Thai Beef Salad


Use leftover steak to make a delicious Thai Beef Salad - Mama's High Strung

Whenever I make steak, I always make extra so that with the leftovers I can prepare my favorite summer dish: Thai Beef Salad.

The beauty of this salad is that you don’t have to include all of the ingredients. If you don’t have fish sauce, use soy sauce. Don’t like jalapeños… leave them out. You can add what you do have… like red or green peppers, cooked zucchini, broccoli or green beans. This is pretty much a “clean the fridge” type of salad with a whole lot of flavor.




Kale Pesto


Kale, kale, kale.

Okay we get it. It’s good for us. We should be eating more of it. It’s high in fiber, packed with vitamin A and C and has more calcium than a container of milk. It’s also, also, ZZzzzzzzzz.

Let’s just cut to the chase: An easy kale recipe to make THIS WEEK, even if you don’t think you like kale.

The basil, garlic and Parm, keep the pesto true to its name. I use it on everything: on top of cheese ravioli… as a spread for crusty French bread… drizzled into squash soup.

Here’s something else: it’s completely nut-free and gluten-free. There’s a reason why kale is the current media darling: It’s good for you. See that? I just hopped on the bandwagon. And, you know, I hate bandwagons.

Plated + Served: Broccoli & Watermelon Salad with Balsamic Vinegar


Had some broccoli. Had some watermelon. Had some feta cheese and basil.

Steamed it. Cubed it. Chopped it.

A refreshing salad.

(Hey… that’s almost Haiku!)



Plated + Served: Watermelon & Basil Ice Pops


When was the last time you threw a really nice, really intimate dinner party?

I’m talking about:
a.) No kids
b.) 6 guests tops (8 in all, including you and your S.O.)
c.) A nicely set table (candles, cloth napkins, music, etc.) and fantastic food (of course)

Why, you ask?


Because Mama came up with a delicious recipe that I’m just dying for you to make and serve at your soirée: An Iced Watermelon Basil Palate Cleanser.

A… palate… what?

A palate cleanser, silly. You know, one of those fancy-do things the French serve in between courses during a meal… like sorbet. A palate cleanser helps remove any lingering flavors in the mouth, so the next course can be better appreciated.


Okay, okay. You don’t HAVE to have a dinner party to whip up these savory Watermelon & Basil Ice Pops (if you’re not going to play into my highfalutin entertaining fantasy, lets just call the recipe what it really is… a savory popsicle.).

And if you add a splash of vodka, you’ve got a great pre-dinner party POPTAIL!

*The good folks at Dexas sent me the 100% Silicone Cube Ice Tray Packet that I used to make the pops. One packet comes with two dishwasher-safe trays that make 18 pops, perfect for this recipe. Because the trays are silicone, whatever you freeze easily pops out. And, as you can see (below the recipe), like a lot of the cool kitchen stuff from Dexas, the trays come in some fabuloso colors and you can order them online



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: