The recipes this month are contributed by leaders of the Blind Merchants Association.


O'Leary's Irish Coffee
by Don Morris

Don and Shirley MorrisDon Morris from Maryland is President of the merchants division. Although he is not much of a cook, he wins praise for the following recipe, which is named for his business, O'Leary's Emporium.


1 ounce Irish whiskey

1 ounce Kahlua

5 ounces strong, fresh, hot coffee

Whipped cream

Creme de menthe (green please)

Method: Pour coffee into large mug containing Irish whiskey and Kahlua. Top with whipped cream. Slowly pour one-third teaspoon creme de menthe on top of whipped cream.

Strawberry-Watercress Salad

by Shirley Morris

Shirley Morris is not herself a vendor, though as Don's wife she volunteers lots of hours for the cause. She is, however, an excellent cook.

Ingredients for Poppy Seed Dressing:

1/4 cup sugar

6 tablespoons orange juice

3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar

1 tablespoon minced shallots

1 tablespoon olive oil

1-1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

Method: In a small bowl whisk together sugar, orange juice, vinegar, shallots, oil, poppy seeds, honey, mustard, and salt until the sugar dissolves.

Ingredients for Salad:

2 heads Belgian endive, torn into small pieces

1 cup sliced strawberries

about 2 cups fresh watercress

2 cans (14 ounces) hearts of palm, rinsed, drained, and cut into 2-inch pieces

Method: In large bowl combine watercress, endive, and strawberries. Add the sliced hearts of palm to the salad. Pour the dressing on top and toss well. Refrigerate for five to ten minutes before serving. Serves four.

Don's Snack Bar Breakfast Burritos
by Don Hudson

Don Hudson from Colorado is the merchants division treasurer and the manager of several vending facilities at the Denver Federal Center. Don serves hundreds of meals daily, including the following offering. This is a breakfast favorite at his restaurant, Don's.


1 16-ounce package hash brown potatoes, browned

6 eggs, scrambled

16-ounce can green chili sauce (Stokes canned green chili works well)

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

5 flour tortillas

Method: Mix all ingredients except tortillas together. Place one-fifth of mixture in the center of each warm 8-inch flour tortilla. Roll up from one side and serve plain or smothered with more green chili.

Picture of Priscilla Hudson

Sour Cream Potatoes

by Priscilla Hudson

Priscilla Hudson from Colorado is a member of the merchants division although not exactly a blind vendor. Priscilla is the manager of the Boulder County Library and is a great resource person for many members of the division.


1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup chopped onions

1 teaspoon salt

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 pint sour cream

2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

2 pounds frozen hash browns

Method: Mix all ingredients and pour into greased casserole dish. Top with one-fourth cup melted butter. You may also use crushed cornflakes or plain bread crumbs. You can also sprinkle with hot salt (garlic salt and cayenne pepper mixed). Bake at 350 degrees for fifteen minutes or till potatoes are heated through and bubbly.

Lora and Joe Van Lent

Patchwork Quilt Country Inn Buttermilk Pecan Chicken

by Lora Van Lent

Joe Van Lent from Iowa is First Vice President of the Blind Merchants Association. He and his wife Lora are long-time members of the division as well as leaders in the Iowa affiliate.


3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup flour

1 cup ground pecans

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 3-1/2 pound broiler/fryers, cut up

1/2 cup pecan halves

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place butter in large shallow roasting pan and melt in oven. Remove and set aside. Mix buttermilk and egg in shallow dish. Combine flour, ground pecans, sesame seeds, paprika, salt, and pepper in medium bowl. Dip chicken in buttermilk mixture, then coat each piece with flour mixture. Place in roasting pan, turning to coat all sides with butter, finishing with skin side up. Scatter pecan halves over chicken and bake until chicken is deep golden brown, about one-and-one-half to one-and-three-fourth hours.


by Nick Gacos

Nick Gacos from New Jersey has recently joined the merchants division and was elected to serve on the board. Nick has organized blind vendors in New Jersey and brought them to the NFB as well. Nick and his family have been in the restaurant business for decades. In addition to serving hundreds of customers daily, Nick also provides training to would-be blind vendors who seek to enter the New Jersey Vending Program.

Nick's family's version of this recipe is double this amount. If you have twenty-five or so to feed, you might want to try it in the original, using a commercial sheet-cake pan. Nick says that Greek cooking is done to taste and favors lots of Parmesan cheese, so don't be afraid to adjust this version to suit yourself. And if you like cheese, use a liberal hand in measuring amounts.

Meat Filling Ingredients:

1-1/2 pounds ground round beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg

half of an 8-ounce can tomato sauce

1/2 cup white wine (optional)

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt (to taste)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

about 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste

Method: In three tablespoons butter brown onion and saute ground beef until golden brown. Add parsley, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper, tomato sauce, and wine and simmer for twenty to thirty minutes. Remove from heat.

Sauce Ingredients:

4-1/2 cups hot milk

6 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 beaten eggs

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Method: Heat milk. Melt butter in large pan, add flour, and stir until smooth. Lower heat and gradually add the hot milk, stirring constantly until sauce thickens. Add salt and cinnamon. Beat eggs in a bowl and slowly stir in a little sauce. When blended, add this warmed egg mixture to the sauce. Add cheese and reheat sauce; do not bring to a boil.

Pasta Ingredients:

1 pound macaroni or ziti

3 eggs, beaten

3/4 cups grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup butter melted

more cheese and butter

Method: Cook macaroni as directed on package. Drain and return to pot. Add 1/2 cup melted butter, three beaten eggs, and 3/4 cup grated cheese and toss lightly until pasta is well coated.

Generously butter a 13-by-9-inch casserole dish. Spread half of macaroni mixture in an even layer. Evenly spoon 1-1/2 cups sauce over macaroni. Then spread meat mixture. Spread remaining macaroni over meat. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle another 1/2 cup grated cheese over surface and dot with butter. Bake for one hour at 350 degrees.

Billie Ruth Schlank

Fruit Cobbler

by Billie Ruth Schlank

Billie Ruth Schlank from Virginia is a leader in her state as well as a member of the merchants Board of Directors. Although Billie Ruth prepares no food on her vending facility, her family and friends all gather around when she prepares this fruit cobbler.


2 cups whole wheat flour (white flour is okay too)

1-1/3 cups milk

2 eggs

1/3 cup oil

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 quart any fruit in season

Method: Mix dry ingredients together. Add oil, milk, and eggs, which you have whipped lightly, to the dry ingredients. Stir just enough to moisten the flour. Pour into greased pan. Add the fruit. If using blueberries or other fragile berries, be sure not to break the berries. Use sugar to sweeten the fruit before pouring onto the batter. Dot with butter. (Spring is the season for rhubarb, so rhubarb cobbler would be delicious.) Bake at 350 degrees for forty-five minutes. Billie Ruth also uses this batter recipe to make muffins. For muffins she uses one cup brown sugar in place of granulated sugar and also mixes bran and whole wheat flour. She says she often adds two handfuls of raisins.

Pam Schnurr


by Pam Schnurr

Pam Schnurr from Indiana is Secretary of the merchants division and a leader in the NFB of Indiana. She is the manager of PJ's Snacks and an active leader nationally and in the Indiana vending program.


1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 pound pork sausage

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon basil

1-1/2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons oregano

1/2 teaspoon pepper

16-ounce can tomato sauce

10-ounce package lasagna noodles

3 cups fresh ricotta or cream-style cottage cheese (optional)

1/2 cup grated parmesan or Romano cheese

1 pound Mozzarella cheese, grated

Method: Brown meat slowly. Spoon off excess fat. Add next six ingredients. Simmer uncovered thirty minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook noodles according to package directions until tender; drain and rinse. Layer one quarter of the noodles in a 13-by-9-inch pan. Spread with a quarter of the meat sauce and cheeses. Repeat this step to make four layers. Bake at 375 degrees about thirty minutes. Let stand ten minutes before serving. Makes eight to ten servings.