Category: Fish and Seafood

Steamed Mussels in a White Wine, Curry, Cream Sauce

Steamed Mussels in a White Wine, Curry, Cream Sauce
Might just be my favorite hot date dinner…in the top 5 for sure…SO GOOD…

Friends, DO NOT be intimidated by these beautiful creatures.   This recipe for steamed mussels in a white wine, curry, cream sauce will be on your hot date dinner table in under 30 minutes and will be asking yourself WHY haven’t I been doing this all along??  I recently made these for my parents who were very skeptical about eating them, confusing them a bit with oysters.  Mussels are tender (when cooked right, I will show you here) and have the texture or bite like a chicken thigh.  You can and should eat them with your hands, using the shell as your utensils, so they are a bit messy, but that is all part of the awesome.  Need-less-to-say, they are now firm believers and LOVED every last bite of this dish….you will too.  

Talk about cheap…I buy my mussels here in the metro area of MN at Coastal Seafoods ( for $3.99/pound, can you believe it?  Mussels are high in protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. They are relatively low in calories and fat and have exceptional nutritional value.  Follow along and I’ll show you how to make this for your hot date dinner this weekend…we are almost there!! (more…)

Pasta with Shrimp, Clams and Fresh Herbs

Pasta with Shrimp, Clams and Fresh Herbs

Pasta with Shrimp, Clams and Fresh Herbs
Here is your hot date dinner plan for the weekend….SEAFOOD!!

Something to celebrate this week?  A birthday? Personal success?  Anniversary?  How about the fact that the weekend is approaching and WE CANNOT WAIT!!!!  This weekend for your hot date dinner, celebrate whatever it is that you want to celebrate with seafood.   Pasta with shrimp, clams and fresh herbs is a sure winner!! Now, I know there are those of you who do not like seafood and those of you that may be allergic to seafood so this may get passed up.   But, WAIT, this recipe can still be used.  Chicken breast, thighs or even mushrooms and zucchini could be substituted for the seafood in this recipe.  I am going to boldly add that for those of you who do not like seafood….this is an opportunity to try it again and see how good it really can be…that is all I will say. ♥ The base of this pasta with the onions, shallots, garlic and white wine along with a big handful of fresh herbs is just plain amazing and meant to be together.  Let’s get cooking….. (more…)

Shrimp and Potato Salad with Spicy Sausage and Arugula

Shrimp and Potatoes
Sweet. luscious jumbo shrimp are combined with spicy sausage, garden fresh, roasted potatoes and fresh arugula for this flavor packed dinner salad

I want to inspire all of you to consider the possibilities of starting a hot date dinner night at your house. I am going to start that inspiration with shrimp, it seems to be the perfect, celebratory ingredient after a long, BUSY week.  Hot date dinner has been one of the BEST things Tim and I have done together.  It is something we both look forward to, especially now that school is back in session and schedules are that much busier.  Hot date dinner allows us time to sit down and not only enjoy a fabulous meal, but, to re-connect after what has no doubt, been a crazy week.   Cooking at home means you control the ingredients so you can continue that healthy life-style you are working towards, you will no doubt save some money if you are used to going out more often and hello sweatpants!!!!!  Going forward, I will post a hot date dinner plan for you every Wednesday so you have time to prepare for the weekend or whatever night of the week works best for you and your family.  It is one my goals to become better at pairing wine, beer or even a specific cocktail with the meals I cook so learn along with me and let’s make this the year you, “slow down, cook and enjoy a meal with those you love.” (more…)

Grilled Salmon with Blueberry, Poppy Seed Slaw

Grilled Salmon with Blueberry, Poppy seed Slaw
1-1 1/2 bls of beautiful, wild-caught, sockeye salmon..
Grilled Salmon with Blueberry, Poppy Seed Slaw
Cut into portions for easier grilling..
Grilled Salmon with Blueberry, Poppy seed Slaw

Grilled (wild-caught) salmon, seriously,  I could eat this every day !!  Here in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN area we have lots of options when it comes to getting great fish.  I frequently shop at Coastal Seafood which has locations in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

I also find great selections of fish at my local co-op, Valley Natural Foods.

Finding fish that is raised in a sustainable way is very important.  What does this mean?  Sustainable seafood is seafood that is either caught or farmed in ways that consider the long-term vitality of harvested species and the well-being of the oceans, as well as the livelihoods of fisheries-dependent communities.  No matter the source of your salmon, incorporate it as much as you can into your diet for it’s amazing nutritional value.  Salmon is an excellent source of high-quality protein and vitamins and minerals (including potassium, selenium and vitamin B12), but it is the content of omega-3 fatty acids (heart-healthy) that receives the most attention.  Stay tuned to for amazing recipes for this wonderful fish.  Here it is grilled with the simple addition of salt and pepper and served with a blueberry, poppy seed slaw.  Cheers!!

Grilled, Wild-Caught Salmon with Blueberry, Poppy Seed Slaw
Grilled, Wild-Caught Salmon with Blueberry, Poppy Seed Slaw..


1 side wild caught salmon, 1-11/2 bls (can be fillets as well)


Salt and freshly ground pepper

Blueberry and Poppy Seed Slaw (


Preheat grill over medium high heat.  Cut salmon into 4-6 equal portions.  I find this easier to grill, but go ahead and leave whole if that works best for you.  Drizzle filets with evoo (to prevent sticking) and season with salt and pepper.  Grill flesh side down 4-5 minutes to and flip for an additional 2-3 minutes. 

*NOTE* Do not try to move the fish before it is ready.  The filets should move with minimal effort (no sticking to the grill) when they are ready to flip.

Serve with Blueberry and Poppy Seed Slaw.  Enjoy!!

Makes 4-6 servings.

Ahi Tuna Salad with Zoodles and a Light Peanut Dressing

Ahi Tuna Salad
How beautiful is this??

Spiralized zucchini anyone?  Topped with Ahi Tuna and avocado, YES PLEASE!!!!  I will admit this is my first time trying this latest phenomenon (zoodles, that is) and, I have to admit, it is really good.  I bought a spiralizer (~$10) for this recipe and used it on not only the zucchini, but the radishes as well.  The veggies are fresh from the farmers market and bursting with flavor.  I had the tuna left over from the night before, but it is literally cooked for 10-20 seconds per side so no worries if you have to cook, it will still be a quick meal.   (more…)

Grilled Marlin, Red Onion and Fennel Salad with Lemon, Garlic Vinaigrette


Grilled Marlin, Red Onion and Fennel Salad
A perfect meal to make this summer!

Grilled marlin, red onion and fennel salad may be “the” perfect meal to make this summer, WHY, you ask?  It is quick, super healthy and  popping with flavor! The lemon, garlic vinaigrette has so many flavor components, you will want to use it on everything.   Let’s talk about marlin for a minute.  Tim and I have never had marlin, but it was one of the featured fish at coastalseafoods over the weekend.  This fish was sourced in Hawii where it is in season.  I talked to the kind people at Coastal about the flavor and grilling ability of this fish and was sold that this would be great for the salad I wanted to make.  This beautiful fish is an excellent source of healthy, extra lean protein and it is low in saturated fat and sodium.  Marlin also provides about 200 mg of omega-3’s (DHA and EPA) per 4 ounce serving of fresh fish.  I can’t encourage you enough to find your local seafood shop, talk to the knowledgeable staff and TRY NEW THINGS!  If you can’t find marlin, I have also made something similar with tuna and you can get that recipe @  This meal is a light, protein packed powerhouse for your next hot date dinner!  Cheers!! (more…)

Cedar Plank Salmon with Maple, Mustard and Dill

Happy Father’s Day to all of you fabulous Dads out there!!  This is one of my favorite weekends of the year.  Tim always wants a low-key weekend with GOOD FOOD!!  How great does that sound?!?  We eat as many meals on the patio as we can and try not to get to competitive when the bocce comes out.  I decided to kick the weekend off early with this hot date dinner and what a beautiful presentation it is!!  Grilling a side of salmon on a cedar plank is and easy and delicious way to make your  own hot date dinner.  The rub is 3 ingredients (pure maple syrup, whole grain mustard and fresh dill) along with a pinch of salt and pepper.  It’s MN and the fresh herbs are in our gardens, at our markets or being handed to us by friends and neighbors, let’s USE them! (more…)

Spaghetti and Mussels in an Herby White Wine Sauce

Mussels, delicious and nutritious!!

This past Saturday during the fifth day of torrential rain here in MN, Tim and I decided a big bowl of steamed mussels and some crusty bread would be the perfect hot date dinner.  We stopped in @coastalseafoods in Minneapolis to pick some up.  Friends, DO NOT FEAR THE MUSSEL!  They are packed with protein, vitamins and minerals, light on the pocketbook and could not be easier to cook.  They present beautifully in their shell or in this case removed from their shell and tossed with some pasta.  I tried Ina Garten’s recipe, Mussels in White Wine  for our hot date dinner Saturday and they were DELISH.  I had quite a bit left over so I decided to shell them and toss them, (along with the herbs etc that they were originally cooked with) with 8 oz of cooked spaghetti as well as 1/3-1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid to thicken the sauce just a bit.   #winner

Pan Seared Salmon with Smashed Peas and Carrots

Springtime in one plate!

Fresh Salmon is always a treat and this recipe will work great with whatever salmon is in season and fresh at your market.   The peas and carrots are the perfect compliment to each other both in color and in flavor.   Take this over the top with the fresh mint and basil, both in the veg and in the butter sauce that is lightly drizzled over the top.  Cheers!! (more…)

Grilled Tuna, Fennel, Onion and Olive Salad


Happy Mother’s Day to all of you BEAUTIFUL WOMEN!!!!   Tim and I made this last night for hot date dinner and let me say, it was amazing hot off the grill and possibly better cold today for lunch!  You most certainly could use ground fennel, but toasting (to do this put seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally) and grinding the fennel seed gives it a little boost that is really delicious!  Pour that cold glass of Chardonnay, this is patio perfect.  Cheers friends and here’s to all of you great mamas out there, enjoy!!! (more…)

Cedar-planked Lake Superior Salmon with Honey and Lime

Tis the season, fire up the grill and put on a side of salmon. A beautiful presentation for your next hot date dinner!

I have been out salmon fishing on that big, amazing lake…what an adventure!  We caught some beautiful fish, but we ate all of our catch breakfast, lunch and dinner during that camping trip.  To my sheer delight, I stumbled upon some freshly, frozen sides of Lake Superior salmon at my favorite store during our last trip and bought all they had.  What a treat!!!!  This could be made with any wild caught salmon filet.  It is a beautiful presentation for your hot date dinner or dinner party.  Cheers!! (more…)

Tuna and Lemon Pasta Salad

Great flavor and texture components in this salad. Sure to be a make-ahead favorite for your family.

I am making a variety of grab-and-go salads this week to have on hand for hungry kids and adults with very busy schedules.  This one happens to be my son Thomas’ very favorite, in fact he says, “it’s my favorite thing to eat with a spoon.”  Everyone has their version of tuna salad and this is mine.   It is a basic pasta salad, but the key for me is to start with the very best ingredients possible, i.e. wild caught tuna (fresh or canned) and organic produce.  Try it this week for your busy family, you won’t be disappointed!!   Enjoy!! (more…)