What I’m Into (February 2013 Edition)

paleo granola

I’ve gotta say, I am thrilled that February’s almost over. This has not historically been a great month for my family, between the cold and the dreary and the flu.

But the days are getting longer and the weather’s getting warmer–or at least trending that way–and I can almost feel spring waiting right around the corner.


I resolved to read more fiction in 2013, but I think I’ve actually read too much this month. The snowball effect of reading another book by the author I just finished, or the next book in the series, has filled my nightstand with too many books that haven’t been that good. I’m regrouping.

I’ve also been catching up on my cookbook (or books-about-cooking) reading. (Yes, I love to read cookbooks. Seriously.) On my nightstand: Dinner: A Love Story, The Sprouted Kitchen, Frontera, and Bread and Wine.

Great Reads About Writing

Jeffrey Eugenides’ Advice to Young Writers

Just Keep Writing

If You Teach or Write 5-Paragraph Essays–Stop It!

Great Posts About Work and Life and Women

Hiding Help is Like Denying Botox at Hollywood Housewife

Did Gender Equality Stall? at Laura Vanderkam

Enjoying the Tangled Boundaries at Field Notes Magazine

Other great stuff online

Considering how season 3 ended, I appreciated Maureen Ryan’s perspective on Downton Abbey. (Major spoiler alert.)

Also: How It Felt Watching Season 3 of Downton Abbey, as Told by Downton Abbey.

You’ve Got Mail vs. Sleepless in Seattle: Fight!

How One Woman Created a Community Out of a Neighborhood.


While on my Whole 30 I discovered expensive tea. (I had to have something good since I gave up wine and coffee.) This tea is sooo good. I just ordered 10 different varieties because I am becoming an addict. (And hey, it’s cheaper than wine.)

And while we’re talking wine, here’s my public service announcement: Stop buying two buck chuck. Buy this instead. It’s one dollar more but so much better:

trader joes wine

I’ve been making this sunbutter a lot this month, (I skipped the sugar and honey). I’ve been turning half of it immediately into Sunshine Sauce, which is why my kids have been wolfing down two pounds of baby carrots a day. (No joke.)

paleo granola

Fake Paleo Granola

I posted a photo of my fake paleo granola on instagram this week and promised quite a few of you the recipe. (Please note: you will be in serious violation of the Whole 30 if you eat the whole batch at once.)

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (this is what I use)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest from half an orange

Melt coconut oil in nonstick or stainless skillet. Add coconut, almonds, salt, and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown. Add vanilla and orange zest. Stir to combine and remove from heat.

For extra deliciousness, stick your granola in the freezer for 10 minutes before eating, and see if it doesn’t remind you of a frozen Samoa.

On the Blog

Best conversation starter: My Daughter Wants a Blog for Her Birthday

Most likely to resonate: My See-Saw Marriage

Most popular: My Whole 30 is Over. I Feel Amazing. It’s Complicated.

For more “What I’m Into” posts, head over to Leigh’s blog.

What are you into this month?

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Leave A Comment
  1. Linda says:

    I’ve actually been considering a fiction fast. I have a tendency to forget to live my life when I’m in the middle of a good story. Non-fiction doesn’t have the same hold on me. Hmmm…what would Freud say about that? Meh, who cares!

  2. Thanks for the link. I went and read the Eugenides piece at the New Yorker, and while I don’t entirely agree with Samuel Johnson (that no one but a fool wrote, except for money), I don’t think there’s anything wrong with writing what your readers want to read. You can reach for a balance, and putting a very important idea or insight you’d like to advance into a highly readable, popular novel, will get it a much broader audience than into a short story in a literary magazine with a circulation of 3000.

  3. I know what you mean with the snowball fiction effect. I’ll read something that’s really great and want to replicate it by reading other books by the same author or by reading books similar to the great book I first read. I had this sort of problem after finishing The Hunger Games series. I started reading other YA dystopian novels, and most of them just did not measure up.

    • Tim says:

      P.S. Just got to read the DA articles. Love the GIFs! And that analysis of DA’s shortcomings is good too, although it barely gives a nod as to why we keep coming back to the soap opera anyway. I think we all secretly like the same sameness that Fellowes likes. Her take on Bates’s prison time was a hoot too: walking in circles becoming a story line of it’s own!

      • Jeannie says:

        I agree that the sameness of characters in Downton Abbey is at least part of the appeal. Would we really like it if the Dowager Countess stopped firing off one-liners and was discovered to be carrying on a torrid affair with, say, Molesley?

        Wait, I haven’t seen any of Season 3 yet, maybe that’s a spoiler too? 😉

  4. Anne, I’m just finding your writings for the first time, but can I just say that we’re nearly two peas in a pod? I love what you’re cooking and reading and all those writing tips – and I look forward to seeing and reading more!

  5. Leanne Penny says:

    This month I was into… uh… Survival… and the occasional brownie. And going to bed early.

    All that being said I want to try your granola and sunbutter.

    That Downton Abbey post made me think… a lot… still wounded though.

  6. HopefulLeigh says:

    Frontera is on my To Read list. Let me know what you think. Hope you like Dinner A Love Story as much as I did! I need to know more about this tea you’ve found. Should I just give it a go or try some next time I visit? Speaking of next time I visit, I will certainly upgrade from my usual two-buck chuck. Just because you say so.

    • Anne says:

      Will do about Frontera. I have a sad story about the time I didn’t eat at his Chicago restaurant for you sometime.

      The UPS man brought me 10 flavors of the tea today, so you can try it next time you visit 🙂 And we’ll make a TJ’s run for the wine. Obviously.

  7. Adele says:

    I absolutely can’t wait to read Bread and Wine. Would’ve loved an advance copy but being a total Scrooge I couldn’t justify the postage to Australia! Waiting patiently (or not!) until it comes out down here.

  8. Jillian Kay says:

    I was so mad after the DA finale. I was not spolied at all, and I just couldn’t believe they went there again. The Huffington Post put my anger in perspective, so thanks.

    I’ve been into reading recaps of food network shows on grantland.com. They are the type of dumb humor I need this month.

  9. Krissa says:

    So…if I were to order some of that tea, what’s the flavor you love best that I just have to try? I’m going to start Whole 30 on April 1, so I need some good tea ready to go! 🙂

    • Anne says:

      I’m gonna go with turmeric ginger. It’s mostly orange and ginger; the turmeric just gives it a lovely color. I also really like Mystic Mint.

      What kind of tea do you usually like?

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