Monday, November 29, 2010

ArtFest a Success

Scottsdale's ArtFest at the Civic Center library is a wonderful opportunity to showcase Tastes & Treasures cookbook. Carolyn Mendoza did a fabulous job of running the sales and co-ordinating volunteers to man the booth for two days with very good results. Despite the wind and weather forcing an early closure on Sunday, the Historical League brought in $960 worth of sales of cookbooks, Centennial aprons and baseball caps. We are also able to "spread the word" about the Historical League, AHS Museum at Papago Park, Historymakers Centennial Gala and Children's Holiday Party. With lots of help setting up the tent, it was a fun event. Thanks to volunteers: Margaret Pogue, Linda Isaksen, Pam Ryan, Judy Yauch, Steve Yauch, Al McLeod, Deb Hester, Ruth Ann Hogan, Nina Fillips, Mariamne Moore and Bonnie Newhoff. We couldn't do it without you.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Appetizers are always popular but with this recipe, they are also lower in fat and calories.

Try this wonderful cheesy treat from It is a variation of the Stuffed Mushrooms from The Cottage Place Restaurant, page 27 Tastes & Treasures.

Crab-Stuffed Mushrooms

12 small-to-medium-sized (1 - 2" wide) brown mushroom caps (stems removed)
2 oz. drained white crabmeat
2 tbsp. celery; minced
2 tbsp. red pepper; minced
1 wedge The Laughing Cow Light Cheese (any Light flavor)
1 tbsp. fat-free sour cream
1 tbsp. fat-free cream cheese
2 tsp. fat-free cheese flavor sprinkles (Molly McButter)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wipe mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel and then dry them. Place with the rounded sides down on a baking dish sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Combine all other ingredients and stir until well mixed. Evenly distribute crab mixture among the mushroom caps. Place in the oven for 10 - 12 minutes, until hot.

Makes 12.
Hint: A pastry bag is great to pipe the filling into the mushrooms. If you don't have one, use a zip loc bag and cut a hole in one corner. Line the hole with duct tape to give it strength so it won't split open.

(Entire recipe: 135 calories, 3g fat, 975mg sodium, 12g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g sugars, 16g protein = 3 Points)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baked Brie with Fresh Cranberries

Fresh from the oven, the presentation of this colorful dish is fabulous. Leslie Christiansen gave us this delicious appetizer that her whole family enjoys.

Another method of serving this is to scoop out a round loaf of sourdough bread and bake the brie cheese and toppings inside the hollowed out bread. Then use the bread cubes to serve the brie. Wonderful for the Holidays or any special time.


19 oz Wheel of Brie
½ bag of fresh cranberries, rinsed
½ cup raisins, golden or regular
½ cup brown sugar
½ t cinnamon
½ cup orange juice
½-1 cup black berries
½-1 cup blueberries
Crackers or sliced baguette

1. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
2. Place cranberries, raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon and orange juice in a sauce pan, stirring to combine.
3. Bring to a boil; as the cranberries begin to burst, reduce the heat to a simmer.
4. Continue to cook until the liquid has thickened to a syrup; about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh berries.
6. Meanwhile, cut the top off the wheel of brie, leaving the sides of the cheese intact. Place brie in an ovenproof serving dish with sides.
7. Pour the cranberry mixture over the brie; it’s ok if the mixture tumbles over the sides a little bit. Place the brie in the oven.
8. Bake until the cheese begins to bubble, about 15-20 minutes.
9. Serve with your favorite crackers or bread.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Coconut Shrimp for Snacking

Sweet Coconut Crunch Shrimp

This crunchy and delicious shrimp is hard to pass up. Thanks to for giving us a guilt free version of coconut shrimp. Another unique shrimp recipe comes from La Posada Hotel, Sherried Shrimp with Capers, page 60, Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

1/4 cup Fiber One bran cereal (original)
1/3 cup shredded sweetened coconut
3 tbsp. panko breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Dash salt
12 oz. (about 20) raw large shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed
3 tbsp. fat-free liquid egg substitute (like Egg Beaters Original)

Note: If your coconut shreds are somewhat long, give them a rough chop.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place cereal in a sealable plastic bag and, removing as much air as possible, seal. Using a meat mallet or heavy can, carefully crush cereal through the bag. Add sweetened coconut, panko breadcrumbs, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt to the bag; seal and shake to mix. Transfer mixture to a large plate and set aside.

Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray and set aside. Pat shrimp with paper towels to ensure they are completely dry.

Combine shrimp with egg substitute in a bowl and toss lightly to coat. One at a time, shake excess egg from shrimp and transfer to the coconut-crumb mixture, gently patting and flipping to coat. Evenly place coated shrimp on the baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for 10 - 12 minutes, until outsides are crispy and lightly browned and insides are cooked through. Serve and enjoy.


Serving Size: 1/4th of recipe, about 5 shrimp
Calories: 164
Fat: 4.5g
Sodium: 266mg
Carbs: 12g
Fiber: 2g
Sugars: 3.5g
Protein: 19.5g

POINTS® value 3*

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Michigan Salad

Filled with fruit and vegetables, this salad takes the Michigan name from the dried cherries. It is easy to make and fun to vary the ingredients. Start with different types of romaine, butter, spring mix lettuce. Add mango, dried cherries, mandarin orange sections, blueberries, golden raisins, strawberries, candied walnuts, and provolone cheese strips. Top with grilled sliced chicken breast and serve with Poppy Seed Dressing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

This yummy and low calorie treat is from Very comparable to Great Pumpkin Cookies, an old family recipe from League member Kay Holcombe, found in Tastes & Treasures page 162.

Pumpkin-Bread Muffins

1 cup Fiber One Original bran cereal
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. salt
One 15-oz. can pure pumpkin
1 cup club soda
1/2 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
1/4 cup sugar-free pancake syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins, chopped

1/4 cup Cool Whip Free, thawed
3 tbsp. fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
1 tbsp. Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 10 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with baking cups and/or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Using a blender or food processor, grind cereal to a breadcrumb-like consistency. Transfer crumbs to a large bowl.
 Add flour, Splenda, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt. Mix well and set aside.

In another bowl, combine pumpkin, soda, egg substitute, syrup, and vanilla extract. Mix thoroughly. Add mixture to the large bowl and stir until blended to form the batter.

Slowly sprinkle and stir chopped raisins into the batter. Evenly distribute batter among the 10 prepared cups of your muffin pan.

Bake in the oven until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out mostly clean, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, combine all icing ingredients in a small microwave-safe bowl. Mix until smooth and blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Remove cooled muffins from the pan. Just before serving, warm icing in the microwave for a few seconds and drizzle it onto the muffins.


Serving Size: 1 iced muffin
Calories: 137, Fat: 0.75g, Sodium: 260mg, Carbs: 32g, Fiber: 6.75g, Sugars: 9g , Protein: 5.5g
POINTS® value 2*

Historic Jerome Tour

The bus was filled as we drove to historic Jerome. Pam Ryan and Jeannie Fletcher had delicious breakfast snacks for the 7 am departure but we were looking forward to the history of "The Honeymoon Cottage of Jerome". The tour conducted by owner Margaret Graziano, told the story of purchasing the run down home and recreating the magnificent structure that it once was. Lots of labor, inspiration, money and perserverence went into the work but it was worth it. Today the French Country house is fully restored. It is decorated in Victorian style with a large patio and sweeping views of the Verde Valley.

Built in 1921 by James Dougles, the owner of the Little Daisy Mine, gave the home to his son as a wedding gift. At one time the Little Daisy Mine was the largest producer of copper in the world.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mystery Ingredient for Red Velvet Cake

Leslie Christiansen gave us this fabulous historic recipe. She commented, "I've taught both recipes at the culinary school. They are just a little bit different- I modified the one for the cupcakes. The cake batter looks dark maroon before it bakes, but turns brown in the oven.

I did a lot of research on food coloring and the history of the Red Velvet Cake before bringing the recipe to the culinary school. I wanted to avoid the red food coloring- and was so excited to find the recipe with the beets!

There are 2 basic recipes for the Red Velvet Cake, the more popular one uses baking soda, cocoa powder, buttermilk, and LOTS of red food coloring.

Both Red Velvet Cakes are delicious, but I like to have fun with the beets. I brought the cupcakes to the students and told them there was a mystery ingredient; none of them could guess what it was. But when they found out it was beets, they couldn't wait to make them and take them home to their families.

The Red Velvet Cake recipe I use was made famous from the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The story goes that beets were substituted for sugar during WWI when sugar was rationed, and they added a pleasant red coloring to cakes. Maybe if chocolate wasn't added, the pink beet color might remain..

In the earlier days, the red dye used to color foods was found to be poisonous to humans. The red food coloring today is supposed to be safe, but I wasn't convinced after much research, and won't use it. You can buy dried beet powder online, and beet juice is a fun food coloring. Sometimes I add a little bit to the frosting."


Cake Ingredients:
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1½ cups canola oil
1½ t vanilla
2 cups flour
1¼ t baking soda
¼ t salt
2 12oz canned beets, drained and pureed in food processor

Icing Ingredients:
2 cups heavy cream; cold
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (Neufchatel is OK)
12 ounces mascarpone cheese
½ t vanilla
1½ cups powdered sugar, sifted
Chopped walnuts & grated chocolate (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter (or Crisco) three 9-inch cake pans. Line the pans with parchment paper. Butter and flour on top of the parchment paper.
2. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over steaming water. Set aside to cool.
3. Place sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using a paddle attachment, mix on low speed for about two minutes.
4. In a separate bowl sift together flour, baking soda and salt.
5. Mixing on low speed, add flour mixture to egg mixture. Blend until just incorporated.
6. Remove bowl from mixer stand. Fold in cooled chocolate, pureed beets.
7. Divide batter evenly between the 3 prepared cake pans and bake for 20-25 minutes. The cake is done when it springs back when touched, or a toothpick comes out clean.
8. Transfer to a rack to cool for 10 minutes in the pans. Run a knife around the inside of the cooled cake’s rim. Turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely before frosting.
1. Pour cream in the bowl of an electric mixer and whip to soft peaks. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate or keep over ice until ready to use.
2. Using the same mixing bowl (no need to wash it) and the paddle attachment; place cream cheese and mix on medium speed until soft and smooth. Add mascarpone and mix until combined. Reduce the speed; add vanilla and powdered sugar, and mix well.
3. With a rubber spatula carefully fold in chilled cream. Chill until cake is ready to assemble. You may choose to ice the cake with a crumb coat first.
4. Hold the iced cake, tilting it sideways so you cake sprinkle the sides with the chopped walnuts. I decorate the top of the cake with icing rosettes & grated chocolate.
5. Keep cake refrigerated until ready to serve.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yummmmy Easy Pasta Salad

For an easy delicious pasta salad, try this recipe from Linda Cathey. She brought it to a Children's Holiday Party meeting and it was a hit.

"Any kind of pasta you choose. Shrimp ( I get the cooked, frozen shrimp from Costco) I sometimes put crab in also. Chopped celery, chopped red onion.
The dressing is mayo (I use Miracle Whip), ketchup, Old Bay Seasoning. ( I use a LOT of Old Bay because I like it spicy) Use half as much ketchup as you do mayo. Make it the night before and put in fridge. You may have to add more dressing the next day as the pasta really absorbs it."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veggies the Way Mom Would Make

Big Sweet 'n Spicy Veggie Pot

Just like Mom would make, this dish is so healthy you can feel it nourish your body. It is easy to make and very tasty too. For other recipes with vegetables try Tastes & Treasures Herb-Roasted Vegetables, pg 24 and Melange of Sauteed Vegetables, page 36.


2 cups cubed butternut squash (about half a squash) 

1 large eggplant, stem removed, peeled, and cubed 

1/2 head of cabbage, cored and cut in chunks 

1 zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch coins 

1 large onion, chopped 

1 cup chopped carrots

One 15-oz. can pure pumpkin 

One 6-oz. can tomato paste 

1 1/2 tbsp. brown sugar (not packed) 

1 tsp. chopped garlic 

1/2 tsp. cinnamon 

1/2 tsp. salt, or more to taste 

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or more to taste

1/4 tsp. ground ginger, or more to taste 

1/4 tsp. ground cumin, or more to taste 

1/4 tsp. chili powder, or more to taste

Place all cut veggies in an extra-large bowl and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine all other ingredients and thoroughly mix. Spoon this mixture over the veggies and stir to coat.
Transfer mixture to a crock pot with a capacity of four quarts or more. If needed, pack it in tightly. (It will cook down.)
Cover and cook on high for 3 - 4 hours or on low for 7 - 8 hours, until veggies are very tender.
Stir well and serve.


PER SERVING (1 cup): 85 calories, 0.5g fat, 163mg sodium, 20g carbs, 5.75g fiber, 9g sugars, 3g protein -- POINTS® value 1*

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pecan Squares

Great cooks sharing great recipes. That is what Tastes & Treasures cookbook is all about. Thanks to Carolyn for this wonderful treat found on page 172.


Brown Sugar Crust
1 cup butter, at room temperature
3.4 cup brown sugar
½ t salt
3 cups flour
Pecan Filling
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
6 T honey
2 T sugar
2 T heavy cream
¼ t salt
2 cups pecan halves
½ t vanilla

For the Crust:
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
2. Add the salt to the flour and stir with a fork. With the mixer speed on low, add the flour to the butter mixture one cup at a time, allowing the flour to mix in before adding more flour. Mix until just incorporated.
3. Press the dough about ¼ inch thick into the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan and prick with a fork. Chill for 20 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until light golden brown.
5. Remove the crust from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
6. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.

For the Filling:
1. Combine the butter, brown sugar, honey, sugar, cream and salt in a medium sized sauce pan.
2. Bring to a boil over high heat and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. The mixture should coat the back of a spoon.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the pecans and vanilla.
4. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and return to the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.
5. Remove from the oven and cool on the wire rack.
6. When cool, run a sharp knife along the edges of the pan and invert onto the wire rack. Invert the pecan squares onto a cutting board and cut into squares.
7. Store in an airtight container up to a week.

Makes about 32 squares

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pumpkin Double-Ginger Cookies

Healthy and tasty pumpkin cookies. . . Thanks to canned pumpkin and Greek-style non-fat yogurt to keep these moist and delicious, and cake flour to make them tender. Try these tricks with all your holiday cookies.

Pumpkin Double-Ginger Cookies

¾ cup canned pumpkin puree
¾ cup packed light-brown sugar
½ cup non-fat plain Greek-style yogurt
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350 degrees. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment.

In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin, brown sugar, yogurt, oil and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the crystallized ginger.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing until just blended.

Drop tablespoons of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing cookies about 1 ½ inches apart. Bake in 2 bathes if necessary, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool.

Makes 40 cookies.
Nutrition information per cookie (without frosting): 54 calories, 1 g fat, 0 cholesterol, 11 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 1 g fiber, 38 mg sodium, 13 percent of calories from fat.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cranberry Lemon Bars for the Holidays

If you are looking for that yummy treat for the Holidays and want to make something ahead of time, this is the answer. Enjoy this delightful bar from League member, Sally Schaefer. We got the recipe after she made it for the Historical League Membership Open House in October. Donna Esposito, Dianne Linthicum and Mariamne Moore help present the bounty for League members and guests.


1st Layer:
1/2 C sugar
3/4 C butter
]1 1/2 C flour
Blend with pastry blender and press into greased & floured 9x13" pan. Bake 12 min. at 325 degrees.
2nd Layer:
2 eggs beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 C packed brown sugar
1 C chopped walnuts or pecans (I used Pecans)
3-4 tablespoons jellied cranberry sauce
Mix and pour over crust. Bake 20 min. at 325 degrees.

3rd Layer:
Juice of 1 Lemon and grating from peel
Mix juice and peel with
1 1/2 C powdered sugar
1 tablespoons butter softened until spreadable
Pour and spread over Hot bars.

Cool and cut into small squares or diamonds.
(Hint: Dip knife into hot water as you cut them to make cutting easier.)

Can be made ahead of time & refrigerate.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lemon Citrus Blondies

Meetings for Children's Holiday Party often involve wonderful foods. This recipe from Ruth Ann Hogan is sure to please any crowd.


1 cup butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
4 eggs
3 T undiluted frozen orange juice concentrate
1 T fresh lemon zest
1½ cups flour
1½ t baking powder
½ t salt

1 cup powdered sugar
2 T fresh orange or tangerine juice
2 t grated fresh orange or tangerine zest

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13 inch pan with aluminum foil, having extra foil pressed over the sides as handles. Spray the sides of the pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well.

3. Add the frozen orange juice concentrate and the lemon zest.

4. In separate medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

5. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the batter, mixing until just combined. Do not over mix.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is shiny and feels firm to the touch, 25-30 minutes.

7. While the Blondie is baking, make the glaze by mixing the powdered sugar, orange juice and orange zest together in a small bowl. Stir until smooth.

8. Cool the Blondie on a wire rack. Pierce with a fork, and pour the glaze over entire cake.

9. Lift the cooled bars from the pan using the paper/foil handles. Remove the foil and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares or triangles.

Makes about 24 bars

Creme de Menthe Bars

Impress your guests with these decadent bars. They are melt-in-your-mouth good.

Margaret Pogue made these for the Historical League Open House at the AHS Museum, Thursday, October 21.


1/2 C butter 1 C coconut
4 T cocoa 1 egg (beaten)
1/2 C powdered sugar 1 C nuts (chopped)
1 t vanilla 2 C graham cracker crumbs

Melt butter and add cocoa-then cool. Add other ingredients. Press firmly into greased 9x9" pan.
Refrigerate 1 hour.

Filling: 1/2 C butter 2 t instant vanilla ppudding
2 C powdered sugar 3 T creme de menthe

Melt butter and then add all other ingredients-spread over crust.
Refrigerate 1 hour.

Frosting: 1/4 C butter 6 oz. chocolate chips

Melt together and spread evenly over filling.
Refrigerate 1 hour.