Eating healthy & fresh – options & workarounds

26 Oct 2019

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Eating healthy & fresh – options & workarounds

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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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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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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