chicken and ham picnic loaf – a perfect snack


I’m only back because I was getting hassled at work about not updating the blog enough and, simply because I don’t want to upset this man in case I miss out on his annual tea-making, here we find ourselves. It helps that I have an amazing recipe for a chicken and ham picnic loaf and some exciting news to report. Naturally, before we get to the recipe, there’s some guff to wade through.

THE GOOD NEWS FIRST! You may recollect that we have two Kindle e-books of our articles on Amazon – they sell well and we get excellent reviews. I know, modest. But we have, until now, been unable to offer you a proper paperback – one that you can rest on your boobs in the bath or flick through by the pool in Majorca. I can only imagine how bereft you’ve been. Well – thanks to the wonders of technology, we’re now able to offer our books in PAPERBACK FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER! These do make good presents if you’re looking for a gift for someone with a foul mouth and a rude attitude. If you’ve ever wanted to support the blog, feel free to buy a copy! They actually look decent, too! Click the books below to buy and don’t worry, it’ll open in a new window.

Hope you enjoy! Right, that’s quite enough positivity!

Goodness, two days of hot weather and I’ve already seen enough red and white flesh to last me a lifetime. I’ll never understand the British approach to getting a tan – I appreciate we only get fourteen hours of summer a year but please, hold something back. You’re supposed to bronze, not sear. Ah, I’m only bitter because the next eight months means sweaty backs, feeling far too hot and the sound of children laughing gaily, which goes through me like nails on a blackboard. I’d rather listen to someone planning to set my face on fire. Admit it, you’ve missed my sunny disposition on life, haven’t you?

You know what ruined my sunny weekend most of all though? The ice-cream van turned up during the day for once (he comes down our street every single night, even when it’s cold, and I get the feeling he’s selling a bit more than screwballs and 99s) and, full of joy, I dashed out to buy Paul and I an ice-cream. Normally I’m as tight as a wet knot so don’t bother but clearly I’d taken too much sunlight to my bald head and was having a moment. I handed over over £3 for a 99 for Fatty and a Feast for me.

And what do I get? A bloody Festival! That’s not a Feast, that’s a knock-off barely worth eating! I mean, you get your hopes up for something delicious and then boom, ruined – like being about to get a blowjob only for them to take their entire set of teeth out and set them in a glass of water by the bed. I had to sit and watch Paul make a big show of eating his delicious ice-cream whilst I looked sad. I mean, naturally, I still inhaled mine, but the injustice made it taste sour.

Hey, I did manage to startle the poor chap who came to fit our new kitchen blinds this morning. The old blinds used to hang down over the bay window and the cats used to climb through them like they weren’t there. This meant that they were bent (the blinds that is, we’re not contagious) and covered in cat hair and it just looked so unseemly. The chap came round a few weeks ago, full of sales bluster and promises, and gave us a quote that made me ask whether he was planning on putting in double-glazing at the same time. He immediately dropped the price by 50%, then again by another 10%, then gave me a £25 voucher. I had to stop him before he emptied his own wallet out on my kitchen counter. I appreciate these guys are on commission but I’m just too lazy and fat to do the dance of finance with them. Anyway, he told us he’d be here about quarter to ten so I dutifully arranged to work from home.

9am comes around and I think to myself, now that I’m freshly showered and logged-in, that I really ought to clear our big kitchen windowsill of all the various nonsense we store on there (coffee pot, basil plants, cats).  I stumble into the kitchen, nude save for a tiny Holiday Inn towel that barely covers my urethral opening let alone my flabulous body, and pull the blinds up. Normally this would be fine, save for the fact that our blinds man was on the other side of the window looking in, and there was me unveiling myself like the Star Prize at the end of Bullseye. “Congratulations Kenneth and Joyce, you’ve won yourself a morbidly obese shrieking man”.

And mind, I did shriek. Partly because of shock, partly because of modesty – I tried to duck out of sight but gave that up when I realised I’d look like Alex Mack disappearing fatly into the carpet. He at least waited a minute or so before ringing the doorbell and we both had to bluff our way through as though nothing had happened. There’s always something with me, isn’t there? I caught him pouring dishwasher salt into his eyes later, which I thought was a mite excessive. Anyway, they’re up now, and it looks lovely. Paul can’t reach the middle blind though because his short legs and spherical belly preclude him from getting anywhere near the window, but hey, that’s a small price to pay for better blinds.

Right! The recipe for a chicken and ham picnic loaf then. This looks like it would be a pain in the arse to make but it’s actually ridiculously easy. Barely any cooking, customise it how you want and completely syn free. This is based on a Romanian dish called drob – you would usually use chicken livers but Paul isn’t a fan so we had to swap them out. Finally, we used wild garlic – it is growing everywhere in the wild now and as long as you wash off the dog piss, it’s great to use. Out walking and notice a smell of garlic (and it isn’t blasting out of your hoop at the time)? Pick the leaves! Here’s a guide if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Can’t find it? Fret not. Swap it out for rocket. Or basil. Whatever you like!

chicken and ham picnic loaf

to make a chicken and ham picnic loaf, you’ll need:

  • 500g of chicken breast
  • 500g of cooked ham (I bought a joint with no fat on it from Lidl for two or three quid – nice and easy!)
  • two big bunches of spring onion
  • a couple of big handfuls of either wild garlic leaves or rocket (washed)
  • 1 bunch of dill (use dried if you prefer)
  • 1 bunch of parsley (see above)
  • 8 eggs
  • lots of salt and pepper

Looking for good chicken breasts? You know we love Musclefood and I’d normally pop an advert in for our hampers, but actually, they’ve got something brilliant now – build your OWN hamper, choosing from whatever slimming or lean meats you need. Now there’s no excuses! Click here to have a gander.

Look though, you can customise this how you like. Add different herbs, spices, different meat…you’ll need a bog-standard load tin, lined with greaseproof paper. Give it a few squirts of oil if you’re not convinced it won’t stick. Pop the over onto 180 degrees.

to make a chicken and ham picnic loaf, you should:

  • boil four eggs for twelve minutes or so until hardboiled, then leave to cool
  • cook your chicken breasts – I went down the route of boiling them – worked really well – boil for fifteen minutes then allow to cool (make sure it’s cooked through)
  • assembly time – cut the chicken breasts into small cubes – 1cm or so
  • do the same with the cooked ham
  • chop the spring onions nice and fine (including all the green stalks), chop the parsley, chop the dill and then chop the rocket/garlic
  • you want nice uniform pieces of everything
  • put everything into a bowl, beat four eggs with a load of salt and pepper, then stir everything together – you don’t want too much egg but if you think it is looking a bit dry, beat another egg into it
  • press the mixture into a loaf tin about 1/3 of the way – really press it down, you want it compact
  • lay your four cooked eggs on top and then put the rest of the mixture around and over the top – press it down as compact as you can
  • if everything is ready to go, pop it in the oven for about fifty minutes until the top has browned off a bit, then allow to cool down – overnight in the fridge preferably
  • slice and serve – it might be a bit crumbly but mine stayed together well! Enjoy!

This really is worth getting some wild garlic for if you can be arsed – and if you have any left over, make it into this garlic pesto!

Want more recipes? Click away!

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risotto with thyme, prosciutto, pecorino and crumbled goat cheese

Now then: does the risotto with thyme, prosciutto, pecorino and crumbled goat cheese get you all of a-tingle ‘down below’? Are you chewing the seat with anticipation? Then by all means scroll down, but first, part six of our Swiss tales – part seven is the final entry and that’ll be coming online soon, but I’ve got such a bad habit of not finishing our travel stories that I’m determined to see this one out. Remember, this is holiday zero of twelve this year: this is a bonus one! Oops.

part one | part two | part three | part four | part five

Bern, then.

You last left us as we fell off the train in Bern, completing a ridiculously scenic yet slightly tiring eight hour trip around Switzerland by train. You need to understand that this was easily the most beautiful train journey we’ve ever done (though that’s not an especially high benchmark – I can’t imagine the Metro journey from South Shields to Shiremoor making many bucket lists) but even in the face of such beauty, you find yourself dozing off. My eyebrows were aching from raising in delight. The last entry dealt with our first night in Bern and a couple of day trips, but I did say I’d revisit this to tell you a little more about Bern itself. But before we begin, here’s Paul as a biscuit:

Firstly, did you know it’s the capital of Switzerland? I have to admit, I thought the capital was Geneva, but no – little Bern holds the title. On the edge of your seat yet? You ought to be: clamp down whatever pair of lips you’ve got available and hold on because here’s another riproaring fact for you: it’s also known as the City of Fountains due to the many ornate fountains dotted around. By extension, Newcastle should be called the City of Broken Teeth, or Southend the Land of the Split Hymen.

No, let’s be fair, there are an awful amount of fountains everywhere, to the point where you’re constantly needing a piss thanks to the incessant background noise of tinkling water. Hilariously, one of the fountains, the snazzily named Kindlifresserbrunnen, depicts an ogre eating little children. I assumed it must just be a metaphorical take on child cannibalism but nope, there it is, proud as punch, standing in the centre of the Kornhausplatz, with the body of a devoured child sticking out of his gob. It’s what I imagine Theresa May has in her front garden to keep the local peasants away from her gooseberries.

Like Geneva, it’s obligatory to smoke – I never left a building without feeling like I was the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera, appearing from doorways in a flourish through the whirling cloud of fag smoke. The main area of Bern is called the Old City of Bern and it is this you’ll be familiar with – the Medieval buildings, the chocolate-box shops literally selling chocolate boxes and dozens of tiny shopping arcades and cobbled streets where the buildings above actually hang over the walkways. It’s all exceptionally twee and stunning to look at – so much history and culture in one glorious settings – and thus it was inevitable that the first shop Paul and I would enter was a seedy sex shop on the main arcade.

Well: gosh. It was dark around the back of the shop and the air heady with poppers – I put my hand out to steady myself on a bannister only to hear a loud groan of pleasure. We didn’t like to loiter because it looked like the type of place that was due a raid from the vice squad and so we made to leave. On our hasty exit out of there we spotted a fondue shop just over the road and made a mental note to return to it later.

I mean, look at this astrological clock on the Zytglogge..It’s beautiful. Paul stopped to use the pissour nearby and I shouted ‘I can see Uranus!’. The crowd went mild.

We spent the rest of the morning just casually walking around Bern – it’s a pleasantly compact place and the streets lend themselves to just exploring, though you can hop on the trams if you like. There’s a tram every half second, seemingly. We crossed the River Aare (presumably so called because you’re constantly going ‘Aare, that’s reet beautiful that is‘) via the Nydeggbrücke bridge (itself an absolute beauty, not least because it gave you a perfect view of Old Bern). Paul took a photo:

I spotted signs for the Bärengraben – a bear park.

Now come on – if there’s anywhere that’s going to pique my curiosity, it’s a heavily wooded area supposedly filled with bears roaming around looking for action. I’d already lubed up and adopted the ‘airport security check’ position when Paul pointed out that it wasn’t bears in the sense of hairy, older gay men, but rather the ursine variety. The ones that kill and steal honey. I tried to hide the disappointment as it cascaded across my face and we headed over. Also, we had a brief conversation there and then about at some point having to change the name of the blog when we’re no longer classed as cubs – I’m already in the grey area – we’ll be known as two burly bears. See, always thinking ahead.

There’s many varying accounts of why Bern has live bears frolicking about, but the most widely accepted idea is that Bern’s soldiers returned home from a wee skirmish in Italy with various spoils and er, a live bear. Christ, I thought I was doing well coming home from Rome with 200 Chesterfields smuggled down my trousers. Anyway, since then, they’ve always kept a few bears in the bear-pit. Don’t worry, they’re well looked after – lots of bedding, room to scratch about it and occasionally they’ll hurl a particularly noisy tourist in there for them to maul. Oh how excited I was to see them – I love bears!

Except, no, they’d been put away for the winter, like a set of Christmas decorations. We were told we could watch them via a webcam but frankly, I get enough action watching bears in bed on the internet at home, I didn’t need to see it. We still wandered about stroking our chins at the information boards and trying out the new lift for the disabled, then we made our way down to the banks of the river and had a walk along.

A quick mention of the weather: it was my absolute favourite: freezing cold but not biting, air so fresh it’d like you’ve sucked it out of Tom Hardy’s freshly Sminted lungs, sunlight bouncing merrily off every surface and the sky a deep blue. I love winter and this was just the place to experience it. Paul somewhat broke the moment by telling me to get my fat ankles walking a little quicker as he needed the toilet and had spotted a public lavatory on the horizon. Other people visit churches and cathedrals on holiday – Paul seems to class a holiday as a failure if he hasn’t evacuated his bowels in various ways four times a day.

Paul disappeared into the gents and I stationed myself nearby, loitering in a way that I hoped didn’t make me look like a pervert hanging around the bogs but wanting to be near enough in case of any emergencies. Paul managed to snap the lock off a toilet door once and as a result I’m always on edge. Fifteen minutes – I kid you not – passed before he came hurtling out, telling me to come and have a look at something. I protested, naturally – I mean, we’re a close couple, but I do have limits, and anyway what did he want me to do, stick a first prize rosette in it? He pulled at my shoulder and dragged me in.

I have to admit, I’ve never seen one quite like this. I took a video of it to send to my work colleagues, and Paul was so excited. He loves anything unusual! I’m glad he did call me into the toilet because frankly, I didn’t want to miss this! I mean, just watch:

How fun is that? OK look, to anyone else, it’ll probably be nothing, but we love anything gadgety and this way, you’re not having to sit on someone else’s arse-sweat to do your business. A miracle! And in a public loo! In the UK you count yourself lucky if you’re not sitting on a filthy syringe. You can tell they are well off!

After we’d finished shrieking and gasping we emerged from the toilet together, and after only a forty minute interview with the police, we were free to get on with the morning. We spent the morning visiting the cathedrals (stunning) and churches dotted about, making sure we signed the visitors book with ‘Too much body of Christ this winter? Try’ before we left. Oh I know, I’m a tinker, but hell, if God is going to strike me down for anything, it’ll be the rampant sodomy, not a bit of advertising.

We eventually made our way back to the tiny restaurant back in the main square to finally try out the Swiss delicacy of fondue. The place was packed full of couples having intense conversations and speaking every language but English. I could barely make my way to the table past all of the glottal stops. I love this type of restaurant – unfussy, homely and a bit ramshackle. All it needed was Paul sitting there without his shirt on spilling his dinner over his tits for me to feel completely at home.

For those that div-not-knaa, fondue is (normally) Gruyère cheese mixed with alcohol and melted slowly over a naked flame – the entire pot is then brought to the table and you’re given cubed things to dip into it. Frankly, it took all of my self-control not to push my entire face into the pot and die a happy man, but I knew easyJet wouldn’t let me through if my face looked like the top of a lasagne.

We ordered Fondue Pesto Rosso – they added sundried tomato pesto and basil, bringing me to full stiffness – with a side of Kalte Gemüsebeilage (bless you) (cold vegetables) and (Kartoffelbeilage) (no no, after you) boiled potatoes for dipping. I don’t need to tell you how delicious it was. There’s lots of etiquette around enjoying fondue – always stir clockwise, do twirl your fork to keep the table tidy, do make some noise. Pfft. They were lucky I didn’t ask for the entire thing to be delivered intravenously.

We spent a happy half hour dipping our bread and scraping every last bit of crusty brown cheese from the bottom of the dish (we weren’t being common, you’re supposed to do it – it’s called ‘la religieuse’ and is a delicacy, promise) and settled back with a loud groan and bellies full of cheese. With the sure and certain knowledge that we’d be pooing Cheesestrings for a good two weeks, we decided not to risk dessert and simply to get the bill.

Well, that sounds easy in print, doesn’t it? I can’t imagine what we had done to our waitress – we’d been unfailingly polite and ho-ho-British – but could we balls get her attention. By this point lunch hour had clearly finished and the place was nearly empty bar us and an elderly lady shaking her way through her seventh kirsch of the day, but help was nowhere to be seen.

We waited politely for almost twenty minutes – our waitress very occasionally popped her head out and stole a glance at us, only to disappear again – and then we started getting distressed. Paul had to google whether there was some unspoken way of showing we had finished and had enough but nothing came up. I did offer to pitch face-first into the pot clutching my heart but he didn’t want to make a scene.

She appeared a good ten minutes later, finally, looking terribly flushed in the face. My working theory: she was letting the chef dip more than a cornichon in her cheese pot. Her bajingo was giving off so much heat that she nearly relit the fondue candle. After paying Paul’s entire annual wage for our meal, we headed back out to explore Bern.

That was the idea, anyway: we actually, oh the shame, had to waddle back to the hotel room and have a nap. We were having the cheese-sweats and Christ we knew about it. That seems like a good point to leave it!

Speaking of cheese, shall we get to this delicious risotto with thyme, prosciutto, pecorino and crumbled goat cheese? Shall we? Then let’s not delay a moment more.

to make risotto with thyme, prosciutto, pecorino and crumbled goat cheese you will need:

  • 2 pints chicken stock
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ head celery, finely chopped
  • 400g arborio rice
  • 2 handfuls of thyme leaves, chopped (or 3 tsp of dried thyme will do)
  • 50g soft goat’s cheese (8 syns)
  • 105g extra light soft cheese (this is one HEA, by the way)
  • 25g pecorino (5 syns) (if you don’t have pecorino, parmesan, parigiano reggiano or grana padano will do just as well)
  • 6 slices prosciutto, torn up (3 syns)

I’m not a huge fan of celery but it actually adds something to this dish, so leave it in. This comes in at 4 syns each, so it does Elizabeth.

to make risotto with thyme, prosciutto, pecorino and crumbled goat cheese you should:

  • in a bowl, mix together the goats cheese and soft cheese until well combined, then put in the freezer to firm up whilst you do the rest
  • heat a little oil in a large pan over a medium-high heat
  • add the onions, garlic and celery and fry slowly for about 4 minutes
  • add the rice to the pan, stir well and knock the heat up – keep stirring for about a minute
  • add the thyme
  • add a ladleful of stock and stir until it’s absorbed – stir the rice gently
  • keep adding stock, a ladle at a time, until it’s all gone
  • remove from the heat and stir in the pecorino
  • serve, then drape over the prosciutto and dollops of goaty soft cheese over the top
  • enjoy!

Doesn’t that feel like a proper cheat day dinner? And yet, still within your syns! Get it made.

Need more ideas? Well gosh, click a button below and get on with it.

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mini meat volcanoes – taster night idea

Just a quick post tonight – we’ve got far too much ironing to be fannying on with, and a whole sky box of Jeremy Kyle waiting for us. Don’t fret though, because we’ve got an absolute belter lined up for you which is another notch on the bedpost for a snack, taster night idea AND for a proper meal! I know, I know, we spoil you. Speaking of spoiling, we spent a lovely few hours today out and about at Brysons in Gateshead which is a great local animal shelter – if you’re in the area and looking for a new pet, please do give them a look – they take wonderful care of all their animals and provide a great service. We took the handsome Harvey out for a walk around Eighton Banks and were mesmerised by his wobbling bum. I think any animal becomes a hundred times cuter when they’re a little chubby. We also spent some time getting our hands on some pussy which, believe me, we don’t get to say very often. Our own cats are now in a massive sulk with us and insist on only coming near us to fart. The dirty buggers.

Today’s recipe, then – we got the idea from/ripped it off from one of those videos you see looping and making you shit yourself when the sound starts going off on Facebook – full link here if you want to take a look for yourself. We’ve adapted it slightly to make it more Slimming World friendly. A doddle to make, taste fantastic and a new, interesting way to tart up mince. Oh I know that they’re not especially photogenic, but not everything needs to look like it’s come out of Smug Fucker magazine.

mini meat volcanoes

This makes nine. 1.5 syns for the lot.

to make mini meat volcanoes you will need:

to make mini meat volcanoes you should:

  • preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  • carefully cut the slices of ham to make 9 thin slices – they don’t need to be neat, no-one is standing behind you tutting and this isn’t Art Attack
  • in a bowl, mix together the mince, salt, pepper and onion granules
  • divide the mixture into nine and roll into balls
  • loosely wrap the ham around the ball to make a ‘collar’ – making sure the two ends overlap
  • gently push your thumb into the middle and pinch the edges to make a cup shape – do this for all nine
  • place the cups into a large baking tray or yorkshire pudding tin
  • drop a slice of jalapeno into each cup, a small dollop of passata and top with a chunk of mozarella
  • cook in the oven for about twenty minutes

Serve with speed foods, or, if you’re normal, chips. These can also be stuffed in a tupperware box and eaten cold at a taster session. But listen, that’s a lot of meat to be sharing with people who have probably only brought in a rotten banana or made a Mug Shot in the kitchen. Fuck ’em, take a bag of Snack a Jacks instead.

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syn free pizza stuffed meatloaf

I was just going to do a quick post tonight to accompany this pizza stuffed meatloaf but damn it, it deserves a proper articles. Partially because I’m too lazy to type and also because tonight’s guest writer Vicky looks the sort to smash your knees in over an unpaid catalogue debt, I’m going to hand you over to her. Vicky would like to talk about something not normally mentioned on this blog – being thin. Let’s go. Mind, because I’m an egotistical terror, I’ll be butting in throughout. REMEMBER, these articles are done by people who fancy taking a stab at writing but don’t have an outlet. If you can’t say anything nice, keep it schtum. For me! FAIR WARNING: there’s a lot of blue language in this post!

sticks and stones – by Vicky “Thundergash” M

So – James has invited us mere mortals to write in his blog – I feel like I’ve been invited to have tea with the Queen. Except it’s a Queen that swears a lot and slugs gin like a menopausal housewife. (James: our Queen does have a much better beard, mind)

We’ve been advised that we should write about what we know. Hmm. I don’t know loads – I’m just a normal 35 year old mum of 2 kids.

I do know about weight though. Oh, I know a hell of a lot about weight, on both ends of the scale (scale, geddit?) (James: I’ll do the jokes, please) (I’m kidding)

Firstly – I have Marfan syndrome (look it up if you want to be nosey) – it basically means I have long skinny limbs and according to textbooks I should be as skinny as a beanpole. Pfft. I was, as a kid. Skinny jokes were all I heard growing up and I absolutely hated my body. I was the tall gangly kid and to this day it annoys me that people can be told “you’re too skinny – you need to eat” yet fat comments are a no-no. Why can’t people just not comment at all? Wankers. I seem to have slipped from one end of the fat-scale to the other. I had legs like string – no, not those slender, sexy legs that people gaze lustfully upon. I’m talking bony with knobbly knees that invite cat calls of “oy Wednesday legs! Wednesday gonna snap?

Yep – being skinny was a fucking ball (a ball of shite more like) now I know I’m meant to say “embrace your body sisters (and brothers) love every part of yourself!” but try telling a 15 year old girl that. I hated my body. One day I hit puberty and widened. It seemed to happen overnight. I looked like an HGV reversing up a back lane. I got hips, thighs, an arse you could hide Shergar in and stretch marks all over – on my shoulders, my hips, my bastard thighs – you name it.

My mum would tut and kindly say “those jeans would look great if your hips were smaller” (cheers ma!)

as I got into my twenties (after giving birth to a 10lb 12oz baby) I looked like a road map naked, or perhaps a saddened zebra, with my big massive tits resting kindly on my deflated belly. Gorgeous eh? Anyway, here’s my point. I’m a size 16 or on a good day a generous size 14. To this day I get told “there’s nothing on you! I’d love your figure!” cos I do now have decent legs (ha! take that bullies!) but I still hate what I see in the mirror. No amount of dieting and exercise can hide my saggy tits, my C-section scar and how Mother Nature decided to gift my skin with probably 40% of it covered in stretchmarks.

What annoys me is the “I’d love your body” comments. No, no you wouldn’t. I dislike my body and massive hips just as much as the next woman.

Did I mention that I recently got engaged? I finally met a man who loves me and my dodgy bod. Does it matter that whilst I’m naked I often have “how can he stay hard when he’s looking at this?!” running through my head? Not to him. He’s 17 stone (James: pffft amateur!) and loves cake and bread. I LOVE his pot belly, I wouldn’t change a thing on him and sometimes (on a good day) I let it sink in that he feels the same way about me.

I suppose I should be happy and if this was a film I’d discover a way to love myself. But I’m not in a film. Haven’t been since ‘Vixen Vicky and the Broken Down Rugby Coach 8: Fill ‘Er Up.’ Reality isn’t like that is it? I know that if I won the lottery and could afford new tits and a new belly, I’d never be fully happy with myself. I did however discover shirt dresses and that belts create a waist. A decent bra can hide a multitude of syns. I’ll never have a bikini bod but a cute swimming costume with a little ruffle skirt can hide my thighs and the stretchmarks. I suppose I may not be happy with what I’m working with – but I can dress to create a way to carry it off, and unless someone’s looking fabulous and mentions it themselves never EVER tell someone they need to “lose a few pounds” to look good in their jeans or to eat more as they’re too skinny. You never know what they’re facing.

Just be kind to people.

Oh and enjoy your syns – that’s what they’re there for!

I’d like to applaud Vicky for her honesty and her very Radio 4 way of putting things. That’s if Radio 4 was hosted by Jordan and consisted solely of her gargling semen down the microphone for eight hours. I wish people did love themselves more. Without wanting to be all claphappy, everyone looks beautiful in some way. Even if you’ve got a face like a prolapsed anus, you might still have nice fingers. Teeth like a downed aircraft? Bet you’ve got a shapely bottom. Everyone has something good about them and I tell you now, from someone who spends a lot of time people watching, those who walk with confidence aren’t always the skinny, toned folk you might assume. I’ve given up caring what people think – I’ve met my husband, I’m happy with my lot, so now when I go to a beach I’ll pay no second thought to getting out my hairy back and my wobbling Mitchell Brothers titties. If you don’t like it, that’s tough banana. I like to feel the sun on my tyres as much as the next guy.

Anyway enough of that – I’m on the verge of breaking out a drum circle. Let’s get to the recipe for pizza stuffed meatloaf.

This recipe makes enough for four if you serve it, like we did, with some broccoli and cheesy sweet potato and kale mash, which you can find the recipe for right here. If I’m absolutely honest, we ate two servings each, but then we are both Notorious P.I.Gs. So, y’know, do what you will.

pizza stuffed meatloaf pizza stuffed meatloaf

to make pizza stuffed meatloaf you will need:

  • 500g beef mince 
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 30g grated parmesan (1x HEA)
  • 70g reduced fat mozzarella (1x HEA)
  • few slices of ham
  • handful of basil leaves
  • salt and pepper

We used one packet of mince from our Musclefood deal – you get four packs included in the price together with chicken, bacon and beef pieces – more than enough to keep you going for weeks! Click here to take advantage of that! This is actually very easy to make and looks impressive!

to make pizza stuffed meatloaf you should:

  • preheat the oven to 190 degrees
  • in a small bowl mix together the tomato puree, vinegar and oregano to make a paste – add more vinegar or water if you need to thin it a bit
  • lay out some baking paper and shape the mince into a rectangle shape, about 9″ by 7″
  • add two tbsp of the tomato sauce onto the meatloaf and spread out, leaving about 1/2″ around the edge
  • on one half, layer on a few slices of ham, half the grated mozzarella and half of the parmesan
  • use the parchment paper to ‘fold’ over the empty half on top of the other half, and pinch together the seams
  • carefully move the meatloaf onto a baking sheet
  • spoon 2 tbsp of tomato sauce onto the top of the mixture and sprinkle on the remaining cheese and some salt and pepper
  • cook in the oven for about thirty minutes
  • serve with your sides and revel in the fact it’s all so delicious and syn free!

Oh, if you’ve bought a basil plant just for the sake of a few leaves, stick the plantpot into a small container and fill it with water. This time of year it’ll grow quite merrily on a windowsill as long as you water it from the bottom! Just like I do with Paul.


fresh spring rolls and dipping sauce

Was it my fresh spring rolls and dipping sauce that caught your eye? Well scroll on down, you filthy buggers. Fair warning, tonight’s entry is a little saucy.

Before we get to the recipe, I’m going to do something unusual. See, in the facebook group that accompanies this blog are a load of funny buggers, each more crass and hilarious than the last. I can rattle off a blue joke and a knob gag no worries, but well, I struggle to get women’s problems correct. It’s all so complicated, and well, if you get it wrong, you’re liable to end up with a clit around the ear and a flap in the face. Wah-wah.

Anyway, I decided it would be a gas to ask people if they wanted to write an ‘article’ for the blog – no catches, write what you want, and if I have a recipe but can’t be buggered to type up one of my usual why-use-one-word-when-forty-paragraphs will do, I can post one up! If you’re interested in having a go, let me know in the comments. Readers, please remember that these articles are people wanting to try their hand at writing a blog post but don’t have the confidence to set up a full blog. Be kind. If you’re thinking negative comments, keep them ssh. If you enjoy the article, let’s hear from you!

Tonight’s entry is by the charming Clarabell, who lists the ability to say the alphabet backwards and having a creepy double-jointed hand as her party trick. Don’t believe me? Take a look!


Goodness. Least she never struggles to get the last Pringle out of the tube, eh? I’d better make sure that isn’t the image that shows up when you post this to facebook. Over to Clarabell…

sweatbox: a tale by Clarabell

Now, we’re all used to the candid craic from James and Paul about douche bulbs, all things in the downstairs department, and of course the post that mentioned bukkake…which I had to google. On a work laptop. Upon which I forgot to delete the history. Cheers guys! So I figured that with a gaggle of MAINLY female readers that my post would have to be about some nether region tale of the female variety. Something we’ve probably all experienced at one point. Perhaps not James and Paul. (James edit: NOT TRUE! I’ve been there and it was all very charming, but not for me. That’s what keeps the world interesting, different opinions, apropos of nothing I don’t like potted ox tongue either).

I’ve been fed up lately, I’ve been getting bouts of cystitis, antibiotics, thrush, cystitis….repeat. I’ve had a scan and there’s nothing wrong with me other than I don’t drink enough water, and have self-created this cycle of misery.

Resigned to buying the thrush cream, after the standard tactic of ‘ignore it and it might not be there’ stopped working, off I went to the local shopping centre, my purse hovering on the thick air in front of me. I’m in Asda but I can’t see what I want on the shelves, and I’m quickly narked that the chemist is the other side of the centre, only because when your regions are on fire, that’s a long walk to do, simultaneously avoiding the urge for a scratch, and walking like there’s stones in your shoes. But! In a flash of delight, I remember that they took out half of the checkouts, to make an optician that no-one goes in, and…. a PHARMACY! Whoop! There’s nothing like the delight of knowing you can get minge cream at the same time as your linguine.

I’d like some Canesten Oral Duo” I say bravely– pointing to the bottom shelf. Worryingly, he looks like he doesn’t have a clue what I’m asking for. He follows my finger to the bottom shelf, and picks up some Sea Legs, examines box, puts it back and repeats – he does this a few times with a box of Rennie, and some headlice solution, and eventually comes across the thrush ‘range’ glowing on the shelf like a barber’s pole in full red and white glory. I’m wondering at this point if he is the pharmacist, or whether he’s mugged the rightful medicine man of his Asda badge and strolled behind the desk in the manner of an imposter, hoping to get first nab of the nearby ‘Whoops’ range, but he comes across the requested item at last. Not literally, you’d really struggle to pick the box up if he did that.

“Is it for you?” he asks. Christ on a bike…look mate, it’s fifteen flaming quid…I am not about to raffle it off in the Slimmer of the Week basket I don’t say this, instead I go with “yes” and 100% resting bitch face. Oh but he isn’t finished, “have you used it before?”…panic! What’s the correct answer to this? ‘Yes’ and appear like some serial offender, someone who can’t control their rancid ways and lifting minnie?! Or ‘no’ and risk a declined purchase, or worse, some sort of lecture on best application practice and/or side effects?! I go with “yes” quickly followed up with “a while ago…” He gives a small nod. He knows I’m baking bread. Phew, home and dry, which is good because another customer has joined me and she has the smug privacy of a prescription, which is her ticket to a no question transaction.  What is it with these useless questions?

However, there can be none more useless than the question I once got asked buying antihistamines for hayfever, “drowsy or non-drowsy” I was asked! Really?! Erm..let me check my diary…nope, nothing on the afternoon, drowsy for me please, I’m fine to lounge around spaced out and sleepy, I was not planning on driving and the only ‘machinery’ I’ll be operating will be the telly, so yup, drowsy will do just do fine…ah wait, no consuming alcohol? Poop.

Anyway, Ahmed walks to the till, and promptly stops and stands above it doing jazz hands, and of course he just remembered he doesn’t know how to use it. Suddenly, “Doreen!” he shouts WAVING THE CANESTEN BOX IN THE AIR! “Doreen, can you ring this in for me please”! I swear the smug-prescription-holder does the smirking shimmy, that tiny little wobble that comes only with an inner titter.  I throw her some side-ways shade, which is code for ‘look lady, we’ve all been there, and you will one day (maybe soon after that prescription for antibiotics teehee!) also have to stand here and deal with this lovely bloke, showing the world his arm pit sweat patch whilst at the same time holding aloft the solution to your itchy snatch’.

Goodness me! I once had a flatmate who had perpetual thrush, brought on by the fact her extra-endowed boyfriend  seemed hellbent on hammering her cervix over her back-teeth. Not even kidding there, she showed me a photo he’d sent and what I thought was his arm holding the camera definitely wasn’t. At one point our fridge was more cranberry juice than anything else. I still can’t have a cranberry sour without thinking of her undercarriage. I remember we once had a full stand-up row over the fact I refused to boil tea-towels in a saucepan on the hob to sterilise them. Awfully judgemental for someone with a little too much glue on their envelope.

Now listen, before anyone starts writing their ‘ANGRY OF TUNBRIDGE WELLS’ letters and getting themselves in a tizz, don’t. I know it’s perfectly natural and I know people get all sorts of things but do you know, if we can’t laugh at ourselves, what can we do? Let’s not live in a joyless vacuum.

Right, to the food!

 fresh spring rolls

These are one of those tasty little dishes that look complicated to make, but they’re really not. We used Blue Dragon Rice Pancakes for these which SW say are one syn each (ridiculous) – you can buy rice pancakes from any Asian supermarket too. The joy with these is that you can ram them absolutely chock-full of speed vegetables and lovely free things. 

to make fresh spring rolls, you’ll need:

to make fresh spring rolls, you should:

  • get a plate and fill it with warm water, you’ll obviously not need a lot
  • chop all your veg up – this is where a mandolin will save you so much time and make everything neat and wonderful – click here to buy one of those
  • get everything ready to hand
  • take one pancake, push it into the water, allow to rehydrate a little
  • take out, shake off the water and lay it on a tea-towel or better, a nice clean worktop
  • if you imagine it in thirds, you want to place a big amount of filling at the top of the bottom third – or really, just below the middle of the pancake
  • fold in the sides
  • fold in the bottom
  • roll – keep it nice and tight with your hands (fnar fnar)
  • place on a chopping board and cut with a very sharp knife

You’re done! We served ours with a dipping sauce where we took low sodium soy sauce (6 tbsp), a couple of tablespoons of hoisin (4 syns), a few chilli flakes, a drop of honey (1 syn) and some passata. Stir and serve!

Although these are a syn each, these fresh spring rolls are very, very filling and a brilliant way of getting fresh veg into you. I’m a big fat pig and only managed four! If you wanted to keep it vegetarian, swap out the meat for cooked egg or mushrooms.



four meals from a chicken: chicken, ham and leek pie

Our third recipe using up the leftover scraps of chicken to make a chicken, ham and leek pie – this time, scrape every last bit of meat you can from the bones. It’s all a bit Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but really, don’t waste any. If you’re running short, just up the amount of ham and leek and no-one will notice. Keep the carcass mind! We’re going to boil it up tomorrow. Quick post tonight.

OH! We have a competition! Win yourself a free Musclefood freezer filler courtesy of your favourite blog, right here

Speaking of pie, I was going to post a lovely recipe for apple and persimmon tart, but see Rob came home and I burnt the custard and er, stabbed him in the back. Well obviously not, but does anyone else listen to The Archers? I don’t, as a rule, but I catch the odd episode as I drive home maybe once a fortnight, and feel like I keep up-to-date with the storylines just fine. Goodness, I nearly drove into a ditch as I listened to the last episode. I haven’t been this moved by the radio since poor Heather-Pet died.

Mind, anyone who thinks The Archers is indicative of country living is completely wrong – well, they got one syllable of that right – there’s nowhere near enough of pointing slackjawed at aeroplanes, showing into holes in the ground and bumming behind hay-bales, for one. Anyway, hush, let’s rush to the recipe!

chicken, ham and leek pie chicken, ham and leek pie

to make four lots of chicken, ham and leek pie you’ll need:

  • every last scrap of leftover chicken or turkey, or, two chicken breasts cut into small chunks – perhaps use two breasts from the many, many breasts you get as part of our freezer filler box from Musclefood (£80 of meat for £50, all pure meats, no fanciness)
  • two fancy shallots
  • three big leeks (use a mandolin slicer to make short work of slicing these buggers, and better yet, our recommended mandolin is only £9 on Amazon at the moment)
  • massive handful of peas
  • syn-free wafer thin ham
  • two minced garlic cloves
  • 440g of Philadelphia lightest (440g being 4 x HEA, and as this makes enough for four pies, it’s one each – otherwise, syn 440g of Philadelphia as 5.5 syns per pie)
  • 500g of cottage cheese or Quark – if it’s cottage cheese, you’ll need to make sure you get a syn-free version like Tesco’s Healthy Living
  • 100g of Jus-Rol light puff pastry, divided into four – that’s 4 syns each (4.25 syns really but come on)
  • an egg
  • a bit of milk to loosen it might be needed

TOP TIP: you can make this syn free if you make a bubble and squeak rosti from leftover Sunday veg and use that as a lid instead – you can find the recipe for that right here

to make four lots of chicken, ham and leek pie you should:

  • slice up the shallots, leeks, water thin ham, mince the garlic and add in the chicken and sweat it all down in a pan
  • slowly stir in the Philadelphia with plenty of black pepper
  • slowly stir in the Quark or, if you’re using cottage cheese, blend that first and then pour it in
  • let everything simmer very gentle for maybe half an hour, if it is too thic, loosen it off with a splash of milk
  • when you’re ready to cook, pour the mixture into four seperate pie dishes or one big Pyrex dish
  • stretch out your pastry to cover the top – if you’re struggling, why not just cut out a shape like a star using a cookie cutter (like our post right here) and put that on instead?
  • brush with egg and use any leftover pastry to write an obscene word on the top
  • bake in the oven until the pie is golden and serve with veg
  • easy!

Enjoy! Remember if you’re being a tight-arse with syns you should replace the pastry with the rosti lid – just as nice and a bit more speed too. Oh if you need them, the individual pie dishes can be found here


ham and egg breakfast bites

Another breakfast recipe in the form of ham and egg breakfast bites – these couldn’t be simpler to make and the recipe will take no time at all to type, so let me rattle something else off. I was in the bath earlier (what can I say, I thought I’d make an effort for work tomorrow and, after hours of hard gardening, my bollock-consommé was particularly strong) when I happened across a chapter in Bill Bryson’s newest book where he listed ten of his irrational dislikes. First thought? The cheeky faced bearded bugger had clearly read my previous blog entry and nicked the idea. Second thought? As if a wonder like Bill Bryson would read my blog. I love Bill – my favourite author in the world. If I can get to 60 and be as witty and verbose as him, I’ll be a happy, better-bearded man. My previous irrational dislikes can be found here, but here’s a few more…

spitting in public

Spitting should never happen. It’s a vile process – unless you’ve ingested some kind of poison, there’s no reason to blow great chunks of lungbutter out onto the street. You’ll see people walking along spitting away merrily like they’ve got a mouthful of cat hair and it’s all I can do not to reach across and set their face on fire. Apparently I’m the one in the wrong if I do that. Pfft. I’m tempted to add spitting in private onto the list but I can think of at least one situation where someone may prefer to spit rather than swallow. Amateurs. I gargle.

baby on board stickers

The most pointless, self-indulgent little sticker known to man, other than the picture of Alan Shearer grinning his big smug smile in the 1997 football sticker album. I can’t bear Alan Shearer – I’ve met him, and he’s a boring, self-aggrandising arse. Anyway, what’s the point of these baby on board stickers? Do you think I was planning to drive onto your backseat and through your headrests until I saw your pink Comic Sans sticker of shite and decided against it? Some say it’s for the fire brigade to know immediately in a crash that there’s a baby somewhere in the crushed metal. I dare say that if an accident was so severe that the fire brigade couldn’t spot your baby mewling away in the back then chances are no-one is walking away from it anyway. 

mothers using their pushchairs to stop traffic

Oddly specific one this. I drive to work down the same street every day, which coincides with when the parents are taking their adorable children to school. I say adorable children like one might say adorable terminal illness or adorable mass genocide. More often than not, some vacant-looking, red-eyed pyjama-clad monstrosity will, instead of crossing at the many safe crossing points, just push her pushchair into the road to try and cross. Nevermind teaching your kid how to cross the road safely, nevermind almost causing an accident because you’re too selfish to cross in the right place, you just get out there. Bah!

self-appointed traffic wardens who wear cameras

This is a difficult one. I absolutely understand why cyclists and cars have those cameras which record the road in front of you – there’s that many bell-ends on the road to justify it. But what makes me seethe is when you overtake a cyclist, leave plenty of room, indicate back in and they STILL tap their helmet and wag their fingers like I’m a dog who has shat on the carpet. You know that if you watch it back on Youtube later it’ll be accompanied by someone’s thin reedy voice reading out your registration and the sticky noise of someone masturbating furiously.


I swear, everything in my house dings and dongs and bleeps at me. Put something on the fancy induction hob? It’ll do a little chirrup. Our smoke alarm system occasionally decides to launch a test with a brash American woman saying ‘THIS IS JUST A TEST’ – presumably a test to see how much blood can pour from my ears before I dismantle her. Our fridge beeps if we leave the door open for more than a second and it blares if the ice-dispenser gets too full or if the freezer is too full. The washing machine beeps each time it reaches a new stage in the cycle. My Wii U flashes when there’s a new notification and my Mac beeps whenever someone leaves us a facebook comment, or an email, or every time Siri has a shite. TwoChubbyCubs Towers is beginning to look and sound like a NASA control room and it vexes me.

people who stir their hot drink like they’re whisking eggs

There’s no need! Just give it a couple of stirs with your spoon and sit the fuck down. It makes my teeth rattle and my blood boil when they go at it like they’re trying to squeeze every last molecule of tea or take the finish off the cup, not least because I have decent Le Creuset cups and I don’t want bloody scratches on them.

stupid comments

Look, 99.9% of comments we get via the blog and facebook are wonderful, funny or useful, but we get some proper humdingers too. No: we won’t explain every facet of the plan to you, we’re not paid and we’re not consultants. Also, don’t have a pop at us if your Tesco in Wolverhampton didn’t have any 5% mince, it’s not our ruddy fault. And if you’re the lady with sand in her vag because I mentioned having to get up constantly in a cinema to let someone nip outside to the toilet and you took that as a full-scale assault on the incontinent, well, kiss my boobs. I knew the person I was getting up for and she’s only verbally incontinent.

takeaway menus

Whenever we are on a diet, three things happen: Dominos have their 50% off week, Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream goes to £2 a tub and we start getting a tsunami of takeaway leaflets through the door – all with the same dodgy photos of their food downloaded from google images, all with the same balloon fonts and all with the worst spelling mistakes. I like my nan (or rather I did, bless her, she’s dead now) but the thought of a free hot and spicy nan with my korma puts me right off. These will be the same type of places where you get a) tins of pop rather than cans of coke and b) roughly fingered for a free kebab.


I might have touched on this before with my many moans about scented bloody candles and their pointless bloody names (A Child’s Fucking Wish, am I right?) but hell, it bears repeating. I’m yet to smell an air-freshener that doesn’t make my nose crinkle. They’re universally awful. Fair enough, if you spend decent money you can buy a decent candle with a reasonable smell (something like The White Company) but otherwise, open a bloody window. Those little hissy air-fresheners in public loos that smell ostensibly of pine? A load of bollocks! I’m not transported to a crisp and verdant forest with a tiny hiss, no, instead it smells like I’ve shit in a grass-clippings bin.

That’s 10, I could go on. But let’s call it a day. Ham and egg breakfast bites, then:

ham and egg breakfast bites

to make ham and egg breakfast bites, you’ll need (making enough for twelve, just scale back down if you want less)

  • a pack of decent wafer thin ham
  • 12 large eggs
  • a tin of baked beans
  • salt and pepper
  • a muffin tin greased with a few squirts of olive oil or some Frylight

to make ham and egg breakfast bites, you should:

  • layer a few slices of ham over each hole of the muffin tin and push in, so a ‘cup’ forms in each hole
  • put a small spoonful of beans in there
  • gently, crack an egg over the top – you might find it easier to crack an egg into a glass and pour it on, othewise you’re going to leave slimy residue all over the worktop and your partner will think you’ve been paying lip service to yourself in the kitchen, you filthy bugger
  • crack a bit of pepper on top if you like and put in the oven
  • cook for around 25 minutes, though you might like to let them cook a bit longer to firm them up
  • once they’re done, let them cool – they’ll keep in a sealed box in the fridge for a couple of days
  • enjoy!



syn free ham and potato hash plus new york: part one

The recipe for ham and potato hash can be found below all the following guff. Long time readers know that when I start talking about a holiday…well, I tend to go on. I’ve got five New York entries to get through, though don’t expect them one after the other, I’m a little behind…if you’re a fan of my holiday writings, don’t forget all of our previous entries on Germany, Ireland and Corsica can be found in our Amazon book, found right here. Our book – a collection of all the many, many articles from our blog – keeps us in holidays. Just saying!

twochubbycubs go to New York, part one

Before we get started on the actual travels, the exciting part – this was a complete surprise for Paul. We weren’t planning on taking any holidays after Corsica and Iceland being so close together, but I was driving home from a first-aid course when an advert for Expedia came on espousing cheap deals to New York. I drove on for another mile or so mulling it over, pulled into a layby, booked the time off work and emailed Paul’s lovely boss to get clearance. I left the small detail of actually booking the holiday until a few days after. I’ve mentioned before how easily led I am by advertising – thank fuck an advert didn’t come on for haemmorhoid cream else I’d have squatting down in a bus-stop feverishly applying Preparation H to my bumhole in the manner of a man spreading butter on a crumpet. Having managed to secure the time off for the both of us and after many, many “trips to ASDA” for poor Paul to get him out of the house so I could use the computer, I found a really decent deal with British Airways staying in a nice central hotel for six nights. Booked it there and then. Paul then had to endure ten days of me looking at him excitedly and dropping ‘a big secret’ that he probably thought he was getting divorce papers in the post. As if! I’m saving the divorce papers for when he’s paid off his half of the car.

That’s clearly a joke – I’d never divorce a man so perfectly squashy and who turns the shower on for me every morning so I don’t have to stand for a moment in a chilly bathroom. You might think he gets the shitty end of the stick (depends how careful he’s been with the old douche-bulb I guess) but read the above paragraph and think again!

Going to America always necessitates a full-on panic about travel insurance for me – I don’t want to fall ill in America, find out my travel insurance is void because I didn’t inform them someone once hurt my feelings in 1996 and then bankrupt my friends and family as they try and pay for my hospital treatment in a country which, for god knows why, doesn’t have decent free healthcare. Listen, I know my family, they’d just send someone out on an economy flight to fill my drip-bag with Cillit Bang and stop my heart. Fuckers. I spent a good hour on the phone to a very helpful lady at Coverwise who went through my various worries – do I declare heart palpitations four years ago? Yes. Do I declare obesity? Only if I need help getting in and out of bed – not quite there yet. My hair is thinning and I look like Steve McDonald drawn Castaway-style on a beach ball – apparently I don’t need to declare that. She then proceeded to take my payment but accidentally deleted all the details we had just decided upon, so we had to do it all again. Great times.

The night before the holiday I told him we were going away somewhere mysterious and to pack a suitcase. Naturally, Paul, being a keen and conscientious worker, immediately started fretting about meetings and out of office nonsense, until I told him it was all fine and that I’d been masterminding this scheme right from the off, like an evil Judith Chalmers. All he had to do was pack some clothes, find his passport (I told him we’d need it for car hire within the UK so he didn’t twig we were going abroad) and get to bed, as we had an early train in the morning. He sensibly did the right thing, although we did have a minor panic when we realised that I need a new passport very soon – thankfully, we were just within the limits for USA travel. I’ll be sad to see that passport go – it’s about the only ID I have where the picture doesn’t look like it should have a caption underneath saying ‘…jailed for eighteen months for public indecency’. Doubtless when I get a new passport I’ll be back to looking like a sandblasted puffer-fish. I’ll definitely need to get my hair cut before that day comes – the last time I want happening is someone at easyJet saying ‘Aaah Mr Trump, we’ve been expecting you’.

Off to the train station at ridiculous-o-clock then. This necessitated a taxi drive with the world’s most vocal taxi driver, who had an opinion on everything from my suitcase (“not very butch” – fuck off mate, if anyone can make a four-wheeled suitcase work, it’s me) to Uber. Uber, he took pains to tell me, was a danger because “anyone can drive them, they’re not vetted” (which was rich, as he looked like the type of man for whom Incognito Mode was the default status on his browser) and that “their cars aren’t checked, they could be death-traps”. This one really struck a chord with Paul, who texted me to point out that the driver’s rear-view mirror was gaffer taped to the roof of the car. I pleaded with him not to say anything lest we got bundled out at high speed on the Seaton Burn roundabout. Instead, we just spent the journey nodding politely and making ‘hmm’ and ‘mmm’ noises until, after seemingly taking us via Darlington, we arrived at the station and boarded our train.

What to say about the train journey that I haven’t covered before? It was entirely uneventful. I was given a cup of tea that had cleaning products in (thank god for the travel insurance!) but luckily, I spotted, or rather smelled, the problem before it had a chance to burn through my throat and cascade down my chest, ruining my nice shirt. The train had to take a long diversion at some point and the trip ended up taking five hours, but it was quiet, comfortable and, with it being first class, we had more biscuits than is possibly decent. It does vex me a little that they take the meal service off in first class during the weekends – frankly my train journey isn’t complete unless I’m eating something microwaved and slopped on a plate. Paul got up to go for a poo at some point and disappeared for twenty minutes. Naturally, I was so concerned it was all I could do to put down my iPad, pause the Youtube of the Crystal Maze that I was watching, and glance down the corridor. Had he alighted at a passing station, tired of looking at my angry face across the table from him? Had my still-awake-but-really-comfy-snoring angered him so? No. Turned out, being a wonderful husband, he’d walked/stumbled to the other end of the train, bought us two double gin and tonics each and a grilled cheese sandwich. As delighted as I was with the nourishment and booze, I couldn’t mask the alarm in my eyes, but he reassured me that it had only cost around £780.45 for this little treat. Good old Virgin!

On the train I told Paul we were going to Heathrow, so he knew at that point we were off abroad. We transferred onto the Heathrow Express, arrived in plenty of good time to nip into the terminal, buy some wine gums and play on the fruities before climbing inside those automatic toilets that whisk you around to various parts of Heathrow. Our destination? Why, the wonderful Thistle Hotel of course, which you may remember we weren’t particularly overtaken with joy with last time (by the way, that links to one of our favourite recipes, too)? Listen, it’s convenient and Paul loves that POD system, so that’s why we chose it. Naturally, our room was the size of a small shoebox and I had to spin around in the shower to get wet, but eh, it’s a bed. We had a Dominos and watched Vera. Vera is very much a guilty pleasure for us, although I can’t tell you what it looks like because I spend most of the time wincing against her attempt at a Geordie accent. Very few people in Newcastle actually substitute ‘pet’ where a full stop would normally go, but by god she does it. They were filming around where we live a few weeks ago so I fully expect a shot of her solving crime whilst my filthy car drives past in the background with me squinting to see what’s going on. I should have shouted ‘HERE MAN VERAH PET HAS THERE BIN A MOORDA PET HAS SOMEWURN HAD THEIR HEED CAVED IN EH’. Authentic!

I revealed to Paul that we were off to New York as we approached the ticket desk in the morning (well, it would have been tricky when she asked where we were going and he said he didn’t know his final destination) and of course, he was delighted. As we were in Terminal 5 it felt altogether too busy and crowded for a ‘thank you’ bit of bum-fun, so we just settled for oral instead. I’m kidding, we’re not that raunchy. It was a handjob. OK enough. We were given our tickets and the old problem of finding something to do early in the morning at Terminal 5 reared its head. We settled for an expensive, tasteless breakfast, a good poo and an hour of aimlessly wandering around smelling aftershave I wouldn’t use to clean a litter-box and avoiding a rather excitable woman who was determined we ‘sample her Baileys’. I noted with relief that we weren’t flying on a Dreamliner, which I was absolutely sure was the plane that had come up when I’d checked. I texted a friend to explain that I wouldn’t be making an unscheduled, on-fire stop in the Shetlands and boarded.

The flight was lovely. Smooth with no turbulence, aside from a moment of panic on my side as we were taking off and it felt as though the plane was struggling. It wasn’t, of course, but naturally my anxiety around taking off qualifies me as a fully-trained aeroplane pilot and I felt I had to tell Paul we were clearly going to crash. We’ve only flown British Airways once before and the last time was ruined by having a stewardess whose only regret in life was not being born into the Schutzstaffel, but the crew were amazing on this flight. Seats were comfortable, drinks were plentiful to the point I had seven miniature bottles of gin sitting on my table, and when they were taken away, the big bear steward, clearly feeling the rainbow connection, bought us four more. We dozed and watched movies (I watched Spectre, Paul watched bloody Ghost) and, aside from a moment where the inconsiderate oaf behind us decided to use the back of my chair and my hair to hoist himself up, it was lovely. He apologised, though I think my surprised shriek probably put me on a watch-list somewhere. We landed in JFK.

American security though, jeez. I’ve done it plenty of times to know that you don’t crack jokes and that they aren’t exactly forthcoming with the charm, but this was a whole new level. When he asked me to put out my fingers for scanning I honestly expected him to rap me on the knuckles with a wooden ruler. I’m here to spend money in your wonderful country, please don’t greet me like I’ve shit in your dinner. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting an elaborate song and dance routine or a free cake with every stamp of my passport, but haway. Of course, by writing this, I’m sure I’ll immediately be put on a list that means the second I land in the USA I’ll be greeted by someone shining a light in my face and sticking a gloved finger up my bum. Listen, all I ask is that you tweak my nipples a bit first, get me going.

That’s us, then, on American soil. I’ll continue with the next part sometime soon! Let’s get to the recipe. You’re probably hungry now.

ham and potato hash

to make ham and potato hash, you’ll need:

  • one large white onion
  • one large green pepper
  • one garlic clove, yes, you guessed it, minced using a fabulous little mincer I know
  • three decent sized potatoes, preferably something waxy
  • pinch of salt and pepper and a tiny pinch of dried thyme
  • four thick slices of ham

to make ham and potato hash, you should:

  • cut the potato put into dice-sized chunks and boil them until they’re soft and fluffy but not mushy – drain and set aside
  • meanwhile, cut up the pepper and onion and soften them in a dab of oil or a few squirts of squirty oil on a medium heat
  • once they’ve softened, add your minced garlic, salt, pepper and thyme
  • cut your ham into chunks and throw them in
  • add the potatoes
  • stir – you’re not trying to create one large mass of potatoes so just be gentle
  • stick under the grill to toast it off – hell, you could even add a bit of cheese as long as you take it from your healthy extra

This is remarkably easy to make and tastes lovely – try and keep all your chunks the same size for uniformity. We served ours with a side of sticky sprouts, the recipe for which I’ll put on soon! No more typing. I’m tired! Enjoy.

Oh one more thing. If you’ve enjoyed this little tale about America, remember we did a full on America week with American recipes – you can find them here!

Please: remember to share and send us everywhere you can!


pork and chorizo kebabs

EMERGENCY RECIPE ACTIVATE (Paul and I are gallivanting!). This is super quick to make and a good way to use up pork mince – pork is a slightly drier mince so works well with the oily chorizo but beef could be used too. 

pork and chorizo burgers

to make pork and chorizo kebabs, you’ll need:

  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 75g chorizo, chopped (7.5 syns)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • handful of chopped parsley

This makes enough for six ‘burgers’, which you can chop up and put into a kebab or indeed, have as a burger. I think that’s enough for three people. If you’re finding that there’s too much meat for you to handle and you’ve got a badly-packed kebab, just take a bit out and try again. You’ll get the hang of it and there’ll be thick yoghurt sauce everywhere in no time at all.

to make pork and chorizo kebabs, you should:

  • mix together all of the ingredients and season to taste
  • divide the mixture into six and press into burger shapes
  • heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and place the burgers in the pan
  • cook for about 6-7 minutes each side, making sure the burgers are fully cooked
  • serve in a pitta bread (make sure it’s suitable for your HEB) with salad and raita (mix fat free yoghurt with chopped mint and shredded cucumber)

So easy!


pork, apple and stilton parcels

Oops. I said one recipe a day didn’t I? Well, look – it was late when we got home yesterday and then I had the pleasure of showing my parents around the newly decorated house, where I had to stop my mother measuring up for new carpets and calling Pickfords to get herself moved in. After they’d gone, it was really all we could do to order a Chinese and watch some shite TV. We’re only humans and it’s been a really, really long week. I do wish I had a job which meant I could work from home on occasion (sadly, someone has to make the photocopier work and make the teas). I know I couldn’t, I’d spend 7 hours watching Youtube, eating everything in the fridge and half-heartedly masturbating. Look it’s what all blokes do when we’re alone. That’s why our emails from home are always so badly typed with the spelli ng al to cock.!

I had to stop typing for a second there because Paul has set our ‘any colour’ lights to flash on and off when the International Space Station goes overhead and I genuinely thought I was having a stroke. God knows why he’s decided we need that to happen. Frankly all I use the lights for is making the whole house glow red when we’re out so the neighbours think we’re running a gloryhole in our hallway. And we’re definitely not doing that – we’ve just had the walls painted and I don’t want it looking like a Jackson Pollock. 

I’m doing some work behind the scenes on the blog at the moment to make each recipe easier to find, so you might notice a few things changing. Don’t be alarmed. One thing I’ve just added are decent share buttons, which you’ll find at the bottom of each recipe. Please – you’ll be doing me a massive favour if you could share a recipe or two that you like. Hell, you can even print them and take them along to class. Admittedly, you’ll need to push out all the badly-photocopied recipes for Scan Bran stir-fry or other such muck, but go on, be a rebel.

Tonight’s recipe is something a bit different – we always try and make ‘cheaper’ recipes for the blog, but on this one you’ll need to spend a little bit of cash and some of your syns. But look: it’s worth it. They’re tasty, look good and served with a couple of speedy sides will be a complete meal. If you get big chops to begin with, you’re laughing. You could swap the prosciutto for bacon and the stilton for feta and drop the syns right down, but what’s the point in living if you can’t feel alive? Please note: if you’re one of those folks clearly starved of oxygen in the womb and you’re planning to leave me a snotty message along the lines of ‘u kneed 2 sin the appul as ewe’ve cuked it‘, please save your fingers. It’s a slice of apple. A SLICE. Generally speaking, unless your apple is covered in toffee or stuck in the mouth of a suckling pig, you’re not going to take much fat on board. Cheers thanks a lot.

pork chops

to make pork, apple and stilton parcels you’ll need:

  •  4 pork chops, all fat removed
  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 12 slices of prosciutto (6 syns)
  • 100g white stilton, crumbled (16 syns)
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary (use cocktail sticks if you’re not dreadfully middle-class like us and in possession of a herb garden)

to make pork, apple and stilton parcels, you should:

  • preheat the oven to 200°c
  • heat a large frying pan over a medium-high heat – you won’t need to add any oil!
  • season the pork chops with a little salt and pepper and sear in the hot pan – a non-stick pan is best for this bit because you’ll know when each side is ready when it no longer sticks to the bottom of the pan
  • meanwhile, lay out three slices of prosciutto so that they overlap slightly – you’ll need to do this three more times; one for each parcel
  • place the pork chop on top of the prosciutto, add a few slices of apple on top and then crumble over 25g stilton cheese
  • wrap the prosciutto around each pile and secure with the rosemary sprig so it keeps its shape
  • place onto a baking sheet and bake for fifteen minutes – the prosciutto should be nice and crispy and the cheese melted but not oozing out

Serve with a nice simple salad, or if you can be chewed, some fancy potatoes – and that’s on the next recipe. I’m such a cocktease!