Season Five of Cooking School starts April 22!

For the fifth season of Martha Stewart's Cooking School (can you believe it's been five years since its debut?) Martha will explore the rich and vibrant cuisine of the Arabian Gulf region. Over 13 episodes, Martha will make more than 50 delectable dishes, each one revealing fresh flavour combinations and inventive techniques.

Martha was inspired by a friend of hers from the region, Youssef El-Deeb, who suggested that Martha devote a season of Cooking School to the wonderful flavours of this region. The aim is to make them accessible to American audiences by making the recipes a bit lighter, a bit healthier and a bit less caloric.

It was Martha's travels to the Middle East a few years ago, however, that really made her fall in love with the foods from this region. "I traveled to Dubai to launch our Weddings magazine there," she writes in her column in the May issue of Martha Stewart Living. "It was my very first visit to that part of the world, and I was enchanted with the desert, the markets, the hustle and bustle of the fast-growing cities and towns - the intense activity everywhere."

After about twelve weeks developing recipes with a group of her food editors, a final tally of 52 dishes was conceived, all of which will be demonstrated over 13 episodes on the new season of Cooking School, which airs tomorrow on PBS stations across the United States. Click here for local listings and more information about the program.
Among the recipes is khameer (shown above), a tasty breakfast bread made with dates. Click here for the recipe. As someone who has Lebanese ancestry, I'm bound to love this season! I hope you'll tune in!


NEW: The Martha Stewart Wine Co.

Wine lovers can now turn to Martha Stewart Wine Co. for a selection of wines from some of the world's finest wine-producing regions. The Martha Stewart Wine Co. is a direct-to-consumer service featuring carefully curated bottles that are delivered straight to your home or office. Martha has also included a special collection of her own personal favourites - the wines that she reaches for first whenever she entertains!
Martha consulted with vitners from around the world to develop a collection of high-quality, flavourful wines that both wine aficionados and those new to wine tasting will love. A wide range of varietals and price points are on offer, from affordable everyday wines to premium, special-occasion bottles. Visit marthastewartwine.com to learn more about the service and the wines Martha has selected.
The online shop delivers to your door within three business days, so you'll always have your favourite bottles on hand for every occasion. U.S. residents only.


A New Way to Bake - Out Now!

Martha's 88th book is in bookstores now! A New Way to Bake has 130 foolproof recipes that showcase the many ways these newly accessible ingredients can transform traditional cookies, pies, cakes, breads, and more. Chocolate chip cookies gain greater depth with earthy farro flour, pancakes become protein powerhouses when made with quinoa, and lemon squares get a wonderfully crumbly crust and subtle nutty flavor thanks to coconut oil. Superfoods are right at home in these baked goods; granola has a dose of crunchy chia seeds, and gluten-free brownies have an extra chocolaty punch from cocoa nibs. 
I'm looking forward to sitting down with the book and finding a few recipes to try this spring!


Remembering George Christiansen

Early last week, Martha's younger brother George Christiansen died suddenly at home of an apparent heart attack at the age of 65. George leaves behind his loving wife Margaret (Rita) and their daughter Kristina.

Many Martha Stewart readers remember George from his appearances on her television shows, articles in her magazines and mentions of him in her books, particularly "Martha Stewart's New Old House" in which the renovation of the Adams House was largely overseen by Martha's brother.

Martha had great admiration for George's excellent skills as a builder and carpenter. Many of the early renovations at Turkey Hill (under Martha's stewardship) were designed and completed by George and his contracting firm, Pequot Remodeling, based in Fairfield, Connecticut.

I know I speak for everyone when I wish George's immediate family comfort and condolences during this difficult time. Below is a link to a wonderful clip from Martha Stewart Living of George and Martha making blueberry pies together. I know he will be very missed.
Click here to watch the video.

Martha Guest-Edits Down East Magazine

The April, 2017, issue of Down East magazine, a publication devoted to life and agriculture in Maine, is guest edited by Martha Stewart. In the issue Martha takes a look back at her historic home on Mt. Desert Island, Skylands, and shares some of its 100-year-old history with readers. There are also features on the cheeses of Maine, a spring garden party, backyard chicken-keeping and a look at the changes in the region's aquaculture with the coming of climate change. The magazine is not widely available on newsstands but you can order a copy of the April issue (or subscribe) online. Click here to see more.


The April Issue

The April issue is appearing on newsstands and arriving in subscriber mailboxes and I must say I really love the cover! It is a bit reminiscent of the April, 2013, cover but it is nonetheless a very attractive looking photograph. Inside there is the promise of Easter ideas (crafts, cooking, entertaining) as well as a clutter-clearing strategy just in time for spring cleaning. I've always enjoyed the spring issues for their approach to homekeeping; that fling-open-the-windows-and-start-decluttering approach. I haven't seen the issue yet, myself, but I'm looking forward to receiving it soon. (Note: the newsstand cover features a solid blue background vs. the patterned background shown on the cover below, which is the subscriber version.)


A Look Inside the First Issue

It took me years to finally accept that I needed to have the first issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine in my collection. For so long I had told myself that paying upwards of $60 for a magazine - no matter how coveted or collectible - was simply not something I was willing to do. Well, I caved. I found a copy on eBay for exactly $60 with a reasonable shipping rate so I bit the bullet and bought it. It arrived last week and I have been examining its pages, imagining how exciting it must have been for Martha and her team to finally see a published issue on the newsstand. In November, 1990, it made a huge impact on the publishing world and from there Martha never looked back. Below I've shared a look inside the pages of this rare issue. I hope you find it enjoyable!

Putting a photograph of the magazine's founder on the cover was unheard of at the time, as was naming the magazine after her. By 1991, however, Martha understood the power of branding. Her face was recognizable through her television specials, print ads with Kmart and subsequent commercials for the retail giant. Daring though it may have been, it simply made sense to put her on the cover. The photograph was taken by Neil Kirk on the balcony off Martha's bedroom at Turkey Hill. Martha's shirt, pants and belt are by Louis of Boston. Her sweater is Armani; her t-shirt is Hanes. The watch, of course, is a Rolex.
All the hallmarks that make Martha Stewart Living recognizable were immediately evident while I was browsing through the issue: lavish, full-page photographs of beautiful and delicious-looking food abound throughout the issue. Martha really was the pioneer of this photographic vision. No other American publication granted full-page status to food photography. Gael Towey was the creative director on the project and went on to spend over 20 years at the magazine with Martha.
The first issue was a holiday issue with a focus on holiday entertaining and food preparation. The editorial shown above was devoted to holiday desserts.
An article about making "Cookies for the Children".
Alexis Stewart, Martha's daughter, makes her first and only appearance in the pages of Martha Stewart Living magazine in this article on homemade gift wrap.
While the ideas may look a bit dated by today's modern standards, they are extremely creative and the results are extremely beautiful.
The kitchen of the Adams House, a Connecticut historic home that was renovated and auctioned by Martha for charity, was the subject of this decorating feature. Martha documented the entire process of renovating this house in her book "Martha's New Old House". She also made several VHS videos of the process, which she sold at Kmart and through phone order.
The first Martha Stewart glossary was devoted to types of conifers.
In the early '90s, Martha's name was synonymous with wreath making. A full feature on how to make several variations of the holiday wreath is really informative.
Perhaps my favourite feature of the first issue is this cardboard page featuring pop-out decorations for a New Year's Eve at home. The idea was to use the silvered moons and stars as decoration on the holiday table, or even to suspend over a baby's crib in a mobile. Then, the cut-out spaces could be used to stencil anything you desired: a gift from Martha to you!


  • A profile on an up-and-coming celebrity chef named Ina Garten
  • Restoring an antique chandelier
  • Good Things!
  • Planting bulbs indoors for the holidays

After so long denying myself the joy of this issue, I must now urge everyone who collects Martha Stewart Living magazine to seek it out. You can occasionally find good bargains, as I did, but don't expect to pay less than $50 for it - unless you're really, really lucky! I hope you enjoyed this look back on this Throw Back Thursday!