This is a travelog of my adventures with trying new ingredients, flavors, and pairings.

The Food

The food that I write about includes meals that I cook using ingredients and preparations that I have never used before. Most posts deal with my “first times,” which keeps things interesting for me and ups the mayhem factor for all of us. The best cooking stories I have are the unexpected successes and the inevitable disasters resulting from my first times trying something new. All the dishes are meatless, as I have followed a vegetarian diet since January 2008. I try to use local ingredients and I buy organic as often as my budget allows. (The Environmental Working Group offers a great tool for determining what organic produce to spend your money on if you’re on a tight budget.) Since becoming a vegetarian on a New Years Eve dare, I have tried more new ingredients, styles, and techniques than ever before. Most people think that cutting out meat limits your options, but it has opened up a whole new world of cooking to me. The food in this blog is prepared in the spirit of that experience.

The Drinks

I often enjoy a glass of wine while cooking, and I have dabbled in pairing wine with food. My close friends’ knowledge of beer has gotten me into beer tasting too, and I have cultivated my own preferences for both beer and wine. Recently I have become more interested in mixology, so the drinks in this blog may be beer, wine, or liquor concoctions. The drinks will mostly be paired with food. And I am no expert, just an explorer, so the reviews and pairings are amateur and for the purpose of documenting what I have tried and what ideas I have for the future. Hopefully we will learn something in the process. Cheers!

The Photography

This is the disclaimer section. I have never been and most likely never will be a professional photographer. I shoot with two tools: a Casio Exilim 7.2 mp digital point-and-shoot camera with a 3X optical zoom, my Motorola Droid X smartphone 8.0 mp camera (prior to November 2013) or my iPhone 5S (after November 2013). I cook and I write purely for the enjoyment and the sense of community that both bring. I photograph my food because both my cooking and writing might be boring without it. I often see and experience things that are better retold with pictures than with words, so here is the evidence of my exploits. Enjoy.