Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Garden | Spring

Spring Garden by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Spring Garden by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking
Wisteria
Spring Garden by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

I've gotten a lot of requests to do a post about my garden over the past year, but I've been putting it off because it looks so different at different points of the year that I wanted to shoot it over the year and put one big post together. But, life is crazy and I didn't have the motivation to make that happen (also my winter garden this year looked very sad), so instead I'm going to break it up into a few different posts. This one, as you can see, is spring! This is one of my busiest times in the garden because this is when I have to get the soil in tip top shape for planting, and actually start all my little seeds. I'm going to talk about all the steps I go through to get things in swing for the season, so if you're into plants or gardening, strap in! If not, you can at least enjoy some pretty garden and plant pictures :)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Salted Swedish Cardamom Buns + A Workshop in Tuscany

Salted Swedish Cardamom Buns by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

I made these guys a few weeks back and have been dreaming about them ever since. My favorite desserts are always the ones that play sweet and salty off of each other, and these definitely deliver on that front. I had cardamom buns while I was traveling through Europe last month, they're traditionally a Swedish pastry but their popularity is spreading all over the place, and for good reason. They're like a nice and sticky cinnamon roll, but with cardamom inside and twisted up into the prettiest little knot rather than rolled up in a spiral. To make them, you basically make and roll out cardamom dough, then spread a cardamom paste filling over it, fold it in on itself, roll it out flat again, cut it into little strips, twist the little strip around your fingers to make the knot, and then bake the rolls in the oven. While they're baking, you make a delicious cardamom syrup that you brush over the buns as soon as you take them out of the oven, because when they're hot they absorb the syrup and it makes the buns incredibly moist and slightly sticky. Once they're all sticky from the syrup, I sprinkle a bunch of sea salt onto them to add a little crunch and a nice salty contrast to the sweet little buns (insert devilish grin here).

They're crazy, stupid good, and although the knot looks complicated, I have a little cinemagraph below to help you visualize the twisting process (I'm working on getting some cooking videos together for you guys, more on that soon!) Also, note that the filling and syrup in this recipe call for whole cardamom seeds, which is different than ground cardamom (which is ground cardamom seeds) and also different from the green cardamom pods (if you open the pods you'll see the little black seeds inside them, though, and that's what you want). Just something to be aware of when you're putting your grocery list together.

Also, I have a workshop coming up this October in Tuscany that I'd love for you to join! The first 3 days will be photography lessons, and the other 4 will be a food tour of all the best food and wine that Tuscany has to offer. It's pretty much going to be the greatest, ever. I'll be hosting it with Jennifer of Savory Simple and Cintia of Nostrale Tour. You can read more and register here, hope to see you soon!

And on a side note, I have an interview up on the anthropologie blog talking all about gardening and decorating with plants and cut flowers. Basically my other two obsessions in life besides food. You can take a look at it here :) Hope you're enjoying the spring!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Simple Rhubarb Almond Cake

Rhubarb Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Rhubarb Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Spring has sprung so much that it's beginning to feel like summer. It was 87 degrees here in Portland today, and while my baby tomato sprouts seem to be enjoying the heat, I must say I didn't enjoy the reminder of what it's like to sleep in a former attic with no air conditioning. Jeremy and I are going to get one of those air humidifier cooler things to see if that helps, but I'm hoping that the temperature goes down again, though, if not for our sake than at least for my spring produce that's baking under the hot glaring sun (I'm looking at you, peas).

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Secret Supper | Fire + Ice |

Secret Supper | Fire + Ice | By Eva Kosmas Flores of Adventures in Cooking

Secret Supper | Fire + Ice | By Eva Kosmas Flores of Adventures in Cooking

Secret Supper | Fire + Ice | By Eva Kosmas Flores of Adventures in Cooking

Five weeks ago I hosted my third Secret Supper pop-up dinner here in the Pacific Northwest. We held it in a clearing in the middle of a grove of sweeping douglas fir trees, located at the magical Miller Farm Retreat. Co-hosting alongside me were my amazing friends and fellow food-lovers Christiann and Danielle, and Mona and Jaret of Tournant PDX. This supper was particularly challenging because, in tune with our Fire + Ice theme, every course was prepared over an open fire or directly in ambers and ash, and we had many hands helping in and outside of the kitchen to pull it all off. A huge thanks goes to Joe, Christi, Holly, Tiffany, Jeremy, Jacob, Caitlyn, Ariana, and Eleni.

We were infinitely lucky that the rain clouds stayed away and we were able to have an outdoor winter dinner, keeping everyone warm with fire pits along each side of the table and little pocket hand warmers given to them as they arrived. It was wonderful to see some of the same faces at this dinner that I've seen at previous ones, and so many fresh faces, too. Everyone dined under a blanket of stars and interwoven branches, nestled up against one of the biggest mountains in the state. The food was rich with flavor and perfect for the setting, and we had the most kind and joyous people join us for the evening. There's something particularly wondrous in that moment, when you know that all the beauty around you is just in that moment, just for that one night, where you all come together to enjoy a feast unlike any other you'll have again.

We've opened ticket sales for our next Secret Supper on June 18th, the theme is 'Thicket' and the 5-course dinner will be a celebration of spring. You can read more and register via the link below, and can sign up for our newsletter to be notified when registration opens for future events.

UPDATE: We sold out within 3 hours of opening registration, thank you so much everyone for your enthusiasm and support!!


Monday, April 4, 2016

New Mexico Food Photography + Textiles Workshop

New Mexico Photograhy Workshop with Eva Kosmas Flores

I'm still catching up on all the house and yard work I missed out on while I was gone, but just wanted to pop in and let you guys know that there's only 3 spaces left for my New Mexico food photography & textiles workshop, and they're going quickly! It is in Taos, New Mexico, where Carey and I will be teaching food photography, the business side of the creative industry, and styling. Maggie Pate from NĂ¥de Studio will be teaching us how to make our own natural dyes (indigo specifically) and how to weave on our own small looms, which you'll get as a part of the welcome package (plus lots of other goodies!) We'll have gloves to keep your hands clean during the dying process if you want them, but there is something to be said about the beauty of those intensely blue palms and fingertips! I have the schedule of the workshop below for you to peek at, we'll also be staying in an amazing old adobe hacienda whose original walls date back to the late 1700's. Every room has a fireplace, and the beautiful adobe and stone structure mixed with the vibrant red and orange hills surrounding the home will make the perrrrrrfect backdrop for this workshop. And as per usual with the First We Eat workshops, we'll be making every meal from scratch, which means lots of delicious homemade southwestern dishes for all of us! I'd love to have you join me, and if you have any questions at all feel free to email me via the address in the sidebar of this blog. Hope to see you soon!!

Also, huge thanks to Maggie for all of the natural dying + weaving images for this post, and to Carey for all of the southwestern landscape shots :)

Schedule

| Friday June 3rd: Welcome dinner at 6 pm |

| Saturday June 4th: Photography lessons, indigo textile dying, hands on shooting & styling |

| Sunday June 5th: Styling lessons, weaving, business + social media roundtable |

| Monday June 6th: Group outing to Taos Pueblo, Adobe Lightroom demonstration |

| Tuesday June 7th: Farewell breakfast at 9 am, guests depart by 11 am |


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Blueberry Lemon Pancakes

Blueberry Lemon Pancakes by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

I've been home for a few days now and it has been so darned nice. There's just something especially wonderful about coming back to a place that's yours. Where you know where all your things are, where you get to cook whatever you want whenever you want, where you're greeting with two wagging tails and one fluffy one, and where your bed feels like its own little floating cloud of comfort and contentment. I don't know if it's just me getting older, but I really really REALLY just love being home. And Oregon has apparently reward me for returning, since the weather has been absolutely amazing here the past few days. The rain clouds of the typical northwest spring seem to have momentarily burned off, and instead have been replaced with sunshine and 70-degree weather. Huzzah!! As any human who has gone for 6 months without a warm and sunny day at home would do, I immediately tore off into the garden and firmly planted myself outside, determined to make the most of it.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

First We Eat | British Virgin Islands Photography + Craft Cocktail Workshop

British Virgin Islands Photography Workshop | Eva Kosmas Flores

British Virgin Islands Photography Workshop | Eva Kosmas Flores

British Virgin Islands Photography Workshop | Eva Kosmas Flores

A few weeks ago I promised a full recap post of Carey, Ice (short for Aysegul), and I’s First We Eat workshop in the British Virgin Islands, and today I’m here to deliver. It always takes me a while to get recap posts together, I start going through the photos from the trip, a flood of memories comes over me, and I just end up sitting there reminiscing instead of actually editing and writing. And it’s always a little bittersweet, because you know that you’ll probably never be altogether with that exact same group of people again, and you miss everyone because they were all awesome. It’s been true for all the workshops I've done, and it was especially true for this one. We were joined by Lauren and Jake of Red & Brown, who make amazing small batch craft cocktail ingredients in upstate New York. They taught us how to use our West Elm barware to make drinks like pros, gave us a little history behind the tasty tiki cocktails we were making, and kept us hydrated. Aysegul Sanford of Foolproof Living also joined us for this workshop, and she took us all around Virgin Gorda. She guided us through The Baths, where we went for a swim at her favorite nearby tucked-away beach. We also stopped for some beers at Hog Heaven, the highest point of Virgin Gorda, and had lunch on the smallest of the Virgin Islands.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Meringue Stack with Blood Orange Olive Oil Curd

Blood Orange Olive Oil Meringue Stack by Eva Kosmas Flores

I'm writing this from my hotel room in London, I spent the week before last hosting an amazing workshop in Barcelona with Carey, Pat, Linda, and Maggie. We ate and shot a ton of Spanish food, visited two beautiful and very different wineries, and had a big traditional Spanish barbecue. It was so, so much fun and I can't wait to share it with you guys when I get back. After the workshop, Carey and I took a few days in Paris to wander around, relax, and basically just eat a ton of pastries. She left a couple days ago, and then I headed off to London to meet Jeremy, and we'll have a week together here and then hop back over to Paris, too (if you want to follow along  with all of my travel and workshop adventures, you can do so on snapchat at @evakosmasflores.) He's never been to Paris or London so it's been really fun seeing him experience all this stuff for the first time. This is also the longest I've been away from home in one chunk of time. Three whole weeks! I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terribly homesick at this point, I miss our house and the dogs and chickens and my cat and my plants and my bed. But my mom is sending me photos of the dogs doing ridiculous things at my parents' house, which helps them feel not so far away, and having Jeremy here with me now makes a huge difference. We have an action-packed last week here, though, so I will keep this short and sweet and talk a little bit about this amazing meringue stack!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Scratch Session | Soup Stocks & Bone Broth From Scratch

Scratch Session | Stocks & Bone Broth by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Last month I held the first of my new series of homesteading workshops here in my home in Portland, Oregon. Co-hosting along with me was Christiann and together we'd made a really fun and interesting day filled with tasty soups, stocks, broths, and breads. We went over the means of making a good soup, including the maillard reaction (when food turns gold while cooking due to the caramelization of the sugars within), thickening agents (flour, potatoes, eggs), layering flavors (adding sensitive bright flavors like fresh herbs towards the end of a long cooking time), cooking times (the advantages and disadvantages of each), animal parts, and so on. Christiann and I had spent the day prior cooking up a bunch of different stocks for the attendees to take home, and also for the test-test portion of the workshop. We laid out 8 bowls and a row of spoons, and together we tasted and compared the flavors of 6 hour versus 12 hour pork neck broth made with pork bones from Champoeg Creamery, 12 hour pork foot broth, 3 hour whole chicken stock made with chickens from Marion Acres, 3 hour chicken wing stock, avgolemono soup (chicken stock, lemon juice, and egg), roasted vegetable stock, and raw vegetable stock. The crowd favorites were the 12-hour pork neck broth and the avgole mono soup, and it was really interesting to taste the effect that the cooking time had on the stock side-by-side, and how different parts of the animal affected the flavor and richness of the stock (the chicken wing stock was much thicker and more flavorful than the whole chicken stock, due to all the cartridge from the joints in the wings).

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Root Vegetable & Feta Empanadas

Root Vegetable & Feta Empanadas by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

The weather started warming up here this past week, and for a hot second I thought spring was on its way early, but then the thermometer dipped back down again and the gorge winds started blowing hard and cold. It dried out enough for me to nearly finish off the pile of compost I had delivered; I spread most of it around the empty vegetable garden, raking here and there, and ripping out the dead skeletons of the vegetables from last summer that I'd forgotten to take out before winter hit. But then I discovered some plants that I'd left and forgotten about that had overwintered. The golden beets and potatoes that were too small to harvest in the fall ended up staying nice and fresh in the ground over the past few months and started growing again, so I pulled out my pleasant surprises and decided to make some wintery root vegetable empanadas with them.