Skillet BBQ Chicken Pasta – Winner Announced

UPDATE: I plugged the numbers into Random.org and a winner has been chosen! The winner is comment #14! Kate said, “I’ve tried a bunch of Nicole’s recipes – they’re always a hit. The baked blooming onion is one of my favorites! Her Slow Cooker Cuban Pork Tacos with Jicama Slaw are on my shortlist to try soon.” So check your email Kate! If the prize isn’t claimed within 5 days a new winner will be selected. Thank you for all of your entries! It was awesome celebrating Nicole’s new cookbook!

I know I say it all the time, but one of the best parts about blogging is creating connections and friendships with fellow bloggers. It’s so fun to be connected with so many people spread across the United States, people that would otherwise be complete strangers if it weren’t for this weird hobby I have making food and taking pictures of it. The coolest is part is that these people get me. They don’t bat an eye when we meet in “real life” for the first time and I take a picture of my grilled cheese sandwich. And I don’t bat an eye at them taking pictures of their food either.

Nicole is one of those friends. We first met in person at the Foodbuzz Festival in San Francisco and we instantly clicked. Like we had known each other for years! I was absolutely thrilled to get to see her again a few weekends ago when a group of awesome Chicago foodies and bloggers welcomed me to the area with a brunch and baby shower.

Needless to say, when Nicole announced that she was writing a cookbook, I was thrilled!! She has such an amazing vision when it comes to food and health. Her focus is on healthy eating without sacrificing taste and flavor. She’s a registered dietician that believes in balance and that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. I absolutely LOVE her blog, Prevention RD, and I knew I would love her cookbook just as much. And I was right. Each recipe has an awesome and large photo, easy to follow ingredients and directions, nutrition information, and a comment from Nicole herself! The cookbook is also packed full of recipes for everything from appetizers to main course dishes and even (healthy!) desserts! You must check it out!

I selected a recipe from the cookbook to make and share with my readers! I love this recipe because it uses ONE pot and it comes together super quickly. I have a week and half old baby and I was still able to whip together this dinner in no time. Thanks so much Nicole!

And here’s more good news! I have a copy of this awesome cookbook to giveaway to one lucky reader! Here’s the details!
Giveaway closed and winner announced!

How to enter:

Pay a visit to Nicole’s blog then head back here and leave a comment answering the question telling a recipe of Nicole’s that you would like to (or already have!) tried!
Sorry, only US residents please

Deadline & Winning Information:

The deadline for entry will be Saturday, September 21
Winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will be announced at the top of this post on Sunday, September 22
The winner will receive an email from me (so be sure to enter your correct email address!) and will have 5 days to respond. If no response is received, a new winner will be chosen.

Disclosure:

I was offered a copy to review and a copy to giveaway by Nicole’s publisher. However, the opinions and review are my own!

 

 

Virtual Baby Shower!

In the past I have participated in and hosted virtual showers in honor of some awesome blogging friends. Well guess what! Monday it was my turn! My sweet friends Jessica, from My Baking Heart, and Krystal, from Mrs.Reguerio’s Plate, hosted a virtual baby shower in my honor! I was so touched when they offered and I knew with the two of them working together it would be fabulous.

The girls came up with an adorable theme –

And the guests contributed some seriously good looking food! Click the pictures to visit my friends and get the recipe for their tasty contributions!

  

Just like all of the virtual showers I have participated in, the only thing that would have made it better is if we were all really able to get together in real life to enjoy good company and good food! A huge thank you to Krystal, Jessica, Katie, Joelen, Amber, Krissy, Rachel, Kelsey, Elly, Nikki, and Nicole, for helping me celebrate my little Miss Maeve!

 

 

Weekend Dish – 8/25

Weekend Dish is a place for me to get a little more personal! If you just come to Sunny Side Up for the food, feel free to skip this post but be sure to check back this week for new food photos and recipes!

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve done one of these! I just can’t believe how quickly August has disappeared. Not that I want to rush things, but there are a lot of exciting things right around the corner – my due date (!!), fall, football season, cool crisp air and warm delicious food. I’m almost too excited for my own good! On that note, let’s move along to the Weekend Dish!

Blog Recap –

IMG_9538 Tuxedo Layered Cheesecake – I always look forward to making my birthday cake and this year was no exception. I think this rich, chocolatey, cake was the perfect way to ring in my 30s.

IMG_9470 Brownie Fudge Ripple Ice Cream – This ice cream was a great way to use up some left over brownies that I had. The fudge ripple just took it to the next level, really creating a an amazing ice cream.

IMG_9622  Citrus and Soy Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Pickled Cucumbers – This dish was inspired by my birthday dinner at a local restaurant. The soy and citrus create a sweet and salty sauce that is perfectly complimented by the pickled cucumbers. Huge hit at our house!

IMG_9449 Mexican Quinoa Bowls – A quick and easy, healthy, and delicious meal that is a regular in our dinner rotation. You don’t want to miss out on this!

Pregnancy Update –

38weeks

Check that belly out!! I’m 38 weeks pregnant and I can’t believe how much I’ve grown! I don’t really realize it until I look at pictures. Actually, the funny thing is that when I took the picture on the left I really, really felt like I had “popped” and looked sooooo pregnant. I did have a bit of bump going on, but nothing compared the basketball I’m smuggling now!

I think a lot of people at this point are getting tired of being pregnant. I can understand why, and I am definitely getting a bit more uncomfortable, but I can’t say that I’m tired of being pregnant. I keep thinking that once she’s out, she’s out. She won’t ever be back in. All of these secret little kicks, rolls, and hiccups of hers that only I can feel are feeling even more special now that I’m nearing the end. I’m selfishly enjoying my alone time with her. 🙂 Buuuuut, on the other hand, I am so crazy excited to meet her that I wish she could come out and play NOW! I guess I just have to accept that I can’t keep her in forever, and I can’t really evict her earlier. She’ll get here when she gets here. 🙂

My life through Instagram –

My obligatory cat picture. I looked over and both cats looked like they were just passed out drunk. Guess the kitty food was good. 😉

I was naively optimistic and thought I could put my rings back on one day. Not a great idea. Cold water and oil didn’t work for getting them off!

A soaked, frozen paper towel and Windex DID do the trick. I guess Windex really is magic!

Tiff is getting pretty comfortable in the baby’s nursery. I’m pretty sure she thinks it’s a special room designed just for her.

Last week I went on a freezing extravaganza! I prepared lots of meals and stocked my freezer. Hopefully this will make for some less stressful evenings once baby gets here.  *Also, I’m considering writing up a post on freezer meals. If you would be interested in a post like that let me know!

I’m a walking fool these days!

Well folks, that’s all I’ve got for today! Thank you so much for stopping by and reading. Make sure to come back later this week for fresh new posts!

 

Tuxedo Layered Cheesecake

In the Weekend Dish Post I wrote on Sunday I talked about how crazy it is that it is already August. It’s not crazy just because it’s a month before my due date. And it’s not crazy just because it’s already the 8th month of the year. It’s also a little bit crazy because it’s my birthday month. And not just any birthday. My 30th birthday. The big 3 – 0. I have officially said goodbye to my 20s and hello to my 30s. I needed to celebrate. With cake. A rich, chocolatey, over-the-top cake.

This cake met all 3 of my birthday cake requirements. I was initially inspired by Cheesecake Factory’s Chocolate Tuxedo Cream Cheesecake and I had hoped to recreate it, but the paranoid pregnant lady in me decided to avoid the eggs in the vanilla cream mousse. I think what I came up with instead was even better. Who doesn’t love a tall layered birthday cake?

 

 

 

Looking for more birthday cake ideas?

Chocolate Hazelnut and Salted Caramel Birthday Cake
Classic Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Cookies and Cream Oreo Cake Birthday Cake
Not-Ice Cream Sundae Birthday Cake