Sheet Pan Moroccan Chicken (Tutorial!)


Preparing dinner is even easier when you roast everything on a sheet pan! dinner is even easier when you roast everything on a sheet pan… oh, and clean-up is a snap!

This is a great recipe to whip out during the week because you can mix and match the spices based on what you have on hand: Greek (lemon+garlic+oregano), Chinese (ginger+garlic+soysauce) or Italian (basil+garlic+tomatoes). Steam some veggies or make a big salad and voilà! Dinner Dilemma solved.

I like using chicken thighs for sheet pan meals because they won’t dry out in the oven like boneless skinless chicken breasts often do. They’re also less expensive, which is always a plus in my book! Click here for the step-by-step tutorial on how to make the fabulous Sheet Pan Moroccan Chicken.

Tip: Get the kids to help with dinner by letting them peel and section the citrus fruit!

Like this recipe? Here’s more super easy dinner ideas: Easy Ravioli Bake and Island Chicken Drummies.


Pomegranate and Mint Lamb Chops


The perfect holiday dish: Pomegranate and Mint Lamb Chops. The ruby-red Pomegranates and bright green mint combo make this really festive, don’t you agree?

The lamb rib chops I use in this recipe are  “Frenched.” Frenched means the meat is cut away from the end of the rib or chop so that part of the bone is visible. Not only does this make the chop look deliciously elegant, it also helps the meat cook evenly.

This Pomegranate and Mint Lamb Chop recipe is gluten-free and paleo-friendly… and incredibly easy to pull together. I used my Hamilton Beach® Stack & Snap™10 Cup Food Processor to make the marinade, which includes pomegranate syrup or molasses (which you can find at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or ethnic markets).

Here’s a link to this delicious recipe, perfect for this time of year… (or on the grill this summer!).

And just in case you missed it… here’s how to open a pomegranate, without staining everything in site!

How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs


Beth writes: “This is a dumb question, but how do you boil an egg? My eggs always have an ugly green ring around the yolk… what’s up with that?”

Not to worry! Cooking eggs is not an eggs-act science (Sorry…I just had to say that).

That green ring is harmless, but really ugly, especially if you are making deviled eggs. It’s caused by a chemical reaction between the iron in the yolk and the sulfur in the white. You’ll get that ring if you hard boil the egg too long at a high temperature. Also, the older the egg is, the greener yolk will get.

Here’s my recipe for how to make hard boiled eggs, courtesy of my pals at the American Egg Board and the Incredible Edible Egg.


Because Mama is always a font of information (whether you want it or not), here are some other things you should know about How to Make Hard Boiled Eggs:

• Peel those eggs right after cooling because the egg contracts in the shell. When they’re cool, gently roll between your palms first and start peeling at the large end. You can also shake them in the pan to loosen the shells.
• Peeling eggs under cool running water helps the shells slip off.
• Fresh eggs are always harder to peel. Buy and refrigerate them for about a week before hard-boiling them.
• In the shell, you can refrigerate eggs for up to one week. If possible, put them back in the carton so they don’t absorb other refrigerator odors. Put a small “X” on the shell so you can tell the boiled from the raw.

Finally, NEVER try to cook an egg in the shell in the Microwave. It will explode. Yep, Mama learned this lesson a long time ago—the HARD way!


Roasted Rack of Lamb


Most mamas get a day off from cooking on Mother’s Day. Not this one.

I was in the kitchen, as usual. Wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. OK…that’s a lie. A warm, sunny beach somewhere sounds pretty good.

One of my favorite special-occasion dishes is Roasted Rack of Lamb. I was always intimidated about preparing it because:
(a) It is crazy expensive even if you buy it from Sam’s Club or Costco.
(b) It isn’t a lot of food, so it definitely wouldn’t feed my brood.
(c) I was scared to cook it.

But I found out in culinary school just how incredibly easy it is to prepare, so scratch that off the list:
(c) I was scared to cook it.

I also learned that while Rack of Lamb is the star of the show, you serve it with a lot of other things, like rich and creamy potato dishes, so no one leaves the table hungry. Everyone gets a proper serving size (3 oz. of meat), which turns out to be 3 or 4 ribs. So scratch that off, too:
(b) It wasn’t a lot of food, so it definitely wouldn’t feed my brood.

Now, if I could figure only out a way to eliminate (a)…


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: