The Braille Monitor                                                                      _______        October 1997

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Linda Mentink
Linda Mentink
Mary Brunoli
Mary Brunoli



This month's recipes come from the National Federation of the Blind's Music Division.

Skillet Beef and Noodle Dinner
by Linda Mentink

Linda Mentink lives in Wisconsin and serves as President of the NFB Music Division. She is a singer with several albums to her credit.


2 cups (1/4 pound) wide noodles, cooked and drained
3 tablespoons bacon drippings
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 pound uncooked ground beef
1 cup diced carrots
2 1/4 cups (1 #2 can tomatoes)
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Worcester sauce

Method: Scrape, dice, and cook carrots until tender-crisp. Set aside. In bacon drippings saute onion and celery about five minutes. Add ground beef, breaking up pieces with the back of the spoon. Cook, stirring until beef is done. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Serves six.

O'Henry Bars
by Linda Mentink


1 cup melted butter or margarine
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
4 cups oatmeal

Method: Mix all ingredients well and press into a lightly-greased cookie sheet with sides. (Mine measures about 10 by 14 inches.) Bake at 350 degrees for ten to twelve minutes. Cool to room temperature. Pour over topping made of one cup crunchy peanut butter and one cup chocolate chips melted and stirred together well. Spread topping and chill bars. Cut before serving.

$250 Cookies
by Mary Brunoli

Mary Brunoli is the First Vice President of the Music Division. She writes as follows:

My daughter and I had finished a salad at the Neiman-Marcus Cafe in Dallas and decided to have a small dessert. Because our family are such cookie monsters, we decided to try the Neiman-Marcus cookie. It was so good that I asked if they would give me the recipe. The server said with a frown, "I'm afraid not."

"Well," I said, "Would you let me buy the recipe?" With a cute smile, she agreed.

I asked how much, and she responded, "Two fifty."

I said with approval, "Just add it to my tab."

Thirty days later I received my statement from Neiman-Marcus, and it was $285. I looked again and remembered I had only spent $9.95 for two salads and about $20 for a scarf. When I glanced at the bottom of the statement, it said "Cookie recipe $250." Boy, was I upset. I called Neiman's accounting office and told them that I had understood the waitress to say the cost would be $2.50. I did not realize she meant $250 for the recipe. I asked them to take back the recipe and reduce my bill, but they said they were sorry, but all the recipes were that expensive so that not just anyone could duplicate the bakery recipes. The bill would stand.

I thought about how I could get even or try to get my money back. I just said, "okay, you folks got my $250, and now I'm going to have $250 worth of fun. I told the accountant that I was going to see to it that every cookie lover would have the $250 recipe from Neiman-Marcus for nothing. She replied, "I wish you wouldn't do this."

I said, "I'm sorry, but this is the only way I feel I can get even, and I will." So here it is. Please enjoy it and pass it on to someone else. I paid for it; now you can have it for free.


2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups flour
5 cups blended oatmeal or quick oats
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons soda
24 ounces chocolate chips
1 8-ounce Hershey bar, grated
3 cups chopped nuts

Method: Measure oats and blend in a food processor to produce a fine powder. Cream butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix together with flour, oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and soda. Add chocolate chips, Hershey bar, and nuts.

Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet. Bake for ten minutes at 375 degrees. Makes 112 cookies (recipe may be halved).

Lemon-Dilly Sole
by Mary Brunoli


1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 cup herb seasoned stuffing mix
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 pound fillet of sole or other fish fillets (4 medium slices)
1/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon dill weed

Method: Melt 1/3 cup of butter over medium heat. Add celery and onion; saute until tender. Stir in stuffing mix, parsley, lemon juice, lemon peel, salt and pepper; set aside. Cut each fillet to make eight 3-by-4-inch fillet halves. Place four halves in ungreased 9-inch square baking pan. Top each with 1/4 cup stuffing mixture, then remaining filet halves. Melt another 1/3 cup butter; stir in dill weed. Pour dill-butter over fillets. Bake near center of 350-degree oven for twenty to thirty minutes or until fish flakes with a fork. Spoon sauce over fillets. Return to oven for five minutes. Yields four servings.

Summer Squash Casserole
by Mary Brunoli


6 cups summer or zucchini squash (or both)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can condensed cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 carrot, grated
1 small package herb stuffing
1/2 cup butter or margarine

Method: Boil squash and onions ten minutes, then drain. Mix soup and sour cream, and add grated carrot. Add squash and onion mixture. Mix stuffing with melted butter. Place half of mixture of crumbs in 13-by-9-inch pan. Add squash mixture and then add rest of bread crumbs on top. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes.

Crabmeat Quiche
by Mary Brunoli


1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces king crabmeat
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sherry
1 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1/4 pound gruyere cheese, grated

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in pan; add crabmeat; sprinkle with paprika. Saute. Add sherry. Beat eggs in medium-to-large bowl. Add cream to eggs along with salt, pepper, and cheeses. Fold in crabmeat. Pour into pie shell. Bake till quiche is set.

Choco-Nut Dainties
by Mary Brunoli

Serve this log-shaped cookie with coffee as the perfect ending to a company dinner.


2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 6-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces
1 recipe chocolate coating, recipe below
2 cups chopped walnuts

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and salt onto wax paper. Beat together margarine, sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until well mixed. Blend in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate pieces. Shape dough on lightly floured surface into 2-inch logs 1/2-inch in diameter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for twelve to fifteen minutes, or until cookies are set. Cool on wire racks. Dip ends of cookies into chocolate coating; roll ends in chopped nuts. Place on wax paper until set.

Chocolate Coating

Melt together one 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces and 1/4 cup margarine in top of double boiler over hot water. Stir until blended and smooth. If mixture is too thick, add more margarine, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture is a good coating consistency.