Showing posts from 2016

Did you miss me?

For the last few months, say, since July,I've been looking for somewhere to move my blog, trying to relearn Drupal, and ultimately settling on Joomla.

I have drafts going back that far because

I've also been thinking about what direction I want things to go in. Last August I thought I could continue here, but ... I think I have finally outgrown the Blogger platform.
September was the last straw:

I've also been working on a couple of side projects.
Multiverse ReviewsThe ultimate review site for all of your F&SF products. (Yes, I know it needs a lot of work. It's a WIP).
Geek Questioner Podcast - occasional co-host and P.A.

You can now find me at I guess I should publish some of those drafts.

Menu Plan Monday: Where's the Beef?

I have a feeling I have used that title before ... but hey, it's a different year. And now we are going Whole 30 this week because I need it.

Sunday: Lemon Pepper Chicken with Zoodles. Seriously, now that my local grocery store carries zoodles I buy 2-4 packages a week. It saves me so much time!
Monday: Stuffed Peppers

Tuesday: Paleo-Keto Taco (Salad) with lettuce wraps instead of blue corn tortilla shells. But this was one of the better pictures I have.
WednesdayGrilled Steak & Avocado with Garlic-Shallot puree (pg 216) and mandarin strawberry salad Thursday: Spinach Fritatta

Friday: Lamb Kabobs

Chewbacca Mom and Internet Celebrity

Today I had a discussion with a friend who was playing devil's advocate for Chewbacca Mom and can't understand my attitude about the situation. It started here:

It's Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton all over again, in concept if not practice at least. Candace Payne has done nothing of value to earn celebrity status, and yet continues to cash in on it.

Devil's advocate argument is that it doesn't matter, she's not hurting any one and no one will remember her in year. My point of view is that it does matter, because it's a reflection of today's society. We live in the Internet Age and everything that happens now gets documented now. There is no revisionist history anymore. Additionally, she's not helping anyone either. What should have been a simple moment of joy shared with friends has turned a woman into an Internet sensation who has garnered so much attention it's unbeleivable, so unbeleivable that within three weeks of being unknown there are p…

Menu Plan Monday: Summer Salads

And the cleansing continues. Salads are also great for portion control as well as clearing out the system. Drink plenty of water!

Monday: Not feeling well, take out it is.

Tuesday: Steak and Dried Cherries Salad - one 3/4lb rib eye goes a long way for two people.

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken Strawberry Avocado Salad

Thursday: Broccoli Chicken Salad with dried cranberries, modified from this recipe.

Friday: Cirque! Hopefully dinner out.

Menu Plan Monday: La Mer

It's a short week what with travel, the holiday, and all the rest. The remainder of the week will be focused on eating clean and trying to get back on track.

Monday: Memorial Day gluttony
Tuesday: attempt to eat clean(ish) while traveling
Wednesday: Baked Cod and Chorizo. So many good flavors!

Thursday: Pan-seared Mahi Mahi with green beans and cherry tomatoes
Friday: Grilled swordfish with mixed green salad.

Hope to get everything back on track by the weekend.

Menu Plan Monday: Asia Minor

Ok, not really a tour of Asia Minor, but we do have a Turkish inspired meal, Chinese and Thai on the menu this week.
I needed quick and easy meals that would 1) use up ingredients in the fridge from the last few weeks' grocery shopping and 2) not break the bank. Meat gets expensive, so this week we are using lesser cuts and going heavy on the veggies. Leaving out the rice makes these paleo and keto compliant.

Monday: Beef Broccoli (actually a broccoli cauliflower mix because I mis-read the bag of frozen veggies).

I never did get around to trying with coconut aminos, but everyone seems to like it well enough with just the spices and no soy sauce or sugar. I should update the recipe to reflect all of the dietary restrictions and changes that have occured over the years.

Tuesday: Curried Turkey Cutlets with Dried Apricots

Wednesday: Paleo Spaghetti with meatballs and my amazing marinara sauce.

Thursday: Skirt Steak with Arugula Salad - one of the few ways Joy will eat salad.

Friday: Spicy…

Menu Plan Monday: On the Bus

My face was planted in my phone catching up on notifications and news and I was stressing out about time management and all the things I needed to get done while taking the train out to the Arnold Arboretum for a (photo) walk when I suddenly realized I could be somewhat productive. I mean, I have Pepperplate on my phone for when I go grocery shopping, right? I still prefer to menu plan with a cookbook and a computer, but hey, use the tools you have at the time.
I went for a walk today... #latergram #igboston #floweringtrees #teamnikon #d5300 A photo posted by Annette (@dananner) on May 9, 2016 at 9:18pm PDT
But you come here for dinner ideas, don't you? So, here they are:

Monday:Beef & Bean Chile Verde. Quick, easy, and everyone's favorite.
Tuesday:Primal Jambalaya
Wednesday:Grilled Lamb Asparagus Pitas with Tzatziki Sauce.
Thursday:Eggplant Lasagna with Ricotta and Asiago
Friday:Mahi Mahi Grilled Fish Tacos with paleo slaw
Saturday and Sunday: Leftovers

People Suck

It really doesn't matter if your building has surveillance if some moron keeps leaving all of the doors unlocked — Annette (@daNanner) April 24, 2016

Recipe: Everything Free Beef Stroganoff

Trust me. It tastes amazing. Even the picky teenager liked it.

I've been craving beef stroganoff the way a pregnant woman craves pickles and ice cream. But, it doesn't fit my current dietary needs and is a trigger for every one of my daughter's food intolerances. And then I had a dream. I've been doing substitutions long enough that it finally came to me, just took a little longer than normal with everything going on lately.
Low-Carb, Lacto-Paleo, Gluten-Free, Lactose-Free, Ketogenic Beef Stroganoff
Ingredients: 2tbsp Coconut oil
1.5 - 2lbs beef (top round sirloin works well)
3 cups mixed mushrooms
1 cup pearl onions
1 cup beef broth
garlic, sea salt and pepper to taste
1.5 cups lactose free sour cream
Zucchini Noodles or Gluten-Free Supergrain Pasta Shells

I don't tend to move things in and out of a pan, so this recipe skips all of those steps.
Directions:Cut meat across the grain into bite-sized pieces Heat the coconut oil in a skilletAdd onions, mushrooms, garlic…

Movie Review: Eddie the Eagle

I got a chance to see a pre-screening of Eddie the Eagle this past Wednesday and, of course, I jumped on it because .. Hugh Jackman and that kid from Kingsman.

This is one of those really uplifting stories that you will want to add to your video library. Eddie is one of the most determined individuals you will ever come across and depending on your mood, some scenes are quite emotional. Damn allergies. Other scenes will make you laugh and you'll come out feeling like "If he can do that, I better get off my ass and do something with my life." Especially since I love proving people wrong too. I will probably drag my daughter to see it later this month.

SYNOPSIS: Inspired by true events, Eddie the Eagle is a feel-good story
about Michael “Eddie” Edwards (Taron Egerton), an unlikely but courageous
British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself – even as an
entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and
charismatic coach (played by Hugh Jackm…

Book Review: The Aeronaut's Windlass (The Cinder Spires, #1)

The Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bridget Tagwynn is my new (YA) hero. From the prologue, I honestly thought the book was going to be a coming of age story about Gwendolyn Lancaster -- a better entitled spoiled brat has never been written. In my eyes, she quickly became a secondary character to Bridget, Folly, and Grimm -- all of whom show more maturity and character development throughout the book.

Bridget steals the show, with a little help from Rowl. Though, if you know anything about cats, the entire story is all about Rowl. According to the book blurb, the story is supposed to be about "the grim captain" and his ship Predator, and I suppose that may become the case as the series unfolds, but this first book is definitely an introduction to the characters and war between the Spires.

To be honest, I'm picky about my steampunk and I wasn't sure what to expect from Butcher's foray into the genre. Much like Bujold, it doesn't …

Book Review: Whiskey Rebellion (An Addison Holmes Mystery, #1)

Whiskey Rebellion by Liliana Hart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I felt like this book couldn't decide if it was a Harlequin bodice-ripper or an introduction to a new detective series character. At first, Addison Holmes seemed hilariously relatable, but I quickly got tired of hearing about her hair, makeup, and outfits when they didn't really further the story. As a reader, I know Murphy's Law exists, but c'mon! The extreme ridiculousness of some of the things that happened to Addison wouldn't be funny in a sitcom with a laugh track.

Her interactions with Nick weren't really believable considering the circumstances under which they met and his entrances and exits were more like dream sequences or wishful thinking. There was, at least, one continuity error/conversation when Addison is with Kate and Nick appears that really made no sense, it was like the scene was cut from something larger and the information to tie the scenes together was sent down the Well of Lost Plo…

Menu Plan Monday: Pineapple!

Cravings. I have them. 
I've also been traveling a lot and pineapple tastes a lot better than vitamin supplements. Gotta stave off those germs from people who don't know how to cover when they cough and sneeze.

Monday: Chicken and Pineapple pizza (ordered out). It was a long day.

TuesdayCaribbean Chicken with Pineapple-Black Bean Sauce. I haven't decided if I'll eat as is or try to find some cauliflower to rice.

WednesdayJerk Chicken and Pineapple Kabobs - modified to be more paleo-friendly with honey instead of sugar. But I have a huge jar of authentic Jamaican Jerk rub that needs to get used.

ThursdayThai Chicken Mango Pineapple Salad. Green things are needed.

FridayPineapple Burgers


Consciousness slowly arrives. The first thing is a body check, cataloging all of my aches and pains and deciding whether it's worth getting out of bed. And then the dog nudges me and the cat gets in my face, so it's not like I have any choice in the matter. They have needs and I am the caretaker.

Roll out of bed, decide on Tylenol or Advil with my coffee and get the day started.

Menu Plan Monday: Working Out The Kinks

The last time I posted was three weeks ago and since then we have been working out the kinks between what I need to eat in order to lose and/or maintain my weight (paleo-themed) and what he needs to lose weight (keto). Let me tell you, I can’t do keto at all. I gained 10 lbs! This past week was more Paleo leaning and I have lost 4.5lbs, but I have another 5 or 6 just get back under 165. UGH!
I did have a few successes:
Eggplant Ratatouille

Paleo-Keto Shrimp Scampi (made for tasty leftovers too)

and (Keto) Cauliflower Au Gratin

but now I am seriously craving all sorts of salad, greens that aren't kale or spinach, and vegetables. Ok, just sweet potatoes and avocado. So this week’s plan will be more my speed yet easily made modular. So much for one pot cooking.

Sunday: Primal Jambalaya minus the “rice”
Monday: Blackened Chicken with Zoodles and avocado
Tuesday: Butter Chicken
Wednesday: Open Faced Burgers (I like pineapple and avocado on mine)
Thursday: Baked Cod and Chorizo (sub in sweet…

Recipe: Broccoli Chicken Soup

I should have taken pictures of the process, but I was really worried about getting it right since I have never made broccoli soup. Yes, minus the cheddar, but adding some chicken. OK, you can add cheddar for more protein for keto, but not paleo. I ate two servings and wouldn't have minded two or three more.

Broccoli Chicken Soup
Recipe by Annette Holland Paleo and ketogenic friendly version of broccoli cheddar chicken soup. 5 stars Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: 4-6 servings
1TBSP coconut oil1 lb chicken tenders, thighs, or boneless skinless breastFull-fat coconut cream (I prefer Trader Joe's)16oz bag frozen broccoli32oz low-sodium, sugar-free vegetable broth (or homemade stock)1/2 cup diced onions or onion powdergarlic or garlic powder to tastesea salt and black pepper to tastecheddar cheese (optional)Cooking Directions
In a 3qt or larger pot melt coconut oil.Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to pot.Season with onion, …

New Year Goal: Completist

This was the worst year for me yet since I started keeping track on Goodreads. I pretty much stopped reading, including audiobooks, once I moved to Houston. It's time to change that fact.
This year, I might try one of these lists to broaden my horizons:

I've already been given a few suggestions and yes, my To Read Shelf has increased what feels like exponentially. Add your suggestions in the comments or on the G+ post.

Menu Plan Monday: Starting Clean

The holidays are finally over and it is time to get back to clean eating. My body is screaming for relief, despite loving just about every dessert I managed to put in my mouth. No resolutions for me, just back to the same old same old clean eating and hoping I will lose this holiday weight (thankfully only 5lbs this time!).

However, since I am Keeper of the Kitchen, Menu Plan, and Grocery Bill, there are some keto type additions and modifications due to other's resolutions.  Also, since keto and paleo don't play well together, I will be getting creative with substitutions because I am not a short-order cook.

Sunday: Chicken and Broccoli Soup inspired by this recipe and this recipe and made with homemade turkey stock. Recipe coming soon as I finish eating and maybe knock out some homework.
Monday: Spinach Fritatta (Whole 30, pg 206)
Tuesday: Grilled Steak with Garlic-Shallot puree and avocado with green beans and mushrooms
Wednesday: Pan roasted brussels sprouts and squash with chi…