18 Nov 2021
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28 Sep 2021
Cooking for someone with a severe food allergy can be intimidating. And with food allergies on the rise, it’s becoming more common than ever. You want people to enjoy your food. But you would never want to be responsible for giving someone a severe allergic reaction.
Thankfully, with the right knowledge and planning, cooking for guests with severe food allergies doesn’t have to be daunting. It will take some extra steps, but it’s always better safe than sorry. Here are some things to remember before cooking for guests with food allergies.
People can have food allergies to just about anything. But food allergies, which are not the same as food sensitivities and intolerances, are not all created equal. Some people have allergies with mild symptoms like hives and a stomachache. Others may have allergies that could cause life-threatening anaphylactic shock, which may include dangerous symptoms like a swelling throat, fainting, wheezing, and trouble breathing.
While all allergies have the potential to be severe, certain ingredients are far more likely to cause extreme reactions. The 8 most common severe allergens are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and wheat.
It’s important to understand the complexities of these allergies. Someone who’s allergic to milk can’t eat other milk-derived products such as cheese, yogurt, or ice cream. And while some of these allergies sound very similar, they can be different. For example, someone may be allergic to almonds, but not peanuts. Or they may be allergic to shrimp and scallops, but salmon is fine. Whatever the case may be, make sure you talk to your guests and understand exactly what it is they’re allergic to.
Some people tend to think that if a guest has an allergy, they can just leave out that ingredient for that guest and it’ll be fine. While this may be true for some, in cases of severe allergies, the allergic person may not even need to directly consume the allergen to have a dangerous reaction. For example, an invisible trace of peanuts that can be spread through the air onto a dish may be enough to trigger an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts. So, if possible, it’s best to leave the allergen out of the entire meal, even for those who aren’t allergic to it.
Reading labels can be a pain, but it’s an important safeguard against allergic reactions. Sometimes ingredients can have unexpected allergens. For example, Worcester sauce, which is a popular condiment for steak and burgers, often contains anchovy paste, making it unsuitable for people with seafood allergies. But, by the name, look, and flavor it, you would never know, making reading the labels all the more important. By law, common allergens are bolded on the bottom of the label, making it easier to identify them.
Additionally, because just a trace amount of an allergen can cause a reaction, you need to watch out for any possible exposure. Some foods, like prepackaged cookies, may not actively contain nuts but may be processed in the same facility as almonds. In this case, those cookies would not be safe to serve to someone with a severe nut allergy.
Before beginning to cook for someone with a severe food allergy, be sure to thoroughly clean and sanitize the kitchen, including surfaces and utensils you will use. There’s no telling if there may be trace amounts of the allergen floating around the kitchen. So, to be safe, give everything a good cleaning beforehand.
If you take all the proper steps to protect against food allergies, you should have nothing to worry about. But just in case, you should be prepared to handle a severe allergic reaction. Make sure any guests with food allergies are carrying their EpiPen on them. Also ensure that someone in your party knows how to properly inject an EpiPen as the person having the reaction may not be capable of injecting it themselves.
The EpiPen will help immediately ease the symptoms of the reaction. While one person is injecting the victim with the EpiPen, someone else should call 911 to get the victim professional medical aid. While waiting for the ambulance to arrive, try to keep the victim calm while lying on their back.
Anaphylactic reactions are scary, but if handled properly, everything should turn out fine. Less than 1% of anaphylactic reactions from food are fatal, according to the national institute of health.
At CookinGenie, the chefs know that protecting customers from allergies is of the utmost importance and they’re experienced in cooking for people with serious allergies. Genies can modify orders to fit around allergies and the support team will work with every customer to craft the best meal.
01 Oct 2021
Have a hankering for French food? How about Italian, Mexican, or maybe Korean? Have adventurous taste buds? You might like to try something new, perhaps Peruvian, or Greek? Luckily, there’s CookinGenie, an amazing online service that can bring all those amazing flavors, and more, right to your very own kitchen.
CookinGenie has chefs that can prepare foods from around the world, plus your all-American favorites. There are many amazingly tasty meals to choose from, and they’re all cooked from scratch in your own kitchen! You can choose from a wide variety of appetizers, entrees, soups, salads, and desserts.
Pandemic travel restrictions may prevent you from traveling the world, but world cuisine can still come to you. Simply pick a day and time and your own personal chef (AKA Genie) will come to your home.
To hire your own personal chef, just go to www.cookingenie.com. The site has a biography and photo for each Genie, which includes their education and background. A complete menu from every genie is available online for you to choose from.
The online booking system shows you exactly when a chef is available and where they will travel to. All it takes is a few clicks and your unique culinary experience will be booked.
When CookinGenie comes to you, there is no wait to be seated. You stay in the comfort of your own home while the Genie does all the cooking. You have complete control over who you invite as guests. Plus, your home is certainly much quieter than a busy restaurant. You can also choose your own background music or just enjoy a peaceful conversation.
If someone in your family does not feel well on the day the personal chef is scheduled, they will gladly reschedule. Safety during these uncertain times is a top priority.
Still, thinking why you should hire a personal chef for your next meal? Here are the benefits and features of hiring a personal chef with CookinGenie –
There is no need to worry about not having the right ingredients on hand. Your personal chef will do all the shopping and packing, leaving you free to entertain your guests.
The chef will arrive with all the ingredients they need to prepare the meal you have chosen. They will use your pots and pans. If there is a special type of dish or utensil the chef needs, but you don’t have, you can arrange for the chef to bring it. Otherwise, the Genies are quite adaptable.
When you have a special occasion to plan, hiring a personal chef from Cookingenie leaves you with more time to focus on the other important details. When you have happy occasions to celebrate, you want to enjoy them as much as your guests, not spend all your time hunched over the stove or washing dishes.
Having a CookinGenie come to your home has many advantages over going to a restaurant. Because the food is cooked at your home, from scratch, it’s fresher and tastier than takeout. Plus, there are no boxes or bags to contend with, nor trying to figure out which dish goes to which person.
The prices per person are comparable or even lower than what you would pay for high-end in-person dining. CookinGenie is affordable luxury combined with convenience.
The meals will serve four to eight people. Most likely there will also be leftovers. You won’t have to ask for one of those awkward Styrofoam boxes! You can use your own containers, or just leave the food in the dishes it was cooked in and pop it in the refrigerator.
With your leftovers, you can extend your dining experience through the next day or divvy up the leftovers into single portion sizes and put them in the freezer for weeks or months into the future. It’s totally up to you!
Unlike being in a restaurant, with a CookinGenie chef you can actually watch him or her at work. You can talk to him or her and ask questions. You may learn some new techniques and tricks and improve your own home cooking. When it’s time to compliment your chef, you won’t have to flag a waiter down to send a message. You can thank him or her in person.
Even when there’s no pandemic complicating things, trying to get a large group of people organized to go out to a restaurant can be a hassle. When the restaurant is your home, there is never any worry that your table will be given away because you got stuck in traffic or were late for other reasons.
Having the chef come to you means you won’t have to sit in a crowded lobby while you wait for your table to be ready.
Safety is very important. All CookinGenie chefs have had background checks and undergo an extensive interview process, so you can be confident letting them into your home. They will also wear masks, wash their hands, and follow all CDC guidelines to keep you and your guests safe.
You can search the menu by country or cuisine type, including entrees, appetizers, and desserts. The site will then show you the Genies that will prepare that type of food and when they are available.
You can also click on a Genie’s profile photo to see what their specialties are. From there, you can book a time right online.
There are mouth-watering photos of each item shown on the menu. Click on the photo of the dish and it will take you to the list of ingredients. Knowing what is in the food you will serve is important if any guests have food allergies or are just plain picky. If you have dietary preferences or restrictions, the genies are very adaptable, and the platform’s support staff will be happy to work with you to come up with the perfect menu!
If you are the parents of young children, you may think you’ll have to wait years before you can enjoy fine dining again. Think again! Thanks to CookinGenie the children can stay at home with you while your own kitchen is transformed into a fine dining restaurant.
The menu even includes kid-friendly dishes like grilled cheese.
The children will have their own toys to keep them entertained. There will be no worries about keeping squirmy toddlers in their seats in an unfamiliar location. If one of the kids gets cranky, they can be sent to take a nap in their own, familiar bed.
When the meal is finished, you won’t have to be worried about the cleanup. Your personal chef will put everything away and leave your kitchen in the same order as when they arrived. The chef will even do the dishes.
At the end of the day, your belly will be full, your guests will be happy, and your children won’t have to leave the comfort of their own home. The kitchen will be left in order, and you will likely have leftovers to enjoy later. It’s a home-run of a dining experience, all the way around.
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 helps the 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 hunting, foraging, and slowly beginning to organize into societies. Wrangham 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 Read – What 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 cooking? Businesses 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.