Tracing Tacos – A Journey Through Time

Chicken Tacos

25 Nov 2020

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Tracing Tacos – A Journey Through Time

When thinking about famous foods from around the world, some key dishes come to mind. We’re willing to bet Mexican cuisine ranks high on many people’s lists, with tacos at the top. But, have you ever stopped to wonder how the tasty taco came to be?  

It turns out, the history of the taco is as colorful and varied as the taco fillings themselves.  

Tacos as we know them today were believed to have started in the 1800s as the humble lunch of Mexican silver miners. The word “taco” translates to “plug” or “wad” – reflecting the small sticks of dynamite used in the mines.  

There is evidence, however, that the taco’s origins began much earlier.  

It is believed that the Aztecs invented tortillas using masa cooked on hot stones. The Aztec emperor, Montezuma, used the tortillas like a spoon to scoop or hold food such as cochineal, beans, and chiles. The word “taco” stems from the Nahuatl word “tlahco,” meaning “half” or “in the middle” in reference to how it is formed. 

(Also ReadMade to Cook: The Cooking Hypothesis)

Early taco fillings were simple and reflected what was available, such as fishcooked organs, small insects, ants, locusts, and snails. It wasn’t until the 1500s, when Spanish soldiers arrived in Mexico with pigs from Cuba, that pork was introduced as a filling and served at large banquets (the first “taco parties” as documented in 1520 by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, a Spanish soldier sailing with Hernan Cortes). From here, the taco spread across the “New World” as a staple food 

Whether crediting the Aztecs or silver miners, the taco is a dish woven through the fabric of Mexican cuisine. 

Into America & Beyond 

Portable and easy to eat, tacos became a primary meal of the working class. In time, street food vendors filled soft corn tortillas with a simple, spicy filling to offer workers on their breaks. Around 1905, this delicious and practical meal crossed the border into the United States when Mexican laborers moved north to work on the railroads.  

It wasn’t until the 1920s that the traditional filling of organs was replaced by beef and chicken. In addition, lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese became standard fillings in America  this fusion brought forth by the availability of American ingredients and a more subtle palate.   

While some may prefer more traditional preparation, today, tacos in America include a vibrant blend of traditional Mexican flavors combined with new ingredients and influences from around the globe – a fusion of flavors to satiate a wide variety of tastes.  

Need further evidence of the taco’s cult-like following? In 2019, Netflix released the first season of Taco Chronicles, a docuseries that explores the rich histories of popular taco styles. From barbacoa to carnitas, cochinita to birria, and many others, watch this mouth-watering series on your next taco night.  

Whatever fillings you like, tacos are arguably one of the most-loved foods in the world. Whether you prefer vegetarian sweet potato and black bean, or chicken, pork or beef, CookinGenie offers fresh, authentic home-cooked Mexican-styled tacos to make every night taco night. We cook from scratch with wholesome ingredients, right in your kitchen. Whether meal prepping or organizing a small dinner party, our Genies can help create a taco bar like no other, connecting you back to hundreds of years of tradition and fusion of cultures through food.  

 

Sources 


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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.

Read More

How to Elevate Dining Experience

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 –   

Shopping & packing      

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.  

Your Genie will do all of the shopping and upfront cooking that provides more value $ than a restaurant! 

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!  

You can learn new culinary techniques and novelties from the chef 

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. 

Highly convenient 

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. 

Time-saving & customized menu 

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!  

No need to find a babysitter! 

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.  

The best of all, no dishes or clean up to do, the chef takes care of everything! 

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.  

Read More

Chicken Tacos

25 Nov 2020

When thinking about famous foods from around the world, some key dishes come to mind. We’re willing to bet Mexican cuisine ranks high on many people’s lists, with tacos at the top. But, have you ever stopped to wonder how the tasty taco came to be?  

It turns out, the history of the taco is as colorful and varied as the taco fillings themselves.  

Tacos as we know them today were believed to have started in the 1800s as the humble lunch of Mexican silver miners. The word “taco” translates to “plug” or “wad” – reflecting the small sticks of dynamite used in the mines.  

There is evidence, however, that the taco’s origins began much earlier.  

It is believed that the Aztecs invented tortillas using masa cooked on hot stones. The Aztec emperor, Montezuma, used the tortillas like a spoon to scoop or hold food such as cochineal, beans, and chiles. The word “taco” stems from the Nahuatl word “tlahco,” meaning “half” or “in the middle” in reference to how it is formed. 

(Also ReadMade to Cook: The Cooking Hypothesis)

Early taco fillings were simple and reflected what was available, such as fishcooked organs, small insects, ants, locusts, and snails. It wasn’t until the 1500s, when Spanish soldiers arrived in Mexico with pigs from Cuba, that pork was introduced as a filling and served at large banquets (the first “taco parties” as documented in 1520 by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, a Spanish soldier sailing with Hernan Cortes). From here, the taco spread across the “New World” as a staple food 

Whether crediting the Aztecs or silver miners, the taco is a dish woven through the fabric of Mexican cuisine. 

Into America & Beyond 

Portable and easy to eat, tacos became a primary meal of the working class. In time, street food vendors filled soft corn tortillas with a simple, spicy filling to offer workers on their breaks. Around 1905, this delicious and practical meal crossed the border into the United States when Mexican laborers moved north to work on the railroads.  

It wasn’t until the 1920s that the traditional filling of organs was replaced by beef and chicken. In addition, lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese became standard fillings in America  this fusion brought forth by the availability of American ingredients and a more subtle palate.   

While some may prefer more traditional preparation, today, tacos in America include a vibrant blend of traditional Mexican flavors combined with new ingredients and influences from around the globe – a fusion of flavors to satiate a wide variety of tastes.  

Need further evidence of the taco’s cult-like following? In 2019, Netflix released the first season of Taco Chronicles, a docuseries that explores the rich histories of popular taco styles. From barbacoa to carnitas, cochinita to birria, and many others, watch this mouth-watering series on your next taco night.  

Whatever fillings you like, tacos are arguably one of the most-loved foods in the world. Whether you prefer vegetarian sweet potato and black bean, or chicken, pork or beef, CookinGenie offers fresh, authentic home-cooked Mexican-styled tacos to make every night taco night. We cook from scratch with wholesome ingredients, right in your kitchen. Whether meal prepping or organizing a small dinner party, our Genies can help create a taco bar like no other, connecting you back to hundreds of years of tradition and fusion of cultures through food.  

 

Sources 

Read More