six slimming smoothies

Here for the six slimming smoothies? Of course you are. But first…

It’s too hot. It’s too hot for a long post so damn it, I’m going to post the recipe for the six smoothies and go lie down in our air-conditioned bedroom, wailing and calling for Paul to turn me away from the sun.

I hate the hot weather. I really do. I can’t be done with it. I’m sweating like Josef Fritzl on Through the Keyhole / a nun picking cucumbers / a cat burying a shit on a concrete floor. Yes, that’s tasteful enough to put in. You should have heard the three I didn’t put in. I’ve always been envious of those folk who can seemingly bask in sunlight and thoroughly enjoy it. You have no idea how much I want to take my shirt off and eat ice-cream in the centre of town, but I genuinely think it would cause a riot. Whilst I’m not a huge fan of the type of bloke who goes topless the very second the ice warning dings off in his car, it must be a nice feeling. Perhaps I should get a copperplate-writing tattoo on my neck and turn my shoulders red. It ruins every aspect of anything enjoyable – good hearty stews get pushed to one side and replaced with salad, more salad, salad with a bit of salad on the side and salad-salad. I can’t face toiling in the kitchen for hours – even by proxy, given Paul is the one who does the cooking – so meals tend to get repetitive. Sex becomes a chore with everything sticking to each other like pulling warm bacon rashers apart. The roads become full of stupidly big cars trundling along at 25 miles an hour with a big plastic shitheap being towed behind them. I know it’s terribly fashionable to hate on caravans but look, they’re bloody ugly things and almost (unless YOU’RE a driver, you’re fine) always pulled by the type of people you know read the Daily Express, furiously circling the word immigrants in thick red pen with spittle on their lips. The men who are more nose-hair than bellend.

Pub gardens become full of braying donkeys taaaalking like thaaas and coughing at people for having the temerity to light up a fag. Beaches become awash with badly parked Dacia Dusters, dog poo and poorly buried Poundland BBQs with a half-life longer than Tellerium-128 just waiting to slice your foot open. You can’t open the windows because all of the neighbours are cutting their grass to the exact millimetre meaning the air is so thick with pollen I’ve only got to sniff daintily at it to make everything inside my face swell-up and turn me into John Merrick’s fun-house reflection. Birds singing from 3am in the morning until 2.58am the next day means only one thing – endless half-chewed birds being dragged through the cat-flap and deposited somewhere where I’m absolutely guaranteed to stand during the night when I get up for a piss. You’ve never known revulsion until you’ve felt half a sparrow crunch under your toes in a twilit bathroom.

But you know what really fills me with unbridled fury? When people say ‘OH BUT YOU’LL MISS THE HEAT WHEN WINTER COMES’. No! No I absolutely fucking won’t. I have never turned around in December and said ‘well yes Marie, this Christmas vista is quite charming but it could only be improved with the top of my head being sweaty, extensive chub-rub on my legs and sinuses like cocktail sticks’. I bloody love the winter! If I’m cold, I can put a jacket on. Well no, I’m Geordie, so I might deign to put a thin t-shirt on if the ends of my fingers turn black. There’s nothing you can do when you’re too hot except gripe, moan and whinge about it, even when you say you’re not going to do a long post. But god it felt good getting all that off my chest.

Let’s get to the six slimming smoothies, shall we?

BEFORE WE BEGIN – and partly because I’m feeling all bolshie from my moan about the heat – it’s up to YOU whether you decide to syn these smoothies. I don’t. Slimming World’s argument is that you should syn fruit if it is blended but there are no syns if you eat it raw. Ostensibly this is due to ‘changing the filling factor of the food’ or creating a situation where you might over-eat calories. Fine. That rule applies if you want to make orange juice – you couldn’t sit and eat eight oranges but you could easily neck the juice of eight oranges in one go. I keep reading from people in SW groups who say that blending releases the natural sugars, as though the strawberry is a spirit level bubble filled with syrup. Pfft. Perhaps that’s true. I don’t know. All I know is this: none of these smoothies use any more fruit than you could cheerfully and comfortably eat in a fruit salad. If it makes you feel better, don’t blend the fruit in a Nutribullet or similar, push it all in your mouth with your sausage-fingers and frantically chew it up before spitting it into a glass. Technically, according to SW, that makes it syn-free. PFFFFT. I’ve covered my thoughts on this tweaking nonsense before, too.

Anyway, because I’m a kind, loving blogger, I’ll give you the syns option IF you think you need them. These smoothies are lovely for a quick breakfast and full of health and wonder. Plus, they make a pretty range of colours! Let’s get started.

six slimming smoothies

All of these smoothies have the same basic ingredients – half a small banana (2 syns), a few tablespoons of fat-free yoghurt and some ice. They make a delicious, thick smoothie. If you want it a little runnier, add almond milk (100ml is 1 syn, usually) or milk from your allowance. Adjust to taste. I’ve been very generous with the amount of fruit too below, so chances are the smoothies will come out lower syns anyway. Plus, you know, it’s fruit. There’s absolutely no bollocksy way that a HiFi bar is a better option at 6 syns. Bah! Remember: it is YOUR choice to make, not mine! Why not have the odd smoothie and see if it troubles your weight loss?

We blend all of our smoothies in a Nutribullet – they have a range on Amazon but the one we use is this one and it blends everything we throw at it! Plus it’s dirt cheap. We also bought the fancy jars from Amazon, right here.

So, left to right, the six slimming smoothies are:

strawberry, cherry and raspberry – a handful of strawberries – (50g is 0.75 syn), a handful of raspberries (50g is 0.5 syn) and a handful of cherries (50g is 1.5 syns) = syn total including the banana is about 4.5 syns

peach, carrot and apricot – one apricot (50g is 0.75 syns), one peach (50g is also 0.75 syns) and one carrot (free) = syn value overall including the banana is 3.5 syns

mango and pineapple – 50g of mango is 1.5 syns, 50g of pineapple is 1 syn = syn value overall including the banana is 4.5 syns

spinach, mint and choc chips – 25g of dark chocolate chips (we used Dr Oetker which are 6 syns, so 1.5 syns a serving), 80g of uncooked spinach, 40g of mint leaves = syn total overall including banana  is 3.5 syns

blueberry – pretty obvious, chuck in a whack of blueberries (75g blended is 1 syn) = syn value including the banana is 3 syns

beetroot and blackberry – 0.5 syn for 50g of blackberries and I threw a tiny wee pre-cooked beetroot in there. Tell you what mind, don’t be alarmed when you go to the netty later and it looks as though you’re bleeding. You’re not. Promise. Syn value including the bloody banana is 2.5 syns.

Enjoy! I reckon these are a much easier way of getting fruit in at breakfast.

If you want more breakfast ideas, click on the icon below.

breakfastsmall

Now, if you will excuse me, I’m off to try and peel myself away from this leather chair without it sounding like a rhino queefing.

J

lemon meringue overnight oats

A man walks into a Scottish bakery, points at the goodies and says ‘Hoo, is that an eclair or meringue?’

The baker says…

wait for it…

‘No you’re right, it’s an eclair!’

AN ECLAIR! SEE HE THOUGHT BECAUSE HE WAS SCOTTISH HE SAID ‘OR AM I WRONG’ AAAAH YES

BOOM

giphy

And the crowd goes mild!

Come on man straight in there with a bloody meringue joke, there’s literally one meringue joke in existence and that’s it. I’m not even sorry!

Tonight is a super-quick post because it’s Friday, I want to sit back, put my cankles up and rest my weary hide. I’m lucky in that I enjoy my job, god knows what it must be like if you hate it. Paul watches a lot of How It’s Made on the TV (really getting the use out of our Sky subscription, because who doesn’t want to know how pencil sharpeners are made or how they deliver 24,000 cherry bakewells a day?) and you’ll often see, amongst the fantastic machinery and wonderfully clever mechanical systems some little old dear spending eight hours troubling her sciatica and screwing toothpaste caps on or holding over a sheet of pastry. I’m not knocking anyone’s job because well, a job is a job, but goodness me, how do they do it? I get bored if I have to type the same word twice – I treat my emails like a round of Just a Minute. No repetition, hesitation or deviation.

I confess myself a little ticked off because I went to fill the car and promptly filled it full of Supreme Diesel. My car is diesel, so what’s the problem? Well, it offends my meanness to pay extra for something that I can’t see the benefit of. Nevertheless, I went in, handed over my monthly pay and the cashier, clearly sensing my distress, offered me a free copy of the Sun. I joked that since we fitted a cat-flap we don’t need to line the cat litter tray and thus I didn’t need the Sun, but I could tell from his ashen face that my joke wasn’t welcomed. He was clearly having a bad day. I took one, but only to be polite, the way someone at a buffet may take a spoonful of potato salad that the host has made only to drop it into a plantpot when their back was turned.

What a rag, though. Read what you like, it’s your life, but look at the front cover today – it’s not filled with the sad news that a plane crashed into the Mediterranean killing 66 poor buggers in what could be another frightening turn of terrorism, oh no, it’s got a mock-up of an olive-oil filled paddling pool with the frothy headline ‘The Day Free Speech Drowned’ and a couple of subheadings about how it goes against common sensibility. That should tell you everything you need to know about this shitrag.

We all know who it is, so please don’t be a funny bugger and comment on this saying ‘OMG ITZ THINGY’ because, well, don’t. What I can’t fathom is why anyone cares. The visual is troubling enough but can anyone genuinely say that the fact some happily married man and his husband had sex with another man? Why is it news? No-one was hurt (although they’ll be smelling like a greek salad left out in the sun for a few days), no laws were broken, it wasn’t even a Boy George whoopsy-daisy-chained-an-escort-to-a-wall moment. Some mouthbreathing anus from (I think) The Sun was on Radio 4 on this morning saying that it’s in the public interest because this artist is in the public eye. Well, here’s the thing, unless he’s felching someone out on my front lawn, I couldn’t give a toss – and even then I’d only mind because he’d be flattening our new grass. The journalist went on to say ‘AND HE HAS KIDS’ like having kids immediately renders it illegal to have sex and fun with your partner, which is ridiculous, and there was more than a hint of the kids being exposed to their seedy lifestyle.

Of course, the media printing the name of the children’s fathers and explicit, in-depth detail of their olive-oil-orgasms isn’t exposing them, oh no no no. That’s in the public interest. 

Honestly, they’re a bunch of twats. Feel free to print that, you Tiddler-Riddler-haired witch.

Oops! So yes, let’s get to the lemon meringue overnight oats, shall we?

lemon meringue overnight oats

to make lemon meringue overnight oats, you’ll need:

  • 35g of oats
  • fat free natural yoghurt
  • one lemon
  • 2  lemon mini meringues from Marks and Spencers – it’s 7 syns for the whole 35g packet and you get about 14 in there, so let’s hedge our bets at 1 syn for 2, feel free to add more, I don’t care, go wild in the aisles darling
  • lemon curd (1 tsp is 1 syn, I used two)
  • a pretentious serving jar or any old container

to make lemon meringue overnight oats, you should:

  • finely grate the lemon – not all of it, into the yoghurt – for once, this is something I can really say a microplane grater is great for – you get all the rind without all of the pith! Buy one here, you’ll use it lots and lots!
  • it’s really just a case of layering – lemon yoghurt on the bottom, then half the oats, then a spoonful of lemon curd, a crushed up meringue, yoghurt, lemon curd, oats and meringue
  • I like to squirt some of the lemon juice into the yoghurt because I’m a rebel, plus I’m used to the taste of sour yoghurt splashing on my tongue
  • once you’ve taken a picture, cooed over it and thought well isn’t that a treat, mix it all up and put in the fridge for the morning OR, eat it straight away like I did

If you enjoyed that, we’ve got seven more wonderful overnight oats recipes all on one page right here. Because we care. Go have a look, you won’t be disappointed. Promise.

It’s worth a mention that you could make your own Slimming World friendly lemon curd but really, the proper stuff is 1 syn per level tsp, you don’t need a lot of it for flavour and life’s too short to be pissing about in the kitchen with eggs and a wheelbarrow of Splenda for the sake of one syn. If you prefer to make your own, there’s plenty of recipes on the Internet. OK? GOOD. Jeez.

J

ham and egg breakfast bites

Another breakfast recipe in the form of ham and egg breakfast bites – these couldn’t be simpler to make and the recipe will take no time at all to type, so let me rattle something else off. I was in the bath earlier (what can I say, I thought I’d make an effort for work tomorrow and, after hours of hard gardening, my bollock-consommé was particularly strong) when I happened across a chapter in Bill Bryson’s newest book where he listed ten of his irrational dislikes. First thought? The cheeky faced bearded bugger had clearly read my previous blog entry and nicked the idea. Second thought? As if a wonder like Bill Bryson would read my blog. I love Bill – my favourite author in the world. If I can get to 60 and be as witty and verbose as him, I’ll be a happy, better-bearded man. My previous irrational dislikes can be found here, but here’s a few more…

spitting in public

Spitting should never happen. It’s a vile process – unless you’ve ingested some kind of poison, there’s no reason to blow great chunks of lungbutter out onto the street. You’ll see people walking along spitting away merrily like they’ve got a mouthful of cat hair and it’s all I can do not to reach across and set their face on fire. Apparently I’m the one in the wrong if I do that. Pfft. I’m tempted to add spitting in private onto the list but I can think of at least one situation where someone may prefer to spit rather than swallow. Amateurs. I gargle.

baby on board stickers

The most pointless, self-indulgent little sticker known to man, other than the picture of Alan Shearer grinning his big smug smile in the 1997 football sticker album. I can’t bear Alan Shearer – I’ve met him, and he’s a boring, self-aggrandising arse. Anyway, what’s the point of these baby on board stickers? Do you think I was planning to drive onto your backseat and through your headrests until I saw your pink Comic Sans sticker of shite and decided against it? Some say it’s for the fire brigade to know immediately in a crash that there’s a baby somewhere in the crushed metal. I dare say that if an accident was so severe that the fire brigade couldn’t spot your baby mewling away in the back then chances are no-one is walking away from it anyway. 

people who say they’re dyslexic when they’re bloody well not

Dyslexic? Then of course you can make as many errors as you like, and anyone who judges you is a complete arse. People who can’t be arsed to learn the difference between they’re, their and there and then say ‘BUT IM DYSLEXIC’ when they’re pulled up on it? Does my fucking nut in. Don’t cheapen an illness by falsely using it to mask your own inadequacies. You turtle cant.

mothers using their pushchairs to stop traffic

Oddly specific one this. I drive to work down the same street every day, which coincides with when the parents are taking their adorable children to school. I say adorable children like one might say adorable terminal illness or adorable mass genocide. More often than not, some vacant-looking, red-eyed pyjama-clad monstrosity with more partners than teeth will, instead of crossing at the many safe crossing points, just push her pushchair into the road to try and cross. Nevermind teaching your kid how to cross the road safely, nevermind almost causing an accident because you’re too selfish to cross in the right place, you just get out there. Bah!

self-appointed traffic wardens who wear cameras

This is a difficult one. I absolutely understand why cyclists and cars have those cameras which record the road in front of you – there’s that many bell-ends on the road to justify it. But what makes me seethe is when you overtake a cyclist, leave plenty of room, indicate back in and they STILL tap their helmet and wag their fingers like I’m a dog who has shat on the carpet. You know that if you watch it back on Youtube later it’ll be accompanied by someone’s thin reedy voice reading out your registration and the sticky noise of someone masturbating furiously.

dings

I swear, everything in my house dings and dongs and bleeps at me. Put something on the fancy induction hob? It’ll do a little chirrup. Our smoke alarm system occasionally decides to launch a test with a brash American woman saying ‘THIS IS JUST A TEST’ – presumably a test to see how much blood can pour from my ears before I dismantle her. Our fridge beeps if we leave the door open for more than a second and it blares if the ice-dispenser gets too full or if the freezer is too full. The washing machine beeps each time it reaches a new stage in the cycle. My Wii U flashes when there’s a new notification and my Mac beeps whenever someone leaves us a facebook comment, or an email, or every time Siri has a shite. TwoChubbyCubs Towers is beginning to look and sound like a NASA control room and it vexes me.

people who stir their hot drink like they’re whisking eggs

There’s no need! Just give it a couple of stirs with your spoon and sit the fuck down. It makes my teeth rattle and my blood boil when they go at it like they’re trying to squeeze every last molecule of tea or take the finish off the cup, not least because I have decent Le Creuset cups and I don’t want bloody scratches on them.

stupid comments

Look, 99.9% of comments we get via the blog and facebook are wonderful, funny or useful, but we get some proper humdingers too. No: we won’t explain every facet of the plan to you, we’re not paid and we’re not consultants. Also, don’t have a pop at us if your Tesco in Wolverhampton didn’t have any 5% mince, it’s not our ruddy fault. And if you’re the lady with sand in her vag because I mentioned having to get up constantly in a cinema to let someone nip outside to the toilet and you took that as a full-scale assault on the incontinent, well, kiss my boobs. I knew the person I was getting up for and she’s only verbally incontinent.

takeaway menus

Whenever we are on a diet, three things happen: Dominos have their 50% off week, Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream goes to £2 a tub and we start getting a tsunami of takeaway leaflets through the door – all with the same dodgy photos of their food downloaded from google images, all with the same balloon fonts and all with the worst spelling mistakes. I like my nan (or rather I did, bless her, she’s dead now) but the thought of a free hot and spicy nan with my korma puts me right off. These will be the same type of places where you get a) tins of pop rather than cans of coke and b) roughly fingered for a free kebab.

air-fresheners

I might have touched on this before with my many moans about scented bloody candles and their pointless bloody names (A Child’s Fucking Wish, am I right?) but hell, it bears repeating. I’m yet to smell an air-freshener that doesn’t make my nose crinkle. They’re universally awful. Fair enough, if you spend decent money you can buy a decent candle with a reasonable smell (something like The White Company) but otherwise, open a bloody window. Those little hissy air-fresheners in public loos that smell ostensibly of pine? A load of bollocks! I’m not transported to a crisp and verdant forest with a tiny hiss, no, instead it smells like I’ve shit in a grass-clippings bin.

That’s 10, I could go on. But let’s call it a day. Ham and egg breakfast bites, then:

ham and egg breakfast bites

to make ham and egg breakfast bites, you’ll need (making enough for twelve, just scale back down if you want less)

  • a pack of decent wafer thin ham
  • 12 large eggs
  • a tin of baked beans
  • salt and pepper
  • a muffin tin greased with a few squirts of olive oil or some Frylight

to make ham and egg breakfast bites, you should:

  • layer a few slices of ham over each hole of the muffin tin and push in, so a ‘cup’ forms in each hole
  • put a small spoonful of beans in there
  • gently, crack an egg over the top – you might find it easier to crack an egg into a glass and pour it on, othewise you’re going to leave slimy residue all over the worktop and your partner will think you’ve been paying lip service to yourself in the kitchen, you filthy slut
  • crack a bit of pepper on top if you like and put in the oven
  • cook for around 25 minutes, though you might like to let them cook a bit longer to firm them up
  • once they’re done, let them cool – they’ll keep in a sealed box in the fridge for a couple of days
  • enjoy!

Phew!

J

speedy breakfast bake

I’ll come to the speedy breakfast bake in a moment, but first…you may recall we went to Iceland? And well look, you know me, I can’t go to the toilet to drown an otter without writing a 2,000 word article about it. So, here’s the first of our Iceland entries. If you’re just here for the recipes and the sound of my voice in your head makes your skin crawl, just skip down to the photo. Philistine.

twochubbycubs go to Iceland: part one

We decided on Iceland for three reasons:

  • Corsica taught us that two fat men in very hot climates equals rashes, sweating and uncomfortable levels of public nudity;
  • it looks fantastically ethereal and unlike anywhere we’ve ever been before; and (perhaps crucially);
  • we envisioned the place being full of hairy, mountain men who could club a polar bear to death with their willies.

We actually almost ended up in Iceland three years ago but we had to cancel the trip to fund the remodelling of our kitchen – it was certainly more important, the place looked like a museum exhibit, all foisty and fussy from the previous old biddy who shuffled around in there. Broke our heart though to cancel for something so mundane, even if I do have a fabulous cerise stand mixer like old cokehead Lawson and a whole load of Le Creuset. Flash forward several years later and, after watching a ten minute video on Youtube, we had the whole holiday booked within ten minutes.

Fast forward to December, you know the drill. We shuttled our way up to Edinburgh and arrived at the hotel.

We ate a perfectly satisfactory (damning with faint praise) meal in the hotel bar, where we were served by an entirely lovely young waitress who baffled us with menu choices but steered us towards the money-saving options with aplomb. Clearly one look at our tattered shoes and my Donald Trump haircut elicited a sense of pity from her. She did respond to our chat about Iceland with a question we’d hear surprisingly often both before and after the holiday:

“Iceland…is it cold there?”

I mean the clue is in the name. I was faultlessly polite, resisting the urge to tell her that they only call it Iceland to lure unsuspecting penguins there to sell them timeshares, and demurred that it was indeed rather nippy. Perhaps she knew that as hard-bitten Geordies we only feel the cold when our heart stops and our fingers turn black.

That’s a faintly true stereotype – take a look out in Newcastle on a Friday night in winter and you’ll see plenty of bubbling and rippling masses wearing less material than I use to wipe my bum. Only when both sets of lips turn blue does the cough Prosecco get put down. Anyway, yes, we were asked many times if Iceland was cold to the point I developed a tic in my eye from inwardly wincing so much.

I wish I could say there was anything eventful to write about from finishing our meal through to getting on the plane, but no – it was the usual perfect Premier Inn service. I should be on bloody commission, I tell everyone about Premier Inn. Just saying, if you’re reading this PI, a free night in a London hotel wouldn’t go amiss. We don’t mind if Lenny Henry is in there, he looks like he’d be a cuddler. We did, however, manage to deviate from our normal practice of turning up at the airport eight days early ‘just in case’ by instead spending the day shopping in the salubrious Livingston Centre. I say shopping, we minced in, fannied about in the Le Creuset shop, bought a salt pig and a honey pot and then walked around looking at all the shops that cater for people of less corpulent frames than us. We decided to have a game of mini-golf in Paradise Island. Paradise Island? More like Hepatitis Inlet. No I’m sorry, I’ve been to America and I’ve seen how they do mini-golf over there – carefully crafted courses, erupting volcanoes, accessibility ramps for the fatwagons. What do we get? A shoddy animatronic of Paul’s mother appearing out of a crate of MDF, a vinyl recording of a door creaking and some torn artificial grass. I felt like I was having a round of golf in an abandoned IKEA. We plodded around with all the enthusiasm of the terminally bored, finished under par and didn’t dare have a pop at the ‘WIN A FREE GAME’ final hole in case we were actually victorious.

Unusually, we did manage to get lost on the way to the airport carpark – we normally have an excellent sense of direction, but somehow we missed the giant planes swarming around over our head. I pulled over to ask someone for directions and I’ve genuinely never stared into such an empty face. I asked for directions to the airport and he gazed at me like I was speaking tongues. My exasperated eyes met his watery eyes for a moment or two, then, realising he was clearly as thick as the shite that killed Elvis, we barrelled away in the car. He was still stooped over ‘looking at the car’ as we turned a corner 100 yards away, somewhat ironically onto the right roundabout for the airport. Ah well. It’ll have given him something to use his brain for other than absorbing the wind.

Having parked the car in a car-park that looked exactly like the type of place you’d see on Watchdog where they tear your cars up and down the country, touching everything with oily hands and merrily hacking up phlegm into the secret camera, we were on our way. I told Paul to ‘remember where we had parked’ and he replied with ‘Berwick upon Tweed’. He does come out with the jokes occasionally you know. Edinburgh Airport remains as charmless as ever, with the only place to eat that didn’t necessitate filling out a loan application being the little Wetherspoons up by the gate. I had four gins and a tonic, Paul had a beer and after only an hour or so, we were boarding the plane. I’ve typed many words about the way people board planes so I won’t bother you with them now, but for goodness sake, the pilot isn’t going to set away early, you don’t need to crowd on like they’re giving out blowjobs and cocaine. Bastards.

The flight was uneventful but packed – the mass wearing of winter clothes meant everyone took up slightly more room than normal and the air was soon steamy with sweat. To squeeze past someone in the aisle involved so much personal intimacy that I automatically lubed myself up. Lovely. I can handle flying but struggle with feeling boxed in, so I just shut my eyes and dozed for the two hours it takes to travel from Edinburgh to Reykjavik. Being the caring sort I also kept hold of the iPad just in case, but it did mean poor Paul had nothing to do other than gaze at the cornflakes of dandruff gently falling off the scalp of the slumbering mass in front. I’m a sod, I know.

Oh, there was a moment of interest when the overhead cabin across from us starting leaking something at quite an alarming rate, necessitating the decampment of the passenger immediately below the leak into the only spare seat available on the plane. Seems sensible? No. The woman (who was somewhat…large) next to the vacant seat kicked up such a stink that the stewardess had kick up a stink in return, and a veritable hiss-off occurred – too much make-up vs too much circumference. How selfish can you be, though, to make someone sit under a dripping leak for two hours? I feel guilty just making Paul sleep in the cuddle puddle after sex. Don’t think us gays have a wet patch? You’re wrong, though ours is mainly lube to be fair. Still, makes getting up for an early-morning piss that much easier when you can just slide to the bathroom like Fred in the Flintstone’s opening credits.

Also, I’m no expert on aircraft, despite all my many hours of sitting slackjawed in front of Air Crash Investigation watching reconstructions of plane crashes brought to vivid life via the graphics card of a Nintendo 64, but is a major leak not worrisome? Surely water sloshing around amongst the electrics is a VERY BAD THING. The stewardess opened the locker, moved around a couple of the many bags crammed in there then decreed the leak to be a mystery. A mystery! That helped my anxiety – I had visions of it being hydraulic fluid or jet fuel and us being mere moments away from landing via someone’s front room on the Shetland Isles. I still don’t like getting up for a piss on the plane because I’m worried I’ll upset the balance. A rational mind I do not have. We landed safely, obviously, and the leak was plugged by about 1000 blue paper towels. Keep it classy, Easyjet.

Let’s be fair, actually – easyJet continue to be fantastic to fly with. I have no problems with a company that will fly me around Europe for less money than I pay for my weekly parking ticket in Newcastle. Everyone from their check-in staff to the onboard team always seem to be smiling, and as a nervous passenger, that really helps. Their planes are comfy, although I noted with alarm that I wasn’t too far off needing a seatbelt extension. Not that there’s any shame in that, but I’d sooner be strapped onto the roof and flown that way than ask across a crowded cabin for a bungee-cord sized seatbelt. I’m shy!

We touched down into Keflavík Airport in the early evening and, yes, it was cold. Bloody cold – minus one or two degrees. The airport is small as it only serves a few flights a day in winter, and we were through security and bag-drop in no time. You know the drill by now – I had to wait ten minutes whilst Paul dashed into a toilet and released his Christmas log. Any airport, any time. I think the air pressure changes associated with flying does something to his bowels – I can genuinely count the seconds from getting our bag off the conveyor to Paul turning to me with an ashen face clutching his stomach and bemoaning that he needs to go for a crap. Some people tie fancy socks to their suitcase or have a favourite towel to take on holiday as tradition – my holiday tradition is looking furiously at the closed door of a gents toilet.

As Keflavík Airport is around thirty miles from the centre of Reykjavic, you’ll need to take a bus or hire a car. I didn’t fancy Princess Diana-ing my way through the icy roads, so we opted for the bus. It’s all terribly simple and you don’t need to book in advance, rather just bustle your way to the ticket office, purchase a ticket and step aboard the idling bus, which then takes you to your hotel. It’s all exceptionally civilised. One of the many good things about Iceland is that it doesn’t seem to attract the SKOL-ashtray-and-red-shoulders brigade, so you’re not stuck on a bus hearing fifty different English accents bellow about lager and tits for an hour. Good. 

We were dropped off at the Grand Hotel first, and as it was pitch-black outside, we decided to stay in the room to drain our swollen feet and order room service. I tried to order something Icelandic but the closest we could see was a SKYR cheesecake. Oh imagine the pains. I did my usual hotel trick of hiding in the bathroom when they bring all the trays of food in so that Paul looks like a giant fatty, though I was fairly restrained this time – I didn’t make my usual ‘straining’ noises from behind the door.

Stuffed full of food and tired from all the sitting down, we were off to sleep in no time, accompanied by the only English channel we could find – Sky News. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t watch Sky News if a nuclear bomb was stuck up my arse and they were telling me how to defuse it, but you know, needs must.

Gosh now look at that. All that writing and we’re not even out in Iceland proper yet. That’ll come in the next entry. Anyway, tonight’s recipe. Those who are lost in mirth and reverie, get yourself together. 

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This speedy breakfast bake is easy enough to make – actually, ridiculously so. Not going to lie, this isn’t our recipe, it’s actually taken from another blog, found here. We were so taken by it that we adapted it slightly for Slimming World. If you’ve got a spiraliser, you’ve FINALLY got a bloody use for it. Mind, if you don’t have a spiraliser (and you can buy a cheap one RIGHT HERE), don’t shit the bed, you can just grate the sweet potato instead. This sits well – take some the next day for work.

speedy breakfast bake

to make speedy breakfast bake, you’ll need:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated finely – use a spiraliser if you have one, it makes it easier – just have it on a fine setting
  • 12 egg whites (see tip below – you don’t need to clart about seperating eggs)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 120ml of skimmed milk (take it from your HEA allowance or syn it – 100ml is two syns)
  • 80g of extra mature but reduced fat cheddar cheese (two HEA choices, remember this easily serves four)
  • as much spinach as you like, but aim for two big handfuls at the least
  • a few bacon medallions (I have an idea: use the bacon from our Musclefood deal! It’s good value and cheap as chips)

Right, the eggs – that’s a lot of eggs and you’re going to have a lot of yolk – we bought these instead from Tesco:

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Much easier! Used about 4/5 of it, and chucked the rest into a pan for an omelette the next day.

and to make speedy breakfast bake, you should:

  • preheat the oven up to 180 degrees and line a decent square tin (or any tin, I’m not going to write a letter to the council about you) with greaseproof paper or a squirt or two of frylight
  • dry fry off the bacon and chop it up
  • mix everything together in a big old bowl, tip into the tin and cook for around an hour (check it doesn’t burn) until it’s completely cooked through
  • leave to stand for ten minutes just to cool off and firm up
  • slice and serve! 

We served ours with a side salad, but the fact that this has spinach in it already makes it a super healthy breakfast or dinner.

Enjoy!

J


Remember, if you’re a fan of our writing, and if you want to read our travel tales from Germany, Corsica and Ireland, you can find them all in our new book! 

 

slimming world breakfast muffins

No, sadly not breakfast muffins that are full of blueberries or chocolate that you already slick around your mouth, causing embarrassment. Honestly, have a word. These breakfast muffins are savoury and apparently perfect for breakfast on the go. That’s an alien concept to me, not least because I’d hate to get into the lift at work with parmesan in my beard and four eggs on my breath. It’s one thing I’m always paranoid about – being smelly. There’s so little excuse to honk of BO or to have breath that can bleach hair, and I’m always going to great lengths to avoid that. I’ve got mouthwash in the car for example so after lunch, I give myself a quick rinse and let everyone on the office think I’m a secret alcoholic. But, if perhaps you’ve got your breakfast routine down pat, you’ll enjoy these muffins.

Posting very early today as we’re about to go out and deliver leaflets, after I somewhat rashly promised my consultant that we’d deliver 400, forgetting that on a weekend the amount of exercise Paul and I do amounts to exactly diddily-fucking-squat. I only said I’d deliver them because a) I like my consultant and b) I absolutely love nebbing in people’s windows and gardens. I drove past our old house in Gosforth just a couple of days ago and I was pleased to see that the shit landlord had yet to fix the drainpipe that hung over the window or even taken the space invader that we stencilled onto the front door. To be fair, we got revenge for his absolutely abysmal upkeep of the property and taking advantage of two young, naïve lads – we always used to put our cigarettes down the drain by the back window. By my calculations, given we were both on twenty a day, I reckon that’s at least four thousand little Swan filters blocking his pipes and tainting the water supply. No wonder the water used to run brown. I’ve given up now, mind. What-am-I-like. Don’t feel too bad for him, he was an absolute monster and a fibber who didn’t look after his properties. I had never seen load-bearing black mould until then.

So yes, the recipe!

slimming world breakfast muffins

to make breakfast muffins, you’ll need:

  • four large eggs
  • your HEA of any cheese you like, but the stronger the better
  • 300g of fat-free cottage cheese
  • good pinch of salt and pepper

That will make the basic muffin mixture – it’s not an exact science, either, just combine a bit more cottage cheese if it’s looking slack or crack another egg into it. You can chuck anything into these, so just use what you have – I added:

  • chopped baby leeks
  • chopped peppers
  • chopped bacon (leave out for veggie)
  • chopped tomatoes (if you’re using tomatoes, squeeze out the seeds first – just use the flesh)
  • chopped enokitake mushrooms

Really though, this is a good opportunity to use up all that shite cluttering the bottom of the fridge. I can’t really do a recipe because it’s genuinely just mix everything into a bowl, put into muffin cases and cook until they’re nice and firm and brown. I often find that with Slimming World muffins/quiches they come out as though someone’s cooked them in the sea – over-salted and wetter than Jordan checking into a Premier Inn with a footballer. If you cook off anything with a lot of moisture, like mushrooms or leeks, you’ll be OK. I cooked mine for around forty minutes on 180 degrees, just keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t catch. Also, if you’re using muffin cases, you’ll need to give them a spray first with Frylight or olive oil. If the egg leaks, it’ll dry like cement. They’ll cheerfully keep for a couple of days and they freeze well.

Enjoy! And if you’re in the Gosforth area, keep an eye open for two smartly-dressed fat blokes nosing around your garden and tutting at your poor choice of hallway wallpaper. 

J

budget week: apple pie overnight oats

Before we get started – I heard an expression yesterday which had me clutching my sides with laughter, and I’ve tried and tried to work it naturally into my normal dialogue but haven’t been able to, so I’m just going to chuck it here at the start of the blog and let it set the tone:

…”she had a fanny like a butcher shop with blown-in windows”…

Seriously, how can I get that into normal conversation? I can’t exactly chuck it across to the man who has been round to size up my blinds, can I?


Yes yes, I know, I said I’d update, but then I also said it would just be chaotic with all the decorating and people being in the house, so we took some time off instead. Listen I thought this blog would fizzle out like a disappointing fart after a week or two when we started, so the fact we’re here almost a year later is good enough! So shut yer hole. Even getting to the computer to type up this blog has been like a thrown-out round of Gladiators, climbing over paint-pots and sanders and forty inches of dust just to get to the keyboard. Christ knows what my name would be if I had been a Gladiator…’GELATINE’ perhaps, or ‘SWEAT RASH’. You would have had to slightly de-tune the TV to soften the image of me in a lycra unitard too, with my tits jiggling about like duelling jellyfish and my cock-and-balls smeared across my front like a run-over weasel.

Of course we’ve had the natural gaggle of people in the house, quoting for work, looking disdainfully at our paint colours and over-egging their quotes and then backtracking so fast their shoes smoke when I start haggling. Case in point – we had a local company come out to quote for installing an alarm system a couple of days ago. He turns up, starts rattling our windows and doors and telling us that ‘given the fucking area youse (wince) live in, you really need to improve your security’. The area we live in! The cheeky little muckspout. 

We’ve had a painter in the house all week and he’s been brilliant – meticulously clean, efficient, turning up on time and doing a cracking job. But CHRIST has it been stressful – each morning before work I’m having to run around the house removing anything indecent and/or smutty. The normal products that help a happy homo-marriage, but not something I want my painter to have to move with a gloved hand. We’ll be finding bottles of lube, douching bulbs and fetishwear stuffed down the cracks in the settee and behind the towels until at least 2018.

Hell we had to stop the TV from syncing with the computer and displaying the contents of our photo slideshow just in case he was busy glossing the skirting boards, flicked on the telly for a bit of Jeremy Kyle and was confronted by a 55″ LED display of a hardcore bukkake session. Nothing matt about that, mate. He probably already thinks the house is haunted by the gayest ghost imaginable given I’d forgotten that when I show people at work how our fancy lights work where you can control the colour and brightness from the iPad, it’ll be changing them at home as it’s all connected via WiFi – imagine trying to paint when the lights keep flashing and changing from Hussy Red to Septic Green.

It doesn’t help matters that Paul seems to think it’s entirely appropriate to ‘drop the kids off’ first thing in the morning before his steamy shower, meaning the bathroom smells like an animal rendering plant for at least three hours. I wouldn’t care so much but the painter was recommended by someone whose opinion I actually welcome and I don’t want him going back and telling them that our house smells like a sewage outlet. 

My haggling has also been coming along wonderfully – after making a new enemy at the sofa shop by taking £700 off her commission, I managed to haggle 50% of the cost of our blinds. I say I haggled, but really, he told me it would cost £900, I said no and that I’d pay £450 and not a penny more. He immediately said that was fine. I’m fairly sure it wasn’t because he was swooning at the sight of me stood in front of him in my vest looking to the world like a hot-water tank spoiling for a fight, so it just shows how much these companies try and screw out of you.

Now before some clever-dick points out that we could buy them online and fit them ourselves and save so much more money, well yes, that’s true, but you don’t know us. We’d install the blinds upside-down and on fire. It’s like the motto that I really should have tattooed on the lower of my back – ‘I prefer to get a man in’.

Speaking of haggling, our budget week starts today. Now, cards on the table time, we’re abysmal at budgeting when it comes to money. We bought a second Actifry because the first one we ordered was grey and we fancied black and rather than returning it to Amazon, we’ve put it in the shed where it’s currently propping up the Christmas tree stand. We’ve paid a locksmith £50 for two new handles for the door but we’re putting him off visiting because we don’t like having to make small-talk while he fits them. It’s not because we’re rolling in money, because let me assure you we’re not, but we also don’t have kids sucking our money out of our wallet like a mucky-faced perma-yelling hoover.  Plus we’re gay, so pink-pound rules, yes? 

What we’re going to do is to price up our recipe this week, so you’ll be able to see at a glance how much it costs per serving – and – our recipes this week (unless clearly stated) will serve 6 – not so that you get double the pleasure at dinner time, but rather so you can parcel some up and have it for lunch the next day. We’re not going to be providing a recipe for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day as it’s still a bit too chaotic to commit to such shenanigans, but I am going to try and post as much as we can and just like American week, you might get a few more days out of us if we come up with good ideas.

We’re assuming a basic level of spices and stock and flavouring, but we’re going to keep out our more outlandish ingredients this week. However, you’ll spot two news things: ways to ‘gussy’ up the meal, i.e., if you’re not on the bones of your arse, I’ll include ways you can spend a little more to add even more flavour, and also, a way to strip down each recipe even further. Well, where I can. One of the recipes coming up uses three ingredients for heaven’s sake. 

Actually, that’s an idea – I might take a picture of a glass of water, do it all up twochubbycubs style, and post it in the facebook groups with a recipe guide. That’ll cause an argument – not that such a thing is difficult – I saw someone ask for a syn value yesterday only to be called a ‘fucking snooty bitch’ (well, it was actually fkn sntty btch (there’s that vowel tax again), but I don’t think she was calling her a frolickin’ snotty birch, so let me have it). Honestly, dieting folks could start an argument in an empty house. Just have a square of chocolate and calm your titties.

SO, first recipe isn’t the most exciting, but look, it’s a good start and a decent cheap way to get your breakfast. Plus, I wanted one more overnight oats recipe on the blog so I have a full week of them to post around like the profligate slut that I am.

apple pie overnight oats

to make apple pie overnight oats, you’ll need:

  • 35g of oats
  • 1 apple
  • 10g of sultanas
  • cinnamon
  • fat free natural yoghurt
  • if your yoghurt is a bit Katie Price (a little tart), chuck in a dusting of sweetener, but just a dusting, you don’t need to use a bloody snow shovel

then you should:

  • get yourself a fancy jar like mine from Amazon or if you are trying to save money, ask a passing child to hold their hands in a bowl shape, mix it all in there, have them stand overnight and then send them back up the chimney after breakfast in the morning;
  • put your 35g of oats and dash of sweetener in the bottom
  • add your 10g of sultanas on top (1.5 syns at a push – 25g of basic sultanas is 2.5g)
  • grate your apple coarsely (I mean use the coarse setting on the grater, not that you should eff-and-jeff all throughout the process) and pop that on top
  • add a sprinkling of cinnamon
  • add the natural yoghurt
  • MIX it together – a few people have commented that the oats were a bit dry but then they hadn’t mixed it all together – it won’t look as pretty as my photo, but if you don’t mix, you’re going to have a very dry breakfast…

the cost:

  • Tesco fat-free Everyday Value natural yoghurt – 45p for 500g – you use around 50g, so 5p
  • Tesco Everyday Value oats – 1kg for 75p  – you use 35g, so let’s say 3p
  • Tesco Everyday Value apples – 89p for 6, so let’s say 15p for one 
  • Tesco Everyday Value sultanas – 500g for 84p – of which you use 10g – so 2p

I’m assuming you have cinnamon and sweetener – if not, get your cinnamon and ANY spices from an Asian foods store, you’ll save a fortune. Sweetener – it’s part of the deal on Slimming World that you’ll have a pile of sweetener like those salt-bins you see on the roads. If not, it’s dirt cheap, lasts ages. Or, you know, use a dash of sugar.

to save more:

  • buy your apples loose or on the market

to gussy it up:

  • use a Toffee Mullerlight for a toffee-apple flavour 
  • add dried cranberries (synned)
  • add blackberries

Oooh, what will you choose?

More overnight oats recipes:

WE’RE BACK, BABY.

J

peanut butter and jelly overnight oats

Today’s recipe is for overnight oats – but a new combo! Peanut butter (3 syns for two level tsp of lighter variety), raspberry jelly (1 syn I think, but it’s probably less, but let’s err on the side of caution before someone hurls a brick through the window) and oats, all mixed together for a sweet and crunchy breakfast! If you’re a little squeamish, I’d probably skip the next two paragraphs…


I know what you’re thinking – I’ve lost my mind. Well yes, probably, but it’ll have fuck all to do with the flavours of the recipe and everything to do with the hatched-faced harridan we’ve got over the road. Remember I alluded a few days ago to someone random visiting our street? She’s clearly a loon. I’m not one to cast aspersions but it’s quite clear she doesn’t have both oars in the water. She stares at us, rants to herself and GOOD LORD her parking. She struggles to get her Renault Shitbox into one of the many giant spaces on our road. You’d think she was trying to turn a grand piano around in a lift. Anyway, she overstepped the mark something chronic the other day by, instead of parking in the designated bay like a normal person, she parked on our lawn, with our front path passing underneath her car.

I mean honestly. It’s bad enough she can’t park in a double bay, but to ruin our lovely clover-filled lawn? The other half took immediate offence and wheeled our dustbin right down the path and about 10 atoms away from her bumper. Sounds simple, but see our gardener had thoughtfully chucked in the carcass of a bird the cats had killed a few days previous, and sadly, we had a maggot infestation. I know, gross, but we’re normally so hygienic and he knows not what he does. We propped open the lid just a fragment and went to work. When we came back, the car had gone and our bin was clear as a whistle. I do hope she didn’t need to move it or that a couple of the maggots hadn’t fallen on her car. That would have just been terrible.


Anyway, today’s American entry from our book (which I genuinely can’t believe you lot are buying – thank you!) deals with our day at Harry Potter land! If you want the full story, chuck me a couple of quid and buy our book by clicking here! If you have bought it, leave us a review! The recipe is below this, get ready to scroll!


Day 23 – Harry Potter and the Sobbing Child

Harry Potter day! Let’s get one thing straight right from the off. For YEARS I poo-pooed Harry Potter as being only for kids and stupid and that I was far too cool for it. Until one night, when I was stranded at London Stansted waiting for a flight home and someone had left a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone sitting on one of the bum-crushing plastic waiting seats. A mere two hours later, I was so engrossed in the story that I almost missed my flight. I was lucky in the sense that I had five books to wade through, and many years later, I’m still a fan, and I’m unapologetic of that fact to the point where I can’t BEAR those people who get all snotty about it, saying it’s a kids book. Perhaps so. But Disney is meant for kids too. So shut yer face.

THAT SAID. If you’re one of those übergimps who dress up as people from the book and thinks magic is real, then you should be shot.

What a cheery start eh! With that out of my system, we were power-mincing our way to the early opening breakfast offered to everyone who booked with Virgin Holidays. They opened the gates to the early-people at 7.30am prompt (I think) and despite there only being about 50 of us, we were all jostling into Hogwarts like our lives depended on it. I sacrificed a small child to the lake just to ensure I didn’t have to wait a moment more for the magic. And well, blow me – it was magnificent. They’ve done a terrific job of Hogsmeade, with the snow-capped houses, shop displays and even the talking toilets. It was immense.

Our breakfast at The Three Broomsticks on the other hand? Dire. I appreciate the gesture, but giving us cold toast that tasted like we were eating the ceiling tiles wasn’t exactly fantastic, and given the porridge looked like what I imagine Katie Price’s cervix to be lined with, I politely declined. The castle opened at 8am, and we were straight in, greeted with characters from JK Smiler’s little known eighth book, Harry Potter and the Impossibly Bad English Accent. It’s a poor job when your accent makes Mary Poppins’ Dick van Dyke look like Stephen Fry. Who I loathe, incidentally – he’s a thick person’s idea of a genius. Paul countered them with an ‘Awight guv’nor’ and I died a little inside.

There was NO time to look at the castle, as we hurried past all the delights we would later see in the haste to ride what has been hyped up as an amazing experience. Oh – one thing – both of us managed to get a green light (not even a fattychops amber) on the ride, so they definitely cater for the more Hagrid-esque amongst us now. The ride took off, we screamed at the scary bits, we screamed at the quick bits, and we screamed when it finished and we didn’t have to wait two years to go back on – they let us stay in the bench and go around again! It is AMAZING. No exaggeration, no hyperbole – it’s genuine class. They’ve realised it so well, from the timing of the movement to even the voice acting. Well, save for Draco Malfoy, but he can’t act for toffee. I even managed to go the whole ride without cringing at Emma Watson’s Hermione, who always delivers her lines like she’s just been punched square in her wizard’s sleeve. It’s brilliant, and perhaps the best ride at Universal now.

After the Forbidden Journey, we had a quick go on whatever-they-have-renamed-the-Flying-Unicorn as (still good fun, and fact fans, the first rollercoaster I went on in Florida) and then onto Dragon Challenge. Remember I got smashed with an egg a few days ago? Well, I think that was karma paying me back in advance for laughing at some poor bloke who, in his haste to get onto the ride first, went running up past the Ford Anglia, tried to stop to take a photo, and went completely arse-over-tea-kettle. He could NOT have fallen over more comically, it was like he hit a wall. Being ever sympathetic, I had to go sit in the toilets for five minutes before I came close to stopping laughing. I actually thought I was going to pass out and it was only after I took two gasps on my inhaler that I managed to settle myself down. The park was getting busy now, but we still managed to do Dragon Challenge a fair few times before we decided to nose around the shops. For the record, the front of the coaster is fine for this ride because it never seems to slow down and you get a scarier view, but the real money is at the back, where you’re whipped around like crazy. I ALMOST lost my glasses – the first and only time that has ever happened on a rollercoaster, and it was only by sheer fluke that I grabbed them as they shot off my face. Otherwise, we’d be screwed – I need my glasses to actually see, for I am proper blind without them. Still one better than poor Paul, who has to wear a prism lens sticker on his glasses which refract the light so much it’s like living in a permanent gay club nightmare. I call him Biggles. He hates it.

I’m going to save my write-up of the rest of Islands of Adventure for later in the week and combine the two days together, as there’s no point in writing the same things twice. I might have a nice way with words but there be limits to my creative talents!

At the end of the day (argh!) we made our way back to the hotel to freshen up and relax by the pool. It’s a fantastic pool, shaped like a guitar and with a cheeky little waterslide (clearly meant for kids, but didn’t stop us barrelling down it in a blur of fat and giggles). The pool started filling up with kids ready to watch the in-pool movie, which is SUCH a good idea, so we retired back to the room to ‘get ready’. That done, we changed into smart clothes, and decided to sniff out some food. The Club 7 room didn’t disappoint with its tasty chicken skewers and free booze, but we needed something more substantial.

As we were making our way out for our evening walk and to try and find somewhere to eat, we happened upon the Happiest Kid in the World in the lobby of Club 7. He was bouncing a ‘squishy eyeball’ toy from Harry Potter World all over the place. His face was lit up with joy and wonder. It DID look great fun and I smiled my least-child-threatening smile at him as we passed. Being precocious and American, he handed the toy to me (remember, it was a goo-filled bouncing ball) and asked me if I wanted a go. Well, being a big kid, I did. And I swear to God, I didn’t chuck it that hard, but the very second it hit the floor it burst wide open, showering the lobby with goo.

I was mortified. You know how Puss in Boots in the Shrek movies pulls that face with his sad eyes to win people over? This kid did exactly that – big wide eyes, full of tears, and then he exploded too. In sound. Wailing. Immediately worried that I was about to be done for being mean to a child, I started telling him not to cry, that I’d buy him some sweets or get him a new one, but then Paul pointed out how THAT looked. Jesus. THIS is why I don’t have children. Well, that and the whole dropping anchor in poo-bay lifestyle I lead. His father came rushing out and to his credit, laughed the whole thing off, but I could see the distress in that child’s eyes and knew then I’d ruined his holiday forever. I did try and give the dad some money for a new toy but he said it was fine. To cap that off, we later saw him acting up in the same restaurant we were at, and I couldn’t finish my dessert for the guilt.

Well, not strictly true, I was just full, but I like to make myself sound more sympathetic than a holiday-wrecking child-hater really should.

We wandered around the grounds of Hard Rock, then meandered down to look at the Royal Pacific, which looks lovely but a bit too…not classy as such, but well, a bit SAGA. We definitely had the coolest hotel. It was charming though, just walking along by the side of the canal hand-in-hand, and not one person made a comment about it. America’s a lot more laid-back then I thought, or perhaps Universal just attracts a cooler sort of person, who knows? We actually ended up back in the Hard Rock and went down to the Kitchen for dinner.

I heartily recommend! Paul had a burger, I had a steak – I know, we sparkle with originality, but both came highly recommended by our very-gay-very-hipster waiter. Normally ‘hipsters’ make my skin crawl (you know the type, all Hot Topic and stupid glasses) (watching T4 on a Sunday actually gives me a stomach ulcer) but he was lovely, actually – he even had a Mario tattoo which, to us Nintendo geeks, was AMAZING. When Paul and I lose some weight and don’t have such colossal arm-hams, we’re going to get a Mario tattoo (for me) and a Luigi tattoo (for Paul). Because we’re just so cool. I’d love to get a Piranha Plant all the way up my back coming from a green pipe above my bumcrack but I don’t want the old people laughing at it when I’m in a home, so perhaps not. After dinner, and an excellent tip, we had a quick drink in the Velvet bar and spent the rest of the evening watching yet more American Office on the Pay-TV.

One final thought – DON’T even take things out of the minibar unless you plan to pay for it. I took out a jar of jelly-bears and the $14 charge appeared on the TV-Bill system. That’s the most I’ve ever paid for some coloured cow-hoof! Nevermind. It was time to snuggle up with my very own mass of jelly and await day 24. Four days to go. Sad face!


And you’re back in the room, and onto the main event:

overnight oats peanut butter jelly

I appreciate it looks like I’ve already had a bash at eating it, but it was tasty! Jelly in America is actually jam, but well, jam is sugar and fruit and that would send Margaret herself into a fit of the vapours, so I’ve replaced it with sugar-free jelly. Delicious! So…

for peanut butter and jelly overnight oats, you’re gonna need:

  • 35g of oats
  • 2 tsp of peanut butter (crunchy, lighter – 1.5 syns per tsp, so 3 syns)
  • some sugar free raspberry jelly made up to instructions (use any leftovers for dessert!)
  • a vanilla yoghurt (or, in my case, I used around 60ml of almond milk, and didn’t syn it…what a slut, but it’s about 0.4 syns)

then you’ll need to:

  • decant the milk or the yoghurt into a bowl, and add the peanut butter – mix it together as best you can, but don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be smooth, just try to blend it a little – if you’ve having difficulty, microwave for the briefest of moments
  • add the oats and stir
  • add the jelly on top
  • when it comes to the time you want to eat your oats, give everything a right good stir!

You can drop the syns by lowering the amount of peanut butter, but haway, life is too short to shit your pants over 1.5 syns. 

Enjoy! 

If you want more overnight oats, you’ll find them here:

Goodnight!

J

rocky road overnight oats – the best yet!

Before I start – Paul sat bolt upright in bed this morning (well as bolt upright as someone with a waterfall of fat on their front can do) and announced ‘I just had a dream that I won the Eurovision Song Contest…representing Lebanon!’ and went back to sleep. I couldn’t sleep after that particularly gay announcement. Cheers Paul.


 The title of this post comes from my father, who on entering any room, always say ‘EH’ like he’s missed out on some juicy titbit of gossip. I endured this for eighteen years before I moved out (not because of the eh-ing I hasten to add) and he still does it even to this day. Brilliant.

I’m going to quickly post this recipe below and then head off to see The Unmentionables – well you have to, it’s Father’s Day. My dad is brilliant – he’s like the antithesis of me in every single way. Where some people might call me quite fey, he’s super-butch. I’m fat, he’s thin. He has a Screwfix catalogue next to his bed, I had a copy of Salza: For Lover of Latino Inches hidden under my mattress. He can quite cheerfully throw up a set of shelves, remodel a kitchen and mend a broken car, whereas I can quite cheerfully call a handyman, joiner and mechanic in on my mobile. 

He’s always been one of those dads who knows how to do everything – and although he always walks into my house and says it smells of something, which irks me no end – he can always be relied upon if I ever need anything done. He was great with me growing up, despite having to endure the veritable collection of freaks that I brought home…the ginger one, the scabby one, the one with the discus-shaped lip, the one with the question-mark spine, the one who looked like Richard Osman from Pointless, Silent Bob, the chap whose voice sounded like a bee caught behind a radiator…he made small talk and polite conversation with them all. I never once felt awkward, pressured or unsupported and that’s testament to what a great father he is. I never tell him that, obviously. That would be far too awkward and non-manly. Feelings, right?

Paul has a similar relationship with his dad, although it’s slightly more difficult for him as there’s over 250 miles between them. However, we seem to have settled into a pattern of genial giving of gifts on special occasions – Paul’s dad gets a cookbook or an atlas at Christmas, Paul gets money a week after his birthday. I’ve met him and can gladly say the old ‘in-laws are horrible’ stereotype doesn’t apply, which is great. He’s a thoroughly pleasant chap. Paul often tells me of how he came out to his parents – his mum reacted in a very ‘mum’ way, by making retching noises and almost-but-not-quite putting down her Puzzler in shock, whereas his dad said ‘SO YOUR MUM TELLS ME YOU’RE GAY, SON’ and went back to fussing around his Renault 19.  Parents are fun.

As for us, being fathers is the last thing we’d ever want to do. The mechanics of it are bad enough – we’re not going to stand around popping our yop into a plastic cup and finding some suitable receptacle to carry our child, that’s too stressful. But even if we got past that point, the idea of having a child to look after is my idea of genuine hell. I can barely remember to clip my own toenails and go to the toilet, having some screaming hellchild demanding regular food and access to my bank account fills me with dread. So: you’ll never be reading the tearful account of us adopting and raising a child, though you can know that if we ever DID, it would have a proper bloody name. I’ve heard of a kid being called Lil’star and it makes my eyes shake with fury.

ANYWAY, here we go. Today’s recipe: rocky road overnight oats. I know I said no more overnights oats but I had this photo kicking around in the archives and in the spirit of Father’s Day, I thought I’d post something a bit more…fun. Well I say fun…

rocky road overnight oats

to make rocky road overnight oats, you’ll need:

  • 35 of oats
  • 1 vanilla and chocolate Mullerlight (syn-free)
  • sliced banana

to make rocky road overnight oats, you should:

  • place your oats in the bottom of your jar
  • cover with sliced banana
  • cover with the yoghurt

and then you’ll use your syns to add the following:

  • 10 mini marshmallows (0.5 syns)
  • 5g of chocolate chips (1.5 syns)
  • 5g of dried cranberries (0.5 syns)
  • two smashed up sugar-free Werthers Originals (0.5 syns each)

I know 5g doesn’t sound like a lot, but weighed out and mixed in, it is. Jeez, calm down.

or you could add:

  • 1 tsp of chocolate sprinkles (1 syn)
  • segments from a tangerine
  • fresh berries
  • smashed up Crunchie fun size (4 syns)

The world is your oyster. Yes, you have to use syns (NURSE! NURSE! GET THE SALTS) but for goodness sake, for a sweet indulgence at the start of the day, why not go mad and let your hair down? I mean give it a wash first obviously.

If you want more overnight oats, you’ll find them here:

Happy father’s day!

J

quickpost: rhubarb and custard overnight oats

Super quick post tonight as a) I’m tired and b) I need to tidy up before Paul gets home and brays me. I’m like the Little Mo of the street. Christ, I used to have a real thing for Trevor out of Eastenders, which is messed up. But true to my word of a recipe a day, here’s the final overnight oats recipe in my trio of flavours. You’ll find the previous ones here:

rhubarb and custard overnight oats

to make rhubarb and custard overnight oats, you’ll need these:

  • 35g of oats (healthy extra)
  • a banana and custard muller yoghurt OR 100g of syn-free natural yoghurt, with three drops of custard flavouring added*
  • 200g of rhubarb
  • enough sweetener to take the edge off the tartness of the rhubarb
  • a drop or two of rose-water (optional)

* you can buy custard flavouring from Lakeland – it’s in their professional flavouring range. You don’t need this, but it does taste lovely!

to make rhubarb and custard overnight oats, you’ll need to do this:

  • mix up your oats and yoghurt, dur, and put it into the bottom of the jar
  • chop up your rhubarb into thumb sized chunks, chuck in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of water and a drop of rose water and cook on a medium heat with the lid on until it turns to mush
  • take it off the heat, mix in sweetener if you want it
  • once cooled, pour the rhubarb onto the oats, and seal
  • mix it up in the morning and enjoy!

Rhubarb raw is syn-free and then you add it to water, so really, it’s syn-free, but SW say it’s 0.5 syn for 100g. Look, don’t count it, seriously. You’re not going to turn into Dibley-era Dawn French if you eat something grown in the ground and boiled in something pissed from a cloud. If you were deep-frying it in butter…perhaps.

Enjoy! 

J

cafe mocha overnight oats – and a box full of faces

Three important messages:

  1. when we cook, it’s nearly always enough to serve four people – but we’re greedy so normally eat three servings and save the last serving for picking at when we tidy up the kitchen. Unless I say otherwise, assume the recipe serves four;
  2. I’m going to stop using that little recipe plug-in I brought in because the good folks who get this post by email no longer receive the recipe – and we can’t be having that – don’t say I don’t listen; and
  3. if you comment on the blog via Facebook, that is brilliant as it means more publicity, but I don’t get a notification so don’t worry if it takes me a while to respond! What it does mean however is that other people can help you if you have a question, and isn’t that just lovely?

Here, what a day. It’s been a dreadful day today for someone who dislikes a) people and b) being the centre of attention. See, I’m one of the first aiders at work, which generally means I get to have a big important first aid box full of plasters and the exciting knowledge of everyone’s intimate maladies. It’s a very responsible position indeed, with matters that are nothing less than life or death – do I issue a corn plaster or a waterproof plaster? Do I check NHS Direct via phone OR online? Do I hide in the toilets until another first aider is found? PRESSURE.

The downside of this responsibility is that I have to attend refresher courses on what to do in the case of an emergency – which to my mind is an easy enough question – flap, wave my arms around dramatically and call 999, although I’m told that’s overkill if someone splashes a bit of hot water from the coffee machine across their hand. I can’t bear these type of ‘events’, I really can’t. I spend so long worrying about whether I’m going to get picked to ‘demonstrate’ that I only just take the information in. It’s hard to concentrate when you’ve got forty factory-workers angrily staring at you and criticising your soft office shoes as an ex-ambulance driver tries to put your arm in a sling.

There’s only one scenario where I’d enjoy being helped into a sling and I’d be disappointed if that occurred in a 20 minute refresher.

I’ve mentioned before about my personal space issues – if anyone comes within 3ft of me my shoulders go up and my head disappears into my shoulders like a tortoise with anxiety  – so people tumbling me around the carpet and trying to get my body into a recovery position is my idea of a living hell. Plus, there’s the added pressure of trying not to break wind as my right thigh is hoiked into the air with the gentle touch of an abattoir-worker and having to kneel down in front of everyone to practice CPR on a dummy that looks like a boiled ham with a crudely drawn crayoning of Sharon Osbourne’s face plastered on it.

Of course, I immediately managed to embarrass myself by nipping to the gents for a couple of minutes before the class started, only to find on my return that everyone had left the lobby and decamped into one of the meeting rooms. I peered through the window and sensed some familiarity amongst the bald heads and let myself into the room, having to cross it to get to the only spare seat, whispering apologies and ‘oh silly me’ faces a-plenty. Ten minutes into the lecture on how to safely lift boxes in a packing facility I realised my mistake and had to walk back across the classroom with everyone’s eyes burning into me. I’m surprised my hair didn’t catch. I found a chair in the other class and glowed with embarrassment.

The three hours passed fairly quickly, although of course I was chosen almost immediately as an example of oxygen deprivation, giving the scenario of ‘If I held a pillow over James’ face, it would take four minutes for his brain to start dying’. Typical. Half an hour in and he’s got me pegged as a pillow-biter.

Giving CPR presented a challenge, not least because I was picked to ‘build’ the dummy to practice on in front of the entire class. Social anxiety coupled with someone telling you to ‘pick a face out of the box’ and ‘turn it inside out, clip his ears onto the dummy’ makes for a very challenging ten minutes. I can’t build tension, let alone a fucking latex approximation of some chisel-jawed corpse whilst twenty people stare down at me as I fumble around his plastic lips. It gets better – I then had to demonstrate how to pump the chest (30 presses, hand over hand, between the nips) which meant a good minute of me pistoning up and down, more than likely with the top of my arsecheeks peeping out over my belt in an accusatory manner. Didn’t get any less awkward when someone else took over, because then I had someone’s arse backing into my face as they tried to bring the dummy back to life.

I also made the mistake of asking the teacher some basic tips on how to deal with any possible emergency arising from having a pregnant lady in the office. Well look, I think it’s better to be prepared, and it’s not like I have an intimate understanding of how it all happens. For all I know, it might ding like a microwave, the flaps swinging open like the prize-doors on Bullseye and a baby comes swooshing out like its on a log flume. Well, clearly taken with the fact that someone had actually asked a question, he addressed the whole process of giving birth in blistering detail. I was enthralled. I could tell everyone else was seething because they wanted to be away but I can honestly say I now feel confident delivering a baby. It sounds marvellous – sacks of fluid bursting, feet wriggling out, placentas sloshing out like the sponge in a car-wash – you just need Melanie and Martina and you’d have a brilliant Fun House round.

Ah well. At least I’m trained up if anyone faints, burns themselves, does a Jim Robinson or strokes out. That feels good. And, although I’ve been my usually sassy self about the whole thing, these First Aid courses are amazing. I learn a lot and the presenters are always fantastic. Considering my medical experience begins and ends at being scared of the 999 theme tune, the fact they manage to hold my interest for so long is testament to how good they are. Great work.

Seriously though, click this and tell me that this isn’t a bloody frightening theme tune. It’ll open in a separate window. I used to have genuine nightmares about that. Though not as much as The Outer Limits. Yikes.

Speaking of nightmares, there was no excuse for this box of horrors that I had to use to prop up someone’s legs as I demonstrated the ‘shock position’. 

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Eurgh. I put Paul in the shock position once. I used Durex Heat instead of Durex Tingle. Poor love had to pop a blue raspberry ice-pop in afterwards to fix his nipsy.

Speaking of hot, smoky flavours – here’s a recipe for cafe mocha overnight oats – or chocolate coffee oats. That’s C-O-F-F-E-E. Oh yes sir boss like the drink! Hmm. This will make one jar for the morning.

cafe mocha overnight oats

you’ll be needing these to make cafe mocha overnight oats:

  • 35g of oats (healthy extra)
  • 1 Muller Yoghurt vanilla with chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 banana (now, if you’re sensible, mash it in a bowl like a normal person, but if you’re Captain Anal when it comes to tweaking, smash it up in your teeth and then spit it into the jar, because you know, that makes a difference to the syns…well maybe if you’re a fucking sparrow)
  • a good cup of instant coffee, stronger the better

you’ll need to do this to make cafe mocha overnight oats:

  • mix up your oats with the yoghurt and put into the jar
  • top with the mashed banana
  • take your cup of instant coffee and dribble a tablespoon or two into the jar
  • top with a few granules of coffee
  • mix it all together like a bad-ass and put it in the fridge to enjoy in the morning.

You can make this just as strong as you like. The banana adds a bit of sweetness, the coffee adds a pick-me-up. Better made with decent coffee mind, a cup of Mellow Birds isn’t going to cut the mustard!

Enjoy. Always.

J