Category Archives: Books

Introducing the Redesigned Martha Stewart Living Magazine

Introducing the Redesigned Martha Stewart Living Magazine

In yesterday’s New York Times, in an article on Martha and her company’s response to their own sluggish revenues, Martha helped unveil the redesigned Martha Stewart Living magazine. From the photograph that accompanied the article, and a quote attributed to the magazine’s editor in chief, Pilar Guzman, it would appear “the days of 1,000 word front-of-book stories are over.”

A photograph of the magazine’s cover (below) shows a heavy focus on cooking and recipes, which matches nicely the focus of Martha’s current television presence, now solely her “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School” on PBS, on which she demonstrates various cooking techniques.

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Hard to tell the extent of the changes from just these photographs, but it sure looks very “how-to”, doesn’t it?  This step-by-step approach to presenting recipes is reminiscent of the content once found in the company’s “Everyday Food Magazine”, shuttered in late 2012. An absence of editorial, and a shift to cooking-only content, would also explain the recent departure of long-time design guru and legend, Gael Towey. (We FOMs miss you, Gael!)

FOMs: What do you think of the changes? To you, does this make Martha Stewart Living a more attractive magazine? Does this change the way you feel about Martha Stewart, the brand?

From the New York Times article:

“We understand that people are coming for short, consumable bites of information,” said Joseph Lagani, the company’s chief revenue officer. “People are not spending an hour with you. They’re there to get something.”

The redesign represents a large shift for Ms. Stewart, who built her reputation and her company largely on the strength of her cut-no-corners approach to cooking and crafts.

“I don’t want to retire,” Ms. Stewart said as she sat in a conference room framed by views of the Hudson River. “We’re trying to help figure it out. I don’t think it’s anything to run away from. I’m not banging my head against a stone wall here.”

In part, the redesign is an attempt to hang on to the magazine’s readers and artisans ages 18 to 34 who have become loyal fans. And like many publishers, the company is betting that video can help solve the online advertising riddle.

“That approach of putting cooking techniques near our recipes in video form has done really well,” Mr. Lagani said, “and many of our advertisers want to be part of that.”

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Martha Graces the Cover of Parade Magazine

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Martha amazes on the cover of today’s Parade Magazine. Stunning at age 71, Martha also gives an insightful interview that you can read here. (You simply MUST scroll down to see the photo of Martha with her grandkids. Martha is clearly IN LOVE with those kids!) For an extra bit of fun, you can watch this behind-the-scenes video of the cover photo shoot. FOMs: What I love about Martha are those moments when the driven, hardworking girl from Nutley, NJ peeks through all the celebrity that surrounds her. Just. Plain. Awesome.

From the article, Martha says of her new book, “Living the Good Long Life“:

It’s all about surviving in this extraordinary world—physically, mentally, emotionally. I wrote it because nobody is paying attention to the silver tsunami of baby boomers who are now turning 65. My book focuses on what you can do for others and what you can do for yourself in terms of aging gracefully.

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“Mad Hungry Cravings” to be Published March 19, 2013!

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Yay! “Mad Hungry” from MSLO Executive Food Editor Lucinda Scala Quinn is one of my fave books–it’s gorgeous and the recipes are quite accessible. “Mad Hungry” was/is one of my favorite cooking shows as well. Lucinda oozes love for her family and her cooking is all about bringing family back to the table. Not a bad thing, right (depending on your family)? Now, LSQ has announced her follow-up book, “Mad Hungry Cravings”. FOMs: Knowing Lucinda Scala Quinn, we’ll all be craving these recipes in no time!

Note: Remember, when possible, to buy books from your local independent book seller. If you love books, support those smaller businesses who struggle to compete in a competitive print media market. It may cost more, but it keeps their doors open for you!

Preorder “Mad Hungry Cravings” online at Powell’s.

From The Good Cook website:

It’s fun to get take-out, nobody’s saying you can never do it again. But we could all probably eat less of these more likely than not salt-and-fat-enriched dishes. Next time the craving for Pork Fried Rice or Sicilian-Style Deep-Dish Pizza hits, don’t reach for the phone, reach for Mad Hungry Cravings instead! Lucinda Scala Quinn makes it tastier, healthier and more affordable to enjoy restaurant-style fare with 173 recipes for the kinds of American, Asian, Latin and Mediterranean dishes typically found on a take-out menu. Love classic diner food? You’re covered with breakfast, blue plate specials (such as Chicken-Fried Steak with Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens with Ham & Bacon on the side) and dessert. Color photos.

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Video: Martha Promotes “Meatless” Cookbook on the Today Show

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Martha stopped by NBC’s TODAY show and sprinted through several recipes from the new vegetarian cookbook, “Meatless”, published earlier this week. The cookbook looks like a nice healthy way to start the new year. FOMs: Have any of you purchased the new cookbook yet and tried any of the recipes? What do you think?

Good news: Below are links to recipes from the TODAY show segment!

From NBC.com:

Happily stick to those New Year’s diet resolutions by trying recipes from Martha Stewart’s new vegetarian cookbook, “Meatless.” Here, the kitchen maven makes an avocado, beet and orange salad, grilled asparagus and ricotta pizzas, and linguine with toasted almonds, parsley and lemon.

Recipes:

Grilled asparagus and ricotta pizzas

Linguine with toasted almonds, parsley and lemon (scroll down page)

Avocado, beet and orange salad (scroll down page)

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Happy New Book! “Meatless” to be Published on January 8!

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Did your New Year’s resolutions involve a healthier diet? Well, here comes Martha to help with that! Over 200 easy meat-free recipes to get your new year started on the right foot. As a recent convert to the concept of “Meatless Mondays”, I can’t wait to check out the book’s sections that include: Stovetop Suppers; Soups, Stews, and Chili; and Substantial Salads. If you can, please consider purchasing the book from your local independent bookstore. (We must support them or they will disappear.) If you prefer to order online, consider ordering from Powell’s, an online independent book seller. FOMs: Let’s cook recipes from the book and share photos, shall we?

From the description on Powell’s Books:

As inspiring as it is practical, Meatless features 200 recipes—each accompanied by a gorgeous photograph—for full-fledged vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. You’ll find recipes for classics and new favorites, plus plenty of low-fat, vegan, and gluten-free options, too.

More than just a cookbook, Meatless is also a roadmap to embracing a vegetable-based lifestyle. Here are dozens of versatile recipes that can be easily adapted, such as pizza with a variety of toppings, salads made from different whole grains, and pestos with unexpected flavors and ingredients. You’ll also find advice on stocking your pantry with vegetarian essentials (dried beans, pasta, herbs and spices), a collection of basic recipes and techniques (vegetable stock, tomato sauce, polenta), and make-ahead flavor-boosters (caramelized onions, roasted peppers, and quick pickles).

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“Entertaining” Published 30 Years Ago Today!

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Thirty years ago today, in 1982, the world was introduced to Martha Stewart when her first book, Entertaining, was published. At the time, Martha was a homemaker, a working mother, and a successful caterer in Westport, Connecticut. After the book was published, things snowballed and a string of books followed, including Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook (1983), Martha Stewart’s Hors D’oeuvres (1984), Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts(1985), Weddings (1987), The Wedding Planner (1988), Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook Menus (1988), and Martha Stewart’s Christmas (1989), and others. By 1989, Time magazine had dubbed Martha the “guru of good taste”, and she’s been going strong since–learning, teaching, and inspiring all of us to work hard and do good things for ourselves and for others. Happy Birthday, Entertaining–and thanks, Martha!

Here’s how it all went down, according to Wikipedia:

Andrew [Martha’s first and only husband, whom she divorced in 1987] and Martha Stewart moved to Westport, Connecticut. They purchased and undertook a restoration of the 1805 farmhouse on Turkey Hill Road that would later become the model for the TV studio of Martha Stewart Living. During the project, Stewart’s panache for restoring and decorating became apparent. In 1976, Stewart started a catering business in her basement with a friend from her modeling days, Norma Collier. Stewart soon bought [Norma’s] portion of the business. Stewart was also hired as the manager of a gourmet food store, the Market Basket.

Andrew had become the president of prominent New York City publisher, Harry N. Abrams, Inc.. In 1977, he was responsible for releasing the English-language edition of The Secret Book of Gnomes series, by Dutch authors Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet, which quickly became a blockbuster success and was on The New York Times Best Seller list. He contracted Stewart’s company to cater the book release party, where Stewart was introduced to Alan Mirken, head of Crown Publishing Group.

Mirken was impressed by Stewart’s talent and later contacted her to develop a cookbook, featuring recipes and photos from the parties that Stewart hosted. The result was her first book, Entertaining (December 13, 1982), ghostwrittenby Elizabeth Hawes.

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In Her Own Words: “Philanthropy” (video)

In this video, Martha discusses her philanthropic passion for providing care for older Americans. You may already know about The Martha Stewart Center for Living at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, to which Martha has donated quite generously donated. Based on Martha’s passion for this subject, we can expect much media attention surrounding Martha’s upcoming book, “Living the Good Long Life”, which  will be published in May 7, 2013.

From Forbes.com:

Stewart reminds that one’s greatest impact on the world comes when passion and a clear purpose are aligned. “I see people in their 90’s that are smiling and happy that they finally have a place to go where someone cares for them. It is very important to me that people feel cared for, feel nurtured. It’s hard to say feel loved, but just cared for” – a fitting mission to describe all that Stewart does as both a businesswoman and philanthropist.

via Martha Stewart Opens Up On Philanthropy, Her “Grave Setback” And What She Learned – Forbes.

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Martha’s Next Book to be Published on May 7, 2013

Martha’s next book, “Living the Good Long Life: A Practical Guide to Caring for Yourself and Others”, now has an expected publication date of May 7, 2013. Originally, the book was to be released on January 29, 2013. Already, you can preorder the book on Amazon! (Remember, if you preorder on Amazon, you will receive the book on the date it is published–no waiting necessary!) At 400 pages long, the book promises to be a comprehensive guide to health and well-being.

According to Martha herself, from her blog:

“What my ‘Homekeeping Handbook’ did for every aspect of keeping house, ‘Living the Good Long Life’ does for living the most healthy life after 40. In this book, I impart my expertise in my signature topics – eating, exercise, intellect, home, and organizing. It’s really the definitive handbook on staying well physically and mentally into and beyond middle age. This book is important because over the next 20 years, the US population of baby boomers aged 65 and up will jump nearly 80 percent to 1 in every 5 Americans. There’s a tremendous need for clear and inspiring information, tools, and resources as more people and their families face the challenges and responsibility of getting older and caring for one who is aging.”

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It’s a Wrap: Martha Stewart’s Cooking School has completed taping!

Martha has completed taping her new show for PBS, “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School”. To celebrate, she hosted all involved at a Moroccan feast, or “bisteeya”, at her Bedford home. You can see many photos of the feast, as well as its preparation, on Martha’s blog. In the photo above, from Martha’s blog, Martha, appropriately attired for the evening’s theme, is leading partygoers on a rainy day tour of her farm. What do you think, FOMs: Will you be watching and learning from Martha this fall? I can’t wait!

BTW: If you absolutely can’t wait to learn step-by-step cooking techniques from Martha, you may want to check out the enhanced edition of Martha’s 2008 book, “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School”, (coauthored by Everyday Food Editor, Sarah Carey) available now on iTunes. NOTE: You will need an iOS device–an iPhone, or iPad, or iPod Touch–to view these. Here are the available lessons, in order:

Lesson One: Stocks & Soups
Lesson Two: Eggs
Lesson Three: Meat, Fish & Poultry
Lesson Four: Vegetables
Lesson Five: Pasta, Dried Beans & Grains
Lesson Six: Desserts

The PBS show will be different than these enhanced editions, but these should hold you FOMs over until fall. Enjoy!

From Martha’s blog:

As I mentioned, last Friday evening I hosted a dinner party for thirty guests. We recently finished taping Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, which will be airing on PBS this coming autumn and I’m so excited! This dinner was for people who worked on that show’s production, both from PBS and MSLO.

via A Moroccan Feast at my Home – The Martha Stewart Blog.

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Martha’s American Food Named to USA Today’s Top 10 Summer Cookbooks

No suprise here: USA Today named “Martha’s American Food” to its “10 of the summer’s most tantalizing cookbooks”. With recipes for summertime menu staples like Classic Potato Salad, Sour Cherry Lemonade, Hamburgers, and Barbecued Ribs, it is a must-have for anyone interested in establishing a basic repertoire of American classics. Now, excuse me, FOMs–I’m off to make some Malted Milk Ball Ice Cream for the weekend! FOMs: Please send me a note if you’ve included one or more of the recipes from “Martha’s American Food” in your cooking this summer!

PLEASE NOTE: The website provides a recipe from “Martha’s American Food” for Classic Potato Salad (delicious!) but incorrectly calls for the celery, onion, and cornichons to be cut into 1-inch dice. According to the cookbook, these should be cut into 1/4-inch dice.

Summer cookbooks; Will ‘Fifty Shades’ fade? – USATODAY.com.