Blog Posts by Martha Stewart

  • What the Fizz?: Fast Facts on Kombucha (and How to Make Your Own)

    A sour concoction with live cultures floating on top sounds like something you'd throw away if you found it under your sink. And yet the tart, fizzy, fermented tea called kombucha is both an ancient tonic and the latest health craze.

    Kombucha, made from either black, white, or green tea, sugar, and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY), is having a renaissance. According to Gary Hemphill, managing director at Beverage Marketing Corporation, U.S. sales of bottled kombucha doubled from 2007 to 2008, to roughly $70 million (wholesale).

    Make Your Own Kombucha

    Scan the beverage aisle at your local grocery store and you'll be surprised to find a range of brands peddling the brew: GT's Kombucha, Red Bull's Carpe Diem, Celestial Seasonings, and Honest Tea, as well as indie labels like Kombucha Brooklyn and Kombucha Wonder Drink. Some mad-scientist types are taking a more grassroots approach by reviving the hippie practice of home-brewing.

    Related: Rehab Your Hair from

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  • 10 Ways Fall Weather Can Make You Look Extra Gorgeous

    If there was ever such a thing as a "good hair season," fall would be it. Summer's humidity has finally departed and autumn's crisp, cool air keeps fly-aways and frizz at bay naturally. So take advantage!

    1. Let Your Locks Free

    Streamline your hair autumn hair care regimen dropping thick frizz-fighting creams, heavy glossing products and sprays. If you feel you still need a little control, opt for a lighter, airier option. Now that you've got the weather on your side, there's no need to weigh down your tresses.

    2. Shop Seasonal Produce -- For Your Face

    One of the best remedies for chapped and wind damaged skin caused by fall's cooler temperatures also happens to be a favorite autumn staple -- pumpkin.

    Not only is it highly moisturizing, it's also rich in vitamins A and C, which nourishes, conditions and protects your skin with antioxidants.

    Make your own pumpkin mask by mixing two tablespoons of cooked pumpkin with one tablespoon of honey. Leave it on for 10

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  • Stalk Exchange: 7 Better Ways to Eat Your Broccoli

    Maybe your kids would rather make their beds than eat vegetables, but this bright bunch, related to cauliflower and brussels sprouts, deserves a reputation reboot. It's loaded with vitamin C, folate, and dietary fiber, and one cup of broccoli florets has all the calcium you need in a day. The best part? It doesn't take much effort to turn this versatile veg into something truly delicious.

    In Season: This cool-season crop is at its peak from October through April, but you can find it in your supermarket year-round.

    What to Look For: Select broccoli with firm stalks and closed, tightly packed florets that are deep green (or even tinted purple).

    How to Store: Keep in the refrigerator in a ventilated plastic bag for up to four days.

    Related: Quick, One-Pot Meal Ideas To Feed the Whole Family

    Broccoli Pasta with Parmesan Croutons

    Use everyday ingredients in brand-new ways to spice up your dinner routine. With a little ingenuity, bread, Parmesan, and broccoli transform ordinary pasta into a

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  • 7 Leftover Upgrades Worth Raiding the Fridge For

    You wouldn't flush your hard-earned money down the drain, so why let last night's leftovers go to waste? Our collection of ideas and recipes will help you creatively -- and deliciously -- reinvent your food.

    1. Make a Vinaigrette from Mustard

    When there's just a tiny bit of mustard left in the jar, don't throw it out. Instead, toss in a few ingredients, and shake a tangy Dijon vinaigrette right in the container. A crushed garlic clove, some chopped fresh herbs -- tarragon, for instance -- and minced shallot will add the right flavor. Pour in balsamic vinegar, season with salt and pepper, then close the lid and shake. Add olive oil (3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar); shake again to emulsify the dressing, and then drizzle over your favorite salad. With a tightly sealed lid, the dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

    2. Make Pancakes and Soup from Mashed Potatoes

    Leftover, cold mashed spuds might as well be labeled, "Now what?" But these tasty recipes for

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  • Plan the Fall Family Outing of Your Nature-Loving Dreams

    One mother reflects on the energizing power of the great outdoors. From Martha Stewart Living, November 2007.

    When I was a child, my parents liked to take my brother and me on nature walks. I usually resisted at first, preferring to stay at home, surrounded by my toys. But in the end, I always gave in, and every time I was happy I did. There's something magical about entering the quiet, covered forest. Plus, I loved to draw, so the natural sights offered a feast of inspiration.

    Kids today seem to have even more reasons to stay indoors, as technology continues its speedy evolution. That may make it harder to get them outside, but the contrast only heightens the experience once they're in nature.

    Mid-autumn is the perfect time to plan a nature walk. In most parts of the country, the air is crisp but not too chilly, and the woods are awash in brilliant oranges, reds, and golds. As with any family outing, a little planning can go a long way. First and foremost, choose a hike that the kids

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  • Advanced Brown Bagging: 9 New Ideas for Canned Tuna

    While we're always in favor of using fresh ingredients, the occasional shelf stable item can be a dinnertime lifesaver. Case in point: tuna fish. Oil or water-packed, jarred or canned, tuna is a grocery store item with never-ending versatility. Sarah Carey recently shared her recipe for a cozily nostalgic tangy tuna salad (a.k.a. a brown bag's best friend), but we've also rounded up 9 other tuna recipes that are worth trying out. Added bonus: since so many of these meals can easily be made-ahead, they'll provide great inspiration for those looming school lunches.

    Tiny Tuna Melts

    Can you love a meal just because it's cute? Sure! But these adorably petite tuna melts also happen to be two bites of deliciousness. The recipe calls for cheddar cheese, but gruyere or Monterey Jack would work well, too.

    Get the Tiny Tuna Melts Recipe

    Tuna Bean Panzanella

    Using day-old bread creates a satisfying crunch that is about one step down from jawbreaking salad croutons. Test kitchen tip: rinse sliced

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  • Trompe L’oeil: 5 Fashionable DIY Optical Illusions

    Trompe l'oeil (French for "deceive the eye") has long had a place in interiors. But it may be at its most accessible best in fashion. No, we're not talking about the sight-gag tuxedo T-shirt, but rather pieces that channel the style's playfulness in a chic way.

    These projects start with clip art (drawn by artist Nina Chakrabarti, author of My Wonderful World of Fashion), printed on paper or heat-transfer sheets and end up adorning bangles, bags, T-shirts, and more. And they come together so quickly, you'll think they are sleight of hand as much as trick of the eye.

    Shoe Clips

    Change up everyday shoes by adding one of our four shoe clip designs to your favorite pair.

    Get the Shoe Clips How-To

    Related: Rehab Your Hair from Harsh Summer Sun

    Earrings and Gift Box

    Create a new pair of earrings -- and a gift box to hold them -- in minutes.

    Get the Earrings and Gift Box How-To

    Wood Bangle

    These bangles are decoupaged to look like rope, cord,

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  • Take a Hike: Family-Friendly Tips for Autumn Adventures

    Why We Hike

    When Nanette Bercu, 38, creative director at Paul Mitchell, and her husband, Dan, pile their sons Odin, 8, and Hunter, 6 (all pictured here), into the car for their weekly hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, they're sometimes met with groans. "But an hour into the hike, the kids are totally engrossed," she says. "By the time we're done, we're all a little more alive than when we started."

    This most basic form of outdoor recreation is equal parts workout and therapy, and good for all ages: It boosts cardiovascular health, strengthens muscles, and clears the head. What the gym and its calibrated machinery can't promise -- inspiring views and unpredictable physical challenges -- hiking has in spades.

    Mind and Body Rewards

    "The human body evolved to move over uneven terrain. Doing so keeps our muscles strong and our joints fluid," says Jonathan FitzGordon, creator of the FitzGordon Method, a program in Brooklyn, New York, that teaches natural alignment and

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  • The Healthiest Cooking Techniques -- and How to Pull Them Off Flawlessly

    Sound nutrition, as we all know by now, is key to good health. So we strive for diets rich in the good stuff (like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains) and low in the not-so-good stuff (like bacon and heavy cream). But a growing body of evidence shows that what's on your plate isn't the only factor in good nutrition. How you prepare it matters, too.

    During the past several decades, food scientists have uncovered the effects of various cooking methods on our health. In general, the longer and hotter you cook, the more carcinogenic compounds you create -- particularly with meat. Overcooking fats and oils can also produce toxins. "Any type of cooking that really turns up the heat changes the food's structure, which ultimately changes the effects on your body," explains Kathie Swift, R.D., nutrition director of the UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts.

    That's hardly appetizing news. Fortunately, there are plenty of cooking methods that benefit your taste buds along with the rest

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  • Kitchen Hack: Cook Two Dinners at Once!

    Strike While the Oven Is Hot

    Throw in an extra baking sheet of vegetables and aromatics when you're cooking tonight's roast and you'll have building blocks for tomorrow's dinner and beyond.

    Beyond Big-Batch Cooking

    Making a big batch of chili and freezing some for another day is all well and good, but it requires a few hours of dedicated time -- and does nothing to use up the odds and ends in the refrigerator. That's why roasting vegetables while you're cooking dinner is so brilliant. The oven is already fired up, so you save time and energy, and when it comes to ingredients, you can improvise.

    Roasting Notes

    Roasting vegetables and fruits intensifies their natural sweetness. Toss with just enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat, season as desired, and spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Don't crowd them, or they'll steam rather than brown, and you won't get that concentrated flavor.

    Related: 10 New Ways to Use

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