Thursday, April 29, 2010

Orphan Train from NYC

Norma Poling tells the story of her mother, Mabel Gumersell at the Monday, May 3 Historical League meeting. As an orphan, Mabel was sent on an Orphan Train to the Midwest by the Children's Aid Society in New York City. Her home became Bigelow, Missouri in 1901.

Norma received B.A. and M.A. degrees in Education from ASU and was inducted into the College of Education Hall of Fame in 2003. She served as President, CEO and Past President of the Orphan Train Heritage of America.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kahlua Ice Cream Pie

What could be better than this on a hot summer day? This pie is a easy and impressive. Recipe from Camelback Inn's Sunday Brunch, page 67 in Tastes & Treasures.

Kahlua Ice Cream Pie

4 ounces chocolate chips
1 1/4 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups crisp rice cereal
3/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Kahlua or coffee-flavored liquer to taste
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Chocolate candy bar
Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler over steaming water, stirring until smooth. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon vanilla. Add the cereal and almonds and stir until coated.
Press over the bottom and up the side of a 9 inch pie plate. Chill in the freezer.
Beat the ice cream in a bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment until softened. Stir in the Kahlua and spread in the chilled pie shell. Whip the whipping cream with 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and the confectioners' sugar in a bowl of a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Spread over the ice cream. Scrape a vegetable peeler over the candy bar to make chocolate curls. Sprinkle the chocolate curls over the whipped cream. Serve immediately or store in the freezer.
Note: You may substitute chocolate mint ice cream for the vanilla ice cream, or use layers of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream instead of using just vanilla ice cream.
Serves 6 - 8.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Lindy Isacksen makes SW Bacon/Cheese Strata

Southwestern Bacon and Cheese Strata page 118 Tastes & Treasures cookbook

Lindy served this to company and it was a big hit. Nice to be able to make it ahead of time so you can spend time with your guests.

10 cups cubed trimmed white bread
14 eggs, beaten
4 cups milk or half-and-half
16 slices hone or mesquite-flavored thick bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard, or 1 tablespoon Dijon mustaard
1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeno chile
2 cups (8ounces)shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Mix the bread, eggs and milk in a large bowl and let stand for 20 minutes. Add the crumbled bacon, white pepper, dry mustard, jalapeno chile, Cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese and mix well. Spoon into a 9X13-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 8 to 10 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking and place the dish on a baking sheet for ease in handling and for catching any spills.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the strata for 45 to 60 minutes or until the center is firm and the top is golden brown. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a drizzle of salsa.

Serves 8

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


In the words of Albert Einstein, ". . . the only ones of you who will be truly happy are those who have chosen to serve."

The Historical League is a group of amazing volunteers who work tirelessly all year to preserve history and support the Arizona Historical Society Museum.

According to January 2010 Phoenix Magazine's article on Valley Health Care, "Studies have shown that volunteering increases a person's self-esteem and lowers stress levels." So you get healthy by volunteering.

Hats off to a wonderful group of people "who have chosen to serve."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tequilazona at AHS Museum

NPR had a great fundraiser on Friday at the AHS Museum with a sold out crowd. Guests were treated to samplings of premium tequila from Three Amigos, Tequila Corrido, and Senor Rio. They also tasted fresh salsa and guacamole, bid on wonderful raffle items, enjoyed happy hour and dinner from Rubio's followed by dessert from Lucy's Marketplace.

Kay Holcombe and I represented the AHS Museum joining Museum Director Dr. Peter Welsh and sold Tastes & Treasures cookbook and Historical League aprons. It was a happy crowd.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Terrie Sanford

The driving force behind Tastes & Treasures A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona will be sorely missed. Terrie passed away yesterday after a long struggle with cancer. Those of us who worked with her, remember her smile, laughter and determination to get the job done. She prepared a time line for the cookbook and held us to it. Thank goodness.

Terrie was active in so many major events with the Historical League. She co-chaired the Historymakers Gala, Children's Holiday Party and was President of the League in 2002-2003.

What a wonderful, giving, caring, hardworking lady. We miss her dearly.

Shrimp Cerviche at Chelsea's Kitchen

This was delightful after an 8 mile bicycle ride with friends along the canals. A mixture of jicama, cilantro, lime, lemon, green olives and fresh salsa with the marinated shrimp was refreshing. I downed a glass of water first, then dug into this with the homemade tortilla chips. Nothing like a food destination as the motivation for a bike ride.

We finished 20 miles with another stop at Corbins in Sunnyslope for more club soda and beers.

La Posada Hotel has a Sherried Shrimp with Capers. Recipe is on page 60 of Tastes & Treasures. Great recipe to impress guests as you ignite the sherry. Keep the guests in the kitchen to watch this one.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Strawberry Yogurt Pie

Good friends, Georgia and Tom Desmarais host great dinner parties with lively conversation. She created a fabulous Orzo with Shrimp and Scallops.

They like to spend time with their guests so this make-ahead dessert was perfect.

Strawberry Yog
urt Pie
1 pint fresh strawberries
1 envelope Knox Unflavored Gelatin
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, separated
1/2 cup milk
1 cup (8 ounces) Strawberry yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 drops red food coloring (optional)
1 Graham Cracker pie crust

In blender, puree enough strawberries to equal 3/4 cup, reserve remaining strawberries for garnish.
In medium saucepan, mix unflavored gelatin with 1/4 cup sugar, blend in egg yolks beaten with milk. Let stand 1 minute. Stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved, about 5 minutes. With wire whip or rotary beater, blend in pureed strawberries, yogurt, lemon juice and food coloring. Chill, stirring occasionally, until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from spoon.
In medium bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form, gradually add remaining sugar and beat until stiff. Fold into gelatin mixture. Turn into prepared crust and chill until firm. Garnish with reserved strawberries.

Serves 8

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Elisabeth Ruffner, Guest Speaker

Elisabeth Ruffner, 2008 Historymaker, was the guest speaker at the Historical League meeting on April 5. She continues to inspire us with her efforts to preserve history and share it with others.

Elisabeth initiated the formation of Arizona Centennial committees for both Prescott and Yavapai County and serves as vice-chair of each. She gave her slide presentation entitled, "Yavapai: Mother of Counties, Cradle of Statehood". This is a State Centennial project for which she is seeking legacy and status as a Historian.
Photo shows Dinny Henze, Elisabeth and Kathleen Fischer.

Lunch is always popular prior to the meeting. Elisabeth and League members enjoyed Tomato, Mozarella and Basil Salad, Fresh Tossed Salad with Strawberries, Cabbage/Beet salad and so many more salads.

Betsy Davis made Berry Salad from Rancho de La Osa found in Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

Berry Fruit
Salad with Mint Sugar page 118

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint
6 tablespoons sugar
3 cups sliced strawberries
3 cups blackberries
3 cups blueberries

Pulse the mint and sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Sprinkle over the strawberries, blackberries and blueberries in a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 8.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Cookbook at Moon Valley Country Club Ladies Luncheon

It was a great day for golf with cool breezes and sunny skies for the Moon Valley Ladies golf tournament. Deb Hester and Jeannine Moyle set up a lovely display of cookbooks and aprons to show the golfers during their luncheon and award ceremonies at the clubhouse.

The cookbook was well received. MVCC member Susan Crotty wearing the Carmen Miranda hat said she loves to cook and looks forward to making the great recipes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jana Bommersbach at AHS Museum

Mark this date on your calender for an interesting talk about this mysterious historical event in Phoenix.
April 24, 2010, 10:00 a.m. Jana Bommersbach, Author
The Trunk Murderess: Winnie Ruth Judd
AHS Museum at Papago Park, 1300 N. College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281. Free parking at the museum.

Free Admission.

One hot Phoenix night in 1931, Winnie Ruth Judd allegedly murdered her two girlfriends, stuffed them into a trunk, and took them by train to Los Angeles. Jana Bommersbach reinvestigates the twisted, bizarre murder case, uncovers evidence long hidden, and encourages Judd to break her life-long silence.

Free copy of book given to the first 25 guests. A flyer about this event can be found at
For information, contact Megan Gately in the AHS Education Division -- Telephone: 480-929-0291 ext 137 Email:

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Seafood Tower

A trip to San Francisco calls for seafood and views of the bay. This time McCormick & Kuletos did a fantastic job with elegance and it was "Crab Month". Yummm. My choice was the Crab Tower with avocado, corn and sprouts.

The Cottage Place in Flagstaff has a different version with shrimp and scallops found on page 18 of Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

food Tower
1 cup water
¼ cup Cilantro Lime vinaigrette (page 21)
1 teaspoon salt
4 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 scallops, cleaned
¼ cup Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette (page 21)
Tomato Caper Relish (page 20)
Horseradish Cream Sauce (page 20)
Bottled cocktail sauce
Avocado fans
Cilantro Lime vinaigrette (page 21)

Bring the water, ¼ cup vinaigrette and the salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the shrimp and scallops and reduce the heat to 170 degrees. Poach the shrimp and scallops for 5 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Remove from the heat. Add ice to the mixture to stop the cooking process and let stand for 4 minutes. Drain the shrimp and scallops and place in a large bowl. Add ¼ cup vinaigrette and toss to coat. Chill in the refrigerator.

Cut each scallop into three thin circles. Place two plastic tubes 2 inches in diameter and 3 inches tall on a place. Fill each tube half full with the relish and compact with a spoon handle. Arrange three scallop slices on the relish in each tube. Slide the tip of a metal spatula under each tube and place each on a chilled serving plate. Make a pool of the horseradish cream sauce around the tube. Drag a wooden pick through cocktail sauce and make a design in the horseradish cream sauce. Arrange the poached shrimp and avocado fans in the sauce. Drizzle some of the remaining vinaigrette around the edge of each plate. Remove the plastic tube by pressing down on the scallops with a spoon handle, while lifting each tube.
Serves 2

Friday, April 2, 2010

Sears Fine Food Restaurant in San Francisco

You could dine your way through San Francisco with all that it has to offer. The historical restaurants are my first choice and Sears Fine Food Restaurant is near Union Square. Established in 1938 it offers great food and very reasonable prices with antiques everywhere. We were seated in the basement with it's tiny white and black hexagonal tile so reminiscent of the 1930's. The place was filled with antiques and wonderful old photos.

History of Sears Fine Food
from their website.
Hilbur and Ben Sears founded Sears in 1938 on the Block of Powell Street. Ben was a retired circus clown who used his wife's family recipe for Swedish Pancakes as the "star attraction" for his new venture. The word soon spread and people lined up to try these wonderful 18 little Swedish pancakes. Thus the legend began...

In the early 1950's the restaurant was sold to Mrs. Quita Brenner who kept the menu and the name. Originally it seated about 70 people and featured two pink Cadillac's that they outfitted with heaters to keep their customers warm while they waited to dine at the restaurant. In 1964 the restaurant moved to its present location at 439 Powell Street and Mrs Brenner, her son in law, Al Boyajian and later his son Lee ran the business. In December 2003 restaurant closed due in part to declining revenues after 09/11. They sought a buyer who might continue the business, loved by generations of San Franciscans and tourists from all over the world. They found that buyer in Man J. Kim, an experienced restaurateur and owner of the Lori's Diner restaurant.