Zucchini Chicken Rice Pilaf {Gluten Free}

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Zucchini and Chicken Rice Pilaf {Gluten Free}

Difficulty: medium
Prep time:  10 min
Cooking time: 25min


Onions1 pieceyou can also use leeks, or both
Carrots1 pieceI actually forgot to add the grated carrots, but I usually do
Oil3 tbspI use Sunflower Seed oil in all my cooking
Rice1 1/2 cupsI used brown rice, but white works too
Roasted chicken1 pieceI made 3 different meals from one roasted chicken. You can also used just cooked chicken breast
Bell Peppers1 piece
Zucchini2 pieces
Fresh cilantro2 tbspthese are for garnishing at the end and it is optional
Feta cheese 1/2 cupsfor garnishing 
Salt and pepper to taste   
step by step

1. Gather your ingredients. Chop your vegetables.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat add the oil. Add onions, salt and cook, 
stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent. 

3. Add the peppers and zucchini. Note that I did not peel the zucchini. I find that when 
I peel them, they just turn into mush once cooked. 

4. Add rice and cook, stirring, until rice grains are opaque.

5. Add broth, bring to a boil and then add the cooked chicken.

 I transferred into a pot because I couldn't find the lid for my large pan. Cover, reduce
heat to simmer, and cook undisturbed for 15 minutes. Turn off heat but let rice sit for 
5 minutes undisturbed. Uncover and fluff with a fork.

Serve garnished with feta cheese and parsley.

I like to make this meal with any variation of vegetables that I have in my fridge. 
It is a quick and simple but still pretty yummy. An added bonus is that it is gluten free.

Do you like zucchini? What do you like to use them for?
Linking to these awesome parties.
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8 Thanksgiving Dinner Must-Haves

Monday, November 18, 2013

As many of you know, I am European and have celebrated Thanksgiving only for a few years since I have moved to the US. Even the ones I did celebrate here, there were always prepared by my mother in law. Last year was the first time we were going to celebrate Thanksgiving by ourselves. However, I had a moldovan friend visiting and we just ended up making moldovan food. This year however, I am resolved to try a real american Thanksgiving feast and to keep myself accountable, we will probably have friends over. I had to google when Thanksgiving is and also what a traditional menu consists of.
So I put together a list of the must-haves, mostly for me, since I have no idea what I am doing. 

Thanksgiving Dinner Must Haves @Hip2Thrift

1. The Turkey!!! 
The star of the show. Lots of recipes out there and I am pretty intimidated by this part. I have the feeling I might end up just buying a ready made one. I don't know...haven't decided yet.

2. The Gravy
Not much to say here - it pulls the meal together, and anything 
with some gravy can taste extra yummy.

3. Sweet Potato Casserole
This is definitely my least favorite, but hey...it's traditional and most people like it.

4. Mashed Potatoes
I didn't grow up with Thanksgiving, but we sure had plenty of mashed potatoes. I like to think of myself as an expert when it comes to mashed potatoes. I may have to post my recipe soon.

5. Green Bean Casserole
I love this casserole and it is so simple to make.
I've made on so many other non holiday related occasions.

6. Rolls
I am still looking for a gluten free recipe for rolls, so hopefully I'll have some on the my Thanksgiving table.

7. Cranberry sauce

8. Pumpkin Pie
I am not a big fan anything pumpkin or pie related (gasp), but I am pretty sure my other guests will enjoy some. I may do some sort of variation of the classic pie...cupcakes anyone?

Do you have any yummy recipes you use for Thanksgiving? Did I miss anything? Share in the comments. 

Not to freak anyone out, but Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away, 
and then we can decorate for Christmas!

Hugs and Thank you,
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To blog or not to blog?!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

You may or may not have noticed that I've bean MIA from the blog for most of the summer. I could tell you all about the trials my family and I have been going through and how that didn't leave any time for projects, and therefore blogging on this supposedly project oriented blog; and I wouldn't be lying to you at all. I could tell you that I really wanted to take a break for the summer to spend more time with my family and serving others, and that wouldn't be a lie either. Whether that actually happened or not is enough for a whole new post. In reality, I really thought that I was done with this blogging thing, and since I wasn't having much success with it, why even try, right? Classic failure mentality, one that I have been guilty of giving into in many areas and endeavors of my life. Honestly, I couldn't even bring myself to write anything, even to say I won't be blogging or that I may return in the fall, because I really thought I wouldn't. 

The thing about failure is that I can't usually accept it easily in my life, which is why I continued to try to work on this blog in the past - probably because of how much I hated to admit to myself that I am failing miserably. Makes perfect sense, right? This may very well be the case, except I miss it so much, and even more than that, I miss crafting and doing projects. I miss using my creativity to make something to beautify my life and that of those around me. If it's only fear of failure, then why do I long to create?!

ANYWAY, here I am laying it all out on the inter webs, in the hopes that I'll be able to figure out a way to get rid of these self imposed limitations that have left me completely unable to do something that I love so dearly.

Hope y'all are enjoying the beginning of the beautiful fall season. Lots of hugs,
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Follow Hip2Thrift on Instgram

Monday, August 19, 2013

Who doesn't love good old InstagramTo follow Hip2Thrift on your 
favorite app, 
just search the hash-tag #hip2thrift .

You know how much I love being thrifty, and I know that you guys do too. So why not have some thrifty fun together?!

If you ever DO any thrifty projects, or
TRY any Hip2Thrift ideas, 

or just want to give a SHOUT OUT...

Attach the hashtag #hip2thrift to your Instagram pictures, so we can all check it out!
Coming up: Some awesome contests with this hashtag !

Happy Instagramming!
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Crochet Farmer's Market Bag {Tutorial}

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Crocheting a bag is very simple and a fairly fast project to make. It took me just one evening to make, while I was watching Arrested Development (forgive me, friends that have strongly recommended this show, I just can’t seem to get into it).  I love this bag because you can pretty much do your own thing and it’s hard to mess it up. If you use cotton yarn, it is machine washable and dryable.
It’s also pretty versatile in it’s use – take it for a stroll at the farmer’s market and it’ll fit right in with all those hipster/boho farmer’s market shopping people. It works really well as a beach bag, as all the sand can just seep through the mesh. Ok…ok…you caught me…I don’t go to the beach that often and actually use this bag for my daughter’s sand toys when we go to the play ground. Classy…I know.

  • worsted weight cotton yarn (you can use any cotton or acrylic yarn. I wouldn't recommend wool, as it will shed and get all fuzzy)
  • Size H crochet hook
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in

Crochet Bag Pattern

Step 1: Start with a magic loop. Ch 3 and work 11 DC into the loop.Ch 3 counts as first DC throughout. DO NOT TURN. Do not join. Use a stitch marker and work in the round.
 Step 2: HDC in the ch3. DC in the same stitch. 2DC in next DC and all around.

   Step 3: *1 DC, 2DC* all around. Place stitch marker.
Step 4: *1 DC in next 2 DCs, 2DC in next DC* all around. Place stitch marker.
Step 5: *1 DC in next 2 DCs, 2DC in next DC* all around. Place stitch marker.
You can stop here or make the bottom as big as you want. I added a couple of more rows before working on the body.
Step 6: *1 DC in next 3 DCs, 2DC in next DC* all around. Place stitch marker.
Step 7: *1 DC in next 4 DCs, 2DC in next DC* all around. Place stitch marker.
Step 8:  Here I’m stopping the round work just for this row. To join, make a HDC, then a SC and then Sl St.
Step 9: Ch 5. Skip 2 stitches, SC in the third stitch from hook. Repeat Ch 5, sk 2st, SC in third stitch all around. (working in the round again)
 Step 10: Join with a Sl St in the beginning Sl St.  * Ch 5, SC in previous Ch 5 space* repeat all around until your bag is the desired height.

Step 11:  CH 2;  HDC in next CH5 sp, HDC in next SC  * HDC in next CH 5 sp, HDC in next SC;  repeat from * around, join with a Sl ST to top of CH 4
Step 12: CH 2; HDC  in each HDC all around, join with SL St to top of  CH 2
Step 13:  CH 1; SC in each HDC around, join with Sl ST to first SC, CH 2
First Handle
Row 1: Ch 1, SC in each of first 2 sts leaving remaining sts unworked, turn (2 SC).
Row 2: Ch 1, SC in first st leaving last st unworked, turn (1).
Row 3: Ch 1, SC in next st, turn, until Handle measures 10″ or whatever length you like. Fasten off.
Skip next 38 sts on last rnd of  the Body, sew end of Handle to next 2 sts.
Second Handle
Row 1: Skip next 38 sts on last rnd of Body after beginning of First Handle, join with SC in next st, SC in next st leaving remaining sts unworked, turn (2 SC).
Row 2: Ch 1, SC in first st leaving last st unworked, turn (1).
Row 3: Ch 1, SC in next st, turn, until Handle measures 10″, fasten off.
Fasten off, leaving tail long enough for sewing.

Make one of these and take it to the beach, since it looks like mine is getting the toddler treatment this summer.
What would you put in a crochet bag? How would you use it?
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Favorite Toddler Apps

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's no secret that kids these days love technology and it's amazing how fast they learn how to use it. Hip2thrift's very own contributor Kara is here sharing her Favorite Family Friendly Apps. Enjoy - Iuliana

Family Friendly Apps
Created using the Toca Boca Tailor App.  Take pictures of your creations, using the background captured by your camera.  This background is our flight to visit family.
With all the travel my kids and I will be doing this summer, I rely heavily on electronic devices to keep the peace and help pass the time.  I wanted to share just a few of my very favorite family-friendly applications for Apple devices in case you have a road trip coming up, or are just looking for some fun.  

1)  Toca Hair Salon 2 by Toca Boca AB
As of this moment, this adorable app is the App of the Week, and is free. (So download it now, ask questions later.) It will be $2.99, and still worth the price.  This is an interactive toy, not a game.  You choose a client, cut their hair, style it, accessorize them, and take their pictures.  You can tell people you downloaded this for your kids, but you'll find it's a great way to entertain yourself as well.  Toca Boca has a ton of fun apps.  My next favorite is Toca Tailor.  It's such a great tool for creativity and imagination.  A "lite" free version of that is Toca Fairytale, which has fewer options but is nearly just as fun.

2) Monkey Preschool Lunchbox by THUP Games
Favorite Family Friendly Apps @Hip2Thrift
This simple game is easy enough for two year olds, but preschoolers like it too.  There's color matching, simple puzzles, counting, and best of all, the only thing they can touch that stops play is the home key.  The developer, THUP, has a series of monkey apps.  We have all of them, and I would recommend them to any toddler and preschool family.  Their app, "When I Grow Up" is particularly fun for toddlers.  Their math and spelling apps are great for the preschool crowd.  I believe their apps are also available for android phones.

3) Elmo Calls by Sesame Street

Favorite Family Friendly Apps @Hip2Thrift
 This is great for entertaining toddlers, and practicing how to make phone calls and use FaceTime with them.  My toddler loves interacting with Elmo, and seeing herself on the iPhone screen.

4)    Endless Alphabet by Callaway Digital Arts Inc.

Favorite Family Friendly Apps @Hip2Thrift
This is a word game where kids drag the letters to where they belong, and then are rewarded with a short animation that teaches them about the letters and the meaning of the word.  Kids don't need to be able to spell to play it, they just match up the letters to their outlines.  I know my son has a couple of words in his vocabulary that he picked up here.

Have fun everybody!  And if you're letting your kid use your apple device, I also recommend protecting it with an Otterbox Defender case.  I broke my screen when I had my phone out of my case for 5 minutes last week.  It isn't the toddler I can't trust, it's me.  When it's been in the case, I've probably dropped it hundreds of times and it never cracked.  They now also make them for iPads.

What are your favorite family friendly apps?


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Crochet Market Bag

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Today I am sharing a simple crochet tutorial for a Market or Beach Bag.

Head over to Craftaholics Anonymous for the full tutorial. Comment love is always welcome!

Have an awesome day!

*Google Reader is going away on July 1. Make sure you don’t miss any DIY goodness and thrifty tutorials by signing up to follow Hip2Thrift on Bloglovin!*
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Google Reader is no more

Friday, June 21, 2013

As many of you know, Google Reader will no longer be after July 1, 2013. Oh how I love my Google Reader! I didn't have to make the switch, but since I don't want to lose all the blogs I'm following, I switched over to Bloglovin. 

I think it's pretty easy to use and once you sign up, you can import your existing 
blogs from Google Reader to Bloglovin.

You can register here: 

I would really like it if continued following Hip2Thrift.  You can subscribe via email 
or follow me through Bloglovin.

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