Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tovrea Castle Tour

Who doesn't want to see this? An imposing sight from all around Phoenix and it is closed to the public. What a shame.

Former Mayor and historic preservationist John Driggs is working tirelessly to have it opened and enjoyed. The Historical League got a very up close and personal look at the amazing construction and cactus gardens. We loved it. A sold out tour, we split into three groups. John Jacquemart, an extremely knowledgeable person (and author) of historic Phoenix, led my group. The pictures tell it all.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Creme Brulee

Crème Brulee was the other dessert served February 11 at the Historymakers Gala. A stunning desert for a black tie event. The evening was filled with excitement as the Historymakers from 1992-2008 were honored for Arizona's Centennial kickoff event. Peter Faur, husband of Historical League president Pat Faur shows off his Creme Brulee while Joan Robinson-Blumit is ready for her treat. She had Tres Leche cake. They were both delicious with great presentation. How did they make that candy serape on top?

Also featured was ARIZONA Recollections and Reflections, a Centennial Legacy Project with rare photos, timelines and biographies of the Historymakers.

This Creme Brulee recipe is from You could also try Caramel Custard Flan on page 85 of Tastes & Treasures Cookbook.

* 6 egg yolks
* 6 tablespoons white sugar, divided
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar


1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
2. Beat egg yolks, 4 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl until thick and creamy.
3. Pour cream into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it almost comes to boil. Remove the cream from heat immediately. Stir cream into the egg yolk mixture; beat until combined.
4. Pour cream mixture into the top of a double boiler. Stir over simmering water until mixture lightly coats the back of a spoon; approximately 3 minutes. Remove mixture from heat immediately and pour into a shallow heat-proof dish.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight.
6. Preheat oven to broil.
7. In a small bowl combine remaining 2 tablespoons white sugar and brown sugar. Sift this mixture evenly over custard. Place dish under broiler until sugar melts, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to burn.
8. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until custard is set again.

Nutritional Information open nutritional information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 562 | Total Fat: 50.2g | Cholesterol

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Pam Ryan brings Luscious Layered Dip to Historymakers Gala Wrap up party

This dip was a hit at the Historymakers Gala wrap up party. Thanks to Pam Ryan who got the recipe from League member Leslie Christiansen. The trick was in the plating from the spring foam pan and Pam did it with ease.


¼ cup cold water
1 package unflavored gelatin
Avocado Layer:
2 large avocados, cubed
¼ cup green onion, sliced about 1-inch pieces
2 T fresh lime or lemon juice
2 T mayonnaise or sour cream
1 t salt, more to taste
Splash hot pepper sauce
Sour Cream Layer:
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature (low fat is OK, but not non-fat)
¼ cup sweet or yellow onion, finely chopped in food processor
Red Pepper Layer:
3 red peppers, (you can use one red, yellow & orange pepper)
Roasted in a 375 F oven for 30 minutes, peeled and seeded
¼ cup red onion, chopped
¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
2 T mayonnaise or sour cream
1 T fresh lime or lemon juice
1 t coriander
1 t cumin
1/8 t chipotle powder, or to taste
1 t salt, more to taste
1. Lightly oil an 8-inch spring-form pan or spray with non-stick spray.
2. Put the cold water and gelatin in a heat-proof bowl, stir with a fork to dissolve.
3. After about 5 minutes, place the bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water; (not boiling) in a few minutes the gelatin will melt. Keep on the stove, on your lowest heat.
4. The gelatin will be divided between the 3 layers.
5. AVOCADO layer: put 1 of the cubed avocados, green onion, lime/lemon juice, mayonnaise, salt and hot pepper sauce in the bowl of a food processor; pulse to almost a puree. Season to taste with salt; add more salt & hot pepper sauce, if desired.
6. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the 2nd cubed avocado, along with 1 T of the melted gelatin. Spread over the bottom of the prepared pan, refrigerate while you make the next layer.
7. SOUR CREAM layer: stir together the sour cream, onion & 2 T of the melted gelatin. Carefully spread over the avocado layer and chill.
8. RED PEPPER layer: put the roasted red peppers, red onion, cilantro, mayonnaise, lime juice, coriander, cumin, chipotle powder and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the red peppers look like confetti. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Stir in the remaining 1 T gelatin. Spread on top of the sour cream layer.
9. Cover and chill until firm, at least 6 hours; overnight is best.
10. To serve, run a thin knife around the inside of the pan, then remove the sides of the spring form pan. Place the mold, still on the base of the pan, on a decorative platter (place a folded wet paper-towel under the dip to keep it from sliding). Serve with tortilla chips or fresh veggies.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Jana Bommersbach reviews ARIZONA Recollections and Reflections

"You can't know Arizona unless you know her people. There's no better way to know her people than through the Historical League's Commemorative Book. It's a priceless contribution to the history of Arizona and offers hours and hours of wonderful stories about wonderful people." --Jana Bommersbach, journalist and author

Celebrate Arizona’s Centennial by turning 320 pages of history in this beautiful leather-bound 8.5”x 9.5” book!

Living when honored, first-person oral histories from these Arizona Historymakers serve as the basis for this collection of biographies and memories. Photographs, many from personal family albums, provide further glimpses into the lives of these men and women whose achievements have impacted Arizona’s record of events in such diverse areas as the arts, community service, politics, sports and entertainment.

Read the interesting stories of Historymakers such as Erma Bombeck, Eddie Basha, Adam Diaz, John Driggs, Barry Goldwater, Jerry Colangelo and Sandra Day O'Connor in this collections that will be great for your coffee table.

Contact for more information or visit

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ARIZONA Recollections and Reflections and Historymakers Gala

The Historymakers Gala wrap up meeting was a perfect time to celebrate the success of the Gala February 11, 2011. A beautiful photograph plaque was presented to Gala chair Marilyn Parke. Treasurer Barbara Simons gave the financial report and we were please to find so much was raised to help support the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park.

The Centennial book, ARIZONA Recollections and Reflections, premiered that evening with positive reviews all around. Proceeds raised from the sale of the book support the education and exhibits at the Museum.

We are enjoying getting reviews from the Centennial book.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes from Lon's Hermosa Inn

Easy and impressive - this is a favorite for company. Love the pretty colors in the purple potatoes. Historic Lon's at Hermosa Inn shared the recipe for this tasty dish.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
pg 100 Tastes & Treasures A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona

1 ½ pounds fingerling potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
¼ teaspoon sea salt or fine salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the potatoes with the olive oil, garlic, sea salt and pepper in a bowl and spoon into a baking pan. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
Serves 4

Friday, March 18, 2011

Old Ned aprons

The popular maroon colored Old Ned aprons are sold out. This beautiful blue one with the Historical League logo, Old Ned, is now available in Junior (29" long X 22" wide) $18 and Adult sizes (34" long X 25" wide) $20. Silkscreened logo, washable, hang to dry.

Modeled by League member Brenda Whitney, the adjustable strap at the neck and 3 pockets makes this apron very versatile. Guest Carol Griffin shows the junior size with 2 pockets.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chinese Chicken Salad

Mary Parker shared her delicious recipe with us. She brought it to the Historical League meeting Monday, March 7 and it was almost gone by the time I could photograph it. Yummm.

Love the way Mary cooks. We can all benefit from this method.

I just sort of threw it together ...

bag of baby greens into a bowl (I don't particularly like spring mix)
¼ head Napa cabbage chopped
green onion
1 breast roasted chicken that I bought - chopped up
1 bag of candied ginger - chopped
Girard's Chinese Chicken Salad dressing

I put the chopped-up chicken in a tupper-deal with the chopped-up candied ginger & a little salad dressing, so the chicken would stay moist. Snow peas &/or mandarin oranges can be used & sometimes I put in bean sprouts, but they can be hard to eat.

Then I threw on slivered almonds & sesame seeds that I browned in my toaster oven. I forgot the edamame I was going to use, too. And that's it. I was thinking about using chow mein noodles . . .

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hassayampa Inn Breakfast Parfait

Yogurt Parfaits from historic Hassayampa Hotel in Prescott, AZ found on 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.We varied it with bananas and strawberries.
Serves 6

Love this recipe but here's a new version with my favorite breakfast food- Oatmeal. gives us the scoop on healthy oatmeal.
"Oats, known scientifically as Avena sativa, are a hardy cereal grain able to withstand poor soil conditions in which other crops are unable to thrive. Oats gain part of their distinctive flavor from the roasting process that they undergo after being harvested and cleaned. Although oats are then hulled, this process does not strip away their bran and germ allowing them to retain a concentrated source of their fiber and nutrients. . . [Old-fashioned oats] have a flatter shape [than other oats] that is the result of their being steamed and then rolled." has a wonderful low calorie Oatmeal Parfait. We love the flavor.
1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze
1 no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda or Truvia)
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
Dash salt
1/2 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt with about 100 calories per 6-oz. serving
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 banana, sliced
Combine all ingredients for oatmeal in a small nonstick pot on the stove. Add 3/4 cup water and mix well. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 9 minutes, stirring often, until somewhat thick and creamy. (It will thicken more upon chilling.) Allow to cool slightly. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 1/2 hours.
Stir oatmeal thoroughly until uniform in texture. Spoon half of the oatmeal into a tall glass, and top with 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/4 cup sliced strawberries, and half of the banana slices. Repeat with remaining oatmeal, yogurt, strawberries, and banana.
PER SERVING (entire recipe): 285 calories, 4.5g fat, 359mg sodium, 54g carbs, 6.5g fiber, 21.5g sugars, 9g protein -- PointsPlus™ value 7*

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Centennial aprons and hats

Modeled by Historical League member, Norma Hinton, this baseball cap in beige or black has embroidered copper Centennial logo on the hat. For men or women.
Sisters Joan and Mary Lou Kush show off the new Centennial embroidered visor and silkscreened Centennial apron. Deb Hester is ready to serve her delicious salad wearing the junior size silkscreened Centennial apron.

Aprons are washable, hang to dry.

Adult aprons $20, Junior aprons $18
Baseball caps (beige or black) $20
Visors (black or white) $20.

Friday, March 4, 2011

League Guest Speaker March 7

Got History?
Next week‘s speaker is all about history, specializing in the prehistoric kind! Join us on March 7th when Dr. Todd Bostwick will be speaking about an amazing Archaic and Hohokam rock art site in the Picacho Mountains in Southern Arizona.

Dr. Bostwick, recently retired from his post as Phoenix City Archeologist for over 20yrs., has studied the Hohokam culture extensively and is a recognized expert on the subject of petroglyphs. He has written numerous books and publications on rock art as well as others concerning Southwestern archeology, archaeoastronomy and history.

With both a Masters degree in Anthropology and a Ph.D in History from Arizona State, Dr Bostwick from his office at Pueblo Grande Museum created and administrated a comprehensive, city-wide archeology compliance program and served as the National Park Service’s coordinator for the Pueblo Grande National Historic Landmark. His work on Pueblo Grande’s prehistoric platform mound earned him two awards from the National Park Service. He was also twice recipient of the City Manager’s Excellence award and in 2005 received the Arizona Governors Award in Public Archeology.

Join us for what should prove to be a most interesting talk!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cactus League Baseball Exhibit Opening

What a great way to learn the history of Spring Training in Arizona. Opening night was filled with food, fun, a little rain and an author who told us the story of Henry Aaron. His book was a success that evening as we all wanted a copy. Randy Johnson was the celebrity the next day when he signed autographs and Museum Director Peter Welsh took him on a tour of the new exhibit. Check it out at