speedy spring roll bowls – perfect for a quick lunch

Just a recipe post tonight for speedy spring roll bowls to get you through the dark days – a cabbage recipe to use up the rest of the cabbage from yesterday’s recipe! Please don’t be put off by cabbage – cooked correctly, it’s so much better than that boiled-to-mush slop you used to get at school.

Before we get to the recipe, though, we have a small treat for you. Our Christmas card! As you know, we aren’t bothering with printed cards this year, so this is just for you!

This Queen and her loyal companion wish you a marvellous Christmas indeed! A few people think we’ve been mean by posting Rolf Harris’ face onto hers, but alas, no, it’s just me with a white beard. I actually like how it looks!

This is an easy, speed-packed dish and takes hardly any time to cook – most of the time is chopping up the vegetables. Once that’s done, you’re good to go!

spring roll

to make speedy spring roll bowls you will need:

to make speedy spring roll bowls you should:

  • heat a little oil in a large frying pan over a medium high heat
  • add the mince and the onion and cook until the mince is browned and the onion is translucent
  • add the cabbage and the carrots to the pan and cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally
  • in a bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar and pour into the pan
  • stir well, and cook for another ten minutes, reducing the heat to medium, stirring often
  • serve, and sprinkle over the spring onions

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J

PS: it’s Graham from Jeremy Kyle in the food picture, not Gary Glitter!

creamy chicken chipotle pasta with fancy veg

I’m so sick of seeing cajun bloody chicken that we’ve made a newish version: creamy chicken chipotle pasta. You might be thinking, oh, oh you fancy decadent bitches, but please: come for the recipes, stay for the flavour.


Fair warning: the next few paragraphs are proper ranty and if you’re delicate and/or pig ignorant, you’re best scrolling straight to the pictures.


Wondering where we’ve been? Taking a break from the Internet. Does anyone else need to do this every now and then? Do you get tired of wincing at the screen at the eighty-fifth permutation of the word ‘recipe’ you’ve seen that day? I know I do. I’m not one for picking people up on their spelling but I think there’s a Freudian element to the fact that so many of us fat fuckers seem to think the word recipe has a pie in it. When someone tells you to eat your words, it’s a turn of phrase, not a fucking serving suggestion.

Anyway, our tipping point came with the release of the Tesco Christmas advert. Have you seen it? It depicts all manner of family and friends coming together and enjoying a Christmas dinner. It’s about as offensive as a cup of weak tea left out in the sun, but by god, by the reaction it received you’d think it depicted Dr Who shitting in baby Jesus’ manger whilst Dawn French spits a Stormzy song over the top. But why? Because it featured a Muslim family. And see: that just won’t do.

Have a look now on Tesco’s Facebook page and you’ll see what I mean. In between all the Yummy Mummy bloggers with their so achingly obvious attempts at going viral with twee complaints about little Francesca you’ll spot the idiots. The beetroot-faced, barely literate bumholes, crashing their faces over the fact that CHRISMUS HAS NUFFIN TO DO WITH MOSLIMS and LERN HOUR KULTURES AND LANGWISHES and old faithful POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD. I’ll have to stop trying to spell like someone’s rearranged all the letters on my keyboard for a cruel bet, it makes my nose bleed.

These are the same shithead mouth-breathing sofa-cows that spend their entire life telling everyone else to integrate into our culture or fuck off home, as though home is some distant sand-blown wasteland as opposed to five streets away in a mortgaged semi, then they’re getting all indignant when they do join in. What do these people think Muslim folk do on 25 December, sit at home shaking their fists at the telly and frothing at the decadence of it all? Whenever I’ve had this conversation with Muslim friends they say the same thing – they get together, give presents and eat far too much food. Apparently that’s not right with SHEILA MAMOVFOUR TURNER from ‘ull (education: SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS, UNIVERSITY OF LIFE STILL LERNIN’) however, and they really ought to be banished. It’s pathetic reasoning, the equivalent of me turning all the lights off during Diwali and sitting in the cupboard pouting. I know Diwali is a Hindu festival, so shut up.

The worst part is the fact you can’t even tell the family in the advert are Muslim – you can make a guess that because they’re wearing headscarves they might be, but see, my nana wore a headscarf too, if only to keep her hearing aid from blowing down the street. She certainly didn’t pledge allegiance to Allah (it took her five minutes to lift herself off the settee, so getting on her knees five times a day was definitely off the cards). Plus she wasn’t one for exotic spices: her spice cupboard consisted of baking powder, pre-war Saxo and some whole cloves for sucking when her teeth hurt. But nevertheless, the viewers have made the assumption and got all up in arms, totally ignoring the Sikh family in turbans just a few frames later (presumably because when they typed ‘SEEK’ into google to start voicing their disgust, they just get adverts for private investigators).

That’s because this whole argument has bot-all to do with faith (amazingly how devout of a Christian people become in situations like this, ignoring the fact that the last time they were in a church it was to steal the lead off the windows) and it has nothing to do with political correctness but rather it’s just an excuse for people to be the vile, pathetic racists that they are. Even when they claim they’re not, a quick glance at their Facebook profile shows a endless piss-stream of shit memes, Britain First posts (why? Their leader looks like a potato straining to pass a bladder stone) and ‘proud of my country’. Yeah, you’re so fucking proud of your country that you’ve put the Union Jack upside down on your profile and the only time you fly the England flag is when we’re getting beaten at football and even then it’s a cheap Sports Direct affair with ENGERLAND emblazoned on it.

Try to take these folks on in reasoned discussion and you get three responses:

  • you don’t understand the bigger picture – as though they’re the enlightened ones because they’ve read a leaflet in a flat-roof pub telling them SHANIA LAW IS COMING BE REDDY;
  • you’re part of the problem – that one is a compliment – much rather be ‘part of a problem’ given I’m fairly sure a good chunk of these bellends would cheerfully be part of a Final Solution; or
  • TYPICAL LEFTIE SNOWFLAKE DO-GOODER

That’s the best, isn’t it? Leftie used as an insult as though Hitler, Mussolini and Pinochet were as inoffensive as the first three people to go out on Bake-Off. Snowflake I don’t understand: apparently if you’re against intolerance and pro everyone just getting along, you’re a delicate wee snowflake. I like snowflakes: they’re pretty, cold and capable of being blown all over town, which sounds like me to a tee. Why use the snowflake? Why not use that muddy slush that accumulates behind your tyres after a wintry drive, flecked as it is with dog-shit and broken glass. That’s what those complaining are: shit snow. Shnow, if you prefer. Then finally, do-gooder – I mean, the clue is in the word pairing, yes? Damn your hide, going out and doing good. How dare you! Why would you want to make a positive difference to the world rather than sitting on Facebook spitting bile at folks you don’t know about an issue you barely understand in words you can hardly type.

But what annoys me most of all is the fact that Tesco can’t just turn around to these two-bit racist jizz-streaks and tell them to FUCK RIGHT OFF. Nevermind buying groceries, I’d give the entire board of directors unhurried anilingus if they were direct and brave enough to tell these feeble-minded bigots to stay away from the store and to buy their giant Black Friday Polaroid TVs and crates of shit watery lager from elsewhere. But they’re too afraid to do it, because imagine the backlash?

I’m not afraid, though, albeit I pale in comparison I’m sure. If you’re reading this blog, be aware you’re cooking the recipes and reading the words of a young gay man in a happy modern marriage with another bloke, who counts all sorts of nationalities and faiths as his friends, and who, gasp, has the cheek to give money to people in the street even if they are ‘just going to spend it on drugs’. I have at least two different types of lentils in the cupboard. I worked for Shelter where I helped lots of decent folks into houses rather than having them dying on the street. Meh, maybe I am a do-gooder leftie tit, but see, I’d sooner be a tit than an arsehole.

Sorry folks, but I needed to get that off my chest!

Anyway, yes, that’s why we’ve been quiet. You sicken yourself of vileness and had I not stepped away, I’m sure I’d have an ulcer by now. If you’re planning on sending me a snotty message, don’t bother! Everyone else, enjoy being happy with everyone else. Life’s too short for shite.

to make creamy chicken chipotle pasta you will need:

Haven’t got chipotle sauce? Can’t even say it without spraying spittle everywhere? Don’t worry yer tits, just use a hot sauce.

to make spicy chicken chipotle pasta you should:

  • bring a big pan of water to the boil
  • add the asparagus and boil for 2-3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and rinse under cold water (use a colander)
  • add the pasta to the pan and cook until just al dente, then drain into the same bowl as the asparagus (but don’t rinse it!)
  • in a bowl, mix the chicken chunks with lemon juice, salt and pepper and keep aside
  • add a little oil to a large frying pan over a medium-high heat
  • add the peppers and onions and cook until it starts to go a bit translucent
  • add the garlic and cook for another minute
  • remove the vegetables from the pan and put into a bowl
  • add a bit more oil to the pan and add the chicken and knock the heat up a little bit
  • cook the chicken until it’s brown on all side
  • add the honey, stir and cook for another 5 seconds
  • add the peppers back to the pan, stir then turn off the heat
  • wait a few minutes for it to cool, then add the chipotle sauce, philadelphia and quark and stir well
  • add the pasta and asparagus to the pan, along with the frozen peas
  • give a good stir until it’s well mixed
  • eat!

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Enjoy!

J

roast pork in a chard and chickpea stew

Roast pork you say? In a chard and chickpea stew? That’s either going to make your nipples tingle or leave you deflated, sad and having to finish yourself off with a plate of chips. We’re taking just the most wee of breaks from writing for the next few days, but because we have all sorts of recipes lined up, you’ll still get some recipes shoved in your box each day! You bloody love it. Don’t worry, you won’t need to wait along!

roast pork

roast pork

to make roast pork in a chard and chickpea stew you will need:

  • 400g pork fillet
  • 1 tbsp marmite (optional)
  • 1x 480g jar of roasted red peppers
  • 300g rainbow chard
  • 2 tins of chickpeas
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

to make roast pork in a chard and chickpea stew you should:

  • mix together 1 tbsp marmite with 1 tsp hot water and stir til it’s loosened a bit
  • heat a large, shallow pan on over a high heat and add a little oil
  • add the pork to the pan and brush over the marmite, cook for above 5-6 minutes, turning over halfway
  • meanwhile, drain the peppers and roughly chop into 1cm chunks
  • gather up the chard and slice thinly, not forgetting the stalks
  • next, remove the pan from the pan and put on a plate
  • add the fennel seeds, peppers and chard to the pan and stir fry for about 2 minutes
  • add the chickpeas to the pan along with the pre-cummy water, stir and bring to the boil
  • make a channel in the middle and add the pork back to the pan, making sure it’s touching the bottom
  • cover with a lid and simmer for about 12 minutes, turning the pork occasionally
  • remove from the heat and rest for about two minutes
  • slice the pork and serve

Before anyone has a shit-fit, yes, it’s another Jamie recipe, but does that not tell you how good his book his? We can find something in there every day! You can buy from Amazon here.

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pear prosciutto and gorgonzola rocket salad

Here for the pear prosciutto and gorgonzola rocket salad? You fancy bastard! It’s the short post tonight – but can I least offer up a few words of encouragement? Every now and then a meal is worth spending a few syns on. See in the picture below? There’s cheese and there’s fat on the ham but do you know, it’ll do you no harm. Have it, syn it and enjoy it. Life’s too short: remember our views on making gravy from mushy peas? Apply the same logic here! Of course, if you’re not a fan of cheese that smells like a bellend, pears that make your teeth itch or capers which serve no purpose, leave them out! To the recipe, then.

pear prosciutto and gorgonzola rocket salad

pear prosciutto and gorgonzola rocket salad

to make pear prosciutto and gorgonzola rocket salad you will need:

  • 200g mixed salad leaves
  • 200g rocket
  • 2 pears, peeled cored and sliced (or 6 quartered figs, or 2 white peaches, sliced)
  • 8 slices parma ham (4 syns)
  • 60g parmesan shavings (2x HeA)
  • 100g gorgonzola, cut into chunks (16 syns)
  • 500g tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • handful of basil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

to make pear prosciutto and gorgonzola rocket salad you should:

  • mix it all together
  • no really, that’s all there is to it

We’ve had a glut of good salads recently – partly because we’re trying to eat lighter meals but also because I’m sick of eating boring lunches. Make a little box of this up the day before and you’ll be looking forward to it all day. You could even team it with the tomato salad we posted the other day and have a right posh night of it!

Classy, eh? Fancy slumming it for a bit? Click one of the buttons below to go straight to some of our other recipes!

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Classy, eh? Fancy slumming it for a bit? Click one of the buttons below to go straight to some of our other recipes!

J

sausage and apple bake

 

Sausage and apple bake, if you don’t mind. I was going to post part four of Copenhagen but I’ve had three hours sleep, my brain is made of cheese and my right eye is gunky. Clearly I’m two hours away from death so I’ll make this quick.

What doesn’t help my tiredness is that our house is currently the approximate temperature of a raging crematorium. I thought I could hear the Langoliers coming but it was actually the hair in my ears crisping. You see, because Paul’s been in all day and because it’s a ‘bit chilly’, the Nest gets pumped up to 30 degrees, the radiators are all blaring and he’s sitting there in his worst boxer shorts, ballsack hanging out like a crushed satsuma, sweating everywhere and making everything sticky.

It drives me up the bloody sweat-soaked wall – he’ll complain that he’s cold but he’ll be sitting there in less clothes than he clattered out of his mum’s fanny with. That analogy works as he’s from a rough part of Peterborough and probably came mincing out wearing knock-off Donnay jogging bottoms. I’ll kvetch on at him to turn the bloody heating off but it’s too late: I know this means the start of the ‘heating arguments’ season, where not one hour goes by where one of us isn’t tinkering with the thermostat or turning off the radiators. I hate having a ‘smart’ home – he can set the whole house to ‘inferno’ from the comfort of the shitter, and it just isn’t fair.

We don’t tend to argue much, mind, for a couple that’s been together for ten years and spend most evenings passively aggressively cutting our toenails into each other’s cup of tea. There’s no point – I like to think most couples reach the stage where they just accept the idiosyncrasies and foibles of the other without stopping to question it, preferring instead to release the tension by crying in the shower or bundling carpet-wrapped hitchhikers into ditches by the side of the road.

For example, there’s no point in asking Paul what he wants to dinner, because he never knows what he wants. He does however know exactly what he doesn’t want and that’s whatever meal you suggest. You wouldn’t believe the look of ennui that ripples over his face when I suggest ‘lasagne’ – he’ll normally reply with ‘I don’t know if I’m in the mood for that‘, taking care to really spit the last word out, as though I’ve suggested giving him a Cleveland Steamer.

We can’t play Scrabble, though. You’d think such a simple board game, with the clear rules of play and calming pastel colours on the double and triple score squares, would have a pleasingly somnifacient effect on us. Not so. I won’t embarrass PAUL by naming who it was but one of us became so angry with the other playing smart with two letter words that they threw the board, titles and racks over the balcony of our riverside flat many moons ago. Again, I won’t say who IT WAS, PAUL will not want it known.

For balance, I’ve asked him what silly things he thinks we argue about and do you know, he can only name two: my inability to close the living room windows before we go to bed and the fact that there is always a coat hanger on his side of the bed under the duvet when he gets in. See, I’m last out in the morning and invariably leave the coat hanger my shirt was hanging on somewhere on his half of the bed. I mean, as things that tick you off go, I’m not exactly leaving skidders on the bedsheets or have a whole secret family of little James out there, am I? Pfft.

Before I go, whilst I’m thinking about arguments, you may recall that I used to live with a charming lady called Mary way back before Paul entered my life/hole. She had her peculiar ways, such as leaving her thrush cream in the fridge and her soiled clotstoppers wedged down the back of the radiator in her bedroom, but one day I came home to find her boiling a cauldron full of tea-towers on the hob.

What followed was a blistering thirty minute shouting match where she screamed at me for not understanding why simply putting tea-towels in the washing machine like a normal human being wasn’t enough to ‘kill the germs’. I pointed out that it was more than sufficient and had the added advantage of not making our house smell like we were embalming roadkill and anyway, I paid the rent, so she should shut the hell up. The argument proceeded to rise in both pitch and fury before she picked up the pan of boiling water, complete with my nana’s best collection of ‘I’ve been to Runcorn’ tea-towels, and hurled it straight through our kitchen window. As a full stop, that works especially well.

She went to live with her mother after that and for three glorious months I had the house to myself. No arguments, no manic moments and all the space in the world to set out my coat-hangers of a morning. Bliss.

Right, shall we do the recipe for the sausage and apple bake? We’d be foolish not to, wouldn’t we, when we’ve come all this way?

I’m saying this sausage and apple bake serves two – big portions mind!

to make sausage and apple bake you will need:

This is another recipe we’ve adapted from Jamie Oliver’s new book ‘5 Ingredients’, which you can buy from Amazon here. We love it and aren’t ashamed!

to make sausage and apple bake you should:

  • preheat the oven to 180°c
  • heat a large ovenproof frying pan over a medium high heat and add a little bit of oil
  • Peel and quarter the onions, and pull the petals apart into a large frying pan
  • next, core and quarter the apples and chuck them in the pan too, give a good stir
  • use a speed-peeler (want a decent one? get this!) to first peel the parsnips, and then to slice thin ribbons from them. it helps to turn the parsnip after each slice to get more out of it
  • stir in 1 tbsp red wine vinegar to the pan and then pile the parsnip slices on top
  • lay the sausages on top and spray with a little oil, as well as a bit of salt and pepper
  • bake in the oven for 30 minutes
  • remove from the oven, drizzle over the honey and then pop back in the oven for five minutes until golden

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Enjoy!

J

mediterranean meatloaf – perfect for dinner or day-after leftovers

Here for the mediterranean meatloaf? I’d expect nothing less from someone like you, if I’m honest. The good news is the recipe is typed up and ready for you to start running your fingers under the words in just a few paragraphs from now, but first: flimflam.

Firstly, glad today’s terrorist attack in London didn’t go as planned, even if some people were unlucky enough to receive injuries, it could have been much worse and we should be thankful for it. We live in uncertain times but don’t let it stop you from doing anything, life’s too short to worry. That said, imagine my distress when Facebook didn’t activate their ‘Safety Check-in’ function, leading to me fretting all day that my housebound Aunt in Oban had been caught up in the drama. She was good enough to check herself in as ‘safe’ during Hurricane Harvey, she must have been beside herself today that she couldn’t keep up updated!

Next – we’ve seen IT. We actually went to see it last Saturday night and it was excellent. Genuinely creepy – a couple of times I was left breathless and it wasn’t just from having to climb the stairs back to our seats in the back row after I’d been for a piss. People hold up the original TV series in high regard and I think it’s undeserving, no I do, Tim Curry played it campy and the book is far away from that. This take on IT, although it misses out huge chunks of the book, was just marvellous. Give it a go, even if you’re not a horror fan.

I was, however, reminded of why I hate going to the cinema: other people. You know in TV shows about ‘being the last person on Earth’ the lead character always has a dreadful time without anyone to talk to or socialise with? That’s my idea of heaven, though perhaps with keeping Paul around to act as a safety-valve for my balls. I spend so long fretting about having people in front of me looking at their phones, beside me smelling of wee, BO or Joop or worse, behind me with breath that could strip paint that I’m already an anxious mess before the movie starts.

Plus people have become so inconsiderate, no? I know that makes me sound like an old fart but I don’t care – there were three mouthbreathers who, when not sat looking at their phones set to nuclear-detonation levels of brightness,  kept screaming theatrically and running down the cinema stairs as though they were terrified. It was incredibly distracting and the fact that they didn’t trip on the stairs, fall, break their necks and die is proof to me that there is no God. It was all I could do to tut into my popcorn and sigh like an asthmatic climbing stairs. And here, before you send me letters, I say that as an asthmatic. So don’t hold your breath for an apology, because if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to.

Whilst we’re picking the scab of bad manners to see what bleeds out, another small annoyance. I walk into work across our local town moor most days. It’s a charming way to start the day – it clears my head, not least because my brain needs all the space it can get to reassure me the fact I can see my thundering heartbeat lifting up my fingernails isn’t a bad thing. However, it’s fraught with peril – cows, cow shit, dogs running around, cyclists bursting past like lycra-clad missiles of smugness (some, not all, naturally) and people running with the inevitable ‘I’m about to cum’ face that so befalls the casual jogger.

It’s OK, I know there’s a parallel blog somewhere where someone is kvetching about trying to get past some stumbling fat oaf sliding around on the cow shite in his cheap shoes. That’s fine.

Anyway, each day when I get to the gate I hold it open for three or so cyclists (in a vain attempt to hide my heavy breathing and spluttered gasps) to cycle through so they don’t need to stop and get off their bikes. I probably get thanked oooh….50% of the time, with the others cycling through as though I have nothing better to do then to stand there holding the gate open like the gayest fence-post you’ve ever seen. I’ve started theatrically calling ‘NO NO, IT WAS MY PLEASURE, YOU BUMBLING CLIT’ but I doubt they hear it over the hum of their own self-importance. You must understand that this isn’t a critique of cyclists but rather the ill-mannered who don’t say thank you. The urge to hold the gate open only to clang it shut at the very last second did enter my brain, but on the basis that I’m not a psychopath, it drifted back out.

Let’s see what next week brings, eh? Anyway, shush James, this was supposed to be a quick opening entry before we served up the mediterranean summer meatloaf, so shall we do that now?

This serves SIX!

TWO SYN MEDITERRANEAN MEATLOAF

TWO SYN MEDITERRANEAN MEATLOAF

to make mediterranean meatloaf you will need:

for the meatloaf

for the glaze

  • 3 tbsp Hellman’s Tomato Ketchup Sweetened with Honey (1½ syns)
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard (1½ syns)
  • ¼ tsp hot chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp honey (2½ syns)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

to make mediterranean meatloaf you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200°c
  • in a large bowl mix together all of the meatloaf ingredients together by hand until well combined, and slop into a loaf tin
  • next, mix together all of the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and brush over the top of the meatloaf
  • bake in the oven for 45 minutes
  • let it rest for ten minutes (it helps to improve the flavour) then serve

 

These dinners are our favourite because they’re so easy! You know what else is easy? YOU. AND all of our other recipes – we’re nearly at 500! Click one of the buttons below to be magically transported to even more ideas!

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J

pork fillet and cheesy mash gratin

Here for the pork fillet and cheesy mash gratin? Good choice, it’s a bloody marvel. But here’s the thing – I can’t buy a pork tenderloin without blushing like I’ve had my first kiss. There’s something attractive about a long length of pink meat, just saying. But I do wish Paul would exercise the same level of shame and control when it comes to shopping because god help him, our house is absolutely awash with things we don’t need. Yesterday’s purchase was a cracker. Not literally, I’d have swallowed that before Mags could shine the Fat-Symbol into the skies to summon the consultants. Let me explain. But first, if you’re getting yourself clammy because I’m not getting to the recipe, then please, don’t fret: I’ve added a twochubbycubs shortcut. Just click on dried up slag and you’ll be taken straight there!

Last night I thought I was going mad. We’d come home from our various activities, had our tea (posted below) and then Paul had to go into work and drop off some papers. Listen, it’s fine, I know that sounds like the classic ‘he’s having an affair’ line but it’s Paul, the laziest man alive – it takes all of his energy and willpower just to open his bumhole to fart. So imagine me sitting at our computer typing up a recipe, looking to all the world like Angela Lansbury with a shaved head and bigger tits, when I become aware of this very faint crackle. It sounded like when you put an electrical cable into a socket but it’s not quite in there. I turned down my Archers omnibus and set about trying to identify the mystery sound, thinking we were minutes away from the dishwasher bursting into flame or the walls of the house crashing down. To give you more of an idea, imagine a tiny Geiger counter clicking in a corridor, or a family of mice putting up shelves in the skirting board.

Well, I was bloody demented. I went from room to room, barely able to hear it but it being just loud enough to get right on my tits. Actually, speaking of tits, I did think it might be my sunburnt chest peeling and cracking like a dry ploughed field, but no, the rack was all in order, though perhaps a little red. I unplugged the TV, the computer, the router, the Nest, the fridge, the lot. You may remember that I have health anxiety? Well in that long drawn out HOUR I’d diagnosed myself with an inner ear infection, schizophrenia, vertigo and obviously, something had crawled in my ear and was making itself a nice home on my brain-stem – and listen, I grew up on cheap burgers and mystery mince, I know I’m long overdue CJD. You’ll doubtless see me stumbling around a sluice grate with a shitty arse in a decade’s time.

Anyway, in walks Paul, full of fat and good cheer, and when I inform him of my lapse into insanity, he leads me into the corner of the living room and points out his latest purchase – a bloody Woodwick candle which ‘crackles like a real fire’. Does it shite! It sounds like someone furiously tapping out a reply to an argument on a Blackberry in a locked toilet. I mean, of all the things you’d think to check for odd noises, a bloody candle is never going to be high on the list, is it? To top it off, he’d replaced the lovely Seychelles White Company candle with this abomination that smells of – wait for it now – Rhubarb and Radish. Why the fuck would anyone want a room that smells like Rhubarb and Radish? Who am I, Tatty Bogle? Haway man. I wouldn’t have minded so much if it was a lovely, subtle flavour – when I get frustrated, or irritated or… angry, I come up here and I just smell all my candles and it just…goes away – but it smells like the air-freshener in an unlicensed taxi.

Then, for good measure, it bloody crackles! Why? At what development meeting did they decide they needed to add volume to a candle? It’s like putting a handle on a cat or wallpaper that loudly announces when a bus goes past. It hisses and splutters and futters and spits but by god, it doesn’t crackle. As the cherry on the radish and rhubarb cake, to make it work, the wick is wooden and in the shape of a cross and as a result, it creates a ridiculously bouncy, jittery flame – so not only do you go slowly insane because of the noise but you’re also risking a bloody seizure having it lit. You’ll be glad to know that this £22 candle has been banished into the cupboard, only to be taken out if the world ends and we need illumination.

Maybe I’m just sensitive to noise – misophonic, don’t you know – or perhaps my ears are just on high alert from going to the cinema on Friday and it feeling like they’d decided to put a live showing of the movie on my fucking eardrum. More on that later. The noise I especially hate is when common people scrape their knives and forks across the plate whilst they scrabble to get the last crumb. Just stop it. It cuts through me like a chilli-covered cock.

Honestly though, I can tolerate listening to my cat tonguing two layers of skin of its own arsehole in the night as I lay awake, I can listen to Joe Pasquale on the radio, hell, I can sit through two hours of people explaining they’ve put on weight because they’re either bunged up with faeces or sloughing. I’m tough. But there’s one sound I can’t stand, and, I’m sorry, but I’m now going to leave you with something that will change your life forever. It’s a sound that, once heard, you’ll hear over and over, in adverts, unimaginative TV, news reports, video games and soon, your nightmares. You’ll wake sweating at the birth of a new day with this ringing in your ears and murder on your mind. It is, I think, the most singularly annoying sound you can imagine:

Tell me I’m wrong, I dare you. I mean christ, even the video thumbnail looks like Pennywise the dancing clown. Now it’s all you’ll hear. Listen out for it on the TV and remember, it was the twochubbycubs who wrecked your ears for other men.

Now, one final bit of admin before we get to the pork fillet recipe – we’ve added sharing buttons back onto each recipe and page! You’ll see them – they look like this:

You can now pin, facebook like, share, message, all sorts of tut – just click the buttons! It helps us to spread, like a dose of the clap.



to make pork fillet and cheesy mash gratin you will need:

  • 800g potatoes
  • 400g pork fillet (all visible fat removed)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage (it’s worth it, trust me)
  • 40g reduced-at cheddar cheese, grated (1x HeA)
  • 4 slices of prosciutto (2 syns)
  • 1 egg

Couple of gadgets to make your life easier here:

Also: don’t forget we’re running a competition to win a soupmaker this week! Click here to enter – it’ll open in a new window.

to make pork fillet and cheesy mash gratin you should:

  • preheat the grill to high
  • chop the potatoes into 3cm chunks (you don’t need to peel them) and chuck into a pan of boiling water, cook with the lid on for about 12 minutes or until they’re tender
  • meanwhile, heat a large frying pan over a high heat and add a little oil
  • sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the pork and add to the hot pan
  • sear on each side for a total of about 4 minutes, but turn it regularly
  • remove the pork from the pan and set aside
  • add the sage to the same pan and stir about for no more than ten seconds, then remove from the pan
  • drain the potatoes and mash well – a potato ricer does all the hard work for you and will leave your mash super-smooth!
  • add half of the cheese to the mash and crack in the egg and stir quickly until it’s mixed in
  • next, tip the mash into a large frying pan (or grill-safe dish) and push all the way to the edges
  • sprinkle over the rest of the cheese and plop the pork on top
  • cook under the grill for 15-20 minutes
  • remove from the heat and drop the prosciutto slices around the pork, it doesn’t need to look fancy, and then sprinkle over the sage leaves
  • pop under the grill for another two minutes or until the pork is fully cooked
  • eat!

How nice does that look?! We’ve got plenty more just waiting for you to try, all you have to do is click one of the buttons below to go straight to ’em!

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J

caramelised Vietnamese pork and rice

I bet you’ve stumbled here expecting caramelised Vietnamese pork and rice? Makes sense, given the title, and look, you’ve only have to scroll through a few paragraphs to get there. Can I share something that I’ve learned over the weekend? There’s nothing quite as stressful as trying to give a cat medicine that he doesn’t want to take. I’d sooner run into a burning building and have a boxing match with a drunk Hartlepudlian woman than go through this again. He needs to take it because he’s had an allergic reaction to something and is pulling out his fur, the poor bugger. Naturally, because we’re caring sorts, we rushed him to the vets, handed over a billion pounds to the absolutely dishy trainee vet behind the counter (oh! to be a cow in difficult labour!) and were given a course of tiny pills to give to the cat, who would ‘eat them with no fuss, all cats do’.

Like hell they do. I’d have more luck getting Bowser to learn to tap-dance. This is a cat who shat in his own cat-box to stop us taking him to the vets to stop his own sickness. He was foolish, we just bundled him in with his sister and they spent twenty minutes tumbling around in the back of the Smart car until we arrived at the vets and had to pull them apart like old Velcro. Sola is fine, she just spends her day showing off her fanny in the window or sleeping anywhere where we’ve put down clean clothes. I don’t know what it is to own a shirt that doesn’t look 80% mohair.

First we tried the obvious route – slid out a packet of finest Whiskas Bumholes-‘n’Ash and hid the tiny pill inside. He ate every last bit, bar the atom-sized piece of cat-food with this pill on it. There was a haughty arrogance to his walk as he strutted off, dropping hair everywhere he went. Next we tried luring him in with good ham – Sainsbury’s Extra Special Ham, no less – and despite him usually wolfing this down so fast he manages to take your fingernails with him at the same time, he completely ignored it. I gave it to Paul instead, telling him to man-up and spit out the cat-hair afterwards.

Next came the nuclear option – Dreamies. Have you ever seen a cat around Dreamies? I can only assume they contain whatever the cat equivalent is of crack-cocaine because I swear, my cats would be out turning tricks in the street if they knew there was a packet of Dreamies to be had. They’ve been known to get inside our kitchen cupboards just to push the little pot onto the floor before. This time we used our brains, secured the tablet to a Dreamie with a bit of spit, and hid it in amongst a pile of other Dreamies.

Yep, he ate all but one, then went back to furiously licking his willy. He did the same with tuna fish, he did the same with cream and he’ll do the same with whatever suggestion you lot have for me. In the end we had to find a video on Youtube on how to pill your cat and I swear, our relationship will never be the same. He looks absolutely fucking furious – and this is what he usually looks like:

Paul had to hold him and I had the unfortunate job of prising his mouth open to drop the pill in – then he spat it out – so rinse and repeat. Ah well. Only thirteen more to go. I would have genuinely preferred the vet had given us suppositories at this point.

So, aside from pushing pills on the cat all weekend, what else have we done? Finally organised our bloody spice cupboard, that’s what! Anyone else on Slimming World knows the pain of their spice cupboard – a mysterious Null full of eight jars of ground ginger and dried sage that was last wheeled out for the ‘GOODBYE DIANA 4EVA IN OUR HARTS’ vol-au-vents. The amount of times we’ve bought stuff in Tesco only to find we actually had several bottles of it already cluttering up our kitchen, man, it beggars belief. So we emptied it out, like so:

Then, with a quick trip to IKEA and the purchase of all these pretty magnetic jars for the side of the fridge, we now have this:

Pretty right? They’re nice and sturdy so they’ll stay on there until the cleaner knocks the turmeric to the floor with her Henry Hoover and ruins our carpet. But that’s OK, we’ll cross that P45 when we get to it. I posted this online last night and people went wet with delight, which I wasn’t expecting given it’s just jars, but if you’re wondering:

You have no idea how long it takes to scrutinise our highly-reflective gloss surfaces for stray knob-shots, you know. Let’s get to the food, eh?

caramelised Vietnamese pork and rice

caramelised Vietnamese pork and rice

to make caramelised Vietnamese pork and rice you will need:

  • 500g minced pork
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp grated ginger (save your fingers and invest in one of these – great for garlic too!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bird eye chili, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (4 syns)
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • rice or noodles (whichever you prefer)

to make caramelised Vietnamese pork and rice you should:

  • cook the rice or noodles to however you like it – the main bit doesn’t take long so you can probably cook both at the same time
  • meanwhile, heat a little oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat
  • add the onion, garlic, ginger and chili to the pan and cook for 2 minutes
  • add the mince and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until it’s cooked through
  • add the maple syrup and the fish sauce and stir it in only once
  • leave it to cook, untouched, for about 2 minutes – this helps it to caramelise
  • stir, then cook again for another thirty seconds – and then do two more times
  • remove form the pan and serve over the rice or noodles
  • sprinkle over the spring onions and eat

Want some more ideas? Just click one of the buttons below!

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J

chicken and mushroom one-pot paella

I’m saying our chicken and mushroom one-pot paella is a paella even though it doesn’t have seafood in because for goodness sake, seafood ruins everything and I don’t care who knows it. Next part of our New York entry for you today, with the finish line in sight…then how about a few new entries that aren’t holiday related? We did receive a snotty comment that someone comes here to read the recipes, not the holidays of two gay men – pfft. People shouldn’t forget – this is a personal blog and the food is a mere afterthought. If you don’t like sodomy and sass with your slimming slop, then bugger off to 💓 💓 Cutezy Mom & Her Moonlight Children 💓 💓 or some other asinine shite and don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out. Eeee what a thing to say. Let’s go travelling! Remember I love feedback on our travel entries!

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

At SOME point during this holiday we visited the Empire State Building – but can I balls remember what day it was. As a result, I’m just going to squeeze it in right here, on the last day we were there.

We woke with a start at around 6am – it’s true, you know, New York is truly the city that never sleeps. We know this because there was a mad person shouting obscenities down on the streets below. Nothing rouses me from slumber quicker than someone with spittle on his lips shouting about the coming apocalypse and the risen Jesus. It was the last day so we showered glumly, packed our things sadly and exchanged blowjobs with a downturned mouth. It’s difficult to be enthusiastic on the last day. We left our luggage with the charming staff in the lobby and made our way out.

Well, it was certainly bright. Turned out that the city had received a fair dumping of snow overnight and the streets were white and pretty. I fretted momentarily that we would be trapped in New York (oh no, imagine my devastation) but found that this thought was giving me far too much joy for so early in the morning. We could see the Empire State Building way off in the distance so decided to head there, walking the three miles or so slowly to prevent any accidental slips or falls. We were in the most litigious country in the world, after all. We stopped for a quick breakfast in a tiny corner deli – I had a sandwich the size of a church draught excluder, Paul had a slice of cheesecake. Of course!

The Empire State Building was astonishing, though. The lady dishing out the tickets warned us that we would be unable to see anything much due to the heavy cloud but we waved her worries aside – we at least had to tick it off the list. I’m so glad we did. It’s an absolutely gorgeous building, both inside and out, done out as it is in the fabulous art-deco style of the time. We had the tourist part of the building to ourselves, most likely due to the early morning and the winter weather, and we were able to wander about and take our time.

Proof that we enjoyed the tour was the fact we took on board two facts about the Empire State Building: two separate people have attempted to commit suicide by jumping from the observation deck only to be blown back into the building on the way down. I’d certainly feel like I was born again in that situation: imagine expecting to be a thin red jam on the pavement only to find yourself safe and sound with only ruffled hair to account for your troubles. Along similar lines, the world record for the longest survived elevator fall took place here, when rescuers saving poor Betty Lou Oliver from a plane hitting the building managed to miss the fact that the elevator carriage she was riding in had weakened considerably. Just as they reached for her the cables holding the lift snapped and she, and the lift, fell 79 stories.  She survived with serious injuries but fuck me ragged, I had my heart in my mouth on the Tower of Terror ride at Disneyworld, I can’t imagine doing that for 79 floors! Blimey.

The kiosk lady was right, by the way – we couldn’t see very much. But the feeling of standing on the 102nd floor in the middle of a snowstorm was incredible. I felt like I was in a chewing gum advert. However, a minute standing outside had sent my bollocks retreating somewhere behind my lungs so we sharp made our way back in and into the gift shop, where we bought all manner of tat and nonsense.

See, brisk.

Knowing our flight wasn’t until the evening we decided to spend the rest of the day just walking about to see where we ended up. Oddly enough, after much random mincing and stopping for coffee, we found ourselves down on Pier 86 at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, a museum devoted to well, air, sea and space. We had time to kill and ankles like jelly, so why not? They have a decommissioned aircraft carrier to nose about, and well, I haven’t had a chance to visit an old wreck full of seamen since the last time I visited Paul’s mother. Ouch.

As seems to be the way with attractions in New York, there was a bewildering array of entrance tickets to be had – some with simulations included, some with access to the space shuttle, some with a frisky handjob by a passing sailor. We chose the standard admission and were immediately told to decide which simulator we fancied. We elected to have a trip on the exciting G-Force Encounter, half-thinking it might be one of those centrifuge things where they spin you around and you’re left with the arresting sight of your own double chin snaking its merry way up over your eyes.

Well, it certainly wasn’t that. We were ‘boarded’ by an indifferent Kenan and Kel and told to strap ourselves in. Sounds exciting! Well, let me tell you this: I’ve felt more G-Force getting out of my computer chair when the takeaway man knocks on the door. The perils of war-time flight were bought to life via the medium of Windows 95’s very best graphics. The simulator creaked this way and that and there was an awful lot of hissing – we probably broke a hydraulics pipe somewhere – but that was it. Thrill ride? I had more excitement reading the opening hours.

That was the only downside, though. The rest of the exhibition was great. We spent a good hour or so wandering around the aircraft carrier, getting a taste of what it must be like spending all that time locked away with nothing but other men to keep you company. We both signed up for the US Navy as we left.

Not just content with letting us explore the poop deck, the museum also had all manner of aeroplanes and helicopters to look at. I have to confess: this struggled to hold my attention. I mean, they looked great and all, but a plane sitting on the ground is still a plane sitting on the ground, you know? We did spot that they had a Concorde parked down by the water so we bustled over to it. I’ve been in Concorde before, though not for a flight (sadly) and the bloody thing is tiny. You’re fair jammed in with the rich and famous and I imagine it’s like crossing the ocean in a cigar tube. Of course, you get no sense of this lack of space as you’re not allowed to board the Concorde at the Intrepid, which is a pretty poor show.

I do wish they’d bring back Concorde, however. Imagine flying from London to New York in three and a half hours, as opposed to double that with BA’s current fleet. I’d barely have enough time for the blood around my swollen ankles to clot before we landed. Paul’s dad has been on Concorde, and, having met Paul’s mother, I can absolutely understand the need for supersonic flight. That’s two jibes in one article, I am awful.

Next on the list was a trip into a submarine – one which was hilariously named ‘Growler’.

This meant that Paul had to endure about twenty minutes of me saying ‘I’ve never seen a Growler this big’ and ‘do you reckon I’ll be able to fit in the Growler, it looks tight’ and ‘I hope the Growler doesn’t smell of fish and damp from being underwater’. I only stopped when blood started trickling from his ears. We joined an orderly queue of prim, exceptionally thin people who were all shepherded aboard before us. This meant that we were now at the front of the queue with people behind us which immediately gave me the heebie-jeebies. Why? Because what if we didn’t fit through the absolutely tiny doors onboard?

Look at them!

There were warning signs everywhere. All I could imagine is my arse acting like a giant plug and everyone behind being slowly starved of oxygen. As it happens it was an incredibly tight fit but I managed fine – it was actually Paul, with his tiny coffee-table legs, that struggled, given you had to lift your legs really quite high to climb through. At one point I nearly cried ‘abandon ship’ and made for the exit but it all came good in the end. I bet though – in fact, I absolutely guarantee – that our denim-clad arses are on at least eight Japanese iCloud accounts as we speak.

To be fair, my rack has indeed been a welcome sight for many seamen.

We wrapped up our visit with a trip around their space centre, which held the space shuttle Enterprise and lots of bright and interesting information boards. I’ve been to NASA in Orlando so seeing the shuttle wasn’t so amazing, but I’ll say this: when you see it up close you realise exactly how much fun it must be being in space. Honestly, I’d never get tired of shooting various liquids around in zero gravity – after twenty-four hours the live feed to the inside of my space-shuttle would look like a badly tuned TV channel.

I tried to buy a helmet from the gift shop but yet again, my elephantine head defeated me.

See? Look at my sad face.

Seeing that we’d need to get a move on and head back to the hotel, we wandered up the streets, retracing our steps from the morning. We were side-tracked for another hour or so by a stop at a beer bar (The House of Brews, firmly recommended) where we managed to put away several pints of various beers together with a plate of nachos that was positively indecent. I love American nachos – they do it properly, with loads of chilli, cheese, sauces and spice. What do we get? A microwaved packet of Doritos with a Cheesestring melted over the top. Bah. We spotted a dartboard and, perhaps fuelled by that rare beast testosterone, had ourselves a little tournament. Naturally, I won, but then I’ve always been accomplished at finishing myself off with a double-top.

So manly, even if it looks like I’m wanking off a tiny pint of Guinness.

We made it back to our hotel, had a very strong coffee to stop our eyes swimming, and picked up our luggage. With a heavy, cheese-stuffed heart, we were bidding goodbye to New York.

Nah, I’m good thanks…


Did you enjoy that? If not, tough titty, but the end is in sight – one more entry to go and then we’re back on track. Actually that’s a fib, we’ve got Copenhagen coming down the line. And London. Oh god it never ends! But before we get to all of that, let’s do the recipe. This is adapted from Macheeshmo’s website so full credit to him, but we’ve taken out the seafood because that shit is nasty. This made enough for four big portions!

to make chicken and mushroom one-pot paella, you’ll need:

  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 150g shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 100g button mushrooms (or whatever type you like), chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced (get one of these!)
  • 300g paella rice
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 litre chicken stock (dissolve two chicken stock cubes in a litre of boiling water)
  • pinch of salt and pepper

All of our hampers have massive amounts of chicken in – but actually, here’s a switch: you can now choose what you want to go in your hamper – so if you’re not a fan of chicken, say (unlike me), hoy some more beef in there. Up to you. To help you, we’ve updated our Musclefood page so it has all of the syn values on there – click here for that – it’ll open in a new window.

to make chicken and mushroom one-pot paella, you should:

  • prepare the onion, chicken and mushroom and place into bowls – it makes it much easier!
  • preheat the oven to 200°c
  • in a large ovenproof casserole pot, add a little oil over a high heat
  • add the chicken in two batches until seared in each side (this will take about five minutes)
  • remove the chicken the pan into a large bowl and set aside
  • add the mushrooms and cook for another few minutes, then add the onions, chopped garlic and some salt and pepper
  • tip the mushrooms and onion in with the chicken
  • add a little more oil to the now-empty pan, and then add the paella rice and spread out well int he bottom of the pan
  • add the chicken stock and give a good stir, and then add the tomatoes, chilli powder and paprika
  • stir in the chicken, mushrooms and onions and give another good stir, then bring the lot to a simmer
  • place the pot in the oven uncovered for about 40 minutes
  • serve!

Canny right?

Hungry for more? You know what to do:

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Enjoy!

J

cheesy baked boozy basil rigatoni

No time for shenanigans tonight, so it’s a cheesy baked boozy basil rigatoni for you and an early night for me. An early night? Yes. I’m in desperate need of one. I don’t want to be crass but we had a takeaway last night and the twilit hours became an assault on all the senses. Twice I was woken by my own flatulence, then by Paul laughing at his own flatulence, then the cat gagging, then the vet’s ambulance arriving, then stomach pains, then being unable to breath due to the lack of oxygen in the room. I swear if our alarm clark had been faulty and started sparking we would have ended up in a Backdraft style situation. I didn’t get to sleep until way past 4am and Paul hasn’t been to sleep at all. Not going to lie, it made it difficult driving into work on the motorway, not least because everyone was so loud with their beeping as they rudely drove towards me. Tsk.

I will however take a moment to say THANK YOU to everyone who has bought the paperback and proper weighty versions of our books – I didn’t think anyone would want us in hard form but here we find ourselves, looking at the Amazon sales, seeing tonnes of you snapping the buggers up! Perhaps you’re planning on taking us on holiday, perhaps you want your husband to get jealous at the thought of you spending the night with two strapping men, who knows? Either way, thank you. You’ve paid for our next holiday! If anyone else wants to hold us firmly in your hands and demand satisfaction, you can buy all of our books here!

Right, dinner then. Nowt to this, very easy to make but lovely and tasty!

to make cheesy baked boozy basil rigatoni you will need:

  • 350g rigatoni
  • 280g frozen spinach
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (this bad boy will make the job easier)
  • a handful of basil leaves
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 60ml red wine (2 syns) (we use Asda cooking wine to avoid opening the fancy stuff)
  • 1 medium courgette, sliced and then quartered
  • 180g ricotta (2x HeA)
  • 140g reduced fat mozzarella, torn up into small pieces (2x HeA)

to make cheesy baked boozy basil rigatoni you should:

  • preheat the oven to 180°c
  • cook the rigatoni according to the instructions but still with a little bite to them, then drain
  • heat a little oil in a large frying pan and and add the spinach until it has defrosted and wilted, tip into a sieve and squeeze out as much water as you can and plop back into the pan
  • add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, oregano, wine and courgette to the pan, mix well and bring to a simmer
  • reduce the heat and then add the ricotta and a quarter of the mozarella, and give a good stir
  • spray a large baking dish (save your pans and ditch the Frylight, get this instead!) with oil and tip in the pasta and then the sauce, giving it a good stir to mix it up
  • top with the remaining mozzarella and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes
  • eat

Hungry for more? click one of the buttons below to get even more tasty recipes!

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J