ready steady go overnight oats – a fruity breakfast treat

Ready steady go overnight oats! For the sake of easy searching I probably should have called it ‘fruity tooty’ overnight oats or some other nonsense but hey, I’m a sucker for a catchy title. But first, before we get to the recipe, we’re going back on holiday. If you’re not a fan of our holiday waffle (oh please, you’d eat our holiday waffle without so much as stopping to wipe the syrup off your under-lips), that’s fine, just click on this RUSTY, SEAMEN-FILLED OLD WRECK.

Thank god she’s gone, right? Did you smell her? Smelt like a fire in a rendering plant.

Goodness me, we wrap up one holiday and we’re right bang into the next one. Apologies for the Geordie sidetrack but I wanted to get it out whilst it was still fresh, which weirdly enough was also the same line I used to get Paul into bed when we first met. Ah that’s a fib – it was actually the promise of a McDonalds and a loan of my Family Guy DVD boxset that got him to drop his knickers. Is that a record? We’re two sentences in and I’ve already deviated from the holiday to a time ten years ago? I’ll do my best to stay on track.

click here for part one | click here for part two

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

When you last left us in Copenhagen we had arrived at the hotel, admired the plug sockets and gazed in abject despair that yet again we’d ended up in a hotel whose only British TV channels were Fox News and CNN. I’d sooner take my political and global news from a skidmark on the toilet than Fox News, so we were left with the shrieking of CNN to lull us to sleep of an evening. Don’t judge me, I don’t usually fret about these things, but I can’t go to sleep in a quiet room, lest I hear Pennywise scratching from under the bed. Somewhat shamefully, we spent the evening ordering room service…

Syn free because I used HEB.

 …and then falling asleep, making sure we would be bright and breezy for the next morning.

The next morning rolled around, as you’d expect, and we awoke, as far from bright and breezy as you can imagine. The hotel was faultless save for the fact that the bed was quite small and the air-conditioning somewhat lacking. By somewhat lacking I mean the heat generated from running this clunking beast cancelled out any wheezing chilling efforts it may have made. I had to peel myself away from Paul in the night – like pulling apart two slices of cheap ham – and go snort a line of toothpaste in the bathroom just to cool myself down. We aren’t attractive people at the best of times but take sleep away from us and we emerge from the hotel room looking like we’ve been locked in a cellar for eight months. However, buffet breakfast awaited.

We’ve discussed before how much we love a buffet breakfast – there’s something so appealing about being able to combine a continental, full English, pure greed and Danish delicacies into one wobbling tower of food, isn’t there? In the 80 minutes I had spare whilst Paul was doing his morning poo I’d researched Danish breakfasts and came across (not literally, though it was close) pålægschokolade (gesundheit!) – thin slices of chocolate that are used to top bread at breakfast. My watery eyes scanned that buffet table several times for such a wonder but sadly, no – though there were plenty of hot boiled eggs to slip into our pockets for later. We have no shame: if we learned anything from our trip to Iceland it was that free food is worth keeping as the stuff in the shops is invariably expensive and sounds like a hacking cough when you try and order it. A charming chap in a waistcoat and the full flush of puberty came to our table and offered us what looked like an excised cyst in a little glass tumbler. I asked what it was only to be met with a blank stare and a polite smile. Clearly his English was fluent as my Danish. I passed it to Paul to try just in case it was a rohypnol colada (that way, I’d still get my end away) and he swallowed it like the old pro that he is, declared it delicious, but was completely unable to tell me what it was. To this day I’m not entirely convinced that Paul didn’t just neck back a shot glass of tomato ketchup that the waiter had brought over for our bacon and sausages. Ah well, he’s still here.

I was just finishing my yoghurt and trying to work out whether this place was too posh for me to lick the foil lid (it was, sadly) when an ashen-look swept across Paul’s baggy-eyed face. “We’ve come on a bank holiday!” he cried, to which I pointed out that we’d done the same on his birthday and one weekend back in March, so what was the problem? Delving deeper into his angst, he pointed out that everywhere will doubtless be closed – he’d read about it online and everything. Catastrophe! Of course, he’d neglected to tell us this when we were booking the holiday, but never mind. We decided to just go for a wander, see what was about and do whatever we fancied. Personally, I think those are the best holiday days anyway – I hate being beholden to a schedule of booked trips and ‘things you must do’. I like to walk until my cankles ache and my belly blows out from too much pastry.

So, with nothing but blank hours in front of us, we caught the Metro system to Islands Brygge, a few stops away, and somewhere approximately in the centre of the city. I marvelled once more at their Metro system – quick, reliable and cheap, and not once was I offered drugs, a handjob or the exciting chance to see the inside of my belly on the outside of my shirt. It’s a step-up from Newcastle, for sure. Did I mention it was driverless? Not since our heady trip around the fully automatic Heathrow Pod system has Paul had such a turgid hard-on for mass transportation systems. We alighted and wandered, indeed seeing that most shops seemed to be shut and the streets relatively quiet. Hmm. We decided to walk down to the waterfront – I’m not sure what you’d call it, as it technically isn’t a river but rather the sea cutting through, but I’m sure someone will come along and tell me in an entirely non-patronising way.

After a leisurely mince and a stop for coffee at a peculiar café which saw the ground floor dedicated to the tables for eating and then, upon taking a lift to the basement to use the lavatory, a whole floor full of screaming children and flustered parents. It was really quite unsettling, like I’d stumbled into something terrifically sinister. I’m sure it said nursery on the eighty-nine letter spelling out the café name but who knows. A further wander and we happened across our first activity of the day: solar-powered picnic boats.

What is a picnic boat? Well come on, it’s clearly a boat with a picnic table on it so that you can float about the sea whilst having ginger ale and cucumber sandwiches. We were sold but before I get to it, let me tell you our reservations. I have a slight inner-ear problem which means I’m always nervous of floating about on the water lest I become one of those poor souls who always feel like they’re out on the sea despite being sat at home watching Jeremy Kyle. I know, I’m a fanny. I’m also really quite wary of canals and sluices and weirs and all sorts of man-made water contraptions. I know, as I said, I’m a fanny. On top of that, imagine trying to balance a ball-bearing on the edge of a 50p whilst all the while someone is slapping your boobs around and setting your legs on fire – that’s Paul’s level of personal coordination. Between his boss-eyes and inability to concentrate, he’s not one for climbing elegantly into a boat and then piloting us around Copenhagen’s waterways with any sense of panache. To add another layer of ‘no, this is a bad idea’, it was a particularly windy and overcast day, which is just the ticket when you’re piloting a solar-powered boat without any sails, no?

Well, have no fear – I manned the fuck up, paid the very reasonable £90 for two hours, and after a stern lecture from the bearded chap behind the counter and a frantic search for two lifejackets that would fit us (I offered to stitch together three medium life-jackets but a needle and thread couldn’t be found in time), we were aboard. Naturally, I immediately delegated all piloting (and it is piloting, I’ve checked, you only sail a boat with sails, so fuck you) duties to Paul, made myself comfortable at the back of the boat and immediately started shitting myself as the boat rocked this way and that in the wind. Paul had an eye on our destination which was reassuring – it was the fact his other eye was somewhere down the shoreline that concerned me.

However, what followed was an absolutely brilliant two hours. You can get the measure of a city from walking its streets but seeing it from the water is another thing entirely. There’s a loose route to follow around the canals and you’re encouraged to drift along at your own leisure, taking in the sights. I mean, look at the photo they use to advertise it on their website to get an idea of how relaxing it is:

I mean, you can almost hear the yah-yah-ing and the fizz-plink of an elderflower pressé being opened, can’t you?

Still not as good as our take on it:

That is a spectacularly bad photo of Paul (and me, to be fair) – he doesn’t normally look like Hoggle drawn on a melted candle, so forgive us.

The wind had returned our map to the sea within 5 minutes of our boat setting off (I blame Paul) so we were going in blind, but we spent a good two hours taking in views of the Amalienborg Slot (I’m sure I’ve met her), the lovely opera building, the ramshackle houses and boats of Christiana and the many, many moored up boats that line the canals.

Those people on the left waved at us. I like to think it’s because they had never seen such style and elegance on the water but actually, I think they were warning us of the giant boat coming through the tunnel straight towards us. Pfft.

Copenhagen is awash with beautiful painted houses like this – it’s possibly the most colourful place I’ve ever been. Have a look on google maps at Copenhagen from the air, it’s just amazing.

Of course, it was not without peril, oh no. Thanks to our inability to navigate, Paul’s poor vision and my shrieking and screaming, we ended up with more clumsy scrapes than an alcoholic gynaecologist. That’s fine – they know you’ll probably put a few dings in the side of the boat, it’s expected. We returned our boat looking like Herbie does at the end of The Love Bug and they barely raised a Danish eyebrow.

One thing you must be mindful of is the knowledge that the massive yellow taxi-boats, carrying 200 or so folks around the waterways, have absolute right of way. You stay away. You slow down. You absolutely do not do what Paul did and gun your boat, with its top speed of 6.4km (and that’s when it isn’t laden down with two fat Geordie bastards), in the hope of getting passed. Eee, it was like Speed 2, only with better acting and special effects. We did actually make it past, though I still need to look up whatever ‘klodset kusse’ means in English. I’m sure it means ‘after you, kind Sirs’.

Here’s some more pictures to get you moist.

What you can’t see here is how close we are to hitting a bridge pillar on the right. The air was blue!

The Copenhagen Opera House, as seen from the viewpoint of someone lying down.

I absolutely love this photo – a rare bit of good photography from me. It’s The Marble Church, not Photoshopped.

Bloody caravans, even manage to ruin waterways!

Beautiful, right? The two hours were soon up and so we had to race our way back to the little harbour area to return our boat. As we neared the jetty one of the cheery bearded men came out to wave us in. How canny. I sensed danger. We drew up alongside this tiny wee floating jetty and the man hopped aboard to tie the boat up, telling us to wait until we were tied up before climbing out of the boat. I duly followed orders and sat back down.

However, Paul didn’t get the message, oh no. Whether he was touching cloth, desperate to get on land or just showing a rare bit of athleticism, he made to step out, only for one leg to land on the jetty and the other leg to push the boat away. You know on You’ve Been Framed when you see someone do this and their legs spread apart and they fall in? Yep. Well, not quite actually – in quite literally the deftest move I’ve ever seen him make, he flung himself towards that jetty like he was scoring the winning try for the English rugby team. He was a positive blur of obesity and elasticated polyester. I was absolutely sure he was going in the water but no, he hurled himself down on his belly onto this tiny jetty, arms wrapped tightly around either side, and let out the loudest ‘OH FUCK’ you can imagine.

Well I couldn’t do a bloody thing for laughing, could I? I feel bad retrospectively because I, of course, should have dashed to his side and helped him up, but no. I was bent double with unending paroxysms of laughter, to the point where I almost fell out too when the guy in charge brought the boat back. But you know what was the funniest part? It wasn’t Paul’s face as he realised what was happening, it wasn’t even the loud crack that so much fat makes as it slaps against wet wood, no…

…it was the fact that a little hard-boiled egg came rolling out of his back pocket and came to rest neatly on the jetty beside him, looking to all the world like he’d hatched an egg in sheer fright.

Even now, quite genuinely, if I bring that image to mind, it makes me crack up. Paul took the embarrassment in good humour, he always does, and we both had to sit on a nearby bench to get our breath back, albeit for two entirely different reasons. He’s a good sport, isn’t he?

I’ll leave this entry there for now. It seems like a terrific place to stop. Before I go though, can I just point out that I managed to make a nautical blog entry without resorting to these obvious three jokes that I had lined up in the chamber ready to fire:

  • if there’s one thing we’re comfortable around, it’s a poop deck;
  • the place was awash with seamen, and I bloody love it;
  • tiller? I barely knew ‘er

We’re getting better. Until we meet again…

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


Right, let’s do these ready steady go overnight oats, shall we? They’re ready steady go because of the colours, in case you haven’t quite worked it out. Although frankly, if you haven’t worked that out, you ought to be ashamed.

ready steady go overnight oats

ready steady go overnight oats

to make ready steady go overnight oats, you’ll need:

  • 40g of oats mixed with whatever syn-free yoghurt you like – we’re a big fan of Skyr because you don’t get all the added shite you get with Mullerlight, but all is good
  • one kiwi fruit
  • one mango
  • a good handful of strawberries

to make ready steady go overnight oats, you should:

  • it’s really terrifically simple – mix your oats and yoghurt together
  • chop your kiwi fruit into small bits and press it down into the bottom of your jar or glass
  • add yoghurt and oats on top
  • chop your mango* and layer it on
  • add yoghurt and oats
  • chop your strawberries and top the whole thing off!

Couple of top tips for you. If you chop your fruit unevenly and then just break it up with a fork, you’ll get a bit more juice and it’ll look prettier. Also, you’ll probably have half a mango over – just keep it for the next day or chop it up and make coronation chicken!

You’ll note that we didn’t serve ours in a jar. I know, herecy! But that’s the thing with overnight oats, you can serve them any way you want. A jar, a glass, a sink, serve it alongside the Aurora Borealis…yes, at this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country, localised entirely within your kitchen!

That said, there’s a nice set on Amazon if you need them!

Want more overnight oats recipe? Of course you do. Take your pick!

Want more ideas? Click the buttons!

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Enjoy!

J

cookies and cream overnight oats

Cookies and cream overnight oats! I know, right? We were going to do one of those giant milkshakes that you see floating about but having worked out the syns, we didn’t want to be responsible for Mags having one of her ‘moments’ by her hi-fi bar-shaped pool in Benidorm. So we’ve toned it down and made an overnight oats recipe instead. It’s tasty! However, before we get there, there’s the next part of our trip to Newcastle to read about. Now listen, if you’re not in the mood to read our travel tales, that’s fine. You just need to click on the GIANT BORING TOOL below to be whisked straight to the recipe!

I know, what a stinker! Still with me? Then let us begin…oh and I’m sorry this one is taking ages to rattle through, but when I’m talking about the place I love, words just aren’t enough…please give us feedback. Am I getting the tone right?

part one | part two | part three | part four | part five

We awoke bright and breezy at a very respectable 9am and after a quick tidy of the room to ensure that we haven’t left anyone behind that could reasonably be considered fair game for a hotel guest to steal (Paul has to slap my hands away from unscrewing the light fittings and rolling up the carpet) we were out of our room and in reception in good time. The receptionist gave us a ‘you sure, you fat fucker’ look when I told her we had managed to avoid eating anything from the minibar and we settled our room service tab. We’d only had a round of sandwiches and some fizzy water so it came to an entirely reasonable £89,645.

I’ll cheerfully recommend the Hotel du Vin if you’re looking for somewhere fancy-ish to stay. They’re a chain and very aware of themselves, but the bed was comfortable and the room well-appointed. And just think: if you book it now, you might get the same bed as me and you can drift off to the sweet scent of sweet-potato farts and Tom Ford. Careful if you’re ovulating though, two young lads full of the joys of spring inevitably means things were squirted about that might not have caught the eye of the cleaner.

We parked the Smart car under where I work (the joys of working in the city centre: always have a parking space whilst everyone is outside fighting to the death at Christmas) and walked down to the Tyneside Cinema café for breakfast. Now, perhaps a cinema café puts you in mind of the farty smell of popcorn and pick-and-mix with a higher price-per-kg point than saffron but not this place: the food is superb. In a desperate attempt to put right the misdeeds of the night before, we opted for a late breakfast of…

Steak Benedict for me…

…eggs royale for the Missus.

The steak was a decent cut cooked perfectly, with the accompanying hollandaise sauce light and silky rather than the gelatinous jizzy goop that so often gets passed off as a perfect poached-egg partner. Sriracha hot sauce was a nice touch, if only so I could feel alive again. Paul’s salmon was even better judging by the eye-rolling and curious noises he was making. It would have been too obvious to shout out ‘I’ll have what HE’S having’ in a cinema-themed eaterie, so I kept my mouth shut.

Oh! There was a brief but terribly exciting moment just as we were settling up when a somewhat bewildered looking chap came and started banging on the window, arguing with his own reflection. He clearly wasn’t very well but it created a peculiar situation where we had to fuss about with the sugar cubes and the card reader whilst someone screamed spittle onto the window right beside my ear. I felt like an exhibit in a furious zoo. Ah Newcastle, never change.

The plan was to do some shopping but frankly, I see enough of the shops on my lunchtime during the week to warrant me never deciding to go there for pleasure on a weekend. We did stop into Fenwick to look at expensive aftershave I’ll never have and TVs the size of buses, but that’s about it. It’s unusual for me to leave Fenwick without smelling like I’ve been swimming in ladies’ perfume – I go there most lunches with El Ehma and I’m often caught in the airburst from her enthusiastic ‘testing’. Fun fact: her skin is now 90% Creed Aventus For Her. She had to give up smoking before she went up like a roman candle.

Pictured is a statue of Saint Robson Green who protects the Haymarket bus station. The inscription reads ‘haway man, lerrus in man y’awld bitch, I knaa there’s nee busses runnin, d’yis think ah’m a daft c*nt like

The Church of St Thomas, taken by the phone of Saint James

Abandoning the shopping idea, much to the collective relief of the beancounters at First Direct and American Express, we instead lumbered up Northumberland Street to the Hancock Museum, where excitement and tat-buying awaited. I’ve only been here once on a school trip and that was cut short when one of the teachers fell down two flights of stairs and had to be taken away in an ambulance. We never did finish learning about roman pottery and she never walked again, so really, who suffered most? It’s OK, I’m kidding – of course we finished our pottery lessons – they got a supply teacher in.

“Someone should iron you”

The Hancock is a lovely little museum as it happens. Plenty for kids to do – there’s interactive boards they can wreck with their sticky fingers, quiet reflection halls which they can ruin with their shrill fire-alarm voices and there’s even a very well-stocked kids play area which they can totally ignore in favour of running around your legs and shrieking. Honestly, the sooner they make it legal to pack children away into broom cupboards and disused corridors the better. I spotted an old colleague of mine who I used to work with more than a few years ago and with whom I shared a mutual hatred of each other with, so I pulled Paul into the planetarium to avoid her.

She once reported me to HR for laughing too much, I kid you not. I (ironically) had the last laugh though – she got made redundant before me when they shut the quango I worked for down. I tried not to smirk too much as she struggled through her tears to pack her leaving box. I would have helped but hey, she was the worst.

The planetarium was a bust, mind. There was me thinking we’d be exploring the universe together, gasping and whooing as stars rattled past our ears and planets loomed large before us. I mean, it’s a planetarium. You’ll understand my confusion then when I tell you we were treated to a movie all about prehistoric sea creatures that was produced and dispatched back in 2002. In this era of ultra-HD TV when you can actually see the smarm oozing out of Piers Morgan’s nose pores like mash through a ricer it was a proper shock – it was as pixellated as watching the Discovery Channel projected onto a live game of Tetris. We persevered for about ten minutes before promptly falling asleep, only waking forty minutes later when the credits rolled and the lights came back on. Thankfully, aside from the chap sitting at the door in case any fire / excitement / interest broke out, we were alone in our snoring and sleep-farting.

We wandered around for another hour or so, thankfully avoiding my old nemesis. Absolute full credit to the Hancock Museum – it’s a very decent place with plenty of interesting exhibitions and unusually, isn’t dumbed down for the kiddiwinks. I showed my appreciation by dropping a note into the donations box instead of my usual 2p and washer. Paul was aghast.

As a leathery, ancient, black-toothed, beast that terrifies men and is the very last thing you want to see coming at you in the dark, Paul’s mother also likes dinosaurs.

Random question but can anyone identify this actress? She’s famous, I recognise the face, but I’ll be damned if I can put a name to her.

We decided that as we were on a particular roll with the museums that we’d give the Discovery Museum a go, but not before stopping into nearby pub The Hotspur for more booze. Good selection of ales and beer in here, though that meant nothing to Paul as he primly ordered a gin and tonic. The man knows what he wants, I suppose, but it was match day and I confess to being worried about leaving through the window once they realised we were imposters in that masculine world. Actually, it was probably the fact that we were shrieking our way through a game of Kerplunk that would give that particular gayme away.

The key is knowing the right moment when to pull out so you don’t blow your load too early.

The pub had lovingly left some board games on the side to play and, being a huge fan of sticking my rod in and making the balls jiggle, Kerplunk was the obvious choice. I won, and I won the subsequent game of Connect 4 too. Paul’s got all the subtlety of a hot fart at a funeral so the Kerplunk victory was inevitable, but he must have taken his eye off the ball with Connect 4 as he’s usually victorious.

To be fair to him mind, his eyes do work completely independently of each other, so that’s not entirely unexpected.

I had forgotten that I played a game of Connect 4 against John Savident, but here’s the proof.

Now, actually, we’re getting away from ourselves again. Let’s close this post off for tonight and get to the recipe. Hey though, if you’ve read this far, I’d love feedback on the holiday entries – please do leave a comment or email me or whatever. Feedback always welcomed!


Right! Ready for cookies and cream overnight oats? You filthy bugger, of course you are!

 

to make cookies and cream overnight oats, you’ll need:

  • 40g of oats – any old oats will do and now Slimming World gives you 40g to wrap your lips around, instead of just 35g – I bet you feel spoiled now, don’t you? Try and remain humble
  • a vanilla with chocolate sprinkles Muller Light (syn free) – or, if you’re not a fan of all that fake sugar and aspartame, mix 1 tsp of bournville cocoa powder (1 syn) into whatever yoghurt you use – we use Skyr because we’re just so cosmopolitan
  • two Oreo thins (3 syns)
  • Anchor squirty light cream – (1 syn for 12.5g – I’ve just nipped into the kitchen to see how much that is and let me tell you, it’s a really big, enthusiastic squirt) (you do the jokes)

A lot of people ask if these overnight oats recipes need to go in a jar. Nah. Honestly, any old shite will do – as long as you mix them together, you could serve them alongside a single plum, floating in perfume, served in a man’s hat and nobody would bat an eye.

That said, there’s a nice set on Amazon if you need them!

to make cookies and cream overnight oats, you should:

  • mix 40g of oats, a good dollop of yoghurt and one crushed up Oreo together and put in the jar
  • I like to top it off with a little bit more yoghurt on top
  • now, I like to eat it straight away so I add the squirty cream and stick the Oreo in and then eat, but if you prefer to leave it overnight, do, and then add the squirty cream in the morning along with your Oreo and eat!

I’m just saying, but a couple of extra Oreos isn’t going to turn you into ten tonne tessie, so if you were planning on adding a few more crushed up, I’ll never tell…

Want more overnight oats recipe? Of course you do. Take your pick!

Want more ideas? Click the buttons!

breakfastsmallsnackssmall dessertsmallslowcookersmallovernight-oatstastersmall

J

strawberries and cream overnight oats

My word, just take a moment to look at those strawberries and cream overnight oats –  what a thing of beauty. Normally our food looks crap but I’m happy with how that picture turned out! Overnight oats seem to be making a bit of a resurgence amongst the slimming rabble online so I thought it’s about time we had a new one. This meant a trip to Lidl – normally I’d send Paul but see he went to bed ‘to rest his eyes’ at 2pm and he’s still in bed now! I should probably check he hasn’t choked to death on his own fat tongue but meh, Doctor Who is on shortly. So no, I went to Lidl myself, and that’s a very dangerous thing indeed.

Why? Because anyone who knows me will tell you I’m as tight as a nun’s gee but somethings comes over me at Lidl and I’m throwing the cash around like Barry Big Bollocks. Admittedly, this doesn’t amount to a hill of beans because you could probably buy the entire stock inventory of our local Lidl and pay the staff with the total of the coins in my car ashtray. It isn’t an ashtray but I can’t be arsed to google and find out what the compartment is called. You may remember I contemplated pissing in it once, though (don’t worry, that risky click will open in a new window).  But see I went into Lidl this afternoon to buy one box of strawberries and spent nearly fifty quid on absolute tat. This doesn’t happen to me in Aldi, possibly because I’m too stressed about approaching the checkout and having my shopping hurled off the back wall by a cashier with a forearm like a Russian shot-putter, but Lidl, every fucking time.

So what did I buy? I bought some strawberries, yes, very good. But I also bought two giant bars of Ritter chocolate. Some stuffed vine leaves. Some kirsch. A self-watering plant pot which has already broken from when I threw it in the boot. A ‘chips and dip’ bowl I wouldn’t even sell at a car boot sale. Some suncream – why? I live in Newcastle, the closest I get to a tan is walking past the heated cabinets in Greggs. A citronella candle with a wick so thick I feel like I’m part of the lighting of the beacons from Lord of the Rings. I bought a selection of real ale simply because the names amused me, even though I’m about as much into real ale as I am playing football and punching horses. There’s also a bag of crisps made from pasta which I’m sure will actually make Slimming World spontaneously combust as they battle to work out whether it is a tweak or not. I had to stop myself buying a set of telescopic hedge trimmers on the basis that a) all of our hedges are about 10ft and growing wildly b) I’m lazy and c) we have a gardener for that sort of thing. Not showing off, it’s just two hilariously obese blokes aren’t exactly cut out for hard graft in the garden (see Paul’s current status, above).

I did go too far, though. I bought my cats some Coshita, or whatever the Lidl cat food is. I’m not a snob, not in the slightest, but by Christ my cats are. I slopped this out of the sachet, gagging all the while (who knew that ash mixed with horse sphincter and mouse droppings could taste so nasty) and our cats wandered over to try it. I say try it, they didn’t even sniff it – just looked at the pile of food and then back at me with a look that said we’d never be friends again. I actually had to rush to our first aid box because I was so severely burnt by their coldness. They both turned and stropped straight out the cat flap and I haven’t seen them since. If I didn’t know that cats don’t have opposable thumbs I’d be willing to bet they were currently hitchhiking down the A1 to London in the hope of meeting a kinder owner who would feed them fresh chicken every day. I can’t understand their mentality – I’ve seen one cat chew up the brains, eyes and skull of a poor mouse only to then sick it back up and have the other cat have a bash at it. They’re certainly very picky considering they must spend at least 30% of their day rasping away at each other’s arsehole.

Pah. The list above isn’t even exhaustive, you know. I came back with three big bags and nothing to actually show for it. That’s why I send Paul – he knows that if he spends money on nonsense he’ll have to put up with me sitting around with a face like a collapsed mine kvetching at him for frittering money away.

Anyway, enough about me and my sexy temperament. Let’s do this recipe!

strawberries and cream

to make strawberries and cream overnight oats, you’ll need:

  • 40g of oats – any old oats will do, maybe not the wild oats that your male friend keeps asking you to try
  • as much syn free natural yoghurt as you want – or use a Mullerlight if you’re not feeling fancy
  • a couple of good handfuls of strawberries
  • lighter squirty cream (12.5g) (look, I just put a good squirt in there, I don’t care) (1.5 syns)

I suppose if you cook the strawberries you ought to syn them if you follow SW’s diet to the absolute letter. People will feverishly tell you, whilst covering your blouse with their yellow spittle, that it’s because ‘IT RELISUS THE SHERGARS‘ or other bumtwattery. It isn’t. The rule is there to stop you over-eating. It doesn’t apply in this case. If I was asking you to blend fifteen punnets of strawberries then yeah, you should syn it. But as I’m assuming that you not a fucking dormouse and thus could easily sit and eat five or six strawberries in one sitting – and therefore, as you’re not ingesting any extra calories then you normally would – I don’t think you need to syn it. However, if you’re one of these people who demand everyone follows it 100% or else they’re worse than Hitler, here’s a pro-tip: have yourself seventeen Muller-lights and a Hifi bar, do it your way, I’ll do it my way, and everyone can be happy! Tra-la-la.

to make strawberries and cream overnight oats, you should:

  • mix together your oats and yoghurt
  • chop up all of the strawberries into little chunks and mix half into the oaty mix
  • pop the rest into a cup and microwave for ten seconds, just to get the juices running, and then mash lightly with a fork
  • take your phone off the hook to stop the Slimming World Mafiosa ringing you up, slurring down the line about tweaaaaaaks
  • layer the jar like in the picture – half the jar with oats, then the layer of mushy strawberry, then the rest of the oats
  • put it in the fridge overnight
  • in the morning, top with your squirty cream and another strawberry
  • easy!

OH we got our jars from here!

Want more overnight oats recipes? We’ve made loads! Hell, there’s even a boozy version for all of you who shake your way through the day!

More breakfast ideas? More inspiration? Just click what you need!

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Enjoy!

J

cubby’s chocolate orange overnight oats

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

chocolate orange overnight oats

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

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

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

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

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

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Cheers!

J

lemon meringue overnight oats

A man walks into a Scottish bakery, points at the goodies and says ‘Hoo, is that an eclair or meringue?’

The baker says…

wait for it…

‘No you’re right, it’s an eclair!’

AN ECLAIR! SEE HE THOUGHT BECAUSE HE WAS SCOTTISH HE SAID ‘OR AM I WRONG’ AAAAH YES

BOOM

giphy

And the crowd goes mild!

Come on man straight in there with a bloody meringue joke, there’s literally one meringue joke in existence and that’s it. I’m not even sorry!

Tonight is a super-quick post because it’s Friday, I want to sit back, put my cankles up and rest my weary hide. I’m lucky in that I enjoy my job, god knows what it must be like if you hate it. Paul watches a lot of How It’s Made on the TV (really getting the use out of our Sky subscription, because who doesn’t want to know how pencil sharpeners are made or how they deliver 24,000 cherry bakewells a day?) and you’ll often see, amongst the fantastic machinery and wonderfully clever mechanical systems some little old dear spending eight hours troubling her sciatica and screwing toothpaste caps on or holding over a sheet of pastry. I’m not knocking anyone’s job because well, a job is a job, but goodness me, how do they do it? I get bored if I have to type the same word twice – I treat my emails like a round of Just a Minute. No repetition, hesitation or deviation.

I confess myself a little ticked off because I went to fill the car and promptly filled it full of Supreme Diesel. My car is diesel, so what’s the problem? Well, it offends my meanness to pay extra for something that I can’t see the benefit of. Nevertheless, I went in, handed over my monthly pay and the cashier, clearly sensing my distress, offered me a free copy of the Sun. I joked that since we fitted a cat-flap we don’t need to line the cat litter tray and thus I didn’t need the Sun, but I could tell from his ashen face that my joke wasn’t welcomed. He was clearly having a bad day. I took one, but only to be polite, the way someone at a buffet may take a spoonful of potato salad that the host has made only to drop it into a plantpot when their back was turned.

What a rag, though. Read what you like, it’s your life, but look at the front cover today – it’s not filled with the sad news that a plane crashed into the Mediterranean killing 66 poor buggers in what could be another frightening turn of terrorism, oh no, it’s got a mock-up of an olive-oil filled paddling pool with the frothy headline ‘The Day Free Speech Drowned’ and a couple of subheadings about how it goes against common sensibility. That should tell you everything you need to know about this shitrag.

We all know who it is, so please don’t be a funny bugger and comment on this saying ‘OMG ITZ THINGY’ because, well, don’t. What I can’t fathom is why anyone cares. The visual is troubling enough but can anyone genuinely say that the fact some happily married man and his husband had sex with another man? Why is it news? No-one was hurt (although they’ll be smelling like a greek salad left out in the sun for a few days), no laws were broken, it wasn’t even a Boy George whoopsy-daisy-chained-an-escort-to-a-wall moment. Some mouthbreathing anus from (I think) The Sun was on Radio 4 on this morning saying that it’s in the public interest because this artist is in the public eye. Well, here’s the thing, unless he’s felching someone out on my front lawn, I couldn’t give a toss – and even then I’d only mind because he’d be flattening our new grass. The journalist went on to say ‘AND HE HAS KIDS’ like having kids immediately renders it illegal to have sex and fun with your partner, which is ridiculous, and there was more than a hint of the kids being exposed to their seedy lifestyle.

Of course, the media printing the name of the children’s fathers and explicit, in-depth detail of their olive-oil-orgasms isn’t exposing them, oh no no no. That’s in the public interest. 

Honestly, they’re a bunch of twats. Feel free to print that, you Tiddler-Riddler-haired witch.

Oops! So yes, let’s get to the lemon meringue overnight oats, shall we?

lemon meringue overnight oats

to make lemon meringue overnight oats, you’ll need:

  • 35g of oats
  • fat free natural yoghurt
  • one lemon
  • 2  lemon mini meringues from Marks and Spencers – it’s 7 syns for the whole 35g packet and you get about 14 in there, so let’s hedge our bets at 1 syn for 2, feel free to add more, I don’t care, go wild in the aisles darling
  • lemon curd (1 tsp is 1 syn, I used two)
  • a pretentious serving jar or any old container

to make lemon meringue overnight oats, you should:

  • finely grate the lemon – not all of it, into the yoghurt – for once, this is something I can really say a microplane grater is great for – you get all the rind without all of the pith! Buy one here, you’ll use it lots and lots!
  • it’s really just a case of layering – lemon yoghurt on the bottom, then half the oats, then a spoonful of lemon curd, a crushed up meringue, yoghurt, lemon curd, oats and meringue
  • I like to squirt some of the lemon juice into the yoghurt because I’m a rebel, plus I’m used to the taste of sour yoghurt splashing on my tongue
  • once you’ve taken a picture, cooed over it and thought well isn’t that a treat, mix it all up and put in the fridge for the morning OR, eat it straight away like I did

If you enjoyed that, we’ve got seven more wonderful overnight oats recipes all on one page right here. Because we care. Go have a look, you won’t be disappointed. Promise.

It’s worth a mention that you could make your own Slimming World friendly lemon curd but really, the proper stuff is 1 syn per level tsp, you don’t need a lot of it for flavour and life’s too short to be pissing about in the kitchen with eggs and a wheelbarrow of Splenda for the sake of one syn. If you prefer to make your own, there’s plenty of recipes on the Internet. OK? GOOD. Jeez.

J

budget week: apple pie overnight oats

Before we get started – I heard an expression yesterday which had me clutching my sides with laughter, and I’ve tried and tried to work it naturally into my normal dialogue but haven’t been able to, so I’m just going to chuck it here at the start of the blog and let it set the tone:

…”she had a fanny like a butcher shop with blown-in windows”…

Seriously, how can I get that into normal conversation? I can’t exactly chuck it across to the man who has been round to size up my blinds, can I?


Yes yes, I know, I said I’d update, but then I also said it would just be chaotic with all the decorating and people being in the house, so we took some time off instead. Listen I thought this blog would fizzle out like a disappointing fart after a week or two when we started, so the fact we’re here almost a year later is good enough! So shut yer hole. Even getting to the computer to type up this blog has been like a thrown-out round of Gladiators, climbing over paint-pots and sanders and forty inches of dust just to get to the keyboard. Christ knows what my name would be if I had been a Gladiator…’GELATINE’ perhaps, or ‘SWEAT RASH’. You would have had to slightly de-tune the TV to soften the image of me in a lycra unitard too, with my tits jiggling about like duelling jellyfish and my cock-and-balls smeared across my front like a run-over weasel.

Of course we’ve had the natural gaggle of people in the house, quoting for work, looking disdainfully at our paint colours and over-egging their quotes and then backtracking so fast their shoes smoke when I start haggling. Case in point – we had a local company come out to quote for installing an alarm system a couple of days ago. He turns up, starts rattling our windows and doors and telling us that ‘given the fucking area youse (wince) live in, you really need to improve your security’. The area we live in! The cheeky little muckspout. 

We’ve had a painter in the house all week and he’s been brilliant – meticulously clean, efficient, turning up on time and doing a cracking job. But CHRIST has it been stressful – each morning before work I’m having to run around the house removing anything indecent and/or smutty. The normal products that help a happy homo-marriage, but not something I want my painter to have to move with a gloved hand. We’ll be finding bottles of lube, douching bulbs and fetishwear stuffed down the cracks in the settee and behind the towels until at least 2018.

Hell we had to stop the TV from syncing with the computer and displaying the contents of our photo slideshow just in case he was busy glossing the skirting boards, flicked on the telly for a bit of Jeremy Kyle and was confronted by a 55″ LED display of a hardcore bukkake session. Nothing matt about that, mate. He probably already thinks the house is haunted by the gayest ghost imaginable given I’d forgotten that when I show people at work how our fancy lights work where you can control the colour and brightness from the iPad, it’ll be changing them at home as it’s all connected via WiFi – imagine trying to paint when the lights keep flashing and changing from Hussy Red to Septic Green.

It doesn’t help matters that Paul seems to think it’s entirely appropriate to ‘drop the kids off’ first thing in the morning before his steamy shower, meaning the bathroom smells like an animal rendering plant for at least three hours. I wouldn’t care so much but the painter was recommended by someone whose opinion I actually welcome and I don’t want him going back and telling them that our house smells like a sewage outlet. 

My haggling has also been coming along wonderfully – after making a new enemy at the sofa shop by taking £700 off her commission, I managed to haggle 50% of the cost of our blinds. I say I haggled, but really, he told me it would cost £900, I said no and that I’d pay £450 and not a penny more. He immediately said that was fine. I’m fairly sure it wasn’t because he was swooning at the sight of me stood in front of him in my vest looking to the world like a hot-water tank spoiling for a fight, so it just shows how much these companies try and screw out of you.

Now before some clever-dick points out that we could buy them online and fit them ourselves and save so much more money, well yes, that’s true, but you don’t know us. We’d install the blinds upside-down and on fire. It’s like the motto that I really should have tattooed on the lower of my back – ‘I prefer to get a man in’.

Speaking of haggling, our budget week starts today. Now, cards on the table time, we’re abysmal at budgeting when it comes to money. We bought a second Actifry because the first one we ordered was grey and we fancied black and rather than returning it to Amazon, we’ve put it in the shed where it’s currently propping up the Christmas tree stand. We’ve paid a locksmith £50 for two new handles for the door but we’re putting him off visiting because we don’t like having to make small-talk while he fits them. It’s not because we’re rolling in money, because let me assure you we’re not, but we also don’t have kids sucking our money out of our wallet like a mucky-faced perma-yelling hoover.  Plus we’re gay, so pink-pound rules, yes? 

What we’re going to do is to price up our recipe this week, so you’ll be able to see at a glance how much it costs per serving – and – our recipes this week (unless clearly stated) will serve 6 – not so that you get double the pleasure at dinner time, but rather so you can parcel some up and have it for lunch the next day. We’re not going to be providing a recipe for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day as it’s still a bit too chaotic to commit to such shenanigans, but I am going to try and post as much as we can and just like American week, you might get a few more days out of us if we come up with good ideas.

We’re assuming a basic level of spices and stock and flavouring, but we’re going to keep out our more outlandish ingredients this week. However, you’ll spot two news things: ways to ‘gussy’ up the meal, i.e., if you’re not on the bones of your arse, I’ll include ways you can spend a little more to add even more flavour, and also, a way to strip down each recipe even further. Well, where I can. One of the recipes coming up uses three ingredients for heaven’s sake. 

Actually, that’s an idea – I might take a picture of a glass of water, do it all up twochubbycubs style, and post it in the facebook groups with a recipe guide. That’ll cause an argument – not that such a thing is difficult – I saw someone ask for a syn value yesterday only to be called a ‘fucking snooty bitch’ (well, it was actually fkn sntty btch (there’s that vowel tax again), but I don’t think she was calling her a frolickin’ snotty birch, so let me have it). Honestly, dieting folks could start an argument in an empty house. Just have a square of chocolate and calm your titties.

SO, first recipe isn’t the most exciting, but look, it’s a good start and a decent cheap way to get your breakfast. Plus, I wanted one more overnight oats recipe on the blog so I have a full week of them to post around like the profligate slut that I am.

apple pie overnight oats

to make apple pie overnight oats, you’ll need:

  • 35g of oats
  • 1 apple
  • 10g of sultanas
  • cinnamon
  • fat free natural yoghurt
  • if your yoghurt is a bit Katie Price (a little tart), chuck in a dusting of sweetener, but just a dusting, you don’t need to use a bloody snow shovel

then you should:

  • get yourself a fancy jar like mine from Amazon or if you are trying to save money, ask a passing child to hold their hands in a bowl shape, mix it all in there, have them stand overnight and then send them back up the chimney after breakfast in the morning;
  • put your 35g of oats and dash of sweetener in the bottom
  • add your 10g of sultanas on top (1.5 syns at a push – 25g of basic sultanas is 2.5g)
  • grate your apple coarsely (I mean use the coarse setting on the grater, not that you should eff-and-jeff all throughout the process) and pop that on top
  • add a sprinkling of cinnamon
  • add the natural yoghurt
  • MIX it together – a few people have commented that the oats were a bit dry but then they hadn’t mixed it all together – it won’t look as pretty as my photo, but if you don’t mix, you’re going to have a very dry breakfast…

the cost:

  • Tesco fat-free Everyday Value natural yoghurt – 45p for 500g – you use around 50g, so 5p
  • Tesco Everyday Value oats – 1kg for 75p  – you use 35g, so let’s say 3p
  • Tesco Everyday Value apples – 89p for 6, so let’s say 15p for one 
  • Tesco Everyday Value sultanas – 500g for 84p – of which you use 10g – so 2p

I’m assuming you have cinnamon and sweetener – if not, get your cinnamon and ANY spices from an Asian foods store, you’ll save a fortune. Sweetener – it’s part of the deal on Slimming World that you’ll have a pile of sweetener like those salt-bins you see on the roads. If not, it’s dirt cheap, lasts ages. Or, you know, use a dash of sugar.

to save more:

  • buy your apples loose or on the market

to gussy it up:

  • use a Toffee Mullerlight for a toffee-apple flavour 
  • add dried cranberries (synned)
  • add blackberries

Oooh, what will you choose?

More overnight oats recipes:

WE’RE BACK, BABY.

J

peanut butter and jelly overnight oats

Today’s recipe is for overnight oats – but a new combo! Peanut butter (3 syns for two level tsp of lighter variety), raspberry jelly (1 syn I think, but it’s probably less, but let’s err on the side of caution before someone hurls a brick through the window) and oats, all mixed together for a sweet and crunchy breakfast! If you’re a little squeamish, I’d probably skip the next two paragraphs…


I know what you’re thinking – I’ve lost my mind. Well yes, probably, but it’ll have fuck all to do with the flavours of the recipe and everything to do with the hatched-faced harridan we’ve got over the road. Remember I alluded a few days ago to someone random visiting our street? She’s clearly a loon. I’m not one to cast aspersions but it’s quite clear she doesn’t have both oars in the water. She stares at us, rants to herself and GOOD LORD her parking. She struggles to get her Renault Shitbox into one of the many giant spaces on our road. You’d think she was trying to turn a grand piano around in a lift. Anyway, she overstepped the mark something chronic the other day by, instead of parking in the designated bay like a normal person, she parked on our lawn, with our front path passing underneath her car.

I mean honestly. It’s bad enough she can’t park in a double bay, but to ruin our lovely clover-filled lawn? The other half took immediate offence and wheeled our dustbin right down the path and about 10 atoms away from her bumper. Sounds simple, but see our gardener had thoughtfully chucked in the carcass of a bird the cats had killed a few days previous, and sadly, we had a maggot infestation. I know, gross, but we’re normally so hygienic and he knows not what he does. We propped open the lid just a fragment and went to work. When we came back, the car had gone and our bin was clear as a whistle. I do hope she didn’t need to move it or that a couple of the maggots hadn’t fallen on her car. That would have just been terrible.


Anyway, today’s American entry from our book (which I genuinely can’t believe you lot are buying – thank you!) deals with our day at Harry Potter land! If you want the full story, chuck me a couple of quid and buy our book by clicking here! If you have bought it, leave us a review! The recipe is below this, get ready to scroll!


Day 23 – Harry Potter and the Sobbing Child

Harry Potter day! Let’s get one thing straight right from the off. For YEARS I poo-pooed Harry Potter as being only for kids and stupid and that I was far too cool for it. Until one night, when I was stranded at London Stansted waiting for a flight home and someone had left a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone sitting on one of the bum-crushing plastic waiting seats. A mere two hours later, I was so engrossed in the story that I almost missed my flight. I was lucky in the sense that I had five books to wade through, and many years later, I’m still a fan, and I’m unapologetic of that fact to the point where I can’t BEAR those people who get all snotty about it, saying it’s a kids book. Perhaps so. But Disney is meant for kids too. So shut yer face.

THAT SAID. If you’re one of those übergimps who dress up as people from the book and thinks magic is real, then you should be shot.

What a cheery start eh! With that out of my system, we were power-mincing our way to the early opening breakfast offered to everyone who booked with Virgin Holidays. They opened the gates to the early-people at 7.30am prompt (I think) and despite there only being about 50 of us, we were all jostling into Hogwarts like our lives depended on it. I sacrificed a small child to the lake just to ensure I didn’t have to wait a moment more for the magic. And well, blow me – it was magnificent. They’ve done a terrific job of Hogsmeade, with the snow-capped houses, shop displays and even the talking toilets. It was immense.

Our breakfast at The Three Broomsticks on the other hand? Dire. I appreciate the gesture, but giving us cold toast that tasted like we were eating the ceiling tiles wasn’t exactly fantastic, and given the porridge looked like what I imagine Katie Price’s cervix to be lined with, I politely declined. The castle opened at 8am, and we were straight in, greeted with characters from JK Smiler’s little known eighth book, Harry Potter and the Impossibly Bad English Accent. It’s a poor job when your accent makes Mary Poppins’ Dick van Dyke look like Stephen Fry. Who I loathe, incidentally – he’s a thick person’s idea of a genius. Paul countered them with an ‘Awight guv’nor’ and I died a little inside.

There was NO time to look at the castle, as we hurried past all the delights we would later see in the haste to ride what has been hyped up as an amazing experience. Oh – one thing – both of us managed to get a green light (not even a fattychops amber) on the ride, so they definitely cater for the more Hagrid-esque amongst us now. The ride took off, we screamed at the scary bits, we screamed at the quick bits, and we screamed when it finished and we didn’t have to wait two years to go back on – they let us stay in the bench and go around again! It is AMAZING. No exaggeration, no hyperbole – it’s genuine class. They’ve realised it so well, from the timing of the movement to even the voice acting. Well, save for Draco Malfoy, but he can’t act for toffee. I even managed to go the whole ride without cringing at Emma Watson’s Hermione, who always delivers her lines like she’s just been punched square in her wizard’s sleeve. It’s brilliant, and perhaps the best ride at Universal now.

After the Forbidden Journey, we had a quick go on whatever-they-have-renamed-the-Flying-Unicorn as (still good fun, and fact fans, the first rollercoaster I went on in Florida) and then onto Dragon Challenge. Remember I got smashed with an egg a few days ago? Well, I think that was karma paying me back in advance for laughing at some poor bloke who, in his haste to get onto the ride first, went running up past the Ford Anglia, tried to stop to take a photo, and went completely arse-over-tea-kettle. He could NOT have fallen over more comically, it was like he hit a wall. Being ever sympathetic, I had to go sit in the toilets for five minutes before I came close to stopping laughing. I actually thought I was going to pass out and it was only after I took two gasps on my inhaler that I managed to settle myself down. The park was getting busy now, but we still managed to do Dragon Challenge a fair few times before we decided to nose around the shops. For the record, the front of the coaster is fine for this ride because it never seems to slow down and you get a scarier view, but the real money is at the back, where you’re whipped around like crazy. I ALMOST lost my glasses – the first and only time that has ever happened on a rollercoaster, and it was only by sheer fluke that I grabbed them as they shot off my face. Otherwise, we’d be screwed – I need my glasses to actually see, for I am proper blind without them. Still one better than poor Paul, who has to wear a prism lens sticker on his glasses which refract the light so much it’s like living in a permanent gay club nightmare. I call him Biggles. He hates it.

I’m going to save my write-up of the rest of Islands of Adventure for later in the week and combine the two days together, as there’s no point in writing the same things twice. I might have a nice way with words but there be limits to my creative talents!

At the end of the day (argh!) we made our way back to the hotel to freshen up and relax by the pool. It’s a fantastic pool, shaped like a guitar and with a cheeky little waterslide (clearly meant for kids, but didn’t stop us barrelling down it in a blur of fat and giggles). The pool started filling up with kids ready to watch the in-pool movie, which is SUCH a good idea, so we retired back to the room to ‘get ready’. That done, we changed into smart clothes, and decided to sniff out some food. The Club 7 room didn’t disappoint with its tasty chicken skewers and free booze, but we needed something more substantial.

As we were making our way out for our evening walk and to try and find somewhere to eat, we happened upon the Happiest Kid in the World in the lobby of Club 7. He was bouncing a ‘squishy eyeball’ toy from Harry Potter World all over the place. His face was lit up with joy and wonder. It DID look great fun and I smiled my least-child-threatening smile at him as we passed. Being precocious and American, he handed the toy to me (remember, it was a goo-filled bouncing ball) and asked me if I wanted a go. Well, being a big kid, I did. And I swear to God, I didn’t chuck it that hard, but the very second it hit the floor it burst wide open, showering the lobby with goo.

I was mortified. You know how Puss in Boots in the Shrek movies pulls that face with his sad eyes to win people over? This kid did exactly that – big wide eyes, full of tears, and then he exploded too. In sound. Wailing. Immediately worried that I was about to be done for being mean to a child, I started telling him not to cry, that I’d buy him some sweets or get him a new one, but then Paul pointed out how THAT looked. Jesus. THIS is why I don’t have children. Well, that and the whole dropping anchor in poo-bay lifestyle I lead. His father came rushing out and to his credit, laughed the whole thing off, but I could see the distress in that child’s eyes and knew then I’d ruined his holiday forever. I did try and give the dad some money for a new toy but he said it was fine. To cap that off, we later saw him acting up in the same restaurant we were at, and I couldn’t finish my dessert for the guilt.

Well, not strictly true, I was just full, but I like to make myself sound more sympathetic than a holiday-wrecking child-hater really should.

We wandered around the grounds of Hard Rock, then meandered down to look at the Royal Pacific, which looks lovely but a bit too…not classy as such, but well, a bit SAGA. We definitely had the coolest hotel. It was charming though, just walking along by the side of the canal hand-in-hand, and not one person made a comment about it. America’s a lot more laid-back then I thought, or perhaps Universal just attracts a cooler sort of person, who knows? We actually ended up back in the Hard Rock and went down to the Kitchen for dinner.

I heartily recommend! Paul had a burger, I had a steak – I know, we sparkle with originality, but both came highly recommended by our very-gay-very-hipster waiter. Normally ‘hipsters’ make my skin crawl (you know the type, all Hot Topic and stupid glasses) (watching T4 on a Sunday actually gives me a stomach ulcer) but he was lovely, actually – he even had a Mario tattoo which, to us Nintendo geeks, was AMAZING. When Paul and I lose some weight and don’t have such colossal arm-hams, we’re going to get a Mario tattoo (for me) and a Luigi tattoo (for Paul). Because we’re just so cool. I’d love to get a Piranha Plant all the way up my back coming from a green pipe above my bumcrack but I don’t want the old people laughing at it when I’m in a home, so perhaps not. After dinner, and an excellent tip, we had a quick drink in the Velvet bar and spent the rest of the evening watching yet more American Office on the Pay-TV.

One final thought – DON’T even take things out of the minibar unless you plan to pay for it. I took out a jar of jelly-bears and the $14 charge appeared on the TV-Bill system. That’s the most I’ve ever paid for some coloured cow-hoof! Nevermind. It was time to snuggle up with my very own mass of jelly and await day 24. Four days to go. Sad face!


And you’re back in the room, and onto the main event:

overnight oats peanut butter jelly

I appreciate it looks like I’ve already had a bash at eating it, but it was tasty! Jelly in America is actually jam, but well, jam is sugar and fruit and that would send Margaret herself into a fit of the vapours, so I’ve replaced it with sugar-free jelly. Delicious! So…

for peanut butter and jelly overnight oats, you’re gonna need:

  • 35g of oats
  • 2 tsp of peanut butter (crunchy, lighter – 1.5 syns per tsp, so 3 syns)
  • some sugar free raspberry jelly made up to instructions (use any leftovers for dessert!)
  • a vanilla yoghurt (or, in my case, I used around 60ml of almond milk, and didn’t syn it…what a slut, but it’s about 0.4 syns)

then you’ll need to:

  • decant the milk or the yoghurt into a bowl, and add the peanut butter – mix it together as best you can, but don’t worry, it doesn’t need to be smooth, just try to blend it a little – if you’ve having difficulty, microwave for the briefest of moments
  • add the oats and stir
  • add the jelly on top
  • when it comes to the time you want to eat your oats, give everything a right good stir!

You can drop the syns by lowering the amount of peanut butter, but haway, life is too short to shit your pants over 1.5 syns. 

Enjoy! 

If you want more overnight oats, you’ll find them here:

Goodnight!

J

rocky road overnight oats – the best yet!

Before I start – Paul sat bolt upright in bed this morning (well as bolt upright as someone with a waterfall of fat on their front can do) and announced ‘I just had a dream that I won the Eurovision Song Contest…representing Lebanon!’ and went back to sleep. I couldn’t sleep after that particularly gay announcement. Cheers Paul.


 The title of this post comes from my father, who on entering any room, always say ‘EH’ like he’s missed out on some juicy titbit of gossip. I endured this for eighteen years before I moved out (not because of the eh-ing I hasten to add) and he still does it even to this day. Brilliant.

I’m going to quickly post this recipe below and then head off to see The Unmentionables – well you have to, it’s Father’s Day. My dad is brilliant – he’s like the antithesis of me in every single way. Where some people might call me quite fey, he’s super-butch. I’m fat, he’s thin. He has a Screwfix catalogue next to his bed, I had a copy of Salza: For Lover of Latino Inches hidden under my mattress. He can quite cheerfully throw up a set of shelves, remodel a kitchen and mend a broken car, whereas I can quite cheerfully call a handyman, joiner and mechanic in on my mobile. 

He’s always been one of those dads who knows how to do everything – and although he always walks into my house and says it smells of something, which irks me no end – he can always be relied upon if I ever need anything done. He was great with me growing up, despite having to endure the veritable collection of freaks that I brought home…the ginger one, the scabby one, the one with the discus-shaped lip, the one with the question-mark spine, the one who looked like Richard Osman from Pointless, Silent Bob, the chap whose voice sounded like a bee caught behind a radiator…he made small talk and polite conversation with them all. I never once felt awkward, pressured or unsupported and that’s testament to what a great father he is. I never tell him that, obviously. That would be far too awkward and non-manly. Feelings, right?

Paul has a similar relationship with his dad, although it’s slightly more difficult for him as there’s over 250 miles between them. However, we seem to have settled into a pattern of genial giving of gifts on special occasions – Paul’s dad gets a cookbook or an atlas at Christmas, Paul gets money a week after his birthday. I’ve met him and can gladly say the old ‘in-laws are horrible’ stereotype doesn’t apply, which is great. He’s a thoroughly pleasant chap. Paul often tells me of how he came out to his parents – his mum reacted in a very ‘mum’ way, by making retching noises and almost-but-not-quite putting down her Puzzler in shock, whereas his dad said ‘SO YOUR MUM TELLS ME YOU’RE GAY, SON’ and went back to fussing around his Renault 19.  Parents are fun.

As for us, being fathers is the last thing we’d ever want to do. The mechanics of it are bad enough – we’re not going to stand around popping our yop into a plastic cup and finding some suitable receptacle to carry our child, that’s too stressful. But even if we got past that point, the idea of having a child to look after is my idea of genuine hell. I can barely remember to clip my own toenails and go to the toilet, having some screaming hellchild demanding regular food and access to my bank account fills me with dread. So: you’ll never be reading the tearful account of us adopting and raising a child, though you can know that if we ever DID, it would have a proper bloody name. I’ve heard of a kid being called Lil’star and it makes my eyes shake with fury.

ANYWAY, here we go. Today’s recipe: rocky road overnight oats. I know I said no more overnights oats but I had this photo kicking around in the archives and in the spirit of Father’s Day, I thought I’d post something a bit more…fun. Well I say fun…

rocky road overnight oats

to make rocky road overnight oats, you’ll need:

  • 35 of oats
  • 1 vanilla and chocolate Mullerlight (syn-free)
  • sliced banana

to make rocky road overnight oats, you should:

  • place your oats in the bottom of your jar
  • cover with sliced banana
  • cover with the yoghurt

and then you’ll use your syns to add the following:

  • 10 mini marshmallows (0.5 syns)
  • 5g of chocolate chips (1.5 syns)
  • 5g of dried cranberries (0.5 syns)
  • two smashed up sugar-free Werthers Originals (0.5 syns each)

I know 5g doesn’t sound like a lot, but weighed out and mixed in, it is. Jeez, calm down.

or you could add:

  • 1 tsp of chocolate sprinkles (1 syn)
  • segments from a tangerine
  • fresh berries
  • smashed up Crunchie fun size (4 syns)

The world is your oyster. Yes, you have to use syns (NURSE! NURSE! GET THE SALTS) but for goodness sake, for a sweet indulgence at the start of the day, why not go mad and let your hair down? I mean give it a wash first obviously.

If you want more overnight oats, you’ll find them here:

Happy father’s day!

J

quickpost: rhubarb and custard overnight oats

Super quick post tonight as a) I’m tired and b) I need to tidy up before Paul gets home and brays me. I’m like the Little Mo of the street. Christ, I used to have a real thing for Trevor out of Eastenders, which is messed up. But true to my word of a recipe a day, here’s the final overnight oats recipe in my trio of flavours. You’ll find the previous ones here:

rhubarb and custard overnight oats

to make rhubarb and custard overnight oats, you’ll need these:

  • 35g of oats (healthy extra)
  • a banana and custard muller yoghurt OR 100g of syn-free natural yoghurt, with three drops of custard flavouring added*
  • 200g of rhubarb
  • enough sweetener to take the edge off the tartness of the rhubarb
  • a drop or two of rose-water (optional)

* you can buy custard flavouring from Lakeland – it’s in their professional flavouring range. You don’t need this, but it does taste lovely!

to make rhubarb and custard overnight oats, you’ll need to do this:

  • mix up your oats and yoghurt, dur, and put it into the bottom of the jar
  • chop up your rhubarb into thumb sized chunks, chuck in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of water and a drop of rose water and cook on a medium heat with the lid on until it turns to mush
  • take it off the heat, mix in sweetener if you want it
  • once cooled, pour the rhubarb onto the oats, and seal
  • mix it up in the morning and enjoy!

Rhubarb raw is syn-free and then you add it to water, so really, it’s syn-free, but SW say it’s 0.5 syn for 100g. Look, don’t count it, seriously. You’re not going to turn into Dibley-era Dawn French if you eat something grown in the ground and boiled in something pissed from a cloud. If you were deep-frying it in butter…perhaps.

Enjoy! 

J

cafe mocha overnight oats – and a box full of faces

Three important messages:

  1. when we cook, it’s nearly always enough to serve four people – but we’re greedy so normally eat three servings and save the last serving for picking at when we tidy up the kitchen. Unless I say otherwise, assume the recipe serves four;
  2. I’m going to stop using that little recipe plug-in I brought in because the good folks who get this post by email no longer receive the recipe – and we can’t be having that – don’t say I don’t listen; and
  3. if you comment on the blog via Facebook, that is brilliant as it means more publicity, but I don’t get a notification so don’t worry if it takes me a while to respond! What it does mean however is that other people can help you if you have a question, and isn’t that just lovely?

Here, what a day. It’s been a dreadful day today for someone who dislikes a) people and b) being the centre of attention. See, I’m one of the first aiders at work, which generally means I get to have a big important first aid box full of plasters and the exciting knowledge of everyone’s intimate maladies. It’s a very responsible position indeed, with matters that are nothing less than life or death – do I issue a corn plaster or a waterproof plaster? Do I check NHS Direct via phone OR online? Do I hide in the toilets until another first aider is found? PRESSURE.

The downside of this responsibility is that I have to attend refresher courses on what to do in the case of an emergency – which to my mind is an easy enough question – flap, wave my arms around dramatically and call 999, although I’m told that’s overkill if someone splashes a bit of hot water from the coffee machine across their hand. I can’t bear these type of ‘events’, I really can’t. I spend so long worrying about whether I’m going to get picked to ‘demonstrate’ that I only just take the information in. It’s hard to concentrate when you’ve got forty factory-workers angrily staring at you and criticising your soft office shoes as an ex-ambulance driver tries to put your arm in a sling.

There’s only one scenario where I’d enjoy being helped into a sling and I’d be disappointed if that occurred in a 20 minute refresher.

I’ve mentioned before about my personal space issues – if anyone comes within 3ft of me my shoulders go up and my head disappears into my shoulders like a tortoise with anxiety  – so people tumbling me around the carpet and trying to get my body into a recovery position is my idea of a living hell. Plus, there’s the added pressure of trying not to break wind as my right thigh is hoiked into the air with the gentle touch of an abattoir-worker and having to kneel down in front of everyone to practice CPR on a dummy that looks like a boiled ham with a crudely drawn crayoning of Sharon Osbourne’s face plastered on it.

Of course, I immediately managed to embarrass myself by nipping to the gents for a couple of minutes before the class started, only to find on my return that everyone had left the lobby and decamped into one of the meeting rooms. I peered through the window and sensed some familiarity amongst the bald heads and let myself into the room, having to cross it to get to the only spare seat, whispering apologies and ‘oh silly me’ faces a-plenty. Ten minutes into the lecture on how to safely lift boxes in a packing facility I realised my mistake and had to walk back across the classroom with everyone’s eyes burning into me. I’m surprised my hair didn’t catch. I found a chair in the other class and glowed with embarrassment.

The three hours passed fairly quickly, although of course I was chosen almost immediately as an example of oxygen deprivation, giving the scenario of ‘If I held a pillow over James’ face, it would take four minutes for his brain to start dying’. Typical. Half an hour in and he’s got me pegged as a pillow-biter.

Giving CPR presented a challenge, not least because I was picked to ‘build’ the dummy to practice on in front of the entire class. Social anxiety coupled with someone telling you to ‘pick a face out of the box’ and ‘turn it inside out, clip his ears onto the dummy’ makes for a very challenging ten minutes. I can’t build tension, let alone a fucking latex approximation of some chisel-jawed corpse whilst twenty people stare down at me as I fumble around his plastic lips. It gets better – I then had to demonstrate how to pump the chest (30 presses, hand over hand, between the nips) which meant a good minute of me pistoning up and down, more than likely with the top of my arsecheeks peeping out over my belt in an accusatory manner. Didn’t get any less awkward when someone else took over, because then I had someone’s arse backing into my face as they tried to bring the dummy back to life.

I also made the mistake of asking the teacher some basic tips on how to deal with any possible emergency arising from having a pregnant lady in the office. Well look, I think it’s better to be prepared, and it’s not like I have an intimate understanding of how it all happens. For all I know, it might ding like a microwave, the flaps swinging open like the prize-doors on Bullseye and a baby comes swooshing out like its on a log flume. Well, clearly taken with the fact that someone had actually asked a question, he addressed the whole process of giving birth in blistering detail. I was enthralled. I could tell everyone else was seething because they wanted to be away but I can honestly say I now feel confident delivering a baby. It sounds marvellous – sacks of fluid bursting, feet wriggling out, placentas sloshing out like the sponge in a car-wash – you just need Melanie and Martina and you’d have a brilliant Fun House round.

Ah well. At least I’m trained up if anyone faints, burns themselves, does a Jim Robinson or strokes out. That feels good. And, although I’ve been my usually sassy self about the whole thing, these First Aid courses are amazing. I learn a lot and the presenters are always fantastic. Considering my medical experience begins and ends at being scared of the 999 theme tune, the fact they manage to hold my interest for so long is testament to how good they are. Great work.

Seriously though, click this and tell me that this isn’t a bloody frightening theme tune. It’ll open in a separate window. I used to have genuine nightmares about that. Though not as much as The Outer Limits. Yikes.

Speaking of nightmares, there was no excuse for this box of horrors that I had to use to prop up someone’s legs as I demonstrated the ‘shock position’. 

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Eurgh. I put Paul in the shock position once. I used Durex Heat instead of Durex Tingle. Poor love had to pop a blue raspberry ice-pop in afterwards to fix his nipsy.

Speaking of hot, smoky flavours – here’s a recipe for cafe mocha overnight oats – or chocolate coffee oats. That’s C-O-F-F-E-E. Oh yes sir boss like the drink! Hmm. This will make one jar for the morning.

cafe mocha overnight oats

you’ll be needing these to make cafe mocha overnight oats:

  • 35g of oats (healthy extra)
  • 1 Muller Yoghurt vanilla with chocolate sprinkles
  • 1 banana (now, if you’re sensible, mash it in a bowl like a normal person, but if you’re Captain Anal when it comes to tweaking, smash it up in your teeth and then spit it into the jar, because you know, that makes a difference to the syns…well maybe if you’re a fucking sparrow)
  • a good cup of instant coffee, stronger the better

you’ll need to do this to make cafe mocha overnight oats:

  • mix up your oats with the yoghurt and put into the jar
  • top with the mashed banana
  • take your cup of instant coffee and dribble a tablespoon or two into the jar
  • top with a few granules of coffee
  • mix it all together like a bad-ass and put it in the fridge to enjoy in the morning.

You can make this just as strong as you like. The banana adds a bit of sweetness, the coffee adds a pick-me-up. Better made with decent coffee mind, a cup of Mellow Birds isn’t going to cut the mustard!

Enjoy. Always.

J