Sweet Noodle Kugel (non-dairy)

Sweet Noodle Kugel


Combine cooked egg noodles and egg/spice/apple mixture.
Peel and dice apples.






Pour kugel mixture into a baking dish and spread so it’s even. Bake.

Improvement Post!

I’d been using the same Non-Dairy Noodle Kugel recipe for years (see “Related Post” below), but found a version on Leah Cooks Kosher that sounded like an improvement on one of my family’s favorite dishes. I adapted that recipe and guess what? This easy, sweet side dish is tastier and fluffier. Plus, it got several thumbs up from my family!

Happy cooking, hon!

Sweet Noodle Kugel (non-dairy)


  • 1 pound medium wide egg noodles
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or margarine
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced small (optional)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Boil pasta, then rinse in cold water and drain. Set aside.
  3. Mix eggs, oil, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and salt together in a large bowl.
  4. Add the apples and raisins. Mix well to blend.
  5. Add the cooked pasta to the egg mixture. Toss well to coat. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish well. Pour the kugel mixture into baking dish and spread so it’s even. Spray a piece of foil with oil and cover the kugel loosely.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the kugel is set and is lightly browned, about another 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and set aside for a few minutes. Cut and serve warm or at room temperature.

Yield: 9″ x 12″ pan, 16 – 20 servings

Related Post: Noodle Kugel (non-dairy)

Source: Leah Cooks Kosher


Italian Potato-Pasta Soup With Greens

Italian Potato-Pasta Soup With Greens

Some soups are light and refreshing preludes to a meal; others, like this one, are an entire meal in a bowl. Pasta and potatoes, like pasta and beans, are frequently combined in Italian vegetable dishes. The potatoes should be starchy, like Yukon Golds or russets, so that they lend body to the broth. Short pasta shapes add texture; onion, fennel, garlic, tomato paste and fresh herbs and greens add flavor. The soup may be made a day or so before serving: It improves in the refrigerator and reheats beautifully, but don’t add the pasta in this case until serving.

Once I read this description, I had to try the recipe. It was delicious! Happy cooking, hon!

Italian Potato-Pasta Soup With Greens


3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more for garnish

2 cups diced onion

1 cup diced carrot

1 cup diced celery or fennel (I used celery)

salt and pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

1 large thyme sprig (I used a couple of dashes of dried thyme)

2 garlic cloves

2 teaspoons paprika

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

3 quarts/12 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water (I used veg. broth.)

2 pounds medium-size starchy potatoes, such as Yukon Golds or russets, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks

8 ounces kale or chard, stems removed, leaves sliced across into ½-inch ribbons (about 4 cups total)

½ pound dried pennette, orecchiette or other small pasta

1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary or marjoram, for garnish

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish


  1. In a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the 3 Tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, add onion, carrot and celery (or fennel), stir, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened and golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Adjust the heat to prevent vegetables from browning or scorching.
  2. Stir in bay leaf, thyme sprig, garlic, paprika and tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add broth, potatoes and a large pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a brisk simmer. Cook until potatoes are cooked through but still firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Taste to adjust the seasonings.
  3. Stir in kale and pasta and simmer another 10 minutes, or until greens are well cooked and pasta is done. (Soup can be made up to this point, without the pasta, cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
  4. Ladle soup into bowls, and sprinkle with chopped rosemary and Parmesan. Drizzle each serving with a teaspoon of olive oil. Pass extra Parmesan at the table. (I didn’t add Parmesan or olive oil on top of servings.)

Yield: 6-8 servings

To make vegan, eliminate Parmesan.

To make gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta.

Source: The New York Times, City Kitchen by David Tanis

Spinach Cheese Lasagna

Spinach Cheese Lasagna

The Secret Ingredient is a Superfood!

I love cheese lasagna and so do my kids. I love spinach and so–wait!–DON’T my kids. But my two picky eaters need more veggies! This recipe is so cheesy and saucy that the spinach is practically hidden. Guess what? My picky eaters loved it!

Cook lasagna noodles and set aside.
Mix ricotta cheese with egg, salt, pepper, garlic powder and spinach.








Spread sauce on bottom of pan and then start layering noodles, cheese, spinach and spices.
Layer ricotta/spinach mixture.
Sprinkle mozzarella (and parmesan if using) on top of ricotta/spinach mixture. Sprinkle spices on top of that.
Keep layering until almost at top of baking dish, ending with mozzarella cheese and spices. Bake.

Spinach Cheese Lasagna


–1 pound lasagna noodles

–1 pound chopped, cooked spinach, drained thoroughly to prevent lasagna from becoming too soupy. (I used frozen spinach but will try steaming and draining fresh spinach next time.)

–15 ounces ricotta cheese

–1 egg

–salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

–1 (28 ounce) jar tomato sauce

–1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese

–1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, optional

–dried basil, oregano, and parsley to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a 9″ x 13″ metal or glass baking pan by spraying with non-stick spray or brushing with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles as per directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Place ricotta cheese in a large bowl and add egg, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix in chopped spinach.
  4. Spread a light layer of sauce on bottom of baking pan. Lay out noodles to cover bottom of dish. I overlapped 4 noodles but next time will do the math and will overlap 5 or 6 noodles in each layer. (# total noodles divided by # layers = how many noodles to overlap in each layer.)
  5. Layer like this:

    Overlap noodles.

    Spread light layer of sauce over noodles.

    Spread ricotta/spinach mixture over sauce.

    Sprinkle shredded mozzarella (and parmesan cheese) over ricotta/spinach mixture. Sprinkle, basil, oregano and parsley on top.

    Repeat until dish is almost full.

  6. Top layer should be noodles, sauce and shredded mozzarella. Sprinkle with spices to taste.
  7. Loosely cover with foil. Tip: spray side of foil touching cheese with non-stick spray.
  8. Bake approximately 40 minutes. Uncover and cook another 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into and serving.

Yield: Approximately 10-12 servings.

Tip: Lasagna freezes well. I made two whole lasagnas: one for now and one to freeze.

DIY Holiday and Hostess Gifts

Berry & Nut Granola and Mini Pumpkin Breads

Need last minute holiday or hostess gifts?  

Mini pumpkin loaves and granola are easy to make and delicious. Fill mason jars with granola, wrap the loaves in twine, and voila–DIY for the holidays! Click below for links to the recipes.

Pumpkin Bread I have two multi-loaf pans: one for baking four mini loaves and one for baking eight single serving loaves. Multi-loaf pans can be found at the craft store Michael’s. No time to get to a craft or baking store?  Bake pumpkin muffins instead. I used whole wheat flour and less sugar than the recipe calls for.

Homemade Granola  Add whatever seeds, nuts and dried fruit are in the house to the mixture. I purchased mason jars at Michael’s, but any jar, such as a jelly jar, with a mouth that’s not too small will work. I filled tomato sauce jars with larger batches.

Happy Holidays, Hon!

Quick, easy and delicious. Photos courtesy of Cherie.

Red Lentil and Barley Soup

Red Lentil and Barley Soup

In addition to Vegetarian Chili, Red Lentil and Barley Soup was ready and waiting for company the day after Thanksgiving. It was tame to chili’s spice. I made it ahead to time, froze it, defrosted it at room temperature a day early, and simmered it on a low flame for a few hours. I also froze individual servings to have at a later date. Think snowed in!

Happy cooking, hon.

Red Lentil and Barley Soup



  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery, and garlic.
  3. Cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients to saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 1 hour.
  5. Remove and discard bay leaves before serving.

Tip: Add dashes of other spices, such as sage, rosemary, turmeric, etc, as desired.

Cooking Time: 1 hour 25 minutes.

Yield: 6

Source: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/red-lentil-and-barley-soup-428528

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, out-of-town family visits and I’m in the mood for something other than leftover turkey. This year, Vegetarian Chili and Red Lentil and Barely Soup took center stage with lots of “fixin’s” on the side. As a time-saver, I made the chili ahead and froze it. After defrosting at room temperature for a day, it simmered over a low flame for a few hours. It was a hit! This hearty, healthy chili is so delicious, I’ve already made it again.

Chili is perfect when it’s, ummm, chilly! Stay warm, hon.

Vegetarian Chili


1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 jalapeno, finely chopped (seeds and veins removed) (I omitted this since my family does’t like things too spicy.)
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
3 heaping tbsp tomato paste
3 soft plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup veggie stock or water
salt and pepper, to taste


1.Heat the olive oil in a pan* and add onions and garlic. Saute until translucent. Add the jalapeno (keep some of the vein and/or seeds for more heat) and saute for another minute.

2.Add the chili, cumin and garlic and continue to saute until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and saute for another 1-2 minutes.

3.Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally so that the chili doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Add additional veggie stock, if needed.

*Tip: The first time I made this recipe, I sautéed the onions and garlic in a saute pan, followed the directions, and then poured the mixture in a large pot to simmer. The second time, I sautéed the onions and garlic directly in the large pot, added the remaining ingredients, and simmered. It was less work and just as yummy.

Source: http://www.busyinbrooklyn.com/vegetarian-chili-cornbread/

Thanksgiving Dinner–Pumpkin Pie

Happy Thanksgiving!

For all of the bakers, here’s another great recipe. Happy holiday, hon!


Basic Pie Crust:  Single Crust

(to make two pies crusts, see Double Pie Crust measurements in Apple Pie recipe)

1 1/3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1/4 cup ice water

Food Processor Directions:  Insert steel blade in food processor. Mix flour and salt, then place the mixture in the food processor. Add shortening and process until mixture resembles cornmeal (about 5 seconds). Slowly pour ice water through feed tube and process until dough forms a ball (about 5 to 10 seconds). Chill dough for easier handling.

Roll out ball of dough into a circle. Line a 9-inch pie dish with crust. Flute the edges.

Shortcut:  If you don’t have time to make your own crust, use store-bought pie crusts.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Filling (for one pie)

2 eggs

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 16 ounce can cooked pumpkin

1 13 ounce can evaporated milk–0R–3 ounces non-dairy creamer

1 egg, beaten (used to brush on top of crust before baking)

Beat 2 eggs in a large mixing bowl.  Add remaining ingredients except extra egg to be brushed on crust and blend thoroughly.  Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.  Brush egg on edges of crust.  Bake at 425 degrees F for  20 minutes, then reduce to 325 degrees F and bake another 35 to 45 minutes.  Pie is done when middle of pie is set.  Tip:  If edges of pie crust are getting medium brown and middle of pie isn’t set yet, gently wrap tin foil around perimeter of crust until it’s done.

*This pie freezes well.  Let pie cool completely before wrapping in aluminum foil and freezing.  A day before you are going to serve it, defrost at room temperature (not in the fridge).

Serving options:

Serve warm–after removing from oven, let cool for 20 minutes.

Serve room temperature–cool completely.

Rewarm frozen pie– warm in a preheated 275 degrees F oven, uncovered.