Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vegan Extreme Couponing

I have been guilty of using excessive coupons, but this vegan gal Perry takes extreme couponing to the max! I set my DVR to record the new episodes of Extreme Couponing on TLC and to my surprise, a vegan was represented....soooooo cool!

Perry has a community facebook page for her vegan couponing:

There is popular facebook page for vegan coupons that I stumbled across:

Dominex Eggplant Cutlets

Another new item I discovered at Sunflower are these Dominex Eggplant Cutlets. They are all natural, vegan breaded eggplant cutlets and only 100 calories for a serving, which works out to about 3 points. They are sooooo tasty. We decided to bake them in the oven (12-15 minutes) and then put a little marinara sauce and Daiya cheese on top. It tastes so good that you'll think you's eating naughty food, but the combo is only 6 Weight Watchers points. We put a small baked potato and steamed vegetables with it for a dinner total of 9 points. It's a quick easy main dish for busy vegans.

Lenny and Larry's Complete Cookies

I am in love...with a cookie. I usually scour the aisles of Sunflower and Fresh and Easy for new vegan items, when I go shopping. A couple weeks ago, I saw these massive cookies at Sunflower called Complete Cookies by Lenny and Larry. Right on the front of the packaging, it says 'vegan'. I bought a chocolate chip one just to see if it was any good. I split the soft cookie own the middle and gave half to Matt. We both looked up at each other after our first bite; YUM! So, this is not a low-calorie food, but it is not highly-processed and is a great source of protein. For half a cookie, it is 5 Weight Watcher points. You really only need half a is huge. I bought a few the last time I went to the store, and when we need a sweet treat, we grab a Complete Cookie from the pantry. You'll love it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hibbard House Halloween Decorating

Every year, I love to break out my decorations and get in a festive mood. From October 1st to December 31st, my house definitely gets a seasonal look. I always try to keep my decorations simple and modern, but sometimes I get carried away. This year I bought flicker flame light bulbs for my sputnik light in our front window.

Every Christmas, I change the usual star light bulbs to red and green lights. I thought of doing orange lights for halloween and then came across the flame ones....they are soo cool! Here's a short 10 sec video of them in action:

Here's a peek into our halloween decorations:

Hankerin' For Coconut Macaroons

Tuesday night, Mr. Hibbard asked me to print out a recipe for vegan coconut macaroons and he would make them while I was at a night work appointment. I came home to a macaroon pancake...ha! Not his fault, but it just wasn't a good recipe. I always try to use vegan recipes, but sometimes, you have to 'veganize' a well-reviewed non-vegan recipe to get a good result.

This non-vegan coconut macaroon recipe has 605 mostly great reviews. So, my challenge was to veganize it. The only non-vegan ingredients I had to have substitutions for were the butter (I used Earth Balance) and sweetened condensed milk (I had to make my own!).

I don't think I have ever baked with sweetened condensed milk, even before becoming vegan. So, I went to the internets and found this recipe for vegan sweetened condensed milk . I happened to have some powdered soy milk, from my holiday adventures with vegan white chocolate, so this recipe was perfect.

Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
Powdered soy milk (re-constitute using package recommendation...I used 24 ozs of water and 3/4 cup of NOW Foods powdered soy milk)
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 Tbsp vegan butter/margarine (I used Earth Balance)

1) Add soy milk powder and the accompanying water into a pot and heat until mixture boils.
2) In a separate pan, melt 6 tbsp of vegan butter/margarine
3) Add sugar to the melted butter
4) When sugar begins to melt, add the hot milk from the other pot and add a dash of salt.
5) Bring the mixture to gentle boil for at least 5 minutes. The mixture should be finished cooking when it gets a little thick.

Vegan Coconut Macaroons
Makes 12 macaroons

  • 1/4 cup and 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups and 1 tablespoon flaked coconut (I used Fresh and Easy sweetened shredded coconut)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup and 1 tbsp vegan sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, coconut and salt. Stir in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla using your hands until well blended. Use an ice cream scoop to drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about golf ball size. 
  3. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until coconut is toasted (mine took about 17 minutes and I probably could have baked them longer)

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte With Soy=NOT Vegan

I guess I didn't get the memo that the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has milk in it, even if you get it made with soy. Bummer, big time. According to Your Daily Vegan, Starbucks pumpkin spice latte syrup contains: Sugar, condensed nonfat milk, sweet condensed nonfat milk, anotta (a colorant), natural and artificial flavors and caramel coloring. 

I distinctly remember seeing advertisements a year or so ago for Starbucks new 'vegan' soy drinks, so I assumed a soy pumpkin spice latte would be dairy free. I figured they used a sugar syrup, so how could it not be vegan?! I think they should consider making vegan-friendly seasonal alternatives! My suggestion is to replace the condensed nonfat milk with condensed soy milk and the sweet condensed nonfat milk with sweetened soy condensed milk.  I'll just have to enjoy my pumpkin spice lattes at home for now.

Hibbard Kitchen Original: Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte 
6 oz freshly-brewed coffee (or espresso, if you have it)
1/2 cup almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
2 TBSP vegan sweetened condensed milk (recipe below)
3 TBSP pumpkin spice syrup (recipe below)

Combine all ingredients into a cup. I like mine iced, so I brew my coffee over ice, then add the other ingredients.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks or 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (I used 4 cinnamon sticks)
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 tablespoons pumpkin purée

1) Combine water and sugar in a medium pot over medium heat. Cook until sugar has completely dissolved.
2)Whisk in remaining ingredients.
3) Cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Do not allow mixture to come to a boil.
4) Strain syrup through cheesecloth into a large glass measuring cup or bowl.
5) Transfer to bottle of your choice and store in the refrigerator. I poured my syrup into a salad dressing mixer, which is awesome for mixing it up before pouring it into my coffee.

Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk
Powdered soy milk (re-constitute using package recommendation...I used 24 ozs of water and 3/4 cup of NOW Foods powdered soy milk)
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 Tbsp vegan butter/margarine (I used Earth Balance)

1) Add soy milk powder and the accompanying water into a pot and heat until mixture boils.
2) In a separate pan, melt 6 tbsp of vegan butter/margarine
3) Add sugar to the melted butter
4) When sugar begins to melt, add the hot milk from the other pot and add a dash of salt.
5) Bring the mixture to gentle boil for at least 5 minutes. The mixture should be finished cooking when it gets a little thick.

I think this pumpkin spice latte tastes very similar to Starbuck's version. If you skip the sweetened condensed soy milk, it will likely fall short of your expectations though.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

'Neville House' Mini Mod House From CB2

I just got the new CB2 catalog and on the first page, I notice a little mini-mod table-top house called Neville House. I immediately think it looks like a tiny version of our pool house (see above for side by side). I might need to buy it...only $59.95 and the reviews say the quality is top notch. Possible uses: bird house, holiday display, doll house, etc.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meet Our 3 Dogs

Meet Augustus. He's a golden retriever/pit bull mix named after a Willie Wonka And The Chocolate Factory character (we lost our dogs Veruca and Violet last year-one to cancer, one to a ruptured spleen). Augustus is almost 11 years old and he hates televised sports...especially football, hockey and baseball.

Meet LaLa. She is spunky black pomeranian and the daughter of my twin sister Christie's pommies Lil Daddy (RIP) and Foxy Mama. Lala is almost 8 years old and likes to pray (pommie owners call it 'the pommie dance'). She lives for floating on rafts in the pool.

Meet Molly. She is a 3 year old rescue from the Arizona Boston Terrier Rescue. She was turned over to AZBTR because her owners were adopting a human baby and worried that Molly would be too much to handle. Molly is an avid swimmer and even goes under water! She's the newest kid on the block.

Hibbard Kitchen Green Juice

A couple months ago my husband got sucked into the concept of juicing, after watching the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. We embarked on a 3 day long raw juice diet together, just to see if we could do it. I discovered that I LOVE juicing, but that I hate beets. We spent approximately $230 on organic produce for the 3 days, which is why the program is impossible to stay on for more than a few'd be fat, sick and broke if you did it much longer.
We bought a super extravagant juicer made by Breville and we agreed to make juicing a part of our life. One recipe we created was based on Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead's 'Mean Green' recipe. Our recipe is green, but it tastes better than you'd think.

Hibbard Kitchen Green Juice (Serves 2)
1 bunch of kale
4 whole small granny smith apples cut in halves (or 2 large ones)
1/2 honeydew cut into pieces that will fit in the juicer (skin peeled)
1" piece of ginger (skin peeled)
2 stalks of celery
optional: 1/2 cup cut pineapple (skin peeled)

 Add all ingredients to your juicer and voila!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Glitter Nails

I might be obsessed with glitter nails. Here are 5 of my favorite glitter nails from this year.

Light blue glitter acrylic on natural nails
 Burgundy glitter acrylic on natural nails
 Orange glitter gel polish on natural nails
 Purple glitter acrylic on natural nails
Pink glitter gel on natural nails

Trough Vegetable and Herb Garden

We've had our trough gardens on the back patio for about a year and a half. This year our grape vines took off, so Matt created a metal screen for the vines to crawl up. Our basil, which we use in everything, is growing like crazy. We even noticed a few basil plants popping up outside the troughs---score!

Vegan Italian Cheese Panini

I have been obsessed with paninis, ever since I ate at Sweet Pea Baking Company in Portland, OR this summer. The first panini recipe I created at home is based on Sweet Pea's Bendishaw sandwich. Wheat bread, pesto, fresh tomatoes and Daiya cheese. If you are strapped on time and craving pizza, this panini will be your best friend. The only thing that requires advance preparation is the vegan pesto, but it can stay fresh for about 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Vegan Italian Cheese Panini (for 2)

  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread (we use the whole wheat sourdough bread from Fresh and Easy)
  • 1 medium tomato sliced (4 slices is ideal)
  • 2-3 tbsp vegan pesto (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella-style Daiya cheese
  • Olive oil (for spritzing the bread)


1. Turn on the panini machine.
2. Spritz the outside of the bread slices lightly with olive oil and flip the oil side down.
3. Place 2 slices of tomato on one slice of bread for each sandwich.
4. Spread 1-1 1/2 tbsp of vegan pesto on the other slice of bread for each sandwich.
5. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of Daiya cheese on the slices of bread with the tomato.
6. Put the pesto bread slices on top of the other slices of bread to complete the sandwiches.
7. Transfer the sandwiches to the panini machine and hold down the handle for 10 seconds and then release the handle.
8. Cook the sandwich for 3 minutes and then check for dark grill marks. If you don't see dark grill marks, cook for additional 1 minute intervals and check for grill marks.
9. Flip the sandwich with tongs or a fork and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Vegan Pesto
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup pine nuts (other nuts, such as almonds or walnuts may be substituted)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


Combine all ingredients in a food processor until nuts are ground. Pesto should still have texture and not be completely smooth. Add more salt and pepper to taste and enjoy! One variation is to add 1/2 cup rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes. For a lower fat version, replace half the oil with non-dairy milk.

Cooking Tofu On A Panini Machine

I have been obsessed with my panini machine, since I bought it a month ago. I purchased a Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler Panini and Sandwich Press. ($47.95). Did you know that you can cook tofu on a panini machine? I'd recommend using extra firm tofu.

Directions For Cooking/Grilling Tofu On A Panini Machine

1. Drain the tofu and then use paper towels to remove the excess moisture from the tofu.
2. Cut the block of tofu in half. Then cut that half into 4-5 pieces.
3. Marinate the tofu in any sauce or marinade you want for a minimum of 15 minutes.4. Turn on your panini machine.
5. Once your panini machine is warmed up (mine has a light that turns green when it is hot and ready to use), you can put your marinated tofu onto the panini machine (about 4 pieces at a time).
6. Lightly press the handle on the machine for about 10 seconds then release the handle.
7. Cook the tofu for 3 minutes and check to see if the tofu has dark grill marks. If it doesn't have dark grill marks, cook for 1 minute intervals until the grill marks are dark.
8. If the tofu has dark grill marks, flip the tofu using tongs or a fork. Cook on the 2nd side for 3 minutes.
9. Enjoy!