A teaspoon a day

28 Mar 2020

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A teaspoon a day

The other day, I picked up some ham from an online retailer. It was a premium 8-pound spiral-sliced ham, slow-cooked and smoked for 24 hours featuring a delicious torch-glazed brown sugar crust. Tempted? I certainly was. However, I happened to glance at the nutritional facts & noticed a detail – 41% (990 mg) sodium per serving. Is that good? Or bad? Should I care about this number? Or, just enjoy the ham?

Let us dig deeper.

The terms “Sodium” and “Salt” are sometimes used interchangeably. Salt is made of sodium and chlorine & occurs naturally in some foods, & is added in canned, processed or cooked foods. In the right amounts, in our bodies, sodium is vital. It supports our nervous system, muscles & fluid balance. Take too much though, and you start to see high blood pressure. Additionally, heart & kidney diseases are common effects of having extra sodium in the body.

But, what about my ham? Is it safe to eat? American Heart Association (AHA) suggests having around 1500 mg of Sodium per day. You may be permitted a bit more if you lose body fluids due to sporting activities. This boils down to a teaspoon of salt every day. But, on average 9 out of 10 Americans consume almost double the recommended sodium. Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that of our daily sodium intake, 65% comes from food bought in stores, 25% comes from restaurants and 10% comes from home cooked foods. Eating fresh homemade meals can go a long way in keeping us within the bounds of recommended amounts of Sodium. This is exactly what CookinGenie helps our customers with. All you do is pick your favorite foods from www.cookingenie.com & we will show up with the groceries at your kitchen & cook the food right there. 100% control over what goes in your food.

As for my ham, I did eat it – but now with the awareness that just one serving of the ham gave me almost half the daily sodium I needed for my body for the entire day.

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/potassium_and_sodium_out_of_balance

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/9-out-of-10-americans-eat-too-much-sodium-infographic


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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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Guests with Food - CookinGenie

28 Sep 2021

Cooking for someone with a severe food allergy can be intimidating. And with food allergies on the rise, it’s becoming more common than ever. You want people to enjoy your food. But you would never want to be responsible for giving someone a severe allergic reaction.

Thankfully, with the right knowledge and planning, cooking for guests with severe food allergies doesn’t have to be daunting. It will take some extra steps, but it’s always better safe than sorry. Here are some things to remember before cooking for guests with food allergies.

Know your allergens and their severity

People can have food allergies to just about anything. But food allergies, which are not the same as food sensitivities and intolerances, are not all created equal. Some people have allergies with mild symptoms like hives and a stomachache. Others may have allergies that could cause life-threatening anaphylactic shock, which may include dangerous symptoms like a swelling throat, fainting, wheezing, and trouble breathing.

While all allergies have the potential to be severe, certain ingredients are far more likely to cause extreme reactions. The 8 most common severe allergens are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat.

It’s important to understand the complexities of these allergies. Someone who’s allergic to milk can’t eat other milk-derived products such as cheese, yogurt, or ice cream. And while some of these allergies sound very similar, they can be different. For example, someone may be allergic to almonds, but not peanuts. Or they may be allergic to shrimp and scallops, but salmon is fine. Whatever the case may be, make sure you talk to your guests and understand exactly what it is they’re allergic to.

Avoid allergens entirely in the meal

Some people tend to think that if a guest has an allergy, they can just leave out that ingredient for that guest and it’ll be fine. While this may be true for some, in cases of severe allergies, the allergic person may not even need to directly consume the allergen to have a dangerous reaction. For example, an invisible trace of peanuts that can be spread through the air onto a dish may be enough to trigger an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts. So, if possible, it’s best to leave the allergen out of the entire meal, even for those who aren’t allergic to it.

Check labels

Reading labels can be a pain, but it’s an important safeguard against allergic reactions. Sometimes ingredients can have unexpected allergens. For example, Worcester sauce, which is a popular condiment for steak and burgers, often contains anchovy paste, making it unsuitable for people with seafood allergies. But, by the name, look, and flavor it, you would never know, making reading the labels all the more important. By law, common allergens are bolded on the bottom of the label, making it easier to identify them.

Additionally, because just a trace amount of an allergen can cause a reaction, you need to watch out for any possible exposure. Some foods, like prepackaged cookies, may not actively contain nuts but may be processed in the same facility as almonds. In this case, those cookies would not be safe to serve to someone with a severe nut allergy.

Clean and sanitize the kitchen

Before beginning to cook for someone with a severe food allergy, be sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize the kitchen, including surfaces and utensils you will use. There’s no telling if there may be trace amounts of the allergen floating around the kitchen. So, to be safe, give everything a good cleaning beforehand.

Be prepared for the worst-case scenario

If you take all the proper steps to protect against food allergies, you should have nothing to worry about. But just in case, you should be prepared to handle a severe allergic reaction. Make sure any guests with food allergies are carrying their EpiPen on them. Also ensure that someone in your party knows how to properly inject an EpiPen as the person having the reaction may not be capable of injecting it themselves.

The EpiPen will help immediately ease the symptoms of the reaction. While one person is injecting the victim with the EpiPen, someone else should call 911 to get the victim professional medical aid. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, try to keep the victim calm while lying on their back.

Anaphylactic reactions are scary, but if handled properly, everything should turn out fine. Less than 1% of anaphylactic reactions from food are fatal, according to the national institute of health.

CookinGenie takes allergies seriously

At CookinGenie, the chefs know that protecting customers from allergies is of the utmost importance and they’re experienced in cooking for people with serious allergies. Genies can modify orders to fit around allergies and the support team will work with every customer to craft the best meal.

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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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