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Tilapia fish tacos

January 19, 2010
By Wendy Monro

This week marks my final year of being in my 30s. We celebrate birthday week because the one day doesn't always give the desired effect. 2010 is really a beginning and an ending: the end of my 30s and the beginning of a new decade.

I am actually very excited about the hope and the possibilities. In light of what is happening in Haiti, all I can focus on is how grateful I am for so many things. I realize how amazing it is to have a loving family, wonderful and caring friends, plenty of food to eat and clean water to drink.

This year, I decided to have a quiet birthday. I began the day by driving my car to Wal Mart and then having the car break down.

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The Tilapia fish tacos ready to enjoy.

Obviously, this was not the plan. I went to Wal Mart to pick up my new glasses from the Vision Center.

Now that I am approaching 40, my prescription is getting stronger. The Vision Center was not open.

Who goes to Wal Mart at 7:30 a.m. anyway? So, the trip was for nothing. Then, I went back to the car and it wouldn't start. Also, my phone barely received a signal.

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Pan fried tilapia fish tacos

Serves: 5

Time: 30 minutes

4 tilapia filets

1 egg

1/2 C. milk

1/2 C. flour

1 1/2 Tbsp chipotle paprika, divided

1 Tbsp Creole seasoning

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp brown sugar

3 leaves of romaine lettuce, torn

3 small sweet peppers, sliced

1/2 onion, sliced

1 Tbsp. raspberry vinegar

1 tomato, cubed

1/2 can black or Spanish olives

1/4 C. basil, chopped

1/2 C. cilantro, chopped

1 C. sour cream

1 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. garlic salt

1 lemon, divided

10 corn tortillas

2 C. canola oil, divided

1 C. pepper jack cheese, shredded

Dry the tilapia filets and slice them into one inch pieces. Make an egg wash with egg and milk. Coat the fish pieces in the egg wash. Combine the flour, 1 Tbsp. chipotle paprika, Creole seasoning, salt, turmeric and brown sugar in another bowl.

Place the fish into the flour mixture. Toss them around the bowl to coat completely in batter.

Pour 1 1/2 C. oil into a skillet on high heat. Pour the remaining oil in another skillet on high heat. Slice the peppers, onions and tomatoes. Tear the lettuce.

Place the onions in a small bowl and drizzle them in vinegar.

Cook the tilapia fillets in the hot oil for about five minutes each side. Cook the tortillas in the other skillet in the oil for about five seconds per side. Place the tortillas and fish on paper towels to soak up any oil. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, thyme, lemon juice, remaining chipotle paprika, and garlic salt. Mix together. This is the sauce for your taco. Pile everything onto the tortillas.


So, I had a quick choppy conversation with Claud which only made him worry. I knew we couldn't afford a car repair bill.

Thoughts began streaming through my head like, why don't I have a better car, why would this happen on my birthday, why are we so broke. I felt a little like crying but pulled myself together.

I went back inside to warm up, collect my thoughts and devise a plan.

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I sat on the little black wire bench next to customer service. I tried not to think about the cashiers wondering if I was a weirdo or not.

I took a deep breath and thought of how lucky I am to be healthy, to have an amazing public school to send my children to, to have healthy children, to be in love with my husband, to have safe paved roads to travel on, and to feel safe and secure living in southern Minnesota.

Soon, a smile crossed my face and I didn't feel sorry for myself anymore. In fact, I felt a bit stupid for feeling so pitiful in the first place.

I decided to give the car another try. I trudged out there through the slushy snow with the wind pounding against my face smiling the whole way.

I pulled the car door shut and turned the key. It started and I drove home happier than when I left in the morning.

That night, I asked my family if we could make dinner together and make a movie of it for my blog.

I was in the mood for fish tacos. Claud said we could do anything I wanted to do and he didn't t make a single comment about the chick flick I picked out for after dinner.

Actually, he ended up loving it. This is how we spent my birthday. It was simple and perfect. We all had fun making the fish taco movie and everyone enjoyed eating the tacos (even if Jack made his with only sour cream, cheese and olives).

Soon after the movie, one of our friends called and asked if he could speak to Claud. I asked, "What did Dan want?"

Claud looked at me like a deer in headlights. He didn't say a word.

I started laughing and then he laughed. It was supposed to be a surprise.

However (and yet another thing I am grateful for), Claud cannot lie to me. So, he told me the truth.

Our friends wanted to come over and cook dinner for me the next day. How amazing is that? I felt like crying.

Only, the tears at the end of the day were because I realize just how lucky I am and how life is so full of wonder and joy. This birthday week is beginning better than I ever could have planned.

Please watch us making tilapia fish tacos at

Also, please visit Cash Wise in New Ulm if you don t have any of these seasonings. You will find most of them in the bulk spice section at the back of the store at incredible prices.



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