A Fish Family

I do not remember ever having a meal at home that included seafood when I was growing up. My mom made a lot of delicious meals, but I never recall having shrimp, salmon, cod… any of that. My husband, growing up on a cattle farm, was the same way. Everything was meat and potatoes. He never had seafood growing up except maybe during Lent and for that they would go to a little town nearby for some fish at a restaurant (Masonville, IA… the best fried fish around. YUM!).

My husband and I love seafood. In fact, if we are going out to a nice dinner, a seafood restaurant would top our choice of places to go. Cooking seafood is one of my favorite things to cook. My kids love it, I love it, hubby loves it. We have become quite the fish family.

Of course, living in the midwest is nothing like what some of you experience living on the coast. Fresh seafood is not something that is readily available at a price I can afford. A lot of the fish we buy comes frozen from Costco. Either way, we do with what we can get our hands on and enjoy to experiment with different varieties and flavors.

I am slowly but surely building up my seafood recipe repitoire. In fact, I imagine that a lot of the recipes my kids will remember when they grow up have something to do with seafood. That is what I love about family recipes… they can be from the past generations, the current generations and then what the future generations take and do with them. The family recipe box is ever expanding!

What is your favorite family recipe? Do you think it could win you a $1000 Williams Sonoma gift card? How much would you love it if your favorite family recipe won you that coveted KitchenAid mixer you’ve had on your wish list forever? The Viva Diva Family Recipe contest is going on now. Remember to enter your favorite family recipe and you could possibly be one of the big winners! Head over there now before the rush of the holidays gets the best of you… you can enter until December 15th. Good luck!

Side note – you have until tomorrow night to win one of two Taste of Home annual cookbooks from a giveaway partnership between Kate from Kate in the Kitchen and I. Go to this post to enter to win.

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia (from Recipezaar.com)

(OK – small world time… just found out that the submitter of this recipe on Recipezaar was a Zaar user named Mommy Makes. Mommy Makes happens to be none other than Katie over at Chaos in the Kitchen! All this time I never made the connection that the two people were the same.)

25 min | 5 min prep


  1. Thaw and wash tilapia fillets if frozen. Pat dry on paper towels.
  2. Combine crumbs, parmesan, italian seasoning and garlic powder on a plate, mixing well.
  3. On a different plate, pour 1 tbsp lemon juice.
  4. Working 1 at a time, place a fillet on the plate in the lemon juice, sprinkle with desired amount of kosher salt (be careful about how much salt is in your parmesan, crumbs, and other seasonings), black pepper, and garlic powder. Turn the fillet over in the lemon juice and sprinkle seasoning on the other side.
  5. Dredge fillet in the parmesan mixture patting it all over to coat.
  6. Place in an oiled baking dish, repeat with remaining fillets.
  7. Sprinkle a little lemon juice over fillets and drizzle or spray them lightly with olive oil.
  8. Bake at 425ºF for about 20 minutes or until they easily flake with a fork and edges are browning (you can sprinkle some more parmesan on top if desired). You can also bake these faster at 450ºF.

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  1. says

    I am glad to hear that you are making up for missed seafood in your childhood! Oh how I love it and can’t wait to see your recipes. This one looks tasty, easy and so yummy. Perfect!

  2. says

    Another easy and quick recipe for any type of fish is to marinade it in sesame oil, soy sauce, and fresh chopped ginger and garlic overnight. Baked it and eat! DEE-Licious!

  3. says

    Hi Kristin!
    I am so sorry for taking so long, but I wanted to thank you for the Taste of Home Cookbook that I won a couple of weeks ago. It arrived last Saturday and I wanted to send you a hand written Thank You card and mail it to you, but my husband recycled the box before I could get to it! (I’ll take any opportunity to blame him! LOL)

    Anyway, I had good intentions. But thank you so very much! I love it and I am excited to try more recipes. So far, I’ve made the Tuscan Three Bean Salad and the Italian Stew. Both were delicious. The Italian Stew was a huge hit last night. My 16 year old daughter was flipping through it last night and has put several colorful post it notes to flag recipes…for her to cook or that she wants me to make for her, I’m not sure! LOL

    Thank you!

    shelleys last blog post..Minestrone Soup

  4. says

    Oh, and btw, I love fish, too. I happen to have some tilapia just waiting to be cooked. I love seafood but have a difficult time finding recipes that will wow the family. Thanks for posting this!

    shelleys last blog post..Minestrone Soup

  5. says

    Growing up, canned tuna was the extent of my fish repetoire. This week, I am proud to announce that I made fish three times (not including leftovers). It’s a fish record for me. I’m still not a big lover of fishy-tasting foods. But I really enjoyed talapia when I tried making it and generally like the coated (parmesan or bread-crumb) fish recipes. Basically, as long as it doesn’t taste like fish, I like it.

    Psychgrads last blog post..BloggerAid: Because We Can Help

  6. says

    When I was a kid on the east coast we would have codfish cakes, swordfish, lobster and clambakes. Seafood is one of my favorites, too! My DH and I like tilapia VERY much and usually grill it whole in foil. Such yummy stuff!

    Karens last blog post..Holiday Eggnog Cookies

  7. Mary C. says

    Hi Kristen,

    I love Costco’s flash frozen fish section and I am in Boston!

    I also love the frozen Tilapia, thanks for sharing your recipe, it looks great!

    I have an easy one too, and it’s quite tasty.

    Crunchy Tilapia

    Serves 2.
    2 Tilapia filets (I use Costco)
    1/4 cup Sour Cream
    2 T dijon mustard (any brand)
    1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
    3 T. soft butter
    2 T. olive oil (may sub vegetable oil)
    salt and pepper, for sprinkling

    1. Defrost tilapia, rinse and pat dry.
    2. Sprinkle salt & pepper on both sides
    of tilapia, let sit for 10 min.
    3. Mix sour cream & dijon mustard.
    4. Dredge tilapia filets in sour cream
    mixture on both sides.
    5. Place Panko on a plate.
    6. Press Tilapia gently into Panko crumbs,
    on both sides.
    7. Heat oil & butter in skillet, until
    butter foams. (on medium)
    8. Place Tilapia into skillet and cook
    on medium heat for 3 minutes on one
    side. Turn and cook 2-3 minutes on
    the other side. Take out of skillet
    and let rest on a paper towel for
    about 2 minutes. Squeeze lemon if
    you like.

  8. says

    Me again. I’m going to make this recipe tonight. I have a friend coming over who likes fish, so it seemed like good timing. I’ll let you know how it goes and post it if the meal is successful. Thanks!

    We’ve got an award for you.

  9. says

    I don’t eat anywhere near enough fish, it’s very expensive here. When I do cook it I tend to but the cheaper fish like Pollock and Coley.

    This recipe looks really good, if I can get some tilapia I’ll try this.

  10. says

    It was much the same for me. The only time we had fish was when my dad would go fishing and actually keep and clean the fish. It wasn’t very often! And I, too, buy most of my fish frozen from Costco. Just one reason I’d love to live on a coast!

  11. says

    I remember a long time ago you wrote about McCormick & Schmidts and how you would go there for seafood. I basically grew up on the Plaza, but we don’t do seafood so I’ve never been to M&S. Everytime I walk by or go into Z underneath I’m like, “Gee. I wonder what they would think if I went in and asked for that Chocolate Bag thing that Kristen was talking about…”


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