My experience at the #Johnsonville Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event @JvilleSausage

Last week, I attended an event for Johnsonville Sausage in Milwaukee, WI: Johnsonville Sausage “Kitchen-to-Kitchen” Bloggers Event where I was able to meet the company, learn more about their products and even cook with Johnsonville.

Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (7)

At the Johnsonville Sausage “Kitchen-to-Kitchen” Bloggers Event, I was in attendance along with the following fabulous people:

On March 10th, we left The Iron Horse Hotel and headed towards Milwaukee Public Market where we were talked to about Johnsonville history and background information about Johnsonville Sausage where we also learned about their new product: Chicken Sausage. I will be honest, when I first heard ‘Chicken Sausage’, I wasn’t sure what to think. At first, it didn’t sound appealing to me. I am a very picky eater, and my kids are just as picky as I am, but I was ready to learn more and see how I could incorporate it in to my family’s meals.

I learned quite a bit about Johnsonville that I wanted to share with you.

  • Ralph F. and Alice Strayer, along with friends, Carl & Anna Hirsch, opened a small butcher shop in the town of Johnsonville, Wisconsin. By 1956, they’d expanded all the way to Port Washington, just 30 minutes away!
  • How did Johnsonville keep expanding? “One day, a customer ordered 40 pounds of hamburgers and 10 pounds of bratwurst… When he returned the following week and ordered 40 pounds of bratwurst and 10 pounds of hamburger, we knew we had something special.” Ralph Stayer – Ralph, Senior
  • In 1968, there were still only 9 employees… there of them were Stayer family members.
  • During the ‘70s, trucks took to the street and began delivering the “BIG TASTE” of Johnsonville throughout Wisconsin.
  • Johnsonville remains a privately owned family company, but has grown to more than 1300 members. Johnsonville treats their employees as family members, not just workers.
  • Johnsonville has raised more than $3 million for local charities. They give back in many ways.
  • Johnsonville is pretty much the only national brand for Italian sausage.
  • Johnsonville is the number one national brand of:
    – brats
    – Italian sausage
    – Smoked/cooked links
    – breakfast links and patties
    – Summer sausage
  • Johnsonville products are available in all 50 states and in more than 33 countries.
  • Johnsonville moved from being a ‘brat company’, to being a sausage company. I will say that when I used to think of Johnsonville, my first thoughts were grilling and tailgating & making brats for those parking lot tailgating parties. I saw quite a bit about Johnsonville that I was eager to check out.

Who exactly is Johnsonville?
Johnsonville is more than just a company:

  • Recipe Ideas
  • Cooking tips
  • Meal solutions

Johnsonville isn’t just about brats that I thought they were initially about. Johnsonville is all about being a part of those special occasions with family and friends with meal ideas that will increase those picky eaters’ meals and add so much taste to those common meals that you make daily.

I learned a lot about Johnsonville, as a company, but when Chris came up to talk with us, we were able to learn more about the products that a lot of us buy from Johnsonville. There is a new product out that I was leery about, just because I am a picky eater.

  • Introducing Johnsonville Chicken Sausage!
    — 50% less fat. 100% Johnsonville Taste!

The Johnsonville ‘Better for you items‘ started shipping to stores all around the country starting the week of March 10th, so you should be seeing the new Chicken Sausage in your stores soon!

Why Chicken Sausage? Well, if you are cooking daily for your family, they tend to get bored with the same thing over and over.  The truth is … Moms need more solutions for their families and Johnsonville is here to help with those new solutions. As a mother, I like Johnsonville’s mission… to make moms happy!

Johnsonville Sausage is now offering 3 new flavors of Chicken Sausage:

  • 3 cheese Italian style
  • Chipotle & Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Apple

While we are talking about sausage and ideas on how you can incorporate it in, Johnsonville has built an entire campaign designed to help educate moms about sausage while also disseminating recipes. One that I am excited about are the Family Style Calzones.

There are so many uses for Italian Sausage, but here is a list of Johnsonville’s Top 10:

  1. “Dressed” on a bun
  2. Pasta Bake – Ziti, Lasagna, etc.
  3. Pizza Topping
  4. Meatloaf
  5. Pasta with Sauce
  6. Sausage, peppers and Onions
  7. Corn Bread Stuffing
  8. Soup/Stews
  9. Breakfast Strata/Bake
  10. Meatballs and Sauce

I do have a favorite dish that I make and it’s a pizza/pasta casserole dish with meat, a few different types of pasta, cheese and pepperoni. I have not added sausage in it, but I can say that I will be adding it the next time I make it! My kids would love it!

If this event wasn’t fabulous enough, I was able to meet, speak with and cook next to Melissa d’Arabian, host of Food Network’s “Ten Dollar Dinners”.

Yup, we got to cook with her. How awesome is that?
Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (20)

Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (1)

The kitchen was set up for a few different creations:

  • Spicy Sausage Queso
  • Johnsonville Three Cheese Italian Style Chicken Sausage Oven-Roasted Pasta Primavera
  • Johnsonville Italian Meatballs
  • Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms

You can see all the detailed recipes here.

Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (4)

Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (15)

Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (3)

Stacy from Mom Central was busy at work making Johnsonville Italian Meatballs.
Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (25)

Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (22)

I was over with my group making Spicy Sausage Queso. I chose to be with this group because Queso is a weakness of mine!
Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (13)

We couldn’t get it in the bowl fast enough before everyone was dipping garlic toast in it for a taste. This. Was. Amazing!

Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (12)

While we were all cooking, I had a chance to sneak a picture in with Melissa d’Arabian. She is such a doll and so full of amazing energy!
Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (11)

Before we sat down to eat, we got a group picture of our Johnsonville group.
Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (16)

Once all our stations were finished cooking our dishes, the table was being set for us to sit down, eat and chat with each other about our thoughts about out creations.
Cooking with Melissa d'Arabian {Johnsonville Sausage Kitchen-to-Kitchen Blogger Event (29)

With there being 4 people in our household and 3 of the 4 being picky eaters, I am so excited to try some new recipes for my family from Johnsonville’s sausage products!

Be sure to check out Johnsonville.com this fall for a chance to win an amazing trip! This is a “Say ‘CHEESE’! Social Media Driven Program” where you can win a trip to Italy!

Comments

  1. Lou Lange says:

    B-) Looked like it was a blast, Tanya. And Melissa was very gracious for letting you take a photo with her.