How to organize a team dinner at home to celebrate a work anniversary?

team dinner at home to celebrate a work anniversary - cookinGenie

01 Nov 2021

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How to organize a team dinner at home to celebrate a work anniversary?

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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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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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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A Guide to Best Wine Festivals and Events in Ohio

25 Nov 2022

Ohio is home to many great wineries, and wine events are the perfect way to sample some of the world’s best wines. From small, local festivals to large-scale events, there is something for everyone in the Buckeye State. Wine festivals provide an opportunity to meet the winemakers and learn about their processes.  

There is also a wide variety of food available at these events, allowing you to pair your favorite wines with some delicious dishes. And because they are typically outdoor events, you can enjoy the beautiful Ohio scenery while you sip your way through the offerings. Best of all, many wine festivals also feature live music and other entertainment, making them the perfect way to spend a fun-filled day with family and friends.   

So next time you look for a new and exciting way to explore Ohio’s wine country, check out a wine festival near you. You are sure to have a ‘Grape’ time!     

 

Also Read: A Guide to Visiting Ohio Wineries and Vineyards

 

Most popular wine festivals in Ohio  

Every year, Ohio holds some of the best wine festivals in the country, offering unparalleled grape tastings, gourmet food pairings, and educational seminars. With close to 500 wineries around the state, there is a festival for everyone’s palate.  

Here are some yearly wine festivals in Ohio, along with their venues. Be sure not to miss them!  

  1. The Ice Wine Festival, Debonne Vineyards. 
  2. The Vintners in Northwest Ohio (V.I.N.O.) Wine Festival, Wood County Fair Grounds. 
  3. The Vintage Ohio South Wine Festival, Clark County Fairgrounds. 
  4. The Vintage Ohio Wine Festival, Lake Metroparks Farmpark. 
  5. The Columbiana Wine Festival, TownCenter at Firestone Farms. 
  6. The Wine & Walleye Festival, Ashtabula Harbor. 
  7. The Columbus Summer Wine Festival, The Kelley Green. 
  8. The Toast of Ohio Wine Festival, Jackson Street Pier. 
  9. The Dandelion May Fest, Breitenbach Wine Cellars. 
  10. The Kent Art & Wine Festival, Main Street Kent, Kent. 
  11. The Valley Vineyards Wine & Beer Festival, Valley Vineyards, Morrow. 
  12. The Cleveland International Wine Festival, Cleveland. 
  13. The Annual Summer Solstice Festival, Sarah’s Vineyard Winery, Cuyahoga Falls. 
  14. The Wine & Walleye Festival, Historic Ashtabula Harbor, Ashtabula. 
  15. The Geneva Area Grape Jamboree, Geneva. 

At each event, you can sample some of the nation’s finest wines, admire breathtaking scenery, and get valuable information from experts on wine-making techniques. The overall experience will be memorable as you learn more about some of your favorite wines while enjoying delicious food and live entertainment. Whether it is a day trip or an overnight adventure you are looking for — make sure to attend one of these fabulous wine festivals! 

Additionally, if you wish to know about more fun wine events in Ohio, here’s a table with a list of upcoming wine tastings and festivals. Whether you are looking to sample some classic vintages or hunt down rare selections, we have something for the oenophile in you.   

Source: https://www.ohiowines.org/events 

Make the most of your experience  

Wine festivals are a fantastic way to explore new wines and meet other people who share your interest in wine. However, knowing how to make the most of your experience can be tough with so many wine festivals. Here are some tips that can help you make the most of your wine festival experience:  

  1. Do your research: With so many different wine festivals, it is essential to research before selecting one. Look for events that feature the types of wines you are interested in exploring.  
  2. Make a budget: Wine festivals can be expensive, so it is best to set a budget before you go. Decide how much you will spend on wine tastings and souvenirs, and stick to it.  
  3. Dress properly: Wearing suitable clothing can make a significant difference at a wine festival. Choose comfortable shoes and clothes that will not show spills, and remember a hat or sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.  
  4. Arrive early: Many wine festivals offer V.I.P. experiences or early access tickets that allow you to avoid the crowds and get the best possible tasting experience. If possible, arrive early to take advantage of these opportunities.  
  5. Pace yourself: It is easy to get carried away when tasting wine at a festival, but it is essential to pace yourself so you do not get drunk. Stick to one-ounce pours and take breaks between tastings by grabbing food or water.  
  6. Spit it out: Many people feel they must finish every drop of wine in their glass but spitting out excess wine is perfectly acceptable (and encouraged!) at a wine festival. Not only will it help keep you from getting drunk, but it will also prevent your palate from becoming overwhelmed.  
  7. Talk to the experts: Wine festivals are an excellent opportunity to meet winemakers and other experts in the field. Strike up a conversation and ask them for recommendations on what to taste (and what to avoid).  
  8. Take notes: With so many different wines to taste, it can be hard to remember what you liked (and did not like). Be sure to take notes on each wine so you can reference them later when stocking your home cellar or buying gifts for friends.  
  9. Do not wear strong cologne: Attending a wine-tasting event requires being mindful of your choice of fragrance. Wearing strong colognes or perfumes can interfere with the smell of the wines, making them seem unpleasantly perfumed. A whiff of fresh spring flowers is all you need. It will also make it much easier to focus on picking up subtle notes and nuances of flavor as you explore different wines throughout the day.  
  10. Have fun: At the end of the day, remember that wine festivals are for enjoyment! Do not worry about trying to taste everything or getting every detail perfect – relax and enjoy exploring the festival.  

Concluding thoughts  

Ohio may not be the first state that comes to mind when you think of wine, but the state’s wine scene is thriving. And what better way to explore it than attending one of the many wine festivals held throughout the year? From intimate gatherings featuring local wines to large-scale events with hundreds of wines to sample, there is something for everyone. These festivals offer a wonderful opportunity to meet the winemakers and learn about their craft. So, check out an Ohio wine festival near you whether you are a wine lover or just looking to expand your horizons. Cheers! 

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