National Chocolate Chip Day

May 15 is National Chocolate Chip Day!

Chocolate chips overflowing from brown ceramic ramekin onto wood

Chocolate chips are a crucial ingredient in many deserts and baked goods, such as, chocolate chip muffins, chocolate chip brownies, mint chocolate chip ice-cream, and chocolate chip bagels. However, chocolate chip cookies are arguably the most popular way to use them.

According to women-inventors.com, the original chocolate chip cookie was created by Ruth Graves Wakefield in Whitman, Massachusetts at her Toll House Inn in the 1930’s. It is said that one day when she was baking chocolate cookies she ran out of baker’s chocolate, so she substituted with chopped up semi-sweet morsels. After baking she discovered that the pieces did not melt as was expected, but she served the cookies any way and they were an instant hit.

Ruth originally called her accidental creations “Toll House Crunch Cookies.” Locally they became enormously popular and her recipe was published in a Boston newspaper. As the popularity of her cookies grew, Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate bars sales also increased. Later the owners of Nestle and Ruth would make an arrangement. Nestle would be able to print the Toll House Cookie recipe on their packaging, and Ruth would get a lifetime supply of Nestle Chocolate.

Nestle originally sold the chocolate as a bar with a small chopping tool. It wasn’t until the 1940’s that they started selling it in morsel (or “chip”) form. The chocolate chip cookie has since become one of the most popular cookies in the United States, with an estimated 25% of all cookies baked being chocolate chip.

To celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day, we have included the Original NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.
  • SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION: Prepare dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies. * May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.
  • FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.

 

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Step Back In Time By Visiting These Local History Museums

Arizona gained its statehood on February 14, 1912. It was the last of the 48 continental states to be admitted into the union.

Arizona Flag And Lands

Arizona was originally a part of Mexico, the land was relinquished to the US in 1848 and became a separate territory in 1863. In 1854 copper was discovered, and copper mining was Arizona’s top industry until the 1950’s. We are widely known for our “five C’s,” copper, climate, citrus, cotton and cattle. In terms of area, Arizona is the 6th largest state in the country.

Though relatively young for a state, Arizona has a fairly fascinating history, and it is worth learning more about it. We have gathered a small list of just some of the museums that are worth visiting to learn more about the diverse and beautiful state in which we live.

 

53 N. Macdonald

Mesa, AZ 85201

Regular Hours:

Tues – Fri: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sat: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sun: 1 – 5 p.m.

This museum will take you far back into the history of the state, all the way back to the time of the dinosaurs! Learn about the first creatures that called Arizona home. In the museums Southwest Gallery you will learn about the first human inhabitants of North America and the Desert Civilizations that later developed. You can see a Hohokam village with pit-houses outfitted with real artifacts as they would have been used 600-1450 A.D. You can explore Territorial Arizona, the Spanish Southwest, and Arizona’s historic 5 Cs in the History Courtyard. Also in the courtyard is a dino-dig and go gold panning! Discover many of the movies that have been filmed in Arizona, and even be in a western movie yourself!

 

2301 North Central Avenue

Phoenix, AZ 85004

Regular Hours:

Monday to Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

First Fridays (except March): 6 to 10 p.m.

Established in 1929, the mission of the Heard Museum is to educate visitors and promote greater public understanding of the arts, heritage and life ways of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with an emphasis on American Indian tribes and other cultures of the Southwest. Explore the museum’s rich history as one of the Phoenix area’s first cultural attractions, and see how the museum has grown to be one of the world’s finest destinations for learning about American Indian arts and cultures.

 

4087 N. Apache Trail

Highway 88

Apache Junction, AZ 85119

Regular Hours:

Open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Superstition Mountain Museum collects, preserves and displays the artifacts, history and folklore of the Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction and the surrounding region. This is a 12.5 acre museum site that offers untold photo opportunities with its reproductions of 19th Century businesses including a Wells Fargo office, stage coach stop, barber shop, assay office and other displays of authentic relics of the 1800’s. Occasionally there are gunfighters that will put on a show of what an old west shoot out may have been like. Well marked nature walks crisscross the areas surrounding the museum buildings, all located at the base of the West Wall of the beautiful Superstition Mountain….a one of a kind location. You can also visit the Elvis Memorial Chapel and the Audie Murphy Barn which were moved to the museum, piece by piece, following the second fire which destroyed the Apacheland Movie Ranch.

 

1300 N. College Ave.

Tempe, AZ 85281

Regular Hours:

Tues. – Sat.:  10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Sun.:  Noon – 4 p.m.

Closed on Mondays and state holidays.

Concentrating on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, the museum engages visitors on diverse topics such as World War II’s effects on Arizona, the rise of desert cities, Arizona pop culture and sports, and the state’s geology, among many others. The museum brings stories to life through hands-on and multimedia displays, and a variety of educational programs.

 

2340 N. Fort Valley Road

Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Regular Hours:

Mondays – Saturdays: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sundays: Closed except during special events.

The museum is located in the historic Coconino County Hospital for the Indigent. The Hospital was built in 1908 using pumiceous dacite from the Mount Elden Explosive Eruption about 500,000 years ago. The building was used as a hospital until 1938 and was considered a Poor Farm. The exhibits within the museum reflect the history of Flagstaff and northern Arizona. Visitors will learn of the local history of ranching, logging, transportation and life in Pioneer Flagstaff. Festivals and events are also held on the grounds including the annual Wool and Fiber Festival, the Folk Festival and the Heritage Festival.

 

949 E. 2nd Street

Tucson, AZ 85719

Regular Hours:

Monday & Friday:  9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday – Thursday:  9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday:  11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Closed for State Holidays

The Arizona History Museum’s focus is southern Arizona history from Spanish colonial through territorial eras. Exhibit topics include mining and transportation. The Arizona’s Treasures exhibit features Geronimo’s rifle, 18th-century Spanish silver artifacts, and hands-on exhibits for children.

 

No. 5 Copper Queen Plaza

Bisbee, Arizona

Regular Hours:

Open Daily: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

A museum that focuses on the history of Bisbee’s mining community. Bisbee’s storied past is recorded, reflected and retold in this museum like no other; it is one of only 2,000 sites nationwide honored as a National Registered Landmark.

 

212 Kinsley Avenue

Winslow, Arizona 86047

Regular Hours:

Tuesdays-Saturdays:

10 am-12 noon & 1 pm to 3 pm

(Closed from 12 noon to 1 pm)

Founded in 1997, the Winslow Historical Society receives, preserves, and interprets information and artifacts representing the history and cultures of the Winslow area, in order to engage and enlighten all visitors to the Old Trails Museum’s exhibits and programs. The Old Trails Museum explores Winslow’s history through permanent exhibits on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, US Route 66 and Winslow’s historic airport, Pioneer settlement (including the area’s first Mormon settlement), Area ranches & ranchers, and trading posts & traders, Ancient Native American life and pottery and much more.

 

This list is only a small selection of the museums that offer insight to our state’s history. Arizona is a melting pot of cultures and it is fascinating to see the differences and similarities throughout the different regions of the state. Use the above list to help you get started on your educational journey, you can also choose from this more extensive list of museums from Wikipedia.

 

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Mother’s Day, Arizona Style

In the US, the official Mother’s Day holiday came to be in the early 1900’s due to the efforts of one Anna Jarvis- the daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis who was a community organizer and social activist during the American Civil War.

Mother's Day gift box and flowers on wood

According to History.com, after her mother’s death in 1905, Anna conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices that mothers made for their children. In May of 1908 she got financial backing from John Wanamaker, a department store owner in Philadelphia, and organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in West Virginia. Thousands of people attended a Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s retail stores that same day.

After a successful first Mother’s Day, Anna was determined to see the holiday on the national calendar. She insisted that American holidays were biased towards men and their achievements and started a massive campaign urging the adoption of a special day to honor motherhood. President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day in 1914. Anna’s persistence finally paid off.

This year Mother’s Day falls on May 10th. Whether your mother is thousands of miles away or just down the road, it is important to show her how special she is to you.

We have put together a list of just some of the options you will have to show your Mom just how appreciated and loved she is.

 

  • Treat her to a day of relaxing at the spa.

The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North will offer a complimentary treatment enhancement to guest booking an 80-minute service on Mother’s Day. Reservations should be made in advance to take advantage of their Mother’s Day special.

The Waldorf Astoria Spa at the Boulders Resort in Carefree is offering three special packages throughout the month of May on honor of Mother’s Day. The “OHM FOR Mom” Spa Package is a full day spa package designed just to pamper mom. It includes: 50-minute Oxygenating Facial; 50-Minute Herbal Aromatherapy; 50-minute Marine Detox Wrap; Healthy lunch in the Waldorf Astoria Spa Café. The cost is $475 and includes gratuity. Celebrating Generations is an option for grandma, mom and granddaughter who can all enjoy the spacious Sun Suites – 700 sq. foot suites that include a private outdoor whirlpool, fireplace, steam shower and patio to enjoy a healthy lunch. The Sun Suites can accommodate 2-4 people. Special pricing with be offered to the ladies on all a la carte spa treatments: 10% discount for mom alone; 20% discount (mother/daughter, ages 16 and older); 30% discount (grandmother, mother, and daughter). They even have a special for the expecting Mother in your life. The Mothers-To-Be package can restore balance and harmony with the Pre-natal Nurture Massage. It is a soothing, full-body massage for the mother-to-be, specifically addressing pregnancy discomforts. It aids in relaxation, benefits circulation, and provides comfort during this time of change. You should make these reservations in advance.

These spas, as well as most other spas, also offer gift certificates, so if Mom can’t get in on Mother’s Day she can use that to schedule a day of relaxing and pampering at a different date.

 

  • Treat her to a meal.

Going out to eat for Mother’s Day can be as extravagant or simple as you prefer. Not everyone can afford to spoil Mom with a lavish meal costing upwards of $200 and that is okay!  AboutTravel.com has a list of 30 Valley restaurants to take Mom with specials that are less than $30.

One Valley favorite is Chompie’s. With four valley locations (Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, Chandler) it isn’t too difficult to find a location near you. Sunday, May 10 from 11 a.m. to close. All moms will receive a free slice of homemade Strawberry White Chocolate Layer Cake on Mother’s Day ($6.95 value), with purchase of an entree. They have a special Mother’s Day menu that will only cost around $19.95 and will offer half-off glasses of wine all day. Dine in only, no substitutions.

A slightly more formal, yet still affordable option would be Rawhide Steakhouse in Chandler. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. they will be offering a Mother’s Day Buffet featuring: Slow Roasted Prime Rib, Sage Crusted Pork Loin with Apple Marmalade, Mesquite Grilled Top Sirloin, Lemon Herb Chicken, Dill Buttered Salmon; Omelet Station, Banana French Toast with Stewed Strawberries, Buttermilk Pancakes, Bacon & Sausage, Southwestern Hash Browns; Cocktail Shrimp with Bloody Mary Aioli, Garden Salad Bar, Mandarin Orange & Cranberry Salad; Garlic Roasted Mashed Potatoes with Homemade Gravy, Bacon Infused Macaroni and Cheese, Roasted Corn Succotash, Garlic and Almond Sautéed Green Beans; Dessert Station; Coffee, Tea and Soda. $21.95 per person, $9.95 per child age 4 – 12, Parties of 8 or more are subject to a 12% service fee. The Rawhide Steakhouse menu is not being offered on Mother’s Day. Parking is free.

 

  • Events for the sporty Mom.

Moms can golf for free on Mother’s Day when accompanied by a paying golfer at The Boulders, Waldorf Astoria Resort in Carefree. Call 480-488-9028 to arrange a tee time.

Another fun option for a sports Mom would be to attend the Arizona Diamond Backs game. They are home this year on Mother’s Day weekend, playing the San Diego Padres. If you cannot make this particular game, tickets to a game on another date are also a fun option.

 

  • See the Butterflies

If your Mom loves nature, the Desert Botanical Garden Butterfly Exhibit will be open through Mother’s Day.

Also, in celebration of Mother’s Day Butterfly Wonderland will be giving all mothers a special commemorative butterfly gift when accompanied by their children or grandchildren.

 

  • Family Waterpark Fun

Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and 10 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. take the family to Kiwanis Recreation Center and have a blast at the Wave Pool, where moms will get in free with their child’s paid admission. Children under the age of eight must have an adult with them at all times.

On Mother’s Day, moms get in for free at Big Surf. Everyone will receive 50 percent off of general admission by each bringing in at least five non-perishable food items for St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance to help the hungry.

 

  • Visit a Farm

Schnepf Farms, the largest peach grower in the Arizona, has their annual Peach Festival 7:30am to 4pm May 9th, 10th, 16th, and 17th, 2015. INCLUDES: Hay rides to the orchards, live music, train rides, carousel rides and more, Peachy Pancake breakfast, Peachy Sampling Pavilion with food ranging from sweets to salsa’s, Water activities, Peachy arts and crafts booths, Peach pies, peach cinnamon rolls, peach cookies, peach cobbler and more. You can also go into the orchard and pick your own peaches. They allow you to sample, but ask that you limit yourself to one or two.

 

There are a lot of options to show your Mother your appreciation. These are only a small sampling of things you can do. If money is tight another option would be to attend a farmers market together, then cook her a nice meal with the items you purchased together! You can get ideas for recipes here on Fill Your Plate.

No matter how you choose to do it, make sure to show your Mother some love this Mother’s Day.

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National Egg Month

May is National Egg Month! Did you know that Arizona’s own Hickman’s Family Farms produces more than 7 million eggs a day for Arizona families? That is a lot of eggs!

Three raw eggs in rustic bowl with egg box

Of the eggs produced in the US each year, roughly 60% are used by consumers. Only 9% are used by the foodservice industry. The remaining percentage are turned into “egg products” such as cake mixes and mayonnaise.

As you are probably aware, eggs have gotten a bum rap in the past due to their cholesterol content. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, the effect of egg consumption on blood cholesterol is minimal when compared with the effect of trans and saturated fats.  The average, healthy person can eat around seven eggs a week without an increased risk of heart disease. The Mayo Clinic even goes on to say that consuming that amount of egg may actually prevent some types of strokes.

We shouldn’t look past the fact that eggs are so much more than just cholesterol. In fact, eggs are full of nutrients and offer many impressive benefits.

  • Eggs contain approximately 77 calories, with 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat and all 9 essential amino acids.
  • An egg’s protein is the highest quality protein of any food. Just over half of the egg’s protein is found in the white and the rest is found in the yolk. According to incredibleegg.org, one large egg contains just over 12% of the Daily Reference Value for protein. High-quality proteins, like the proteins found in eggs, also help in building muscle strength, mending muscles after exercise, forming muscle tissue, and slowing muscle tissue loss as we age.
  • The egg yolk is a great source of choline. Choline is a nutrient that contributes to fetal brain development and helps to prevent birth defects. Two eggs will deliver roughly 250 mg of choline, which is about half of the recommended daily intake for breastfeeding and pregnant women.
  • There are two antioxidants that can be found in egg yolks, zeaxanthin and lutein. These help prevent macular degeneration, which is one of the leading causes of age related blindness.
  • Eggs have varying amounts of several B vitamins that are required for the production of energy in the body, such as B12, B6, folate, riboflavin, and thiamin.
  • Egg yolks are among the few foods that contain vitamin D naturally. The egg;s yolk also contain a higher percentage of the egg;s vitamins than the whites do. This includes all of the egg’s vitamin E, D, and A.

As you can see there are quite a few reasons to continue consuming eggs. As long as you are healthy and eat them in moderation, you can continue to reap the nutritional benefits for a very long time. The Hickman’s Family eggs can be found at many of our local super markets and convenience stores; pick some up today and cook yourself up some eggs for breakfast!

For more detailed information on the different nutritional benefits of eggs you can visit the Egg Nutrition Center webpage.

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Rodeos in Arizona

Rodeo is a sport that originated in Spain by Spanish cattle herders.  Spanish cowboys (or vaqueros) would challenge each other in a competition to see who had the best roping, riding and herding skills.   Much like today, early ranch duties included roping, riding, herding, branding and horse breaking.

Bucking Rodeo Horse

Rodeo exhibits the talents used in everyday life on the ranch. The athletic ability, knowledge, and steadfast spirit are fundamental in the rancher’s way of life and are demonstrated in the uncompromising rodeo arena.

The first formal rodeo or “cowboy tournament” offering cash prizes was held on July 4, 1888, in Prescott, Arizona. The early rodeos were popular amongst cowboys and local ranchers as it offered them the opportunity to show off the skills used on the ranch to the townspeople.

The earliest rodeo arenas in the late 1800’s were simply a swathe of land that was unaltered and roped off to stop any escaping broncs. Fancy rodeo arenas that we know today were nonexistent. The main cowboy events included steer roping and tying, cow pony racing, and bronco riding. It was a cowboy named Juan Leivas who won the rodeo’s first “professional” title. The Prescott rodeo has not missed a single year since its beginnings in 1888. It has grown into what is now known as “The World’s Oldest Rodeo” and has become a family tradition for many Arizonans.

Rodeo is now a multimillion dollar industry.  There are around 700 professional rodeos across the US. Given Arizona’s rich ranching background it comes as no surprise that we are offered a copious amount of opportunity to enjoy the rodeo. This is a list of just a few of our local rodeo events. (These and more can be found on the Visit Arizona webpage.)

 

A part of the Prescott Frontier Days celebration, this event takes place annually the week of July 4th.

 

This all-African American event takes place at Rawhide, a Western theme park, in early March.

 

This early February event is part of Wickenburg’s annual Gold Rush Days. This event is for cowhands aged 40 and older.

 

This event had been put on annually in early February since the mid-1940’s by the Yuma Jaycees. This is a three-day affair taking place at the Yuma County Fairgrounds.

 

This is a nine-day, mid-February event, also known as the Tucson Rodeo. It is one of North America’s top 25 pro rodeos.

 

This PRCA-sanctioned rodeo emphasizes the adrenaline rush of bull riding and takes place in early March and is the last of the big-time rodeos in the Phoenix area.

 

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