Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Secret Supper | September + A Winter Workshop

Secret Supper September by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Two weeks ago I hosted another Secret Supper pop-up dinner here in the northwest. We held it at Tumbleweed Farm, a beautiful organic farm at the base of Mount Hood owned by Andrea Beamis of Dishing Up the Dirt. Co-hosting along with me were my amazing friends and fellow food-lovers Christiann, Suzanne, and Danielle. We had many hands helping in the kitchen to make a huge amount of delicious seasonal foods, and couldn't have pulled it off without Jess & Kawika, Eva, and Jeremy and Christi. And a huge thanks to Andrea for letting us hosts camp out on her farm. The weather cooperated perfectly, which is always an unknown here in the Pacific northwest this time of year, but we lucked out with sunny skies and a clear view of the mountain. The food, drink, and company were all wonderful; I loved seeing so many of Portland and Seattle's food lovers and artists come out for the event, and having familiar faces from the last dinner made me especially excited.

I'm hosting another supper in December in conjunction with a 1-day food styling & photography workshop here in the pacific northwest, and would love to have you join. I'll be teaching the photography portion and the lovely Stacey Clark will be coming out from Australia to teach the styling portion, while Christiann will go over utilizing social media and partnering with brands. We'll be hosting the workshop on Saturday December 5th on an old Christmas tree farm in a renovated barn in Washougal, Washington. It will be a winter wonderland full of festive food and drink, with a long table gathering nestled under a 20-foot tall Christmas tree. For more information and registration  you can peek at the link below, hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

British Virgin Islands Food Photography + Mixology Workshop

The British Virgin Islands by Eva Kosmas Flores

This past spring I went to the British Virgin Islands to shoot Guana Island, a private resort in the BVI. I flew out on my birthday, taking a 10-seater propeller plane from San Juan, Puerto Rico to Tortola, BVI and hoped that it wouldn't be my last. It was dark by that time, which I thought would help me be less height-weary, but not being able to see anything ended up making me a bit more nervous (although on the flight back out in the daytime I wasn't nervous at all because the view was insane). We landed safe and sound, though, and then I got picked up by a friendly man named Simon and we took me to Guana by boat. The British Virgin Islands are made up of several islands, of which Guana is one. I was only there for a few days, but during that time everyone was incredibly kind and accommodating and made me feel very at home. I felt like my camera was glued to my hand, everywhere I turned I found something else to shoot that was just as gorgeous and intriguing as the last. And I'm pretty certain I ate my body weight in tropical fruit, (there are so many different kinds there! Like this one, and this one!) in between bouts of gnawing on the end of fresh sugarcane. I was sad to leave when the few days came to an end, but knew that I had to return to that magical place soon.

So with much enthusiasm, Carey and I are opening registration for our 4-day British Virgin Islands food photography + mixology workshop January 23rd - 27th. We'll be staying on one of the highest points of the main island, Tortola, with an incredible view of the sea and a large blue swimming pool at our feet. We'll be taking a day trip the neighboring island, Virgin Gorda, and visit The Baths, Saba Rock, and a tucked away beach. We'll stop by a local farm to enjoy the ripe produce, make cocktails with the freshest fruit the island has to offer, and spend our evenings around the dining table on the home's enormous balcony, taking in the sunset with the finest food, drink, and company. We're staying where the sunsets look like the horizon is a dancing flame, the fruits come in every shape and size you can imagine, and the ocean is the clearest, brightest blue. It's going to be insanely fun and I would love for you to join us. You can read more about it and register in the link below, hope to see you there!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sweden Portrait & Food Photography Workshop

Sweden Portrait & Food Photography Workshop with Eva Kosmas Flores

A couple months ago I was able to host a First We Eat portrait and food photography workshop in Sweden with Izy Hossack, Elenore Bendel Zahn, and Carey Nershi. We had attendees come from all over the globe and stayed in a rustic lake house with a little nordic sauna near the shore. We had sunny days that made for wonderful outdoor dinners, and cloudy days that made for perfect diffused light. We ate delicious wholesome foods, had wonderfully insightful round table chats, and nibbled wild strawberries that Elenore, Izy, and Renee picked from around the property. There were relaxing nights in the sauna, followed by dips in the lake, and days spent shooting and eating and talking, sometimes in that order and sometimes all at once. It was an incredible experience to host so many great and kind people all in one place, especially ones who are just as passionate about food as I am. I feel like I could have just sat around and talked to everyone for weeks more! But all good things must come to an end, and I couldn't have asked for a more fantastic group of people to share it with or a more perfect location.

I want to thank all of our amazing attendees, Renee, Holly, Lauren, Shannen, Harri, Maria, Lissette, and Tjóðhild. I am so happy to have met you and can't wait to see where your talents take you. And I definitely recommend checking out the recap blog posts that Renee and Holly wrote about the workshop, their photos are crazy gorgeous.

And I want to extend a huge thank you to Izy and Elenore for helping us put all of this together and being such enjoyable people in general. You two make any task seem surmountable. And a big congrats to Elenore on hosting Sweden's first vegetarian cooking show, woohoo!!

Sweden Portrait & Food Photography Workshop with Eva Kosmas Flores

And a very heartfelt thank you goes out to all of our sponsors below, without whom we wouldn't have been able to put together such a beautiful gathering.

Dishes Only | Stunning 'pieta' ceramics by Virginia Casa |
Bob's Red Mill | Delicious assortment of gluten-free flours and baking mixes that allowed the entire workshop to be gluten-free without the blink of an eye |
Habor Herbalist | Comforting loose-leaf 'dream' teas for each attendee | 
Blanxart | Wonderfully rich artisan chocolate bars for each attendee |
Malvi Mallow | Adorable raspberry & hibiscus marshmallow cookies for each attendee |
Nershi Woodworks | Carved wooden stirrers for each attendee |
Kosmas Co. | All natural hand sanitizer for each attendee |
Stitch Lab | Fox sleep masks for each attendee |
Ona Bags | The durable & stylish brixton camera bag for my travels through the north |

If you're interested in attending one of my workshops, I have a few new additions to the docket that you can peek at on First We Eat, including one in Spain and one in the Southwest. We currently have two spaces left for our Iceland workshop next summer, and are about to open registration for our British Virgin Island mixology and photography workshop in the next couple weeks. You can sign up to be emailed when registration opens for the next workshop at the bottom of the First We Eat homepage, we'd love to have you join us on our next adventure!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Portland Sipping Guide

Portland Sipping Guide by Ev Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking
Compensation for this post was provided by Discover card via AOL Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Discover card or AOL.

Living in Portland for the past year has been wonderful, there's so much to do and see and, without the LA traffic, there's lots more time it take it all in. The city has changed so much since I was a teenager, and I've come across so many new and amazing spots since we moved into our house last June that I felt it was time to do another Portland guide. I have a general city guide as well, but being a beverage enthusiast, I thought it would be nice to do a guide specific to drinking, since Portland has such an insane number of good bars, breweries, wineries, coffee roasters, and tea makers. And all the places listed here are pretty affordable (unless stated otherwise), since traveling can get pricey it’s nice to have a budget in mind before heading out. This makes Portland especially attractive because there is no sales tax here, hurray!!! 

I usually end up spending the most on the plane ticket, unless I have enough miles on my mileage card to save me the money for the flight (which, when you travel as much as I do and buy a lot of plane tickets, definitely adds up). As for the drinks, I've broken the post up into beverage types, to keep it simpler for those of you who might only be interested in specific types of drinks. This is by no means a list of every good stop in the city (there are maaaaany more out there that I haven't even found yet), but these are the places I've found to be especially tasty and fun to visit, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Thai Red Curry Noodles + A Giveaway

Thai Red Curry Noodles by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Fall is slowly creeping its way into the pacific northwest. First, the mornings started getting crisp, then the rain came. Then, summer decided to make a week-long farewell with a big sunshine-y hug goodbye, which I appreciated because it let me squeeze in a couple more outdoor projects that I'd been procrastinating about all summer. Now, though, the cool breezes seem to be settling in and the days are getting shorter. And for me, that means that it's comfort food time.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Tiramisu & A Tuscany Photography Workshop + Food Tour

Tiramisu + A Tuscany Photography Workshop by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Well friends, I have been wanting to share this with you for a really long time, but the plans haven't been finalized until now, so I am very, very  happy that I finally get to talk to you about it! I'm hosting a food photography & visual story telling workshop in Tuscany this November for Nostrale, along with Jennifer of Savory Simple. It's one week long and takes place November 2nd - 9th. The first three days will be spent going over camera settings, lenses, manipulation of natural light, styling, and using Adobe Lightroom, and the last four days will be spent on a food tour of Tuscany, where you'll be able to put your newfound skills to use shooting the incredible countryside and eating delicious Tuscan food. We'll be going off the beaten path, and will be based in a small medieval town that is known only to locals. Also, the photos of Italy below are of the actual towns and places we'll be visiting. They were taken by Cintia Soto, who is from Tuscany and will be one of our lovely tour guides. I am so incredibly excited for this, and would love for you to join us on this adventure! You can read more about it and register through Nostrale at the link below, if you have any questions just reach out to myself or use the contact form on Nostrale's site. Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Huckleberry Pie

Huckleberry Pie by Eva Kosmas Flores

It has finally cooled down here the past few days, and I've been *so* in love with the overcast skies and chilly mornings. It's amazing to wake up in the morning not covered in sweat and panting, but instead snuggled under the blanket nice and cozy-like with a pup on either side of me. Once it starts to get cool and crisp again, I begin to crave pie morning, noon and night. Full of the last berries of summer, I made this a few weeks ago when it was insanely hot, and while it was rough having the oven on, I still loved it then and would love it even more so now. (I am planning on making it again later today, YUM!) Also, we still have a couple spaces left for my Croatia workshop, where Linda Lomelino of Call Me Cupcake and Maggie Pate from Inks + Thread will be joining us. We'll be foraging for truffles in the Croatian countryside and enjoying amazing Istrian wines, you can read more about it and register at the link below. Would love to have you come!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Melon Agua Fresca

Melon Agua Fresca by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

The heat. The intense, searing, broiling, cruel cruel heat of this summer has been almost unbearable. This is the hottest I can ever remember Oregon being, and it has made any sort of oven-related cooking in our non-air conditioned house an intensely sweaty and unpleasant experience. This, coupled with the fact that I planted an absurd amount of tomatoes this year, means that I have been eating caprese salad at least once a day. But even with the juiciness of a fresh tomato, on especially hot days the heat still gets to me, and I find myself cursing at the sky, just angrily staring out the window at the sun, stuck inside avoiding heat stroke instead of actually enjoying the summer outside like I should be able to. Days like those, even water doesn't quench my thirst. And it's on those brutally hot days that I lean on my old friend, agua fresca. For those of you unfamiliar with agua fresca, it's one of the simplest things to make, ever. You literally just put chunks of juicy fruit in a blender with cold water, then drink it. When done right, it's the most refreshing thing, ever. And its name literally means fresh water.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Summer Vegetable Quiche + A Giveaway

Summer Vegetable Quiche by Eva Kosmas Flores

After staying green for several weeks, all the tomatoes in my garden decided to ripen at the same time and I am now left with literal bucketfuls. I've been making sauce with them, drying them, and eating caprese salad non-stop, but as soon as I eat them, even more of them ripen on the vine and take their place. So, I've just resigned myself to incorporating tomatoes into every meal, which to be honest, I am most certainly not opposed to.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Secret Supper | July

Secret Supper by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

A few weeks ago I hosted my first pop-up dinner here in Portland. It took place in southeast Portland in the home of Suzanne Fuoco, tucked away in her very private and beautiful garden. Suzanne and Christiann co-hosted along with me, and together we made a 5-course meal that was savory, sweet, rich, refreshing, and tasted entirely of summer, down to the last drop of Suzanne's incredible rhubarb chutney, harvested from her garden just a few weeks before. It was incredible to see so many of Portland's makers and food lovers come out for the event and have such a great time together relaxing, savoring delicious food and drink, and simply enjoying each other's company. The success was so much so that we decided to make the dinner a series. Update: we sold out for the next dinner within 24 hours of announcing registration, so if you'd like to be emailed when ticket sales open for upcoming secret suppers, you can sign up at the link below. If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to reach out, we'd love to hear from you. The dinner location will be disclosed to ticketed guests only three days prior to the event, it will take place within 1 hour of Portland's city limits.