This month’s recipes come from members of the National Federation of the Blind of California.
Italian Fast Food
by Mary Willows
Mary Willows is president of the National Federation of the Blind of California. She makes this recipe often for easy dinners in a hurry.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 zucchini, sliced thin
1 pound Italian sausage, Sicilian style (Note: This is pretty spicy so, if you want a milder version, use turkey sausage or mild Italian sausage.)
1 jar marinara sauce, any brand
Method: Sauté the onion and garlic in a large skillet with a little olive oil for about 5 minutes. Slice the Italian sausage and add it to the pan. Add the zucchini and mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes. Pour the marinara sauce over everything and let it simmer for twenty minutes. If you like, serve pasta or garlic bread with this dish.
Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
by Rochelle Houston
Rochelle Houston is president of the Pathfinders Chapter of the NFBC and a member of the Diamond Club Players, a local group of actors. She hopes her creation will find its way into your collection of recipes.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 16-ounce bag frozen broccoli
1 10-ounce can condensed cream of celery soup
2 cups chicken broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon lemon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 roll Ritz crackers (approximately 30 crackers)
Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut chicken into small cubes and season with lemon pepper. In a large skillet heat olive oil and cook garlic for one minute over low heat. Add chicken and cook until meat is done, approximately ten minutes. Set aside. Place broccoli in a small microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Then microwave until tender crisp, about 5 minutes, stirring at least once. Spread cooked chicken and broccoli evenly in a greased 8-by-8-inch casserole dish. In a mixing bowl stir together cream of celery soup and chicken broth. Pour mixture into casserole dish and mix thoroughly. Top with parmesan and cheddar cheeses. Crumble crackers in a plastic bag and pour on top of cheese. Bake in preheated oven for twenty minutes or until crackers are golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for five minutes.
by Tiffany Manosh
Tiffany Manosh, president of the River City (Sacramento) Chapter and a member of the NFBC board of directors, brings us this variation on an American favorite. As a student at the Louisiana Center for the Blind, she prepared this dish as a meal for forty people with great success.
2 pounds hamburger
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup Ritz crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 onion, chopped (substitute onion powder if desired)
1 cup water
Method: In a large bowl mix all but the last two ingredients well and pack into a standard loaf pan. Top with 6 more Ritz crackers, crushed, and top that with 6 dabs of butter. Bake for one-and-a-half hours at 400 degrees. Cool slightly before slicing.
Five-Flavor Pound Cake
by Ever Lee Hairston
Ever Lee Hairston is second vice president of the NFBC, one of California’s newest board members, and a member of the national board of directors. This wonderfully rich cake is a family favorite. Not only are her motivational speeches requested for various occasions, but so is her pound cake.
Ingredients for Cake:
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs, beaten well
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 teaspoon butter extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon double-strength vanilla extract
Ingredients for Six-Flavor Glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon butter extract
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/2 teaspoon double-strength vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Method for Cake: Cream together butter, shortening, and sugar in large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until smooth. In small bowl combine flour and baking powder and set aside. Combine milk and extracts. Adding alternately, beat flour mixture and milk and flavorings into creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon batter into a greased 10-inch angel food cake pan. Bake at 325 degrees for one-and-a-half hours, or until cake tester comes out clean. Allow cake to cool a bit on a rack before loosening it from sides and center post. Invert cake on rack, remove pan, and allow cake to cool completely.
Method for Glaze: Combine all glaze ingredients in a sauce pan and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour glaze over cake and allow to dry before serving or covering.
Easy Chewy Chocolate Cookies with M&M Candies
by Joy Stigile
Joy Stigile serves as president of the Diabetes Action Network of the NFBC. She is well known for her delicious baked goods. Here is a recipe you are sure to enjoy.
1 package devil’s food chocolate cake mix
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 bag M&M’s
Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the first four ingredients and drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Leave enough room for cookies to spread out. Press five M&M candies on the top of each cookie before placing sheet in oven. Bake seven to nine minutes. Cookies should be soft in center. Remove to a rack to cool completely.Editor’s note: Some people form Braille letters with the M&Ms.