Onion Kugelettes

Onion Kugelettes

I am continuing to explore creative ways to use up leftover bread. This recipe is another adaption of my challah kugel. Somehow, once I start something, I keep pursuing it until I master the concept.

The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity: it has minimal ingredients, and also very little sugar. Somehow, when it’s not too sweet, it feels healthier.

I really like my mother’s suggestion to bake them as cupcakes. Cupcakes cook more quickly, require less fuss when eating and improve portion control. Plus, with cupcake liners, it’s easier to clean up the pan afterwards as well. It’s a win-win for everyone.

This recipe is also very accomodating. Since I am time challenged, I find it helpful to prepare the kugel in the morning and then bake it once I get home from work in the evening.

Ingredients:

16 oz. challah

Variations:  I have not tried it yet, but, try substituting crushed matzah or rice instead of bread.

3 cups water

3 onions (or more) diced, about 2 cups

3 eggs

4 tablespoons oil

½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste

½ – 1 teaspoon onion powder, or to taste

½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste

Optional: 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon sugar, to taste

Optional: 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds

Please note: The amount of spices depends on the bread. Since challah is relatively sweet, less sugar is required.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350* F.

Saute onions until caramelized. Crumble or break up challah (or matzah or rice) into small pieces into bowl.

Combine water and pour over challah. Mix until challah is soft, but not too mushy. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour into cupcake pans lined with cupcake holders. Bake for approximately 1 hour or until done.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sauteing the onions.

Adding the cubed bread.

This time I added poppy seeds.

mixing the bread, onions and water.

Ready to be put in the oven.

Fresh and hot right out of the oven!

 

Even though it has onions, and they are not very sweet, Yaffa and Raizel have been known to  eat them for breakfast too! Simple and good!

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Challah Kugel

I’m back!

The picture of the adorable cat above, is the latest addition to our family.

At the end of this post, I will share more about him.

Stay tuned!

I have missed blogging, but, for some reason, I uncharacteristically found myself with nothing to say for the past year.

I hope that I have found my voice again, and this is a new beginning!

Part of my inspiration to renew this blog was an off the cuff comment by one of my patients.

During one of my groups at work this week, “Walter,” said, “Carol doesn’t look like someone who likes to cook.”

At first, I thought his comment was completely off base, and I felt slightly offended. To me, he was making an unsubstantiated assumption.

Upon reflection, it occurred to me: perhaps “Walter” was really trying to communicate something else?

Is it possible that “Walter” was really expressing his disappointment that this year there is no funding available to have a holiday party?

Maybe what he really wanted to say was: “does Carol care enough about us that she would make us a party and do all the cooking?”

I am still thinking about the incident, as you can tell.

The upside of his comment is that it reminded me how much I really do miss blogging.

And just in case his comment could really be taken at face value, I was motivated to actually sit down and write a new post on my sorely neglected blog.

My motives might be a little immature, but, I really do have so many recipes to share on juggling special diets, special needs and time challenges!

Chocolate Challah Kugel 

This recipe is really a recent adaption of my challah kugel. I am trying to come up with creative ways to use up leftover bread.

I am happy to say that it was a big hit!

Ingredients:

16 oz. challah

1 ½ cups water

1 ½ cups chocolate chips

1 ½ cups milk (I used rice milk)

1/2 cup cocoa

6 eggs

1 cup sugar: ½ cup brown sugar and ½ cup white

2 teaspoons vanilla

½ teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons oil

Optional: icing sugar sprinkled on top after it’s baked.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375* F.

Crumble or break up challah into small pieces into bowl.

Add chocolate chips.

Combine water, milk, cocoa, eggs, vanilla, salt and oil and whisk until smooth and well-blended.

The sugars can be added to the bread and chocolate chips, or to the liquids. This time, I did both. The white sugar I added to the bread, and the brown sugar was added to the liquids. I think it might be better to add the sugar to the liquids so it can dissolve more easily and be more evenly distributed. This recipe is very flexible!

Pour liquid over challah and chocolate chips.

Mix until challah is soft.

Pour into a parchment lined pan and bake for approximately 1 hour or until done.

The texture is particularly creamy when it is baked in a deeper pan containing about 1 inch of water.

When I do not used a hot water bath, I bake it in a 350* F oven instead. It depends on how time challenged I am at that moment.

Serve warm or at room temperature and dust, if desired with icing (confectioners’) sugar. I did not, but I think it might be prettier with it.

Variations:  I have not tried it yet, but, I wonder if this would be good with crushed matzah instead of bread?

Alternatively it might even be made with rice too. Depending on the desired texture, it might be better to lightly blend the rice mixture with an immersion blender before adding the chocolate chips. The goal is to have the mixture slightly smooth but not mushy.

Now that I see how adaptable this recipe can be, I am hoping to explore other variations too.

Here are the pictures:

Bread, chocolate chips and white sugar.

Whisking the sugar, cocoa, eggs, liquid and vanilla

mixing wet and dry ingredients.

The last few pieces. I forgot to take a picture when it was first done.

Enjoy!

As promised, here is the story of our new cat.

Last spring we acquired an outdoor cat, Ari.

I love cats, but, my husband, unfortunately is very allergic to them. So, when we met, I sadly had to give my 2 cats away.

Over the years, I would frequently remind Jay of the tremendous sacrifice I made to marry him. My husband would always joke, “What’s better, having a husband or 2 cats?” He would then add: “Don’t answer that!”

When we first married, I used to be able to find a local stray cat to befriend and share a “Positive Cat Experience.” Over the years, however, that changed. It seems as though there were no longer any stray cats around.

So, as an act of true love, Jay suggested that perhaps I could have a cat again, with the stipulation that the cat was not allowed to come in the house.

It was a tall order, but, with the help of Google, I discovered that there is a local program by the SPCA called “Back Yard Buddies.”

Cats adopted through this program are feral cats that have been spayed/neutered, given their shots, and microchipped. They are not supposed to be indoor cats, and the SPCA gives you all the equipment one needs to train the cat that you will be his/her new feeding source.

It seemed like a win-win for everyone!

My brother was very skeptical when he heard about it. Dov said, “It sounds like taking on a charity project.” I suppose on one level it is.  But, the cat we received is the friendliest feral cat one could ever hope for.

Naturally, life is never how one expects.

Although I am the one who takes care of Ari, ironically, my husband is his chosen person. Ari greets my husband, spontaneously hops up on his lap, and otherwise in general seeks him out.

It is truly very funny.

One of my friends suggested that I sue for alienation of affection, or get another cat who will be MY cat. So far, my husband has vetoed that option.

I am truly enjoying this cat. It is so nice to have a Positive Cat Experience on a daily basis. I just had to share!

Challah Kugel

Challah Kugel 


ואל תאמר לכשאפנה אשנה, שמא לא תפנה

It is written in Perkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers): Do not say, “When I have leisure time, I will study,” for you may never have leisure. (2:4)

According to the commentaries, this means that “one must consciously set aside time for study and spiritual growth.”

Now, I would not like to imply that blogging is on the same spiritual level as learning Torah.

But, with respect to blogging, I have extrapolated the above quote to mean: If I wait for things to calm down to blog, I will never blog.

As I shared in May, I am a big believer in the importance of rigorous self-care. As the primary caregiver for my family, I find blogging to be a fun and wonderfully creative outlet. Since blogging helps me cope, it’s time to post!

Challah kugel is a great way to use up leftover challah. Kugel in general is one of Yaffa’s favorite dishes, and this kugel in particular is especially yummy.

Challah Kugel

Ingredients:

16 oz challah

1 ½ cups water

1 ½  cups milk (I used rice milk)

Optional: use apple or orange juice for either or all of the liquid instead

4 eggs

1/2 – 1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons oil

Optional: ½ to 1 cup raisins, crushed pineapple or sliced apples

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375* F.

Crumble or break up challah into small pieces into bowl. Combine water (or juice) and milk and pour over challah. Mix until challah is soft, but not too mushy. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pour into pan and bake for approximately 1 hour or until done.

The texture is particularly creamy when it is baked in a deeper pan containing about 1 inch of water.

When I do not used a hot water bath, I bake it in a 350* F oven instead. It depends on how time challenged I am at that moment.

Variations: This recipe is really my basic formula for any sweet kugel. During Passover, I used crushed matzah instead of bread. To make it gluten free, I use rice, and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

All the ingredients mixed in the pot.

 

In the pan, ready to bake.

Final outcome.

 

I consider this to be one of my signature kugel recipes. It is always a hit!

Enjoy!

 

Kugel Kronicles: Mashed Potato Kugel I

I am experimenting with different techniques to make potato kugel. My friend Devorah told me that when she wants a change of pace, she makes potato kugel using mashed potatoes rather than grated.

I thought that it could be a good way to use up leftover potatoes and make something a little different. Then I thought that this could be an opportunity to raise the humble potato kugel to a whole new level, by adding different spices and layering different vegetables in.

The basic recipe is as follows:

2 1⁄2 lbs. baking potatoes, peeled, about 8, cook with salt, if desired

3 tablespoons olive oil, enough to sauté the onions and also add to the top before cooking

2 medium onions, chopped

1 tablespoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon pepper

1⁄4 cup chicken broth or water, just enough to make the mashed potatoes smooth.

(optional: 2 large eggs, beaten. Add eggs if adding other vegetables that have more liquid)

1⁄2 teaspoon paprika

Instructions

Boil potatoes. Drain very well, and mash until smooth. I cook them in my pressure cooker, 10 minutes to pressure.

Sauté onions in oil, until brown, but not burnt.

Mix the onions and remaining oil to the potatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Put mixture into a greased pan. Sprinkle paprika on top.

Brush with enough oil so that the potatoes will brown. If you want the kugel to be shiny, brush with a beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Put in oven at 350°, and bake uncovered for one hour or until top is firm and light golden at edges.

Alternatives

8 oz. small mushroom, sliced

Sauté with onions. Mix half the sautéed mushrooms and onions with the potatoes.

Or

1 carrot

1/2 t. white pepper

1/4 t. turmeric

1 c. peas

1/3 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Sauté with onions. Mix half the vegetables with the potatoes.

Or

Use leeks instead of onions and add nutmeg

1/3 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Or 

add sautéed zucchini with tomatoes, garlic and basil.

To assemble:

Mix half of the sautéed onions and vegetables with the mashed potatoes. If you notice that it is too liquidly, add 2 beaten eggs.

Place half the mashed potatoes into a greased pan. Layer the rest of the sautéed vegetables on top. Then layer the remaining mashed potato mixture on top.

Smooth top of potatoes and sprinkle with paprika.

Brush with enough oil so that the potatoes will brown. If you want the kugel to be shiny, brush with a beaten egg, and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Put in oven at 350°, and bake uncovered for one hour or until top is firm and light golden at edges.

This is not for the time challenged, but it also works:

I have made a tricolor vegetable kugel, using mashed sweet potatoes or butternut squash and sautéed kale with garlic as the middle layer. It is beautiful and delicious, but too time consuming!

This simple recipe can become an opportunity to be creative and make something delicious and unique.

This week’s kulinary kugel kronicle:

So this week I made the kugel with the onions that were cooked with the chicken and added fresh sliced mushrooms.

I only made this with a 5 potatoes, since I wasn’t sure that it would work out. Since I used so small an amount, I used 1 egg only.

I felt inspired to take pictures of the process, since I have never done this before.

Then I mixed some of the vegetables with the mashed potatoes. I put half the potatoes in the pan. I added some more of the vegetables on top and then put the rest of the mashed potatoes on top. I covered it with some oil and then sprinkled paprika on top.

This was the final product:

Raizel liked it so much, that she ate it right out of the pan. It was a good thing that I took the pictures, because it was gone by Friday night.

  
Raizel said: “This is soooooooo good!….Yum!”

Carrot Kugelettes

I haven’t made this in years, but I wanted to use up my extra carrots. This is a very flexible recipe and they are good hot or cold.

Ingredients 

3 onions, chopped 

Oil for sautéing 

3 lbs carrots 

1/2 cup sugar 

1/4 – 1/3 cup flour, potato or tapioca starch

3-4 eggs

1 teaspoon salt 

Pepper to taste

Instructions 

Heat oil in pan and sauté onions. Slice carrots into circles or rounds and add them to pan. Cover and steam until soft.

Add sugar, eggs, flour, salt and pepper and mix well. 

Bake at 350*F oven in greased muffin tin until done.

This can be baked in regular oblong pan, but the carrots do not slice as well. If using a larger pan, coarsely grate carrots rather than slicing in circles.

  

Raizel ate 3 fresh out of the oven. She said, “they are scrumptious!”

Cauliflower/ Broccoli  and Mushroom Quiche

This is great with leftover steamed or frozen cauliflower or broccoli. I use fresh mushrooms but in a pinch, canned mushrooms can be used.

Ingredients 

2 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup of mayonnaise 

1 tablespoon flour/potato starch/tapioca flour

4 eggs

Salt, pepper, onion powder to taste, paprika to sprinkle on top.

1/2 cup water or broth

8 oz mushrooms 

16 oz frozen or fresh cauliflower or broccoli 

Instructions 

Place vegetables in a greased 9×13 pan. Whisk together oil, eggs, mayonnaise, water, spices. Adjust seasonings and pour over vegetables. Sprinkle paprika on top for color.

Bake at 350*F oven for approximately 40 minutes or until set.

This recipe is very flexible. I made it unexpectedly today, as I found leftover broccoli that I wanted to use up. 

Changes:

I ran out of onion powder, so I used garlic powder and garlic salt. 

And, I didn’t have any mushrooms so, it is just a broccoli quiche.

I also didn’t use paprika. Since broccoli is green, I didn’t think it needed the extra color.

Here are the before and after pictures:

   
 
Enjoy!

DIY Kiddush — Potato Kugel

This is the potato kugel recipe that I use. It is slightly different than Lila’s but also always a hit.

Since it does not contain bread or flour, it is gluten free and I make it all year long.

For the Kiddush, we served potato kugel. I made 3 and my friend Lila made 2.

We had almost nothing left over.

Ingredients

10 potatoes (about 5 lbs)
2 onions
7 eggs
2/3 cups oil
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 t pepper (or more to taste)

Instructions

Preheat oil in 9X13 pan in a 425*F oven.
Wisk together the eggs, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Peel and chop potatoes and onions and grate in a food processor.

Mix all the ingredients together quickly and pour into pan with preheated oil.

Bake in 425*F oven until done and golden brown.

Enjoy!

Here is the picture: