The Braille Monitor                                                                                                  March 2005

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This month's recipes were submitted by members of the NFB of Arkansas.

Lemon Caesar Pasta Salad

by Edward Bell

Maria and Eddie Bell with daughter Victoria
Maria and Eddie Bell with daughter Victoria

Dr. Edward (Eddie) and Maria Bell are longtime Federationists who live in Fayetteville. They are both past NFB scholarship winners. Since recently completing his Ph.D., Eddie has been doing contract work with the Iowa Department for the Blind and the NFB Jernigan Institute. Maria is taking care of Victoria, three, and Samantha, three months.


16 ounces bowtie pasta
2 cups fresh green beans, in bite-size pieces (French cut is attractive)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon low-salt Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Method: Cook pasta for about ten minutes in boiling water. Add green beans during last five minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain again. Place in bowl and toss with remaining ingredients, except tomatoes and cheese. Before serving, add tomatoes and toss lightly. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

Beef Roast

by Edward Bell


6-pound top sirloin roast
2 medium onions, quartered and separated
2 pounds carrots, cut in 2-inch chunks
4 pounds potatoes, skin on, cut in eighths
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
3 teaspoons kosher salt

Method: Mix all the spices and the salt together. Moisten the roast with a little water so that the spices will adhere. Sprinkle the mixture all over the roast and rub or press it in with your hands. Place the roast, fat side up, in the center of a large roasting pan. Arrange the onions, carrots, and potatoes around the roast. Roast at 375 degrees for fifteen to twenty minutes a pound, depending on how well done you like your beef. Stir the vegetables every twenty minutes. This will coat them with the juices and spices. The best bet is to use a meat thermometer. For rare beef we remove the meat from the oven at about 135 degrees, for medium around 145. Then we let the roast rest for ten to twenty minutes. The internal temperature will go up five to ten degrees during that time. If you are cooking a smaller roast or the veggies don't seem done, continue to cook them while the roast rests. Slice and serve with a big spoonful of the vegetables.

Chris McKenzie
Chris McKenzie

Pretzel Salad

by Chris McKenzieChris McKenzie is president of the NFB of Arkansas and a member of the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind.

Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups crushed pretzels
1 1/2 sticks margarine
3 tablespoons sugar

Method: Mix these three ingredients together and press into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch pan. Bake at 350 for ten minutes. Allow to cool before filling with the salad.

Filling Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces Kool Whip, thawed
1 cup powdered sugar

Method: Beat cream cheese and sugar together and fold in the whipped topping. Spread across the cooled crust.

Topping Ingredients:

1 large package strawberry Jell-O
2 cups boiling water
20 ounces sliced frozen strawberries (thawed)
1 cup cold water

Method: Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Add fruit and cold water. Chill, if necessary, until strawberry mixture begins to congeal and spread over filling. Optional: You can gently spread Kool Whip over surface instead of folding it into the cream cheese mixture. Keep refrigerated.

Rocky Road Fudge

by Donna Birdwell

Donna Birdwell is NFB of Arkansas first vice president and Pulaski County Chapter president.


1 12-ounce package semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

Method: Line a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with foil; grease lightly. Microwave morsels and sweetened condensed milk in large, microwave-safe bowl on high (100 percent) power for one minute; stir. Microwave at additional ten-to-twenty-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Fold in marshmallows and nuts. Press mixture into prepared baking pan. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into pieces.

New Orleans Chocolate Cake

by Chris McKenzie

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 stick margarine
1/2 cup oil
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup water
2 eggs, at room temperature and slightly beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk

Method: Sift together flour and sugar and set aside. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place margarine, oil, water, and cocoa in a large saucepan and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat; quickly stir in flour-sugar mixture, eggs, cinnamon, soda, vanilla, and buttermilk.

Pour into pan and bake for twenty-five to thirty minutes.

About ten minutes before cake is done, begin to prepare the frosting.

Frosting Ingredients:

1 stick margarine
6 tablespoons milk
4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
1 1-pound box powdered sugar

Method: In a medium to large saucepan bring cocoa, margarine, and milk to a boil; remove from heat. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and beat with electric mixer till smooth. Stir in nuts. Spread frosting over top surface of cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.

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