Brown Sugar Sautéed Butternut Squash and Collards with Sunflower Seeds

It's currently snowing here. Everything is covered in a soft powder, and I'm holed up in my house under a blanket -- drinking second-draw coffee out of a travel mug (yeah, I'm not going anywhere) because I want it to stay hot while I slowly sip it all morning (I slow-sip for way too long for this to work). All I can think about is questions like: "Should I make a layer cake today because I don't have any reason to go outside except potentially for a sledding escapade?" "Would it be worth it to go outside and freeze my butt off just for the exceptional relief of hot chocolate with giant marshmallows in it?" "Is watching the entire first season of Sherlock a waste of snow-day time or the most perfect distraction imaginable?!"

As I said, I'm cozied up under a pink and orange and gray wool throw. I discovered Todoist and Evernote and, paired with the idea-collecting powers of Pinterest, I'm entering into a whole new world of getting-shit-done.

I ACTUALLY cleaned my whole bathroom (yeah, I scrubbed the walls) because I put it on my Todoist list. THIS IS REAL LIFE.

I'm digging how effective I can be when I have the right organizing tools. I'm naturally a very messy person (see: piles of laundry everywhere; dishes stacked on my side table; my previously gross bathroom) -- but I get down to business if I have some sort of system goading me into productivity. So far these new systems are working.

Now that I've started wedding planning -- and calling upon my various friends' super powers for said wedding -- it's more important than ever that I stay on-track with my list of things to do. I have to be accountable to and communicative with a variety of folks, both personal and professional. I've been keeping all of my work-to-be-done in my head, and I've been getting my knickers in a twist over it. Sooooooo now I can just write down those ideas and stop poring over them all the time. It's like having a pensieve, you guys!

Aaaaand here's a bright little recipe to round out your winter mood. It'll (hopefully) be one of the last winter recipe posts of the season. I'm stoked for the return of ice cream, taco, asparagus, and berry recipes.

Brown Sugar Sautéed Butternut Squash and Collards with Sunflower Seeds 


  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and cubed

  • 10 large collard leaves, de-stemmed and chopped roughly

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • 3 tbsp shelled sunflower seeds, unsalted

  • 1 pinch cayenne or dash hot chili oil (optional)

  • 1/4 cup water


  1. In a large sauté pan or cast iron pan, steam butternut squash and collards with 1/4 cup water and 1 tbsp sesame oil for 15 minutes, or until squash is soft and collards are completely wilted.

  2. Add brown sugar and sunflower seeds. Sautee until butternut squash begins to brown and caramelize.

  3. Add cayenne or chili oil & salt before serving.

xo, Renee