Braille Monitor                                                    April 2008

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This month’s recipes have been contributed by members of the National Federation of the Blind of New York.

Charlie RichardsonVegetarian Tortellini Supreme
by Charlie Richardson

Charlie Richardson is from the Capitol District Chapter and has lived in Albany for twenty-two years. He has been in the New York Business Enterprise Program for the past seventeen years and has served on the state committee of blind vendors for the past ten years and been the chairman for the past five years. In 2007 Charlie was appointed by then Governor Spitzer as a member and cochairman of the executive board of the Commission for the Blind. A morning talk show DJ was recently quoted as saying, “When it comes to blindness issues, Charlie is the guy.” Charlie attributes this respect to his affiliation and learning from the NFB.

1 pound cheese tortellini
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic (if you like garlic as much as we do)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup green peppers, chopped
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small can sliced mushrooms, rinsed and drained
1 8-ounce package frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1 15-ounce can Italian stewed tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cup olive oil
Grated parmesan, optional

Method: Cook tortellini in boiling water for six to seven minutes. In large pan sauté garlic in two tablespoons oil for about thirty seconds. Add onion, green peppers, salt, and black pepper. Sauté for an additional three to five minutes. Add mushrooms and broccoli. Cover and heat through. Mix tortellini, tomatoes, 1/2 cup oil and basil together, and stir into heated veggie mixture. Add more oil if desired. Serve topped with grated parmesan.

Aunt Mindy's New York Deviled Eggs
by Mindy Jacobsen

Mindy Jacobsen is the wife of NFB of New York President Carl Jacobsen and an active Federationist in her own right. She says, “My niece needed a recipe for a cookbook she put together to raise money for kids with cancer, and her friends seemed to love this one.”

2 dozen hard boiled eggs, washed well
1 large onion, diced
1 small jar of gherkins pickles, diced
The juice from the jar of gherkins
1 pound of bacon
Mayonnaise to taste (approximately 1/2 cup)

Method: Peel the hard boiled eggs and cut them in half lengthwise. Carefully take the yolks out of the egg whites so that the halved whites remain in one piece with a concavity where the yolk half used to be. Place the yolk halves in a medium mixing bowl and the white halves in a larger one. Cook the bacon until it is crispy and then break it up into smaller-than-bite-sized pieces. One quick way to do this is to put the slices into a ziplock bag, zip it completely, being sure to remove all the air. Then step on the bag. Either process or blend the yolks with the pickle juice, mayonnaise, diced pickles, onions, and bacon. The mixture should be smooth, just a little looser than paste, but not too liquidy. Fill the egg whites with the mixture, not just filling the hole, but completely covering the top surface of the egg. Place the eggs on two trays and refrigerate them until you're ready to serve. Eat and enjoy.

Carl JacobsenPork Chop Slop
by Carl Jacobsen

Despite the popular mythology, Carl Jacobsen assures us that he can find his way around the kitchen. If he couldn’t, he would not have maintained his present girth, and his children would not have reached their majority. He says that his children gave the above name to this dish during their teenage years. While it may not present a five-star appearance, it is filling, tasty, and inexpensive.

1-1/2 pounds boneless pork chops
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 12-ounce can lima beans
Caraway seeds

Method: Grill pork chops in the stove or on a George Foreman grill. A periodic poke of a fork will determine when they are done. Slice the cooked pork chops into bite-size pieces. Cook the rice using two cups of water to the one cup of rice. In a one-gallon pot, place the cooked rice, the cut-up pork, the lima beans (after draining), and the cream of mushroom soup. Fold the various ingredients together until well mixed. At this point add enough caraway seeds to season to taste. I usually find that, when the mixture begins to smell like the seeds, enough are in the pot. Heat for about five minutes and serve. The whole process should not take more than thirty to forty-five minutes. This will serve four average people or two of the more gluttonous variety.

Mindy Jacobsen and Joyce Carrico examine an accessible microwave oven.Peanut Butter Cookies without Flour
by Joyce Carrico

Joyce Carrico is the secretary of the New York City Chapter.

1 egg
1 cup white sugar
1 cup peanut butter

Method: Mix the three ingredients together and drop onto cookie sheet. Press gently with fork. Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for ten minutes. Remove from oven and from sheet. Cookies are formed, but soft. When cool, store in a tightly covered container. This recipe makes one to two dozen cookies.

Easy Baked Ziti, New York Style
by Joyce Carrico

1 pound ziti, uncooked
3-4 quarts of water
1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
2 tablespoons oil
1 quart spaghetti sauce, with or without meat
1/2 to 1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Parmesan cheese, optional

Method: Sauté onion and garlic in oil, drain, cool, and add to sauce. Set aside. Bring water to a rolling boil in a 4- to 5-quart covered saucepan. Add ziti and cook until al dente or bouncy to the touch, no longer doughy to taste, approximately fifteen to twenty minutes. Drain. Cover the bottom of a deep 9-by-13 baking pan with sauce. Alternate layers of ziti, mozzarella, and sauce, making sure that each layer is even and thick, particularly the cheese. Cover dish and bake at 350 degrees thirty to forty-five minutes, uncovering the pan for the last eight to ten minutes. The cheese should be thoroughly melted and blended. The top should not be allowed to get too crisp. Remove from oven, add parmesan cheese if desired, and serve. Variations: You can alternate ricotta cheese in the layers similar to layers of lasagna. You can also add parmesan cheese in the sauce as well if desired.

Julie PhillipsonSplenda Chocolate Chip Cookies
by Julie Phillipson

Julie Phillipson is from Buffalo. She is the affiliate’s secretary.

2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup Splenda® no-calorie sweetener, granulated
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter, brown sugar, Splenda, and vanilla together in a medium mixing bowl. Mix until well blended and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape sides of bowl. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Place level tablespoons of cookie dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake ten to twelve minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire cooling rack.

Peanut Butter Bites with Splenda
by Julie Phillipson

1/4 cup margarine, softened
1 cup creamy style peanut butter
1/4 cup egg substitute
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Splenda® no-calorie sweetener, granulated
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat margarine and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until creamy, approximately one minute. Add egg substitute, honey, and vanilla. Beat on high speed for approximately one and a half minutes. Add Splenda and beat on medium speed until well blended, approximately thirty seconds. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Slowly add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture, beating on low speed until well blended, about one and a half minutes. Mixture may be crumbly. Roll level tablespoons of dough into balls and drop onto a lightly oiled or parchment-lined cookie sheet, two inches apart. Flatten each ball with a fork, pressing a crisscross pattern into each cookie with the tines. Bake seven to nine minutes or until light brown around the edges. Cool on wire rack.

Cheese Crisps
by Sharlene Czaja Kraft

Sharlene Czaja Kraft is a member of the New York City Chapter.

One cup (2 sticks) butter
Three scant cups flour
Sixteen ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
One half to one cup chopped pecans
Cayenne pepper to taste

Method: In a food processor combine cold butter (cut into pieces) with the flour until coarse crumbs form. Add grated cheddar cheese. Then add nuts and cayenne pepper. Combine until just mixed, not too gooey. Divide into four balls. If you have difficulty working with them, wrap and refrigerate for about a half hour. Shape the first ball into a long roll. Cut one-fourth-inch slices. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet or foil-lined sheet. Repeat with other three balls. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for approximately fourteen minutes. Let rest for three or four minutes before removing from cookie sheet. These can be frozen, thawed when you have guests, and served as an appetizer. They are great to munch while watching television.

Baked Banana Pancakes
by Sharlene Czaja Kraft

This dish looks good and tastes great. You can prepare other breakfast accompaniments while this is baking. You will not need to add butter or syrup.

2 large bananas
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar-free or regular maple syrup
2 eggs
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup fat-free milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Dash nutmeg

Method: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In heavy iron skillet melt butter and remove from heat. Swirl the butter around so that sides of skillet are coated. Add maple syrup. Slice bananas evenly and spread over the maple syrup. Sprinkle pecan pieces over the bananas so that they fill in the gaps. In bowl mix the Bisquick with the eggs, milk, nutmeg, and vanilla. Gently pour batter over the bananas. Wrap foil around the handle of your skillet to protect it from the heat of the oven. Put pan into oven and bake approximately twenty minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the pancake comes out clean. Remove from oven. Let sit approximately five minutes. Wet a cold knife and run around the outside of the pancake. Invert pancake onto a large flat platter over the kitchen sink, just in case some of the sauce runs out. Cut into six to eight wedges and serve.

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