slimming world classics – slimming world roulade

James here – before Paul rambles on about exercise, just a quick note to say that this is the final recipe in the Slimming World Classics week, where we took on seven Slimming World classics and tried them out. I’ll say this – for the most part, they were pretty tasty, but as with anything to do with Slimming World, you need to cook the buggery out of the sauce to make it thicker and add more taste. Unless you happen to like your dinner to look like the kind of shite-on-wheels that Ronnie Corbett is selling these days. The theme week was fun to do and we’ve got a few more pencilled in – but for now at least, it’s back to business as usual – five posts a week and a weigh-in! Enjoy.

If you’ve missed the Slimming World classics, here’s some handy links, but do read on afterwards…

I’m actually doing overtime tonight so I’m handing over to Paul, who wants to drone on about exercise. Go him! I’ll pop my head (the top one) through at the end to sass you to sleep.


Paul now. Tonight I’m gonna be talking about that awful, awful thing that we probably all despise (otherwise we wouldn’t be in this position) – EXERCISE. I know, I know. I dry heaved a bit too. Don’t worry, it’ll pass.

Body Magic, the fancy-dan name that Slimming World gives it, is such an essential part of the programme but the one that is most overlooked for some reason, apart from a glistening sticker that gives waved momentarily under your nose now and again. This is something I never really understood. Exercise, alongside Food Optimising will surely yield even more impressive results – so why not make more of a song and dance about it? I suppose they probably know full well that our fatties balk at the idea of doing any kind of movement and like to shy away from it just so it doesn’t put us off. A shiny sticker now and again though helps keep that sweaty finger in that quark-filled pie.

I’ve always had a funny relationship with exercise. No, funny isn’t the right world. Negligent. Avoidant. Fearful. Even as a young lad (and I’ve pretty much always been big) I absolutely detested exercise of any form which wasn’t really that easy growing up in a farming town where all the stuff to do was hidden away in fields a mile or two from the house or up a tree or hay bale. I once told my (let’s admit it, dim) friend that there was a speed limit on the paths just so I could bike a bit slower and stop my chunky little thighs from chafing.

There have been certain sports over the years, surprisingly, that I actually have really bloody loved, even if it made my chest ache, and when I played them I couldn’t get enough and no amount of truffle-shufflin’ could get in my way. Shinty, for example (no it’s a real thing – I promise. It’s like a gayer version of hockey) I REALLY loved but after only a few lessons of it in school it buggered off and was replaced with ‘apparatus’.  It may also be because me and my bong eye managed to hurtle the ball through a pane of the caretakers greenhouse. Still the manliest thing I’ve ever done in my life). I had a brief fling with Rugby too which I also loved (some for obvious reasons) but various things, namely fags and laziness, stopped this in its track. So, apart from that I’ve never really been that into exercise.

We did join a gym last year though. A big, fancy one called David Lloyd. We paid for the whole year upfront with the thought that if we did so we’d be more inclined to use it (and because she gave us a giant custard cream). We went every day without fail for about five weeks and then never went back. A shame because we both really enjoyed going and I missed it when we didn’t go, and unfortunately the motivation to go back just hasn’t come either.

A few people at work play netball (I work with a lot of ladies) which I used to love as well, but again, too gay. But all of this got me thinking – exactly WHAT will get us motivated to exercise more? I can’t help but think that at some point we’ll need to start putting in some serious exercise to shift some weight – as men we tend to ‘plateau’ with our weight loss. A few things come into my mind – I’d like to start going to the gym again, but a nice, comfortable one. David Lloyd was fancy but it was full of ‘roided up chavs or posh folk that scoffed and sneered as us fatties shuffled into the room. It was like a Smell-o-Vision porno, except all the sexy action was next door and you were just left with the moist air and Piz Buin. Going back to rugby would be a good choice too but that’s something for the future – heaven knows I’ll have to shift a lot more tit if I don’t want to be confused for an advertising hoarding or the entire scrum every time I slow down to catch my breath. I bent down to tie my shoelaces the other day and someone stuck a ‘VOTE UKIP’ poster on my left arse-flank. Aaah.

Team sports I think are definitely the future for us. We aren’t the most sociable of people at the best of times (Bowser has more contact with the neighbours just by shitting in their flowerbeds) so it’ll definitely help with our socialising abilities. I quite fancy the idea of lawn bowls but James has completely put the kibosh on that, saying we’re too common and we’d only get asked to leave once we started carrying on and doing Janice Battersby impressions at each other at top volume. Spoilsport. A shame really as I’d already picked out a lovely cream cardigan for just the occasion.

So the hunt will go on. For now, we’ll probably continue with what we’re doing – doing a thirty minute or so walk to and from work in the mornings and evenings. Nice and gentle and easy is the ticket – I used to walk 6 miles a day to and from work which I could only sustain for a week at the time before either a hole was worn in the thigh of my tracksuit bottoms, my feet went on strike or I broke the shower tray in the cubicle at work (oops – my bad) so all of that was pretty self-defeating.

And so on that note, if exercise is the enemy of the fatty the antidote is the friend – CAAAKKE. Here, if you’ve ever wanted to be me, this is exactly what it sounds like when I call James from the supermarket and tell him I’ve used the Nectar points on a chocolate finger.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ILfxWPajpY&w=560&h=315]

The remix overeggs the pudding a little but christ, James even looks like Brendan. SPEAKING OF OVER-EGGING THE PUDDING…

11136228_866629763410628_7871236547893838989_o

James may have put a slight editorial bias on the picture. But, plot twist, it’s actually James typing now, so on we go.

to make slimming world roulade, you’ll need:

4 eggs, 1 tub of quark, 5 tbsp artificial sweetener, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp vanilla essence, fruit (we used strawberries).

to make slimming world roulade, you should:

  • take all of your expectations of this being a taste sensation and put them in the nearest bin
  • oven onto 180°
  • seperate the yolks from the egg whites which is an absolute piece of piss with one of these egg separators!
  • whisk together the four egg yolks, half the tub of quark, four tablespoons of artificial sweetener, baking powder (hence half a syn) and vanilla essence, set aside
  • whisk together the egg whites until it’s stiff enough to satisfy – whisk half into the egg yolk slop and then fold in the rest – you need to be delicate here, you’re not trying to put out a burning tramp – you want to keep the air in, see
  • line a baking sheet with paper, pour the mixture in, spread it finely and bake for 15-20 minutes
  • use the time to think about your life and what the hell makes you think this is going to taste like anything other than a sweetened omelette with the consistency of a pump-filled cloud
  • once it’s done, allow to cool – you’ll not get the full effect of the flavour if you go in warm
  • mix the rest of the quark with the tablespoon of the sweetener and spread it over the cake, dot it with strawberries and roll it up like an eggy bifta
  • enjoy.

Paul thinks it tastes ‘OK’. I think it tastes exactly like what it is – an eggy, hyper-sweet TURD. 

If you’re short on time, there’s a far quicker recipe:

  • nip to ASDA and buy a pack of these:

4023103145719_280_IDShot_3

  • smear a Muller-fucking-Light on the top
  • enjoy whilst crying tears of shame.

Look – Slimming World has syns, use them on a slice of bloody cake and enjoy it. Fair enough, choking this down might get you your Body Magic award, but COME ON.

I think I’ve managed to hide my disdain well.

J & P

slimming world classics – salt and pepper chicken

I tell you what, you’re doing rather well out of us this week, bearing in mind we were aiming to only post five times a week, and one of them would be a quickpost! But, like the caring, big-hearted, lovely chaps that we are, we couldn’t let you down, so here’s an extra recipe – salt and pepper chicken. 

Syn-free, mind.

salt and pepper chicken

I can’t tell you how long I agonised over putting that ‘n’ in the title. I’m someone whose teeth actually itch if I happen across a ROFL. Anyway, recipe:

to make salt and pepper chicken, you’ll need:

two chicken breasts (one per person) cut into chunks, 5 tbsp Smash, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, ½ tsp powdered garlic, one egg, a good slug of soy sauce, one green pepper, one onion, one chilli pepper, 2 tsp granulated sweetener, 2 tbsp white wine vinegar, noodles.

to make salt and pepper chicken, you should:

  • mix together the Smash, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl and spread out onto a plate
  • dip the chicken chunks into beaten egg with a good slug of soy sauce and roll in the dry smash mixture until well coated
  • place the crumbed chicken chunks onto a baking sheet that has been sprayed with Frylight
  • add another couple of sprays of Frylight over the top and bake in the oven (200°C or Gas Mark 6) for around 25-30 minutes or until golden
  • get your noodles cooking
  • meanwhile, chop an onion, green pepper and chilli pepper and mix together in a pan
  • cover and let it sweat over a medium-low heat
  • add another slug of soy sauce after about ten minutes and mix well
  • in another bowl, mix together the granulated sweetener and white wine vinegar and stir until dissolved
  • when it’s all ready, add the vinegar mixture to the vegetables, mix well, and serve with the chicken on top of the noodles

Mwah! Easy-peasy. I know I’m dancing with the devil using frylight and sweetener but if I tell you to use 1tsp of honey and a dab of oil, you might have a fit. Using honey instead of sweetener and a drop of oil instead of frylight makes things better, but up to you…!

J

cheesy smash scones

Gosh, I love a Saturday – the traffic to the blog spikes like crazy and we always get a swell of new people joining. Hello one and all, don’t forget to tell your friends. That was the deal. Don’t make me Princess Di you, I’ve got access to a Fiat Uno. You’ll find a link to all the recipes at the top of the page, together with an FAQ for new members of Slimming World and some other flim-flam.  Tonight’s recipe is for slimming world smash scones, and tomorrow’s Slimming World Classic is salt and pepper chicken, but we’ve jazzed it up just a smidge. The recipe that we found out was ‘fry chicken, add salt, add pepper’ which isn’t a recipe at all. Their other recipes included ‘elegant tannin slurp’ (boil kettle, add milk, add tea-bag). Knobbers. Maybe I made that bit up, you’re not the boss here.

Anyway, back to Ireland, where you may remember we were spending an awful amount of time driving around and being snotty about craft shops? Well rest assured that this continued unabated. But first, an observation. See, Paul and I have the type of marriage where we can openly discuss other good-looking men without one of us throwing a paddy and waving a pair of blunt scissors at the other’s cock, and as a result we were looking forward to seeing plenty of rough-hewn Irish farmer types with bushy beards and big soft eyes strutting around. Well, pfft. For a start, everyone was about 2ft tall. Seriously, they’d have blinded themselves if they’d pulled their socks up. Plus, weedy – apparently despite only having shops that sell Daniel O’Donnell tat and Guinness fiddle-faddle the men have found somewhere that sells those bloody awful Abercrombie and Fitch hoodies and tiny pin-leg jeans. THAT’S NOT MANLY. I even saw a man-bun (and you may remember how I feel about that) on someone serving diesel in the last petrol station before civilisation ended. I bet if we go back in a year there will be burgers in brioche buns and someone drinking out of a watering can. Pissheads. Scotland has the best blokes – then England, then Wales, then Ireland.

 MV68ILE

That’s what we were expecting…

Studio portrait of young man

That’s what we got. GOD-DAMN IT IRELAND.

We visited a chocolate factory. I say visited, Paul barely had time to register the words coming up on the turn-off sign before I had swerved the car across the road and into the car-park. I swear I was inside at the tasting station before he’d even unsuckered the sat-nav from the windscreen. MIND. It was a bit of a stretch to call it a chocolate factory, given it seemed to consist of a few lovely Irish ladies melting chocolate nips and scattering orange peel into it. That said, we still stocked up, ostensibly on gifts for our co-workers, but I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that we had one of the giant chocolate slabs open before we’d even pulled out of the car park. We rationalised it by thinking that, as we’d seemingly shored up Ireland’s deficit by buying so much chocolate, the decent thing to do would be to enjoy it. Plus, they’d been a bit stingy with the ‘free tasting’ considering the amount of money we’d spent – I can remember even now seeing Paul’s watery eyes and downturned mouth when she went to put away the tray of free chocolate.

We also visited the “Most Beautiful Cliffs in Kerry” – which I personally think lived right up to the name. It’s a strong, bold claim and we almost didn’t get to see it. Not because of bad weather, or the access being closed…no, because we were so full of chocolate that we drove straight past when we saw ‘only a five minute walk from the car-park’ on the side.  Isn’t that mortifyingly lazy? But I’ve been each and every person reading this has done something similar. I mean, it was just so warm in the car, and a cliff is a bloody cliff…right? We drove on for another ten minutes before we had to turn back around and go see the bloody cliffs, so ashamed were we by our own bloody laziness. Actually – glad we did, because look…

 11070898_861370087269929_7601467803088285464_n

Isn’t that amazing? Despite the two minute walk being more like a ten minute gentle stroll up a gradient that a marble would struggle picking up speed rolling down, it was more than worth it, even if Paul did struggle with the defibrillator at the end. My sense of injustice was piqued by the gypsy (genuinely, I’m not just being racist) who charged me €4 to park the car and gave us a ticket to view the cliffs, but I didn’t fancy arguing with someone who had colour-ordinated his brown change purse with his nicotine-lacquered teeth.

We visited an immeasurable number of beaches, and by god I’ll never forget them, not least because I’m still pouring out a good half of them onto my living room carpet at the end of the day. One afforded us the chance, thanks to a stern warning that we simply mustn’t go on the rocks (which we immediately did), to reinact that bit where old Jelly Belly Harold Bishop fell into the sea and Madge was left shouting HAAAAARULD at the crashing waves after she found his glasses in a rockpool. Remember that? Twochubbycubs do.

243266_386106798129596_87174664_o

Seriously, every day with us is full of nonsense like this. If we’re not re-enacting famous soap deaths – I’ve done Jim Robinson before, complete with quacks and a rolling orange, we’re yelling Titanic quotes at each other. Plus, we left behind some free advertising.

 11081461_858071594266445_47351264204557627_n

Subtle, right? Here, one final thing. The cottage had an amazing cottage but clearly attracted the sort of people who were braggarts and fancydans when it came to their wine, to the point where each person staying had placed an empty bottle of their best wine on top of the kitchen cupboards (quite a task, given how high up they were – I had to really stretch and I’m tall enough to be continued). And oh lord, people had signed them too – and the names read like a Vegan’s Anonymous meeting, all Cressy and Johnathanial and suchlike. So, in the sense of causing mischief, we added our own. Can you spot it?

 11148760_864613746945563_1303394565367470247_n

Haha, I’ve never drank blue WKD in my life, I don’t think. It’s like wearing Lynx, once you’ve actually had sex, it should be beneath you. Anyway. I tell you what’s below me? My feet. My feet which aren’t cheesy. But I tell you what IS cheesy? These Smash scones! Yeah alright, that was a shit link, so sue me, it’s late. LOOK AT THEM.

scones

Before I get started, let me just put this in here.

TWEAK

Yes, this is definitely a tweak. If you don’t tweak, just skip on. If you’re comfortable tweaking, crack on! These are delicious and perfect to make as a snack. Not sure what tweaking is? My previous rant explains it…click here for that (lots of people seem to really enjoy that article…!)

to make cheesy smash scones, you’ll need:

100g of plain Smash, 2 eggs, 300g of low-fat cottage cheese (make sure you get the syn free cottage cheese, I use the Tesco low fat version), 30g of hard extra strong cheese, chopped chives (we have them growing in the garden – for goodness sake, get yourself a pot, bit of compost and one of the growing pots from Tesco for a quid, they almost grow themselves), paprika for the top, garlic salt.

to make cheesy smash scones, you should:

nothing to this one – you blend the egg and cottage cheese together with a hand-blender, add the Smash, cheese, chives and garlic and shape into a dough. It should feel dry and not very sticky, you can always work a bit more Smash in. You don’t actually need to blend the egg and cottage cheese first, but I like it smooth. Shape it into whatever shape you want, drop them into a frylighted oven tray, sprinkle with paprika and cook for 25 minutes on 190 degrees (check on them after 15 minutes).

Done!

ENJOY.

J

baked bean lasagna

Usual drill – recipe at the bottom of this post. This week’s Slimming World Classic is baked bean lasagne, just in case there wasn’t a strong enough stench of death blowing out your arse of an evening. It’s actually pretty tasty, though we’ve added mince because we’re such incorrigible rogues…by the way, I’m never 100% sure whether to use lasagna or lasagne, so pick one and roll with it.

11110994_863977163675888_7433863162512722664_o

You may remember that I said I wasn’t going to talk in a chronological fashion about our trip to Ireland? Well there’s a reason – me saying that we went out driving each day doesn’t sound alluring, so, here’s some more random scattershot thoughts about our holiday, in no particular order.

The first town that we visited was a tiny little village called Waterville, which was actually quite charming. However, it didn’t bode especially well given everything was shut bar one fish shop (I don’t do fish) and a ‘crafts’ shop. I can’t stand ‘crafts’. I just can’t. Everything about craft shops wind me up, from the nonsense tat on offer to the twiddley-dee music playing to the judgemental looks that your leather shoes get from Astrid Moonglow behind the counter. But who buys this shit anyway? Who has ever walked into a craft shop and said ‘Now that’s just what I’ve been looking for – the entire works of B*Witched played on a pan-pipe and fiddle’ or, to that end, what sums up a holiday more than an shamrock-shaped ashtray with ‘I ❤ Ireland’ emblazoned on it in flaking gold Mistral? I’ve never felt the need to fragrance my home with incense sticks which smell like lavender and burning hair and nor do I feel the need to dry my dishes with a teatowel with Daniel O’Donnell’s slightly warped face on it. Frankly, I wouldn’t dry my arse with a picture of Daniel O’Donnell but that’s entirely beside the point. We did the very ‘us’ thing of tutting at the window as we walked past and spent a good five minutes wondering how the hell a craft shop in the arse-end of Ireland stays profitable enough to remain open on a grey, dismal day when suddenly our questions were answered by the sight of an David Urquhart coach straining over the horizon and about 300 Chinese tourists bustling out to take pictures of an inexplicable Charlie Chaplin statue.

As an aside, I had to google David Urquhart there to check the spelling and amongst reviews of his coach company, I found reviews for a Pontins resort which were titled ‘NOT AS BAD AS IT COULD HAV BEEN’ (spelling hers, not mine). Is there ever a sentence that sums up a shit holiday more than that? And the reviews and photos are ghastly – it looks like a prison camp. That said, Paul and I are definitely going to one of these places, if only so I can practice my ‘well isn’t that just LOVELY’ face for a week’.

We also visited Sneem, which to me sounds like an especially complicated part of the penis – you know, like ‘Hannah found Geoffrey would agree to anything, especially when she flicked his sneem and prodded his barse’. It was lovely, although I caused immediate and swift embarrassment to poor Paul when he got out of the car to avail of the public lavatory, as I whirred the window down, shouted ‘I HOPE THERE’S NO BLOOD IN YOUR SHIT THIS TIME HUN’ and drove off down the street, much to the disgusted and aghasted looks of the nearby tourists. He only started talking to me once I’d bought him a Nutella ice-cream. Paul’s easy to win around in an argument (tickle his sneem) – basically, the naughtier I’ve been, the more saturated fats have got to be pumped into him – like a blood transfusion but with a bag of Starmix hanging on the drip stand. In fact, Sneem had rather a lot of lovely places to eat – we tried The Village Kitchen (twice) and it was amazing – they serve black pudding on the pizza, and what’s not to like about that? Mmm. Irontacular.

Fun fact – Sneem’s own website actually describes the village as ‘The Knot in the Ring of Kerry’. Now come on, someone’s having a laugh there, surely? You might as well twin the place with Twatt up in the Shetlands and be done. I’m not even kidding – look for yourself at www.sneem.com. I warn you, the website seems to have been designed on a Game Boy Colour by Stevie Wonder.

We had to leave Sneem as we were told, in hushed, dramatic tones like someone imparting a nuclear code or warning of an oncoming plague, that there was a tractor rally happening and the roads would be chaos. Good heavens – why there wasn’t a full BBC News crew there I still don’t know. I tease I tease, I know you need to find excitement where you can in a place like that – trust me, I grew up in a tiny village where the only excitement was the fortnightly library and wanking, though not at the same time, and certainly not with the librarian as she had a bigger beard than I did.

Whilst I’m here, driving around Ireland – and in particular, the Ring of Kerry, was an unending joy. The rain (which we love, so didn’t bother us) kept most of the other tourists at bay and it felt like we had the place to ourselves. They could do with levelling out some of the roads though because good lord it was bumpy (not helped by the fact that as usual I was driving like I’d stolen the car from the Garda). I was always told to drive like I had a pint of milk on the dashboard and I didn’t want to spill it – by the time I’d finished it would have been butter. I did show a little restraint after a particularly pronounced bump in the road where I almost turned the car into a convertible using nought but my own head.

I did manage to get stuck behind a caravan – almost inevitably – and immediately started turning the air blue due to the fact I couldn’t get past. I’m not against caravans – it’s nice that the happily celibate and doubly incontinent have a place to rest their heads – but I could have parked my car, lay down in the road and farted my way home and it would have been quicker. Every turn in the road required shifting down to first and piloting his Shitbox 3000 round the corner like it was made out of tissue and the branches on the tree were broken glass. I managed to overtake with Paul holding my left hand down so I couldn’t stick my fingers up at him as I went past. There’s no need to drive so bloody slowly!

That burst of anger seems like a good place to leave it, actually.

Tonight’s classic is baked bean lasagne. Confession time: we’ve made this before, but, as per usual with slimming world recipes, it didn’t taste that good. I’m a firm believer in taking proper recipes and slimming them down, remember? So we’ve jazzed it up a bit by adding mince, but you could just as easily leave that out. I’m not your keeper, for goodness sake.

11036988_863977300342541_2208409189572953591_o

to make baked bean lasagna, you’ll need:

one onion, 250 of lean mince, 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, nice yellow pepper, any mushrooms that haven’t grown legs yet, 2 tins of baked beans, garlic (powder or cloves, but grate finely if you’re using cloves) salt, pepper, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, dried lasagne sheets (pre-soaked if the packet says to do so, but for fucks sake don’t use fresh lasagne sheets or your consultant will be sticking pins in their voodoo doll of you, tub of quark, 30g of parmesan, 30g of extra strong cheddar (both cheeses being 1 healthy extra each) and an egg. Basil leaves and tomato for the top if you’re a pretentious sort.

to make baked bean lasagna, you should:

  • finely chop the pepper, onion, garlic and mushrooms and hoy in a pan and lightly cook them off for a few minutes in a drop of oil, with the soy sauce and worcestershire sauce added for good measure (a tsp each)
  • add the mince with all the rakish carelessness of a lorry driver dumping a jazz mag in a hedge and brown it off
  • tip the beans and tomatoes into the pot and allow to simmer until the sauce is nice and thick
  • meanwhile, prepare the cheese sauce by whisking violently together the quark, egg and 30g of parmesan, with a good twist or two of salt and pepper
    • if you really want to splash out, buy a cheese sauce mix – this lasagna easily serves four so a 7.5 syn cheese mix (which is what the Schwartz cheese mix is works out at a fraction under 2 syns a serving, and that’s nowt!)
  • layer it in a pyrex dish – mince first (use a slotted spoon to take the mince from the pan to the dish, and that way your lasagne won’t be all sauce…), then the lasagna sheets, then the sauce, then the mince, then the sheets, then the sauce, and then wrap it all in foil and throw it in the oven for 40 minutes on 190 degrees – check on it after 30 minutes to make sure it hasn’t turned to ash
  • take it out, remove the foil, add the grated cheddar and any poncy decoration you like and pop it back in the oven for ten minutes or so until the cheese is golden and crunchy.

You really ought to serve this with a bit of salad but there’s a lot of superfree in there. So up to you.

I’m off now – Transco are sending an engineer around to fit a tap to my arse to relieve the pressure. Enjoy!

J

KFC-style chicken

Classics Week continues with a recipe for KFC chicken – I’m not a fan of KFC, something about sticking my bone in a greasy box doesn’t appeal. But, nevertheless, it’s a recipe that seems to be doing the rounds on the various SW facebook sites so we thought we should give it a go. Recipe near the bottom, but first, MORE CHUNTERING ABOUT IRELAND.

You left us yesterday as we pulled up outside the cottage, and going forward, I’m not going to talk day to day as a lot of the days were the same (pootle about in the car, eat, eat some more, pootle a bit further, eat, stock up on ice-cream and nip back to the cottage in time for Tipping Point) – instead, I’ll just rattle off some incidents, high points and thoughts.

First, we managed to cause major offence within twenty four hours. Frankly, if you’re of a nervous disposition or candid talk of sex makes you green, just skip ahead a couple of paragraphs.

See, the cottage came with a hot-tub, and we decided to enjoy dusk in the hot-tub completely nude – pity the poor filters having to work overtime to drain out our back-hair and toenails.  But, it was incredibly romantic and we were incredibly isolated, with not a soul around us (to the point where, at night, we could look across the valley and see only one solitary light for miles around), and being young, virile young men, we immediately got up to dickens. Well, it was my birthday after all.

Picture the scene – the bubbling of the steamy water, music playing through the iPad, the rhymthic sound of the jets, the twilit light bouncing off Paul’s wobbling buttocks (it would look like the Mitchell brothers were hiding just under the water), me playing a mean tune on the old ham trumpet – perfectly romantic for a married couple. Well yes, until a honking big tractor appeared at the end of the garden less than thirty foot away. How we had missed it was understandable – Paul was facing the other way and I was always told not to talk with my mouth full – but how the hell the farmer didn’t see until he was parked up I have no clue. Looking back, there would have been a hedge blocking his view until about 40 foot away, and then he probably just thought he was committed.

Good lord. You’ve never seen two people spring back as quick as we did – it was like someone had dropped a toaster in the water. Half the water in the hot-tub sloshed over the side exposing even more of our milky-white frames. Mind, he was no better – he looked like your very personification of a hard-bitten farmer – tattered cloth cap, wax jacket from the eighties, face like a drained field, and he ambled over with his hand pulling the brow of his cap over his eyes like he was Icarus approaching the sun. When really, it was the FULL MOON he should have been worried about. He spluttered something about the oil heating and asked if everything was alright – I assume, anyway, because we couldn’t hear or understand a word of what he said and I certainly wasn’t going to engage him in any chatter whilst my boobs blew around in the hot-tub jets. He sharp got back in his tractor and almost did a donut on the gravel drive way trying to get away.

So that killed the mood. To be honest, I’m not a massive fan of the hot-tub, it’s what people with bad taste buy when they win the lottery. What might look glamorous on the deck of a gorgeous chalet in the Alps doesn’t look quite so alluring pressed up beside a mouldy shed and the frame of a B&Q value trampoline in a shitpit in Southend. Nothing quite says class like drinking Bellabrusco from a plastic beaker as multi-coloured LEDs illuminate your bumhole. Anyway, that didn’t stop us, and despite it being a proper fan-on, we used that hot-tub several more times throughout the holiday.

However, I’m not convinced the filter was working correctly, because towards the end of the holiday, the water became murkier and murkier and started to smell. Not that such trifling matter stopped us – here, we’re Geordie, divven’t ya knaa – but I don’t think you should have to crack the top of the water like a crème brûlée before you get in.

Actually, that’s not even the end of the hot-tub tale, and nor was it the only time we were surprised by an unwelcome visitor. See, on one of the nights that we spent in the hot-tub under the stars, the local horse made an appearance, looming out of the dark about 5 foot away from Paul’s head and promptly did that noise that horses make when they blow air through their noses. Paul shit himself – no wonder the filters didn’t work – but soon calmed down when he realised what it was. All was well until the horse bit him on the head – at that point we called it a night. Ah, nature.

Well now look at that – see this is why I couldn’t write for a living, I’ve spent eight paragraphs talking about hot-tubs! So let’s put Ireland to bed for an evening whilst I mull over whether to categorise this post as x-rated or not.

KFC chicken!

11149787_862967253776879_5986531660292055627_o

Now, we used one wholemeal bun and it made more than enough ‘crumb’ for the two of us – one wholemeal breadbun being one person’s healthy extra. If you want to syn it, you’ll need 6 syns – 3 syns each. You can use smash and make it syn free but ew.

to make KFC style chicken, you’ll need:

ingredients: two chicken breasts (cut into strips), one breadbun, 1tsp of dried oregano, 1tsp of garlic salt, 3tsp of paprika, black pepper, a bit of salt, a tiny pinch of ground ginger and one big old bugger of an egg.

to make KFC style chicken, you should:

recipe:

  • honestly, if you struggle making this, you need to pop yourself into a nursing home now
  • blitz the breadcrumbs and the various powders together in a food processor – you don’t want it like dust, but just fine crumbs
  • beat your egg in a little bowl
  • take a strip of chicken, drop it in the egg, make sure it is covered, put it into the bread/spice mix, cover well, and place on a baking sheet.  If you have cheap trays that stick, either grease them a smidge or use non-stick lining
  • into the oven they go – twenty minutes on one side, turn them, and fifteen minutes on the other on a 200degree heat
  • take them out if they burn, obviously
  • serve with BBQ beans (we added a drop of chipotle rub into our beans before cooking), fries (We use this little potato chipper to make decent shaped fries in a jiffy! Only £7), corn if you want and coleslaw if you can be bothered to make your own (syn-free coleslaw recipe here)

Enjoy!

Quick note – if you love this blog, please share share share! Tell your friends! Tell a neighbour! Tell that fat lassie you don’t care for! Leave a note in someone’s lunchbox. Tell your group about us. Share it on FB. Spread the word – where else can you get gay sex, snobbery, KFC chicken and sassiness all in one post?

J

mushy pea curry

Where to start? Firstly, if you’re here for the recipe, have a good scroll down and you’ll find a recipe for good old mushy pea curry, which although it does look like someone’s already eaten it for you, is tasty, cheap and slimming. Trust me. If you’re here for the long haul, enjoy the first part of my rambling about our recent few days away in Ireland…

11079570_862491037157834_299026318143646437_o

You may remember me mentioning that we had no plans and were planning a last-minute holiday away wherever we could find a cheap deal to a decent place? Well let me tell you – don’t bother. The only available flights were to places which you just know will be full of bald English men with red shoulders reading The Sun and eating full English breakfasts at 4pm. Bleugh. I don’t like flying – the thought of flying somewhere with such little reward just ruled going abroad at last-minute completely out. So, the night before we set off, we booked a holiday cottage in the absolute middle of nowhere in the Ring of Kerry, Ireland, and at 5pm the next day our car was packed, Paul had been picked up and we were on our way in no time at all. I normally hide away the sat-nav for reasons below but intrigue got the better of me as to how far I had to drive and the sat-nav was plugged in and on the dash within ten minutes.

Sat-navs are great in principle but I always end up putting mine sulkily away in the glove box after approximately five minutes. We bought a proper fancydan version in the sales but see, I hate being told what to do when I’m driving and struggle with the authority it commands in the car. I always have good intentions of listening to it and indeed, it’s never failed to guide us where we need to go, but I still have an inherent distrust and because Paul always sides with the sat-nav, it causes arguments. Plus, it only has two male voices, Daniel and Kevin. Kevin is a sarcastic knobhead so he immediately gets turned off but Daniel has been upgraded to this weird breathy version who almost whispers the commands at us like some robotic milk-tray man. I don’t know how appropriate it is to have a semi whilst driving around the Bangor ring-road but there you have it.

We arrived in Bangor at around ten and, due to being full of wine gums and other sweets, went straight to bed. We’d elected to stay at a Premier Inn but this is always a mistake – not because they’re uncomfortable, quite the opposite actually – I’ve always had a great night’s sleep at a Premier Inn – but rather I spend all night scheming and plotting about how I might make my money back under their ‘Guaranteed Good Night’s Sleep’ promise.  The problem with that is, I’ve always found the staff so nice and disarming that I immediately become charming and submissive and don’t dare mention any perceived problem with the room. Bah. We sped down towards Holyhead in the morning and we were at the dock in plenty of good time to sit and wait in the gales and mist before it was time to board the ferry.

Oh! Before I carry on with the tale, let me mention Paul’s idea of breakfast. As we didn’t have time to hoover up an all-you-can-eat-breakfast at the Premier Inn, I bustled him into Holyhead ASDA with the direction of getting a breakfast snack for us. This is what he came back with.

2887518520_a8f34768f9_o

Haway. In case you can’t make it out, it was a little packet which contained a cheesestring, a wrap so dry I could have shaved my three-day-stubble with it, a sachet of knock-off tomato ketchup and (unlike in the picture above, which I’ve nicked from somewhere to illustrate my post) some sliced rolled chicken. It was unspeakably vile. I opened the packet and I swear it hissed when I pulled the lid back. The car smelt like someone had shit out a corpse on the back seat. We got fifty yards down the road before I pulled over and Paul, now with a considerable flea in his ear, had to dispose of the ‘meal’ in the nearest bin. Honestly Holyhead, get your act together. I had tears in my eyes as we drove past McDonalds to the ferry port, let me tell you. Anyway…

You know what I love about the English? The very second they perceive anyone to be at any sort of advantage to them, they start bitching – and this is compounded if they’ve paid extra. Let me explain. Paul and I paid an extra £10 each way on the ferry to be given priority boarding, disembarkation (is that a needlessly clumsy word or what) and access to the Stena lounge. It is the ferry equivalent of first class and we only bought it because the seats in the lounge looked moderately comfortable and there was promise of free snacks. Accordingly, when we drove into the port, we were asked to drive into one of two ‘Premium’ lanes. We parked up and had the windows down only to hear the whisker-faced woman, putting the Tena in Stena Line, in the Audi (shock! horror!) to my right immediately start bitching to her husband that ‘they had paid extra’ and ‘why where we in the second premium lane and they weren’t’ blah blah. He looked amazingly henpecked. She went on and on and on about the perceived injustice of people boarding ahead of her and only stopped when I put my window back up and we both started laughing at her. I think her mood soured further when we did indeed board first – a whole lane ahead of her – and I gave her and her watery-eyed husband a dainty handwave as we drove past. Stupid old mare that she was – it’s not as if those in Premium were going to sailing over on the fucking QE2 and the rest of the passengers were sailing on a floating door.

Once we were loaded onto the ferry, we dashed up the stairs to be the first couple into the ‘Stena Plus’ lounge. Part of the ‘premium’ booking is access to this lounge which is controlled by a surly miss and a set of glass doors. We had to give our surname and were ushered in to avail ourselves of the free snacks, which consisted of those little packet of shortbread that you get in cheap hotels and a few cans of Diet Coke. There were some bottles of wine available for those who were already shaking and slurring at 9am in the morning, plus tea and coffee. Once they had allowed all of the steerage passengers onboard and shut them behind the metal gates, we were on our way.

And good lord, what a crossing. We were warned by the captain (via the ship’s loudspeaker, not personally – I mean we’d only paid an extra tenner and that had to cover the forty cans of Pepsi that I’d secreted away into my rucksack) that the crossing was going to be rough due to the strong winds and turbulent seas, and he wasn’t kidding. The Stena Plus lounge is situated at the front of the ferry and the waves were cresting over the top of the prow as it bobbed up and down. It was awful – it was all I could do to eat my cooked breakfast and fret about whether I’d put the handbrake on, envisioning my car rolling around on the car deck and the weight of our car-snacks causing a frightful Herald of Free Enterprise incident. It was a long four hours – I spent most of it snaffling snacks and gambling in the arcades. Oh and another moan! If you have kids, you don’t automatically have the right to use any machine you want or to have people who are altogether more sensible than you to get out of the way just so your crusty-faced little shitmachine can ‘have a go at driving’. I know, awful, but some pompous little knobhead with a bristly-little tache and his child took a look into the arcade, saw Paul and I playing Mario Kart Arcade Edition and said to his child ‘DON’T WORRY DARLING, YOU’LL BE ABLE TO HAVE A TURN ON THESE KIDS MACHINES WHEN THESE FULLY GROWN MEN HAVE FINISHED’. Honest to God, fully grown men. It was all I could do not to pick up his child and toss him into the Irish sea. I wouldn’t mind but we all know that children don’t actually play the machines, they just sit making silly noises and taking up space. Frankly, parents should be made to lock their children in the car and they can spend the ferry crossing on the car-deck, well out of the way. The ferry journey passed, eventually.

Now we managed to get all the way to the Ring of Kerry via Holyhead, a ferry and seemingly eight years of twisty roads absolutely fine and without incident, and we were a mile away from our cottage when it all went wrong. We arrived at the right ‘area’ and that’s where we were told to switch off the sat-nag (typo intended) and open up the owner’s own directions which would guide us merrily to our cottage in enough time to get the hot-tub going and allow us an hour to flick disdainfully through her CD collection and make snide comments about her glassware.

Well, did they fuck. For a start, she had worded the directions as though as we were in Lord of the Rings, all ‘go over the brow of the hill and make a turn (which direction? which hill?)’ and ‘drive on until you feel a chill’. They were crap. You need to understand how remote the area was – imagine in the pitch black trying to find a remote cottage with not so much as a blinking light anywhere to be seen. It took us three hours – THREE HOURS – of steaming around the countryside along farm tracks screaming and swearing at the perceived injustice of it all. I like to think what the poor horse in the field nearby thought of it all when he saw our car appearing over the crest of a hill for the eightieth time and the last few syllables of a swearing tirade against the Irish, Tom Tom, cottages, Citroen, Enya and Guinness as we sped past. No wonder he got his revenge later in the holiday (that’ll be in part 2).

Completely lost and on the verge of driving the car into a peat bog and setting it on fire, we found an isolated little cottage with a light on and knocked on the door. Now imagine that. You’re a lady, alone, cooking your evening meal, when two burly bald blokes come mincing up your track and braying on the door asking for directions to ‘Cum Bag’ (which was our approximate pronunciation of the name of the cottage, which was in Gaelic). The poor lass probably thought she was starring in her own Vera adventure. She took an age to find directions but eventually, helpfully, she sent us on our way. Buoyed with confidence, we shot off and within five minutes we’d taken another wrong turn, driven the car up a forty-five degree incline into a farmer’s field and were left spinning the car around in the mud in the pitch black, with Paul outside of the car bellowing directions on where I should reverse and me unable to hear him as I was revving the engine so hard out of sheer, unadulterated anger. Haha. Just to add a cherry on top of this my reverse sensors were blaring away making out there was an obstacle behind me until we realised it was mud on the sensor.

Aaah. We headed back to the road, sulked for a good fifteen minutes and then decided to go back to the start and try following her directions one final time. We were at the cottage, parked up and steaming, within ten minutes. God knows how, why or what we were doing wrong, but we managed it without a hitch. I was fizzing and it seems like a good point to stop the tale and move onto the recipe…

Mushy pea curry. Yes, I know, it sounds revolting, but most people will eat a chickpea dahl and this is quite like that. I’ve added chicken, somewhat unnecessarily, but that’s me all over. It’s syn free and you’ll be able to get a good few chapters of my book completed as you sit on the thunderbox firing this out for the next two weeks.

Delicious.

11088438_862487127158225_4839102413719293708_o

to make mushy pea curry, you’ll need:

two tins of mushy peas, one tin of baked beans, a few mushrooms, a tin of chopped tomatoes, two onions, three garlic gloves (minced), a chicken breast, a red pepper, 1tsp of hot chilli powder and two tbsp of curry powder, as hot as you like. You’ll also need a decent pan. You’ll also need a drop of oil and some salt.

For the rice, you’ll need long-grain white rice. Duh.

to make mushy pea curry, you should:

  • slice the onions nice and thin – use a mandolin! My mandolin has dropped again in price – now only £10, and it’ll save you hours. Plus, who needs the end of their fingers anyway? EH?
  • do the same with the pepper
  • cut the chicken up into small pieces and the mushrooms into slices
  • put the tiny drop of oil into the pan and chuck the onion, mushroom and peppers in there with a bit of salt, and on a medium heat, leave them to sweat down a little
  • after ten minutes or so, pull maybe a quarter of the onion/pepper out and set it aside in a dish – you’ll use this for your rice;
  • throw the chicken into the hot pan and cook it hard and fast on a high heat;
  • now throw in everything else (bar the rice and the quarter of the onion mix, obviously) and mix well – leave it to simmer for half an hour or so
  • for the rice, add a cup full of rice (literally a cup full – take a cup out of the cupboard, fill it with rice, tip that into a pan with the onion/pepper you set aside, using the same cup add two cups of water into the pan, bring to the boil, turn it down to simmer and leave it for around fourteen minutes – covered with a tight-fitting lid – on a gentle simmer. Tasty, fluffy rice
  • serve when thickened and tasty!

Enjoy!

J

weigh in, we’re back, and it’s time for classics week!

So, we’re back, having had a lovely ten days away filling our bodies full of Irish stout, rich food and service station Ginsters pasties. I’m going to be prattling on about Ireland for a couple of entries starting tomorrow (I’ve got handwritten notes – old school, me) but before that, let me introduce classics week, starting tomorrow.

The idea behind classics week is simple – we’re going to make seven recipes that are synonymous with Slimming World – the recipes you always hear new people asking for, or posted all over Instagram like some other nonsense. Tomorrow’s recipe, for instance, is mushy pea curry, or as I like to call it, the colon-cleanser. We’re also going to have a bash at making that bloody half-syn cake that I keep seeing bandied about all over Facebook like the second coming of Jesus.

Now, before we start all of that, let me say this – we’ve been for our weigh in! We were originally going to wait until Saturday to get weighed but frankly, we had to nip all of the over-eating and snacks in the bud before the axles on the car snapped. If we had left it until Saturday, we’d be at serious risk of derailing completely. How did we do…?

james – 8lb on

paul – 5lb on

Now I feel I should add caveats to this. So, put succinctly:

  • the last time we were weighed was a Saturday morning;
  • we’re both wearing jeans and a hoodie as opposed to the normal work trousers and light shirt;
  • normally we don’t eat on a weigh-day – today we’ve both had an all-you-can-eat breakfast and a pub lunch (my bad);
  • our cottage was a ten minute drive from an ice-cream factory;
  • oh, and a chocolate factory;
  • we’ve been on holiday;
  • neither of us had been for a poo and I had a pot of tea sloshing around;
  • this arrived when we were away and was waiting for our return:11108953_10153535552626509_4636721915659285734_n
  • like I said, we’ve been on holiday – we’ve eaten out every other night, plus driving 600 miles means that the car is knee-deep in travel sweets, opal fruit wrappers, coke bottles and sour pastilles; and
  • it was Ireland! How could we not drink? Honestly.

A little explanation on those sweets – Paul and I are part of the Reddit Gift Swap movement, where you select a ‘category’ (in our case this month it was sweets – it can be other things, like pens, buttons, gadgets…) and you’re randomly assigned both someone that you send a ‘package’ to and someone else who sends a parcel to you. It’s like a giant secret santa, only every month, and you invariably get something amazing – our package this month came with a wonderful handwritten note and loads of thought put into it – we were both chuffed to bits, not least because we had to eat everything quickly before class! Haha. Brilliant though!

So, now we are back, we’re back on it, and I want to lose seven pounds by next week. I reckon most of my ‘gain’ is poo, water and food from today so we’ll be OK. Off to sleep now, but tomorrow, a post about driving, service stations and our ferry trip, plus that mushy pea curry I’ve been threatening you with. I bet you can’t wait…

J

doner kebab

Warning: this post is miserable as syn. Pun intended.

I woke up in a proper huff today. No particular reason, just I wanted everyone I saw outside of my immediate circle of friends to be immediately blinked out of all existence. Humanity seemed to be doing its bit to bring me to my knees – if I’d had a shotgun and could carry off a leather knee-length coat with any sort of panache then there could have been genuine trouble. Things got off to a sour note as soon as I checked my facebook over my morning banana – which isn’t as filthy as it sounds – and saw…

…people queueing up outside of Iceland to get a ready meal. I mean for heaven’s sake. You need to understand that I wouldn’t queue up outside of a shop if they were giving away free blowjobs and pug-faced kittens, but I can just about see the point of it if you’re desperate for a bargain. But for a fucking ready meal? I’ve seen trolleys awash with them like each one contains a mini Margaret who will come and jiggle your fat-shelf up and done to tone it whilst you watch Eastenders. I apologise profusely if there are any readers out there who queued and enjoyed themselves but I find it despairing – like Black Friday but sweatier. Plus the sausages look like an old poo in a condom, though admittedly I’m basing that on a photo that Ray Charles himself seemingly took using a potato. Nevertheless, each to their own and all that. So…

Every song on the radio into work was the wrong one. My iPod wouldn’t bluetooth up to the car music system meaning I couldn’t have my music on. Every person in every single other car on the road was driving like an arsehole – either too slow, reading their phones, or swerving all over the road trying to get their iPod to bluetooth up to their car music system. Well, honestly. I nearly ran someone over who thought stepping out in front of the bus was the best way to continue their life and then I got stuck behind a bin-lorry who had parked up in a single-lane street so the driver could have a cigarette. And you can’t remonstrate with a binman, everyone knows that. That was just the journey in.

Work was work.

Lunchtime came and by this point, all I wanted to do was eat my lunch and doze for half an hour in peace so I picked up my Thermos of bloody awful watery vegetable soup (I had nowt in last night to make something fancy) (Paul calls it care home broth) and made my way over my car in the multi-storey in Newcastle’s Chinatown. No sooner had I poured my soup when some piss-eyed old bugger tapped on my window and told me to move my car as they were doing electric works on the lamppost behind. I duly obliged, working my way through my entire bank of swearwords as I moved around to find a space whilst all the while holding a cup of soup in one hand. Having done so, I finished my ‘delicious’ dinner and was about to nod off for twenty minutes when what sounded like the entire country of China paraded through the street below, banging drums and making noise. They were practising the Chinese New Year march and it was like being under attack. I would have had a more restful half hour if I’d managed to set my face on fire with the car lighter. Dejected and tired, with a fetching orange stain on my shirt from where I’d jumped the first time around, I headed back in.

But no! The joy didn’t end there. Work continued being work. Over the rest of the day I managed to drop my pass into the toilet when I went for a piss and then drop it again down the stairs on the way out of the building. I also managed to leave my car parking ticket on my desk at work, meaning I had to go back for it, and then, the final insult, I got stuck behind the only AUDI driver in existence who DOESN’T think they need to go 150mph in their shite company car who was tootling merrily along the 60mph road at 30mph where the bends and hills precluded any overtaking. I like to think she at least heard the sound ‘UUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNT’ as I finally overtook. 

Anyway, I’m home now. Deep breath. I appreciate that this entry is one long moan but I needed it, and now I feel better. Here’s a recipe for doner kebab. Normally I’d shy away from a doner kebab, believing it’s only really suitable for soaking up bile and half-digested carrot before promptly being upchucked in a technicolour yawn by some drunken trollop in the Bigg Market before she settle downs in an alleyway for a foamy piss and regretful sex. A tortuous example. But you get my drift, it’s not exactly classy fare.

10974427_838032809603657_8143722105898714892_o

to make doner kebab you will need:

500g of extra lean lamb mince, 1 tsp of oregano, 1/2tsp of thyme, onion powder, garlic powder respectively, 1/4tsp of cayenne pepper, 1tsp of salt and some black pepper. Listen, if you don’t have onion or garlic powder, no need to shit the bed, just use fresh onion and garlic chopped fine. You can use a tiny bit of flour to dry it out if your lamb is particularly wet. Syn that though – 25g is four and a half syns but a) you’ll not use that much and b) you’re not eating the whole lot, so don’t worry about it too much. Eat it in a pitta bread – weightwatchers wholemeal pitta (x1) is a HEB. You’ll need whatever salad you want in there.

to make doner kebab you should:

preheat the oven to 180degrees. Chuck absolutely everything into a big old bowl and mash mash mash with your fists. Imagine you’re punching the face of someone you hate, or you’re trying to birth a cow against the clock. You want that mixture smooth, not lumpy because you couldn’t be arsed. No excuses. Think of the body magic. If you sweat and it drops in, just reduce the amount of salt you add. When you’ve got it so smooth and well-mixed that you want to take a picture and show it to the neighbours, stick it in a parchment-lined loaf tin and cook in the oven for around 90 minutes. After 45 minutes, turn it over and skim off any shite that has oozed out. Once cooked, take it out, let it cool, slice it thin. 

Now, stuff it into your pitta with as much salad as you want. Because I’m not very exciting, I just went for spinach and tomato and onion with a raita made from fat free yoghurt, mint and a bit of garlic. Whoo, right? You could have an extra pitta for five syns more and who is going to know? I’m not telling anyone, I’m still in a bad mood!

Enjoy. Goodnight.

J

Oh: before I forget! Thank you all for your comments, we really do appreciate and love each one. Don’t be discouraged if we don’t reply (we always try to) – I sit in front of a computer all day and once I’ve typed this up, I normally turn off the computer and concentrate on relaxing or teasing the cat. But we thank you all 🙂

campfire stew or cowboy stew

CRASS WARNING! CRASS WARNING! SKIP TO NEXT PARAGRAPH IF BROWN HUMOUR OFFENDS!

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

OK YOU’RE SAFE.

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

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

1397401_783592161714389_9051754925012447931_o

to make campfire stew or cowboy stew:

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

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

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

J

slimming world super speed soup

If you’re a fan of dropping something you can’t pick up, or perhaps you like to lie in bed with your partner tormenting them by sounding the fanfare for the Brown King, or even if you’re a fan of air biscuits, this is the soup for you. You’ll be cutting the cheese in no time at all, and trouser coughs will resonate right through the house. You might even end up singeing your knickers with an inverted burp. Luckily, hopefully, you’ll be too busy exclaiming over your weight loss to complain about popping a fluffy.

FARTS

to make slimming world super speed soup:

10679751_767802369960035_1771035966581990070_o

This soup is so easy it doesn’t need a whole breakdown. The key is – stuff a load of superfree veg into a pan, top it up with stock, tin of tomatoes, baked beans, lentils, anything – cook it slowly and softly until everything is nicely cooked. Leave to cool and blend it in the Magimix or with a stick blender, but for heaven’s sake LET IT COOL first. Even if the top is cold, it’ll still be packing heat for ages.

I used all the veg I had sitting in the fridge, and it worked really well with a load of chilli added. It does make a genuinely nice soup and a lot of members swear by it. I’ve added it into my lunch this week, so we’ll see.

It is very, very filling and freezes well, too. We’re off to watch The Amazing Race, goodnight!

J