Sunday, October 21, 2012

Review: Martha Stewart's Cooking School

When I first started watching Martha on the [old] Martha Stewart Living television show, one of the first things I enjoyed was the clear, concise, instruction Martha provided for each project or task.  Long time viewers who enjoyed the “Living” format will rejoice with Martha Stewart’s Cooking School. 

 The new PBS series, which debuted October 6, is a throwback to what Martha does best on camera – teach.  Each weekly episode is focused on a particular cooking skill.  This show is a wonderful visual how-to follow up to the best-selling book, “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School”, published several years ago. 

 Season one of the show was filmed on the former “Martha Stewart Show” set, with new backdrops of the countryside in the kitchen window.  The way the show is filmed, again, reminds me of the former “Living” production.

 Martha’s instruction is clear.  There is nothing standing in the way (such as idle chatter with celebrities) of Martha’s teaching.  It’s refreshing, it’s well done, and it’s informative for even the advanced home cook. 

 When I first learned of the show last summer, I was less than enthusiastic.  I wasn’t sure there was a need for yet another “cooking show.”  While I enjoy watching such shows, there seemed to be such saturation in the market, and I feared that Cooking School would get lost in the sauce (every pun intended).  After watching the first three episodes, I take back my early reservation!  This show is a standout!

 You can watch Martha Stewart’s Cooking School on most local PBS stations.  Check your local listings for weekend time/dates.   

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Window Shopping for Thanksgiving

I've been thinking ahead to Thanksgiving and doing a little "window shopping" for pieces I would like for my dinner table this year.  Here are just a few of my favorite finds for the Thanksgiving table:

This turkey platter from Pottery Barn caught my eye. 

This wonderful two-tier cheese server from Pottery Barn is a perfect way to display and serve our favorite cheese - Beekman Blaak.  I can think of a few other decorative uses for this piece as we look ahead to Christmas decorating!

There is something about simple white serving pieces that I love.  These pieces are from the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy's. 

Another "must have" from Martha.. this domed porcelain server is simply beautiful.  I saw this in the store last weekend and came **this** close to snapping it up!

We stopped at the Beekman 1802 Mercantile during the Harvest Festival this year and purchased this beautiful pear bud vase.  I've yet to use it as a bud vase, but it is part of an autumn display. 

No table is complete without beautiful napkins.  This paisley print from Pottery Barn is the perfect addition to any table.  I think I would skip the monogram - and just keep it simple. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Look Back: Harvest Festival 2012

After a year absence, we returned to Sharon Springs, New York to attend the 2012 Harvest Festival.  It was great to be back in the village with so many wonderful friends (and we made new friends along the way!).  Here are a few photos from our visit: 

From our hotel room we had a wonderful view of the sunrise.  First light in Sharon Springs is spectacular!

The beautiful sunrise gave way to an incredible sky for the first day of the Harvest Festival

My 'duty' during the Harvest Festival was conducting tours of the Beekman Farm.  During one of the tours, two friends, Casey and PJ came to visit.  It was wonderful to see them again!

The barn at the Beekman was adorned with beautiful mums.

The goats were happy to greet visitors to the farm. 

Oh, the drama of it all... Polkaspot was her usual diva self.  Such a beautiful llama - and she knows it.

Bubby, the chief barn cat at the Beekman was making his rounds to make sure everyone was orderly during their visit.  He's a charmer!

The view from the heirloom garden at the Beekman. 

The garden table featured a harvest centerpiece.  The pumpkin grew around a piece of equipment in the garden.  This simple arrangment was quite lovely. 

The steps of the Beekman were full of beautiful mums and pumpkins. 

A young tour guest.  She was thrilled to visit with all the animals at the farm!

The heirloom garden at the Beekman.  Despite the warm temperatures and dry summer, the garden produced a bountiful harvest!

We took a few minutes away from our farm duties to visit with our friends Josh and Brent at the Beekman Mercantile.  There's nothing like a Josh and Brent hug!

November Living

November brings us Thanksgiving, and who doesn't love a delicious pie and all those savory side dishes at our Thanksgiving feast? 

The November issue of Martha Stewart Living is full of wonderful ideas and inspiration for a Thanksgiving feast that your guests will certainly be thankful for! 

Inside this issue:

** A Pilgrim's Feast - Thanksgiving dinner at its traditional best.

**Martha Stewart American Made Awards - A look at fifteen trailblazing artisans and craftspeople, from coast to coast. 

** Founding Gardener - Thomas Jefferson's vegetable garden at Monticello was home to some of the country's earliest delicacies. 

** The Centerpiece Reimagined - Kevin Sharkey makes bouquets to celebrate the colors an textures of harvest time. 

** Pies and Sides - Turkey is universal, but the sides and desserts vary by region.  There are undisputed favorites! 

**Winterizing the Garden - Martha shows us how she prepares her grounds for the harsh cold weather. 

The November issue of Martha Stewart Living is arriving in mailboxes now and will be on newsstands Monday, October 15th. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Passing of Time

My last post to this blog was in early March of this year. So much of this year has passed and so much of it is a blur.

 For much of the last seven months, I have "existed" without really participating.  I moved about in my day to day, without really being fully present.  I would attempt to move forward but frequently felt like I was standing still.  Standing still in time. 

I've started to move forward once again.  Moving forward sometimes means looking back and "taking along" part of what was yesterday to make it a brighter tomorrow.  As I looked back and as I move forward I recognized that part of what I missed all these months was this blog.  I'm glad I took time away, to learn to move forward; but I'm glad to pick up where I left off - living life, loving living, and being fully present.