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Personal Chef or Caterer - Who to choose - CookinGenie

25 Feb 2022

You’ve decided that you’re going to throw a dinner party. It’s time to gather up your friends and family to spend some quality time together over a good meal. No one wants to spend their entire evening and lead up to the party worrying over the menu, shopping, and preparing the food when they could be focused on other things. So, that means you’ll want to bring in some help to provide the meal part of the dinner party, but who do you choose? Your options include personal chefs and catering services. Do you know how you should make your choice? Let’s break down the similarities and differences between the two services and help you make your plans for a fun dinner party.

Personal Chef Services

Personal chef services mean that you’ll have a trained chef come into your home and prepare your meal, in the same manner, they would if they were in a restaurant. It brings the restaurant experience into your home. Typically, when you book a personal chef service, they shop for fresh ingredients to make the dish you select, arrive at your home to prepare the menu item using your kitchen, and then clean up after they’re done. As a result, your food is fresh and hot when you sit down to eat. When it comes to a dinner party, you can select as many dishes as you’d like, such as appetizers, the main course, and even dessert, based on the menu each chef offers.

Catering Services

A catering service offers the benefit of experience. Most catering companies are very familiar with providing food for parties of all sizes, and they often do it well. They employ chefs to create meals in their kitchens, and then the food is delivered to the party hot and ready to eat. Catering companies often have an extensive menu to select from because of the way that the food is prepared in a commercial kitchen in advance of the party date. Typically, a catering company will arrive at your party and set up the food in the area you select. You may find that they need to set up chafing dishes or other warming trays to keep the food warm while the party is in full swing. You can also pay for servers in case of a much larger dinner party, but that’s not always included in the cost of your meal.

(Also Read – Personal Chef Vs. Private Chef Vs. Catering Services: Which Option Is Right For You?)

Benefits of Personal Chef Services Over Catering

Both personal chef services and catering offer you the benefit of being more present at your dinner party. They both free you from being in the kitchen while your friends and family have a great time. You’ll be able to chat and enjoy yourself. However, some benefits come from personal chef services above a catering service. With a personal chef service, you know precisely who is preparing your meal as you get to handpick them. You also have peace of mind that the ingredients are fresh and the meal is made that day. You have no fears about something being prepared in advance, sitting in a freezer, and then being dethawed for your dinner party. The personal part of the title of a personal chef means that you get that personal touch when it comes to your food preparation from start to finish. Your food will be piping hot and ready to be enjoyed right from the kitchen. Since a critical component of a dinner party is the meal, it can be vital to pick the right menu prepared fresh in your own kitchen. It’s a great way to make your friends and family say wow after the party is over.

(Also Read – Why Should Busy Families Hire a Personal Chef?)

Cost Comparisons

You may be thinking that you’re going to choose a catering service over a personal chef solely because of the cost. People often believe that catering services are affordable while personal chef services are meant more for black tie affairs and the wealthy. While a personal chef service seems like an expensive extravagance, you’d be surprised to learn that the cost isn’t prohibitive. Of course, the price of the different dishes will vary based on the ingredients involved, but it’s all upfront when you book. There are no surprise costs or fees as you’ll be able to see the prices per serving on the website—no contacting different services for quotes. So not will these charges be around the same as you’d expect to pay at your favorite restaurant, but you’ll save time by being able to see the costs online.

(Also Read – How to Save Hours Per Week with a Personal Chef?)

CookinGenie Difference

The CookinGenie difference turns an evening of uncertainty into an evening of confidence. You know that you can count on a great experience thanks to the CookinGenie platform. The booking process is streamlined and very user-friendly. Your chef will arrive in a timely fashion and prepare the menu you’ve requested. That means no shopping, cooking, or kitchen cleanup for you. Plus, you and your chef are protected through CookinGenie if something does not go as expected during your evening. So choosing CookinGenie has some great benefits.

Using CookinGenie

CookinGenie was designed to be used by anyone wanting to place a reservation with a personal chef on the website. The user-friendly nature makes it fun and easy to plan your dinner party. You can scroll through the different chefs and the different menus they offer. You can easily see prices and the available dates for each chef to make picking out the details for your party easy. Once you decide on the date, chef, and menu, you enter your details and payment information. That’s it. The food aspect of your dinner party is complete leaving you to plan out all the other little details that help make a dinner party a must-attend event.

Are you convinced that CookinGenie is the right choice for your upcoming dinner party? Check out the different menus you can plan using our personal chefs. Your guests will be amazed at the restaurant-quality meal while you’ll be able to sit back relax during your own party. Put entertaining back into your dinner party. Just book and be ready for a fantastic time with your friends.

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Aphrodisiac Recipes for Valentine’s Day - CookinGenie Blog

14 Feb 2022

You’ve heard the word aphrodisiac before, and often, the first thing that comes to mind is something like oysters. But, truth be told, there are actually more foods that are considered aphrodisiac or aphrodisiac recipes to help you and your partner get in the mood this Valentine’s Day and beyond.

What is an Aphrodisiac?

Aphrodisiacs are foods that are believed to help stimulate human desire. As eating a great meal is always a pleasurable experience, these foods are thought to go a step further in heightening sexual emotions.

Historically, there are five different types of aphrodisiacs and why they are said to arouse passion.

  1. Exotic foods were thought to be erotic because they were rare and expensive compared to more everyday foods in the past.
  2. Spicy hot foods were thought to fire up passion through their spicey heat, while more bland foods were said to have the opposite effect.
  3. Foods that resemble the sexy parts of your body were also thought to be aphrodisiacs, such as oysters and asparagus.
  4. In addition, eating reproductive parts of animals, such as caviar, was believed to be an aphrodisiac.
  5. Finally, foods that were to stimulate your senses were also considered to be aphrodisiacs. When you eat, you’re doing more than just fueling your body. You’re engaging your senses. You’ll use sight, scent, touch, and taste during a meal, and it’s believed that these foods help heighten your sensual feelings through these senses.

While scientifically speaking, no studies have been done to examine the claims that these foods work to increase your libido, it can be a more personal experience that helps spark a fire. Food works to create a pleasant atmosphere, and that can be enough to help stimulate your evening. Keep in mind what helps to create a more romantic evening will depend on the person. Someone that can’t stand seafood probably will not appreciate your attempt to use oysters to stimulate their senses, while chocolate may be more of a boon than you realize this Valentine’s Day.

Examples of Aphrodisiacs and Aphrodisiac Recipes:

  • Chocolate: Between the taste and how the silkiest chocolate melts in your mouth, it’s easy to see why chocolate has made the cut on this list. Chocolate can help to make anyone feel good. Don’t forget that this Valentine’s Day, when you book with CookinGenie, you’ll receive a complimentary Chocolate Mousse to enjoy after your dinner. If Chocolate Mousse isn’t exciting, you can also try the Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bars or the Red Velvet Cupcakes with Creamy Frosting.
  • Asparagus: Asparagus is a healthy food that offers plenty of potassium and vitamin E, which are both excellent for helping to improve overall health and sexual health. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s shaped rather conveniently to be added to this list. For your Valentine’s Day menu, you may want to try Garlic Butter Steak Bites with Oven Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus or the Lemon-Herb Salmon with Parmesan Crusted Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes.
  • Finger Foods: There’s something sensual about finger foods that adds them to this list. Not using utensils and being able to feed each other easily helps to give this food an added layer of allure. Charcuterie can be a fun addition to your Valentine’s Day dinner.
  • Hot Peppers: When you want to kick things up a notch for your palate, hot peppers like jalapenos can be great for adding hot flavors to any recipe. Thanks to the capsaicin in the peppers that give them that spicy effect, your heart rate increases, your endorphins start pumping, and it stimulates your nerve-endings. All-in-all sounds like a great time! Here are some tremendous CookinGenie options that feature peppers: Jalapeno’s Cheddar Cornbread, Baked Lemon Wings With A Kick And Homemade Ranch, and Veggie Pad Thai.
  • Brussel Sprouts: Before you dismiss these little green balls, Brussel sprouts have a lot to offer regarding male libido. These tasty guys have Indole-3-carbinol, which helps reduce estrogen in men and helps to spark desire. Some choice dishes that feature these humble veggies include Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Stuffed Salmon with Roasted Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts.

Setting the Right Mood

Now that you’ve got an idea of some of the best meals to add to your Valentine’s Day, the next thing to consider is how to set the right mood for your special dinner. Although you’re at home, that doesn’t mean that you can bring the romantic restaurant feel to your house. So think about how you can go about setting the right mood.

One of the things that romantic restaurants offer is the ambiance. Music, lighting, and more combine to create the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner atmosphere. Pick out romantic selections for the music you and your special someone enjoy. Classical music, R&B, jazz, and other musical selections can work. You’ll also want to find ways to mute your lighting. You may need to add some candles around the table if you don’t have a dimmer switch. Plus, you can add a nice tablecloth on the table from vintage lace that’s a family heirloom or go with a classic Italian restaurant-style red and white checked cloth.

Another thing to consider is plating. The way that your food is presented helps to evoke being in a nice restaurant. It’s time to break out your fine china and silverware to add to the ambiance. Slopping food on the plate doesn’t add to the presentation. You’ll want to plate it carefully, so you’re not ignoring one of the most important senses of sight when it comes to eating.

Let CookinGenie Help Your Valentine’s Day

Give CookinGenie a try this Valentine’s day with these dishes featuring these aphrodisiac recipes. You and your special someone will dine on a meal specially prepared in your kitchen by a professional chef. Make Valentine’s Day a special day where you won’t have to worry about shopping, cooking, or even having to clean the kitchen afterward—leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your date night. Check out these fun dishes and more on the CookinGenie website to find the perfect Valentine’s Day meal, whether you believe in the effects of aphrodisiacs or not.

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Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas - CookinGenie

07 Feb 2022

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. So are you ready with something special for your special someone? If you’re feeling a bit stuck as you don’t want to get them the same old thing, here are some unique Valentine’s Day gift ideas to help you find the perfect gift. 

Subscription Service 

Why not go with a gift that keeps on giving even after Valentine’s Day has passed? There are so many fun subscription services out there that you can purchase for your loved one. Each and every time a package is delivered, they’ll get a smile on their face knowing how much you care. Some examples include fun underwear for both men and women, food, crafts, socks, and more. You can even find subscription services for things like Disney, anime, and other popular topics. 

Memorable Day Out 

Instead of spending money on an item this year, think about giving them your time. Create a memorable day out where you spend the whole day together doing everything you’ve put off because of your busy lives. Visit the museum together, see a movie, or do anything else you’ve missed out on that will please you both. 

Hobby Lessons as Valentine’s Day Gift

When your other half has everything, it can be hard to figure out something to gift them for Valentine’s Day. Gift them something they wouldn’t for themselves; some lessons featuring a hobby they do and want to get better at or are thinking about getting started in could be a fun idea. Anything from guitar lessons to learning how to knit is fair game. You’ll be giving them a chance to explore their potential with the hobby. 

CookinGenie Gift Card 

Buying your special someone a CookinGenie gift card gives them a chance to enjoy a delicious, professionally cooked meal in the privacy of your own home. You’ll provide the gift of not having to cook, shop, or clean up afterward. They’ll be able to select a chef from the website, decide on a dish or two that they want prepared, and pick an available night for your personal chef to come. 

Permanent Flowers

Are flowers one of your go-to purchases because your special someone loves anything that blooms? Rather than buying cut flowers this year that will look beautiful for a short time and then die, invest in flowers for your home that will last. Whether you live in an apartment or a house with a big yard, you can find something to fit your needs. Succulents, tiny potted tea roses, or terrariums are ideal for small spaces. Rose bushes, hydrangeas, lilies, and more are great for planting outside. As it is too early in the season to plant most flowering bushes and plants outdoors, you can present them with a copy of your order or a picture representing the item you have purchased. 

Symbolically Adopt An Animal 

Bringing home your love’s favorite animal is probably not practical, especially if they love sloths, panthers, whales, or other exotic animals, and giving your loved one an actual puppy or kitten doesn’t always work. One way to keep everyone happy is to adopt an animal in their name symbolically. Many zoos and animal welfare associations allow you to adopt a specific animal and get an adoption package. The adoption fee typically gives you a stuffed animal or picture of the animal you’ve adopted, along with information about the animal. Your adoption money is used to care for the species and help with conservation efforts. These programs are all different, so look around to find the one you like best that has their favorite animal. 

Ancestry Kits 

Give your loved one a look into the past. If your Valentine is interested in their genealogy and where they come from, an ancestry kit may be the perfect unique gift to give. They can explore their family history through something as simple as spitting into a tube and sending off their DNA. Not only do these kits help them to explore their past, but they can also be helpful for their future when it comes to any genes that play a role in their health. 

Personalized Items 

Personalized gifts may seem cliche, but there’s a good reason why they’re still around. They can be very thoughtful items. If you’re looking to break the mold with your personalized gift, some unique options are available now. For instance, rather than putting your loved one’s initials or name on the item, you can create coordinate gifts, such as the coordinates of where you met or got married. Other personalized gift ideas that aren’t typical include personalizing blankets, jewelry boxes, and artwork. 

Add to Their Collection 

Does your loved one have an obsession with something? It’s the perfect time to add to their collection. Things like purses, sports memorabilia, first edition books, rocks and minerals, stamps, and statues are all potential items to help them grow their collection. When in doubt, do a little snooping to find out what they may be missing. Even older items no longer sold in stores can often be found online. 

Make Something 

It may seem childish at first, but making your Valentine something just for them can be the perfect gift. Put your hobbies to good use. You can bake them their favorite cookies and make sure no one else in the family takes one. Crochet them a scarf featuring their favorite colors. Build them a shelf for their home office to store their collection of rocks.  

You can’t go wrong when you put a little thought into your Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas. Use these ideas to help you figure out an excellent Valentine’s Day gift that will knock their socks off. You’ll wonder why you kept going with the same old routine. 

Consider CookinGenie for Valentine’s Day this year. You can not only use us to plan the perfect night in enjoying a personal chef preparing a gourmet meal, but you can also give gift cards. So not only do you get kudos for buying a great gift, but you’ll get another opportunity to enjoy a CookinGenie meal at a later date! Contact us today with any questions you may have regarding our gift cards. 

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10 Big Game Party Ideas - CookinGenie

31 Jan 2022

Whether you tune in for the creative commercials or to see the action on the gridiron, there’s nothing like getting ready for the Big Game. No matter if you’re planning on having a more intimate gathering with just a few close friends or a much bigger bash, you want to have a memorable event that everyone is talking about until you throw your next party. Here are some fun party ideas to delight your guests.

1. Photo Booth

A football-themed photo booth is always fun. First, create a football backdrop that helps your guests feel like they are at the big game. You can make it look as though you are sitting inside the stadium where the action is happening. Then, add some fun props, such as footballs, jerseys, football bead necklaces, football glasses, and more to let your guests create fun pictures to share.

2. Create a Tailgate Party for Big Game

Football season just isn’t the same without going tailgating at least once. One of the drawbacks of tailgating towards the end of the season is the cold weather, so set up a themed party indoors that looks like a tailgate party. Decorate your table to look like the back of a truck. Throw up some folding chairs for extra seating.

3. Set Up Games

Since not everyone wants to sit still through the entire game, you may want to consider adding some fun games to your party. Some traditional favorites played before a game while tailgating include cornhole, washers, ring toss, beer pong (minus the beer for the kids), and more. Perfect for parties where there are a variety of ages. It’s a great way to keep kids occupied while the adults cheer for their favorite team.

4. Football Themed Drinks

Custom create some fun drinks to celebrate the Big Game. Make a cocktail to represent each team’s colors and let your guests decide who will be the winner of the matchup. You can even add to the event’s fun by using glasses shaped like footballs. Of course, if you can’t find appropriate glasses, you can always create your own using mason jars and some white tape to mimic the look of the laces on the football.

5. Decorations

There are so many fun decorations that you can use to make your home festive for the Big Game. Hang up football streamers and similar decorations. Use the different team colors to create a bold look around your house. Big foam fingers scattered around the room that can be picked up and used during the game can be fun for all.

6. Play Squares

Let your guests make guesses about the game. Then, create a square game to let your friends have some friendly (or not so friendly among really competitive friends) competition on the Big Game. You can find these games online to print or create your own.

7. Get a Personal Chef

Food makes a party. Everyone wants to have plenty of snacks and dishes to eat while watching the fun on TV. Every party often goes the same for the homeowner throwing the party where they spend more time preparing food than enjoying their own party with their guests. So why not get someone else to handle the food? Catering means that your food probably won’t be warm by the time it’s delivered. Ordering in at the last minute from your local pizza joint or restaurant often leads to the food arriving later than you want. A personal chef is a perfect option. You can pick some dishes and have them prepared in your own kitchen. Your food will be hot and ready for your guests, and you get to participate in all the fun without missing out. The cherry on top is that the chef cleans up the kitchen after they’re finished cooking.

8. Desserts

No party is complete without food, and dessert is always the perfect touch to help sweeten up your event. What better way to console fans disappointed their team is losing with something tasty to eat or make winning fans feel victorious as they cheer their team on for the W? There are lots of fun cupcake toppers and football-shaped cakes or cookies you can offer up to your guests. For instance, you can take peanut-butter cookies and shape them in an oblong shape. Once they come out of the oven, you can put some frosting on them in lines to complete the look. You can also turn chocolate-covered strawberries into little footballs with white chocolate details.

9. Bingo or Shots Game

Have you ever played commercial bingo? It can be a lot of fun. Each card has different squares featuring something that may be featured in a commercial, such as a particular brand or the use of animals. Play bingo every round of commercials until someone gets bingo. For more adult gatherings where alcoholic beverages are flowing, you may want to consider playing a shots game. You can pick phrases or actions for during the football game or the commercials, and when it happens, it’s time to drink. For instance, if someone tears up during a commercial, they have to drink a shot, or if someone yells a particular phrase, they have to drink a shot. You can find both bingo cards and shot game directions online if these are new to you.

10. Virtual Guests for Big Game

Not everyone you want to come to your party will be available to attend. You may have some family or friends who need to stay home for various reasons or aren’t able to come over, from quarantining to traveling for work. So, why not create a virtual watch party for the Big Game. Start by sending everyone attending virtually a list of all of the things you’ll have on hand so that they can prepare some of the same dishes. Then, everyone can log in and enjoy the game together.

Celebrating the Big Game in a big way is a time-honored tradition. You’ll be the talk of Monday after you pull off a big party. Let CookinGenie be part of your Big Game plans. No matter if you’re planning on just watching with family or a larger group, your personal chef can help you create a fantastic spread sure to please even the pickiest eaters. Check out the variety of dishes available for your next gathering.

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CookinGenie Valentine's Day Menu

27 Jan 2022

One of the most amazing things that separate CookinGenie from visiting any restaurant is the variety of the available chefs and their menus. To help you narrow down your delightful choices, we’ll go over some of the best Valentine’s Day Menu we have available for your upcoming date night. To make your Valentine’s Day date night even better, we’re offering a limited-time complimentary dessert: chocolate mousse. The perfect finish for any of these great selections. 

Delectable Valentine’s Day Meal Selections 

Hayley’s Fruit and Cheese Board 

 

Everyone loves something to nibble on, so why not explore this excellent fruit and cheese board with a selection of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and jam? The variety of tasty morsels on this board will keep you happily snacking as you enjoy your evening. 

Fanan’s Spring Rolls 

 

Are you looking for a tasty vegetarian dish? Don’t skip spring rolls because you think it’s a side dish. They make a great entree, especially when they’re jammed full of tasty ingredients. You can’t go wrong with these crispy spring rolls that are just packed with flavor. 

Courtney’s Chicken Marsala Chicken Thighs with Mushrooms, Brown Rice & Broccolini 

 

When you’re looking for a wholesome meal that will tickle your tastebuds, you can’t beat chicken marsala. A rich flavorful chicken dish is sure to warmly fill your stomach just like the love in your heart. The chicken pairs perfectly with a rich wine sauce, mushrooms, nutty brown rice, and broccolini. 

Dylan’s Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Fondant Potatoes and Roasted Carrots 

 

A classic favorite, the rack of lamb, is sure to please. The thick-cut fondant potatoes and roasted carrots round out this delicious meal. The elegance of this meal is sure to please even the most discerning diners. 

Rashidah’s Citrus Honey Baked Salmon with Rice and Veggies 

 

Is your Valentine sticking with their resolution to eat healthier this year? You can’t go wrong with a beautiful salmon dish that’s sure to please. This glazed fish dish comes with rice and veggies that complement the flavor.  

Francesca’s Chicken Piccata with Mushroom and Cheese 

 

There’s an unspoken rule that Italian dishes are the height of romance for some people, so checking out this Sicilian favorite is sure to please. The pan-seared chicken matched up with yummy tortellini will make your kitchen smell amazing, leaving you excited for your meal. 

La Mont’s Skillet Mussels with Fennel White Wine and Toast Points 

 

Seafood is one delicacy that you can’t ignore. If you and your partner love a taste of the sea, mussels may make for a flawless dining experience. Plus, who doesn’t love a meal where you can savor every drop with delicious toasted baguette pieces? 

Edmund’s Surf and Turf with Filet Mignon, Lobster, Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes, and Roasted Asparagus 

 

When you’re looking to go all out for your Valentine, there’s something to be said about the classics. Steak and lobster is the perfect pairing for a fancy dinner. Add in the creamy garlic mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus, and you’ll create the ideal extravagant meal for your sweetheart. It might be the exact meal you need to set up a pristine evening to pop the question.   

Make Your Valentine’s Day a Little Sweeter 

Also, don’t forget that for a limited time, you and your date will enjoy a complimentary chocolate mousse to enjoy after your main course when you book for Valentine’s Day. Just our way of saying thanks for using CookinGenie for your special events.  

Experience the CookinGenie Difference 

New to CookinGenie? This Valentine’s Day is the perfect occasion to give CookinGenie a try. Experience all of the luxury of having a personal chef cook in your kitchen at an affordable price and skip all of the problems that come from going out to eat on Valentine’s Day. You’ll be wondering why you waited until a special occasion to enjoy a professionally cooked meal at home after you’ve experienced the difference CookinGenie provides. 

What to Expect 

You may have avoided using a personal chef in the past because it’s completely different from what you’ve experienced. But, once you book your Valentine’s Day meal, you’ll be able to sit back and relax while the magic happens in the kitchen. There is no shopping for ingredients or having to clean up. Instead, your chosen chef will arrive, prepare the meal using your kitchen, and you’ll be able to enjoy a professionally cooked meal right in the comfort and privacy of your own home. 

Book Now 

These are some of our most requested dishes. Of course, once you find a suitable dish for your Valentine’s Day dinner, you’ll want to book your spot before it’s not available. But, don’t miss out on the perfect dining experience by waiting. Are none of our featured Valentine’s Day dish selections working for you or your special someone for one reason or another? All of our other dishes are available for you to choose from to help personalize your personal chef experience. 

Skip the hassle of going out to eat this Valentine’s Day. You may worry that you’ll let your loved one down by not going to a restaurant like you do every year. It’s time to switch things up. You may surprise them with an even better way to spend the holiday. CookinGenie is here to help create a lovely Valentine’s Day for you. Check out some of our featured selections for this very romantic occasion to find the right menu for your date night. Don’t forget about the special complimentary chocolate mousse that’s being offered for a short time to round out the perfect evening. Start scrolling through the different dishes offered today to find the right one for your next celebration of love. You won’t regret not having to deal with parking, long waits for tables, or other Valentine’s Day fails.

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Date Night with a Personal Chef

21 Jan 2022

Valentine’s day is fast approaching, and you know that you want to do something very romantic, but time isn’t always on your side. Have you ever considered a date night with a personal chef? No one wants the hassle of going out to eat with their Valentine, especially lately. The drive to the restaurant while hoping for a table and the worry that they will be short-staffed can kill the mood. So why not skip that hassle and try to go a more private route? Taking the time to schedule a date night with a personal chef shows you care while not impacting your regular schedule.

Downside of Traditional Valentine’s Day Dinners

Many couples jump through many hoops to try to outdo previous Valentine’s Day dinners. They try to get into the hottest new restaurants or old romantic favorites. The problem is that so is everyone else. Thinking ahead can mean calling around to restaurants trying to find one with an open reservation. Waiting until the last moment can mean calling around to find a table without a crazy wait time.

(Also Read – Elevate your Dining Experience with Your Own Personal Chef)

Then, there are all the problems that can occur while heading out. Your boss may keep you later than usual. Your babysitter ran late. The weather can ruin your day. Parking can be a pain. Menus can become limited with meals selling out. Prices for parking, drinks and the meal can be even higher than usual due to the holiday adding insult to injury. All of these little things can pile up to making a night out no fun.

The Upsides of Using a Personal Chef

All of the pitfalls you could possibly run into are eliminated when you opt for a date night in with a personal chef. There is no trying to compete with other couples for a table at a restaurant. Instead, you’ll be at your home having a romantic dinner with no distractions. You can easily book a personal chef for your date night dinner, no matter what day you want to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

(Watch – How to Enhance Date Night Flavors with CookinGenie)

Running late when eating at home isn’t the same issue. You don’t have to worry about having enough time to change, drive to the restaurant, find parking, and rush to get inside only to find out that your reservation isn’t ready for you yet because the couple ahead of you is still finishing their meal. Instead, you can get home, get changed, and open the door for the personal chef, all while feeling relaxed rather than rushed.

Plus, a personal chef will cook specifically for you. There is no worry that you or your date won’t find something on the menu that you’re interested in eating. No one wants to spend a lot of time looking over a menu, finding a dish that sounds good, only to be told that it’s no longer available because the kitchen ran out of it due to others ordering the same thing. Then, it’s time to figure out what else you’d like to eat even though you were in the mood for the first thing you picked. Also, you won’t have to ask for substitutions or eliminate ingredients and hope that the kitchen gets your order correct. Everything will be personalized for your dinner.

How a Personal Chef Service Works

You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to plan your Valentine’s Day dinner when using a personal chef service like CookinGenie. First, scroll through various local personal chefs with differing menus until you find the perfect one for your date night. Then, pick precisely what you and your date will enjoy for the meal. Once you’ve booked your personal chef, be ready to sit back and relax.

Your personal chef will handle all of the shopping in advance, so you don’t have to worry about going to a busy grocery store during your day. Next, they’ll arrive ready to prepare your meal in your kitchen. You’ll be able to enjoy your meal at home without having to listen to other diners or wait endlessly for it to be served. Finally, there’s no worry about who has to clean up the dishes after your dinner date since your personal chef will handle it all for you.

Wishing you’d have leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch like you would with your leftovers from the restaurant? Then, you can plan ahead and order additional servings to ensure that you’ll have something to eat later.

Cost Comparison

One of the biggest barricades people face when considering a personal chef is the cost. Many believe that a personal chef is only for the wealthy, but that’s not the case. In fact, getting a personal chef costs about the same as a meal in a restaurant. You won’t be surprised by a meal costing more than expected when using CookinGenie, as our service has upfront prices that you’ll see when you book your meal. Of course, some meals will be priced higher than others due to the ingredients and other factors, but you’ll expect to pay about the same at a restaurant. Since Valentine’s Day can often have a special menu or other upcharges, you’ll find that planning a date night with a personal chef this year for your special someone is more affordable.

(Also Read – How Can You Save More by Hiring a Personal Chef?)

Your Personal Touch

The personal touch you give to your dinner date with a personal chef will stand out. You selected a menu that you’ll both love that’s carefully crafted by a professional. You can even take a little time to spruce up your dining room or kitchen with some candles and a new tablecloth to bring the fancy restaurant experience into your home. The little details matter, and you’ll show the person you love just how much you love them with such a thoughtful date night.

(Also Read – A Complete Guide to Hiring a Personal Chef)

CookinGenie is here to help with your romantic dinner on Valentine’s Day or any day that needs a date night ending. Choose from a variety of local personal chefs to come and prepare your favorite meal in the comfort of your own home. So, get all the credit for an at-home romantic dinner without having to handle the shopping, cooking, or clean-up. Check out our website today to finalize your next date night with a personal chef.

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Busy Family - Why Busy Families Should Hire a Personal Chef

20 Dec 2021

Imagine a typical weekday in your house. First, you have to ensure that everyone gets up and ready for the day. Next, there’s breakfast and lunches to be made. Then, it’s time for everyone to go to school or work. Once work and school are done, there are typically errands to be run, like getting groceries, afterschool activities that kids need to be dropped off at, homework that needs to be finished, and dinner that needs to be started. Plus, all the other things that can pop up during the day. That is a lot to handle on top of spending quality time with the ones we love. 

Do you ever feel like you don’t have time to sit and help with homework because you’re making dinner? 

Do you feel so sluggish after a long day that you pop a frozen pizza into the oven for dinner even though you wish you were making something fresh? 

A personal chef could be precisely what you need to help your busy family. 

Top 6 reasons why your busy family should hire a personal chef: 

  1. Spend more time with your kids rather than at the grocery store and the kitchen. You can be more involved in your kid’s homework and learning about their day at school when you don’t have to focus on making sure a nutritious and delicious meal gets made. Your children probably would love to be able to get more time with you. 
  2. Give yourself some time to yourself. As a parent, your life is typically go-go-go. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that self-care is a vital part of life and that everyone should ensure it’s part of their life. Giving yourself the night off from cooking or having to pack your family into the car to go to a restaurant to have a fresh and hot meal prepared right in your kitchen can be exactly what you need to hit the reset button. Plus, your dishes are done for you, so you don’t even have to worry about clean-up afterward. 
  3. Create a better evening routine for your family. Your nights can be just as hectic, if not more so, than your days. Why not make it easier on yourself by having a personal chef come in occasionally as needed to help create a better evening routine for everyone in your household? 
  4. Everyone can relax. Have you ever noticed that your kids can feel it when you get worked up and upset? Giving yourself the evening by booking a personal chef to handle a tasty meal can help you to de-stress, and by extension, your family to de-stress can be just what you need on a Wednesday night. Plus, there’s the added perk of no dinner dishes for anyone. 
  5. Expand your family’s horizons when it comes to food. It can be fun to try a new meal or dish that you wouldn’t prepare for yourself. Having a professional chef whip it up in your kitchen can make new foods fun for the whole family. 
  6. Add an easy and healthy meal to your life. Many parents feel guilty about the meal they serve at the end of the day to their family. Maybe you didn’t have time for something fresh and had to turn to a frozen meal? Perhaps you’re not great at cooking healthy. A personal chef offers a great way to improve the quality of what you and your family eat, even if it’s just one day a week or a few times a month. 

Myths stopping your busy family from hiring a personal chef: 

  • Myth: It’s too expensive. Fact: A personal chef can fit just about any budget. If you go out to eat, you can afford a personal chef. Many chefs and menus you can book on CookinGenie cost about the same as you’d pay at a restaurant without having to leave your home. Of course, some meals may cost more than others, but that’s typically due to a few factors, such as ordering a larger serving size or the ingredients for the meal are more expensive at the grocery store, such as an expensive cut of meat. The beauty of CookinGenie is that you can see the price before you book. 
  • Myth: You have to employ a chef on a weekly basis to get food cooked in your home. Fact: While many private chefs only cook for one family, a personal chef can be booked for any many or as few days as you’d like. 
  • Myth: You need to upgrade to a fancy kitchen or buy unique items for your kitchen to use a personal chef. Fact: Your personal chef can prepare your meal using your kitchen and existing equipment. There may be a time when a special tool may be needed for a specific dish that you may not have, but accommodations can be made if necessary. 
  • Myth: You have to be a gourmet foodie to use a personal chef. Fact: There are many dishes prepared by professional chefs, meaning it’s easy to find a meal that will work for your family. You’ll be surprised by how many different types of food dishes you can find on CookinGenie. You can select an old family favorite or switch things up with something new. 
  • Myth: My family is too big (or small) for a personal chef. Fact: You can order as much or as little food as you need to feed your family. There is no minimum or maximum food requirement for ordering on CookinGenie. Some families take advantage of ordering more than is necessary for dinner, as then you’ll have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  

Considering using a personal chef to help your busy family? No matter if you’re looking to utilize a personal chef once a week or once a month, you can find a chef and menu that works for your family. Check out the CookinGenie app today to see what’s possible. You’ll love having the opportunity to eat a great meal at home prepared by a professional chef that costs about the same as a meal at a restaurant while being able to spend more time focused on what’s important.  

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Personal Chef Vs Private Chef Vs Catering Services - CookinGenie

13 Dec 2021

It can get confusing when you hear the words personal chef, private chef, and catering services. Are they all the same and can be used interchangeably? The truth is that while these services can all help with meals and special events, they are each different in their own subtle ways. So, before discussing when to use these various services, let’s discuss what each of these terms means, what they typically include, and how much they cost. 

What is a personal chef? 

A personal chef is a chef that doesn’t work in a traditional restaurant setting. Instead, they chose to have their own clients and often cook at their clients’ homes. They work for as many or as few clients as they prefer and make their own schedule. Essentially, a personal chef is more like a small business owner compared to a private chef or catering service. 

A personal chef includes a great deal of value wrapped up in an affordable package. A personal chef will typically handle all of the shopping for the fresh ingredients needed for the meal you’ve chosen. Then, they’ll arrive at your home and begin preparing your dishes. You’ll be served your food piping hot and ready to be enjoyed. They’ll follow up by cleaning the dishes and items that they used in your kitchen before taking their leave. When it comes to cost, you can typically expect it to be around the same amount you’d be spending while eating the same dish at a restaurant. The cost typically includes the service of the personal chef along with the groceries. 

When to Use: Personal chefs are great with their versatility. You don’t need a big party as an excuse to hire one. Thanks to their affordability, you don’t have to wait until a special occasion to plan a date night-in with a personal chef handling all of the cooking. However, they are also great for planning intimate family events, such as dinner parties. The cost and flexibility of a personal chef make them great for just about everyone’s budget.  

What is a private chef? 

A private chef is also a chef that doesn’t work in a restaurant setting. However, they typically will be employed by one individual or family. Rather than cooking different meals at different places, a private chef will often provide a daily menu for all of the meals for their employer. In addition, rather than being more like a small business owners, they are more like an employee in how they are paid and receive benefits. 

A private chef will handle all of the home’s grocery shopping, meal preparation, and meal planning, typically every week. This effort means that they’ll be preparing breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with snacks. The cost can be more expensive for a private chef compared to the other services. As your employee, you’ll not only need to be able to offer them a salary, but also benefits, such as retirement, insurance, paid time off, and other perks on top of also paying for the groceries that they use for the meals and snacks they prepare. 

When to Use: A private chef is a wonderful tool for families and busy individuals that can afford to hire and pay a chef to handle all of their meals.  

(Also Read – What is the difference between a private chef and a personal chef?)

What is a catering service? 

A catering service typically employs one or several chefs who often prepare meals for special occasions, such as big parties, meetings, graduations, or weddings. The meals are usually prepared in a commercial kitchen and brought to the location where they sometimes need to be warmed back up or need some light preparations, depending on the menu. 

While not all catering services offer the same experience, they typically cook the food off-site, deliver the food to the site of the event, make any on-site preparations for the meal. Depending on what you choose when placing your order, they often serve the meal either as a buffet service or table service. Some catering services also offer bartenders and beverage servers for your event. As with most of these services, the cost will typically vary based on the menu you choose, the type of service you prefer, and other similar factors. It can be helpful to get several quotes to help you find the best catering service to use as most of these companies don’t have a set price that works for every event since the details can change from one event to the next. 

When to Use: While catering services can be excellent for smaller events, they really shine for significant events where many guests need to be served. Weddings, class reunions, conventions, galas, graduations, charity events, and other huge events typically can benefit from a catering service being employed. 

To Conclude 

Determining the right choice of these services for you depends on a few factors. First, you may just want to enjoy an occasional meal prepared for you in your home instead of visiting a restaurant, so you’ll want to choose a personal chef. You may be planning a massive event and need a more extensive staff to help you ensure that everyone gets served and fed, so a catering service may be the best choice for you. Finally, you may be in a position where you can employ your own private chef and stop worrying about anything to do with the kitchen except on their days off when you might want to pop something they prepared on a different day. Everyone’s situation is different, and you may find that you can benefit from using a variety of these services to fit your life at that particular moment best. 

Hiring a personal chef through CookinGenie has never been easier. Please scroll through the available chefs and dishes they make to find the perfect menu for your upcoming special event or even weekday dinner. You’ll love the choices you have, the way it fits into your budget in the same manner as going out to eat, and how convenient it happens to be for your lifestyle. 

Contact us today in case you have any questions about using CookinGenie to book your next meal. 

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Gift an experience of Personal Chef - CookinGenie

10 Dec 2021

The holidays are upon us, and for some, it means it’s time to go out and buy the same old, same old gift cards and items for friends and family. Or does it? Rather than gifting the exact same thing every year or what everyone else is giving, why not give your family and friends a new gift experience that they can enjoy right in the comfort of their own home. You may find that you have started a new trend of gift-giving in your circle.  

CookinGenie Gift Card for Any Occasion

This year, it could be a great idea to consider giving a CookinGenie gift card to your friends and family for any special occasion. As much as we’ve moved back to more normal events in life, such as finally being able to gather to celebrate the holidays and important life milestones, there are still things in life that aren’t back to how it was before the pandemic. For example, family members with severe health conditions often don’t get to go out like they used to previously. In addition, many businesses are struggling with keeping up with demand due to supply chain issues and finding help. 

Reasons to Gift a CookinGenie Experience 

  1. It’s something that’s fun and unique. You can almost guarantee that your gift will be memorable and one-of-a-kind (unless there’s another CookinGenie lover in your circle of friends and family). 
  2. You’ll provide the gift recipient with a relaxing dining experience that they can enjoy whenever they need a night off. You’ll gift them a night of no cooking, dishes, or shopping. 
  3. A CookinGenie experience lets your gift recipient get a restaurant-quality meal at home without the hassle of visiting a restaurant. No looking for a parking spot or waiting on a table. 
  4. Not to mention that gifting a CookinGenie gift card may even result in the recipient giving you one in the future or inviting you to a gathering where they use a CookinGenie personal chef. 

CookinGenie Experience 

A CookinGenie gift card is the perfect gift this year as it offers a new experience while still being practical. Who doesn’t want to have a personal chef experience? You’ll be gifting them an evening of relaxation and great food. A CookinGenie experience starts by selecting a chef and a menu that the chef will prepare at the recipient’s home. Once they’ve decided on the details and checked out with their gift card code, the fun begins. The chef will shop for the fresh ingredients to cook that evening. Once they arrive at the house, they’ll start preparing the meal using the home’s pots, pans, and other necessary kitchen tools. The food will be served right away to get the freshest experience possible. After the chef is finished cooking the selected dishes, they’ll handle the kitchen clean-up leaving the gift card recipient the opportunity to relax and enjoy their meal without worrying about handling the clean-up at all.  

A Gift That Fits All Occasions 

Some ideas include: 

  • Special days: a CookinGenie gift card is the perfect gift to celebrate special days in your loved one’s life. They can get a special meal prepared specially for them in their home. 
  • Newlyweds: Couples that are newly married can enjoy a romantic dinner at home with their personal chef from CookinGenie. 
  • New Parents: Bringing home a newborn can be a busy time for first-time parents or even more experienced parents. A gift card from CookinGenie can give them a meal where they can indulge in some self-care while also balancing the new task of caring for a baby.  
  • Anniversaries: Celebrate any anniversary with a fresh meal prepared for you in your own home. Spark that romantic feeling for wedding anniversaries or have a congratulatory dinner for work or other anniversaries.  
  • Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve: Family get-togethers can be a lot of work. Why not make it a little easier on your family and friends by providing them a CookinGenie gift card that they can use for a special holiday meal.  
  • Birthday celebration: Everyone knows that one person that ends up cooking their own meal for their birthday. Or they choose to go out to a restaurant usually because they don’t have someone to cook for them or their loved one isn’t gifted in the kitchen. Why not change it up and give them a CookinGenie gift card? 
  • Newly moved: Moving to a new place can be a task that most people don’t relish. Why not give them the opportunity to relax with a personal chef for an evening?  
  • Buy a new house: Celebrating the purchase of a new home is always fun. Make your housewarming gift one that will delight their tastebuds. 
  • Bright light in the darkness: Some events in life are hard to go through. The loss of a loved one, medical diagnosis, or other adverse events may not need to be celebrated, but you can do something to help. Sometimes, a meal can be precisely what’s required to give comfort and hope for the future. 
  • Sometimes it’s just fun to give a gift. 

How to Gift a Personal Chef Experience from CookinGenie 

Giving a gift card for CookinGenie couldn’t be easier. Visit the CookinGenie gift card page. Once there, you’ll see a variety of gift card categories to find the perfect design to fit your gifting needs. You can have the gift card emailed or texted to the recipient with your personalized information. You can also print up the gift card to hand over in person. We offer a feature where you can add a message. Then, they’ll be able to use the gift card online to select a personal chef and dishes they’d like to enjoy. During checkout, they’ll need to apply the gift card code. That’s it.  

Questions or concerns about gifting a personal chef experience from CookinGenie? We’re happy to go over anything you’re not sure about or help you with purchasing a CookinGenie gift card for your gifts. Let us help you gift an experience rather than a boring gift card this year and for years to come. 

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process of hiring a personal chef - CookinGenie blog

29 Nov 2021

You’ve got a dinner party coming up, and you’re going through all of the different options you have available to you. However, if you’re not considering hiring a personal chef to handle your dinner party’s menu, you may be doing yourself a disservice. Learn more about the complete process of hiring a personal chef for your upcoming dinner party, and you’ll see why it’s an excellent choice for you. 

Reasons to Hire a Personal Chef 

Hiring a personal chef for your dinner party may seem like an unusual idea, but it’s actually a great idea. There are a lot of benefits that come from hiring a personal chef to handle your dinner party menu. No one wants to stay in the kitchen when you have guests that you want to mingle with during the party. A personal chef makes it possible to get a fantastic meal that’s hot and fresh without you having to slave away in the kitchen trying to get everything done will be a host. Your night to spend time with friends and family doesn’t have to be preempted by you being in the kitchen all night long when you sign up for a personal chef. Plus, you get more services than you may be expecting when hiring a personal chef. 

Services you get by hiring a personal chef 

Hiring a personal chef means more than just having the cooking completed for you. It means you don’t have to worry about menu planning. You can select the menu you want without having to think about ingredients. Your personal chef will handle all of the shopping for you. You won’t have to set foot in a grocery store to pick up the ingredients for your gourmet dinner. No worrying about what time you need to start one course to get to the next on time. Your personal chef has it covered, and everything will be perfect at the start of dinner until it’s time for everyone to enjoy their dessert. Plus, clean-up can be a drag after a party, especially in the kitchen. Hiring a personal chef means that they’ll handle the clean-up of all the items that they used to prepare the meal. You’ll only have to focus on other areas of your home after the party is over and the last guest leaves for the night. 

Getting the right chef for your needs 

The beautiful thing when it comes to hiring a personal chef is that there is a wide variety to choose from for your particular needs. You can always find the perfect chef that’s skilled in preparing the specific meal you’re looking to serve for your dinner party. One of the things you can do to help you choose the right chef is to think about what menu you’d like to see at your dinner party. For instance, if you have a themed dinner party planned, you’ll want to have an idea of what to serve that goes with the theme. For example, an Italian-themed night may be best suited with a personal chef that prepares lovely Italian dishes.  

Once you’ve narrowed down an idea of what you’d like to see served, you can go through the different personal chefs available to you to find which one would be just right for your dinner party with the best availability.  

What to consider before hiring a personal chef? 

There are a few things to consider before hiring a personal chef. Before you start your search, you’ll want to think about your dinner party plans. How many people will you be inviting, your theme, what type of menu you wish to have, and most importantly, you’ll want to think about your budget. Knowing this information in advance will help you when you start considering the different meals and chefs available to prepare them at your home the night of the party. In addition, the budget you set can be a good guide for determining which personal chef you should choose as you’ll find rates will change based on their skill and the menu that you decide upon for the night.  

Where to find a personal chef or a personal chef service provider? 

Finding a personal chef for your event or personal chef service provider can seem tricky. There are a number of personal chefs that work for themselves, and you can do an online search trying to find one that will work for your needs for your upcoming dinner party. There are also personal chef service providers that you can use to find a personal chef. When it comes to convenience and service that has started to grow a following, you can’t go wrong with CookinGenie. Our personal chef directory on our website makes it easy to find the perfect chef and meal to fit your needs for your dinner party or event. Easily scroll through the website while you see who is available.  

How much does a personal chef cost? 

There is a lot of speculation that a personal chef is very expensive and is only a service that someone who’s rich can afford. The truth is that a personal chef is very affordable, and there are options for just about any budget. Your dinner party menu being cooked in your home by a personal chef is comparable to going out to a restaurant for your meal. Of course, more significant portions or meals that take specialty ingredients may run at a higher cost, but it’s very affordable. When you use CookinGenie for your dinner party planning, you’ll be able to see how much a meal will cost you before you book, allowing you to ensure that it fits your budget. 

(Read Here – How Can You Save More by Hiring a Personal Chef?)

Check out CookinGenie today to see what personal chef’s and meal menus are possible for your dinner party. You may be surprised when it comes to the choices available, portion sizes, and prices. If you already use CookinGenie for special events or family dinners, you already know the great options open to you. So start planning your dinner party today. 

 

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save time with personal chef - CookinGenie blog

26 Nov 2021

At first glance, most people don’t think much about the benefits of hiring a personal chef to come in once in a while to prepare a meal. For many, all they focus on is the fact that they’ll have a professionally cooked meal. However, when you consider having one less meal to cook, you can start seeing how you can save a lot of time using a personal chef through CookinGenie. 

Eliminate Planning 

Meal planning doesn’t come easily for everyone: 

  1. It can take up a great deal of your time to go through recipe books and ingredient lists to find something you want to make during the week. 
  2. You’ll need to figure out if you have to make the recipe larger or smaller to fit your family’s needs. You’ll also have to decide if it needs to be changed up to suit everyone’s tastes in your home, such as substituting one item for another because of a food allergy. 
  3. You’ll have to write out the grocery list that you must remember to take with you before going grocery shopping. 

Estimate that this takes you at least 20 minutes or longer. 

Reduce Shopping Time 

Picking up groceries for a fresh gourmet dinner often isn’t done with your regular grocery shopping trip. To get the freshest ingredients, you’d want to stop by your grocery store on the way home. That can take up at least a half-hour of time, if not longer, as often the grocery store lines are even longer after work. There’s a good chance it may take up to an hour to find everything you need and go through the checkout. 

No More Cooking Time 

Once you get home with the ingredients you need to make your special meal, it’s time to start prepping the food and get to cooking. Washing everything, chopping it up, and pulling out all of the cookware takes time. Then, you have to actually begin cooking. Depending on the meal you’re planning on making, this could take a short time or over an hour. After planning, shopping and cooking, you could be an hour or more into handling your dinner. 

Relish Your Food 

Then, it’s time to eat. Do you ever feel like you can’t enjoy the meal you’ve made because all you can think of is the next step? Taking your time to eat and really enjoy your meal means it’s that much longer until you can tackle the kitchen to clean it up and get ready for the morning. A personal chef means that you can focus more on what you’re eating rather than trying to eat as fast as you can to move on to the next task. When you have a gourmet dinner skillfully prepared for you, you’re going to want to take your time and savor every bite you take. 

Save on Clean-up Efforts 

After you’ve prepared a meal, it’s time to clean the kitchen. If you took an easy way out with dinner, such as a TV dinner, there might not be much clean-up. However, even a simple dish of spaghetti with jar sauce can dirty up your kitchen pretty easily. Doing the dishes at the end of your day can often equate to another half hour to an hour of time. That means you’re up to a few hours of tasks after you’ve come home from work.  

Additional Meals 

What about tomorrow’s lunch? It can be time-consuming getting a meal prepped for the next day. You don’t want to deal with it when you’re rushing out the door in the morning to start a new day, so it’s better to get it done at night before you go to bed. You find something in the fridge and pack it up. That may take you another 15 minutes or longer to handle before you can do something else with your time. 

Same Meal Using a Personal Chef 

When you use a personal chef through CookinGenie, you cut down this time considerably. Your personal chef will handle the grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up after you’re done. You still get the chance to relish your food without having to focus on all the other factors that come with making dinner. Spend time talking with your family and enjoying the great food you didn’t have to prepare. Plus, you no longer have to worry about those additional meals when you order a more significant portion. You can take your leftovers to work the next day or pack your child’s lunch easily. 

 By using CookinGenie for a personal chef just one evening a week can save you several hours that you can use to do anything else you’d want to handle. Multiply that by a few times a week, and the time really adds up. Plus, you get all of the other benefits from having a visit from a personal chef, such as freshly cooked meals made by a skilled individual. You don’t have to rely on your skills or regular menu for putting dinner on the table. Be adventurous and enjoy a nice variety of foods beyond what you feel comfortable making at home for yourself and your family.  

Save Time Through the Website 

The website makes it easy for you to save time, as well. Meal planning can take up a great deal of time. With CookinGenie, you’ll be able to easily search for a personal chef, schedule a time, and pick a meal along with determining your portion size. The portal makes it easy for you to set up your next professionally cooked meal. Of course, you may find yourself scrolling to discover new menu options or chefs to expand your options. 

 Ready to see how many hours you can save in a week when you use a personal chef through CookinGenie? Book a meal today through our website to start seeing the time benefits that come with our service. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner as you enjoy a home-cooked meal. 

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Personal chef cooking - CookinGenie blog

25 Nov 2021

For many people, the words private chef and personal chef are interchangeable, and because of that, they equate both services to something that only the truly rich can afford. The truth is that these terms aren’t the same. Each service is different in what’s offered and the cost involved. So let’s deep dive into what a personal chef is versus a private chef and how a personal chef can make a difference in your life. 

What is a Private Chef? 

A private chef is more than likely what you think of when you consider these terms. A chef that works privately for one individual or family is a private chef. They provide a full menu for one client every meal for every day. As a private chef is typically exclusive and works full-time for only one individual, they are often on the payroll as part of the home’s staff along with housekeepers, butlers, and so on. In this arrangement, they are working for an employer that pays them a salary and benefits in exchange for their talents. Often, this can be an expensive arrangement that not every person or family can afford to take advantage of in their home. 

How Does a Personal Chef Differ? 

A personal chef is a different manner than a private chef. Typically, a personal chef has a variety of clients that they occasionally cook for, such as for special occasions or several times a week, depending on the arrangement. In this manner, the personal chef is more like a business owner that provides their clients with a needed service where they bill the person for their time, skills, and the food provided. From a client standpoint, this arrangement makes it much more affordable, along with the added benefit of only using the chef’s services when you need them. 

What Can You Expect From a Personal Chef? 

So once you get past the thought that’s too expensive and realize how affordable personal chef service is, the next barrier is often the unknown. You can be nervous about what to expect from hiring a personal chef. Here is what you can expect from a personal chef service typically to help make you feel more at ease. 

You start by selecting a personal chef and choosing a meal that you’d like them to prepare along with the size. You can go with a small meal to start off with, or you can add more portions so that you can have leftovers for lunch tomorrow. After you’ve scheduled your personal chef visit, you’re done on your end. 

Your personal chef will arrive as scheduled after grocery shopping for everything necessary to cook your meal. They’ll prepare your meal in your kitchen, creating culinary magic using your pots and pans. You’ll be served up piping hot and fresh food, and while you’re enjoying not being in the kitchen as you eat a gourmet dinner, your personal chef will be cleaning up after themselves. Your kitchen will look just as it did before they began cooking. That means you’ll have a delicious home-cooked meal right in your home without having to spend any time on it. You can get back to what’s essential. 

What Benefits Come From Using a Personal Chef? 

There are a variety of benefits that come from using a personal chef. One of the biggest is the time-saving factor. You’ll save time when it comes to grocery shopping. You’ll save time when it comes to preparing your food. You’ll save time in not having to clean up after the meal. Even if you select to have a personal chef come in once every couple of weeks, imagine how much time you’ll have to do what’s important to you. Spend quality time with your family watching a new movie. Have a family game night. You could even take some time for yourself to binge that tv show you’ve been dying to see or that hobby you’ve been wanting to start up. 

In addition to giving yourself more time in the day, you’ll also have the benefit of a great home-cooked meal. At the end of a long day, it’s easy to pop in some microwave meal or frozen oven dinner because that’s all you have the time and energy to do. In addition, you and your family can enjoy a tremendous nutritional benefit from fresh ingredients and meals made without preservatives. Your health will thank you. 

Plus, you get the benefit of eating at home over a restaurant. With the pandemic, eating out has become less fun, and for some with health conditions, it’s not an option anymore. A personal chef is like having the restaurant come to your house without having to drive there, wait for a table, or hope for decent service. Instead, enjoy a date night with a special meal prepared just for you. 

In addition, there are no worries when it comes to the menu. Food allergies are no longer an issue when you inform your personal chef of what you or someone in your home can’t eat. This choice provides excellent peace of mind. 

Some benefits come from using a personal chef for special occasions, as well. Who wants to have a dinner party or birthday party and end up spending all of your time in the kitchen? A personal chef is a great way to ensure that you’ll get to mix and mingle with all of your friends during the event. Plus, you won’t have to worry about cleaning up the kitchen at the end of the night. It’s handled for you by your chef, leaving you to tackle the other areas of the house.      

Ready to experience the difference that a personal chef can have in your life? CookinGenie is prepared to give you a wonderful experience. You’ll get the chance to try out a variety of chefs and meals on your schedule based on your budget. Once you give CookinGenie a try, you may decide that you no longer want to visit restaurants as you have a private restaurant with skilled chefs coming to you. 

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save more with personal chef

01 Nov 2021

Let’s do a little exercise really quickly. What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the words “personal chef”? More than likely, you’re thinking something along the lines of how expensive it must be or how only the very rich can afford to have their own personal chef.  

Are you ready for a little secret? 

Lean in a little. Okay, here it is. 

Personal chefs are an affordable choice that can fit just about any budget. In fact, you could be doing yourself a disservice by not using a personal chef service for special occasions or as a little treat.  

What is Included in Personal Chef Service? 

You may be surprised by what’s included when you get a personal chef service. The first is that they come to your home after shopping for all of the ingredients that they need to cook the dishes that you requested. Then, the kitchen magic happens where your regular kitchen is turned into a fancy restaurant kitchen for one night. Your selected chef will prepare the dishes so that you can enjoy a hot meal at home. Once the meal is finished, your personal chef will then clean up the kitchen leaving you free to enjoy the meal and conversation without worrying about whether or not that sauce is going to easily come off the pan or how long you’ll need to soak everything. 

Personal Chef Services are More Affordable Than You Might Think 

Are you still thinking that a complete chef service that includes so much is going to break the bank? You are about to be surprised. A personal chef service will cost you less than going out to eat.  

At a traditional restaurant, there are a number of costs to consider. Meals can cost about $20 to $25 a person. Don’t forget to add on the cost of any drinks you and the rest of your party are enjoying. Even drinking a carbonated beverage can add up to your bill. Then, you must consider other costs associated with dining out. You had to drive to the restaurant, so that’s gas along with wear and tear on your vehicle. You may have to pay to park or use the valet service depending on where you’re dining. Then, there’s the time factor. Going out to eat, especially today where many restaurants are having staffing shortages, can chew up a lot of your valuable time as you wait for an open table, wait some more on your food to be prepared, and then wait on the check to arrive at the end of the meal. 

Personal chef services like CookinGenie can be less costly and time-consuming than the old way of going out. You can pick your meal and see your price. Don’t want to have leftovers? Order exactly the number of portions you need. Want to enjoy leftovers for lunch the next day? Order more portions.   

Eat Healthier with More Convenience & Less Cost 

Personalized Meals  

So, using a personal chef service is cheaper than visiting a restaurant. There’re some other benefits that also come with this option over dining out. Ever go to a restaurant and must eliminate many of the dishes from consideration because of a food allergy or not like a particular ingredient? It’s often easier to just order something else because even if you go through the process of telling the waitstaff to remove an item, there’s always a chance that it will end up in your dish anyway. Kitchens at restaurants can be loud and busy places where sometimes things get lost in translation. Imagine being able to tell your personal chef that you don’t like mushrooms or a family member has an allergy to peanuts, and feeling safe in the knowledge that they won’t buy mushrooms or peanuts during their shopping trip. That’s a great feeling. 

Be Healthy 

At the end of the day, is dinner a rushed event in your home? Do you rely on packaged meals that may not be the healthiest choice, but it’s quick and easy? That happens to a lot of people who have enough to juggle in a day on top of making sure no one goes to bed feeling hungry. Going with a personal chef service means that you’ll get freshly made and healthy meals that aren’t coming out of a can or the freezer. You do not have to feel guilty about not having time to make a meal that not only tastes great but is great for you and your family.  

Focus on What Matters More 

The convenience that comes from hiring a personal chef gives you the chance to focus on what matters the most to you, and that is worth its weight in gold. Your life is busy. It’s easy to forget how to connect with those you love the most when you have got to handle everything on your plate in a day along with getting food on a plate for everyone to eat. Imagine instead of trying to rush to the store to grocery shop, someone else handles it for you, even if just for one day a week or month. Plus, an added bonus is that you do not have to worry about handling the cleanup after spending even more time with your family. 

Convinced yet to give a personal chef service a try? Still worried that the prices are too high for your budget. You can do a little experiment. Pull out your last receipt from your favorite restaurant you like to visit for special occasions. Then, open CookinGenie website, so you can compare the two. Oh, and do not forget that you do not have to buy the groceries, do any cooking or clean-up, and get to enjoy the professionally made food hot and ready right from your kitchen without the inconveniences that come from eating in restaurants in a world still getting over the pandemic.  

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team dinner at home to celebrate a work anniversary - cookinGenie

01 Nov 2021

For some, going through the motions of getting to work and clocking out is as much effort as they want to put into their job. Often, they don’t feel that connection with their coworkers that makes them want to do more than the bare necessities to get their paycheck. For managers and leaders that want to inspire their employees to feel more like a family and a true team, it’s important to implement a workplace that has a more personal touch. One excellent way to do that is to organize team dinners to celebrate work anniversaries and other events.  

Why does Team Dinner Matter? 

There is something special about food and the act of sharing food. Throughout the past, there have been rules about breaking bread and how it can be a bonding action to the point where it could bring opposing parties together. Team dinners can be an amazing opportunity that offers more benefits than meets the eye. It can be more than a meeting outside of work hours to have a meal.    

Increase Retention by Developing Friendships  

One of the biggest expenses that companies can have is turnover. Having to go through the motions of recruiting new talent only to have them leave later on is expensive. It’s also can be costly when you consider that your loyal employees can often start to feel burnt out by having to pick up the slack for open positions or helping out with new trainees. It can turn into an unhealthy cycle. Celebrating work anniversaries and other work events with dinner parties thrown at your home can help to make your existing employees feel seen and important. It’s great for their morale while also being great for increasing your employee retention. 

Foster Highly Engaged and Productive Teams 

It’s hard to be dispassionate about the people that you work with when you know each other on a more personal basis. You can create a team that’s engaged and productive when you find ways to build a team spirit. Each member of a team will be more willing to work with each other and ensure that their work helps to support each other. It’s easy to put off working on a task or not put your best effort in if you don’t care about the next person that will be working with the product you created, such as a report or data collection. Creating camaraderie can help people feel more involved and want to be productive.   

Exchange Ideas 

You may find that your team has great ideas, but sometimes, these ideas can be lost in the shuffle at work. Organizing a team dinner can be an excellent place to talk about work with the exchanging of ideas. You may find that team members in a different area that have other tasks may have ideas that impact other portions of the team. In a regular work setting, these ideas might never see the light of day, but you’ll be creating a more comfortable setting where it can be discussed. 

Communication Links  

Communication is a skill that a lot of people feel is easy, but good communication can be hard. It takes practice. There is more to communication than meets the eye. Active listening is essential with communication. Hosting team dinners for work anniversaries and other occasions is the perfect opportunity to work on the communication skills among everyone in a more relaxed setting. 

How To Turn Team Dinners into a Meaningful Experience  

Food Tours 

You can make your dinner about more than just a mandatory meeting outside of work, but make it fun. Food tours are a great way to incorporate a fun element that turns your dinner into a worthy occasion to celebrate a work anniversary or other event. Food tours are when you take a particular country’s food and create dishes that only come from that area. Often, during food tours, you learn a little about the culture of the area along with getting to try out the most popular dishes from the area. Sometimes, the food tour may be a specific region in a country, like creating dishes from Tuscany, or from around the country.   

Personal Chefs 

Personal chefs can be a great idea for your at-home work dinner. It’s hard to handle ice breaker games, friendly chats, and relaxing with your coworkers when you’re trying to handle all of the cooking. Utilizing a personal chef allows you to host your dinner without being absent from all of the festivities. Why miss something fun by being trapped in the kitchen? You could get takeout, but why risk the food being cold when personal chefs are a comparable option price-wise with all of the benefits of your food being cooked in your very own kitchen. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. 

Team Building Activities  

As your team is sitting around eating dinner, it’s the perfect time to enjoy team-building activities. The food and conversation can help to relax your team members while they get to know each other better. Throwing in some team-building activities can be a fun way to spend time with everyone in a more personal setting without work tasks hanging over everyone’s head. You get the benefit of helping your group of workers feel more like a team while enjoying themselves. Some fun team-building activities include two truths and a lie, office trivia, blind drawing, virtual escape rooms, and you could even have a murder mystery or similar games. Any activity that makes you come together to problem solve, work as teams, or learn more about each other can be good activities to enjoy during your time outside of work.  

 CookinGenie can be an excellent way to explore the possibilities that are available when it comes to team dinners. It can be stressful enough getting your home ready to host a team of coworkers in your personal space, so why add to your to-do checklist before the event? When you use CookinGenie, you free up a lot of time to handle all the other last-minute tasks. Your private chef will do all of the shopping, meal prep, and even clean your kitchen after they are done preparing your dinner choices. What could be easier? Check out the CookinGenie website today to find your new favorite personal chef to cook for your upcoming work dinner party or other events. 

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birthday party at home - CookinGenie

25 Oct 2021

Birthday parties are fun for young and old. However, having a birthday party at your house for your parents, children, yourself, or other loved ones may seem like a hassle, but you can plan a perfect birthday party for the next big occasion if you follow these tips.  

How To Plan a Birthday Party? 

It can seem overwhelming at first when planning a shindig at your home, even if it’s just a small intimate party for close family and friends. Here are some considerations to keep in mind during the planning process. 

Date and Time – 

One of the first things you should consider is when you should plan to have your party. It can be helpful to get in touch with family and friends you’re thinking of inviting to work on finding the perfect date and time. However, it may not be possible for larger parties to reach out to everyone personally to get everyone’s schedule. In these cases, you may want to send out a survey in an email to get an idea of when most of your guests will be able to attend. Ultimately, you may not be able to find a date and time that works for everyone. 

Tip: Setting an actual time for the start and end of the party can be helpful. Creating a start time makes it easier for everyone to know when the food will be served, while the end time can help you guide stragglers out at the end of the night. 

Guest List

Concurrently to determining the date and time, you’ll also want to consider your guest list. Even with small gatherings that only include family, it can be beneficial to get a headcount of who’s invited and who’s going to be able to attend. You’ll also want to determine if your guests can bring a plus one, which can dramatically impact your guest list. 

Tip: Respectfully request an RSVP by a particular date before your party. You’ll be able to finalize your headcount better for how many people are planning on coming.  

Budget

Another essential factor you’ll need to consider early on in the planning stages is your budget. You’ll want to sit down and think about how much you’re willing to spend for the party and then look at the different options available to you to fit your set budget best. There are some great options at every budget level for planning a birthday party at your home.  

Break down your budget by the different things you want to offer at your party, such as food, party bags, entertainment, decorations, and so on. The great thing about having a party at home is that venue is one of the costs you don’t have to think about when deciding how much you want your budget to be overall. Plus, think outside of the box. For example, you can save by picking up your party decorations at a dollar store while spending more money on wow items like the cake. 

Tip: Get an idea for your budget by multiplying how much you want to spend per person by how many people you’re inviting.   

Theme

Themes are a fun idea for parties of any age. Of course, it can be fun to create a theme on your own, but if you are worried about the celebrated person not liking the theme, you may want to consider letting them help brainstorm a theme.  

Tip: Pinterest can be a great place to get ideas for themes if you’re stuck. 

Invitations 

Once you’ve picked out a theme and got your guest list together, it’s time to create the invitations. You can go old school and pick up paper invites that fit the theme you picked to mail out or hand deliver to your guest list. Paper invitations can be fun to introduce some potential themes, such as a murder mystery birthday party. 

Electronic invites can also be fun, and they are often the easiest way to get an accurate headcount since it’s straightforward to click whether or not the person will attend the party. Some electronic invitation sites even send reminders out to get any straggler RSVPs. 

Tip: Be clear on your invites about the details, such as the RSVP deadline and if guests can have a plus one.  

Food

Food is often the centerpiece of the occasion. No birthday party, or really any kind of party, is complete without food. An option that you should explore is CookinGenie for your next birthday party. It’s easy to set a menu, figure out how many portions you need to order for your guest list, and have a personal chef handle the cooking in your kitchen. Then you have no worries about the food getting cold as the catering company brings it to your home. 

Tip: Explore CookinGenie.com to learn more about the different offerings that you can have for your party. 

Party Bags

Goodie bags are a great touch no matter the age of the person you’re celebrating. Giving out party bags is often associated with children’s birthday parties as a fun way to end the event. A small bag with toys, stickers, candy, and other little items is given out as the kids leave to thank them for coming. The same can be done for adults with a fun token of appreciation that commemorates the event.  

Tip: Have these waiting at the door for when your guests leave.   

After the Party

Yes! You had a successful birthday party for one of your favorite people. Everyone had an excellent time at the party you planned. Once the party is over, that means it’s time to clean and organize. Did you know that by utilizing CookinGenie, you’ll save yourself some time? Not only does your personal chef for the birthday party prepare a fantastic menu, but they also clean up the cooking area, getting it back to how it was before they arrived. That means you can focus on tackling cleaning up elsewhere. 

Check out CookinGenie today while planning your next birthday party or other home events. See what loyal CookinGenie clients already know: affordable personal chefs coming to your home has never been easier. 

 

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A lady with groceries for cooking - CookinGenie blog for personal chef

20 Oct 2021

In our hectic, fast-paced world, we all need a little help getting through our daily lives. As the work, chores, and tasks pile up, it can be helpful to hire someone to take something off your plate for you.

For many, this can include hiring a personal chef to handle their cooking for them. But what is a personal chef? How does a personal chef differ from a private chef? And what are the things you need to know before hiring a chef for a great dining experience? Where can you hire a personal chef, anyways? Find out all that and more in our complete guide to hiring a personal chef.

What is a Personal Chef?

A personal chef is hired by a family, household, or company and is always on the go to prepare meals according to their clients’ dietary needs or preferences. They work on a freelance type of basis and travel around to cook for different customers. This arrangement proves to be valuable for clients who want to save their time and energy, especially during extremely busy days. For many people, hiring a personal chef on a semi-regular basis is an affordable way to help prepare food.

What Does a Personal Chef Do?

Planning for a meal, shopping for ingredients, adapting to client’s dietary needs or preferences, cooking delicious meals, and keeping a clean, organized kitchen are the basic responsibilities of a personal chef. Typically, a personal chef will service multiple clients and they may have an arrangement where they cook once a week at a given clients house and may cook for other clients throughout the rest of the week. Oftentimes, a personal chef will be hired for a one-off event such as a dinner party or holiday get together.

For larger events, a personal chef may also play the role of a caterer as they manage a team of cooks and/or servers, particularly during a special occasion or dinner party. These events can be anything from a formal sit-down dinner with multiple courses to a casual backyard barbecue or buffet.

To serve their clients better, personal chefs have to collaborate closely with their clients to tailor a menus that works for them, both in terms of taste and dietary needs. A personal chef needs to have a solid understanding of nutrition and how to cook delicious foods while also adhering to the dietary guidelines set forward by their clients. Some clients may follow very specific diets or have particular allergies that a chef must navigate. Because of this, there are many personal chefs that specialize in specific diets such as vegetarian or raw food diets.

Personal & Private Chefs – Key Differences

Duties- 

While they are similar, there are some key differences between a personal and private chef. Both a personal chef and a private chef are highly talented professionals that can cook delicious, dietary-tailored meals in a client’s home or business.

But unlike a personal chef, a private chef has full-time employment for one client or family in a private residence, hotel, or yacht. A private chef is much more exclusive, and often reserved wealthier clients who can afford to pay someone full-time to cook for them. Corporate titans, professional athletes, and high-ranking government officials are some of the people who typically employ full-time private chefs.

Private chefs are required to be on call, which is why the common setup is that they live in the residence of their employers or even travel with them on holidays or business trips. This arrangement makes private chefs almost part of the family, and as such, they have to hold confidentiality, win trust, and be able to respond to all food requests of the family.

Private chefs that cook exclusively for one client are fully responsible for almost everything their client eats and are required to manage the kitchen at all times, including doing all the shopping for the week and monitoring the inventory of the fridge and pantry. Live-in private chefs may be tasked with packing school lunches for the family’s children, manning the grill at a backyard cookout, or cooking a chic multi-course meal for a fancy dinner party.

In most cases, a private chef has to collaborate with other professionals like butlers and maids employed in large homes. This environment requires a private chef to have specific skills to function well with other professional support staff.

Is Hiring a Personal Chef Worth it? 

For most ordinary people, employing a full-time private chef may not be affordable or practical. However, hiring a personal chef to help you with meal prep or just to cook for you for special occasions can be a great way to take away some of the stress and time commitment of cooking. A personal chef can save you time, help you eat healthier, and even teach you tips and tricks to improve your own cooking. The cost of hiring a personal chef can vary in different cities and even vary between different chefs, but many are reasonable enough for most middle to upper middle-class families to afford on a regular or semi-regular basis.

How do I Hire a Personal Chef? CookinGenie is How.

When looking for a personal chef, you may know a friend who’s had a particular chef cook for them or you can browse the internet for chefs in your area. Some personal chefs work through agencies, and others are solo operations, often with their own website and business cards. But if you don’t know of any chefs by word of mouth, it can be hard to know where to look. In short, hiring a personal chef can be a pain.

But with CookinGenie, the whole process is a breeze. CookinGenie is a digital platform that displays a network of pre-vetted personal chefs available for you to hire. There is a wide variety of different foods that cater to different diets and tastebuds. After hiring, a genie will arrive at your home with everything they need to cook you a delicious meal and clean your kitchen afterward.

Their services can be used for everything from meal prep to dinner parties. The healthy, from scratch food, can be great for leftovers and can allow you to explore exciting international cuisines, even in this age of travel restrictions. The best part? It all happens in your kitchen. There’s no driving, no shopping, no cooking, and no cleaning. All that adds up to more you time, and these days, we could all use that.

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How to Elevate Dining Experience

01 Oct 2021

Have a hankering for French food?  How about Italian, Mexican, or maybe Korean? Have adventurous taste buds? You might like to try something new, perhaps Peruvian, or Greek? Luckily, there’s CookinGenie, an amazing online service that can bring all those amazing flavors, and more, right to your very own kitchen.  

CookinGenie has chefs that can prepare foods from around the world, plus your all-American favorites. There are many amazingly tasty meals to choose from, and they’re all cooked from scratch in your own kitchen!  You can choose from a wide variety of appetizers, entrees, soups, salads, and desserts. 

Pandemic travel restrictions may prevent you from traveling the world, but world cuisine can still come to you. Simply pick a day and time and your own personal chef (AKA Genie) will come to your home. 

To hire your own personal chef, just go to www.cookingenie.com. The site has a biography and photo for each Genie, which includes their education and background. A complete menu from every genie is available online for you to choose from. 

The online booking system shows you exactly when a chef is available and where they will travel to. All it takes is a few clicks and your unique culinary experience will be booked. 

When CookinGenie comes to you, there is no wait to be seated. You stay in the comfort of your own home while the Genie does all the cooking. You have complete control over who you invite as guests. Plus, your home is certainly much quieter than a busy restaurant. You can also choose your own background music or just enjoy a peaceful conversation. 

If someone in your family does not feel well on the day the personal chef is scheduled, they will gladly reschedule. Safety during these uncertain times is a top priority. 

Still, thinking why you should hire a personal chef for your next meal? Here are the benefits and features of hiring a personal chef with CookinGenie –   

Shopping & packing      

There is no need to worry about not having the right ingredients on hand. Your personal chef will do all the shopping and packing, leaving you free to entertain your guests. 

The chef will arrive with all the ingredients they need to prepare the meal you have chosen. They will use your pots and pans. If there is a special type of dish or utensil the chef needs, but you don’t have, you can arrange for the chef to bring it. Otherwise, the Genies are quite adaptable. 

When you have a special occasion to plan, hiring a personal chef from Cookingenie leaves you with more time to focus on the other important details. When you have happy occasions to celebrate, you want to enjoy them as much as your guests, not spend all your time hunched over the stove or washing dishes.  

Your Genie will do all of the shopping and upfront cooking that provides more value $ than a restaurant! 

Having a CookinGenie come to your home has many advantages over going to a restaurant. Because the food is cooked at your home, from scratch, it’s fresher and tastier than takeout. Plus, there are no boxes or bags to contend with, nor trying to figure out which dish goes to which person. 

The prices per person are comparable or even lower than what you would pay for high-end in-person dining. CookinGenie is affordable luxury combined with convenience. 

The meals will serve four to eight people. Most likely there will also be leftovers. You won’t have to ask for one of those awkward Styrofoam boxes! You can use your own containers, or just leave the food in the dishes it was cooked in and pop it in the refrigerator. 

With your leftovers, you can extend your dining experience through the next day or divvy up the leftovers into single portion sizes and put them in the freezer for weeks or months into the future. It’s totally up to you!  

You can learn new culinary techniques and novelties from the chef 

Unlike being in a restaurant, with a CookinGenie chef you can actually watch him or her at work. You can talk to him or her and ask questions. You may learn some new techniques and tricks and improve your own home cooking. When it’s time to compliment your chef, you won’t have to flag a waiter down to send a message. You can thank him or her in person. 

Highly convenient 

Even when there’s no pandemic complicating things, trying to get a large group of people organized to go out to a restaurant can be a hassle. When the restaurant is your home, there is never any worry that your table will be given away because you got stuck in traffic or were late for other reasons. 

Having the chef come to you means you won’t have to sit in a crowded lobby while you wait for your table to be ready.  

Safety is very important. All CookinGenie chefs have had background checks and undergo an extensive interview process, so you can be confident letting them into your home. They will also wear masks, wash their hands, and follow all CDC guidelines to keep you and your guests safe. 

Time-saving & customized menu 

You can search the menu by country or cuisine type, including entrees, appetizers, and desserts. The site will then show you the Genies that will prepare that type of food and when they are available. 

You can also click on a Genie’s profile photo to see what their specialties are. From there, you can book a time right online. 

There are mouth-watering photos of each item shown on the menu. Click on the photo of the dish and it will take you to the list of ingredients. Knowing what is in the food you will serve is important if any guests have food allergies or are just plain picky. If you have dietary preferences or restrictions, the genies are very adaptable, and the platform’s support staff will be happy to work with you to come up with the perfect menu!  

No need to find a babysitter! 

If you are the parents of young children, you may think you’ll have to wait years before you can enjoy fine dining again. Think again! Thanks to CookinGenie the children can stay at home with you while your own kitchen is transformed into a fine dining restaurant. 

The menu even includes kid-friendly dishes like grilled cheese. 

The children will have their own toys to keep them entertained. There will be no worries about keeping squirmy toddlers in their seats in an unfamiliar location. If one of the kids gets cranky, they can be sent to take a nap in their own, familiar bed.  

The best of all, no dishes or clean up to do, the chef takes care of everything! 

When the meal is finished, you won’t have to be worried about the cleanup. Your personal chef will put everything away and leave your kitchen in the same order as when they arrived. The chef will even do the dishes. 

At the end of the day, your belly will be full, your guests will be happy, and your children won’t have to leave the comfort of their own home. The kitchen will be left in order, and you will likely have leftovers to enjoy later. It’s a home-run of a dining experience, all the way around.  

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Foods to know the Difference Between Food Allergies, Intolerances &Sensitivities

01 Oct 2021

We’re all familiar with food allergies, but nowadays you constantly hear terms like “sensitivity” and “intolerance” to different foods. These three terms often get lumped together, but they’re unique conditions that elicit different responses from the body and have varying levels of seriousness. So, what do all these terms mean? And how should they affect your cooking?

Food allergies

Of the three, food allergies are the most serious. A food allergy is an immune response in your body, usually diagnosed by an allergist with a formal test. The cause of food allergies is still unknown, but the body perceives a harmless food as a threat and in response releases an immune hormone called histamines to “attack” that food it sees as harmful. The release of these histamines causes various symptoms such as hives, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. The onset of symptoms from an allergic reaction is usually immediate.

In cases of extreme allergic reactions, the victim can go into anaphylaxis, a rare allergic condition which can cause fainting and restricting airways. Anaphylaxis requires emergency medical attention and can be life-threatening.

People can be allergic to almost anything, but the most common severe food allergies are milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, wheat, and shellfish.

Allergic reactions from food can range from a slight itch in the ears to a fatal case of anaphylaxis, and just a trace amount of the allergen can be enough to cause a dangerous reaction. Even those who believe they have a “mild” allergy may have a severe reaction any time they consume that allergen, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. Cooking for someone with a food allergy must be done with great caution.

Food intolerances

While food intolerances are not as serious as allergies, they can cause significant illness and discomfort. An intolerance is not an immune response like an allergy, but instead is marked by the body’s inability to digest certain foods. Most food intolerances cause uncomfortable symptoms including stomach pain and diarrhea, but they are never life-threatening. Food intolerances are usually diagnosed by a doctor and symptoms often take several hours after eating to occur. Some common food intolerances are to lactose, a sugar found in cow’s milk, and wheat.

Unlike with allergies, those with food intolerances can usually have small amounts of the food they’re intolerant to. For example, those with a lactose intolerance may be able to have a little bit of grated parmesan cheese on a pizza or a touch of heavy cream cooked into a soup, but a spoonful of yogurt may make them sick. Similarly, someone with a mild intolerance to gluten may be able to have a dash of soy sauce over rice, but not a bowl of pasta.

There are, however, some more severe intolerances. Celiac disease is a rare intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, that can cause severe stomach pain, diarrhea, and violent vomiting. People with Celiac disease cannot have any traces of gluten.

Food sensitivities

Compared to food allergies and intolerances, food sensitivities have the mildest of reactions. Similar to an allergy, food sensitivity is an immune response so it can affect multiple organs with a wide range of symptoms including headaches, fatigue, rashes, and nausea.

The reaction from a food sensitivity can begin hours, or even days, after eating. Because of the delayed onset, food sensitivities can be hard to pinpoint and many of them go undiagnosed. Food sensitivity to gluten, for example, can be as simple as generally feeling tired a couple of days after eating bread. A good way to figure out if you have food sensitivity is to systematically eliminate certain foods from your diet for a week or two at a time to see if there’s a change in how you feel. You can also get tests for certain food sensitivities.

For many people with food insensitivities, a moderate amount of the ingredient will not lead to symptoms. However, as with allergies and intolerances, the level of sensitivity varies from person to person.

The bottom line

Food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities are all challenging conditions that should be taken seriously when cooking. When cooking for others with any of these conditions, be sure to talk to them beforehand and fully understand the nature and severity of their condition. If it’s just a mild sensitivity or intolerance, you may be able to use a little bit of the ingredient to make the tastiest dish possible. But, if your guest has a severe food allergy, you should steer clear of that ingredient.

At CookinGenie, all allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities are taken very seriously. CookinGenie chefs undergo a rigorous interview process, and they are adaptable to different dietary restrictions. The CookinGenie support staff will also work with you closely to ensure your meal meets your requirements so that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a delicious homecooked meal.

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Guests with Food - CookinGenie

28 Sep 2021

Cooking for someone with a severe food allergy can be intimidating. And with food allergies on the rise, it’s becoming more common than ever. You want people to enjoy your food. But you would never want to be responsible for giving someone a severe allergic reaction.

Thankfully, with the right knowledge and planning, cooking for guests with severe food allergies doesn’t have to be daunting. It will take some extra steps, but it’s always better safe than sorry. Here are some things to remember before cooking for guests with food allergies.

Know your allergens and their severity

People can have food allergies to just about anything. But food allergies, which are not the same as food sensitivities and intolerances, are not all created equal. Some people have allergies with mild symptoms like hives and a stomachache. Others may have allergies that could cause life-threatening anaphylactic shock, which may include dangerous symptoms like a swelling throat, fainting, wheezing, and trouble breathing.

While all allergies have the potential to be severe, certain ingredients are far more likely to cause extreme reactions. The 8 most common severe allergens are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat.

It’s important to understand the complexities of these allergies. Someone who’s allergic to milk can’t eat other milk-derived products such as cheese, yogurt, or ice cream. And while some of these allergies sound very similar, they can be different. For example, someone may be allergic to almonds, but not peanuts. Or they may be allergic to shrimp and scallops, but salmon is fine. Whatever the case may be, make sure you talk to your guests and understand exactly what it is they’re allergic to.

Avoid allergens entirely in the meal

Some people tend to think that if a guest has an allergy, they can just leave out that ingredient for that guest and it’ll be fine. While this may be true for some, in cases of severe allergies, the allergic person may not even need to directly consume the allergen to have a dangerous reaction. For example, an invisible trace of peanuts that can be spread through the air onto a dish may be enough to trigger an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts. So, if possible, it’s best to leave the allergen out of the entire meal, even for those who aren’t allergic to it.

Check labels

Reading labels can be a pain, but it’s an important safeguard against allergic reactions. Sometimes ingredients can have unexpected allergens. For example, Worcester sauce, which is a popular condiment for steak and burgers, often contains anchovy paste, making it unsuitable for people with seafood allergies. But, by the name, look, and flavor it, you would never know, making reading the labels all the more important. By law, common allergens are bolded on the bottom of the label, making it easier to identify them.

Additionally, because just a trace amount of an allergen can cause a reaction, you need to watch out for any possible exposure. Some foods, like prepackaged cookies, may not actively contain nuts but may be processed in the same facility as almonds. In this case, those cookies would not be safe to serve to someone with a severe nut allergy.

Clean and sanitize the kitchen

Before beginning to cook for someone with a severe food allergy, be sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize the kitchen, including surfaces and utensils you will use. There’s no telling if there may be trace amounts of the allergen floating around the kitchen. So, to be safe, give everything a good cleaning beforehand.

Be prepared for the worst-case scenario

If you take all the proper steps to protect against food allergies, you should have nothing to worry about. But just in case, you should be prepared to handle a severe allergic reaction. Make sure any guests with food allergies are carrying their EpiPen on them. Also ensure that someone in your party knows how to properly inject an EpiPen as the person having the reaction may not be capable of injecting it themselves.

The EpiPen will help immediately ease the symptoms of the reaction. While one person is injecting the victim with the EpiPen, someone else should call 911 to get the victim professional medical aid. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, try to keep the victim calm while lying on their back.

Anaphylactic reactions are scary, but if handled properly, everything should turn out fine. Less than 1% of anaphylactic reactions from food are fatal, according to the national institute of health.

CookinGenie takes allergies seriously

At CookinGenie, the chefs know that protecting customers from allergies is of the utmost importance and they’re experienced in cooking for people with serious allergies. Genies can modify orders to fit around allergies and the support team will work with every customer to craft the best meal.

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How to Cook Meat Safely - CookinGenie blog

28 Sep 2021

There are many foods that can cause illness when handled incorrectly, but one of the most common instances of serious foodborne illness comes from the undercooking or mishandling of meat. Raw meat is often full of fecal matter from the animal, which can contain a host of bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens. Because of this, it is crucial to handle raw meat carefully and cook it to a safe temperature to kill as many pathogens as possible. If not, an undercooked piece of meat can easily get someone sick.

While this may sound simple, there are some intricacies to cooking meat safely, and not all meats are safe to eat at the same temperature. Here are some of the key things to remember when cooking meat and how some of the most popular meats need to be cooked in order to be safe to serve.

Keep raw meats separate from other foods—including other meats

It’s common sense that the juices from raw meat should stay away from fresh produce but it’s also good practice to keep raw meat away from other raw meat. As you’ll see with the minimum required internal temperatures, not all meats are safe at the same time. Chicken, for example, needs to be cooked more than steak. So, if you get the juices from raw chicken over your steak, the steak may be cooked all the way through, but the residual juice from the chicken may not be.

Also be sure to use separate cutting boards and utensils for different kinds of meat, wash your hands after handling raw meat, and disinfect any surfaces the meat may have come into contact with.

Minimum required internal temperatures

Poultry, like chicken and turkey requires the most cooking, while pork, beef, lamb, and seafood requires less. Note that ground meat of any kind requires more cooking than a whole piece of the same meat. This is because ground meat, with an increased surface area and the potential to come from more than one individual animal, has more exposure to bacteria. To take the temperature of a protein, insert a clean, sanitized thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and wait for the thermometer to read a temperature. For many meats, the meat needs to hold that temperature for a given period of time before it’s considered safe.

Also note that after you remove your meat from the heat, it will continue to cook for several more minutes in a process known as carry-over cooking, which will raise the internal temperature 5-10⁰F, so if your meat is a couple degrees under the minimum required internal temperature when you measure it, it’ll be safe to serve by the time you eat it.

The following are the minimum required internal temperatures for different proteins.

Poultry—Including whole or ground chicken, turkey, or duck: 165⁰F for at least 15 seconds

This also includes any stuffing inside of a bird (think thanksgiving) as well as any casseroles, stuffed pastas, or stuffed chicken breasts. When temping whole birds, make sure to insert the thermometer underneath the thigh, which is the thickest part of the bird.

Ground meat—Including beef, pork, lamb, veal, and ground seafood: 155⁰F for 15 seconds

Note that a medium burger is 140-145⁰F, and a well-done burger is 160⁰F.Eating a burger less than well-done could increase your chances of getting sick, which is why restaurants have the note at the bottom of their menus denoting the increased risk of foodborne illness from consuming undercooked meat.

Injected meat/brined meat—Including brined hams and roasts injected with flavor: 155⁰F for 15 seconds

Eggs that are meant to be held hot: 155⁰F for 15 seconds
Eggs that are to be served immediately: 145⁰F for 15 seconds

Chops/steaks of red meat—Including beef, lamb, veal, and pork: 145⁰F for 15 seconds

All of these meats will be a little pink at this temperature, but they’re safe to eat. A medium-rare steak is between 130-135⁰F, so there is a higher risk associated with eating steak under medium.

Whole roasts of pork, beef, veal, or lamb: 155⁰ for 4 minutes

Make sure to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the roast. Because roasts are much bigger, the temperature needs to hold much longer to ensure it’s cooked through.

Whole seafood—Including whitefish, shellfish, and crustaceans: 145⁰F for 15 seconds

This applies to whole pieces of fish and shellfish/crustaceans such as shrimp, crab, and lobster. With bivalves such as mussels or clams, there is no need to measure temperature, they are safe when the shells open.

The bottom line

Overall, cooking meat to safe temperatures is a very simple, but very important task in the kitchen. Having a digital thermometer makes everything easier. If you’re unsure of how the meat needs to be cooked, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and slightly overcook a piece of meat than to get someone sick. When you book a chef from CookinGenie, you can trust that they’ll cook your meat so that it’s not only safe to eat, but also delicious.

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Ways to store food safely - cookinGenie blog

24 Sep 2021

When we think of food safety, we usually think about cooking foods properly to prevent getting anyone sick. However, storing foods properly is just as important to prevent foodborne illness. Just like the actual preparation of food, all it takes is a little common sense to make sure you’re storing food safely.

Keep foods cold

This may sound obvious, but there are some extra steps you can take to make sure your fridge is keeping food cold enough. Make sure you check the temperature gauge in the fridge regularly, about once a week. If it is consistently higher than 40⁰F, you should turn the temperature down or get your refrigerator serviced.

Also be sure to keep the fridge closed as often as possible. Leaving the door open for extended periods of time as you rummage through the shelves can expose the food inside to warm air, causing it to spoil quicker. Try not to keep the fridge too jam-packed with food. If there’s not enough space in between food, the cool air will have a harder time circulating and keeping everything cold.

Where you store matters

Certain foods, like eggs, dairy, and raw meat are more sensitive to temperatures than others. To protect those foods, store them further back in the fridge to keep them colder. The shelf in the door is the warmest part of the fridge, so you want to keep condiments, drinks, and other ingredients that are less sensitive to temperatures there.

It’s also important to keep different ingredients separated from one another in the fridge. Dairy and eggs should be stored away from raw fruits and vegetables so that bacteria from the eggs don’t contaminate the produce.

Another good rule to remember is always store raw meat in the bottom of the fridge and produce in the top. If you have raw chicken breasts stored over fresh lettuce, there’s a chance those chicken breasts drip into the lettuce and contaminate it. To be safe, always store meat on the bottom. And if you have multiple kinds of meat in your fridge, chicken should always be below beef, pork, fish, or other meats as chicken requires the most cooking to be safe.

Keep food away from chemicals

Not all foodborne illnesses come from biological hazards like bacteria or parasites. Some come from chemical contaminants. When storing dry goods in the pantry, they should always be kept far away from bleaches, detergents, cleaning supplies, or any other potentially harmful chemicals. Even storing food in the same cabinet as chemicals could lead to an accidental spill that contaminates the food, which can cause serious illness.

Don’t put steaming hot food in the fridge

It’s very common for people to throw a whole pot of something in the fridge if they don’t feel like putting it into containers. That’s fine as long as the food has cooled down first. If you take a steaming hot pot of soup and place it into the fridge to “cool down”, all you’re really doing is warming up the fridge. The heat and steam from the soup will circulate around the fridge and warm up all of the food inside, likely above the safe 40⁰F. Additionally, the soup itself probably won’t cool down very quickly either, leaving it at an unsafe temperature for an extended period of time.

Instead of putting the hot food directly in the fridge, let it cool down at room temperature first. If you pour hot foods into a long container with more surface area, they’ll cool down quicker. You can also try putting hot foods on an ice bath. To make an ice bath, fill your sink with ice and cold water. Then take the container of hot food and put it in the sink so that the water comes about three-quarters of the way up the container. Give the food a few stirs and after about 30 minutes or so, it should be cool enough to store in the fridge safely.

At CookinGenie, the chefs are experts in food safety and know how to ensure food is being handled safely all the way from shopping for the ingredients, storing them properly, and cooking them in the safest way possible.

Author – Jared Kent

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National Food Safety Month— Keys for Cooking and Serving Food Safely

24 Sep 2021

Cooking for friends and family is one of the great joys in life. But without practicing proper food safety, cooking can make your loved ones sick, or in extreme cases, even kill them. Luckily, all it takes to prepare and serve food safely is following a few simple rules and using common sense. In honor of food safety month, here are some of the most important things to remember when cooking.

Wash your hands

One of the most important things you can do to keep food safe is constant handwashing. The first thing you should do when you walk into the kitchen is washing your hands. And wash them again after every completed task or when you start handling different ingredients, especially after touching raw meat.

One of the most common ways foodborne illnesses are spread is by bacteria jumping from dirty hands to the food. So, you cannot wash your hands too often. When washing your hands, make sure you run them under warm running water for at least 20 seconds, using antibacterial soap. Scrub between your fingers and under your fingernails every time and dry off with a clean cloth or paper towel. For extra protection, turn off the knob on the sink with that paper towel instead of your bare hands.

When in doubt, throw it out

Nobody likes to waste food. But holding on to old food after it’s gone bad is a good way to get your guests sick.  If anything in your fridge or pantry is moldy, slimy, smells rotten, or is well past its expiration date, just throw it out.

When cooking with canned ingredients, beware of cans that are rusted, dented, or swollen. Swollen cans are a sign of botulism, a dangerous spore that can be fatal. If there are any physical deformities on the can, put it right into the trash. There is a chance that every now and again you may throw out some food that’s still safe to use, but it’s always better safe than sorry.

Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold

As a general rule of thumb, you should try and avoid keeping foods out at room temperature as much as possible, especially more sensitive items like meat, dairy, and eggs. When cooking and storing food, be mindful of the “temperature danger zone”, a temperature range between 41⁰F and 135⁰F. This is the range in which bacteria grows and multiplies most quickly.

Temperatures above or below this range are usually too extreme for most bacteria to survive. So, if a dish is meant to be served hot, you should keep it on the stove or in the oven at 135⁰F or higher for as long as possible, and if it is meant to be served cold, you should keep it in refrigeration at 41⁰F or lower until it’s ready to serve.

It may be helpful to have a digital thermometer on hand to help ensure you’re keeping foods at the proper temperatures. If any highly sensitive foods like meat or dairy are left out in the temperature danger zone for more than four hours, they may be unsafe to eat. Any cooked food that is being reheated should be heated to 165⁰F for at least 15 seconds before serving.

Beware of Cross Contamination

Cross contamination occurs when bacteria or other contaminants are passed to food from shared surfaces or through the air. For example, if you cut raw chicken on a cutting board then later use that same cutting board for fresh vegetables, the vegetables may be contaminated with bacteria from the chicken. To avoid cross contamination, use different utensils for raw meats and vegetables. Also be sure to wash and disinfect counters and other kitchen surfaces frequently.

Consider food allergies

One of the scariest parts of cooking for others can be dealing with food allergies. Allergic reactions to food can range anywhere from a mildly upset stomach to life-threatening anaphylactic shock, where the victim’s throat can begin to shut.

Before your event, ask all your guests if they have any food allergies. If anyone in your party has a severe allergy, consider serving something without that ingredient at all. For people with severe allergies like nuts or shellfish, they may not even need to actively consume the allergen to have a dangerous reaction, just an invisible trace amount may be enough to cause serious symptoms. So, just making a portion without that ingredient may not be enough to keep them safe. When it comes to cooking for people with food allergies, you cannot be too careful.

Cook proteins properly

A common cause of foodborne illness is undercooked meats, especially chicken. Meats need to be cooked to proper internal temperatures to kill the majority of bacteria and parasites that can make you sick. When cooking meats, use a digital thermometer to measure the internal temperature and don’t serve it until the meat comes up to a safe level.

For example, chicken and other poultry need to reach an internal temperature of at least 165⁰F for 15 seconds before they’re safe to eat. For more specifics, check out our complete guide to safely cooking meat.

Wash raw ingredients well

Before cooking with fruits, herbs, or vegetables, rinse them off under cold running water to remove any debris, bacteria, or chemical coating. This is especially important with cantaloupe and honeydew, which always should be washed before cutting. It’s also good practice to rinse off your eggs before cooking with them.

Be extra cautious with the most vulnerable members of your family

When cooking for older or immunocompromised people, you have to be extra careful and attentive. For someone who’s young and healthy, a case of salmonella from an undercooked chicken breast could cause a few days of illness. But for an older person or someone suffering from an autoimmune disease, that salmonella could be fatal.

CookinGenie takes food safety seriously

When you book a chef through CookinGenie, you can be sure that food safety will be the top priority. Many of the genies are professionals with formal food safety training, and others are experienced home cooks with a proven track record of keeping people safe. Food safety is stressed, and every genie knows that’s the most important thing when cooking for you.

Better yet, when you allow a CookinGenie chef into your home, you can watch them cook to be sure the food is being handled properly. Unlike a restaurant, this in-home set-up allows much more transparency and peace of mind than dining out or ordering takeout.

Author – Jared Kent

 

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Prepared Salmon - CookinGenie

16 Sep 2021

These days, lots of us are looking for a better way to get more healthy protein in our diets. We love eating pork, beef, chicken, and other meats, but let’s face it, they’re not always the healthiest. Luckily, there’s one source of protein you already know that’s tasty, widely available, and incredibly healthy. That protein, of course, is salmon. That’s right, flaky, delicious, and beloved by many, salmon is also a true powerhouse health food. And if you’re looking for a healthy protein to include into your diet more regularly, look no further than salmon.

Health Benefits of Salmon

Salmon is full of all sorts of healthy nutrients. It’s one of the best sources of omega 3 fatty acids, which are considered essential fat to include in a healthy diet. Omega 3 fatty acids can help promote heart health, lower blood pressure, and even reduce your risk of cancer. Salmon is also high in other important vitamins such as B vitamins and potassium. Plus, a single 4-ounce serving of salmon may have as much as 25 grams of protein. All told, consuming salmon 2-3 times a week can have health benefits ranging from weight loss, reduced inflammation, improved brain health, and more.

(Also ReadHealthy ingredients – Tahini)

All of these health benefits of salmon come with a relatively low-calorie count and mostly unsaturated fats, making it a healthier choice than many other meats. Plus, salmon is delicious and versatile, as it can be prepared many different ways and still have great taste.

Salmon Prepared the CookinGenie Way

If you’re looking to incorporate more salmon into your diet, look no further than CookinGenie. If you’re not used to cooking with salmon, you may not be sure what to do with it, or if you cook with salmon often, you may just be out of ideas. That’s where CookinGenie comes in. Our talented genies currently offer more than 15 different dishes using the superfood salmon! And these dishes are as unique as the genies themselves, showcasing its delicious versatility with a wide variety of preparations.

Genie Rashidah Shabazz serves salmon 3 different ways on her menu, including a citrus-ginger salmon and  lemon-balsamic salmon, so you could take your salmon to the far east or to Italy.

Our genie Lashondre’a Lenor offers a creative twist, quite literally, on salmon by serving a stunning entrée of braided salmon, which a whole side of salmon, expertly braided and roasted just like a loaf of challah bread. But if you’re in the mood for something more classic, like a simple, wholesome entrée of seared salmon with rice pilaf and green beans, she has you covered there too.

But it’s not all whole salmon either, genie Vanessa Calhoun serves a delicious Salmon Croquette, which is tender shreds of roasted salmon, rolled up into balls, breaded, and fried into a crispy, addicting snack.

Finally, if you’d like salmon on a salad, look no further than genie Courtney White, who serves a flaky filet of salmon on top of a classic Caesar salad with homemade dressing and croutons.

These are just a few of the delectable salmon dishes CookinGenie has to offer. They’re just as healthy as they are delicious, to see all of the amazing ways you can enjoy salmon with CookinGenie, check out our menu and book a genie today!

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-benefits-of-salmon#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

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Why do we Love Spicy Food -CookinGenie blog

09 Sep 2021

We all know at least one person who loves their food insanely hot. They insist that their hot wings “aren’t spicy enough unless I’m dripping with sweat.”  On it’s face, that doesn’t make sense. Spicy foods cause physical pain, not just in the mouth, but sometime through the entire body. Why would we deliberately eat, and enjoy, something that causes pain? Well, it turns out, there are actually some pretty compelling reasons why so many people around the world love the way it hurts.

Spicy Foods Can Cause a “High”

Spice is not a “flavor” but rather a sensation. The sensation of spice comes from the chemical compound capsaicin, which is the substance that makes hot peppers hot. Capsaicin causes pain and triggers the body to think it’s in danger. In response, the body releases endorphins, which are pleasure causing hormones, this is the body’s way of trying to eliminate the “threat” it feels when you eat spicy food. This chemical release causes some people to associate eating hot foods with happiness, creating a “high”, similar to that of the good feeling you get after exercising.

When the body feels it’s in danger, it will also release the survival hormone adrenaline, which can give someone eating a fiery hot bowl of noodles a sense of heart-pounding excitement, just like if they were riding a roller coaster or bungee jumping. In short, for many, eating hot foods is a kind of thrill seeking.

Hot Peppers are Full of Antimicrobial Properties

It stands to reason that since the chemicals in hot peppers cause us pain, they can also be harmful to bacteria, viruses, and other microbes. Before refrigeration, hot peppers were often used to help preserve food and ward off bacteria in hotter parts of the world. This was integral to food safety; hot peppers were literally life savers.

That’s why hotter countries like India and Mexico have developed very spicy traditional cuisines while more temperate climates like England and Scandinavia produce much more mild food. So, because of these antimicrobial properties found in hot peppers, many cultures created spicy traditional dishes and over generations, billions of people have come to love them.

Hot Food’s Health Benefits

One reason we may love spicy food is because it’s so good for us. Extensive amounts of scientific research point to all kinds of health benefits from eating spicy foods. Capsaicin, the chemical compound found in chili peppers, is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Capsaicin has also been linked to improved digestion, an increased metabolism, better heart health, reduction in cancer risk, and a strengthened immune system. Turns out, hot peppers are one of nature’s true superfoods.

CookinGenie Brings the Heat

At CookinGenie, we offer a range of fiery, delicious dishes that appeal to even the most avid of heat seekers. Try genie Jared’s Red Thai Curry, which uses bird’s eye chili peppers along with a blend of aromatic Thai ingredients to make a vibrant, spicy curry sauce filled with stir-fried vegetables. Perhaps order genie Dylan’s Jerk Chicken, which takes juicy chicken legs and slathers them in a tangy, sweet & spicy Jamaican sauce made from habaneros, ginger, cinnamon, and more.

Whatever, your spice preference may be, CookinGenie can accommodate you. You can always request that a dish be more (or less) spicy, and our genies can even make separate plates so that some portions are really spicy for the heat lover in your family, and the rest are milder. To bring the delicious, healthy heat to your kitchen, book a genie today.

Written by:  Jared Kent

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CookinGenie blog image for "Air-frying a better way to enjoy fried foods"

02 Sep 2021

In America, we love our fried foods. From chicken wings and French fries all the way to corndogs and mozzarella sticks, we’ll eat just about anything that came from a deep fryer. But as much as we love these foods, it doesn’t take an advanced nutrition degree to tell that something submerged in a vat of hot fat probably isn’t good for you.

Why Are Fried Foods Bad for You?

Deep frying foods cause the calorie count to go way up, it adds more saturated fat, and tacks on cholesterol. It’s been well-documented that regularly eating fried foods can promote weight gain, increase your chance of heart disease and diabetes, and just generally degrade your overall health.

Why Do We Eat So Much Fried Food?

Given all the adverse health effects of deep-fried food, it seems fairly obvious that giving them up would be a great lifestyle choice. But still, we love our fried foods, with 1 in 3 Americans eating fast food every day. The trouble is the hot, crispy food that comes out of the deep fryer can be very tasty, and rather addicting. Plus, many of us grew up with fried foods like chicken tenders and onion rings, and as adults, it can be very hard to put them down.

Air Frying: A Healthier Way to Fry

With more people becoming increasingly health-conscious about their diet, a new phenomenon has come into the fold over the past few years, air frying. An air fryer is a countertop machine with a perforated basket to “fry” foods without submerging them in oil. You simply toss the food with just a little bit of oil, put it in the basket, and the air fryer cooks it by blasting hot air in a rapid convective motion around the food. So technically, the air fryer doesn’t “fry” the food, it’s more of a quick convection bake, but the result of ultra-crispy food is still the same.

Without all that oil, air-fried foods have fewer calories than deep-fried foods and have much lower fat and cholesterol content. Of course, things like chicken wings and fries are still not exactly healthy foods even when air-fried, but this new age device can certainly help curb some of the worst consequences, so you can feel much better indulging.

Air Frying with CookinGenie

At CookinGenie, one genie has mastered the art of air-frying and is ready to share his air fryer with the world. Genie Dylan Tompkins offers several air-fried dishes, such as his extra crispy air-fried wings with a delicious choice of sauces such as barbecue, buffalo, Cajun, and garlic-parmesan. He also has crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside air-fried sides such as the delicious marble potatoes served with bacon smash burger, or the golden-brown French fries that come with the chicken gyro. These delicious foods have all the same crispy fried goodness you love but without all the bad health baggage. With the magic of the air fryer and the magic of CookinGenie, you can have your fried foods, and eat them too.

 

Written by:  Jared Kent

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Personal Chef -a Safer Way for dinner party - cookinGenie

25 Aug 2021

One of the hardest things about the pandemic is that we haven’t been able to celebrate the significant events in our lives the same way. Gathering for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays has become much riskier and with restrictions in place, much harder too.

With all of those events, one of the best ways to celebrate has always been going out to eat. For a special occasion, there’s nothing better than having someone else cook delicious food for you, while you sit back and relax. But in the era of Covid, celebrating with a dinner out may not be something you, or your family, would be totally comfortable with, especially with an infectious new variant swirling around.

But what about that birthday party? Wouldn’t it be nice to still have someone take care of all the cooking and cleaning for you, even if you don’t want to go out? Well, you could do takeout, but by now, we’re all pretty well sick of opening up Styrofoam boxes. Instead, why not book a personal chef with CookinGenie?

A CookinGenie chef will do all the shopping, arrive at your home, and cook a delicious restaurant quality meal for you and your guests. CookinGenie has a wide variety of delicious chef-inspired dishes to choose from, representing a multitude of different cuisines.

Many of the dishes we offer are great for sharing, making them excellent for a casual or formal gathering. Get a bowl of genie Christian’s Guacamole and Chips to pass around, or perhaps dazzle your guests with genie Dylan’s artisanal charcuterie board.  For the bacon lovers in your group, genie Jared offers delectable appetizers of bacon-wrapped dates and water chestnuts. Whatever your party needs, our chefs are very adaptable and can tailor the amount of food to fit your number of guests.

When you choose to hold your gathering at home, you have much more control over everything. At a crowded public restaurant, you may be seated indoors, you’ll be unsure of the vaccination status of the people around you, and there may or may not be mask wearing. At home, you can choose to eat outside, choose to enforce masking, and you can reduce the risk of your gathering by keeping it just between close friends and family. At home, whatever you’re comfortable with, you can do.

But the best part is that even with all those added health measures, there’s no comprising the quality of the food! CookinGenie will still deliver a restaurant quality meal from your kitchen and there’s no cooking or cleanup that you have to do. You can feel comfortable having a CookinGenie chef come cook for you. Each of our genies undergoes a health questionnaire the morning of the cooking appointment and are required to wear masks the entire time they’re in your home. You will also see our genies practice frequent handwashing and other good hygiene and food safety measures.

In these crazy times, we all just want a little bit of normalcy. So, for your next celebration, book a genie and experience a safer way to celebrate.

 

Written by:  Jared Kent

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Meal Kits vs. Personal Chef – Which is right for you-CookinGenie

12 Aug 2021

In this day and age, there are seemingly endless options to feed ourselves. One popular method is the do-it-yourself meal kits. There are hundreds of companies offering this service; therefore, a variety of options.

Another option, personal chef services, are gaining traction and becoming a trend for their unique and incredible dining experiences.

Today we compare and contrast the two most amazing services here.

Meal Kits:

 We talked to one of our friends about her experience with certain popular meal delivery services.

We asked her if the experience of using a meal kit was easier, tastier, healthier, and cheaper than the companies advertise?

Overall, she said she had a positive experience with the service. There’s a great collection of healthy, fresh dishes. The boxes came with conveniently sized, pre-portioned ingredients and straightforward, easy-to-follow recipes that came together in 45 minutes or less. It was much quicker and easier than meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking for yourself.

She could customize her orders to have more or fewer meals per box. As soon as the next day, the boxed food would arrive at her door. The service accommodates those with allergies and dietary restrictions, with plenty of vegetarian, vegan, keto, gluten-free, and paleo options.

When the boxes arrive, the ingredients are of good quality and taste, but it depends on the expertise of the person cooking. She spends about sixty dollars a week to get six meals. Some premium items cost a little more, but generally, you can expect to pay about 10 dollars per meal. It is a bit more cost-effective than eating out.

She also mentioned that the ingredients come with excess packaging, leaving boxes, plastic sleeves, and disposable containers. Occasionally boxes come with missing ingredients or items that are wilted, moldy, or otherwise spoiled.

For her and her family, the portion sizes are mostly sufficient. There are no leftovers.

Finally, while the dishes are simple and easy to make, she has to cook herself. She spends about 45 minutes cooking a typical dish from the box and about another half hour or so cleaning up afterward.

Personal Chef Service:

Personal chefs have been around for a long time. Traditionally used by the rich and famous, now there are more options for affordable personal chef services. Personal chefs provide many helpful services. Some chefs specialize in meal prep for busy families, while some create special occasion multi-course meals for an in-home dining experience for you and your guests. The costs vary depending on the special occasion and the amount of food needed. Meal prepping is comparable to Meal kits, whereas the multi-course meals will depend on the number of guests and the number of courses on the menu.

Personal chefs shop groceries for you, come to your house, and cook for you right in your kitchen. After cooking, they clean up after themselves. With a personal chef, you can customize your meals based on your dietary needs. They can take care of meal prep for the family and create a custom menu for your dinner party as well. They hand-select the ingredients and cook them in front of you. Quality and fresh food are always a priority. With a personal chef, you don’t spend time cooking or cleaning up. Time-saving is a huge bonus.

Personal chefs are gaining traction as more and more people are working longer hours and have demanding lives. People are focused on health and also looking for enriching experiences. The focus is not only fresh, wholesome food, but a personal chef strives to provide a unique dining experience for you, your family, and your friends.

Conclusion:

In the above, we discussed both meal kit service and personal chef service. Let us know in the comment section, which services are your favorite and why.

If you are​ planning to host a dinner party or looking for an unique dining experience with a personal chef, please​ try CookinGenie.

Personal chef service by CookinGenie:

CookinGenie offers a wide variety of delicious foods from different cuisines, in family-friendly sizes. Like these services, they are very accommodating of allergies and dietary restrictions. They tailor a meal to fit your exact needs. You can use the website to book a chef, pick out the menu, schedule a time, and pay in just a few clicks. The chefs (‘genies’) are friendly, professional, and lend a personal touch to your dining experience. With a varied lineup of talented home cooks and trained professional chefs on the platform, CookinGenie strives to provide a delicious wow factor. When you order from CookinGenie, you are supporting a local family-run business and local chefs. If you’re looking for an easy, affordable way to have fresh, healthy meals while saving time, personal chefs provided by CookinGenie are worth a try! Book your chef here.

 

Written by:  Jared Kent

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Understanding USDA Beef Grades_CookinGenie_blog

29 Jul 2021

When you walk through the meat section at the grocery store, you will often find steaks labeled with a small shield in the right-hand corner, denoting a USDA grade and claiming the steak as prime, choice, or select. But what do these grades really mean? And how should they impact your decisions on what steak to buy, or not to buy?

The first thing to understand is that the USDA has two main objectives when looking at beef: inspection and grading. Inspection is required of all meats that are shipped across state lines, as mandated by the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. Inspection is a safety measure; it does not guarantee quality but simply ensures that the meat is safe for human consumption.

Grading, however, is different. A grade is an assurance of quality you can trust. Within 24 hours of the animal being slaughtered, expert USDA graders examine the meat and assign a grade on the basis of age, color, texture, firmness, and marbling.

Of these grading criteria, marbling, which is the intramuscular fat inside a piece of meat, is the easiest to identify—it’s the white lines that run through a piece of raw steak. Marbling equals tenderness and juiciness. As the steak cooks, the fat melts and makes the steak moist and tender. The more marbling, the higher quality the steak.

With all these criteria in mind, the USDA has eight grades it applies to beef: Prime, choice, select, standard, commercial, utility, cutter, and canner. The higher the grade, the more expensive the steak.

(Also ReadWhat Makes Bibimbap The Ultimate Korean Feast?)

Prime is the highest grade, this meat comes from younger animals, is rich in marbling, juicy, tender, and flavorful. But it is also expensive and can be hard to find.

Choice meat is of excellent quality, with solid marbling and flavor, it offers great value and is readily available. Choice steaks are good candidates for grilling, roasting, or searing.

Select meat is of solid quality and is very economical. Since select meats are a little tougher and drier, they are well suited for moist cooking techniques like stewing and braising.

Standard meat is cheap, tough, and of low quality. Sometimes you will see it as an ungraded store brand meat but typically it’s sold as ground meat or other processed products.

Utility, cutter, and canner meats are rarely ever used in foodservice and are typically used to make pet food and other canned products.

It’s also important to note that grading, unlike inspection, is voluntary and not required by law. So, if you go to a local butcher or farmer, their steak may not be graded, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s low quality. When shopping for these steaks, the easiest way to determine quality is to look for marbling.

Here at CookinGenie, we offer a wide range of delicious, creative steak dishes and strive to use butcher-fresh meat graded choice or better. Beneath every dish on the website, you will find a transparent list of ingredients so that you know it is quality you can trust. Browse the menu today to see what amazing steak-night dishes can be prepared in your own kitchen.

Sources: https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2013/01/28/whats-your-beef-prime-choice-or-select?page=1

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Healthy Ingredients_Tahini

14 Jul 2021

If you’ve ever dipped a carrot or pita chip into a bowl of hummus, you’ve likely been the lucky beneficiary of tahini — an extremely common, yet not commonly known ingredient that serves an integral role in middle eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. This incredible ingredient is a tasty, healthy, and versatile food that you’ll want to get to know.

A smooth paste made from grinding hulled sesame seeds, tahini is essentially sesame butter. With a delightful nutty flavor and a rich, creamy texture, tahini is almost the middle eastern equivalent of peanut butter, although tahini is a little bit looser, with an earthier, slightly more bitter flavor.

The appealing taste and texture of tahini lends itself to many tasty iterations in middle eastern cooking. Tahini is most well-known for being the glue that holds together quintessential middle eastern dips like hummus and baba ghanoush, (smoked eggplant dip) but it’s also be used in numerous other applications. It can be served as a stand-alone dip for crackers and vegetables, mixed with olive oil and lemon to make a full-bodied salad dressing, spread on toasted bread or pita, used as a marinade for grilled meats, slathered over roasted vegetables, blended into healthy fruit smoothies, or even used in desserts such as cakes and cookies.

Aside from its delicious taste and endless culinary utility, tahini is loaded with health benefits. It boasts high levels of healthy fatty acids and it’s a good source of protein, iron, calcium, antioxidants, dietary fibers, and a host of other important vitamins and minerals. This varied and impressive nutritional profile renders tahini a bona fide superfood and its rich levels of iron and protein make it an excellent ingredient for vegan and vegetarian cooking.

Among many other benefits, tahini can reduce inflammation, is good for weight loss, can strengthen the immune system, and may even help protect against heart disease and some cancers.

(Also ReadHealthy ingredients – turmeric)

You should be able to find tahini at your local grocery store in the international section, although it may sometimes require a trip to a specialty market or health foods store.

With all of its wonderful culinary variations and incredible health benefits, tahini is a great ingredient to start incorporating into your life. But with all new ingredients, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to begin.

That’s where CookinGenie comes in. Whether it’s folded into a creamy homemade hummus, drizzled over crispy hand-rolled falafel, or topping a hearty chickpea shawarma salad, our genies offer an array of healthy, delicious, family-friendly dishes that will help you seamlessly blend tahini into your diet. Book one of our talented genies today to taste and experience this magical ingredient from the comfort of your own home.

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Delicious Gluten Free Meals with CookinGenie

06 Jul 2021

The Challenge of Eating Gluten Free

For many Americans, trying to find good gluten free meals is a never-ending struggle. It’s estimated that about 30% of Americans follow a gluten free diet. A small number of these people have celiac disease, a rare disorder that causes violent illness after consuming products with gluten, but many others avoid gluten due to more minor sensitivities or to improve overall health.

Whatever your reason for seeking out gluten free meals, there’s no doubt it can be challenging. Today, as the popularity of gluten free diets have risen, it is easier to find gluten free foods, but there can still be many obstacles.

Many restaurants still don’t offer very many gluten free options on their menus, or menus don’t have specific dietary labels, which can make it hard for diners to distinguish which items are safe to order. Even in the grocery store, unless an item is clearly marked as gluten free, it can be hard to read labels and determine what is actually gluten free or not.

CookinGeine Has Plenty of Delicious Gluten Free Menu Items

This dynamic can make trying to cook gluten free meals at home difficult. Luckily, CookinGenie can service all your gluten free meal needs and then some! Scroll through the menus of our many talented genies, and you’ll find plenty of healthy, delicious gluten free meals available.

Treat yourself to a heart-healthy, gluten free meal of Pan-Seared Salmon over Creamed Spinach, courtesy of genie Lashondre’a Lenor. Or if you’re looking for an elegant gluten free chicken dinner, look no further than the delightful Lemon-Rosemary Cornish Hens found on genie Dylan Tompkin’s menu.

And if you also follow a vegan diet, (we have plenty of vegan food too) there are still plenty of delicious gluten free meals to be found on CookinGenie, such as genie Vanessa Cahoun’s amazing Jamaican Vegetable Curry or genie Ozelm Saritoprak’s authentic Turkish Stuffed Grape Leaves.

Our Genies go the Extra Mile to Create Gluten Free Dishes

Our genies take care to carefully select their ingredients to be accommodating to many different dietary restrictions. Take, for example, genie Jared Kent’s vibrant Pad Thai, which uses gluten free soy sauce, opening up dishes to gluten free eaters that might not normally be available.

Amazingly, that even goes for dessert! It’s notoriously hard to find good gluten free desserts, but CookinGenie has you covered. You can get your fix for a gluten free chocolate craving with genie Lamont Denny’s addicting Chocolate Caramel Turtles or genie Christian Farah’s decadent Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Bars.

Each dish is marked with tags that explicitly note if that item is gluten free, so there’s no guesswork involved. But even if you see a dish that’s not marked as gluten free, there’s a good chance if you give us a call, we can work with your genie to adjust it to your preferences. Often times all it takes is swapping out flour or pasta for a gluten free alternative. Our genies are skilled adapters and are happy to go above and beyond to satisfy their customers.

Eating gluten free can be tough; let CookinGenie make it a little easier, and a little more delicious.

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What Dad Really Wants_CookinGenie

06 Jul 2021

Let’s face it, Dads are hard to shop for. If your dad is anything like mine, when you ask him what he wants for Father’s Day, he insists he doesn’t want anything, citing the fact that “he already has everything he needs.”

While that’s a sweet sentiment, it can put kids trying to do something nice for Father’s Day in a bind. If you’re in this boat, don’t overthink it. The holiday is about showing dad how much you appreciate him, and you don’t need to shell out for a designer watch to do that.

A 2019 survey conducted by Omaha Steaks found that 3 of 4 dads prefer an experience over a physical gift for Father’s Day. That could be going to a ball game, catching a concert, or seeing a movie, but the survey found that the experience dads want the most for their big day is a home-cooked meal. (Another survey found most dads don’t want to go out to eat for Father’s Day.)

Of the 2,000 dads surveyed, 41% of them said their ideal Father’s Day would be spent enjoying a big, juicy steak with their family, and 79% of respondents said they love to bond with their children over food.

So, there you have it. The best gift for dad this year is the simplest, a delicious home cooked meal. But that raises other concerns. What if you don’t feel like handling all the shopping, cooking, and cleaning required? Or maybe, since Dad is usually the one manning the grill, your steak cooking skills are a little rusty?

Well, luckily, CookinGenie is here to help. With CookinGenie, you can book a talented chef to come to your home with everything they need to cook Dad a meal fit for a king. While the genie takes care of the shopping, cooking, and cleaning, you can kick back and spend some quality time with the man who made you who you are.

If your father is like those surveyed and is hankering a juicy steak this year, CookinGenie’s got you covered. Try genie Lamont’s elegant Pan-Seared Filet with Grilled Shrimp and Fennel Slaw. Or perhaps dad would prefer something a little more classic like genie Quentin’s Honey-Bourbon Sirloin with a Loaded Potato. For an adventurous twist on steak dinner, treat dad to genie Tateayona’s Latin-inspired Flank Stank with Chimichurri.

But if your dad’s not a steak guy, no problem. CookinGenie offers a delicious variety of pastas, salads, vegetarian dishes, desserts, seafood dishes, and more to satisfy any father. If dad is a bit of a foodie, there’s a wide selection of authentic Thai, Indian, Latin, Italian, Korean, and Middle eastern dishes to choose from. Plus, there’s plenty of tasty kid-friendly meals available to keep the whole family at peace. Whatever your dad prefers, CookinGenie can whip up the stunning feast he deserves.

This Father’s Day, keep it simple. Instead of dress socks or a novelty coffee mug, try CookingGenie and give dad what he really wants.

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How Chefs Manage Their Own Business

09 Jun 2021

If you’re a talented chef, you probably know the rewarding feeling of cooking for friends and family and being met with rave reviews. They might ask you when your restaurant is opening, half-seriously urge you to start a catering business, and proudly proclaim that they would pay good money to eat your food. But even as a chef, the idea of opening a restaurant or catering company is daunting. It certainly is fulfilling to share your cooking with people, but you may not want the risk or commitment of trying to launch your own business.

What if there was an easier way, a way to earn money cooking the food you love, but in a casual setting, without the all-consuming obligation of running your own business? Well, for professional chefs and skilled home cooks alike, CookinGenie is just that.

(Also ReadWhat is CookinGenie)

With CookinGenie, chefs have a platform to essentially manage their own business but in a flexible manner. CookinGenie allows chefs (genies) to create their own menus, set their own prices, and make their own schedules to fit around their busy lives. They can do all this while building their personal brand and establishing a base of regular clients. At CookinGenie, the genies have total creative control of the food. They can change menu items seasonally and can source ingredients from the local stores they love. To fulfill an order, they arrive at the client’s home, cook a meal, clean up, and earn money sharing their talents with satisfied customers.

This setup is dramatically different from most traditional chef jobs. Typically, the life of a restaurant chef entails working long hours in a hot, sweaty commercial kitchen, all while under the pressure of trying to satisfy a packed dining room. It’s hectic, stressful, exhausting, and often doesn’t pay well. Plus, most chefs in a restaurant are preparing someone else’s menu, either the head chef’s or the owner’s, so it’s hard to let creativity and passion flourish. Although the hours may be a little more normal, working in a catering company offers many of the same challenges.

CookinGenie, on the other hand, provides all the joy and excitement of cooking for others without the serious drawbacks of other chef jobs. The genie decides what’s on the menu and when they want to be available to cook. All of the cooking is done in a relaxed setting in the client’s home; there’s no pressure to keep up with the pace of service. The genie gets the personal satisfaction of interacting directly with the people enjoying the fruits of their hard work, instead of the food being sent out into the void of a dining room. CookinGenie chefs are compensated competitively and even have the opportunity to collect tips from happy customers.

(Also ReadFresh Home Cooked food: A CookinGenie Perspective by Michael Booth)

All told, CookinGenie is a fantastic way to make money and manage your own business as a chef. The flexibility allows chefs to continue other pursuits while also earning extra income as a genie and building a following. From a work perspective, there is simply no beating the creative liberties and stress-free atmosphere CookinGenie provides. In the crazy world of cooking, CookinGenie proves that there really is a better way to be a chef.

If you’re a talented local chef or home cook and CookinGenie sounds great to you, then we’d love to hear from you! Send us an email at: careers@cookingenie.com

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Vegan & Vegetarian - CookinGenie

02 Jun 2021

One of the most dominant food trends over the past several years has been the rise of veganism. Back in 2004, there were only about 300,000 vegans living in the U.S. But in 2019, that number was over 9 million, representing a 300% increase over 15 years. Plus, reporting using google search trends shows that worldwide interest in veganism hit an all-time high in 2020.

It’s easy to understand why this rise is happening. Extensive medical research has shown that a vegan, or plant-based, diet can have health benefits ranging from weight loss, diabetes prevention, decreased risk of cancer, improved heart health, and more.

Another great reason for a vegan diet is the environment. As the planet continues to warm, people are looking for ways to live more environmentally-friendly, and eating plant-based is one of the most effective ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

But it’s not just hard-core animal lovers and health nuts that are driving the push towards veganism. Several high-profile celebrities such as singers Ariana Grande and Beyonce, actors Zac Efron and Liam Hemsworth, and even former president Bill Clinton, eat a plant-based diet.

Athletes are in on the trend too. There are dozens of world-class vegan athletes, including U.S. women’s soccer star Alex Morgan, NBA point guards Chris Paul and Kyrie Irving, and the world’s top-ranked male tennis player, Novak Djokovic. All of these elite athletes say that their performance improved after switching to a vegan diet.

However, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. A recent survey from Packaged Facts show that eating a flexitarian diet, which is largely plant-based, with some meat and dairy, is also ticking upwards, with about 36% of U.S. consumers identifying as such.

Despite all these trends, it can still be very challenging to find healthy, wholesome, delicious vegan and vegetarian food. Many restaurant menus still offer very little meat-free options. Lots of us grew up in meat-centric households and have friends and family who still sneer at the idea of veganism. Plus, if you’re not used to cooking vegan food, it can be hard to make filling, satisfying entrees with vegetables.

That’s where CookinGenie comes in. Whether you’re a committed vegan, vegetarian, or just trying to eat more veggies, CookinGenie can help you eat more delicious plant-based meals. Genie Christian Farah even offers a 100% vegan menu. But don’t worry, his entirely plant-based menu still has delicious favorites like an impossible cheeseburger and dairy-free mac n’ cheese, so you don’t have to compromise on taste. He also has other incredible whole food vegan options like a vibrant homemade falafel platter, inspired by his Lebanese heritage.

Other genies’ menus have more tasty plant-based offerings. You’ll find hearty vegan and vegetarian items like roasted cauliflower steaks with couscous, creamy mushroom risotto, and exciting international dishes like Indian lentil stew. Many of these dishes are also packed with healthy proteins.

Wherever, you may fall on the eating spectrum, if you’re looking for an affordable, easy, healthy, and delicious way to incorporate more plant-based meals in your diet, look no further than CookinGenie.

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travel around the culinary world with CookinGenie

19 May 2021

In my time as a chef, I’ve been lucky enough to travel around the world and immerse myself in different cultures and cuisines. I’ve learned from amazing local chefs how to prepare traditional dishes and have been awestruck by the sensational flavors that can be found across the globe. Now, with CookinGenie, I can bring those experiences into your home, so that you can feel some of the same wonder I did.

While living on the small island of Bermuda, I learned from my Jamaican co-workers the secrets behind making Jerk sauce, the nuanced, spicy-tangy condiment that they slather over grilled chicken, pork, shrimp, and other meats and vegetables. I fell in love with the sauce and its big, bold flavors, and now offer a jerk chicken on my menu, complete with a sweet plantain puree and fluffy coconut rice.

On a trip to South America, I met a local chef in a sleepy beachside town in Peru. After a brief conversation, she took me down to the local fish market where we picked out a gorgeous seabass that was caught that morning. We went back to her kitchen and she showed me how to make ceviche, carefully dicing the fish and marinating it with lime, cilantro, and onion, allowing the acid from the lime to gently cook the fish. The dish was so bright and crisp and refreshing; it was unlike anything I’ve ever had before. It stuck in my memory so much that it’s now the inspiration behind the ceviche found on my menu; red snapper tossed with lime, fire-roasted pineapple, habanero, and coconut milk.

When I was studying abroad in Singapore, I was blessed to partake in an immersive month-long course on Southeast Asian cuisine. I was taught by distinguished Chinese, Indian, and Malaysian chefs how to use spices to build layers of flavor, how to cook in a wok, and how to prepare a dizzying array of noodle dishes. Today, that knowledge is reflected on my menu by a rich Indian butter chicken and a simple yet delicious Chinese-inspired dish of stir-fried veggies in a sweet chili sauce.

A few weeks later, I spent ten days learning from a Thai chef who had mastered the cuisine. She showed me how to grind aromatic herbs and spices into vibrant, colorful curry pastes. I learned to make classic Thai street foods like chicken satay, pineapple fried rice, and of course, the beloved noodle dish, Pad Thai. With CookingGenie, all of these favorites can be made in your own kitchen.

After Thailand, I traveled to Vietnam and walked the streets of Saigon, sampling various delicacies from busy roadside vendors. The bun cha, sweet-savory pork patties cooked on charcoal grills and served with a tangy dipping sauce, were a revelation for me, and I hope they will be for you too.

As a genie, I get the joy of reliving those experiences with each dish I cook. I apply the knowledge I’ve learned and deliver every plate with love and passion. I hope to honor those around the world who so graciously opened their hearts and kitchens to me, by sharing what they taught me, with you.

So, if you’re curious and if you want to take a trip around the culinary world without leaving your own home, give CookinGenie a try, and taste the possibilities.

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Teacher Appreciation Week - CookinGenie

04 May 2021

Can we all just agree that teachers are the unsung heroes of the pandemic?  

This spring—as the world as we knew it turned upside down—they quickly pivoted to teaching virtually, creating new lessons and mastering new technology with just a few days’ notice, and saying goodbye to their students at the end of the year via Zoom.  

And then this fall, when the promise of a vaccine seemed like a distant pipe dream, some welcomed students to a virtual classroom while others headed back to school and toggled between in-person and hybrid schedules. And they mastered this all on top of teaching daily lessons, providing emotional support (to kids and their hyper-stressed parents), fostering kids’ social development, and all the other invaluable services teachers provide their studentsand then they headed home to care for their own kids and families.    

 For all these reasons—and so many more! —teachers deserve a little extra appreciation this year during Teacher Appreciation Week. 

 While many gift ideas exist, CookinGenie can be perfect for teachers. At the click of a button, they can have us shop cook, and clean for them. Whether it is for a small dinner party they are hosting, or it is for them to take time off from cooking for the workweek CookinGenie gift card is a great way to give the gift of fresh home cooking to your favorite teachers and make them feel extra special as the school year winds down.  

 

Ordering is as easy as 1-2-3. 

Click here to order a gift card. 

  1. Choose from a variety of teacher-themed designs. 
  2. Select the gift amount. 
  3. Send the gift card electronically or print and hand deliver for a personal touch 

 However you choose to appreciate the teachers in your community, this Teacher Appreciation Week, we at CookinGenie, thank this wonderful group of people who have ensured our children’s growth, development, and well-being as we look back at an unprecedented year through the pandemic.

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26 Apr 2021

“All that I am, or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” 

—Abraham Lincoln 

The second Monday of every May is dedicated to the women (Mother’s day) who take care of us the other 364 days of the year: Moms.  

 And don’t they deserve a day just for them? In many homes, moms are the ones who get it all done: making home cooked meals, buying groceries, packing lunches, folding laundry, organizing schedules, running the carpool, and so much more. Even in today’s more enlightened times, with a generation of dads who take on more than any group before them, a Gallup poll showed that women still shoulder the primary responsibility for doing the laundry, cleaning the house, and making meals.1  

 So this Mother’s Day, how can you show that special mom—your own mother, the mother of your children, a mom-to-be, or a special mom in your life—that you care? Sure, flowers and handmade cards are great. But this Mother’s Daywe’ve got a better idea: get her a Genie, and leave the meal shopping, prepping, cooking, and cleaning up to us.  

Whether you want to treat her to brunch, lunch, dinner, or a week’s worth of meals prepped and ready to go for the days ahead, CookinGenie can arrange for a chef to show up at the door with all the ingredients needed to make a fresh, home-cooked meal from scratch. Our Genie will prepare and plate the food and leave the kitchen as clean (or maybe even cleaner!) as it was before they arrived. 

 Not sure what to order? Check out this sample Mother’s Day menu 

How about starting your meal with Genie Michael Booth’s decadent Baked Brie, a show-stopping starter of creamy brie wrapped in crisp, flaky puff pastry and topped with a nutty bourbon glaze.  

 

Or maybe begin with a springy Arugula Salad studded with marinated red onions, shaved Parmesan and toasted walnuts, and tossed with a refreshing lemon vinaigrette. 

 

For the main course, try a light and refreshing Cioppinoa delicate seafood stew in an aromatic tomato-fennel broth— 

 

or, if you want something more hearty, Filet Mignon with Fingerlings, Broccolini and Chimichurri. 

 

And end on a sweet note with a Fruit Crostata topped with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.  

Don’t see mom’s favorites on our menu – message us and we are going to put a custom home cooked meal together for the special mom.  

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Charcuterie - CookinGenie blog

26 Apr 2021

Whether it be displayed out at your dinner party, the beginning of date night, or accompanying your favorite bottle of wine, a charcuterie board is a perfect accouterment. Charcuterie (pronounced “shahrkyut-uh-ree) is the French word for the art of cookery dedicated to the preparation of preserved meats, typically pork. The name charcuterie dates back to 15th-century shops which sold many different styles of pork, from terrines and pâtés to hams and sausages. They also specialized in confit, another preservation style involving slowly cooking protein in its rendered fat, for other delicacies like foie gras, a preparation of fatty duck or goose liver. The chef that runs the establishment is referred to as a Charcutier. In a more modern French kitchen, charcuterie is typically handled by a Garde Manger, a chef who is in charge of cold items like salads, cold soups, fruit, and charcuterie.  

Before they got to dinner parties: the origins of Charcuterie 

Charcuterie started as a way of life for people who were looking to preserve what they had excess of. Someone could take and eat what they could fresh from their kill and smoke or cure what they couldn’t currently use or didn’t want to go bad. Early examples of American cookbooks have recipes for a preserved culinary survival food called Pemmican, which is a loaf of dried beef, berries, and tallow to form a high-energy, simple food source. This was introduced by Native Americans and then eventually adopted by European fur traders and then found its way to the arctic as it was easy to prepare and would last for a long time before going bad.  

In modern kitchens, when you see a charcuterie board on a dinner party menu, it refers to an artisan-level crafted assortment of meats and sometimes cheeses that seek to work as something to nibble on before the main course. It is often selected with the flavor profile of the wine, menu, or season in mind. In the summer, a cool and crisp Moscato will cut through a razor-thin slice of a rich prosciutto or serrano ham. Likewise, spicy dried chorizo or soppressata will help finish that bottle of bold, tannin-rich Cabernet Sauvignon on a cold winter night.  

In general, charcuterie typically has three main branches: whole-muscle, pâtés, and cured sausages. Whole muscle typically refers to a whole loin of muscle, cured in salt and sometimes spices. It can include anything from American Bacon, Prosciutto, Speck, Jamon Serrano, Country Ham, Pancetta, Bresaola, Cappocollo, Guanciale, and Lardo. Pâtés can be any type of culinary preparation of forcemeat, herbs, fats, and spices. The most famous one people would know by name is probably pâté de foie gras, made from the livers of fattened geese, but most cultures around the world have their own takes on meat-pastes. Cured sausages cover anything from the pepperonis and salamis that you find in your local deli to finely crafted dry-aged Spanish Chorizo or French Saucisson.  

Nowadays most specialty grocers, Mediterranean wine bars, and some high-end pubs will carry a varying assortment of curated meats and cheeses. In Cleveland, we even have access to locally made craft cheese and charcuterie. Places like The Brooklyn Cheese Shop and Astoria Cafe & Market, produce many varieties of their old-world preparations and recipes. If you are looking to assemble a charcuterie spread for your dinner party guests, CookinGenie can help. There are many Genies who can create this incredibly classy looking starter for your guests.  

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Meal prepping for dinner - CookinGenie

21 Apr 2021

Today, the age-old question of how to meal prep for dinner is more complicated than ever. With a range of different meal delivery services, prepared and frozen foods delivered to your doorand a wide market for takeout, the choices are seemingly endless. Now, entering the fray is a new service, CookinGenie, which rethinks the idea of dining at home by bringing a culinary expert into your home to prepare a delicious, home-cooked meal in your very own kitchen. So, with all these choices available, let’s look at the process, price, positivesand negatives of each to find out the option that might work best for you 

 

Meal Delivery Kits for Meal Prepping 

Price: 

$-$$ With so many different meal delivery kits available, the prices can run anywhere from $5/meal to $18/meal. But for most mainstream services like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, $10-12 per meal is standard.  

Process: 

Visit the website of one of the many meal delivery services, create a profileand begin choosing your dishesWith a few clicks, you can have boxes of fresh ingredients and recipes arriving as soon as the next day. Then, unpack the box, follow the recipe, and cook yourself a meal 

Pros:

  • The recipes are quick and easy to make.  
  • Feeling of accomplishment from cooking your own food 
  • You can customize the number of meals you want. 
  • Kits are accommodating to dietary restrictions and allergies.  
  • Precise portioning cuts down on food waste. 
  • The platform is easy to use, offers plenty of fresh, healthy choices. 

Cons: 

  • Kits come with excess packaging to get rid of.  
  • Subscription required. 
  • For hungrier eaters, portion sizes may leave a little bit to be desired.  
  • On occasion, ingredients may arrive spoiled.  
  • Dishes are not quite chef or restaurant quality.  
  • You still need to put the time and effort into cooking and cleaning up afterward.  
  • Usually supporting a large, multinational corporation.  
The bottom line:

Easier than shopping and cooking for yourself and cheaper than eating out, meal prepping kits are a good mix of affordability and convenience. But if you’re looking for a more memorable experience that you don’t have to cook yourself, there are better options out there. 

 

Ready to Eat/Frozen Meal Delivery Service 

Price:

$$ There are many different services that ship frozen meals to your door, and they can all fluctuate on price, with some high-end options out there. However, you can normally expect to pay about $11-15 per meal, plus shipping fees 

Process: 

Create a profile on a frozen meal delivery site such as Home Bistro, choose your meal(s) or meal plan(s)wait for delivery, and pop the box in the microwave to heat up. 

Pros:

  • Good variety of chef-inspired meals that come with protein, starch, vegetable, and sauce.
  • Many of the meals are highly tailored to specific diets such as weight loss, keto, and paleo. 
  • Most of the meals are ready to eat after just a few minutes in the microwave or oven 
  • Frozen meals can keep in the freezer indefinitely.  
  • No cleanup required.  

Cons:    

  • Many services don’t begin to offer free shipping unless you order a certain amount.  
  • Reheating frozen food can feel boring and impersonal; food may be bland 
  • Boxes may take a while to arrive. 
  • Sometimes food may come partially defrosted or not reheat evenly.  
The bottom line:

There’s no denying the convenience of being able to pop something in the microwave and have a hot meal in a few minutes. But while frozen meals have certainly improved from the days of supermarket TV dinnersthey’re more of an occasional fare than something you’d want to eat regularly.  

 

Takeout/Delivery

Price:

$-$$ Depending on where you’re getting takeout from, the price can fluctuate greatly. 

The Process:

Call up a restaurant, go online to order, or use one of the many apps like DoorDash or Uber Eats to set up a pickup or delivery.  

Pros:

  • During the pandemic, it’s easier than ever to get takeout 
  • There’s a great variety of places to get fresh, healthy, delicious takeout from. 
  • Usually only takes about 30 minutes to get food.  
  • Supporting local businesses.  

Cons 

  • You have to drive to the restaurant or pay extra delivery fees. 
  • Generally, one can only get one type of cuisine at once and may not have leftovers to enjoy all week.   
  • If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, it could be tricky to ensure the meal fits your needs. 
  • Food apps layer on their service charges and those can add up. 
The bottom line:

Generally speaking, takeout is a relatively affordable, convenient way to have dinner once or twice a week.  

 

CookinGenie for Meal Prepping

Price:

$$ Prices will differ by Genie and by dish, but most are between $10-$15 per portion. 

The Process:

Visit CookinGenie.com, type in your location, and you can browse through our many talented genies. You can look through each genie’s menu and profile individually, or search by dish or type of cuisine. Then, select the dishes you want to order and pick a time and date for a genie to come to your home and cook for you. They will arrive with everything they need, cook you a delicious meal, and restore your kitchen to the state they found it in.  

Pros: 

  • CookinGenie food is fresh, wholesomeand delicious.  
  • A skilled cook preparing restaurant-quality food for you adds a unique personal touch 
  • A wide variety of different cuisines and dishes are available at once. 
  • Service is accommodating to dietary restrictions and allergies.  
  • Generous, family-friendly sizes of 4 or 8 portions.  
  • Flexibility; date night, dinner parties, special occasionsweeknight family meals, and meal prepping can all be taken care of by CookinGenie
  • You don’t have to leave home, cook, or clean. 
  • Supporting a local business and local chefs.  

Cons: 

  • CookinGenie does require some planning ahead.  
  • May take a couple of hours after the Genie arrives for food to be ready.  
The bottom line:

In terms of affordability, CookinGenie is on par with takeout, cheaper than frozen meal delivery, and just a hair more than most meal kits. But that small difference is well worth it when you consider the superior food and convenience of not having to cook yourself. With so many options out there, it can be hard to decide what the dinner plan should be. But all things considered, in terms of taste and overall value for your hard-earned dollars, CookinGenie stands head and shoulders above the rest.

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Bibimbap-CookinGenie

07 Apr 2021

CookinGenie lets you travel with food all around the world. Next stop: Korea. 

Sometimes, the humblest foods are the best foods. That’s certainly the case with bibimbapKorea’s answer to fried rice, and—if you ask us—one of the top must-try foods around the world. 

The word “bibimbap” means “mixed rice with meat and vegetables,” and variations of the dish abound. It’s a dish that is endlessly customizable based on whatever the cook has on hand: some versions are made with raw beef and eggs, while others incorporate cooked seafood or pork and fried egg. What all these versions have in common is a base of rice topped with ingredients that are individually prepared and carefully seasoned, then stirred together just before serving. The result is a colorful dish with flavors and textures that are hearty, bold and harmonize beautifully with one another.   

In its article about bibimbap, the Korean Culture Blog cites different origin stories for this famed food, which is centuries old. “One story is that ancestral rituals were performed in the countryside away from home and after the rituals, instead of bringing all the foods back home which was cumbersome, the people mixed together all the foods in one big bowl and ate them all. Another story is that bibimbap came from the ancient custom of mixing leftover cooked rice with all the remaining side dishes and eating it as a midnight snack on the eve of Lunar New Year.  Another story is that while working out in the fields, the farmers mixed together all the nutritious ingredients in one big bowl to have a quick and healthy meal.”1  

Over time, regional variations developed with the most famous version coming from Jeonju, a small city in South Korea. Jeonju bibimbap is made with bean sprouts, gingko nut, pine nut, chestnut, spinach, lettuce, bracken, mushroom, turnip, carrot, seaweed, and beef. It beautifully represents the philosophy of Hansik (traditional Korean food), by combining the five colors that represent the elements that make up the universe—green/water, red/fire, yellow/wood, white/metal and black/earth—and the five flavors: sweet, hot, sour, salty and bitter.2 

There are also variations based on the type of dish bibimbap is made and served in. Traditional yangpun bibimbap is served in a yangpun, a large brass bowl, although these days many Korean cooks reach for a stainless steel bowl to make yangpun bibimbap instead3. One of the most beloved varieties is dolsot bibimbap, which is made in a dolsot—a heavy stone or earthenware bowl that’s heated to a high temperature before ingredients are added. The rice goes in first so it cooks in the hot bowl and forms a crispy, crackling bottom crust that adds a satisfying crunch when everything is stirred together.  

Bibimbap took flight outside Korea—literally—and gained notice as one of the best foods in the world in the late twentieth century when South Korean Airlines began serving it for inflight meals. Its popularity quickly spread: Wikipedia calls the dish a global symbol that symbolizes the harmony and balance in Korean culture4 and CNN Travel listed it at number 40 on its 2011 list of the World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods.5  

CookinGenie’s Jared Kent makes his bibimbap by topping seasoned white rice with spicy ground pork and garlicky carrots, soy-glazed spinach, quick-pickled cucumbers, green onions and kimchiand crowning it all with a crispy fried egg. (He makes a just-veggies version for you vegetarians out there too). Just before serving, he drizzles the bowl with a sweet-and-spicy gochujang-soy sauce that ties it all together.  

And just a quick note: we added bibimbap to our menu at the request of one of our customers. Are you craving a dish and don’t see it on our menu? Just ask! Our team of Genies are inventive cooks with a deep repertoire of recipes—so chances are one of our chefs can help you satisfy your cravings for famous food from around the world. Send us an email with your special request to support@cookingenie.com 

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Fresh home cooked food by Michael Booth

25 Mar 2021

I believe Cleveland’s own Michael Symon says it best: “Cooking and feeding people always makes me feel better and, I think, it will also make everyone else feel a little more normal and better, too.” 2020 has, to nobody’s surprise, devastated the culinary industry around the world. It has left many cooks, chefs, dishwashers, and servers without a reliable source of income and taken away a major part of their daily drive. But as times change and industries evolve, people find new outlets for work, creativity, and passion to satisfy their craving for fresh food. 

Right as the pandemic took hold and many places were forced to close their doors, I found myself without a kitchen to run and a lot of time on my hands. It allowed me time to pursue other culinary outlets and has given me the chance to explore the world of cuisine from outside the confines of a hot bustling commercial kitchen. With CookinGenie, I am able to keep pursuing that daily drive and practicing my art, even in times of turmoil. At first, as with any new industry, I had my doubts about reversing the typical restaurant status quo and traveling with my expertise. But as I would go on to learn, culinary passion is the same whether it was in a busy kitchen or in someone’s home.  

One of the best feelings of working in a restaurant is going out to the dining room at the end of a busy night and seeing a packed house of customers all having the night of their lives. From couples having a romantic night out, to families celebrating a birthday, it brought a sense of accomplishment and pride to see plates of food that took so much time and effort to make come back practically licked clean. With CookinGenie, I am able to work directly with the client and give them that same sense of satisfaction, while being able to give them and their food one hundred percent more focus and attention. My first client was a family celebrating getting their vaccine and being able to see extended family from out of state for the first time. I was able to connect and bring these people a stress-free, decadent first meal in a long time. It allowed them a chance to reconnect, drink and share all while not having to worry about shopping for fresh ingredients, clean-up, sanitization, or any other worry that could come with traditional restaurants. 

CookinGenie brings a sense of appreciation that is sometimes hard to feel in the back of the house (BoH is anyone that works unseen in the back. Cooks, food runners, dishwashers, etc). Instead of the train of tickets on the line, with orders from 15 different families, CookinGenie allows for a much more personal, romantic experience. When preparing food for a client in their own kitchen, it allows the individuals cooking the meal the chance to really let their culinary talents shine. Most cooks have to follow a menu set by either their chef or the restaurant owner and never have a chance to let their personal talent and skillset succeed. With CookinGenie, the menu, the schedule, the sourcing is all mine. It also allows for menus to be changed seasonally so that you can always guarantee fresh delicious home cooked food

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Apple Pie_CookinGenie

12 Mar 2021

There are certain things that just evoke America 

 – Baseball. 

– Uncle Sam.  

– Corn fields.  

– Apple pie.  

 

But what if we told you one of these iconic symbols doesn’t really belong on the list? 

 Turns out there’s nothing all that American about apple pie. In fact, neither apples or pie originated in North America: the ancient Egyptians get the credit for creating pie, and modern apples originated in the mountains of Kazakhstan, then spread along the Silk Roads from Central Asia to Europe 

While early pies were made with meatEmily Upton, writing for Today I Found Out, reports that the first recorded apple pie recipe was from England way back in 1381. These early recipes bear little resemblance to the apple pies we know today—they rarely called for sugar (which was an expensive, luxury ingredient at that time) and came served in a pastry that went by the rather unappetizing name of “coffin.” This “coffin” was not meant to be eaten; it was really just a container to hold the filling, sort of the Middle Ages version of a paper plate. The first apple pie recipe that resembles the pie we know and loves today, with a sweetened filling and a lattice top, appeared in a 1514 Dutch cookbook. 

So how did apple pie—which is so deeply rooted in Europe—become synonymous with America? European-style apple trees arrived on American shores with the Jamestown colonists, who brought seeds and cuttings to plant in the New World. (And here’s a fun fact from What’s Cooking America: In Colonial times, apples were sometimes called winter bananas.) As colonists pushed westward, they brought apples with them. Upton credits Johnny Appleseed with cementing the apple as part of American folklore, as he roamed the frontier planting acres upon acres of apple orchards. By the 19th century, American farmers had planted and cross-pollinated trees to develop an astounding 14,000 different varieties of apples. And of course, many of those varieties were perfect for making pie. 

(Also ReadA Whirlwind Tour of US Barbecue)

Nearly as intriguing as the history of the apple in America is the history of the phrase “as American as apple pie. Upton cites a newspaper article in 1902 that said “no pie-eating people can be permanently vanquished” and a 1924 ad in the Gettysburg Times selling “New Lestz Suits that are as American as apple pie.” The phrase became such a part of the American fabric that by World War II, soldiers told journalists that they were fighting for “mom and apple pie.” 

Apple pie may have become a symbol of all that’s good about Americans, but there is a dessert that’s actually a better candidate for the title. While it might not have the same ring, a more apt phrase might be “As American as a blueberry cobbler.” Unlike the apple, blueberries—along with black cherries, strawberries, cranberries, and elderberries—are native to North America, and cobblers are a uniquely American creation. These fruit and pastry desserts, along with regional variations with such colorful names as Bettys, pandowdies, grunts, slumps, buckles, sonkers, crumbles, and crisps were created by early American settlers who turned to the simple ingredients they had on hand to create satisfying desserts. Nevertheless, it’s apple pie that became the apple of Americans’ eyes. 

At CookinGenie, we’ve recently added fresh homemade desserts to our menu and naturally, our choices include an all-American apple pie. Genie Brande Colson folds tart green apples and warm spices into a flaky, golden, homemade crust. She can even make a gluten-free variety. Cap off your next CookinGenie visit with a slice of this wholesome, rustic goodness—we can’t think of a better way to end a home-cooked meal. 

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A Whirlwind Tour of US Barbecue - CookinGenie

03 Mar 2021

“Southern barbecue is the closest thing we have in the US to Europe’s wines or cheeses; drive a hundred miles and the barbecue changes. 

 John Shelton Reed, sociologist, writer, and all-around expert on all things Southern.  

 At its most basic, barbecue is meat that’s cooked low and slow over a smoky fire. But barbecue aficionados will tell you that “authentic” American barbecue is so much more—and, just like the wines and cheeses of Europe, the answer to just what real barbecue is will vary state-to-state, even region-to-region, with each area insisting that their version is the one true style. 

 The variations by region can be dizzying. Some swear barbecue needs a vinegar-based sauce, others swear by a tomato-based sauce. Some sauce their meat with mustard, some with mayonnaise. Up your barbecue IQ by taking a quick tour of American BBQ with us and learn about just some of each region’s specialties.  

North Carolina

You’ll find not one but two distinct styles of barbecue in North Carolina. In the Eastern method—which John Shelton Reed calls the “original” American barbecue—whole hogs are smoked and then chopped and served with a vinegar-and-pepper-based sauce. Further west another style of barbecue, known as Lexington-style, emerged. Here, just the pork shoulder is smoked and it’s served on a sandwich with a bright red tomato-based sauce.  Confused yet? Hang on, we’re just getting started… 

South Carolina 

South Carolina is just one state to the south, but their take on barbecue is worlds away. Like its neighbor to the north, pork is largely the meat of choice but South Carolinians put their own spin on the sauce. A very specific condiment developed in the area stretching from Charleston to ColombiaAccording to the South Carolina Barbecue Association, German settlers brought a love for mustard with them to South Carolina, and were soon pouring golden, mustard-based, vinegary sauce they christened Carolina Gold on their pulled pork.1  

Texas 

Deep in the heart of Texas, barbecue is all about the beef—brisket specifically—smoked low and slow over oak, mesquite, pecan, or hickory wood for up to 20 hours until it’s so tender it falls off the bone. How it’s served depends on where you are: in East Texas, brisket is marinated in a sweet tomato-based sauce, while in South Texas, the sauce is molasses-based. Near the Rio Grande, Mexican-style barbacoa dominates, while in Central Texas they do without sauce altogether and settle for a simple rub of salt and pepper.2  

Kansas City 

In Kansas City, all kinds of meat are smoked—beef, pork, chicken, or sausage—but what makes it unique is the thick sweet molasses- and tomato-based sauce that the smoked meat is smothered in. The most famous specialty of KC barbecue is burnt ends, the crunchy, caramelized, intensely smoky ends of brisket. Once considered a throwaway piece of meat, these tasty nuggets have become a favorite of barbecue enthusiasts.  

Memphis 

Hold the sauce in Memphis! Here, another style of barbecue developed: slabs of pork ribs are flavored with a dry rub of garlic, paprika, chili pepper, cumin, and other spices and cooked over a hickory fire. And in Memphis, they like to think outside the box: barbecued meat is added to nachos, pizza, and even spaghetti.3  

Alabama 

Last but not least is Alabama, famous for its unconventional white barbecue sauce. This combo of mayonnaise, vinegar, apple juice, and cayenne pepper has been served with smoked chicken since the 1920s and has gradually gained national attention. In fact, Texas Monthly declared 2015 “the year of Alabama barbecue.”4    

 Our virtual road trip through American barbecue just scratches the surfaceSt. Louis, Kentucky, Georgia, and more.. they’ve all developed their own local barbecue traditions and have their own share of passionate fanatics who swear their regions are the best 

 Our newest Genie, Ryan Pascoe, brings his passion for BBQ to your home. Choose one of Ryan’s falling-off-the-bone, slow-smoked specialties and he’ll arrive at your house in the morning to set up his smoker in your backyard, driveway, or garage and get your meat going, then come back later that day to finish it off. He offers everything from traditional finger-lickin’ favorites like Saint Louis Ribs smothered in a homemade barbecue sauce, to a tender, Coffee-rubbed Brisket, to a decadent Smoked Prime Rib with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes. Let us know when you like the food done and we will work the right start time with you. Ryan brings the smoker with him. And takes it away – no cleanup for you. All you need to do is to find a dry spot for the smoker and a regular power outlet. Fresh meat from the nearby butcher shop, slow-cooked to perfectionIit’s not raining, even a chilly February day will not hamper an outdoor smoking event from CookinGenie 

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Celebrate Valentine's Day with CookinGenie

09 Feb 2021

Valentine’s Day has been celebrated since ancient Roman times—it began as a pagan fertility festival to celebrate Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, where goats were sacrificed, and women were paired off with men by lottery. The celebration was “Christianized” by Pope Gelasius I as the feast of St. Valentine in the 5th century, but it took centuries for the day to be associated with love. Written valentines first appeared in the 1400s, but it was the Victorians who transformed Valentine’s Day into the romantic celebration of cards and flowers that we now know.

Typically, in a normal world, Valentine’s Day meant scoring a reservation at an ultra-cozy restaurant for a leisurely feast in a romantic, dimly lit dining room. We can hope for those days to be a reality soon again. But if you are looking to celebrate and don’t want to miss out on a fine dining evening with your special someone, CookinGenie can make it happen. Turns out you CAN make the day extra special —and we’re here to help.

CookinGenie brings the restaurant experience to your home so you can enjoy a sumptuous Valentine’s Day meal prepared by a local culinary expert in the safety of your very own dining room. All at below restaurant prices. Our Genies offer a wide variety of special occasion appetizers, entrees, and desserts for your celebration. We’re talking a silky Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto, or decadent New York Strip Steak with Potatoes, Asparagus and Hollandaise Sauce, or perfectly prepared Fettuccini Mare, bursting with cherry tomatoes and plump, tender shrimp. They’ll show up at your door with everything they need to make your meal, and when they’re done, our Genies clean up and leave your kitchen as clean as (or maybe even cleaner!) than it was when they arrived. All you need to do is dim the lights, pop open the champagne, and light some candles for a romantic dinner for two (and there may be leftovers to pack a lunch the next day).

Book your Genie this Valentine’s Day weekend and see just how romantic “let’s stay in” can be.

PS Don’t see your favorites on our menu? Send us an email and we’ll work to customize a meal just for you.

(Also ReadTracing Tacos – A Journey Through Time)

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ChickenPadThai -CookinGenie

23 Dec 2020

For many people, pad Thai—the delectable sweet, sour, and spicy stir fry of rice noodles, tofu, eggs, veggies, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and an umami-rich sauce that can be found on the menu of virtually every Thai restaurant in the US—is their first taste of Thai cooking.  

So, it’s interesting to learn that the dish that most Americans think of as the quintessential Thai food didn’t even exist until the mid-20th century 

In her book Materializing Thailandnutritional anthropologist Penny Van Esterik says that the dish was born out of prime minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram’s campaign throughout the 1930s and 40s to build a national identity for Thailand. Hoping to create a sense of pride in “Thai-ness” by uniting his country through culture, he changed the nation’s name from Siam to Thailand,  commissioned a new national anthem, banned local languages and dialects from schools, and set out to create a national dish.

(Also ReadTracing Tacos – A Journey Through Time)

Curiously, the main ingredient in the dish that Phibunsongkhramwho was known as Phibunpromoted isn’t even native to Thailand. Stir-fried rice noodles originated in China and were introduced to the kingdom of Siam by Chinese traders in the 1700s. But promoting a stir-fried noodle dish helped solve a serious problem that Phibun’s nation was facing: flooding and war had caused severe rice shortage, and encouraging people to eat noodles helped preserve the country’s precious rice supply.2 Phibun’s administration took the basic recipe for stir fried rice noodles and loaded it up with nutritious bean sprouts, onions, peanuts, eggs, meats, and a tamarind-based sauce, then encouraged vendors to sell the dish from street carts all over the country. It was, Phibun’s son later pointed out, the first fast food in Thailand.3   

Phibun’s efforts to make pad Thai part of his country’s heritage succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. Today, it is a staple of the Thai dietBeyond Thailand, it has become a beloved dish worldwide: In 2011, pad Thai ranked number 5 in CNN Go’s reader poll of the “World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods.”4 Wondering how this simple noodle dish became an international culinary superstarMark Padoongpatta professor of Asian and Asian American studies at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and the author of a history of Thai food, says this, too, was driven by the Thai government as an act of culinary diplomacy: in an effort to stimulate exports and encourage tourism, it established the Global Thai Restaurant Company, Ltd. to train chefs and send them around the world to open Thai restaurants5.     

And now, CookinGenie brings this beloved classic noodle dish tyour house. We offer three varieties of classic pad Thai—Chicken, Shrimp, and Vegetarian—cooked from scratch with wholesome, authentic ingredients like rice noodles, sweet-and-sour tamarind paste, spicy chile-garlic paste, and Thai preserved radish. Book your Genie to bring a true taste of Thailand to your very own kitchen. 

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Chicken Tacos

25 Nov 2020

When thinking about famous foods from around the world, some key dishes come to mind. We’re willing to bet Mexican cuisine ranks high on many people’s lists, with tacos at the top. But, have you ever stopped to wonder how the tasty taco came to be?  

It turns out, the history of the taco is as colorful and varied as the taco fillings themselves.  

Tacos as we know them today were believed to have started in the 1800s as the humble lunch of Mexican silver miners. The word “taco” translates to “plug” or “wad” – reflecting the small sticks of dynamite used in the mines.  

There is evidence, however, that the taco’s origins began much earlier.  

It is believed that the Aztecs invented tortillas using masa cooked on hot stones. The Aztec emperor, Montezuma, used the tortillas like a spoon to scoop or hold food such as cochineal, beans, and chiles. The word “taco” stems from the Nahuatl word “tlahco,” meaning “half” or “in the middle” in reference to how it is formed. 

(Also ReadMade to Cook: The Cooking Hypothesis)

Early taco fillings were simple and reflected what was available, such as fishcooked organs, small insects, ants, locusts, and snails. It wasn’t until the 1500s, when Spanish soldiers arrived in Mexico with pigs from Cuba, that pork was introduced as a filling and served at large banquets (the first “taco parties” as documented in 1520 by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, a Spanish soldier sailing with Hernan Cortes). From here, the taco spread across the “New World” as a staple food 

Whether crediting the Aztecs or silver miners, the taco is a dish woven through the fabric of Mexican cuisine. 

Into America & Beyond 

Portable and easy to eat, tacos became a primary meal of the working class. In time, street food vendors filled soft corn tortillas with a simple, spicy filling to offer workers on their breaks. Around 1905, this delicious and practical meal crossed the border into the United States when Mexican laborers moved north to work on the railroads.  

It wasn’t until the 1920s that the traditional filling of organs was replaced by beef and chicken. In addition, lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese became standard fillings in America  this fusion brought forth by the availability of American ingredients and a more subtle palate.   

While some may prefer more traditional preparation, today, tacos in America include a vibrant blend of traditional Mexican flavors combined with new ingredients and influences from around the globe – a fusion of flavors to satiate a wide variety of tastes.  

Need further evidence of the taco’s cult-like following? In 2019, Netflix released the first season of Taco Chronicles, a docuseries that explores the rich histories of popular taco styles. From barbacoa to carnitas, cochinita to birria, and many others, watch this mouth-watering series on your next taco night.  

Whatever fillings you like, tacos are arguably one of the most-loved foods in the world. Whether you prefer vegetarian sweet potato and black bean, or chicken, pork or beef, CookinGenie offers fresh, authentic home-cooked Mexican-styled tacos to make every night taco night. We cook from scratch with wholesome ingredients, right in your kitchen. Whether meal prepping or organizing a small dinner party, our Genies can help create a taco bar like no other, connecting you back to hundreds of years of tradition and fusion of cultures through food.  

 

Sources 

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Who decides what we eat - CookinGenie

04 Nov 2020

A few years ago, an infographic went viral that showed how most of the world’s food brands are owned by just a handful of corporations. 

Image Source: visualcapitalist

Around the same time that this infographic started circulating, a study found that nearly 60% of the calories in the modern American diet come from processed foods.  

 How did we get here with our food 

 In the early years of our countryhome cooked meals & fresh cooked meals were the ways to eatWe plucked our own chickens, grew our own vegetables, made our own bread. We ate whole foods made from scratch. There were innovations—a company called Van Camp sold canned beans to the Union Army during the Civil War, Clarence Birdseye introduced frozen foods in the 1920s—but for the most part, we knew where your food came from or at least knew the local farmer or butcher who provided our ingredients. 

 It was post World War II that our food supply really started to change. Food manufacturers who had secured government contracts during the war saw their profits plummet. To make up for lost wartime revenue, they started introducing new food innovations designed to appeal to housewives’ demand for convenience, like Minute Maid concentrated orange juice, Duncan Hines cake mixes, and Minute Rice.1 

(Also ReadMade to Cook: The Cooking Hypothesis)

The way Americans shopped for food was changing, tooTurn-of-the-century housewives bought their food from the freestanding grocer, butcher, and dry goods stores. They’d hand their shopping list to the store clerk, and the clerk would pick all the items for them. The first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, opened in Memphis in 1916, and this new store model—where consumers roamed through the store picking out their own items from the shelf—quickly caught on. According to the National Women’s History Museumbetween 1948 and 1958, the number of supermarkets in the United States doubled to over 2,500 and for the first time, it was cheaper to buy processed food than fresh.   

 Suddenly there were lots of money to be made in packaged convenience foods and the mergers and acquisitions began. Large companies started gobbling up smaller brands, and the steady consolidation of the industry continues to grow. In the last 20 years, there have been 9,007 mergers and acquisitions in the food, beverage, and grocery space, according to The Food Institute.  

 Industry watchdog Food & Water Watch says that all this consolidation means that these companies have an outsized influence on the food choices, diets, and working conditions of people around the world — not to mention the impact they have on the environment. Reduced competition gives these corporations control of the market price that farmers get for their crops and livestock. It’s led to the decrease of family farms and the growth of factory farms, ecologically damaging farming practices, and more and more unhealthy processed foods on grocery store shelves.  

(Also ReadAvoid wasting food: save $1600 per year)

Amidst all this, what can we do to eat healthy? We love eating out and that will always remain an enjoyable experience. But the sure shot way to eat healthily is to have more home cooked meals. Meal prepping can also be an effective strategy. But if modern life gets in the way of fresh cooked meals or meal prepping, consider businesses like CookinGenie. CookinGenie can send a Genie (culinary experts ranging from classically trained chefs to specialized home cooks) to your house to make home-cooked meals for you and your family. Click here to view our menus and book your Genie today & enjoy fresh cooking from wholesome ingredients.  

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Made to Cook: The Cooking Hypothesis

22 Oct 2020

What makes us human? Some would argue that it’s the act of cooking — whether it’s boiling, broiling, roasting, baking, or barbecuing — that separates us from every other species on Earth. 

 In 1999, Harvard professor of biological anthropology Richard Wrangham published an article in the Current Anthropology journal called “The Raw and the Stolen: Cooking and the Ecology of Human Origins. Known as “the cooking hypothesis,” Wrangham’s groundbreaking new theory of human evolution proposed that taming fire to cook food changed the course of human evolution. 

 In his article and his 2009 book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, Wrangham argued that cooking allowed our human ancestors to process food more efficiently — and this change had a profound impact on evolution. While all other animals eat raw foods, Wrangham theorized that our ancestors began cooking their food some 1.8 million years ago, a change that gave early man the ability to process food more efficiently. It takes a long time, and a very large jaw and teeth, to grind down raw meat and plant matter. Before our ancestors learned how to cook, Wrangham estimated that half of their waking hours were spent simply chewing enough food to subsist, leaving little time for anything else. Cooking alters the chemical structure of food, breaking down the connective tissues in meat, and softening the cells of plants to release their starches and fats. This makes cooked food easier to chew and digest. This also helpthe body to use less energy to convert food into calories. Once the cooking was introduced, he estimated that our ancestors had an extra four hours in their day — time that could be spent huntingforaging, and slowly beginning to organizinto societiesWrangham explained, “The extra energy gave the first cooks biological advantages. They survived and reproduced better than before. Their genes spread. Their bodies responded by biologically adapting to cooked food, shaped by natural selection to take maximum advantage of the new diet. There were changes in anatomy, physiology, ecology, life history, psychology, and society.”  

This higher calorie, higher-quality diet lead to the evolution of bigger brains and bodies, and smaller jaws and teeth—a transformation that gradually resulted in modern man. From the control of fire and the growth in brain size, it’s not such a large leap to the development of dedicated hearths, the introduction of pottery and other tools for cooking, and the domestication of plants and animals.  

(Also ReadWhat eating healthy looks like)

 Wrangham’s theory is, of course, just that: a theory. Archaeological history to support control of fire 1.8 million years ago has not yet been found, but the recent discovery of ash in a South African cave suggests that our ancestors were controlling fire at least 1 million years ago — far earlier than previous evidence suggested. It may be just a matter of time before definitive evidence that proves Wrangham’s theory is found.  

 And If Wrangham’s theory is correct, we truly are what we eat.  

 If cooking is so fundamental to our evolution as people, it is a wonder that we don’t have time to make home-cooked meals with wholesome ingredients. Modern life has created many barriers to our ability to prepare home-cooked meals. What do we do if we don’t have time for home cookingBusinesses like CookinGenie can help you bring cooking where it belongs—in your own kitchen—even when you don’t have time to cook yourself. Check out our menus, and book your Genie today for building healthy eating habits in the family.  

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28 Jul 2020

CookinGenie makes enjoying fresh food simple – our Genies shop, cook, and clean, and you get to enjoy! But in the world of COVID-19, what is the risk of having someone else prepare your food, in your home?

Ensuring Your Safety

CookinGenie takes health and cleanliness seriously. In addition to following CDC and FDA guidelines, our Genies follow food safety practices, and we have several procedures in place to ensure the safety of you and our Genies through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

To begin, we look to the CDC, which states: “Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19,” and “there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads to people through food.”

The FDA provides additional guidance around food preparation safety. With COVID-19, we understand the concern related to high-touch surfaces, especially those in the kitchen. Our Genies take special care with handwashing and clean your kitchen when they are done preparing your food.

Image Source: FDA

In addition:

  • We will reschedule appointments if anyone – you or our Genies – are not feeling well
  • All our Genies wear masks at all times while in your home, regardless of local mandates
  • All our Genies are mindful of social distancing while in your home

So, what’s the risk?

Compared to other activities, CookinGenie provides a lower-risk option to enjoy fresh, quality meals in the comfort of your own home without a trip to the grocery store. To better understand the risk level, we compare the CookinGenie experience to the risk level of some common activities below, using the Texas Medical Association Risk Chart as a guide.

Image Source: Texas Medical Association
  • Getting restaurant takeout – Low Risk (2/10)
    • Getting restaurant takeout is low-risk due to little contact with others and the safety measures now in place.
    • With CookinGenie, there is also little contact between you and the Genie. In addition to the cleanliness and safety measures we practice, online pre-payment means there is no payment exchanged during the Genie’s visit.
  • Eating at a restaurant (outside) – Low-Moderate Risk (4/10)
    • Outdoor dining allows for free airflow, which lowers the concentration of the virus and keeps risk levels low, especially when more people are present.
    • Unless using an outdoor kitchen, CookinGenie is inside your home, but with only one Genie entering your home with a mask, the risk level remains low.
  • Eating in a restaurant (inside) – Moderate-High Risk (7/10)
    • Inside dining increases risk due to recirculated air, more people, and people not wearing masks.

Following our safety protocols, CookinGenie offers a lower-risk alternative to getting restaurant-quality food.

While there are few activities these days that are completely risk-free, CookinGenie is committed to doing all we can to offer delicious, fresh meals cooked right in your kitchen, in the safest way possible.

References

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/food-and-COVID-19.html

https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/best-practices-retail-food-stores-restaurants-and-food-pick-updelivery-services-during-covid-19

https://www.texmed.org/TexasMedicineDetail.aspx?Pageid=46106&id=53977

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15 Jul 2020

What is CookinGenie? CookinGenie is a service where delicious and healthy home-cooked meals come with only a couple of taps on your smartphone. The twist is that the food is cooked right in your kitchen.

It’s not catering. It’s not meal kits. It’s not food delivery. It’s not frozen 500 miles away.

It’s made fresh with ingredients from your neighborhood grocery. Enjoy it fresh for lunch or dinner, or as leftovers after. CookinGenie is ideal for you, your family & small parties of less than ten people.

How does it work? Go online to CookinGenie.com and select your dish and a time for our Genies to come to your very own house and cook JUST for you, your family & perhaps a few friends. Then all you have to do is sit back & relax.

Wait, who are our Genies you ask? They are experienced cooks who make delicious foods. Some of them have worked in restaurants before. How do we know about their cooking? Simple, we taste their foods before they cook for you.

A restaurant inside your home. The world on your taste buds (yes we have cooks from diverse backgrounds). More YOU time, while dinner is taken care of.

Check us out today. Book a time with one of our Genies – then sit back & watch us conjure up your dinner. Sounds too good to be true? Yes…. it’s magical. Visit Now: cookingenie.com

 

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28 Mar 2020

The other day, I picked up some ham from an online retailer. It was a premium 8-pound spiral-sliced ham, slow-cooked and smoked for 24 hours featuring a delicious torch-glazed brown sugar crust. Tempted? I certainly was. However, I happened to glance at the nutritional facts & noticed a detail – 41% (990 mg) sodium per serving. Is that good? Or bad? Should I care about this number? Or, just enjoy the ham?

Let us dig deeper.

The terms “Sodium” and “Salt” are sometimes used interchangeably. Salt is made of sodium and chlorine & occurs naturally in some foods, & is added in canned, processed or cooked foods. In the right amounts, in our bodies, sodium is vital. It supports our nervous system, muscles & fluid balance. Take too much though, and you start to see high blood pressure. Additionally, heart & kidney diseases are common effects of having extra sodium in the body.

But, what about my ham? Is it safe to eat? American Heart Association (AHA) suggests having around 1500 mg of Sodium per day. You may be permitted a bit more if you lose body fluids due to sporting activities. This boils down to a teaspoon of salt every day. But, on average 9 out of 10 Americans consume almost double the recommended sodium. Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that of our daily sodium intake, 65% comes from food bought in stores, 25% comes from restaurants and 10% comes from home cooked foods. Eating fresh homemade meals can go a long way in keeping us within the bounds of recommended amounts of Sodium. This is exactly what CookinGenie helps our customers with. All you do is pick your favorite foods from www.cookingenie.com & we will show up with the groceries at your kitchen & cook the food right there. 100% control over what goes in your food.

As for my ham, I did eat it – but now with the awareness that just one serving of the ham gave me almost half the daily sodium I needed for my body for the entire day.

References:

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/9-out-of-10-americans-eat-too-much-sodium-infographic

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15 Mar 2020

Most of us feel pretty confident in our ability to read labels and know what we’re putting into our bodies. But sometimes, understanding food labels can be daunting. We feel like we need PHDs in food science. Did you know, for example, that there are 61 ways in which sugar can be described on food labels? Surprised? We thought as much.

The FDA requires that ingredients be listed by weight in all packaged foods. Most of us are savvy enough to realize that the ingredients are listed from greatest to least, but there may be more than one form of sugar in the packaging. Bottomline, when you read food labels, be sure to understand everything that is listed. If you recognized all the ways in which sweeteners are put in packaged foods, you can make an informed choice about what you are buying.

In a recent article published by UCSF it was revealed that manufacturers add sugar to 74% of packaged foods. Consumers expect sugar to be added to dessert type items like cookies and cakes, but many are shocked to find out that otherwise “healthy” foods such as yogurt, breakfast bars, and juice often contain sugar. In some packaged foods, multiple sweeteners are used with different names.

So how can you be sure what you’re eating is healthy? Well the FDA is considering revising the guidelines for how food labels are created to help people better understand what they are putting in their bodies. But industry wide changes take time.

We, at CookinGenie, started our business with the core value that cooking from scratch is the healthiest way to eat. However, not all of us have the time to cook from scratch. If you fall in that bucket, consider CookinGenie. Our Genies are here to cook from scratch in your own kitchens. We choose only the freshest ingredients from your neighborhood groceries and prepare your food right in front of you in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Enough suspense on the 61 names for sugar though. Here they are:

1. Agave nectar,
2. Barbados sugar,
3. Barley malt,
4. Barley malt syrup,
5. Beet sugar,
6. Brown sugar,
7. Buttered syrup,
8. Cane juice,
9. Cane juice crystals,
10. Cane sugar,
11. Caramel,
12. Carob syrup,
13. Castor sugar,
14. Coconut palm sugar,
15. Coconut sugar,
16. Confectioner’s sugar,
17. Corn sweetener,
18. Corn syrup,
19. Corn syrup solids,
20. Date sugar,
21. Dehydrated cane juice,
22. Demerara sugar,
23. Dextrin,
24. Dextrose,
25. Evaporated cane juice,
26. Free-flowing brown sugars,
27. Fructose,
28. Fruit juice,
29. Fruit juice concentrate,
30. Glucose,
31. Glucose solids,
32. Golden sugar,
33. Golden syrup,
34. Grape sugar,
35. HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup),
36. Honey,
37. Icing sugar,
38. Invert sugar,
39. Malt syrup,
40. Maltodextrin,
41. Maltol,
42. Maltose,
43. Mannose,
44. Maple syrup,
45. Molasses,
46. Muscovado,
47. Palm sugar,
48. Panocha,
49. Powdered sugar,
50. Raw sugar,
51. Refiner’s syrup,
52. Rice syrup,
53. Saccharose,
54. Sorghum syrup,
55. Sucrose,
56. Sugar (granulated),
57. Sweet sorghum,
58. Syrup,
59. Treacle,
60. Turbinado sugar,
61. Yellow sugar

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02 Nov 2019

Turmeric Demystified..

One of the reasons we are hesitant about trying new foods is lack of familiarity with the ingredients. Today, we would like to demystify turmeric – a key ingredient of most Indian dishes & curries. Turmeric is an ingredient that is derived from the turmeric plant.

Wondering what it tastes like? Turmeric has a warm slightly bitter taste and is commonly used to add both flavor and color to curries, mustard, butters and cheeses. Because of it’s powerful yellow orange hue it is often used as dye products and cosmetics.

Outside of its popular flavor profile it also has a history of being used medicinally. In fact, turmeric is commonly used to treat conditions involving pain or inflammation. Historically it has been used in treatments for hay fever, high cholesterol, and even liver disease. Some people even take it in capsule form to treat issues like heartburn, inflammatory bowel disease, stress, and other conditions.

Turmeric carries importance in the Indian culture and goes far beyond medicine. The Hindu religion views the spice as sacred and auspicious. Turmeric is an integral part of many wedding rituals in India. In parts of southern India turmeric rhizome is often worn as a good luck charm or an amulet for protection against evil spirits.

Probably most well-known for its use in curry, this spice is having a moment in pop culture. It is sometimes referred to as Indian Saffron, at times when saffron is unavailable it can be used to obtain that signature golden color. If you’re wanting to experiment with this spice for flavor or medicinally it can be found in most grocery stores. Remember to use it sparingly although the touted benefits are impressive remember that this spice is pungent, and it takes only a small amount to flavor an entire dish.

If you’re wanting to incorporate this spice into your life but feel uncertain where to start contact us today to hire a Genie. Let us demonstrate to you how this ingredient can be a part of your diet. you on different dishes it can be added too. Fresh food, with some flavor, color & health benefits. We urge you to get to know turmeric – the reasons are endless.

References:
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-662/turmeric

What is the History of Turmeric?

https://www.vedicaorganics.com/blogs/news/25739841-using-turmeric-in-indian-cooking

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30 Oct 2019

So, you’ve been thinking of exploring your options as a home cook, but aren’t quite sure what you need to have on hand. Before you go packing your entire kitchen including the sink into the trunk of your car; let’s explore what is actually needed and expected of you to bring as a home cook. it’s best to have open communication with the clients you’ll be working with. You’ll want to discuss menu preferences, number of people you’ll be feeding, and food allergies or preferences. Of course, it all starts with food, so once you have a menu set the first thing you’ll be transporting is groceries. Having a way to transport groceries is a must. Usually this can be done with a cooler, and a few grocery bags. (Remember to follow all food safety guidelines and maintain freshness of ingredients.)

The second thing you need to be aware of is the environment you’ll be cooking in. Take a moment to discuss with your clients what tools they have in their kitchen and what appliances you’ll be needing to use. Some cook’s even have clients text photos of their kitchen appliances to make sure they are suitable for completing the tasks needed. Discuss with your clients how much space you will be needing in the refrigerator. How long you’ll be in the kitchen prepping food and how much space you will need to prep. Don’t be afraid to ask specific questions.

Once you have an idea of your menu, your groceries, and your work space, it’s time to think about tools. Most cooks bring a few personal tools along with them, such as a set of knives and a food processor. Others prefer a pressure cooker. Think carefully about the meal you’re going to prepare, and as you mentally walk through the steps make a list of every tool you might be needing. If there is a tool you need that you can’t complete the meal without it’s best to bring it.

Last but not least, be flexible. Inevitably things are going to go wrong. Ovens will cook slower or faster than expected, your clients may only own serrated knives. Their corkscrew might break before you get the wine opened. Things go wrong in every job, at every business on the planet. It’s your job to keep it from ruining the meal. Be flexible, have a backup plan, and continue to communicate openly with your clients about any challenges that come up.

CookinGenie can help you connect with clients who are in need of fresh home cooked food. Sign up to cook with us today & find out more about us.

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30 Oct 2019

Gig economy is changing the worker employee relationship. By allowing people to specialize in a specific area of their expertise, it allows many workers to do the thing they are best at. Which can drive prices down and provide an excellent income for many professionals.

But how does the Gig Economy work for an experienced cook? In the traditional path you would be trained in a culinary school. Then you would begin working your way up the ranks in a local restaurant, taking on more and more responsibility as your skill set improves. From there you would work your way up the culinary ladder by then working at larger more prestigious restaurants. Once they’ve built a skill set and a name for themselves some cooks choose to strike out on their own. From this point they can either move into event cooking, and catering or they can move toward opening their own restaurant. Both of which require the use of a commercial kitchen, and a staff. This is not a small investment and not easy to get off the ground even if you are talented in the kitchen.

Some Cooks are exploring the gig community as a way to step out of the hustle and bustle and pressure of working in a restaurant. They work gigs such as event cooking, weddings, corporate gigs, even food trucks are an extension of the gig economy. Of course, in this line of work it’s a tough survival, the competition is steep and it’s hard to accomplish a steady income.

There are more opportunities than ever for cooks who are wanting to expand their audience and built their reputation. There are apps that have been developed like DishDivvy and Appetivo. Which allow cooks to prepare meals for their own kitchen for pickups. The downside is a lack of reliable income, never knowing how many orders will or won’t come in, and working on a schedule set by customers. All of this can make it hard to make plans.

Then there are new experience-based opportunities like Feastly. That offers services like pop ups, cooking classes and dinner parties hosted by expert cooks. This would be a fun way to expand your clientele and network with other cooks, but the events are only available in a handful of cities and the competition is fierce. Again, this isn’t steady work so even if you make your way into this elite group you can’t count on it for a reliable wage.

This is where becoming a home cook really begins to shine as a perfect option. You collect a handful of clients who you get to know. You prepare the food you love to cook. You set your hours and your availability. You can enjoy the security of a regular wage without the pressure and non-stop grind of restaurant or catering life. If you’re a cook looking for a better path and searching the gig economy. Maybe it’s time to consider being a home cook yourself, you might just be pleasantly surprised at what you find. To learn more about this please go to  www.cookingenie.com

References:

https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2018/home-cooks-gig-economy-food-app-dishdivvy/

https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/02/gig-websites.html

https://experiences.cooksfeed.com/browse/?market=all-cities

 

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30 Oct 2019

A friend of mine recently ordered delivery of groceries to her home. The person delivering presented her a business card and offered his services as a home cook. Not only was he willing to purchase her groceries, but he was also willing to prepare her food. Talk about full service! We wanted to applaud this gentleman for combining his talents with a secondary service that his customer base would benefit from. Not only can he expand the services he offers, but he can also reach a wider base of people who could benefit from his services.

The gig economy is growing with no signs of slowing down. We think we’re going to see more and more of this kind of crossover opportunity. It makes sense to diversify. By offering more than one service you become more valuable to your customers, and your service becomes even more individualized and personal based on your knowledge of their preferences. It also opens the door to additional profits. It allows you to offer a secondary service to the families that you cook for already and creates an endless stream of new individuals who might be looking for a home cook but never considered one before.

Maybe you’re working as an Uber Driver or a Task Rabbit already and you have a dream of becoming a cook. But the enormous amount of training or investment to open your own business is daunting. Alternatively, starting from the ground up with an entry level job at a restaurant usually means years of hard work & inflexible hours just to gain a base level of knowledge. But becoming a home cook is a new emerging opportunity that is gaining in popularity each year. Just as people are willing to outsource their cleaning, or their grocery shopping many busy families and professionals don’t have the time or expertise to cook quality meals each day.

Many home cooks start small, by apprenticing with an experienced cook. Going with them to jobs teaches them how to speak to clients, plan menus, and execute dishes in a time efficient manner. It can also teach them how to overcome some of the common quirks that come with cooking in someone else’s kitchen. Some start by portion sharing with friends and family. Meaning just preparing a double batch of whatever you cook for your own family and selling the bonus portion to friends and family. Some start by delivering meals or offering pick up services with a set menu and build a clientele with a Facebook group.

Then there are businesses like ours. We take experienced cooks and home cooks alike and introduce them to the world of being a home cook. We can help you with advertising, building a clientele, and growing your business. We can help you build your own reputation, while earning a decent wage.. The possibilities are endless in a gig economy, but everyone has to start somewhere. If you want to cook fresh meals to help out busy folks who want to eat food made in their own kitchens, send us a note. We are here to help!

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30 Oct 2019

Gig economy is a term that has been gaining in popularity for the past few years. Also sometimes referred to as the freelance economy. It’s describing a new financial path where workers support themselves with a variety of short-term projects or jobs that do not provide traditional benefits such as healthcare or retirement. This phrase gained traction around the financial collapse in 2009 when many unemployed workers made their way by “gigging” or working as many small jobs as they could to string together an income.

By 2015 the gig economy had shifted again. With the rise of technology and the emergence of companies such as Uber & Lyft. Public opinion on this type of work changed. Now it’s drawing a larger pool of people by offering things like flexible hours. It tends to attract professionals who want location freedom and the ability to set their own schedule. Then there are people who only occasionally gig to earn a few extra dollars. This has been a lucrative avenue for those who have a regular income but don’t mind taking on an extra task to make a little extra green. This has become common for retirees who might rent out a spare room with AirBnB every now and then, or a commuter who can pick up an extra passenger using one of the many ride hailing apps.

Factors of a gig economy

A gig economy can benefit both individuals and businesses by making work more adaptable to the needs of the consumers. It allows people to both specialize in something and move between industries along with their interests. The benefits of a gig economy include cheaper and more readily available services.

Gig economies tend to thrive in urban environments and America is one of the leading countries with a growing freelancer economy. Some estimates say as much of ⅓ of the workforce is working in a gig capacity already. With the spread of high-speed internet this is allowing more and more people to work remotely with an independent contract. It’s attractive for businesses too as they can hire someone more specialized for the work they need to get done. By not having to only hire from a local pool of professionals they have many more choices of who they’d like to work with.

Challenges with the gig economy.

As many positives as there are associated with this growing trend, there are also challenges. For some workers it can be feast or famine as your next job or contract is dependent on you finding your next client or project. Of course, all industries go through cycles of growth and decline, this can be particularly difficult for those who gig. Some workers complain that there is a lack of work life balance. Then of course there is a lack of benefits, and retirement.

There is certainly a lot to consider when entering this new market. While for some professionals it can offer lucrative earnings and freedom, with others it can lead to challenges and insecurity. What do you think about cooks entering the gig economy?

References:
https://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/gig-economy.asp

https://www.ft.com/content/b5a2b122-a41b-11e5-8218-6b8ff73aae15

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30 Oct 2019

We have spoken about the idea of having someone come to your home to cook for you. How do you ensure that this is safe for you & your family? The idea of allowing someone you do not know into your home and preparing food for you and your family feels intrusive. So today we are going to discuss why those fears exist, how other industries have overcome it. As well as some practical advice for you so you can feel safe while you make good choices for your family. Overall though, if you do your homework and follow some basic safety precautions there is no reason you should feel hesitant to enjoy services like in home cooking.

So, what are the safety concerns of bringing a CookinGenie into your home? Common concerns are theft, personal safety, and food safety. Let’s explore a few other emerging industries that pushed our comfort boundaries when they first entered the scene and examine how they put our fears at ease.

Getting in a stranger’s car. Isn’t this the EXACT thing that mothers in the 80’s warned their children about? Then Uber and Lyft hit the scene and the world transformed. What makes them safe? Geolocation, background checks, driver reviews, and customer reviews. In today’s digital age this dual rating system protects the buyer and the seller by giving each a chance to rate each other. Encouraging everyone to keep things on the up and up.

Allowing Strangers in our home. Another one our mothers warned us against. It’s not a bad principle, unless your refrigerator breaks, or your washing machine, or you need cable installed, or you have a clogged pipe. When something goes wrong, we shift our fears and let a stranger in. Why? Because we trust people who are vetted by reputable firms or reviewed by our trusted circle. Online ratings help.

Staying in a stranger’s home. This is how campfire stories start. You should never ever stay in someone’s home. Especially if the owner is not there. Unless it’s and AirBnB. Suddenly the world shifted again when AirBnB started allowing property owners to rent out their residences to weary travelers. Especially for families, having a cost-effective alternative to a hotel with all the comforts of home solved a problem for traveling families. So what do they provide to make this once taboo idea feel safe and even luxurious? Boundaries. In every AirBnB booking there are house rules. Clear written boundaries for both parties to agree- encouraging open communication and enforced with a dual rating system.

So how do you decide if you want someone to come to your home & cook for you? Common questions may be – is this person insured? Is he or she background checked? Is this person rated highly? Is this person local?

Do your due diligence & you will start feeling comfortable soon. Our Genies are background checked, know about cooking & are from your locality. You feel comfortable with your favorite babysitter? This is no different.

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30 Oct 2019

Workarounds to cooking are ubiqitous. From food delivery apps to meal kits. Quietly, unobserved by mainstream food industry, private individuals are selling meals right from their own kitchens. Allowing neighbors to pick up from their homes or offering delivery or meet up options. These individuals can make a decent side hustle providing regular menus and meals for a small group of customers. Things like Facebook groups make this easy to expand and reach a wider customer base.

But how do you know the condition of the kitchens in which this food is getting cooked? Cleanliness? Safety? Commercial kitchens have to be mindful about environmental cleanliness. There, your food is prepared in a safe and sanitary environment. You can expect safe handwashing practices. Safe food handling. Attention is paid to proper food storage and safe cooking temperatures to avoid illness. Professional restaurants even have to think about food safety during delivery. Such as keeping hot and cold items packaged separately and insulated properly to maintain proper temperatures. For your average neighborhood cooks, you have to take for granted that their homes are safe places to cook in. The Board of Health is not inspecting these home kitchens. If they did a surprise inspection on one of these home chef kitchens what would they find? In each of our homes we have different levels of cleanliness that we deem acceptable. What is acceptable to you might not work for me. Let’s explore some of those grey areas. Does the home have pets? Is the owner’s precious kitty walking on the same counter your chopped salad will be prepped on? Perhaps after she’s been digging in kitty litter? Is there smoking in the home? Even if not while the cooking is being done, are those chemicals in the air? What about common kitchen pests? Are their kids in the home? Are they helping to prepare the food? That’s a lovely thought unless we consider all the things little hands touch, and the lack of thoroughness in their hand washing.

We all love the idea of eating home cooked meals. We enjoy eating freshly prepared food that is lovingly prepared. We aren’t saying that all these kitchens are biohazards. But we do encourage you to find out for yourself. The provider of such foods should not be offended by questions regarding food prep and safety. When in doubt ask the provider in question what levels of food safety are being practiced keeping your food safe before you eat it. If you’ve ever been affected by food poisoning, you’ll understand the threat skimping in any of these areas can cause.

Alternately, if you put your faith on us, we will simply use your kitchen to cook your meals. Now, that is a surest way to ensure that your food is being prepared fresh in an environment you trust.

Reference: https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/operations/food-safety-strategies-safer-delivery-takeout

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29 Oct 2019

A recent article released by NPR revealed a startling statistic. It published the results from a Survey by US Foods. That survey interviewed 500 food delivery drivers and 1500 food delivery customers. The results were disappointing to say the least. First revealing that 54% of those drivers found themselves tempted by the smell of a customer’s food. Additionally, nearly half of that 54% admitted to sampling the very food they were tasked with delivering. Not only is this a huge breach of trust, but it also raises issue of sanitization. The hands touching your food have been exchanging money with other patrons, getting in and out of their car, possibly even smoking. Those are the hands now rifling through the French fries you bought and paid for.

Even more unfortunately, this is a best-case scenario. We won’t even reference the many articles of vindictive drivers who tampered with food in retaliation of poor tips. You will not have to search hard to find plenty of stories of body parts and bodily fluids mixed together and even live streamed on Facebook before the food was delivered. Hardly appetizing you say? We agree.

Last year TheTakeout.com ran an article about a loophole in the Uber Eats Delivery Service policy. Basically, it stated that if the driver makes an attempt to contact the person who ordered the food but isn’t able to reach them, they can keep the food. According to a few posts from people claiming to be Uber drivers this was an easy way to score a free meal.

Uber is stuck between a rock and a hard place on this one. Obvious acts of fraud or theft will result in termination from the company. But in the technical age of dropped calls and dead cell phone batteries it’s not hard to imagine a real failure to connect. As much as we’d all like to believe the best about everyone, the evidence clearly points to the faults of this system.

Food safety issues will always be a problem if the food you are eating wasn’t prepared in your own kitchen. The more steps we place between where our food was cooked and when we eat it, the more chances there are for human failure, contamination or theft. For the safest dining experience, eat food that’s been prepared in your own kitchen by someone you trust. CookinGenie does exactly that. We send our Genies to cook in your own kitchen.

References:
https://www.npr.org/2019/07/30/746600105/1-in-4-food-delivery-drivers-admit-to-eating-your-food
https://thetakeout.com/ubereats-drivers-loophole-steal-eat-food-1830879242

https://www.ibtimes.com/food-delivery-driver-dipped-his-testicles-customers-salsa-2769495

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29 Oct 2019

Do It Yourself meal kits have been around since the early 2000’s and rose quickly in popularity. Globally the business size is well over $2B. So why has this service become so popular?

Most of these companies win customers with a free meal or a discount on their first order. With pre measured ingredients and easy to follow instructions they offer a solution to busy people who wanted to prepare fresh meals for. Some companies even offer specific menu’s catering to special diets such as Paleo, Vegetarian or Keto. As a concept it seems like a great solution to a common problem.

But all good things come with a downside. They offer fixed menus in rotation and limited options for variety. The portions don’t generally allow for left overs and the packaging creates a bulky excess amount of trash or recycling to deal with. Not to mention the work of actually preparing the food. Although they advertise saving time, by allowing you to skip a trip to the grocery store. They usually don’t provide more than a few meals a week, so you still end up at the store to buy staples. You also still have all the work of chopping, cooking and cleaning up after the meal. A task that is less time consuming for singles then for families.

Although this industry quickly blossomed, the bloom might be fading from the rose a bit. Blue Apron is the largest and most widely used meal kit delivery service (Followed by Hello Fresh and Plated.) Although they seem to be able to easily lure in customers with free meals and trial packs, they have trouble maintaining a customer base long term. In fact Blue Apron’s stock has dropped precipitously since its IPO in 2017. Per meal costs or around $10 without leftovers is an issue.

In conclusion these services fill a need for some consumers. Or are at the very least a good short-term solution for people who need a few quick easy meals in a busy season. But in the long-term families are still looking for something better. Something that actually saves time, produces less waste, and offers variety, and healthy food prepared from fresh ingredients. All at an affordable cost.

Allowing our Genies to cook you a fresh healthy meal in your own kitchen may go towards solving the problem that some of the DIY meal kit companies could not solve.

Refernces:

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-meal-kit-delivery-service-market-worth-usd-8-94-billion-by-2025-hexa-research-300811555.html

https://slate.com/business/2017/06/blue-apron-customer-retention-low.html

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29 Oct 2019

Food waste is a growing problem in America. According to a recent study, the average American family of four discards nearly $1600 in discarded produce alone annually. That’s right this post is ode to all those banana’s who never became banana bread. That number is not including dairy, meat or grain waste which are also high on the list. What would it mean for your family to have $133 more in your bank account every month? Factor in dairy, meat, and grain waste and that number climbs much higher.

The waste is also an environmental problem. It contributes to the releasing of dangerous gases as it decomposes in landfills. It’s estimated that one third of all food grown is lost or wasted. In fact, some food is left to rot in fields, shipped to feed livestock, or sadly shipped directly to landfills because it’s not cosmetically pleasing to average Americans. That’s right, we only buy pretty tomatoes. If a fruit or vegetable looks strange, grows oddly or has a blemish, consumers won’t purchase it – even when it’s perfectly fine to eat.

Additionally, families are purchasing food with every intent to use it, but life gets in the way. We’ve all done it. Making dinner was too much work so we grabbed dinner on the way home. Fast forward to the weekend and you’re dumping soggy lettuce out of your crisper drawer before you head to the grocery store to stock up for a new week.

There are lots of creative solutions out there. Some families have taken to composting, or meal prepping to try to cut down on food waste. There is one more solution on the table that more and more families are considering. That is hiring a CookinGenie – someone who shops & cooks your favorite foods – right in your own kitchen.

So how does that address the issue of food waste? Our Genies approach food purchasing, prep, and waste differently. They can use leftovers to cook for the next family on their schedule.

Many times, food waste is a result of not knowing how to create a meal around unused portions. Half an onion and some chicken bones? A family would dispose of that. An experienced cook would make chicken stock for a later meal. Hire our genies allow him or her to shop for highly consumable food items in bulk, he or she will only serve you the food you and your family will want to eat. This is the best use of all the food purchased, effectively reducing food waste immensely. Not to mention cost effective, even with the cost of hiring a person you will most likely end up saving money instead of throwing it away in the form of food that has gone bad and eating meals out. Remember if you are spending less than $1600 a year on this service, you’ll be saving money. Just something to chew on. We look forward to cooking for you & your family once our lives return to normal from the current COVID-19 crisis.

References:
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/americans-waste-nearly-a-pound-of-food-each-per-day-study-finds/

Households Lose Up to $1,600 a Year in Food Waste, U of G Study Reveals

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28 Oct 2019

In our previous posts, we talked about how challenging it is to manage all our daily priorities (life, work, kids….) & still cook healthy meals from scratch.

Healthy eating can be a controversial topic. There are so many options today between organic, vegan, paleo and keto, all claiming to be healthy and offering a totally different perspective on health. It’s easy to get overwhelmed looking for guidelines. Most of us can agree that heavily processed foods, starch, carbs, and lots of fried options, is a far cry from a healthy diet. Let’s break it down and look at what the experts say.

What did Mom and Dad say?

Things like “clean your plate” and “Eat your veggies”. It’s true that eating healthy sustaining foods helps to balance your blood sugar; and therefore, helps to stabilize your mood. But portion sizes in America have gone off the deep end. No one needs to clean their plate if their plate is a platter. In general, most experts agree that a serving size is roughly equivalent to the palm of your hand. Now as for the veggies, that’s a message we can all agree on. No one is going to argue you’ll gain weight or decline in health by piling on the greens. Way to go Mom and Dad.

What does the Government say?

Well that depends on when you ask. In the 40’s there were 7 food groups recommended. In the 70’s they reduced it to 4. Then turned it into a pyramid in the 90’s and now we have the “my plate” icon. The new icon suggests that we should eat a balance of fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and milk. The government guidelines have changed over the years as science has evolved and our understanding of nutrition has changed. Of course, they are also influenced by industry and culture trends. But balance has always been the resounding message, eat a variety of foods, and eat in moderation.

What does your Doctor say?

This might be a great source for a more personalized direction. As he or she can assess your personal medical history and challenges. They can consider your blood work, your family’s history of heart disease or diabetes, any food allergies you may have or possible interactions with medications you may be on. But overall the general recommendation from the medical field is fewer processed foods, more fruits, whole grains (whole wheat) veggies, and proteins, keeping sugar, starch (e.g. flour, potato) and fat in moderation.

So what DOES healthy eating really look like?

We’ve looked at a variety of “experts” and we’ve received a bunch of different answers. How can we move forward? It’s not as overwhelming as it might seem. The best advice is to look for the common threads. Although the focus and motivations of these people are different, there are a few things they are saying that are the same. Eat a variety of nutrient rich foods. Avoid excess sugar and overly processed ingredients. Of course the best way to know what’s on your plate, is to prepare your own food from scratch. Nutrient rich meals are made with simple ingredients and if you are what you eat, what’s on your plate matters. The next best way is to get someone to prepare it for you under your direction. This is where CookinGenie can come to your home & create home cooked meals for you to enjoy. We shop, we cook & we clean. Try us out.

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26 Oct 2019

So many people fight the traffic and come home from work tired and hungry. You want to feed your family well but the idea of chopping and prepping a real meal for your family is daunting. Add hungry kids to the formula and it’s a bigger challenge. Decision time. Few, if any, good options.

Restaurants on a weeknight? Pack the family in the minivan, wait for your table with hungry tired kids. Then you’re presented with a menu & it’s hard to stick to healthy options. You leave after eating foods you’d be better off avoiding, and likely paid more than you planned on spending. The evening is done & that homework still needs done. Or else, a green slip is headed your way from the teacher.

You could opt for home delivery like pizza, which is always a crowd pleaser. But you can’t feed your family pizza 4 times a week. Now there are options like Uber Eats, Doordash or GrubHub to help. Those help fill a gap on a busy night but it’s far from a long term solution. You’re going to blow your budget on delivery fees and once again your feeding your family less than healthy options.

Prepared meals are the go-to for a lot of busy folks. Many grocery stores offer meal kits or premade options. Although they are slightly healthier than pizza, you’re likely to get burnt out quickly on the limited menu options week after week. Most stores offer 3-5 options for this, and even if they are healthy and budget friendly and easy to cook, you’re going to find yourself dying for a little variety on your plate.

Of course, there are meal kit delivery choices. This eliminates some work, with less grocery shopping and expanded menu choices. But they tend to be light on the leftovers and they don’t really free up your time. The menu might be decided, but you’re still the one chopping and cooking after a long day of work. Not to mention the pile of dishes waiting for you after dinner. They also don’t eliminate grocery shopping all together. You’re still going to be heading to the store every few days for staples like milk and fruit. And those subscriptions don’t manage themselves make sure to set an alarm on your phone to set your menu every week, and don’t forget about when the auto withdraw comes out of your bank account.

Cooked & frozen meal delivery services are an option. But even though you might be ordering your food based on beautifully plated pictures on a website, what you receive is going to look more like something from a cafeteria. Of course, it’s still chef prepared and that alone might be a big step up if you aren’t yourself a culinary master. Just don’t forget to budget for delivery fees here too. And the meals are shipped from afar in bulky boxes. Who knows when they were cooked?

Grocery delivery services like insta cart are good way to keep your fridge stocked with all the healthy options you want to have on hand. But they can’t give you the motivation to cook at the end of a long day.

Give our Genies a try. Schedule an in home cooking session with them. They will shop, cook & clean up after themselves. You are left to enjoy fresh home cooked meals – except you don’t have to do the cooking.

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26 Oct 2019

Lentils are one of the staple ingredients of Indian (& middle eastern) cuisine and with good reason.

Lentils, often referred to as Dal are really any type of split pulses (or legumes) A pulse refers to the dry edible seeds of the pod. (such as lentils, beans or peas) They are typically offered in a few ways, whole, split, some with skin some without.

The benefits of these are endless. Not only are they tasty but they add a nutrient dense component to any meal. To take a quick look at their nutritional profile they are high in protein and low in fat, high in fiber, as well as complex carbohydrates, and they are generally gluten-free (depending on farming techniques). Not to mention they are high in vitamins and minerals and they are even considered heart healthy. It’s such a powerful component to add to a meal.

Furthermore, lentils contain phytochemicals. Many of which protect against chronic diseases such as Heart Disease or Type 2 Diabetes. They also contain Polyphenols which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Studies have shown a link between eating lentils and lowered blood sugar.

They are also extremely popular if you are a vegan or vegetarian. Lentils pack an impressive number of vitamins and minerals. Also, when paired with rice, they are considered a complete protein. Meaning it can be a guilt free staple to your diet. Traditionally this is a dish that is often served to babies when they first start eating solid foods because it is soft, easily digested and nutrient dense.

Red Lentils are probably one of the most common types in Indian Cuisine and can easily be found in most grocery stores. They can be sprouted and used in curries and soups and rice dishes. They are popular because of their versatility. Probably equally important to Indian cuisine are yellow lentils. They are an incredible source of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Often used in curry, sautéed with onions and garlic. These heart healthy foods can add extra nutrients to so many dishes.

Are you wondering where this superfood has been all your life? Believe it or not it’s probably sitting on the shelf of your local grocery store right now. You may feel intimidated about soaking, sprouting, and slow cooking these. Or maybe you are hung up on all the many varieties and benefits without being sure of which flavors will pair best. Our Genies can be an answer. Let us demonstrate how to incorporate this new ingredient into your diet. Ask all the questions you want and learn by watching us cook this fresh right in your kitchen. You might have just discovered a new favorite food, and your health will benefit too! You can’t go wrong. Call us today!

References:

Indian Pulses – A quick guide to lentils, beans and peas

Basics of Indian Cooking: Dal (Beans and Lentils)

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lentils

 

 

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16 Sep 2019

You already have a lot on your plate – juggling kids sports, school events, professional schedules, groceries, shopping, and kids’ homework.Exhausting? We think so. Add an early morning or a late evening meeting (OK, make that a corporate firefight) at work & all of a sudden, putting breakfast or dinner on the family table can become a daunting challenge. Both your work and family require your attention and time. It can be very hard to make great choices towards eating fresh & healthy. Busy parents can hardly take out time to cook fresh and healthy food. To make matters worse, with all your kids’ activities, you might not have any free time over the weekend as well – travel soccer, or baseball leagues? A trip to the pool? A birthday party? Play dates? You navigate those successfully. You remember to grab the birthday present sitting on your kitchen countertop. You find the right soccer jerseys (unlike me). And then, its dinner time & cooking is the last thing on your mind. No wonder, you struggle with finding fresh, healthy food.

According to a recent report from the National Center for Health Statistics, one in three American children eats unhealthy food daily. This reason is why many American children suffer from diseases associated with malnutrition and obesity. Unhealthy eating or fast food has become a new diet trend. Moreover, wrong food choices bring with them additives, dyes, saturated fats, and preservatives. Those bring more health issues in the long term.

So, how can you overcome this hurdle? Surely, you don’t have the time to

  • grab fresh ingredients from groceries
  • prepare the ingredients, marination etc
  • cook & clean up

And all you have to do is enjoy your food freshly cooked in your kitchen. What if there was someone who could do all that for you? I must be dreaming you say? But what if……….

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