Rebekah Lyn's Kitchen

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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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The Joys of Spring March 17, 2014

Filed under: Fresh Foods,The Garden — itsrebekahlyn @ 9:23 AM
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Florida doesn’t usually see much spring. We tend to go from not terribly hot to disgustingly hot overnight. This year we’ve actually had some very pleasant days mixed in, with temperatures staying in the 60s and 70s. We even had a low in the 40s this past week. We don’t worry about frost too much down here when we start planting our gardens. (more…)

 

Tart the New Year Off Right January 5, 2014

Three of my perfect lemons

Three of my perfect lemons

I’m in heaven with my ripe lemons. This evening my mom asked what we could have for dessert. All of the Christmas cake and pie was gone, there was no more ice cream, and the cookie jar is nearly empty. I told her not to worry, I have lemons and a new recipe to give a whirl. To the backyard I went, plucking three giant beauties.

I zested and juiced only one of these beasts, yielding 1/2 cup of juice and at least as much zest. I whisked together the few ingredients and filled my tartlet pans, in 15 minutes we would have dessert to feed my hard-working man. You too can have these lovely tarts in no time flat, just grab a few things: (more…)

 

The Slump July 1, 2013

Filed under: Cooking,Fresh Foods — itsrebekahlyn @ 7:30 AM
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Fresh Green Beans

Fresh Green Beans

I’m in a cooking slump. Nothing sounds appealing. Even the scrumptious dessert recipes I have been purusing can’t entice me into the kitchen. Aside from a dinner last week of green beans fresh my garden along with sauted zucchin, squash, onion, and pepers, I can barely stand being in the kitchen. The fact that all of the fresh veggies come in during the heat of summer, when turning on the stove turns the kitchen into a sauna is maddening.

 

I wonder if a cooking slump is like a writing slump. When I get in a writing slump, I struggle to get a handful of words on the page, but if I keep at it, eventually the wall comes down. Maybe if I spend time in the garden, trimming the dead leaves, removing the worms, pinching the flowers off the herbs, then I will find inspiration to cook again.

 

I suppose all I can do is soldier on, taking comfort in the promise of cooler weather in a few months, and a file of new recipes awaiting my return.

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Fireworks, Salsa, and Memories July 4, 2012

Filed under: Family,Fresh Foods,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:55 AM
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Happy 4th of July!  I hope you all take some time today to reflect on what makes this day so very important in the history of the United States, especially as times are so rapidly changing for us.  There is another reason this day is so important to me though.  Today would have been my grandmother’s 90th birthday.  I have been thinking about Grandma Pearl all week and wish she could have been here over the weekend to help me with my first endeavor at canning on my own.

I have many memories of helping her can preserves, green beans, and tomatoes.  I remember setting up the Coleman stove on the back porch, watching the giant pot boil, peeling the skin off the tomatoes and skimming the froth off the strawberries. Those are memories that I will always treasure.

Since I had so many tomatoes of my own I took 25 of them and made salsa.  I don’t recall the process of peeling and coring tomatoes taking so long or causing back pain when I was kid, but I plunged ahead and found my 25 Roma tomatoes would make about 2 pints of salsa.  It may not sound like much, but split them up into ½ pint jars and I probably have enough to last me the rest of the year.  I can’t wait to crack open a jar at my next social event and share the fruits of my labor.

If you are interested in learning more about canning your own salsa check out this website:

http://nchfp.uga.edu/publications/publications_usda.html

 

Backyard Harvest June 29, 2012

Filed under: Cooking,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:52 AM
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Roma Tomatoes

Last month I shared with you some pictures of my potted garden herbs and tomatoes.  My yard is tiny so keeping plants in pots and even some of the reusable shopping bags has given me access to fresh herbs and tomatoes right outside my back door.  Over the weekend I harvested about 20 Roma tomatoes and was at a loss of what to do with them.

Tomato Basil is one of my favorite soups so I searched for a recipe to make it from scratch.  I was thrilled when I found one that was super easy, but it only called for two tomatoes to make enough soup for two.  Since I was using the smaller Roma tomato I decided to use five, and I probably could have used two or three more.  I had some left over cheese tortellini, from the recipe I referenced on June 22,  that I added to my soup as well.  Check out how easy this recipe is.

w/ cheese tortellini  Rich and Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Serves 2

2 tomatoes-peeled, seeded, and diced

2 cups tomato juice (I used a can of diced tomatoes that I pureed in the blender)

7 leaves fresh basil

½ cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup butter

salt & pepper to taste

Place tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Puree       the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves and return the puree to the stock pot

Place the pot over medium heat and stir in the heavy whipping cream and butter.  Season with salt & pepper.  Heat, stirring until the butter is melted.  Do not boil.

If you want to serve more guests, you can multiple each ingredient by 2.  I still have a ton of tomatoes left so this weekend I will be making salsa and searching for ways to preserve whatever is left over.  I’ll keep you posted.

 

 
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