Rebekah Lyn's Kitchen

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Improvisation October 31, 2012

Filed under: Books,Cooking,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:55 AM
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The weather has turned cooler in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and I am reveling in it.Last night, after  a long day at the office, I was excited to come home and make the butternut squash soup I had been craving since discovering a wonderful recipe as part of my Winter’s End research. The recipe spoke warmth  through the ingredients and aromas and my stomach was rumbling for it. Alas, when I went back to my notes I couldn’t locate the recipe. The search began again but I didn’t  find the magical recipe. I did however find one that made a good base. My mind crept back to the scene in Winter’s End as Lizzie sips the warm rich soup, savouring the flavors on her tongue.  I added in the spices I remembered, including a touch of clove and cumin. It turned out to be delicious and I think it will make a great addition to Thanksgiving dinner.

 

 

                                  Warm & Comforting Butternut Squash Soup

                                    2 lbs of butternut squash

                                    1 chopped Vidalia onion

                                    2 Tbs butter

                                    6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

                                    1 cup half and half

                                    1 tsp Nutmeg

                                    1 tsp Cinnamon

                                     1/8 tsp Cloves

                                    pinch of Cumin

                                     pinch of Salt

                                    Pepper to taste

Peel butternut squash, cut in half, scoop out seeds and pulp, then cut into 1-inch chunks (You can also use pre-cooked, frozen squash if you prefer)

Sauté ½ chopped Vidalia onion in 2 tablespoons butter until translucent

Add cubed squash to onions and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Add 6 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

Simmer for 25 minutes

Remove from heat and allow to cool then puree in blender

Return pureed squash to a pot and stir in 1 cup of half and half

Stir in Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cumin, Salt, and Pepper

Garnish with croutons or serve with a French baguette

Stop back by Friday to get a sneak peek at the scene in Winter’s End featuring this soul warming soup.

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Pumpkin Patch Delight October 25, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Cooking,Family — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:53 AM
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As I write this, I am drinking a cup of coffee, which honestly isn’t very good, and eating a pumpkin spice bagel with pumpkin spice cream cheese, which makes up for the terrible coffee. A couple of weeks ago the grocery stores were inundated with pumpkin of all kinds – cookies, bagels, milk, pies, cream cheese, and even actual pumpkins. I went a little crazy and bought one of everything and have been in pumpkin heaven ever since.

Pumpkin is one of my favorite things. It signals the changing of the season from the languid days of summer to fiery days of fall. For a girl who grew up in Florida and has only experienced fall for the briefest periods during vacations to cooler climates, it is kind of crazy for this to be my favorite time of year, but it is. All of my favorite colors take the forefront in fashion, home décor becomes more vibrant, and my favorite foods are in abundance. Even those things you can get year-round like turkey taste better in the fall than in the summer or spring.

Just thinking about fall now is making me smile and making me crave some of the comfort foods of the season.  There is a butternut squash soup I have been dying to try out, and the forecast looks a tad bit cooler this week. Looks like there may be soup in my near future. What foods do you think of with the arrival of fall?

 

Dad’s First Brownies October 19, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Family — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:55 AM
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It has been entirely too long since I last blogged, but I have been so involved with editing Winter’s End and working with my cover designer, there hasn’t been a free creative moment. However, when my dad announced the other night that he wanted to

The cover for Winter’s End compliments of Laura Wright LaRoache at LLPix.

bake a cake I knew I had to carve out some time to document this moment.  Let me set the scene. When I was a kid, my mom worked the night shift at the hospital and dad was responsible for making dinner at least a couple of those nights. While he was no chef by any means, I have fond memories of him standing three or four feet from the stove and tossing frozen shrimp into a pan of hot grease or pulling out a baking sheet that our frozen pot pies had bubbled over onto. Give the man a grill and he has more success, but he has never in his life tried to bake anything that I am aware of.

Fortunately, I keep a good stock of baking mixes in my pantry in case I need a quick fix without all of the scratch fuss.  I decided it might be better to start him off with something simple and pulled out a box of Ghirardelli brownie mix. He managed to locate the brownie pan with minimal instruction from me, then, he proceeded to ask if he could just mix everything up in the pan. At the time, this gave me quite the chuckle, but looking back it really is a reasonable question. I suppose if it wasn’t necessary to spray the pan so the brownies wouldn’t stick you could mix everything up in there.

Mom and I needed to run to the grocery for some other items and we left dad alone to make the brownies. Five minutes later, he was calling to see where my vegetable oil was. Turns out, the last had been used a couple of days earlier so we added that to our shopping list and returned home. Dad took the oil, finished mixing things up, and figured out how to set the timer on the oven. Forty-five minutes later the house smelled divine and we had gooey, hot brownies.

Dad’s First Brownies

I have to say I am rather proud of my dad for being willing to learn something new. Maybe I can get him to try out some of the recipes I found when writing Winter’s End. I will definitely be sharing some of those in the coming weeks, it just needs to get a little cooler here in Florida to inspire me to cook more.

 

 
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