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As with all things, my writing is usually geared toward what is happening in my life-this week is certainly no exception!  My grandsons arrived last night and will stay for a few days.  When they leave, I'll be off on a one day speaking engagement and then off for the weekend for a family event.  

So this is a warning-no Friday posting!  Today is it for the week.  Since I've got my favorite little guys here, this week we're talking about kid-friendly meals.  Last week we already had some foods-meatloaf in particular.

What are some of my grandsons' favorites?  Dylan, our older bundle of joy, loves carbs-not that our blue-eyed wonder Aidan doesn't, but he's a real meat lover, like his grandpa.  So this week, we're going to be having noodle kugel (pudding)-one pan, 12 servings, so I don't have to worry about the starch.  I'll be putting chicken thighs on the grill, turkey sliders (complete with restaurant plastic baskets for added fun), candied carrots (both kids love these), oatmeal at breakfast with bananas and strawberries and snacks of string cheese, peanut butter and cherry jam sandwiches and apples served with yogurt dip.  

For fun, I'm sure I'll Google some edible play-doh, essentially peanut butter, honey and powdered skim milk.  I think they'll also enjoy doing some edible collages.  These are a lot of fun for little ones!  Graham crackers form the canvas and then give them little dishes of raisins, dried cranberries, shredded coconut, and chocolate/peanut butter chips.  The "paint"?  Give the kids some plastic knives and some peanut butter.  When I ran a pre-school/day care, sometimes I was brave enough to give them the option of marshmallow crème!  But any nut butter tastes great and lets the kids get involved and try foods they may not ordinarily try.  Even dried apples, pears, apricots and M & M's!

With kids-keep the spices/herbs low or non-existent.  Most children do not like to have a lot of extra flavors going on.  Have some ketchup, BBQ sauce or teriyaki on the sides to use as dippers.  That is something most kids love to do.  

Back to the noodle pudding-this is one of those ethnic dishes that have as many recipes are there are cooks that make it!  No 2 are the same-and with me, every time I make it I do something different.

What is MY basic?  Being challenged in the dairy department and a bit of a "healthy-eating" nut, my kugel is less fatty and more nutritious than others I've eaten-but you'll get the general gist!

CARINE'S NON-DAIRY KUGEL

Oven set at 350 Pan Size 13×9 glass pan-sprayed with a butter-flavored release agent

Ingredients:

12 oz extra wide egg noodles
1 pkg firm tofu, drained in colander for at least 20 minutes
4 lg eggs
Soy milk
1tbsp pure vanilla
2/3 C sugar
2 tbsp margarine
½ lb of chopped dried fruit (I like to use a variety, but traditionally many people just use raisins)
½ C panko crumbs

Directions:

Cook noodles according to directions to the LEAST amount of time, remember this will bake for an hour or so and finish up in the oven.

Just as the water from the noodles comes to a boil-add the dried fruit (this will plump them up just right).
While the noodles are cooking, in a blender puree the tofu, eggs, vanilla, sugar, margarine and add just enough soy milk to make 5 cups of "custard".  When noodles and fruit are through cooking, drain well and put back into the pot.  Add the liquid mixture and combine thoroughly.

Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle panko crumbs evenly all over the top.  Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake another 10-15 minutes or until nicely golden on top.

This is delicious hot, warm or cold.  Because it has so much protein in it-you can serve it for breakfast without guilt as well.

Have a great week everyone and I'll be back next Monday.  Wish me luck!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Aug 12, 2009
    • I like Kugel. I haven’t had it since I was married to Steve Pinsky. His mom made both the sweet and savory varieties. We always had it during holiday time.

      You’ve brought up some good suggestions, carine. We have our 4 year old granddaughter more often these days. When I was watching her on a regular basis at around 1 1/2 and 2 she age everything I put in front of her. She loved broccoli, fish, chicken breast, homemade mac and cheese, fruit. She was easy to feed.  

      Now that she’s with other relatives she’s become a fast food lover and very picky. The only thing I can get her to eat at my house is pasta with pesto, chicken thighs, cheese, buttered noodles, peanut butter sandwiches and pizza. I make the pizza homemade and sneak in some of the whole wheat white flour so she’s non the wiser.

      Have fun with your little guys!! They are really cute, aren’t they?

      Maybe try and let them take some pizza dough and make their own little pizzas. Jazelle loves to put her toppings on. I let her stretch a little dough too and that’s a scream



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