11 Nov 2021
Our chefs make meals that are not only delicious, but also very healthy.
12 Mar 2021
There are certain things that just evoke America:
– 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 meat, Emily 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 Read – A 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.
11 Jul 2022
Winter is the perfect time to create moments that will keep your memories warm forever. The amalgamation of long nights, cool breeze, low humidity, and quiet weather set up the perfect scene and mood for couples of all ages. While in wintertime, even a hot cup of coffee with your significant other at home can be as romantic as being on a date in a plush restaurant or a foreign destination, such experiences tend to lose their luster when they become recurring each year. So, if you have decided to keep the intimacy UP this winter while the temperature DIPS, here are some unique dating ideas that will help you kill the chill.
Whether you are going out on a date or trying to make the day special at home, it can’t be complete without food. While for outdoor dates, you save yourself from cooking efforts, but what if you and your partner are an “indoorsy” kind of couple? Would you like to cook every time (or order online) you host a special night?
You may answer Yes; But what if we say there is a service – “CookinGenie” that provides delicious and healthy home-cooked meals within a few taps on your smartphone? You would prefer this over the previous options.
The thing that makes CookinGenie stand apart from regular food delivery providers is that the dish is prepared right in your kitchen by a certified chef (we call them Genies). From buying groceries to cooking, and cleaning afterward, everything is handled by your Genie only. All you need to do is relax and spend quality time with your S.O. to make the date memorable.
You can visit us online at CookinGenie.com, select your dish and preferred time. The appointed Genie will be there with all the required groceries and start cooking for you.
Watching a movie in a drive-in theater can be the most effortless yet full-of-romance date that you can take your partner to. No need to dress up. Just take your car keys and drive to the nearest open-air theater. Park the car, blow some hot air, and pull back the seats. You are all set to make the night special.
No! You don’t have to be a pro to go for an Ice-Skating Date. In fact, as newbies, no matter if you glide, fall, or try holding on to each other, you will have nothing but just pure fun. The cooperation in incoordination will make the date a beautiful remembrance forever.
If you have been together for years, you must have been on dinner and movie outings to death. It is time to break the monotony and add some punches of LOLs and ROFLs to your life. The ideal source for such memorable laughs can be built on a Comedy Show date. So, either visit a nearby joint to get entertained by your favorite comedian or stream the top stand-up specials on Netflix or Prime Video from the warm comfort of your home.
So what if you had to cancel your vacation plan for this winter? A staycation date might make up for it. Even though you could be living in the same city for years, there must be a couple of places that you can explore with your partner like a tourist. Book a hotel in the vicinity for a few days and visit the places you always wanted to explore around. Such little breaks from your everyday winter life minuses the personal and professional hassles while letting you have more valuable time with your spouse.
If you and your partner are outdoor people, a winter hike can be an ideal date for both of you. Exploring new things together will help you strengthen your bonding. If you both have just started together, you would find each other communicating better compared to those awkward dinner date silences. Also, you would love the physical contact when crossing a stream or helping each other climb over a log.
Be it winter or any other season, sporting events have been a proven way for couples to get close to each other. Buy tickets for a live event near you or cheer for a local team on TV. Even if it’s not your favorite team playing, choose a side and shout out loud to show your support. You will find it hard not to have fun while cheering, chatting, and chowing with your date.
As per experts, couples who involve in physical activity together are much happier and share a stronger emotional bond. That’s why a Couple Yoga could be a great idea to make you and your S.O. emotive for a winter date. Interlinked couples’ poses will help you get to know your partner’s body better. However, if you are both novices, simple guided asanas should suffice.
Have a chess board at home? Why not use it for your date night? Board Games, when combined with good food and small conversations, can be as fun as your outing dates. It helps you reconnect with your spouse, especially, when you haven’t spent much time together alone in a while. So, break the ice with chess or any board game you like and make your winter warmer. Who knows that Board Games might become your favorite way to spend time together.
If you don’t like board games and don’t even want to go out, try having a Power Outage date. While power outages can be frustrating, they can provide you with an ideal romantic atmosphere. No problem if there is no TV, no Phones, no Lights, and no Electricity. You and your partner can turn the power outage “frustration” into “fun” together. Have a candlelight dinner, take turns telling a ghost story, dress up with glow stick jewelry, create shadow puppets on the wall, and do a lot more exciting things to make the time cherished forever.
It doesn’t have to be food, outing, or movies as your dating options all the time. A relaxing spa with your honey can also be quite pampering and rejuvenating. Get some face masks, aroma oils, and a mani-pedi kit. Create a romantic ambiance by lighting some candles and playing a soothing music. Put on your robes and begin your home spa date. Within a few minutes, your body and mind will be tranquilized, making you forget the wintry chills.
In case you are an indoor person, especially when it’s a cold season, you can show your love for each other by cooking a meal. Either refer to Gordon Ramsay’s classic recipes or invent a new dish. You might not like the food that much, but you will surely love and remember the time spent in the kitchen for winters to come.
Playing along with a Game show can be a fun date to have with your beloved while staying warm in bed. Just get a pen and paper and assume yourself as a contestant. Note down the points you both earn and by the end of the show, you should know who the champ in the house is.
Lost the Game Show bet? Why not try to make it even with a video game date? Such a fun time together can be a great aphrodisiac. To make the date even more fun and celebrating, you can host a double or a group date. Some of the best video games for couples include – Don’t Starve Together, Rayman Legends, Portal 2, Overcooked, Mario Party, and Minecraft.
If you have a home close to the coast, consider spending a day at the beach with your love. The landscapes in wintry weather along with the ocean breeze put the mind completely at ease. Add the midday sunshine and there you have a perfect backdrop for long, deep conversations and a few hours of siesta.
If you wish to experience something different than a regular dinner-and-a-movie date, go see a play. The experience of Live Theater is something that every couple should have. Theater artists possess extraordinary skills; and watching them live in one-take-action is overwhelming. No matter if everything proceeds by the book or goes haywire, your theater date will certainly be memorable.
The first (and might be the only) thing that you and your S.O. may have in common is your love for the music. Your genre preferences could be different, but music is music. So, instead of making your winter dinner dates limited to a typical restaurants, add some magic of live music to it. And, of course, a live concert can also be ideal if you both love being in crowds.
Retail therapy is a perfect way to beat the winter blues. If your relationship has just started, you would love to know the fashion sense of your partner. However, if it’s been time, you know where to find the right fit for him/her. So, get yourselves spoilt at a nearby mall or shopping district like Chicago’s Magnificent Mile to get the best deals on your favorite brands. Done shopping? Make sure to complete the brief tour with a hot beverage on your way back.
Any mutual activity you do as a couple is surely going to make the moment memorable. Jigsaw puzzles are one such way to spend fun time together, especially when the winter begins to make you feel bored and sluggish. Order a puzzle board or mat and start working as a team. Don’t need to rush and complete it in one go. Let the fun last longer.
If you have enough outdoor space around your home, this surely calls for a camping date. All you need to do is set up a tent, put some blankets, and build a fire pit to stay warm and enjoy the wintry night. Soft background music with some hot chocolate or any food/beverage of your choice will compel you to have more such dates together.
To summarize, be it winter or any other time of the year, it’s all about spending quality time together. So, no matter if you find the above-mentioned date ideas for your winter worth experiencing, or have something else in mind, just remember – love knows no season. Moreover, if you’ll see winter not as a season but as a celebration, you will know how one romantic date can warm your three months of winter.
26 Oct 2019
So many people fight the traffic and come home from work tired and hungry. You want to feed your family well but the idea of chopping and prepping a real meal for your family is daunting. Add hungry kids to the formula and it’s a bigger challenge. Decision time. Few, if any, good options.
Restaurants on a weeknight? Pack the family in the minivan, wait for your table with hungry tired kids. Then you’re presented with a menu & it’s hard to stick to healthy options. You leave after eating foods you’d be better off avoiding, and likely paid more than you planned on spending. The evening is done & that homework still needs done. Or else, a green slip is headed your way from the teacher.
You could opt for home delivery like pizza, which is always a crowd pleaser. But you can’t feed your family pizza 4 times a week. Now there are options like Uber Eats, Doordash or GrubHub to help. Those help fill a gap on a busy night but it’s far from a long term solution. You’re going to blow your budget on delivery fees and once again your feeding your family less than healthy options.
Prepared meals are the go-to for a lot of busy folks. Many grocery stores offer meal kits or premade options. Although they are slightly healthier than pizza, you’re likely to get burnt out quickly on the limited menu options week after week. Most stores offer 3-5 options for this, and even if they are healthy and budget friendly and easy to cook, you’re going to find yourself dying for a little variety on your plate.
Of course, there are meal kit delivery choices. This eliminates some work, with less grocery shopping and expanded menu choices. But they tend to be light on the leftovers and they don’t really free up your time. The menu might be decided, but you’re still the one chopping and cooking after a long day of work. Not to mention the pile of dishes waiting for you after dinner. They also don’t eliminate grocery shopping all together. You’re still going to be heading to the store every few days for staples like milk and fruit. And those subscriptions don’t manage themselves make sure to set an alarm on your phone to set your menu every week, and don’t forget about when the auto withdraw comes out of your bank account.
Cooked & frozen meal delivery services are an option. But even though you might be ordering your food based on beautifully plated pictures on a website, what you receive is going to look more like something from a cafeteria. Of course, it’s still chef prepared and that alone might be a big step up if you aren’t yourself a culinary master. Just don’t forget to budget for delivery fees here too. And the meals are shipped from afar in bulky boxes. Who knows when they were cooked?
Grocery delivery services like insta cart are good way to keep your fridge stocked with all the healthy options you want to have on hand. But they can’t give you the motivation to cook at the end of a long day.
Give our Genies a try. Schedule an in home cooking session with them. They will shop, cook & clean up after themselves. You are left to enjoy fresh home cooked meals – except you don’t have to do the cooking.