elizabeth’s kugel – steals your heart away

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“All middle-income families use carbs to stretch meals, across any ethnic group –
whether it’s kugel or rice and beans or macaroni and cheese.” Al Roker 

Hi there,

My friend, Elizabeth, sent me this delightful story about her mother and her aunt. I wanted to share this with you along with the scrumptious recipe for Kugel.

I identify with Elizabeth’s mother having married into an Italian-American family as an outsider. And, I did the same thing as her. I cooked my way into my Father-in-law’s heart.

This is Elizabeth’s story in her own words:

We’ve all heard that the way to someone’s heart is through the stomach.  Well, that certainly held true for my mother, Elizabeth.  My paternal grandparents were Italian immigrants and weren’t too happy when my father told them he wanted to marry the German/Czechoslovakian girl he’d been dating.  So after my parents married in June of 1940, my mother decided the best way to get into her new mother-in-law’s good graces was with food – Italian food, and lots of it!  She enlisted the help of my Aunt Mary, who secretly shared my grandmother’s recipes with her, and proceeded to master every one of them:  tomato sauce (we never called it gravy), meatballs, manicotti, eggplant parmesan, chicken parmesan, veal marsala, stuffed breast of veal, pasta fajioli, lasagna, sausage and peppers, escarole and beans, stuffed calamari, ricotta cheese pie, ricotta cheese cookies, and Easter bread.  I could go on, but you get the picture.  The strategy was a huge success.  Eventually, in her broken English, my grandmother told my mother she was a better cook than some of her own daughters.  A loving relationship between them was formed and lasted until my grandmother’s passing at age 96.

Needless to say, my siblings and I grew up on plenty of delicious Italian food.  I loved it all.  But it was always a treat when my mother would prepare one of her family’s Eastern European dishes like stuffed cabbage, egg noodles and cabbage, sauerkraut with onions and caraway seeds, and perogies.  And my all-time favorite of these recipes from my mother’s heritage was kugel.  I am happy and most proud to share it with you here.



  • 1 lb of egg noodles – medium width
  • 8 eggs
  • 16 ounces of cottage cheese
  • 16 ounces of sour cream
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease 9 x 13 inch baking dish with butter
  3. Melt butter
  4. whisk eggs together in a large bowl
  5. Add sugar and mix well
  6. Stir in melted butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, vanilla. cinnamon, and salt
  7. Cook noodles according to package directions
  8. Drain and mix into egg & cheese mixture
  9. Transfer to prepared baking dish and smooth the top
  10. Bake uncovered for 60 to 70 minutes until eggs have set and top is brown.
  11. Let cool for 15 minutes, then serve

Special Note: Later in life my mother added a can of crushed pineapple to the mixture before baking. This can be served as a side dish or warm dessert.

I hope you have enjoyed meeting Elizabeth Anne and Mary as much as I have.

Talk soon, ❤️💕 Bernadette

28 responses to “elizabeth’s kugel – steals your heart away”

  1. Linda – I am a devoted wife and mother who loves to create delicious meals for my family and friends. I also love traveling, interior decorating and photography.
    Linda says:

    Great story! So true that good cooking can melt someone’s resistance away! The kugel sounds delicious 😋

      • Linda – I am a devoted wife and mother who loves to create delicious meals for my family and friends. I also love traveling, interior decorating and photography.
        Linda says:

        You too my friend 😊

  2. Darlene – British Columbia, Canada – Writer of children's stories, short stories and travel articles. https://twitter.com/#!/supermegawoman http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=201634059868404&id=631897250&ref=notif&notif_t=like#!/pages/Darlene-Foster-Writer/362236842733
    Darlene says:

    I was raised on Eastern European food for the most part. That kugel looks so good. I will be trying it soon. I made perogies recently but, although they were good, they just weren’t as good as mom’s and grandma’s. A great story too.

      • Darlene – British Columbia, Canada – Writer of children's stories, short stories and travel articles. https://twitter.com/#!/supermegawoman http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=201634059868404&id=631897250&ref=notif&notif_t=like#!/pages/Darlene-Foster-Writer/362236842733
        Darlene says:

        I´d be happy to share the perogies recipe. I actually meant I enjoyed Elizabeth´s story. But I probably have one to do with perogies as well.

  3. My mother was half German and we had lots of Sauerbraten, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, etc. but never Kugel. So, I had to refer to my “The German-Jewish Cookbook” (2017) and was amazed at the varieties and significance of this Shabbos dish. Your recipe looks and sounds delicious! The way to anyone’s heart is “through food”

    • OMG, I had completely forgotten about sauerbraten. You should share a recipe and a story about your mother. I would be happy to post it.

  4. Chen Song Ping @ TPTan – Chen S.P. enjoys pottery works, cartoons, painting and poems. She shares insightful experiences about being a carer for people with mental illness and cancer.
    Chen Song Ping @ TPTan says:

    A clever way to impress!

  5. Angie@Angie's Recipes – Angie's Recipes is an interactive blog dedicated to sharing yummy & creative recipes, helpful cooking hints and tips. Enjoy your visit and spread the word!
    Angie Schn says:

    The kugel looks so comforting and yummy. Thanks, Elizabeth, for sharing your family recipe with us!

  6. 💜 Men who put numbers after same names of progeny or ‘Snr’ and ‘Jnr’ could learn a lot from this; especially how to cook yummy meals 😋


      • 💜 Thank YOU!!! for YOUR!!! Kind, Supportive Words SupaSoulSis; it’s a Pleasure to Share and Serve ,Stay Strong and Serene


  7. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, chocolate, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. I cook from scratch, and try not to use anything that has ingredients I cannot pronounce! After many years of daily serving up local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most full-fat dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies, and I try to educated myself about our food sources! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    Thank you for sharing the story! And I love the tradition of the names.

  8. the Painted Apron – Life is all about creativity for me, as long as I'm creating something I am happy! I hope I will inspire your daily life and give you ideas for your own wonderful creations!
    the Painted Apron says:

    What a wonderful story and a simple delicious recipe! My husbands parents were full German, and my MIL was a terrible cook, so I had no trouble winning my father in law over with my cooking, but she never really liked me until her later years …

  9. Karen – New England – I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.
    Karen says:

    What a delightful story and a delicious sounding dish.

  10. My mother’s parents immigrated to the US from Slovakia. My aunt Helen married an Italian guy, and she became a truly awesome master of Italian cooking. I’m not sure what her mother-in-law thought about her cooking, as I was too young to be aware of anything like that while the elder lady was alive, but everyone else certainly was impressed.

    No one in our family ever made kugel, though. Stuffed cabbage, cabbage and noodles, pirohi and kolachi, for sure.

    • Thanks for taking the time to share your story about your Aunt Helen. If you ever want to share a story and a recipe, I would be happy to have it and post it.

  11. Angela – New England-born, Pennsylvania raised, fervent Italian-American, I'm a reader/writer/editor and lover of family, travel, food, and wine, and Enzo, our slightly oversized but otherwise textbook Maltese. My husband's a concrete sequential Leo and I’m a daydreaming Pisces, which makes daily life just a bit more interesting.
    Angela says:

    Beautiful story. I’ve never made kugel, but I love it.

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