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.

Jewish Marble Cake

 This Marble Cake Will Satisfy Any Craving For Chocolate Or Sugar!

This is another recipe that came from Adele Hochheiser.  Adele Hochheiser was my mother’s wonderful best friend, and she was like a second mother to me.  Adele was a terrific  cook and baker.  I have wonderful memories of going over to the Hochheiser house, walking into Adele’s kitchen, and smelling the enticing aroma of either something cooking or baking in Adele’s oven.  My mother loved Adele’s marble cake, and of course my mother got the recipe from her.  This became one of the standard recipes that my mother baked for the Jewish New Year holiday of Rosh Hashana.  My father and I really loved this cake, but my mother adored this cake.  When I ask my mother which cake recipe is her all time favorite one, she always says, “The marble cake.”  This cake is  a little on the heavy side, but it is GOOD.  My mother and I have had some great laughs through the years about how much we love this cake despite its slightly heavy and dry texture. We always say, “But it just tastes so good!”   My mother and Adele baked this cake in a 9 x 13 pan, but I when I started baking it, I discovered the cake came out moister when I baked it in a tube pan.  So that’s the pan I use.  When I bake it, I usually cut it into thirds, wrap it, and of course deliver some to my mother.  She keeps it in the freezer, and takes it out sparingly, because she doesn’t want to use it up.  I’m feeling guilty right now, because I know her supply is running out, and I need to replenish it.  I’d better get on the job!

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter or Fleischmann’s margarine, at room temperature (I usually use butter)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 extra large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups unbleached flour, sifted (sift, then measure)
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate (I use Baker’s or Nestle’s squares)
  • 1 1/ 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a tube pan with removable sides well with butter or margarine.

In mixing bowl, put flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.  In a small microwave safe bowl, put the squares of chocolate, and then melt on a low power level in the microwave.  Add the 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract to the melted chocolate, and mix with a rubber spatula.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter or margarine.  Add the sugar and cream until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Add the 1 remaining teaspoon vanilla, and mix, just until blended.  Add the dry mixture alternately with the milk in three or four additions, scraping down the bowl one or two times.

Take out about 1/3 of vanilla batter and put in a bowl. Add the melted chocolate to it, and mix with a rubber spatula.

Pour all of vanilla batter into prepared tube pan.  Then put dollops of chocolate batter on top of vanilla until you have used up the chocolate batter.  Take a knife and swirl the chocoate batter through the vanilla batter.   Do not overswirl at this point, because you want the chocolate cake to be chocolate, and you want the vanilla cake to be vanilla.  Bake about 50 minutes until the cake just starts to separate from the sides of the pan and a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool the cake on a wire rack about 1 1/2 hours until completely cool.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan and around the inside tube.  Then lift the cake up off of the sides holding the tube.  Then cut it in half, and with a metal spatula, lift each half off the bottom of the pan  onto a serving plate.

Note:  This cake freezes well.  Wrap it in halves or thirds in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil, and then put in plastic freezer bags.  When you have company, take out 1/3 or 1/2 , slice it, and put slices in an overlapping pattern on a serving plate.   

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.

Judy’s Famous Birthday Cake – My Family’s All Time Favorite Cake!

 Bake this incredible white cake with rich chocolate frosting for any special occasion! 

I have three children. Randi is my oldest; she’s 25 years old. Next is Danny- he’s 22. And last but definitely not least is Benji- he’s 18. When my children were little, I started the tradition of cooking a special birthday dinner for them, which of course had to include a birthday cake. I adapted this recipe from a recipe of my mother’s (Nana to my kids).   I have so many wonderful memories of all these birthday dinners that all ended with this amazing cake. The combination of the fluffy, buttery cake with the incomparable dark, glossy, chocolaty icing is so good, you will not be able to stop eating it! I know one thing for sure. To this day when I bake this cake, even though my kids are pretty much grown, they still fight over who’s going to get to lick the spatula or the bowl when I make the icing! I promise you – if you make this cake once for your family, you will want to start your own family tradition of making this cake for your children’s birthdays!

Continue reading Judy’s Famous Birthday Cake – My Family’s All Time Favorite Cake!