droptober recipe #14: one-pot pork and rice

Very quick post tonight, folks – one-pot pork and rice, just another one pot meal that we had left over! James is cooking so unusually, you’ve got the other Cub coming on your screen. Lucky!

I’m dead excited today because they’re putting up the Christmas decorations in our town – I mean, they look shite but it’s a sure sign that Christmas is on it’s way and it’s my favourite time of year! I love it all and there is literally no limit to how much Quality Street I can eat. Seriously, I try to warn people but they don’t listen and then bitch on when it’s just fudge left in the tub.

We’ve promised ourselves this year to put up some lights on the outside of our house (I know, the pinnacle of class) because it’s something I have ALWAYS wanted to do. And, because I know that the super-bright LEDs you can now buy with super-epilepsy mode is sure to piss off Nos. 1-5 on our street. Christmas is always a lovely affair here at The Sticky Patch, we never skimp on our trees and despite our complete lack of design skill we actually do a pretty good job of it. It’s certainly a step-up from what it was like when we were younger, with the cheapest possible tree from the Freemans catalogue sitting in the corner of the room doing a fantastic impression of an impending bonfire with its three sets of lights wired into the same plug. Mother would be eggwashing some frozen sausage rolls in the kitchen with a light dusting of fag ash and my sister and I would be sent away with an Argos catalogue and a strict limit – we had to write down exactly what we wanted, price, page number and catalogue number and a running sub-total. If it weren’t in that catalogue you couldn’t get it. Magical times.

What you can get, however, is this simple recipe for one-pot pork and rice. Serves four optimistically, two realistically. Listen, it looks like shite, I know, but it tastes good, I promise!

one-pot pork and rice

to make one-pot pork and rice you will need:

to make one-pot pork and rice you should:

  • squeeze the meat out the sausage casing so you get about 4 ‘balls’ from each sausage and roll into a perfect ball
  • heat a large casserole dish over a medium-high heat, spray with oil (save your pans and get one of these) and cook the balls until they’re done, then remove from the pan and set aside
  • add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for a further five minutes, until softened
  • add the cumin, coriander and rice to the pan and stir well
  • pour in the vegetable stock and the chopped tomatoes and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan
  • simmer for ten minutes until the rice is done
  • gently stir the meatballs into the rice, and serve

 

if you’re looking for more tasty recipe ideas, just click the buttons below!

porksmallpastasmall sausagessmall   onepot

 

J

one pot sausages and boston beans

Do you ever cook something, expect it to be awful and then are blown away by how good it tastes? That’s this recipe for sausages and boston beans, and better yet, it genuinely is one the easiest dishes we’ve ever done on here. Of course, because this is a twochubbycubs recipe and I love the sound of the fat on my fingers slapping against the slightly tacky keys on my keyboard, you’re going to get a bit of nonsense first.

Tonight’s post the first of a two-parter about our long weekend to Peterborough. I love writing ‘travel’ entries because they’re usually full of fun places, wonderful food and trills of laughter. I’d like to caveat this entry by stressing: we went to Peterborough. Look, I even knocked together a wee graphic.

peterborough

Normally at this point I’d apologise for being cruel in anticipation of the angry emails and comments I’ll get about slagging off a town, but I’m not actually convinced Peterborough has electricity, nevermind the internet, so I shan’t bother.

It’s all Paul’s fault. His family are all from down South whereas my family are from The North. Thus, he sees a lot of my family and only rarely does he venture down South to see his. He hasn’t fallen out with them, you understand, but we’re talking about a man for whom turning over in the bath to wash himself is an effort – the thought of driving however many miles and spending a weekend nodding at nonsense is beyond him. It’s certainly beyond me and that’s why whenever Paul has previously slopped family-bound down the A1, I’ve stayed at home eating delicious food and idly masturbating. It’s what every single guy does when his partner leaves and if you’re sitting there thinking that your partner doesn’t, then you’re in for a very rude awakening when you find all the crusty hand smears down the side of the mattress.

Oops, I got diverted. It began a couple of weeks ago when Paul turned to me, ashen-faced, and told me it was time we both went to see his family. I’d have been less frightened, alarmed and upset if he had wrote me a letter explaining he was Patient Zero of that antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea and I could expect a cock like a dripping nose within a week. However, because I’m a gentleman, I acquiesced – not least because Paul’s had ten years of trying to decipher my Dad’s Geordie accent and eight years of my nana force-feeding him butter sandwiches like he was a foie-gras duck, so me visiting his relatives seemed fair enough.

Just so you’re aware, I have visited Peterborough once before – we stayed at Orton Hall and visited the cathedral. It was mildly diverting in the same way a repeat episode of your third favourite TV show may hold your attention. We got drunk with a friend of his and ended up sat in a Vauxhall Nova in a McDonalds car park eating chips. I’ve literally never felt more street in my life. So we weren’t in a rush to repeat that and decided to book a nice hotel on the outskirts. Finding a decent hotel that wasn’t massively overpriced turned into such an insurmountable challenge that I threw a sulk once we reached Nottingham on the map and demanded that we just check into the first Premier Inn that came up on the map. We later found out that the Burghley Horse Trials were on and that explained – apparently – why all the hotels were booked up. Personally, I hope all the horses were found guilty.

We agreed that we’d drive down to Peterborough on the Saturday morning in our rented Ford Tedium and despite willing my liver to rupture, I was unable to get out of it. Actually, nevermind getting out of it, I could barely get into our rented car. Perhaps you’ve been in a Ford Fiesta – do you find the doors ridiculously small and low down? I had to fold myself like an accordion of chafed skin just to get inside. I haven’t quite reached the stage where I can’t physically fit into a car (probably a few pounds away) but this was a nightmare. I actually think I cracked a rib jumping in after I’d filled the bugger up.

To make my joy complete, Paul decided that he would be the one to drive most of the journey, leaving me to sit in the passenger sit twisting my face and eating crisps. I did spot that, being a fancy new model, I could text the car and it would read out a message for Paul. You may have seen the advert on TV where some spurned husband has the car read out a heartwarming apology and they laugh gaily at one another and ruefully shake their heads? Yeah, well, this was my attempt – warning, there’s a naughty word.

I blurred out my name because well, privacy.

The drive down was spectacularly uneventful – the usual parade of stopping to have a piss in amongst the poo-cloud of eight hundred harried dads and children, paying way over the odds for a cup of tea and moaning about it for ten minutes in the car, spending too much money on the fruit machines in the vain hope I’d win the jackpot and I could whisk Paul away somewhere exotic and full of promise, like Norwich. Nope. We arrived at his mother’s house at 11am.

I had a cup of tea. It was nice.

Twenty minutes later we agreed to take his brother out for lunch. I love Paul’s brother – he’s a proper gentle giant and really knows his stuff. He has severe autism which leads to moments of slight awkwardness when he blurts out to a waitress that she’s gorgeous and can share his milkshake. Or, memorably, when he whistled at a poor woman in Seahouses literally three inches from her face as he walked past. He just says what we’re all thinking. Anyway, a quick look at decent places to eat nearby turned up absolutely nothing and anyway, he wanted to go to a Bella Italia, so off we went to an industrial estate to have a meal that was about as Italian as I am a Calvin Klein model with a cock like a roll of wallpaper.

advert - summer-01

I’m not going to review the place in depth because well, it was a Bella Italia for goodness sake, but understand that it was a dismal meal in dismal surroundings for £90. Until that day I would never have thought a pizza could actually look bored but there we have it. We asked for a quiet table away from any noise and the prissy little manager who seated us looked like I’d personally walked into the kitchen and shat in the carbonara. When I first typed that I typoed walked as wanked – that also works, so pick one. He sat us next to the bar with a fetching giant cylinder of blue-roll to sit with. Perhaps he thought we could snack on that in the vain hunt for flavour.

Our starter was described on the menu as a ‘real taste of Italy’. Who knew that Italy tasted like a third of those continental sliced meat platters you get in ASDA sweated behind the radiator for an hour or so? It did come with shaved fennel and orange segments but there’s only so much excitement you can wring from such a lacklustre repast. Between the three of us we had it finished before the bubbles on my diet coke had come to the surface. Naturally, it cost £15.

We had a pizza each (at £15 a pop) which tasted like a carpet tile smeared with passata and shunned by society. At one point I nearly gave up and smeared the blue roll with tomato sauce to get my money’s worth. The sides consisted of six onion rings for £4. 66p an onion ring. I did want to enquire whether or not Gino d’Campo was slicing them personally with a diamond but Paul shook his head at me and said no. Oh and the drinks! The diet coke came in a glass that Thumbelina herself would have considered meagre and, as usual, was more ice than drink. They were £2.60 a time, non-refillable. From my vantage point I was afforded the sight of the barman preparing a ‘fresh apple juice’ by opening a carton of Tesco Value apple juice and pouring it into a tiny milk bottle. That cost £2.50, by the way.

Desserts were a little better. Paul’s brother wanted ice-cream but also wanted to pick the flavours – his treat, so why not. The waitress had the good grace not to vomit into her mouth when he ordered a mixture of rum and raisin, chocolate and bubblegum ice-cream all topped with limoncello sauce and crushed almond biscuits. Paul and I ordered a Mean Joe between us which is apparently:

“Nutty fudge brownies, vanilla and chocolate gelato, chocolate sauce, fresh cream, popping candy, dark chocolate tagliatelle and a wafer curl. He’s got it sorted!”

What we got was four scoops of chocolate ice-cream, a brownie that could have been used to chock the tyres of a runaway bus and a shitty look. I’ve had more delightful desserts free from the Chinese takeaway. Paul’s brother gamely ate all of his ice-cream and we settled the bill. You know what stung the most? Our waitress was lovely and I couldn’t not tip her, so the meal actually ended up costing £100 in total. Imagine my delight. We bundled Paul’s brother back into the car and made our way back to his mother’s house to drop him off before the sugar kicked in.

I stroked a dog. It was nice. Paul had threatened in the car to make me laugh by pulling faces at me whilst his mother made conversation with me but that never happened.

We made our way to the Premier Inn, at least comforted by the fact we’d get a good night’s sleep, guaranteed. Things got off to a shaky start when Paul realised that the guy checking us in was his mortal enemy from school who had told everyone he was better than everyone else and was off to New York to pursue a music career. Seemingly the bus to the airport terminates at Junction 16 of the A1. Who knew? I had noticed that our welcome was a tad more frosty than normal but it was only when Paul explained in the corridor – and I had ascertained that he hadn’t actually sucked him off at some point (which, to be fair to me, seemingly applies to anything with testosterone within a 60 mile blast radius of Peterborough) that it all became clear.

The Premier Inn itself wasn’t bad, but meh. We were put into a weird extension bit which required trundling down an endless corridor of foist and extra-marital-sex-stink and our room eschewed curtains, instead sealing out the light with a huge set of sliding wooden doors. This mean the room was hot and tiny, the two worst things for two fat blokes. We freshened up (i.e. Paul immediately had a introductory thundering crap in the toilet like he does in EVERY SINGLE HOTEL ROOM WE EVER, EVER BOOK) and set out for his dad’s place, a little bit further down the A1.

Well, this was actually lovely. His dad and his partner are lovely, funny folk with witty conversation and big warm hearts. I’m not even being sarcastic (I know!) – we stayed for two hours and it felt like minutes. I’m actually quite a shy person and find making conversation tricky with people I don’t know but it was wonderfully easy and I was sad to leave. We did manage to subscribe them to the blog so, if you’re reading this Mrs A, take comfort in the fact that you both were a bright spot in an otherwise relentlessly grim weekend!

After leaving we did a cursory glance on Tripadvisor for a delicious place to eat, realised we’d have more marginally more success finding someone with a complete set of teeth and instead decamped to Tesco, where our Saturday night was made complete with a few packets of Cup-a-Soups and some crisps. We both fell asleep in front of the X-Factor, wishing for death.

Let’s leave this entry there, shall we? Bake Off starts soon and I want to watch Mary Berry gum and gurn her way through bread week. Tonight’s one-pot dinner genuinely couldn’t be easier. It’s probably a bit of cheek calling it boston beans but hey, if I put sausage and beans on the recipe, you might get misled. This makes enough for two.

sausages and boston beans

to make one pot sausages and boston beans, you’ll need:

  • two tins of kidney beans in chilli sauce
  • two large white onions
  • one packet of sausages (your syns will vary depending on what you use – we use our Musclefood sausages from our giant mixed summer pack because they actually taste of meat and which come in at half a syn each – click here for that – enjoy)
  • one beef oxo cube
  • one garlic clove
  • splash of worcestershire sauce
  • two large jacket potatoes
  • pepper

to make one pot sausages and boston beans, you should:

  • stick your jacket potato in the oven
  • cook your sausages off until nice and brown and then take them out
  • slice your onions nice and thin and add them into the pan
  • add the minced garlic and cook off for a few moments
  • open the tins of kidney beans and put all the contents, including the gloopy water, into the pan
  • fill one of the tins halfway full with water and add that along with the worcestershire sauce, oxo cube and plenty of pepper
  • add the sausages and allow everything to simmer gently until the sauce is thick
  • serve with the potatoes – delicious!

We get asked a lot for recommendations for a decent one-pot pan. I can’t recommend Le Creuset enough. They’re expensive, oh yes, but we use ours daily. Invest in one right here and never look back. Cheaper alternatives are absolutely fine mind!

If you want more sausage recipes, plus some delicious beef, chicken, pork or fakeaway recipes, click on the buttons below!

fakeawayssmallsausagessmallpoultrysmallbeefsmallporksmall

Hope you enjoy!

J

sausage, fennel and pesto pasta

Sausage, fennel and pesto pasta? Have we gone all posh here at the always unpretentious, classless twochubbycubs? No. Don’t worry. We’re not going to start asking you to sous-vide (I’m sure she works in our local chippy) your food or start using sweetener that you can only buy in an Axminster branch of Holland and Barrett. However, we were asked for more sausage recipes so that people had something to do with those Slimming World sausages other than open the box and pour them directly into the bin because they’re so bloody awful. To make Slimming World sausages palatable (why is the third ingredient – after the 79% meat – citrus peel? I want to eat a sausage, not a pork-flavoured Yankee Candle), you need to add lots of flavour, hence the fennel and pesto. Before we get to that, though, some business to attend to.

I went over to visit The Progenitors this evening to make sure that a) they’re still kicking about and b) to casually remind them that there really is no better time to make a will than right now, and yes, don’t worry I’ll share. They’re in rude health as ever, and although I got roundly admonished for proclaiming that ‘the iPad can’t sense through leather’ when my mum told me her iPad wasn’t recognising her fingerprint, all was well. However, my mother has two messages for the blog which I feel I must pass on, at the very least to ensure that the flow of newly-laid eggs keeps coming my way.

First: she’s taken umbrage with the fact that I like to portray my childhood as some kind of Catherine Cookson-esque, poverty-stricken wasteland of bland meals and stolen potatoes. Well, obviously that wasn’t the case. We didn’t have much money but my sister and I never went without – we always had good food in our bellies, clothes on our backs and all the second-hand Lambert and Butler smoke a child could want. I reckon I was on ten fags a day by proxy by the age of ten. I’ve certainly inherited my lack of worry from them – they’re both very down-to-earth, decent people – just because my mother can drink like a sailor and my dad uses flatulence like one might use a full-stop doesn’t change that.

No, look, I do jest, and I do like to make gags about growing up, but I couldn’t have wished for better parents and when I listen to them now, bickering on at each other and twisting their faces, there’s still so much love there, it’s marvellous. They’ve been married for absolutely bloody ages and it’s quite inspiring to think you can make small-talk with the same person over dinner for thirty years and not want to stab them in the eye. It’s all I can do not to set myself on fire if I pass the same person on the stairs twice in one day. I think the anniversary gift for 30 years is pearl, and I’m definitely not going to mention that to my parents because, Christ, if you think I’m bad for smut and innuendo, you haven’t seen anything yet…

The second public service announcement from Mother Cub is a new gadget. See, since buying hens she has been awash with more eggs than she knows what to do with. My poor dad has had fried eggs, cubed eggs, boiled eggs, poached eggs, eggs eleven, eggy-eggs, eggy-bread and god knows what else. Anyway, my mum has found this on Amazon and it filled her with so much excitement it was the third thing she said to me after I stepped through her door (after DON’T GO STRAIGHT TO THE FRIDGE and CAN YOU JUST HAVE A LOOK AT SOMETHING ON THE COMPUTER FOR ME).

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It’s a three way egg-slicer. For when cutting with a knife won’t do, but then, nor will boring old slices. This one makes perfectly chunked egg mayo, wonderfully measured egg slices and, for that decadent touch, egg quarters. Whilst admittedly it’s quite literally the only time I ever want to hear about my mother having a three-way in the kitchen, it’s a gadget too much for me. I’ll say this though – the egg mayo sandwich that she made me was terrific. I’ve never had such uniform egg-based texture.

This makes enough for two big fatties to shovel in as dinner. So, just enough for me and Paul. So let’s say three syns per serving, but remember, it’s a giant bloody serving. I do like how the Amazon picture above already has the nicotine mottled-effect that most things in my parent’s house have. I’m joking again, just to be clear. Anyway, it’s on Amazon for only a few quid, so if you’re looking for a slicer that will blow your mind, go for it!

Anyway, that’s quite enough from Eva Braun, this is my blog, damn it.

Before we get to the sausage, fennel and pesto pasta, I have a quick question. I listen to The Archers. Love it. Don’t care that it’s a fuddy-duddy programme, I like how relaxing it all is. I’ve probably been listening for a year now – I tuned in when Rob Bastard started terrorising poor Helen and she stabbed him over the burst custard. But three questions:

  • am I ever going to get to the point where I recognise who is talking and who is related to who – I’m currently treating it like a white noise machine but I reckon I’d get more out of it if I actually understood the characters. But see, I go onto the Radio 4 website, read up on them, and then instantly forget everything I read, like my brain is trying to save me from premature old age;
  • is that young Johnny fella ever going to boff that other one (Josh?) – I feel like they’ve been building to A Beautiful Thing, but maybe that’s just me; and
  • am I wrong for getting teary-eyed over poor Scruff? SOB.

Now, you might be scoffing and tittering into your hand about my love of The Archers at the age of 31, but you know what, I don’t care. Not after poor Scruff’s death! LIFE’S TOO SHORT.

Right, let’s do the recipe.

sausage, fennel and pesto pasta

to make sausage, fennel and pesto pasta you will need:

  • 500g pasta
  • 6 sausages, skins removed (have you tried the sausages in our special Musclefood deals? They’re only ½ a syn each! Plus they have the added bonus of not tasting like you’re chewing a draught excluder – click here to order!)
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp reduced fat green pesto (3 syns)advert - summer-01

to make sausage, fennel and pesto pasta you should:

  • cook the pasta according to the instructions, towards the end of the cooking time take half-a-mugful of the pasta water for later on
  • meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a medium high heat, sling in some oil and chuck in the fennel seeds, cook for about 30 seconds
  • add the onion and saute until it softens, about 5 minutes or so
  • mash the sausages the best you can with a fork and chuck into the pan, stir quickly to make sure it stays as broken up as possible – it doesn’t hurt to get a potato masher and smash things up a bit
  • add the black pepper, reduce the heat and keep stirring every now and again – don’t worry if bits stick to the bottom of the pan – that’s good
  • stir the pesto into the mug of pasta water and add to the pan and use it to scrape off any bits on the bottom of the pan
  • add the drained pasta to the pan and stir so it’s coated evenly in the pesto sauce and the sausage is mixed in
  • serve

Easy, right? If you’re looking for more sausage or pasta recipes, you’ll do well to click on the buttons below. We’ve got loads!

pastasmallsausagessmall

Enjoy, won’t you?

J

james’ any old shite salad

What an alluring name! But my any old shite salad is so called because I literally dice up and chuck in any old shite that I have lying in the back of the fridge. I’m on a bit of a drive to stop wasting so much food – something that is quite difficult when running a food blog given how many new recipes we have to come up with. Plus, I spend £3 a day on Subway for my lunch and thought this would be cheaper, plus I don’t have to stare angrily at the back of some poor lad’s head whilst he umms and aaars his way through the choices.

As an aside, do I win Pickiest Subway Salad award? I get double plain chicken, no cheese, half lettuce, cucumber, no onion or olives, double gherkins, double jalapeno, tomatoes (with a pinch of salt), honey and mustard dressing but the dressing has to go on before all the salad so the leaves are wet. I know, I’m a terror, but I think I get away with it because I’m so unfailingly polite and I bought them a box of Celebrations at Christmas. I’m not convinced the guy behind the till speaks a lick of English – and alas, my Latvian is a little rusty – so he could be calling me worse than muck under his breath and I wouldn’t know. Ah well, them’s the breaks. I prefer to live in blissful ignorance.

Oh, I once got thrown out of a Subway in Southend after getting steaming drunk in Colours in Basildon with my ex who looked like Granitarse from Knightmare and storming in demanding a chicken ticky-licky sandwich and crying when they didn’t understand what I meant. Look, it had been an emotional evening, my ex’s then-partner had caught us…what a slut. I’m not usually such an arsehole when I’m drunk, I hasten to add. I’m not.

Right, anyway, no diversions, we weren’t going to post tonight as we’re in the middle of decorating our bedroom and getting jizz off the ceiling takes a great deal of determination. So: the any old shite salad.

any old shite salad

I’m not going to treat you like a moron and tell you how to prepare any old shite salad, but here’s what is in mine:

  • sliced baby cucumber with the seeds cut out
  • a variety of cherry tomatoes, chopped, salted and drained
  • a handful of baby corn, sliced
  • a fistful of sugarsnap peas
  • a baby’s mitten of gherkins, sliced
  • a cat’s sneeze of new potatoes, diced
  • an extravagant wave of tiny soup pasta
  • a perfunctory sexual act of tiny pickled onions
  • a discarded cigarette packet of olives (which I don’t syn, not the pitted black ones, and that’s not because I’m racist)
  • a blushing smile of tiny pickled red peppers
  • a knee-slapping chortle of broccoli
  • an angry drunken confrontation of asparagus tips
  • a thought of mint leaves
  • a carpet sample of ham – leave out for a veggie option
  • an uprising of chopped red and green pepper
  • a don’t-tell-Margaret-HEA (X2) of crumbled feta cheese
  • an after-coitus-dribble of fat-free dressing (I make mine from balsamic vinegar, a tablespoon of dijon mustard and some lemon juice – I don’t syn the mustard either, it’s a tiny amount, but you can go for it)

You can surely tell from my piss-take amounts that there’s no set rules when it comes to amounts. Make as much as you like, vary the ingredients, take out what you don’t like and add stuff you do. I like to cram as many different textures and tastes into each salad because it keeps things interesting. I make enough on a Monday night to fill four large lunchboxes and this carries me through to the end of the week. It keeps well in the fridge because you haven’t saturated it in dressing and actually, the less moisture in the salad, the fresher it seems to stay.

Lunchboxes? Sistema all the way. Cheap but reliable and next to nothing on Amazon – see!

any old shite salad

See, I might have called it any old shite, but it’s a bloody good idea for lunch!

Oh, as a little extra, I made some pickled red onion slices a couple of weeks ago when I made those fancy eggs – nothing special, just a load of very thinly sliced red onion (this is where one of these comes in handy – and ooh, it’s almost half price on Amazon – buy one and you’ll use it lots, I promise), stick them in a sterilised Kilner jar, top up with rice vinegar with a teaspoon of sugar added (heat the vinegar, add the sugar so it dissolves, then take off the heat), throw in some black peppercorns and leave in the jar in the fridge for as long as you need them. Everything goes a pretty colour, as you can see. Up to you whether you syn the sugar – if you do, it’s 1 syn per tsp, but really, it goes into the vinegar and well, you’re not going to eat all the onion in one go). This is lovely on a burger but even better mixed into your any old shite salad!

any old shite salad

Enjoy. If you want more ideas for vegetarian recipes or snacks, click on the buttons below!

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Thanks!

J

four meals from a chicken: sweet potato, chive and chicken risnotto

If you’re purely here for the recipe for sweet potato, chive and chicken risnotto, scroll to the bottom. It’s below the pictures. We’ve got a load of nonsense to get through first!

Firstly, I almost died today. Perhaps a slight exaggeration but I was busy eating my 28g³ of bran-flakes as per Mags’ orders and watching a particularly loud Jeremy Kyle when an errant bran flake shot down my wind-pipe and got stuck there. I immediately started spluttering and choking but Paul just looked at me with a ‘Oh I know, and look at their yellow teeth’ face, no help at all. It took almost thirty seconds of trying to dislodge this bran flake before it finally shot out and landed with a splat in his bowl of cereal – that’ll teach the unobservant fucker. My whole life flashed before my eyes – far more sitting in front of a computer trying to come up with fresh gags about fellatio for my liking – and let’s be honest, thirty seconds is a long time for a fat bloke to hold his breath, let alone one who smoked twenty a day for three years. Hell, it’s hard enough for me to not eat for thirty seconds, nevermind breathe. Plus, imagine having bran as your cause of death? You quite literally could not have a more boring reason for expiration, unless you were mumbled to death by someone with dried egg on his shirt.

Speaking of boring farts with dried egg on their shirts, we got a rather arsey message from someone “in charge” of a geocache that we visited last weekend, stating that because he couldn’t see that we had signed the log, he would delete our find. Well, you can imagine the devastation that caused in our household, can’t you? His message was so infuriatingly terse and snippy that it got my back up something rotten. Why would anyone lie about something so insignificant about finding a tiny container hidden in some nettles by the side of the A696? Goodness me. I explained that our pencil had broken and he went “away to consider the options”. I like to think he tossed and turned all night with his little GPS unit calling to him like The Tell-Tale Heart. I genuinely don’t think I’ll ever come across in my lifetime someone imbued with such a misguided amount of self-importance in relation to the tiny amount of power they’ve been granted. Honestly.

Anyway, it’s been a while since we revisited New York, hasn’t it? Why don’t we take a trip and chortle our way through another day of our holiday in The Big Apple. I hope I don’t get an email from you lot asking for proof that I actually visited New York, but if I do, I can show you a blurry photo of Paul’s arse-cheeks as he took a piss in Central Park. The glamour! Here’s a link for part one and part two. Enjoy!

twochubbycubs go to New York, part three

I can tell you one thing right from the off about New York – there’s hardly any fat people. It’s the most confusing thing.  It’s genuinely the only time in my life I’ve ever felt skinny. Paul and I remained the fattest of them all. Eh, who cares right? As long as our ankles don’t give out from under us, we’re good to go.

We started with breakfast, naturally, which I’m sure involved half a pig and some Smuckers, which I still think sounds like something your bumhole does when you’re got the skitters: “oooh, Elsie, put an Andrex in the freezer, my hoop is smuckering” or something. Our first destination was Times Square and after getting lost several times and ending up in the same K-Mart – twice – we finally found our way there. I’m not sure what we were expecting – yes, lots of big screens and people bustling about…but it really is just a meeting of streets. Am I missing something? 

We did spot an interactive screen by L’Oreal, which implored couples to stand on a spot and wait until one of the giant screens was filled with a live stream of them, then you were to pose kissing or cuddling and SHOW NEW YORK LOVE. Now, obviously, there was someone out of sight deciding which couple gets projected onto the massive screens, and when it was Paul and I standing there…well…they didn’t put on the big screen. Sob! Was it because we’re fat? Was it because we’re shirtlifters? Who knows. Paul was all for heading straight off and letting the beautiful people have their moment in the digital sun, but not me. Oh no. I stood there with Paul by my side for a good ten minutes until we were eventually projected to all of New York – we kissed, but sadly the photo was taken at such an angle that it looks like I’m gnawing on Paul’s head and he’s trying not to Smucker in his trousers. Nevermind, we still got our moment. We went back later and stole in front of a crowd of bemused Chinese folk and got a slightly better picture…see?

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Yes, I appreciate any British person passing was going to be thinking that French and Saunders had really let themselves go, but what can you do? Also, I seem to have morphed into Drew Carey. Paul’s been wearing that little Icelandic flag on his coat for a few months now and we got asked three times if we were secret service. Imagine us as secret service – we’re not exactly going to be chasing criminals down on foot. Best I could do is sass him to death in the interrogation room.

We spotted that a nearby museum was hosting an exhibition by Gunther von Hagens, the German anatomist who travels around with those stripped back skeletons and bodies that show the various muscles and whatnot. Hard to describe but hopefully you know what I mean. Fair warning, there’s a pretty grim picture coming up, so if you’re a sensitive Betty get scrolling! We’ve always wanted to see his ‘show’ but forever missed it, so this time we were at the front of the queue. Is it wrong to show such a fevered desire to see bodies and bones? It was like our arrival at the Icelandic Knob Museum all over again!

It was brilliant – all very scientific and tasteful and interesting, although let’s be honest everyone there was gagging to see how funny the knobs looked hanging down and stripped of skin – like weisswurst, since you ask. Around every corner was something of note – the tiny bones of a premature baby, the nervous system all laid out like a colossal piece of broccoli, four naked men sitting around playing cards with their bollocks hanging down like tiny church bells. As you’d expect, Paul and I tutted at the giggling school party who were shrieking into their sleeves and nudging each other at the sight of a lady’s vagina (well it wasn’t going to be a bloke’s vagina, after all) all laid bare like a broken oyster, then we proceeded to stifle our own giggles at the ‘sperm and egg’ portion of the show. I’m a man who loves his puns see, and it was all I could do to hold back from ‘…and THIS is what it’s come to’ or suchlike.  Museum fatigue set in for me before Paul, meaning my eyes had glazed over to the point where, had I not moved for a minute more, I could have passed as part of the exhibition.

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Well HELLO SAILOR. See, weisswurst!

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Exhibition over, we decided we both needed to say goodbye to our breakfasts, which led to the next awkward toilet encounter. Remember in my last post I complained about the fact that American toilets have that weird gap under the door and a huge crack (especially when I’m in it) between the door and the wall of the cubicle next to it, meaning every hastily taken shit is a lesson in trying desperately not to meet someone’s eye as you crimp off a loaf? Well, no sooner had we both settled down (in adjacent cubicles, we’re not that close) and preparing to drop anchor when in walks a janitor who proceeds to start mopping the floor. Fair enough, in the UK someone would have knocked on the door, waited outside and given you a filthy look as you leave and they walk into your arse-cloud, but no, this cheeky chappie starts whistling merrily and going about his business. That wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t then stuck his grimy mop under the friggin’ toilet door and sloshed it over our shoes. NOTHING makes the shutters close quicker than something like that happening, and Paul immediately whatsapped me to say ‘he couldn’t go’ and that ‘we should leave’. The janitor gave us a proper smirk as we left too. He totally knew what he was doing.

As soon as we left the Body Works museum I immediately got a nosebleed. Smashing! I have a really fragile nose and go through spells of heavy but entirely non-serious nosebleeds, and boom, here we were. Well goodness me, you’ve never seen so many tourists swerve out of someone’s way then that day, in the rain, when I came shuffling towards them with a face full of blood. N0-one offered to help, of course, so Paul dashed as fast as his swollen feet allowed him into Walgreens, where a security guard, after a LOT of persuasion, tore me off a piece of fucking parcel paper to wipe my face with. I’d have been more bloody comfortable wiping my face with a square of 1200 grit sandpaper. I muttered my thanks and sent Paul back in to try and find some tissues, only for him to disappear for ten minutes and reappear having been forced a packet of $8 aloe-fucking-vera face-wipes. Luckily, my inbuilt Geordie tight-arse came out and the outrage at having to pay so much to stop myself passing out distracted my brain from pouring my life out of my nose and we were soon sorted. I left a charming puddle of blood around the back of a donut shop, which I like to think will have confused the police for a few hours at least.

I can’t help but feel that had the janitor at the Body Works exhibition allowed me to have a dump, the pressure in my body would have settled and there would have been no nosebleed. I should have nipped back and dripped all over his urinals.

So, unexpected epistaxis aside, we made our way to M&M World, where we treated ourselves to a few bits of tat and quite possibly the most awkward photo we’ve ever had taken. I’m not posting it. A tiny lady in a massive red M&M costume came tottering out of a door to entertain the waiting children when we asked if we could have a photo. Well, I’ve never seen a costumed figure with a six foot wide smile manage to look so dejected and uncomfortable but by God, the photo doesn’t lie. It doesn’t help that Paul, in his effort to get his hands around her to make it look like he’s hugging the ‘giant M&M’, just looks like he’s trying to fingerbang her through the felt. We made a sharp exit, stopping only to buy a glass ‘Big Apple’ with chocolate M&Ms inside, which I am genuinely proud to tell you we still have and haven’t smashed open in a fit of hunger. It’s only the thought of swallowing glass that puts me off mind, rather than any sense of decency.

For reasons still unknown to both of us, we decided to visit Ripley’s Believe It Or Not (well, it was chucking it down and we didn’t want to walk far). The first believe it or not came when she charged us $65 for entry. I told her that, actually, I didn’t believe it (ho ho) but clearly she had suffered a long, miserable life of gags like that and fixed me with a stare that nearly set my nose away again. These places are what you make of them. Go in expecting a load of frippery and nonsense and you’ll thoroughly enjoy yourself. Where else can you put your head down amongst thousands of skittering cockroaches (aside from a Travelodge bed) or ‘enjoy’ medieval, ancient equipment designed to torture and maim (aside from a Travelodge bed)? We had a whale of a time until the bit at the end where you reach a ‘dizziness machine’ and have to walk along a platform whilst a curtain of paint-splattered material rotates wildly around you. Yikes. I get dizzy unscrewing the lid off a bottle of Coke. I closed my eyes, walked through, straight into Paul who was taking a picture and sent him tumbling. Calamity Anne strikes again.

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Paul’s mother dropped in to say hello (Jackie, I jest, there isn’t a smouldering Richmond Blue in her fingers nor Bejewelled 3 barely loading on a Upple Y-Pad).

Once Paul’s concussion had wore off, we wandered down to Grand Central Station, where, like the boring old farts that we are, we elected to take an audio tour. Well, what a revelation! Aside from having to wear headphones last used to guide Apollo 13 back to Earth, that is. The tour took us all around the various nooks and crannies of the station and was absolutely worth doing. There’s nothing much funny that you can write about an audio tour of a train station so let me just strongly recommend it and move on. We bought a set of metal subway signs to go above all the bedroom doors in our hallway – well, the ‘Next customer please’ sign was getting a little faded and the bulb in the red light had gone. We stopped at Starbucks (which wasn’t hard, given how many Starbucks stores there were – I half-expected to be offered a venti mocha frappucino when I went for a piss in the night. I was restrained, I have a peach iced tea, but Paul went all out for a drink that looked like someone had emptied a sheep dip into a bucket and topped it with enough whipped cream and syrup to make Mags’ buttocks clench in horror. The barista *cough* managed to misspell Paul as Pawl but it’s OK, we were able to identify his drink due to them having to move chairs and tables out of the way to bring it through.

Now I wish I could tell you we spent the rest of the day flitting from each wonderful thing to the next, but we actually did something terrible – we found a bar that served all sorts of wonderful beers and spent the rest of the day and most of the evening in there getting absolutely sozzled. We only popped in for one. Flight 151 in Chelsea, if you’re curious. It was brilliant – I’m a large fan of this ‘beer flight’ idea where you get several small beers to try on a fancy ladder. I was such a fan that I had four flights and Paul had to stop me when I made to put Conchita Wurst on the jukebox.

We spotted that they served ‘British’ beers and ordered a Newcastle Brown Ale and a Guinness each. Both seemed fine but Paul immediately made sure that we couldn’t possibly go back to that bar by checking in on Facebook on their page and saying ‘Wonderful bar but can’t pour a Guinness’. Once I spotted what he’d done, I shooed us out of the door. He’s very skilled at making friends and influencing people.

Can we talk for a moment about tipping? I find it hilariously awkward and even more so in a bar. We were sitting at the bar and every round of drinks, I was leaving two or three dollars on the bar when they passed me the change. I did try to give him a tip directly but he waved it away – odd – so the dollars just sat in the beer foam crinkling up. He eventually swept them up with a flourish and a thank you but did I miss something? I tried telling him to keep a couple of dollars back from my change but that got ignored…ah it’s so stressful. I know why people tip in America (wages for waiting staff and bar-folk are abysmal) but as a Brit, don’t put me in such a socially awkward situation! Take as much money as you like, just don’t make me cringe with the awkwardness of what to bloody do with the tip!

We staggered back a fair distance to our hotel, stopping only to stumble through the doors of a closed post office in the vain hope of finding a lavatory (nope) and fell asleep in our clothes. When we woke the next day all was well, save for the fact that at some forgotten point in the evening we had bought this:

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Go figure.

At least we didn’t buy this, though:

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An anal lubricant called Boy Butter. Haway, who is going to say that during an impassioned moment? ‘Oooo ‘eck – I’m not sure the car is going to get into the garage, throw me the friggin’ Boy Butter’…gosh.

Anyway, let’s crack on with the recipe, shall we? It’s another one of our risnottos – a risotto that you can just leave alone to cook itself rather than having to clart about adding stock and stirring.

sweet potato, chive and chicken risnotto

to make sweet potato, chive and chicken risnotto, you’ll need:

to make sweet potato, chive and chicken risnotto, you should:

  • cube your sweet potato into 1cm cubes (I mean, no need to bust out a ruler, just approximate size), squirt with some spray oil, bit of salt, bit of pepper and put in the oven on a low heat (around 160 degrees) for thirty minutes or so, until they soften and go a bit sticky
  • whilst they’re cooking, soften your onion and garlic on a medium heat until the garlic is golden
  • chuck in the chicken leftovers
  • throw in the rice, stir it once to get the juice of the onions and garlic on it, then add the stock
  • put the lid on your pan and leave alone on a medium heat for around 18 minutes – check every minute or so towards the end to make sure it hasn’t boiled dry
  • get the sweet potato cubes out of the oven and tip the into the rice – don’t worry if they stick a bit to the roasting tray, that’s good, just scrape them off and add to the mix – it’s nice to have extra textures
  • chop the chives and stir them through
  • serve with extra chives and some parmesan from your HEA.

Enjoy!

J

ham and egg breakfast bites

Another breakfast recipe in the form of ham and egg breakfast bites – these couldn’t be simpler to make and the recipe will take no time at all to type, so let me rattle something else off. I was in the bath earlier (what can I say, I thought I’d make an effort for work tomorrow and, after hours of hard gardening, my bollock-consommé was particularly strong) when I happened across a chapter in Bill Bryson’s newest book where he listed ten of his irrational dislikes. First thought? The cheeky faced bearded bugger had clearly read my previous blog entry and nicked the idea. Second thought? As if a wonder like Bill Bryson would read my blog. I love Bill – my favourite author in the world. If I can get to 60 and be as witty and verbose as him, I’ll be a happy, better-bearded man. My previous irrational dislikes can be found here, but here’s a few more…

spitting in public

Spitting should never happen. It’s a vile process – unless you’ve ingested some kind of poison, there’s no reason to blow great chunks of lungbutter out onto the street. You’ll see people walking along spitting away merrily like they’ve got a mouthful of cat hair and it’s all I can do not to reach across and set their face on fire. Apparently I’m the one in the wrong if I do that. Pfft. I’m tempted to add spitting in private onto the list but I can think of at least one situation where someone may prefer to spit rather than swallow. Amateurs. I gargle.

baby on board stickers

The most pointless, self-indulgent little sticker known to man, other than the picture of Alan Shearer grinning his big smug smile in the 1997 football sticker album. I can’t bear Alan Shearer – I’ve met him, and he’s a boring, self-aggrandising arse. Anyway, what’s the point of these baby on board stickers? Do you think I was planning to drive onto your backseat and through your headrests until I saw your pink Comic Sans sticker of shite and decided against it? Some say it’s for the fire brigade to know immediately in a crash that there’s a baby somewhere in the crushed metal. I dare say that if an accident was so severe that the fire brigade couldn’t spot your baby mewling away in the back then chances are no-one is walking away from it anyway. 

mothers using their pushchairs to stop traffic

Oddly specific one this. I drive to work down the same street every day, which coincides with when the parents are taking their adorable children to school. I say adorable children like one might say adorable terminal illness or adorable mass genocide. More often than not, some vacant-looking, red-eyed pyjama-clad monstrosity will, instead of crossing at the many safe crossing points, just push her pushchair into the road to try and cross. Nevermind teaching your kid how to cross the road safely, nevermind almost causing an accident because you’re too selfish to cross in the right place, you just get out there. Bah!

self-appointed traffic wardens who wear cameras

This is a difficult one. I absolutely understand why cyclists and cars have those cameras which record the road in front of you – there’s that many bell-ends on the road to justify it. But what makes me seethe is when you overtake a cyclist, leave plenty of room, indicate back in and they STILL tap their helmet and wag their fingers like I’m a dog who has shat on the carpet. You know that if you watch it back on Youtube later it’ll be accompanied by someone’s thin reedy voice reading out your registration and the sticky noise of someone masturbating furiously.

dings

I swear, everything in my house dings and dongs and bleeps at me. Put something on the fancy induction hob? It’ll do a little chirrup. Our smoke alarm system occasionally decides to launch a test with a brash American woman saying ‘THIS IS JUST A TEST’ – presumably a test to see how much blood can pour from my ears before I dismantle her. Our fridge beeps if we leave the door open for more than a second and it blares if the ice-dispenser gets too full or if the freezer is too full. The washing machine beeps each time it reaches a new stage in the cycle. My Wii U flashes when there’s a new notification and my Mac beeps whenever someone leaves us a facebook comment, or an email, or every time Siri has a shite. TwoChubbyCubs Towers is beginning to look and sound like a NASA control room and it vexes me.

people who stir their hot drink like they’re whisking eggs

There’s no need! Just give it a couple of stirs with your spoon and sit the fuck down. It makes my teeth rattle and my blood boil when they go at it like they’re trying to squeeze every last molecule of tea or take the finish off the cup, not least because I have decent Le Creuset cups and I don’t want bloody scratches on them.

stupid comments

Look, 99.9% of comments we get via the blog and facebook are wonderful, funny or useful, but we get some proper humdingers too. No: we won’t explain every facet of the plan to you, we’re not paid and we’re not consultants. Also, don’t have a pop at us if your Tesco in Wolverhampton didn’t have any 5% mince, it’s not our ruddy fault. And if you’re the lady with sand in her vag because I mentioned having to get up constantly in a cinema to let someone nip outside to the toilet and you took that as a full-scale assault on the incontinent, well, kiss my boobs. I knew the person I was getting up for and she’s only verbally incontinent.

takeaway menus

Whenever we are on a diet, three things happen: Dominos have their 50% off week, Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream goes to £2 a tub and we start getting a tsunami of takeaway leaflets through the door – all with the same dodgy photos of their food downloaded from google images, all with the same balloon fonts and all with the worst spelling mistakes. I like my nan (or rather I did, bless her, she’s dead now) but the thought of a free hot and spicy nan with my korma puts me right off. These will be the same type of places where you get a) tins of pop rather than cans of coke and b) roughly fingered for a free kebab.

air-fresheners

I might have touched on this before with my many moans about scented bloody candles and their pointless bloody names (A Child’s Fucking Wish, am I right?) but hell, it bears repeating. I’m yet to smell an air-freshener that doesn’t make my nose crinkle. They’re universally awful. Fair enough, if you spend decent money you can buy a decent candle with a reasonable smell (something like The White Company) but otherwise, open a bloody window. Those little hissy air-fresheners in public loos that smell ostensibly of pine? A load of bollocks! I’m not transported to a crisp and verdant forest with a tiny hiss, no, instead it smells like I’ve shit in a grass-clippings bin.

That’s 10, I could go on. But let’s call it a day. Ham and egg breakfast bites, then:

ham and egg breakfast bites

to make ham and egg breakfast bites, you’ll need (making enough for twelve, just scale back down if you want less)

  • a pack of decent wafer thin ham
  • 12 large eggs
  • a tin of baked beans
  • salt and pepper
  • a muffin tin greased with a few squirts of olive oil or some Frylight

to make ham and egg breakfast bites, you should:

  • layer a few slices of ham over each hole of the muffin tin and push in, so a ‘cup’ forms in each hole
  • put a small spoonful of beans in there
  • gently, crack an egg over the top – you might find it easier to crack an egg into a glass and pour it on, othewise you’re going to leave slimy residue all over the worktop and your partner will think you’ve been paying lip service to yourself in the kitchen, you filthy bugger
  • crack a bit of pepper on top if you like and put in the oven
  • cook for around 25 minutes, though you might like to let them cook a bit longer to firm them up
  • once they’re done, let them cool – they’ll keep in a sealed box in the fridge for a couple of days
  • enjoy!

Phew!

J

loaded wedges and philly cheese steak sliders

Yep, you’re getting two recipes for the price of one with this post for loaded bacon and cheese wedges  and philly cheese steak sliders. We’re really spoiling you lately. Least you could do is show willing and buy my ruddy book or a meat-box! Haha.

I’m in a bit of a huff tonight, if I’m honest. Came home to find a big bill waiting for me on the doormat. Normally I never say no to bending down for a Big Bill but this one was our council tax and it’s fucking £1700! What the hell for? They’ve turned off our street lights, driving on the roads feels like I’m playing Moon Patrol and they only pick up the bins when there is a full solar eclipse. There’s more chance of me getting pregnant than getting a book that doesn’t have Katie Price on the front cover out of our local library and if you fancy a stroll in the park, best get used to the dogshit and litter billowing around your feet like the shittiest version of the Crystal Dome. I don’t know why they don’t push all the dog-sausages into the fucking potholes in the road, at least that way I wouldn’t get out of the car with my neck canted a forty-five degree angle from being clattered off the roof of my car.

MOAN MOAN MOAN. But seriously, it would be a bloody welcome change if they said oh James, you work hard, here, enjoy your wage to do whatever you want with it, instead of grasping it out of my cold, cruel hands. I’m paying into a pension and being sensible by saving, but what’s the use? So when I get to seventy the Government can take away my house and stick me in a care home? Fuck that. We’ve already decided that when we get to seventy, if we’re both alive and capable of getting lob-ons, the house is getting sold and we’re getting two lithe twenty year olds to rub our bunions and change our oxygen tanks. BAH.

I might start a go-fund-me accompanied by a picture of Paul looking sadly into middle-distance and footage of me looking through photo albums. Maybe.

Can I just take a second to remind you of something? We have a list of every recipe we’ve EVER done right here. I worry that some people don’t know where it is. Use it, it’ll serve you well!

Anyway look, let’s get to the real reason you’re here. These recipes make enough for four. Each recipe is syn free if you use the appropriate HEAs and HEBs. If you have both of them at the same time, syn the cheese on the wedges – 40g is one HEA or 6 syns, so at most it’ll be 1.5 syns per portion. It’s syn free if you don’t combine the burgers and wedges. I’m just being a slut.

 loaded bacon and cheese wedges

to make loaded bacon and cheese wedges, you’re going to need:

  • ‘wet’ potatoes, like Maris Piper, as many as you dare
  • a few squirts of olive oil spray (0.5 syn for 7 squirts)
  • one beef oxo cube
  • packet of bacon medallions (we used half a pack from our Musclefood freezer filler, because it doesn’t disappear to nowt – proper tasty bacon)
  • spring onions
  • lighter mature cheese (40g or one HEA)
  • optional: hot sauce if you want it

to make loaded bacon and cheese wedges, you should:

  • cut each potato in half, then cut into each half in a ‘v’ shape, so you’re dividing each half into three triangular wedges – or you know, don’t fuck about and just cut them how you like
  • tip them into a bowl, sprinkle over the oxo cube and oil, and shake the buggers so they’re coated in a bit of stock cube and oil
  • put them into an oven for 30 minutes or so to colour and soften
  • meanwhile, fry off the bacon in small chunks, slice the spring onion and grate the cheese (remember, one of these makes that cheese allowance stretch further)
  • check your wedges – if they’re nearly done, take them out, scatter the bacon and cheese and spring onion over the top, and put back into the oven until the wedges are done and the cheese is crispy and delicious
  • serve
  • best get a defibrillator ready, just saying

If you’re looking for something to serve it with, these tiny sliders (fancy word for little ‘burgers’) will do the trick. There’s no speed food on your plate, but fuck it. If you don’t tell Mags, nor will I. This was our treat night after all. Jeez.

philly cheese steak sliders

to make philly cheese steak sliders, you’ll need:

  • a big white onion
  • a big green pepper
  • one slice of Swiss Gruyere (we buy ours from Waitrose) – 5 syns for a 25g slice, or a HEA
  • a suitable breadbun for your healthy extra allowance
  • 120ml of beef stock
  • packet of beef strips (I promise I’m not deliberately over-advertising but we genuinely used our beef strips from our Musclefood freezer filler, and they were tasty as all outdoors)
  • lots of black pepper

to make philly cheese steak sliders, you should:

  • cut your onion into decent slices, same with the pepper
  • soften them in a dot of oil, a few sprays of olive oil or even better, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, or if you’re an imbecile, use Frylight and wreck your pans
  • once they’re softened, set them aside and throw in the beef, cooking it off and giving it a bit of colour – I use Worcestershire sauce instead of oil because it adds taste
  • once the meat is browned off, put the stock in plus lots of pepper and whack the heat up, stirring until the stock has cooked off and thickened – give the bottom of the pan a good scrub with your spoon to get all those juices up
  • assemble your slider – breadbun cut in half, cheese slice, beef strips, peppers and onions
  • easy!

It doesn’t look terribly exciting but my word these were fantastic.

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to perform oral sex in exchange for money. By the time I’ve paid off the council tax I’ll be permanently yawning. 🙁

J

chicken souvlakia, plus weigh in week eight

Ah, hello there. Come for the chicken souvlakia recipe? Then please, wait a moment. I’ll get to it. But first, it’s weigh in day, and well, goodness me…

week8

Whilst I’m here, I forgot to post last week’s cockometer too!

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I shall make a page of them all on. I find myself thinking of new themes for each knob.

Hooray! 32lb over eight weeks, including the time we put 11lb back on in New York, is good enough for me! Our aim has always been to lose 2lb a week. I get so frustrated when I read comments online where people kvetch and moan about only losing a couple of pounds – that’s the healthy way to do it – slowly and sensibly. I sometimes think Slimming World puts a bit too much emphasis on big losses (like Slimmer of the Week) as it is and it creates disappointment. Mind, my frustration soon builds to sheer eye-popping rage when I see people saying that they’re stuck for ideas on what to cook. You’re using the Internet, the world’s biggest cookbook – it isn’t just used for watching jizz vids and bloody asos.com, you know. I do sometimes think it boils down to laziness – people can’t be arsed to cook but that in itself is a shame, because so many of our recipes for example cook in no time at all. Anyway, no time for soapbox, dinner is almost ready, and I need to post the bloody recipe.

It’s a chicken recipe to celebrate our brilliant new Musclefood deal – I’m going to talk about it in full over the weekend, but we now have a decent, plain deal – around 25 chicken breasts (and each one is huge and doesn’t shrink!), 2kg of extra lean beef mince, 2 big packs of fat fee bacon medallions and two packs of beef strips. For £50, delivered. And mind it’s not delivered the usual online way, where it gets stuffed into a jiffy bag, driven across the country by a lorry driver who has only had three hours sleep, then chucked in your wheelie bin as a “safe place”. Nope, this is a trackable, chilled delivery. Normally £80, haggled it down to £50. We all it our freezer filler, partly because they wouldn’t let me call it a box-stretcher. Click here for this deal and our fancy new Musclefood page!

So, chicken souvlakia!

chicken souvlakia

Just look at it, it’s tasty, juicy and actually, so easy to make. Let’s go. This makes enough for four if you use four chicken breasts. And fuck me, if you needed that explaining, perhaps you’d be better off with a packet of crisps and a sit-down. 

to make chicken souvlakia you will need: 

for the souvlaki:

for the sauce:

  • 250ml fat free greek yoghurt
  • half a cucumber, peeled with the flesh grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

for the salad:

  • half an onion, chopped finely
  • half a cucumber
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • salt and pepper

for the houmous:

to make chicken souvlakia you should:

  • mix together the garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and lemon juice with the chicken and leave to marinade for about thirty minutes
  • meanwhile – prepare the sauce by mixing together all of the sauce ingredients and prepare the salad by chopping everything into neat chunks 
  • when ready, thread the chicken onto the skewers and grill for about ten minutes each side under a hot grill
  • serve with toasted pitta triangles from your HEB and a great big smile because you’ve done ever so well, haven’t you?

J

syn free ham and potato hash plus new york: part one

The recipe for ham and potato hash can be found below all the following guff. Long time readers know that when I start talking about a holiday…well, I tend to go on. I’ve got five New York entries to get through, though don’t expect them one after the other, I’m a little behind…if you’re a fan of my holiday writings, don’t forget all of our previous entries on Germany, Ireland and Corsica can be found in our Amazon book, found right here. Our book – a collection of all the many, many articles from our blog – keeps us in holidays. Just saying!

twochubbycubs go to New York, part one

Before we get started on the actual travels, the exciting part – this was a complete surprise for Paul. We weren’t planning on taking any holidays after Corsica and Iceland being so close together, but I was driving home from a first-aid course when an advert for Expedia came on espousing cheap deals to New York. I drove on for another mile or so mulling it over, pulled into a layby, booked the time off work and emailed Paul’s lovely boss to get clearance. I left the small detail of actually booking the holiday until a few days after. I’ve mentioned before how easily led I am by advertising – thank fuck an advert didn’t come on for haemmorhoid cream else I’d have squatting down in a bus-stop feverishly applying Preparation H to my bumhole in the manner of a man spreading butter on a crumpet. Having managed to secure the time off for the both of us and after many, many “trips to ASDA” for poor Paul to get him out of the house so I could use the computer, I found a really decent deal with British Airways staying in a nice central hotel for six nights. Booked it there and then. Paul then had to endure ten days of me looking at him excitedly and dropping ‘a big secret’ that he probably thought he was getting divorce papers in the post. As if! I’m saving the divorce papers for when he’s paid off his half of the car.

That’s clearly a joke – I’d never divorce a man so perfectly squashy and who turns the shower on for me every morning so I don’t have to stand for a moment in a chilly bathroom. You might think he gets the shitty end of the stick (depends how careful he’s been with the old douche-bulb I guess) but read the above paragraph and think again!

Going to America always necessitates a full-on panic about travel insurance for me – I don’t want to fall ill in America, find out my travel insurance is void because I didn’t inform them someone once hurt my feelings in 1996 and then bankrupt my friends and family as they try and pay for my hospital treatment in a country which, for god knows why, doesn’t have decent free healthcare. Listen, I know my family, they’d just send someone out on an economy flight to fill my drip-bag with Cillit Bang and stop my heart. Fuckers. I spent a good hour on the phone to a very helpful lady at Coverwise who went through my various worries – do I declare heart palpitations four years ago? Yes. Do I declare obesity? Only if I need help getting in and out of bed – not quite there yet. My hair is thinning and I look like Steve McDonald drawn Castaway-style on a beach ball – apparently I don’t need to declare that. She then proceeded to take my payment but accidentally deleted all the details we had just decided upon, so we had to do it all again. Great times.

The night before the holiday I told him we were going away somewhere mysterious and to pack a suitcase. Naturally, Paul, being a keen and conscientious worker, immediately started fretting about meetings and out of office nonsense, until I told him it was all fine and that I’d been masterminding this scheme right from the off, like an evil Judith Chalmers. All he had to do was pack some clothes, find his passport (I told him we’d need it for car hire within the UK so he didn’t twig we were going abroad) and get to bed, as we had an early train in the morning. He sensibly did the right thing, although we did have a minor panic when we realised that I need a new passport very soon – thankfully, we were just within the limits for USA travel. I’ll be sad to see that passport go – it’s about the only ID I have where the picture doesn’t look like it should have a caption underneath saying ‘…jailed for eighteen months for public indecency’. Doubtless when I get a new passport I’ll be back to looking like a sandblasted puffer-fish. I’ll definitely need to get my hair cut before that day comes – the last time I want happening is someone at easyJet saying ‘Aaah Mr Trump, we’ve been expecting you’.

Off to the train station at ridiculous-o-clock then. This necessitated a taxi drive with the world’s most vocal taxi driver, who had an opinion on everything from my suitcase (“not very butch” – fuck off mate, if anyone can make a four-wheeled suitcase work, it’s me) to Uber. Uber, he took pains to tell me, was a danger because “anyone can drive them, they’re not vetted” (which was rich, as he looked like the type of man for whom Incognito Mode was the default status on his browser) and that “their cars aren’t checked, they could be death-traps”. This one really struck a chord with Paul, who texted me to point out that the driver’s rear-view mirror was gaffer taped to the roof of the car. I pleaded with him not to say anything lest we got bundled out at high speed on the Seaton Burn roundabout. Instead, we just spent the journey nodding politely and making ‘hmm’ and ‘mmm’ noises until, after seemingly taking us via Darlington, we arrived at the station and boarded our train.

What to say about the train journey that I haven’t covered before? It was entirely uneventful. I was given a cup of tea that had cleaning products in (thank god for the travel insurance!) but luckily, I spotted, or rather smelled, the problem before it had a chance to burn through my throat and cascade down my chest, ruining my nice shirt. The train had to take a long diversion at some point and the trip ended up taking five hours, but it was quiet, comfortable and, with it being first class, we had more biscuits than is possibly decent. It does vex me a little that they take the meal service off in first class during the weekends – frankly my train journey isn’t complete unless I’m eating something microwaved and slopped on a plate. Paul got up to go for a poo at some point and disappeared for twenty minutes. Naturally, I was so concerned it was all I could do to put down my iPad, pause the Youtube of the Crystal Maze that I was watching, and glance down the corridor. Had he alighted at a passing station, tired of looking at my angry face across the table from him? Had my still-awake-but-really-comfy-snoring angered him so? No. Turned out, being a wonderful husband, he’d walked/stumbled to the other end of the train, bought us two double gin and tonics each and a grilled cheese sandwich. As delighted as I was with the nourishment and booze, I couldn’t mask the alarm in my eyes, but he reassured me that it had only cost around £780.45 for this little treat. Good old Virgin!

On the train I told Paul we were going to Heathrow, so he knew at that point we were off abroad. We transferred onto the Heathrow Express, arrived in plenty of good time to nip into the terminal, buy some wine gums and play on the fruities before climbing inside those automatic toilets that whisk you around to various parts of Heathrow. Our destination? Why, the wonderful Thistle Hotel of course, which you may remember we weren’t particularly overtaken with joy with last time (by the way, that links to one of our favourite recipes, too)? Listen, it’s convenient and Paul loves that POD system, so that’s why we chose it. Naturally, our room was the size of a small shoebox and I had to spin around in the shower to get wet, but eh, it’s a bed. We had a Dominos and watched Vera. Vera is very much a guilty pleasure for us, although I can’t tell you what it looks like because I spend most of the time wincing against her attempt at a Geordie accent. Very few people in Newcastle actually substitute ‘pet’ where a full stop would normally go, but by god she does it. They were filming around where we live a few weeks ago so I fully expect a shot of her solving crime whilst my filthy car drives past in the background with me squinting to see what’s going on. I should have shouted ‘HERE MAN VERAH PET HAS THERE BIN A MOORDA PET HAS SOMEWURN HAD THEIR HEED CAVED IN EH’. Authentic!

I revealed to Paul that we were off to New York as we approached the ticket desk in the morning (well, it would have been tricky when she asked where we were going and he said he didn’t know his final destination) and of course, he was delighted. As we were in Terminal 5 it felt altogether too busy and crowded for a ‘thank you’ bit of bum-fun, so we just settled for oral instead. I’m kidding, we’re not that raunchy. It was a handjob. OK enough. We were given our tickets and the old problem of finding something to do early in the morning at Terminal 5 reared its head. We settled for an expensive, tasteless breakfast, a good poo and an hour of aimlessly wandering around smelling aftershave I wouldn’t use to clean a litter-box and avoiding a rather excitable woman who was determined we ‘sample her Baileys’. I noted with relief that we weren’t flying on a Dreamliner, which I was absolutely sure was the plane that had come up when I’d checked. I texted a friend to explain that I wouldn’t be making an unscheduled, on-fire stop in the Shetlands and boarded.

The flight was lovely. Smooth with no turbulence, aside from a moment of panic on my side as we were taking off and it felt as though the plane was struggling. It wasn’t, of course, but naturally my anxiety around taking off qualifies me as a fully-trained aeroplane pilot and I felt I had to tell Paul we were clearly going to crash. We’ve only flown British Airways once before and the last time was ruined by having a stewardess whose only regret in life was not being born into the Schutzstaffel, but the crew were amazing on this flight. Seats were comfortable, drinks were plentiful to the point I had seven miniature bottles of gin sitting on my table, and when they were taken away, the big bear steward, clearly feeling the rainbow connection, bought us four more. We dozed and watched movies (I watched Spectre, Paul watched bloody Ghost) and, aside from a moment where the inconsiderate oaf behind us decided to use the back of my chair and my hair to hoist himself up, it was lovely. He apologised, though I think my surprised shriek probably put me on a watch-list somewhere. We landed in JFK.

American security though, jeez. I’ve done it plenty of times to know that you don’t crack jokes and that they aren’t exactly forthcoming with the charm, but this was a whole new level. When he asked me to put out my fingers for scanning I honestly expected him to rap me on the knuckles with a wooden ruler. I’m here to spend money in your wonderful country, please don’t greet me like I’ve shit in your dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting an elaborate song and dance routine or a free cake with every stamp of my passport, but haway. Of course, by writing this, I’m sure I’ll immediately be put on a list that means the second I land in the USA I’ll be greeted by someone shining a light in my face and sticking a gloved finger up my bum. Listen, all I ask is that you tweak my nipples a bit first, get me going.

That’s us, then, on American soil. I’ll continue with the next part sometime soon! Let’s get to the recipe. You’re probably hungry now.

ham and potato hash

to make ham and potato hash, you’ll need:

  • one large white onion
  • one large green pepper
  • one garlic clove, yes, you guessed it, minced using a fabulous little mincer I know
  • three decent sized potatoes, preferably something waxy
  • pinch of salt and pepper and a tiny pinch of dried thyme
  • four thick slices of ham

to make ham and potato hash, you should:

  • cut the potato put into dice-sized chunks and boil them until they’re soft and fluffy but not mushy – drain and set aside
  • meanwhile, cut up the pepper and onion and soften them in a dab of oil or a few squirts of squirty oil on a medium heat
  • once they’ve softened, add your minced garlic, salt, pepper and thyme
  • cut your ham into chunks and throw them in
  • add the potatoes
  • stir – you’re not trying to create one large mass of potatoes so just be gentle
  • stick under the grill to toast it off – hell, you could even add a bit of cheese as long as you take it from your healthy extra

This is remarkably easy to make and tastes lovely – try and keep all your chunks the same size for uniformity. We served ours with a side of sticky sprouts, the recipe for which I’ll put on soon! No more typing. I’m tired! Enjoy.

Oh one more thing. If you’ve enjoyed this little tale about America, remember we did a full on America week with American recipes – you can find them here!

Please: remember to share and send us everywhere you can!

J

mince and mash (not our porn names)

Sorry, been away – busy attending to a personal issue. All sorted. 

Fireworks night. Yak. I’m a right miserable sod, because I don’t enjoy fireworks night. It’s not that the colours don’t amaze me or the bangs excite me, it’s just I spend the whole time wincing and thinking ‘oooh but what could you have bought with that money?’. It’s the Geordie in me. Plus, everyone else’s fireworks displays are always a bit crap, aren’t they? They certainly are around here – the sky being full of Aldi bangers that pop apologetically 12ft off the ground with less bang and smoke than what my thighs make when I move quickly. We go to the Hexham display, and that’s alright, but I find it’s invariably full of children getting in the way and crying. Honestly, why people don’t just shut them away in a cupboard is beyond me. Perhaps that’s why I can’t have children (well, ethically I shouldn’t, but biologically I can – nothing wrong with my gentleman’s relish, thank you very much). Perhaps we’ve been spoilt – we’ve experienced the fireworks at Disney Orlando, where you experience such a visual and aural overload that you don’t even notice them dipping their hands in your pockets to make absolutely sure you have zero money left. It’s certainly the first and only time I’ve developed sunburn from a fireworks display.

Mind, not that I’d see much now – my eyesight is dreadful. Don’t get me wrong, I can still see Paul if he so much as ventures anywhere near my wallet, even when I’m at work and he’s at home* – but I’ve been finding that my eyes are just getting worse. Nothing exciting, don’t worry, I just use a computer a lot and I’ve been putting off going for an eye-test for ages. See, any kind of test is a minefield when you have health anxiety because an anxious person makes all kind of crazy medical leaps. Eyesight getting worse? That’s because there’s a tumour the size of a rugby ball pressing my eyes flat. Tickly cough? That’ll be polycystic ovaries. Since I’ve adopted a mantra of ‘only worry if it gets worse’, I’ve put off the eye-test for long enough. 

* funny fact for you. I have a lovely picture of Paul and I lying on a bed together when we first started ‘going out’ (oh how I hate that term, but see it’s more polite than putting ‘rutting like dying pigs’). We both look content. My eyes are fixed on the camera I’m holding in front of us. Paul’s eyes are very pointedly and determinedly staring at my wallet, just on show on the table. How I tease him about this even now – if he married me for the money then he’s really done quite poorly. 

Anyway, on Monday, I bit the bullet. I actually went for an eye-test. That might not seem like a lot, but you have to remember how much I hate eye-tests because I’ve had nothing but terrible experiences with them. Take my last one at Boots Opticians, where the whole test was done almost in silence save for the sound of the skin on my cheek blistering under the assault of the opthamologist’s stinky breath. I’m sorry, but if I had a job that routinely involved me getting so close to people that I could give them stubble burn, I’d make damn sure my breath didn’t smell like an sewage outlet. Hell, it’s one thing I’m genuinely paranoid about – I hate the thought of having the type of breath that makes people audibly wince when I yawn or ask me if I had enjoyed the faeces I’d clearly had for dinner. If I know I’m going to the dentist or for an eye-test I spend a good three days beforehand brushing my teeth, swishing mouthwash and sucking menthol mints until it gets to the point where I can’t have a glass of water without my breath freezing it solid like that shrill tart from Frozen.

I have to say though, for once, it was altogether very pleasant, with the good staff at The Big Opticians in Byker putting me at ease. Can’t recommend them enough, and not just because I told the lovely lady serving me all about the blog. I’ve come away with a new pair of Paul Smith that are slightly more rounder than normal (I asked what was suitable for a “fat face”, and such bluntness seems to have worked wonders) and I’m not half as poor as I thought I’d be. Excellent. I asked Paul what he thought and he said I looked like Dame Edna, then immediately backtracked and said they were lovely. That was lucky, because how I would have been chuckling over the divorce papers later on. So that’s my eyes sorted, now I just need to do my hair.

I’m at that difficult stage now where I have to either commit to shaving off all my hair or going for a haircut. And I hate haircuts. It amazes me that they can actually cut my hair given I retreat my head back below my shoulders like a shy tortoise. I can’t stand people touching me, I can’t stand small-talk and I have as much style as a troubling fart, so going to a hairdressers is just awful. I’d sooner get a colonic in the middle of Boots with a group of students grading the look of my bumhole. I get asked what I want ‘doing with my hair’ and I struggle to reply with anything other than ‘cut’. It doesn’t help that I always look great when they whip off the blanket and show me the back of my head, then I blink and my hair immediately looks like something someone’s used to shift a particularly difficult scuff mark off a strip of lino. But I do need to do something with it, given I’ve been told I look like Donald Trump. From a loved one, no less. I know someone who’s not getting anal for at least two weeks. I sometimes wish I had that slightly stereotypical gay trait of being able to look good in any old outfit, but honestly, the only thing that looks put-together and stylish in my wardrobe are the built-in shelves. 

Sigh. Ah well. Tonight’s recipe is a little different. I’m calling it Paul’s Very Special First Meal because it’s a slightly more refined version of the very first meal he ever cooked – mince and mash. Apparently it’s a delicacy where he’s from (Peterborough, not, as you might think, the Eastern Bloc) and his mum used to make it often, though hopefully his version contains less Benson and Hedges ash and more meat. When Paul originally made this for me, it consisted of mash made from potatoes (and not a jot more) served with cooked mince and onion. With nothing else. It looked like something you’d get served for misbehaving in a Turkish prison. Still, I married him, and he’s the one who does most of the cooking now, so it all balanced nicely. This is a dinner that can be infinitely customised – add any old veg you like. We use it to go through all the scabby tins of peas and carrots that we buy on a whim. 

Incidentally, if you were looking for a nickname for the two of us, and twochubbycubs doesn’t quite cut it, ‘Mince and Mash’ should do the trick.

mince and mash

to make mince and mash, you’ll need:

for the mince:

for the mash:

  • however many potatoes you usually use for your mash, but choose a good, buttery potato – or use sweet potato, or use carrots, or use a mixture, or even chuck in some broccoli with your mash – but don’t bloody skin the potatoes
  • a tiny dash of milk
  • lots and lots of pepper

and to make mince and mash, you should:

  • finely dice the onion and garlic and sweat it down in a couple of squirts of spray oil – proper stuff mind, not bloody Frylight (though I mean, use Frylight if you want, but why would you when you don’t need to?)
  • chuck in the mince and cook it quickly until your meat is browned
  • add in the chopped tomatoes, peas, carrots, green beans, cat, TV Times, anything at all – crumble in the stock cube, bit of Worcestershire sauce if you fancy, and leave to simmer away merrily while you make the mash
  • I say make, all you need to do is boil your veg and then mash it roughly, so you get nice chunks and bits of potato peel – you’re lining your stomach with it, not plastering a ceiling, so lumpy is good

Paul prefers his mince watery, I like mine thick enough to leave my spoon standing up straight. Paul also likes to eat this dish with a teaspoon for god-knows-why, although it really just means he spills it down his front and I can’t eat my dinner for tutting and clucking.

Listen, I know it looks like a proper rubbish dinner, but it’s delicious and warming. Having typed it up, I realise I’ve just made a shepherd’s pie, only with the two layers side to side. BLOODY PETERBOROUGH.

Before I go, good news. We’re going to be doing a slow-cooker week starting next Sunday (I think). So, if your slow-cooker is sitting at the back of the cupboard collecting dust, dig it out. If you’re a fan of your whole house smelling like someone’s been farting non-stop for eight solid hours, or you like your dinner almost pre-chewed, you’ll be in your element.