My 2016 Foodie Bucket List

Happy New Year!

Yes. I realise it’s the end of January. And yes I realise I haven’t posted anything since before Christmas. Maybe I’m playing hard to get. Or it’s been hot and the beach doesn’t have a power plug. So anyway…. have you missed me? Between the family, eating, drinking, eating, road trips, eating, I have been thinking and planning my 2016. Well, my Foodie 2016 that is.

This is my list of food related things that I want to conquer this year. YUSSS. So without further ado, welcome to my 2016 The Enthusiastic Cook Foodie Bucket List.


I will kick this off with the first one I’ve ticked off just to start the ball rolling:

  • Shucking Oysters. (and not slicing off a limb)

We spent a few days in Waiheke last week and it was beyond beautiful. One of my favourite restaurants in Oneroa is The Oyster Inn, and when we visited, I was so temped to snatch up a dozen Te Matuku Bay oysters in the half shell. Instead I ordered prawn cocktail (excellent) and we drove to visit the actual Te Matuku Bay location since it was a mere ten minute drive from where we were staying in Onetangi. Two dozen oysters for $14. WHAT. Now here’s the catch: You shuck them yourself. Bam. Challenge accepted.

Conveniently enough, we have a shucker (although I’ve been told a flathead screwdriver also sort of kind of works). I decided to watch a two minute YouTube tutorial first which was really helpful because I wouldn’t have had a clue how to start. Here’s the jist of it:

Take a towel and lay the oyster in it, but also create a barrier so your hand is protected. Or, wear a gardening glove, or a mountain bike glove (dual purpose) if you have one available (less chance of puncture wounds). Take the pointy bit of the knife and carefully sort of jam it in the base of the hinge, twist the knife using pressure, lever it upwards and it should pop open. Then, GENTLY my oyster lovers, take the knife and run it along the top of the shell being careful not to cut into the oyster, and open that baby up. THEN EAT IT AND REPEAT.



It’s so easy. I couldn’t believe it. Here’s video proof.




Here is the rest of my bucket list:

  • Learn How to Make Pastry (all the pastries)

I sort of learned how to do this on Christmas morning, in a hot kitchen with a time limit because I like to put myself under pressure. It was a nice flaky pastry from Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich’s Middle East cookbook Honey & Co (highly recommend), that was surprisingly simple: 150g cold butter diced, 150ml double cream, pinch of salt, pinch of sugar, 300g plain flour and 1 egg yolk. Mix it well with your hands but you still want to see flecks of butter. Form into a ball, wrap in glad wrap, stick in the fridge for an hour and then roll out to use. It turned out really well, or so says the family. But they also said that about my kumera gnocchi and that was super gross. What I’d really like to do is learn how to make all the pastries: shortcrust, choux, puff and nail the flaky one cause I think I could do better. Figure out the secrets to rolling, resting, blind baking or not, etc. Become the pastry queen of the world.


  • Make my Own Cheese 

I might ask my food blogger friend Bri (from Bri DiMattina) for advice since I’ve eaten her homemade cheeses and they are incredible. Check out her recipe for Dulce – Crema di Ricotta here. She is the queen of cheese. I’m just hoping someday I’ll be like one of those peasant girls who is somewhat capable of making the cheeses, after completing all the castle chores.


Dulce – Crema di Ricotta (Photo Courtesy of Bri DiMattina)

  • Host a ‘Round the World Food Party

I’ve had this idea for awhile that I’d like to host a dinner party where each guest brings a dish from a particular country and pairs it with some sort of drink, also from that country. Think Confit Duck and Chablis, or Tamales and Margaritas but picking less obvious countries and doing a bit of research sounds appealing to me. Like making Ethipoian injera. Might avoid the raw lamb specialties though.


Empanadas, if you chose a Latin Country for instance. (This is how many I would want you to make)

  • Buy a Sashimi Knife and Learn How to Cut Fish so it Doesn’t Look like Cat Food

If anyone has recommendations, send them my way. If I could source relatively cheap fish and cut it like the Gods at Masu, I would never eat anything else ever again. Until I was sick of sashimi.


  • Take a Butchery Class

Is this a thing? A few of us bloggers were talking about this, and we might need to get a meat expert to create a bespoke class. I am really keen to learn more about cuts of meat, how to break down a beast properly, and to be honest actually just see if I am strong enough to do it, because I know it’s hard work. I can do chicken and rabbit. I want to do beef and pork.


  • Vineyard Hop in West Auckland

Did you know there’s a boat that will pick you up in the CBD and take you all the way up to Riverhead Tavern? This seems appealing to me. But what would be even better, is if someone met you on the other end and drove you to all the wineries. I don’t need a tour. I’m familiar with West Auckland. I just want wheels and a semi capable driver so I can explore. Kumeu River, Soljans, Matua, Coopers Creek, Kerr Farm, West Brook and then maybe capped off with dinner at The Tasting Shed.


  • Pizza Crawl

I’ve been wanting to do this for awhile because I’m a glutton, but I’m glad I held off because there are so many good pizza places around now. Off the top of my head: Farina, Dantes, Il Buco, Sals, Prego, add to the list and you can join me on the crawl. Note: We will need to walk to each place to make it calorie neutral. Obvs.


  • Homemade Bread

I’m so unfamiliar with how to make bread, so I’d like to get better at this. Like, I didn’t even realise yeast expired. doy. I made hotdog buns years ago, that were like little cylindrical rocks (hence the yeast discovery) and I can make a mean spring onion pancake but a fresh focaccia or fluffy slice of white bread slathered in peanut butter would be rad. I’d rather try and do it from scratch instead of with a bread maker. My terrine tin would double as an ace bread tin.


  • Buy a Smoker and Smoke all the Things

Pretty self explanatory. Mostly keen to use on seafood. Eel. Salmon. All the things.


Because then I can make my own Smoked Eel and Kingfish Salad, like this one from The Oyster Inn


I could definitely keep adding but to keep it realistic I’ll stop there and reassess in a year to see how I’ve done. Anyone else have foodie bucket list plans for 2016? Share below!

Comments 17

  1. These are great!!!

    LOVE the idea of a RTW party (especially as someone who did a RTW trip and desperately misses all those cuisines).

    When we buy a house building a pizza oven is #1 on the todo list but you reminded me that a smoker might need to be added, haha.

    I’ve never had any luck with bread but chats with colleagues have suggested perhaps yeast is the culprit – may try keeping it in the fridge, and experimenting with different types of yeast. My dough never, ever doubles in size.

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      Thank you!

      See I also didn’t know there were different types of yeast! Clearly I will need to do some research, haha. Outdoor pizza oven = heaven. Although If this wish ever came true for me I would actually want to eat pizza every day. Without apology.

  2. Really loving the look of the vineyard hop, homemade cheese & of course the homemade bread 🙂 I’ve made pizza at home before and creating the base was super easy 🙂 Bread in the breadmaker worked wonderfully but was a botch up in the oven lol 🙂 Can’t wait to see your document some of your foodie adventures this year 🙂

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      Yum, homemade pizza as well. I only want to try without a bread maker because I already have too many contraptions. And I suspect it’s not something I would do very frequently since I’m the only one who really eats bread in our household. 🙂

      I have been invited to a blue cheese making class in a couple months so I’m excited to tick that one off!

      Thanks for the comment x

  3. You have a great list over here! Homemade bread is so good and the smell of it is amazing. I love the sound of the pizza crawl too. Btw, I love empanadas! We do a Filipino version of it and it’s such a good snack.

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  4. I love the idea of a foodie bucket list 🙂 I’ve made home made bread a few times. It’s a little time consuming but a really rewarding experience. I’ve just come home from a weekend wine tasting which was SO much fun. Definitely recommend it. On my foodie bucket list is to try and make kefir or komubucha – I don’t know why but the look of a scooby totally puts me off kombucha but it tastes good so I’m going to try and get over it and do it. Kefir is my back up as it doesn’t look as gross haha

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  5. I can’t even tell you how much I love this post!! It’s so good!! I used to make bread and pizza dough all the time, I wouldn’t say I was great at it – but boy I loved doing it!
    Dad built a smokehouse last Christmas and it’s so exciting! Have you tried smoked trevally? It’s legit my favouritest thing. SO GOOD!
    Also so interested to hear if you do end up doing a butchery class (if it’s a thing) because that would be so cool!!

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      Thanks Christel, that’s super nice and ego boosting 😀

      I reckon even if you’re really poo at doing something,who cares, as long as you’re having fun. haha. I’d like to advance from little bread rocks to something edible but hey, if it doesn’t happen…. I won’t shed tears.

      Do butchery classes actually exist? Or is it like when I thought Chelsea Sugar Works did tours? (Which they don’t. And never have).

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  6. Love this list. We’ve been kinda smoking our food when we barbecue. We just chuck a cup of wood chips onto the coals about 5 minutes before the food is ready to eat. Well done on the oyster shucking. That has been on my list FOREVER. Dammit.

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      Let’s have a SMOKE PARTY!

      But be super careful about advertising cause shit could get lost in translation pretty damn quick. Go to Waiheke and shuck oysters. It’s a bloody good excuse to go to Waiheke. And eat oysters. go. GO.

  7. What a great list – you’ve inspired me to add some to my own that I had stop short from copying more than a few from your list!

    I adore oysters so you’ve inspired me to learn how to get shuckin’ and not on my list yet but hell yeah I’d be up for a pizza crawl – I’m yet to try a pizza out and about in Auckland as we tend to make our own on pita bases which I’m sure you’ll agree – is just not the same. Or right!

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