identity crisis

jaime-mormann

I love this picture because I wasn’t posing. My son Stuart took it when I was watching my new husband speak about Schrodinger’s Cat at a presentation for his new book The Quantum League. Matt and I had only been married about a month. (Apparently, I hold my hands in weird ways and touch my face when I’m not aware of it.)

Once upon a time, I wanted to write novels. It was a mired path coming to that decision—with long distance chats with my mom and sister about finding our passions, hours of watching Oprah, and follow-up calls with my mom and sister about what we had just watched on Oprah. Once I finally settled on writing fiction as what I wanted to do, I put everything I had into it. At first, I trod carefully, like peering from behind the doorway into a crowded room. So I started by trying to find other people who also wanted to write, and as luck would have it (or Providence), I met a nice girl at church. Her name was Julie, and she confessed in one of our first conversations that she had actually been published once, and that she really wanted to be an author. We became fast friends and started working toward our dreams. We went to conferences, joined writing groups, entered contests, bought laptops, flew to England to research our stories, started submitting—well, she did. I was still too scared, and still too ADD to get anything done.

planes, trains, and automobiles: my trip to martha stewart’s studio

dove-chocolates

The night I brought my son home from the hospital, the reality of my life hit me like a punch in the gut: I was a mother. And I would now be a mother forever. It wasn’t a bad thing to realize—just startling—that there would always be a person on the earth that I would worry about. I loved my little guy—smart, adorable, funny. But as he grew, I found myself just surviving until the day was over and my husband came home, not understanding at the time that I was depressed. It just felt like part of myself was dying, disappearing—the part of me that never fully came into being. Now I was a Mother, doing a very valuable and honorable thing, but the Me I had wanted to get to know, was lost somewhere, and I had no idea how to find her. I found myself wishing I had gotten in just a few years of living out some of the dreams I hadn’t known I would have wanted—like living in New York, or living in Europe for awhile.

It’s no secret I’ve always been a fan of Martha Stewart. I really think it was her magazine that saved me from going crazy during that time of such limited adult interaction. I was a brand new mom, I would pore over her magazines, read every page, take in every detail. For awhile, I was self admittedly a Rain Man of her magazine. If someone would say, “Hey, do you remember that article in Martha Stewart with the cinnamon sugar waffles?,” I’d say, “Oh yeah, that’s June 1999.” I would daydream (and still do) that I could work in New York, even though I was beholden to my husband’s work and career.

So, working with the Martha Stewart team on a few projects with my blog has been kind of a dream come true. I had a lot of fun last year working on the Crocs ad, and this year, when they invited me out for a video shoot with Kevin Sharkey, the Senior Vice President at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, I jumped at the chance.

all natural red velvet brownies

all-natural-red-velvet-brownies

 

You know the expression, “beat a dead horse?” I’d say it’s probably time I moved on from the all-natural red velvet cake thing, but a lot of you keep asking for brownies, so read on, my friends, and I’ll give you my recipe.

But first, I want to turn your attention to the sidebar. Not too long ago, it read: “I’m Jaime, a single mom of three. I love the classics, French pastries, and British accents. Welcome to my blog.” Notice anything different?

I got married!!!!

wedding-sophistimom

Meet Matt, my wonderful new husband. Many people know him as Matthew J. Kirby.

I met him last July while I was at an event in Salt Lake City signing my cookbook. He came up after my presentation and wanted to know more about what I liked to cook. On my drive home, I thought, That guy’s gonna ask me out. Sure enough, the next day, I got an email from him, telling me who he was and asking me if he could take me out for lunch or coffee. When I googled him, I realized I had bought the first book he had written, The Clockwork Three, for my oldest son, three years earlier.

Our relationship started slowly at first, and then there was no stopping it. We are so happy. The children adore him, he adores them, and we are very, very, VERY much in love.

Enough of that mushy stuff. Now to the brownies . . .

apple and chestnut stuffing with herbes de provence

pepperidge-farm-stuffing

Pepperidge farm provided me with a stipend for my time and materials to create this post.

It’s been such a long time since I shared a stuffing recipe with you! Remember that one I did with the apricots and sausage? Seriously, that has been my favorite one for a long time, so I really haven’t ever wanted to come up with a new one. But this year, I thought I’d try something new. So I recently took a challenge from Pepperidge Farm to use their new Unseasoned Stuffing, to see if I could come up with something good for Thanksgiving this year.

I’d heard of lots of recipes for stuffing that use chestnuts, and I finally decided this was my year to use them. First of all, I’d like to say, though, that chestnuts are my new favorite food. Their soft and sweet, and really low in calories, and really high in fiber. I’m not kidding. In one serving of five big chestnuts, you get two grams of fiber and only 50 calories. Pretty amazing. They can be pretty pricey, though. Which is okay if you’re getting them for Thanksgiving, right?