Braille Monitor                                               January 2014

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This month’s recipes have been provided by members of the National Federation of the Blind of New Jersey.

Shrimp Oreganato
by Carol Castellano

Carol CastellanoCarol Castellano is a long-time member and former president of Parents of Blind Children of New Jersey and the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children. This recipe is from her grandmother. Unfortunately Grandma did not specify amounts, so Carol is estimating.

12 jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined (or comparable weight of smaller shrimp)
Bread crumbs, Italian flavored (about 1/3 cup, to taste)
Dried oregano (to taste)
Capers to taste, optional
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon minced garlic or garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil

Method: Set oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil in bottom of small baking pan. Arrange shrimp in pan. Shrimp can be tightly fit into pan. In separate bowl make breadcrumb mixture by combining breadcrumbs, spices, and capers. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over shrimp. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in oven for fifteen to twenty minutes. (Ten minutes may be sufficient if using small shrimp.) Raise oven to broil, and broil shrimp for two minutes. Enjoy with a salad and a loaf of crusty Italian bread.

Pumpkin Cheese Cake
by Mary Jo Partyka

Mary Jo Partyka is the second vice president of the New Jersey affiliate, president of the Braille Division, president of the Capital Chapter, and coeditor of the Sounding Board.

2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup pumpkin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 9-inch graham cracker pie shell

Method: Mix cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in electric mixer set on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs and mix until blended. In another bowl mix pumpkin, cinnamon, and 1 cup of the cream cheese mixture. Spread remaining cream cheese mixture on the bottom of the pie shell and top with pumpkin layer. Smooth until level on top. Bake at 350 degrees between thirty-five and forty minutes, until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Refrigerate three hours or cool overnight. Makes 8 servings.

Tasty Chili--LCB
by Brian Mackey

Brian MackeyBrian Mackey currently serves as secretary of the New Jersey affiliate and the NFB-NJ At-Large Chapter. He is a board member of the Garden State Chapter and producer of ThruOurEyes with Joe Ruffalo. Brian is a 2007 graduate of the Louisiana Center for the Blind (LCB) and a 2006 graduate of the LEAD (Leadership Education Advocacy Determination) Program. He brought this recipe back from LCB.

1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 envelope chili mix (any kind)
Water as directed on chili mix
1 can baked beans (any kind)
Shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese

Method: In large skillet brown ground beef with diced onion until done. Drain excess grease and rinse with hot water if needed. Drain tomatoes, reserving liquid to use as part of the water called for on chili mix envelope. Add tomatoes, chili mix, and water to the beef and allow to reduce in volume for about five minutes. Add beans and continue to cook until beans are heated through. Sprinkle individual servings with cheese, and serve with crackers or cornbread.
Serves four to six.

by Brian Mackey

2 cups white or yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk
If using buttermilk, 1/3 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together with your fingers in medium bowl. In a separate bowl beat the two eggs well. Then add the mayo and mix well. Then add milk or buttermilk. Mix liquid ingredients together well. Pour liquid into the dry ingredients. Mix them together until smooth. In a cast iron skillet or cake pan heat the oil. When the oil is very hot, quickly pour it into the batter. Stir it into the batter. Quickly pour batter into the hot pan. Put it into the oven for 20 minutes. To check if it’s done, use a toothpick. If it comes out clean, the cornbread is done. You can also touch it lightly in the center. If it feels dry and firm, it is done. If it’s not done, bake for a further five minutes.

Hot Chicken Salad
by Brian Mackey

4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
1 rib celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
3/4 cup almonds or any other nuts
1 1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups croutons
2 to 3 cups cheddar cheese, shredded

Method: Cook chicken breasts. You can use the microwave, cooking two at a time in a covered dish. Cook four to five minutes on a side. When they are done, dice the meat and place in a bowl. While cooking chicken, dice celery and onion and add to chicken. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Transfer chicken mixture to greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Sometimes I put a little extra cheese on top of the salad. Bake for thirty to forty-five minutes covered loosely with aluminum foil. Salad is done when it is heated through and bubbly.

Cherry Chocolate Bundt Cake
by Jerilyn Higgins

Jerilyn HigginsJerilyn Higgins serves as the New Jersey affiliate first vice president, chapter president, scholarship chairperson, and coeditor of the Sounding Board. Jerilyn was Northern Region mentor in the LEAD Program and has taught activities of daily living for many years. In her spare time Jerilyn loves to cook for her family.

1 18.25-ounce box chocolate cake mix
1 21-ounce can cherry pie filling
2 large eggs, beaten

Method: In a bowl combine the cake mix, pie filling, and eggs, mixing well. Lightly spray a microwave-proof Bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour batter into pan. Microwave on high for four minutes. Turn pan a quarter and microwave four minutes longer. Turn pan a quarter further and microwave for one minute longer, or until cake tester comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool completely. Yields twelve slices.

Healthy Granola Bars
by Jerilyn Higgins

Non-stick cooking spray
2 cups Quaker instant oatmeal
3/4 cups dried cranberries
3/4 cups walnuts, chopped
3/4 cups toasted wheat germ
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil
2 large eggs

Method: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with foil, extending it two inches over the short ends of the pan. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray. In a glass pie plate spread oats and cook in microwave for four minutes in one-minute bursts. In a large bowl combine cranberries, walnuts, oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and then stir in honey, oil, and eggs. Mix until well blended. Transfer to the prepared pan and with very clean wet hands press down until evenly packed into the dish. Bake for thirty-five minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack, and, when cooled, cut into twenty-four bars.

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