Post image for Chipotle Swai Fillet with Rainier Cherry Salsa

I grew up in Minnesota, the Land of 10,000 Lakes. My father was an avid fisherman, and my brother and I were included in many fishing trips from the time we were old enough. We fished from shore on little lakes, from fishing boats on big lakes, in an ice house in the dead of winter, and we walked through herds of cows (with the farmer’s permission, of course) to fish the shore of the Minnesota River. I think I learned to catch, gut, scale and cook a fish when I was about 9 years old.

Every summer for my father’s two week vacation, we would stay at a resort on Woman Lake in northern Minnesota. We had our own little rustic cabin in the pine woods facing the lake and the big L-shaped dock. Each cabin had its own fishing boat with a motor. So we fished off the dock with a drop line and from the boat farther from shore. A couple times a week the resort would put on an outdoor fish fry and we would have a communal picnic. Beer batter. Wood fire. Yum.

When I was about 14, my dad bought his own cabin on a small lake in northern Minnesota and we spent every weekend there, doing…guess what… fishing! We would catch little Sunfish off the dock, walleyes in deeper water. Sometimes I would take our fishing boat out and troll around the one shallow weedy side of the lake. I would hang my fishing pole out the back of the boat with a little lure on the line and if I was lucky, I would get hit by a northern pike. They were really fun to catch, feisty and strong, sometimes jumping out of the water. Those were the days.

Chipotle Swai with Rainier Cherry Salsa 3

Here we are, my dad and I, in June of 1949. I am 4 years old and he is 32. That fish, which is a Northern Pike or Muskie, is bigger than I am and, of course, had to have its picture taken. I have boxes of photos of my dad with the fish he had caught through the years; in fact, there are so many, I am surprised there were any fish left for anyone else to catch. Lol.

Chipotle Swai with Rainier Cherry Salsa 4

My dad’s birthday was in July, so I had to celebrate it with this fish recipe in his honor. Also making their appearance in July are my favorite summer fruit, Rainier Cherries. What better combination than a white fish fillet coated with Chipotle Panko and topped with Rainier Cherry Salsa. The Sweet Chipotle Panko Bread Crumbs are a Kroger/Ralphs item and are made up of panko, sugar, salt, chipotle pepper, spices, garlic, cumin, oregano and sweet chili peppers. Crunchy, a little sweet and with a little chili heat. If you don’t have this at your market, I’d bet you could mix up a little bowl with these ingredients that would be a DIY version. It’s definitely worth a try.

Here’s to you, Dad, up there in that big fishing boat in the sky. Happy Birthday!

Chipotle Swai with Rainier Cherry Salsa fg

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Post image for Thai Beef Salad from Patricia Rose at Fresh Food in a Flash Cooking Class

I am a cooking class junky. I love going to cooking classes. So imagine my happiness when I was recently invited to the Main Dish Salads Cooking Class by Patricia Rose of Fresh Food in a Flash. Her classes are hands-on and it is so fun to watch her students preparing her recipes, cutting and chopping, cooking and assembling, and finally sitting down together at the big communal table for a wonderful meal they have prepared.

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Scotch Eggs with Garlic Butter Parmesan Fries

Thumbnail image for Scotch Eggs with Garlic Butter Parmesan Fries June 29, 2014

The signature or national dish of a country or state or city can be counted on to be interesting and delicious, because it has been around for ages and has been perfected by numerous cooks. A whole country can’t be wrong, can it? Unfortunately I am not going to be able to visit every country, [...]

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Oven Roasted Fries with Garlic Butter & Parmesan

Thumbnail image for Oven Roasted Fries with Garlic Butter & Parmesan June 13, 2014

Now that grilling season is here, I will be seeing quite a number of burger patties coming off the grates. There is nothing like the flavor of beef cooked over an open fire, or in my case, glowing coals, on a toasted bun with all the fixings. And what I love with my burgers are [...]

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Chile Verde with Pork & Ancho Chile Sauce

Thumbnail image for Chile Verde with Pork & Ancho Chile Sauce June 4, 2014

If you have been following along with my story, you know I moved into an apartment last January. I looked at several in the area I wanted to live, but fell in love with mine immediately. It’s interesting how you just know when it is a match. You walk from room to room and it [...]

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Grilled Shrimp & Potato Tomato Avocado Salad

Thumbnail image for Grilled Shrimp & Potato Tomato Avocado Salad May 24, 2014

Memorial Day. The kick-off of the summer grilling season. We wait all year for this day, don’t we? Well, I do. So I wanted to make a stellar salad with grilled shrimp and all my favorite salad veggies for this venerable holiday. Not only tomatoes, avocado and grilled little potatoes, but also olives and red [...]

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Springtime Apricot Cake at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen

Thumbnail image for Springtime Apricot Cake at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen May 17, 2014

Springtime Apricot Cake was the dessert recipe for the recent Easter Family Brunch class at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen at Bristol Farms in Manhattan Beach. This wonderful cake was the ending to a delicious luncheon which also included Easter Banana Muffins, Roasted Shrimp & Pineapple Salad, and “Croque-Madame” Brunch Gratin. Grace-Marie has always made such good desserts [...]

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Lamb Shepherd’s Pie & Parmesan Ricotta Potatoes

Thumbnail image for Lamb Shepherd’s Pie & Parmesan Ricotta Potatoes May 8, 2014

I’m a little late to the St. Patrick’s Day party with my Lamb Shepherd’s Pie, but it was the photos I saw during that celebration that inspired me to make my own version. So now I am suggesting Lamb Shepherd’s Pie for your Mother’s Day brunch. See how neat I worked that in? But really, [...]

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Pork Pot-Stickers with Lemon Soy Ginger Sauce

Thumbnail image for Pork Pot-Stickers with Lemon Soy Ginger Sauce April 30, 2014

About a month ago I showed you how to make your own gyoza wrappers, and then I left you hanging. You were probably thinking to yourself… but, but, but…what about filling and cooking them? Well, truly, I wouldn’t leave you in the lurch like that, but after I made them it was dark outside, so [...]

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Rib-Eye Carpaccio with Salmoriglio Oregano Sauce

Thumbnail image for Rib-Eye Carpaccio with Salmoriglio Oregano Sauce April 23, 2014

In my experience, there are two kinds of beef people. On one side of the spectrum are the rare or medium rare guys, who want theirs soft and red, possibly still kicking. And waaay on the other side, the well-done guys, who for some unfathomable reason, want theirs gray throughout with the texture of leather. [...]

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“Croque-Madame” Brunch Gratin with Asparagus & Prosciutto from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen

Thumbnail image for “Croque-Madame” Brunch Gratin with Asparagus & Prosciutto from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen April 15, 2014

“Croque-Madame” Brunch Gratin was the entrée recipe for the Easter Family Brunch class at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen at Bristol Farms in Manhattan Beach last week. I have to say, this Gratin was one of the best things I have eaten recently, with buttery crusted bread topped with Swiss cheese, prosciutto, asparagus, béchamel and a beautiful egg [...]

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Brunch Roasted Shrimp & Pineapple Salad from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen and A 20 Year Anniversary

Thumbnail image for Brunch Roasted Shrimp & Pineapple Salad from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen and A 20 Year Anniversary April 12, 2014

Easter Family Brunch was the theme of the Lunch With Friends class at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen at Bristol Farms in Manhattan Beach last week. Who doesn’t look forward to a holiday brunch, with delicious dishes set out on the board and you get to fill your plate to your heart’s content and your tummy’s satisfaction. The [...]

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Chocolate Pecan Rugelach with Apricot Preserves

Thumbnail image for Chocolate Pecan Rugelach with Apricot Preserves April 2, 2014

You know how it is when you move, all the friends and relatives want to come over and see the new place. I wasn’t quite up to a full-blown dinner party, but I did want to have some nice little tea and crumpets for them to nosh on, after the grand tour. Lol. The grand [...]

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DIY Gyoza Wrappers + My New Apartment

Thumbnail image for DIY Gyoza Wrappers + My New Apartment March 25, 2014

Isn’t it amazing what you can do with a little flour and water? I wanted to make pot-stickers, but I’m not that big a fan of factory-made wonton and gyoza wrappers, so I decided to make my own. They turn out great and are really worth the time and effort. To me, wonton wrappers are [...]

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Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day

Thumbnail image for Irish Soda Bread for St. Patrick’s Day March 12, 2014

I just put my corned beef brisket in the oven and I am so excited to be preparing for our St. Patrick’s Day celebration. This year I decided to make soda bread to accompany the corned beef, potatoes and cabbage. Such wonderful dishes to remind us of the Auld Sod.
The old authentic recipe for soda [...]

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6 comments Read the full article →