Darla P. Jaros – The Kitchen Assistant

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

The Kitchen Assistant time & money saving tips in the kitchen, is my most recent book.

In this book, I give you a grocery list of items to always keep handy in the kitchen, recipes that utilize these ingredients, as well as 150 kitchen tips & techniques that will allow anyone to make a healthy ‘something-out-of-nothing’ meal in their own kitchen, even when it looks like the fridge is empty and the cupboards are bare. It’s a ‘one-stop’ book, packed with great information about foods & spices, their multiple uses, cost per meals, my own weight management system, and more… along with a complete metric conversion section to assist anyone across the globe who is interested in learning how to cook and save time and money in their kitchens.

Tell us something about yourself.

I was born in Detroit, MIchigan, raised my family in Wayne County, and currently live in Oakland County as an empty nester-well almost.

I’ve always made most of my meals from scratch, which I discovered was much easier on the grocery budget than buying the smaller packages of ready made foods, especially raising three growing children, one year apart in age, as a single parent, on one income. In the wake of the pre-made, pre-mixed, pre-measured, loaded with preservatives food industry…I also discovered that the art of making a healthy, ‘something-out-of-nothing’ meal has been lost to young adults over the past 30 years. I know this because my now 30 something children, who one day will cook for you :), were fixing these types of expensive, quick meals for me. I fortunately kept all my notes from 10th grade high school home economic classes, including tips and recipes, as well as those from a Cherokee & a Polish grandmother during my tight, financially hectic times and decided to put them into a word doc to share with each of them. On a whim I sent a copy to Tate Publishing Co., who I feel blessed to say, turned it into a beautiful, informative book that was released nationally 09-08-2009.

What inspired you to write this book?

My inspiration to write this book was my children. Much of this information, including a couple of the recipes, is 40 to 100 plus years old. I wanted them to have this knowledge and hopefully share it with furture generations of our family. When times get tough, the one room in a home where you can dramatically reduce your costs to save money for other expenses– is the kitchen. This book will teach anyone how to reduce their cost in the kitchen, and still turn out a healthy, tasty, meal for themself or their family.

How did you choose the title?

My youngest daughter Alicia came up with the title. She said this book is more like your own ‘personal’ assistant in the kitchen, so it became “The Kitchen Assistant”.

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

I really didn’t encounter any obstacles in regards to finding a publisher-and for this I feel truly blessed. I sent my manuscript to two publishing companys-one local in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and one to Tate Publishing in Oklahoma. I never heard from the Ann Arbor group, but Tate contacted me four weeks after I sent my manuscript to them, said they loved my ideas, concept, information.. and 15 months later it is now a beautiful, informative book that I can not only share with my family and friends, but anyone who wants to save money in the kitchen.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

I had no aspirations to become a writer, I only wanted to create a document loaded with family recipes, tip & techniques to help my kids not only learn to cook, but learn how to budget their money in the kitchen. On a whim I sent it to a couple of publishers…and the rest as they say-is history :)

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

What I have learned from writing this book and getting it published, is that this was almost the easy part. The hard part is getting people to notice it. Especially if you’re an ‘unknown’ author. You may think, or even know you have a great book, but the only way to convince others to buy it is to market it. Your publisher can only do so much to help this process, but the rest falls on the shoulder of the writer. My best advice to any writer is to create a business around their book, and run it as such. Create a market around your book, and your enthusiasm and belief in its content will sell it,

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I like to read suspense novels, but not necessarily those that are bloody and gorey. I like Dean Koontz writing and others like him.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

The 2nd edition of “The Kitchen Assistant’ is in the works. I have lots more time & money saving tips, food information, and recipes to share. The second edition will also include pics of some of the recipes I create in my kitchen each year. My mother always made this homemade chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe with fruit cocktail every year for the Holidays which I recently ran across. So look for it and many more recipes that use only a few, inexpensive ingredients to make a hearty, tasty meal.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

A little more advice I would give to other writers and getting their works published, is never give up first of all. I had many friends and family tell me I wouldn’t get anyone to look at my book. Good thing I didn’t listen to them! I would have tried the self-publishing route if necessary, but thank God again, I wasn’t forced to go this route. I’ve found out that self published books are rarely, if ever carried by the larger book stores. So definitely exhaust all efforts to find a publisher before going the self-publising route, as they will get you book in more stores and much more exposure.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

“The Kitchen Assistant” is a book that will appeal to anyone who is interested in learning how to cook healthy, nutricious meals on a tight budget…and will truly become a ‘personal assistant’ in the kitchen to anyone who owns a copy.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

To learn more about me, my book, purchase a signed copy of “The Kitchen Assistant”,and view upcoming events, please go to www.thekitchenassistant.net.

It’s also available at Borders & Books, Barnes & Noble, Amazon US & Japan, the Amazon Kindle, numerous virtual on-line bookstores, and was recently picked up by Costco’s to be carried in their 409+ stores nationwide.


  1. Tom Randall says

    Thank you for traveling that distance on a cold winter night to the Dewitt District Library on Wednesday February 9th. Really enjoyed the seminar, and as a tenor sax player, the jazzy entro on your website. Tommy R