Eating healthy & fresh – challenges for a family

16 Sep 2019

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Eating healthy & fresh – challenges for a family

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……….


Related Post

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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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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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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