Monthly Archives: February 2018

Trout Diaries: The Final Chapter


Wow. That title sound so dramatic!

This seems to be the last edition of the Tuesday Trout Diaries. This is the last email I sent to my dad about the trout I cooked up for myself as a result of our our Charter Fishing Trip to Duluth last summer. I was trying out approximately one new recipe each week since I’m not in the habit of cooking fish and I wanted to make sure it didn’t sit in freezer for years!


In case you missed them, here are the past installments:

I do know that I did cook at least one more dish with the last of my trout, but perhaps I did not send my dad an email about that one. In any case, I’ll try to post my version of that recipe next week. In the meantime, here is what I sent my dad:


Date: 9/5/17
From: Carrie
To: Dad
Subject: Trout Recipe of the Week

If I wasn’t making a point to try new trout recipe every week, I don’t think I’d ever eat it up!
This week, I tried Trout Baked in Foil with Tomatoes with Garlic. It’s similar to other ones I’ve made, but I don’t think as flavorful. NYTimes won’t let me pull up the recipe any more without paying for it; but I did print out. Still, I think I’m going to just chuck it because I liked my other ones better.
I opted for this recipe because I wanted to be able to just throw it in the oven while working; I didn’t want too much hands on time. Also, I had a lot of tomatoes. I took my 6 oz of fish, seasoned it with S&P, piled on some chopped fresh tomatoes from the Farmers Market tossed with garlic and olive oil. (I think I should have used more garlic!) I threw on a sprig of oregano and baked at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. 
I served it with a side I made up myself – cut up some tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata Olives, diced red onion and tossed with a little EVOO and S&P. Easy! It is loosely based on this “salsa” I make; but instead of dicing everything, I kept them in bigger chunks so it was more salad-like. If I hadn’t eaten the salad first, I bet this could have tasted yummy if I topped the fish with it instead.
Happy short work week!



I didn’t do an adaptation this time since I preferred my previous recipes more! I still would like to try that Mediterranean Salsa as a topping sometime, though. I do plan to post my last one or two recipe trials for the rest of my trout, even though it doesn’t seem I sent those to my dad. I can guarantee you that my dad hasn’t tried any of these recipes that I sent him. He never did the cooking while I was growing up and when he does cook, he is more of a “wing-it” type of guy.

So why did I send these to him? Maybe to prove to him (or myself!?) that I would actually cook up the fish we caught! It sure did help me hold myself accountable. I also know that my hubs doesn’t like anything in the freezer longer than 6 months. 🙂

Do you ever add a topping to your fish?



Trout Diaries: With Potatoes


Welcome back to the Tuesday Trout Diaries! It’s a series of emails I sent my dad after our Charter Fishing Trip to Duluth last summer. I was trying out approximately one new recipe each week since I’m not in the habit of cooking fish and I wanted to make sure none of our haul went to waste.

Each week, after the diary entry, you’ll see how I adapted the recipe to make it my own and to cook just for me.

In case you missed them, here are the past installments:

And my next email:


Date: 8/17/17
From: Carrie
To: Dad
Subject: Trout Recipe of the Week

I had some potatoes leftover from the farmer market, so I thought I’d give this salmon recipe a try. I halved this recipe, of course, for just one trout filet. I did about 4 oz potato, only about 1.5 Tbsp total of olive oil and that seemed like a lot. I didn’t have an orange on hand, so I just did the lemon juice, but half a lemon seemed like a lot of juice any way. I was right about that because the potatoes actually picked up the lemon flavor, which I didn’t really like; but the fish was cooked perfectly!!!



Here is my adaptation of Easy Salmon and Potato Foil Packets from

Foil-Packet Lake Trout with Potatoes for One

  • 1 small to medium-sized potato (about 4 ounces), sliced thinly
  • 1 to 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 trout fillet, about 6 oz
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh herbs (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Place potato slices in a row, overlapping slightly, on a sheet of aluminum foil.
  • Drizzle the potatoes with the half of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place trout fillet atop the potatoes and squeeze juice with half of a lemon on top, finish with the remaining olive oil
  • Top with herbs of your choice, if desired
  • Fold up edges of foil to create a seal so that no steam will escape, but leave a bit of room for the steam to circulate within the packet.
  • Place packet on a baking sheet or in an uncovered casserole dish and back for 25 minutes or until potatoes and fish are cooked through.
  • Cook for approximately 12 to 13 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
  • Be careful when opening your foil packet, as steam will escape.

*I added the herbs to this recipe since the lemon juice seemed to overpower it. I think it would be great with garlic, too!

I could have called this a healthy fish and chips recipe!
Maybe that would have been a little far-fetched.
Do you have a recipe for a healthy version of fish and chips?
Please share!


The Trout Diaries: Salmon Edition


Welcome to my Tuesday Trout Diaries! It’s a series of emails I sent my dad after our Charter Fishing Trip to Duluth last summer. I was trying out approximately one new recipe each week since I’m not in the habit of cooking fish and I wanted to make sure nothing went to waste!

Each week, after the diary entry, you’ll see how I adapted the recipe I tried to make it my own and to cook just for me.

In case you missed them, here are the past installments:

But I have something different in store this week!

While the rest of us on that Charter Fishing Trip caught lake trout, my husband caught a nice Coho Salmon! This is what I was cooking up this week…


Date: 8/9/17
From: Carrie
To: Dad
Subject: Trout Recipe of the Week

Trout  Salmon Recipe of the Week

This week I had the girls over for dinner. We plan a dinner night in once a month, taking turns who has to do the cooking so that at least once in a while someone cooks for us! I knew I wanted to make the salmon that Rob caught!

Tomato Basil Coho Salmon

I don’t have a true recipe this week, but took some cues from a couple of other recipes. I knew I wanted to make pesto with the basil in my herb pot. I made this Skinny Pesto version – really freaking easy. I covered a baking sheet with foil and spread the pesto over the top of the salmon and then topped it off with some grape tomatoes from the farmer’s market. (I halved the tomatoes first.) I got my inspiration from this Salmon with Pesto and Tomatoes recipe and this Pesto Salmon with Asparagus & Tomatoes recipe. I set the oven for 450 degrees and… 

As I was making it, I got nervous that there were bones because Kim was bringing over her 6-year-old daughter. I decided to cut up a chicken breast and zucchini, tossed it in some Fat Louie’s Tuscan Olive oil and put it on the foil baking sheet with the salmon because there was plenty of room. I put it in the oven for about 20 minutes.

The salmon came out perfectly, the chicken a little dull and dry. (I cut the chicken in tiny pieces because I didn’t want it to come out under cooked.)

Kim said that although tedious, I can always remove the bones before cooking – they are all in a little row. I might think of that next time if I have more time.

Until next week!



Here is my recipe instpired by this Salmon with Pesto and Tomatoes recipe and one for Pesto Salmon with Asparagus & Tomatoes: 

3-Ingredient Tomato Basil Coho Salmon

  • 4 fillets Coho Salmon, skin on the bottom (but I’m sure any kind of salmon will do)
  • prepared pesto (I like the prepared kind in the deli over the jarred stuff on the shelf. Or make your own Skinny Pesto.)
  • approximately 1 cup  grape tomatoes (halved)


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Cover a baking sheet with foil and place salmon on top, skin side down.
  • Spread desired amount of pesto on top of salmon and top with grape tomatoes.
  • Bake fro 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve with any delicious side, but I’d recommend this Zucchini & Onion Saute, as this dish also has Mediterranean flavors.

What is your favorite easy way to prepare salmon?


Super Bowl 52 in Minneapolis


As a football fan, I watch the Super Bowl every year.

But I have never lived in a metropolis where the Super Bowl is being hosted.

I come to find out…

It’s a pretty big deal.

The National Guard comes to town.

At cross walks, they block vehicles from plowing over pedestrians.

We all know that whenever a city decides to build a new stadium, they often get help from the NFL by allowing them to host a Super Bowl in the near future, with the expectation that such an event will boost the economy to help pay for the damn thing.

Now, I am a Packer fan living in Viking Country; but I have plenty of MN Vikings fan friends. (Some are die-hards; most are fair-weather. They came out of the woodworks this year!) I was happy for my die-hard fans to get a new stadium. It was long overdue. You can read this fun article about the 12,000-year-old history here.

I haven’t been to US Bank Stadium yet; but I can’t say I haven’t benefited from it’s construction! Perhaps indirectly, but from my paycheck to the Lefse Nachos at Erik the Red {Try them! You’ll be surprised!}, I’ve got to tell you, my life has been enhanced by its fabrication and the trickle-down effect.

But did I know that when a Super Bowl happens, there are festivities All. Week. Long.?

I feel bad for our visitors this weekend. It is a cold, cold weekend… When even the majority of us locals don’t want to be outside. In fact, here are a few things you shouldn’t do in this cold weather.

I was lucky enough to experience some of the festivities last weekend, when it was a balmy 35 degrees in the evening. This is not bad weather when there is no wind, you are shielded by downtown buildings and you are wearing the right clothing. I couldn’t believe I saw people in ski masks. I was just fine in my parka, scarf and mittens!

We were invited by friends on a Friday night and opted to Uber because it was cheaper (and less annoying) than $50 they were charging for parking. We never pay that much for parking here in our Twin Cities. Usually, it’ll be anywhere from $6 to $12. The most I think of paid was $20 for an event. This is crazy!

While downtown, we explored Nicollet Mall… enjoying some of our favorite haunts. But we also got up close and personal with the kitties performing in Hallmark Channel’s Kitten Bowl, watched people ski and tube down the makeshift American Birkebeiner International Bridge and finished the night listening to some free outdoor music.

The following morning, we hit up Hell’s Kitchen for some brunch with some more friends. You. Guys. I didn’t try it, but they have a killer bloody mary bar! I prefer someone to mix up a bloody for me; but this one is impressive and worth at least checking out. {And visitors, that little beer you get alongside is called a chaser or sometimes a beerback. Don’t knock it!}

And for those of you Philly fans needing your cheesesteak fix, our fave Devil’s Advocate has just reopened as a pop-up on Nicollet Mall. But they aren’t quite ready with a full menu yet. Still they are serving that perfect cheesesteak we’ve come to adore {no peppers/onions and cheese sauce, not provolone!} over at Dan Kelly’s Irish Pub where Devil’s has been hiding while they await their new digs. But if you are near the stadium, check out Erik the Red, a sister resto to Devil’s that I mentioned earlier – great beer selection and get those Lefse Nachos! They might be one of the most underrated MN foods that no one is talking about.

The other weird thing about being in Super Bowl country is how everyone seems to want a piece of pie. Some restaurants have been shown to change up their menus and increase prices. $36 Guac and Chips? I think not.

While I can’t vouch that all of our favorite dishes will be available this weekend or that crowds won’t be crazy, here are some of our past reviews and favorites:

Rob’s best burgers and fries lists have not been updated in ages… but I can tell you that the top two burgers go to Parlour (Mpls) and St. Dinette (St. Paul), our top Juicy Lucy is still found at Buffalo Tap in Savage and that the only bar/restaurant missing on our Top 10 Best Beer Selections in the Twin Cities is Ansari’s Mediterranean Grill in Eagan. In fact, you’ll find beers there you won’t find any where else in the Twin Cities.

Want some other, uhem… more professional opinions? Try these:

And if you are really, really cold (and you should be), learn how to Dress Minnesotan. I know I’m seeing a concert at the Turf Club in St. Paul when the majority of attendees are wearing North Face fleeces. Oh yah. You betcha.

If you’ve got anything to add to this list, feel free to let us know!

Oh… and although they aren’t playing in the Super Bowl this year, I’ll end this post in the words of Justin Timberlake, “Go Pack Go.”

Happy Super Bowl weekend!!!