Round Table Discussion: All About Cooking

Resources List

Blind Mice Mart Phone: (713) 893-7277
Offers a variety of kitchen gadgets and electronic and braille cookbooks.

Cooking in the Dark

Home Readers
Phone: (877) 814-7323
provides a taped list of free company catalogs available through Homereaders upon phone or email request

Volunteer Braillists and Tapists:
(608) 233-0222
Offers a wide variety of cookbooks on loan or for purchase

Food Lover's Companion
By Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
Published by Barron's
Excellent small print resource book providing cooking and baking charts and detailed descriptions of many products and ingredients, a handy reference for every cook's kitchen

Egg Rings and Talking Thermometers: Maxi Aids

Cooking Without Looking TV Show

Zyliss Lettuce Knife - The Cook's Warehouse

Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Distance Education Courses:

Foods Series

Independent Living
Independent Living for Family Members and Professionals

Recipes Submitted by listeners

Cherry Cheese Pie

From: Jennifer C.

Blend the cream cheese andcondensed milk until smooth Add lemon juice and vanilla and blend Mixture will start to custard. Pour into pie crust and let set forone-two hours. Add cherry pie filling on top and enjoy.

Raspberry Granola Breakfast Bake

From: Dawn T. (Adapted recipe from Lazy Oak B & B, Austin, Texas)

Preheat oven to 350.; Spray a 9 inch round or square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Beat together egg, sugar, milk and butter. Stir in raspberries and granola. Pour in prepared pan and bake for 45 - 60 minutes, or until set. Serve with maple syrup.

Child Friendly Recipes

No Bake Cookies

From: Amy S.

Combine peanut butter and chips in a microwave safe bowl and cook for one minute on high or until the chips are melted. Stir well.

Slowly add the corn Flakes to the peanut butter/chip and stir until completely coated.

Drop tablespoon sized cookies on to wax paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes or until firm.

Cake Cookies

From: Amy S.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well.

Roll out cookie dough on wax paper and use cookie cutters to create shapes.

Place cookies on a cookie sheet about one inch apart.

Bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Let cookies cool and then decorate.

Meat Loaf and Mickey Mouse Pancakes

From: Donna H.
Our favorite recipe was to take my meat loaf recipe (you can use any recipe) and instead of putting it into a meat loaf pan we would put it in muffin tins. They took only 20-30 minutes to cook and everyone had their individual meat loaf (or they could have as many as they wanted because they were small). It was just a fun twist to a "normal" recipe.

Another favorite was Mickey Mouse pancakes. You just make your batter and pour one larger circle of batter into the middle of the pan or griddle and then add two smaller one at the top to make the ears. They used raisins or chocolate chips for the eyes, nose, and mouth once they were cooked on both sides.

Of course for both those recipes they were definitely hands on hands in the meat loaf mixture to mix it and put into the individual muffin tins and they loved "decorating" Mickey.

Kitchen Tips

From: Marilyn

I have a talking kitchen scale. When making a double batch of something like brownies, I weigh the pans so I know if they aren't quite the same weight. Then I weigh them as I fill them so they come out even. If one pan weighs one ounce more when empty, it should weigh one ounce more when filled. See, your teacher was right in that your math skills would come in handy.

When making pancakes, I use a small fry pan to pour the batter into. When ready to flip, I turn it over into a larger pan on another burner. I do one at a time. You can make them big if you have a lot of batter to use, so it won't take so long. Having one finish on its second side while you start another one, though, makes it go faster.

When frying an egg, I make what we called "egg in a frame" when we went camping. It works like an egg ring you can find at some blindness specialty catalog stores. Cut a circle or shape with a biscuit or cookie cutter or even the top of a glass out of a slice of bread. Remove the cut out piece. Instead of spreading butter on the bread and worrying about missing spots, I melt the butter in the fry pan, spread it around some with the spatula and then put the bread into the pan. Put both the cut out and the frame if they will fit. Otherwise, do the cut-out then the frame. Now that the bread frame is in the butter in the pan, crack an egg into the hole in the frame. When done on one side, you can easily find the bread slice with the egg nicely contained in it and flip it over.

A grilled cheese sandwich can be easily made with the method above. Instead of buttering the outside of the sandwich, melt the butter in the pan and then add the dry cheese sandwich. Turn it over to coat the other side. Fry until brown and turn over again. You can flip it over and over if you need to check on the doneness. Use a low heat so the bread doesn't get too browned before the cheese is melted in the center.

For less mess when making a peanut butter and jam sandwich, mix the peanut butter and jam in a cup with a spoon first. Then spread the goop on the bread. If a sighted person tells you that it looks strange, then tell them they will have to try to overcome the handicap of worrying so much about the color of their food. This method makes the goop easier to spread evenly without tearing the bread, and the goop won't be as runny as jam alone, so it won't be as drippy of a sandwich. The flavors are evenly blended too.

Using a stand mixer, if you can afford one, leaves both hands free for other things when making batters and doughs and things.

When making cut-out cookies, it's easier to leave the cookie cutters in the rolled dough and pull up the scraps in between them. Once the scraps are out of the way, you can pick up the cut-outs easier without losing pieces of them. It also makes it easier to put the next cookie cutter down without worrying about overlapping the cuts and ending up with strange shapes.

When rolling out cookie or pie dough, tape a wooden dowel on each side of the rolling surface. Make them paralell and at a distance small enough that your rolling pin can reach both of them at once. If you need dough rolled to an eighth inch thickness, use one-eighth inch diameter dowels. As long as your rolling pin stays on the dowels, you won't have part of the dough too thin.

When it comes to worrying about making a mess in the kitchen, I use the motto of the Bissel company's old commercial. Life's messy; clean it up. Sighted people also spill things and cut or burn themselves from time to time. It's usually due to trying to hurry and not from whether or not you can see. Take your time, be careful, and have the band-aids and aloe burn cream handy just in case. You probably won't need them.

Removing the smell of onion, garlic, and even tuna from your hands is easy to do and without any special gizmos. Simply rub your hands with the back of a metal spoon under running water for a few seconds. Rub it on your hands like the spoon bowl was the soap. I swear this works, and I wish I'd found this out decades ago.

From: Brenda

To have a good supply of meals on hand for company, when you are tired or rushed for cooking time, make double bathes of your favorite dishes and label and freeze them for another time. This works well for complicated, time consuming dishes as well as favorites. It takes no more time to make a double batch than one and can be used for anything from soups and appetizers through main dishes to cookies, cakes and pies for dessert. You can do this over a period of time and build up your supply. Use your imagination for everything from cocktail meatballs to lasagna, to garlic bread, to homemade cookies or apple pie. Enjoy.

Another tip is to put leftovers from a meal onto a freezer proof plate or container that can then go to the oven or microwave when ready. This way, you have an individual frozen dinner for one or more depending on the amount of leftovers. This can work well when eating alone, coming home from work with nothing ready to fix, or for a weekend meal with no effort. Label and freeze, then stack for convenience. You can have quite a variety in a short time without throwing out food or eating the same thing for several days in a row.

If you will take the time to think about favorite foods ahead of time and make menu plans, you can then cook several main dishes or other foods and put those in the freezer, or at least have a meal in mind when you come home from work and don't know what to fix. Use your creativity and plan a nice variety to interest your palate. This save the dullness of fixing the same thing over and over because you just can't come up with some other idea. It is also a good idea to expand your horizons by making a decision to try at least one new dish a month. You might increase your food preferences and increase your cooking skills at the same time.

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