Neirad https://neirad.org The Student News Site of Darien High School Mon, 13 Dec 2021 22:47:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 Review: Bodega, not just another Tex-Mex taco bar https://neirad.org/10140/student-life/review-bodega-not-just-another-tex-mex-taco-bar/ https://neirad.org/10140/student-life/review-bodega-not-just-another-tex-mex-taco-bar/#respond Mon, 13 Dec 2021 22:47:52 +0000 https://neirad.org/?p=10140 At Bodega, loud music, Mexican style seating, and an open kitchen give you the whole Mexican restaurant experience. Whether you are craving tacos, a burrito, or a salad you will be able to find it here at this Mexican restaurant. Patricia Brooks of The New York Times puts it perfectly, “But this isn’t just another Tex-Mex or Cal-Mex taco joint with Monterey Jack cheese flowing lavalike over plates of enchiladas.” Bodega goes beyond just Tex-Mex tacos and brings all of Mexico’s staples to the table.

Bodega is always packed and Papel picado, the cut paper, is a Mexican staple.

 

Atmosphere

Bodega’s loud music, Mexican style, wooden, booth seating, bar, and open kitchen really make you feel like you are in a Mexican restaurant in Mexico.

Furthermore, there are always lots of people in the restaurant, which makes it feel loud, fun, and party-esc.

Loud music, a staple at a good Mexican restaurant, and Bodega has just that. They really make you feel like you’re at a party.

The wooden booth seating gives you the full Mexican restaurant vibe, elev

ated benches with little slats and a wooden table. It’s even more comfortable than you may think. Not comfortable, but not too bad.

You can’t have a Mexican restaurant without a good old fashioned bar with televisions behind it. Bodega, once again, delivers.

The open kitchen tops everything off, to be able to see what goes on behind the scenes is very cool and it makes you fell, just that little bit more, like you are in Mexico.

[Far right] Fresh guacamole being made for the tortilla chips.
Appetizers

The first thing your server asks you when you get there is if you want chips and guacamole. The answer should always be yes. While it may seem like a super simple little appetizer, the homemade tortilla chips are so good, when your server comes back, and sees an empty bag of tortilla chips and asks you if you want more, the answer, again, will be yes!

YUM! Guac and chips, a Mexican staple, is something that Bodega has perfected.

 

Entrees

Bodega has many different options, from tacos to burritos and even a burger (if you aren’t feeling the Mexican vibe). Ms. Brooks writes, “There are tacos, of course, which are far more creative than the usual and often go far afield from Mexico, homeland of many of the dishes”, and I couldn’t agree more. Bodega does a great job of making this place feel like a true Mexican restaurant.

Bodega’s taco menu is lengthy offering options for everyone.

If you want a simple taco the kids ground beef tacos are excellent. A shell, some meat, and cheese are all you’re gonna get, but it isn’t just your ordinary at home taco. The seasoning on the beef is amazing, putting the cheese on the bottom, so it doesn’t fall off the top is genius, and whatever shell they are using they better send me, because it is so good!

A freshly made shell, rice, and some amazing meat. What else can one ask for?

If you are looking for a more interesting entree, go with the burrito. Rice, beans, queso fresco, avocado crema, sauce, and a choice of meat, make it a perfect burrito. If you like your burritos big and saucey, this ones perfect for you.

Another taco on the menu is the Argentino taco. A simple steak taco with salsa, cilantro, and onion. If you aren’t the big, saucey type this small steak wrapped in a tortilla is what you should go for.

Another Mexican staple, a steak taco and Bodega has perfected it.

Finally, the steak and rice in a bowl sounds simple, and non-mexican, but the Mexican seasoning on the steak, when mixed with the rice, truly makes it feel Mexican. If you get this dish I beg you not to eat the steak on its own, please, please, mix it with the rice. Another simple, but purposeful dish that is very good.

The steak and rice bowl is a great, simple, dish that Bodega offers.

 

Dessert

We all know dessert is the best part of many meals, so why would it be any different here? Robert Donellan, a sophomore at Middlebury College, suggests you try one of very few non-Mexican style dishes Bodega has is a dish they call S’mores dip, and yes, it is exactly what it sounds like. Melted marshmallow and chocolate in a skillet served with graham crackers that you can dip into whatever substance they have made. Believe it or not, it’s at least just as good as normal S’mores. Can it be better than normal S’mores though? Well you may just have to go try it for yourself.

 

In conclusion

Bodega is a great choice for those who want a Mexican style restaurant in a place were it’s hard to find these types of restaurants. Bodega’s website states, “Everything our cocineros (cooks) do in the cocina (kitchen) – soups, guac, sauces – they do it from scratch. Some might even say they’ve got salsa in their blood”. Not many Mexican restaurants are doing this, but you are getting fresh, home made, amazing Mexican food at this amazing restaurant.

A Mexican style soda [back] and some chips and guac. A perfect photo.

***

Atmosphere: People casually dressed. Wide range of ages from little kids to older adults. Family friendly. Loud. Mexican culture all around. The seating isn’t the best, slightly uncomfortable.

Hours: Closed all day Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday open 12-10PM, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday open 12-11PM.

Food: Many Mexican options. Really like the burrito, kids ground beef tacos, and the Argentino taco. For dessert definitely go for the s’mores dip.

Bodega Instagram

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Christmas and Supply Chain Issues Plague the Holiday Marketplace https://neirad.org/10433/student-life/christmas-and-supply-chain-issues-plague-the-holiday-marketplace/ https://neirad.org/10433/student-life/christmas-and-supply-chain-issues-plague-the-holiday-marketplace/#respond Mon, 13 Dec 2021 22:36:01 +0000 https://neirad.org/?p=10433 While we are still what should be one month away from the Christmas season, recent supply chain issues may cause the holiday energy to start even earlier than usual. Experts and company CEOs warn of major shipping delays, so while typically the holiday shopping and decorating does not start until after Thanksgiving, if you are someone eager to get into the holiday spirit, then you are in luck this year.

A woman goes shopping for Christmas on a snowy day. Photo credit: Jill Wellington

Many tend to think that delays occur due to outside issues within other countries, but while that is still the case, those problems are occurring within the U.S. as well. CBS News reports the Port of Los Angeles, which handles “40% of U.S. imports, is facing a record backlog”. This backlog is a result of recent labor shortages. Later CBS goes on to say that the “East Coast ports are seeing record volume as well. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey recently reported that it moved more cargo in August 2021 than in any other August on record.” Through these statistics it is clear that shipping and taking on the amount of shopping Americans are doing is tough to do, but it is no excuse for shortages. Recently Ms. Jen Psaki, press secretary for President Joseph Biden said, “So many people across the country are purchasing more goods online. Maybe some of it is from habits that developed during the pandemic when people weren’t leaving their homes.”

But our shopping habits should not impact whether or not the U.S can keep up, or at least we should not be blamed for something that the government and shipping companies are having problems with. We as citizens are not like a storm. However, on Fox News Live, Mr. Mario Cordero, the executive of the Port of Long Beach said, “Americans have used e-commerce at a… 20% increase. So, I think there’s a certain aspect to this that is consumer demand and that’s one of the many factors that’s causing the surge and disruptions of the supply chain.”

During COVID, many Americans developed shopping habits that continued into post lockdown and are clearly seen disrupting the supply chain. However, this should not be an issue. The government and shipping companies need to get a grasp on how to handle this because as we get closer to the holiday season, these delays will not be tolerated by little kids expecting to see their doll under the tree. 

CBS News reports the Port of Los Angeles, which handles “40% of U.S. imports, is facing a record backlog”.

In an article published by CBS they mentioned Scott Price, the President of International Shipping for United Parcel Service, and how when speaking to the AFP wire service he said, “Order your Christmas presents now, because otherwise on Christmas day, there may just be a picture of something…”. This joke said by Price is now reality. For those of you who are procrastinators leaving your holiday shopping to the duty-free stores in the airport on the way to visit your family, that is not the way to go this year. People are being forced to get gifts early if they want to wake up on Christmas morning with that special something under the tree. 

It is important to indicate that many companies have said that they will be able to handle the supply chain issues and are preparing for those delays. For example, Amazon, which has extensive infrastructure for shipping is in a good situation to “get customers what they want, when they want it, wherever they are this holiday season” according to a recent blogpost.

Overall, shop early and don’t procrastinate, because if you want to gift everyone on your list this holiday season, then you need to focus on getting those gifts early. And for those who think they are the only ones getting their shopping done early, this year you are not alone.

 

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Taylor Swift Releases Second Re-Recorded Album https://neirad.org/10464/pop-culture/taylor-swift-releases-second-re-recorded-album/ https://neirad.org/10464/pop-culture/taylor-swift-releases-second-re-recorded-album/#respond Thu, 09 Dec 2021 14:00:22 +0000 https://neirad.org/?p=10464 Taylor Swift’s fight to own her masters has been a long one. From the initial shock of the matter in 2019 to now, Swift has worked her tail off to own her past work.

Now, she owns 5 out of her 9 records: Lover, folklore, evermore, Fearless (Taylor’s Version), and the most recent edition, Red (Taylor’s Version). The original Red has been a trademark of the Swiftie world since it’s release, making the re-recorded version a highly anticipated gem. Swift fans waited patiently for about 6 months for the 30-song mega album.

Red (Taylor’s Version) arrived on November 12th, equipped with 30 songs, many of which were brand new, never before heard pieces of music, and a mature, no longer heartbroken Swift. Red is THE Swift heartbreak album, but this time around, for both Swift and her fans, Red (Taylor’s Version) evokes nothing but happiness and joy.

Just like she did with Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Swift just about perfectly emulated the original versions of the songs on Red. The production sounds so much better than the original, every note is hit perfectly, every instrument on point. For the majority of the songs, it’s hard to tell the difference between the 2012 version and the 2021 version.

There are a few differences that are hard to miss, though. Most notably, the new version of the deluxe edition track “Girl At Home.” A previously demo-like track now sounds less like “Girl At Home” and more like “Girl At The Club.” Strong synths and jumpy beats replaced the unperfected guitar strums from the original, making the new version of the track so much better. “Girl At Home” was never my favorite song on Red, and now I enjoy it so much more after its makeover. I find myself dancing to it frequently and having a great time.

There are two more subtle differences, the way the new versions of “22” and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” sound. The differences in these two tracks aren’t something Swift can control – her voice simply just sounds different. As someone with extreme attachments to the originals, it’s been difficult to adjust to the deep tone of 2021 Swift’s voice. If you sing along to the songs, they don’t sound different, but if you play them right after the originals, you can hear the difference. While part of me misses Swift’s high “we’s” and over-enthusiastic “Oh-oh’s,” now that the album has been out for a while, I’ve adjusted to the new versions of those two songs.

Other than that, Red (Taylor’s Version) beautifully and successful emulated the original almost perfectly. In fact, I like Taylor’s version so much better than the original. Swift’s attention to detail is beyond evident, and it’s clear that she gave herself the freedom to make artistic choices that she felt her fans would love.

The best part of the album for most Swifties is the new material that Swift provided. The Red Songs From The Vault, are even better than the Fearless ones. It’s a mixed bag, and there truly is something for everyone. “Nothing New” features Pheobe Bridgers, “Run” features Ed Sheeran, and “I Bet You Think About Me” features Chris Stapleton. In choosing these collaborators, Swift caters to the indie-folk audience (Bridgers), the country audience (Stapleton), and the pop-acoustic audience (Sheeran).

On top off those brand new, never heard before songs, Swift included her version of her song “Better Man,” which she gave to Little Big Town to record and release, and her version of “Babe,” which she wrote and gave to Sugarland to record. Although she was featured in the original, Swift gets to have the new version of “Babe” all to herself. Lastly, she included a new version of the emotional song “Ronan,” which she wrote about a little boy who passed away from cancer, originally released as a single. The song’s heartbreaking lyrics hit even harder in Swift’s more mature voice.

Perhaps the most important From The Vault Song on Red (Taylor’s Version) is the 10 minute version of fan favorite “All Too Well.” Fans had begged Swift for years to release the 10 minute version of one of the most heartbreaking songs ever written, and she obliged. “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” has achieved the most success of all the songs on the album, debuting at number one, and breaking the record for the longest song to ever debut at number one. Its heartbreaking lyrics and enthralling production make for a song that was worth the wait, and one that pulls the listener in so much that it does not require an attention span.

From the addicting, upbeat “Message In A Bottle” to the deep storytelling in “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) to the hilariously clever country song “I Bet You Think About Me,” the Songs From The Vault have something for everyone. They add another emotional layer to the album, and give fans something new to dissect and enjoy. My personal favorites are “Forever Winter” and “Message In A Bottle,” and of course, the 10 minute version of “All Too Well.”

Swift’s talents go unmatched once again with the release of Red (Taylor’s Version). Her ability to dive straight into a project as difficult as emulating past work makes her a force to be reckoned with. Her expert songwriting craft and meticulous attention to detail makes this project worth the 2 hour and 10 minute listen.

Red (Taylor’s Version) is bound to bring in new Swift fans and keep current fans happy for many months to come. Many Swifties, however, have a feeling another re-recording will be on its way soon. In sum, in the words of Swift herself, “everything has changed.” Swift took a chance, dreamed impossible things, and has done more with a terrible situation than many previously thought possible. And that’s something to be proud of.

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Q&A: All About Post 53 https://neirad.org/10477/student-life/qa-all-about-post-53/ https://neirad.org/10477/student-life/qa-all-about-post-53/#respond Tue, 07 Dec 2021 19:30:46 +0000 https://neirad.org/?p=10477 When it comes to Post 53, there are a lot of frequently asked questions. I had the opportunity to interview two Post members, juniors Chelsea Donovan and Gretchen Edwards. Donovan and Edwards are both certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).

Here’s what they had to say:

  1. What is the most common type of call that you receive?
    1. Donovan: The most common call that I have gotten on duty is lift assist, which is when an older person falls and needs help getting back up.
  2.  Have you ever felt unprepared upon arriving to the scene of a call?
    1. Edwards: I have never really felt unprepared on a call. Our training is very intense and is some of the best in the area, so we have learned what to do in almost every circumstance. Although it is hard to prepare for every possible situation, we can always help the person in distress in some type of way.

      Edwards giving a thumbs up as she is doing well in her EMT training.
  3. How fast can you get to a scene?
    1. Donovan: It depends on the type of call and how urgent it is. If it is a normal travel call, we typically get there in under 10 minutes. If the call is a lights and siren response (a true emergency), we usually get there within a few minutes.
  4. Have you ever pulled an all-nighter because of your duties at Post 53?
    1. Edwards: Yes, I have had to go to school several times without sleep. It usually happens during night shifts when I have to sleep at the Post 53 headquarters. It is hard to get a good night’s sleep there because you never really get used to it, and also because you often get calls during the night. Sometimes, I have even received multiple calls a night, making it hard for me to sleep at all!
  5. What do you enjoy most about Post 53?
    1. Edwards: Since we are on duty a lot, we are constantly surrounded by our co-workers, allowing me to make many great friendships. This really gives Post a family aspect, making it feel like home away from home.
    2. Donovan: Post 53 has been a life changing experience for me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has not only provided me with much experience and expertise when it comes to being an EMS, but it has also given me lifelong friendships and memories that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

      Donovan and Edwards accompanied by several other Posties after a day of hard work at their EMS training.
  6. Do you think your level of expertise is comparable/similar to those of a real EMS?
    1. Edwards: Yes, I believe that our expertise is comparable to a professional EMS. For us to become a Basic EMT, we have to go through approximately 140 hours of training over a six-month period and have to cycle through ambulance rotations with the Stamford and Norwalk EMS. Additionally, we must pass the state practical and written exam in order to receive official certification. This rigorous and hardcore training allows us to advance and develops our skills to be the same or even better than those of a professional since they have to go through the same training and testing that we do.

      Donovan learning how to be an EMT from the professionals during her training.
  7. Has Post 53 ever been acknowledged for their work?
    1. Donovan: Yes, back in October, Post 53 received the 2021 Volunteer EMS Service of the Year at the EMS World Expo Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. We received this award from EMS World and the National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians. Additionally, Post 53 is the only high school student driven BLS ambulance corps in the United States.
  8. Is it stressful leaving class when a call comes in during the school day?
    1. Edwards: The first few times I had to leave in the middle of a class because of a call was stressful. But all of us Posties went into this knowing we would have to make sacrifices and leaving school in the middle of the day is minor compared to other things we have to face throughout our time in Post 53.

      Edwards accompanied by her siblings, Lucie and Hayden, who are alumni of both DHS and Post 53.
  9.  How do you balance everything (social life, school, family, Post 53)?
    1. Donovan: It was hard to balance everything at first, but after learning how to manage my time in an efficient way, it became easier. After being in Post 53 for a few years now, I have been able to fall into a routine that gives me time to do both.
  10. What are the different roles within Post 53?
    1. Donovan: After becoming a full member of Post 53, there are four main roles to be a part of. The first role is being a “Radio Roomie.” The people of this role are responsible for all communication at Post 53 which includes recording the times of ambulance calls, answering the phone, and responding to the calls from the Darien Police. The next role is being a “Rider.” Riders help the EMS on the ambulance calls by predicting and assembling the equipment needed for the call and occasionally helping with the care when needed. The third possible role is an Emergency Medical Technician (Basic EMT). An EMT deals with all basic patient care and the communications with the hospital. The last possible role is being a Driver. Drivers get the ambulance to the scene of the call and to the hospital safely and timely, abiding by the rules of the road at all times.

 

These ordinary teenagers volunteer to dedicate hours upon hours of their time to help save lives 24/7, 365 days a year.

After learning about the experiences of two current Post members, do you wish you joined Post 53?

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Sorry, there was an error loading this poll.

 

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Don’t Make a Sound: A Quiet Place review https://neirad.org/10248/uncategorized/dont-make-a-sound-a-quiet-place-review/ https://neirad.org/10248/uncategorized/dont-make-a-sound-a-quiet-place-review/#respond Thu, 02 Dec 2021 15:03:54 +0000 https://neirad.org/?p=10248 A Quiet Place directed by John Krasinski is a perfect movie to keep you on your toes. The element of silence, accompanied by menacing noises, has long played a crucial role in many horror movies. This is seen within the Abbott family who is forced to live in silence and constant fear of the unknown creatures that hunt by sound. Even the slightest whisper or footstep can bring death upon the family. The parents, Evelyn and Lee, are constantly finding ways to protect their children while desperately searching for a way to fight back. The movie is silent for the majority, but it plays well into the viewers’ constant anticipation. This movie creates something we haven’t seen before: providing a simple yet unique plot, especially in the horror genre. In another Quiet Place review, John Bently says; “A Quiet Place is a film that will satisfy horror fans, but its family drama also gives it a broader appeal. Either way, it’s a quietly chilling experience that you won’t soon forget.” The movie is very suspenseful and will keep you on the edge of your seat every second. If you enjoy horror this is for you. The movie was praised by viewers, so much so that a second Quiet Place was released in March of 2020.

In the wake of Halloween, these movies are perfect for viewers who enjoy horror and thrillers or trying to be spooked. This chilling horror will keep you guessing and anticipating the sequel.

If you are looking to watch this movie, the trailer is equally as thrilling:

Paramount pictures
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The Bright Lights of Broadway are Shining Again! https://neirad.org/10597/pop-culture/the-bright-lights-of-broadway-are-shining-again/ https://neirad.org/10597/pop-culture/the-bright-lights-of-broadway-are-shining-again/#respond Wed, 01 Dec 2021 18:54:51 +0000 https://neirad.org/?p=10597 On March 12, 2020, due to the coronavirus outbreak, NY State officials dimmed the lights on Broadway, forcing all 41 theaters to close indefinitely. 

In recent years, Broadway has closed for events such as September 11, natural disasters, and blackouts but only for a very brief period. This “COVID” theater pause was the longest Broadway shutdown in history. For over 18 months, the theater doors remained closed. The impact was significant, leaving thousands of actors and theater staff members unemployed. In addition, Broadway’s closure left a negative impact on New York City’s economy as theater goers around the world were unable to visit the Big Apple. In addition to the financial aspect, the absence of live theater left an unmistakable void in the hearts of audiences who were not able to experience live theater for over a year and a half.

(Dimitris.s12)
(R.D. Smith)

Although many outdoor events, including sporting events and concerts, reopened relatively quickly, Broadway was slow to make its return. Thankfully, on May 15, 2021, officials announced that Broadway would be permitted to open in late summer. To the delight of the entire theater community, four productions reopened at the end of the summer including the concert, Springsteen on Broadway, the play, Passover and two musicals: Waitress and Hadestown. Since the successful reopening of these shows, numerous musicals and plays have reopened including Wicked, The Lion King, Chicago and Hamilton (September 14), Six (September 17), Come From Away (September 21), Moulin Rouge (September 24), Aladdin (September 28), To Kill a Mockingbird (October 5), Tina Turner the Musical (October 8), Ain’t Too Proud: the Life and Times of the Temptations (October 16), Jagged Little Pill (October 21), and the longest running show in Broadway history: Phantom of the Opera (October 22.)

Not only were the performers and theater staff thrilled to be returning to the jobs that they love, but audiences were ecstatic to once again be able to enjoy live theater. There were many special moments that took place on the various opening nights such as the eruption that came from the audience during Wicked when Glinda flew down in her bubble and declared “It’s good to see me again, isn’t it.” Many of the shows did special curtain calls as well. For example, Waitress honored cast member Nick Cordero who lost his life to COVID, and the cast of Chicago showered the audience with roses as they took their bows. The energy inside the theaters was electrifying. Opening nights were met with thunderous applause and numerous standing ovations, and left smiles on the faces of casts and audiences alike. The return of Broadway helped signal a return to a sense of normalcy and optimism that had been missing for over a year.

(Ellery Sterling)

Broadway has implemented a number of safety protocols to keep the curtains up including rigorous testing of cast and crew, as well as audience vaccination and mask requirements. Unfortunately, with the pandemic still lingering, despite best efforts, nothing is certain. This proved to be true when, upon opening, Aladdin endured a 10 day shut down due to breakthrough COVID cases in the cast. Despite set-backs, Broadway hopes to reopen all of it’s theaters by January 2022.

(Denise Jans)

For performers and audience members alike, there is nothing like live theater! If you aren’t quite ready to return to New York City, Fairfield County offers numerous wonderful local venues to enjoy live performances and support the arts. For a listing and synopsis of current shows, check out some of the following websites: Curtain Call, the Ridgefield Playhouse, the Westport Country Playhouse, and the Sacred Heart University Community Theatre.  

As the lyrics in “On Broadway” by The Drifters go: “They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. They say there’s always magic in the air.” Start spreading the news, theater is back and better than ever.

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I Tried the Recipe for “The Best Cinnamon Rolls You’ll Ever Eat” https://neirad.org/9907/student-life/i-tried-the-recipe-for-the-best-cinnamon-rolls-youll-ever-eat/ https://neirad.org/9907/student-life/i-tried-the-recipe-for-the-best-cinnamon-rolls-youll-ever-eat/#respond Wed, 24 Nov 2021 16:00:12 +0000 https://neirad.org/?p=9907 I am one who cannot patiently follow a recipe that takes more than 30-45 minutes. This narrows down the list of things I can successfully bake; so typically, I do not bake foods more complex than packaged cookie dough or brownie batter mix. However, I tried to change my habits by making a fall recipe completely from scratch.

 

 

 

I attempted to bake the best cinnamon rolls I will ever eat, according to “Ambitous Kitchen”. Being knee – deep into the fall season, this recipe was perfect for the occasion. Though it took quite some time and patience to make sure the cinnamon rolls came out to perfection, they were 100% worth it.

This recipe is the perfect fall dessert.

 

Meghan Splawn, from thekitchn.com, wrote a review on 4 cinnamon rolls from recipes that she found. Splawn suggested that when making the cinnamon roll should start out with “The dough itself should be lightly sweetened but full of flavor — yeasty, buttery, maybe even a little tangy. The filling should have a punch of cinnamon and be sticky with brown sugar and butter. And the icing?  Not too sweet, but very lush”. Ambitious Kitchen’s recipe seemed to check off all these suggestions. Read some more of Splawn’s review on here: https://www.thekitchn.com/cinnamon-roll-recipe-reviews-22969563

The recipe stated that prep time would be 2 hours and cook time would be 20 minutes, with a total time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. The 20 minutes of cooking time was accurate, however, the prep time took a little bit longer, especially for inexperienced bakers like myself. The recipe called for letting the dough sit in between steps, once for 90 minutes and once for 30 minutes. That does put you to about 2 hours of total prep time, however, it took about another hour total to get all the ingredients mixed, kneaded, etc. 

The ingredients were, for the most part, everything you would find in your kitchen. The only things I personally needed to get was bread flour and quick-rise yeast. All the other ingredients you will be almost sure to have in your cabinet.

First step: Make dough and knead for 8-10 minutes.

The first steps were simple: warming the milk to 110 degrees and stirring in sugar, egg, egg yolk, and melted butter. Then, add the flour in. Knead for about 8-10 minutes.Very simple and the dough came out to a perfect consistency. 

After kneading the dough, I had to let it sit for 90 minutes to rise. Though this took patience, the dough rose perfectly just as the recipe said it would. This step is very important, as the dough really did double in size.

Next, roll the dough into a 9×14 inch rectangle. Then, taking a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon, coat the dough with it. The cinnamon sugar mixture was the perfect amount for the size of the rectangle.

Rolling out the dough to a 9×14 inch rectangle insures for 9 perfect rolls.

 Then, the recipe said to roll the dough to create the spiral of the cinnamon mixture inside of the roll. This went surprisingly well, as the dough did not unravel too bad. Then, cut into 9 separate pieces. I ended up getting exactly 9 pretty big size pieces after cutting it into even increments. 

Next, let the rolls sit for 30 minutes before baking, then bake for 20-25 minutes. The dough rose perfectly and they only needed to be cooked for about 20 minutes to get that soft and fluffy consistency.

This recipe yields 9 even cinnamon rolls.

While they were baking, it was time to make the frosting. I just needed to combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Easy enough and it came out to be the perfect flavor and consistency: very light and whipped.

 Overall, the final product came out very well. After 20 minutes, they were a perfect golden brown. Cooked, they came out a great size as well: bigger than a clenched fist. The cinnamon was apparent in the flavor and the frosting went well with it. On the outside, the dough was a little dry, but as you get closer to the center, it becomes more soft and fluffy. Definitely no need to bake for more than 20 minutes.

 

A quick and easy to make frosting completes the recipe.Compared to Pillsbury pre-packaged cinnamon rolls, these had more of a cinnamon flavor. Pillsbury also had less icing to go with the cinnamon rolls. The dough on the homemade roll recipe tasted more from scratch; a little more dense, however still flavorful and sweet. The presentation looked very similar as well.

 

 

If you have a few hours on a nice fall day to try out this recipe, do it! Even myself, an inexperienced baker who can lack patience at times, did it, and they came out phenomenal!

 

Recipe: https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/best-cinnamon-rolls/

Interested in more cooking or baking stories? Try out:

 

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The Turkey Bowl: A Thanksgiving Tradition https://neirad.org/10531/sports/the-turkey-bowl-a-thanksgiving-tradition/ https://neirad.org/10531/sports/the-turkey-bowl-a-thanksgiving-tradition/#respond Tue, 23 Nov 2021 17:30:09 +0000 https://neirad.org/?p=10531 Dating back to 1928, rivals Darien and New Canaan have battled each other in an annual football game known as the Turkey Bowl. Each year, the Turkey Bowl takes place on Thanksgiving, which this year is on November 25. 

Last year, because of COVID, the Turkey Bowl was different than past years. The teams did get a chance to play each other, but no spectators were allowed to watch the game, disappointing the players’ families, students, and all DHS fans. 

Back in 2019, New Canaan had the record of 52-38-2 in the Turkey Bowls, meaning our own Blue Wave has lost more times than they have won.

At the first of many Turkey Bowl games in 1928, Darien defeated New Canaan 26-6. Over the years, the games have gotten more evenly matched and the champion varies most every year. Although, in 2019 before COVID hit, New Canaan defeated Darien 20-0. 

This year, the game between the Blue Wave (9-0) and the Rams (8-1) will be a close one. 

The two rivals will fight for the Coaches Memorial Trophy at 10:00 AM on Dunning Field at New Canaan High School. 

If you did not purchase a ticket for the game by Wednesday, November 17, you can watch the game live on Youtube on either the DAF or the NTCV channels.

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An 100% Brutally Honest Review of Chipotle Mexican Grill https://neirad.org/10056/pop-culture/an-100-brutally-honest-review-of-chipotle-mexican-grill/ https://neirad.org/10056/pop-culture/an-100-brutally-honest-review-of-chipotle-mexican-grill/#respond Mon, 22 Nov 2021 21:00:35 +0000 https://neirad.org/?p=10056 I love Chipotle, there’s no denying that.  But today I’m going to look at Chipotle in a different way and determine whether it’s worth your money.

As soon as you walk into any Chipotle restaurant, the vibe is very sleek and minimalist. The decor is industrial with stainless steel tables, leather barstools, and steel framed chairs.  This makes it clean, modern, and inviting. Similar to a Subway, the ordering process is simple and efficient.  Since it is 100% customizable, your options are laid out in front of you.  Other methods of ordering can be found using the Chipotle app.

Picture of Chipotle Burrito Bowl
This was my sister’s bowl right out of the bag, doesn’t look very appealing to be honest. (Julia Blake)

I decided it was time to see if Chipotle was worth all the hype.  I have been to Chipotle only a handful of times, so I went to the Darien location to inspect every aspect of this super chain.  I chose their burrito bowl, which is basically everything you could ask for from a burrito without the tortilla.  I found they are much easier and less messy to eat.  The portion is almost too big so it won’t leave you hungry for more.  

Chipotle restaurants are constantly adding new menu items to satisfy all of their customers.  They recently announced that they would be adding smoked brisket to their menu.  Over the summer, they released a limited time only substitute for grain rice, which is cauliflower rice.  I tried to order this a couple of times, but each restaurant I went to didn’t have it available, which was disappointing.  Here is a link to their full menu: https://www.chipotle.com/

By far my favorite parts of the burrito bowl were the toppings.  I got their guacamole, which was visibly fresh and super creamy, the pico de galo that had the right amount of lime and salt, cheese, and the fajita veggies which were multicolored peppers and onions that were to die for.  The thing that sets Chipotle apart from their competitors like Taco Bell are their use of fresh ingredients that look like they were prepared an hour prior.  Chipotle doesn’t mess around with their uses of spices to make their meals bursting with delicious flavors (this is what you would expect from any good Mexican grill). A random thing that I have noticed that is important to consider is that their bathrooms are always immaculate, which is reassuring that cleanliness is a top priority given they are preparing your food.

A picture of Chipotle at night in New York City
Take a look at this packed Chipotle in NYC a couple blocks away from Madison Square Garden (Julia Blake)

There is much to love but an issue that I didn’t find appealing was there were several pieces of steak even though I ordered chicken.  I can see how they could have just fallen into the wrong container, but for somebody with an allergy or who is a vegetarian/vegan, this could result in dissatisfaction or disaster.  Taking this into consideration, Chipotle provides a variety of options for people with all diets.  The sofritas are a vegan tofu alternative, and there are countless vegetables available. Another question to take into consideration, is Chipotle actually healthy? Find out more in this article: https://www.glamour.com/story/is-chipotle-healthy 

Some people say they will never hop on the bandwagon Chipotle.  Not only is the line ALWAYS long no matter when you go, it’s much more expensive than your average fast food restaurant.  In comparison, most items at a Taco Bell are less than $4, but at Chipotle, they can be upwards of $13.  Finally and most importantly, guacamole is an extra cost.  In my opinion, this is a staple in any successful Mexican dish, and this just adds to the already high price.

PapiEats

Honestly, I think that Chipolte has too much hype.  There are so many small businesses in town and the surrounding area that prepare authentic Mexican cuisine with are a way better way to spend your money.  Some of my favorites are Baja Joes in Darien, Bodega, and Casa Villa in Stamford.  If your not looking for a sit down meal, then Chipolte is definitely the next best option.  This may have you wondering whether or not you should go.  I think that it is a fun option to try, but it will never replace a sit down restaurant, which was probably never their intention in the first place.

Big news! A new Chipotle is in Stamford at 1207 High Ridge Road Stamford CT.

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Squid Game: The Hottest K-Horror Out On Netflix https://neirad.org/10006/pop-culture/squid-game-the-hottest-k-horror-out-on-netflix/ https://neirad.org/10006/pop-culture/squid-game-the-hottest-k-horror-out-on-netflix/#respond Mon, 22 Nov 2021 18:00:42 +0000 https://neirad.org/?p=10006 Although Halloween passed, it’s never the wrong time to continue to binge-watch chilling shows. “Squid Game,” (directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk) is about 456 impoverished players who are facing serious debt. They’re invited to play a series of Korean children’s games for 45.6 billion won (38 million USD). Sounds nice right? Here’s the thing- you lose, you’re eliminated. You’re eliminated? You die.

Netflix released “Squid Game” on September 17th, 2021. The show took over ten years to create, but the time and dedication to this project were absolutely worth it. Over 111 million people have watched the hit show by October. It’s named the biggest Netflix show ever for a reason, which is why I advise anyone who hasn’t watched it to tune in ASAP. Before you continue- there are some slight spoilers in this review. To get the best experience from “Squid Game,” I advise saving this article for after you finish the series.

Viewers made a popular theory about ddajki: Picking blue meant you would enter the game as a player. If Red, you would enter as a staff member. This isn’t confirmed yet by Hwang Dong-Hyuk, the director.

Episode one makes a lot more sense if you look at the big picture. It’s boring to get through, but it’ll be worth paying attention to details you might miss. We’re introduced to the protagonist, Seong Gi-hun (played by Lee Jung-jae). He’s a divorced dad and a severe gambler, but optimistic and warm-hearted. On his daughter’s tenth birthday, he finds out she is leaving for the USin a year. Gi-hun is hit hard, with another obstacle from being 160 million won ($134K USD) in debt due to opening-a-business gone wrong. A strange man in a suit plays a game called ddajki with him. If Gi-hun wins, he gets rewarded 100,000 won. If the man wins, Gi-hun either gives him the same amount in cash… or gets slapped across the face in return.

This basically tests Gi-hun’s eligibility as a possible contestant for the grand competition. This “test” ends, and the solicitor gives him a card as an invitation to participate in the games. This was a good move on the writer’s part. It foreshadows the whole show and the lesson behind it. Gi-hun signed away his rights when he agreed to let a random man hurt him for the sake of money.

Are you in or out? The staff watch as players makes an important decision that ties in with their fate.

After winning some money, Gi-hun finally decides to play the actual game. Unknown men show up in pink jumpsuits and black masks with shapes on them; according to the art director, they are supposed to resemble ant heads. The workers vaguely explain everything to the players. Each game is an old children’s game. I’m guessing that it was supposed to take the characters out of the hard, stressful world of a poverty-stricken adult and bring them back into the innocent, easy-going life of a playful child.

Red light, Green light began, and if you get caught by this humongous doll, you get sniped. Over 200 lives were lost, and both players and viewers are traumatized by the sudden massacre. That’s when the players realize the true meaning of being “eliminated.” The question of “Do we want to stay?” Gets introduced in the remainder of the episode. 

About half the players remaining vote to end the games and be sent home. Surprisingly, they were let free. Gi-hun tries reporting to the police about the mass murders of the game but is instead seen as a psycho that is broke and on drugs. Eventually, all the players go back. You may be wondering- why would they be willing to get murdered? Let’s hear them out. Players are manipulated to stay in the game. These people are hundreds of millions of dollars in debt- and they were never middle class, or born into a well-off family. How can they pay off such high amounts while being chased down by several loan sharks and the government? Not to mention a lot of the players have families to take care of. Players decided risking their survival to win the money is worth more than returning to their depressive lives at home. This was a great opening to the season with its in-depth backstory. We see why Gi-hun needs to be in the games. Just like game shows like Jeopardy or Family Feud, they could have simply said “I need more cash, so I’m going to play this game.” The writers show the cycle of being trapped in a world dependent on money, and the reality of having no way out. The sick part is that it’s constantly shown that the players chose to participate. If it’s anyone’s fault they die… It’s theirs.

Netflix

Above everything, the biggest thing about “Squid Game” is the plot twists. They are INSANE. You’ll do a solid amount of crying tears of sadness, joy, and anger. Sophomore Sam Baiocco agrees, saying, “I loved it, I thought it was scary in such a good way. It was entertaining.. a good mix of both. I hope they make more seasons.” The other characters’ backstories provide well-paced plot development. Each player is going through similar problems, but the little details and different personalities make the show more interesting. As the show goes on, you create a relationship with the main characters- which is what a lot of viewers like to talk about after watching (Especially Player 067). Luckily for Baiocco, season two is rumored by the directors, and based on the ending of S1, we might see a deeper look into the psychotic game through the lens of a worker. Freshman Georgia Biasi recently finished the series and texted me about how much she loved it. “It was the first show I’ve watched all in one day. I loved the characters and it’s one of my favorite shows. I definitely recommend,” Biasi said.

If you’ve enjoyed “Squid Game,” I would recommend movies like Escape Room 1 & 2, (in theaters/Hulu) and Alice in Borderland (Netflix). These movies follow the Hunger Games- “win the game and survive,” theme I’ve noticed is a favorite amongst film lovers.

Fun links!

https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-play-every-game-from-squid-game/

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