Steak bites and onion rings? Good heavens I know. Because this is going to be a super quick entry I’m giving you two recipes at once. You can manage it. Just bite down and push out.
GOOD NEWS: Samsung have been and fixed the hob, hooray, meaning we can bring back proper food to the blog as opposed to food you have to eat with your fingers. Tonight’s recipe was going to be a delicious pork and potato hash but when I went to photograph it, it looked like the top of a burnt knee. I’ll figure out a way to make it work and stick it on next week.
BAD NEWS: there’s only one more day left on our Musclefood sale – 10% off. If you’re sitting on the fence, please don’t. You’re running out of time, you’ll give yourself piles and let’s be honest, a wooden fence can only take so much stress. We’ve never seen so many orders come from one deal so don’t miss out 10% off our already amazing value freezer box! It’s a delivered chilled box of wonder – with 24/26 big fat chicken breasts, 800g of extra lean beef chunks, 2kg of extra lean beef mince and lots and lots of bacon. It’s usually £50 – which is cheap when compared to what you’d pay in the shop – but we’ve knocked off 10% for ONE WEEK ONLY. This brings it down to £45 – the cheapest it has ever been. Remember you can choose the date of delivery and payment doesn’t come out until your chosen date, so you can order in advance. To order, just click this link, add to basket, add the code TCCFREEZER and choose standard delivery – £45! Easy! But this is for ONE WEEK ONLY.
GOOD NEWS: We haven’t given up on the gym just yet. You know what’s sad though? We tend to go at around 11pm and the gym is full of the type of folk who are too shy to exercise with the skinny-minnies and the ultra-fit. I don’t see why and it makes me feel a bit sad. Admittedly, the music volume has to be doubled to counter the sound of the treadmills being splintered under hefty foot. Come on fatties, don’t be shy. You’re still doing better than anyone else just by being there.
BAD NEWS: I’ve picked up the most annoying verbal tic, and I blame it all on a work colleague, who uses the ‘eh’ sound like one might reasonably use a full-stop. She makes me laugh all day long so I can quite forgive her but after doing it back as a joke, it’s now fallen into my daily rotation and I find myself saying EH really loudly mid-sentence. My dad is an absolute bugger for this – Paul swears my dad once interrupted himself mid-sentence by asking himself eh – and it seems I’m destined to follow in his footsteps.
Emma and I are engaged in a fierce game of pranks – I poured a load of red glitter into the seat of her office chair, meaning every time she sat down she coated her arse in red shiny glitter. She responded by leaving me a telephone message that a Mr Kipling called with an urgent message and to call a number which turned out to be the Mr Kipling cake factory. No wonder the receptionist seemed a little cross when I insisted I had an urgent message from the boss. As revenge for that, I stole the ‘e’ from her keyboard, so she filled my man-bag (murse?) with almonds. I retaliated by filling all of her coat pockets with the tiny bits of paper from inside a hole-punch, so she stuck watermelon post-it notes all over my desk when I was away logging off. I’m not sure what happens next but I’m a bit worried this is going to escalate into her torching my house for a laugh and me holding her children hostage. Still, makes the wheel of the working day spin that little bit faster, and like I said, she’s an absolute love.
45g reduced fat mozzarella, cut into ½” cubes (HeA, or 6 syns)
12g pumpkin seeds (half a HeB, otherwise it’s 3 syns)
pinch of paprika
to make crunchy cheesy steak bites you should:
bring the steak to room temperature
meanwhile, turn up the oven to 180 degrees
spread the pumpkin seeds out onto a baking sheet or ovenproof dish, spray with olive oil spray and sprinkle over a pinch of paprika
bake in the oven for ten minutes and allow to cool, and then grind in a pestle and mortar or chop them up with a big knife
mix together the salt and pepper and spread out onto a chopping board
gently dab each side of the steak cubes into the spice mixture and set aside
heat a large pan over a high heat and chuck in some sprays of oil
throw in the steak cubes and cook on each side for no more than 30 seconds – if they don’t sizzle, yer pan isn’t hot enough
take out of the pan and onto a chopping board and gently balance a mozzarella cube on top
quickly grill under a high heat until the cheese has melted
sprinkle on the pumpkin dust and serve
Not a fan of pumpkin seeds? Don’t need to add them. We won’t tell. We found a really nice smoked mozzarella in Tesco which we used and oh god, I’ve bored myself to death.
You can use panko for the next recipe. You’ll find panko, a type of dried breadcrumb, in most Asian supermarkets or in that ‘funny bit’ of the supermarket you don’t go into. You should. It’s a world of wonder and taste, although I did feel a bit Gary Glitter as I pushed my bottle of ‘Healthy Boy Sauce’ through the self-checkout. Don’t have panko? Just use an ordinary bun whizzed up, you common harlot.
to make onion rings you will need:
one big fuck-off onion sliced into rings
lots of black pepper
1 egg, beaten
60ml skimmed milk
25g panko (5 syns)
25g breadcrumbs (use half a HeB bread roll)
to make onion rings you should:
preheat the oven to 230 degrees and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper
you’ll need two shallow dishes for this bit – the first one should have your egg and milk and pepper mixed together, and in the second mix together the panko and breadcrumbs (you could use all breadcrumbs if you wanted, but panko is much tastier, and if you use all panko all the better)
dip each onion ring into the egg and then into the panko – drag it around a bit so it gets nicely coated
place on the baking tray and spray with olive oil spray
bake in the oven for twenty minutes but keep an eye on them – you’ll know when they’re ready!
If you want even more taster ideas or snack suggestions, click the link before!
I know, chilli and cheesy fries pizza. I’m about two steps away from my recipes being ‘tip everything in the fridge into a Nutribullet, blend, drink’. Even then I’d get someone with lips like a balloon-knot furiously messaging me to tell me that a blend of bacon, the cat’s ear medicine and seven bags of forgotten/ignored kale has syns because Margaret Mags says so in that little book of dreams. But see we had a tub of leftover chilli from the time we made slow-cooked pulled pork chilli and we haven’t done a pizza for a long while. Aside from the Dominos we had the other night, but listen, Paul had come on or something and needed something to comfort eat. It’s either that or have Lil-lets tumbling around in my bathroom. This is the type of tea you need at the end of an emotional or busy day – something stodgy, admittedly not full of speed food, but something that feels naughty and has the added bonus of invariably smearing all down whatever shirt you’re wearing. I’m not even joking, it’s gotten to the stage where we almost undress one another before a meal so we don’t wreck another shirt. It creates an odd image for a curious neighbour, who might glance through our kitchen window from afar and think two shaved bison are mincing about taking pictures of fucking risotto. Meh, let them drool I say.
Anyway, it’s exactly the type of food I could do with today – I had two ‘OH SHIT’ moments at my work. You know that awful feeling when you’ve cocked something up and your heart sinks and your bumhole starts unpicking the seams of your trousers? That clamminess of the brow and the shooting pains down your left arm? That’s happened twice today. First time I was looking at a deadline for an important piece of work and worked out that I’d missed the filing deadline by three days. I’ve only been in my current role for three months but surely that’s long enough to be packed out of the door with a flea in my ear? I took myself to the gents toilet down a few floors, took a few deep breaths to compose myself (and learn this readers – never, ever go to a busy shitter to take a deep breath – it’s a pretty safe bet that I’ve got advanced mesothelioma as a result) and work out my apology. Ashen-faced, I made my way back to my desk only to realise that it’s June, not fucking July, and that I have a whole five weeks to crack on with things. Phew. I nervously laughed and carried on with my day, with my heart-rate only taking three hours to return back to it’s normal thwomp-thwomp-stutter-seize-thwomp pattern. Thank Christ I’m defibrillator trained, though I reckon they’d frown upon self-use. Plus the smell of my burning chest hair would condemn the building.
Oh, and the second time? I thought I’d missed out on a cupcake. Christ, I almost booked a meeting room out for a good cry.
Anyway come on, let’s get cracking.
This makes enough for one wrap – just double up. Credit for the original idea for the recipe goes to realfoodbydad, we’ve tweaked it to make it SW friendly!
to make chilli and cheesy fries pizza you will need:
1 BFree Multigrain Wrap (HeB) or whichever other wrap you find that is a) your HEB and b) doesn’t taste like a verruca sock (if you don’t want to use your HEB, this wrap is only 4.5 syns)
50g reduced fat grated mozarella (HeA) (again, swap out this for any cheese you like, or syn some, hey, I’m not fussy – if you don’t want to use your HEA, 50g of mozzarella is 6.5 syns)
two good handfuls of Slimming World chips (an Actifry is your best bet for this job – buy one and never look back!) (and yes, you can use leftovers – leftover chips haha, like any of us have trouble breathing unassisted at night because we leave leftovers)
2 tbsp of sliced jalapenos
1 spring onion, sliced
to make chilli and cheesy fries pizza you should:
preheat the oven to 240 degrees
spread over your base sauce over the wrap, leaving gap of about 1cm around the edge
spread the chips out over the wrap, as evenly spaced as you can manage whilst you’re cramming them into your mouth
sprinkle over the cheese and top with the jalapenos and spring onion
bake in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted
Easy, really. Now of course we’ve made some wonderful pizzas before, you see…
You’re here for the popcorn chicken – of course you are. Quite right too, because it’s bloody delicious and has the benefit of not using bloody Smash. But before we get to that, there’s the little problem of getting a New York entry in. As you know, my holiday trip reports are always fairly long, so you might wear out the scroller on your mouse if you’re desperate for the popcorn chicken. Ah well. Send the bill to the good folk at Cry Me A River Inc. and crack on. You’ll find part one of our trip and, if you buy our book, all of our previous holiday reports are there in one place, including Corsica, Ireland and Germany, where I exposed my arse to a whole platform of waiting train passengers. Yes! You can buy that here. By the way – if you’ve already bought the book and enjoyed it, please leave us a review on Amazon – you have no idea how happy that makes me. Not as happy as you buying several copies and giving them out electronically to friends but you know, let’s make do. Let’s head back to New York, then…
twochubbycubs go to New York, part two
After landing at JFK and undergoing the most intimidating entry interview I’ve ever faced (normally I’m not asked many questions prior to anyone admitting me entry, rather just a plea to be gentle and to call them after) (pfft!) (or rather whoooooooo….) (work that out) (jeez, this is a lot of bracketed thoughts), we were on our way. We decided that, rather than paying a billion dollars for a taxi to our hotel, we’d be savvy and streetwise and take the subway, not least because the subway is famous and exciting. I say exciting, there was a TV playing in the station whose main headline was ‘SEVENTH SLEEPING SOUL SLASHED IN SUBWAY’. Now, I’m all for alliteration and sharp headlines, but knife attacks aren’t usually an enticement to travel. Nevertheless, we ploughed on, trying to figure out what ticket we needed to buy for the week to get us from JFK and then afford us travel throughout the network all week. God knows what we bought – I was hustled into buying something in a newsagent by a strident sounding lady who was more weave than woman. The tickets worked in the barrier (after much ‘PUT IT THAT WAY, YOU’VE GOT IT THE WRONG WAY, NO YOU NEED IT PARALLEL TO THE Y-AXIS, YOU STUPID ASSHOLE!) and we were on our way. Hooray! At the risk of sounding like a hipster twat, I like to take the subway rather than taxis because I feel it adds to the experience.
Sadly, I was stabbed in the lung and spent the rest of the holiday in an American hospital being shook from my ankles until the coins fell out of my pocket.
I jest. After a couple of transfers and a brief interlude to watch a genuinely crazy man shouting and bawling into a litter-bin, we arrived at 34th Street – Penn Station. I don’t know what had caused the shouting man such ire but by God that bin had infuriated him. I find it remarkable that Paul and I can find our way around any foreign subway system given all we have to practice on up here is the Tyne and Wear Metro, which consists entirely of two lines and spends more time being apologised for than actually going anywhere. I used it briefly for about two months but eventually made it to my destination. Anyway, I digress. We climbed a set of stairs, exited the station and goodness me, what a shock. Everything is so tall. That may seem ridiculous to you, I don’t know, but I hadn’t realised almost every building in the streets would be so many storeys – it creates the illusion of feeling a bit bunkered down – but not claustrophobic. I was expecting the streets to be busy, and they were, but I never felt as though I was in the way – which when you consider that combined Paul and I take up as much room as a modern housing development, is quite something.
Our hotel, the Wyndham New Yorker, was over the road, and we hastened across, taking care to observe the flashing white man (who wouldn’t?) to permitted us to cross. Given my experience with the officers upon entry I didn’t fancy getting banged up for jaywalking, though it didn’t stop anyone else. The crossing was absolutely filled with cars coming from all directions, pedestrians, suitcases, people asking for money and a horse. Not people asking for a horse, rather, just a horse. Naturally. We had picked the New Yorker on a whim – it looked pleasant enough and the location was perfect, but that was the limit of our research. Well, it was delightful. It’s an art-deco hotel, opened in 1930 and not modernised too much – the lifts are grand, the lobby massive, the staff all well-to-do and pleasant and the plumbing clearly hasn’t been touched since the first brick was put down. I’ll touch on that in a moment. We checked in and were directed to our room on the 27th floor. I was sure that meant a penthouse or a decent suite but that was soon dispelled when we got into the lift and realised there were 43 floors. Boooo! We had sent ahead and mentioned it was our anniversary and I’d gone so far to book the room as Professor J Surname rather than plain old Mr, but nope. Ah well. Our room was perfunctory – pleasant, but nothing you’d write home about. You’d have a hard job given there was no writing desk or pens. The TV was small and the bed was so lumpy that I had to check we weren’t lying on top of the previous guests, but it was clean and warm and had an excellent view. We bravely set about emptying our suitcases into the tiny wardrobe (with four coat-hangers – we had to call down for more, I felt so stereotypical) and then immediately shoving everything we could possibly lift into the suitcase. It’s just the done thing to do.
They did do this to the bed though. D’aww. Don’t worry, the romance didn’t last – the sheets looked like a Jackson Pollock within 10 minutes.
I wish I could tell you that we spent the evening out in the glitz and glamour of New York, but, somewhat jet-lagged, we opted to stay in the room watching Wheel of Fortune and eating Jolly Ranchers. We both feel asleep almost immediately and didn’t wake again until 6am the next morning, where I was alarmed to find a half-sucked blue raspberry Jolly Rancher had tumbled out of my sleep-open mouth and into my hair. I’m a classy guy.
So, at 6am in the city that never sleeps, where do you go? I’m ashamed to say we spent a lot of our holiday time doing the really obvious sites, but listen, you can’t go to New York and not take in the obvious. To that end, this whole trip report will be a series of ticks off the list. We started the day right by nipping into the Tick Tock Diner right next to the hotel for a breakfast – I showed British restraint, having only three eggs, corned beef hash, sausages, bacon (it’s not bloody bacon, it looks like grilled hangnails, but nevermind) and toast on the side. My eggs came covered in cheese which should tell you everything you need to know about breakfasting in New York. It was AMAZING. Paul had pancakes – great big lumps of dough and syrup which he seemed remarkably content with. His eyes glazed over, but I reckon that could have been the maple syrup pushing through from the back like shampoo on a sponge. We finished our meal, paid the bill with a slight grimace (I had forgotten it was obligatory to tip over in America – I nearly always do anyway, even in England, but I do so hate how I’m forced to tip) and we were on our way.
First stop – the Statue of Liberty, which immediately set Paul off going ‘I THINKA CAN SEE THE STACHOO OF LIBERTAAY AL-A-READY‘ like that tiny Italian man from Titanic. There were a lot of Titanic quotes on this day. A good friend of mine had recommended I book everything well in advance, so we had tickets booked for Statue Cruises which set off from Battery Park. Once on the island we had a choice of going up to her crown, just into the general minge level or walking around the outside. We had opted for the minge option (I think they call it Pedestal Level) and were very much looking forward to it, so much so that we arrived an hour early. Oops. I entertained myself by going for a poo in the park toilets, which is always a terrifying experience in America as they like to leave a giant gap down the side of the doors plus make the door itself the size of a postage stamp. This is just awful – you end up desperately trying not to make any eye-contact with passing folks as you’re busy pushing brown. I get that it’s to stop cottaging and drug-taking but come on, people like a bit of privacy whilst they poop. Just look!
Actually, that doesn’t quite convey the creepiness. One sec.
Brrr. After a poo each and a good cup of coffee, we noticed our boat was coming in and so made our way through the security check, removing our belt for what would be the first of many, many times throughout this holiday, and dealing with customer service people who hated their jobs and everyone involved in it. I wear this necklace:
and the charming woman on security held it up for everyone to look at and asked me ‘it’s meaning’. I almost said OOHO IT’S A BIT OF VIV WESTWOOD LOVE’ but didn’t. I wear it because I like it, and it’s quite literally the only piece of designer anything I own. I’m too fat for designer clothes and too poor for designer furniture, so I can only have nice jewellery and shoes. And I buy my shoes from the same place I buy my toilet roll, so, you know. I wasn’t expecting to have to justify it to someone who had clearly only just remembered to have a shave that morning. She waved us through. Paul never gets any bother with security and he’s got half a bloody Meccano set keeping his arm together since he gashed it open on a discarded shopping trolley half-submerged in a ditch in Peterborough, or as they like to call it, a ‘child’s play area’. Our boat docked and about ten thousand people appeared from nowhere to disembark, pitching the boat at a perilous angle where I genuinely thought it was going over. Of course it wasn’t, but what’s life without melodrama. We boarded and were on our way in no time at all.
The cruise, such as it is, takes fifteen minutes, which afforded Paul enough time to discover a snack shop and buy us a cup of coffee that had seemingly come fresh from the sun. My lips blistered just taking the lid off the cup. Let me save you some money – if you’re going to New York, unless you’re massively fussed about seeing the statue up close and finding out more about it in the museum, you don’t need to visit the old bird. Take the Staten Island ferry and see it from the water – it’ll cost you next to nothing and you won’t have to push children overboard indulge in a scrum to get on and off the boat. We love a good nosey around a museum though so we were champion, cooing and oohing our way around various cases and replicas of her giant toes. She certainly didn’t have a problem with an ingrown toenail – oh how I envied her. If you’re squeamish, skip the next paragraph. In fact, I’m going to hide the next paragraph so it’s only visible if you highlight it!
I remember once holidaying in France with an ingrown toenail so bad that my toe actually exploded in my trainer on a hot day, showering my sock with pus and a dead nail. The relief I felt though – no sex has ever come close to that feeling. Not quite grossed out enough? I used to let the family dog clean my toe because I was told a dog’s tongue has antiseptic qualities and he seemed to enjoy it! Eee, that’ll be me straight to hell now. Still, he did a great job until he died of advanced sepsis two months later.
I know, gross right? I’m so sorry. Poor Oscar.
We bought a tiny replica of the statue, took a few upskirt pictures of the old bird and then fannied about with the telescopes for a bit. It was a lovely day – warm but springlike and fresh, perfect for the massive wool coat I was wearing. At least I had my magma-esque coffee to cool me off. Then, back onto the boat for a short hop over to Ellis Island, an optional freebie excursion where you can see the famous Immigrant Inspection Station and the housing and suchlike. It was all very interesting indeed but at this point our crippling obesity was beginning to play havoc with our ankles and we needed a good old fashioned sit-down, so we went into the little restuarant and seemingly emptied my wallet in exchange for two club sandwiches the size of my arm. We sat down and immediately regretted it as we had a talker immediately to our left, an octogenarian with a lot to say. We couldn’t ignore him because he seemed lonely. ‘So where you guys from’ was his opening gambit, and when I replied with ‘Newcastle, England’ he took such a gasp of air that I almost gave him his last rites, thinking perhaps an errant crisp had lodged in his windpipe. No, it was just genuine surprise which didn’t subside when I explained it really wasn’t that far and we didn’t row across the Atlantic. He then kept us at the table for a good half hour, clutching my arm every time we made to leave. To be fair, he was actually very interesting and my ability to make small-talk never failed me, so the time flew by, but we did miss our boat back, meaning we had to spend another hour on the tiny island, trying to keep out of view of this old chap. I felt like I was sneaking into America myself.
After Ellis Island we got the boat back over to Battery Park and decided to take a walk over to where the Twin Towers used to be and where the new One World Trade Centre tower now stood. Let me say this – although it is easier to walk to places in New York rather than fannying about on their labyrithine subway system, make sure you gauge the distances before you set off. We ended up with feet like corned beef by the end of the holiday. It’s more interesting though, seeing a city on foot. That’s what I told Paul as he poured blood out of his shoes.
Nothing can be said on the Twin Towers disaster that hasn’t already been said, but I’ll add my own thoughts. It’s always been something abstract – images on the TV or in the papers – and whilst utterly horrific and downright barbaric, I’ve never been able to actually get my head around it. Standing there then in the shadow of the new tower, with the two massive memorial pools in front of us, it actually hit home. Imagining not one but two of these towers falling into the street and the absolute mayhem and terror that would bring, well, we both actually got emotional. You need to understand – the only time I think I’ve seen Paul cry was when I hid his selection box at Christmas or when I clipped a peg onto his bumhair and accidentally nicked his sphincter. You stand at the bottom of this tower and look up and you can’t see the top. Imagine that the other way around and knowing you had to jump down to your death or burn. Horrendous.
We entered the new tower and boarded the lift up to the 102nd floor which was an experience all in itself – 102 floors in less than 60 seconds, with the lifts being made from a 360 degree set of TV screens which model New York in front of you. I’ve done a shit job of explaining that, so here, take a look:
Come on now, that was something special. After leaving the lift, you’re taken to a row of cardboard cut-outs of skyscrapers in a darkened room, upon which a cheesy video about New York was projected. Naturally, being a cynic, I was about to moan to Paul that we’d paid $100 to watch a movie when suddenly everything in front of us rose out of view and was replaced with floor to ceiling glass windows, affording us the most incredible view. My flabber could not have been more gasted. It’s initially very disorientating as you forget you’re so high up until New York is revealed before you like a magician’s trick, but it’s genuinely wonderful. We spent an age walking around taking pictures that we’ll never look at again, like everyone else, before nipping up to the bar for a cocktail.
Are you sitting down? Our two cocktails cost $58. Yes, you could get a glass of tap water but fuck it, we were on holiday and it was money well-spent, although such very strong alcohol combined with the natural swaying of the building leads to a slightly unsettling experience. Here’s a couple of pictures.
The lift down was as fun as the lift going up and let me tell you, we were genuinely impressed with the whole experience. There was no gung-ho over-the-top patriotism like we expected, we weren’t forced to pay extra for stuff time and time again, and the views made it completely worthwhile. I’d recommend this in a heartbeat. We spent half an hour looking around the memorial pools and that’s another thing that seems odd – it’s so quiet. No-one is shouting or running around, just quietly paying respects. Roses are left pushed into people’s names that have been etched into the shiny black marble that surrounds the pools. It’s tasteful and thought-provoking. Not so much for a couple of very prissy knobheads who decided to treat the experience like a fashion show, lying across the memorials, draping their scarves on one another, squealing and clapping and generally being obnoxious dicks (and hell, that’s my job on holiday, surely?). We ruined a good number of their photographs as a petty revenge, walking behind them and into shot with stupid expressions on our faces, until I tired of the game and whispered loudly as we walked past that ‘they should show some fucking respect and stop being selfish boys’. I may not have used the word boys. I might have said something that rhymed with punts. The photographer of the two went squealing over to the other and they stalked off in a huff. Way man. A bit of respect, that’s all.
OK goodness me, we’ve hit the 3000 word mark. Let’s stop there! Popcorn chicken, then…this makes enough for two.
Now look here. I wasn’t going to do a post tonight because my eyes hurt and I’m too busy putting together a lamp (so manly) but the word sausagefest came into my mind and I just had to use it. So, with that in mind, I’m going to dash off a very quick review of Slimming World sausages and Musclefood’s chicken sausages. We’re working with Musclefood to sort out a deal for you lot and I’ll post that nearer the time.
Before that, because you know I can’t go a day without some toe-curling moment of embarrassment, well, as I’ve documented a couple of times before, we spend a lot of time hiding away all the sex paraphrenalia in our house whenever a tradesperson comes to visit. I fear there is something off-putting about trying to do some plastering whilst a big black plastic willy winks away at you in the corner like a worm having a stroke. Well see the downside of doing this is that you invariably forget where you’ve put stuff and then it appears at a dramatic moment. Like today, with our alarm man (who was lovely and very charming) who opened our rarely-opened alarm cupboard, took the latch off the alarm case (which doesn’t work, so we just use it to hide stuff) only to be confronted by a black prostate tickler that we had squirreled away many moons ago.
Now he had the good grace not to say anything but given I have a slight ping-ding about the fact he might be travelling on the same bus as Paul and I, he totally knew what it was. What could I do? I couldn’t reach across him, grab it and pretend it was a novelty cigarette lighter, because knowing my luck he’d have been a smoker, asked for a light and I’d have to spend five minutes flicking the ‘hook’ end and lightly buzzing the end of his Silk Cut Ultra.
So that’s that. Anyway, back to sausages. We’re massive fans of sausages (and I’m not even using sausage as a euphemism for a cock there, because if I WAS trying to come up with a euphemism for a penis, I’d of course use Spurt Reynolds) but they are tricky little things. Most of the low-fat sausages have as much taste as a roll of loft insulation, and anything with a bit of moisture is normally so bad for you that Margaret’s blue WKD bottle would shatter in her clenched fist if she so much as heard them sizzle in your pan. So we’ll cover two: Slimming World sausages and Musclefood’s chicken sausages.
Quorn sausages are a bust as they look and taste like something that’s been shat out of a poorly cat, so I’m not even going to mention them. I’d get more taste and enjoyment from sucking my thumb and hell, I know where my thumb has been. No wonder my nails are always filthy.
We cook our sausages in an Actifry. If you’re on the fence about one of these, bloody get one. You’ll never look back, seriously. Above everything else, it’s the thing we love most in the kitchen.
Firstly, apologies for the lack of picture, but I rather thought that six sausages on a plate wouldn’t exactly set the blogosphere alight. I was right. These sausages are £3 from Iceland so they immediately lose a point for the fact you have to fight your way through masses of prawn rings, candied kangaroo mist and Peter fucking Andre. I remember when Iceland launched their Slimming World range and there were groups of people cracking the pavement camping outside the shop, like the answer to all of their prayers in life lay in some watery tomato sauce. Anyway, by the by. These are syn free so perfect for the diet.
They cook well enough – we chuck ours into the Actifry on top of chips and let the mouse’s tear sized bit of fat in them coat the chips. We tried grilling them but they came out looking like a dead dog’s dick, all wrinkly and misshapen. Not good.
However, they’re tasty enough, with a bit of herb coming through after around forty minutes of chewing. They’re very tough, almost like they’ve been encased in the rubber ring from the bottom of a condom rather than a normal sausage casing, but they do taste good. Yes, they’re not quite sausage like, but they’ll certainly do well for a quick meal and chopped into a pasta salad, they’d hit the spot. They’re also very, very dry (how dry you say? Drier than a popcorn fart), but again, like any good sausage, once you coat them in a bit of sauce you’ll find they’ll fill your hole much easier.
Musclefood chicken sausages
DISCLAIMER: we received these for free to try from Musclefood, but that’s not going to twist our review. Nope.
A chicken sausage, you say? Paul balked at the very idea, until I reminded him he used to exist on Smart Price sausages in tomato sauce, and if they’re not made out of homeless people, disappointment and the ash leftover from the Foot and Mouth crisis I’ll eat my fucking hat. It’d certainly taste better. Somewhat relunctanctly, he agreed, and we tried them last night, again putting them into the Actifry on top of the chips so everything cooked together, removing the need for me to bend down in the kitchen to load the dishwasher, which is always a good thing because I invariably end up smacking myself in my face with my own titty. MUST LOSE WEIGHT.
Facts, then. Musclefood’s chicken sausages come in at half a syn each, which is nowt in the grand scheme of things but more than Slimming World’s. They’re also a bit pricier, coming in at £4 for a pack of six. However, it’s only chicken breasts and the various odds and sods you find in sausages, as opposed to the mysterious ‘pork’ you find on SW’s variety.
These look much better when cooked – you could almost believe they were ‘proper’ sausages, although the sausages we tend to buy when we’re being naughty normally have an oil derrick poking out the top they’re that greasy. Plus neither sausage sizzles, which is sad – you can’t beat the sound of a sizzling sausage.
How do they taste? Good! Again though, so bloody firm – I’ve never had to soak a sausage overnight before I ate it (well, I have, sort of)…no they’re not that bad, but I reckon it must be a theme with ‘healthy’ sausages that they must bounce. The chicken meat comes through and they’re a lot more filling than other sausages – they certainly fared better on their own than other sausages. They’re also a decent size – I mean, you wouldn’t be dashing to the bedroom to put it to a better use, but they’re certainly big enough to satisfy us.
They’d be good in our breakfast wrap found here or in a sausage casserole. I reckon they’re the better out of the two – they certainly sit better on the belly, and they look appetising. If the cost puts you off, fair enough, but don’t let the syn value be the decider – it’s worth spending your syns on decent food. Remember to live, people.
You can buy Musclefood’s chicken sausages right here. You all know how I feel about Musclefood – they do brilliant meat at excellent prices with decent delivery. Can’t get vexed at that. But you can also buy syn free sausages at Iceland, as long as you’re prepared to come out looking like Electro from Spiderman firing electricity from your hands thanks to all the polyester swishing about.
Enjoy. One day I’ll get the hang of posting a ‘quick’ post!
There was a TV programme smeared on BBC One on Wednesday night, immediately following Bake Off, called Britain’s Spending Secrets? Did anyone catch it? It was presented by Anne Robinson, who, despite being only one facelift from having a second pair of lips to talk through, I rather like. She’s disarming yet dangerous – I always feel that if I was to talk to her I’d start off joking about boobs and end up confessing to being making super speed soup out of Shergar. I love how that sounds as a sentence. All those S’s. Ssss.
Anyway the reason I bring up Wednesday’s TV like it’s even slightly relevant is because of how angry it made me. The show itself was the usual bit of evening fluff where some people talk about having money, some talk about not having money, the presenter (attempts to) smiles her way through having to sit on someone’s Perfect Home settee and disguise the fact she wants to go home and boil wash her Etro blazer. And of course, being the BBC, it’s all done without the malice that would have accompanied it if the show had been on Channel 5, which seems to have morphed into the ‘Benefits’ channel, where even the most mundane activity has been turned into an excuse to film fat people struggling off the sofa whilst that fucking annoying pizzicato violin music plays.
Fact for you: it’s called Dance of the Woodland Pixies. Play the below and you’ll feel like Alex Polizzi, checking hotel toilets for pubes and looking disdainful.
Part of the show involved swapping two mothers over – one from a ‘buy buy buy’ family, the other from a ‘save save save’ lot. Predictable snipping. You can expect that. No, what made my blood turn to piss was the sight of the ‘rich’ family sneering at the ‘poor family’. The mother of the rich family made a big point about how she bought her daughters anything they wanted, that it is better to live for today and enjoy your money rather than worry what is coming (not completely untrue) and that labels made her happy. That’s fine, save for the fact she was instilling the same virtue in her daughter, who stood laughing at the ‘poor’ mother because she had the temerity to buy her stuff from a car boot sale. If I had been so openly disrespectful when I was little the skin on my arse would have looked like a slab of beef.
I could vaguely understand her reasoning if she had a gorgeous house and enough money in the bank to wipe her arse with £50 notes, but she actually had quite a run-down looking home, an average salary and a husband who walked behind her at all times. There was such an air of undeserved condescension about her that I almost bit clean through my cocoa cup. I can’t work my head around those who live their lives through what the label on their handbag says or what the tags on the back of their coats read. The only label I ever take notice of on a person is if they have ‘CAUTION: BITES’ pinned to their shirt. There’s no shame in having nice things but to use your shitty labels to pour scorn on others? Harumph.
Of course, if we’re going to be mean about the whole thing, she was prattling on in Debenhams (where all the well-to-do folk shop, naturally) about how she doesn’t blink twice about paying for a label because it’s the first thing people notice about her…well it wasn’t for Paul and me. We noticed her bad hair-dye job (sweetcorn yellow) and the fact that she thought a Radley handbag was the height of sophistication far quicker than we did notice her fanciness. Inner ugliness always shows, no matter how much ‘expensive’ make-up you trowel on.
Rest assured, if Paul and I had money, we wouldn’t be spending it on expensive clothes. I don’t see the point. Frankly, as long as my cock isn’t hanging out (which thanks to most of my jeans having a split in them, it normally is) and my tits aren’t on show, I’m fine and dandy in cheap clothes. Let’s all go to Tesco, where Jaymes buys his best clothes, la-la-la-la.
No, if we won the lottery, especially if we won one of those ridiculous figures where your brain really has to think to work out exactly what the zeroes mean, we’d spend it having a bloody great whale of a time. I don’t think I’d ever move again, for one thing. We’d have a chef, a driver, a decent PA, someone to come in and wash my belly-shelf. I’d like to think I’d be generous but I reckon we’d turn into evil rich people within approximately 30 minutes – paying Disney for the sole use of their parks and then sitting at the gates turning kids away, that kind of thing. I’d go round to all my exes with a car made of gold coins and jeer at them from the window. There’d be so many holidays that coming home would be having a rest.
Would I work? Would I fuckity. I must write my resignation letter in my head at least twice a week, and I actually enjoy my job, so if I had money behind me, I’d never work again. I can’t bear that, you know, when some yellow-eyed binman wins a few million and promises to carry on working. No! You don’t get to keep working, give your job to someone else and get yourself a new liver, you joyless bugger.
Ah, a boy can dream. Maybe this is why budget week didn’t quite work for us. But here, there’s a recipe we didn’t post which can be done on the cheap. This makes enough fish fingers to serve two with mushy peas and chips. I’m not a big fan of fishy fingers (seems apt), but these were lovely and a cheap recipe to make!
to make your fish fingers, you’ll need:
400g fish of your choice, defrosted (we used frozen cod)
17g corn flakes (3 syns)
2 slices of wholemeal bread (HEB)
one egg (beaten)
1 tbsp parsley
½ tsp pepper
mushy peas if you want them
chips if you want them
and then to make fish fingers, you should:
grate the zest from the lemon and then juice the fucker into submission (remember, if you’re pissing about grating on a box grater like a div, get a microplane grater, best gadget I own! Buy one here cheap cheap)
cut the fish into fingers and place in a shallow baking dish and cover with the lemon juice
meanwhile add the corn flakes, zest, bread, parsley and pepper to a food processor and blitz into a fairly fine powder, or if you’re lo-tech, hoy it all in a bag and bash it with a rolling pin
dip the fish fingers into the egg and roll gently in the breadcrumb mixture
heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a little oil – or frylight – but make sure you use the best non-stick pan you’ve got
cook the fish fingers in a single layer for about 4-5 minutes each side until golden
serve with chips and peas!
Musclefood burgers tomorrow! And in time…an offer…