Baked Pork Chops and Apples


One great thing about the changing weather is that comfort food, like my delicious Baked Pork Chops and Apples, is back on the table.  Baked Pork Chops and Apples Mama's High Strung

I really like this recipe for Baked Pork Chops and Apples because it’s quick and easy (of course). But if you hit the farmers markets, you’ll find an amazing assortment of apples that can really make this an interesting dish.

I don’t know why pork and apples play so well together. Maybe it’s because pork needs the sweetness of the apples to bring out its flavor. Or maybe, if the pork is cooked properly, the apples add just the right amount of moisture to the meat to make the flavors pop.

And speaking of overcooking your pork— don’t!

If you like it dry and white and hard, that’s fine (yes, I’m judging). But, really, there’s like zero chance of you getting trichinosis or some other wild disease if your pork chops are slightly pink in the center. They’ll be moist and delicious and taste like they should, not like a cooked shoe.

I’ve added a little apple cider vinegar to my Baked Pork Chops and Apples because it brings a little brightness to the dish.

What is brightness? It’s that little mouth spark that you get when you first bite into something delicious that makes you want to keep eating it.

Meat needs a bit of brightness because it has very little natural acid. And acid (think lemon juice) helps enhance flavors.

Fall has fallen. Cooler weather is on the way. But there’s comfort in what I’ll be putting on the table over the next few months.

Plated + Served: Easy Oven-Roasted Chicken Breasts


Cold. Cold. Cold. Outside of my house.

Warm. Warm. Warm. Inside of my kitchen.

Turn up the oven and let the intoxicating smell of these Easy Oven-Roasted Chicken Breasts bring the family to the table. Make sure you rub the garlicky paste under the chicken’s skin so it will crisp up and brown beautifully. Watch the time and temperature… you don’t want them dry!

It may be winter outside, but this dish will warm everyone up on the inside!

Plated + Served: Glorious Morning Glory Bread


Morning Glory Bread


Morning Glory Bread made me break my promise not to eat so much bread this year.

I’m totally blaming it on the bread, because I was looking for a recipe on what to do with leftover carrots and the words “MORNING GLORY” leapt off the page and, eventually, into my mixing bowl. I’ve made a few changes to the original recipe to make it easier.

The recipe was for muffins, but I liked the comforting idea of baking a loaf of bread (it was -8°F outside at the time). This moist, sweet bread is full of bits of dried fruit and nuts. It seems like it would be dense and heavy, but it’s not.

It’s simply… glorious.



Plated + Served: Weeknight New England Clam Chowder


A really good New England clam chowder should be loaded with clams, but just the thought of all that scrubbing, steaming and shucking keeps most of us from ever preparing the dish.

This New England clam chowder recipe uses frozen clam meat (you can find it in Asian markets or at a seafood store), but you can also substitute canned clams. Bottled clam juice and water add a nice depth to the broth and the thick cut bacon gives the chowder a subtle smokiness.

There’s cream in this recipe (it’s a New England chowder after all), but not a lot. You can actually use whole milk (but why would you? It’s chowda!).

Quick. Easy. Deliciously comforting.

Sounds like dinner to me.

How about some Chowda

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: