Braille Monitor                                                                                                           December 2004

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Recipes for this issue were submitted by members of the NFB of Wisconsin.

Pumpkin Dessert

by Nancy Hyde

Nancy Hyde is a member of the Rock County Chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Wisconsin. She is an excellent cook and is especially known for making delicious brunches, which bring high bids at our convention auctions. This is a delicious alternative to pumpkin pie. It can be served hot or cold.


3 1/2 cups (1 29-ounce can) pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sugar
1 yellow cake mix
2 sticks margarine, melted
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except cake mix, margarine, and pecans  in a large bowl. Pour into an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking dish or pan. Sprinkle yellow cake mix over mixture in pan. Drizzle with melted butter and then chopped nuts if desired. Bake for one hour.

Beef Burgundy

by Nancy Hyde


3 pounds beef, cubed (I prefer sirloin, but works equally well with chuck or round)
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups burgundy or other red wine
2 cans beef broth
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
2 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons flour

Method: Heat two tablespoons oil in a large pot. Brown beef a little at a time, removing beef as it browns. After all of the beef has been browned and removed from pot, add onions, mushrooms, and garlic. Sauté until onions are tender. Return beef to pot and sprinkle with flour, combining well. Add thyme, salt, pepper, wine, and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for approximately one hour or until beef is tender. Serve over noodles or rice. Leftovers make a great pot pie. Just add potatoes and carrots and simmer until carrots and potatoes are tender. Place in baking dish and top with biscuit dough. You can use canned biscuits if you prefer not to make your own. Place in a 375-degree oven and bake until biscuits are brown, approximately twenty minutes.

Cheese Artichoke Dip

by Cheryl Orgas

Cheryl Orgas is the treasurer of the Milwaukee chapter. She also chairs our state scholarship committee.


2 cans artichokes, chopped
20 olives, chopped
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
10 ounces fresh Parmesan cheese
8 ounces mayonnaise
2 teaspoons garlic powder
8 ounces sour cream
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

Method: Except for mozzarella cheese, mix all ingredients together. Place mixture in an oven-safe glass serving dish (approximately two-quart size). Top with the mozzarella cheese. Place in preheated 350-degree oven for thirty to forty minutes. Serve with Carr's poppy/sesame crackers.

Oriental Cabbage Salad

by Cheryl Orgas


2 packages coleslaw mix
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cans sliced water chestnuts
2 packages oriental ramen noodles broken up into small bits
1 bunch green onions, chopped

Ingredients for dressing:

2 packages seasoning for ramen noodles
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sesame oil
1/3 cup sugar (or less)

Combine all ingredients. To make dressing, combine seasoning packages from ramen noodles, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Stir ingredients together to make a smooth dressing. Pour over salad and serve after salad sits for an hour.

Fondue Italiano

by Jennifer Wenzel

Dan and Jennifer Wenzel
Dan and Jennifer Wenzel

Jennifer Wenzel is the president of the Rock County Chapter and wife of NFB of Wisconsin President Dan Wenzel. This dish is a hit at holiday gatherings.


1 pound ground beef, or 1 pound hot or mild Italian sausage
1 envelope spaghetti sauce mix, any flavor
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup dry red wine

Method: Brown beef or sausage and pour off fat. Place in crockpot and add spaghetti sauce mix, tomato sauce, and the shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Cover and cook on low for two hours. Dissolve cornstarch in wine in a small bowl. Add mixture to crockpot and stir mixture into meat until thoroughly combined. Turn pot to high. Heat for fifteen minutes. Turn back to low, and simmer throughout party. Serve with French or Italian bread pieces for dipping. Leftovers are great with pasta. This recipe can be doubled. Once doubled it fills a 6-quart crockpot.

Chocolate Caramel Candy Bars

by Jennifer Wenzel

These are a bit fussy to make but well worth the effort. They taste even better than Snickers bars.

Ingredients for Crust:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Method: Place all ingredients in microwave-safe bowl. Melt and pour into greased 13-by-9-inch pan. Place in refrigerator until set, about twenty minutes.

Ingredients for Filling:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 cup marshmallow cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups salted peanuts

Method: Melt butter. Add sugar and milk. Bring mixture to a boil and cook, stirring, for five minutes. Remove from heat and add peanut butter, marshmallow cream, vanilla, and peanuts. Spread evenly over crust. Return to refrigerator until set, about twenty minutes.

Ingredients for Layer 3:

1 14-ounce package caramels
1/4 cup heavy cream

Method: Combine caramels and cream and melt in microwave or over low heat. Pour over filling and return to refrigerator for another twenty minutes.

Ingredients for Topping:

1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

Method: Melt these ingredients in microwave oven. Spread over bars. Return to the refrigerator for one hour. Cut into squares. For best results store bars tightly covered in refrigerator.

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