introducing the not quite so chubby cubs!

And it’s done! The most erotic thing you’ve ever seen on the TV since Nigella pushed her fingers into that cream horn that one time. Just me?

We didn’t hit our weight loss target of 20 stone between us before the recording – but I came closest to 10 stone, missing out by a few pounds – we then followed it up afterwards and stopped when we were happy – I (James) ended up losing 10 stone 3lb, Paul lost 8 stone 7lb, which means a combined weight loss of 265lb between us – 18 stone and 9lb. To put it another way, that’s about 120 bags of sugar, or a weekend delivery to Katona HQ. No wonder our bed doesn’t scream when we climb in anymore.

You can watch our bit below – there’s two videos, the ‘before’ bit and the ‘after’ bit. Fair warning, you might want to put a towel down.

We’ve got a load of blog articles about the experience queued up but just to answer a few of the pressing questions:

How did you do it?

  • Diet – Slimming World

We’re huge fans of Slimming World, as you know. We’re also rebellious in the extreme. So we did the plan, but by god, we did it our way. We didn’t use Frylight, we used olive oil and didn’t syn it. Never synned a bloody avocado, cooked fruit. We had full-fat yoghurt, not Mullershites filled with sugar.

Not once did we have: Slimming World ‘sweets’, crappy treat bags, CREAM HORNS MADE FROM WRAPS AND QUARK, apple turnovers made from bread and sweetener, pease pudding ‘lids’ for pies. If we wanted chocolate, we had it. Ice-cream, no bother. Give up booze? Pah! We took NINE holidays during our ‘year’ and still lost just shy of nineteen stone between us in a year. 

So, now, I can finally say with PROOF what we’ve been saying all along: EAT PROPER FOOD. Cook with proper ingredients, with decent recipes, and you’ll not be hungry, you’ll not feel like you’re on a diet and your weight will come off. Other recipe blogs, in between nicking from Pinterest, push Frankenfood recipes made from sweetener and fake food all to sell ingredients and it is bollocks. And now, look: the proof is in our pudding.

That pudding doesn’t contain any xanthum gum, forty eggs and seventy-five Amazon links, either. Do Slimming World, the support is fantastic and the plan if you follow it is great, but instead of chasing colossal weight losses every week – do it properly, cook more, avoid the temptation for fake food and look at what you’re actually putting into your body. No quick fixes, just a diet that doesn’t feel like you’re missing out.

All of our recipes – the stuff we ACTUALLY EAT, can be found here – it’ll open in a new window!

  • Fitness – Elite

Six months in and, finally able to buy one pair of jeans instead of two and stitching them together, we realised our weight loss was slowing and our fitness levels were absolutely shite. It’s all well and good being thin enough for sex but it loses the horniness when your lips turn blue when you climb on top. I’ve always said there’s no point being skinny if you get out of breath pulling back the lid of a yoghurt, and the above is just a fruitier take on the same line. So, what did we do? Gyms are boring, we’re too fabulous to run outside and there’s no guarantee of totty at a spinning class. We found Elite!

Elite is a nationwide company, expanding all the time, which offers a range of programmes to build your fitness. They are bloody amazing. We signed up for the ‘Transformation’ package where you pay a chunk for six weeks of high-intensity workouts (three a week) and a diet plan (which, because it’s low-fat healthy stuff, we made work with Slimming World). Here’s the kicker: if you lose 20lb (or more) in those six weeks, you get your money back – in total, no catches, no deductions. What greater incentive for a fat tight-arse Geordie can there be? We completed the first transformation, rolled it over another few times and lost 11 stone between us before we finished in April.

Worried you can’t do exercise? Trust us: you can. And they’re fun classes of bloody hard work, different nearly every time, with a great mixed group of people. No machismo, no pretence – everyone just getting on with their bit. Previously, the only time we’ve laughed during exercise is when Paul’s shorts split bending over to pick up a stray chicken ball – with these, it’s actually good enough fun that you can ignore your tingling fingers. There’s a mix of abilities from people who are super fit to those, like us, chubbies who could barely move. You do what you can do: you’re pushed bloody hard, but never beyond your limits. By the end of it, you’re a team. It’s cheesy and as confirmed anti-social helmets, we thought we’d hate exercising with people. Now we wouldn’t be without it. I mean Christ we ran a bloody 5k last year (remember?)

If you lose the weight, you get your money back. Simple as that. If you join up through our link, we get commission too, not going to lie, but I’ve been recommending this for months without the promise of cash in my pocket. You know us: we don’t bullshit with recommendations. If you’re local to Newcastle, let us know, we’ll happily keep you company if we can. I’m fully first-aid trained so if you pass out, my whiskery face will bring you back. I’m going to write a proper blog post about Elite and general fitness, but feel free to ask questions or, even better, click the banner below to be whisked away to find out more – and if you do sign up, mention us: twochubbycubs. Something has to pay for the great American road-trip in 2020…

What’s Davina like?

Tiny. But such a lovely, genuine, warm person – I wasn’t starstruck, I’m used to dealing with celebrity – I once saw the back of Raquel from Coronation Street’s head as she rummaged around in a freezer for frozen carrots in Presto – but any nerves disappeared the second Davina started talking to us. She’s a class act, through and through.

How do they film it?

That’s for another blog entry, but simply: you go down to London to film the first part of the show where you’re sitting on the sofa breathing shallowly and wearing your best ‘fuck me, that’s a bold pattern’ shirt. Then a whole year of filming bits into a camera, which is then edited for the middle part. Then off you go to London after a year, Davina puts the same dress back on and you walk out new men. Stitch it all together and boom, it looks like it happened overnight.

Any regrets?

Didn’t get the number of the gorgeous bear who did my make-up. I fall in love easily, and anyone who doesn’t wince as he gets out a giant pot of foundation for my fivehead is a keeper for me. Also, the cameraman who came up to film us was absolutely dreamy. If you’re out there and fancy doing a bit of extra on the side, we’ve got an onlyfans account that needs excellent production values.

It would have been nice to hit the target, but damn, we stopped where we thought we looked good. We could have done it if we had signed up to Elite a bit quicker or spent more time at home instead of holiday, but you know what, if ifs and buts were sweets and nuts, we’d just eat them too.

Final words?

If you’re reading this, and you’re inspired – do it. Start tonight. Start right now – make your own pledge, tell your family, take a whole year. Ten stone in a year sounds frightening until you realise it’s about 2.5lb a week. There’ll be days when I bet you could crap 2.5lb by 10am, the amount you eat. People get hung up on massive amounts to lose and get disillusioned when you only lose three pounds in a week. It’s Slimming World’s biggest curse that you’re constantly being pushed for bigger losses. Don’t fall for it. Lose weight slowly, lose it well, and you’ll be magic. Finish this for me.

This time next year, I’ll…

J


Media enquiries / sponsorship / centrefold shots / tasteful nudes: cubs@twochubbycubs.co.uk

announcement: it’s TV time for the cubs!

God I hate writing about ‘us’ in the third person, but I couldn’t get the title to work. I promised you an update, a salacious one, and then merrily forgot to update because a) we’re unspeakably lazy and b) we’re surprisingly busy and c) my tonsils have decided they want out and are rebelling against me. Lots of people are suggesting going to the doctors but I don’t want to explain why each tonsil has a perfect imprint of a bellend pushed into it like wet clay. So I’m riding it out, but you best believe I’ve lived on nothing but fags and ice-cream for the last three days. I’m looking after me.

SO OUR ANNOUNCEMENT.

We’re on the telly! For a change, it’s not some blurry footage of me getting bummed in a lorry park either, which at least my mother is thankful for (though no-one forces her to hold the camera, just sayin’). Nope, we’re on THIS TIME NEXT YEAR, Tuesday 5th, 8pm on ITV. See if you can spot us in the trailer below (I’ll give you a clue, we’re the ones who look like Jeremy Spake’s stunt doubles wandering in from the cold).

There’s blog stories a-plenty coming about this, but the basic conceit is that you go on the show, pledge to do something significant and challenging and then you have a year to do exactly that. You go see Davina for a wee chat, film yourselves throughout the year and then come back a year later to reveal all. It’s a lovely programme and, how could we not? We applied and they turned down my original pledge to taste-test a chap from each town in the UK with a population over 5,000, but we got talking about weight loss and this snowballed into ‘THIS TIME NEXT YEAR, DAVINA, WE WILL LOSE TWENTY STONE BETWEEN US’.

Well, we had to:

Crikey. No spoilers, of course. You’ll have seen we have lost a little weight, but did we do it? Did we make a big change? Did we do the right thing by our readers and follow our own recipes and lose weight? Are we proof that not synning avocado, not drowning everything in Frylight and not making apple turnovers and cream horns from Quark and wraps will help you lose weight?

Wait and see! Wish us luck!

J

actifry presents: best ever southern fried chicken

Actifry Southern Fried Chicken! I know, listen to us, rubbing our breasts with spice (classic Newcastle behaviour that, just need a quick romp in a bus-shelter and a bag of chips and I’ll be sorted) and going on about the Actifry. You know what that means…

actifry

Yeah, I know. Usual twochubbycubs stuff applies here: we’re always honest, we don’t say it’s good for the sake of it and frankly, this Actifry Southern Fried Chicken will leave such a good taste in your yawning gob that’ll it replace the bad taste from our sponsorship. And anyway, hush, Paul has rickets from New Year and I’m putting cardboard in my shoes. What more do you want? If you want me on my knees begging, well, contact us on Grindr and make a payment.

We’ve got a couple of big posts coming over the next two including a big announcement tomorrow (!) so I won’t keep you here too long. I’ll only tell you this: how our New Year’s Resolutions are going. I’ve taken up smoking. Paul’s had two affairs and worn out his knees in the local forest (and he wasn’t looking for truffles, as you may suspect). We tried to give up terrible trash telly but Paul’s busy shouting at the telly because there’s a family with one set of teeth between them on Jeremy Kyle. Exercise is going great guns though: I split one pair of gym shorts trying to do a somersault at boot-camp and Paul had to take a seat and catch his breath from filling up his water bottle. My attempt to calm down behind the wheel came to an end the second one of the distant neighbours didn’t wave animatedly enough as I let him onto the street and it took all my strength not to back the car up at 60mph and run over his loafers. Kindness to the cats disintegrated once one of the little hellions decided the best place to put his face, including his tiny cold nose, was between the cheeks of my arse as I slept. I don’t know who screamed more: Paul at the shock of me hurtling out of bed, the cat because, instead of the rich Bovril scent he expected, he was met with a blur of chronic obesity and swearing, or me: I’ve been married twelve years and any unexpected action around the rear is both a colossal shock and an unwelcome distraction.

Anyway. Enough razzmatazz. We’ll save that for the upcoming posts.

Actifry contacted us to take part in their New Year Revolution a couple of weeks, challenging us to make something new in the Actifry. Once I’d checked that this involved absolutely no physical movement, and been reassured that no, I could do it from the comfort of my chair, we were good to go. They sent a fetching pinny (I can’t begin to tell you how hot I look: imagine someone rolled a marshmallow on a barbershop floor and stuck two boss eyes on it) which I can’t wear because it excites Paul too much when I wear a smock. He thinks he’s getting fed. Also, a wonderful plastic meal-decider which makes a charming rattle when you spin it. The good folks loved me as I shrieked through playing with that, I promise.

The Revolution (because the Actifry spins, see) was to take an old recipe or a family favourite (my own family’s favourite is bitter arguments over cheap supermarket beer, but that option wasn’t on there). We spun the spinner and landed on Southern Fried Chicken. Well, honestly: that’s easy, we spend so much time in the KFC drive-thru that they know when to rota extra staff on to cope with our order. So, off we went.

Before the recipe, the advertising bit. I know, but bear with us. If you take a gander through our old posts you’ll see we have always been advocates of the Actifry – hell, we’ve shifted enough of them via Amazon that we really ought to have shares in Tefal. But there’s a reason: they’re excellent. We chuck all sorts in ours but here’s a top tip: put your sausages in with your chips – the oil from the sausages cooks the chips, the chips roughen up the sausages and everyone is happy, including even you. Syn free chips? No bother: no oil, bit of Worcestershire sauce, beef stock cubes. Go. The Actifry cooks things nice and gently and means you can still have your favourites without all the fat and grease of a deep-fat fryer. Personally, the only deep, fat fryer I love is Ali who runs our chippy: he has a belly I could build a nest in and arms that could ‘gently persuade’ me to sleep. Sigh. One day.

You might think OH BUT I CAN GET AN AIRFRYER FROM LIDL for a tuppence and yeah, you’re right, but you’re so much better than middle-Lidl-purchases and anyway, at least this Actifry looks the business. I tire of seeing £19.99 rejects looking like bad Daft Punk cosplay littering our reader’s kitchens. What price dignity, people? Have a look under the recipe to see you can do so much more! And here’s a guide to the various Airfryers out there.

Right, let’s do this Actifry Southern Fried Chicken, shall we? Don’t want to use syns? Shame on you. You can make this syn-free though. Don’t forget if you’re having a burger, use your HEB.

southern fried chicken

southern fried chicken

southern fried chicken

1 vote

Print

best ever actifry southern fried chicken

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 6 people

Now then. We've done a KFC recipe before, we've done bits and bobs with crispy chicken, but we reckon this is the best. I mean obviously we would say that because the good folks at Actifry aren't going to give us silver if we say it's pap, but listen, we've been honest all the way through this!

Don't have an Actifry? Well, gosh. Get one. Or, do this in the oven - it'll be a wee bit soggier though. Not a huge fan of soggy breasts, usually.

Ingredients

  • five chicken thighs and four chicken breasts or whatever you want
  • 100g panko (18 syns, but this makes enough for 6 people - and if you use panko, you can use a HEB for your breadbun and have a burger - IMAGINE SUCH LUXURY)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp onion granules
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic granules
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried sage
  • 1 tbsp marjoram
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

Or:

  • cajun spice from the supermarket because haway, you're not that fancy to have all them spices. Bet you say ORIGANNO too

Instructions

  • pour the panko onto a plate or shallow dish and mix together all of the other dry ingredients
  • crack three eggs into another shallow dish and beat (the eggs, that is)
  • dip the chicken into the egg and let any excess slop off
  • roll the chicken into the panko and herb mixture until well coated
  • place into an Actifry (paddle removed) and cook for 30 minutes
  • make into a lovely burger, have with salad, yeah right, and crack on

Notes

  • panko is a type of breadcrumb y0u'll find it in all the main supermarkets (head towards the 'world foods' aisle, or near the Japanese stuff). If you can't get your hands on it normal breadcrumbs will do
  • you can reduce the syns by using your HeA choice wholemeal bun blitzed up. It won't be as nice, but it'll work
  • use any chicken you like! We used thighs because they're juicy (like us) and breasts (because we wanted a burger too) but you can use whatever you want. Drumsticks and even chopped up chicken will work just as well
  • if you can't be fannied on with all the herbs and spices any mix will do, cajun works well in this, or chicken seasoning. The flavour will be different, but as long as you like it, who cares?
  • using an Actifry makes this so easy to do, just plop them in and close the lid! If you haven't got one yet, what's wrong with you? Check out Amazon for the best deals!
  • when cooking, it might be a good idea to gently move them around halfway through to make sure they cook evenly
  • this made enough for 5 thighs and 4 breasts - if you're cooking less than that just amend the recipe as needed
  • don't have an Actifry - whack it in the oven

Cuisine American

Happy? You should be! Looking for more Actifry recipes? We got you, fam:

Enjoy!

J

cheddar cheese risotto – don’t mind the chest pains

Cheddar cheese risotto. Listen, if that doesn’t put a teardrop in your knickers then you’re dead inside and no amount of me luridly describing Jason Momoa spitting in your mouth during rough sex is going to get you in the mood, is it? What an opening sentence! It’s Saturday, so that means new post day, and here I am, up at the crack of dawn feeling sorry for myself because Yodel are delivering a parcel and that means having to set aside fourteen years to anxiously pluck at the blinds in my living room and wait for the delivery man to come sauntering up the street to the house next door to put a ‘sorry we missed you’ card through their door. They’re not sorry.

I’ve been suffering with a particularly severe form of tinnitus the last few weeks and I can’t deny it’s been getting me down. I’m alright at work, surrounded by noise, but first thing in the morning, or when I’m sitting on the toilet, or just drifting off to slumber, I hear it – this slightly camp, Liverpudlian/Oxford/Welsh accent (imagine if Inspector Morse fucked Cilla Black, and then sent the offspring to a detention centre in Llandudno (and a consonant please, Rachel) and you’ve got the idea) mewing away saying ‘when are you posting part two of my article, you fat, unloved bastard’. It’s been especially distressing the last couple of weeks when it’s become an endless barrage of lisped letters and threats so thinly-veiled you could use them as petrol station shit-tickets. So, without further delay, and possibly because there’s a real threat of my eyes being set on fire if I don’t comply, here’s part two of Shigella’s guide to the perfect buffet. Please do leave him feedback: he’s a budding writer (in that he’s just learned how to use a pen at 38 years old) and craves attention.

STRONG WORDS OF WARNING: he, like me, has an especially blunt sense of humour. If you are easily offended, boo-hoo, have a box of biscuits and shush. It is, however, a long article, so scroll until you see a plate of pure sex in the form of cheddar cheese risotto if you’re just here for the recipe. But trust me, you’ll be missing out. 

cheddar cheese risotto

click here to read part one – it’ll open in a new window, because we’re super fancy and don’t want to risk losing all that juicy ad revenue

With sausage rolls done, you’ve now got the beige foundation in place. A scotch egg, whilst delicious, is too big to be a buffet food, so go for the mini eggs you can get in every supermarket. You want the ones that contain the egg mayonnaise type mixture inside, don’t do what I did recently and get caught out by one of the fucking awful imposters that have flooded the market. I fell for this trend for fuckery from Marks and Spencer’s of all places (a yellow stickered reduction, obviously, I was only in there to shoplift pants). I got home, tore feverishly into the packaging and lobbed a whole mini egg into my gob (I’ve had the entire patronage of a German Gentlemen’s club in there before, one egg is nothing). I bit down expecting a meaty, eggy explosion only for my mouth to be filled with…ketchup. Now I realise those fancy folk at M&S are my social betters and must know more than me about these things. I’ve tried to be M&S standard but I’m too fat to go fox hunting (have you ever seen a large family car on top of a horse – if not, imagine that, and you’ll see my distress) and my uncle prefers my brother over me so I’ve given up trying to understand their ways. But who in their right mind thinks ‘well Kenneth, if they like smooshed up egg and mayo, they’re going to fucking love vinegary tomato water as well’?

It’s all a bit ‘Heston’ for my liking. All that shit he knocks out for Christmas. Christmas Pudding with a whole plum in, mince pies with half a satsuma, turkey stuffed with a goose, stuffed with chicken stuffed with a divan drawer containing a missing girl from Dewsbury. Like Pandora’s Box or James’ legs, once they’re opened they won’t close. A line needs to be drawn. Stop buying this shit and they’ll stop making it.

Next to your mini eggs, eggs being the keyword here, not Asda own brand red sauce, you need something a bit more robust. You can’t go wrong with pork pie. Whilst I admit I may sound slightly hypocritical by saying I enjoy pork pie topped with and onion chutney or a pickle, these are too fancy for a buffet. Like any good gay I keep the satisfying toppings to the privacy of my own bedroom, kitchen, living room, the woods, the back of a car, the bonnet of a car, next to Boy George’s radiator, public toilets… I’M A PRIVATE KIND OF GUY AND I WISH YOU’D RESPECT THAT. Slice your pork pies into quarters so your guests can decide whether they want a bit with more delicious boiled pig jelly or if they’d prefer to go in dry.

Now you need some crisps. Unless you’re serving them from the bag (you fucking tramp) no one is going to see what kind you’re serving so there’s no need to go posh. Pringles from the tube, whilst convenient, are a fucking nightmare to get out unless you’ve got a Jeremy Beadle style claw-machine hand, so it’s a no to them. I remember a birthday part I went to as a kid where the bowl of crisps was loads of different flavours mixed together. My tiny little mind was blown. Every bite a different flavour? Fucking witchcraft. Things to avoid: Wotsits: you don’t need people wondering round your house smearing orange gunk all over your soft furnishing. Plus, there’s always the risk of getting found out that one of your guests wanked you off to thank you for your hospitality when your husband sees your knob glowing bright orange like you’ve had a tit wank off Katie Price on fake-tan top-up day. Also, I’d pass on the Scampi-n-Lemon Nik-Naks. For obvious, unfortunately-censored reasons. [James edit: aye, I like it near the knuckle, but so do they]

Fancy up your crisps up with a dip selection if you’re so inclined. There is nothing wrong at all with one of those four in one dip packs you get at supermarkets. When serving one of these it is important to throw away the lid before it reaches the table so no one knows what they’re eating. That way people will eat all the dips because they’ll forget which one tastes like the underside of a rent boy’s foreskin after the weekend of the Tory Party conference. If you’re having dips you may as well get breadsticks. When I went to America a few years back my mind was blown to discover a breadstick could actually be a delicious, warm stick of actual bread and not those brittle sticks of dust that could be used as an effective weapon in a prison brawl. Regardless, someone eats them so pop them out and they can be used to mop up residual dip.

A good buffet needs sandwiches. This is the most time-consuming part of the preparation but I’m afraid they’re essential. However, the best part of buffet sandwiches are they fact they’re so arse-numbingly boring that you don’t need to spend ages on the fillings.  You only need to do 3 types of sandwiches, all on bread so white and cheap it would vote leave, get hard over a blue passport and complain their Spanish holiday they got for a tenner from tokens in the Mail on Sunday is ruined by being full of foreigners. Smear liberally with your favourite ‘I can’t believe it’s not dripping’ butter substitute then apply one of the following three fillings:

  • grated mild, flavourless, cheddar from a bag.
  • ham – the kind you get 20 slices for a quid and have to blot with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. One single slice per sandwich.
  • egg mayo – from one of those giant tubs that when you open the house fills with a smell best described as Rolf’s arsehole after his first week in prison.

That’s it. No pickle, no mustard nor any cress. A true buffet sandwich is as basic as a pumpkin spiced latte drank whilst wearing Ugg boots and listening to Ed Sheeran. Cut into wonky quarters and cover badly with cling film so the edges stale slightly until ready to serve.

A buffet staple that is becoming increasingly overlooked these days is food on sticks. I’m not talking the frozen stuff you get from Iceland (I’ll get to them) but the homemade stuff. That’s right people: cheese and pineapple. This is the stuff that childhood dreams and adult wank fantasies are made of. Hacking away at a block of Smart Price cheddar the size of a house brick and spearing it aside a pineapple chunk you’ve fished out of a tin then having it displayed proudly from a foil wrapped baked potato is what this country was built on. Well that or racism, but as one of my friends is black I’d like think it’s this. If I don’t see one of these bad boys on your buffet table you better believe I’m going to fuck your husband and wipe my knob off on your nets after. Britain is already broken, why make it worse?

Now, here’s a controversial one for you but hear me out. You trust me, right? We’re all friends here. I promise it won’t hurt for long, shhhhh don’t cry, just push out as I push in…cocktail sausage and mini pickled onion on a stick. Now unclutch those pearls and let me explain my logic to you. Cocktail sausages are more of a texture than a flavour, they need a fuck load of salt or ketchup to really get them tasting of anything. The sharpness and crunch of a cocktail onion really bloody works with it. Next time you’re setting up a buffet, try it for yourself! Worst case scenario and I’m wrong (but if I managed to convince that jury I fell and landed on every single penis in that football team, then legally I can’t be wrong) then you can serve the sausages and onions separately. But we can’t be friends.  Lovers, but not friends.

These are your buffet staples and you can make large enough quantities to feed everyone without extra fuckery. But if you want to pad it out, supermarket party food is the way to go.  Especially now it’s always on multibuy offers so you can fill your freezer until you need them. Unless like me, it’s 3am on a Wednesday and the fit ginger lad from Greggs as just been around to feed me his YumYum and I feel the need to follow it up with 24 assorted vol-au-vents. If you’re using pre-packed party food the biggest piece of advice I can give you is FOR THE LOVE OF CHER MAKE SURE THERE IS ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE. Got 20 people coming? 40 chicken skewers minimum. Don’t be that fucker that puts out 10. If you are that person, look in the mirror. Take a long hard look at yourself. Who hurt you Brenda? Why are you like this? Most supermarkets have got clever so the party food all cooks at the same temperature so you can do it in advance. Except mini kievs. Do these fresh, no one likes a cold kiev. If there’s no risk of a garlic butter spray that leaves you with third-degree burns then, frankly, it’s a waste of chicken gristle and panko.

What even is panko, anyway?

[James edit: fuck off]

I don’t serve pudding at a buffet, I’m a savoury kind of guy, but if I’m feeling festive I’ll empty a few tubs of celebrations into bowls and scatter them around the table and that usually will do it. I will put on a cheeseboard but my love of cheese is a whole other ten-thousand-word essay.

So, to surmise:

  • hot fork buffet are for wankers who put their Lidl shopping in Waitrose bags before they get out of the car
  • make enough fucking food for everyone
  • beige is best

Thank you for reading. If you’d like to hear more from me, let the cubs know. They’re keeping me in their attic at the moment and I’m having to survive on what I can wring out of their ‘magic’ socks and rainwater. Please send help/cash/nudes.


I know, right?

You’re back with James now, don’t worry. The gay sex jokes are just as laboured but at least you won’t be starving. Please. You’re always hungry. Neither of us got to the point of scrolling right to the end of the available sizes on H&M and crying from being moderate with our food intake.

Food time. This is another recipe we’ve ‘appropriated’ from Nigella, but she’s cool, she’ll appreciate the thought of two fat blokes shrieking in the kitchen as they tip an entire worktop’s worth of grated cheddar into the risotto pan. You, with those raw thighs, ought to stick to the SW recommended amount of cheese.

cheddar cheese risotto

1 vote

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cheddar cheese risotto: with ham and leeks and everything

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

Right, look - risottos take a bit of time, and I actually made this the proper way by adding ladles of stock one at a time, stirring until absorbed and gazing icily into the sitting room where Paul was watching telly whilst my ankles ached. But you can do it the twochubbycubs way too: just throw all the stock in, bang the lid on and walk away for twenty minutes or so. I don't care, I'm not your mother: if we were, you'd never go out wearing that, young lady.

I use butter in this recipe because it's nicer, but if you wanted to make it syn free, just use Frylight. Pfft.

Ingredients

This makes enough for four, but only uses four Healthy Extra A choices. Because that matters. So don't worry, if you're being a fatty fatty bum bum, you can have an extra Healthy Extra A later. But I don't care.

  • 25g butter (7 syns, if you use reduced fat butter, or if you're like me, make out like you did but actually used proper full fat butter because it's sexier)
  • 5 finely sliced baby leeks
  • as much shredded/cut-up ham that you have
  • 300 grams risotto rice
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard (which I'm not synning, and you can fuck right off if you're worried about a tenth of a syn)
  • 1.2 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 120 grams grated extra mature cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Instructions

  • melt the butter on a low heat and add your leeks - allow to soften and burble away nicely
  • add the mustard and the rice and stir everything through, coating all the rice in that delicious, filthy butter
  • now, it's up to you:
    • add all the stock at once, throw the lid on and allow to simmer for about twenty minutes until cooked; or
    • add the stock one ladle at a time, waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more - this makes a creamier risotto and is generally worth the effort but, I know, that Chat magazine isn't going to read itself
  • once the rice is cooked, add the cheese and ham and stir, saving a bit of ham for the top if you're fancy
  • sprinkle with chives or, if you're like me, leave them in the fridge

Enjoy!

Notes

  • for a risotto - and especially if you're going to do the old throw-it-all-in-and-walk-away technique - you want a good heavy pan that doesn't stick - we use Le Creuset because we're posh and Amazon currently have a good range
  • can't afford to spunk £150 on a pan or just plain old tight? No worries - Marks and Spencers currently do a knock-off Le Creuset range which is really decent for the price
  • this recipe is adapted from Nigella Express, one of my favourites
  • add peas, garlic, peppers, bacon, any old shite

Courses evening meal

Cuisine stodge

Yum! What more could you possibly want from us?

We have an absolute bucketload of risotto recipes, why not try them?

Enjoy!

Also: 5 February 2019. Sssssh.

easy egg and cheese tortilla pie: breakfast time!

Tortilla pie awaits you at the bottom, under all this guff. Do be a love and take a look.

Yes, we’re back.

It seems fitting that not long after Cher announces her comeback, we make a triumphant return. Listen, I’m robotic, tuneless, ageless and popular with those light in the loafers, but you don’t need to pay £600 to hear me blasting out Believe. I’ll do it for a pack of Frazzles and a quick punch of my backdoor by your husband.

You know they say the road to hell is full of good intentions? Ours certainly is: we fully intended to come back with new recipes after Canada…and we did, briefly, but then we buggered off to Tokyo. Then Christmas necessitated full concentration as we worked on turning ourselves spherical. Our road isn’t full of good intentions so much as it has many lay-bys and each one of them has a Hungarian lorry driver in it who is missing his wife. You know what it’s like – you get your head down, close your eyes and poof – three months have gone by.

How are we? Let’s touch on a few of the regular beats of this blog and I’ll update accordingly. Paul and I are fine: both still fattened by Christmas, not sleeping enough and spending far too much money on trinkets and holidays. We continue on our merry-go-round-and-round of ‘fresh starts’ and ‘let’s get healthy’ but it always dissolves the very second trade comes over who smells faintly of takeaway. I’m a sucker for a fat kebab, after all. We’ve had adventures: thrown ourselves off the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, broke a robot in Tokyo, powerminced around the CN Tower in Canada, Paul’s pregnancy scare – but here we are at the start of 2019 in the unusual position of having nothing planned for the year ahead. I say that, we’ve got bootcamp starting next week so at least I can look forward to a trip in an ambulance and six months of hearing my mother desperately trying to convince the doctors to turn off my life-support. Cheers Christine, but it’s only a sprained ankle.

Tell you one thing though: I still feel old. I’ve never been one for navel-gazing – not least because my navel is currently hidden by my festive tits – but boy oh boy. I’ll be 34 this year, and that means it’s the last year where I can stay in the 25-34 field when signing Paul’s life insurance documents. This is terrifying to me. Assuming my lifestyle of sitting down at any given opportunity and counting crisps as a five-a-day because potatoes grow in the ground catches up with me, I can probably realistically expect to live to just 68. I’m halfway through my life and all I have to show for it is a nice house, many holidays a year and a fabulous beard (his name is Paul). Truly I am cursed. A friend of mine uses the question ‘how many partners have you had in the last three months’ during his visit to the clap-clinic as a measure of his success in life, I use how many months closer to the grave I am. However, I’m not letting this continuing existential crisis bother me, I promise – just a quick quiet sob in the lift at work when I realise my beard is streaked not with manschpackle but the salt-‘n’-pepper that comes to all men.

I asked Paul how he’s feeling and he said he’s alright. That’s the problem with Paul – he paints with words and it’s sometimes so difficult to pin down exactly what he means.

It’s a new year and whilst I’m not given over to making resolutions, I’ve made 4.

Family is fine – parents are working feverishly to make sure I don’t have any inheritance left and, out of the shrapnel that might fall out of my mother’s jackboots (who knew that the Wehrmacht catered for a size 2 shoe?), most of it will be going to my nephew. Tsssk. I know adopting a child out of sheer avariciousness is wrong but if it helps me get my hands on the family silver (the foil in my mother’s Lambest and Bitler) then maybe it’s an option. Gives me something to entertain myself with in between Switch releases.

Work continues ever onwards.

Neighbours – we’re still disliked as though we’ve personally been in each house and walked dog-shit into the carpet. We’ve been here five years and whilst there’s a few lovely ones, we still get all manner of shitty looks whenever we go outside. We get told (and we promptly ignore) where to park our cars, how to cut our garden and what flowers to plant. It’s all so presumptuous – I don’t knock on their doors to give them a guide to douching, although given how full of crap they are it might not be such a bad thing.

And finally, the blog itself. What started as a vanity project for my recipes has become a behemoth and a millstone, but in a mostly good way. We’ve got a few surprises coming down the line which I’M STILL NOT BLOODY ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT, and lots to say!

Going forward, the plan is a weekly article and recipe, with the odd recipe sprinkled in when we can find the time. This way, you get regular updates but I don’t get myself a nervous breakdown trying to come up with my eightieth euphemism for vagina that night. Kid-shitter. Front-bum. Pink demon. This should also cut down on the sheer amount of idiots who message us whingeing about recipes or asking us to explain the plan in minute detail. I’d sooner rather listen to Ed Sheeran breathing heavily in my eye whilst his ginger beard dances across the back of my neck than have to spend ten more minutes trying to decipher what Shirley ‘School of Hard Knocks’ from Runcorn means by ‘cnt av pastargh hussband on fire owminty syns in tuffpast‘. You don’t know the toll it takes on a man to have 128 notifications of a morning and only three of them from bears with the rest of the notifications being from dinner ladies who should know better. I swear 40% of you only joined Slimming World because they spell sins as ‘syns’ and you thought you’d found a kindred spirit in The Fearless Leader Bramwell.

Kidding. Love you really. Let’s do the recipe then, shall we? Tortilla pie. Dead easy.

tortilla pie

tortilla pie

3 votes

Print

syn-free cheese, ham and egg tortilla pie

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 2 servings

You have no idea how much I love Nigella Lawson. There's something about her tremendous hair, elegant way of chatting and her ability to eat absolutely everything with style that warms me to her. This is from her At My Table book, which I heartily recommend if you want to sit with your tongue hanging out. This takes less than five minutes to make and 15 minutes to cook - one of the easiest breakfasts we've ever made. Thank you Nigella!

Ingredients

This makes enough for two people. Cook it, cut it in half.

  • two wraps - make sure they're the HEB allowance, which changes every single time Margaret runs out of ultra-clutch Elnett - currently the Weight Watchers white wraps are free - racist
  • 80g of extra mature cheese (40g being a HEA for one person, but in BOLD NEWS, you're allowed two healthy extras now - so feel free to double up the cheese again!)
  • as much cooked ham as you like
  • four eggs
  • pinch of sea salt
  • optional: add a splash of hot sauce, some slices of tomato, spring onions...anything you like
  • ooooh, fuck that, add bacon - all the bacon

Instructions

  • get yourself a wee sandwich tin and either Frylight it or use a drop or two of oil
  • squeeze one of the wraps into it, making a small bowl
  • drop in the ham, crack in the eggs (don't break the eggs up, you want what looks like a fried egg) and add a pinch of salt onto the eggs
  • add any extras and add a third of the cheese
  • frylight or use a drop of oil to brush over the second tortilla and place it oil side up on top - pinch it down around the sides
  • add all the cheese in the world and a good squirt of hot sauce on the top if you want it
  • bake it in the oven until the cheese is cooked and the wrap has brown and risen up on the side
  • serve with beans

Notes

Courses breakfast

Cuisine breakfast

Delicious. Get it in you.

More wrap ideas? Why don’t you give these a go?

There. All done.

J

cheese, ham and onion bake in the slow cooker

Here for the cheese, ham and onion bake done in the slow cooker and just the thing for slopping down your nightie whilst the dark nights close in? Of course: it might look like a scabby back, but it tastes absolutely bloody amazing and frankly, I’d have this dish every night if I could, or at least until the good folks at Wansbeck Hospital had me bluelighted in with cheese crust on my mouth.

Speaking of cheese crust, a while ago we published a blog entry from Frederick West detailing his method for making the perfect roast potato. We received record feedback and for those two people, he’s agreed to pen another article. It’s another hot-button topic – not least because his keyboard is eighty per cent cigarette ash – buffet. What makes the perfect buffet? What’s the ideal strategy for winning at buffet? Now, this entry is especially girthy and because I know some of you will be reading this on a Speak ‘n’ Spell powered exclusively by Poundland batteries and tears, I’m going to split it in two.

For those devoid of all joy in your life, click the picture below to be whisked straight to the recipe.

That’s you, that is.

Everyone else buckled in? A slight caveat. Our writer isn’t subtle. Address your complaints to the nearest bin.


Buffet is one of those words that means different things to different people: like fashion, happy or consent. But what is the correct answer? It’s time to get the bottom of this mystery once and for all. I will not rest until we have uncovered the truth or I get hungry. So, join me, Other Paul, twochubbycubs’ roving reporter, a pale imitation of Alison Hammond both literally and euphemistically, on my most important mission to date.

The biggest shitshow that masquerades under the good name buffet has to be the ‘Hot Fork Buffet’. A couple of heat lamp fermented trays of slop, chips and rice and God fucking forbid, a salad do not a buffet make. I made the mistake of having one of these travesties during the evening reception of my wedding.

A tray of curry so bland that you could have had toast and found it spicier, a pan of Scouse (a traditional Liverpudlian stew, not the contents of Cilla’s make up bag) along with completely unseasoned rice and chips. Now my family, they like a drink. They really like a drink. They’d been going since 3pm and they’d just seen their son/grandson/brother/nephew/cousin (in some cases 3 of those, we’re a close family) say ‘I do’ to a bloke that looks like Dawn French shaved her head, came off her mood stabilisers and got woken up by a wasp’s nest in her fanny.

Everyone was far too pissed to touch the food so I’m there hissing to my brand-new husband about it costing a tenner a head and not having room in the freezer for it all. So, I did what any tight arse would do, and shovelled as much of it as possible down my gullet. Sadly, as a result of this greed, about 3 hours later, a tight arse was what I was very much lacking as I pebble-dashed the shitter in the honeymoon suite. If we were a straight couple, it would have been nothing a quick rinse in the bidet wouldn’t fix before the wedding was consummated. You’d be correct in guessing my marriage was not consummated that night. As my shiny new husband so eloquently put it (I’ll use his wedding photo, he won’t mind):

“I’m not putting my dick anywhere near that, it looks like someone punched a Sara Lee gateau through a drainpipe”

Safe to say I did not get a hot forking that night.

If there’s something I hate more than the hot fork fiasco it’s the one’s where fuck all effort has been made. Often found at work events where you can see the lunch spread and you realise that enough food for 20 people has been set out and there are 50 of you there. Pro-tip in these cases – any work event that’s catered, get a seat by the door. The second you break for lunch, you run, I don’t care if you’re 40 stone with ankles that have already buckled under your considerable gunt, you fucking run.

If there are people in the way, take the bastards down: you get one shot at this tubsy, don’t fuck it up. When you’re at the front of the line and ready to fill your plate, move tactically. They put the salads first, followed by the carby items. THIS IS A TRAP. If I have to tell you to give the salad a miss then just delete my number, we can’t be friends. I don’t care if you’ve a cock like the creatures from Tremors, there is no room for salad apologists in my chocolate corridor.

Next come carbs, if it’s chips, build a base layer on your plate, but don’t stack high. This is how they get you. If the only choice is rice, fuck it. It’s going to bland, plain, boiled shit. Once you’re past the carbs, go mental. Fill the plate and stack it as high as possible. You may feel judgmental eyes fall upon you but those are usually the eyes of senior management who skimped on catering and are at the back of the queue. They deserve to starve. You’ll have no chance at seconds here so treat it like a game of Buckaroo, only with a slightly stale sandwich and some Aldi own-brand kettle crisps. Be brave.

The worst case of under-catering I’ve ever experienced was at my mother-in-law’s funeral. Fucking exhausting day: two hours of the people of Oz singing ‘Ding Dong the Witch is Dead’ followed by a full Catholic funeral. I’m no amateur with things like this, but after three hours of sucking off the clergy I’m gonna need to refuel. We arrive at the quaint village pub and straight away my ‘Fat Twat’ sense is tingling.

There has to be 60 people in the pub  and exactly 60 quarter sandwiches covered in clingfilm, a bowl of nuts and two bowls of crisps set out. I’m not entirely sure what’s gone wrong but people are going to go hungry and over her cold dead body it wasn’t going to be me. The only upside to the situation was the facr mourners are quite a respectful bunch, so I easily managed to push past the sad fuckers and pile it high. I’d like think the selfish old bitch was looking up at me and smiling whilst her toes burned for all eternity.

So, dear reader, what should a proper buffet consist of? Well first off: enough fucking food for everyone. Now I trust a blog with a readership consisting of people with portion control issues should be able to get their heads around this concept so I’m going to assume you do not need direction in this area. You need a solid foundation, a theme if you will. Also, remember the golden rule of Mother Dewsbury:

I won’t be challenged on this. I am prepared to fight you and I warn you – I’m 6’4 tall, permanently angry and being punched in the face is foreplay to me.

So, we start with our brown food staple. The Sausage Roll. Quantity is key here, everyone loves a sausage roll so the key is to go mini. Rather than putting out 20 full sized logs of pig’s eyelash and arsehole in soggy pastry, go for 80 mini ones. Tower them high, then everyone feels like they’re getting more. Of course, you can get cheese and onion ‘sausage rolls’ for veggies and if you’ve got vegan guests coming, tell them to bring a packed lunch. My Nan likes to make her own sausage rolls and after many years I’ve finally been able to get the recipe from her, primarily by threatening to have her heating turned off this winter. I think you’ll see that the crafty old bitch was right to keep this secret formula close to her heavy breast because it could change the world:

  • buy any old sausage from the shop. Take the meat out of the case;
  • form it into a sausage shape and wrap in shop brought pastry; and
  • egg wash and bung in the oven until the pastry is browned.

Well fuck me Elizabeth, I can see why you didn’t want that getting out to the masses, you could put Greggs out of business!


James here. That’s a good, devastating image to leave on, isn’t it? Imagining Newcastle without Greggs is like trying to imagine Southend with dignity and a hymen between the entire populous – inconceivable. The next entry will be a guide to the perfect buffet and, if you’ve enjoyed the above, you’re going to be laughing, slapping your knees and worrying about how to explain the damp patch in your knickers to your husband all over again when we publish it in a few days. Even better: I have a rebuttal article planned. That’s twochubbycubs for you: we’ll flog a dead horse, and then make a delicious Croatian stew with it.

I’d LOVE to hear your feedback on this one – get leaving comments! What makes a good buffet for you?


Right, let’s eat. All those words, you’re probably proper Hank Marvin. Let’s just say hello to those hoggish sort who couldn’t wait for the recipe. This bake is never going to win prizes for how it looks, but then, nor will I, and I’ve never had trouble getting my Vitamin D injection.

cheese, ham and onion bake

cheese, ham and onion bake

3 votes

Print

cheese, ham and potato bake - done in the slow cooker

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 6 servings

Listen, potato bakes always look like a load of hot arse, and no amount of skilled photography is going to hide the fact you're eating a plate of saucy potato. But: YOU'RE EATING A PLATE OF SAUCY POTATO. I mean haway, what more do you need? Someone to nip over and chew your food? I will, you know.

Ingredients

  • one tin of cream of mushroom condensed soup (13.5 syns)
    • use Campbells, and use the condensed version, it's so much tastier
    • not a fan of mushroom? then fuck off
    • if you must save your syns, use the low fat version for 7.5 syns, but honestly, spend the syns
  • eight large potatoes - we use King Edwards or something from Sainsbury's
  • as much cooked ham as you like - we just buy one of those little precooked hams and cut it into cubes
  • 240g of lighter extra mature cheddar (6 HEAs - but this serves six, so calm yer boobs)
  • two onions, white or red
  •  150ml skimmed milk (1.5 syns)

15 syns between 6 servings. 2 and a half syns. And best of all? No bloody Quark sitting on your delicious dinner like the Devil's Own Smegma.

Instructions

  • thinly slice your potatoes
  • chop up your onion
  • cube up your ham
  • dance through all your fears (war is over for a bit)
  • grate your cheese
  • mix the soup, cheese and milk together in one bowl
  • mix the onion, potato and ham in the other
  • then slop everything into the slow cooker and turn it on high for about 4 hours with lashings of black pepper and smugness
  • it'll be ready to serve after four hours but because we're catty bitches, we slopped it into a Pyrex dish and finished it off under the grill with a bit more cheese

Notes

Get ready to buy buy buy!

Courses slow cooker

Cuisine hearty-fart

Want more slow cooker recipes? No worries, here’s bloody loads!

Mwah!

J

Actifry presents: perfect paprika chips and maille popcorn

Howdo! ACTIFRY TIME!

Firstly, in the interests of openness and transparency, let me wheel out the banner:

actifry

Some other blogs prefer to stick that out of sight – not us. We pride ourselves on honesty – if we’re recommending a product to you, it’s because it’s a magnificent product that you’ll actually benefit from, not just something we’ve had slipped into our products by some lovely marketing team. You guys know we’ve massive fans of the Tefal Actifry and thus, when they came to us to ask whether we’d be interested in a free Actifry and a chance to take part in their 360 degree marketing idea, we leapt at the chance. Well, we leapt as much as two fat Geordies with weak ankles could ever muster.

One thing we get asked a lot here at 2CC is for recipes for airfryers – people buy them, make chips in them and then spend the next few months staring angrily at it gobbling up space on your worktop. If it wasn’t there, imagine the tat you could have on display? Your collection of mugs with cats on. A banana stand shaped like a phallus? Your children? But see, the Actifry can do so much more than chips and what better way of showing you this than by…giving you a chips recipe. Oh I know, listen, but we’re just one small part of a fantastic idea to get so many blogs to contribute a recipe – and frankly, who better to do a chips recipe than the lads who are at least 60% potato? We’re also doing a popcorn idea – bit higher in syns but frankly, you’ve saved your hardened arteries by not frying your chips in tallow, why not splash out on dessert? You will when you see what goes into it.

What is the 360˚ challenge? Well, to demonstrate how versatile the Tefal Actifry is, those crazy cats are hiring a ferris wheel down at Exmouth and cooking all sorts of delicious meals in each capsule, to be dispensed to the adoring public below. When I first read the brief I thought we were going to be cooking in public and lord, that would never do: the Actifry may be a good bit of kit but it won’t work if I’m lying on the floor crying because I’m so high up and Paul is clawing at the emergency exit. Thankfully, all us bloggers have to do is to attempt to make a main and a dessert and complete the ferris wheel – so here we are! Our two recipes will be used on the ferris wheel, along with the contributions of so many other bloggers you know and love.

But why an Actifry? Listen, we know. You can buy something that looks like bad Daft Punk cosplay from B&M that’ll heat your food like a broken Premier Inn toaster and it’ll cost £5. An Actifry – a proper one, mind – is a big investment. But they work so well. You can chuck all sorts in there and it’ll cook evenly, with minimal fuss, browning your food to perfection. You only need a spoonful of oil to make proper chips – no more choking down pale, bouncy slivers of foam cushion for you. You’re not just limited to chips though – curries, chillis, desserts, stews…all sort of things are possible if you just believe.

Best part is? When you’re finished, you can whack all the cooking parts straight into the dishwasher. No standing at the sink crying into your Ajax for you! We explore the benefits of the Actifry in great deal right here!

As part of the challenge they sent us a lovely chopping board which you can see in the video – it’s a heavy, wooden beast – just like the husband. But more excitingly, knowing that they needed me to look professional, they sent me a new pinny to replace my current B*Witched apron. I think I dress up lovely and smart.

actifry

I’M A PRO.

Because the Actifry is all about quick easy recipes, we’ve turned our normal blog recipes into two Youtube videos – save you having to read all those big words! First, the paprika chips:

Hand on heart time – these were the best chips we’ve ever done, and we’ve made so many chips in the Actifry that we consider ourselves megaminds on the subject. Not least because of my giant head. The sesame oil adds a lovely new taste and the paprika makes them smoky. Just look at them!

actifry

Paul tried to get his hands on my share, but don’t worry. I ironed his face like Little Mo.

Paprika chips done!

actifry

And then the Maille Popcorn Aperitif:

Looks good when it comes out! Tastes decent too. Not going to lie, I had reservations about it because I thought it would be super five-spicy, but no it works a charm! You could add powdered cheese instead of spices. Cheese and butter. Don’t tell your consultant.

actifry

And I can complete the dessert wheel!

actifry

Enjoy! Right – that’s our bit done, but now, if you’re curious for more Actifry, can I suggest you let your fingers do the talking and have a look at the next blog who we are challenging to come up with more Actifry recipes, the lovely Veggie Desserts! Click on their logo to be taken straight there. I have to warn you – their desserts are absolutely immense.Yum! Fair warning though – the lovely Kate does proper desserts that don’t taste of sweetener and hot bum. Let your belt out.

Let us know what you think of the video recipes!

J&P

toad in the garden – better than your hole, for sure

Toad in the garden will follow shortly. It’s like toad in the hole, but we’ve added peas, because god knows you need some vitamins in you.

‘ey up, you bunch of bastards. Three and a half weeks we’ve been off and not one single person came and set themselves on fire on our lawn. Call yourself fans? When they took Lost off the air I was sending pubes and threatening letters for eight months before I had to stop. Ran out of pubes.

Please: my body creates hair on the same manic level as your body produces insulin. Desperately.

Where did you go, my lovely? Well here’s a clue: this is mid-bum on a Via Rail train to Halifax, Canada. They’ve contacted us for the rights to use the picture in their adverts but we have, so far, declined.

Anyway, we’ve actually been away. Through clever scheduling of posts, you had no idea we were actually in Canada from 28 August through to 2 October, did you? Perhaps the only hint that we’d moved across the globe is the reports of that super-gonorrhoea had started to spike in Vancouver. We’re the gift that keeps on giving. Yes, we took six weeks to explore Canada and it was absolutely bloody amazing. Plenty of tales to tell you all, so get practising that glazed-eye-oh-how-interesting smile that you save for when the kids tell you all about their day at school.

However, such an amazing holiday created a really awful problem: coming back home depressed the actual living buggery out of me. I’ve had a face like a slapped arse for a solid few weeks now and it’s just not getting better. I thought once I’d settled back into the usual routine things would be better. I don’t know about you lot, but whenever I go away on holiday I always imagine that when I come back, things will be different. I’ll be viewing things through fresh eyes rather the jaundiced, bloodshot and jismed eyes of old. It’s never the case, though.

Within a day we’d had a neighbour ‘politely’ telling us that we had parked our car incorrectly and that we really ought to put it somewhere less inconvenient than in our own parking bay. You mustn’t worry: he was dispatched with a cheery ‘mind your own fucking business’ and he hasn’t talked to us since. I appreciate it’s hard to imagine my devastation, but do try.

I know it doesn’t do to dwell on the holiday blues but Christ, when you spend so long in a country that never once failed you for beauty, personality or something to do, coming back to Grey, UK and picking up with the reality of things has been a massive ballache chore. I appreciate this is self-indulgent – I live a charmed life, for goodness sake, but even so. The first thing I spotted when I popped out at Newcastle Airport was a seagull cannibalising another seagull – he had the poor bastard’s eye in his mouth. Greggs wrappers billowed all over the place like the Geordie snowflakes that they are. Everyone was grey and blue and washed-out and two steps from death. I checked my work email and groaned. I checked our twochubbycubs inbox and saw nothing but a raft of people complaining or suggesting we should go vegetarian / vegan / stop eating meat / stop making sex references / stop swearing. They can go fuck themselves with a hotdog made of baby deer.

To help myself, I’ve gone and done a list:

Pros for being in the UK:

  • new series of Doctor Who is brilliant – Jodie Whittaker is magnificent, even if she does look the absolute double of my old English teacher and it’s creating a weird schism in my head every time I see her;
  • see above – having the joy of reading the salty, bitter comments of people who still live with their mam crying on about ‘political correctness gone mad’ because there’s a female doctor. You know, it doesn’t matter how bad life gets, I’ll never be as bad as those. Plus, I’ve probably had more sex in the last week than they’ve collectively had in the last ten years. I know that doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but you’d be amazed how much having your nipsy smashed in can improve the mood;
  • this Mario World remix giving me life;
  • dunno, cats;
  • Aquaman – seriously, when did Jason Momoa happen? I’ve seen him around on TV many times but something about him in his Aquaman fish armour get-up makes my butter churn. Perhaps there’s something about scaly men who smell of fish that make my cock-clock race to midnight- would explain why I wasted a year of my life rubbing Betnovate into my ex’s shoulders. Cracking arse though. But only because he couldn’t reach it himself.

Cons for being in the UK:

  • everything;
  • you especially;
  • everyone;
  • everywhere.

That’s not fair. There are, of course, some better reasons. We’re going to be on TV soon, which will lead to all manner of awkward stuff which I can make blog posts from. My friends and family are here, although we made more than our fair share of friends in Canada who I’m itching (though not as much as they’ll be: get the Dermac ready!) to get back to. We have the endless, unceasing joy of twochubbycubs to crack on with. We’re going on holiday again in three weeks. Time for me to suck it up, buttercup, and stop whingeing.

One bit of light: the new Halloween movie is genuinely very good, and I was worried it would be pap. Jamie Lee Curtis, playing my mother playing Laurie Strode, is a smasher. We went with a load of other gays and had a great time. What would the collective word for a collection of homos be? A screech? A purse? A hiss? Yes: a hiss of gay men. Great fun though, even if it did require me to be social at a time when I’d rather set my own cock on fire than be outside pulling wan smiles.

But mind even that was ruined by someone who sat behind me and spent the entire movie sighing, huffing and scratching at her bag. I had to turn around and check that Gareth Williams hadn’t risen from the dead for another crack at hide and seek. No, it was just another mouth-breather clad in two inches of make-up and one inch of decency who had seemingly shrink-wrapped every last fucking M&M she was rustling into her giant, quaggy mouth. I was hoping for a proper jump-scare in the hope she’d choke in fright but alas, can’t have everything in this world.

I’ll be fine. Don’t worry about me. I’m already dead.

toad in the garden

3 votes

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toad in the garden

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

I stole this recipe from a magazine in Tesco who called it a lighter toad in the hole. Way to make it sound unattractive: that's like Diet Coke or Vanilla Sex. So I gave it a cute name - it's toad in the garden because of all the peppers and peas, see? Because they grow in the ground. Oh shut up.

If you're one of those classic mumpsimuses who can't move away from the idea of never spending syns on food, our recipes aren't for you. This uses syns and uses them well. If you want to save your syns so you can get your clapper wet over a sandwich bag full of off-brand biscuits and Muller-shites, so be it. Not for us, though.

Ingredients

  • 100g of plain flour (18 syns) 
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml skimmed milk (1.5 syns)
  • 1 tbsp of chopped sage
  • 2 red onions, chopped into wedges
  • 1 large red or yellow pepper
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil (6 syns)
  • 8 sausages of your choosing (choose low syn sausages, of course, because heaven forbid you'd enjoy some taste in your dinner) (though I'll caveat it by saying this: Slimming World sausages. I love Slimming World, but christ almighty you could break into a safe with one of those bad-boys. Don't do it)
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • gravy - none of your blended mushy pea meconium gravy, either. The real stuff, or leave immediately

Instructions

  • oven goes onto 200 degrees, if you've got a fan - bit hotter if you haven't
  • pop the flour into a jug and slowly add the milk, eggs and sage until you've got a smooth batter - put to one side
  • drizzle that oil into a decent sized oven dish and scatter the tomatoes, peas, peppers and onion all over - mix everything up, put in the oven for ten minutes to soften
  • add the sausages and let them cook for another ten minutes
  • add the batter and let everything puff up and get nice and golden for about forty minutes or so
  • serve with gravy and whatever vegetables you're going to pretend to eat

Notes

Courses dinner

Cuisine twochubbycubs

pina colada cheesecake – syn free too!

Do you like pina colada cheesecake, and walks in the rain? Well shut up. There’s a cracking recipe coming up from the lovely Rebecca – but first…over to another competition entrant with what I believe is one of the best stories you’ll read this year. Originally posted in our Facebook group to rapturous support, it’s one of those stories that will make you smile, with a sweet little twist at the end. Over to Andie…


I shall try and keep this brief, but it’s kinda hard to fit about four decades of being transgender, doing nothing about it and then doing EVERYTHING about it into a few sentences.

So, in a nutshell, I’ve known I was trans since I was six or seven. I’m now 44. I went through my teens, 20s and early 30s thinking I was not quite a transsexual but much more than a crossdresser. I had no plans to transition – I was far too scared.

By my mid-30s, the feelings began to grow and, by the time I was 40, it was clear I wasn’t happy living my life as a “bloke” anymore.

So I began to evolve slowly, wearing more feminine but rather androgynous clothes and shoes, getting my eyebrows waxed, shaping my fingernails. Little things. Every time I took another step, I’d tell myself that was the final step. But, ha ha, then I took another and another, such as laser on my facial hair (now long gone) and treatments to bring back my head hair (I was as bald as a Chubby Cub this time last year!)

JAMES OBJECTION: not bald, just smooth. There’s a difference!

I started using phytoestrogens – plant-based estrogens – to give me a bust. All they gave me was a deep vein thrombosis. I could easily have died. And I joined Slimming World. I was overweight and wanted to lose 5st. I wanted a more female body and figured that, if I was slim, that would be a good start.

I did well, losing 4st 3lb. I caught the Body Magic bug, too. I started cycling, beginning with 30-mile charity bike rides and then going further and further. I’m now doing 300k rides and do my first 400k in September. And, after my DVT, I decided that, if I was going to tweak my hormones, I needed to do it properly. So I asked my GP for a referral to my local gender clinic. That was three years ago. And so began a long process of waiting, counselling and blood tests.

Two years ago, I won my group’s Man of the Year title.

While it was lovely to win an award voted for by the other members, I also felt like a massive fraud because I’ve never truly felt male.

I came out to my group a few weeks ago and, a week later, turned up “en femme” for the first time. The support I received was incredible – both from my consultant and all the other members – even the rugby-playing, pint-swigging blokes. No judgment – just love.

Then I was nominated for Woman of the Year. Just to be nominated meant the world to me. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d win the title. But, last Thursday, I did win. I was in total shock – I still am!

I put photos of my Man of the Year and Woman of the Year wins on the Two Chubby Cubs Facebook group with a little write-up – and was astounded by the love I received from the members – almost 2,300 “likes”, and hundreds of comments – every single one of them positive. Thank you so much, everyone! A couple of other trans Slimming World members got in touch, too, so I hope reading about my journey can somehow inspire them.

Not only was it great to win an award voted for by members of the group I’ve been attending for over four years but it felt like I was being accepted and validated. And that was an incredible feeling because I’ve had a fair bit of transphobia in my time, from blokes on the streets laughing at me to pure hatred from transphobic rad-fems on Twitter.

It’s not been easy, and it won’t be easy. Being trans meant I lost my long-term girlfriend – and then my fiancée. I’ve lost a couple of friends. I’ve also had the reaction from my family to deal with!

But I don’t regret for a second coming out and starting my transition. It’s still early days – I only started my HRT three months ago – but feel a damned site happier having done so, and I know I won’t get to old age sitting in an armchair as an old bloke, sad, bitter and full of regret.

If you want to know more, see my blog, http://andiepasdedeux.com, or follow me on Twitter, https://twitter.com/andiepasdedeux, or Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/andiepasdedeux


I know what you’re all thinking – I’d be muttering under my breath about the fact she has two stickers too. FOAMING HUN. Isn’t that the best story though? I welled up a little reading it – any story about a positive transformation is a winner in my book. I encourage you to look through the blogs and the twitter and support Andie! Meanwhile, ding ding: competition entrant time!

And now, double-whammy, time for a recipe entry too! I’ve been reassured that this piña colada cheesecake doesn’t taste of eggs, sadness and sweetener. If it does, don’t worry, I have her email address, I’ll sharp sign her up for emails about fisting. Pervert.

pina colada cheesecake

pina colada cheesecake

2 votes

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pina colada cheesecake

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 8 slices

You make the base first, then follow it up with a topping. Sounds like the way most of my Saturday nights turn out. Now listen here, I know you lot can be frightfully judgemental, but the chickpeas thing works well - remember, there's such a thing called chickpea flour!

Yeah, you should probably syn the grilled pineapple if you're a SW rule-follower. And possibly syn the blended chickpeas. But then you should do a lot of things and you don't, do you?

The beauty of this is that you can make it for taster night, then take them a packet of grapes and eat it yourself. Always thinking ahead. Note it requires an overnight chill.

Ingredients

  • tin of drained chickpeas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp truvia
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pot of 0% activia vanilla yogurt
  • 1 large tub of Muller light Greek style coconut and vanilla yogurt
  • 1 small pot of quark
  • 1 package of gelatine crystals/powder
  • 10 drops of coconut flavouring
  • chunks of pineapple with the edges blowtorched to look pretty

Instructions

  • make the base by blending the chickpeas and eggs in a blender and pour into a loose bottomed cake tin and bake at 120 degrees for around an hour, it should be a dark golden brown on top, don't worry if it puffs up a bit like a cake, it'll sink back down when you cool it, a few cracks on top are ok too
  • soak the gelatine in 4 tbsp of cold water for 10 minutes then warm the mixture up to dissolve the gelatine
  • then mix with all the other ingredients until you have a smooth liquid - I find it easier if everything is at room temperature
  • pour over the cooled cheesecake base and let it set overnight in the fridge
  • decorate with chunks of pineapple that you've blowtorched to full effect
  • lovely!

Notes

  • a blowtorch in the kitchen is never a bad thing to have - though we just use my cigar lighter because I'm so butch (this is James writing, to be clear) but look! You can have a lot of fun with this - who needs fingerprints?
  • technically, according to SW, you should syn the pineapple because you've heated it slightly. Because, as you know, adding heat turns it into a pineapple fritter.

Want more desserts? So demanding!

Tasty!

J