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Where Women Cook Magazine Article

Where Women Cook MagazineThe Spring 2013 (Mar/Apr/May) issue of Where Women Cook Magazine features some of the most talented people in the culinary world. We are offering you a look inside the pages of our current issue that hit newsstands March 1st. There are plenty of recipes and stories to inspire you in the kitchen this season. Inside our latest issue we invite you to visit the galley with LaDonna Gundersen.


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Alaska Seafood Sustainability


The sustainable movement is sweeping across the world, and more and more people are taking interest.

But what does all this talk about sustainability really mean?

And what does your choice for dinner have on the world around you?

To start, all you have to do is visit Alaska…The last frontier in sustainability.


If you’re like most people, you know Alaska for its snow-covered mountains, glaciers that date back millions of years, and the incredible green beauty in summertime. But the state is also the world model for sustainability – and maybe for government genius, too. That’s because Alaska is the only state with a mandate for sustainable seafood written right into its State Constitution.


All told, Alaska supplies more than half of the wild-caught seafood in the United States. And Alaska will always be home to the greatest salmon runs in the world, providing as much as 95 percent of North America’s wild salmon.

What is sustainable seafood? It’s seafood that’s managed and fished using practices that ensure there will always be more to catch in the future.

The secret to Alaska’s success lies in two basic principles:

* Responsible fisheries management and sustainable fishing practices take
care not to harm the fish, other marine plants and animals, nor the
* Fish populations are never overfished. Overfishing happens when too many
fish are taken from the sea and there are not enough fish to replenish the
natural population.

Alaska boasts in having one of the worlds few governments that is truly dedicated to sustainability. It’s a commitment that dates all the way back to Alaska becoming a state in 1959, when Alaskan wrote sustainability into their Constitution-calling for fisheries to be sustainably managed in this way, Alaska promises to provide wild-caught and sustainable seafood for generations to come.


What can you do to help. When it comes to selecting from a wide variety of healthy and delicious seafood options, Alaska has you covered. When you buy Alaska seafood, you are making a responsible and tasty choice that’s good for you-and supports sustainable seafood.

So next time you’re at your favorite restaurant or supermarket, be sure to ask your waiter or fishmonger where the seafood came from and how it was fished. Better yet, simply ask for Alaska, or look for the Alaska logo.

For more information on sustainable fishing practices and Alaska seafood, please visit www.alaskaseafood.org

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Shelf Life of Canned Salmon


How do I determine how old my can of salmon is?

Look at the code that is either embossed onto the lid or printed onto the bottom of the can. The third digit in the top row of numbers and letters is the year it was canned. For example, 343TP would have been canned in 2003, 365TS would have been canned in 2005, etc. Some companies are now printing an expiration date on all products to make this process easier.

What is the shelf life of canned salmon?

Canned salmon is a very shelf-stable item. Quality will remain good for at least 6 years, however the actual shelf life can be much longer, provided that the integrity of the can is not compromised. The flavor may diminish after that length of storage time. Once you have opened the can make sure the leftovers are properly covered, refrigerated and consumed shortly after. Once opened canned salmon can be stored in a refrigerator for about three days if it has been properly wrapped. It is also possible to freeze canned salmon in a zip-lock or other type of freezer bag for consumption within a few months (just remember to dethaw it). As with most perishable food products canned salmon should not be left for long time periods at room temperature.

What species of salmon are canned? Why is Red Sockeye salmon more expensive than Pink, Chum and Coho Salmon? What are the differences between them?

Pink and Chum Salmon are available in greater numbers than Red Sockeye or Coho salmon, making them lesser in cost. Red Sockeye salmon is known for its deeper red color, firmer texture, and higher oil content. Coho or Silver salmon may also be known as Medium Red salmon. It is a softer texture than Red salmon and has a light medium red color. Pink Salmon is more delicately flavored and lighter in color. Chum salmon, also known as Keta salmon, is also lighter in color but usually has a firmer texture than Pink. All species are considered healthy sources of nutrition, such as Omega-3 fatty acids, and may be used interchangeably in most recipes.

How can I tell if my canned salmon is wild salmon or farmed salmon?

Most of the canned salmon found in supermarkets across North America is sourced from wild salmon fisheries. However, there are a few companies that may use farmed salmon in their cans. One of the best indicators of whether your salmon is sourced from the wild or from a fish farm is by looking at the labeling on the can. Many companies will indicate directly on the can that their salmon is wild caught. In addition, it may be helpful to know a little bit about the company and whether it has any corporate principles that prohibit them from using salmon caught from salmon farms. If the can is not properly labeled or vague you may want to pass. Alaska does not allow salmon farms, so when you see the lid that says “Alaska Salmon USA”, you can rest assured that these fish were not farm raised.

Why does canned salmon sometimes have glass looking crystals in it?

Every so often some people may find and be curious what the glass-like crystals are in canned salmon. These are called struvite crystals and might be mistaken by a consumer for a shard of glass. A variety of canned seafood products sometimes contain these naturally made crystals. Struvite crystals are formed after the salmon has been put in the can and are made of magnesium ammonium phosphate. They have a hardness compared to table salt and can be crushed into a powder with your finger. They dissolve in water and in your stomach.

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are long chain fatty acids (DHA and EPA) that are known for their health benefits. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least 2 servings of fish a week to protect your heart, particularly fish that are known to contain high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon.

Canned salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Our good friend Linda at Chinook and Company in Ketchikan is a wonderful source for canned salmon.



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22 years ago, while investigating the reason for my frequent headaches, body aches and flu like symptoms, I made an amazing discovery while going through my cupboards checking labels.

They all had one thing in common…Monosodium Glutamate.

I was shocked!

MSG was in everything! The soups, chips, crackers, coffee creamer, canned foods, hot drinks, salad dressings, prepackaged and prepared foods. The items that didn’t have MSG had something called Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Sodium Caseinate and Autolyzed Yeast Extract which is just another name for Monosodium Glutamate. I found out that if the label say’s No MSG added, its because it’s already there hidden under these other names.

It was shocking to see just how many of the foods we feed our family everyday is filled with this stuff.

But it didn’t stop there. When our family would go out to eat, we started asking the servers what menu items had MSG. Many employees, even the managers, swore they didn’t use MSG. We would ask for the ingredient list and sure enough MSG was everywhere.

I wondered why MSG was in so many of the foods we eat? Is it a preservative or a vitamin? Why didn’t I know about it? After months of research, I found out it’s neither. MSG is added to our food for the addictive affect it has on the human body. MSG tricks you into thinking the food taste good.

It’s not a taste reaction it’s a chemical brain reaction, you “think” what you are eating tastes good so you eat more.

Could it really be MSG that was causing all my aches, pains and flu like symptoms?

I put it to the test…I began eliminating MSG and all it’s hidden sources from my diet. It was a long process. At home it was easy to eliminate these things, on the boat it was a bit more challenging because I couldn’t run to the corner grocer if I needed a special item. I learned how to cook from scratch without all the packaged and prepared foods and eat more fruits, vegetables and fish.

Two decades of cooking from scratch at sea in the tiny galley on the LaDonna Rose, is what formed my recipes and cookbooks. Every summer I stock our boat with items to cook nearly all the recipes in Alaskan Rock’n Galley and Salmon, Desserts & Friends.

Having cleaned up my diet, I would become aware of the times I would get MSG. I found MGS has a time delay of about two to three days. My headaches would always be tracked back to what I ate two to three days before. I feel this is very important to understand, because typically when we don’t feel good we say to ourselves, “what did I eat today or yesterday to make me feel this way?”. In reality, it was what I ate a few days ago that was effecting me.

People have said to me, ” I am not effected by MSG, I’m not sensitive to it”. MSG is not an allergy it’s an Excitotoxin. Everyone is sensitive to toxins, the effect it produces is silent for some people.

I urge you to do your own research on the effects of MSG. I have included a couple links to help you become more informed, for your health and the health of your loved ones.





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Gone Fishing


We are headed south to Tree Point to catch some red gold. Salmon that is. For the next two months I will fall off the World Wide Web. As of yet, there is no WiFi where we will be fishing. So you’ll have to manage without me. I have no doubt that you will do so fabulously. While I’m gone, thanks to Word Press there are four more automated weekly blog posts you can check out. Simply go to my website www.ladonnarose.com and click on FishTales. There’s a Candied Smoked Salmon recipe posting in two weeks. Be sure to check out The Recipe of the Week for a scrumptious recipe, if you haven’t already.

Here’s to everyone having a great summer! I’ll catch up with you when I return so we can trade stories again. Until then, “Fish On!”

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Small Space Cooking

The hardest part about transitioning to living aboard has been learning to cook in a small space, and with a diesel burning oven. Really, I should show you my space. Maybe once I get it all clean! But the upside is, it’s so small that even when it’s dirty, it cleans up really quick.

So how do I manage to cook in my boat’s tiny galley and turn out meals that I’m accustomed to eating?

Let’s start with telling you what my galley kitchen space is like on the boat.


The boat is 32 feet long and 14 feet wide, but my galley measures 4 feet long by 5 feet wide. My counter space measures a total of 3 square feet. My galley is sorta triangle shape.

It includes a small foot and a half wide by 2 1/2 foot tall fridge and a freezer that is 5 inches tall by 11 inches wide and 1 foot deep. It maybe small, but boy can it pack and sure beats storing condiments in an ice chest.

I cook all our meals on a diesel burning oil stove that uses the same fuel as our main engine. The top of the stove measures 18 inches by 21 inches. It has an oven with a side opening windowed door. It measures 11 inches wide by 12 inches deep. An 11 x 7 pan fits perfect in my easy bake oven. I have a sink that measures 9 1/2 inches deep by 14 long and 10 inches wide. It comes complete with hot water as long as the engine is running.

Cooking in a small space takes thought and planning.

Good food and desserts is a fun and essential part of boating. Whether you are going out on your boat for a weekend, a week, a month or a year, someone has to plan what you are going to eat, shop for it, store it, fix it, serve it, and then figure out what to do with the trash.


One of my favorite things has always been cooking, and I thought I’d go nuts on board with my normal style, so I have adjusted to a more relaxed style: Less things on the plate, higher-quality ingredients (when available), and great flavors. We eat as healthy as possible and most always from scratch. With basic ingredients onboard, you can make anything you want and with a couple of cookbooks that use everyday ingredients, can give you a lot of confidence.

One of the challenges with small space cooking is to learn to have multi-function items including basic food ingredients. A can opener that also has a bottle opener on it, I’ve used a wine bottle many a time for a rolling pin.

Basic ingredients that can be used for a lot of different recipes is what inspired my first cookbook Alaskan Rock’n Galley. 200 recipes that give simple ways to keep your grip in the galley. Catch, prepare and present from a tiny space, real food that would not be ashamed to have come from a gourmet kitchen many times the size. If you can cook these delicious recipes in a galley, you can cook them anywhere. They are simple and gourmet, a perfect combination for the homemaker.

Cooking real food from scratch also leads us to eating better and we feel better.

On hot days, I try and use the stove as little as possible. In fact, some days we just turn it off. I then turn to the grill, eat up our leftovers and make quick cold foods. When it is cold and raining out as long as the weather is cooperating, I make soups, stews and bake up a storm. We eat good when it’s cold out while staying warm!

I do however believe in a few good kitchen tools, because it makes a huge difference how I feel cooking on the boat all summer. I recently bought a raspberry colored mini food processor. Just looking at it makes me smile! I have a couple of good knives that are the workhorses in my galley kitchen.

I also don’t give space to things that take up too much room. As the groceries are going on board, I throw away all the cereal boxes. I use a permanent marker and mark what is in the package. I use small and large zip bags to store leftovers in my refrigerator. Containers take up too much room.

Yes there are many challenges cooking in a Rock’n Galley, but without the challenges there is no adventure.

It’s really not all that bad once you get the hang of it.

Here’s a scrumptious recipe from Alaskan Rock’n Galley cookbook you are sure to enjoy!

Chicken with Caramelized Apples

4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/4 c. butter
3 apples, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
1 Tbl. lemon juice
3 Tbl. pancake syrup

Place chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap; with flat side of a meat mallet, pound to flatten chicken to 1/2 inch. Place flour on a small plate, add salt and pepper.

Dip chicken in flour, shaking off excess.

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken; cook 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. Place on platter; cover loosely with foil.

Add the apples to the same skillet; cook 2-3 minutes without stirring or until lightly caramelized. Stir the apples; cook one more minute. Stir in lemon juice. Add pancake syrup; stir to combine. Serve sauce and apples over chicken.

Serves 4.

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F/V Emily Nicole


The Fishing Vessel Emily Nicole is a beauty! Named after Kenny and Lynora Eichner’s daughter.

The boat is rigged and currently seining in Southeast Alaska.

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Seafood Freshness


WHILE TOP CHEFS INSIST ON USING FISH THE SAME DAY IT’S PURCHASED, that standard is sometimes unrealistic for mere mortals without a daily fishing boat service.

A good rule of thumb for the rest of us: Keep offerings from the ocean for no more than three days refrigerated.

They key to keeping seafood fresh is to buy it at the end of your shopping trip, so you can get it home quickly. Then put it in the coolest part of your fridge. If you’re really zealous, store it in a pan of crushed ice (put waxed paper between the fish and the ice). Some experts even advise giving the fish a rinse in salty water if you’ll be storing it for more than a day.

The more intact the fish, the fresher it will stay, so if you can find whole fish and are up for the deboning challenge, you’re better off buying that than precut. Larger fish, such as tuna and salmon, keep better than small fish, even if they are cut into steaks. Shrimp, scallops and crab deteriorate the fastest of all. The chefs are right on the money, don’t plan on keeping these for more than a day.

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Keeping it Real


Hard at it!


Hummm…wonder what’s for dinner?


As the 2012 salmon season quickly approaches, the list of things that needs to be done is HUGE!
Because once we leave the dock, I’m not going to be able to run to the store if I suddenly realize I’m missing something — or to the Internet if I need to find out something. Whether it’s provisions, pans, tools or recipes, you have to make do with what you have until next time you are in town.

To some, this is scary…what if I forget something? I have learned through the years to see it as a chance for innovation…what can I do with what I have? I’ve developed some of my “best recipes” simply because I was making do.

I have two basic strategies for dealing with the challenges of being away from town.

#1. Planning and List making. This makes it less likely that I will forget something. It usually takes a few weeks to go through the entire list.

#2. Creativity. If I have to substitute or go without, it’s not the end of the world.

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Longline Sculpture


This line could be responsible for thousands of pounds of fresh Alaska seafood. But today it looks innocent and dare I say, pretty.

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