Friday, January 30, 2015

Summer Travels

Tacoma, Washington By Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Over the past couple weeks I've been thinking more and more of summer. The warmth, the sunlight, the long loooong days...it all feels very faraway right now. This is my first Oregon winter in the past nine years and I'm definitely feeling it (and this was apparently a very mild winter!) All I want to do is work out in the yard with the sun shining on my back, but that just won't be possible for another few months. So to warm myself up mentally, I've been looking back over some of the trips I took this past summer. Namely, Indiana and Washington. After going through all the photos I took, I decided to share them with you in hopes that it would bring a little ray of sunshine into this long and dark season.  I hope you enjoy them & my little tales of travel. May spring come sooner than we think!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake

Winter Citrus Upside Down Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

I've been a bit sick lately. Not just the little stuffy or a bit achey sick, but flat. out. sick. There was so much pressure in my head the past week I thought my face was going to explode, and my breathing's been as subtle as a passing train. Of course, all the projects I was hoping to get started on got pushed by the wayside and I was laid up in bed, so I've been doing as much from my computer as I possibly can. It was kind of needed, though, to be honest. Everything's been going a million miles an hour lately, and most days I'm on my feet in the kitchen developing recipes for 10 hours straight, so being forced to spend several days in bed just resting and drinking hot tea was exactly what I needed. Then once I started feeling better this past weekend, I tried refinishing the floors of my living room/dining room with Jeremy. I know, I have a problem. However, after two straight days of sanding I feel very, very sore but much less congested. Who would have known??? And right before I got all bogged down with the world's worst cold, I made this little winter citrus guy, and have been nibbling at it ever since.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Thai-Style Pork Belly Burgers

Thai-Style Pork Belly Burgers by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

I always look forward to the super bowl, not because I'm much of a football person (I regularly get teams from across the entire sports spectrum confused. 'Did the A's make the super bowl this year?') but because I reallllly like to use it as an excuse to break out the grill. I know it's still super cold in early February, but huddling around a hot and toasty grill in the cold weather makes grilling that much more pleasant. Definitely preferable to standing around a large open fire when it's already 90 degrees outside. So, I've got a few grilling ideas to help shape your super bowl party planning.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Buttermilk Rosemary Donuts + Balsamic Pomegranate Glaze + Salted Honey & Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes & Baking with Portland Fresh

Rosemary Donuts with Pomegranate Balsamic Glaze by Eva Kosmas Flores

A couple weeks ago I had Christiann from Portland Fresh over to make some old fashioned buttermilk donuts. We'd met through instagram (yay instagram friends!) a couple months ago and have quickly bonded since then over our love of food and the northwest. Once we started in the kitchen, though, our culinary curiosity got the better of us and we went from plain old buttermilk donuts to rosemary donuts with a balsamic pomegranate glaze, salted honey donut holes, and cinnamon + sugar ones, too. Whew! What we thought would take a couple hours ended up taking all day due to our chattiness and all the fun we were having (we may have launched some of the donut holes into bowls of powdered sugar to see what happened/take photos of them), and we were still shooting as the sun went down.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Salt Baked Sea Bass + Asheville Photography & Fly Fishing Workshop

Salt Baked Sea Bass + Asheville Food Photography & Fly Fishing Workshop by Eva Kosmas Flores

The upstate New York workshop Carey and I held this past October was more fun than I could have imagined. We couldn't stop talking about how much we enjoyed teaching, cooking, shooting, and styling with all the guests. So, we decided to make these adventures a regular occurrence, and we've created First We Eat, a series of photography workshops & adventures with artisanal & delicious homemade dishes at every meal and numerous food-related outings. The name comes from a quote by M.F.K. Fisher that goes "First we eat, then we do everything else", which pretty much says it all. Styling it, shooting it, cooking it, growing it, catching it, it always come down to food and good eatin'. And today we're opening registration for our next workshop in Asheville, North Carolina, where the delightfully enthusiastic and extremely talented baker, Molly Yeh of My Name is Yeh, will be joining us! The workshop takes place March 6th-9th in a rustic lodge nestled amongst the foothills of Cold Mountain with a picturesque old red barn. We'll be surrounded by 200 acres of forest with a private babbling creek running near the house. The workshop will cover photography, plating, styling, and will also include an afternoon fly fishing lesson on the property. (Yes, we will cook what we catch!) All meals are included in the workshop.

Guests will arrive in Asheville the morning of Friday March 6th for a hearty breakfast, followed by photography lessons and an outing to local antique shops for prop sourcing. The following day will be spent styling and shooting, with a fly fishing lesson in the afternoon. Sunday will include more hands-on styling and shooting with a lesson on post-processing images in Lightroom. Sunday's farewell dinner will be hosted by Jacob Boehm from Snap Pea Catering and will include the finest local foods Asheville has to offer. Monday morning will begin with a warm southern breakfast and we'll bid our goodbyes as everyone heads home by 10 am. We'd love to have you join us on this adventure, you can register via the link below!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Coconut Waffles with Lime Curd & Cardamom Whipped Cream + A Nell & Mary Giveaway

Coconut Waffles with Lime Curd + Cardamom Whipped Cream  by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Happy new year!! I feel like I am still in shock that 2014 went by so quickly. Also, the amount of things that happened in it was kind of insane, at least in the Kosmas Flores household. This time last year, I had no idea I'd buy a house, move back to Oregon, start writing a cookbook, have two workshops, have a small flood in the basement of said new house, get another dog, and complete a very prolonged and nightmarish kitchen remodel. But, it all happened! And sometimes I am still left scratching my head as to how it all ended up working out as well as it did, but I am grateful nevertheless.

Also, this is the last week to register for my online course that's happening this month. If you're looking to improve your photography skills in the new year, I'd love to have you join!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Lemon Lover's Dream Cake + A Lomelino's Cakes Giveaway

Lemon Lover's Dream Cake from 'Lomelino's Cakes' | Eva Kosmas Flores

I've always had a strong affinity for citrus-flavored sweets. Growing up in a Greek kitchen, most desserts were flavored with oranges and lemons since they're so prolific in that hot Mediterranean sun. Syrups were boiled with orange peels, cakes were filled with juice, and everything was coated with a fine sprinkling of freshly grated zest. My favorite fruit of the citrus family, though, is the lemon. The contrast between their refreshingly sour tang and the delicate sweet flavors a little sugar brings out has always been what's appealed to me most. I don't know who thought to pair such an acidic and bitter fruit with cakes and custards, but it certainly worked out well. So when I was asked to host a giveaway of the kind and lovely Linda Lomelino's cookbook, Lomelino's Cakes, I knew exactly which of the dazzling cakes I was going to try my hand at.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Apple Pear & Brandy Cider + DIY Winter Bay & Rosemary Wreath

Apple Pear & Brandy Cider | Eva Kosmas Flores

For me, there's something almost magical about the holiday season. The vibrant evergreens filling doorways, living rooms, and banisters, the constant cooking of old recipes with family, the joyous laughter and intoxication shared with good friends, and the chance to craft like you've never crafted before. I didn't attempt any DIY gifts this year, in the past I've infused vinegars, I've made jams, and I've crafted pickles, but this year with all the extra work-related cooking to be done I let myself off the hook when it came to making gifts and stuck to the normal family-related holiday baking festivities.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Whiskey Date & Buttermilk Cake with Salted Pear Caramel Buttercream

Whiskey Date & Buttermilk Cake with Salted Pear Caramel Buttercream by Eva Kosmas Flores

It's been a bit of a crazy time here, extra holiday articles to write and recipes to develop, in addition to working on the cookbook and the general hullabaloo of the season. I'm really excited, though, because every year my friends and I have a Christmas party when we're all back home from the places we moved off to, and this year because I am finally settled back home in Oregon for good, we're having it at my house. Jeremy is hard at work building a dining table for us to use at the party (fingers crossed it will be done in time!) and I've been trying to finish up the last bits of the kitchen. A hanging fern there, costco-sized bags of sugar being tucked away there, little mug hooks being screwed into the cabinets, it's nearly come together.

Being permanently back home with my family and friends for the first time in nine years, I have much to celebrate, so I wanted to make a cake that was very much part of the holiday season of joy, booze, and excess. So, I decided to combine one of my favorite sweet flavors, dates, with one of the most flavorful alcohols around, whiskey. I simmered the dates in a bit of whiskey, covered, until the dates soaked up the liquid in the pot. Since dates are dried, they will absorb any hot liquid you trap them with, almost like a whiskey steam bath (the best steam bath of all).

Also, just another reminder that registration for my online food styling & photography workshop is now open, and since it's all online you can participate wherever in the world you're located. Would love to see you there!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cast Iron Deep Dish Chocolate Pecan Tart + A Finex Giveaway

Chocolate Pecan Tart + A Finex Giveaway by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

I think most of you can relate to me when I say ahhhh chocolate. There has never been a time in my life when I wasn't deeply and passionately in love with it. The flavor, the appearance, the versatility, there's really nothing else like it in the food world. Lately I've been on a bit of a chocolate kick, stocking the kitchen with a few bars of dark chocolate and finding that it's not nearly enough over a two-day period. So, I decided to go all-out with this tart and created a rich, chocolate mousse tart baked inside well-seasoned Finex cast iron skillets. I made three tarts but adjusted the recipe below to work for one (8-inch) cast iron skillet.

Also, just a reminder that registration is open for my Online Food Styling & Photography Workshop, you can register at the link below. It is all online via webcam and Drop Box so anyone can participate regardless of their location, hurray!