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.


Mercimek Köftesi (Lentil Balls)-Istanbul, Turkey


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


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


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


Perfected Homemade Olive Bread-Istanbul, Turkey


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


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


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


Cooking Potatoes-On a Raft, Somewhere in Hungary


Farmer’s Feast- Rural Romania


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


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!