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 days....you'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)

Ingredients:
  • 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)

Preparation:

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
 Ingredients:
  • 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

Preparation:

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!



Saturday, September 17, 2011

Vegan Restaurant Review: Pomegranate Cafe

My friend Miranda recently told me about Pomegranate Cafe in Ahwatukee. I didn't know that all their menu items are vegan---how cool is that? All the baked goods and menu items are vegan, but they do offer eggs (instead of tofu for breakfast/brunch items) and dairy cheese (instead of vegan Diaya cheese) to appeal to vegetarians. 

We went for a late afternoon lunch today and ordered pomegranate iced green tea, roasted red pepper hummus platter, and tempeh BLT sandwiches. The tea was tart and naturally sweet; very refreshing. The hummus was tasty and served with vegetables and warm bread slices. The BLT was simply awesome. I have to learn how to get my tempeh to taste like theirs! The baked goods looked way too good to pass up. So, against my waistlines wishes, we got 2 slices of vegan cake (lemon with strawberry frosting), raw vegan donut holes and coconut macaroons to take home. I wish I could have tried everything on the menu...I just have to make plans to visit often. The berry pepita french toast sounds absolutely divine...for next time.


Pomegranate Cafe

Tues-Sun 8 am - 4:30 pm
Closed Mondays

Red pepper hummus platter
Vegan tempeh BLT sandwich....super yummy bread
You can't leave without some dessert to go!
Matt picked out some macaroons and some raw doughnut holes

Vegan International Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is a super grain I only discovered after becoming vegan last year. I love plain cooked quinoa, quinoa pasta and now International Quinoa Salad. This recipe is from Fat Free Vegan Blog. 

It's a weekly staple around the Hibbard house. When we need a lunch on-the-go or a side for dinner, this is our go-to dish.

International Quinoa Salad


Quinoa:
1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed very well
2 1/4 cups water
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
Vegetables:
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
2 medium-large tomatoes, finely chopped
kernels of 2 ears of cooked corn (about 1 cup)
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded and diced
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
2/3 cup parsley — minced
1/3 cup fresh mint — minced
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced (reserve a few slices for garnish)
Dressing:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (NOT lemon)
3 tablespoons vegetable broth or bean cooking liquid
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste (optional)
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper

To cook the quinoa in a pressure cooker, place it and the water, garlic, and salt in the cooker and lock the lid. Over high heat, bring to high pressure and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally. You can also follow directions on the quinoa package for stovetop preparation. Fluff the quinoa and allow it to cool.
Combine all of the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the quinoa and mix well. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Mix well and refrigerate until chilled. Taste before serving, and add more lime juice as necessary (you want it to be tangy). Garnish with avocado slices and serve. Makes about 8 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): 239 calories, 55 calories from fat, 6.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 366.2mg sodium, 627.7mg potassium, 38.8g carbohydrates, 7.7g fiber, 4g sugar, 9.1g protein.



The Walkmen, Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver 9.15.11 Phoenix, AZ Comerica Theater

This was my first show at Comerica Theater (formerly Dodge Theater). This venue has AMAZING sound made even better by amazing bands. We only caught the end of the Walkmen (Boo!), but they killed it. Fleet Foxes gave me chills with their harmonizing and Bon Iver was brilliant.

I took some videos and photos at the show. Easily one of the best shows of 2011, in my opinion.


Cool hotel downtown called New Windsor Hotel
 Love the neon sign that says 'Air Cooled'
Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes
The Walkmen
The Walkmen
The Walkmen
The Walkmen
Ha!
Bon Iver
Bon Iver
Bon Iver
Bon Iver
Bon Iver
Bon Iver
Bon Iver