This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Johnsonville sausages. The opinions, words, thoughts, and ideas are 100% my own.
"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
It turns out all I needed to break my one-year-plus blogging hiatus was an offer of some free sausage.
Of course, when the folks at Johnsonville Sausage contacted me to find out if I'd like to create a breakfast or brunch recipe featuring their sausages to share here on Tasty Trix I went through an existential crisis and tormented myself for over a month deciding whether I would do it. ... Oh wait, that's the narrative I told myself ... to add drama. What actually happened was, I said "yes" right away. Given that this would include two things I love - sausages and breakfast/brunch - it wasn't that hard. And I came up with not one but two recipes for your eating pleasure.
I should mention that as part of their campaign, Johnsonville wants to encourage parents to create kid-friendly breakfasts and get their kids involved in the kitchen. That's a great goal to be sure, but I am not, never have been, and never plan to be a parent. Cats are the maximum responsibility for another life that I desire. I do, however, have a boyfriend and I think many will agree that it's not entirely different than having a kid in many ways, so don't let my kid-free kitchen stop you from trying this out on yours if you have them - I would have scarfed this up as a child. My boyfriend and I sure did, despite being what you might call grown ups. Technically, anyway.
Besides, if you cook fun stuff with your kids they won't end up like I did - mystified by strange techniques like "scrambling eggs," "chopping garlic," or "feeding oneself" until their 20s.
I used Johnsonville Vermont maple syrup breakfast sausage links in a frittata along with butternut squash and Gouda cheese, and went with their orginal breakfast sausage links in a hash along with potatoes and kale. We ate up all the hash before I thought about how good it would be with an egg on top (isn't everything?) so I encourage you to give that a try. Both dishes are colorful, healthy, and super easy - I especially like that they incorporate the fall flavor of butternut squash. And if you're wondering - yep, I loved the Johnsonville sausage - I wouldn't be posting this if I didn't. It was perfect for these dishes, particularly the maple syrup sausage, which lent a subtle sweetness to the frittata.
Butternut squash, Gouda, and Herb Frittata with Johnsonville Vermont Maple Syrup Breakfast Sausage
1 tablespoon butter
½ onion, diced
4 Johnsonville Vermont maple syrup breakfast sausage links, chopped (app. ½ cup)
1 cup butternut squash, cut into app. ¼-½ inch cubes
½ cup grated Gouda
6 eggs, beaten with ¼ cup cream
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 sage leaves, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a 10-inch oven-safe skillet, saute the onion until soft. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Add the butternut squash and cook until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Salt and pepper well. Sprinkle the cheese over the vegetables and sausage, and pour the egg/cream mixture over top, covering everything. Turn the heat down to medium and cook (don’t stir!) until the eggs just set. Bake in the oven for about 8 minutes.
Butternut Squash, Potato, Kale, & Johnsonville Sausage Hash
2 tablespoons olive oil ½ onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 8 ounces Johnsonville original breakfast sausage links, chopped 1 cup potato, cut into ½ inch cubes 2 cups butternut squash, cut into ½ inch cubes 4 cups kale, chopped, stems removed 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar salt and pepper, to taste
In a deep sided skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onions until soft. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the sausage and cook until browned. Add the potato and butternut squash and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the kale and the apple cider vinegar, stir and cover until the kale is soft, about 10 minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste. Optional: Serve with a fried egg on top.