01/1/14

hautemealz 2.0…check it out!

hmz2point0

Dear hautemealz.com subscriber:

Well, this is it…today is the launch of Hautemealz 2.0, and we’re giving you more options than ever before!

Parchment Tilapia3 Weekly Meal Plans
As you can see below, instead of just having one meal-plan, focusing on one featured protein each week, starting this week we’re giving you three plans, each highlighting a different protein, in all three serving sizes!

This gives you the freedom to choose what your family prefers this week, expands your ability to shop sales and discounts, and gives us the opportunity to create and test new menus that might be enticing to smaller groups of our customers, without alienating the rest.

ChickenTypically, you’re going to have at least one chicken or ground-beef menu each week, as many of our subscribers have let us know that those are their favorite ingredients, but don’t be surprised if you see the occasional seafood, or lamb, or even all-vegetarian meal plan, now and then.

Remember, if those plans don’t appeal to you, you’ll always have two other, more traditional, options to choose from.

Easy to Choose Categories
As you can see here, not only will you receive three separate meal plans each week, but you have the option to download any of them in two, four, and six servings. Example:

BeefLighter Side Ground Beef Meal Plan/2 Serving
Lighter Side Ground Beef Meal Plan/4 Serving
Lighter Side Ground Beef Meal Plan/6 Serving

ChickenLighter Side Chicken Breast Meal Plan/2 Serving
Lighter Side Chicken Breast Meal Plan/4 Serving
Lighter Side Chicken Breast Meal Plan/6 Serving

PorkLighter Side Boneless Pork Meal Plan/2 Serving
Lighter Side Boneless Pork Meal Plan/4 Serving
Lighter Side Boneless Pork Meal Plan/6 Serving

If this were your actual weekly meal plan email, each blue title would be an underlined link which would, when clicked, open that specific plan. This way you can browse each of the plans to choose which one looks best to you, without cluttering up your inbox with nine individual attachments!

Of course, if you have any questions about the new menu model, as always, we’re here to answer any of your questions, any time.

Weekly Newsletter & Blog Highlights

In addition to the new plans, we will also be reinstating the monthly hautemealz.com eNewsletter, with exciting new recipes, Q&A, highlights from our most popular blog and Facebook posts from the previous month, and step-by-step instructional videos,  like this one…

This Month’s Video

photo16 (526x800) - CopyOutreach Highlights
Thanks to our loyal subscribers, hautemealz.com served over 1000 meals to hungry children and families in 2013, and our goal for this year is significantly higher! We’ll keep you in the loop with event and program highlights, as well as interviews with program leaders and the folks we’re serving. Be sure to check out our Outreach page to read more about the amazing organizations we’re working with!

“But,” you ask, “how much more are all of these ‘extras’ going to cost me?” 

The answer – not one penny!

We are expanding all of these features in our 2.0 launch at no additional cost to our subscribers…still just $5.00 a month, and the eNewsletter will continue to be a free service regardless of membership!

You can look forward to many more new and exciting options like sign-up incentives, personalized meal plans, expanded menu categories, and lots more great food, as we continue to roll out Hautemealz 2.0 in 2014!

Until then — thank you for being awesome, and we hope you have a delicious new year!

Perry, Chris, & Terry
Your Chefs at hautemealz.com

Impact NW Holiday Store

01/30/13

Bad Food?

Hey peeps, the  hautemealz.com crew is going to start teaching a sort of “intro to home cooking” series of workshops for underprivileged kids and families.

For the sake of this question, assume we’re discussing people with a near-zero level of kitchen experience. I’m working on some themes for our “syllabus”, and I’d like you to answer one question for me, from the perspective of home cooking…

“What makes bad food/a bad meal?”

No rules, no guidelines, no “level of expertise” required. Read into that question anything you want, but PLEASE respond with something helpful. “Bad cooks”…is not helpful, lol.

We believe that, with the proper education, good , healthy meals can be prepared simply and on almost any budget, and that’s what we want to teach.

Thank you,

Chef Perry

01/29/13

Valentine’s Day Dinner: A Guide for Guys

Okay, so I’m not insinuating anything here…I’m sure that all the guys reading this are skillet-wielding Iron Chefs…but with Valentines Day coming up, maybe you know someone, who could use some tips…

NOTE: The management at hautemealz takes no responsibility for this post being forwarded to you…especially if it came from your wife or girlfriend…

That said, I’ve got a few tips on what to do (and not do) to create a “special dinner” to let your lady know how much she means to you…

Key points that I have found to be valuable:

  • A “special” dinner is one that she doesn’t have to do the dishes after.
  • If she has a favorite dish, make it. If you don’t know how…learn. She’s puts up with you…she’s worth it!
  • Portion control: bigger isn’t always better. a 16oz Porterhouse with all the trimmings isn’t necessary (unless you’re cooking for me). Think small and classy. Groaning, belching, and meat-sweats are for guy’s-night.
  • Dessert is key. You know it and I know it. If you don’t serve her favorite dessert, forget the whole dinner and just order a pizza.
  • Have a plan. With no plan there’s no attack. With no attack, there’s no victory!
power drill egg beater

Trust me…just don’t.

So…husbands and boyfriends… it’s time to man up.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day…enjoy a great dinner, an awesome dessert, and whatever happens from that point, is none of my business!

-Chef Perry

The Menu

Quick & Easy Stuffed Pork Chops
The Best Mashed Potatoes
Simple Lemon Broccoli
Chocolate Caramel “Beignets”

stuffed pork chops from hautemealz.com

4 servings    Active Time: 15 min    Total Time: 90 min

Ingredients

4 pork chops, 2 in thick
¼ cup brown sugar
1 pkg stuffing mix (pork)
¼ cup butter
1 Tbs olive oil
½ cup sweet onion, diced
¼  cup slivered almonds
¼ cup salt
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 ½ cup chicken broth
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs minced garlic
½ cup diced celery
¼ cup chopped dates

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  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a simmer. Add salt, brown sugar, and Italian seasoning. Stir until salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Cool to room temp. Cut a deep pocket into each pork chop, and add pork chops to brine. Refrigerate 6-8 hours.
  2. Melt 1 Tbs butter with 1 Tbs olive oil in skillet, add diced onion, garlic, and celery and sauté until softened. Add dates and almonds, stir and set aside.
  3. Cook the stuffing according to pkg. instructions, substituting the chicken broth for water. Once cooked, add onion/celery/crasins mixture into stuffing, and fluff. Allow to cool.
  4. Remove pork chops from brine, and rinse. Stuff each chop with 1/2 cup of stuffing, and place in greased baking dish. Pack any remaining stuffing around chops.
  5. Bake covered for 45 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Best Mashed potatoes from hautemealz.com

4 servings     Active Time: 5 min     Total Time: 30 min

Ingredients

1 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
4 fluid ounces (1/4 cups) half-and-half
2 Tbs sweet cream butter, melted
2 ounce grated Asiago cheese
2 tablespoons fine sea salt
4 ounces (1/4 cup) chicken broth
1 clove garlic, crushed

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  1. Peel and dice potatoes, making sure all are relatively the same size. Place in a large saucepan, and cover with milk and broth (add more of each, in equal amounts to cover, if necessary.) Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork.
  2. Heat the butter and the garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Remove the potatoes from the heat and drain off extra fluid, reserving fluid. Mash potatoes and add the garlic-butter mixture and asiago cheese, add reserved fluid, as needed, and stir to reach desired consistency.
  4. Let stand for 5 minutes so that mixture thickens and then serve.

Lemon Broccoli from hautemealz.com

4 servings     Active Time: 5 min     Total Time: 10 min

Ingredients

4 cups broccoli florets
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and black pepper, to taste

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  1. Steam broccoli. In a small bow, whisk together remaining ingredients
  2. When broccoli is cooked, but still firm, move to a bowl and toss with the lemon mixture. Serve immediately.

Beignets from hautemealz.com

This are about the “crazy-easiest” dessert recipe I’ve ever found. 3 ingredients, 5 minutes prep, 20 minutes in the oven, and you’ll be worshiped as a pastry god!

4 Servings    Active Time: 5 min    Total Time: 25 min

Ingredients

1 can (8oz) crescent dinner rolls
Powdered sugar
8 Milk Chocolate & Caramel SQUARES™
(see below for variations)

Ghirardelli Chocolate from hautemealz.com

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Separate dough into 8 triangles.
  2. Place 1 chocolate/caramel square (or 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips) on wide end of each triangle. Roll up, starting at shortest side of triangle, rolling to opposite point. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Beignet in progress from hautemealz.com
  3. Bake at 350°F. for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Notes: The original recipe calls for using chips, I used my favorite: chocolate caramel squares, and it turned out awesome! Some possible variations:

  • Smores – Hershey bar squares and mini marshmallows.
  • Mr. Goodbar – 2 squares each
  • Nutella – 1 Tbs
  • Chocolate Orange – 1 section each
  • Choc. Covered macadamia nuts (2 each, chopped)

Another great dessert option is our Chocolate Peanut Butter Pot de Creme

Bon Appétit!

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At hautemealz.com, we’re all about helping busy families get back to the dinner table and share delicious, nutritious meals together, by helping you with the research, planning, and list-making that takes so much time…time that most of us just don’t have.

We create and personally test “real food” recipes for every night of the month, provide an easy-to-follow itemized grocery list for every week of the month, and offer constant support and training through our weekly newsletter, interactive blog, and social media sites…all for just $5.00 a month.

Classic, lighter-side, diabetic-friendly, and gluten-free menus available.

We make the plan, you make the meal!

01/28/13

Recipes for an Epic Superbowl Party

“Typically occurring in late January or early February, it is considered a de facto national holiday in the United States. On Super Bowl Sunday many people gather to watch the Super Bowl. Such gatherings are known for the large amount of food that is consumed by attendees.” Wikipedia

Okay, Super Bowl Sunday is coming up, and what better time to get our grub on?

Continue reading

01/21/13

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US!

first-birthday-boys-cake-party
hautemealz.com signed up our first customer, (Thank you Mrs. Smith!) one year ago today!

We’ve come a long way, cooked a lot of great food, and met a lot of awesome folks along the way!

Here’s to many more years of amazing food made easy!

Thank you for making this a GREAT first year…

Chefs Perry, Terry, Chris, & Maryse

01/10/13

America’s most stereotypically hated and reviled food…your thoughts?

Growing up with a chef for a father definitely expanded my culinary horizons. Dinner (and sometimes breakfast) was often whatever the special had been that night, or what had to be moved out of the walk-in to make room for new stock.

Suffice it to say…things that would have sent some kids screaming into the street, were as common as hotdogs and mac-and-cheese at my house.

liver and onions

Photo found at The Nourishing Cook. Click the image for a great recipe that accompanies this image!

One dish that was love at first bite (around the age of 4, I think) was liver and onions, which also happened to be one of Dad’s favorites.

Is there any food that is more stereotypically hated and reviled than the poor ‘ol beef liver? LOL…I don’t think so.

So, given that, due to my background, I may not be a non-partisan judge, I’m bringing the question to you…

Liver & Onions…yes or no?

(and if you have a story, please share it!)

-Chef Perry

PS – My mom once told me, “I didn’t divorce your father for cooking liver…but it didn’t help.”

01/5/13

12 Tips to Make 2013 the Year to Get Organized!

We’re very excited to have Julie Starr Hook, from Five Starr Organizing, as a guest blogger this week, as we talk about achieving our goals and resolutions, going into the new year!

logo

12 Tips to Make Make 2013 the year to get organized! 
Julie Starr Hook, Five Starr Organizing

Continue reading

01/3/13

Best Surf & Turf, Ever!

Surf & Turf Filet Mignon Chilean Sea Bass

I just prepared the best “surf & turf” of my life. Filet Mignon and Chilean Sea Bass compliments of Certified Steak & Seafood.

Filet Mignon with Umami Merlot Sauce
Sake Poached Chilean Sea Bass

I’ll post the step-by-step recipes, with photos, in the next couple of days here on our website, but right now I’m going to lay on the couch and bask in the afterglow…

– Chef Perry

(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!)

12/22/12

Mushrooms: Nature’s Flavor Enhancer

Monosodium glutamate, also known as sodium glutamate and MSG, is a sodium salt of glutamic acid, a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid. It is used as a food additive and is commonly marketed as a flavor enhancer.

For decades, concerns have been raised on anecdotal grounds, and hypotheses have been put forward, that MSG may be associated with migraine headaches, food allergies in children, obesity, and hyperactivity in children.

Continue reading

12/21/12

It’s the end of the world…may I see the dessert menu, please?

Given the current hubbub about the world coming to a screaming halt tomorrow (which I don’t believe…unless it happens, in which case I friggin’ told you so) I thought it would be appropriate to discuss what final feast ya’all would want to sit down to if you knew there wasn’t going to be breakfast service.

I mean, c’mon…do you really want to head into eternity knowing the last thing you had was a salad? Not me!

Here’s what some of the world famous foodies, past and present, ordered or have requested at their last meal:

Julia Child
Although the French gourmand’s favorite comfort food was red meat and gin, she was documented in her biography saying her ideal last meal would include:
-Caviar with Russian vodka and oysters with Pouilly-Fuisse wine.
-Foie gras
-Pan-roasted duck, with onions and chanterelle mushrooms
-Pommes Anna (thinly-sliced potatoes baked in butter) and fresh asparagus
-French bread with Roquefort and Brie, with a Grands-Echezeauxs Burgundy
-Walnut cake; ripe pears and green tea; and crème brulee

Anthony Bourdain
No reservations, Bourdain’s last meal would be roast bone marrow with parsley and caper salad, with a few toasted slices of baguette and some good sea salt

Mario Batali
Eight to ten courses of seafood, pasta, and vegetables feast, beginning with marinated anchovies, to a Neapolitan version of a grilled cheese sandwich, on down the line to end with icy Limoncello, would be this chef’s choice.

Here’s mine:

We’d start with a half-dozen extra small fresh oyster shooters, with my wasabi cocktail sauce, followed by my wife’s tomato basil soup.

Entrees…no question… would be Chef Chris’s grilled tri-tip, served with my garlic mashed potatoes, and Chef Terry’s crusty baguette.

Next course would be series of tapas plates including hautemealz.com member Di Anderson’s green chili chicken enchiladas, a good sopresseta salumi with goat cheese, and slow roasted pork cheek with chicharrones.

Guinness to drink, of course, and a bowl of spumoni ice cream for dessert.

What would YOUR last meal be?

– Chef Perry