Believe it or not, today marks culinary guru and businesswoman extraordinaire Martha Stewart's 71st birthday! In honor of the day, we've rounded up a handful of our favorite recipes that Martha's had a hand in, from salmon mousse to blackberry crumbles and a little bit of everything in between. With these well-tested recipes in hand, you'll be set to toast to Martha from dawn to dusk. So cheers, Martha. We hope it's a good one!
Today's geek tip comes from the queens of craft at Martha Stewart. While we've often come across inexpensive cable managers, we're not opposed to using found objects (like socks, perhaps) to keep our cords in line. The crafty divas at Martha Stewart, however, took things a step beyond by using pipe insulation instead. This super-cheap material can be found at your local hardware store and makes a great organizer for extra cables and cords you don't have a current need for around the house.
Check out her instructions (which are insanely easy — just cut to length and score an opening down the middle of the pipe) in her handy how-to.
While you want Thanksgiving tipples to be memorable and festive, make sure to keep them accessible enough for the whole family (including your less-than-experimental sister-in-law). One way I like to approach this is by placing a contemporary twist on an otherwise standby cocktail.
Much like a pear essence cosmopolitan mellows out the cosmo, here, ginger and maple syrup add a Winter twist to the classic World War I-era sidecar. It won't rouse any raised eyebrows, but do prepare yourself for a table full of compliments. For a timeless cocktail with a hint of sugar and spice, read more.
Everyone has culinary issues and one that I'm constantly working on is my fear of dough. Pizza dough, bread dough, pasta dough, pie dough — I'm totally intimidated by it all. However, last Summer, in an attempt to face my (irrational) fear, I started making pies. Peach pie, blueberry pie, cherry pie, raspberry pie. With each pie I made, it became a little easier.
It's been months since I made a pie, but with the bounty of ripe fruit at the market calling to me, I was inspired to try this chocolate raspberry pie. From the ultimate pie queens at Martha Stewart Living, this pie is divine. The dough is chocolate pate sucree and the filling is a layer of chocolate ganache covered with a luscious raspberry topping.
Although I ran into a little difficulty with the dough, it was rewarding to slice into the finished pie. Want to show off your pie-making skills with this decadent dessert? Check out the recipe.
The January issue of Martha Stewart Living has an amazing article on roast chicken. Since roast chicken is one of the most comforting meals, I've been experimenting with the enticing recipes. There's five fabulous variations, but my favorite is the one seen here for garlic-butter rubbed chicken with roasted oranges and red onions.
The technique and ingredients are simple, but the resulting chicken is juicy, succulent, and intensely delicious. Now is the perfect time to make this chicken because oranges are in season, and they're the major flavoring agent. The zest seeps into the chicken and permeates it with orange essence. I served it with white beans, but it would pair nicely with potatoes or rice. Get the recipe, after the break.
Can't fathom sipping an iced cocktail as the temperature continues dipping? Then settle in with a batch of steamy buttered rum instead — it'll warm you to the core, even in bone-chillingly cold climes. This recipe for hot buttered rum is the best I've ever had, in part because it calls for a spiced butter as its base.
This recipe also incorporates ground ginger, grated orange zest, and a fresh squeeze of orange juice for zing at the very end; all of these truly round out the typical wintry spice notes. I recommend using a good-quality spiced rum, like Cruzan's 9 Spiced Rum, to boost flavor even further. Cuddle up to a cup when you read on.
This unusual cocktail caught my attention because, unlike other cocktails, it's a sparkler that doesn't call for Champagne. Instead, it makes use of cognac sparkling apple cider — and what could be more seasonal than that? The result is soft, aromatic, and complex, a surprising outcome for a cocktail with only three ingredients.
This drink's not heavy on the alcohol. If you feel so inclined, fortify it by replacing sparkling apple cider with hard cider instead. To pour your guests a glass this holiday, read more.
Although gnocchi is a perennial Italian favorite, it's one of those dishes that truly complements the flavors associated with Fall. It pairs wonderfully with savory ingredients like wild mushrooms and sage — and unexpectedly well with sweet spice additions such as cinnamon sugar, too.
Even if you've never done it before, don't be intimidated by making gnocchi at home. If you don't want to roll out your own dough, start with the store-bought variety; otherwise, experiment with a simple, from-scratch version, which makes use of leftover mashed potatoes. Looking for a way to branch out with pasta? Get both recipes now.
Besides an assortment of savory bites and lots of meatballs, another thing I consumed in massive quantities at the Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival was cookies. On Saturday morning, I gathered with eager kids and their attentive parents for an event entitled Milk and Cookies hosted by Martha Stewart. Over 15 of New York's top bakeries and pastry chefs set up tables with every type of cookie imaginable.
Guests were invited to enjoy as many cookies as they wanted and the Manhattan Milk Company poured a never-ending supply of milk. Stewart debuted her new cookie iPad app and was followed around by a video crew documenting the event. The best part of the soiree were the crafting tables where children could decorate and package cookies using Martha Stewart's craft tools.
To get a better look at the cookies and crafting, browse the gallery of photos after the break.
Follow up on last night's classic veal number by making an equally sumptuous Italian specialty. Use leftover steaks, pounded thin, to make a variation of the renowned dish known as veal marsala. Rather than following a traditional recipe, which calls for marsala wine, flour, and cream, try a lighter, more contemporary version with sherry. The fortified wine, when combined with mushrooms and a bit of mustard for emulsification, transforms into a fragrant, boozy sauce that coats the tender meat. Don't care for veal? Try using chicken scaloppine instead. For the recipe, keep reading.