Braille Monitor                                                May 2013

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Recipes

This month’s recipes are contributed by members of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri.

Sweet and Sour Spinach and Tofu Salad
by Dan Flasar

Dan FlasarDan Flasar is a member of the Lewis and Clark chapter of St. Louis, Missouri. One of his major contributions to the affiliate is to act as our official photographer.

Ingredients:
1 8- or 10-ounce package unfermented tofu
1 8- or 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar or one tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
4 or 5 drops sesame oil

Method: Leave package of frozen spinach to thaw overnight in refrigerator. Remove tofu from package, drain and rinse. Cut into ½-inch cubes or smaller if preferred. Remove the thawed spinach from package, draining excess water, and place in a glass or porcelain (not metal) bowl. Add tofu cubes to spinach. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar, pour over the tofu and spinach, then stir to mix. Stir the sesame oil into the mixture, one drop at a time. Let salad stand covered in the refrigerator. The salad is ready to eat when the ingredients have blended, at least an hour, but overnight is best. Makes five three-ounce servings.

Notes: The only item you might have a little problem finding is sesame oil. You need only a drop or two, a bottle will last a long time, and it’s not expensive. Most large grocery stores stock it in the Chinese food section. It's also good on ramen noodles and in stews and soups and as an unusual note in barbecue sauce. It does not need refrigeration if kept tightly capped. Rice vinegar can also be found in the Chinese or Japanese food section

Ham and Potato Crockpot Soup
by Rosina Foster

Rosina Foster is the parent of two exceptionally fine children, is the newly elected president of the Missouri Parents of Blind Children, and is an energetic and enthusiastic participant in anything she undertakes.

Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup cooked ham, diced
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

Method: Combine ham, potatoes, celery, onion, water, bouillon, and salt and pepper in a Crockpot and set it on low. After the Crockpot has cooked for seven hours, in a saucepan melt butter and whisk in flour until smooth and add to Crockpot. After this thickening is mixed in, slowly add the milk while stirring constantly. Turn off Crockpot and let soup stand for fifteen minutes. Enjoy. This is a great way to use leftover ham.

Sicilian Casserole
by Dave Hutchins

Dave Hutchins is a member of the Kansas City chapter, holds a board position, is an automobile enthusiast, and is the president of the CARS (Classics, Antiques, and Rods) division.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni, 1 8-ounce package
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, cubed
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup sour cream
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile brown ground meat, onion, and garlic in heavy saucepan, stirring to break up meat. Add pepper when meat is almost cooked; continue to simmer until meat is done. Drain well. Add tomato paste, tomato sauce, water, and dried Italian seasoning and stir well to blend. Let simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Meanwhile cook elbow macaroni in salted water as directed on package. While macaroni is cooking, combine cream cheese and milk in medium bowl. Cook in microwave on medium power for two to three minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Remove from microwave and stir with wire whisk until mixture thickens and blends to form a smooth sauce. Drain macaroni and add to cream cheese sauce along with sour cream and half cup Parmesan cheese; stir to combine. In two-quart casserole dish place all of cream cheese mixture. Top with all of the ground meat mixture and sprinkle with remaining quarter cup Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty to thirty minutes, until casserole is bubbly.

Note: To freeze, add 1 tablespoon cornstarch to the cream cheese sauce. Prepare casserole as directed, but instead of baking, chill in refrigerator. Wrap well and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw casserole overnight in refrigerator. Bake covered for twenty-five to thirty-five minutes, then uncover and bake five to ten minutes longer, until bubbly.

Chicken Linguini with Ranch Dressing
by Dacia Luck

Dacia Luck has been a member of the National Federation of the Blind for most of her life, having joined at age six. She is currently the president of the Columbia Chapter of the NFB of Missouri and serves as the affiliate’s corresponding secretary.

Ingredients:
2 to 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled
or 2 6-ounce packages of Tyson’s grilled chicken breast
1 pound linguini, cooked al dente
1 large red or yellow pepper, grilled,
or 1 jar roasted red peppers
1 pound broccoli crowns, cooked for 2 to 3 minutes
1 large bottle ranch dressing
Grated Parmesan cheese to taste

Method: Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. Meantime grill the chicken and cut into bite-size pieces. Cook the broccoli. Mix pasta, peppers, chicken, and broccoli together in large serving bowl and coat with the bottle of ranch dressing. It sounds like a lot of dressing, but there are a lot of ingredients to cover. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve hot. This dish goes well with garlic bread.

Cora’s Chocolate Sheet Cake
by Cora Underwood

Cora UnderwoodIngredients:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 sticks margarine
6 tablespoons real cocoa
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Method: Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking soda in large mixing bowl. In a saucepan melt margarine and add water, stirring to mix well. Add buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Do not let liquid heat far enough to cook the eggs. Just warm should be fine. Pour liquid over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Pour into a greased and floured cookie sheet with sides. Bake at 350 degrees for fifteen to twenty minutes. While cake is baking, make icing.

Icing Ingredients:
1 stick of margarine
4 tablespoons cocoa
5 tablespoons buttermilk
1 pound box powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped nuts

Method: Melt margarine in saucepan. Add cocoa powder, buttermilk, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and nuts and mix thoroughly. When the cake comes out of the oven, pour icing over warm cake and spread evenly.

Spinach Casserole
by Debbie Wunder

Debbie Wunder is the president of Missouri’s Diabetes Action Network, the vice-president of the Missouri Association of Dog Guide Users, and the head of Community and Special Projects for the Missouri Affiliate.

Debbie WunderIngredients:
4 9-ounce boxes of frozen chopped spinach
16 to 20 slices American cheese (I prefer Kraft)
2 eggs
1 cup to 1 1/2 cups small curd cottage cheese, drained
1 teaspoon flour
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

Method: Drain spinach in a sieve and squeeze dry, removing all extra water. Next break up cheese into small pieces and mix thoroughly with spinach. Beat eggs and add the flour and garlic. Mix all ingredients together, making the cottage cheese the last ingredient to be added. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish with Pam and pour mixture into dish. Spread mixture evenly and bake forty to forty-five minutes. Serves ten. This is a family favorite at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.

Strawberry Bread
by Grace Warn

Despite having been friends with Dacia Luck since they were both six, Grace joined the NFB only this past December. Coincidentally, this was the same time she became reader/assistant to the Monitor editor.

Grace WarnIngredients:
2 cups fresh strawberries
3 1/8 cups flour
2 cups plus a spoonful sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Slice strawberries and place in medium bowl, sprinkle lightly with sugar, and set aside. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda in large bowl; mix well. Blend oil and eggs with strawberries. Add strawberry mixture to dry ingredients, blending until dry ingredients are just moistened. Add pecans, stir, and divide batter evenly between prepared pans. Bake forty to forty-five minutes or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted in center of each loaf. Let cool in pans on wire rack for ten minutes. Loosen edges and turn loaves out to cool completely. For an even sweeter treat, add chocolate chips before baking.

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