Season 5 of Martha Bakes Premiers October 3

The fifth season of Martha Stewart's Emmy nominated teaching show Martha Bakes, will premiere on PBS stations nationwide beginning October 3, 2015: check local listings.

The new season of Martha Bakes follows four successful seasons as the number one baking show on public television. This past spring, Martha Bakes was nominated for 2 Emmy Awards for best culinary host and culinary show.  Martha Bakes is the most visited show on PBS Food, PBS's digital cooking portal, and the series has been viewed in 95% of U.S. television households, according to TRAC Media Services.
In each of the thirteen 30-minute episodes of Martha Bakes—produced by MSLO—Emmy Award-winning TV host Martha Stewart shares her best baking tips and techniques, teaching viewers to create delectable baked goods from scratch in their own kitchens.

For the first time in the series, Martha will have featured guests on the show to share their culinary expertise with viewers. This season includes renowned chocolatier Jacques Torres, Michele Goldsmith of Nobu Restaurant, NYC and Nick Malgieri, author of 12 cookbooks and the founder of the baking program at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. Click here to watch a short preview and visit the official Martha Bakes page.

Anthony's Martha Moment in Newport

Last Sunday, Martha and chef Jacques Pepin were in Newport, Rhode Island, to promote their respective cookbooks: Appetizers and Heart & Soul in the Kitchen. The two culinary giants, who are also friends, shared the stage for a Q&A at Marble House - the Gilded Age mansion formerly owned by Alva and William Kissam Vanderbilt, and now run by the Preservation Society of Newport County. Guests were treated to an informative and interesting discussion about their careers, food and entertaining. This was followed by a book-signing hosted by Martha. Martha Moments reader Anthony Picozzi, who has been featured on the blog before, attended the event and took several photos to share with fellow readers.
Martha and Jacques were seated in front of the very elaborate marble fireplace with the evening's host, Sal Rizzo. Anthony got to chat with Martha after the discussion and later had his copy of Appetizers signed by Martha. Anthony was introduced to Martha by a mutual friend of theirs who had shown Martha several photos of Anthony the night before. Martha jokingly scolded Anthony for not asking her a question during the audience Q&A!

During her talk, Martha mentioned that her first taste of real success came when Entertaining was published in 1982. “I didn’t know I was a writer until I sat down and wrote that book.” She said she was persuasive and had a publisher who listened. The publisher wanted a picture book with recipes, but Martha wanted a big, colorful storybook. “They wanted it in black and white, can you imagine?” The publisher told Martha if the book sells 25,000 copies it will be a major best seller for a first book. The book has now gone on to sell over a million copies. Martha said, “I found out that in America, especially, if you write a book that catches the eye and heart of the readers, then you become an expert. That book made people start to understand that I was the real thing. That I could write about food, develop recipes and talk about entertaining with a voice.” 
Martha mentioned that Appetizers is her 85th book. Everyone raised a glass to toast that success.
Martha was very excited to hear that Anthony had photographed many of the mansions of Newport. You can see some of his photos in this post.
Martha taking in the beauty of the mansion's great hall.
 Martha's book Appetizers is available now. Jacque's book will be released next week and is available for pre-order.


Lucinda Scala Quinn Embarks on New Career Adventure!

Today, in a statement on Instagram, Lucinda Scala Quinn announced that she has tendered her resignation and will step down as SVP editorial director of food and entertaining at Martha Stewart Living. In the statement, she writes, "I've resigned...to build a family business of my own. My mission, which started with Mad Hungry, is to show the next generation how to embrace the power of home cooking - by providing the goods and services to help people nourish and feed themselves and their families." This is certainly a loss for the MSLO family but I cannot help but feel really happy for Lucinda for pursuing her dreams. Having met her, I can tell you her passion is infectious and I know she will be extremely successful! Congratulations, Lucinda! I look forward to all that is still to come! (Stay tuned for more updates about Lucinda's adventures. And watch for her new book, Mad Hungry Family: The Essential Recipes, which will be published next May.

October Living and a Halloween Special Issue!

The October issue of Martha Stewart Living is now on newsstands, as is a new special Halloween issue! The October issue has a wonderful selection of content that is sure to please everyone who loves this favourite autumn month: plenty of fresh Halloween ideas, a look at some bright, modern kitchens, a tour of a historic American garden, cooking with squash and (my favourite!) a close-up look at Martha's personal collection of copper kitchenware, photographed in her Bedford kitchen. The special Halloween issue is certainly very nice to see on stands, since we didn't get one last year. It is more-or-less a collection of previously-published Halloween content from the pages of Martha Stewart Living, but I still like compendiums like these, which tend to re-purpose older material in new and fresh ways. Happy reading!


Away for Awhile

Well, friends, I'm off on a three-week long excursion to Scandinavia: Denmark, Norway, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. I'm sure I will have plenty of photos to share when I return. In the meantime, remember that Martha's book "Appetizers" comes out on September 8th! I will be back at it at the end of September. Wish me well!

Flower Arrangements at Skylands

There are some blog posts that bear re-blogging. Martha's recent blog post about Kevin Sharkey's flower arrangements on The Martha Blog left me speechless and awestruck. The sheer beauty of the flowers in their spectacular arrangements - both large and small - around the rooms at Skylands, Martha's home in Maine, are some of the most beautiful images I've seen in a while. All of the blossoms were harvested from Martha's own cutting gardens. I hope you enjoy the photos! (All photographs by Kevin Sharkey and Martha Stewart for TheMarthaBlog.com)
This arrangement combined pink lilies with Rodgersia leaves. The leaves of Rodgersia first emerge as bronzy-green on the plant, and then this mat-green in summer.

 A lovely warm, rosy pink arrangement of lilies with striking green-red foliage. I think this one if my favourite.
 On another occasion, Kevin made this lily arrangement for the living room.
These lilies added such vibrancy and color to the room. They make excellent cut flowers - choose lilies with buds that are just about to open with a bit of the color showing. Just be careful of the pollen - it will stain clothes and carpets.
Aster is a genus of flowering plants in the Asteraceae family. They are daisy-like perennials, many of which have starry-shaped flower heads. These flowers bloom late, so they are wonderful to have when many other flowers have faded. Jens Jensen, the landscape architect who designed the gardens at Skylands, had called for abundant plantings of asters in his original plans.
 An arrangement of dahlias in the living hall in various shades of coral, pink and yellow.
 Pink cosmos for the pink guest house!
 More pretty dahlias in white, burgundy, and shades of pink.
All the flowers were cut from Martha's own gardens. Here was an arrangement of hydrangeas Kevin made for my giant faux bois table at Skylands.
Sometimes, the prettiest arrangements are the most simple. Here, Martha filled several small, white vases with white phlox. Phlox is a perennial, and among the most popular choices of wildflower - most likely because it's so easy to maintain
These lilies in the living hall were arranged with hay-scented ferns, Dennstaedtia punctilobula, a species of fern native to eastern North America. And, they do smell like hay when bruised.
A pretty blue arrangement of Ageratum. Commonly known as 'floss flower', these fluffy blooms are lavender-blue, but they also come in pink, lilac, or white, and form small, compound umbels.
Dahlias on the dining room table - small, clear vases mixed together with glass votives.
On this day, a spectacular show of lilies and ferns lined the dining room table, catching the rays of the setting sun.


Sofia Vergara for Martha Stewart Weddings

Actress Sofia Vergara graces the cover of the Fall style issue of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine, on newsstands August 31. Her marriage to model Joe Manganiello will take place on November 22 in Florida's Breakers Palm Beach Resort and MS Weddings features the bride-to-be in a series of the season's latest gowns. This is the second MS Weddings cover in a row that has featured a celebrity; Sarah Jessica-Parker took the cover for the magazine's summer 2015 issue. Click here for a behind-the-scenes look at Sofia's cover shoot for the fall issue of Martha Stewart Weddings.