Quinoa, Sausage, and Pecan Stuffed Acorn Squash

First I want to thank everyone that entered my Thankful Giveaway. I announced the winner yesterday, but it was so much fun I think I might just have another one before the holidays. 🙂 I also have to admit that there was a slight ulterior motive to the entry question I asked – I’m going to be doing another week of Christmas cookies and I wanted to feel out some new ideas from readers. Maybe you’ll see one of your favorites in the coming weeks!

I know you’re probably feeling the itch to move on to those holiday sweets and treats, and obviously so am I – but I have one last fall meal that I just have to share. This stuffed acorn squash is so warm, filling, and satisfying. After a friend of mine posted a picture of her quinoa stuffed squash on facebook a few weeks ago, I just couldn’t get it out of my head. So I asked her to direct me to the recipe and I adapted it (for my meat lovin’ man) from there.  I absolutely loved the crunch from the pecans, saltiness from the feta, and subtle sweetness from the squash. Jesse loved that I added the chicken sausage, but if you’re looking for a meatless meal, you could skip the sausage and just use the quinoa, feta, and pecans.

 

Thankful Giveaway- Winner Announced!

UPDATEI plugged the numbers into Random.org and a winner has been chosen! The winner is comment #38! Sara said, “Sugar cookies! With icing, of course.” So check your email Sara! If the prize isn’t claimed within 5 days a new winner will be selected. Thank you for all of your entries! This giveaway has been a lot fun and I think there will be more in the future!

 

 

When I started this blog a year and a half ago I wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to take it. I had a food blog in the past, and I knew I loved it, but I also thought I might just a want a place to share random stories. So at first I wrote about silly things, like squirrels (seriously?!) and shopping. Then I slowly started adding a recipe here and there – and it didn’t take long for me to realize that food is where my passion lies and what I really wanted this blog to be was a food blog.

I hoped that blogging would help me grow as a cook and a baker. I hoped that my food photography would improve. And of course I couldn’t help but hope a few people would read it. So this past weekend, when the Sunny Side Up Facebook page crossed over 1,000 likes, I was super excited!

As a thank you to everyone that visits, reads, pins, comments on, and shares Sunny Side Up, I have decided to do a giveaway! One winner will win a gift box filled with a few of my favorite things (which naturally are all related to cookies!).

Here’s what’s in the box!

  • Silpat Baking Mat – A Silpat is a cookie bakers best friend. It functions a lot like parchment paper, but without the waste and so much smoother (as I learned when making Homemade Milanos last year). It’s easy to care for and rolls up or lays flat for easy storage.
  • Silicone Spatula Every good baker/cook needs a nice strong silicone spatula. This one features both a curved and straight edge to work well with different styles of bowls and a nice strong edge to really scrape up every last bit of cookie dough.
  • Cookie ScoopCookies that are uniform in size and shape every single time. No more messy hand rolling.
  • Good Grips Cookie Spatula This is one of those items I didn’t know I needed until I had it. The edge is super thin so it easily slides under cookies without deforming their shape while they’re still warm. It’s also wide so soft and gooey chocolate chip cookies don’t fall off the edges.
  • Ceramic Measuring Spoons from Anthropologie I already owned my fair share of measuring spoons but when I saw these I couldn’t resist. There is something about a cute, brightly colored, ceramic measuring spoon that just makes you feel so much fancier. I wasn’t sure if they would still have them when I went shopping this weekend but luckily they did! Slightly different colors than mine, but every bit as fun.

How to enter: 

  • Leave a comment answering the question: “What is your must-have or must-make holiday cookie”
  • Earn a second entry by becoming a fan on Facebook and leaving a separate comment telling me you have
  • Sorry, only US residents please

Deadline & Winning Information:

  •  The deadline for entry will be Saturday, November 24t
  • Winner will be chosen using a random number generator and will be announced at the top of this post on Sunday, November 25th
  • 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.
  • WINNER HAS BEEN SELECTED!

Disclosure:

  • This giveaway is sponsored entirely by me and Sunny Side Up. 🙂

 

Thank you, and good luck!

Crockpot Pork and Sauerkraut

Sometimes I make and post things with a pretty good feeling that it will be well received (case in point –  Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread). Other times I make and post things that I love, but I pretty much know going into it that it’s not going to blow-up Pinterest. This is one of those things. I LOVE Pork and Sauerkraut with . It’s major comfort food for me. But it’s sauerkraut, so you either love it or hate it.

If you do love sauerkraut, this meal should be right up your alley. Warm and filling with the perfect tang from the sauerkraut. Bonus points for a short ingredient list and easy crockpot recipe. If you don’t love sauerkraut, just check back later this week when I will be sharing another pumpkin recipe that I think you’ll like. 🙂

 

 

Classic Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

And we’re back! My kitchen is unpacked, the cabinets are stocked, and the oven has been fired up! It feels good to get back to baking and the timing worked out perfectly for Jesse’s arrival back to the States and a pretty important birthday.

Two weeks ago Jesse said goodbye to his 20’s and hello to his 30’s. Unfortunately, I was in the US and he was still in China. Since I didn’t get to make him a cake on his actual birthday, I knew I would I have to have one waiting for him upon his arrival in San Diego. I usually try and make him a fun over-the-top cake (including last years Cookies and Cream Oreo Cake) but this year with everything going on, I just couldn’t get together any over-the-top ideas. So I decided to go basic and classic.

My best friend, Michelle, and I have a running joke that Yellow Cake and Chocolate Frosting is the official cake for boys. It seems like almost all of the boys we know list in their top 3 favorite cakes, if not their all-time favorite. This holds true for Jesse, too. “Mmmm,” he muffled through a half-full mouth, “One of my favorite cakes.”

It works out perfectly for me because I’ve been meaning to add a Classic Yellow Cake to my Baking Basics series. Everyone needs a good yellow cake recipe under their belt, and I this is mine. I love, love, love this recipe. The recipe doesn’t call for extra steps, such as folding in egg whites or using extra egg yolks, so it comes together pretty quickly. And the result is a buttery sweet cake with a soft, tender crumb that is still dense enough to work as a layer cake.