Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Hallmark Commercial

We all know that Martha is moving to the Hallmark Channel on September 13th, right?
Here is the newest commercial:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Halloween Spooktacular!

You'll want to take a second look as you pass by the newsstand... (I did!) the Best of Martha Stewart Halloween Handbook is appearing on shelves! 

Martha appears on the cover again this year with one of the most spectacular Halloween costumes ever!  The wig alone looks like it weighs 50 pounds! 

Inside, you'll find the best ideas over the years from the pages of Martha Stewart Living magazine.  There are over 150 great ideas to decorate for the holiday, plan the perfect party, and great recipes to make treats that will prevent anyone from playing a trick on you. 

If you don't find it on your newsstand just yet, don't fret;  the official release date is August 31st and is not part of a regular subscription.   

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Breakfast Quiche For the Early Risers

This is a quick and easy recipe that is perfect for breakfast or for any time of day.  I consider this to be the ultimate in breakfast comfort food!


3C Shredded frozen hash browns, thawed/drained
1/2 stick of butter
5 eggs, well beaten
1/2 C half-and-half or lower fat alternative
3/4 C diced cooked ham or crisp bacon
1/2 C diced green onion
1C shredded cheddar cheese
Salt/freshly ground pepper to taste

How to:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible.  In a 9 inch pie plate, toss the hash browns with the melted butter into the plate.  Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and starting to crisp. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.  When the hash brown crust is ready, pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.  Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed. 

Garnish as desired

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weekend Getaway: Port Washington, Wisconsin

 This last weekend, David and I took a road trip to Port Washington, Wisconsin to visit our friends Jackie and Dave. 

A combination of New England fishing village charm and Midwestern friendliness, Port Washington is a welcoming place. Nestled among seven hills, Port Washington is 30 miles north of Milwaukee, on the shore of Lake Michigan.

Our weekend hosts guided us to the downtown area where we spent a good amount of time enjoying the marina, and the views of Lake Michigan.  It's truly breathtaking!

On Saturday morning, we spent time at the Farmer's Market to buy fresh produce for dinner.  The market was filled with local vendors selling their freshly grown fruits and vegetables as well as other items such as handmade jewelery, soaps, and more.  The downtown area of Port Washington is nothing short of charming. There are many specialty shops, including antique and craft shops, located in historic storefronts. Foodies would love the micro-winery, old fashioned meat market, family owned fish smokehouse, and a variety of restaurants.

The Lake Michigan shoreline is stunning.  At once,  you're calmed by the waves that come ashore.  The picture above shows one of the break-walls that have been put into place prior to entering the marina.  The break walls help reduce water disturbance for those boats that are docked. 

The breakwater is a pedestrian friendly pier (during nice weather) that jets out into Lake Michigan to form the northern barrier that protects the marina from the Nor’easters. The 1930’s Art Deco lighthouse, at the end of the breakwater, is a beacon with a foghorn to bring home the boaters.

This is a view as you approach the breakwater.  I have to admit, I did not walk the breakwater.  I started the walk with David, but found the motion of the waves coming toward me and my forward walking motion made me very dizzy.  I did not want to pass out and fall into Lake Michigan!

Follow the lakefront north from the marina to find the natural sand beach. The beach remains in its natural state and does not provide lifeguards or dressing rooms. The steps shown above, lead down to the beach. 

We enjoyed spending part of the day at the marina.  We saw this duck who wasn't about to take any chances with water safety!  He seemed quite comfortable.

We are not fishermen by any means, but we caught these three guys showing off their catches for the day.  I can only imagine the fish-fry!

The view from the bluff was amazing as the sun started to set on the weekend.   The weather had been very hot and humid, with moisture thick in the air.  After a cold front passed through, it seemed like you could see for miles and miles across the expansive lake.  The Great Lakes are beautiful. 

Could I possibly take a weekend trip and NOT shop??  Not likely!  Jackie shared with us one of her favorite consignment shops, "Legacies."  It was there I found this beautiful set of china (in Martha blue, of course) that was nothing short of a steal!  For the 62 piece set, it was originally marked at $195.  Because it had been in the shop for quite some time without selling, it was marked down to just $38.50 for the entire set! It was a bargain for sure and a great find!

If you're ever find yourself in the Midwest and want a great getaway, you must visit Port Washington, Wisconsin!

Get Ready for Mad Hungry

Are you ready to get "Mad Hungry" in September? 

Lucinda Scala Quinn has started filming her upcoming television series "Mad Hungry" airing on the Hallmark Channel.  Named after her highly successful cookbook, "Mad Hungry - Feeding Men and Boys," Lucinda will bring the cookbook to life with her easy, relaxed style, weekdays at noon. 

"Mad Hungry" is one of the new shows developed for the Hallmark Channel by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and will round out the block of  new programming that begins with the sixth season of the Martha Stewart Show at 10 a.m. "Mad Hungry" premieres on September 13th. 

Lucinda shared photos of the new set on her blog.  If you haven't been a reader of the Mad Hungry blog, you're missing some great food inspiration!  You can catch up with Lucinda here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

All New Halloween Special

Mark your calendars for Martha Stewart's new Halloween special airing October 10th on the Hallmark Channel. 

"Tricking and Treating with Martha Stewart" is the first of several holiday specials slated for the Hallmark Channel this year.  Viewers can expect additional holiday specials for Thanksgiving and Christmas.   

Monday, August 9, 2010

Martha Stewart Halloween - Special Issue

You'll want to stop at your favorite bookstore, or magazine stand on August 31st... when the newest arrival in holiday publications from Martha Stewart Living will hit the stands. 

The special issue is being called a 'bookazine' which leads me to believe it will be unlike anything we've seen before.  No news release has been issued,  nor has the cover art.

So heads up!  Halloween inspiration is just around the corner!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

September Living: The Home Issue

The September issue of Martha Stewart Living arrived in my mailbox today and it marks the start of my most favorite issues of the year... September - December. 

For the last several years, the September issue has always been marked as the "Decorating Issue;"  this year, it's 'rebranded' as the "Home Issue" and in my humble opinion, three words describe it:  fab-u-lous! 

This issue is so full of inspiration for anyone who enjoys making a house a home.  From a great 'how to' on different types of cake icings/frosting's ("Icing on the Cake," p.148) to a beautiful tour of a seaside home in Maine ("Maine Character," p. 154)  this issue is indeed about more than decorating!

Martha gives us her top 50 kitchen tips ("Martha's 50 Top Kitchen Tips," p. 126) to keep your kitchen running smooth and well organized. 

A year plus in the making, readers of the September issue will get to see the end result of Kevin Sharkey's 18 month, painstaking apartment renovation.  ("Home at Last," p. 136)  The apartment is stunning.

There are excellent gardening articles, furniture first-aid, and the decorating departments top 100 products in the regular feature "Great Finds."  

Readers will notice an updated design to the magazine, which Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Holden indicates is the "ultimate reflection of who we are as a magazine now.."  

While I can't say it's my favorite cover of all time - I can easily say this is one of the best September issues I've read in a long time.  


Well timed with the September issue of Living, the Martha Stewart Living brand at The Home Depot will expand once again to include kitchen cabinetry, hardware, and counters.  Also included is an expansion in the paint line to include a new faux painting kit (shown above) that includes all the tools you'll need to create a faux bois, combing, brushing, sponging, and other paint techniques.  The kit is scheduled to be in stores in September.  The official launch of the new kitchen products is slated for September 30, with an event at the MSLO offices in New York. 

Most of all, I'm very excited to see the first advertisement for "Mad Hungry" with Lucinda Scala Quinn, a brand new show for the Hallmark Channel, airing weekdays at noon. 

I had the opportunity to meet Lucinda during her book tour for Mad Hungry and I found her not only intelligent and well spoken; but a "real person" who had a magnificent way of engaging her audience.  Her book, "Mad Hungry - Feeding Men and Boys" is one of my favorite cookbooks in my ever growing collection. 

"Mad Hungry" premieres September 13th, as does the sixth season opener of the "Martha Stewart Show."  Also slated to premiere on the 13th is "Whatever with Alexis & Jennifer," an hour long talk show based on the successful radio show of the same name. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Muck.. Muck... BOOTS!

Recently, I've received several emails from readers regarding the tall rubber boots commonly known as "Muck Boots."  It seems that they are becoming quite popular since those Fabulous Beekman Boys, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge have been sporting them on the farm as well as at more formal events.  (yes, evidently you can pull off muck boots with a tux..) 

I started doing some searching around the internet and discovered a few things about Muck Boots. 

Muck Boots is a brand name for the durable boots often worn by farmers and hunters.  They are water-proof, and come with warm linings to keep your feet toasty and dry in the winter months.  The original Muck Boot Company was founded in 1999 with the sole purpose of creating the most comfortable, high performance footwear for messy and tough conditions such as tromping around with the pigs, working in an heirloom garden, or mucking a goat barn! In just a few years, the line has grown to more than 20 styles, all designed to tackle tough conditions in agriculture, lawn and garden, outdoor sporting, equine, pet care and leather.  Leather?!?  Okay.. perhaps that will be left for a future blog post.

Muck Boots (the brand) range in price from the mid $60 range up to $170.  If that price range is a bit much, there are some less expensive alternatives: 

I found these BOSS rubber boots, which claim to be 100% waterproof at ACE Hardware for $27.99.  These would definitely work with the cargo short/polo shirt look Brent sports while working on the farm.

Did you ever image that you would shop for shoes (boots) at the Tractor Supply Company?  These boots were found at a local TSC for a low, low price of just 19.95.  I have to admit, they didn't look quite as sturdy as an original Muck Boot; but then, I'm not sure I would expect them to be for less than twenty bucks. 

As for wearing your garden/farm/hunting/other things boots to a more formal affair - I'll leave that up to you.  I'm not sure I could pull off the look.