Braille Monitor                                                    June 2009

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The following recipes were submitted by members of the NFB of Texas.

Cherry Dump Cake
by Barbara Shaidnagle

Barbara Shaidnagle is a longtime member of the Houston Chapter.

1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, undrained
1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling
1 package plain yellow cake mix
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, melted
1/2 cup frozen unsweetened grated coconut, thawed
1 cup pecans, chopped
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon pineapple evenly over bottom of ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Cover pineapple with cherry pie filling. Pour dry cake mix evenly over fruit mixture so that it reaches all sides of the pan. Drizzle melted butter over the surface of the entire pan. Sprinkle coconut and pecans evenly over the top of the cake. Place pan on center rack of preheated oven. Bake cake until it is deep brown and a toothpick inserted into center of cake topping comes out clean, fifty-five to sixty minutes. Remove pan from oven and place it on a wire rack to cool ten minutes. Spoon warm cake into bowls, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and serve.

Tailgate Cake
by Barbara Shaidnagle

1 Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker German chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup oil
1 cup water
1 can German chocolate frosting
4 eggs

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all ingredients in an electric mixer bowl and mix for two minutes on medium speed. Pour into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan or tube pan. Bake for twenty-five to thirty-five minutes in the 9-by-13 pan, fifty-five minutes in the tube pan, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Vegetable Biryani
by Heather Albright

Heather Albright is a member of the Austin Chapter.

1 cup Basmati rice
1 1/4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1 onion, chopped
3 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons garam masala
Chili powder to taste
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1 tablespoon butter

Method: Rinse and soak rice for thirty minutes; drain. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté cumin seeds and cloves for less than one minute. Sauté the onion, stirring constantly until brown. Stir in rice and fry for about one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the water, salt, garam masala, chili powder, and vegetables. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat; cover and simmer for twenty minutes, or until all water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and stir in butter before serving.

Blue Ribbon Dip
by Steve Tompkins

Steve Tompkins is a member of the Austin Chapter. He also serves as our state NEWSLINE coordinator. He says, “This dip is a change of pace. It's not so much for chips. It makes a good dipping sauce for raw vegetables. I also like it with either torn bits of a baguette or thin slices of baguette.”

8 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup cilantro, minced (or substitute parsley)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Method: Combine all ingredients in a shallow casserole or serving dish. Refrigerate for at least one hour or up to two days before serving.

How to Cook a Rattlesnake
by Mike Vandervoort

Mike Vandervoort is a member of our new Abileen Chapter. In honor of our nearby rattlesnake roundup in Sweetwater, we respectfully submit the following: The meat will taste much like other dishes, depending on the way it is fixed, seasoned, and cooked. Prepared like fish with corn meal, it will remind you of fish. Prepared like chicken, with a flour dip, it will taste strikingly like chicken. It can be smoked, broiled, boned for gumbo, made into paté or prepared any other way the cook prefers. The simplest is sometimes the best. Many people prefer this old fried chicken recipe:

1 rattlesnake
Baking soda
Salt and pepper to taste
Vegetable oil

Method: Skin, gut, clean, and cut snake into serving sizes desired, maybe three inches long. Dip all in baking-soda-saturated water. Remove excess soda-water mixture. Roll pieces and coat in flour, salt, and pepper. Season with anything else, as desired. Fill a skillet with vegetable oil to about one inch. Heat from medium to medium high. Carefully place pieces in the skillet, being careful to allow space between pieces. Fry until tender throughout (or floating if in deep oil). Don't worry about venom; it is contained in the jaw of the snake and was removed with the head. So please, do not cook the snake with the head or rattle on. If the snake has been bitten by another snake, all venom will be removed in the cooking process, maybe. But, then again, it's always better to check this out first; just ask the snake.

Egg Casserole
by Mary Kindrick

Mary Kindrick is the president of our new Abilene Chapter.

12-16 slices of bread (crust removed and sliced in half) 
8 eggs (you can use egg substitute or Egg Beaters eggs)
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound cheddar cheese, grated
1 pound Jimmy Dean pork sausage (cooked and drained) or 2 cups ham, cubed
1/2 cup melted butter

Method: Remove crusts from bread and cut each slice in half. Line bottom of 9-by-13-inch Pyrex baking dish with one layer of bread. Pour drained sausage (or ham) evenly over bread. Cover with grated cheese, then cover with another layer of bread triangles. Beat eggs, salt, milk, and butter. Pour liquid very slowly and evenly over entire casserole. Refrigerate overnight. Bake uncovered next morning at 375 degrees for forty to fifty minutes or until golden brown. I serve with a fruit salad, fruit juice, and maybe even some miniature muffins. Sometimes I'll even fry bacon to serve on the side. Enjoy. Note: I add onions in the pork sausage when I cook it, but you don't have to.

Pecan Pie
by Mary Kindrick

1 9-inch pie shell
Filling for 9-inch pie 
3 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup dark corn syrup (Karo is best for this recipe)
1 cup pecan halves 

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all filling ingredients, except pecan halves. Stir in pecan halves. Pour filling into unbaked pie shell. Bake until filling is set and pastry is nicely browned (forty to fifty minutes). Helpful hint: I place the pie on a foil-covered cookie sheet before baking. This prevents oven spills, meaning less cleanup later.

Grandpa’s Divinity
by Jane Lansaw

Jane Lansaw is a member of the Austin Chapter. She is also an O&M instructor at the Criss Cole Rehab Center.

3 cups sugar
1/2 cup white corn syrup (Karo)
1/2 cup hot water
2 egg whites, beaten until stiff peaks form
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method: Combine sugar, corn syrup, and hot water and bring to a boil in saucepan. Cook syrup, stirring frequently to soft ball stage (238 degrees on a candy thermometer) or until you can drop a bit into ice water and form a soft ball when you roll it in your fingers. Meanwhile beat egg whites. I like to add food color to egg whites while mixer is going. Pour half of hot syrup gradually into egg whites while you continue to beat the whites. A standing mixer is the easiest, but I’ve done it with a hand mixer. Pour slowly but change quickly from pouring to beating if you are using a hand mixer. Try to secure the bowl so that you can mix and pour simultaneously. Continue cooking the remainder of the syrup until it reaches the hard ball stage (250 degrees or until a little dropped into a cup of ice water can be rolled into a firm ball). Gradually add the rest of syrup to egg whites while beating. Then add vanilla and continue beating while the candy cools. If you like, add chopped nuts, candied cherries, etc. while you beat the cooling candy. If you can make a peak stand up when you touch the confection, it is cool enough. Don’t let it get so cool that it hardens in the bowl, or you and your family will be digging it out of the bowl to eat it. When confection is just cool enough, spoon onto waxed paper in uniform dollops. Makes about four dozen pieces. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.

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