5.30.2024

Martha's 100th Book

 Martha recently revealed the cover of her 100th book on Instagram and social media: Martha, The Cookbook: 100 Favorite Recipes will be published on November 5th of this year. You can pre-order on Amazon. The book will be hardcover and 304 pages in length. It promises to deliver "lessons and stories" from Martha's private kitchens over the years and will be supplemented with never-before-seen photographs from Martha's personal archive. 

Many of you have asked what ever became of Martha's autobiography. Rest assured, it is still in the works and will be published in the not-too-distant future. A documentary on Netflix about Martha is also scheduled to be released soon. 

Here is a description of Martha's 100th book from Amazon:

Join Martha in the kitchen as she shares favorite recipes and invaluable tips along with charming photos from her private archives. Her most personal book yet, Martha: The Cookbook is a must for everyone who has ever been inspired by the one-and-only Martha. Learn how to cook her mother’s humble Potato Pierogi, her decadent Gougères, a comforting Apple Brioche Bread Pudding, and the famous Paella she makes for the luckiest friends who visit her in summer. You’ll find something to satisfy everyone’s taste, whether it’s a simple meal you make for yourself, a weeknight family dinner, or a special celebration, recipes range from breakfast & brunch to soups & salads, hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, dinner, and of course dessert.

Like a scrapbook of Martha’s life in cookbook form, this is the ultimate collection for devotees as well as newer fans who want to become more confident in the kitchen and do what Martha does best: Start with the basics and elevate them. From timeless classics to contemporary delights, these recipes reflect storied moments from her legendary, trailblazing career.


4.02.2024

Martha Moments Readers Celebrate "Gardening"

The publication of a new Martha Stewart special issue magazine for the newsstand two weeks ago had the Martha Moments crew doing veritable cartwheels. Martha Stewart Gardening is a 100-page magazine put together by some Martha Stewart Living alumni. It is a one-off publication that will be on newsstands until mid-June. It is also being sold on Amazon. Recently, on the Martha Moments Facebook Group, one of our members, Michelle Zabell, suggested we all take photos of the issue (or photos of ourselves posing with the issue) once we had purchased it, like the devoted readers we are. We had a great response from so many people! Below are the submissions we’ve received to date. Everyone is so creative! People are loving this issue.

Justin Giannunzio
Anthony Picozzi
Brian Utz
Chris Tamez
Michelle Zabell
Jennifer Doherty
Joseph Patz
Christa Trepte
Bernie Wong
Dennis Landon
Andrew Ritchie (me!)
Cindy Hamel
Becky Seebach
Capy Catterton
Frederic Khaler
Allison Barnes
Todd Hall
Sharon Van Hooser Thompson
Kim Oliver Kingrey
Jennifer Butler Zimmerman
Gwendolyn Garrison Tomlin
Antonio Valente
Jeremy Lambertson
Monique Dussault
Leah Glidden DeVos
Darryl Moland

A big thank you to everyone who took part and submitted a photo!

3.25.2024

Martha Stewart Gardening: A New Special Issue!

It seems the print gods have heard our prayers! A new, special-issue Martha Stewart print publication is now on newsstands, and available to order through Amazon. Martha Stewart Gardening is a lush, 100-page magazine that takes readers through the four seasons with tips and techniques (and inspiration) for anyone inclined to grow something, whether it's flowers, trees, vegetables or houseplants. 

The magazine will only be available between March 22 and June 21, so be sure to get your copy! As Martha says in her introductory letter to readers, "It's a keeper!"

The magazine was published by Dotdash Meredith, the company that once held ownership of Martha Stewart Living magazine, which sadly folded in May of 2022. This is the first Martha Stewart branded print publication readers have seen at the newsstand since. But there are encouraging signs that it won't be the last. 

The editorial team was comprised of some Martha Stewart Living alumni, including its last editor-in-chief, Elizabeth Graves who spearheaded the project with Martha, and publication designer James Maikowski, who also once worked on the design direction of Living. Other familiar names in the masthead include Ryan Mesina (former photo director of Living), Meesha Haddad (former managing editor of Living) Kevin Sharkey (former decorating editor of Living) and Thomas Joseph (former food editor of Living), all of whom contributed to this issue. Many of these names, including Thomas, Kevin and Ryan, still work with Martha's brand at Marquee, but it was nice to see Elizabeth, Meesha and James returning to the fold for this project.

The magazine continues the legacy of quality print content, photography and ingenuity that Living was always known for. A Smart Code on Martha's introduction letter, for instance, leads readers to a digital source where they can determine their new hardiness zones, then apply the growing advice from the articles to their zone and learn about what plants are native to their area. Very smart! 

There's a glorious photo essay by photographer Claire Takacs on Great Dixter, the legendary English garden renowned for some of its ingenious plantings and its spectacular design. The editors of Living never had a chance to print this story, so it's wonderful that it is finally finding its place on these pages. Martha's cutting garden at Bedford is explored in-depth, as is one of America's most beloved gardens, Chanticleer, an historic 1913 estate just outside Philadelphia. There are tips for growing an eco-friendly garden, how to grow vegetables anywhere, how to prepare a garden for winter and how to grow some of the most interesting houseplants. 

Foodies weren't left out either! They will find the article on pickling and preserving very interesting with its glossary of Crisp & Tangy pickles and Smooth & Sweet jellies.

Readers have already been expressing such delight in having a print publication to leaf through again. There is simply nothing that can replace the tactile comfort of turning a page. We look forward to more of these issues! Click here to read more about it.

I happened to be out and about when I learned of the new issue via Martha's Instagram page. A five minute walk to my local bookstore meant I had it in hand within moments of it being placed on the shelf!

2.24.2024

Martha's Flower Businesses

Flowers have always been an essential component of the Martha Stewart ethos. From her first catering business to her books and magazines, flowers (both growing and arranging them) are central to the Martha Stewart way of life. As a caterer during the late 1970s and early 1980s, on the morning of an event, Martha and her team would head out before dawn to the flower markets, ensuring they had access to the best and most plentiful selection to help supplement those she had already picked from her own garden at Turkey Hill Road. In her books on gardening and entertaining, too, she frequently espoused the allure of arrangements of flowers throughout the house when hosting guests.

It was in January of 2000 when Martha finally brought a flower business into the Omnimedia fold, allowing her readers and viewers - many of whom did not have gardens - to partake in the enjoyment of Martha's favourite varieties and arrangements. She had already launched a catalog business, which at that point was functioning online as well: Marthasflowers.com was born.

In her letter to readers in the February, 2000, issue of Martha Stewart Living, Martha explains the concept:

“Using the knowledge that I gained during those years of catering, and the experience that we have garnered editing this magazine and Weddings, we have started an online flower business, marthasflowers.com, so that you, too, can have access to the most beautiful, freshest flowers obtainable anywhere. Our flowers staff, headed by crafts editor Hannah Milman, meticulously tests myriad varieties before we make our selections. The finest growers in the United States, South America and Europe have been visited and consulted and studied so that what we are sending you meets our standards.”

Consumers had the option of ordering online from either the marthasflowers.com, marthabymail.com or the marthastewart.com websites. They would receive what are known as ‘grower’s bunches’ – flowers that have been picked and wrapped by the growers themselves, shipped directly to the Martha Stewart warehouses where they were packaged in specially branded boxes with printed care instructions, and then sent immediately to the purchaser – all within hours of the stems having been cut. They were never unwrapped or excessively handled and were not picked over.

Flower subscription services were also available; consumers could subscribe to receive weekly deliveries of flowers for a three-month, six-moth or one-year period: three months was $148, six months was $278, and a year was $528 - a steal, by today's standards!

The flowers were shipped by FedEx Priority Overnight to ensure a timely delivery. Delivery could also be made on Saturdays with a $10 surcharge, but there was no delivery on Sunday or Monday, as per FedEx guidelines at the time.

The flowers and bouquets on offer depended on availability and seasonality. Martha and her team took care to ensure seasonal and celebratory themes for the choices of flowers available. There were hydrangeas and delphiniums in summer, hyacinths and daffodils in winter, tulips, lilies, and ranunculus in spring and many more varieties that were available at different times of year. The most popular of all, of course, were the roses. There was a special rose-delivery service within the MarthasFlowers business that specialized in monthly selections of roses chosen by Martha herself, based primarily on colour.

When the catalog shut down in 2004, MarthasFlowers.com continued. In 2008 when Martha partnered with 1-800-Flowers (the largest flower-delivery service in the United States) to expand the flower-delivery service. Martha’s team, headed up by stylist Tom Borgese, designed the bouquets while 1-800-Flowers handled the deliveries. Vases and vessels chosen by Martha were also on offer. As with the original flower business, a subscription service was available. This partnership lapsed in 2014.

In 2018, with Martha’s company now being handled by Sequential Brands, Martha partnered with Bloomsybox.com, a Dutch-based flower delivery company, to once again continue the flower-delivery business. Repeating the model, Martha’s team came up with the arrangement types while Bloomsybox handled the deliveries. Subscription service was also available. This partnership lapsed in 2022.

In each business model described, Martha and her team were central to the selection and arrangement of the flowers. MarthasFlowers.com, the first incarnation of the flower business, handled the distribution of the flowers that were ordered from the growers. This was at a time when Martha’s company was at its most robust, with nearly one thousand employees working with Omnimedia. As Martha’s company downsized, the deliveries of the grower's bunches and bouquets were outsourced to a flower delivery company: 1-800-Flowers and BloomsyBox.com.  In every instance, however, Martha ensured that the flowers came from reputable growers from around the world and always selected the best varietals available. 

2.06.2024

Martha Fans Visit The Bedford

Rox-Anne Henderson, Hayden Regina and Michelle Zabell, three Martha fans, had wanted to visit Martha's signature restaurant in Las Vegas since it opened on August 13, 2022. They all recently had their chance! Below are photographs and thoughts about their experience there. 

HAYDEN REGINA: from Chicago, Illinois. Visited the restaurant December 19th, 2023.

"I finally made it to The Bedford in Vegas this past weekend (twice)! It was decorated for the holidays and the food overall was really lovely. I finally understand why everyone can't shut up about the bread basket and Big Martha's pierogi. The sour cherry and rosemary focaccia might become a new holiday staple in our household.
The White Cosmopolitan was hands down the best of the six cocktails we tried, the crab cake with the carrot and apple slaw was mouth watering, and the creme brulee was just beyond. I was excited to find that the gift shop next door also had The Bedford by Martha Stewart T-shirts in both men's and women's sizes. Worth a visit!"
Hayden at his table (the one traditionally reserved for Martha) looking very pleased to be there.
When Hayden and his partner visited, the restaurant was decorated for the holidays.
On one of the walls at The Bedford there is a gallery of photographs of Martha from her modelling days.
A view of the "Brown Room" area of the dining space.

ROX-ANNE HENDERSON: from Ontario, Canada. Visited the restaurant on Christmas Eve, 2023. 

"Here are some photos from our Christmas Eve dinner at The Bedford!

The sour cherry and rosemary focaccia deserves all the hype it’s getting and my New Years goal is to recreate it.
Our table, specifically the seat my husband was in, was Snoop Dogg’s seat on his visit.
Speaking of Snoop, they played a song of his with Dr. Dre in between Christmas songs and Bon Iver. Loved the eclectic music selection that combined classics and modern hits.
The service was truly a stand out of the visit. Our waiter and I traded stories from when we met Martha. He shared that Martha taught him how to make cappuccino so we declared him the winner.
While the holiday pre-fixe menu looked delicious, we had our hearts set on the carved table side roast chicken and we have no regrets.

Cocktails: Martha-tini and the Meyer lemon drop, then red wine for dinner
Apps: bread basket and Big Martha’s pierogis
Main: Roast chicken, Martha’s smashed baked potato and matchstick fries (I’d pass on the fries)
Dessert: Upside down lemon meringue pie
Price: Sure it’s gauche to talk about money but whatever I’m going to do it. As a family that follows chefs like most people follow rock stars and is used to large bills, this one made our eyes water and now holds the record as our most expensive meal to date at $390 USD ($520 CAN) for two people.
The food was excellent but seemed to lack the special quality that would truly make this an elevated dining experience worthy of the cost. I was hoping for more green options in the side dishes, specifically a root vegetable medley would have been appreciated on a winter menu. Vegetarians and those with dietary restrictions would have a difficult time ordering, I think.
The gift shop next door has a few items for purchase. Keychains, t-shirts, water bottles and the one I purchased, a large umbrella.
The vibe is elegant but you can tell patrons were hoping for the more “colourful” Martha of the past. This must have been raised by patrons before as the staff educate patrons on the inspiration of the restaurant's decor, which is her current home. I overheard a few people (clearly not super fans, like us) who didn’t know about her Bedford home or its style.
Overall, we had a truly lovely visit and enjoyed our time immensely. It’s a must do for the Martha super fans, but it’s a one and done for me. After dinner we visited the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower which was a nice end to the evening."

Rox-Anne looking lovely and elegant at her table. Her dress was inspired by one she had seen that Martha wore in the late 1980s: image below.
 The Christmas decorations were subdued but impressive. 
Inside the "Brown Room" are enormous 'windows' with seasonal scenes from Martha's farm.
The simple and elegant menu, with Martha's trademark faux-bois motif in classic Bedford Gray.
Big Martha's Pierogi 
The signature bread basket, which has become the most popular item on the menu.
The Roast Chicken
The Upside Down Lemon Meringue Pie
A visit to the Paris gift shop after dinner is a must: there is a lot of 'Martha merch' on hand, including many of her books, plus souvenirs specific to the restaurant: t-shirts, key chains, water bottles, umbrellas and Martha's signature wine.

MICHELLE ZABELL: From Vancouver, Washington. Visited February 22 and February 23, 2024.

"My overall impressions were that my expectations were surpassed. As a dedicated, longtime fan and Martha aficionado, I had a deep appreciation for the aesthetic, color scheme, furniture and personal touches that we would notice. These included the faux-bois planters, the paintings, photography, the glassware collections - all were on point. The life size view of Martha's farm through the windows was also the perfect touch. The entire staff of greeters, waitstaff and tableside food preparers were friendly, knowledgeable and delivered a level of hospitality that is worthy of a restaurant connected to Martha Stewart. The food was incredible. We had the famous bread basket, the ricotta-stuffed zucchini flowers, the creamed spinach, the baked potato, the prime tomahawk for two (carved tableside), and the upside-down lemon meringue pie for dessert. For drinks we tried the frozen pomegranate Martharita, a delicious cabernet sauvignon from California and the meyer lemon drop cocktail. We will absolutely be back again...and again!"
Michelle visited The Bedford with her husband on a recent trip to Vegas. Here she is holding a frozen pomegranate 'Martha-rita' - one of the restaurant's signature cocktails.
The famous Bedford bread basket is a must-have, according to everyone who has visited.
Big Martha's pierogis. Michelle says they are not to be missed!
Ricotta-stuffed zucchini blossoms: "Crispy, flavorful and light," Michelle says.
Their tableside server prepared the prime tomahawk for two. Michelle says it was cooked exactly as requested and came with two sauces: Bearnaise and Borenaise.
For dessert it was the upside-down lemon meringue pie.
Michelle returned the next day for cocktails and tried the Meyer Lemon Drop, which she said was her favorite.
Throughout the restaurant are personal Martha touches, such as these framed lithograph bird portraits - copies of the originals that Martha has on her walls at her home in Bedford.

ABOUT THE BEDFORD MARTHA STEWART:

The Bedford is a 194-seat dining destination at The Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, created by Martha Stewart in partnership with Caesars. The menu, which was created by Martha and her food department head, Thomas Joseph, features French-inspired cuisine as well as some of Martha's signature American classics. Some of the offerings include classic Nicoise Salad, Oysters Rockefeller, Whole Roast Herb Chicken served with Smashed Baked Potato. For dessert there's Upside-Down Lemon Meringue Pie, Creme Brulee and a classic Chocolate Cake. Signature cocktails include the Martha-tini and the frozen pomegranate Martha-rita. The entire restaurant is decorated to emulate Martha's home in Bedford, New York, right down to the most minute finishes and fixtures. The decor was overseen by Martha's EVP of merchandising, Kevin Sharkey, who has been instrumental in honing Martha's design aesthetic over the years. Click here to see the menu and learn more about the restaurant.