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Smoked Trout Spread

We are very fortunate to get a lot of Lake Superior Trout in our area and I try to eat fish as often as I can.  Peterson's Fish Market is the place that provides all the fish to the local restaurants and they also have a retail shop.  Peterson's restaurant (a seasonal place - open Spring through Fall) was featured on a Food Network episode of Man Vs Food, which is so cool! 

For Christmas Eve, I got 3 lbs of smoked trout.  It was delicious. 

I used the remaining trout, about 1 lb, to make a spread to take to our friends' house for a New year's Eve gathering.  I brought my new Karaoke machine, sang a little Steely Dan, had a nice time talking with friends and had some yummy snacks.  Was a peaceful and enjoyable way to ring in 2019.

This is very easy.  You can substitute whitefish or another mild fish.  It is an easy item to take to a party.  Also, this would probably be great if I added some dried cranberries.  Next time.

Lake Superior Smoked Trout Spread
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Welcome to 2019

I want to wish all of you a very Happy 2019.  I'm sure you have plenty of goals to take on in this new year, as do I.  From a food standpoint, I am going to try to pick up my game a bit and focus on even more healthy eating.

We had a very nice Christmas and New Year and now I'm ready to get back to work and get back to clean eating.

Some general guidelines that I will try to follow:

1)  Less gluten
2)  Less red meat
3)  Less sugar
4)  More vegetables
5)  More fruits
6)  Less dairy
7)  Find fun and delicious recipes that fit the above....

Have a great year, fellow Foodies!

- Foodie Mama

Fried Rice and Ginger Shrimp

I love holiday weeks.  There is always a festive feeling buzzing around.  Work always seems to be a little bit slower also; usually a great time to catch up on things I had been putting off.  Unwittingly, I ordered my first box from Green Chef this week - Thanksgiving week.  I probably should have ordered it for next since this week will be all about cooking and eating with family, but that is ok. 

I made this amazing fried rice and shrimp today.  I loved everything about this dish:  the colors, the crunch of the bok choy and edamame, the saltiness of the tamari sauce, and the rice and fried shrimp were great.  I am sure I could also make this with chicken or beef as I will definitely be making this again.  To spice this up, you could add some chili sauce as well.  YUM!

Happy Thanksgiving Fellow Foodies!

Crispy Shrimp and Fried Rice (serves 2)

10 oz Shrimp
1/2 C Basamati Rice
1/4 C Chopped Carrots
1/4 C Edamame
1/4 C Minced Yellow Onion
1 T Minced Fresh Ginger
1 Egg
1/4 C…

Quinoa, Rice and Toasted Chickpea Tabbouleh

I think I mentioned in prior posts that I am a member for the Daughters of Italy?  Anyway, it is a service club that was founded in 1919 for Italian immigrant women in the Copper Country as a support organization.  Now, we do fundraising for local Catholic charities and meet once a moth to visit and plan events.  Our monthly meeting is tonight and since I am an officer (secretary) I need to bring a dish.  Given I have a busy day at work, I needed to use what I had on hand so I made my traditional tuna noodle salad (not necessary to post about noodles, tuna, mayo, salt and celery) and a new dish I just made up and have posted here, a Tabbouleh made with quinoa, rice and chickpeas.

It turned out so good.  I am a big fan of toasted chickpeas for a snack, served warm in a couscous bowl or in this case, cooled and mixed into a crunchy salad.  When I roasted and toasted the chickpeas, I used more oil in this version than when I made the couscous bowl and I also reduced the oven temp and len…

Harvest Time... Lemon Piccata with Butternut Squash & Sage Risotto

My friend Julie and her son Max are here for a few weeks from England and tonight I made dinner for them.  I made Chicken Piccata and Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto.  This risotto recipe came to me in a recent Hello Fresh box and it was so good that I repeated it 2 more times already.  The butternut squash and pepitas are perfect for a fall day. It also goes great with the chicken piccata.  One thing to note:  both of these dishes are a bit on the labor intensive side, right before serving, so there was a lot of juggling going on prior to plating.  But it was all great.  We had a fun night with good food and friends!

Butternut Squash and Sage Risotto (for 4) - from Hello Fresh

2 Yellow onions
1/2 Oz Fresh Sage
4 Cloves Garlic
24 Oz Butternut Squash, cubed
6 C Chicken or Vegetable Stock
1 1/2 C Arborio Rice
1 C Parmesan Cheese
2 Oz Pepitas
1 t Olive Oil
2 T Butter


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.Halve, peel and finely dice onions.Finely chop the sage leaves.Minc…

Risotto Isn’t so Scary After All.

I have a love/hate relationship with risotto.  I think I have had equally both terrible versions and delicious versions of this dish.  But the inconsistency it the scary part.  I hesitate to order risotto at restaurants.  All anyone says is how hard it is to make.  All that stirring, stirring, stirring.  Blah, blah, blah...

All of this discontent around the super stirred rice, all the fear of the gluey, gloppy starch or the burnt bottoms, has let me to NEVER try to make risotto.

Until one day this month.  I tried it.  I met my fear head on and entered into the vast unknown.

And the result was a smashingly yummy, creamy, light, smooth, earthy pot of risotto that I will remember all the days of my life.  Well, I doubt that, but it was pretty damn good if I say so myself.  I made this with scallops, but it can pair with any protein or be savored on its own.

Hope you like it.  Don’t be scared. :-0

No Fear Mushroom Risotto with Scallops (Serves 2)

5 Cups Chicken Broth2 Cloves G…

Barbeque with Foodie Mama: Red Garter's Ribs and Pulled Pork

When I was a teenager and into my twenties, there was a great restaurant in Calumet called the Red Garter.  It was an awesome place.  There were little alcove dining areas, a fun, fancy ambiance, a great bar crowd and the most delicious ribs my younger self had ever tasted.  But I wasn't the only one who thought so; people would consistently rave about them.  So tender and flavorful.  Not 'fall off the bone', however, they definitely had some substance.  I remember going there with my friend Lisa and her mom and dad a few times after watching a boy's basketball game or hockey game on Friday nights.   Then when Ron and I were dating and during the first few years of our marriage we went there often.  Tragically, the restaurant burned down in 1990 due to a fire in the kitchen.  The owners did not rebuild or reopen the restaurant, and sadly, the Copper Country never did replicate those ribs quite the same way anywhere else.

Ron's brother Donald worked in the kitchen …

Power Bowling

I have been enjoying a lot of rice, quinoa and couscous bowls lately.  They are so versatile and flavorful, and pretty much anything goes!  Today I'd like to share a delicious and healthy bower bowl, with couscous, protien powered chickpeas, zucchini and heirloom tomatoes.  The flavors combine so well; this is one of my favorite go to meals recently.  TIP:  toasting couscous before cooking makes it so delicious!

Mediterranean Chickpea and Couscous Bowl (for 2)
Ingredients: 1 medium zucchini1 medium Heirloom tomato or 4 oz Heirloom grape tomatoes1 t Thyme 1 medium onion2 cloves garlic1 lemon1 can chickpeas1 t paprika3/4 C Israeli Couscous2 t vegetable bouillon1/2 C feta cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Set one rack in upper position and one in middle.Cut zucchini into 1/2 inch cubes.  Chop tomato into chunks (or halve the grape tomatoes).  Finely chop a part of the onion the onion, making 2 T.  Cut the remaining onion into wedgesPlace zucchini, tomatoes, onion wedges …

Foodie Mama's 100th Post

I have been keeping this blog since 2011 as a venue to store as well as to share some of my favorite recipes along with my personal notes and anecdotes along the way.  This is my one hundredth posting.  I went around and around in my thought process about what profound thing to write about.  I ended up going with just another recipe, albeit a fabulously simple and delicious dessert.

In perusing my old posts recently, what I have gleaned, in addition to all the type-os I need to fix, is that I have matured in my cooking and in my eating habits.  We all have our old stand - bys, either recipes our mothers or grandmothers made or taught us to make, or the simple meals we make when we have children at home, especially fussy eaters.  There is that wonderful nostalgia that comes with creating those dishes.  But in the past couple of years, I really feel have come into my own as a cook. Regularly trying new recipes, using more herbs and varied spices, as well as inventing new recipes and add…

Midsummer Meals with Farro, the Other Grain.....

With the exception of the flood (you can reference my previous blog post) our Summer has been lovely.  The weather has been warm (between 70 - 80 degrees F) nearly every day with minimal rain.  I've been taking advantage of the nice days and evenings and spending as much time sitting on the porch and taking in the sun.

Summer means light simple recipes.  Here I will share two recipes made with a grain which I have not used before, farro.  I really enjoyed using it and these two dishes from Blue Apron were quite delicious.  The ingredients are very similar.  One is Middle Eastern and one is Mediterranean.  But both taste so unique.  I'd make these both again.

Farro is so easy to cook and it is really hard to mess up, unlike rice or pasta.  The black beluga lentils in the mujaddara were something I had never tried and they were so tasty.  Enjoy these.  The recipes look a bit fussy and involved, but they  really are not.  I used Blue Apron's recipe almost verbatim and they us…