Cheesy sprouts and bacon as a side-dish? I know, but it’s Christmas, and the little fart-balls deserve some love. Get it made! I appreciate that I’m the side-dish that you really want under your tree this Christmas, but I’m otherwise engaged.
Before we get to the cheesy sprouts and bacon, a gentle reminder that our cookbook comes out in two weeks, and frankly, if you haven’t ordered it, then what’s wrong with you? 100 slimming recipes to help you lose weight with the typical twochubbycubs humour splattered across it like a hedgerow edition of Razzle. You can pre-order it for £10 by clicking on the tasteful banner below, which will open in a new window!
Now before we get to the cheesy sprouts and bacon I must warn you that there’s a long entry ahead from our latest holiday. Buckle up buckaroo, it’s a good one, but if you’re so inclined, you know what you need to do: click the banner to go straight to the recipe.
As ever: our holiday entries tend to be skewed a little more adult, so if you’re a sensitive soul, please, click the banner
I know, forgive us: we are on holiday an awful lot. But in our defence, we never made the mistake of fathering children and so we can fritter away our pound coins with literal gay abandon. Plus, the world is out there to be seen and there’s hardly any chance with my current lifestyle choices that I’ll be one of those older folks in leisurewear prancing around the Alps, so let’s take what we can before the rickets kick in.
This is our 5th srprs.me trip – touched on it in other entries, but the basic concept is that you pay some lovely folks in Amsterdam a modest fee and they book your holiday for you – but you don’t know where you’re going until you turn up at the airport with your suitcase. You can knock out a few places you definitely don’t want to go, however. That’s good, because it gives me a chance to do my best ‘Nah, Luton Airport’ impression, which Paul always enjoys – his face says otherwise, but then he doesn’t do emotion – even when he’s about to paint me face in disco breakfast he’s got the expression of someone disinterestedly thumbing through an old Bella in a dentist waiting room. They’ve never failed to send us somewhere we wouldn’t have thought of going and the hotels are always wonderful. I absolutely encourage you to take a look at their website and roll the bloody dice: https://srprs.me/uk
We’ve just lined up trips number six and seven for next year. Can’t wait until they run out of options and put us onto a red-eye to Anthrax Island.
As is usual with our trip reports, I won’t go into every detail, and just touch on the highlights. Seriously, I have to do it this way otherwise you’ll get 2,000 words about us packing the suitcases. We’re a thinking-lean blog now.
Of course, if we’re talking about packing the cases, let me say this: don’t leave it to my husband. In a rare moment of letting him have some autonomy, I decreed that he was to do the packing for us. He did, after much prodding and prompting. We then had a fun and informative discussion where I pointed out he had forgotten my charger, my passport and basic toiletries. He had remembered to pack his thrill-a-minute book about social housing, though. Next time I’ll prepare a Powerpoint of his failings and make him list all of the ways he let me down. Once I had repacked the cases and told him that if he couldn’t pack a suitcase there was fuck-all chance I’d let him drive us to Edinburgh Airport, we were off. The drive passed entirely without incident, though we managed eight solid miles before we had pulled over into McDonalds to ‘have a rest’.
I sent Paul in for food (half expecting him to come back with a burger for himself and a napkin and ‘Wet Floor Sign’ for me, given his abilities) and set about doing a couple of ‘on our holiday’ selfies in the car park. Now, because I hate how I look with my glasses on (think fat-era Brian McFadden filing his tax return) I take them off for photos, and was busily pouting for Jesus in windswept Alnwick when Paul appeared on the horizon. Buoyed up by the sight of seeing my food carrying husband rustling across the car-park in his best Hayley Cropper raincoat, I shouted ‘hurry up with the food, you fat c*nt‘ in a hearty Geordie bellow.
But of course it wasn’t Paul. I had to quickly pretend I was on the phone to try and smooth out my abuse, and the poor sod who I’d shouted at walked past looking pretty crestfallen. Mind it’s good to know that there’s a protoPaul available within a ten mile radius should I tire of my current companion.
Hunger and shame abated, we made our way to Edinburgh Airport, stole a tiny traffic cone from the side of the road (reasons to never be disclosed) and checked into the Hampton by Hilton. For fifty quid it was excellent value, though Paul put another satchel onto the Buckaroo that is our marriage by saying he didn’t want to take part in the free breakfast in the morning, preferring to get his beauty sleep. Aghast, I reminded him he’d need to sleep until 2056 if that was the case and he’d miss Robot Jeremy Corbyn’s dictatorship. He didn’t back down. However, my Geordie sensibilities were never going to let me miss a free hotel hot breakfast buffet and I was down at 5.10am helping myself to haggis and black pudding and lower jaw pain. In a terrifically exciting move they had a fresh waffle machine, and you better believe I spilt my batter as soon as I saw it. I’m all for a gadget, even if the waffles had the same taste profile as a police station mattress.
Full, I went back to the room and made sure to give Paul a refreshing wake-up call by placing my ice-cold feet into the small of his back and burping little eggy hellos into his ear. He jumped from that bed full of ire but I confess I barely noticed because I rolled myself into the colossal warm patch he left behind and promptly fell asleep for a good hour. He’s so thoughtful!
Dressed, shaved and Obligatory-But-Must-We holiday sex out of the way, we moved the car into its temporary home on some desolate industrial estate, caught a bus to the airport and immediately set about revealing where we were off:
Forgive my lack of enthusiasm but it was early, I was full of breakfast and Paul had neglected to turn his Wifi on. Warsaw, Poland! I think the excitement in my voice betrays the excitement in my knickers because you have no idea – absolutely none – of how much I like the look of a Polish gentleman. This lust was only fuelled by being jostled about in the queue to get on the Ryanair plane and by the time we were taking to the air in a sea of consonants and thick necks I was almost passing out. That lust was tempered somewhat by two hours of sitting in an aisle seat being unable to pick fretfully at Paul’s sleeve every time the plane beeped. I couldn’t even have a drink to calm myself down, given I only had ninety quid in my wallet and I was saving that in case we crashed and I needed to pay for us both to use the emergency slide. There was an absolute dreamboat selling the scratchcards though, and it was only Paul’s eternal grimacing that prevented me from declaring love. We landed at Modlin Airport a little bit ahead of time.
Now, with this being Ryanair, Modlin Airport isn’t exactly close to Warsaw Central, requiring a bus and a train to get to the city centre. We couldn’t be arsed with such a thing (though Paul only decided this after he spent £40 on the train and bus tickets – for the wrong company) and so hopped into an Uber that was driven so fast and so recklessly that I barely had time to look wistfully to an imaginary camera and say [joke redacted, and gutted, it was a bloody good one].
Our hotel was the Leonardo Warsaw in the business district. Click here if you want to see what it was like – I tried to take a picture of the room before Hurricane Paul hit it, but no such luck – I no sooner went to fiddle with the air-conditioning before he’d emptied his suitcase onto the floor, kicked his shoes across the room and disappeared into the bathroom for his holiday rebirth. I long for the day I can savour the air in my hotel room before it smelling like a fire in an abattoir, truly I do. It was a great room, with the added benefit of us being booked into a twin room rather than a double. I tried to hide my delight at getting to spend two nights to myself in a bed all to my own – and I say that sarcastically because you better believe that we ended up like death-scene Lupin and Tonks during the night. Aw. You know, for all I rag on him in here, I do miss the sound of him choking on his wattle in the night.
Once he’d finished his business we immediately set about scouring the room service menu and ordering all sorts of fancy sounding food. This was tricky, because the chap at the end of the phone didn’t speak English and I don’t know how to pronounce forty-eight consonants in a row without sounding like I’m being throttled. Nevertheless, we struggled through, and in no time at all some dashing chap wheeled a trolley of meats and cheeses into our room. I tipped him 10 zloty thinking I was being generous and it was only when Paul told me that was about £1.80 that I realised why the fella scowled at me. I just assumed he was trying not to pass out from the fug of Paul’s effluence that was creeping under the bathroom door like The Mist. To be fair, I did greet him like this:
We ate heartily, experiencing our first pierogi of the holiday (stuffed dumplings, fried, delicious) and working our way steadily through the repast in front of us. We were perplexed by a bowl of white gloop with brown flecks that came with the bread until my Northerness twigged it was a bowl of lard, to be used in place of butter. This is my country. Mind, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had a meaty stack of lard on the side, but Paul forgives my indiscretions. Full as a bull’s bum, we had our customary nap, and then headed out.
At this point in the blog we’re switching to ‘things we did’ rather than ‘running commentary’, although that hasn’t exactly panned out well so far. I do try! Oh! Before the switch, just as we headed out we spotted a little stand in reception with free apple juice, satsumas and apples, together with a basket full of delicious biscuits for free.
Well Christ, I don’t know what the hell this biscuit was, but it was like eating a pressed disc of the shavings from Paul’s ped-egg. I’ve never had something so actively suck the moisture from my mouth – it was like eating a silica-gel smoothie. In fact, I’m going to send it to CERN because I’m absolutely sure it was a bit of anti-matter. Once I’d prised it off my gums I dropped it into the nearest plant-pot, much to the chagrin of the receptionist. I know, but honestly. Me, after this biscuit:
And we shall leave this entry here for now, with more shenanigans to follow I promise. To the cheesy sprouts and bacon! Now I kid you not when I say you can throw this recipe together in less than five minutes, and if you’re not a fan of sprouts, this may just win you over.
Easy to make!
Best cheesy sprouts and bacon you’ll ever have!
cheesy sprouts and bacon side-dish
Yield 4 servings
If you're looking for a bit on the side this Christmas, and aren't we all, why not make this cheesy sprouts and bacon? I threw it together full of festive cheer and was left satisfied and smiling with the end result.
- 250g of shredded sprouts (you can buy these at Tesco, or buy your own and shred the buggers)
- 100g of bacon lardons (syn free if you buy them from Aldi according to SW, or you could just cut up some bacon - but the lardons are good because they add some fat)
- one chopped onion
- good pinch of pepper
- 60g of extra mature cheese (2 x HEA)
So: this is syn free or low syn, if you choose the right lardons!
- preheat the oven to 170 degrees
- in a bowl, mix the bacon, onion, sprouts, pepper and half of the cheese together
- tip into an overproof dish and pack down, then cover with the remainder of the cheese
- mine takes about thirty minutes for the sprouts to soften, feel free to cook yours for longer if you like a bit of crunch
- a mandoline slicer is great for shredding sprouts, but watch your fingers - buy one for about a tenner and you can use it for loads of stuff - buy one here
- our cookbook has over 100 recipes covering all sorts of delicious things - give it a whirl!
Courses side dish
Got some leftover sprouts from your cheesy sprouts and bacon? Why not try our sprout and bacon risotto? Click the photo to be taken right there! But come back for the cheesy sprouts and bacon!
Some more dinner ideas? Here you go!
- houmous coated chicken (syn free)
- garlic, chicken and bacon pasta (syn free)
- two chubby clubs (syn free)
- tandoori chicken with roasted romanesco and onion rice (syn free)
- cheap cheep chilli (syn free)
- turkey, leek and sweet potato bake (syn free)
- chicken gyros (syn free)
- chicken dopiaza (syn free)
- courgette and turkey meatloaf (syn free)
- chicken and bacon pasta (syn free)
- sweet potato and turkey layered casserole (syn free)