Thursday, October 30, 2014

Maple Hot Toddies | Front + Main

Maple Hot Toddies for West Elm  by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

With fall bustling through more and more with each passing breeze, there comes a time when a toasty beverage hits the spot more than a cool one. And as the weather progressively chills, sometimes you need a little extra ‘heat’ in that drink to warm you up from the inside out. That’s where the maple hot toddie comes in. Toasty in both temperature and content, the mulled spices and tart lemon will aid the aches and chills of winter, and keep you cozy all season long. I used these amazingly eerie x-ray cocktail glasses from West Elm along with their forged bar tools, crystal votives, and delightfully spooky skull vase. You can take a look at this post over on their blog Front + Main, as well!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Apple & Cream Cheese Muffins with a Cinnamon Crumb Topping + Brandy Glaze

Apple & Cream Cheese Crumb Muffins by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Back when we lived in Los Angeles, I used to make the trek out to this rural apple farm every year to get away from the city and feel like I was back home in Oregon again. You see, in Los Angeles there isn't really a fall, not like there is in the rest of the country. The air doesn't get crisp and cool, and the trees don't turn vibrant shades of red and yellow and orange. At best, the leaves on some of the trees in my neighborhood would turn a dusty orange-brown and then fall off, but that wasn't quite the fall experience I was looking for.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Black Tea Candied Apples

Black Tea Candied Apples by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. There was just something endlessly thrilling about dressing up in costume, running around in the dark, crisp autumn evening air, smashing soggy leaves underfoot as you ran from house to house, and loading up on candy. I loved (and still do) all things spooky, and always looked forward to my mom getting the 'Halloween' box out of the attic that had all our Halloween decorations in it, as well as a few 'scary story' books, like the one about the ribbon on the little girl's neck...y'all know the one I am talking about. That stuff was pretty morbid, even for kids, but I ate it up. The spookiness, the darkness, the season, the night, the food, it was all good in my book. And to be honest, the thrilling aspect of Halloween never really subsided for me. Sure, now I'm the one dolling out candy rather than running around eating it (I just eat it at home rather than door to door. Yay Halloween leftovers!), but I still get to dress up, read spooky stories, and scare myself silly watching terrifying movies that I instantly regret viewing as soon as the lights go out. And I get to come up with delicious and creepy-looking things to eat, which is hands-down my favorite part of the holiday.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Food Styling & Photography Workshop | Upstate New York

Upstate New York Food Styling & Photography Workshop by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to host a food styling & photography workshop with the talented Carey Nershi in rural New York. We stayed in this renovated barn in a small town called Denver, nestled at the top of a hill surrounded by 300 acres of vibrant and lush autumn foliage. There we got to know our attendees, Ashley, Bonnie, Linda, Sylvia, Summer, Willow, and Sam. We spent the weekend shooting, styling, and having long discussions about props, lenses, and general food and photography geekery. Carey and I cooked delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with ingredients from the local farmers' markets. We went to a historic barn and bought even more food. We walked around the grounds. We (well, mostly Ashley) built fires in the fireplace and huddled around them with hot cider and cocoa. It was the best weekend I've had in a long, long time. I have some of my favorite photos from the workshop below, and I want to give a special thanks to everyone who came. I had so much fun getting to know all of you, eat with you, and laugh with you. I hope our paths cross again soon. And I'd also like to thank our generous sponsors who helped made the workshop possible.

{ West Elm }  Thank you for providing such beautiful table settings. Your enamelware, napkins, and turned resin flatware made each meal feel special and styled. In addition, they endured multiple rounds of washing and accidental clanging each day while still looking brand new. Quite a feat, indeed!

{ Vermont Creamery } The bounty of creme fraiche, aged and fresh cheeses, and marscapone that you shared with us was incredibly generous, and yet we managed to eat almost the entirety of it, which speaks volumes about how ridiculously good it was. Your vanilla creme fraiche in a pear crisp + baked eggs with this goat cheese and tomatoes were the food highlights of my weekend.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Maple & Hazelnut Encrusted Pork Sirloin Tip Roast + A Giveaway

Maple & Hazelnut Encrusted Pork Sirloin Tip Roast by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Halloween is getting closer, and before I start sharing a few spooky recipes, I wanted to share one last Porktober recipe for the month. This recipe features the delicious sirloin tip roast, a juicy cut of meat from the upper back that is as versatile as it is flavorful. This particular cut does best when cooked slowly, so I roasted it at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. I also salted it and rubbed it down with maple the night before to allow time for the flavor of the two to soak deep into the tissue of the meat. When I was ready to begin cooking, I let the roast rest at room temperature for 40 minutes before placing it in the oven, since a cut of this size will cook more evenly if is has been allowed to come closer to room temperature than if you put it in the oven straightaway from the refrigerator. Of course, do not let it sit at room temperature for more than an hour after you take it out of the refrigerator as you will risk encouraging the development of bacteria. I also patted off any excess moisture that was on the meat with a paper towel, so that way when I applied the salt and maple it was able to stick to the surface of the roast more easily and create a nice sticky surface for the crushed hazelnuts to adhere to.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Chicken with Sautéed Mushrooms & White Wine

Chicken with Mushrooms in Wine by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

There are some days where you just crave the simple and the good. Something that you know will go well together, is easy to make, and requires the smallest amount of clean-up afterwards. And on those days, I like to stick to one-pot cooking. All the flavors slowly melding together in a single container, bubbling away over an open flame. With this type of cooking, I've found that often times the simpler the ingredients, the better. You get more depth to each flavor without too many spices, fruits, and vegetables muddling the overall taste of the dish. And when your main ingredients are chicken, mushrooms, and white wine, you know the end result will be quite good, indeed.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pumpkin Sheet Cake With Maple Glaze & Toasted Hazelnuts + A Giveaway From Annie Beedy

Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Maple Glaze and Toasted Hazelnuts + A Giveaway

It's been a long, strange summer here in Oregon. Since the move, we've been greeted by one of the driest periods of time I've ever spent in this state. It's only rained a handful of times and, without central AC and a master bedroom in the attic, it was pretty unpleasant. The winds are shifting now, though, and the rain is starting to come down. Hard. And I love it. That feeling of fall where everything smells crisp and fresh and clean, and that reassuring sound of rain beating against the roof, knowing that you're inside, safe and warm and dry. To celebrate the first real 'fall' night in our new home, I made a simple pumpkin sheet cake and topped it with a little maple glaze and some toasted local hazelnuts. It made the whole place smell ridiculously good and the flavor... this is definitely something special.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Caramelized Pearl Onions in Honey & Balsamic

Balsamic Caramelized Pearl Onions by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Earlier in the week I promised you another cozy cool-weather recipe, and now I've returned to deliver on my word. For those caramelized onion fans in the crowd (which, let's be real, is pretty much everyone), I've got something very very special for you. This simple appetizer is made of of small pearl onions, caramelized in a delicious balsamic and olive oil base, with a splash of vegetable stock, pinch of salt, and drizzle of honey. It takes all of 45 minutes to put together, most of which is just letting the onions caramelize on their own in the pan, and is worth every minute of effort. Sweet, salty, tangy, the flavors of the ingredients intensify as the onions cook down and they result in a wonderfully complex-tasting dish, when in reality you can count the ingredients on two hands.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Winter Squash Coffee Cake With A Ginger Caramel Sauce

Winter Squash Coffee Cake With A Ginger Caramel Sauce by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Things in the garden are winding down, the cooler weather is slowing the production of my tomatoes and my pumpkins are now a bright burnishing orange. I didn't grow any heirloom winter squash this year, but was craving it like crazy so I picked some up from the farmer's market, musing about what to do with it. Those of you who follow my blog regularly know that I am a cake-maker. I make tall cakes, short cakes, fruit cakes, squash cakes, cakes with frosting, cakes with glaze, bunts and layered. Pretty much all the cakes. Except one.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Apple, Rosemary, & Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Apple, Rosemary, & Sausage Stuffed Pork Tenderloin by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Well friends, it seems like fall is finally here. The crisp morning air, the overcast skies, and slowly but surely decreasing daylight hours. This time of year always leaves me craving something rich, juicy, and comforting. And that something is pork. I didn't truly come to appreciate pork until my early twenties, because as a child my main exposure to it was through my dad's pork chops which tended to be a bit overcooked, and so I just assumed that was the way all pork was supposed to taste and feel. But the USDA has actually reduced the required cooking temperature for pork to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, so when I slow-cooked pork shoulder at our first post-college 4th of July party, a whole new culinary world was opened to me. Tenderloin, medallions, belly, spareribs, shortloin, collar butt, striploin, rack, and pork roast, I tried and loved them all.