Braille Monitor                                      October 2016

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This month’s recipes come from the NFB of California.

Potato Casserole
by Charlotte Carroll

Charlotte Carroll is the president of the NFB of California Senior Division and the first vice president of the Pathfinders Chapter of Los Angeles. She joined the NFB in March 2014 because she truly believes in our philosophy.

1/3 cup coconut oil
1 pound ground turkey
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large red bell pepper (or color of your choice)
1 large onion
6 celery stocks
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup

Method: In a skillet, melt coconut oil. Brown ground turkey with garlic and set aside.
Chop the bell pepper, onion, and celery into small pieces. Add the sliced potatoes. Mix cream of celery soup with cream of mushroom soup. Combine all of the ingredients into a baking dish; cover with aluminum foil.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until potatoes are done. Serve with your choice of meat, vegetable and/or salad (serves eight).

Crispy Honey Barbecue Wings
by Rochelle Houston

Rochelle Houston is the treasurer of the National Federation of the Blind of California and the president of the Pathfinder Chapter of Los Angeles. She created this recipe because she enjoyed eating the wings at a fast-food establishment.

3 pounds chicken wings
1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray barbecue sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
Lemon pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Onion powder to taste

Method: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash chicken well. Place chicken in a large bowl and lightly season with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Coat chicken with flour. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or baking dish with cooking spray. Place chicken on baking dish. Cook for thirty minutes, turning chicken over after twenty minutes. Remove from oven. Place barbecue sauce and brown sugar in a sauce pan, stir, and simmer on medium heat for ten minutes. Dip each piece of chicken in sauce, coat completely. You can fry chicken instead of baking. Serves six.

Chicken Tamale Casserole
by Joy Stigile

Joy Stigile is a member of the San Fernando Valley Chapter of the NFB of California, president of the Diabetes Action Network of California, and treasurer of the Diabetes Action Network division. She says, “I made up the recipe because I wanted to eat tamales, but I wanted to have some vegetables and more protein with them.”
2 cups cauliflower
4 stalks celery, diced
1/2 purple onion, diced
12 ounces chicken, cooked and diced
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup jack cheese, grated
1 cup chunky salsa (I prefer Pace Picante Sauce)
2 chicken tamales, diced

Method: Steam the cauliflower with two teaspoons of water in the microwave with lid for two minutes on high. Set aside. When cool, dice the cauliflower. Place the diced celery and diced onion with one tablespoon of water in the microwave for three minutes on high. Place the first eight ingredients in a two-quart microwave-safe casserole dish and stir well. Then dice the two tamales and stir into the casserole dish. Cook on high for twenty minutes, covered. Let it rest for five minutes uncovered and then serve. Enjoy!

Jana’s Peanut Butter Cookies
by Bill Passmore

Jana Littrell is a member of the California board of directors and our philosophy expert. Bill bakes these cookies for her as a treat after a long week teaching Braille at the Orientation Center for the Blind in Albany, California.

2 1/2 cups white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs

Method: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium-size bowl sift together white flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl cream together the peanut butter, butter, and sugars. Next add the eggs and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Place in refrigerator for at least one hour. Roll into one-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for seven to ten minutes. Let cool before removing from cookie sheet. Enjoy with a big glass of milk.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
by Mary Willows

Mary WillowsMary Willows has served as president for the California affiliate for the past seven and one-half years. Over the past forty years, Mary has held positions in many state and national divisions. In 2006, she was presented with the Blind Educator of the Year Award. Mary loves to bake and entertain. Here is what she says about this banana cake recipe: “If you grew up on Sara Lee Banana Cake and frosting, this recipe will take you back. It is said to be a copycat of the original. Everyone loves it!”

Ingredients for the cake:
1 1/2 cups ripe bananas
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 1/8 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla (I use banana extract)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Ingredients for the frosting (a double batch for crumb coat and finishing coat):
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla (again, I use banana extract)
7 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Method: Preheat your oven to 275 degrees, 250 degrees if using a convection oven. Grease and flour two nine-inch round cake pans. In a small bowl mash ripe bananas until almost smooth; use dark brown/black ultra-ripe bananas if you have them. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In stand mixer with paddle attachment cream together butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed for five minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and add vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to slow and slowly add in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture. Add in mashed bananas. Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for sixty to seventy minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of the cakes comes out clean. As soon as the cakes are done, immediately remove them from the oven, and place them directly into the freezer for forty-five minutes. This will make the cake very moist.

While the cakes are cooling mix together the frosting crumb coat: in stand mixer with paddle attachment, combine 1/2 cup soft butter and 1 package soft cream cheese; cream together on medium-high speed for three to five minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Turn mixer to slow and add in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Turn mixer off and add in 1 cup of powdered sugar; be sure not to over-pack measuring cup with powdered sugar. Turn mixer to its slowest setting and mix until sugar is incorporated. Do this step two more times, and on the last time add in an extra 1/2 cup powdered sugar for a grand total of 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar for one full batch.

After cakes are cool remove them from the pans and level the tops if necessary. Add a dollop of frosting to the base of your cake plate and place the first layer; add parchment paper under edges of bottom layer to catch any frosting drippings. Frost top of bottom layer, be generous, and then place second layer on top of the frosted bottom layer. Frost top of the second layer and the sides of both layers with a thin coating of frosting, this will lock in the crumbs. Place cake into the refrigerator so the crumb coat will firm up, about sixty to ninety minutes.

While cake is firming up whip up the finishing coat of frosting by repeating the process you used to make the crumb coat, on the last step adding enough milk to loosen up the frosting until it drops in large clumps off of a spatula.

Remove cold cake from the refrigerator, and start frosting from the center of the top of the cake to the sides and then down the sides. Depending on how much frosting you like, you might have some left over. After you get the frosting to your liking, slowly remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake. Store the cake in the refrigerator or in an airtight cake container; it should keep for three to five days.

Notes: I have made this cake in both a nine-by-thirteen-inch size and in cupcakes, and it works great every time. I only make one batch of frosting when I make these sizes.

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