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!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Honeyed Greek Filo Custard + Winter 2015 Online Food Styling & Photography Workshop

Honeyed Greek Filo Custard + Online Food Styling & Photography Workshop by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

After I had my online workshop this summer, I had so many of you reach out to me about when I'd be doing another one that I am beyond happy to be able to tell you that the time is now. Well, next month to be precise, but registration is finally open, hurray!! The one I held this summer was such an incredible experience, I made friends with so many people across the globe, have even been able to meet some of them through my travels, and am collaborating with some of them on future workshops in foreign lands. We created a great online community together, talking food, styling, and photography for 30 days straight. I loved every minute of it, and am so excited to do it again next month with a new group of photographers. The course description is in the following paragraphs and in the link below, where you can register. Space is limited so don't postpone, I can't wait to 'see' some of you in the workshop next month!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Boeuf Bourguignon + A Falk Copper Giveaway

Boeuf Bourguignon + A Falk Copper Giveaway by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

During the cold months of winter when the wind is beating mercilessly against the house and the trees around us are groaning and aching under the strain, nothing calms my nerves in quite the same way as a warm and hearty stew. While it doesn't solve the issue of a tree potentially falling on the house, it does serve as a very pleasant distraction, and this wonderfully aromatic old French country stew is one of my favorite winter dinners. Don't be intimidated by the fancy incomprehensible name, this dish is simple beef stew at its finest. Tough cuts of beef are simmered down to tender perfection, combining the rich flavor of the meat with the delicious freshness of winter vegetables like carrots, parsnips, shallots, and onions, creating the most delicious gravy-like stock imaginable.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Foodie's Travel Guide to London

Foodie's Guide to London by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Foodie's Guide to London by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Foodie's Guide to London by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Foodie's Guide to London by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Back in October I had the fortunate experience of being able to hop over to London while I was in Europe for work on a different project. I didn't really know what to expect since it was my first time in England and I honestly knew next to nothing about the city. But I met some great English girls while I was in Berlin and got the down-low on all the tasty markets to visit in London, and since all I really care about when I'm traveling is food, that took care of my complete itinerary for the 3-day trip. So here it goes, a foodie's guide to London!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Glazed Chicken Drumsticks With Shiitake Mushroom & Turnip Rice Salad

Yuzu Kosho Glazed Chicken Drumsticks With Shiitake Mushroom & Turnip Rice Salad by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

I am admittedly a bit of a food geek, and nothing gets me more excited than talking about the biology behind flavors and taste. For a long time, scientists thought there were only four basic tastes that our taste receptors could distinguish, sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. But over the past decade, another basic taste has become widely accepted as the fifth member of this group, and that is umami. Umami is an earthy, meaty taste. It is found in mushrooms, meat, and many fermented foods, and delivers a flavor that is best described as savory.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Carrot Citrus Cupcakes With Cream Cheese Frosting + A Giveaway

Carrot Citrus Cupcakes + A Hanging Basket Giveaway by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Today, I made cupcakes. And not just any cupcakes, but the celebratory kind. To make Jeremy's birthday celebration even more enjoyable, and to celebrate the near-completion of the absurdly long and tedious kitchen remodel. Yes, it is finally, finally almost done. I say 'almost' because there's a few little decorative knick-knacks that still need to be put in place, but as far as actual construction involving strangers in my house + sawdust coating everything = never again. YAYYYYY!!!!!! And in addition to celebrating with cupcakes, I'm also shouting hurrah with a giveaway!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Coconut Spice Latte + A Toms Coffee Giveaway

Coconut Spice Latte by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

The shorter days and cold weather have left me feeling more tired than normal. I start to get sleepy at about 7 pm, and slowly make my way to my bed where it's warm and cozy and I can sit by my reading lamp and putz around on the computer. I know that I shouldn't be getting tired so early, but whenever it gets dark I just can't help it, it makes me sleepy. So, I've started drinking coffee in the afternoon to counteract this seasonal sleepiness. The array of coffee beans and roasts available has been endlessly fun to experiment with, as have been my experiments in homemade latte-making, my favorite of which I am sharing here today.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pain Au Levain

Pain au Levain by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

I have a bit of a kitchen confession to make, and that is that I’ve never made traditional bread. I’ve made croissants, I’ve made cornbread, I’ve made cakes, muffins, and the like, but I’ve never made a straight-up old-fashioned loaf of fluffy and crusty bread. This is especially lame since I actually spent an intensive few days at King Arthur Flour headquarters a couple years ago learning to do just that, but just never carried through on making any once I got back home. But now, all that has changed. Yes, the years of storing away random bread facts and knowledge have finally come to fruition in the form of these beautiful loaves from the Model Bakery Cookbook.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Hazelnut Chocolate Chess Pie With A Buckwheat Crust

Hazelnut Chocolate Chess Pie With A Buckwheat Crust by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Over the years my Thanksgiving menu has evolved to incorporate my all-time favorite foods. This includes roasted brussel sprouts, cornbread (on its own), cornbread sausage stuffing (both in and out of the bird), and of course the pear-glazed turkey. And this year I've added a new favorite to the spread, the hazelnut chess pie. Chess pie is a custard-based pie that incorporates a bit of cornmeal into the custard for a slightly thicker texture. I added a few of my favorite elements from the standard pecan pie fare to the mix, as well as a smattering of fresh northwest hazelnuts, and in the end I came out with one of the single most delicious pies I've ever tasted. Imagine what a pie filled with a hazelnut chocolate custard would be like. That's this pie.