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.

 

 

A Cheesy Celebration February 9, 2015

Filed under: Baking,Books,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 7:20 AM
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I love cheese. I’m fascinated with how many different types of cheese there are and want to try them all. A couple of years ago, when it was just me and my parents for Christmas, we started a new Christmas Eve tradition. We went to Candlelight Service, came home to a spread of hors d’oeuvres-chocolate caramel popcorn, spinach dip, cheese, crackers, and glog- then watched a movie. It’s a nice quiet evening to reflect on what Christmas is really about.

 

The first Christmas spread

The first Christmas spread

Cheese galore

Cheese galore

This year, I noticed that the Aldi I shop at started having specialty cheeses a few weeks before Christmas. I bought up every one of them for our Christmas Eve nosh. We had Jarlsberg, Parmesan Regiano, Prima Donna, Tomato Basil, Jalapeño Jack, Fontina, and Cranberry White Cheddar. I’ve been wanting to try the Parmesan Regiano since I read about it in one of Frances Mayes’ books. It wasn’t my favorite as a stand-alone cheese, but it is great in cooking.

 

As you might imagine, with all of this cheese we couldn’t possibly eat it all in one night. Mom found a recipe that used the Fontina along with a Marscapone cheese, to make what is basically a fancy mac & cheese. The recipe sounded so good, I used it in the book I was working on, Spring Dawn, and when I finished the first draft we made a batch to celebrate. Shredding all of the Fontina seemed to take forever, but it was worth it. Next time I think I would add some bacon bits though, to give it a little more kick.

The left over Jarlsberg has made a wonderful evening snack and now I have three more varieties to snack on from Ireland, Wales, and Britain. I better have a few slices then get back to work.

Fontina & Mascarpone Baked Pasta

Fontina & Mascarpone Baked Pasta

Grating the Fontina

Grating the Fontina

 

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…)

 

Key-Lime Pie Mini Trifles March 18, 2013

Filed under: Baking,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 7:25 AM
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Have you been thinking about the mini key-lime pie trifles all week? I have, so I thought I’d share the recipe IMG_1880with you. I needed 16 servings so I doubled the recipe, yet I ended up with enough custard and whipped cream to make 6 key-lime tarts as well. Those are now in my freezer for a quick treat when I’m having a sweet craving. There are three steps in this process, the custard recipe can be used in a Boston Cream pie mini trifle as well. Recipe from Tea Time magazine, May/June 2011 issue.

Start by mixing up your Vanilla Bean Custard. This recipe will make approximately 2 ½ cups and takes about 25 minutes to make.

2 ½ cups whole milk

½ vanilla bean, split, scraped, and seeds reserved

6 egg yolks

2/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

  • In a large saucepan, combine milk and reserved vanilla-bean seeds. Scald milk over medium-high heat.
  • In a large bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt, whisking well to combine. Slowly add scalded milk, whisking well.
  • Return mixture to large saucepan. Bring to a boil for 1 minute over medium-high heat, whisking continuously. Remove from heat. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Next you will need to make your whipped cream unless you plan on using store bought. I highly recommend making your own though. It is so light and easy to whip up. I’ve also learned that if you put the mixer beaters in the freezer for a short time before whipping the cream it speeds up the process.

2 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

  • In a large bowl, beat whipping cream at high speed with an electric mixture until soft peaks form. Slowly add confectioner’s sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until needed.

Finally, you add key-lime elements to your Vanilla-Bean custard. You will need to add:

2 cups Vanilla-Bean custard

3 tablespoons key-lime juice

2 tablespoons lime zest

2 cups graham-cracker crumbs

¼ sugar

2 cups whipped cream

  • In a medium bowl, combine Vanilla-Bean custard, key-lime juice, and lime zest, mixing well. Set aside.
  • In another medium bowl, combine graham-cracker crumbs and sugar.
  • In 8 minature trifle dishes, layer half of graham-cracker mixture, half of custard, and half of whipped cream. Repeat layers with remaining ingredients.
  • Garnish with lime slices if desired.

As I mentioned, I doubled the recipe for the custard and whipped cream. I had extra graham-cracker crumbs as well so I pulled out my mini-tart pans, baked a graham-cracker crust and poured the extra custard in. I froze these then added the whipped cream, it spread much easier on the frozen custard. I then put them back in the freezer until the whipped cream was frozen and I could wrap them up. I’m looking forward to snacking on these over the next few weeks. Image

 

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

 

 
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