I received my mother’s whisk photo and story in the mail. How refreshing in this age of technology! I hope this warms your heart as it does mine. I also shared one of my favorite recipes from her collection. Enjoy!

Memories of Home and Holidays

Ione M. (Kosbab) Dixon

My passion for cooking comes from my Midwest ties and upbringing that offered varieties of ethnic foods enjoyed at home and shared with family and friends.

My mother offered Corn Flake Chicken before I moved to Battle Creek, Michigan. She was famous for her noodle and tomato entre called “worms”. A favorite holiday presentation of a whole cauliflower with cooked broccoli surrounding it and topped with cream of shrimp soup. Some family members recall that our vegetables were cooked to death at times.

Dad took over the kitchen on occasional Saturdays stirring up kraut and pork, soups and even tried his luck at canning Hungarian peppers. I think this is why Carol enjoys the burn of Tex-Mex dishes.

Christmas usually featured roast goose and red cabbage and I have picked up on baking a Norwegian Christmas bread called Jule Kake filled with the addition of ground cardamom seed — so good!

I suspect many of us increased our cooking talents after marriage and hopefully included the children and husband with preparation too. Now married to Bob after 10 years, we have entertained extended family and friends, grandchildren and grand dogs in our newest home with a kitchen larger, more convenient and welcoming. I probably have a “whisk deficit” in my kitchen but I use it often I treasure it because it was a gift from my sister Karen who was such a good cook with a great sense of humor.

I am so proud of you Carol and your success in teaching basic cooking skills and techniques to young and old. We have been sharing recipes and embellishing them to our personal tastes.

And did I mention I also enjoy eating out?

Love you, Mom


Mom’s Famous Dinner Rolls

I’m very happy and proud to bring you this recipe from my mom’s personal collection. She entered these rolls in the Calhoun County Fair one year and won first place. Thanks mom!

1 cup milk

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees F)

2 packages (or 5 teaspoons) active dry yeast

pinch of sugar to feed the yeast

2 eggs, lightly beaten

5 to 6 cups bread flour, divided use

Melted butter to brush over rolls

Scald the milk (this means low heat–do not boil)

Stir in the butter, sugar and salt. Cool this mixture to warm (105 – 115 degrees F).

Put warm water in a bowl. Sprinkle yeast on top, add a pinch of sugar, and stir to dissolve. Let stand 5 minutes. It should foam slightly and have a “yeasty” aroma.

Combine warm milk mixture, yeast/water mixture, eggs and 4 cups of flour in a large bowl. Using a large wooden spoon or electric stand mixer, beat until smooth.

Stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured board or counter and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turn to cover entire surface. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down, then let it rests 5 minutes. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Divide each part into 6 pieces and form each into a roll by smoothing between your hands or tucking the outsides in and under itself. Place the rolls into four lightly greased round baking pans, leaving a little space around each roll. Cover and let rise 30 minutes. Brush the top of each roll carefully with melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden. Makes 24 award-winning rolls!



Welcome to the Whisk Movement by Cookin’ with Carol

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

My whisk movement was inspired from a gift from one of my first cooking class students Cindy Teczar. She started and continues my whisk collection, each one is treasured. She and her family and friends are very dear to me. In my career, the people I have met and the joy they bring have enriched my life!

My mother is my inspiration for pursuing a culinary career. Her excellence and art of cooking continue. The lessons I learn in her kitchen are priceless!

My late father often read the story of Barrington Bunny from Martin Bell’s short story in his book The Way of the Wolf to my sister and me. The passage about “a free gift with no strings attached. . . . . every gift that is given to anyone is given for a reason.” was my fuel for this movement and blog site. To kick this off, my first featured post below is with the incomparable Graham Kerr. And my next post will feature my mother, Ione Dixon. Please follow and share my blog. Wishing you all the best on this special day!  Cheers, Carol Ritchie

Graham Kerr

whisk movement graham kerr

P.I.O.N.E.E.R. “Pass it on now with enthusiasm, eagerness and resilience”

It’s my longest acronym to date! I use it to urge us ‘foodies’ to pass on growing and eating to the next generation. As you are with your whisk…it’s a kind of baton!? Upstream on purpose! Graham


Three answers.

What was the start?

Cooking table side, a crepes Suzette, at my parents hotel for a young appreciative couple. I had a recipe that worked, a story to tell as I cooked and they ate it in the end and loved it enough to give me my first ever tip. The rest of my life seems to have galloped on from there!

Best tip.

The French term mis en place. Prepare and measure every single ingredient BEFORE you begin to cook!

Pass the whisk?

I call it the double benefit. Find a potentially harmful habit, reduce its portion size by 50% . Replace its vacated plate space with a beneficial plant that you enjoy and if you saved money then split the savings in half, use one half to upgrade your daily nourishment and give the other half to folks who are really making a difference in our sorry world. So far, over a 28 year period we have made a $105,000 saving and been able to give over $50K out of our food budget.

Works for us…we cover this and all the rest in our new book, ‘ Flash of Silver’ it’s out in November 2015

For more information, and to order his books, click here

Recipe by Graham Kerr

Recipe source: Reprinted with permission from Graham Kerr’s Growing at the Speed of Life, Copyright 2011 by the Treena and Graham Kerr Corporation. Published by Perigee Trade.



Our youngest daughter now has two daughters of her own and lots of reasons to get more vegetables into their young and vibrant lives Like so many of our neighbors, they wanted something they could make in a reasonable quantity to get ahead of the typical busy day, when, so often, the easy way out was a pizza.

I went looking in the fall season for a soup/stew base that could be frozen and nuked back to life in minutes, and then created a list of simple add-ons that took no time and created a sense of variety:

It worked for us and them, and now, I hope, for you.

When the vegetables are in season, this is also an example of good nutrition at a great price. When I tested this, not one of the enhanced soups cost more than $2.00 a portion!


1 1/2 pounds sweet onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice (save peelings)

2 ounces grated gingerroot (optional)

5 garlic cloves, crushed (optional)

1 1/2 pounds rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (save peelings)

1 1/2 pounds turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice (save peelings)

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (save peelings)

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice (save peelings)

1 1/2 pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice (save peelings)

8 ounces celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

8-ounces Swiss chard stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (yield 2 cups)

1 quart low-sodium vegetables stock

20 cups cold water

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons Greek Islands Ethmix (from Growing at the Speed of Life by Graham Kerr, page 287) this is optional

2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with water (slurry; only 1 teaspoon for each portion)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Salt to taste

Equipment: To cook a large amount at one time, you will need a 10-quart saucepan or stockpot (available through a restaurant supply business) and a large, heavy-based frying pan that’s at least 10 1/2 inches in diameter You’ll also need quart-size freezer bags.

First, thoroughly wash all the vegetable peelings and saute them lightly in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high in a large saucepan. Add the stock and 20 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook 30 minutes Strain the stock into jugs or bowls and discard the vegetable peelings into the compost. Taste the broth and add just enough salt to begin to make a difference.

Add to the frying pan 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the onions until just brown At this time, you can add the ginger and garlic.

Turn the onions into the large saucepan and set the heat on medium-low.

Now saute each of the following ingredients, one at a time, until just colored, and tip onto the onions, mix, and let cook together.

This is the order of addition: rutabagas, turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, celery, and chard stalks.

Simmer the vegetables in the stock and add spice mix. Test the carrots after 25 minutes; when they are tender, the rest will be just right.

When done, remove 1 quart of the cooking liquid to a smaller pan, and add the slurry and parsley. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 30 seconds, to clear the starch taste and thicken the stock. Pour this back into the main saucepan and stir well

Count 1 1/2 cups of the stew per head and add, if you wish, one of the following add-on garnishes. The remaining vegetables and their liquid can be spooned into 1-quart freezer bags, dated and quick-frozen for later use.

When defrosted and reheated, you will need to repeat the cornstarch thickening to regain the texture and gloss (1 teaspoon per portion is enough).

Add-on Garnishes

1. Red kidney beans—add 1/4 cup per serving

Per serving: 139 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 27 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 7 g dietary fiber, 274 mg sodium. Exchanges: 1 Starch, 2 Vegetable

2. Whole grains—cooked bulgur, quinoa, couscous, barley, or brown rice; add 1/2 cup per serving.

Per serving with brown rice: 194 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 40 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 90 mg sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch, 2 Vegetable

3. Garbanzo beans—add 1/4 cup cooked per serving.

Per serving: 157 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 31 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 7 g dietary fiber, 264 mg sodium. Exchanges: 1 Starch, 2 Vegetable

4. Dried fruit—cranberries, raisins, dates, figs, apricots, plums, apples. Add 1/4 cup per serving.

Per serving with raisins: 209 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 50 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 89 mg sodium. Exchanges: 2 Vegetable

5. Spices—cumin is especially nice, or try one   Ethmixes (from Growing at the Speed of Life by Graham Kerr on page 286)

6. Tofu—dice in 1-inch cubes, toss in brewer’s yeast, and saute; add 2 ounces per portion.

Per serving: 121 calories, 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 19 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 105 mg sodium. Exchanges: 2 Vegetable