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Notes from the Road – Minnesota & Wisconsin, October 2008

I know you are all used to usually hearing about my travels and experiences traversing the country to more ‘cosmopolitan’ destinations, however this past weekend was a little bit different.  We traveled to the Great Midwest for a quick weekend getaway to Minneapolis and the North Woods of Wisconsin.  This included spending the weekend in Hayward, Wisconsin in a friend’s cabin – hanging out, cooking and fishing Round Lake.  It was chilly, but fortunately true Midwest Fall and Winter hasn’t set in just yet – the low was only about 25 degrees!


Interesting times, with some of the highlights:


  • Thursday night dinner.  We ended up cooking for our buddy the first night in Minnesota and created a very simple, but outstanding meal.  It included hand-caught Alaskan Red Salmon done with salt, pepper and an orange maple syrup glaze, grilled zucchini and a quick risotto-style orzo with chicken stock, Romano cheese and rosemary.  The recipe for the glaze is extremely simple and listed here:


    • Hand-tapped Maple Syrup from Wisconsin, 5 oz.
    • Juice of an Orange, 1
    • Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
    • Chardonnay, 2 oz.
      • Mix ingredients together and reserve.
      • When ready, spread liberally on Salmon when ¾ cooked through.


  • Dinner at Tally Ho (  This Wisconsin-style supper club has been operating in Hayward for over 62 years!  It has had a collection of different owners, but currently this fellow Tom Stocker is really doing a great job in keeping with tradition.  I had an outstanding ‘Friday Night Fish Fry’, Walleye in a cornmeal herb breading, which was extremely light and flaky.


  • Fishing license purchase at the Happy Hooker (  We were taken to this bait and tackle shop to purchase our temporary Wisconsin fishing license.  It is a classic general store/community staple where you can get just about anything, hear town gossip and learn about what types of fish are biting.  And of course, what a great name!


  • Fishing on Round Lake.  It’s been a few years since I’ve been fishing and it’s been MANY years since I’ve fished on a lake, but what a blast.  Three of us went out on an 18’ boat, in search of Northern Pike and Small Mouth Bass.  After learning how to properly cast and screwing it up multiple times with ‘backlashes’ we were on the water.  Day #2 brought me catching a gorgeous 2 pound Small Mouth, the ‘biggest’ catch of our trip.  Fishing is definitely out of the ordinary for me, but it was a blast and I can’t wait to go back out!



Travels are next taking me over to Scottsdale, Arizona to Eats 3 – Savor Scottsdale, a new Food & Beverage Festival being held and sponsored by Food & Wine Magazine.  Check it out at  It sounds like it will be a great event with over 100 wineries represented and some outstanding chefs present.  I’ll keep you all posted – and, Always remember, Keep Eating & Drinking!

blogCraig Nyman