Pining for pesto

It’s been an entire year without pesto. That should be a crime. In fact, it must be in Italy. I keep pinning pesto recipes (pesto mashed cauliflower, pesto and grilled veggie sandwiches…you get the point) so the craving has certainly been on my mind. Pesto is extremely easy to make with just basil leaves, garlic, olive oil, romano cheese and some pine nuts. In the interest of time, here’s a decent store bought choice.

I scored a free box of gluten free pasta this week (courtesy of Wegmans), and when I needed a quick dinner to make, I knew it was going to be some version of pesto pasta salad. The resulting recipe was quick, simple, relatively inexpensive, and a new favorite in the house.

In a Pinch Pesto Pasta

Time: 25 minutes

Feeds: 4 people (or in this case, 2 huge servings with seconds and one small plate)


  • 16 ounces pasta (I’d suggest whole grain for you gluten types or quinoa pasta if you’re g-free too)
  • 1 pound chicken sausage (I used Amylu Organic Chicken Sausage, found at Costco)
  • 1 large bag/five overflowing handfuls fresh spinach
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can rinsed and drained chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup pesto (for the sake of time, I cheated and went store bought)


  • Grill chicken sausage, turning frequently so they don’t burn
  • Skewer tomatoes and place along outside of grill, furthest from the heat, turn frequently as well
  • Cook pasta according to box directions
  • While the above is cooking, rinse your chickpeas and de-stem your spinach.
  • Place spinach leaves in bottom of colader
  • In a large bowl, combine chickpeas, grilled tomatoes, and sausage (cut into bite sized pieces). Add half the pesto and mix well
  • Drain pasta over spinach in colander (this will wilt the spinach for you, so simple!)
  • Once drained, add spinach and pasta to other ingredients.
  • Stir in pesto, add more to your liking, and enjoy!

You honestly cannot get much more simple than that. Whether you’re out to impress, feeding a large crowd or just one picky eater, this recipe will definitely do the trick (although you may want to double/triple the recipe). It’s also not very time consuming (about 25 minutes), which is the perfect solution if you’re entertaining or whipping up a dish for a potluck this summer.

Remember the more spinach, tomatoes and chickpeas you use, the healthier each serving will be. I’m always trying to get my family to eat more veggies, but we had zero leftovers, so you could say it worked! I’ll be making this again in Long Island next week, it was THAT good. Come to think of it, I’m not certain the good people of Italy would be too hot on gluten allergies either. Good thing I’m not italian.


Nobody told me…

…that it’s national camping month!!

And believe me, I do. Sadly, I don’t have any plans for a camping trip within this last week though, my tent experience was a month early this year. Maybe I’ll pop up the 2 person in the backyard? I suppose I could always strategically place it next to the raspberry bushes for optimal late night snacking.

With a harvest like that, I have a feeling I’ll be able to manage a few more stomach aches before I take the drive north at the end of this week. Fruits basically have no calories, right? Raspberry bushes aside, this past week has been thoroughly exhausting. I had a few late nights (11:30 pm…wowww) which did me in <– admitting that makes me feel way older than I am. Despite the lack of energy, here are a few highlights:

More yummy beet and goat cheese salads. This time with walnuts and basil.

Driving down Snickersville Turnpike with the top down on a gorgeous (and scorching hot) afternoon.

Adding chia seeds to my breakfast of greek yogurt, cheerios and strawberries. Chia seeds are not only an added punch for your fiber intake, but they help you to feel full much longer.

Diving into Esther with some beautiful and inspiring girls. It amazes me how spending this focused time together allows us to challenge and encourage each other further in our faith. Pretty awesome.

Willing myself to get out for a run in the absurd humidity and heat this week. The fact that you can almost see your reflection in my forehead is pretty cute, huh? Sure, I managed to make it out the door, but I may or may not have only dialed my energy up to mediocre. Small victories, right? 80 degrees and 90% humidity isn’t for everyone.

This week ended with the last minute run around, hair pulling and excitement that’s entirely characteristic of planning events. Come 6am Monday, I’ll be headed to a golf tournament being put on in support of Boulder Crest Retreat. I’m crossing my fingers that I haven’t forgotten anything too substantial. If you’re still wondering what Boulder Crest is, take a peak at the video below.

Faith has to do with things that are not seen, and hope with things that are not at hand. -Thomas Aquinas


What now?

It’s here!

Today marks an exceptionally important day on the calendar.

Today was the official start of summer! I see a lot of grilling, neon nail polish, ice cream, beach walks, spontaneous trips and funky hats in the near future. Along those lines…to celebrate, here are just a few of the things I’m getting pumped for:

My whole family in Long Island. We haven’t all been at the beach together since this shot a few years back, and we haven’t been at the beach house all together since I was in 9th grade

Fireworks. They don’t need to be on the 4th either; I go on the least busy night in order to sit as close as possible with nothing around me…so that as far as I can see its just the light exploding in the darkness. It’s the noise, the anticipation, the surprise and the uniqueness of each explosion that will never get old. I’m in awe everytime, wide-eyed and smiling.

Fresh fruit and vegetable stands! (Wickhams is a personal LI favorite for peaches)

Visiting one of my best friends, James (Pook). We’ve known each other since age thirteen, and although we rarely see each other, he’s one of the few people whom I can pick back up with in an instant. He’s my “if we’re not married by the time we’re 30…” friend. The funny part? We haven’t spoken in weeks and he texted me as I was typing this up. God moment for sure.

Driving with the top down on the regular.

Obviously, there are A LOT of things missing from this list. Summer is the perfect time for adventures (well, next to Autumn), and I plan on having my fair share. What do you have planned for this summer? If your answer is “not much” get cracking! Stop waiting around for your dream life to smack you in the face; either be grateful for and happy with the life you’re living or change it, step out of your comfort zone and start living the life you love. So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God ~1 Corinthians 10:31