instant pot pork and sweet potato chilli con carne

Here for the pork and sweet potato chilli? Then read on!

We have a new gadget! We have bought ourselves an Instant Pot, which is simply a fancy pressure cooker that also does slow cooking, rice and yoghurt, amongst other things. Pressure cooking allows you to cook things a lot quicker whilst retaining the moisture and is perfect for chillis. Currently, if you were looking at one, they’re reduced to £95 on Amazon.

Good news: just because we’ve bought one (and highly recommend) doesn’t mean you’ll need to buy one. We’ll always give you a non pressure-cooker method too. I can’t stand it when blogs start doing recipes just to shill products and frankly, we ain’t that type of blog. We don’t accept bungs for bollocks, unless they’re the sort slapping off our chin.

We are, however, a travel and food blog, and because we’re gearing up for our many holidays this year, I’m taking the opportunity to tie off a few loose ends from last year – posting the bits we forgot to post and so on. Newcomers to the blog – we often post these massive entries detailing where we’ve been and we’re told that they are hilarious. So blog entries aren’t normally quite this long…to that end, here’s part five of our trip to Cornwall last year.

twochubbycubs go to Cornwall – part five

part one | part two | part three: Land’s End | part four

I wish I could pretend things improved with Cornwall, but they didn’t. Disappointment, rudeness and expense lurked around every corner. Don’t get me wrong, there were some charming people and pleasant vistas, absolutely, but it didn’t compensate for my growing sense of rage. This is evidenced by the fact that my notebook, where I usually write down my thoughts of the day and which in turn gets turned into these blog entries, consists of page after page of angry faces and lots of instances of the word ‘bah’. Because of this, I’m going to break with tradition and just do a summary post of all the other scraps of our Cornwall trip that I can’t bring myself to put into flowing narrative.

Padstow

We love Rick Stein – he’s a cheeky-faced cooking wonder and we watch everything he’s in whenever he’s on the telly. I could listen to him describing Russian phone-box repair and still feel a quiver of excitement. It’s not some weird daddy-fetish, he’s just wonderful. With that in mind, Padstow seemed like an obvious place to spend a fresh Spring morning.

Nope. First of all, I’ve never seen so many Audis, BMWs and Mercedes cars in one place. Secondly, same sentence again but replace cars with braying Jigsaw-wearing idiots. We parked up – eventually – took a stroll around the quaint ten-a-penny tea-shops, the lovely seen-it-all-before craft shops and the ‘oh I get it, it’s Seahouses but for people with a buy-to-let portfolio’ restaurants. It left me cold. I don’t think I have an inferiority complex – I’m not worthy of one – but the sense of snootiness and unbridled tra-la-laing wasn’t for me.

We decided that, as we didn’t stand a chance of a walk-in appointment at any of his fabulous restaurants, we’d treat ourselves to fish and chips from Rick Stein’s fish and chip shop. Naturally, it was all very to-do, but fair play, it was delicious. We ate them on the harbour and it was only their deliciousness that saved me from pitching forward into the sea to end my misery. Though, just saying, I can get a pizza, kebab wrap, large chips, can of pop (oh how I hate that), salad, curry sauce AND pot of pink up here for the same price I paid for one fish and chips down there. That said, Rick’s chips didn’t come with a side hockle of phlegm like the ones round here do.

We left, disappointed.

Newquay

…and I thought Padstow has bad. Sweet Jesus. I’m sure Newquay is fabulous in the summer when you can get a tan to go with your stab wounds but in the pissing rain on a cold afternoon, good heavens no. I’ve seen grim working towns – I went through Sunderland once on the train – but this takes the biscuit. If you’re from Newquay and someone is reading this to you please don’t get yourself in a fuss (think of your invariably high blood pressure); I’m sure the bit where you live is lovely and I’m just being a horrendous snob.

We should have known not to trouble ourselves with Newquay at all when we parked up only to have someone offer to look after our car ‘for a reasonable fee’. I was tempted to enquire what this service would get me and what the possible repercussions of failing to take it up where but his yellow tooth frightened me and so we moved on. We found another car park a little further down and set out for adventure.

We found none. We walked to the beach only to be met with sea fret and the smell of fish. I can absolutely see why it would be just so in the summer, however, so please don’t think it’s all bad. We climbed to what I assumed was the main street only to be met with what is increasingly becoming a sad, common sight in the United Kingdom – a row of bookmakers, discount stores and charity shops. I would have been made up if I had wanted to bet on a horse and buy myself a cardigan someone had died in back in 1977. There was a shop nestled at the end called Fat Willy’s which did tickle me (they often do), but it sold surf supplies and there isn’t enough lycra in the world to make me look good on a surfboard.

We decided to try our luck in the bright lights and glitz of the amusement arcade next door. I’ve looked it up on Google Street View and it doesn’t seem to have a name. I presume that’s because they don’t want people on the internet revealing what a massive bloody swizz it is. My nana had more grip in her arthritic fingers than the bloody claw machines in here. I spent four pounds trying to win a Luigi plushie only to give up when I realised I’d have more chance winning the fucking thing if the machine wasn’t switched on. I’m all for a competitive edge but Christ, give us the faintest glimmer of hope, eh?

Things turned nastier still when two girls, both seemingly sharing the same set of teeth, started following us around making eyes at our pocketful of jingling change. You know when you get that feeling that something isn’t right and you’re either about to end up on The Real Hustle or Silent Witness? That was one of those moments. Paul nudged in a set of cherries and I could see sheer avariciousness in their eyes. I clutched my murse theatrically to my side and we made a quick escape.

I know it’s a weird thing to get vexed about but these places are for children, surely? Why not let them have some fun and win a toy without prising £20 out of their parents’ wallet? Why must every other coin be glued down on the coin-pusher or fruit machine rigged to pay out on the twelfth of never? Another tiny example of grasping UK. Pfft.

We spent another forty minutes looking around the shops before both deciding that we’d given it a chance and were justified in going home, despite paying for four hours of parking. Oh, and as a final point, if you were the woman serving us in the little pasty shop on the corner, a bloody smile goes a long way. I felt as though I’d made a mortal enemy for having the check to order two lamb and mint pasties. You know when someone gives you a look of hatred that chills you to the core? That’s what we got as thanks for our custom (and before anyone says it, I’m always unfailingly polite when I order, no matter how poor my afternoon is going). Brilliant. I wouldn’t have minded so much but even the bloody pasties were awful – I’ve had morning farts with more taste to them.

We left, disappointed.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

We kept seeing signs for this place as we beetled about and knew nothing about it. We didn’t bother to research and when, on the fourth day, I loudly exclaimed that we should go to Heligan, Paul simply replied ‘What, Newquay?’ – kaboomtish.

Once we’ve stitched up our sides and located the Lost Gardens of Heligan in the Sat-Nav (so they’re not that lost, just saying) we were on our way, and it felt like no time at all until we were pulling up aside a Saga coach tour. It was fortunate that these elderly day-trippers were so slight as it made pushing them out of the way of the entrance all the more easier.

Oh I’m kidding, before anyone rings Age UK. They were still stumbling off the bus by the time Paul and I had completed a full lap of the grounds and got back in the car.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan are, according to the sweaty nerds at Wikipedia, one of the most popular botanical gardens in the UK. They were bought by a fancy sort back in the 16th century and immediately divided into lots of lovely sections, such as a ‘jungle’ and a rhododendron garden. The moment I spotted that on a sign I burst into ‘I Beg Your Pardon, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden’ until Paul saw fit to stick twigs in his ears to stop me. Poor sport. Anyway, the gardens fell into disrepair until they were restored in the early twentieth centuries, and now, here in modern times, they’re only a reasonable entrance charge away.

Now let me tell you this: I have been miserable throughout these Cornish entries. Nothing has managed to make my heart soar or my eyes sparkle. There’s barely been a moment where I haven’t been thinking longingly about the five holiday days I’d used up at work to take this trip. But these gardens were amazing.

I’m not exactly sure what pleased me so much – it was just a garden, after all, albeit a massive one split over many acres – but it was terrific. For a start, it didn’t cost the Earth. I’d become so accustomed to handing over wads of notes that it was a pleasant surprise to be told it was a very reasonable £13.50. Then there was so much to see and do – everything clearly laid out and mapped in the little handbook they give you. We spent hours just drifting from scene to scene – we had literally stopped to smell the roses and it worked a treat with cheering us up.

It helped that we had the place mostly to ourselves, save for the odd walking group and gaggle of tourists trampling in the flowers. This meant we had time to read the excellent information boards and talk to the staff, who I’m sure would have rather we left them be so they could crack on with the gardening. I can prove that we at least absorbed one fact: Heligan remains the only place in the UK that grows pineapples – albeit very small ones – in horse poo. Fascinating stuff! Along similar lines, Lands’ End in Cornwall is the only place in the UK where you can spend over £20 and get absolutely fuck all back for your money. What a time to be alive!

We took ourselves down to the animal area and sat for a good half hour watching birds from the little lookout they’ve installed then wandered gingerly down the very steep slope to the ponds. We spotted that somewhere amidst all the flowers and trees there was a rope bridge and so we spent a good twenty minutes hunting that out, managing to miss it twice despite it being signposted.

Well, goodness me. Didn’t we look a sight. I’m sure folks far more light-footed than me could trip over this bridge with dainty steps but when we both lumbered on the metal shrieked and the rope audibly stretched. I couldn’t relax, waiting as I was for a loud TWAAAANG sending us plummeting to the pond below. I say plummeting, we were six foot in the air, but come on, dramatic licence. As the bridge had sagged quite considerably under us it became quite a chore to pull ourselves up to the other side, a situation not helped by some red-faced little urchin crying out that he wanted a go. This was tough. Luckily, Cornwall Fire and Rescue came to our aid only forty minutes later.

Nah I’m kidding, we made it across, but we were bloody knackered. Of course, we’d also forgotten that the steep slopes coming down which once seemed to fun and hilarious to slide down would become an awful slog going back up. We took our time but it was with a shameful amount of huffing and puffing that we had to stop twice on the way up. To cap off our embarrassment, we were overtaken by a woman pushing herself along in an off-road wheelchair up the hill. I felt so ashamed.

We finished our afternoon by having a mince around the forest, where lots of giant curiosities were hidden. I came across a large hand deep in the undergrowth, which wouldn’t be the first time. Paul was taken by surprise by an erection poking out of the bush, which wouldn’t be the first time either. It really was wonderful and it was with a big genuine smile that I declined the offer of annual membership as we left. Perhaps if you dug it up and put it somewhere south of Hexham, I’d consider it.

We did stop by the farm shop with an eye to buying a range of meats and cheeses but the prices of everything in there sharp put paid to that idea. Listen, I’m not averse to slapping down the cash for good food, but these prices were little more than a tourist trap. I asked for the price of a small wedge of Little Stinky only to be told it was more than a tenner. I leant over and whispered confidentially that ‘I only want to buy the cheese, not rent the cow’ but her stern, weathered face was having none of my japery.

We left, disappointed.

But only at the farm shop – the actual gardens themselves were an absolute treat and I can wholeheartedly and without reservation recommend a trip.

Honourable mentions:

Mevagissey Model Railway – we loved this. It was like falling into Roy Cropper’s wet dream. There was more than a hint of foist about the place but the owner was knowledgeable and welcoming and it was very much a ‘British’ piece of entertainment. Well worth a visit, although I wouldn’t pencil out a whole afternoon for it.

Lappa Valley Railway – we turned up, decreed it far too expensive (although looking right now on the website it seems a lot cheaper, so best not write it off in case I was just having a mild aneurysm or something) and cleared off. I do still get a tickle from the fact they have an event called a ‘Steam and Cream’ for the over sixties. I thought most trainspotters just jizzed straight into the same quilt they’ve had since they were 14?

The Chapel Porth Hedgehog – I can forgive the National Trust for charging me to visit a beach when I’m presented with an ice-cream like the Chapel Forth Hedgehog. For those wot div not knaa this is Cornish ice-cream which is then smothered in clotted cream and them dipped in honey-roasted hazelnuts. It’s served with a warm smile and fifteen minutes of CPR. Bloody amazing. Beach was nice too.

Overall

If you’re reading this entry and feeling apocalyptic that I’ve dismissed Cornwall as an awful place full of chintz and nonsense and bloody rude people, please, take a moment. There’s no need to be so quick to anger. Holidays are unique to everyone and I just didn’t ‘feel’ Cornwall. I can see its many merits mind – I like the fact that the air feels crisp, for one. The views are wonderful but as I’ve previously touched upon, I live in what I believe to be the most beautiful county in all of the United Kingdom – Northumberland. I have beauty on my doorstep.

Remember, opinions are like arseholes – everyone has one. It’s just unfortunate that I’ve made a hobby out of talking out of mine.


Gosh – that was a long one, wasn’t it? Did you enjoy it? Please do give me feedback on these holiday entries – I know they’re lengthy but it’s the thing I enjoy writing the most! Let’s get to the pork and sweet potato chilli though without another moment of hesitation.

to make pork and sweet potato chilli you will need:

  • 500g pork mince
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • 400g pinto beans
  • 300g sweet potato, cut into small chunks

to make pork and sweet potato chilli you should:

Instant Pot method

  • press the ‘saute’ button, add a bit of oil and then add the onion and red pepper
  • cook for about three minutes until softened
  • next, add the pork mince and stir to break it up and ensure it cooks evenly
  • after a minute add the chilii powder, cumin, oregano and garlic and stir
  • add the tomatoes, pinto beans (with water) and the sweet potato and stir until well combined
  • ensure the vent is set to ‘sealing’ and cook on high pressure for ten minutes

Bog standard in the oven job method:

  • saute off the onion and pepper in a deep heavy pan until soft and lovely
  • add the pork mince and stir to make sure it is broken up and cooked evenly
  • after a minute add the chilii powder, cumin, oregano and garlic and stir
  • add the tomatoes, pinto beans (with water) and the sweet potato and stir until well combined
  • cook in the oven for a good hour or two – low and slow – or bubble away on the hob for 40 minutes, making sure it doesn’t catch

Serve with rice! Simple, honest dinner! Can’t get vexed.

Looking for more recipe ideas? But of course!

poultrysmallbeefsmallporksmalllambsmallfakeawayssmall lunchsmallpastasmall

Enjoy!

J

hot and sour slimming soup – don’t be put off by the title!

Hot and sour slimming soup? But of course! However, I demand your attention for a minute more.

I mentioned previously about a family situation that was taking up our time – my uncle died yesterday after a long, brave fight with various issues. Now, I’m not mentioning that because I want people to send me messages wishing me well or that they’re thinking of me, which is sweet, but death is death, it comes to us all, and I’m dealing with it in my own way.

It’s been on the cards for a couple of years – we’ve had that many premature dashes to the hospital as ‘he won’t last an hour’ that I’ve actually been half-tempted to throw a blue light on top of the Smart Car and pick up patients on the way. Actually, the Smart Car would make for a shit ambulance, wouldn’t it? Unless it was a dwarf needing a corn plaster we’d be buggered.

No, the reason I mention it is because, like I’ve said so many times before, I wanted to praise the NHS. Every single person – with no exceptions – that I have dealt with (and I know the same goes for my mother) at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary has been an absolute delight. Cleaners full of smiles and chatter at 2am in the morning, nurses rushed off their feet but never too busy for a smile, doctors making sure that the terminally ill shuffle off with comfort and compassion. For the last two weeks my uncle has been in the Critical Care or High Dependency Unit fighting for his life and not once has anyone shown us anything less than courtesy and good humour as we visited. Even my black-as-pitch jokes about nipping shut his oxygen tube to save the NHS’s strained budget were met with laughter, rather than cold looks and being asked to step outside by a stern consultant.

We are so, so, so lucky to have an NHS, and we’re luckier still that the folks serving the public – from the very top of the ladder to the very bottom – have their hearts open and pure dedication running through. They were tremendous when my nana died and they’ve been wonderful this time around as well. More praise is needed. And more money. Lots more money. To the folks that make the difference.

One day last week Paul and I were in that hospital on ‘dead alert’ (as it were) from 10am to 4am the next day. Let me tell you, that’s more than enough time to think about things. Hell, we spent long enough in the little room where they sit the relatives in case of ‘bad news’ that I can recreate it wholly in my head. You know when Sherlock Holmes (modern) visits his mind palace? I’m like that now, only with more leaflets about pressure sores and Alzheimers fluttering across my vision. That’s perhaps one thing they could improve – the waiting room has those awful pleather sofas that invariably make a big sucking farting noise when you hoist yourself up and everything is painted that slightly diseased yellow so favoured of the old NHS – weirdly, it’s the colour of the white ceiling immediately above Paul’s mother’s favourite chair. The ‘nicotine lacquer’ effect, I believe.

It was a very sad room made worse by the fact that we were joined, for what was the longest hour of my entire life, by a chap who just wouldn’t shut the fuck up. He entered the room just as I had laid down on the sofa to try and fall asleep on Paul’s lap (what can I say: I find the smell of chaffed thighs and knobs soporific). He exclaimed loudly and backed out the door, clearly thinking he’d interrupted me mid-blowjob. Because, yes, who doesn’t get aroused in the ‘is he dead yet’ room? Nothing gets me more rigid than posters urging me to think F-A-S-T in case of stroke. Anyway, once he was sure that we weren’t indulging in some grief-based fellatio, he took a seat. And that was very much that: no further chance of sleep.

I heard about his maladies, I heard about his travel to the hospital, I heard what was wrong with the NHS, I heard about his taxi driver friend who had just had a heart attack, I heard about the price of fuel and I can faithfully recount details of the last seventeen passengers he had picked up in his taxi. He didn’t pick up on my social cues – my polite but firm nodding, my glazed eyes, the fact that I’d stuffed my ears with pages from a 1997 copy of Take a Break from the reading rack. I did have a titter at someone’s answer to the arrow-word – (NAUTICAL TRANSPORT (9) was answered as M-O-T-E-R-B-I-K-E) – I rather thought it had to be one of my nana’s old issues where instead of thinking things through she’d just jam any old word in as long as it had roughly the right amount of letters. Even, sometimes, when it didn’t: MURDERERER was a favourite of mine. Anyway, sensing this chap was one of those dear fellows who could talk underweater if he had to, we moved downstairs.

A&E at 1am in the morning is an interesting place, isn’t it? A waiting time of four hours and I reckon 70% of the people waiting were smashed out of their face. Lots of bloodied noses, black eyes, bust lips. How I pity folk having to deal with all that dross. I can’t bear being around drunk people when I’m sober, I’d be Harold Shipman-ing the lot of them before anyone could say ‘check for an air bubble’. We spent the rest of the evening drinking piss-poor tea and staring moodily at our phones. I played Super Mario Run until my already boss-eyes went awry. A very long night.

Ah well, it’s all over now. Like I said, no need for sympathy, we’re fine, it’s very sad but nowt that can be done. Life goes on. Well, mostly.

Right, let’s get to the hot and sour slimming soup. Why slimming? Dunno. Something to do with the vinegar! Can I make a plea with you? Don’t be put off by the appearance of this dish – give it a go, it’s a really tasty, quick soup full of nutrients and taste. This makes enough for four full bowls so although technically it should be 0.75 syns, you can bugger off if you think I’m including the quarter syn. Half syn per portion!

hot and sour slimming soup

to make hot and sour slimming soup, you need:

  • 6 shittake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 60g bamboo shoots, cut into matchsticks (that’s half of a small tuna-sized tin, drained)
  • 2 pork chops, all visible fat removed
  • 100g firm tofu, cut into matchsticks
  • ¼ tsp white pepper
  • 4 tbsp white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 4 tbsp water (3 syns)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 spring onion, chopped

to make hot and sour slimming soup, you simply must:

  • chop the pork chops into small strips about half an inch long, and quarter of an inch thick, and set aside
  • in a large saucepan, bring 1.2 litres of water to the boil, crumble in the stock cube and stir until dissolved, and then add the soy sauce
  • add the bamboo shoots, mushrooms and pork to the pan, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about three minutes
  • add the tofu, pepper and vinegar to the pan and bring to the boil again
  • stir in the cornflour mixture and keep stirring until the soup has thickened a bit
  • turn off the heat and pour in the beaten egg, stirring gently but continuously so it doesn’t scramble into one big manky lump
  • pour into bowls, sprinkle on some spring onions and eat!

Looking for more soup ideas? More ideas on meat? Things to do with tofu – well, you’re shit out of luck, it’s the first time we’ve used it. Even so, click the buttons below!

soupsmallporksmall lunchsmall   snackssmall overnight-oatstastersmall

Enjoy!

pork and apple burgers with blue cheese

Did you miss us? I know, we’re just awful people. You’ve probably been logging on every day, typing through your tears, crying into your pillows, wailing and sobbing and bawling about our lack of posts. For that I apologise. But see, we just needed a proper break from the blog just to freshen up and do some back-end stuff, which isn’t a euphemism for anal sex, unusually. Most of it is done, second book is almost finished, all is well in the world.

One mistake we’ve made though is declaring that we really ought to watch Lost again. See, we have a big fancy TV and that Sky Q service that gives you everything you need and more for a vastly overpriced sum every month, yet all we watch is Police Interceptors (and that’s more because it’s the only way for either of us to see how our nieces and nephews are growing – aaah, they look so grown-up in their ASBA ankle-bracelets and Madidas tracksuits). Lost took over our lives a few summers ago to the point where both of us feigned having swine flu just to stay at home and see what happened next. That was back in the day when I used to work for an organisation which class a full day’s work as turning up before 11 and nicking off at 3pm. No wonder they shut the place down…

…anyway, as a result of our foray back into Lost, we’re losing time all over the place. Every night becomes ‘one more, just one more’ and I’ve taken to calling Paul ‘Hurley’ on account of his big fat tits. Poor guy.

We’re still fat, by the way. We did toy with the idea of relaunching the blog as a Weight Watchers blog for shits and giggles but I didn’t want to be responsible for eight hundred heart attacks at once – I’ve seen how angry some of you get over Iceland running out of curry sauce, let alone us taking the recipes away. I swear to God I’ve seen a poor Iceland worker covered in so much spittle by a venting Slimming Worlder that I nearly wiped his face down myself with my sleeve. We’ve accepted that this year is a bit of a write-off and that we will shallow breathe our way to New Year, but we have something nice planned for 2017 which really will provide some focus…

My health anxiety made a brief but unwelcome reappearance when I went to the loo only to notice a load of blood in the water. Frightening. Naturally, I had diagnosed myself with advanced and terminal bowel cancer by the time I had wiped my nipsy and it was only after eight hours of hyperventilating and worried emailing that Paul remembered we’d had about four bowls full of red pepper soup the night before and his er…droppings, were equally as scarlet. So at least I can add that to the list of diseases I’ve beat this year.

We took the recipe from the BBC Good Food website. I had to persuade Paul that he liked blue cheese after all when he did one of his usual 180 degree spins on food – he’s as bad as our cats. We bought 84 pouches of Whiskas a few weeks ago as the cats seem to love it only to find that the very first pouch was completely ignored, meaning we have 83 pouches to take along to the cat and dog shelter to give to cats who don’t have a rod stuck up their arse. Anyway, Paul was simply adamant that he didn’t like blue cheese because ‘it smells like off-cock’ (to be fair, he’s right on that point) until I reminded him that he’d managed to put away half a wheel of cheese at my mum’s Christmas buffet last year to the point he constipated himself over the New Year. Suddenly, when faced with that enticing detail, he remembered he DID like cheese after all. It’s the little things.

Right, to the recipe then…this really is an easy dinner to make – serve with a side salad or, more realistically, a load of chips, and you’ll be in Fatty Heaven.

pork and apple burger with blue cheese

to make a pork and apple burger with blue cheese you will need:

Can I make a recommendation? If you make a load of homemade burgers, get yourself a little burger press. This is the one we have – there’s plenty of cheaper models out there too but this has the advantage of not looking like your kitchen has been fitted out by Fisher Price. Plus, it’s only a couple of quid more. You get nice uniform compressed burgers that don’t fall apart in the pan.

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to make a pork and apple burger with blue cheese you should:

  • mix together the pork, diced apple and paprika
  • leave to chill for twenty minutes to firm up
  • divide the mixture into four and shape into burgers
  • add a little oil to a large frying pan and put over a medium-high heat
  • add the burgers and cook for about 6 minutes each side
  • when cooked, lob into a bun with a bit of lettuce and crumble over the blue cheese

Done! It’s as easy as that. You could make a few extra burgers and freeze them if you please. Looking for more meal ideas? But of course. Click the buttons below!

poultrysmallbeefsmallporksmalllambsmallfakeawayssmall

Enjoy! Ah, I’ve missed you guys.

J

droptober recipe #14: one-pot pork and rice

Very quick post tonight, folks – one-pot pork and rice, just another one pot meal that we had left over! James is cooking so unusually, you’ve got the other Cub coming on your screen. Lucky!

I’m dead excited today because they’re putting up the Christmas decorations in our town – I mean, they look shite but it’s a sure sign that Christmas is on it’s way and it’s my favourite time of year! I love it all and there is literally no limit to how much Quality Street I can eat. Seriously, I try to warn people but they don’t listen and then bitch on when it’s just fudge left in the tub.

We’ve promised ourselves this year to put up some lights on the outside of our house (I know, the pinnacle of class) because it’s something I have ALWAYS wanted to do. And, because I know that the super-bright LEDs you can now buy with super-epilepsy mode is sure to piss off Nos. 1-5 on our street. Christmas is always a lovely affair here at The Sticky Patch, we never skimp on our trees and despite our complete lack of design skill we actually do a pretty good job of it. It’s certainly a step-up from what it was like when we were younger, with the cheapest possible tree from the Freemans catalogue sitting in the corner of the room doing a fantastic impression of an impending bonfire with its three sets of lights wired into the same plug. Mother would be eggwashing some frozen sausage rolls in the kitchen with a light dusting of fag ash and my sister and I would be sent away with an Argos catalogue and a strict limit – we had to write down exactly what we wanted, price, page number and catalogue number and a running sub-total. If it weren’t in that catalogue you couldn’t get it. Magical times.

What you can get, however, is this simple recipe for one-pot pork and rice. Serves four optimistically, two realistically. Listen, it looks like shite, I know, but it tastes good, I promise!

one-pot pork and rice

to make one-pot pork and rice you will need:

to make one-pot pork and rice you should:

  • squeeze the meat out the sausage casing so you get about 4 ‘balls’ from each sausage and roll into a perfect ball
  • heat a large casserole dish over a medium-high heat, spray with oil (save your pans and get one of these) and brown the meatballs on all sides, then remove from the pan and set aside
  • add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for a further five minutes, until softened
  • add the cumin, coriander and rice to the pan and stir well
  • pour in the vegetable stock and the chopped tomatoes and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan
  • simmer for ten minutes until the rice is done
  • gently stir the meatballs into the rice, and serve

 

if you’re looking for more tasty recipe ideas, just click the buttons below!

porksmallpastasmall sausagessmall   onepot

 

J

droptober recipe #4: pork, bacon, ale and apple pie

Yes! Pork, bacon, ale and apple pie, I kid you not. You’d expect the mere mention of pies would have Mags’ Trex covered Bakelite phone ringing off its hooks but no – here at twochubbcubs, you CAN eat all the pies.

No post tonight though – it’s been a very long day, livened up by a bit of life-saving. Not sure if that’s over-egging the pudding (HOW MANI SYNS HUN) or not but for the first time in four years I got to use my first aid training for something other than a high-heel blister or a stapled finger. If you’re looking for a fun read, have a look at my recount of my day at St John’s Ambulance learning first aid by clicking here – though the box of faces will haunt you forever more. No, I had to step in to stop a colleague choking on her crisps. It was all very fortutious because I just happened to be downstairs filling up my bottle with sparkling water (gotta add sparkle somehow, eh) when I saw a pizza being hurled across a table and a colleague looking wide-eyed and fearful. I almost shit myself. It’s one thing sitting in a room full of factory workers being told what to do if someone pours industrial bleach up their nostril or sets their arse on fire, it’s another thing knowing you have to step in and do something. I remembered you’re supposed to do five sharp blows between their shoulderblades and so, with a hearty ‘THIS IS GOING TO HURT’ I went into action and thankfully, on the five blow, out popped the crisp. I’m not going to fib: I think I was more relieved that I didn’t have to do the Heimlich – I’d be the only person who’d need to stop after two er…thrusts (good god there’s no other way of saying it) for a sit down and a puff on an oxygen tank. My colleague is fine – I apologised profusely for the fact she’s probably got a huge hand mark on her back now but all was well. I went upstairs shaking like a shitting dog and I can assure you right now my catastrophic thinking went into overdrive: what if it hadn’t worked? What if my first aid skills were no match for a shrapnel of smoky bacon crisp? It was all I could do to have a giant cookie and a cup of tea and then back to drafting documents.

It made me think though: if you don’t know any first-aid, learn some. Seriously. St John’s Ambulance provide training online and there’s all manner of free videos on Youtube. Whilst I doubt what I’ve done could be classed as saving a life, you never know when you might need it. Here’s some resources:

If you need a handy guide to resuscitation, er, don’t use this one (but it made me laugh):

cpr-instructions-o2-check-to-see-if-blame-someone-the-3413574

Mahaha. Let’s get to the pork, bacon, ale and apple pie – this dish serves four when served with sides and has 20 syns, so I’m going to say 5 syns a portion and be done with it. If anyone has a problem with that, I invite you to kiss my teeth. It’s worth spending syns on something delicious and this was fantastic!

pork, bacon, ale and apple pie

pork, bacon, ale and apple pie

to make pork, bacon, ale and apple pie, you’ll need:

  • 100g of Jus-Rol light puff pastry to cover a decent size pastry dish – this is 16 syns so 4 syns per serving
  • one bottle of pale ale – we used Brewdog’s Dead Pony Club (330ml) which by my reckoning is about 3 syns
  • 1 level tablespoon of cornflour (1 syn)
  • 1 pack of bacon medallions (we used the fantastic bacon from any of our meat deals, but in particular the freezer filler – perfect if you want a job-lot of chicken, mince, beef chunks and bacon – click here for a look – it’ll open in a new window)
  • two large leeks
  • 500g of lean pork mince
  • two granny smith apples
  • 375g of chicken stock
  • a pinch of (preferably fresh) sage and thyme
  • three large garlic cloves
  • salt and pepper

to make pork, bacon, ale and apple pie, you should:

  • pick out a suitable dish for your pie
  • chop your bacon up into small pieces and cook in a decent non-stick pan for a few minutes until cooked but not crispy
  • add in the leeks – slice these super-fine using a knife or even better, one of these bad-boys (currently reduced in price and by god it’ll save you some work)
  • once the leeks have softened, add the pork mince and cook until all the pink has gone
  • if it is sticking, don’t worry, just add a drop or two of water
  • mince the garlic using your trusty microplane grater or whatever and add
  • chop up the thyme and sage and add this too
  • once everything has simmered nicely, add a tablespoon of cornflour – gently – and stir, to thicken it up
  • now add your pale ale, chicken stock, pinch of salt and pepper and your apples, which you will have peeled and cut into cubes
  • allow to gently simmer for a good half hour until it’s thickened down and lovely
  • preheat the oven to about 200 degrees or so
  • get your pastry and check that 100g will be enough to cover your pyrex dish – if not, roll it out a bit thinner
  • slop all your pie filling into the dish, top with the pastry, brush the top with a bit of beaten egg and salt and pepper, hoy in the oven until the top is lovely and brown
  • serve!

Easy! If you need any more ideas, click the buttons below, and remember to use those share buttons to give your friends the recipe!

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Cheers all the best.

J

spicy korean pork

Spicy Korean pork, just below all this guff and nonsense. I remember making a mistake when I posted a recipe for Mongolian beef and captioning it with a picture of a lovely little dog I’d been walking. Some simpleton with a face like she’s been flossing her minge with barbed wire sent me a big stroppy email suggesting that I was insinuating that Mongols eat dogs and that I was a horrendous racist on a par with Hitler. Which is silly, because I’d look dreadful with a toothbrush moustache. At least a messy beard hides the stretchmarks, that’s what I say. So just to be clear, this spicy Korean pork is made with pork. You know, like the name suggests. Now, before we go further, the next post contains lewd scenes and blue language. If you’re of the sort who already has angry person letterhead on the desk, just scroll on by. It’s simple!

Anyway, Paul and I are out and about tonight, so I’m going to bring in a guest writer for tonight’s post, who is going to talk to us all about online dating. This isn’t an area I’ve had much experience in – see when I was growing up, it was just a case of logging into gay.com, putting 14/m/newc in and twenty minutes later I was being bundled into a transit van for puppies and sweets. I’m kidding, I was legal age and too fat to bundle anyway. Roll, perhaps. I had an awkward date with someone who bought me a necklace from Argos and then didn’t say a bloody word as we tortured ourselves through a Pizza Hut buffet. Paul had someone give him a £20 Argos gift-card with £4.98 left on it. Still, both of our gentleman suitors received anal in exchange. We don’t fuck about at twochubbycubs! Over to our guest writer, then. As usual, because I’m a big egotistical horror, I’ll be butting in, and also, please remember that these guest writer articles give someone a chance to tell a story – don’t be mean! Lots of feedback please! All those who have submitted articles, we’re aiming for one a week and I’m drawing randomly. If you’ve sent in stuff and haven’t made it online, don’t cut yourself, you’ll be cubbed up soon enough. Anyone else who wants a go leave it in the comments below. I’ll be the only one to see it, don’t worry!

Our guest writer tonight is Helen “Whistling Canyon” G. I asked her what her party trick was and she replied something incoherent about a Premier Inn and a hockey team, so who knows…?


clicking – by Helen “Whistlin’ Canyon” G

I ventured into the world of online dating for six months a few years ago, This was before the days of Tinder mind, so I have no idea about this swiping left or right stuff. I’d only swipe left and right when I was alone in the bath. Like rubbing ink off a hand. Back when I was doing online dating you simply messaged someone and hoped they replied, and then didn’t turn out to be a weirdo / murderer. Sadly, they often do, but ah well, needs must.

My first date was only a couple of days after I joined, and I was surprised. I had thought nobody would message a fatty like me! The guy seemed OK, we had a couple of coffee dates, and a couple of nights out for drinks at country pubs. All seemed OK. Then he asked me did I want to come to his house and he would cook for me – and I could stay over. I figured, yeah go on then – I had only been single a couple of months after a long term relationship and I had no idea what was the decent amount of time these days before someone gets a look at your bits. (James: it’s usually about fifteen seconds, just enough to shake the drips off)

He picked me up and said we would call at the supermarket on the way to his for the ingredients and some wine. Perfect – though it would mean a lot of ‘no no, put it back, I don’t eat chocolate’ and fakery. Plus what if he took me down the lube and condoms aisle and spent ten minutes giving me knowing winks and leers? As long as he didn’t pick up a box of Trim, I didn’t care. Hell, if he picked up a box of Magnum XXL I’d have let him ravish me amongst the frozen peas. Anyway, off we went, with me full of excitement for what treats awaited me…and he proceeded to buy reduced chicken breast – you know the ones with the yellow stickers on that need to go now before they go off in the next few hours? Yep, them. The ones that cause fights amongst the blue-haired, yellow-chinned folk. And then we went to the wine aisle and he told me to choose anything from the three for a tenner deal. Charming. I’m not a snob but surely the first time you cook for someone new you would at least let them feel they are worth full price chicken? Or if you really want to buy a bargain, don’t take them with you? Swap them out into a Waitrose bag and make your date feel like a queen? He also bought two apples for pudding. Hmm. (James: to be fair, I used to buy oranges before a hot date. Keeps them quiet if you jam one in their gob. If you’ve got a fat date, make it a chocolate orange. It’s like poppers for us chunkers)

We got to his house and I soon noticed none of the door frames had doors attached. I mentioned this and he said he didn’t like doors and he liked his cat to have free run of the house. Fine, but this included  the toilet. No door on the toilet – fuck that! I’m all for being open but no-one needs to see me grunting away like Mel Smith solving a wordsearch as I have a crap. Plus, he was always kissing his cat and then trying to kiss me with an inch of cat hair stuck to his stubble. I’m not going to lie, I did envision to start with that he might end up with hairs from a pussy caught in his stubble, but not this way. NOT THIS WAY. No offence to cat owners by the way. I would feel the same if it was dogs, horses, sheep – anything. Needless to say that didn’t really go anywhere.

My next date was with a guy who spent two weeks asking me to go on a date with him, then not being able to make it, so rearranging – when we finally went out we had an alright night but he didn’t look at all like his photos and his craic was shit! Then he told me he was moving to France so wasn’t looking for anything serious but he would very much like to see the inside of my flat. He claimed it wasn’t a euphemism but I’ve seen a barely disguised stiffy before. No thanks pal.

Next up was a fellow divorcee. Nice guy, had a great time both times we went out then the third time let him stay over and then discovered he had thought my first name was something completely different to what it is, and I just thought, if you can’t even be arsed to learn my name, you can do one as well mate!

Then was the guy who smoked a joint on our first (and only) date on a Saturday afternoon in a beer garden. Of a family pub. See ya!

Then the penultimate guy was someone I knew from years ago and used to have a crush on. I was so looking forward to the date, as he was the guy EVERYONE fancied back in the day. Well, I don’t know what happened in the 15 years in between but he was not that guy. He lectured me all the way through our food about being a vegetarian and how bad I was for eating meat. I still ate all my chicken like. He was wasting his breath. He also told me he didn’t have a TV as he believes that aliens can spy on us through the aerials so he only has it hooked up to a PlayStation to watch Blu-Rays on. He was writing a conspiracy play and was hoping to take it to LA and become famous. Honestly was expecting him to whip out a tin foil hat at any moment. There were a few awkward silences which he proceeded to fill by asking me more about what I eat in a typical day and criticising me for having jacket potato several times a week. But he lived on veggie pizzas. So, ya know – he knows all about good nutrition clearly. Bell-end. Incidentally, he text me a month later after complete silence and said “how about that second date?” Hahaha as if! Then THREE YEARS later he text me asking for another chance. I didn’t even know who it was! Who does that?

James edit: I remember! I did have ONE bad date. We went back to his after a movie and I went to the bathroom to prepare myself and managed to completely block his toilet. He didn’t have a brush or anything to swoosh it away with so I had to break it up with the bottom of a bottle of Radox. The smell was unbearable and, with the mood killed (at least for me, he was ‘waiting’) I walked right past his bedroom and out of the door into the night. To be fair, I had a lucky escape, as I heard from another acquaintance that he was very much a one-spurt-Burt.

It’s not all bad though. I was just about to delete my profile forever when a guy I had approached replied to me apologising for the delayed response but he had been working away and hadn’t had access to the Internet. I had messaged him as a long shot as he was a fair bit younger than me and had not expected him to reply. We chatted a bit, exchanged numbers and then after a couple of weeks of texting while he was working away again we eventually managed to squeeze in a last minute date one Sunday afternoon. I was so unprepared, I had been visiting my mam in hospital and it was a boiling hot day and you know hospitals are the hottest places on Earth at the best of times, so I was a right sweaty mess but I went anyway. The rest is history, as they say. We now have a beautiful 2 year old daughter and live together. So, he was kinda worth wading through all that shit for. And he still fancies me even though I am fat. So, yay!


Aaah, I do love a happy ending, and seemingly the fragrant Helen likes dishing them out. Speaking of happy finishes, you’ll feel happy when you finish this dish. Sorry, that was a dreadful segue, but see it’s been a long day. This recipe serves four if you dish it up with rice. You can just as easy use pork chunks for this, but we used a joint from Musclefood. Because, you know, it’s us, and we love Musclefood! Plus it’s £6 per 1kg and had hardly any fat! Click here for that. I’m synning this at 1.5 syns – it’s actually 1.25 syns but I can’t bear any cross words.

spicy korean pork

to make spicy korean pork you will need

for the meat

500g boneless pork shoulder, all visible fat removed

for the marinade: 

  • 1 pear, grated (up to you if you syn it – 2 syns per 100g if cooked apparently, but that’s a load of bollocks)
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • ½ tsp fresh ginger, minced (remember, save yourself so much bother by grating it using one of these and putting the rest of the ginger back in the freezer
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (yep)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sesame oil (2 syns)
  • 3 tbsp thai massaman curry paste (3 syns) (before you ask: you buy it from Tesco and it’s a paste of shallots, onion, garlic, spices, sugar, lime leaves and various other funny things

for everything else:

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 spring onions, sliced

for the lady who loves: 

  • Cadbury’s Milk Tray

for he’s a:

  • jolly good fellow

fore:

  • skin

OK that’s enough. Grow up, tsk.

to make spicy korean pork you should:

  • cut the pork into slices of about 1.5cm thick – you don’t need to be careful or exact, you’re not performing a circumcision on a moving train, just get it roughly the same
  • in a large bowl, combine and mix together all of the marinade ingredients
  • add the pork and mix well, and leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes or as long as you dare
  • heat a large heavy bottomed pan over a high heat and add a little oil (syn if you want, or use Fillipo Berio spray for 7 sprays at 0.5 syn each), then just chill your own heavy bottom whilst it heats up
  • add the minced garlic and sliced onion and stir fry for a few minutes, until the onion turns translucent
  • add the pork and cook for about 6-7 minutes, stirring frequently until cooked through and caramelised
  • serve, and sprinkle with the spring onions
  • easy – we served ours with rice

This dish takes no time to make, but the longer you leave the meat to marinate the better.

If you want more takeaway style dishes or pork treats, click the buttons below!

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Cheers!

J

chilli and cheesy fries pizza

I know, chilli and cheesy fries pizza. I’m about two steps away from my recipes being ‘tip everything in the fridge into a Nutribullet, blend, drink’. Even then I’d get someone with lips like a balloon-knot furiously messaging me to tell me that a blend of bacon, the cat’s ear medicine and seven bags of forgotten/ignored kale has syns because Margaret Mags says so in that little book of dreams. But see we had a tub of leftover chilli from the time we made slow-cooked pulled pork chilli and we haven’t done a pizza for a long while. Aside from the Dominos we had the other night, but listen, Paul had come on or something and needed something to comfort eat. It’s either that or have Lil-lets tumbling around in my bathroom. This is the type of tea you need at the end of an emotional or busy day – something stodgy, admittedly not full of speed food, but something that feels naughty and has the added bonus of invariably smearing all down whatever shirt you’re wearing. I’m not even joking, it’s gotten to the stage where we almost undress one another before a meal so we don’t wreck another shirt. It creates an odd image for a curious neighbour, who might glance through our kitchen window from afar and think two shaved bison are mincing about taking pictures of fucking risotto. Meh, let them drool I say.

Anyway, it’s exactly the type of food I could do with today – I had two ‘OH SHIT’ moments at my work. You know that awful feeling when you’ve cocked something up and your heart sinks and your bumhole starts unpicking the seams of your trousers? That clamminess of the brow and the shooting pains down your left arm? That’s happened twice today. First time I was looking at a deadline for an important piece of work and worked out that I’d missed the filing deadline by three days. I’ve only been in my current role for three months but surely that’s long enough to be packed out of the door with a flea in my ear? I took myself to the gents toilet down a few floors, took a few deep breaths to compose myself (and learn this readers – never, ever go to a busy shitter to take a deep breath – it’s a pretty safe bet that I’ve got advanced mesothelioma as a result) and work out my apology. Ashen-faced, I made my way back to my desk only to realise that it’s June, not fucking July, and that I have a whole five weeks to crack on with things. Phew. I nervously laughed and carried on with my day, with my heart-rate only taking three hours to return back to it’s normal thwomp-thwomp-stutter-seize-thwomp pattern. Thank Christ I’m defibrillator trained, though I reckon they’d frown upon self-use. Plus the smell of my burning chest hair would condemn the building.

Oh, and the second time? I thought I’d missed out on a cupcake. Christ, I almost booked a meeting room out for a good cry.

Anyway come on, let’s get cracking.

chilli and cheesy fries pizza

This makes enough for one wrap – just double up. Credit for the original idea for the recipe goes to realfoodbydad, we’ve tweaked it to make it SW friendly!

to make chilli and cheesy fries pizza you will need:

  • 6 tbsp leftover chilli, spaghetti bolognese, pulled pork or whatever you’ve got
  • 1 BFree Multigrain Wrap (HeB) or whichever other wrap you find that is a) your HEB and b) doesn’t taste like a verruca sock (if you don’t want to use your HEB, this wrap is only 4.5 syns)
  • 50g reduced fat grated mozarella (HeA) (again, swap out this for any cheese you like, or syn some, hey, I’m not fussy – if you don’t want to use your HEA, 50g of mozzarella is 6.5 syns)
  • two good handfuls of Slimming World chips (an Actifry is your best bet for this job – buy one and never look back!) (and yes, you can use leftovers – leftover chips haha, like any of us have trouble breathing unassisted at night because we leave leftovers)
  • 2 tbsp of sliced jalapenos
  • 1 spring onion, sliced

to make chilli and cheesy fries pizza you should:

  • preheat the oven to 240 degrees
  • spread over your base sauce over the wrap, leaving  gap of about 1cm around the edge
  • spread the chips out over the wrap, as evenly spaced as you can manage whilst you’re cramming them into your mouth
  • sprinkle over the cheese and top with the jalapenos and spring onion
  • bake in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted

Easy, really. Now of course we’ve made some wonderful pizzas before, you see…

 

Really, what’s not to love? For more fakeaway recipe ideas, click on the link below!

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J

slow cooked pulled pork chilli boats

To be honest, I know the slow cooked pulled pork chilli boats look crap, but do you know what? I don’t care! We saw them on Pinterest (I know, it’s a miracle I saw anything between all the JuicePlus ads and knock-off Etsy bumph, but hey) and thought we’d give them a go. Lesson learned? Don’t try and copy anything from Pinterest. It never works for us. What looks cute, unusual and fluffy on Pinterest usually ends up looking like the end result of a family car backing over a cat. 🙁

It’s the same with this blog, to be fair. We do try and make our food look presentable but you have to remember, we spend a lot of time fannying about with the dishes this way and that way to try and get them to look half decent. That’s because we want to promote our food. You, on the other hand, shouldn’t fuss about – get down to the business of turning your hard work into poo, instead. It’s what you want.

Anyway, I wanted to give a quick guide to how we blog. This isn’t a funny post but it’s something that we get asked a lot about. I’ve seen a lot of people over the last couple of years start up food blogs and most of them stop after a while, and there’s a bloody good reason – it takes a lot of time! If you want to share your recipes then go for it. You can host on WordPress for free and it’s an excellent platform for your own blog – very easy to use! We take all of our photos with our iPad and touch them up slightly in Photoshop (normally to balance the colours – we have a very, very red kitchen). It’s worth taking the time to write properly but don’t stress too much about telling a story – there’s far, far too many blogs out there (possibly including my own) that, for example, when writing about a chilli will tell you about the time they went to the market to buy chillis, and how amazing chillis are, and how much they love chillis…if you’ve got a story, tell it, but if you’re just filling out the word count, don’t!

We do spend a lot of our time doing this – finding recipes to adapt to make them Slimming World friendly, writing out the posts, taking the pictures, researching the syn count, publicising the posts – each post takes about two hours to do, I reckon. If you’re committed, it’s a fun, worthwhile hobby, but jeez, when I think about all them hours…

If you’re looking to make money from a blog, unless you really, REALLY build up the readership, you’ll struggle. There’s plenty of ways to do it, but you’ll not make much to begin with unless you have a blog full of adverts and trick people into going there. That’s not good. Readership takes a while to build – we get on average about 25,000 views a day but for the first year we were hitting 500 and being glad of it. I remember how excited I was when we got up to 50 subscribers – now we’re not a kick of the arse off 10,000! That’s just insane to me.

If I could give only one bit of advice – do it with love. Now I know that’s going to make everyone’s teeth turn black from all the sugar but honestly, Paul loves cooking and I love writing so a food blog is the perfect outlet for that. If you’re the same, give it a go! If you don’t fancy writing full-time, don’t forget you can guest write for our blog if you want to see your name up in lights. Just drop us a line in the comments and we’ll contact you.

OK, with that out of the way, let’s get to the bloody pulled pork chilli boats.

slow cooked pulled pork chilli boats

to make slow cooked pulled pork chilli boats, you’ll need:

  • a good joint of pork, we used shoulder from Musclefood – it came with very little fat on (and we just cut it off) and an excellent price at £6.00 per kg – click here for that!
  • tin of tomatoes
  • tin of beans
  • tin of black eyed beans
  • an onion
  • a small carton of passata
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • a slow cooker
  • Old El Paso Stand and Stuff tacos (4.5 syns each)
  • one slice of Edam (the sliced Edam from Tesco – one slice is a HEA, or just use your syns for about 4 syns)
  • potato wedges for the side
  • chopped lettuce

to make slow cooked pulled pork chilli boats, you should:

  • put everything bar the taco, cheese and lettuce into the slow cooker and cook overnight on low – then shred the pork with two forks
  • stuff into a taco
  • make a cheese sail
  • put it on a bed of lettuce
  • serve with potato wedges and a feeling of what-the-fuck-am-I-doing-with-my-life

Meh! It made Paul laugh. The leftovers can be served with rice the next day and put into a sandwich. Hell, you could even put it on a pizza like this old recipe of ours. This chilli really is the bare bones – add as many vegetables like peppers or mushrooms as you want. Really, it was just an excuse to muck about with our food. Enjoy!

For other pork recipes, click the icon below!

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Goodbye!

curried mango pork chops with orange glazed rainbow chard

It doesn’t get any fancier than curried mango pork chops with orange glazed rainbow chard, even if the photo does look like I’ve smeared some houmous on a built-up shoe and sat it beside something the cat’s brought up. Meh, it tastes nice, and it all comes out the same colour so who really cares about presentation? We’ll get to the recipe after this short moan about Forever Living.

STRONG WARNING: if you’re a seller of Juice Plus or Forever Living, let’s just assume that you’re the exception to prove the rule rather than someone who is guilty of the below. No need to get uppity, I know there’s some good in all scams. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

We all know how I feel about Juice Plus. It’s worthless powder pressed into pills and shakes designed to be sold to vulnerable folk by desperate pushers who care not about the health risks but more about lining their pockets. The company actively encourages reps to post via Facebook slimming groups and pretend that they tell people off for it when they don’t. Meh. I’ve talked about them plenty of times and frankly, if you’re a Juice Plus seller, I think you’re a parasite. 

No, Forever Living entered my orbit recently (lots of things tend to do this – when you’re the size of a horse-box you tend to have your own slight gravitational pull) because I, out of nosiness, responded to a post on a Slimming World group from someone who said ‘they desperately needed help‘. Actually, it was more like ‘CAN ANI1 HELP PLZ I DESPRATLY KNEED HELP PLZ MESSURJ ME‘. Sorry, no, forgive me, it was more like ‘CAN ANI1 HELP PLZ I DESPRATLY KNEED HELP PLZ MESSURJ ME ⊙﹏⊙ ❤?☹?♥☹? ♥❤ xXxXxXx‘. That kind of shit typing that makes you feel like you’re being inadvertently groomed by Dark Justice. Anyway, being a kind soul and/or nosy, I messaged to find out if she was OK, only for her to launch into her sales pitch about Forever Living and how wonderful the products were and she just needed people to try the products and they could solve eczema and depression and MS and aches and pains and first world melancholy and the Times Cryptic Crossword blindfolded. I responded that it was a load of horse shit and she promptly blocked me. I was annoyed simply because she’d made out like she was in trouble or needed support and it was just a ploy to get caring folk to message her so she could exploit them to pay off her Brighthouse sofa. Or rather, pay off her leader’s Brighthouse sofa. Which you just know will be 90% highly-flammable Taiwanese foam and have built-in speakers. The worst part is that I know some poor sap will end up buying her products, losing their money and feeling blue. Nice one!

Anyway, I let that lie, but seemingly because I’d mentioned the words Forever Living on Facebook, the sponsored ads threw up an intriguing proposition that I should get in contact with a ‘Global Home Business Manager’, accompanied by the kind of graphic someone disinterested in Media Studies might put together in MS Paint in order to stop failing a class. The kind of poster you see in church halls advertising beetle drives and jumble sales. The type of advert that gets filed under ‘God bless them, they’re trying’. It was the ‘Global Home Business Manager’ bit that made me intrigued – not because I want to work from home, but it’s such a clash of words that it really struck me. Many things do at 7.30am in the morning over my bran flakes. What is a Global Home Business Manager?  To me it sounds like the kind of absolute nonsense title that people who sit in front of Jeremy Kyle recruiting other people to exploit help live the dream give themselves to justify their existence, but no, turns out it’s the title given to the next tier up in the Forever Living pyramid, presumably because Chief Shill isn’t quite positive enough. A quick look at the profile for this ‘Global Home Business Manager’ reveals all the usual tricks – the rent-a-quote images about ‘BEING MY OWN BOSS’ and ‘YOU CAN DO IT TOO’, all the positive reinforcement messages lifted verbatim from 1000 other Forever Living profiles.

There’s no doubt you can do well from it, absolutely no doubt. Problem is, you have to turn into one of those annoying folk who piss off their friends, families and neighbours with constant and endless pushing of your tat. How come if it is such a great product it can’t be bought in shops but rather needs to be peddled via a network of recruits on facebook? People describe themselves as business owners but that’s a complete misnomer – you’re a modern day Avon lady, only you’re an Avon lady who rings the doorbell every ten minutes and shouts through the letterbox about the benefit of smearing aloe vera on your ‘gina to clear up your cystitis. You’ll sharp notice that people stop answering the door too, the more you pester them. I left a comment on this sponsored advert asking why there is never any mention of the folks who buy into the whole Forever Living scam and then lose all their money, or about the dubious marketing, or the fact that it’s a giant fucking racket. I didn’t swear, but the comments were deleted immediately and I got a snooty, patronising private message from someone with a dreadful haircut advising me that ‘they felt sorry for me for not being able to see the benefits of such a fantastic product’. You can imagine how grief-stricken I was by such a retort, but typical that the negative comments get deleted. People looking for the champagne lifestyle – which such a tiny amount of sellers will achieve, and even then it’s only with the ill-gotten gains of those below them – are likely to be suckered in. It’s a mess.

I think what gets me most of all, though, is the fact they prey upon the desperate. Officially, they’re told they’re not allowed to say that these products help with illnesses, but I know from personal experience – many, many times over – that the reps say whatever they can in order to gain a sale. I’m lucky that aside from being outrageously handsome and ever so slightly overweight, there’s nowt much wrong with me. I play along, though – I make out I’ve got disease XYZ just to see if they ever back down and say no, this product isn’t for you. They never do. It’s always ‘oooh yes, this can help with your illness’ as though they have the cure to all known disease in a box in their bedroom as opposed to a few sachets of knock-off tat. They don’t give a flying fuck whether these crappy, untested products make a disease worse or the pain that you might go through, they care about one thing only: your money in their pockets. Well, a tiny bit of your money in their pockets and the rest in their leader’s pockets. They are arseholes of the highest order.

Listen, as you can imagine, the Internet does a much better job of explaining this. Take a look at this article on cracked.com or this (god-forbid) recount of an ex-rep on the Daily Mail (I know I know).  Have a gander on Mumsnet for some honest opinion of what people think of the sellers or take a read of the many, many discussion threads out there on it. If you’ve got someone with white teeth and whistling ears trying to sell you a magic potion or worse still, trying to recruit you, ask yourself three questions:

  • why can’t I buy these wonderful products in a shop or why aren’t they prescribed by a doctor;
  • what has this person got to gain by promoting such a ‘wonderful’ lifestyle; and
  • who do I trust more – science, the NHS, doctors and medical studies – or the badly-typed words of someone with a BTEC in Travel and Tourism and debts to pay off?

Exactly.

Right, let’s get to the recipe, eh? This dish is very easy to make – pretty much a bit of blending, a bit of smearing and a bit of grilling. The side of rainbow chard is an excellent way to get your speed food in and can be used as an accompaniment to any other dish.

curried mango pork chops with orange glazed rainbow chard

to make curried mango pork chops with orange glazed rainbow chard you will need:

for the chard…

  • a big bunch of rainbow chard cut up into small chunks (or use spinach)
  • a big fat onion sliced thinly
  • a clove of garlic, minced, using one of these
  • one orange

to make curried mango pork chops with orange glazed rainbow chard you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200 degrees
  • make a dry rub by mixing together in a small bowl 2 tsp of paprika, 1 tsp curry powder, salt and pepper
  • in a small pan, mix together the mango, ½ tsp curry powder, ½ tsp paprika and stir frequently over a low heat
  • rub a good amount of the dry rub mix onto each pork chop, on both sides
  •  heat an oven-safe pan over a medium-high heat with a little frylight and add the pork chops
  • sear for about 1-2 minutes on each side
  • add a tbsp of the mango mixture onto each pork chop and spread evenly, reserving the rest
  • place the pan in the oven and cook for about ten minutes
  • keep stirring the mango mixture until it has thickened slightly
  • when the pork is cooked, serve with the remaining mango puree on the side

to make the rainbow chard

  • cook off the onion and garlic until golden with a few squirts of oil
  • lower the heat and add the chard, put a lid on the pan and allow to steam gently
  • once reduced, squeeze the juice of half an orange in the pan and allow to bubble gently

I’m not synning the orange juice. We’re talking half an orange between four. If you want to syn it, it’s such a fractional tiny amount that it can be your job to work it out!

Serve!

J

slow cooker: sticky fruity pulled pork burger

Have to be quick tonight, as we’re going out to a drive-in to watch Inside Out. I’m not going to lie, it’ll be unusual for Paul and I to be parked by the seafront at night without a lorry driver poking his knob through the passenger side window, but we’ll give it a go. I’m kidding, we don’t do that. We found a deal for said drive-in on LivingSocial and thought, well why not. We wanted to see Grease but apparently the good people in South Shields beat us to it, which is surprising as I genuinely didn’t think you could drive a car with webbed fingers.

My facebook woes continue – I’ve just been deleted from the Newcastle ‘Pick Up My Tat’ (swapping) page for pointing out that someone’s light-up, flashing, disco headboard is one of the tackiest things I’ve ever seen. Someone with a name that sounds like a company that manufactures t-shirts for a market stall (Demi-Marie?) kicked off, said I had no right ‘dissing her bed’ and blocked me. You can just imagine how devastated I am.

Seriously mind, who orders a bed with a flashing headboard? Humans do two things in bed – sleep and shag. Neither of those activities are helped by a bed that looks like the world’s shittest nightclub. Either you’re going to be kept awake by a bed that resembles the back of a lorry making a three-point-turn on a country lane or you’re going to be held off your vinegar strokes by a seizure. 

Let’s quickly discuss that John Lewis advert, shall we? This one?

Yeah yeah. I’m sure your facebook walls have been awash with emoticons of crying faces and people posting statuses like ‘OMG!!!Q1 TEURS STREEMING DOWN MY ARSE SO SAD’ and the noise of thousands upon thousands of mooing cattle trying to outdo themselves with sentimental guff and tearful reactions. Well honestly. Have a Mars Bar and man the fuck up. I don’t understand the fuss and frothing over the various John Lewis adverts, truly I don’t, and I’m not just saying that to be wicked-cool. They’re pretty to look at, yes, but so is a rainbow, and that doesn’t mawkishly yank on my heartstrings like a coked up campanologist. This advert, featuring a dirty old bugger sitting on the moon lamenting his bail conditions and spying on a wee lass in her pyjamas…well, it doesn’t scream Christmas, does it? Aside from that bit where Alexis and Alexander sit down in their Farrow & Ball coated dining room for a split-second of sprout-eating before letting their child get back to hurling paper out of the window, it’s about as Christmassy as an Easter egg. And that bloody song – is there a piece of software that takes any decent piece of music and runs it through a filter so it sounds like the dying gasp of a sparrow? Pfft. 

Mind, I’m a massive hypocrite, because I love the Sainsbury’s Christmas advert. I do! But there is a giant cat in it, so you know, I can be excused. I laugh at the sentiment though – I can tell you now that if we had a house fire, some of our neighbours wouldn’t be coming around with plates of food and beaming faces. No, we’d get them traipsing across our lawn moaning that there was ash blowing on their washing and could we please do something about the smoke because poor Colin’s asthmatic and he’s two puffs from running out of Ventolin. 

Anyway, tonight’s recipes makes enough for eight. I know we said we’d try and stay away from pulled pork, but well, we had to do it once, and put into burgers…well, it’s amazing.  Plus, if you have any meat left over, you can cook it down with pasta and tomatoes and make a very quick lunch. So there.

FRUITY BUNS

Come on, admit it. You want to push your face into that and shake it all about. Before anyone asks, the chips are from our perfect roasties recipe, found here.

to make fruity pulled pork burgers, you’ll need:

to make fruity pulled pork burgers, you should:

  • mince your garlic, chop your onion, tip everything bar the coleslaw and bun into a slow cooker and cook for nine hours on low
  • remove the pork, put on a plate and pull apart with two forks
  • tip the sauce into a frying pan and heat it on high to reduce it right down
  • tip in the pork and stir, getting everything nice and sticky and thick
  • serve!

The breadbun is your HEB – if you have two, don’t forget to syn the extra bun.

Any leftover pork can be turned into this:

IMG_2238

Just make a sauce of tomatoes, chopped artichoke, onion and garlic and add the meat in. Heat through and serve with pasta! 

DONE.

J