Martha's Eggcellent Easter Special: Behind the Scenes

Working in TV, I know what a real hand model’s hands look like: long slender fingers, long, clean nail beds with nails at the perfect length- not to short, not too long. I giggle when I think about the look of shock that came over my face when Martha announced to the crew that ‘Dani has nice hands.’ She said it in reference to some craft close up shots that needed to be taken and I think I may have literally done that look around “who- me?” gesture after turning bright red!

I’m guessing Martha might approve of my hands because they are working hands- with a few scars from my days as a fajita runner at Houlihans, a couple of other exacto blade markings, and my most common hand imperfection these days- food coloring stains! (The green gel coloring in particular is very hard to remove!)

When Becky Horvath, one of Martha’s field producers, asked me to be a hand model for the baking process shots for Martha’s Eggcellent Easter Special I giggled again and then gladly agreed- secretly thinking to myself ‘think about all the things I’ll be learning to make!’ I made sure to keep away from the food coloring for a few days and went out and got a manicure.

First up on shoot day: remove all my jewelry (this took a while), pull my hair back, and roll up my sleeves.

SDB jewelry on the shoot day

I used a lovely little bowl from Marthas prop closet to hold my jewelry while we were shooting

Assignment 1: Meringue eggs filled with lemon curd. Thomas Joseph, (amazing chef and expert baker) was my assigned kitchen chef and informed me that I had to use the pastry bag for this one. Of coarse I panicked! We all know my fear of the pastry bag is what led me to icing bottles! I went in the day before to rehearse and 4 treys later I got the hang of it but you should really see him do it. Amazing.

Thomas with pastry bag

Thomas is effortless with the pastry bag!

Next up on the shoot list: Hatching Bunny cookie icing techniques- this one was kind of my thing.

Hatching bunny cookie icing setup

This blank hatching bunny awaits icing and embellishments

Next shot: Phyllo dough eggs with powdered sugar and orange curd- hello yum!

Phyllo dough egg still

My hands sprinkle powdered on the phyllo "eggs" before adding the orange curd- mmmm!

Last sweet treat of the day and in my opinion, most delicious, cupcakes with buttercream icing and toasted coconut nests?

Sarah shows coconut cupcake application

Kitchen chef, Sarah Mastracco shows me how to apply the toasted coconut to the icing

Look at this beautiful shot Anduin Havens (my stylist for the day) set up of the cupcakes!

Cupcake shot on monitor

When styling for TV we always refer to a monitor for frame reference- I love this shot!

Once we wrapped I was greatly rewarded with a chance meeting with the Easter bunny who was filming in another area of the studio! He is just as sweet and cuddly as he looks. What a great day!

Me and the easter bunny

Me, my hands and the Easter Bunny!

Which of these sweet and eggcellent treats will you be making for Easter? xoxo Dani