Braille Monitor                          January 2019

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Every summer, many NFB chapters hold a picnic. Since this would be difficult for those of us in the NFB of Minnesota At-Large Chapter, we decided to hold a “virtual picnic” at our August meeting. Below are some of the recipes presented – along with a couple more from other affiliate members. It is nineteen degrees as I am writing this … so a picnic sounds good!

Puppy Chow
by Rocky Hart

Rocky Hart, who is fifteen years old and in the tenth grade, attends the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind and is the secretary of the At-Large Chapter. We suspect he may be the youngest chapter officer in the NFB. We are benefiting from his enthusiasm, energy, and new ideas.

9 cups Chex cereal, any type
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar

Method: Put the cereal into a large bowl, set aside. One twelve-ounce box yields just over 9 cups. In a one-quart microwavable bowl heat chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter uncovered on high for one minute and stir. Microwave about thirty seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Add vanilla and stir. Pour mixture over cereal, gently mixing until evenly coated. Pour into a two-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. A paper grocery bag can be used instead of a large plastic bag. If you only have one-gallon plastic bags, put 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1/3 of the cereal in each bag, seal and shake. Spread onto waxed paper to cool.

Cauliflower Salad
by Jan Bailey

Jan Bailey is a long-time Federationist and president of our Rochester Chapter.

1 medium head cauliflower, cut up and steamed for about two minutes and then cooled
4 to 5 green onions
1 small can sliced olives
5 or 6 sliced fresh mushrooms
1/3 to 1/2 cup each sour cream and mayonnaise, mixed together
salt and pepper to taste

Method: Mix all ingredients.  Marinate a while before serving.

Baked Beans and Pineapple
by Joyce Scanlan

Joyce ScanlanJoyce Scanlan is a long-time Federationist who served as president of the NFB of Minnesota for many years, as well as founding and serving as executive director of BLIND, Inc.

1/4 pound bacon, diced
1 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
1/2 green pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 to 1 cup pineapple chunks, drained
1 20-ounce can pork and beans
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup catsup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Method: Fry bacon until crisp. Stir in onion, pepper, and pineapple.  Cook and stir until onion is tender.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Pour into bean pot or large casserole.  Bake uncovered at 300 degrees for two hours.  Makes six to eight servings.

Nut Goodies
by Ryan Strunk

Ryan StrunkRyan is the president of the NFB of Minnesota. He says: “While not strictly a picnic recipe, this one is very Minnesotan.”

1 12-ounce package chocolate chips
1 12-ounce package butterscotch chips
1 package miniature marshmallows
1 pound salted peanuts
1 cup peanut butter

Method: Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips in microwave.  Add peanut butter and keep heating until you can stir the mixture smooth. Add peanuts and marshmallows.  After it is mixed well, pour into greased twelve-by-thirteen-inch pan.  Let sit until hardened.  Cut into bars.

Jan’s Crockpot Calico Beans
by Jan Bailey

1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 package fully cooked bacon, chopped
1 large can Bush’s original baked beans, drained
1 small can Bush’s original baked beans, drained
1 can baby lima beans, drained
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained
2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses, optional

Method: Brown the hamburger and chopped onions together, and drain if needed. Place in six-quart crockpot, add all other ingredients, and stir thoroughly. Cook on high for four hours or on low for six hours.

Summer Vegetable Pesto Ribbon Salad
by David Andrews

David AndrewsDavid Andrews is the president of the NFB of Minnesota At-Large Chapter. He has lived and worked in many states, including serving as the first director of the International Braille and Technology Center for the Blind at the national headquarters in Baltimore.


2 zucchinis
2 yellow squashes
2 carrots, peeled
2 cups grape tomatoes
olive oil, for drizzling
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Pesto Dressing:
2 cups fresh basil
1 cup fresh parsley
2/3 cup cashews
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil

For the salad: Cut the ends off the zucchini, squash, and carrots. With a vegetable peeler, shave off as many thin slices as possible from vegetables, making a pile of thin ribbons. Transfer ribbons to a large bowl. Use a sharp knife to slice the tomatoes in half and add to the bowl with the shaved vegetables. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

For the pesto dressing: Add the basil, parsley, cashews, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil to a food processor and process until smooth. Spoon the pesto onto the shaved vegetables and mix well with tongs until fully coated and serve. This is a good picnic recipe because it contains no mayonnaise.

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