Stuffed Pizza Burger

From the Restaurant at Home cook book


Basically a pizza inside a burger:

A really simple idea and one which combines two take-away favourites. Pizza or burger? Why not have both?

The key is the burger: either make your own, or use defrosted shop-bought burgers. Either slice them almost in half to make pockets or kneed them into one big lump, re-form the minced meat into burgers and use two to make a sandwich.

Fill the pockets or sandwiches with cheese, tomato puree / paste and anything else you might find on top of a pizza. Pre-cook the fillings and stuff them in your burger. Seal the burger around the fillings (mushrooms, peppers, onions etc. vegetables are best as the meat is in the burger), then fry over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes on either side to seal. Transfer to an oven at 170c and bake for a further 12-15 minutes.

Serve the pizza burgers on their own or in buns, with or without chips and / or salad.

Outside in Tuna Crunch

From the Restaurant at Home cook book


Sort of fish cakes – actually fish cakes – but also a deconstructed tuna crunch sandwich.

(Serves 4)

You will need

3 large potatoes, mashed
2 small tins of tuna (flakes in water is best): there’s no point using fresh tuna. That’s best saved for us to cook properly for you and not dressed up in a cake
1 pepper, chopped finely
2 red onions, chopped finely
1/4 teaspoon each of hot paprika, dried garlic, salt and black pepper
Breadcrumbs: if using the DIY method, 6-8 slices of stale bread, broken up by hand or fresh bread, grated. And here’s a cheat’s tip: bake fresh bread in the oven for about 10 minutes at 170c, then it’s easier to crumble
3 eggs, beaten

Then you’ll need to do this:

Mix everything except the breadcrumbs together and form the mixture into 4 patties
Coat the patties in the breadcrumbs and fry over a medium heat for 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally until golden brown (texture like sun)

Serve with a salad, with chips or new potatoes, or in a bun as a burger. Bung some mayonnaise on the side for dipping and squeeze some lemon juice over the top

If I Had a Stammer

03.11.14 (Day 316)


If I had a stammer, I might become repetitive and have trouble getting my words out. Good job I haven’t then.

I’ve been awake for three hours and fighting; this time with technology, trying to make some simple amendments to the company website. After three hours of fighting with an operating system and with limited means, I’ve managed it.

I’ve also managed to cook breakfast, only to have to give up eating it because I was being stared at by a dog. I simply don’t like being watched while I eat. It’s a discomfort which I can’t explain; a bit like knowing that you might be being looked at whilst you sleep and the audience thinking that you look cute. I am not cute and neither is the dog which was staring at me. We have few things in common, including big brown eyes. People have tried gouging mine out before. But here we are, me and the dog, while the rest of the house is the rest of the house: they’re resting; they’re sleeping. If only I could.

So me and the dog sit around talking. We really do. Who’s to say that we don’t? If a tree falls in the woods and there’s no-one there to hear it, does it make a sound? As far as the rest of the house is concerned, the dog doesn’t talk. How little they know and how little he tells. Good job too.

Tells: a poker term. I can spot them all and I have some myself, which I try not to show; I try not to tell. I try not to give anything away, in poker. In life I give away anything which I have. You can’t take it with you after all. And you can’t take it away from me.

The poker fund was down to $100 a couple of days ago, thanks in part to constant interruptions of the people kind; the kind I’m used to, from people who need me. I wish I could escape this self-imposed exile but I don’t want to in a way. How can you not want that which you secretly desire? It’s like being allergic to an addiction. Like love. And poker. That game has got me into a lot of trouble in the past but I’m addicted. The bankroll is back up to $136 now: it’s what we call variance: something I’m used to in poker, life and love.

Until recently, I was in an assumed relationship that I’m not sure I should be in. I’m addicted and should be allergic. A ghost from the past is beckoning me back but if I go, it’ll be like giving up a new addiction for one which I gave up; fucked up. I’ve not fucked up the current addiction (yet) and I’m not ready to give it up as it has legs and substance. I’ll remain substance dependent. And so will she remain dependent on me. I’ve spent months building up her self confidence. And it’s worked to my detriment, in that she’s in a relationship but can’t give up an addiction.

I’m in my makeshift office, in the kitchen of the safe house. I’m keeping busy and being productive, writing this (on doctor’s orders) and a load of other stuff in the background. I’m staying out of the way. I’m using avoidance tactics; avoiding confrontation. After all, where I go, trouble follows, or I cause it. And besides, I’ve seen what’s on the TV in the next room many times. I’ll probably just stare at it and shout at it. And I know how it feels. I realise that a TV isn’t sentient and I should not therefore anthropomorphize but is it inanimate, given that is constantly animated when turned on? A bit like me.

Me and the trouble I bring will be away from here soon. Then there’ll just be the one house pet with big brown eyes. “Please, can we keep him?” You can keep my old friend but I must move on. Soon.

I think I’ll make another coffee, as I need to stay awake and fight off the boredom. The dog is sniffing around as I eat breakfast. It’s a battle of wills: I won’t give in and he won’t give up. Birds of a feather me and him. Untrained, disobedient, persistent. We know.

At the moment, my sister is my trouble and strife; as is the trouble and strife, who’s also a Shakespear’s sister (It’s rhyming slang: look it up if you need to). The Courts went missing for four days last week, at one point presumed dead. She turned up safe in the end. The wife found someone else but remains with me in our symbiotic relationship: friends with benefits.

If only things had been different. If only for another go.

Life can repeat; like a stammer.