Meet Lauren Sephton. Lauren was born in Phoenix, Arizona, but moved to Winston-Salem with her family as a young child. She graduated fromWest Forsyth High School and is currently a junior in Liberty University’s online degree program focusing on digital marketing/advertising with an emphasis in the food industry. When she’s not in the kitchen developing or testing new recipes or innovative variations to traditional Southern dishes, she helps her parents with their business endeavors.
Lauren shared that she spent the majority of 2018 developing recipes, testing, and selecting which ones to include in her first cookbook, Farmers Market to Family Gatherings. She had a willing group of taste-testers in her family and friends. She trimmed the total number of recipes from 100 to the 50 featured in her cookbook, which is now available for purchase. Lauren also took the photos of her completed recipes and they look delicious. In addition, all the produce photos are from local NC farmers markets, plus one of her brother fly-fishing at a local lake.
The cookbook is designed in meal sections – breakfast, lunch & dinner, and dessert. Some of the recipes included for breakfast are Lavender Cinnamon Apple Twists or Herb, Spinach, & Kale Quiche; for lunch/dinner, Sweet Potato & Quinoa Autumn Salad or Rosemary & White Bean Chicken Pot Pie; and for dessert, Mixed Berry Oatmeal Cobbler or Raspberry Yogurt Cheesecake, and for a beverage, Lavender Hibiscus Lemonade. Makes you hungry, right?
Lauren credits her mom as an inspiration and encourager for her creativity in the kitchen. Thinking outside the box to develop new tastes to traditional Southern dishes or unique recipes is something she enjoys. Lauren shared that she’s mostly self-taught, using the trial and error method on the dishes she prepares for her family. She is inspired by foods mentioned in the Bible: honey, olive oil, organic seasonal fruits and veggies. Her goal is to promote all-natural, organic foods without artificial ingredients.
“Once you have a traditional home cooked dish, you just can’t go back to fast foods,” explained Lauren. “The meaning behind my blog/business name, BrightMoment, is to encourage people to use each day to make a positive impact in others’ lives. Put a smile on your face, and their faces, bring people together, and create meals that are healthy and enjoyable. Forget about electronics at the dinner table and visit family and friends. Sharing a meal is a wonderful way to catch up with what’s going on in everyone’s life. I always enjoyed family dinnertime and remember that even though my parents worked full time, they made time for family dinners. That made a lasting impression on me and I want to share it with others.”
Lauren learned about cooking from observation, watching her grandmother and mom prepare dishes. “I would repeat the recipes and Mom would help me with them when I was younger,” Lauren shared. “I would try to put a different spin on dishes with different ingredients. Conscious of health, I began creating menus with wholesome ingredients. When asked for the recipe, my usual response was ‘I just added a little of this and that.’ Eventually, I was encouraged to start writing recipes. In this cookbook, I hope to take readers on a journey through our local farmers markets by incorporating organic fruits, vegetables, fresh herbs, spring greens, and local farm-raised meats to promote a healthy lifestyle.” Lauren does not use butter in any of her recipes; she uses 100% extra virgin olive oil instead.
You can purchase her cookbook, Farmers Market to Family Gatherings, online from her website (abrightmoment.com) in either e-version or softcover versions. Lauren hopes to have the cookbook available in local shops in the near future; check her website for coming news about places to find the cookbook.
Grab an apron, get out the measuring cups, and open Farmers Market to Family Gatheringsto prepare a great meal for yourself and your family!