Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day BBQ

Remembering those loved ones is an important part of this day. Flags are flying, speeches are being made and flowers freshen up the gravesites.

We also enjoy getting together with family and friends around a BBQ and salad. Try this fresh salad from The Cottage Place Restaurant in Flagstaff.

Exotic Greens with Strawberry Vinaigrette in Tastes & Treasures. page 21.

Strawberry Vinaigrette
8 ounces frozen strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup soybean oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

8 cups baby salad greens
1 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
6 whole strawberries, fanned
2 ounces goat cheese

For the vinaigrette, process the strawberries in a blender until pureed. Add the sugar, balsamic vinegar, rice wine vinegar, olive oil, soybean oil, salt and white pepper and process until blended.
For the salad, toss the salad greens and tomato with the vinaigrette in a salad bowl to coat. Place on six chilled salad plates. Top with the pine nuts, strawberries and goat cheese. (I made it in a big bowl instead and got rave reviews from guests.)

Serves 6

Friday, May 28, 2010

Warm Apple Crepes from Corbins

Biking to burn off the calories is our motto as we often ride to food destinations. Great incentive. Pam and Don Fischer joined us for a 22 mile ride with breakfast at First Watch. Don had wonderful berry crepes.

After breakfast we continued on along the canal paths to Corbins to share a Warm Apple Crepe. The filling is made with cottage cheese, mascarpone cheese and topped with candied walnuts, it was melt in your mouth good. Now I want to try Tastes & Treasures recipe for flavorful apple treats.

Apple Streusel Pie pg 163

Streusel Topping

½ cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup chopped pecans

Apple Pie

¼ cup chopped pecans
1 unbaked (9 inch) pie shell
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
6 cups thinly sliced tart apples
2 tablespoons butter

For the topping
, combine the brown sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon in a bowl and stir with a fork until crumbly. Stir in the pecans.

For the pie
, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Sprinkle the pecans over the bottom of the pie shell. Mix the sugar, flour,m cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl. Add the apples to the sugar mixture and toss to coat. Mound the apple mixture in the prepared pie shell and dot with the butter. Spread the topping evenly over the top of the pie and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 40 minutes longer, checking after 30 minutes and covering with foil if needed to prevent the topping from overbrowning.

Serves 6 to 8

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Betsy Davis brings Berry Fruit Salad

Berry Fruit Salad with Mint Sugar pg 118, Tastes & Treasures is a refreshing easy summer salad. One of the wonderful recipes from Rancho de La Osa, Betsy made it for a Historical League meeting. This dude ranches has a lot more to offer than just horse back riding. The food served there is very good.

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.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

AZ Highways Travel Show photos

Vacation in Arizona was the theme at the Travel Show. With so many venues represented it is easy to stay in the state for all your travel needs. We shared a booth with AHS promoting the museum in Papago Park and the cookbook. The granola sampling was very popular. I think everyone came to the event hungry. Kay North and Jackie Berkowitz worked with Dr Peter Welsh. Even some 1880's dressed shoppers visited the booth. Thanks also to Margaret Pogue, Lindy Isacksen, Pat Faur and Tobe Daum who volunteered in the booth.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Helpful hints for Luscious Lemon Loaf

Got Lemons? Many of us in Arizona do in May when the trees are loaded with fruit and they are so-o-o big. But how to still have them in August? Try juicing the lemons, pouring the concentrate into ice cube trays and freezing. Put the ice cubes in zip loc bags for future baking, cooking and sipping.

Luscious Lemon Loaf
pg 198 Tastes & Treasures cookbook
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tsp lemon extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a 5 X 8 " loaf pan with baking parchment paper. Sift the flour (who does this anymore??), baking powder, and salt together. Combine the sugar, butter and eggs in a mixing bowl. Beat using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, walnuts and flavoring.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until the loaf tests done. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: Put the loaf back in the cooled baking pan and poke holes in the top with a fork. Drizzle with a mixture of 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 tsp half and half and 1 tsp lemon juice. Then remove to a serving dish. This makes it so-o-o moist and lemony. Makes 1 loaf.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Arizona Highways Travel show at Phx Convention Center

AZ Highways Travel Show will help us tell the story of the Historical League and the museum at Papago Park. Promoting the cookbook and sampling granola . . . who can resist?

We are teaming up with staff at the AHS museum and talking to a lot of people interested in Arizona. Thanks to our great volunteers, Kay North, Jackie Berkowitz, Pat Faur, Margaret Pogue, Lindy Isacksen, Tobe Daum. Come by and visit Sat-Sun, May 22-23. 10 am - 5 pm at Phoenix Convention Center, South Building, Hall F.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Chocolate Tower from Sandra Day O'Connor luncheon

The Executive Board for 2010-2011 was welcomed at the Recognition Luncheon by past President Jeannine Moyle. President Elect is Sharron McKinney. Outgoing President Ruth Ann Hogan introduced next years President Pat Faur.

Everyone enjoyed the exceptional chocolate dessert. We did not get the recipe but look at all those layers. Yummm.

Tastes & Treasures cookbook has some wonderful chocolate indulgences.

This recipe for Chocolate Sherry Cream Bars is very similar but only 3 layers not 5 layers. I am tempted to try it and create another 2 layers. Any suggestions?

Chocolate Sherry Cream Bars page 153 Tastes & Treasures cookbook
Chocolate Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (4 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sherry Filling
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup sherry
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Chocolate Topping
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
6 tablespoons water
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

For the crust
, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Sift the flour and salt together. Combine the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until blended and stir. Cool slightly. Beat the eggs in a mixing bowl until pale yellow. Add the sugar gradually, beating constantly until blended. Stir in the vanilla. Combine the chocolate mixture, flour mixture and egg mixture in a mising bowl and beat for 1 minute. Pour into a greased and lightly floured 10 X 14 inch baking pan or 11 X 17 inch baking pan for thinner bars and bake for 25 minutes. Let stand until cool.
For the filling, beat the confectioners' sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add the cream and sherry gradually, beating constantly until light and fluffy. Stir in the walnuts. Spread the filling over the baked layer and chill in the refrigerator.
For the topping, combine the chocolate chips, water and butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until blended, stirring occasionally. Spread the topping over the chilled layers. Let stand until set and cut into bars.
Makes 3-4 dozen bars

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

More Photos of Sandra Day O'Connor Luncheon

A photo collage of Historical League events highlights the year.

The welcoming committee greet members and guests at the Recognition Luncheon at Troon Golf Club. Lots of Smiles.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Troon Luncheon photos

An amazing group of Historical League members received awards at the Recognition luncheon with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor as the guest speaker. It was a wonderful time and the smiles in these photos tell it all. Museum Director Dr Peter Welsh informed us that volunteer hours equate to $20/hour. Multiply that times 4900 volunteer hours and the Historical League has made quite a difference.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sandra Day O'Connor speaks at Troon Luncheon

A highlight of the year for Historical League members is this Spring Recognition Luncheon and to listen to Justice O'Connor was amazing. Troon Golf Club was the venue with sweeping vistas of Phoenix accompanied by delicious food. Kudos to organizers Gail Lucky and Mary Pat McNamara. Members received lovely thank you gifts from Leslie Christiansen and outgoing President Ruth Ann Hogan. Over 4,900 volunteer hours were recognized this year along with the realization that since it began the League has contributed over $1,000,590.00 to the AHS Museum.
Future plans for the Arizona Centennial "Kickoff" Gala are keeping many League members busy over the summer working on the Feb 11, 2011 event.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How hot is a hot pepper?

In 1912, Wilbur Scoville, a chemist, developed a unit to measure the head in chile peppers that is still used today, the Scoville Heat Unit. His original test was a taste test where ground chile peppers are diluted in sugar water and tasted. More sugar is added until the heat can't be tasted. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Red Savina Habanero is the hottest pepper on Earth with a rating of 570,000 SHU.

Lon's at the Hermosa Inn uses ancho chile flakes for it's fabulous Salmon. You get that great chile flavor without all the heat.

Salmon with Ancho Chile Glaze page 98 Tastes & Treasures cookbook

Tarragon Tomato Sauce
2 Roma tomatoes, cored
Olive oil
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ancho chile flakes
1/2 cup honey
4 (6-ounce) wild salmon fillets
Vegetable oil
salt and pepper to taste
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes (pg 100)
Grilled Fennel (page 100)
For the sauce, preheat the oven or grill to 325 degrees. Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and place in a baking pan or on a grill rack. Bake or grill for 30 - 45 minutes or until roasted. Remove from the oven or grill to cool. Peel the tomatoes. Cut into halves and squeeze out the seeds. Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan. Blend the tomatoes, stock and tarragon in a blender. Add 1/4 cup olive oil in a fine stream, blending constantly. Season with salt and pepper.
For the salmon, preheat the grill. Combine the lemon juice, ancho chile flakes and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Brush the salmon lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a grill rack and grill until the salmon nearly tests done. Brush with the honey glaze. Continue to grill until the glaze carmelizes and the salmon flakes easily. The glaze will darken quickly, so be careful not to overcook.
To serve, ladle the sauce in the center of four large dinner plates and top each with a salmon fillet. Place the potatoes in the position of twelve o'clock and six o'clock on each plate. Place the fennel in the position of three o'clock and nine o'clock on each plate.
Serves 4.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lemon Bread Pudding

Cooking classes can be "hands on" at Rancho de la Osa dude ranch in Sasabe. Not only did I use the huge commercial mixer but donned latex gloves for the mixing of bread cubes and egg batter. We spooned them into individual ramekins to make a tangy, sweet dessert that looked like a muffin.
It was fascinating to watch tortillas being made. Experience is key to the production of these and nothing beats them warm and fresh off the grill.

Recipe from Rancho de la Osa cookbook page 80.
Lemon Bread Pudding
1 1/2 pounds croissants or brioche torn into one inch pieces
3 cups milk
3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons lemon zest
9 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups white sugar
3 oz fresh lemon juice

Scald milk and cream with lemon zest. Meanwhile, beat together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and salt. Temper hot cream into egg mix.
Toss with diced bread. Soak until liquid has absorbed, about one hour.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Scoop mixture into a large ceramic baking dish (about 3 quart size).
Place dish into a pan filled with hot water to form a water bath.
Bake covered, 45 minutes.
Remove cover and raise heat to 350 degrees for 15 minutes to crisp the top. Cool slightly and cut bread, putting into squares. Serve hot with warm Lemon Sauce.
Note: We put them into individual ramikens.

Lemon Sauce
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons melted butter
Beat together eggs and sugar. Add lemon juice and zest, then add melted butter. Cook all together over a double boiler till thickened. If sauce gets too thick, whisk in a little water to thin it to pouring consistency.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dude Ranch Rides

Rancho De La Osa is a beautiful place providing lots of entertainment for the League members.
Kay Holcombe looks comfortable in the saddle but we teased Julie Tribbey about her "wild" horse.
The cute Pennsylvania Cowboy with the beautiful chaps almost got Delores Tomasek to join the ride but she declined.
Janie Burke prepares to mount her horse while Jeannie Fletcher is so relaxed she is taking photos.
Rancho de la Osa had a large selection of "broken in" cowboy boots if you forgot to bring your own as Kay Holcombe, Pam Ryan and Jeannie Fletcher demonstrate. The ride was over rolling hills along the Mexican border fence and electronic camera towers.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Orphan Trains 1854-1930

For over 75 years, these Orphan Trains rolled along, delivering their precious young riders to new homes. Thousands of children were transferred from the over-crowded orphanages and homes in the large cities in the northeastern United States, to live with new families on farms.
Historical League member Kathleen Fischer invited Norma Poling to share the touching story of her mother and the Orphan Train at the League meeting on May 3.

In the mid-19th century, it was estimated that approximately 30,000 abandoned children were living on the streets of New York. They were a mixture of orphans, foundlings, waifs, half-orphans, and street urchins.

Photo of Home for Destitute Children, Brooklyn, N. Y.

There were two main organizations that arranged for these children to be sent West. One was The Children's Aid Society and the other was The New York Founding Hospital. It was hoped by these organizations, that by sending these "orphans" out West to find new families they would have a better chance of leading a happy and productive life, than if left to fend for themselves on the streets of New York.

This Orphan Train movement began in 1854 and continued until 1930. It is estimated that between 150,000 and 200,000 children were relocated to new homes via the Orphan Trains.

More info at