Plated + Served: Classic Shrimp Cocktail


There is something so elegant about Classic Shrimp Cocktail… I dare say, even glamorous.

 Classic Shrimp Cocktail

Maybe it’s the presentation: Huge shrimp perched on the side of a fancy glass, waiting to be delicately dipped into a pool of spicy cocktail sauce.

A great shrimp cocktail starts with shrimp that are perfectly cooked and then chilled quickly so they don’t become rubbery. The sauce is equally important, with just enough kick to balance the sweetness of the shrimp.

This is an easy, and always impressive, appetizer you can make year round. But for all its simplicity, the holidays always seem to make this old-school favorite even more special.


Plated + Served: Red Potato Horseradish Cake


This is weird, I know, but I’m so into food, I love reading menus from big events.

Last meal on the Titanic. Kate and Will’s wedding breakfast. Today’s inauguration luncheon in Washington.

I found a website that not only tells you what they’re going to be serving, but the recipes for the various dishes. You can check out those recipes here.

The inauguration theme is “Faith in America’s Future.” Regardless of which side of the aisle you stand on, you have to appreciate that the menu spotlights artisanal and sustainably produced food from farms around the country. They’ve also tried to make the recipes as healthy as possible:

  • First course: Steamed Lobster with New England Clam Chowder (less cream and more fish broth in the clam chowder).
  • Second Course: Hickory Grilled Bison with a Red Potato Horseradish Cake and Wild Huckleberry Reduction (bison is lower in fat and calories than chicken).
  • Third Course: Hudson Valley Apple Pie with Sour Cream Ice Cream, Aged Cheese and Honey (less sugar and butter).

What the President Will Be Served
Image by Design Cuisine

Didn’t feel like spending the moola for lobster or bison, but I knew my crowd would love the Red Potato Horseradish Cake… and they did.

I followed the recipe, but I did cut back even more on the butter, heavy cream  and salt that was called for in the original recipe. I had leftovers and they were perfect the next morning with poached eggs.

Democrat or Republican… we can all appreciate good food prepared in a healthy way. Now, if we can just get Congress to be as agreeable, we might make some progress over the next four years!

Mama’s Red Potato Horseradish Cake


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: