Spending less money on groceries

18 Nov 2021

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Spending less money on groceries

We know it can be hard to buy things not on your list or indulge in some sugary sweets. So, let us take that temptation away and help you eat better. Our chefs only buy the exact ingredients needed for the meals we make.


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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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30 Oct 2019

Workarounds to cooking are ubiqitous. From food delivery apps to meal kits. Quietly, unobserved by mainstream food industry, private individuals are selling meals right from their own kitchens. Allowing neighbors to pick up from their homes or offering delivery or meet up options. These individuals can make a decent side hustle providing regular menus and meals for a small group of customers. Things like Facebook groups make this easy to expand and reach a wider customer base.

But how do you know the condition of the kitchens in which this food is getting cooked? Cleanliness? Safety? Commercial kitchens have to be mindful about environmental cleanliness. There, your food is prepared in a safe and sanitary environment. You can expect safe handwashing practices. Safe food handling. Attention is paid to proper food storage and safe cooking temperatures to avoid illness. Professional restaurants even have to think about food safety during delivery. Such as keeping hot and cold items packaged separately and insulated properly to maintain proper temperatures. For your average neighborhood cooks, you have to take for granted that their homes are safe places to cook in. The Board of Health is not inspecting these home kitchens. If they did a surprise inspection on one of these home chef kitchens what would they find? In each of our homes we have different levels of cleanliness that we deem acceptable. What is acceptable to you might not work for me. Let’s explore some of those grey areas. Does the home have pets? Is the owner’s precious kitty walking on the same counter your chopped salad will be prepped on? Perhaps after she’s been digging in kitty litter? Is there smoking in the home? Even if not while the cooking is being done, are those chemicals in the air? What about common kitchen pests? Are their kids in the home? Are they helping to prepare the food? That’s a lovely thought unless we consider all the things little hands touch, and the lack of thoroughness in their hand washing.

We all love the idea of eating home cooked meals. We enjoy eating freshly prepared food that is lovingly prepared. We aren’t saying that all these kitchens are biohazards. But we do encourage you to find out for yourself. The provider of such foods should not be offended by questions regarding food prep and safety. When in doubt ask the provider in question what levels of food safety are being practiced keeping your food safe before you eat it. If you’ve ever been affected by food poisoning, you’ll understand the threat skimping in any of these areas can cause.

Alternately, if you put your faith on us, we will simply use your kitchen to cook your meals. Now, that is a surest way to ensure that your food is being prepared fresh in an environment you trust.

Reference: https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.com/operations/food-safety-strategies-safer-delivery-takeout

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save time with personal chef - CookinGenie blog

26 Nov 2021

At first glance, most people don’t think much about the benefits of hiring a personal chef to come in once in a while to prepare a meal. For many, all they focus on is the fact that they’ll have a professionally cooked meal. However, when you consider having one less meal to cook, you can start seeing how you can save a lot of time using a personal chef through CookinGenie. 

Eliminate Planning 

Meal planning doesn’t come easily for everyone: 

  1. It can take up a great deal of your time to go through recipe books and ingredient lists to find something you want to make during the week. 
  2. You’ll need to figure out if you have to make the recipe larger or smaller to fit your family’s needs. You’ll also have to decide if it needs to be changed up to suit everyone’s tastes in your home, such as substituting one item for another because of a food allergy. 
  3. You’ll have to write out the grocery list that you must remember to take with you before going grocery shopping. 

Estimate that this takes you at least 20 minutes or longer. 

Reduce Shopping Time 

Picking up groceries for a fresh gourmet dinner often isn’t done with your regular grocery shopping trip. To get the freshest ingredients, you’d want to stop by your grocery store on the way home. That can take up at least a half-hour of time, if not longer, as often the grocery store lines are even longer after work. There’s a good chance it may take up to an hour to find everything you need and go through the checkout. 

No More Cooking Time 

Once you get home with the ingredients you need to make your special meal, it’s time to start prepping the food and get to cooking. Washing everything, chopping it up, and pulling out all of the cookware takes time. Then, you have to actually begin cooking. Depending on the meal you’re planning on making, this could take a short time or over an hour. After planning, shopping and cooking, you could be an hour or more into handling your dinner. 

Relish Your Food 

Then, it’s time to eat. Do you ever feel like you can’t enjoy the meal you’ve made because all you can think of is the next step? Taking your time to eat and really enjoy your meal means it’s that much longer until you can tackle the kitchen to clean it up and get ready for the morning. A personal chef means that you can focus more on what you’re eating rather than trying to eat as fast as you can to move on to the next task. When you have a gourmet dinner skillfully prepared for you, you’re going to want to take your time and savor every bite you take. 

Save on Clean-up Efforts 

After you’ve prepared a meal, it’s time to clean the kitchen. If you took an easy way out with dinner, such as a TV dinner, there might not be much clean-up. However, even a simple dish of spaghetti with jar sauce can dirty up your kitchen pretty easily. Doing the dishes at the end of your day can often equate to another half hour to an hour of time. That means you’re up to a few hours of tasks after you’ve come home from work.  

Additional Meals 

What about tomorrow’s lunch? It can be time-consuming getting a meal prepped for the next day. You don’t want to deal with it when you’re rushing out the door in the morning to start a new day, so it’s better to get it done at night before you go to bed. You find something in the fridge and pack it up. That may take you another 15 minutes or longer to handle before you can do something else with your time. 

Same Meal Using a Personal Chef 

When you use a personal chef through CookinGenie, you cut down this time considerably. Your personal chef will handle the grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up after you’re done. You still get the chance to relish your food without having to focus on all the other factors that come with making dinner. Spend time talking with your family and enjoying the great food you didn’t have to prepare. Plus, you no longer have to worry about those additional meals when you order a more significant portion. You can take your leftovers to work the next day or pack your child’s lunch easily. 

 By using CookinGenie for a personal chef just one evening a week can save you several hours that you can use to do anything else you’d want to handle. Multiply that by a few times a week, and the time really adds up. Plus, you get all of the other benefits from having a visit from a personal chef, such as freshly cooked meals made by a skilled individual. You don’t have to rely on your skills or regular menu for putting dinner on the table. Be adventurous and enjoy a nice variety of foods beyond what you feel comfortable making at home for yourself and your family.  

Save Time Through the Website 

The website makes it easy for you to save time, as well. Meal planning can take up a great deal of time. With CookinGenie, you’ll be able to easily search for a personal chef, schedule a time, and pick a meal along with determining your portion size. The portal makes it easy for you to set up your next professionally cooked meal. Of course, you may find yourself scrolling to discover new menu options or chefs to expand your options. 

 Ready to see how many hours you can save in a week when you use a personal chef through CookinGenie? Book a meal today through our website to start seeing the time benefits that come with our service. You’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner as you enjoy a home-cooked meal. 

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