Rebekah Lyn's Kitchen

Come have a cup of coffee

Birthdays and Markets August 29, 2014

Filed under: Fresh Foods,Family — itsrebekahlyn @ 7:27 AM
Tags: , , , , ,

Birthday cake

Sunday was my mom’s birthday so I flew to North Carolina to spend the weekend with her. The moment I stepped outside the airport I was welcomed by a cool breeze and the fresh, woodsy scent that always makes me smile and fills my heart with peace. I inhaled deeply while I waited for mom and dad to arrive from the nearby McDonalds and could feel the muscles in my body unwinding.

 

There weren’t any real plans for the weekend, but I was looking forward to visitng the Farmer’s Market Saturday morning. I was delighted to find out it was customer appreciation day and there were tons of free samples- garlic cloves, organic coffee, pastries, homemade pesto, homemade soaps, there was even a chance to win $200 worth of fresh produce and a fresh pie of our choosing. Sadly we didn’t win.

 

My own hometown has been trying to get a farmer’s market off the ground, but with only one produce vendor and a handful of other non-food related booths, it hasn’t gained much traction. This North Carolina market, though, it was what I always envisioned. Knots of people gathered between each booth to catch up the week’s events; multiple farmers with their fresh-picked crops; a table piled high with delicious-looking homemade bread that reminded me of a scene from a French movie; a cooler with fresh, free-range chickens; a table of fresh pastries, a lady with homemade soaps and other bath products, and even flower vendors. We bought some ears of corner and a couple of huge tomatoes before wandering into some nearby antique shops. Looking back now, I’m surprised that I can’t remember any sounds or smells and can only guess my eyes were so overwhelmed all of my other senses were dulled.

 

That evening I had a yummy tomato sandwhich, and was actually able to tell a difference between this tomato and those from my own garden. I had read that basil is an excellent companion plant and added one to my tomato area. There definitely is a difference.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Guest Post: Publishing 101 August 5, 2014

IMG_8272PCPV

 

My writing has brought some of the most generous and interesting people into my life, both virtually and in person. I think that may be my favorite perk of this adventure.  I was put in touch with author Brooke Williams through my dear friend DiVoran a couple of months ago and I’ve enjoyed learning more about her writing journey. Brooke was kind enough to be a hostess on my new release blog tour for Jessie and I am happy to introduce you to her today.

 

 

 

 

 

Publishing 101 – What You Should Know Before Becoming an Author

When I tell people I am an author, they think wow, how glamorous! You get to sit and make things up all day! In part, this is true. I DO get paid to make things up! However, it’s not the glamour most people would imagine.

 

There are a lot of other things that go into being an author outside of just writing. In fact, writing is just the beginning! Once you write the book, you then have to go back through and fix things…whether it’s grammar and punctuation or holes in the plot or both! Then you have to find either an agent to represent the book or a publisher to publish it. If you go the self-publishing route, you have to think about cover design and format and all of those details on your own.

 

Skipping ahead, once you have things set up and you’re ready to move forward with the publishing aspects, you have to think about your audience. It doesn’t matter if you have written the best book ever, if no one knows you, no one will read it. You have to network, get to know other authors, build a public persona and platform. Today, a lot of that can be done online by creating facebook and other author pages and talking with other authors. Just forming relationships.

 

Marketing is one of the hardest parts about being an author. If you want to continue to write, you need your books to do well or getting them out there will be a moot point. You’ll need a nice author photograph and bio and any and all ideas you might have in your head on how to get the word out about the book.

 

While many people who are not authors or who have not made it very far yet think that writing the book is the beginning and the end to the “author story,” they couldn’t be farther off from the truth. The book is the beginning. It might be the most fun, but it’s just the start. There are so many books out there today that authors have to work just as hard, if not harder than they did on the book in order to get word out about the book.

 

It is also a misconception that if authors sell a book for $15 or whatever the price is that that is what they make. Even a self-published author does not make the full price of the book with every sale. Authors with publishers make even less per sale because the publisher gets a cut for all they have done in the process. It takes lots and lots of sales to make a living. Many authors do it more as a hobby or a small side supplement to their real jobs.

 

All that being said, if you’re thinking of becoming an author, all you need to have is a passion for writing. If you have that passion and nothing else satisfies it, you don’t have a choice! You have to become an author. That’s what happened to me! I spent 12 years in radio and I enjoyed some aspects of it. But when my first daughter was born and I left my full time job to stay home I realized that salycoverthere was something else out there that I’d rather do…write! My only regret about my past career was that I did not leave it sooner to pursue writing. I am grateful to my daughter for forcing me to consider my options!

 

 

“Someone Always Loves You” is the first book I ever wrote. I wrote it because the characters that formed in my head bugged me to get them out onto paper. They wouldn’t leave me alone! The story is emotional and has more twists and turns than even I can describe. My goal with this book is that readers enjoy it even half as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you want to be an author, read this book and see where it takes you. If you enjoy reading family dramas with tinges of romance and plenty of questions and answers, this book might be for you as well.

 

I hope you learned a little bit about what it takes to be an author. It’s not a job anyone could, or at least should do, without a huge level of love for writing. If you have that, keep at it!

 

About Brooke

Brooke Williams is an award-winning author and freelance writer. She began her career in radio, both on the air and behind the scenes. She did a brief stint in TV news and then took on her most challenging job as a stay at home mom. During the few quiet hours in her day, Brooke writes articles for a number of clients as well as fiction creations such as “Someone Always Loved You.” Brooke has also written “Beyond the Bars,” a thriller, “God in the Kitchen,” a Christian novel, and “Taxi Delivery,” a Christian Romance. Brooke looks forward to the December 9th release of “Wrong Place, Right Time,” a romantic comedy and the February 2015 release of “Accept this Dandelion” inspired by the Bachelor TV show. Brooke has been married to her husband Sean since 2002 and has two daughters, Kaelyn and Sadie.

If you’d like to learn more about Brooke you can find her on:

Website:

http://www.authorbrookewilliams.com/

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorBrookeWilliams

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/151184.Brooke_Williams

Someone Always Loved You amazon link:

http://www.amazon.com/Someone-Always-Loved-Brooke-Williams-ebook/dp/B004H8GBYK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404240094&sr=8-1&keywords=someone+always+loved+you

Email:

authorbrookewilliams@gmail.com

 

 

A Week of Celebration July 25, 2014

Now available from your favorite book retailer

Now available from your favorite book retailer

The past week has been exhilirating and exhausting. My new book, Jessie, launched on July 16, in honor of the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11. I was fortunate enough to secure a slot on the Indie Books Show for my release weekend and had a wonderful chat with the host Will Wilson. You can download it from the archives if you missed it. I also participated in a blog tour July 16-19 and visited so many blogs I lost count. It was fun to share excerpts and talk about the book to so many different people around the world.

 

My fabulous Assistant Publicist, Pam, came up with an idea to do a giveaway through some of our local restaurants the weekend of the launch. Pam called me in a panic when four of the restaurants she’d approached all called back and said they were interested only five days before the launch date. A flurry of emails flew back and forth as we designed posters, entry tickets, and menu inserts. We became regulars at our Staples copy center over the next couple of days. Many thanks to the owners of Caffe Chocolat, Dixie Crossroads, Louis’ BBQ Shack, and Shiloh’s Steak & Seafood for your wonderful support.

 

One of the most exciting and completely unexpected things that happened during this time though was an opportunity to be a part of #NASASocial, which is a program to provide opportunities for NASA’s social media followers to learn and share information about NASA’s missions, people, and programs.

 

On the evening of July 14 my mom sent me an email about an event being held at Kennedy Space Center to rename the Operations and Checkout Building in honor of Neil Armstrong, who passed away in 2012. I was already in bed, checking mail on my iPad, but I clicked the link and filled out the application. Almost exactly 48 hours later I received an email saying I’d made the first round of approvals. I then had to go through some more forms and several more layers of approvals. Then on July 18, after I finished my interview on the Indie Books Show, I checked my email and found I had officially been approved. I was estatic!

 

The event included Neil Armstrongs fellow astronauts from the Apollo 11 mission, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins as well as Jim Lovell of Apollo 13 fame, and two of Amstrongs sons, Mark & Rick. The event was held in one of the hangers originally used to prepare the Apollo capsules, which is now being used to prepare the new Orion capsule. Another section of the building is used for astronaut barracks, which I read a lot about in my research. The history in that building is inspiring. If only those walls could talk.

 

There were 23 other social media reporters along with me, and we snaked our way through the growing crowd closer and closer to the front of the room. We jostled with members of the traditional media for places where we could see past all of the NASA TV cameras. I was excited to see one of my friends from church working one of those cameras. Seeing a familiar face helped calm my racing heart.

 

Our @NASASocial leader, slowly moved us to better positions and I found myself pulled out of the tightening clutch of bodies and placed on a dias to the side of the stage with four or five others. I may not have had the front on view, but I was only ten or fifteen feet from three astronauts that I had come to respect in an entirely new way through all of my research. Of all the speakers, I think Michael Collins was my favorite. He was hilarious. If you have some free time, you can watch the entire ceremony here.

 

After the ceremony we had a break for lunch then went on a tour of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). The building is 524 feet tall and divided into four high bays and a transfer aisle. My dad worked in all four of the high bays at one time or another and I had a chance to visit one in 2008. Then the Space Shuttle Atlantis was in the bay being prepared for another launch. Now, three of the bays have been stripped down to their bare bones and all of the Apollo era offices are being demolished. On this visit I had a chance to go to the 35th and 16th floors for a view down into all four bays, and a closer look at the cranes used to lift the space craft from the processing bay to the transfer aisle so they could be rolled out to the launch pad. It never occurred to me that the vehicle needed to be lifted and moved from one side of the building to the center in order to exit through the tall doors.

 

I was sad to see the Space Shuttle program come to an end and believe it was put to rest too early, but I hope  we will continue to explore space. The support of the country during the early days of the space program was key in the incredible progress that was made. I hope my book will inspire a new generation to reach for the stars and seek to go even farther.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Launch Celebration July 17, 2014

Blog Tour Graphic Swirl

July and August are shaping up to be quite busy with the release of Jessie. Wendy at Fabulosity Reads put together a roundup of blogs offering author interviews, character interviews, excerpts, and reviews that will be posted July 16-18. Below is a list of the blogs you can visit and enter to win some great prizes.

Room with Books                     My Cultural Cocktails             Blazing Sword Faith Based Promotions            Effrosyni’s Blog
Deal Sharing Aunt                   You Are Victorious                  Lisa Day on the Web                                               Dormaine G
Sheila Bliss                               JGR Writer                                Words, Words, Words                                            The V Mirror
Michelle Lewis’ Blog              Mark Shearman’s Blog            Sue’s Reveals and Promotions                              Xhosa Chick On A Budget
Cheekypee Reads and Reviews

(more…)

 

Making Old Traditions New Again July 7, 2014

Available July 20. 2014

Available July 20. 2014

With Jessie finally written, edited, formatted, and awaiting launch on July 20, I have started research on my next book in the Seasons of Faith series. A new character began tickling my brain a few weeks ago. He’s a blues singer and I know virtually nothing about blues music so to the library I went.

I didn’t know what exactly to look for, but managed to find a couple of books to get me started. When I was working on Jessie I found simple biographies in the children’s section on Neil Armstrong and Gus Grissom that provided a quick snapshot of information. I found a children’s book on blues and jazz on this trip to the library and again, it gave me a good basic understanding of the roots of both genres and ideas on where to go from there. The next book I started reading was by George Mitchell, Blow my Blues Away. Mitchell’s book is a collection of interviews with African-Americans in the Mississippi Delta region compiled during the 1960s.

I only had time to read one interview before I had to return the book to the library, but I was struck by the discussion of working in the fields, mostly cotton, as well as the home garden, which provided most of the family’s food. As I read, I thought about how the settlers of America had to rely on their home gardens until towns grew and markets could be established. Through the years home gardens continued to fall by the way side and many traditions were lost.

Over the past ten years or so there has been a movement to organic foods and more people are tying to grow their own vegetables. Large cities have started community gardens and those with tiny balconies as well as those with small yards are doing container gardening. Do a search on urban gardening and you will find pages of websites with educational videos and how-to articles.

Papa in the Garden, Summer 1992

Papa in the Garden, Summer 1992

Grandma picking beans, Summer 1992

Grandma picking beans, Summer 1992

 

My grandparents had a garden that grew a bit every year. Even when my grandfather’s health was failing, he still spent time in his garden, perhaps remembering his youth in the fields of North Carolina.I’ve been trying my hand at gardening the past couple of years. I don’t quite have the green thumb by grandparents did, but I am learning.

 

Last weekend I took some of my fresh tomatoes to a friends’ house and taught them how to make and can salsa. It made me feel closer to my roots, sharing an old practice that is being made new again.

Salsa in the making

Salsa in the making

Sharing old traditions

Sharing old traditions

 

Fathers and Firearms June 16, 2014

Filed under: Family — itsrebekahlyn @ 7:52 AM
Tags: , , , ,

How did you spend your Father’s Day? Mine was pretty low key since I was wiped out after a long day in the sun promoting my books at the Sea Turtle Festival on Saturday, but my dad and I had the chance to spend some quality time together a few days earlier.

 

Wednesday we spent the afternoon touring the private collection of firearms, military vehicles, and even tanks housed at Knight’s Knight's LogoArmament. It may sound like an odd outing for a father and daughter, but he and I have been watching war movies since I was a little kid and until the personal drama took over the show, we enjoyed watching Sons of Guns, marveling at some of the projects the little shop in Louisiana took on. (more…)

 

Orange Cake for Easter April 21, 2014

Filed under: Baking,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 9:30 AM
Tags: , , , , , ,

I was in the grocery store this weekend, forgetting how crazy the stores are the day before a holiday. I’m a precision shopper. I know what I want and 98% of the time I know exactly where it is so I can get in and out quickly. Unfortunately, most of the other shoppers I encountered on Saturday had no idea what they wanted and they clogged the aisles as they read labels or studied the shelves. I waited patiently behind one woman whose cart was parked on one side of the aisle while she stood in the middle of the aisle reading the label on a bottle of maple syrup. Then two other women came flying past, nearly running over the label reader and narrowly missing a large stock cart.

 

Every aisle was like a lane of traffic during rush hour, carts parked or crawling at turtle-like speeds. All of the chaos made me forget the only two ingredients, buttermilk and orange extract, I actually needed to make the mini Bundt cakes I had planned to make for Easter. Fortunately, I was able to stop at a less crowded store and pick up the buttermilk and I managed to make fresh squeezed orange juice work for the orange extract. Knowing the stores would be closed on Sunday in honor of Easter was the only thing that made all of the congestion bearable. I’m happy to support businesses that recognize the importance of honoring such an important day.

 

With my family all out of state, I was grateful to be invited over to a friends’ house for dinner to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. My small contribution to the meal was dessert, Orange Mini Bundt Cakes from the May/June issue of Tea Time.

 

 

Orange Mini Bundt Cakes

Makes 10-18 cakes

Depending on the size of your pans

 

1½ cps plus 3 tablespoons sifted cake flour

Orange Mini Bundt Cakes with Confectioners' Sugar

Orange Mini Bundt Cakes with Confectioners’ Sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup salted butter, softened

1 ¼ cups sugar

¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons fresh orange zest

1 teaspoon orange extract

½ cup whole buttermilk

Garnish: Confectioners’ sugar

 

*Preheat oven to 325 degrees

*Spray 2 (12 well) mini Bundt cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour

(I used two 6 well pans and the batter filled 10)

*In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda, whisking well. Set aside.

*In a large bowl, combine butter and sugars. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add orange zest and orange extract, beating to combine.

*Add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternately with buttermilk, beating at low speed until incorporated. Divide batter evenly among wells of prepared pans. Tap pans on countertop to level batter and reduce air bubbles.

*Bake unit cakes are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, approximately 20 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling racks, and let cool completely.

*Before service, garnish cakes with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

 

6 well mini Bundt pan

6 well mini Bundt pan

Make-ahead tip: Cakes can be made a week in advance and frozen in an airtight container. Let thaw completely before garnishing and serving.

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,798 other followers

%d bloggers like this: