Rebecca cooks. Not always because she likes it, but because it is a part of her life. Unlike many people, she sees preparing food at home as intrinsically related to her sustenance and survival. Partly because of habit, and partly out of the need to save money, putting together almost all of her meals — for home or work — is part of her routine and a very ingrained habit.
While living in a condo does not provide Rebecca with her own garden, the next best thing is her overflowing pots of herbs. Everyday before work, Rebecca brings them up to the roof for maximum sun exposure and then brings them back down at night. She likens it to "dropping the kids off at daycare!"
While this is a very new living situation, Rebecca has settled in and in doing so, made it look very easy.
Rebecca's Answers to the Kitchn Questionnaire
What's your cooking style?
I try to cook as many of my own meals as possible to both help me save money and calories. I make every day quick and easy meals such as sautéed vegetables that I get from my CSA or something in my slow cooker that can last me for several meals. I don’t get too adventurous in the kitchen, I just use the knowledge I gained from cooking with my mother growing up to throw things together.
What inspires your kitchen?
This is the one room that I felt like I could make a little more feminine. I purchased the apron at Anthropologie and loved it so much I had to hang it up. Since it was floral I just kept going with that theme.
What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
The dishwasher, it is such a luxury and it definitely gets used — often.
Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
When baking — follow the directions very carefully.
Biggest challenge in your kitchen:
Storage, the kitchen is a tad deceiving. It looks like there is a lot of room to store plates, pantry items, etc. but there really isn’t and I have had to be very creative with my kitchen tools.
Dream tool or splurge:
Kitchenaid mixer. I want one. But, where would I put it?
What are you cooking this week?
This week I plan on coming up with a recipe to make my own Hostess style cupcakes.
What cookbook has inspired you the most?
The cookbook I use most often is the Joy of Cooking. The recipes are very easy to follow and I generally come up with great food. However, the best recipes around are from Ina Garten off the Food Network website. This isn’t a cookbook, but I just have to mention it here. Whenever I use her recipes, the food always tastes great. Her recipes are so simple, and are so delicious. Love her.
What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
My first Thanksgiving dinner in the apartment. A friend came over and we cooked the works: turkey, stuffing, etc. all from scratch it was a project and a wonderful feast!
Recipe from Rebecca
There Is a Strawberry in My Cupcake Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together three times: 1 1/4 cups flour and 1/4 sugar. Melt in saucepan: 1/3 cup butter [once melted set aside]. Whisk together: 6 large eggs and 3/4 cup sugar.
Set bowl of eggs and sugar in skillet of barely simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture is warm to the touch. Remove bowl from heat and beat at high speed until the mixture is lemony colored, has tripled in volume, and has reached a stage where a continuous flat ribbon forms when dropped from a spoon (5 minutes in heavy duty mixture or 10 minutes from hand held mixer).
In 3 additions, sift flour mixture over the top and gently fold into the egg-sugar mixture. Fold 1 1/2 cups of egg mixture into the melted rewarmed butter until completely incorporated along with 1 teaspoon vanilla. Scrape this back into the remaining egg mixture.
Pour about 2/3 cup of mixture into each cupcake lining. Bake for 15 — 20 minutes. Set cupcakes on rack to cool.
Pastry Cream and Sliced Strawberries
Beat in a medium bowl on high speed until thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes:
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 egg yolks
In a medium saucepan bring 1 1/3 cup milk to simmer. Pour about 1/3 of milk into egg mixture, whisking to combine. Scrape the egg mixture into the pan and cook over low medium heat, whisking constantly and scraping the bottom and corners of pan to prevent scorching, until custard is thickening and bubbling. Continue to cook, whisking 45 to 60 seconds. Scrape into clean bowl, stir in 3/4 teaspoon vanilla, cover surface with plastic wrap and let cool before using.
Whipped Cream Frosting
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
Vanilla to taste
Place bowl and beaters in fridge. Once cooled, whip all of the above until it reaches desired consistency; be careful not to over-whip into butter.
Once cupcakes are cooled, using a paring knife cut a good sized cone of the cake out. Set aside, pipe in pastry cream and place in sliced strawberries. Cut off very top of the cone and place back on the cupcake to hide filling. Pipe whipped cream on top of cake or use a spatula to ice. Place strawberry slices on top.
- • Countertops — Caesarstone
• Faucet — Grohe
• Dishwasher — Bosch
• Fridge — Liebherr
• Paint — Midnight Navy, Benjamin Moore
• For the rest of Rebecca's home, check out their upcoming full house tour on Apartmenttherapy.com.
• Kitchen Tour Archive: Check out past kitchen tours here.
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(Images: Jill Slater)