super cheesy ham and cheese scones

Ham and cheese scones. Nope. They’re not Slimming World friendly. But sometimes, you’ve got to let your gunt out, shake that Elnett-by-proxy out of your hair and live your life a little. Anyway, a little bit of what you fancy does you good, or at least it does until you’re left with an STD and Graeme from Jeremy Kyle is fussing about your nethers with a box of tissues. I’m feeling a bit soured towards the whole Slimming World thing at the moment anyway: any diet where people are making lemon meringue pies by scrapping a Muller yoghurt into a pastry made from PEASE PUDDING isn’t good.

To be fair, that’s not Slimming World’s fault such as it is people just trying to eat without spending syns, which is ridiculous but ground that we’ve covered so many times before that I earned my Body Magic Platinum badge (urgh) just from eye-rolling alone. You know, perhaps if they changed the name from something as negative as syns (short for synergy or some other such abbol) (abbol being short for absolute bollocks) people would be more inclined to ‘spend’ them instead of fretting about eating something perfectly normal.

Ah well. If I had to represent via the medium of cat how I feel looking at these recipes for Frankenfood, this is it:

I’ve never known a cat have such resting bitch face. For balance, here’s Bowser.

Don’t hate them because they’re beautiful. Shall we do cheese scones then?

cheese scones

1 vote

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super cheesy cheese scones - no, not Slimming World friendly

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 13 scones

Cheese scones, proper ones mind you, with no nonsense. These have more cheese in them than is entirely decent and you know, that's good because frankly, if you're not having mild chest pains spreading the butter, then are you even alive?

I use the recipe from theguardian because I'm a hippy-drippy middle-class sort. Feel free to swap the butter for Trex and the gentle touch for a bad attitude, if you're so inclined.

Oh and if you're wondering why a diet blog contains a recipe for cheese scones, it's simple: because we're a cooking blog, and we all have a naughty side. Though if your idea of being naughty is a cheese scone, we need to get you out more...

Ingredients

  • 450g of self-raising flour (70 syns)
  • 1 tsp of smoked salt (ordinary salt is fine)
  • 1 tbsp of English mustard powder
  • 100g of cold, from-the-fridge, salted butter (36 syns)
  • 250g extra strong mature cheese, plus a bit extra for the top (50 syns)
  • 180g of shredded ham hock (buy it from Tesco, it's cheap, or cut up some ham yourself)
  • 120ml of cold milk
  • 120ml of cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten up with a drop or two of milk

156 syns. Oops! 12 syns each.

Instructions

  • heat your oven to 220 degrees
  • sift your flour, salt and mustard powder into a big bowl
  • grate in the butter and rub with the tips of your finger until you have fine sand
  • grate in the cheese and add the ham, then stir to combine
  • mix in the milk and water until everything starts to bind together, but don't overwork it - it'll be a sticky dough to begin with but you'll get there
  • tip onto a floured surface and roll to about 2cm high
  • cut into circles of about 6cm across, reshaping as you need
  • pop on a good non-stick baking tray, brush with the egg and milk mix and top with lots more cheese
  • cook in the oven until golden on top - mine took about 16 minutes

Mine came out perfectly but scones are a bitch sometimes - if they don't come out looking great, who cares: strive for good taste, not good looks!

Notes

You don't need any expensive kit to bake. A big bowl, a grater and some scone cutters. Hell, you can use a pint glass if you want. But if you're looking for ideas:

Courses x-rated, scones

Cuisine naughty

I know, right? Want more naughty ideas? We don’t have many but the ones we have…

Ta

J

one-pot chicken and mushroom pie

We’ll get to the recipe for chicken and mushroom pie in a moment, but first…

One downside of this bad weather has been the fact that, for the third time in about eight years, I was forced to take a bus to work. A bus! I’m not one of those lazy snobs who call them peasant-wagons or walks around with my nose so high in the air that my snot freezes but you must understand that I can’t bear public transport. It’s not either people (for the most part) but rather the fact I like the Fortress of Solitude that is my crappy little DS3. I like to be able to sing without worrying that the bus driver is going to take such offence that he’ll drive us straight into a river. I like to be able to fart without having to go for the rigmarole of breaking wind and then looking owlishly around at everyone else as if to say ‘is someone burning hair?‘. I like to be able to colourfully swear at other people without the fear of having my teeth introduced to my uvula. And, let’s be honest, there’s no better feeling than a little toot on an impotent horn when someone cuts in front of you, no? MAKES ME FEEL LIKE A BIG MAN.

However, I can’t drive in snow, and frankly, another day cooped up working from home with Paul breathing noisily (indeed, at all) next to me was going to tip me over the edge, and so it was that I traipsed out into the snow and slush at ungodly-o-clock on Friday morning to do something I haven’t done in years: treat another human being with civility before 10am.

I arrived at the bus stop just in time to see a bus-full of sad faces sliding away down the street, a good ten minutes early. That’s fine, it would give me a good opportunity to wonder at my own nipples turning into masonry bits in the Baltic cold. I barely had time to consider throwing myself under a passing car like a modern Emily Davison before I was joined at the bus-stop by another group of people who look equally as pissed off as me that we had to go to work. Everyone had that thin-lipped, furrowed brow thing going on, possibly because they were all sharing my thought that everyone in that bus-stop had better not jump the queue. Naturally, none of us said a word to one another. I was positively itching to turn around, place my palms out in a welcoming gesture and say ‘Now you may be wondering why I’ve called you here today’ in a rich, pleasing baritone, but sadly no. We waited in silence for twenty six years.

Just as my lips were turning black and peeling away, salvation appeared: a bus! A lovely, shiny, green beacon of hope, belching diesel fumes as it slipped its way up the street. Given I was first at the bus stop I appointed myself Chief Bus Wrangler and stood in a nice prominent position to get the bus to stop. It didn’t. Well it did, more than a few yards down the road, and when I climbed on board the driver shouted at me for not sticking my hand out. Our bus-stop is served by one service, on a street with no shops or places of note. What did he think all eighteen of us were standing by the side of the road for? Perhaps he thought it was an impromptu meeting of the Timetable Worshipper Aficionado Tribe, or TWAT for short. Surely he could have taken a quick glance at my brisk office attire (which is the same as my gardening outfit, only I change my shoes) and assumed we would want a lift into town? Pfft.

It wasn’t even a ‘oh silly you’ telling off but a full-on bark at me – it seems unusual for a passenger to be thankful of the spit-guard but I was that morning, because I reckon I would have been spittle-flecked in no time at all. I apologised profusely, told him ‘I don’t usually get the bus’ (don’t worry, I came up with nineteen better retorts in my head later) and then, in my flustered state, managed to lock my phone. That’s bad because I now held him up for another minute or so whilst I tried desperately to get their stupid buggy app to open so he could see that I wasn’t trying to scam the bus company out of a few quid by getting on for free. The temperature behind me must have dropped suddenly because I could hear quite the cacophony of tutting, which I took to be their teeth chattering.

The bus ride itself was uneventful – I mean, it’s a bus journey, what more do you want me to say about it – but it afforded me the opportunity to be simultaneously burnt and frozen at the same time. Due to someone smelling of vegetables and cigarettes sitting beside me, I was pushed up against the side of the bus, meaning my left leg was resting straight on the nuclear reactor that is the bus heater. You’ve never lived until you’ve felt your bone marrow boiling in your leg. The pain was tempered by the fact that someone in front of me thought it was sensible to have the window open because, you know, who needs to worry about their sperm count? To be fair, I don’t: as long as it doesn’t come out like a line of Crest toothpaste I couldn’t care less. The combination of burning and freezing left me feeling like a chicken breast being defrosted in the microwave. Great! Thankfully, someone ignored their Britishness, got up, slammed the window shut. We all thanked him silently.

This only left one other concern. Condensation. I’ve never really considered it before, but when I’m moving my hands around on the window to get rid of the fog that has built up, I’m smearing my hands around in other people’s saliva, amongst other things, aren’t I? Is my science correct? I mean, my bus originates from Blyth – that spit is going to be 80% knock-off Golden Virginia, isn’t it? No wonder I was gasping for a tab when I got off, though I’m probably the first person in the world to develop emphysema from osmosis.

Sigh. At least this whole experience didn’t cost the Earth, eh? Only £18 for two days.

I console myself with eating good food. These one pot chicken and mushroom pie is just the ticket for a warm winter night! Get it made! And look – we’ve even got a video guide for you to cook along to! Let us know what you think – or, just scroll down for the text. We’re not really arsed.

 

chicken and mushroom pie

chicken and mushroom pie

2 votes

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one pot chicken and mushroom pie with proper pastry!

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 6 servings

You might be tempted to forgo this recipe if you're trying to save your syns, but remember, you get 15 syns a day: and what better thing to spend them on then something tasty and delicious? This is a chicken and mushroom pie made in a frying pan which then goes in the oven: one-pot dish AND wonderful!

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 105g Phildelphia Lightest (1x HeA)
  • 2 good handfuls of frozen peas
  • 150g sliced mushrooms
  • 4 potatoes, diced
  • 150g ready rolled light puff pastry (30 syns)
  • 2 eggs, beaten

So, cut into four, this pie is 7.5 syns per serving. But cut into six and served with veg, it's only 5 syns! And it's worth it for that pastry, that sauce, that taste!

Instructions

  • add the potatoes to a pan of cold water and bring to the boil
  • reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the potato is soft, then drain
  • meanwhile, spray a large oven-safe frying pan with a little oil and add the sliced leek
  • fry gently over a medium-high heat until soft
  • add the garlic and cook for another minute or so
  • add the chicken, mushrooms, tarragon, stock and philadelphia to the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • add the potato and peas to the pan and cook for another five minutes
  • remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool
  • next, preheat the oven to 180°c
  • drape the pastry over the top (cut off any excess) and crimp gently around the edge
  • brush with the beaten egg and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden
  • remove from the oven and allow it to rest for a couple of minutes
  • dig in, serving with whatever the hell you want

Notes

top tips for making chicken in a frying pan pie

  • leftover roast potatoes will work like a dream in this too!
  • if you want to make a smaller pie you can do - just halve the recipe and use a smaller pan
  • Frylight will knacker your pans. Use one of these instead! 
  • don't be tempted to swap the Philadelphia for quark. Quark will split and go manky. Stick with Phildelphia - it's more stable and tastes nicer!
  • shortcrust pastry works well with this one too if you prefer

Courses dinner, leftovers

Cuisine British

Seriously, how good does that look?

You want more stodge recipes? Who am I to say no…

J

apple pie and ice-cream

Do you ever get that feeling, deep in your stomach, that you’re going to do something and get a raft of angry-faced people throwing badly-typed obscenities your way? I feel like my face has just been published in the paper next to something obscene and I’m about to have my windows put through?

Why? Because…I’m posting a recipe that HEAVILY involves tweaking. 

TWEAK

I know! Christ. Someone better get me some aftersun because I’m about to get my fingers burnt. 

Our official position on tweaking can be found here (it’s a fun read, I assure you) but to put it succinctly, we don’t class blending veg or fruit up as a bad thing, unless you’re eating substantially more than you would normally. Slimming World will tell you that if you mash a banana up on a bowl, it’s five syns, but if you mash it up in your gob, it’s free. The logic being that you derive more ‘satisfaction’ from putting it in your mouth and whilst that is normally the case for me being a cheerfully homosexual young man, I don’t agree with it here. It’s up to you which side of the debate you fall on and either way is fine – but please, I don’t want anyone telling me off. I know the rules, I’m just flexible.

Tonight’s recipe then is apple pie and ice-cream, which was the most American thing I could think of – and it tastes amazing, genuinely. It’s 5 syns if you believe in tweaking and 13 syns if you don’t, but even then – 13 syns for a good quality dessert is fuck all. It’s better than sobbing into your eighty-fifth Freddo and wishing you were dead. And because I love you, I’ve included a way to knock five syns off the entire thing.

BUT before we get to the good bit, here’s one more extract from my American diary. If you’re enjoying it, and seemingly loads of you are, buy it or recommend it and make me a happy, happy bunny! You’ll find the link here.


Day 12 – See, World?

Seaworld! The last time we visited you we were left unimpressed and cold by your displays of penguin entrapment and subpar rides. Would this visit go the way of the Disney parks and win us over for good? There’s only one way to find out! A super-quick breakfast at McDonalds and a trundle on the best I-Ride trolley ever (singing driver announcing all the stops) and we were standing by that lighthouse, posing for pictures. Bit mean of a passing tourist to call me Shamu like. We decided to upgrade our tickets to the Rapid Queue benefit but it wasn’t really needed once you were in.

Can you guess what the first thing these two roller-coaster nuts went on? Of course! Manta. Several times. We drifted through the proper queue area first to see all the theming that has gone into the area, and it really looks something else. It’s worth wandering through even if you weren’t planning to ride. This would be my first time on a ‘lying-down’ rollercoaster and I was nervous, I’ll admit. Paul, having done Alton Towers, knew what it felt like and reassured me that a) it wouldn’t hurt and b) the supports would be able to handle my considerable mass, so I felt good enough to go on.

Oooh and I’m glad we did. It’s possibly one of the best rollercoasters in Orlando – so incredibly smooth, just the right side of scary-fast and a very different experience. I think we rode it about six times in a row, each time trying a different position – the back is probably the best as it is so much faster, but a young lad next to me upchucked his breakfast as we were going round which put a stop to any further journeys around, at least until my own belly settled down. Anyone else like that? I can’t bear seeing people being sick, especially when it looks almost exactly like the breakfast you just bolted down yourself at the McDonalds over the road? He got a really, really dirty look off me (as in angry, I wasn’t given him the flirt-eye, I’m not a emetophile)  and we wandered down to the bottom of the park.

We were gutted to see Journey to Atlantis shut down for the entire length of our visit – between this, Dudley Do-Right closed due to fire and Splash Mountain closed for annual repair, we were destined never to have a holiday photo of our heaving busoms showing through our cheap wet t-shirts. Sigh. I wouldn’t care but I LOVE water-rides. My mum has always said I was a water-baby. But I think that’s her way of making herself feel better for leaving me in the bath for several hours with nothing more than an electric toaster to play with. Sorry Ma…

Kraken next, of course. One of my favourite rollercoasters, if only for the first drop where it feels as though your belly is going to rise up out of your mouth. We can’t get enough of rollercoasters and plan to do a tour of American Theme Parks for our next holiday. But in the present, we were thrown round, span round and dropped down several times over, all the while screaming and swearing, until we got close to the people taking pictures as that’s ‘Disappointed Face’ time. I’ve mentioned it before – give it a try – when it comes to the bit where the photo is taken, put on your most deadpan, miserable face. It’s almost as fun as walking past people filming their holiday videos and QUIETLY swearing away to your partner, so when they get home and stick the video on, they’ll hear a sole voice muttering away. Heh. We do it at home too, though I got caught out walking past someone and saying ‘I didn’t know Ronseal did tans’ – but her unintelligent comeback was hardly worth a comeback. Anyway…

A day out wouldn’t be complete without an ice-cream, and it’s yet another thing that you can’t get a ‘small’ version of, not that we were complaining as we had developed reverse diabetes since then – if we didn’t have our body weight in sugar during the day we would get the shakes and you’d find us in the toilet trying to melt a Jolly Rancher on the top of a spoon. We headed to the ice-cream parlour and enjoyed a couple of smooth creamy ones, all the while watching this American family – the parents had massive ice-creams, the kids had what looked like mini-milks. That’s a method of parenting that I can get on board with! We fannied about a bit on the soft toy attractions and Paul won me a delightful…dragon. Very Seaworld. Given the look of some of the ‘attraction workers’ mind, I was half-expecting to come away with crabs. This poor dragon was promptly given away to a passing child (not because I’m mean to Paul, but because it was huge and we couldn’t be bothered to carry it around) and I won him a little octopus. We still have him, of course, sat on top of the computer.

Thank heavens for Southwest Airlines and their air-conditioning Sponsorship of Cruelty! Yep, it was time to look at the penguins. And I don’t like it. They’re cute as a pin, but that room seems so small, and whilst I’m not a lentil-eating-sandal-knitting hippy, I don’t think it’s right. We took a couple of cursory pictures and moved on. Am I the only one who doesn’t like dolphins either? They leave me cold, with their dead eyes. I did fancy feeding them, but as you have to pay extra and the thought of spending money sends us into a cold sweat, we moved on to look at the manatees. Our kind of animal! Perhaps the most terrifying sight of all was, whilst in the underground viewing cave, we spotted two dolphins seemingly in flagrante. Either that or they were fighting…but he very clearly had his little lipstick out! Dirty rascal. We moved swiftly on.

Oooh, the shows! I can’t remember the names but we watched the show all about clever animals (dogs, cats, pigs, birds etc) and the whale show. As ever, the whale show was cheesier than my previous ingrown toenail – if I wanted to see an overgrown beast flap around and spurt in the water, I’d make Paul take a bath with me.

The show is all about the trainers now, instead of the whales, and it seems daft. No-one cares about your special necklace love. Resisting the urge to heckle, we left just before the rest of the teary-eyed imbeciles, and both agreed never again. The other show mind, the almost-live-You’ve-Been-Framed doodah, was great! We are cat-people see and as we were sorely missing our own litter (Luma and Sola) it was nice to see some pussy action. How do they get the cats to open doors anyway? The only trick our three have managed to come up with is pooing in our shoes if they don’t care for the cat-food, then smirking about it afterwards. Mind you, they’ve since learnt that smirking is indeed bad for their health, as a boot to their buttons can offend.

Coming to the end of the day, there were only a couple of things left on the map to do. Clearly, as you can see, we chose the most masculine attraction of them all, and spent a gay twenty minutes paddling our pink swan (Laura Labia) around the tiny paddling area. All the other swans were filled with little children delighted by the splashing water but we don’t really care for recommended age limits. We had to come back to the jetty once our swan started listing perilously when we were trying to get a nice photo of the two of us. It was JUST like the Herald of Free Enterprise. The last thing was the Skyride Tower, and I just couldn’t do it. I have no idea why, heights don’t faze me, but I think I was worried about having a panic attack whilst up there because it moves so slowly. Maybe next time. A couple more rides on Manta just to ram home how good it was, then we set off for the Wyndham.

Seaworld seems to be a divisive place, doesn’t it? I see a lot of people seeing that they will miss the park out of their schedule as there isn’t much to do. I disagree – they’ve now got two of the best coasters in Orlando, plus plenty for people to look at. It’s a nice day out, less pressured than Disney, more organised than Universal. I’m not so keen on the cooped-up animals but there again, Seaworld do a lot of good for the sick and poorly critters, so it’s a bit catch-22. Ah well. Let’s not  get too deep. This is my big gay trip report, not Peer bloody Gynt.

We ended the day with a meal in TGI Fridays. They’re so different to their English counterparts. The last time we visited one of these in England we were served by staff more interested in talking to each other than serving the customers and the food was horrible. The American version could not have been more different. Our waiter actually sat outside with us for a while asking about England and brought us a little box to take our free desserts back with. I know he was chasing a tip but still, it’s always good to feel welcome. The food was delicious and we worked our way down the cocktail list – it’s about the only place where I can order a Woowoo and still feel comfortable. We walked home – got offered many a lift from those pedicab things where you can sit in the back and let someone cycle you back to the hotel but I didn’t fancy having to pay his medical bills for thigh strain, so we declined. Throbbing feet though, but Paul sorted me out by giving it a good rub so all was well. As for my feet, I just stuck them in the fridge for a bit. Kaboomtish! Day twelve: DONE.


OK, so onto the apple pie. I’ll just park this here…

apple pie

Seriously though, how good is that? This is what you’ll need:

for the apple pie (to make 1):

  • 115g of chopped apple (if you don’t believe in tweaking, this is 3 syns, if you’re tweak, it’s syn-free)
  • a tsp of sweetener (gasp)
  • a squirt of lemon juice
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 5g of sultanas (25g is 3.5 syns – so this works out at less than a syn, but let’s call it 1 syn for ease)
  • 25g of Tesco Lighter puff pastry (4 syns)

to create the apple pie:

  • stew the apple by putting the chopped pieces into a pan with a few tablespoons of water, some cinnamon and the sweetener, put the lid on and let it sit on a medium heat until the apple turns mushy
  • break it up with a fork but leave some lumps
  • put into a pie dish
  • take your lump of pastry and roll it nice and thin – then use a pizza wheel or a sharp knife to cut into stripes and lattice across the top of the pie dish. You could decide to cut the pastry into stars or something – but trust me, 25g will go far if you just stretch it!
  • rub a drop or two of milk across the pastry, sprinkle with cinnamon and put into the oven for around thirty minutes on 180degrees – keep an eye on it

to drop five syns:

  • substitute the pastry (4 syns) for 35g of oats mixed with cinnamon
  • miss out the sultanas

for the ice-cream (this serves four reasonably or two greedily):

  • chop up four large bananas and freeze the pieces (takes around two hours)
  • in a decent blender, blend the frozen bananas until smooth, adding syn-free natural fat-free greek yoghurt to loosen a little
  • add a drop or two of vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon
  • pop it into a freezer-proof dish and allow to settle
  • serve!

I’m off to hide under a flameproof blanket. But look at it above, it’s a thing of beauty.

J

full english breakfast savoury oats

BUGGER: we thought oats were syn free! Not sure why – so we cooked the breakfast below without thinking and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it was only when an eagle-eyed reader (hello Lisa!) pointed out our mistake that we realised! So this comes out at 12 syns a portion. Good lord. Tasty mind…very rare we cock up but oops!

Oooh has there every been a more dramatic, more twist-filled, more suspenseful storyline than Eastender’s Who Killed Lucy plot? Yes, many times. Anyway, everyone knows she was killed by some livid fashion designer who grew tired of her wearing that awful grey bloody suit.

Paul broke The Rule today. We both agreed that we wouldn’t buy each other a Valentines gift because we’re saving up for something big, and for once in my life I decided to stick to it. Normally I roll my eyes and buy a gift anyway whenever people do that – my nana is a particular bugger for it – ‘OOOH DON’T MAKE A FUSS ETC’ but if you turned up on Christmas Day with a card, well-wishes and lack of present, she’d sit there like you’d swapped her sherbet lemons for hard-boiled piss. But no, this year I stuck to the rules, and Paul promptly presented me with a new bottle of Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver – my favourite scent in the whole world. He’d done well, soaked in all my hints in the car journey on the way home from work, gone to John Lewis and promptly forgot the name and scent – managed to find it by describing it to the perfume lady and through scent alone! Normally I smell like chips and shame, so it’ll make a change to smell all classy like. In my defence, I did ask him whether he’d want a Vivienne Westwood necklace that I’d seen, but he replied by saying that it was a bit too gay. It’s as if the last eight years of sodomy and frotting never happened.

Nevertheless, I had a trick up my sleeve. I’ve secured a white t-shirt out of the wardrobe, hastily printed a picture of Barack Obama on it and turned it into my ‘YES, WE CAN’ shirt, meaning that if he asks me to do something, the answer will automatically be yes. It’s fun and it’s free – what price dignity? I’m glad we don’t own a pool though, a day like this can easily end up turning sour (the “Barrymore Effect”) and the last thing I want is to be found face-down in a swimming pool with a bumhole like a windsock and ‘anal trauma’ on my death certificate. So lord knows what I’ll end up doing today, but at least I’m not The Worst Husband in the World anymore.

Paul’s Valentines card to me was ace, though:

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And mine, in return, was equally as lovely:

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Mine’s printed on recycled ice-lolly sticks, meaning I’d already given Paul wood by the time we had got out of bed this morning, which I’m sure you’ll agree is incredibly efficient. I only noticed one of the whales had lipstick and mascara on when I got the card home, but that’s alright, we’re both confident young men who are at ease with our roles.

Speaking of roles, or rolls, you want to lose some – so here’s today’s breakfast recipe. I wanted to do something nice for breakfast that hasn’t been done yet, and this hits the target. If you’re a fan of overnight oats, give this a whirl – it’s a savoury use for the oats, and creates a thick, stodgy but delicious breakfast, using all the main bits of a full cooked breakfast!

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to make full english breakfast savoury oats you will need:

400g normal oats that you’d use for porridge but not ones with added sugar – you’re allowed 35g for a HEB, so I worked out that if everyone was using their HEB, that leaves 260g of oats, which is around forty five syns each – so for the sake of argument, that’s around 11.5 syns per portion, two stock cubes made into 800ml of stock with a tsp of soy sauce added, 2 onions very finely chopped, a pack of Weight Watchers Cumberland Sausages (4 syns per pack, this serves four, so these will be half a syn) – take four and take the skin off, crumble the sausagemeat into a bowl, and set the other four aside, two eggs, a handful of cherry tomatoes quartered, bacon medallions cut into thin strips, salt, pepper, chilli flakes.

to make full english breakfast savoury oats you should:

get everything chopped and ready to go. You’ll need two frying pans here. In one, cook off the onion and bacon until nice and soft and cooked through, then chuck in the sausage meat. In the other pan, gently fry off the sausages (or you can use an Actifry for this). Let the sausages in both pans cook through, add the tomatoes to the onion and sausagemeat, still cook. Once the whole sausages are cooked, set aside and chop into discs when cool. To make the savoury porridge, tip the oats and soy/stock into a microwaveable bowl, cook for about two minutes until it goes nice and stodgy, then chuck the lot into the bacon and onion and tomato mix and cook off on a medium heat to dry it out a bit. Whilst that’s occuring, fry off two eggs in your other pan that had the sausages on. Assemble on a plate, add the sausage discs, fried egg and lots of black pepper and salt.

extra-easy: well, no – there’s not 1/3 superfree in there, but you could have a few pieces of fruit during the day to counter it. Let your hair down, it’s Valentines Day.

Listen, seriously now – try this. It was delicious – almost a bit haggis-like. You could add chilli sauce, use different sausages, add peppers, all sorts. It’s stodgy, filling and very tasty!

By the way, it was totally Abi who killed Lucy, with Max helping to cover it up. Cheers.

chocolate orange rainbow fudge

Breaking with tradition a little here, but I thought I’d post something I made a while back for a bake sale at work. Before you all start trying to eat the monitor, this is definitely not a slimming world friendly recipe. Given there are only two ingredients – condensed milk and chocolate, with some colouring and flavouring on the side, I think Margaret, our fearless leader, would be furious if I even attempted to work out the syns. So, in the spirit of oncoming Christmas, I’m not going to! Here it is, behold in all of its wonder…

Admittedly, this isn’t something you’d eat a lot of, but it is so easy to make and looks amazing. Sadly, it is also fairly expensive to make if you don’t have the colours and flavours in already.

Here is what you need – 1.1kg of white chocolate, 710g of condensed milk. Orange essence, chocolate essence. Gel colours. Cheap chocolate works fine in this recipe because you’re not eating a lot of it, or at least you shouldn’t if you want to live past thirty and not be buried in a piano box. A quick work on the colourings, I use Wilton gels from Lakeland, as adding liquid into this mix can cause problems, but a small drop of colouring should be alright. As for flavourings, try and use essence rather than flavouring, they are more expensive to buy but last longer as you don’t need so much. Again, I buy mine from Lakeland.

The key here is to take your time. The first three layers, if you have slightly angled loaf tin, need slightly less ingredients than the top three. So, if you have an angled tin, use 167g of chocolate and 115g of condensed milk for the bottom three layers, and 200g of chocolate and 125g of milk for the top three. Line a loaf tin with foil, allowing some foil to hang over the side so you can lift the fudge out later, taking time to smooth out the edges and get it nice and crinkle free. If you have a straight loaf tin, just divide your ingredients by six so you have uniform layers.

For your first layer, which in my case was pink, put your chocolate and milk into a bowl and melt in the microwave. Gently. You want to stop every ten seconds or so and stir, and you stop microwaving when there are a few bits left in there, as the residual heat will melt them when you stir. Add a drop or two of essence, chocolate in this case, and a drop of food colouring. Mix well, don’t be stingy with the time you take, as the better you mix, the nicer the finished product will look. Once you are happy with it, pour it into the loaf tin, taking time not to get it down the sides and keeping it tidy. Let it settle for a moment or two, making sure it has reached all corners, and then lift the tin and sharply tap it on the worktop a few times, which breaks any bubbles inside the fudge. You’ll always get some, but this minimises it. Now pop it into the freezer and go do something else for forty minutes – you want the fudge to be cold with almost a skin on it, as this will stop the next layer from melting into the one below.

Now, it’s a case of building it up, repeating the above process for each layer, remembering to alternate the flavours and taking time to make sure the chocolate has melted but not seized, the bubbles are out and that you pour carefully. Remember to slightly adjust to compensate for your angled tin.

Once the sixth layer is complete, pop it in the fridge for a good few hours, and I actually prefer overnight. The more time you give it to set the better. When you’re ready to serve, very gently lift out the fudge using the foil handles and carefully unwrap. You should have a block of fudge which doesn’t look great until you start trimming the rough edges off and cutting it into pieces. Lovely! A top tip: pop your knife in warm water before cutting, and make sure it is sharp for good clean lines with no blended colour. Wipe the knife each time you cut a piece. Enjoy!

You can tinker with the flavours, the colours or the look of this very easily, and why not, if you’re not confident, have a trial run with two layers just to get the jist of it…

Finally, credit to the original recipe goes to the wonderful, talented Yoyomax, who continues to inspire on YouTube. Great work.

Enjoy!

J

ginger nuts

god, sometimes you just need to shake the icing sugar / male pattern baldness out of your hair and cut loose in your kitchen. I love to bake and before we started this diet, I was forever baking biscuits and bread and delicious things. Now, the official Slimming World line is that you can still have treats on your diet and you can, but really, not these bad boys, given they only contain butter, golden syrup, ginger, 1 egg and a bit of bicarb. I was asked to make 50 ginger snaps for a harvest festival (not my thing, but it’s work), and who am I to say no? So, in the nature of this being NAUGHTY and DIRTY and FORBIDDEN on a diet blog, I’ve made the recipe card a bit saucy.

I say a bit, it’s just filth.

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Recipe: 115g unsalted butter, 85g golden syrup, medium egg, 200g caster sugar, 350g self-raising flour, two teaspoons of chopped stem ginger in syrup, tablespoon of ginger, teaspoon of bicarb. Melt butter and syrup, let that cool. Add all dry ingredients into mixer. Add cold butter/syrup and one beaten egg. Beat in the mixer until one big lump. Divide into 20, cook for 15 mins on 170. Easy! Enjoy with a dry sherry, a teabag or a Cleveland steamer, whatever takes your fancy.

Oh, and for heaven’s sake, if you are prudish, please don’t google what a Cleveland steamer is. No, don’t. Seriously.

This makes 20 biscuits. SEE? Admire my tin!

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Back to slimming tomorrow! This shows though, you can still carry on your normal life whilst on slimming world – I had one biscuit and counted it as ten syns. Of course I was thick, I should have had ten syns and counted as one. Leave and learn.

Goodnight.