Thursday, 22 October 2015

#SaveourSausage - An Evening with Paul Rankin

I am a very fussy person when it comes to sausages, so I was most intrigued when last week, Squiggle and I received an invitation to go and meet with Celebrity Chef Paul Rankin at the Great John Street Hotel in Manchester as he launched his new Rankin Selection Irish Family Sausages.

Michelin star Paul Rankin regularly appears on TV and is a personal favourite of mine from his time on Saturday Morning kitchen and the infamous three egg omelette challenge. Well he is now launching his own range of traditional Irish sausages in an attempt to bring back family meal times. He is currently touring Britain and Ireland with his Rankin Challenge where he just asks that you compare his sausages against the current market leader, see which you prefer and let him know.

Which was what our evening was all about. We were given an introduction to Paul and learnt how he has been working with artisan Irish food producer, Finnebrogue, to create a better quality sausage.
The evening was full of fun and laughter, we started off with a canape reception with sausage rolls and sausages in lovely sweet chilli sauce and then shown through to the dining room. We played a game of Silly Sausage where Paul tested our knowledge on the humble banger and I'm pleased to say I was part of the winning team. Squiggle was invited to go and choose our prizes, a choice of a Paul Rankin frying pan or an all day breakfast made out of sweets, he surprised us all by going for the frying pan!

We were then served a plate of bangers and mash with an onion gravy, I must admit I was wary, I've had bad experiences with sausages in the past but I needn't have worried. The sausages were lovely, there was no "bad bits" in them which I have found with the current market leader.

Paul said that he prefers to fry his sausages for 20 minutes, I personally prefer not to stand in front of a cooker for this length of time and admit I do mine in the oven.  I noticed such a difference when I cooked these sausages at home. Firstly they didn't explode ( there is no need to prick them ), secondly there was no excess fat in the pan when I cooked them and thirdly they taste so much better than other sausages that I have tried.

Rankin Selection Irish Family Sausages are now on sale in Asda at an introductory price of £1.75 (£2.00 RRP)  for a pack of 8

I was invited to this event by Tots100 and was given a goody bag and a packet of sausages in exchange for this review. 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

40 Things to Do Before 40 - Andrew Lloyd Webber's - Cats

Finally months after posting my bucket list of things to do before I turn 40, I can finally tick the first one off my list.

I went to Blackpool last month with my Mum and Grandma to the Winter Gardens to see Andrew Lloyd Webber's - Cats. I have seen it once before, about 10 years ago, but to be honest I didn't really understand it, other than it was a musical about a bunch of singing cats, but I did like it enough to want to watch it again.

Second time round I knew what the storyline was about and was prepared for the cats prowling around the audience before it started. I also had my tissues ready for the big number, I am such a soft soppy sod. Whenever I hear Memory I get a cold shiver down my spine and the flood gates just open and being a musical it's in there a couple of times as the main number and a reprise. Anyway I didn't have enough tissues and I'm not sure which was worse for those sitting around us, either listening to me sobbing or my Grandma singing all the way through. I mean come on, they've paid good money to hear professionals sing not some amateur dramatic star from back in the days* ( although she does have a great singing voice - sadly it wasn't passed on to me )

So there we go, number one ticked off the list, time to crack on with the next one!

*I love my gran to bits and this is not meant in an offensive way at all, in fact she laughed when we said the exact same thing to her!