full english breakfast risotto: a perfect bit of stodge

Full English breakfast risotto – not a breakfast recipe, no, but rather a delicious risotto with all the lovely bits of a full English breakfast! Yes it’s indulgent, yes it’ll probably give you blue lips, but it’s so, so good: plus as with all our risottos, it pretty much cooks itself – no clarting about with adding ladles of stock! This is a rollover recipe – you can use the leftover sausages and bacon from yesterday’s recipe of super scrambled eggs to make into this beauty! I mean, I don’t recommend you have them both on the same day, but there’s nothing stopping you cooking off all the sausages and bacon and leaving half aside to make this.

Not a fan of congealed blood and fat and oats? Please: call yourself a blubber-merchant? Feel free to leave it out. If you do, it’s syn free. Top tip for this: once you’ve finished serving it up in that effortlessly stylish way of ours, pop the yolk so it runs through the risotto, mash the tomatoes in and crumble over that black pudding. It’s so, so good!

No chitter-chat tonight as we’re off to the gym. I know: who have we become? But after yesterday’s diatribe I need to stop bumping my lips for a bit.

This serves four, by the way – normal portions. If you’re a greedy sod like me, two massive bowls.

full english breakfast risotto

full english breakfast risotto

to make full english breakfast risotto you will need:

  • 400g arborio rice
  • 3 chicken stock cubes (dissolved in 1 litre of boiling water)
  • 4 low fat sausages, cooked and sliced (see top tips below)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 bacon medallions, cooked and chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 slices of Morrison’s black pudding (9 syns)
  • 2 big handfuls of mushrooms
  • 150g cherry tomatoes

top tips to make full english breakfast risotto:

  • we used the sausages and bacon from Musclefood which are both syn free! If you want to check out our special deals just click here! Of course, you can use other sausages – just remember to syn them
  • we used Morrison’s black pudding which is 4½ syns a slice – they vary a lot across brands though so do check yours
  • you can cook the bacon and sausages however you like them – we used our Optigrill but you could use an airfryer, a frying pan, a George Foreman grill or a normal grill – however you want! For best results cook the sausages halfway (they’ll cook fully later)
  • don’t like black pudding or mushrooms? Just leave them out! You can add or remove whatever you like – make it however you like it!
  • an oil sprayer will make this so much easier and won’t strip your pans like Fry Light does – we use this one and it’s excellent!
  • if you want fancy fried egg like us *cough* you can get your mitts on some fancy food rings at Amazon

to make full english breakfast risotto you should:

  • preheat the oven to 190ºc
  • lay the cherry tomatoes out onto a baking tray and spray with a little oil
  • cook in the oven for about 20-25 minutes
  • heat a large pan over a medium-high heat and spray in a little oil
  • add the onions and mushrooms to the pan and fry until the onions start to turn golden
  • add the rice to the pan along with the sausages and bacon and give another stir
  • pour the stock into the pan, cover and simmer on a low heat for 20-25 minutes
  • meanwhile, spray a frying pan with a little oil and fry the black pudding for 3-4 minutes each side, and set aside
  • in the same pan, add a little more oil and fry the eggs to your liking
  • once the risotto is cooked serve into bowls
  • top with the tomatoes, halved black pudding and fried egg

Craving more ooey, gooey risottos? We’ve got loads!



sausage and ham super scrambled eggs

Sausage and ham super scrambled eggs: because you’re worth it.

Guys, if you want the recipe and aren’t in the mood for a politically-correct, bang-on, leftie snowflake moan, just scroll down until you see the pretty pictures of the dinner. Because boy, am I going to moan.

You may recall a while back I did a post complaining that the ignorant fuckers banging on about Tesco pandering to Muslims because they had the temerity to include an Asian family in their Christmas advert. I know: shock horror! If not, you can find it here. You would have hoped that the passage of time might have quelled the ignorant, or perhaps they might have found something shiny on the floor to distract them, but no – that sound you hear, like someone standing barefoot on wet rice krispies, is the spittle collecting in the corner of their downturned mouths once more. Why? Because Cadbury’s are BANNING THE WORD EASTER FROM THEIR EASTER EGGS TO APPEASE MUSLIMS. 

Except, much like Tesco, they’re not. This one is even easier to discount: whilst you can argue that maybe Tesco weren’t being honest in their right-on PC approach to inclusivity (which is bollocks, plenty of Muslim families take part in Christmas), you can’t argue that Cadbury’s are banning the word Easter when you can walk into any shop, pick up any number of Cadbury’s eggs and see the word Easter emblazoned on the box, or on the chocolate egg, or sat amongst all of the other Easter eggs in the friggin’ Easter egg section of the supermarket. It’s quite literally there in brown and white. It’s like getting in a tizz about the sky not existing or grass not being green – it’s an unequivocal, incontrovertible fact. They say the word is banned, people post photos of their eggs showing otherwise. That would surely be enough to calm their tits, no?


No, despite absolute evidence to the contrary, they still believe in a great conspiracy to ‘devalue the importance of Easter’ and that Cadbury’s are head of the coterie working hard to bring this country to its knees. They ignore the fact that most eggs have Easter on them in order to point out the few that don’t (carefully side-stepping the fact that the Help for Heroes egg doesn’t mention Easter) as justification of their anger. Some learned sort posted pictures of eggs from the 1970s, also Easter-less, as proof that sometimes an egg is just allowed to be an egg, but this too was ignored. At this point anyone pointing out the fallacies in their arguments is usually made out as a JEREMI CORBIN LOVER or typical leftie libtard or some other such nonsense, as though having a rational mind and decent principles is something to be ashamed of.

What vexes me is that most of these people couldn’t give the shiniest of shites about Christianity and indeed, the last time they were on their knees in a church it was probably to either suck off the vicar or wrench the lead from the stained glass windows. They’re about as Christian and as God-bothering as I am a sofa cushion. Do you think these people are good Christian soldiers? No: it’s just another excuse to bash the Muslims and to try and justify their thick, idiotic behaviour. They wheel out the ‘importance of the true Easter message’ as though they’ll be doing anything at Easter other than ransacking the shelves of B&M and watching Jeremy Kyle, who might tip his hat to Easter by adding bunny noises over the punch-ups and tying a bonnet on Steve the bouncer. Pfft. The only thing I want to tie behind Steve the Bouncer’s ears are my thighs. You ask most of them which muscle-bound adonis was well-hung at Easter and they’ll probably name some stripper they saw at the last lock-in at whatever flat-roofed barred-window shithole they had their Shenice’s 5th birthday in, for a beige buffet all round.

The final argument is the finisher though: good people are told that ‘they just don’t see the bigger picture’ or ‘you’re too scared to admit the truth’. It’s as though the truth that they have rattling in their brains like a grain of rice in a tumble drier is the gospel and that they, not you, are the enlightened one because they’re one vein-pop away from crouching down in a barnyard yelling at the hens because they don’t imprint ‘I LOVE JESUS’ on each egg they fire out. If that’s the truth, then slap my arse, call me a salty bitch and make me a liar, because I want nothing of it.

Paul pointed out that I have to stop arguing on facebook, and he’s right. What does it ever get you? No-one, no matter what side of the fence you come down on, is ever going to change their mind on a hot-button issue because Sandra from Stanley weighed in on her Radio Rentals Amstrad to tell us why Brexit is a good idea, why gays shouldn’t be allowed to marry or who really did wear it best between Holly Willoughby and a toilet-roll cover. And yet, everyone feels the need to voice, to speak, to get their opinion across: I’m doing it as we speak, but don’t worry, I’m safely strapped in on my high horse. It’s very comfortable. But it’s all so…pointless. I’ve decided then to give facebook a rest, at least outside of my social circle.

I’ve unliked all the local news stories, where an article about a new bus-stop can turn into a smear against the mayor, an argument about Poles coming over here stealing our daffodils and why Theresa May is good/bad/incapable of smiling without looking like she’s pissing blood-soaked nails. I’ve stopped following anything faintly contentious or interesting. American articles are an absolute cesspit of who can call Trump the worst thing, which is pointless because everyone knows the correct answer to that is that he’s like a pube-covered Wotsit that a deranged person carved a face onto. TV shows fanpages are a no-go because they’re full of people who have never left their mother’s busom and who take everything so seriously. Comment sections on newspaper sites are like the table in the pub you avoid at all costs. And now, even the sanctuary that was a chocolate facebook page has been sullied by the thick and the ignorant.

What’s the cure? If I was ever Prime Minister, I’d have all of these people who graduated from the School of Hard Knocks and who have a degree from the University of Life rounded up, popped into a lorry and driven into the sea. Don’t worry, they’d be long dead before they entered the water, drowned in a yellowish froth of their collective bile, disgust and self-righteousness, arguing and spitting to the very end. You know how I’d celebrate? With a large, generous slice of politically correct cocoa-ovoid.


Anyway, let’s do the recipe. It’s super scrambled eggs but done all fancy and meaty! Now, if you buy a pack of bacon and sausages, keep half of them for the recipe that’s coming tomorrow – we’re calling this a rollover recipe! Let’s do this.

super scrambled eggs

super scrambled eggs

to make super scrambled eggs you will need:

  • 8 eggs
  • 6 bacon medallions OR 100g of cooked ham, cooked and chopped
  • 4 low fat sausages (see top tips below), cooked and sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 100ml skimmed milk (1½ syns)
  • 30g cheddar, grated (3 syns)

top tips for super scrambled eggs:

  • the milk and cheese is optional but totally worth it
  • we used the sausages from our incredible Musclefood deals which are free! If you use a different type be sure to syn them
  • Fry Light will ruin your pans – get one of these misters instead!
  • you can cook the sausages and bacon however you like, we used our Tefal Optigrill but you can cook yours in a frying pan, under the grill or in a George Foreman – it’s up to you!

how to make super scrambled eggs:

  • whisk the eggs together with the milk
  • spray a saucepan with a little oil and add the sausages, bacon (or ham) and tomatoes
  • cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently
  • add the eggs to the pan and stir constantly until they’re scrambled to your liking
  • serve and sprinkle over the grated cheese
  • eat served on whatever you like

Looking for more breakfast ideas? You greedy bugger!



breakfast sausage and egg hash browns

Nice simple recipe for breakfast hash browns coming up – and coming up quickly, mind you – but first, I want to share three little irritations. I need to get them off my chest otherwise they’ll bubble and boil and I’ll end up taking it out on the cat, perhaps by forgetting to turn on their chilled water or giving them Whiskas instead of their fancy organic shite. That’s a waste of money, anyway: yes, it might be organic, but I’ve seen my cat vomit up a bird and have another bash at eating it immediately after. They’re not picky.

Firstly, I’ve been gravely wounded. I’ve been cut up. Shanked. Given a ‘Welcome to Byker’. I jest, though I passed through Byker once in the car. They didn’t film Byker Grove there, by the way – it’s just one devastating lie after another. No see, I’ve started giving a toss what my hair looks like. Normally I like to let it grow cheerily for seven or eight weeks, spreading out however it wished like Molton Brown-scented mould. But now my face is slightly less egg-like I’ve taken to getting it cut with a straight-edge razor at a Turkish barbers that I’ve discovered in Newcastle. I only called in to try and get taken around the back to have my comb dipped, but alas, no dice. Anyway they’re usually very good and, for the most part, don’t chat, which I like. I can’t stand making small-talk especially when I’m gazing at my own reflection in the mirror – it feels like the most schizophrenic interview ever. The thing with having your head shaved with a proper razor is that you can’t move – you can’t nod or jolt or disco dance because otherwise you’ll end up looking like Carrie White.

I’m good at sitting still – being fat does tend to gift that skill to a person – but even I was on edge. We were almost done when he must have jolted and, in the process of doing so, gave me a lovely long cut right on the back of my shiny bald bonce. Worst part is, I didn’t even feel it happen – the blade is that sharp, I only noticed when he apologised and stuck a square of kitchen roll on the back of my head. Apology accepted, he then set about doing my beard, and you have to understand that there’s no tension quite like what you feel when you’ve got a man capable of random spasms holding a razor-blade right in front of your throat. Brrr! He did a fabulous job though, and gave me a free haircut. Someone said the scar would add character and make me look like a hard man: aye right fella – I’m more Ann Mitchell than Grant Mitchell.

I couldn’t find the right place to drop this in, so please, accept this bon mot floating out of place: “It’s certainly the closest a wet gash has ever been to my face“.

Second, let’s talk needless offence. This always happens when we have a swell of new people in our facebook group – the professionally offended itching for their chance to climb on their high horses and look down at those chuckling at good humour. Let me give you an example: someone shared a post of a photography business who had posted a load of ‘new parent’ pictures, only instead of a baby they used a cat. Said photos included them cuddling their swaddled cat, the ‘father’ crying with emotion and the mother whipping her breast out as if to feed. The cat wasn’t latched on. It wasn’t pushed out of her fadge. It was happy enough in a blanket being cooed over. But Christ, you’d think we’d uploaded footage of a cat being tied to the space shuttle for shits and giggles. Cries of ‘omg this is sik’ and ‘shud be band ADMIN’ rang out like bells at Christmas. There was a common theme amongst the complainants was that it only took 30 seconds to review each Facebook profile and find a ‘97% OF PEOPLE WON’T SHARE THIS PICTURE OF A BACON SANDWICH DO IT BEFORE FACEBOOK BAN IT’ meme. I wish we could take the Internet away from these folks. They’re the same cavalcade of clits that complain about men kissing in soup adverts or the fact Tesco use Muslims in their Christmas adverts. Arseholes, in short.

Lastly, elderly drivers. No look I’m sorry, I know it’s a blanket, sweeping statement, but I’ve had years of hearing how bad boy racers are at driving their little acne-carriages, let’s have a pop at the elderly. Before I do: I know there’s loads of good old drivers out there, but they’re seemingly all down South – they’re certainly not in bloody Newcastle. You know what I mean: going 40mph whether on the motorway, outside a school or ploughing into pedestrians. Incapable of seeing over the steering wheel. Rictus frown on their face. My latest encounter was outside of Lidl only today, and actually, I was on foot and yet they still managed to aggravate me. I was just stepping onto a zebra crossing to cross the car-park when a Nissan Family-Circle-Tin ran over the front of my left shoe, having elected not to bother stopping. Normally I’d just give him some Newcastle sign-language but because he’d actually kept going, I banged on his roof. Well, he almost shit himself (and there’s a certain inevitability about that). He wound down his window and muttered that he hadn’t seen me. How can you not see me? I’m the size of a vending machine and I know for a fact that my outlet-bargain Jacamo jacket doesn’t have a double-function as a fucking invisibility cloak. I waited for an apology that wasn’t coming, gave him a shitty look and hobbled off. Tell you what: I reckon a good 80% of the folks who cut me up, slam their brakes on or drive like bellends are octogenerian or plus. But of course, it’s not their fault. No-no. Argh.

Actually, fuck it, let’s add a fourth irritation: the ad-bumpers on The Chase, featuring the most excruciating raillery even committed to film. I love The Chase but I have to turn it over before it cuts to the drama students guffawing into their hands. It’s either that or I put my foot through the telly. Who approves this nonsense? The same degenerate who allowed the TUI adverts to go ahead. You know the one: some canyon-toothed dolly-dippit singing an appalling cover of Ain’t Nobody in that awful drab register so common these days whilst men who ought to be ashamed of their life tap-dance in the background. I’d sooner book a flight on a crashing plane than TUI. Dot the Ts and cross the Is? They don’t even do that! Bastards!

Eee I feel better for that – it’s like lancing a boil. And, on that attractive note, let’s do these sausage and egg hash browns, shall we? This made six, but it really depends on the size of your Yorkshire pudding tin.

hash browns

hash browns

to make breakfast sausage and egg hash browns, you’ll need:

  • about 800g of potatoes
  • one red onion
  • 80g of lighter extra mature cheddar
  • six eggs
  • a few sausages of your choice – we don’t go for anything fancy, just the 0.5 syn sausages from our Musclefood offers – grilled – and then cut into chunks. If you want to syn two pieces of 0.5 syn sausage, you crack on. I’m not stressing about quarter of a syn.
  • lots of black pepper and salt
  • a good clean teatowel
  • a Yorkshire pudding tin
  • squirty oil spray

to make breakfast sausage and egg hash browns, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 190 degrees
  • grate your potatoes (skin on) and onion – use a box grater or, if you’ve got a fancy Kenwood like us, the grater blade – it’ll take no time at all
  • using the clean tea-towel to wrap the grated potato and onion in, squeeze as much liquid as you can out of it – then do it again – you need it as dry as possible
  • add lots of salt and pepper and mix the cheese in too
  • spray your pudding tin with some spray oil (0.5 syns for 5 sprays, you only need ten at most, and this makes six hash browns, so it’s up to you if you syn them
  • press equal amounts of mixture into the tin – really press the bottom down mind and then up the side
  • add diced sausage and crack an egg on the top
  • pop in the oven for a good twenty five minutes or so
  • done!

Make life easy for yourself: don’t make the ‘walls’ of the hash-browns too thick, or they’ll not crisp up. Also, rather than squeezing with a tea-towel, use a potato ricer. Yep – the thing we always recommend for perfect mash can also be put to use here by squeezing every last drop from your potatoes in no time at all! These freeze really well, too! I’ve included the cooking picture so you can see how I made them.

Want more breakfast ideas? Please take a look:


stuffed yorkshire pudding: beefy or cheesy!

Gosh, that’s a mouthful of a sentence, isn’t it? Yorkshire pudding canapés: aye, I know it’s not really a canapé, but listen, it beats eating mystery meat or hydrogenated tomato flavoured dust from Iceland, no? For all those uncultured swines out there who think a canapé is what a Geordie might say when the bailiffs turn up to take his telly away, it’s actually a wee decorative food served to whet the appetite before someone brings out the chips. The Internet is awash with ideas but they’re all spectacularly frou-frou and pointless. Shirley Conran said that life was too short to stuff a mushroom and she’s absolutely correct so you’ll be glad to know that these can be made in two shakes of a lamb’s tail – instant ingredients turned into something nice.

We’re cheating, of course: we’re using Aunt Bessie’s tiny Yorkshire puddings from Asda. We’re not getting paid to promote the red-faced old bag, don’t worry: I just resent making Yorkshire puddings unless they’re big enough to be considered as a second car. Go large or go home. They’re £1.50 for 30 and it saves clitting about in the kitchen using ground up oats (really) or having to buy a special whaddya-know-it’s-an-Amazon-link muffin tray. Just saying. Buy these and you’ll have enough time to sit and scratch your minnie.

By the way, we’ve been away. That whole schtick about a Christmas clear-out? It was bollocks – we were spending a glorious ten days in Stockholm, Oslo and Bergen. There’s going to be some cracking holiday entries in the New Year but if I can give you one eye-opening revelation about the whole thing, it’s this:

Benny from ABBA! I had absolutely no idea he was such a DILF back in the day! Good heavens. Of all the places I expected to be walking around with a badly-hidden semi, the ABBA museum was not high up on the list. Does Your Mother Know? She does know, I called her to tell her I wish I’d been born in the seventies. He could lay all of his love on me, oh yes – he’d definitely not end up Slipping Through My Fingers either. I’d be the winner who took it all, for sure!

Listen, I tried desperately to make a pun about it being ‘The Day Before You Came’ but I just couldn’t. Anyway, HELLO. Perhaps not now though – he looks like Bill Bryson scratching through bins for a sandwich.

Anyway, that’s quite enough of all that – I’m all moist. Let’s get straight to the recipe, such as it is. You could make these for taster nights, or a spectacularly depressing party (sometimes the two aren’t mutually exclusive), or do as we did and make thirty and sit and eat them in front of The Apprentice. No-one’s judging you, bar me. This makes thirty – fifteen of each, with plenty of mix left over. Once the two fillings are made you can freeze them for another time. Gosh!

yorkshire pudding

yorkshire pudding

to make the yorkshire pudding canapés, you’ll need:

  • one bag of mini Yorkshire puddings – you’ll find them in ASDA – £1.50 for 30 – half a syn each
  • an icing or sandwich bag

for the beef and horseradish:

  • good quality sliced beef
  • 200g of quark (trust me, if you think it’s vile, don’t worry: the horseradish masks the taste – but you could always use Philadelphia Lightest instead – 110g is a HEA!)
  • two tablespoons of horseradish sauce (3 syns)
  • good pinch of salt and pepper

So that’s 3 syns to make enough filling for 15 puddings – up to you if you syn the 0.2 syns! You could maybe argue that each filled pudding is a syn, but hey, it’s Christmas. I’m going for 0.5 syns, because I’m a decadent winter whore. Same if you’re going to measure that sliver of HEA!

for the sausage and cheesy mustard mash:

  • any leftover mash (syn free) or Smash original (syn free) made up as instructed – probably need about a small packet
  • two tsp of wholegrain mustard (1 syn)
  • 50g of Mattessons Smoked Pork Sausage (4 syns) cut into 8 discs, then halved (eat the spare)
  • 30g of extra mature cheddar (1 x HEA)
  • good pinch of salt and pepper

That’s 5 syns for 15 puddings. For ease, with the Yorkshire pudding added in, let’s call it a syn per pudding. But again, that’s over-estimating…

to make the yorkshire pudding canapés, you should:

  • well, this is embarrassing – it’s as easy as cooking the puddings for four minutes on 200 degrees fan
  • make the fillings by combining everything together
  • stuff the pudding by slopping the filling into your sandwich bag, snipping off the corner and piping the filling on top – decorate with sliced sausage or the beef sliced curled up like an unsightly labia

Done! You can impress your friends and be the envy of your slimming class once more! You want more ideas for snacks and taster nights? Naturally. Check out:



sausage, egg and cheesy hash brown breakfast stacks

You’re here for the sausage, egg and cheesy hash brown breakfast stacks, aren’t you? Who could blame you – they’re quite something, though I feel bad luring you in for such a simple recipe.

But first (isn’t there an always a but first with us…actually, not always, sometimes I’ll start by working the balls) I wanted to follow up my last blog post, which dealt with the nasty side of the Internet and the disadvantages of giving chavs a keyboard that isn’t connected to a Speak ‘n’ Spell. No sooner had I put up a 1,500 word moan about the idiots kicking off at Tesco then something lovely happened. Allow me to explain, first with a wee picture…

I know, right? I ought to work for Saatchi and Saatchi, not least because think of all that delicious food Nigella would have cooked me over the years. I’m gayer than cum on a moustache but you better believe I’d happily spend my life with Ms Lawson. Any women who will cheerfully fry a sandwich in butter in her best dressing gown is a keeper, surely?

Can you remember last year when we asked you all to send us a Christmas card? Boy, did you come through for us – we received cards from all around the world and for once, the postman wasn’t being euphemistic when he came to our slot and emptied his bulging sack. Oh stop it: I know, it’s like Julian Clary is guest-writing the blog tonight. I think the grand total was over 1,500 and we read each and every one, not least because we thought you may have squirrelled away a fiver or two in there. It was great fun and we planned to do it again but, in a rare moment of genius, Paul suggested we raise money for our local cat and dog shelter, Bryson’s.

How could I resist? So we stuck our donation request online and within 36 hours, we’d managed to raise £1,300 – it now stands at £1,500! Pretty incredible and we couldn’t be more chuffed. Bryson’s are an amazing little shelter up in Gateshead who take in all manner of waifs and strays and never put a well animal to sleep – if they can’t find a home for them, it doesn’t matter, they’ll stay at Bryson’s until the end. Their staff was dedicated, kind volunteers and look, we can’t say enough about them: anyone who lets us two come in and cuddle their cats can’t be anything but amazing. You can read up on what they do here

Now – if you can, we would love it forever if you could help us. If things are tight then of course don’t worry, but if you’ve enjoyed our recipe, nonsense, videos, posters and other flimflam throughout the year, could we beg the tiniest favour and ask for a donation? We’ve stuck £100 in from the two of us – we’d absolutely love to get it up to £2,000 – and maybe more! We just think this will make a difference more than Christmas cards ever could. If you don’t want to donate, no problem – please don’t think less of us for asking – but if you do, here’s the link (it’ll open in a new window!):


How lovely! Remember, we’re not asking you to donate loads – just what you can, the cost of a Christmas card!

Now, to sweeten the deal a bit, we’ve done a rare video for you. It’s a recipe for syn-free brownies – you won’t believe how easy they are to make with just a few small substitutions and swaps. Naturally, we’ve put our spin on things. Enjoy!

Ha! Now, finally, let’s do the recipe, such as it is…this makes enough for two ‘stacks’.

cheesy hash brown

cheesy hash brown

to make sausage, egg and cheesy hash brown breakfast stacks, you’ll need:

  • Kingsmill wholemeal bread thins (1 x HEB per thin)
  • two good eggs
  • a potato
  • Quorn sausage patties (0.5 syn each), or cook some pork sausages and slice in half lengthways
  • 60g of mature cheese (2 x HEA)
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (we used chilli oil because we like it hot!) (makes about five, so let’s call it a syn each)

I know there’ll be folks out there now not bothering with the recipe because it uses six syns of oil (1 tablespoon) – reconsider. The oil binds the potato and makes it like a proper hash brown. You could make your own vibrator from filling a cigar tube with bees, doesn’t mean you should. Spend the syns!

to make sausage, egg and cheesy hash brown breakfast stacks, you should:

  • hashbrowns are a doodle – grate your potato and then squeeze the living hell out of it – you want the shredded potato to be as dry as an old bajingo – then mix in the tablespoon of oil and the grated cheese, add a tonne of black pepper and a bit of salt, then press into yorkshire pudding or muffin trays – really pack it in mind you – then bung them in the oven for about 30 minutes to crisp up and brown – this actually ended up making about 5 hash-browns so keep any spare for eating later
  • it’s OK – I laughed at the concept of spare food too
  • then…well, really not sure what there is to say for the rest – grill your sausage patties and fry the eggs
  • we use a chef’s ring (he doesn’t mind, we buy him a drink after) to keep the eggs nice and round but really, you don’t need to do so
  • we use the same ring to cut a circle out of the thins but you know, why waste the extra bread? Just whack it in
  • serve with a disc on the bottom, hash brown, sausage and egg, then disc on top

If you’re one of these people who can’t fry an egg, worry not – it’s easy. Hot pan, few sprays of olive oil, crack the egg in and shape it a bit with a spatula – pop the lid on the pan once everything has started to firm up and it’ll cook nicely in the steam. Fresh eggs help. We get our eggs from my mother – you’d think she would have stopped laying them now she’s approaching 94 but hey.

Want more breakfast ideas? But of course you do. Click the buttons below.

vegetariansmall sausagessmall  breakfastsmall slowcookersmallovernight-oatstastersmall

Enjoy! And please, give what you can – we really will love you forever.


sausage and apple bake


Sausage and apple bake, if you don’t mind. I was going to post part four of Copenhagen but I’ve had three hours sleep, my brain is made of cheese and my right eye is gunky. Clearly I’m two hours away from death so I’ll make this quick.

What doesn’t help my tiredness is that our house is currently the approximate temperature of a raging crematorium. I thought I could hear the Langoliers coming but it was actually the hair in my ears crisping. You see, because Paul’s been in all day and because it’s a ‘bit chilly’, the Nest gets pumped up to 30 degrees, the radiators are all blaring and he’s sitting there in his worst boxer shorts, ballsack hanging out like a crushed satsuma, sweating everywhere and making everything sticky.

It drives me up the bloody sweat-soaked wall – he’ll complain that he’s cold but he’ll be sitting there in less clothes than he clattered out of his mum’s fanny with. That analogy works as he’s from a rough part of Peterborough and probably came mincing out wearing knock-off Donnay jogging bottoms. I’ll kvetch on at him to turn the bloody heating off but it’s too late: I know this means the start of the ‘heating arguments’ season, where not one hour goes by where one of us isn’t tinkering with the thermostat or turning off the radiators. I hate having a ‘smart’ home – he can set the whole house to ‘inferno’ from the comfort of the shitter, and it just isn’t fair.

We don’t tend to argue much, mind, for a couple that’s been together for ten years and spend most evenings passively aggressively cutting our toenails into each other’s cup of tea. There’s no point – I like to think most couples reach the stage where they just accept the idiosyncrasies and foibles of the other without stopping to question it, preferring instead to release the tension by crying in the shower or bundling carpet-wrapped hitchhikers into ditches by the side of the road.

For example, there’s no point in asking Paul what he wants to dinner, because he never knows what he wants. He does however know exactly what he doesn’t want and that’s whatever meal you suggest. You wouldn’t believe the look of ennui that ripples over his face when I suggest ‘lasagne’ – he’ll normally reply with ‘I don’t know if I’m in the mood for that‘, taking care to really spit the last word out, as though I’ve suggested giving him a Cleveland Steamer.

We can’t play Scrabble, though. You’d think such a simple board game, with the clear rules of play and calming pastel colours on the double and triple score squares, would have a pleasingly somnifacient effect on us. Not so. I won’t embarrass PAUL by naming who it was but one of us became so angry with the other playing smart with two letter words that they threw the board, titles and racks over the balcony of our riverside flat many moons ago. Again, I won’t say who IT WAS, PAUL will not want it known.

For balance, I’ve asked him what silly things he thinks we argue about and do you know, he can only name two: my inability to close the living room windows before we go to bed and the fact that there is always a coat hanger on his side of the bed under the duvet when he gets in. See, I’m last out in the morning and invariably leave the coat hanger my shirt was hanging on somewhere on his half of the bed. I mean, as things that tick you off go, I’m not exactly leaving skidders on the bedsheets or have a whole secret family of little James out there, am I? Pfft.

Before I go, whilst I’m thinking about arguments, you may recall that I used to live with a charming lady called Mary way back before Paul entered my life/hole. She had her peculiar ways, such as leaving her thrush cream in the fridge and her soiled clotstoppers wedged down the back of the radiator in her bedroom, but one day I came home to find her boiling a cauldron full of tea-towers on the hob.

What followed was a blistering thirty minute shouting match where she screamed at me for not understanding why simply putting tea-towels in the washing machine like a normal human being wasn’t enough to ‘kill the germs’. I pointed out that it was more than sufficient and had the added advantage of not making our house smell like we were embalming roadkill and anyway, I paid the rent, so she should shut the hell up. The argument proceeded to rise in both pitch and fury before she picked up the pan of boiling water, complete with my nana’s best collection of ‘I’ve been to Runcorn’ tea-towels, and hurled it straight through our kitchen window. As a full stop, that works especially well.

She went to live with her mother after that and for three glorious months I had the house to myself. No arguments, no manic moments and all the space in the world to set out my coat-hangers of a morning. Bliss.

Right, shall we do the recipe for the sausage and apple bake? We’d be foolish not to, wouldn’t we, when we’ve come all this way?

I’m saying this sausage and apple bake serves two – big portions mind!

to make sausage and apple bake you will need:

This is another recipe we’ve adapted from Jamie Oliver’s new book ‘5 Ingredients’, which you can buy from Amazon here. We love it and aren’t ashamed!

to make sausage and apple bake you should:

  • preheat the oven to 180°c
  • heat a large ovenproof frying pan over a medium high heat and add a little bit of oil
  • Peel and quarter the onions, and pull the petals apart into a large frying pan
  • next, core and quarter the apples and chuck them in the pan too, give a good stir
  • use a speed-peeler (want a decent one? get this!) to first peel the parsnips, and then to slice thin ribbons from them. it helps to turn the parsnip after each slice to get more out of it
  • stir in 1 tbsp red wine vinegar to the pan and then pile the parsnip slices on top
  • lay the sausages on top and spray with a little oil, as well as a bit of salt and pepper
  • bake in the oven for 30 minutes
  • remove from the oven, drizzle over the honey and then pop back in the oven for five minutes until golden

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boozy bangers and mash with amazing gravy

Here for the boozy bangers and mash with a gravy that’ll blow all other Slimming World gravy out of the water? Fine. But first…

I am pleased to announce that, after nine months of worry, tension and angst, we have finally chosen our new car. Well, my new car. Paul’s still ‘driving’ around in that ‘Smart’ ‘car’ of his, looking to all the world like a sunburnt wine-gum squashed into a lego car. After months of putting it off, I bit the bullet and went to the car dealership to see what the crack is. First thoughts? So much hair gel. Second thoughts: I’d rather spend my Saturday chewing toenails than have to go through the ignominy of pretending I give a toss about cars. We were greeted by an exceptionally exuberant man who bustled over to greet us before I’d even had a chance to park up.

Before we could start the dance of finance, he had a look around my car to make sure it was in a good working order for a part-exchange. Well, no, he had a glance and took me at my word that all was well. That really made the £400 that I’d just paid for the ‘obligatory’ service seem like good value, I can tell you. He commented that I keep a pristine car – I thanked him, neglected to tell him it’s because we’re always ‘wiping it down’ and prayed to myself that he didn’t sit on the back seat. The cushions in the back are like a Twinkie. Don’t get the reference? Click here and feel ashamed.

He took us inside and offered us a drink, having the good grace to laugh when I asked for a whisky to take the edge off getting fucked. He brought us some grey coffee instead which I tipped into a plant-pot on his desk when he wasn’t looking, only for it to start dripping out of the bottom and onto the floor. He didn’t notice, thankfully – he was probably lost in my eyes.

I knew we were on shaky ground when the portly chap (I’m going to call him George, not because that was his name, but because he looked like a George) grasped my hand, called me by entirely the wrong name and then asked what type of car I want. You need to understand, readers, that I know nothing about cars. I know how to drive one, of course, but what is horsepower? Why is a petrol better than a diesel? Why is there always so much blood and matted hair on my front bumper? It’s useless knowledge to me, like where to buy skinny jeans or how to stimulate a clitoris. Irrelevant data. To me, clitoris sounds like the name IKEA would give a coat-hook.

Anyway, dear George, to his credit, didn’t laugh when I said ‘something colourful’ and ‘a bit fast’. Those were my sole requirements. My previous research, so far as I’d glanced at Auto Trader, turned this up:

Fancy, but Paul had pointed out that I wasn’t Laurence Llewelyn Bowen, didn’t need a car with an automatic amyl-nitrate dispenser and anyway, it was over £500 a month. I appreciate I’m a tightarse Geordie but there’s fuck all way I’m spending that sort of money per month on a Citroen, unless it comes with a feature that automatically changes my number plate and flashes the interior lights whenever Paul and I pull into a layby of an evening. I asked if there was anything similar with an onus on lots of tech in the car and he hastened us over to look at the C4 Cactus.

Why? God knows. I’d rather get the bus, especially as this car was the colour of a dying man’s lips. Sensing I wasn’t swooning and completely ignoring the fact it’ll only be Paul and I so we don’t need a family car, he plopped me into the driving seat and leaned across to show me the ‘latest tech’. I mean, come on – you know someone’s clutching at straws when he’s feigning astonishment at the radio as though he was Marconi himself. I resisted the urge to be sarcastic and clutch my pearls when he mentioned the air-conditioning, and, knowing he was onto a loss, he got us back out and showed us an altogether more sensible solution, the new C3.

Imagine that but black. Tsk, racist.

Now this was more like it – it pretty much looks like a DS3 but designed by Fisher Price, but that’s fine – I’m a fan of bright colours and spend more time angsting about people banging their car doors into mine than I do blinking, the air-bumps on the side were a big ‘yes’. Even if they do look like someone’s stuck a particularly hi-tech jamrag on the side of the car. I selected the black and red version and so the negotiations began.

I like to think I’m pretty good at negotiating, but only for about 15 minutes. I simply can’t be arsed to haggle. I see Martin Lewis chirruping away on the telly about arguing for a better deal but sometimes, what price dignity? I did knock about £80 off the monthly amount but once George had gone an especially lurid shade of crimson and was looking at his own wallet with watery eyes, mumbling about having to feed the kids, I collapsed like a wet cake. I don’t doubt for a second that I could have maybe squeezed an extra ten quid or something off a month but it was hot, I was tired, I hate having to do the dance and that was that. I signed there and then and was told my car would be here in two weeks, thanks very much.

It actually turned up four days later – hooray – and with Paul away throwing himself at Jeremy Corbyn at the Durham Miners’ Gala, I picked it up myself and decided to go for a drive up to Coldstream. I’d never been before but I knew it is a good seventy miles of twisty-turny country road away from my house. It was a great drive – the car was responsive and zippy, my driving was top-notch and there was a minimal amount of people in my way all the way to Coldstream. I had, quite literally, just driven past the ‘Welcome to Coldstream’ sign when the in-car phone rang, almost forcing me to crash into a coach full of elderly folk in sheer shock – it was so bloody loud.

It was Paul asking where I was. He was home, see, but hadn’t thought to take a key with him. To make matters worse, he was “hot” and “tired” and “had been in the sun all day and was feeling faint”. The one set of neighbours we trust with a set of keys (i.e. the only ones who wouldn’t let themselves in to have a bloody good gawp) were out, of course. Thinking the poor bugger had sunstroke I performed an entirely illegal u-turn in the middle of the road and set straight back off for home, at an altogether terrifying speed.

All legal, I must say.

But certainly far faster than I should have been driving, and all in the name of love, with the thought of Paul’s scalp crisping up like a salad crouton rattling in my head. Naturally, he turned his phone off, so I couldn’t get hold of him, which led to even more panic as I thought he was slumped on the doorstep shallow-breathing. As opposed to his usual stance, slumped on the settee shallow-breathing. I overtook lots – and lots – of old dears, all perched as usual right up against the steering wheel, all doing a committed 40mph no matter what the occasion. There may have been swearing. I may have bellowed myself hoarse. I was definitely putting the c*nt in country road. But by god, I got back within the hour, just in time to see Paul relaxing with a cold drink and flicking through his facebook notifications.

Turns out the neighbours had come home about five minutes after his call to me and he’d put his phone onto charge, completely neglecting to tell me.

You can imagine the laughs we had about the whole misunderstanding, can’t you? How I chuckled as I ironed his face.

So yes, that’s my new car. It’s very nice, it goes like the clappers in comparison to my old one and I’ll never miss it in a car-park. All good.

Now, tonight’s recipe. Boozy Bangers and mash. I know that’s a wank title, I know. It’s sausages and mash but more importantly, it has an AMAZING gravy. Can we talk about gravy for a second? I made this for our facebook page:

I genuinely can’t stand it when you see a delicious looking roast and then someone pops up with ‘omg make sun-free gravy by blitzing (always fucking blitzing, how exactly are you blitzing your peas you spittle-flecked moron, dropping a bloody bomb on it?) a tin of mushy peas, or eight roasted onions, or some other AWFUL slop. That’s not gravy, that’s a grave injustice. A war crime.

Gravy is low in syns and given that so many people have more gravy on their plate than carbon atoms, you might as well get the good stuff. Make your own or use instant at a pinch. It’s a syn per teaspoon of powder. Unless you’re having a bath of gravy, how much do you bloody need? Drives me up the wall, which is fine because I’ve got that fancy new car, but still. So here’s a recipe with PROPER DELICIOUS GRAVY. We are going to be steering away from ‘pretend’ food (to be fair, we don’t do it much to begin with) as a blog and I’m sure you’ll come with us!

boozy bangers and mash

to make boozy bangers and mash you will need:

We get asked a lot about how good our mash looks. We don’t add anything, you know – it’s just good potatoes riced with a potato ricer once cooked. The one we use is only a tenner and can be bought here!

to make boozy bangers and mash you should:

  • bring a large pan of water to the boil and the potatoes – cook until soft and then mash, to however you like it (we like to chuck in some wholegrain mustard but not everyone is as classy as us)
  • whilst the potatoes are boiling away, make a slit down the sausages and squeeze out the meat into 3-4 equal-ish balls. don’t worry about rolling them into neat balls, they’ll be fine as they are
  • heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a little oil
  • add the sausages to the pan and fry until cooked, then remove from the pan
  • add a bit more oil to the pan if needed, and then add the chopped garlic
  • stir for about 30 seconds, then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the sliced onions
  • cook the onions until they begin to caramelise, stirring now and again. Don’t worry if they stick a bit – that’s good
  • after about 15-20 minutes, add the stock and the guinness to the pan and bring to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan
  • in a little bowl, mix together the cornflour with 2 tbsp COLD water (it MUST be cold), and slowly dribble into the gravy, stirring constantly, and when you’re happy with it take it off the heat
  • dish up the potatoes and sausages, and pour over the tasty gravy
  • enjoy

See now come on, that’s a proper dinner right there! No? Want more? Get more!

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Beep beep (Richie!)


all day breakfast poutine – an amazing breakfast idea

All day breakfast poutine you say? What is poutine? A Liverpudlian telling you who is running Russia? No. It’s fast food from Canada, usually consisting of sausage, chips and cheese smothered in gravy. We’ve given it a lighter spin because we’re just so good like that. But first…

I alluded yesterday to being in pain. I still am. Let me set the scene – I’m late for work and fresh out of the shower, nude, dripping (as I can only imagine you are too, dear reader, at the very thought). I hurtled into the kitchen to try and make a cup of coffee that wouldn’t take two layers of skin off my lips. I stepped over a cat to reach for the milk jug (the niceties must be observed, even at times of great urgency) and OOOH – a big shard of glass went right through the bottom of my foot. I screamed incredibly theatrically (who knew?!) and then launched into a fit of angry swearing whilst my foot dripped blood onto our freshly-cleaned floor. I don’t know what annoyed me more – the fact that SOMEONE (IT WAS PAUL) had clearly broken something and then not cleaned up properly OR the fact I’d just paid the cleaner to completely bleach our floor and now it looked like Carrie White’s gym knickers.

The cat, by the way, sat staring at me impassively, my cries of pain clearly nothing to him. I got my revenge later by giving him a pouch of Conshita cat-food from Lidl – which he also ignored.

I wish I could tell you that I made like Bear Grylls and pulled it straight out but it had slid into the pad of my foot and disappeared, probably on a fantastic journey straight to my heart. I sat on the sofa and picked away at the hole, trying not to cry, but no joy. I couldn’t stand on it because every time I put my foot down, it sank in a little more just to drive the point home. Luckily, my work are used to my Calamity James hijinks and took my blubbering and woe with good humour. I rang my doctors to see if they could maybe extract it and they coldly told me to go to a walk-in centre. We did both chuckle lightly at the irony of attending a walk-in centre whilst I was all but hobbled. Off to Wansbeck Hospital I went. I confess myself disappointed that they didn’t send the air ambulance to pick me up from my front garden, whilst I rolled around clutching my leg like I was on 999.

Upon arriving at the hospital I was somewhat distressed to see that they have decided that car-parking is a folly and that really the huge expanse of tarmac previously used for cars would be the ideal place to build some more identikit houses instead. I took a small diversion via Ullswater and ended up in their satellite car park, where I was pleasantly surprised that parking was a mere £4 for the day. I have a faint recollection of previously having to feed notes into the car park meter like a junkie at a fruit machine, so £4 wasn’t too bad. The trek to the walk-in centre was no problem at all once I’d lost all feeling in my foot and my shoe had filled with blood, and I took the small obstacle of visiting entirely the wrong department at entirely the wrong end of the giant hospital in my stride. My blood-soaked, glass-stabby stride.

From there everything happened ridiculously quickly. I was shown to a chair in the waiting room, asked to wait mere moments before being seen by a triage nurse, and then sent to x-ray. I was actually quite disappointed as I was really getting into Homes under the Hammer and wasn’t in a great mood to shift. However, my foot needed to be irradiated to make sure that I hadn’t splintered whatever was in there in my ham-fisted attempts at self-surgery. The very charming x-ray man asked me to lie on my side, which immediately exposed the top of my arse to him due to my badly-fitting trousers, and zap zap zap, my foot was x-rayed. Then x-rayed again because I had moved. Then once more for luck, and once again because we both agreed that ending the x-ray on an uneven number would be bad luck. I bet my foot glows now. I might have a midnight walk tonight dressed all-in-black so all people can see approaching them in the dark is a green disembodied foot mincing towards them, like Michael Flatley has joined The Blue Man Group. I digress.

I did have to wait for a bit whilst they tried to work out what was stuck in my foot and how it managed to penetrate my leathery soles. I was surprised myself, I’ve stepped onto a fire before and not realised for a good ten seconds. The x-rays were inconclusive – I could tell they were being polite and that actually they couldn’t see because it was like trying to find a diamond in a sea of hairy margarine – so they sent a very lovely man in to squeeze my foot.

His opening gambit? ‘This won’t hurt a bit’. Pffft. For a start, I’ve heard that line before as I’ve been climbing into bed and I’ve been left unable to shit properly for two weeks. Also: LIES. IT REALLY HURT. He was an absolute gentleman and very funny, but let’s be honest, anyone sticking a needle into an open wound on your foot is never going to rocket up your best friends list. Although, he was dishy, so…hmm. Anyway, after a good ten minutes gouging and squeezing and pressing, out popped the shard and believe me when I tell you it was relief all round. Relief for me because the pain subsidised. Relief for him as he didn’t have to look at the wound anymore. Relief for the security who were on the verge of evacuating the wards and sending my stinking trainers to the high level isolation unit.

You’ll be pleased to know that I’m alright now. It hurts a bit but I’m a big boy and I was super brave. I know I say this every single time I post anything hospital related but the NHS is just terrific. I was seen, x-rayed, talked to, treated and dispatched all within the morning. Every single member of staff, from the receptionist to the cleaners to the nurses to the x-ray man to the guy squeezing my foot, were all polite, cheery and full of happiness. I tried to make a point of saying how grateful I was but it never seems enough! I hobbled back to my car thinking about how shit it would be to have to pay for our medical treatments like they do in America. One x-ray of my foot would be $70, for goodness sake. Given I seemingly had five, I’d have expected a blowjob and a bumtickle included before I handed over $350. Still, not as though the people running the country are likely to force privatisation on us, is it? Ah fuck.

The recipe, then. All day breakfast poutine! I apologise to our good friends in Canada for what will be a total bastardisation of a national favourite – we know you’re suppose to use french fries but this was easier. So suck it, ay. I’M SORRY I’M KIDDING PLEASE LET US LIVE WITH YOOOOOU. This makes enough for four big bowls of fun, but you’ll need to add a couple of extra fried eggs.

to make all day breakfast poutine you will need:

  • 1kg potatoes
  • 6 low fat sausages (our Musclefood sausages are perfect!)
  • 4 eggs
  • 250g fat free cottage cheese
  • 300ml chicken gravy (4 syns, we usedBisto Chefs Specials Chicken Gravy with Sage & Onion)
  • pinch of salt

Listen, I know I say to dice things below, but don’t shit the bed over accuracy. It is what it is. Breakfast. You’re just going to turn it to poo anyway, doesn’t need to look beautiful. Also, watch your sausages. Make sure you pick low fat sausages and check the syns, or Mags herself will be coming round to scrawl FAT BASTID on your front door.

to make all day breakfast poutine you should:

  • cook the sausages however you like them (we cook ours in the actifry with the paddle removed), then set aside to cool
  • meanwhile, dice the potatoes into 1cm cubes, spray with a little oil (this will make the job easy) and sprinkle over a little salt
  • cook the potatoes by either dumping into the actifry for thirty minutes, or spread out evenly onto a baking sheet and bake at 190ºc until browned, turning frequently
  • whilst the potatoes cook, slice each sausage lengthways into three, and then slice across the width so you’re left with tasty sausage chunks
  • next, prepare the ‘curds’ by plopping the cottage cheese into a sieve and give a quick rinse so you’re left with the pearls – leave to drain until you need them
  • heat a large frying pan over a high heat and spray with a little oil, and fry the eggs to your liking
  • make up the gravy and set aside
  • when the potatoes are cooked, tip into a big bowl and mix in the sausage pieces and three quarters of the cottage cheese
  • divide onto four plates, top with a fried egg and the remaining cottage cheese, gravy and a little bit else of what you fancy (we used chives!)

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caprese sausage stuffed pasta

It’s the return of the vag-pasta! Our caprese causage stuffed pasta makes good use of that weird shaped giant pasta!

Yeah that’s right, it’s a while since we used it and before I get anyone sending me frothy messages saying it’s not like a vagina, well, of course it’s not, but how many do you think I’ve seen in my life? Been there, done that, dry-heaved into my t-shirt. But see it’s what Paul calls this pasta so let’s just crack on with sausage caprese stuffed shells.

My goodness me. I opened the last post with a comment on the shitstorm surrounding this Porky Lights fiasco and here I see it has escalated into people appearing in the papers claiming they are devastated and had their diets ruined because the seven sausages they were eating for dinner might have had a slightly higher fat content than they expected. Listen, if you’re eating seven sausages in one sitting, you’ve got bigger fucking problems than a smidge more grease smacking on your lips. I work from home on a Friday so I was treated to even more hullabaloo from crinkle-faced mouthbreathers whingeing on. I think I’d rather be in the papers because I’ve been discovered wanking through a letterbox than holding up an over-done sausage the same shape as my downturned mouth and claiming my life was over. What happened to perspective?

OH and another bloody rant, if you don’t mind. If you drive and fiddle with your phone whilst you do so, then you’re an absolute and utter shit. A moron. A self-important, overly-entitled, preening cock. You’re a boil on society’s arsehole and everyone you come into contact with merely tolerates your presence. You’re about as liked as finding a hot streak of blood when you wipe your arse. If I saw you in the street I wouldn’t slap you, but it’s only because shit splatters.

The reason for my ire? Someone went into the back of me yesterday at a set of traffic lights (and I mean I’m used to having my crumple-zone pushed in from the rear, but at least buy a bloody drink first to grease the wheels) because he was BUSY PLAYING WITH HIS PHONE. I don’t think I’ve ever been so angry – the good thing about being tall and fat with a shaved head is that when you come hurtling out of a car with a face full of piss and vinegar the other person tends to back down pretty sharp, and I’m bloody mortified now that I reacted so aggressively. I didn’t hit him, but a proper red mist descended (probably an aneurysm brought on by the shunt) and I called him all sorts of very naughty words in an unexpectedly manly Geordie accent.

To the bloke’s credit he admitted straight away he was on his phone and apologised profusely and our insurance people are sorting everything out but FOR CRYING OUT LOUD just pull over. No-one is important enough to think they should be allowed to break the bloody rules and I genuinely hope that if someone is sitting out there reading this and thinking there’s no harm in using your phone that the next stop you make in your car is a dead-stop into a wall. It takes a bloody moment or two to pull over and deal with whatever you need to do and that way you don’t become a MASSIVE PULSATING DISEASED TWAT.

AAAAAARGH. Get me back to bloody France man! Speaking of which…

click here for part one 

Smooth segue, eh! I’m the Astroglide of blogging. You left us at the airport after we’d just passed through security. We found our bags and made for the train station. Paul asked me why I was walking slowly and I explained that I was just bracing myself for his inevitable ‘landed in a strange place, must have a crap’ moment. He astounded me by informing me, with all the subtle discretion of a football manager shouting instructions to his team from across a pitch, that he’d been for a ‘tom tit on the plane’. He’s learning, folks. I’d anticipated having to spend at least fifteen minutes loitering outside the gents whilst he strained and grunted but nope – we were straight onto the train, then the Metro, then a short mince to our hotel.

Now, wasn’t this grand? The Hotel Square in Paris – 22 rooms and featured in the Luxury Small Hotels guide to boot. I’m not sure how easy it is to get in that book – maybe it’s one of those scams where anyone can pay to look prestigious – but the hotel was gorgeous. Very clean, very modern. Big room with a bed big enough to roll around in and eat croissants. The only thing I wasn’t so keen on was the bathroom, given it was a very grand marble affair with mirrors surrounding the shower area. I’m not shy with my body but even I pale at the sight of reflections of my hairy arse coming at me from all sides of infinity. Paul came in to pick up a toothbrush whilst I was freshening up and it was like eight hundred of him had walked in going “how long you going to be, turns out there’s another train waiting at the station ready for dispatch“.

Here’s a photo so you can see what I mean. How embarrassing though I managed to get my face into the shot! Eeee I can’t get over it!

We had planned a very quiet first day and so it was that the only thing on the agenda was an Escape The Room. You know we love these: you’re locked in some weird room with a scary backstory and given sixty minutes to get out before disaster strikes. In London you’re locked into an abandoned cinema. In Iceland you’re put away in a jail cell on death row. They’ve opened one in Dewsbury where they take away your swimming costume and push you into the base of a divan bed with only a box of Tramadol for company. It’s all terrifically exciting. This one, however, was by far and away the best. We Ubered (I don’t know if that’s a verb or not, and I don’t care – it’s easier than saying ‘took an Uber’) over to the venue and after much confusion, found our way in.

We were met by the lovely Lucas who told us, in broken English far better than my pidgin French, what the situation was. We were to be stuck inside an out-of-control Paris Metro and we had to stop it before it crashed. Exciting! What really did make this fun was that the room was an actual Metro carriage and, whilst it clearly wasn’t going all end-of-Speed on us, it did rock side to side and brake and move. It was amazing! I like to think Paul and I have these things nailed now and we know what to look for but we were defeated at the very last step by the fact we were both recovering from head-colds – part of the clue revolves around sniffing bottles to identify smells to work out an exit code. We were supposed to smell cherries – all I could smell was Parisian soot and Vicks Sinex. Lucas had the good grace not to mention the fact that every time I had bent down to pick up a clue a good thirty percent of my arse was on show thanks to my inability to pack a belt, though doubtless we’ll be on some French version of You’ve Been Framed somewhere accompanied by bouncy accordion music.

Ashamed of the fact we had failed in our duties (but buoyed by the fact it was bloody good fun) we wandered the streets until we realised we were both hungry and that we really ought to eat. Well, you know Paris – you can’t move without happening across somewhere delightful full of lovely things to eat (I don’t think there was a single point in the holiday where I wasn’t either stuffing my face with pastry or brushing the crumbs off my coat) and it took no time at all to spot a little cafe down by the Seine which looked busy and promising. We bustled in, Paul ensuring that his coat dragged across as many tables as possible and me knocking into chairs and tables and ankles like a lost bull. One day, just once, we’ll enter a restaurant without it looking like we’re there to fake an insurance claim.

Our waiter (curt tones, face like a hundred miles of rough road, eyes that had never known joy) came over and barked at us to order. Our French is poor but we do try, but by god he gave us no leeway for error. Every fumble was tutted at – not necessarily in a rude way, just it was clear that he didn’t have time for our stumblings because he had to go back to watching emo arthouse movies and smoking. We ordered a starter consisting of various Corsican meats and cheeses – we had loved Corsica so and, given it cost a billion pounds to go there last time making it unlikely we’ll revisit, this was an easy way of reliving some memories.

The waiter had no sooner seemed to disappear through the doors into the kitchen when he immediately re-appeared holding aloft a platters of meats and breads. He set them down, adjusted them just so, took a moment to think what was missing and then blurted ‘le fromage’ and disappeared anew. A minute or two later he returned with the cheese board and goodness me, It was a challenge and a half. I like a strong cheese but even I was defeated by two of the monstrosities on this plate. I’m not exaggerating even for a moment when I tell you that I was entirely convinced one of these cheeses was actually alive. I had to leave it. Our waiter, his face full of French woe, asked if anything was wrong, to which I gave a British ho-ho and explained that I hadn’t realised I’d ordered the pickled smegma fresh off the chef’s helmet. Spread it on my bread? It was all I could do not to hurl it into the traffic outside. The only thing that stopped me was knowing Paris is on a critical terror alert and I’d end up banged up in Guantanamo Bay with bamboo being slid up my urethra.

Paul, having experimented with a somewhat French dish as a starter, decided that was quite enough of that nonsense and ordered an Italian burger. I was mortified. At least I made an effort, I had a croque Madame so French it was smoking a Gauloise when it was dropped in my lap. I’m not shy of trying new things – snails I have no problem with (who would have thought, me, a pro at swallowing unpleasant mouthfuls) and I wasn’t going to bother with frogs’ legs. I’ve had them before and it was like eating the meat from the used toothpicks at the end of a group dinner.

I made the right choice, lunch was lovely, and we lingered over coffee whilst we people watched the good folk of Paris and (quelle surprise) half of China flit about in that hurried way I’ll never understand. I find it incredible that all of these people have places to live and sleep and shag and eat and work and play and yet everything works like a well-oiled machine. I adore cities, I find them endlessly fascinating, and I could merrily sit and watch all day long. However, the waiter, possibly tired of watching us make a Gin Fizz last half a day, brought us l’addition with a cheery ‘you pay now’. I didn’t dare refuse, the sight of his ashen-face crumpling in on itself would haunt me forever more.

We decided to rough it and take the Parisian underground back to the hotel, only we had no sooner made it down the stairs when a large chap (imagine Shadow from Gladiator only with milk for eyes and a diseased foot) hurtled towards us asking us to donate. Donate to what? The Burns Unit that would need to tend to my eyes as the sight of his crispy foot sizzled against my retinas? We bid a hasty (as hasty as two fat blokes can) retreat back up the stairs and sent for an Uber.

As ever, our driver was lovely, he handed us a bottle of water, pointed out as we dashed through that we were in the tunnel where the Queen Fiat-Unoed poor Diana out of existence and offered us some sweets. He also had the kindest, more soulful eyes I’ve ever seen and he had the good grace not to notice me winking salaciously at him in his rear-view mirror. I begged Paul to let me put ‘Drove like a pro and melted my heart’ on the Uber review but alas, that was dashed. Muhammad, if you ever want to take either of us, or both of us, or a bit of one and some of the other, up a one-way street, do get in touch.

As we were knackered, we decided to have an early night and a few drinks in the room. I say a few drinks, it was rather impromptu – I went for an after sex decontamination shower only to hear the sound of Paul opening the minibar. Uh-oh. Worse, I barely had time to wash the Molton Brown out of my bumcrack before I heard the hiss of a bottle of fancy water being uncapped. I vaulted out of that shower like I was the winning horse at the Grand National and hurtled into the bedroom shouting EUROS ITS BLOODY FIFTEEN EUROS PAUL FIFTEEEEEEN like a man possessed. Paul explained he was thirsty but pfft, I’m Geordie. I didn’t speak to him for the rest of the holiday.

No, I jest. Once we had broken the seal of that minibar, the whole lot came out. We had a great night indeed, mini bottles of alcohol scattered everywhere, peanut crumbs in the bed, eye masks on, condoms blown up like water bombs in the bath. We sent down for another cheese board at 11pm to cap the night off and then away to bed with us.

When we woke the next morning, we were horrified. We tidied up until that room was sparkling like a new pin and stumbled out into the light. I wanted to throw myself over the desk of the charming lady on reception and wail je suis désolé! pardonne-moi je t’en supplie! in the hope she might take a dent off the minibar tab but all I could manage in reality was a gruff, Phil Mitchell-esque good morning and a couple of black peppercorn scented farts in the lift.

I’ll leave you to digest that image and get straight to the next recipe, eh?

caprese sausage stuffed pasta caprese sausage stuffed pasta

to make caprese sausage stuffed pasta you will need:

  • 6 sausages (we used the ones from our Musclefood deal – they’re just half a syn each AND they come with the added bonus of not being stockpiled by jibbering morons!)
  • ½tsp fennel seeds
  • 500g conchiglioni (you know the ones – the GIANT  pasta shells)
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • few handfuls of spinach
  • 4 tbsp chopped basil
  • 140g reduced fat mozzarella ball, chopped (2x HEA)
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • balsamic glaze (just reduce some balsamic vinegar in a pan, easy peasy)

If you’re using different sausages, remember to syn them however they are. Technically this dish comes in at just less than a syn each, actually, so hoy a bit extra cheese on. I’ll not tell Mags, though she’ll be too busy hammering nails into the Porky Light farmer’s tractors to give a toss.

to make caprese sausage stuffed pasta you should:

  • preheat the oven to 190ºc
  • spread half of one tin of chopped tomatoes across the bottom of a 9×13″ pyrex dish, or any, I don’t care
  • cook the giant shells according to the instructions, and then drain and set aside
  • meanwhile, slice the sausages as best you can (it doesn’t have to be neat) and then cut each slice into quarters
  • add some oil to a large frying pan and stick over a medium high heat
  • add the sausages and stir to cook until no pink meat remains – give them a chop up with the spatula to break it up, or gently press a masher over the top
  • add the rest of the chopped tomatoes, the spinach and half of the chopped basil and cook for about five minutes
  • remove the pan from the heat, and spoon in 1 tbsp the mixture into each of the shells and pop them into the pyrex dish
  • top with the mozzarella and sliced tomatoes and bake for twenty minutes
  • remove from the oven, top with the remaining basil and drizzle over the balsamic glaze

After some more grub? just click one of the buttons below to get even more ideas!

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easy to make Slimming World scotch eggs

I’m almost loathe to post a recipe for Slimming World scotch eggs in case I get eight hundred comments from people moaning about Porky Lights or whatever shite sausage is the current cause celebre amongst slimmers, but hey, let’s just do it anyway. It’ll be a nice simple recipe to type up and, as we’re currently tied up with a bit of an unhappy family situation at the moment, I’m pushed for time. Listen, though, we know how much you love our nonsense and frippery so I’m going to put a new holiday post up – not from Switzerland or our latest holiday, but instead, I’m tying up the loose ends of our Cornwall trip. You may remember last year our ‘lovely’ holiday to Cornwall, no? Refresh yourself with parts one, two and three, and then read on. Warning: I’m just not a fan.

twochubbycubs go to cornwall: part four

The last three entries of our Cornwall trip didn’t exactly make the heart sing with joy, did they? Fair warning, it doesn’t get much better. I don’t know what it was about Cornwall that disappointed me – it’s beautiful (in places) and I’m sure there’s lots to see and do if you’re not a curmudgeonly fatty whose sole exercise is leaning over to fart – but perhaps I’m spoiled. I live in what I reckon is the most beautiful county in England – Northumberland – and eye-watering beauty is never more than a twenty-minute drive away. Anyway, hush. It’s been so long since we went away that we’ll have to forgo a chronological narrative, so just assume that wherever there is a full-stop, it’s where Paul and I stopped the car to eat a pasty.

The Eden Project

Sitting in our cottage in Perranporth, with the unseasonable grey skies blowing around overhead, we decided to head for the Eden Project, a thirty or so minute drive away via relatively easy roads, according to our sassy in-car Sat-Nav. Nope. You may recall that I was stricken with a poor neck which meant I couldn’t look right and Paul was equally laid-out with a sore back that meant he couldn’t look left, so you can imagine how much fun driving a car was. Every junction was one step closer to divorce. Things became so tense that I actually just started pulling out of junctions blindly in the hope that a clotted cream tanker would crash into the side of the car, putting us both out of our misery. We’d die the way we lived: sitting down and covered in fat.

The sat-nav did indeed take us the most direct route but for some reason, confined us almost exclusively to single-track roads. I reckon if you counted up the miles we did in reverse it would actually work out that we never left the cottage in the first place. Why does every road in Cornwall need to be framed by an impenetrable hedge or crumbling wall? At one point we were stuck between a car coming towards us, eight walkers in rustling (is there any other kind) all-weather-ware, two cyclists and a lorry behind us tooting his horn. It was like playing Screwball Scramble, but in a DS3 littered with crumbs and sheer, blinding rage.

We arrived, filling the valley with swearing and Cher, and parked up in the lime car-park. Cheek, I’m a gay man, put me in the plantain park and I’ll be sure to back up correctly. We did think about waiting for the courtesy bus but we could see the entrance only a moment’s walk away and thought better of it. That’s a fib actually, there was a coach full of old folk gamely walking down the hill and putting us to shame so we couldn’t. Buggers.

Getting into the Eden Project cost us £50 between us. That, right there, tells you everything you need to know about it. Yes, it’s lovely and pleasant and the work they do is great, but £50? Kiss my arse. They temper this by allowing you to visit all year long but given that most of their visitors are tourists, that’s a bit of a pointless endeavour – it’s not like I could turn to Paul on a windy Sunday and ask if he fancied a nose round the gift-shop at Eden, and could he prepare the car for the 800-mile round trip. Pfft. I appreciate these places have to make money because gosh, who else is going to pay for all the wank, but haway.

You could have put what we both knew about the Eden Project before we visited on the back of a seed packet. Paul had a vague recollection that it was used in Die Another Day and I automatically assumed that those giant plastic zits were full of bees like in The X-Files movie, but we were both wrong. No, The Eden Project is a very worthwhile endeavour by lots of horticulturists (my favourite horticulturist? Brian Sewell – boom boom) to get as many tourists as possible in one place.

How we admired the many different ways that people could inconvenience us – one particularly (and quite literally) pushy mother gently nudged me out of the way whilst I was reading an enthralling information board on bamboo. She wanted to take a picture of her child, but I hazarded a guess that had I picked up said child and pitched her into the wilderness that I would have been asked to leave, and damn it, I wanted my £25 worth.

We wandered around the herb garden, we idled around the flower section, we sweated our tits off in the rainforest section. It was all very interesting – we’re not complete philistines, you understand – but the sheer amount of people similarly feigning interest in a sugarbush was hard to take. We climbed various stairs and gantries to get a picture of the waterfall only to find such a task impossible due to the sea of giant lenses and Mumsnetters that filled every conceivable space. Deflated, both from disappointment and the sweat wicking away from our body, we left the biomes and staggered outside, where a fine mist (either rain or aerated sweat) greeted us. That, at least, was pleasant.

Now, look here. We’re just as capable of enjoying a garden centre as the best of them. You’ll often find us at Heighley Gate on a Sunday afternoon fingering the dahlias or cooing over the roses. We’ve had lengthy and earnest conversations about the merits of various composts: I prefer to buy in, Paul’s rustic and would spread his own if I let him shit in the garden. But something about The Eden Project left us both cold. Ho-hum.

We stopped for something to eat, thinking we could at least salvage some of the entrance fee by having something delightful in the onsite restaurants, but even these were overpriced and understaffed. Everywhere was noise: children screaming, old people clacking their teeth, parents sighing and braying. The food was what you’d expect from a place like this plus a 20% tedium surcharge. We went outside where, thanks to the rain, we were relatively alone. We ordered a small pasty and a coke (I say coke, I’m sure at least three varieties of dandelion were pressed into it along with a shock of hipster beard hair) and sat down in the drizzle. The pasty was drier than a popcorn fart and the coke was flat. Ho-hum, again.

We made to make our way back to the lime car-park and spotted that this would involve a walk at a level significantly more than horizontal. Panic set in until we spotted that a little tractor with a trailer on the back was trundling around picking up visitors. We hastened over and climbed aboard with barely enough time to wipe the pastry crumbs away from my shirt (I was worried that they’d burst into flames if they rubbed together given how fucking dry the thing was). We were joined in the carriage by another couple – a cheery man with the strongest Geordie accent I’ve ever heard (and bear in mind my dad’s accent is so strong that Paul didn’t understand a word of it for six months, becoming the only person in existence to form a familial relationship on nothing more than polite nods and ‘ee-I-knows’) and a woman on an oxygen tank.

We had spotted them earlier gamely making their way around the biomes and they spent a good five minutes chatting with us, which was lovely. At one point she took off her oxygen mask and told us they were only getting the tractor because she couldn’t manage hills with her failing lungs and we felt terrible: not just for her, but also because we were clearly only getting the tractor because our fat ankles were bowing under the weight of four days of constant and committed pasty consumption. We bid them goodbye (well, I did, Paul was struggling to understand – to him it probably sounded like me and the other gentlemen were arguing in Icelandic) and made our way back to the car.

Just like Land’s End, I drove out of the car park in an absolute fury. The whole exercise just annoys me, you know. People say to holiday in the UK but every god-damn tourist attraction is out to extract just as much money as they can get away with short of employing urchins to root through your pockets for change whilst you go for a piss. I appreciate that places need money to stay afloat but for goodness sake, calm the fuck down.

We took our time driving back to the cottage and decided to stop at a charming little pub that we’d spotted on the way to Eden. It was in a fantastic location – beer garden looking out over lush green fields with a bit of twinkling sea just off on the horizon. The weather had lightened up and, after some energetic singing and maybe, just maybe, a cheer-up-for-fuck’s-sake-blowjob from Paul, all was well. We fair cantered (Paul more so than me – I had to do that discreet unsticking of James Junior from my leg that all men know) out of the car hoping we’d at least get some ale (just a half for me) and food. What could go wrong?

YET AGAIN: EVERYTHING. You know in comedy sketches they occasionally do a joke where a stranger walks into a bar and the whole place falls silent? That’s exactly what happened to us. It was like someone turned off my hearing as soon as we stepped over the threshold. Admittedly there were only a few chaps in there at 3pm in the afternoon but they all looked at us silently and furiously. If it hadn’t been for the disembodied electronic voice of Noel Edmonds shrieking at me to hold my nudges blaring out of the fruit machine I would have sworn I had gone deaf. Paul pushed me from behind (lucky me, normally takes him a good couple of hours and a nap) and we made our way to the bar.

The bar man had one of those faces that told me he’d last smiled in 1977, perhaps when a barn-fire had killed his more handsome brother. There was no hello, how are you, what would you like – just an impassive stare like I was some unwelcome intruder on this otherwise jumping social vista. It felt like I was trying to order from a grazing cow. I asked for two drinks with equal solemnity, paid for them and moved away, all in the continued silence of the bar. We sat outside and had no sooner taken our first pull from the all-head-no-beer drinks when Mr Chatty came outside and started moving tables around, ostensibly because they were expecting a wedding party. I decided against asking if he was doing the best man’s speech as I didn’t fancy driving home with a pint glass sticking out of my face. I haven’t felt as unwelcome in a drinking establishment since I got caught giving my then-boyfriend a blowjob in a Yates Wine Lodge.

Listen, I know, I’m ashamed of that too. I mean come on, a Yates Wine Lodge? What was I thinking?

We didn’t bother finishing our drinks. We didn’t bother looking at the food menu (I presumed that the food would be served with the same kind of panache as the witty raillery from the barman). No, yet again, we drove furiously out of the car park and went back to the cottage, where actually, we spent a very pleasant night getting drunk and smoking cigars the size of shot-putters’ arms in the garden. I only hope that some of that thick smoke made its way across the valley and right up the nostrils of that miserable arse of a barman. I hope his sinuses throbbed and ached and the wedding ended in disaster.

Pfft: Cornwall. You’re really on a roll…

I wish I could say it gets better, but my mother always told me never to lie and well, she could still take me in a fight so who am I to argue? Never argue with a lass who can grow a better moustache, that’s what I say. So this scotch eggs recipe then. Look: the syns depend mostly on the sausages you use. If you use sausages that come in white bags of 46 and have the word animal in speech marks in the ingredients list, they’ll be high in syns. But if you choose good quality sausages with a high meat content, they ought to be low in syns. To be safe, though, use Porky Lights, Musclefood sausages or any other low-syn variety. Sssh, but here’s a secret, we actually used chicken sausages for these, which in turn created a weird feeling of eating a chicken containing an egg. Oo-er. Let’s pretend I used pork sausages and say no more, eh?

slimming world scotch eggs

to make Slimming World scotch eggs, you’re gonna need:

  • eight sausages of your choice
  • one packet of quail eggs (or use normal eggs and just make bigger scotch eggs, I don’t care)
  • lots of black pepper (low syn sausages usually have the taste profile of asbestos, so this adds flavour)
  • 100g plain cous cous (if you’re feeling like a decadent hussy, use flavoured couscous, but watch the syns)
  • one beef stock cube and lots of worcestershire sauce
  • a non-boiled egg

Generally, each sausage will make one scotch egg, so I’m (because I used Porky Lights) putting these at half a syn each.

to make Slimming World scotch eggs, why y’oughta:

  • boil your eggs – if you’re using quail eggs, you’re looking at a couple of minutes (check the packet) in boiling water, for bigger eggs you’ll need to boil for about ten minutes or so – you don’t want them like ping pong balls, after all
  • meanwhile, squeeze your meat by fingering your sausage – you want it all coming out of the end, see – you’ll get sticky fingers doing this but that’s alright. You don’t need to wear protection just as long as you wipe them on your trousers afterwards – you flirt
  • hoy a load of black pepper in there – you want to get your lips tingling, after all, no?
  • cook your couscous according to the packet – but cook it in the beef stock and add worcestershire sauce to add taste
  • then see, it’s all about assembly – wrap the peeled boiled eggs in sausagemeat, and then roll it in cooked couscous – I like to squeeze the couscous into the sausage meat first, then roll in egg, and do a second coating of the couscous
  • bake in the oven for about 30 minutes on 190 degrees until cooked through – you’ll know it’s cooked when the juices stop dripping – when that happens, pop a towel down and enjoy your dinner!

Want more snack ideas? Then click the buttons. Yeah. Like that.

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Cheers big ears!