Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hope in the Mist

The heavy snows of February are beginning to melt away.  Despite the grey skies, the temperatures are warming just enough to begin melting the 27" of snow that fell during the month.

The warmer air and the melting snow create a grey fog as the day comes to a close. Most would find the grey mist gloomy; but I find hope in the mist.  Spring is not far. 

Goodbye, February. 

Friday, February 26, 2010

Vintage Martha Commercials

Here are a couple vintage Martha commercials for fun...

The first commercial is an introduction to the "At Home with Martha Stewart," introduced at Kmart in 1988.

The second commercial was produced in 1989 in a series of promos called "At Home With Martha Stewart." 

It's always fun to look back.  For the latest Martha Stewart commercials, see the post below.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Martha Stewart Collection Television Commercials

Macy's has released three different commercials featuring Martha Stewart and the Martha Stewart Collection.

The three commercials are "Make it Festive," "Make it Delicious," and "Make it Colorful."
Macy's has also developed a special Martha Stewart Collection page on their website.  You can view the page by clicking here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Martha Stewart Living Area Rugs

To coordinate perfectly with the Martha Stewart Living outdoor furniture collections, indoor/outdoor area rugs will soon be available at a Home Depot near you. 

Inspired collections that compliment any room in your home, The Martha Stewart Living area rugs are constructed from the finest fabrics and boasting colorful, artful patterns. With three collections to choose from, the area rugs pull your outdoor living area togther and define the space.  The three collections include:  Indoor/Outdoor, Silk Look, and Wool. 

Here's a look at some of the collection:

The Martha Stewart Living Area Rug collections are available on line now at The Home Depot website.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast

The newest publication from the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living will hit the store shelves next Tuesday, February 23rd.

Everyday Food:  Fresh Flavor Fast is the follow-up to the bestselling Everyday Food: Great Food Fast and features 250 recipes that are delicious, simple to prepare, and filled with fresh ingredients.  If you're looking for a cookbook with recipes that focus on quick-cooking, easy-to-assemble dishes; then this is certainly a book you'll want to add to your cookbook library. 

Organized by meal and category, there is something for everyone and for every time of the day.  In addition to all the great recipes, this Everday Food book offers nutritional information, basic tips and techniques, and ways to stretch one meal into another.  It's a great reference the home cook will use time and time again.

Martha Stewart Living Punches a Profit

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia reported their fourth quarter and full year financials this morning, beating Wall Street estimate and once again has shown a profit. Stronger revenue from the broadcasting, digital and merchandising businesses contributed to the successful quarter. The dip in publishing revenue was attributed to lower subscriptions revenues, which offset the segment’s first ad gains since the 2nd quarter of 2008.

MSLO reported 4th quarter revenue of $87.6 mln vs a Wall Street estimate of $84.94 mln. Revenue rose 20 percent over the same quarter last year. The company reported a net income of $20.8 million, or .37 cents a share, compared with a loss of $8 million, or .15 cents a share, a year earlier.

This quarter marks a significant turnaround for the company. For the quarter, consumer engagement across MSLO’s website showed continued strength with page views up 85% year-over-year and monthly unique visitors up 73% in the same period. This significant increase in traffic helped push the 31% increase in ad revenue for the digital division.

Charles Koppelman, Executive Chairman and Principal Executive Officer, said, “In 2009, we continued to execute on our strategic goal of diversifying and expanding our Merchandising business with the addition of The Home Depot and other best-in-class partnerships. We are focused on strengthening our Broadcasting presence as evidenced by our recent announcement to offer a range of Martha Stewart-branded programming on the Hallmark Channel and the addition of “The Emeril Lagasse Show” in primetime on Ion Television. We see many opportunities before us as we focus on building our strong foundation and taking our Company into a new era.”
This post will be updated periodically through the trading day.  -Kenn

Sirius XM Available for Blackberry

Blackberry users (yes, there are many of us) can now access their favorite Sirius/XM Radio programs through the new Sirius/XM application for Blackberry. 

You can take your favorite music, news, talk, and Martha with you and listen anytime via your Blackberry. 

To obtain the free Sirius/XM Radio for Blackberry app, click here. A free 7 day trial period is available.  On-going use does require a subscription. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Martha's Everyday Food App Released for iPhone and iPod Touch Users!

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. today announced the launch of the "Martha's Everyday Food(TM)" App on the App Store. The app gives iPhone and iPod touch users access to thousands of delicious, family friendly Everyday Food magazine recipes that can be shared, saved and organized into mobile shopping lists, making meal planning and grocery shopping easier and more efficient.

"The Everyday Food brand is built around convenience, simplicity and seasonality, and our new app for iPhone and iPod touch puts these principles to work wherever and whenever consumers want," said Gail Horwood, MSLO's SVP Digital Programming & Strategy.

Features of the app include:

•Get Daily Dinner Ideas: Receive a daily alert with a new dinner recipe idea from Martha and her team with cooking, shopping and serving tips.

•Find Recipes: Search and download thousands of Everyday Food magazine recipes, featuring large photos optimized for each device. Share recipes via email with friends and family; save favorites to a universal recipe box.

•Create and Organize Shopping Lists: Using ZipList (, a free online shopping list and recipe service that powers the app, you can add any recipe's ingredients to your grocery list with one click. Create multiple shopping lists by event, store, or whatever works for you. Items can be sorted by aisle or category and prioritized by marking their level of importance - ideal for quick grocery stops when there's only enough time to pick up the most-needed items on the list.

•Save, Share and Synchronize: Sync and share your shopping lists and recipe box on the web. Family members can add or remove items via, email, instant message or text message - and the list is automatically synced with your iPhone or iPod Touch.

•Find a Store: Locate a nearby store using GPS technology or zip code search, including maps and driving directions.

"Martha's Everyday Food(TM)" App is available for $0.99 from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch or at

The app is powered by ZipList, a customizable, multiplatform digital grocery planning and shopping service in which MSLO has taken a minority equity stake. As part of MSLO's investment, Gail Horwood serves on ZipList's Board of Directors.

Founded in December 2007, ZipList is the brainchild of Geoff Allen, an established entrepreneur with a strong track record in the digital space. His previous ventures include Grab Networks, which helps content producers manage, syndicate and monetize their video online, and Echo360, a leading provider of lecture capture solutions for colleges and universities. ZipList can be found on the web at or on Twitter at @ZipList.

"Martha's Everyday Food(TM)" App for iPhone and iPod touch further extends MSLO's growing Everyday Food brand, which encompasses the popular Everyday Food magazine, the "Everyday Food" television series, which is the No. 1 cooking show on PBS; "Everyday Food Radio Show" on SIRIUS channel 112 and XM Radio 157; and the bestselling book Everyday Food: Great Food Fast. The latest Everyday Food book titled Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast launches on February 23rd. The brand also has an online presence with the "Everyday Food" blog on offering daily recipes, news, ideas and inspiration from the editors of the magazine; "Everyday Food" on Twitter; and an online newsletter.

New Radio Show on Martha Stewart Living Radio

With a little help from Martha Stewart, Anthony Bourdain wants to expand America's notion of food porn.

Bourdain, the celebrity chef whose habit of slinging strong opinions and foul language has earned him a culinary bad boy rap, this week launches a no-holds-barred satellite radio program on Sirius XM's Martha Stewart Living Radio.

Among his goals? See just how uncomfortable he can make co-host and friend Eric Ripert, chef at Le Bernardin in New York.

"We're going to be doing a segment that we call food porn," he said in a telephone interview, referring to the excessively sumptuous and sometimes sexualized words and photography often used in food media.

"We're going to challenge each other to describe in as purple a language as possible some food we've had," he said. "I'm trying to see whether we can expand the food porn genre into radio. And I think we can do it."

The show, called "Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert: Turn & Burn", will run for five weeks starting Feb. 18. It will cover numerous food subjects; listeners also can call in with questions.

The idea for the show developed after Bourdain and Ripert appeared together last year on Stewart's radio program, "At Martha's Table."

"My feeling is if Martha Stewart asks you to do something, you do it," Bourdain said of the new program.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Goat Butter and Honey Caramels

A segment on the Martha Stewart Show caught my eye today, when Martha and candy expert/historian Beth Kimmerle made goat butter and honey caramels.  I love caramels (especially with salt!) and my good friend Carol and I were JUST talking today about goat butter (we were pondering if it existed). 

These caramel treats are on my list to make.  Here's the recipe:


1 cup goat butter
2 cups wildflower honey
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup light-brown sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp Maldon sea salt for sprinkling

The How To:

Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper; set aside.

Melt butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add honey, cream, and sugar; stir to combine.  Cook, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil. 

Continue boiling, stirring frequently until mixture reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer, 45-60 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla; pour into the prepared pan.  Let cool for 1 hour; sprinkle with sea salt.  Let cool completely, overnight. 

Turn caramels out onto a cutting board; remove the parchment paper.  Using a sharp knife, cut caramels into 1-inch squares; wrapping each piece in wax paper.  Caramels will keep in an airtight container, refrigerated, for up to one month.  Caramels will soften at room temperature or stay firm if kept chilled.

Now, if Josh and Brent at Beekman would make some goat butter, I'd make them some caramels!

To learn more about Beth Kimmerle, stop by her blog, Candymonium

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Time to Paint

In the March issue of Martha Stewart Living, Kevin Sharkey discusses his selection of paint color for his new apartment.  The colors featured in the story are from the new Martha Stewart Living paint line at The Home Depot.  Timing is everything...

Just as the issue is about to hit newsstands (on Monday, February 15), the new paint line is now available at Home Depot stores; about a month earlier than originally scheduled.  This is a classic example of perfect Omnimedia timing!

The paint line is beautiful.  As I stood at the Home Depot this evening and collected  all 280 color cards, I recognized some of the colors from the last three paint lines.  This color collection is clearly the 'best of the best' from the MSE, Signature, and Colors lines. 

The color cards are nicely sized (6"x3") and useful.  The reverse of the color card shows two coordinating colors; the top color is suggested for the ceiling and the bottom color is suggested for woodwork/trim.  Simply fold the color over to view it against the primary wall color.  A great use of the back of the color card!  There is also space to indicate what room the color is used for, and the finish selected.  These are perfect for the home decorator to keep organized and have a clear record of the paints and finishes used in the home.

Several of "Martha's Picks" are available in pre-colored sample pots.  These were not  yet stocked on the color wall at the Home Depot store I visited.  (nor were the brochures..)

All of the paints have low VOC ratings and come in exterior as well as interior finishes. 

According to Home Depot associates, the home organization/closet organizing tools will be available in stores later this month.   

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I *Heart* Brownies

Since the days of the Aztecs chocolate has been used as a gift. Today a box of luxurious quality chocolate says a thousand “thank you’s”, “good luck”, or “I love you”. Chocolate can be given as a way of saying “congratulations”, “I am sorry” or “get well soon”. On Valentine’s Day chocolate clearly says “I LOVE YOU!”

Chocolate is heavenly, mellow, sensual, deep, dark, sumptuous, gratifying, potent, dense, creamy, seductive, suggestive, rich, excessive, silky, smooth, luxurious, celestial. Chocolate is downfall, happiness, pleasure, love, ecstasy, fantasy … chocolate makes us wicked, guilty, sinful, healthy, chic, happy. What more could you want to say to your loved one on Valentines Day? Even the scientific name for the tree from which chocolate is derived, Theobroma cacao, translated from Greek, means “food of the gods."

As a Valentine treat this year, I decided to create chocolate heart brownies. 

One of my favorite brownie recipes comes from the "Baked" bakery in New York City.  The Baked brownie is a little bit cakey, and very fudge like. The recipe calls for the addition of instant espresso powder,  which creates an incredible depth of chocolate flavor. 

When making any chocolate confection, it's important to use the very best chocolate possible.  I use Valrohna chocolate in most all my chocolate recipes.

Instead of baking the brownies in a traditional 9x13 pan, I decided to bake them on a 1/4 sheet rimmed baking sheet.  I had to watch the baking time closely to not overbake the brownies.  The recipe called for a 30 minute baking time; the 1/4 sheet pan took only 22 minutes. 

Once cooled, I whipped up a silky chocolate ganache.  Making a delicious ganache is easy:  8oz of the very best semi sweet chocolate, and 1/2 cup of heavy cream.  Melt them together in a bowl over a pot of simmering water and stir until smooth.  Allow the ganache to cool approximately 30 minutes then spread over the entire pan of brownies. 

I placed the brownies in the freezer until the ganache hardened.  Once removed from the freezer, use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out the chocolate heart brownies.  Be careful!  Excessive crumb build up on the cutter will not allow for a clean cut.  I cleaned the cutter after every third or fourth brownie. 

The rich explosion of chocolate flavor will not only melt in your mouth, it will melt your heart. 

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Breakfast Entertaining

When we think of entertaining, it's not uncommon to plan a cocktail or dinner party.  Have you ever thought of entertaining in the morning? 

When planning your next gathering, think outside of the box and plan a breakfast party.  Bringing friends and family together for the most important meal of the day is a great idea for a weekend celebration. 

The inspiration for this breakfast party was a 1960's breakfast menu from a Big Boy restaurant.  I love all things 'retro' and this menu called to me.  With some photoshop work, I was able to remove the Big Boy character from the center of the menu and create my own invitations. 

The menu for a breakfast party can be as elaborate or as simple as you want.  Martha Stewart suggests preparing one or two substantial cooked dishes that can be made the morning of the party - such as omelets or pancakes.  Other items can be prepared in advance and served buffet style.  Martha suggests homemade blueberry muffins, scones, luscious platters of fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola. 

Breakfast beverages can vary.  Be sure to have plenty of coffee, tea, and freshly squeezed juice on hand.  If offering mimosas or Bloody Marys, make them in pitchers so guests can serve themselves. 

For fun, provide copies of your local newspaper to each of your guests.  Who doesn't like the morning paper with breakfast?  Guests can relax, catch up on local news, and have quiet conversation.  Set the mood by creating an early morning playlist from iTunes.  Light jazz, new age piano music, or your favorite 'crooners' would make excellent background music. 

Keep it mellow.  It is morning after all... 


The Best Buttermilk Pancakes
(makes nine 6-inch pancakes)

2C all-purpose flour
2tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3T sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3C buttermilk
4T unsalted butter, melted plus 1/2tsp for griddle.

Heat griddle to 375 degrees.  Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.  Add eggs, buttermilk and 4 tablespoons butter; whisk to combine.  Batter should have small to medium lumps.  Don't overbeat! 

Heat oven to 175 degrees.  Test the griddle by sprinkling a few drops of water on it.  If water bounces and spatters off the griddle, it's hot enough.  Using a pastry brush, brush remaining 1/2 teaspoon of butter onto griddle.  Remove any access with a paper towel. 

Using a 4-ounce ladle, pour pancake batter, in pools 2 inches away from one another.  When pancakes have bubbles on top and are slightly dry around the edges (about 2 1/2 minutes), flip over.  Cook until golden brown, about 1 minute.

Double Blueberry Muffins
(makes 12)

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4C plus 1T sugar
2 large eggs
2C fresh blueberries, rinsed and dried
1T grated lemon zest (about 1 lemon)
1C all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1C yellow corn meal
2tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2C milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a standard muffin tin with paper cups.  With an electric mixer, cream butter and 3/4 cup of sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time; beat until combined. 

In a shallow bowl, mash 1/2 cup blueberries with a fork until liquified.  Add to butter mixture, along with lemon zest;  beat to incorporate (mixture will appear separated). 

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt.  Gradually add flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture in alternating batches, beginning and ending with the flour.  Gently fold in remaining 1-1/2 cups of blueberries. 

Spoon or scoop batter into cups, and sprinkle tops with remaining tablespoon of sugar.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes.  Cool in the pans for 20 minutes, then turn muffins onto a wire rack for 10 additional minutes before serving.
Recipes and food images courtesy of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Discovery

Tucked into a quiet private neighborhood in Michigan City, Indiana, the Duneland Beach Inn was a wonderful discovery when we met our Wisconsin friends, Jackie and Dave for dinner last Sunday.

Originally built in 1924, the Duneland Beach Inn was the hope for the American dream by German immigrants the Esser family. At the time of construction, the inn was a small hotel, boasting 20 rooms and just one shared bathroom.

Mrs. Esser was known for being a good cook, and word of the table she set soon spread into nearby Chicago. As her talents became more widely known, the inn became a summer vacation spot for people living in busy Chicago who wanted more tranquil surroundings.

The Duneland Beach Inn now has only eight rooms, but has not lost any of its original charm. With its wooded residential location, it’s just a five-minute walk to a private lakefront access to Lake Michigan.

The country inn charm of this Michigan City gem is enhanced with their outstanding menu and cozy dining room. With three separate dining rooms, the inn can accommodate up to 95 diners and can be rented for special private events. The atmosphere is intimate, and the food is exquisite. Everything was fresh, prepared perfectly, and served promptly.

We were surprised and very pleased with the discovery of the Duneland Beach Inn. If you’re looking for a getaway from your hectic world, make the trip to Michigan City, Indiana.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Martha Stewart Closet Organization Tools

Are your closets a danger zone?  Is a hard hat required before you open a closet door?  It's time to get organized!

Martha Stewart closet organization tools are now available at The Home Depot to help you create a customized closet to fit your needs and your space. 

The online design tool helps you create a functional and well organized closet space.  Within minutes,you'll have a recommended closet design for your existing space that can be customized to your specific needs.  Want less shelving and more drawers?  Maybe you like hanging baskets instead?  You can alter the plan to fit your own design style and storage solution needs. 

After you've designed your closet you can print out a shopping list and pick up all the necessary pieces you'll need for installation; or you can order it from the website and have it shipped directly to your home.

Design your closet and get yourself organized.  For more information on the Martha Stewart Living brand of products available exclusively at The Home Depot, visit the Martha Stewart Living page.