Rebekah Lyn's Kitchen

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Simply Southern April 7, 2016

Pimento cheese sandwiches are one of my favorite simple southern foods. As a child I would sit at the kitchen table watching my grandmother mash up a block of cheese then mix in the mayonnaise and pimentos. When I got older she let me do the cheese mashing and there was something gratifying about it. The sandwiches we made weren’t anything fancy. Sometimes we might toast the bread a little, but this was a simple meal served with an ice-cold Coca-Cola.
The past few years, I’ve noticed a number of restaurants making more gourmet versions of the sandwich. Probably the most unique twist was at the Little Switzerland Cafe, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, where the pimento cheese was served as a dip with grilled French bread and celery sticks. It was so good I wouldn’t mind making the two hour drive back to the cafe for another serving. A few weeks ago, I was in North Carolina taking some time to work on my new book, Virginia, and had the chance to visit a new restaurant in downtown Franklin called The Bowery. It opened last year and I’ve wanted to visit ever since I noticed it during my trip in December.
Once inside, I immediately liked the place. The decor is a perfect balance of elegant and rustic. The booths have high backs, made from boards that look like they were reclaimed from a barn, that provide a feeling of privacy. The chairs were plush and upholstered in a cappuccino suede. Bare light bulbs hung inside simple glass jars. The lunch menu was simple and there were the pimento cheese sandwiches again. One was served with fried green tomatoes and the other came with a bowl of soup. It was a chilly day, so I opted for the butternut squash soup and pimento cheese sandwich, while mom ordered the smoked chicken sandwich with pasta salad.

The Bowery

The Bowery

Our meals arrived quickly and I was impressed with the taste of everything. The soup was creamy and the sandwich was warm, the cheese melted just right. I wish I’d taken a picture, but it looked so good I couldn’t stop myself from digging in. I’m not sure why this simple sandwich is showing up on so many menus, but I plan to enjoy them as often as possible.

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Traveling in the Clouds July 9, 2015

Filed under: Family,Fresh Foods,Southern Cooking — itsrebekahlyn @ 8:25 AM
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I had the pleasure of spending my Fourth of July weekend in North Carolina. The weather was 20-30 degrees cooler than

The rhododendrons were still blooming.

The rhododendrons were still blooming.

Florida and I basked in every minute of reprieve from the heat. Usually when I go to NC I spend most of the time working on my next book, but this time I only had time to cram in a few hours of work time.

 

 

Another Florida friend was already staying with my family and we had made arrangements to drop her off with her sister in Banner Elk, NC on July 2. This should have been about a 3-hour drive, but it ended up being more like 5 or 6 hours. I’m beginning to learn to be wary of anything that says it’s 3 hours. One day I’m going to be on a 3-hour trip and become the next Gilligan! (more…)

 

Lemons for Christmas December 29, 2013

I hope you all had a nice Christmas. Growing up we always had a big Christmas breakfast after opening gifts and then my mom would have to go to work from 3:00-11:00 so we never really developed the tradition of a big dinner of Christmas Day. Even after she moved from the hospital to the doctor’s office with the holiday off, we didn’t really develop a specific meal for the day, and I’m happy about that, because it gives a chance to try new things.

I had no idea all the goodness I was missing by not reading Southern Living until this first edition came and I found a recipe for Lemon-Rosemary-Garlic Chicken and Potatoes. My lemons are FINALLY ripe so there was no question this would be our Christmas dinner. I made sure we had everything we would need and went to sleep Christmas Eve with lemons, rather the sugar plums, dancing in my head. (What is a sugar plum anyway?)

The big day came, we opened our gifts, ate our breakfast, then went for a drive. I’ve been wanting to tour the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge for months now to shoot some photos and video for my new book trailer. Who knew we’d spend most of the day exploring, visiting places my dad hadn’t seen in twenty years or more? By the time we came home, we were too tired to cook so we nibbled on cake and pie, cheese and popcorn.

Australian Pines along Haulover Canal

Australian Pines along Haulover Canal

Rainbow in the Ocean

A Rainbow dipped into the ocean just before sunset.

Never fear, though. I wasn’t going to let my lemons go to waste. We made our new dish the following day and enjoyed it all the more for the extended anticipation.

Lemon-Rosemary-Garlic Chicken

The lemon tree still bears plenty of fruit and I have a hankering for some fresh lemon tarts as soon as all of the other treats are gobbled up.

 

Southern Comfort March 14, 2012

Filed under: Books,Southern Cooking — itsrebekahlyn @ 10:05 AM
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This weekend I took a road trip for a family reunion in North Carolina.  On the way we stopped to visit my best friend in Charleston, SC.  After staying up until the wee hours of the morning and sleeping only a couple of hours, we ventured to historic Charleston for lunch at Poogan’s Porch.  This lovely house, built in 1888 has been serving patrons since 1976.  We were seated in what was probably a parlor at one time, with floor to ceiling windows open wide to allow in the cool breeze.  With so many choices on the menu, mom and I decided to share the fried green tomatoes, mac & cheese, and shrimp and grits.

The tomatoes were sweet and tender.  The mac & cheese made with gouda cheese, country ham, and shallots could become my new favorite comfort food.  The shrimp and grits were so completely different from what I have always imagined.  With peppers, onions, sausage, and blue crab gravy, it reminded me of jambalaya.

After lunch, we drove around, ogling the beautiful old houses and I could feel a new story blooming within me.  I can see that I will need to spend a few weeks soaking up the atmosphere in this wonderfully historic city for another installment of the Coastal Chronicles.

 

 
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