Saturday, August 29, 2009

Cookbook Meeting at Durants

Durants Restaurant is a great excuse to have an informal cookbook meeting. Mary Parker, co-author Donna Roe, Zona Lorig and myself had lunch at the historic restaurant enjoying luscious salads, their signature garlic bread and cosmopolitans. Donna talked with the manager, Shirley, who was impressed with our cookbook. Durants, unfortunately, did not have any recipes in Tastes & Treasures but she is very interested in participating in a second edition. Who knows what the Historical League will create next?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bechamel Sauce

What to fix for dinner with the ingredients I have? I decided to get creative with left over steak, mushrooms and macaroni. The fresh eggplant from my Master Gardener class was sitting there begging to be included and I also had summer squash, green beans, onions, celery, red pepper and fresh basil from my garden. Tastes & Treasures to the rescue with a creamy Bechamel Sauce. The recipe on page 161 is for Lasagna with Artichokes but I like to improvise. After sauteing the vegetables and adding the cut up steak, I drizzled the sauce over them. It was a hit with the family.

Bechamel Sauce

5 tbsp butter
5 tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups half and half (I used skim milk to lower calories and fat)
1 cup chicken broth (I used beef broth and mushroom broth)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp white pepper

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour. Cook for 3 minutes or until thick and golden brown in color, stirring constantly Add the half and half and broth all at once, whisking, constantly until blended. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the mixture comes to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the salt, nutmeg and white pepper. Remove from the heat and press a sheet of waxed paper over the surface of the sauce to prevent a film from forming.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Curry Chicken Salad

Today's AZ Republic newspaper has a popular Curry Chicken Salad recipe from the Paper Plate Deli (great name) at The Republic in downtown Phoenix. It is similar to Tastes & Treasures cookbook Curried Chicken Green Salad on pg 151 but with some different twists. Roy Swope, the chef, settled on curry because "chicken accepts a heavy spice really well." He balances the curry with honey, lemon juice, currants and dried cranberries. A good hint for recipes like this: Cover and refrigerate for several hours to allow the spices to bloom and flavors to meld.

Tastes & Treasures Green Salad is also very tasty and refreshing with Gala apples, pecans, fresh mushrooms, chutney and curry. Curry lovers - you will want to try them both for two different presentations.

For you food historians, in 1863 a meat shop owner in Wakefield, R.I. mixed leftover chicken with mayonnaise, tarragon and grapes to create the chicken salad. It has come a long way since then.

Paper Plate Deli Curry Chicken Salad

12 oz chicken, diced or shredded
2 tbsps diced parsley
1 tbsp diced onion
4 tbsps diced celery
1 tbsp dried cranberries
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsps curry powder
3 tbsps honey

Salad: Combine well in a mixing bowl the chicken, parsley, onion, celery, currants and cranberries. Season with salt and pepper.
Dressing: Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, curry powder and honey in a separate bowl until well blended. Blend dressing into chicken mixture. Chill and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms with Summer Squash

The Cottage Place Restaurant in Flagstaff has some great recipes for a Cocktail Party in the Tastes & Treasures cookbook. The stuffed mushrooms are easy to make and taste wonderful as an appetizer. Try them on page. 27.

But, I just found a new Stuffed Mushroom recipe that is very good as a side dish from Tried it for dinner last night and it was a hit. Love the low calorie count too.

Stuffed Mushroom With Summer Squash in Foil Pack

2 large portabella mushrooms

1 summer squash (yellow or green), ends removed, finely diced

2 wedges The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese, room temperature

1/2 tbsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping

1/2 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. dried minced onion

1/8 tsp. salt, or more to taste

Dash ground thyme or more to taste (I used chopped Basil from my garden instead)

Olive oil or nonstick spray
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. (I used the BBQ with only the outside burners on)
In a bowl, combine cheese wedges, garlic, onion, salt, and thyme. Mix until smooth. Set aside.
Remove mushroom stems and finely chop. Add chopped stems to the bowl, and set mushroom caps aside. Add squash to the bowl and stir well, until veggies are coated in the cheese mixture. Lay a large piece of heavy-duty foil on a baking sheet. Lightly mist mushroom caps with olive oil nonstick spray, and place next to each other on the foil with the rounded sides down. Spoon veggie-cheese mixture into the mushroom caps -- there will be a lot, so pack it in! Sprinkle with Parm-style topping.
Place another large piece of foil over the caps. Fold together and seal all four edges of the two foil pieces, forming a well-sealed packet. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 23 - 25 minutes, until mushrooms are soft and tender.
Allow packet to cool for a few minutes, and then cut to release steam before opening it entirely. (Careful -- steam will be hot.) If you like, season to taste with additional salt and thyme. MAKES 2 large servings.

PER SERVING (1 large stuffed mushroom): 92 calories, 2.75g fat, 447mg sodium, 11.5g carbs, 3.25g fiber, 4g sugars, 6.5g protein -- POINTS® value 1*

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cookbook Meeting

Every three or four months we have a meeting to discuss the cookbook. We should probably have more meetings because it is so rewarding to talk what has been happening with the book and how many have sold. The cookbook has been a great product for the Historical League. It earns us funds that we, in turn, grant the Museum for education, exhibits, improvements and outreach services. But the book is a lovely ambassador to tell the story of Arizona's historic hospitality venues, it's Historymakers and the job the Arizona Historical Society does. And it has some great recipes. Thanks to the original cookbook committee and writers who had the foresight to write this book. They should be very proud of such a quality product. Pictured are co-author Gaye Ingram, Kay Holcombe, Pat Faur and Carolyn Mendoza.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

April and Pat at Rotary Club Meeting

Getting the word out to the public about the AHS Museum at Papago Park is part of our mission statement. We can also talk about the cookbook and who doesn't like to sample Granola? April Riggins and Pat Faur spoke at the August 11 Rotary Club of North Phoenix after an invitation from Bill and Sandra Goodheart.

Interesting to note, they were very curious about the Sandra Day O'Connor house and the new exhibit honoring her at the Museum. They were impressed with the fact that we had granted $69,000 to the museum this past year. Also noted . . . they liked the cookbook. April and Pat were happy to oblige with sales.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Recipes well received at Master Gardener class.

Work in the garden and you'll work up an appetite, as attested by the food consumed at my Master Gardener class. Every 5 weeks my group is responsible for bringing in 'snacks' for the class. I brought in Tabouli Salad pg. 130 and Very Lemon Bread pg. 119. My friend, Carol, brought in Granola pg. 196.
The lemon bread had been stored in the freezer and it served much nicer and firmer than when fresh. It looks so nice with fresh lemon slices and fresh blueberries.
Carol's son, Serge, loved the Tabouli Salad...very refreshing with mint, parsley, basil, green onion, tomato and lemon juice.
Historymaker Eddie Basha commented on this recipe, "As long as I can remember, tabouli salad was a favorite in our family regardless of the day of the week or season of the year. This culinary and Lebanese delight continues to be a most popular salad of the Basha family."

1/2 cup cracked wheat
4 tomatoes, chopped
3 bunches parsley, stemmed and chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced
Small handful of fresh mint, stemmed and chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Soak the cracked wheat in enough water to generously cover in a bowl for 30 minutes and drain. Press the excess moisture from the cracked wheat. Combine the cracked wheat, tomatoes, parsley, green onions and mint in a bowl and mix well. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Delicious served cupped in a variety of lettuce or fresh grape leaves. Serves 6 to 8.

Option: I used more lemon juice and less oil. Also used whole grain quinoa and cooked it first according to instructions. Used fresh chopped basil from my garden.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eddy Basha's Tabouli Salad

Finding ingredients for this ethnic salad should not be so hard but it took me to two grocery stores before I got mint. And then, they were out of the packaged ones but a fresh mint plant was available. Eddie Basha's Mom must have had it growing in her garden.
The salad is really easy. It just calls for lots of chopping parsley, green onion and tomatoes. The flavors blend well to make a tasty vegetarian dish. The recipe calls for soaking the cracked wheat but I found it never softened so I cooked it for 15 minutes first. I think I didn't have cracked wheat but whole grains...makes a big difference. Another recipe I found online calls for chopped basil and since it is growing so well in my garden, I added it also. Makes a nice side dish or salad for lunch.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lassoing young minds with

Great article on Sandra Day O'Connor in the Sunday, August 2, AZ Republic Viewpoints. Justice O'Connor has always championed education, wanting to "saddle up to help teach middle school kids about how their government works." Her life on the Lazy B Ranch gave her "lessons that inspired a lifetime of civic involvement and public service." Now she is working with to develop online lessons, games and history for teachers and students.

The Historical League has a summer project to do similar good works. Our volunteer staff is digitalizing the 55 Historymakers oral histories so they will be accessible on This is part of the Legacy Project for the Arizona Historical Society to celebrate Arizona's Centennial. These oral histories are from Arizonans such as Erma Bombeck, Eddie Basha, Jerry Colangelo, Paul Fannin, Barry Goldwater, Esther Don Tang and Ed Mell. A complete list is on The histories talk about their childhood, education, business and social and political life. You feel like you are sitting down talking with them over a cup of coffee . . . or glass of wine.

Love this photo of Sandra as a young girl on the ranch. Can you guess who is the other young man? . . . Barry Goldwater.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Fairmont Princess Shop carries Cookbook

Thanks to League member, Nina Filippi, the Scottsdale Princess hotel called to order cookbooks. Nina showed buyer, Cynthia Gosse, a sample book and she thought it would be a great addition to their Princess shop. I delivered them yesterday and Cheryl Lucas, the manager, was very interested. She leafed through the entire book, commenting on various recipes and historic places. El Chorro is a favorite of hers with the Sticky Buns recipe, page 79. Tumbleweeds on page 192 got her attention also. The Princess often does special events so I mentioned how easy it is to sample the Granola page 196. It is so healthy and delicious. I freeze extra in ziploc bags for future use. We will serve several different recipes at the private Sandra Day O'Connor exhibit opening October 21.

4 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups pistachios
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup finely chopped assorted dried fruit (raisins, apricots, cranberries, dates)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the oats, coconut, pistachios, pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds and cinnamon in a bowl. Combine the honey, brown sugar, molasses and butter in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until blended, stirring frequently; do not allow to boil.
Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and mix until coated. Spread the oats mixture on a greased baking sheet with edges. Bake for 15 minutes or until the oats are golden brown, stirring frequently. Spoon immediately into a heatproof bowl and stir in the dried fruit. Store in airtight containers or sealable plastic bags in a cool environment for up to 2 months. Freeze if storing for longer than 2 months. Makes 16 to 18 cups.
Hint - Do not let the granola sit on the hot cookie sheet.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Cracked Wheat Quinoa

We are Costco fans. It is that simple. Where ever we travel, we like to visit one...from the Big Island of Hawaii to Calgary, Canada to Cancun, Mexico to the local neighborhood Phoenix store. Yesterday we found Whole Grain Quinoa and I boiled it for dinner in place of a rice dish. Nice and simple. Then I realized that is what Eddie Basha's mother may have used in her Tabouli Salad. Great stuff and so versatile. A classmate from my Master Gardener class brought it as a salad which tasted very much like Basha's Tabouli Salad also. Interesting how a Lebanese staple has now entered the US market.

Pronounced "keen-wa". Quinoa is a complete protein grain (50% more than wheat), high in lysine, more iron, phosphorus, vitamins A, E and B, and more calcium and fat than other grains. Quinoa kernels have a waxy protective coating called saponin which will leave quinoa bitter unless rinsed off under running water before cooking. Expands to four times its volume when cooked. Combine with millet, bugler or buckwheat for variety. Substitute for bugler in tabouli. Makes a very light breakfast cereal.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1/4 cup (43 g)

Nutrient Amount % DV

Calories 160 Calories from Fat 20 Total Fat 2.5 g 4% Sodium 10 mg 0%

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Master Gardener Class Snacks

Becoming a Master Gardener has always been a goal of mine so when my girlfriend signed up, I did too. Seventeen weeks at U of Arizona's Extension Office in Phoenix is a big commitment but it is very interesting and I am learning a lot. Each week different groups bring in "snacks" so we have a lovely buffet. Carol brought in Granola pg 196 and I made Luscious Lemon Loaf pg 198. Carol was very creative by serving the Granola in a chip and dip bowl with the spoon resting in the dip bowl. She actually sold two cookbooks because the ladies wanted the Granola recipe and loved the historical aspect of the book.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sculpture at AHS Museum

Wonder how a model feels when he poses for a sculpture? Read this article submitted by Historical League President Jeannine Moyle.

The Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park is housing a sculpture that was designed and made in 1996 on Commission of Anne Woosley, then Acting Director of the Central Division of AHS.

Originally the sculpture took a prime spot on the main floor in a room of its own that one entered following the movie “Traces” shown in the small theater behind the Admissions desk. It now is at the top left of the staircase.

Staff at the museum at that time picked from the community those who would model for each figure. The six characters that were decided upon to be depicted were: Apache Youth, c. 1884; Akimel O’Odham (Pima) Basket Maker, c. 1863; Irish Soldier, c. 1867; Mexican Miner, c. 1865; Chinese Entrepreneur, c. 1883; Mormon Missionary & Daughter, c. 1877; Midwestern Land Developer, c. 1891; and California Cattleman, c. 1886. Each figure was made by the Sculpture Basis, Inc. New Mexico.

Mid March 2009, Norberto (can't find his last name) stopped by the museum to take a look at the sculpture as he had modeled for the image of the Mexican Miner.Talking with him, he described how they went about making the mold for this sculpture.

The model would wear very skimpy clothing like short shorts or swimming trunks with hair under a net. Their body would be covered with Vaseline. Next it would be covered with wet plaster strips. The plaster strips create a mold. When that hardened it was cut in sections and numbered, reassembled, reinforced and them smoothed out and strengthened. A sealer agent was applied so the cast would not then stick to the mold.

Various materials were used on the torso, head, hands and feet as the cast was joined in a layer of fiberglass and polyester. Fine carving of the head and hands was done to create a life-like reproduction of the model. This was most time-consuming.

A selected costume and authentic reproduction of accessories was chosen. After that the dressed unit is sprayed and clothing impregnated with a polyester material which hardens and strengthens the figure.

After the figure is initially painted it gets another finishing when final alterations are made. Then it is given the final paint. All color, texture and highlights were selected by the museum.

If you haven’t taken a long look at the sculpture recently, do revisit it and think of the people represented as these are the real founders of our territory.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Yogurt Smoothie

Refrigerator leftovers . . . what do you do with them? We were leaving our condo in Eleuthera and decided to use up what was left. The condo had a "state of the art" blender so we put in yogurt, milk, blueberries, flax seed, ice, banana and a little oatmeal from breakfast. It looked wonderful until we twisted the blender from it's base. Unfortunately, this was the kind you twist to remove the bottom . . . whoosh. Yogurt Smoothie all over the counter and floor. We saved some of it and I got a few pictures to remember the laughs. It tasted pretty good, except for the oatmeal. Note to self: Remember not to add oatmeal next time.

The Hassayampa Inn has an easy Yogurt Parfait recipe pg 52 from the cookbook. No blender involved so no spills.

Yogurt Parfaits
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups granola (use the granola recipe from pg 196)
Strawberry yogurt

Mix the blueberries and raspberries in a bowl. Alternate layers of the berries and granola in parfait glasses or wine glasses and top with the yogurt.
Note: you can use homemade or commercial granola and low-fat yogurt in this recipe.

Serves 6