Category Archives: Live Healthy & Thrive Youth Foundation

Kitchen Shortcuts: For The Working Parent!

As a full-time working mother I know the stress associated with getting dinner on the table every night. Although fast food is quick and easy it’s also full of fat, sugar, and sodium. So that means fast food and many ready to eat foods you find at the grocery store are out. Don’t fret, Your Resident Gourmet is to your rescue! This week’s Your Resident Gourmet Newsletter has great practical and easy Kitchen Shortcuts For The Working Parent and I’ve even included 2 tried and true time-saving recipes!


Happy Cooking!

Chef Jennifer


Kitchen Shortcuts For The Working Parent 





As a full-time working mother I know the stress associated with getting dinner on the table every night. Although fast food is quick and easy it’s also full of fat, sugar, and sodium. So that means fast food and many ready to eat foods you find at the grocery store are out. With all of our hectic schedules, coming home after a busy day and cooking a meal from scratch is out too-unless you’ve done your homework. By homework I mean prepping as many ingredients ahead of time as possible.

For example, when roasting a chicken for dinner, I always roast two so that I can use the second in stir-fry, Chicken Noodle Soup, or even Chicken and White Bean Chili. I will often boil double the amount of whole wheat pasta I need for that night’s dinner; rinse it, toss it with a bit of olive oil, and use it as in add in for salads, soups, or served with our favorite pasta sauce.

Don’t forget your freezer-one of your most important time saving tools. Most cooks know that stews, casseroles, and sauces all freeze beautifully. But what about soups, cooked greens, and beans? They do too! So when you’re cooking a pot of collard greens or kale; pinto beans or black bean soup remember to put half in a freezer safe container, allow it to cool, and then place in your freezer. All you have to do before you head to work is, pull it out of the freezer and put it into the refrigerator to defrost. Dinner is half way done when you get home!

Another great time saving tip is to grill or roast fall and winter vegetables like zucchini, squash, kale, eggplant, onions, tomatoes, and broccoli whenever I have to roast and grill other items. I feel like I’m getting double the ingredients cooked in half the time and using half the fuel. Try some of these roasted vegetables as a side dish or puree with a little olive and sesame oils for a tasty and nutritious alternative to fatty sandwich spreads. I also like to pre-chop my ‘everyday vegetables’ like onions, bell pepper, and celery. That way I have them on hand to add to recipes requiring chopped veggies without having to spend time after work chopping them up!

Here are two great time saving recipes that will cut down on your after work prep and allow you to serve your family a tasty and nutritious meal every night of the week; Roasted Vegetable Spread and Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup.




Roasted Vegetable Spread

This Roasted Vegetable Spread has an intense smoky flavor and is a great on hot or cold sandwiches.


Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Yields about 4 cups



1 medium eggplant, peeled

2 small crook necked squash

2 small zucchini

1 red bell pepper, seeded

1 red onion, peeled

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 large jalapeno or Serrano pepper, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons Sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)

3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped



Preheat the oven to 400* F.


Cut the eggplant, squash, zucchini, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes.

In a large bowl, toss with the garlic, Serrano pepper, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Spread them on a baking sheet.

Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft; stirring once during cooking.

Cool slightly and place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, add the lemon juice and tahini, and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend.

Adjust taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer to a bowl and add the chopped parsley.

Store the Roasted Vegetable Spread in an air tight container, for up to 1 week, under refrigeration.






Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

This healthy Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup is a great way to use up leftover roasted chicken.


Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Yields 6-8 servings



1 cup onion, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary

6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

4 cups cubed peeled potatoes

1 teaspoon Sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 cups cubed roasted chicken breast

2 cups uncooked egg noodles

1 cup evaporated milk



1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped



In a large stockpot, heat olive oil and sweat the onion, carrots and celery for 10

minutes or until tender.

Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in the flour, oregano, thyme and rosemary until blended.

Gradually whisk in the broth until smooth.

Add the diced potatoes, salt and pepper; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

Add diced chicken and noodles and simmer an additional 10 minutes or until noodles are tender.

Stir in milk, reduce heat and bring to a simmer but do not boil.

Garnish with chopped Italian parsley right before service.





Photos courtesy of and




Make 2013 Your Best Year Yet!

Happy New Year 2013!


Most of us start the New Year with a list of resolutions on how to eat better, get more exercise, and be kinder to over-worked selves. There are so many reasons why we aren’t already taking better care of ourselves, from fast paced schedules, juggling work and family, to not knowing how to cook a healthy well balanced meal. Juicing may be just what you need for a quick and nutritious way to jump-start your healthier 2013. This week’s Your Resident Gourmet Newsletter talks about the pros and cons of juicing and even shares some really great juicing recipes.


Here’s to a Better You in 2013!

Chef Jennifer


The Benefits of A Juice Detox

The benefits of A juice detox?

Juicing is a great way to squeeze fruits and vegetables into your diet if you typically don’t like them. Most people juice between 1-3 days in an effort to lose weight, improve their diet and eliminate the unhealthy foods they currently consume.  Clearer skin and relief from chronic health issues such as fatigue, constipation, bloating, and irritable bowel syndrome are also well known benefits of juice detox. *Contact your health professional if you are thinking of juicing for longer than 3 days or are currently taking any medication*


The side effects?

While there are definite benefits to doing a juice detox, there are side effects as well.  As with any type of detox the first few days usually present the same common symptoms – headaches nausea, dizziness and sometimes bad breath.  You will be more likely to experience headaches if your diet contains large amounts of caffeine, sugar, or sodium. You’re also likely to have frequent urination, diarrhea, and fatigue experience in the beginning of your juicing but by the end you should have a vast increase in energy. Also remember that juice, no matter where it comes from, is a concentrated source of calories. This is especially true if you use more fruits than vegetables in your juices. So add more leafy green vegetables, like kale, in your juice blends instead of ‘sugary’ vegetables like carrots.


What do I need to ‘juice’?

You will need a juicer that fits your level of use and your budget!  There are a variety of juicers on the market and picking the right only takes a little research.  When out shopping for your juicer feel free to ask lots of questions about its features and check its warranty. Once you have your juicer you’ll want to load up with fresh fruits and vegetables. Spinach, apples, kale, collard greens, beets, blueberries, strawberries and carrots are a great choice.  Bananas don’t juice so you’ll have to mash them separately and then add them to your juice and using too much citrus fruit may irritate your stomach, so limit your lemons, limes, and grapefruits. Remember that the fresh vegetable and fruits you juice at home will NOT be pasteurized, which could be a food-safety hazard. So be sure wash your hands with hot soapy water (for at least 20 seconds) and all produce before preparing your juice. It’s also best to drink your juice within one week, preferably on the same day that you make it. Don’t forget to wash the juicer with hot soapy water after each use, as well.


Juicing vs Blending?

Yes, you can still do ‘juicing’ while using your blender, there will just be a bit more work involved.  When you use a juicer to juice your food you are eliminating the fiber from the foods which decreases your digestion to almost zero.  By placing your foods in a blender you are not eliminating any of the fiber and your body will need to digest the ‘juice’ the same way as if you were to eat it raw.  To get around this issue, simply strain the blended juice before drinking any of it.  Use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove all of the pulp from the juice. You can also freeze the pulp and add it to sauces, soups, and smoothies once you’ve finished your juicing detox.


Juicing Recipes

Here are a few simple tasty juicing recipes that help alleviate certain symptoms, as well as a basic Cleansing Veggie Broth.



Potassium Juice

3 carrots
3 stalks celery
½ bunch spinach
½ bunch parsley

Ginger Root Boost

1 inch slice ginger root
Juice from 1 fresh lemon
6 carrots with tops
1 seeded apple

High Blood Pressure Reducer

2 garlic cloves
1 handful parsley
1 cucumber
4 carrots with tops
2 stalks celery

Yummy Green Drink

½ bunch spinach
2 big kale leaves
¼ cup OJ
1 small banana
1 kiwi

Homemade V8 (6 glasses)

6-8 tomatoes
3-4 green onions with tops
½ green pepper
2 carrots
2 stalks celery with tops
½ bunch spinach
½ bunch parsley
2 lemons (just the juice)

Cleansing Veggie Broth

3 carrots
3 kale leaves
2 celery
2 beets
1 turnip
½ bunch spinach
½ head cabbage
¼ bunch parsley
½ onion
2 garlic cloves


Basil MAGAZINE Radio ~ October 22, 2012

Basil MAGAZINE Radio ~ October 22, 2012

Bites & Booze, new series on YouTube Channel HUNGRY, featuring Chef ALEX THOMOPOULOS. Gluten-free cooking doesn’t mean that food should be lacking in flavor and excitement, and Alex Thomopoulos knows the rules to keeping meals fresh and fun. As a comedian turned chef, Alex shares her tips and recipes for delectable gluten-free fare and cocktails perfect for any meal – whether it’s everyday eating or entertaining friends.

Author of Eating Well, Living Better, Dr. Mike Fenster really is a Doc. He combines his culinary talents and Asian philosophy with medical expertise, creating winning recipes for healthy eating. Known to his audiences as “Dr. Mike,” he is frequently asked to present live cooking demonstrations as well as giving numerous radio interviews on health and food shows both nationally and internationally.

Travel Destination: Washington, DC!



This is the perfect time of the year for an inexpensive family vacation, and what better location than our nation’s capital: Washington DC? Thanks to the Washington DC department of tourism, this week’s Your Resident Gourmet’s Newsletter can share some great information on free family activities, inexpensive theatrical performances, and even something for the history buff in the family. This time of year also offers some really cheap rates on airfare and hotel rooms. So grab the kids, your walking shoes, and head to DC for a wonderful fall vacation rich in culture, history, and fun!



Chef Jennifer


Travel Destination: Washington, DC!


The changing leaves in Rock Creek Park and the Redskins fans at FedExField are just two signs that autumn has arrived in Washington, DC. From September through November, there are plenty of fun fall activities for everyone. Put away your pocketbook! No other city offers as many fun, free attractions to fill your days. You’ll find everything from football games and fall foliage to fun festivals and Thanksgiving feasts in the nation’s capital. The fall season is also a great time to visit the city since the school group crowds thin a bit and the summer temps start to cool.



  • Watch the National Zoo‘s conservation efforts first-hand along the Asia Trail. Pay a visit to giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian and peep their tiny neighbors, the red pandas.
  • See the stars in Rock Creek Park at the only planetarium operated by the National Park Service. Tours of the night sky are free.
  • See the National Mall with DC by Foot, a walking tour company that gives free, kid-friendly tours (gratuity recommended) infused with games, fun facts and trivia. Tours include Arlington Cemetery, Lincoln Assassination, Twilight tour and free bus tours.
  • Make money (or see money made) with a free tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. During the peak season (March-August), first-come, first-served same day tickets are required. The ticket office opens at 8 a.m.
  • Putter to East Potomac Golf Course for a round of miniature golf. Players 18 and under play $5 per game. Gorgeous views of the Potomac River and planes roaring into National Airport are gratis.
  • Play pilot in a mock cockpit at America by Air, an exhibition on permanent display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
  • Walk among living butterflies at theNational Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Pavilion (adults $6/children $5). Tuesdays are free, but timed-entry tickets are required and are available at the Butterfly Pavilion box office beginning at 10 a.m. each Tuesday.
  • Teach kids about history at the National Museum of American History. See the original “Star-Spangled Banner” that inspired our national anthem, explore the history of the American presidency, and check out Dorothy’s red slippers in the permanent exhibition “National Treasures of Popular Culture.”
  • Take a ride on the Metrorail system to give kids a taste of a train ride, and a break from the summer heat. Day Passes are a great value at $9 and the Metro travels all over the city.



  • The National Theatre‘s free performance series “Saturday Morning at the National” is designed for the whole family. The line-up changes weekly showcasing puppet, magic, music and ballet. Seating is limited and tickets are distributed on a firstcome, first-served basis 30 minutes before the curtain goes up. Check website for performance schedule.
  • Take in a free performance at The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage every evening at 6pm. Acts include everything from performances by the National Symphony Orchestra to gospel groups to jazz musicians to poetry slams.
  • Feel the beat of a local tradition: head to Meridian Hill Park on Sundays (weather-permitting) between 3 and 9 p.m. to hear the famous drum circle, a fixture in the park for more than 40 years.
  • Check out free, live music at the National Gallery of Art on Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m. Concerts feature choral, Afghan, opera music and more, and are held in the West Building (6th St. & Constitution Ave, NW entrance).
  • At Arena Stage, half-price HotTix tickets go on sale at the box office 30 minutes before curtain. Students get 35 percent off, and patrons under 30 can take part in the pay-your-age program, with tickets on sale three months before the performance date; purchase by phone (202-488-3300) or in person
  • Get a taste of the Bard for a great value at the Harman Center of the Arts. Patrons 35 and under can get discounted tickets to see the Shakespeare Theatre Company‘s productions for $15 through their “Young Prose” program.
  • The Washington Ballet’s “beerandballet&bubbly” program, patrons are invited to the school to watch an open rehearsal and mingle with dancers afterward over beer. Each preview is $25 and usually runs before a major performance; call 202-362-3606.
  • Enjoy free, live jazz at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “Take Five!” performance series. It usually takes place on the third Thursday of each month, and the museum’s café stays open so guests can enjoy beer, wine and light snacks during the performance





  • Millions visit the stirring Lincoln Memorial, but are you aware you can step inside Honest Abe’s summer home? President Lincoln’s Cottage reveals the distinctly domestic side of an historic presidency. Admission for kids is $5, and Girl Scouts can earn a badge.
  • Sit in the lobby of the Willard InterContinental Hotel to imagine history unfolding. The hotel is where Julia Ward Howe wrote “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” where President Ulysses S. Grant popularized the term “lobbyist” and where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his renowned, “I Have a Dream” speech.
  • See the original Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights at the National Archives, then stick around to research your own family’s immigration records.
  • Visit Arlington National Cemetery to see the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
  • Watch history being made by sitting in on a ground-breaking Supreme Court ruling. 
  • Trace the names of loved ones lost at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall, a place of deep reflection for many visitors.
  • Test your history knowledge at the National Portrait Gallery, where the nation’s only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House is located.
  • Get out into DC’s neighborhoods to learn about history beyond the National Mall by experiencing Cultural Tourism DC‘s free self-guided walking trails. They are marked with illustrated signs revealing the stories behind Washington’s historic neighborhoods.


Courtesy of Washington, DC’s official tourism site.

Bokbunjajoo: Black Raspberry Wine!



During this year’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival, I was introduced to a new wine called Bokbunjajoo. Each Chef is paired with a winery and their dish with a wine. I was paired with Bohae Brewery and my dish: Sofrito Crusted Shrimp, Coconut Rice and Peas, and Sautéed Kale and Garlic, with their Bokbunjajoo Black Raspberry Wine.


This delicious wine has a vibrant purple color, rich flavor, and paired beautifully with the salty shrimp, hot peppers of the sofrito, richness of the coconut, and sweetness of the kale. I think it would be the perfect addition to your table this fall, so this week’s Your Resident Gourmet Newsletter is spotlighting Bokbunjajoo Wine and wants to share a bit of this wine’s history with you.


Gun Bae (Cheers!)

Chef Jennifer


Wine Spotlight: Bohae Bokbunjajoo!

Bohae Bokbunjajoo is high quality traditional wine from Bohae Brewery, a prestigious brewery with 56years of tradition behind it’s wine. Bohae is a South Korean brewing company based is Mokpo, South Jeolla Province, which is at the southwest end of the peninsula, and its superior quality leads all brewery companies within the Honam region of South Korea.



A Bit of History…

According Korean tradition Bokbunja gets its name thanks to a monk who found his chamber pot turned over after eating the wild raspberries. Bok(覆) means turning over, Bun(盆) means chamber pot and Ja(子) means man. Bokbunjajoo is the wine made from the bokbunja berry also known as the black raspberry.


In the 1950s, Lim Gwang Haeng established the company, whose background started from Japanese businessman. He had to apply for and gain the permission from national government to start the Bohae Brewery. To start the enterprise, farmlands were cultivated and planted with black raspberry bushes in Haenam county.


In 2004, Bohae Brewery gained entry into the American wine market with a nickname of rugby ball-shaped bottle. The wine brand in Hangul Bohae wine distilled from Korean black raspberries also grabbed the title of silver and bronze in world wine competition. In 2005, Bohae wine became official wine of APEC summit initiated in Busan. Today, the company has earned several awards and exports Bokbunjajoo wine to the United States, Japan, and Australia.



Possible Health Benefits

Bokbunja is a wild black raspberry that is native to Korea. In Asia it is used for making herbal medicines and health supplements to enhance stamina for men and cure disease in women. Korean black raspberries have recently been attracting great interest from the West due to its outstanding medical effect. In 2005, Ohio State University completed a study and released a publication on the antioxidant and anticancer properties that black raspberries contain. Although it has not been proven to cure cancer, Bokbunjaoo is an exceptional tasting wine that has brought the natural medicinal properties of black raspberry to life using a fixed-temperature fermentation process.


Bokbunjajoo has been highly praised as a wine that showcases an enchanting purplish color combined with a superb taste. It has also attracted great interest among wine critics and health-conscious wine lovers. The wine produced by these berries is a very deep red with an average of 15-19% alcohol. Bokbunjajoo is perfectly suited for mixing in cocktails as well as “on the rocks”. Among other beverages, Bonae produces Soju, a drink extracted from maple.



Old Fashioned Lemonade!

Old-Fashioned Lemonade

Compliments of Mikhail Jordan, Mikhail’s Plate

Basil MAGAZINE Youth Writer

Yields 6 – 8 servings



8 lemons

2 cup white sugar

8 cups cold water



  • Juice the lemons to make approximately 2 cups of juice.
    • Tip: Firmly roll the lemons between your hands and cutting board prior to cutting them in half and juicing.  This will make them softer and easier to extract the juice.
  • In a pitcher combine lemon juice, sugar and cold water; stir ingredients together.
  • Chill and serve over ice.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs.




  • To make your lemonade more festive, you can add slices of limes and or oranges for color.
  • To add more flair, you can also add festive ice cubes by freezing mint leaves with berries.
  • To make lemon-limeade, you can use one part lime juice and one part lemon juice.
  • To make orange-lemonade, you can use one part orange juice and one part lemon juice.  Use ½ cup less sugar.


YRG Kitchen Essential!



Your Resident Gourmet believes that the summer is definitely the perfect time for barbeques, cookouts, and grilled summer veggies. I love the flavor that hard wood and charcoal gives food so that’s what I usually use when I cookout-but I do appreciate the convenience of cooking on a gas grill. But here’s the rub-what do you cook on when you want that grilled flavor but it’s either raining outside or a thousand degrees in the shade? That is when the All-Clad Electric Grill comes into play. This week’s YRG Newsletter wants to introduce you to a superior indoor electric grill. It can be used in any indoor space and doesn’t take up much room, so it’s also great for those of you that want to grill out but don’t have room outside for a grill!



The All-Clad Electric Grill is currently exclusive to Williams-Sonoma. It’s made of stainless steel and has temperature settings from 180°F to 480°F, allowing you to regulate heat from warm to a sear. I love the fact that each side of the All-Clad grill can be heated independently of the other, so you can simultaneously grill foods that require different heat levels, like vegetables and steaks, and have everything done at the same time. The cook surfaces are nonstick so that you can actually grill without any oil and the drip drawer is dishwasher-safe. A cleaning brush is included, although I’ve never used mine-I simply wipe it off with a damp paper towel while the surface is still hot.




Another great feature of the All-Clad Grill is that you can grill whatever you want-not just traditional barbeque foods. I’ve grilled peaches, pineapple, and figs. I’ve cooked bacon on it as well as toast and grilled cheese sandwiches. I’ve even made soup on the All-Clad Grill! Ok that might be a bit of a strech-I’ve grilled the vegetables for my Grilled Summer Gazpacho on it! So if you are in the market for an indoor electric grill-I recommend the All-Clad Electric Grill.


I’m including 2 great recipes for you to try out on your grill. Enjoy the rest of your summer and remember to think outside of the box when it comes to cooking-it’s a lot of fun!


Happy Grilling!

Chef Jennifer

Grilled Summer Gazpacho Soup

Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Yields: 8-1 cup servings

Nutritional breakdown: 70 calories, 0g fat, 14g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 3g fiber 




This recipe is a great way to use those summer garden vegetables. Grilling the vegetables for the Grilled Summer Gazpacho adds an unexpected depth of flavor. This soup tastes best when prepared a day in advance and the flavors are allowed to bloom while refrigerated overnight.




6 plum tomatoes

4 heirloom tomatoes of choice

Salt and fresh ground Pepper, to taste

2 small zucchini, sliced lengthwise into1/4 inch strips

2 small yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips

1 medium onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rings

2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded

2 jalapeño chilies, halved lengthwise and seeded

3 cloves fresh garlic

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

2 English cucumbers, cut in half

1/2 cup tomato juice, plus more as needed

1 Tbs. chopped fresh chives

1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbs. chopped fresh tarragon

1 teaspoon dried chili flakes, for garnish



  • Core, quarter and seed the plum and heirloom tomatoes.
  • Place the tomatoes in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer the juice drained from the tomatoes to a sealed container, cover and refrigerate.
  • You can use this tomato juice for the gazpacho, being mindful of the salt.
  • Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.
  • Working in batches, arrange all of the vegetables on the grate or in the basket directly over medium-high heat. Grill, turning frequently, until soft and nicely charred on all sides, 2 to 4 minutes total for the zucchini and squash and 10 minutes total for the tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, chilies, and garlic.
  • Transfer the grilled vegetables to a platter and let cool slightly. Pick over the vegetables, removing any burned skin but leaving some charred bits.
  • Working in batches, in a blender or food processor, combine the grilled vegetables, the cucumbers and the fresh herbs and process until pureed. Add 1/2 cup of the tomato juice or more as needed to make the puree a thick but pourable consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings; the gazpacho should be fresh and highly seasoned.
  • Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight. This will allow all of the ingredients in the gazpacho to meld together and give a bright fresh taste.
  • Serve in chilled bowl or clear shot glasses and garnish with dried chili flakes and a pinch of fresh herb.





Grilled Steak Pizziaolo Salad

Recipe by Chef Jennifer Hill Booker

Yields one serving




Who says pizza can only be cooked in an oven? This Grilled Steak Pizzioo Salad recipe offers the doughy goodness of pizza with the smoky flavor of grilled steak, and is topped with fresh crisp salad greens.




4 oz grilled Ribeye, Sirloin, or NY Strip Steak, cut into strips

4-6 oz pizza dough round

1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 oz YRG Chimichuri Sauce

2 oz Smoked Provolone cheese

2 cups Spring Mix

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste



  • Oil grill rack with olive oil and heat to medium high (350*F for an electric grill.
  • Lightly oil pizza dough and roll or stretch into an 8inch disc.
  • Place pizza dough onto the grill for 3-5 minutes on one side and using tongs, flip dough to the other side.
  • Spread YRG Chimichurri sauce on dough, add cheese, and steak. Allow cheese to melt, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove pizza from heat, top with Spring Mix, salt, and Pepper.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Enjoy!

Chef Jennifer Booker featured in Points North Magazine!

Mix it Up: Apple Turnovers, Old Fashioned Pound Cake and Puff Pastries E-mail
Written by Ryan Phillips
In a culinary world of processed food and high fructose corn syrup, personal Atlanta chef Jennifer Booker goes back to her roots in order to bring a fresh taste to those interested in trying a new local flavor. Inspired by her time spent on the family farm, Booker has written a new cookbook, “Goin’ down South, A Chef’s Journey Home,” in order to bring the familiar tastes of her home into the kitchens of her readers. By drawing inspiration from her grandmother, Booker not only wants to provide readers with delicious recipes, but the stories behind the meals that influenced her to become the unique chef that she is today. Provided below are three of Booker’s recipes that are sure to bring memories of home to your taste buds.

Jennifer BookerOld Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake

Yields 1 cake

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
5 eggs
2 cups unbleached  flour + 1/4 teaspoon salt, sifted

1 Bundt cake pan

Preheat an oven to 325 F. Butter and flour a Bundt pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric beater until the mixture is pale and creamy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. Fold in the flour and salt mixture in 2 batches, mixing after each addition until well combined. Be careful not to over mix.

Spoon the batter into the Bundt pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a skewer poked into the cake comes out clean. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil if the crust browns too quickly. Remove cake from oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the Old Fashioned Lemon Pound Cake from the Bundt pan and place onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Apple Turnovers
Yields 8 Apple Turnovers

Jennifer BookerIngredients
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 cups cold water
4 tart apples, like Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon cold water
1 Puff Pastry sheet, (see recipe below)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the lemon juice, water and the sliced apples into a large bowl. The lemon water will keep them from browning.
Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large skillet. Drain the water from the sliced apples, and place them into the hot skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add brown sugar and cinnamon, cooking for another 2–3 minutes.

Stir together flour and the 1 tablespoon cold water, pour into the skillet and mix well. Cook until the sauce has thickened. Remove from heat to cool.
Unwrap puff pastry sheet, and cut the larger square into 8 smaller squares. Spoon cooled apple mixture onto the center of each squares. Fold over from corner to corner (into a triangle shape), and press edges together to seal.

Place turnovers on a baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between them. Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until turnovers are puffed and lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Mix together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together in a small bowl.  Drizzle glaze over the cooled turnovers.

Puff Pastry
Yields 2.5 pounds Puff Pastry dough

5 cups bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups cold water, or as needed
2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature

Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Gradually stir in water until the dough holds together enough to clean the sides of the bowl. (You may not need the full amount of water). Shape into a flat ball, and allow to rest at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

Place the butter between two pieces of plastic wrap and using a rolling pin, roll into a flat disc. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Place the disc of chilled butter in the center and fold the two ends over it so that it is completely encased in dough. Roll the dough out to ½ inch thickness again, taking care not to let the butter break through. Fold into thirds. This is the first “turn.” Rotate the dough 90 degrees and roll out into a rectangle again. Fold into thirds. By this time the butter is starting to warm up. Place the dough on a baking sheet and mark it with two pokes from your finger (two turns). Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Repeat this rolling, folding and turning two more times, then refrigerate until firm. Repeat two more times for a total of 6 “turns.” Wrap and refrigerate. The dough is now ready to roll out and use in the apple turnover recipe.


These Are A Few of My Favorite Things . . .



I love parties, celebrations, and giving gifts. Since my birthday is only a couple of days away I thought that I would share a few of my favorite things with you. So, this week’s Your Resident Gourmet’s Newsletter is dedicated to you! Hopefully you’ll find something I’ve shared below that makes you smile and brightens up your day. Consider it a birthday gift- from me to you!


Happy Birthday!

Chef Jennifer


These Are A Few of My
Favorite Things . . .  


Handmade Vanilla Marshmallows

Once you’ve tried handmade marshmallows you’ll never go back to the mass-produced kind. These, from Butter Baked Goods in Vancouver, B.C., are made with all-natural ingredients, and have a lighter-than-air texture and just enough vanilla to make them interesting. Drop one in your hot chocolate, use them to make gourmet s’mores, or just eat them straight out of the bag-they’re that good.



Bulleit Bourbon

Bulleit Bourbon is still distilled and aged in small batches which makes it a sippin’ bourbon and in my opinion, should not be mixed with anything but an ice cube. Kentucky limestone-filtered water provides the foundation for the bourbon’s character, while charred American oak barrels lend a smoky backbone. Bulleit’s distillers age the bourbon simply until it is ready. The result is placed into a bottle whose design has won awards of its own.


Ribeye Steaks

I Love, Love, Love a good steak and a ribeye steak is one of my favorites! It is one of the more flavorful cuts of beef, due to the muscle getting a lot of exercise during its life. Its marbling of fat makes this very good for slow roasting and it also goes great on a grill cooked to any degree, although I always order my steaks rare. A little salt, fresh ground black pepper, crushed garlic, and olive oil is all it takes for this steak to shine-no steak sauce is needed. Ever.



Gerber Daisies

Fresh cut flowers, especially Gerber Daisies

Gerber daisies make me smile. The gerbera daisy was discovered in 1884 near Barberton, South Africa, by Scotsman Robert Jameson. While the flower’s scientific name, Gerbera jamesonii, recollects the name of its founder, the meaning of its common name draws from German naturalist Traugott Gerber. Breeding programs that began in England in 1890 enhanced the flower’s quality and color variations. The gerbera daisy’s popularity soon traveled to growers in the Netherlands which, along with Columbia, is the primary distributor of the flower’s cut version today.

Fast Cars

Let’s be honest here-speed is addictive and there is something very primal about driving really, really fast. On a recent trip, I rented a car. Not just any car, but the new FIAT 500! When I tell you that this car handles beautifully, has plenty of leg room, AND goes really, really fast-I mean it! I had strangers (men) coming up to me at gas stations and parking lots asking how it handles and telling me how they were thinking of buying one too. (I didn’t have the heart to tell them it was a rental) I had the best time driving it and had to watch my speed, ’cause it’s too easy to speed in a FIAT5 500.

Bubble Baths

I’m always busy in the mornings, so my morning bathing routine generally consists of a quick shower; and by quick I mean 10, 15 minutes tops. Although a morning shower wakes me up, I often fantasize about taking a bubble bathe while I’m in the shower! So whenever I get the chance (and the time) I treat myself to a long hot bath with lots of bubbles, fluffy towels, candles, a cool drink, and all the time to sit and soak that I want.


SHUN Knives

Shun knives are constructed with an amazing array of technologies. Each knife is created for precision performance and a distinctive design, reflecting both elegance and functionality. The wavy, or moiré pattern on the Shun blades is called the Damascus look. The pattern is produced by 16 layers of SUS410 Carbon stainless steel. SUS410 is pounded to 3/1000th of an inch, and then “clad” on either side of the VG-10 core. This combination of metals results in strength, stain resistance and dynamic cutlery performance.


Tropical Beaches

Whenever it’s my turn to pick the vacation destination, I always pick the beach. I love the warm sun on my shoulders, the cool clear blue waters, and of course the way time seems to stand still when you’re lounging at the beach. Perhaps my love of the beach stems from being a water sign or from growing up in Florida. Whatever the reason, hanging out at the beach is one of my favorite things.


Personalized Table Settings

Everything tastes better when eaten from a beautiful plate. You can serve corned beef hash or even SOS on a pretty place setting and it immediately tastes a lot better than it looks! You can dress up your dining room table depending on the occasion or on your mood. I think of table linens, plates, glasses, and silverware like accessories for my table. I can dress up a basic white plate with colored chargers and linen napkins or even give each guest their own unique place setting by mixing and matching patterns and colors. Number one rule of thumb when setting your table? It’s yours-it should make you smile!



Reality TV

Yes. I said it, Reality TV. I’m not proud of this admission, but I do love my reality TV. But before you judge me, let’s talk a minute here. There are so many shows that fall under the ‘Reality TV’ umbrella, that it’s not as bad as it sounds. I will admit that some of these shows are like watching a train wreck, while others are entertaining AND informative. Here are some of my favorites-Bravo’s TopChef, Housewives of Atlanta and OC, The F Word, and What Not to Wear is an all-time favorite. I have also been known to occasionally zone out over back to back episodes of Extreme Couponers. Now, whether these shows fall under the train-wreck or informative category is all in how you look at it.