12/22/13

Another amazing year of feeding kids at the Impact NW/KOIN6 Holiday Store!

Impact NW Holiday Store

This is the second year that the chefs at hautemealz.com have been privileged to prepare meals for the children and families coming in to the Impact NW Holiday Store.

3The Holiday Magic Store embodies the mission of Impact NW providing an opportunity for families to shop for free from a store filled with brand new items for their children, their household and themselves. Families that have shopped through the store have shared that this form of empowerment has had an immeasurable impact on their life – providing them with a sense of dignity and comfort in knowing that people within their own community truly care about them.

“Thank you, hautemealz.com, for serving three delicious meals to the shoppers and volunteers at our Impact NW Holiday Store! Your generosity and kindness never cease to amaze us!” – Mari Tamiyasu, Impact NW

A BIG thank you to our weekly meal plan subscribers, as a large portion of your subscription fees go to supporting and cooking for these types of outreach programs and events!

View the full slideshow here, on our Facebook page!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

Chefs Perry, Terry, & Chris

06/7/13

Look what’s new around here!

Heyya hauties,

Summer’s here and the time is right for…cooking! And, boy oh boy, are we doing a lot of it!

Tons of Outreach stuff over the next few months. We’ve been busy, busy, grilling for the Tualatin VFW’s Memorial Day Picnic; fixin’ a celebration lunch for the Impact NW Mentors Program; and getting auctioned off at the Sparks of Hope 2013 Gala & Auction!

Honored to cook for some WWII heroes! (and about 140 others, lol)

Honored to cook for some WWII heroes! (and about 140 others of our country’s bravest and best!)

Coming up, we’ll be cooking up a bbq spread for the winners of last year’s Amy Roloff Charity Foundation auction; grilling up a mess of burgers and dogs (and maybe a little brisket) for the kids and families the “Bridges of Housing” summer picnic, and get geared up for teaching our youth cooking courses for at-risk kids in the Portland Public Schools this fall!

Banana Pudding Parfaits for the Impact NW Mentors and Kids.

Banana Pudding Parfaits for the Impact NW Mentors and Kids.

Chef Terry and I had a fantastic time at the Tigard Public Library last week, offering our Intro to Meal Planning class. Looking forward to teaming up with them, as well as the Wilsonville Public Library, for several more free classes over the next few months!

Plus, of course, we’re busy creating and testing delicious, nutritious new recipes for your hautemealz.com Meal Plans. Look for more action on the grill, and lots of fresh veggies and salads as the weather warms up.

We have a couple of other new developments around here that we’d like to let you know about, as well…

First, if you’re local to the Portland/Metro area, hautemealz will be hosting cooking demonstrations (with samples!) at the Wilsonville Farmer’s Market every Thursday. The Market opens at 4:00pm, and the demos will typically run at 5:00, 6:00, and 7:00pm.

Kale Slaw at the Wilsonville Farmer's Market

Kale-Bacon Slaw at the Wilsonville Farmer’s Market

We demo’d our Kale & Bacon Slaw at the season opening of the market, last night, and had a blast. Tons of wonderful people, great food, and amazing fresh, local ingredients!

Dana Ramsey, our beautiful booth hostess, at the Market.

Dana Ramsey, our beautiful booth hostess, at the Market.

I’m a hautie… R U?

HautiesTee

We also wanted to let you know that, given the amazing response we’d had to our new “I’m a hautie” logo, we’ve opened a hautemealz CafePress store to offer the logo in a variety of colors and styles on shirts, office items, cases, and all kinds of fun stuff!

FYI…there’s no mark-up on these items (everything’s being sold at Cafepress’s minimum), as we think it’s enough that folks want to advertise us.

Look for some cool contests this summer, featuring gift-certificates to the store, as prizes!

Okay…back to the kitchen!

– Chef Perry

12/7/12

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.

Please?

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