Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thank you in Thyme

At the Spring Recognition Luncheon, Jackie Berkowitz announced the volunteer hours for 2011-2012. The Historical League has a cumulative total of 110,394 volunteer hours to the AZ Historical Society at Papago Park. President Sharron McKinney thanked her Board and we were all given a great gift of Thyme. Such a thoughtful, clever and useful idea.

Garlands Oak Creek uses Thyme for Roast Pork page 44, and for Red Lentil Chowder page 42 in Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

Thyme, botanically-known as thymus vulgaris, gets its name from the Greek word thymon, an herb used as incense or as a fumigator during sacrifices.

Native to the Mediterranean region, thyme was brought to Britain by the Romans. Long-prized for its medicinal uses, ancient Egyptians used thyme oil in their embalming process.

Legend has it that thyme was an essential ingredient in a magic brew that allowed the drinker to see the fairies. It was also considered an aphrodisiac.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pumpkin Cake from Peggy Murphy

Peggy says, "This is my special cake that I make every year for my birthday. Everyone loves it!"

Cook’s Country Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients for the Cake:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground ginger
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 2/3 cups sugar
(1) 15 oz can plain pumpkin puree

Adjust oven to middle position and heat to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in bowl. With electric mixer on medium high, beat eggs, oil, and sugar in separate bowl until thick and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add pumpkin and mix until incorporated. Slowly add flour mixture and mix until only a few small lumps of flour remain, about 1 minute. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and cool completely.

Ingredients for the Frosting:
6 T unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups powdered sugar
(1) 8 ounce package cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces and softened
1 tsp vanilla

Beat butter and powdered sugar together until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until smooth. Frost cake and bring to the party! Cut into 18 pieces.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Spinach and Mozarella Cheese Appetizer

Spinach and Mozarella Cheese Appetizer

Sometimes we get very unusual recipes from recipe exchanges. Anyone ever try something like this one?

Blanch a bunch of spinach (just dunk in boiling water for about 30 seconds). Cut a large ball of fresh mozzarella into thirds or quarters and wrap the pieces all over with the spinach leaves. Grill until the cheese is soft (or you can stick them in a hot oven also).

Serve with a salsa made with chopped prosciutto, capers, parsley, a little balsamic vinegar, some olive oil. You can add roasted peppers, too - delicious.

Lots of appetizer recipes and wonderful stories of early Arizona in Tastes & Treasures cookbook too.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Planning for Historymakers Gala XI

The Historymakers Gala XI is in good hands with co-chairs Jeannine Moyle and Mary Parker. Organizational and fundraising meetings are being held with some exciting changes in the works for this Rec0gition Program.

Attending this meeting were Sharron McKinney, Pam den Draak, Jeannine Moyle, Susan Dale, Ruth McLeod, Renee Donnelly, Pam Ryan, Mary Parker, Joan Robinson and Zona Lorig.

Stay tuned for announcements.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Salted Peanut and Caramel Banana Bread

Mother never wasted food so blackening bananas would never go in the compost or trash. Now my mouth is watering for the taste of banana bread, salty peanuts and sweet caramel.

Try this updated version of simple, quick Banana Bread, from CostcoConnection. Similar to Carrot bread on page 197 in Tastes & Treasures cookbook, your family and guests will want more.

Salted Peanut and Caramel Banana Bread
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup chopped salted peanuts
1/2 cup toffee bits, or caramel or butterscotch chips

Salted Peanut Caramel topping
1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
1/4 cup toffee bits, or caramel or butterscotch chips
2 tablespoons caramel sundae topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generous spray a 12-cup Bundt pan or two 9 X 5 inch loaf pans. Place on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.

In a mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, yogurt and mashed bananas, scraping down the bowl often to blend evenly.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet batter. Fold in coconut, peanuts, toffee, caramel or butterscotch chips, blending well. Spoon into prepared baking pan.

To make the topping, mix coconut, peanuts and toffee, caramel or butterscotch chips in a small bowl. Sprinkle on top of cake. Drizzle on caramel.

Bake 50 to 55 minutes, until cake tests done. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan, and drizzle on more caramel if desired.

Makes 8 to 10 servings. Freezes well.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Grants to Museum

Donating over $1 million to the AHS Museum at Papago Park since 1980 is a point of pride for the Historical League. President Sharron McKinney gave Museum Director Kyle McKoy the Grant money for 2011-2012 totaling over $75,000. We are pleased to see the funds go to great projects at the Museum.

The presentation took place at our Annual Spring Recognition Luncheon at Arizona Country Club on Wed, May 15.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Brussel Sprouts

Okay, I am changing my mind about this vegetable. I NEVER liked brussel sprouts but this dish is so tasty. When the toddler in her high chair eats it, you know it is yummy.

Tastes & Treasures cookbook has a vegetable recipe from historic Hassayampa Inn in Prescott. Summer Squash Saute on page 57 is also a tasty, delicious way to serve vegies.

Saute in olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Steam for 25 minutes. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Four Peaks Brewery wins BIG

Four Peaks Brewery, housed in the 1892 Borden's Creamery building, has given us several wonderful recipes for Tastes & Treasures cookbook. Love the Oatmeal Stout Shake on page 92.

Now they are winning BIG awards in the beer world. Read about them at

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wild Rice and Cranberry Salad

The lemon and orange zest give this salad a refreshing flavor.
Love this nifty tool to get the essence of the citrus. With it's fine teeth, this Microplane works wonders. A wise cook told me only get the colored peel, not the bitter white part.

Tastes & Treasures
cookbook has a Wild Rice Pilaf on page 57 from Hassayampa Inn - a warm, delicious side dish.

This cold wild rice recipe makes a tasty accompaniment at Thanksgiving but will be a hit at any event.

Wild Rice Cranberry Pecan Salad

1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup wild rice
2 1/3 cups water (see package instructions)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans (toasted or un-toasted, your choice)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Use the amount of water for the rice according to instructions on the rice package, usually wild rice is a ratio of 1:3 of wild rice to water. Bring rice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, butter, and water to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 50 minutes. Do not stir. Do not uncover. Remove from stove and let sit, covered for 10 minutes. Then uncover, fluff up with a fork, and let cool to almost room temperature.
In a medium sized serving bowl, mix the rice, cranberries, pecans, and green onions together.
In a separate jar, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, orange peel, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, mix dressing in with the rice mixture. Serve warm, chilled, or room temperature.

Note: We used slivered almonds instead of pecans.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Artichoke Spread from Donna Esposito

My mouth is watering thinking about this delicious dip from Historical League member, Donna Esposito. She is wearing our Centennial apron in celebration of Arizona's 100th birthday.

More great appetizer recipes are in Tastes & Treasures cookbook.



2 (6.5 oz) jars Artichoke Hearts
1 cup Mayonnaise
8 oz Mozzarella Cheese
2 tsp Garlic Powder
16 oz Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 350ยบ.
Drain the artichoke hearts and then cut into small pieces. Combine all remaining ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes until bubbly and heated through.
This is for a double recipe.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Breakfast Egg Bake

Breakfast is the best meal of the day. While visiting family in Minneapolis, we sampled some of the best cooking including this make-ahead dish. Great when you have company.

Also try Breakfast Casserole on page 195 in Tastes & Treasures cookbook for an easy, make-ahead start of the day.

Breakfast Egg Bake

1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 cup sweet red pepper chopped
1/2 cup green onion chopped
1 3/4 cup fully cooked ham cubed
1 cup shredded mozarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
8 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1 3/4 cup milk
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spread shredded cheese on bottom of dish.
Saute red pepper and green onion in fry pan with olive oil until softened. Add cubed ham and saute for 1 minute. Spoon over cheese.
Beat eggs in bowl. Add milk, flour, salt and pepper to taste. Pour over cheese and vegies.
Cover and refrigerate over night.

Bake 350 degree oven for approx 35 minutes or until eggs are set. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Note - sliced mushrooms, broccoli, spinach are a nice addition to the vegetables also.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Easy Italian Pasta Sauce

Tastes & Treasures
has a wonderful Tarragon Tomato Sauce on page 98 from Lon's at the Hermosa Inn. Made from scratch, it is savory and delicious.

When you don't have time to re-create the sauce from The Hermosa Inn, try the recipe below. It is fast and easy.


1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
1/2 cup chopped sweet yellow pepper
1 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1 16 oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Parmesan cheese grated
Pasta - any kind you choose

Saute red, yellow peppers, onion, garlic in olive oil.
Add crushed tomatoes, fresh parsley and simmer for 30 minutes.
Pour over cooked pasta
Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and savor the tastes.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Guidon Books sells Tastes & Treasures cookb

Arizona and Western history is the focus of Shelly Dudley's book store in Scottsdale. She has re-ordered Tastes & Treasures A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona many times as it continues to be a popular item. The Historical League had a booth next to her at Arizona History Convention at Pointe Tapatio in April. Donna Esposito, Ruth Ann Hogan assist Carolyn Mendoza with sales of both the cookbook and Arizona Recollections and Reflections, the Centennial Legacy Project book. Bruce Dinges, chair of the History Convention and author of AHS Journal of Arizona enjoys shopping in her booth.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Edamame and Hominy Salad

Margaret Baker brought the best salad to our League meeting and graciously shared it. An Arizona native, she is excited to celebrate Arizona's Centennial and helped edit on our Legacy Project book, Arizona Recollections and Reflections with Pat Faur.

Ingredients for Salad:
10 oz. fresh or frozen shelled edamame beans (soybeans)

1 15 oz. can yellow hominy, drained (I prefer Bush brand)

1 15 oz. can white hominy, drained (I prefer Bush brand)

I small red bell pepper
1 small onion, diced (I prefer green onions; milder)
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, diced (or to taste)

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

Ingredients for Dressing:
½ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
¼ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup vegetable oil

½ tsp. Pico de Gallo seasoning (or chile powder)

½ tsp. cumin

2 tsp. chipotle salsa (most grocery stores have this)

Salt and pepper to taste (may not need salt)


Mix salad ingredients together. In a separate bowl thoroughly combine dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and mix thoroughly. Chill at least 4 hours.

Serves 6 to 8.

Notes: This is very different, spicy, and keeps exceptionally well for days, in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Double Chocolate Red Beet Cake

Who says red beets and sour cream don’t belong in a Double Chocolate Cake? Try this very moist and decadent treat.

Double Chocolate Red Beet Cake
2 large beets
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
4-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 to 6 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions for cake:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Generously spray two 9-inch cake pans with non stick cooking spray and then line with circles of parchment paper. Place on the baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cut up beets into quarters and place in a small oven proof pan with about 1/2 cup water. Roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Cool, peel and puree to make 2/3 cup. Set aside. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.

In a mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add sour cream and mix well. Add beet puree. Stir together cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, then fold into wet mixture.

Spoon batter into prepared cake pans and bake until done, so cakes spring back when lightly touched, 35-40 minutes. Cool cakes well and then turn out onto cake racks to completely cool.

Directions for Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
Blend cream cheese, butter, cocoa, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla together in a mixer. Add a touch of water if necessary to achieve a smooth frosting consistency. Frost cake layers and chill cake for 30 minutes.

Makes 10 to 12 servings.