19/52: Hittin’ the books…

A few weeks after I started this blog {back in January}, Johnny and I decided that it was time for us to make a move in one direction or another. After much consideration, we decided that I should focus on and work toward getting back into school. The past few months have been quite a whirl wind, and it has been so difficult to not tell you guys what is going on! I have had tests to study for and take {The ever so fun WEST-E}, applications to complete and essays to write. But I’m happy to report that I have been accepted into the program I applied for! I will be going back to school full-time to get my Master of Arts in Elementary Education. It’s a big change because I won’t be able to work during the program {I worked full-time while getting my undergrad degree}. It is a full-time program with student teaching at the same time, but it will all be worth it. In a little over one year, I will be all done! And the best part? I get to go back to the beautiful campus of our alma mater… Pacific Lutheran University! {Johnny and I are both alumni}

So… you might have to bear with me over the summer while I get into the swing of things. (The program starts next month) It has been years since I’ve been in school, so this will be quite the adjustment! But I am so, so, so excited. 🙂

Now that you’re all up to date… I want to share with you one of my new favorite weeknight meals. It is soo easy. Our new love is Orzo with Kielbasa, Peppers and Tomatoes! The pictures don’t do it justice. I was only able to snap a few quick shots because it smelled so good I couldn’t wait to dive in. 😉

Orzo with Kielbasa, Peppers and Tomatoes


3 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 pound orzo pasta
1 T olive oil
1 kielbasa
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 roasted red peppers, cut in 1/4 inch strips {I used jarred}
2 tomatoes, chopped & seeded
1/4 t red pepper flakes {more or less to taste}
2 T dried parsley
2 t onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c freshly grated parmesan {I used fresh parmesan already grated from the store}


In a large sauce pan, bring the chicken broth and water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just past al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. {I prefer my orzo tender, not chewy}

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the kielbasa and saute, until warmed through, about 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add the peppers, tomatoes and red pepper flakes and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.

Drain the pasta and slowly transfer into the skillet. Stir the pasta into the kielbasa mixture adding 1 T of parsley, and the salt and pepper to taste. Once the pasta and kielbasa mixture are combined, add the 1/2 cup of parmesan and combine again. Top with remaining parsley and serve. If you are serving for a dinner party, transfer the mixture into a serving bowl before topping with the remaining parsley.

Source: Slightly adapted from Giada’s Kitchen by Giada de Laurentiis

Man, I just love all the flavors that the pasta picks up from the mixture. Its like orzo heaven. Such a fun and quick meal… definitely a new staple in our house!

On another note, Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I’m mentally gearing up for a race that I haven’t really been able to train for… I’m sure you will hear all about it next week! 😉



2 thoughts on “19/52: Hittin’ the books…

  1. Congrats on going back to school and best of luck. My sister just completed her MA in elementary education. The student teaching was the most challenging for her to juggle with classes and home life, but she’s so happy she went back to school and really enjoyed it.

    On a side note, I’m so happy I checked my subscriptions tonight because I subscribed to your blog a while ago, but then it dawned on me that I wasn’t getting emails. Sure enough my settings were all messed up. Glad I fixed it. I’m enjoying catching up on the recipes.

    • Thank you! I think student teaching will also be the biggest obstacle for me. Thankfully I won’t have to work while in the program — so I won’t have to worry about that added hurdle.

      I’m happy you checked your subscription settings also. I am so thankful you subscribed! I’m still a new blogger, so every time I get a subscription notice it puts a huge smile on my face. 🙂

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