Rebekah Lyn's Kitchen

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I’m so Meg February 14, 2015

Filed under: Baking,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 7:48 AM
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I’m not a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I think if you love someone you shouldn’t need a specific day to express that love. By making a big deal out of the holiday the only thing you are doing is lining the pockets of greeting card companies, candy manufacturers, jewelery stores, and florists. I don’t begrudge them their chance to make some extra money, but I choose not to participate.

 

This year I saw a recipe for Red Velvet Chocolate Chip cookies, and decided I would make them for Valentine’s Day. I’d planned to share them with a coworker whose birthday is February 14, but she took a long weekend, so I have to eat her share as well. They didn’t come out quite as sweet as I’d expected, and I still need to play around with the amount of food coloring, but they aren’t bad for a first attempt. I have some leftover chocolate buttercream frosting in the freezer. Adding some of that may be just the ticket. Now it’s time to curl up with one of my favorite Disney movies, Hercules. Meg is my favorite Disney heroine. She is gorgeous and tough. Even when she is in the clutches of a monster she doesn’t act like a damsel in distress. I relate to her more than the other female leads in the Disney fairytales. I think Meg and I will enjoy a nice big plate of cookies this weekend.

 

 

A Cheesy Celebration February 9, 2015

Filed under: Baking,Books,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 7:20 AM
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I love cheese. I’m fascinated with how many different types of cheese there are and want to try them all. A couple of years ago, when it was just me and my parents for Christmas, we started a new Christmas Eve tradition. We went to Candlelight Service, came home to a spread of hors d’oeuvres-chocolate caramel popcorn, spinach dip, cheese, crackers, and glog- then watched a movie. It’s a nice quiet evening to reflect on what Christmas is really about.

 

The first Christmas spread

The first Christmas spread

Cheese galore

Cheese galore

This year, I noticed that the Aldi I shop at started having specialty cheeses a few weeks before Christmas. I bought up every one of them for our Christmas Eve nosh. We had Jarlsberg, Parmesan Regiano, Prima Donna, Tomato Basil, Jalapeño Jack, Fontina, and Cranberry White Cheddar. I’ve been wanting to try the Parmesan Regiano since I read about it in one of Frances Mayes’ books. It wasn’t my favorite as a stand-alone cheese, but it is great in cooking.

 

As you might imagine, with all of this cheese we couldn’t possibly eat it all in one night. Mom found a recipe that used the Fontina along with a Marscapone cheese, to make what is basically a fancy mac & cheese. The recipe sounded so good, I used it in the book I was working on, Spring Dawn, and when I finished the first draft we made a batch to celebrate. Shredding all of the Fontina seemed to take forever, but it was worth it. Next time I think I would add some bacon bits though, to give it a little more kick.

The left over Jarlsberg has made a wonderful evening snack and now I have three more varieties to snack on from Ireland, Wales, and Britain. I better have a few slices then get back to work.

Fontina & Mascarpone Baked Pasta

Fontina & Mascarpone Baked Pasta

Grating the Fontina

Grating the Fontina

 

Bakingpalooza December 20, 2014

Filed under: Baking,Family — itsrebekahlyn @ 9:31 AM
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We’ve had almost two glorious weeks of cool weather here in Florida. I’ve enjoyed having the windows open and a fresh breeze drifting through the house. It was on one these lovely days last week that I decided to crank up the oven and do my Christmas baking. I had several recipes I wanted to get through so I started as soon as I finished my coffee and bagel.

 

My parents have been staying with me since Thanksgiving, so mom offered to run out to the store to pick up a couple of items I didn’t have on hand. While she was out, I made the easy cookies, the ones from a mix that didn’t require anything extra. I found a pumpkin spice cookie mix that I have fallen in love with and I decided to add some chocolate chips. They were the perfect addition and I tucked some of the cookies into a tin for my parents’ drive back to North Carolina.

 

The house quickly filled with the smells of fresh baked treats. By the time I turned off the oven I had five types of cookies, gingerbread cupcakes, and vanilla-sour cream tea loaves. My kitchen is tiny, so having more than one person working at a time can be tight, but toward the end of the day, mom, dad and I were all working together to clean up the dishes and put everything away.

 

I hope you have a wonderful Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year with those you love.

The first round of cookies

The first round of cookies

 

Birthdays and Markets August 29, 2014

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

 

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Guest Post: Publishing 101 August 5, 2014

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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.

 

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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…)

 

 
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