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.

 

 

Christmas Traditions December 24, 2013

Filed under: Family — itsrebekahlyn @ 10:42 AM
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Growing up preparing for Christmas started on Thanksgiving day. My aunts, uncles, and cousins all gathered at my grandparents’ house for a day of eating, football, napping, and sharing our Christmas lists. I was the only girl of the five grandkids and probably got spoiled a bit because of that.

Grandma & Papa's garden

Grandma & Papa’s garden

The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were filled with baking cookies to share with the neighbors, visiting Disney Village for the living nativity, decorating the Christmas tree, and driving around to look at houses decked out in twinkling Christmas lights.

On Christmas Eve, we all gathered together again, usually at my grandparents’ house, but occassionally at one of my uncles’ homes in Orlando. The ladies would congregate in the kitchen preparing the meal, the men would gather in the living room to talk, and us kids would play tag or hide-and-go-seek until dinner.

I have such fond memories of gathering in the living room after dinner, stacks of gifts in front of each family member, the anticipation growing with each minute. The gifts were opened with smiles glowing, filling the room with warmth and love. Thinking about it now I can still feel that warmth and security.

Childhood Christmas

Childhood Christmas

Since my grandmother died, traditions have changed. The grandkids have married and have families of their own and we don’t all get together anymore. I have been left feeling untethered during this time of year, with the need to create new traditions. This year I celebrated Thanksgiving with my brother’s family in North Carolina and gave them their Christmas gifts, the excitement of my niece and nephew an echo of the excitement my cousins and I had exhibited so many years ago.

When I returned home I decided to bake cookies to share with coworkers and dear friends. I felt closer to those old holiday memories while I mixed the dough and packaged up the cookies. Delivering the cookies and seeing the smiles they brought reminded me of the simple joys Christmas brings.

Christmas Cookies

My parents are in Florida with me for Christmas this year. I’m looking forward to taking them to the Candelight Service at my church this evening then driving around to look at Christmas lights. Most importantly I will go to sleep knowing this is a celebration of my Savior’s birth. The traditions and gatherings are wonderful and the memories will always be treasured, but I know that one day I will have the chance to celebrate with all of my loved ones again and for all eternity.

I pray that you have a blessed Christmas with your family and friends.

Merry Christmas from Rebekah Lyn

Merry Christmas from Rebekah Lyn

 

Pasta, Flowers, and Family April 29, 2013

Filed under: Cooking,Family — itsrebekahlyn @ 9:28 AM
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One of the pleasures of living in Florida and close to Walt Disney World, is popping over for an afternoon to enjoy the parks without the stress of waiting in line for rides or pushing to see everything we can. The Flower and Garden festival at Epcot has long been a favorite of mine, and with it wrapping up soon, I decided to treat my parents with a trip there this weekend. We learned about some new herbs to add to the garden (once I plant them and know more about using them I’ll post about that), admired the vibrant floral arrangements, and got some new ideas for our own landsIMG_1952capes. We also got to see Carter Ooosterhouse, from HGTV. He seemed like an odd fit for the Flower and Garen festival, but I’ve had a little crush on him since he worked on Trading Spaces and it was inside out of the sun. He shared some quick tips on home improvement and gave a tease about the new show he is working on putting together.

 

 

When it was time to get some food, we hoped to eat at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria, but there was a long line. However, there was no wait at the Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar. Image 4Many of you know how much I love Frances Mayes’ books about her life in Italy. It’s been a couple of months since I finished reading Every Day in Tuscany and discovered a pasta called pici. Mayes’ description of this dish, along with her husband’s dedication to making his own pici, made me long to try it. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen it on a menu in any Italian restaurant here in Florida, and I’m not at the level of making my own pasta yet. Imagine my delight when we sat down in the Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar and saw pici on the menu. While I purused the rest of the menu, I knew the pici was the dish for me.

 

 

Image 1When my bowl arrived I could barely contain my excitement. Pici is round like spagetthi only thicker. You can practically taste all the carbs as you chew. The pasta was tossed with a lamb ragu and had a wonderful, rustic flavor. Since we were in a Wine Cellar I had to try a glass of wine. Red wines usually give me a headache and make me very sleepy, but with the lamb I thought red was the way to go so I tried the San Giuseppe Pinot Noir, which is more of a medium body, and went well with the pici and lamb. Happily it didn’t give me a headache, but it did make me sleepy. The desserts looked divine, but I was too full to try any. I plan to go back soon just for dessert.

If you are in the area, I encourage you to check out the Flower and Garden festival, which runs through May 19.

 

When Tradition Changes November 14, 2012

Filed under: Cooking,Family — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:58 AM
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Over the weekend, I went to dinner at one of my favorite Disney resorts, the Wilderness Lodge. If you’ve never visited, I highly recommend you stop by this resort inspired by Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Inn, on your next trip to Disney. I still remember the first time I entered the grand lobby, all decked out for Christmas, with a tree stretching up more than four stories tall. I fell in love with that first look and dinner at the Whispering Canyon Cafe has become a staple when my extended family visits Disney.

 

Whispering Canyon is a fun experience offering horse races for kids and adults alike, the hokey pokey dance, and boisterous servers who make you feel right at home. The menu has always included the option of a family-style, all you can eat skillet with beef brisket, ribs, roasted chicken, and pulled pork, baked beans, mashed potatoes, and corn on the cob. The beef brisket was amazing! For those who aren’t big eaters, there were individual entrée options as well.

 

When we were seated, I opened the menu and realized right away something was different. All of the individual entrees were gone. Our server sat down to tell us about the menu and I learned the changes had happened a month ago. Gone is the beef brisket, gone is the pulled pork, gone is the skillet. What was once a comforting, cowboy-style dinner, is now a petite, sleek platter. The pork ribs and chicken are still offered, along with citrus-crusted fish, beef strip loin, and sausage, but everything is smaller.

 

Our plate came with chicken, which consisted of two wings smaller than those on my last Cornish hen, one piece of fish, three slices of beef, baked beans in a ramekin appropriate for one serving, the corn on the cob appeared to be one ear of corn broken into fourths, and the seasonal vegetables were a handful of zucchini, snow peas, and squash. The potatoes, however, were abundant. It’s too bad they couldn’t decide if they were mashed or baked and had an overpowering amount of rosemary in them. They went relatively untouched, which is unheard of in my household.
Our server also told us that due to popular demand, the pulled pork was available the night we were there so we had a scoop of that on the platter also. As a general rule, I don’t eat pork, but my friend tried it and said it tasted like horse meat. On a positive note, the $32.99 meal now includes a dessert sampler. Sadly, the desserts, while good on paper, left a lot to be desired in execution. We were told this new menu is a work in progress and our server did ask how this dinner compared to my meal back in July. I gave her my honest opinion of the drop in quality and quantity, so hopefully things will go back to the way they were before my family visits again.

 

 
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