Saturday, March 31, 2012

Vegetable & Nut Salad

Arizona weather gives us two growing seasons and the lettuce and peppers are looking mighty fine now in my garden. Here is a recipe to use the bounty from nature.

Vegetable & Nut Salad
1 pkg (10 oz) salad greens OR pick your own
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup cooked fresh corn
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup sliced cucumbers, halved
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup Light Asian Toasted Sesame Dressing

Combine all ingredients and enjoy. The red pepper in this colorful salad is an excellent source of vitaminC and teams up with the lettuce to provide vitamin A.

Makes 6 servings, about 1 1/3 cup each.

How to Toast Nuts: Toasting nuts adds crunch and intensifies flavor. To toast nuts in the oven, spread nuts in a single layer in shallow baking pan. Bake at 350 for 10 - 15 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

Nutrition information: 120 calories, 6 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 4 g sugars, 4 g protein.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cookbook Makes Great Bridal Shower Gift

Want to have a more personal Wedding Shower gift? With all these brides and grooms registering at big box stores, it is hard to give something they will remember years later.

Tastes & Treasures Cookbook is a wonderful solution. By writing an inscription inside the front cover, signing and dating it, your gift will be a useful memory of Arizona history and Arizona recipes from historic places throughout our State. You can always add those pots and pans from Bed Bath and Beyond, but give the cookbook in place of a card. Your gift will last much longer.

Jacinda Johnston and Andrew Fischer will tie the knot in April. Congratulations to them.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies

GREAT PUMPKIN COOKIES page 162 in Tastes & Treasures cookbook


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 craisins, semi-sweet chocolate chips, raisins or nuts for variety.

* Makes about 6 dozen bite sized cookies.

* Store cookies in an airtight container. Freezes well.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls

Historic El Chorro is famous for it's Sticky Buns - delicious and finger-licking good. The recipe is on page 78 in Tastes & Treasures cookbook. They are worth going to the Lodge to enjoy but also check out the newly renovated buildings. It now has plenty of outdoor seating. Perfect patios with big blue umbrellas for the Arizona sun and cozy fireplaces for the evening chill. You can purchase a copy of the cookbook from your waiter.

The calories in these famous Sticky Buns might scare you away. So here's a scaled down version for those of us working off those extra pounds we gained over the Holidays.

1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt

1 package refrigerated Pillsbury Crescent Recipe Creations Seamless Dough Sheet

3 tbsp. fat-free or light caramel dip

2 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread

2 tbsp. sugar-free pancake syrup
1 tbsp. brown sugar (not packed)
3 tbsp. chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8 cups of a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick spray and set aside.

To make filling, combine brown sugar with butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 10 seconds, or until butter has mostly melted. Mix in cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Lay dough on a dry surface with the short sides on the left and right and the long sides on the top and bottom. Roll or stretch out dough into a large rectangle of even thickness. Evenly spread filling onto dough, leaving a 1-inch border around all edges.

Tightly roll up dough from the bottom, forming a log. Pinch the long seam to seal. Gently turn so the seam side is down. Cut log widthwise into 8 equally sized buns. Place a bun in each of the 8 sprayed muffin cups, spiral side up. Set aside.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine all topping ingredients except pecans. Microwave for 30 - 45 seconds, until butter has mostly melted. Add pecans and mix well. Evenly distribute topping among buns, about 1 tbsp. each.

Bake in the oven until golden brown, 12 - 15 minutes.

Let cool slightly. Gently remove buns from pan while still warm. Enjoy!


Thanks to Hungry Girl for the lower calories/fat recipe.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Historymakers brainstorming at Arcadia Farms

Nothing like lunch at Arcadia Farms to motivate League members. Zona Lorig, Joan Robinson, Pat Faur and Ruth McLeod enjoyed salads and desserts while discussing the next Historymakers program.

The shrimp salad recipe from Tastes & Treasures cookbook, page 174, has similar ingredients. Arcadia Farms includes avocado, grilled corn, grilled shrimp, spring mix salad, chopped beets, and goat cheese with balsamic dressing. It is a lighter version of the recipe below.
Green Salad with Shrimp Tastes & Treasures Cookbook
2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons white vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 or 3 avocados, sliced
2 pounds small shrimp, cooked and peeled
1 bunch spinach, trimmed
1 head romaine, trimmed and leaves separated
1 head iceberg lettuce, trimmed and leaves separated
1 pound bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled

Combine the oil, cottage cheese, onion, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, peppercorns and cayenne pepper in a blender or food processor and process until mixed. Combine the cottage cheese mixture, avocados and shrimp in a bowl and mix gently. Chill, covered, for 8 to 10 hours. Rinse the spinach, romaine and iceberg lettuce and wrap in damp clean kitchen towels. Chill for 8 to 10 hours.
Tear the greens into bite-size pieces. Combine the greens and the shrimp mixture in a salad bowl and mix gently. Sprinkle with the bacon and serve immediately. Serves 8 to 10

Note: This is too much oil for my taste so recommend cutting it in 1/2. I also pureed the cottage cheese mixture for a l-o-n-g time but it still separated when I poured it on the lettuce. Not a pretty picture. This salad tasted great but not the best looking presentation. Too bad.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Impressive Cupcakes

Cupcakes make a beautiful presentation . . . at weddings, parties, showers, birthdays. I think this fad will be around for a long time since it is so easy to create a unique display and everyone loves the moist delicious cakes. Polly Rosenbaum's 100th Birthday cake on page 136 of Tastes & Treasures would make wonderful cupcakes.

The cupcakes pictured here were served at the home of Nancy Taub for the March meeting of Alpha Delta Kappa teachers group. About 30 teaching professionals meet monthly and enjoy an educational presentation. Zona Lorig and Ruth Mcleod were invited to speak about the Historical League's new Centennial book, Arizona Recollections and Reflections. The Centennial book and Tastes & Treasures Cookbook were well received and sold to the group.

League member Debbie Esquer gave the introduction prior to the presentation of the Centennial book. Debbie is a new Historical League member but very knowledgeable of our mission. We are glad to have her join our group.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Historymaker John Driggs gives us Green Corn Tamales

Green Corn Tamales was the recipe given us by Historymaker John Driggs for Tastes & Treasures cookbook. There is an interesting history behind the recipe. Apparently, John and his wife, Gail, had enjoyed Pancho's Patio restaurant on North Central Ave, above Camelback Road in the 1950's. They knew the owner Elma Van Zandt and she shared her recipe for Green Corn Tamales with them.

Sadly, Pancho's Patio is long gone but the wonderful food Elma created can still be enjoyed today. Recipe on page 128 of Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bridal Shower Confections

Decadent chocolate covered strawberries and dessert trays with mini cream puffs and chocolate eclairs were spectacular.

The bride has a degree in fashion design and has created costumes for the theatre so centerpieces of shoes and hats seemed very appropriate.

Who would have thought that alternating red and green grapes on a skewer would look so attractive? Mother-of-the-groom, Pam Fischer, shows us her creations.

Yogurt was the filling in the paper cups served with a strawberry and Meyer Lemon cookie, served by Historical League member and co-hostess Kay Holcombe. Yummmm. They were like a mini version of the yogurt parfait served at Hassayampa Inn in Prescott. Recipe on page 52 of Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

A feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Green Beans with Lemon and Nuts

Vegetables are so tasty alone but embellished with lemon and nuts makes them more like a special treat. Tastes & Treasures cookbook has a wonderful recipe for Herb-Roasted Vegetables thanks to The Cottage Place in Flagstaff. El Tovar at the Grand Canyon also gave us their recipe for Melange of Sauteed Vegetables. Try them all.

Green Beans with Lemon and Nuts
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or pecans
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook beans and garlic cloves in a 4-quart saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
Finely mince garlic cloves, transfer minced garlic and drained beans to a bowl and toss with nuts, parsley, zest, oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Makes 8 servings.
Approximate values per serving: 70 calories, 5 g fat, 0 cholesterol, 3 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiver, 6 mg sodium, 64 percent calories from fat.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Zucchini Apple Carrot Bread

Eat your vegetables. No problem. Especially when the veggies are in this delicious quick bread with a blend of zucchini, carrots, apples and raisins. Carrot bread recipe on page 197 in Tastes & Treasures cookbook is a good one. The recipe below adds even more vegetables.

Zucchini Carrot Apple Bread


2 cups sugar

1 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 eggs

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Pinch of cloves

2 cups shredded carrots

1 cup shredded unpeeled zucchini

1/2 cup plumped yellow raisins

1 cup finely diced, peeled apples

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Cream Cheese Drip Frosting


1/2 cup cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 to 3 cups confectioners’ sugar

Orange juice as required

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 8 X 4 inch loaf pans or one Bundt pan. This recipe can also make 18 to 24 muffins. Place pans on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.

In a mixer bowl, blend the sugar, butter, eggs, orange juice and vanilla. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet batter along with the shredded carrots, zucchini raisins apples and walnuts. Spoon into prepared pan(s).

Bake until done, about 1 hour, or until loaves spring back when gently touched with fingers. Cool to room temperature before icing.

Cream Cheese Drip Frosting - Place the cream cheese, butter, and most of the confectioners’ sugar in a food processor or mixer bowl. Blend, adding more of the confectioners’ sugar and drizzling in a bit of orange juice to make it a soft, fluffy topping. Add more confectioners’ sugar or orange juice if necessary for smooth consistency. Frost top of loaf or cake, it will drip down the sides, and garnish with shredded carrots and a dusting of cinnamon before serving.

Makes 8 to 12 servings. Freezes well.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gifting Tastes & Treasures Cookbook

Lots of snowbirds come to the "Valley of the Sun" in February and March. We were fortunate to enjoy a mini-Michigan Tech University reunion at Dennis and Carol Downey's place in Mesa last week with 6 graduates of the University. It was fun to reminisce and tell stories.

I gave a cookbook to Laura and Mike Hoganson and she was so grateful. Coming from a Forestry major, this comment is appreciated, "Thank you for Tastes & Treasures. It is a beautiful, beautiful cookbook. I have studied every page(!) and am excited to make many of the recipes."

Meatballs with Sweet-and-Sour Sauce, page 165 Tastes & Treasures, is an easy recipe to serve at any get-together. The guys have enjoyed it on their golf trips when I prepare it and freeze the entire dish in a giant zip-loc bag. Before they leave for golf, it is placed in the crockpot on low heat to be enjoyed when they return.



2 cups undrained sauerkraut

1 16oz can whole cranberry sauce

1¼ cups chili sauce

1¼ cups water

1 cup packed brown sugar

3 pounds frozen cooked meatballs


  1. Allow meatballs to defrost in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Combine sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, chili sauce water and brown sugar in a slow cooker and mix well.
  3. Add the meatballs and cook on low for 2-3 hours or longer.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Heart Shaped Coffee Cake Celebrates AZ 100th Birthday

Valentine's Day and Arizona's 100th birthday couldn't be any sweeter with this delicious Cranberry Coffee Cake. Historical League member, Kay Holcombe, is creative in the kitchen with the heart-shaped pan for the coffee cake. The Holcombes, married for 35 years, often give each other innovative and unique gifts for special occasions. This is a great way to celebrate Valentine's Day or any event.

Cranberry Coffee Cake pg. 199 in Tastes & Treasures cookbook
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can whole cranberry sauce

Confectioners' Sugar Glaze
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons (about) warm water
2 teaspoons lemon juice

For the Coffee Cake: preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Beat the butter in a bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Add the sugar gradually, beating constantly until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the walnuts.

Spoon half the batter into a greased and floured tube pan, 9 X 13 inch baking pan or bundt pan. Spread with 1/2 of the cranberry sauce. Top with the remaining batter and remaining cranberry sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes for the tube pan or bundt pan. Bake 35 to 40 minutes for the 9 X 13 pan or until the coffee cake tests done. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and invert onto a serving platter.

For the Glaze: mix the confectioners' sugar, warm water and lemon juice in a bowl until of a glaze consistency. Drizzle over the warm coffee cake. Let stand until set.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Pork Roast with a Twist

Cuban Pork Tenderloin has a combination of unique ingredients that make it fresh and flavorful. With family visiting from Toronto, we served this to take advantage of the fresh grapefruit and oranges as well as the cilantro from the garden. Half the fun of cooking is having guests in the kitchen- chopping, laughing and telling stories.


1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin, trimmed

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice

2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes


Using thin knife, trim silver skin from tenderloin.

Mix orange juice, grapefruit juice, cilantro, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes in gallon-size zip-top plastic bag. Add pork, close and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.

Preheat grill on high. Adjust temperature to 400 degrees. Lightly oil cooking grate. Remove pork from marinade, drain briefly, but do not scrape off solids. Place on grill and cover grill. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned and instant-read thermometer inserted into center of pork reads 145 degrees, about 20 minutes. Transfer to carving board and let stand 3 minutes. Cut on slight diagonal and serve.

Serves 6.