Thursday, July 30, 2015

Got a chocolate craving? Flourless Chocolate Cake

Kathy Holcombe and Ruth McLeod ready to indulge.
Dinner with friends at the Rokerji is always fun especially when we ended with this decadent chocolate delight! Wanted to try it at home and surprised at how easy it is.

Flourless Chocolate Cake

4 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder plus additional for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 375°F and butter an 8-inch round baking pan. Line bottom with a round of wax paper and butter paper.
Chop chocolate into small pieces. In a double boiler or metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water melt chocolate with butter, stirring, until smooth. Remove top of double boiler or bowl from heat and whisk sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs and whisk well. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa powder over chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Pour batter into pan and bake in middle of oven 25 minutes, or until top has formed a thin crust. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes and invert onto a serving plate.
Dust cake with additional cocoa powder. (Cake keeps, after being cooled completely, in an airtight container, 1 week.)

Suggested Toppings: Fresh blueberries and raspberries.
Drizzle with Caramel.
Serve with sorbet if desired.

YIELD: Makes one 8-inch cake

There are also several great chocolate cake recipes in Tastes & Treasures to satisfy your chocolate craving!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hattie Mosher portrait in AHS Museum

Tastes and Treasures cookbooks are stored in the back area of the AHS Museum at Papago Park. While getting boxes of books to deliver to El Chorro, I found this fascinating portrait and didn't know anything about Hattie Lount Mosher. Check out her amazing story below.

Hattie Mosher's sad riches-to-rags story
Her family started a business that sold ice in the desert, a sure way to make a fortune.
But Hattie Mosher's $1 million estate was slowly eaten away by mismanagement and the taxes that came with the city's progress. It left Mosher destitute, walking the streets of downtown Phoenix wearing canvas shoes and fancy ball gowns.
Mosher, who died this week in 1945, lived a reverse fairy-tale life, going from riches to rags. But, at least her rags were nice.
Mosher was a downtown denizen. She owned land near Van Buren Street and Central Avenue and built a never-finished four-story building that came to be known as Mosher's Folly.
Reporters who worked at the nearby building that housed The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix Gazette would often see her walking the sidewalks. One, in a 1973 article, described her as "an eccentric old woman in tennis shoes and turn-of-the-century gowns who talked to herself as she foraged through trash bins and garbage cans for scraps of food."
Mosher came from high society.
She was the daughter of a pioneer who established the city's first ice business. According to her 1945 front-page obituary from the Gazette, Mosher was the first woman to own and ride a bicycle in the city, something that shook up residents who weren't ready for a lady to pedal a two-wheeler.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Granola making more fun with little helpers

Sergio and Rocco help with
granola mixing
Healthy to eat, easy to make and fun for the family. We love this Granola recipe from page 196 in Tastes & Treasures Cookbook.
Old Ned Children's aprons
come in handy

4 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups pistachios
1 1/2 cups pecans
1 1/2 cups slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups sunflower seeds
1/4 teaspoon
1 cup honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup finely chopped assorted dried fruit (raisins, apricots, cranberries, dates)
Brothers working together
ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the oats, coconut, pistachios, pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds and cinnamon in a bowl. Combine the honey, brown sugar, molasses and butter in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until blended, stirring frequently; do not allow to boil.
Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and mix until coated. Spread the oats mixture on a greased baking sheet with edges. Bake for 15 minutes or until the oats are golden brown, stirring frequently. Spoon immediately into a heatproof bowl and stir in the dried fruit. Store in airtight containers or sealable plastic bags in a cool environment for up to 2 months. Freeze if storing for longer than 2 months.  Makes 16 to 18 cups.
Hint - Do not let the granola sit on the hot cookie sheet.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Dads Special Chili With Mushrooms

WWII Veteran Al Rutter celebrating his
95th birthday with Great Granddaughter Julia.
Dad is a good friend in Michigan. Al Rutter is a Great Grand Dad and he loves this chili. 

Dads Special Chili With Mushrooms
2# lean ground beef       
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cans Bush Chili Beans
2 cans petite diced tomatoes
2 glass jars mushrooms stems and pieces
Salt & pepper to taste

Brown beef in large skillet.  Remove beef to chili pot. Add onions, garlic & celery to skillet and cook until soft (5-8 minutes). Drain excess fat.  Add to chili pot along with remaining ingredients. Mix well, semi-cover and simmer or 2-3 hours, stirring often.

Suggested toppings are sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado chunks, chopped onion.

Note: These beans are great to make ahead.
For those vegetarians, they are also wonderful without the meat.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New photos of Historymakers on

Each Historymaker has a professional portrait done for our Historymakers Gala and Recognition Program. But we also collect artifacts, memorabilia and background photos. Many of these personal and family photographs are now available online at

Childhood photos and family pictures are an insight into our Historymakers. No matter how famous, how well known, how creative, we all started from humble beginnings.

Who do you think these children grew up to be?

Answers: Eddie Basha, Bill Owen, Esther Don Tang, Sandra Day O'Connor, Bob Goldwater, Jim Bruner

Monday, July 20, 2015

ASU's SkySong scouting visit

Margaret Baker and Zona Lorig at SkySong
Always wanted to see what it was like under those tall sails at SkySong in Scottsdale and the opportunity came when we checked out the high tech monitors in the lobby. It was suggested to duplicate this idea for our new Historymakers Wall Exhibit at AHS Museum at Papago Park.

Margaret Baker, Zona Lorig, Mary Parker discover a
photo of Historymaker Ed Mells sculpture in the lobby.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Luscious Lemon Bread in Starbucks

Lemon trees are abundant in Phoenix and this recipe is delicious. No wonder Starbucks makes a Lemon Loaf. Tastes and Treasures also has a recipe and the recipes are VERY similar. Make both and have a taste test!

Starbucks Lemon Loaf

1 1/2 cup(s) FLOUR

1/2 teaspoon(s) BAKING SODA

1/2 teaspoon(s) BAKING POWDER

1/2 teaspoon(s) SALT

1 cup(s) SUGAR

2 tablespoon(s) BUTTER; Softened.

1 teaspoon(s) VANILLA

1 teaspoon(s) LEMON EXTRACT
1/3 cup(s) LEMON JUICE

1/2 cup(s) OIL (recommend coconut oil)


1 cup(s) POWDERED SUGAR; Plus 1 Tablespoon.

2 tablespoon(s) WHOLE MILK
1/2 teaspoon(s) LEMON EXTRACT

Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Use a mixer to blend together the eggs, sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon extract and lemon juice in a medium bowl.

Pour wet ingredient into the dry ingredients and blend until smooth.

Add oil and mix well.
Pour batter into a well greased 9x5-inch loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick stuck into center of the cake comes out clean.

Make the lemon icing by combining all the icing ingredients in a small bowl with an electric mixer on low speed.

When the loaf is cool, remove it from pan and frost the top with the icing.

Let the icing set up before slicing.

Luscious Lemon Loaf pg 198 of Tastes & Treasures cookbook
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tsp lemon extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line a 5 X 8 " loaf pan with baking parchment paper. Sift the flour (who does this anymore??), baking powder, and salt together. Combine the sugar, butter and eggs in a mixing bowl. Beat using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl occasionally. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, walnuts and flavoring.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-60 minutes or until the loaf tests done. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Note: you may drizzle with a mixture of 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 tsp half and half and 1 tsp lemon juice. Makes 1 loaf.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Shipping Tastes & Treasures to Moscow, Idaho

Nice letter from Ellen in Chandler who ordered a cookbook for her friend in Idaho after reading The Arizona Republic article about Navajo Tacos from Cameron Trading Post.

Dear Ruth,

I actually read the recipe for Navajo Tacos and Indian Fry Bread in the recent Chandler Republic in Jan D'Atris column. She mentioned  that credit for the recipes was the Historical League's cookbook. My friend in Idaho and I are both Arizona natives. She misses Arizona a lot and is interested in anything historical - especially if it involves cooking. I know she will use many recipes from this book - and when I go to visit I will willingly be the "Guinea Pig" when she tries them out.

Thanks for helping to keep the memories of Old Arizona alive.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Wanted: Someone to crack this antique Bank of Arizona Safe

This massive beauty sits in back storage at the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park. A bit dusty but in otherwise great condition.
We would love to look inside but don't have the combination. Anyone know an expert safe cracker????

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Peaches Peaches Peaches

When the peach tree is loaded with fruit, it's time to find recipes with peaches. Kay Holcombe tried out her ice cream machine with great success! Nothing better than home-made peach ice cream with peach sauce over the top.

1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups milk (whole or low-fat)
1 cup heavy cream
 2 teaspoons vanilla
Before you begin, make sure that your freezer bowl is completely frozen—it's a good idea to put it in the freezer a full 24 hours before you plan to make the ice cream. Also, allow enough time for the custard to chill before you plan to make the ice cream, which could take several hours. Kay followed the directions on her Cuisinart ICE-20.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Cookbooks for historic El Chorro Lodge

Remodeled and looking better than ever, the restaurant is spacious and welcoming with Tastes and Treasures cookbook featured in the lobby. The famous Sticky Buns, recipe on page 78-79, are as delicious as ever.

El Chorro's Sheila Gaskell with Tastes and Treasures cookbook in the lobby cupboards.

Tastes and Treasures A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona has been reordered many times with El Chorro Lodge on E. Lincoln in Paradise Valley. We were happy to deliver more cookbooks yesterday and to continue working with such a charming, historic restaurant.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Unique presentation for Salad

Our Historical League meetings have fabulous lunches and many of the recipes are from Tastes and Treasures cookbook.This was such an elegant way to serve a chicken salad. Too bad I didn't take the photo before it was 1/2 gone!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Crock Pot Southwest Chicken

There are lots of great recipes with Southwest flavors in Tastes & Treasures cookbook but here are two not found in the book.

Easy Peasy Crock Pot Southwest Chicken    

4 chicken breast
1 packet Fiesta Ranch mix (by the salad dressing in the grocery store)
1 can black beans
1 can Rotel (canned tomatoes with diced green chiles)
1 can corn not drained
1 block cream cheese

Add all the ingredients and cook in the slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low. Serve with sour cream and salsa.  Eat over rice or with tortillas! Yummmmm.

For variety: Omit cream cheese.
                    Omit Fiesta Ranch mix and 
use canned salsa.
                    Use packet of Taco Mix

Hungry Girl has another version of Crock pot Southwest Chicken
1 1/2 lbs. raw boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
One 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
One 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
One 7-oz. can diced green chiles, drained
1 cup frozen sweet corn kernels
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Optional seasonings: salt and black pepper

Season chicken with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Place chicken in a slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients except broth, sour cream, cheese, and cilantro. Top with broth, and stir well. Cover and cook on high for 3 - 4 hours or on low for 7 - 8 hours, until chicken is fully cooked.

Transfer chicken to a large bowl. Shred with two forks -- one to hold the chicken in place and the other to scrape across and shred it. Return shredded chicken to the slow cooker, and stir well.

Top each serving with 1 tbsp. each sour cream, cheese, and cilantro. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Breakfast Burritos

Company is coming. Are you looking for a breakfast dish that you can make ahead of time? This one is yummmy!
Don't forget to check out other breakfast casseroles in Tastes & Treasures cookbook.


12 oz Jimmy Dean low fat sausage
3 - 4 Cup Ore Ida Southern Style (diced) hash browns
8 eggs
6 - 8 oz shredded Cheddar cheese
Mark Schlereth’s Stinking Good Chili - medium green pork or something that you like
12 - 15 Mission flour tortillas - soft taco  ( about 8” diam)  or Mission Life Balance tortillas

Fry and drain sausage.  Fry potatoes until tender (takes a while).
Scramble eggs and cook.
Mix everything together with cheese and about 1 1/2 C of green chili.

Microwave tortilla for about 15 seconds, until soft.
Top with heaping 1/2 C mixture, fold in one end, sides, and roll.
Wrap in foil.

Serve with extra green chili.

Great to make ahead and freeze.  Thaw overnight in frig and heat at 350 for 20-30 min.

Friday, July 3, 2015

New AHS brochure funded by Historical League

With state budget cuts directly affecting the Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park, the Historical League helps fill in the gaps. We have funded the new AHS brochure to introduce visitors and business to this lovely and versatile facility.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Watermelon Pizza

Talk about refreshing. Imagine this at your 4th of July event!

Want a pretty party presentation or a special treat for the family? Try this delicious dish of fruit. The children will love to help with this one. Also try Yogurt Parfait, page 52, Tastes & Treasures cookbook.

Watermelon Pizza

Strawberry jam
Feta Cheese
Any fresh fruit in season

Slice watermelon in 1” thick size. Drain to remove excess moisture.
Add a layer of strawberry jam
Cut into 8 sections.
Arrange fresh fruit on the top
Sprinkle with Feta Cheese, coconut, use your imagination