Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Bacon, Pear, & Blue Cheese Macaroni with Caramelized Onions + A Stitch Giveaway

Bacon, Pear, & Blue Cheese Macaroni with Caramelized Onions

While the temperatures have been soaring here in Oregon, I've found myself craving the fall. The sound of rain pittering against the window, the crunch of fallen autumn leaves underfoot, the abundance of squash and apples and pears at the market; I unreasonably want it all and want it now. But that's not quite how the seasons work, I'm afraid, so I decided to make a comforting dish that would incorporate one of my favorite fall fruits and keep my craving for autumn at bay for a week or two. Hopefully until this heatwave subsides, anyway.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Zucchini, Ricotta, & Paprika Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Zucchini & Ricotta Stuffed Squash Blossoms | Adventures in Cooking

Life's been a bit crazy 'round here lately. We just got the quote for the countertops that I fell in love with in for the kitchen remodel and it was waaaaay more than what I was expecting. So now we're kinda sorta maybe thinking about DIYing it, which I know sounds crazy at first BUT, the more I research wood plank countertops the more doable (sort of) it seems. But I also have a knack for underestimating the complexity of DIY tasks (like the time I thought we could build a dining table without any wood working experience whatsoever. This ended up becoming my rickety prop table.) Sooooo we'll see what happens. But enough about countertops, and onto the food.

My older sister teaches kindergarten and one of the many projects she did with her students involved planting pumpkin seeds and watching them grow. Since most of the families didn't have room for a giant pumpkin plant, she ended up with dozens of the little green vining sprouts. Luckily, that was around the time that I moved back home, and because I can never say no to free plants, I ended up taking home eight of them. Most vining squash tend to take over large portions of the yard, so the lack of veggies I sowed this summer (just  squash and tomatoes) actually helped the pumpkins  sprawl out. And sprawl they did. About 1/3 of my yard is now a mass of pumpkin vines, awash with golden squash blossoms coming out from every crevasse and turn of the vine. There are dozens of new ones every day and, while I can't keep up with their current output, I've been doing my best to at least put a dent in them. They're one of the largest edible flowers, and perfect for stuffing and pan-frying.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Food Styling & Photography Workshop in Upstate New York With Reclaiming Provincial + Gooseberry Icebox Cake

Those of you who follow me on instagram know that I've been hinting about a gathering I've had in the works for a couple months now, and today I finally get to share it with you. Myself and Carey Nershi of Reclaiming Provincial are hosting a Food Styling & Photography Workshop in upstate New York this fall. The 2 and 1/2 day workshop takes places in a renovated 19th century barn atop a picturesque mountain surrounded by 300 acres of fall foliage (think Thomas Kincade painting.)
Participants will arrive the evening of Friday October 3rd for a local feast, followed by a photography lesson. The following day will be spent in styling and shooting lessons, with an excursion to a local farmer's market in a historic round barn. Sunday will include more hands-on styling and shooting, with a lesson on post-processing images in Lightroom. Monday morning will begin with a farewell breakfast and we'll bid our goodbyes as everyone departs the barn by 10 am. All meals will be provided by myself and the lovely Miss Nershi. I'd love nothing more than to share this experience with you, so please feel free to email me with any questions!  You can follow the link below to register. I also made a little video for the workshop registration, I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel | Guest Post by Reclaiming Provincial

Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel

The past week has been filled with a flurry of activity. Organizing, coordinating, writing, cooking, shooting, repeat. I've been spending these toasty summer nights relaxing with either a popsicle, cocktail, or mircrobrew in hand to help wind down after the long days (and I mean long, the sun doesn't set around here until about 9:30!) I'd be hard-pressed to find something that goes down as a smooth as a creamy wheat beer on these hot and balmy evenings, and luckily Portland has plenty of those in ready supply. I've made plans to experiment with beer ice cream in the near future, but until then I have something even more delicious to share with you, and that's this Orange-Fennel Semifreddo with Spicy Chocolate Bits & Almond Streusel. Yes, you read that correctly, the most amazing semifreddo title OF ALL TIME. This sweet and spicy creation comes from my dearest friend on the web, Carey Nershi of Reclaiming Provincial. Carey is not only an incredibly talented cook, stylist, and food photographer, but she's one of the kindest ladies I know, and I am so incredibly excited to have her here with us today. Welcome, Carey!!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Raspberry Cardamom Almond Tarts | Guest Post by Two Red Bowls

Raspberry Cardamom Almond Tarts

Work on the new house is progressing slowly but surely, the archway we wanted to take down in the kitchen is now officially gone and I've managed to get most of the plants in the ground that were biding their time on my patio. The pumpkin plant officially has a little pumpkin on it and my lingonberry plant has little lingonberries, (although I'm not entirely sure what I am going to do with them yet. Jam? Tart? Ice cream??? Yes. The answer will always be ice cream.) Speaking of frozen desserts, today I have another wonderful guest post to share with you, this time coming from the warm, lovely, and exceedingly talented Cynthia of Two Red Bowls. Her recent favorites of mine include this red bean ice cream (how amazing are those photos???) and these gorgeous potstickers. Welcome, Cynthia!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Black & Blueberry Brown Butter Cake + A Challenge Butter Giveaway

Black & Blueberry Brown Butter Cake | Adventures in Cooking

Things have been quite a whirlwind 'round these parts as of late. Keeping up with the house, teaching my online course, and working on some other projects (will be telling you about these, soon!) have left me with very little extra time on my hands. With the kitchen remodel moving very slowly, I was having a hard time not being able to cook for an extended period of time, especially since cooking is one of my preferred methods of stress relief. So, this past Friday I said 'to hell with it' and made a cake in my half torn down kitchen. The oven was in working order and there was countertop space enough for the mixer, and that was good enough for me. I'd had all these berries left over from berry picking and needed to put them to good use, and I'd be damned if they were going to get all moldy before I put them into a sweet of some kind.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Upside Down Mini Gelato Cakes | A Guest Post from My Name Is Yeh

Gelato Cakes | Adventures in Cooking Guest Post by Molly Yeh

Staying out of the kitchen has been hard, especially since I went berry picking this past weekend with one of my best childhood friends and we ended up with quite the assortment of fresh fruits that appeared (at least to me, anyway) to be begging to be put into a pie or cake of some kind. So I maybe might have baked a cake this morning in my half torn down kitchen. Whoops! It felt good though, the house actually smelled like a home (and by that I mean cake), and I got to have a little zen time away from the dozens of thoughts that are normally buzzing around my brain. Plus I got to eat something sweet at the end of it all, which y'all know how much I enjoy.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Salted Caramel & Apricot Pots de Creme

Salted Caramel & Apricot Pots de Creme | Adventures in Cooking

Things are moving slowly here on the kitchen remodel front. Or maybe it just feels slow because I keep seeing beautiful summer recipes posted everywhere, and then I look into my kitchen and just see a bunch of lath and plaster that's half torn down and give a deep long sigh. I got an old house because I wanted personality, I just didn't expect it to be so...spunky (especially during the demolition process.) But to ease my impatient nerves I've been taking out my excess energy in the garden, whacking away at the lawn to carve out more space for my spur-of-the-moment purchase of 8 gooseberry and currant bushes (they were 50% off, what else was I supposed to do?) Turns out, under the grass is a whole lot of rock, so I've been meticulously picking them out and piling them up along the fence to improve the soil quality (also, adding loads of earthworm casings). Afterwards, I come inside, collapse in front of my computer, and slowly begin collecting niche pieces for the new kitchen, pulling mostly from Food52's Provisions. My focus is on getting pieces that combine form and function, like this. Or this. And also that (who doesn't need a jug full of whiskey in the kitchen?) Hopefully all this hard work will be rewarded, though, when I have a finished kitchen in autumn and a caseload of berries next summer, so I can make all the pies and hot toddies a girl could ever want.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet | A Guest Post From Hummingbird High

Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet - Michelle Lopez
With the kitchen renovation in full swing and my Online Food Styling & Photography Workshop vamping up, my ability to cook and write for the next couple weeks will be limited. But this is a good thing. You see, it gives me the chance to share recipes from bloggers I've met and befriended over the years through the wonder that is the internet. Today we're being joined by Michelle Lopez from Hummingbird High, a Saveur-nominated baking blog that's based here in Portland, Oregon. Michelle and I finally met face-to-face for the first time last night and she is just as bubbly and funny in person as she is on her blog. And as you can see from this gorgeous and delicious-sounding sorbet, she's one talented lady. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe and words, Michelle. I could not be happier to have you here!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pistachio and Rose Water Pavlova with Greek Yogurt, Honey, and Figs + A Giveaway

Pistachio and Rose Water Pavlova with Greek Yogurt, Honey, and Figs | Adventures in Cooking

There's something almost magical about the texture of baked meringue. The way it gets so crisp-yet-fragile on the outside, and a simple crack of the outer shell reveals the gooey, soft, and sweet center within. Meringue cookies have always had a soft spot in my heart, and when I discovered pavlova several years ago it brought my adoration to new heights, since pavlova is basically just a giant meringue cookie with a bunch of delicious toppings piled on. So when I was approached about reviewing the Meringue Girls cookbook, I immediately said yes, and then got even more excited when I saw a recipe for a pavlova that was covered in Greek things (pistachios, honey, rose water, and yogurt. Not much more of a greek dessert combo than that.)