Six months and two weeks ago Scott and I were living in a tiny rooftop apartment, minutes from the beach, in sunny southern California. We had great friends, family, community, and church. However, we were in a rut. I served in a restaurant five days a week dreaming of this blog I wanted to start, while Scott worked a forty hour job as an inventory/orders manager at a small-brand surf shop in Laguna Beach. We had no extra money, were constantly tired from work, and feeling drained from the relentless heat because of the drought. We felt like kids having fun riding our bikes and enjoying the beach in our limited free time, but weren’t growing vocationally and needed a change. Six months and two weeks ago I found this apartment online through searching on AirBnB for a place to stay on our trip to Denver (which I had planned for our anniversary). I asked Scott if instead of going on a vacation to Colorado – if he would like to move there. Since one of my superpowers is being convincing and could make a cow believe it were a duck if I wanted to, Scott agreed. We applied for the apartment that week, were approved practically immediately, and now had three weeks till our move-in date in Denver, Colorado. In those three weeks we quit our jobs, sold both of our cars, all our furniture, and most of our possessions. We packed up a small moving truck with our mattress, bikes, and a few boxes of items we kept. Five months and three weeks ago Scott and I climbed into that moving truck and drove it here to Denver. We had nothing awaiting us. No jobs. No family. No friends. Just this apartment and a sense of adventure. I had never been to Denver. We arrived, we explored, we freaked out, we almost moved back to California thinking what the heck were we thinking. But then, we stayed.
A week and a half into being here Scott was offered a job at the company I had dreamt of him working at for so long. That company just so happened to be a half mile down the street from our doorstep. We had no idea until after our move, and with not having a car, it felt like a miracle. Scott told me I should pursue my dream of starting, growing, and running Faring Well full-time. I almost cried. His love and willingness to sacrifice and support me has always been overwhelming, but this was really something. A month after moving to Denver I launched Faring Well. It has now been four months and three weeks since my first post. I could never have imagined I would be here now. I’m overwhelmed by all the wonderful blogger relationships I’ve been graced with, the amount of work I’ve been able to pour myself into for this space, the amazing partnerships with companies that have developed and are still developing, a Saveur nomination, and all the connections I’ve made with so many of you wonderful readers who kindly stop by this space. We have survived our first snowy winter experience, and although we struggle with contentment as we miss our California home, I’m reminded as I reflect on all that has happened how incredibly blessed we are to have all that we do. So much has happened, and will continue to happen, and I couldn’t be more excited to watch it unfold. One day at a time. With our history, who knows where we could be three weeks from now. And as long as I’ve got him, I’m down for whatever is in store. The good and the bad, life is incredible.
Segueing now onto another incredible topic, your donut memories. Last week was my favorite blogging week thus far. I had the greatest time reading and responding to all of your sweet memories involving donuts which you left in the comments feed of last week’s recipe post, as well as your comments on Saturday’s post about trying new things. You guys are the best and I so value the fact you choose firstly to stop by this space, then you take another few moments out of your day to read my post, and then grace me with your thoughts via comments on my posts. It just derails me every time that you find this space valuable enough to spend a portion of your time here, and it gives me every bit of encouragement I need to keep pouring myself into Faring Well. Thank you from the deep, deep center of my heart. And congratulations to Melissa for winning the donut pan I had the giveaway for this past week. I honestly wanted to give one to everyone who commented, and hope to one day be able to have an Oprah-moment and do so. But until then, here is another recipe.
A few weeks ago Scott did that thing where he told me he “pinned a pin for me on Pinterest”, which actually means “I found a recipe I want you to make for me” in the cutest, shy way. It was pasta shells tossed in pesto. “It just looks really good,” he said. Knowing Scott and his love for pesto, I wasn’t surprised. But I was surprised that with the insane amount of pesto I’m use to making for him there has yet to be a pesto-centered recipe on this blog. I do have a delicious recipe for kale pesto that I drizzled over the best pizza of my life. However, to Scott, it isn’t pesto unless it’s made from basil. So I made this for him. The best pesto, with all the basil, tossed with a gluten free penne pasta (they were out of shell pasta at the market, but you bet I’ll be making this one again with shells for my man to recreate his Pinterest dream), and topped with roasted summery vegetables. I know we just finally made it to spring and I’m pulling out summer on you, but the market was overflowing with these babies last week and I just couldn’t resist. This pasta is one of my favorites made from an organic, non-GMO blend of quinoa and corn flours. Add in the roasted vegetables and omega-packed flax oil, hemp seed pesto – and you have one vibrant, healthy, flavorful meal that is perfect for the warmer days ahead in spring and summer.
Tid-bits: I used my favorite gluten free quinoa-corn blend pasta for this recipe, but feel free to use whatever kind you prefer. You can also change up the vegetables depending on the season.
Serves 4 for a main course, or up to 6 as a side.
8 ounce box of gluten free penne pasta
Hemp Seed + Flax Oil Basil Pesto
2 packed cups of fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons hemp seeds hulled
2 tablespoons cold pressed flax oil
2 tablespoons olive oil*
juice of one large lemon
2 small, or 1 large clove of garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 to 5 cups of raw veggies
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1/2 yellow onion
about 12 cherry tomatoes
light drizzle of olive oil
salt & pepper
*If you are looking to reduce the amount of oil in this recipe, you can replace the olive oil in the pesto with either water, additional lemon juice, or a mixture of the two.
Preheat the oven to 425F and line a large sheet pan with parchment paper. Rinse all of your veggies and chop into equal sized pieces (mine were roughly 2 inches in size, and I simply halved the cherry tomatoes). Toss veggies in a medium size bowl with a light drizzle of a teaspoon or two of olive oil, and give them a few dashes of salt and pepper. Spread your veggies out on the parchment lined baking sheet, making sure to give them plenty of space otherwise they will steam instead of roast, and place in the preheated oven. Roast for 45 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package. When finished, rinse and drain the pasta, transfer to a medium size mixing bowl, and set aside.
Combine the listed ingredients for the pesto in a small food processor bowl, a high speed blender, or a small bowl and use a stick blender to puree until smooth. Toss the pasta with the pesto.
When the vegetables are done roasting, top the pesto pasta with the vegetables and serve right away. Garnish with additional leaves of fresh basil, if desired. This dish is best eaten fresh, but can be refrigerated for leftovers the next day as well.