Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Nothing like hot soup on a cold rainy day. Try this delicious recipe. Other yummy soups in Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

½ gallon water
¼ cup Low Sodium chicken base
23 ounces tomato juice   
1 cup fresh diced tomato    (optional - I don't add)
Grilled or poached chicken, sliced very thin
1 or 2 carrots, julienned   (1/2 of a 10 ounce bag of shredded carrots found in produce department)
2 to 6 diced jalapeƱos, to taste  (I use 5 or 6)
½ red onion, julienned
½ cup fresh chopped cilantro   (1/2 a bunch, leaves only)   
1/3 cup fresh diced basil
1 ½ tablespoons fresh chopped garlic
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup corn
Pinch cumin

Bring liquids to a boil.  Add the chicken base.  Lower heat to a simmer. 
Add all vegetables and spices.  Simmer for 30 minutes or until carrots are tender.  Add chicken and continue to simmer till chicken is just heated through.

Garnish soup with corn chips, shredded cheese and avocado.

This is a Pearl Street Grill recipe, revised by Gayle Moret. Gail says, "I now always use a Costco rotisserie chicken.  I bone it, tear it into strips and put about 2/3rds or 3/4s of the meat in the pot.  When I've weighed the chicken, it's usually about 13 or 14 ounces of meat."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Salmon, Spinach, Ricotta Puff Pastry

Amazing Presentation and Melt in Your Mouth -  that's how I describe this dish. Try it on that special occasion.
If you like salmon and spinach, you could also try the Salmon Roulade on page 114 in Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

Salmon, Spinach, Ricotta Puff Pastry
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
550g fresh spinach leaves
1 handful raisins
75g pine nuts, toasted
200g ricotta cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
12 sheets filo pastry
30g butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Heat the oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, and sweat gently for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, and cook for a few seconds more until the garlic turns white. 

Tip in the spinach, and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes until it wilts. Season well with salt and black pepper. Remove from the heat, stir through the raisins and pine nuts, and leave to cool. Add the ricotta and beaten egg, and stir well. 

Lay 2 sheets of filo pastry one on top of the other in the cake tin, letting them hang over the edge on two sides. Next, lay 2 more sheets of filo at right angles to the first layer. Continue in this way until you have used 8 sheets for the base of the pie. 

 Spoon the spinach and ricotta mixture into the pie. Fold in the edges of the pastry, and top the pie with the remaining 4 sheets of filo pastry, tucking them in neatly. Brush all over with the melted butter, and bake in the oven for 20–30 minutes until golden and crisp. Serve warm.

Serves 4

Friday, February 20, 2015

Christmas dinner from Cathy Shumard

Cathy keeps giving away Tastes & Treasures cookbooks to friends and family. So she needed two more books.

Posing outside the AHS Museum at Papago Park, she told me about her special Christmas dinner.  "Using recipes from Garland's Oak Creek in Tastes & Treasures cookbook, I prepared the Roast Pork Tenderloin from page 44. It was a hit even though I had never made Pinot Demi-Glace before." Served with Rhubarb Pear chutney, page 46, the entire dinner got excellent raves from her guests!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Feast of the 7 Fishes

Traditions are wonderful to share and cherish with family and friends. The Feast of the 7 Fishes began as a Roman Catholic event to celebrate Christmas Eve. The seven fish can be whatever you want. We did indeed feast that night, inviting neighbors to join in. Thanks to the chef, Mariann Fedele-McLeod!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Betsy Davis reinvents Low Calorie Toffee Coffee Cookies

Betsy Davis made a yummy cookie for the February Historical League meeting.

Her comments, "I'm so happy that everyone liked the cookies.  It was a new recipe for me - I got bored one day and googled "low calorie cookies" and this is one of the recipes that popped up.  I actually modified it a little bit and I think they turned out pretty well!"

Toffee Coffee Cookies

Yield: 36 cookies
Serving Size: 1 cookie
Calories per cookie: 78, 9.7 grams of sugar per cookie

The coffee flavor pairs well with the sweetness of the toffee.  These cookies are really soft and will stay that way for a week if stored in an airtight container.

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
5 Tbs butter
2 Tbs instant coffee (I imagine you could use instant espresso too if you wanted a stronger coffee flavor)
2 egg whites
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 c. brown sugar, light or dark.  I used dark as I prefer the stronger molasses flavor.
4 Skor bars, broken up into small bits in the food processor, or chopped very small with a knife

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt.

2. Melt the butter in the microwave or on the stove. Pour into a medium sized bowl.

3. While the butter is still hot, add in the instant coffee and stir vigorously until almost all of the coffee dissolves.  It's important to mix the coffee into hot butter because it dissolves better and this reduces the amount of coffee speckles in the cookies and distributes the coffee flavor better.

4. Mix the egg whites and vanilla into the butter coffee mixture.  Then add the brown sugar, smearing out any clumps on the side of the bowl.

5. Combine the two bowls of and stir until incorporated.  I used my electric mixer on a medium setting.

6. Mix in 6 Tbs of the crushed up Skor bars.

7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill for a couple hours.  Or, throw it in the freezer for 20 minutes.  You can refrigerate it overnight if you want to make the batter one day and bake the cookies on the next.

8. Preheat the oven to 350° and line to baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with cooking spray.

9. Using a Tablespoon measure, scoop out flat tablespoons of dough and make them into balls and place onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Spray the back of a spoon with non-stick spray and use it to flatten the cookies.  The, spoon a little bit of the leftover crushed Skor bars into the center of each cookie and press the topping into the cookie so it will stick there.  Eat any leftover bits of Skor bar ;)

10. Bake at 350° for 9 - 11 minutes.  I baked mine for 9 minutes.  They will look and feel slightly underdone.  Take the cookies out of the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet; they will finish cooking there.

Lots of great dessert recipes in Tastes & Treasures cookbook also.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Over 2800 Historymaker books donated to schools in AZ

Thank you notes are much appreciated. We received several of them from Washington Elementary School District, Paradise Valley School District and this one from a teacher at the
Glendale Elementary School when we donated over 2800 copies of Arizona Recollections and Reflections, An Arizona Historymakers Centennial Commemoration.

"Thank you very much for including us in the distribution of the Historical League's Centennial books. They are absolutely wonderful! Our 4th and 8th grade students (including my own daughter!) and teachers will greatly benefit from the wealth of information that the books contain."

Sunday, February 8, 2015

More stories from AZ Highways Win Holden

Goldwater's wonderful photography among the Navajos.
Many people know that Historymaker Barry Goldwater's hobby was photography. Over the years, he shot many covers and photo stories for AZ Highways.

During Win Holden's presentation at the February Historical League meeting, we learned that Ansel Adams was also a contributor to AZ Highways.

After his very interesting presentation, Carolyn Hartman thanks Win with a copy Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Win Holden from AZ Highways- Guest Speaker

Entertaining and informative, Win Holden gave us so much history of Arizona and charming stories of our state and it's namesake magazine. The presentation included amazing photos from past issues including this one of Chuckawalla Smith, self proclaimed Rockologist who traveled around the state.

There was much discussion on how this car and driver got to the edge of this cliff . . . and how did he safely return?

Win is a great ambassador for Arizona and we were very pleased to have him as guest speaker at our February Historical League meeting.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Plans are underway for historic trip to New Mexico

Thanks to our fabulous tour chairs, Linda Fritsch and Lindy Isacksen, the Historical League has an amazing 3 day trip to New Mexico April 15-17. 

Flying to El Paso, our tour starts with a short bus trip to historic Mesilla in Las Cruces, New Mexico for lunch at La Posta de Mesilla Restaurant located in the 1840's Old Butterfield Stage Building.
We will visit White Sands National Monument, stay at Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino, tour the Hubbard Museum of the American West,  visit Hondo Iris Farm & Gallery, see Fort Stanton Historic Site, and Eagle Ranch, home of Heart of the Desert Pistachios and Wines in Alamogordo, New Mexico and take a guided tour of the New Mexico Museum of Space History. 

So much in 3 short days! Can't wait!!!