recipe: the filet-o-fish but done so well

Fauxlet-o-fish though, am I right? Hello? Because it’s not actually the McDonalds filet-o-fish (and surely fillet, no?) because that would be trademark infringement and the last thing I want is an angry clown turning up in a tiny car to shout at me for indiscretions. Because yes, you guessed it, I’ve already got that in the form of my husband. I’ll be here all night, try the veal!

Though, Christ, don’t, because I don’t want snippy letters telling me off for promoting veal. Learned that lesson when I posted a recipe for rabbit and had to hurtle to my car under a coat every time I left the house in case someone threw a can of red emulsion at me. I mean it wouldn’t have been the worst thing, I never need an excuse to buy another fur coat, but you try getting splashes of Dulux Garnet out of block paving. It’s a nightmare.

James Anderson would like to make it clear that he supports neither the fur or the veal industry and asks that you respect his privacy and wishes at this difficult time.

You ok though, aside from my shite opening prattle giving you pause? I do hope so. It’s a glorious day today: Easter weekend which means we’re all fat from too many Easter eggs and we can’t go to the big Tesco to get Gaviscon because Jesus came back. The sun is shining which means Sola can sit on the window-sill and lick her nethers in full view of the neighbours, which I hope is an extension of my own passive-aggressive behaviour towards most of them. Don’t blame her: I’d do it if I could, but I reckon she’d scratch me if I tried.

James Anderson would further like to apologise for the above joke and acknowledges that he still has a long way to go when it comes to decent behaviour and polite discourse.

I’m fairly convinced she’s trying to commit suicide anyway. Paul, in a fit of whimsy and style that betrays the fact he grew up spending half of his waking days hiding behind the sofa from variously the local Provi agent, the rougher of his circus-worker family or indeed, his mother’s attempts at cooking, went onto eBay and bought us a salt pig. You have to understand that this is a big thing for him: Paul’s entire contribution to us rebuilding Chubby Towers has been to tut at me for buying nice things and to gasp like a drowning man when another parcel turns up. But he’s the cook (not a typo, but really it is) in our relationship and whores must have their trinkets so on he goes.

I see no need for it. It’s pretty enough, but what benefit does it serve other than to clutter up the kitchen? However, I married him so I’m stuck for now. Sola loves it though – the last few mornings I’ve wandered into the kitchen to find sea salt flakes all over the counter and her looking sheepish in the corner. Takes after her dad. And what can I do? I can’t put it away up high because Paul’s already standing on an upturned shoebox to reach the cooker. I’m just thankful she has a fresh water fountain to hand, though let’s not pretend this isn’t her next cruel trick to try and bankrupt me at the vets. More fool her: I’ll put her down. That’s right, put her down on the floor because a cat mustn’t be on the worktops.

James Anderson would like to stress that he has no intention of having his cat put to sleep and indeed, would like to remind readers that he rescued her from a car-park in Blyth. She’s already known what it is to suffer and he shan’t be adding to it.

I do enjoy Easter though, even if Paul has forsaken me by not buying me an Easter egg this year. For a man who can’t go to the bottom of the garden without returning, full Augustus Gloop style, with a slab of chocolate you could club a seal with, he’s let me down. Normally we give each other a Hotel Chocolat Ostrich Egg because we’re decadent bitches and giving each other expensive fripperies is the only joy we have in life, but not this year. I haven’t had so much as a Creme egg. Which makes sense because they’re utterly vile now that Cadbury have replaced the chocolate with ‘chocolate cocoa mix’ and it tastes as far away from chocolate as I do from skinny. He’s got until the end of the day to redeem himself otherwise he’ll get a cold shoulder to go with his lamb one.

One thing I miss about not being able to work in the office with colleagues is my easter egg hunt that I’ve done a few times. Way back when I hid a few caramel eggs around colleagues desks and it really brought us together. Next year I was given a budget to hide 200 eggs around the open plan office and I had the very best time sneaking in at 4am and secreting eggs wherever I could (not Sticky Vicky style, mind, back then I was well-behaved and would have struggled getting so much as a Mini-Egg past my knockhole). Naturally I didn’t keep track of how many I’d hidden but everyone seemed to find one and it was all very jolly. A few turned up after a couple of weeks and my own personal favourite came when one of our real estate lawyers went to a client meeting six months later, opened one of those giant tubes they keep building plans in and had three Creme Eggs tumble out across the boardroom desk. Alan Sugar would have been proud. Well no, he would have called them a blaaahdy liability from the comfort of his built-up chair, but still.

Anyway, enough dawdling. Let us turn to the recipe for the filet-o-fish. I actually only had a filet-o-fish from McDonalds for the first time a few weeks ago. I’ve always avoided them as I’m not a fan of fish, but thought I’d give it a whirl in the spirit of trying new things and, if I’m honest, sheer spite at Paul because he wanted a burger but kept fiddling with the settings in my new car and so didn’t deserve one. They’re really good! I mean, they’re not a taste explosion by any means, but given they’re usually freshly cooked when you order them, they’re tasty enough. The delay in trying a filet-o-fish should be of no surprise to regular readers anyway: I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t have McDonalds until I was 15. I actually lost my bumginity before my McDonalds one. Both featured a Grimace and a ballpit, but I won’t tell you which I preferred.

A note on the photos by the way: we’re moving towards showing the calories per recipe going forward. We will still work out the syns in the recipe, but we’re a bit more about calories these days in line with our books. I know! A mourning nation weeps and wails…

The filet-o-fish – it’s so much better than the McDonalds one. Really is!

We like a brioche bun for the filet-o-fish, but you can swap it out for sadness if you prefer.

Look at that man. You’d smash that filet-o-fish all over, wouldn’t you? Hussy!

filet-o-fish - but Slimming World friendly, thank you very much

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 2 servings

Let's do the filet-o-fish then. The McDonalds original uses a white bun, pollock fish shaped into a square, a slice of cheese from 1977 and some tartare sauce. We've kept close to the original, but forgive us for using a brioche bun: we just don't have time for using whatever postage sized stamp breadbun SW are allowing this week. If you want to lower the syns, use a different breadbun. 

The filet-o-fish from McDonalds comes in at 14.5 syns and let's be honest, you can normally shave with them they're that dry. This, even with the fancy bun and shop-bought (and slightly tinkered with) tartare sauce, is exactly the same syns. Knock 8 syns off if you use a normal breadbun. Heathen.

 

Ingredients

  • two egg
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 4 white fish fillets (we used cod)
  • 4 brioche buns (around 8 syns each, if you use the ASDA ones, but swap out for your HEB if you want)
  • a thick slice of cheese from your HEA allowance
  • 100g panko (25g each - 4.5 syns)
  • 4 tbsp tartare sauce (2 syns each)

Instructions

  • preheat the oven to 180°c and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper
  • vigorously whisk together the egg and flour in a bowl and set aside
  • sprinkle the panko out onto a plate or shallow dish
  • carefully dredge the fish through the batter and let any excess run off
  • gently push each of the fish fillets into the panko and sprinkle any over the top, until well covered, then place on the baking tray
  • bake in the oven for 12 minutes, then place one (half) slice onto the top of each, and bake for another 3 minutes
  • slice the buns and spread with tartare sauce, and add the fish

Notes

Recipe

  • as discussed, swap out the breadbun for a healthier one if your life is devoid of joy
  • you can make your own tartare sauce but it's an absolute clit-on, and syn wise, to get a decent sauce you'll actually end up using more
  • we've styled this on the McDonalds Filet-o-Fish that uses half a slice of cheese per burger, but if you want the whole slice then treat yourself
  • to make this ever so slightly healthier you can omit the flour from the batter, but it really does give a better result and is only a quarter of a tbsp each, so we say keep it in

Books

  • we couldn't be prouder of our second book: it's technicolour, the recipes are banging and the reviews are amazing: order yours here! 
  • if you're struggling for funds, the first book is a bit cheaper and still utterly glorious: click here to order
  • we've also got a planner: here

Tools

  • you don't need anything fancy for this recipe, so what to put here
  • how about the blooper you see in the background: order that right here
  • like our colourful Le Creuset plates - of course you do, we're style icons up there with Les Dennis and Janice Battersby - you can order those right here too - though, they're out of stock at the time of writing

Courses fish

Cuisine fish like I said

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving

Calories 525

% Daily Value

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

You want more fish recipes? Yeah well listen lady, this is neither the time nor the plaice. But here’s a classic lunch idea. Just click it and be transported back to a time when Paul and I could go on holidays without wondering if he would cough his lung out.

filet-o-fish

Ignore old Aunt Rhody hidden in the picture there. We don’t talk about her anymore.

Love you all, you know.

J

chicken kiev and a trip to Kiev – sparkling originality

Howdo! Told you we’d be back with a bang, and this cheesy chicken kiev is something to behold. Might look a bit like a diseased foof but hey. We’ve been having a chitter-chatter amongst our various holidays about whether or not we should be aiming for low-syn / no-syn dinners in light of the blossoming success of the book and blog and you know what, nope: we are going to continue exactly as we are! Our food has always been about spending a few points / syns / calories and enjoying it – so here we go! A chicken kiev recipe and a load of sass!

First, a bit of admin!

Our cookbook continues to soar and sell and we couldn’t be happier – remember you can pick it up in most major supermarkets and bookshops and there’s always Amazon if you get stuck – if you have been so kind as to buy it, please consider leaving us a review on Amazon – we want to get to 2,000! You don’t need to have bought it on Amazon to review it either!

Next, we’re down in Southampton filming something secret at the end of the month and there’s two book signings lined up – please do come along and get your book signed, we promise to be filthy!

Right – before we get to the recipe, a long holiday entry to endure! If you’re in a rush for the chicken kiev, click the banner and be whisked straight there!

Gosh, it’s been a while since I typed out a holiday entry (and I’m more than aware that I have Hamburg to finish, ssh) but in the spirit of efficiency, I’m going to barrel this one nice and fresh. I’m actually typing a good chunk of this out on the aeroplane home, trying desperately not to incur the wrath of the poor bloke sat between us who has been trying to complete a level on his motorbike game for the last hour or so. Oh Bohuslav, love, if you’re reading this over my shoulder, let me have a stab. Like so many of my men, you’re pulling out a fraction early. Anyway, let’s start with the detail.

See, Paul and I have been together almost thirteen years now, and Valentine’s Day is always a bloody nightmare – it falls six weeks after Christmas and four weeks after Paul’s birthday, and trying to come up with something unique and special is an absolute pain in the arse. Paul, however, has been ‘good’ (for good, read ‘endlessly forgiving of my indiscretions and nonsense’) to me this last year, and I wanted to get him something decent. It was only after finishing Sky Atlantic’s recent Chernobyl docudrama that I remembered he had always wanted to visit Chernobyl and so, after a cursory moment of trying to find a cheap deal, I had us booked onto a package with travelcenter.uk which included flights, hotel and a twelve hour tour for a very reasonable £360 or so. I presented him with the detail and he was over-the-moon – I was seeing his face light up in a way that no amount of low-level radiation could ever do. He explained that Chernobyl had always been on his bucket list and wasn’t I a brilliant husband for arranging it. Naturally, I accepted this high praise with full modesty and grace and elected not to tell him I’d only really booked it because I wanted my back doors smashed in by any of the number of muscly Adidas-clad sentient frowns that appeared on google when doing my research into the Ukraine. He didn’t need to know that bit.

With his Valentines present sorted, I eagerly awaited mine. I got nowt. Not even a card. I smiled through the tears, increasingly used as I am to the disparity of effort.

Now, let’s discuss the elephant in the room, and I don’t (for once) mean my bouncy beloved. We’ve been asked two questions on our social media channels which demand an answer, namely why would we choose to visit a country not exactly known for its gay rights and then, why visit Chernobyl? The first is a tricky one – we don’t normally go places where we aren’t welcome – and the Ukraine political situation is genuinely horrifying to us as gay men – but unlike countries like Jamaica (where we’d love to go, but would never be welcome), there’s only one Chernobyl – and to get there, unfortunately, you do need to go via Kiev. We choose our holidays sensitively but our hand was forced on this one, and I’ll circle back to this point a little later. As to why visit Chernobyl? Far easier. I married a massively polluting, noxious pile of slag – when do you ever get a chance to visit its twin? To the holiday, then.

Normally I spend ages waffling on about our trip to the airport, but this time, I’ll keep it short. As we weren’t flying to Magaluf, Bristol or Ibiza, we couldn’t fly from Newcastle, and so our journey necessitated flights from Manchester and a car journey. I was still ‘tired and emotional’ from a week of excess before so it was up to Paul – in his new black Smart car, no less – to drive us to Manchester. The arse-end of Storm Ciara made it an arresting car ride, with Paul barely needing to touch the accelerator, instead allowing us to be blown all the way there. Wouldn’t be the first time. I was a quiet, considerate passenger, keeping my shrieking and fitful crashing of phantom passenger-side brake pedals to a minimum. I’ll say this, though: Mancurians – you’re lovely, but you absolutely can’t drive. Here’s a clue: when you’re changing lanes, try flicking the indicators on. I appreciate it’ll mean you looking up from your Love Island repeats on ITV Player, but go on, give it a go. Four separate times I came within a whisker of cheating on Paul simply by virtue of having the Smart rammed so far into the back of someone’s car that I could have whispered ‘it only hurts for a bit’ into the driver’s ear. Arses.

We arrived at the fabulously appointed (cough) Holiday Inn Express at around 11pm and Paul immediately set about shaving his head with the clippers he had brought from home. Halfway through I hear the bzz-bzz-bzzz of a set of dying clippers and a plaintive mew from the bathroom. He had cut about a third of his hair before the clippers had run out of juice. That’s fine, get the charger, but wait no – Paul had left the charger at home on account that the clippers ‘looked fully charged’. I silkily enquired as to when he had acquired the impressive ability to ascertain electrical charge of an object just by glancing at it, and what this meant for the Terminator franchise going forward, but was met with a volley of indignant ranting. Faced with the horrific thought of cutting about the Ukraine with someone who’s head looked like a wet egg rolled disinterestedly in pubic hair, I leant him my Mach 3 and gave him a skinhead. To be fair, he looked pretty fit with it, but it then meant I couldn’t sort my own hair out – something that wouldn’t have been so critical if I hadn’t still been sporting a mohawk that my best mate had clumsily cut into my hair in an act of alcohol-soaked mischief. I can make a mohawk work when everything else on my face is neat and tidy, but for the remainder of the holiday I looked like I’d stumbled early out of rehab. Ah well.

We woke bright and wheezy the next morning and made our way to the airport, way ahead of schedule. For once, it was the right decision – the security halls at Manchester Airport were absolutely rammed thanks to couples disappearing off for romantic breaks. You couldn’t move for people making moony faces at their beloved or kissing in that ‘look everyone, we have sex’ way that is for everyone else’s benefit. My boots, coat and suitcase all raised alarms and I was selected for a grope, so can’t complain, though I was hoping (as it was Valentines) he might have given me his number after effectively giving me a handy in the search for illicit substances. As it was, no idea why my boots and suitcase set off the alarms – presumably fashion related – but my coat contained four separate lighters. I tried to style it out by saying I was a one-man-tribute to Cirque du Soleil but he was having none of it.

Flight was with Ryanair and I can’t fault it – Paul had forgotten his headphones and was looking to me to keep him entertained, and I genuinely hope he liked the sight of me face-down in Star Trek: Picard for the journey. He cheered himself up by ordering a coffee and setting away with the task of spilling the tubes of milk all over his legs, and then dozed on my shoulder. Can’t recall any particularly exciting turbulence.

Unusually for Ryanair, they landed us at an airport in the same country as our destination, although things were complicated by the lack of a metro straight to the city centre. I’d read about tourist taxi scams on the flight over and, now officially part of The Real Hustle team, I spent a good ten minutes handwaving and no-no-noing at all the offers of taxis that came over. Normally I’m not so fussy but these cars looked as though they’d been parked outside the reactor when it went kaboom, and I’m sorry, but I do like living. Luckily, Uber has made it to the Ukraine, and a driver was promptly dispatched.

And, oh my word. Fit? This bloke, with his name like an explosion at the Boggle factory, was stunning. Bright blue eyes that had seen, caused and relished in death, black hair I’d be picking from my teeth for weeks after. He spoke no English – and quite right too – and we all squeezed into his Honda Menace in a thick sea of sexual tension. He kept looking in his rear-view mirror, presumably to work out why my mouth was hanging open and spittle was pooling on my moobs, and it was all I could do not to reach over, open Paul’s door and tumble him out, then beg a long life with a man who would never show me intimacy. By the time we arrived at the hotel I’d learned the Ukranian for ‘I’m on PrEP mate, it’s fine’ and started arranging the tablecloths for our wedding, but he simply gave us a curt nod and was on his way, ready to break more hearts. Sigh. I blame Paul.

Our hotel – ‘Tourist Hotel Complex’ – looked fairly swish from the outside and we were checked in with lovely smiles and warm wishes. We had chosen a twin room in a fit of worry and panic and so were given a room on the ninth floor. My god. It was…basic. I’m not one for fancy hotel rooms, given we mainly just spend our time in there sleeping off booze or entertaining the locals, but this looked like a hostel you’d see a messy murder taking part in. No, that’s mean – imagine your nana’s spare room that she keeps for best. Lots of rickety pine, magic-eye wallpaper and fussy bits. The bathroom was tiny with the lavatory tucked neatly into a corner in such a way that to have a tom-tit meant folding your legs up like an accordian. You may remember, I’m 6ft 2″ tall and not that far off wide.

Worse though – the shower. The one thing I really do need is a powerful shower to blast away the snail-trails and harsh living, but this, this was dire. I had enough time between the drops of water hitting me to dry off and cut my toenails. I’ve never had a shower where I’ve had to move to stay wet. To add insult to injury, there was about two minutes of tepid water before it started sputtering and went cold. I was foaming, but mainly because there wasn’t enough water to get rid of the body-wash nestled in my chest hair. Harrumph.

Now, this is getting a trifle long, and for that I apologise. We will revisit this next week! But now, time for a chicken kiev! I know that is an incredibly obvious first choice for a Ukraine recipe but I can’t see that we’ve done one before – so let’s try and make a decent slimming chicken kiev! Let’s go!



chicken kiev chicken kiev

a good old slimming chicken kiev

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 2 kievs

Look, we're fat, we can't be arsed trying to make it look pretty. It's a baked chicken breast, we're not miracle workers. You can serve it with chips, salad or glitter from your bum. Up to you. The recipe makes enough for two kievs.

Ingredients

  • two large chicken breasts
  • 50g of Philadelphia Garlic and Herb (4 syns)
  • 25g of golden breadcrumbs (4.5 syns)
  • if you like it super garlicky, add a teaspoon of garlic paste (syn free)
  • an egg

Instructions

  • I mean, can you take a guess here, poppet?
  • preheat the oven to 200 degrees and get yourself a good non-stick tray
  • cut a big fancy gash in the side of your chicken and stuff it with half of the Philadelphia (you're making two, remember) and smidge a bit of garlic in there if you're using it
  • fold the gash lips over themselves a bit
  • beat the egg and dip the chicken in
  • roll it around in the breadcrumbs
  • bake in the oven until cooked through

Notes

  • you COULD save syns and calories by using your own breadcrumbs from your healthy extra, but don't, just don't - this is as close to a proper kiev as you can get
  • you COULD also use Quark and garlic but for goodness sake, get a grip

If you want more recipes like this, buy our cookbook! You can order it now and it’ll be with you soon – click here! There’s also a Kindle version for immediate reading!

Courses dinner

Cuisine Ukranian

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving

Calories 415

% Daily Value

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Enjoy! More chicken recipes? Have a look at our huge chicken index right here!

poultry

J&P

quick chicken kebab wraps – fakeaway style!

Hiyaaaaaa! Urgh, stop. Before we get to the super-quick chicken kebab wraps, I’ve got a tale to spin to you. It involves Germany, and it’s a holiday post. If you’re here for the recipe, click the heart below and it’ll dash you straight there. Otherwise, settle in – it’s a long one, but you can take it. Meanwhile, cookbook coming along lovely, thank you: we’re now locked in and ready to go! You can pre-order it here.

Goodness, it’s been a while since I rattled out a holiday post – not because we haven’t been gallivanting, mind you, I’m always working on my suntanned wattle – but it’s been an age since I could sit and type something other than recipes. This holiday post takes us all to Hamburg and is unusual in that I’m combining two separate trips into one. The first time we went was back in April courtesy of srprs.me (more on that later) and I booked the second one in one of my atypical ‘go fuck yourself’ huffs. Some people spend days poring over brochures and cooing at hotels.com before they pick their next adventure – with me, you just need to wait until someone cuts me up on a roundabout or I stub my toe on the settee and I’m straight onto easyjet.com filling in my API with rage-a-tremble fingers.

This trip was our fourth with srprs.me – a simple concept where you pay a travel agent a discreet sum of money and they book you a holiday somewhere exciting and wonderful. You don’t find out until you’re at the airport, where you scratch off a scratchcard, enter a code on their website and find out your gate number and destination. It’s all terrifically exciting and indeed, we videoed our last reveal in the hope of sharing it with you all. However, the 4am start and general rattiness of me being at Newcastle Airport betrayed us and when our destination of Malaga was revealed, I announced ‘for fucks sake, fucking MALAGA’ and promptly knocked my coffee over with that touch of the dramatic I know you all love. In my defence, I was confusing it with some super-rough beach resort that I vaguely remembered seeing on those 90s reality shows like Fingerblasts Uncovered where walking flesh-envelopes of fake-tan spilled Blue WKD into their nethers and gurned to camera.

It was actually a superb place, since I mention it. But no, this trip was to Hamburg, and quite honestly, I knew nothing about the place other than it was in Germany and sounded delicious. A quick google reveals some interesting details: it has one of the largest seaports in the world (I shan’t make an awash with seamen joke), the most bridges of any global city and, every three months, hosts the Hamburger Dom.

Coincidentally, on my second trip, so did I.

It was the trip to the airport on the second trip that bears discussion, so we’ll start there and from now on, I’m just going to flit between the two without further clarification. Our flight was 6.45pm from Manchester Airport and, after a fitful morning, we set away at 12 noon, planning on stopping for lunch somewhere fancy en-route. Six hours to travel 180 miles of motorway – even in a Smart car laden with two fat blokes – surely no problem?

So you’d think. But every single citizen of the United Kingdom had clearly decided to go out for a leisurely crash of their cars at precisely 12.01 and what should have been a simple, uncomplicated jaunt became a nailbiting exercise in clock-watching, screaming myself hoarse at the backs of lorries and listening to Paul’s music. It was the last part that almost finished me off – I’d promised not to say one word about his music in exchange for him doing the long drive (I was tired from having my hair cut) and my god, in all honesty, wrenching the steering wheel from him and swerving us under an Iceland articulated lorry has never been so tempting. So much sad guitar chords and female warbling. The only thing that stopped me was the indignity of being cut out of the wreckage of a Smart car whilst chewing my way through a Sara Lee gateaux that had wedged itself up my arse.

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HAMBURG: car journey with my beloved

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The gates closed promptly at 6.15pm and I’ve seen enough sweaty-jowled businessmen being shouted at on Airline to know easyjet are merciless with their deadlines. For years I’ve watched that programme taking sweet satisfaction from families being denied their holidays or some person missing out on a liver transplant because they’d parked too far away to make check-in, but now I was at risk of missing out, I was manic. We threw our keys at the meet and greet parking people, apologising profusely at 200mph for being in a rush, and sprinted through fast-track security and the departures lounge.

I say sprinted. I don’t sprint. I’ve got good long legs that allow me to move with purpose and my general size and my face all-a-tittylip means people will get out of my face with minimal need for cursing under my breath and punching old folks to the ground. Paul, on the other hand, moves with all the urgency of a man selecting a slice of toast for a weekend breakfast, and I grew ever more furious with him as he delicately tip-toed around folks and ‘ever-so-sorry’ allowed people to get in front. Things came crashing to a head as he slipped over on an incline and fell fat on his face with an almighty moo.

I am, I admit, a terrible person. An awful husband, a cruel lover and a heartless soul. I burst out laughing. My weakness, if you ever need to make me laugh, are random jerky movements and people falling over and hurting themselves. Others watch stand-up, I watch You’ve Been Framed with a smirk and a semi. We didn’t have time to spare so he picked himself up, looked at me with a face that made it clear I’d have to spend twenty minutes later making pained expressions of fake remorse, and off we went. We made it to the gate with one whole minute to spare, according to his now heavily-scuffed smart-watch.

Thank god we made it though, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the subsequent twenty-five minutes of standing at the gate peering at our plane and wondering why we couldn’t get on. That was never explained, though it did give me plenty of time to smile coquettishly and have a mutual eye-wank with a lovely German bear a couple of steps down the queue. Ah, German men. There’s something so alluring about an accent that sounds like they’re coughing up gravel even when they’re “whispering sweet nothings” into the back of your neck.

Our flights were uneventful – prompt, comfortable and with minimal fuss – though my trip was made all the more comfortable by the four gins I downed, ignoring the fact that the bill came to more than I’d paid for our flight ticket. We’re on holiday, such extravagance is to be encouraged. Clearly easyJet has its knockers – she served me the drinks – but damn I love them. We landed, breezed through security in that almost effortless manner we currently enjoy thanks to being part of a fantastic union of shared responsibilities and agreed border processes – what absolute melt would begrudge that – and then we managed about four hundred meters before we sat down and had a sandwich.

See, there’s another reason why we love Germany. So. Many. Sandwiches. I know they all come from the same processing plant and have probably sat there so long you could escape from prison using the bread as a file, but I care not: they’re delicious. It’s like living in a sandwich buffet and I’m all for it. My choice was a sandwich with so much smoked cheese and ham in it that I had to call for special assistance just to lift my fat-ass back out of the seat. My apologies, I should really call him by his first name, Paul.

Paul’s sandwich had an entire section of Lidl pressed into it:

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HAMBURG: the first sandwich we ever had.

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The German public transport system is another joy, once you get around the fact the map looks like a Michael Bay action thriller where some sap has to cut just the right wire to defuse a bomb. I’m sure it’s easy to follow and indeed, after forty minutes sweating, crying and deciphering the beast we managed, we were on our way, but jeez does it make you realise how shit our system is. We’ve got two lines on our Metro system in Newcastle and trains that still have George Stephenson in the cab. But mustn’t grumble: you pay £5.20 to be told by a pleasant soothing voice that the trains are delayed and you can expect to arrive three stops short by the summer equinox.

The hotel that srprs.me had chosen was a delight – the Hotel Jufa, down on the docks. Ostensibly a ‘maritime’ hotel, though the lack of filthy-handed sailors was a disappointment, it was full of ships to play on and curious little tchotchkes alluding to the port. That’s all well and good, but I’m not Alex Polizzi (there was a PUUUUBE, DAAAARLING) (hi Adam) and there’s no need to review the hotel here save to tell you the three most important facts:

  • the breakfast buffet was plentiful, varied and everything fabulous about a German breakfast;
  • the room had decent air-conditioning and none of those silly double mattresses which are two normal mattresses zipped together – very important when you’re our combined weight and turning over in your sleep means both beds careering to either end of the room; and
  • it had a homophobic shower. Seriously, hoteliers, sort your shit out so I can sort mine. Mind, I made the most of it…

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HAMBURG: it was like I'd just stepped out of a salon!

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Hotel done, we’ll switch to the various activities we took part in – no chronological order, mind you, this isn’t Sherlock.

The Saw Escape Room by EscapeDiem

You know how much we love escape rooms, yes? It had been a while since Original Flavour Paul and I had done one and well, what extra level of tension could having all the instructions in German add?

Turns out, a lot. But: what a fantastic room. Based on the Saw movies, you start off in the bathroom from the movies – filthy toilet (and yep, you need to put your hand in) and all. Clever tricks abound – heat sensitive paints, heartbeat locks, false rooms…all marvellous. Then the twist halfway through: you had to go inside the walls. There was a tiny vent to crawl through – now I’m not claustrophobic so I was generally fine with that – but then you had to loop back over yourself and climb up. They’d built a multi-level maze in the walls in the almost pitch black.

Scary, but doable, yes? Well think of me for a second – I was lodged in a wall, barely able to move, with Paul – all many, many stone of him – perched right above me with only a thin sheet of plywood holding him up. It wasn’t Jigsaw or being stuck I was scared of but rather being reduced to atom-wide jam by the weight of the clumsiest fucker alive crashing down on me. It actually felt like a Saw movie, especially when I slashed Paul’s throat for getting the combination wrong at the end. Lolz – caught up in the moment wasn’t I! We escaped the room with a couple of minutes to go and our already strained marriage in tatters.

Miniatur Wunderland

A museum devoted to life in miniature: sounds deadly dull, but it was bloody brilliant. Tonnes and tonnes of teensy-tiny recreations of cities with working trains and tiny interactive models: we loved it. Me for the sheer mechanics and level of detail, Paul because he actually felt like a normal sized human for once. I galloped through like Glumdalclitch’s daddy, Paul went tip-toeing through the roses, letting himself into the matchbox-sized houses and taking a breath on a bench made from four cocktail sticks and a pin.

He’s not even that short, you know, but it makes a change from the fat jokes. Poor Paul, I love him really.

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HAMBURG: Paul's spiritual home

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It was fun though: I’m all for an exhibit where there’s buttons to press and this place was awash with them. For example, you pressed a button and a tiny version of a concert started playing, complete with miniature lighting rigs and hundreds of wee humans bobbing to the beat. There was a scale version of Hamburg Airport with planes taking off (disappearing neatly behind a curtain of cloud) (cotton wool) and if you pressed the button and waited, a UFO would touch down. I mean, haway! If that was the UK, each exhibition would have an out of order sign and the only buttons you could press would be on the chip-and-pin machine as you paid your £44 entrance fee.

Actually, the UK was represented with a tiny version of London, replete with lots of top-hat wearing guards and a ding-donging Big Ben. Newcastle wasn’t featured, which was a shame, because I’d have loved to have pressed a button and seen Gemma-Marie, Marie-Marie and Lisa-Marie rolling around pulling each other’s hair in a puddle of their own foamy piss. As I said, the attention to detail was really quite terrific.

Now, honestly, we’re almost at 2000 words. Let’s cut it short there and come back another day.


You came for the quick and easy chicken kebab wraps, didn’t you? Who could blame you? We’ve seen loads of hot-takes on our recipe for chicken doner kebabs, but this is the easiest one yet. Inspiration came from quite genuinely the best fast food we’ve ever had, pushed down into our gullets at 4am on a crisp Hamburg morning. Because I was drunk and a walking horn at this point, it was a case of finding anywhere that was open, dispensed food and was staffed by sultry looking men with a kebab shaver. Wasn’t hard to come across one, though we did have to pretend it was raita when a customer came in. This is something that takes no time to throw together – you could probably make a marinade yourself with lots of ingredients but honestly, pick one of these sauces up for 60p and hoy it in the cupboard for when you just can’t be arsed.

chicken kebab wraps



chicken kebab wraps



chicken kebab wraps

super quick and easy chicken kebab wraps

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 big wraps

We've done wraps so many times over, and make no apology for it. If you're controlled and sensible you can keep a load of wraps in the freezer and defrost as needed - then chuck any old shite in there. The sweet raita is what makes this dish though - don't be afraid to get it made. This makes loads - freeze any leftover meat! Enjoy our chicken kebab wraps!

Ingredients

For the wraps:

  • whatever wraps SW have decreed syn-free as your healthy extra
  • five chicken thighs
  • one packet of Blue Dragon Sweet Chilli & Garlic Stir Fry Sauce (10 syns)
  • one small red onion
  • one small white cabbage
  • half a cucumber (if you're looking for something to do with the other half, pop it up your blurter)

For the sweet raita:

  • 250g fat free greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp mint sauce
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  • dice up your chicken thighs into very small chunks - doesn't need to be uniform, but go nice and small
  • marinate the chopped thighs in the sauce and leave as long as you like
  • when it's time to eat, tip the marinated chicken into a hot pan and cook it quickly - keep stirring so it doesn't stick, but you want the sauce to get nice and sticky
  • whilst that's cooking, shred your cabbage, thinly slice the onion and chop your cucumber
  • make your wraps by adding a slick of raita to the wrap, add your meat, chopped veg and wrap away!

Top tips:

  • speed this up by using shop-bought raita
  • this makes enough for four big wraps with plenty of chicken left over - you can freeze the chicken once cooked
  • we served ours in a folded up naan bread, but we don't count our syns with bread

Notes

Courses fakeaway

Cuisine deliciousness

Looking for something else to stick in your yeast pocket? I bet you are, because you’re filth – but why not try:

With all my love forever more,

J

quick pad thai – for when you just can’t be bothered

Quick pad thai – we did a proper pad thai not so long since but damn it, it takes so long. So here’s a quick version. However…before we get to the recipe, I enjoyed writing those little question and answer sessions so much that we’re doing a round three – unapologetically shameless here, you know.

What inspired you to start your page?

I made a shitty comic book style montage of my nana using an iPad. This gave me the idea of doing recipes in a similar vein – we struggled on like that for a few months before people start writing to us suggesting that we actually do novel things like listing the ingredients and methods and not including pictures of my cat’s bumhole. Poor sports. We changed the style to what you see today. One thing we’re particularly proud of is the fact that the blog remains resolutely low-tech, just writing, photos and we’re done. On other blogs it takes a year and a day to actually get to the recipe, after all the shilling for Frylight, facebook groups, video adverts and other tut. You might get some nonsense with our blog about our day to day life, but I think that keeps it unique. I (personally) would rather read a bit about the owners (although not 800 words about picking tomatoes at the local market) than some impersonal SEO-fest. I was also pig sick of making SW recipes that looked like cradle cap swimming in a pool of tomato water and realised that it had to be possible to cook well, follow the guidelines and still lose weight. Whaddya know – it is (and you don’t need Sukrin, Frylight, special meat or other tut to do it!)

How long will you keep going?

You’re talking someone who managed to pop an anecdote about getting blown in a hot-tub into a recipe for baked bean lasagne. As long as there are shenanigans to report and food to make, we’ll keep going. It’s been trickier this past year because something exciting has taken up so much time, but that’s done and now we’re back. Just need some bloody holidays.

Who’s the boss in the relationship?

Paul likes to think he is, but I have the weight and height advantage, plus he’d be hard-pressed to tell you who we bank with. Hell, he’d struggle to tell you his name without checking the inside of his blazer. We have very differing argument styles though – I shout and bawl and kick off, he gets very quiet and sulky. I’m emotional, he’s barely in motion. Something like that. We tend not to argue much as we’re both too fat and lazy to make a show of ourselves, but when we go at it, it usually involves me getting huffy, tripping over my words and spitting like a stuck cat, whilst he purses his lips and drinks his tea and rattles off facts and figures from 10 years ago that entirely disprove whatever point I’m trying to make. The man can’t remember to flush the toilet after he’s had a shit (dis-gust-ting) but that type I made googly-eyes at a passing biker in 2008 is imprinted on the back of his eyelids.

What toys do you like to use in the bedroom, stairs, wherever or is it all just you two?

Now come on, I’m not answering that. This is a family blog. OK, no, a Rubik’s Cube. I like to push it into him and watch him solve it without moving his hands. It might come out smelling of spoiled meat but it’s always a spectacle. I will say this, though, couples out there – don’t be afraid to experiment. The same way you wouldn’t want the same dessert every day for the rest of your life, there’s only so many times you can smile wanly at the same Mini Milk before you fancy a Feast.

Length or girth?

Ah, the age old question. This isn’t me being diplomatic for all the button-men out there, but it really isn’t imperative to have one or the other. You can drive to the same destination in a Smart car that you can with a bus, you know. Not going to lie – girthy feels nicer knocking on the back door, lengthy is good if you want a dip-test for your stomach acid, but if you don’t know how to use it, what’s the point? The worst sex I’ve ever had was with someone whose knob was like two full size coke-cans on top of the other. It was like being mounted by a clumsy dog that was more interested in getting his dinner. So, lads, if you’re reading this, don’t focus on your size, focus on your technique. That said, I barely have a gag-reflex these days, so if there’s anyone out there who wants to come and rub my heart from the inside, please get in touch.

If you could have just one super power what would it be?

Thanos’ power, or a variant thereof – where I could click my fingers and that person would vanish from all of existence. You get to get rid of people without all of the pesky murder charges, though sweeping up the ash would be a knacker. Old ladies stood in a cluster in the supermarket? Click. Someone looking at me funny? Click. Doctor explaining that I had RSI due to all the clicking? Click. There would be hardly anyone left by half three in the afternoon – though I’d like a second click to bring the person back, as I tend to react rashly (see above). Imagine how much grovelling I’d need to do to Paul for sending him to the nether-dimension just because he didn’t hang the bog-roll up right. Failing Thanos’ power, I’d like the ability to change people’s sexuality on a whim. Imagine the fun you could have with that? Old ladies stood in a cluster in the supermarket? Clack – scissoring time. Someone looking at me funny? Clack – they want to pedal my ears and make me pregnant. Doctor explaining that I had RSI due to all the dicking? Clack. Pfft, he’d have his mouth full.

If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life what would they be?

  • peanut butter Haagen Daaz;
  • straight, married men; and
  • Ibuprofen – a diet consisting strictly of the above two will lead to massive strain on my knees.

Where is the next travel destination? Do you ever think you’ll be bored of traveling? Do you avoid countries that are anti gay? 

Three questions, what is this? Next travel destination is Canada. I’m sure we’ll get there some day…as for getting bored of travelling? How can you – the world is waiting and there’s so many places we want to go. Even in the UK alone we could holiday somewhere new every year and not get bored. Do we avoid anti-gay places? Yeah. Mostly. We would love to go to Russia, but it takes the shine off when you run the risk of having your face smashed up just for shagging a bloke. Well, it puts Paul off, I’m all about a gamble. For a good few years we used to holiday quite conservatively but Christ, you don’t want to get to your deathbed thinking you’d wish you had seen the world. We’re not sophisticated travellers – our luggage comes from George, we stay in cheapo hotels and we spend more time than is sensible sleeping when we get to destinations, but we’ve got so many memories now that how could it not be worth doing? 2019 will be the year of 14 holidays – we managed 10 in 2017 (still need to write them up!) – and we like a challenge.

What do you both do for a living?

Keep secrets.

Have you / would you do drag? What would your drag name be?

Done it once, I looked dreadful.  I had a cracking set of plastic tits mind, until someone put a cigarette out on my left boob. I’ve never felt less feminine. There’s a chap in a wheelchair who calls herself Sarah Palegic, which tickles me. I would absolutely love to see Paul in full drag just to see whether I’d be game for boffing him or not. He’s already got a smashing rack, he’s halfway there. I love proper drag. Remember our trip to see Benidorm’s premier drag-act?

OK, that’ll do it for now. No more! NO MORE. Time for a quick pad thai, if you please.

quick pad thai

quick pad thai

quick pad thai

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 4 servings

A pad thai for when you really can't be arsed. Quick, easy and it'll fill your hole more than any plug-in-plug-up appliance. 

Ingredients

  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey (2½ syns)
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 400g pork loin, sliced thinly into strips
  • 1 tbsp cornflour (1 syn) 
  • 2 tsp sesame oil (4 syns)
  • 170g rice noodles 
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • a good handful of beansprouts
  • 25g dry roasted peanuts, roughly dropped (7½ syns) 
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • handful of coriander, finely chopped (optional)

Instructions

  • place the noodles in a pan of water and bring to the boil
  • simmer for about five minutes, drain and plop into cold water (trust us)
  • whisk together the sesame oil and corn starch and pour over the sliced pork and toss well
  • in a small bowl or jug, whisk together the fish sauce, lemon juice and honey and set aside
  • preheat a wok or a large frying pan over a high heat and spray with a little oil
  • add the pork and cook for about 2-3 minutes, until cooked through
  • remove the pork from the pan and set aside
  • spray the pan with a bit more oil and add the garlic, chilli flakes and spring onions and cook for about a minute, stirring frequently
  • slowly pour the eggs into the pan, stirring constantly
  • drain the noodles again and chuck them into the pan along with the fish sauce and pork and mix together
  • cook for another minute or two to warm the noodles up
  • serve onto plates and top with the beansprouts, chopped peanuts, lime and coriander (if using)

Notes

Courses dinner

Cuisine twochubbycubs

Want some more fakeaway ideas? Well never mind me putting in a list, here’s a great big button for you to politely ignore as though I’d shat in your handbag.

fakeawayssmall

How lovely!

J

low-syn McDonalds Tex Mex Stack

Here for the Tex Mex Stack? Of course you are, but first…

Honestly, we’re an embarrassment as a nation sometimes. Build-a-Bear were running a promotion today where you could buy a teddy-bear for the price of the age of your child – so if your charming little sperm-blossom was seven, seven quid was all you’d need to pay for a cuddly toy. Not a bad deal: certainly I’ve paid more than that to stuff a bear in my time. However – somewhat inevitably – the promotion has led to ‘angry and violent scenes’ as parents who should know better jostle and fight in eight-hour queues to get last year’s stock at a discount. Why? It’s a teddy bear they’re giving out, not an hour riding Tom Hardy’s face like one of those novelty cars you get outside of a supermarket.

It makes me cringe, and the cherry on the cake? A mother saying she had taken her kid out of school “because it’s not important”! Bloody hell. What’s more important than a solid education? Why of course, it’s allowing your child to get kneed in the face whilst you pull the extensions out of whichever u-ok-hunner has taken up camp in front of you. I watch scenes like this with the same barely-concealed contempt that I save for people who throw litter from their cars, or those who kick cats, or Theresa May, a woman so devoid of humanity and warmth that you can easily imagine her asking her driver to back the car up after hitting a deer just so she could watch the light leave its eyes.

However, there’s a flipside to national excitement. I have enjoyed, for the most part, the patriotism and cheerfulness that swept across the nation like a Sports Direct-branded blanket over the last couple of weeks when we (mostly) believed that ‘football was coming home’. You must understand that I can’t bear football – nothing about watching 22 men with pipe-cleaner haircuts kicking a bladder around a field excites me – but even I’ve been swept up in daring to dream. Paul had to stop me hanging a flag from our window, telling me that we already looked like fully-paid-up National Front members, what with our skinhead haircuts and Dr Martens, and perhaps we didn’t need to reinforce that look further. I know it’s not racist to display our flag, despite the myriad of Facebook posts informing me so from people you know get given Lynx sets for Christmas, but even so, it does have a certain image problem.

But it’s just been nice having people out celebrating, smiling, enjoying themselves without much bother instead of the usual sights that accompany football fans abroad – men with tits bouncing on their knees throwing plastic chairs at anyone who elongates their vowels, women pissing in the street, people shouting ENG-UR-LAND and getting spittle everywhere. Admittedly it hasn’t all been rosy – you’ll have seen those shameful pictures of the idiots jumping up and down on that ambulance and taking it off the road. I’m not one for eye-for-an-eye, but I can’t help but hope someone jumps up and down on their larynx as retribution. Really, what are we missing?

But morons like that represent the tiniest part of what makes our country great. Seeing everyone celebrating when we scored, and then commiserating when we lost, was thrilling. Let’s be proud of where we got to, instead of immediately running onto Facebook to be the cleverest dick who can wail the loudest about REAL HEROES and fuck-all’s coming home. It’s beneath us.

Tell you what isn’t beneath you, though: wearing one of our fabulous new badges. In a shameful bit of self-promotion fuelled with the need to pay for our trip to Canada, we’ve commissioned a charming range of badges that sum up being a twochubbycubs can. Naturally, I’ve had to restock the supplies about eight times over because the ones with c*nt on went almost immediately.

I know, they will be wearing them in all the fashion shows and, would you believe, we’ve already had some saucy bugger sending us a picture of the Proud C*nt badge hanging off her clitoris ring. At least I think that’s what it was supposed to be – either that or she’d dropped the badge into a runover Spam baguette. Want one? By all means – they’re mostly back in stock – click here to be whisked straight to them in a new window.

Full disclosure: we profit from these. Because durrr. Something needs to pay for the extensive anal trauma I suffered from someone trying to stuff me in Build a Bear. Mind we’ve sold almost 600 badges so far from a few posts in our group so…

On that note, shall we get to the recipe? McDonalds Tex Mex Stack – it’s high in syns, but you could leave a slice of cheese out to drop the syns further – or take the view that it’s better to spend the syns on something amazing rather than ordering takeaway. Again. Tsk. To the Tex Mex Stack then…

Tex Mex Stack

Tex Mex Stack

Seriously, how good does this look?

The chip and sauce bucket is from Amazon, by the way.

McDonalds fakeaway Tex Mex Stack

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 1 burger

Our final product in our Great Burgers from McDonalds range is this fakeaway takeaway - the Tex Mex Burger. It's high in syns because it has two slices of Mexicana cheese - remove that and replace with the normal cheese allowance and you'll be cooking on gas!

Ingredients

  • 1 wholemeal bun (1x HeB)
  • 200g 5% beef mince
  • two slices of Mexicana cheese (9 syns)
  • half a handful of Cool Original Dorito's (2 syns)
  • 1 slice of tomato
  • handful of lettuce leaves
  • 1 tbsp barbecue sauce (1 syn)

Instructions

  • make the burgers (see notes)
  • cook the burgers (see notes)
  • meanwhile, slice the bun
  • add a burger and then a slice of cheese, then another burger and another slice of cheese
  • place in the Doritos, followed by the tomato and lettuce leaves
  • spoon the barbecue sauce over the top half of the bun and drop on top
  • eat!

Notes

  • a burger press will make easy work of the burgers but if you haven't got one just roll the mince into a ball and flatten into a burger shape
  • you can cook the burgers however you please - we used our Tefal Optigrill on the 'burger' setting but you could use a frying pan over a high heat (spray in a little oil first), under a high grill, on a George Foreman or even on a barbecue. It's up to you!
  • you'll find Mexicana cheese at nearly all supermarkets - if you can't any spicy cheese will do
  • you can reduce the syns by using your Healthy Extra A choice for the cheese and adding some chilli flakes to the barbecue sauce
  • don't forget - you get mince in our fantastic Muscle Food deals! 
  • there's no need for egg or any binders in this - the mince will hold just fine as long as you spend a few minutes giving it a good squeeze and a mix first

Lovely, right? That’s the Tex Mex Stack! Fancy one of the other burgers? Click to be taken straight there!

Yum!

J

low-syn McDonald’s Tennessee Stack

McDonald’s Tennessee Stack fakeaway follows below. Our quartet of burgers is nearly reaching a climax and once we’ve got them out of the way, we can crack on with dodging salads and eating entirely too much pasta. Tis the Slimming World way.

But first, a HEALTH WARNING. I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to read the eight billion facebook posts about it, but there’s a recall on frozen vegetables because there’s a small chance of listeria being present on the frozen peas. DRAMATIC. I mean, cook the vegetables and you’ll be just fine, but no no, Sandra has been on the Mumsnet Forums and is using her Masters in Internet Hyperbole from the University of Life to tell people THEY’RE GOING TO DIE.

It does rather presume you’re sat at home sucking on a frozen carrot like it’s an especially budget ice-pop but still. Oh no. Just as I was typing that sentence I realised that this could be the next Slimming World fad – save yer syns by freezing a shard of beetroot and it’ll be just like a blackcurrant Calippo. Hey, in a world where freezing a Muller Yoghurt is the same as eating Häagen-Dazs anything is possible.

Anyway – it’s too hot to sit typing out recipes, so let’s get this Tennessee Stack out, then go out and enjoy the sun. I hear there’s an important football match on? You can imagine how interested I am in that. I watched the England v Columbia match under significant duress (the gym I use had all the TVs tuned to that station) and fuck me, what a bore. The last time I saw that many men with £250 haircuts and pursed lips fall over and scream theatrically was when I accidentally ordered a pint of beer in our local twink tavern.

Oh I get it, I know, Eng-er-land and all that. It would be fun if they won the World Cup, and oh-aye-no-nah didn’t Pickford’s save come from nowhere etc etc nah, fuck it, I can’t do it. I feel like my anxiety situation of being stuck in a taxi with a driver who talks of nothing but tits and football has expanded out to the entire nation. What do I say when people ask if I follow football? “No, I prefer rugby, they have better arses and at least when they roll around on the floor, there’s likely to be a degree of accidental penetration?” – I find that doesn’t go down so well.

So yeah: come on England. Give us all a reason to wave our Sports Direct-emblazoned flags in the air for a few more days, eh?

tennessee stack

low syn McDonald's Tennessee Stack

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 1 burger

Third on the quarter of McDonalds burgers is this Tennessee Stack, which is destined to stay here forever unloved because frankly, if you can't spell twochubbycubs without being directed to a blisteringly-detailed gay porn site, you're definitely not going to master Tennessee.

Ingredients

  • 1 wholemeal bun (1x HeB)
  • 200g 5% beef mince
  • 2 slices reduced-fat cheddar (approx. 40g) (1x HeA)
  • 2 slices of bacon, fat removed
  • few slices of gherkins
  • handful of lettuce leaves
  • sliced onion
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise (1 syn)
  • 1 tbsp barbecue sauce (1 syn)
  • pinch of smoked paprika

Instructions

  • make the burgers (see notes)
  • cook the burgers (see notes) and the bacon
  • meanwhile, slice the bun
  • mix together the paprika and barbecue sauce and spread over the top half of the bun
  • top the bottom half with a slice of cheese, two burgers and the bacon
  • add a few slices of gherkins, onions, mayonnaise, lettuce leaves and the other slice of cheese
  • top with the bun
  • eat!

Notes

  • a burger press will make easy work of the burgers but if you haven't got one just roll the mince into a ball and flatten into a burger shape
  • you can cook the burgers however you please - we used our Tefal Optigrill on the 'burger' setting but you could use a frying pan over a high heat (spray in a little oil first), under a high grill, on a George Foreman or even on a barbecue. It's up to you!
  • don't forget - you get both mince and bacon in our fantastic Muscle Food deals! 
  • there's no need for egg or any binders in this - the mince will hold just fine as long as you spend a few minutes giving it a good squeeze and a mix first

Courses burgers

Cuisine fakeaway

Delicious! You know, since doing these burgers we’ve realised they’re nearly all the same – damn you McDonalds – but if this Tennessee Stack stops you enduring a trip to McDonalds, then everyone is a winner, no?

Want more ideas? Why don’t you have a BBQ?

J

low syn McDonald’s Chicago Stack

Next on the old trip around McDonalds is this lovely Chicago Stack! I’m not going to lie, all of their Great Taste burgers are variations on meat being packed into buns and covered in a variety of sauces, but then, so am I, and I’m perfect in every way.

Well, aside from my left nostril. No, that little bugger has betrayed me and decided that I don’t need any sleep at all and rather I would prefer to wake up at 4am with it streaming snot and throbbing. I woke up the other night with a pillow so sticky and viscous that I thought I’d been rohypnoled during one of Paul’s ‘Let’s Meet The Neighbours’ events, where neighbours means any VWE BBC curvy gentlemen within a 40 – no, let’s hedge the bets – 50 mile radius. It was like being a teenage boy all over again, although I no longer have a stack of bedaubed Razzles under my mattress that all mysteriously fall open to the ‘Reader’s Husbands’ page. Ah, memories. When you were horny but only had an expanse of fields and a 56k modem to salve your thickness, you made do.

Actually, Christ, that reminds me. I once found a videotape thrown into a hedge when out playing, and because I was an inquisitive child whose parents had a somewhat casual approach to sensibilities, rushed straight home to put it in the VHS player. Well, it certainly wasn’t old episodes of Minder. The lady getting wheelbarrowed around the shagpile had more hair on her muff than I’ve ever had on my face – and I’m talking cumulative beard growth over at least 16 years. I was so horrified and aghast that I rushed out and left it in the video player, which in turn led to a very difficult, awkward conversation later on about the birds, bees and growlers that look like Bungle and George from Rainbow had a lovechild which fell in a fire.

Honestly, it’s no wonder I dance at the other end of the disco.

How the hell did we get here? Ah yes! My nostril! I normally suffer a bit with hay-fever but I can cope if I take an antihistamine, but this year I get woken up suffocating on my own pollen-snot mix. Does anyone have any ideas? I’ve tried all different variations of medication. We have air-conditioning. I’ve tried local honey. I’m not sticking my hand in any nettles. I’m not a simpleton, so please don’t recommend anything that comes from a business where you start every sentence with ‘Now I know it looks like a pyramid scheme but honestly…’ because being told to fuck off will likely offend.

This is a genuine cry for help though – I’ve had about ten hours total sleep in the last four days because once I’m awake, that’s it, I can’t go back to sleep. I lie in bed furious with Paul for being able to sleep and then being sure to passively-aggressively sneeze as loud as possible until he sends me out in a huff.

We have fun! Anyway, I won’t keep you any longer. Before the Chicago Stack recipe, we have a competition running on Instagram though!

COMPETITION! The lovely @yourshonline have come to my sweaty, too hot rescue and provided me with a food flask that keeps my dinner warm and a flask that keeps drinks deliciously cool for AGES. Seriously, the drink stays cold for 24 hours! Plus, the shape and colour means it looks just right on my bedside table. You know what I mean. AND NOW YOU CAN HAVE THEM! To win: 1. like this post, because I'm marvellous and a corporate hussy 2. follow @yourshonline and us @twochubbycubs 3. Tag a friend who always has a hot box in the comments! I'll pick someone next Wednesday. And listen, I'm recommending these because they actually do work. No corporate shill here! They're genuinely amazing! #foodflask #competition #sho #Slimmingworld #slimmingworldmafia #slimming #yourshoonline #instacomp #blogger #blagger #gifted

A post shared by twochubbycubs (@twochubbycubs) on

Come win yourself a bottle and a flask. To be clear, we were given these to try in response to my mewling about the heat being unbearable and, had they been rubbish like other flasks, I would have wasted no time in telling you. But actually – they kept my drink cold – in this weather – all day AND the food flask kept my food hot. I don’t know the science, but I do know the quality! So I can recommend them without hesitation and you can believe me without regret: take a nose!

And now, the McDonald’s Chicago Stack!

Chicago Stack!

Chicago Stack!

low syn McDonald's Chicago Stack

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 1 burger

Next on our sweep through classic burgers from McDonalds is the Chicago Stack!

Look, this might not be classy food, but we're doing God's work here and saving you from yourself. This way you get to enjoy McDonalds and stay within your syns, which is perfect as it then means you have a few leftover for that XXL Dominos you'll be chasing this down with. Am I right?

Ingredients

  • 1 wholemeal bun (1x HeB)
  • 200g 5% beef mince
  • 2 rashers of bacon, fat removed
  • 2 slices of reduced-fat cheddar (approx. 40g) (1x HeA)
  • few gherkin slices
  • 1 tbsp barbecue sauce (1 syn)
  • 1 tbsp extra light mayonnaise (1 syn)

Instructions

  • make the burgers (see notes)
  • cook the burgers (see notes)
  • meanwhile, slice the bun
  • spread the barbecue sauce over the bottom bun and the mayonnaise on the top
  • add a burger to the bottom bun, then a slice of cheese, then another burger and the other slice of cheese
  • top with bacon and gherkins 
  • add the top bun
  • eat!

Notes

  • a burger press will make easy work of the burgers but if you haven't got one just roll the mince into a ball and flatten into a burger shape
  • you can cook the burgers however you please - we used our Tefal Optigrill on the 'burger' setting but you could use a frying pan over a high heat (spray in a little oil first), under a high grill, on a George Foreman or even on a barbecue. It's up to you!
  • don't forget - you get both mince and bacon in our fantastic Muscle Food deals! 
  • there's no need for egg or any binders in this - the mince will hold just fine as long as you spend a few minutes giving it a good squeeze and a mix first
  • and we used a sesame white bun for the picture because we're whorish and don't care about syns any more

Courses fakeaway

Cuisine burgers

You know, rather than endless links, let’s bring the buttons back for a bit! Click and be whisked to a list of recipes for each category. Well I say whisk, but not with those cankles, eh? Enjoy your Chicago Stack!

poultrysmallbeefsmallporksmalllambsmallfakeawayssmall

J

pork and ginger stir fry: syn-free, quick and tasty!

Here for the pork and ginger stir fry, syn-free and wonderful as it is? Please hold.

Before we begin, I need to confess that I feel terrible: we received a ‘please order milk from your independent milkman’ letter through the door the other day. As it happens, I’m all for supporting local industry and would happily take advantage but he delivers after we go to work and I don’t want the milk sitting outside on the step all day. It’s not that I’m concerned that young hoodlums will steal it, oh no, quite the opposite – we live on a street with a lot of elderly folk, and I can see them now eyeing up an opportunity for some free calcium for their brittle bones. All we would see on our CCTV is the top of a gently-bobbing mass of grey hair shuffling along the bottom of our screen and then the milk disappearing. Tsh. Anyway, I was just settling down with a giant cup of coffee when the door went – I answered, already in my dressing gown, and there’s the milkman, asking if we had received his letter and would we like to order anything. Well, I was flustered, not least because frankly I’d have cheerfully invited him in for a half-pint of his full-fat milk, and couldn’t think of a way to phrase it so that I didn’t sound snotty or dismissive of his plea. I said the only thing I could think of: that I was gluten intolerant.

He corrected me to lactose-intolerant, looked at my giant cup of coffee, spotted the milk on the side in the kitchen, and had the good grace not to call me out on my obvious duplicity as he left. I tried to call after him that I would considering ordering fresh orange juice or some eggs but my words must have been carried away on the wind.

Anyway, enough about my poor milkman. Today is a day of love, you know. Whether you’re coupled up or single, take a moment to appreciate the good things in life. That might take the form of telling your partner you love them, or a good friend that you’ll always be there. Or, have a wank. Whatever works for you. I’m always teasing poor Paul via the medium of this blog but he’s alright really, so I thought it would be a good time to write three lovely things he does that just cements why we’re so good together.

When I’m angry, he’s angry

An important one, this. Even if he might not fully believe it what I’m raging against, he so very rarely tells me to calm down. I feel like the whole world is out to antagonise me most mornings and I can be out of bed for only five minutes before the cat has got in my way, Facebook has pissed me off and the sight of Piers Morgan on the television has sent me into a white-hot apoplexy. Paul is always there agreeing and eee-I-knowing and giving me ‘quite right’ looks and for that I’m thankful. It’s good to have someone to be cantankerous with and I think it’s a sign of true love that we can both sit and moan and bitch at each other and be bitter together.

He squeezes my feet

My feet hurt all the time now that we’re forever at the gym or walking or swimming or stamping out oil fires or booting the cat up her arse for getting in the way. Nothing too painful, just a dull ache that when pressed feels amazing. And, sure as eggs are eggs, each night when we’re cabbaged on the sofa watching TV he will pull my foot up onto his lap and squeeze the living daylights out of them. It feels amazing: you’re talking to someone who used to lift up our Caesar-sized mattress, contort his leg underneath and then lie on top of it to really squeeze the bones. Paul has actually stopped me from buying a vice to clamp my foot with. But what makes this extra special, indeed, takes it to a whole new level is this: he never complaint that my feet smell like a tramp has wiped his arse with a wheel of cupboard-warm Camembert, or that you could file the Forth Bridge with the skin on my heels. Listen, I walk eight miles a day now, I’m allowed hobbit feet, and anyway, it’s not like I can see them, what with my jiggling gunt in the way.

The morning routine

This is the big one. Paul loves to sleep: you could set his irises on fire and he’d still be there snoring and sleep-farting away. I’ve known him go to bed at 10pm and get up again at 7pm for his first piss, then go back to bed. However, every weekday morning he sets the alarm for ten minutes before I get up, makes sure the heating is on, goes and puts the coffee on, makes our porridge and, you’ll like this, turns the shower on for me so the bathroom is hot and steamy and the water boiling for when I emerge naked from under the duvet, farting and grunting away. Every morning, without fail. That’s pretty amazing, no? And you know why he does all of this?

Because he’ll get a damned good hiding if he doesn’t. Poor bastard has kidneys like dropped black pudding at this point.

I’m jesting.

I asked Paul what three things I do which make him happy and his reply was ‘going to work, going to sleep and being quiet’. Ho-hum. He will answer properly tomorrow. Or so help him.

Anyway, to celebrate over ten years of being together, look what popped up in our newsfeed throwback today!

Ten years and then some ago! Look at the clip of us: we look like football thugs who will kick your head in, sell you some wobbly eggs and suck you to a full and fruitful completion. In the interest of balance, here’s us now:

Looking good, right?

Shall we do the recipe? This makes enough for four people or two big portions for two big folks!

pork and ginger stir fry

pork and ginger stir fry

to make pork and ginger stir fry you will need:

  • 2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 450g pork medallions, sliced
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 100g mangetout, sliced in half
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp rice wine

top tops for pork and ginger stir fry:

  • we used the fantastic medallions in Muscle Food’s Build Your Own Hamper deal! Find out more here!
  • feel free to use pork chops instead of medallions – just cut off the fat.
  • stop using Fry Light! It ruins your pans and tastes rank. Get one of these instead!
  • don’t have rice wine? cider vinegar will do!
  • the extra dark soy sauce is worth it – but you can swap it for normal soy sauce if you can’t be arsed to go out and get it, but you’ll lose a bit of flavour
  • sort the ginger out in seconds with a Microplane grater! It’s our most used kitchen gadget!

to make pork and ginger stir fry you should:

  • dead easy this one – spray a large frying pan with a little oil and put over a medium-high heat
  • add the ginger and stir around the pan for about 20 seconds, then add the pork, soy sauces and mangetout
  • cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally
  • stir in the sesame oil, spring onions and rice wine and simmer for another 3-4 minutes
  • serve

Getting excited for Chinese New Year? We’ve got a tonne of recipes you could make to celebrate!

Yum!

J

beef chop suey: saucy and syn-free

Right, let’s fire out a recipe for beef chop suey with no chitchat, as we’re all busy people. Take Me Out isn’t going to watch itself, you know.

Now come on, as if we’d watch Take Me Out. If I wanted to listen to thirty lasses screaming at an orange man, I’d go to a Trump protest. THERE. THERE’S SOME BITING POLITICAL ANALYSIS. I’m kidding, it’s my nephew’s birthday so we’re actually off to hand over gifts and cards in exchange for love and kindness. But we couldn’t leave you without something to smack your lips over, so here we are! Saucy beef chop suey.

beef chop suey

beef chop suey

to make saucy beef chop suey you will need:

  • 220g beef stir fry strips, sliced (or steak, sliced)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 8 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 3 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 60g mangetout, sliced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 300g dried noodles

top tips for making saucy beef chop suey:

to make saucy beef chop suey you should:

  • cook the noodles according to the instructions
  • heat a large saucepan over a high heat and spray ina . little oil
  • add the garlic and onions and stir around the pan for about a minute, then add the beef
  • cook for a few minutes and then add the carrots, red pepper and mushrooms and cook for another five minutes
  • add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, mangetout and spring onions to the pan and give a good stir
  • cook for another 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened
  • serve over the noodles

Feeling saucier? Check out some of our other recipes!

stir fry cucumber and pork – trust me, it’s a winner!

Stir fry cucumber and pork? You are either doing one of two things:

  • experiencing confusing feelings in your nethers – you’re scared, but you want to try it; or
  • you’re quietly gipping into your sleeve.

But trust me, it’s delicious! Paul, who doesn’t like cucumber whether it’s sliced, diced or hidden somewhere it’s not nice to talk about, declared the dish one of the best he’s ever had – and it’s so cheap too.

Anyway: good news everyone: I’m feeling better. Not 100%, I still feel like someone has backed a transit van over my head and everything capable of producing liquid is working over-time, but at least I’m not dying. See? Always a positive. But I need to stay rested, so let’s go straight to the recipe!

Oh, this makes enough for four nice bowls of stir fry cucumber and pork.

stir fry cucumber and pork

stir fry cucumber and pork

to make stir fry cucumber and pork, you’ll need:

  • two big cucumbers (or buy three, you’ll have something to play with whilst the cucumber soaks)
  • salt (smoked salt is nice, but any salt will do)
  • 500g of low-fat pork mince (you can use turkey mince too)
  • 3 teaspoon of light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of rice wine (about 0.00000001 of a syn, so fuck it)
  • 2 teaspoon of oil (4 syns) (I used sesame, it’s easier)
  • 1 teaspoon of fish sauce (you can buy it from most supermarkets, it’s syn free and doesn’t taste fishy)
  • 1 teaspoon of cornflour (quarter of a syn, see above)
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • two garlic cloves, minced
  • rice to serve

top tips stir fry cucumber and pork

  • absolute full credit goes to seriouseats.com for this one – we found it a while ago and thought it would be a load of bollocks, but we’re so glad we tried it – fair play!
  • quickly mince the garlic with a Microplane grater – you’ll wonder how you ever got on without one – or you can buy ready minced garlic in most supermarkets if you’re lazy
  • if you’re using turkey mince, I’d suggest adding another tablespoon of oil (6 syns) because turkey can be quite dry, like me
  • our chopsticks are available here!

to make stir fry cucumber and pork, you should:

  • two bits of prep first:
    • marinate your pork by mixing it with two teaspoons of soy sauce, the rice wine, one teaspoon of oil, the fish sauce and half a teaspoon of cornflour – really give it a good mix, and then set aside – the longer you leave it the better it will be
    • peel slices from your skin of your two cucumbers so you’re left with alternating stripes around the outside, cut in half along the horizontal, so you’re left with two long halves, cut each half into chunks and then put in a bowl, scatter a good couple of pinches of salt on top, shake and leave them to sit for an hour or so
  • once you’re ready to cook, in a small bowl mix two teaspoons of water, the other half teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of sesame oil and a teaspoon of soy sauce – mix and set aside
  • wash your cucumber chunks through a sieve to get the salt off them, and then pat
  • heat up a frying pan with a few sprays of oil, get it nice and hot, then place the pork in almost like a big burger – allow to cook for thirty seconds or so exactly like that, then start breaking it up with a spatula, add the chilli flakes and garlic and cook until everything is golden brown
  • now add the cucumber chunks and cook high and quick – mix your sauce again and pour it in – there’s not a lot, but the idea is to make it a bit glossy – remember, cook quick and hot
  • serve with rice!

Guys, do you trust us at this point? Do we ever really post a duff recipe? No. This isn’t one of them, either. The cucumbers keep a bit of crunch but go more meaty than you would imagine. It tastes lovely and fresh and is a good, cheap alternative to a fakeaway. Give it a go!

Want more fakeaway ideas? We can help:

Goodness me!

J