Braille Monitor                                                March 2013

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This month’s recipes come from members of the National Federation of the Blind of Maine.

Stuffed Rigatoni
by Leon Proctor

Leon Proctor, Jr.Leon Proctor is president of the NFB of Maine. He has been a member for one-and-a-half years. He lives with his wife Suzanne in Lewiston. He says, “I created this recipe about eight months ago. We think it is very tasty.”

At least 1 pint ricotta cheese
1 1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef
1 large bag shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pound box rigatoni
2 large jars spaghetti sauce

Method: Brown ground beef in a 10- to 12-inch skillet on medium heat. Be sure to separate meat well with a spoon as it cooks to be sure that it is all thoroughly cooked. Drain fat and set aside. In large pot bring water to boil and cook rigatoni according to package directions. While waiting for water to come to a boil, in large mixing bowl mix a pint of the ricotta cheese, two cups mozzarella cheese, and cooked ground beef. Mix till all ingredients are well combined. When rigatoni is just cooked, drain water and return rigatoni to pot. Fill a pastry bag with the cheese and meat mixture and then fill each rigatoni noodle by hand. (This takes some time, so, if you have a spouse or friend willing to help, feel free to ask.) After filling rigatoni, place noodles in a lasagna pan with spaghetti sauce covering the bottom of the pan. Halfway through filling lasagna pan, add more sauce. Stir gently till pan is filled with rigatoni and sauce all mixed together. Top the stuffed rigatoni with remaining mozzarella cheese and bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes at 350 degrees, till cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly. Let dish stand for fifteen to twenty minutes before serving. If you like lots of cheese, use more of either or both.

Italian Chicken
by Leon Proctor

2 bags of frozen mixed vegetables (wax beans, string beans, and carrots)
2 16-ounce bottles or 1 large bottle of zesty Italian dressing
Family package of boneless chicken breasts, cubed

Method: Place both bags of frozen vegetables and cubed raw chicken in Crock-Pot®. Then pour at least a whole bottle of Italian dressing over the top. (You may need both bottles; use your judgment.) Cover Crock-Pot and cook on high for four hours. Serve over rice or mashed potatoes.

Tourtière, Traditional Franco-American Pork Pie
by Patricia Estes

Patricia Estes and NFB of Georgia President Garrick Scott outside Becky’s DinerPat Estes is first vice president of the NFB of Maine. She and her husband Skip are longtime Federationists and live in Auburn.

Pat explains that tourtière is a traditional French dish that is served to this day in eastern Canada and the many Franco-American settlements in Maine. It is a meat pie, usually pork, served at the feast called "Reveillon," which occurs after midnight mass on Christmas Eve. However, Pat grew up not waiting to feast, and this is the recipe she has settled on over the years. It is most like her Mémère's, who just giggled when Pat asked her for her recipe. Here is Pat’s version:

One pound lean ground pork and 1/2 pound lean ground beef or all ground pork
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup water
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 to 2 cups mashed potatoes without milk

Method: Combine first five ingredients in pot and cover. Cook slowly for forty-five minutes to an hour. Add cinnamon and cloves and cook for fifteen minutes longer. Add one to two cups mashed potatoes without milk to the meat mixture and simmer very slowly for two hours. Let meat filling cool. Meanwhile, roll out bottom crust and line a nine-inch pie plate. Fill this unbaked pie shell with meat mixture and cover with top crust. Score the top and seal edges of pie. Bake at 400 degrees for forty-five minutes. Remove from oven and brush crust with butter or milk. Serve hot with the following simple side salad.

Side Salad

On each plate arrange two or three bright green leaves of romaine lettuce. place one unsweetened canned peach half on lettuce bed and top with softened cream cheese.

Hot Fudge Sundae Cake
by Pat Estes

This family favorite is mixed, baked, and served in the same pan.

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cup hot water

Method: Sift or mix together with fork the dry ingredients in a 9-by-9-inch baking pan. Then stir in milk, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Add nuts and stir to mix. Spread batter evenly over bottom of pan. Mix brown sugar and quarter cup of cocoa together thoroughly and sprinkle over batter. Then gently pour water over entire surface. Do not stir in. Bake cake in preheated 350-degree oven for forty minutes. Serve warm with ice cream.

Spinach Dip in Bread Bowl
by Bobbie LaChance Bubier

Bobbie Lachance Bubier is a romance novelist, and she is the affiliate's queen of door prizes. Bobbie and her husband Richard live in Auburn and have been members for two years.

1 box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 can water chestnuts, drained
16 ounces sour cream
1 envelope Knox vegetable soup mix
1 cup mayonnaise
1 round loaf bread, hollowed out
Raw vegetables

Method: Mix first five ingredients together and chill for at least two hours. Serve in bread bowl with a selection of veggies and crackers for dipping.

Peanut Butter Pie
by Bobbie LaChance Bubier

4 ounces cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons milk
8 ounces Cool Whip
1 9-inch chocolate graham cracker crust pie shell

Method: Combine and beat together first four ingredients until smooth and well mixed. Fold in Cool Whip. Pile into pie shell and chill for at least four hours.

Bean and Rice Soup
by Faith Armstrong

Faith Armstrong is secretary of the NFB of Maine. She and her husband John Smythe live in Sabattus and have been NFB members for almost a year. John is a Brit, and his dry sense of humor fits right in here in Maine--if he would only stop fighting the war.

2 slices bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
4 cups water
1 16-ounce can small white beans, undrained
1 16-ounce can pinto beans, undrained
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup Minute Rice

Method: Cook chopped bacon in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until meat is done. Add chopped onion and celery, cooking and stirring until tender. Add water, beans, tomato sauce, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Add rice and stir. Cover pan again and remove from heat. Let stand for five minutes. Serve immediately.

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