Martha’s Greatest Hits

October 14, 2010

In celebration of the two year mark for this blog, I’ve gone back through every recipe of Martha’s I’ve cooked and put together a list of the best of the best (with links!). It was quite an eye opening experience. Apparently, I am a fan of dips! I also didn’t realize quite how many Martha recipes I’ve cooked. Over 600. That’s pretty amazing. So I guess you could say I’ve really become a de facto expert. Of those 600, there were some that were simply awful. The most memorable of those for me would be that awful chocolate pudding made with avocado and the no bake brownies. Truly disgusting. A lot of things fall into the ok, but not memorable category. Some were good, but not great. What I’ve tried to do here is list the things that I think were fantastic.

I expected that the list might be more diverse than it is. The most exotic and hardest to make thing on the list is the Croquembouche. The things that were most memorable for me were the Thanksgiving turkey, perfect roast chicken, spatchcocked chicken, stuffed cabbage, rolled omelet, Baked Alaska, and rice pudding. I’d forgotten about many of these recipes until I went back through the blog, but once I saw the posts, it all came back to me.

I was struck by the fact that most of these things are homey, traditional foods. There’s not a lot here that would make people gasp at a dinner party (until they tasted it and realized how good these recipes are). I don’t know if that means Martha is best when she sticks to the basics or if I’m boring and just like traditional foods (I don’t think that’s the case  though- I love to try new things). Some of the recipes are not true Martha (well, as true Martha as something can be when she employees tens of thousands of people to do everything for her), some are from Lucinda Scala Quinn and one is from Emeril, but they all appeared in Martha’s magazines or on her show, so I’ve included them.

Enjoy Martha’s greatest hits!


Cream of Broccoli Soup This is a go-to recipe for me that I’ve made over and over. It’s simple, tasty and my kids love it.

Corn and Shrimp Chowder Simple and delicious.

Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup This one is recent, but I liked it so much I’ll do it again.


Artichoke Dip with Fontina I love dip. And cheese. And artichoke.

Bean Dip I really love dip.

Caramelized Onion Dip with Fingerling Potatoes Dip plus potatoes is as good as it gets!


Shrimp and Zucchini Tostadas I love the ease of this recipe and it’s very adaptable to whatever you have in the fridge.

Golden Crab and Papaya Salad The flavors in this were amazing and it was beautiful to serve.

Seafood Bake This one surprised me with how good it was and how much it was to make.

Mr. Jim’s Shrimp To die for! The best shrimp ever.


Perfect Roast Chicken This is a recipe everyone needs!

Thanksgiving Turkey I’ll be using Martha’s recipe again this year, although it seems she is no longer selling turkeys.

Spatchcocked Chicken Thank you Lucinda for the amazing sauce that goes with this.

Chicken, Spinach Casserole This one is recent, but memorable. Simple and much more fab than it sounds.

Tortilla Pie with Chicken Delicious! Great flavors.

Other Entrees

Mrs. Kostyra’s Meatloaf Who knew meatloaf could be so much fun?

Emeril’s Meatloaf Apparently Emeril knew meatloaf could be fun because his is fantastic too! This is actually a turkey meatloaf.

Lamb Chops with Citrus Sauce This one is an elegant dish.

Marinated Steak Thank you Lucinda. Easy and delicious way to make inexpensive cuts of meat taste great.


Spanish Rice I need to make this again.

Green Bean Casserole Surprisingly great! But very rich!

Baked Onion Rings I forgot about this and will be making it again soon!

Tomato Hand Pies Another one I forgot about, but something to remember when I have some wonderful tomatoes to use.

Warm Potato Salad with Goat Cheese Incredible! Not a combo I expected to like, but I really did.

Potato Gratin A basic, but simply amazing.

Rolled Omelet So easy and so delicious! I was hooked on this one for weeks after I first made, making it in the toaster oven!

Irish Soda Bread I like my version a lot, but Martha’s is quite good too!

Stuffed Cabbage Something I never thought I would like!


Double Chocolate Brownies Ah, brownies….

Croquembouche Impressive! Boy was I proud of this one.

Icebox Cake Surprisingly delish! And tres retro.

Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies Dude Martha’s fave!

Mrs. Kostyra’s Spice Cake Close to my wedding cake but not quite, but still excellent!

Baked Alaska A friend of Teen Martha’s still talks about how good this was.

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes I need to make these again – amazing.

Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies I’m going to make these for Christmas again.

Genoise Something I never thought I’d try and it was great.

Rice Pudding This is now a staple in my house and I make it often.

Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite Martha recipes that you go back to time and time again? Have you made any of the ones I’ve listed? Do these appeal to you?

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You Can See Russia from My Dessert

January 24, 2009

Mini-Martha is having a birthday next week. To celebrate, he had some friends over last night. I approached the cake topic cautiously. I have made lots of crazy things for my kids’ birthdays – a brownie pizza, a spaghetti and meatballs cake (for an April Fool’s Day theme), pumpkin pie, strawberry pie, a bowling pins and bowling ball shaped group of cakes, red velvet cake – you name it. I have also purchased grocery store cakes (I know! The sheer horror of it). I wasn’t sure what he wanted this time around. I suggested baked Alaska and once I showed him the photo in Martha Stewart Living (January issue) he was hooked!

I made baked Alaska once many moons ago when Mr. MarthaAndMe were dating. Clearly it convinced him to marry me. When I made it before, I am pretty sure I made one big one. Martha advocates small individual Alaskas.

Now, what kind of a fool am I to think I should make baked Alaska for a group of 10 and 11 year old boys, to be served after an excursion to Dave and Buster’s (gaming place)? A big silly one I guess.


Cake ready for the oven

Cake ready for the oven


I made the cake the day before. What a strange cake this was – you beat egg yolks with sugar then add chocolate. Separately you beat 12 egg whites with sugar till they make peaks.  Then you fold it all together. There is no flour, but you absolutely would never guess that when you taste it. You cut out circles from the cake. There is a LOT left over and you can’t really do much with it since it is scraps.

You coat small bowls with plastic wrap then layer strawberry and vanilla ice cream into them. You place a cake circle on top. The recipe does not say this, but you really have to press that cake circle down into the ice cream so it will adhere.  I had a couple where I did not press hard enough and it did not attach. You then wrap it up and freeze it. I


Cutting out the circles

Cutting out the circles


did all this the day before.

The night of the party (after returning from the headache inducing Dave and Busters at 9 pm) I made the meringue. You beat egg whites then add a syrup you cooked using a candy thermometer. The egg whites turn a pale caramel color once you add the syrup. The recipe says to add the syrup slowly, but I would say to be careful not to add it too slowly – I had some syrup crystallizing on the side of the


Ice cream molds

Ice cream molds


bowl and I had to pick it out.

Ok, so once the meringue is ready, you’re supposed to pop the desserts out of their molds. The recipe says to let them sit for a few minutes and then they will come right out. Yeah, right. We ended up dipping the bottoms of the molds into hot water to get them to loosen. Once we did that, they did pop right out and you could easily peel the plastic wrap off.

Then I spread the meringue over them. This is where things started to get


Ready to freeze

Ready to freeze


loony, in more ways than one. As I am frantically trying to get this together and into the oven before it melts, it is announced that one of the party guests is having an allergy attack and needs meds. I am not about to hand out Zyrtec without parental permission, so Mr. MarthaAndMe had to make the call to get clearance while I worked on dessert.

There was definitely not enough meringue. Double the meringue recipe for this if you make this. I had ice cream peeking out and meringue that was too thin. You really want a nice thick layer of meringue in my opinion.

The recipe says to preheat the oven to 500 degrees and put the desserts in for 2 minutes (you can also use a blow torch, but oddly enough, I just don’t have one laying around).  This oven setting was not a good idea.


Making the meringue

Making the meringue


Everything started to melt and the meringue was not cooking. Disaster in the making! I quickly switched over to broil and that did the trick. So, my recommendation is to broil not bake!

Despite the melting situation, these turned out pretty well. The meringue was SO good, even if it did kind of slide off some of the desserts. It was crunchy, sweet and delicious and in nice contrast to the ice cream. Most of the ice cream was intact and the cake on the bottom was good. I served this with chocolate sauce, which really added to it, so I highly


Ready for the oven

Ready for the oven


recommend that.

I mentioned to some people that I was making this and they asked if it was going to be flaming. Apparently, they serve this on cruise ships and set it on fire (they must put alcohol on it to do this, I imagine). So, no, there was nothing flaming at this party, but I think it was a hit. Everyone scraped their plates clean and I think I got points for the novelty factor. And really, you can’t go wrong with cake and ice cream, which is what this basically is.






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