Braille Monitor                                             November 2014

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This month’s recipes are offered by members of the NFB of Pennsylvania.

Sugar Melts
by Antoinette (Toni) Whaley

Antoinette (Toni) Whaley is the current treasurer of the NFB of Pennsylvania. She is also the treasurer of NAGDU and the president of the Pennsylvania Association of Guide Dog Users. This recipe comes from her Aunt Babs.

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 cup oil
2 eggs
4 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/2 cup almonds or walnuts, finely ground

Method: Cream the butter, sugars, and oil. Beat until well blended. Add one egg at a time, blending well after each addition. In another bowl combine flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Add to butter mixture, and mix until blended. Add extract and nuts, and mix well. Cover and place into refrigerator for two hours or overnight. Form dough into one-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar and place on lightly greased baking sheet. Using a glass with a decorative bottom dipped in water and sugar, press into cookies. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for twelve to fifteen minutes or until brown around the edges. Makes about 100 cookies.

Sour Cream Pound Cake
by Antoinette (Toni) Whaley

1 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup sour cream
2 cups sifted flour

Filling Ingredients:
1/2 cup nuts, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar

Method: Cream butter, sugar, and eggs together. Add sour cream and beat on medium speed. Sift all dry ingredients together and add to egg mixture along with vanilla. Mix well. Pour half the batter into a greased and floured tube pan. Combine nuts, cinnamon, and sugar. Sprinkle the nut mixture on the batter. Pour remaining batter on top. Place in a cold oven and then set the oven to 350 degrees. Bake fifty-five minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from pan immediately onto cooling rack.

Firecracker Casserole
by Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus is the president of the Happy Valley Chapter of the NFB of Pennsylvania and is an affiliate board member. She has also been one of the co-chairs of our BELL program in Pennsylvania for the past two years.

2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 to 3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can ranch-style beans
6 corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 10-ounce can RoTel tomatoes
1 can condensed mushroom soup

Method: Brown ground beef and onion in a large skillet. Add chili powder, cumin, and salt; stir well. Spoon the meat mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Layer beans, tortillas, and cheeses over the meat. Pour RoTel liquid over cheese. Chop RoTel tomatoes and spread over cheese. Spread soup over all. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for one hour.

Note: I use refried beans. I’m not sure if these are “ranch-style beans” or not, but they taste great. This recipe takes awhile, but it's worth it.

Broccoli Salad
by Eileen Hunger

Eileen Hunger is the treasurer of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter of the NFB of Pennsylvania. Her husband Kirk is the president of this chapter and serves as a board member for the affiliate.

3 to 4 pounds of fresh broccoli broken into small florets—use only florets or use some stems too after peeling and dicing them
1 large onion, diced (a red onion adds color) or 8-10 scallions/green onions, diced
1 cup raisins (or more to taste)
1 pound bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

Method: Rinse broccoli and drain thoroughly so that the dressing will adhere. In a large bowl, mix all of the above ingredients together.

Dressing Ingredients:
1 to 2 cups of mayonnaise (to taste, how creamy do you want it?)
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (how sweet do you want it?)
2 tablespoons vinegar

Method: Mix ingredients together in small bowl. Pour over and stir into the large bowl of prepared salad ingredients. Can be made one day ahead of time, but must be kept refrigerated.

Mama Eileen Rosa’s Marinara Spaghetti Sauce
by Eileen Hunger

Eileen says about this recipe: “Growing up in Brooklyn and living next to an Italian restaurant was a very fragrant experience. This is one of the jewels I gleaned from the real thing.”

4 sliced or pressed garlic cloves
2/3 cup olive oil
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons dry parsley
1 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 small can tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon oregano

Method: In a large skillet (or Dutch oven if doubling recipe), lightly brown garlic in olive oil. Remove from heat to avoid splatter and add diced tomatoes. Return to low heat, add and stir in the remaining seasonings, except the tomato paste and oregano. Allow to simmer uncovered for twenty minutes. Then add the tomato paste and blend it into the sauce. Now add the oregano and simmer for the final ten minutes. If the oregano is added too early, it makes the sauce bitter. Recipe can easily be halved when feeding only two or three, or doubled for a gang.

Candied Sweet Potatoes
by Eileen Hunger

6 sweet potatoes or yams
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Method: Cook yams in their skins in boiling salted water until nearly tender. Prepare a shallow, well-greased baking dish while yams boil. When yams are nearly tender, drain, peel, and cut into one-inch slices and place in baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a separate small saucepan, cook together brown sugar, water, and butter for several minutes until it slightly thickens and starts to coat a spoon. Stir in lemon juice. Pour over cut yams. Bake at 375 degrees for forty-five minutes to an hour, basting occasionally.

Note: If you are making this recipe a day or two in advance, bake for only thirty minutes. Remove from oven and turn each slice over in the sauce, cover, and store in refrigerator. On serving day bake sweets at 375 degrees for thirty minutes, basting occasionally.

Easy Chili Cheese Nacho Dip
by Emily Angelcyk

Emily Angelcyk is the president of the Pennsylvania Parents of Blind Children and also serves as a board member of the affiliate.

1 8-ounce package Philadelphia cream cheese
1 can of Hormel Chili No Beans (original or spicy)
1 bag of shredded Mexican or taco cheese

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread cream cheese in the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish. Spread chili on top of the cream cheese, cover chili with shredded cheese—however much you desire. Heat thoroughly in oven approximately twenty to thirty minutes.

Cheesy Chocolate Chip Dip
by Connie Schwartzfeld

Connie Schwartzfeld is the second vice president of the NFB of Pennsylvania and the president of the Erie County Chapter.

8 ounces cream cheese
1 stick butter, softened and blended
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Method: Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for two hours. Then shape into a ball and roll in nuts if you wish. Chill at least one hour.

Oven-Roasted Chicken Thighs
by Joe Drenth

Joe Drenth is the past treasurer of the NFB of Pennsylvania and, aside from being a former national scholarship winner, he serves as the webmaster for the NFB of Pennsylvania. Here’s what he said about this recipe: “This recipe produces delicious roasted chicken thighs through a simple process of searing and baking. It works very well with the inexpensive thighs, often available for around a dollar per pound. The skin gets crusty while the meat is moist and flavorful.”

4 to 7 chicken thighs (with bone and skin)
Seasoned salt (like Lawry's)
Large skillet, preferably oven-safe
Broiler pan and aluminum foil if skillet is not oven-safe
Heavy-duty oven mitts

Method: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the shelves to provide ample height for the middle shelf. If the skillet is not oven-safe, line the drip-collecting tray of a broiler pan with aluminum foil, crimping it securely around the edges before setting the slotted rack on top of the tray. A brownie pan with edges also works, but do not use baking sheets because the juices from the chicken will run off the sheets into the oven. If the pan is heavy, preheat it in the oven so it will be hot when needed.

Heat a lightly oiled skillet on medium-high until a drop of water sizzles and snaps on contact with the skillet (about ten minutes). Wash chicken thighs (with bone and skin) based on how many can easily fit in the skillet, then dry thoroughly with paper towels. Any water that contacts the hot skillet will pop and splatter hot liquids. Carefully place the thighs in the skillet with the prettier side down (for presentation purposes, since it will attain the best color). Wear long oven mitts and possibly eye protection, since there will be oil and water splatter. Let the thighs sear for five minutes without moving them, then carefully flip them over with tongs or a spatula and sear the other side for five minutes. Sprinkle seasoned salt over the thighs to taste.

If the skillet is oven-safe, place it directly on the middle shelf of the oven; otherwise carefully transfer the thighs from the skillet onto the broiler pan and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for thirty to thirty-five minutes. Wearing thick oven mitts, carefully remove from the oven and let the meat rest for five minutes.

Note: To use this recipe with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sear for only three minutes per side and bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes.

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