Skillet Sausage and Butternut Squash; yet another wee rant

What do you cook when you really don’t feel like cooking?

You know – it’s dinnertime, one should eat but the only thing that appeals is a glass of wine and a bowl of popcorn. But the inner health critic demands more?

Plus there’s half of a butternut squash languishing in the fridge….

Easy – grab the smoked sausages from the freezer (the ones that didn’t get into the last cassoulet), some shallots out of the cellar and toss the lot into a skillet.

Pour the glass of wine anyway, and wait for it all to finish.

If you’re feeling particularly inspired toss in a potato…..

Skillet Sausage and Butternut Squash

Total time: 30 minutes


  • 3 – 4 smoked sausages, 12oz (360gr) total weight, cut into 1/2″ lengths
  • 12oz (360gr) butternut squash, cut into chunks
  • 4 – 5 large shallots, cut into wedges
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp tamara or soy sauce

Skillet Sausage and Butternut Squash


  • Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. 
  • Add shallots, cumin, paprika and sauté 1 minute. 
  • Add sausage, squash and sauté until everything starts to brown, 5 – 7 minutes. 
  • Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let cook until squash is cooked through, about 10 minutes. 
  • Uncover, add vinegar, soy sauce and stir to combine.

Print Recipe

I got a new computer a few weeks ago. As usual I downloaded and updated all of the drivers for all of the equipment, then tweaked everything to get it working the way I like.

When one is doing that sort of thing one tends to pay much closer attention to, well, everything.

I started noticing that some sites / blogs / whatever seemed to be harder to read.

I re-calibrated my monitor.

No change.

I debated having my eyes checked but then decided to take a different approach. I went back to some of my old favorite sites.

Guess what folks….. It’s not my eyes or my monitor.

It’s the new trend and, apparently, it’s getting worse.

Some bright spark decided that black text on a white background, or any other high contrast text, was no longer aesthetically pleasing. The fact that it was readable was irrelevant.

Gray text on a gray background was cool.

And, while were at it, let’s choose a font that is really challenging. That will make our site twice as cool!

The fact the people won’t be able to read our brilliant prose is of no concern. (Or, could that be the point? If my writing sucks but I make it illegible no one will ever know….)

The article by the Nielson Nelson Group sums it up nicely: Low-contrast text may be trendy, but it is also illegible, undiscoverable, and inaccessible. 

The amount of time someone spends looking at a web page is minuscule. Why waste that precious nano-second having them not be able to quickly find what they’re looking for? That back arrow works really easily….

I’ve unsubscribed to several newsletters and blogs recently, just because I can’t be bothered to work that hard to skim them to see if I want to actually read them. If I can’t pick the keywords out at a glance I skip it completely. If the words are pale gray on gray in a small, fancy, curly script it may be pretty, but it’s not easy.

For some good examples – and reasons not to do this, check out Contrast Rebellion.

And if I ever get too creative and slip into the unusable…. please let me know. We can never see our own work clearly.

In the meantime, for all you people who have really cool sites that no one can read….. You might want to re-think your goals.

Last update on December 11, 2015

7 thoughts on “Skillet Sausage and Butternut Squash; yet another wee rant”

  1. I did the same as you several months ago when I ran into the same thing. I am not going to waste my time trying to read someone’s blog if I have to work at reading it.

  2. I solved the problem by hardly ever reading other blogs. Obviously yours is an exception, but then yours is always readable and enjoyable.

  3. I have done the same thing Katie – stopped reading blogs that had crazy backgrounds making it impossible to read comfortably. Yours has always been easy and interesting to read.

  4. >That back arrow works really easily….

    Yes. It’s like the horror of the mid-’90s web sites are back. But instead of flashing, multi-colored text scrolling across the screen, there’s a 180 flip to minimalist. Only a few designers can get away with it for marketing purposes (Apple et al).

    The sausage and squash photograph is a rebuke to such websites. No one would want to eat that if it was a 50% faded photo.

  5. nightsmusic, I really don’t understand the trend… don’t people read their own stuff?

    Kate, simple, right?

    Elle, that’s one way LOL. And thank you…. Monday’s are good days for stuff like this.

    Ina, as I said…. I don’t understand it.

    Dan, yeah, all the flashing and buttons and bright designs…. I remember those. One could see but didn’t know what to look at. Now one can’t even see LOL

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