Braille Monitor                                             July 2015

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This month’s recipes are from the National Federation of the Blind of Utah. These recipes are from the NFBU's Project STRIVE “Cooking without Looking” program. The STRIVE in Project STRIVE stands for Successful Transition Requires Independence, Vocation, and Education.

Successful Spaghetti Sauce 

While this recipe is fantastic, it became a “Success” when STRIVE participant Tynysha added half a bottle of parmesan and over half a bottle of Italian seasoning to it. Fantastic soon became totally yummolicious!

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (we used 1 pound ground beef and 1/2 pound ground sausage)
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 14 1/2-ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water

Method: Brown the meat in a large heavy-bottomed pot, then drain off the fat. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic and sauté until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, seasonings, and water. Simmer for thirty minutes. Let cool. The sauce will keep for several days covered and refrigerated. Serve over spaghetti or your favorite pasta.

Transition Peach Cobbler
by Barbie Elliott

Barbie ElliottThe butter and batter start out below the fruit, but by the end the fruit sinks, and the batter rises to the top. This “Transition” truly makes this peach dessert a tasty treat. Our co-director and Utah's Division of Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired (DSBVI) home management instructor, Barbie Elliott, shared her expertise in creating this scrumdeliyumtuous dish.

1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch salt
1 cup milk
1 large can sliced peaches in heavy syrup (I use 4 cups fresh sliced peaches)
Cinnamon and nutmeg in 2 tablespoons of sugar (optional)

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is preheating, melt one stick of butter in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Mix flour and sugar well. Add milk to flour and sugar mixture, and stir well so that it is not lumpy. Pour milk, flour, and sugar mixture over butter, be careful not to pour too quickly because it works best if you do not spread it but pour evenly over the top of the butter. Arrange peaches evenly on top of batter. Mix two tablespoons sugar and spices in a small bowl. Sprinkle spice mixture over the top of peaches. This step is optional; some prefer the cobbler without the extra sugar. Cook until crust is lightly brown; dough will rise to form a crust over the top of the peaches. Enjoy.

Lava Cakes
by Tara Briggs

This recipe was taught by Project STRIVE and former DSBVI Braille and home management instructor Tara Briggs. She says it is best when you follow all requirements, especially using silicone cupcake pans. Tara also submitted this recipe and the next recipe for our Project STRIVE Cupcake Wars.

3 eggs
3 egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3/4 cups butter, chopped in small pieces
6 tablespoons flour

Method: Melt chopped butter and chocolate together for sixty seconds. Stir the butter and chocolate and continue to melt in microwave for thirty seconds at a time until mixture is melted. Mix eggs, egg yolks, and sugar for five minutes. Add chocolate and butter and mix. Add flour a tablespoon at a time. If you are using an electric mixer, be sure to pour the flour into the middle of the beaters and then mix. Spoon batter into silicone cupcake pan and bake for twelve to fourteen minutes at 350 degrees. Yields twelve cakes.

Independence Lemon Strawberry Cheese Cupcakes
by Tara Briggs

After four teams shopped for ingredients, the Project STRIVE Cupcake Wars were ON! Guest judges rated the finished products in the areas of flavor, texture, creativity, appearance, and clean-up of work station. A dedicated and determined team won with this deYUMMcious recipe, using strawberry tops with stems as garnish on their presentation platter.

1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
8 ounces softened cream cheese (not light)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Vanilla wafers
Foil cupcake liners
Strawberry pie filling
Fresh strawberries

Method: Beat sugar, eggs, and cream cheese together until smooth. Place one vanilla wafer, flat side down, in each cupcake liner and fill half full with batter. Bake for fifteen minutes at 350 degrees. Cool in refrigerator, then top with drizzled-on pie filling and fresh strawberries.

Vocation Creamy White Chicken Chili
by Marla Palmer

Marla PalmerFor some of us this recipe is forever attached to our first Successful Futures Seminar/Career Fair. We were well fed by hearing from our own Kristen Cox. Incidentally, she negotiated our funding through Utah's Department of Workforce Services. We were further filled by the experience and hands-on activity with a local blind mechanic, as well as by taking the opportunity to participate in mock job interviews. This recipe nourished us, as did the woman who submitted it. Marla Palmer, our program's original director, started the tradition that is now a favorite training recipe for students at DSBVI.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken
1 medium onion
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon oil
2 cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can chicken broth
2 4-ounce cans green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream

Method: Sauté chicken, onion, and garlic powder in oil. Add beans, broth, chilies, and seasonings. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for thirty minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream and cream and serve.

Education: The Meat Doneness Touch Test

by Willie Black

Just in time for summer grilling. So maybe this isn't a recipe, but it's a great tool. This technique was taught at our very first “Cooking without Looking,” and subsequent activities, by our very own Project STRIVE instructor and BEP manager, Willie Black.

Besides the obvious, how can you know that your meat is raw? Open the palm of your hand. Relax the hand. Take the index finger of your other hand and push on the fleshy area between the thumb and the base of the palm. This is what raw meat feels like. (Test this the next time you have a raw steak to cook.)

How can you know if your meat is well done? Now gently press the tip of your pinky and your thumb together. Again feel the fleshy area below the thumb. It should feel quite firm. This is what well-done meat feels like when you press on it. (Test this the next time you overcook a piece of meat.)

How can you know if your meat is medium? Press the tip of your ring finger and your thumb together. The flesh beneath the thumb should give a little more. This is what meat cooked to a medium doneness feels like.

How can you know if your meat is medium rare? Gently press the tip of your middle finger to the tip of your thumb. This is medium-rare.

How can you know if your meat is rare? Press the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb. The fleshy area below the thumb should give quite a bit. This is what meat cooked to rare feels like.

Open your palm again and compare raw to rare. Adapted from <>.

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