perfect poached egg bombs – a proper Slimming World breakfast

Perfect poached egg bombs will follow but first, howdo! Sorry for the gap in transmission but see, that’s the downside of our Year of Holidays – we’re too busy flying around like Judith Chalmers (only without the vag-neck) that there’s no time for blogging! NO TIME. We were going to just do a simple recipe post tonight for the perfect poached egg bombs but we keep getting weird letters written in what I hope is chocolate in the post from “Alan, I’m Your Number One Fan” demanding we finish our French escapades. So, without a moment of hesitation, not least because I don’t fancy being hobbled, let’s slip back to France, oui?

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

When we were last together you left us just as we finished touring the Centre Pompidou, and Paul had to chip away at my eyes with a chisel because they hadn’t so much glazed over with boredom as fully welded together. There are countless arty blogs out there where you can chinstroke yourself to orgasm over an interpretation of some wanky picture, and readers, this isn’t one. We decided to wander about and people watch for a bit before Paul, very cleverly, decided we ought to stop for a cocktail. Full as I was with gay abandon I said sure and told him to pick a spot. Perhaps we’d end up on the banks of the Seine with a boulevardier or sitting in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower sipping a Mai Tai whilst accordion music played in the background?

No. Paul, for reasons entirely beyond me, was dead set on drinking in a newsagent with a bar attached, spilling out onto the street between a collection of homeless folk and some bins. I tried to steer him in a new direction but he was having none of it because he was “thirsty” and his “feet hurt” and “how bad can it be”. Well, I’ll let you decide – here’s a picture of two of the recommended cocktails, a Cosmopolitan and a Mojito.

Because you may be the sort whose house is littered with SKOL ashtrays and Sports Direct catalogues, I’ll give you a few clues as to why this is off. Firstly, cocktails aren’t generally served in pint glasses. Second, a Cosmopolitan isn’t usually made by mixing vodka with an off-brand Innocent smoothie. Thirdly, two cocktails shouldn’t cost less than two packets of crisps. Still, being tight-arse Geordies, we choked them down, finished off as many of the free nuts as we could before the taste of piss overcame us, and then staggered out into the streets. At this point I was feeling very light-headed and tipsy (be fair, I’ve never drank a pint of 4-star petrol before) so we decided to go back to the hotel for a nap.

Yeah, I know, we’re getting old. Two hours later we awoke refreshed, with only a nominal amount of the cocktail vomited back up onto the pillow. I fixed my hair, Paul brushed his teeth and we both flossed our nethers, and headed back out into the night. We’d booked a river tour of various Parisian landmarks – mainly the ones by the river, you understand – and it was only a twenty minute fat-shuffle along the banks of the Seine to reach the dock. We joined the queue, immediately adopted the British past-time of tutting at people, and were onboard in no time. We hurtled up the stairs like we were the kids waiting outside of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, determined as we were to get decent seats at the back of the boat, alone under the stars. We needn’t have worried, most sensible folk stayed downstairs where it was warm and dry.

But fuck it, we’re hard as owt, and we stayed upstairs, enjoying the wonderful sights of the lit-up Musée d’Orsay, The Louvre and Notre Dame as we drifted past. We were joined upstairs by a young French couple who were clearly infatuated with one another. I presume she was deeply asthmatic as every time I looked over he was trying to breathe oxygen into her lungs. They went quiet for a bit and I chanced a quick look only to see her seemingly tugging him off. Either that or there was a very localised fire in his nethers and she was trying to pat it out. Well, I was disgusted – that’s not suitable behaviour on a boat, no matter how amorous the Paris night might make you. I told Paul that I was so aghast by their behaviour that I wouldn’t be able to finish off giving him a rusty trombone – so we headed downstairs and left them to it.

We took up position by the exit as the boat came into dock. This was awkward in and of itself: there was a young lady absolutely bawling her eyes out right next to the door, with seemingly no-one there to comfort her. I didn’t know what to do for the best, so I covered her with my coat like you would do with an errant parrot. No of course not, but neither of us speak good enough French to comfort a broken heart (maybe she had planned a trip up the Eiffel Tower of the guy upstairs). I tried to put a sympathetic ‘there there’ face on but Paul broke it to me that I just looked constipated so I stood staring at the ‘what to do in an emergency’ notice for ten minutes whilst the Captain fussed the boat back and forth. On reflection I should have slapped my hand down on her shoulder and said ‘non non non’ but hey, easy to be wise after the event.

As we had docked under the Eiffel Tower and I was suitably sloshy with alcohol, I cried that we really ought to go up the Eiffel Tower despite a) not having tickets and b) I’ve done it three times before. God loves a trier though, eh? We stumbled up the stairs only to see a queue snaking all down the street – and this at 10pm, for goodness sake. We had spotted a giant wheel (The Big Wheel at Place de la Concorde, fact fans) from the boat and thought we ought to give that a go instead. This meant getting somewhere where an Uber could pick us up and in turn, running the gauntlet of all the looky-looky blokes outside the Eiffel Tower. Why is this shit allowed? Who has ever come down from the Tower and thought, well fuck me, that was bonny, and now what I really need to remember the experience is a highly-flammable LED-covered razor-sharp asbestos-soaked model? I mean honestly.

When I was younger – pre-Paul era – I went to Paris with a mate and we ended up getting suckered into having a caricature done by some swarthy ruffian. We paid almost fifty euros for a drawing that gave me a face that looked like John Prescott standing on an upturned plug. I fared better than my friend – he was drawn as having the head the size of a pound coin and a belly the size of a dinner plate. He committed suicide later that year. Ate himself to death.

Sssh, I’m kidding. He’s fine and still fabulous, thanks for asking.

We Ubered over to the giant wheel, not before being told off by some gimp in a suit who told us not to loiter outside their hotel. Pfft. I’d understand if we were lifting up our tops to passing cars and blowing kisses but we were simply waiting for an Uber. What a turd. Plus, it was only a frickin’ Pullman, nowt fancy! They’re probably still smarting over the time we rinsed them out over their in-room breakfast service in Munich.

The wheel was an experience. 70 meters high and by god you feel every single joint creaking. Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly safe I’m sure, but there’s something frightening about riding a ferris wheel that could be put away in a lorry the very next day. It’s all I can do to remember to turn the key to start my car, what if the charming folks responsible for maintenance were similarly shoddy? It didn’t help that thanks to a very strong wind our little ‘car’ was rocking all over the shop, with Paul cheerfully rocking it extra hard for good measure. He stopped when I told him I’d vomit in his coat hood. We went round three times, which seemed unnecessary, it’s not as though the Champs-Elysées changes on the minute. We were eventually let off, and, after a few more drinks somewhere my booze-soaked mind has long forgotten, we went to bed.

Now, that seems like a good place to leave it. I’m trying my very best not to prattle on for too long in a post – I know you struggle – so perhaps I’ll save the next bit for tomorrow. What’s involved? Sewers, blindness and gays. I mean, you’d expect nowt less, wouldn’t you? To the recipe then…

Calling these poached egg bombs might seem a trifle exciting but it’s what Jamie Oliver calls them and damn it, I’m not one to argue with him. I know he rubs some folks up the wrong way but I really like him, even if he does give his kids silly names. This might seem like an especially easy recipe and you know what, you’re right – but the reason I’m putting it up is because I see so many people who can’t poach eggs. It’s easy! Really easy! But this way is foolproof.

to make perfect poached egg bombs, you’ll need:

  • however many fresh eggs you want – fresher the better – you want them hot from the chicken’s anus (and yes, chickens do lay eggs from their bumhole – well, sort of)
  • clingfilm
  • ramekins or little cups
  • oil sprayer

Then customise them however you wish:

  • sliced wafer thin ham
  • smoked salmon
  • chives
  • chilli
  • cheese

to make perfect poached egg bombs, you should:

  • get a big pan of water bubbling
  • cut out a big square of cling film and line your glass or ramekin with it
  • spritz it with a couple of sprays of oil (0.5 syns for seven sprays, I used one)
  • put whatever you want on the inside of the ramekins – slices of ham or salmon, chilli flakes, cheese…anything – I was boring and just went with black pepper because I had proper fresh eggs
  • crack your egg into the ramekin and then tie the cling film up in a knot, squeezing any air out whilst you do – you want a cling-filmed ball of egg see – and tie a big knot in it mind, no tiny little thing
  • lower your egg bombs into the bubbling water and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes, depending on how firm you like your egg white
  • if you are clever you could dangle these off a wooden spoon, but I just chucked them in – rebel
  • once cooked, simply slide them out of their cling film prison and enjoy!

I served ours on a bed of wilted spinach, on our healthy extra toast with a bit of philly on. Lovely!

Of course, if you want to go old-school, get your pan simmering, crack egg into glass, slowly tip egg into bubbling water. No need to swirl. Remove when cooked. Easy!

And of course, if you’re a lazy sod who really can’t do poaching, just get one of these.

Looking for more breakfast ideas? But of course. Here’s some and more!

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Enjoy!

J

droptober recipe #16: greek garden omelette

Well, Droptober’s 31 recipes fell over, but hey, let’s at least try and aim for 20 eh? Shit or bust! Tonight’s recipe is greek garden omelette, but let’s dwell for a moment.

Ah, autumn. It’s finally arrived. You know how you know autumn has truly arrived? It’s really very simple – it’s not the leaves on the trees turning russet and golden, nor is the first icy chill in the air oh no, it’s when you first spot the first sharing of ‘MUSLIMS WANT 2 BAN THE POPEYE LIKE IF U THINK THIS ISA DISC RACE IGKNORR IF U H8 SIVILISA SIEVEISEYELISAT EVRY1′ on facebook.

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Just for the record, this is a disc race. The word you’re aiming for is a disgrace, as in ‘I am a disgrace to my peers for sharing this hateful nonsense’. Twat. I’ve had my first one already this year. Don’t share hatred!

Anyway, not sure where that little nugget of anger popped from, as I’m actually feeling quite laid back. Apologies that we stopped posting for a bit but well, we’re busy folk and plus, in all honesty, it’s hard to eke out 700 exciting words about doing very little thanks to ear infections, busy work and house problems. Some random thoughts, though.

Paul pointed out that I must have come across as a right unsympathetic arse with the guy who comes around and cleans my car, and not least because the poor sod has to sit in a mist of my farts, Haribo wrappers and chest hair whilst he scrubs away at my accellarator and that weird second pedal in the middle that I have no idea what purpose it solves. See, he was supposed to be at ours last weekend and failed to turn up, leaving me seething and sighing dramatically to the point where Paul diagnosed me with COPD and put me on an oxygen feed. He texted a few hours later to say his mother had been taken into hospital, hence no contact, and I said it was fine, no worries, we can re-arrange. See, I’m not a complete bastard.

If I was a bastard I’d have driven to the hospital, unplugged her life-support and plugged in the little handheld hoover so he could give my gearstick bag a good suck, but I digress.

He turned up yesterday full of unnecessary apologies and set to work. I asked if he wanted a coffee to keep him warm then promptly forgot about it and went about my business. It was only after spotting him looking forlorn across the garden that I remembered and hastened out with a piping cup of the Blue Mountain that we keep for guests. However, Paul pointed out afterwards that I’d served his coffee in one of our Modern Toss cups, namely the one that says “I don’t feel like turning up for work today, so fuck off”. I hope he doesn’t think I’m being passive aggressive and refuse to polish my rims. Just once I’d like a workman to leave this house and actually want to come back.

Ah! You know how people always say there’s never a policeman around when you need one? Well, after five years of driving, it finally happened for me – I was beetling along a dual carriageway in the right hand land, unable to pull over into the left lane as there was slower traffic, when some wankstain in a Vauxhall Insignia came so far up my arse that I almost unrolled a condom as force of habit. He was doing the usual – giant hand gestures, yelling incoherently, wanker signs – I’m not sure if he had realised that I literally couldn’t go anywhere as my DS3 was unlikely to squeeze into the passenger seat of the Fiat 500 to the left of me. Cock. I drove on, keeping to the speed limit and putting my hand on my chest and shaking my head ruefully in a very British ‘what am I like’ gesture, which only served to make him angrier.

However, once I could get over, I did move over, not least because his face had turned into a mewling over-ripe strawberry at that point and I didn’t want the fucker to stroke-out and need mouth to mouth by the side of the road. I rather expected his lips would taste of sweat, cheap cigars and Lynx Atlantis. He sped past, gesticulating all the while, and I promptly forgot about him, the very same way I imagine all his friends and family do at a social occasion. Five minutes later, at the end of the dual carriageway, there he was getting talked to by a very butch looking policeman. Ah, lovely. I made absolutely damn sure I slowed down as I went past but didn’t manage to catch his eye – however, he saw me on my fourth trip around the roundabout, and I was sure to give him the tinkliest, most coquettish little way as I trundled past.

Finally, it’s been a while since we discussed the neighbours and that’s for a good reason – all bar one have turned into decent human beings. We still have the one who won’t talk to us unless he’s blowing spittle in our face and complaining about our cats, but then he’s also the one who bemoaned to our other neighbours that having two gay men on the street would bring the house prices down, so you can imagine how much we value his opinion. Everyone knows that having a gay couple only improves the house prices because there’s no screaming children kicking about and well, we’re hardly likely to put a trampoline on our immaculate lawn, are we? The stupid fart.

Anyway, the reason I mention the neighbours is that we’re coming up to Christmas cards buying time (sorry!) and we still haven’t solved the problem from last year – we realised that we have a couple called Pat and Les on the street but no fucking clue which is which. I know it doesn’t matter but I hate not knowing, not least because they’re decent people and always make a point of saying ‘morning James, you’re looking slim’ or “sorry Paul, can you come and retrieve your car, a slight gust has blown it into our lobelia”, to which I can only stutter and say ‘howdo…my love’ or similar. Is it Patrick and Lesley? Patricia and Les? Bah. At least we know what to call the homophobic neighbour, although, as he’s deaf, he’s must be mystified as to why we call him a Count as he walks past scowling at our cats.

Speaking of gardens, let’s get to the greek garden omelette I promised you earlier!

greek garden omelette

to make greek garden omelette you will need:

  • 10 eggs
  • 1 large red onion, cut into wedges
  • 3-4 tomatoes, cut into large chunks
  • 130g reduced-fat feta cheese (2x HeA)
  • handful of black olives (about 20-ish – 4 syns), sliced in half
  • handful of rocket leaves
  • pinch of salt and pepper

The joy of an omelette is that you can customise it however you want – throw in some sliced sausages, ham, mushrooms, cigarettes or a small motor car. It’s YOUR dinner. This makes enough for four. You will need a pan that can go into the oven – we use this, but you can get cheaper!

to make greek garden omelette you should:

  • in a big bowl, whisk together the eggs with the salt and pepper
  • preheat the grill to high
  • heat a large frying pan over a high heat and add some oil (use one of these and save your pans!)
  • chuck in the onions and fry for a bit until softened and beginning to brown
  • add the olives, rocket and tomatoes and cook for a few minutes more until softened
  • reduce the heat to medium and pour in the eggs – stir frequently whilst they’re still runny and until the mixture is half-set – this will only take a couple of minutes
  • sprinkle over the feta cheese and put the pan under grill and cook for 5-6 minutes until puffy and golden

Enjoy! For more ideas, click any of the buttons below!

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J

taster night: beetroot pickled eggs

I know, beetroot pickled eggs, it’ll either really butter your muffin or make you gag. But we get asked a lot for snack ideas and also what kind of things we eat at home outside of mealtimes, and well, Paul deemed it unseemly that I keep answering with ‘willies’. Plus, thanks to my mum and dad and their six chickens, I get a quarter-tonne of eggs every week, so here we are. Before we get started, though…


Our Musclefood deal runs for only two more days and judging by the amount of orders, this is one deal that’s proving very popular – but don’t wait – 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.


Growing up we had chickens when I was a wee’un but they mysteriously went to live on a farm when we moved house. What was even more weird was the fact we had roast chicken for dinner eight nights on the trot and I remember the meat being particular succulent, but I suppose that’ll have been the tears splashing down on it.

Thinking back, we’ve had quite the menagerie – our first pet was a giant rough long-hair collie called Shannon who I have two single memories of – one of our cousins came to stay for the summer and, whilst walking up the lane to our house, was met with the sight of a dog twice as big as her who tumbled her over and bit her on the arm. Ooops. Don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds, we added a bit of Listerine into the dog’s water and he was fine. I jest I jest. The other memory is a sad one though (sob) – poor Shannon got loose into the back fields and suffered a nasty chemical burn and was put down. What can I say, living in Bhopal was tough. Nah, it was some weird pesticide, the poor bugger.

We had cats a-plenty – Smokey with the loudest purr who lived a happy life until he decided that the A69 at rush hour was an appropriate place to stop and lick his balls. There was Cleo (went missing) and Tabitha (attacked by foxes). Listen, we grew up in the countryside, these were hard cats but nature always prevails. We did manage to have two cats make it to dotage though, thankfully, despite the efforts of God himself. Salem was my favourite as he was quite genuinely the laziest cat as could be. He had masses of long black hair (hence Salem) and would never clean himself, which, when combined with his tendency to download his Whiskas all over the place without bothering to see if had tangled into the hair on the back of his legs, meant many a fun evening for my mum and the cat hairbrush. She used to throw half a cat’s worth of matted poo-hair onto the coal fire and Christ, you’ve never smelled anything like it in your life. Even now if I take a deep breath I can still smell it.

Speaking of cat-fires, I was watching a film one night when a spark from a crackling log leapt out of the fire and nestled neatly on the cat’s flank. By the time I’d untangled myself from my blanket and leapt as only a fat man can do from the sofa, there was quite a considerable amount of smoke rising from him. Just as I bounded over he rose to his feet more akin to a cat stretching on a summer’s day and barely looked bothered as I beat his sides to extinguish the fire. He had the same expression as I lowered him into a cold bath to ensure he hadn’t been burnt. He had a great life mind, as all countryside cats do, and died at 15, buried in the garden for ever more. I reckon by now he’s nothing more than bones and a few giant clumps of matted poo-hair.

Salem was joined by Misty a little into his life, and she was an entirely unremarkable but lovely cat who spent most of the time outside, deigning only to visit us when she was hungry, when she was cold or, once, alarmingly, when she was pregnant. We had no idea she was up the cat-duff and it was only when a load of tiny squeaking started up behind an armchair that we realised she was having kittens, and even that was after ten minutes of my dad trying to adjust the telly because he thought the sound on You Bet was playing up. She also lived a long and happy life and padded off around 14 years.

Shannon the dog was replaced by Bracken, who was a discarded greyhound who leapt into my mum’s car on her way back from the Spar shop. We tried giving him away to a farm (he was too athletic to be a house-dog) but apparently the nicotine withdrawals from not passively-chain-smoking 40 Lambert and Butlers a day meant he had to come back. I’ve never seen a dog with a yellow fringe before. Oh christ before I get the RSPCA on the phone (although let’s be honest, they’d only be ringing to ask me to donate to their new director’s Bentley fund), the dog was given away and finished out his days running around chasing chickens. That’s not even a fib I was told to make me feel better, he went to the farm a few doors down!

Bracken was replaced by Oscar, a ginger border collie who was thick as mince and the bane of my life (though I loved him dearly). When I used to take him for walks over the fields and let him off, he’d immediately turn around and belt for home. Every. Single. Time. This would invariably lead to me trying to run (bear in mind I’m fat) after him and catching him just the moment before my ankles snapped. He did calm down a bit and could be trusted to run on his own after a while, but as soon as he heard one of the many bird-scarers go off in the fields away he’d be again, destined for home. It’s a wonder I was so fat as a kid given I spent so much time chasing him.

He wasn’t just dense outside the home, either, oh no. He used to try and shag Salem, the aforementioned tom-cat, who would be wearing the same non-plussed expression noted above even when he had a 20kg dog thrusting its lipstick up and down his back, smearing his back like a slug. My parents thought it was horrible but looking back, what a terribly progressive household we had. I should start a Tumblr about it.

My favourite memory of Oscar was something he did all through his life, though – we would let him out into the garden for a poo, and, after ten minutes of turning around, sniffing, shaking and finally doing that thousand-yard-stare-whilst-defecating, he’d crimp one off. He’d then go absolutely bloody manic, hurtling back into the house and round and round the sofa, almost literally running along the walls like a motorcyclist in a Wall of Death, with the biggest dog-grin you can imagine. I don’t know whether it was sheer relief at passing a stool he was feeling, but Christ, my mother was feeding him Pedigree Chum, not ball-bearings and cement. He did that up until the date of his death at 15, where the poor little bugger had a heart-attack on my parent’s bathroom floor.

To be fair, I grew up walking into the bathroom after my parents, I’m not surprised he had a bloody heart-attack.

Naturally, we had a range of hamsters (Boris, Truffles, Snowy, then we stopped naming them as they invariably escaped and disappeared into the walls) and rabbits. We used to build massive runs for the hamster from Lego until one hamster started filling his cheeks with Lego bricks which put paid to any future construction. Hell, if it hadn’t been for that hamster I could have been the next Frank Gehry. Still, if ifs and buts were sweets and nuts, we’d all have a lot to eat.

Which, after that colossal diversion, brings up back to the pickled eggs. Remember, even if you’re not a fan of pickled eggs, you can make these a week before and take them to taster night where everyone will ooh and aaah whilst shoving the free food in their mouths with giant meat-hands. It’s quite difficult to make a pickled egg look alluring in a photo, so I’ve made it into an open sandwich here. Gives you an idea of something to make for a light snack – take your HEB of bread, some sliced ham, cottage cheese, cress and two pickled eggs, and enjoy.

pickled beetroot eggs

to make beetroot pickled eggs, you’ll need:

  • 12 eggs (or really, as many as you like)
  • a jar of pickling vinegar (I use the Sarson’s malt pickling vinegar you can buy, the big 1 litre jar, as you can then use the jar afterwards)
  • a pack of cooked beetroot – the vacuum packed ones that still have a lot of juice in them
  • a pinch of black peppercorns
  • a tablespoon of sugar (3 syns – but – this is between 12 eggs and the sugar goes into the vinegar, so you won’t be eating it all, and anyway, are you really going to sit and eat 12 eggs? If so, quarter of a syn per egg)
  • a star anise, if you have one sitting about

to make beetroot pickled eggs, you should:

  • hard boil your eggs – normally about 12 minutes for me but do your research
  • peel and put them into cold water
  • heat up all the vinegar in a pan with the peppercorn, star anise and sugar
  • add the juice from the beetroot packet into the vinegar and then grate one of the beetroots into the pan (oooh, messy!)
  • heat it everything through
  • put the eggs into your jar and, once it has cooled a little, pour over the vinegar mix – you want the eggs to be able to move around a little to make sure they’re not touching each other
  • lid on nice and tight and into the fridge – these seem to keep for ages but take about three days to get that deep purple

They taste lovely – a little like beetroot but with the tang of vinegar. Easy! Also, a good way of using up eggs!

If you want more taster ideas, click on the link below and rejoice!

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Cheers now. All the best.

J

PS: fair warning, these eggs will make your farts be immediately upgraded from the subtle duck-lifting-weights category to full-on arse-shredders. If you smoke, for fuck’s sake make sure you light up outside.

chocolate cake filled pastel eggs

Happy Easter, all – I’ve been forced to make a nice Easter recipe for chocolate cake filled pastel eggs, saying as I can barely hear my TV for the sound of fatties crying into their children’s Easter Eggs and shallow-breathing around the empty Mini Egg packets. It’s pretty to look at and I suppose it could be fun to make these with children, but not for me, as I dislike children. Snotty-nosed little poo-machines. Every day I run the risk of deliberately crashing my car into the central reservation when the ‘child of the day’ calls in on Radio 2 at half seven. They’re always so achingly middle-class it enrages me. ‘What are you doing today, little Randolph?’ ‘WELL CHRASS UM IT’S MY PICCOLO EXAM AT HALF SEVEN UM AND THEN I’M MAKING ARTISAN PARST-AARGH WITH THE HELP’. Pfft. At 11 I was too busy counting my pubic hair to worry about exams.

Pah. Sometimes I’d welcome the sweet caress of death. 

Speaking of death, I got told off for being rude by a group of old ladies in Waitrose today for having the temerity to say ‘excuse me please’. I know, shocking behaviour. I’m basically Harold Shipman but I murder with words. No, listen, I was making to leave when seemingly every elderly lady in a ten mile range of Ponteland Waitrose decided to meet and hold an impromptu W.I. meeting right in the store doors. Seriously, the automatic doors were stuttering back and forth whilst they gossiped and clucked in one giant lavender mass. I waited for a few moments, clearing my throat, tapping my foot, cocking my shotgun, but no. One old love looked me straight in the eyes (I assume, her cataract was haunting her vision) and then carried on chatting. Eventually I caved, collapsed forward into their huddled mass, sending copies of the Daily Mail flying and hips popping like popcorn in the microwave. 

No, I said ‘excuse me, please’ and waited for the mass to disperse, which it didn’t. It took me asking three times, in increasing pitch and volume, before they deigned to let me past, but not before some wizened old crone with lipstick bleeding into her almond-esque skin clutched my sleeve and told me to ‘respect my elders’. Pfft. It was all I could do not to pick her up and post her into the charity token bank, hopefully into something ironic like Age Concern. Instead I smiled my most ingratiating smile and said ‘terribly sorry Sir’ and walked past. I assume she’ll have sat bolt upright in her Medichair about ten minutes ago with a look of anger.

It didn’t help that as I was leaving I was pounced on by some chap who felt it necessary to proper tell me off for apparently going the ‘wrong way around the one way system’ which ‘could lead to serious accidents’. Undoubtedly I was in the wrong, but in my defence I hadn’t spotted the lettering on the road indicating it was one-way until I turned the corner and had it in front of me. I’ll get a periscope fitted to the car just as soon as I can. He was needlessly officious about the whole thing despite my genuine apologies, banging on about those serious accidents. Serious accidents? If I had been going any more than 5mph I’d have been surprised – I was overtaken by a flock of grannies itching to get to the door for their meeting, for goodness sake. We weren’t about to repeat the M4 motorway disaster. I wiped the flecks of his spittle off my coat and carried on, suitably chastised. I did notice that he wasn’t doing jackshit about all the massive, perfectly spotless, ridiculously oversized Range Rovers parked up on the double yellows to the side of the store though. Wonder why.

Anyway, I couldn’t have been in Waitrose for a more middle-class reason if I tried – I was after white eggs. Not boring old normal eggs, but white eggs, because they take the dye a lot easier for the recipe below. You can use normal eggs though, just leave them in the dye for a bit longer.

There’s a myriad of ‘Slimming World desserts’ which are, without exception, disgusting. You can’t make a good dessert because all the delicious tasting things are rammed in syns – caramel, sugar, flour, butter, cream, chocolate, toffee….no amount of stirring an Options into a friggin’ bowl of fromage frais is going to fool your tastebuds into a food-orgasm, is it? Nearly all of the desserts seem to be the same – take more eggs than is decent, decant a jar of sweetener into it and then add something to give it a flavour, like a Rolo or some apple. That’s not a cake. It tastes like a fart and looks like a scabby knee. It’s no more a lemon drizzle cake than I am a successful heterosexual with fabulous flowing hair. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I see why people try these things – because the idea of being able to eat cake and diet is a wonderful one, but personally, I think it’s a con. I’d be amazed if any successful slimmer has managed to get to their ideal weight and then carried on making these eggy abominations. You’re given 15 syns for a reason – to have the extra bits you fancy, to enjoy yourself and not feel like you’re on a diet. Use them!

So with that in mind, the recipe:

chocolate cake filled pastel eggs

to make chocolate cake filled pastel eggs, you’ll need:

  • 12 eggs (white if you can get them, so much easier – normal eggs are fine though)
  • 60 ml milk (take it from your healthy extra)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g plain flour (19 syns)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (0.5 syns) 
  • 110g unsalted butter (21 syns)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (for each dye you use)
  • 125g granulated Stevia (closest you can get to normal sugar)
  • 1 cup hot water (for each dye you use)
  • 50g dark chocolate (13 syns)
  • 2 eggs (taken from 2 empty shells)
  • various food colouring (I use Wilton dye gels, but you can use anything with a strong colour)
  • 25g cocoa powder (4.5 syns)

Assuming you’re going to make six different colours, you’ll need six different containers to hold the dye. Obviously. Or do two, rinse the container, and repeat. You’ll also need icing bags or freezer bags.

To me, that makes 58 syns for the lot, or just under five syns per egg. Worth it. You can sit and peel them like a hard-boiled egg too, then eat the dense chocolate cake within. Oh yes! Fair warning – this recipe isn’t difficult, but it does take time to do the various stages.

to make chocolate cake filled pastel eggs, you should:

  • fill a big bowl with warm water and some salt
  • to prepare the shell, poke a hole into the top of the egg with something small and thin, like a chopstick, and then widen the hole with your finger, fnar fnar, yeah you know what I mean
  • let the yolk and white slip out – now, rather than wasting it, you could make these ham and egg breakfast bites at the same time – just empty the egg into one of these – easy, and no waste
  • repeat this twelve times
  • wash out each egg with cold water AND take a moment to poke something sharp gently around the inside of the egg, you’ll often get a tiny sac of air at the top of the egg which will make them float in the dye later and cause confusion
  • place all twelve washed out eggs into the warm brine and go pick your bum for thirty minutes or so

Then…

  • once you’ve scratched that itch, it’s time to dye the eggs
  • rinse out the shells with cold water
  • fill your dye container with enough boiling water to cover the eggs you are planning to die, add a teaspoon of vinegar and a good splash of dye – then submerge the eggs
  • if they float, scrape the insides again – if there’s no air, they’ll sink see
  • now, leave them for as long as you want – if you want a pastel hue and you’re using white eggs, a couple of minutes will do, but you might need longer if you don’t have strong dye or you’re using normal eggs
  • pick them out and let them dry in an egg box, hole facing down
  • repeat for all the other eggs and shades – remember, hot water, vinegar, dye, egg…

Then…

  • prepare your cake batter – now, I’m a lazy, stylish sod, so naturally we have one of those fancy Kenwood mixers that Nigella uses (this one), but you can do it by hand just as easy
  • weigh out all your ingredients and get everything ready to go
  • butter and sugar first – into the mixer or bowl and beat like crazy until it’s pale and fluffy – thinking about stopping? Don’t – that’s where so many people fall down – this bit is essential
  • beat in the two eggs and a drop or two of vanilla and 
  • mix in the flour, cocoa and baking powder
  • CONFESSION: though you’re not strictly supposed to, I just throw everything into the mixer and stick it on high, never had a complaint about my cakes yet
  • break up the dark chocolate and microwave for thirty seconds, stir, and another thirty seconds, stopping when it’s melting but not completely melted – the residual heat will melt the rest, just stir it away and allow to cool for a minute or so, then tip into the mixture
  • give everything a final good stir
  • get a muffin tray and some tin foil and create nests in each muffin hole – enough tin foil to hold your egg in place (and make sure it can’t tip over – easy to do
  • tip the lot into icing bags or a sandwich bag (twist it up then cut a tiny bit of the corner off, same thing) and gently pipe it into the dyed eggs – you want about three quarter full – better to fill them up to this level and not have enough for a couple of eggs then to try and be get an equal amount in each one
  • place tin foil over the top and put into the oven for fifteen minutes
  • after these fifteen minutes, take them out, pick off any overflow (easy to do when it’s hot) and put them back in without the foil on top for another ten minutes or so
  • allow to cool, then peel and eat!

It’s a dense cake, nice with milk. It’ll really scratch the chocolate itch too. If you’d prefer to use caster sugar rather than Stevia, add another 22.5 syns or, for the sake of argument, another two syns per cake.

Enjoy, and happy Easter! It might be a few days before we’re back because well, it’s bank holiday AND my birthday, but we will return soon! We’ve got four recipes from one big chicken, so there’s that to look forward to!

Finally: thank you for user wizmakel on sortedfood for the recipe idea!

J

avocado devilled eggs – an excellent snack idea

NEW SNACK IDEA: avocado devilled eggs. In a rush today so only a little post, but after the success of those teeny tiny teriyaki tasters that we suggested for taster nights a few days ago, I’ve decided to make a new snack idea recipe. Gotta be worth a go! It vexes me that avocado is so ridiculously high in syns – I appreciate it is ‘fats’ but haway, it’s so much better for you than ten Muller Lights. That’s another Slimming World mystery I suppose. There’s quite a few of those around. My favourite is the speed food conundrum. People get themselves in such a froth in the race to tell people THEY MUST HAVE SPEED FOOD on their plate, and I can’t really understand why. It’s there as a suggestion, not a rule. We’ll always try and have speed food on the side but it isn’t because Mags is holding a gun to our heads, but rather, eating more vegetables can’t be a bad thing. I do wonder though why speed foods became such a necessity – I remember back in the hazy days of red and green days and speed food was never suggested. Suppose that’s because the diet was different, but hmm. Nevermind. I’m still sore about losing out on Man of the Year 2004 to some bugger with a black foot and a lot of wheezing.

For our recipes, we’ll more often than not incorporate speed food into the ‘main dish’ so although it may not look like we’ve hit our speed quota, we normally have. We’ll never lecture you on whether or not you need it. If you have any concerns, feel free to hoy some broccoli or a tin of carrots on the side. 

Anyway, the recipe:

avocado devilled eggs

to make avocado devilled eggs, you’ll need:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 avocado – now, 100g of avocado flesh is a ridiculous 9.5 syns, and I used a 100g avocado, but minus the weight of the skin and the stone, I reckoned about 80g of flesh, so 8 syns
  • 4 rashers of bacon with the fat cut off, or some of our fabulous bacon from the twochubbycubs musclefood deal, cooked and cut into tiny chunks
  • rocket
  • one tomato, chopped finely
  • black pepper and a pinch of salt

to make avocado devilled eggs, you should:

  • boil your eggs – I always go for around fourteen minutes because you want everything to be nice and solid
  • plunge them straight into icy cold water and then peel the buggers, but don’t go all hamfisted with it, nice and gentle
  • cut your avocado open, get rid of the stone, and scoop that juicy flesh into a bowl
  • mix in the chopped bacon and chopped tomatoes, saving a little of each for the top
  • add a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper
  • cut your eggs in half, drop the yolks into the avocado bow, and then mix the whole lot like buggery
  • using a teaspoon, put the mixture into the empty eggs where their yolks used to be
  • decorate with the leftover bacon and tomato and another twist of pepper

Enjoy! Note, if you’re making these for a taster session, the avocado will discolour a little if you leave it for too long. For the best taste, make them nice and fresh or add a bit of lemon juice into the mix!

J

slimming world breakfast muffins

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

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

So yes, the recipe!

slimming world breakfast muffins

to make breakfast muffins, you’ll need:

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

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

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

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

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

J

budget week: yellow ginger pickled eggs

Our carpet is down!

I can’t begin to tell you the satisfaction saying that brings me, not least because the house no longer looks like a knockoff Dignitas clinic. I’ve never known someone match their carpet to the interior of a used commode before. The carpet was fitted by a pair of carpet fitters who had clearly just finished a shift as runway models for Abercrombie and Fitch – one was so good-looking I almost told him to go outside as he was smoking inside the house. Boom. Not our type – Paul and I prefer a more rugged/lazy look, but Christ it must be nice to be blessed with natural good looks. That’s definitely not me, I’ve got a face that would make an onion cry, but eh, I get along in life.

Part of preparing the house ready for the carpet involved moving all of our furniture into the bathroom, like a game of Hoarders: Tetris Addition. I took the opportunity to get rid of the giant media unit we have which holds the TV and Sky box and all the usual technological accoutrements that litter a living room. Bear in mind that wasn’t some fag-burned bit of Formica, it was a decent, solid piece of furniture in excellent condition – well, one of the little knobs was a bit loose, but what more would you expect in our house? Overcome with a pique of philanthropy (and partly because there was no way we were going to get it into the DS3), I rang a local ‘community charity’ company who collect secondhand furniture to furnish the houses of the disadvantaged – people who’ve been smacked about or smacked up. Great cause.

They promptly turned up, ran their fingers over the wood and told me ‘it wasn’t appropriate for their clientele’. Seriously now, I’d understand if it had a giant plastic cock stuck on the side or spent condoms plastered on the underside like smutty papier-mâché, but no!

I asked him why and he wheezed out that ‘it would just sit in the shop collecting dust’. Well heaven forbid! I feel it had more to do with the fact he couldn’t be arsed to lift it. I sent him away with a flea in his ear, and, in a proper huff, took it outside and smashed it into matchsticks with a sledgehammer. I know I could have stuck it on freecycle but I find that whole business very stressful – I once put an advert in there for a Nintendo 64 to take away and I got so many illiterate emails in barely-legible English that I thought I’d been hacked by a Russian Johnny 5. The art of please and thank you are seemingly lost on those who are desperate for stuff to fill up their car-boot sale table for furniture. I did, somewhat meanly, follow that up with an advert for a spare Xbox 360 and then replied to each email who didn’t say thank you or please with a ‘you were the first to reply, but your lack of manners have cost you dear’. Oooh, what a sanctimonious arse. But I do so hate bad manners.

We once used freecycle to pick up a landline phone a few years ago – we went (on the bus, those were the days) to pick up a little answerphone machine only to find that when we got there that a) the tattooed wardrobe (who had clearly never used the phone to book a dentist appointment) who answered the door wanted twenty quid for it and b) it was so lacquered with years and years of nicotine that I didn’t dare dial a number longer than the speaking clock for fear of contracting emphysema.

Anyway, back to the carpet. It’s marvellous – the last big bit of DIY that we needed to do before we buy lots of nice things to fill the house up with. However, it’s not without problems. See, a new carpet needs a bloody good vacuum (yes it does, it’s an old myth that you don’t hoover a carpet) to get all the fluff off it. Grand, no problem, we’ve got a fancy Dyson Digital. Problem is, the Dyson Digital only lasts about six minutes on full suck (just like Paul) and needs emptying out after two minutes of vigorous vacuuming. I’d no sooner hoover one third of a room when it would turn off, needs emptying, switched back on and then beep – out of battery. You’ve never seen anyone hoover so fucking quickly – all I needed was Philip Schofield bellowing at me from behind a sheet of plexiglass and it would have felt like I was on The Cube.

But the carpet still looks lovely so it was worth it, right?

Now, because we’re pushed for time, I’m going to post a recipe for a budget snack idea – you might boke at the idea of a pickled egg, but trust me, when combined with a raft of fancy spices, you’ll be laughing. BUT THAT’S NOT BUDGET. Perhaps. But since joining Slimming World, we’ve got more jars of spices than we do individual atoms in our bodies, and I’m going to hazard a guess that you’re the same. I found this recipe ages ago and put it down in my notes, but not the actual source – so in the interest of full disclosure, this is someone else’s recipe and I thank him/her for it, but hell, it’s a pickled egg.

Three things first:

  • buy your spices at Asian supermarkets – so, so much cheaper. Even if you can’t find an Asian supermarket near you, the ‘world foods’ aisle in Tesco generally has the spices there as well as the usual spice place, so look in that aisle and SAVE’;
  • you don’t NEED a fancy ferris wheel spice rack…but if you want one like mine, you can find it on Amazon…I’ve helpfully made this sexy picture a link if you want to go find one… 51cjvcZkfpL._SX425_
  • this is an excellent way of using up eggs that are about to go on the turn; and
  • no lies – these taste and look amazing, but they’ll give you farts that could skin an elephant from half a mile away. I’ve never had a fart physically climb out of my bum before, but these were that powerful. Enjoy!

IMG_1872

This is going to sound so pretentious but fuck it. I served the eggs with shredded chicken, homegrown tomatoes and rocket and podded peas. All from the garden! I had the gardener pick only the best.

to make yellow ginger pickled eggs, you’ll need:

  • 175ml of white wine vinegar (80p in Tesco and you use half a bottle – 40p)
  • 150ml of water
  • five thin slices of ginger (remember: you should be freezing your knob of ginger, or if you will, a ‘Sheeran’ of ginger – do this and it’ll last bloody ages) – 4p
  • a tsp of sugar (any, but brown will do) (don’t use sweetener – better doing without)
  • 1 tsp of turmeric (85p in Tesco, use 5p worth)
  • 1 tsp of mustard seeds (85p in Tesco, use 5p worth)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom (85p in Tesco, use 5p worth, just smash them with a rolling pin or your husband’s face if you can’t find ground)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • you’ll also need a jar (sterilise it)
  • however many spare eggs you have (I’m not counting these, but you can buy 12 for £1.75, so go mad)

To sterilise jars, the BBC say:

Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Wash the jars in hot, soapy water, then rinse well. Place the jars on a baking sheet and put them in the oven to dry completely. If using Kilner jars, boil the rubber seals, as dry heat damages them.

then to make yellow ginger pickled eggs, you should:

  • set your eggs away boiling – ten minutes or so normally does it, and when cooked, plunge into cold water (the eggs) and when cold, shell the buggers
  • tip all of the above into a pan and bring to the boil
  • reduce, and allow to simmer for around six minutes
  • place a couple of eggs into your jar, add a bit of the liquid, and carry on until the jar is filled up
  • you’ll need around five days for the colour and the flavour to really sink in, but these are delicious and plus, they’re eggs – they’ll fill you right up!

to gussy it up:

  • use quail eggs
  • have jeeves boil the eggs for you
  • add chilli 

to cheapen the deal:

  • you can buy a jar of pickling spices from most shops – cheaper than buying the individual spices, but you’ll get the use out of most of the above so it’s a worthwhile investment

Enjoy!

J

spiderweb eggs and Paul’s random stream of nonsense

So, we finally managed to track down an Iceland in the local area today that still had some ready meals in stock. I went to the one in Gateshead which fortunately was stocked all the way to the top, even though someone who looked like a post-menstrual imagining of Pauline Quirke was circling nearby like a stinking,shuffling Belgrano. Not a bad selection either, so I got plenty of sausages and meatballs and a few tikka masalas. In a strange coincidence, James did exactly the same thing and flounced into the Cramlington one on his way home, so now our freezer is dangerously overstocked and I daren’t open the door because it feels like I’m stuck in a hall of mirrors with Wor Margaret.

But anyway, I digress. Tonight – Tikka Masala and Rice. I’m rather looking forward to it, I don’t mind a good curry and the spicier the better. I was going to make a ‘Grecian Pizza’ – I called it Grecian because it had Feta and Olives on it and that’s all I know about Greek cuisine. It was going to be the ‘ring’ pizza you see in the Fakeaways book with a fancy salad in the middle, but could I hell get it to roll right. I tried everything but it was just wasn’t going to happen. A shame, really, because I was an absolute natural when I worked at Domino’s Pizza in my teen years (best job in the world. No, really) and could whip up a thick, thirteen incher in seconds (still can on a good day and with a good breeze behind me). But because I was in a huff I just rolled out a misshapen slab and flung it into the bin when I couldn’t get the shape right.

I absolutely love Greek cuisine, and anything Mediterranean. I’m trying hard to convince James that we need a holiday around there, just so I can vacuum up my own bodyweight in Feta. Travelling is one thing that we absolutely love doing. It’s only really been in the last few years that we’ve gone anywhere that exciting, mostly due to a lack of money or something coming along that is more important (we had to cancel a trip to Iceland to buy a new kitchen instead. Booo!) so a holiday in the sun is well overdue. I still get like a giddy schoolboy at holiday time. I’m sure James slipped me a wobbly egg or two (a la Shannon Matthews) when we went to Germany because I just couldn’t stop flapping my hands like a kid with ADHD. I always had crap holidays as a kid. We once went to Benidorm in the early 90’s which was absolutely fantastic but since then they were just dreadful. You know it’s bad when a few wet weekends at Butlin’s Skegness is a highlight.

The worse one though was to Ireland. No rolling hills, leprechauns or culture for us. Oh no. We went to stay with my then stepfather’s family in a run-down part of Downpatrick where the spirit of The Troubles was still well and truly alive. There were no fewer than eight of us crammed into a tiny two bedroomed house, and the kids were all bundled two-a-piece into three-storey bunkbeds made from pallets and chickenwire. You think I’m joking – I’m really not. The house was wall-to-wall Virgin Mary and that bloody awful picture of Jesus doing a Goatse to his chest. You know the one I mean. I was handed a rosary by an elderly woman and had no idea what to do with it, so I wore it round my neck for the whole weekend. I thought I looked fabulous, personally and never resisted an opportunity to strut around with it.

In the evenings we had to secure the house against the IRA (or was it the Police? I can’t remember what side they were on). It meant some elaborate traps had to be set by the front door in case it was kicked in. It looked like a fancy laser matrix but out of skipping rope. I got a smack across the head from someone who earlier had pissed against the bedroom wall because when I went to get some squash during the night I set off some trap that meant a radio fell into the hallway and set some picture frames cascading down the stairs like a paramilitarian game of Mouse Trap. It was all so surreal! Fortunately we never went back. I think if it had been suggested I would have seriously considered putting myself into care.

The worst part of the whole time we were there was the food – not that it was that bad, but because we were only fed once a day. ONCE. And it was at some weird time like 3pm. Not quite lunch, not quite dinner, but far too far away from what would be breakfast. A nightmare for a fatty like me. Give me waterboarding any day over that absolute horror.

And, for some reason, I came away with ABBA Gold on tape.

I’m glad to say that was a definite low point and they only ever got better since then. To be honest I don’t think I could have tolerated anything worse without doing some sort of spazz-out on the whole lot of them and that most certainly wouldn’t be pretty.

One place I’d really love to go though is the Far East. I’d love it! I love the whole culture and Western mysticism about it all. China, Japan, Singapore – I’d do all of it, and chow down every last crumb of chow mein I could find. I’d probably whinge that it wasn’t like a ‘proper Chinese’ you get from some foul-smelling grotty shop in Blyth like I’m used to. Top of the list is North Korea but the food there is shit so I might not bother unless I can get away with smuggling in a Matheson’s sausage.

TONIGHT’S RECIPE – Chinese tea eggs. No I don’t know either, but James thought they looked cool and who I am to deny my baby his pleasures? I half wondered whether I’d heard him wrong and he was going to fire them out of his bottom like a Taiwanese hooker, but no. They are pretty. He’s called them spiderweb eggs because he’s feeling deliciously random.

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to make spiderweb eggs, you should:

recipe – nice easy one this! These eggs are lovely for a snack or putting into a salad – they take on the taste of the sauce around them and so easy to do. Fill a pan with enough water to boil six eggs and a tsp of salt and boil for two minutes. Keeping the hot water to one side, plunge them into cold water for three minutes and then, when they are cold, crack them all over with a teaspoon. Don’t hit them with the spoon like a nun hitting an erect willy – you want them to crack but not shatter. Doesn’t matter if a bit of shell comes off.

Add into the hot water two black tea bags, four star anise, black pepper, salt, a cinnamon stick (or powder) and a big old glug of dark soy sauce. Pop the eggs back in once they’ve been cracked, and simmer very gently for three hours. After this, all you need to do is put the eggs, still in the sauce, in the fridge for 24 hours. Then shell and eat!

I know it sounds like a clart on but this can all be done in one pan and the effect is lovely – perfect for something different! Just like us, right?

P

slimming world syn-free frittata

do you know, there’s lots of things I enjoy about staying in an airport hotel – not just the excitement, cramping belly and visits to the can that flying the next day induces in me, oh no. I like having my soap in a handy dispenser in the shower, plus the added novelty (occasionally) of having a seat in the shower – the glamour of being able to soap myself down with absolute minimal effort.

But what we really love is Rabbit Gay TV. We don’t get this channel at home because it’s on Freeview and we suckle merrily on Sky’s teat, so whenever we stay at a budget hotel we delight in the wares of the channels at the end of the Freeview EPG. Rabbit Gay TV is just the best. It’s essentially a scrolling list of those adverts you get in lonely heart columns, only with pictures. And good heavens, the pictures.

Now, I’ve been through enough shenanigans to know not to judge anyone’s sexual choices, but I’ve genuinely never seen so many lorry drivers, binmen and retired accountants dressed up as 1980s housewives in one place. They’re always the same, bad nylon wig, dress from a charity shop, posing with their hands coquettishly over their mouth like some simpering never-been-kissed seamstress, though you rarely get a seamstress named Big Keith. The adverts are nearly always the same, lots of WLTM and TV and GSOH and VWE (because what else do you expect to see when you lift up a lace petticoat than a very well endowed cock winking at you) and the audio clips are ever weirder, with hushed proclamations of desire whispered out in the echoing sounds of their garage or Vauxhall Passat.

Paul and I once decided to text a reply to someone on there to see what would happen, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that within five text messages, he was asking whether we liked “playing with dogs”. Which sorta summarises exactly the type of person on there. Mind you, Paul used to know a lad who was paid by an old geezer to come round to his flat, eat beans and fart in the man’s face. Now as someone who enjoys money, likes beans and loves a good fart, that sounds like my ideal job, though perhaps not for the poor victim. One of my toxic bumtrumpets near his face would leave him looking like Harvey Dent from the Batman series when he had half of his face burnt off. In fact, it would look like the top of a well cooked frittata, which is a lovely segue into…

frittatapic

Delicious, right? Here’s the full recipe.

to make slimming world syn-free frittata:

FRITTATA RECIPE

I’m on holiday at the moment so hopefully the details above will be enough!

Enjoy!

superfree quiche

Syn free this one, or maybe one syn if you’re anal. Hahaha, anal. Does anyone over the age of 18 not stop for a single beat whenever they type that word in its correct usage? Not only is it hilarious, it’s also delightfully smutty.

I have to say, for all the talk of Body Magic and moving our arses, Paul and I have done spectacularly little this weekend. No, really. I’m surprised I haven’t turned into one of those people who are grafted to their armchairs and have to have a group of men come in and wash me. Not that I’d turn my nose up at that. Our neighbours would love that. My mum once popped around in her police uniform (she’s a legit policewoman, not a stripper) and I’m not kidding, the sound of necks cracking as they craned round net curtains sounded like a giant rolling in bubble wrap.

Between Forza Horizon 2 and The Amazing Race, we’ve had very little reason to shift. Bowser seems reluctant to become a helping-cat, too, which doesn’t help. Our grand ideal of having the cat answer the phone, bring us the TV remote and cook us a three course meal seems entirely unreasonable to him. Anyway, short entry tonight as I’m off to work soon.

Tonight’s little recipe is what I suggestively call ‘Any Old Shite Superfree Quiche’ because frankly, that’s what I put in it.

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I’m not sure we actually need a full recipe here – it’s all on the card. The only thing worth thinking about is synning the little bit of parmesan that I used, but it was such a small amount between four servings that I can’t be bothered. The rest is a case of chucking anything you have going spare / on the turn into a quiche tin, chopped up to reasonably similar sizes. Beat three eggs into 250g of fat-free cottage cheese, mix it all together, put in oven, and keep an eye on it. It might take a little longer as our oven is a fancypants one, but really you can tell when its cooked. Serve with a side salad or excellent for taking into work for lunch.

If I can give you any tips – adding a lot of tomatoes will make it quite wet

I realise that actually, our leftovers sound a bit lah-de-dah, but well, such is life. Our fridge has its own vodka shelf so that’s where we’re at.

J