Prepare sausage according to package instructions, cool slightly and cut into ½-inch pieces; set aside. In a bowl, combine hash browns, butter, salt and pepper; divide evenly into 12 greased muffin cups. Press mixture onto sides and bottom of muffin cups. Bake at 400F for 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven, divide sausage pieces into muffin cups. In a bowl, combine eggs, cheese and bell pepper. Spoon mixture evenly into muffin cups. Sprinkle with chives or onion. Return to oven, bake 13-15 minutes or until set. Serve.