Biking Among Alligators in Shark Valley, Everglades National Park

Alligator Swimming in Shark Valley, Everglades National Park

Alligator Swimming in Shark Valley, Everglades National Park

Some of my favorite memories occur in nature and visiting national parks. There’s something calming about the natural world; life seems to slow down and you tend to focus more on the present. You can watch the wildlife and appreciate the beauty of the space around you. Studies show that spending time in nature reduces stress and improves our overall health. That’s part of the reason we should protect and treasure our national parks. They benefit us, the world, and the living creatures that inhabit them. read more

Flavorful Journeys Best of 2017 – By Popularity

Before I focus on 2018 and all the new and exciting recipes and travel adventures I want to share with you, I want to showcase the most popular blog posts of 2017 on Flavorful Journeys.

Eating Tonkatsu at Katsukura Shinjuku RestaurantTonkatsu Pork Filet and Prawn at Katsukura Shinjuku

Tonkatsu Pork Filet and Prawn at Katsukura Shinjuku

Tokyo features some of the best food in the world. If you’re looking for a delicious tonkatsu meal, check out Katsukura Shinjuku Restaurant; the fried pork is tender and juicy on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Plus, they serve Japanese whiskey at an unbelievable price!

  • Coffee Jelly: The Perfect After-Dinner DessertCoffee Jelly Mixed with Sweetened Condensed Milk and Whipped Cream

    Coffee Jelly Dessert with Sweetened Condensed Milk and Whipped Cream read more

  • Escape and Unplug: Camping in the Dry Tortugas

    From the Battlements of Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas National Park

    From the Battlements of Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas National Park

    There are few places where you can truly unplug and escape the frenetic pace of modern life. But camping in Garden Key—a remote island in the Dry Tortugas National Park located approximately 70 miles from Key West and accessible only by boat or seaplane—disconnects you from the rest of the world, both physically and digitally, letting you live in the moment.

    Natural beauty and wildlife surround you at the Dry Tortugas National Park. Aquamarine waters stretch as far as the eye can see. Each evening, spectacular sunsets grace the sky—the fiery orb of the sun sinks into the sea, while the sky fills with brilliant pink and golden hues. On a clear night, the stars shine perhaps more brightly than you will have ever seen before, thanks to the lack of light pollution. read more

    Crane Ramen Restaurant Gainesville, FL

    Interior of Crane Ramen Restaurant in Gainesville, FL

    Interior of Crane Ramen Restaurant in Gainesville, FL

    When my mother called and told me that Crane Ramen—the first ramen restaurant in Gainesville, Florida—had opened, I decided to check it out. It’s hard to find a ramen restaurant outside the big cities, though with the increasing popularity of ramen, that may change. I’ve been spoiled by all the ramen joints in Chicago (Santouka being my favorite) and Atlanta, so it was exciting to see one open in my little hometown.

    Crane Ramen’s Atmosphere and Setting

    Crane Ramen features a vibrant, modern interior with an open kitchen, illustrated placemats showing how to eat ramen (the secret is to slurp and slurp quickly!), and ceiling banners featuring the restaurant’s logo—a crane stretched proudly over an empty stack of bowls. This may be a reference to longevity, as cranes are fabled to live 1,000 years in Japan, and noodles symbolize longevity in some Asian countries. read more

    Ribeye Steak with Red Wine Sauce, Blue Cheese, Pancetta, and Candied Pecans

    Ribeye Steaks with Red Wine Sauce, Blue Cheese, Pancetta, and Candied Pecans

    Ribeye Steak with Red Wine Sauce, Truffle Mac and Cheese, Salad, and Red Wine

    It’s not very often that a wine–or any alcoholic beverage for that matter–inspires what I cook. Normally, I choose a meal first, then think about the beverage pairing. But when Corey and I received a nice bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon last summer, I made an exception.

    Corey and I have very different wine preferences: I prefer light, refreshing German Rieslings with floral and sweet notes, while Corey prefers robust reds. When Corey mentioned this predicament to a colleague at his future firm this summer, she kindly sent him a bottle of Orin Swift Cellars Palermo Cabernet Sauvignon 2012–a wine that we both adored. read more