Crunchy munchy wraps. Listen, cut me some slack, I can’t think of a better name (and if I’m entirely honest, I’m sure I’ve used that name before somewhere and it’s bugging me enough to make my forehead furrows appear but not enough for me to get off my fat arse and check) and avocado smash wraps makes us sound like dicks. Regular readers will know that we’re fans of the avocado here – despite Slimming World’s nonsense approach – but even I’m sick of seeing it on menus now). Mind, it’s not as bad as people pretending a portobello mushroom is a sound swap for a burger bun or, worse, sliced cauliflower is a substitute for a steak. In what world is that acceptable? I’d sooner eat the stuffing out of my writing chair, and I know how toxic my south-mouth can be.
Perhaps I’m just feeling a bit curmudgeonly because of the heat, though. Perhaps I ought to do some deep breathing and calm down. But see, summer means that when I breathe deeply, I’m rewarded with lungfuls of flower ejaculate that immediately sets about clagging up my nostrils and making my eyes itchy. I also burn ridiculously easily so, although I do currently have a nice golden tan (almost like I’ve been standing next to a wood fire), I know that if I misjudge it my skin will rebel, turn shiny pink and send me scuttling inside to hide in the shadows again. At least with wind and rain you know where you are – pop a coat on if it’s wet, extra layer if it’s cold: not like I can just take my tits off to go outside when it’s sweltering. I genuinely hate summer. Remember in the Teletubbies when they’d wake up and the sun would come out to play, with a creepy baby in the middle gurgling away? That’s my life, only the sun is a drunken Nicki French shouting obscenities at me and calling me fat. Raging, hun.
And I think, if I may, that because I always have the low level irritant of being:
too hot to function without a shiny patina forming on my forehead; and
achingly conscious of the fact that now I’m always in a t-shirt, every time I sit down it’ll ride up and show my arse-crack to the world
that every other little annoyance that may have once glanced over me really hits home.
Even polite gestures are vexing me. We’re still in Chubby Towers Adjacent and there honestly hasn’t been another guest in this hotel who hasn’t been a delight to talk to. One thing I’ve come to realise is that people who smoke are far more interesting than their counterparts (aye, but you non-smokers always have the edge when it comes to blowing up party balloons) given some of the wonderful conversations I’ve been having outside with all and sundry whilst we work on our COPD. Everyone has a story to tell and I’m proper enjoying listening. Didn’t know I could! But what this does mean is that there’s many a time when they’ll do something lovely like holding the lift door open, meaning I have to then waddle-jog over and politely refuse because of the one-household-rule. This then creates that awkward ten seconds where you’re waiting for the lift door to shut so they disappear and you can press the button, and doesn’t that ten seconds feel like a lifetime, having to alternately stare at your shoes, smile wanly at them and going ‘oh ho ho, I’ll get the next one’. Yes, here at this hotel, I cosplay as Santa.
Linked to my mention of hayfever earlier, whilst we’re here, can we have a permanent abeyance on people saying ‘bless you’ after each sneeze? Once is fine – I mean, I can do without it full-stop because I’m fairly confident my sniffles is pollen related and not the fucking plague – but you do you. This wouldn’t ordinarily be so bad save for the fact that when I get going, I’ll sneeze a good six or seven times, which then leads to the person invariably clicking on that they’re going to be there a while and thus ought to go full ham. Bless you! BLESS YOU! BLESS YOU HAHA. BLESS YOU. OOOH DO YOU RECKON YOU COULD DO A FEW MORE BLESS YOU. BLESS YOU. OOOH ONEMOREANDYOU’LLORGASMBLESS YOOOU.
I know you mean well but I’ve had that schtick all my life. Next time it happens I’m going to pull an almighty cum-face and pop a mayonnaise sachet in my pocket. Just one bless you and be gone, thot.
Anyway, that’s quite enough misery. We’ve got something wonderful in the form of these wraps – they’re just something we threw together a few weeks ago for tea to use up all the shite in our cupboard. As ever with our recipes and doubly so with these wraps – fill them with whatever you like. And that’s that. To the crunchy munchy wraps.
Stuff the crunchy munchy wraps how you like. Stuff them with lettuce, herbs, onion, or stuff them up your arse. Either or.
This makes enough for four wraps, or eight halves. Obviously. Lovely and summery these.
Up to you if you syn avocado - Slimming World syn it as something ridiculous and if you're following the plan, you ought to do the same. However, if you're like us, you won't syn it at all and then these are syn free...
one large avocado (14 syns) (hmmm)
a big packet of wafer thin turkey
a selection of small peppers chopped into strips
one small can of chickpeas, drained
pinch of curry powder
juice of one lime
a tablespoon or two of yoghurt
whatever wraps you're allowed
mash the avocado with a good pinch of salt and the lime juice
mash your chickpeas with the yoghurt and curry powder
layer your wrap - chickpeas on the bottom, peppers, wafer thin turkey and then avocado
wrap up and eat
swap out the turkey for ham and add cheese
we tend not to toast our wraps because we're too fat to wait to eat, but these done in a griddle pan would be superb
roll these up and wrap in tin foil - they're good for lunch if made in the morning
our slimming cookbook can be ordered online now – full of 100+ slimming recipes, and bloody amazing, with over 2400 5* reviews – even if we do say so ourselves: click here to order
our new diet planner is out now and utterly brilliant – you can order it here – thank you to everyone so far for the positive feedback!
Hiyaaaaaa! Urgh, stop. Before we get to the super-quick chicken kebab wraps, I’ve got a tale to spin to you. It involves Germany, and it’s a holiday post. If you’re here for the recipe, click the heart below and it’ll dash you straight there. Otherwise, settle in – it’s a long one, but you can take it. Meanwhile, cookbook coming along lovely, thank you: we’re now locked in and ready to go! You can pre-order it here.
Goodness, it’s been a while since I rattled out a holiday post – not because we haven’t been gallivanting, mind you, I’m always working on my suntanned wattle – but it’s been an age since I could sit and type something other than recipes. This holiday post takes us all to Hamburg and is unusual in that I’m combining two separate trips into one. The first time we went was back in April courtesy of srprs.me (more on that later) and I booked the second one in one of my atypical ‘go fuck yourself’ huffs. Some people spend days poring over brochures and cooing at hotels.com before they pick their next adventure – with me, you just need to wait until someone cuts me up on a roundabout or I stub my toe on the settee and I’m straight onto easyjet.com filling in my API with rage-a-tremble fingers.
This trip was our fourth with srprs.me – a simple concept where you pay a travel agent a discreet sum of money and they book you a holiday somewhere exciting and wonderful. You don’t find out until you’re at the airport, where you scratch off a scratchcard, enter a code on their website and find out your gate number and destination. It’s all terrifically exciting and indeed, we videoed our last reveal in the hope of sharing it with you all. However, the 4am start and general rattiness of me being at Newcastle Airport betrayed us and when our destination of Malaga was revealed, I announced ‘for fucks sake, fucking MALAGA’ and promptly knocked my coffee over with that touch of the dramatic I know you all love. In my defence, I was confusing it with some super-rough beach resort that I vaguely remembered seeing on those 90s reality shows like Fingerblasts Uncovered where walking flesh-envelopes of fake-tan spilled Blue WKD into their nethers and gurned to camera.
It was actually a superb place, since I mention it. But no, this trip was to Hamburg, and quite honestly, I knew nothing about the place other than it was in Germany and sounded delicious. A quick google reveals some interesting details: it has one of the largest seaports in the world (I shan’t make an awash with seamen joke), the most bridges of any global city and, every three months, hosts the Hamburger Dom.
Coincidentally, on my second trip, so did I.
It was the trip to the airport on the second trip that bears discussion, so we’ll start there and from now on, I’m just going to flit between the two without further clarification. Our flight was 6.45pm from Manchester Airport and, after a fitful morning, we set away at 12 noon, planning on stopping for lunch somewhere fancy en-route. Six hours to travel 180 miles of motorway – even in a Smart car laden with two fat blokes – surely no problem?
So you’d think. But every single citizen of the United Kingdom had clearly decided to go out for a leisurely crash of their cars at precisely 12.01 and what should have been a simple, uncomplicated jaunt became a nailbiting exercise in clock-watching, screaming myself hoarse at the backs of lorries and listening to Paul’s music. It was the last part that almost finished me off – I’d promised not to say one word about his music in exchange for him doing the long drive (I was tired from having my hair cut) and my god, in all honesty, wrenching the steering wheel from him and swerving us under an Iceland articulated lorry has never been so tempting. So much sad guitar chords and female warbling. The only thing that stopped me was the indignity of being cut out of the wreckage of a Smart car whilst chewing my way through a Sara Lee gateaux that had wedged itself up my arse.
The gates closed promptly at 6.15pm and I’ve seen enough sweaty-jowled businessmen being shouted at on Airline to know easyjet are merciless with their deadlines. For years I’ve watched that programme taking sweet satisfaction from families being denied their holidays or some person missing out on a liver transplant because they’d parked too far away to make check-in, but now I was at risk of missing out, I was manic. We threw our keys at the meet and greet parking people, apologising profusely at 200mph for being in a rush, and sprinted through fast-track security and the departures lounge.
I say sprinted. I don’t sprint. I’ve got good long legs that allow me to move with purpose and my general size and my face all-a-tittylip means people will get out of my face with minimal need for cursing under my breath and punching old folks to the ground. Paul, on the other hand, moves with all the urgency of a man selecting a slice of toast for a weekend breakfast, and I grew ever more furious with him as he delicately tip-toed around folks and ‘ever-so-sorry’ allowed people to get in front. Things came crashing to a head as he slipped over on an incline and fell fat on his face with an almighty moo.
I am, I admit, a terrible person. An awful husband, a cruel lover and a heartless soul. I burst out laughing. My weakness, if you ever need to make me laugh, are random jerky movements and people falling over and hurting themselves. Others watch stand-up, I watch You’ve Been Framed with a smirk and a semi. We didn’t have time to spare so he picked himself up, looked at me with a face that made it clear I’d have to spend twenty minutes later making pained expressions of fake remorse, and off we went. We made it to the gate with one whole minute to spare, according to his now heavily-scuffed smart-watch.
Thank god we made it though, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the subsequent twenty-five minutes of standing at the gate peering at our plane and wondering why we couldn’t get on. That was never explained, though it did give me plenty of time to smile coquettishly and have a mutual eye-wank with a lovely German bear a couple of steps down the queue. Ah, German men. There’s something so alluring about an accent that sounds like they’re coughing up gravel even when they’re “whispering sweet nothings” into the back of your neck.
Our flights were uneventful – prompt, comfortable and with minimal fuss – though my trip was made all the more comfortable by the four gins I downed, ignoring the fact that the bill came to more than I’d paid for our flight ticket. We’re on holiday, such extravagance is to be encouraged. Clearly easyJet has its knockers – she served me the drinks – but damn I love them. We landed, breezed through security in that almost effortless manner we currently enjoy thanks to being part of a fantastic union of shared responsibilities and agreed border processes – what absolute melt would begrudge that – and then we managed about four hundred meters before we sat down and had a sandwich.
See, there’s another reason why we love Germany. So. Many. Sandwiches. I know they all come from the same processing plant and have probably sat there so long you could escape from prison using the bread as a file, but I care not: they’re delicious. It’s like living in a sandwich buffet and I’m all for it. My choice was a sandwich with so much smoked cheese and ham in it that I had to call for special assistance just to lift my fat-ass back out of the seat. My apologies, I should really call him by his first name, Paul.
Paul’s sandwich had an entire section of Lidl pressed into it:
The German public transport system is another joy, once you get around the fact the map looks like a Michael Bay action thriller where some sap has to cut just the right wire to defuse a bomb. I’m sure it’s easy to follow and indeed, after forty minutes sweating, crying and deciphering the beast we managed, we were on our way, but jeez does it make you realise how shit our system is. We’ve got two lines on our Metro system in Newcastle and trains that still have George Stephenson in the cab. But mustn’t grumble: you pay £5.20 to be told by a pleasant soothing voice that the trains are delayed and you can expect to arrive three stops short by the summer equinox.
The hotel that srprs.me had chosen was a delight – the Hotel Jufa, down on the docks. Ostensibly a ‘maritime’ hotel, though the lack of filthy-handed sailors was a disappointment, it was full of ships to play on and curious little tchotchkes alluding to the port. That’s all well and good, but I’m not Alex Polizzi (there was a PUUUUBE, DAAAARLING) (hi Adam) and there’s no need to review the hotel here save to tell you the three most important facts:
the breakfast buffet was plentiful, varied and everything fabulous about a German breakfast;
the room had decent air-conditioning and none of those silly double mattresses which are two normal mattresses zipped together – very important when you’re our combined weight and turning over in your sleep means both beds careering to either end of the room; and
it had a homophobic shower. Seriously, hoteliers, sort your shit out so I can sort mine. Mind, I made the most of it…
Hotel done, we’ll switch to the various activities we took part in – no chronological order, mind you, this isn’t Sherlock.
The Saw Escape Room by EscapeDiem
You know how much we love escape rooms, yes? It had been a while since Original Flavour Paul and I had done one and well, what extra level of tension could having all the instructions in German add?
Turns out, a lot. But: what a fantastic room. Based on the Saw movies, you start off in the bathroom from the movies – filthy toilet (and yep, you need to put your hand in) and all. Clever tricks abound – heat sensitive paints, heartbeat locks, false rooms…all marvellous. Then the twist halfway through: you had to go inside the walls. There was a tiny vent to crawl through – now I’m not claustrophobic so I was generally fine with that – but then you had to loop back over yourself and climb up. They’d built a multi-level maze in the walls in the almost pitch black.
Scary, but doable, yes? Well think of me for a second – I was lodged in a wall, barely able to move, with Paul – all many, many stone of him – perched right above me with only a thin sheet of plywood holding him up. It wasn’t Jigsaw or being stuck I was scared of but rather being reduced to atom-wide jam by the weight of the clumsiest fucker alive crashing down on me. It actually felt like a Saw movie, especially when I slashed Paul’s throat for getting the combination wrong at the end. Lolz – caught up in the moment wasn’t I! We escaped the room with a couple of minutes to go and our already strained marriage in tatters.
A museum devoted to life in miniature: sounds deadly dull, but it was bloody brilliant. Tonnes and tonnes of teensy-tiny recreations of cities with working trains and tiny interactive models: we loved it. Me for the sheer mechanics and level of detail, Paul because he actually felt like a normal sized human for once. I galloped through like Glumdalclitch’s daddy, Paul went tip-toeing through the roses, letting himself into the matchbox-sized houses and taking a breath on a bench made from four cocktail sticks and a pin.
He’s not even that short, you know, but it makes a change from the fat jokes. Poor Paul, I love him really.
It was fun though: I’m all for an exhibit where there’s buttons to press and this place was awash with them. For example, you pressed a button and a tiny version of a concert started playing, complete with miniature lighting rigs and hundreds of wee humans bobbing to the beat. There was a scale version of Hamburg Airport with planes taking off (disappearing neatly behind a curtain of cloud) (cotton wool) and if you pressed the button and waited, a UFO would touch down. I mean, haway! If that was the UK, each exhibition would have an out of order sign and the only buttons you could press would be on the chip-and-pin machine as you paid your £44 entrance fee.
Actually, the UK was represented with a tiny version of London, replete with lots of top-hat wearing guards and a ding-donging Big Ben. Newcastle wasn’t featured, which was a shame, because I’d have loved to have pressed a button and seen Gemma-Marie, Marie-Marie and Lisa-Marie rolling around pulling each other’s hair in a puddle of their own foamy piss. As I said, the attention to detail was really quite terrific.
Now, honestly, we’re almost at 2000 words. Let’s cut it short there and come back another day.
You came for the quick and easy chicken kebab wraps, didn’t you? Who could blame you? We’ve seen loads of hot-takes on our recipe for chicken doner kebabs, but this is the easiest one yet. Inspiration came from quite genuinely the best fast food we’ve ever had, pushed down into our gullets at 4am on a crisp Hamburg morning. Because I was drunk and a walking horn at this point, it was a case of finding anywhere that was open, dispensed food and was staffed by sultry looking men with a kebab shaver. Wasn’t hard to come across one, though we did have to pretend it was raita when a customer came in. This is something that takes no time to throw together – you could probably make a marinade yourself with lots of ingredients but honestly, pick one of these sauces up for 60p and hoy it in the cupboard for when you just can’t be arsed.
We've done wraps so many times over, and make no apology for it. If you're controlled and sensible you can keep a load of wraps in the freezer and defrost as needed - then chuck any old shite in there. The sweet raita is what makes this dish though - don't be afraid to get it made. This makes loads - freeze any leftover meat! Enjoy our chicken kebab wraps!
For the wraps:
whatever wraps SW have decreed syn-free as your healthy extra
five chicken thighs
one packet of Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli & Garlic Stir Fry Sauce (10 syns)
one small red onion
one small white cabbage
half a cucumber (if you're looking for something to do with the other half, pop it up your blurter)
For the sweet raita:
250g fat free greek yoghurt
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp mint sauce
pinch of salt
dice up your chicken thighs into very small chunks - doesn't need to be uniform, but go nice and small
marinate the chopped thighs in the sauce and leave as long as you like
when it's time to eat, tip the marinated chicken into a hot pan and cook it quickly - keep stirring so it doesn't stick, but you want the sauce to get nice and sticky
whilst that's cooking, shred your cabbage, thinly slice the onion and chop your cucumber
make your wraps by adding a slick of raita to the wrap, add your meat, chopped veg and wrap away!
speed this up by using shop-bought raita
this makes enough for four big wraps with plenty of chicken left over - you can freeze the chicken once cooked
we served ours in a folded up naan bread, but we don't count our syns with bread
if you have some time, pop the sliced onion and cabbage in a bowl with some vinegar for twenty minutes - it'll soften the cabbage and take the sting from the onion - just rinse everything off before you serve
Chicken taco wraps! Remember we’re old school here at twochubbycubs. We use wraps for making wraps as opposed to making apple pies and panty liners with them. But if you want the recipe for chicken taco wraps, you’ll need to hold onto your nonny for a second because, as usual, nonsense follows! Scroll down to the food photos if you’re not quite ready for me to spice up your life with my shenanigans.
First, a gentle reminder. We have a cookbook coming out – 100 recipes of slimming classics (but none of the use sweetener, use fry-light shite) that’ll help you see your bajingo again when you’re naked. They won’t let us use that as a strapline. It’s coming along terrifically and we promise it’ll scratch the itch you have. Which saves you buying natural yoghurt, which be fair, you’d only eat anyway. Click to pre-order and say you’ll be there at launch day!
Happy Father’s Day, everyone! Usually I’d write a post about my dad but he’s terribly shy and stoic and wouldn’t enjoy the fuss, and this isn’t a love thing, so I’ll just say that he’s an amazing dad who never once rolls his eyes when his 34 year old son rings him because he needs a washer changing or a shelf putting up. By the same token, our mutually respectful relationship means I don’t judge him too vociferously for not turning the keypad noises off on his phone or watching him stab at the iPad like a chicken hunting corn. He’s always been there for me, providing me with a haunting visage of the looks I can expect when I hit sixty. Thank God my deleterious lifestyle choices will shuffle me into the Earth by 54 at best.
Anyway, how have you all been? Well? I’m asking as though I’ll read the replies when you all holler. It’s been terrifically busy at Chubby Towers – the disadvantage of writing a cookbook is that we’re having to cook so many new recipes and write them up that I’ve barely had time for my nine hour daytime naps and ‘let’s have another round of The Office, seasons 2-7’. It’s a chore being us. But we’ve managed to fit a few exciting things in, one of which was a trip to see the Spice Girls.
Well, one of us. Spice Girls is to Paul what water is to a rabid dog, so he bailed out after eight months of me geeing him along and instead, Paul II replaced him. There was no chance he wouldn’t do it – Spice Girls is to Paul II what water is to a chip pan fire, if I may torture that analogy for a second more. A hotel was secured, a train driver was cautioned that he would be dragging especially heavy cargo and I managed to accidentally leave work early by 28 minutes, so all was well. I say that, the plan was for me to come home, pick up my stuff and be straight out, but I got collared by one of the (very few) sweet neighbours on our street who asked me to nip her back passage and take a look at her abelia bush.
Frankly, it was the best offer I’d had all day and I needed practice at making the elderly happy, so off I went. She kept me there for thirty minutes despite my ‘must get on’ and ‘time goes by’ schtick but honestly, she was so lovely and a proper nana that I didn’t want to go. I did point out that it was nearly the weekend, love, but she didn’t pick up on it – I was wasting my time. I’ve been hankering for a substitute nana since mine was Endgamed and she could be the one. Although she didn’t have a television operating at Chernobyl-disaster levels of volume so I’m not sure. Once I managed to get away I quickly shaved my noggin and off I went.
The trip to the Stadium of Light was an ordeal and a half, not least because as someone with (albeit the faintest possible trace) Newcastle United running through my veins (thanks to my parents), it feels wrong. This was compounded by the Metro carriage being full of loud, shrieking Geordies wearing lip-readable skirts singing all the wrong words to every Spice Girls song they could imagine. Paul II is quick to anger and I could see the rage building in his yellow eyes and, as for me, I would have been glad of a tunnel so I could pop my head out of the window and shave away my ears at 60mph on the brickwork. It was a long journey, though livened up by Paul II’s surprise that the North East has a) fields and b) horses. Well aye: we always need somewhere to knock together a Catherine Cookson adaptation at a moment’s notice if Robson Green’s gas bill needs paying.
After a slow walk of life to the stadium (Paul II has weak knees, I have thick thighs) where we were accompanied by a lass telling us she had shaved her whisker biscuit for a Nelly concert, we found our seats. I’d picked spectacular seats for sure, even if they were high enough in the stands to require oxygen. Well, ticketmaster did – we were sat down above the entrance with an unobstructed view and even better, nothing in front of us bar a precipitous drop and a view of everyone’s dandruff as they wandered in. I was dispatched to find alcohol because once Paul II has sat down it’s a four man job to get him up again and I’m delighted to report that I politely asked them to move over and only managed to stand on eight feet on the way. I’m told she’ll walk again but her dancing career is fucked. That’ll be the last time, lover.
The concert was terrific, mind you. Absolutely mint. People had been making pointed comments at me for a couple of weeks about sound quality but come on, for four ladies in their seventies they did an absolutely cracking job. All the classics with a load of album tracks in the middle which I sang along to despite not knowing the words or the key. But when does that ever stop this boy with song in his heart? You have to sing if you can’t dance! I admit to my Emotional Response Unit faltering a shade when Viva Forever kicked in and everyone was singing. I may have got wet eyes, much like Paul II when Let Love lead The Way came on and everyone picked up Posh’s bits. I was schooled by Paul II who knows every single word to every single Spice Girls song and who also sang along, which must have been a treat for everyone around us to have two giant gay bears bellowing and screaming like cows in a Foot and Mouth fire.
Oh! Something kinda funny happened though – events were livened up still further by a fight breaking out a few rows behind us between a few lasses who all had the look of ladies who know where the best local dogfights are held. The video is worth a watch, if only to see the chunky mama in green fall down between the concrete of the row and the seats in front like the thick blue line in Tetris. She was escorted out by all manner of chaps in hi-vis (when they came sprinting up the stairs next to me I thought one of my wishes had come true and instinctively started pushing out) (though I wouldn’t be the first person to leave that stadium suckered to their chair like a Garfield toy on the window of a Vauxhall Zafira; the dancers were very handsome indeed) and that was that. Fancy fighting at a Spice Girls concert though. Listen, girls – who do you think you are? We’re all sore Posh was too busy clipping out her ingrown toenail to turn up, but keep your shit together – the lady is a vamp, remember, and she has David Beckham to enjoy.
Any sense of excitement and joy was immediately tempered by the queue for the Metro though. In an astonishing bit of not-like-me, I’d forgotten that 50,000 people would be trying to get home. Naturally, as we had taken our leisurely time leaving (stopping for a piss in the gents only to be confronted by what looked like the Saturday night divas from the bingo hall all sitting in the urinal) (thankfully, though only just, sitting not a typo) we were position number 49,890 in the queue. We contemplated trying to wave down the Spice Bus but it didn’t happen, so we pooled our resources and found the most expensive Uber trip ever back to town and told him to take me home. Traffic was bumper to bumper and I was bursting for a piss – I had tears in my eyes at the end that had nothing to do with the optimistic Magic Tree hanging on the dash. Taxi driver was a treat though – complimented my glittery bear shirt and everything. Right back at ya, driver!
Paul II also stayed for the day after and we filled it with food and escape rooms. I’m saying absolutely nowt about our performance in the second escape room because honestly, it’s not worth my life. Ah balls to it – I wanna be honest. We escaped with ten seconds to spare, and in our defence the very last action of the room involved an actual sprint to the exit. We were doomed from the start, not least when Paul II had to get down with me to retrieve all the balls I’d spilled on the floor. But we performed admirably, with absolutely no mistakes made.
And that was that! Spice Girls concert done with my mate and a great couple of days away from looking at a computer screen with bile in my eyes. When the Spice Girls come back for their eighty-seventh reunion tour, be sure to see them if you wanna have some fun. They’ll never give up on the good times, it wasn’t certainly wasn’t too much and there is no denying – they were so much better than I hoped!
To be honest, calling this a recipe is a bit cheeky - but you know sometimes you just want a quick dinner? This is one of those meals. Grill the chicken however you like it - add some spice, if you prefer, but I like it naked. This is meant to show you how quickly you can make something up!
4 wholemeal wraps (use your HEB)
2 chicken breasts
8 tbsp salsa (4 syns)
4 tbsp guacamole (6 syns)
180g reduced fat mozzarella (use your HEA)
chopped iceberg lettuce
This makes enough for four wraps, one each, 2.5 syns! But I appreciate it's hard to stop with wraps, so don't be surprised if two become one!
cook the chicken however you like - we grilled ours in an Optigrill
lay out the wraps and dollop 2 tbsp of salsa mix and guacamole onto each one and spread out (like you're topping a pizza)
sprinkle over the chopped lettuce and diced chicken and top with the grated mozzarella
Tortilla pie awaits you at the bottom, under all this guff. Do be a love and take a look.
Yes, we’re back.
It seems fitting that not long after Cher announces her comeback, we make a triumphant return. Listen, I’m robotic, tuneless, ageless and popular with those light in the loafers, but you don’t need to pay £600 to hear me blasting out Believe. I’ll do it for a pack of Frazzles and a quick punch of my backdoor by your husband.
You know they say the road to hell is full of good intentions? Ours certainly is: we fully intended to come back with new recipes after Canada…and we did, briefly, but then we buggered off to Tokyo. Then Christmas necessitated full concentration as we worked on turning ourselves spherical. Our road isn’t full of good intentions so much as it has many lay-bys and each one of them has a Hungarian lorry driver in it who is missing his wife. You know what it’s like – you get your head down, close your eyes and poof – three months have gone by.
How are we? Let’s touch on a few of the regular beats of this blog and I’ll update accordingly. Paul and I are fine: both still fattened by Christmas, not sleeping enough and spending far too much money on trinkets and holidays. We continue on our merry-go-round-and-round of ‘fresh starts’ and ‘let’s get healthy’ but it always dissolves the very second trade comes over who smells faintly of takeaway. I’m a sucker for a fat kebab, after all. We’ve had adventures: thrown ourselves off the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, broke a robot in Tokyo, powerminced around the CN Tower in Canada, Paul’s pregnancy scare – but here we are at the start of 2019 in the unusual position of having nothing planned for the year ahead. I say that, we’ve got bootcamp starting next week so at least I can look forward to a trip in an ambulance and six months of hearing my mother desperately trying to convince the doctors to turn off my life-support. Cheers Christine, but it’s only a sprained ankle.
Tell you one thing though: I still feel old. I’ve never been one for navel-gazing – not least because my navel is currently hidden by my festive tits – but boy oh boy. I’ll be 34 this year, and that means it’s the last year where I can stay in the 25-34 field when signing Paul’s life insurance documents. This is terrifying to me. Assuming my lifestyle of sitting down at any given opportunity and counting crisps as a five-a-day because potatoes grow in the ground catches up with me, I can probably realistically expect to live to just 68. I’m halfway through my life and all I have to show for it is a nice house, many holidays a year and a fabulous beard (his name is Paul). Truly I am cursed. A friend of mine uses the question ‘how many partners have you had in the last three months’ during his visit to the clap-clinic as a measure of his success in life, I use how many months closer to the grave I am. However, I’m not letting this continuing existential crisis bother me, I promise – just a quick quiet sob in the lift at work when I realise my beard is streaked not with manschpackle but the salt-‘n’-pepper that comes to all men.
I asked Paul how he’s feeling and he said he’s alright. That’s the problem with Paul – he paints with words and it’s sometimes so difficult to pin down exactly what he means.
It’s a new year and whilst I’m not given over to making resolutions, I’ve made 4.
Family is fine – parents are working feverishly to make sure I don’t have any inheritance left and, out of the shrapnel that might fall out of my mother’s jackboots (who knew that the Wehrmacht catered for a size 2 shoe?), most of it will be going to my nephew. Tsssk. I know adopting a child out of sheer avariciousness is wrong but if it helps me get my hands on the family silver (the foil in my mother’s Lambest and Bitler) then maybe it’s an option. Gives me something to entertain myself with in between Switch releases.
Work continues ever onwards.
Neighbours – we’re still disliked as though we’ve personally been in each house and walked dog-shit into the carpet. We’ve been here five years and whilst there’s a few lovely ones, we still get all manner of shitty looks whenever we go outside. We get told (and we promptly ignore) where to park our cars, how to cut our garden and what flowers to plant. It’s all so presumptuous – I don’t knock on their doors to give them a guide to douching, although given how full of crap they are it might not be such a bad thing.
And finally, the blog itself. What started as a vanity project for my recipes has become a behemoth and a millstone, but in a mostly good way. We’ve got a few surprises coming down the line which I’M STILL NOT BLOODY ALLOWED TO TALK ABOUT, and lots to say!
Going forward, the plan is a weekly article and recipe, with the odd recipe sprinkled in when we can find the time. This way, you get regular updates but I don’t get myself a nervous breakdown trying to come up with my eightieth euphemism for vagina that night. Kid-shitter. Front-bum. Pink demon. This should also cut down on the sheer amount of idiots who message us whingeing about recipes or asking us to explain the plan in minute detail. I’d sooner rather listen to Ed Sheeran breathing heavily in my eye whilst his ginger beard dances across the back of my neck than have to spend ten more minutes trying to decipher what Shirley ‘School of Hard Knocks’ from Runcorn means by ‘cnt av pastargh hussband on fire owminty syns in tuffpast‘. You don’t know the toll it takes on a man to have 128 notifications of a morning and only three of them from bears with the rest of the notifications being from dinner ladies who should know better. I swear 40% of you only joined Slimming World because they spell sins as ‘syns’ and you thought you’d found a kindred spirit in The Fearless Leader Bramwell.
Kidding. Love you really. Let’s do the recipe then, shall we? Tortilla pie. Dead easy.
You have no idea how much I love Nigella Lawson. There's something about her tremendous hair, elegant way of chatting and her ability to eat absolutely everything with style that warms me to her. This is from her At My Table book, which I heartily recommend if you want to sit with your tongue hanging out. This takes less than five minutes to make and 15 minutes to cook - one of the easiest breakfasts we've ever made. Thank you Nigella!
This makes enough for two people. Cook it, cut it in half.
two wraps - make sure they're the HEB allowance, which changes every single time Margaret runs out of ultra-clutch Elnett - currently the Weight Watchers white wraps are free - racist
80g of extra mature cheese (40g being a HEA for one person, but in BOLD NEWS, you're allowed two healthy extras now - so feel free to double up the cheese again!)
as much cooked ham as you like
pinch of sea salt
optional: add a splash of hot sauce, some slices of tomato, spring onions...anything you like
ooooh, fuck that, add bacon - all the bacon
get yourself a wee sandwich tin and either Frylight it or use a drop or two of oil
squeeze one of the wraps into it, making a small bowl
drop in the ham, crack in the eggs (don't break the eggs up, you want what looks like a fried egg) and add a pinch of salt onto the eggs
add any extras and add a third of the cheese
frylight or use a drop of oil to brush over the second tortilla and place it oil side up on top - pinch it down around the sides
add all the cheese in the world and a good squirt of hot sauce on the top if you want it
bake it in the oven until the cheese is cooked and the wrap has brown and risen up on the side
serve with beans
Nigella's book, At My Table, is full of delicious recipes - you can't make them all syn free of course, but damn it, spend your syns on delicious food. There's a reason Nigella looks so good and it isn't eating crap food. It's on Amazon for around a tenner
Syn-free chicken doner kebab wraps! Yes! We’ve got a fantastic streak of recipes coming down the line and this is just the beginning – proper ‘naughty’ food, and yes, I cringed too writing that.
I’m not going to keep you too long, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve found a butch new past-time – boxing! Well past-time might be overselling it but we’ve just done a boxing class at boot camp and I bloody loved it. I suppose there was always a certain inevitability that I’d enjoy being pummelled in the ring by someone more tattoo than man but still. N0, none of that business, just a few boxing moves in the darkness.
One thing that it brought to light was how terrible I am at throwing a punch – but see, I’m a lover, not a fighter. I prefer to cuddle, but that’s frowned upon, especially when everyone is sweaty. When it was my turn to be the ‘puncher’ I really struggled to work out the technique until, miraculously, that annoying little ‘What’s A Computer?’ shitrat’s face appeared on the pads in front of me and I absolutely leathered them. It felt great! All that anger being released in a safe and controlled fashion, rather than coming out in the form of the spittle dripping down my windscreen. In my head I felt like Conor McGregor, but I’m sure in the harsh light of the gym I was more John Prescott when he got hit by an egg.
I could have cheerfully carried on punching but we had to switch roles (it’s OK, I’m gay, it’s a routine part of our existence: sometimes you’re Jim Henson, sometimes you’re Kermit) and it was my turn to block the punches. That’s fine when it’s Paul and his brittle wrists but when you’ve got people with arms like oil pipelines, it becomes terrifying. All I’m saying is that it’s probably quite hard for the leader to keep up the macho, aggressive atmosphere when you’ve got a big fat mincer shrieking ‘mind me teeth! MIND ME TEEEEEETH‘. Aaaah, good times.
There is a downside to the whole experience – slipping on a pair of communal gloves that have been used for eight classes previously that day…was grim. I felt like I was fisting an especially lubed bumhole. Now: I’m going to tell you something but because it’s super rude, I’m going to a) hide it in white text so you’ll need to highlight it and b) suggest that anyone prudish scrolls to the next paragraph. Don’t say you weren’t warned!
Wondering how I know what fisting someone feels like? Because I did it accidentally. I had met someone for – let’s not be polite here – casual sex (long before I met Paul) and one aspect of gay sex is that usually, you’ve got to apply a fair bit of lube. That’s fine, I was oiling his keyhole when he pushed back without warning, sending my whole fist and half my forearm up his arse, the way a vet does to a cow when he’s trying to deliver a difficult calf. He didn’t even flinch. I’m not into this at all, but what the hell do you do in that situation? It didn’t so much kill my mood as tear it wide open and leave it gaping. I pulled out my fist, checked I still had my ring on (he didn’t) and apologised profusely. He was fine about it, but there was no fucking way I was following it up – I’ve got nowt to be ashamed of, but I’d hate to meet the man who can compete with the girth of his own balled-up fist. I made an excuse (my arm looks like a giant fizzy cola bottle, THANKS) and legged it.
Legend has it that if you listen carefully, in the right conditions, you can actually hear Ben from Hartlepool’s arse whistling in the breeze even now.
You’re back! We’re going to buy our own set and one of those wee mannequins that you can punch about the room without fear of being sent to jail. I might stick Little Mo’s face on it from Eastenders and pretend I’m Trevor. Man, I used to have such a thing for him, which I know is terrible: he was a monster, but I wouldn’t mind being face-down in his gravy, I can promise you.
Anyway, on that charming note, to the recipe! We’ve adapted this from recipetineats which is a fantastic site – if you haven’t visited yet go there now!
to make chicken doner kebab wraps you will need:
8 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
half a red cabbage, finely sliced
half an iceberg lettuce, chopped
1 red onion, sliced
1 tbsp tabasco sauce (or any hot sauce)
4 WeightWatchers low fat white wraps (4x HeB)
for the marinade
250g fat-free natural yoghurt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1½ tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper (or hot chilli powder)
1½ tsp onion granules
½ tsp black pepper
2½ tbsp tomato puree
1½ tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
for the yoghurt and mint sauce
100g fat-free natural yoghurt
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp mint sauce
top tips for chicken doner kebab wraps
we had lettuce, cabbage, onion and tabasco sauce in our kebab but you can have whatever you like!
cooking in the oven will give you the best results but if you can’t be arsed you can also do them under the grill – just be careful they don’t burn and make sure they’re cooked in the middle
a Tefal Optigrill will also make light work of this – just press the ‘Chicken’ button and cook until the light is yellow/orange, turning once or twice halfway through
you really want chicken thighs for this one – you could use breasts, but they might go a bit dry
don’t be shy when stuffing your wrap – you’ll probably have quite a bit of meat left over – this makes LOADS
to make chicken doner kebab wraps you should:
in a large bowl mix together all of the marinade ingredients
add the chicken and mix to coat well
cover the bowl in cling film and leave to marinade in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or ideally overnight
in another bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients and leave in the fridge until you need it
preheat the oven to 220°c
find a baking tray that’s the right size so that you can sit the skewers for the next bit on either side – a pyrex dish is perfect for this
remove the chicken thighs from the marinade and divide into two piles
fold the chicken thighs over and push onto two parallel skewers – think about those horrible ice lollies you had with two sticks – that’s the kind of thing you’re after. use two skewers for each pile, so you’ll end up with two big kebabs
sit the ends of the skewers on the edge of the dish so that the meat doesn’t touch the bottom – you don’t want to lose any of that tasty marinade!
bake in the oven for 35 minutes, then turn and bake for another twenty minutes
remove from the oven and then carefully stand them up on a chopping board, and slice thinly
open up a wrap and fill with your chosen toppings
add the chicken, drizzle over any sauces, fold over the wrap and eat
make it tastier by toasting the wrap first in a griddle pan or Optigrill!
Or, to put it simply: marinade your chicken, skewer it and cook it in the oven – easy.
That’s a wrap! Oh noes, my sides. If you love wraps as much as we do, have a look at some of our other recipes!
Stuffed Greek wraps in but a moment. Are you missing us? Like the desert misses the rain? Well, don’t worry, we’ll be back soon, but in the meantime our Christmas clear out continues ahead of next year! Lots of random recipes that we’ve never had the time to post are here for your viewing pleasure with the added bonus of minimal to non-existent guff before the recipes! You can customise these however you want but I was inspired by spanakopita, which is my favourite Greek dish after the hairy-necked beast who runs the Greek salad shop in Newcastle. Oh my: he could certainly invade my Ottoman area, am I right ladies? Makes enough for four.
to make stuffed greek wraps you will need:
4 Weight Watchers white wraps (4x HeB)
2 spring onions, finely chopped
65g reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled (1x HeA)
25g sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (1.5 syns – soak in hot water for 20 minutes to plump them up. The ones in oil are higher in syns so be sure to check if you’re using those instead)
spread half of the spinach mixture over a wrap and top with another plain one – do the same again for the other and press down a little bit
cook for a couple of minutes, turn the edge over every now and again to make sure it isn’t burning. once it’s nice and golden carefully flip and cook the other side. do the same again with the other one
cut into quarters and eat! Remember, two quarters is your HEB choice as that’s a whole wrap.
Oh god, we’ve succumbed. We’re giving in to the tidal wave of barely-literate posts about using Weight Watchers wraps for all sorts of things, from Cornish pasties to incontinence knickers, and making our own recipe for the Greggs festive bake. Well: a Slimming World friendly take on it. If you’re not familiar with what a Greggs festive bake is, let me clarify for you: it’s what mothers who are more earring than human push into their toddler’s mouths instead of a sausage roll at Christmas-time. You’ve got to make an effort for the bairns, after all. If that analogy is a little too mean-spirited for you, swap it out for this one: Greggs is responsible for at least 93% of the crumbs you see stuck in the corner of Northern folks’ mouths. Barely a sentence can be finished in Newcastle without someone opening their mouth and:
Greggs opening a new shop in there; or
half a stottie falling out.
To put that into perspective, there’s over 29 Greggs stores in Newcastle alone. Hell, there’s even an outlet shop on the West Road that sells their leftover stock off cheaply. I mean, that’s commitment to earning a crust, no?
Anyway, the Festive Bake – a combination of stuffing, chicken, cranberry, pastry, heart disease and I think onion, superheated until it is hotter than the surface of the sun – causes much excitement up here. People talk about the arrival of the festive bake as if it’s the second coming of Jesus – my facebook is awash with people getting a froth on when they go on sale because it heralds the arrival of Christmas. We don’t buy into it – no disrespect to Greggs, but I refuse to go in since they stopped keeping things warm.
Nevertheless, we’re all about giving you what you want, so please, find the recipe below. Before we get to that, though, I wanted to draw your attention to this:
We absolutely nailed it – our revised target was £3,000, and we’ve done it – if we can get it up to £3,200 that means that, with Gift Aid, we’re donating £4,000 to a charity that means the world to us! If you can find a spare quid to donate, please do! As an addendum to that plea, just a word of FUCK YOU to the person who left us a comment bemoaning that we are asking for money. You don’t need to donate, you don’t need to share, you don’t need to do diddly-squat – but we’re not getting a penny of this money, we’re not doing it for us, and anyway, it’s our blog. If you have a problem with the infrequent (and only temporary) Christmas charity requests, you can kiss the most tainted part of my ring! We’re never going to apologise for doing good.
Anyway, hush. No negativity! The recipe makes enough for four.
to make a Greggs style festive bake, you’ll need:
two big fat chicken breasts;
a nice pack of bacon medallions;
one big fat white onion;
330g of Philadelphia lightest (3x HEA) (you might want to use Quark, but please, have some dignity)
4x Weight Watchers white wraps – can’t find them in the shops? No need for tears: just swap out for wraps of near enough the same nutritional content – 1 wrap is a HEB choice
1 tsp dried sage if you’re common, or, if you’re as bent as a butcher’s hook like me and have a herb garden, a few leaves of fresh sage
1 tsp of garlic powder
2 tbsp of cranberry sauce (we use the Tesco Finest cranberry because we’re classy, which works out at 4 syns)
Paxo stuffing mix – we use 25g of made-up stuffing in this recipe – to be honest, with the added sage, you could cheerfully leave it out, but we’re all about being authentic – 25g is 1.5 syns
So, assuming I haven’t had a mild brain injury, that works out at 5.5 syns. For the sake of argument, we’ll call the bakes 1.5 syns and get on with it.
dice up the chicken, bacon, onion and fingertips – you want everything roughly the same size
can’t be arsed with all that knife work – then throw it all in a blender and roughly pulse – you want uniformity, you do not want a puree
squirt a few squirts of oil into a hot pan – use Frylight if you must, but honestly, you’re better off using Castrol 4-Stroke than that muck
cook everything off, adding the garlic and sage as it heats through, until the chicken is cooked, the onion softened and the bacon a bit crispy
if you’re using fresh sage, just chuck the leaves in whole but remember to take them out before you stuff the pasties
once all is cooked, stir in the Philadelphia, plenty of salt and pepper, stuffing (if using) and cranberry sauce on a low heat – it’ll soften down and bring everything together – maybe add a touch of chicken stock if you think things are a bit claggy,
allow to cool – we actually put ours in the fridge overnight to settle but that’s not necessary
stuff your wrap: put the wrap in front of you, place the filling in a rectangle in the middle, then fold in your flaps so the meat doesn’t fall out
brush with egg or milk, top with some black pepper and if you’re feeling saucy, a grating of Parmesan, throw them onto a non-stick baking tray then stick in the oven to cook for maybe 25 minutes – keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn
serve with an ambulance on stand-by
Delicious! These freeze really well too!
Don’t forget you can share our recipes by clicking on the buttons at the bottom of the page, and, if you need more ideas, you’ll find them right here:
Expecting fancy Slimming World prawn cocktail wraps? But of course you are – who wouldn’t? It’s a rare recipe of ours that uses seafood AND gasp, barricade your front door, we’re also using avocado. You’ll get people who refuse to syn avocado – we’re two of them, actually – but I’ve counted the syns on here for ease.
Now, because we’re trying to make it easier for folks who just want to go straight to the recipe and avoid all the (hopefully) funny bits, we’re including a button on the longer entries to make it easier for you. If you just want the recipe, go ahead and click on the OLD BAG and you’ll be taken straight there.
Pfft, what a poor sport! Right, let’s crack on with our holiday at home in Newcastle! Last time you we were us we were full of food and ale from The Tyne Pub. The day continues…
Full as a bull’s bum and more than a little tipsy, we careered gently into the road and along the quayside to the Baltic, a world-class art gallery built inside an old flour factory.
You may recall that neither of us put much stock in art galleries – we’re about as cultured as the fluff in your belly button – but by god we try in the hope that one day we’ll have an epiphany. A chin-stroking, soiled-corduroy wearing epiphany. It didn’t happen. There was an exhibition…in fact, fuck it, have a look for yourself:
I mean, come on – I know I’m a complete philistine but that’s just shite, isn’t it? It looks like the far reaches of a factory explosion. We wandered around, reading the placards earnestly and hmming a lot, but it was tosh. This will be the final time I ever talk about visiting a modern art gallery on here because it infuriates me. Possibly because I don’t understand, possibly because I tire of trying to wrap my head around stuff that I’m 90% sure someone has just thrown together for a bet, I don’t know. There was a room with a rock hanging from the ceiling over a balloon, supposedly to represent how frail people can bear huge burdens. Pfft. I didn’t dare stand still for too long in case people thought my frail, fat ankles, bearing a huge burden as they do, were part of the exhibition and start drawing me in watercolours. Paul blundered about grunting for a good half hour, equally as disdained as I was.
Nice views though.
Next on the tour of the toon was Lane 7, which is a super fancy bowling alley ever-so-beloved of every ‘inspired’ work do from Darlington to Berwick. Seriously, there was a time when if you wanted to bowl, the only chance of getting an opportunity was to train as an estate agent / lawyer / accountant / professional bumfluff moustache grower and hope to be invited to a networking event. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that I don’t need to network in my job – it’s all I can do to acknowledge my own reflection when I wash my hands after a piss. However, a new gin bar opened a year or so ago and that seems to have soaked up the ‘corporate do’ crowd, so it wasn’t too busy when we arrived.
I say not too busy, there were two hen parties in there shrieking like their dresses were on fire – and boy does that noise ricochet in a bowling alley. Bowling seemed like an unusual activity for lasses on a hen party to enjoy, not least because it’s usually later on in Newcastle when their pins get split and someone goes at them balls-deep in an alley. Anyway, they were lost in a mist of Impulse and Blue WKD and we were straight on to bowl. It’s a very sleek, very modern alley – not the usual verruca-soaked shoes and sticky floors, but rather lots of wood and lights and fanciness.
I won, as you’d expect, and to celebrate I sent Paul to the bar to get us some mystery drinks. He came back with two bottles of Hooch. Hooch! A bloody alcopop. I had to remind him that we weren’t at a school disco but actually, isn’t it weird how just one taste of something sends you back to being 13 and full of burgeoning puberty-fuelled hormones? It’s why I can’t bear the taste of communion wafer.
Anyway, all the sugar from the Hooch made Paul come back from behind (story of his life) and he took the second round. We were being tight so had only sprung for a couple of games so we had to settle it once and for all with a round of mini-golf. Happily Lane7 had not only thought of a very clever name (try writing it out and turning it upside down – won’t work if you haven’t progressed beyond bubble writing) but had also had the foresight to build a mini golf course in the basement.
We were straight down the stairs but again, I was left disappointed. Don’t get me wrong – it’s cool to have a mini-golf course to play on, but it was small and had no obstacles. Do you not understand how much I yearn to shoot in a clown’s mouth, or knock my balls around a tricky tunnel? For the thousandth time in our marriage I managed to put Paul off his stroke by fluffing an easy finish, and yet he finished victorious. I hate it when Paul wins anything, he has perfected just the right level of smugness in his ‘oh it was nothing’ face that really ires me. He knows it too, that’s what makes it worse. I choked back ten years of resentment and hatred as black as pitch and we requested an Uber back to the hotel.
I say we requested – we did, and it took the chap twenty minutes to navigate no more than 600m of road – we watched him drive up and down without stopping, turning at the top and coming back. We tried waving him down but no success. To this day we have no idea what his game was – perhaps it was like when a plane has to land with failed landing gear, he was burning off fuel to compensate for our fatness sliding in – but when he eventually turned up he didn’t have the good grace to apologise. Actually, perhaps he did apologise, I confess my Afrikaans to be somewhat lacking. It took us another twenty minutes to get to the hotel as he had no idea of the roads and seemed intent on ignoring both the sat-nav in the front and the fat-navs in the back, all of us giving gentle, strained instruction to his sweet, unopened ears. It was like being on one of those Hop-on-Hop-off buses, only with the scent of a Yankee Candle vent air-freshener burning our nostrils.
I wanted to try the Cigar Shack but Paul didn’t fancy listening to me gasping and wheezing through the night so he stamped on that idea. Doesn’t seem to mind when it’s me having to listen to him choke on his own fat-collar. Pfft. So, we napped, rutted and changed our clothes (well, you have to make an effort on holiday, no?) and set off for our final venue of the evening – The Stand Comedy Club. I’ve been before as part of a works night out and it was brilliant fun, but this was Paul’s first time. Not his first time laughing – he’s seen me naked bending down to pick up a coin off our tiled bathroom floor – but certainly his first comedy club.
The plan had always been to eat upstairs but actually, by the time I had roused Paul from the land of nod, there was no time to eat properly, so instead we got a burger that dripped all over our faces and chips to dip in our cider. We had great seats, near enough the front to see the strained smiles, far enough at the back for the comedians not to pick on us and make mean-spirited jokes about my effete mannerisms and Paul’s tits.
And oh, what a night! Perhaps we were lucky but there wasn’t a bad act out of the four that trooped on, whose name I can’t remember but whose jokes I’d steal if I thought I could get away with it. I have so much respect for anyone who can stand in front of a crowd of unfamiliar folk and make them laugh and all of the acts managed it. The guy introducing the acts has probably the hardest job of the lot given he’s got a cold audience but the whole room was awash with proper hearty laughing. The only duff note came from a young lass whose whole act consisted of trying to be kooky – there’s an awful feeling of awkwardness when jokes don’t land – but hey, she had bigger balls than me for getting up there in the first place.
Best comedian of the night was a local lad called Mike Milligan – he writes for our local Chronicle newspaper (he’s about the only one on their staff who does) and was full of local reflections delivered in a proper Geordie language. Everything sounds hilarious when it’s spoken by a Geordie – I’m surprised they haven’t thought to add a laugh-track onto episodes of Vera. Paul finds the language especially comical, presumably because he’s from Peterborough where they haven’t progressed away from grunting and crude hand gestures. If I ever need to break up with him I’ll just tell him ‘way ah’m filin’ fer a divorss ye bastard‘ in my very best ripped-off-her-tits Denise Welch voice and he’ll be slapping his knees whilst Pickfords load the telly into the lorry.
We drank loads from the cheap bar, laughed until I genuinely had chest pains, and had a great night out. If you’re looking for something different to do in Newcastle, or indeed your own city, dig out a comedy club. Everyone likes to laugh. ACTUALLY, that’s not strictly true. I invited someone I used to work with to a comedy club for a night only to be told ‘I don’t like comedy’. Ah yes, that old chestnut. Isn’t that like saying you don’t like wanking or eating? Pfft.
With aching sides and straining bladders we requested another Uber who, thankfully, knew what and where he was going – he drove that taxi like he had a bomb under the passenger seat but by god we were in the hotel and in bed in no time at all. Paul and I that is, not the Uber driver, though he did look the sort to be a rough lover and a kind cuddler. Ah well, maybe next time. Goodnight!
Right, shall we get to the wraps, eh? This makes enough for four.
to make fancy Slimming World prawn cocktail wraps you will need:
4x Weight Watchers white wraps – or you know, use some common sense and get a similar wrap in terms of calories and fibre and you’ll be fine
150g cooked prawns
1 ripe avocado (14 syns)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 little gem lettuce
1 tbsp extra-light mayonnaise (1 syn)
1 tbsp Hellman’s Tomato Sauce sweetened with Honey (½ syn, normal tomato sauce is fine – just add on an extra ½ syn)
half a cucumber
At the time of writing there’s a big fuss on about those wraps because by spooning corned beef and potato into them, you’ve inexplicably made a cornish pastie. If you’re struggling to find them because some biffer has put 100 packets into her trolley, just use something similar. For ease, I’m synning these at 3.5 syns a wrap, but actually about 3.75. If you’re that anal, though, re-examine your bloody life!
to make fancy Slimming World prawn cocktail wraps you should:
slice the avocado and scoop out all the lovely flesh, mash in a bowl and mix in the lemon juice so it doesn’t go manky
next, mix together the prawns, mayonnaise and tomato sauce and set aside
pull off the leaves from the lettuce and give a quick wash
slice the cucumber into ribbons using a peeler
assemble the wrap by spreading over a quarter of the avocado mix, topped with the prawns, and then the leaves and the cucumber
We know avocado is a controversial choice – if you want to make this skinnier, just slap on some light Philadelphia instead
Still hungry? Get clicking any of the buttons below to find more of our recipes!
I know, wraps again. This blog has more terrifying wraps than a Madonna comeback album, though I flash my fadge in skintight leggings far less than that old bugger does. But listen, there’s method in my madness – I thought that saying as you might have went and bought a packet of wraps to make the last delicious recipe, you might have some left over, and so, here we are. At least I’ve saved you the ignominy of coming up with some dire alternative use for your spare wraps like the barely-breathing idiots who write into those lifestyle magazine Top Tips pages.
Case in point, I once saw someone who had unspooled a load of VHS tapes, taken the ribbon out and hung them in her doorway like those multi-coloured strips of plastic you used to see in poor people’s houses to keep the smell of chip fat out of their living room. Nothing says glamour like trying to serve a tray of Findus Crispy Pancakes through a mouthful of TDK 240. Actually, much to my eternal chagrin, I’m sure one of my grandmothers had this in her kitchen until the end of a Superking Yardstick Ultra caught the plastic and set it away.
Actually, there was one worse than that – I might have mentioned it before so longtime readers give yourself a minute – pick your teeth, flick your bean, sing a song – but someone had actually taken the time and effort to write in and explain that when they had tired of having a beer fridge (I mean there’s your first clue as to the type of person writing in) in their living room, they had taken the plug off it and affixed it to their bathroom wall. Why? Who knows. Who thinks that a big nicotine-yellow FOSTERS fridge hanging above their hundreds of half-empty bottles of Tresemme is just the place to keep their tampons and bog roll? I mean honestly.
And, oh god, there’s more – this is like picking a scab. I wanted to find you a picture of the fridge on the wall and I happened across an absolute belter – some dreary bugger who makes his own jigsaws by shredding family photos and putting them back together. I don’t know about you, but I don’t get much joy about the thought of seeing my poor mother descending through the shredder and then trying to sort her fizzog from my bank statements. What possesses people?
Anyway, just a quick post tonight, not least because I’m absolutely itching to get in the bath with my Chat Fame and Fortune magazine and find out what Devinaha from Runcorn’s knicker-stains says about her upcoming future.
mix together the red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, parsley and oregano and pour over the steaks, coating them well
mix together the yoghurt, lemon juice, cucumber and mint sauce and pop in the fridge
next – prepare the meat and veg – we used an Optigrill for this bit and it was cracking! Just slap it on and go, and you can even chuck it in the dishwasher afterwards. You can of course use a normal grill and a pan and it’ll still be dead tasty
if you’re using the Optigrill, simply press the manual button, set to Red, preheat and then add the peppers and courgette and cook for about 5 minutes. Then, press the steak button, slap the meat on and cook to your liking, remove to a plate and then slice
if you’re using the grill, heat to medium-high and spread the vegetables out on a tray, cook for about 5 minutes each side, turning frequently. Then, preheat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and cook the steak for about 3-4 minutes each side, remove to a plate and then slice
take a wrap and layer with the yoghurt dressing, steak, courgettes, peppers and feta and fold up, and repeat for the other four
Yamas! Fancy more tasty recipes? You’ll get a tonne of them just by clicking one of the buttons below for whatever tickles your fancy!
Hey folks – here for the chicken caesar wraps? Naturally. They’re delicious and easy to make. Good news is, you’re not going to have to endure a 3000 word essay about us blundering around in Paris in order to get to the recipe. No, because we’ve got 24 to watch and photos to take (don’t ask), we’re handing over to the fragrant and lovely Alexandra Rivers as our new guest writer!
chubsters through time
Did Queen Vic count her syns? Of course she bloody didn’t!
Did Catherine the Great have her chefs make quiches made out of cottage cheese and scan bran, in between illustrious encounters with Arabian stallions? Somehow, I think not.
I love Slimming World: it’s an excellent plan which is surrounded by an impressive network of followers (most of whom are middle aged women called Pam who are fond of pretending they like eating things made out of cottage cheese and scan bran). Now, like a lot of Slimming World-ers, a lot of the time I don’t take my ‘synning’ too seriously (not to be confused with sinning – I take that VERY seriously), but I’ve still lost a few stone on the plan, and somehow weight is still coming off. For anyone looking to lose a few pounds, I genuinely couldn’t recommend SW enough, however, there are days when I wonder what our fat ancestors would think about all this.
Whichever timeframe you choose to look at, there will be an ample bosom and impressive posterior, belonging to some glorious woman, peering out at you from the pages of the history books. Please note: There are, of course, many men with equally as magnificent bottoms, but somehow they don’t stand out as much (this probably has something to do with the historically misogynistic outlook of the world, and women rulers being seen as something as a novelty).
Anyway, history is literally littered with them, and who doesn’t love a good old fat bottomed girl? Especially one that’s got a crown on her head?! Articles upon articles have been written on the likes of Queen Victoria and her roundness – to the point where she is almost something of a plus size pin-up and role model. Who’d have thought?!
Now, I wonder if the likes of Queen Victoria and all the other larger ladies in history, ever wondered about shedding a few pounds. The portraits that document their lives certainly don’t seem to indicate this…. We see women of power starting as Skinny Minnies, and then grow a little in each subsequent portrait. Certainly no sign of any kind of diet plan! I suppose they had more important things to be thinking about, like making seriously questionable national decisions, which would have ensured anarchy if they had been made in today’s society. Now, I am no expert, but I suspect making decisions as such wouldn’t leave one with much time for scan bran concoctions and syn counting. These glorious larger ladies couldn’t give a toss that there were three million syns in their swan pies and chocolate roulades: they were far too busy fornicating with horses and werewolves!
Honestly, sometimes I think we should take a message from the history books, and this one is a good as any: while watching what you eat and synning every morcel of what goes in your mouth is a great way to shed a few pounds, sometimes, just sometimes, there are more important things to worry about. Had a shitty day? Then just eat the god damn deep fried mars bar! There will be time to rectify it later in life.
Too bloody true. Works for both genders too. Look at Henry VIII, or my husband Paul as I like to call him: big fat fucker but didn’t do without in any sense of the word. Yeah, I know he was thin for most of his life but let’s be honest, I bet he had more fun as a big fella, even if he would get out of breath fastening up his ruff. Thanks to Alexandra for the inspiring words – makes a change from jokes about anal and felching, plus it’s good to remind you all that we are a slimming blog under this crass exterior.
To be honest, you’re not going to use all that dressing up, and we couldn’t fit all the bread croutons into four wraps, so up to you how you syn this. I’m just saying there’s a bit of leeway…
Looking for decent breasts? Of course you are. You can get bloody loads of them in our Musclefood freezer deal, together with mince, beef and bacon – the staples for any Slimming World diet. Click here for that deal!
to make chicken caesar wraps you should:
slice the bread roll into small cubes
lob into an actifry with a little bit of oil and cook for 5 minutes until you get crunchy croutons (if using the oven, bake in the oven at 180° for 15 minutes)
meanwhile, stir the garlic and onion powder into the chicken stock and mix well
place the chicken breasts in the pan and pour over the stock
seal and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes
when finished, release pressure by using ‘quick release’
pour away any excess liquid and shred the chicken using two forks
add the parmesan and caesar dressing, mix well and set aside
lay out a wrap and add the lettuce, chicken and croutons, leaving a 1″ border around the edge
fold over from the bottom and then the sides, and enjoy
If using a slow cooker instead of an Instant Pot, cook the chicken with the stock for 2-3 hours on high, or 4-5 on low.
You could cheerfully freeze the shredded chicken but the wraps, made up as instructed, won’t freeze well due to the lettuce. Booo. Fucking lettuce, ruins everything.
Want more recipes and examples of our potty mouth?
By the way, it’s steak and blowjob day. If you’re looking for tips on how to drive a man wild and really treat his meat with all the attention it deserves, click here.