droptober recipe #11: peanut butter and caramelised banana toast

Just a recipe for peanut butter and caramelised banana toast tonight as we’re too busy putting our Musclefood box away and farting on with our new TV. See, this would be one of those days when we just wouldn’t post but because we’ve committed to this Droptober thingy, I feel like I can’t let you down! Breakfasts on Slimming World are either oaty affairs, a bit of fruit or that bloody fry-up picture which has been haunting the lifeline journal since time immemorial. Peanut butter is one of those things which sounds like it should be full of syns and, fair enough, it’s not syn-free, but as long as you’re sensible and don’t slap it on like Jordan slaps Canestan on her minnie-moo, you’ll be fine. 1 level tablespoon is 4 syns which you can easily spread between the two tiny Shreddies-sized slices of bread that Slimming World allows as your HEB.

peanut butter and caramelised banana toast

to make peanut butter and caramelised banana toast, you’ll need:

  • well I mean, it’s pretty obvious, no?
  • one banana
  • one tablespoon of peanut butter
  • whatever toast or thin you want to use
  • pinch of cinnamon if you dare

to make peanut butter and caramelised banana toast, you should:

  • toast your bread and get your peanut butter on it whilst it is hot – the heat will make it spread further
  • Christ, it’s a bad job when we’re having to eke out our peanut butter like we’re working from a ration book, isn’t it?
  • slice your banana and drop the slices into a hot, non-stick pan to toast them off and give them a bit of colour
  • top the toast

Just saying, but if you were feeling daring, you could totally add a drop or two of honey to the whole affair and really get going. If you’re going to be Lieutenant Anal about the whole syn thing, you should ‘technically’ syn the banana according to SW rules as it is cooked. However, it’s syn-free if you eat it uncooked and as you can see from the above, you’re doing nothing more than toasting it. If it makes you feel better, don’t toast the banana, just keep glaring at it until it toasts of its own accord. THAT WAY NO SYNS AM I RIGHT. Jeez.

If you’re looking for more breakfast ideas, click the buttons below and live like a Queen! We do have some canny overnight oats recipes!

sausagessmall  breakfastsmall overnight-oats

Remember to share!

J

spinach, tomato, egg and feta wrap

Here for the spinach, tomato, egg and feta wrap? Who could blame you – it sounds wonderful. But first, some housekeeping. We’ve updated the Christmas challenge to include two very helpful colouring charts for you to monitor your progress on. You can find them at the bottom of the Christmas page – right here.

Let’s face it, breakfasts are a proper ball-ache on Slimming World. Yeah, you can have a fry-up the size of a multi-storey car-park, we know that, but who has time for that in the morning between getting ready for work and a forty minute crap? Honestly. That said, we’ve made some absolute classics in our time and here’s another to add to the list: a spinach, egg, tomato and feta wrap. Apparently this is a big thing in the United States, but so is Donald Trump, so what do they know? I kid, I love America. Anyway, a quick glance at the massively user-friendly and totally-worth-the-money syns calculator…

…reveals a Starbucks wrap comes in at 22 syns! Well butter my tits and call me Sally, no wrap is going to be worth that! So naturally we’ve made our own and you can find that all the way down at the bottom of the page. Because, naturally, I have shenanigans to discuss.

A friend of mine received a speeding ticket over the weekend and it made me think of the speed awareness course I went on. I’ve touched on it before but I recently found my hand-written diary and the notes I put down put some putting together – I essentially scribbled ‘whistler, bald, Posh Spice, 80s’ on the back of my ‘naughty boy admission’ card and frankly, that deserves fleshing out. That’s how I remember things, by the way – I’m forever jotting down nonsense on the back of things and then putting them away somewhere to get lost forever – if I ever die suddenly and they can’t find Paul, they’re going to be really confused when they open my desk drawer and a load of ASDA receipts with ‘cock, gingivitis, farting am-i-right and spiraliser’ on the back come tumbling out.

I was made to go on a speed awareness course after committing the heinous crime of doing 55mph in a 50mph zone at 6am on a motorway. I know what you’re thinking, it’s amazing that I didn’t kill anyone. To be fair, it was probably more to do with me caterwauling and screeching away to Smooth FM than anything else, probably knocked a sleeping policeman out of his slumber. The last time that happened was Raoul Moat and look how that ended up – that could have been me crouched all roided-up in a ditch in Rothbury, shouting at the police helicopter until I decided it was time to clean my ears with a sawn-off shotgun. But hey, a crime is a crime and I was speeding so it’s a fair cop, guv. I received a letter calling me a tinker in the post and was offered a speed awareness course or points on my licence.

Naturally, I chose that, and I was ordered to attend a course in a Holiday Inn near my home. A Holiday Inn, I might add, that’s slap-bang in the middle of a gay cruising ground, because who doesn’t like looking out over two carpet salesman furiously frotting away whilst they learn about road-signs? Incidentally, you know why they call it a Holiday Inn? It’s actually short for ‘Fuck me, I’d rather Holiday Inn anywhere but this shithole’. At least the one at Seaton Burn is. With a heavy heart, I turned up in the morning and was made to sit around a table with various men, all at various degrees of baldness (in my ideal world I would have stood up and rearranged them like matryoshka dolls) and each one, to an absolute fault, with appalling coffee-breath. I didn’t feel I knew them well enough to offer up chewing up or a hydrochloric rinse either, so I was stuck crinkling my nose all morning.

One guy was late, bursting in through the door 20 minutes after the course had started and we’d all done our introductions (“Hi, I’m James, I was speeding because I was too engrossed in the harmonies on Boyz II Men’s End of the Road, ironic, am I right?”) and explained that he had been stuck in traffic. I made a gag – my one and only of the day – that he should have put his foot down, but that was met with a few people sucking air over their teeth and the guy leading the class looking at me like I’d wiped out a bus full of children. His very next sentence was that ‘we needed to show we had the right attitude or we would fail the course’ and it wasn’t so much pointed as me as lubed up and rammed up my arse. I bit my bottom lip and tried to look as solemn as possible.

You know what though, despite my reservations that we were going to get shouted at by someone with bad teeth and glasses as thick as my wrists, it was actually really interesting. I’m not going to lie and say the day passed in a blur like a visit to Disneyworld, but I didn’t die of terminal boredom, not least because of the instructor’s tendency to add horrific detail into the most innocent of sentences. I’d be slumbering my way through a bit about junctions when he’d casually mention that he’d found a decapitated head once in a layby and shock us all back in the room.

We paused for coffee at about 11. I say coffee, it was some brown water that was dispensed sputtering from a machine first used in the Sufi monasteries in Yemen back in the sixteenth century. I can’t make small talk, not least with people whose only common denominator was that they were heavy on the accelerator, so we all sat in silence looking at our phones, a pointless endeavour as they didn’t give us the Wifi password and the mobile reception couldn’t get through the asbestos. Anyway, it didn’t feel right to check into Facebook on a speed awareness course, not least because I didn’t want my mother finding out and ringing with an earbashing. I’m 31, by the way.

Perhaps the most unusual part of the day was the little video where we learned all about stopping distances. All very sobering and factual – I’ve never looked so intently at a chart full of numbers since my doctor weighed me and told me it would be kinder just to push me into the sea and have done.  No, what made this unique was the fact they used a cardboard cut-out of Posh Spice as the target for the speeding car. Even now as I speed merrily along the motorway the sight of Posh Spice bouncing off the bumper of a Nissan Sunny and crumpling under the tyres will creep into my thoughts and make me slow down. Maybe that was their plan all along!

Anyway, after we all promised to be good and signed a form saying how naughty we were, we were released back to the car-park. There’s a bit in the Simpsons where they all leave the road-rage camp at the same time and everyone is unfailingly polite. Don’t worry, it was the same for us, which made me screeching past the waiting Audis much easier. I’m kidding, I spent so much time waving people out that my wrist sounds like a cement mixer.

Right, that’s quite enough guff. Let’s do the breakfast wrap. That sounds like the worst dance craze, doesn’t it?

jspinach, tomato, egg and feta wrap

That tomato ketchup you see behind? That’s coming online shortly too!

to make a spinach, tomato, egg and feta wrap, you’ll need:

  • one BFree Foods Multigrain Wrap, Wheat & Gluten Free – currently a HEB, but do check for others
  • two eggs OR if you’re feeling decadent, three egg whites instead (we buy those egg whites in a carton, super easy)
  • a bag of spinach
  • a few dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes – not the ones in oil but the ones you rehydrate in water – now SW say this is 2 syns per 25g, but you use 10g at most – if you want to syn it, you can, but frankly, it’s a dried tomato, not a bloody Wispa)
  • 45g of feta (HEA)
  • a tablespoon of Quark – not a fan? Use Philadelphia Lightest – it’s 1 syn for 25g and again, you’re not using 25g so…

Now with this, customise it however you want. We used egg-whites but you can use the whole egg. Add garlic. Add peppers. Take out the tomato, it’s all good.

to make a spinach, tomato, egg and feta wrap, you should:

  • start by rehydrating your tomatoes by putting them in boiling water, or just chopping up some normal tomatoes
  • add the spinach into a large dry pan over a medium heat and let it wilt right down
  • once that’s done, drain and squeeze your tomatoes and spinach to get all the water out, then chop finely
  • using your spinach pan, drop the beaten egg or egg whites into the pan on a medium heat, cover with a lid and allow to cook for a few minutes
  • chop up your feta in the meantime
  • then it’s just a case of assembly – a smear of soft cheese, some chopped spinach, some chopped tomato, a chunk of omelette and a sprinkling of feta – go ahead and add some black pepper and salt too, why not?
  • roll, serve, turn into poo.

Rolling a wrap is easy enough. If you imagine the big round wrap as a face, you want to put your filling where the mouth would be. Definitely just below the middle of the wrap. Tuck the sides in, fold the bottom up over the filling and then roll it!

You can toast it off in the omelette pan if you want. If you want a meatier version filled with sausages, chips and cheese (really!) click here!

For more breakfast ideas, overnight oats recipes or slow cooker links, click on the buttons below! EASY.

breakfastsmall overnight-oatsslowcookersmall

Cheers,

J

oaty breakfast omelette topped with houmous and ham

There is literally no way of writing oaty breakfast omelette topped with houmous and ham without getting a queasy feeling in the stomach. It just doesn’t sound appetising, does it? The same way that you could never describe a pedicure as refreshing or having your anus watched out with water as cleansing. But bear with me: it tastes lovely and makes for a far more substantial breakfast. But before we get to it, a couple of things to consider.

I want to take a moment to say thank you to each and all of you for the lovely comments and messages I received after my previous post about advertising and the snooty comment that some boorish fartface left complaining that our advertising was out of control. There wasn’t a single message agreeing with her and everyone was exceptionally kind. I’d thank you all individually but I’m lazy, so please accept my thanks this way! We’ll say no more about the whole sorry mess and move on.

Bitch

I nearly died yesterday. OK so yes, I’m prone to melodrama and perhaps I wasn’t as close to death as that dramatic opening sentence suggests, but honestly. See, Paul told me he had to go into work and move his desk around – presumably pulling it further away from the wall so he can get his gunt behind it – and that left me with an afternoon to fill. What were my options? Stay at home watching the Olympics and masturbating? Not likely, it was diving. I’m not a fan. Paul and I can cheerfully watch the weight-lifting as men built like bridge pillars come out and hurl weights around – part of us is watching because they’re hot, part of us is scare-watching in case someone has an anal prolapse and everything comes pouring out like someone stepped on a sausage roll. There’s some things you don’t need to see in 65″ ultra HD, I can assure you.

So, given it was a nice day and I’m a lazy, lazy man, I thought it would be a good idea to take myself out for a walk. Growing up I was forever out walking about – it’s how I lost so much weight in my late teens – and I’ve fallen out of step (boom boom) with that since meeting Paul and learning how to drive. Paul is wonderful but he’d take the car to go to the bathroom for a piss if he could. Actually, he probably could do that now he has a car that Polly Pocket herself could drive. I used to adore tramping about in the woods with nothing but my bottle of tapwater, knock-off Rockports (Rickparts by George at ASDA) and a crappy little MP3 player that a friend gave me that I loaded up with downloaded episodes of I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. No regrets! With that joyous image of young me in my mind, I asked Paul to drop me off at the nearby Plessey Woods and to pick up me up three hours later when I called him with my location.

Well, honestly. I knew from about three minutes in that I’d made a mistake. Firstly, I was wearing Paul’s trainers meaning every step pinched my feet and chewed my skin. I could feel the ghost of his pitted keratolysis haunting my toes. Second, the very moment I stepped out of his car my phone immediately lost signal. I don’t know if the trees of Plessey Woods are lined with lead but I didn’t get a signal again until an hour later. Nevermind, we made do before and we’ll do so again – I had downloaded a week’s worth of The Archers and three Food Programme episodes on the iPlayer before I set off so it wasn’t too bad.

You know what ruins public beauty spots? The public. I’d forgotten for a moment that I lived in the North East of England and that Geordie law dictates that as soon as a beam of sunlight hits the end of a Lambert and Butler, shirts must come off, disposable BBQs must be bought, lit and covered in 46% mince burgers and children must be encouraged to run around screaming with full nappies and empty minds. I’m so curmudgeonly these days, I know, but wouldn’t it be a treat to go somewhere and not experience a cacophony of kids blaring and parents bellowing and mooing at them? I put my headphones on and waddled down to the river like an angry buffalo.

Once in the forest though, it was wonderful. Always is. Most of the families stayed within a 200 metre of the ice-cream truck lest their children went more than five minutes without a Costco Calippo smeared across their face, so within no time at all I had the place to myself. I followed the river, marvelling at untouched beauty of it all, enjoying the silence. There was a brief startling moment when I happened across a tiny notice warning of a wasp nest up ahead – no actual instruction on where it was or what to do. I plodded on, knowing that if I did stumble into a wasp nest, that would be it for me. No chance of running away thanks to my bulk. They’d find my bloated, wasp-filled corpse floating down the river with my face frozen forever in a ‘COME AT ME, YOU FUCKING SHIT-BEES’ snarl.

Didn’t happen though, thankfully. No wasps and no other drama for a good two miles or so until I popped up on the side of the A1, sweating and confused and tired. Oh! One thing – let me explain an irrational fear of mine. See, alone in the woods, I only came across (bad choice of words given what is coming) another walker, a sole female walking towards me through the thick trees. I always instantly worry in a situation like this that the lass is going to see a red-faced, angry looking shaven-headed man blundering towards her and immediately reach for her pepper spray. I’m a kind, gentle soul but even I sometimes shit myself when I see my ugly mug in the mirror when I get up in the night for a piss.

So, what do I do? I can’t grin inanely at her from a distance because I have the type of grin that says ‘it’s going to hurt you more than it hurts me’. I can’t shout a cheery hello because then I’d just look insane. I don’t want her thinking I’m a threat in this crazy frightening world so the only thing I can really do is camp it up and make it clear that, how can I put this delicately, I take it up the Glitter. Thus, hand out like I’m clutching an invisible rail, dainty point feet as I gambol lightly over the rocks on the path, tra-la-laing along to the Archers omnibus theme tune. If I’d had my drill kit I could have set myself up behind a gloryhole in a nearby oak for good measure but there was no time, and she passed by unfazed, with a loud hiyaaaaaa from me. I do worry too much, don’t I?

After emerging onto the side of the A1 and spending ten minutes trying to cross it whilst half of the United Kingdom sped past at 100mph, I decided to send Paul a text to let him know I hadn’t a) fallen in a river or b) been raped and left for dead by some forest-dweller. His reply was ‘shall I get us a McFlurry before I pick you up’. Soothing. I told him I’d press on because I was enjoying myself and I’d call him when I was ready, spotting a barely visible public footbath through the Blagdon Estate, I minced onwards.

THAT’s where things turned deadly. Or at least, mildly inconvenient. I got lost. I so rarely get lost, I’m excellent with direction and hell, I know the area like the back of my hand, but I don’t know if I stumbled in the wrong direction trying to avoid cows or was distracted by something shiny on the horizon, but I completely lost my bearings. No mobile signal. Mild panic set in. Every field looked the same. The tracks were endless. I only had a little bit of water left and the day was hot. Clearly, the situation was grave, and given how prone I am to catastrophic thinking, I knew this was it. I stumbled bravely on for another couple of miles or two, trying to distract myself with The Archers but only making myself angrier because of silly Helen, until, finally, rising from the trees like the most middle-class mirage ever, the Northumberland Cheese Company. Phew.

Naturally, it was shut. I was gutted. Nothing quenches a raging thirst like a nettle and elderflower pressé and a truckle of expensive cheese. Salvation came in the form of FINALLY getting a signal on my mobile and I called Paul, who immediately dispatched himself to come to my aid. Took him forty fucking minutes. He wins a MASSIVE gold star for effort for playing Nearer My God To Thee through his car-speakers as he came hurtling over the horizon. Clearly at this point I was close to death, and imagine the indignity of such a frou-frou death as collapsing outside a cheese farm from heatstroke with only Sheila Dillon twittering on about strawberries to comfort me into the blackness. PAH. Paul bundled me into the Smart car (the fat equivalent of trying to stuff a telephone directory into an A5 envelope), pressed a McFlurry into my hand and sensitively pointed out that I was a little red in the cheeks. I’ll say: I walked, accordingly to my Fitbit, almost 8 miles in the blazing sun.

I’m paying for it today mind – my ankles hurt, my skin feels a bit tight and my chest hurts, presumably from my lungs having to do anything other than filter out shards of Smarties and chips. I, thankfully, don’t seem to have burnt myself though. I did have a moment of panic this morning when I woke up and felt my skin peeling from my face, only to find when I went to the bathroom that it was something else entirely – the happy by-product of a successful, loving marriage that had somehow splattered a little off-course and been missed in the after sex clean-up. It’s great for the skin, by the way, though I can’t see Montagne Jeunesse releasing a fuckmuck edition.

Speaking of sowing the wild oats, why not put proper oats into an omelette? See below. Christ, I only meant to type a few words for this post too! I’m saying syn free because you’re allowed 35g of oats as a healthy extra, but if you want to syn it, go for 25g at 4.5 syns. Up to you. Before I get to the recipe, I’m going to just mention that I don’t think Musclefood have turned off our discount yet so, if you’re still sitting on the fence, do I have a deal for you.

Because an advert follows, let me just give you the option of skipping the advert entirely. You just need to click on, entirely apropos of nothing, this tiny picture of Annie Wilkes from Misery to jump forward.

25-ways-kathy-bates-in-misery-totally-gets-your-w-2-29706-1426854459-0_dblbig


FREEZER FILLER: 5kg (24/26) of big fat chicken breasts, 2kg (5 portions of 400g) less than 5% fat mince, 700g of bacon, 800g of extra lean diced beef and free standard delivery – use TCCFREEZER at checkout – £45 delivered!

BBQ BOX: 5kg (24/26) of big fat chicken breasts, two Irish rump steaks, 350g of bacon, 6 half-syn sausages, twelve giant half-syn meatballs, 400g diced turkeys, two juicy one syn burgers, two bbq chicken steaks, free delivery, season and 400g seasoned drumsticks (syn-free when skin removed) – use TCCSUMMER at checkout – £45 delivered!

Remember, you can choose the day you want it delivered and order well in advance – place an order now for a couple of weeks time and they’ll only take the payment once the meat is dispatched! Right, that’s enough of that. TO THE RECIPE.


Back, are we? Phew! Let’s do this.

oaty breakfast omelette

to make a oaty breakfast omelette topped with houmous and ham, you’ll need:

  • three decent eggs
  • three tablespoons of oats (taken from your healthy extra allowance or synned as above)
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • chopped ham or bacon
  • syn-free houmous (or syn some shop-bought stuff) – here’s a recipe for four houmous recipes! Don’t worry, it’ll open in a new window.
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • I used some leftover dried sundried tomatoes to add onto mine – I don’t syn them – they’re the dried variety which are dried and then need rehydrating – no oil involved and you’re eating no more tomato than chopping a cherry tomato in half – but up to you!

You can customise this however you want, add more speed, mushrooms, any old shite. Add cheese if you want! Also, if you do make a batch of houmous, you can use any remainder to make this recipe for houmous topped chicken. Nice.

to make a oaty breakfast omelette topped with houmous and ham, you should:

  • there’s really nothing to this – beat the eggs in a jug with the oats and a pinch of salt and pepper
  • using a good non-stick pan with a couple of sprays of oil, cook your omelette – pour it in, allow it to firm and if you’re feeling brave, flip it – but don’t fold it over
  • once it’s cooked, slide it onto a plate, slather it with houmous, top with the ham, bacon, cheese, old car bits, fag ash, anything you want
  • eat by placing small chunks of it into your mouth and masticating wildly

It’s that easy! I was really pleasantly surprised – it makes for a more substantial breakfast. Slimming World’s breakfast choices are a bit limited I find, so anything new is to be welcomed. And look ma, no sweetener! WHOO. In case you’re wondering, we use one of these for our omelettes. We were given one as a gift and have never looked back, although I know it’s ridiculously fancy. But so are we, damn it.

For more breakfast ideas or overnight oats recipes, click the buttons below!

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Cheers, big-ears,

J

cubby’s chocolate orange overnight oats

Right, before we get to the recipe for chocolate orange overnight oats, I have to inform you that our Musclefood discount week is back – we don’t get told in advance of these but apparently, because we’re selling so well, they can give us a discount of 10% on both our boxes for five days only. I don’t normally throw the advert in right from the off but well, if you need meat, it’s a good deal and it’s a limited offer! Click either deal below and you’re good to go. I promise that we’ll be a smidge more subtle with the ads on the rest of the week – it’s the only advertising we do though and it keeps the lights on at Cubs Towers, so…


FREEZER FILLER: 5kg (24/26) of big fat chicken breasts, 2kg (5 portions of 400g) less than 5% fat mince, 700g of bacon, 800g of extra lean diced beef and free standard delivery – use TCCFREEZER at checkout – £45 delivered!

BBQ BOX: 5kg (24/26) of big fat chicken breasts, two Irish rump steaks, 350g of bacon, 6 half-syn sausages, twelve giant half-syn meatballs, 400g diced turkeys, two juicy one syn burgers, two bbq chicken steaks, free delivery, season and 400g seasoned drumsticks (syn-free when skin removed) – use TCCSUMMER at checkout – £45 delivered!

Remember, you can choose the day you want it delivered and order well in advance – place an order now for a couple of weeks time and they’ll only take the payment once the meat is dispatched! Right, that’s enough of that.


You know what really boils my piss? Being told my opinion is invalid because I’m ‘young’. For a start, let’s be frank, given my diet, years of smoking and tendency to mainline gin after a hard day at work, I’m probably comfortably into the dotage of my life. I’m about two doddery steps away from putting a tartan blanket over my legs and calling it a day. I mean, I’ve already mentioned that I enjoy The Archers, but did you know I’ve also developed a tic of making proper old man noises when I get up from a chair? The noise isn’t just air escaping from my blubber, either, it’s a proper ‘ooooooof’. There’s no hope. So I’m certainly not ‘young’.

The reason I mention all of this is due to yet another facebook argument I’ve been having with the elders of the town where I live. I joined a facebook group full of people discussing the current events around our town and it is absolutely awash with bloody moaners. I live in a great place but seemingly every Tom, Dickhead and Harry who would previously moan to their wives behind the net curtains has joined to put in their thoughts. It’s full of people looking at their shoes and feeling sorry for themselves because ‘our town doesn’t get this’ and ‘that town gets that and we get nothing’. If there was an emoji of someone twisting a cloth cap between their hands with watery, sad eyes, it’s all you’d see on this group. I can’t stand it. Despite my constant moaning on here, I’m a pretty chipper person and certainly a firm believer in making do with what you’ve got.

So, naturally, I end up bickering. I point out that we’re unlikely to get a leisure centre of our own given there’s one within four miles of us in each compass direction, but that’s not good enough. I explain that we don’t have a swimming pool because there’s bloody five within a ten minute drive – that’s me being unreasonable. I mentioned that another town near us pays a tonne more council tax, has more residents and thus, has a tennis court, and you’d think I’d shat on their Wiltshire Farm Foods blended lasagne. I’ll have a discussion back and forth with anyone and I’m always unfailingly polite, even if I did get a stern lecture of swearing from one of the crinklies when I used the word bloody. But they always play the trump card: ‘you’re young, you don’t understand’.

Paul tells me that my retaliation of: ‘you’re old, you’ll be dead soon enough and you can’t get a coffin down a water-slide’ is churlish at best. I agree, so I merely think it to myself. But see it really does vex me that my opinion is apparently worth less because I’m ‘young’. I may be young, but I own my own house, I’ve worked since I was 16, I’m sensible and eloquent and I try my best not to fart in committee meetings. My opinion is as valid as someone who can’t type for their bottom lip hitting the keyboard.

Manners between the old and the young seem to be a very one-way street. We hear a lot about how rude kids are and how badly treated old folk are (and I hasten to add – anyone who is rude to an old person is an arsehole, absolutely) but never the other way around. I’ve had plenty of experiences with old folk pushing into queues with that resolute cats-arse-lips-face that says don’t fuck with me, I’ve got razor sharp shards of glacier mints in my winceyette cardigan.

I’ve been sworn at by old ladies during bingo. When I worked at BT in the complaints department, it was the elderly who had the most entitled, brusque manners. I was told by someone to stick my ‘1471 up my arse’ when I had the temerity to tell her it cost money to press 5 and call back. Charming! I hold doors open only to be met with glazed eyes, a stern look and zero thanks. Hell, I’ve stopped my car in the street to let some whiskery-chinned charmer cross the road with her zimmer without the threat of being turned into lavender jam, only for her to shuffle over the road like an Edinburgh Woollen Mill sponsored snail without so much as a shaky nod of thanks in my direction. Bah.

Perhaps I was spoiled, I don’t know. My own dear nana was a proper nana – she baked scones and played her television so loud that you could solve the Countdown Conundrum on the drive over to see her. She used to take such a large intake of breath when I mouthed the word ‘vacuum’ at Paul that I’m surprised she didn’t get the bends. We used to go over for an hour or so to hear who had died in the village (which she always spoke of with barely hidden relish, the auld ghoul), how she was getting on never taking her tablets (100% record) and to fix all the incorrect answers in her Puzzler.

I do find myself thinking of her a lot in summer, weirdly. It’s been over a year since she died (that entry makes me feel sad, so I don’t read it) and Paul and I are always laughing about things she’d come out with. The reason I think of her in summer is because, despite the glorious sunshine and thirty degree heat, you’d walk into her living room and she’d have her coal fire blazing away, with the rug in front of it always just on the cusp of catching alight. She’d complain she was cold despite us being able to hear the bacon frying in the fridge. Funny what you remember. She’d never shoot your opinion down and always listened. I say listened, she couldn’t hear a bloody thing, so the polite nodding and murmurs of assent were probably just a touch of Parkinsons.

Eee, I’d give anything to have her back.

Anyway, come on, I wasn’t meaning to end on a miserable note. She was always laughing and she’d have loved this blog, despite not being able to understand what the hell I was going on about when I explained the Internet. She thought it consisted purely of people making telephone calls to each other and stealing money. Which I mean it does, but there’s also a lot of pornography too. Tsk.

Right, chocolate orange overnight oats then. Overnight oats tend to be a succession of dry oats, boring yoghurt and disappointment. You’d get more joy eating a bag of asbestos. So don’t do it! We’ve done so many good ones:

Would you believe we’ve even done a savoury full English Breakfast overnight oats? We have! Right here! A few syns, yes, but better than another bloody Hifi bar.

chocolate orange overnight oats

to make cubby’s chocolate orange overnight oats, you’ll need:

  • 35g of plain jane oats – we just use Tesco Value and don’t even care
  • 50g of mandarin segments in juice – 1 syn
  • Muller chocolate orange with dark chocolate sprinkles (syn free)
  • 10g of milk chocolate chips – it’s 6 syns for 25g, so I said it was 2.5 syns for 10g – easy!

to make cubby’s chocolate orange overnight oats, you should:

  • layer the ingredients as above
  • once you’ve taken a photo or showed it off, mix it all up and leave it overnight
  • actually, I like to eat it straight away but the oats don’t soften – this can make your stomach sore, so exercise caution
  • if you’re feeling like a proper slut, pour a little orange juice from the tin into the oats…extra orangey and doesn’t add too many syns

Delicious! Now, if you want more breakfast ideas or overnight oats recipes, click on the buttons below!

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Cheers!

J

caprese frittata – syn free

I was going to post this caprese frittata yesterday, but I couldn’t be fucked on typing it all up after spending the day smacking my head against various walls at the result. We’re already looking at moving to Iceland, so I hope you’re ready for recipes of súrir hrútspungar (sour ram testicles) and delicious gellur (cod tongues). Anyway, busy day ahead, so let’s bang out a breakfast recipe. Due to our lack of hob we had to use a wee little camping hob which was an absolute comedy of errors, I can assure you.


Before I get to that though, remember: our Musclefood deal runs for another couple of days only – 10% off our already amazing value freezer box! It’s a delivered chilled box of wonder – with 24/26 big fat chicken breasts, 800g of extra lean beef chunks, 2kg of extra lean beef mince and lots and lots of bacon. It’s usually £50 – which is cheap when compared to what you’d pay in the shop – but we’ve knocked off 10% for ONE WEEK ONLY. This brings it down to £45 – the cheapest it has ever been. Remember you can choose the date of delivery and payment doesn’t come out until your chosen date, so you can order in advance. To order, just click this link, add to basket, add the code TCCFREEZER and choose standard delivery – £45! Easy! But this is for ONE WEEK ONLY.


I have to confess, I’m not a huge fan of anything omelette/frittata – I don’t like the way eggs squeak when they are cooked, but I saw this recipe online and thought it would be worth a go. It was delicious. Plus, my parents are now keeping chickens so every time I go over I’m gifted eighteen eggs, and well, our arms hurt from hurling them off our exes’ windows. I joke. We just shit in their flowerbeds. Right no time for words, recipe!

caprese frittata

to make caprese frittata you will need:

  • 8 eggs
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (yes, using one of these...)
  • handful of basil leaves
  • 60ml skimmed milk (that equates to a tbsp of milk per person – syn it if you want to, but we didn’t!)
  • 170g baby spinach
  • 90g ball of reduced fat mozarella, sliced (HeA)

Remember, if you buy a basil plant from the supermarket, keep it in its pot and stand it in water, it’ll last all summer long. UNLIKE OUR ECONOMY AM I RIGHT OR AM I RIGHT.

to make caprese frittata you should:

  • preheat the grill to medium-high
  • heat a large oven-safe pan over a medium-high heat and add a little oil or Frylight – if you’ve got a decent pan, use it, if not, be a bit liberal with the spray oil
  • add the garlic and cook until golden brown, texture like sun
  • add the tomatoes and basil to the pan and continue cooking until the tomatoes become mushy and blistered
  • meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a bowl with the milk and a pinch of salt and set aside
  • when the tomatoes are ready, remove half from the pan and set aside on a plate
  • pour the egg mixture into the pan and stir around the tomatoes to get it all mixed together
  • reduce the heat to medium-low and add the spinach and lay on the mozzarella slices
  • cook in the pan until the eggs are almost set – it’ll take about ten minutes, but don’t rush it
  • remove the pan from the hob and place under the grill and cook until the top has browned and it has puffed up
  • remove from the grill and spread the reserved tomatoes and basil mixture on the top

You can add any old shite into this – peppers, mushrooms, bacon, car engines, I don’t care. It tastes good with the trio of basil, mozzarella and tomato, though. This will freeze well and can be eaten cold the next day. If you’re looking for more breakfast ideas, click on the icon below.

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I’m off to look into growing a beard and becoming a lumberjack in Canada. Hell, I’ve certainly got years of experience dealing with cut wood.

J

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.

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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