Affordable, high-quality meals

11 Apr 2022

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Affordable, high-quality meals

Our meals are reasonably priced, but that doesn’t mean we sacrifice on quality. Our chefs are incredibly skilled and will have your taste buds thanking you after the meal!


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Chicken Tacos

25 Nov 2020

When thinking about famous foods from around the world, some key dishes come to mind. We’re willing to bet Mexican cuisine ranks high on many people’s lists, with tacos at the top. But, have you ever stopped to wonder how the tasty taco came to be?  

It turns out, the history of the taco is as colorful and varied as the taco fillings themselves.  

Tacos as we know them today were believed to have started in the 1800s as the humble lunch of Mexican silver miners. The word “taco” translates to “plug” or “wad” – reflecting the small sticks of dynamite used in the mines.  

There is evidence, however, that the taco’s origins began much earlier.  

It is believed that the Aztecs invented tortillas using masa cooked on hot stones. The Aztec emperor, Montezuma, used the tortillas like a spoon to scoop or hold food such as cochineal, beans, and chiles. The word “taco” stems from the Nahuatl word “tlahco,” meaning “half” or “in the middle” in reference to how it is formed. 

(Also ReadMade to Cook: The Cooking Hypothesis)

Early taco fillings were simple and reflected what was available, such as fishcooked organs, small insects, ants, locusts, and snails. It wasn’t until the 1500s, when Spanish soldiers arrived in Mexico with pigs from Cuba, that pork was introduced as a filling and served at large banquets (the first “taco parties” as documented in 1520 by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, a Spanish soldier sailing with Hernan Cortes). From here, the taco spread across the “New World” as a staple food 

Whether crediting the Aztecs or silver miners, the taco is a dish woven through the fabric of Mexican cuisine. 

Into America & Beyond 

Portable and easy to eat, tacos became a primary meal of the working class. In time, street food vendors filled soft corn tortillas with a simple, spicy filling to offer workers on their breaks. Around 1905, this delicious and practical meal crossed the border into the United States when Mexican laborers moved north to work on the railroads.  

It wasn’t until the 1920s that the traditional filling of organs was replaced by beef and chicken. In addition, lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese became standard fillings in America  this fusion brought forth by the availability of American ingredients and a more subtle palate.   

While some may prefer more traditional preparation, today, tacos in America include a vibrant blend of traditional Mexican flavors combined with new ingredients and influences from around the globe – a fusion of flavors to satiate a wide variety of tastes.  

Need further evidence of the taco’s cult-like following? In 2019, Netflix released the first season of Taco Chronicles, a docuseries that explores the rich histories of popular taco styles. From barbacoa to carnitas, cochinita to birria, and many others, watch this mouth-watering series on your next taco night.  

Whatever fillings you like, tacos are arguably one of the most-loved foods in the world. Whether you prefer vegetarian sweet potato and black bean, or chicken, pork or beef, CookinGenie offers fresh, authentic home-cooked Mexican-styled tacos to make every night taco night. We cook from scratch with wholesome ingredients, right in your kitchen. Whether meal prepping or organizing a small dinner party, our Genies can help create a taco bar like no other, connecting you back to hundreds of years of tradition and fusion of cultures through food.  

 

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Busy Family - Why Busy Families Should Hire a Personal Chef

20 Dec 2021

Imagine a typical weekday in your house. First, you have to ensure that everyone gets up and ready for the day. Next, there’s breakfast and lunches to be made. Then, it’s time for everyone to go to school or work. Once work and school are done, there are typically errands to be run, like getting groceries, afterschool activities that kids need to be dropped off at, homework that needs to be finished, and dinner that needs to be started. Plus, all the other things that can pop up during the day. That is a lot to handle on top of spending quality time with the ones we love. 

Do you ever feel like you don’t have time to sit and help with homework because you’re making dinner? 

Do you feel so sluggish after a long day that you pop a frozen pizza into the oven for dinner even though you wish you were making something fresh? 

A personal chef could be precisely what you need to help your busy family. 

Top 6 reasons why your busy family should hire a personal chef: 

  1. Spend more time with your kids rather than at the grocery store and the kitchen. You can be more involved in your kid’s homework and learning about their day at school when you don’t have to focus on making sure a nutritious and delicious meal gets made. Your children probably would love to be able to get more time with you. 
  2. Give yourself some time to yourself. As a parent, your life is typically go-go-go. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that self-care is a vital part of life and that everyone should ensure it’s part of their life. Giving yourself the night off from cooking or having to pack your family into the car to go to a restaurant to have a fresh and hot meal prepared right in your kitchen can be exactly what you need to hit the reset button. Plus, your dishes are done for you, so you don’t even have to worry about clean-up afterward. 
  3. Create a better evening routine for your family. Your nights can be just as hectic, if not more so, than your days. Why not make it easier on yourself by having a personal chef come in occasionally as needed to help create a better evening routine for everyone in your household? 
  4. Everyone can relax. Have you ever noticed that your kids can feel it when you get worked up and upset? Giving yourself the evening by booking a personal chef to handle a tasty meal can help you to de-stress, and by extension, your family to de-stress can be just what you need on a Wednesday night. Plus, there’s the added perk of no dinner dishes for anyone. 
  5. Expand your family’s horizons when it comes to food. It can be fun to try a new meal or dish that you wouldn’t prepare for yourself. Having a professional chef whip it up in your kitchen can make new foods fun for the whole family. 
  6. Add an easy and healthy meal to your life. Many parents feel guilty about the meal they serve at the end of the day to their family. Maybe you didn’t have time for something fresh and had to turn to a frozen meal? Perhaps you’re not great at cooking healthy. A personal chef offers a great way to improve the quality of what you and your family eat, even if it’s just one day a week or a few times a month. 

Myths stopping your busy family from hiring a personal chef: 

  • Myth: It’s too expensive. Fact: A personal chef can fit just about any budget. If you go out to eat, you can afford a personal chef. Many chefs and menus you can book on CookinGenie cost about the same as you’d pay at a restaurant without having to leave your home. Of course, some meals may cost more than others, but that’s typically due to a few factors, such as ordering a larger serving size or the ingredients for the meal are more expensive at the grocery store, such as an expensive cut of meat. The beauty of CookinGenie is that you can see the price before you book. 
  • Myth: You have to employ a chef on a weekly basis to get food cooked in your home. Fact: While many private chefs only cook for one family, a personal chef can be booked for any many or as few days as you’d like. 
  • Myth: You need to upgrade to a fancy kitchen or buy unique items for your kitchen to use a personal chef. Fact: Your personal chef can prepare your meal using your kitchen and existing equipment. There may be a time when a special tool may be needed for a specific dish that you may not have, but accommodations can be made if necessary. 
  • Myth: You have to be a gourmet foodie to use a personal chef. Fact: There are many dishes prepared by professional chefs, meaning it’s easy to find a meal that will work for your family. You’ll be surprised by how many different types of food dishes you can find on CookinGenie. You can select an old family favorite or switch things up with something new. 
  • Myth: My family is too big (or small) for a personal chef. Fact: You can order as much or as little food as you need to feed your family. There is no minimum or maximum food requirement for ordering on CookinGenie. Some families take advantage of ordering more than is necessary for dinner, as then you’ll have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  

Considering using a personal chef to help your busy family? No matter if you’re looking to utilize a personal chef once a week or once a month, you can find a chef and menu that works for your family. Check out the CookinGenie app today to see what’s possible. You’ll love having the opportunity to eat a great meal at home prepared by a professional chef that costs about the same as a meal at a restaurant while being able to spend more time focused on what’s important.  

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Ways to store food safely - cookinGenie blog

24 Sep 2021

When we think of food safety, we usually think about cooking foods properly to prevent getting anyone sick. However, storing foods properly is just as important to prevent foodborne illness. Just like the actual preparation of food, all it takes is a little common sense to make sure you’re storing food safely.

Keep foods cold

This may sound obvious, but there are some extra steps you can take to make sure your fridge is keeping food cold enough. Make sure you check the temperature gauge in the fridge regularly, about once a week. If it is consistently higher than 40⁰F, you should turn the temperature down or get your refrigerator serviced.

Also be sure to keep the fridge closed as often as possible. Leaving the door open for extended periods of time as you rummage through the shelves can expose the food inside to warm air, causing it to spoil quicker. Try not to keep the fridge too jam-packed with food. If there’s not enough space in between food, the cool air will have a harder time circulating and keeping everything cold.

Where you store matters

Certain foods, like eggs, dairy, and raw meat are more sensitive to temperatures than others. To protect those foods, store them further back in the fridge to keep them colder. The shelf in the door is the warmest part of the fridge, so you want to keep condiments, drinks, and other ingredients that are less sensitive to temperatures there.

It’s also important to keep different ingredients separated from one another in the fridge. Dairy and eggs should be stored away from raw fruits and vegetables so that bacteria from the eggs don’t contaminate the produce.

Another good rule to remember is always store raw meat in the bottom of the fridge and produce in the top. If you have raw chicken breasts stored over fresh lettuce, there’s a chance those chicken breasts drip into the lettuce and contaminate it. To be safe, always store meat on the bottom. And if you have multiple kinds of meat in your fridge, chicken should always be below beef, pork, fish, or other meats as chicken requires the most cooking to be safe.

Keep food away from chemicals

Not all foodborne illnesses come from biological hazards like bacteria or parasites. Some come from chemical contaminants. When storing dry goods in the pantry, they should always be kept far away from bleaches, detergents, cleaning supplies, or any other potentially harmful chemicals. Even storing food in the same cabinet as chemicals could lead to an accidental spill that contaminates the food, which can cause serious illness.

Don’t put steaming hot food in the fridge

It’s very common for people to throw a whole pot of something in the fridge if they don’t feel like putting it into containers. That’s fine as long as the food has cooled down first. If you take a steaming hot pot of soup and place it into the fridge to “cool down”, all you’re really doing is warming up the fridge. The heat and steam from the soup will circulate around the fridge and warm up all of the food inside, likely above the safe 40⁰F. Additionally, the soup itself probably won’t cool down very quickly either, leaving it at an unsafe temperature for an extended period of time.

Instead of putting the hot food directly in the fridge, let it cool down at room temperature first. If you pour hot foods into a long container with more surface area, they’ll cool down quicker. You can also try putting hot foods on an ice bath. To make an ice bath, fill your sink with ice and cold water. Then take the container of hot food and put it in the sink so that the water comes about three-quarters of the way up the container. Give the food a few stirs and after about 30 minutes or so, it should be cool enough to store in the fridge safely.

At CookinGenie, the chefs are experts in food safety and know how to ensure food is being handled safely all the way from shopping for the ingredients, storing them properly, and cooking them in the safest way possible.

Author – Jared Kent

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