Watching the New Shows

September 13, 2010

I just had to put up a quick little post to say I watch Martha’s season opener today on Hallmark and I also watched Everyday Food (for the first time) and Lucinda (Mad Hungry). I hope you’ll share your thoughts on these with me – I would love to hear what you think.

As for Martha, first of all, I thought she looked fantastic. “Rested,” perhaps? That segment with the MTV guys was weird. It has nothing to do with Martha and it was awkward due to the time delay. Just awful. The interview with Jennifer and Alexis was awkward. Very stilted and strange. I haven’t watched their show yet (tonight maybe I will get to it) but it looks kind of odd. Jennifer has lost a ton a weight and looks fantastic. The questions from the audience were strange and the answers worse. They couldn’t name any of their upcoming guests? What did Martha think they did to prepare for the show? They seemingly had nothing to talk about. It was all just uncomfortable to watch. Jennifer tries to please Martha. Alexis remains aloof and snotty. Very weird TV.

I skipped the pet segment. The cookie segment with Sarah Carey and John Baricelli was also a little odd. All they did was dunk cookies in sugar – not a lot of baking there! The cookies sound good though and I may have to print out the recipe. I love Lucinda, but a quesadilla with bacon, cheese and peppers? Not exciting.

Onto Lucinda’s show, Mad Hungry. I’ve GOT to make those pork chops. And the potato wedges. And the cabbage. Sigh. I’ve got her cookbook and really liked it but haven’t tried these items. I was surprised her show was an hour – it seemed like a long time. Loved her set – it was very her. I may have to allow Teen Martha a peek at her son Calder who is quite cute! This is a show I will definitely tune into, although I do have a tendency to fast forward through the boring parts.

Everyday Food. This was my first time catching this. I was surprised that each segment was a different host. I kind of liked it for quick ideas but I don’t know if it is something I would sit down and watch on a regular basis. And when did Sarah Carey have long hair? It’s been short every time I’ve ever seen her.

So those are my impressions. What were yours?

Update: I watched Whatever. Not quite sure what to think. Jennifer seemed VERY nervous, but looked fantastic. The opener was a little awkward, but as always I enjoy hearing Alexis complain about Martha. The guest segments seemed really long. Are there fewer commercials on Hallmark? Paula Abdul was fun. Partially incoherent as usual. I would have liked to know more about what her new show really is about. The dance lesson was lame.  I fast forwarded through most of the guy who has had over 100 Internet dates. I just didn’t care! I liked the third guest, about the beauty products and am going to get her book. I will continue to tape this and watch it at least for now. I don’t quite ‘get’ how this is different from other talk shows yet, but maybe it will evolve.


Martha Didn’t Invite Me

January 14, 2010

Since several people have emailed me privately about this, I thought I would post about it. Today on the Martha Stewart Show, Martha did an entire show about blogging. She filled the audience with bloggers and had guests who are bloggers. Of course she included her daughter, Alexis, and Jennifer Koppelman Hutt from the Whatever show, but she also invited Andrew Ritchie of Martha Moments and Jeff Blumenkrantz from Jeff and Martha to be guests on the show. I hope you caught the show – if not check out Andrew’s and Jeff’s two blogs, which are simply wonderful.

Now let me answer the questions folks are emailing me about. No, I was not invited and no, I’m not upset nor surprised! I tend to be quite frank about how my Martha projects go and I suspect the MSLO folks who snooped around my blog felt I was not positive enough about Martha in general. Sorry Martha! As I’ve said many times, I have incredible respect for Martha. She is a truly amazing businesswoman and creative person. She has more talent in her little finger than I’ll ever have. That said, my project is about trying out Martha projects and trying to fit them into my life. I’m a regular gal (mom, wife, daughter, friend, writer) who is searching for inspiration and a little oomph. I’m all about honesty here. Some Martha things work, some don’t.  So, I’m not surprised I wasn’t asked and really it’s ok! I think it was great Martha did a show on blogging (although isn’t it funny that she really doesn’t actually blog – she just writes it and has an IT guy who has to post it and manage the blog – in Martha’s life there is always someone to do mundane tasks for you) and I am thrilled to see Andrew and Jeff get publicity for their blogs.

I Am So Corny

March 6, 2009

I love St. Pat’s Day and I love corned beef, so obviously I HAVE to make Martha’s corned beef. The recipe in the March issue of Martha Stewart Living (which Martha also made on the show), tells you how to corn your own. I’ve never done this and it sounded like fun. I love to brine turkey, so this was a new brining adventure!

I wrote down what I needed and went to the store. Immediate problem. Pink curing salt? They didn’t have it.  Three other stores (including two “gourmet” shops) did not have it either. Home I went with my head hung low. Martha provides a source, but I needed to get this beef corning, since it needs to sit for two full weeks, so there was no time for ordering and shipping.

Next I did some Googling to see if there is an adequate substitute. Based on information there, out I went to the store again, this time to buy Morton’s Quick Cure Salt. Apparently it’s almost the same, but without the pink color. So my corned beef will not be bright pink  – I think I will live through it.

corned-beef-brineNow that I had all the ingredients, I needed to crush coriander seeds, mustard seeds, peppercorns, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks. I don’t have a mortar and pestle (what Martha used on the show) and I don’t have a spice grinder. So I used the mini-Cuisinart. It did a partial job and that is going to have to be good enough. I cooked up the brine and got the meat soaking. Fingers crossed this turns out! Tune in on St. Pat’s Day to find out!

Pantry Prep

February 24, 2009

On the Feb 17th Martha Stewart show, Martha talked about pantries – what should be in yours and how to make inexpensive meals using pantry items.

My messy pantry

My messy pantry

When we moved to this house I was so excited to actually have a real pantry. It’s a closet built over the basement stairs and it has lots of shelves and space to keep food. Almost all of my dried and canned goods are kept in this pantry.

Martha and guest Anna Last (Everyday Food Editor) talked about what should be in your pantry and I thought the list was good. I have every single item on the list!

– Canned tomatoes

– Tuna

– Black beans

– Chick peas

– Breadcrumbs

– Panko

– Pasta

– Rice

– Mustard

– Vinegar

– Olive oil

– Chicken stock

– Mustard

– Salt

– Pepper

– Capers

– Anchovies

There are a few other things that are always in my pantry. Martha might not agree with them though!

– Mac and cheese. I know. Martha would think it’s gross, but when you have kids, sometimes they really do want the orange box stuff.

– Beef stock

– Bouillon cubes. Sometimes I add these to soup when it is tasting a little weak.

– Tomato paste

– Spaghetti sauce. I like to make my own, but it is very labor intensive to peel 50 tomatoes and then end up with enough for only one or two meals.

– Dried herbs. Are we all pronouncing the ‘H’ in herbs? I have a pretty large collection of herbs and spices.

– Different salts. My family loves exotic salts from around the world and they are especially good on steak.

– Balsamic vinegar. Mini-Martha will only use this as a salad dressing and nothing else.

– Tamari sauce, hoisin, fish sauce, teriyaki sauce, and rice wine vinegar are my Asian must-haves in the pantry.

– Canned soup. I always have a can or two of soup around, organic if possible, because you never know when someone is going to get sick and really want a bowl of soup.

– Kidney beans. I use these in chili and other Mexican dishes.

– A jar of minced garlic. I know, Martha would yell, but fresh garlic doesn’t last forever and I like to have a jar of this just in case.

– A jar of pesto. Another item Martha would disparage, but I love the way it tastes and fresh basil is not easy to come by in the winter.

What are your must-have pantry items? Do you agree with Martha?

Didn’t you love how Martha was doing a show about affordable meals and yet mentioned how she goes into her grocery store and buys every single type of pasta (over 30 types) that they sell?! She can afford to do that, but most people watching her show can’t. And even if they could, who has the space to store over 30 types of pasta?Things like this make me wonder how in touch Martha is with the rest of us. Does she not realize not everyone can do this? Or is she aware, but simply doesn’t care how extravagant it makes her look?

I also loved how Martha told Margot Olshan how she has a rosemary tree and Margo said something snarky like “I’m not surprised”. I actually had a rosemary plant I kept in the house for a few years, but then eventually I killed it.

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