Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
The letter is one I received after sending in my thoughts on the various Martha ventures of the time. It was a rather long letter that was of course complimentary! It's hard to read in the scan, but they made a comment about my email address.. 'goodthing'
Looking through the things I've collected always brings a smile to my face. One day, I'll open that Martha Stewart Museum.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Beginning February 25th, participants will receive projects, recipes and have the opportunity to get advice directly from MSLO experts. Participants will also be able to share their creations in a special community forum on marthastewart.com
To participate, log into http://www.marthastewart.com/ and update your account profile preferences to include the 2008 Easter Workshop.
Nicknamed "Little Man," Sirius is a joy to have as part of the family. His first year was a bit of a challenge with his 'energy level.' His brother and sisters (Martha, Riko, Cinnamon) have had a rough year adjusting to his kitten behavior! From the get go he was an active child!
I can't help but thank Tracie Hotchner from Cat Chat Radio for all her help in guiding me through his wee-kitten years. I knew nothing about taking care of newborn kittens and Tracie helped me through those important few weeks.
Happy Birthday Little Man! Your Dad's love you!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Under the terms of the transaction, MSLO is acquiring the rights to the Emeril Lagasse franchise, including:
-- Television Programming: The Essence of Emeril and syndication episodes of Emeril Live on The Food Network, and food correspondent segments on ABC's Good Morning America;
-- Cookbooks: library of twelve cookbooks, including Emeril's Delmonico and Emeril's There's a Chef in My World;
-- Internet: emerils.com Web site;
-- Licensed Kitchen Products: Emeril-branded cookware by All-Clad, cutlery by Wusthof, and tableware by Wedgwood; and electrical appliances by T-fal;
-- Food Products: includes Bam! B-Q sauce, spices, marinades, coffee and more.
Lagasse's eleven restaurants and corporate office, which is called Emeril's Homebase, will be unaffected by this transaction and will continue to operate in New Orleans with full staff. The company will continue to expand into new locations.
"Emeril brings talent, energy and legions of fans to the Martha Stewart family, along with a powerful brand and an attractive, profitable business franchise," said Susan Lyne, President and Chief Executive Officer of MSLO. "Emeril's high-quality food-related content and product lines complement our own, and offer multi-platform expansion opportunities. He brings to the MSLO fold a well-managed company with highly attractive EBITDA and cash flow levels that will contribute immediately to our performance. This acquisition is a significant one strategically as we expand and diversify our business by applying our expertise in managing multi-platform lifestyle brands."
Lyne continued, "Everyone at MSLO is looking forward to welcoming Emeril on board. We are committed to giving him the freedom to continue doing what he does best: entertaining and inspiring food lovers everywhere."
Chef Emeril Lagasse is a national TV personality with broad consumer appeal. He joined the Food Network in 1993 and has hosted over 1600 shows. His programs The Essence of Emeril and Emeril Live reach more than 85 million homes daily. The Essence of Emeril has been nominated for numerous Emmy Awards, and will be internationally syndicated later this year. Emeril Live, a highly rated program for over 10 years, won a Cable Ace Award for "Best Informational Series" and is now in syndication. In addition to his television programming, Emeril has a successful line of cookbooks with nearly 4 million copies sold as well as branded kitchen products and food with such industry leaders as All-Clad and Sara Lee.
The purchase price is $50 million, $45 in cash and $5 million in stock, at closing, and could reach up to $70 million if certain performance targets are realized in 2011 and 2012. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter. In 2007, the business to be acquired generated approximately $14 million in 2007 cash-basis revenue. MSLO expects the assets to generate adjusted EBITDA of approximately $8 million in the first full year of operation, based on the Emeril business' non-GAAP financial results.
Martha Stewart, Founder of MSLO, said, "I first met Emeril more than 20 years ago, before he had opened his first restaurant. I have been an admirer ever since. His remarkable talents in the kitchen and his high-energy exuberance delight and inform. He made television cooking programs mainstream, opening the category to new audiences and proving that cooking is something everyone can enjoy. I'm delighted that he is joining the MSLO family and look forward to the contributions he will bring to both the company and consumers alike."
Chef Emeril Lagasse said, "We have been able to create a successful and diverse business under the Emeril brand, and with this new venture we can take it to the next level. By affiliating with a larger company with means, infrastructure and reach, we know we can maximize its great potential. Martha Stewart has brought incredible vision to the lifestyle business. Her company is a place where creativity is valued and consumers are always top-of-mind. I look forward to joining with Martha and her talented management team to grow the Emeril brand."
Monday, February 18, 2008
The (new) host, Mario, kept referring to a "Martha Stewart Lifestyle" in his discussion with Marion Roach. He referred to those that 'live the Martha Stewart lifestyle...' It made me wonder; what IS a Martha Stewart lifestyle?
Martha has been an incredible teacher and communicator when it comes to enhancing our way of living. For those that enjoy cooking, Martha provides direction. For those that love gardening, Martha has provided so much inspiration. For those that are into collecting, Martha teaches us about a variety of collectibles. For those that craft, Martha gives us a plethera of ideas to make our own. Each one of these areas is an element of living. But is it a lifestyle?
What do you think? Do you live the Martha Stewart Lifestyle?
Saturday, February 16, 2008
For the meringues bases:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spoon meringue mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a plain round (or star) 1/2 inch tip. Create a base of meringue by going in a circle, working from the outside, in. Continue to pipe the meringue around the outer edge creating a meringue cup.
Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 175 degrees and bake appx. 1 1/2 hours or until the meringue is dry and crisp, but still white. Transfer sheet to a wire rack and let the meringues cool completely before carefully easing them off the parchment. Meringues can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one day.
I can only imagine such a place! It would be a dream come true to have the entire merchandise and publication library available in one location! Each of the MSLO core content areas would be represented.
I imagine the store being two levels. The lower level would be retail. Aisles of linens, kitchen, garden, crafts, home organization, homekeeping... each shelf beautifully stocked with merchandise. The back of the store would contain a coffee bar, right next to the Martha Stewart Media Collection. There, you could have a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy a scone or other treat as you shop.
The upper level would be classrooms. Crafting, gardening, cooking - the possibilities are endless! Customers could sign up for classes for their areas of interest(s). I would easily guess that the classes would be numerous and FULL!
The store would be staffed with "Martha Experts" who are as enthusiastic about MSLO as we all are! Dressed in khaki pants, white cotton shirts, and taupe and teal aprons, each staff member would be completely knowledgeable on all the merchandise and class offerrings. You know I would want to be one of those staffers!
For fun, I designed a store front.. I'd love to see this come true!
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
The recipe I used can be found on marthastewart.com:
The coating is made from various different chocolates.. dark, semi, milk.. I also made some of the truffles just rolled in cocoa powder, but those weren't my favorites!
The coating really isn't dipping at all.. it's more like 'spooning' it on and it's time consuming! It took a while to find the right consistency for the coating. I thinned the melted chocolate with heavy cream until it was about the consistency of a thickening pudding... not quite all the way thick.. but coated the back of a spoon with a heavy coating. It was actually pretty thin for chocolate.
I poured the melted/thinned chocolate into a plastic squeeze bottle (similar to a ketchup squeeze bottle from your favorite diner!). All of the truffle 'balls' were placed on a small grid wire rack and placed over a sheet pan. Using the squeeze bottle I would slowly squeeze out the chocolate in a circular motion using steady pressure which allowed an even flow over the truffle. I had to do each truffle twice.. and it was truly hit or miss. MANY of the truffles came out uneven (those are the ones we are keeping for ourselves!). I didn't have room in my freezer to harden the truffle coating, and the weather was cooperating.. so they went into my car overnight. Believe me.. there are some very rough places on some of the truffles! They are far from perfect!
For those that have the alternate chocolate drizzle... I placed a small amount of melted chocolate that had been thinned in a zip-loc bag. With just a pin prick of a hole (I used a straight pin) I would squeeze the 'drizzle' of chocolate very quickly over the coated truffle. Doing this while the coating was still wet allowed the drizzle to 'meld' into the coating and not appear to be raised.
No fancy equipment.. but a good deal of trial and error. I went through a TON of chocolate with entire batches thrown out when it wasn't tempered correctly. It killed me to know that once it was improperly melted it was pretty much useless!
So that's it.. The most time consuming part is finding the right workable consistency for the different types of chocolate. Also.. making sure you do an even circular distribution of the chocolate coating results in a pretty even covering. One hint: You have to keep re-heating the chocolate in the squeeze bottle.. once it starts to solidify even a slight bit.. you have to reheat or it won't coat well. (That's why I have so many extras!)
When they opened their box, there was a label that said, "I love having you on my team"On the inside, they found six varieties of dipped truffles. My proudest creation is the small drizzled truffles! Unfortunately, I didn't have the proper size candy cups.. but it's the thought that counts!
The truffles were loved by all! I wasn't sure I was going to make the Valentine's Day deadline with a totally packed schedule and being away last weekend. I would have moved heaven and earth to make sure that my employees knew just how much I love them. I can't do what I do and I wouldn't be as successful as I am without them.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I want to send warm Valentine's Day wishes to all of you that make it a point to stop in and visit my small space known as "House Blend."
I enjoy reading your comments and knowing that in some small way I can be an inspiration to some of you. Most of all, I love that we share this thing called "Martha" and all the madness involved with it! It's a good madness indeed!
I look forward to sharing so much more this year. Always feel free to stop by and share your thoughts. The coffee is always on.
Sending love and chocolate -
Another favorite is the "Chicago Peace" rose. This yellow, salmon, and pink rose blooms multiple times in a year but is always the first to get black spot.
The above photo was an award winner at a local photography competition. (a proud moment for me, since I have no formal training in photography... just a good eye!)
A rose is a rose? I can't say that's so.
Monday, February 11, 2008
A collection of beach towels and beach totes are currently available on line at Macys.com and will be in stores in time for those late Winter vacations or classic life events like Spring break.
The beach towels come in classic Martha colors and average in the price range of $40.00. The beach totes come in two styles; A woven wicker like tote and a striped canvas tote. Each tote variety sells for $60.00. The collection also sports a huge 'towel for two'- large enough to share on the beach!