anna brones

writer + cookbook author + explorer

Tracking Down Good Coffee in Montmartre

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sacre coeur

People often ask me where they should go when they come to Paris. It takes time to make personal itineraries for people (I really should start charging…), but fortunately I write enough roundups that I can just start sending links instead. Case in point: my favorite coffee spots around Montmartre.

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Written by Anna Brones

April 16, 2014 at 11:42

1,000 Miles: Month 3

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photo 1

Usually when I talk about running I get really excited. Depending on how good the last run was I may get that moderately crazy look in my eyes. And I get excited when I sit down to write about it (proof: Month 1 and Month 2 recaps).

But March didn’t really have any of that. In fact I’m hesitant to even write a recap of the month because it felt like I barely ran at all. Instead, the knees said “you need to take a break!”

Because I’m not training for a marathon, or an ultra trail run, or a triathlon, the potential of an injury hadn’t really crossed my mind. Sure, I was intent on running a little more than usual, but not that much. But then the knees started hurting. Not in a “I am about to break” kind of way, but in a “hi! you better pay attention to us or we will break” kind of way.

So I did what any runner would do: got out the foam roller. I also added in a routine of sun salutations every morning. And some squats. In other words, I started doing all of those things that I knew I should have been doing from the get-go, but just hadn’t got around to.

Which got me thinking: how often does this happen to us in life in general?

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Written by Anna Brones

April 9, 2014 at 15:33

A New Column! And It’s All About Coffee…

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53343f84697ab04073001ceb._w.540_s.fit_

I am a bit behind on this announcement, but last week my new column for The Kitchn launched. And what is it about? Take a wild guess…

Coffee!

Titled “Smart Coffee for Regular Joes” the column is going to take on the coffee world, looking at the ins and outs of how to make coffee, exploring coffee culture in other countries, and celebrating the drink that so many of us love.

“Coffee isn’t just a drink, it’s a cornerstone of our everyday. A building block of our routines and our social interactions. Coffee fuels us.”

Read the first installment of the column and follow along in the discussion. What do you want to learn about in the coffee world?

Written by Anna Brones

April 7, 2014 at 07:30

2,592 Reasons to Hate Coffee Pods

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KCupsEarth3_0

Well, actually I didn’t write that many. But I did go on an anti coffee pod rant this week.

“If you’d had asked coffee specialists that this was going to happen, they would have told you, ‘That’s ridiculous,’” Mark Pendergrast, author of “Uncommon Grounds,” told the Seattle Times. That’s because coffee pods are ridiculous, but just like with so many other things, we’ve traded convenience for taste. In the process we’ve ended up with a product that’s really bad for the planet. For example, all of the K-cups (the name for the Keurig pods) sold in 2013 could wrap around the Earth 10.5 times.

Coffee pods. Wrapped around the earth 10.5 times. Think about it.

You can read the full rant – which includes all the environmental, economic and quality reasons not to drink single-brew coffee – on Foodie Underground.

Image: Mother Jones

Written by Anna Brones

March 27, 2014 at 14:25

If Only I Had Room for a Garden…

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spring in paris

As the sun comes out (hello spring!) I only have one thing on my mind: I want a garden. A place to walk in barefoot. A place to plant seedlings. Grow tomatoes and green beans and cucumbers. A place to start a raspberry vine. Wild strawberries. A space to sit and drink a morning cup of coffee.

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Written by Anna Brones

March 21, 2014 at 17:21

What is Food Gentrification?

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Have you heard about the new term “food gentrification“? It’s this week’s topic on Foodie Underground.

“Food gentrification” started as a hashtag by writer Mikki Kendall, who wrote about the impact of turning ordinary products into trendy ones, and the ultimate social impact. “My grandmother was a master of turning offal into delicious, and I still use many of her recipes to this day. But now, once-affordable ingredients have been discovered by trendy chefs, and have been transformed into haute cuisine. Food is facing gentrification that may well put traditional meals out of reach for those who created the recipes,” Kendall wrote in January.

Just like rebuilding neighborhoods has shot up real estate prices and pushed out locals, rebuilding the food movement, putting certain common-day vegetables on a pedestal, in turn making them more expensive, is pushing people away from eating them.

There was a time when we all had access to fresh food and ingredients. Think back to our grandparents. There were few things available, but the things that were available were real food. There were vegetables, there was fruit and there were no Doritos. Often there was a garden. People ate real food simply because it was the only thing available.

Hop on over to Foodie Underground to read the full article.

Written by Anna Brones

March 19, 2014 at 12:08

Use Your Heart: Create Love, Spread Love

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“The mind creates the abyss, the heart crosses it.”

-Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

It’s funny how when you need certain words, they come to you. My mother sent me this today – she’s good like that, having that motherly intuition to send me inspirational words when she knows that I need them. Sometimes they are her own, sometimes they are someone else’s.

And these struck a chord; a good reminder for a world where our brains are constantly spinning. Things may be overwhelming, but often all we need to do is to treat ourselves and those around us with kindness. Give love, receive love.

So with that, go spread some positivity this weekend.

Written by Anna Brones

March 14, 2014 at 18:26

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