Do not adjust your computer screens!! It appears (knock on wood) that my little blog (and really, it’s little) got hacked by a big bad “worm” known as the WordPress Pharma Hack. In fact, if you google me right now, apparently I’m shilling Accutane without a prescription. It’s a little creepy. In fact, it’s more than a little creepy. I hate to think that my security could’ve been compromised so easily and without my knowledge. It could happen to anyone!
How did I know I was hacked? The first sign was that I couldn’t post remotely. I tried to use my iPhone app to post like I do on so many occasions (especially Fingernail Friday) when I’m out. I got a response that said “blog returned invalid data.” But it was an iPhone app. Crap happens with it all the time. So I posted using the web-based form, and went to post on my Facebook fan page and lo and behold, the “preview” for the post? Yup, an ad for Accutane.
I contacted my previous host (a friend’s husband, who made space on his server through DreamHost for my blog) and he said that yes, it was indeed hacked. Great. After deciding to switch hosts, falling completely in love for the tech people at HostGator, and three nervewracking and anxiety-ridden “OMG IS MY BLOG GONE” days, I’m actually back! Thank you all for putting up with the down time!
So now, I can finally share the Thanksgiving-appropriate, Fall-filled side dish (or meal) I helped my friend make for a potluck early Thanksgiving dinner he had over the weekend.
For many years, I really didn’t cook. Shocking, I know, but I didn’t. I went from living in a dorm in college to living in my sorority house to living in rental houses with lousy kitchens. My first and second kitchens when I was living on my own were quite small, and the third was where I taught myself to cook and eat leftovers rather than just saving it for special occasions.
So I’d cook for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Passover, and the occasional Labor Day/Memorial Day get-together. Once, in a search for an impressive yet simple (oxymoron?) side dish that I could make with limited resources as I didn’t yet have a food processor, powerful blender, or really even baking dishes. And so were born Cranberry-Orange-Stuffed Acorn Squash.
When Matt needed an impressive but easy recipe, this came to mind, and I know you all will love them.
Cranberry-Orange Stuffed Acorn Squash
Makes 3 squash or 6 halves
For the squash
- 3 acorn squash
- 1 pound fresh cranberries
- 1 1/2 cups pecans (or walnuts)
- 3 oranges
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon, plust more to taste
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter/butter substitute
For the crumble topping (optional)
- 1/2 stick (4 Tbsp) butter or butter substitute
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup flour
- Pre-heat the oven to 350*F.
- Cut the squashes in half, microwaving first for about 10 minutes to make it easier, and scoop out the seeds and pulp.
- Drizzle the honey into the cavity in each squash half.
- Zest the oranges and divide the zest in half. Sprinkle one half of the zest on top of the honey in the squash and using clean fingers, spread it evenly in the cavity. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Put the squash in the oven and bake about 20 minutes until slightly soft.
- Meanwhile, place the cranberries, nuts, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor.
- Cut the zested oranges in quarters and remove the segments. Place the orange segments in the food processor as well.
- Pulse until a coarse paste forms. Add the melted butter and pulse a few more times.
- Fill the cavity of each squash (carefully! They’re hot!) with 1/6 of the mixture.
- Mix together the crumble ingredients until a coarse crumb forms. Sprinkle on top of the filling.
- Bake until the squash is done and the filling is hot, about 40 minutes.
Matt packed these up and brought them to his potluck, where apparently, all were eaten, none were left, and not one complaint was heard. I call that a success!
Again, from the bottom of my little blogger heart, thank you for putting up with the down time over the last few days, and I truly hope I haven’t lost you all.
As a thank you for being the most amazing readers, and in celebration of 3 years of blogging (how the HECK did that happen?) I’m having a little giveaway!
Seriously, I can’t believe we’ve gone from posts like this (I didn’t take photos for my first week of blogging!):
To posts like this with significantly better photos:
As you all know, I love supporting local companies, and one of my favorites is The Spice House, based not 10 minutes from where I grew up.
So, I’m giving away one of my favorite things from there, a spiced sugar gift set!
For additional entries, do the following and make sure to comment again when you’ve done so:
- “Like” The Spice House on Facebook
- “Like” What’s for Dinner? on Facebook
- Follow The Spice House on Twitter
- Follow What’s for Dinner? on Twitter
Good luck and happy commenting! Winner will be chosen at random on Friday, October 28!
Oh, and FTC? This is a giveaway out of the goodness of my heart and my pockets. The Spice House has not provided the gift box nor has it compensated me in any way.