Hashing it out: A weeknight staple

Summer is my busiest time of year. It's all my own doing. I just can't resist a summertime fun plan. I can't resist a trip to the lake or an afternoon by a pool or a lazy dinner on a patio. I also tend to cram in all the kid-friendly activities I possibly can because the poor things are locked up in solitary most of the winter, so we venture to parks, zoos, fairs, fests... whatever the calendar tells us to do, we load up and do it. We have swimming lessons lots of nights and I plan fundraising events for work and invite my girlfriends over to work out in the pool. It's all in good fun, but it's all, well, a lot.

It also means that cooking weeknight dinners takes on a whole different patina. I just can't make the time for cooking, let alone a lot of dishes, so we end up eating a lot of one-pot things and things that cook quickly and simply but that will fill us up for the rest of the day's activities.

This is one of those go-to, super-simple weeknight things. It might seem like cheating. I think it seems like eating. Quickly. With little fuss or mess. Can I get a "heck yeah!"?

Chicken Sausage Hash with Vegetables
1 package chicken sausage — whatever flavor or brand you like. I usually go for something a little spicy to give the dish some kick.
3 large potatoes
1 large bag frozen mixed veggies (I like something with carrots, snap peas, onions, peppers — often called a "stir-fry blend")
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice up your chicken into bite-sized pieces, and in a large skillet, brown them on both sides.

Meanwhile, cut up your potatoes into smallish bite-sized pieces — no need to peel them. I like the rustic look of taters with skins, plus there are vitamins in those skins! Don't throw away the good stuff.

As soon as the sausage is brown, remove it from the skillet and set aside. Heat the olive oil and butter in the pan. The butter brings flavor but has a quick smoke point so the olive oil helps temper that.

Toss in the diced potatoes and sprinkle with garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat on one side and then the other, until they're browned and starting to soften, about 12 minutes.

Next, add your sausage back in and the bag of veggies. Toss it all together. Put a lid on the skillet if you have one, and continue to cook over medium heat until everything is warm through and the potatoes are soft.

Everything in one skillet, flavorful, delicious, and not one fussy thing about it.

You can add whatever herbs or seasonings you like. I sometimes do a little Lawry's or sometimes I go spicy with a dash of cayenne or Sriracha. This is your hash so do with it as you please.

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