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An Afternoon Dishing With Martha Stewart

martha-stewartFishbowlNY visited Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s test kitchen on the West Side Thursday afternoon to make chicken pot pies with Martha Stewart herself — and dish about, among other things, Season 3 of her PBS show Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, which premiered earlier this month (and will be exclusively sponsored by KitchenAid). A small group of journos and bloggers donned stylish striped aprons while listening intently to the domestic diva’s tips on stewing a whole chicken, combining it with buttery potatoes, carrots, onions, mushrooms, peas, thyme and cognac, and then layering an egg-wash-glazed puff pastry over the mixture-filled ramekins before popping them into the oven. Voilà. All the while, Stewart happily answered questions we peppered her with. Here are some of the tidbits we learned:

PBS keeps her busy. In addition to her Cooking School, Stewart is filming the third season of her other PBS show, Martha Bakes, and has just wrapped four shows in two days. She brought in the breakfast cookies she made on the show for us to nibble on while we waited for our pies to finish baking. “They’re about a pound each!” she said. No kidding. And delicious, we might add.

She gives credit where credit is due. Her test kitchen whips up around 1,000 recipes a year for the Martha Stewart Living magazines — and she credits her food editors, almost all of whom have been with her “for years,” with coming up with many of the inspired meals.

She wants to open a restaurant. “It’s so hard that life [as a restaurateur], but so fun,” she said. And the pot-pie recipe she shared that afternoon would be “the perfect lunch item.”

She likes football. Stewart isn’t cooking a Super Bowl meal — “I’m going to the Super Bowl!” she exclaimed. But if she were to prep something for game day, quesadillas and margaritas with “fresh lime juice and good tequila in sugar-rimmed glasses” would be on the menu.

More from Martha and photos from the event, after the jump.

She snubs canned food. “I rarely open a can… maybe for cat food,” she deadpanned.

It’s all in the family. Her sister, Laura Plimpton, is a researcher for and frequent contributor to her blog, Martha: Up Close & Personal. “[Reading her posts,] you can tell we grew up in the same household,” she said.

She’s picky about pasta. Her favorite pasta shape is bucatini, a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole that runs through the center — and it “must be Italian made.”

When in Rome. She tries to “eat local” whenever she travels. She spent this past Christmas in St. Croix and used Emeril Lagasse‘s recipe for conch fritters (and sent him a pic of the apps).

It’s a small world. While in St. Croix she visited the ARTFarm, an organic vegetable and fruit farm, run by Christina Gasperi, a former design assistant who worked for MSLO in the mid-90s.

She’s a cuckoo for Cronuts. Chef Dominique Ansel‘s croissant-donut hybrid is good — but the Dough’ssant from ChickaLicious might just be the next best thing (and “it’s baked, not fried”).

Last books she read. Of The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, she said, “The first 300 pages are really good. The rest was not so fun.” She was similarly ambivalent about Elizabeth Gilbert‘s The Signature of All Things.

What’s next for Martha. She excitedly hinted that the cookbook she’s currently working on will feature one-pot meals.

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