Braille Monitor                         February 2021

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Recipes this month were contributed by members of the National Federation of the Blind of Pennsylvania.

Taco Soup
by Jenn Harding


1 lb. of ground turkey or beef
1 onion diced
1-15 oz. can of black beans
1-15 oz. can of kidney beans
1-28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1-16 oz. bag of corn
1 package of Ranch dressing



Method: Cook ground turkey/beef till brown. Add diced onion to sauté. Then put ground turkey/beef onion mixture in a crock pot. Drain beans and add along with the rest of the ingredients. Cook for three hours on high or six hours on low. Serve with chips and cheese.

The recipe can also be made ahead of time. Cook ground meat and onions. Allow to cool. Add drained beans, meat mixture and everything else to a freezer bag. Remove air and freeze. When you want to cook it, dump everything in a crockpot and cook for six hours on low.

Broccoli Cheesy Chicken
by Jenn Harding


2 lbs. boneless/skinless chicken
1 can of Campbell's cheddar cheese
1 can of Campbell's cream of broccoli
1 bag of frozen broccoli

Method: Add chicken (can be frozen) and cans to a crockpot. If frozen, cook for five hours on high then add broccoli and cook for another 30-40 min. If chicken is raw, cook for three hours on low then add broccoli and cook for another 30-40 min.

Slow Cooker Broccoli Casserole
by Lynn Heitz

Do you enjoy broccoli casseroles but don't want to heat up the oven? Get out the slow cooker or crockpot and enjoy these casseroles year-round! Credit:


2 packages (10-oz each) frozen chopped broccoli, mostly thawed
1 can condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup crushed butter-flavor (Ritz) crackers
2 tablespoons butter

Method: In a large bowl combine the broccoli, soup, one cup of the cheese, onion, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Pour broccoli mixture into the slow cooker. Sprinkle the cracker crumbs evenly over the top. Cut butter into small portions and dot over the crackers.

Cover slow cooker and cook on high for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the top of the casserole and cook another 10 minutes or until the added cheese melts. Serves 8 to 10.

Shepherd’s Pie
by Jan Lattuca

This is great to bring to someone in need of a meal and fun to eat at home as well.


1 lb. ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 green pepper, diced (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 can green beans, drained (or 8-10 oz. frozen green beans, cooked)
3 cups mashed potatoes
4 oz. grated cheddar cheese

Method: Cook meat, onion, green pepper, salt and pepper, stirring frequently to crumble and thoroughly cook the meat. Drain off grease. Add tomato sauce and green beans, and simmer for just a few minutes to heat through. Place this mixture in a 2-quart casserole. Spread mashed potatoes over meat mixture; sprinkle cheese on top. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serves up to four.

Lentil Soup
by Jan Lattuca

This is pretty tasty, even if lentils aren’t at the top of your favorite foods list.


2 lbs. onions, chopped or sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 stick margarine
1 cup lentils
2 cups coarsely-grated carrots
2 cups beef broth
1 bay leaf, optional
1 cup dry red wine
salt and pepper to taste

Method: In large pot, briefly sauté onion and garlic in margarine. Add lentils, carrots, broth, and optional bay leaf; simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine and simmer five minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf and serve. Serves four.

Brownie Pie
by Jan Lattuca

This is too easy to be as tasty as it is.


1 cup sugar (half can be brown sugar, if desired)
2 eggs
1 stick margarine, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Method: Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in sugar, cooled margarine, and vanilla. Sift together flour, cocoa, and salt; add to egg mixture. Fold in chips and nuts (optional). Pour into lightly-buttered nine-inch pie plate. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until set. Cool. Can serve warm or at room temperature.

Apple Betty
by Linda Mackey


1-1/2 cups Keebler® Grahams Honey
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 medium cooking apples, cored, peeled, thinly sliced

Method: In medium bowl stir together crackers and 1/2 cup of sugar. Add margarine or butter. Toss until combined. Set aside. In small bowl stir together remaining sugar and cinnamon. In 8” x 8” x 2” pan, alternate layers of apples, cinnamon mixture, and crumb mixture. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. Serve warm. Serves six.

Pumpkin Bisque
by Linda Mackey


1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 cups diced onions
2 cups peeled, diced carrots
2 cups diced celery
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sweet white wine
4 cups chicken stock
29 oz. pumpkin purée
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1-pint heavy cream, room temperature

Method: In 6-quart pot, over medium heat, melt butter; add onions, carrots, celery, salt and pepper. Sauté until tender; about 8 minutes.

Deglaze the pot with wine; reduce by half. Add stock, pumpkin, brown sugar, honey, and cloves. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-low; continue to cook about 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally. Cool.

Once the mixture has cooled, working in batches, transfer pumpkin bisque to blender (about 2 cups at a time). Purée until smooth. Transfer puréed pumpkin into another pot. Once all bisque is puréed add heavy cream slowly. Stir until combined over low heat.


Homemade Cornbread Version 1
by Brian Mackey


1-1/4 cups flour                                                                     
3/4 cup cornmeal
4 tablespoons sugar                                                              
3 tsp. baking powder                         
1 tsp. salt                                                                   
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten                                                 
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Sift the dry ingredients. Add milk, egg, and butter. Beat well and bake in an 8-inch greased pan for 30-40 minutes. Note: The only thing I do differently is I bake it in a cast iron skillet. The cast iron gives it a nice crust!

Homemade Cornbread Version 2
by Brian Mackey


1 cup of flour                                                 
1 cup yellow cornmeal                                               
1/2 cup of sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder                          
3/4 teaspoons of salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup of canola oil
2 tablespoons mayo                                                  
1 cup of milk

Method: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt with a wooden mixing spoon. Add eggs, oil, mayo, and milk. Use wooden mixing spoon and stir until mixture is smooth. DON’T over stir the mixture, or it will become too runny.

Slowly pour the mixture into a 9 x 9” baking pan. Bake for 23-27 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes, cut, and enjoy!

Tasty Chili (LCB)
by Brian Mackey


1 lb. ground beef                                                       
1/2 onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes                                    
1 pkg. chili mix (any kind)
water as directed on chili mix                       
1 can baked beans (any kind)
shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese

Method: Brown ground beef with diced onion until done. Drain off excess grease and rinse with hot water if needed. Drain tomatoes and save liquid to use as part of water amount on chili mix. Add tomatoes, chili mix, and water to the beef and cook down for about five minutes. Add beans and continue to cook until beans are warm. Individually sprinkle with cheese and serve with crackers or cornbread. Serves about 4-6.

Avocado Black Bean Casserole
by Justin Salisbury

This recipe is super simple, vegan, and will not sit heavily in your stomach. You can eat this and go right to the gym. If you ever need to freeze avocados, maybe because too many of them got ripe at one time, cooking them is a great way to use them after you thaw them. I am not vegan, but I find many vegan dishes quite enjoyable. Eating vegan dishes is great for your health, your wallet, and your planet.


2 large avocados
1 15-oz. can of black beans
1 cup of brown rice

Method: Cook the rice using two cups of water. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Open and drain the can of black beans. In a 9 x 9 glass baking pan, mix the avocados, black beans, and cooked rice into a consistent mixture. Then spread it evenly in the pan. Consider adding your favorite seasoning, like Tony Chachere’s, to taste. Bake at 400 degrees for fifteen minutes and serve.

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