2018 Cooking Bucket List

Before I look forward to new cooking adventures in 2018, it is nice to look back at some of the new dishes I made in 2017. Even with my small hiatus from cooking over the summer, I almost finished my 2017 Cooking Bucket List. I love to cook, so making this list helps me expand my cooking horizons each year and learn a new cooking method or learn that some things are better eaten in a restaurant.

Some things went well and others not so well. I made gluten-free koeksisters, a South African fried dough, dipped in syrup. They were delicious, although a little dense. I’m going to have to work on the recipe a little more. I adapted the recipe to be gluten-free from Cook and Enjoy It from S.J.A de Villiers, a classic South African cookbook.

The egg yolk ravioli with homemade GF pasta was also yummy, though I only made 2 because the pasta was really challenging to work with. I think this is better eaten in a restaurant!

The gluten-free croissants also were just ok. I’ll have to try again.

The Dragon Ball I recreated from my favorite local sushi restaurant (Takara) was amazing! Hint, mine is on the left 🙂 I will definitely make it again at home. Costs about the same.

The Lamb Mango Korma wasn’t exactly made from scratch, but I used curry powder instead of making my own mixture, but it was definitely one of the kids’ favorites that I will make another time and share the recipe with you.

The gluten-free Yorkshire puddings were also a favorite, thanks to Nicole Hunn’s recipe from Gluten-free on a Shoestring.

I also made some fancier dishes. The Cornish Game Hens were so tasty but not something I would make for a regular meal, but save for a special occasion.  The Baked Alaska was actually easier than I thought, just very time consuming. The last thing I made was Indian Pudding. It is a cornmeal pudding that is in almost every New England cookbook I own. I combined recipes from Massachusetts: Recipes for All Seasons and NewEngland.com’s Plimoth Plantation’s Slow Cooker Indian Pudding.

I missed one item on the 2017 bucket list, homemade ginger beer, so I’ve added it to my 2018 list.

  1. Pavolva
  2. Poutine
  3. GF Ouma biscuit
  4. Mayonnaise
  5. Ginger Beer
  6. Crème Brulee
  7. Biltong
  8. GF Chocolate Lava Cake
  9. Avgolemono – Greek lemon chicken and rice soup
  10. GF Lobster Rolls

This year’s bucket list is a mixture of some more South African favorites from my youth, desserts and things I’ve attempted to make before but didn’t work out so well. This year I will finish them all!

Are you going to challenge yourself to make something new this year?  Any good recipes to share with me for one of my bucket list items? Happy New Year!


Potato gnocchi is one of my favorite foods! It is so versatile. It can be the star of the meal or the great accompaniment to your favorite roast. You can toss it in any sauce you like. Tomato, pesto, my Mascarpone Pasta sauce or my pink sauce.

Most recently I served it up with a roasted chicken (recipe coming soon!) and made a gravy from the pan drippings. A great comforting meal, especially on a snowy day. Gnocchi is something that you can get the kids involved with if you don’t mind making a mess of your kitchen 🙂  It is fun and delicious. I have adapted this recipe from Tyler Florence to make it gluten free.

Potato Gnocchi


4 to 5 white potatoes

1 teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch of black pepper

½ cup of grated parmesan

1 ¾ cup of ricotta

¾ cup of Cup4Cup Gluten-Free flour, plus more for dusting


Make holes with fork in potatoes. Bake (about an hour in the oven at 375 degrees) or microwave (on a plate about 8 to 10 minutes). When cool enough to touch, scoop the potato out from the skins and mash with a fork. Add salt, nutmeg, pepper, parmesan and ricotta, then combine. Mix flour in ¼ cup at a time.

Dust a large work space with flour. Take a handful of dough, press together and roll into a long strand, about ½ inch in diameter. Cut with pastry cutter or knife into ½ inch pieces. Lay the prongs of the fork on top of the gnocchi and gently press down and pull fork toward you rolling the gnocchi. Place the gnocchi on a sheet pan topped with parchment paper or waxed paper. Repeat until you have used all the dough.

Bring about 8 cups of water to a boil in a large soup pot. Add some salt to the water (about 1 tablespoon).  Drop in a handful of gnocchi at a time. When they float (about 2 minutes) place in your serving bowl. Repeat until all the gnocchi are cooked. Toss the gnocchi with your favorite sauce.

This is a time intensive meal to prepare, but well worth it, especially if you have help with the rolling and cutting.

If you have time, this is perfect for a Valentine’s meal. If you don’t have time this week, here are some other ideas for food to make for your Valentines 🙂

Swedish Meatballs

French Onion Soup

Chocolate Pudding Pie

Burrata Appetizer 

Cooking Bucket List 2017

Happy New Year! Thank you for coming on this journey with me. Looking forward to a great year ahead full of cooking, family and friends!

I mostly finished my 2015 bucket list, after taking a break  in 2016. Poached salmon was one of the last items and it was delicious! I don’t have an official recipe for the poached salmon. I know I used a lot of butter. 4 sticks to be exact. I added some lemon juice, fresh thyme, salt and pepper to the butter and poached the salmon for about 15 minutes. It was AMAZING! Served it with a broccoli risotto.

Coming up with my own proprietary bread and pizza dough mixes was next, but I’ve found others that I love to use and well, honestly, those are easier in my day to day life for now 🙂 My kids love the Goodbye Gluten Gluten-free bread that I found at Wegman’s. My favorite is still the King Arthur’s Gluten-free bread mix, right out of the oven. For pizza, which we usually have on Fridays when we are all tired from the week, it’s Freshcetta frozen gluten-free pizza or I use Against the Grain’s Pizza Shells to make our own.

For 2017, I am back in the swing of things and ready for some new challenges! I am making some family favorites gluten-free and trying some new cooking techniques. Hopefully this will inspire you to make your own cooking bucket list or just pledge to cook at home more in 2017 😉

  1. Gluten-free koeksisters (A South African fried dough, dipped in syrup)
  2. Dragon Ball from Takara (a local sushi restaurant)
  3. Homemade Ginger Beer
  4. Gluten-free Egg Yolk Ravioli
  5. Gluten-free Yorkshire pudding
  6. Gluten-free Croissants
  7. Indian Pudding
  8. Cornish Game Hens
  9. Lamb Mango Korma from scratch
  10. Baked Alaska

Happy New Year everyone! Best wishes that the hope and excitement of a new year lasts more than this day 🙂 What is on your cooking bucket list? Do you have a family favorite that you need help adapting to be gluten free? Let me know!



Gluten free fresh pasta, really?

Yes really. I used to love making pasta from scratch and eating fresh pasta. There is just something so comforting about it. I had just gotten the handle on a good recipe when our house went gluten free. My challenge now is to find the right gluten free recipe (and get a pasta machine!). I am determined!

I knocked one item off my 2015 Cooking Bucket list and made a brown rice pasta last week. It was really good, but I don’t have a pasta machine or the attachment for my Kitchen Aid, so I tried to hand roll it, like I used to with fresh gluten filled pasta. This did not work as well. I rolled it until it was almost transparent, but it was still a little too thick and gummy when I cooked it. Taste was there, but consistency was not. This was the recipe I used: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/05/gluten-free-fresh-pasta-recipe.html. I may try a couple of other recipes to see if hand rolling can work with them. If they don’t, you know what my next investment will be!

I didn’t have any sauce in the house, so used some tomatoes, onions, garlic, salt and pepper and sauteed together for a about 10-15 minutes.

I served it with some steamed peas and sockeye salmon I cooked in a foil packet in the oven with salt, pepper, lemon slices.

This weekend I may try to make Julia Child’s coq au vin! Not the most appropriate football or tailgating food, but hopefully it will be good 🙂 Here is a link to some old blogs that have more gameday appropriate food.