How to organize a birthday party at home?

birthday party at home - CookinGenie

25 Oct 2021

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How to organize a birthday party at home?

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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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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Back to School Meal Planning Tips

06 Oct 2022

As the summer winds down and school starts again, it can be tough to get back into the swing of things. One way to make the transition a little easier is to plan meals ahead of time. By taking some time to plan out your meals for the week, you can save yourself a lot of stress and hassle later on. To help you get started, here are some back-to-school meal-planning tips:  

1- Make breakfast a priority

School mornings can be hectic, especially if you’re trying to get everyone out the door on time. That’s why it’s important to make breakfast a priority. A healthy breakfast helps to fuel your body and your brain, giving you the energy you need to get through the day. And when it comes to back-to-school meal planning, there are numerous easy and healthy breakfast options that you can prepare ahead of time. Overnight oats, yogurt parfaits, and protein-packed smoothies are all great choices you can make the night before. So make breakfast a priority this school year, and start your day off right with a nutritious meal.  

2- Ask your kids how they eat at school

Knowing what to pack for your kid’s lunch daily can be challenging. Will they eat what you pack? And will it be enough to keep them going until dinner time? An excellent way to get some insight into your child’s school lunch habits is to ask them how they eat at school. Find out what foods they like and don’t like and how much they typically eat. This information can help you make better choices when packing their lunch and ensure they get the nutrition they need. Plus, it shows your kids that you’re interested in their eating habits and wants to ensure they’re happy with their lunchtime experience.  

3- Have an after-school snack ready

It’s no secret that kids are always on the go. Between school, homework, extracurricular activities, and socializing with friends, they rarely have time to sit for a proper meal. As a result, most kids rely on unhealthy snacks to tide them over until dinner. If you’re concerned about your child’s diet, you may wonder what you can do to encourage his healthy eating habits. One way to promote healthy snacking is to have a nutritious after-school snack ready for your kid when they get home from school. This snack will give them the energy they need to finish their homework and still have time for fun. Some good options for after-school snacks include fruit, yogurt, whole-wheat crackers, and veggie sticks. You can help your child make better food choices and develop lifelong healthy eating habits by providing a healthy snack.  

4- Make lists, organize items, and have a plan

If you’re like most parents, meal planning is probably not at the top of your list of favorite things to do. While it can be challenging to come up with new and healthy ideas that your kids will eat, getting them to sit down and eat a meal you’ve prepared can be even more challenging. However, simple tips can make meal planning more accessible and successful.  

First, list all the meals you want to make for the week. Try to include a mix of familiar favorites and new dishes.  

Then, organize the items on your list by day and by meal. This planning will help you make sure you have everything you need when it’s time to cook.  

Finally, plan what you’ll do if your kids don’t like what’s on the menu. If they refuse to eat, try offering a simple alternative like peanut butter and jelly or grilled cheese. With some planning, you can take the stress out of mealtimes and provide your kids with healthy, delicious food they’ll enjoy eating.  

Also Read: Eating healthy & fresh – challenges for a family

5- Prep meals and chop veggies in advance

One of the best ways to ensure that your kids are eating nutritious meals is to meal plan ahead of time. Prepping meals and chopping veggies on the days you are least busy can save a lot of time and hassle during the week. Meal planning doesn’t have to be complicated – choose a few healthy recipes your family enjoys and make a grocery list accordingly. Then, the day or two before you cook, take some time to chop vegetables and prepare any other ingredients you’ll need. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your family always has access to healthy, homemade meals.  

6- Pack lunch at night

If you’re like most parents, packing your kids’ lunches is an everyday battle. With your busy schedules and your kids being picky eaters, it can be tough to come up with healthy, balanced meals that they will enjoy. However, a simple solution can help: pack your kids’ lunches at night. Meal planning becomes much easier when you have the time to sit down and think about what you’ll pack ahead of time. You can also take advantage of leftovers and ensure that each lunch has a variety of food groups. And if you’re short on time, plenty of healthy, prepackaged options will make your life a lot easier. So the next time you feel stressed about packing lunch, try doing it at night and see how much simpler it becomes. 

Hire a personal chef for meal planning  

Many parents struggle to strike the right balance when it comes to meal planning. You want your kids to eat healthy food that will nourish their growing bodies, but you may also not want to spend hours in the kitchen every night. One solution that more and more parents are considering is hiring a personal chef. A personal chef can help you create a healthy, balanced meal plan that fits your family’s needs and schedule. They can do all the grocery shopping and cooking, so you don’t have to lift a finger. And best of all, they can provide your kids with delicious meals they’ll enjoy eating. Hiring a personal chef is definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a hassle-free way to improve your family’s meal planning. 

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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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