Everyday Adventure: Ice Fishing

This month we are excited to introduce “Everyday Adventure” a new column on the Minnetonka blog.  Celebrating small ways to incorporate adventure into every day life – from trying a new recipe with seasonal ingredients to hiking Mount Rainier. 

After a twenty-plus year hiatus, Molly got back to her Minnesota roots and went ice fishing. Turns out, the men aren’t so grumpy, the technology is top notch and the fish taste delicious.

I first attempted ice fishing at age ten. My uncle Whitey (a nickname he earned as a kid for having white-blonde hair… or at least I think that’s how the story goes) and I drove nearly two hours to Mille Lacs, one of Minnesota’s largest lakes, blasting “Radar Love” by Golden Earring nearly the entire way.

Mille Lacs is so wide across, that if you didn’t know better, you’d think you were looking at the sea. It’s a haven for ice fishermen, with little communities popping up all over the place once frozen over. Whitey had a great set up; really, more of a condominium than a shanty. Once we pulled up to the place, he’d get the generator roaring and we’d be toasty warm, sitting on a nice recliner, watching old episodes of Leave it to Beaver. We caught no more than five tullibees on that trip—a junk fish nobody wants to eat. But it was still fun.

I don’t think I’ve been ice fishing “for real” since. In college, I went fake ice fishing, which basically means sitting in some rickety shack on a lake where the only thing you’re fishing is another beer out of a cooler. Anyhow, a full twenty years after that initial excursion, Whitey invited me out again. I agreed.

I love fishing. The thing is, I hate fish. If I could somehow go straight from reeling them into the boat to chowing down a huge plate fried walleye, I’d be the happiest gal on the planet. That part in the middle where you have to touch the fish and remove the hook, then hold it by the gills for a photo op and clean it… well, I’d prefer to outsource those tasks. However, I’ve signed on for a full year of living outside my comfort zone, so I decided it was time to get back to the frozen lake. I’m a Minnesotan. I was born to do this, right?

I met Whitey out on Prior Lake, just south of Minneapolis. It was an overcast, 30-degree day, which in this polar vortex of a winter felt absolutely amazing. He’s since ditched the fancy digs, opting for a simple ice shelter—basically a mobile tent. We hunkered down, Whitey on an upside down five-gallon bucket, me on a comfy chair, with a propane heater keeping us warm.

Whitey rigged up his Aqua-Vu, an underwater camera that shows you what’s going on under the nearly two feet of ice. We saw tons of sunnies, those amazing little pan fish that are pain in the butt to clean because their filets are only a little bigger than your thumb. Whitey assured me they were good eatin’, so we caught and kept anything that was roughly the size of our hand or larger.


By the end of the day, we’d scored a whole bucket of sunnies. I even took one off the hook myself, which nearly gave me a panic attack, but I managed to get through it (you can watch a video of that here). Next, we headed back to his buddy’s man cave to clean and fry up the goods. I learned how to filet the fish with an electric filet knife, an excellent skill to have in my culinary tool belt.

We fried up a bunch, then made a few sunfish cookies—a new delicacy in my world. Simply salt and pepper a few filets, then stick them in the microwave for 45 seconds, then flip the filets and nuke them for another 45 seconds. I know, microwaving fish literally is one of the most disgusting things you can do in your kitchen, but I promise it did not stink up the place.  Then, we took Ritz crackers, smeared them with cream cheese and topped it all with a bit of fish. It sounds absolutely disgusting, but they were phenomenal. So good, in fact, that I’ll never go another 20 years without ice fishing.

About Molly Mogren:
The daughter of a flight attendant and a hippy-turned-real estate developer who toured Europe in a Volkswagen bus, Molly Mogren came into this world with an undeniable sense of adventure. From hiking the Antarctic Peninsula, to outrunning a hyena in South Africa and even driving a street-legal monster truck through Des Moines, Iowa—she never turns down an opportunity to do something crazy. She’s worked as Andrew Zimmern’s right-hand lady since 2007; they’ve co-written three books together and  co-host a weekly podcast called “Go Fork Yourself.” Her latest project, Hey Eleanor!, chronicles her year-long journey of tackling one thing that scares her every day.  She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her fiancé, dog (Patsy) and kitty, Bogart. She likes to drink coffee, do crossword puzzles and is very good at parallel parking. 


For the Love of February: Matt, Jack + Erik

February is the month of love.  And this month we’re all about sharing the love – our love of everyday adventure and finding fun ways to spend the final weeks of winter.

So for our latest lookbook, For the Love of February, we spent the month following a few of our friends around town and capturing their favorite ways to celebrate the season by doing what they love.

Today follow Matt, Jack and Erik, along with their furry friends McNiff and Emmet, as they spend a snowy Minnesota day in the great outdoors.



View our entire For the Love of February lookbook  here.

The Paper Mama: Heart Shaped Planter DIY

This month we are delighted to welcome a new DIY contributor to the Minnetonka blog.  Meet the exceptionally creative and crafty Chelsey Andrews of The Paper Mama.

Hello lovely people! February is the month of love and I’m celebrating with my little Heart-Shaped Planter DIY. It’s the perfect home for a little succulent plant. It’s easily made from polymer clay and is an inexpensive handmade gift (I spent under $10, since I already had glue and dirt). Ready to get started? Okay!


- 6 to 8 oz. of polymer clay (I used Sculpey)

- a rolling pin (or, use a glass if you don’t have a rolling pin)

- knife

- heart planter pattern

- e6000 adhesive

- succulent

- potting mix for succulent plants

- baking parchment paper



1.  Print and cut out your heart planter patterns. Roll out your polymer clay to about ¼ inch thick. Place your patterns on top of the rolled out clay and trace out the patterns with the knife. You’ll be cutting out 2 hearts and 3 squares.

2. Use your finger to smooth out the edges of each cut out shape.

3. Grab your triangle pattern and cut out a pattern on the “A” side of the heart pattern. Smooth out the edges of your cut out triangle holes.

4. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees fahrenheit. Put a piece of parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Carefully place your cut out polymer clay pieces onto the parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes. Note: Be sure to follow the exact directions of the polymer clay you use, since they may be different than the clay I used.

5. When your shapes are done baking and have cooled down, it’s time to assemble your planter. In a well ventilated space (preferably outside), wearing a mask and eye protection, use your E6000 to glue everything together. I drew out a little plan to help explain how to do this.

First: You have three squares. Glue square 1 and 2 to two opposite edges of square 3. Tip: use something heavy on either side of square 1 and 2 to hold them up. Let dry for least least a couple hours.

Second: Next, glue your hearts to the open sides of the glued together square 1, 2, & 3. Tip:  Prop up the hearts with something heavy while the glue cures.

6. Let your glued planter dry for at least 24 hours.

7. Plant your succulent in your adorable planter.

You’re done! Gift this sweet little planter to your favorite Valentine buddy, OR keep it for yourself. I won’t judge. Promise (said as I cuddle my own little Heart Planter). Happy February!

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

P.S. I was inspired to create these little heart planters after seeing these adorable little home planters made by Fellow Fellow for Say Yes.

Store Spotlight: St. Croix Shoe and Boot

Minnetonka Store Spotlight: St. Croix Shoe & Boot  406 Second Street, Hudson Wisconsin

Today we’re excited to spotlight St.Croix Shoe & Boot of Hudson, Wisconsin.  Meet owners Bill & Ellen Casey, along with their daughters Mackenzie and Alyssa, and find out more about their store in our Q&A below.

What’s your Minnetonka story?
For years our daughters have owned Minnetonka Moccasins and have loved their fun and trendy styles.

When we decided to open our store in June 2013 we immediately knew that we wanted Minnetonka Moccasins in our product selection.  We love their fun and fashionable colors and timeless styles and were proud to bring classic Minnetonka mocs to the St Croix Valley area!

What is your favorite pair of Minnetonka boots?
Hi Top Back Zip Boots in black suede – they go with everything and are so comfortable!

What is the most popular Minnetonka style in your store?
The Calf Hi 3-Layer Fringe Boot in brown suede, with grey suede as a very close second!

How do you like to style your Minnetonka mocs or boots?
Minnetonka footwear can be styled with everything!  They look great with skirts, shorts, leggings and jeans.  And are fantastic to wear year-round in the winter, spring, fall and summer!  A classic wardrobe element and ‘must have’ for fashion.

What are a few must see destinations near your store?
Hudson, Wisconsin is a great weekend get-a-way destination with a variety of activities and opportunities to explore!  Located on the St Croix River, Hudson features a wonderful marina for boating enthusiasts. The area is also home to world class golf at Troy Burne Golf course.  And the Phipps Center for the Arts offers quality entertainment for the whole family in theatre, music and dance.

Historic downtown Hudson features excellent shopping and exceptional restaurants. Whether you enjoy Mexican, Italian, German, Caribbean or American cuisine; downtown Hudson will have it covered!