slow cooker: sticky fruity pulled pork burger

Have to be quick tonight, as we’re going out to a drive-in to watch Inside Out. I’m not going to lie, it’ll be unusual for Paul and I to be parked by the seafront at night without a lorry driver poking his knob through the passenger side window, but we’ll give it a go. I’m kidding, we don’t do that. We found a deal for said drive-in on LivingSocial and thought, well why not. We wanted to see Grease but apparently the good people in South Shields beat us to it, which is surprising as I genuinely didn’t think you could drive a car with webbed fingers.

My facebook woes continue – I’ve just been deleted from the Newcastle ‘Pick Up My Tat’ (swapping) page for pointing out that someone’s light-up, flashing, disco headboard is one of the tackiest things I’ve ever seen. Someone with a name that sounds like a company that manufactures t-shirts for a market stall (Demi-Marie?) kicked off, said I had no right ‘dissing her bed’ and blocked me. You can just imagine how devastated I am.

Seriously mind, who orders a bed with a flashing headboard? Humans do two things in bed – sleep and shag. Neither of those activities are helped by a bed that looks like the world’s shittest nightclub. Either you’re going to be kept awake by a bed that resembles the back of a lorry making a three-point-turn on a country lane or you’re going to be held off your vinegar strokes by a seizure. 

Let’s quickly discuss that John Lewis advert, shall we? This one?

Yeah yeah. I’m sure your facebook walls have been awash with emoticons of crying faces and people posting statuses like ‘OMG!!!Q1 TEURS STREEMING DOWN MY ARSE SO SAD’ and the noise of thousands upon thousands of mooing cattle trying to outdo themselves with sentimental guff and tearful reactions. Well honestly. Have a Mars Bar and man the fuck up. I don’t understand the fuss and frothing over the various John Lewis adverts, truly I don’t, and I’m not just saying that to be wicked-cool. They’re pretty to look at, yes, but so is a rainbow, and that doesn’t mawkishly yank on my heartstrings like a coked up campanologist. This advert, featuring a dirty old bugger sitting on the moon lamenting his bail conditions and spying on a wee lass in her pyjamas…well, it doesn’t scream Christmas, does it? Aside from that bit where Alexis and Alexander sit down in their Farrow & Ball coated dining room for a split-second of sprout-eating before letting their child get back to hurling paper out of the window, it’s about as Christmassy as an Easter egg. And that bloody song – is there a piece of software that takes any decent piece of music and runs it through a filter so it sounds like the dying gasp of a sparrow? Pfft. 

Mind, I’m a massive hypocrite, because I love the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert. I do! But there is a giant cat in it, so you know, I can be excused. I laugh at the sentiment though – I can tell you now that if we had a house fire, some of our neighbours wouldn’t be coming around with plates of food and beaming faces. No, we’d get them traipsing across our lawn moaning that there was ash blowing on their washing and could we please do something about the smoke because poor Colin’s asthmatic and he’s two puffs from running out of Ventolin. 

Anyway, tonight’s recipes makes enough for eight. I know we said we’d try and stay away from pulled pork, but well, we had to do it once, and put into burgers…well, it’s amazing.  Plus, if you have any meat left over, you can cook it down with pasta and tomatoes and make a very quick lunch. So there.


Come on, admit it. You want to push your face into that and shake it all about. Before anyone asks, the chips are from our perfect roasties recipe, found here.

to make fruity pulled pork burgers, you’ll need:

to make fruity pulled pork burgers, you should:

  • mince your garlic, chop your onion, tip everything bar the coleslaw and bun into a slow cooker and cook for nine hours on low
  • remove the pork, put on a plate and pull apart with two forks
  • tip the sauce into a frying pan and heat it on high to reduce it right down
  • tip in the pork and stir, getting everything nice and sticky and thick
  • serve!

The breadbun is your HEB – if you have two, don’t forget to syn the extra bun.

Any leftover pork can be turned into this:


Just make a sauce of tomatoes, chopped artichoke, onion and garlic and add the meat in. Heat through and serve with pasta! 



cuban mojito pork with pineapple salsa

Firstly let me apologise for any spelling errors that may arise during this post – we have finally unpacked our super shiny iMac and I’m not used to the tiny keyboard. I feel it is made for delicate, straw-like fingers to dance over, not having my hairy sausage digits pummel away at it like a sailor applying lip gloss to a £10 hooker. WOW there’s a sentence you didn’t expect.

We bought the Mac because we are pretentious, shallow bastards it is a lot easier to edit the blog photos on, which means you better hurry along and buy a billion copies of my book to pay for the fucker. It wasn’t hard to win Paul round – he has such a love of polished metal and smooth edges that I’m surprised he isn’t dryhumping the Micra on the side. But everything about using a Mac is different from a Windows computer. Even navigating using this tiny mouse is proving a bloody chore, yes it’s fair enough taking away the buttons and relying on me using gestures but so far the only gesture I’ve managed is calling it a dick and scratching my foot with it.

In fact, it almost looks like a sex toy, all slick and polished – but it would be a boring person’s sex toy, something slipped into a pastel handbag and wheeled out between  accountancy seminars at various Days Inn across the country. It would be called something yawnsome like ‘Pleasure Max’ or ‘Orb’. Amateurs. Everyone knows a good sex toy needs to be tapped into the National Grid and come with an instruction manual on DVD, called something like ‘The Ripper’ or ‘Uvula-nudga’. Anyway. One thing I do like is how sharp everything looks – it’s in 5k, which is apparently like HD but even better. Even better than 4k. Great, now when I watch Jeremy Kyle on catch-up I’ll actually be able to see the sheen of smugness that he has in every pore. I just hope the ultra high definition doesn’t turn online pornography (a healthy part of any modern marriage) into a disturbingly accurate affair – god knows bumholes aren’t pretty to look at in soft-focus, let alone splayed in billions of colours and filling the screen like a flattened sea anenome.

The Mac does look good in our new living room, and the good news is that we’re almost finished with decorating. We’ve got someone coming around to hang our artwork on the wall, fix the TV to the wall and various other little odds and sods, someone coming around to fix the alarm and then finally, the house is our own and we don’t have to make small-talk with anyone but the cats every again. Yesterday was a painful case in point – we had a chap around to install new blinds throughout and because I’d responded to his question of ‘How do you like them hung’ with ‘Well’, Paul retired me to the kitchen to research recipes.

What this actually meant was I got to eavesdrop on Paul making small-talk and the good news is that he’s even worse than me at it. Clearly both Paul and the blinds man were hard of hearing because every sentence by one of them was met with a ‘pardon’ from the other, then an ‘EH’, then Paul clearly doing that thing where he hasn’t heard a word of what was said but is too embarrassed to ask him to repeat it. At one point, he answered the question ‘What do you do for a living’ with ‘absolute junkies’ and that killed the conversation dead. Like the good husband that I am, I just spent the two hours laughing into my fist and trying not to fart too loudly.

One thing we’ve learned from all of this decorating is that buying furniture is a bloody chore. We can’t buy stuff in shops because we’re too common for the posh shops and too posh for B&M, so we’re stuck buying things online, which is fine to a point until you order what you think is a cushion and you get a 7ft beanbag delivered. I mean it looks nice enough but work don’t half raise their eyebrows when they have to hoick that into the lift. We’ve bought most of our new stuff from which has been a revelation, but we’ve tried shopping local for all the accessories and bits and bobs. What a waste of time. Since when did it become acceptable to half-arsedly rub a bit of sandpaper over a shitty chest of drawers from IKEA and call it vintage or even worse, distressed. Distressed? I certainly was, I could barely stop the tears. There’s a shop near us absolutely rammed full of the sort of trinkets and sculptures you’d imagine someone who has the word ‘healer’ in their job-title to have littering their house and it is quite genuinely one of the worst places I’ve ever been to. And I’ve been to Southend, remember. (I’m joking, before I get any barely-understandable voicemails left). Who decides that what they really need for their house is a friggin’ incense burner made from a rusty tin and a feeling of malaise? 

My mother, god love her, looks a bit of chintz and tat, saying it makes a home – well, that’s one gene that didn’t make it down the line to me, I can tell you. For a woman of normal, reasonable taste, she refused for all of my teenage life to throw away what I consider to be the ugliest statue I’ve ever seen. It was a grinning monkey dressed as a waiter holding a tray. It looked to all the world like the final thing a demented mind might see before the hands of hell grabbed your ankle. I dreamed of kicking it down the stairs or accidentally setting fire to it (I’m not sure how well stone would burn in a Hotpoint oven but fuck me I longed for the chance to try) but my mother was fair attached to it. A quick look online suggests I can buy one for around £150, which might actually be money well spent if it meant I could fulfil a fantasy. I note you can buy a similar statue in the shape of a rooster – that would certainly be more suited to our house, given how much we’re fans of large cocks in our bedroom, but still.

Mother, if you’re reading this, it really is your only decorating faux-pas.

Tonight’s recipe then. As part of Musclefood’s generous care package, we were given some of their pork loin steaks to try. I struggle with pork, I always think that unless it is done really well, you might as well chew your arm. It’s what I imagine human flesh to taste like. Nevertheless, these steaks looked juicy and plump, just how we liked them. You can buy Musclefood’s pork steaks right here along with all their other marvellous meats. It’ll open in a new tab, don’t worry. I know I might sound like a corporate shill but I promise you, if they tasted like farts and nothingness, I’d tell you. As it is, they’re thick as a sadist’s slipper and juicier than a happy orange. Or something. Actually thinking about it, they’re no more expensive for pork than Tesco, so you’ll be reet. Take a look!

A bit of research was done as to what we can cook with them and Paul came up with a recipe for ‘Cuban Mojito pork’. The only thing I associate with Cuba, because I always revert lazily to stereotypes, is cigars. They’re about the only thing I occasionally miss about smoking. Before I joined my current job, I almost took up a job managing a cigar and pipe shop in Newcastle. How different my life could have been, dispensing cherry tobacco to whiskery old buggers and burning my eyebrows with the cigar lighters. 

Paul and I used to be members of a mail order cigar club that would send out a variety of different cigars every month – I always remember one month they sent a cigar that looked like a bloody roll of carpet – I could barely get it in my mouth, and let me tell you, that’s a problem I almost never have. It took about ten minutes to light the bugger (I had to use the grill function on the oven) and it was enjoyable for approximately sixteen seconds before the emphysema kicked in. There’s something inherently butch about cigars, well, decent cigars – mincing along with a Café Crème  that you’ve lit with a novelty lighter shaped like a phallus doesn’t quite have the same gravitas. 

Oh, if you’re wondering how this is mojito, well, I dunno. It has mint in it. There’s no alcohol in it, so if you’re shaking your way through this blog entry in the hope of getting a fix, have yourself a morning gin and a packet of Polos and get a grip.

cuban mojito pork

to make cuban mojito pork, you’re gonna need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (6 syns)
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 150ml of orange juice (we use Tropicano 50/50, which is 1 syn per 100ml) (1.5 syns)
  • 50g coriander leaves  (a good handful)
  • 5g mint leaves  (about 8 big leaves)
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • pack of pork steaks

to make cuban mojito pork, you should:

  • add all of the ingredients (except the pork, salt and pepper) into a food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped into a nice green paste that you definitely wouldn’t like oozing out of any hole on your body
  • if you don’t have a food processor simply chop the coriander and mint, and grate the garlic and mix together
  • pour the mixture a into a sandwich bag or sealed container, add the pork and mix everything together
  • leave for a few hours, or overnight in the fridge
  • when ready to cook, preheat the oven to 220 degrees
  • remove the pork from the mixture and discard the remaining marinade (you’ll actually lose a few syns this way, hence I’m only putting this down as 1.5 syns each)
  • place the pork onto a rack over a baking tray and add salt and pepper, just a pinch of each mind
  • roast the pork for around twenty minutes until it is lightly browned
  • reduce the heat to 190 degrees and cook for another ten minutes
  • transfer the meat onto a chopping board, cover with foil and let it rest for twenty minutes – don’t worry if it’s black – that’s intentional!
  • serve with plain rice and pineapple salsa.

hang on, pineapple salsa? shit-a-doo, forgot to give you that recipe. OK, you’ll need:

  • a few rings of fresh pineapple (use the rest in a fruit salad)
  • two ripe tomatoes
  • half an onion, chopped
  • handful of coriander leaves
  • one green chilli
  • 1/2tsp of cumin
  • 1/2tsp of salt to taste
  • 1 minced garlic clove

to make pineapple salsa, you’ll need to:

  • chop everything into uniform small cubes
  • mix
  • put in your mouth
  • enjoy
  • turn into poo


Fuck me ragged, that was a long entry, was it not? I spoil you.


bacon wrapped tenderloin with a balsamic and strawberry dressing

Just a quick post tonight as we’re busy sorting out Cubs Towers ahead of the Summer of Works. Exciting.

We had a glut of strawberries to use up, I wanted a salad, Paul wanted a roast dinner, so this was the happy compromise. You might wrinkle your nose at the thought of using strawberry but it pairs nicely with pork – think plum sauce with duck and you’ve got the right idea. We served it with roast potatoes which were PERFECT. In fact, let’s cover off how we did our roasties.

roast potatoes

you’ll be needing

  • enough potatoes to fill that echoing belly of yours, cut up into decent chunks
  • Frylight or oil – just a drop or two
  • a lamb Oxo cube
  • an Actifry (if you don’t have one, don’t shit the bed, you can do it in the oven and I’ll cover that in a second


  • squirt the chopped potato with a spritz of spray or a drop of oil
  • chuck in the actifry
  • cook for twenty minutes
  • crumble a lamb Oxo cube on there and splash a good tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce on them
  • cook for another twenty minutes or until they look just right
  • serve!

The Actifry is possibly the best thing we’ve bought since joining Slimming World – not least because it does make genuinely proper tasty chips. You can get others like it but they’re not quite as good (the Airfryer, for example). It’s expensive, but we fry off our meatballs, sausages, chips and potatoes in it with little to no oil. If you’re on the fence about one, take it from us that you won’t regret the expense. You can buy it on Amazon by clicking here. Why not treat yourself?

Too tight for an actifry? Don’t worry. Just put them in the oven for 20 minutes, take them out, shake them, splash them and crumble that cube on the top, and cook again. The key is letting them sit for a few minutes before they cook for the second time.

I’ve seen a lot of people gobble on about those Oxo potatoes where you cook them half submerged in stock…well yes, but then you end up getting potatoes that look like athletes foot, all soft and crinkled and mushy. If that works for you, champion, but I’m not quite at the stage in my life where I need to gum my food. Try the above! 

Anyway, the main event:

sliced pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon

you’ll be needing this (this serves 4):

  • pork tenderloin – with fat removed, ours was around 1kg
  • eight slices of bacon with fat removed (if only it was that easy!)
  • 300g of strawberries, nicely ripe, sliced
  • 125ml of balsamic vinegar
  • three cloves of garlic
  • bag of rocket

and then, once you’ve finished being all hysterical, do this:

  • wrap the tenderloin in bacon – use cocktail sticks to secure if you want
  • put it into the oven on 200 degrees for 30 minutes, then take it out and turn it over and cook for another thirty minutes
  • meanwhile, finely chop (remember: buy a mini chopper, easier, and no stinkin’ fingers) the garlic and pop in a pan over a medium high heat with a drop of oil or a squirt of Frylight
  • cook for around two minutes until slightly golden
  • add the balsamic vinegar and half of the strawberries
  • bring to a boil and then allow to simmer for ten minutes – your kitchen will smell lovely at this point
  • once the second half of the pork is done, take it out, baste it with a few tablespoons of the balsamic strawberries and whack it under the grill for about two minutes to colour it
  • throw the other half of the sliced strawberries into the balsamic pan just so you get a nice difference in texture 
  • remove the pork, cut into thick slices, serve on the rocket with a drizzle of the balsamic and strawberry sauce
  • enjoy, you posh bastard.

Here, I was GOING to call it a reduction, because I suppose it is, but that’s just too wank, even for me!



guinness pulled pork with colcannon rosti

For week three, we’re going to…the Republic of Ireland!


Listen, I shit you not, that was the third country on the list – we’re not just doing easy recipes! Luxembourg is next week. Goodness. Our recipe is perhaps a bit obvious but, no word of a lie, one of the nicest I’ve ever done on Slimming World – Guinness Pulled Pork with a colcannon rosti and minted peas. But before we get there…

I don’t know if anyone watches The Middle but there’s a character called Sue who is permanently happy – the very antithesis of me. She conducts an experiment where she smiled at people to see if a smile was as contagious as a yawn. It WASN’T. But, you know, we don’t smile enough, so I thought I’d do the same thing – smile at random people as I trundled around M&S before work this morning. Well, fuck me, that whole stereotype of Geordies being a friendly bunch couldn’t be further off the mark – at least first thing on a rainy Tuesday morning. At best, most people reacted like they’d seen their own bumhole and didn’t care for the colour, at worst I felt like I was at considerable risk of being stabbed in the beck. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a natural smile, one of those egregious, winning grins that can melt the stoniest of hearts and set gussets aflutter – it’s more a lopsided leer that looks like I’m simultaneously dropping off my yoghurt and trying not to fart. No wonder no-one smiled back save for one lady, and she had a better beard than I did.

But isn’t that a shame? I love it when people smile heartily at me or engage me in idle chit-chat. Put me in a room where I’m supposed to socialise and I’ll stand there like the world’s gayest hat-stand, all mute and agog. Stick me next to an old biddy in a bus-stop and I’ll be waxing lyrical in no time, revelling in her bawdy tales of bus delays and the minutiae of her family tree. I can chat away to the checkout assistant in a supermarket until the cows come home, are milked, that milk sold for negative value and put back in my trolley for me to go ‘OOOH the price of milk’ at the cashier. Interestingly, I’ve had it pointed out that my accent changes depending on who I talk to – I got out of a taxi the other day and it took me about five minutes to stop talking like Jimmy Nail shouting a warning across a quarry. I find that if I’m in a situation where I’m not sure how someone is going to take my sexuality (up the arse, generally), I’ll ‘man up’ the voice a bit – not that I sound like some lisping Monroe-esque harlequin you understand, but because I don’t want to be found with my face caved in on an abandoned industrial park. You never know.

The problem with doing this is that it then invites some pretty bleak persiflage between me as a passenger and them as a driver. The last taxi driver I encountered asked me what car I drove – when I answered with ‘White, DS3’ he immediately dismissed it as a pussy car and told me to get a decent motor to ‘attract the lasses’. Because, you know, his Skoda Octavia in syphilis yellow was clearly a clit-magnet. Nothing says sex machine like a beaded seat cover, poorly-masked body odour and Smooth FM playing over the speakers. Moron. Not the worst taxi driver I ever had mind – I once got the offer to ‘pay my fare’ an alternative way with the altogether more direct result of the taxi driver pulling over two hundred yards from my front door and getting his knob out – I wouldn’t have been as offended if there had been miles on the clock but he’d only driven me around the town moor – two miles at best. I’m surprised he’d had time to turn his indicators off. I politely declined – well, as politely as you can when someone offers to effectively pay you £4.40 for oral sex – and threw a fistful of coins at him. Plus, on a purely shallow note, it looked like he had half a smoked cigarette sticking out of his zip. I mean make it worth my while, honestly. It looked like the whistle on an aeroplane lifejacket.

How the hell did we get onto that from smiling at people? Course correction needed! Have a recipe! Guinness pulled pork with Colcannon rosti!


It’s going to be easy for me to break this down into the colcannon and the pork one at a time. For the peas, you want a tin of peas and a bit of mint sauce. If you can’t figure out how to make those work, then god help us all.

to make the Guinness pulled pork you will need: 

500ml bottle of guinness (9 syns), good hunk of pork (I use shoulder, but take the fat off it – normally enough to serve 6), one big red onion. Make a rub of 1tbsp paprika, 2tsp of salt, 1tsp of garlic powder and 1/2tsp of freshly cracked black pepper. Rub it all over the meat, slice the onion, put the onion into the slow cooker, followed by the Guinness, followed by the lid and cook for 10 hours on low. If, at the end of the cooking, you want to thicken the liquid a little, just sprinkle in an oxo cube and whack it on high for half an hour.

to make the colcannon rosti you will need:

 half a bag of spring greens, 800g of potatoes (peeled, cooked and mashed), bacon with the fat cut off, 200ml of milk (use some of your healthy extra allowance but remember this serves 4 so you’re not using much at all), tsp of wholegrain mustard (1/2 syn, but again…between four), bit of oil. Cook the mash, push it through a ricer so it’s nice and smooth. Don’t have a ricer? Get one here and thank me later.Leave aside to cool. Boil the spring greens in the milk with some mustard mixed in. Drain when cooked and chop finely. Cook off the bacon in little chunks. Add the potato, cabbage and bacon into one mixing bowl and season very well. Shape into discs and put into a dry NON-STICK frying pan. Cook on both sides for 5 minutes to get a good crust. Serve!

This isn’t authentic colcannon – there isn’t lots of cream and butter, the creamy taste is achieved by using a ricer, but a good amount of mashing by hand will do the same thing!

There we have it. Not very authentic but fucking tasty and reasonably easy to make. If you can’t be arsed making the rostis, just chuck the lot into a pyrex dish and cook in the oven for a bit!

Enjoy, enjoy.


the sunday roast

Right – a heads up, which may be a bad choice of words for the little bit of explaining that I’m going to be doing – this blog post might be a little saucy. Oh my! Skip the next lot of paragraphs if you’d rather just get to the good bit.

You have to be super careful typing our blog name into google. Why? Because it can bring up a lot of filthy results if it is incorrectly spelled, just like one slip of the keys can make a weekend in Scunthorpe altogether less palatable. Thanks to the traffic we receive to the blog, we’re number one if you search for ‘chubby cubs’ but if you look down, there’s a fair few blogs that aren’t quite for vanilla eyes!

So let me explain the name of the blog – the two and the chubby bit is obvious, we’re a couple of gentleman of generous scale. But the cubs bit might be less obvious. See, in the gay world, aside from all the rainbows, magic dust and blistering fisting sessions, there’s a tendency to group male types by an animal name. Breaking them down, very very loosely, and tongue completely in (bum)cheek:

bear: a bear is a more masculine looking bloke – bearded, hairy, generally stocky or fat, normally has a wardrobe full of plaid shirts, fan of Kate Bush;

cub: a younger version of a bear, generally equally hairy, more stereotypically masculine in traits, might order a Guinness in a pub rather than a blue WKD and a fingering;

otter: more difficult – because not all bears are fat, stocky and of course you get people in all different shades, a thin hairy bear might be described as an otter. Presumably because he is generally ‘otter than most people under all that hirsuteness;

chicken – which became twink, I think – a young, attractive, usually slender or physically fit slip of a man. Again, very generally speaking, perhaps camper than most, more effeminate.

Of course, all boundaries are meaningless and it’s also a rather outdated way of looking at things – being able to grow a beard and light a cigar without coughing your lungs up doesn’t make you more masculine, whereas knowing the lyrics to every Alcazar song in Swedish and English doesn’t necessarily make you less of a man. Well…

Our problem is – we’re almost at the tipping point where we’d probably be classed as ‘bears’ rather than ‘cubs’ because we’re getting on, but frankly two chubby bears doesn’t scan right. Two Busomesque Bears? Two Beefy Butterballs? Actually, I quite like that one, but fuck me our porn warnings would skyrocket.

Oh, as an aside, those girls who seem to only have gay men as friends? Like my ex-flatmate who exclaimed we could go shopping together and sort each other’s hair out? She got short shrift. But they have many sarcastic terms too – fruit flies, fag hags, queer dears…

That’s enough of that, anyway. Speaking of beef, here’s dinner this evening – a proper roast dinner!


to make the sunday roast, you should…

I don’t really need to break down a recipe, because it’s all a sum of its parts, but this is more to show you can have a big bloody dinner on SW and not lose out. Broken down:

  • roast beef – syn free joint from Tesco’s reduced bin – reduced from £9 to £2, and bloody lovely!
  • broccoli – steamed
  • peas – tinned
  • carrots and parsnips – done in the Actifry with a tiny tiny bit of oil
  • mash – sweet potato and normal potato mashed together
  • turnip – it’s the singing turnip from this recipe
  • roasties – we tried to do the Oxo roasties that everyone bangs on about and got it wrong, so we’re going to do them another time and post a recipe!

Now you could have gravy – 100ml is 1.5syns, which is bugger all, but don’t drown your dinner in gravy, it’s terribly common. Paul puts mint sauce on his beef and I end up wincing my way through the meal. But he cooked tonight’s tea so he’s let off with love.


pulled pork, sauteed leeks and mature cheese pizza

It’s time for my weekly hello and welcome to our new readers (and old) (well not old, various ages) (shush) – hope you enjoy the blog! Comments always take a while to be approved as I have the age-old problem of working during the day but I’ll always get to them in the end. Anyway, as welcoming as I’m being, I’m in a foul mood. Why? Well…

I know I’ve twittered on about driving a lot lately but it does cause ever so much of the rage I have swirling around in me like violent, piss-coloured clouds. For example, every day I join the A1, and every single day I conscientiously allow someone in front of me at the congested slip-road at Seaton Burn, exactly like you’re supposed to. Almost every bloody day the driver in front never acknowledges the fact I’ve slowed to let them in, and most of the time, you can see their oily face illuminated by their phone as they merge whilst checking Facebook. I wish they’d amend the Highway Code to make it legal to carry cement blocks in the passenger seat, and for me to launch said brick through their back window and stot it off the back of their heads. It really makes me fizz!

Mind, there’s one thing worse than that and that’s arseholes who don’t indicate, which I know everyone moans about, but it makes me grind my teeth into an enamel mist. If I’m tootling along merrily overtaking people and some barely functioning addlepate – almost exclusively in a spotlessly clean white Range Rover, company-paid-for Vauxhall Insignia or a spunk coloured Seat Mii driven recklessly – pulls in front of me, I can actually feel my eyes push my glasses down my nose as they’re bulging so much. Of course I immediately spend 10 minutes doing highly theatrical hand gestures like I’m guiding a plane to an airport gate in the pitch black, but it never soothes me. Someone actually shrugged their shoulders and did a ‘BUT WHAT CAN I DO’ expression with their hands. At a time like that, the only rational thing would be to accelerate my car through their back window, but sadly, the law is against me.

I feel better for typing that, actually – even though I had to restart halfway through as Sola climbed onto my keyboard to show me her teats and hit the backspace key, moving my page back. Bitch – I reckon it’s another one of her classic passive-aggressive moves, like licking my face in the morning until I wake up and then immediately turning around and showing me her pencil-sharpener blinking in the dawn sunlight.

Anyway, enough talk about my cat’s bumhole. Here is the true star of the show – pulled pork, leek and cheese pizza. You know you want it, you filthy bugger.

cheese, pulled pork and leek pizza

leftovers recipe! oh how exciting, I’ve never used that tag before. Remember me waffling on about rollover meals – where you can make another meal from the leftovers of another? Well this little beauty can be made from any leftover pulled pork from this recipe and any leftover dough from this recipe. In fact, that’s something you could get in the habit of doing – making double the amount of dough and freezing half, and keeping some pork frozen in the freezer for just this occasion!

to make pulled pork, sauteed leeks and mature cheese pizza, you’ll need:

ingredientsassuming you have the dough and the pork, you only need your healthy extra portion of mature cheese and a leek! Oh and tomato puree. Obviously.

to make pulled pork, sauteed leeks and mature cheese pizza, you should:

recipe: slice up your leeks. I use this mandolin slicer (Amazon) which stops my poor fingers getting shredded (and you can use it for other things too, and it’s reduced to under a tenner). Put in a pan, tiny bit of water and salt, put lid on, and steam them until they’re softer than your first stool. Yum, right? Slap that dough down on the work surface, stretch it, add the puree, add the pulled pork, add the leeks, add the cheese and then add heat for fifteen minutes. Serve with chips and that smug feeling that you’ve saved some money.

I’m not kidding when I say this has to be one of the nicest fucking pizzas I’ve ever made. To hell with the syns. The picture doesn’t do it justice but if I zoomed in any more it looks like a scabby knee.

extra-easy: yep! The base is 22 syns. Don’t be put off by having to spend your syns, this looks amazing and tastes great. Remember – if the food looks good, it’s half the battle. I know I always say it but listen damnit.


introducing the beastburger!

I’m at a difficult stage in my life. The hour long commute from my home to work has to be done in a car (well no, I could take the bus, but so do so many smelly people and I can’t be done inhaling someone else’s body odour for an hour whilst I try to prevent my cankles brushing theirs) and I’m having trouble selecting a radio station. See, I used to enjoy Radio 1, and I admit that I think Nick Grimshaw is fantastic in the morning, but oh god lord the music. Occasionally there will be a song I enjoy, but most of the time I’m wailing at the radio because of the standard of music. For example, they play Lorde all the god-damn time, and her heaby breathing and straining of every single syllable makes it sound like she’s singing for gold in a COPD clinic talent show. So, I end up stabbing at the buttons and switching to Radio 2.

Radio 2 is alright.

What’s left? I’m not intellectual enough for Radio 4, I’m sick of hearing the same eight pieces of music on Classic FM and, as I’m not a taxi offender, Smooth FM is out of the window. BBC Radio Newcastle consists of people ringing up talking about their ingrown toenails and Metro Radio, which used to be grand back in the day, is fronted by two thick people and a sound effects machine. Bah. I generally end up getting in a huff with myself and singing instead. I could put on a podcast or my own music but I’m too lazy to figure out how the bluetooth works on my car. Ah well.

Anyway, that’s enough from me – here’s the real star of the show today – the beastburger!


I wasn’t sure how to go about giving this a title – I was going to go with “I’ve never had so much meat pressed between my brown buns” but even I blanched at that. But look at it! It’s a thing of beauty.

Now I know, it’s ridiculous. Ridiculously tasty! The syns come from the Heck burger (1 syn) (swap for a chicken breast for a syn-free alternative) and the cheese (Low Low Slices – 2 syns each) which you could very easily leave off, making this giant behemoth syn free! Use your breadbun as a healthy extra. Served with sweet potato chips if you’re feeling especially piggy, this will really fill a hole.

With meat.

To make the pulled pork, use my old recipe here and for the beef burgers, one of the very first recipes I ever made, right here. Easy!


campfire stew or cowboy stew


Well, that was bad planning. Having spent the last three days with a full-house and needing a flush thanks to the meat loaf, tuna and beef stew, I resorted to taking a Senokot Max thinking it might gently move things along at some point this evening. Half an hour later, I’m stuck on the thunderbox crying my life away as the world fell out of my bottom. So I’m not venturing far today, and I might spend the day ironing instead. That’s the main problem with Slimming World – you’re never quite sure whether you’ll be coming or going one day to the next.


I finally gave into Paul’s demands and purchased a tumble dryer. I think he was ashamed at having our George boxers sailing gaily around on the rotary dryer in the garden, with their stretched elastic and rubbed gussets. He still has a piece of underwear from when we first met, he claims they’re the most comfortable pair he’s ever owned and refuses to throw them out. I’m actually surprised they don’t walk out on their own. I railed against getting a tumble dryer for bloody ages because I thought we’d get damp in the house (we can’t have a vented one, there’s no space, so we’ve had to go for a condensing unit) but he won out when he promised me he’d tumble my socks and underwear in the morning before I got out the shower, meaning they’d be warm. Come on, that’s true love right there.

Today’s recipe, breaking with tradition and posting my lunch instead of the evening meal, is the WORLD FAMOUS (in Slimming World circles) campfire stew, given a far more Brokeback Mountain based hilarious name. This is syn-free, makes four servings, and is proper delicious. Also – incredibly easy to make if you have a slow-cooker.


to make campfire stew or cowboy stew:

Well – no real need to break down the ingredients – they’re all above, and the recipe is simple – chop the onion and peppers, add everything into a slow cooker, cook on low for eight hours, pull apart with two forks and serve with chips. You will need to add some superfree on the side to make this exactly right, but as a one-off, I didn’t bother, and just had two satsumas on the side. I know, I’m a devil.

A tip though – don’t, for the love of God, put your gammon straight into the slow cooker from the shop. Prepare it a day before by putting it in a pan of cold water, leaving it to sit, and changing the water every six hours or so. This will draw the salt out – you can do the same by boiling it for a bit, but I think that’ll make it tough. Do the cold water rinse for 24 hours and then cook and it’ll taste so, so much better. If you don’t bother, be prepared for your stew to taste like you’ve rinsed it through the sea at Whitley Bay (only without a turd bobbing around in the slow cooker).

Enjoy! I’m off to cry a bit more and put a loo roll in the fridge for later.