Braille Monitor                                                   April 2010

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This month’s recipes were contributed by members of the National Association of Guide Dog Users, which is not the division mentioned in last month’s column.

Beet-Tomato Dog Cookies
by Daryl Dowding

Daryl Dowding is the owner of Mimi’s PupCakes and has been very generous to the National Association of Guide Dog Users. Her PupCakes are a favorite annual fundraiser for the division. Here is a sample that your dog may enjoy:

4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup beet powder (If you want to use canned beets, process the drained beets into a puree. Reserve the beet liquid to use if the cookie dough is too dry.)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup powdered egg
1 6-ounce can tomato paste

Method: Combine all ingredients until they form a dry dough. If it cannot be rolled out, add more flour (if too wet) or beet juice or water (if too dry). Roll out to thickness of a quarter inch and cut with cookie cutters. Place cookies on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 for an hour or until hard and dry. If the cookies are dry enough, they will last for up to one year, but all the moisture must have been driven out. Store the cookies in a tight container.

People Puppy Chow Snack Mix
by Margo Downey

Margo Downey is president of the New York Association of Guide Dog Users and serves on the NAGDU board of directors.

1 12-ounce box Crispix cereal
1/2 cup butter
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

Method: In medium microwave-safe bowl combine butter, peanut butter, and chocolate chips and microwave on high for two to three minutes, stirring once during cooking, until mixture is melted and smooth. Place the cereal in a large bowl and pour the melted mixture over the cereal, stirring gently until the cereal is thoroughly coated. Pour the powdered sugar into a large plastic food bag and then pour the coated cereal into the powdered sugar and shake until the sugar coats it very well. Pour the cereal onto wax paper to cool and dry. Store in tightly covered containers at room temperature.

Shepherd's Pie
by Sherrill O’Brien

Sherrill O’Brien is president of the Florida Association of Guide Dog Users and serves on the NAGDU board. She says that there is no reason why you can't add your own special touches to this classic dish. Use ground lamb instead of beef, or use a combination of the two. If you use lamb, be sure to add some dried rosemary and thyme. Use peas instead of corn, or use both.


2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup onions, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup carrots, diced
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and other herbs if desired
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons butter mixed with 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups corn, canned or frozen
2 pounds potatoes, cooked and mashed, using your preferred method for mashing potatoes
Melted butter

Method: In a frying pan brown the ground beef in the butter or oil. Add onions, celery, carrots, garlic, and seasonings. Lower the heat a bit and cook until vegetables are wilted, about ten minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Bring to a boil. Add the butter and flour mixture, stirring constantly to thicken. Using a whisk works best for this. Pour into large shallow baking dish. The filling should be about one and a half inches deep. Allow to cool for a few minutes. (At this point, if you like, you can refrigerate the dish overnight and finish preparation the following day. Be sure to bring the dish to room temperature before continuing.)

Spread corn evenly over the meat mixture, and top with the hot mashed potatoes. If desired, using a fork, make peaks so the potatoes will brown nicely. Drizzle top with melted butter. Bake at 325 degrees for thirty-five to forty minutes or until browned and bubbly. Serves six.

Marion GwizdalaSeafood Lasagna
by Marion Gwizdala

Marion Gwizdala is the president of the National Association of Guide Dog Users.

1 16-ounce package lasagna noodles
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 16-ounce jars Alfredo-style pasta sauce
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 pound bay scallops
1 pound imitation crabmeat, chopped
20 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
Black pepper
6 cups shredded Italian cheese blend

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine garlic, mushrooms, Alfredo sauce, shrimp, scallops, and crabmeat. In a medium bowl combine ricotta cheese, egg, and pepper. Coat the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with Alfredo sauce and layer uncooked noodles, ricotta mixture, Alfredo mixture, and shredded cheese. Repeat layers until all ingredients are used, reserving enough Alfredo sauce and shredded cheese for the top. Seal with a sheet of heavy foil and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until noodles are al dente. For best results carefully uncover dish so that the steam can escape safely and allow lasagna to stand for a few minutes to set before serving.

Strawberry Pie
by Marion Gwizdala

Marion says, “Strawberries are the primary cash crop in Tampa, Florida, where I live, so anything with strawberries is very popular here.”

2 1/2 quarts fresh strawberries
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
1 3-ounce package strawberry-flavored gelatin
1 9-inch pastry pie shell, baked

Method: In a saucepan mix together the sugar and cornstarch; make sure to blend cornstarch in completely. Add boiling water and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Add gelatin mix, and stir until smooth. Let mixture cool to room temperature. Arrange strawberries in baked pie shells; position berries with pointed ends up and stem ends down. Pour cooled gelatin mixture over strawberries. Refrigerate pie until set. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.

Shortbread Cookies
by Meghan Whalen

Meghan Whalen is the president of the Wisconsin Association of Guide Dog Users and serves on the NAGDU board of directors.

1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour

Method: Cream butter and sugar together. Beat in flour. Adding a splash of vanilla or almond extract makes these cookies all the more amazing. Roll dough out on lightly floured board and cut into shapes with cutters or just use a knife to cut squares or triangles. Transfer to ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 for fifteen to twenty minutes. Makes about twenty-eight cookies, depending on their size. Store in a tightly closed container if you have any left.

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