Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Journeys With Johnsonville

Johnsonville is an awesome company.  Period.

I work with a lot of brands through my involvement with Allrecipes, but I try very hard not to sound like an advertisement for them.  I don't recite back to you every detail that is sent to me about their product, and I certainly don't tout them if I don't believe in them.

  I believe in these guys.  For a lot of reasons, only one of which is their quality product.

This is a company that cares about their product AND their customers.  We have partnered with them before...they have been generous with us as brand ambassadors, but that doesn't really matter to you and certainly doesn't have anything to do with how I review their products.

Of course I like their generosity- I'm on the receiving end of it!  Of course I enjoy their products- who doesn't?  They're tasty and don't cost much more than my store brands!  As a brand ambassador they're fun to interact with on social media, because they're excited about our excitement and they interact with their fans.

But honestly?  It was an event that was completely unrelated to my involvement with Allrecipes that really made me appreciate the way this company values their customers and seems to understand that they are able to exist and profit because of those who love them.

Back in March (I think) of this year, I saw a post about a "Cajun Celebration" giveaway- packages were to be sent to those who entered in time that would include everything you needed to create a cajun meal.  They were asking that those who received these kits cook a meal with the contents of the kit and submit a picture to them of the results.  I was told that I'd made the cutoff and would be receiving a kit, so I was excited.

Shortly after, I got an email apologizing...there had been a mistake.  The site was only supposed to accept the first 1,000 applicants and instead had accepted EVERYONE.


I was a little disappointed, but not heartbroken or anything, and chalked it up to an IT mistake- mistakes happen, right?  No reason to get upset.

Then another email came.  They were fixing the situation.  It would take a little longer than originally stated, but every last one of us would be receiving the kits.  We're talking sending out an extra 9,000 or so kits than they had originally intended.  That's a lot, considering the kits included coupons for tons of free products, a bottle of hot sauce, a can of tomatoes, a cutting board, an apron, Mardi Gras masks, beads, a cookbook, a notepad, a reusable shopping bag...it was a large package, and between the contents and the shipping someone must have paid a pretty penny to make up for that mistake.  I almost felt bad accepting it!

Anyway, it was that incident- above and beyond any interaction I've been blessed enough to have with them as an Allrecipes Allstar- that really made me fall in love with that company.

They care about their customers.  That says a lot about a company.

Anyway, back to my assignment :-)

As Allstars, we partnered with Johnsonville for the second time this month, and I ended up making three of their recipes from Allrecipes.com.  The first I already wrote about- Chili Cheese Waffle Fries, those things were amazing.  I topped waffle fries with Johnsonville's Chiliville Chili, shredded cheddar, and diced onions.  PERFECT game day snack!

I also made their Italian Sausage Market Meatloaf- I LOVED this one, though my husband wasn't so enamored.  I loved that it had the flavor and nutrition of veggies added to it, but I knew that there was no way I was going to sneak bell pepper and spinach into it without my husband and daughter pitching a fit, so I pureed them before adding them to the mix and it worked beautifully.  Very good, especially with the provolone added to the center!  I've included the recipe below, or as always you can click on any picture for the recipe!

The last recipe I made was Johnsonville® Italian Sausage and Pepper Medley.  It's a pretty simple recipe that lends itself to being served lots of ways.  I chose to serve it over orecchiette pasta, but it could easily be served on a sandwich, with rice, or even standing on it's own.  Really flavorful and easy to throw together when you're short on time.

So long story short- I'm a fan of Johnsonville.  Their sausages are flavorful and easy to work with.  I'm more than willing to spend the extra 50 cents or so to buy them over my store brands simply because of their quality and, well, their heart.  Sound silly?  That's ok.  These guys get it.  They care about their customers and they want to make us happy.

That's enough to get me to buy a brand name over a generic store brand any day.

Italian Sausage Market Meatloaf

1 package Johnsonville Mild Ground Italian Sausage
1 lb ground beef or turkey
3/4 C chili sauce
1/4 C water
3/4 C rolled oats
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1 small sweet red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 C corn kernels
1 C fresh baby spinach leaves
3 slices provolone cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, combine 1/2 C of the chili sauce with the water.  Add the oats, egg, chili powder, and worcestershire sauce, and mix well.  Add the sausage and the ground turkey or beef.  Add the bell pepper, onion, and corn and mix well.  Divide the meat mixture in half.  Lay half of the meat mixture in a greased 9x5x3" loaf pan.

2. Create a shallow indent in the meat allowing the edges to rise along the edge of the pan.  Layer the provolone and the spinach leaves on top of the meat mixture in the center, staying about 1/2" away from the sides.  Cover completely with the rest of the meat mixture forming a domed top and sealing the edges.

3. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes.  Spread the remaining chili sauce over the top of the loaf and bake until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the loaf registers 165 F, about 15-20 minutes longer.  Allow the loaf to stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing.


I am an Allrecipes Allstar Brand Ambassador (a voluntary position) and I’m not compensated for my work with Allrecipes.com.

Products received from advertiser are only used for experienced-based reviews on Sunny Days With My Loves. The reviews, content and opinions expressed in this blog are purely the sole opinions of Nora.

1 comment:

  1. I tried the meatloaf too and we all thought it was very good. Great post, Nora!


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