Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Connecticut Wanders: The Warner Theatre

Last Friday evening my BFFE Lori and her husband Tim treated Paul and I to a fun evening at the Warner Theatre in Torrington CT.  The Warner Theatre is a beautifully restored "Movie Palace" built by Warner Brothers Studios in 1931, and it was described as "Connecticut's most beautiful theatre."  It slowly deteriorated in the 1960's-1980's due to postponed maintenance from lack of funds and declining  business.  In 1982, it face foreclosure and demolition.

A concerned group of citizens formed the non-profit Northwest Connecticut Association for the Arts, Inc. (NWCAA) to save the theatre, and successfully raised the funds to purchase the theatre.  The NCA continued their efforts over the following years, and the Warner Theatre truly is a "Palace" for the performing arts (http://www.warnertheatre.org/restoration.htm).

The featured guest on Friday evening was comedian  John Pinette. His comedy was refreshingly clever and funny.  Little to no foul language or comments you might be embarrassed to have your mother or children hear.  We all all laughed so hard that our cheeks hurt by the end of the show from smiling so much. 

Thank you Lori and Tim for a fun filled evening.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Adventure in the Kitchen: Chicken, Portobello Mushroom, Florentine Soup

I know I posted a similar recipe a few months ago, but I made this new version last night to rave reviews. There wasn't a drop left in the pot, and I decided that made the new version worth sharing.

2 qt Chicken Stock
2 large Portobello Mushroom chopped 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup Onion coarsely chopped
3-4 cloves Garlic minced
1 T finely chopped Fresh Sage*
1 T finely chopped Fresh Rosemary*
1 T finely chopped Fresh Basil*
1 T finely chopped Fresh Oregano*
5 cups Raw Spinach (rinsed well)
1/4 cup Brown Rice
1/4 cup Orzo
1/2 cup Cooked Chicken Cubed**
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring chicken stock to boil in a 2 qt stockpot. Add Portobello mushroom, onion, and garlic. Simmer very low for at least 20 minutes. Add herbs, salt, pepper, spinach, brown rice, and orzo simmer on low at least 10 minutes. Then add cooked cube chicken right before serving and simmer a few minutes. 

*   If you don't have fresh herbs, 1 tsp of dried may be substituted for each.  The dried can be added with the onions and mushrooms.

** Raw cubed skinless, boneless chicken breast could be used and added to stockpot the same time as the chicken stock. Simmer a little longer, 30 minutes total or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.