Tag Archives: sausage

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Good afternoon!  I’m a little belated, but we had a little birthday dinner for my mother-in-law Nancy, last night.  It went well, and I have a great new recipe to share with y’all when I get around to writing about it this weekend.  I made my first gluten-free cake, and it was a hit!  For supper I made an awesome roasted chicken, and I’ve updated that old post a wee bit to reflect the fact that my new secret to amazing roast chicken is to stuff it with a Moroccan Preserved Lemon!

I thought I would drop in this afternoon to share a little leftover creativity with the quinoa pilaf I shared yesterday.  The recipe makes quite a bit, and I was growing weary of the quinoa pilaf on it’s own.  I had an acorn squash from Harvest Moon on hand, and a tube of sausage, along with peppers and onions, so I came up with a really tasty stuffed acorn squash recipe the other night.

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Sausage, Quinoa, Onions and Peppers | Oysters & Pearls

It looks pretty crispy, but it really wasn’t.  I ended up doing a sweet and salty stuffed squash, and it turned out great.

Acorn Squash | Oysters & Pearls

Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe
serves 4


– 2 acorn squash
– 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
– 4 tablespoons butter, divided in half and melted
– 1 tube fresh ground sausage, plain or sage flavor
– 1 small green bell pepper, diced
– 1 small yellow onion, diced
– 2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 cup cooked quinoa, or leftover quinoa pilaf


Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds and strings.  Melt two tablespoons of butter and brush the cut sides of the squash with it.  Sprinkle with brown sugar, and roast for 25 minutes or so, or until you can just stick a fork in them.

In the meantime, brown the sausage in a skillet.  Remove to a separate plate to drain.  In the leftover grease, add the onion and pepper and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until just translucent. Add the garlic, and cook another couple of minutes.  Add the sausage and cooked quinoa back into the pan and mix.

Once the squash have been removed from the oven, stuff each half with the prepared stuffing mixture and drizzle the remaining melted butter over each.  Put back in the oven and continue roasting for 20 minutes or so, until everything is hot and the edges begin to brown.

Acorn Squash for Stuffing and Roasting | Oysters & Pearls

Hollowing Acorn Squash for Stuffed Squash Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

Pre-Roasted Acorn Squash with Butter and Brown Sugar | Oysters & Pearls

You could definitely add more quinoa, less sausage to the stuffing mix to suit your preferences, too.  I think it would bind much better that way.  But I have quite the carnivore for a husband, so he didn’t mind.

Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffing | Oysters & Pearls Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

You could very easily convert this to a vegetarian recipe by omitting the sausage, and instead sauté the onion and pepper in a tablespoon of butter or olive oil and continue the recipe from there.  I think it would be really great, and since you’re using quinoa, you’d still have all the nutritional benefits of the complete protein in place of the meat.

Stuffed and Roasted Acorn Squash Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

It was a great way to reuse leftovers in a new way, but it was so good, I would make this from scratch any time!  In fact, it’s lunch, and I’m starving, thanks to writing up this post, so I’m off to quiet my stomach’s growling!

Until Next Time

Pumpkin and Sage Sausage Pasta

Hello there!

Sorry I was MIA yesterday.  It’s a crazy busy week at work, and I’ve been getting home late.  And the only thing I’ve wanted to do it veg out on the couch and have a glass (or two) of the grown-up grape juice.

Anyway, I thought I’d drop in for just a minute and share a recipe that I teased you with on Instagram:

Pumpkin & Sage Sausage Pasta Recipe | Oysters & Pearls

This pumpkin and sage sausage pasta recipe was inspired by stolen from my friend Maggie’s old blog, On Maggie’s Farm.  She actually suggested that I use it in Operation: Eat All The Pumpkin.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I have got TONS of the orange stuff.

Baked Seminole Pumpkin | Oysters & Pearls

The changes I made were partially because I may or may not have forgotten to save some pasta water before I drained the pasta…. and also partially because I’m gluttonous.

Pumpkin & Sage Sausage Pasta
adapted from On Maggie’s Farm


– one pound tri-colored penne pasta (or whatever pasta you prefer)
– one pound Jimmy Dean Sage pork sausage
– one medium to large Vidalia onion, diced
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (or freshly grated)
– Kosher salt
– one cup to 1/5 cups white wine
– 15 ounces (or one can) pumpkin puree
– half a bag of baby spinach
– half a pint of heavy cream
– half a cup (or so) of grated parmigiano reggiano, plus a little more for topping


Prepare pasta according to package directions, drain, and return to the pot or to a Hugh Jass bowl.

Heat a large pan (either steel or enameled cast iron) over medium heat and brown the sausage.  Once completely cooked through and crumbly, remove the sausage to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside.  Drain most of the grease off into the trash (never into your sink!).

Now add the onion to that same pan.  Cook until just translucent (about 3 minutes, per Maggie).  Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and a bit of salt.  Add the wine and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan (aka deglaze it, which is what you can call it when you feel fancy).  Add the pumpkin and the cream and the spinach, and stir over medium-low heat until the spinach is wilted and a thick sauce is formed, then add the pasta and parm.

Sauteed Onions with Cinnamon & Nutmeg | Oysters & Pearls

I sort of lied to you in those instructions.  I browned my sausage, then my onion in a skillet, then transferred the sausage and onions over to my Le Creuset to make the sauce.  I’m sure you could do all of it in the same skillet, but I just didn’t feel like cleaning up such a saucy mess in my cast iron.  It is admittedly far easier to clean enameled cast iron – you just hand wash it per usual.

Maggie's Pumpkin & Sage Sausage Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

I used a handheld microplane to basically zest some parm over our plates.  I think it’s prettier and fancier looking.  Plus it melts nicely.

Pumpkin & Sage Sausage Pasta | Oysters & Pearls

I can’t thank Maggie enough for the recipe.  It was the perfect Fall pasta dish, and I know I’ll be making this one for years to come.  It’s another awesome savory way to serve pumpkin, and I love that it’s a one pot meal (if you don’t count cooking the pasta).  Maggie’s way was probably much healthier without the cream, but either way I know it’s good.

In other news, I’m just exhausted this week!  Between catching up from being in Gainesville over the weekend, having dinner at The Whip for my sister’s birthday Sunday night, and an already long week at work, I’m pooped.

Tired Harold | Oysters & Pearls

Apparently Hal is, too.  :)

I will check back in when I can!  I got positive feedback on last week’s Friday Finds post, so maybe I’ll try to do that again this week.  Yay?  Nay?

And yet again, I’m putting a call for more pumpkin recipes out there.  What are your favorite things to make with pumpkin?


Classic Breakfast Casserole at the Beach

As I mentioned yesterday, while Wheat prepped and cooked his ribs on the 4th, I prepped a traditional breakfast casserole to cook for the 5th of July. I had a hankering for the old fashioned version full of white bread cubes, so that’s what I made!

Toasted Bread for Breakfast Casserole | Oysters & Pearls

Classic Breakfast Casserole


– 1 pound Jimmy Dean HOT ground pork sausage
– 1 heaping teaspoon mustard powder
– 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
– 4 eggs
– 2 cups milk
– 6 slices white bread, toasted and cut into cubes (as seen above)
– 8 ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Breakfast Casserole | Oysters & Pearls


Cook sausage in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through and evenly brown. Drain and set aside. Grate 8 ounces block of cheese and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, then add mustard powder, salt, and milk and mix together. Then mix in the sausage, bread cubes, and cheese. Pour into a greased baking dish, cover, and chill in the refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Keeping the casserole covered, bake 45 to 60 minutes. Then uncover and reduce temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 30 more minutes.

Traditional Breakfast Casserole | Oysters & Pearls

We don’t usually make breakfast casseroles on a regular basis, but we almost always have them at the beach. It reheats well, too, so it’s great to double and have for an entire weekend. It’s the perfect dish when you have a house full of folks, and it’s really good for those folks who may have stayed up a little too late the night before…

Classic Breakfast Casserole | Oysters & Pearls

And as usual, it is excellent with Crystal hot sauce.

After breakfast, Wheat and I went and dodged thunderstorms and piddled around downtown Port St. Joe. I bought a few antique kitchen related items that will pop up here and there on this ole blog here, and we had an amazing lunch at Provisions. If you’ve already seen our meal on Twitter or Instagram, I apologize for the repetition. It was just too good not to share again. Plus, I am always a huge fan of having wine with lunch.

I know, right? How very European of me. (Any Superstar fans out there?)

20130708-100142.jpg 20130708-100154.jpg

We split three appetizers for lunch: mussels in a white wine sauce, their famous bruschetta, and seared tuna with seaweed salad. It was so very, very great.

Later on, we all loaded up to go see my cousin Rob’s and his wife Sandy’s new house. Even better than the fact that they live so close to us now (and at the beach!) was the fact that I finally got to meet their hairless cat, Belle. Belle is a rescue cat, and has some inner ear problems, is deaf, and blind in one eye. She dances around “like Stevie Wonder,” (Rob’s words, not mine), and is one of the sweetest cats I’ve ever met. However, I couldn’t quite help feeling like I was petting a catfish.

Belle the Hairless Cat | Oysters & Pearls

My mom especially loves Belle and wants a hairless cat of her own. She has TONS of of personality, and we had the best time playing with her. I have such a soft spot for cats these days!Belle and Lisa Jo | Oysters & Pearls

Belle came from a Sphynx Cat rescue organization. Sandy couldn’t remember off the top of her head which one, but you can search for Sphynx who needs a home at here at Sphynx Rescue or at PetFinder. You know I love pet rescue organizations! Belle obviously made her way to a great home. :)

Afterward, the sun came out for a bit again, and made for a lovely view while we watched Rob fish.

Cousin Rob Fishing on St. Joe Beach | Oysters & Pearls

There wasn’t a real sunset, but this must be the “red sky at night, sailors’ delight” the old adage refers to.

Red Sky at Night, St. Joe Beach | Oysters & Pearls

I may be a wee bit biased, but St. Joe Beach really does have the most beautiful sunsets in the world.