Sunday, November 29, 2009

Scottsdale ArtFest 2009

Scottsdale’s annual ArtFest is always a good venue for the League to sell cookbooks, and it helps League coffers even more because the organization waives the rental fee. Last weekend (11/21 & 22) Carolyn Mendoza and her assistants Mariamne Moore, Lindy Isacksen, Margaret Pogue, Brigitte Warnke and Joan Robinson-Blumit sold 67 books, 2 adult aprons, 1 junior size and 1 child size. Ruth Ann and Phil Hogan assisted in breakdown of our booth on Sunday.

Carolyn’s batch of Tastes & Treasures granola (recipe page 196) was a big hit and I’d say it convinced more than one shopper to make a purchase. Displaying the photo of El Chorro Lodge’s sticky buns (recipe page 78) also attracted visitors to the League’s booth.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Day with ABC Cake

We celebrated Thanksgiving with friends from Calgary, Alberta and British Columbia even though their celebration was in October. The turkey was done to perfection and Georgia prepared all the trimmings. Eight of us enjoyed the weather with appetizers on the patio, then the BIG meal followed by a hike up the mountain to watch the sunset. A little wine to toast the day was great although I don't know why we carried the stemware up that mountain of rocks. Dessert beckoned us home in the twilight and we enjoyed ABC Cake pg192 on the patio around a roaring fire. A dense, moist cake filled with dried cranberry and dried apricot and hint of banana, it was a great way to end a beautiful November day in Arizona.

Apricot-Banana-Cranberry Cake (ABC Cake)

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 large very ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
6 ounces dried cranberries
6 ounces dried apricots, chopped
1 1/4 cups walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Beat the sugar, bananas, eggs and vanilla in a mixing bowl until blended. Add the buttermilk and butter and beat until smooth. Beat in the flour mixture. Fold in the cranberries, apricots and walnuts just until combined.
Spoon the batter into a buttered and floured 12-cup bundt pan and bake for 60-70 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto the wire rack to cool completely.
Serves 16

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rhubarb Dream Bars from Open House


1 cup flour
5 T sugar
1 stick butter, at room temperature (4 oz)

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
2. Place flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low speed until just crumbly. Press into the prepared dish.
3. Bake for 15 minutes, until light golden brown.

1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup flour
¾ t salt
2 eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
3 cups rhubarb, finely chopped

1. Sift sugar, flour and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add in the eggs and rhubarb, stirring to combine.
2. Spoon rhubarb mixture over the cooked crust and return to the oven.
3. Bake for about 35 minutes.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Two more recipes from Sandra Day O'Connor Open House

So many wanted the recipes served at the Museum for the Open House Oct 21 that I am printing two more for all to enjoy. Lemon Citrus Blondies and Stuffed Medjool Dates. yummmmm. More recipes are coming . . .

Ingredients: 1 cup butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
4 eggs
3 T undiluted frozen orange juice concentrate

1 T fresh lemon zest

1½ cups flour

1½ t baking powder
½ t salt

1 cup powdered sugar
2 T fresh orange or tangerine juice
2 t grated fresh orange or tangerine zest

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13 inch pan with aluminum foil, having extra foil pressed over the sides as handles. Spray the sides of the pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well.

3. Add the frozen orange juice concentrate and the lemon zest.

4. In separate medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

5. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is shiny and feels firm to the touch, 25-30 minutes.
7. While the Blondie is baking, make the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest together in a small bowl. Stir until smooth.
8. Cool the Blondie on a wire rack. Pierce with a fork, and pour the glaze over entire cake.

9. Lift the cooled bars from the pan using the paper/foil handles. Remove the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares or triangles.

Makes about 24 bars


Ingredients: 30-40 Medjool Dates (one 2 lb container from Cost Co)
1 lb Chorizo sausage (you won’t need all of it)

1 lb Apple wood smoked bacon (Trader Joe’s)

30-40 toothpicks

1. Remove pits from dates. I use a chopstick to push the pit out.

2. Cover a sheet pan with aluminum foil. Set a cooling rack on top of the foil. This will allow the fat to drip off the bacon while the dates cook.

3. Stuff the dates with a little bit of chorizo. I use a chopstick to push the sausage into the date.

4. Cut each piece of bacon into thirds. Wrap a piece of bacon around the date, secure with a tooth pick.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

6. Place the dates on the prepared rack.

7. Bake at 350 F until bacon is crisp, about 20-30 minutes.

8. Serve immediately.

9. Can be reheated on a low oven.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cookie recipe from O'Connor Open House

These were a big hit and looked so pretty. Renee Donnelly did a fantastic job with them.


1¾ cup flour
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
½ cup chocolate hazelnut spread (like Nutella)
½ cup butter (1 stick) at room temperature
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
½ cup sugar (to roll the cookie balls)
1 9 oz package chocolate candy kisses, unwrapped (like Hershey’s)

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer place the hazelnut spread, butter and both sugars. With the mixer on medium speed, cream for about 3 minutes.
4. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until well blended.
5. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Do not over work.
6. Roll the cookie dough into small, walnut sized balls.
7. Place the ½ cup sugar in a small bowl. Roll the balls in the sugar, pressing a little so the sugar adheres.
8. Place the cookies on the prepared sheet pan about 2 inches apart. Bake for 6 minutes.
9. Remove the cookies from the oven and quickly press a chocolate kiss in the center of each cookie.
10. Return the cookies to the oven and bake for 1 more minute. Watch to be sure the kiss doesn’t melt.
11. Remove cookies from the oven; allow cookies to rest for a few minutes on the sheet pan, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
12. Store cookies in an airtight container.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Member Orientation/Pumpkin Spice Cake

Very few visitors to the Museum are privileged to enter the Archives and see the variety of artifacts stored there. How about a wire skirt pleater from the early 1900's or props from the Wallace & Ladmo TV set? A behind-the-scenes tour was conducted by Dr Peter Welsh to twenty new Historical League members. They were also introduced to League chairpersons, then savored a "make your own Cobb Salad" with all the fixings, and delicious desserts including a mouth watering Pumpkin Pie Cake.

3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 can ( 30 ounces) pumpkin pie filling mix (must use flavored pie filling,
not pure pumpkin)
1 box (about 18 ounces) yellow cake mix
1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Whipped cream for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, evaporated milk and pumpkin pie filling mix. Pour into a greased 9 by 13 inch pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix over batter. Drizzle melted butter over cake mix. Cover with chopped pecans. Bake 60 to 70 minutes, being careful not to let pecans burn. Can cover with aluminum foil near end if pecans start to get too brown.
Cake may still move slightly in the middle when done (like pumpkin pie). It sets up as it cools. Cool completely. Cake is better if made the day before serving or at least in the morning if you plan to serve in the evening. Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.
Makes 8 servings.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Globe Adventure - Annual Bus Tour

Twenty-eight members and guests made the trip to the Globe area for our annual bus tour. In route, we had juice and muffins while the monthly League business meeting was conducted.

Arriving at the historic train depot, we viewed exhibits and were given a brief talk on the recent restoration of the building, which had been a laundromat for 36 years. Then we boarded the Copper
Spike, the 1951 dome car, for the 25-minute ride to the Apache Gold Casino. One of the ticket agents was kind enough to ride along with us and give an informative talk about the historic route.

With just enough time to lose a couple of dollars at the casino, we continued our trip to the San Carlos Apache Cultural Center. The exhibits in the center were very well
done. The Apache history includes a significant contribution to the building of Roosevelt dam. In their culture, they don’t eat fish, believing that our spirits reside there after death. Our host, Mr. Herb Stevens was most entertaining and he regaled us with stories of his life on and off the reservation. He arranged for a typical ceremonial lunch that included Apache tamales, 2 types of fry bread, a cabbage soup, a pinto bean and roasted corn stew, and wild spinach with bacon. Most impressive was the fact that all the delicious food was cooked outside over hot coals.

After lunch we were privileged to see a basket weaving demonstration, and Mr. Stevens donned his native costume for us. Refreshments were served on the return trip making for a fun social time for all.

As reported by Jeannie Fletcher

Cookbook Presentation at Realty Exec office

Cookbook collectors and history buffs are everywhere including real estate offices. Carolyn Mendoza and I had a warm welcome from Forum office manager David Grado when we told the story of researching and writing the cookbook, the Historical League and the AHS Museum at Papago Park during their monthly meeting. Carolyn passed around samples of Granola pg 196 to whet their appetites. Many bought the cookbook for themselves and for holiday gift giving. By the way, Realty Execs monthly meetings include lunch and we feasted on Chicken Alfredo with Green Chile, Pasta with vodka infused sauce, Penne with meat sauce and rich brownies for dessert. What a treat.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Greek Spinach Pie

It always amazes me how 4 lbs of fresh spinach can overflow a huge pot and then reduce down to 1/4 of the pot. But fresh always beats frozen in my book and this pie came out great. Wonderful way to have spinach, eggs and cheese. It is not called a quiche but is very close to one.

We had a morning hike through the Phoenix Mountain Preserve with friends organized by Gene and Amy Urban, then enjoyed a potluck breakfast afterwards. Everyone was hungry and the food was delicious. So glad I made this yummy, easy breakfast/brunch pie from pg 194 Tastes & Treasures Cookbook.Greek Spinach Pie
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 pounds fresh spinach, trimmed
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 clove garlic, shopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoons pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg
6 eggs, beaten
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 unbaked (9 inch)pie shell
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Saute the onion in 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet until golden brown. Add the spinach and saute until wilted. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Add the milk gradually, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in the garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add to the spinach mixture and mix well. Stir in the eggs and cheese. Pour into the pie shell and bake for 40-45 minutes or until firm. Garnish with tomato slices and serve hot.
Note: You may use two 11 ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained, instead of the fresh spinach. Serves 6

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Oral Histories for

Since the Historymakers Gala and Recognition Program started in 1992, we have honored 55 notable Arizonans and recorded their stories; such names as John F. Long, Barbara Barrett, Erma Bombeck, John Rhodes and Adam Diaz.
Interviewing our Historymakers for their oral history is a daunting task yet very rewarding. As each person tells his life story, we begin to visualize their life, their childhood, their education, their career, their impression of Arizona.
This summer, members of the cookbook committee and many other Historical League members edited these oral histories so they could be put on Pictured are Zona Lorig and myself working on Barry Goldwater interviews. As a Centennial Legacy Project, the League’s website will contain all the Historymakers personal stories along with formal portraits and family photos, making this information readily available to the public.
I did not realize how extensive this project was we started it. Comparing it to a great novel, comes to mind. You don’t want to put the book down or have the story end. It will debut this fall. Visit to enjoy a good read and help celebrate Arizona’s Centennial.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cowboy Caviar at Master Gardener Graduation

Eating fresh from the garden is a priority with Master Gardeners. Bonnie Newhoff brought Cowboy Caviar to the last day of Master Gardener class. Scooping up the delicious fresh ingredients with corn chips, we all enjoyed finishing our final exam and relaxing with graduation ceremonies. Another popular food item was Sweet Potato Cream Cheese Pie using purple sweet potatoes from the garden. What a beautiful presentation. Hopefully, I can get the recipe but Lee created it as she went so not sure it will ever taste the same.
Photo of the graduates include (L to R) Eileen Hayden, Ruth McLeod, Cathie Herrick, Ron Brennan, mentor Bonnie Newhoff, Carol Vie and Serge Vie.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Grilled Potato Salad with Mandarins and Rosemary

Unique combination of vegetables, fruit and herbs make this one a great company salad. Lindy Isaksen brought it for the Historical League lunch in October. I told you we have great food as well as great speakers at our meetings. Lindy was curious how it would taste but we all agreed we liked it.

Grilled Potato Salad with Mandarin Oranges and Rosemary pg 176

8 small Yukon Gold or red potatoes
4-6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup steak grill seasoning
1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
2 (16 ounce) cans mandarin oranges, drained
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, or to taste
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Parboil the potatoes in a small amount of boiling water in a saucepan for 10 minutes and drain. Let stand until cool and cut into 1/4 inch slices.
Preheat a cast-iron grill pan until hot. An outdoor grill may be used instead. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, grill seasoning and rosemary in a large bowl; the olive oil should lightly coat the potatoes. Arrange the potatoes on the hot grill pan and cook for 3-5 minutes per side or until grill marks appear. Return the potatoes to the large bowl and cool slightly. Add the mandarin oranges, vinegar and onion and toss gently. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill, covered, in the refrigerator. If chilled, bring to room temperature before serving.
Serves 6-8

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sweet Potato Souffle Celebrates Halloween and Birthday

Halloween in our neighborhood became a potluck this year with 17 neighbors joining us on the front patio to hand out Halloween candy to the Trick or Treaters. Many neighbors came in costume or wore hats to celebrate the season. The children were so excited to dress up, loved the attention and had only one house to go to on the block to fill up their bags with candy.

Since we had just harvested sweet potatoes from the Master Gardener class, my contribution to the potluck was Individual Sweet Potato Souffle pg 172 from Tastes & Treasures. This is one of Rancho de la Osa's recipes and I can understand why they like it. It was a big hit with the Halloween crowd at the party. I made two recipes because I had purple sweet potato as well as orange ones and the colors are so vibrant. It was also a birthday celebration for my girlfriend so the Individual Sweet Potato Souffle doubled as a birthday cake with candles.

Individual Sweet Potato Souffles pg 122

4 lbs sweet potatoes
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened
3/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
6 tablespoons self-rising flour
1 (12 ounce can evaporated skim milk, or 1 1/2 cups heavy cream)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon orange extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the sweet potatoes until tender. Maintain the oven temperature. Peel the sweet potatoes. Place in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Beat in the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating constantly. Add the flour, evaporated milk, salt and flavorings and beat well. Spray eight 4 ounce individual ramekins with cooking spray. Fill halfway with the sweet potato mixture. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the souffles comes out clean. Cool in the ramekins for 10 minutes. Invert onto serving plates or serve in the ramekins. Garnish each souffle with a pecan half.

Serves 8