Accomplished Chef shares July 4th recipes

SAVANNAH, Ga.)- Chef Jennifer Booker prepared a savory dish and a mixed beverage for “Good Morning Savannah” viewers.  Chef Booker says these recipes are perfect for the upcoming Independence Day holiday.  They’re light, flavorful, and summery because they highlight citrus and peach fruits.  Scroll for the recipes.

In the fall, Chef Booker’s first cookbook will be available.  It’s titled “Goin’ Down South: A Chef’s Journey Home.”  Among the many recipes in the book will be “Gram’s Coleslaw,” “Buttermilk Cornbread,” “Old Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake,” and her very popular “Dry Rubbed Pork Shoulder.”

The book is a “published on demand” type, meaning copies will be distributed to fans as they are requested and purchased.

Check Chef Booker’s website and blog for up-to-date news about the cookbook and for fun features about food, dinner table manners, and more!

http://www.thecoastalsource.com/news/local/story/Accomplished-chef-shares-July-4th-recipes/nU2uQt8Dg0ac_OcdpsrfAA.cspx

Reported by: Jessica Kiss

Barbeque Chicken and Peach Salad
Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker
Yields 4 servings

Ingredients:
•1 c. Georgia peach preserves
•½ c. apple juice
•1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
•1 Tbsp. garlic, minced
•1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
•1 small jalapeno, finely chopped
•4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
•4 ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted
•1 Tbsp. olive oil
•Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
•4 cups mixed salad greens

Directions:
1.Combine the peach preserves, apple juice, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, and jalapeno in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserve 1/2 cup.
2.Preheat grill. Brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Place on grill for 6 to 7 minutes, turn over and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes, until chicken is golden brown,.
3.Brush both sides with the Peach Barbeque Sauce and continue cooking an additional 4 to 5 minutes. (chicken’s internal temperature should reach 180* F)
4.Remove from grill and allow chicken to rest while peaches are being grilled.
5.Place peach halves, cut side down on the grill and grill for 2-4 minutes.
6.Turn peach halves over and brush with the reserved 1/2 cup of Peach Barbeque Sauce.
7.Grill peached for another 5 more minutes or until peaches have caramelized.
8.Dice barbequed chicken breasts and peach halves. Serve on a bed of salad greens with additional Peach Barbeque Sauce.


Strawberry ‘Sparkler’
Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker
Makes 2 refreshing Strawberry Sparklers

Ingredients:

4 oz. Vodka
2 oz, simple syrup
2 tsp. lemon juice
4 large strawberries, stems removed
1 c. crushed Ice
4 oz. seltzer water or club soda

Cocktail shaker
Muddler
2 glasses, chilled
2 slices organic lemon

Directions:

1.Pour the Vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, and strawberries into a cocktail shaker.
2.Muddle the strawberries until they are broken into small pieces.
3.Add crushed ice and shake about 10 seconds.
4.Pour into a chilled Martini glass, top with Club Soda and garnish with a slice of lemon and strawberry.

125 calories per cocktail

Copyright 2012 The Coastal Source

Happy Fourth of July Cocktails!

Happy Fourth of July!

 

Hands down, the Fourth of July is the biggest outdoor celebration of the year! A day dedicated to celebrating The United States of America’s independence and freedom, filled with parades, political speeches, cookouts, cocktails, and of course fireworks. This week, Your Resident Gourmet’s Newsletter is sharing some 4th of July Cocktails bound to add some fireworks to your celebration. I’ve done some research and discovered four creative cocktails I know that you will enjoy and I’ve added one of my own, the Strawberry Sparkler.

 

So sit back, relax, and have a Happy Fourth of July!

 

Chef Jennifer


 

A Little 4th of July History. . . . .  

  

 

Known as both the Fourth of July and Independence Day, July 4th has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941. The tradition of Independence Day celebrations goes back to the 18th century and the American Revolution (1775-1783). In June 1776, representatives of the 13 colonies then fighting in the revolutionary struggle weighed a resolution that would declare their independence from Great Britain.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of independence, and two days later its delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a historic document drafted by Thomas Jefferson. From 1776 until the present day, July 4th has been celebrated as the birth of American independence, with typical festivities ranging from fireworks, parades and concerts to more casual family gatherings and barbecues.

 

Fourth of July Cocktail Fireworks!!

 

Strawberry ‘Sparkler’

Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Makes 2 refreshing Strawberry Sparklers

Ingredients:

4 oz Vodka

2 oz simple syrup

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

4 large strawberries, stems removed

1 cup Crushed Ice

4 oz Seltzer water or Club Soda

Cocktail Shaker

Muddler

2 Glasses, chilled

2 Slices organic Lemon

Directions:

  • Pour the Vodka, simple syrup, lemon juice, and strawberries into a cocktail shaker.
  • Muddle the strawberries until they are broken into small pieces.
  • Add crushed ice and shake about 10 seconds.
  • Pour into a chilled Martini glass, top with Club Soda and garnish with a slice of lemon and strawberry.

Cheers!

Courtesy of www.yourresidentgourmet.com

****************************************************** 

Air Force One

Yields 2 cocktails

Master Mixologist and author of Market-Fresh Mixology, Bridget Albert, created this Air Force One cocktail for the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama. It’s a simple mixed drink that holds the beautiful blue hue of Hpnotiq Liquer, which is mixed with your favorite citrus vodka and topped with lemon lime soda. The color and refreshing taste make this a delightful drink for any day of the year and the name ensures a perfect fit for The 4th of July!

Ingredients:

4 oz Hpnotiq Liqueur

2 oz citrus vodka

2 lemon wedges

Lemon lime soda

Lemon spiral for garnish

Directions:

  • Add Hpnotiq and vodka to a cocktail shaker.
  • Add ice and shake well.
  • Pour into 2 chilled glasses.
  • Add lemon lime soda.
  • Garnish with lemon wedge.

Enjoy!

Courtesy of www.hpnotiqliqueur.com

 ******************************************************  

Stars & Stripes Sangria   

For those hosting parties, you’ll need a 4th of July drink that’s enough to satisfy picky patrons in need of a holiday cool down. Stars & Strips Sangria is a more worldly concoction as it features the popular Spanish wine punch with Chambord, a liqueur favored by French royals, and countless floating star fruit. Guests will think you spent hours perfecting this mouthwatering number, but you’ll having more time trying to find that perfect 4th of July outfit. Salute the flag in the best way that any social drinker would: with plenty of stars and stripes!

Ingredients:

3 oz. Chambord
1 bottle of Merlot
3 Tablespoons sugar
Juice of two oranges
Star fruit
Orange and lemon slices

Club soda

Directions:

  • Add all ingredients into a pitcher and let chill 4 hours or overnight.
  • Serve over the rocks with a splash of club soda.
  • Garnish with star fruit and fruit slices

Enjoy!

Courtesy of www.chambord.com

********************************************************   

4th of July Cocktail Cooler Popsicles

 

 

This 4th of July we’ve got you ready to stay cool for your summer picnic, and to keep things patriotic we striped your cocktail cooler with Uncle Sam’s signature colors.

Ingredients:

1 cup vodka
3 tablespoon triple sec
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 cup sweetened blueberry puree
½ cup club soda
1 cup POM juice
1 cup of pear juice

Directions:

  • Place vodka, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and shake for about 10 seconds or until well combined; set aside.
  • Place blueberry mixture and club soda in a glass and stir to mix. Add in one third of alcohol mixture and stir to combine. Pour mixture in popsicle mold and freeze for 1 hour or until blueberry layer freezes enough so the next layer does not mix.
  • Place POM juice and one third of alcohol mixture and stir to combine. Pour mixture in popsicle mold and freeze for a 1 hour or until POM layer freezes enough so the next layer does not mix. Insert popsicle into mixture.
  • Place pear juice and one third of alcohol mixture and stir to combine. Pour mixture in popsicle mold and freeze for until popsicle is frozen solid.

To remove:

Run warm water on outside of popsicle mold for 3-5 seconds and gently pull popsicles to release them.

Enjoy!

Courtesy of www.endlesssimmer.com

 

******************************************************     

 

4th of July Drink Bonus…

 

 

Pommery POP America Champagne  

 

 

This isn’t a cocktail, but we couldn’t resist its dazzling packaging and even more impressive flavor that really does add a pop in your month. This 4th of July, toast to the Franco-American friendship with Pommery POP America Champagne NV ($14.99)-a split-sized sparkler bursting with pride as it dons the traditional red, white, and blue. Get a bubbly with playful stars and stripes that adds the right amount of POP to any American tradition. Courtesy of www.cooljunkie.com.

Top Ten Gifts for Dad for Father’s Day!

Greetings!

 

The month of June gives us a chance to officially thank our fathers for being so great! Although we love our dads, Father’s Day hasn’t always gotten the recognition it deserves. So this month, Your Resident Gourmet is not only sharing the history of Father’s Day with you, but The Top Ten Gifts for Dad for Father’s Day guaranteed to make your Father’s Day unforgettable!

 

Father’s Day is the perfect occasion to express feelings of gratitude and thankfulness to every dad in the world. Though the day is celebrated with utmost enthusiasm now a days, things were not always that way. Father’s Day celebration had a modest beginning and dates back to 1909. Sonora Smart Dodd was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon and the lecture inspired her to have a special day dedicated to her father, William Jackson Smart, who had brought her up and her siblings, single-handedly, after the death of their mother. Sonora could realize the greatness of her father and wanted to let him know how deeply she was touched by his sacrifices, courage, selflessness and love, and held the first Father’s Day celebration on 19th of June 1910, on the birthday of her father. She was the first to solicit the idea of having an official Father’s Day observance.

 

Unlike Mother’s Day, however, which was readily accepted, Father’s Day was received with mockery and hilarity and took years to taken seriously. In 1913, a bill in accordance with making the day official was introduced. The idea was approved by US President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Years later, in 1924, the idea gained further momentum as it was supported by President Calvin Coolidge. In 1926, a National Father’s Day Committee was formed in New York City but took another thirty years for a Joint Resolution of Congress to give recognition to Father’s Day. Another 16 years passed before President Richard Nixon established the third Sunday of June, as a permanent national observance day of Father’s Day in 1972.

 

Admittedly, it took some time to make it official, but it makes you dads no less special because of it, so here’s to you dad.

 

Happy Father’s Day!

Chef Jennifer


 

Top Ten Gifts for Dad for Father’s Day!  

 

 

  

Personalized Beer Holster: Perfect for backyard BBQs, parties or tailgating, this handy holster keeps a bottle of beer right where it belongs-by their side.

 

 

Weston Leather Cigar Case: Made of rich, mahogany-colored leather, it holds up to three cigars, as well as the included stainless-steel cigar cutter and zinc alloy lighter.

 

 

Personalized Cutting Board: Handmade in the USA of sustainable solid maple, it features your choice of personalized design, a deep moat for juices, and the kind of heft and durability that only the finest cutting board can provide.

 

Mini Slider Burger Set: Turn all nine mini-burger sliders with one flip. A great spin on the traditional burger, these trendy mini-burger sliders make a delicious appetizer.

 

 

Locket Cuff Links : Just because he’s forever on the go doesn’t mean he can’t keep an eye on the people he loves. These unique locket cuff links not only keep his sleeves in the right place but his heart as well.

 

Car Trunk Organizer & Cooler: A sturdy cooler fits in one section to keep food and drinks cold while you’re on the road. The other sections are great for storing car repair items, gym clothes, umbrellas, sports items or re-usable grocery bags.

 

 

Deluxe Valet: Tame wallet, watch, keys and other everyday essentials with a beautifully styled valet. Two deep compartments hold a phone and MP3 player, and the cord routers simplify charging.

 

Golfer’s Cooler Bag: The insulation keeps drinks and snacks cold longer and side pockets hold golf balls, cell phone and more. May be monogrammed with up to three initials.

 

 

Natural Wooden Two-tone Watch: All natural wood makes it surprisingly lightweight, and Miyota Japanese precision movement ensures accuracy. For each timepiece sold, the manufacturer will plant one tree.

 

Family Tree Wall Art: No matter how far they branch out, they’ll always be a member of the family tree. Celebrate deep-rooted bonds with this unique artwork. Personalize with a family name, year, and a bird for each member of the family.

Source: http://www.redenvelope.com/fathers-day-gifts-rfdfv

 

Here’s to you, Dad!

Your Resident Gourmet

Here’s to you, Dad!

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

 

The month of June gives us a chance to officially thank our fathers for being so great! Although we love our dads, Father’s Day hasn’t always gotten the recognition it deserves. So this month, Your Resident Gourmet is not only sharing the history of Father’s Day with you, but a wonderful recipe for Dry Rubbed Smoked Pork Shoulder, guaranteed to make your Father’s Day dinner unforgettable!

Father’s Day poses as just the perfect occasion to express feelings of gratitude and thankfulness to every dad in the world. Though the day is celebrated with utmost fervor and enthusiasm in the present times, things were not the same. Father’s Day celebration had a modest beginning and dates back to 1909. Sonora Smart Dodd was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon and the lecture inspired her to have a special day dedicated to her father, William Jackson Smart, who had brought her up and her siblings, single-handedly, after the death of their mother. Sonora could realize the greatness of her father and wanted to let him know how deeply she was touched by his sacrifices, courage, selflessness and love, and held the first Father’s Day celebration on 19th of June 1910, on the birthday of her father. She was the first to solicit the idea of having an official Father’s Day observance.

Unlike Mother’s Day, however, which was readily accepted, Father’s Day was received with mockery and hilarity and took years to taken seriously. In 1913, a bill in accordance with making the day official was introduced. The idea was approved by US President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Years later, in 1924, the idea gained further momentum as it was supported by President Calvin Coolidge. In 1926, a National Father’s Day Committee was formed in New York City but took another thirty years for a Joint Resolution of Congress to give recognition to Father’s Day. Another 16 years passed before President Richard Nixon established the third Sunday of June, as a permanent national observance day of Father’s Day in 1972.

Admittedly, it took some time to make it official, but it makes you dads no less special because of it, so here’s to you dad. Happy Father’s Day!

 

Dry Rubbed Smoked Pork Shoulder

Compliments of Chef Jennifer Hill Booker, Your Resident Gourmet

Yields 8-10 servings

When slow smoking a pork shoulder figure an hour and a half per pound. A 10-pound bone-in pork shoulder takes a long time to cook, but the majority of that time is in the smoker. You can get it started right after breakfast and have it ready for Father’s Day dinner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 8-10 pound bone-in pork shoulder

2 Tablespoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons onion powder
3 Tablespoons paprika
1 Tablespoon ground sage
2 Teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions:

  • Mix together all the spices and rub thoroughly into the pork. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  • Take the pork out of the refrigerator and unwrap. Let it rest at room temperature for half an hour to an hour.
  • Prepare your smoker to keep a steady 225* F heat. This may require several additions of water soaked wood chunks to keep the smoke going.
  • Add the pork shoulder when the temperature of the smoker has reached about 225*F, close the lid and adjust the vents so that the smoke flows freely throughout the smoker.
  • Cook until the meat is tender and reaches an internal temperature of 185F-195F, about 10-14 hours. Let the pork rest for 30 minutes before slicing, pulling, or chopping.
  • Serve with coleslaw and your favorite barbecue sauce.

Enjoy!

 

Chef Jennifer Hill Booker
Your Resident Gourmet
Host-Basil MAGAZINE Radio Show
www.YourResidentGourmet.com
www.blogtalkradio.com/BasilMagazineRadio

Bahama Breeze Announces Legendary Island Cocktails

Enjoy Authentic Exotic Drinks Made Famous at Tropical Beach Bars and Historic Island Hotels—Each with Its Own Story to Tell

Bahama Breeze Island Grille, the island-inspired casual dining restaurant that reflects the feeling of a Caribbean escape, announces its new premium list of tropical drinks, “Legendary Island Cocktails.” With its rich history in island lore, Bahama Breeze has traveled the tropics to discover iconic and unique drinks and bring them to our restaurants across the country. From a blend of exotic liquors, to their famous namesakes and origins, Legendary Island Cocktails are “the next best thing to being there.”

 

The Legendary Island Cocktails include eight authentic custom-made drinks sourced from world-famous locales such as the Soggy Dollar Bar in the British Virgin Islands, the famed five-star Hotel Nacional in Havana and Old San Juan’s Parrot Club in Puerto Rico.  The cocktails are created with the same techniques and ingredients that made them famous.

 

“Bahama Breeze is known for its hand-crafted tropical drinks and adding Legendary Island Cocktails to our extensive bar menu is a great next step in the Caribbean escape experience,” says Peter Olsacher, Executive Chef for Bahama Breeze. “I personally visited many of these exotic locations to learn more about their storied histories. Bahama Breeze was among the first restaurants to introduce the Mojito Cubano and Brazilian Caipirinha cocktails to mainstream America, and now we can’t wait to continue that tradition by introducing new Legendary Island Cocktails and their stories each quarter.”

 

The Original Daiquiri was named after a small beach on the East Coast of Cuba. Legend has it that The Original Daiquiri was developed in the late 1800s as a medical treatment for tropical ailments but quickly found other fame and became a favorite in old Havana, especially of Hemingway, who’d sip on the drink at Cuba’s famed La Floridita bar. Created with a blend of Bacardi Superior Rum, fresh lime, two types of ice, and fresh squeezed sugar cane pressed daily in house, The Original Daiquiri is hand-shaken (not blended as is common today) and served in a tall glass.

 

The Painkiller was invented at the famed Soggy Dollar Bar against the beautiful setting of White Bay on the island of Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, where guests swim in from their boats to the dockless island just for a taste of this drink. The Soggy Dollar Bar has only six bar seats and uses a clothesline to hang-dry wet dollars that patrons use to pay for their drinks. With a smooth mix of Cream of Coconut, pineapple, orange and finished with freshly ground nutmeg, the Painkiller can only truly be called a Painkiller when made with Pusser’s Dark Rum.

 

Legend for the origin of the Dark ‘N Stormy has it that a bartender poured a sailor a glass of ginger beer, but left out the rum and then added the rum afterwards. With the rum floating on top, the sailor remarked it resembled a storm cloud over the ocean—thus coining the name. Now often referred to as Bermuda’s National Drink, the Dark ‘N Stormy is a distinctive mix of Gosling’s Black Seal Rum and ginger beer. A Dark ‘N Stormy must be made with local Bermuda favorite Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, known for its rich, flavors of butterscotch, vanilla and caramel.

 

The Goombay Smash, known as the Bahamian National Drink, was initially created in the 1960s by Miss Emily at the Blue Bee Bar in Plymouth on Green Turtle Cay. Legend has it that the grandmotherly Miss Emily, who passed away in 1997, never drank and therefore never actually tasted the creation that made her bar famous as a watering hole for the local community in the Abacos—the group of Bahamian islands touted as the sailing capital of the world. The drink is named after the Goombay, a form of music in the Bahamas and the goatskin-covered drum used to create it.  It’s made with the combination of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum and Meyer’s Original Dark Rum, mixed with fresh orange and pineapple juice.

 

Batida de Coco is Brazil’s answer to the classic piña colada. This quintessential coconut cocktail is made with Leblon Cachaca Rum, Cream of Coconut and pineapple juice.  An indispensable part of Brazilian bar culture, Batida cocktails, pronounced “ba-chi-da” in Portuguese, means shaken, and in addition to fruit juices and sugar, often contain condensed milk which is why they are sometimes referred to as milkshakes.

 

The official welcome drink at the famed Sandy Lane resort and other luxury hotspots in Barbados, Barbados Rum Punch is touted as the best rum punch in the region, made with Mount Gay Eclipse Rum, sweet and sour mix, fresh lime juice with Grenadine and Angostura bitters, finished with freshly ground nutmeg. Mount Gay Rum was created in Barbados in 1703 and is known as locally as “the rum that invented rum.”

 

The Havana Hotel Special is the signature drink at the famed five-star Hotel Nacional in Havana, Cuba. For more than 80 years, Hotel Nacional has been “the destination” in Havana to see and be seen, with fans from Winston Churchill to Marlon Brando to Frank Sinatra. The refreshing pineapple punch is made with the tantalizing trio of Bacardi Superior Rum, pineapple and fresh lemon juice rounded out with splash of DeKuyper apricot brandy.

 

Parrot Passion is the premiere cocktail at the world-renowned Parrot Club in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.  The Puerto Rican Parrot is actually one of the world’s rarest birds with only 30-40 still in existence.  Puerto Rico’s tribute to these famous icons is the Parrot Passion, a blend of passion fruit juice, orange juice, Cointreau and Bacardi Limon.

 

For more information, visit www.bahamabreeze.com.

100 Days of Summer!

Greetings!

 

This week’s Your Resident Gourmet’s Newsletter is dedicated to helping you find a great family trip. No matter where you are in the world, it’s that time again. Time for the kids to get out of school and start their summer vacations! Like so many parents out there, I’m finding myself frantically looking for something for the kids to do this summer. If they had their way, they would watch TV, play video games, and eat me out of house and home! In order to avoid that fact-and keep my sanity-I’ve decided to find a family trip that will motivate them to get up, get out and see what’s beyond their four walls. While doing some research on summer destinations, I found a really great article by Nicole Frehsee, entitled 15 Places Your Kids Should See Before 15. There are some really great places to visit. So take a look and start planning your family’s summer vacation today!

 

Sincerely,

Chef Jennifer

 

              100 Days of Summer!

 

It took us hours of heated debate, weeks of research, and years of experience to whittle down America’s monuments to a definitive list of 15 musts for anyone under 15. Not only are these attractions fun and (shhhh) educational, they’re especially magical through the eyes of a child.

 

Two years ago, we picked 15 American landmarks every kid should see, from Ellis Island to Redwood National Park. Our new and improved 2011 lineup takes that challenge even further, by highlighting how our country’s top sights cater to kids’ abbreviated attention spans. From roasting marshmallows around a campfire to playing dress-up at Monticello, these cool, interactive activities ensure that the younger set will enjoy these must-see spots as much as their parents do.

 

Fenway Park (Mass.):

Even die-hard Yankees fans have to admit that visiting Major League Baseball’s oldest stadium is an exercise in Americanism: Babe Ruth pitched there! Ted Williams hit a 502-foot home run! Fenway turns 100 next year, but its features are still intact. Check them out for yourself on a guided 50-minute tour, where hands-on exploration is encouraged: You can touch the Green Monster (the park’s 37-foot-tall left-field wall), peek into the dugout, poke around inside the press box, and even walk across the baseball diamond, depending on how friendly the grounds crew is feeling that day. Browse our favorite budget hotels in Boston. Fenway Park tours, adults, $12; kids 3-15, $10; seniors, $11. mlb.mlb.com

 

Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve (Idaho): The National Park Service calls this Idaho preserve “the only officially weird park” in the country. And for good reason: The jagged, black landscape-formed by volcanic eruptions up to 15,000 years ago-boasts a 618-square-mile lava field, the biggest in the U.S. (The rocky surface is so moonlike that Apollo 14 astronauts trained at the site in 1969.) The park’s most awe-inspiring feature is its lava tubes, underground passageways created by hardened molten rock. Grab a flashlight and head to Indian Tunnel, which, at 30 feet high and 50 feet wide, allows for comfortable exploring. Craving an even more intense experience? Exit the cave at the far end, a feat that requires mounting a big rock pile and squeezing through a small opening. Park entrance fee is $8 per vehicle; bike or foot entrance starts at $4; age 14 below is free. nps.gov

 

San Diego Zoo (Calif): With more than 4,000 rare and endangered animals representing 800-plus species and subspecies, the San Diego Zoo is one of the most diverse in America. But its coolest attraction-literally-is the Polar Bear Plunge, which reopened last March after a $1 million makeover. Aside from permanent polar residents Kalluk, Chinook, and Tatqiq, new features include a snow den you can burrow into (the snug space mimics where female bears birth their cubs); a helicopter used on actual Arctic explorations that invites climbers into the cockpit; and the Experience Wall, where zookeepers open the glass panels surrounding the bears’ habitat, letting them sniff at visitors through wire mesh. Ages 12 and up, $40; 3-11, $30. sandiegozoo.org

 

Yellowstone National Park (Wyo., Mont., and Idaho): Snag a Young Scientist Toolkit stocked with magnifying glasses, rock samples, and stopwatches to time geyser eruptions at the Old Faithful Visitor Center and hit the great outdoors for some investigating. The coolest toy: an infrared-thermometer gun that takes readings of thermal pools when pointed at the water. And there’s lots of H20: The 3,472-square-mile park is home to more geothermal features (geysers, hot springs, mud spots) than any place on earth. The Young Scientist activity booklet and toolkit costs $5 (toolkit must be returned after use). Park entrance fee starts at $12. nps.gov

 

Ellis Island (N.Y.):

Between 1892 and 1924, more than 17 million immigrants passed through Ellis Island; today, their descendants account for 40 percent of Americans. Go on a hunt for your ancestors at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, where for $5 you can search through millions of records to find the exact date your relatives sailed into the Port of New York, as well as which ship they were on and whether they traveled with other family members. (Bonus: copies of the documents are yours to keep.) And don’t miss the construction of the Peopling of America Center, which cost $20 million to build and is slated to open in 2012. The new space focuses on U.S. immigration from 1955 (when Ellis Island closed) to the present, and houses interactive multimedia exhibits, like a touch screen that reflects demographic changes in American cities over time.  Browse our favorite budget hotels in New York City.  Ellis Island admission prices as of March 18: adults, $37.95; children, $18.95; children under 5, free. ellisisland.org

 

Grand Canyon (Ariz.):

During the day, stroll the 4-year-old Skywalk, a U-shaped, glass-bottom observation deck that juts 70 feet over the canyon’s West Rim and sits 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. Come sunset, hit Grand Canyon Apache Stables, where, for $25.50 per person, you can hitch a one-hour ride on a horse-drawn wagon that ends around a campfire. Tip: BYO marshmallows and hot dogs so you can cook up a nighttime snack. Skywalk Package including mandatory Legacy pass. Kids 3-11, $57.49; Adults, $73. grandcanyonskywalk.com Grand Canyon Apache Stables: $25.50, kids 8 and up, apachestables.com/rides

 

Redwood National Park (Calif.): Ancient, sky-high sequoias aren’t the only attraction in this lush California locale-there’s cool aquatic life, too. Take a guided tide pool tour, where budding biologists can scramble between the coastal forest’s rocks while hunting for underwater creatures such as orange and purple ochre sea stars and sprawling, green anemones. Free tide pool tours are offered during the summer through Redwood National Park; check website for exact schedule. nps.gov

 

Monticello (Va.): The dreaded “look but don’t touch” rule means nothing at the Griffin Discovery Room, which opened on the grounds of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate in 2009. Nothing is off-limits in the space, which features replicas of the third president’s possessions, from his alcove bed to his polygraph machine. Even his closet is fair game: Kids can try on clothes modeled after his 18th-century wardrobe. The Griffin Discovery Room is part of Monticello’s House and Grounds tour. Adults, $17 (low season), $22 (high season); Kids 6-11, $8 (year-round). monticello.org

 

The Freedom Trail (Mass.): Who needs a social studies book when you can learn about Colonial history from an 18th-century ship captain while parading around Boston’s waterfront? The 90-minute Pirates and Patriots tour, led by an actor in 1770s naval garb, focuses on maritime history and introduces the scrappy, ship-raiding characters that inhabited the city’s North End during the Revolutionary era. Stops include the aptly named Long Wharf, once the longest in the world and the epicenter of Boston’s colonial shipping industry, and Griffin’s Wharf, site of the 1773 Boston Tea Party. Bonus: Some tour guides are known to hand out vintage goodies, so you might walk away with a fistful of colonial money or musket balls. Browse our favorite budget hotels in Boston. The Freedom Trail’s Pirates & Patriots Tour runs from June to Nov. Adults, $12; kids 6-12, $7. thefreedomtrail.org

 

Niagara Falls (N.Y.): Sure, your grandparents honeymooned there, but the majestic waterfalls straddling the U.S.-Canada border are worth a 21st-century trip. Ever wonder what it’s like to be a rubber ducky in a massive bathtub? Sign up for the Cave of the Winds tour, which begins after you change into a complimentary yellow poncho and sandals (trust us, you’ll need ’em). After riding an elevator 175 feet down into the Niagara Gorge, you’ll stand on the Hurricane Deck, where you’ll be drenched by the tropical-storm-like spray from the 181-foot Bridal Veil Falls, where the water falls at a rate of up to 68 mph.  Cave of the Winds operates May 1-Oct. 25. Adults, $11; kids 6-12, $8; 5 and under, free. niagarafallsstatepark.com

 

The National Mall (D.C.):

Riding the streets of Washington, D.C., in a boat on wheels might sound cheesy, but cruising the Potomac River in one is pretty sweet. Set in a WWII-era amphibious vehicle, the 90-minute D.C. duck tour covers both land and sea. The first leg hits the history-packed National Mall-look for the 19-foot-tall Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol building, and the Smithsonian museums-and then switches to a scenic river trip. Highlight: The boat pauses at Gravelly Point, a park located just a few hundred feet from the runway at D.C.’s Reagan National Airport, so you can watch roaring planes take off and land. Browse our favorite budget hotels in Washington D.C. D.C. tuck tours cost $31.50 for adults, and $16.20 for kids 11 and under. trustedtours.com

 

Walt Disney World Resort (Fla.): Taking a family vacation to the world’s largest, most popular theme park is a no-brainer, and just-opened exhibits give even more reasons to visit Mickey & Co. Our pick: the Wild Africa Trek, a private, three-hour safari featuring live Nile crocs, statuesque giraffes, and lazy hippos. Strap into a harness and you can even dangle 10 feet above the crocodiles’ heads. (The attraction is open to kids 8 and up.) Mid-jungle trek, the safari car (imagine an open-air Jeep that allows for standing) will stop on the trail for a traditional African lunch. Wild Africa Treks begin at $189 per person, including lunch, but not including admission to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. disneyworld.disney.go.com

 

Independence Hall (Penn.): Acquaint yourself with the spirits of America’s founding fathers on Philadelphia’s Ghost Tour, a 90-minute, candle-lit stroll that winds past landmarks like Independence Hall, where the Constitution was adopted; the Powel House, which hosted George and Martha Washington’s 20th wedding anniversary celebration; and the 238-year-old City Tavern, John Adams’s former watering hole. A cape-wearing, lantern-carrying guide points out “haunted” graveyards (St. Peter’s Cemetery) and reports sightings of Benjamin Franklin, who’s said to roam the city’s streets. The best part: All the ghost stories are based on documented accounts, which makes them all the more spooky. Ghost Tour of Philadelphia, adults, $17; kids 4 and up, $8. ghosttour.com

 

Colonial Williamsburg (Va.):

Everyone in this living-history site likes to play dress-up, and visitors are no exception. At the Great Hopes Plantation-a re-creation of the town’s original 1700s farm-a stash of old-timey accessories await, from tricorne (three-pointed) hats for boys and shifts and mop caps (bonnets) for girls. The costumes come in handy in the field, where kids can perform 18th-century household chores, such as picking bugs off potato crops, fetching water from the well, or hoeing the soil, that are likely to make clearing the dinner dishes seem like a breeze by comparison. Great Hopes Plantation can be accessed through regular admission tickets. Spring prices: adults, $37.95; kids 6-17, $18.95; 5 and under, free. history.org

 

Alcatraz Island (Calif.):

Shiv collections and cramped jail cells don’t exactly sound kid-friendly, but they offer a glimpse into America’s most notorious island prison-and the National Park Service is all for bringing younger ones for a visit. Hop a ferry from San Francisco’s Pier 33 and stroll the damp, gray halls of the maximum-security pen, which housed criminals like Al Capone and George “Machine Gun” Kelly from 1934 to 1963. (You can even get behind bars in one of the cells, if you dare.) Don’t miss the audio tour, which was updated in 2007 when former inmates and guards recorded their memories of doing time at “the Rock.” If you’re feeling brave, take the night tour, which lets you roam the prison after dark. Browse our favorite budget hotels in San Francisco. Alcatraz Cruises is the official carrier for tours to Alcatraz Island. Adults 12-61, $26; kids 5-11, $16, 4 and under, free. alcatrazcruises.com
15 Places Your Kids Should See Before 15

By Nicole Frehsee

Website: www.budgettravel.com

Living with Mental Illness

Greetings!

 

I have recently had the privilege of starting a Culinary Therapy Program for the residents of The Cottages on Mountain Creek. It was developed on the belief that mental illness encompasses the entire physical and mental well-being. Their approach to well-being is placed on a balance of diet and exercise, a wide variety of programming, evidence-based psychiatric treatment, integrated medical care, research and education. They also recognize the stress that caring for a family member suffering from mental illness can cause, and are opening The Creekside Wellness Center with the goal of reducing that stress in mind.

 

This week’s Your Resident Gourmet’s Newsletter is Spotlighting The Cottages on Mountain Creek and the Grand Opening of their Creekside Wellness Center. I encourage all of you care-givers to take the time to ‘care for yourselves’ and attend the grand opening and have included their flyer in this week’s YRG Newsletter. I have included an article, Diet and Exercise’s Role in Reversing Weight Gain Due to Anti-Psychotic Drugs, as well. This article does an excellent job of explaining how anti-psychotic drugs cause dramatic weight gain in a short period of time for those taking it to manage their mental illness, and how it is doubly important that diet and exercise play major role in their lives.

 

Sincerely,

Chef Jennifer

 

The Cottages on Mountain Creek

 

 

 

The Cottages on Mountain Creek LLC is an Atlanta-based LLC in place to service adults aged 18 and older with serious mental illness, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder. Our Mission is to promote stabilization and recovery from the effects of mental illness through therapies geared toward thinking, behavior, relationships and the ability to maintain gainful employment. Our programs are geared toward reintegration into the community while working toward the goal of allowing residents to live independently. In partnership with a clinical team, as well as families and the community, we seek to provide a comprehensive treatment program.

 

Why Do We Exist?

Our program is in place to provide our residents with hope in an environment that encourages the development of skills needed to live independently and with dignity.

 

How Will We Know When We Are Successful?

We will know we are successful when our residents are capable of being reintegrated into the community in a way that provides them purpose and hope.

 

Philosophy Statement

We recognize the variety of interests, abilities and needs of the mentally ill and developmentally disables. We also believe in the social model for services and programming which emphasizes involvement in activities of life at whatever level is possible or desired.

 

All services will focus on assistance. Our role is not to “do for,” but to “assist with” each resident’s identified needs. By emphasizing assistance, we will support independence and promote dignity for the residents at this residence.

Activity and service intensity will be determined by the interest, abilities and functional limitations of the identified resident’s needs. An individualized assistance/service plan will be developed for each resident, using a team approach with resident, family, and support staff participation.

 

Health News – Diet and Exercise’s Role in Reversing Weight Gain Due to Anti-Psychotic Drugs

 

Anti-Psychotic Pharmaceuticals – First generation anti-psychotic pharmaceuticals were developed in the early 1950s, many of which are still in use today. Second generation anti-psychotic pharmaceuticals, which are more commonly prescribed today, were developed in the 1990s and are generally known to have less severe and pervasive side effects.

 

The most widely used anti-psychotics drugs are second-generation or atypical anti-psychotics, such as Clozapine, Risperidone and Olanzapine. First-generation antipsychotics, considered to be less effective, include Chlorpromazine, Haldol, Perphenazine and Fluphenazine. However, both classes of anti-psychotics carry the risk of common and relatively rare but severe side effects that are important to understand when considering drug treatment, one of the most common of which is rapid weight gain.

 

Regularly scheduled sessions with a nutritionist or regular counseling can help plan and monitor your overall health with the goal toward reducing and stabilizing weight gain.

Side Effects – The more serious effect of rapid weight gain is change to the metabolic system which can lead to diabetes and high cholesterol levels. This may be due to the interaction of the medications which interfere with an appetite regulating enzyme. As an example, a 2009 study published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” shows that children on anti-psychotics pharmaceuticals may be at particular risk, with study subjects gaining eight to 15.0 percent of their body weight in only 12 weeks.

 

A 2003 study published in “Psychiatric Services” followed 31 patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder for a 12-week weight control program including diet modification and exercise. Study subjects lost an average of six pounds a year. In 2009, researchers from the University of California at Los Angeles developed and studied a weight control program for patients on antipsychotic medications, including nutritional counseling, individual case management and 30 minutes of exercise per day. Their results mirrored those of the 2003 study, with exercise and diet program participants losing an average of 6.6 pounds in a a year.

 

Weight Monitoring – For those taking anti-psychotic medication and who have experienced serious weight gain, a healthy approach to diet and exercise may halt or reverse the gain. Successful weight-loss programs have included a diet of rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, with minimal processed foods. In addition to a dietary regime, 30 to 60 minutes a day of moderate exercise per day assists in stabilizing and/or reversing weight gain.

 

Regular check-ins with a nutritionist or regular counselor can help you stick to your plan and monitor your overall health during the process.

 

 

GRAND OPENING

The Cottages/Creekside Wellness Center Retreat

5800 Mountain Creek Road

Sandy Springs, Georgia 30328

June 15, 2012

9:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Half- or Full-Day Program

www.cottagesonmountaincreek.com  

 

 

 

The Cottage/Creekside Wellness Center is offering a day of complete relaxation and group discussion for therapists, individuals and friends of individuals who care for people with mental illness.

 

Family caregivers, as a rule, do not always do a good job of taking care of themselves.

 

As caregivers, it is important we recognize and not ignore the physical and emotional symptoms which may impact our own health and well-being.  Therefore, it is essential to guard against caregiver burnout and avoid becoming overly tired and exhausted which can reduce our own body’s ability to ward off illness.

 

Our One-Day Wellness Program includes services provided by The Cottages Therapists, as well as Group Discussions providing insight into the benefits of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The main goal of DBT is to teach the patient skills to cope with stress, regulate emotions and improve relationships with others.

The Wellness Retreat includes Wellness Services and Group Discussions.

 

CLASS EVENTS

* Acupuncture – Mark Lewinter

* Art Class – Gayle Torres

* Culinary Class – Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

* Hypnotherapy – Michael Miller

* Music Class – Beth Hampshire

* Yoga – Anette Olofsson

 

DISCUSSION EVENTS

Coping with the Stress of Being a Care-Giver (Family/Group Discussion)

Benefits of DBT Therapy for Family Members (Atlanta DBT)

SAVE THE DATE 

June 15, 2012 – 9:30 – 5:00

Half- and Full-Day Program Available

HALF-DAY PROGRAM – 9:30 AM – 1:00 PM 

Includes Your Choice of Three Wellness Services/One Group Discussion

Complimentary Closing Reception

Hors d’oeuvres and Refreshments (5:00 PM)

FULL-DAY PROGRAM – 9:30 – 5:00

Includes Your Choice of Three Wellness Services/Both Group Discussions

Complimentary Closing Reception

Hors d’oeuvres and Refreshments (5:00 PM)

 

 

References: