Braille Monitor                                                                                 May 2006



This monthís recipes have been contributed by members of the NFB of Indiana.

Chicken Salad
by Jean Brown

Jean Brown

Jean Brown is president of the Circle City Chapter in Indianapolis and state fundraising chairman. She has been a member of the Federation for twenty-four years. Her husband is Ron Brown, president of the Indiana affiliate and a member of the NFB board of directors.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
15 to 20 seedless grapes
1/4 cup English walnuts
1/4 cup pecans
3 small red apples
3 to 4 tablespoons Miracle Whip

Method: Place chicken breasts in a lightly oiled pan and season with seasoned salt, and black or white pepper. Add 1/4 cup water to the pan and cover with foil. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook chicken for forty-five to fifty minutes. Uncover pan and remove from oven. Let chicken cool and cut into bite-size pieces. Peel apples and cut into cubes. Cut grapes in half. Place chicken in a large mixing bowl and add apples, grapes, nuts, and Miracle Whip. Toss with a fork until all ingredients are mixed well. This salad may be served on buns or lightly toasted bread. It makes an excellent summer meal served with chips or just a cold drink. Makes four to six sandwiches.

Sweet Potato Fluff
by Jean Brown

1 16-ounce can yams
1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks or crushed pineapple
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup whole or 2 percent milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1 bag large white marshmallows

Method: Warm yams in the microwave oven for 3 to 4 minutes and drain. Place yams in a large mixing bowl and add eggs, milk, sugar, and cinnamon. Beat well until ingredients are thoroughly mixed and smooth. Drain pineapple and add to yam mixture. Stir in pineapple with a fork. Transfer yams to a glass baking dish or deep pan, making sure that they are spread evenly across the dish. Top yams with marshmallows, laying them on their sides with the flat ends touching. Leave a half-inch border without marshmallows around the edge of the dish. Place oven rack in top third of oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake casserole until marshmallows are golden brown and yams are bubbly. Serve with dinner or as a delicious snack.

Caramel Icing
by Pam Schnurr

Pam Schnurr is first vice president of the NFB of Indiana, secretary of the National Association of Blind Merchants, and president of the National Association of Blind Merchants of Indiana. She has been a member of the Federation since 1974. She and her husband have been host parents to an exchange student at the school for the blind from Germany for the last year. She says that it has been a great learning experience.

1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons milk
powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Method: Melt butter and sugar in a saucepan and add milk. Heat mixture on medium and boil three minutes. Remove from heat and stir for about thirty seconds. Add vanilla. Stir in powdered sugar a little at a time until frosting reaches spreading consistency. This will take about 2 1/2 to 3 cups of powdered sugar. If the icing becomes too thick, add milk 1 spoonful at a time. Pour over warm cake and let set. Pam says that this is especially good on chocolate cake.

Round Steak with Gravy
by Diane Graves

Diane Graves is president of the Indianapolis Chapter of the NFB of Indiana and affiliate secretary. Her work as a mediator with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission reflects her dedication to the mission of the Federation. In her free time she unwinds by doing handcrafts and trying new recipes in the kitchen.

1 pound round steak
2 cloves of garlic
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
1/2 to 3/4 cup flour
1 can sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil

Method: Season the round steak by splitting the garlic cloves and rubbing them over both sides of the meat. Sprinkle on salt and pepper, then half the flour. Pound in the flour, using a meat mallet or the edge of a saucer. Then turn meat over and repeat with garlic, salt and pepper, and other half of flour. Cut meat into serving-size pieces, and brown the meat in vegetable oil. I don't measure the oil, so I cannot offer a precise measurement. I just use enough oil to brown the meat effectively without letting it stick. Once the meat is browned, add mushroom soup, Lipton onion soup mix, chopped onion, and mushrooms. Mince the garlic and add it as well. Add about 2 cups of water. Then lower heat to medium and simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours, checking occasionally to make sure that meat isn't sticking and a nice gravy is in the works. If you think necessary, add a bit more water. This makes the tenderest round steak you could ever hope to eat. We love it. It is great with mashed potatoes or rice.

Potato Soup
by Diane Graves

8 to 10 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed or sliced
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Shredded cheese, optional
Salt and pepper to taste

Method: Place potatoes, sausage, and onion in a large pot. Fill pot with enough water to cover the contents, and boil until tender. Mix milk and flour together, whisking until smooth. Stir this mixture into the soup and continue stirring until it thickens and becomes creamy. Ladle hot soup into bowls and sprinkle shredded cheese over the top if desired. Enjoy.

Easy Apple Butter
by Tami Jones

Tami Jones

Tami Jones is a longtime leader in the NFB. She chairs the Jacobus tenBroek Memorial Fund Committee, so convention attendees are familiar with her announcements about the tenBroek auction and the Elegant Elephant table in the exhibit hall, where all kinds of small treasures are sold, including Tamiís homemade jams and marmalades.

Anyone who knows much about Tami knows she loves to cook and prowl through cookbooks to find new and interesting recipes. She likes to start with a basic recipe and add her own touches. Below she shares a few of her favorites. This is what she says:

One of my strongest interests is making jams, marmalades, and apple butter. Here are two of the easiest and most interesting recipes I know.

16 or more tart apples, skins included, cored and finely chopped (choose equal numbers of 2 to 4 varieties for varied color and texture)
2 3/4 cups sugar
2 3/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt

Method: Measure sixteen cups of finely chopped apples into the bottom of a five-quart crockpot. (Use one that has both a high and a low setting.) In a medium mixing bowl combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Then pour this combination over the top of the apples. Cook on high for three hours, stirring thoroughly at the end of each hour. Turn crockpot to low and cook for ten to twelve more hours, stirring apple butter occasionally with a wire whisk for a smoother texture, if desired. Pour into sterilized jars or freeze, whichever you prefer. Makes twelve to sixteen cups.

Hint: Time this project so that the first three hours of cooking end at bedtime; then let the crockpot do its thing while you sleep. In the morning you will have fresh, delicious apple butter for your morning toast or rolls.

Carrot Cinnamon Marmalade
by Tami Jones

4 cups grated carrots
4 cups orange juice
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Method: Cook carrots and lemon and orange juices in large saucepan over moderate heat for thirty minutes. Combine sugar and cinnamon, and thoroughly stir this mixture into carrots, continuing to cook until thick. Ladle marmalade into warm, sterilized jars and seal. Makes three cups or a little more.

Cream Cheese Mints
by Tami Jones

If you want to make something for an elegant occasion--a wedding reception, a silver or golden anniversary, a bridal or baby shower--this recipe is really easy. The tedious part is forming the mints into fancy shapes, which I do with flexible molds I purchased in a cooking store. But with several different molds you can get your friends or kids to help and make a party out of the project.

1 8-ounce package cream cheese
2 pounds powdered sugar
Food coloring and flavoring as desired (see note at end of recipe)

Method: Combine powdered sugar and cream cheese by mixing thoroughly with clean hands. Divide into as many parts as needed before adding coloring and flavoring. For example, if you have both flower and leaf molds, you will need at least two separate pieces of dough. Add coloring and flavoring a little at a time to each piece until you achieve the desired color and taste. Press into desired shapes with flexible molds and place each mint on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Refrigerate till firm. Chill or freeze candy in covered container until needed.

Note on coloring and flavoring: You can tailor your mints to match the occasion and reflect your personal taste. One portion can be colored green with spearmint, wintergreen, or mint flavoring to use with a leaf mold. A portion can be left uncolored and will remain its natural white. Other portions for the flower molds can be colored yellow, pink, red, orange or whatever, depending on the party color scheme. Any color except green can be used with the flower molds. You can use the same flavoring for all the mints or vary the flavors to match the colors. For example, you might use orange and lemon extracts with orange and yellow, peppermint with pink or red, butter rum or almond extract with yellow or white, and so on. A variety of molds is available if you shop around. I have flower, leaf, heart, rocking horse, and several geometric shapes. Use your judgment and be creative.