Friday, October 10, 2014

Lizzy and Rack-coon's Bruschetta Recipe

Hi everyone! My co-writer Joy is back with a great article today featuring characters from my other blog, Smiley's News. I know you'll like it. But first, let's go through some of our "usuals":

Days till:
It is: 3 days till Columbus Day
It is: 21 days till Harvest Day, usually referred to as "Halloween"
It is: 23 days till Daylight Savings Time Ends

In the Spotlight:
This week, I have some awesome news about Jurassic World, the upcoming fourth movie in the Jurassic Park franchise. If rumors are to be believed, it seems as if Universal Studios is doing test-screenings for the upcoming trailer for JW! Basically, for those of you who don't know, a test-screening is when a movie company wants ordinary people to view a movie trailer to see the reception before they actually release it. This is so that they are able to make changes based on what the public wants. YouTube user Ivan Flores claims to have been one of those fortunate few to see the trailer! He said the trailer is not finished in terms of special effects, but it's just to help the viewer get an idea of what the final edition of the trailer is.

So what did Ivan Flores describe about the trailer? Well, if he is to be believed, the trailer starts off with a ferry taking tourists to Isla Nublar, where the Jurassic World theme park is located. The park is then shown in its full glory; the trailer shows off a variety of attractions including a safari jeep ride through an enclosure, in which a flock of presumably Gallimimus are seen around a jeep, and the gyrosphere ride in which two tourists are seen viewing a large sauropod (we don't know what species just yet, but it considering Apatosaurus is going to be in the movie, it is a fair bet that the sauropod in the trailer is of that species). Then it shows Bryce Dallas Howard's character saying something along the lines of, "We've learned more about genetics in the past decade than we have in the past we can make our own dinosaurs from scratch". It also shows Chris Pratt's character with one of the Velociraptors from his behavioral studies; near the trailer's end it portrays a pack of raptors running through the forest.

I think the trailer sounds legit and if it is, I can't wait to see it. There's also a very interesting reason why I believe this trailer is legit: Ivan Flores posted a video about the trailer on YouTube, but the video was soon removed due to copyright infringement. Hm... why would Universal care about the video being on YouTube if Ivan Flores just made it up?

Remember, Jurassic World comes out June 12, 2015!

Topic of the Week by Joy Hammond
“Hi guys Lizzy here and I'm in the kitchen with Chef Rack-coon. He's preparing a special dish for our picnic on Columbus day. What exactly do people eat on Columbus day?” I ask, following him around the kitchen.
“Good question, Lizzy.” Chef Rack-coon replied, “Columbus day, as you know, is to celebrate Christopher Columbus's arrival to America...actually to a nearby island near America. Well anyway, many Italian-Americans view that day as a day to celebrate their heritage. So some of the food dishes we're preparing for the picnic are Italian.”
“Italian, sounds interesting. What kind of dishes do you have in mind?” I ask, as Chef Rack-coon turned to the stove. “I wasn't thinking of Pizza if that's what you were hoping for,” he joked. “I was thinking along the lines of backed chicken and spaghetti or maybe Ziti or a bruschetta.”
“What's a Bruschetta?” I ask.
“It's an Italian appetizer to be honest.” Chef Rack-coon admits, “it's easy to just show you.”
He took out several ingredients and they filled the counter space.
“First of all here's what I need: six to seven tomatoes (about 1 ½ lbs), two cloves of garlic (about 2 teaspoons), one Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, one teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, six to eight fresh basil leaves (thinly sliced or chopped), 1 teaspoon of kosher salt (depending on taste), ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper (depending on taste), one Baguette of french bread or similar Italian bread, and finally ¼ cup (60 ml) of olive oil.”
“Wow that's a lot of ingredients,” I comment. “I can't wait to get started!”
Chef Rack-coon got out a a pot and poured 2 quarts of water into it. He started up the oven to boil the water. Then he took the tomatoes and cut the tips of them in a cross pattern.
“It makes them easier to peel later,” He stated. “You don't cut the tomatoes fully just yet. Just do a small cross cut on the ends.”
The water started to boil but he didn't put the tomatoes in just yet. He took the pot off the stove and then dumped the tomatoes in.
“We leave the tomatoes there for a minute to blanch.” Chef Rack-coon explained.
“Blanch? Sounds like Ranch.” I exclaim, “What does that mean?”
“Blanch is when you boil water and then put food into the water without actually cooking it but just partially and then you put it into cold water to cool down but it's different in this case.”
Chef Rack-coon took a spoon and scooped up the tomatoes one by one and set them on the cutting board. When the tomatoes were cool enough to handle, he started to peel off the skin. Chef Rack-coon used a paring knife and cut the tomatoes stems before actually cutting the tomatoes into halves of quarters.
“Now here's the fun part,” He grinned.
He started to squeeze the tomatoes to let out the juice and the seeds. Chef Rack-coon went over to the stove and preheated the oven to 450 degrees F or (230 degrees C). He also moved one of the racks to the top slot in the oven. Then he finely chopped the tomatoes and put them in a medium sized bowl. Chef Rack-coon proceeded in adding the minced garlic, the olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar to the bowl. Then he stirred in the basil, salt, and pepper. He tasted the mix and added a little more pepper and salt.
“You don't have an exact measurement of spices. It's really depends on your own taste,” he remarks. “Now it's time to prepare the bread.”
He got out the baguette and sliced it into diagonal half inch wide slices with the bread knife. Then Chef Rack-coon used a pastry brush to brush on the olive oil on one side of each slice. He placed the olive oil side onto a tray. He continued to do that until the tray was full.
“Toasting these on the top slot so we'll need to do these slices in batches,” He informs. “We just need to wait for the oven to heat up.”
When it does, Chef Rack-coon puts in the oven.
“About five to six minutes will do the trick,” he nods. “You just want the bread to turn slightly brown around the edges.”
He starts preparing the second tray of bread as the timer ran. Finally the bread slices were done. He laid the slices, olive oil face up.
“The tomatoes mix can be put on the side so that everyone can put their own portion of it on their bread slices.” Chef Rack-coon advises, “I like putting the mix on myself but I'll do it before the picnic begins on Monday. You don't want the bread to get soggy from the juices.”
With a little convincing, Chef Rack-coon and I had ourselves a little snack.
“It was just a taste testing,” I grin. “By the way this was really delicious!”
“Thank you,” Chef Rack-coon smiles.
“Well that's it for today. This is Lizzy saying 'Bye everyone have a good Columbus day!”

DisclaimerMany (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via one or both of the email addresses above.

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