BBQ pulled chicken, if you please? This is our second competition entrant and my god I just want it so badly I’ve had to push my chair a few inches from my desk to compensate. Now, because there’s actually two recipes at play here, I’m awarding two entries! Just like my ideal Sunday. This is coming from the lovely Lisa-Leela!
Everyone who has submitted an entry, keep your eyes open! They’re starting to appear!
This is a thick, juicy BBQ sauce - if you're super anal, which I love the fact that'll appear on the Cubs' blog, you can syn the brown sugar. But come on.
½ red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed (tip: use a mini grater if you don’t have a garlic press)
1 level tbsp tomato purée
1/2 tsp cumin
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
juice of ½ lemon
1 level tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chilli powder
few drops Tabasco sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt & freshly ground black pepper
Spray a small pan with whatever spray oil you like to use. On a medium heat sauté the onion until soft (about 5 mins) add garlic cook for about another minute
Reduce heat. Add tomato puree and cumin, mix for 1min. Add the canned tomatoes and all the remaining ingredients stir and cook gently until the sauce reduces and thickens to your liking (usually around 35 - 40 minutes for me)
Season to taste with salt and pepper
You can blend to make a smooth sauce or leave it as it is for a chunky bbq sauce. If you want to make a thinner sauce simply add water a spoon at a time when blending until you get the desired texture.
The sauce keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks and can be frozen for up to 3 months.
(Use half this sauce for Pulled Chicken recipe)
If you prefer a sweeter sauce you can add 2 tablespoons brown sugar when cooking but that will increase syns/calories.
Now you have the BBQ sauce, you're going to use it to make an amazing pulled chicken, which you can load into sandwiches, burgers or whatever the hell you want!
900g boneless skinless chicken (you can use a whole chicken, remove thighs, drumsticks and breasts, cut breasts into 2 or 3 pieces or use just chicken thighs, or a mix of thighs and breasts)
1 small onion, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1tsp smoked paprika (smoked paprika gives a much different taste to sweet and is more suitable for a barbecue flavour)
1 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
175g homemade BBQ sauce
heat the oven to 170°c.
spray the base of a heavy pot (with a lid) with whatever spray oil you use. Place over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes or until quite soft. Add the smoked paprika and stir. Add the chicken pieces and mix well. Add salt and a couple of generous grinds of black pepper.
set 2 tbsp of the BBQ sauce aside and pour the remaining sauce into the pot. Simmer. Turn off the heat.
cover the pot with a heavy lid and put in the oven for an hour and a half. When ready move the chicken to a large bowl leaving sauce in the pot. Use two forks to finely pull the chicken apart.
while you’re shredding the chicken, put any sauce thats left in the pan onto the stove over high heat and add the 2 tbsp that you saved earlier. Bring to a boil for about 5-10mins to reduce. Pour this thickened sauce over the pulled chicken and stir. Taste and season if needed.
serve with Broghies/buns/thins/slims/coleslaw/salad/homemade oven chips or whatever you fancy. Add extra barbecue sauce on the side if you like.
Perfect roast potatoes! Oh yes! Hello! Something new for the next few entries – you may remember we put a call out for folks to either submit a recipe or a blog story? Well – you came through in droves. I’m furious, I was expecting a couple of entries and then I wouldn’t need to put out.
Oh come on, we all know I’d put out for anything. I’m the third Tyne Tunnel. Anyway, speaking of windsock-arses, it’s over to Frederick “Rose” West for his competition entry. He gets two tickets for this – story AND a recipe? I promise it’s not just because I want him in me.
“But, enough about me, I hope this hasn’t been boring for you.”
This is my recipe for PERFECT roast potatoes. PERFECT must always be written in capitals because they are PERFECT and anything less is underselling them and a hate crime.
Apparently every fucker and his arthritic dog has their own method for roasties and I’ve read them all and spent 4 years perfecting my own. Most people learn from their Mum/Dad/Creepy uncle but sadly the only recipes passed down in my family are for wine and painkiller cocktails. Whilst these cocktails are deliciously numbing I could never get them crispy or to go with gravy.
I didn’t start working on these until my early 30s because my ex, for all his flaws (and clammy, bony hands) was a wonderful cook. Sadly our relationship wasn’t to go the long term because he apparently had a problem with other men’s penises being inside me, the little prude. I struck it lucky again when I met my current partner/first husband when I had another good cook. EXCEPT FOR ROAST DINNERS. Now when you shack up with a bloke from Lancashire who cries gravy when you bitch about his dead mother, you expect him to be able to knock out a decent roast. But no, his spuds are flaccid, his meat dry and his stuffing completely underwhelming. (fnar)
So I set about cooking roast after roast until I mastered PERFECT Roast Potatoes. Follow my instructions to the very letter and you will soon be basking in crispy carby Nirvana. Deviate from this plan and then you are only hurting yourself.
Do your research on this, if you’re doing a roast and want to keep it on your plan as much as possible, then this is where to spend your syns. A Sunday dinner without decent roast spuds is like sex without having to change the sheets and get a few stitches after. Not fucking worth it.
James here: don’t bollocks around ‘making do’ on Slimming World with a few scratty potatoes. We’re moving this into our no regrets section because honestly, it’s so much better to have something good once and a while than endless bouncy pale tatties. Listen to the man!
no regrets: Frederick West's perfect roast potatoes
Authortwochubbycubs | Frederick West
Put the oven on, sit back and read - then cook these beauties and live like a Queen! From your favourite Queen, after Paul and James: Paul II.
Maris Piper potatoes - Two medium sized potatoes per person. (These are the best. If you use other spuds they will not be PERFECT and I hate you for not listening to me)
vegetable oil - about a third of a bottle (not goose fat, not sunflower oil, basic bitch vegetable oil)
a roasting tin with shallow sides (too deep and they won't crisp)
get someone else to peel the spuds for you - this is a ball ache and boring
always cut the spuds on the diagonal, more surface area means more crispy magic. If it's a big potato, cut it into 3. You want them all to be roughly the same size, it doesn't matter if you have the odd small one as it turns into a delicious crispy lump, but don't have anything freakishly big cos it will take longer to cook and cock up the rest of them
pop the spuds in a pan of cold water, make sure they're all covered and salt the water liberally. I don't know what the salt does but I've never met a food that doesn't taste better salted
preheat your oven to the hottest temperature it will go. Pop down Co Op and put an extra quid on the leccy. It's worth it
put a lid on the pan, bring to a boil then set a timer for ten minutes. Run back into the kitchen when the pan boils over and extinguishes the flame from the hob. Take three deep breaths of the gas filling your kitchen and embrace the cheap high before relighting the flame
drain the spuds and put back into the dry pan. (No spit this time, breathe deep and you can do it) Lid back on and give two or 3 vigorous shakes. Fluff up your edges but don't trash the spuds. Put the lid back on at this point and let them steam in their own warmth as you go onto the next step
fill you roasting tin so there is about a CM of oil covering it, turn the oven down to 200° (That's fan, not sure what it is if you're living in the 50s and don't have a fan oven) put your roasting tin of oil on the top shelf for ten mins
this is the stage you have to be quick at. Tin out of the oven and get your spuds in. You don't want to over crowd the pan, give each one a couple of CM to breathe on all sides. As quick as you can all spuds in, be careful with the lid of your saucepan dripping water into your oil as you take it off as it will spit, you will shit yourself and you will ruin your kitchen floor
have a big spoon to hand and baste each spud with a liberal slather of oil
whack the tray back in the oven and forget about it for 20 mins
after 20 mins get the tray out and turn each spud, give it another baste and back in for another 20mins
now you need to use your own judgement, if they look done, dinner time! If you think they could do with one last turn, do it and baste again but they shouldn't need more than ten minutes
as soon as they're out of the oven, get them straight into a serving bowl or onto plates. DO NOT leave them sat in the oil any longer than absolutely necessary, it will undo all your hardwork and you'll hate yourself
looking for a good roasting tin? Buy a set from Amazon - we're not just recommending them because we get a few pennies from each sale, but also in the hope you might buy our book while you're on there
James back now. Come on, how good do they look? I’m a firm believer in a little of what you fancy does you good, and although I personally don’t have the level of restraint not to push my face into a pan of hot oil and eat them all straight away, like that wee lassie from Spooks so many moons ago, perhaps you do. Maybe they can be part of a SW diet, maybe not.
However, if you’re looking for more no regrets stuff we’ve done or other recipes, here’s a random few:
Quick pad thai – we did a proper pad thai not so long since but damn it, it takes so long. So here’s a quick version. However…before we get to the recipe, I enjoyed writing those little question and answer sessions so much that we’re doing a round three – unapologetically shameless here, you know.
What inspired you to start your page?
I made a shitty comic book style montage of my nana using an iPad. This gave me the idea of doing recipes in a similar vein – we struggled on like that for a few months before people start writing to us suggesting that we actually do novel things like listing the ingredients and methods and not including pictures of my cat’s bumhole. Poor sports. We changed the style to what you see today. One thing we’re particularly proud of is the fact that the blog remains resolutely low-tech, just writing, photos and we’re done. On other blogs – the one which likes to Pinch recipes from other blogs, in particular – it takes a year and a day to actually get to the recipe, after all the shilling for Frylight, facebook groups, video adverts and other tut. You might get some nonsense with our blog about our day to day life, but I think that keeps it unique. I (personally) would rather read a bit about the owners (although not 800 words about picking tomatoes at the local market) than some impersonal SEO-fest. I was also pig sick of making SW recipes that looked like cradle cap swimming in a pool of tomato water and realised that it had to be possible to cook well, follow the guidelines and still lose weight. Whaddya know – it is (and you don’t need Sukrin, Frylight, special meat or other tut to do it!)
How long will you keep going?
You’re talking someone who managed to pop an anecdote about getting blown in a hot-tub into a recipe for baked bean lasagne. As long as there are shenanigans to report and food to make, we’ll keep going. It’s been trickier this past year because something exciting has taken up so much time, but that’s done and now we’re back. Just need some bloody holidays.
Who’s the boss in the relationship?
Paul likes to think he is, but I have the weight and height advantage, plus he’d be hard-pressed to tell you who we bank with. Hell, he’d struggle to tell you his name without checking the inside of his blazer. We have very differing argument styles though – I shout and bawl and kick off, he gets very quiet and sulky. I’m emotional, he’s barely in motion. Something like that. We tend not to argue much as we’re both too fat and lazy to make a show of ourselves, but when we go at it, it usually involves me getting huffy, tripping over my words and spitting like a stuck cat, whilst he purses his lips and drinks his tea and rattles off facts and figures from 10 years ago that entirely disprove whatever point I’m trying to make. The man can’t remember to flush the toilet after he’s had a shit (dis-gust-ting) but that type I made googly-eyes at a passing biker in 2008 is imprinted on the back of his eyelids.
What toys do you like to use in the bedroom, stairs, wherever or is it all just you two?
Now come on, I’m not answering that. This is a family blog. OK, no, a Rubik’s Cube. I like to push it into him and watch him solve it without moving his hands. It might come out smelling of spoiled meat but it’s always a spectacle. I will say this, though, couples out there – don’t be afraid to experiment. The same way you wouldn’t want the same dessert every day for the rest of your life, there’s only so many times you can smile wanly at the same Mini Milk before you fancy a Feast.
Length or girth?
Ah, the age old question. This isn’t me being diplomatic for all the button-men out there, but it really isn’t imperative to have one or the other. You can drive to the same destination in a Smart car that you can with a bus, you know. Not going to lie – girthy feels nicer knocking on the back door, lengthy is good if you want a dip-test for your stomach acid, but if you don’t know how to use it, what’s the point? The worst sex I’ve ever had was with someone whose knob was like two full size coke-cans on top of the other. It was like being mounted by a clumsy dog that was more interested in getting his dinner. So, lads, if you’re reading this, don’t focus on your size, focus on your technique. That said, I barely have a gag-reflex these days, so if there’s anyone out there who wants to come and rub my heart from the inside, please get in touch.
If you could have just one super power what would it be?
Thanos’ power, or a variant thereof – where I could click my fingers and that person would vanish from all of existence. You get to get rid of people without all of the pesky murder charges, though sweeping up the ash would be a knacker. Old ladies stood in a cluster in the supermarket? Click. Someone looking at me funny? Click. Doctor explaining that I had RSI due to all the clicking? Click. There would be hardly anyone left by half three in the afternoon – though I’d like a second click to bring the person back, as I tend to react rashly (see above). Imagine how much grovelling I’d need to do to Paul for sending him to the nether-dimension just because he didn’t hang the bog-roll up right. Failing Thanos’ power, I’d like the ability to change people’s sexuality on a whim. Imagine the fun you could have with that? Old ladies stood in a cluster in the supermarket? Clack – scissoring time. Someone looking at me funny? Clack – they want to pedal my ears and make me pregnant. Doctor explaining that I had RSI due to all the dicking? Clack. Pfft, he’d have his mouth full.
If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life what would they be?
peanut butter Haagen Daaz;
Ibuprofen – a diet consisting strictly of the above two will lead to massive strain on my knees.
Where is the next travel destination? Do you ever think you’ll be bored of traveling? Do you avoid countries that are anti gay?
Three questions, what is this? Next travel destination is Canada. I’m sure we’ll get there some day…as for getting bored of travelling? How can you – the world is waiting and there’s so many places we want to go. Even in the UK alone we could holiday somewhere new every year and not get bored. Do we avoid anti-gay places? Yeah. Mostly. We would love to go to Russia, but it takes the shine off when you run the risk of having your face smashed up just for shagging a bloke. Well, it puts Paul off, I’m all about a gamble. For a good few years we used to holiday quite conservatively but Christ, you don’t want to get to your deathbed thinking you’d wish you had seen the world. We’re not sophisticated travellers – our luggage comes from George, we stay in cheapo hotels and we spend more time than is sensible sleeping when we get to destinations, but we’ve got so many memories now that how could it not be worth doing? 2019 will be the year of 14 holidays – we managed 10 in 2017 (still need to write them up!) – and we like a challenge.
What do you both do for a living?
Have you / would you do drag? What would your drag name be?
Done it once, I looked dreadful. Like Sonia and Sharon from Eastenders scrambled their eggs and shat out a baby that was raised in the forest. I had a cracking set of plastic tits mind, until someone put a cigarette out on my left boob. I’ve never felt less feminine. There’s a chap in a wheelchair who calls herself Sarah Palegic, which tickles me. I would absolutely love to see Paul in full drag just to see whether I’d be game for boffing him or not. He’s already got a smashing rack, he’s halfway there. I love proper drag – I’m not so keen on the ho-ho-Blackpool-drag that always gets wheeled out as a ‘shock’ on Come Dine with Me or Four in a Bed. Honestly, it’s at a point now where you just know that Clint / Gavin / Trent / [insert 70s porn name here, replacing Richard, Michael or Tom] is going to disappear upstairs, put on a Primark slip and come down as Ophelia Balls. The crowd went mild. Remember our trip to see Benidorm’s premier drag-act?
OK, that’ll do it for now. No more! NO MORE. Time for a quick pad thai, if you please.
Here for the lentil and butternut squash curry? When is it ever that easy with us?
A few posts ago Paul was given the chance to answer a few random questions from our readers. Because we’re so unspeakably arrogant, let’s roll the dice again! This time, me, James, will be answering. Prefer Paul? You’re wrong – he’s the Lidl James.
That’s not true, he’s better than I could ever dream of being.
What was your first impression of each other?
Great question – our first real time together saw us falling asleep next to each other within twenty minutes of meeting. My conversation will do that. That or my exhaustive anal technique. Anyway, I’d been holding in an almighty fart and I waited until he fell asleep to blurt it out. There was a moment or two of silence then an almighty laugh from Paul, and we never looked back, save for me to check I hadn’t shit myself. I knew then he was a keeper, because anyone who can laugh through the tears caused by my skin-peeling wind is for me. I just asked Paul for his first impression of me and it was simply ‘handsome’. Pfft. I thought Paul would love me more if I turned up looking like a Poundland Triga movie – I turned up in a Newcastle United top, grey trackies and a pair of trainers so clean you could imagine they’d been bleached. Clearly my Chloe Mafia brrrrap-brrrrap swagger won him over.
Do your ‘offline’ friends/family/colleagues know about your online presence/following?
We try and keep offline and online fairly separate. We’ve built up slight caricatures of ourselves for the blog and it can be difficult looking someone in the eye to talk about exciting work stuff when you know they’ve just read a blistering account of the time you accidentally fisted someone on a night out in Hartlepool. I mean, you don’t want anyone knowing you’ve been to Hartlepool, for Christ’s sakes. People are always astonished that the quiet one in the office has over 350,000 followers hanging on his every word. That’s why they call me Jim Jones and stare at me nervously as I’m making squash. We do find ourselves immediately caveating any trip to the website with a warning about the language, content, poor photography and swearing. My parents like to know exactly how much money the blog makes us so when I invariably die early due to a torn rectum, they’ll be able to cash in and bugger off to Alicante for a few months. Ghouls.
What advice would you give your 15 year old self?
Learn to drive as soon as you can. Noshing off lorry drivers for a quick trip up the A69 is never a safe idea. Stop worrying. Jason from Glasgow is going to make you unable to poo without crying for a week, practice first. Don’t grow that fucking awful Enya haircut two years from now. Don’t then dye it blonde so you look like a meth-addled Myra Hindley. Start on the grand plan earlier and you’ll have a house even sooner. Always double-douche. Don’t wank yourself silly over Fred Durst, save some juice for later – he turns into a mega-DILF with age.
If you were prime minister for a day, what would you change?
Mass deportation – straight into the sea, mind – of anyone who starts a sentence with:
I’m not being funny but…
I’m not a racist but…
The thing is, yeah…
…I turned around and said…
Coupled with the immediate destruction of anyone who shares ‘97% of people won’t share this’ drivel, anyone who doesn’t immediately acknowledge me letting them in on the motorway and anyone who walks more than two abreast on a path. Oh, and the reintroduction of gloryholes.
If you were only allowed to pick one country for the rest of your holidays where would you go?
Germany. Partly because of happy memories, partly because of shenanigans to come, and mostly because it’s an amazing country full of history and culture. Plus fuck it, I can sneak out on a train to all the countries around it. Want to play properly? Canada. I want to live there – a giant farm by a lake, nothing around me than the corpses of the people I pick up on Grindr. As long as I can still download Dr Who and Paul can still get his subscription boxes, we’ll be fine.
Do you read every post and all replies on your FB page?
Yep! We don’t always reply to them – usually if they’re bad mannered, illogical or lazy. I also make a point of refusing to answer anyone who has bilge in their profile picture. If they look like they’ve ever so much contemplated buying a LIFE LAUGH LOVE wall decal, they can go.
Which female celebrity would be your straight crush?
Not even a straight crush – she remains my number one absolute dream. Gillian Anderson. Sophisticated, beautiful, hilarious, strong and incredibly compassionate. I always wanted to be Scully rather than Mulder, not least because I can run in a set of heels and look great with red hair.
Are you readers as well as writers ? Who is your favourite author and why?
Paul reads fussy books about architecture. They all smell of foist and damp and have words like aggregate and tensile in them. The only way they’d send me to sleep quicker would be if he smashed me in the face with it like Little Mo and her Christmas dinner. (sidenote: I used to have such a crush on Trevor, you know – isn’t that awful?) I like Stephen King. I used to caveat that with an apology because he’s so mainstream but you know what, fuck that – he’s an excellent writer and his books are brilliantly entertaining. He can’t finish to save his life, but nor can I without someone working my balls. His best is The Stand, although I bloody hated Frannie. Stuck up cow. The miniseres is an absolute hoot though – I often do my best Mother Abigail voice to Paul as he approaches climax – makes him last a bit longer to think of me as a nonagenarian corn farmer.
How much weight have you both lost?
One or two pounds.
Are you still in love with each other?
More than ever. Paul gets such a rough time of it from this blog because I’m the writer for 99% of the articles, but he’s learned to roll with the punches now (quite right, I keep them on his kidneys). Thing is, I can’t imagine my life without him in it – from all the tiny things we do together to the big stuff like holidays and tag-teaming plumbers. He’s been the first person I speak to in the morning for over ten years and the last person I speak to before sleep. He still laughs at my jokes, he still puts up with my nonsense. I woke him up in a crisis the other day because I’d diagnosed a rough patch of skin in my armpit as lymphoma. He pointed out we’d changed the washing powder and it was just a reaction to that, calmed me down and spooned me until my blanket of back hair made him sneeze. He makes my coffee in the morning and my tea in the evening. Even now, four thousand days later, we still think of nonsense to send one another to cheer each other’s days up. I sent him a picture of Enya in a clock the other day and he laughed like a drain. Love comes in many ways, but they all come from him. My life without him in it is as unimaginable to me as the inky blackness of death or a world without bees and I promise you, reader, that not a single day goes by where I don’t remember how much I love him and tell him how special he is to me. The thought that one day all this will end and one will be torn from the other breaks my heart in two but makes me keen to make every day special.
I just wish he wasn’t such a swivel-eyed gypsy-stock bastard, though.
Have either of you ever done that thing where several men are doing each other from behind simultaneously?
No. Definitely haven’t been part of a group of eight either. I say part, I mean the sponge.
That was fun! Might do one last burst on the next blog post. But until then, it’s time for our lentil and butternut squash curry!
One of our 'dumpbag' specialities which despite it's name isn't part of our behind-the-scenes XTube package. No, just bag these up whenever you like, freeze them and when you're ready to cook them just get them out and tip them in the slow cooker. It really is that easy! This takes no time at all and tastes pretty damn fine.
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tin chopped tomatoes
300g butternut squash, diced
400g red lentils
1 carrot, sliced
1 tin light coconut milk (14 syns)
called a dump bag because you dump all the stuff in a freezer bag and freeze it until you need it, then...
dump all of the ingredients into a slow cooker along with 1 litre of water and cook for 6-8 hours on low
that's literally it - add a splash of hot sauce too, if you fancy punishing that hole of yours
not really much to say about this one! it's ready in no time at all and tastes gorgeous!
How else could I make turkey and avocado toast exciting? Give it a title that’ll make sure it’ll get stuck in your spam filter at work and possibly get you hauled in front of HR for inappropriate Internet usage.
In my first job that exact scenario happened. In my defence I had no idea that we weren’t allowed to use the Internet when it was quiet, and we certainly weren’t supposed to be on gay interest sites. Not porn, no, outintheuk.com – but even so, loading forum threads about fisting and how to change the taste of your man-milk probably wasn’t wise. Oops.
Anyway, no chit-chat tonight, please. This is a super quick breakfast and therefore, it’ll be a super-quick recipe.
It's quick, it's easy, it's simple, it's trendy (probably). All I know is that the youth are all over them avocado things and we're so 'with it' we had to go along. HASHTAG YOLO FELLOWKIDS
50g sourdough bread (6 syns)
half an avocado, mashed (7 syns)
squeeze of lime, pinch of salt
cooked turkey slices or fresh turkey
really? come on now
I'll give you a clue: you don't put the avocado inside you other than via your gob
although, everyone likes a moo-moo oozing green
use any bread you like - even your HeB if you want. We used sourdough because it's our favourite!
yes, avocados are 14 syns each but do you really think they're less healthy than an unlimited amount of Mullerlights? Do you? Syn it if you want. We don't, but have for the recipe
Now come on, how easy was that? Just admit it, you want to have yourself a slice of this, climb on a penny farthing and open a moustache shop, don’t you? When we were last in London we saw a shop selling penny farthings and frankly, I’ve never wanted to throw a firebomb more. I mean come on. There’s being a tit and there’s being an awful tit. A megatit. A Jordan.
Want more breakfast recipes to spill down your blurter? Of course.
Grilled steak gyros. On Slimming World, if you don’t mind. I love Greek food, whether it’s these gyros, dolmades or some hot bronzed DILF demanding he makes me his woman. I’ll cope, papi. Lift my dress up out of the dirt, though. I’m going to warn you for a second: the next paragraphs contain some graphic raunch references. Scroll straight to the pictures if you’re the type of person who clutches at her pearls when she
But first, indulge me for a moment, would you? I want to talk about men’s bodies. Now you might think I’m going for the obvious route of leering, given I spend 45% of my time with my neck canted at 75 degrees trying to grab a quick look at the package of those chavs who wear grey trackie bottoms. I swear, I’m like an owl when I walk past Sports Direct in the morning. An owl with a very pale face.
Lots (rightly) gets made about women and how they struggle with body confidence, but let’s hear it for the lads, eh? The amount of posts I see in our facebook group where men are down on their looks depresses the hell out of me.
I know there’s loads of pressure on women to look good – of course there is – but do you ever notice the male stereotype that always gets bandied around? Big arms, but not too big. No loose skin. No belly, and if there is a belly, it’s hidden behind a bar or a bench (look at every Slimming World magazine!). Strong jaw with white teeth and a perfectly preened beard. It’s all so…bland and safe and boring. But I see men chasing this false ideal body and it’s such a waste.
One thing I’ve learned since I stopped giving a toss about my body and well, showing it off in various places which I’m not talking about here, is that there’s a jar for every lid. Literally, in my case. Plenty of folks out there will like you for you – your ‘problem zone’ is someone else’s splash-patch. Belly cascading out in front of you like a balloon of mottled trex? That’s someone’s pillow, that is. Bingo wings? Somewhere to dab your knob off after sex.
Paul and I are creepy – we always smile nicely at big lads – well Paul smiles, I leer lasciviously and lick my lips at them like the Childcatcher. What can I say, I’m a sucker for men in Jacamo outlet shirts. We like to think that it makes a bloke happy to get some attention, though we pick our targets. We might dilate at the thought of a roadworker with a mean streak, a broken nose and gnarled rough hands, but I don’t like having to pick my teeth off the floor after a blowjob. No, we pick those men with dumpy wee bellies, office-haircuts and (sorry ladies) wives fussing about in the supermarket. We’re homowreckers.
What am I trying to say with all of this? Men, if you’re out there, don’t be hung up about your looks. No need to try and aspire to some muscle god – the best looking men are those who are confident in their bodies and who wear it well without giving a monkey’s jot what they look like. Confidence: 100% sexy. And here’s the thing – if you have a partner or a husband or even just a buddy who is down on his looks, take a moment to tell him how fabulous he is.
Oh, and give him our numbers. We’re as indiscriminate as amyl-scented nerve gas.
I know that’s a very pat solution to a complicated confidence issue but honestly. Men. Get over yourselves.
Have yourself a Shirley Valentine moment and just imagine some hairy, Greek studmuffin sliding this in front of you, and then sliding himself in to you. Yeah, you like that, don't you?
6 Tesco folded flatbreads (30 syns)
2 sirloin steaks
1 onion, sliced into 1cm thick rings
2 tbsp olive oil (12 syns)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp paprika
125g fat-free greek style yoghurt
1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into thin rings
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 small handfuls of rocket
in a large bowl, mix together the oil, garlic, oregano and paprika - pour one tbsp of the mix into a separate bowl with the yoghurt and mix well - that will make your sauce
add the onion and green pepper to the oil mix and toss, then gently remove with a slotted spoon
chuck in the steak and rub in as much of the marinade as is left
cook the steak to your liking, then remove from the pan and slice
add the onion and green pepper to the same pan and cook for a few minutes until starting to brown and caramelise
remove from the pan and finally add the flatbreads and cook for a minute or two each side, then remove from the pan
fold out the flatbreads and top each with a bit of rocket, then the steak slices, followed by the tomatoes and a drizzle of sauce
this makes six gyros - one is enough for one person if you're having something with it like chips! if it's for fewer than six people just use one flatbread for each person and stuff more filling in - we won't tell
if the syn values of those flatbreads are giving you the willies you could use pitta breads instead if you really wanted to, or even a wrap if you're pious
we actually forgot to sear our flatbreads in the pan - you shouldn't, it makes them taste nicer!
Let’s not delay. Taster night is looming large and you need something quick to put together but classy enough to make it look as though you care what the Witch’s Council thinks of you. This is smashing, actually – get everything cut to the same size and you’re halfway there.
In the interests of keeping things super quick and easy, here’s the recipe!
Mixed bean salad. It isn't sexy, it isn't going to blow your socks off and christ, they aren't going to be talking about it for years to come. But sometimes you need a simple salad of undigestable beans to get those scales moving!
tin of butter beans
tin of kidney beans
tin of black eyed beans
small tin of sweetcorn
one cucumber - take the seeds out with a spoon and chop
one large red pepper - deseeded, chopped fine
one large onion - chopped fine
one pinch of dill, salt, pepper
one tablespoon of olive oil (6 syns)
juice of a lemon
do you want to hazard a guess, Sherlock?
chop everything up the same size, rinse your beans (dirty bugger), add everything into a giant bowl, stir
this is perfect for sitting in the fridge for a couple of days or taking to a taster night
Here for the pizza bianca but upset by the lack of Rickaaaay jokes? Understandable.
Now, we’ve been stuck for things to write about lately so we thought we’d throw the blog open to some random questions. Our readers came up with…well, see below. Paul is going to be answering for a change – try not to split your bean from buttering it so much.
National Express or MEGABUS?
Coaches are universally crap – you cannot have a good experience on one. That’s a fact. Saying that, I had the best nights’ sleep I’ve ever had on a Megabus from Portsmouth to Newcastle when I was canoodling with James, so that’d be the winner (plus can’t really get vexed for a quid, can you?). He ruined it a bit when he shot his bolt over the back of the seat into the darkness (half-empty bus, it was fine) – what can I say, we were in love at the time.
Are you the giver or the taker?
Giver! But only because of laziness. I can’t be arsed with all the prep that goes into being the garage. Plus, I’ve wrecked my arse with years of Dulcolax abuse trying to chase that Slimmer of the Week basket of fermenting fruit. James is both and it’s to his eternal chagrin that the tunnel never opens.
Have either of you ever been with a woman?
Nah. It has literally never, ever crossed my mind to even consider it. James often says he has but I’m not too sure, he recoils at bras in Asda but that could be down to bad memories from his sports bra at school.
Top 5 celebrities you would invite to your dinner party (dead or alive – *doesn’t have to include Pete burns 😂*)
Jeremy Corbyn – a genuinely decent bloke, plus I reckon he’s got some right filthy stories about Diane Abbott
Michael Barrymore – pre-current miserable state, though. Only if he was peppy/coked-up like in the Strike it Lucky days. I’d definitely be a top, middle AND a bottom in that situation.
Bianca Del Rio – for sheer hilarity
Debbie McGee – she’s genuinely a dead funny, dippy person in real life and a right scream – and we could get to the bottom of those dog rumours
Tracy Chapman – my favourite singer. She can sing us a lovely tune at the end when we’re all pissed up.
SERIOUS INTERJECTION FROM JAMES:
TRACY CHAPMAN IS NOT A GOOD SINGER. I’D RATHER LISTEN TO AN AUTO-TUNED FANNY-FART THAN THAT WHINGEING BAG.
Favourite sexual position?
Whatever means I don’t get a sore back or muscle cramp and takes the least amount of effort.
Would you rather penis sized nipples or nipple sized penis
What kind of bloody question is this?!?!
Do you ever feel like jacking this page in ?
Nah! Sometimes you do think that life would be easier without having to deal with people arguing over nowt in the group but honestly, we have so much fun with it I couldn’t imagine life without it. Plus the blog pays for James’ cigars, booze and expensive jacket collection. I make do with a crust of bread and a glass of water for dipping.
Would you like to have kids and be daddies?
Nah. I love kids and they love me and I like looking after them for short periods, but once they start screaming/crying/whinging/shitting then the fun ends and you can have them straight back, thank-you-very-much. We’re both altogether too selfish for kids. A disposable income warms your heart and gives you more love than a snotty ball of grass-stained kids ever could. Sorry not sorry. James is terrible with babies anyway – he handles them like you might handle a pan full of hot oil as someone reversed a car at you.
Someone suggested we do a swirl (saw it on Modern Family) where we both yankee-doodle into a cup and then neither of us would know who the dad is. Which is a nonsense, because if he grew up to be a barely literate socially awkward raging homo, he’d be my child. If he grew up to be a barely literate socially awkward raging homo with a sassy mouth, he’d be James’. Either way, he’d be doomed to a life of cry-wanks and endless health anxiety.
What’s the most outrageous fetish either of you have ever tried?
As a young ‘un I was having a ‘fling’ with an older man that’d satisfy my cider and Golden Virginia needs. Out of the blue he asked me to fart on him and pulled out a tin of Aldi beans. It was so surreal. Did absolutely nothing for me at all except made me gip, but I got money out of it sooooooo.
Whereas James pooed on someone for £200. OR DID HE *WAVY MYSTERIOUS LINES*
Any near death experiences?
I accidentally cut through the cable of a hedge trimmer when I was about 13 (sorry dad) when I was pissing about with it. Called 999 because I panicked so much and got a telling off for it because I wasn’t actually dying or in any danger. Other than that – nah.
James – I nearly drowned twice on holiday. Once I’ve documented in here where my mum and dad gave us a ropey pedalo, put us in a river in a deep gorge and sent us on our merry way, where we promptly capsized and were rescued by two German tourists as my parents lounged on the beach in a fug of Lambert and Butler smoke. Second time – and you’ll spot a theme – we were on a giant loch in Scotland. Other kids had nice canoes or fun toys, we had an bright yellow inflatable boat my dad had found on the beach. Never did work out what the PAN-AM 103 on the side meant. Anyway my sister and I paddled merrily out in the middle of this loch only to find the reason the boat had been left was because of a slow leak. We set about drowning and were only saved by another family who dashed in to pull us ashore.
Not all bad though. My parents were so relieved and wracked with guilt that they let us play with the bleach under the sink for the rest of the night. Good times were had by all.
That’ll do it for the Q&A for now. James’ turn next. We’ve got a friggin’ no regrets pizza to post – remember, our no regrets series is food that is high in syns but bloody worth it.
Pizza bianca - it's topped with ginger and when you shut it in the oven, it screams because the silver puffa jacket catches ahad. You can reduce the syns of course by changing up the topping but really, it's the dough that is the star of the show here. Enjoy!
Each 10" pizza is 45 syns, but worth every bite!
for the dough
250g plain flour (40 syns)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided (12 syns)
180ml lukewarm water
1 tsp dried active yeast
1½ tsp salt
for the pizza
225g grated mozzarella (38½ syns)
180g ricotta (2x HeA)
1 clove garlic minced
pinch red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
fresh basil leaves
60g grated parmesan (2x HeA)
pour the water into your mixing bowl and sprinkle over the yeast - give it a few minutes until it's dissolved
mix in the flour and salt until you get floury, shaggy dough - or do what we did and chuck it all in a stand mixer with a kneading hook
knead for a good five minutes by slapping it out and pushing it with the ball of your hand - come on, you've seen sleb chefs do this, you know how it is
chuck back into the bowl, drizzle over 1 tbsp of the olive oil and cover with cling film and leave it for an hour or so in a warm place until it's risen
slap the dough out divide into two balls (or keep as one if you want one enormous pizza)
stretch or roll into pizzas as thick or as thin as you like
preheat the oven to as hot as it'll go (no joke)
sprinkle over the mozzarella over the pizza bases,
mix together the ricotta, chilli flakes and garlic and dollop onto the pizzas
spread out the basil leaves and sprinkle with the parmesan
slide onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden and bubbling
Wanting a pizza the action (sorry) but worried your consultant will punch you on the boob if you eat something like this? Well ignore that feeling of doubt, you’re better than that. But if you must compromise, we have some great pizza recipes!
You know what it’s like, taster night rolls around and you get the usual eighty seven texts gently reminding you to bring something along. The dilemma is clear: do you nip over to the Co-op and get a bunch of grapes, do you make something super fancy knowing it’ll be ignored whilst everyone paws over the Weetabix and cat-litter cakes, or do you do as we always do and pretend you’re working / on holiday / on the game / in hospital getting your worn-out knees replaced? I know, but I can’t stand watching other people eat or other people judging me on my choices.
I’ve touched upon the fact I hate witnessing buffets at the best of times, but it reminded me of one sight I saw in Disney a few years ago. I say Disney, we were actually in a Sizzlers at the time, which for those not familiar with Sizzlers simply imagine a Little Chef stocked entirely with what they found behind the bins at Lidl. I’ve never known shigella (hi Paul!) be given as a topping choice on a salad before. Anyway, we were sat visibly blanching at the amount of flies on our breakfast when this absolute unit of a bloke stood up / was helped up. He rolled towards the buffet, loaded his plate to the point where he’d have struggled to get a sprig of cress on top, and then made to slow-shuffle back to his station. We were transfixed – by this time in our honeymoon we had exhausted all conversations and the realisation of spending eternity together was lying heavy in our thoughts so a distraction was welcome – and we watched as he conveyed his food pile back as though it was a newborn baby.
Then: a loud crack, a rumbling noise, a plaintive cry and the splatter of food hitting the deck. He’d loaded his plate so full and so high that it had snapped like the strut of an Italian motorway bridge. I’m sure it was months of sub-standard dishwashing that weakened the plate but the poor bastard looked utterly bereft, with a whole restuarant of folks immediately judging him. Which was rich, given they had one collective set of teeth between them, but nevertheless. I always remember his wee crumpled face – he looked like Dr Robotnik when you defeat him at the end of Sonic 2.
Oh and it’s Robotnik, not Eggman, you can fuck off with that nonsense.
I believe he was given a voucher for a free meal, and he won my respect for not picking the best of the dropped meal off the floor and eating it, which is what I would have done in our house. The three-second rule has been extended to three days here: I ate a wine gum the other day that I’m not entirely sure the cat didn’t bring in from outside on the back of her tail. Ah well.
Want more American nonsense? We put all of our honeymoon stories in a book, you know, and it’s as cheap as I am in my Primark knickers. You can download it here!
Anyway, that was a sidetrack and a half, wasn’t it? But that’s our blog all over – side-tracks and cheap ugly shoes. Let’s do the melon basket.
I've got a bloody nerve calling this a recipe, haven't I? But listen, we're all about taking things easy here at Chubby Towers, and this is ridiculously easy to make but it looks damn good! Plus all the extra fruit can be turned into smoothies which of course you'll syn, rather than enjoying like a normal person. Right? Hello?
one large watermelon
one big pack of raspberries
one big pack of strawberries
one big big girl in a big big world (it's not a big big thing if you leave me)
one pack of pomegranate seeds
Of course, you can use any fruit you like in here. Soft, hard, Barrymore.
the trickiest bit is cutting the watermelon - cut a small disc off the bottom so it lies flat
then cut two 'almost' quarters from the top, leaving a strip down the middle - then cut through that so you make a handle
it's hard to explain but come on, look at the pictures and work it out - this isn't The Crystal Maze love, you have all the time in the world to figure it out - but you want to make sure you leave a thick enough handle to support the weight of the fruit
use a melon baller to scoop some melon balls out of the flesh you've cut away
scrape out the melon so you have a pleasing bowl
slice up the rest of the fruit into a bowl, add the melon balls, chopped mint and the juice of a lemon
tumble it gently to mix it up, then tip it into your basket and serve
I’ve tried so hard to make this soup look faintly attractive in the photos, but I can’t. It’s green slop, but it’s so tasty – pea and ham thick soup that looks like something from the sink trap. Anyway, it’ll do the job for days when you want something quick and easy to satisfy your hole and the postman has already been. I say that with an air of familiarity – our postman is delicious. I know it doesn’t do to judge people on looks but goodness me, he has legs I could spin around on and a face that just screams ‘I’ll apologise after’. Here’s me looking forlornly out of the window once he’s passed by.
If you’re a fan of sporadic updates, non-food related shenanigans and overly-saturated photos of bear cubs so past their prime we should be dancing on a rescue advert somewhere, then why not join us on Instagram?
This syn free pea and ham thick soup - there's no way of making it sound attractive - comes straight from Jamie Oliver himself. I know he's divisive but I have a lot of time for him - anyone who can make decent food through such a heavy mist of spittle is a winner in my books. This soup is so easy to make - chuck it in a blender, throw it in a pan, spin it out the window, dance like no-one's watching. Keeps well in the fridge.
1 bunch of spring onions
350g frozen peas
300g frozen chopped spinach
big handful of fresh mint
300g dried pasta, any old shite will do
50g feta cheese (use your HEA)
1600ml of chicken stock
chop the spring onions
throw the peas, mint, spring onion, ham, frozen spinach and 400ml of chicken stock in a blender and blend the buggery out of it - add a pinch of salt and pepper
pour into a pan and add 1200ml of chicken stock
smash up your pasta - hit it with a rolling pin - and tip it in - let everything bubble for about twenty minutes until the pasta is cooked
serve with the feta crumbled in
lots of black pepper and salt, natch
this recipe came from Jamie's book all about his family and their expensive house and wholewheat pasta and Cath Kidson tableware. If you fancy replicating the experience with your B&M saucepans and Charles and Diana pinny, you can order his book from here
actually fair play to him, it's a great book - tonnes of recipes easily adapted for SW
it won't surprise you but we have a fancy blender that could blend anything, you can get one, or just use a stick blender - you don't need to spend lots of money to do our recipe!
we let ours bubble away for a good two hours (accidentally, I fell asleep watching Murder She Wrote) and it was lovely and thick - don't be frightened to cook it for longer!
Fancy, right? Want some more soup that you could smash your face in? Of course, we’ve got loads that are syn free!