Tips & Recipes for an Amazing Easter Dinner (and leftovers!)

It’s almost Easter!

Here are some of the best recipes, menus, and leftovers tips we’ve put together over the last few years…

Just click on the picture to view each post!

Happy Easter!

Chef Perry

Lamb Easter Dinner

Garlic and Rosemary Leg of Lamb, Potato, Leek, and Asparagus Gratin, Strawberry Spinach Salad, and Petits Pots de Crème au Chocolat.

Easter Ham Dinner

Honey Baked Ham with Roasted New Potatoes & Green Beans

Reheating Turkeys and Hams

Reheating Turkeys and Hams

Leftover Easter Egg Recipes

Leftover Easter Egg Recipes


What’s New at Hautemealz

1551712_719287194762404_1321413378_nHey everyone,

We’ve seen some big changes to hautemealz.com since we launched our 2.0 initiative on January first, and the feedback has been awesome. We’re so glad to hear how you’re enjoying the expanded menu options each week.

But, as the old saying goes…you ain’t see nuthin’ yet!

One of the challenges that we’ve had in the past is that the name “hautemealz”, because of its pronunciation and spelling, is difficult for folks to remember, doesn’t play well in audio marketing, and does not convey a clear meaning of what we offer – many folks still assume that we deliver “hot meals” to their door!

ILP1Also, as we do more and more community outreach, and other food-related adventures, we want to make sure that we’re not muddling the message by having “all of our eggs in one basket” (and under one name).

So, after much consideration, and input from several top marketing professionals, we’ve decided it’s time to re-brand ourselves.

As part of this re-branding phase of 2.0, we started working on some new business name ideas.  We came up with 20-plus snappy titles, narrowed those down to our top half-dozen, and then submitted those to some of our amazing friends in the marketing and promotions fields.

The new name had to clearly define the purpose of our meal plans – quickness, nutritional value, and ease of use –  be easy to spell, and easy to remember.

What we came up with (and are VERY excited about) is…


Is that what we do, in a nutshell, or what?

As you can see, we’re keeping the hautemealz.com name and style…but it will become the “umbrella” over our various culinary projects.

Under that umbrella are SimplySmartDinnerPlans (the weekly recipes, shopping list, blog, and helpline), as well as our local private chef services, personal tutoring and workshops, and our community outreach programs (to be named soon) as well as whatever else the future brings.

cleaning retroSo, all of that to say…please pardon our dust, over the next few weeks, as we start shifting our branding of the meal plans to the new format, but never fear…Terry, Chris, and I will still be here for you, and we will remain “the chefs at hautemealz.com!”

Also, please feel free to share the news with anyone and everyone you know who’s life might be made a little easier with dinner plans that are, well…”Simply Smart!”

What do you think?

-Chef Perry

PS – Just to say thank you, for reading to the end...here’s a yummy (and super-simple) dessert, just for you! Our “Chocolate Peanut-Butter Pot de Creme!”



Everything I know about Thanksgiving…I learned from Alton Brown

Here’s a great 3-part video series by Food Network’s Alton Brown that will give you all the essentials of a perfect Thanksgiving feast, and a lot of laughs, as well.

No worries, I’ll be posting the step-by-step recipe for Alton’s turkey (or at least, my version of it), later this week.


-Chef Perry

Good Eats – S01E14P1 – Romancing The Bird Special

Good Eats – S01E14P2 – Romancing The Bird Special

Good Eats – S01E14P3 – Romancing The Bird Special

(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week.)


Officer Robert Libke Fundraiser

Officer Robert LibkeHey everyone, hautemealz.com has been given the opportunity to provide a number of dishes for a fund-raising dinner for the family of fallen Oregon City Reserve Police Officer Robert Libke, who died this week in the line of duty.

The dinner is being held by the Canby Police Department on December 11th, and we would, of course, like to donate the supplies and ingredients needed for the dishes we’ll be cooking, so that all raised funds in the raffle and donations can be given to Officer Libke’s family.

We’ll be providing all of the side dishes for the meal, and possibly a dessert, for around 100 guests. Estimating an ingredient cost of around $400.00, total.

If you would like to contribute toward this meal, we’ll be accepting donations, via PayPal, here.

If you have any questions, please comment, or leave your contact information below.

If you would prefer to donate directly to Officer Libke’s family, a fund has been set up at Clackamas Credit Union. Any monies received by hautemealz.com, over and above the cost of the meal, will be donated to this fund.

Thank you,

Chef Perry


Winning the Food War with our Kids



Cooking for little ones (and not so little ones) often presents some unique challenges.

While, obviously, you want to provide them with nutritious meals, it can be a pain in your….patience…to get them to eat the foods that are best for their growing bodies. We’re all probably well aware of the food plate and the number of servings our children need of healthy grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, and calcium products.

Getting them to eat these nourishing foods…well, that’s another matter altogether, isn’t it?

Here’s the good news when cooking for children: you do not need to incorporate all the important nutrients into every dinner. This is not Chopped, and the judges won’t send you home for not using all of the ingredients.



If the dinner table has become a battle ground, if the kids are marching to the table, already prepared for war…go guerilla on them! Avoid pitched battles and sneak those healthy foods behind enemy lines when they least expect them.

MMM_9343_2Let’s face it…raw cucumbers, thinly sliced and sprinkled with salt, are freakin’ awesome,  and make a much healthier snack than potato chips! But don’t just chuck a bowl of them in their face like a hand grenade…just set them out of the table, let them see you nibbling a couple yourself, and their own natural curiosity will eventually spring the trap.

Jungle warfare, baby!

The same holds true for melon and cantaloupes. These make excellent snacks and are a much-needed fruit in these important diets for little ones.

Here’s another biggie: If they don’t like apple slices…DON’T GIVE THEM APPLE SLICES! How hard is that? I don’t care if YOU love apple slices, if you do…great, YOU eat them. Give them some options. The goal here is not notches on your rifle-stock, it’s winning the war, long term!


There’s an old saying that an army marches on its stomach, and many a war has been lost not to bad planning, or bad soldiers, but to a lack of good food.

MY KITCHEN Outreach ProgramBy the way, if you’re enjoying this recipe, please subscribe to our free newsletter! We’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each Friday.

Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk kids, in our MY KITCHEN Outreach Program.


Bad attitudes, lack of motivation, poor school performance…all of these “symptoms” have been tied to a lack of proper nutrition.

Regardless of what we think we can or can’t cook, the reality is that our kids cannot live on macaroni and cheese alone. It’s been tried and tested and failed miserably.


Try mixing things up whenever you can while keeping meals kid friendly. It is important that you try to introduce whole grains, proteins, and vegetables whenever possible at meal times around your home.  Remember the “2 out of 3” rule:

Kids (and many adults) are quicker to accept a new dish if at least 2 out of every 3 ingredients are familiar favorites. Their favorite peanut-butter and jelly can be a Trojan Horse for whole-grain bread or crackers. Shredded cauliflower, carrots, or broccoli virtually disappear in spaghetti sauce. Land mine that home-cooked macaroni with cheese sauce (not that glowing-orange powdered junk) with fresh cooked peas and carrots.

You get the idea!

Mac n Cheese

Cooking healthier meals for kids is now easier than ever before. Fresh fruits and vegetables are best whenever possible. However, if you cannot manage fresh, or frozen, at least avoid “canned with syrup” (swimming in sugary tooth-rotting sweetness) whenever possible. Frozen is far preferable to canned when it comes to both fruit and vegetables, as there are often fewer additives.

Turn their ration of milk into dessert (and get a healthy dessert at the same time) by mixing it into a frozen fruit, like our Blueberry Slush.

Blueberry Slush


Encourage your children to try new things rather than cooking the same few meals over and over again that you know they are likely to eat. This prevents two things from happening. First of all, it helps you not to get bored when cooking for your children.

Second, it allows your children to try new flavors and textures and form opinions about them. By trying new things they will learn not only about the things they dislike but also the foods they really enjoy.

Kids tastes change over time. It’s frustrating, I know, to spend time and money preparing a meal only to have your child push the plate away and say “Yuck.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor this, I strongly recommend enlisting their help in the kitchen. First of all, children are much more likely to eat the things they had a hand in preparing as a matter of accomplishment and pride. (See our post: Tips for Raising an International Gourmet)

Second – you’re training a new kitchen commander who, with any luck, will have dinner ready for YOU, one of these nights!

It’s psychological warfare I know, but all is fair in war and parenting.

1One of the greatest gift you can give your children is to teach them how to prepare delicious, nutritious meals, and free them from a lifetime as a Fast Food P.O.W.

I’ve used these tactics to great success in my own household, and I hope you will enjoy the same degree of success on the field of battle, as well!

-Chef Perry




My “Why”…

I was talking to a fellow business person at our Chamber of Commerce meeting this morning about next week’s KOIN6/ Impact NW Toy Drive, and how we are cooking a big Italian dinner for the families and kids that come in for toys on December 14th.

After I told her all about it, she asked me an interesting question. “So, why did you choose to work with the toy drive?”

I’m sure she was expecting me to say that we’re doing it for the kids, or because we feel a ethical or spiritual responsibility to give back (and both of those are true), but they’re not my reason why.”I do it for my Mom,” I told her.It seems that most of the focus during the Christmas season, especially at an event like the toy drive, is all about the kids (and that’s a good thing!), but as a daddy myself, I can’t help but think about the parents, too.

As terrible as it seems, to think of a child waking up on Christmas with nothing from “Santa”, how much more terrible must it be to be that child’s parent?

How crushing and desolating would it be for a mom or dad, already (obviously) in a tough place, to wake up on Christmas morning without a single gift for their child to open?

You see, one December, about thirty-five years ago, my mom and I were in a tough place. Recently divorced, a glitch in the welfare system had temporarily stopped my invalid mom’s meager monthly allotment of food stamps and disability coverage, and we were broke…I mean, living on nothing but boiled potatoes and government cheese, stoney broke. (I know some of you have read this story, bear with me.)

My mother was getting up every morning not knowing what she was going to feed her child that day, of if the power would be turned off that day, or, God forbid, if I’d get sick and need cold medicine, or something.On top of that, Christmas was coming and there was nothing. Nothing.Then, just a couple of days before Christmas, someone, at someplace very like the ImpactNW Toy Drive, gave my mother a small box of toys, a roll of wrapping paper, and some scotch tape.

They weren’t fancy toys. In fact, they weren’t even new toys…but they were something. Something to wrap and put under the tree, something to see her child run out early Christmas morning, laughing and excited, and tear into. What someone gave my mom was a gift far greater that whatever I unwrapped that morning, they gave her a glimmer of hope, a momentary lifting of her flagging self worth, and maybe even a little whisper from above saying, Hey Betty, I haven’t forgotten you guys…

I owe someone for that. To pay-forward what someone did for my mom.

That’s why I do it.

So, I encourage you, whether you want to be a part of what we’re doing with ImpactNW and KOIN6 (and, yeah, I’m gonna hit you up for that in a second), or whether you have a local church or community toy drive, or even if you just know a neighbor or co-worker who’s in a tough place and maybe needs a little whisper from above… pay it forward.


It doesn’t have to be expensive; it doesn’t have to be fancy…believe me, I know.

Now, if you DO want to help us with the ImpactNW Toy Drive, you can use this secure link to make a charitable contribution towards the meal. We’re cooking at the event on Friday for sure, and again on Saturday if we can buy enough groceries. Donations can be made via a PayPal account, or with a credit card (no account required).

I personally guarantee you, every penny we receive will be spent on the meal, and any extra will be donated to ImpactNW to buy additional toys and gifts. If you include your contact information with your donation, ImpactNW would be happy to send you a tax-deductible receipt for your donation, as well.

If you can’t give much, I totally understand, every little bit really does help.

If you can’t give anything financially, I really do understand that too…and ask that you would give the most important gift of all…please pray for the families and children that are in need this season, and ask God how you can help.

He has something for you, trust me.

If you’re local, and would rather donate a new, unwrapped toy, please contact us at hautemealz@gmail.com, and we’ll make a plan to pick that up from you before December 14th, or get you the location of your local drop-off.

Here’s ImpactNW’s Wish List:

FINAL ImpactNW_HolidayStore2012_WishList_v1

Thanks for reading, and please share!

-Chef Perry


Preparing to cook when the power is out

Usually in emergency situations, the power goes out and your refrigerator, freezer, and oven become useless.

Stocking your kitchen with the right ingredients and equipment ensures that you’ll be able to prepare healthy meals even in times of crisis.

Fresh water is number one on the list. Keep a minimum of one gallon of water per person, per day, and an extra stash for pets. “If stored water was bottled at home, we recommend replacing it every 6 months, and if it was commercially bottled, it should be replaced each year,” says  the Red Cross.

Continue reading


Slow Cooker Pork and Sweet Potato Curry in the Ninja Cooking System

Ninja Cooking SystemFinally had a chance to use my newNinja Cookertonight. For those of you who don’t know, I attended Foodista’s 2012 International Food Bloggers Conference this  summer.

Euro-Pro unveiled the latest product in their Ninja Line, the Ninja 3-In-1 Cooking System, with a series of impressive cooking demonstrations: searing, roasting, baking, and slow cooking all in one unit. At the end of the demo, all of us attendees were pleasantly shocked to discover that we would be receiving one of the units, for free, upon its September release.

Obviously, we were all pretty excited! Especially me, as I took it upon myself to “grill” the presenters about this gizmo, and was pretty confident that it would turn some of my favorite dishes like pho, boeuf bourguignon, cassoulet, curries, etc…quicker and easier that before, and with less clean-up (which is key, until such time that my daughter is old enough to place into dish-washing servitude.)

So, tonight was my first test run, with an experimental recipe…peanut-pork and sweet potato curry. Couldn’t be happier with the results!

Got a great sear on the meat, onions caramelized beautifully, then switched over to the slow-cook option, and let ‘er sit 4 hours on high. Meat and potatoes came out fork tender but not mushy, broth reduced nicely, and (best of all) the whole thing cleaned up with a swish o’ hot water and a quick wipe with the sponge.

Seriously, no more baked-on crock-pot crud for this boy! Here’s the recipe and photos…enjoy!

(Oh, and thanks again to the awesome folks at Foodista and Ninja…I’m lovin’ this thing!)

Chef Perry

Slow Cooker Pork and Sweet Potato Curry.
Serves 4   Active Time: 20 Min    Total Time: 4 hrs 20 Min – 10 hrs 20 min.

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 pound bnls pork (shoulder or loin), cut into 2-inch pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp. mild curry powder
1 tbsp. garam masala
1/2 lb roma tomatoes, diced
15 oz can coconut milk
2 Tbs chunky peanut butter
2 cups jasmine rice, cooked.
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
1 scallion, sliced

Set the Ninja to “Stovetop High” and heat the oil (or heat oil to high in a large skillet.)

Ninja Cooking System Recipe

Season the pork with salt and pepper. Add half of the pork to the skillet and brown it over moderately high heat, about 12 minutes.

(By the way, if you’re enjoying this article, you may want to subscribe to our free newsletter; we’ll send seven amazing dinner recipes and a shopping list to your inbox each week. Plus, you’ll be helping us teach nutrition, shopping, and hands-on cooking classes to at-risk teens!)

Ninja Cooking System Recipe

Transfer the pork to the plate. Repeat with the remaining pork.

Ninja Cooking System Recipe

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic, sweet potato,  ginger, curry, garam masala, and cook over low heat, stirring, until fragrant and the onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Ninja Cooking System
Scrape the mixture into the slow cooker (skip this step if you have a Ninja, and just keep cookin’ baby!) Add the tomatoes and their juices, pork, and coconut milk.

Switch the Ninja over to “Slow Cook High”, cover and cook for 4 hour (or on low for 10.)

Ninja Cooking System
Spoon off as much fat from the surface of the curry as possible, stir in peanut-butter.

Serve 1/4 of the curry over steamed jasmine rice in deep bowls, garnished with cilantro and scallions.

Ninja Cooking System Recipe
This dish can be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

NOTE: If you like a little (or a lot) of heat, add 1-2 tsp of red pepper flakes, or 1/2 of a habanero or scotch-bonnet pepper (seeded and chopped fine – WEAR GLOVES) while searing the meat.


Chef Perry


Tangy Carrot & Cilantro Salad

Cilantro is one of my all time favorite ingredients, and I use it a lot! Power-packed with flavor, cilantro supports blood sugar-regulating mechanisms and gastrointestinal health, as well.

It’s also a knock-out when combined with carrots and citrus juice (and it makes an amazing addition to pico de gallo, too.)

To take this recipe to the next level, add a fresh avocado, cut into chunks…to make it dinner, add a handful of steamed shrimp…awesome!

Carrot & Cilantro Salad

2 large carrots, peeled
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
3 T rice vinegar
1 T sesame oil
1 tsp chili paste (optional)
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

Slice the carrots thinly, (I use a potato peeler).  Combine rice vinegar, sesame oil and chili paste in a separate bowl.

Pour mixture over carrots and cilantro and mix to coat evenly.

Let rest 20-30 minutes, in the fridge before serving.

Want to take the hassle out of meal planning? For super-simple, healthy and delicious dinner recipes, check out our FREE weekly meal plans and shopping lists!  Your free membership helps us teach as-risk youth valuable life skills!