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Showing posts from November, 2012

From Book to Purse: A Thrifty Upcycle

Do you know someone with a purse fetish?  I do, and she just had a 50th birthday!


It's my mom!  And she's a little devil who also happens to have a thing for purses.  And what kind of gift do you give a mom who has a thousand purses?

After brainstorming for a while, I decided on a book purse.  I've never seen her (or anyone for that matter) with a book purse before, and it seemed like it would be a pretty simple project.  So, I dashed off to the thrift store in search of the perfect book, and found this one:


At a few inches thick, it was a pretty hefty book; it was around 10 inches long and 6 inches across.  When you are deciding which book to choose for this project, just keep the user in mind and what they'll likely carry in it.  For example, I know my mom is going to want something a bit roomy and wide enough to carry her checkbook.  The book seemed a bit heavy when I purchased it, but once the pages were cut out, it became very light-weight.

That brings me to the …

Chicken, Rice, and Broccoli Casserole

Since we have dipped our toes into raising and butchering our own chickens, there has been an abundance of leftover cooked chicken at our disposal.  And not wanting to literally dispose of the leftover chicken,  I have had to come up with some recipes to use it in.

I have always loved the comforting taste of a rice casserole, so I checked the pantry to see what I had available to use with my leftover chicken, and the result was this casserole.

I used my big cast iron pan to cook it in, since I can also use that pan in the oven--it saves on dishes.  Also, we had a handful of Cheez-Its sitting in the pantry, so that is what we opted to use for the topping.



Chicken, Rice, and Broccoli Casserole

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 cups chicken stock
2 to 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 cups fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 10.5 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 c…