I could be brown, I could be blue! baked spaghetti

Haha, weigh in tonight, and although we couldn’t stay, it was full of surprises – I’ve put on a 1lb after the most dedicated week off you’ve ever seen, which included:

  • more vodka during Eurovision than could be deemed reasonable, despite acts such as Israel and Serbia;
  • two Dominos in one week;
  • a pizza the size of a bus steering wheel followed by ice-cream and sweets and a second dinner when I got home;
  • a complete lack of exercise;
  • cookies, sweets and other nonsense gobbled up at work – and – and this one is shocking;
  • I had CHEESE AND SPICY BEEF on my Subway salad today.

Cheese! I thought since having my pencil sharpened last year I’d seen the end of having cheese on my hot meat, but there you go. Boke. Here, it gets better – Paul actually lost a pound AND he was still wearing his god-awful ‘Yes, I’m a registered sex-offender’ god-awful boots that we bought in the Brantano sale for £2.44. I reckon he’s been stirring ex-lax into his nightly Options. Yes see that’s how rock-n-roll we are in our household – a nightly hot chocolate and then into bed to listen to Radio 4. We do normally fit some blisteringly hardcore gay sex in at some point, all is not lost. Anyway, once we’ve enjoyed the Ben and Jerry’s from the freezer, we’re going to have a good run at SW. In the meantime, here’s a bit about my cats that I wrote earlier today.

I really begrudge having to pay £200 to insure two cats who are healthy, worm-free and trackable. Especially when they’re so spoilt they have their own water fountain and bloody ensuite shed.

Of course, insurance wouldn’t be quite so necessary if our cats didn’t dice with death on a daily basis, and entirely through their own choice. See, they recognise the sound of our car approaching, and the very second they see the bumper of my car appearing at the end of the cul-de-sac where we live, they sprint across the front lawn in front of the car and run ahead of us, like we’re the star attraction in a tiny cat parade. They then proceed to run around the tyres, rubbing themselves up against the scalding chassis of the car, until one of us picks them up and they proceed to turn our face into mince with their razor-sharp welcome. I don’t think they feel we’re home until one of them has left an oily paw-print all over our shirts. They’re also forever eating things they shouldn’t and I’ve seen Sola, the tiny cat, fighting a dog and winning. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn she smokes.

Sola we retrieved from some chav on an estate who was selling kittens on the basis that if no-one wanted them, she was going to leave them by the side of the road. I’d like to have left her by the side of a road, preferably trapped by her legs in a burning labia-coloured Vauxhall Golf, but I digress. We couldn’t drive at the time so we had to take two buses and by the time we got there, she was the last one, the runt of the litter. She meowed the way home and tried to commit instant suicide by falling off the balcony of our apartment. Thankfully, she only fell one floor onto the balcony below, but that made for a slightly awkward exchange because we weren’t talking to the neighbours at the point since we inadvertently told his girlfriend that he was having an affair with someone else. Genuine mistake. We also thought he was belting his lass too, which was wrong. That made for a few difficult bus journeys on the Quaylink, let me tell you.

They missed out not keeping Sola, for although she’s the most uppity bitch you’ll ever meet, she has the nicest fur you’ll ever feel. It’s the type of fur you can imagine ultra-rich women making gloves from. That’s partly because she never lets you stroke her – probably sick of trying to lick gravy and sweat from her fur to even entertain us. She’s the epitome of aloofness although for all of her delusions of grandeur, she’s certainly not averse to sticking her nose right up Bowser’s arsehole like she’s sniffing for truffles whenever he wanders back in from outside.

Bowser is the other cat, the tom, and we also got him from a very downmarket area. We heard on the grapevine that he was one of about ten trillion cats that had been found living in one of those houses you see on Hoarders. We could only take one and so we took the first cat that came over. If we had our way, we’d have more cats than furniture, but we’re realists – I already begrudge spending so much on Bite ‘n’ Chew, and not just because of that rebarbative little ‘n’. He settled in straight away, walking around like he owned the place and battering the other cats until we had his bollocks cut off. Now he comes in each day missing massive chunks of fur from fighting but touchwood, they haven’t got his eyes yet.

We also used to have Luma, and she was a lovely, fat cat who was painfully shy and used to hide, no matter how much coaxing, fresh tuna and fuss you tried to make of her. She had plenty of personality when she wanted to – she held us ransom for about two weeks by pissing on our Sky box because we had the bare-faced cheek to switch her to Tesco own brand cat food. Perhaps she was trying to electrocute herself, I don’t know, but she managed to break my Doctor Who series link so I sulked for a week. Along similar lines, I was once lying in bed and she came bumbling over, wheezing away in that gentle fashion, for a stroke. Naturally, I made a proper fuss of her in this rare moment of tenderness and she turned around, showed me her tiny cigar-cutter bumhole and sprayed a tiny jet of foul smelling nastiness right in my face, before sauntering off as I screamed like it was ammonia. We gave her away to a family friend in the end because she was fighting with our other cat all of the time and she’s far happier now, by herself, with an octogenerian who is too slow to catch her and rich enough to spoil her, though I did spot a packet of Viagra in his bathroom cabinet when I was dropping her off so god knows what she actually sees. No wonder she looks so haunted when I spot her.

baked spaghetti

to make baked spaghetti, you’ll need:

250g spaghetti, 500g lean beef mince, 6 Slimming World sausages (defrosted), two 400g tin chopped tomatoes, 200ml passata, 200g Quark, 80g reduced fat cheddar (grated), 1 green pepper (diced), 1 onion (diced), 3 cloves of garlic, 1 egg, 250ml chicken stock, 80g reduced fat mozzarella (using up two HEAs), 1tsp mixed herbs, salt and pepper

to make baked spaghetti, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  • cook the spaghetti according to instructions and set aside. For those who can’t cook spaghetti, don’t forget to breathe in AND out whilst doing this
  • mix the chopped tomatoes, passata and mixed herbs (and a little salt and pepper if you like) in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer whilst you do the rest…
  • meanwhile, chop the green pepper and onion and mince the garlic cloves
  • spray a little Frylight (heathen! use oil!) into a large saucepan and cook the onion and green pepper over a medium-high heat until softened
  • add the garlic and stir well
  • squeeze the meat from the sausages (the casings should be easy to pull away, given SW sausages are essentially toe clippings, best wishes and old newspapers wrapped in a diaphragm) and place in the pan along with the mince and cook until well browned, remembering to break up any clumps that form
  • in a separate bowl mix together the quark, egg and cheddar with a little salt and pepper until smooth
  • pour the tomato sauce into the cheese mixture and stir well, adding 250ml chicken stock and continue to stir
  • in a large pan or bowl, mix together the spaghetti, meat and sauce until really well mixed – don’t worry if it looks a bit watery, it’s a SW recipe – if you can’t drink it without choking, it’s not SW friendly
  • tip into a large casserole dish, top with the shredded mozzarella and bake for 30 minutes
  • enjoy! It’ll thicken down in the oven. Promise.