avocado devilled eggs – an excellent snack idea

NEW SNACK IDEA: avocado devilled eggs. In a rush today so only a little post, but after the success of those teeny tiny teriyaki tasters that we suggested for taster nights a few days ago, I’ve decided to make a new snack idea recipe. Gotta be worth a go! It vexes me that avocado is so ridiculously high in syns – I appreciate it is ‘fats’ but haway, it’s so much better for you than ten Muller Lights. That’s another Slimming World mystery I suppose. There’s quite a few of those around. My favourite is the speed food conundrum. People get themselves in such a froth in the race to tell people THEY MUST HAVE SPEED FOOD on their plate, and I can’t really understand why. It’s there as a suggestion, not a rule. We’ll always try and have speed food on the side but it isn’t because Mags is holding a gun to our heads, but rather, eating more vegetables can’t be a bad thing. I do wonder though why speed foods became such a necessity – I remember back in the hazy days of red and green days and speed food was never suggested. Suppose that’s because the diet was different, but hmm. Nevermind. I’m still sore about losing out on Man of the Year 2004 to some bugger with a black foot and a lot of wheezing.

For our recipes, we’ll more often than not incorporate speed food into the ‘main dish’ so although it may not look like we’ve hit our speed quota, we normally have. We’ll never lecture you on whether or not you need it. If you have any concerns, feel free to hoy some broccoli or a tin of carrots on the side. 

Anyway, the recipe:

avocado devilled eggs

to make avocado devilled eggs, you’ll need:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1 avocado – now, 100g of avocado flesh is a ridiculous 9.5 syns, and I used a 100g avocado, but minus the weight of the skin and the stone, I reckoned about 80g of flesh, so 8 syns
  • 4 rashers of bacon with the fat cut off, or some of our fabulous bacon from the twochubbycubs musclefood deal, cooked and cut into tiny chunks
  • rocket
  • one tomato, chopped finely
  • black pepper and a pinch of salt

to make avocado devilled eggs, you should:

  • boil your eggs – I always go for around fourteen minutes because you want everything to be nice and solid
  • plunge them straight into icy cold water and then peel the buggers, but don’t go all hamfisted with it, nice and gentle
  • cut your avocado open, get rid of the stone, and scoop that juicy flesh into a bowl
  • mix in the chopped bacon and chopped tomatoes, saving a little of each for the top
  • add a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper
  • cut your eggs in half, drop the yolks into the avocado bow, and then mix the whole lot like buggery
  • using a teaspoon, put the mixture into the empty eggs where their yolks used to be
  • decorate with the leftover bacon and tomato and another twist of pepper

Enjoy! Note, if you’re making these for a taster session, the avocado will discolour a little if you leave it for too long. For the best taste, make them nice and fresh or add a bit of lemon juice into the mix!

J

veggie ploughman’s burgers plus mojito water

Super quick post tonight of two recipes – a veggie ploughman’s burger made from all sorts of speed food plus mojito water, which is rather a grand name for some fancy water with lime and mint added. No alcohol sadly, sorry, you’ll have to go back to that bottle of schnapps you keep hidden in your handbag. We all know.

Part of the reason for such a short post, aside from the fact that you’ve had rather a long run from us lately, is because I want to do some research into laser eye surgery. I hate wearing glasses, I truly do, and you know I went about four years thinking the world was going slightly quicker than I was due to all the blurring. I thought Paul was Puerto-Rican until that first fateful visit to Vision Express. It’s such an expensive habit, and don’t tell me I can buy glasses cheaply online – I did it once, and it went very wrong. See, I put in all the measurements that I had on my prescription, accounted for my weird astigmatism and chose a delicate black frame. The pair that turned up were exactly as I ordered, bar the fact they were about 50% too small for my elephantine head. It looked like I was wearing a pair of pince nez or fancy-dressing as Harry Potter looking into one of those concave mirrors that posh folk have at their end of their drives to check for tractors.

Of course, being a tight fucker, I wore those glasses for a good six months before Paul stopped going anywhere with me and made me change them, and the expense (and discomfort during eye-tests) has never stopped since. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t forever cleaning the fucking things – it seemed I just need to blink three times before the lenses look like someone has rubbed a block of Trex onto them and swept a chimney. I spend more time making sure I can see clearly than actually looking where I’m going. 

Laser eye surgery though…I’m on the fence, because although the benefits would be clear vision and no need to pay for glasses, I know for an absolute concrete fact that it’ll go wrong. I’m a catastrophic thinker – I can’t open a christmas gift from a beloved relative without worrying I’m going to papercut through my jugular with the gift-tag or have a massive cardiac arrest from the surprise of a Radox gift set. So yes, it’s bound to go wrong Final Destination style, with my eyeballs being turned into burnt cornflakes and me destined to spend my life alone in the blackness listening to All By Myself and wailing. Bah. Suppose I could get a nice dog out of it though…

Anyway, enough of me. Let’s start with the veggie ploughman’s burger. This recipe makes enough for four burgers, so where I’ve put HexA, that’s for one slice of reduced-fat cheese. Don’t be a piggy. I’m not normally a fan of vegetarian burgers but this not only held its shape but also tasted decent, unlike the usual farts and sadness.

veggie ploughman's burgers

to make veggie ploughman’s burgers, you’ll need:

  • 4 wholemeal rolls (1 HexB each)
  • 1 large tin of chickpeas, drained thoroughly
  • 150g broccoli florets
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 egg
  • 3 medium mushrooms
  • 25g panko (5 syns) (or use ordinary breadcrumbs, maybe blitz a small bun, but syn accordingly)
  • handful of chopped coriander (not a fan? You can’t taste it)
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • lettuce
  • 4 slices of reduced-fat cheese (HexA)
  • 2 tbsp pickle (Branston is 1 syn per tbsp) (so half a tablespoon per burger, or leave it out)

These actually come to 1.7 syns, but for goodness sake. 1.5 syn each.

to make veggie ploughman’s burgers, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200ºc
  • grate the broccoli and carrot together into a large bowl (this is a great gadget for the job)
  • making sure your chickpeas are thoroughly drained – and listen, I mean this, get them bloody dry), pour them into a food processor along with the mushrooms and pulse until you get a smooth paste
  • scrape the chickpea mixture into the bowl with the carrot and broccoli, add the coriander, panko and egg and stir well to mix until you can form a large ball
  • spray a baking sheet with a little frylight and divide the mixture into 4 and press into a burger shape
  • spray with a bit more frylight and bake for about 15-20 minutes each side
  • when cooked, serve in the bun with whatever other toppings you’d like – we used sliced apple, pickle, lettuce and cheese, hence the ploughman’s link, see. Just out of shot on that photo is some little pickles in a bowl which, just like rocket on any dinner ever, got put straight in the bin.

Tasty!

BONUS RECIPE IDEA 

It’s not a food recipe, no, but remember when we did those flavoured waters back in the summer? Well, I thought we could pick that up and based on the amount of Slimming World folk putting on facebook that they, er, how to put this delicately…are having trouble negotiating the release of the hostages (i.e. they can’t shit), I thought I’d find a natural remedy. Well, apparently fresh mint helps with the digestive transit so with this delicious water, you’ll be back to plopping in no time. 

mojito water

Pretty simple! Combine a load of ice, fresh chopped mint and fresh chopped limes in one of those fancy drink dispensers. Pick any one you like from this page, they’re all good, but mind the cheaper ones are prone to leaking. Want some more ideas for flavoured waters? Have a look back over the following links and laugh yourself silly – plus, lucky for you, you’ll find three SP week food recipes on each of these links too! WOW RIGHT OMG.

Enjoy!

J

butternut squash spaghetti sauce, plus weigh-in time!

Super quick post tonight because well, you’ve had plenty this week! I’M JUST ONE MAN 🙁 and Paul! Oops. First, let me get my cock out:

twochubbycubs

Ah, that’s better. We’ve lost 6.5lb of the 9lb we put on in New York, and the rest will be off next week. Our ankles thank us.

I also have a favour – a lot of you have bought our book, bless you. Could I trouble you for a moment more to leave a review for us? It’ll only help us and we ask for so little! You can find a link to the book right here – and for those who haven’t bought it yet, look at my sad face.

dawson-cryings

Pfft, I wish I had hair like that. I’ve currently got a haircut that looks like Myra Hindley fucked Donald Trump on the deck of a runaway hovercraft.

Anyway, tonight’s recipe, yeah? Dead simple. Makes enough for four greedy chunkers!

butternut squash spaghetti sauce

to make butternut squash spaghetti sauce you will need:

  • 600g of butternut squash, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 6 bacon medallions, chopped
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • 1½ tsp dried sage
  • 1½ tsp dried thyme
  • 200ml skimmed milk (use some of your HEA allowance, but remember this makes enough for four)
  • 500g spaghetti

to make butternut squash spaghetti sauce you should:

  • heat a little bit of oil in large saucepan over a medium-high heat
  • add the onion and cook for about 1-2 minutes
  • add the garlic and stir for about thirty seconds, then add the butternut squash, stock, sage and them
  • stir well and cover, and leave to cook for about 15 minutes 
  • meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the spaghetti 
  • when the squash is softened (you should be able to poke a fork into it – oh you flirt – with a little resistance), pour the lot into a food processor, add the milk and 50ml of water and add a bit of salt or pepper and pulse until smooth
  • heat a small saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the chopped bacon – stir frequently until crispy
  • drain the pasta and pop it back into the large saucepan, add the butternut squash sauce and mix together
  • serve and top with the crispy bacon pieces

It’s plain and simple but bloody tasty and easy to customise – add in mushrooms, peppers or deep-fried Creme Eggs. You could leave out the bacon if you’re feeling all wan and disappointed with life.

J

lentil shepherd’s pie with cheesy mash

Looking for lentil shepherd’s pie? Scroll right down past all my guff if you don’t like chitter-chattter!


Just a boring bit of admin to get out of the way first before we get started. Apologies, I know some of you will have already seen this message, but just to make sure – we’re not an official Slimming World blog and we’re not consultants. We couldn’t be – I’d spend about five minutes asking people how much they’d lost and then fifty five minutes trying to crack jokes and farting. No, we’re just two members following the Slimming World plan the best we can – we work out the syns via the online calculator on Slimming World’s own website, but if you’re ever unsure, you should check them yourself.

Also, just a bit of clarification (partly because I got a snotty email yesterday from someone saying I didn’t need to write an essay before every recipe) – this is a personal blog, not a food recipe blog. I don’t itch during the day to rush home and type out a bloody roulade recipe, let me tell you. We’re just here as an excuse for me to write and to hopefully provide help for those who want it. Yes, we’re coarse and yes, we’re a bit blue and near-the-knuckle, but if you’re after a frilly fancypants fartyarse blog where someone spends two hours agonisingly describing every last boring step of their wonderful soup recipe, there’s plenty out there. We’re humans, not robots.

Remember, and this rather applies for all the Professionally Offended out there, you don’t need to read. That’s the joy of the internet!

So, that’s the admin out of the way. Being butch doesn’t really suit me, I’d look shit in a chest harness. Actually that’s a fib, I look great in leather. Like the last settee in the DFS sale.


twochubbycubs go to Iceland: part four

I wish I could tell you that we spent the day doing all sorts of thrilling things, but instead, we just mooched around the city, taking our time with food and nonsense. Listen, people who say they go on holiday and proceed to tell you they spent every waking moment doing activities, undertaking the local customs and enjoying the national food is an outright fibber. Sometimes you need to take it slowly, like a fibre-packed jobbie.

Having enjoyed ‘Escaping the Room’ once, we went back and tried the other two scenarios available – curing cancer and escaping a creepy haunted bedroom. I’ve never cured cancer, so of course we failed on that one, but we did manage to escape the bedroom, after somewhat embarrassing ourselves…

We walked from the hotel up to Reykjavik’s main shopping centre, Kringlan, partly because it was within stumbling distance and also because I needed to buy the most vile sweets I could find for the office. Not because I hate the people I work with, you understand, but simply because nothing says ‘GLAD TO BE BACK, LOL’ like salted liquorice balls that look, taste and smell like something you’d shovel out of a hamster cage.

Perhaps I’m spoiled by having the Metrocentre so near by (where retail goes to die), but it really wasn’t worth the trip. Perhaps due to the fact it’s an island, the ‘stock’ of stuff to buy seems to be very similar wherever you go. Once you’ve smiled politely at a stack of neon pigs or a collection of ashtrays, you’ve done your bit. We did find a shop called Minja which tickled us pink, though neither of us really fancied going in. We looked at it hard, but despite the many people entering it, we sloped off.

More interesting was the fact that Florence and Fred from Tesco seems to be rather big, where it is sold as a high-end range in a department store rather than the shameful secret in amongst the crisps and the beetroot faces as is the case over here. They even had shirts in our sizes, which was surprising given we normally have to buy our shirts from garden centres, but the fact they wanted the equivalent of £55 for a shirt I can buy (and hide under my groceries) for a tenner at home was too much to bear #tightarsegeordie (ah my former gaydar name).

After a bite to eat where they gave me a sandwich and took half of my salary as payment, we were on our way back to the hotel and onto grander things – a Northern Lights bus-tour. The sky didn’t look promising – thick cloud and low visibility. I was reminded of the air directly above Paul’s mother’s chair when she starts on her knockoff Rothmans. The bus driver said we should give a try anyway, so on we went to a very comfortable coach accompanied by around fifteen or so other folks.

We had chosen the deluxe tour, meaning we were to receive snacks, hot chocolate, a footrub and a personal apology from Jesus if the Northern Lights didn’t appear.  Sadly, we hit an immediate problem. See, on our tour a couple of days earlier, there had been a somewhat overbearing woman – the double of that wailing banshee from Everything But The Girl – who sat near us with her mother, and every time we stopped anywhere she’d drift over and attempt to make conversation.

Listen, I’ve got time for anyone, I really have, but deep down, I’m incredibly antisocial. My face screams talk to me, my mind is saying please die. Perhaps I exaggerate. Anyway, every single sentence she said was a really poor joke – it was like making polite conversation with a box of crackers – and then she did this really weird, far too familiar ‘lean’ into our personal space, perhaps to check the volume of our forced laughter.

And, of course, here she was again. Luckily, we had had the wherewithal to dump our bags on the seat in front of us, so she sat in front of those – champion, no talking needed. No, but every single quip, gag, remark or gasp that the chap commentating the tour made was met with her turning around and pushing her face inbetween the two seats to see if we were laughing. We started off with the polite smile and a ‘can he say that’ shake of the head, but we weren’t even out of Reykjavik before that had downgraded into a ‘stare straight ahead, don’t even acknowledge her’, the type of stance you might take if you’d stumbled across a man wanking in a phonebox.

Perhaps this comes across as mean, it really wasn’t meant to, but I stopped babysitting in my teens, I didn’t need it on my holiday.  She eventually got the message and stopped turning around, and we were able to concentrate on the fact the coach was busy barreling down a twisty, turny road in the snow and a very dramatic snow-storm. Excellent driving, absolutely, but I’m not going to claim my arse wasn’t busy unstitching the seat fabric through fear.

After an hour, we stopped off at this little restaurant in the middle of nowhere and were told that we’d be the first people to experience their new attraction, a quick movie about the aurora borealis. Bemused, we were shepherded into the arena where they usually put a live-action horse stunt show on and asked to take our seats – all twenty of us, in this little area that probably held 1,000.

The movie started, projected onto the back wall. And just didn’t finish. I love the Northern Lights as much as anyone, honestly, but it’s hard to maintain a rictus throughout half an hour of stolen footage from Youtube accompanied by Icelandic Enya caterwauling away in the background like she’s shitting out a pine-cone. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you it was almost twenty minutes too long, and every time the screen went black and we thought it was finished, up it would start again, leading to a few more taxing minutes of footage of a wispy green cloud. It wouldn’t have been too bad if we had been sitting in proper seats instead of on long wooden boards, at least then we would have been comfortable, but no. It’s a bad job when someone has to turn you to prevent pressure sores halfway through.

We eventually stumbled back to the coach and were on our way into the night. The commentator mentioned that there had been a sighting of the lights on the other coastline, so we were to head there. Absolute fair play to the tour company, they weren’t going to give up – and I had free WiFi and a fully charged phone to keep me occupied. Paul had gone to sleep almost the second his seatbelt clicked on. There wasn’t much to see out of the window – a black cloudy sky above a bleak desolate landscape outside, much like driving through Southend during the day.

After another hour or two, the bus slid into a tiny village and attempted to reverse down a very steep, ice-covered gradient to our restaurant. That was soon stopped, and we were told we had to walk / slide down ourselves. We had been promised a meal to fill our bellies so naturally Paul and I were the first ones off the bus, sliding down the hill to certain satisfaction. Sadly, our weird friend was immediately behind us, and of course, naturally, without any doubt, sat at our table with her mother.

What followed was two things – almost an hour of unbearably awkward, strained conversation, and something that was definitely not a filling meal. The waiter came down to take our order, insofar as he drifted down, put some bread on our table and told us we were having soup. No choice. Meh, I don’t mind soup, and well, it was a restaurant, so how wrong could it go?

Very wrong. The vegetable soup looked like something our cat sicked up when we had her fanny butchered by the vet. It had the consistency (and taste) of one instant tomato soup sachet, divided between twenty. I poked around with a spoon to see if I could find anything to tax my teeth with and happened across one tiny cube of swede. Naturally, Bus-Friend piped up to express her jealousy that I’d at least found some vegetables HA-HA-HA and how I’d need ROLLING BACK UP THE HILL I’M THAT FULL HO-HO-HO. Being the gentleman, I resisted the urge to put her and her Connie Clickit haircut into her tomato water, and grimaced on. I expected dessert, a mint, hell, they could have spread some jam on the tablecloth and I would have gobbled it up, but no, that was it.

I will admit to something terrible, though. And this is terrible, mind, so please don’t think any worse of me after reading. Before we all decamped to the bus, we all got a chance to use the restaurant’s facilities. Naturally, there was only one tiny cubicle, and Paul and I were 9th and 10th in the queue respectively. There was an exceptionally posh lady behind me. Everyone went in and did their business and by the time I went in, there was piddle all over the seat and floor, and, putting paid to my plan for a quick poo, no loo roll to be seen.

Again, ever the gentleman, I didn’t want the lady behind me to think I’d pissed on the floor and seat, so I grabbed a little tiny grey towel that was sitting near the sink to mop it all up with. I hadn’t factored in that the water on the floor wasn’t piss but rather, piss mixed with the melted snow from so many shoes, and as soon as I used the cloth, it was covered in brown streaks and yellow stains on one side. Was there a bin? Of COURSE not. 

So, I did the only thing I could do, finished my piss and very gingerly folded the towel back up in such a way to hide the heavily streaked and piss-soaked side. And popped it back on the little radiator. There was literally nowhere else to put it other than down the toilet and well, I’m not a bastard, I didn’t want to block their toilet, not least because they’d have nothing to serve for dinner to the next unfortunate bastards who rocked up on the coach. I pity the poor madam who went to dab her lipstick or wash her face with that towel and got a load of pissy flannel in her face. I’m sorry, I really am. I’m not a monster.

I did cackle a tiny bit, I’m not going to lie.

With our hunger unsatisfied and our tummies rumbling, we headed back to the coach, drove on a bit and stopped in the middle of nowhere in a deserted carpark. Listen, I’ve been here enough times to know what was happening, but before I’d even had a chance to flash the reading light off and on and put my lip-balm on, we were off again, the driver sadly telling us there would be no chance of seeing the lights at this location. No, we needed to get higher.

I was all for that, though it’s been a while since I’ve skinned up anything more exciting than a social cigarette for a co-worker, but no, he meant going higher into the mountains. Bearing in mind it was pitch black, icy and knocking on past 10pm at this point, everyone reacted in quite a subdued manner. Bus-friend let out such a huge sigh that Paul and I deliberately voiced loudly our desire to go on. Hell, you’re only on holiday once. Or four times a year, in our case. On we went.

The next stop, knocking on at around midnight, was another carpark in the middle of nowhere. We got out, braced ourselves against the absolutely bitter and very strong wind, looked hopefully at the sky, but sadly, the clouds never quite parted. I did see a faint green ethereal glow in the distance, but it turned out to be the driver’s e-cigarette. The commentator opened up the side of the bus and, god bless him, pulled out the world’s flimsiest trestle table and a giant urn of hot water, announcing hot drinks were now available.

Crikey, what a comedy of errors. The wind was so strong that whatever he picked up, be it a paper cup, a sachet of whatever the Icelandic for Options is or the sugar, it either blew out of his hands or he spilt it. We watched from a distance before approaching. For giggles, I asked for a grande mocha frappucino with no cream, mint syrup and could he use soya, I’m lacto-tolerant. He looked like he was about to stick me in the tea-urn so I immediately gave him a gracious ‘BRITS ABROAD EH’ face and got back on the bus. Hmm. Paul eventually brought me a coffee and tutted at me.

Once everyone was on board and had been treated for their second-degree burns, it seemed inevitable that they’d call it a night…but no – one more roll of the dice. He knew a church with excellent viewing possibilities…on a clear night. I looked out of the window into the abyss and dozed for an hour, having drained my battery streaming fail videos on Youtube.

This is the bit where I tell you the bus pulled up, we got out and saw the best god-damn Northern Lights we’d ever seen.

Nope.

But we DID see them, for almost five minutes, albeit through the faint wisps of clouds barreling all over. It was like God, noticing our bus parked outside of the church (and er, if he existed), parted the clouds as best he could to make our almost seven hour journey worth it. It was. Not much can be said about the lights that you can’t imagine yourself, other than what will be obvious to you but didn’t occur to me until I saw them myself. They’re huge, and they’re silent. I was expecting a whoosh or a flutter, but nothing, although the wind would have covered anything. You can’t just look at them because they’re all around you, above you, and they’re magical. Worth seven hours on the bus with a cup of watery coffee and some instant soup? Yep. Worth dealing with a socially awkward lady? Yep. Recommended? Wholeheartedly. It’s something to tick off the list, for sure.

Once the clouds covered them up again, I went for a quick piss around the side of the bus. Sadly, thanks to the wind, it was like that moment in Apollo 13 where he vents his piss into outer space in a giant cloud. I’m a classy guy, what can I say.

The bus took us back to the hotel, with both Paul and I succumbing to the sweet caress of sleep on the journey home, which in turn meant no-one else would get a moment of rest thanks to the cacophonous snoring coming from the back. I’m surprised the driver didn’t pull over to see if he had a reindeer stuck under his tyres. We were back at the hotel for around 2.30am and straight to bed.

Listen – this might have come across as an awful experience, but it wasn’t, it was hilarious, and nothing but top marks to the tour company for so much effort in getting us to see the lights. Yes, the food was pap and the movie abysmal, but we’d do it all over again. There’s something genuinely romantic and exciting about chugging through the darkness in the hope of seeing something so wonderful!

Enjoy our travel stories? You don’t know how happy it would make me if you were to purchase our book, which contains our blog entries from Ireland, Corsica and Germany! Click here, it’ll open in a new window!

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That’s enough for tonight. That really was a long one, I’m sorry! If you’re here for the recipe, welcome back! We adapted and made SW friendly a recipe from an old cookbook for this – Rose Elliot. We noticed we don’t have many vegetarian recipes on here, so this is a nice easy one that actually tastes really bloody good. It’s heavy-going to eat, so you don’t need a great lot. The recipe serves four.

lentil shepherd's pie

to make lentil shepherd’s pie you will need: 

  • 1kg potatoes, cut into even sized chunks
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 410g tin of green lentils, drained
  • 50g moon-blush tomatoes (we’ve made them before on a previous recipe, or, just use some dried sundried tomatoes brought back to life in hot water)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 160g mature or smoked reduced fat cheese, grated (that’s four HEAs – these make enough for four, easily, so one HEA each)
  • salt and pepper
  • if you’re after the individual Pyrex dishes, we bought them from Amazon, right here

to make lentil shepherd’s pie you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
  • cook the potato in a large pan of boiling water until tender, keep aside a mug of the water, drain and set aside
  • heat a large pan over a medium heat and add a little oil
  • add the onions to the pan, stir and cover – cook for fifteen minutes and then remove from the heat
  • add the garlic, tomatoes, lentils, moon-blush tomatoes, tomato puree and salt and pepper to taste and stir well
  • mash the potatoes to your preferred consistency, loosening with a little of the reserved water and add most of the grated cheese, saving enough to scatter on the top
  • pour the lentil mixture into a shallow casserole dish and spread the mashed potato on top 
  • scatter the remaining cheese over the top and bake in the oven for 40 minutes

We served it with kale, Satan’s bumhair.

J

sticky sausages with cheesy sweet potato kale mash

Did you miss us? I did mention we were going to take some time off, and well, listen, I’ve seen some of the things people search for to find this blog. I didn’t want them knowing the house was empty and we were out of the country. I just couldn’t bear it if someone had broken in and judged my skittered-toilet or the Lindt Chocolate Wrapper Mountain. So – we took some time off and here we are. We would have been back a bit sooner but our blog fell over from so many new people joining! OOPS.This post is going to be a bit of a house-keeping post just to get everyone up to speed, but, because we’re just THAT kind, we’ll chuck in a recipe for sticky sausages.

FIRST: my exciting news! We have a proper book out! Well, it’s a Kindle book, but it’s a colossal collection of all the articles and funny bits from our blog – a year’s worth coming in at over 100,000 words, condensed into neat little topics covering activities such as having a colonic irrigation to our various calamities in Corsica, Ireland and Germany. I’m told it’s a good read and if you’re a fan of our writing or if you want to support us, please give it a purchase! If you’re a long time reader and want to make my day, please do! It’s the same price as a SW class, only you’ll not get a sloshing bowl of fruit with each purchase.

You can buy it here – and I’d love you forever!

SECOND: I can’t believe how out of control this blog and our facebook group has become. We’ve gone from kicking over around 30,000 – 40,000 views a day to well over 140,000. Keep sharing! We have many social streams you can throw yourself into:

  • a Facebook group –  (for chat, odd postings from us, other nonsense – but mind, don’t join if you’re a Professionally Offended Person, because I can’t be fussed on with that – and it is NOT a HOW MANNY SINZ PLEAS group, so none of that muck or I’ll smack your arse
  • a Facebook page –  if you like this, whenever we post a recipe it’ll appear in your facebook feed – no spam
  • a Twitter account – same deal as before, but with less characters

I am flirting with Instagram but I’m just terrified of installing it on my phone and having forty shots of Paul’s bumhole uploaded into the cloud with the hashtag #darkmeat.

THIRD: we have renewed our deal with Musclefood for the two offers we have:

We do get a small amount for recommending Musclefood but honestly, if something was shite, I’d tell you. We find the meat tasty and affordable – other meat suppliers are available. If you’re a vegetarian, there are plenty of recipes to be found scattered on our blog. We’re very tasteful and inclusive, it comes from years of being confirmed manhole-inspectors.

FOURTH: we’ve got a massive queue of comments to filter through – we will get to them, I promise.

FIFTH: we are absolutely and utterly not an official Slimming World blog. We are unofficial – meaning we follow the diet and work the syns out ourselves, like every other blog, but we’re not employed by Slimming World. Listen, they wouldn’t have us. We swear like shipyard workers, we fart all the time and our classes would be 55 minutes of hilarity and 5 minutes of ‘HOW MUCH YOU LOST HUN’. We believe Slimming World works, we really do, but we just can’t bear to be another blog which is cloying and sweet. If you’re not a fan of swearing, rude comments and frank discussions, then please just enjoy the recipes or move on. We’ve received a few personal messages from people telling us how we should write our blog – that’s not how it works. You take us as you find us, great big hairy man-tits as well.

We’ve got some excellent stuff coming up – we’re back on it from the very second we get weighed on a Thursday night, and you’re going to see a slightly different, more determined attitude from us going forward. But listen, don’t worry, if you’re here purely to learn some new filthy euphemisms, there will be plenty of that too.

We’ve got Iceland to talk about for one thing – five days spent shuffling around in the cold, biting wilderness eating fermented shark, buying penises (yes) and even parting with money in a Minge. It’s been all go. There’s also been trips to the hairdresser, a Christmas party, a new wedding and a massage to talk about in excruciating detail.

Ah yes, with dear old Nana being turned into polyester and lavender ash and scattered to the wind this year, Christmas was a little different. Not least because I didn’t leave with my ears bleeding from having to yell THANKS FOR MY SLIPPERS eighty-seven times whilst she cricked her neck at me and smiled unknowingly like a bemused sparrow. We spent Christmas Day together, just Paul and I, and then Boxing Day with the family. Paul created a wonderful Christmas dinner – naturally I did my bit by lying prostrate on the couch wailing for more gin, more ice, more lemons, more attention. I’m a heartless bugger.

We are so ready to get back to eating properly, mind. We’ve had so much rich, dense food that I haven’t been on the usual Slimming World plan shitcycle of forty craps a day. Every fart I do sounds like the opening trumpet solo from Carnaval de Paris. I’m surprised we haven’t had officials from Northumbrian Water knocking on the door out of concern.

Right, so let’s get to it! Sticky sausages await!

sticky sausages

Just to explain that wee warning on the bottom of the photo. Please feel free to share our images and recipe, but do not remove our name from them. The photograph, text and recipe remain our work. 

to make sticky sausages in onion gravy you will need:

  • 6 syn-free sausages (or low syn, or 100 syns, listen, I’m not the boss here, you have whatever you want my love, I won’t tell a soul)
  • 3 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp honey (1 syn)
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh thyme (not essential, so don’t shit the bed if you haven’t got it)
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 400ml beef stock

to make sticky sausages in onion gravy you should: 

  • cook the sausages however you like (we use an Actifry because we’re decadent bitches) and keep aside – you’ll want to do the rest whilst they’re cooking
  • heat a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and add a little oil
  • add the onions and stir well, like it’s a juicy bit of gossip about someone you hate at work
  • cover the pan and reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes until softened and mushy
  • remove the lid, add the honey and worcestershire sauce and stir well
  • cook for another 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently until the onions have softened and turned golden
  • increase the heat to medium-high and gradually add the stock, stirring frequently
  • add the thyme and stir
  • allow the gravy to thicken until it’s sticky and wonderful and pour over the sausages

Now just listen here, you’ve probably seen that great big orange and green mass on the side of the plate…well, that’s our attempt at getting some speed food on the plate in the form of cheesy sweet potato and kale mash. Don’t worry, we’re not going to become professional kale-botherers, but it’s actually quite a tasty addition.

to make kale and sweet potato cheesy mash you will need: 

  • 150g kale, chopped
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 220g quark
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (and really, you could do worse than use one of these, our favourite gadget)
  • 1 tsp dried dill and 1 tsp of parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil and same again of thyme
  • 50ml milk taken from your milk allowance

If you don’t have the herbs, just make do with what you’ve got or leave them out – not a dealbreaker!

to make kale and sweet potato cheesy mash you should:

  • bring a large pan of water to the boil
  • add the potatoes and boil for about 10-15 minutes until soft to the touch, then drain
  • in the now empty pan, add the milk, quark, herbs, garlic and kale and stir over a medium heat until the kale has wilted and reduced
  • add the potatoes back to the pan and mash like buggery

ENJOY OUR STICKY SAUSAGES! We’re back!

J and P

slow cooker: colourful mash

Please stop prefixing all of your sentences with the word ‘well’, people. No, come on. It makes it sound like everyone has been holding their breath waiting for the revelation that you’ve put the cat out or spent the afternoon with your feet up having a cheeky glass of Bellabrusco. It’s not needed.

Only a quick post tonight because a) we have ironing to do and b) my ear hurts. Really hurts. Clearly this is my punishment for having a bag of Revels at the drive-in cinema yesterday, but it was either that or a hotdog served up with a side of phlegm from the hairy lass on the food-stall, so I think I made the right choice. The drive-in itself was really quite fun too – not least because I spend most of a cinema trip in some discomfort from holding in a fart, whereas in my own car I could trump to my heart’s content and the people either side of us could do nothing about it other than wind their windows up and gag into their airbag. Inside Out was a bit of a bust mind, but that could be more to do with the fact we were watching it from a distance through the pouring rain. I felt like a peeping tom. I’d still recommend the experience, though.

Tonight’s meal is mash done in a slow cooker. Whilst trying desperately to find a recipe that didn’t involve pulled this or shredded that, I discovered you could do mash in the slow cooker. Do you need to? I’m not sure. But it does look pretty.

colourful mash

Can I just say, you have no idea how much work goes into using mirrored bowls and not accidentally reflecting my knob into the pictures.

to make slow cooker colourful mash, you’ll need:

  • however many potatoes you normally use for your mash
  • one red pepper
  • one yellow pepper
  • bunch of spring onions
  • handful of jalapeños
  • 50ml of chicken stock – add more if you have ‘dry’ potatoes – just keep an eye on them and make sure they don’t boil dry
  • 30g of hard goats cheese (optional) (HEA)
  • splash of milk
  • salt and pepper

to make slow cooker colourful mash, you should:

  • chop up your potatoes into manageable chunks and drop into the slow cooker
  • chop up the peppers, onion and jalapeno into nice square chunks and place on the top
  • pour on the stock
  • cook on low for three hours
  • mash up in the pan – don’t aim for super-smooth, you want it looking like a bowl of GINO O GINO GINELLI TUTTI FRUTTI ICE CREAM ABBONDANZA 
  • grate in the cheese and add enough milk to loosen it
  • dunno, serve this with sausages or something, at least the kids will eat it

In fact, let me just leave this here:

Actually, it’s genuinely really good – comfort food! You could add bacon too, if you were feeling like a proper decadent slut.

J

stir fried greens with plum sauce

Man, I feel rough as a badger’s arse this evening. So you’ll forgive me if I go and tip every potion and lotion into the bath and go baste for a good hour.  I have a lengthy Corsica entry typed up but it needs proofing and oh god, I am boring myself. So, here is a recipe to go with the delicious garlic beef we served yesterday. PRAY FOR MOJO. Can’t claim credit for this one – well, we can, we made it suitable for Slimming World, but it’s actually bastardised from a Wagamama recipe. Oh my.

stir fried greens with plum sauce

to make stir fried greens with plum sauce, you’ll need:

  • 200g dried noodles
  • 150g broccoli florets
  • 1 onion, sliced thickly
  • 3cm piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 pak choi (or 2 baby pak choi), chopped roughly
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp plum sauce (3 syns)
  • 1 red chilli, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 100ml chicken stock
  • 2 tsp cornflour (1 syn), dissolved in 2 tbsp chicken stock

to make stir fried greens with plum sauce, you should:

  • prepare all of your ingredients beforehand- trust me, it makes things MUCH easier
  • cook the noodles according to the instructions – drain and set aside
  • heat a large frying pan or wok over a medium-high heat and add a little oil
  • stir fry the broccoli and onion for about two minutes
  • add the ginger, garlic and pa choi and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes
  • add the plum sauce, soy sauce and chilli and cook for another two minutes
  • add the stock and the dissolved corn flour and stir for about half a minute until it all thickens up
  • add the noodles to the pan and stir to combine everything
  • serve!

Easy!

J

 

slimming world breakfast muffins

No, sadly not breakfast muffins that are full of blueberries or chocolate that you already slick around your mouth, causing embarrassment. Honestly, have a word. These breakfast muffins are savoury and apparently perfect for breakfast on the go. That’s an alien concept to me, not least because I’d hate to get into the lift at work with parmesan in my beard and four eggs on my breath. It’s one thing I’m always paranoid about – being smelly. There’s so little excuse to honk of BO or to have breath that can bleach hair, and I’m always going to great lengths to avoid that. I’ve got mouthwash in the car for example so after lunch, I give myself a quick rinse and let everyone on the office think I’m a secret alcoholic. But, if perhaps you’ve got your breakfast routine down pat, you’ll enjoy these muffins.

Posting very early today as we’re about to go out and deliver leaflets, after I somewhat rashly promised my consultant that we’d deliver 400, forgetting that on a weekend the amount of exercise Paul and I do amounts to exactly diddily-fucking-squat. I only said I’d deliver them because a) I like my consultant and b) I absolutely love nebbing in people’s windows and gardens. I drove past our old house in Gosforth just a couple of days ago and I was pleased to see that the shit landlord had yet to fix the drainpipe that hung over the window or even taken the space invader that we stencilled onto the front door. To be fair, we got revenge for his absolutely abysmal upkeep of the property and taking advantage of two young, naïve lads – we always used to put our cigarettes down the drain by the back window. By my calculations, given we were both on twenty a day, I reckon that’s at least four thousand little Swan filters blocking his pipes and tainting the water supply. No wonder the water used to run brown. I’ve given up now, mind. What-am-I-like. Don’t feel too bad for him, he was an absolute monster and a fibber who didn’t look after his properties. I had never seen load-bearing black mould until then.

So yes, the recipe!

slimming world breakfast muffins

to make breakfast muffins, you’ll need:

  • four large eggs
  • your HEA of any cheese you like, but the stronger the better
  • 300g of fat-free cottage cheese
  • good pinch of salt and pepper

That will make the basic muffin mixture – it’s not an exact science, either, just combine a bit more cottage cheese if it’s looking slack or crack another egg into it. You can chuck anything into these, so just use what you have – I added:

  • chopped baby leeks
  • chopped peppers
  • chopped bacon (leave out for veggie)
  • chopped tomatoes (if you’re using tomatoes, squeeze out the seeds first – just use the flesh)
  • chopped enokitake mushrooms

Really though, this is a good opportunity to use up all that shite cluttering the bottom of the fridge. I can’t really do a recipe because it’s genuinely just mix everything into a bowl, put into muffin cases and cook until they’re nice and firm and brown. I often find that with Slimming World muffins/quiches they come out as though someone’s cooked them in the sea – over-salted and wetter than Jordan checking into a Premier Inn with a footballer. If you cook off anything with a lot of moisture, like mushrooms or leeks, you’ll be OK. I cooked mine for around forty minutes on 180 degrees, just keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t catch. Also, if you’re using muffin cases, you’ll need to give them a spray first with Frylight or olive oil. If the egg leaks, it’ll dry like cement. They’ll cheerfully keep for a couple of days and they freeze well.

Enjoy! And if you’re in the Gosforth area, keep an eye open for two smartly-dressed fat blokes nosing around your garden and tutting at your poor choice of hallway wallpaper. 

J

honey and heat noodles

We’re out tonight – so PREVIOUSLY SAVED RECIPE ACTIVATE. We won’t let you down! We’re aiming hard not to miss the 85 recipes a day before Christmas but sometimes, life overtakes us! Seems fair enough though. If you’re busy and you want something quick and easy, this will do nicely. I know some people find spices difficult – if that’s the case, you could omit the noodles and just dress them with sesame oil, but you’ll need to syn that. Add some quorn for an even better big meal!

This dish takes less than five minutes to prepare.. It’s as simple as this – spices mixed with honey and oil then used to dress noodles. I mean honestly, even you can’t mess that up. This often does us for a quick lunch if neither of us can be arsed to cook – surprisingly often! Just make sure you put it into a decent Tupperware box where the oil won’t leach out and stain the container! You could dress this up by adding some stir-fried vegetables or other such nice things, but honestly, keeping it simple will really pay dividends!

IMG_2121

to make honey and heat noodles, you’ll need:

  • whatever dry noodles you enjoy, as long as they’re syn free
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil (three syns)
  • 1 tbsp of honey (two and a half syns)
  • 1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp of rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of low sodium soy sauce
  • a tsp of peri-peri mix and a 1/4tsp of ground chilli
  • pinch of paprika

to make honey and heat noodles you should:

  • mix together everything but the noodles
  • cook the noodles
  • mix the noodles in with the spices
  • serve!

Christ I’ve got a cheek calling that a recipe but really, it’s quick and tasty. You could bulk it out with tomatoes, onions, meat, anything, but just in its pure form it’s really very nice!

J

syn-free pizza

I’m in a huff. I left work at 5pm and it took me two hours to get home, saying as every single person in the world decided in unison to drive towards Alnwick on the A1. Bumper to bumper traffic and even though I took a diversion seemingly via Northern Ireland, it was still all very stressful. I’ve mentioned so many times about poor drivers that this barely needs a mention but a big FUCK YOU to the tagnut in the Audi behind me all the down the A1, who despite being stuck in EXACTLY the same traffic-jam as I was, spent most of the time bellowing at me in the mirror like he was trying to put out a fire with swearwords. Apologies that my DS3 doesn’t come with a fucking flight pack, you stupid sunset-coloured packet of shit. Oh and whaddya know, when he DID manage to get past, did he indicate? Did he buggery! Audi drivers: you DO have indicators in your car – there’s a big knob in the car to operate them. 

AND BREATHE.

At least when I managed to turn off and the traffic calmed down I was able to take in a bit of scenery and stop for one of those fantastically freeing extravagant pisses that only men can have by the side of a road or tucked down a layby. Admittedly my knowledge of foofs isn’t exactly shit-hot but it’s my understanding that it’s far more difficult for ladies to have a quick tinkle without having to take everything off or risking falling into a nettle patch with a froth of piss around your ankles. Here’s a fun fact for you though – it doesn’t matter how discreet a bloke is, no matter how carefully he parks his car and how far into a bush he goes to have a wee, the very second urine leaves his helmet a car will promptly appear full of children and nuns, leaving him with the unenviable choice of carrying on and causing offence or having to reverse the flow, which let me tell you now, BLOODY HURTS. It’s like trying to fit a washer to a gushing tap. I bet even Neil Armstrong up on the moon nipped behind the lander for a quick Jimmy Riddle only to be met with a rocket full of Russians gazing balefully at him the moment he ‘pulled the cord’. Anyway, it seems fair that men have the upper hand when it comes to weeing, given ladies can have so much fun with their bajingo. If I was a lady, anything I owned that was even slightly cylindrical would have a very glossy patina to it, let me tell you.

I had to go for an x-ray this morning on my shoulder. Nothing exciting I assure you – I’ve got a trapped nerve or something which is making my neck ache and my fingers tingle unnecessarily. Explain to me this – how comes I arrived at 9am for a 9.30am drop-in session only to be met with a veritable sea of lightly shaking old ladies all ahead of me. How? What time did they turn up for that to happen? I mean I appreciate getting an x-ray might be a day out but if they were anything like my nana, you could hold her up to a bright light and see Mint Imperials through her papery skin rattling around her body at the best of times. Ah nana. I tutted and moaned and then remembered they’d fought in the war for me. So I upped the volume of my tutting knowing the shellshocked amongst them wouldn’t be able to hear for their ringing ears.

Actually, it was a very pleasant experience – pulled into a room, told to remove my shirt, complimented on my beard and then blasted with radiation, which before I met Paul was pretty much my average night out. They did give me two heavy bags to hold to ‘pull my shoulder into the correct position’ which, judging by the fucking weight of the bags, was somewhere in Aberdeen. Of course because it was a big brute of a bloke talking to me, I didn’t want to lose face and drop the bags so I had to stand still, grimacing and squinching my eyes together in pain. I bet he told everyone when I left that I was absolutely dying for a shite. Can’t fault the NHS though – doctor told me I needed an x-ray yesterday and it was done by this morning. That’s almost as good as when I went for a private MRI a few years back, where I paid a billion pounds just to leaf through a copy of Home & Country in the waiting room and be called Sir by the receptionist. Actually, thinking about it, two MRIs and two x-rays in however many years…that surely means I’m overdue a superpower or something? I’d be a crap superhero. Captain Mince. The Anal Intruder. Barry Beige. All possible names.

I’ve got to be careful when I’m visiting the doctors or having anything done, because invariably my anxious mind tries to default to the worst case scenario. I was sitting cross-legged watching the TV before and when I got up to discover my left leg had gone to sleep, well, that was it, I’d diagnosed myself with motor neurone disease (and please, I know it’s an awful disease, that’s why I’m scared of it). I’ve already resigned myself to the fact I’ve probably got a spine like a packet of Ritz crackers that someone’s kicked up a flight of stairs, but really, realistically, I’ll have just pinched a nerve swimming and my body is acting accordingly. Oh it is awful being neurotic.

Anyway, only a little entry tonight because it’s time for The Apprentice. I know, I know. I don’t know why I watch it either. I don’t like Karen Brady, I don’t like Alan Sugar and Charles Littner may as well come out in a cape twiddling a moustache to complete the ‘villian’ role. At least Nick was gentle in his absolutely devastating, soul-destroying cutdowns. Charlie Brooker said it best when he described Alan Sugar as looking like a water-buffalo straining to shit in a lake. I still watch it though, so really, who’s the mug?

Tonight’s recipe is a nice simple idea for pizza without the syns. It’s also without the crust and using a giant mushroom – but at least you’re not having to let your trousers out after. We seem to have had quite the run of vegetarian recipes lately. That said, don’t forget our deal with Musclefood – you can buy 2.5kg of chicken for £9 (click here, you’ll need code SMALLCHICKEN) or 5kg for chicken for £19 (click here, you’ll need code BIGCHICKEN). Then there’s also our giant box of meat for only £40 which is enough for so many meals I could weep. You’ll find details of that right here and I very much encourage you to give a go!

syn free pizza

to make a syn-free pizza, you’ll need:

  • four BIG portobello mushrooms – the bigger the better
  • some tomato based sauce that you’ve made – I just sweat (NOT swear) down tomatoes, onion and a bit of garlic and blitz
  • whatever cheese you want
  • whatever veg you want
  • whatever toppings you want
  • whatever you want
  • whatever you like
  • whatever you say you take your money you make your choice

Remember to weigh your cheese etc for HEA and if you’re adding things like chorizo or olives, syn them!

and to make your syn-free pizza, you should:

  • take the stalks out of the mushrooms and scrape out the gills (the little tiny labia like bits around the outside)
  • put in the oven for 5 minutes on 190 degrees to dry out a bit
  • get rid of any excess moisture
  • top however you want
  • bake for twenty five minutes or until it’s golden brown, texture like summer

Of course, if you fancy more pizza, we’ve done a couple:

If you don’t like mushrooms, you could make it with a base of Smash, but for goodness sake don’t let the tweak police know, they’ll pap themselves.

Enjoy!

J

PS: I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but if you’re a fan of the recipe or the post, there are share buttons below – just hit them to share the recipe with your friends and fellow fatties.