Saturday, July 30, 2011

Grilled Mushrooms and Peppers with Spanish flair

Spanish-Style Grilled Mushrooms and Peppers

Grilled mushrooms and peppers have a Mediterrean flair with capers, manchego cheese, raisins and red wine. Unfortunately, we were out of red peppers but it was still delicious. Serve it warm or at room temperature.


8 large portobello or large mushroom caps
3 red bell peppers
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 tablespoon raisins
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon capers
2 ounces Manchego cheese, shaved


Preheat grill. Remove stems from mushrooms and brush off any dirt. Cut peppers into quarters and remove seeds and membranes. Brush vegetables with a tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook vegetables over moderate heat until browned and tender, turning once or twice, 8 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine raisins and vinegar in a small bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Stir garlic and remaining salt and pepper into the raisin-vinegar mixture. Gradually drizzle in remaining 3 tablespoons oil while whisking to thicken vinaigrette. Stir in capers, then taste and adjust seasoning.

To serve, slice mushrooms and peppers into strips. Spoon vinaigrette over vegetables and top with Manchego cheese.

Serves 4 to 6


Per serving (About 8.5oz/240g-wt.): 210 calories (150 from fat), 14g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 6g protein, 14g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 7g sugar), 10mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Quartzite historical Tyson Wells Museum

The drive between Phoenix and Los Angeles can get pretty dull so next time you go, stop in Quartzite for a taste of history. Tyson Wells Stagecoach stop was busy in 1870. Then it converted to Oasis Hotel Site until 1924. Not sure how they survived the summers but the museum shows you what the pioneers would have experienced. Of course, there are tales of Hi Jolly, the army camel driver. Next door to the museum is Sillie Al's Pizza. Filled with artifacts (even an old water bottle) and newspaper headlines, it will keep you entertained and the pizza is quite good.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Parsley-Chive Sauce for Salmon

Grilling fish is one of my favorite dishes. Topping it with a lovely, colorful sauce makes the presentation so nice and brings the flavors out. El Tovar at the Grand Canyon serves a Salmon Tostada (page 32 in Tastes & Treasures cookbook) that looks so pretty with the Corn Salsa (page 11 in Tastes & Treasures).

This Parsley-Chive Sauce is another unique blend for enhancing fish.

Parsley-Chive Sauce

1 ½ cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 scallion, coarsely chopped
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 5-ounce skinless salmon filets

Put the parsley, scallion, chives, oil, lemon juice and mustard into the small bowl of a food processor. Add 1 tablespoon water and ¼ teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high. Season the salmon with remaining salt and black pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes a side for medium, or to desired doneness. Transfer filets to a plate.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the parsley sauce onto each of 4 serving plates. Top each with a salmon filet.

Serve with vegetables. Note – we used fresh Steelhead Trout. It looks very similar to salmon and grills very much the same way also.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Big Blend Magazine interview

Promoting Tastes & Treasures A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona and Arizona Recollections and Reflections is part of the volunteer work we do at the Historical League. Ruth McLeod will be interviewed on Saturday, July 23 on

All sales raised from these books support the AHS Museum at Papago Park in Tempe and continue to educate us on the fascinating history of Arizona, celebrating her Centennial in 2012.

Margarita Pie is a topic of interest so helpful hints will be given. Also stories of Historymakers and the growth of Arizona will be discussed.

Gala Pecan Spread from Renee Donnelly

Renee Donnelly brought this yummy appetizer to the Historymakers Wrap Up Party. It was a big hit and easy to make.

Gala Pecan Spread

1 8 ounce package cream cheese
2 tbsp milk
3 ounce package or jar dried beef
½ cup finely chopped green pepper
2 tbsp dehydrated onion
½ tsp garlic
¼ tsp black pepper
½ cup sour cream


Combine and blend cheese and milk.
Stir in beef and seasonings. Mix well.
Fold in sour cream.
Spoon into 8 inch pie pan and cover with sprinkling of chopped pecans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Serve with crackers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fruited Chicken Salad

Chicken on the grill is one of the best meals for summer fun. Tastes & Treasures has a wonderful Roasted Chicken and Strawberry Salad on page 96 thanks to Lon's at the Hermosa Inn. We really enjoyed this salad when League member Carolyn Mendoza served it to us during a cookbook workshop.

Below is another delicious way to serve chicken salad. Mangos are so tasty with chicken but you can be creative with lots of other seasonal fruit.

Grilled Chicken Salad with Seasonal Fruit

1 pound chicken breasts
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup onion minced
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup sliced mangoes

Grill 1 pound chicken breasts, 8 mins on each side, or until juices run clear. Remove from heat, cool, and slice.
Roast ½ cup pecans until fragrant, stirring frequently, 8 mins.
In a blender, combine 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, ½ cup sugar, 1 cup olive oil, ½ minced onion, 1 tsp mustard, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Process until smooth.
Arrange salad greens on plate. Top with grilled chicken slices, 1 cup sliced mangoes, and pecans.
Drizzle with the dressing to serve.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cherry Cake

The recipe exchange called for your easiest recipe . . . one you could type in and not have to look up the details. This cake came from Lorraine Simmonds in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She must have made this many times to remember the ingredients. Can't wait until cherries are in season.

For all you cherry lovers out there . . .

1 cup margarine
1 1/3 cups sugar
beat in 2 eggs one at a time

2 1/3cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
little salt

1 1/2 cups cherries
1 teaspoon flavouring
2/3 cup milk

Bake 1 hour 375 degrees

Friday, July 15, 2011

Unique Presentation for Cowboy Caviar

Dear Tastes & Treasures,

I've made the Cowboy Caviar recipe (page 180) at least a dozen times now, and it is always a crowd favorite. In the summer, I make it with grilled sweet corn and fresh tomatoes. Served with baked chips, it's a fresh, low-fat, protein-packed snack. I recently served at our annual rodeo party. To match the theme, I put the chips in an inexpensive cowboy hat from the party supply store lined with a bandana from the craft store. Thanks for the great recipe!

Tara (Minneapolis, MN)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

National History Day winners

National History Day makes history come alive for America's youth by engaging them in the discovery of the historic, cultural and social experiences of the past. Through hands-on experiences and presentations, today's youth are better able to inform the present and shape the future. NHD inspires children through exciting competitions and transforms teaching through project-based curriculum and instruction.

We are so pleased that AHS Museum Director Kyle McKoy and Education department Megan Gately have brought the National History Day to so many students. When they got involved the program was a very minor effort in AZ. This year 67 students from grades 4-12th went to Washington D.C. to participate. They met Senators Schweikert, McCain and Flake. They toured museums and Congressional halls. It was a life changing event for these students.

Congratulations to
3rd place in Performance: Elaissia Sears, Angelique Guerrero, Matthew Fichtemaier
Mesa, AZ, Red Mountain High School
Teacher(s): Julienne Collums
Entry - Integration Altercation

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cheesecake from Bon Appetite

Who says recipes get outdated? This one from Bon Appetite, September 1983, is one of those timeless recipes you will go to again and again. Thanks to Diane Houser who shared it in a recipe exchange.


¾ c coarsely ground walnuts ( I omit this)
¾ c finely crushed graham crackers
3 tablespoons melted butter

4- 8oz pkgs cream cheese room temp
4 eggs
1 ¼ c sugar
½ teasp lemon juice
2 teasp vanilla

2 cups sour cream
¼ c sugar
1 teasp vanilla

Position rack in center of oven and preheat 350. Lightly butter 9” spring form pan. For crust combine and press into bottom of pan.
For filling beat cream cheese one package at a time with 1 egg in food processor and put into bowl. Add sugar and lemon and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Spoon over crust. Set pizza pan to catch drippings ( I don’t get any drippings so I don’t do it) Bake 50-55 minutes. Cake may crack. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Retain oven temp at 350. For topping combine sour cream , sugar and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate.

When cake has finished baking spoon topping over cake carefully to within ½ inch from edge. Return to oven and cook 10 minutes longer.

Let cool and refrigerate 3-4 days. Yes . . . Days - it will taste great !

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Leslie Christiansen to teach cooking class at DBG

Directory of Adult Ed at Desert Botanical Gardens, Steen Allard-Larson met the Historical League at our booth at Arizona Highways Travel Show. Carolyn Mendoza showed him Tastes & Treasures cookbook and Steen was very interested. He wanted to know if anyone in the League could teach a cooking class based on recipes from the book. Guess What??? We have our own chef extraordinaire, Leslie Christiansen who is an accomplished cooking instructor.

Last week Leslie and Ruth McLeod met with Steen at his office in the DBG. Steen signed Leslie up for a class Sunday, February 5 in the afternoon. It will be a treat to learn from her. I can't wait to sign up for the class myself. Stay tuned for details.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thank you luncheon for Dr Peter Welsh

The director of a museum and it's support organizations work closely together. Fourteen members of the Historical League took Dr Peter Welsh and wife, Liz, to lunch as a thank you for the years of hard work and enjoyment we have had together. The Arizona Biltmore has a glass walled room that was perfect for our large group. It was a delight to work with Dr Welsh and we wish him well in the future. As he said, "I am still a member of the Historical League" so we hope to continue to see him.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Firehoses, Fun, Food on the Fourth

Pat Faur, Kay Holcombe and I enjoyed the festivities at the Royal Palm neighborhood parade July 4th. The Historical League had a booth to show Tastes & Treasures cookbook, Arizona Recollections and Reflections Centennial book and hand out brochures about the AHS Museum and the Historical League. Granola from page 196 in the cookbook was sampled. Pat also talked about the Children's Holiday Party so we have several interested families.

The Parade is always fun with not one but two fire trucks this year, Veterans on their motorcycles, vintage cars, strollers, bicycles, roller blades, skate boards, Color Guard, flags, songs (Star Spangled Banner led by Claude Mattox) and speeches. Even a submarine replica that drove over two big tubs of ice - ouch. There is always a big crowd starting at 7 am with coffee, donuts, danish and cookies. By 8:30 am when the parade ends, the hot dogs are grilling and the watermelon is sliced and juicy. By 9 am the firemen had turned on their hoses to give the children a gentle cooling spray. All being filmed by Channel 12 News.

Nothing like grass roots America to celebrate the Fourth of July.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

4th of July Fruit Tart

Get the kids involved with this easy way to celebrate America's birthday. It becomes a family event when you decorate a basic tarte with blackberries and raspberries.

Another idea is to bake cupcakes and decorate with blueberries and strawberries and whipping cream.

Or try the Blueberry Muffins from Historic La Posada Hotel
page 62 Tastes & Treasures and top with fresh fruit.
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup milk
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed and drained
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together. Cream the shortening and sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs. Add the sifted flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until combined after each addition. Fold in the blueberries.
Spoon onto greased muffin cups, filling one-half full. Bake for 15 minutes. Serve warm or cool on a wire rack.
Makes 1 ½ dozen.
Note: We love fresh blueberries if in season.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Celebrate 4th of July with Red and Blue

Red Beet Salad and Blueberry Pie
Two great recipes to present on this festive weekend. Thanks to for inspiration for these foods. You could also make Blueberry Muffin Tops page 198 Tastes & Treasures. They are delicious.
Happy Birthday America.

Red for Beet Salad


8 large beets
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 Vidalia onion, sliced thin
3 tablespoons feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley


Rinse the beets very well and boil until fork tender (about 15 minutes.) Drain and use a knife to peel, then cut into bite-sized pieces.

While the beets are boiling, put the balsamic and brown sugar into a sauce pan and reduce over medium-high heat until the balsamic vinegar is thick like maple syrup.

Finally, put all of the ingredients in a bowl with a lid. Cover the bowl and shake well to mix. Serve.

Blue for Blueberry Crunchy Pie Ingredients
1 premade pie crust
1 pint blueberries
1/2 cup grape juice
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 frosted cornflakes


Get the butter out to soften!

Now, take your pre-made pie crust and blind bake it according to package directions. (Blind baking refers to baking the crust without any filling.) Set aside to cool.

In a saucepan, add the blueberries, grape juice, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally and cook until about half of the blueberries have popped. This usually takes about 10-15 minutes.

While the blueberries are heating, put the butter, brown sugar, and cornflakes into a bowl. Work the butter with your fingers until the cornflakes are coated

Preheat your oven to 350. Construct the pie by pouring the blueberry filling into the crust and topping with the buttered cornflakes.

Bake until the butter is melted and the cornflakes are browned, about 12 minutes.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Artichoke and Chile Dip

Artichoke and Chile Dip

1 – 7 oz can diced green chiles
1 – 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and finely chopped
3-4 pickled jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 cup low or non fat mayonnaise
1 cup shredded low fat cheddar
1 cup low fat grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray shallow 9 inch casserole or pie plate with Pam. Mix all ingredients and spread in pan. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly.

Serve hot with low fat tortilla chips. Serves 6.

Louise Sams contributed to the recipe exchange, "I use Artichokes in a can from Trader Joes, Parmesan Cheese in bag in cooler from Smart n Final and Mexican Mix cheese from Costco instead of cheddar."

The Hot Crab Dip from Tastes & Treasures page 165 is also a wonderful, easy spread. Great for company.