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18 Nov 2021

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5 Tips to Plan a Perfect Get-Together

29 Jul 2022

Life is all about memories. And we make the best memories when we spend quality time with our friends and family.     

If it has been quite a long time keeping up with your nearest and dearest ones, having a small get-together can be a fun idea to catch up.   

Hosting a get-together shouldn’t be a challenge if you plan it ahead of time. Any party, big or small, usually requires a welcoming atmosphere, music, and delicious food. And though event planners can help pull off everything, the cost may be exorbitant.     

An alternative option could be to let CookinGenie prepare your food while you take care of the other details.     

Here are some quick tips to help you plan your upcoming get-together and explain how CookinGenie can be your ideal culinary companion.     

1- Decide a Theme    

Having a theme for the party helps bring all the aspects of the occasion together, be it food, drinks, music, dress, or decoration. As a host, it allows you to blend extra fun into the celebration, let your creative juices flow, and reflect in everything you do with decoration, entertainment, and food. And, don’t make it a surprise; let your guests know your plans, so they know how to dress and what to expect.    

2- Plan Your Guest List

Creating a guest list is crucial. It helps you determine the number of attendees to expect and set the date per the notable guests’ availability. Once you have that list, send invitations. The best way would be to call each guest personally. And while doing so, make sure to know their dietary restrictions and preferences like veg/non-veg, halal, kosher, vegan, etc. All this information will help you customize their experience and plan your party better.    

3- Create An Ambience With Music And Lighting

No party or get-together can be fun without some colorful lights and groovy background music. With a combination of String Lights, Lanterns, and Tiki Torches, you can easily create the perfect mood and atmosphere for your indoor and outdoor parties alike. Also, arranging good party songs shouldn’t be a task, thanks to YouTube and apps like DJ51, PlayDeck, BeDJ, etc., that allow multiple people to add to the playlist and get the party going.    

4- Stock Up the Bar

Here is what the thumb rule states: two drinks per person for the first two hours and one drink per person for each following hour. You may want to ensure that you have all the basic drinks that an ideal home bar generally has – Beer, Whiskey, Rum, Gin, Vodka, Tequila, and Wine.     

However, don’t forget to have Coke, Club Soda, Cranberry Juice, Lemon, Tonic Water, and plenty of ice cubes to complement the drinks.      

With all this and just a little math, you should have enough liquor for your guests to be in the mood throughout the party.    

5- Food is Everything

Every effort to host a fantastic get-together can feel tasteless if flavorful dishes do not complement it. People always love a party where they can socialize over food and drinks. So, it will be best if you serve your guests a variety of delicious food that satisfies their taste buds.   

Depending on the number of guests, preferences, and dietary restrictions, you can choose from the following options to meet the food requirement.    

Cook Yourself

If the number of guests is less and you have the culinarian touch, you may consider preparing the dishes yourself. However, prepare everything before the guest’s arrival so they don’t feel out of place and you don’t miss the fun.   

Do A Potluck

Potluck might be a centuries-old tradition of sharing food, but it still has not lost its charm. It’s a great way to connect with people, have a good time and make memories. If all your guests agree to the Potluck idea, it’s an excellent way to celebrate your get-together. However, avoid keeping the dishes a surprise and discuss the menu with everyone viewing allergies and dietary restrictions, and of course, to prevent food clashes.   

Takeout

If self-cooking and potluck ideas don’t seem to be working out in your case, you can go for the takeout option. It’s fast and a savior for those last-minute party plans. Just remember to seek suggestions from your guests and place/pick up the order well before the party begins.   

A New Alternative – Hire a Chef from CookinGenie

Hiring a chef was once a lavish affair, but with CookinGenie’s chef-on-demand service, anyone can enjoy the restaurant experience right in their home.     

About CookinGenie

CookinGenie provides you with a professional chef for an in-house party of a small gathering of 20 – 25 guests. Whether it’s about price or quality, their personal chef service in Ohio offers a unique option.     

Know how CookinGenie can be your perfect cooking manager:    

  • All dishes are prepared fresh in your kitchen.    
  • Grocery shopping, cooking, and kitchen cleaning – the chef looks after everything.    
  • All dishes get cooked and, if requested, plated at your convenience.    
  • Food is prepared, keeping guests’ allergies and dietary restrictions in mind.    
  • You get healthy food at an affordable price.    

The experienced staff and excellent services of CookinGenie together will help you create a magical food experience for everyone. So, while you entertain the guests with your hospitality, let our Genie impress your guests with their culinary flair.    

You can host a memorable get-together with some help from our Genie. 

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team dinner at home to celebrate a work anniversary - cookinGenie

01 Nov 2021

For some, going through the motions of getting to work and clocking out is as much effort as they want to put into their job. Often, they don’t feel that connection with their coworkers that makes them want to do more than the bare necessities to get their paycheck. For managers and leaders that want to inspire their employees to feel more like a family and a true team, it’s important to implement a workplace that has a more personal touch. One excellent way to do that is to organize team dinners to celebrate work anniversaries and other events.  

Why does Team Dinner Matter? 

There is something special about food and the act of sharing food. Throughout the past, there have been rules about breaking bread and how it can be a bonding action to the point where it could bring opposing parties together. Team dinners can be an amazing opportunity that offers more benefits than meets the eye. It can be more than a meeting outside of work hours to have a meal.    

Increase Retention by Developing Friendships  

One of the biggest expenses that companies can have is turnover. Having to go through the motions of recruiting new talent only to have them leave later on is expensive. It’s also can be costly when you consider that your loyal employees can often start to feel burnt out by having to pick up the slack for open positions or helping out with new trainees. It can turn into an unhealthy cycle. Celebrating work anniversaries and other work events with dinner parties thrown at your home can help to make your existing employees feel seen and important. It’s great for their morale while also being great for increasing your employee retention. 

Foster Highly Engaged and Productive Teams 

It’s hard to be dispassionate about the people that you work with when you know each other on a more personal basis. You can create a team that’s engaged and productive when you find ways to build a team spirit. Each member of a team will be more willing to work with each other and ensure that their work helps to support each other. It’s easy to put off working on a task or not put your best effort in if you don’t care about the next person that will be working with the product you created, such as a report or data collection. Creating camaraderie can help people feel more involved and want to be productive.   

Exchange Ideas 

You may find that your team has great ideas, but sometimes, these ideas can be lost in the shuffle at work. Organizing a team dinner can be an excellent place to talk about work with the exchanging of ideas. You may find that team members in a different area that have other tasks may have ideas that impact other portions of the team. In a regular work setting, these ideas might never see the light of day, but you’ll be creating a more comfortable setting where it can be discussed. 

Communication Links  

Communication is a skill that a lot of people feel is easy, but good communication can be hard. It takes practice. There is more to communication than meets the eye. Active listening is essential with communication. Hosting team dinners for work anniversaries and other occasions is the perfect opportunity to work on the communication skills among everyone in a more relaxed setting. 

How To Turn Team Dinners into a Meaningful Experience  

Food Tours 

You can make your dinner about more than just a mandatory meeting outside of work, but make it fun. Food tours are a great way to incorporate a fun element that turns your dinner into a worthy occasion to celebrate a work anniversary or other event. Food tours are when you take a particular country’s food and create dishes that only come from that area. Often, during food tours, you learn a little about the culture of the area along with getting to try out the most popular dishes from the area. Sometimes, the food tour may be a specific region in a country, like creating dishes from Tuscany, or from around the country.   

Personal Chefs 

Personal chefs can be a great idea for your at-home work dinner. It’s hard to handle ice breaker games, friendly chats, and relaxing with your coworkers when you’re trying to handle all of the cooking. Utilizing a personal chef allows you to host your dinner without being absent from all of the festivities. Why miss something fun by being trapped in the kitchen? You could get takeout, but why risk the food being cold when personal chefs are a comparable option price-wise with all of the benefits of your food being cooked in your very own kitchen. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. 

Team Building Activities  

As your team is sitting around eating dinner, it’s the perfect time to enjoy team-building activities. The food and conversation can help to relax your team members while they get to know each other better. Throwing in some team-building activities can be a fun way to spend time with everyone in a more personal setting without work tasks hanging over everyone’s head. You get the benefit of helping your group of workers feel more like a team while enjoying themselves. Some fun team-building activities include two truths and a lie, office trivia, blind drawing, virtual escape rooms, and you could even have a murder mystery or similar games. Any activity that makes you come together to problem solve, work as teams, or learn more about each other can be good activities to enjoy during your time outside of work.  

 CookinGenie can be an excellent way to explore the possibilities that are available when it comes to team dinners. It can be stressful enough getting your home ready to host a team of coworkers in your personal space, so why add to your to-do checklist before the event? When you use CookinGenie, you free up a lot of time to handle all the other last-minute tasks. Your private chef will do all of the shopping, meal prep, and even clean your kitchen after they are done preparing your dinner choices. What could be easier? Check out the CookinGenie website today to find your new favorite personal chef to cook for your upcoming work dinner party or other events. 

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Understanding USDA Beef Grades_CookinGenie_blog

29 Jul 2021

When you walk through the meat section at the grocery store, you will often find steaks labeled with a small shield in the right-hand corner, denoting a USDA grade and claiming the steak as prime, choice, or select. But what do these grades really mean? And how should they impact your decisions on what steak to buy, or not to buy?

The first thing to understand is that the USDA has two main objectives when looking at beef: inspection and grading. Inspection is required of all meats that are shipped across state lines, as mandated by the Meat Inspection Act of 1906. Inspection is a safety measure; it does not guarantee quality but simply ensures that the meat is safe for human consumption.

Grading, however, is different. A grade is an assurance of quality you can trust. Within 24 hours of the animal being slaughtered, expert USDA graders examine the meat and assign a grade on the basis of age, color, texture, firmness, and marbling.

Of these grading criteria, marbling, which is the intramuscular fat inside a piece of meat, is the easiest to identify—it’s the white lines that run through a piece of raw steak. Marbling equals tenderness and juiciness. As the steak cooks, the fat melts and makes the steak moist and tender. The more marbling, the higher quality the steak.

With all these criteria in mind, the USDA has eight grades it applies to beef: Prime, choice, select, standard, commercial, utility, cutter, and canner. The higher the grade, the more expensive the steak.

(Also ReadWhat Makes Bibimbap The Ultimate Korean Feast?)

Prime is the highest grade, this meat comes from younger animals, is rich in marbling, juicy, tender, and flavorful. But it is also expensive and can be hard to find.

Choice meat is of excellent quality, with solid marbling and flavor, it offers great value and is readily available. Choice steaks are good candidates for grilling, roasting, or searing.

Select meat is of solid quality and is very economical. Since select meats are a little tougher and drier, they are well suited for moist cooking techniques like stewing and braising.

Standard meat is cheap, tough, and of low quality. Sometimes you will see it as an ungraded store brand meat but typically it’s sold as ground meat or other processed products.

Utility, cutter, and canner meats are rarely ever used in foodservice and are typically used to make pet food and other canned products.

It’s also important to note that grading, unlike inspection, is voluntary and not required by law. So, if you go to a local butcher or farmer, their steak may not be graded, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s low quality. When shopping for these steaks, the easiest way to determine quality is to look for marbling.

Here at CookinGenie, we offer a wide range of delicious, creative steak dishes and strive to use butcher-fresh meat graded choice or better. Beneath every dish on the website, you will find a transparent list of ingredients so that you know it is quality you can trust. Browse the menu today to see what amazing steak-night dishes can be prepared in your own kitchen.

Sources: https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2013/01/28/whats-your-beef-prime-choice-or-select?page=1

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