Mini Jalapeño and Chipotle Cornbread Loaves with Tupelo Honey Butter


There’s a lot to say about this cornbread: tender, spicy, moist, hot… corny.

But one thing you definitely can’t say: boring.

Some friends threw together an honest-to-goodness Texas barbecue last weekend (we’re talking smoked, not grilled, meat). I knew there’d be lots of sweet and spicy BBQ sauce, so I brought cornbread to share (and to mop my plate).

Alright, I’ll admit I kinda cheated because I used Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Cornbread Mix instead making it from scratch. But c’mon, I added a lot of love with the fresh jalapeño, corn and chipotle.

I baked and served individual loaves in these Rectangular Mini-Loaf Oven-Safe Paper Baking Pans my pals at Welcome Home Brands sent. I love this collection because the colorful pans add a little pop to the presentation… and I don’t have to clean dirty baking dishes (plus plus plus)! (You can also use a muffin baking pan.)

The best part?  Everyone gets their OWN loaf!


How cool are these Oven-Safe Paper Bakeware pans?

Plated + Served: Chipotle-Honey Sweet Potato Wedges


Rejoice! Sweet Potatoes have finally been liberated from the holiday table!

We see them everywhere lately: Chips, fries, jams, pies… and, of course, smashed, mashed and swirled into sauces, soups and made into luscious desserts.

And why not? They are rich with potassium, vitamin C and fiber. And the brilliant orange flesh practically screams “I’m loaded with beta-carotene.” The best part? They’re available year round.

These Chipotle-Honey Sweet Potato Wedges will be a perfect addition to your spring menu. I wrote this recipe for the folks at Right@Home, the bilingual website that offers up not only healthy recipes, but also helpful tips on Spring Cleaning and organizing your home.

Once the house is clean, Right@Home also has great ideas for redecorating or indulging the kids in a little family fun… like starting an inside garden that can be replanted outside once it warms up.

Want coupons and special offers to come your way? Then sign up for email alerts with this registration link so you’re the first to know! Click here to sign up!

It’s Spring! New recipes and a clean, organized home and garden… with Right@Home®, SC Johnson’s online resource for information, tips and offers on their products including Glade®, Windex®, Ziploc®, Scrubbing Bubbles®, Pledge®, OFF!®, Raid® and more.






Kitchen Think: Russia, China and EU All Ban This Drug… Why Don’t We?


Image-by-EWGThink about this a moment.

A few days ago, Russia banned imports of U.S. pork and beef because the meats may contain the feed additive ractopamine. That’s the same additive banned in China, Taiwan and the European Union.

Ractopamine is used to develop lean muscle in livestock… pigs that are fed the additive during the last weeks of their lives produce an average of 10% more meat and have less fat. Between 60% and 80% of the pigs in this country are given the additive.

But since it’s been in use, the drug maker (Eli Lilly) has received hundreds of reports from vets and farmers about pigs that became sick or lame because of the additive. The situation is serious enough that the Food and Drug Administration now requires the drug to carry a warning label when it’s dispensed.

Thirteen years ago, the FDA declared ractopamine safe for livestock… Really? Ractopamine mimics stress hormones, making a pig’s heart beat faster and relaxing its blood vessels. Ractopamine hasn’t been proposed for human use, but somehow, I have to believe that these additives find their way into our bodies if we’re eating livestock that’s been fed the drug.

There’s something unsettling about the fact that other countries (including China, which has a history of goosing food with illegal substances) have taken a stand on ractopamine. It makes me wonder, once again, if the FDA is looking out for big business or us.

Thankfully, if you’re concerned enough about this, some American food companies are avoiding ractopamine altogether… like Whole Foods Markets and Chipotle Restaurants.

But what about regular grocery stores where discount prices fuel the way we shop? Mama’s always preaching about reading labels and being informed BEFORE you buy.

Ractopamine is one of the BIG reasons why.


Kitchen Think: This Week’s Most Interesting Food News/HALLOWEEN Edition


All right, Halloween isn’t until next week, but I figure we all need a little extra time to get ready… don’t we?

Here’s the Halloween version of those Piñata cookies I Tweeted about earlier this year…

 Okay, okay… feeling guilty now for not really wanting to go through all of the hassle of making those Halloween Piñata cookies? There’s an App for that.

I knew someone who once wrapped himself in aluminum foil on Halloween just to get a free burrito at Chipotle. This year, you don’t have to be quite so over-the-top to grab a free “Boorito” at Chipotle on the 31st. 

Don’t Forget: The kids need to eat something healthy before they go trick-or-treating… how about a Tentacle Pot Pie?



Finally… Cadbury and their Screme Egg Zombies…

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: