"How We Holiday" at the Renegade Craft Fair in NYC

If you're in New York City on November 18th and 19th be sure stop by the Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street to join Martha Stewart Living editors at the Renegade Craft Fair. There, you'll get inspired to make the season bright with holiday how-to ideas from Martha Stewart Living editors and experts! The event is free (no tickets required!) and guests will enjoy hands-on DIY crafting, holiday demos, tasty treats and exciting giveaways! (It's all on a first-come/first-serve basis, of course). Plus, explore the vast craft fair and shop the vendors - makers and designers from all over the United States! Click here for more information.


Martha's New Gourmet Food Items on QVC

Tomorrow, October 18th, Martha will debut her line of prepackaged Gourmet Food items on QVC. This is Martha's third food line: she did a small collection of prepackaged foods for Kirkland Foods at Costco in 2008 (a holiday turkey, a honey-glazed holiday ham, three kinds of soups, short ribs and several baked goods, among other items) and later, in 2013, developed a much more extensive food line called "Pantry" for JC Penney, which included items such as olive oil, baking mixes, spice rubs and various sauces.

Among the QVC offerings will be a Thanksgiving turkey breast (four pounds) complete with two holiday side dishes - perfect for a small Thanksgiving gathering. This will be the 'special value' option on tomorrow's show, which airs at 12 p.m. ET and again at 3 p.m. ET. Below is a list of some of the food items that will be on offer:
This special Thanksgiving dinner includes a ready-to-make meal with a four-pound turkey breast paired with two holiday side dishes. It’s perfect for those smaller intimate gatherings of up to eight people.
The mashed potatoes were based on a recipe by Martha's mom, Big Martha. They are made with Russet potatoes, whole milk, cream cheese, butter and heavy cream. Very rich and delicious!
This cherry stuffing is another big favourite. It is made with chunks of crusty white bread crumbs, blended with butter, chicken broth, freshly chopped onion and celery, lots of herbs, and sweet tart dried cherries.
This macaroni and cheese side dish is made with four different cheeses – sharp white cheddar, gruyere, fontina, and parmigiano, blended with real butter and milk, a hint of onion and cayenne pepper, all mixed with elbow macaroni noodles.
And this classic creamed spinach is something that was often served on Martha's family’s holiday menu growing up. It is made with chopped spinach, butter, whole milk, and sour cream, and topped with a panko bread crumb, butter, and gruyere cheese.
These savory tomato tarts are made with roasted tomatoes, garlic and fontina cheese and garnished with fresh basil.
This brie en croute is made with a puffed pastry, baked until all the cheese is deliciously melting and filled with dried fruits and nuts. Once it is cut open, it’s easy to see all the delicious, warm cheese inside. It comes ready to bake in this flaky puffed-pastry crust.
Three types of chocolates will be offered in festive gift boxes for holiday entertaining or gift giving. The chocolates include sea salt toffee bark, peppermint bark and pecan nut clusters.
Martha will offer more items on October 22nd, including pigs-in-a-blanket (sausage rolls) and cheese sticks.

Schedule of Martha's upcoming QVC appearances:
Sunday, October 22nd at 12pm - Gourmet Food
Monday, October 30th at 5pm and 10pm - Fashion
November 10th at 9pm ET - Skincare


The November Issue

The November issue is popping up on newsstands and arriving in mailboxes! As always, it is an ode to Thanksgiving with recipes and ideas that focus on the beginning of the holiday season. The cover is of a carved turkey, all arranged on a big platter that is ready to be brought to the table. When I first saw it, I was immediately reminded of the 2013 November issue, which has an almost identical cover, as you can see below. I think the latest cover, while virtually a carbon copy of the 2013 issue, is more beautifully styled and delicious-looking. What it lacks in originality it makes up for with improvements in style. Watch for it on newsstands!

Sneak Peak at Martha's Next Book!

My friend David Pantoja, who hosts the Good Things by David blog, recently received an advanced copy of Martha Stewart's next book, which is titled "Martha Stewart's Newlywed Kitchen" - out on November 7th. David shares some photos and insights about the book on his blog but he's agreed to let me share a few photos here as well.
Described as the "ultimate cookbook for the modern couple", the book focuses on recipes for weeknight dinners and easy, casual entertaining. Not just for newlyweds, the book is a couple's guide (any couple!) with plenty of recipes that are designed to feed just two people: a unique feature among cookbooks that always seem to cater to larger families or crowds. It's nice to have a cookbook meant for two! Below are some of David's photographs of the book:
A nice feature of the book is a guide to serving essentials with lists of must-have dinnerware, glassware, serving pieces, table linens and entertaining accessories that can help a couple starting out (or anyone who needs a good checklist!) gather the pieces they need to entertain small groups.
As mentioned above, many of the weeknight dinners cater to couples, with portions that are just right for two.
The book also has you covered when it comes to entertaining small groups or hosting family for the holidays. There are menus for a weekend brunch, a taco fiesta and a fondue dinner, among others. There is also a Thanksgiving Day menu and recipes for a holiday cocktail party!

As someone who still feels like a newlywed, ten years after saying "I do", I think this book will be a welcome addition to my home. There is just the two of us at home most of the time and how nice it will be to have a book that celebrates a loving twosome! You can pre-order the book now on Amazon. It will be in stores November 7th.


Season Eight of Martha Bakes Begins This Weekend!

Martha Bakes is in its eighth season and this time Martha will teach us all about ways to bake using more health-conscious ingredients and baking methods. Inspired by her latest baking book "A New Way to Bake", the show will also welcome a roster of guests who will join Martha in the kitchen to share their recipes and techniques for healthy baking. Among the recipes will be apple-cider cake, honey-wheat Parker House rolls, sweet and savory versions of Scottish hot oat cereal, healthier ways to make pie crusts and pastries, chocolate making and more! I'm looking forward to tuning in! Check your local PBS listings to find out when the show is airing in your region. (Oh, and if you love the kitchen where the show is filmed - on set at Martha's headquarters in Manhattan - you can get the look yourself at home with Martha's line of kitchen designs at The Home Depot. Click here to explore these designs.)
Guests this season will include Simo Kuusisto, owner of Nordic Breads in Long Island City in New York, Blair Marvin, co-owner of Elmore Mountain Bread in Elmore, Vermont, Nate Hodge, head chocolate maker at Raaka Chocolate, Jack Algiere, the farm director at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Tarrytown, New York, and many others. For a full list, click here.


Martha's New Book on Flowers

We will have to wait until February 13, 2018, but I'm already excited about this book. "Martha's Flowers" promises to be the ultimate Martha Stewart guide to planting, growing, harvesting and arranging flowers. Kevin Sharkey, the editorial director of decorating at MSL, partnered with Martha to create the book. Below is an image of the cover and a description of the book from the publisher:
FROM THE PUBLISHER: Martha Stewart's lifelong love of flowers began at a young age, as she dug in and planted alongside her father in their family garden, growing healthy, beautiful blooms, every year. The indispensable lessons she learned then--and those she has since picked up from master gardeners--form the best practices she applies to her voluminous flower gardens today. For the first time, she compiles the wisdom of a lifetime spent gardening into a practical yet inspired book. Learn how and when to plant, nurture, and at the perfect time, cut from your garden. With lush blooms in hand, discover how to build stunning arrangements. Accompanied by beautiful photographs of displays in Martha's home, bursting with ideas, and covering every step from seed to vase, Martha's Flowers is a must-have handbook for flower gardeners and enthusiasts of all skill levels.

Hardcover; Clarkson Potter; 288 pages


Ellen Morrissey Leaving MSL

I learned on Friday that Ellen Morrissey will be leaving MSL to pursue new career opportunities. Ellen was the editorial director of books and special projects at Martha Stewart, responsible for all those great special issues and books that we so ravenously collect. Ellen joined the company in 2001 as a books editor and oversaw the publication of eleven New York Times bestsellers, including Martha Stewart's Cookies, Martha Stewart's Cupcakes, Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook, Everyday Food: Fresh, Flavor, Fast, Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts and Power Foods. She had previously worked at Gourmet magazine and at Harper Collins Publishers.
Ellen's primary function was to come up with ideas for books and special issues, either spearheading new content development or mining the vast library of previously-published content to collate into a new collection for a new book or special publication. She oversaw the creation of many of Martha's books, from start to finish, from design to publication, and was instrumental in the success of Martha's publishing ventures. I think it must have been such a fun job to be in charge of this department! I know I speak for everyone when I wish her all the best and say that she will certainly be missed! Good luck, Ellen!