Holding Events During the Pandemic: Why a Personal Chef is a Safer Way to Celebrate

Personal Chef -a Safer Way for dinner party - cookinGenie

25 Aug 2021

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Holding Events During the Pandemic: Why a Personal Chef is a Safer Way to Celebrate

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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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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How Can Hiring a Personal Chef Help Seniors

22 Aug 2022

Nowadays, many seniors find their lives more satisfying than ever, and their self-esteem is stronger than when they were young. This attitude has allowed them to look after their health with meal planning which often involves self-cooking.     

However, for some old adults, finding the time to cook meals can be difficult. Cooking is a bigger hassle for seniors, who may not be able to go to the grocery store or may not have the energy to cook all the time. For many seniors, a personal chef service can be a convenient alternative to eating out or hiring a full-time cook.  

Older People Turned More Tech Savvy During Covid-19 Pandemic  

As the Covid-19 pandemic triggered widespread digitalization across various sectors and age categories, many seniors have become tech savvy enough to get basic conveniences like home healthcare, home-cooked meals, cleaning, plumbing, and other essential services.   

Home-cooked meals have been the most requested service among these various online services by seniors during the pandemic. This rise in demand for home-cooked meals accelerated an already booming market for personal chefs. Even though everything is back to normal, and restaurants are operational, many seniors have continued to prefer personal chef services for their convenience in terms of saving time and effort.   

A personal chef comes home to cook meals that meet the specific culinary needs of the senior. Also, a personal chef helps plan meals and shop for groceries. As a result, seniors can enjoy freshly prepared, personalized meals without spending hours in the kitchen. And because personal chef services work around the special needs of the client, meeting the dietary requirements is also not a worry.   

What are personal chef services, and how do they help seniors at home?   

 Personal chef services are a unique and convenient solution for seniors who want to enjoy fresh home-cooked meals without the need to plan and prepare meals. Instead of spending hours in the kitchen, hiring a personal chef takes a few taps on a mobile device. Some trained chefs can also provide personalized counseling and work with seniors to create menus that fit their dietary needs and preferences. In addition, personal chef services can be an excellent way for seniors to socialize by hosting a dinner party and enjoying the company of others, thus, improving their quality of life.    

What are the benefits of having a personal chef service?   

Hiring a personal chef has many benefits. One of the top benefits is that it saves time. Personal chefs do all the work – plan meals, shop for groceries, cook, and clean up afterward. In addition, because personal chefs cook custom menus, meeting dietary needs is easy. For example, a personal chef follows dietary plans and prepares meals customized to client’s specific preferences.  

Personal chefs can help old adults save money on groceries.  

The average American spends about $400 per month on groceries. This amount can be a significant expense for seniors living on a fixed income. One way to reduce grocery bills is to hire a personal chef. Personal chefs prepare meals in advance, using fresh ingredients that are locally sourced, saving money and allowing seniors access to better food options.   

In addition, personal chefs can customize their menus to accommodate any dietary restrictions or preferences with minimal or no wasted groceries. As a result, seniors save money on groceries while still eating desired meals customized to their preferences.   

An ideal alternative to processed foods 

For many older adults, cooking can be tricky. Arthritis, vision problems, and other age-related issues can make it hard to prepare meals. As a result, many seniors rely on processed foods or ready-made meals, which can be high in salt, fat, and sugar.   

Processed foods are full of unhealthy additives and chemicals that can be hard for a senior to process, especially as they age. A personal chef can help them avoid these unhealthy foods and enjoy fresh, delicious meals tailored to their taste. In addition, personal chefs can provide companionship and help old adults celebrate special occasions with personalized meals. While the cost of a personal chef may be higher than grocery store food, the benefits are well worth it for seniors who want to enjoy restaurant-style, delicious, and convenient meals in their homes. 

Personal chefs can provide peace of mind for caregivers.  

Caring for an elderly parent or grandparent can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. In addition to managing their busy lives, caregivers often must contend with medical appointments, medications, and the challenges of aging. Looking after all these things in addition to meal preparation can be especially difficult if the caregiver lives far from their loved one.    

In such situations, personal chefs can provide invaluable assistance for caregivers, giving them peace of mind by taking on the task of meal planning and preparation. With the help of a personal chef, caregivers can focus on spending quality time with their dear ones without worrying about food requirements. In addition, personal chefs can provide custom-made meals that fit any dietary restrictions or cuisine preferences.    

How does a personal chef service work?   

A personal chef service typically works like this: the chef first asks about any special dietary needs and preferences. The chef then creates a menu based on given specifications. Once the menu is final, the chef does all the grocery shopping and cooking. The service can be a daily service, or the food can be cooked for a whole week and stored in the fridge for later.    

How to choose a personal chef service?   

A personal chef service must meet budgetary, dietary, and culinary preferences. There are many personal chef services in the market, so word of mouth, online reviews, and personal interviews are some ways to measure a particular service’s quality.  

Hire a Personal Chef Today!   

Hiring a personal chef is an excellent option to ensure elderly loved ones get the nourishment they need. Seniors can work with a personal chef to create a  customized meal plan that meets all dietary needs and, best of all, can get meals prepared right at home.  

One reliable service that can help seniors with customized meal plans is CookinGenie. This Ohio-based chef-for-hire service makes hiring a personal chef easy. Custom menus, more than 20 cuisines, and thoroughly vetted chefs make CookinGenie’s service convenient and safe.  

So, why wait? Visit cookingenie.com and book a chef from CookinGenie in a few clicks. Our chef will cook and serve freshly cooked meals right in the home.   

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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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