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The Braille Monitor,  December 2001 EditionThis is a line.


This month's recipes are provided by members of the NFB of Louisiana.


Chicken and Dumplings

by Ruby Ryles

Dr. Ruby Ryles is a longtime leader of the National Organization of Parents of Blind Children and now Director of the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness in Ruston, Louisiana.

Ruby Ryles
Ruby Ryles]


1 chicken

your favorite vegetables and herbs for making chicken stock, optional

6 tablespoons shortening

3 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/2 cups milk

Tony's Creole Seasoning


2 teaspoons salt

Method: Cut chicken into pieces and cover with water in a large pot. You will need lots of headroom later when the dumplings rise. Bring chicken and water to a boil. If desired, add vegetables such as carrots, onion, and celery along with whole cloves, allspice berries, poultry seasoning, thyme, and sage. Simmer covered until chicken is tender. Remove chicken from broth, cool, and debone. While chicken is cooling, strain liquid, discard vegetables and spices, return stock to the pot, and keep hot. To make dumplings, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt and cut in shortening with pastry blender or two knives used scissor-fashion until mixture resembles crumbs. Stir in milk and knead lightly. Roll out on floured cutting board until dumpling dough is evenly rolled and less than a quarter-inch thick. Cut dumplings in about one-inch strips. Drop one by one into boiling chicken broth. Then return deboned chicken to pot. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and Tony's. Cook uncovered fifteen minutes. Cover and cook about twenty minutes longer over low heat.

Sweet Potato Casserole

by Ruby Ryles

Sharon Omvig agrees with Ruby that this recipe is first- rate. She commented that it is the sort about which people say, "Oh, sorry to hear that you can't make it to brunch, but would you send that casserole along anyway?"


3 cups cooked sweet potatoes

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup evaporated milk


1 box light brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup self‑rising flour

1/3 cup melted butter

Method: Using an electric mixer, beat first six ingredients together until smooth and place in casserole dish. Mix topping ingredients till crumbly and sprinkle over top of sweet potato mixture. (This may make too much topping. You can save it in a jar in the refrigerator for the next sweet potato casserole.) Bake twenty-five to thirty minutes at 325 degrees.


Cheesy Potato Casserole

by Neita Ghrigsby

Neita Ghrigsby is the office manager at the Louisiana Center for the Blind.

Neita Ghrigsby
Neita Ghrigsby


8 to 10 good-sized potatoes (either white or red will do fine)

3-4 strips of crisp fried bacon, crumbled

1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 roll Kraft Garlic Cheese

1 roll Kraft Jalapeno Cheese

1 jar Cheez Whiz (if you like things really hot, use the Jalapeno Cheez Whiz)

1/2 cup milk

1/2 stick oleo

salt and pepper to taste

Method: Peel and cut potatoes into good-sized chunks. Wash and drain. Place them in a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil on the stove and cook covered until almost tender. While they are cooking, melt 1/2 stick of oleo in a small skillet, add finely chopped onion and bell pepper. Saut� until tender. In another pan mix milk, Cheez Whiz, and the rolls of garlic and jalapeno cheese cut into small pieces. Cook over low heat to melt cheeses, stirring constantly to keep mixture from sticking. Add the oleo, onion, and bell pepper mixture and stir together. After potatoes are cooked, drain completely and spread them into a buttered thirteen-by-nine Pyrex or other baking dish. Sprinkle the crumbled bacon over potatoes. Then spread with cheese mixture. Bake uncovered in a 350 oven for twenty to thirty minutes or until the potatoes are completely tender and mixture is bubbly.

Swiss Steak

by Sharon Omvig

Sharon and Jim Omvig have recently moved to Ruston, Louisiana, where Sharon now works as the Assistant to the Director of the Professional Development and Research Institute on Blindness at Louisiana Technical University. She reports that this is an old family recipe handed down from her grandmother. She cannot give actual measurements, but she reports that it is one of Jim's absolute favorite dishes in the world.

Sharon Omvig
Sharon Omvig

Method: In oil brown enough swiss steak or round steak for six to eight people. Transfer meat from skillet to crock pot or dutch oven. Add a little more oil to skillet and stir in enough flour to make a smooth paste. Stir and brown until paste is very dark brown, but not burned. Next stir in enough boiling water to make a thick gravy. Be sure to stir constantly to keep gravy from lumping. Add a 15-ounce can of tomato sauce. The result should be of a nice gravy consistency. Slice several onions over the steak and pour gravy over everything. Slow cook or bake covered tightly while you are at work. We always serve this dish over mashed potatoes with peas and carrots on the side. The end result should be very tender steak with a rich, dark brown gravy (no hint of tomato-sauce taste).

Cheesy Corn Chowder

by Sharon Omvig


3 tablespoons butter

1 cup sliced carrots

1 cup chopped celery

1/3 cup chopped onions

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 can whole corn

2 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

1/2 large link Hillshire all-beef smoky sausage

1/2 cup evaporated milk

Method: Cook carrots, celery, and onions in water until slightly tender. Do not drain. In a heavy saucepan melt butter and add flour, stirring constantly, to make a roux. Add roux to the vegetable mixture. Stir constantly to keep the flour from lumping. When liquid has thickened, add the rest of the ingredients and simmer till soup is heated through and vegetables are tender. Instead of sausage you can try diced chicken, turkey, or ham.

Roasted Cauliflower with Onions and Rosemary

by Arlene Hill

Arlene Hill is a cane travel instructor at the Louisiana Center for the Blind.

Arlene Hill
Arlene Hill


2 heads of cauliflower, separated into flowerettes

2 medium onions, cut into wedges

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped

Method: Toss together all ingredients except parsley. On 2 jelly roll pans bake vegetables at 350 degrees for forty minutes, rotating pans and reversing their positions on the two oven racks mid-roasting. Arrange vegetables on platters and garnish with parsley. This can be made and cooled up to 6 hours in advance and then reheated in microwave.

Pecan Sandies

by Pamela Allen

Pam Allen is the Director of the Louisiana Center for the Blind and President of the NFB of Louisiana.

Pamela Allen
Pamela Allen


1 cup butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon water

2 cups sifted flour

1 cup chopped pecans

Method: Cream butter and sugar. Add water and vanilla. Add flour and mix well. Add chopped pecans. Shape dough into crescents about 1-1/2 inches long. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 300 degrees for about twenty minutes or until brown. While warm, roll in powdered sugar. Makes about 3 dozen.

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