Braille Monitor                                                   March 2010

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NFB of Wisconsin members assembled a mouth-watering set of recipes that got lost in cyberspace during the holidays. Here they are to warm body and soul during the last weeks of winter.

Famous Wisconsin Cheese Soup
by John Fritz

John FritzJohn Fritz is president of the NFB of Wisconsin and a member of the NFB board of directors.

1/2 pound bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Black pepper to taste
1/2 large brick of Velveeta Cheese

Method: Chop bacon and brown until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Cook chopped onion and green pepper in bacon fat until tender crisp. Add flour and cook stirring for a minute. Continuing to stir, slowly pour in chicken broth, milk, and remaining ingredients, including cooked bacon. Continue to stir until mixture thickens. Simmer on low until hot. Serve with crusty bread.

Taco Soup
by John Fritz

1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 envelope ranch seasoning mix
1 can ranch beans, undrained
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
2 large cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can Rotel tomatoes, undrained
1 can beer

Method: In a large skillet brown meat and onion, and drain. Add seasonings and stir in. Then add beans and corn. Finally add tomatoes and beer. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer covered for an hour, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom. Enjoy. This soup may be served with grated cheese or sour cream.

Homemade French Onion Soup
by Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson has been a member of the La Crosse Chapter since January 2009 and is now a board member. He submitted this recipe because onion and potato production is significant in central Wisconsin.

6 medium or 2 very large onions, chopped
6 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
7 cups water
10 bouillon cubes
1/4 cup sherry
6 slices French bread
6 slices Swiss cheese

Method: In a heavy stock pot or other large pot, sauté chopped onion in the butter until tender. Add the sugar and salt while cooking. Add nutmeg, water, and bouillon cubes or seven cups rich beef stock instead of the water and beef cubes. Bring soup to a boil and simmer for ten minutes before transferring to a large baking dish or other oven-proof casserole. Add sherry, French bread slices, and slices of Swiss cheese. Bake in a preheated 300-degree oven for ten minutes.

I usually cut this recipe in half when I make it for two. However, I use the full fourth of a teaspoon of nutmeg and a little more than half of the sherry.

Couscous Salad
by Bill Meeker and Cheryl Orgas

Bill Meeker and Cheryl OrgasBill Meeker is affiliate second vice president and Milwaukee Chapter president, and Cheryl Orgas is affiliate scholarship chair and Milwaukee Chapter treasurer. The following are their favorite recipes when entertaining guests. The quantities in the couscous salad recipe are estimates; adjust them according to taste.

1 cup couscous, uncooked
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup carrots, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup raisins
2 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup pine nuts or slivered almonds

Ingredients for Vinaigrette Dressing:
1/3 cup vinegar
1/3 cup orange juice
3 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper to taste

Method: Cook couscous according to package directions and drain and cool. In a serving bowl combine cooked couscous with vegetables and toss with dressing. To make the dressing, combine all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight lid. Shake well.

Artichoke Quiche
by Bill Meeker and Cheryl Orgas

This is a great hot hors d'oeuvre.

2 6-ounce cans or jars of marinated artichoke hearts
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper seasoning (red pepper)
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced 

Method: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Drain artichokes, reserving marinade from one jar. In marinade sauté onion and garlic. Cut artichokes in small pieces. Beat eggs and add crumbs and seasonings. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into a greased 7-by-11-inch or 9-inch square baking pan. Bake for thirty minutes, until set. Cool slightly and cut into 1-inch squares. If prepared ahead, reheat for ten to twelve minutes. Serves six to eight. This quiche can be baked ahead and frozen.

Club Wrap
by Bill Meeker and Cheryl Orgas

Four strips bacon
1/2 cup avocado, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1 16-ounce container hummus
1/4 pound smoked turkey, thinly sliced
1 cup lettuce or greens
2 tortillas, tomato flavor

Method: Fry the bacon, drain, and set aside. Mix remaining ingredients except hummus, turkey, and lettuce. Spread tortillas with the hummus and then the avocado mixture. Add the turkey, bacon, and lettuce or greens. Roll up tortillas and slice into pinwheels. Arrange on an attractive tray to serve.

Zucchini Casserole
by Bill Meeker and Cheryl Orgas

1 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
3 cups zucchini, sliced
8 ounces wide egg noodles
1 cup cottage cheese
3 or 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream

Method: Brown the ground meat in a skillet and drain off the fat. Add oregano, tomato sauce, and zucchini. Simmer five minutes; add salt to taste.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in salted boiling water until tender, then drain. Place half the noodles in a greased, shallow baking dish (1 1/2 to 2 quarts in size). Mix together one teaspoon salt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, pepper, green onions, and yogurt or sour cream. Spread this mixture over the noodles; spread remaining noodles on top. Pour meat-zucchini mixture on top of the noodles. Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) about thirty minutes, until mixture is bubbly. Serves six.

Walnut Pound Cake
by Bill Meeker and Cheryl Orgas

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 to 2 cups black walnuts, chopped (regular walnuts will do if black aren't available) 

Method: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan and set aside. Cream together the butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium speed for two minutes. Gradually add the sugar. Beat for five to seven minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a separate bowl sift together the flour and baking powder. Alternating with the milk, gradually add flour to the butter mixture. Mix until flour is just incorporated. Stir in the vanilla and walnuts. Pour into the pan and bake at 325 degrees for ninety minutes. Remove from oven when cake tester comes out clean and let cool for ten to fifteen minutes. Remove from pan and cool thoroughly on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Serves sixteen. According to the article in the Penzeys Spices catalog, this cake is "bound to make your sweetheart swoon."

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