Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Copper River Salmon- Cordova, ALASKA

I’ve been working the last couple of weeks on this kick-butt post. I might as well just say… Welcome to Alaska! :) I just want to give a HUGE shout-out to Copper River Salmon for bringing my mom and me on this amazing trip to Cordova, AK. The trip was so fun and I learned so much about salmon and how they end up in grocery stores all over the country. Copper River Salmon is some of the freshest salmon you can find, and we got to taste it at the source! The local community in the small town of Cordova, Alaska was fantastic to experience. I have always grown up in rather large cities, so I don’t experience a ton of the small town vibe. Cordova is the first town I’ve ever been to that you can’t travel there by road. You can only reach the town by plane or boat. I also learned that the Copper River isn’t just one river or even a couple rivers. Copper River Salmon is from all over the Copper River, which is a large system of streams and rivers. Each type of Copper River Salmon (King, Sockeye, and Coho) has a different run. The King salmon has the earliest run, as early as the beginning of May. The Sockeye run around July. The Coho have a rather late run, sort of early August-ish through September. Now enough talk… Let me show you some of the amazing things I saw while in the magnificent Cordova, Alaska.

Copper River view from Plane

View of the Copper River from the plane.

Orca Adventure Lodge

The lodge that we stayed at was pretty old, but it was cool. They had all of the gear that we needed to go out and do fun Alaskan things.

Road to the Glacier

We got some amazing photos on this bridge. We stopped here when we were going to a huge glacier named Child’s Glacier. The glacier puts off a really chilly breeze.

Airboat to the Glacier

In one spot of the dirt road out to the glacier, the road was washed out. We got to take a big airboat across the water to the other side.


This is Child’s Glacier. The water level is usually way higher, but because of lack of snowfall this year, a lot of the glacier is exposed above the water.

Touching Glacier Water

I got all brave and went to touch the water. It was pretty cold- like ice water, but with millions of ice cubes!


Can’t get a better picture of a seagull taking off, the beautiful mountains, and a bunch of boats. I explained what the fishing technique (gillnetting) was in the post I wrote about Copper River Salmon before I went to Alaska. Just recapping, fishermen set out huge sets of line with kind of small holes in them for fish to swim through. The salmon swim through the gillnet, but when they try to get out, they are ensnared. It’s a genius strategy really.

Fishmerman in the Harbor

We learned a lot about the fishing environment in Cordova and how gillnetting really works from this longtime fisherman. He has a gillnetting boat and a houseboat. His life is on the sea.

Harbor Boat

There were tons of cool boats in Cordova Harbor. Many old boats with cracking wood, a few shiny new boats, and a lot of shiny silver boats that looked like tin cans. Read more…

Monday, August 4, 2014

Skillet Sockeye Salmon

I just got back from Alaska, and I have a kick-butt recipe to share with you guys!  > Skillet Sockeye Salmon.  I have had so much fun lately that I haven’t been able to post, but here it is… the Skillet Sockeye Salmon.

Skillet Sockeye Salmon

While my mom and I were in Alaska, I caught a bunch of salmon. We were fishing in a little stream for pink salmon. I ended up bringing two of the fish I caught back with us to Reno. When the fish arrived at our house, my mom noticed something a bit peculiar about the fish. One was light pink and kind of dull, but the other one was a bright red color, like a true Copper River Sockeye salmon! We sent pictures of the fish to our guides in Cordova, Alaska and found out that they actually were different fish! The fisherman leading the little expedition had said that they were both pink salmon, but boy was he wrong- I got one Sockeye!  We took the fish up to Lake Tahoe with us and cooked it up one night last week. We used a salmon recipe favored by one of our guides, Nelly.

Photo Credit:  Brian Samuels >

Photo Credit: Brian Samuels >

When we were fishing, we got to wear big waders and rain pants. Just saying, I put them on the right way. My mom put the waders over the orange rain pants and it looked really weird. Salmon are really fun to catch. Oh, and a shout-out to Brian from for taking this picture of me. Keep taking those amazing photos!

Skillet Sockeye Salmon 1

I haaaaate touching raw meat and fish. When I’m fishing I am okay with touching raw fish and guts and stuff, but while I’m cooking it just doesn’t appeal to me one bit. It is really amazing how salmon from Alaska maintain such good quality while being shipped down to the Lower 48. They actually close off the front section of big planes and convert it into a storage area for fish so they can be flown out of the small towns. 2 flights arrive and depart at the little airport in Cordova, Alaska each day. There is one security line. It’s amazing how the big Boeing 737′s can land at such small airports! There are also some sea plane and bush plane businesses, but that doesn’t change the fact that you can’t drive to Cordova. There is no road! Read more…

Monday, July 14, 2014

Snickers Ice Cream Brownie Pie

Happy summer everyone! Now I know that I have been posting many decadent desserts lately, but it is summer. Soon I’ll try to fit in a meal recipe. Today I have one, last sweet treat. I made a Snickers Ice Cream Brownie Pie. It’s basically a really rich and yummy treat with a lot of caramel and chocolate. The first layer and crust is made of brownie, the second layer is vanilla ice cream mixed with chopped Snickers, and the top layer is chopped Snickers and chocolate and caramel. Does that sound totally amazing or what?! It’s a great summer dessert, and all of my cousins in Massachusetts LOVED it!

Snickers Ice Cream Brownie Pie

Mmmmmmm that looks so tasty! It was really hard to get a good picture of this pie. We had to keep it frozen all the time otherwise it would melt super fast, so cutting through frozen brownie was a bit challenging. Thankfully (and surprisingly), we were able to get a good picture piece on our first cut piece. If you make this recipe, let it sit for a couple minutes before you try to cut it. Just make sure that the ice cream doesn’t melt before you start cutting it. Other than that you should be fine :)

Snickers Ice Cream Brownie Pie Prep.jpg

This pie was easy to make for the most part. I made the brownie crust, put chocolate sauce in between the brownies and ice cream, and finally put on the ice cream. The majority of the recipe is just waiting for things (like brownies to finish baking, pie freezing, etc.). The picture looks like it would take DAYS to finish a masterpiece like this, but it doesn’t… so don’t worry. :)

Snickers Ice Cream Brownie Pie -

I’m one of those kids who totally relaxes over summer. I retire my hairbrush until August, lock up my school uniform in my closet, and break out the T-shirts and basketball shorts. My school starts back up on August 12th. It’s wayyyy too early to start school. There should be laws against it! “No school allowed until September 1st!” Read more…