Adele Hochheiser’s (Sister’s) Dairy Noodle Pudding/Kugel – (Plus- Look at the footnote to see a healthier variation on the classic using whole grain egg noodles)

Serve this amazing side dish to go along with a light dairy meal, as part of  a brunch buffet, or for your Yom Kippur break the fast feast!

My wonderful mother, Shirley Fried, got this recipe from her best friend and our favorite neighbor, Adele Hochheiser. I think the recipe is nicknamed Sister’s, because Adele’s first cousins affectionately referred to her as “sister.” My mother made this often, and oh did my mother, my father, and I love it. For some reason, my brother Kenny was not fond of this dish. My mother made this to go with our fish night- our Wednesday night dinner. I don’t think I’ve written about my mother’s weekly dinner schedule yet- when I was growing up, so this is as good a place as any. Throughout my entire childhood, we basically ate the same thing every week. And believe me, that was not a bad thing. There is something very reassuring about knowing what your meals are going to be. My mother’s meals were all extremely balanced, too. I loved each and every meal. How I looked forward to them!  Here is our weekly dinner menu:

Monday: rib steak ( and sometimes London broil, which was cooked by me in my teen years after we had a gas grill), french fries, LeSeurr peas, salad with Wishbone Italian Dressing, and years later, Ken’s Caesar, or Milani 1890 French)

Tuesday: stew (Adele Hochheiser’s recipe) with rice and salad, or spaghetti and meat sauce (my Aunt Sally Hindes’s recipe) with salad and garlic bread, or sweet and sour meatballs with mashed potatoes, frozen spinach, and salad, or vegetable soup with flanken (a rare treat)- soup served separately and flanken served on a plate with mashed potatoes, or meatloaf (Anita Lapidus’s recipe) with baked potatoes, string beans and salad

Wednesday: a beautiful platter of tuna salad served on a bed of lettuce surrounded by sliced cucumbers, radishes, green peppers, and a plate of sliced Jersey tomatoes (in the summer), accompanied by macaroni and cheese casserole, or this noodle pudding recipe, or brown rice pudding, or apple fritters

Thursday: same as Tuesday

Friday: My mother alternated between chicken and brisket. She cooked one Empire frozen chicken cup up in eighths baked with either Saucy Susan, or Kellogg’s Cornflakes Crumbs, or fried Southern style by our beloved cleaning lady who I loved, Harriet. The chicken was served with one 8 oz. can of peas and carrots, salad, and my mother’s delicious pineapple noodle pudding. She served her brisket with our favorite potato dish, brenta, peas and carrots, and salad.

All dinners were followed by either a half of a grapefruit, fruit cocktail, sliced canned peaches or pear halves, a wedge of cantaloupe, or jello.

This was followed by dessert. My brother Kenny and I were allowed one Tastycake, or 3 Hydrox, or 3 Chips Ahoy cookies. This was my father’s favorite part of the meal.  He would take out one package of chocolate Tastycakes, Krimpets, peanut butter Tandytakes, or  a  Tasycake Junior, and he’d eat the entire package with a few glasses of ice cold skim milk.  How my father adored his Tastycakes!

Anyway, here is the recipe for Adele’s noodle pudding.  It is rich and delicious!

for the filling:

  • 1 pound extra wide or broad egg noodles (such as Pennsylvania Dutch)
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter or Fleischmann’s margarine
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I reduce to 3/4 cup sugar)
  • 1 pound small curd or whipped cottage cheese I use Friendship brand cottage cheese)
  • 1 pint (16 oz.) sour cream ( or substitute plain Greek yogurt)
  • 5 extra large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 scant teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup raisins (optional- I usually don’t use them)

for the cornflakes crumbs topping:

Mix one cup of Kellogg’s Cornflakes Crumbs (this comes already prepared as crumbs in the box) with 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine.  Set topping aside.

Or crush by hand about 3 cups of corn flakes, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of melted butter or margarine, and about 1 tablespoon of sugar.

for an alternate cornflakes crumbs topping:

Make cornflakes crumbs yourself by placing cornflakes in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, and pulsing until the crumbs are quite fine. Continue until you have one cup of crumbs.  You will probably need about 3 cups of cornflakes to make one cup of cornflakes crumbs.  Mix with 3 tablespoons of melted butter or margarine. Set topping aside.

for a more rustic cornflakes crumbs topping:

Place about 3 cups of cornflakes into a ziploc bag.  Using a rolling pin or your hands, crush the cornflakes until you have crumbs that are not quite so fine.  Mix cornflakes with about 6 tablespoons of melted margarine or butter.  Set topping aside.

for the filling:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9 x 13 glass baking dish.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Cook noodles till al dente.  Drain noodles in colander.  While noodles are draining, put the margarine or butter into the same pot to melt on low heat.  When margarine or butter is melted, take the pot off the heat.  Put the noodles back in.  Add the sugar and mix with a rubber spatula.  Add the cottage cheese and mix in.  Then add the milk, the vanilla, the beaten eggs, and mix in with the spatula.  Finally, add the sour cream, and blend in.  (add raisins at this point if you wish)

Pour filling into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle cornflakes crumbs topping evenly over the top of the filling.  Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour 10 min. to 1 hour and 20 min. until starts to puff in the center, and until the bottom and sides start to brown.  The center should be set, and a toothpick should come out clean.

Notes:  The topping is optional.  If you prefer, you can just sprinkle the top with cinnamon.  You can also reduce the calories in the dish by reducing the sugar to 3/4 cup and reducing the margarine or butter to 1 stick.  You may also use a lowfat cottage cheese.  I do not recommend using a low fat sour cream or low fat milk. 

You may freeze this unbaked without the topping.  Wrap it well, though.  Then defrost it in the refrigerator, make the topping, and bake it.  You may also prepare this up to 2 days before you wish to bake it, and keep it refrigerated without the topping on it.  Then make the topping the day you will be baking the kugel, and put the topping on it right before you put it in the oven.  If you are baking this right out of the refrigerator, it will probably take about 20 more minutes of baking time. 

May 18, 2011

My daughter Randi asked me to make the kugel with whole wheat noodles.  Luckily I found Ronzoni whole grain egg noodles at the Stop and Shop in Aberdeen.  The bag is only 12 oz. but I basically kept the quantities of everything the same since whole grain tends to absorb more liquid.  Changes included for the filling: I used about 1 1/4 cups milk, I used only 1/2 stick butter, I added about 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon to filling and 3 small boxes of organic raisins, I used 1 teaspoon vanilla, I used a heavy 1/2 cup sugar, I happened to use 1 pound Friendship 2% cottage cheese- pot style,  I used 16 oz. Daisy sour cream, 5 extra large eggs.  For the topping, I melted 2 tablespoons butter in a bowl, I added 2 cups of coursely crushed corn flakes crumbs, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Follow above directions for baking.

Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

One of my greatest cooking inspirations was provided by my wonderful mother, Shirley Fried. When I was probably about 9 or 10 years old, she bought me the New Betty Crocker’s Boys and Girls Cookbook. I read that book for hours on end. I fantasized about making all of the recipes in the book. (I think I only got to make one, possibly two during my entire childhood.) One of the recipes I was most interested in was the recipe for pancakes. Well, I finally did start making pancakes for my family when I was around 10 or 11. For some miraculous reason that my mother and I still can’t understand, my mother did allow me to make pancakes. My theory is that my mother loved pancakes a lot, and she really wasn’t interested in making them herself. My mother bought a mix, I’m pretty sure it was the Aunt Jemima Complete Buttermilk Pancake mix where you only added water. That was okay. I was very happy making the pancakes from a mix for my mother, my father, my brother, and me. When I had children of my own, I enjoyed making homemade buttermilk pancakes. For some reason, I loved making them when the kids had snow days and were home from school. Well, those years are finished, but I always get the desire to make my homemade buttermilk pancakes during Christmas vacation when my kids are all home with me. Right now it’s Christmas vacation in December of 2007. I’m having a wonderful time because I’m off for the week, and my son Benji is home on winter break during his freshman year at Dartmouth College, my son Danny is home too since he’s unemployed right now, and my married daughter Randi, who is also off for the week (she’s a teacher) has been coming over every day. I can’t imagine a better time than this. There is nothing as much fun for me as being home with my three children. Well, we are literally having a food fest due to my uncontrollable desire to cook and bake for the three of them. This morning, I woke up at 6:00 and I started cooking. I started with my kids’ favorite cake (Judy’s famous birthday cake). I loved calling Benji from his room to lick the bowl and the spatula I used to make the chocolate icing. This big 6 foot kid came running from his room, and you’d think he was still 10 years old. I loved watching my kids as they ate a piece of cake. Then I made a batch of my yummy cheese blintzes. I fried up a few for Randi and Benji, and they loved eating them with sour cream on the side. Then I made made a batch of my homemade buttermilk pancakes. Oh, they are so light and so fluffy and so delicious! We ate them while we caught up on some past episodes of Brothers and Sisters. My kids went crazy for the pancakes. Anyway, once you eat these pancakes, it’s hard to order pancakes out because they just are nowhere near as good as the homemade variety. And making them from scratch is super easy, so please try this recipe.

Makes about 20

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 T. melted butter/marg.

Into a large mixing bowl, place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In another mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the buttermilk and the melted butter or margarine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and combine with a rubber spatula until the batter is still slightly lumpy. Do not overmix.

Heat a nonstick skillet up, and lightly grease it with margarine or butter (butter burns easily, so I usually use margarine). Spoon batter onto griddle. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until the bottom is nicely browned. Then flip, and cook on the other side. Cook about 2 minutes until browned.

Serve with butter and syrup.

Note: You may add fresh blueberries to the batter.

French Toast Bread Pudding With Challah

This Delicious Recipe For French Toast Bread Pudding Will Warm You On A Cold Winter Morning! 

My family adores french toast. My mother, Shirley Fried, especially loves my French toast. Every once and awhile, I make a batch for her when she comes down to visit me and the kids. I love cooking for my mother, especially since she is my number 1 fan. (My father was my other number 1 fan, but tragically for me, my mother, and my children, the most wonderful man in the world, Murray Fried died 6 years ago. Anyway, I’ve cooked yummy French toast for breakfast for my family for years, and everyone loves it. I sometimes make my french toast using challah, which is an egg bread that is very similar to brioche. Many diners serve French toast made with challah because it has become quite popular. When you use challah to make your French toast, you are definitely kicking the standard recipe up a notch. Anyway, I decided that I needed to adapt my challah French toast recipe so that I could serve it at family gatherings and feed a lot of people without having to stand at the stove while my guests were over. Plus, I wanted to be able to prepare the dish in advance, and you really can’t do that with French toast. I experimented until I came up with the most amazing version of French toast bread pudding, using challah. I served it at a Chanukah party this past Sunday which was given by the wonderful Marsha Greenhouse. Marsha Greenhouse is my daughter Randi’s mother-in-law. Marsha is a warm and genuine from the heart person (a real mensch), and she hosts the best family get togethers imaginable. I love going to every party and gathering at her house. Plus, she kindly lets me cook and bake for these parties to my heart’s content. One of the dishes I made for this gathering was my challah French toast bread pudding. It was delicious! I got lots of compliments, and of course I love that! I think one of the best moments for me was when Marsha’s boyfriend, Al Berman asked me for another piece of the bread pudding. When he put a bite in his mouth he said, “Ooh, this is sooo good.” And Al knows his food. (He’s an excellent cook himself!) There is just nothing as gratifying for me as cooking and baking for people I care about. Please try this recipe. When you take a bite into this yummy challah French toast bread pudding, which truly tastes every bit as good as regular French toast, you will vow to make this again and again for your friends and family, too.

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, plus extra for greasing baking dish (I like taste of butter more than margarine)
  • 1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup (I actually use 2 tablespoons of Log Cabin and 1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup, but I don’t think it matters which type of syrup you use)  *see note at bottom
  • 1 large loaf of challah bread (a loaf should weigh about 15 oz.)
  • 8 extra large or jumbo eggs (I used jumbo the last time, and I loved result)
  • 2 cups of light cream or half and half (I don’t notice any difference in end result)
  • 2  tablespoons sugar (optional- you may eliminate if you want to reduce sugar in recipe))
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I use this but you may cut it out for a low salt diet)
  • cinnamon (McKormick) to sprinkle on top before you bake
  • optional 3/4 cup chopped pecans (tried it and liked the result, but equally good without- Just remember that many kids don’t like nuts, so if you’re making this for kids, it’s probably better to leave the nuts out!)

Generously grease the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9 x 2 inch oval or rectangular baking dish (I bought an inexpensive, beautiful white oval baking dish at IKEA). Slice the challah about 1 1/2 inches thick. Then cut the slices into pieces. They don’t all have to be exactly the same size, but they should be somewhere around 2 inches square. You definitely should use the crust- do not cut the crust off! In a small saucepan, melt the butter over a low flame. Then add the brown sugar and the syrups; mix until the brown sugar is dissolved. Then pour the syrup mixture into the prepared baking dish. Place the pieces of challah in the prepared dish in one layer. Fit the pieces right up against each other, like puzzle pieces. It’s okay to squeeze them a little so they all fit.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, light cream or half and half, vanilla, salt, sugar,  cinnamon. Ladle the custard mixture over the challah evenly. Then press down with your hands very lightly on bread, so challah soaks in all the custard.  If using the pecans, sprinkle them on top, and then sprinkle with cinnamon lightly but so that there is a light sprinkling over all.  Cover the dish with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 to 4  hours or overnight. (I usually do it overnight just because it makes the job easier for me.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees – and take bread pudding out of the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.  If you feel you should, sprinkle just a little more cinnamon on top. Bake uncovered in the middle of the oven until puffed and golden for about 45 to 50 minutes. Serve immediately.  I make this to bring in for school breakfasts.  I bake it for about 35 minutes at home.  Then I cover it tightly to keep the heat it.  Then when I get to work, I take off the foil, and bake it for another 20 minutes or so to finish it off. 

Optional serving suggestion:  Warm up about 1/8 cup of pure maple syrup in microwave, and drizzle it over the top very lightly right before serving or just serve with extra maple syrup on the side.

You will be amazed by the result!   

Note:  The last few times I made this, I used 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup and 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup. I like to use some pure maple syrup, just because it has more maple flavor.

Note:  Just make sure that the pudding is baked through even at the center so you won’t be eating undercooked eggs.

Note:  last made on July 3, 2011- I used 9 extra large eggs as I didn’t have the jumbo, and I used a mixture of whole milk and heavy cream- and it was yummy!!!

My Grandma’s Healthy and Delicious Brown Rice Pudding

My mother made this recipe often.  It was her mother’s, my Grandma Hindes’s recipe.  My grandmother was born in 1908, so if she were alive today, she would be around 100 years old.  My grandmother was an immigrant from Europe.  She immigrated to this country from a place called Galicia, which is now part of Poland.  She was a huge fan of a nutritionist on the radio named Carlton Fredericks.  She learned a lot from him and followed his advice.  My grandmother was way ahead of her time.  My mother and her brother Nat were the ONLY children who brought sandwiches to school made with whole wheat bread.  When my mother talks about her mother’s wisdom in this area, she is still amazed by it.  For that generation, being concerned about nutrition and healthy ingredients was very uncommon.  Well, my grandmother developed this delicious rice pudding recipe because she wanted to create a healthy version of a rather unhealthy dish.  She made it as a side dish that she served along with tuna salad or broiled fish.  My mother made this many times, and my father loved it!  He liked it plain or warm with a little milk in it.  When my father was still alive, I often made this for him so he could take it home and have it as a yummy snack.    I also regularly make this and deliver it to my daughter Randi and my mother as they love it too.  As soon as the cool weather hits, I start making this recipe.  It’s such comfort food!  I like to know it’s in the fridge for a late night healthier than usual snack.  When I put that first bite in my mouth, I’m in heaven.  How many healthy dishes can you say that about?  I know that this is not your traditional rice pudding recipe, but it’s mine.  So please, give this family, heirloom recipe of mine a whirl.  Trust me, once you taste it, you will love knowing that this healthy treat is waiting for you in the refrigerator.

  • 1 cup whole grain brown rice (not instant)- I use Uncle Ben’s or Carolina (I now use Nature’s Promise organic long-grain brown rice!)
  • a nice chunk of butter or Fleischmann’s margarine- about 2-3 tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (I’ve been reducing this to 1/4 cup lately)
  • 1 1/4 cups of whole milk (or half and half or light cream for an even richer pudding)
  • 3 extra large eggs (or 4 for an even richer pudding)
  • cinnamon

Note:  If you wish to make this dish healthier, you may reduce the sugar to 1/4 cup and use lowfat or skim milk in place of the whole milk. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a two quart casserole dish well with butter or margarine.  Crack the eggs in a mixing bowl, and mix them with the milk.

Combine the rice, 2 1/4 cups cold water in a 2 quart saucepan or follow instructions for amount of water on box.  Bring the water to a boil, then put the lid on and lower the flame as low as possible.  Simmer about 30 minutes until the water is completely absorbed.  Recently, I started putting a chunk of margarine in too.

Take the saucepan with the rice off the stove.  Put your greased casserole dish into the oven to heat it up while you are completing the rest of the recipe.  Drop the butter or margarine into the rice and mix it through the rice until it is completely melted through.  Then, dump the sugar in and mix gently with a rubber spatula.  Sprinkle some cinnamon in – about 1/2 teaspoon.  Then pour milk and egg mixture into the rice mixture and mix it in well with the rubber spatula.  Take out the casserole dish, and pour the rice mixture in.   Sprinkle the top of the pudding with a nice amount of cinnamon.  Place the casserole dish in the center of the oven.  Bake it for about 1 hour – 1 hour and 15 minutes until the sides and top are brown.  Let the pudding cool a few minutes before serving, or let it cool completely, and then put it in the refrigerator for later.  You can take out a portion any time, and warm it up in the microwave.

Grandma Hindes’s, Nana’s, and Especially My Matzo Brei for Passover

This is a family heirloom recipe.  This was another absolute favorite dish of mine when I was a little girl.  My mother made this Passover dish the way her mother did. I took over the job of making the matzo brei when I was about 15 years old, and I’ve been making it ever since.  I have never seen a recipe like this one for matzo brei; it is unique. What you end up with is something that is similar to French toast, but better.  It does take some effort, but it is so worthwhile.  Your family will love you for it.  Just try it – I know you’ll agree that it’s worth the effort.

  • whole sheets of matzo  (For best results, use Manishewitz regular matzo.  You will need about 2 sheets of matza per person.)

  • lots of extra large or jumbo eggs (about 3 eggs per person)

  • regular milk (about 2- 3 tablespoons for every 4 eggs)

  • margarine for frying (I use Fleischmann’s)

  • granulated sugar and pure maple syrup for serving

For 2 people, beat about 4 eggs to start with in a wide shallow bowl.  Mix in about 2 tablespoons of whole milk.  Gently break 1 matzo into approximate fourths.  Soak it in warm water in a wide shallow bowl , aluminum tin, or other shallow pan until the matzo begins to soften.  Very gently, squeeze as much water out of the pieces as possible without breaking the matzo.  Then place the pieces gently in the bowl with the egg mixture.

Put a big chunk of margarine in a large, preferably non-stick frying pan, over a medium-high  flame.  Transfer pieces of matzo into pan to begin frying. Fry until beautifully browned on the bottom, flip, fry until browned, and serve.

Start soaking process immediately with a new sheet of matzo.  Repeat frying process.

Continue until everyone is full.  Trust me, you will be standing at the stove for a very long time.