Braille Monitor                                            July 2016

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

Tortellini Soup
by Terry Sheeler

Terry SheelerTerry Sheeler is the state president for the National Federation of the Blind of Arkansas. Tony and Terry and their girls are all proud members of the NFB of NWA chapter. Terry has made these recipes for Tony and the girls for many years and now that the girls are grown and starting their own lives, it is fun to reflect back and see the girls making these family recipes that they have enjoyed for many years.

8 ounce container of chive and onion cream cheese
2 bags of frozen tortellini
2 pounds of hamburger meat
4 green onions, chopped
2 family-size cans of tomato soup
2 cans of beef broth
2 cans diced tomatoes with oregano/basil/garlic
Garlic to taste
Onion powder to taste
Salt to taste
Cumin to taste
Pepper to taste
Splash red wine vinegar

Method: Cook beef and season with garlic, onion powder, a small amount of cumin, salt, pepper and a small splash of red wine vinegar and set aside. In large pot combine tomato soup, beef broth, diced tomatoes with oregano/basil/garlic and chopped green onions. Stir constantly until it comes to a boil, add the chive and onion cream cheese, stir well so that it melts into the soup base.

You can either cook the tortellini separately and drain/add separately when cooked or add the tortellini to the soup base and let it cook in the soup base until done. Once tortellini and soup base are done, add the beef mixture.

Added suggestion: add real shredded parmesan cheese to the top of soup when ready to serve. This recipe makes a large pot and is great for families and group gatherings. If you don’t need a large amount, you cut the recipe in half.

Yeller Chili
by Donna Walker

Dick and Donna Walker live in Malvern, Arkansas, about forty-five miles south of Little Rock. Donna is the first vice president of the National Federation of the Blind of Arkansas, secretary of the state’s chapter at-large and secretary for the board of the Friends of the Arkansas Information Reading Service for the Blind Network.

2 1/2 pounds ground chuck
1 medium onion, chopped
4 15-ounce cans pinto beans with jalapeño peppers
4 15-ounce cans chili hot beans
1 or 2 10-ounce cans original diced Ro*Tel tomatoes
1 pound Velveeta cheese
1 to 2 cups heavy cream

Method: In a skillet brown ground chuck and onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste and drain off excess grease. In a six- or eight-quart crock pot (or eight-quart stockpot) combine beans (do not drain), Ro*Tel tomatoes, and browned meat. Cover and cook together until simmering, stirring occasionally. Use high heat in slow cooker or on very low heat if you use stock pot on top of the range. Add cheese and cook until nearly ready to serve. Stir in cream to get desired thickness.

Serve over mini Tostitos, Fritos, or Nacho Cheese Doritos crunched in bottom of bowl. We like the Nacho Cheese Doritos best.

Jalapeño Corn Bread
by Donna Walker

2 cups self-rising corn meal (I prefer yellow but white will work as well)
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cooking oil
1 15-ounce can creamed corn
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cups grated cheese
12 to 15 jalapeño slices, chopped

Method: Grease ten-inch iron skillet with shortening or cooking oil. Combine corn meal, eggs, milk, cooking oil and creamed corn in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in onions, peppers, and grated cheese. Transfer to skillet and bake at 350 degrees for forty-five to fifty-five minutes. Outside edge and top should be slightly crispy. Loosen outside edge with butter knife and cool a few minutes before serving.

Country Cold Slaw
by Nella Foster

Nella Foster lives in Northwest Arkansas. She is involved with the state affiliate and the at-large chapter. She owns and manages a small goat dairy, but still has time for hobbies like gardening, crafts, and baking.

4 cups finely chopped cabbage
1 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt
Pinch of dried mustard
Pinch of black pepper
Method: Mix together carrots, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Pour over cabbage and mix well. I think this tastes better if it chills in the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight. You can garnish with a ring of green pepper if you wish. This makes six servings.

Best-Ever Peanut Butter Cookies
by Donna Walker

Donna says, “A lady I worked with for years used to make these—they are wonderful. I got her to give me the recipe when I retired because my husband loves peanut butter cookies. Her aunt got it off of the commodity peanut butter can back in the 1960s.”

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or shortening
2 eggs, beaten

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside. Mix together peanut butter, eggs, and fat. Add both white and brown sugar and blend with electric mixer. Add in dry ingredients. It makes a stiff dough. Drop by teaspoonful, or roll into that size balls, and flatten on cookie sheet. Bake for ten to fifteen minutes or until slightly browned on edges. Makes four to five dozen cookies, depending on size of cookies.

Almond Short Bread
by Nella Foster
1/4 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup almond slivers
1 teaspoon almond extract
Method: Melt butter and blend with sugar, add egg and beat well. Sift dry ingredients together and then add to butter mixture. Stir until blended and then add almonds and almond extract. Mix thoroughly and spread into a greased eight-by-eight-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for thirty minutes. Cut the shortbread into squares while it is still warm. It should make sixteen to twenty squares. If you toast the almonds first they will have more flavor.

Punch Bowl Cake
by Terry Sheeler

While there is cake involved, this isn’t the kind of cake you bake. Instead this treat is created by layering the ingredients into a fresh and cool dessert, perfect for summer.

2 angel food cakes
1 large box of vanilla instant pudding
6 large bananas
2 pounds fresh or frozen strawberries
2 16-ounce containers of Cool Whip, thawed
One large clear punch bowl

Method: In separate bowls break angel food cake into bite-size pieces or a little larger. Follow directions for vanilla pudding; pudding will be soft-set. Slice bananas. Quarter the fresh strawberries or thaw frozen strawberries and drain.

In the large clear punch bowl, layer the following: angel food cake, vanilla pudding, sliced bananas, sliced strawberries, and Cool Whip. Repeat all the layers until your punch bowl is filled and you have ended with your fifth layer of Cool Whip. Top with fresh strawberries if desired. Keep cake chilled until ready to serve and, when ready to serve, dip with a large spoon.

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