Do I need to provide the pots, pans, and cookware?

27 Oct 2021

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Do I need to provide the pots, pans, and cookware?

Yes. Your Genie will utilize your pots and pans, as needed, to prepare the meals. They will clean everything they use when they finish preparing the meal.


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Meal prepping for dinner - CookinGenie

21 Apr 2021

Today, the age-old question of how to meal prep for dinner is more complicated than ever. With a range of different meal delivery services, prepared and frozen foods delivered to your doorand a wide market for takeout, the choices are seemingly endless. Now, entering the fray is a new service, CookinGenie, which rethinks the idea of dining at home by bringing a culinary expert into your home to prepare a delicious, home-cooked meal in your very own kitchen. So, with all these choices available, let’s look at the process, price, positivesand negatives of each to find out the option that might work best for you 

 

Meal Delivery Kits for Meal Prepping 

Price: 

$-$$ With so many different meal delivery kits available, the prices can run anywhere from $5/meal to $18/meal. But for most mainstream services like Blue Apron or Hello Fresh, $10-12 per meal is standard.  

Process: 

Visit the website of one of the many meal delivery services, create a profileand begin choosing your dishesWith a few clicks, you can have boxes of fresh ingredients and recipes arriving as soon as the next day. Then, unpack the box, follow the recipe, and cook yourself a meal 

Pros:

  • The recipes are quick and easy to make.  
  • Feeling of accomplishment from cooking your own food 
  • You can customize the number of meals you want. 
  • Kits are accommodating to dietary restrictions and allergies.  
  • Precise portioning cuts down on food waste. 
  • The platform is easy to use, offers plenty of fresh, healthy choices. 

Cons: 

  • Kits come with excess packaging to get rid of.  
  • Subscription required. 
  • For hungrier eaters, portion sizes may leave a little bit to be desired.  
  • On occasion, ingredients may arrive spoiled.  
  • Dishes are not quite chef or restaurant quality.  
  • You still need to put the time and effort into cooking and cleaning up afterward.  
  • Usually supporting a large, multinational corporation.  
The bottom line:

Easier than shopping and cooking for yourself and cheaper than eating out, meal prepping kits are a good mix of affordability and convenience. But if you’re looking for a more memorable experience that you don’t have to cook yourself, there are better options out there. 

 

Ready to Eat/Frozen Meal Delivery Service 

Price:

$$ There are many different services that ship frozen meals to your door, and they can all fluctuate on price, with some high-end options out there. However, you can normally expect to pay about $11-15 per meal, plus shipping fees 

Process: 

Create a profile on a frozen meal delivery site such as Home Bistro, choose your meal(s) or meal plan(s)wait for delivery, and pop the box in the microwave to heat up. 

Pros:

  • Good variety of chef-inspired meals that come with protein, starch, vegetable, and sauce.
  • Many of the meals are highly tailored to specific diets such as weight loss, keto, and paleo. 
  • Most of the meals are ready to eat after just a few minutes in the microwave or oven 
  • Frozen meals can keep in the freezer indefinitely.  
  • No cleanup required.  

Cons:    

  • Many services don’t begin to offer free shipping unless you order a certain amount.  
  • Reheating frozen food can feel boring and impersonal; food may be bland 
  • Boxes may take a while to arrive. 
  • Sometimes food may come partially defrosted or not reheat evenly.  
The bottom line:

There’s no denying the convenience of being able to pop something in the microwave and have a hot meal in a few minutes. But while frozen meals have certainly improved from the days of supermarket TV dinnersthey’re more of an occasional fare than something you’d want to eat regularly.  

 

Takeout/Delivery

Price:

$-$$ Depending on where you’re getting takeout from, the price can fluctuate greatly. 

The Process:

Call up a restaurant, go online to order, or use one of the many apps like DoorDash or Uber Eats to set up a pickup or delivery.  

Pros:

  • During the pandemic, it’s easier than ever to get takeout 
  • There’s a great variety of places to get fresh, healthy, delicious takeout from. 
  • Usually only takes about 30 minutes to get food.  
  • Supporting local businesses.  

Cons 

  • You have to drive to the restaurant or pay extra delivery fees. 
  • Generally, one can only get one type of cuisine at once and may not have leftovers to enjoy all week.   
  • If you have dietary restrictions or allergies, it could be tricky to ensure the meal fits your needs. 
  • Food apps layer on their service charges and those can add up. 
The bottom line:

Generally speaking, takeout is a relatively affordable, convenient way to have dinner once or twice a week.  

 

CookinGenie for Meal Prepping

Price:

$$ Prices will differ by Genie and by dish, but most are between $10-$15 per portion. 

The Process:

Visit CookinGenie.com, type in your location, and you can browse through our many talented genies. You can look through each genie’s menu and profile individually, or search by dish or type of cuisine. Then, select the dishes you want to order and pick a time and date for a genie to come to your home and cook for you. They will arrive with everything they need, cook you a delicious meal, and restore your kitchen to the state they found it in.  

Pros: 

  • CookinGenie food is fresh, wholesomeand delicious.  
  • A skilled cook preparing restaurant-quality food for you adds a unique personal touch 
  • A wide variety of different cuisines and dishes are available at once. 
  • Service is accommodating to dietary restrictions and allergies.  
  • Generous, family-friendly sizes of 4 or 8 portions.  
  • Flexibility; date night, dinner parties, special occasionsweeknight family meals, and meal prepping can all be taken care of by CookinGenie
  • You don’t have to leave home, cook, or clean. 
  • Supporting a local business and local chefs.  

Cons: 

  • CookinGenie does require some planning ahead.  
  • May take a couple of hours after the Genie arrives for food to be ready.  
The bottom line:

In terms of affordability, CookinGenie is on par with takeout, cheaper than frozen meal delivery, and just a hair more than most meal kits. But that small difference is well worth it when you consider the superior food and convenience of not having to cook yourself. With so many options out there, it can be hard to decide what the dinner plan should be. But all things considered, in terms of taste and overall value for your hard-earned dollars, CookinGenie stands head and shoulders above the rest.

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A Whirlwind Tour of US Barbecue - CookinGenie

03 Mar 2021

“Southern barbecue is the closest thing we have in the US to Europe’s wines or cheeses; drive a hundred miles and the barbecue changes. 

 John Shelton Reed, sociologist, writer, and all-around expert on all things Southern.  

 At its most basic, barbecue is meat that’s cooked low and slow over a smoky fire. But barbecue aficionados will tell you that “authentic” American barbecue is so much more—and, just like the wines and cheeses of Europe, the answer to just what real barbecue is will vary state-to-state, even region-to-region, with each area insisting that their version is the one true style. 

 The variations by region can be dizzying. Some swear barbecue needs a vinegar-based sauce, others swear by a tomato-based sauce. Some sauce their meat with mustard, some with mayonnaise. Up your barbecue IQ by taking a quick tour of American BBQ with us and learn about just some of each region’s specialties.  

North Carolina

You’ll find not one but two distinct styles of barbecue in North Carolina. In the Eastern method—which John Shelton Reed calls the “original” American barbecue—whole hogs are smoked and then chopped and served with a vinegar-and-pepper-based sauce. Further west another style of barbecue, known as Lexington-style, emerged. Here, just the pork shoulder is smoked and it’s served on a sandwich with a bright red tomato-based sauce.  Confused yet? Hang on, we’re just getting started… 

South Carolina 

South Carolina is just one state to the south, but their take on barbecue is worlds away. Like its neighbor to the north, pork is largely the meat of choice but South Carolinians put their own spin on the sauce. A very specific condiment developed in the area stretching from Charleston to ColombiaAccording to the South Carolina Barbecue Association, German settlers brought a love for mustard with them to South Carolina, and were soon pouring golden, mustard-based, vinegary sauce they christened Carolina Gold on their pulled pork.1  

Texas 

Deep in the heart of Texas, barbecue is all about the beef—brisket specifically—smoked low and slow over oak, mesquite, pecan, or hickory wood for up to 20 hours until it’s so tender it falls off the bone. How it’s served depends on where you are: in East Texas, brisket is marinated in a sweet tomato-based sauce, while in South Texas, the sauce is molasses-based. Near the Rio Grande, Mexican-style barbacoa dominates, while in Central Texas they do without sauce altogether and settle for a simple rub of salt and pepper.2  

Kansas City 

In Kansas City, all kinds of meat are smoked—beef, pork, chicken, or sausage—but what makes it unique is the thick sweet molasses- and tomato-based sauce that the smoked meat is smothered in. The most famous specialty of KC barbecue is burnt ends, the crunchy, caramelized, intensely smoky ends of brisket. Once considered a throwaway piece of meat, these tasty nuggets have become a favorite of barbecue enthusiasts.  

Memphis 

Hold the sauce in Memphis! Here, another style of barbecue developed: slabs of pork ribs are flavored with a dry rub of garlic, paprika, chili pepper, cumin, and other spices and cooked over a hickory fire. And in Memphis, they like to think outside the box: barbecued meat is added to nachos, pizza, and even spaghetti.3  

Alabama 

Last but not least is Alabama, famous for its unconventional white barbecue sauce. This combo of mayonnaise, vinegar, apple juice, and cayenne pepper has been served with smoked chicken since the 1920s and has gradually gained national attention. In fact, Texas Monthly declared 2015 “the year of Alabama barbecue.”4    

 Our virtual road trip through American barbecue just scratches the surfaceSt. Louis, Kentucky, Georgia, and more.. they’ve all developed their own local barbecue traditions and have their own share of passionate fanatics who swear their regions are the best 

 Our newest Genie, Ryan Pascoe, brings his passion for BBQ to your home. Choose one of Ryan’s falling-off-the-bone, slow-smoked specialties and he’ll arrive at your house in the morning to set up his smoker in your backyard, driveway, or garage and get your meat going, then come back later that day to finish it off. He offers everything from traditional finger-lickin’ favorites like Saint Louis Ribs smothered in a homemade barbecue sauce, to a tender, Coffee-rubbed Brisket, to a decadent Smoked Prime Rib with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes. Let us know when you like the food done and we will work the right start time with you. Ryan brings the smoker with him. And takes it away – no cleanup for you. All you need to do is to find a dry spot for the smoker and a regular power outlet. Fresh meat from the nearby butcher shop, slow-cooked to perfectionIit’s not raining, even a chilly February day will not hamper an outdoor smoking event from CookinGenie 

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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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