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.)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Key Lime Tartlets

Key Lime Tartlets | Adventures in Cooking

Well, it seems summer has finally arrived. Temperatures here in Oregon have been steadily rising, and the stifling heat has helped us to realize there is no air conditioning in the new house. We'll be getting a little AC unit soon, but until then we've been using some chilled sweets (and lots of popsicles) to help us stay cool. There’s nothing quite like the refreshing zest of citrus once the summer heat comes back around, and if you pair that citrus with a bit of toasted meringue and a sweet custard, you have quite the winning combination. I know key lime pie is usually served chilled, but I snuck one of these guys right out of the oven after the meringue finished toasting and it was just as delicious, although it definitely wasn't as refreshing as the cold ones in the middle of a heat wave.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Braised Mole Beef Tacos with Cilantro & Queso Fresco

Mole Tacos | Adventures in Cooking

The 4th of July is just around the corner, and while most people are firing up their grills, I always enjoy a little slow-cooking on the 4th. Get something going in the morning, let it cook for a few hours, and when people start to congregate around lunch time, boom! It's ready to go. Plus, if you're having guests over, the time it's spent simmering away gives you ample opportunity to tidy up around the place and get the kitchen all cleaned up so it looks as if you haven't just been chopping up a bunch of beef and chocolate. Yes, you read that correctly. Beef. And chocolate. While they may sound like they belong at opposite ends of the flavor spectrum, in truth they unite perfectly, but only in a specific type of dish, and that dish is mole. Mole is an old Mexican sauce that has been traditionally prepared for centuries. There are many, many variations of mole, but it always contains chile peppers and, more often than not, chocolate (although chocolate was a recent addition to the mole family, and by that I mean within the past 300 years or so. Seriously, this sauce goes waaaaaay back.)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Roasted Beet Salad with Pea Shoots & Chèvre

Roasted Beet Salad with Pea Shoots & Chèvre | Adventures in Cooking

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet since there's still much unpacking to be done and I'm caught up in a seemingly never-ending battle between myself and the beginnings of a blackberry bramble that I'm trying to clear out of the single patch of soil in our front yard. All the blackberry shoots are pretty small, but the roots for the bramble go deep, so I think there used to be a large one that was cut back with the roots left intact, and anybody who has dealt with blackberries (or raspberries for that matter) growing in your garden, knows that once they make a home there it is very, very difficult to get them out. I'm going to rent a rototiller and see if that will chop up the roots enough to keep them from growing back, but if anyone has any blackberry bush removal tips I'd be much obliged!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Brioche Buns

Brioche Buns | Adventures in Cooking

We are slowly but sure moving everything into the new place bit by bit, and this Saturday I'm going to venture out into the garden with a rototiller and finally get my tomatoes in the ground. Really hoping it won't be too late to have my heirlooms later this summer, but with the Oregon weather it's always a toss up. There's nothing quite like a thick, ripe slice of tomato on a juicy burger with a melted slice of cheese and a golden brioche bun. Maybe I was just antsy for summer barbecues, but I decided I'd practice ahead of time and try my hand at making one of those shiny and delicious baked goods a couple weeks back. And I was especially excited because I was able to shoot with my grain measure and basket from Europe2You, which I'd been dying to use for weeks but kept having to go out of town for shoots. I can't wait to start using the basket out in the garden this summer once I'm able to start picking all the ripe fruits and veggies, so I'm sure you'll be seeing its cute little basket-face again once those heirloom tomatoes fill in.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Garlic & Rosemary Hummus + Lundberg Farms

Garlic Rosemary Hummus | Adventures in Cooking

You may remember a few weeks back when I thought I had a cold that was actually strep throat, which became apparent during a weekend away on a shoot. I never really said what the shoot was for, but I was going around the state of California shooting Lundberg Family Farm's organic Multigrain Chips for their Picnic with a View Pin-It-To-Win-It Contest. Even with the illness, it was a wonderful journey and I felt very lucky to be able to see and shoot the Redwoods, Mount Shasta, Mendocino, and the Mojave before moving out of California. Plus I got to eat reallllly delicious organic chips the entire time. So pretty much the best road trip ever.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Coconut Milk Custard + Central Thailand

Coconut Milk Custard + Central Thailand | Adventures in Cooking

This final Thailand post has taken me a while to put together, I'd wanted to put it up a month ago but with all the photos to go through and the house hunting process in full swing, this post kept falling by the wayside. *But*, a week ago Jeremy and I signed the closing papers on our new home, and we're now officially first-time homeowners! I can't tell you how happy I am to be moving back to Oregon, where the landscape is green, the skies are gray, and my parents' cooking is only a 45-minute drive away. I've been wanting this for a long, long time, and now that it's finally happening, I find myself filled with a huge sense of both joy and relief. The move has been stressful and time consuming, of course, but in the end we'll have a place to call our own. A place where we can truly go home to roost. I. can't. wait.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Vegan Oreos + Homemade Blendtec Coconut Butter

Homemade Vegan Oreos + Blendtec Coconut Butter | Adventures in Cooking

There's something about the way a cookie crumbles in your mouth after a dip in a glass of milk that brings back instant nostalgia for most folks. For me, oreos were my go-to childhood cookie. They were so dry and crunchy that they readily absorbed the milk and would leave little crumbs in the glass, giving me a cookies n' cream-type beverage long after the cookie was gone. As an adult, I never buy oreos. This is because if I have them in the house I know I will eat them all in a couple days. Sometimes being a grown-up means knowing what makes you loose all self-control and keeping that thing far, far away from you. But, (yes, there is always a but), a friend offered me one a few weeks ago and I readily  accepted (not wanting to be rude and all) and that little bite brought back waves of pleasant cookie-inspired memories. So, I decided I needed to try my hand at making them myself, and making them a little more grown-up.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Salted Almond Flourless Chocolate Cake With Violets + A Giveaway

Salted Almond Flourless Chocolate Cake | Adventures in Cooking

Well the home buying process is back on track, and aside from still having more paperwork to do (Seriously, how and why is there SO MUCH paperwork? I'd rather run a 5k than go through my bank statements one more time at this point.) things are going pretty good. I just got back form a drive up north this past weekend where I did some photography for Lundberg Farms that involved going to the Redwoods, Mount Shasta, and Mendocino county in 2 days, and those of you who read my last post know that I haven't been feeling too well lately. Well, it turns out it was strep throat, and after powering through the weekend on Nyquil, cough drops, and Excedrin I ended up in urgent care with a z-pack of anti-biotics. The photos came out beautifully though, and I'm definitely planning a trip back to each of the locations just to relax and enjoy the scenery more, especially Mendocino. There was just something about the way the fog rolled in along the seaside cliffs that was particularly breathtaking (in my case, literally).

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Roasted Garlic & Marrow Bone Soup with Crispy Sage

Roasted Garlic and Marrow Bone Soup | Adventures in Cooking
I was able to get out of town the past few days and go up to Missoula, Montana where Jeremy's family lives. It was a welcome break from the craziness of the past few months, the fresh mountain air and beautiful scenery did me much good. Unfortunately I did end up getting sick the last couple days of the trip and am still trying to kick this wretchedly sore throat/mild fever. My brain is still in fever-mode at the moment and is not functioning at its full healthy-person capacity, so if I seem to ramble a bit in this post or say something weird, I apologize. All I want to do at the moment is eat soup, and I'm kicking myself for not tossing any extra bones in the freezer from when I made this recipe a couple weeks ago.