The Braille Monitor                                                                                                  May 2005

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From the Editor: This month’s recipes have been contributed by members of the NFB of California.

Apple Pecan Bread

by Nancy Burns

Nancy Burns is president of the NFB of California. She enjoys entertaining and especially loves to bake. This recipe is one of her favorites, and she varies the ingredients to create different flavors with any of several fruits and nuts.

Nancy Burns
Nancy Burns


1 cup sugar

4 large eggs
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 medium tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 cup pecans, chopped

Method: Mix or beat first six ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine flours, salt, soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in another bowl. Stir dry ingredients into egg mixture, just enough to blend. Fold in apples and nuts. Pour batter into two greased 9-by-5-inch bread pans. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for fifty to sixty minutes. Cool loaves slightly on wire rack before removing from pans to cool completely.

Don Burns
Don Burns

Corn Tortilla Soup

by Don Burns

Don Burns is the legislative representative for the NFB of California. Don loves to barbecue but created this fast rainy-day soup that is low in fat, sodium, and calories. His signature touch is the Rotel tomatoes with green chilies. Since Don is originally from New Mexico, he savors the flavors of home.


1 can fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
1 can fat-free, low-sodium refried beans
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 cup frozen or canned corn
2 white corn tortillas

Method: Cut tortillas into quarter-inch strips, place on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray, and bake at 400 degrees for five minutes. Mix remaining ingredients in saucepan and simmer until heated through. Ladle into bowls and place a few toasted tortilla strips on top of each before serving.

Joy Stigile
Joy Stigile

Joy’s Pasta Salad
by Joy Stigile

Joy Stigile has been a member of the NFB since 1993 and has held several positions in her local chapter. She is currently vice president of the Diabetes Action Network of California and treasurer of the national Diabetes Action Network. Joy also enjoys working in the NFB of California office answering phones and helping on many different projects.


1 can large pitted black olives, drained
1 medium purple onion, coarsely chopped
1 bunch celery, coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
1 small can water chestnuts, sliced and drained
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound cheddar cheese, cubed
8 ounces zesty Italian salad dressing
8 ounces rotelli or other pasta, cooked and drained

Method: Combine all ingredients except pasta in a large mixing bowl. Stir well, add pasta, and stir again gently. Let salad chill overnight in refrigerator and stir once again before serving. This recipe serves fifteen generously.

Kevin Smalley
Kevin Smalley

Carrot Risotto

by Kevin Smalley

Kevin is the Development Director for the NFB of California. His passion is cooking, and he loves to fatten the waistlines of his friends and families. He is encouraging members in California to participate in Bon Appétit Month during May, in which members serve their favorite meals to guests at fundraising dinners in their homes.


1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely julienned carrots
1/2 cup finely diced onion or shallots
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger root
3 cups fresh carrot juice
1 1/2 cup Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
2 to 3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Cracked pepper to taste

Method: Place carrot juice in small saucepan and warm, but do not boil. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat and add carrots, onion, and ginger. Sauté lightly for several minutes, until very fragrant. If mixture becomes dry, add a little more olive oil. Add rice to pot and stir until rice is coated with oil. Add wine and cook and stir frequently until wine is absorbed. Ladle in one scoop of warm carrot juice and stir frequently until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding juice to cooking rice, one ladle at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed each time before adding the next. When carrot juice is gone, continue to cook using same method, but using chicken stock. Stop adding stock when rice reaches a creamy consistency but is still firm to the bite. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and season with pepper. Serve hot.

Easy, Yummy, and not too Fattening Yogurt Chocolate Pie

by Juliet Cody

Juliet Cody loves the beach, her small surf board, her guide dog, and a good tan. Since she is a student, her time is occupied with exams, research papers, and scholarship applications. She loves public speaking and has developed a passion for community work and the NFB of California.


1 large vanilla or plain yogurt
5 packets sugar-free cocoa mix
1 deep graham cracker pie crust
1/2 cup chopped nuts or slivered almonds (optional)
5 large sliced strawberries, sprinkled with a little of your favorite sweetener

Method: In large bowl mix yogurt and packets of cocoa thoroughly, but do not over mix. Scoop yogurt filling into pie crust. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Sprinkle with almonds or other nuts or both. Arrange sliced strawberries in the center. Serve with a smile. Variations: use different fruits and different flavors in plain yogurt. Be sure to use sweetener in the yogurt filling.

Grilled Corn on the Cob with Jalapeño, Lime, and Maple Butter

by Kevin Smalley


2 or 3 jalapeño chilies
3/4 cup butter
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons grated lime peel
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/2 cup maple syrup
4 ears fresh corn, with husks


Pull corn husks back from corn without detaching. Remove silk. Soak ears of corn (don’t take those husks off yet) in fresh water for fifteen minutes or longer while preparing the butter. Grill chilies directly over hot barbecue grill until charred on all sides. Cool. Using small knife (if you have sensitive skin, you may wish to wear gloves), scrape out seeds and membranes of chilies. Place chilies in food processor with butter, garlic, syrup, and lime juice, and peel. Process until smooth. Remove corn from water, shaking off excess water. Rub butter mixture over corn, reserving 1/2 cup. Push husks back up around corn and secure with string. Grill corn until husks are thoroughly blackened, approximately fifteen to eighteen minutes, turning frequently to cook evenly. Wearing oven mitts to protect hands from steam, remove husks from corn. Serve with reserved butter mixture and salt.

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