Sunday, September 2, 2007

Domestic Divas

How do I love Martha Stewart and Ina Garten? Let me count the ways.

Ina Garten is one of my favorite Food Network personalities. She has such a great demeanor. I can only imagine that she would be very sweet in person. Every recipe of hers that I have tried has been delicious. Her food is elegant without being complicated or pretentious. Most recently, I made her recipe for Scallops Provencal. It was easy to make and turned out fabulous. One of the things I love most about watching Barefoot Contessa is seeing Ina's gorgeous home in the Hamptons. I'm always drooling over her beautiful kitchen and amazing gardens.

Always the gracious host, Ina makes even the most mundane event an occasion. Whether she is making dinner for her husband Jeffrey, having some girlfriends over for brunch, or having cocktails and hors d'oeuvres with every fabulous gay man on Long Island, she always sets a beautiful table with a lovely floral arrangement. The result is always elegant and inviting, never stuffy. I admire Ina for her kind spirit, killer ability to cook without being professionally trained, and her knack for effortless elegance.

While some people may not be familiar with Ina Garten, it seems that everyone knows Martha Stewart. Martha's empire is constantly expanding. Most recently she has added a home goods line at Macy's, Blueprint magazine, which is quickly becoming a favorite read for me, and a foray into the world of home building (more on that later). She now has her own line of paint and flooring and has 14 brands associated with her name. Although she isn't quite as relaxed as Ina, it seems that Martha has a knack for everything one would expect from a domestic goddess. She does it all and she does it beautifully.

Both Ina and Martha are an inspiration for me. Whenever I need to entertain, it seems that I inevitably turn to them for ideas. One of these days, I will try out Ina's coconut cake recipe. It always looks so delicious, but I hesitate to make it since Fabian doesn't like sweets. One of Martha's new home communities is located less than 10 minutes away from me. I'm going to try to go back this weekend and take some pictures. It is one more thing Martha has executed with her signature style.

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