Rebekah Lyn's Kitchen

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Reflections from the Porch May 25, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Family — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:55 AM
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As I write this I am sitting on the back porch, listening to the crickets and a few late evening birds.  The week has been filled with shopping, eating, and meeting new people.  I was humbled to meet, Pat, a lovely lady who recently read my novel, Summer Storms, and shared with me how it changed her outlook on life.  Just in the brief time I spent with her today I could tell she was a woman of God with a deep rooted faith, and her support encouraged me that God has a plan for my writing.

Also during this week of vacation, my mother & I have been cooking recipes from our friend Teodor.  While he lives in Australia now, he grew up in Romania & has lived in Italy.  His story of growing up under communism, as told in his novel, A Luminous Future, has made me realize how very lucky I was to be born in the United States.  The wonder of Twitter has made it possible for me to get to know him and learn more about his experiences, but I am really thankful he shares his recipes.  So far my mom & I have made his cakes, Apple & Ricotta.  Both were delicious!

Vacation ends in a few more days and I haven’t had the chance to learn any of my great-aunt’s recipes.  She has been too busy shopping to cook.  Tomorrow I am hoping she will share with me how to make chocolate icing like my grandmother used to make.  In the meantime I will leave you with a picture of the Ricotta Cake topped with fresh strawberries.

 

Family Time May 20, 2012

Filed under: Books,Family — itsrebekahlyn @ 12:11 PM
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My grandmother was one of twelve children, so I have a large extended family.  I look forward to every time I get to visit with my great-aunts & uncles.  They grew up on a farm & serve soul nourishing food.  I get to visit with my great-uncle Paul and his wife Geraline and I am hoping to learn some cooking secrets from Aunt Geraline.  I promise to take good notes and share them with you over the next few weeks.  In the meantime, I hope you will take a minute to watch the video trailers for my current novel Summer Storms, and my upcoming novel Julianne.

Seven of the twelve siblings. From left: Ray, Paul, Pearl, Barbara, Irene, Lily, and Euince

 

Fruits of My Garden May 17, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Fresh Foods — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:53 AM
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Recently I shared with you the wonderful things growing in my garden.  As I write this a steady rain is pouring down on these lovely plants and I swear I can see them growing taller as they soak up the life giving water.

When I bought the lemon-verbena plant I wasn’t sure what I would use it for, but I found a recipe for Lemon-Verbena Blueberry muffins.  I whipped up a batch over the weekend and took them to work to share.  They may not look very pretty, but they are tasty.  I think in my next batch I might add a splash of lemon juice and a tad more milk.  These were more crumbly, like a scone than moist like a muffin.

Last night, worried that my first tomatoes might go bad before I had a chance to cook them up, I decided to make some bruschetta.  I was going to take it to work to share on crackers, but once I mixed it up and arranged a plate for the photo, I couldn’t resist eating.  Made for a refreshing dinner.

In a few days I will be visiting with my great-aunt who makes some of the best southern country cooking I know.  I am looking forward to swapping recipes with her.  Be sure to check back to see what I learn from her.  In the meantime, below is the recipe for the Lemon-Verbena Blueberry muffins.

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh lemon verbena
  • 1/4 cup cold butter
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
Directions
  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups, or line pan with paper muffin liners. Whisk together the egg, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth; set aside.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon verbena into a food processor. Pulse until the lemon verbena has been finely chopped. Add the butter, and pulse quickly until finely chopped. Pour the flour mixture into a mixing bowl, and stir in the blueberries. Pour in the milk mixture, and stir until just moistened. Fill the prepared muffin cups 3/4 full.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
 

Afternoon Tea May 10, 2012

Filed under: Books,Tea,Uncategorized — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:53 AM
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Yesterday I had the privilege of speaking at my second Afternoon Tea with the Author to promote my books.  Wanda, my hostess, is an amazing woman of God and inspires me to be a better person each time we meet.  I think she may have been more excited about this tea than I was.  She was praying about the tea and one night in a dream she found her inspiration. She used pink ribbons to hang decorative teacups from the formal dining room chandelier and I hear she had the table all decorated a week before the tea.

In addition to the normal sweets of afternoon tea, Wanda served an interesting savory, Boars Head honey turkey wrapped around marinated asparagus with a toothpick speared through an olive and cheese cube.

 

After tea was enjoyed we moved into the living room for some book talk and I had the chance to share the trailer for Summer Storms and debut the trailer for my upcoming novel, Julianne.  Getting these videos on the screen was quite the comedy of errors and I honestly wasn’t sure if things were going to work out or not.

It all started when I didn’t have Mike, my producer, put the videos on DVDs at the time we finalized them and ended with me forgetting to bring the remote for my DVD player to the tea.  The final challenge was a series of short power outages that we turned into a chance to chat.  Turns out three of the guests were from North Carolina, which generated more conversation about Julianne, set on the coast of North Carolina.  When we were finally able to watch the videos it was worth all the frustrations to experience to first hand the reaction of an audience.

I am so thankful for the Tea and the opportunity to talk with these women about my writing process, inspirations, and plans for my upcoming novels.  This experience made my new-found status as an author real.  Looking forward to my next tea later this month in South Carolina.

 

The Joy of Fresh Foods May 7, 2012

Filed under: Fresh Foods — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:33 AM
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Living in Florida has the benefit of being able to grow plants pretty much year round.  In December I planted basil and mint.  They did so well, I added cilantro, chives, parsley, lavender, lemon verbena, and even tomatoes.  This weekend my first tomatoes ripened and I am planning to use them for dinner one night. I’ve already had the joy of using my fresh cilantro, and add mint leaves to my iced tea every chance I get.

Cilantro, chives, parsley

When I bought the lemon verbena I didn’t know what I would use it for, but knew it would smell good in the garden.  After searching the internet I found two recipes that I’m looking forward to making as soon as it grows up a bit more.  I’ll let you know how those turn out.

 

 
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