grilled steak gyros: the best Greek you’ll swallow today

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.

The gyros, then…

steak gyros

Looks like your clopper, that does.

steak gyros

Looks like your gash, that does.

grilled steak gyros

Prep

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Yield 6 servings

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?

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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
  • eat

Notes

  • 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!
  • any steak will do for this - it doesn't need to be fancy. We used sirloin from Muscle Food
  • a griddle pan is excellent for this to get the nice charmarks, or even better a Tefal Optigrill which is what we used - just press the 'steak' button
  • slice the onions quickly with a Mandolin slicer - just watch your fingers if you're a clumsy twat like me and always use the guard
  • same with garlic - use a microplane grater to mince it in seconds!
  • don't be tempted to leave out the oil - it makes it so much nicer!
  • don't like rocket? Any leafy salad will do

Cuisine greek

Want more in your wrap? Sure:

Yum!

Remember lads: tits out!

J

juicy steak with low syn slimming world chimichurri sauce

Slimming World chimichurri! Now admittedly chimichurri sounds like something a posh woman would call her fadge when telling the doctor it’s sealed over, but bear with us – it’s actually a gorgeous herby sauce where, if you use good fresh herbs, it’ll be an absolute delight. You’ll wonder why you haven’t had it before but we all know the answer to that is simple: like you’d ever turn down a cream sauce for your steak. Even so, give this a go.

There’s no time to lose today because we’ve had an actual House Calamity. You will have doubtless noticed that it’s been hotter than the devil’s dick outside until Friday, when the skies broke just in time to make sure that 1,000,000 people who still live at home with their mothers were denied the chance to look at the moon. It tipped it down, and naturally, our house decided to throw a spanner in our plans to save up for Canada and instead, sprung yet another leak. We’ve now got more brown damp patches on our ceiling than we ever manage on our mattress, but that’s what being married for eleven years will do for you.

This means yet more visits from roofers, more awkward small-talk and yet more waiting around for them to appear from ‘just around the corner, mate’, where presumably that corner is somewhere south of Doncaster. I’ve long since given up on people saying they’ll turn up at any given point – I swear we’ve still got someone due round to clean my little C2 (not a euphemism) and that was turned into a cube back in 2012.

So, you can have a recipe, and we’ll get on with fussing about our ceiling. Sigh. Chimichurri sauce for you!

slimming world chimichurri

slimming world chimichurri

juicy steak with Slimming World chimichurri

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Yield 4 servings

Sounds fancy, eh? Chimichurri comes all the way from them Argies and is a tasty sauce for fresh meat! It's as easy as you after a night at the bingo and tastes phenomenal! It's a cool colour too, so the kids will love it.

The beauty with this is that you can have it with whatever you want! We had ours with chips because we're common and it's our default position. We had some left over the next day and slipped it into sandwiches and it was just as good! Sex up your meaty flaps tonight.

Ingredients

  • 4 good steaks
  • 2 big bunches of basil
  • 2 big bunches of parsley
  • 2 big bunches of mint
  • 2 big bunches of chives
  • 4 green chillis
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (6 syns)
  • salt 
  • pepper

Instructions

  • firstly, take the steak out of the fridge and bring it up to room temperature
  • next, finely chop all of the herbs, chillis and capers - if you can't be arsed, do what we did and chuck it all in a food processor
  • zest and juice the limes and add the olive oil, and mix well
  • sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the steaks and cook to your liking
  • as the meat is cooking, dollop the chimichurri sauce onto a chopping board and gently spread out into a large square big enough for the steaks to sit on
  • when the steak is cooked, place on top of the chimichurri and leave to rest for a few minutes
  • slice the steak and use a knife to spread the chimichurri sauce all over it - like it's getting a facial
  • serve

Notes

  • remember: this recipe is for four - if you're only making it for two people just halve everything
  • any steak will do - it doesn't have to be fancy, we used sirloin from Muscle Food
  • fresh herbs are always best if you can get them
  • we used our Tefal Optigrill to cook the steak perfectly - if you've got one, just press the 'steak' button and then wait until the light shows your desired level of 'doneness'!
  • don't be tempted to skimp on the oil in this one - it's worth it, and it's only a few syns!

 

Cuisine argentinian

Lovely! Perhaps you want some more steak ideas? Sure thing, cheesenips!

Always something to enjoy!

J

harissa steak sandwiches with sweet red onion pickle

Here for the harissa steak sandwiches, which are nothing more than the perfect low-syn dinner you deserve? Then you’re in the right place…but first…

I was planning on doing a more general Room 101 type post – and I’ll come back to that a little down the line – but upon writing my notes it struck me the amount of ‘internet pet-peeves’ appeared on my list. So, instead of a wider picture, take my hand as I pull you down a very specific tunnel of anger: e-annoyances.

Actually, first on the list, adding e- to any noun or verb. This isn’t the nineties anymore, Pat Sharp has long since got rid of his mullet and even Jim Bowen has died. Let’s all move on, shall we? We’re not going to e-meet, e-grieve or e-felch.

Next is vaguebooking. If you’re checking in at a hospital it should be the law that you have to give everyone every scintillating detail of what you’re in for. You want people to know you’re there, so don’t leave them hanging – even if you’re having a team of doctors giving you a smear test using a block and tackle and a diving helmet it doesn’t matter, put pictures up. Or: shut the fuck up about it. This is compounded by those imbeciles who check in and then don’t respond to the countless ‘is everything alright’ posts that invariably trickle in. There’s a special place reserved in Hell for you: I can only hope the doctor doesn’t warm his hands beforehand.

Along similar lines, anyone posting ‘karma will get you’ or ‘omg can’t believe what I’ve heard’ or any other vague statement designed to make them look faintly interesting whilst revealing their own crushing existential crisis, they can go jump in the sea. This seems to be common amongst those who believe shaving off their eyebrows and reapplying them using a highlighter pen is a good look.

Normally synonymous alongside the above is use of the word haters. There ought to be a reality check button on facebook to clarify that no, you’re not actually important enough to have haters. No-one is, unless you’re someone like professional shitgibbon Katie Hopkins, and look what happened to her. Why would you imagine that people are actively going out of their way to ‘hate’ you when most people simply pass you by? It’s exhausting: and, let’s say for the sake of argument that you do have haters, are you really ‘showing the haters’ by finally beating level 344 of Candy Crush? Haway.

They’re the same folks who usually upload jpeg images of Marilyn Monroe with the (incorrectly attributed) quote “but if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best” scrawled across it in Mistral. To compound things, the jpeg is usually accompanied with eight levels of tray-icons from being screenshotted from every mobile device known to man – I swear I’ve seen Marilyn Monroe (as viewed through a potato) with Super Mario Land playing in the background. This particular quote makes my teeth itch whenever you see it stretched badly over some canvas in B&M, nevermind seeing it on facebook too.

Whilst we’re here, if you’re having to put something like ‘Only God can judge me‘ on your facebook wall, then chances are you should be judged as you’re having to pre-empt people calling you out. I wish I was God: I wouldn’t hesitate on slurring the word biiiiiiiiiiiiitch out as you tried to put on your shoes.

Curveball time: if you’re writing ‘kitteh‘ or ‘doggo‘ or anything other than the actual name of the animal, and you’ve mastered not shitting your pants and solid food, then you deserve nothing more than everlasting shame and I hope your life is full of always thinking you’ve left something switched on at home. There’s simply no need for it. Cats and dogs are cute as they are without adding some ridiculously asinine mispronunciation on top of it.

Shall we cover leaving speeches? We see it ever so often in our facebook group – people flouncing out but having to put a big speech in just before they do to explain their departure. Why? Do they imagine all 70,000 of us are sitting there ashen-faced, looking at each other with pleading eyes, all desperate to know why Shelly Mamov5 McGee has forsaken us? It’s always done with altogether too many emojis and hysteria to be taken as constructive criticism anyway.

And finally, why the joint profile names, people? Surely it’s quicker just to upload a brief statement explaining who cheated who? #awkward, right?

RIGHT. That’s quite enough of all that, my blood pressure can’t take it anymore. Let’s do the harissa steak sandwiches!

harissa steak sandwiches

harissa steak sandwiches

harissa steak sandwiches

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harissa steak sandwiches with sweet onion pickle

Prep

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Total

Yield 2 sandwiches

Now, for these harissa steak sandwiches, you have a choice: you can serve it up in your normal bread bun or, if you are feeling fancy, you can pop it in a ciabatta - you can have a Schar Gluten Free White Ciabatta Roll as a healthy extra, after all!

But here's the thing. Gluten free food is expensive and it can be a proper pain in the arse to find if you are following a gluten-free diet. That's annoying when you want to cook with it, but what if gluten free was the only bread you could have and you had to do without because some div on Slimming World was too frightened about just having a breadbun? Before you pick it off the shelf, have a think.

Before anyone tells us off, first of all: how dare you. We used a bog standard ciabatta for this. No regrets.

Ingredients

  • a couple of thin skirt steaks - or whatever steak you want to use, but skirt steak is super cheap
  • 3 tbsp of harissa paste (you can buy it in most supermarkets, and it's 1/2 syn per tablespoon)
  • whatever breadbun you want to use (a Schar Gluten Free White Ciabatta Roll is your HEB, but so is a bog-standard brown breadbun)
  • a bag of mixed salad leaves
  • fresh ground pepper and salt
  • two red onions
  • 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar (or use normal white vinegar, if you don't have it to hand)
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • tsp of honey (1 syn)

Instructions

  • make the pickle - dead easy, slice the onion into thin half moons, pop in a bowl with the vinegar, chilli and honey - and leave to soak for thirty minutes or so
  • rub the harissa paste into the steak and lie flat on a plate, leave for an hour or so to marinate
  • next bit is dead easy - cook your steaks however you like - we like it still mooing, as you can see - and grill your ciabatta / breadbun
  • thinly slice your cooked steak
  • make up your sandwich - hot meat, pickled onion and green salad - yum!

It's as easy as that!

Notes

Courses sandwiches

Loved the sound of our harissa steak sandwiches and now want more sandwiches? Of course you do!

Yum!

J

a proper syn-free deep-dish slimming world lasagne

A syn-free deep-dish slimming world lasagne? With my reputation?

Do you know, in all the time we’ve been doing this, we’ve never just done a straight-up plain lasagne? We’ve done a slow cooker lasagne (amazing), a chicken and pea lasagne (ignored) and a cheat’s lasagne. We’ve served it in a cup. We’ve made a Mexican version. But someone asked us the other day for a bog-standard version and could we hell as like find one – so here we are! Although classic us, we have tweaked it a little: we found a recipe that uses wraps in one of Davina McCall’s books and thought that we would give it a go instead of dried pasta sheets that either always go slimy or don’t cook enough. It works a bloody treat!

Just a recipe post tonight as I have lost my voice. You might assume that this doesn’t stop me from typing – and you would be right – but it does preclude me from summoning Paul every ten minutes to make me a cup of tea or to rub my feet, so it’s a no-no-Nanette for long posts. I’m not going to lie, I’m tired of feeling under the weather – feels like one of us has been ill for ages! Still doing boot camp though, which probably isn’t the best idea when you’ve got a chest infection and you’re eating reheated red lentil dahl for lunch. Last night I spent so long clamping my own arsehole shut and trying not to spray lung-croutons everywhere that I barely had time to do my squats. One of our exercises involves falling onto the floor, hoisting our legs in the air and staying there. It’s taken eight classes to stop me from automatically moaning and reaching about for the phantom bottle of poppers.

Anyway.

Let’s get straight to it, then… syn-free deep-dish slimming world lasagne! This is makes enough for four large servings.slimming world lasagne

slimming world lasagne

slimming world lasagne

proper slimming world deep dish lasagne

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

This doesn't need to be served in a deep dish - just make it like a normal lasagne, if you don't mind - it serves four people and uses wraps in place of pasta. I know, I know, we're scum, but listen, it works really well. This is Davina McCall's recipe, and you don't argue with the Queen.

This serves four and uses your HEB and HEA .- but it's absolutely bloody worth it, and you get loads!

It might look like a lot of ingredients but honestly, this is quick to make! Also, top tip: if you're using a circular dish, before you start cooking stick it upside down onto a wrap and cut out around the dish the perfect shape - your wraps will now fit lovely and snug!

Ingredients

  • three Weight Watchers White low fat wraps (one wrap is a HEB - so as this serves four, you'll use just under your HEB allowance, but easier just to say you've used it)
  • 500g of 5% beef mince
  • two large red onions, chopped finely
  • one large pepper, chopped finely
  • two garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • two tins of chopped tomatoes
  • one large bag of spinach
  • one courgette, grated
  • 180g of ricotta cheese (2 x HEA)
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 220g of Philadelphia Lightest (2 x HEA)
  • teaspoon of wholegrain mustard (1/2 a syn - up to you if you want to syn an eighth of a bloody syn!)
  • cherry tomatoes to go on the top

Instructions

  • pop the oven on 180 degrees (fan)
  • start by making the mince layers for your lasagne - gently fry off the onion, pepper and garlic for a few minutes in a few sprays of oil
  • add the mince and beef stock cube and cook until browned
  • add the chopped tomatoes and oregano together with a pinch of salt and pepper
  • allow to simmer and bubble until it has reduced right down to a thick mince, which is also my name for Paul
  • start on the middle layer whilst the mince is cooking - first step, wash your spinach - don't dry it too vigourously
  • tip your spinach and grated courgette into a pan with just a tiny splash of water and wilt it down over a low heat (if you leave the lid on, the spinach will steam and wilt much quicker
  • once everything has wilted down, take the spinach over to the sink and squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can
  • seriously, keep squeezing - top tip is to put the spinach on a chopping board, put another chopping board over the top and squeeze the two together - get every last bit of moisture out!
  • finely chop the cooked spinach and tip back into your pan together with the ricotta and nutmeg - stir until the ricotta has softened and the spinach is mixed in, then set aside
  • layer your lasagne in the deep dish: half of the mince mixture, followed by a wrap, followed by the spinach and ricotta, then a wrap, then the rest of the mince, then another wrap
  • make the white sauce for the top by popping your philadelphia into a pan, add the mustard and soften it over a low heat - add a splash of milk if it is too thick, but it should be fine 
  • pour over the top, add halved cherry tomatoes and grate some extra cheese on top if you want more, though do syn it!
  • cook for a good forty minutes and then enjoy!

Notes

  • if you're looking for a place to get excellent low fat beef mince, try our Musclefood Freezer Filler: you get loads for the price together with excellent chicken and bacon! I mean, what's not to love? Click here to order
  • sort that garlic in seconds with one of these Microplane graters! It’s our most used kitchen gadget!
  • if you're struggling to find a deep dish, have a look in TK Maxx - we found ours in there. A deep cake tin will do exactly the same job, or throw it in a normal Pyrex dish - there's no need to spend a lot of money here!

Courses dinner, low syn

Cuisine Italian

Perfection, right?

Mind we’ve got some bloody amazing, different pasta recipes – let me show you some syn-free suggestions!

J

rainbow beef: speedy and saucy

Saucy rainbow beef is today’s Chinese fakeaway recipe, and you’ll find it just below. Enjoy!

Thinking about my nephew’s birthday, and then having to choose from an absolutely bewildering amount of toys available in the shops, got me thinking about the toys I used to have. Now naturally, only my generation’s toys were any good and yours were rubbish, but bear with me.

Favourite toy of all time was a tatty teddy bear that was both a bumblebee and a lion. Of course: hence Bumblelion. Internet research suggests that Bumblelion was from a TV show called The Wuzzles but that means absolutely nothing to me – I think Bumblelion’s origin story was simply being stuck on a table at the Corbridge Boot Sale and being spotted by me and my sticky three year old hands. That teddy bear stayed with me for ages – losing its tail, fur, an eye, the nose, the stuffing over the years, but even now I’m fairly sure I could climb into our loft and find him again. My parents never bothered stitching the bits back on – they took a rather cavalier approach to safety: whilst everyone else went sledging on a proper wooden sledge for example, I was given a rinsed out giant plastic bag with ICI Chemicals printed on the side and sent hurtling towards a barbed wire fence at great speed.

I asked Paul what his favourite teddy bear was and he replied that I was. Once I’d finished vomiting into the toilet, he offered up an alternative. Apparently his parents went to the same ‘caring’ school as mine as he had an unfinished toy mouse without a tail, which by all accounts looked like a rudimentary fleshlight, given it had a huge hole with the stuffing leaking out at the rear end. Knowing Paul, that’s probably exactly what it was used for. He called it Mousey, showing an imagination that captivates an audience even now. I know for a fact where Mousey lives: somewhere in a landfill near Byker, as I accidentally threw him out in an overly-keen cleaning spree. Oops. Mousey was supplemented by all manner of tamagotchis that Paul was given to keep him quiet – I never had one and was furiously jealous of everyone else who had one. It’s probably for the best however – I was given my friend’s tamagotchi to look after and killed it for real within two hours by dropping it into the toilet.

We ended up choosing Lego for my nephew – partly because it’s the best gift you can give a young lad because it fires the imagination, partly because I know how much it will annoy my sister who now faces an eternity of stepping on Lego bricks in the dead of night. She can talk, she never used to clean away the Lego when we played at home. We used to build massive hamster runs and mazes out of Lego – it’s all good times until you forget about poor Snuffles working his way through the maze towards a carrot and go away on holiday. Poor little bugger*. I think all children should be given Lego at the earliest opportunity – not Duplo, that’s cheating, and not knock-off Lego that doesn’t quite fit together, but proper stuff. If I’m ever asked to step in and replace Theresa May on account that I have a soul and can smile without looking like I’m passing wind, I’ll make it mandatory that children are born into buckets of Lego that they then get to keep.

It wasn’t just Lego, of course – we had all manner of board games, all with nearly all the pieces included. It’s easy enough to play Pop-Up-Pirate without all of the swords but Buckaroo becomes a surprising challenge when you only have half of the donkey, and as for trying to solve a murder in Cluedo with only the Miss White card and 100 Lambert and Butler gratis points, well forget it. Paul’s favourite board-game was Screwball Scramble but because his mother was a shaved Hitler, he was only allowed to play it up to the bit where you had to smack the buttons and then stop, because the noise would ‘bring on one of her heads’. Even then he knew that her headaches were probably nicotine-poisoning. We want to join a local board game society up here in Newcastle but it all seems to be complicated games now – I want to play Monopoly with someone who doesn’t get in a huff when I buy Mayfair and then refuses to play when he starts losing: like Paul.

 

I’m obviously kidding about the hamster, by the way. All of our hamsters had luxurious, full lives, although we did lose one prematurely when it took an exciting and unexpected swerve on the hallway landing and went bouncing down the stairs in his little exercise ball. RIP Snowy.

Final highlight was a sit-on toy tractor that I could peddle around in the yard behind our house. I bloody loved that thing and used it until the brakes were worn, the wheels were shot and the whole thing was one more half-stone of my arse from falling to bits. It did almost kill me – I once went merrily shooting down our steep driveway and across two lanes of traffic before my mother remembered that she hadn’t shut the gate at the bottom. It’s alright, I survived (obviously) and there were only forty people injured in the resulting pile-up caused by the bus having to swerve around me into oncoming traffic.

The picture on this one doesn’t look amazing, but blame Paul: he forgot to take the pictures, so this is just a still from the video. Don’t worry, he’ll be getting a firm lashing later on.

UPDATE: Sorry – this isn’t syn free as it says in the photo, that’s a typo. It’s actually 1½ syns each! 

rainbow beef

rainbow beef

to make saucy rainbow beef you will need:

  • 500g beef stir-fry strips (or steak, sliced)
  • 1½ tsp cornflour (½ syn)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (2½ syns)
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce (3 syns)
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes
  • 8 shittake mushrooms
  • 3 peppers of different colours, sliced

top tips for saucy rainbow beef:

  • we used the beef strips from our excellent Big Meaty Package – if you want decent quality, cheap meat go check out our deals page!
  • mince the garlic and ginger in double-quick time with a Microplane grater – you can get one here!
  • shiitake mushrooms will give a nice, beefy taste but normal mushrooms will do fine
  • haven’t got rice wine vinegar? cider vinegar will be fine
  • this makes enough for two large bowls

to make saucy rainbow beef you should:

  • sprinkle the cornflour over the beef and give a good toss
  • pour over the tsp of rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, one of the garlic cloves, sesame oil, salt and pepper and mix everything together
  • in a separate jug, stir the tbsp of rice wine vinegar and hoisin sauce and set aside
  • heat a large frying pan or wok over a high heat and spray in a little oil
  • add the beef to the pan and spread out as much as you can
  • let it cook for about a minute to crisp up, and then stir fry for another minute
  • slide the beef onto a plate and drain away any excess liquid
  • add the peppers to the pan along with the other garlic clove, ginger, chilli flakes and mushrooms and stir-fry for about 2 minutes
  • add the beef back to the pan and give another stir
  • pour over the hoisin sauce, cook for another 30 seconds, then serve

Did that get your minge tingling? Don’t forget we’ve got loooaddss of other Chinese fakeaway meals waiting for you! You’ll find some of our favourites below:

Mwah!

J

beef chop suey: saucy and syn-free

Right, let’s fire out a recipe for beef chop suey with no chitchat, as we’re all busy people. Take Me Out isn’t going to watch itself, you know.

Now come on, as if we’d watch Take Me Out. If I wanted to listen to thirty lasses screaming at an orange man, I’d go to a Trump protest. THERE. THERE’S SOME BITING POLITICAL ANALYSIS. I’m kidding, it’s my nephew’s birthday so we’re actually off to hand over gifts and cards in exchange for love and kindness. But we couldn’t leave you without something to smack your lips over, so here we are! Saucy beef chop suey.

beef chop suey

beef chop suey

to make saucy beef chop suey you will need:

  • 220g beef stir fry strips, sliced (or steak, sliced)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 8 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 60g mangetout, sliced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 300g dried noodles

top tips for making saucy beef chop suey:

to make saucy beef chop suey you should:

  • cook the noodles according to the instructions
  • heat a large saucepan over a high heat and spray ina . little oil
  • add the garlic and onions and stir around the pan for about a minute, then add the beef
  • cook for a few minutes and then add the carrots, red pepper and mushrooms and cook for another five minutes
  • add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, mangetout and spring onions to the pan and give a good stir
  • cook for another 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened
  • serve over the noodles

Feeling saucier? Check out some of our other recipes!

our best ever mixed chow mein recipe

Now, you can have a mixed chow mein, or you can keep it simple with a plain chicken chow mein, but either way, this is possibly my favourite recipe that we have done in a while. Mixed chow mein is easily the one dish I order most from the Chinese takeaway – well, that and trapped wind – and so to make a perfect replica of it, well say no more fam. Or something. Scroll down for the recipe, or…

Indulge me for a moment. I had a right strop the other day about that stupid TUI advert with the silly woman hyperventilating through ‘Ain’t Nobody’ like an anxiety attack given a melody. Well, working from home on a Monday means that I have to run the gamut of daytime advertising – I like to have the TV on as background noise because a) it blocks out my tinnitus and b) daytime TV makes me feel better about my own life choices. For example, on a Jeremy Kyle catch-up this morning, they were arguing about whether someone had shat in a fridge.

Just let that sink in for a moment. I can’t conceive of any situation in my life that might end up with someone shitting in my fridge. Can you? I mean, we have one of those giant American fridges, you could take the shelves out and build a rudimentary portaloo, but even then I don’t know a single soul who, however drunk they got, would think that was a viable option for relieving themselves. So not only do you have a gaggle of inbred mouthbreathers with a shitty fridge, they think the best thing to do to clear it up (use Flash and warm water, surely) is to go on national TV to be soaked in indignant spittle and to show off your Thorntons Fudge Selection teeth to a judgemental nation. I could have a bomb up my arse and Jeremy Kyle could hold the defusing code and I’d still rather die than sit in the back with Graham awaiting my turn to bound on effing and jeffing. The mind boggles.

But anyway, this isn’t about Jeremy Kyle. I want to kvetch on about adverts again. Top of the list is the Nationwide adverts, and I don’t care that I bank with them, they can take all my money away if it means I’m never subjected to Toni Collette’s stand-in and Sharon Watt’s double singing their cutesy-poo wee ditties and playing the keyboard. Why? Some clever sort will doubtless say the advert works because I have remembered it but that’s like saying Anusol is wonderful because I once bought a tube of it back in 2008. It’s a negative memory: I don’t buy it now just for the nostalgia. This advert has done the opposite – it’s made me get off my fat arse and finally get around to switching banks over to First Direct who, although they overdo the ‘bants’ side of things, at least don’t have adverts that make me want to push my face into a thresher.

Next on the list: WHAT’S THAT? YOU HAVEN’T CLAIMED FOR YOUR MIS-SOLD PPI? You know the one, smarmy streak of piss in a shiny suit asking you whether you can afford to miss out on thooousands of pounds. Gladstone Brookes, I believe – you would think with all the money they’re raking in from charging a significant fee for something that people could easily do themselves that perhaps they’d fund a better advert, but no. I hate his incredulous tone and overacting and stupid beady eyes to the point where I’d like to kick a hole in my TV and send them the invoice. With knobhead protection insurance included, of course.

Surely the king of irritation – an almost superhuman level of advertising thrush, if you will – is the friggin’ Shpock advert though. For a start, shpock is a shite name for a company – the fact I had to google it to work out how to spell it says enough. What kind of word is shpock anyway? It sounds like something that would be forming in a drip on the end of a diseased penis – look at that, you’ve left a smear of shpock all over our bedspread, for example. According to their advert, it’s like having a boot sale in your pocket. Well whoopity-doo. The last time we went to a car-boot sale it was dreadful – people selling used ashtrays and dirty clothes and urgh. If you go by their advert the app will be full of fancy bikes, cars, beautiful people and distressed furniture. I loaded it up to try and shift my giant shirts and found it awash with such levels of illiteracy that I thought I’d somehow switched my language settings to Russian. There wasn’t a thing on there I would even entertain having in my house, and that’s just the sellers. It was deleted quicker than the time I accidentally downloaded Snapchat. I mean, I’m not a 14 year old girl.

OK one final gripe. Gambling adverts. Why are these allowed? Have you tried watching ITV2 or Challenge or Sky Sports in the evening? You can’t move for flashy adverts advertising betting or bingo sites and frankly, you’d be absolutely buggered if you had a gambling problem. They don’t allow adverts for cigarettes, so why something as addictive as gambling? And it’s always such a bullshit advert – sexy people playing in glamorous virtual casinos, all sultry stares and coquettish laughter and massive wins. I’d admire any company that portrayed the grim reality of someone sat in yesterday’s clothes, unshaved, unwashed, desperately clicking the spin button over and over and over in the hope of winning back a tenth of what they’ve been encouraged to gamble away if only so they can keep the wolves away from the door for another few days. They say that ‘when the fun stops, stop’, and then they play their adverts over and over and over. How does that work then?

In fact, I’d go as far to say that these are the worst adverts of all. They have the power to absolutely destroy lives, and they’re sandwiched repeatedly between bloody Love Island repeats. As if that shower of shits wasn’t bad enough.


I feel better for that! Right, let’s do this mixed chow mein. Remember, you can use whatever meat you want – we used leftover pieces from all the fakeaway recipes we’ve been cooking lately, and of course you could use prawns but why would you? They’re bloody awful. It’s as simple as that. This makes enough for four massive portions – we portioned it up (for once) and put some in the freezer.

Have no fear though, we took it back out again ten minutes later and ate it. I mean, we’re not called twochubbycubs for nothing, you know. Let’s do this. Don’t be tempted to leave out the oil – between four, it’s 1.5 syns each – think how many syns your normal takeaway would be. It’s worth it for the taste. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it really isn’t!

mixed chow mein

mixed chow mein

to make a mixed chow mein, you’ll need:

  • whatever meat you want – we used scraps of beef, some char sui pork and two chicken breasts, but honestly, there’s no rhyme or reason – if it’s already cooked, you’ll just need to warm it through in the instructions below, but if it is raw, make sure you cook it well
  • two or three nests of dried noodles
  • two cloves of garlic, minced
  • one large onion, chopped
  • 1 bag of beansprouts
  • one bunch of spring onions – sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (1 syn)
  • 1 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil (6 syns)
  • one large red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of oyster sauce (free – yes, I was surprised too – and it doesn’t taste fishy, don’t worry)
  • 1 teaspoon of cornflour (1 syn)

So in total that makes eight syns: 2 syns each for a giant portion!

top tips for a mixed chow mein:

to make a mixed chow mein, you should:

  • mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon of the dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the light soy sauce, 2 tablespoon of the oyster sauce and pour over whatever meat you’re using to marinate for a few hours
  • cook your noodles according to the instructions and then when cooked, run under cold water to stop them sticking
  • heat the oil in your pan and either heat your cooked meat or cook off your raw meat
  • take the meat out and throw in the onion, minced garlic, pepper spring onion, pepper and beansprouts and cook high and hard to soften everything
  • add the meat back in with the remainder of the wet ingredients (and the marinade you have left over, if you’ve kept it) and then add the noodles – stir everything through until the noodles are piping hot, then serve
  • want it saucier? Don’t we all – just add more oyster sauce!

How good does that look, honestly? Want more fakeaway recipes? Hit the links below!

Remember to share!

J

the posh burger: red wine beef and sticky onions

A posh burger? Yes: after our recent run of geet-common-as-owt fakeaways, we’re making the place all classy like by introducing a fakeaway burger you’d be proud to take home and show to your parents. I was proud to show Paul off when we first got together: he looked relatively normal, see. My exes beforehand had either been freakishly tall, hilariously fat, curiously-long-armed or particularly fat-lipped. It was nice to finally be dating someone who didn’t look like the reflection in a fun-house mirror.

But before we get to the burger, just a quick note. It came to our attention today that someone has been printing out our recipes, putting them in a file and selling it online to unsuspecting slimmers. Once we found out about it, down came the hammer and the problem was solved quickly, with a cheerful extra donation to our cat and dog shelter fund. Here’s the thing: we are decent, honest lads and we don’t mind helping anyone. If you want to print off one of our recipes to keep in your kitchen, you go right ahead.

(unlike Other food Blogs who tell you not to print off the recipes ‘because they get updated so often’ – but it’s actually because they don’t want to lose the ad revenue from you nipping back to check, just sayin’)

But don’t take the piss. We do this for free because we want everyone to have access to decent, proper food recipes with a side of laughs as an accompaniment. We own the literary works on our blog, including the heavily stylised writings of our recipes and as such, unauthorised copying (especially to make a profit) of our literary work and failure to identify us as the author infringe our copyright and moral rights. We will absolutely, 100% come after you for it if we find out you’re doing it, it’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got “good intentions” because “not everyone wants to read on a website” – I can’t ring up JK Rowling and tell her I’m going to stick the Harry Potter books on some bog-roll because people might want to wipe their shittoris on it, after all. Our recipes, content, images and style belong entirely to us. That wee (c) on our photos doesn’t just stand for (c)littyboomboom, you know.

Can’t be arsed to read all that? Let me sum it up:

  • planning on ripping off our work for profit – don’t, we’ll get you in the end;
  • fatty fatty jiggly boobs looking for recipes – you’ll find them all on here, free. You never have to pay to use us, and that’s doubly important if you’re a big brutish man

Done.

Right then, the burger!

to make a posh burger, you’ll need:

  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 60ml balsamic vinegar
  • 4x wholemeal rolls (4x HeB)
  • 160g soft goats cheese (4x HeA)
  • 2 tbsp red cooking wine (1 syn)
  • salad leaves (lettuce, rocket, spinach – whatever you fancy)
  • 2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

top tips for a posh burger:

  • don’t like goats cheese? swap it for any cheese that you like – or leave it out entirely! It’s up to you!
  • slice the onions in double-quick time with one of these – just watch your fingers if you’re a clumsy twat
  • can’t be bothered with caramelising your own onions? use the premade stuff instead, a tablespoon of caramelised onion chutney will set you back 1 syn
  • red cooking wine doesn’t contain any alcohol and is a great, cheap way to get the same flavour, but you can use proper red wine if you want – just remember to syn it!
  • we used an Optigrill to cook our burger and it did the job brilliantly – just press the ‘Burger’ button. A George Foreman will also do the job, or you can cook this in a pan or under the grill
  • we won’t lie – we used a brioche bun because wholemeal rolls always look crap in photos. You shouldn’t!
  • as you know, we think Frylight is rank! We use this instead and it’s never let us down! This is great for misting the onions in this recipe
  • We used Musclefood’s excellent lean minced beef for this one – if you haven’t tried them yet you should! We’ve got some cracking deals suitable for any budget, and if you buy through us you help keep the site going!

to make a posh burger, you should:

  • spray a saucepan with oil and place over a medium heat
  • add the onions to the pan and spray over a little bit more oil
  • leave the onions to cook in the pan, stirring only when they start to go a bit brown, and make sure to scrape up any bits on the bottom
  • add the balsamic vinegar and wine and leave to cook until most of it has evaporated off – this won’t take that long – you’ll be left with tasty caramelised onions
  • let them cool for a bit, and then mix half of it into the mince along with the salt and pepper – save the other half for later on
  • divide the mixture into four balls and squash (or press) into burgers
  • cook the burgers to however you like them – in a pan, under the grill or in a fancy Optigrill like we did – whichever way you prefer!
  • meanwhile, start to assemble your burger
  • place the salad leaves on the bottom along with the sliced tomato, then add the burger, remaining caramelised onions and top with the goats cheese

Love nowt more than stuffing yourself full of meat? We hear you gurl. Check out some of our other recipes! We’ve also got a few veggie ones!

J

the DILF burger: beef with a salt and pepper crust

Yes: the DILF burger. We toyed with the idea of calling it the salt and pepper burger but that’s dull. So, to keep things filthy, we’re calling it the DILF burger. Choose your explanation:

  • “I spend lots of time on my knees praying” = the DILF stands for Dieting Is Lots of Fun
  • “I spend lots of time on my knees doing things that it’s not nice to talk about” = the DILF stands for Dad I‘d Like to Fu…

Yeah! You know, like Tim from Corrie, Jim Hopper from Stranger Things and the new Captain Birdseye – have you seen him?

He’s gone straight from Yewtree to You: Now.

Only doing a very quick post tonight as I have to spend the rest of the evening sobbing into my HMRC forms. I thought I had filed it months ago but er, turns out I had left it to check something and then totally forgot about it. Still, I can’t see it being a problem – it’s not like the lines at HMRC will be busy, eh? Wish me luck! Let’s get straight to the recipe!

the dilf burger

to make the DILF burger you will need:

  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 4 bacon rashers
  • 70g peppercorns (we used a mixture of pink and black)
  • a good grind of salt
  • 250g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • 25g Philadelphia Lightest (you can have 110g as a healthy extra, so up to you if you bother synning such a small amount divided by four)
  • 80g reduced fat cheddar cheese, cut into four slices (2x HeA)
  • 4 wholemeal buns (4x HeB)
  • 2 big handfuls of rocket (or any salad leaf you want)

top tips to make the DILF burger

 

  • a pestle and mortar for the pepper is best but if you haven’t got one or can’t be arsed you could use a grinder, or alternatively bash it with the end of a rolling pin
  • musclefood do some amazing deals on mince and bacon – have a look, you can build yer own hamper these days – fancy!
  • a good oil mister is perfect for this one – this is what we recommend
  • you can cook this in a frying pan, under the grill or with a fancy gadget – we used an Optigrill for ours and used the ‘Burger’ button for a perfect rare burger. A George Foreman grill will do the job too!
  • wholemeal rolls look really shit in a photo. We used a brioche for purely photographic purposes – if you use a brioche bun, syn them (ASDA’s are about eight syns)

to make the DILF burger you should

  • heat a saucepan over a high heat and spray in a little oil
  • add the mushrooms and onions and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently
  • remove from the heat and set aside
  • use a pestle and mortar (or a grinder) to grind the peppercorns and the salt to a coarse consistency and carefully pour onto a plate
  • next, tip the mince into a large bowl and knead for a little bit to help mix it up and easier to shape
  • divide the mince into four and form into burgers (see Top Tips above)
  • gently press each burger in the peppercorns until well coated – don’t forget the edges! if the mince is dry, give a quick spritz with some oil to help it stick
  • spray a large frying pan with oil and place on a high heat or use a grill (see Top Tips above) and cook the burgers to your liking, then remove to a plate
  • in the same pan, chuck in the bacon and cook until done
  • making sure the mushrooms and onions have cooled a bit, add the philly and give a good stir
  • split the rolls and add a quarter of the mushroom mix to each bun
  • top with a burger, slice of cheese, bacon, tomato and rocket
  • cram into gob and turn into poo

Don’t worry – that wet patch will soon dry up. But if you don’t want it to, check out our other burger recipes!

Gosh, that’s a lot!

J

beef chilli and bean pasta bake – canny winter food!

Beef chilli and bean pasta bake! We’ve done a fair few pasta bakes lately but see, they’re excellent winter meals because you can make a huge portion, freeze the leftovers and thoroughly enjoy them as a meal! It’s a holiday entry though, so if you’re here just for the recipe, click the button below and it’ll take you straight to the recipe. Move along, sugarboobs, there’s nothing for you here.

You absolutely made the right choice, let’s go!


click here for part one | click here for part two

You last left us just as we stumbled, blinking and frowning into the apricity of a Stockholm winter, having spent a merry hour groping around in the dark with a total stranger. I appreciate that’s pretty much the start of all of our holiday entries but you get the idea. What next? Over in the distance from the Museum for the Blind loomed the Kaknästornet, a 155 meter TV tower. We weren’t planning on visiting until we realised there was a restaurant on the 26th floor and given how windy it was, it was likely to be deserted. A quick tramp through the woods led us there and, after handing over a small fortune, we were dispatched to a rickety old lift that sounded like it clacked and clicked against every last bolt and screw in that shaft. Despite the whole tower swaying ominously it was absolutely worth the trip – the views were amazing. We sat and enjoyed a strong restorative coffee and a slab of cake the size of Paul’s arse and all was well with the world. I like being high up looking down – it makes me feel like a God, albeit one with lingonberry jam dripping on his chin.

Admittedly not the best photo, but it was swaying…

 

We should explain at this point that we had, for once in our lives, managed to plan ahead and purchase a Stockholm Pass, which afforded you entry into all sorts of attractions for a one-off fee. A quick google search revealed we were within walking distance of a bus-stop which would take us straight to the museum district which held, amongst other things, an Absolut Museum and even better, the friggin’ ABBA museum. Well now come on, some things are inevitable, and us two benders paying homage to the campest band ever, well, it was always going to happen. We wandered over to the bus-stop and took a seat, reassured that one of Stockholm’s incredibly reliable buses would be along within six minutes. The timetable and electronic board certainly confirmed this. So we waited. Waited some more. Then a bit longer. Thirty minutes passed and I made to leave only to spot Paul sitting there with that grim, sulky and determined look on his face that told me that because he had wasted half an hour waiting for this bus, he was going to damn well wait until one turned up. I know this face well: bottom lip pops out, eyebrows furrow like he’s solving a cryptic crossword – normally the only thing that can break the spell is if he hears me unwrapping a Crunchie bar, like an obese take on Pavlov’s dog.

Even the bus-stop suggested filth.

So we waited even longer until I snapped and ordered him to stand up and start moving. So much protestation but I’d be damned if I was going to spend another minute gazing at the minutiae of the Stockholm bus timetable and trying to work out whether överföra meant cancelled, transfer or that the typesetter had taken ill at the keys and slumped over the keyboard. After promising I’d rub his feet if he started moving we were finally off.

We were about twenty steps away from the stop when a bus sailed straight past us, depositing a pleasant mix of slush and schadenfreude across the bottom of our trousers. Paul was furious and only calmed down when we happened across The Museum of Science and Technology. Now we’re talking: buttons to press. It was great fun! Highlights included a stage where you could pose whilst virtual reality dinosaurs ran around you, the sight of which was beamed to the rest of the museum live. It took less than seven hot seconds before Paul was pretending to get bummed by a tyrannosaurus rex and was roundly tutted from the stage. Oh and let’s not forget the winter sports section where you could try all manner of sporty experiences in the comfort of a warm museum and a reassuring proximity to a defibrillator. I climbed a tiny little mountain before realising my own giant crevasse was on show.

It’s like a Lidl take on Cliffhanger

We both tried our hand at curling only to realise you need dexterity and grace rather than a considerable weight advantage – most folks glide on ice, we look like a landslide. My favourite part was an enclosed booth which offered you the chance to be commentators on an ice-hockey game playing out in front of you – we started off with good intentions, yelling and blaring, before it degenerated into ‘HAWAY TORVILL, YOU LAMPSHAPE-FACED SLAPPER’ and ‘SKATE FASTER, NANCY KERRIGAN: THIS TIME THERE’S NAILS IN THE BAT’.

Not exactly Match of the Day

All in good fun – the booth was soundproof from the inside so no harm no foul, and we took everyone’s icy stares as simply being that crisp Swedish attitude so common over there. That was until we realised I’d managed to shut my coat in the door, preventing it from fully closing, and allowing the museum full audible access to our rantings, shrieking and wailings. We left ashen-faced, but not before a quick go on the virtual toboggan – only a quick go because a four year old child appeared and start pressing the buttons.

Honestly, do folks not know how to behave in museums?

We tackled the big issues!

After the Science Museum I somehow managed to persuade Paul to keep walking (it’s easier in cold countries – because of the icy ground, you just need to shove him gently and let gravity do the rest) and we headed a couple of miles along the river to the Spritmuseum down on Djurgårdsvägen, having found out that the Abba museum was shut for the night. Bastards. The Spritmuseum is a museum dedicated to booze – how they make it, how they bottle it, what it does to the body and even better, with some free tasters. You understand why we were lured in, yes? I can’t pretend it was terrifically exciting, and I don’t think we took the ‘hangover simulator’ as seriously as the guides wanted as Paul promptly fell asleep on the sofa during the ‘a hard night out’ movie, but it passed the time. There’s something about museums abroad that the UK can’t seem to match – our museums are always full of tired exhibitions hidden behind glass cubes coated with fingerprints, smelly children barrelling around being noisy and loud and lots of ladies who have never known what it is to love yelling at people that THEY MUST NOT TOUCH and STAND WELL BACK and YOU CAN’T EAT THAT IN HERE. I swear I once had an argument with a curator who had a pop at me for eating outside food when I took a packet of Halls from my pocket. Pfft.

Found Paul!

Found my bedroom friend!

The museum itself took up only half an hour but afterwards we decamped into the bar and, in a fit of ‘but I don’t care that it cost more than the flights over’ excitement, I ordered a taster selection of the various spirits for us to try.

Pictured: Cyril Smith enjoying a drink

It’s hard to look butch in that shirt

Now listen: I’ve swallowed some disgusting things in my life. Top tip: pinch your nose and gulp, you’ll find it slips down that much easier. But these spirits absolutely defeated me – I felt like Anne Robinson back when she was necking her dressing room Chanel. I tried to sip them to ‘taste the flavour notes’ but it would have been nicer to chew open batteries. Paul was merrily necking them and so, in my haste to get past it, I threw the lot in my mouth, grimaced and swallowed. Worst 50 Swedish krona we spent that holiday. We should have left, but the very friendly bar staff noticed how quickly we had knocked it back and filled our glasses up again for free. Very generous indeed, but you have no idea how difficult it is to fake pleasure in swallowing what tastes like something they’d use to dissolve a London fatberg, especially when some blonde bombshell is looking at you both approvingly whilst you savour the flavour. I’ve never acted so hard in my life but after the second round – seeing stars – we had to pretend to urgently leave. We were absolutely bloody smashed.

We had an escape room booked for the evening and so, conscious of the fact we were both seeing double, we decided to make our way to the escape room via a nice long boat ride. Ah it was glorious – floating along in the ice-cold really freshened the mind and by the time we were pulling into the port, we were back in full ‘Rose and Jack’ voice.

Our Escape Room was hosted by Fox in a Box and they welcomed us with open arms, wincing only gently at the alcohol fumes pouring out of us. It was a very unusual location – underground with several rooms with different themes. You know we love an escape room and we have made a point of doing one on each holiday so far: this one was themed like a laboratory and the idea was that we had to stop a zombie apocalypse. Of course. Escape rooms are fun but it’s so hard to look serious whilst someone who couldn’t care less is telling you that there’s zombies just outside the door. She sealed us in. I started looking for clues when, as though he’d been holding it in since the TV tower, Paul let out a fart so loud and so elongated that I thought he’d found a trombone. You know how your ears ring after a large firework goes off? That was me. I might remind you that the rooms are linked to the reception so that they can hear if you get stuck, so they would have been treated as well. We were absolutely creased – we’re huge fan of toilet humour – but then it literally sank in. In a sealed room, with no air-conditioning or window, that fetid air wasn’t going anywhere. If anything, it seemed to get worse and worse, smelling like someone was burning tyres in a fire made of shit. It’s hard to concentrate on mixing colours and typing codes when your eyes are streaming and your nose is bleeding. The hour passed and we ‘saved the day’ with moments to spare. That’s all well and good, but when the lassie unlocked to lock the door and the air rushed out of the room, she was hit with the full force and set away with a coughing fit. I’ve never been so embarrassed and this happens a lot on our holidays: I’m left beetroot faced and Paul is standing there grinning like the cat that shat the bed.

Oh, at least the McDonalds had a compliment…

Cheers mate!

Seems like a good moment to get back to the recipe, doesn’t it?

REMEMBER FOLKS: we love feedback on the holiday entries! It makes my day! So please do leave a comment to gee us along!

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Right, let’s do this recipe eh? This serves 4 big portions!

beef chilli and bean pasta bake


beef chilli and bean pasta bake

to make beef chilli and bean pasta bake you will need:

  • 400g lean minced beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of kidney beans, drained
  • 2 sticks of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp chilli powder (as hot or as mild as you like)
  • 300ml beef stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 300g wholewheat pasta
  • 120g fat-free greek yoghurt (check the syns)
  • 220g Philadelphia lightest (2x hea)
  • 80g reduced fat extra mature cheese, grated (2x HeA)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs, beaten

top tips to make beef chilli and bean pasta bake

to make beef chilli and bean pasta bake you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200ºc
  • cook the pasta according to the instructions, then drain
  • meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, spray with a bit of oil and add the onions and celery
  • cook for a few minutes until starting to soften, then scoop out the pan and set aside
  • add the mince to the pan and cook until browned
  • add the onions and celery back into the pan and tip in the tomatoes, kidney beans, celery, tomato puree, chilli powder, garlic and beef stock
  • stir well, bring to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes
  • next, mix together the yoghurt, Philadelphia, salt, pepper, cheese and eggs and set aside
  • mix the pasta and the mince mixture together and tip into a large dish
  • top with the cheese mixture, making sure that it’s even spread over the top
  • bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes – finish under the grill for a few minutes to get the top crispy

Who couldn’t love that?! Try our other pasta bakes!

J