baked eggs in cheesy toast: syn-free and quick!

You’re doubtless here for the baked eggs in cheesy toast – it’s easily one of our quickest, easiest recipes – and it’s delightful. You could scroll straight to the recipe – look for the picture – but first, I have an important message. Perhaps you could humour me.

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week, you know. No, I know, it feels like it’s always some sort of week at the moment – I’m still eagerly awaiting the celebrations of ‘Comfortably Upholstered Northern Tubsters’ week, but until the day comes when I’m presented with a perspex sausage roll trophy by, oh I dunno, Gail Platt from Corrie, I’ll need to keep dreaming. But this is an important issue so I don’t begrudge writing about it.

Actually, speaking of Coronation Street, Aidan Connor’s suicide storyline really made me upset – it’s unbearable to think that people keep things bottled up to the point where they feel they can’t cope anymore – so, in the spirit of being open about our feelings, I turned to Paul and admitted that I would have given anything, simply anything, to fall asleep nestled comfortably between the wibbly-wobbly cheeks of Shayne Ward’s bottom. I’ve genuinely never known a man make a Zara funnel overcoat look so damn good. I was reading a news story about the actor where he expressed upset over the fact he’s been called fatty-boom-boom on Twitter and accused of having a dad body. How utterly ridiculous: a bit of a podge belly is perfectly natural as you get older, and I certainly wouldn’t hold his belly against him – I’d just balance it on top of my head in the usual fashion.

The storyline has done some amazing work highlighting that not everyone suffering with mental health problems is a shrieker and a wailer and your (lazy) stereotypical loon throwing their faeces around and punching at the clouds. It shows, rightly, that it can affect anyone, with no barriers, and that’s why it’s important to actually talk about it, get it out in the open, have an honest discussion about it.

I’ve gone on previously about my own mental health issue – health anxiety – and I won’t bore you with the details of it. I will say this, though: another year has passed and this year I’ve managed to beat a brain tumour (because of my tinnitus), mad cow disease (because my mother insisted on buying cheap mince for most of the eighties), Alzheimer’s disease (because I forgot where I parked, once, and that’s because I was driving Paul’s ‘car’ as opposed to my own), sepsis (cut myself handling compost) and breast cancer (another harmless lump in my boobs, most likely a Trebor Soft Mint). It’s exhausting being so healthy, I can assure you. Though that exhaustion is probably chronic fatigue syndrome. Bugger.

If you’re out there, and you’re suffering, there’s only two bits of advice I can offer you – and you’ll have heard them before, but I don’t care: maybe my words will be the ones that hit home, like a determined sperm: talk to someone and don’t give up. Now, choose wisely with the first bit of advice, I’m not suggesting you ring your taxi-rank and advise them that you’re seeing only blackness ahead – if they’re anything like my local taxi service, you’ll get twenty seconds of phlegm-soaked coughing and some racist dialogue in the background. No, choose a family friend, someone from work, a loved one, the cat or even a cushion. Vocalising your issues is cathartic, even if you’re talking to yourself. I’m forever talking to myself and find it reassuring – often those negative thoughts in your head are exposed for the nonsense they are once they float out of your gob. If you’re entertaining the ‘what if’ question (especially with your health), rephrase it as ‘what if it isn’t’ – do you really want to be wasting your life worrying about something that isn’t going to happen or, if it is, you can do bot-all about? For every spoken question you give yourself, provide two answers – the rational and irrational. Give yourself a fuller picture. And mind, if you choose to talk to someone rather than yourself, make sure you choose wisely. They’re few and far between, but there’s some folk out there who will gladly lend you an ear just so you don’t notice the knife they’re sticking in your back.

The don’t give up part, then. It’s such a trite thing to say, but you never know what’s coming around the corner. Well, Paul does, but that’s because he’s got boggle-eyes (I’m not saying he’s cross-eyed, but he does have to sit sideways to watch the television). Even if you aim for one day at a time, a day that doesn’t end with a trip in a black ambulance with me driving behind you trying to decide whether it’s appropriate to overtake is a good one.  At my lowest I thought I’d be doolally forever – and actually, perhaps I am because mental illness never leaves you – but you learn to cope, then you learn to stop caring, then you forget why you were ever stressed. Until you wake in the night convinced that you’re dying because although it COULD be trapped wind, that pain in your belly is almost certainly bowel cancer and this is it, I’m off to reunite with my nana after three months of shitting blood. Difference is, each time that anxiety-blip happens, you learn a bit more how to cope with your worries, and the time it takes to get over your anxiety decreases. In short, it gets easier. It does.

Chins up, folks. Remember, there’s fuck all to be ashamed about if you’re out there and you’re struggling: you’re a human being. Yes, even you, with that moustache. You wouldn’t feel embarrassed if you broke your toe, why should your emotions be any different? I read here that 1 in 6 folks experienced a symptom of a mental health condition last week. Perhaps you’re not so unusual, after all.

Oh and as an aside, if you’re one of those arseholes who pretend you’ve got OCD because you have to check the oven is switched off once in a blue moon, please, stop. Obsessive compulsive disorder is a genuinely devastating illness that manifests itself in much stronger ways than the occasional ‘but did I’ moment on the drive to work. It doesn’t make you sound interesting or kooky, it makes you sound like a proper Comfortably Upholstered Northern Tubster.

OK we’re done. No more lectures. But please, do talk. To the recipe, then!

baked eggs in cheesy toast

baked eggs in cheesy toast

2 votes

Print

baked eggs in cheesy toast

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield two slices

This super quick breakfast looks impressive but is actually a doddle to make on Slimming World - you can have two 'toasts' and it'll be syn free! Don't want to use your HEA as well as your HEB? We've got you - use slightly less cheese - 10g is only two syns. This recipe makes enough for one person to have two slices - just scale it up as you wish.

Remember my warning from the last time we used a Schar Gluten Free White Ciabatta Roll? Let me remind you...

But here's the thing. Gluten free food is expensive and it can be a proper pain in the arse to find if you are following a gluten-free diet. That's annoying when you want to cook with it, but what if gluten free was the only bread you could have and you had to do without because some div on Slimming World was too frightened about just having a breadbun? Before you pick it off the shelf, have a think.

Ingredients

  • one Schar Gluten Free White Ciabatta Roll (HEB)
  • two eggs
  • 30g of red leicester cheese (HEA) (or use less, and syn it at 10g for 2 syns)
  • chives, black pepper
  • optional: chilli sauce - yum! We use Flying Goose and syn it at 1 syn, but that's optional

Instructions

  • preheat the grill
  • cut your roll in half and drop it into a hot, dry frying pan, toasting off the bottom of each slice
  • remove your bread and, using the bottom of a glass, press a well into the bread and crack an egg in, like so

  • sprinkle your cheese and chives on top, then grill for a few minutes, keeping an eye on it so it doesn't burn - your egg should be solid, but the yolk nice and runny
  • serve - slather it with chilli sauce if you like your arse battered like us
  • enjoy!

Notes

  • not got chives? Don't panic - just use black pepper
  • if you were feeling decadent, you could always add chopped ham into your well
  • feel free to use a different bun - however, a ciabatta is good as it doesn't burn so quickly

Courses breakfast

Cuisine easy

There now! Looking for more breakfast ideas, you fabulous witch?

Enjoy!

J

chicken souvlakia, plus weigh in week eight

Ah, hello there. Come for the chicken souvlakia recipe? Then please, wait a moment. I’ll get to it. But first, it’s weigh in day, and well, goodness me…

week8

Whilst I’m here, I forgot to post last week’s cockometer too!

12795355_1102913176409558_1589710959370133735_n

I shall make a page of them all on. I find myself thinking of new themes for each knob.

Hooray! 32lb over eight weeks, including the time we put 11lb back on in New York, is good enough for me! Our aim has always been to lose 2lb a week. I get so frustrated when I read comments online where people kvetch and moan about only losing a couple of pounds – that’s the healthy way to do it – slowly and sensibly. I sometimes think Slimming World puts a bit too much emphasis on big losses (like Slimmer of the Week) as it is and it creates disappointment. Mind, my frustration soon builds to sheer eye-popping rage when I see people saying that they’re stuck for ideas on what to cook. You’re using the Internet, the world’s biggest cookbook – it isn’t just used for watching jizz vids and bloody asos.com, you know. I do sometimes think it boils down to laziness – people can’t be arsed to cook but that in itself is a shame, because so many of our recipes for example cook in no time at all. Anyway, no time for soapbox, dinner is almost ready, and I need to post the bloody recipe.

It’s a chicken recipe to celebrate our brilliant new Musclefood deal – I’m going to talk about it in full over the weekend, but we now have a decent, plain deal – around 25 chicken breasts (and each one is huge and doesn’t shrink!), 2kg of extra lean beef mince, 2 big packs of fat fee bacon medallions and two packs of beef strips. For £50, delivered. And mind it’s not delivered the usual online way, where it gets stuffed into a jiffy bag, driven across the country by a lorry driver who has only had three hours sleep between driving and bundling ladies of the night into rolls of carpet, then chucked in your wheelie bin as a “safe place”. Nope, this is a trackable, chilled delivery. Normally £80, haggled it down to £50. We all it our freezer filler, partly because they wouldn’t let me call it a box-stretcher. Click here for this deal and our fancy new Musclefood page!

So, chicken souvlakia!

chicken souvlakia

Just look at it, it’s tasty, juicy and actually, so easy to make. Let’s go. This makes enough for four if you use four chicken breasts. And fuck me, if you needed that explaining, perhaps you’d be better off with a packet of crisps and a sit-down. 

to make chicken souvlakia you will need: 

for the souvlaki:

for the sauce:

  • 250ml fat free greek yoghurt
  • half a cucumber, peeled with the flesh grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley

for the salad:

  • half an onion, chopped finely
  • half a cucumber
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • salt and pepper

for the houmous:

to make chicken souvlakia you should:

  • mix together the garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and lemon juice with the chicken and leave to marinade for about thirty minutes
  • meanwhile – prepare the sauce by mixing together all of the sauce ingredients and prepare the salad by chopping everything into neat chunks 
  • when ready, thread the chicken onto the skewers and grill for about ten minutes each side under a hot grill
  • serve with toasted pitta triangles from your HEB and a great big smile because you’ve done ever so well, haven’t you?

J

beef in a honey and black pepper sauce

Remember me twittering on about our fancy lights? We’ve went and bought a new gadget – it’s a NEST smoke alarm. We need a new smoke alarm – we’ve been using our old one to prop the dishwasher up, and given the amount of vodka and aftershave in our house, it’s too risky not to have a working system. Now, this isn’t just a smoke alarm. It’s fancy. Real fancy. Our house is becoming the gadget city we always wanted, see. This smoke alarm hooks into my WiFi and will alert me if the batteries are low or if it detects smoke. And how does it do this? IT BLOODY WELL TALKS. Admittedly it’s in a plummy ‘don’t be scared, but you’re about to be cremated’ voice, whereas if I’m about to die, I want a fucking air-raid siren, not Joanna Lumley whispering me to the grave. If I’m honest, we only bought it because it a) works with our thermostat (it’ll thoughtfully turn the boiler off if it’s pumping out more poisonous smoke than the shelter outside a Mecca Bingo at the interlude) and b) it glows. It will momentarily glow green when you shut all the lights off so you know it works. It’ll glow red if you’re on fire. It’ll even glow white for 20 seconds in the hallway if you get up for a piss, which is handy if you’re like us and your bathroom lights are so intense that your helmet blisters as you urinate. 

Speaking of bright, they say you should always look on the bright side of life. I generally do. My days aren’t often filled with wonder and drama but they’re always littered with tiny moments of joy or laughter, and that’s a nice way to live. For example, I take great solace in, every day at one attosecond past five’o’clock, I hurtle out of my work office, straight to my car on the 11th floor of the car-park, throw ‘The Final Countdown’ onto Spotify and hurtle down the ramps as fast I can so that as my car pulls out of the car-park, ‘IT’S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN’ plays. There’s just enough time to do it as long as no-one gets in my way. That said, more often than enough, I’ll get stuck behind someone who’s as thick as a submarine door and is trying to operate the barrier by inserting her Boots Advantage card and calling for help on a box of Lillets. But it’s still good fun – a simple pleasure, but a pleasure none the less. I mean, that happiness normally dissipates a second later as I’m stuck behind some numpty in a BMW who thinks the indicator stalks are somewhere to rest her ankles when she’s got a client in the back-seat.

The reason I mentioned happiness is because I actually got myself upset earlier – and you need to realise, I have a heart of solid black granite. The only time I get upset is when Paul eats more than half of the Ben and Jerry’s. GOD-DAMN IT. No, I was reading an article on the BBC News (link) about a young Iraqi gay lad who was forced to leave his country simply because he was gay. His own dad told him that he would be happy for ISIS to chuck him off a tall building to his death, or burn him alive, simply because of his biological leanings. I couldn’t comprehend it. Men are being sent into the desert with their arseholes glued shut so that they die an incredibly painful death just because they like a bit of cock. All very distressing and we shouldn’t linger on the details.

What it did make me think though was how bloody lucky I am / we are to live in a country where being gay just isn’t a problem. Not really, not on the scale it once was. The fact that I can live with my husband in the middle of Menopauseville, Northumberland and no-one really bats an eye is testament to how far we’ve come. My nana, god bless her, told all the old wrinklies at the WI about my wedding and challenged anyone who had a problem with it. She literally took all comments on her whiskery chin. I can’t personally remember the last time I experienced any sort of homophobia.

Sure, there’s the well-meant but incredibly offensive comments – I was told once by a colleague that ‘my religion doesn’t agree with gays, but don’t worry, I can tolerate you’ – like I was a bad smell, or an ingrown toenail. I resisted the urge to snip back that I don’t agree with grown men in frocks putting their holy willies into little boy’s bottoms, but what’s the use. You also get a lot of people asking ‘how it works’, like there is a hidden user guide (a gayde?) that explains all the mechanics (when he pushes, so do you), but that’s fair enough. I don’t mind answering questions as long as you’re comfortable with vivid descriptions and use of the term santorum. It’s a given now that if I’m filling out a form, I’ll be able to choose ‘Civil Partnered’ or ‘Married’ as opposed to ‘Living with Partner’, which was simply a euphemism for being a chutney-ferret.

Actually, the most devastating thing about filling out forms these days is that I’ve gone up an age-bracket – I now fall into the 30-34 category. Sniff. Might as well order myself some piss-knickers now. Sigh.

iPad running slowly now, clearly don’t feel with my sass. So let me chuck you a recipe like the decadent bitch that I am.

beef in honey and black pepper sauce

you’ll need these (serves two fatties):

  • 2 tbsp honey (5 syns)
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 600g dried noodles
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 400g diced beef
  • 1 broccoli, cut into florets
  • half a cabbage head, chopped

 

and you’ll need to do this

  • soak/cook the noodles according to the instructions
  • put a pan of water on and boil the broccoli and cabbage for about 5 minutes, drain and set aside.
  • honey,  soy sauce, fish sauce, mirin and black pepper gets whisked together next, and set aside
  • into a pan goes a little oil or Frylight and heat until it starts to smoke
  • next, add the onion and reduce the heat immediately to medium-high
  • cook for about a minute
  • throw in the beef and cook it however you like it (we always prefer a bit of pink meat…)
  • empty the pan of the beef and onion and set aside
  • return the pan to the heat
  • final stage now – add the sauce mixture to the pan and thicken into a syrup
  • add the broccoli and cabbage to the pan, and stir
  • chuck in the noodles and the beef to the pan and mix well
  • enjoy!

Mmmm!

J