My pantry

Winter To Do List

June 1, 2012

I don’t have many friends in the blogging community, but I have touched base with one lady in Auckland. Bunny. Eats. Design. has been a bit of a food inspiration to me. It was she who got me on the demoralising, yet strangely rewarding, band wagon of Food Gawker. If you don’t know about Food Gawker it’s an American website that puts up your images and recipes, and it’s notoriously difficult to get in to. It’s not based on your food, as such, but your photography so if you’ve noticed I’ve been endeavouring to step up my styling, that is why…… anyhow, Bunny. Eats. Design.¬†does a seasonal To Do List.
She does this in order to continue to push herself in the kitchen and not become complacent and remake all the things she’s comfortable with. I read her list this morning and got inspired to do the same.

Although I’m generally aiming at keeping this site at fairly simple, family food, I thought I’d also push myself and share my wins and failures, with photographic evidence, in hope to inspire y’all to do the same, or at least offer you great mirth at my kitchen disasters…… there are definitely a few things I’ve been avoiding making for fear of failure.

Let’s smash them this winter.

1. Cook a tagine in my actual tagine

I’ve made many a tagine in my time but I always cook it in my trusty Le Creuset pot. It’s predictable and dependable. Although a small part of me thinks ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, I also often gaze at my beautiful, red, shiny tagine (that I only ever use for presentation!) and think of how it would love to be utilised in the very fashion for which it was designed. I’m scared it will crack or break. I’ve heard of this happening, mid-cooking, resulting in tagine juice all over your kitchen and a veritable culinary disaster. I’ll face my fears for you.

2. Make Salted Caramel Ice Cream.

I love ice-cream and went through a stint last year of making it regularly. I love discovering and creating unusual flavours but I’ve had my beloved ice cream machine in the cupboard for the last few months sitting all lonely and redundant like. I’ve often fantasised about Salted Caramel Ice cream so, winter be damned – I’m going to dust off my old friend and bust some of that baby out.

3. Bake Croissants.

I swear to you, Mister H has said to me, ‘if you loved me you would make me pastries’. I laughed him off thinking that although I did indeed love him, I didn’t love him that much! The difference between an average croissant and a brilliant one is a pretty vast chasm, and I don’t know what the secret to the latter is. Good butter would be a great place to start but beyond that, not sure. I’m not a pastry maker, oft opting for some frozen pre-made stuff, but I shall no longer hide behind the supermarket freezer department, and I shall boldly attempt the prize of the French – the croissant. Being as they’re so bad for you, naturally, I’ll only eat half of the batch as according to the strict Victoria’s Secret Diet.

4. Home-Made Sunday Yum Cha.

I really love Yum Cha. For me, it’s really all about the dumplings. All those little parcels of prawny, garlicky joy really give me a sense of happiness, and incumbent soy induced thirst. I’ve considered making Dim Sum for many years but always seem to end up just going to the local Chinese and allowing them to parade trolleys of steaming goodness past me as it’s a damn sight easier. Well, not so this Winter. One Sunday, this Winter, will see a table full of my friends drinking Jasmine tea and munching on home-made dumplings and perhaps, if I’m brave, a prawn toast or two.

5. Roast A Duck

I dig duck. Duck is so delicious, and it’s really very easy to prepare and cook, but it’s not something many people attempt in the home kitchen. I’m going to roast a duck and turn it into something simple and amazing for a fast dinner and impressive dinner party. I’m not yet sure what that is, but I’m sure by the time it rolls around for me to cross this off my list I’ll have a cunning plan…. Stand by, dear quackers!


So, there you have it. My modest, yet challenging Winter To Do List. If you were to do just one thing this Winter, what would that be?

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  • Reply Carolyn Colley June 1, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Wow Danielle, croissants and spinach gnocci are the two great disasters of my culinary career. I’ve never recovered from the trauma of the poor little rock-hard crescents I made many years ago. Good luck. Love Mama

    • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys June 1, 2012 at 10:12 am

      That sounds like a challenge, Mama! Gnocchi is a great one. I’ve not done that either.

      Sent from my iPhone

      • Reply Mary Moves To China June 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm

        I’ll be keeping an eye out for the salted caramel ice cream!

        • Reply Keeping Up With The Holsbys June 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm

          I’m stinging to get into that one, too! What’s not to love about the salty/sweet combo, right??
          Stay tuned…….

  • Reply Losing Our Wilsons….A Farewell Yum Cha. « Keeping Up With The Holsbys July 18, 2012 at 6:25 am

    […] may remember back on my Winter To Do List, I vowed to challenge myself with home made Yum Cha. What better way to send off dear ones than […]

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