03/7/14

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…

SSDP NEW LOGO tweaked

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
SimplySmartDinnerPlans

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!”

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05/2/13

Give the Gift of Hautemealz…for FREE!

First of all, a big Thank You to Hautemealz.com Meal Plan subscriber, Kelsey S., for this brilliant idea!

  • Are you currently subscribed to a hautemealz.com Meal Plan?
  • Do you wish there was a way you could share with others how much you love saving time, while serving delicious, nutritious, and easy to prepare dinners to your family?
  • Without asking them to sign up and pay first?

Now you can!

If you are a current hautemealz.com subscriber, use the form below to sign up a friend or family member for a FREE MONTH (that’s four weekly meal plans and grocery lists) of hautmealz.com!

Mother and Daughter Making a Salad

Once we confirm their interest*, recipients will receive the current weekly menus, in the category of their choice (Classic, Lighter-Side, Diabetic-Friendly, or Gluten Free), for the next four weeks.

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Recipients are eligible for one (1) gift subscription, and current subscribers may send up to four (4) gift subscriptions in a 30-day period**

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*Every gift subscription request will be personally verified with the potential recipient via email, and they must OPT IN by email confirmation, before any menus are sent.

To avoid spamming anyone, potential recipients will receive only ONE email to confirm. PLEASE let your gift recipient know that you’re signing them up…no surprise gifts, please!

**Any gift recipient who signs up for a hautemealz.com meal plan, during their free month, will no longer count towards this total.

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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

01/25/13

You know you’re a foodie, when…

This one’s for all of our foodie friends, happy Friday!

You know you’re a foodie when…

You plan vacations based on the local restaurant scene.

You’ve stayed up till 2am reading…a cookbook.

You take notes at the movies during “food scenes”.

You carry around your own condiments…you know, just in case.

You have a 60″ Plasma TV and pay for cable…but the only channel you watch is Food Network.

You’ve used the term “food porn” in front of your mom.

It no longer seems strange to take pictures of what you eat.

You become obviously aroused at the mention of the word, “Tapas.”

You’ve woken your spouse up at 3am to read them a recipe.

Friends apologize when inviting you to fast food restaurants.

Dogs follow you because you smell like bacon.

Your 4 y/o won’t eat boxed mac & cheese, but begs for  foie gras, goat cheese, and caviar.

You have a specific menu planned for your own memorial service.

You never get invited to dinner because your friends are scared to cook for you.

You’ve rearranged food on someone else’s plate, to take a picture…

When the answer to any problem is to make dessert.

You’re on a first-name basis with the butcher at your favorite store, but you can’t remember your babysitter’s name.

You’ve registered for your wedding AND baby shower at WHOLE FOODS.

You have fantasized about being locked in a kitchen with Alton Brown

Okay, your turn…

01/20/13

Thai Shrimp Boat Recipe

Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boats

I’ve been playing with Tom Yum flavors ever since taking a Thai Cooking class last fall. I love the spicy-sour combination of the chili and kaffir lime.

Tom yum is a clear soup from Laos and Thailand, and is characterized by its distinct hot and sour flavors, with fragrant herbs generously used in the broth. The basic broth is made of stock and fresh ingredients such as lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice, fish sauce and crushed chili peppers.

5 (800x662)Commercial tom yum paste, as used in this recipe, is made by crushing all the herb ingredients and stir frying in oil. Seasoning and other preservative ingredients are then added. The paste is bottled or packaged, and sold around the world. It’s probably not quite as authentic as making if from scratch from the ingredients above, but it tastes great and it’s sure a lot simpler!

My favorite tom yum soup (tom yam thale) includes seafood, including shrimp, and I wanted to see if I could create a fun, healthy, “tapas style” dish that incorporated those flavors in a completely different way.

Very happy with these results.

Enjoy!

Chef Perry

Thai Shrimp Boats
Serves 2
1/2 lb large shrimp, cleaned and deviened
3in peice of lemongrass, crushed
1/2 cup Thai fish sauce
2 cups of water, as needed
salt and pepper to taste
6 whole romaine lettuce leaves (the smaller leaves inside a head of romaine), washed and trimmed
1 1/2 tsp Tom Yum soup paste
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cucumber, peeled
1/2 cup Jicama (or daikon radish*), matchsticks
1 lime, quartered

*If you like a little pepper heat, use the daikon radish, otherwise, stick to the cooler jicama, the consistency of the two is very similar.

Mise en Place

6 (800x530)Cut core off the end of the heat of romaine separating leaves. Wash, dry and place in a bag in fridge for at least an hour to get cold and crisp.

Slightly crush lemongrass with the flat edge of a cleaver, or with a rolling pin (this releases the flavors).

Chop cilantro, and peel, Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boatsdeseed, and matchstick the cucumbers. Peel jicama (or daikon) and cut into matchsticks. Quarter lime.

Prepare the dish

Place a large plate or platter in the freezer to cool.

Combine lemongrass, fish sauce, and enough water to make about 1 1/2 inch in the bottom of a steam pot. Bring to a boil.

Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boats

Place shrimp in a single layer in the bottom of the steam basket, and insert basket into the pot.

(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!)

Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boats

Cover and steam 2-3 minutes until shrimp are just pink through (slightly undercooked, as they’ll continue to cook. Remove from heat, and remove shrimp from steam basket to a single layer on the chilled plate.

Tom Yum Thai Shrimp Boats

Set aside to cool, 2-3 minutes, then chop each shrimp into 2-3 pieces.

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Lay your chilled lettuce leaf boats on serving dish and spread a very thin film of Tom Yum paste (to taste…it’s strong!) down the center of each.

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Fill with shrimp, cilantro, cucumber, and jicama. Sprinkle with lime juice.

Serve immediately.

Thai Shrimp Boats

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!

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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!)