The Braille Monitor                                                                                       December 2002

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From the Editor: This month's recipes are from members of the National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska.

Ryan Osentowski
Ryan Osentowski

Frozen Oreo Delight

by Ryan Osentowski

Ryan Osentowski (better known as Ryan O) is the secretary of the National Federation of the Blind of Nebraska, first vice president of the Lincoln chapter, and the NFB-NEWSLINE® coordinator for Nebraska.


1 package Oreo cookies, crushed

1/2 gallon vanilla ice cream

1 small jar crunchy peanut butter

1 8-ounce container of Cool Whip

1 jar hot fudge sauce

Method: In large bowl soften ice cream and stir in peanut butter, then fold in Cool Whip. Set aside 2/3 cup crushed Oreos and spread the remaining cookie crumbs over bottom of 9-by-13-inch pan. Pour ice cream mixture over crushed cookies. Top mixture with remaining crushed cookies. Place in freezer for two to three hours, until set. To serve, remove from freezer and cut into squares. Top with warmed hot fudge sauce. You'll be happy for a week.

Crazy Cake

by Amy Buresh

Amy Buresh is the newly elected first vice president of the NFB of Nebraska and president of the Lincoln chapter. She works as a transition counselor at the Nebraska Commission for the Blind.


3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1-1/2 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup cocoa

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons vinegar

1/4 cup oil

2 cups lukewarm water

Method: Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Stir until all lumps have been removed. Pour batter into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty to forty minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of the cake comes out clean.

Quick and Easy Taco Pie

by Robert Leslie Newman

Robert Leslie Newman is secretary of the Omaha, Nebraska, chapter. He is a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He is married to a second-grade teacher, and they have a sixteen-year-old daughter. He is also the author of the blindness discussion forum called Thought Provoker: URL <>.

Robert Leslie Newman
Robert Leslie Newman


1 pound of pre-mixed and refrigerated dough for bread or pizza

1 pound of ground beef or shredded beef or chicken

1 package of taco seasonings

diced onions, optional

chopped green peppers, optional

Method: Slice and dice optional vegetables, your choice as to how fine. Fry meat with prepared vegetables in a skillet, draining grease at end of cooking process. Mix in taco seasonings, following package directions (usually stir in with 3/4 cup of water). Prepare dough by flattening it on a greased metal sheet or wide oven pan; flatten dough as thin as possible, keeping in mind that you will pour the cooked meat mixture into the middle of the flattened dough. After transferring meat mixture to dough, pull up all sides of the dough to enclose the meat mixture completely, crimping the dough to seal. Place the cooking sheet and taco pie in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for fifteen to twenty minutes, depending on whether you like your bread chewy or crisp. Allow to cool a little before slicing in generous pieces; offer additional toppings such as lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream, olives, hot sauce, etc.

Cheesy Vegetable Bread

by Nancy Oltman

Nancy Oltman says, "I have been a member of the NFB since 1975 and have served in various positions in my local chapter and on the Nebraska state board, currently as second vice president. I enjoy cooking, crocheting, and entering cooking contests. This is my favorite homemade bread recipe; the aroma while it is baking will make your mouth water."

Nancy Oltman
Nancy Oltman


5-1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour2 packages active dry yeast

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon salt

3 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup grated carrots

1/2 cup finely chopped green or red bell pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Method: In a large bowl combine two cups of the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Mix with a spoon. Add the water and vegetable oil. Mix with an electric mixer on low until combined. Then increase speed of mixer and beat for two minutes to dissolve the yeast thoroughly. Add another cup of flour and beat an additional minute. At this point stir in the vegetables and cheese with a wooden spoon. Add enough of the remaining flour using the wooden spoon and eventually by kneading with your hands to make a medium stiff dough. Dough will seem a little sticky when finished; when dough has nearly enough flour, you can grease your hands with a little vegetable oil or lard to insure thorough mixing without overdoing the flour. (Kneading is best done on a lightly floured surface on your counter.) Continue kneading until dough is thoroughly combined and elastic, about ten minutes. Grease bottom of large bowl and place dough in it, turning once to grease top of dough. Cover with a clean towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise in warm place until double in size, thirty to forty-five minutes. Punch down dough. (You will probably need to grease your hands again for this.) Knead briskly to remove all air pockets. Generously grease two 9-by-5-inch bread pans. Divide dough in half. Shape loaves and place in pans. Cover and allow to rise to almost double in size, about thirty minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake loaves fifty to fifty-five minutes or until golden brown and tapping loaves with your finger produces a hollow sound. Remove from pan and allow to cool before cutting (that is, if you can wait that long). This bread is great toasted. Yields two loaves.

Carrots au Gratin

by Nancy Coffman

Nancy Coffman has been a member of the National Federation of the Blind since the early 1980's. She joined during her wild college days in Greeley, Colorado, after being recruited by the Colorado Student Division. She loves to eat, and this tantalizing dish makes a great excuse. It is popular at potluck dinners. If you take it to a dinner, you won't be hauling it home.

Nancy Coffman
Nancy Coffman


2/3 cup Kellogg's Corn Flakes crumbs

3 tablespoons margarine, melted

1/3 cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1-1/2 cups low-fat milk

2/3 cup reduced-fat shredded American cheese

4-1/2 cups cooked, sliced carrots, drained (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

Method: In small bowl or shallow pan combine Kellogg's Corn Flakes crumbs and 1 tablespoon of the margarine. Set aside. Add onion to remaining margarine. Sauté over low heat. Add flour, salt, and pepper. Stir in milk. Increase heat to medium; cook until bubbly and thickened, stirring constantly. Add cheese. Stir until smooth. Stir in carrots and parsley flakes. Spread in shallow 1-1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle top with crumb mixture. Bake in 350 degree oven about twenty minutes or until bubbly and crumbs are golden brown. Serve warm.

Seacoast Salad

by Cheryl Livingston

Cheryl has served as treasurer of the Nebraska affiliate for the past fourteen years. She is also secretary of the Lincoln chapter of the NFB of Nebraska. Cheryl enjoys cooking, reading, and spending time with her two cats, Snooper and Tammy. You can double this recipe to serve at a party or picnic.

Cheryl Livingston
Cheryl Livingston


1 box Kraft macaroni and cheese dinner

1 6-ounce can tuna

1 8-ounce can peas, drained

2 cups celery, chopped

onion to taste

1 8-ounce jar Miracle Whip

Method: Cook the macaroni and cheese dinner according to package directions. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Chill. This is a quick and easy salad any time of the year.

Grandpa's Divinity

by Jane Lansaw

Jane Lansaw is a member of the board of the NFB of Nebraska and treasurer of the Omaha chapter. She says it isn't Christmas without Grandpa's divinity. You heard me, not Grandma's, Grandpa's. This W.W. II veteran was as handy in the kitchen as he was in the toolshed.

Jane Lansaw
Jane Lansaw


3 cups sugar

1/2 cup white corn syrup

1/2 cup hot water

2 egg whites, beaten stiff

1 teaspoon vanilla

Method: Combine sugar, corn syrup, and hot water in sauce pan. Cook to soft-ball stage, 238 degrees on a candy thermometer. Add half of this syrup gradually to egg whites, beating constantly. Continue cooking other half of syrup until it reaches hard-ball stage, 250 degrees. Continue beating the egg white mixture, adding remaining syrup gradually. Add vanilla. Continue beating until cool. Add one cup of chopped nuts or chopped candied cherries, or a few drops of food coloring. Soft-ball and hard-ball stages can be identified by dropping a small bit of the boiling liquid into very cold water so that it can be tested with the fingers. The soft ball feels gooey, and the hard ball can easily be rolled into a firm ball. Drop candies from teaspoon onto greased pan or waxed paper. Yields four dozen pieces. I prefer to spoon the entire batch out flat on waxed paper and break it up after it cools completely. It cools quickly so move with speed. Enjoy the results and remember, confection is good for the soul.

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