The Kitchen Assistant Extra! 
                             Recipes, Tips & Techniques
           *Note: Add this information to the blank 'recipes or notes' pages in your book.

*I love all four seasons that Michigan offers, but summer has to
be my favorite because of all the locally grown fresh fruits &
vegetables. Pictured below is a typical 'summer' meal,
'southern' style, I prepare at least once every summer,
 complete with fried green tomatoes, fresh sliced
tomatoes, egg battered & sauteed yellow squash, home-made
cream corn, and in the center- white beans topped with a
sweet pickle and onion relish. YUM!
I didn't take a picture of this dessert before the family got a hold of disappeared too fast...but I will
the next time I make the mean time-if you make it, let me know if you think it should be in the next
edition of
The Kitchen Assistant.

Summer Berry/Fruit Pound Cake

2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs (room temp-see tip #31)
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup sour cream ( or 2/3 cup milk or water if no milk)
(using sour cream gives this cake a moist texture & richer flavor)
1 tsp vanilla

1-2 pints Fresh berries or
Fresh fruits

Cream butter & sugar together, then add eggs one at a time (mixing each thoroughly before adding the next),
 then add sour cream & vanilla (or wet ingredients), next add the dry ingredients. DO NOT overwork the batter,
just stir gently until all is blended. Pour into a greased & floured loaf pan and bake @ 325 degrees for about
1 1/4  to 1 1/2 hour or until toothpick or knife inserted in center comes out clean.

*I serve this cake with fresh berries or fruits, either warm or cold, with cool whip or ice cream, or just with the
berries and the cake. YUM!

Preparing warm berries or fruit: See kitchen tip #52 to start. Add about 1/2 cup water per cup of berries or
 fruit and stew (or cook on low heat) for about 10 minutes. Next add about 1-3 tablespoons maple syrup
(see kitchen tip #125) to sweeten (or 2 tablespoons sugar) if necessary. If using sugar, cook over low heat
until sugar dissolves-about 1-2 minutes more. Pour warm berries or fruit over pound cake. OMG Good! 


*Pictured below is the 'crepe' recipe already featured on page 35 in "The Kitchen Assistant", topped with
a "about to throw them out" fresh fruit compote

Fresh Fruit Compote featured>>

3 ripe bananas
red seedless grapes
1 pink grapefruit
2 oranges
1 cup water
1-2 Tablespoons maple syrup
(see Kitchen Tip #125,or your favorite sweetner)
1-2 teaspoons corn starch
(or ground oatmeal for thickening)

Peel, skin, harvest and 'chunk' cut all the good parts left of the fruits that have been around a bit too
long and put them into a pot large enough to accomodate them. Add the water, cover, and simmer on
low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes. (see Kitchen Tip #52) .Test for sweetness and thickness and add
sweetner & thickener one tablespoon or teaspoon at a time until it meets your taste. Serve warm compote
over crepes, dust with powdered sugar, and serve. YUM! If any is leftover, it can be refridgerated or
frozen for another crepe meal, or served warm over your favorite ice cream.

TIP: Grapes can also be frozen and used in this recipe or your used to make your own stove top grape jam.
 Look for this recipe in the second edition of The Kitchen Assistant!


This picture features the pizza dough recipe on page 88 of "The Kitchen Assistant". The recipe makes
dough for two pizza's that cost apprx. 31 cents each!

Tomato Cheese Pizza

1 pizza dough

1/2 can tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Prepare pizza dough according to recipe. Place dough 
on a cookie sheet or cooking stone (shown here). Roll a
'ring' ledge around the dough to keep sauce from
running over the side. Add sauce, cheese (and any
other desired topping) and bake at 400 degrees
for about 15-20 minutes.

I made this pizza with ingredients I had leftover in my kitchen for my granddaughter. She loved it!
Kids seem to like things simple and tasty, and you can't beat the taste of home-made pizza. I add
a little maple syrup to the warm water I add to the yeast, which makes a sweeter dough.

I've also used this dough to make a BLT pizza, which will also be featured in the second edition
of The Kitchen Assistant.

This picture features one of the many varieties of quiche I make using the pie crust recipe from page 86
of The Kitchen Assistant. The recipe makes 2 crusts that cost apprx. 43 cents each and freezes easily.
This 'one-pan' meal is easy to make, healthy, and easy on the wallet. I love this recipe,
and contrary to what they say...
real men do eat quiche and love it too!

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche featured>>>

2 cups (apprx.) broccoli heads
6 eggs
3-4 cups milk (make up difference with water if
1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese
1 unbaked pie crust
Salt & pepper to taste

Make crust according to recipe, fit it to pie crust plate and flute the edge. To flute the edge, roll excess
dough in towards the center, then press and lightly pinch a section at a time using the thumb & index finger
of each hand all the way around the pie crust. You want it high enough to keep you mixture from over-flowing.
Layer the cheese evenly on the bottom of the crust first, then spread the brocoli over the cheese.

Prepare liquid mixture by first beating the eggs, next add the milk and spices and whisk or beat until
thoroughly mixed. Pour over broccoli and cheese and make sure all the vegetables are covered.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve it alone,
or with a side salad, and dinner is done! Look for more recipes
like these in the next edition of The Kitchen Assistant!

You can add just about anything you like to a quiche to make it tasty. Just layer them after the cheese and
enjoy! Some of the additional ingredients I add to my quiche is cooked maple flavored bacon (can you tell I
like the maple flavor?), or sauteed onions, red, green or yellow peppers, cooked carrots...just depends
on what's leftover in my kitchen. Experiment and enjoy!


The following pictures are from a recipe in "Play Time & Craft" section of The Kitchen Assistant, page 102.
I always mention during my Food Skills Workshops the fact that you can make a little $dough$ using
'dough'. Whether you're making dough to keep the kids busy on a rainy day---or you're making the dough to
help make some rainy day funds...get the whole family together and create some great memories too.

I always save ribbons, bows, buttons, beads, uncooked macaroni, etc., and toss them into a craft box
and let the kids 'have-at-it' whenever I made this dough recipe. I used cookie cutters to make my ornaments,
but if you're really talented, you can free-hand the dough into animal shapes, or whatever your imagination
can dream up-bake it, decorate it, and it's a sellable keepsake!

P.S....My oldest daughter from Atlanta helping me make & decorate the ornaments I display at my workshops...
hmmm..."you can take the girl out of Michigan---but you can't take
Michigan out of the girl"

MICHIGAN rocks!...and so do you Andrea!! Thanks for your all your you, mom


This featured recipe is Chicken & Kale Dumpling Soup. Kale is a little known, green, leafy vegetable that
is loaded with vitamins A, C, K, fiber, calcium, lutein, beta-carotene, and has many other healthy attributes.
It has a mild flavor and eating it raw will certainly maximize all of its nutritional benefits. If adding kale to a
salad, remove the leaves from the 'rib' and chop them into small pieces, as this vegetable does have a firm
texture and can be rough on the palate. But cooked kale has an amazing flavor and the longer it cooks, not
only is it smoother on the palate, but it seems to take on the creamy taste of butter. Paula Dean would love
this soup!  I added a couple of cooked, diced chicken breasts and homemade dumplings-which made it a
hearty, nutritional, inexpensive, one-pan meal that the kids will love, even if it looks a little green!

Chicken & Kale Dumpling Soup >>>


2 Bunches of Kale
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
2 1/2 quarts of water (20 cups, or 5 liters)
6 chickem bouillon cubes
(or 6 teaspoons or 3 tablespoons powdered variety)
Pepper to taste

Rinse kale and remove leaves from thick stems (or ribs),
and give them a rough chop and another good rinse in a
colander to make sure all the dirt is removed. Fill large soup pot with water and chicken bouillon, and heat
until dissloved. Add kale, cover pot, and reduce heat to simmer while you prepare dumplings. Stir
occasionally as kale will shrink as it cooks.

Home Made Dumplings

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
4-5 tablespoons butter (very cold) or 4-5 tablespoons shortening or lard (very cold)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 to 3/4 cold milk, or buttermilk (see Food Equivalents, page 177 to make your own)

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry
ingredients and break up cold butter or shortening using 2 knives in a scissors fashion. Continue
mixing the cold fats with the dry ingredients until mixture resemble crumbles. Add very cold milk
(or buttermilk) 1 tablespoon at a time to this mixture, and fold dough gently with a wooden spoon until
a soft dough ball is formed and not sticky. DO NOT KNEAD the dough, as this will result in tough,
chewy dumplings. Place you dough ball on a floured surface, press out with your hands until it's
about a half inch in thickness, cut in long slices, then cut those long slices into bite size pieces, and
they are ready to be cooked.

TIP:Using a wooden spoon instead of your hands to mix the dough will result in a softer, fluffy dumpling as
 your warm hands won't break down the fat.

To Bring it All Together:

Bring the soup to a mild boil. Drop the dumplings, one at a time, into the boiling soup, and separate each with
a wooden spoon as they will float to the top when they are done, so you'll need to move them aside to add
more dumplings. Once all the dumplings have been added to the soup, remove pot from heat, cover and let
soup rest for about 5 minutes to allow the last dumplings added to thoroughly cook. Adding the chicken can
be done a couple of ways. It can be added directly to the soup pot after the 5 minute resting period, or
portions of it can be added to each bowl first and then ladle the kale & dumpling soup over it. Either way,
it's a great, tasty, hearty soup on a snowy or rainy day. Enjoy!


I came across this recipe tucked away in another of my many cookbooks on a piece of notebook paper. I have
no idea where or when I got it, but I know I hadn't made it in years, so I decided to make it and 'test' it on
unexpected guests who were coming to visit near dinner time recently. It uses a box cake mix, any number
of different ingredients you can substitute if you don't have one or the other, easy to mix, one pan, cooks in
less than 15 minutes-so I gave it a go.  Obviously this pan cookie was a big hit because it earned a spot on
this page. I did manage to send some home with my guests, and planned to share the rest with my neighbors
(who I also use to test my recipes ) ...ah...that never happened. You know that only saying .....
"never trust a skinny cook"? ... well that's my story and I stickin' to it.
These bar cookies are delicious, quick, & easy to make, will surely impress expected or unexpected guests...
..and the kids will love them too. Enjoy!

Chocolate Drizzle Oatmeal Walnut Cookie Bar .>>>>
1/2 cup softened butter
2 eggs (beaten)
1 yellow or white box cake mix
2/3 cup quick cook oatmeal
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (see page 159)
1/2 cup butterscotch morsels

Chocolate Drizzle
1/4 -1/2 cup chocolate morsels
1 to 1-1/2 tablespoon light Caro Syrup

In a double-boiler or 2 pots. One that's smaller and fits
in the larger is what I use. Fill the larger pot with water.
Set the smaller pot in the larger and make sure the
smaller pot touches the water but the water doesn't overflow. Add chocolate morsels and Caro syrup to
the smaller pot. Bring the water in the bottom pot to a boil and stir chocolate mixture constantly until
it melts. Start making your 'drizzle' after the cookie comes out of the oven, as it hardens quickly. You 
may need to add your smaller pot back to the larger pot of boiling water to keep your drizzle from hardening
before your finished.

Tip:This is a great 'drizzle' for brownies, will turn an ordinary bag of pretzels into extrodinary, drizzle on fruits,
coffee cake--its uses are endless, and it's so easy! 

Making the Cookie:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet with
cooking spray oil, or use shortening to generously grease
pan. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Batter will be thick.
Dump mixture into the center of the pan, generously
butter your hands and proceed to spread the batter evenly
to all four corners of the pan. Bake in middle rack of oven until edges of cookie bar lightly brown.
Drizzle melted chocolate mix over cookie bar while it's still warm. Cool for about 10-15 minutes,
then enjoy!

TIP:I used a pizza cutter to evenly slice the cookie bars-the right 'tool' in the kitchen does
make life easier sometimes.

Variations to this recipe: Substitute 1/2 cup butter for 1/2 cup peanut butter///substitute yellow or white
cake mix for chocolate (with the peanut butter-yum!)///substitute the walnuts with your favorite variety of nut-or
leave them out///substitute the butterscotch morsels for heath bits, chococlate chips, or chopped up left-over
Halloween Candy bars.


                             SUMMER BBQ Eats

I love summer! The best part is slow cooking a few slabs of ribs to perfection
and watching my friends and family enjoy eating them! Doesn't get any
better than this! The above is the meal I served on a 98 degree F. day!  Dry-rubbed
Cola Baby Back Ribs, with grilled squash, home-made baked beans, and watermelon.
Watermelon is loaded with lots of liquid and is a great side dish on a hot, summer day!
I sliced & grilled a couple of varieties of squash drizzled with olive oil and herbs, s
served them with the ribs that fell off the bone, the baked beans and melon! YUM!! 


1 liter of Cola
1 cup dry rub mix (reserve three tablespoons for the glaze)
3 slabs Baby Back Ribs (or your favorite variety)
Cola glazed(reduced)

8 to 24 hours before, place thawed ribs in ziplock bags or large pan and cover with Cola,
about 1/2 the liter. Keep at least 24 ozs for the glaze. 
Rotate ribs often to marinate both sides during this time and refridgerate.
(I discard this marinating Cola afterwards)

Dry rub both sides of the ribs before you're ready to grill-reserving 3 tablespoons for the glaze.
I have four burners on my grill and turn them all on high to ready my grill. I turn them all down 
to med-low and then sear the ribs on both side for 5-8 minutes. I then turn off the center two
burners, and turn the outer two burners to low. I then stack my ribs on top of each other in the
center of the grill and rotate their position in the stack throughout the day. Three stacks will take
5-6 hours to slow cook, and are worth the wait. They are done when a knife inserted between
the bones nearly take the meat off the bone! Turn off the grill, separate the ribs and apply the
glaze on both sides and close the lid of grill. Remove them from the grill then cut. I cut them
per each bone as pictured above. They are OMG Good! ENJOY!

NOTE:*The dry rub I use depends on what's in my cupboards at the time I make these ribs.

Dry Rub Ingredients
1/4 cup McCormick Grill Mates Pork & Rib Rub
1/4 cup Weber Smokey Mesquite 
1/2 cup Durkee Grill Creations

Mix all ingredients together-reserve 3 tablespoons for glaze-and rub both sides of ribs with
the rest.

Cola Glaze Ingredients:
24 ounces of Cola
3 tablespoons dry rub mix
1 cup brown sugar
1-2 Tablespoons Vinegar (optional)

Combine all the ingredients and bring to a low boil on stove. Continue to boil & stir until mixture
reduces to a thin syrup consistancy, about 20 to 30 minutes, so it's best to start about 1 hour
before ribs are done if it's your first time making the glaze. It will burn fast, so don't walk away
from it unless you turn the heat down low! It will thicken more as it cools, so this is the best
consistancy to use to glaze your ribs. In regards to including vinegar in this glaze, I left it out
this last time and actually liked the ribs more, as the vinegar ads just a tiny bit of 'tart' or 'zing'
and without the result was a mild spicy, slightly sweet flavor that was an absolute hit. Try it
both ways and BLOG about it!


Home-Made Baked Beans

1 bag dry Great Northern Beans-cooked per package and slow for about 4-6 hours
2 cups brown sugar
3-4 slices maple flavored bacon
1 large onion
1 stick butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup pinapple (optional)

I talk about how easy it is to make your own homemade baked beans in my Food Skill
Workshops. I make them every year for my BBQ gatherings and they are always a
HUGE hit. I use GREAT NORTHERN dry white beans, because they have a mild
flavor and you can make them taste like anything-even tacos! The trick to cooking any pot
of beans is low & slow. See tip# 71 in The Kitchen Assistant Cookbook for more details.
Cook beans according to package. Drain beans and KEEP the bean liquid! You'll use this
to re-hydrate your baked beans as they cook. This liguid is also great for making re-fried
beans, add to a pot roast to make gravy, or add spices & butter to make into a sauce-it's
uses are endless and it loaded with lots of protein too!

Add cooked beans to large pan. Add brown sugar, maple syrup, ketchup and cut up
pineapple to beans and mix well. Sautee onions and bacon in butter until bacon is brown
and onions are translucent. Add to bean mixture and bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.

I transfer a small amount of beans to a crock pot outside to keep them warm for serving.
The heat tends to dry them out a bit, but I just stir in more bean liquid and they are good to
the last bean! Once you've made these beans, you'll never buy canned variety again!

NOTE:*I made a pineapple upside down cake for this gathering and had 3 rings of pineapple
left over that I added to the beans. Nothing goes to waste in my kitchen!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake--baked in an Iron Skillet
1 yellow or white cake mix - make according to package-I use pineapple juice from rings
                                               mixed with water to make up the liquid called for on the box.
1 can pineapple rings
7-11 marachino cherries
1/2 to 3/4 cup of brown sugar

In iron skillet, layer brown sugar on bottom. Arrange pineapple rings next, then cherries. Pour
prepared cake mix on top and bake in 350 degree pre-heated oven for about 25 minutes or
until toothpick insert in center comes out clean. Immediately place cake plate on over iron
skillet, flip the skillet over and the result is a picture perfect Pineapple Upside Down Cake!


One-Pan Pork Rib Dinner

This is another one pan meal you can throw in the oven and forget about for about 45 - 60
minutes while you get other chores done!

In the pot:

Pork Ribs (can use loin or rump too)
1 jar of sauerkraut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 acorn squash, halved & seeded
2 turnips, peeled & halved
1 small onion, roughly diced
3-4 carrots, peeled and chunked
(or just pork, kraut, & squash!)

Fill bottom of roasting pan with water (or bean liquid), place pork in center and each half of
squash on either end. Drain kraut and pour on top of pork. Sprinkle brone sugar on top of
kraut and in each half of squash. Place the rest of the raw vegetable around the pork, cover
with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Take the foil off and serve.
Hearty meal & easy clean-up!


These carrot bread mini muffins are a hit with kids of all ages! It's a great muffin to make for
school events...and healthy too...just don't tell the kids! I made these for a Halloween party,
topped them with a swirl of cream cheese icing and finished them off with pumpkin candies.
This recipe is on page 58 of The Kitchen Assistant Cookbook. I also make a loaf of carrot
bread often and serve it with my pork meals! Yum!