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How To Make The Best Vinaigrette

March3

I’m getting ready to go on holiday in a few weeks so I’ve been eating a lot of fresh greens and raw veggies to shed this extra layer of warmth that somehow glommed onto me this winter.

I’ve been topping my salads with freshly squeezed lemon, but sometimes your mouth craves a little more excitement.

This vinaigrette is deliciously easy, versatile and light enough for tiny baby greens… but it goes perfectly with romaine, iceberg and spinach salads. Another idea: I pour this vinaigrette over all kinds of vegetables before I roast them in the oven. I’ve even used it instead of mayonnaise in chicken salads! Here’s how to make the  best vinaigrette ever… an easy recipe that everyone should have in their back pocket!

How To Make The Best Vinaigrette -Here's a recipe everyone should know by heart: a very basic but the best vinaigrette. This recipe is deliciously easy, versatile and light!

 

How to Make The Best Granola Ever

February14

A lot of packaged granola is loaded with sugar and sodium. This one isn't. It's gluten-free and vegan - the best granola ever.

Have you seen how many different kinds of granola you can buy? 

A lot of the granola you see in grocery stores is loaded with too much sugar and sodium… definitely not something you want if you’re trying to eat healthy (and Granola started off as a health food, remember).

Here’s a better idea… make your own. This is a very easy gluten-free, vegan recipe that shows you how to make the best granola ever. I’ve used brown sugar and maple syrup to give it a subtle sweetness and added just a pinch of salt. The almonds and tart cherries bump up the excitement!

Find the printable recipe below the image!

How to Make The Best Granola Ever


Nashville Style Hot Chicken

November17

If you love spicy food, I mean, really, really LOVE all things fiery and flavorful, then you’re ready for Nashville Style Hot Chicken.

What makes Nashville Style Hot Chicken so unique is the “sauce” that is brushed, dipped or poured over the chicken just before serving.

I’m telling you, this atomic fried chicken is guaranteed to burn your face off. Ah, the eye-watering pain. The mouth-burning agony. It hurts (and tastes) so good.

Yes, there are a lot of spicy fried chicken recipes out there. But what makes Nashville Style Hot Chicken so unique is the “sauce” that is brushed, dipped or poured over the chicken just before serving. That sauce is so delicious; you have to serve it with a slice or two of good old-fashioned white bread to soak up all the drippy goodness.

Oh, and you definitely need some good pickles to gussy-up the plate. That’s part of the presentation. You don’t want to go to all the trouble of making Nashville Style Hot Chicken and leave off a traditional garnish!

Several (now famous) places in Nashville have been serving Hot Chicken for decades. But as we all know, it only takes one hip website or famous food show star to get the rest of the country clamoring for the next BIG THING RIGHT NOW.

But what in the world is Nashville Style Hot Chicken anyway? How it came into being is absolutely fascinating, but, then again, I love food history and how it defines our culture, and in this case, a city.

Give a read to Dr. Rachel Martin’s post on the website The Bitter Southerner to understand how Nashville’s so-called signature dish stayed hidden in plain sight for so long before exploding into the mainstream.

What makes Nashville Style Hot Chicken so unique is the “sauce” that is brushed, dipped or poured over the chicken just before serving.

Hattie B’s in Nashville, which offers five heat levels, including “Shut the Cluck Up”, inspired my Nashville Style Hot Chicken recipe. I’ve changed it a bit by adding some spices to the flour. Like Hattie B’s recipe, I dredge the chicken pieces (breasts, thighs and legs only) twice in the flour before frying.

But I don’t add quite as much cayenne pepper as Hattie B’s because, well, I may be a little high strung, but I’m not crazy.

Read this recipe all the way through before you begin. I just heard you gasp. That’s right, one of the ingredients in the secret sauce is one cup of the hot oil from the skillet where the chicken is fried.

But, like I always say, you don’t eat like this every day, and I know how much you love fried chicken!

What makes Nashville Style Hot Chicken so unique is the “sauce” that is brushed, dipped or poured over the chicken just before serving.


Warm Kalette Salad

November6

Presenting! The Fabulous Kalettes!

A delicious different side-dish: a Warm Kalette Salad! This is what happens when kale and Brussels sprouts hook up: a non-genetically modified veggie.

 

No, it’s not a girl group from the ’60s. This is what happens when kale and Brussels sprouts hook up: a non-genetically modified vegetable that’s full of fiber, vitamin C, K and B6.

And, oh, are they delicious, with a slightly sweet and surprising nutty flavor.

Kalettes are also gorgeous. They have crunchy, deep purple stems with soft bright green leaves. I discovered them in a farmers’ market this summer, but since then I’ve seen them at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Melissa’s Produce also carries them, but they call them Kale Sprouts (cute!).

Presenting the fabulous Kalettes! This is what happens when kale and Brussels sprouts hook up: a non-genetically modified veggie full of vitamins and fiber.

Kalettes are great raw in a salad (chop them up a little first), but I also like them grilled, steamed, sautéed or roasted. If you do cook them, watch them carefully so you don’t burn their tiny, delicate leaves.

Besides trimming the ends, and rinsing them in cool water (of course), Kalettes don’t take much prep. This Warm Kalette Salad is fast and simple to make and, with the fresh feta cheese and pomegranate, makes a gorgeous side dish!

They may not be a girl group… but Kalettes ROCK! (Sorry…)

 

A delicious different side-dish: a Warm Kalette Salad! This is what happens when kale and Brussels sprouts hook up: a non-genetically modified veggie.


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Hi…
I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: mamashighstrung@gmail.com