2013 was a year of many things, most notably adventure, experimental cooking, and curious eating.  Over the past year, I was exposed to more than new foods.  While hitchhiking and cycling, I was introduced and became accustomed to skipping, an environmentally friendly and completely free way to eat-unless you’re arrested in a country where it’s illegal.  Luckily, I wasn’t arrested…well, at least for that. When we embarked on our rafting adventure, we were completely reliant on traditional (and time-consuming) preparation methods such as cooking over an open fire or a beer can stove fueled with some type of spirit sporting a Dutch/German/Slovakian/Hungarian label.  Some countries showed me better meals than others, but, overall, I had the most spectacular foodie experience of my life.  Here’s to the last year of my culinary adventures.

January

Mercimek Köftesi (Lentil Balls)-Istanbul, Turkey

Mercimek Köftesi (Lentil Balls)-Istanbul, Turkey

February

A perfect gyuvech and shakshouka hybrid in a rural mountain village in Bulgaria

A perfect gyuvech and shakshouka hybrid-a rural mountain village in Bulgaria

March

The first pizza I ever made completely from scratch- Istanbul, Turkey

The first pizza I ever made completely from scratch- Istanbul, Turkey

April

Chickpeas and Potatoes in a Tomato Onion Sauce topped with Turkish Yogurt and Dried Mint-Istanbul, Turkey

Chickpeas and Potatoes in a Tomato Onion Sauce topped with Turkish Yogurt and Dried Mint-Istanbul, Turkey

May

Perfected Homemade Olive Bread-Istanbul, Turkey (May 2013)

Perfected Homemade Olive Bread-Istanbul, Turkey

June

Homemade Pasta and Pesto- Rural Northern Italy (near Belluno) June 2013

Homemade Pasta and Pesto- Rural Northern Italy (near Belluno)

July

Veggie Burgers and Stuffed Mushrooms- An Original Recipe by J and I in Castle Acre, England

Veggie Burgers and Stuffed Mushrooms- An Original Recipe by J and I in Castle Acre, England

August

Vegan Sushi at Bemba, my First Raw Restaurant- Bratislava, Slovakia

Vegan Sushi at Bemba, my First Raw Restaurant- Bratislava, Slovakia

September

Cooking Potatoes-On a Raft, Somewhere in Hungary

Cooking Potatoes-On a Raft, Somewhere in Hungary

October

Farmer's Feast- Rural Romania (October 2013)

Farmer’s Feast- Rural Romania

November

Blue Cheese and Pecan Dip with Homemade Flatbread- My Original Recipe in Detroit, Michigan

Blue Cheese and Pecan Dip with Homemade Flatbread- My Original Recipe in Detroit, Michigan

December

Bibimbap, my first taste of authentic Korean cuisine- Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea

Bibimbap, my first taste of authentic Korean cuisine- Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do, South Korea

This year will be difficult to match in terms of resourcefulness, creativity, and diversity of flavor, but I’m hoping that 2014 will step up to the challenge.  Happy New Year!