Braille Monitor                                                         July 2007

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This monthís recipes are offered by members of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri.

Apple Oatmeal Muffins

by Shelia Wright

Shelia WrightShelia Wright is the first vice president of the NFB of Missouri and lives in Kansas City.

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup nonfat milk
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar

Method: Soak the oats in milk for about one hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray twelve-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Combine the oat mixture with the applesauce and egg whites and mix until well combined. In a separate bowl measure and whisk dry ingredients together, except for cinnamon and granulated sugar. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Add nuts or raisins if desired. Do not overmix the batter, or the muffins will be tough. Spoon muffin mixture into muffin pan. Combine the cinnamon and sugar, and top each muffin with some of the mixture. Bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan, cool, and enjoy. These muffins can be frozen and reheated in the microwave for a quick breakfast.

Spinach Strawberry Salad
by Shelia Wright

1 bag fresh spinach
2 boiled eggs, sliced
3/4 cup grated cheese
3/4 cup walnuts, chopped
8 to 10 strawberries, sliced
Grilled chicken strips, optional

Method: Wash spinach and spin dry. Add sliced egg, strawberries, chopped nuts, and cheese. Toss well. Add grilled chicken strips if desired. Serve with poppy seed dressing or a raspberry vinaigrette. Note: Pecans or almonds may be substituted for walnuts. Also raspberries or pineapple are tasty if you want a change.

Chocolate Mint Bars
by Shelia Wright

First Layer
1/2 cup margarine
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
6 ounces Hershey's chocolate syrup
Second Layer
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) margarine
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Third Layer
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3 1-ounce squares baking chocolate
1/2 cup margarine

Method: Mix together all ingredients for first layer. Spread evenly in greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty-five to thirty minutes. Allow bars to cool before proceeding. Melt margarine for the second layer. Mix margarine, powdered sugar, and peppermint extract together, blending well. Spread mixture evenly on top of first layer. To make the frosting, the third layer, melt margarine and chocolates together. Stir well to combine and then spread over bars.

Yummy Chicken
by Shelia Wright

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Honey mustard sauce (see recipe below)
6 slices bacon, cut in half and fried crisp
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Season-All
1-1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
3 cups colby or Monterey jack cheese, shredded
Parsley for garnish, optional

Method: Sprinkle chicken breasts with Season-All and let stand while you gather all other ingredients. Fry bacon until crisp and drain. Shred cheese and set aside. Sauté chicken over medium heat in just enough oil to prevent sticking. Cook on both sides until itís a light gold and cooked in the middle, but not dry. Place chicken in bottom of baking dish and liberally brush with honey mustard. Then layer mushrooms, bacon, and top with colby or jack cheese. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for thirty minutes or in microwave just until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with parsley (if desired). Extra honey mustard may be served on the side.

Honey Mustard Ingredients:
1/2 cup mustard
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup or less light corn syrup
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Method: Blend all ingredients together until smooth. The corn syrup may be adjusted according to taste.

Cheese Straws
by Shelia Wright

1-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 cup shortening
3 to 4 tablespoons water
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon paprika

Method: Sift together the flour, salt, and dry mustard. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles meal. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of water over mixture and stir with a fork until flour is moistened and forms a ball. Add more water, a small amount at a time, if necessary to make a dough that can be rolled. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll into a quarter-inch-thick rectangle. Sprinkle half of the surface of the dough with a third cup of shredded cheese and 1 teaspoon paprika. Fold plain half over the cheese-covered half and pinch edges to seal. Roll out to a rectangle and again sprinkle half with another third of a cup shredded cheese and 1 teaspoon paprika. Seal and repeat rolling and sprinkling one more time.

Roll into a rectangle a quarter-inch thick and cut into three-inch strips. Place cheese straws on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 425° for ten to twelve minutes, until puffed and golden brown.

Easy Breakfast Casserole
by Lois Ulmer

Lois Ulmer is a leader of the NFB of Missouri who lives in the St. Joseph area.

2 boxes dehydrated hash browns (found next to boxed scalloped potatoes)
4 cups boiling water
1 dozen eggs, beaten lightly
1 cup ham, diced
1/4 cup real bacon bits
1 cup sausage, cooked, drained, and crumbled
1 pound cheddar cheese, finely shredded

Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the dry hash browns in a large mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Give them a stir and cover with plastic wrap for ten minutes. Beat the eggs in another large mixing bowl and add the ham, bacon bits, and cooked sausage. Stir together. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Drain any water not already absorbed by hash browns. Press them lightly into the baking pan. Bake for fifteen minutes or until they just start to brown. Remove from oven and pour egg mixture over the hash browns. Return to the oven for fifteen to twenty minutes or until the eggs are almost set. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese over the top. Return to the oven for five to seven minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let rest for ten minutes. Cut in squares and serve with a side of fresh fruit and juice for an easy meal.

Pickle Pinwheels
by Lois Ulmer

1 jar dill pickle spears, any flavor
1 16-ounce package thinly sliced deli ham
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
Paper towels

Method: Drain the pickles in the colander. Place several layers of paper towels on a plate and lay the pickles on the towels. Use another couple of paper towels to dry the pickles thoroughly. Separate the ham slices carefully and dry them with paper towels as well. On a dinner plate place a slice of the ham with the long side towards you. Carefully spread about a teaspoon of the cream cheese on the ham. Place a pickle spear on the long side closest to you. Begin rolling the pickle in the ham slice. Place it on a serving plate, seam-side down. Repeat until you run out of pickles or ham. Place the serving plate in the refrigerator for about a half hour. Before serving, cut the rolls in about four chunks and secure each with a toothpick. These make great little appetizers.

Strange Cobbler
by Lois Ulmer

1 package white cake mix
1 30-ounce can purple plums, chopped, drained, and pitted (reserve the juice)
1 16-ounce can dark sweet red Bing cherries, pitted and drained (reserve the juice)
1 stick butter, not margarine

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a microwave-safe dish or measuring cup melt a half stick of the butter. In another small bowl place half of the dry cake mix and set aside. In a 13-by-9-inch cake pan place the rest of the dry cake mix. Spread it across the pan and pour the butter over the dry mix. Using a spoon, stir the dry cake mix and the butter a little and pat the mixture down in the bottom of the pan. In a large mixing bowl place the plums and the cherries. Mix together. Pour the plum and cherry mixture over the crust in the pan. Melt the other half stick of butter and pour over the reserved cake mix. Using hands, mix together the dry cake mix and the butter until it resembles crumbs. Sprinkle over the fruit. Bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes or until the top crumbs are slightly browned and the fruit mix is bubbly. Remove from the oven and let cool for about ten minutes. Served with a dip of vanilla ice cream, it is very good.

Red-Cooked Pork
by Dan Flasar

Dan Flasar is the Webmaster for the NFB of Missouri and lives in the St. Louis area. He explains that red-cooking is an old Chinese technique that can be used for meat, poultry, or fish. The times just need to be modified for each one. It involves simmering the food being cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, water, sherry or wine, and spices. It's simple to do; the fat melts out, leaving the meat very lean, tender, and flavorful. Here's the basic recipe.

1 2-pound boneless pork tenderloin, cut into 2-inch chunks
4 ounces (1/4 cup) Kikkoman low-sodium soy sauce (donít use La Choy)
A 2-inch piece fresh ginger root, cut into big slices
1 cup dry sherry or dry red or white wine
A big squirt of honey
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
3 pieces star anise (optional)
1 small onion, cut into big pieces
4 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces

Method: Place all ingredients in a deep pot and add enough water to cover the meat by a few inches. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for forty-five minutes. Remove meat to a platter and serve. Meat is so tender it falls apart. Goes well with a salad, steamed or microwaved carrots and potatoes, and fresh fruit for dessert.

Notes: La Choy and store-brand soy sauces are chemically brewed and taste very different from Asian soy sauce. Kikkoman is available in most grocery stores. Star anise is a Chinese spice that can be found in large supermarkets or Asian grocery stores. A small jar will last for years. It is mostly used in soups and stews. Use fresh ginger root only. This is a basic recipe--you can modify it any way you want. Try red wine instead of white, experiment with other spices, or add carrots and vegetables to the cooking liquid fifteen minutes before end of cooking. This recipe works well with beef also and perhaps with lamb. If you use it with poultry pieces, reduce the time to thirty minutes; for seafood, cook no more than fifteen minutes. By increasing the amount of cooking liquid, you can cook even a small turkey with great success.

Spaghetti Salad
by Gail Bryant

Gail Bryant is a longtime member of the NFB of Missouri and lives in Columbia. Her husband Ed has recently retired as the editor of the Voice of the Diabetic.

10 ounces spaghetti
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled (optional), seeded, and chopped
1 cucumber, peeled (optional), seeded, and chopped
1/2 cup honey
1 8-ounce bottle Italian dressing
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons seasoned salt

Method: Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Add all other ingredients and gently toss. Chill in refrigerator overnight.

Hamburger Up-Side-Down Pie
by Gail Bryant

2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 pound ground meat
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 green pepper, chopped
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 can ripe or green olives
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 package biscuit mix or can refrigerator biscuits

Method: In oven-safe frying pan brown onion, ground meat, and green pepper in oil until onion is transparent. Drain. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for a few minutes. Cover with a biscuit dough prepared according to package directions. Prick the top and bake at 425 degrees for twenty minutes or until biscuit crust is browned and pie is bubbly. Remove from oven, loosen edges, and invert onto serving plate. Serves four to six. If you like, instead of making a biscuit crust for top, cover surface of pie with the biscuits in a can found in the refrigerator case at the store.

Fiesta Roll-Ups
by Gail Bryant

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
5 10-inch flour tortillas

Method: Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, seasoned salt, and garlic salt in a large mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed until blended, scraping the bowl occasionally. Stir in the Monterey jack cheese, red onion, and green olives. Then stir in the black beans. Spread the mixture over one side of each of the tortillas; roll tightly to enclose the filling. Chill tightly wrapped in plastic for at least two hours. Cut into 3/4-inch slices just before serving. Yields fifty pieces.

Strawberry Bread
by Cheryl Owens

Cheryl Owens is an active member of the NFB of Missouri and lives in Columbia.

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 cups sugar
2 10-ounce boxes frozen strawberries, thawed but undrained (reserve a little of the syrup for use in the glaze)
4 eggs
1-1/4 cups cooking oil
Chopped nuts, optional

Method: Mix dry ingredients. Then add frozen strawberries, eggs, oil, and nuts. Stir to mix. Pour batter into two greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for forty to forty-five minutes. When done, allow to cool slightly before removing from pans. While still slightly warm, cover with the following glaze before serving.

Glaze Ingredients:
Approximately 3 cups powdered sugar
Hot coffee
Reserved juice from strawberries

Method: Add juice and coffee to sugar to form a glaze. Make it thin enough to pour over warm bread so that it dribbles down over the sides.

Corn Casserole
by Cheryl Owens

1 can corn
1 can creamed corn
1 package Jiffy cornbread mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup margarine or butter, cubed
8 ounces sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cheddar cheese (reserve 1/2 cup as topping)

Method: Combine all ingredients in a greased baking dish, reserving a half cup of the shredded cheese for later. Bake at 350 degrees for fifty to sixty minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake five to ten minutes more.

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