This month's recipes have been provided by members of the National Association of Blind Educators, the NFB's teachers division.

Photo of David Ticchi


Kale Soup

by David Ticchi

Dr. Ticchi is a member of the division's Board of Directors and First Vice President of the NFB of Massachusetts. David asked that we point out that both his recipes appear in a cookbook soon to be available from the Massachusetts affiliate.


1 to 2 cups dried yellow or green peas

1 small cabbage, sliced

2 to 3 pounds beef shank

at least 2 quarts water

2 pounds kale (well washed)

pound chourico (Portuguese sausage, pronounced shereeso)

5 pounds or more potatoes, cut into small pieces

salt to taste

Method: Rinse peas and cook in two quarts water for thirty minutes. Add chourico and meat, salt liquid to taste, and cook at least forty-five minutes. Remove meat from pot and set aside. Add kale, cabbage, and potatoes. Cook until vegetables are quite tender, thirty minutes or longer. Add more water if needed. (Instead of dried peas, you can use kidney beans soaked overnight. If using beans, you can cook them with the meat and chourico.) To serve, slice beef and chourico and return to soup, or reheat them in the soup before removing them to a platter to slice and pass as a side dish. Served with Portuguese or Italian bread, this hearty soup is a supper in itself.

Chicken Cacciatore

by David Ticchi


2-1/2 to 3 pounds broiler-fryer chicken

cup hot salad oil

2 medium onions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-pound can tomatoes

1 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1 teaspoon salt

teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon oregano or basil

teaspoon celery seed

1 or 2 bay leaves

cup dry white wine

Method: Cut the chicken in pieces and brown in hot salad oil. Remove chicken. In same skillet cook onions and garlic until tender but not brown. Return chicken to skillet. Combine tomatoes, sauce, salt, pepper, oregano or basil, celery seed, and bay leaves. Pour mixture over chicken. Cover and simmer thirty minutes. Stir in wine. Cook chicken uncovered fifteen minutes longer, until tender, turning occasionally. Remove bay leaves, skim off excess fat. Ladle sauce over chicken in dish. Makes four servings. For extra sauce, use two cans of tomato sauce.

Chicken Fajitas

by Mary Willows

Mary Willows is the Vice President of the National Association of Blind Educators. She currently teaches elementary-aged children at the California School for the Blind. Before becoming certified to teach blind students, Mary taught second, third, fourth, and fifth grades in the regular classroom. Mary has also served as coordinator of NFB Camp, Chairperson of the Committee on Parental Concerns, and Secretary of the Ala-Costa Chapter of the NFB of California. The following recipes were voted by sons Jimmy, sixteen, and Donny, fourteen, to be their favorites.


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

1 large green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

1 large tomato, cut in wedges

1 package Lawry's fajita spices and seasoning mix

1 package flour tortillas

1 avocado, thinly sliced, optional

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 eight-ounce tub sour cream

Method: In a large skillet heat one tablespoon oil. Saute the onion and green bell pepper, until tender. Remove from skillet. In same skillet brown chicken. Add spices and seasonings and cup water; blend well. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered three to five minutes, stirring occasionally. Return vegetables to skillet and heat through; add one tomato cut into thin wedges (optional). Place cup of this filling on warm flour tortillas. Add avocado, cheese, and sour cream, if desired; fold burrito-style. Makes eight fajitas.

Hye Rollers

by Mary Willows

Note: These are great for chapter potlucks. Make them the night before, wrap in foil, and refrigerate overnight. Slice them about two fingers' width, once you get to the party. Each hye roller yields about twelve slices, so one package will make thirty-five to forty sandwiches.


1 package soft cracker bread Hye Rollers

4 ounces herbed cream cheese

1 tablespoon ranch salad dressing or mustard

chopped fresh vegetables

sliced lunch meat

sliced cheese

Method: Soft Cracker Bread Hye Rollers are flat circles of bread, packaged like tortillas, that can be spread with filling, rolled, and sliced. For vegetarian Hye Rollers: whip together 4 ounces herbed cream cheese and 1 tablespoon ranch salad dressing until smooth. Spread evenly across one hye roller. Then have fun sprinkling your favorite vegetables, pizza-style, in a circle. I use whatever is in the fridge. Here are some ideas: carrot, grated; four sliced mushrooms; a few fresh spinach leaves; a sliced zucchini; a couple of sliced olives; a pinch of sliced jalapenos; etc. So you can see, the list is endless. Any choice of four or five will do. Leave about two inches of cream cheese uncovered at one end. Begin to roll the Hye Roller at the opposite end, stopping only to tuck in runaway veggies. The cream cheese will seal the dough. Wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight.

Another variation is to cover the dough with your favorite lunch meats and cheeses. Instead of beating in salad dressing, whip a specialty mustard into the cream cheese to use as a spread.

Photo of Bonnie Peterson

PHOTO/CAPTION: Bonnie Peterson

Barszcz (pronounced bahshch)

Polish Beet Soup)

by Bonnie Peterson

Bonnie Peterson is President of the National Association of Blind Educators and President of the NFB of Wisconsin. She is an instructor of communication and public speaking at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. This soup is a traditional part of Easter dinner. Bonnie's husband Joel tasted it for the first time when he came to dinner early in their courtship. According to Bonnie, he whispered to her in horror that it was pink, and he didn't eat pink soup. Years later Joel volunteers to make sure the ingredients are on hand when the time comes to make the barszcz. Experienced cooks don't bother to measure ingredients, but Bonnie has tried to give us an idea of how it is done.


5 medium beets

9 cups water

2 links Polska Kielbasa (Polish sausage)

1/3 cup vinegar

1/3 cup horseradish

cup sour cream

2 cups cubed boiled potatoes

Method: Put nine cups of water and kielbasa into a soup kettle. Cook meat for forty-five minutes. Remove meat from water and thinly slice. Peel and thinly slice beets into the same water used for meat. Cook beets for about twenty minutes or until tender. Remove beets. Add vinegar and horseradish to water. Stir. Add sour cream. Stir until blended. Add sliced kielbasa, cooked beets, and boiled potatoes. Barszcz is traditional Polish beet soup eaten all year round. This recipe has been in my family for generations. Barszcz is served hot and has a sweet/sour taste. During the Easter season hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced, are substituted for potatoes.

Photo of John W. Smith


Sweet Potato Pie

by John W. Smith

Dr. Smith is a professor of communications at Ohio University, Secretary of the National Association of Blind Educators, and First Vice President of the NFB of Ohio.


1 large can yams or 3 medium yams

cup margarine or butter

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

teaspoon nutmeg

3 eggs

cup evaporated milk

teaspoon lemon juice (concentrated or freshly squeezed)

1 9-inch deep-dish pie crust (unbaked)

Method: Drain away any liquid from yams and thoroughly warm them. Then place yams in large mixing bowl. Beat yams with electric mixer until smooth, then add margarine. Mix well. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar. In separate bowl combine eggs, evaporated milk, and lemon juice. Add to yam mixture and mix well. Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell. Place a cookie sheet in the center of a preheated 350-degree oven. Heat cookie sheet for three to five minutes. Bake pie on cookie sheet for forty-five minutes to one hour, until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove pie from oven and let cool. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Can be served plain or with whipped cream or ice cream. Refrigerate leftovers.

Photo of Patti Harmon


Tortilla Temptations

by Patti Harmon

Patti Harmon is Treasurer of the National Association of Blind Educators, a teacher with twenty-six years of experience at the New Mexico School for the Visually Handicapped and the 1991 NFB Blind Educator of the Year. She serves on the New Mexico Board of Directors and is a past president of both the White Sands and Alamogordo Chapters of the NFB of New Mexico.

Patti says: "New Mexicans add green chili to anything and everything, creating unforgettable flavor! These appetizers are ideal for any gathering, finger food for friends and family. Add jalapenos for zest or red chili for color at Christmastime."


3 small cans of diced green chilis

3 containers of whipped cream cheese

1 12-pack of flour tortillas

Method: In a large bowl mix together diced chilis and cream cheese. Blend well, making certain every mouthful of cream cheese has great chili pieces in it. On each flat flour tortilla spread a thin layer of the mixture. Roll each up relatively tightly. Place each roll-up on a dinner plate, seam-side down, or in a casserole dish. Cover the plate or dish securely with foil. Place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator. Slice each rolled-up tortilla into individual pieces about one-half inch thick. Place rounds on a serving dish. These are finger food for children of all ages.