Tag Archives: NPR

Middleton Martini Mania A Shaken/Stirred Blast

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martini1If you were a martini aficionado walking through the doors of The Riverview in Simsbury Thursday, it was like heading into your own kind of heaven.

More than 30 well-known restaurants were there to greet you, each offering a martini delight as they vied for the title “best martini” in the annual “Faith Middleton Food Schmooze Martini competition, hosted each year by the popular NPR personality and foodie.  martini5

“I don’t know where to start,” said Tammy Richards, a Hartford resident who came to the fundraising contest with friends. “I always think of a martini as gin and vermouth and it certainly doesn’t look like any of these.”

For purists, it was not the place to be as mixologists shake or stirred “out of the box” in an effort to come up with the most creative and most tasty martini-like libation possible.

martini6Among the choices there was the caramel and peanut Crackerjack Martini, the quintessential summer watermelon martini, the Smokin’ with James bourbon-laced entry, the ginger-kissed chili Thai martini, the pungent humo de fuego  and the hops-infused vodka creation, The Randy.

The annual event is hosted by Middleton and benefits NPR programming initiatives.

“I just think it’s a nice way to get people out and introduce them to new tastes in a mood that is up,” said Middleton who was sporting some nice jewelry. “There is something about hearing a cocktail shaker that just makes people happy!”

Middleton was doing a little celebrating of her own and it had nothing to do with martinis, not even hermartini2 secret four ingredient recipe that she would only acknowledge contains lime juice and rum.

“We just celebrated our second anniversary together,” said Middleton about her relationship with girlfriend, Amy Gross, former editor-in-chief for Oprah Winfrey’s “O” magazine.

The celebration, Middleton said, included a trip back to Sunset Beach on Shelter Island where the two had their first date.

Also doing some Middleton-related celebrating was Alex Province, a regular guest on her Food Schmooze show, who has now joined the program on a regular basis.

For more pictures go here.

Foodie Middleton Schmoozes In Farmington

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faith1The WNPR personality was the reason for the elegant dinner at Farmington Gardens Thursday and not just any old dinner.

It was her 4th annual “Heart to Heart Champagne and Romance Dinner Dance,” a lush fundraising affair that had all February is known for, champagne, an intimate dinner, dancing and of course, romance.

“We love her,” said Lauren Shelto, who came with husband Geoff Boughton, and her sister and brother-in-law Jayne and Jim Bishop. And on a night when she admitted she would probably be happily slipping into pajamas as the end of another work week loomed, Shelto said it was a treat to be out on the town instead of cooking at home. So would there be dancing with her date as well?

faith3“It depends on how much we drink,” she laughed, as the four sipped champagne.

Doing the heavy lifting in the kitchen was a who’s who of area chefs including Chip Miller from The Society Room, Stefan Drago from Belle Terrace, Yale Woodson from Plan B Burger Bar and Katrina Chabot from Farmington Gardens.

“Yummy, just yummy,” was the food review from self-proclaimed amateur critic Mary Carlisle, a West Hartford resident who said she was the “fill-in” date for a friend who could not attend. “Definitely better than what I would have been eating if I were home,” she said. “By Thursday all the energy I have when it comes to making dinner is a bowl of cereal.”

Let The Hartford Weekend Begin!

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calendar_clip_art-1.29213820_std[1]flowershowHow many days till spring? Too many as far as this writer is concerned. But cheer up. It’s the weekend and spring is but weeks away!

Get a sense of that season  at the 32nd annual Connecticut Flower & Garden Show Feb. 21 to Feb. 24 at the Connecticut Convention Center.

The show features hundreds of displays, activities and vendors showcasing the best the season has to offer including landscaping, garden decor, bulbs, seeds , lawn care and arts and crafts as well as 20 gardens  and a design and horticulture competition all with a wedding theme.

Celebrities at this year’s show include Roger Swain, former host of PBS’  “The Victory Garden” and HGTV’s “People, Places & Plants.”  And there is a couple from Glastonbury who will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows in the midst of the flower-filled hall Thursday as part of the opening.

Information: ctflowershow.com or 860-844-8461.

Information: www.ctflowershow.com

The Arch Street Tavern will be the place for Happy Hour Feb. 21. Camp Courant will host a “Send a Kid To Camp”  fundraiser  there from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. The get-together includes cocktails and appetizers with special guests Congressman John Larson and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra. Tickets are $50 a person.

faith (2)Great food and NPR’s award-winning Food Schmoozer Faith Middleton are synonymous so it’s no surprise that her annual “Heart to Heart Champagne and Romance Dinner Dance” is always a hit.

The food and love soiree is Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Farmington Gardens in Farmington. As part of her “Food Schmooze Signature Event Series,” the celebration features foods prepared by  a long list of celebrated chefs including Jordan Stein of the Pond House Grille, Albert Clugston of the Litchfield Saltwater Grille, Yale Woodson of Plan B Burger Bar in Glastonbury and Stefan Drago of Avon Belle Terrace.

Music is provided by Alex Nakhimovsky and his band. Information: cpbn.org.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Nothing like a 50th anniversary and the Goodspeed is kicking it off with style and music on Feb. 23 at “Celebrating the Impossible Dream-50 Years of Goodspeed Musicals!”

The special collaboration with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra will feature selections from Goodspeed originals that moved to Broadway including “Annie”  and “Man of La Mancha” as well as favorites from dozens shows including “Brigadoon,” “Finian’s Rainbow” and “No No Nanette.”

Guest conductor will be Michael O’Flaherty who has been resident music director for the Goodspeed for the past 21 years. Special guest artists include Sarah Uriarte Berry, Lindsay Mendez, Quentin Earl Darrington and James Snyder.

Information:  hartfordsymphony.org.

On Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. the Central Connecticut Celtic Cultural Committee will honor the St.Patrick’s Day Parade 2013 honorees at a recpetion at the Irish American Home Society in Glastonbury.

Named Parade Grand Marshal  is James Mulcahy. Person of the Year is FoxCt/Courant head Rich Graziano.  The two will also be feted at a cocktail reception on March 1.

oscarIt’s Oscar night Sunday, a night of awards, stars, great clothes and lots of partying.

Dreamed of walking the red carpet?   Java makes your dream come true at the AIDS CT  Oscar Experience Party at the Mark Twain House & Museum Sunday.

Join Java and WTNH traffic reporter Teresa LaBarbera on the red carpet  in your best finery and then head into the official Oscar party and fundraiser that includes  food, drinks (including the new Lamarre-tini named after, well, you know who!)  auctions, fashion show,  a VIP pre-party party and of course, big-screen viewing of the actual Oscar awards program.

Come dressed in your best cocktail wear or dress as one of characters from one of the award nominated films.

Information: aidsprojecthartford.org

oscar[1]_optThere is also an Oscar Night Party at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Center beginning at 7 p.m. benefiting the center. Information: katharinehepburntheater.org

And there is yet a third Oscar party this year at Belle Terrace in Avon sponsored by the Farmington Valley Film Commission. That party starts at 7 p.m. Information: www.farmingtonvalleyfilm.org. e