roast peach, parma ham and Gruyère salad

Don’t worry yer boobs: the roast peach, parma ham and Gruyère salad will follow shortly, so try and keep your girdle on. But first, it’s part two of our trip to Copenhagen, land of swearing children and amazing sandwiches. But even before we get to that know that this might all be cut short again by my new office chair collapsing under me – we finally caved and bought a new one after almost a year of crippling back-ache and slowly sinking into the carpet as we typed/wanked/twanked. However, in our haste to get out of Costco before spending our annual wage on bulk-buying baked beans and Pepsi Max Cherry, we bought a cheap office chair without looking at the instructions. How foolish: there’s a weight limit of 15 stone. I’m closer to being a straight black lady than I am under 15 stone. The whole thing is creaking ominously under my arse. It’s like the time we went to Disney and took a Segway – the weight limit was a good four stone under my weight. Did it anyway. You’ve never felt guilt until you’ve made an autonomous self-balancing scooter shriek with pain.

click here for part one

When you last left us I was barrelling down the plane stairs on my arse like a low-budget Indiana Jones skit and Paul was looking disdainfully at me. No concern, ever. I could have been sucked straight into the engine and he would have merely tutted and wiped the resulting James-jam off his face.

Let me tell you, that certainly wouldn’t have been the first time.

Oh, and I forgot to post our typical photo from the aeroplane, so here we are. I know it’s a pretty pat photo but hey.

After our recent experience of waiting approximately four years to clear security at Charles de Gaulle airport, we were naturally concerned about clearing security, not least because my bladder was at full ‘strain’. I couldn’t go on the plane – it was an old easyJet plane with the packed in seats and once I’m sat down, that’s me for the entire flight come hell or controlled descent into high water. However, thankfully, the wait was minimal indeed and, rather unlike our visit to France, the customs people were cheerful and didn’t look at us visitors to their fine country as though we’d swam up through the sewer. Oh and the best bit about Copenhagen Airport? You have to walk past all the people waiting to board the flight back home after their holiday. Don’t you lie to me, you love it as well: getting to grin and wink and do the ‘WAHEY I’M ON HOLIDAY’ walk whilst they stand there looking as though they’ve been told they’ll be sat in the cargo hold for their flight. It doesn’t work the other way – when I’m stuck in the queue for my flight back home I’m silently wishing everyone traipsing in with their bright sunglasses and cheap suitcase an awful holiday. I know, I’m a sod.

That said, Copenhagen Airport does have a down-side (at the moment, at least) – they seem to land the plane in Belarus, given how long the bloody trek was to get our suitcases. I swear halfway to the luggage hall I had my passport stamped and my pockets searched. I’d made the fatal error of not wearing a belt ‘for comfort’ meaning I had to do the hike in that awkward ‘trying not to let my trousers fall down’ gait that all of us men know. I desperately tried to get an erection just to hold my trousers up but all the blood was rushing to keep my heart pumping, for shame. I had to beg Paul to go on ahead without me whilst I decamped to the toilet to dispense of what felt like Kielder Water from my bladder. I’ve never felt relief like it, I swear – the entire English rugby team could have rushed into that cubicle and tugged me off and it would have still paled in euphoria to that piss, I can tell you.

Seven stone lighter and considerably less sloshy, I resumed the hike through Lithuania, caught a ferry and undertook a seven hour taxi ride to arrive at the luggage hall where OF COURSE, Paul was nowhere to be found. He’s a hard man to miss, given he looks like a pillbox in Jacamo slacks. I searched high (in that I looked up) and I searched low (in that I sat down) and waited fifteen minutes. I had his phone in my fag-bag so I couldn’t call him, so waiting it was. He appeared twenty minutes later, flustered and beetroot red, to tell me he’d gone back to look for me, like I was a cat in a house fire. How the hell we missed each other I don’t know, but I can only presume that the gravitational effect of two large, planet-esque bodies approaching each other at equal speed on opposing travelators caused a fat-rift in space and time. I pushed him a little further and it turned out that whilst he had been looking for me, he’d also decided to get himself a hot-dog on the way. Did he get me one? Did he balls. It’s OK, we’re starting divorce proceedings soon.

Having located our luggage we made for the exit, jumped on the local train to Ørestad station and then switched to their wonderful, driverless Metro system to take us a few stops to Bella Center St station, where our hotel loomed large in the distance. Their metro system is amazing – driverless, reliable and cheap. We bought a three day Copenhagen Card allowing us unlimited use of their transport systems for about £80 each – seems expensive until you realise that it includes entry to all sorts of tourist places around the city, including Tivoli Gardens, which would normally cost £15. I’m telling you this because we completely bloody forgot about the pass and paid full price everywhere. I had to put Paul on the game for a night just to fund our shenanigans, but he came back in desperate need of lip-balm and owing £240.

It amazes me that other cities get transport so perfectly right. The metros (and trains) were spotless, they turned up exactly when they were supposed to and you didn’t need to sell a kidney just to get into town. Compare that to Newcastle’s Metro System – it costs a bomb, the trains always smell like a cheesy cock and the only perk you get is that you might not be punched in the teeth by some smackrat off his tits on spice. Oh, and that’s only when the bloody system is working. I follow our local paper on Facebook and I swear I read at least two stories a week where the rail infrastructure has failed because it’s too hot, too cold, too windy, too icy, too busy, too quiet, 2Unlimited or Tupac Shakur. I’d no sooner rely on that to get me to work than I would a bicycle made of steam.

Anyway, I digress. As ever.

Paul had picked the hotel and, as usual, I had no say in the matter. It’s the only way these things work – he has to pick the hotel otherwise I spend so long dithering and umming and aahing that we’re desperately trying to secure a booking somewhere as the plane taxies down the runway. I worry about picking the wrong place, see – it only takes one bad review on Tripadvisor and I’m comparing the place to Beirut and stroppily demanding somewhere else. Which, on reflection, is daft: I couldn’t care less where I eventually end up, but see, there’s always some new hotel, some better hotel,  just waiting around the corner. That’s why I keep checking out…forty points if you get the reference. The only input I have now is for Paul to call out the price, the star rating and then, once he has the nod from me, he books it. No fussing about! It works for both of us.

For our few days in Copenhagen Paul had picked the  AC Hotel Bella Sky and I swear he’d only picked it because, well, look at it (apologies for the quality, Paul took it on his Nokia 3310):

It looks like two cornflake boxes squaring up to one another for a scrap, doesn’t it? Even more confusing is, as you walk towards it, the perspective shifts and the walkway that joins the building at the top looks as though it’s at a forty-five degree angle. It hurt my eyes looking at it, although the bountiful clouds of weed smoke drifting over from a nearby bus-shelter took the edge off somewhat. Fair play to Paul – once we were inside the hotel it was gorgeous – very modern and stylish, which is exactly what I like from a hotel. I don’t want ‘home comforts’, I want to spend twenty minutes trying to figure out how to turn the light on and what all the little switches next to the bed do. I was especially taken with the plug socket, who seemed positively delighted to see us:

The chap who had checked us in – Lego haircut, charming smile, come-to-bed-and-destroy-my-hole eyes – had followed up our request for a high floor and gave us a room on what used to be the ladies-only floor. Tsk, honestly, you offer one blowjob in exchange for a better room and you’re pegged for life. There was an awful amount of pastel pink in the corridors but the room was swish and fancy and just look at the view:

I know, right? I’ve never seen such an extensive cruising ground. As ever, Paul tested out the facilities, I grimaced for a good twenty minutes and then we had a wee sleep, tuckered out from our luggage-hall shenanigans. We’ll pick this up next week – I apologise that once more I’ve eked out 1500 words and we’ve only just arrived at the hotel. What are we like? The next holiday entry will be a bit of a change of pace – instead of detailing our adventures chronologically, I’m going to write about key places we visited. Hopefully that’ll plug my verbal diarrhoea, but who knows? Until then, I welcome feedback always.

Finally, did you know we have three books out, all of which contain our travel stories from times gone by? Why yes! In proper paper form and Kindle, no less. Have a look and take us on holiday – we’ve got over 170 5* reviews between them!


Shall we do the roast peach, parma ham and Gruyère salad, then? You know we should. Here’s the thing: if your idea of a salad is a bit of lettuce, half a tomato and a cucumber with a splash of vinegar, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Dinners like that leave me wanting. But if you make a proper fuss from your salad and use interesting ingredients, then they’ll become a proper meal. This, would you believe, is a Heston Blumenthal recipe. I’m not his biggest fan – he looks like a thumb with glasses on – but this turned out tip-top. We’ve tinkered with it to make it SW friendly. This makes enough for one, but double, triple or quadruple it accordingly. Fatty.

roast peach, parma ham and Gruyère salad

to make roast peach, parma ham and Gruyère salad, you’ll need:

  • a decent handful of rocket
  • 30g of good Gruyère cheese (HEA)
  • 3 slices of decent parma ham (1.5 syns)
  • 25g of balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • one large peach
  • one tablespoon of Tesco Honey and Mustard Light dressing (1 syn)

to make roast peach, parma ham and Gruyère salad, you should:

  • pop your parma ham in the freezer whilst you do the initial bits of this recipe – it’ll be easier to slice when you get to it
  • dress your rocket leaves in that dressing – obviously – don’t go mad though, it’s meant to be very light
  • just lightly boil your vinegar (said that before) until it goes thick and fairly stiff (said that before) – you don’t need to do this if you want
  • take your peach and slice it in half, removing the stone, and spray it once or twice on the flesh side with good olive oil
  • get a decent non-stick pan and get it up to medium heat, placing the peaches flesh-down so they lightly caramelise, then remove; OR
  • use the grill on your Optigrill to grill them – press temp control until it is red – but don’t close the lid – just ‘sear’ the bottom of the peaches
  • either way, once they’re cooked, slice the peach thinly
  • thinly slice your Gruyère – I recommend using a potato peeler for this, saves the faff
  • slice up your parma ham
  • assemble on the plate as shown above
  • drizzle with your balsamic glaze if you want

If you have leftover Gruyère, you could always make our bloody amazing cheesy rosti!

That’s it! A gorgeous salad with lots of different textures and tastes. Some SW hardnuts will probably tell you, between blowing flakes of eggy brownie at you, that you should syn the peach because you’ve heated it up. Up to you – personally, I think it’s bollocks. If it makes you feel better, put it in the fridge to cool down and that’ll cancel out any hot syns, making it fine. See how silly it gets? 300g of cooked peach is 5 syns, and you use nothing close to that here, plus it isn’t cooked through. Frankly, I wouldn’t syn it for all the tea in China.

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Cheers all. Remember to please leave me feedback if possible on the holiday stuff! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

J

syn-free carbonara quiche – yes, it’s amazing

Evening all! Carbonara quiche if you don’t mind – I was looking at the proper ham and egg quiche we did a long while ago and wondering how we could make it better without adding to the syns. And boy, have we managed it. You’ll find the recipe below. Now, because we have guests coming over tonight, we’re going to hand you over to a guest writer! It’s been a while but I love getting new writers in, not least because it means I get to rest my wanking wrist for a bit. I implore you – please, as fans of my blog – to leave feedback. There’s something fun about reading comments from an audience who appreciate you, and I love to share. If you want to write for us, leave a comment below or contact us via our Facebook page here.

This one’s all about pregnancy – you can understand, can’t you, why we’ve never covered this on our totally gay blog? I can’t remember much about my own labour other than it was a fairly easy one. Well, no, I finished typing that sentence and called my own mother to ask her whether it was true. Her response? “It was like trying to shit a melon”.

See, it’s that type of chat that meant we were never on the front cover of Prima or Your Baby. Sounds like I was a big bugger though – 9lb! First and only time in my life I’ve wrecked a woman’s vagina. Paul was even worse – he didn’t exactly come swinging out like Tarzan like you might expect from his mother, but rather, in typical Paul fashion, he finished eating his tea (his twin sister, who he absorbed in the womb, the fat bastard) and slopped out at a mere 4lb.

Plot twist: he was so weak when he was born that the vicar gave him the last rites. To be fair, the poor bugger was probably gasping for a cigarette. The only baby I know who has yellow fingertips in the photographs. Eee, on that note…


baby, baby, baby nooo – by Julie Wansboro

So it’s bad enough that you end up the size of a small cottage when you fall pregnant without then having to meet all those ‘Mothers of Year’ in waiting rooms. It starts in the doctors surgery when you come out with a little cheesy grin and you see people smiling at you knowingly. Of course they don’t know but you think your smile has given it away instantly.

They’re like velociraptors, seeking out a new mum and ripping her ideas to shreds.  Why, oh why do they feel the need to tell you about their horrendous child birthing experiences?  It could reduce you to tears or hurling depending on your strength of stomach. They talk of tears, stitches, forceps and ripping, the burn, the stretching.  They’re not content with that, they go to discuss the whole labour experience from the first ‘braxton hicks’ and the hilarious mad dashes to the hospital thinking they’re in labour followed by laughter.  All the while you’re trapped in this waiting room praying they call you in next.

Dignity leaves the room the day you fall pregnant, no end of clinicians will view parts of your body that you’ve never seen in your life and nor did you want to (well you might want and if you’re a contortionist might well have).  During one of my four birthing experiences I was asked if I’d like a mirror to be held at the business end so I could see the head crowning?! What kind of sadistic bastards are you?  No, no I don’t want to see that, if I’d wanted to see that I’d be a midwife.  Are they trying to scar me for life?  Beautiful my arse!  Whilst I agree the whole falling pregnant, having a healthy baby is indeed a minor miracle at the same time millions of women manage to give birth every day without having to watch.

J Edit: I’m sorry but this is hilarious – why a mirror? I’d rather there was an amateur dramatics group just to the side recreating it by trying to roll a bowling ball through a rasher of bacon

Being awkward I’m O-neg, so joy of joys I marry an O-pos! This means absolutely nothing to anyone until you fall pregnant then it’s like arrrggghhh what have you done!!They decide you are a pin cushion and you must have blood tests on every possible trip to the hospital for check-ups.  Woe betide you if they then discover you’re anaemic, the joy of iron tablets, black poo and constipation to accompany the ever-growing circumference of your middle.  It gets to the point where you forget what your knees look like or know if you’re wearing matching shoes.

Then you get the talk about breast feeding, cracked nipples stories, swollen breasts and leaking…….stop please, I really don’t need to know.  Where are the mums who tell you the great stories, the love at first sight of their babies stories that make you forget the journey there?  Oh hang on, they’re the same mums telling you the horror stories!!!!  Four children later the stone I gained with each of them has managed to rigidly stick to my ribs, Zara my SW saviour has helped shift two of those stones and I reckon by the end of the year I’ll have shifted another one.  Wish me luck!


Well, frankly, it all sounds horrendous. Paul and I are never going to be one of those gay couples who both jizz in a tea-cup and slosh it inside a willing lady using the ‘blow’ function on a Henry hoover. That is how it works, isn’t it? For one, I can’t bear waste, and two, no. There’s no stage of childhood that I think is worth the upheaval. Babies are red-faced poo machines, toddlers are angry red-faced poo machines, children are vexing time-sponges and teenagers are rude pockets of acne and emotion.

I’ve mentioned before that I hate it when people bring their baby over to me and expect me to be all emotional and coo over it. I can’t. I have zero paternal instinct. I see a bundle of beetroot cells swaddled in something far too expensive from Mothercare and I just shudder. I’ve found that people have stopped doing it now that I pick the baby up and put it in the filing cabinet as protest.

Oh and let’s be honest, any combination of Paul and I is going to look awful. It’ll come out with my bent nose, Paul’s boss-eyes, my ‘yes, I’m British working class’ teeth and Paul’s inability to grow a decent beard. What hope would it have?

Anyway, let’s do this carbonara quiche recipe, shall we? I’ve mixed things up a bit from the previous quiche – our all time most-visited recipe, you know – so pay attention. This makes enough for eight good thick wedges – plus it freezes well!

to make carbonara quiche, you’ll need:

  • two large red onions (or white onions, tsk, racist)
  • 8 large eggs (and look, the best you can get, please – it’s the main part of the recipe and well, treat yourself)
  • about 500g of gammon or bacon – I bought a 1kg uncooked joint from Lidl for £3, cut it into cm cubes and froze half of it for another time – either way, you’ll want to dice it into cubes
  • a pack of cherry tomatoes
  • 100ml of 1% milk (2 syns, or 1/3 of a HEA) (to be honest, I didn’t syn this – it’s between 8 servings, so it’s a quarter of a ruddy syn)
  • 100g of spaghetti or however much you have left over at the end of a meal
  • 120g of lighter mature cheddar (3 x HEA, but you can cut that back if you like)
  • one clove of garlic or one tsp of that lazy garlic you can buy

You’ll also need a decent cake-tin. I use a silicone baking tin and absolutely nothing sticks to it – click here to order one. One of the best we’ve ever used! I give it a couple of sprays with olive oil – not Frylight – and the dispenser we use can be found here. We fill it with olive oil and if we’re bothering to syn, we syn it the same as the Tesco sprayer at 7 squirts for 0.5 syns. We hate Frylight.

to make carbonara quiche, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 170 degrees and get a pan of water boiling for your spaghetti
  • once the water is boiling, throw in your spaghetti – has anyone taught you the spaghetti trick? Grasp all your spaghetti together in your wrist like…er, well, honestly, like you’re gripping a cock, lower the ends of the spaghetti in the water and let go – it’ll fan out into the water rather than going in as one big lump
  • chop up your onion and in a frying pan, sweat it off with your garlic and bacon / gammon chunks until the onion and garlic is soft and the bacon is cooked
  • whilst that’s sweating, prepare your cherry tomatoes – you don’t want the seeds in the quiche otherwise you’ll make it too watery so, pop those tomatoes! You don’t need to be fancy, literally burst them in a bowl, tear them in half and put the flesh in a bowl on the side
  • drain your spaghetti and run it under cold water to cool it down and stop it sticking together
  • in a jug, beat your eight eggs and milk with a load of black pepper – no salt though, the bacon/gammon will be salty enough
  • grate your cheese – this is where the microplane grater we always bang on about comes in handy, it does it so finely that it spreads out easily!
  • mix everything together (hold back a handful of cheese for the top) in a big mixing bowl – get your hands right in there – you want everything mixed well – and once combined, slop it into your cake tin
  • press down any errant strands of spaghetti and top with the remaining cheese
  • cook in the oven for a good forty minutes – test it by sticking a knife into the centre – it should come back clean – if it doesn’t, keep cooking it until everything is set – cover the top with foil if you think it is starting to catch
  • cool and serve

Two pointers: this is AMAZING the day after, once it’s sat in the fridge – and it is perfect for freezing and lunches. Also, if after you’ve mixed everything together, if it looks as though you need another egg, crack another one in. You don’t want it too ‘sloppy’ but there needs to be a decent liquid to contents ratio. Oh, I’m so flirty!

Please tell everyone you can about this recipe, it’s a corker and we love it so!

Want more recipes? But of course you do? Click the random selection of buttons below!

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Stay safe.

J

chicken and ham picnic loaf – a perfect snack

BOO.

I’m only back because I was getting hassled at work about not updating the blog enough and, simply because I don’t want to upset this man in case I miss out on his annual tea-making, here we find ourselves. It helps that I have an amazing recipe for a chicken and ham picnic loaf and some exciting news to report. Naturally, before we get to the recipe, there’s some guff to wade through.

THE GOOD NEWS FIRST! You may recollect that we have two Kindle e-books of our articles on Amazon – they sell well and we get excellent reviews. I know, modest. But we have, until now, been unable to offer you a proper paperback – one that you can rest on your boobs in the bath or flick through by the pool in Majorca. I can only imagine how bereft you’ve been. Well – thanks to the wonders of technology, we’re now able to offer our books in PAPERBACK FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER! These do make good presents if you’re looking for a gift for someone with a foul mouth and a rude attitude. If you’ve ever wanted to support the blog, feel free to buy a copy! They actually look decent, too! Click the books below to buy and don’t worry, it’ll open in a new window.

Hope you enjoy! Right, that’s quite enough positivity!

Goodness, two days of hot weather and I’ve already seen enough red and white flesh to last me a lifetime. I’ll never understand the British approach to getting a tan – I appreciate we only get fourteen hours of summer a year but please, hold something back. You’re supposed to bronze, not sear. Ah, I’m only bitter because the next eight months means sweaty backs, feeling far too hot and the sound of children laughing gaily, which goes through me like nails on a blackboard. I’d rather listen to someone planning to set my face on fire. Admit it, you’ve missed my sunny disposition on life, haven’t you?

You know what ruined my sunny weekend most of all though? The ice-cream van turned up during the day for once (he comes down our street every single night, even when it’s cold, and I get the feeling he’s selling a bit more than screwballs and 99s) and, full of joy, I dashed out to buy Paul and I an ice-cream. Normally I’m as tight as a wet knot so don’t bother but clearly I’d taken too much sunlight to my bald head and was having a moment. I handed over over £3 for a 99 for Fatty and a Feast for me.

And what do I get? A bloody Festival! That’s not a Feast, that’s a knock-off barely worth eating! I mean, you get your hopes up for something delicious and then boom, ruined – like being about to get a blowjob only for them to take their entire set of teeth out and set them in a glass of water by the bed. I had to sit and watch Paul make a big show of eating his delicious ice-cream whilst I looked sad. I mean, naturally, I still inhaled mine, but the injustice made it taste sour.

Hey, I did manage to startle the poor chap who came to fit our new kitchen blinds this morning. The old blinds used to hang down over the bay window and the cats used to climb through them like they weren’t there. This meant that they were bent (the blinds that is, we’re not contagious) and covered in cat hair and it just looked so unseemly. The chap came round a few weeks ago, full of sales bluster and promises, and gave us a quote that made me ask whether he was planning on putting in double-glazing at the same time. He immediately dropped the price by 50%, then again by another 10%, then gave me a £25 voucher. I had to stop him before he emptied his own wallet out on my kitchen counter. I appreciate these guys are on commission but I’m just too lazy and fat to do the dance of finance with them. Anyway, he told us he’d be here about quarter to ten so I dutifully arranged to work from home.

9am comes around and I think to myself, now that I’m freshly showered and logged-in, that I really ought to clear our big kitchen windowsill of all the various nonsense we store on there (coffee pot, basil plants, cats).  I stumble into the kitchen, nude save for a tiny Holiday Inn towel that barely covers my urethral opening let alone my flabulous body, and pull the blinds up. Normally this would be fine, save for the fact that our blinds man was on the other side of the window looking in, and there was me unveiling myself like the Star Prize at the end of Bullseye. “Congratulations Kenneth and Joyce, you’ve won yourself a morbidly obese shrieking man”.

And mind, I did shriek. Partly because of shock, partly because of modesty – I tried to duck out of sight but gave that up when I realised I’d look like Alex Mack disappearing fatly into the carpet. He at least waited a minute or so before ringing the doorbell and we both had to bluff our way through as though nothing had happened. There’s always something with me, isn’t there? I caught him pouring dishwasher salt into his eyes later, which I thought was a mite excessive. Anyway, they’re up now, and it looks lovely. Paul can’t reach the middle blind though because his short legs and spherical belly preclude him from getting anywhere near the window, but hey, that’s a small price to pay for better blinds.

Right! The recipe for a chicken and ham picnic loaf then. This looks like it would be a pain in the arse to make but it’s actually ridiculously easy. Barely any cooking, customise it how you want and completely syn free. This is based on a Romanian dish called drob – you would usually use chicken livers but Paul isn’t a fan so we had to swap them out. Finally, we used wild garlic – it is growing everywhere in the wild now and as long as you wash off the dog piss, it’s great to use. Out walking and notice a smell of garlic (and it isn’t blasting out of your hoop at the time)? Pick the leaves! Here’s a guide if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Can’t find it? Fret not. Swap it out for rocket. Or basil. Whatever you like!

chicken and ham picnic loaf

to make a chicken and ham picnic loaf, you’ll need:

  • 500g of chicken breast
  • 500g of cooked ham (I bought a joint with no fat on it from Lidl for two or three quid – nice and easy!)
  • two big bunches of spring onion
  • a couple of big handfuls of either wild garlic leaves or rocket (washed)
  • 1 bunch of dill (use dried if you prefer)
  • 1 bunch of parsley (see above)
  • 8 eggs
  • lots of salt and pepper

Looking for good chicken breasts? You know we love Musclefood and I’d normally pop an advert in for our hampers, but actually, they’ve got something brilliant now – build your OWN hamper, choosing from whatever slimming or lean meats you need. Now there’s no excuses! Click here to have a gander.

Look though, you can customise this how you like. Add different herbs, spices, different meat…you’ll need a bog-standard load tin, lined with greaseproof paper. Give it a few squirts of oil if you’re not convinced it won’t stick. Pop the over onto 180 degrees.

to make a chicken and ham picnic loaf, you should:

  • boil four eggs for twelve minutes or so until hardboiled, then leave to cool
  • cook your chicken breasts – I went down the route of boiling them – worked really well – boil for fifteen minutes then allow to cool (make sure it’s cooked through)
  • assembly time – cut the chicken breasts into small cubes – 1cm or so
  • do the same with the cooked ham
  • chop the spring onions nice and fine (including all the green stalks), chop the parsley, chop the dill and then chop the rocket/garlic
  • you want nice uniform pieces of everything
  • put everything into a bowl, beat four eggs with a load of salt and pepper, then stir everything together – you don’t want too much egg but if you think it is looking a bit dry, beat another egg into it
  • press the mixture into a loaf tin about 1/3 of the way – really press it down, you want it compact
  • lay your four cooked eggs on top and then put the rest of the mixture around and over the top – press it down as compact as you can
  • if everything is ready to go, pop it in the oven for about fifty minutes until the top has browned off a bit, then allow to cool down – overnight in the fridge preferably
  • slice and serve – it might be a bit crumbly but mine stayed together well! Enjoy!

This really is worth getting some wild garlic for if you can be arsed – and if you have any left over, make it into this garlic pesto!

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J

proper ham, cheese and onion quiche

We’re all itching for the proper ham, cheese and onion quiche, but honestly, like I’m going to let that happen without some flimflam first.

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I might have changed his wording a little, but damn it, this is my blog not his. He’s absolutely right, though. I’ll give you an example – I have many, many cake and cooking tins from the halcyon days way back when when I used to bake all the time and delight my friends and co-workers with biscuits, cakes and goodies. Now all they get is barely disguised contempt and secretive farts into my office chair. One of these tins is a fancy Lakeland square tin with one of those bottoms that you push up (same as Paul) to release the cake. Great idea. Has it ever worked? Has it balls.

Does that stop me trying it? Of course not. No, every time a recipe requires something square, out it comes. I spend a few minutes looking owlishly at it, demanding that it doesn’t leak, then proceed with the recipe. This time it was for a fancy quiche – lots of cheese, egg whites, decent ham. I spent an age cutting up the onion, sweating them down, making everything just right. Popped the mixture into this non-leak square tin, placed the tin in the oven, turned my back for one moment to set Just a Minute away on the iPad and turned around to see all the beaten egg dripping out of the oven. My kitchen floor looked like the gusset of a £5 prostitute’s knickers. It would have been more effective had I left the removable bottom off.

Well I was furious. I’d given this fucking tin enough chances. Yes, I could line it, but it was sold to me on the basis I didn’t need to line the fucker and I’m not going to be dictated to by Lakeland. I salvaged the contents of the quiche into a Pyrex dish, covered it with egg-white and took the scalding hot square tin outside, where I set about it with a sledgehammer. Do I feel better? Yes, I do, and I’m all set if I ever want to make a rhombus-shaped christmas cake.

Anyway, that’s the only wrinkle in an otherwise lovely, quiet weekend. You know we aren’t ones for doing anything that requires more movement than entirely necessary, and that was certainly the case on Saturday, when we literally moved from the bed to the settee and back to the bed. We make no apologies, we have busy working weeks. But last night Paul turned to me and said, through a fine mist of pastry crumbs and spittle, that I was to wake him up early in the morning and not let him sleep in late. Pffft. Let me explain how weekend mornings work in our house.

I wake up about 8.30am, always have. I’m not one for sleeping all day – once my eyes open, I’m awake and that’s the end of it, thank you. Knowing he is tired, I’ll generally stay in bed until half nine so Paul has something to lie against and act as ballast to stop him tipping onto his front and drowning in his chin-fat. I’m like one of those tyres you see strapped onto the side of piers for the ferry to rub against. He’ll murmur incoherent nonsense in my ear, put a clammy hand around my belly and fart those indescribably foul morning farts in my general direction all the while. I don’t know what his body does to food overnight but I swear you could power a small city on the strength of his morning flatus. He chuckles away to himself whilst he lets them out, which I do find endearing as I’m clawing at my throat trying to find oxygen.

At around half nine, I get bored with looking at Reddit, not masturbating and spending our money and decide to wake Paul up. This is a complicated process. First I’ll start by cuddling in so he gets far too hot, but then he just moves away or lets out a warning fart, making me retreat. The next step is to start shaking the bed by jiggling on the spot, but that does nothing other than occasionally illicit a cry from him to ‘STOP WANKING’. Plus, our bed is so ridiculously oversized that by the time the tremors eventually hit him, it’s usually nighttime again.

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With the shaking of the bed bearing no fruit, I turn to shaking him directly, starting off with the buttocks, moving up to the stomach and then, if that doesn’t work, his shoulders. This normally does the trick and after he’s wiped the sleep from his eyes and tried his luck with Little Paul (not happening, matey, not without a shower and caustic acid) he reassures me that he’s going to get out of bed as soon as he’s ‘done his stretches’ and could I make him a coffee? I’m happy with this – I’ll mince, invariably stark-bollock-naked, into the kitchen, make him a coffee and return only to find him fast asleep and pulling that face that reminds me awfully of what I imagine his mother looks like when she hasn’t had the formaldehyde in her tank topped up. At this point I generally take a huff and set about cleaning the kitchen instead, which really only punishes me instead of him. At 11 I’ll go in, flap the duvet, wake him up and tell him to get up. At 11.30 I normally go in and take the duvet away altogether, which only results in him sleep-farting more in an effort to heat the room.

Noon means the nuclear option. I’ve touched on this before, but we’ve got speakers in each room of the house that can be controlled centrally via the iPad. These ones, if you please. They’re useful for cleaning – a bit of Dolly in the bathroom, some Radio 4 in the kitchen. Great stuff. At noon, I choose the worst song I can possibly find, turn the volume up to 100 so the bass shakes your fillings out, sneak in and muffle it a little with a towel so I don’t deafen the fucker, then on goes something genuinely frightening: We Want The Same Thing by Belinda Carlisle has a very loud intro, for example. There’s been Minnie Riperton singing Loving You, too, but that starts out slowly. This morning was Magic Dance from Labyrinth, which worked, but only because he was laughing so much.

I called him Hoggle, he called me DCI Vera Stanhope. Paul was awake and all was right with the world again.

Seriously though, what does fuck me off just a smidge (if you’re reading this, my little clartyarse) is that he’ll invariably turn to me fifteen minutes after getting up and say ‘you really need to start waking me up earlier’. How we both laugh as I imagine waking him up with petrol and matches.

Anyway, come, let’s get to the quiche. I really miss quiche when I’m dieting, not least because the Slimming World equivalents are usually full of cottage cheese and empty in taste. It’s the food equivalent of eating a bath sponge, only at least with a sponge you get the excitement of wondering whether you’ll choke to death to alleviate the crashing boredom. I’ve seen quiches made with Pasta and Sauces and I think, all the very best to you, but that’s not really for me. No, I need cheese, eggs, chest pains and flavour. So, here we are.

One compromise I’ve had to make is the pastry. There’s no way that you can bring pastry in under Slimming World’s radar, I’m sorry. Decent pastry is butter and flour combined, there’s not much that can be done without your consultant (hey consultants, big fan!) having a conniption fit and sobbing into her fan of stickers. However, salvation lies in the form of sweet potatoes. Yes, that’s right.

proper ham, cheese and onion quiche

Seriously, look at the top of that. This makes enough for six large portions served with salad.

proper ham, cheese and onion quiche

to make a proper ham, cheese and onion quiche, you’ll need:

  • one large sweet potato
  • a decent, non-stick pyrex dish that’ll not spill your dinner everywhere
  • three thick slices of ham – we got ours chopped at the deli counter, you want it about a cm thick (or use bog standard stuff if you want)
  • two large red onions
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125ml of 1% milk (from a HEA allowance, although 100ml is only two syns, so if you want, divide by six for less than half a syn per portion)
  • the whites from four more eggs
  • whatever cheese you want – I used 140g of Danish blue cheese – 35g is a HEA
  • pinch of mustard
  • bit of salt
  • lots of black pepper

to make a proper ham, cheese and onion quiche, you should:

  • slice your sweet potato – you want thickish slices and to save time and make this easier, use a mandolin – the one we use is currently reduced on Amazon, so it is
  • take your pyrex dish, give it a few squirts of spray oil and then layer the sweet potato on top of each other, covering the bottom and a little of the sides – don’t worry about the fact it doesn’t look uniform, that’s fine
  • put that into a preheated oven at 190 degrees for 25 minutes or so
  • whilst that’s cooking, cut up your onion nice and fine and sweat it off in a pan – I added a pinch of fresh thyme because I am one classy fucker
  • cut up the ham into nice cubes and crumble your cheese up
  • in a jug mix the egg whites, two large eggs, 125ml of 1% milk, pinch of mustard powder, salt and pepper
  • once your sweet potatoes are done, take them out of the oven, push them around a bit to make sure there are no major holes in the bottom of the dish
  • layer on the onion, the cubed ham, the cheese and then the egg mixture
  • cook in the oven for around 30 minutes on 200 degrees – make sure it doesn’t burn, but also, it’ll be a wee bit wobbly when it comes out, leave to cool and it’ll firm up nicely
  • I mean, do use your common sense though – if it looks like you could pour it on your cereal, cook it a bit longer
  • how easy was that?

You can swap out the cheese but don’t be adding mushrooms or tomatoes, they add liquid. I think this should be freezable, but not sure. Portion it up for lunches or, more realistically, eat the whole lot and spend the rest of the night on the toilet clutching your poor eggbound belly.

Looking for more ideas with pork or even taster nights (which you could take this quiche too, if you were feeling generous?) – click the buttons below! You could make this veggie too, so I’m including that link.

porksmalltastersmallvegetariansmall

Over and out!

J

ham and egg breakfast bites

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

spitting in public

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

baby on board stickers

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

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

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

mothers using their pushchairs to stop traffic

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

self-appointed traffic wardens who wear cameras

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

dings

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

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

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

stupid comments

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

takeaway menus

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

air-fresheners

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

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

ham and egg breakfast bites

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

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

to make ham and egg breakfast bites, you should:

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

Phew!

J

syn free ham and potato hash plus new york: part one

The recipe for ham and potato hash can be found below all the following guff. Long time readers know that when I start talking about a holiday…well, I tend to go on. I’ve got five New York entries to get through, though don’t expect them one after the other, I’m a little behind…if you’re a fan of my holiday writings, don’t forget all of our previous entries on Germany, Ireland and Corsica can be found in our Amazon book, found right here. Our book – a collection of all the many, many articles from our blog – keeps us in holidays. Just saying!

twochubbycubs go to New York, part one

Before we get started on the actual travels, the exciting part – this was a complete surprise for Paul. We weren’t planning on taking any holidays after Corsica and Iceland being so close together, but I was driving home from a first-aid course when an advert for Expedia came on espousing cheap deals to New York. I drove on for another mile or so mulling it over, pulled into a layby, booked the time off work and emailed Paul’s lovely boss to get clearance. I left the small detail of actually booking the holiday until a few days after. I’ve mentioned before how easily led I am by advertising – thank fuck an advert didn’t come on for haemmorhoid cream else I’d have squatting down in a bus-stop feverishly applying Preparation H to my bumhole in the manner of a man spreading butter on a crumpet. Having managed to secure the time off for the both of us and after many, many “trips to ASDA” for poor Paul to get him out of the house so I could use the computer, I found a really decent deal with British Airways staying in a nice central hotel for six nights. Booked it there and then. Paul then had to endure ten days of me looking at him excitedly and dropping ‘a big secret’ that he probably thought he was getting divorce papers in the post. As if! I’m saving the divorce papers for when he’s paid off his half of the car.

That’s clearly a joke – I’d never divorce a man so perfectly squashy and who turns the shower on for me every morning so I don’t have to stand for a moment in a chilly bathroom. You might think he gets the shitty end of the stick (depends how careful he’s been with the old douche-bulb I guess) but read the above paragraph and think again!

Going to America always necessitates a full-on panic about travel insurance for me – I don’t want to fall ill in America, find out my travel insurance is void because I didn’t inform them someone once hurt my feelings in 1996 and then bankrupt my friends and family as they try and pay for my hospital treatment in a country which, for god knows why, doesn’t have decent free healthcare. Listen, I know my family, they’d just send someone out on an economy flight to fill my drip-bag with Cillit Bang and stop my heart. Fuckers. I spent a good hour on the phone to a very helpful lady at Coverwise who went through my various worries – do I declare heart palpitations four years ago? Yes. Do I declare obesity? Only if I need help getting in and out of bed – not quite there yet. My hair is thinning and I look like Steve McDonald drawn Castaway-style on a beach ball – apparently I don’t need to declare that. She then proceeded to take my payment but accidentally deleted all the details we had just decided upon, so we had to do it all again. Great times.

The night before the holiday I told him we were going away somewhere mysterious and to pack a suitcase. Naturally, Paul, being a keen and conscientious worker, immediately started fretting about meetings and out of office nonsense, until I told him it was all fine and that I’d been masterminding this scheme right from the off, like an evil Judith Chalmers. All he had to do was pack some clothes, find his passport (I told him we’d need it for car hire within the UK so he didn’t twig we were going abroad) and get to bed, as we had an early train in the morning. He sensibly did the right thing, although we did have a minor panic when we realised that I need a new passport very soon – thankfully, we were just within the limits for USA travel. I’ll be sad to see that passport go – it’s about the only ID I have where the picture doesn’t look like it should have a caption underneath saying ‘…jailed for eighteen months for public indecency’. Doubtless when I get a new passport I’ll be back to looking like a sandblasted puffer-fish. I’ll definitely need to get my hair cut before that day comes – the last time I want happening is someone at easyJet saying ‘Aaah Mr Trump, we’ve been expecting you’.

Off to the train station at ridiculous-o-clock then. This necessitated a taxi drive with the world’s most vocal taxi driver, who had an opinion on everything from my suitcase (“not very butch” – fuck off mate, if anyone can make a four-wheeled suitcase work, it’s me) to Uber. Uber, he took pains to tell me, was a danger because “anyone can drive them, they’re not vetted” (which was rich, as he looked like the type of man for whom Incognito Mode was the default status on his browser) and that “their cars aren’t checked, they could be death-traps”. This one really struck a chord with Paul, who texted me to point out that the driver’s rear-view mirror was gaffer taped to the roof of the car. I pleaded with him not to say anything lest we got bundled out at high speed on the Seaton Burn roundabout. Instead, we just spent the journey nodding politely and making ‘hmm’ and ‘mmm’ noises until, after seemingly taking us via Darlington, we arrived at the station and boarded our train.

What to say about the train journey that I haven’t covered before? It was entirely uneventful. I was given a cup of tea that had cleaning products in (thank god for the travel insurance!) but luckily, I spotted, or rather smelled, the problem before it had a chance to burn through my throat and cascade down my chest, ruining my nice shirt. The train had to take a long diversion at some point and the trip ended up taking five hours, but it was quiet, comfortable and, with it being first class, we had more biscuits than is possibly decent. It does vex me a little that they take the meal service off in first class during the weekends – frankly my train journey isn’t complete unless I’m eating something microwaved and slopped on a plate. Paul got up to go for a poo at some point and disappeared for twenty minutes. Naturally, I was so concerned it was all I could do to put down my iPad, pause the Youtube of the Crystal Maze that I was watching, and glance down the corridor. Had he alighted at a passing station, tired of looking at my angry face across the table from him? Had my still-awake-but-really-comfy-snoring angered him so? No. Turned out, being a wonderful husband, he’d walked/stumbled to the other end of the train, bought us two double gin and tonics each and a grilled cheese sandwich. As delighted as I was with the nourishment and booze, I couldn’t mask the alarm in my eyes, but he reassured me that it had only cost around £780.45 for this little treat. Good old Virgin!

On the train I told Paul we were going to Heathrow, so he knew at that point we were off abroad. We transferred onto the Heathrow Express, arrived in plenty of good time to nip into the terminal, buy some wine gums and play on the fruities before climbing inside those automatic toilets that whisk you around to various parts of Heathrow. Our destination? Why, the wonderful Thistle Hotel of course, which you may remember we weren’t particularly overtaken with joy with last time (by the way, that links to one of our favourite recipes, too)? Listen, it’s convenient and Paul loves that POD system, so that’s why we chose it. Naturally, our room was the size of a small shoebox and I had to spin around in the shower to get wet, but eh, it’s a bed. We had a Dominos and watched Vera. Vera is very much a guilty pleasure for us, although I can’t tell you what it looks like because I spend most of the time wincing against her attempt at a Geordie accent. Very few people in Newcastle actually substitute ‘pet’ where a full stop would normally go, but by god she does it. They were filming around where we live a few weeks ago so I fully expect a shot of her solving crime whilst my filthy car drives past in the background with me squinting to see what’s going on. I should have shouted ‘HERE MAN VERAH PET HAS THERE BIN A MOORDA PET HAS SOMEWURN HAD THEIR HEED CAVED IN EH’. Authentic!

I revealed to Paul that we were off to New York as we approached the ticket desk in the morning (well, it would have been tricky when she asked where we were going and he said he didn’t know his final destination) and of course, he was delighted. As we were in Terminal 5 it felt altogether too busy and crowded for a ‘thank you’ bit of bum-fun, so we just settled for oral instead. I’m kidding, we’re not that raunchy. It was a handjob. OK enough. We were given our tickets and the old problem of finding something to do early in the morning at Terminal 5 reared its head. We settled for an expensive, tasteless breakfast, a good poo and an hour of aimlessly wandering around smelling aftershave I wouldn’t use to clean a litter-box and avoiding a rather excitable woman who was determined we ‘sample her Baileys’. I noted with relief that we weren’t flying on a Dreamliner, which I was absolutely sure was the plane that had come up when I’d checked. I texted a friend to explain that I wouldn’t be making an unscheduled, on-fire stop in the Shetlands and boarded.

The flight was lovely. Smooth with no turbulence, aside from a moment of panic on my side as we were taking off and it felt as though the plane was struggling. It wasn’t, of course, but naturally my anxiety around taking off qualifies me as a fully-trained aeroplane pilot and I felt I had to tell Paul we were clearly going to crash. We’ve only flown British Airways once before and the last time was ruined by having a stewardess whose only regret in life was not being born into the Schutzstaffel, but the crew were amazing on this flight. Seats were comfortable, drinks were plentiful to the point I had seven miniature bottles of gin sitting on my table, and when they were taken away, the big bear steward, clearly feeling the rainbow connection, bought us four more. We dozed and watched movies (I watched Spectre, Paul watched bloody Ghost) and, aside from a moment where the inconsiderate oaf behind us decided to use the back of my chair and my hair to hoist himself up, it was lovely. He apologised, though I think my surprised shriek probably put me on a watch-list somewhere. We landed in JFK.

American security though, jeez. I’ve done it plenty of times to know that you don’t crack jokes and that they aren’t exactly forthcoming with the charm, but this was a whole new level. When he asked me to put out my fingers for scanning I honestly expected him to rap me on the knuckles with a wooden ruler. I’m here to spend money in your wonderful country, please don’t greet me like I’ve shit in your dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting an elaborate song and dance routine or a free cake with every stamp of my passport, but haway. Of course, by writing this, I’m sure I’ll immediately be put on a list that means the second I land in the USA I’ll be greeted by someone shining a light in my face and sticking a gloved finger up my bum. Listen, all I ask is that you tweak my nipples a bit first, get me going.

That’s us, then, on American soil. I’ll continue with the next part sometime soon! Let’s get to the recipe. You’re probably hungry now.

ham and potato hash

to make ham and potato hash, you’ll need:

  • one large white onion
  • one large green pepper
  • one garlic clove, yes, you guessed it, minced using a fabulous little mincer I know
  • three decent sized potatoes, preferably something waxy
  • pinch of salt and pepper and a tiny pinch of dried thyme
  • four thick slices of ham

to make ham and potato hash, you should:

  • cut the potato put into dice-sized chunks and boil them until they’re soft and fluffy but not mushy – drain and set aside
  • meanwhile, cut up the pepper and onion and soften them in a dab of oil or a few squirts of squirty oil on a medium heat
  • once they’ve softened, add your minced garlic, salt, pepper and thyme
  • cut your ham into chunks and throw them in
  • add the potatoes
  • stir – you’re not trying to create one large mass of potatoes so just be gentle
  • stick under the grill to toast it off – hell, you could even add a bit of cheese as long as you take it from your healthy extra

This is remarkably easy to make and tastes lovely – try and keep all your chunks the same size for uniformity. We served ours with a side of sticky sprouts, the recipe for which I’ll put on soon! No more typing. I’m tired! Enjoy.

Oh one more thing. If you’ve enjoyed this little tale about America, remember we did a full on America week with American recipes – you can find them here!

Please: remember to share and send us everywhere you can!

J

amazing ham, cheese and pea gnocchi

I know what you’re thinking. James, you promised me a post a day, and here we were yesterday crying into our Margaret Miles-Thingy tea-towels and waiting all night long. Well listen, it’s not the first time I’ve left someone unsatisfied long into the night and it won’t be the last.

See, I’m trying to be more social. Remember me saying how lazy I am a few posts back? That also applies to social events. I get asked to go to various things and usually decline because I’m a) shy and b) incredibly fond of lying on my sofa with a cat in my back hair and Paul squeezing my feet. It’s what I live for. But see I could die tomorrow and I don’t want people remembering me as the person who was always “washing his hair”, despite having roughly the same amount of hair found on my head as you’d find in a Phil Mitchell tribute annual.

So in the spirit of socialising and trying not to die alone surrounded by cats and a stuffed Paul carcass grinning lopsidedly at me like a boss-eyed Humpty Dumpty, I went along to a pub quiz with a couple of friends from work and two other ladies, who turned out to be lovely. I’m glad I went, not least because it was hilarious.

For a start, it was awash with teams taking it far too seriously. I love this. It’s a fucking pub quiz – you’re answering questions about Miley Cyrus, if you get it wrong you’re not going to be taken outside and shot by the Gestapo. The prize was £47! Even so, there was table after table of people in dire need of a wash and some love furrowing their brows and furiously debating which two countries has the most nuclear reactors. For the record, we got that answer correct – USA and France. I watch a lot of Discovery Channel.

That said, we didn’t win. We came…second from last. We did however win an extra point for having the best team name: Bender and the Jets. I think you’ll agree that is awesome, and I’m allowed to say bender, I’ve earned the right – I’ve quite literally taken one for the team on that front. Or back. It’s certainly better name than We’re The Winners or Quizmasters. Neither of those teams won anyway, so egg on their face. It’ll go well with the cum stains on their trousers.

Oh, I also totally pulled. Now it goes without saying that I wouldn’t anyway, but even if I’d been tempted by the suggestion, his face put me right off. Some drunken arse, easily into his sixties and with a face like a smashed crab, asked me if I wanted to know the answer to who sang ‘The Joker’ and then licked his lips lasciviously at me like he was the best offer I’d get all night. I’d get more aroused getting chatted up by the cigarette machine. Seriously, he looked like that guy from The Fully Monty who was in Corrie with a perm:

steve-huson-the-full-monty (1)

I wouldn’t care, we got the answer wrong, so maybe I should have just succumbed to his greasy wiles. Boke.

Finally, our group got ‘hushed’ and then told to be ‘bloody quiet’ by some gangster granny with a nicotine fringe and a mean look about her because we had the temerity to talk DURING THE INTERLUDE. She was trying to play card bingo like the top prize was a couple of extra month’s on a drip – I’ve never seen playing cards turned over with such ferociousness. She turned around again and said ‘AH’M TRYING TO HEAR THE ANNOUNCER’ (I could barely hear her through all the phlegm in her voice trying to scramble out) and we were kowtowed into silence. I wouldn’t care, it’s not as if we were tuning up a brass band or felling trees, we were just talking normally (perhaps with a slight bit of shrieking from me, I’d had liquor). Mardy cow. Oh! And she was cheating. She had her phone out during the countries round. The temptation for me to lean over and whisper ‘Do you mind not cheating so loudly, I’m trying to hear the announcer’ was almost too much.

Card bingo, by the way – you get given a few playing cards, the Quiz Man has a full deck (unlike some of the audience), he announces them randomly and when you’ve turned over your lot, you win. Well, you don’t win. You lose. EVERYONE loses at bloody card bingo.

In all though, a really good night! 

Oh – we lost 4lb between us at class, but that’s almost an afterthought these days. But let me tell you what ISN’T an afterthought – this recipe. It was amazing – it couldn’t have been better even if it had been served of the bumcheeks of the fatter brother from Prison Break. Easily one of our favourite recipes yet!

ham and cheese gnocchi

It doesn’t look so pretty on the plate, and that cheese top looks like the kind of knee-scab you’d pick off in the bath and secretly eat. I know what you’re like, don’t try and gussy yourself up for me.

you’ll need these:

  • 250g of syn-free ham – we used the thicker cuts you can buy in a pack from the supermarket, but really any old shite will do
  • one chopped onion
  • 250g of quark (taste the flavour!)
  • clove of garlic (minced) (yep: get one of these!)
  • 100g of frozen peas
  • 1 x HEA Mozzarella
  • 1 x HEA strong cheddar
  • 400g of gnocchi (6 syns, and this serves four) 

and you’ll need to do this:

  • gently cook the onion in a large pan over a medium heat in a little oil until soft
  • add garlic and stir until it starts to turn golden
  • add the ham to the pan and cook until warmed through
  • add the frozen peas to the pan and stir
  • add the quark and continue to stir until it loosens and makes a thick, creamy sauce – add a few tablespoons of water if it becomes too thick
  • add the gnocchi and simmer for 2-3 minutes
  • once the gnocchi is soft, remove from the heat and evenly spread out the cheese over the top
  • place under a medium grill until the cheese turns golden
  • serve!

Now, what we did at this point was to put it in the oven, with the oven still warm from the grill but not switched on, and left it to sit for an hour or so whilst Paul came and bundled me into the car. When we came back, the gnocchi was almost broken down and the sauce really sticky – it was delicious. However, that might not tickle your buds as it were, so feel free to stick to the script.

Technically, you should probably serve with a salad full of superfree stuff. But hell if you can’t let your hair down every now and then…

J

syn free pea and ham soup

I swear to God – Old Man River put my bin back for the second time today! Why did he think I’d put it again? Does he think I’m giving him a cardio workout or something? Ah he’s so bloody nice it’s impossible to be mad but I fear that the rough-hewn men at the council will be foaming – three times now they’ve had that bin lorry backed up our street and three times the bin hasn’t been out. Oops. That’ll be them putting Bowser into the rubbish compacter tomorrow.

So, today. I was unlucky enough to be caught behind a cluster of office workers waiting to cross the road today, all puffing away on their e-cigarettes. That said, it did afford me the opportunity to mince through the strawberry-scented fog like I was coming out of the doors on Stars In Their Eyes when the light changed. I’m not keen on those e-cigarette thingies – I’m of the belief that if you want to smoke, then man up and bloody smoke – it should be Capston Full Strength tabs or bust. Admittedly it’s far nicer seeing someone misting away like a boiling kettle than it is seeing them bent double chucking their lungbutter all over the pavement but still. Plus the e-cigarettes always look so ungainly, like you’re sucking nicotine from a nosehair trimmer, and it does attract a lot of quite smug people who say they are harmless – perhaps, but society thought thalidomide was ‘armless once.

I gave up smoking two years ago using Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Stop Smoking (clicking takes you to his book), and it was a revelation. I was panicked thinking the cravings would be hell on Earth but I finished his book, put out my cigarette and hardly even thought about smoking again. He teaches you to examine what exactly you’re doing when you smoke, and explains why you want to keep smoking, and then breaks down each reason/excuse that you use to rationalise your smoking. It’s great – cost £6 and never looked back, and I was on a good 20 smokes a day.

Mind you, that’s not to say I’ve become one of those fervent anti-smokers who cough that tinkly little cough if someone has the temerity to light up near them. That I absolutely can’t stand, it’s such an oddly British passive action to take – either ask them to put it out or fuck off – you wouldn’t sit in a burning building sneezing at the fire, you’d take immediate action! Fair enough you might end up with a Richmond Blue smouldering in your eye-socket but you would have the comfort of not being a passive-aggressive tosser to soothe it.

Speaking of soothing, here’s the soup recipe for this week – and fuck me, look at that, I definitely need to get a trim on my worktop.

PEAHAM

to make syn free pea and ham soup, you’ll need:

ingredients: tiny drop of olive oil, or some frylight, 200g chopped bacon medallions, an onion, one leek, 2 cloves of garlic, 500g frozen peas, 700ml chicken stock, 1tsp dried thyme and salt.

to make syn free pea and ham soup, you should:

recipe: I made this in my soup-maker, but to cook in a pan is just as easy – fry the bacon and onion off so there’s a bit of colour, add the sliced leek, sweat a bit more (the onion, not you, but I understand it’s a hot kitchen). Crush the garlic and add, together with the frozen peas, chicken stock, thyme and salt. Simmer for forty minutes and blend.

extra easy: yes, easily- all those peas, you’re really cooking on gas. It’s a lovely soup on its own but I added a poached egg, a couple of tiny drops of truffle oil (syn those) (1 syn) and some chilli flakes to pep it up. Make some, have it as a starter, take the rest to work in the morning! Done!

Oh and before I forget, my mate Phillipa challenged me to use the word enunciate in my blog today.

J

ham and superfree veg muffins

Firstly, I apologise for not updating the blog last night but we were both stuck at work! Off to Fatfighters soon so only a very quick post but here is a recipe card for a good snack idea. I know I’ll be putting weight on because I have had too much crap this week thanks to being constantly at work. Sad times.

Paul is my superfree muffin! Enjoy, and I’ll check in later to confirm what damage I’ve done…muffins ahoy!

J