Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Historymakers Biographies in Gala book

With Zona Lorig organizing the Historymakers Gala book filled with biographies and interesting photos of our Historymakers, the meetings are fun and interactive. So much discussion on Arizona history goes into the AZ Historymakers Timeline, I love listening and contributing. Historians Reba Wells Grandrud, Zona and Norma Jean Coulter have facts and figures in their heads. Norma Jean baked a "Killer Coffeecake" and along with the extra cup of coffee, we were fired up to write the book. Looking forward to the next meeting and watching this book become a reality.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grilled Vegetables

Lons at Hermosa Inn has a simple recipe for Grilled Fennel. We like lots of veggies so added some of the bounty from the garden like these tomatoes, zucchini, pear tomatoes, basil and parsley. Another nice touch in the grill basket is mushrooms, onion slices, red and yellow peppers.

Grilled Fennel from Lon's at Hermosa Inn page 100 Tastes & Treasures
2 fennel bulbs, cut in halves
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the grill. Toss the fennel with the olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and place on a grill rack. Grill until tender.
Serves 4

Note: You may also place on a rack in a broiler pan and broil until tender, or use a grill basket on the BBQ.
We like a little more spices so added McCormick Monterey Steak pepper and balsamic vinegarette to the olive oil and marinated it for 3 hours.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Easy Ice Cream Dessert

My friend, Carol, is very creative in the kitchen but this recipe was so-o-o simple. Especially great for hot summers in Phoenix. We won't count the calories, just enjoy the treat.

Scoop vanilla ice cream into parfait glasses. Drizzle Bailey's Irish Cream over and top with fresh fruit.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

German Chocolate

Did you know that German chocolate cake has NOTHING to do with the country of Germany? The dessert gets its name from Sam German, the man who created a mild baking chocolate for Baker's Chocolate Company in 1852. The chocolate was named after him, but an entire century passed before the cake recipe we know became popular.

Try this recipe using Sam's chocolate from Baker's Chocolate Company.

Espresso Brownies page 163 Tastes & Treasures
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until blended, stirring occasionally. Add the espresso powder and stir until dissolved.
Combine the chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs, vanilla and salt in a mixing bowl and beat vigorously until blended. Add the flour and beat just until combined. Stir in the walnuts. Spread the batter in a buttered and floured 8 X 8 inch baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the edges pull from the sides of the pan. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Cut into squares and cool completely on the wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 16 brownies

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Oatmeal Yogurt Fruit Breakfast Creation

Happy Fathers Day to all those Dads out there. Hope you had a good healthy breakfast like the one we had at Adobe Restaurant at the AZ Biltmore Hotel.

Summer breakfast couldn't get better than this with cool oatmeal, cream, yogurt, walnuts and fresh fruit. We biked at 6:30 am to the Biltmore along the canals with soft breezes and temperature in the 80s. Didn't want heavy food so this was just right.

I love the Yogurt Parfait recipe from Hassayampa Inn in Prescott. The Adobe adds cooked and cooled oatmeal. Nice touch. I ordered the cup and it was a lot. The bowl is even bigger- enough to share.

Yogurt Parfaits pg 52 Tastes & Treasures
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 cups granola
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. A recipe for outstanding granola is on page 196 in Tastes & Treasures.
Serves 6

Friday, June 18, 2010

Who invented chocolate chip cookies?

The Chocolate Chip cookie is America's most famous cookie. It was invented in 1930 by Ruth Wakefield, who was the owner of the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts. The story goes that one day she decided to add small chunks of a Nestle's Semisweet Yellow Label Chocolate bar to her butter cookie dough. The chocolate chip cookies were an instant hit with her customers and word of their popularity reached the Nestle company. Nestle must have realized that adding small chunks of their chocolate bar to cookie dough would appeal to the mass market because by 1939 Nestle had already developed and was selling small chocolate morsels (or chips) in a yellow bag. Nestle went on to buy the rights to the Toll House name and Ruth Wakefield's chocolate chip cookie recipe. They called her recipe "The Famous Toll House Cookie" and printed it on the back of the Yellow bag of chocolate chips.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sea Bass Tower

Chilean Sea Bass at Coup des Tartes on 16 Street in Phoenix is served with a lovely presentation. Seafood towers are very popular. This one had baked sea bass over spinach and Israel couscous with toppings of golden raisins, blood orange, kalamata olives, tomato, red pepper, red onion and chives. I am drooling looking at it and ready to dig in.

Still love The Cottage Place Restaurant recipe for Seafood Tower in Tastes & Treasures page 18. It's great to be creative in the kitchen.

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

Monday, June 14, 2010

Barrio Cafe has modern Mexican cuisine

Tucked away in a quiet neighborhood, Barrio Cafe has become a destination for unique Mexican cuisine. The chef calls on her Mexican heritage to prepare flavorful food. Zona Lorig and I worked on the Historymakers Gala Commemorative book in the morning and treated ourselves for lunch. Growing up near Tombstone, Zona remembered Pozole soup with broth, green onion, bay leaf, garlic, cumin, tender pork, and hominy topped with crunchy cabbage, radish slices and cilantro. Barrio Cafe serves it with fresh lime wedges.
I enjoyed the fresh mango, avocado, red pepper, tomato and shrimp salad topped with thinly sliced red onion, a delicate sauce and sesame seeds.

We checked out the new "Grafitti" art wall as Zona attempted to hitchhike with the red car. A work in progress, it is a colorful treatment to the parking area.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fruited Crepes and French Toast

After a 25 mile bike trip with neighbors, Chris and Renee, we deserved some nourishment so we stopped at First Watch in north Phoenix.

Fruit (banana, honeydew, strawberries, cantalope) filled crepes with strawberry yogurt and granola at First Watch in north Phoenix is worth the indulgence. I substituted whole wheat toast for the homemade muffin so I wouldn't feel so guilty.

Chris' order for French Toast was beautifully presented. Love the kiwi on top for color.

Camelback Inn has a wonderful recipe page 66 of Tastes & Treasures.

Crunchy French Toast with Maple Syrup

1/2 vanilla bean, or 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 (1-inch) slices white bread
2 to 3 cups cornflakes, crushed
6 tablespoons butter
Confectioners' suar
6 ounces (or more) maple syrup
Split the vanilla bean into halves and scrape the seeds into a medium bowl. Whisk in the eggs, milk and cinnamon. Add the bread and let soak for 1 minute per side. Press each piece of soaked bread into the cornflakes to coat. You make make ahead 1 day in advance up to this point. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.
Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat until the foam subsides. Add the coated bread and cook on each side until brown. Cut each piece into halves and arrange on serving plates. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar and drizzle with the maple syrup. Serve immediately.
Serves 6
Note: Remember to top with fresh seasonal fruit for added impact.

Friday, June 11, 2010

League 2010-11 Grants to AHS

At our meeting on June 7th , the League hosted an appreciation luncheon for the AHS staff. $24,929 in grants for 2010-2011 were awarded. Director Dr. Peter Welsh and President Ruth Ann Hogan pictured.

Administration $6,950
  • Advertising for the Museum & Events $1,525
  • Copier Maintenance $950
  • Hospitality $500
  • New Brochure & Gallery Guide $3,500
  • Volunteer Recognition $500
Collections & Library/Archives $6,200
  • Collections $2,500
  • Library & Archives $3,700
Education $3,500
  • Intern $3,000
  • National History Day $500
Exhibitions & Graphics $2,500
  • Exhibit Preparation $1,500
  • Graphics $1,000

PEO chapter honors Elisabeth Ruffner

Jeannine Moyle writes, "Here is a picture of Historical League gals who gathered at a P.E.O. state convention in May at the Mesa Hilton. Elisabeth Ruffner was honored for 60 years of service in a P.E.O chapter. It was fun to have so many League gals present to honor one of our Historymakers. This is yet another honor bestowed on her. P.E.O. is Philanthropic Educational Organization dedicated to promoting the advancement of education for women."

Pictured from left to right: Jeannine Moyle, Zona Lorig, Margaret Pogue, Lindy Isacksen, Linda Fritsch, Kathleen Fischer, Linda Cathey and Elisabeth Ruffner (seated)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Herb Roasted Vegetables from Deb Hester

Deb Hester emailed her latest cooking adventures with Tastes & Treasures.

"This is me before popping the Herb-Roasted Vegetables and
Roasted Red Potatoes into the oven---together in one roasting pan! It
was super easy and wonderful for our dinner guests. Tasted great!!
Of course these were recipes from our Tastes and Treasures cookbook!"

page 24 A recipe from historic The Cottage Place Restaurant in Flagstaff.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bacon Wrapped Trout in Old Sacramento

Visiting our daughter, Candice, in Sacramento means bike rides around the city with dinner destinations along the river. Rio City Restaurant fit the bill on our last trip. We had a table outside enjoying the boating and activities along the waterfront. The Spinach Artichoke dip was sinful but delicious with fresh tortilla chips. I personally like the Smoked Salmon Pate pg 166 Tastes & Treasures.

Did not really enjoy the trout staring at me but it was tasty and flavorful, and I ate it all. The grilled asparagus had just the right amount of crunch and spices. Nothing like dining al fresco.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tomatoes from the Garden

Nothing beats homegrown for flavor and I know how it was fertilized so we are eating pesticide free. We really enjoy the tomatoes and also basil and parsley from the garden. Unfortunately, I have to buy the cheese but the vinaigrette is homemade.

Historic Camelback Inn gave us Marinated Heirloom Tomatoes in White Balsamic Vinaigrette found on page 67 Tastes & Treasures

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
5 heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges

Mix the vinegar and brown sugar in a bowl. let stand until the brown sugar is completely dissolved. Whisk in the olive oil, garlic, shallots and basil. Season with Kosher salt and papper. Add the tomato wedges and toss gently to coat. Chill for 4 hours before serving. Serve using a slotted spoon.
Serves 6.
Note: We made it a hearty salad with sliced cheese. Since we are black olive fans we like to sprinkle a few slices on top.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Margarita Pie- Frozen and Refreshing

Frozen pies are so good in the summertime. This one you can make ahead of time and freeze for several days. It is easy and s-o-o pretty and colorful. I purposely did not mix the green food coloring uniformly so it had a slight swirl of color. Topped it with a lime slice instead of more whipping cream. Thanks to Rancho de La Osa for this wonderful recipe.

MARGARITA PIE pg 124 Tastes & Treasures

Pretzel Crust
1 1/2 cups finely crushed pretzels
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1(14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons gold tequila
2 tablespoons Triple Sec
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
Green food coloring (optional)

For the crust, pulse the pretzels and sugar in a food processor several times to combine. Add the butter in a steady stream and process until well mixed. Press over the bottom and up the side of a 9 inch pie plate sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

For the pie, combine the lime juice, condensed milk, tequila and Triple Sec in a bowl and mix well. Fold in the whipped cream. Tint with green food coloring, if you desire a deeper color.
Spoon into the crust. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 4 hours or up to 1 week. Garnish with additional whipped cream and lime slices.
Note: Do not use fat-free or low-fat pretzels in the crust or the crust will not hold together when cutting. You may substitute graham crackers for the pretzels.

Serves 6 to 8

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cowboy Caviar for Memorial Day BBQ

Always a winner for a BBQ and the boys from Calgary, "Lumpy", "Custom", "Moose" and Joey, joined us after golf.

This time I eliminated the dressing because the avocado was already mashed into a spicy guacamole. It became a more robust dip, easier to keep on the tortilla chip. Below is the original recipe.

COWBOY CAVIAR page 180 Tastes & Treasures
1 15oz can corn, drained, or 1 ½ cups frozen corn, defrosted
1 14oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
2/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2/3 cup green onion, chopped
2 large avocados, chopped
1 14oz can diced tomatoes, drained
Tortilla chips

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 t salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp chipotle chili powder, or to taste

In a colander, drain and rinse the corn and beans. In a separate colander, drain the tomatoes.

Chop the cilantro and the green onions. Peel and chop the avocado.

Make the dressing: mince the garlic. In a small bowl, pour the olive oil and red wine vinegar- whisk to combine.

Add to the dressing the minced garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander and chipotle chili powder. Whisk to combine.

Into a large bowl combine the corn, beans, cilantro, green onions, avocados and tomato. Gently toss with a large spatula.

Pour the dressing over the caviar mixture and gently toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover and chill until serving time. Can be made several hours in advance. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips.

Makes 6-8 cups

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

German Sweet Chocolate Cake

If you are a chocolate lover, this is one of the best desserts. My neighbor is known for her baking and she shared this recipe.

German Sweet Chocolate Pudding Cake

1 package (2 layer size) yellow cake mix –Duncan Hines
1 package (4 serving size) Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding
4 ounce Baker’s German Sweet Chocolate, melted
4 eggs
1 ¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup vegetable oil
Combine all ingredients in large mixer bowl. Blend. Beat 4 minutes at medium speed. Pour into 3 greased and floured 9 inch layer pans – cut out wax paper to fit pan and grease and flour paper in pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Remove and finish cooling on racks. Fill with coconut filling on top of each layer. Do not ice sides of cake just on top of each layer.
Coconut Filling:
Combine 1 cup evaporated milk, 1 cup sugar, 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten, ½ cup butter or margarine and 1 teaspoon vanilla in saucepan. Cook and stir constantly over medium heat until thickened, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat/ and add 1 1/3 cup bakers angel flake coconut and 1 cup chopped pecans. Cool, beating occasionally, until of spreading consistence. Makes 2 ½ cups.

: Everyone loves the coconut filling so she usually doubles the recipe for this cake to make it extra yummy.