elizabeth’s kugel – steals your heart away

“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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 💜 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


  4. 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 …

  5. 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.

Any comments or suggestions are appreciated. If you like this recipe, please give it to your friends.

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