Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Martha Stewart Living Review: September 2010

As promised I'll be reviewing each month's issue of Martha Stewart Living to give you my favourite recipes, crafts, etc. This also means I have my own record of what is in each issue so I don't need to post-it tab each page in every magazine so that I can find it again.
I've definitely had a few experiences saying "where was that recipe for the Charlotte?" and then gone searching through at least 6 months worth of magazines.
This new addition to the blog will hopefully help me stay more organized, which seems to be the theme of my life these last few weeks.
Let us begin!
Martha Stewart Living: September 2010 Issue
This month the magazine focuses on home organization, featuring a look at Kevin Sharkey's new place (he's her go to guy for decorating).
My favourite article was hands down Martha's 50 Top Kitchen Tips.

This article is a bit ridiculous at times especially if you don't make more than enough money. Tips like No. 4: Two islands are better than one - certainly not a tip that applies to the majority of people. I would settle for ONE island, seeing as my current kitchen is barely large enough for two people to be in at once.
But a girl can dream so I love all of her kitchen organization and the way she has seperate drawers for cocktail napkins (tip no. 18), cake and decorating supplies (tip no. 15), and dish towels (tip no. 27), among many others.
If you have a spacious kitchen (and a severy, a pantry, and enough space for a pet buffet - seriously) then this article was written for you. If you're a bit more cramped like me then enjoy this article for the helpful hints that will help you keep things that go together ...well, together.
On to the recipes!
I wasn't blown away by the craft ideas in this issue so I've gone a bit heavy on the recipes.
Ask Martha is a section I enjoy as it's people writting in to ask Martha's expertise on certain issues.
One question this month was: "Are there other ways to preserve tomatoes besides canning?"
The answer, my friends, is yes. And one way she suggests is oven-drying.

To make oven-dried tomatoes you will need to:
1. Cut in half 24 cherry tomatoes, 8-10 plum tomatoes, and cut into small peices 8-10 yellow, red, or green tomatoes. Place them cut side up on a baking sheet lined with a silipat or with parchment paper. Make sure there is about 1/2 to an inch of space between each tomato (meaning you'll likely need a few baking sheets).
2. Sprinkle the tomatoes with 1 tbsp sugar, herbs such as rosemary, basil, or oregano, and salt and black pepper.
3. Preaheat the oven to 250 degrees and when ready put in the tomatoes and dry them until the juices have stopped running and the peices have shrunken, with shriveled edges. This can take anywhere from an hour and a half to upwards of 6 hours depending on how dry you want your tomatoes. Store in an air-tight container or pack in herbed oil.
The next recipe is found in the Good Things section.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, 1/4 cup chopped basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tsp sugar. Add 3 tbsp cold butter and cut it in until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1 cup heavy cream and continue to cut (using a pastry cutter or two knives) until dough forms.
2. Knead the dough for about a minute or two on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 equal peices and shape into rectangles. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the rectangles until it is very thin. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with an egg wash (1 large egg white, lightly beaten). Sprinkle with salt and press 10 whole basil leaves into the top.
4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until crisp. Let cool and then break the rectangle into rustic-looking crackers using your hands. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining 3 rectangles of dough.

I've got 2 desert recipes for you also from this issue but I'll wait and post the last one later on, as it's long.
Every month (or just about), Martha has a section with removable recipe cards that make an entire dinner including appetizer, main course and desert.
This month included a parsnip soup with toasted almonds, mushroom pappardelle with taleggio cheese, asian pear celery and arugula salad, and no-bake espresso cremes brulees.
To make these:
1. Place 3 ounces of white chocolate, coarsely chopped, into a heatproof bowl. Arrange 4 ramekins on a baking sheet and place in the freezer.
2. In a bowl, whisk together 3 large egg yolks, 2 tbsp instant espresso powder, 2 tbsp sugar, and a pinch of salt.
3. In a saucepan, bring 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/4 cup whole milk to a boil. Gradually whisk about half of this into the yolk mixture, being careful not to cook the eggs. Return this mixture to the saucepan and whisk while cooking over medium-low heat. When mixture is thick and reaches 175 degrees (about 6 minutes), pour over the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
4. Divide this mixture among the 4 ramekins and freeze until firm but not frozen, about 45-55 minutes.
5. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of raw sugar onto each creme brulee and caramelize the tops using a brulee torch.

The final recipe is found on the last page of the magazine in the Save Room For... section.
Blackberry Cloud Cake with Pistachios (or without for me and my nut allergic brethren)

This recipe isn't up on the web site so I will post it soon, as I also plan on making it soon.
It sounds like it's a bit of a lengthy process but looks to be worth the effort.
Off to work!


  1. I just found your blog and think it's great! I too am a Martha wanna-be and I loved this new issue!

  2. Did you make the Blackberry Cloud Cake w/ Pistachios? I'm making it tomorrow but I think there's an error in the recipe. Step 3: it tells you to use 1/3 C of the puree but then never tells you what to do with the rest of the puree.

    Let me know if you made it.

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