Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Adventures in Cooking Gift Guide

Adventures in Cooking Gift Guide

I can't believe it's that time of year again; the past 11 months have flown by and Thanksgiving is already over, leaving me with lots to do to prepare for the holidays. Cutting down a Christmas tree, getting an iron fireplace grate to actually be able to make fires in the fireplace, finish painting the bedroom so it looks less neon blue and more white, and of course, getting everyone's holiday gifts. There are so many amazing makers and craftsman out there, and I'm going to be sourcing all my gifts from them this holiday season. Since everyone has their own online shops, too, it's easier than it's ever been to 'shop small' and support small businesses. There are so many niche items out there that make for amazing gifts, and when you purchase directly from makers you're helping someone who's passionate about what they do, rather than offshore companies with shady human rights backgrounds. I have some really talented folks included in this year's gift guide, some of whom I've met in person and some I have just admired from afar. I hope you enjoy their wares and feel inspired to support them and other makers with your holiday purchases this season :)

                                1 Potter and Woodsmith White Lace Ceramic Dinner Plates$18
                                2 Schoolhouse Electric Supply Co. Copper Cup$22
                                3 Nershi Woodworks Carved Wooden Vase$30
                                4 Honey Comb Studio Black Faceted Bottle with Gold Details$65
                                5 Dina No via Alder & Co Ceramic Creamer$30
                                6 Fog Linen Waffle Grey Kitchen Cloth$18

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Pumpkin Cornbread Stuffing with Bacon & Dates

Pumpkin Cornbread Stuffing with Bacon & Dates by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

I have been harvesting *so much* winter squash from the garden lately that I've become slightly overwhelmed with what to do with it all. I've roasted it and chopped it into cubes, I've roasted then pureed it for spreads and fillings, I've made soup, ravioli, casserole, tacos, and risotto. So when I was getting my Thanksgiving plan together this year, I was also trying to find ways to incorporate as much winter squash as possible. And because I love cornbread, bacon, and dates, I felt like it was only natural to make a stuffing that combined all of these things and some pureed roasted squash from the yard.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Roast Rosemary Turkey with a Cranberry and Pomegranate Glaze

Roast Rosemary Turkey with a Cranberry and Pomegranate Glaze by Eva Kosmas Flores

I'm hosting Thanksgiving at my house for the first time this year, and I'm an adrenaline rush-inducing mix of nervous and excited. It's just going to be me, Jeremy, my parents, and my aunt, so I'll be making a small turkey. I already pre-ordered one from a local farm, Champoeg Creamery, a couple months ago and have been planning the menu since then (it's mostly pie, FTW). There's just something that feels especially 'adult' about hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner with your family. Instead of mom making the turkey, it will be me, and instead of the rest of the family watching football at my parents' place, we'll be rigging the TV to work on the main floor of the house (usually it's in the now-freezing basement) so everyone can watch it in the living room while I clunk around in the kitchen. I think my parents will come early so my mom can lend a hand in the kitchen; I always love cooking with her and whenever I'm a little nervous she always makes me feel so happy and at ease, so it will be a much-needed relief having her there to help tend the bird.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Spiced Persimmon & Creme Fraiche Custard Tart

Persimmon Custard Tart by Eva Kosmas Flores

I've been brainstorming some holiday dessert recipes the past few weeks, trying to come up with something that would go well with custard and also used a seasonal winter fruit. Sounds easy enough, but the more you think about winter fruits, the more you realize there really aren't that many. You're pretty much limited to pomegranates, cranberries, and the 'winter citrus' that comes around in January. I was scratching my head about it up until about a week ago when I went out to dinner with my aunt and uncle, and they promptly answered my question by giving me a giant bag of persimmons from their persimmon tree. Ah, persimmons! The winter fruit I had completely forgot about.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Mushroom Lasagna

Mushroom Lasagna by Eva Kosmas Flores of Adventures in Cooking

Last weekend I went mushroom foraging here in Oregon. We drove out to the mountains between the Oregon coast and the Willamette valley, trudging out into the woods looking for some tasty chanterelles. This time, unfortunately, we only found three of them, but it was still great to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and beautiful scenery. We were foraging about 30 minutes from a little town near the coast called Tillamook. Growing up, my family would always make a pit stop there on our way to the beach so we could wander around the inside of the Tillamook Cheese Factory, getting some delicious ice cream, peering through the giant glass windows at the cheese making operation, and chewing on squeaky cheese curds. It was just a natural part of going to the beach for my family, and last year Jeremy and I made a last-minute pit stop there on our way to go clamming. The cheese making inside the factory was just as interesting to watch, and we ended up buying a bunch of really amazing old Pacific Northwest photo prints from the gift shop (definitely indicative of a grown-up visiting the factory rather than the child-me running around with a giant scoop of ice cream). But even though I've grown and changed since then, the town of Tillamook remains a small, quiet dairy farming community built around making really, really tasty cheese.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Barcelona Food Photography + Styling + Wine Tasting Workshop & A Mulled Wine Recipe

Barcelona Food Photography + Styling + Wine Tasting Workshop with Eva Kosmas Flores

I have reallllly  been looking forward to sharing this with you guys. Over the past four months I've been putting together a really amazing workshop in Spain along with Patry of Sabores y Momentos, and today registration is now open! I'll be hosting along with Carey as a part of our First We Eat travel-based workshop series. We'll be staying in a historic Spanish manor house, Villa Sitges, complete with a ceramic tiled kitchen, wood beam ceilings, sauna, and a large tranquil swimming pool. The grounds will make the perfect backdrop for our photography and hands-on styling sessions. We'll explore two local wineries, one large-scale and one small scale. Codorniu is one of Spain's oldest wineries and has been producing since 1551. They are a testimony to the history and flavor of the traditional local sparkling wine, cava, which we'll enjoy on our visit.Viladellops Vinicola is a small family-run winery that makes a range of flavorful Spanish wines. We'll taste several different varietals and then blend our own bottles, learning about the alchemy of winemaking while stepping into the shoes of a vintner for the afternoon.

We'll also visit the local Villafranca farmer's market to try local snacks and pastries, and will spend our last day enjoying a traditional Spanish cal├žotada, a meal made on a traditional charcoal grill that consists of a course of slow roasted cal├žots (Spanish leek-like onions) dipped in a salsa romescu, followed by either meat or fish. Vegetarian options for this course will also be available. Workshop material will cover adjusting internal camera settings such as shutter speed, aperture, and ISO and their effects on the image, lenses and their focal lengths, manipulation of natural lighting, food styling and plating, post processing in Adobe Lightroom 5, and navigating the business side of social media and food photography.

I'd love nothing more than to have you join me in this incredible experience, you can read more details about the event and register at the link below, if you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out! Hope to see you soon!!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Winter Squash Filo Spiral

Winter Squash Filo Spiral by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Back when we lived in Los Angeles, I'd tried growing squash in the backyard of our bungalow on multiple occasions. I'm not sure if it was the excessive heat or the soil quality, but they'd get a few feet long and then their leaves would become covered with a pale white powdery mildew and they'd never even get a little squash blossom, let along produce actual squash. So this past spring when I started my seeds for the garden, I decided to only try growing one squash variety since I was used to them failing so often and didn't want to waste my time and effort. I ended up planting two squash plants from the same heirloom greek variety, and went into it with pretty much no expectations at all. A lot of my heirloom melons succumbed to a powdery mildew really quickly (I think I planted them too early), but surprisingly, the squash hung in there. And then they started to grow, a lot. Then some little squash appeared, and then more squash. At this point, I've harvested over 100 pounds of squash from the two plants and there are *still* more baby squash growing on the vines.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Best Gluten-Free Cake + A Polder's Giveaway

Autumn Oat, Pumpkin, & Almond Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Before I share this insanely good autumn oat, pumpkin, and almond cake with you, I want to tell you a story about a chicken. My chicken. My flightily, timid, and tiny chicken, to be specific. Two days ago one of our chicks, Lillith, got out of the coop and, in a series of escalating situations, ended up on the roof of our house. We had clipped their wings about 6 weeks ago (this just involves trimming the end feathers on one of their wings, does not physically hurt the chickens at all fyi) but apparently we need to clip their wings more often than that because she can *definitely* fly. But before I dive too deep into the story, let me tell you a little bit about Lillith. She is by far the smallest chicken we have and is a bantam (dwarf) variety of chicken, so she's maybe a couple pounds. She is the only chickens that remains terrified of me and any form of human. The rest are used to me coming into the coop with food, so now when they see me they run towards me excitedly, but she always is squeaking around terrified at the back of the run.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Cranberry Sprouted Grain Coffee Cake With A Kashi Sprouted Grain & Pine Nut Crumb Topping

Cranberry Coffee Cake by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you have some fun and festive plans for tonight, the most hallowed of eves. I'll be watching scary movies at a friend's house and helping hand out candy to trick or treater's, since last year Jeremy and I bought a *ton* of candy only to see a van full of all the neighborhood kids drive out of our neighborhood, clearly heading to the fancy part of town to score better treats. And thus my dreams of having trick or treaters at our new house were promptly squashed :( Hopefully I'll at least be able to admire some adorable costumes from my friend's house deeper into the city this year, though. I feel like carpooling to a 'better' part of town for candy is a recent development, I grew up in a Portland suburb and we always just walked around where we lived. I do remember, though, that my friends in the farming area of our town had to be driven to each house since they were spaced so far apart, but that's about it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Chai Shortbread Cookies

Chai Shortbread Cookies by Eva Kosmas Flores | Adventures in Cooking

Getting settled back into the swing of things over the past week has been kiiiinda crazy. With three weeks worth of emails and freelance work to catch up on, I felt a bit like a caged gerbil, constantly galloping along at full speed in my little wheel, but making what felt like no progress at all. Like a game of whack-a-mole, as soon as I finished one thing, another thing would pop up that I needed to take care of. I started feeling pretty overwhelmed by it all, and by the time I got all my things packed into my car for a weekend camping trip yesterday morning, I decided I needed a coffee to help get me energized for the trip. So I pulled into my neighborhood drive-through coffee stand, grabbed a cup, and started my journey out. Only when I turned onto the highway, the entire cup flipped out of the upholder and onto the carpet by my foot.