Making your events even better

18 Nov 2021

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Making your events even better

It can be quite difficult to put on a great event. Let us take the concerns of shopping, cooking, and cleaning off your plate! Our personal chef can take care of your next event and help make it a night no one will forget.


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Made to Cook: The Cooking Hypothesis

22 Oct 2020

What makes us human? Some would argue that it’s the act of cooking — whether it’s boiling, broiling, roasting, baking, or barbecuing — that separates us from every other species on Earth. 

 In 1999, Harvard professor of biological anthropology Richard Wrangham published an article in the Current Anthropology journal called “The Raw and the Stolen: Cooking and the Ecology of Human Origins. Known as “the cooking hypothesis,” Wrangham’s groundbreaking new theory of human evolution proposed that taming fire to cook food changed the course of human evolution. 

 In his article and his 2009 book Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human, Wrangham argued that cooking allowed our human ancestors to process food more efficiently — and this change had a profound impact on evolution. While all other animals eat raw foods, Wrangham theorized that our ancestors began cooking their food some 1.8 million years ago, a change that gave early man the ability to process food more efficiently. It takes a long time, and a very large jaw and teeth, to grind down raw meat and plant matter. Before our ancestors learned how to cook, Wrangham estimated that half of their waking hours were spent simply chewing enough food to subsist, leaving little time for anything else. Cooking alters the chemical structure of food, breaking down the connective tissues in meat, and softening the cells of plants to release their starches and fats. This makes cooked food easier to chew and digest. This also helpthe body to use less energy to convert food into calories. Once the cooking was introduced, he estimated that our ancestors had an extra four hours in their day — time that could be spent huntingforaging, and slowly beginning to organizinto societiesWrangham explained, “The extra energy gave the first cooks biological advantages. They survived and reproduced better than before. Their genes spread. Their bodies responded by biologically adapting to cooked food, shaped by natural selection to take maximum advantage of the new diet. There were changes in anatomy, physiology, ecology, life history, psychology, and society.”  

This higher calorie, higher-quality diet lead to the evolution of bigger brains and bodies, and smaller jaws and teeth—a transformation that gradually resulted in modern man. From the control of fire and the growth in brain size, it’s not such a large leap to the development of dedicated hearths, the introduction of pottery and other tools for cooking, and the domestication of plants and animals.  

(Also ReadWhat eating healthy looks like)

 Wrangham’s theory is, of course, just that: a theory. Archaeological history to support control of fire 1.8 million years ago has not yet been found, but the recent discovery of ash in a South African cave suggests that our ancestors were controlling fire at least 1 million years ago — far earlier than previous evidence suggested. It may be just a matter of time before definitive evidence that proves Wrangham’s theory is found.  

 And If Wrangham’s theory is correct, we truly are what we eat.  

 If cooking is so fundamental to our evolution as people, it is a wonder that we don’t have time to make home-cooked meals with wholesome ingredients. Modern life has created many barriers to our ability to prepare home-cooked meals. What do we do if we don’t have time for home cookingBusinesses like CookinGenie can help you bring cooking where it belongs—in your own kitchen—even when you don’t have time to cook yourself. Check out our menus, and book your Genie today for building healthy eating habits in the family.  

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Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas - CookinGenie

07 Feb 2022

Valentine’s Day is around the corner. So are you ready with something special for your special someone? If you’re feeling a bit stuck as you don’t want to get them the same old thing, here are some unique Valentine’s Day gift ideas to help you find the perfect gift. 

Subscription Service 

Why not go with a gift that keeps on giving even after Valentine’s Day has passed? There are so many fun subscription services out there that you can purchase for your loved one. Each and every time a package is delivered, they’ll get a smile on their face knowing how much you care. Some examples include fun underwear for both men and women, food, crafts, socks, and more. You can even find subscription services for things like Disney, anime, and other popular topics. 

Memorable Day Out 

Instead of spending money on an item this year, think about giving them your time. Create a memorable day out where you spend the whole day together doing everything you’ve put off because of your busy lives. Visit the museum together, see a movie, or do anything else you’ve missed out on that will please you both. 

Hobby Lessons as Valentine’s Day Gift

When your other half has everything, it can be hard to figure out something to gift them for Valentine’s Day. Gift them something they wouldn’t for themselves; some lessons featuring a hobby they do and want to get better at or are thinking about getting started in could be a fun idea. Anything from guitar lessons to learning how to knit is fair game. You’ll be giving them a chance to explore their potential with the hobby. 

CookinGenie Gift Card 

Buying your special someone a CookinGenie gift card gives them a chance to enjoy a delicious, professionally cooked meal in the privacy of your own home. You’ll provide the gift of not having to cook, shop, or clean up afterward. They’ll be able to select a chef from the website, decide on a dish or two that they want prepared, and pick an available night for your personal chef to come. 

Permanent Flowers

Are flowers one of your go-to purchases because your special someone loves anything that blooms? Rather than buying cut flowers this year that will look beautiful for a short time and then die, invest in flowers for your home that will last. Whether you live in an apartment or a house with a big yard, you can find something to fit your needs. Succulents, tiny potted tea roses, or terrariums are ideal for small spaces. Rose bushes, hydrangeas, lilies, and more are great for planting outside. As it is too early in the season to plant most flowering bushes and plants outdoors, you can present them with a copy of your order or a picture representing the item you have purchased. 

Symbolically Adopt An Animal 

Bringing home your love’s favorite animal is probably not practical, especially if they love sloths, panthers, whales, or other exotic animals, and giving your loved one an actual puppy or kitten doesn’t always work. One way to keep everyone happy is to adopt an animal in their name symbolically. Many zoos and animal welfare associations allow you to adopt a specific animal and get an adoption package. The adoption fee typically gives you a stuffed animal or picture of the animal you’ve adopted, along with information about the animal. Your adoption money is used to care for the species and help with conservation efforts. These programs are all different, so look around to find the one you like best that has their favorite animal. 

Ancestry Kits 

Give your loved one a look into the past. If your Valentine is interested in their genealogy and where they come from, an ancestry kit may be the perfect unique gift to give. They can explore their family history through something as simple as spitting into a tube and sending off their DNA. Not only do these kits help them to explore their past, but they can also be helpful for their future when it comes to any genes that play a role in their health. 

Personalized Items 

Personalized gifts may seem cliche, but there’s a good reason why they’re still around. They can be very thoughtful items. If you’re looking to break the mold with your personalized gift, some unique options are available now. For instance, rather than putting your loved one’s initials or name on the item, you can create coordinate gifts, such as the coordinates of where you met or got married. Other personalized gift ideas that aren’t typical include personalizing blankets, jewelry boxes, and artwork. 

Add to Their Collection 

Does your loved one have an obsession with something? It’s the perfect time to add to their collection. Things like purses, sports memorabilia, first edition books, rocks and minerals, stamps, and statues are all potential items to help them grow their collection. When in doubt, do a little snooping to find out what they may be missing. Even older items no longer sold in stores can often be found online. 

Make Something 

It may seem childish at first, but making your Valentine something just for them can be the perfect gift. Put your hobbies to good use. You can bake them their favorite cookies and make sure no one else in the family takes one. Crochet them a scarf featuring their favorite colors. Build them a shelf for their home office to store their collection of rocks.  

You can’t go wrong when you put a little thought into your Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas. Use these ideas to help you figure out an excellent Valentine’s Day gift that will knock their socks off. You’ll wonder why you kept going with the same old routine. 

Consider CookinGenie for Valentine’s Day this year. You can not only use us to plan the perfect night in enjoying a personal chef preparing a gourmet meal, but you can also give gift cards. So not only do you get kudos for buying a great gift, but you’ll get another opportunity to enjoy a CookinGenie meal at a later date! Contact us today with any questions you may have regarding our gift cards. 

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28 Jul 2020

CookinGenie makes enjoying fresh food simple – our Genies shop, cook, and clean, and you get to enjoy! But in the world of COVID-19, what is the risk of having someone else prepare your food, in your home?

Ensuring Your Safety

CookinGenie takes health and cleanliness seriously. In addition to following CDC and FDA guidelines, our Genies follow food safety practices, and we have several procedures in place to ensure the safety of you and our Genies through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

To begin, we look to the CDC, which states: “Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19,” and “there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads to people through food.”

The FDA provides additional guidance around food preparation safety. With COVID-19, we understand the concern related to high-touch surfaces, especially those in the kitchen. Our Genies take special care with handwashing and clean your kitchen when they are done preparing your food.

Image Source: FDA

In addition:

  • We will reschedule appointments if anyone – you or our Genies – are not feeling well
  • All our Genies wear masks at all times while in your home, regardless of local mandates
  • All our Genies are mindful of social distancing while in your home

So, what’s the risk?

Compared to other activities, CookinGenie provides a lower-risk option to enjoy fresh, quality meals in the comfort of your own home without a trip to the grocery store. To better understand the risk level, we compare the CookinGenie experience to the risk level of some common activities below, using the Texas Medical Association Risk Chart as a guide.

Image Source: Texas Medical Association
  • Getting restaurant takeout – Low Risk (2/10)
    • Getting restaurant takeout is low-risk due to little contact with others and the safety measures now in place.
    • With CookinGenie, there is also little contact between you and the Genie. In addition to the cleanliness and safety measures we practice, online pre-payment means there is no payment exchanged during the Genie’s visit.
  • Eating at a restaurant (outside) – Low-Moderate Risk (4/10)
    • Outdoor dining allows for free airflow, which lowers the concentration of the virus and keeps risk levels low, especially when more people are present.
    • Unless using an outdoor kitchen, CookinGenie is inside your home, but with only one Genie entering your home with a mask, the risk level remains low.
  • Eating in a restaurant (inside) – Moderate-High Risk (7/10)
    • Inside dining increases risk due to recirculated air, more people, and people not wearing masks.

Following our safety protocols, CookinGenie offers a lower-risk alternative to getting restaurant-quality food.

While there are few activities these days that are completely risk-free, CookinGenie is committed to doing all we can to offer delicious, fresh meals cooked right in your kitchen, in the safest way possible.

References

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/food-and-COVID-19.html

https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/best-practices-retail-food-stores-restaurants-and-food-pick-updelivery-services-during-covid-19

https://www.texmed.org/TexasMedicineDetail.aspx?Pageid=46106&id=53977

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