Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Josh!

David and I would like to wish someone very special a Happy Birthday!

xoxo David, Kenn, Martha, Riko, Cinnamon, & Sirius

Get Ready for Halloween With Martha University

Three new video collections were just released at Martha University for the Halloween season. View the following preview clips. All of the videos are available for immediate download to your computer, your iPod, or your iPhone. Go to Martha University for more information.

Halloween Special Issue

It's creepy and it's Ooooky, mysterious and kooky, it's all together spooky, Martha Stewart Halloween! (snap your fingers twice..)

The latest special issue from Martha Stewart Living, "Martha Stewart Halloween" is about to hit the newsstands on Monday August 31, just in time to begin planning your Halloween spook-tacular! Take a look inside the issue, if you dare!

Halloween Good Things: Learn a new trick or two for hosting a Halloween party. Plus, there are fun ideas for invitations, snacks, favors and easy ways to haunt the house!

"Shocktails" and Spooky Treats: Feast your eyes on an array of dramatic and decorative Halloween goodies and enchanting elixirs sure to satisfy even the most fiendish cravings.

Clever Carvings: All the best tips and techniques culled from years of experience for the perfect carved pumpkins. Find everything from clip-art cats to towering architectural creations.

Dastardly Disguises: Celebrate Halloween with costumes for an aristocratic vampire, a fortune-teller and other denizens from the days of Edwardian England.

In this special issue (the first special issue for 2009) you'll find 125 festive and frightening ideas to make your Halloween the best ever! Look for it on your favorite newsstand Monday!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Harvest Kitchen

As the change in season quickly approaches, the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's has everything you need to give your kitchen and dining room the look of Autumn with the new Harvest Collection. A few items from the collection are shown below:

Set your table with the elegant Bittersweet dinnerware. The Bittersweet line includes serveware as well as open stock pieces for the well set table.

Functional and beautifully colored, the melamine covered mixing bowl set comes as a set of four in graduated sizes. Perfect for whipping up a nice pumpkin spice cookie batter!

You can easily coordinate your kitchen with these great towels in seasonal colors. The harvest stripe basket weave towels are durable and absorbent. They are also available in single color stripes.

Decorative Fall Harvest towels bring in a touch of the season with bright colors that can't help but remind you of the changing and falling leaves. Made of 100% cotton.

With the weather cooling down, put on your apron, crank up the oven and make your favorite cookie or cupcake recipe. The harvest cupcake/cookie boxes make it easy to give a gift from your kitchen. The cello window lets gives you a peek at the yummy goodness inside!

Years ago, Martha taught us how to stencil our cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Each season, the Martha Stewart Collection features a selection of cake stencils. Simply lay the stencil on the surface of your cake and dust with confectioner's sugar or cocoa. Lift the stencil and you have an elegant, professional presentation.

This deep dish pie plate is not only functional, but it's also helpful with the recipe right inside! The fluted edges make shaping your pie crust a breeze! This is an excellent pie plate for any of your seasonal favorites.

Looking for a more formal look this autumn? The Martha Stewart Collection silver leaf serving pieces bring fallen leaves into your home with an elegant silver touch. Each leaf is sold separately.

Classic and timeless, the classic damask table linen collection will take your dining room to the next level of beautiful. Matching or coordinating napkins are also available.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Martha Stewart Show to Open 5th Season September 14

Martha Stewart has four steps on how to enjoy your life at home:

Step 1: Make something delicious.
Step 2: Learn something new.
Step 3: Create something by hand.
and Step 4: Have fun.

These steps are shared in the new promo for the fifth season of the Martha Stewart Show which debuts on September 14. Described as "hands on television", the new season of "The Martha Stewart Show" is sure to inspire viewers to try hands on affordable projects to enhance their lives. Check your local listings for air times.

A Long History of Television

Television has always been a key business segment for MSLO bringing the pages of Martha Stewart Living magazine to life. “Martha Stewart Living” made its debut on television in September of 1993, two short years after Martha Stewart Living magazine hit the newsstands. Designed as a compliment to the magazine, the half hour syndicated weekly series brought Martha into the viewers homes with detailed project how-to, inspiration and field trips.

"Martha Stewart Living" ran for four seasons as a weekly syndicated show (1993-1997) prior to becoming a daily series with a weekend edition, in September 1997.

On January 18, 1999, “Martha Stewart Living” expanded to a one-hour program from its previous half-hour format, introducing a number of original and expanded features. The one-hour format included features such as “Cookie of the Week”, “Cooking 101”, and “Tip of the Week” segments; more regional coverage including segments on local gardening and entertaining, ethnic cooking, and regional crafts; and a “Living Treasures” feature that put the focus on artisans and craftspeople with unique skills.

In September 1999, The Food Network cable channel began airing a daily half-hour program, "From Martha's Kitchen", consisting of food-related segments from previous "Martha Stewart Living" television programs. In July 2001, Home and Garden Telvision (HGTV) began airing "From Martha's Garden" and in October 2001, "From Martha's Home" hit the airwaves. Both series, like "From Martha's Kitchen" were composed of garden and home related programming from previous seasons of "Martha Stewart Living." The "from" shows were discontinued in 2004.

With each new season, Martha encouraged her viewers to “learn something new, everyday” and the television program provided an excellent forum to do just that.

“Martha Stewart Living” ran for 11 full seasons. Production of the 12th season was put on hiatus following Martha’s unfortunate personal legal problems and subsequent temporary absence from the company.

The 2005-2006 television season marked the first year of the reinvented series, “The Martha Stewart Show.” Filmed before a live studio audience, “The Martha Stewart Show” features regular cooking and crafting segments as well as celebrity guests who share in the how-to with Martha.

Season after season, “The Martha Stewart Show” continues to be sold to nearly 90% of the country and is available in several international markets.

In addition to the daily show, Martha can also be found on "Martha Stewart Crafts TV" on the DIY cable network and on "Whatever, Martha" on Fine Living. One day delay airings of "The Martha Stewart Show" can also be seen on the Fine Living network during prime-time.

Still want more Martha? Check out "Martha Stewart On Demand" available to Cox, Comcast, and Cablevision subscribers as well as on iTunes. Collections of "Martha Stewart Living" segments are also available through the Martha University provided by iAmplify.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Green Handbook from Body + Soul

The September issue of Body + Soul is a " 2-n-1" magazine this month. Flip the magazine over and find the "Going Greener Guidebook;" the guide to help readers achieve a greener lifestyle while demystifying healthy, natural and sustainable living.

On newsstands now, the issue features:

The Resource Pages: From the 20 best eco Web sites to the leading planet-friendly companies, the esstentials you need to live and shop greener.

Organics 101: Everything to know about this expanding field and why it's important to look for that USDA seal.

Green Your Home: More than 40 tipsp to reduce your carbon footprint, curb pollution and create a healthy place to live in every room in the house.

Plus, with a flip of the magazine, you get all the great articles and features in Body + Soul. It's the third annual health issue with tips on losing weight, gaining energy and getting fit.

The September issue of Body + Soul is on newsstands now.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Clearance of a Long Relationship

Walk into a Kmart store today and you’ll be hard pressed to find Martha Stewart Everyday merchandise. The aisles are being cleared to make way for the new girl in town: Country Living Magazine. The sprinkling of merchandise that remains in the stores might be found on an end cap or on the special clearance aisle in the back of the store. Martha Stewart has left the building.

A merchandise powerhouse known to millions of shoppers, Martha Stewart Everyday was the dominant force in bed, bath, kitchen, garden and holiday at Kmart. Introduced in March of 1997 with two quality levels of bed and bath items, MSE brought a new sense of style to the typical Kmart customer. Shoppers could select between the Blue Label collection of bedding that featured 180 thread count sheets and the White Label line that touted the softness of a 200 thread count. With solids, checks, stripes and prints, the blue and white label bedding and bath coordinates flew off store shelves as the country was eager to be just like Martha. It was a marriage made in heaven, despite the constant ‘image struggle’ of high class diva to mass market cheap-o retailer.

By October of the same year, the MSE bed and bath collections expanded with a new Silver Label program that featured 100% cotton sheets, jacquard comforter sets and Matelasse coverlets. Also introduced that fall was a line of kitchen textiles and window treatments. Bed pillows were also introduced as part of the MSE brand. Quality had reached a new height at Kmart and the public was mad about Martha. Kmart customers couldn’t get enough and wanted more.

The line continued to gain popularity and proved to be profitable for both Kmart and MSLO. New items were being added seasonally, including a line of “Martha Stewart Holiday” kitchen textiles that first year. (The textiles were later replaced with larger holiday selections once the holiday line hit store shelves)

In May of 1999, MSE expanded into the Garden Shop, with a line of quality tools, potting soils, seed starting, pots and planters, and a very successful line of garden furniture. The garden furniture in particular was a huge seller in mass market. Touching a variety of quality levels and price points, MSE Garden did for the seasonal business what it had done for bed and bath. It raised the bar on mass market and made quality merchandise affordable to the average Kmart customer.

The next year, brought the MSE live plant and seed program to Kmart. A wide range of plants, from annuals to vegetables brought consumers in, wanting a piece of what was in Martha’s garden. Unfortunately, the live plant program only lasted the one year. Quality issues from the growers as well as Kmart’s commitment to making sure the plants remained ‘lush’ while lining their outdoor garden area, prompted the decision to eliminate the program.

Just in time for the holidays, MSE Kitchen was introduced in the fall of 2000 at Kmart stores across the country. Coordinating glassware, flatware, and dinnerware collections were designed to help the Kmart customer create beautiful, versatile table settings for every occasion. Martha Stewart Everyday Kitchen also included pots, pans, utensils, serving pieces, and cutlery. MSE Kitchen made life in the kitchen easy as well as stylish. The rollout of MSE Kitchen was touted as one of the most successful brand extension rollouts in Kmart history.

Right on the heels of the Kitchen rollout, Martha Stewart Holiday hit the shelves with a HUGE reception from the buying public. Iconic Martha holiday crafts and images from the television show were now available for sale to make the holiday season a Merry Martha Christmas. Ornaments, lights, wreaths, garlands, trees, and tabletop coordinates took the majority of shelf space during the seasonal selling period. The unveiling of the holiday line in years to follow was something shoppers looked forward to, wanting to turn their home in to Turkey Hill for the holidays.

The last extension of the MSE brand came in 2005 with the introduction of Martha Stewart Everyday Rooms – a line of ready to assemble furniture for the bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bath. Stylish in design, the RTA line of furniture was great to look at and was very high quality for the price point. It was easy to assemble, and gave the home that “Martha look” and feel. While not as successful as had been hoped for, the line expanded twice to include a country kitchen theme and a modern deco theme. Plans to create a line of home office furnishings never became a reality.

Smaller but no less important brand extensions also took place with MSE: picture frames and home decorating items, candles, lighting, decorative pillows, Baby-baby, paint and clocks filled the shelves, making Martha Stewart Everyday items available for most every need in the home.

I’d say, Martha Stewart Everyday was pretty significant to Kmart. Unfortunately, they weren’t willing to do their part to continue the relationship.

After Kmart emerged from bankruptcy and Martha emerged from that unfortunate prison thing, negotiations began for the future of the Everyday line at Kmart. Kmart, being cautious of huge out pouring of cash and Martha, not budging on the need for quality and how that should happen, couldn’t reach an agreement to continue the line at Kmart. Martha Stewart Everyday, as we know it, will contractually cease in January of next year. However, to look in a Kmart store today, you’d hardly know it ever existed.

As I was walking through Kmart recently, looking around to get a feel for the transition, there was a sadness that came over me. Martha items tossed onto back of store shelves, signage torn in half or nonexistent, and clearance stickers over everything, signaled the death of the brand. I knew as I walked the aisles looking for a hint of MSE life, that my days as a Kmart shopper were numbered. Prior to the MSE introduction, I never shopped at Kmart. Post MSE, I can’t say I’ll regularly step foot in the store again. Why should I?

While breaking up is hard to do, this could be the start of something even better for Martha and company. Rumors are running rampant about where the “mass market” retail relationship will land next. Some say Kohl’s, some say Target (actually many HOPE for Target!), reports have surfaced that Home Depot will carry the garden line. There has been no official announcement from the company other than an announcement will be coming!

So, until we see how Martha Stewart Everyday will be reincarnated and where it will live, we live with the memory of Kmart shopping days gone by.

Farewell, Everyday. The newest line from Martha Stewart and Kmart.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A New Addiction - "Baked" Brownies

Rich delicious cocoa, deep dark chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar.. sound like heaven? It is.. almost. These are just a couple of the ingredients in my new addiction, brownies from the "Baked" cookbook authored by the owners of Baked in Red Hook, Brooklyn New York.

If you love chocolate, like I love chocolate, then these brownies are for you! A little bit fudge and a little bit cake, these incredibly rich brownies will soothe away any chocolate craving you might encounter.

Matt Lewis, one of the owners of Baked, (the business is co-owned with Renato Poliafito) has been featured on the Martha Stewart Show several times, sharing his recipes for delicious treats that are available at Baked. Martha has raved about the Brooklyn based store as has Oprah, who named the Baked brownie as one of her "favorite things". It's easy to see why. Umm.. let me rephrase that; it's easy to TASTE why!

The first cookbook release, "Baked: New Frontiers in Baking" was released in 2008 and quickly became a best seller. My copy of the book was in pristine condition until I started baking brownies! Now, I'm eager to try several of the recipes in the book but I'm unsure if anything can top my new addiction.

In the top photo of this entry, I topped the brownie with some 'Cajeta,' a Mexican caramel sauce that has a hint of hot pepper in it (a strong hint). The sauce alone is to die for; but add the fudge like goodness of a Baked brownie and you're knocking on heaven's door!

For more information on Baked and the cookbook, visit the Baked website at:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Macy's and Feeding America Come Together To Table Hunger And Help Feed 10 Million in America


The nation will gather around the dinner table this fall and Come Together for special
moments with friends and family, while fighting the plight of domestic hunger. This September during Hunger Action Month, Macy’s and Feeding America will launch “Come Together,” an innovative awareness and fundraising campaign that aims to feed 10 million people suffering from hunger. Celebrating the renaissance of cooking at home, Come Together will invite the public to rally around the cause and host special dinners in their homes, but will ask their guests to pledge a donation to Feeding America in lieu of the traditional host gift. In return, Macy’s will
match these donations dollar-for-dollar until the total goal of 10 million meals is reached. To support the effort, Macy’s will launch a major awareness campaign that will include a new star-studded celebrity TV commercial, dinner parties hosted by world-renowned chefs from Macy’s Culinary Council at stores across the country, a national charity shopping day, World’s Largest Dinner Party; and a one-stop online destination at that will feature recipes, dinner party fashions, invitations, themes, music and other special content to create the perfect gathering.

“In today’s environment, there are two things we know,” said Peter Sachse, Macy’s chief marketing officer. “The first is that many American families are struggling to get by, making simple luxuries like regular dinners out more fiscally challenging. The second is that hunger is one of the most significantly impacted issues during an economic downturn. Our new initiative with Feeding America is intended to give people the tools and motivation to participate in
the cooking at home trend, as well as to give them a service call-to-action to come together with their friends and the rest of America to lend support to a cause that hits every community across this country. Together, we hope to raise 10 million meals for the hungry this fall, as well as to inspire many great moments, meals and memories in homes across the U.S.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Macy’s in this campaign and are so grateful for their support and determination to provide 10 million meals,” said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. “As the need for food in this country is up 30 percent since last year, there is no better time to take action. No American should ever go hungry and it is because of generous and engaged donors like Macy’s joining Feeding America in the fight to end domestic hunger that we are able to support 25 million people every year.”

The statistics are staggering, as 35.5 million Americans are at risk of hunger with 12 million of those being children. This year alone the need for food is up 30 percent. While many assume that the homeless make up the largest contingent of the hungry, in reality 89 percent of the people Feeding America serves each year have homes. The need for food increases yearly during the Fall/Winter, a time this campaign will target. In total, Macy’s support for the issue has been strong for more than a decade. For the past 12 years, through Macy’s, Inc.’s award-winning “Partners in Time” employee volunteer program, Macy’s has aimed to “Bag Hunger” with its annual summer fundraising, food collection and volunteer effort. As the company readies to kick off this national consumer effort, Macy's announced results from its own internal campaign – a total impact equivalent to 9.7 million pounds of food -- or 7.6 million meals.

To get involved the public may participate in three ways – Host, Give and Shop. Friends and families across the country can host dinner parties from casual to formal, send invitations and manage party details including theme and recipes on As they invite their guests, hosts can suggest they make a donation in lieu of bringing wine or a dish to the party. The donation can be made directly to Feeding America on the Macy’s site.
For those who want to participate without throwing a dinner party, donations can be made directly at any Macy’s register – one dollar to provide dinner for seven. Lastly, Macy’s customers can shop for the cause and get special savings in-store on October 17, when Macy’s hosts a national Shop For A Cause day – where a portion of the $5 instore ticket sales will benefit Feeding America.

The Come Together campaign will launch in mid-September with one of Macy’s famous celebrity TV spots featuring the retailer’s “star” designers. The commercial directed by Barry Sonnenfeld (Men in Black, The Addams Family) running in 30-second and 60-second spots, will feature an all-star cast including Jessica Simpson, Queen Latifah, Mariah Carey, Usher, Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse, Tommy Hilfiger and Donald Trump. A Spanish-language commercial will also feature TV star Carlos Ponce. Set in a Macy’s store at the close of the day, the fun and
appealing cast will relax over a meal peppered with the usual and unexpected twists and turns that occur at all great gatherings. To further create awareness, Macy’s Come Together will be featured in print ads that disrupt the normal boundaries of advertising into editorial content, as well as in direct mail, magazines, in-store signage, an online microsite, customer e-mails, outreach via social media, and more than 50 in-store culinary events and fashion parties
across the country. To launch the campaign, Macy’s will host a special VIP dinner party during New York Fashion Week on September 15th in its flagship Herald Square store. The event, hosted by Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse, will benefit Feeding America and will include other celebrity and VIP guests, along with Macy’s customers. On that day, at 6pm local time in more than 650 full-line Macy’s stores across the country, shoppers will get a taste of this important initiative as Macy’s hosts the World’s Largest Dinner Party. This kick-off event will have customers join in the “first course” of the nationwide party to celebrate the launch and to educate the public about the effort. The Come Together campaign concludes on October 21, 2009.

Macy’s Culinary Council, made up of 15 world-renowned chefs including Emeril Lagasse, Tyler Florence, Todd English, as well as entertaining authority Martha Stewart, will serve as the experts of this campaign, offering up dinner party themes, recipe ideas, product suggestions and even their suggested playlists, to help America host delectable and entertaining dinners. All of this great content will be available on and in other direct mail vehicles during the campaign.

With Come Together, Macy’s and Feeding America hope to generate attention to the staggering issue of domestic hunger while inspiring the nation to gather over dinner for this important cause.

Martha Stewart Shares "Big Martha's" Recipes

Martha Stewart has released a wonderful video collection of her Mother's favorite recipes.

The video collection titled, "My Mother's Recipes" is available for immediate download at iAmplify as part of Martha University. You can watch the segments on your computer, your iPhone, or your iPod.

For 9.95, you can own 17 of your favorite segments with "Big Martha" cooking her own signature dishes handed down from generation to generation. From mac and cheese to chruschiki cookies, own these treasured moments from Martha Stewart Living television.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Celebrate the Harvest with Beekman 1802

Throughout the 2009 growing season, Beekman 1802 and Landreth Seed hosted "America's Oldest Largest Garden Party." As this season comes to a close, there will be a weekend of celebration with the first ever Harvest Festival in our favorite place in upstate New York, Sharon Springs.

On September 18, from 5:30-7:30, join our friends Josh and Brent as well as Farmer John and all the goats for an evening of celebration on the grounds of the Beekman Farm. The celebration includes:

-- Tour the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Garden and learn the history behind every vegetable that was planted.

-- Be a Top Chef judge and help choose the team of culinary students from SUNY Delhi who create the most interesting canape's from the Landreth heirloom vegetables.

-- Learn how to evaluate wines with a guided tasting of NYS Rieslings.

-- Meet Brent, Josh, Farmer John and all the goats.

Proceeds from the event will go to support the culinary program at SUNY. Tickets for the event can be purchased by visiting the Beekman 1802 Mercantile.

On September 18, celebrate the local farmers and their hard work with the first annual all day Harvest Festival. The festival will be held in the village of Sharon Springs for the entire day and will feature special tastings of heirloom vegetables, NYS wines and beers, maple syrup and other regional delights. All of the local farms have been invited to bring in their harvests for a wonderful market.

Inspiring local artists and craftspeople will also be on hand, sharing their work.

The day long event will conclude with a very special Harvest Feast at the historic American Hotel.

Inspired by the Beekman 1802 heirloom garden, the feast will celebrate the best of what upstate New York has to offer. Every primary ingredient on the menu for the evening will be locally sourced. Over 30 farms and providers will be represented.

Chef Lee Woolver has created a menu for the evening with recipes that the Beekman's would have served in their own home back in 1802. The menu for the feast makes your mouth water just reading it:

The Amuse Bouche

Goose Breast Cutlet w/ Goose leg sausage medallion and grape catsup

The First Course

Roasted Hard Squash and Turnip Soup
Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad

The Entrees

Dutch Braised Beef with root vegetables, German egg noodles and pan gravy
Roasted Free Bird Farm Chicken with preserved ripe tomatoes, cranberry beans and sage
Stewed Pork Shoulder with Seckel pears and crisp fried kraut

The Cheese Course

A trio of milks (cow, goat and sheep) including the official unveiling of Beekman 1802 Blaak, the first Beekman artisanal cheese


Steamed sweet apple dumpling with spiced cider syrup

Throughout the meal guests will have the opportunity to hear from the owners of Landreth Seed, Beekman 1802 and The American Hotel and a selection of the fine farms and vineyards represented on the menu.

Space for the Harvest Feast is limited! Tickets are $100. per person and can be purchased by calling The American Hotel at 518.284.2105.

David and I will be attending the events, photographing and blogging live from the Beekman Farm and The American Hotel. We will also have our first designs of Beekman 1802 shirts, baseball caps, and eco-friendly totes available for sale. We're very excited about this first line of "Beekman Gear."

We hope you will join us as we join Brent and Josh and the entire village of Sharon Springs in celebrating the harvest.

A Julia Child Classic Moment

Relive a classic Julia Child moment... after seeing "Julie and Julia" last evening, I have enjoyed reliving these classic moments found on You Tube.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

September Living - Special Home Issue

One of my favorite issues of Martha Stewart Living is the special decorating issue that is published each September. The 2009 special issue will be hitting newsstands on August 17. Here's a sneak peek inside the pages of this annual favorite:

Diary of a Makeover
Get secrets from Decorating Editorial Director Kevin Sharkey, as he renovates his apartment, from the floor up (p. 88).

Containing Beauty
Take a tour of Martha’s home to see how she uses houseplants in striking displays, and learn how to grow her favorites (p. 114).

Felt So Good & Good Things
Personalize the home with a simple craft method known as needle-felting (p. 138), as well as smart and simple ideas for every room in the house (p.45).

Eating Better
More veggies, less meat. These recipes—such as tilapia with barley, shiitake, and edamame salad—make it easy to improve any diet (p. 62).

The September 2009 issue is filled with 101 fresh ideas and good things for the home!
Watch for it in your mailbox soon or on newsstands August 17th!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, Martha!

Martha Stewart Crafts Videos on You Tube

Does the Martha Stewart Circle Cutter baffle you? Wondering how to use the screw punch?
Need hints on how to glitter? Help is just a click away! You can find special informational videos on You Tube from Martha Stewart Crafts.

Education Manager for Martha Stewart Crafts, Carla Sylvester is your host as she demonstrates projects, hints and tips using Martha Stewart Crafts products.

You can see the craft You Tube channel by clicking here.