversation but only on my own terms – on a train, unless his cock is nudging against my knees under the table, I’m never going to be keen.

So of course, I was immediately joined by a chap who wanted to talk about business and nonsense and his marriage, and this was all before I’d finished fussing around in my bag and making sure I had easy access to the four bags of Haribo that I’d spent eighty quid on in WH Smith. I feigned polite interest until I managed to detangle my headphones then gave him a ‘long day mate, just gonna relax’ smile to get him to shut the fuck up. He didn’t. He was lovely, don’t get me wrong, but by the time we reached Durham and I’d taken my headphones out for the eighteenth time I was four blinks away from smashing his teeth out with the wee red emergency hammer which was tantalisingly close.

Luckily, the train manager provided him a distraction when she came around with the ‘free food and drinks’, which amounted to a cheese muffin that had survived the Cold War and wine: red or white. I had to pinch myself to remember I wasn’t on the Orient Express, truly I did. I ordered white wine and was pushed into a cup of tea to go with it (the perfect pairing!). Must have made her day because she clearly poured the white wine from the same kettle as the tea. Warm? I could have made a Pot Noodle with it. I had five more glasses because it was free, of course. Chatty Man stopped his nonsense once we were past Darlington (amazing what the sight of an impoverished war-zone can do for a good mood) and I was left in relative silence for the rest of the journey.

Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram decided to have a shitfit at this point meaning there was literally nothing to do, so the three hours just flew by. There was a curious moment when a businesswoman sat next to me, then got up and sat across the aisle ten minutes later and started crying. I tried to catch her eye to reassure her that one day she too could smell as good as me (Maison Margiela, Across Sands eau de parfum, since you were wondering: I’m giving the Tom Ford a rest) but she wouldn’t look at me. I thought about changing my Wifi Hotspot name to ‘sorry love, that’ll be the cheese muffin and hot wine’ but that seemed like altogether too much hassle, so I left her to her wracked sobs.

I want to qualify that last sentence though: I’m not a monster. If I had a chance to do my ‘there there’ voice and ask if she was alright, but there was a very clear ‘everyone leave me be’ vibe. Hmm. Now I’m thinking about it, I hope she’s out there with a smile on her face and not floating in the Mersey. Contact me if you’re reading this: I was the chap in leather who was spilling over into your seat. Perhaps that’s why you moved, maybe it was me shallow-breathing through my nose, perhaps you were upset I never offered you one of my Starmix. Who knows?

The train dropped me off in Liverpool and after a short argument with Google Maps (I don’t trust technology) I found my hotel, had a lovely plate of the very best Iceland microwave bits they could find, read my Point Horror book (it was the best friend all along!) and after checking Paul hadn’t killed himself in my absence, went to bed. I actually didn’t make it that far, I fell asleep fully clothed because I couldn’t be arsed to take my boots off. Which sounds lazy, until you realise I was wearing these:

Once all laced up and tight, it’s actually quicker to saw off my own legs than it is to clit about trying to untie them enough so they can slip over my cankles. I woke up bright and literally breezy the next day with Storm Gareth making the windows rattle and after picking newsprint off my face, went to meet my mate.

Remember a few posts ago there was a foul-mouthed recipe for roast potatoes and a guide to a buffet that would have made your gran blush? Well, that was the chap (Paul II) I was meeting up with – thrashing out negotiations for payment for his blog post Theme Park style (wouldn’t work through, I have tiny hammy hands, he has hands like a water-swollen badger corpse). What better way to immediately test a friendship than to try an escape room together?

Boy, were we good. We’re both massive fans of the escape room format (as previously discussed) but it’s always a risk doing one with an unknown personality – and you never know which personality either of us is likely to have on any given day. However, Team Myra and Ian’s Cassette Mix were a delight, even if the name made the room host wince. The theme was time travel and although I spent the first thirty minutes taking it far too seriously and desperately searching for a button to plummet me back twenty years, we escaped with a good thirteen minutes to spare.

And mind, this room was hard. A tiny central room which opened up four times over to reveal scenes from different times, meaning one minute you were fumbling around trying to work out the moves to Saturday Night Fever (or, as I call it, cock-throat) and next you were working out morse code to discover where the nukes were dropping. It was very well done indeed and the combination of someone being excellent at maths and sweating (Paul II) and the other being great at words and getting in the way meant we absolutely nailed it. Before we went in we were full of bravado and told the Host that she mustn’t give us clues and that we were super-clever. We only caved once, and to be honest I think that was more her stepping in before we ended up wrestling on the floor with him trying to extract my Mind Stone.

A brief tour of Liverpool followed and I’ll say this: I had in my head some dystopian town, full of homelessness, graffiti, no-go areas, low value shops and gruff, barely literate shufflers. I realise my error now, in retrospect: due to the addition of Liverpool Cathedral, it’s actually classed as a city. Silly me! No I jest: what a beautiful place – I was very pleasantly surprised.

Speaking of pleasant surprises, Captain Marvel was next. We were temporarily held up by some pipe-cleaner in a Burtons suit who not only pushed in front of me in the popcorn queue but then who proceeded to hand me his card to tap it on the contactless point. If I’d been less tired and emotional I’d have thrown his Vanquis card straight into the nacho cheese pan and let him suffer the third degree burns needed to it out. It was bad enough paying a trillion pounds for two fizzy worms, let alone repeating the process for him.

There’s always a frisson of excitement going to the cinema with someone new, isn’t there? Are they a talker? Will they want to share your sweets? Will they spend half an hour asking ‘who is that’ and ‘why are they talking’ and ‘why is that cat on fire?’ etc? I was fearful as to whether I’d be able to hear Captain Marvel kicking off over the sound of his nose whistling – it was like being sat next to an idling bus – but all was well, with only minimal dipping into my sweets bag (not a euphemism, readers – or for good measure, Paul I). Captain Marvel was a perfectly pleasing romp with simply the best angry pussy committed to film since Teeth.

We then had a wander around some of the finest shops known to man (dressing like I was on remand and trying to turn my life around had never seemed so possible!) and ended up down on Albert Docks, where I was furious to discover that they had taken away the This Morning weather map. I mean honestly: it served as a handy paedo-holding pen if nothing else. I blame Alison Hammond. For everything that has gone so astonishingly wrong in my life. A quick restorative coffee and a ham and cheese toastie in Costa and it was time for Escape Room 2. Again, we made lots of small talk with the very handsome cub behind the counter (my heart sank when he mentioned his wife) (and then rose again when I remembered how many times I’ve had ‘don’t tell the wife’ muttered emotionlessly into my ear) and asked that we weren’t given many clues. Old pros, you see.

Well fuck me: we were terrible. The room was Viking themed and terribly clever, but some of the clues were a little too abstract for my tastes. We spent the first twenty minutes shrieking and banging cups about before things started to click into place – you always know you’re onto a winner when a bookshelf slides open revealing another two rooms to complete. But boy, did we need help. What started out as ‘only raise your hands if you’re desperate for a clue’ became such a farce that I’m surprised she didn’t dash in to see if I was standing on an exposed electrical wire.

At one point you had to climb into a Viking barge and row in unison to the soundtrack of a man shouting commands. In theory, easy, but see it required me to perch on a tiny seat with Paul II (we need a better name) immediately behind, and well, we’re both husky gentlemen. My back fat hindered his forward stroke (story of his life) and his Honey Boom-Boom frame blocked my backwards movement (story of my life). What should have taken a matter of moments took nearly four minutes of solid rowing, though I imagine that was due to the hostess spending three minutes and forty seconds silently dry-heaving at the sight of us sweating and panting through mild exercise. We’d have looked like two bouncy castles attempting coitus.

However, we did escape, and with plenty of time on the clock. She was very positive about our efforts but there was a glint of second-hand embarrassment in her eye that suggested we’d be on the staff Christmas Party blooper-real. Ah well. We never needed anything spelling out – except how to use the defibrillator – and actually, for two fat blokes still grappling with each other’s idiosyncrasies and personality traits, we did alright.

We finished off the day with a cocktail or two in Revolution. Fun fact: I haven’t been in a Revolution since before Paul I days, and the very last time I was there I gave an old-fashioned to my married manager. Funnily enough, he said don’t tell the wife too, especially pertinent since she worked in another team across the floor. Come again? Yes.

I’m beyond this current trend to put all sorts of tat in with a cocktail. I ordered something sickly sweet – a Cherry Hot Karl or something – and it came with slush and a scattering of rainbow drops. I’m comfortable enough in my sexuality not to be phased about carrying the drink equivalent of twink night in a sauna through a crowded bar but there was a guy sat next to us with arms as thick as my legs – fraction less stretch marks though – and I could feel his judgement. I loved it.

In no time at all it was time to say goodbye / get the fuck back to the train station so he didn’t miss his connections. The walk was no problem for him: he’s six foot four and can cover distance surprisingly quick given his gazelle like pins – but I had to hide my agony as my feet were flayed in my boots. It was unusual being the short one and I now have a newfound appreciation for Paul I’s vista of having to look up all the time. I like an ass in my face, don’t get me wrong, but not when it’s billowing out breakfast-scented death as it galumphs up a flight of stairs.

It had been a great day with a marvellous friend but now it was over, he was on his way back to the land that vowels forgot and I was left with an hour to kill in twilit Liverpool. I decided to spend that hour pooping in John Lewis (he didn’t mind) and spraying myself with industrial levels of expensive aftershave before realising, far too late, I was a good distance from the train station with only minutes to spare. Power-mince? I sashayed so hard I brought the paving slabs up. I made it with moments to spare and enjoyed a lovely trip home, with only an hour to spend in York despondently waiting for a connection that never came.

Still: at least I had the total absence of free snacks and drinks to cheer my soul whilst I waited. Pfft.

And that folks, was my day trip to Liverpool. It’s been a while since I did some proper writing so I apologise for the length, but you bloody loved it. Next time I visit there’ll be more culture, more umming and aahing at galleries, more cooing at national treasures. Aye rights – it’ll be more escape rooms and Infinity War. Yasss!

Suppose we ought to do a recipe, eh? Let’s knock out the cheesy hammy breakfast soldiers – just something super easy for breakfast that is better than your usual pap.

cheesy hammy breakfast soldiers

cheesy hammy breakfast soldiers

cheesy hammy breakfast soldiers

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 2 people

Aye it's a cheese toastie, but hey, let's call it breakfast soldiers and just get on with it. Fussy knickers. This makes enough for two, or if you're like us, one person with double portions. And yes, they're called cheesy hammy breakfast soldiers, but that's because the thought of having a soldier for breakfast amuses me.

Ingredients

  • four slices of whatever wholemeal bread you can have on your SW diet (2 x HEB)
  • 160g of grated mature cheese (oh I know - you don't need that much really, you could get away with saving half for your other HEA)
  • good quality ham
  • bit of dijon mustard
  • 5 eggs

Instructions

  • boil four of the five eggs to however you like them
  • smear a bit of mustard on half of the bread, add ham, add most of the cheese, add the other slice of bread so you're left with two sandwiches
  • beat the remaining egg and add the rest of the cheese then dip the sandwiches in
  • fry them in a dry non-stick pan until the cheese melts and the crust forms
  • cut into soldiers and serve with your boiled eggs

Notes

Courses breakfast

Cuisine twochubbycubs

Delicious, right? Get it in you, quick! Oh you can make it fancier AND make your wee stink – try the asparagus stuffed ones!

Looking for more breakfast ideas?

Mwah!

J

chicken soup for the soul: instant pot or in a pan

Been away, haven’t we? Anyway shut up, nonsense to follow. If you’re here for the chicken soup for the soul, that’s fine, scroll down until you see Willem Dafoe’s cumface. Everyone else, sit back, push out and prepare yourself, because I’ve got a lot to say!

First, a cat update! We’ve been ringing the vets occasionally over the last two weeks to find out how the stray cat we tirelessly and selflessly passed over to another gay is getting on. Good news: they’ve cleaned up his eyes, wiped his bum and found him a new home where he’ll be fussed over and spoiled rotten. The cat’s also doing fine. I did have to affect a genuinely awful accent when I called the vets because I loosely know the woman on reception and couldn’t deal with a guilt trip about rehoming him. We would have – in a heartbeat – only our two cats would have killed him without blinking. They’re hard cats: I’ve seen Bowser fighting a dog before, and Sola sells passable quality gear from her radiator bed. We were reflecting over this and patting ourselves on the back for a job well done when Paul started up with his nonsense about getting a dog. I shut that right down because, although I bloody love dogs, it’s too much of a commitment. With cats you can go on holiday, say, to Canada for five weeks, and as long as you leave their water fountain on, a tin opener within reach and a slab of Whiskas, they’ll be reet. They don’t care. I could die in my sleep tonight and the only concern Sola would show is that she’d have no-one to show her dewy bumhole to first thing in the morning.

We had a proper together-for-twelve-years day out yesterday. We’re not quite at the stage where that involves going to the garden centre and fingering the heathers whilst wishing for each other’s death, thank heavens – besides Paul won’t let me go to the garden centre because it’s right next door to a notorious gay cruising ground and frankly if you’re going to add getting seagulled into your day, you’re better off setting aside a couple of hours. So no, we went to Durham for no other reason than I wanted to go to the fancy tobacconist there and Paul wanted to ogle a bear we know. His was the better suggestion because he was fine (he had every episode of Juliet Bravo on tape!) and the tobacconist had nothing I needed and an unhelpful attitude. Paul, fan of a creaking apophthegm, told me that we’d come all that way for nothing and I could put that in my pipe and smoke it. How we laughed as I practised filling out a form D8 on his back with a rusty compass. We had a couple of drinks in a pub that gave me 60p change from a tenner for two pints and therefore made an enemy for life, then wobbled our way into a Wetherspoons.

Mentioned where we were to a good friend (introducing Paul II) who immediately sent us drinks via the app: I say drinks – he got me a double chambord (excellent choice, because I love insulin chasers) and Paul a glass of milk and a smoothie (he was driving, and Paul II is nothing if not a keen observer of the laws of the land) with some biscuits and crisps. Paul II tried to have Paul I’s milk delivered in a saucer for catty reasons but sadly, Wetherspoons weren’t playing ball.

Let me tell you: Brewdog Punk IPA combined with chambord and banana smoothie is a struggle to keep down, even for me. That app is cracking for mischief and I very much look forward to throwing it open to a group of 80,000 in due course. My liver has already taken a kicking – it’ll look like a pickled walnut by the end. Wandered back to the car, popping out little Chewit-scented burps and chewed-it-scented farts all the way – happened across an argument between a couple across the road. Spent ten minutes ‘tying my shoelaces’ so we could earwig from afar and it was a gloriously tawdry tale of cheating, shouting, adding ‘man’ onto every other word ‘Darren man for fucks man it meant nowt man’ and crying. We had to stop gawping when she clocked me trying to get a surreptitious recording of her grief: I don’t fancy breathing my last in a mist of Exclamation and spittle.

Went for a late dinner in Newcastle and I made the fatal error of saying to Paul he could pick anywhere he fancied. He fancied Chiquitos. I mean Christ, Newcastle has some proper exciting places to eat and he chose the last-resort restaurant of a regional airport. I had forgettable nachos and a beef burrito that celebrated Christmas in 2017. Paul had some jalapeño poppers and a chicken quesadilla that tasted like sandwich spread folded into one of those trays cheap pizza comes on. I ordered myself a honey and rhubarb margarita which tasted like a Strepsil and Paul’s cuba libre was adorned with a piece of palm and three fruit flies. We aren’t ones for complaining because we’re not devoid of all joy but didn’t fancy the desserts, so paid via the wee app thingy so we didn’t have to tip and made a dash for the escape room we were booked in for.

We’re all about escape rooms at the minute and reckon this was probably our 60th room – we’re still terrible at them, but always escape amidst much yelling and fretting. You know who I feel sorry for? The operators watching us on CCTV – we’re competent enough to crack on ourselves but they’re treated to all manner of sinister sights, including my arse-crack pushed up against the CCTV whilst I clit about trying to find clues. You’ve never lived until you’ve seen a 34″ waist pair of Calvin Klein knickers stretched over a 38″ waist. The name band looks like Japanese. Paul is no better – because he has absolutely no arse at all his trousers spend all their time jostling around his knees, meaning his cock and balls tumbling around in his Tesco boxers appear with frightening regularity. We finished the room with nine whole minutes to go and that’s after spending ten minutes furiously arguing over a combination lock, which, for the record, I was absolutely right about. The argument ended when I used my foot to tip him over as he bent to pick up the lock, leaving him rolling on the floor like the gluttonous turtle he is. We celebrated by having our photo taken and then immediately deleted because we look like two hot-water storage tanks, and then, after a brief stop to add more shit to the bottom of my shoes by visiting a Hungry Horse pub for a Stella, we were off to the cinema.

And how’s this for bliss: a cinema to ourselves. I spend all my time whingeing at Paul to come along to see superhero movies and he always says no, because the spinning fights make him queasy and they’re all the same. Please. Yet, in a rare moment of complaisance he readily agreed to come along and see Aquaman yesterday – I can’t imagine why a JASON MOMOA led movie would catch his interest but he certainly seemed more keen than joining me for Spiderman, for example. Actually, Spiderman 3 remains a sticking point in our Paris-car-crash marriage: our first date* involved us seeing that at some pokey Portsmouth cinema. Paul enjoyed it at the time – though it was probably just because he was sat next to the fragrant beau-ideal that is I – but even since has hurled it back in my face as ‘me suggesting bad movies’ whenever I point out my flawless record for choosing films. That’s how I knew we were a couple for life, you know: he shared all of his Revels with me, and not just the shitty raisin ones. Something I forgot yesterday when I almost snapped his fingers as he tried to reach into my £8.96 bag of pick-and-mix to steal a cola-cube: you can fuck right off, mate, you chose ice cream and picked shit flavours so I wouldn’t want to try any. I’m as wise to his games as he thinks he is to mine.

*I’m going to call that our first date, because me noshing him off behind the Spinnaker seems less romantic (he’s the one night stand that never went away!)

Aquaman was absolutely class though. Proper popcorn movie: brilliant action scenes, Patrick Wilson chewing the scenery like me with a vegan sausage roll and a villain who looks like a giant cock blowing things up. Highlights: Australia’s nana Nicole Kidman in a full-on action scene braying the shit out of water meanies. Jason Momoa ensuring I’ll be seeing those eyes whenever I shut my eyes during a “quiet moment of reflection” (I suppose I fell in love with him – like you do!). Fucking Pitbull sampling Rains of Africa during the bit in the movie when they go to Africa. Willem Dafoe in a good-guy role for once instead of being the last-minute turncoat like he always is (Willem Dafriend?) although I argue he’s never acted better than when he was knocking Sandra Bullock about in Speed 2:

Scary how much he looks like Paul’s mother when she finds an unopened 20-deck of unfiltered Rothmans in her boob creases, there. Anyway, final added bonus of the night? Empty cinema means time for shenanigans and I gave Paul a ‘thanks-for-coming’ handjob during the quiet bit in the middle. He seemed pleased (I was just a shag – I knew that!) and we agreed to meet again for the sequel. Came home, and so to bed.

And that’s that! Suppose we’re a recipe blog and I should bang out this chicken soup recipe, eh? Now look here: you can’t make a chicken soup look attractive in photos, you can’t. So don’t judge.

Oh and if you don’t have an Instant Pot, don’t shit the bed: you can make it in a pan too. Pleb.

chicken soup

chicken soup for the soul: instant pot or pan!

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 8 bowls

Yes that's right, just a bog-standard no frills instant pot chicken soup recipe, or use a pan if you're still mastering the basics. We'll cover both. This might look like a bowl of arse but damn it if it doesn't taste good!

This recipe comes from A Saucy Kitchen, and we've adapted it for SW. Take a look at her site though, there's all sorts of tasty shizz on there!

Ingredients

  • two large stalks of celery
  • three carrots of indecent size, sliced
  • one giant onion, sliced and diced
  • two big handfuls of mushrooms, sliced
  • two cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp of rosemary
  • 1 cup of wild rice (we buy ours in Tesco) (but feel free to use white rice)
  • 3 big chicken breasts
  • 1200ml of good quality chicken stock (low sodium is better so you're not clutching your arm in fright later)
  • Now honestly, you can add anything into this soup veg wise - don't be frightened

Instructions

Instant Pot

  • press the sauté button, wait for it to heat up and then add a few sprays of olive oil - or if you're sensible, like us, a good glug, and don't count the syns because oil is good for you - add the onion, celery, carrots and mushrooms and cook for three minutes until they're softened
  • add the garlic and rosemary and cook for another minute
  • add the chicken breasts (whole), stock and rice
  • seal the Instant Pot, cook on high pressure for five minutes (select Manual and then five minutes) and go pick your bum whilst it does its thing
  • let it depressurise unless you fancy putting a new parting in your hair with the roof tiles from your house
  • lift out the chicken and shred it on a chopping board and tip it all back in
  • let it sit for a few minutes to thicken nicely and then eat!

In a pan:

  • saute the veg
  • add the stock, rice, chicken and everything
  • cook until the chicken is cooked through
  • shred

I mean haway.

Courses soup

Cuisine dunno, something fancy

Want more Instant Pot recipes? No bother cock – fill yer boots:

Enjoy!

JX

potato, bacon and beer bake

Admit it, you’ve been worried that, following our eight minutes on prime-time TV, we’d have gone all celebrity: shagging about, coke binges, drunk-driving and fisticuffs outside the top bars. Please: they barely let me into a Wetherspoons with my rent-by-the-week shoes and I make Paul buy the Lidl own-brand paracetamol.

I meant to post a new recipe last week but time got away from us. We’ve been doing some exciting stuff on the back of This Time Next Year (did you know we were on the telly?) and well, look. Mischief takes time. But, before we get to the potato, bacon and beer bake, let me tell you our tale.

The story starts like all of mine, with an unexpected pussy. I was busy leering out of our bedroom window at the one neighbour we have under seventy (and who mows his lawn with his top off, which I know is for my benefit – even if he doesn’t acknowledge it, there’s a twinkle in his eye that gives away his intent) (could be cataracts, though, he does smoke a lot) when I spotted a cat in our greenhouse. That’s not uncommon, we have all manner of feline visitors who love nothing more than falling asleep on all of the gardening equipment I leave out to show our gardener that I mean well. Out I trot, handful of Dreamies and a heart full of love, to make a new friend. I’ve yet to meet a cat that I haven’t been able to seduce with a scratch of their ears or a rub under the chin, which is also how I got Paul to agree to polygamy. Hand outstretched, I manage not to scare the cat away and he turned his wee head to me…and…oh my.

Poor little bugger had completely caked over eyes, scratches all over his face and well, looked like he was about to die. Cats leave their home to die away from their owners and it would just be my luck that this cat would roll a seven on my tomato feed. We couldn’t bring him in because we’ve got two of our own who I barely trust not to kill me in my sleep, let alone an imposter, and anyway he was lifting with fleas. A stray. Well, that was me. I know you see me as some stone-hearted brute with the emotional range of a house-brick but not when it comes to animals. People, fuck ’em. Children? Pah. But cats? Oh no. I lifted him into a cat basket and sat him on the cat tree, wiped his eyes with water and went to fetch my Abide with Me CD. I brought him a slab of Whiskas (incurring piss-taking from a friend who took great delight in pointing out I was feeding stray cats on a Le Creuset saucer), some water and left him to it on a blanket. Our own cat came dashing out of the cat flap but, perhaps sensing the other cat was no threat, left him to it (though ate half the food – cat after my heart). We checked in during the day and he was sleeping, barely moving, and after we returned from seeing Escape Room at 11pm, popped our heads in only to see he had still barely moved and was breathing shallowly, like me reading a sentence longer than eight words.

Well, we couldn’t cope with that level of emotional discomfort and a decision was made to take him to the vets, finance be damned. We rang the RSPCA who were absolutely bobbins (of course!) but luckily our own vets agreed we could bring him in, but could we drop him off at an emergency shelter up the road? 30 miles up the road? Of course. Nearing midnight now, on a Sunday no less. We attached a blue light to the Smart car and went to bundle the cat into a car carrier. In the dark, because no lighting in the greenhouse, because of course.

Let me tell you: for a cat that couldn’t see and was nearing death, he came to life like Evel fucking Knievel, hurtling around the greenhouse in a petrified blur. Could we catch him? Could we balls. Imagine trying to get a distressed cat into a carrier with only the light of a phone to guide you. I’ve got hands like Freddie Kreuger trying to get a jacket potato from a campfire. Hissing, shrieking and screaming – and with the cat making similar noises – we got him into a corner, only for Paul to drop the carrier and set him off again. We were about to let nature simply take its course when an unexpected turn: a very stylish gay lad turned up at our gate. At midnight. Asked if we wanted a hand, and I was a second away from asking him if he’d made an appointment and even so, you’re at the wrong door for that mate, when he mentioned he’d lost a cat. He was walking past looking for his cat at the very moment we were trying to stuff him into the carrier. What serendipity! We let him in, he looked at the cat and confirmed that indeed, it was his. Well, not immediately: the first thing he did was sniff the air and say our greenhouse smelled like cat piss. My gay peacock-feathers shot up at this barb but I resisted the urge to say that it was because OF YOUR BLOODY CAT, and let it slide. He joined us for a cigarette in the garden, which must have looked peculiar to the neighbours to have three men sitting in the dark at our fabulous garden table, but hey. He was actually very lovely and friendly and I want his coat but that’s by the by.

We swapped numbers (because: I’m a slut) and off he toddled. All done, cat rescued.

Phone rings ten minutes later. Cat guy. Sounded terribly perturbed. Turns out he had passed the petrol station behind our house at the very moment it was being turned over. We could hear the alarms blaring in the background, and of course, we immediately called the police. Less than a split second later our house was locked up, we’d sprinted across the lawn at the front and were away in the Smart car to have a gawp. The CCTV footage of our dash is hilarious – Paul’s car goes over the speedbump like a rocket. You may remember he drives a toy car. The police were indeed there and we realised it would look suss to drive past eight times in a bright orange tiny car, so made our way home, where the police were waiting because they thought the robbers might have made their escape down our street. Listen: it’ll not be the first time a rough local trick with an ASBO has dumped his hot load in my back-alley, but I thought it remiss of me to boast. The policemen were delicious, though it was super awkward when they asked us for our new friend’s name and I had to explain I’d put him into my phone as Cat Man Noooo and didn’t know his name. In a sweet twist, the policeman asked if we’d been on the telly recently because his girlfriend comes to Elite with us and had mentioned us. I tried to hide my tittylip at the mention of his girlfriend because fuck me, he was handsome as all outdoors. All the while our cat chap is ringing with updates and then texted to say he was nearly home.

All done, cat rescued, petrol station robbery embroilment over. And so to bed.

Phone rings. He’s lost his keys and is terribly upset. Perhaps they fell out during the cat chase, perhaps whilst he was dashing away from a robbery. Well, as much as I wanted to go take advantage of the horn that only a brush with the law could give me, out we went to search the garden, again with phonelight, with Paul away up the street to help look. Ten minutes later, the chap calls. Found his keys. In the inside pocket of his jacket pocket, because bless him he was all a tizz from the night’s excitement. We confirmed that he was in his house, settled, cat in the carrier, no chip pan fires or plane crashes. Content that the night’s excitement was over, we all said goodnight, I got his real name and we all agreed to meet for a drink in a couple of week’s time when we’re not doing bootcamp. Just getting into bed and vehemently disagreeing with Paul that 2am isn’t too late for bumming even when one of us has to be up at 5am to register for Elite’s weigh-in thingy when oof, phone rings.

It’s not his cat.

In a curious turn of events, our lovely friend had assumed it was his cat (and later sent a picture of him with his actual cat to show the similar markings) and in a fit of excitement, taken the wrong cat home. Well, honestly. At this point, what more could be done? He graciously agreed to look after the cat and take him to the vets the next day, and after three more calls in the night to discuss the cat’s wellbeing and invite us over (hmm), this story was wrapped up neatly. He did indeed take the cat to the vet and sadly, it wasn’t chipped, but at the time of writing he’s still alive and responding well to whatever they’ve given him. We’ve made a new friend as it turns out that Cat Man – Dan – is actually hilarious (and it’s nice having a fellow gay in this town, and unusual in that we haven’t tasted his semen before learning his first name) and everything has turned good.

But the worst part? The cat, in its panicked state, flipped our Le Creuset saucer onto the floor and chipped it. I mean, for Christ’s sakes.

Gosh: that was a story and a half, wasn’t it? I so much prefer it when I have something to tell you. But, your poor belly. You must be starving, you’ll be working your way through your back-up gunt at this point. Let’s do the recipe: potato, bacon and beer bake. As you were.

potato bacon and beer bake

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potato, bacon and beer bake

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

Now. You can lower the syns in this by swapping out the beer for stock, but honestly you're doing yourself a disservice. The beer adds a lot of the taste, but it isn't essential. For the sake of a couple of syns, you'll get a great side. 

We found this recipe in an Italian cookbook by a chap called Gennaro. We adapted it slightly, but full credit to the guy who looks the double of Paul's dad on the front cover. You can pick up an ecopy here.

This makes enough for four decent servings as a side dish, but we had it between the two of us because: obesity.

Ingredients

  • 1kg or so of potatoes, peeled
  • 200ml of good lager - I used Brewdog's Lost Lager but any will do - around 6 syns 
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil (6 syns)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large onions
  • 200g of bacon - you can buy medallions and cut them up if you like, but we just used bacon lardons and didn't syn them because we're not frightened of a bit of redundant fat, unless it's Paul's mother
  • 80g of light extra mature cheddar (1 person's healthy extra, so fuck it, I'd be minded not to count it, but that's your choice to make) (or, do as we did, and double the cheese because you're a greedy heifer)

Instructions

  • put the oven onto 200 degrees
  • using your mandolin or a knife, thinly slice the potatoes and onions
  • throw the potatoes into a large bowl, add the beer, oil and lots of salt and pepper
  • line the bottom of an overproof dish with sliced tatties, onions, few cubes of bacon and some of the grated cheese
  • layer over and over and press down damn hard with your hand as you go, covering the top with more grated cheese
  • pour over the beer mixture, give it another press down and cover in foil
  • bake for an hour, then remove the foil and cook for another 30 minute
  • serve with whatever slop you want on the side

Notes

Courses side dish

Cuisine italian, supposedly

Nice, eh? Problem with making a potato bake is that the resulting photo always ends up looking like a scabby knee so, just trust your cubs on this one and I promise you it’s worth a bake.

Want more? Greedy cow.

Enjoy!

J

introducing the not quite so chubby cubs!

And it’s done! The most erotic thing you’ve ever seen on the TV since Nigella pushed her fingers into that cream horn that one time. Just me?

We didn’t hit our weight loss target of 20 stone between us before the recording – but I came closest to 10 stone, missing out by a few pounds – we then followed it up afterwards and stopped when we were happy – I (James) ended up losing 10 stone 3lb, Paul lost 8 stone 7lb, which means a combined weight loss of 265lb between us – 18 stone and 9lb. To put it another way, that’s about 120 bags of sugar, or a weekend delivery to Katona HQ. No wonder our bed doesn’t scream when we climb in anymore.

You can watch our bit below – there’s two videos, the ‘before’ bit and the ‘after’ bit. Fair warning, you might want to put a towel down.

We’ve got a load of blog articles about the experience queued up but just to answer a few of the pressing questions:

How did you do it?

  • Diet – Slimming World

We’re huge fans of Slimming World, as you know. We’re also rebellious in the extreme. So we did the plan, but by god, we did it our way. We didn’t use Frylight, we used olive oil and didn’t syn it. Never synned a bloody avocado, cooked fruit. We had full-fat yoghurt, not Mullershites filled with sugar.

Not once did we have: Slimming World ‘sweets’, crappy treat bags, CREAM HORNS MADE FROM WRAPS AND QUARK, apple turnovers made from bread and sweetener, pease pudding ‘lids’ for pies. If we wanted chocolate, we had it. Ice-cream, no bother. Give up booze? Pah! We took NINE holidays during our ‘year’ and still lost just shy of nineteen stone between us in a year. 

So, now, I can finally say with PROOF what we’ve been saying all along: EAT PROPER FOOD. Cook with proper ingredients, with decent recipes, and you’ll not be hungry, you’ll not feel like you’re on a diet and your weight will come off. Other recipe blogs, in between nicking from Pinterest, push Frankenfood recipes made from sweetener and fake food all to sell ingredients and it is bollocks. And now, look: the proof is in our pudding.

That pudding doesn’t contain any xanthum gum, forty eggs and seventy-five Amazon links, either. Do Slimming World, the support is fantastic and the plan if you follow it is great, but instead of chasing colossal weight losses every week – do it properly, cook more, avoid the temptation for fake food and look at what you’re actually putting into your body. No quick fixes, just a diet that doesn’t feel like you’re missing out.

All of our recipes – the stuff we ACTUALLY EAT, can be found here – it’ll open in a new window!

  • Fitness – Elite

Six months in and, finally able to buy one pair of jeans instead of two and stitching them together, we realised our weight loss was slowing and our fitness levels were absolutely shite. It’s all well and good being thin enough for sex but it loses the horniness when your lips turn blue when you climb on top. I’ve always said there’s no point being skinny if you get out of breath pulling back the lid of a yoghurt, and the above is just a fruitier take on the same line. So, what did we do? Gyms are boring, we’re too fabulous to run outside and there’s no guarantee of totty at a spinning class. We found Elite!

Elite is a nationwide company, expanding all the time, which offers a range of programmes to build your fitness. They are bloody amazing. We signed up for the ‘Transformation’ package where you pay a chunk for six weeks of high-intensity workouts (three a week) and a diet plan (which, because it’s low-fat healthy stuff, we made work with Slimming World). Here’s the kicker: if you lose 20lb (or more) in those six weeks, you get your money back – in total, no catches, no deductions. What greater incentive for a fat tight-arse Geordie can there be? We completed the first transformation, rolled it over another few times and lost 11 stone between us before we finished in April.

Worried you can’t do exercise? Trust us: you can. And they’re fun classes of bloody hard work, different nearly every time, with a great mixed group of people. No machismo, no pretence – everyone just getting on with their bit. Previously, the only time we’ve laughed during exercise is when Paul’s shorts split bending over to pick up a stray chicken ball – with these, it’s actually good enough fun that you can ignore your tingling fingers. There’s a mix of abilities from people who are super fit to those, like us, chubbies who could barely move. You do what you can do: you’re pushed bloody hard, but never beyond your limits. By the end of it, you’re a team. It’s cheesy and as confirmed anti-social helmets, we thought we’d hate exercising with people. Now we wouldn’t be without it. I mean Christ we ran a bloody 5k last year (remember?)

If you lose the weight, you get your money back. Simple as that. If you join up through our link, we get commission too, not going to lie, but I’ve been recommending this for months without the promise of cash in my pocket. You know us: we don’t bullshit with recommendations. If you’re local to Newcastle, let us know, we’ll happily keep you company if we can. I’m fully first-aid trained so if you pass out, my whiskery face will bring you back. I’m going to write a proper blog post about Elite and general fitness, but feel free to ask questions or, even better, click the banner below to be whisked away to find out more – and if you do sign up, mention us: twochubbycubs. Something has to pay for the great American road-trip in 2020…

What’s Davina like?

Tiny. But such a lovely, genuine, warm person – I wasn’t starstruck, I’m used to dealing with celebrity – I once saw the back of Raquel from Coronation Street’s head as she rummaged around in a freezer for frozen carrots in Presto – but any nerves disappeared the second Davina started talking to us. She’s a class act, through and through.

How do they film it?

That’s for another blog entry, but simply: you go down to London to film the first part of the show where you’re sitting on the sofa breathing shallowly and wearing your best ‘fuck me, that’s a bold pattern’ shirt. Then a whole year of filming bits into a camera, which is then edited for the middle part. Then off you go to London after a year, Davina puts the same dress back on and you walk out new men. Stitch it all together and boom, it looks like it happened overnight.

Any regrets?

Didn’t get the number of the gorgeous bear who did my make-up. I fall in love easily, and anyone who doesn’t wince as he gets out a giant pot of foundation for my fivehead is a keeper for me. Also, the cameraman who came up to film us was absolutely dreamy. If you’re out there and fancy doing a bit of extra on the side, we’ve got an onlyfans account that needs excellent production values.

It would have been nice to hit the target, but damn, we stopped where we thought we looked good. We could have done it if we had signed up to Elite a bit quicker or spent more time at home instead of holiday, but you know what, if ifs and buts were sweets and nuts, we’d just eat them too.

Final words?

If you’re reading this, and you’re inspired – do it. Start tonight. Start right now – make your own pledge, tell your family, take a whole year. Ten stone in a year sounds frightening until you realise it’s about 2.5lb a week. There’ll be days when I bet you could crap 2.5lb by 10am, the amount you eat. People get hung up on massive amounts to lose and get disillusioned when you only lose three pounds in a week. It’s Slimming World’s biggest curse that you’re constantly being pushed for bigger losses. Don’t fall for it. Lose weight slowly, lose it well, and you’ll be magic. Finish this for me.

This time next year, I’ll…

J


Media enquiries / sponsorship / centrefold shots / tasteful nudes: cubs@twochubbycubs.co.uk

announcement: it’s TV time for the cubs!

God I hate writing about ‘us’ in the third person, but I couldn’t get the title to work. I promised you an update, a salacious one, and then merrily forgot to update because a) we’re unspeakably lazy and b) we’re surprisingly busy and c) my tonsils have decided they want out and are rebelling against me. Lots of people are suggesting going to the doctors but I don’t want to explain why each tonsil has a perfect imprint of a bellend pushed into it like wet clay. So I’m riding it out, but you best believe I’ve lived on nothing but fags and ice-cream for the last three days. I’m looking after me.

SO OUR ANNOUNCEMENT.

We’re on the telly! For a change, it’s not some blurry footage of me getting bummed in a lorry park either, which at least my mother is thankful for (though no-one forces her to hold the camera, just sayin’). Nope, we’re on THIS TIME NEXT YEAR, Tuesday 5th, 8pm on ITV. See if you can spot us in the trailer below (I’ll give you a clue, we’re the ones who look like Jeremy Spake’s stunt doubles wandering in from the cold).

There’s blog stories a-plenty coming about this, but the basic conceit is that you go on the show, pledge to do something significant and challenging and then you have a year to do exactly that. You go see Davina for a wee chat, film yourselves throughout the year and then come back a year later to reveal all. It’s a lovely programme and, how could we not? We applied and they turned down my original pledge to taste-test a chap from each town in the UK with a population over 5,000, but we got talking about weight loss and this snowballed into ‘THIS TIME NEXT YEAR, DAVINA, WE WILL LOSE TWENTY STONE BETWEEN US’.

Well, we had to:

Crikey. No spoilers, of course. You’ll have seen we have lost a little weight, but did we do it? Did we make a big change? Did we do the right thing by our readers and follow our own recipes and lose weight? Are we proof that not synning avocado, not drowning everything in Frylight and not making apple turnovers and cream horns from Quark and wraps will help you lose weight?

Wait and see! Wish us luck!

J

actifry presents: best ever southern fried chicken

Actifry Southern Fried Chicken! I know, listen to us, rubbing our breasts with spice (classic Newcastle behaviour that, just need a quick romp in a bus-shelter and a bag of chips and I’ll be sorted) and going on about the Actifry. You know what that means…

actifry

Yeah, I know. Usual twochubbycubs stuff applies here: we’re always honest, we don’t say it’s good for the sake of it and frankly, this Actifry Southern Fried Chicken will leave such a good taste in your yawning gob that’ll it replace the bad taste from our sponsorship. And anyway, hush, Paul has rickets from New Year and I’m putting cardboard in my shoes. What more do you want? If you want me on my knees begging, well, contact us on Grindr and make a payment.

We’ve got a couple of big posts coming over the next two including a big announcement tomorrow (!) so I won’t keep you here too long. I’ll only tell you this: how our New Year’s Resolutions are going. I’ve taken up smoking. Paul’s had two affairs and worn out his knees in the local forest (and he wasn’t looking for truffles, as you may suspect). We tried to give up terrible trash telly but Paul’s busy shouting at the telly because there’s a family with one set of teeth between them on Jeremy Kyle. Exercise is going great guns though: I split one pair of gym shorts trying to do a somersault at boot-camp and Paul had to take a seat and catch his breath from filling up his water bottle. My attempt to calm down behind the wheel came to an end the second one of the distant neighbours didn’t wave animatedly enough as I let him onto the street and it took all my strength not to back the car up at 60mph and run over his loafers. Kindness to the cats disintegrated once one of the little hellions decided the best place to put his face, including his tiny cold nose, was between the cheeks of my arse as I slept. I don’t know who screamed more: Paul at the shock of me hurtling out of bed, the cat because, instead of the rich Bovril scent he expected, he was met with a blur of chronic obesity and swearing, or me: I’ve been married twelve years and any unexpected action around the rear is both a colossal shock and an unwelcome distraction.

Anyway. Enough razzmatazz. We’ll save that for the upcoming posts.

Actifry contacted us to take part in their New Year Revolution a couple of weeks, challenging us to make something new in the Actifry. Once I’d checked that this involved absolutely no physical movement, and been reassured that no, I could do it from the comfort of my chair, we were good to go. They sent a fetching pinny (I can’t begin to tell you how hot I look: imagine someone rolled a marshmallow on a barbershop floor and stuck two boss eyes on it) which I can’t wear because it excites Paul too much when I wear a smock. He thinks he’s getting fed. Also, a wonderful plastic meal-decider which makes a charming rattle when you spin it. The good folks loved me as I shrieked through playing with that, I promise.

The Revolution (because the Actifry spins, see) was to take an old recipe or a family favourite (my own family’s favourite is bitter arguments over cheap supermarket beer, but that option wasn’t on there). We spun the spinner and landed on Southern Fried Chicken. Well, honestly: that’s easy, we spend so much time in the KFC drive-thru that they know when to rota extra staff on to cope with our order. So, off we went.

Before the recipe, the advertising bit. I know, but bear with us. If you take a gander through our old posts you’ll see we have always been advocates of the Actifry – hell, we’ve shifted enough of them via Amazon that we really ought to have shares in Tefal. But there’s a reason: they’re excellent. We chuck all sorts in ours but here’s a top tip: put your sausages in with your chips – the oil from the sausages cooks the chips, the chips roughen up the sausages and everyone is happy, including even you. Syn free chips? No bother: no oil, bit of Worcestershire sauce, beef stock cubes. Go. The Actifry cooks things nice and gently and means you can still have your favourites without all the fat and grease of a deep-fat fryer. Personally, the only deep, fat fryer I love is Ali who runs our chippy: he has a belly I could build a nest in and arms that could ‘gently persuade’ me to sleep. Sigh. One day.

You might think OH BUT I CAN GET AN AIRFRYER FROM LIDL for a tuppence and yeah, you’re right, but you’re so much better than middle-Lidl-purchases and anyway, at least this Actifry looks the business. I tire of seeing £19.99 rejects looking like bad Daft Punk cosplay littering our reader’s kitchens. What price dignity, people? Have a look under the recipe to see you can do so much more! And here’s a guide to the various Airfryers out there.

Right, let’s do this Actifry Southern Fried Chicken, shall we? Don’t want to use syns? Shame on you. You can make this syn-free though. Don’t forget if you’re having a burger, use your HEB.

southern fried chicken

southern fried chicken

southern fried chicken

1 vote

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best ever actifry southern fried chicken

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 6 people

Now then. We've done a KFC recipe before, we've done bits and bobs with crispy chicken, but we reckon this is the best. I mean obviously we would say that because the good folks at Actifry aren't going to give us silver if we say it's pap, but listen, we've been honest all the way through this!

Don't have an Actifry? Well, gosh. Get one. Or, do this in the oven - it'll be a wee bit soggier though. Not a huge fan of soggy breasts, usually.

Ingredients

  • five chicken thighs and four chicken breasts or whatever you want
  • 100g panko (18 syns, but this makes enough for 6 people - and if you use panko, you can use a HEB for your breadbun and have a burger - IMAGINE SUCH LUXURY)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp onion granules
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic granules
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 1 tbsp marjoram
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Or:

  • cajun spice from the supermarket because haway, you're not that fancy to have all them spices. Bet you say ORIGANNO too

Instructions

  • pour the panko onto a plate or shallow dish and mix together all of the other dry ingredients
  • crack three eggs into another shallow dish and beat (the eggs, that is)
  • dip the chicken into the egg and let any excess slop off
  • roll the chicken into the panko and herb mixture until well coated
  • place into an Actifry (paddle removed) and cook for 30 minutes
  • make into a lovely burger, have with salad, yeah right, and crack on

Notes

  • panko is a type of breadcrumb y0u'll find it in all the main supermarkets (head towards the 'world foods' aisle, or near the Japanese stuff). If you can't get your hands on it normal breadcrumbs will do
  • you can reduce the syns by using your HeA choice wholemeal bun blitzed up. It won't be as nice, but it'll work
  • use any chicken you like! We used thighs because they're juicy (like us) and breasts (because we wanted a burger too) but you can use whatever you want. Drumsticks and even chopped up chicken will work just as well
  • if you can't be fannied on with all the herbs and spices any mix will do, cajun works well in this, or chicken seasoning. The flavour will be different, but as long as you like it, who cares?
  • using an Actifry makes this so easy to do, just plop them in and close the lid! If you haven't got one yet, what's wrong with you? Check out Amazon for the best deals!
  • when cooking, it might be a good idea to gently move them around halfway through to make sure they cook evenly
  • this made enough for 5 thighs and 4 breasts - if you're cooking less than that just amend the recipe as needed
  • don't have an Actifry - whack it in the oven

Cuisine American

Happy? You should be! Looking for more Actifry recipes? We got you, fam:

Enjoy!

J

cheddar cheese risotto – don’t mind the chest pains

Cheddar cheese risotto. Listen, if that doesn’t put a teardrop in your knickers then you’re dead inside and no amount of me luridly describing Jason Momoa spitting in your mouth during rough sex is going to get you in the mood, is it? What an opening sentence! It’s Saturday, so that means new post day, and here I am, up at the crack of dawn feeling sorry for myself because Yodel are delivering a parcel and that means having to set aside fourteen years to anxiously pluck at the blinds in my living room and wait for the delivery man to come sauntering up the street to the house next door to put a ‘sorry we missed you’ card through their door. They’re not sorry.

I’ve been suffering with a particularly severe form of tinnitus the last few weeks and I can’t deny it’s been getting me down. I’m alright at work, surrounded by noise, but first thing in the morning, or when I’m sitting on the toilet, or just drifting off to slumber, I hear it – this slightly camp, Liverpudlian/Oxford/Welsh accent (imagine if Inspector Morse fucked Cilla Black, and then sent the offspring to a detention centre in Llandudno (and a consonant please, Rachel) and you’ve got the idea) mewing away saying ‘when are you posting part two of my article, you fat, unloved bastard’. It’s been especially distressing the last couple of weeks when it’s become an endless barrage of lisped letters and threats so thinly-veiled you could use them as petrol station shit-tickets. So, without further delay, and possibly because there’s a real threat of my eyes being set on fire if I don’t comply, here’s part two of Shigella’s guide to the perfect buffet. Please do leave him feedback: he’s a budding writer (in that he’s just learned how to use a pen at 38 years old) and craves attention.

STRONG WORDS OF WARNING: he, like me, has an especially blunt sense of humour. If you are easily offended, boo-hoo, have a box of biscuits and shush. It is, however, a long article, so scroll until you see a plate of pure sex in the form of cheddar cheese risotto if you’re just here for the recipe. But trust me, you’ll be missing out. 

cheddar cheese risotto

click here to read part one – it’ll open in a new window, because we’re super fancy and don’t want to risk losing all that juicy ad revenue

With sausage rolls done, you’ve now got the beige foundation in place. A scotch egg, whilst delicious, is too big to be a buffet food, so go for the mini eggs you can get in every supermarket. You want the ones that contain the egg mayonnaise type mixture inside, don’t do what I did recently and get caught out by one of the fucking awful imposters that have flooded the market. I fell for this trend for fuckery from Marks and Spencer’s of all places (a yellow stickered reduction, obviously, I was only in there to shoplift pants). I got home, tore feverishly into the packaging and lobbed a whole mini egg into my gob (I’ve had the entire patronage of a German Gentlemen’s club in there before, one egg is nothing). I bit down expecting a meaty, eggy explosion only for my mouth to be filled with…ketchup. Now I realise those fancy folk at M&S are my social betters and must know more than me about these things. I’ve tried to be M&S standard but I’m too fat to go fox hunting (have you ever seen a large family car on top of a horse – if not, imagine that, and you’ll see my distress) and my uncle prefers my brother over me so I’ve given up trying to understand their ways. But who in their right mind thinks ‘well Kenneth, if they like smooshed up egg and mayo, they’re going to fucking love vinegary tomato water as well’?

It’s all a bit ‘Heston’ for my liking. All that shit he knocks out for Christmas. Christmas Pudding with a whole plum in, mince pies with half a satsuma, turkey stuffed with a goose, stuffed with chicken stuffed with a divan drawer containing a missing girl from Dewsbury. Like Pandora’s Box or James’ legs, once they’re opened they won’t close. A line needs to be drawn. Stop buying this shit and they’ll stop making it.

Next to your mini eggs, eggs being the keyword here, not Asda own brand red sauce, you need something a bit more robust. You can’t go wrong with pork pie. Whilst I admit I may sound slightly hypocritical by saying I enjoy pork pie topped with and onion chutney or a pickle, these are too fancy for a buffet. Like any good gay I keep the satisfying toppings to the privacy of my own bedroom, kitchen, living room, the woods, the back of a car, the bonnet of a car, next to Boy George’s radiator, public toilets… I’M A PRIVATE KIND OF GUY AND I WISH YOU’D RESPECT THAT. Slice your pork pies into quarters so your guests can decide whether they want a bit with more delicious boiled pig jelly or if they’d prefer to go in dry.

Now you need some crisps. Unless you’re serving them from the bag (you fucking tramp) no one is going to see what kind you’re serving so there’s no need to go posh. Pringles from the tube, whilst convenient, are a fucking nightmare to get out unless you’ve got a Jeremy Beadle style claw-machine hand, so it’s a no to them. I remember a birthday part I went to as a kid where the bowl of crisps was loads of different flavours mixed together. My tiny little mind was blown. Every bite a different flavour? Fucking witchcraft. Things to avoid: Wotsits: you don’t need people wondering round your house smearing orange gunk all over your soft furnishing. Plus, there’s always the risk of getting found out that one of your guests wanked you off to thank you for your hospitality when your husband sees your knob glowing bright orange like you’ve had a tit wank off Katie Price on fake-tan top-up day. Also, I’d pass on the Scampi-n-Lemon Nik-Naks. For obvious, unfortunately-censored reasons. [James edit: aye, I like it near the knuckle, but so do they]

Fancy up your crisps up with a dip selection if you’re so inclined. There is nothing wrong at all with one of those four in one dip packs you get at supermarkets. When serving one of these it is important to throw away the lid before it reaches the table so no one knows what they’re eating. That way people will eat all the dips because they’ll forget which one tastes like the underside of a rent boy’s foreskin after the weekend of the Tory Party conference. If you’re having dips you may as well get breadsticks. When I went to America a few years back my mind was blown to discover a breadstick could actually be a delicious, warm stick of actual bread and not those brittle sticks of dust that could be used as an effective weapon in a prison brawl. Regardless, someone eats them so pop them out and they can be used to mop up residual dip.

A good buffet needs sandwiches. This is the most time-consuming part of the preparation but I’m afraid they’re essential. However, the best part of buffet sandwiches are they fact they’re so arse-numbingly boring that you don’t need to spend ages on the fillings.  You only need to do 3 types of sandwiches, all on bread so white and cheap it would vote leave, get hard over a blue passport and complain their Spanish holiday they got for a tenner from tokens in the Mail on Sunday is ruined by being full of foreigners. Smear liberally with your favourite ‘I can’t believe it’s not dripping’ butter substitute then apply one of the following three fillings:

  • grated mild, flavourless, cheddar from a bag.
  • ham – the kind you get 20 slices for a quid and have to blot with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. One single slice per sandwich.
  • egg mayo – from one of those giant tubs that when you open the house fills with a smell best described as Rolf’s arsehole after his first week in prison.

That’s it. No pickle, no mustard nor any cress. A true buffet sandwich is as basic as a pumpkin spiced latte drank whilst wearing Ugg boots and listening to Ed Sheeran. Cut into wonky quarters and cover badly with cling film so the edges stale slightly until ready to serve.

A buffet staple that is becoming increasingly overlooked these days is food on sticks. I’m not talking the frozen stuff you get from Iceland (I’ll get to them) but the homemade stuff. That’s right people: cheese and pineapple. This is the stuff that childhood dreams and adult wank fantasies are made of. Hacking away at a block of Smart Price cheddar the size of a house brick and spearing it aside a pineapple chunk you’ve fished out of a tin then having it displayed proudly from a foil wrapped baked potato is what this country was built on. Well that or racism, but as one of my friends is black I’d like think it’s this. If I don’t see one of these bad boys on your buffet table you better believe I’m going to fuck your husband and wipe my knob off on your nets after. Britain is already broken, why make it worse?

Now, here’s a controversial one for you but hear me out. You trust me, right? We’re all friends here. I promise it won’t hurt for long, shhhhh don’t cry, just push out as I push in…cocktail sausage and mini pickled onion on a stick. Now unclutch those pearls and let me explain my logic to you. Cocktail sausages are more of a texture than a flavour, they need a fuck load of salt or ketchup to really get them tasting of anything. The sharpness and crunch of a cocktail onion really bloody works with it. Next time you’re setting up a buffet, try it for yourself! Worst case scenario and I’m wrong (but if I managed to convince that jury I fell and landed on every single penis in that football team, then legally I can’t be wrong) then you can serve the sausages and onions separately. But we can’t be friends.  Lovers, but not friends.

These are your buffet staples and you can make large enough quantities to feed everyone without extra fuckery. But if you want to pad it out, supermarket party food is the way to go.  Especially now it’s always on multibuy offers so you can fill your freezer until you need them. Unless like me, it’s 3am on a Wednesday and the fit ginger lad from Greggs as just been around to feed me his YumYum and I feel the need to follow it up with 24 assorted vol-au-vents. If you’re using pre-packed party food the biggest piece of advice I can give you is FOR THE LOVE OF CHER MAKE SURE THERE IS ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE. Got 20 people coming? 40 chicken skewers minimum. Don’t be that fucker that puts out 10. If you are that person, look in the mirror. Take a long hard look at yourself. Who hurt you Brenda? Why are you like this? Most supermarkets have got clever so the party food all cooks at the same temperature so you can do it in advance. Except mini kievs. Do these fresh, no one likes a cold kiev. If there’s no risk of a garlic butter spray that leaves you with third-degree burns then, frankly, it’s a waste of chicken gristle and panko.

What even is panko, anyway?

[James edit: fuck off]

I don’t serve pudding at a buffet, I’m a savoury kind of guy, but if I’m feeling festive I’ll empty a few tubs of celebrations into bowls and scatter them around the table and that usually will do it. I will put on a cheeseboard but my love of cheese is a whole other ten-thousand-word essay.

So, to surmise:

  • hot fork buffet are for wankers who put their Lidl shopping in Waitrose bags before they get out of the car
  • make enough fucking food for everyone
  • beige is best

Thank you for reading. If you’d like to hear more from me, let the cubs know. They’re keeping me in their attic at the moment and I’m having to survive on what I can wring out of their ‘magic’ socks and rainwater. Please send help/cash/nudes.


I know, right?

You’re back with James now, don’t worry. The gay sex jokes are just as laboured but at least you won’t be starving. Please. You’re always hungry. Neither of us got to the point of scrolling right to the end of the available sizes on H&M and crying from being moderate with our food intake.

Food time. This is another recipe we’ve ‘appropriated’ from Nigella, but she’s cool, she’ll appreciate the thought of two fat blokes shrieking in the kitchen as they tip an entire worktop’s worth of grated cheddar into the risotto pan. You, with those raw thighs, ought to stick to the SW recommended amount of cheese.

cheddar cheese risotto

1 vote

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cheddar cheese risotto: with ham and leeks and everything

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

Right, look - risottos take a bit of time, and I actually made this the proper way by adding ladles of stock one at a time, stirring until absorbed and gazing icily into the sitting room where Paul was watching telly whilst my ankles ached. But you can do it the twochubbycubs way too: just throw all the stock in, bang the lid on and walk away for twenty minutes or so. I don't care, I'm not your mother: if we were, you'd never go out wearing that, young lady.

I use butter in this recipe because it's nicer, but if you wanted to make it syn free, just use Frylight. Pfft.

Ingredients

This makes enough for four, but only uses four Healthy Extra A choices. Because that matters. So don't worry, if you're being a fatty fatty bum bum, you can have an extra Healthy Extra A later. But I don't care.

  • 25g butter (7 syns, if you use reduced fat butter, or if you're like me, make out like you did but actually used proper full fat butter because it's sexier)
  • 5 finely sliced baby leeks
  • as much shredded/cut-up ham that you have
  • 300 grams risotto rice
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard (which I'm not synning, and you can fuck right off if you're worried about a tenth of a syn)
  • 1.2 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 120 grams grated extra mature cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Instructions

  • melt the butter on a low heat and add your leeks - allow to soften and burble away nicely
  • add the mustard and the rice and stir everything through, coating all the rice in that delicious, filthy butter
  • now, it's up to you:
    • add all the stock at once, throw the lid on and allow to simmer for about twenty minutes until cooked; or
    • add the stock one ladle at a time, waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more - this makes a creamier risotto and is generally worth the effort but, I know, that Chat magazine isn't going to read itself
  • once the rice is cooked, add the cheese and ham and stir, saving a bit of ham for the top if you're fancy
  • sprinkle with chives or, if you're like me, leave them in the fridge

Enjoy!

Notes

  • for a risotto - and especially if you're going to do the old throw-it-all-in-and-walk-away technique - you want a good heavy pan that doesn't stick - we use Le Creuset because we're posh and Amazon currently have a good range
  • can't afford to spunk £150 on a pan or just plain old tight? No worries - Marks and Spencers currently do a knock-off Le Creuset range which is really decent for the price
  • this recipe is adapted from Nigella Express, one of my favourites
  • add peas, garlic, peppers, bacon, any old shite

Courses evening meal

Cuisine stodge

Yum! What more could you possibly want from us?

We have an absolute bucketload of risotto recipes, why not try them?

Enjoy!

Also: 5 February 2019. Sssssh.

easy egg and cheese tortilla pie: breakfast time!

Tortilla pie awaits you at the bottom, under all this guff. Do be a love and take a look.

Yes, we’re back.

It seems fitting that not long after Cher announces her comeback, we make a triumphant return. Listen, I’m robotic, tuneless, ageless and popular with those light in the loafers, but you don’t need to pay £600 to hear me blasting out Believe. I’ll do it for a pack of Frazzles and a quick punch of my backdoor by your husband.

You know they say the road to hell is full of good intentions? Ours certainly is: we fully intended to come back with new recipes after Canada…and we did, briefly, but then we buggered off to Tokyo. Then Christmas necessitated full concentration as we worked on turning ourselves spherical. Our road isn’t full of good intentions so much as it has many lay-bys and each one of them has a Hungarian lorry driver in it who is missing his wife. You know what it’s like – you get your head down, close your eyes and poof – three months have gone by.

How are we? Let’s touch on a few of the regular beats of this blog and I’ll update accordingly. Paul and I are fine: both still fattened by Christmas, not sleeping enough and spending far too much money on trinkets and holidays. We continue on our merry-go-round-and-round of ‘fresh starts’ and ‘let’s get healthy’ but it always dissolves the very second trade comes over who smells faintly of takeaway. I’m a sucker for a fat kebab, after all. We’ve had adventures: thrown ourselves off the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, broke a robot in Tokyo, powerminced around the CN Tower in Canada, Paul’s pregnancy scare – but here we are at the start of 2019 in the unusual position of having nothing planned for the year ahead. I say that, we’ve got bootcamp starting next week so at least I can look forward to a trip in an ambulance and six months of hearing my mother desperately trying to convince the doctors to turn off my life-support. Cheers Christine, but it’s only a sprained ankle.

Tell you one thing though: I still feel old. I’ve never been one for navel-gazing – not least because my navel is currently hidden by my festive tits – but boy oh boy. I’ll be 34 this year, and that means it’s the last year where I can stay in the 25-34 field when signing Paul’s life insurance documents. This is terrifying to me. Assuming my lifestyle of sitting down at any given opportunity and counting crisps as a five-a-day because potatoes grow in the ground catches up with me, I can probably realistically expect to live to just 68. I’m halfway through my life and all I have to show for it is a nice house, many holidays a year and a fabulous beard (his name is Paul). Truly I am cursed. A friend of mine uses the question ‘how many partners have you had in the last three months’ during his visit to the clap-clinic as a measure of his success in life, I use how many months closer to the grave I am. However, I’m not letting this continuing existential crisis bother me, I promise – just a quick quiet sob in the lift at work when I realise my beard is streaked not with manschpackle but the salt-‘n’-pepper that comes to all men.

I asked Paul how he’s feeling and he said he’s alright. That’s the problem with Paul – he paints with words and it’s sometimes so difficult to pin down exactly what he means.

It’s a new year and whilst I’m not given over to making resolutions, I’ve made 4.

Family is fine – parents are working feverishly to make sure I don’t have any inheritance left and, out of the shrapnel that might fall out of my mother’s jackboots (who knew that the Wehrmacht catered for a size 2 shoe?), most of it will be going to my nephew. Tsssk. I know adopting a child out of sheer avariciousness is wrong but if it helps me get my hands on the family silver (the foil in my mother’s Lambest and Bitler) then maybe it’s an option. Gives me something to entertain myself with in between Switch releases.

Work continues ever onwards.

Neighbours – we’re still disliked as though we’ve personally been in each house and walked dog-shit into the carpet. We’ve been here five years and whilst there’s a few lovely ones, we still get all manner of shitty looks whenever we go outside. We get told (and we promptly ignore) where to park our cars, how to cut our garden and what flowers to plant. It’s all so presumptuous – I don’t knock on their doors to give them a guide to douching, although given how full of crap they are it might not be such a bad thing.

And finally, the blog itself. What started as a vanity project for my recipes has become a behemoth and a millstone, but in a mostly good way. We’ve got a few surprises coming down the line which I’M STILL NOT BLOODY ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT, and lots to say!

Going forward, the plan is a weekly article and recipe, with the odd recipe sprinkled in when we can find the time. This way, you get regular updates but I don’t get myself a nervous breakdown trying to come up with my eightieth euphemism for vagina that night. Kid-shitter. Front-bum. Pink demon. This should also cut down on the sheer amount of idiots who message us whingeing about recipes or asking us to explain the plan in minute detail. I’d sooner rather listen to Ed Sheeran breathing heavily in my eye whilst his ginger beard dances across the back of my neck than have to spend ten more minutes trying to decipher what Shirley ‘School of Hard Knocks’ from Runcorn means by ‘cnt av pastargh hussband on fire owminty syns in tuffpast‘. You don’t know the toll it takes on a man to have 128 notifications of a morning and only three of them from bears with the rest of the notifications being from dinner ladies who should know better. I swear 40% of you only joined Slimming World because they spell sins as ‘syns’ and you thought you’d found a kindred spirit in The Fearless Leader Bramwell.

Kidding. Love you really. Let’s do the recipe then, shall we? Tortilla pie. Dead easy.

tortilla pie

tortilla pie

3 votes

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syn-free cheese, ham and egg tortilla pie

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 2 servings

You have no idea how much I love Nigella Lawson. There's something about her tremendous hair, elegant way of chatting and her ability to eat absolutely everything with style that warms me to her. This is from her At My Table book, which I heartily recommend if you want to sit with your tongue hanging out. This takes less than five minutes to make and 15 minutes to cook - one of the easiest breakfasts we've ever made. Thank you Nigella!

Ingredients

This makes enough for two people. Cook it, cut it in half.

  • two wraps - make sure they're the HEB allowance, which changes every single time Margaret runs out of ultra-clutch Elnett - currently the Weight Watchers white wraps are free - racist
  • 80g of extra mature cheese (40g being a HEA for one person, but in BOLD NEWS, you're allowed two healthy extras now - so feel free to double up the cheese again!)
  • as much cooked ham as you like
  • four eggs
  • pinch of sea salt
  • optional: add a splash of hot sauce, some slices of tomato, spring onions...anything you like
  • ooooh, fuck that, add bacon - all the bacon

Instructions

  • get yourself a wee sandwich tin and either Frylight it or use a drop or two of oil
  • squeeze one of the wraps into it, making a small bowl
  • drop in the ham, crack in the eggs (don't break the eggs up, you want what looks like a fried egg) and add a pinch of salt onto the eggs
  • add any extras and add a third of the cheese
  • frylight or use a drop of oil to brush over the second tortilla and place it oil side up on top - pinch it down around the sides
  • add all the cheese in the world and a good squirt of hot sauce on the top if you want it
  • bake it in the oven until the cheese is cooked and the wrap has brown and risen up on the side
  • serve with beans

Notes

Courses breakfast

Cuisine breakfast

Delicious. Get it in you.

More wrap ideas? Why don’t you give these a go?

There. All done.

J

cheese, ham and onion bake in the slow cooker

Here for the cheese, ham and onion bake done in the slow cooker and just the thing for slopping down your nightie whilst the dark nights close in? Of course: it might look like a scabby back, but it tastes absolutely bloody amazing and frankly, I’d have this dish every night if I could, or at least until the good folks at Wansbeck Hospital had me bluelighted in with cheese crust on my mouth.

Speaking of cheese crust, a while ago we published a blog entry from Frederick West detailing his method for making the perfect roast potato. We received record feedback and for those two people, he’s agreed to pen another article. It’s another hot-button topic – not least because his keyboard is eighty per cent cigarette ash – buffet. What makes the perfect buffet? What’s the ideal strategy for winning at buffet? Now, this entry is especially girthy and because I know some of you will be reading this on a Speak ‘n’ Spell powered exclusively by Poundland batteries and tears, I’m going to split it in two.

For those devoid of all joy in your life, click the picture below to be whisked straight to the recipe.

That’s you, that is.

Everyone else buckled in? A slight caveat. Our writer isn’t subtle. Address your complaints to the nearest bin.


Buffet is one of those words that means different things to different people: like fashion, happy or consent. But what is the correct answer? It’s time to get the bottom of this mystery once and for all. I will not rest until we have uncovered the truth or I get hungry. So, join me, Other Paul, twochubbycubs’ roving reporter, a pale imitation of Alison Hammond both literally and euphemistically, on my most important mission to date.

The biggest shitshow that masquerades under the good name buffet has to be the ‘Hot Fork Buffet’. A couple of heat lamp fermented trays of slop, chips and rice and God fucking forbid, a salad do not a buffet make. I made the mistake of having one of these travesties during the evening reception of my wedding.

A tray of curry so bland that you could have had toast and found it spicier, a pan of Scouse (a traditional Liverpudlian stew, not the contents of Cilla’s make up bag) along with completely unseasoned rice and chips. Now my family, they like a drink. They really like a drink. They’d been going since 3pm and they’d just seen their son/grandson/brother/nephew/cousin (in some cases 3 of those, we’re a close family) say ‘I do’ to a bloke that looks like Dawn French shaved her head, came off her mood stabilisers and got woken up by a wasp’s nest in her fanny.

Everyone was far too pissed to touch the food so I’m there hissing to my brand-new husband about it costing a tenner a head and not having room in the freezer for it all. So, I did what any tight arse would do, and shovelled as much of it as possible down my gullet. Sadly, as a result of this greed, about 3 hours later, a tight arse was what I was very much lacking as I pebble-dashed the shitter in the honeymoon suite. If we were a straight couple, it would have been nothing a quick rinse in the bidet wouldn’t fix before the wedding was consummated. You’d be correct in guessing my marriage was not consummated that night. As my shiny new husband so eloquently put it (I’ll use his wedding photo, he won’t mind):

“I’m not putting my dick anywhere near that, it looks like someone punched a Sara Lee gateau through a drainpipe”

Safe to say I did not get a hot forking that night.

If there’s something I hate more than the hot fork fiasco it’s the one’s where fuck all effort has been made. Often found at work events where you can see the lunch spread and you realise that enough food for 20 people has been set out and there are 50 of you there. Pro-tip in these cases – any work event that’s catered, get a seat by the door. The second you break for lunch, you run, I don’t care if you’re 40 stone with ankles that have already buckled under your considerable gunt, you fucking run.

If there are people in the way, take the bastards down: you get one shot at this tubsy, don’t fuck it up. When you’re at the front of the line and ready to fill your plate, move tactically. They put the salads first, followed by the carby items. THIS IS A TRAP. If I have to tell you to give the salad a miss then just delete my number, we can’t be friends. I don’t care if you’ve a cock like the creatures from Tremors, there is no room for salad apologists in my chocolate corridor.

Next come carbs, if it’s chips, build a base layer on your plate, but don’t stack high. This is how they get you. If the only choice is rice, fuck it. It’s going to bland, plain, boiled shit. Once you’re past the carbs, go mental. Fill the plate and stack it as high as possible. You may feel judgmental eyes fall upon you but those are usually the eyes of senior management who skimped on catering and are at the back of the queue. They deserve to starve. You’ll have no chance at seconds here so treat it like a game of Buckaroo, only with a slightly stale sandwich and some Aldi own-brand kettle crisps. Be brave.

The worst case of under-catering I’ve ever experienced was at my mother-in-law’s funeral. Fucking exhausting day: two hours of the people of Oz singing ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ followed by a full Catholic funeral. I’m no amateur with things like this, but after three hours of sucking off the clergy I’m gonna need to refuel. We arrive at the quaint village pub and straight away my ‘Fat Twat’ sense is tingling.

There has to be 60 people in the pub  and exactly 60 quarter sandwiches covered in clingfilm, a bowl of nuts and two bowls of crisps set out. I’m not entirely sure what’s gone wrong but people are going to go hungry and over her cold dead body it wasn’t going to be me. The only upside to the situation was the facr mourners are quite a respectful bunch, so I easily managed to push past the sad fuckers and pile it high. I’d like think the selfish old bitch was looking up at me and smiling whilst her toes burned for all eternity.

So, dear reader, what should a proper buffet consist of? Well first off: enough fucking food for everyone. Now I trust a blog with a readership consisting of people with portion control issues should be able to get their heads around this concept so I’m going to assume you do not need direction in this area. You need a solid foundation, a theme if you will. Also, remember the golden rule of Mother Dewsbury:

I won’t be challenged on this. I am prepared to fight you and I warn you – I’m 6’4 tall, permanently angry and being punched in the face is foreplay to me.

So, we start with our brown food staple. The Sausage Roll. Quantity is key here, everyone loves a sausage roll so the key is to go mini. Rather than putting out 20 full sized logs of pig’s eyelash and arsehole in soggy pastry, go for 80 mini ones. Tower them high, then everyone feels like they’re getting more. Of course, you can get cheese and onion ‘sausage rolls’ for veggies and if you’ve got vegan guests coming, tell them to bring a packed lunch. My Nan likes to make her own sausage rolls and after many years I’ve finally been able to get the recipe from her, primarily by threatening to have her heating turned off this winter. I think you’ll see that the crafty old bitch was right to keep this secret formula close to her heavy breast because it could change the world:

  • buy any old sausage from the shop. Take the meat out of the case;
  • form it into a sausage shape and wrap in shop brought pastry; and
  • egg wash and bung in the oven until the pastry is browned.

Well fuck me Elizabeth, I can see why you didn’t want that getting out to the masses, you could put Greggs out of business!


James here. That’s a good, devastating image to leave on, isn’t it? Imagining Newcastle without Greggs is like trying to imagine Southend with dignity and a hymen between the entire populous – inconceivable. The next entry will be a guide to the perfect buffet and, if you’ve enjoyed the above, you’re going to be laughing, slapping your knees and worrying about how to explain the damp patch in your knickers to your husband all over again when we publish it in a few days. Even better: I have a rebuttal article planned. That’s twochubbycubs for you: we’ll flog a dead horse, and then make a delicious Croatian stew with it.

I’d LOVE to hear your feedback on this one – get leaving comments! What makes a good buffet for you?


Right, let’s eat. All those words, you’re probably proper Hank Marvin. Let’s just say hello to those hoggish sort who couldn’t wait for the recipe. This bake is never going to win prizes for how it looks, but then, nor will I, and I’ve never had trouble getting my Vitamin D injection.

cheese, ham and onion bake

cheese, ham and onion bake

3 votes

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cheese, ham and potato bake - done in the slow cooker

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 6 servings

Listen, potato bakes always look like a load of hot arse, and no amount of skilled photography is going to hide the fact you're eating a plate of saucy potato. But: YOU'RE EATING A PLATE OF SAUCY POTATO. I mean haway, what more do you need? Someone to nip over and chew your food? I will, you know.

Ingredients

  • one tin of cream of mushroom condensed soup (13.5 syns)
    • use Campbells, and use the condensed version, it's so much tastier
    • not a fan of mushroom? then fuck off
    • if you must save your syns, use the low fat version for 7.5 syns, but honestly, spend the syns
  • eight large potatoes - we use King Edwards or something from Sainsbury's
  • as much cooked ham as you like - we just buy one of those little precooked hams and cut it into cubes
  • 240g of lighter extra mature cheddar (6 HEAs - but this serves six, so calm yer boobs)
  • two onions, white or red
  •  150ml skimmed milk (1.5 syns)

15 syns between 6 servings. 2 and a half syns. And best of all? No bloody Quark sitting on your delicious dinner like the Devil's Own Smegma.

Instructions

  • thinly slice your potatoes
  • chop up your onion
  • cube up your ham
  • dance through all your fears (war is over for a bit)
  • grate your cheese
  • mix the soup, cheese and milk together in one bowl
  • mix the onion, potato and ham in the other
  • then slop everything into the slow cooker and turn it on high for about 4 hours with lashings of black pepper and smugness
  • it'll be ready to serve after four hours but because we're catty bitches, we slopped it into a Pyrex dish and finished it off under the grill with a bit more cheese

Notes

Get ready to buy buy buy!

Courses slow cooker

Cuisine hearty-fart

Want more slow cooker recipes? No worries, here’s bloody loads!

Mwah!

J

Actifry presents: perfect paprika chips and maille popcorn

Howdo! ACTIFRY TIME!

Firstly, in the interests of openness and transparency, let me wheel out the banner:

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Some other blogs prefer to stick that out of sight – not us. We pride ourselves on honesty – if we’re recommending a product to you, it’s because it’s a magnificent product that you’ll actually benefit from, not just something we’ve had slipped into our products by some lovely marketing team. You guys know we’ve massive fans of the Tefal Actifry and thus, when they came to us to ask whether we’d be interested in a free Actifry and a chance to take part in their 360 degree marketing idea, we leapt at the chance. Well, we leapt as much as two fat Geordies with weak ankles could ever muster.

One thing we get asked a lot here at 2CC is for recipes for airfryers – people buy them, make chips in them and then spend the next few months staring angrily at it gobbling up space on your worktop. If it wasn’t there, imagine the tat you could have on display? Your collection of mugs with cats on. A banana stand shaped like a phallus? Your children? But see, the Actifry can do so much more than chips and what better way of showing you this than by…giving you a chips recipe. Oh I know, listen, but we’re just one small part of a fantastic idea to get so many blogs to contribute a recipe – and frankly, who better to do a chips recipe than the lads who are at least 60% potato? We’re also doing a popcorn idea – bit higher in syns but frankly, you’ve saved your hardened arteries by not frying your chips in tallow, why not splash out on dessert? You will when you see what goes into it.

What is the 360˚ challenge? Well, to demonstrate how versatile the Tefal Actifry is, those crazy cats are hiring a ferris wheel down at Exmouth and cooking all sorts of delicious meals in each capsule, to be dispensed to the adoring public below. When I first read the brief I thought we were going to be cooking in public and lord, that would never do: the Actifry may be a good bit of kit but it won’t work if I’m lying on the floor crying because I’m so high up and Paul is clawing at the emergency exit. Thankfully, all us bloggers have to do is to attempt to make a main and a dessert and complete the ferris wheel – so here we are! Our two recipes will be used on the ferris wheel, along with the contributions of so many other bloggers you know and love.

But why an Actifry? Listen, we know. You can buy something that looks like bad Daft Punk cosplay from B&M that’ll heat your food like a broken Premier Inn toaster and it’ll cost £5. An Actifry – a proper one, mind – is a big investment. But they work so well. You can chuck all sorts in there and it’ll cook evenly, with minimal fuss, browning your food to perfection. You only need a spoonful of oil to make proper chips – no more choking down pale, bouncy slivers of foam cushion for you. You’re not just limited to chips though – curries, chillis, desserts, stews…all sort of things are possible if you just believe.

Best part is? When you’re finished, you can whack all the cooking parts straight into the dishwasher. No standing at the sink crying into your Ajax for you! We explore the benefits of the Actifry in great deal right here!

As part of the challenge they sent us a lovely chopping board which you can see in the video – it’s a heavy, wooden beast – just like the husband. But more excitingly, knowing that they needed me to look professional, they sent me a new pinny to replace my current B*Witched apron. I think I dress up lovely and smart.

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I’M A PRO.

Because the Actifry is all about quick easy recipes, we’ve turned our normal blog recipes into two Youtube videos – save you having to read all those big words! First, the paprika chips:

Hand on heart time – these were the best chips we’ve ever done, and we’ve made so many chips in the Actifry that we consider ourselves megaminds on the subject. Not least because of my giant head. The sesame oil adds a lovely new taste and the paprika makes them smoky. Just look at them!

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Paul tried to get his hands on my share, but don’t worry. I ironed his face like Little Mo.

Paprika chips done!

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And then the Maille Popcorn Aperitif:

Looks good when it comes out! Tastes decent too. Not going to lie, I had reservations about it because I thought it would be super five-spicy, but no it works a charm! You could add powdered cheese instead of spices. Cheese and butter. Don’t tell your consultant.

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And I can complete the dessert wheel!

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Enjoy! Right – that’s our bit done, but now, if you’re curious for more Actifry, can I suggest you let your fingers do the talking and have a look at the next blog who we are challenging to come up with more Actifry recipes, the lovely Veggie Desserts! Click on their logo to be taken straight there. I have to warn you – their desserts are absolutely immense.Yum! Fair warning though – the lovely Kate does proper desserts that don’t taste of sweetener and hot bum. Let your belt out.

Let us know what you think of the video recipes!

J&P