Posts Tagged ‘Martha Stewart’

A&O in Martha Stewart Weddings

insta wedding

photo by La Femme Epicure

I am literally bursting with excitement to see the name Apples & Onions LA in Martha Stewart Weddings Summer 2014 Issue. It was an honor to contribute the pre-ceremony snack, Indian Summer Trail Mix, to the October wedding of my pals Sarah and Kelly. Their wedding has a 10 page spread in the MSW magazine on stands today (online gallery here). While images of the welcome snack did not make the magazine, there is a link in the vendor list to Apples & Onions LA. Now I can say I’ve been in Martha Stewart magazine!

Indian Summer Trail Mix

photo by Evynn LeValley

Scharffen Berger dark chocolate chunks, salty pretzel twists, diced dried apricot, roasted almonds, dried tart cherries, chocolate covered raisins, yogurt chips, toasted coconut flakes and salted pistachios all mixed together.

photo by Evynn LeValley

Drew and I volunteered to model the chilled French cider served alongside the trail mix.

Trailmix in Cookbook cones

photo by Evynn LeValley

Mossy beds and vintage cookbook cones made by the bride, Sarah and her sister Rebecca.

Lydia and Drew Howerton

photo by Evynn LeValley

Drew is excited about the cider.





Label Lovers Beware


Martha Stewart has a line of office supplies at Staples and you are going to want to buy every single item.

I grabbed:

a robin’s egg blue shagreen binder

pastel plastic dividers

araucana egg-colored file folders

pastel paper tags with blue and white striped thread

CHALKBOARD labels (!)

kitchen labels like the French roast label above

multiple pads of sticky notepaper

I’m not going to lie, my office has been a much more fun place the last few days.

What am I going back for, you ask?  Shagreen boxes in blue and white as a more elegant counterpoint to my other favorite storage containers.

What can’t you wait to use?



The End of an Era


The first sign of danger was when it moved from NBC to the Hallmark Channel last year.  Then Hallmark cut her programming from 8 hours to 5.  And now, the end.  Martha’s show has been cancelled.

The news makes me sad. We all know Martha has an impressive work ethic.  What I love about her show –whether I watched it or not, and yes, I’m part of the problem–is that it is an ode to hard work.  Martha and her team conceive elaborate, beautiful sets and walk viewers through complicated recipes and crafts. In our tweet and app-happy society, their careful workmanship and commitment to excellence is inspiring.

Plus, Martha returned from prison a no-holds-barred flirt!  You can see some of her lady sparkle in these clips and in any re-run featuring SNL’s Seth Meyers.  The two of them have unexpected and adorable chemistry.

So tell me, did you watch Martha?  Will you miss it?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Meyer Lemon Tart


meyer lemon tart recipe

Made this for Thanksgiving and it’s now a given that I’ll make it every Thanksgiving from here on out.  It’s that foolproof and a perfect combo of sunny Meyer lemon sweetness and rich shortbread crust.  Lemon and butter, smooth and crumbly.  Clearly a winner.

meyer lemon

If you’ve never seen a Meyer lemon, here you go.  They are smaller, rounder and sweeter than regular lemons with a smoother skin and a much softer body.  Takes very little muscle to give ’em a good squeeze.  A gentle person’s lemon!

According to Wikipedia (I know, I know), chefs from Chez Panisse were the first to cook with Meyer lemons and Martha, knowing a good thing when she tasted it, promptly introduced them to the mainstream by using them in her recipes when no one else was doing so.  It’s fitting then, that this recipe is taken straight from her November issue of Living but isn’t an original Martha.  It comes from pastry chef Lindsey Remolif Shere’s Chez Panisse Desserts.  Hey, Martha finds what works and sticks with it.

One more gossipy tidbit about Martha and lemons.  Rosie O’Donnell asked Martha what she missed most from the outside world while she was incarcerated.  Precise as always, Martha responded, “the flavor of lemons.”  Make of that what you will, but they do taste and smell awfully nice.


Meyer Lemon Tart

Serves 8


For the crust:

1 cup AP flour

2 tablespoons sugar

pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon finely-grated Meyer lemon zest

1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the lemon curd:

2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon cornstarch

3 tablespoons finely grated Meyer lemon zest plus 1/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter. cut into small pieces


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Make the crust: Whisk together flour, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the lemon zest in a large bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the dough begins to hold together.

Stir together water and vanilla, then mix into dough.  Shape dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Using your fingers, press the cold dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removeable bottom.  Freeze for 30 minutes.

Bake tart shell until golden, about 25 minutes.  Cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the lemon curd.  Whisk together eggs, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in lemon juice and zest.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time.

Pour filling into cooled tart shell.  Bake until filling is browned, slightly puffed and set, about 30 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Tart can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Tenugui Cloth Napkins


tenugui cloths

Lydia and I were so excited to see gardening editor Stephen Orr’s Thanksgiving table setting in the new Martha Stewart Living.  The picture hasn’t made it online, but if you flip to page 106, you’ll see why.  Stephen set his table with a few of our favorite things!  Lots of natural elements like branches, quail eggs and individual flowers in low vases as well as Lydia’s Heath plates in mixed colors (French grey, mist and aqua) and my tenugui cloth napkins in mixed prints and different shades of blue.

The article inspired me to purchase a new fall collection (you can see my old one here) so that I’ll be ready for my Thanksgiving guests.

I’ll be doing all-white plates and mixing napkins in navy, burgundy and gold.  Each tenugui costs $13 at Tortoise General Store and each cloth makes 2 napkins.  You simply cut them in half and toss them in the washing machine.  They come out as soft as an old T-shirt with frayed edges.  Use scissors to clip any long strings and press with a hot iron before setting your table.

Can you believe we’re already thinking about Thanksgiving?  We’ll be sharing our centerpiece decor, tips for executing your feast in a small kitchen and our Turkey Day countdown in the next few days.  Number two on the countdown?  Make sure you have enough napkins.  Check.

Have a wonderful, candy-filled weekend!


Happy Birthday, Martha!


Martha Stewart

Oh, Martha.  Word has it your stock is down and your company outlook isn’t so bright.  Sounds like you and your infamous control issues might be a part of the problem.  Perhaps an extended staycation at Skylands is in order?

The news makes us sad, because even though we’re very familiar with all your faults, we admire your fortitude, skill and foresight.  Happy 70th, fellow Leo.  I hope you can work this one out.


The Look: Copper & Pale Pink


For You

copper and pink lingerie

photo courtsey of Martha Stewart Weddings

For Your Table

MS pink and copper dining room

photo courtsey of Martha Stewart Weddings

Still winter… yet longing for spring. Liven up winter metallics in your wardrobe and your home with a fresh breath of pink.


The Weekend Dish: Valentine’s Day Dinner


Hi Friends, what do you have in store this weekend in the romance department? Sarah and Angus are taking a ski trip and Drew and I are staying home re-decorating and reorganizing our apartment! Two trips to Ikea in three days might be his Valentine’s gift to me this year.

I always like to stay in on Valentine’s Day and make a super nice dinner at home. It’s cozy and relaxed, we open a special bottle of wine we have been saving and play some of our favorite albums while we cook.


This year we have a beautiful bottle of Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon my Dad gave Drew for his birthday 2 years ago. I’m planning our meal around this wine.

cheese and mortadella hearts

We will start our meal by nibbling on slices of mortadella and cheese hearts and crackers. Aww.

Kale Salad

Next we will dig into a hearty Kale Salad with crisp apples and shaved Parmesan cheese. The acid in the vinegar softens the kale leaves so they are chewy and the flavor is sweet and grassy. The apples remain crisp and the Parmesan provides the salty umami satisfaction.

sunday-suppers cookbook

For dinner I’m leaning towards Dijon and shallot crusted lamb rib chops with Suzanne Goin’s parmesan pudding. Decadent special occasion foods in our very favorite flavors.

Martha Chewy Chocolate Chunk-Cherry Cookies

Dessert has to be Martha Stewart’s Chewy Chocolate Chunk-Cherry Cookies which are truly the best chocolate chip cookie I have ever tried. Crisp outsides, chewy dark chocolaty insides (the chunks of chocolate melt into layers not lumps like chips do) and then you bite into a sweet tart dried cherry and your heart melts just a bit.



Meatless Monday: Skillet Pizza


It took moving to California for me to like pizza.  Makes no sense, I know, but I just can’t hack the spicy sauce and unctuous bricks of melting mozzarella that characterize a true Chicago pie.  Milder cheeses and oven-roasted greens on nutty, toasted flatbread, however, make me happy.

This pizza works with whatever toppings you like.  Add roasted butternut squash for another colorful Meatless Monday option.

Lou Malnati’s it isn’t, but California-style pizza is its own special dish.

I took the idea for a skillet pizza from the cover of last month’s Sunset Magazine.  You can also use a pizza stone or baking sheet.


Skillet Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Ricotta and Kale

Yield: 4-6 servings


2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided

1 onion, sliced into thin half moons

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed and sliced into chiffonade

1 ball (~1 lb) pizza dough (I like using one ball from the Martha recipe or buying Whole Foods prepared whole wheat dough at the pizza counter)

1 cup fresh ricotta cheese

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Red pepper flakes, to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Add 1 teaspoon oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook over gentle heat until caramelized, about 10-12 minutes.  Add the garlic once the onions have caramelized, stirring occasionally until fragrant and just brown, about 2 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

While the onion caramelize, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add 2 teaspoons salt and the kale, boiling until the kale softens and turns bright green, about 3 minutes.  Drain and cool.

Heat a large, oven-proof frying pan over medium-low heat.  Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl so that the oil coats the pan.

Working on a lightly floured surface, press the dough down with your hands until you’ve formed a 13-inch round.  Lay the round into the hot pan (the sides of the dough will come up the sides of the pan).  Cook until the bottom is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Flip the dough out onto a plate.  Coat the pan with the remaining tablespoon olive oil and return the dough to the pan, golden side up.  Be sure to press the dough down into the pan so all the uncooked dough comes into contact with the hot surface.

Spread the ricotta over the golden brown surface of the cooked dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around.  Sprinkle with caramelized onions and then the kale.  Add a sprinkle of sea salt, pepper and red chili flakes to taste. Brush the outer crust with 1 teaspoon olive oil to give it extra sheen and flavor.

Bake in pan in oven until crust is crisp and cooked through and the kale has just started to char, about 20 minutes.  Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

1 2