spicy pork in a citrus sauce

First, a question – does anyone else make the car dance around when they’re driving along and a particularly good song comes on. I almost crashed before coming back from Tesco making the back of the car boogie along to Funkytown. Honestly imagine that on my death certificate – cause of death ‘Lipps Inc’s infectious grasp of beats’. Mortifying.

Hey, we’ve been gardening today. Outside of our kitchen is a square of soil that nothing other than the rosemary beast seems to grow in – it’s exceptionally thick clay and well, I can’t be arsed to treat it. So, we dug everything out, buried these nice coloured plant pots, filled them with compost and have replanted the rosemary, bay, thyme and chives and added garlic, mint, parsley, oregano and sage. We’ve then covered the soil around the buckets with bark. It needs levelling out and the bricks pressure washed and the fence painted (that’s for the gardener to do) but it got dark and we got lazy, but it doesn’t look too bad!


Anyway, I forgot to mention yesterday that we actually went back for our weigh-in to our NEW group – Saturday morning. We did try a couple of others during the week but they’ve either been too big or don’t quite marry up with our availability. Problem is…it’s 8.30am in the morning! The plan is that it’ll encourage us to use up the remainder of the Saturday instead of languishing in bed until 1pm and then sitting naked until one of us ventures to the shop for breakfast.

So how did we do? Well, badly!

james – 2lb on; and

paul – 1lb on.

Fuck. Well actually no. It’s not suprising – I’ve been eating all sorts of crap at work given I’ve been working crazy hours (almost 90 hours overtime in two weeks) – I’m actually pretty chuffed it’s only 2lb! I’ve had Wagamamas, a Chinese, Dominos pizza, more chocolate than I know what to do with (and wait until you see tomorrow’s post). I’ve been eating healthy at home, and I can only presume that Paul has been comfort eating through the lack of my wobbly arse blowing around the house. Plus, without wanting to be crass, both of us had brown dogs scratching to be let out but hadn’t had time to free them, so there’s probably a good 1lb for the each of us right there. I do think the damage could have been so much worse if we’d been eating crap at home too.

However, we’re not going to be able to weigh in next week because…we’re going on holiday! Here’s the twist – we have absolutely no plans. We both finish work on Friday at 5pm and then we have ten days off. We could end up absolutely anywhere – the only thing that we’ve done is set a budget. We might turn up at the airport and jet off, we might hire a campervan, we might get a train into Europe, who knows? Given our maximum level of adventure is normally eating an after-eight mint at half seven, this is new grounds for us. OH and before anyone thinks of burgling our sweet little home, my cousin is staying here for the week to look after the cats. SO THERE.

So our next weigh in will be Saturday 5th – but with a week of holiday AND my birthday, it might be catastrophic. But after that, we’re doing our Nuclear Week (see the 7777 banner above) and we will still be posting recipes until we go away – and if you’re really good, I might even queue up some recipes to come on when we’re away!

Speaking of recipes, this was a beauty – pork carnitas made in the slow cooker. It’s pork cooked slowly in orange and lime juice, with a blend of spices and a little bit of stock. Tasty and although GASP you’ll need to count syns, you’re only using…1.5 SYNS. Call the motherfucking police!


to make spicy pork in a citrus sauce, you’ll need:

four pork chops with all fat removed and cut into little strips, two medium onions (diced), 4 garlic cloves (minced – how many times have I told you about these? Get one!), 1 tsp of cumin, 1 tbsp of chilli powder, 1tbsp of chipotle mix (we found ours in Tesco), 1tbsp of finely chopped oregano from your herb garden or dried from the cupboard like a pleb, 1 tsp of salt and one of pepper, 100ml of chicken stock, 4 tablespoons of lime juice (microwave your lime for 5 seconds and then squeeze, you’ll get shitloads more juice) and 250ml of Tropicana 50/50 orange juice (1 syn for 100ml – so 2.5 syns for this, which serves two).

NOTE: Batchelors Super Rice is now 2 syns a packet. Boo. But haway.

to make spicy pork in a citrus sauce, you should:

chuck everything into the slow cooker, stir, and whack on high for six hours or low for eight. Then, scoop the pork and onions out and shred the pork with a fork. Set the juice aside. Put the shredded pork back in the slow cooker on high for fifteen minutes just to dry out a smidge and put the juice into a pan and heat on a medium to high heat for that fifteen minutes to thicken the sauce. Combine the lot and serve with rice! We were lazy and used Batchelors Super Rice which is syn free.



guinness pulled pork with colcannon rosti

For week three, we’re going to…the Republic of Ireland!


Listen, I shit you not, that was the third country on the list – we’re not just doing easy recipes! Luxembourg is next week. Goodness. Our recipe is perhaps a bit obvious but, no word of a lie, one of the nicest I’ve ever done on Slimming World – Guinness Pulled Pork with a colcannon rosti and minted peas. But before we get there…

I don’t know if anyone watches The Middle but there’s a character called Sue who is permanently happy – the very antithesis of me. She conducts an experiment where she smiled at people to see if a smile was as contagious as a yawn. It WASN’T. But, you know, we don’t smile enough, so I thought I’d do the same thing – smile at random people as I trundled around M&S before work this morning. Well, fuck me, that whole stereotype of Geordies being a friendly bunch couldn’t be further off the mark – at least first thing on a rainy Tuesday morning. At best, most people reacted like they’d seen their own bumhole and didn’t care for the colour, at worst I felt like I was at considerable risk of being stabbed in the beck. It doesn’t help that I don’t have a natural smile, one of those egregious, winning grins that can melt the stoniest of hearts and set gussets aflutter – it’s more a lopsided leer that looks like I’m simultaneously dropping off my yoghurt and trying not to fart. No wonder no-one smiled back save for one lady, and she had a better beard than I did.

But isn’t that a shame? I love it when people smile heartily at me or engage me in idle chit-chat. Put me in a room where I’m supposed to socialise and I’ll stand there like the world’s gayest hat-stand, all mute and agog. Stick me next to an old biddy in a bus-stop and I’ll be waxing lyrical in no time, revelling in her bawdy tales of bus delays and the minutiae of her family tree. I can chat away to the checkout assistant in a supermarket until the cows come home, are milked, that milk sold for negative value and put back in my trolley for me to go ‘OOOH the price of milk’ at the cashier. Interestingly, I’ve had it pointed out that my accent changes depending on who I talk to – I got out of a taxi the other day and it took me about five minutes to stop talking like Jimmy Nail shouting a warning across a quarry. I find that if I’m in a situation where I’m not sure how someone is going to take my sexuality (up the arse, generally), I’ll ‘man up’ the voice a bit – not that I sound like some lisping Monroe-esque harlequin you understand, but because I don’t want to be found with my face caved in on an abandoned industrial park. You never know.

The problem with doing this is that it then invites some pretty bleak persiflage between me as a passenger and them as a driver. The last taxi driver I encountered asked me what car I drove – when I answered with ‘White, DS3’ he immediately dismissed it as a pussy car and told me to get a decent motor to ‘attract the lasses’. Because, you know, his Skoda Octavia in syphilis yellow was clearly a clit-magnet. Nothing says sex machine like a beaded seat cover, poorly-masked body odour and Smooth FM playing over the speakers. Moron. Not the worst taxi driver I ever had mind – I once got the offer to ‘pay my fare’ an alternative way with the altogether more direct result of the taxi driver pulling over two hundred yards from my front door and getting his knob out – I wouldn’t have been as offended if there had been miles on the clock but he’d only driven me around the town moor – two miles at best. I’m surprised he’d had time to turn his indicators off. I politely declined – well, as politely as you can when someone offers to effectively pay you £4.40 for oral sex – and threw a fistful of coins at him. Plus, on a purely shallow note, it looked like he had half a smoked cigarette sticking out of his zip. I mean make it worth my while, honestly. It looked like the whistle on an aeroplane lifejacket.

How the hell did we get onto that from smiling at people? Course correction needed! Have a recipe! Guinness pulled pork with Colcannon rosti!


It’s going to be easy for me to break this down into the colcannon and the pork one at a time. For the peas, you want a tin of peas and a bit of mint sauce. If you can’t figure out how to make those work, then god help us all.

to make the Guinness pulled pork you will need: 

500ml bottle of guinness (9 syns), good hunk of pork (I use shoulder, but take the fat off it – normally enough to serve 6), one big red onion. Make a rub of 1tbsp paprika, 2tsp of salt, 1tsp of garlic powder and 1/2tsp of freshly cracked black pepper. Rub it all over the meat, slice the onion, put the onion into the slow cooker, followed by the Guinness, followed by the lid and cook for 10 hours on low. If, at the end of the cooking, you want to thicken the liquid a little, just sprinkle in an oxo cube and whack it on high for half an hour.

to make the colcannon rosti you will need:

 half a bag of spring greens, 800g of potatoes (peeled, cooked and mashed), bacon with the fat cut off, 200ml of milk (use some of your healthy extra allowance but remember this serves 4 so you’re not using much at all), tsp of wholegrain mustard (1/2 syn, but again…between four), bit of oil. Cook the mash, push it through a ricer so it’s nice and smooth. Don’t have a ricer? Get one here and thank me later.Leave aside to cool. Boil the spring greens in the milk with some mustard mixed in. Drain when cooked and chop finely. Cook off the bacon in little chunks. Add the potato, cabbage and bacon into one mixing bowl and season very well. Shape into discs and put into a dry NON-STICK frying pan. Cook on both sides for 5 minutes to get a good crust. Serve!

This isn’t authentic colcannon – there isn’t lots of cream and butter, the creamy taste is achieved by using a ricer, but a good amount of mashing by hand will do the same thing!

There we have it. Not very authentic but fucking tasty and reasonably easy to make. If you can’t be arsed making the rostis, just chuck the lot into a pyrex dish and cook in the oven for a bit!

Enjoy, enjoy.


beef bourguignon

For week two, we’re going to…FRANCE!


But before we get started, I come bearing good news. I’m sorry, that never normally happens, I’ve been under pressure, it’s that time of the month, I’m just keen etc. No, remember our bathroom problem where Paul and I were down to one tiny bulb in our bathroom, turning every trip to brush our teeth or wipe our bum into a perilous adventure fraught with tension that we’d be plunged into absolute darkness mid-pinch? Well worry no more! Our wonderful, marvellous and above all else hella-manly plumber/electrician has saved the day! But mind it took something else breaking before we called him in. Our extractor fan has clearly become so affronted and overworked trying to waft away the smell of so many rich Slimming World infused motions that it went into overdrive and refused to turn off – not even using the switch would stop it – we had to take out the fuse for the lights throughout the house before it finally shut off. Which wasn’t ideal. A plea was made to the chap who originally did our bathroom and he has been this morning and not only replaced the fan, he’s only gone and replaced all the lightbulbs! Best part is, I wasn’t even there when he did it so I didn’t need to feel all emasculated and embarrassed that we had let ourselves down so badly.

One thing I’m a smidge alarmed about is that we’ve gone from one 30w bulb in the bathroom to six 50w beauties – if I happen to find an interesting magazine article whilst I’m on the netty I’ll probably come out with a tan. It’ll make brushing my teeth like being on a mediocre game-show – I’ll just need Dale Winton mincing around behind me explaining my brushing technique to an imagined audience. Perhaps I’ve thought too much about this. Let’s move on.

It was only a short post yesterday as I was at the cinema seeing Kingsman: The Secret Service, with Phillipa who you may know from the poorly-spelled insults she occasionally leaves on the blog. Great film and heartily recommended – we laughed, we cried, she spilt her popcorn – the usual, and that was before we’d even sat down. Colin Firth plays an absolute blinder, really branching out from his upper-class-English-fop role that was all I associated him with. I admit to being distracted nearly all the way through by the girl in front of me and her shovel-faced boyfriend. She’d clearly come dressed for a bet but that’s by the by – it was her haircut which was distressing me. She’d tried to fashion it into a bun but instead ended up with this weird bowl, where, if I had been feeling bitchy enough, I could have easily have parked my 35-gallon-Diet Pepsi there to prove a point. It was upsetting purely because of my OCD – I hate things being messy. If I didn’t think I would have been either stabbed by a needle hidden in her hair or glassed by her dead-eyed lamp-post of a mate I would have reached over and tidied it up. To make things worse, the popcorn was disgusting – it tasted like they’d washed it alternately in Charlie Red and the North Sea. Didn’t stop either of us eating it though, though I had to stop once my lips started turning inside out like a slug. Luckily, Phillipa had her hunger satisfied by the ice-cream, pick and mix and salty popcorn and I wasn’t sent out to get a pig on a spit for afterwards. I do love going to the cinema and now that I can’t have my usual settee-cushion of popcorn and binbag of pick-and-mix, I don’t even need to fret about taking out a mortgage to cover it.

So: where are we on the Two Chubby Cubs European Tour, eh? Somewhere exotic, warm and unusual? No. We’re in France. I half-toyed with taking a picture of a crepe with a Gauloise stubbed out in the middle of it, but that’s not embracing our trip. It’s not like I don’t care for France, I’ve been many times and always enjoyed myself, but I once got ripped off outside the Eiffel Tower by a caricaturist and I’ve never quite forgiven the country for that. It wasn’t so much that I paid a ridiculous amount for the drawing, it was the fact that the drawing made me look like John Prescott examining his pores in a Christmas bauble. Nevertheless, here we go…


This apparently serves four, but I’m not convinced. Admittedly we’re greedy fuckers, but there was barely enough to have seconds! Maybe factor that in when you cook…

to make beef bourguignon you will need:

100g of bacon medallions cut into strips, 400g small shallots, 700g stewing beef with all fat removed (although I used proper scrag-end beef that I found in the back of the freezer – beef you can pumice your feet with), three garlic cloves sliced thin and chopped finely, 150ml of red wine, 425ml beef stock, tomato puree, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme (use your herb garden or use dried, I’m not judging), 1 bay leaf, 50ml of vegetable stock, bit of nutmeg. I cooked this overnight in a slow cooker but you could easily do this in a casserole pot. Cook low and slow. I chucked in a few whole shallots and some pepper too because I’m just that random.

to make beef bourguignon you should:

fry off the shallots and bacon until they start going brown – chuck in the beef and get a bit of a seal on the meat. Add everything else bar the swede. Bring to the boil, then either tip it into a slow cooker and cook low and slow for eight hours or in a casserole pot in the oven for two hours. Really, the longer you leave it cooking, the more the flavours will develop and, especially if you use cheap meat, the more tender the meat will become. Mmm. Remove the bayleaf and serve with swede mash – use my singing swede method for that.

extra-easy: yes, if you serve it with the swede mash. Superfree and all that shite. Delicious!

pulled pork, sauteed leeks and mature cheese pizza

It’s time for my weekly hello and welcome to our new readers (and old) (well not old, various ages) (shush) – hope you enjoy the blog! Comments always take a while to be approved as I have the age-old problem of working during the day but I’ll always get to them in the end. Anyway, as welcoming as I’m being, I’m in a foul mood. Why? Well…

I know I’ve twittered on about driving a lot lately but it does cause ever so much of the rage I have swirling around in me like violent, piss-coloured clouds. For example, every day I join the A1, and every single day I conscientiously allow someone in front of me at the congested slip-road at Seaton Burn, exactly like you’re supposed to. Almost every bloody day the driver in front never acknowledges the fact I’ve slowed to let them in, and most of the time, you can see their oily face illuminated by their phone as they merge whilst checking Facebook. I wish they’d amend the Highway Code to make it legal to carry cement blocks in the passenger seat, and for me to launch said brick through their back window and stot it off the back of their heads. It really makes me fizz!

Mind, there’s one thing worse than that and that’s arseholes who don’t indicate, which I know everyone moans about, but it makes me grind my teeth into an enamel mist. If I’m tootling along merrily overtaking people and some barely functioning addlepate – almost exclusively in a spotlessly clean white Range Rover, company-paid-for Vauxhall Insignia or a spunk coloured Seat Mii driven recklessly – pulls in front of me, I can actually feel my eyes push my glasses down my nose as they’re bulging so much. Of course I immediately spend 10 minutes doing highly theatrical hand gestures like I’m guiding a plane to an airport gate in the pitch black, but it never soothes me. Someone actually shrugged their shoulders and did a ‘BUT WHAT CAN I DO’ expression with their hands. At a time like that, the only rational thing would be to accelerate my car through their back window, but sadly, the law is against me.

I feel better for typing that, actually – even though I had to restart halfway through as Sola climbed onto my keyboard to show me her teats and hit the backspace key, moving my page back. Bitch – I reckon it’s another one of her classic passive-aggressive moves, like licking my face in the morning until I wake up and then immediately turning around and showing me her pencil-sharpener blinking in the dawn sunlight.

Anyway, enough talk about my cat’s bumhole. Here is the true star of the show – pulled pork, leek and cheese pizza. You know you want it, you filthy bugger.

cheese, pulled pork and leek pizza

leftovers recipe! oh how exciting, I’ve never used that tag before. Remember me waffling on about rollover meals – where you can make another meal from the leftovers of another? Well this little beauty can be made from any leftover pulled pork from this recipe and any leftover dough from this recipe. In fact, that’s something you could get in the habit of doing – making double the amount of dough and freezing half, and keeping some pork frozen in the freezer for just this occasion!

to make pulled pork, sauteed leeks and mature cheese pizza, you’ll need:

ingredientsassuming you have the dough and the pork, you only need your healthy extra portion of mature cheese and a leek! Oh and tomato puree. Obviously.

to make pulled pork, sauteed leeks and mature cheese pizza, you should:

recipe: slice up your leeks. I use this mandolin slicer (Amazon) which stops my poor fingers getting shredded (and you can use it for other things too, and it’s reduced to under a tenner). Put in a pan, tiny bit of water and salt, put lid on, and steam them until they’re softer than your first stool. Yum, right? Slap that dough down on the work surface, stretch it, add the puree, add the pulled pork, add the leeks, add the cheese and then add heat for fifteen minutes. Serve with chips and that smug feeling that you’ve saved some money.

I’m not kidding when I say this has to be one of the nicest fucking pizzas I’ve ever made. To hell with the syns. The picture doesn’t do it justice but if I zoomed in any more it looks like a scabby knee.

extra-easy: yep! The base is 22 syns. Don’t be put off by having to spend your syns, this looks amazing and tastes great. Remember – if the food looks good, it’s half the battle. I know I always say it but listen damnit.


slow-cooked chicken, bacon and cheese

If there was one thing I took away from my trips to America, aside from the desire to use a mobility scooter (with built-in cup holder) to go any distance further than 400m and a propensity for being slightly brash but oh-so-sweet, it was a taste for ranch dressing. On our last trip, after three weeks of constant theme parks, our bodies were crying out for anything that wasn’t in burger form or didn’t leave grease all over our beards. Hard to find in Disney! I remember seeing all those giant folks walking around chewing on what looked like a burnt leg. I had to get one, despite reading they were emu legs – they’re not, they’re from male turkeys, fact fans – but even I couldn’t finish it, and I’m used to packing a lot of hot meat into my mouth – I’ve been doing it for years!

So yes, Paul and I finally found a place called Ruby Tuesday’s, with a giant, fresh salad bar…and they had this dressing – ranch – and I’d never tried it before, but honest to God if I’m ever (god forbid) terminally ill and in a hospice, I want Make a Wish to come along and order the doctors to do a blood/ranch transfusion. I can’t get enough of the bloody stuff but it’s so high in fat, being made with buttermilk or sour cream as it is, so usually it’s a no-no Nanette on SW. That said, as a weigh in treat, we’ve used in the recipe below and spent a few syns on it, and I fully recommend you do too – it was a delicious meal, and for crying out loud, it combines cheese, chicken, bacon and potatoes – what more do you want? Note our token attempt at making it healthy on the side there with our salad.

Oh! Before I do the recipe, just a quick comment – thank you all so much for your lovely comments, it really means a lot to us! You might not see them appear right away as I need to moderate out all the porn links and spam we get sent (honestly, I wish my exes would just GET OVER ME haha), but I’ll always get to you! I do fret about appearing rude.

Recipe then, without any further delay:


to make slow-cooked chicken, bacon and cheese, you’ll need:

This is a slow cooker recipe – if you don’t have one, you could create a foil parcel and hoy it in the oven on very, very low for a while, but I don’t know the timings…

ingredients: potatoes – we used rainbow potatoes from Tesco, with a mix of different colours, cut up into thumb sized chunks (use your own measurements for the amount of potatoes you’d like, but we used 1.5kg and that made enough for four servings, two chicken breasts, six bacon medallions or rashers with the fat off, reduced fat cheese, ranch dressing (Newman’s Own), spring onions – and whatever you want on the side in your salad.

to make slow-cooked chicken, bacon and cheese, you should:

recipe: line your slow cooker with foil – you’re going to create a parcel of everything and cook it inside the parcel, so work that out. Actually, that’s a shite way of putting it, sorry! Cut up your chicken breast and bacon into chunks. Then it’s as simple as layering – potatoes, chicken, bacon, grated cheese, slices of spring onion, hoy it all together and add four tablespoons of ranch dressing. Cook on low for eight hours. Serve!

extra-easy: the syns come from the ranch dressing – Newman’s Own for 3 syns per level tablespoon. Now that’s LEVEL, not balanced on the spoon like dressing based Jenga. The cheese – you can have 40g of reduced fat cheese as HEA. I used 100g of cheese – again, split between four that’s nowhere near the HEA amount, so worry not!

Right – enjoy!


flicked bean overnight chilli

I find parking an inherently stressful experience. How I envy those who can smoothly glide into a bay like a well-oiled plop round a u-bend. I’m a very confident driver, and I’ll always have a go, but I’m always left wracked with anxiety that someone is either going to scratch my car or judge me remorselessly for being slightly bent – story of my life. Paul will sit and tut and do asthmatic sighs as I back out of the bay, move back in, reverse, slightly to the left, slightly to the right – but I like to be dead centre, damn it. I can reverse into a bay like an old pro but as soon as I’m in there, I’m fidgeting and fussing. If anyone has somewhere I can park in the centre of Newcastle for free or at least £5, and won’t put a picture of my car on those awful parking blogs, get in touch. Only a quick blog entry tonight because we didn’t get to sleep until 2am last night and I’m dead on my feet. So without further delay – tonight’s tea was flicked bean chilli with cauliflower rice.


to make flicked bean overnight chilli, you’ll need:

Firstly, I apologise for the awful colour filter. I use a bit of software called Layout and it creates awful auto-corrections on my images. Hence it looks like every other food picture that every tit with a beard and sperm-strangling skinny trousers might have.

ingredients: for the cauliflower rice – one big cauliflower and some frozen peas. For the flicked bean chilli, I just tipped two tins of barlotti beans, one tin of black eyed peas, one tin of baked beans, one tin of tomatoes, bunch of dried chilli, chopped garlic, kidney beans, two oxo cubes and half a cup of boiling water. For the meat, you could use mince (brown it off in a pan first) or, in this case, use Quorn mince – it’s perfect for EE:SP but will also boost the weight loss.

to make flicked bean overnight chilli you should:

recipe: this is what makes it so easy – chuck all the chilli bits into a slow cooker and leave it on overnight, where it’ll thicken and simmer nicely. For the cauliflower rice, just blitz the whole cauliflower in a food processor, chuck in some frozen peas – and then pop it in a frying pan without oil and cook it through. Near the end, I chuck an egg in just to bind it a little. Lots of salt and pepper. Tasty and very, very low in calories. Add a sprinkling of cheese from your HEA allowance if you like.

extra-easy: definitely, and I think it’s decent for an EE:SP day but don’t take me at my word. It’s certainly syn free and all those beans will really get your bum working!

Enjoy. So easy to make…in the meantime, I’m going to go to bed early. LIVING THE DREAM.


syn-free onion soup

I’m writing this from Edinburgh airport, as my arse chews through the Wetherspoons seat currently holding me up. We’re off to Berlin and Munich for a few days, which of course I’m very excited about, but I’m not a great flyer. Well no, once I’m in the air I feel committed and don’t worry, but the build up beforehand has my nerves all a-jitter. I don’t know how people do it day in day out. I’ve flown loads of times before but it never gets easier. The doctor has given me 10mg of bloody diazepam if things get a bit tough but haway, they used to give me 2mg when I was having panic attacks. I’m nervous but I don’t feel that I need to be bloody unconscious to spend two hours inhaling farts and Ebola. It’s only easyjet which will be novel for me as I haven’t flown economy for years – not out of any high delusions of grandeur but I always pay more for the bigger seats as I’d be mortified if I had to ask for one of those seatbelt extenders. I have visions of the stewardess having to lasso it around me like she was bringing down an errant horse.

So, because we are on holiday, the blog will be a bit quiet for a few days, and I’ll pick up in my return. Diet wise…well I’d like to say I was going to sensible but I want a currywurst and lots of German beer. Hopefully it will not do too much damage…

Here’s a recipe for onion soup if you need something to be cracking on with though!

to make syn-free onion soup:


Nice and easy…

The key here is using the mandolin to make short work of the onions, and choosing a good beer. The one I chose was something I had kicking around in the fridge and as this serves eight, the syns works out at around two syns. However, you could very easily leave the beer out and enjoy a Syn free soup! Follow the recipe for the rest. Delicious!

campfire stew or cowboy stew


Well, that was bad planning. Having spent the last three days with a full-house and needing a flush thanks to the meat loaf, tuna and beef stew, I resorted to taking a Senokot Max thinking it might gently move things along at some point this evening. Half an hour later, I’m stuck on the thunderbox crying my life away as the world fell out of my bottom. So I’m not venturing far today, and I might spend the day ironing instead. That’s the main problem with Slimming World – you’re never quite sure whether you’ll be coming or going one day to the next.


I finally gave into Paul’s demands and purchased a tumble dryer. I think he was ashamed at having our George boxers sailing gaily around on the rotary dryer in the garden, with their stretched elastic and rubbed gussets. He still has a piece of underwear from when we first met, he claims they’re the most comfortable pair he’s ever owned and refuses to throw them out. I’m actually surprised they don’t walk out on their own. I railed against getting a tumble dryer for bloody ages because I thought we’d get damp in the house (we can’t have a vented one, there’s no space, so we’ve had to go for a condensing unit) but he won out when he promised me he’d tumble my socks and underwear in the morning before I got out the shower, meaning they’d be warm. Come on, that’s true love right there.

Today’s recipe, breaking with tradition and posting my lunch instead of the evening meal, is the WORLD FAMOUS (in Slimming World circles) campfire stew, given a far more Brokeback Mountain based hilarious name. This is syn-free, makes four servings, and is proper delicious. Also – incredibly easy to make if you have a slow-cooker.


to make campfire stew or cowboy stew:

Well – no real need to break down the ingredients – they’re all above, and the recipe is simple – chop the onion and peppers, add everything into a slow cooker, cook on low for eight hours, pull apart with two forks and serve with chips. You will need to add some superfree on the side to make this exactly right, but as a one-off, I didn’t bother, and just had two satsumas on the side. I know, I’m a devil.

A tip though – don’t, for the love of God, put your gammon straight into the slow cooker from the shop. Prepare it a day before by putting it in a pan of cold water, leaving it to sit, and changing the water every six hours or so. This will draw the salt out – you can do the same by boiling it for a bit, but I think that’ll make it tough. Do the cold water rinse for 24 hours and then cook and it’ll taste so, so much better. If you don’t bother, be prepared for your stew to taste like you’ve rinsed it through the sea at Whitley Bay (only without a turd bobbing around in the slow cooker).

Enjoy! I’m off to cry a bit more and put a loo roll in the fridge for later.