Don’t Settle

When I was in Alaska, I was inspired by the beauty that surrounded me. How could I not be, waking up to this every morning?072

Sometimes you get so used to being in the place you are that you forget to keep looking in other places for beauty. It reminds me of the song lyric “If you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with.”

That’s terrible advice. Terrible.

In my opinion, one should never settle. Not for a person, not for a place, not for a mood.

It wasn’t only the beauty of Seward that gave me this realization, but the people.

424 I learned in many conversations that most of them work in Seward during the summer months, then travel to Colorado for the winter months to work at ski resorts. It’s not their jobs that define them, but their spirit, their desire to travel and not get bogged down by whatever it is that makes adventurous people feel the need to stay put. For me, it’s fear.

Fear of being so far away from my family. Fear of losing contact with my friends. Fear of leaving the known to travel to the unknown. Fear of starting over.

But maybe, just maybe, I’m not afraid anymore. I’m ready to take a leap, to stop talking about doing things and actually start doing them. There were a lot of reasons for me not to go to Alaska, but I went anyway. There are also a lot of reasons for me to stay where I am, doing what I’m doing, but I’m done with that. And maybe, just maybe, I needed to type all this out to lose even more of that fear.

Hopefully soon, that will all make sense. Suffice it to say that something happened yesterday that excited and terrified me, but it was the first time I was more excited than terrified.

So. Food. 😀

I have a big love for Summer Garden Couscous Salad. It’s one of my favorite recipes ever, which is kind of silly because it’s so simple. I’ve made it so many times that I have the recipe memorized, but I keep making changes every time I make it.

My new recipe goes like this:

  • 2 cups cooked couscous (preferably cooked in vegetable broth for extra flavor)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Lots of assorted veggies
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste

Following a recipe is fun for dinner parties, but it’s kind of obnoxious during the week when you don’t have the time or money to pick up specific ingredients each night for dinner. I like this recipe because I can use whatever veggies we have at home, and it always tastes awesome. I make sure we always have couscous and feta on hand.

Dave picked up this bag of couscous two weeks ago in Stevens Point and (nicely) demanded that I make couscous salad with it. Done.

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Most couscous is cooked in a 1:1 ratio with liquid, but because of the added ingredients in this mix, I used two cups of vegetable broth to 1 1/2 cups couscous.

While the couscous was cooking, I roasted brussels sprouts, a chopped onion, and one of our huge heirloom tomatoes from last week.

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I mixed up the roasted veggies, couscous, feta, and oil mixture.

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Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Because I roasted the tomatoes instead of adding them fresh, this couscous salad was a lot juicier than normal, but still amazingly delicious.

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