black pudding bolognese with cheesy mash

Black pudding bolognese: for when you’re not quite satisfied with the amount of killing done in the name of your meal. Well, we needed to counter the vegan recipe from yesterday didn’t we? I’m jesting, of course, but I’m taking the view that if you’re a meat-eater, you probably don’t mind a bit more ghoulishness. Anyway, this is a Thomasina Miers recipe I’ll have you know, and what that lady doesn’t know about cooking you could write on a flapping winnit.

Just the recipe post tonight because, due to a shitstorm of car alarms, alarmed cats and Paul’s fat ham arms hitting me every time he turned over, I had an abysmal night of sleep. When you’re still awake at 4am, desperately listening to Radio 4 trying to sleep, you know it’s going to be a rough day. So forgive my brevity, but know that I do it in the name of making sure you lot have a lovely new recipe to try. This makes enough for four generous bowlfuls. Christ, I hate that term. A generous bowl. Puts me in mind of a bowl that reassures you that no, you’re not fat, you’re pretty, honest, as your tears tumble over your dinner.

black pudding bolognese

black pudding bolognese

to make black pudding bolognese with cheesy mash, you’ll need:

  • 500g of extra lean beef mince
  • two onions
  • one large clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 100g of black pudding (10.5 syns – goodness!)
  • two tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp of red wine vinegar
  • 3 sprigs of thyme if you have it, half a teaspoon of dried if you don’t
  • enough potatoes to make as much mash as you want
  • 40g of extra mature lighter cheddar

Looking for mince? It’s quicker than Waiting for Godot. We have four Musclefood deals to suit any budget, including making your own hamper – so you only get what you want!

to make black pudding bolognese with cheesy mash, you should:

  • chop your onions finely and sweat them off with a few sprays of oil until nice and sweaty
  • add your garlic (minced) and cook for a minute more
  • add your mince – rather like I often say to Paul, you want your meat browned
  • once your mince is cooked through, add the cinnamon and paprika and then crumble in the black pudding and stir
  • add the tomatoes, vinegar, thyme and vinegar and allow to simmer and mingle for as long as you like – a good hour on low is perfect
  • once you’re starving and chewing your fingernails to stumps, make your mash – boil the potatoes, put them through a ricer (you can pick up a ricer from Amazon for just over a tenner and it really will change your life), add a whole egg and 40g of extra mature lighter cheddar
  • serve with some parmesan if you’re feeling tasty!

Easy! If like me, you’ve got a little mince leftover, why not make one of these dishes?

Remember to share!

J

vegan-friendly avocado pesto pasta

Avocado pesto pasta? Vegan friendly? What’s come over me? I feel like I’m one moustache-wax away from giving up my car, wearing altogether too much denim and living on millet. But I ought to explain: we received a lovely message from a vegan who loves our blog but struggles with the amount of meat. Listen, I hear you. We do have a good vegetarian section though and I encourage any veggies out there or indeed, anyone who doesn’t want to be straining on the toilet for twenty minutes at a pop, to have a look. Click the wee button!

vegetariansmall

Mind, normally I’d ignore requests for recipes because frankly, if I don’t enjoy eating it, it isn’t going on the blog. But I’m a sucker for a nice message as opposed to the usual how mani suns hon bollocks we tend to attract, so here we are. Just to complete the smug middle-class pretentiousness of it all, I found the recipe in the Guardian section. Whilst lounging in bed late on a Sunday morning, because I don’t have children pawing at me with dirty hands. I know, what a dreamboat!

Let’s do the recipe then – though first, please do take a moment to wish Paul a happy birthday. He’s a love!

Now this avocado pesto pasta is made without parmesan (good lord) and with avocado, which is, if you’re unfamiliar with Slimming World, THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD. It’s 14 syns for a whole avocado. Don’t worry though folks, a Kitkat Chunky is less syns, though doesn’t taste as good in guacamole. So here’s the thing: you can choose to syn it (and if you’re following Slimming World to the letter, you should) or you can accept that an avocado is a source of good fats, incredibly healthy for you and full of taste and flavour. Up to you…

avocado pesto pasta

avocado pesto pasta

to make avocado pesto pasta, you’ll need:

  • 400g pasta
  • ¼ avocado
  • 300g fine beans (sometimes called ‘French’ beans – buy the already-trimmed ones to save you faffing on)
  • 75g basil leaves
  • 1 broccoli, cut into florets
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt

Random link, but don’t forget we have three books out! Take us with you wherever you like!

to make avocado pesto pasta you should:

  • trim the ends off the beans if you need to
  • cook the pasta according to the instructions
  • meanwhile, bring another pan of water to the boil and cook the beans for 7-8 minutes with the lid on
  • add the broccoli to the pan and cook for another 3-4 minutes, then drain and set aside
  • next, plop the avocado, basil, garlic, lemon juice and salt into a food processor with about 60ml of water and blitz until smooth. you can add 1tbsp water at a time if you need to
  • drain the pasta and keep aside a mugful of the water
  • combine the pasta with the vegetables, the pesto and as much of the cooking water as you need (stir a little bit in at a time to make it creamy to your liking, you won’t need the whole lot)
  • serve!

Easy! Proper easy!

J

Hawaiian pizza pasta bake – no seriously, hear us out

Hawaiian pizza pasta if you please! I know what you’re thinking – years of my brain stem being nudged increasingly repeatedly from the front twice a day for ten minutes has left me addled. Well, you’re not wrong, but we’re actually making Hawaiian pizza pasta bake to celebrate the fact that Vera returns to the telly tonight. Don’t get the link? It’s simple: Hawaiian is how she tells people to enter a building in that “Geordie” “accent” of hers. “Hawaiian pet, there’s been a moorda

See? It’s that easy. If you’re wondering what that snapping noise was, it was sound of a tortuous analogy breaking in two.

Actually, speaking of pet, did anyone see that storm in the teacup with Virgin Trains in the middle of the week? Someone complaining was told to ‘go right ahead, honey‘ and when she mentioned it on their Twitter that actually, when complaining, it doesn’t do to be overfamiliar in return, the customer service guy replied with ‘would you prefer darling or sweetheart, next time?

I have to admit, I was absolutely howling. That’s exactly why I couldn’t work in social media, I’d be putting my foot in my mouth that much I’d need to tie my shoelaces with my uvula. Everyone is kicking off as though she’s Millie Tant in human form but reading beyond the typically salacious PC-GONE-MAD headline, she only complained that the train guard had called her honey in a voice dripping with sarcasm. As someone who was told loudly that WE MUST SERVE EVERYONE ELSE BEFORE YOU GET SECONDS when I asked for a sandwich on their train, I can sympathise.

It did make me think, though – I give absolutely everyone a nickname and I can’t help it. Paul is shittyarse, Shitty McGee or sugartits, my mum is Boot, dad is Greengrass, even my bosses are Chief and Guv’nor respectively. I wouldn’t think twice about sticking a love or a pet or a flower on the end of my hello or thank you in a shop. Sex doesn’t come into it, unless they’re giving me the keen-eye and I’ve got time. In fact, this habit teamed with my booming voice in shops probably doesn’t endear me to about half the people I come across, but meh, fuck it – no malice is meant – but I ought to apologise on behalf of almost every Geordie in existing who use this over-familiar terms of endearment like Southern folks use full-stops.

WE JUST DURNT KNOW ANY BETTA PETUL!

Right, to the recipe. Hawaiian pizza pasta bake! Just trust me. After all this time? Always. This makes four big portions. Cook it, freeze it, keep some extra! Lovely. If you’re after a carb hit, I just happen to have got what you need, just exactly what you need…

Hawaiian pizza pasta bake

Hawaiian pizza pasta bake

to make Hawaiian pizza pasta bake, you’ll need:

  • 250g pasta
  • 750ml passata
  • 4 slices of thick ham, chopped
  • 300g bacon medallions
  • 230g pineapple chunks (fresh is better, just buy a pre-cut pack in the supermarket if you can’t be arsed)
  • 140g reduced-fat mozzarella, diced or grated (2x HeA)
  • if you’re feeling extra sluttish, add 80g of extra mature lighter cheddar on top – I know, I’m pure filth

Get proper tasty bacon in our Musclefood deal! Make your own hamper so it’s full with only the stuff you love! Click here to find out more.

Top tip: use your microplane grater, the one I always recommend, to make your cheddar go that much further – nice and fine creates a proper crunchy top!

to make Hawaiian pizza pasta bake, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 180°c
  • bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to the instructions
  • meanwhile cook the bacon under the grill, and then roughly chop
  • add the passata to a saucepan and heat gently
  • spray a large frying pan with a little oil and place over a medium-high heat
  • add the chopped ham and pineapple and cook for a few minutes
  • add the passata, bacon, ham and pineapple to the drained pasta and stir well
  • stir through half of the mozzarella and tip into a large pyrex dish
  • sprinkle over the remaining cheese and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes
  • finish under the grill for a few minutes to brown the cheese
  • serve!

Love pasta bakes? You’re not the only one! You’ll find more ideas below!

Mwah! Don’t forget to share our stuff by simply clicking the buttons below!

J

sesame chicken and broccoli – a perfect fakeaway!

Sesame chicken and broccoli with noodles: it’s like the beef and broccoli fakeaway we did, only with one exciting change. You’ll never guess!

Now, newer readers to this blog might not know this but we’re more than just a recipe site – we like to post up our holiday stories as well – long posts where I get to type out the nonsense that happens to us when we have the cheek to leave our living room. We’ve been all over on this blog: Iceland, New York, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Cornwall (god help us), Paris, Corsica and er, a coach trip. We’re a national embarrassment. Last year we tried to do twelve holidays and we managed eleven – not bad going for two fatties who get out of breath opening their passports, eh? We have a fantastic travel series of posts coming for Stockholm and Oslo, but first, let’s wipe away the winnit that’s been hanging on since April last year and finally finish our Copenhagen entry.

If you’re only here for the chicken and broccoli fakeaway, just scroll down until you reach the pretty colours or click the button below, which will whisk you straight there! I know, I’m a treat!

There, she’s gone. Thank god: I’ve never known anyone put their make-up on with a plastering hawk before.

click here for part one | click here for part two | click here for part three | click here for part four

Right, let me open with a confession: there’s a reason we’ve been putting off finishing the Copenhagen entries. Something I can’t talk about yet – enigmatic – but it’ll become clear soon! Don’t get too excited – we’re not getting a divorce, Paul didn’t meet a handsome Danish fish-botherer and run away to grow a beard and live happily ever after. I mean, that goes without saying: Paul wouldn’t run to a pool of water if his eyes were on fire. Mind I wouldn’t blame him – Copenhagen, like most Scandinavian countries, was absolutely awash with stunning men: beefy, tall, long haired, beard you could crawl up and die in. Honestly, it’s a good job I don’t like over there – I’d permanently have a bumhole like a pan of boiling milk. There, right there: that’s the image of me you’ll have if we ever lock eyes in the supermarket. Anyway, yes: all will become clear soon. To that end, rather than a huge cantata spread over 6,000 words, let’s just hit the best bits and finish this off!

Carlsberg factory

By all accounts, no trip to the historic and cultural Copenhagen is apparently complete without a trip to the Carlsberg factory to suckle on the teat of piss-weak lager. That’s why we ended up mincing furiously across Copenhagen in the absolute pissing rain to try and get the shuttle bus over to the factory early on a Sunday morning. I’ve never seen rain like it – it would have been quicker to get a lilo and float our way past the trams. Naturally, Paul took us to entirely the wrong pick-up point and so it was only after another twenty minutes of hurried running-walking-heavy-breathing that we arrived at the right place. I was silly, I should have just listened out for people loud Mandarin exclamations, given a good half of China’s population was also waiting for the bus. So many selfie-sticks, so little queueing. I can’t cope without an orderly queue: I like to know where I stand, but I persevere. The problem Paul and I have is that he’s incredibly polite and will not forgo his British sensibilities for anything, whereas I’m far more bullish about things and if no-one else is queueing and all surge to the bus-doors in one North Face rustling mass, you better believe I’ll be right there in the thick of it pushing people under the wheels and elbowing folks in the boobs. This invariably means that I get on first because of my bulk and then I’m left furiously watching Paul going ‘no no, after you’ and ‘I’ll get the next one’ and ‘no, he’s not with me’ to every person pushing past him without a thank you.

Now, you mustn’t think I’m a boorish swine: if there’s a queue I’ll join it. I have impeccable manners: I apologise at the point of orgasm, which admittedly makes it tricky when I’m at the doctors. But sometimes you’ve just got to go for it and to hell with the resulting deaths.

Once the driver had managed to squeeze eight hundred people onto his 57 seater coach (I’m sure I saw him tuck a startled old bloke into the ashtray) we were away, floating our way to the Copenhagen museum. Paul, in his slothlike manner, had been unable to sit next to me, meaning I spent the following fifteen minutes staring furiously at the back of his head and having my shins kicked by someone whose idea of observing my personal space was to attempt to get me to father her child, given how hard she was pressing against me. You can imagine how quickly the time passed.

Not going to lie – the Carlsberg factory was a bit…meh. I had visions of going around a super-factory, oohing and aahing at the conveyor bottles of beer being made and feigning interest as someone in a white coat and blue-bag shoes explained how they gum labels onto the bottles. No such luck. You can look around the original bottling machines, but they’re not switched on. You can read about the history of the Carlsberg dynasty but it’s about as exciting as reading the instructions that came with your router. If I wanted to look at a dusty, yeast-covered old relic with a rusting, ancient mechanism that has made thousands of blokes happy over the years, yes, you’ve guessed it, I’d visit Paul’s mother. I’m kidding, she’s lovely really.

[dry cough]

As it happens, we had made an error – we should have done the sampling tour first. This involved a small group of us being led deep underground by a dapper old man – it’s OK, he had a moustache like Josef Fritzl but I was confident I could have taken him in a fight – and into the cellars, although not before we managed to lose Paul. He’d stopped to admire the bunker they used to use in case of war only to find that our entire party had left the room and the guide had locked the door behind him. Perhaps that Fritz analogy was apt, after all. I only realised he had disappeared when I realised I couldn’t hear laboured breathing in my ear. I had to walk back with the guide until we found him, politely knocking on the door and going ‘hello, hello?’ like he was interrupting a church service. See, this is what I mean about restraint – if that had been me I’d have been scratching my name in the wall with my bloody fingernails and yelling FENNER within two minutes flat.

Paul’s prison.

Paul rejoined us and what followed was a very pleasurable half hour or so perched at a little table with a charming French couple (charming because they didn’t speak any English, so we didn’t have to make strained small talk with them) (I bet there’s a post right now on deux oursons potelés saying the same thing about us, only with more smoking and shrugging) sampling lots of big measures of different lagers. There was lots of waffle about hops and flavours and head (my ears perked up at that point) but to be honest, we tuned out and concentrated on drinking. I remind you that we’re British. It’s amazing how things suddenly seem more interesting and captivating when viewed through a haze of alcohol, isn’t it?

Trebles all round!

We wandered back up full of love and spent a merry hour revisiting the attractions we’d previously hurried past. We posed with the giant horses, one of which loved me so much that it started chewing my coat (which was foolish, as I make a mean horse stew, just sayin’). We skipped cheerfully through the gift-shop buying all manner of Carlsberg-branded tat, all of which remains rattling around in our holiday box. We examined the giant bottle collection for a Newcastle Brown but had no joy. Pathetic. I was so angry on behalf of all Geordies that I almost went and punched one of the horses, as is our way. A quick meal upstairs in their restaurant (delicious, expensive) then it was time to go. We looked at the bus-stop, decided we would rather die than experience that ‘fun’ again and instead turned for the two mile or so walk back to the centre of town.

We bumped into the most emo-horse ever though.

I liked Abba before everyone else thought they were cool.

 

Malmö

We actually managed to sneak an extra country into our holiday – Copenhagen is linked to Malmö in Sweden via rail/road bridge/tunnel, meaning you’re in the unique position of setting off from one country, crossing the Øresund Strait and ending up in a different country altogether in the time it takes to spill your coffee across the table, like I did. We’ve always wanted to visit Sweden – big ABBA fans here (shock!) and the lure of a day-trip was too strong. Passports packed, off we toddled. It was all terrifically easy – we set off from Copenhagen Airport and were pulling into Malmö in about twenty minutes. I can’t remember if we had our passports checked – normally I remember a fingering from a burly guard – but take them anyway, just in case.

A Sunday in Malmö was lovely. We sat outside a wee café and waited for the town to wake up. Paul ordered what looked like a bumhole from a bakery whereas I was more restrained and had a full quiche for breakfast. Well, it is a holiday, after all.

You have no idea how many photos I’ve seen like this in my life.

We then wandered around down to Kungsparken, an absolutely gorgeous park right in the centre. Killed a couple of hours here drinking and just enjoying the place – the cherry blossom trees were in full bloom and aaah, it was just marvellous. I appreciate this doesn’t make for an especially interesting blog but the whole day was just walking, relaxing and taking in the views and I don’t think that can be appreciated enough! Anyway, if you don’t slow down sometimes, you can’t remember all the things you said you would do.

Not sure what this is, but it looks pretty!

I felt so pretty walking through this.

Fun fact: they only switched this on because us and our energetic wind had arrived    

We passed a ‘British things’ store whose entire window was full of Radox. Is that an inherently British thing now? Having a bath? We ambled past two dogs having energetic sex right in the centre of one of the many bridges crossing the river, which I like to think added colour to all the photographs people were trying to take of the scenic views. We had a late lunch in Stortorget Square, a lovely town centre area full of charming restaurants and lively bars. It seemed to be the place to go. I ordered the meatballs, Paul had steak. After almost an hour they brought our dinner to the table and it was alright, yes, but I can’t enjoy Swedish meatballs unless I’m eating them furiously after a blistering argument in IKEA with Paul.

Plus, just saying, we have a recipe for them and they’re bloody amazing: see?

The Paper Island

Another highlight from Copenhagen was the last-day visit to The Paper Island – an old factory by the water dedicated to loads of different street food vendors. It was fantastic. Naturally, being fat bastards, we thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I have to confess it’s the first time I’ve ever been satisfied by so many different ethnicities at once. A particular highlight was a hot-dog where they just wouldn’t stop adding toppings – it barely managed to fit in my hands let alone my mouth. Thank Christ years of dedicated homosexuality has allowed my jaw to swing open like a ferry boarding door. Paul had nachos and a cheesecake which seemed to stir up a passion in him that I haven’t seen since we first started going out and he saw my wallet. It caused an argument because he wouldn’t let me have a piece. We adore places like this – not just because of the food, although that helps – but because it brings together such a fun hotchpotch of people and cultures. Everyone was having a good time, it wasn’t fussy, it wasn’t pretentious – it was a bit hipster, yes, but see I can forgive a waxed moustache when the person wearing it is feeding me deliciousness.

Marriage wrecking whore!

Duck you too!

Urgh! I’ll take the khlav kalash please.

Naturally, the whole place has now shut down (as of December 2017). I blame Paul: he went to use their toilet and was gone for fifteen minutes. I can’t imagine they ever managed to fix that.

Summing up

Copenhagen was beautiful – absolutely stunning. Until we went to Stockholm it was probably our most favourite destination of the year. We spent each day and night just wandering about, popping into bars, getting snacks from riverside cafés, coveting all the beautiful houses, making plans to buy and live on a boat, the works. The people are friendly, the streets are clean. It’s expensive, yes, but not prohibitively so.

Found our boat. Ah that’s a fib. If we had a boat we’d called it the Seamen Splattered Poop-Deck. Or the Cock-Tugger. 

There’s plenty of museums to feign an interest in, plenty of bars to embarrass yourself and uphold the shameful national stereotype of the Brit abroad. We were sad to leave, but glad we went – and we’ll be returning in 2018, as I’ve literally just booked the tickets. Hopefully we’ll have a better flight than our flight back to Edinburgh – turbulent the whole way and then a go-around landing. Not sure if you’re familiar with the term but it’s when the pilot aborts the landing and rockets back up into the sky. If, like me, you’re gazing out of the window wondering where on Earth the runway is only for the plane to roar back to life and ‘take off’, it’s certainly an interesting experience. If you’re the person who sat in seat 13F after me, I apologise profusely, but that wasn’t Nutella you had smeared on the back of your legs.

Oh: and a final thought. This was the first flight I’ve ever taken where I needed to ask for a seatbelt extension. An older easyJet plane meant two hours of the most uncomfortable flying I’ve ever experienced, wedged in as I was between Paul and the frame of the aeroplane. To easyJet’s credit, they were absolutely fantastic about the whole thing and very discreet, but it gave me significant food for thought.

Then I ate that food for thought, because I’m a greedy fat bastard.


We flew from Edinburgh to Copenhagen with easyJet, who operate flights almost every day. Great service as ever, and the flights cost around £100.

We stayed for several nights at the AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen – perfect location for us – on the Metro system, lovely large rooms and great views.

Enjoy our holiday entries? Please do give us feedback or share or whatever, it’s what we live for!


chicken and broccoli

chicken and broccoli

to make sesame chicken and broccoli you will need:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (do it seconds with one of these!)
  • 65ml light soy sauce
  • 1tsp sesame oil (2½ syns)
  • 1 tbsp honey (2½ syns)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds – we used a mixture of white and black (1x HeB)

Don’t waste your money on those sad, shrivelled water-filled chicken breasts you get at the supermarket. Treat yourself to nice, juicy plump ones that won’t shrink when you cook them from our fantastic Musclefood bundle! You can build your own pack so you choose only the stuff you really love! Find out more, including the syn values, on our Musclefood page.

We bought those dinosaur chopsticks for my nephew to help him get the hang of it. But then we kept them, because we’re a monster! You can buy them for a fiver here!

to make sesame chicken and broccoli you should:

  • fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil
  • simmer the broccoli florets for two minutes, then drain and set aside
  • heat a large frying pan (or wok) over a medium-high heat and add a little oil
  • add the chicken to the pan in a single layer and cook for 2-3 minutes, until one side is golden
  • stir fry for a few minutes more until the chicken is cooked through, then remove to a plate and set aside
  • add a bit more oil to the same pan and whack the heat up to high
  • add the spring onions and red pepper and stir fry for a few minutes until just starting to get black char-marks
  • reduce the heat back to medium-high and stir in the garlic
  • add the chicken back to the pan along with the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and sesame seeds
  • simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened
  • stir in the broccoli and serve over noodles or rice

Want more fakeaway goodies in your gob?

Enjoy!

J

cheesy potato cake – goodness me, it’s good

Do you know, I very nearly called this post Potato Cakes (I Just Don’t Know Know) but had I typed that out, the song Baby Cakes would enter my head. Should this happen, the only reasonable course of action would have been to step outside, nip into our garden shed, tip the lawn mower on its side, douse myself in the petrol that runs out and set myself on fire because I ABSOLUTELY HATE THAT SONG. I hate it! Not just in a ho-ho-how-silly way like most people hated on that Crazy Frog song but in a ‘whoops, there goes the skin on my back, cascading over my skull as I cringe in on myself like an alarmed tortoise’ fashion.

You know what’s the real icing on this particular shitcake though?

The stupid head-bobbing action of the frosted-tipped Matalan-shirted, pouting primadonna on the right, pursing his lips throughout the whole thing.  You’ve got no idea what black, boiling rage he stirs up inside me. Everyone has their Moriarty – I didn’t expect mine to be dressed like an fired ice-cream salesman.

Anyway, that’s all entirely by the by – I have every intention of this post being a quick recipe post, so let’s get straight to it. I happened across this recipe in a book by Antonio Carluccio – naturally his recipe calls for all sorts of butters and cheese so we’ve had to dial it back, but this is still a bloody taster dinner or, even better, leftovers-the-next-day meal. It sounds interesting, but honestly, make it and you’ll never look back. I do like Antonio Carluccio and it’s-sad-that-he’s-died-isn’t-it-mate – I love men with those big bushy eyebrows. I feel he’s what I’ll eventually end up looking like, although my eyebrows are already doing that awful thing where a couple of hairs on each side branch out looking for independence from the rest, pointing straight out in front of me just enough to get in my field of vision. Bastards.

The cheesy potato cake then. This is a load of carbs and cheese, but listen, that’s OK sometimes. Sometimes you need something heavy to sit on your stomach, and I’m not always available. This serves six very generously, so don’t balk at the amount of cheese. Trust me: I shagged a doctor once.

cheesy potato cake

cheesy potato cake

cheesy potato cake

to make a cheesy potato cake, you’re going to need:

  • about 900g of potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed – or use leftover mash
  • 200g of mozzarella – we actually used a smoked mozzarella from Tesco called Scamorza, which was tasty, but any will do (4 x HEA)
  • 80g of extra mature lighter cheese (2 x HEA)
  • I used about 250g of chopped wafer ham, but you could use bacon, boiled ham, chicken, anything you want
  • three eggs
  • a good pinch of salt and pepper
  • a bag of rocket, chopped nice and fine – use spinach if you want
  • one whole leek

top tips for a perfect cheesy potato cake

  • this is a good recipe if you’re making the creamy green veg medley that I posted yesterday – any leftover leek, chuck it in here
  • this recipe isn’t an exact science by any stretch – you can add anything you like into this – think of it as a ‘leftovers’ cake
  • get a potato ricer, for the love of God – mashing potatoes is a ballache and you invariably end up with lumpy mash – not with a ricer. Pop the cooked potato in, push it through and you’ll have perfect creamy mash (oh, and if you want to be super fancy, throw in an egg when you beat the mash together – lovely)! You can pick up a ricer from Amazon for just over a tenner and it really will change your life
  • we topped our cake with 25g of panko (dried breadcrumbs) (4.5 syns) for a bit of crunch – I’m trying to re-use ingredients in our recipes so you’re not left with any waste! You could just blitz a breadbun but honestly, worth getting some panko – most major supermarkets stock it
  • if you’re not planning on getting intercourse for a week, you could roast a whole garlic bulb and mash that in with the potato – oh I say!
  • the cheese is the thing that’ll make this dish – go for strong, bold flavours – trust me

to make a cheesy potato cake, you should:

  • if you haven’t already, peel, boil and mash your potatoes (preferably using a ricer, but I won’t shit the bed if you want to do it by hand)
  • heat the oven up to 185 degrees and get a cake tin out of the cupboard, lamenting that you’re not making something with butter, flour and sugar – I know babes, fkn snakes the lot of them
  • chopped up your cheese into little tiny cubes, chop up the ham into rags, chop up the rocket, thinly slice that leek – throw all of this into the pan with the mash, add the three eggs, a really good pinch of salt and pepper and stir
  • stir it like buggery! Stir it with all your might!
  • slop it into the cake tin with all the style and grace you’d ordinarily reserve for a crap behind your car door by the side of the road
  • smooth out the top, coat with breadcrumbs if you want, add more grated cheese if you dare
  • cook for a good forty minutes – though watch the top doesn’t burn
  • once it’s solid (it’ll not be rock solid when it’s hot mind, so use your common sense) take out of the oven and allow to cool
  • once cool, slice and serve – and this is lovely the next day

We just served ours with a simple green salad and Dynorod on standby to handle the inevitable carb-drop.

Want more lunch ideas? Goodness me, you’re keen, but here we go:

Enjoy!

J

creamy cheesy green veg medley

This creamy green veg medley is just the ticket if you’re looking to up your vegetable intake without incurring massive amounts of syns. You could easily spin it out into a cauliflower cheese but actually, we like it all jumbled up.

No chatter tonight – I’m keeping to my word of posting a few recipes nice and succinctly, so here we go! Don’t bitch on at me afterwards though! Fair warning: all of these steamed vegetables will make you fart like an absolute trooper. But hey!

We served our vegetables with a massive fat pork chop spread with two tablespoons of reduced fat red pesto (3 syns). We used our OptiGrill (press the chops button, away it goes) but you could just as cheerfully throw it under the grill.

veg medley

veg medley

to make our creamy green veg medley, you’ll need:

  • a head of broccoli
  • a head of cauliflower
  • a handful of sprouts
  • a big fat leek
  • 110g of Philadelphia Lightest (1 x HEA)
  • 40g of light extra mature cheddar (1 x HEA)
  • optional: 25g of panko (dried breadcrumbs) – 4.5 syns

This makes enough for two people, hence the two healthy extras. Panko is dried breadcrumbs and you can buy it in most supermarkets, trust me – but feel free to use breadcrumbs from your healthy extra bun. I don’t care, I’m easy.

Slice your leeks with ease with a mandolin slicer. We ours a lot – it’s perfect for slicing onions, leeks, peppers, carrots – even cheese. It’s a tenner and you can have the job of veg prepping done in the time it takes one Enya song to play out. Who needs fingertips anyway?

to make our creamy green veg medley, you should:

  • to be honest, it feels almost insulting to do this – it’s that easy
  • chop up your broccoli and cauliflower into little bits
  • quarter your sprouts
  • thinly slice your leek
  • tip all of them into a big saucepan with a good splash of water and lightly steam them until they soften – you don’t want them denture-ready, just not crunchy
  • drain them off and pop them in an overproof dish – mix in the Philadelphia, pinch of salt and pepper, then the mature cheddar, keeping a bit for the top (and add breadcrumbs if using), then pop under the grill for about ten minutes until it’s done and crispy!

How easy is that? You could use any veg you like – spring greens, peas, turnip, all sorts!

Looking for more vegetarian ideas? Click the links, you saucy bugger!

Tell your veggie friends, won’t you? Their brittle wrists can’t stand up to typing ‘vegetarian recipes’ into google, you know.

J

simple but perfect beef mince biryani

Beef mince biryani – I’m sure there’s a billion ways of doing this recipe and this is probably the common as muck version but hey, sometimes you just fancy something spicy. Our takeaway has stopped taking our calls since Paul used to stand by the letterbox on all fours whenever the hunky deliveryman, with his baleful brown eyes and arms that promised the world, came to the door. Think that’s bad? He once put ‘Will nosh for extra dough balls‘ on our Dominos order when he was drunk and then made me answer the door. Don’t get me wrong, it’s factually correct – if anything it’s a slight understatement – but still. I wouldn’t mind but I opened the door to a lovely wee lady who looked like Sandi Toksvig trying to solve a particularly tough crossword.

Anyway, as promised, we’re going to go straight into the recipe, no messing about. We all know foreplay is a waste of time anyway, surely? Hello? Is this thing on?

Just so you know, we served this with our perfect chicken korma recipe – you know why it’s perfect? Because we don’t stir a friggin’ Muller Light into it. Why? Because we’re not simple. For scooping we used Broghies – they’re one syn crackers that can be found in most Icelands around the country by now. If they’re not in yours, run into the shop, bundle whatever old lady is in your way into a chest freezer and demand that the manager stocks them immediately. They’re perfect for dips! And no: we’re not on commission.

We found this recipe at mytamarindkitchen and I 100% a look at their blog because the food is absolutely amazing. Tweaked this for Slimming World. Let’s go.

mince biryani

mince biryani

to make the perfect beef mince biryani, you’ll need:

  • five ripe tomatoes chopped up – can’t be arsed, use tinned tomatoes, but come on now
  • a teaspoon of coriander, cumin and chilli powder – now, if you don’t have spices, go to your world foods bit in your supermarket and buy them in bulk – so much cheaper – keep them sealed in a good tin though
  • I cheated here and used a garam masala grinder rather than making my own – was only a quid in Tesco – used about 10 good grinds
  • a bay leaf or two (don’t stress if you don’t have them)
  • one big fat onion, chopped nice and fine
  • 500g of extra lean beef mince – or use turkey mince for even lower calories (though it’ll not change the syn value)
  • 350g of basmati rise
  • half a tin of cooked green lentils
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • a good couple of handfuls of peas
  • 1 inch of ginger, minced
  • half a teaspoon of turmeric
  • 100ml of beef stock
  • one green chilli

optional extras for your mince biryani:

  • one lemon and one lime
  • a pinch of (shiver) saffron
  • chopped mint and coriander

top tips for your mince biryani:

  • we cook our rice in our Instant Pot – you absolutely don’t need one, you can cook rice just fine in a pan – but if you have a pressure cooker have a look into it – rice is a doddle! Instant Pots are quite hard to come by at the moment due to a stock shortage and, whilst we love ours, we’ve heard good things about the Pressure King Pro – only £70 on Amazon at the moment
  • if you’re mincing your garlic and ginger, use a microplane grater – you don’t need to peel the garlic or ginger and it’ll save your poor wee fingers
  • oh and whilst we’re on about ginger, buy a big knob of it and put it in the freezer when you’re done with it – it grates just fine frozen and it’ll save you buying it fresh every time
  • and listen, if even that’s too much for you, you can buy ginger and garlic paste in most major supermarkets now – in the same jar – for a quid or two – just use a tablespoon for half a syn!

to make the perfect beef mince biryani, you should:

  • soak your rice in cold water for a good half hour, and then cook it through until it is almost cooked(I like to add the turmeric to the rice as it cooks, to give it a yellow sheen) – you want a bit of bite left
  • heat your oven up to about 175 degrees and get a good heavy pan out of the cupboard – you’ll need one that has a lid and can go in the oven
  • spritz with a few sprays of oil, grind the masala into it and heat until it smells amazing
  • add the garlic and ginger and the chopped onion – cook the onions until they take on some colour, but don’t burn them
  • then add a pinch of salt, the chilli, cumin and coriander and cook off – add the stock here so it doesn’t catch and to to get all the good stuff off the bottom of the pan
  • add the tomatoes and fry until they’ve softened down – then add the mince and peas and cook until that’s cooked through and has absorbed most of the moisture in the pan
  • the easy bit now – layer the lentils over the top followed by the rice
  • optional: add chopped mint, slices of lemon and lime and if you’re super fancy, you could dissolve the saffron in hot water (about 25ml) and pour that one
  • cook in the oven for about twenty minutes with the lid on so it can steam
  • once you’re happy with it, clap your hands and eat your dinner!

There. I hope that leaves you satisfied and smiling!

What? You want more curry and spicy ideas? Of course you do. You love having a bumhole that looks like a shocked mouth. Here we go then:

Enjoy. Do let me know your thoughts, won’t you?

J

goat cheese beefburger with baked cheesy courgette chips

Here for the goat cheese burger with courgette chips? Who could blame you – even I’ve got a semi-on just thinking about it. It’s lines like that which stop me getting a job in Good Housekeeping, isn’t it? Still, I’m doing better than the poor sod at Virgin Trains, but we’ll touch on that tomorrow. I didn’t know whether to post this as two separate recipes but hey, let’s live life on the edge today, and combine it as one. But first: shenanigans. Remember, scroll to the pictures of the food if you don’t want to read my waffle.

First day back at work today after about a billion weeks off. Does anyone else find it utterly infuriating having to work? You mustn’t get me wrong, I really do love my job and I work with some wonderful people (HR STATUS CHECKER: CLEAR) but by God it is such a battle not to steer my car straight into the central reservation every single morning at 8.20am. You know how some people are morning people who breeze out of bed at 5am with a cheery smile on their face and their day full of promise? Well they can piss off. The only time I ever get out of my bed that early is if I’ve shat in it.

What I can’t get my head around is where everyone else is going at that time in the morning. Logically, they’re all going to work just like me, or worse, dropping their crotchfruit off at school for a few hours, but emotionally, I feel like they’ve all climbed into their car just to get in my way. I try listening to music to gee me along and lift my spirits but my Spotify is broken and the recommended music keeps recommending Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s Yes Sir I Can Boogie on repeat. I mean, what fresh hell is that? I’d sooner listen to a drill-bit sloughing through my ear-drum.

It doesn’t help that nobody else can drive as well as I can. Naturally, I’m a patient, caring driver who lets people in and merges in turn. My hands wave politely even if my lips drip with malice. Everyone else pushes in. Everyone else spends entirely too much time worrying my back bumper.  Everyone else does that annoying thing of slamming on the brakes if they see someone backing off their drive 312 miles away. Everyone else has garish cars and rubbish haircuts and annoying music and morning-coffee-breath and stupid bumper stickers and ugly children in the back seat. In an ideal world everyone would be forced to stay at home until I’ve arrived at work and only then could they push out onto the road, on the strict instruction that they have to be back at home and quietly watching Tipping Point by 4pm. That’ll teach ’em.

I take some consolation in the fact that I can look around in the luxurious forty minutes I spend stuck in traffic and see that everyone else has a face like a smacked arse too. Perhaps I’m not alone. Perhaps there are others – perhaps there is hope.

Anyway, as it happens, I was slightly more buoyant than normal this morning because I was wearing this fruity number to the office:

 

If that doesn’t leave you moister than an oyster, then I don’t know what will. It’s OK: I know I look silly. I look like John Goodman roleplaying as Jon Snow. Like a silverback gorilla caught in the process of mauling Brendan from Coach Trip. To be quite honest, it’s the type of coat I imagine our Fearless Leader might wear, pockets stuffed with half-smoked John Player Superkings and badly torn Bella coupons. My entrance into the office was well-received; me dropping it off poorly wrapped for return at the post office with a plaintive cry of ‘can I borrow some parcel tape’ less so.

As it happens, I only managed three hours at work before the darkness set in and I asked to take a half day’s holiday. This was granted and so it happens that I ended up at my parents. I can’t relax there: every proffered cup of tea is usually followed by eighty-seven questions about setting up iCloud, how does the Internet work and why my mum can’t connect the kettle up to the Wifi. I don’t think I’ve ever visited their house without having to reset at least four passwords. I’m painting them as technological luddites which is actually terribly unfair – my mother has just managed to keep her Tamagotchi alive for a three day streak and my dad has totally mastered Windows 98.

As a total aside, if you’ve ever wondered where I get my bawdy sense of humour from, it’s totally my parents. Whilst raiding through the cupboards in the utility room to see what would look better in my house, I spotted that my mother had scrawled ‘boobies’ on the calendar, accompanied with a 🙁 face. That was enough to set off my hypochondria/filial love/avarice and I demanded to know how long she had left and whether she’d arranged a will. Turns out it was just for a perfectly routine mammogram. Well, that was my mistake, calling it ‘routine’. You have to understand that my knowledge of boobs extends to twiddling Paul’s nipples like I’m trying to get the shipping forecast to bellow from his arse. She was very quick to put me right that it isn’t routine at all and that it actually bloody hurts having your boob squashed between two plates like someone plastering a ceiling. Then came the killer line:

“I wouldn’t mind, but after they’ve finished I could post my tits through a letterbox”

Ha. There’s an image that I could have certainly done without, although it did remind me to get the bacon out of the freezer when I got home.

The recipe then! We’re trying to cut our carbs down – no particular reason other than it makes us bloat like a beachbound whale – hence the lack of bun. If you’re dribbling and twitching at the thought of a bunless burger, just use your healthy extra B bun and shut up. For the love of God, don’t do what I’ve seen other people doing and sandwich your burger in between two halves of a jacket potato. If you think that is anything other than an abomination then I invite you to look at your life and think hard about who hurt you so badly.

to make goats cheese burger you will need:

  • 400g lean beef mince
  • 120g soft goats cheese (4x HeA)
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • mixed salad leaves (whatever you like – we used rocket)
  • pinch of salt and pepper

to make goats cheese burger you should:

  • mix the mince together with the salt and pepper and divide into four
  • roll each ball into a burger shape – it doesn’t have to be anything fancy!
  • next, cook the burgers however you like. We used our OptiGrill so we could get them perfect and rare, but you can do it however you like – under a medium-high grill or in a frying pan, or on a George Foreman grill or whatever. They won’t take that long
  • whilst they’re cooking, add the onion to a small saucepan with just a wee bit of oil, and sauté over a medium-high heat until just starting to brown
  • add the red wine vinegar right at the end and give a good stir
  • serve the burger on top of the sliced onion, and top with a 30g slice of goats cheese (each)

to make courgette chips you will need

to make courgette chips you should:

  • line a baking sheet with baking paper and preheat the oven to 200°c
  • slice the ends off the courgette, and then slice lengthways
  • discard the seeded bit in the middle
  • slice again until you get 2-3″ long chips
  • mix together the flour, parmesan, onion granules and garlic salt and tip into a shallow dish
  • tip the egg into another dish
  • gently roll the chips in the flour mix, then the egg, and then the flour again (tip: it helps to hold them by the ends of the chip so you don’t rub off the coating) and spray with a fine mist of oil
  • place onto the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes

That fruity looking sauce is some really nice Tomato and Basil Quark from Tesco mixed in with a splash of milk to loosen it a bit. It’s lovely!

Looking for more burger ideas? Don’t worry. We’ve got loads!

Enjoy!

J

bacon cheeseburger bites and a happy new year!

Bacon cheeseburger bites, if you don’t mind! Scroll down to the pretty pictures if reading gives you a nosebleed.

Happy New Year! Gosh, that was a slog wasn’t it? Feels like Christmas has been hanging around like a winnit on your knickers for absolutely bloody ages. I’m not a fan of Christmas – all that joviality, child’s laughter and general happiness leaves me gagging into a handkerchief. Everywhere is full of people walking entirely too slowly, breathing too loudly, snotting and sniffing and hacking away. Even the supermarkets offer no relief – people who wouldn’t usually be allowed unsupervised access to a box of crayons are suddenly flush with cash and put in charge of a trolley full of turkeys. If Paul and I ever win the lottery, we’re moving to the Pitcairn Islands with a live-in rent-boy. Would that be a mortgage-boy? Huh, that sounds less erotic.

Now, as it’s New Year, there’s been an almighty spike in subscribers and blog views: welcome. Take a seat: it’s reinforced. You want to lose weight and you’ve been told about us in the same furtive manner that schoolboys whisper about the school slapper (which was, ironically, both of us). Everything you’ve heard is true. We’re filthy, but full of fun. We never get straight to the point. We swear altogether too much and you’d be astonished how many tired references about anal we can shoehorn into a cottage pie recipe. However, know this: this is a personal blog, not a SW blog, and thus the content will never change! You can always skip straight to the recipe if you find your ‘tache bristling at the crudeness.

There is a slight change this year, however. Since starting this blog we’ve typed over 500,000 words: that’s a lot of typing. My fingers are so worn down that I’d struggle to pick up a penny from a tiled floor. Sometimes it’s a chore having to think up all sorts of shenanigans before the recipe so we’re shifting focus just a little – more recipes. Not less chat, you understand – just rather than having gaps between the recipes, we’re going to save the ‘long’ posts for a couple of times a week. More holiday entries, less moaning. I hope you understand that this keeps things interesting for us – this is like the bit in a marriage where you can’t face another serving of your other half’s sausage surprise so you start making coquettish winks to the postman. Makes sense: our postman is an absolute dish. It’s all I can do not to wait at the letterbox on all fours when I see him lumbering up the path. So yes: change is coming. But we all change, when you think about it, we’re all different people; all through our lives, and that’s okay, that’s good, you’ve gotta keep moving, so long as you remember all the people that you used to be. I will not forget one line of this, not one day, I swear…

House-keeping then.

Right! That’ll do.

Oh, a further treat for you if you like – we designed a weight-loss tracker for the year! Click the image to download a pin-sharp A4 version ready just for you!

Right, that’s quite enough nonsense. Let’s do the recipe! If you can’t be arsed to read the recipe, we’ve actually done an entirely serious video recipe for you. Yes: serious. Now that’s a screengrab you can take to the bank.

Enjoy that? We’re spent.

bacon cheeseburger bites

bacon cheeseburger bites

to make bacon cheeseburger bites you will need:

  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 red onion, diced finely
  • 50g panko
  • 80g reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 6 bacon medallions
  • handful of gherkin slices, finely diced
  • pinch of salt and pepper

useful bits:

  • you can get decent mince AND bacon (plus loads more!) in our fantastic Musclefood packs! Just click here to find out what deals we’ve got on!
  • we’d also recommend you invest in one of these cutiepies to help you out, especially with the faffy bits of chopping the onion and the gherkins!

to make bacon cheeseburger bites you should:

  • cook the bacon until it’s super crisp, however you like. We used our OptiGrill and it worked perfectly! You want it really crisp!
  • allow the bacon to cool down a bit, and then chop into little bacon bits (or do as we did and chuck it in a food processor)
  • preheat the oven to 175°C
  • next, get all of the ingredients together, chuck in a bowl and mix together
  • divide the mixture into 20-25 balls and lay on a non-stick baking sheet
  • cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes
  • serve with tiny baby gherkins, or anything else you like!

If you’re looking for similar party food, taster night ideas or snacks, why not try some of these?

Finally: remember to share our recipes! Just click those giant share buttons and make your friends wet with excitement!

J

merry Christmas: eat, drink and be merry!

‘ey up you lot – not a recipe post today, but rather just a simple message of goodwill from us twochubbycubs!

Christmas comes but once a year – no-one got to their deathbed and, upon reflecting on their life decisions, regrets and worries, turned to their loved ones and said ‘thank fuck I didn’t have a bit of Christmas pudding back in 1993’. Life is for living, after all! To that end, if you find yourself slumped in a chair on Christmas Day evening, face covered in all manner of sauces (including mannonaise, you filthy bitch), don’t feel glum: it’s another day. Just start again – you’ll crap most of it out anyway, then just go for a brisk walk or two and you’ll be cooking on gas.

The only thing stopping me from being ambulanced to the nearest A&E with blue lips is the fact every time I go to the fridge to get food Paul shrieks that I can’t eat that, this and the other because it’s FOR CHRISTMAS. God knows what he’s expecting to happen on Christmas Day but if there’s a nuclear holocaust, nip over to ours: we’ve got enough Waitrose party food to last us until our teeth fall out and our sphincters slough away from our bodies.

The other side of that coin is simple – if you’re one of those types who stay on plan over Christmas, more power to your elbow. But…

Eee, honestly.

Finally, before we go, just a colossal huge thank you to every single person who donated to our cat and dog shelter appeal this month – we ended up raising, when you factor in Gift Aid, £4,350! How absolutely amazing is that – it’ll make such a massive difference to the animals stuck in the shelter, I can promise you.

Have an amazing Christmas all, and we’ll see you in the New Year…

J