Did you miss me?

October 12, 2016
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 Reviews The 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 unfocusedwanderlust.me. I guess I should publish some of those drafts.

Menu Plan Monday: Where's the Beef?

June 27, 2016
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
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.
Taco night
Thursday: Spinach Fritatta
Spinach and Mushroom Frittata

Friday: Lamb Kabobs

Chewbacca Mom and Internet Celebrity

June 9, 2016
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 people willing to pay for her autograph. For laughing. In a mask. Are we already living in a teen dystopian novel? Are we that selfish and voyeuristic? Then again, with Trump as the Republican presidential candidate, maybe we are.

I do not begrudge her the gifts, trips, and scholarships. Hell, I've done stuff for free or in exchange for trips and experiences for brands as well. But what gets my goat, and most of the internet it seems, is that now she is charging for her autograph and only donating a portion to a church in Texas, which some outlets have said is a charity, letting the reader make their own assumptions. Really? I used to tithe. Unless she's donating anonymously, she's getting that money back the next time she files taxes. Not to mention, what portion is she keeping to herself? To quote one article (which I can't remember at the moment) "capitalists are gonna capitalize".

And maybe I'm jaded, but her laugh is not infectious to me (truth be told, today is the first time I have seen the video. Blessedly, no one on FB sent it my way, and I probably would have had the same response then). I can tell that she's happy, but that, to me, sounds like an "OMG, I need stress-release like you wouldn't believe" laugh, you know, when you're at the point where your choices are "I'm going to break down and cry hysterically or I need to laugh" laugh.

And in the end, you have to wonder who bankrolled her Dallas FanExpo appearance. I mean, booths aren't cheap, are usually set up months in advance, not days or weeks, and her placement next to Joffrey? That must have cost a pretty penny. So really, how authentic is this phenomenom now?

Menu Plan Monday: Summer Salads

June 8, 2016
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.

Broccoli Chicken Salad

Friday: Cirque! Hopefully dinner out.

Menu Plan Monday: La Mer

June 1, 2016
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!

Baked Cod and Chorizo with Sweet Potatoes
Baked Cod and Chorizo with Sweet Potatoes
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

May 16, 2016
Ok, not really a tour of Asia Minor, but we do have a Turkish inspired meal, Chinese and Thai on the menu this week.
Map No. III. Italy, Greece, Asia Minor, Syria
via http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/s/xoe54u
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 Eggplant and Cauliflower with Basil. last week's Eggplant Parmesan didn't come out so great, so we're going Asian this week. I sense a pattern with meatless Fridays appearing.

Menu Plan Monday - hosted by orgjunkie.com

Menu Plan Monday: On the Bus

May 10, 2016
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.
A photo posted by Annette (@dananner) on

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

April 25, 2016

Recipe: Everything Free Beef Stroganoff

February 17, 2016
Trust me. It tastes amazing. Even the picky teenager liked it.
Beef Stroganoff
Beef Stroganoff over Zoodles

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


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.


  1. Cut meat across the grain into bite-sized pieces
  2.  Heat the coconut oil in a skillet
  3. Add onions, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper and sautée until mushrooms are soft. Feel free to taste test to adjust seasonings
  4. Add meat, cook until browned
  5. Add broth
  6. Add sour cream
  7. Thicken with gluten-free corn starch if necessary.  Cover and turn heat down to low while you cook noodles according to package directions or make zoodles.

Serve stroganoff over noodles of choice or both if you want.

Movie Review: Eddie the Eagle

February 13, 2016

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 Jackman), Eddie takes on the
establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by
making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter
Olympics. From producers of Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eddie the Eagle
stars Taron Egerton as Eddie, the loveable underdog with a never say die
CAST: Taron Egerton, Christopher Walken, Hugh Jackman
RATED: Not Yet Rated

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

February 10, 2016
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 matter which genre his books are classified into because the character development and storytelling keep you reading. There aren't too many characters nor locations to keep track of, and if you think of this as a YA book instead of one written for adults, you'll enjoy it much more.

I'm looking forward to the next book.

View all my reviews

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

February 9, 2016
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 Plots.

There was very little character development and nothing to entice me to pick up the next book in the series, not even the teaser chapter at the end. Where are the strong, competent female detectives? Maybe the series should be more about Kate.

View all my reviews

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.

Caribbean Chicken with Pineapple-Black Bean Sauce

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.

Mango Pineapple Salad

FridayPineapple Burgers
Pineapple Burgers


February 3, 2016
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

January 24, 2016
Paleo-Keto Shrimp Scampi
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.

Recipe: Broccoli Chicken Soup

January 3, 2016
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 Cheddar Chicken Soup
Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Soup

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 oil
  • 1 lb chicken tenders, thighs, or boneless skinless breast
  • Full-fat coconut cream (I prefer Trader Joe's)
  • 16oz bag frozen broccoli
  • 32oz low-sodium, sugar-free vegetable broth (or homemade stock)
  • 1/2 cup diced onions or onion powder
  • garlic or garlic powder to taste
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • cheddar cheese (optional)
Cooking Directions
  1. In a 3qt or larger pot melt coconut oil.
  2. Chop chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to pot.
  3. Season with onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until no longer pink.
  4. Add broth.
  5. Puree broccoli in blender or food processor and then add to pot.
  6. Bring everything to a boil and then down to a simmer. Add full fat coconut cream and continue to simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Taste and adjust spices. 
  8. Enjoy! With or without cheddar cheese.

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!).

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