melon basket of joy – perfect for Slimming World taster nights

The melon basket has arrived!

You know what it’s like, taster night rolls around and you get the usual eighty seven texts gently reminding you to bring something along. The dilemma is clear: do you nip over to the Co-op and get a bunch of grapes, do you make something super fancy knowing it’ll be ignored whilst everyone paws over the Weetabix and cat-litter cakes, or do you do as we always do and pretend you’re working / on holiday / on the game / in hospital getting your worn-out knees replaced? I know, but I can’t stand watching other people eat or other people judging me on my choices.

I’ve touched upon the fact I hate witnessing buffets at the best of times, but it reminded me of one sight I saw in Disney a few years ago. I say Disney, we were actually in a Sizzlers at the time, which for those not familiar with Sizzlers simply imagine a Little Chef stocked entirely with what they found behind the bins at Lidl. I’ve never known shigella (hi Paul!) be given as a topping choice on a salad before. Anyway, we were sat visibly blanching at the amount of flies on our breakfast when this absolute unit of a bloke stood up / was helped up. He rolled towards the buffet, loaded his plate to the point where he’d have struggled to get a sprig of cress on top, and then made to slow-shuffle back to his station. We were transfixed – by this time in our honeymoon we had exhausted all conversations and the realisation of spending eternity together was lying heavy in our thoughts so a distraction was welcome – and we watched as he conveyed his food pile back as though it was a newborn baby.

Then: a loud crack, a rumbling noise, a plaintive cry and the splatter of food hitting the deck. He’d loaded his plate so full and so high that it had snapped like the strut of an Italian motorway bridge. I’m sure it was months of sub-standard dishwashing that weakened the plate but the poor bastard looked utterly bereft, with a whole restuarant of folks immediately judging him. Which was rich, given they had one collective set of teeth between them, but nevertheless. I always remember his wee crumpled face – he looked like Dr Robotnik when you defeat him at the end of Sonic 2.

Oh and it’s Robotnik, not Eggman, you can fuck off with that nonsense.

I believe he was given a voucher for a free meal, and he won my respect for not picking the best of the dropped meal off the floor and eating it, which is what I would have done in our house. The three-second rule has been extended to three days here: I ate a wine gum the other day that I’m not entirely sure the cat didn’t bring in from outside on the back of her tail. Ah well.

Want more American nonsense? We put all of our honeymoon stories in a book, you know, and it’s as cheap as I am in my Primark knickers. You can download it here!

Anyway, that was a sidetrack and a half, wasn’t it? But that’s our blog all over – side-tracks and cheap ugly shoes. Let’s do the melon basket.

melon basket

melon basket

melon basket

taster night idea: the melon basket

Prep

Total

Yield 1 basket

I've got a bloody nerve calling this a recipe, haven't I? But listen, we're all about taking things easy here at Chubby Towers, and this is ridiculously easy to make but it looks damn good! Plus all the extra fruit can be turned into smoothies which of course you'll syn, rather than enjoying like a normal person. Right? Hello?

Ingredients

  • one large watermelon
  • one big pack of raspberries
  • one big pack of strawberries
  • one big big girl in a big big world (it's not a big big thing if you leave me)
  • one pack of pomegranate seeds
  • one lemon
  • chopped mint

Of course, you can use any fruit you like in here. Soft, hard, Barrymore.

Instructions

  • the trickiest bit is cutting the watermelon - cut a small disc off the bottom so it lies flat
  • then cut two 'almost' quarters from the top, leaving a strip down the middle - then cut through that so you make a handle
  • it's hard to explain but come on, look at the pictures and work it out - this isn't The Crystal Maze love, you have all the time in the world to figure it out - but you want to make sure you leave a thick enough handle to support the weight of the fruit
  • use a melon baller to scoop some melon balls out of the flesh you've cut away
  • scrape out the melon so you have a pleasing bowl
  • slice up the rest of the fruit into a bowl, add the melon balls, chopped mint and the juice of a lemon
  • tumble it gently to mix it up, then tip it into your basket and serve

Notes

Courses breakfast

Cuisine taster night

Easy as all outdoors. Want some more taster night ideas? Fine! Here you go!

Get them down you!

J

spinach, pea and ham thick soup

I’ve tried so hard to make this soup look faintly attractive in the photos, but I can’t. It’s green slop, but it’s so tasty – pea and ham thick soup that looks like something from the sink trap. Anyway, it’ll do the job for days when you want something quick and easy to satisfy your hole and the postman has already been. I say that with an air of familiarity – our postman is delicious. I know it doesn’t do to judge people on looks but goodness me, he has legs I could spin around on and a face that just screams ‘I’ll apologise after’. Here’s me looking forlornly out of the window once he’s passed by.

If you’re a fan of sporadic updates, non-food related shenanigans and overly-saturated photos of bear cubs so past their prime we should be dancing on a rescue advert somewhere, then why not join us on Instagram?

The pea and ham thick soup, then:

pea and ham thick soup

pea and ham thick soup

pea and ham thick soup

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syn free pea and ham thick soup

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 6 bowls

This syn free pea and ham thick soup - there's no way of making it sound attractive - comes straight from Jamie Oliver himself. I know he's divisive but I have a lot of time for him - anyone who can make decent food through such a heavy mist of spittle is a winner in my books. This soup is so easy to make - chuck it in a blender, throw it in a pan, spin it out the window, dance like no-one's watching. Keeps well in the fridge.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 350g frozen peas
  • 300g frozen chopped spinach
  • 100g ham
  • big handful of fresh mint
  • 300g dried pasta, any old shite will do
  • 50g feta cheese (use your HEA)
  • 1600ml of chicken stock

Instructions

  • chop the spring onions
  • throw the peas, mint, spring onion, ham, frozen spinach and 400ml of chicken stock in a blender and blend the buggery out of it - add a pinch of salt and pepper
  • pour into a pan and add 1200ml of chicken stock
  • smash up your pasta - hit it with a rolling pin - and tip it in - let everything bubble for about twenty minutes until the pasta is cooked
  • serve with the feta crumbled in
  • lots of black pepper and salt, natch

Notes

  • this recipe came from Jamie's book all about his family and their expensive house and wholewheat pasta and Cath Kidson tableware. If you fancy replicating the experience with your B&M saucepans and Charles and Diana pinny, you can order his book from here
  • actually fair play to him, it's a great book - tonnes of recipes easily adapted for SW
  • it won't surprise you but we have a fancy blender that could blend anything, you can get one, or just use a stick blender - you don't need to spend lots of money to do our recipe!
  • we let ours bubble away for a good two hours (accidentally, I fell asleep watching Murder She Wrote) and it was lovely and thick - don't be frightened to cook it for longer!

Courses soup

Cuisine twochubbycubs

Fancy, right? Want some more soup that you could smash your face in? Of course, we’ve got loads that are syn free!

Yum!

J

no regrets: custard cream blondies

I’ve been inspired to post the recipe for these custard cream blondies because I’m sick to my back teeth of seeing cakes that look like someone’s foot in stage 3 of active decay. Why would you eat that? Goodness me. A little bit of what you fancy does you good and whilst yeah, these cost a load of syns, sometimes you need to actually live your life instead of chasing stickers in a book. Plus, CHRIST ALMIGHTY, they’re delicious. So, in an unusual bit of brevity, let’s get straight to the recipe!

custard cream blondies

custard cream blondies

no regrets: custard cream blondies

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 20

Why a blondie and not a brownie? BECAUSE YOU'RE A SICKENING RACIST. No, blondies tend to have more vanilla, brownies usually have chocolate in them. So just calm yer tits, Tommeh Robinson.

I found this recipe on reddit via a blog called krishthebaker - have a look on their website, but put a towel down. You'll be snail-trailing around the biscuits. I've seen it before in the BBC Good Food magazine too, but frankly, I'm not saying thanks to them because I'm sick of getting TV licence letters despite being a good boy all paid up.

The biscuits then, if you please.

Ingredients

  • 250g melted butter (90 syns)
  • 400g light soft brown sugar (80 syns)
  • 4 x eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80g caster sugar (16 syns)
  • 500g plain flour (90 syns)
  • 100g custard powder (18 syns)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp bicarb
  • 15 custard creams (crushed, like your consultant's dreams of buying a caravan on tick) (45 syns)
  • 4 tbsp of milk (0.5 syn, best to be accurate)

I make that 340 syns, give or take a crumb. So 17 syns a brownie. OOPS.

Instructions

  • turn that oven to 180 degrees
  • mix the butter and sugars until combined
  • add the eggs and vanilla and beat it to buggery
  • add the flour, custard powder, baking powder and bicarb - stir and mix - if it's looking a little dry, just add some milk
  • pour into a 13 by 9 inch brownie tin - greased, use a bit of butter, not like you're dieting
  • smooth the top with an offset spatula if you're classy, or use a butter knife if you still say Tescos instead of Tesco
  • scatter the crushed custard creams over the top and into your gob too
  • bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, if they're burning on top put some parchment over the top
  • allow to cool in the fridge, then cut up - I got twenty squidgy squares
  • serve to rapturous applause and congratulations

Notes

Courses biscuits

Cuisine twochubbycubs

Enjoying your night off? Want some more recipes that are terribly high in syns but actually taste good? Here!

Yum!

J

crunchy nacho chicken wraps: easy slow cooker meal!

Nacho chicken wraps will follow, but first an apology….ah balls to it, listen, we’re not going to apologise for not posting too often, because we always do it and then have to go away somewhere or get caught up in doing stuff and then we forget! But if Jurassic Park has taught us anything, it’s that Life Finds A Way and Bryce Dallas Howard might have a silly name, but she’s terrifically pretty.

Speaking of pretty, can I introduce you to my favourite ever photo of me?

Blog recipes, she wrote.

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I have the air of a seventies DJ that permanently has their hard-drive in the microwave ready to go at a moment’s notice.

I wish I could tell you that our nights have been so full of debauchery and sin that we haven’t had time for the blog, and whilst that’s partly true, the actual reason is so much more boring. We’ve been stuffing envelopes. Lots and lots and lots of envelopes. See after the success of the badges and our impending holiday which we really ought to pay for, we decided to branch out into fridge magnets – because what would put you off eating more than our faces floating into your vision whenever you fancied a Muller-Shite? So I set about designing some tasteful numbers…

http://twochubbycubs.co.uk/shop/

We thought we’d maybe sell 50 or so. We sold over 750. Which is fine, until you realise that you now need to package up 750 magnets, write out the envelopes and get them in the post. That took time, but naturally we decided to make it harder for ourselves by writing sauce on the envelopes. When the first lot landed with our lovely customers, everyone else wanted rudeness and filth on their flaps, and so…it snowballed. You’ve never lived until you’ve sat at 2am trying to think of a joke about a name like Mildred or drawing the eight-hundredth cock and balls of the day. One morning Paul found me face-down on a bed of padded envelopes with a roll of stamps pressed against my face. I still see Elizabeth’s rack when I shut my eyes.

Of course, with us at the wheel, this road-trip through Royal Mail based sauciness was always going to end in disaster. For one, we’ve had a couple of instances where the postman has scribbled out the ‘rude’ bits or put a big stamp over the cock and balls we’ve delicately drawn on the back. That’s fair enough, I suppose, though I imagine you’d need to be fairly joyless to take offence at ‘peel the flaps apart for instant pleasure‘ scrawled on the seal of the envelope. One such censorship annoyed me so much that we dispatched a second envelope to the customer with a giant, detailed knob drawn on the back – but I stuck cat ears on the top. Didn’t get through untampered with. Ho-hum.

But no, that’s not the worst that’s happened. We’ve been affixing random titles and names to people’s names – Right Dishonourable Jane Doe, Marge “Gammon Flaps” Simpson, Sarah “Unprotected Anal, Finish on the Tits” Jones, that sort of thing. Good clean fun. Anyway, things came to a head when we received a message from someone we had posted a badge to a lovely lady who we designated, entirely randomly I hasten to add, as Number One Arm-Wrestler.

Naturally, she only has one bloody arm. We didn’t know, and thank Christ she’s absolutely fine about it and a good sport and found it hilarious, but I can’t help but feel aghast by how badly it could have ended. Plastered all over the Sun, ‘CRUEL AND CALLOUS CUBS LEFT ME STUMPED’, for example. Thankfully, she knew our joke was ‘armless. Rinse and repeat. We’ve had to add an opt-out if you want a clean envelope button onto the page, though. Phew. Anyway, if you want a magnet, we’ve only got a few left! Make sure you mark the order if you don’t want filth. Otherwise it’ll come addressed to you with knobs drawn all over them, or, if you’re male, references to the size of your genitals with some soft focus shots of us inside. If that doesn’t tempt you, what could?

You can order them here, though the Cubs and Speed Police set are currently out of stock!

Now don’t worry, I’m not going to endlessly promote our magnets on here. That’ll be it until we need to pay for a new sling or something. It does give me a giddy thrill to imagine a magnet being slipped into a Slimmer of the Week basket and poor Sandra choking on her cat hair quiche, mind. Shall we do the crunchy nacho chicken wraps? Well why not. Buckle up, Buckaroo, because I’m going in dry.

crunchy cheese nacho chicken wraps

crunchy cheese nacho chicken wraps

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crunchy nacho chicken wraps

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 8 wraps

The beauty with this recipe is that it's what we're affectionally calling a dump bag - you throw the raw ingredients into a freezer bag, pop it in the freezer and then, whenever you can't be arsed to cook, take it out and throw it in the slow cooker. It'll cook nicely through the day and be ready when you come back - and so easy to make! Then just stick it in a wrap with a few extra bits and you're done. The chicken also works well with rice!

This makes enough for eight wraps very easily indeed.

Ingredients

  • four chicken breasts
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn
  • 1 small tin of black beans
  • the juice of two limes
  • one large red onion chopped
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • two minced garlic cloves
  • 200ml of chicken stock

To make the wraps:

  • chopped lettuce
  • a pack of white Weight Watchers wraps, which are a HEB each - or you know, find some joy in your life and have a good wholemeal wrap like us instead, and don't syn it because haway
  • 25g of Doritos, crushed up into little wee chips (7.5 syns) (split between eight, just under a syn)
  • why not use your HEA on cheese? 30g of cheddar grated is your HEA, add that for extra cheesy sexiness
  •  

Instructions

  • pop everything for the chicken filling in a bag and freeze it until the night before you're ready to cook
  • throw it in a slow cooker for a few hours
  • give everything a right good mix and use two forks to pull the chicken apart - it'll just fall to bits, it's great
  • to make the wrap, throw some chopped lettuce into a wrap, top with chicken, Doritos and cheese, wrap it up and away you go, get it in you OR, if you're sassy, grill the wraps so everything melts together inside - oh my yes

Notes

A few pointers:

 

Courses slow cooker

Cuisine mexican

There you go – shove that in yer mush! Want more wrap ideas? Here you go:

And look at that: not a single ‘make a cake with a wrap’ load of bum!

Enjoy!

J

juicy steak with low syn slimming world chimichurri sauce

Slimming World chimichurri! Now admittedly chimichurri sounds like something a posh woman would call her fadge when telling the doctor it’s sealed over, but bear with us – it’s actually a gorgeous herby sauce where, if you use good fresh herbs, it’ll be an absolute delight. You’ll wonder why you haven’t had it before but we all know the answer to that is simple: like you’d ever turn down a cream sauce for your steak. Even so, give this a go.

There’s no time to lose today because we’ve had an actual House Calamity. You will have doubtless noticed that it’s been hotter than the devil’s dick outside until Friday, when the skies broke just in time to make sure that 1,000,000 people who still live at home with their mothers were denied the chance to look at the moon. It tipped it down, and naturally, our house decided to throw a spanner in our plans to save up for Canada and instead, sprung yet another leak. We’ve now got more brown damp patches on our ceiling than we ever manage on our mattress, but that’s what being married for eleven years will do for you.

This means yet more visits from roofers, more awkward small-talk and yet more waiting around for them to appear from ‘just around the corner, mate’, where presumably that corner is somewhere south of Doncaster. I’ve long since given up on people saying they’ll turn up at any given point – I swear we’ve still got someone due round to clean my little C2 (not a euphemism) and that was turned into a cube back in 2012.

So, you can have a recipe, and we’ll get on with fussing about our ceiling. Sigh. Chimichurri sauce for you!

slimming world chimichurri

slimming world chimichurri

juicy steak with Slimming World chimichurri

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

Sounds fancy, eh? Chimichurri comes all the way from them Argies and is a tasty sauce for fresh meat! It's as easy as you after a night at the bingo and tastes phenomenal! It's a cool colour too, so the kids will love it.

The beauty with this is that you can have it with whatever you want! We had ours with chips because we're common and it's our default position. We had some left over the next day and slipped it into sandwiches and it was just as good! Sex up your meaty flaps tonight.

Ingredients

  • 4 good steaks
  • 2 big bunches of basil
  • 2 big bunches of parsley
  • 2 big bunches of mint
  • 2 big bunches of chives
  • 4 green chillis
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (6 syns)
  • salt 
  • pepper

Instructions

  • firstly, take the steak out of the fridge and bring it up to room temperature
  • next, finely chop all of the herbs, chillis and capers - if you can't be arsed, do what we did and chuck it all in a food processor
  • zest and juice the limes and add the olive oil, and mix well
  • sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the steaks and cook to your liking
  • as the meat is cooking, dollop the chimichurri sauce onto a chopping board and gently spread out into a large square big enough for the steaks to sit on
  • when the steak is cooked, place on top of the chimichurri and leave to rest for a few minutes
  • slice the steak and use a knife to spread the chimichurri sauce all over it - like it's getting a facial
  • serve

Notes

  • remember: this recipe is for four - if you're only making it for two people just halve everything
  • any steak will do - it doesn't have to be fancy, we used sirloin from Muscle Food
  • fresh herbs are always best if you can get them
  • we used our Tefal Optigrill to cook the steak perfectly - if you've got one, just press the 'steak' button and then wait until the light shows your desired level of 'doneness'!
  • don't be tempted to skimp on the oil in this one - it's worth it, and it's only a few syns!

 

Cuisine argentinian

Lovely! Perhaps you want some more steak ideas? Sure thing, cheesenips!

Always something to enjoy!

J

red pesto pasta – the easiest dinner in the world, ever

OK so maybe not the easiest dinner in the world but red pesto pasta sure as hell beats ‘shit with sugar sandwiches’ that my mother, bless her blackened heart, used to threaten us with when we whinged on. Pfft, at least we would have got some fibre into our diet!

I’m pleased as punch writing this – I totally pulled at Pride on Saturday. Now you must know that Paul and I are terribly loyal to one another but we’re realists, there’s no harm in looking at the sweet-shop as long as you’re not unwrapping and swallowing. And, if you are, you enjoy your pic-n-mix together, see? But I asked some hurly-burly bear where he got his t-shirt (check me out, being social) and he responded with ‘oooooh, off yer bedroom floor love’.

I think, technically, that means we’re now betrothed and we’ll need to send Paul away with all of his clothing packed into a Lidl bag, walking out into the night back to Peterborough. Ah I jest. Listen, you can’t have James without Paul – it’s like French without Saunders, or Fred without Rose. It just doesn’t work.

Pride was great fun though, as it always is, though an entirely different beast to Northumberland Pride – lots more stalls, huge queues and lots more fetishwear. I dropped my wallet on the floor in front of the burger stand and had to be very cautious picking it up in case some leather-daddy took it upon himself to fist me like Winnie the Pooh reaching in for honey.

I love Pride events – so many happy people out to celebrate love. But by Christ, it makes you feel old.  remember being teenage and full of literal and metaphorical spunk, having a whale of a time and being myself without stressing about labels and identity and gender. Happy times. Now I spend a good half of the time at Pride wondering where I can get a nice sit down because my feet hurt. I actually found myself wincing when we went into the music tent, although in our defence they were playing S Club 3. You’ve heard of them, yes? S Club 7 with all the talent removed. So, S Club 7.

No that’s mean, Don’t Stop Moving is a belting tune. Much better when The Beautiful South covered it in a blues style, though:

The day passed in a blur of trying not to buy stuff because we’re cheap, trying not to eat stuff because we’re on a diet and dealing with the super-awkward situation of being recognised by lovely folks who said hello and then had to immediately witness us stumbling over our words and blushing furiously. Admittedly, it’s not like anyone is camping out on our lawn, but it does happen more often than you think and when it does, it throws me off. Don’t let it stop you, though, if you ever see us out and about do come over and say hello: if you’re a fan of awkward conversation and slightly too long stares, you’ll get your fill with us!

Oh, and we also rescued a dog.

Good heavens! Good boy!

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Again, maybe it speaks to my age or my obesity, but all I could think of was how hot he must be under there. Not his naked lithe body, no, that doesn’t do anything for me, but I was sweating like a glassblower’s arse and all I had on, as you can see, was a cheap H&M sailor shirt and half a shaved gorilla. I think I have more hair draped over my right nipple than Paul does on his entire body. He must have been absolutely dripping under all that PVC, and to make things worse, I saw him locked in a car in ASDA car-park later. Dogs die in hot cars, you know.

What else to report? Very little, I’m afraid: our evenings have been given over to stuffing envelopes and licking stamps and trying to think of 800 creative ways to draw knobs on envelopes when we’re sending out our twochubbycubs badges. The good news is that our badges are flying out so get your orders in and keep us in gin.

Dunno what she means…

I messed up a little bit by addressing a badge to a lady but calling her DILF-MASTER GENERAL, though. See, what was I saying about gender insensitivities? Right, shall we get to the red pesto pasta? It’s almost a cheek to call it a recipe, because honestly it’s just mixing a few things together, but sometimes you want something plain filling your hole, but still tasty. This red pesto pasta is exactly that! So enjoy.

red pesto pasta

red pesto pasta

1 vote

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red pesto pasta

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

This recipe is ridiculously easy but doesn't 'alf pack a punch on the taste front. This should take you no more than 10 minutes and only uses one pan! What's not to love?! 

Ingredients

  • 500g linguine
  • 6 tbsp red chilli pesto (9 syns)
  • 90g ricotta (1x HeA)
  • handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 30g parmesan (1x HeA)

Instructions

  • cook the pasta according to the instructions but stop just short of fully done - you want it to have a bit of bite to it
  • reserve half a mug of the pasta water
  • drain the pasta and return to the pan
  • lob in the pesto, ricotta, basil and parmesan and stir - dribble in a bit of the pasta water to loosen it if needed
  • serve!

Notes

  • we used linguine (it's like a flat spaghetti) but honestly, any pasta will do
  • if you can't find red chilli pesto just use normal red pesto and add half a teaspoon of chilli flakes
  • you could use quark or Philadelphia instead of the ricotta if you like - but where's the fun in that?
  • like our pan? It's Le Creuset - you can buy it here!
  • this will take up only half a Healthy Extra A choice per person but if you prefer to use your syns instead it's only 5 each
  • you can easily scale this recipe - just half or double it as needed - it'll still come out fine.

Courses lunch, dinner

Cuisine italian

How easy was that? Tell your friends.

Now if you want some more pasta lunch ideas, of course, we have loads, including:

Yum!

J

no regrets proper macaroni cheese

Well, this is naughty: our no regrets proper macaroni cheese. It’s macaroni cheese done right, and comes in at 24 syns a serving. This is in no way diet food: but sometimes you need a Hot Flavour Injection before you get back on the horse to Bland Town. This dish is the culinary equivalent of telling your wife you’re discussing spreadsheets at a conference when you’re actually paying someone to do all those things to you that you read in Schmutziges Erotik-Pferd back in the fifties. Filth!

We shan’t mess about with gossip and flim-flam – I don’t doubt you’re chomping at the clout to get to our proper macaroni cheese, so let’s get straight to it. No foreplay.

proper macaroni cheese

proper macaroni cheese

I know, right?

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proper macaroni cheese and to hell with the syns

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 8 servings

Sometimes you need something dirty. In situations like that, no amount of pretending Quark is anything other than something scraped from under a particularly pungent bellend will do. No, sometimes you need something proper to hit the spot rather than pretend, and this macaroni cheese - loaded with butter, cheese, chorizo and more cheese, will do just that. 

This is 24 syns per serving. You'll need to put a towel down, just saying.

Ingredients

  • 500g penne
  • 300g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 chorizo ring, finely chopped (31 syns)
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 50g panko (9 syns)
  • 6 tbsp butter (33 syns)
  • 70g flour (12½ syns)
  • 1 litre whole milk (30 syns) 
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tbsp sriracha (2 syns)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 125g extra-mature cheddar, grated (25 syns)
  • 125g red leicester, grated (25 syns)
  • 125g mozarella, grated (17½ syns)
  • 50g parmesan, grated (12 syns)

Instructions

  • preheat the oven to 180°c
  • bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions, then drain
  • place the cherry tomatoes onto a baking tray and drizzle with a little oil, and sprinkle over some salt, and bake for twenty minutes
  • heat a large pan over a medium-high heat
  • add a few teaspoons of oil and fry the chorizo and onion until crisp
  • use a slotted spoon to scoop out the chorizo and onion, and set aside
  • reduce the heat to medium and add the butter to the same pan (with the tasty chorizo oil) and stir continuously until melted
  • add the flour to the pan and stir for a minute
  • whisk in the milk and bring to the boil, whisking constantly
  • add the mustard, sriracha and Worcestershire sauce to the pan and keep whisking
  • add in the cheese, reserving a quarter of each for the topping, plus the chorizo and onions, and keep stirring
  • tip the drained pasta into the cheese sauce and mix well
  • tip into a large dish and top with the cherry tomatoes
  • sprinkle over the panko, parmesan and the rest of the cheese and bake for 35 minutes

Notes

  • you may need one of these from Amazon
  • If you find that your companion has gone blue at the lips, follow these steps:
    • place the heel of your hand on the centre of the person's chest, then place the other hand on top and press down by 5-6cm (2-2.5 inches) at a steady rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute.
    • after every 30 chest compressions, give two rescue breaths.
    • tilt the casualty's head gently and lift the chin up with two fingers. Pinch the person’s nose. Seal your mouth over their mouth and blow steadily and firmly into their mouth for about one second. Check that their chest rises. Give two rescue breaths.
    • continue with cycles of 30 chest compressions and two rescue breaths until they begin to recover or emergency help arrives

Courses whore

Cuisine Italian

Now of course one must remember that this is a diet blog so, if the above has left you leaking like a broken fridge but unable to see said leak because you’ve got a continental shelf rather than a gunt, panic not. We’ve got you, fam – here’s some diet takes on macaroni cheese to keep you going:

Enjoy!

J

low-syn McDonalds Tex Mex Stack

Here for the Tex Mex Stack? Of course you are, but first…

Honestly, we’re an embarrassment as a nation sometimes. Build-a-Bear were running a promotion today where you could buy a teddy-bear for the price of the age of your child – so if your charming little sperm-blossom was seven, seven quid was all you’d need to pay for a cuddly toy. Not a bad deal: certainly I’ve paid more than that to stuff a bear in my time. However – somewhat inevitably – the promotion has led to ‘angry and violent scenes’ as parents who should know better jostle and fight in eight-hour queues to get last year’s stock at a discount. Why? It’s a teddy bear they’re giving out, not an hour riding Tom Hardy’s face like one of those novelty cars you get outside of a supermarket.

It makes me cringe, and the cherry on the cake? A mother saying she had taken her kid out of school “because it’s not important”! Bloody hell. What’s more important than a solid education? Why of course, it’s allowing your child to get kneed in the face whilst you pull the extensions out of whichever u-ok-hunner has taken up camp in front of you. I watch scenes like this with the same barely-concealed contempt that I save for people who throw litter from their cars, or those who kick cats, or Theresa May, a woman so devoid of humanity and warmth that you can easily imagine her asking her driver to back the car up after hitting a deer just so she could watch the light leave its eyes.

However, there’s a flipside to national excitement. I have enjoyed, for the most part, the patriotism and cheerfulness that swept across the nation like a Sports Direct-branded blanket over the last couple of weeks when we (mostly) believed that ‘football was coming home’. You must understand that I can’t bear football – nothing about watching 22 men with pipe-cleaner haircuts kicking a bladder around a field excites me – but even I’ve been swept up in daring to dream. Paul had to stop me hanging a flag from our window, telling me that we already looked like fully-paid-up National Front members, what with our skinhead haircuts and Dr Martens, and perhaps we didn’t need to reinforce that look further. I know it’s not racist to display our flag, despite the myriad of Facebook posts informing me so from people you know get given Lynx sets for Christmas, but even so, it does have a certain image problem.

But it’s just been nice having people out celebrating, smiling, enjoying themselves without much bother instead of the usual sights that accompany football fans abroad – men with tits bouncing on their knees throwing plastic chairs at anyone who elongates their vowels, women pissing in the street, people shouting ENG-UR-LAND and getting spittle everywhere. Admittedly it hasn’t all been rosy – you’ll have seen those shameful pictures of the idiots jumping up and down on that ambulance and taking it off the road. I’m not one for eye-for-an-eye, but I can’t help but hope someone jumps up and down on their larynx as retribution. Really, what are we missing?

But morons like that represent the tiniest part of what makes our country great. Seeing everyone celebrating when we scored, and then commiserating when we lost, was thrilling. Let’s be proud of where we got to, instead of immediately running onto Facebook to be the cleverest dick who can wail the loudest about REAL HEROES and fuck-all’s coming home. It’s beneath us.

Tell you what isn’t beneath you, though: wearing one of our fabulous new badges. In a shameful bit of self-promotion fuelled with the need to pay for our trip to Canada, we’ve commissioned a charming range of badges that sum up being a twochubbycubs can. Naturally, I’ve had to restock the supplies about eight times over because the ones with c*nt on went almost immediately.

I know, they will be wearing them in all the fashion shows and, would you believe, we’ve already had some saucy bugger sending us a picture of the Proud C*nt badge hanging off her clitoris ring. At least I think that’s what it was supposed to be – either that or she’d dropped the badge into a runover Spam baguette. Want one? By all means – they’re mostly back in stock – click here to be whisked straight to them in a new window.

Full disclosure: we profit from these. Because durrr. Something needs to pay for the extensive anal trauma I suffered from someone trying to stuff me in Build a Bear. Mind we’ve sold almost 600 badges so far from a few posts in our group so…

On that note, shall we get to the recipe? McDonalds Tex Mex Stack – it’s high in syns, but you could leave a slice of cheese out to drop the syns further – or take the view that it’s better to spend the syns on something amazing rather than ordering takeaway. Again. Tsk. To the Tex Mex Stack then…

Tex Mex Stack

Tex Mex Stack

Seriously, how good does this look?

The chip and sauce bucket is from Amazon, by the way.

McDonalds fakeaway Tex Mex Stack

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 1 burger

Our final product in our Great Burgers from McDonalds range is this fakeaway takeaway - the Tex Mex Burger. It's high in syns because it has two slices of Mexicana cheese - remove that and replace with the normal cheese allowance and you'll be cooking on gas!

Ingredients

  • 1 wholemeal bun (1x HeB)
  • 200g 5% beef mince
  • two slices of Mexicana cheese (9 syns)
  • half a handful of Cool Original Dorito's (2 syns)
  • 1 slice of tomato
  • handful of lettuce leaves
  • 1 tbsp barbecue sauce (1 syn)

Instructions

  • make the burgers (see notes)
  • cook the burgers (see notes)
  • meanwhile, slice the bun
  • add a burger and then a slice of cheese, then another burger and another slice of cheese
  • place in the Doritos, followed by the tomato and lettuce leaves
  • spoon the barbecue sauce over the top half of the bun and drop on top
  • eat!

Notes

  • a burger press will make easy work of the burgers but if you haven't got one just roll the mince into a ball and flatten into a burger shape
  • you can cook the burgers however you please - we used our Tefal Optigrill on the 'burger' setting but you could use a frying pan over a high heat (spray in a little oil first), under a high grill, on a George Foreman or even on a barbecue. It's up to you!
  • you'll find Mexicana cheese at nearly all supermarkets - if you can't any spicy cheese will do
  • you can reduce the syns by using your Healthy Extra A choice for the cheese and adding some chilli flakes to the barbecue sauce
  • don't forget - you get mince in our fantastic Muscle Food deals! 
  • there's no need for egg or any binders in this - the mince will hold just fine as long as you spend a few minutes giving it a good squeeze and a mix first

Lovely, right? That’s the Tex Mex Stack! Fancy one of the other burgers? Click to be taken straight there!

Yum!

J

low-syn McDonald’s Tennessee Stack

McDonald’s Tennessee Stack fakeaway follows below. Our quartet of burgers is nearly reaching a climax and once we’ve got them out of the way, we can crack on with dodging salads and eating entirely too much pasta. Tis the Slimming World way.

But first, a HEALTH WARNING. I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to read the eight billion facebook posts about it, but there’s a recall on frozen vegetables because there’s a small chance of listeria being present on the frozen peas. DRAMATIC. I mean, cook the vegetables and you’ll be just fine, but no no, Sandra has been on the Mumsnet Forums and is using her Masters in Internet Hyperbole from the University of Life to tell people THEY’RE GOING TO DIE.

It does rather presume you’re sat at home sucking on a frozen carrot like it’s an especially budget ice-pop but still. Oh no. Just as I was typing that sentence I realised that this could be the next Slimming World fad – save yer syns by freezing a shard of beetroot and it’ll be just like a blackcurrant Calippo. I give it two weeks before that idea is #Pinched and you’ve got twenty women with black teeth sat in your classes. Hey, in a world where freezing a Muller Yoghurt is the same as eating Häagen-Dazs anything is possible.

Anyway – it’s too hot to sit typing out recipes, so let’s get this Tennessee Stack out, then go out and enjoy the sun. I hear there’s an important football match on? You can imagine how interested I am in that. I watched the England v Columbia match under significant duress (the gym I use had all the TVs tuned to that station) and fuck me, what a bore. The last time I saw that many men with £250 haircuts and pursed lips fall over and scream theatrically was when I accidentally ordered a pint of beer in our local twink tavern.

Oh I get it, I know, Eng-er-land and all that. It would be fun if they won the World Cup, and oh-aye-no-nah didn’t Pickford’s save come from nowhere etc etc nah, fuck it, I can’t do it. I feel like my anxiety situation of being stuck in a taxi with a driver who talks of nothing but tits and football has expanded out to the entire nation. What do I say when people ask if I follow football? “No, I prefer rugby, they have better arses and at least when they roll around on the floor, there’s likely to be a degree of accidental penetration?” – I find that doesn’t go down so well.

So yeah: come on England. Give us all a reason to wave our Sports Direct-emblazoned flags in the air for a few more days, eh?

tennessee stack

low syn McDonald's Tennessee Stack

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 1 burger

Third on the quarter of McDonalds burgers is this Tennessee Stack, which is destined to stay here forever unloved because frankly, if you can't spell twochubbycubs without being directed to a blisteringly-detailed gay porn site, you're definitely not going to master Tennessee.

Ingredients

  • 1 wholemeal bun (1x HeB)
  • 200g 5% beef mince
  • 2 slices reduced-fat cheddar (approx. 40g) (1x HeA)
  • 2 slices of bacon, fat removed
  • few slices of gherkins
  • handful of lettuce leaves
  • sliced onion
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise (1 syn)
  • 1 tbsp barbecue sauce (1 syn)
  • pinch of smoked paprika

Instructions

  • make the burgers (see notes)
  • cook the burgers (see notes) and the bacon
  • meanwhile, slice the bun
  • mix together the paprika and barbecue sauce and spread over the top half of the bun
  • top the bottom half with a slice of cheese, two burgers and the bacon
  • add a few slices of gherkins, onions, mayonnaise, lettuce leaves and the other slice of cheese
  • top with the bun
  • eat!

Notes

  • a burger press will make easy work of the burgers but if you haven't got one just roll the mince into a ball and flatten into a burger shape
  • you can cook the burgers however you please - we used our Tefal Optigrill on the 'burger' setting but you could use a frying pan over a high heat (spray in a little oil first), under a high grill, on a George Foreman or even on a barbecue. It's up to you!
  • don't forget - you get both mince and bacon in our fantastic Muscle Food deals! 
  • there's no need for egg or any binders in this - the mince will hold just fine as long as you spend a few minutes giving it a good squeeze and a mix first

Courses burgers

Cuisine fakeaway

Delicious! You know, since doing these burgers we’ve realised they’re nearly all the same – damn you McDonalds – but if this Tennessee Stack stops you enduring a trip to McDonalds, then everyone is a winner, no?

Want more ideas? Why don’t you have a BBQ?

J

low syn McDonald’s Chicago Stack

Next on the old trip around McDonalds is this lovely Chicago Stack! I’m not going to lie, all of their Great Taste burgers are variations on meat being packed into buns and covered in a variety of sauces, but then, so am I, and I’m perfect in every way.

Well, aside from my left nostril. No, that little bugger has betrayed me and decided that I don’t need any sleep at all and rather I would prefer to wake up at 4am with it streaming snot and throbbing. I woke up the other night with a pillow so sticky and viscous that I thought I’d been rohypnoled during one of Paul’s ‘Let’s Meet The Neighbours’ events, where neighbours means any VWE BBC curvy gentlemen within a 40 – no, let’s hedge the bets – 50 mile radius. It was like being a teenage boy all over again, although I no longer have a stack of bedaubed Razzles under my mattress that all mysteriously fall open to the ‘Reader’s Husbands’ page. Ah, memories. When you were horny but only had an expanse of fields and a 56k modem to salve your thickness, you made do.

Actually, Christ, that reminds me. I once found a videotape thrown into a hedge when out playing, and because I was an inquisitive child whose parents had a somewhat casual approach to sensibilities, rushed straight home to put it in the VHS player. Well, it certainly wasn’t old episodes of Minder. The lady getting wheelbarrowed around the shagpile had more hair on her muff than I’ve ever had on my face – and I’m talking cumulative beard growth over at least 16 years. I was so horrified and aghast that I rushed out and left it in the video player, which in turn led to a very difficult, awkward conversation later on about the birds, bees and growlers that look like Bungle and George from Rainbow had a lovechild which fell in a fire.

Honestly, it’s no wonder I dance at the other end of the disco.

How the hell did we get here? Ah yes! My nostril! I normally suffer a bit with hay-fever but I can cope if I take an antihistamine, but this year I get woken up suffocating on my own pollen-snot mix. Does anyone have any ideas? I’ve tried all different variations of medication. We have air-conditioning. I’ve tried local honey. I’m not sticking my hand in any nettles. I’m not a simpleton, so please don’t recommend anything that comes from a business where you start every sentence with ‘Now I know it looks like a pyramid scheme but honestly…’ because being told to fuck off will likely offend.

This is a genuine cry for help though – I’ve had about ten hours total sleep in the last four days because once I’m awake, that’s it, I can’t go back to sleep. I lie in bed furious with Paul for being able to sleep and then being sure to passively-aggressively sneeze as loud as possible until he sends me out in a huff.

We have fun! Anyway, I won’t keep you any longer. Before the Chicago Stack recipe, we have a competition running on Instagram though!

COMPETITION! The lovely @yourshonline have come to my sweaty, too hot rescue and provided me with a food flask that keeps my dinner warm and a flask that keeps drinks deliciously cool for AGES. Seriously, the drink stays cold for 24 hours! Plus, the shape and colour means it looks just right on my bedside table. You know what I mean. AND NOW YOU CAN HAVE THEM! To win: 1. like this post, because I'm marvellous and a corporate hussy 2. follow @yourshonline and us @twochubbycubs 3. Tag a friend who always has a hot box in the comments! I'll pick someone next Wednesday. And listen, I'm recommending these because they actually do work. No corporate shill here! They're genuinely amazing! #foodflask #competition #sho #Slimmingworld #slimmingworldmafia #slimming #yourshoonline #instacomp #blogger #blagger #gifted

A post shared by twochubbycubs (@twochubbycubs) on

Come win yourself a bottle and a flask. To be clear, we were given these to try in response to my mewling about the heat being unbearable and, had they been rubbish like other flasks, I would have wasted no time in telling you. But actually – they kept my drink cold – in this weather – all day AND the food flask kept my food hot. I don’t know the science, but I do know the quality! So I can recommend them without hesitation and you can believe me without regret: take a nose!

And now, the McDonald’s Chicago Stack!

Chicago Stack!

Chicago Stack!

1 vote

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low syn McDonald's Chicago Stack

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 1 burger

Next on our sweep through classic burgers from McDonalds is the Chicago Stack!

Look, this might not be classy food, but we're doing God's work here and saving you from yourself. This way you get to enjoy McDonalds and stay within your syns, which is perfect as it then means you have a few leftover for that XXL Dominos you'll be chasing this down with. Am I right?

Ingredients

  • 1 wholemeal bun (1x HeB)
  • 200g 5% beef mince
  • 2 rashers of bacon, fat removed
  • 2 slices of reduced-fat cheddar (approx. 40g) (1x HeA)
  • few gherkin slices
  • 1 tbsp barbecue sauce (1 syn)
  • 1 tbsp extra light mayonnaise (1 syn)

Instructions

  • make the burgers (see notes)
  • cook the burgers (see notes)
  • meanwhile, slice the bun
  • spread the barbecue sauce over the bottom bun and the mayonnaise on the top
  • add a burger to the bottom bun, then a slice of cheese, then another burger and the other slice of cheese
  • top with bacon and gherkins 
  • add the top bun
  • eat!

Notes

  • a burger press will make easy work of the burgers but if you haven't got one just roll the mince into a ball and flatten into a burger shape
  • you can cook the burgers however you please - we used our Tefal Optigrill on the 'burger' setting but you could use a frying pan over a high heat (spray in a little oil first), under a high grill, on a George Foreman or even on a barbecue. It's up to you!
  • don't forget - you get both mince and bacon in our fantastic Muscle Food deals! 
  • there's no need for egg or any binders in this - the mince will hold just fine as long as you spend a few minutes giving it a good squeeze and a mix first
  • and we used a sesame white bun for the picture because we're whorish and don't care about syns any more

Courses fakeaway

Cuisine burgers

You know, rather than endless links, let’s bring the buttons back for a bit! Click and be whisked to a list of recipes for each category. Well I say whisk, but not with those cankles, eh? Enjoy your Chicago Stack!

poultrysmallbeefsmallporksmalllambsmallfakeawayssmall

J