Sunday, October 31, 2010

Helpful Hints from Leslie

Love these helpful hints on baking from Leslie Christiansen . . .

Egg whites beat up better if they are warmed a little before being whipped. After separating the eggs, place the egg whites in a heat-proof bowl.
I use my mixing bowl, since it's made of metal.
Place a small amount of water in a saucepan and heat it to a simmer- not boiling. (Your mixing bowl can not touch the simmering water, or it will cook the egg whites.)
Place your mixing bowl over the simmering water and use a wire whisk to whip the egg whites until they are the temperature of bath water. It only takes about 45 seconds.
You can use a clean finger to test the temperature of the egg whites.
Now make the meringues (or what ever else you are baking) with your warm egg whites- they will whip up beautifully.

And a tip on baking with whole eggs:
Along the same line, whole eggs are better in baking if not super cold from the refrigerator, too.
This is easier to achieve: Simply place the eggs, still in their shells, in a bowl and cover them with bathwater-warm water. After about 5 minutes, they are ready removed from the water and used in baking.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Minty Chocolate Chip Meringues

Minty CHOCOLATE CHIP MERINGUES from Leslie Christiansen

3 egg whites
Pinch salt
1 cup sugar
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
½ t vanilla or 1/8 t pure mint extract or PURE MINT
3-6 oz mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 275 F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
2. Heat a small amount of water in a sauce pan to a simmer.
3. Place egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of your electric mixer. Whisking constantly, warm egg whites over the simmering water until luke-warm.
4. Place the warm eggs whites and the bowl back in the electric mixer stand, add the salt and whip on high speed until frothy, about 1 minute.
5. With the mixer on high, add half the sugar all at once, and beat for 2 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, beating until the egg whites are stiff and glossy, about 5 minutes total.
6. Lower the mixer speed and add the cocoa powder (if using) and vanilla.
7. Fold in the chocolate chips.
8. Use a teaspoon to drop a cookie kiss on the prepared sheet pans.
9. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 275 F. The outside will be crisp and the inside will be a little soft.
10. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the parchment paper.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.

*For variety I do not use the cocoa powder and I use the mint extract instead of vanilla.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sweet Potato Corn Chowder

Harvest time with an abundance of sweet potatoes and corn means corn chowder. Candice McLeod made the chowder with her friend Edie. Adding crisp crumbled bacon made it a meal accompanied with tossed salad. Candice "sweated out the red peppers" to enhance their flavor. Recipe and details in Tastes & Treasures on page 96.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Permanent wave machine at AHS Museum

Billie Jones Kanan's tale of her 1928 visit to a midwest beauty shop for a 'perm' was disastrous enough for her to later recount it in detail: (Courtesy of Wisconsin Historical Society) .

It took all day, and cost $1 each….First our hair was washed and cut, then we waited and waited. There were women everywhere in different stages of getting beautified. Everyone was waiting….My hair wound up on spiral rods so tight that I thought I would never blink again [and] after the machine that looked like a milking machine was attached to the rods, I couldn't move. [Then] it began to steam and tears rolled down my checks. …[finally] someone got a blower and cooled my head here and there, but my scalp was scalded.

The new Open Storage Exhibit at AHS Museum at Papago Park shows a "Hodge Podge" including a Permanent Wave Machine, a Goat Treadmill, Barry Goldwater's Ham Radio and a large stove for a school to teach the domestic chore of Ironing.

Members and guests viewed the new Open Storage Exhibit during the Membership Open House Thursday, October 21. Guest speaker Wanda Carlack was a wealth of information about early Historical League functions.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Portabella Mushroom Appetizer

Appetizers can be very filling. We shared this one with 4 people. The large portabella mushroom was scooped out and filled with roasted red bell pepper, chopped mushroom stem, parmesean cheese, chopped green onion, and spices to taste. Topped with a wine reduction sauce and baked for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with alfalfa sprouts as garnish.

Tastes & Treasures cookbook has a yummy mushroom appetizer using regular size mushrooms on page 27. I like to change it up using the large portabella mushrooms. Add the roasted red bell pepper (even cooked sausage) and it becomes a meal.


2 lbs large mushrooms
2 T butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
½ t dried dill weed
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
2 T breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
2 T breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel.

3. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and dice.

4. In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Sauté the chopped mushroom stems and the minced garlic for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool.

5. Add the cream cheese and mix thoroughly. Add the dill weed, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6. Spoon into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe into the mushroom caps.

7. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 T Parmesan cheese and 2 T breadcrumbs.

8. Bake for 10 minutes or until nicely browned.

Note: You may prepare the mushrooms a day ahead and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake.

Serves 8-10

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Great Pumpkin Cookies

It is October and time for pumpkin cookies. Great Pumpkin Cookies, page 162 Tastes & Treasures, is an old family recipe from League member Kay Holcombe. Pam Stevenson baked these delicious treats for the October Meeting at the AZ Historical Society Museum. Topping with a decorative icing gives them an added sweetness.


8 oz (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, gently packed
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup solid-pack pumpkin
2 cups semi-sweet or white chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper. (The paper can be reused- just place the cookies in a different spot or turn the paper over)
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer place the butter & beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Turn off the mixer, scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the sugars. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Meanwhile place the flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium sized bowl. Gently stir with a whisk to combine.
4. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl. Turn the mixer on low speed; add the eggs and vanilla, beating until incorporated.
5. Add the flour in thirds, alternating with the pumpkin. (flour-pumpkin-flour-pumpkin-flour) After you have added the last of the flour, mix until just combined; do not over mix. Turn off the mixer and scrape the bowl.
6. Place a small (walnut) sized scoop of dough 1-2 inches apart on the prepared pans. You can also scoop the cookie dough with a tablespoon and place it on the sheet pans.
7. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, or until light brown.
8. Remove cookies from the oven, allowing them to cool on the sheet pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

* ½ t nutmeg (fresh ground, if possible) gives an added taste.
* You can add semi-sweet chocolate chips, raisins or nuts for variety.
* Makes about 6 dozen bite sized cookies.
* Store cookies in an airtight container.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Childrens Holiday Party at Desert Ridge Marriot

Raffle prizes, silent auction, entertainment, delicious lunch, boutique shopping, clowns, Mr and Mrs Santa . . . what could be more fun than a day filled with this? The Children’s Holiday Party is an opportunity to create wonderful memories for families at the winter holiday time, while providing the Arizona Historical Society Museum with funding for programs for the children of Arizona.

The party will be held on Saturday, Dec 4, 2010 at JW Marriot Desert Ridge Resort and Spa’s Grand Ballroom.
Please contact Jeannine Moyle for more information. 480-585-4872.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spicey Sweet Applesauce

Apple Mash
Fall and the scent of apples are in the air. Time to make a delicious low calorie, low fat version of applesauce. Try this spicey hot version from Better yet, combine this recipe with Garland's Apple Tart, page 48 Tastes & Treasures cookbook, for a unique taste treat.


8 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks 
3 tbsp.
Red Hots cinnamon-flavored candies 

1 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Brummel & Brown), room temperature 

1/2 tbsp. lemon juice 

1 tsp. vanilla extract 

1 tsp. cinnamon 

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. salt


Place apples and Red Hots in a crock pot.
In a small bowl, combine all other ingredients. Add 2 tbsp. water and mix well. Pour mixture over the contents of the crock pot, and stir to coat.
Cover and cook on high for about 4 hours or on low for 7 - 8 hours, until apples have softened and candy has dissolved.
Stir well and serve.

PER SERVING (heaping 1/2 cup): 121 calories, 1g fat, 63mg sodium, 30g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 23.5g sugars, 0.5g protein -- POINTS® value 2*
So hot yet soooo coool... This stuff is fantastic as a side dish, snack, or tasty dessert.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ben F. Williams, Jr. Storyteller

"Storyteller Extraordinaire" is a good title for author Ben F. Williams, Jr. He thoroughly entertained us at the October Historical League meeting discussing his book, Tales of My Southwest. It is filled with remembrances of his life growing up in Douglas, AZ.
Ben's family came to listen to his talk including wife, daughters, sons in law and granddaughter to make it a family reunion at the Museum.
Bonnie Newhoff presented him with a copy of Tastes & Treasures after his talk. Bonnie, Ben and Linda Wegener pose for photos prior to Ben signing his books for League members.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Family day at AZ Mining Museum

Explore the world of mining and minerals on
October 16
Annual Family Day
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

Arizona Centennial / Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum
1502 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007 Phone: 602-771-1611.
Free parking at the museum.

The Arizona Centennial / Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum recently became part of the Arizona Historical Society. Currently, this museum commemorates the mining industry that helped build Arizona. (Arizona is the Nation's number one mining state with the largest value of non-fuel mineral production in the country.)

Family Day is an annual museum event and includes: Gold Panning – Keep what you find; Metal Detecting; Kid’s Activities (making bracelets, pet rocks, rock collections, games); Demonstrations (Lapidary (polishing stones), Faceting (cutting gemstones), Wire Wrapping (making pendants for necklaces), Stamp Mill crushing gold ore, Mucker scooping and hauling ore).
Free admission to the public. (Minimal cost for some activities, such as gold panning.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Harvest Time Means Pumpkin Cheesecake

Fall comes and we think PUMPKINS. This Vanilla Cream Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe is from, a website filled with recipes and ideas to create delicious foods without all the fat and calories.

If you are really into pumpkins, try Great Pumpkin Cookies found on pg. 162 Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

For Crust
2 cups Fiber One bran cereal (original), ground to a breadcrumb-like consistency in a blender or food processor
1/4 cup light whipped butter or light buttery spread (like Smart Balance Light or Brummel & Brown), melted & mixed with 2 tbsp. water
3 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1 tsp. cinnamon

For Filling
32 oz. fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)
1 cup canned pure pumpkin
1 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/4 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
For Topping
3/4 cup fat-free sour cream
1/4 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Combine all crust ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spray a springform pie pan (about 9" wide) lightly with nonstick spray -- make sure to get the sides as well as the bottom. Then evenly distribute crumb mixture, using your hands or a flat utensil to firmly press and form the crust along the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Using an electric mixer set to medium speed, mix until completely blended and lump-free. Pour mixture into the pan.
Bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes, until set. Allow pie to chill in the fridge for at least 3 - 4 hours (overnight is best).
Once pie has chilled, carefully release and remove springform top. In a small bowl, mix all topping ingredients together until thoroughly blended. Spread topping evenly over the pie.
Return pie to the fridge until ready to serve. Cut pie into 12 slices.

Serving Size: 1 slice Calories: 160,Fat: 3.25g, Sodium: 579mg, Carbs: 20g, Fiber: 5g, Sugars: 7g, Protein: 15g POINTS® value 3*

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Tuna Salad Surprise

A simple tuna salad turned into a delightful dish with the addition of dill to the mayonnaise dressing, and peanuts along with dried cranberries.

Served on lettuce leaves garnished with apple slices. Sue Hinton of Port Huron, Michigan loves experimenting with ingredients. It often leads to very tasty meals. Sue shows friend, Vicki, some great recipes in Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Balsamic Glazed Fish Fillets

Lon's at Hermosa Inn has a fabulous Salmon with Ancho Chile Glaze found on page 98 of Tastes & Treasures. Another option for salmon or halibut is the following recipe.
Balsamic-glazed Grilled Fish Fillets
2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Two 1-pound pieces skin-on salmon or halibut fillets, about 1 inch thick

Combine the oil and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes, until the garlic has softened.

Add mustard, honey, lemon juice, vinegar and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to form a slightly thickened sauce. Transfer to a wide, shallow dish and cool for 5 minutes, then place the fillets skin-side up in the dish and let sit for 15 minutes.
Use non-stick cooking oil spray to grease a ridged grill pan if grilling indoors. Heat over medium-high heat. If using an outdoor grill, place the fillets over direct heat.
Place the fillets skin-side down in the pan. Use the sauce in the dish to evenly coat the top of the fish, making sure plenty of the garlic is there. Discard any remaining sauce.
Cook the fish without turning for about 10 minutes or until it is opaque and fairly firm to the touch. The skin will be dark and crisp.
Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Nutritional value (based on 5) 360 calories, 36 g protein, 3 g carbohydrates, 21 g fat, 105 mg cholesterol, 150 mg sodium, 2 g sugar, 0 g fiber, 53 percent calories from fat
Note: The fish stays moist and easy to handle because it is cooked in 1 pound pieces instead of individual fillets.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fried Apple Ice Cream

Love the caramel at the bottom. This is served at the Dalles House, St Croix Falls, Wisconsin. Enough for 4 to share.

Fried Apples

2 medium apples
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon table salt

Peel and core the apples, slice them into 1/4-inch wedges.

Melt the butter in a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter and then layer the apple slices on top. Continuously stir the apples to coat them in the butter and brown sugar. When a syrup forms, sprinkle the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt over the ingredients in the pan and stir together.

Reduce heat and continue to stir until the apples are tender and the syrup has reduced and thickened slightly. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the apples cool for several minutes. Serve alone, or as a topping for ice cream.
Makes 4-6 servings

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cherry and Raspberry Sauce

Tastes & Treasures has a delicious Peach and Raspberry Sauce on page 184. Coup des Tartes restaurant in Phoenix also has a wonderful recipe incorporating cherries with raspberry sauce.

Cherry and Raspberry Sauce
Coup des Tartes
2 cups coarsely chopped pitted sour cherries
2 cups coarsely chopped raspberries
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 teaspoons white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
4 teaspoons brandy

Combine all ingredients except brandy in saucepan and heat over medium heat. Bring to boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat, stir in brandy. Simmer until cherries soften, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Grandma's Apple Crisp

This wonderful melt-in-your-mouth dessert is perfect for all occasions. Try variations of Apple Streusel Pie from page 163 of Tastes & Treasures cookbook using different fruits, nuts and spices. Your guests will thank you.