Trying new flavors and cuisine

11 Nov 2021

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Trying new flavors and cuisine

CookinGenie offers a multitude of options for meals. You can try dishes from across the globe from the conveniecen of your home.


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Foods to know the Difference Between Food Allergies, Intolerances &Sensitivities

01 Oct 2021

We’re all familiar with food allergies, but nowadays you constantly hear terms like “sensitivity” and “intolerance” to different foods. These three terms often get lumped together, but they’re unique conditions that elicit different responses from the body and have varying levels of seriousness. So, what do all these terms mean? And how should they affect your cooking?

Food allergies

Of the three, food allergies are the most serious. A food allergy is an immune response in your body, usually diagnosed by an allergist with a formal test. The cause of food allergies is still unknown, but the body perceives a harmless food as a threat and in response releases an immune hormone called histamines to “attack” that food it sees as harmful. The release of these histamines causes various symptoms such as hives, nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. The onset of symptoms from an allergic reaction is usually immediate.

In cases of extreme allergic reactions, the victim can go into anaphylaxis, a rare allergic condition which can cause fainting and restricting airways. Anaphylaxis requires emergency medical attention and can be life-threatening.

People can be allergic to almost anything, but the most common severe food allergies are milk, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, wheat, and shellfish.

Allergic reactions from food can range from a slight itch in the ears to a fatal case of anaphylaxis, and just a trace amount of the allergen can be enough to cause a dangerous reaction. Even those who believe they have a “mild” allergy may have a severe reaction any time they consume that allergen, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. Cooking for someone with a food allergy must be done with great caution.

Food intolerances

While food intolerances are not as serious as allergies, they can cause significant illness and discomfort. An intolerance is not an immune response like an allergy, but instead is marked by the body’s inability to digest certain foods. Most food intolerances cause uncomfortable symptoms including stomach pain and diarrhea, but they are never life-threatening. Food intolerances are usually diagnosed by a doctor and symptoms often take several hours after eating to occur. Some common food intolerances are to lactose, a sugar found in cow’s milk, and wheat.

Unlike with allergies, those with food intolerances can usually have small amounts of the food they’re intolerant to. For example, those with a lactose intolerance may be able to have a little bit of grated parmesan cheese on a pizza or a touch of heavy cream cooked into a soup, but a spoonful of yogurt may make them sick. Similarly, someone with a mild intolerance to gluten may be able to have a dash of soy sauce over rice, but not a bowl of pasta.

There are, however, some more severe intolerances. Celiac disease is a rare intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat, that can cause severe stomach pain, diarrhea, and violent vomiting. People with Celiac disease cannot have any traces of gluten.

Food sensitivities

Compared to food allergies and intolerances, food sensitivities have the mildest of reactions. Similar to an allergy, food sensitivity is an immune response so it can affect multiple organs with a wide range of symptoms including headaches, fatigue, rashes, and nausea.

The reaction from a food sensitivity can begin hours, or even days, after eating. Because of the delayed onset, food sensitivities can be hard to pinpoint and many of them go undiagnosed. Food sensitivity to gluten, for example, can be as simple as generally feeling tired a couple of days after eating bread. A good way to figure out if you have food sensitivity is to systematically eliminate certain foods from your diet for a week or two at a time to see if there’s a change in how you feel. You can also get tests for certain food sensitivities.

For many people with food insensitivities, a moderate amount of the ingredient will not lead to symptoms. However, as with allergies and intolerances, the level of sensitivity varies from person to person.

The bottom line

Food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities are all challenging conditions that should be taken seriously when cooking. When cooking for others with any of these conditions, be sure to talk to them beforehand and fully understand the nature and severity of their condition. If it’s just a mild sensitivity or intolerance, you may be able to use a little bit of the ingredient to make the tastiest dish possible. But, if your guest has a severe food allergy, you should steer clear of that ingredient.

At CookinGenie, all allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities are taken very seriously. CookinGenie chefs undergo a rigorous interview process, and they are adaptable to different dietary restrictions. The CookinGenie support staff will also work with you closely to ensure your meal meets your requirements so that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy a delicious homecooked meal.

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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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The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Chef for Food Allergies

11 Aug 2022

Did you know that food allergies are on the rise? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 12 million Americans have food allergies that account for 50,000 – 125,000 emergency clinical visits annually. And if you have food allergies, eating out can be pretty unsettling. Fortunately, hiring a personal chef is a solution that can help you avoid your allergy.   

A personal chef can tailor each meal to your specific dietary restrictions, ensuring you relish a delicious and safe dining experience. In this post, you will read about some common dietary restrictions and how a personal chef can help address them.   

What are common food allergies?

When referring to food allergies, most people think of the severe reactions that can occur after eating something that doesn’t suit your body. However, there are many different types of food allergies, and their symptoms range from mild to severe reactions. Nut allergy, for example, is a common food allergy that causes raised red bumps on the skin (like hives), cramps, runny nose, or nausea.   

Some other food allergies commonly experienced by many people in the US include:  

Lactose Intolerance

Affecting up to 36% of the population, Lactose intolerance is one of the most common food allergies. Lactose intolerance means an inability to produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which is necessary for breaking down Lactose. As most dairy products contain Lactose, consider avoiding milk, cheese, and similar dairy products if you have lactose intolerance.  

Diabetes   

Diabetes is another common food allergy. The inability to produce or use insulin affects blood sugar levels, sometimes causing diabetes. Therefore, carefully monitor blood sugar levels and your intake of sugary foods if you have diabetes.   

Gluten Allergy

Gluten intolerance occurs because of reactions to the ‘Gluten’ protein, mainly found in wheat, rye, and barley. Avoid these grains if you are gluten intolerant. Gluten can also be found in some processed foods, so always read food labels carefully.  

Protein Allergy

Protein allergy prevents the digestion of specific proteins. Common symptoms of protein allergies include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Avoid foods that contain proteins that cause allergic reactions.   

Although most food allergies are easy to manage through diet and lifestyle changes, others may require medical treatment. If your allergies to such foods can be avoided by following a special diet, you can benefit by hiring a personal chef.  

How is hiring a personal chef is a healthy choice?  

When you have food allergies, eating out can be a stressful experience. Will the restaurant be able to accommodate your dietary needs? Will you end up feeling sick after eating?   

One solution for food allergies is hiring a personal chef. A personal chef can work with you to create safe and delicious meals. In addition, a personal chef can provide much-needed peace of mind, knowing that you will always have access to safe, allergen-free meals. If you struggle to manage your food allergies, consider hiring a personal chef.   

Selecting a personal chef for food allergies

If you have food allergies, cooking at home can be a challenge. You must be careful about every ingredient you use; cross-contamination is a constant concern. That’s where a personal chef can be a lifesaver.   

A personal chef can customize meals to your specific needs, ensuring you can eat without worrying about an allergic reaction. But how do you choose the right chef for your needs? Here are a few things to keep in mind.   

First, ensure that the chef is familiar with your allergens and knows how to avoid cross-contamination.   

Second, ask about the chef’s experience cooking for people with food allergies.   

And finally, check if the chef holds any professional certification. 

By taking these steps, you can find a personal chef who will make dining safe and enjoyable for you.  

Essential questions to ask a personal chef

If you’re thinking of hiring a chef, there are a few things you’ll want to ask first. Some reasonable questions you can ask are as follows:  

How long have they been cooking professionally?  

It will give you an idea of their experience level.   

Have they ever worked for a client with dietary restrictions?  

Knowing if the chef has any experience serving a client with food allergies or specific dietary needs is essential.  

Which cuisine can they prepare?

You’ll want to ensure their cooking style matches your taste preferences.  

How much do they charge per meal?

Knowing the cost will help you determine your budget for hiring a personal chef.   

What is their cancellation policy?   

If you are occupied with something urgent and wish to cancel or postpone your reservation, it’s good to know the chef’s cancellation policy beforehand.  

By asking these questions, you can easily make the best decision when hiring a personal chef.   

Book a chef from CookinGenie to match your dietary restrictions

CookinGenie is an Ohio-based chef-on-demand service fully capable of providing experienced professional chefs for preparing meals considering your allergies and dietary restrictions. When you book a chef from CookinGenie, he is not only responsible for preparing your special meals but also for looking after grocery shopping and cleaning up after cooking.   

So, whether you are following a specific diet due to health reasons or concerned about food safety, a personal chef from CookinGenie can help you keep your dietary restrictions in check by preparing delicious meals that suit your preference.   

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