Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mines and Mineral Museum announcement

From Historical League President Ruth Ann Hogan
"The Governor announced (Friday Feb 12) that the Arizona Historical Society will be managing a new Arizona Centennial Museum which will be created at the Mines and Mineral Resources Museum building. The Museum will focus on the five C's of Arizona: cattle, cotton, copper (mining), citrus and climate (tourism) and those groups will raise the money. A consulting firm specializing in museums has been retained and has done the initial drawings and planning pro bono. This museum will have an exciting and dynamic presentation of Arizona's history with frequently changing exhibits and many hands on exhibits to interest all ages.
I have not seen any newspaper accounts of this announcement but I do hear that the word is out there. The Capital Times reporter was there so perhaps someone can send us that announcement. I suggest that you look on the web at this site: 021210 CentennialMuseum.pdf
There are many decisions to be made and the Five C's Group have to collaborate before they can proceed and begin to raise money. The Governor predicts that this Museum will be completed in the year 2012.
The League is perhaps the strongest group in the AHS and I know that we will continue to support the Museum in Papago Park and will come through all of this with shining colors. We are a hard working and flexible group of enthusiastic history promoters and will forge ahead with whatever hurdles we are presented with. Another adventure for us!
Stay tuned for the next chapter!"

Friday, February 26, 2010

March guest speaker

We look forward to a visit by Paul Messinger to the Historical League Monday, March 1. He will talk about the resting places of some of the Valley area pioneers and notable citizens.

Paul was reared on a local dairy farm, in what is now downtown Scottsdale. He is a former Scottsdale city councilman and State Legislator and is a honored oral Historian. Paul is the founder of Messinger Mortuaries.

Love these great photos I found on the internet. Paul is a great supporter of history.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nacho Salad

There are many variations of Cowboy Caviar but this one is very different. League President Ruth Ann Hogan named it "Nacho Salad". We worked up an appetite after inventorying 3,000 cookbooks at the Museum so this was a welcome lunch.

It was created by combining three recipes - Black Bean and White Corn Salad page 183, and Cowboy Caviar page 180, and my friend, Gina Day's recipe. Kathleen Fischer told me to make it the day before so the spices marinate. Served with tortilla chips it is perfect for a Super Bowl party or any gathering.

1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

1-2 bunch(s) cilantro, trimmed
3 (14 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (16 ounce) package frozen white corn
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1 (4 ounce) can diced chiles
12 black olives chopped
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
8 ounces (1/3 less fat) Neufchatel cream cheese
1/3 cup fat free Half & Half
2 ripe avocados mashed
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 hard boiled egg

Vinaigrette: Combine vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, sugar, salt, pepper, chiles in a jar. Shake well.

Salad: Combine beans, corn, onions and black olives in a salad bowl. Pour vinaigrette over and refrigerate for 2-12 hours.

When ready to serve, blend Neufchatel cheese, Half & Half and mashed avocados together. Spread cheese/avocado mixture onto large platter with sides. Drain salad mixture well, then layer over cheese/avocado mixture.

Top with circle of shredded cheddar cheese, circle of chopped cilantro and fill center with chopped hard boiled egg.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Children's Holiday Party Wrap Up meeting

What a fantastic group of women that organize this December event. We always meet after and discuss new ideas, ways to improve and just have fun. Despite the downturn in the economy, the event made approximately $5,000 profit for the AHS Museum bringing joy and laughter to 250 children, parents, grandparents and friends.

Pam den Draak served us a lovely Strawberry Spinach Salad with slivered almonds while co-chair Carolyn Wood was busy baking quiche. Tobe Daum and Betsy Davis helped serve the luncheon. The venue was the L Ron Hubbard home in Paradise Valley with beautiful views of the west face of Camelback Mountain beyond the pool. A version of this spinach salad is in Tastes & Treasures (page 151) with carmelized pecans and poppy seeds.

Children's Holiday Party volunteers - You Rock!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Schnepf Farm has lots of history

What a treat to stop at Schnepf Farm in Queen Creek with members of the Historical League. Owners Carrie and Mark Schnepf were delightful. Carrie is a fifth generation Arizonan from the Bigg family in Mesa. She has wonderful stories about growing up in the valley and we hope to have her become more involved with the Historical League. Turns out they sold 5 acres to the Olive Mill which the League toured also. Zona Lorig and Carrie posed with Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

Schnepf Farm is an agri-tourism destination with tours on hay rides or mini train through the peach orchards. Blossom time is beautiful. Harvest time is even more fun as you can pick those fresh peaches right from the tree. It is a very family friendly place with Princess Buttercup, the golden laborador, greeting you at the door.

Carrie makes the BEST "melt in your mouth" peach cinnamon rolls ever. Made from scratch, she kneads the dough by hand. This hard work may explain the reason she is in such great shape. She also makes fresh pies, cookies and muffins. Mark Schnepf has a large tray of fresh pies for their country store. League member Kay Holcombe with friends Barb Kurth and Shellie Rudow are eager to share a family size peach cinnamon roll.

A great supporter of history, Carrie was thrilled to see our cookbook and is now selling them in her Country Store. We look forward to May 8-9 at Schnepf Farms when they host the Peach Festival.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Getting Healthy at Olive Mill

Olives are good for you. We learned a lot about the health benefits of EVOO, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, on our tour in Queen Creek of the Olive Mill.

Five years ago, Schnepf Farms sold a part of their land to the Olive Mill and owner Perry has made it a destination. The tours are short but very informative. Mary Parker stands next to the Olive Press. At the bottom of the photo is the red valve where the oil drips. To ensure the freshest oil, the olives are pressed within 24 hours of harvesting. This press works for 16-hour shifts during that time. One thousand pound flats of olives go through in a season.

The Olive Mill in Queen Creek has made history by being the first in Arizona to make Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We brought the cookbook to show them. They were impressed and bought a case for their gift shop.

The grounds are lovely for picnics. Forty League members attended the tour and enjoyed the lunch. Jeannie Fletcher and Pam Ryan also announced our overnight tour will be an exclusive visit to Rancho de La Osa in Sasabe. That is a great destination since it started with Father Kino in the late 1600s and has a chapter in Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cookbook Review on

Nice to know that Tastes & Treasures A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona is traveling around the globe. Here is a review posted on

"I've just returned from vacation in Arizona. I sampled a "taste" of this cookbook while visiting Karchner Caverns Gift Shop, and knew I had to have my own copy. Inside there are interesting stories about the various historic hotels and restaurants that feature recipe selections from their menu. There are also recipes from folks who have lived in Arizona, including Barry Goldwater, that met with rave reviews from patrons or family members. I tried a salmon recipe that was excellent, and plan on trying a good many more. The stories attached to each recipe(s) are also gems in their own right."

By Raphaela M. Consigli April 2009

Monday, February 15, 2010

Arrival of 3000 cookbooks

Friday was a big day with the delivery of 3,000 cookbooks from the FRP warehouse in Tennessee. Thanks to the wonderful volunteers on the cookbook committee, we inventoried, labeled boxes, checked for defects and stored all these books at the Museum. We are so grateful for the very industrious "worker bees". Pictured are Ruth McLeod, Jeannine Moyle, Ruth Ann Hogan, Carolyn Mendoza, Sharron McKinney and Linda Corderman.
Thank goodness Linda's daughter preprinted labels for all the boxes. Carolyn and Linda recorded each box into the filing system.

Next step - Sell books.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Betsy Davis Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars

Can't you just smell that wonderful aroma of lemon bars baking in the oven?

Betsy Davis is great about contributing food to the Historical League functions. This was her recipe from the February meeting. It was finger licking good. Sweet and Tart.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 sticks butter

2 cups sugar
1 Tbs flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs well beaten
1 heaping Tbs grated lemon rind
1/4 cup lemon juice

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix flour and powdered sugar together. Cut in butter until well blended. Press mixture over bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan. Bake about 25 minutes until lightly browned.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the remaining ingredients and spread on top of the baked crust. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Betsy’s Note: if they come out too runny, I haven't baked them long enough or didn't have the oven all the way preheated when I started the baking. If I make sure the oven is at 350 and bake them for 30 minutes, they come out fine.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jeannie Fletchers Fancy Brownies

Jeannie brought these decadent chocolate treats to the Historical League meeting. The presentation was so attractive and they were delicious. I will definitely make these for a special occasion.

FANCY BROWNIES or Double Frosted Brownies

1 tsp. VANILLA
1/2 tsp. SALT
1 C. chopped PECANS or WALNUTS
2 T. melted BUTTER

Melt the unsweetened chocolate with the butter in a large bowl in the microwave or in a double boiler on the stove-top. Beat in the sugar. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the flour, vanilla, salt and nuts. Mix well. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool completely. Combine the confectioners sugar with 2 T. melted butter adding enough cream or milk to make a spreading consistency. Spread on the cooled brownies and let set. Melt the semisweet chocolate with 2T. butter and spread on top, carefully spreading a thin layer with the back of a spoon until completely covered. Refrigerate or freeze. Cut into bars with a serrated knife and serve at room temperature.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Kathleen Fischer's Black Bean & White Corn Salad

This was a big hit at the Historical League meeting in February and I have found lots of variations of it. Kathleen made it easy and pretty.

Southwestern Black Bean Salad

2 cans black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup frozen white corn, thawed
1 diced red pepper
5 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients and refrigerate. Best if made the day before.
8-10 servings as a side dish

For another variation try Tastes and Treasures Black Bean and White Corn Salad with Ancho Cilantro Vinaigrette page 183

Monday, February 8, 2010

Golf and Meatballs

Reunions are fun and this group of graduates from Michigan Technological University get together once a year in Palm Springs to celebrate over golf and food (and a few beers). The Sweet and Sour Meatballs from Tastes and Treasures was an easy dish to send with the crockpot doing the cooking while they were on the links. Rumor has it the bowl was empty with the sauerkraut being a favorite. Gotta love those Canadians. 
 Ingredients: 2 cups undrained sauerkraut 1 16oz can whole cranberry sauce 1¼ cups chili sauce 1¼ cups water 1 cup packed brown sugar 3 pounds frozen cooked meatballs 
 Method: 1. Combine sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, chili sauce water and brown sugar in a slow cooker and mix well. 2. Add the meatballs and cook on low for 2-3 hours or longer. (I think they cooked for 6 hours)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cobe Frobes guest speaker at meeting

Meeting the author after reading a good book is always a treat and Cobe Frobes was a wealth of knowledge when she spoke at the Historical League February meeting. She entertained us with fascinating stories of old Arizona she learned while researching her book "Streets of Forest Highlands" in Flagstaff.

Bessie Kidd Best is a favorite. Born in Flagstaff, she went to the Normal School (now NAU) to become a teacher. She was hired in Williams, AZ, fell in love, married and was soon fired because "married women don't need jobs". She went on to serve 40 years on the Board of Education being instrumental in the growth of AZ school systems.

Cobe has been a fan of Tastes and Treasures cookbook since the beginning. Thanks to her, we corrected the misprint in reference to Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, the architect of El Tovar Hotel.

Cobe and Bruce, her husband, travel a lot doing geneology research. Recently they were in the Woolworth library in Connecticut working with the librarian. Tobe promptly sold her a copy of Tastes and Treasures cookbook. Sharing the history of Arizona is one of her passions and we are grateful to have such a lovely promoter.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Herbed Chicken Tortellini Salad

This is the recipe for the tortellini salad that I brought on Monday. Pretty easy! I doubled it, bought the tortellini at Safeway, it came in a 20 oz package, but they have it in the smaller size as well. The only changes that I made were I made it the night before and didn’t want the spinach to get soggy so I poured half of the dressing over the tortellini, veggies and diced cheese and let them marinate overnight and tossed the spinach and parmesan in just before serving with some of the remaining dressing. One cup seems like a lot of dressing for the regular size salad. I don’t think I used that much for the doubled recipe. Whatever I’m sure you can tell. The dressing I used was a Caesar from AJ’s, Silver Palate “Julees”, and another Caesar from Trader Joe’s in the refrigerated section mixed together. Either would be OK but the one from Trader Joe’s has a little more body and I liked them together. Also because I was already at AJ’s I bought the good grated parmesan reggiano instead of the cheaper one I use from Safeway. It is really good and I think it affects the flavor.

Bon Appetit!

Fresh spinach and tortellini combine for a salad to remember. Serve with breadsticks and glasses of ice cold tea with a splash of lemonade

Herb Chicken Tortellini Salad
1 (9-ounce) package BUITONI® Herb Chicken Tortellini, prepared according to pkg. directions, chilled
1 (10-ounce) package ready-to-use spinach, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup diced mozzarella cheese, (4 ounces)
1 (6-ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
1 cup sliced ripe olives, drained
1/3 cup roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
1 cup Caesar salad dressing
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Combine pasta, spinach, mozzarella cheese, artichokes, olives and roasted peppers in medium bowl. Add dressing; toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Makes 6 servings.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Can't get enough of these delightful hors d'oeuvres with their unique flavor. The new "mini" crockpot came in handy to keep them warm during the White Elephant gift exchange. Lots of laughs and good food to munch on. Austin models the most popular White Elephant gift. It was traded many times. 
Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Sauce page 165 
2 cups undrained sauerkraut 1 (16 ounce) can whole cranberry sauce (2 cups) 1 1/4 cups chili sauce 1 1/4 cups water 1 cup packed brown sugar 3 pounds frozen cooked meatballs (do not thaw) 
Combine the sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, chili sauce, water and brown sugar in a slow cooker and mix well. Add the frozen meatballs and cook on Low for 2 to 3 hours or longer. 
You may bake in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish, 350 degrees for 40 minutes. 
Serves 8