pork and ginger stir fry: syn-free, quick and tasty!

Here for the pork and ginger stir fry, syn-free and wonderful as it is? Please hold.

Before we begin, I need to confess that I feel terrible: we received a ‘please order milk from your independent milkman’ letter through the door the other day. As it happens, I’m all for supporting local industry and would happily take advantage but he delivers after we go to work and I don’t want the milk sitting outside on the step all day. It’s not that I’m concerned that young hoodlums will steal it, oh no, quite the opposite – we live on a street with a lot of elderly folk, and I can see them now eyeing up an opportunity for some free calcium for their brittle bones. All we would see on our CCTV is the top of a gently-bobbing mass of grey hair shuffling along the bottom of our screen and then the milk disappearing. Tsh. Anyway, I was just settling down with a giant cup of coffee when the door went – I answered, already in my dressing gown, and there’s the milkman, asking if we had received his letter and would we like to order anything. Well, I was flustered, not least because frankly I’d have cheerfully invited him in for a half-pint of his full-fat milk, and couldn’t think of a way to phrase it so that I didn’t sound snotty or dismissive of his plea. I said the only thing I could think of: that I was gluten intolerant.

He corrected me to lactose-intolerant, looked at my giant cup of coffee, spotted the milk on the side in the kitchen, and had the good grace not to call me out on my obvious duplicity as he left. I tried to call after him that I would considering ordering fresh orange juice or some eggs but my words must have been carried away on the wind.

Anyway, enough about my poor milkman. Today is a day of love, you know. Whether you’re coupled up or single, take a moment to appreciate the good things in life. That might take the form of telling your partner you love them, or a good friend that you’ll always be there. Or, have a wank. Whatever works for you. I’m always teasing poor Paul via the medium of this blog but he’s alright really, so I thought it would be a good time to write three lovely things he does that just cements why we’re so good together.

When I’m angry, he’s angry

An important one, this. Even if he might not fully believe it what I’m raging against, he so very rarely tells me to calm down. I feel like the whole world is out to antagonise me most mornings and I can be out of bed for only five minutes before the cat has got in my way, Facebook has pissed me off and the sight of Piers Morgan on the television has sent me into a white-hot apoplexy. Paul is always there agreeing and eee-I-knowing and giving me ‘quite right’ looks and for that I’m thankful. It’s good to have someone to be cantankerous with and I think it’s a sign of true love that we can both sit and moan and bitch at each other and be bitter together.

He squeezes my feet

My feet hurt all the time now that we’re forever at the gym or walking or swimming or stamping out oil fires or booting the cat up her arse for getting in the way. Nothing too painful, just a dull ache that when pressed feels amazing. And, sure as eggs are eggs, each night when we’re cabbaged on the sofa watching TV he will pull my foot up onto his lap and squeeze the living daylights out of them. It feels amazing: you’re talking to someone who used to lift up our Caesar-sized mattress, contort his leg underneath and then lie on top of it to really squeeze the bones. Paul has actually stopped me from buying a vice to clamp my foot with. But what makes this extra special, indeed, takes it to a whole new level is this: he never complaint that my feet smell like a tramp has wiped his arse with a wheel of cupboard-warm Camembert, or that you could file the Forth Bridge with the skin on my heels. Listen, I walk eight miles a day now, I’m allowed hobbit feet, and anyway, it’s not like I can see them, what with my jiggling gunt in the way.

The morning routine

This is the big one. Paul loves to sleep: you could set his irises on fire and he’d still be there snoring and sleep-farting away. I’ve known him go to bed at 10pm and get up again at 7pm for his first piss, then go back to bed. However, every weekday morning he sets the alarm for ten minutes before I get up, makes sure the heating is on, goes and puts the coffee on, makes our porridge and, you’ll like this, turns the shower on for me so the bathroom is hot and steamy and the water boiling for when I emerge naked from under the duvet, farting and grunting away. Every morning, without fail. That’s pretty amazing, no? And you know why he does all of this?

Because he’ll get a damned good hiding if he doesn’t. Poor bastard has kidneys like dropped black pudding at this point.

I’m jesting.

I asked Paul what three things I do which make him happy and his reply was ‘going to work, going to sleep and being quiet’. Ho-hum. He will answer properly tomorrow. Or so help him.

Anyway, to celebrate over ten years of being together, look what popped up in our newsfeed throwback today!

Ten years and then some ago! Look at the clip of us: we look like football thugs who will kick your head in, sell you some wobbly eggs and suck you to a full and fruitful completion. In the interest of balance, here’s us now:

Looking good, right?

Shall we do the recipe? This makes enough for four people or two big portions for two big folks!

pork and ginger stir fry

pork and ginger stir fry

to make pork and ginger stir fry you will need:

  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 450g pork medallions, sliced
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 100g mangetout, sliced in half
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp rice wine

top tops for pork and ginger stir fry:

  • we used the fantastic medallions in Muscle Food’s Build Your Own Hamper deal! Find out more here!
  • feel free to use pork chops instead of medallions – just cut off the fat.
  • stop using Fry Light! It ruins your pans and tastes rank. Get one of these instead!
  • don’t have rice wine? cider vinegar will do!
  • the extra dark soy sauce is worth it – but you can swap it for normal soy sauce if you can’t be arsed to go out and get it, but you’ll lose a bit of flavour
  • sort the ginger out in seconds with a Microplane grater! It’s our most used kitchen gadget!

to make pork and ginger stir fry you should:

  • dead easy this one – spray a large frying pan with a little oil and put over a medium-high heat
  • add the ginger and stir around the pan for about 20 seconds, then add the pork, soy sauces and mangetout
  • cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally
  • stir in the sesame oil, spring onions and rice wine and simmer for another 3-4 minutes
  • serve

Getting excited for Chinese New Year? We’ve got a tonne of recipes you could make to celebrate!

Yum!

J

beef chop suey: saucy and syn-free

Right, let’s fire out a recipe for beef chop suey with no chitchat, as we’re all busy people. Take Me Out isn’t going to watch itself, you know.

Now come on, as if we’d watch Take Me Out. If I wanted to listen to thirty lasses screaming at an orange man, I’d go to a Trump protest. THERE. THERE’S SOME BITING POLITICAL ANALYSIS. I’m kidding, it’s my nephew’s birthday so we’re actually off to hand over gifts and cards in exchange for love and kindness. But we couldn’t leave you without something to smack your lips over, so here we are! Saucy beef chop suey.

beef chop suey

beef chop suey

to make saucy beef chop suey you will need:

  • 220g beef stir fry strips, sliced (or steak, sliced)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 8 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 60g mangetout, sliced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 300g dried noodles

top tips for making saucy beef chop suey:

to make saucy beef chop suey you should:

  • cook the noodles according to the instructions
  • heat a large saucepan over a high heat and spray ina . little oil
  • add the garlic and onions and stir around the pan for about a minute, then add the beef
  • cook for a few minutes and then add the carrots, red pepper and mushrooms and cook for another five minutes
  • add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, mangetout and spring onions to the pan and give a good stir
  • cook for another 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened
  • serve over the noodles

Feeling saucier? Check out some of our other recipes!

stir fry cucumber and pork – trust me, it’s a winner!

Stir fry cucumber and pork? You are either doing one of two things:

  • experiencing confusing feelings in your nethers – you’re scared, but you want to try it; or
  • you’re quietly gipping into your sleeve.

But trust me, it’s delicious! Paul, who doesn’t like cucumber whether it’s sliced, diced or hidden somewhere it’s not nice to talk about, declared the dish one of the best he’s ever had – and it’s so cheap too.

Anyway: good news everyone: I’m feeling better. Not 100%, I still feel like someone has backed a transit van over my head and everything capable of producing liquid is working over-time, but at least I’m not dying. See? Always a positive. But I need to stay rested, so let’s go straight to the recipe!

Oh, this makes enough for four nice bowls of stir fry cucumber and pork.

stir fry cucumber and pork

stir fry cucumber and pork

to make stir fry cucumber and pork, you’ll need:

  • two big cucumbers (or buy three, you’ll have something to play with whilst the cucumber soaks)
  • salt (smoked salt is nice, but any salt will do)
  • 500g of low-fat pork mince (you can use turkey mince too)
  • 3 teaspoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine (about 0.00000001 of a syn, so fuck it)
  • 2 teaspoon of oil (4 syns) (I used sesame, it’s easier)
  • 1 teaspoon of fish sauce (you can buy it from most supermarkets, it’s syn free and doesn’t taste fishy)
  • 1 teaspoon of cornflour (quarter of a syn, see above)
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • two garlic cloves, minced
  • rice to serve

top tips stir fry cucumber and pork

  • absolute full credit goes to seriouseats.com for this one – we found it a while ago and thought it would be a load of bollocks, but we’re so glad we tried it – fair play!
  • quickly mince the garlic with a Microplane grater – you’ll wonder how you ever got on without one – or you can buy ready minced garlic in most supermarkets if you’re lazy
  • if you’re using turkey mince, I’d suggest adding another tablespoon of oil (6 syns) because turkey can be quite dry, like me
  • our chopsticks are available here!

to make stir fry cucumber and pork, you should:

  • two bits of prep first:
    • marinate your pork by mixing it with two teaspoons of soy sauce, the rice wine, one teaspoon of oil, the fish sauce and half a teaspoon of cornflour – really give it a good mix, and then set aside – the longer you leave it the better it will be
    • peel slices from your skin of your two cucumbers so you’re left with alternating stripes around the outside, cut in half along the horizontal, so you’re left with two long halves, cut each half into chunks and then put in a bowl, scatter a good couple of pinches of salt on top, shake and leave them to sit for an hour or so
  • once you’re ready to cook, in a small bowl mix two teaspoons of water, the other half teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of sesame oil and a teaspoon of soy sauce – mix and set aside
  • wash your cucumber chunks through a sieve to get the salt off them, and then pat
  • heat up a frying pan with a few sprays of oil, get it nice and hot, then place the pork in almost like a big burger – allow to cook for thirty seconds or so exactly like that, then start breaking it up with a spatula, add the chilli flakes and garlic and cook until everything is golden brown
  • now add the cucumber chunks and cook high and quick – mix your sauce again and pour it in – there’s not a lot, but the idea is to make it a bit glossy – remember, cook quick and hot
  • serve with rice!

Guys, do you trust us at this point? Do we ever really post a duff recipe? No. This isn’t one of them, either. The cucumbers keep a bit of crunch but go more meaty than you would imagine. It tastes lovely and fresh and is a good, cheap alternative to a fakeaway. Give it a go!

Want more fakeaway ideas? We can help:

Goodness me!

J

our best ever lemon chicken fakeaway

Lemon chicken, if you don’t mind – but I do mind, because it’s my favourite dish and I want it now. James is still laid out with illness and, in between dabbing his fevered brow and attending to his every need *cough*, we still have to get a blog-post out. However, luckily, the other half writes out his holiday entries well in advance so when times are dry for things to write about, we can whack one of these up. To that end, if you’re here for the recipe and the recipe alone, click the button below to be whisked straight there. Or scroll until you see the food. I imagine that’ll pose no difficulties for most of you.

Thank goodness they’ve gone. I bet they own more television remotes than books, you know. Let’s go back to Stockholm!


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

Look, if we carry on at the rate we’re going, we’ll never leave Stockholm. We’ve got three more days there and frankly, if I keep spending 1000 words describing the type of coffee I enjoyed, we’ll never get anywhere. So let’s try something different: I’m going to write about the highlights of the trip in a loose, fudged-together timeline. If you’re like Rose and are displeased, I invite you to stop being such a surfitta-lit. Best not to google that one, though.

Skyview at the Ericsson Globe

First on the list was a trip on the Skyview – an external lift that goes up and over the Ericsson Globe arena down in the imaginatively named Stockholm Globe City district of Stockholm.

It’s like a Bond film without a budget!

You’ll know the Globe, I bet: it’s hosted the Eurovision Song Contest at least twice (fun fact: for three days after these events they don’t actually need to power the lifts – they rise up on the fug of amyl nitrate of their own accord) (and mysteriously, all the previously stuck doors just ease open to allow easy access) and there’s been all manner of big stadium concerts in there. And Shania Twain. We learned this fact by having to bear witness to the same Shania Twain five-second advert on loop whilst we stood in the queue for ten minutes waiting for tickets to be the first to board. No man should ever have to endure that much Shania Twain – I felt like I was 14 again, listening to my sister play ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ for the eighty-seventh time. She’s a hard to please witch, isn’t she – Shania, not my sister: frankly, if there’s any rocket scientists out there with a car and fine hair, get in touch. I get impressed by a bloke who can eat his dinner without spilling a third of it on the carpet, much lower standards. We were second in the queue with only a wee Chinese grandma in front of us so we were guaranteed admission to the first pod and then we could be on our way.

Only, no; she bought tickets for 22, and out of the McDonalds over the road came a tour-bus of selfie-sticks, expensive winter wear and Marlboro Reds, pushing us back into the third pod. That meant twenty more minutes of Shania looping. If I close my eyes now I still see her fabulously-conditioned hair and Polo-mint-teeth burnt on my eyelids. Keeping things in perspective, I spent those twenty minutes staring at the suspension cable of their pod in the vain hope so much venom would melt the steel. It was our turn soon enough and I mean, it was good fun and affords you a pleasant enough view of the city, but nothing that the (much cheaper) TV tower earlier hadn’t done the day before. Plus, the clean freak in me wanted to open the pod and run a squeegee along the windows, they were absolutely hacky.

#inspirashunal #omgbabez

Twenty minutes is a long time to spend looking over the top of a mall and some distant buildings, though we were at least entertained by the three teenage girls who spent the entire twenty minutes posing in front of their phones. I swear, they couldn’t have looked out of the window once. Just how many shots do you need of:

  • sucking invisible spaghetti;
  • thousand yard stare;
  • oh my god spontaneous shot of me I promise but actually, it’s taken twelve minutes;
  • McDonalds eyebrows; and
  • GROUP OF GIRLS RIGHT hadehar

for your friggin’ Instagram? You know how I take photos of us? I point the camera somewhere north of our staircase of chins, and click take photo. Done. It’s that simple.

The ABBA museum

Next, the ABBA museum. Well, it had to be, didn’t it? We made our way via Sweden’s excellent underground rail system. First of all, they must have known I was coming because they put up some especially camp warning signs.

No mincing please

Secondly, our journey was greatly enlivened by the fact that a woman, clearly off her tits, stood up, started shouting in Swedish and then pissed herself at great length. Was it my aftershave? I don’t know, but we had to all get off at the next stop – her to clean herself up, me to wring the bottom of my jeans out. Poor lass pissed like a bloody racehorse. Luckily, we were close enough to walk to the Abba museum and it only took us ten minutes of sliding around on the ice to do so. Now, remember me telling you that Sweden is eye-wateringly expensive? I was in full gush when I paid for our tickets here: £44 for two. £44 to enter a museum! That’s not £44 for a sit down meal and a chance to try and talk Agnetha round, no no – just to give you access to the turntable. I mean, I know they’ve got to make their Money Money Money, but come on.

We paid up and went in and boom: something to make it all worthwhile. Who the hell knew that Benny was such a DILF back in the day? I mean now he looks like someone you’d see arguing with trees but back then, fuck me – lucky I hadn’t spotted him yesterday, or else it really would have been The Day Before You Came. I was quite taken – all sorts of shirtless photos and videos plastered the walls – at least I had somewhere to hang my multi-language headset, I suppose.

He’d be Benny, Paul and I would be the Jets

And actually, despite the shafting at the start, the museum was excellent – very thorough, detailed and interactive. Almost too interactive actually: there were booths you could nip into and do karaoke without people being able to hear you. We elected to give Mamma Mia a bash and thought we sounded great until we listened back later on via their website and it sounds like a livestream from a condemned abattoir. You know how you think you can sing in the shower? You can’t. I’m surprised they didn’t ask us to leave.

Make just one swap in this photo and it’ll match the thumbnail of at least two of our xtube videos. Just saying.

It only got worse – we rounded a corner to find the next exhibition was where you could get up on stage and sing along as the 5th member of ABBA whilst they superimposed the other four alongside us. FLABBA, if you prefer. I said we couldn’t, but the museum worker was very persuasive – she literally said you can dance, you can jive. I tried to explain that I dance like my feet are on fire and she replied ‘Dancing Queen’. I retorted by calling her a homophobic blonde bitch.

I jest, on we went – there was no-one about anyway bar her and I’m sure she’s seen two eighteen-stone Geordies pretending to be Abba before. Who hasn’t? I’m sure it was a storyline in an episode of Vera – if it wasn’t then it bloody should have been, because we absolutely murdered the song. Of course, no sooner had we started caterwauling and shuffling around like sad bears in a rubbish zoo than a gaggle of other gay men – all stylish and shrieking – came round the corner and started giving us bitchy appraising looks. Honestly, the collective effect of them pursing their lips at the same time pulled at my eyelashes. The curator had the good grace to at least shut the music off after a minute rather than making us do a full set. We slunk off stage like the fat national embarrassment that we were and we hadn’t even went through the exit doors before André, B’Michael, Brandonael and A’Joseph were belting out Does Your Mother Know.

The rest of the museum was awash with dresses, videos, quizzes and all sorts of memorabilia. Yes: far too expensive, but worth it. I mean, it’s Abba.

Putting at least one syllable into country singer

 

Eating and drinking

We spent more than a couple of lovely hours in the Ardbeg Embassy tasting all the various beers they had to offer. Listen, when a beard with a man hanging off it offers you a giant glass of ‘Just Don’t Call Me Brett’ or ‘Cellar Troll’, you just don’t say no.

 

Always wondered what happened to Casualty’s Clive Mantle, and now we know – he’s ordering a pint in Sweden

What started as a ‘quick drink’ became an elongated ‘work our way down the list’ until we were a) smashed and b) poor. Fifteen quid for two pints, remember.

Pished

Drunk and beholden to our empty stomachs, we ventured out to find food, only to stumble into the first place with an open door that we found – Sally’s, next door. It was delicious. You know how good food tastes when you’re steaming and hungry? That, but coupled with big doughy flatbreads and good cheese – you need to understand that I haven’t had bread for several months at this point and I’m not kidding when I say my side of the table lifted up a fair few inches when they brought it out. Almost spilled my wine.

I want this again.

Oh and because it was Christmas, I had the reindeer carpaccio for starters. They even stuck a little red tomato on the plate in what I thought was a rather cruel jibe at poor Rudolph. Christmas is cancelled and I’m turning it into poo.

This was better than it looks.

The 3am graffiti

At some point we were tucked up in bed, doing our best to keep the hotel awake with our beer-smothered snoring, when I got up for a gypsy’s kiss and noticed that for the first time in the entire holiday, it was proper snowing. Not that stupid vicar’s dandruff sort of snow we get, but big thick flakes of it, all settling merrily on the ground. You need to understand that we went to Iceland, Switzerland and Copenhagen in winter and saw barely any snow so this was a big deal, so much so that I woke up Paul by throwing water in his face (accidentally, I knocked over his bedside glass in the excitement – I haven’t taken to waterboarding him in his sleep – yet) and got him out of bed. We dressed in all the fabulous winter attire we had brought and thought we wouldn’t need and dashed out to play in the snow like the two big kids we are. The city was asleep, we had to place to ourselves – I managed to sneak in some free advertising:

I was going to try and put other SW blogs on there but I didn’t have time to draw out the eight adverts necessary to go with it.

We made our way down into a small square that was absolutely pristine with snow – a complete blank canvas.

This IS…ART ATTACK!

It took less than a nanosecond before we were both studiously working on writing out the most offensive swearword we could in the biggest letters our legs would allow. Unhappily, I was only a third of the way through the ‘N’ when two police officers came over to see what all the gleeful screaming was about. You’ve never seen someone turn a nine foot capital ‘N’ into a ‘B’ and a tiny ‘S’ quicker than me that night – I was like Michael Flatley on ice. They asked what we were doing and I lied through my teeth to try and explain we were making a giant version of our logo – it was only when I showed them twochubbycubs on my phone that they understood.

Now in a normal situation both Paul and I would have been well-up with being bundled into the back of a van by two tattooed, bearded, uniformed men and roughly manhandled, indeed, we call it a successful night at Washington Services round here, but not that night – it was that cold that my testicles were rolling around in my scrotum like peas at the bottom of the freezer. Any ejaculate would have slid out like a Mini Milk, so even I didn’t bother making the ‘whatever can I do, officer’ fluttering eyes/arse at them.

A mite embarrassed, we returned to our beds.

Paul does have a chin – he has a collection, actually – it’s just the lighting

Seems like a good place to leave it!

REMEMBER FOLKS: we love feedback on the holiday entries! It makes my day! So please do leave a comment to gee us along!

previousArtboard 1


Let’s do the lemon chicken recipe then. This makes enough for four large portions, and if there’s anyone who can handle a large portion, it’s YOU!

lemon chicken

lemon chicken

to make our best ever lemon chicken fakeaway, you’ll need:

  • four chicken breasts, big and fat, cut into chunks
  • 3 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 175ml chicken stock
  • 75ml lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 2 tbsp of honey (5 syns)
  • 1 tbsp of cornflour (1 syn)

top tips for our best ever lemon chicken fakeaway:

to make our best ever lemon chicken fakeaway, you should:

  • in a bowl, add the chicken chunks to the soy sauce and vinegar and make sure every piece is covered – longer you leave it, the better it will be
  • when you’re ready to cook, cook the chicken off in a pan until it is cooked through
  • mix together the chicken stock, lemon juice, honey and cornflour and then tip into the pan with the chicken and cook until it has all thickened up
  • serve with rice and finely grated lemon rind
  • mwah!

Easy peasy! We’ve done loads of fakeaways lately, take a look:

J

salt and pepper chips (no MSG, no sweetener)

Salt and pepper chips! I’m amazed that we have never posted this as a recipe, but here we are. Now, here’s some sad news: James is poorly. Not poorly with man-flu or feeling a bit dicky (story of his life) but full on snot pouring from every orifice, voice like Madge Bishop shouting down an telephone line and a face the colour of the dead. The long dead. I’m having to type and listen to his gasping and wailing and snotting and it’s really quite something – it sounds like he’s suffocating animals in the bedroom. To be clear: he isn’t, just before anyone phones the RSPCA, though fat lot of good they ever do. To his credit, although he does like to moan on that he’s dying every time he cuts his toenails a bit too short, he’s rarely actually ill, so to see him sweating and dripping like he’s mid-exorcism is quite something. I must tend to him, so let’s get the recipe done!

This makes enough for a big portion to serve four people!

salt and pepper chips

salt and pepper chips

to make salt and pepper chips you will need:

  • 1 kg potatoes, cut into chips
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp sugar (1 syn)
  • 1 red and 1 green chilli pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tablespoons of worcestershire sauce (or tamari)
  • 2 tsp five spice
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes

There’s a couple of recipes out there which call for you to add MSG. Why? Totally unnecessary – you don’t need to add a ‘flavour-booster’ to your dinner if you cook with proper ingredients. Don’t be suckered into buying ingredients you don’t need just to make a few quid of commission for other blogs.

top tips for making salt and pepper chips:

  • an airfryer will make this one so much easier – if you haven’t got one yet check out our special review page to help you pick the right one for you
  • for nice, even chips try getting a chipper!
  • don’t be tempted to skip the sugar in this one – it’s definitely worth it
  • this one is a taste explosion even though it’s so simple – there’s no MSG! if you prefer it less spicy you can leave out the chilli flakes
  • get your chips nice and golden with a decent oil sprayer – we use this one
  • if you’re after the crinkle cut look, use one of these bad-boys 

to make salt and pepper chips you should:

  • cook the chips – if you’re using an Airfryer this is easy – just spray over a bit of oil and turn the machine on!
  • don’t forget to add the worcestershire sauce when you make your chips
  • if you’re cooking in the oven, spray with a bit of oil and bake for 30 minutes on 240°c
  • meanwhile, slice the chilli peppers and dice the onions
  • spray a large frying pan with a little oil and place over a medium0high heat
  • add the chilli peppers and onions to the pan and fry until the onion is a golden colour
  • add the salt, five-spice, chilli flakes and sugar to the pan and give a good stir
  • add the cooked chips to the frying pan and stir to coat well
  • serve!

We’ve done some amazing chips recipes over the years – have a look!

P

our best ever mixed chow mein recipe

Now, you can have a mixed chow mein, or you can keep it simple with a plain chicken chow mein, but either way, this is possibly my favourite recipe that we have done in a while. Mixed chow mein is easily the one dish I order most from the Chinese takeaway – well, that and trapped wind – and so to make a perfect replica of it, well say no more fam. Or something. Scroll down for the recipe, or…

Indulge me for a moment. I had a right strop the other day about that stupid TUI advert with the silly woman hyperventilating through ‘Ain’t Nobody’ like an anxiety attack given a melody. Well, working from home on a Monday means that I have to run the gamut of daytime advertising – I like to have the TV on as background noise because a) it blocks out my tinnitus and b) daytime TV makes me feel better about my own life choices. For example, on a Jeremy Kyle catch-up this morning, they were arguing about whether someone had shat in a fridge.

Just let that sink in for a moment. I can’t conceive of any situation in my life that might end up with someone shitting in my fridge. Can you? I mean, we have one of those giant American fridges, you could take the shelves out and build a rudimentary portaloo, but even then I don’t know a single soul who, however drunk they got, would think that was a viable option for relieving themselves. So not only do you have a gaggle of inbred mouthbreathers with a shitty fridge, they think the best thing to do to clear it up (use Flash and warm water, surely) is to go on national TV to be soaked in indignant spittle and to show off your Thorntons Fudge Selection teeth to a judgemental nation. I could have a bomb up my arse and Jeremy Kyle could hold the defusing code and I’d still rather die than sit in the back with Graham awaiting my turn to bound on effing and jeffing. The mind boggles.

But anyway, this isn’t about Jeremy Kyle. I want to kvetch on about adverts again. Top of the list is the Nationwide adverts, and I don’t care that I bank with them, they can take all my money away if it means I’m never subjected to Toni Collette’s stand-in and Sharon Watt’s double singing their cutesy-poo wee ditties and playing the keyboard. Why? Some clever sort will doubtless say the advert works because I have remembered it but that’s like saying Anusol is wonderful because I once bought a tube of it back in 2008. It’s a negative memory: I don’t buy it now just for the nostalgia. This advert has done the opposite – it’s made me get off my fat arse and finally get around to switching banks over to First Direct who, although they overdo the ‘bants’ side of things, at least don’t have adverts that make me want to push my face into a thresher.

Next on the list: WHAT’S THAT? YOU HAVEN’T CLAIMED FOR YOUR MIS-SOLD PPI? You know the one, smarmy streak of piss in a shiny suit asking you whether you can afford to miss out on thooousands of pounds. Gladstone Brookes, I believe – you would think with all the money they’re raking in from charging a significant fee for something that people could easily do themselves that perhaps they’d fund a better advert, but no. I hate his incredulous tone and overacting and stupid beady eyes to the point where I’d like to kick a hole in my TV and send them the invoice. With knobhead protection insurance included, of course.

Surely the king of irritation – an almost superhuman level of advertising thrush, if you will – is the friggin’ Shpock advert though. For a start, shpock is a shite name for a company – the fact I had to google it to work out how to spell it says enough. What kind of word is shpock anyway? It sounds like something that would be forming in a drip on the end of a diseased penis – look at that, you’ve left a smear of shpock all over our bedspread, for example. According to their advert, it’s like having a boot sale in your pocket. Well whoopity-doo. The last time we went to a car-boot sale it was dreadful – people selling used ashtrays and dirty clothes and urgh. If you go by their advert the app will be full of fancy bikes, cars, beautiful people and distressed furniture. I loaded it up to try and shift my giant shirts and found it awash with such levels of illiteracy that I thought I’d somehow switched my language settings to Russian. There wasn’t a thing on there I would even entertain having in my house, and that’s just the sellers. It was deleted quicker than the time I accidentally downloaded Snapchat. I mean, I’m not a 14 year old girl.

OK one final gripe. Gambling adverts. Why are these allowed? Have you tried watching ITV2 or Challenge or Sky Sports in the evening? You can’t move for flashy adverts advertising betting or bingo sites and frankly, you’d be absolutely buggered if you had a gambling problem. They don’t allow adverts for cigarettes, so why something as addictive as gambling? And it’s always such a bullshit advert – sexy people playing in glamorous virtual casinos, all sultry stares and coquettish laughter and massive wins. I’d admire any company that portrayed the grim reality of someone sat in yesterday’s clothes, unshaved, unwashed, desperately clicking the spin button over and over and over in the hope of winning back a tenth of what they’ve been encouraged to gamble away if only so they can keep the wolves away from the door for another few days. They say that ‘when the fun stops, stop’, and then they play their adverts over and over and over. How does that work then?

In fact, I’d go as far to say that these are the worst adverts of all. They have the power to absolutely destroy lives, and they’re sandwiched repeatedly between bloody Love Island repeats. As if that shower of shits wasn’t bad enough.


I feel better for that! Right, let’s do this mixed chow mein. Remember, you can use whatever meat you want – we used leftover pieces from all the fakeaway recipes we’ve been cooking lately, and of course you could use prawns but why would you? They’re bloody awful. It’s as simple as that. This makes enough for four massive portions – we portioned it up (for once) and put some in the freezer.

Have no fear though, we took it back out again ten minutes later and ate it. I mean, we’re not called twochubbycubs for nothing, you know. Let’s do this. Don’t be tempted to leave out the oil – between four, it’s 1.5 syns each – think how many syns your normal takeaway would be. It’s worth it for the taste. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it really isn’t!

mixed chow mein

mixed chow mein

to make a mixed chow mein, you’ll need:

  • whatever meat you want – we used scraps of beef, some char sui pork and two chicken breasts, but honestly, there’s no rhyme or reason – if it’s already cooked, you’ll just need to warm it through in the instructions below, but if it is raw, make sure you cook it well
  • two or three nests of dried noodles
  • two cloves of garlic, minced
  • one large onion, chopped
  • 1 bag of beansprouts
  • one bunch of spring onions – sliced thinly
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (1 syn)
  • 1 teaspoon of white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil (6 syns)
  • one large red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 5 tablespoons of oyster sauce (free – yes, I was surprised too – and it doesn’t taste fishy, don’t worry)
  • 1 teaspoon of cornflour (1 syn)

So in total that makes eight syns: 2 syns each for a giant portion!

top tips for a mixed chow mein:

to make a mixed chow mein, you should:

  • mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon of the dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the light soy sauce, 2 tablespoon of the oyster sauce and pour over whatever meat you’re using to marinate for a few hours
  • cook your noodles according to the instructions and then when cooked, run under cold water to stop them sticking
  • heat the oil in your pan and either heat your cooked meat or cook off your raw meat
  • take the meat out and throw in the onion, minced garlic, pepper spring onion, pepper and beansprouts and cook high and hard to soften everything
  • add the meat back in with the remainder of the wet ingredients (and the marinade you have left over, if you’ve kept it) and then add the noodles – stir everything through until the noodles are piping hot, then serve
  • want it saucier? Don’t we all – just add more oyster sauce!

How good does that look, honestly? Want more fakeaway recipes? Hit the links below!

Remember to share!

J

one syn chips and cheesy garlic sauce

One syn cheesy garlic sauce and chips – building on yesterday’s fakeaway recipe, here’s our take on Paul’s favourite drunken snack (aside from whichever taxi driver happens to give him the keen-eye in the rank – and it’s not hard to catch Paul’s eye, given it swivels around like Mad Eye Moody on E). It’s not going to win any awards for classiness, presentation or nutritional value but if you’re at the end of a long, crap day and you want something to satisfy your hole (and indeed, you’re all out of the eighteen D batteries needed to power your robocock), this is the one for you.

Eee, what a sentence.

But first, I want to respond to something that’s been bugging me – I spotted this on Twitter:

I appreciate the first clue that this wasn’t going to be a reasoned, erudite debate should have come from the fact it was Good Morning Britain and as such it was meant as a light-hearted piece to get people talking, but it really annoyed me. They wouldn’t be allowed (and rightly so) to put ‘Are pensioners ALWAYS stinkin’ of piss’ or ‘Toddlers: they’re shite at tennis, so let’s throw them in the sea‘, so why is such an asinine point allowed when it’s about the so-called millennial? Someone then made a similar point and linked to a particularly vile Daily Mail article (I can imagine that you’re clutching your chest as we speak with the shock) about how young people are especially pointless and stupid because they can’t wire plugs, darn a sock or heaven-forbid bleed a radiator.

Now, I don’t know if I’m a millennial. I don’t think I am – I’m possibly too old.

Actually: according to Wikipedia, I am. Woohoo! And yet I’ve never even smashed an avocado.

I’m a millennial then, and here’s the thing: we don’t need to know these things. We live in a world where if a radiator needs bleeding, a quick two second type on our phones will bring up a video explaining exactly how to do it in more highly-defined pixels than could ever be counted. A further ten seconds would probably bring up a plumber’s number if things got super risky. Actually, on my phone I have several plumbers, though they’re never coming over to tighten my u-bend up. Is that a bad thing? No! It’s the way of the world, and it’s great!

Now some will doubtless say that we’re losing the skills of old but that isn’t true – they’re just transferring. Yes, we can’t darn a sock, but why would you darn a sock when you can order a pack of seven pairs delivered to your door within two hours with Amazon Prime? Why would you need to know off the top of your head how to make a white sauce when there’s millions of recipes online or in books that will show you how? The world has changed: instant information is here and it’s embraced by anyone with half an ounce of grey matter in their head.

You know what the worst thing is about all of this? They never mention how it works in reverse. Stereotyping massively, have you ever tried showing someone in their 80s how to use a television? My nana had a four channel TV and I spent nearly three hours explaining the various wee buttons on the remote. Even in the few days before she died she was waving that remote around like she was performing the Flight Simulator round on The Krypton Factor, with the TV blaring so loud that if I sit in a silent room even now I can still hear echoes of The Weakest Link. My mother is a beautiful, clever and astonishing woman but the first time she handled a computer mouse she picked it up and held it to her ear. Paul recounts of a similar tale with his mother who, upon receiving this errors back in the day of Windows 95:

went and drew the curtains so the police would think she was out. It’s easy to snicker at what we can’t do, but what about stuff we’ve mastered that would cause many an aged brow to wrinkle. For example: could you run a blog? Could you face countless years ahead of rack and ruin as automation steals your job and politicians steal your hope? Could you draw a penis out of the foam on the top of a latte? Exactly!

Anyway, it’s not like it fucking matters that a millennial can’t bleed a radiator: you’d need a house for your radiator first of all, and we all know exactly how great that situation currently is, eh?

Bloody old people with their wide-sweeping generalisations.

(I’M BEING SARCASTIC)

Eee, on that note, shall we do the recipe? Of course we should. One recipe for syn-free cheesy garlic sauce and chips coming right up, flower. Listen, I’d give you scraps but my boss will have my bollocks off if I give away any more freebies.

This makes enough sauce for four people very, very easily. It freezes well though!

cheesy garlic sauce

cheesy garlic sauce

to make one syn cheesy garlic sauce and chips, you’ll need:

  • as many slimming world chips as you want
  • 80g of whatever cheese you like – I like to use Red Leicester for a bit of colour (2x HEA) (grated)
  • 220g of Philadelphia Lightest (2 x HEA)
  • one bulb of garlic
  • chilli sauce – if you like – we use Flying Goose Sriracha Hot Chilli Sauce for only 1tbsp for a syn

top tips for making one syn cheesy garlic sauce and chips:

to make one syn cheesy garlic sauce and chips, you should:

  • make the sauce first!
  • to make the sauce, cut your garlic bulb in half horizontally, so you’re cutting through the cloves inside
  • spray with a wee bit of oil and pop in the oven on a low heat for an hour or so
  • once it has roasted, simply slide the softened garlic – as much as you like – out of each clove and into a bowl and mash
  • heat a small pan up with the Philadelphia and garlic inside to loosen it a little  – add a splash of milk if you need to
  • add 60g of the cheese into the hot Philadelphia and stir it, don’t let it set – you want the cheese to be absorbed into the Philadelphia
  • add some salt and pepper if you like
  • pour over hot chips with the remainder of the cheese (we actually mixed it up and put some grated mature cheddar on too, because we’re filthy)
  • top with chilli sauce if you like

I know, right?

Want more fakeaways? Oh we’ve got too many to count man, come have a look by clicking on the button to unlock deliciousness! Remember to share us around!

fakeawayssmall

J

sesame chicken and broccoli – a perfect fakeaway!

Sesame chicken and broccoli with noodles: it’s like the beef and broccoli fakeaway we did, only with one exciting change. You’ll never guess!

Now, newer readers to this blog might not know this but we’re more than just a recipe site – we like to post up our holiday stories as well – long posts where I get to type out the nonsense that happens to us when we have the cheek to leave our living room. We’ve been all over on this blog: Iceland, New York, Switzerland, Germany, Ireland, Cornwall (god help us), Paris, Corsica and er, a coach trip. We’re a national embarrassment. Last year we tried to do twelve holidays and we managed eleven – not bad going for two fatties who get out of breath opening their passports, eh? We have a fantastic travel series of posts coming for Stockholm and Oslo, but first, let’s wipe away the winnit that’s been hanging on since April last year and finally finish our Copenhagen entry.

If you’re only here for the chicken and broccoli fakeaway, just scroll down until you reach the pretty colours or click the button below, which will whisk you straight there! I know, I’m a treat!

There, she’s gone. Thank god: I’ve never known anyone put their make-up on with a plastering hawk before.

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

Right, let me open with a confession: there’s a reason we’ve been putting off finishing the Copenhagen entries. Something I can’t talk about yet – enigmatic – but it’ll become clear soon! Don’t get too excited – we’re not getting a divorce, Paul didn’t meet a handsome Danish fish-botherer and run away to grow a beard and live happily ever after. I mean, that goes without saying: Paul wouldn’t run to a pool of water if his eyes were on fire. Mind I wouldn’t blame him – Copenhagen, like most Scandinavian countries, was absolutely awash with stunning men: beefy, tall, long haired, beard you could crawl up and die in. Honestly, it’s a good job I don’t like over there – I’d permanently have a bumhole like a pan of boiling milk. There, right there: that’s the image of me you’ll have if we ever lock eyes in the supermarket. Anyway, yes: all will become clear soon. To that end, rather than a huge cantata spread over 6,000 words, let’s just hit the best bits and finish this off!

Carlsberg factory

By all accounts, no trip to the historic and cultural Copenhagen is apparently complete without a trip to the Carlsberg factory to suckle on the teat of piss-weak lager. That’s why we ended up mincing furiously across Copenhagen in the absolute pissing rain to try and get the shuttle bus over to the factory early on a Sunday morning. I’ve never seen rain like it – it would have been quicker to get a lilo and float our way past the trams. Naturally, Paul took us to entirely the wrong pick-up point and so it was only after another twenty minutes of hurried running-walking-heavy-breathing that we arrived at the right place. I was silly, I should have just listened out for people loud Mandarin exclamations, given a good half of China’s population was also waiting for the bus. So many selfie-sticks, so little queueing. I can’t cope without an orderly queue: I like to know where I stand, but I persevere. The problem Paul and I have is that he’s incredibly polite and will not forgo his British sensibilities for anything, whereas I’m far more bullish about things and if no-one else is queueing and all surge to the bus-doors in one North Face rustling mass, you better believe I’ll be right there in the thick of it pushing people under the wheels and elbowing folks in the boobs. This invariably means that I get on first because of my bulk and then I’m left furiously watching Paul going ‘no no, after you’ and ‘I’ll get the next one’ and ‘no, he’s not with me’ to every person pushing past him without a thank you.

Now, you mustn’t think I’m a boorish swine: if there’s a queue I’ll join it. I have impeccable manners: I apologise at the point of orgasm, which admittedly makes it tricky when I’m at the doctors. But sometimes you’ve just got to go for it and to hell with the resulting deaths.

Once the driver had managed to squeeze eight hundred people onto his 57 seater coach (I’m sure I saw him tuck a startled old bloke into the ashtray) we were away, floating our way to the Copenhagen museum. Paul, in his slothlike manner, had been unable to sit next to me, meaning I spent the following fifteen minutes staring furiously at the back of his head and having my shins kicked by someone whose idea of observing my personal space was to attempt to get me to father her child, given how hard she was pressing against me. You can imagine how quickly the time passed.

Not going to lie – the Carlsberg factory was a bit…meh. I had visions of going around a super-factory, oohing and aahing at the conveyor bottles of beer being made and feigning interest as someone in a white coat and blue-bag shoes explained how they gum labels onto the bottles. No such luck. You can look around the original bottling machines, but they’re not switched on. You can read about the history of the Carlsberg dynasty but it’s about as exciting as reading the instructions that came with your router. If I wanted to look at a dusty, yeast-covered old relic with a rusting, ancient mechanism that has made thousands of blokes happy over the years, yes, you’ve guessed it, I’d visit Paul’s mother. I’m kidding, she’s lovely really.

[dry cough]

As it happens, we had made an error – we should have done the sampling tour first. This involved a small group of us being led deep underground by a dapper old man – it’s OK, he had a moustache like Josef Fritzl but I was confident I could have taken him in a fight – and into the cellars, although not before we managed to lose Paul. He’d stopped to admire the bunker they used to use in case of war only to find that our entire party had left the room and the guide had locked the door behind him. Perhaps that Fritz analogy was apt, after all. I only realised he had disappeared when I realised I couldn’t hear laboured breathing in my ear. I had to walk back with the guide until we found him, politely knocking on the door and going ‘hello, hello?’ like he was interrupting a church service. See, this is what I mean about restraint – if that had been me I’d have been scratching my name in the wall with my bloody fingernails and yelling FENNER within two minutes flat.

Paul’s prison.

Paul rejoined us and what followed was a very pleasurable half hour or so perched at a little table with a charming French couple (charming because they didn’t speak any English, so we didn’t have to make strained small talk with them) (I bet there’s a post right now on deux oursons potelés saying the same thing about us, only with more smoking and shrugging) sampling lots of big measures of different lagers. There was lots of waffle about hops and flavours and head (my ears perked up at that point) but to be honest, we tuned out and concentrated on drinking. I remind you that we’re British. It’s amazing how things suddenly seem more interesting and captivating when viewed through a haze of alcohol, isn’t it?

Trebles all round!

We wandered back up full of love and spent a merry hour revisiting the attractions we’d previously hurried past. We posed with the giant horses, one of which loved me so much that it started chewing my coat (which was foolish, as I make a mean horse stew, just sayin’). We skipped cheerfully through the gift-shop buying all manner of Carlsberg-branded tat, all of which remains rattling around in our holiday box. We examined the giant bottle collection for a Newcastle Brown but had no joy. Pathetic. I was so angry on behalf of all Geordies that I almost went and punched one of the horses, as is our way. A quick meal upstairs in their restaurant (delicious, expensive) then it was time to go. We looked at the bus-stop, decided we would rather die than experience that ‘fun’ again and instead turned for the two mile or so walk back to the centre of town.

We bumped into the most emo-horse ever though.

I liked Abba before everyone else thought they were cool.

 

Malmö

We actually managed to sneak an extra country into our holiday – Copenhagen is linked to Malmö in Sweden via rail/road bridge/tunnel, meaning you’re in the unique position of setting off from one country, crossing the Øresund Strait and ending up in a different country altogether in the time it takes to spill your coffee across the table, like I did. We’ve always wanted to visit Sweden – big ABBA fans here (shock!) and the lure of a day-trip was too strong. Passports packed, off we toddled. It was all terrifically easy – we set off from Copenhagen Airport and were pulling into Malmö in about twenty minutes. I can’t remember if we had our passports checked – normally I remember a fingering from a burly guard – but take them anyway, just in case.

A Sunday in Malmö was lovely. We sat outside a wee café and waited for the town to wake up. Paul ordered what looked like a bumhole from a bakery whereas I was more restrained and had a full quiche for breakfast. Well, it is a holiday, after all.

You have no idea how many photos I’ve seen like this in my life.

We then wandered around down to Kungsparken, an absolutely gorgeous park right in the centre. Killed a couple of hours here drinking and just enjoying the place – the cherry blossom trees were in full bloom and aaah, it was just marvellous. I appreciate this doesn’t make for an especially interesting blog but the whole day was just walking, relaxing and taking in the views and I don’t think that can be appreciated enough! Anyway, if you don’t slow down sometimes, you can’t remember all the things you said you would do.

Not sure what this is, but it looks pretty!

I felt so pretty walking through this.

Fun fact: they only switched this on because us and our energetic wind had arrived    

We passed a ‘British things’ store whose entire window was full of Radox. Is that an inherently British thing now? Having a bath? We ambled past two dogs having energetic sex right in the centre of one of the many bridges crossing the river, which I like to think added colour to all the photographs people were trying to take of the scenic views. We had a late lunch in Stortorget Square, a lovely town centre area full of charming restaurants and lively bars. It seemed to be the place to go. I ordered the meatballs, Paul had steak. After almost an hour they brought our dinner to the table and it was alright, yes, but I can’t enjoy Swedish meatballs unless I’m eating them furiously after a blistering argument in IKEA with Paul.

Plus, just saying, we have a recipe for them and they’re bloody amazing: see?

The Paper Island

Another highlight from Copenhagen was the last-day visit to The Paper Island – an old factory by the water dedicated to loads of different street food vendors. It was fantastic. Naturally, being fat bastards, we thoroughly enjoyed myself, and I have to confess it’s the first time I’ve ever been satisfied by so many different ethnicities at once. A particular highlight was a hot-dog where they just wouldn’t stop adding toppings – it barely managed to fit in my hands let alone my mouth. Thank Christ years of dedicated homosexuality has allowed my jaw to swing open like a ferry boarding door. Paul had nachos and a cheesecake which seemed to stir up a passion in him that I haven’t seen since we first started going out and he saw my wallet. It caused an argument because he wouldn’t let me have a piece. We adore places like this – not just because of the food, although that helps – but because it brings together such a fun hotchpotch of people and cultures. Everyone was having a good time, it wasn’t fussy, it wasn’t pretentious – it was a bit hipster, yes, but see I can forgive a waxed moustache when the person wearing it is feeding me deliciousness.

Marriage wrecking whore!

Duck you too!

Urgh! I’ll take the khlav kalash please.

Naturally, the whole place has now shut down (as of December 2017). I blame Paul: he went to use their toilet and was gone for fifteen minutes. I can’t imagine they ever managed to fix that.

Summing up

Copenhagen was beautiful – absolutely stunning. Until we went to Stockholm it was probably our most favourite destination of the year. We spent each day and night just wandering about, popping into bars, getting snacks from riverside cafés, coveting all the beautiful houses, making plans to buy and live on a boat, the works. The people are friendly, the streets are clean. It’s expensive, yes, but not prohibitively so.

Found our boat. Ah that’s a fib. If we had a boat we’d called it the Seamen Splattered Poop-Deck. Or the Cock-Tugger. 

There’s plenty of museums to feign an interest in, plenty of bars to embarrass yourself and uphold the shameful national stereotype of the Brit abroad. We were sad to leave, but glad we went – and we’ll be returning in 2018, as I’ve literally just booked the tickets. Hopefully we’ll have a better flight than our flight back to Edinburgh – turbulent the whole way and then a go-around landing. Not sure if you’re familiar with the term but it’s when the pilot aborts the landing and rockets back up into the sky. If, like me, you’re gazing out of the window wondering where on Earth the runway is only for the plane to roar back to life and ‘take off’, it’s certainly an interesting experience. If you’re the person who sat in seat 13F after me, I apologise profusely, but that wasn’t Nutella you had smeared on the back of your legs.

Oh: and a final thought. This was the first flight I’ve ever taken where I needed to ask for a seatbelt extension. An older easyJet plane meant two hours of the most uncomfortable flying I’ve ever experienced, wedged in as I was between Paul and the frame of the aeroplane. To easyJet’s credit, they were absolutely fantastic about the whole thing and very discreet, but it gave me significant food for thought.

Then I ate that food for thought, because I’m a greedy fat bastard.


We flew from Edinburgh to Copenhagen with easyJet, who operate flights almost every day. Great service as ever, and the flights cost around £100.

We stayed for several nights at the AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen – perfect location for us – on the Metro system, lovely large rooms and great views.

Enjoy our holiday entries? Please do give us feedback or share or whatever, it’s what we live for!


chicken and broccoli

chicken and broccoli

to make sesame chicken and broccoli you will need:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 1 broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (do it seconds with one of these!)
  • 65ml light soy sauce
  • 1tsp sesame oil (2½ syns)
  • 1 tbsp honey (2½ syns)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds – we used a mixture of white and black (1x HeB)

Don’t waste your money on those sad, shrivelled water-filled chicken breasts you get at the supermarket. Treat yourself to nice, juicy plump ones that won’t shrink when you cook them from our fantastic Musclefood bundle! You can build your own pack so you choose only the stuff you really love! Find out more, including the syn values, on our Musclefood page.

We bought those dinosaur chopsticks for my nephew to help him get the hang of it. But then we kept them, because we’re a monster! You can buy them for a fiver here!

to make sesame chicken and broccoli you should:

  • fill a saucepan with water and bring to the boil
  • simmer the broccoli florets for two minutes, then drain and set aside
  • heat a large frying pan (or wok) over a medium-high heat and add a little oil
  • add the chicken to the pan in a single layer and cook for 2-3 minutes, until one side is golden
  • stir fry for a few minutes more until the chicken is cooked through, then remove to a plate and set aside
  • add a bit more oil to the same pan and whack the heat up to high
  • add the spring onions and red pepper and stir fry for a few minutes until just starting to get black char-marks
  • reduce the heat back to medium-high and stir in the garlic
  • add the chicken back to the pan along with the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and sesame seeds
  • simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened
  • stir in the broccoli and serve over noodles or rice

Want more fakeaway goodies in your gob?

Enjoy!

J

christmas clear out: saucy chicken noodles

Saucy chicken noodles if you don’t mind! I’m not convinced calling this little streak of recipes a Christmas clear-out was a good idea, you know. All it makes me think of is the Boxing Day strain – you know what I’m talking about. When you have to perform the equivalent of trying to drive a car made of meat through a hula-hoop. Anyway: straight to the recipe, and remember, we’ll be back in fighting form soon, just as soon as we’re done with the Personal Project!

Oh one thing! Did you know we have a facebook page? We do. You get regular recipe updates and it’s where we post all of our nonsense videos to boot. Make sure to sign up! Click here, it’ll open in a new window: www.facebook.com/twochubbycubs

The recipe, then…makes enough for two! We almost didn’t post this, it doesn’t look good in the photo, but you know, sometimes you just need a plate of noodles to get on with. Might not win any competitions but so. Get it down you!

chicken noodles

to make saucy chicken noodles you will need:

for the chicken:

for everything else:

  • 300g dried noodles
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp honey (1 syn)
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced (save your fingers!)
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 small onion, quartered and then sliced
  • 2 spring onions, julienned
  • 2 chilli peppers, sliced
  • handful of basil leaves
  • 6 baby corn, quartered
  • 2 tsp mirin (1 syn)

Now I know that looks like a load of ingredients but most of it, you’ll have in the house or can pick up cheap in the supermarket. Don’t be alarmed!

to make saucy chicken noodles you should:

  • this doesn’t take long to cook, so it’s best to prepare everything first and keep close by
  • mix together the chicken marinade mix into a thick paste, and using your hands work it into the chicken chunks – set aside for about twenty minutes to marinade
  • cook the noodles according to the instructions, drain, and rinse with cold water. set aside.
  • in a small bowl, mix together the soy, fish and oyster sauce with the honey, 2 tbsp of water and white pepper – set aside
  • heat a large pan over a medium-high heat and add a little oil
  • add the chicken and stir frequently until cooked – removed from the pan and set aside
  • pour the mirin into the pan to deglaze
  • add the garlic and ginger to the pan and stir for about twenty seconds
  • add the onion, spring onions, chilli peppers, basil and baby corn and cook for about two minutes
  • add the noodles to the pan with the chicken and mix well – cook for another 1-2 minutes
  • serve

This is one of those recipes that looks complicated but do you know, once you have everything chopped and sliced, you can just chuck it in the pan and it makes itself!

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crispy chilli beef – well, sort of, because this is Slimming World after all

Crispy chilli beef! Yeah, kind of. Look you’re never going to replicate the chilli beef you get from the takeaway because they fry it in oil – like all delicious things – and obviously we can’t do that. But this is a good, tasty effort! Before we get to that, of course, Paul had the idea that he would like to bookend our Newcastle trip report with his views on the North East. I nearly died of shock – the poor sod never wants to write our posts – so who am I to complain? He’d love feedback and I hope his billet-doux leaves you satisfied and smiling. That said, if you’re not wanting to read, that’s fine – like I do for all the longer entries, I’m including a shortcut button for you. That’s right – this time just click on the GRUMPY NAG to go straight to the food.

I thought she’d never leave, you know? Someone should tell her about her moustache. You could use it to strain soup. Right, shall we get on?


part one | part two | part three | part four | part five | part six | part seven

It’s well-known on this blog that when James and I first met, we had a couple of dates and I, completely on a whim, moved straight to Newcastle to be with him. At that time I was living in the living hell that is commonly known as Portsmouth, renting a room in a mansion from a pair of sadomasochistic dungeon masters. I’m not even joking with that one, I’m actually surprised that story hasn’t made it into a blogpost yet.

The strangest thing for me though was that I never heard of anything coming out of Newcastle. No news, no excitement, nothing at all. All I knew of it was from Byker Grove and even then I was only giving it half my attention because there was no doubt a tin of Campbell’s meatballs in the microwave on the go for me. I knew it had Geordies (obviously) and some sort of past industrial history but that was it. Until that point, I made a promise (and my good friend Glenn reminds me of this often) that I would never live ‘in the North’. Don’t get me wrong – I’m probably the most common person you’ll ever meet and absolutely not a snob, but I just had this vision in my mind of unrelenting grey skies, rusting machinery everywhere and misery.

How pleasantly surprised I was then when I actually visited the place. It absolutely astounded me. For my first journey up we got the train; I remember getting off and seeing this little scale model of the city on a plinth just outside the entrance. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. It was lit up and everything. I thought maybe it’d been dropped by the planning department and should probably keep off it, but no – it was art. It was public art! Just something small and insignificant and probably ignored by most people who walked past it but I was genuinely speechless. This might all sound very over-the-top and dramatic but I promise it’s true. See, I grew up in a place called Peterborough which, except for a big ass cathedral, pretty much just exploded forth in the 60’s and 70’s into a New Town haemorrhage. It’s totally devoid of any sort of culture. Utilitarian. Dull. Brown. Ring roads. You get the idea. Portsmouth was even worse.

So we came out the Central Station and saw this little plinth. We walked down to the Quayside and there was more. There was a vampire rabbit over a door. An archway that lit up like Tetris bricks. Another arch that would sing to you in a weird Geordie accent as you went through. A statue of a bloke floating in the air. It was amazing. And the place was absolutely immaculate.

We arrived down onto the Quayside, I saw the Tyne Bridge for the first time, and just in the distance, nestled against the big curve was the Sage (which looks like me on my side). I was absolutely mesmerised. This place was gorgeous. It was modern, it was clean, it was NICE! I knew then that I immediately wanted to move here. It was a place that I’d actually want to leave the house for and explore, rather than to just go to the supermarket. We stopped at the Pitcher and Piano (which gives a cracking view out onto a tilting bridge!), I actually scribbled out my resignation letter on a sheet of notepaper I scrounged off the barman there and then and he kindly faxed it off for me. I’d forgotten all about that until now. I mean, look at us way back when…

I really want you to know how taken in I was with the instant beauty of ‘The North’ (James here: I’m fairly sure he’s talking about me, but don’t be blue)

Look how young we were! Aaaah.

I still get it now. When I visit Peterborough I’m sad to say that I’m appalled by it. It’s dirty, dull, dreary. It’s like going back behind the Iron Curtain. There’s no ‘life’ to it. The last time we visited we had to go to Milton Keynes to find something to do. That just ain’t the case in Newcastle. As you’ll read in our posts, I’ve lived here for ten years (James for 32) and we’ve STILL only scratched the surface of things to do here. We’ll never get bored.

Even though we don’t really live in Newcastle anymore (but we’re only up the road) you can ‘feel’ the atmosphere. Even in the ‘rough’ parts you get it – I tell my friends that live in Ashington all the time that there’s just an energy to it all, as wank as that sounds, but there is! There’s something in the air. The people are nicer up North too, not just politer, but nicer. Their default setting is to be cheerful and helpful rather than dour and suspicious. I love it.

Newcastle has everything you need – it’s got the beautiful town centre, an ugly bit of town centre (sometimes I do miss concrete), the seaside is only a few miles away, the nice seaside is only a few miles more, a big-ass Angel, rolling countryside that goes on forever, and an airport if you want some proper sun. What more do you need?

If I had to recommend somewhere to visit around here other than Newcastle (of course) would be the bit around South East Northumberland – you’ve got Northumberlandia, a giant woman made out of rubble, the fantastic mining history over in Ashington (the Woodhorn museum is fascinating), a gorgeous beach over at Blyth (not a 99 in sight! Just watch out for doggers) and some wonderful countryside-villagey stuff up near Alnwick including a brilliant bookshop in an old train station, a dramatic castle and a fancy garden. Vindolanda’s also nearby for some fancy learnin’, and if you want to see a dishy 20-something studmuffin dress up as a Roman soldier.

Oh, and did I mention the accent? It’s brilliant. Jokes are funnier coming out of a Geordie. It’s a scientific fact (probably).

Come. You won’t be disappointed.

 


Full disclosure – we’ve copied this one from Auntie but have made it a bit more SW friendly!

crispy chilli beef

crispy chilli beef

to make crispy chilli beef you will need:

  • 350g of minute steak, cut into thin slices (you can get some in our new ‘build your own’ Musclefood hamper!)
  • 2 tbsp cornflour (2 syns)
  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 4 spring onions, sliced (keep the green bits and the white bits separated)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (save the faff and get one of these)
  • thumb-sized bit of ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (2 syns)
  • 2 tbsp Hellman’s Tomato Ketchup sweetened with Honey (1 syn) (normal tomato sauce will do, just add on another syn)
  • 250g wholewheat noodles, cooked according to the instructions

to make crispy chilli beef you should:

  • put the beef in a bowl and toss with the cornflour and five-spice
  • heat a wok or a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat and add a really good spray of oil (don’ let Frylight wreck your pans, use this instead)
  • add the beef and fry until nice and crisp
  • scoop out the beef and add in the peppers, half the chilli, the white bits of the spring onion, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for about 3 minutes
  • in a small jug, mix togehter the rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and tomato sauce along with 2tbsp water and pour over the veg
  • stir well and let it bubble for about 2 minutes
  • add the beef back to the pan, stir well and serve over the noodles, and sprinkle over the green bits of the spring onions

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