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Monthly Archives: January 2011

Sweet Noodle Kugel

kugelI have finally found the kugel recipe to end all kugel recipes – at least for me. Why do I love kugel? As a child, kugel was a staple at any big family meal. The thing I loved about it was it felt like you were getting dessert on your dinner plate. I’ve had kugel with raisins and pineapple, with cheese and without cheese. I love this recipe so much that I can’t imagine straying from it for any reason. I hope you feel the same way!

The Ingredients

  • 1 pound egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 2 cups small curd cottage cheese
  • Then, for the topping: 9 cinnamon graham crackers + 3 T melted butter

The Instructions

1. Cook the noodles according to package directions; drain; toss with butter.
2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
3. In large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, sour cream and cottage cheese until well blended. Then, add in the buttery noodles and combine.
4. Transfer mixture to a greased baking dish (like Pyrex) 13 x 9 x 2 inches.
5. In blender/food processor, crumb graham crackers. Add the 3 T melted butter and stir.
6. Sprinkle crumb mixture on top of the noodles (you should be able to cover every inch, like a crust)
7. Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 50-55 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting if you are serving warm (cut/serve in squares)

This dish is enjoyable hot or cold, but I prefer it COLD.

Best Applesauce Ever

I seriously doubt I will ever buy applesauce from a jar ever again. OK, maybe if I’m really sick and just want applesauce or something! But, it won’t be the same …. this is pretty fail-proof, and it’s delicious.

The Ingredients

4 medium-sized apples
– 1/4 cup of sugar
– 3/4 cup of water
– a few shakes of ground cinnamon (sorry, I can’t be more specific)

The Instructions

1. Peel and core your apples. I have a Pampered Chef apple peeler/corer that my mother-in-law gave me, and it’s fabulous. If you don’t have something like it, I recommend getting one.

2. Cut your apples into quarters.

3.  Put the apples, sugar, cinnamon and water into a 2-quart pan.

4. Cover and cook at medium heat for about 20 minutes.

5. Let the apples cool a bit. Then, you can either mash them with a potato masher OR put them into a blender and blend the apples until they are smooth. I prefer to blend them. They come out so much more decadent. I don’t know how, but they do.

Creamy Risotto with Chicken Sausage

I’m a sucker for risotto. It’s so creamy and homey – I call it “fancy comfort food.” I only recently discovered how EASY it is to make really good risotto! You can amend this recipe and mix in pretty much anything you want, but here’s one I’ve had a few times that always turns out well:

The Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (16 ounce) package sweet Italian chicken sausage
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup Chardonnay or other dry white wine
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen petite sweet peas
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

The Directions

  1. In a heavy, large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute sausage and onion until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and thyme and cook about 30 seconds.
  3. Add rice and wine; stir until the wine is absorbed.
  4. Next, stir in 3 cups of the chicken broth. Then, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until the broth is absorbed, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Continue adding broth, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring until all the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender and creamy. (This part I do somewhat unattended … I enjoy a glass of wine, check my email, stir the pot, flip through a magazine, stir the pot, etc …. Just keep going until it looks like what you get at a restaurant.)
  5. When the risotto is rich and creamy, stir in the frozen peas and approximately 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese; cook 1 minute or until heated throughout.
  6. Dish into bowls and sprinkle with the rest of the Parmesan cheese.

The first time I made this, I said to myself and my friends, “This is by far the best thing I have ever made.” It’s true.

Carne Asada Tacos

Michael and I could probably eat Mexican food every day. Actually, I could probably put anything inside a tortilla, cover it in hot sauce, and Michael would eat it. In any event, we’ve become quite spoiled by this carne asada taco recipe (which I have Jen Davey to thank for sharing it with me).

carne asada tacosThe Magical Ingredients:
1-1/4 pounds flank steak
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lime, juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Step One: In a  bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic,  lime juice and olive oil. Season with salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, cumin and paprika.

Step Two: With a knife, score the flank steak a few times on either side. Put the flank steak in a plastic freezer bag and pour the marinade on top of it (or put the steak in a glass dish and pour marinade over the steak – either way, it’s fine). If you want to eat it later, put the freezer bag into the freezer. When you defrost it later, it will be great. The longer you let the meat marinade, the better. All day is fantastic. I’ve also only had 30 minutes to make it work. It’s still good.

Step Three: Get your grill going and grill the flank steak to your desired doneness. It doesn’t take much time because the cut is fairly thin. Discard any remaining marinade.

Step Four: Slice into small strips and serve inside warm corn tortillas. I like topping the meat with pico de gallo, but Michael likes adding shredded cheese and salsa. It’s up to you! We’ve also had them with guacamole (very good if you have avocados on hand).

Roasted Garlic

If you’ve dined out with me a few times, then there are two things on a menu you know I will always order: the roasted garlic appetizer and then (almost) anything with goat cheese. I decided to make the roasted garlic at home, which meant a whole head just for me!

Step One: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step Two: Peel away the outermost layers of the garlic bulbs, but be sure to leave the  skins of the cloves intact. Use a sharp knife to slice the tops off of the bulbs so the garlic  cloves are exposed.

Step Three: Place the garlic bulbs inside muffin tins (the perfect little holder!). Drizzle olive oil over the tops of the bulbs so the cloves are covered.

Step Four: Cover the garlic bulbs with aluminum foil and bake in the 400 degree oven  for 30 to 45 minutes, until the cloves are soft and golden.

Step Five: Use a cocktail fork to pull the roasted cloves from the bulbs and spread the roasted garlicy-goodness onto slices of French bread.

Of course, after eating all of this garlic, no one will really want to be around me for a while, but sometimes that’s a good thing!