The Braille Monitor                                                                                              February, 2004

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This month's recipes have been submitted by members of the National Federation of the Blind of Rhode Island.


Vegetable Soup

by Richard Gaffney

Richard Gaffney is the president of the NFB of Rhode Island. This is a soup to warm you on a cold February night. It is an old family recipe.


1 beef shank (approximately 3 pounds)

1 bunch of celery

1 large onion

2 large potatoes

1 medium head of cabbage

1 pound bag of carrots

1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1-1/2 cups of uncooked rice

Salt and pepper to taste

Method: In large pot place beef shank and add enough water to fill the pan about half full. Chop all vegetables in grinder or food processor. Add vegetables and crushed tomatoes to pan. Bring soup to a boil and cover, cooking on medium until vegetables are tender, about three to four hours. Add rice and cook till rice is done. Discard bone and serve soup.

Frozen Cranberry Salad

by Mary Jane Fry

Mary Jane Fry is secretary of the NFB of Rhode Island.


1 bag or 3 cups fresh cranberries

1-1/2 cups granulated sugar

2/3 cups crushed pineapple, drained

8 ounces cream cheese

1 cup nuts (personal preference)

1/8 teaspoon salt

8-ounce tub Cool Whip

Method: Chop cranberries and nuts. Add the sugar and salt to the cranberry nut mixture and mix together. Thoroughly drain the crushed pineapple and add to berry mixture. Let the cream cheese soften at room temperature and then work the Cool Whip into it until smooth and creamy; then fold into first mixture.

Place salad in a mold or freezer container and freeze. When ready to serve, unmold and slice in serving sizes. May be kept in freezer for months. Serve frozen. It will thaw during the meal and is very festive when served on a lettuce leaf.


No-Bake Fruit Squares

by Mary Jane Fry


1 cup raisins

1 cup pitted dates

1/2 cup dried apricots

1-1/2 cups dried orange peel

1/3 cups dried figs

1/2 cup candied cherries

1 cup chopped walnuts

2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice

Confectioners' sugar

Method: Combine raisins, dates, apricots, orange peel, figs, cherries, and walnuts. Stir in enough orange juice to bind mixture together. Press into greased 8-by-8-by-2-inch pan. Chill several hours or overnight. Cut into squares. Sift confectioners' sugar across top. Makes about thirty-six bars.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

by Angelina Teixeira

Angelina Teixeira is a member of the NFB of Rhode Island board of directors.


Olive oil for sautéing

1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced

1 cup pepperoni

1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon parsley

4 15-ounce cans tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Method: Place enough olive oil in frying pan to sauté the minced garlic and cook for two or three minutes on medium high. Chop pepperoni very finely. You can use a food processor. Add the pepperoni to the pan and cook for five to ten minutes more on very low heat. Then add tomato paste and season mixture with fresh basil, oregano, parsley, and pepper. Add tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes with their juice and simmer covered on low for one to two hours. If desired, add Parmesan cheese to provide further flavor. This sauce can be used for meatballs, chicken Parmesan, and veal Parmesan.


Stuffed Mushrooms

by Fredericka Jay

Fredericka Jay is a new member of the Rhode Island affiliate, and if the following recipes are any indication, she is a very good cook.


1-1/2 pounds mushrooms (30)

1/2 pound pork sausage meat

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs

3 onions

2 green bell peppers

1 red bell pepper

1 package tiny shrimp

Method: Fry sausage meat and drain, saving the drippings for use later. Wash mushrooms, removing stems and placing them in food processor. Dry mushroom caps and set aside. Clean, chop, and place other vegetables in food processor with the stems and finely chop them all. Sauté chopped vegetables in sausage drippings until tender, drain, and again save the drippings. Place cooled sausage in frying pan and chop until fine. In large bowl combine sausage, vegetables, bread crumbs, and cheese and gently work in shrimp. Use reserved sausage drippings to grease bottom of a shallow baking dish with sides, then fill mushroom caps and bake at 450 degrees for fifteen minutes. Sprinkle mushrooms with Romano or Parmesan cheese. Allow cheese to brown slightly in oven before serving.

Pear and Leek Bisque

by Fredericka Jay


1/4 cup butter

6 large leeks, split, rinsed, and thinly sliced crosswise

3 medium potatoes, pared and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 29-ounce can pear halves in natural juices

3 14-ounce cans chicken broth

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 pound blue cheese, crumbled

Chives for garnish

Method: In a large saucepan, over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add leeks and sauté three minutes. Add potatoes and sauté for a minute more. Drain pear liquid into a saucepan with potatoes and leeks, add chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer covered for twenty minutes. Meanwhile, in food processor or blender purée pears and pour into a small bowl. Strain soup through a sieve into a large bowl. Place this leek mixture in a food processor or blender and purée. Return puréed mixture to the large saucepan and add broth. Add pears and heavy cream. Heat soup on medium, stirring often, until soup is hot. Transfer to tureen. Sprinkle with blue cheese and garnish with chives.

This recipe makes eight servings. It can be served cold in summer or warm in winter. Each serving includes 400 calories, 10 g protein, 43 g carbohydrate, 32 g fat, 67 mg cholesterol, and 754 mg sodium.

Holiday Nuggets

by Adrina Baligian

Adrina Baligian is a longtime member of the Rhode Island affiliate and a past member of the board of directors.


3/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup chopped nuts

2 cups flour

Method: Thoroughly cream the shortening, butter, and powdered sugar. Blend in vanilla, almond extract, chopped nuts, and flour. Beat until dough holds together and is well blended. Shape into balls, using a tablespoon of dough for each. Place balls on ungreased baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake at 325 degrees for twenty to twenty-five minutes. Roll in powdered sugar after cooling slightly.

Zucchini Quiche

by Adrina Baligian


4 medium zucchinis, peeled and grated

4 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1 cup Muenster cheese, grated

Method: Beat eggs well. Add flour and beat till thick and lemon-colored. Then add cheese and zucchini. Fold in gently until well blended. Pour into a greased ten-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for forty-five minutes, or until well set. Serve in wedges.

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