The Hamptons own Martha Stewart
knows a good thing (or two) about nearly everything it seems. From how to create the perfect wedding or dinner party to transforming simple pumpkins into works of art for Halloween, for over 30 years Martha has made being exceptional a way of life for her millions of devotees. Valentine's Day, which is only a short week away, is near and dear to her heart as we learned after hearing her tips on how to make this sweet, Hallmark Holiday special.
"For Valentine's Day flowers, you can't go wrong with peonies," Martha says. "I have a fondness for China, and peonies originated there. I grow tree peonies in all my gardens—they're such exquisite flowers!"
Her tip, "When choosing flowers for your arrangement, begin by finding one flower that you know the recipient will like, and then build from that. To keep your Valentine's arrangement fresh, add a couple drops of bleach to cut down on bacteria build up. And always make sure your water levels are high and your thermostat is on low."
The perfect date night reservation can be key. For the lucky gent looking to steal Martha's heart he should know that, "My favorite type of food is Japanese, which I'd probably choose for a Valentine's Day date. EN Brasserie in New York's West Village is a favorite - I love sitting at the sushi bar and having them cook for me. Also, Sushi Yasuda which is really expensive but delicious food."
"For Valentine's Day planning, I always say it's best to let the man plan because you get to know really fast if you want to go out with them again!" The expert planner explained, "If it's a first date
, it's much better to go out for a fun, delicious meal and get to know the person. You don't get to talk at the movies! I also suggest letting the man cook for you. Men shouldn't be afraid to cook for women - men actually cook for me all the time!"
Finally, Martha says, "There's no better way to show your love and affection than by treating your beloved to a special Valentine's breakfast in bed. A go-to is New York-Style Crumb Cake, which is featured in my most recent book, 'Martha Stewart's Cakes.' This recipe hits all the right notes - rich buttermilk cake topped with a thick layer of sugary, buttery cinnamon-spiked crumbs. The cake can be made in advance and stored at room temperature, covered, up to five days so you can pop it in the oven on Valentine's Day morning and not have to worry about spending too much time in the kitchen. Serve it to your special someone in bed with a warm, homemade cappuccino."
Will it be Buckwheat waffles with fresh ricotta and citrus or homemade crumb cake for your breakfast in bed? No need to choose, both recipes are in the current issue of "Martha Stewart Living" magazine. (Courtesy Photos)
Nicole, an award-winning journalist, is Executive Editor & Publisher of Hamptons.com where she focuses on celebrity interviews, fine living and design, social events, fashion and beauty. She lives on the North Fork with her husband, their two daughters, and Bernese Mountain dog, Cooper. www.hamptons.com