Cuban Garlic Shrimp


Old Havana Neighborhood

Journey down any Cuban residential street at mealtime and one distinctive, hunger-inducing aroma lifts you up and carries you to the table: garlic.

This is not a one-clove-in-a-dish kind of place. Got a bulb of garlic? Use it. Please, don’t get me wrong; Cuban cooks know how to incorporate garlic into a recipe so it doesn’t smack you around. They know how to coax garlic into releasing it’s pungent flavor without asaulting the rest of the dish.

Toasting, roasting, sautéing and even frying, bring out garlic’s various nuances. Don’t forget: you want garlic’s flavor, but not the bite… like in this easy-to-prepare garlic shrimp recipe. A splash of vinegar, or lemon, brightens the dish just a bit.

Like visiting Cuba, this is a journey worth taking.

Plated + Served: 30-Minute Skillet Dinner


Heading back-to-school doesn’t mean you have to head back to the same boring dinnertime routines.

With five kids, I know the reality of starting a new school year: endless carpools, sports team practices, teacher meetings and yet another trip to the store for that pink highlighter your daughter didn’t realize she needed.

But I’ve also come to know, and appreciate, the importance of having dinner together as a family… especially during the school week.

I’ll admit that I’m the one who has to make it happen because I do the cooking. But if dinner takes less than 30-minutes, and we eat together (and I can get the download on what’s really happening at school) it’s worth it.

Sopa Seca, or “dry soup,” is a familiar dish in many Hispanic homes. I wrote a quick and easy version of this classic recipe for the folks at Right@Home, the bilingual website that’s got great back-to-school ideas for everything from recipes, cleaning and organizing, to decorating and crafts.

You’ll really like this skillet dinner because you can use whatever veggies or cheese you already have on hand. You’ll want to make this tasty dish again and again… even when you aren’t in a hurry!

Make sure you sign up for Right@Home with the registration link so you can get more deliciously easy recipes! Click here to sign up!


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: