On My To Do List

Are you a list maker? How do you stay organized and on top of things? I often make piles to keep things neat. A stack of things is less distracting than having papers and books strewn across my desk. I also make lots of lists. I like having a reminder of everything that I hope to accomplish in the short term. I used to write my To Do lists on scraps of paper. More recently I’ve created a dedicated notebook for to do lists, thoughts, ideas and information that I need to jot down somewhere.


I used to make the mistake of keeping these lists and important dates or events in my head. Although they usually stayed up there, I felt like I had to constantly remind myself of what I needed to do. I would become very overwhelmed. So I started writing it down. I love having a space to keep my ideas. It gets messy as I scribble down thoughts and rewrite my lists but when I need a clear space to think and work, I close the book. When I know there are things I need to get done, I open to my most recent draft of To Do and attempt to cross off and item or two.


One thing that was on my mental list for a couple of months until I finally penned it down was making nut butters. Despite my penchant for making food from scratch I hadn’t really thought about making peanut or almond butter until I saw recipes here and there. It took some time for me to get around to making almond butter, but it turns out to be really simple. A few handfuls of nuts, cracked and whirred in the food processor yields a creamy spread that is perfect on toast, apples or bananas, in a sandwich or straight from the spoon.

Although I have crossed make almond butter off my list, I am sure that I will keep making it regularly. I might have to add homemade Nutella to my next to do list.

almond butter

Almond Butter
I have used both raw and roasted almonds for this nut butter, but the roasting really brings out the flavor of the almonds and I think it is much better that way.

2 cups almonds
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional

Almond oil, or other neutral oil, optional

Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and roast at 350 for about 15 minutes, checking frequently to make sure that they are roasting but not burning. The skin will get darker and the meat of the almond will turn golden brown. Let cool.

Place the almonds and salt (if using) in the bowl of a food processor. It will be quite loud at first, but turn on the food processor for a minute or so. After a minute, scrape down the sides with a spatula and process for another minute. Scrape the sides again. Continue doing this for several minutes (stopping to scrape the sides regularly) until the almonds become a smooth paste. If you want a smoother, softer almond butter, you can add the oil, a teaspoon at a time, and process the paste to blend. 

2 cups of almonds yields about 3/4 of a cup of almond butter.




  1. El

    February 10, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Your post resonates with me because I'm always looking for ways to stay organized. I love stationary stores so I'm always trying to find the right book to keep me on track. Then there are the organizational Apps- of course I could have finished 10 tasks by the time I learn how the thing works….then, the dreaded scrap paper… I'm glad to hear I'm not alone! I have never found the perfect tool for keeping track of tasks- let me know if you figure it out. In the meantime, I look forward to trying this beautiful almond butter!

  2. emily

    February 10, 2011 at 1:21 am

    The notebook idea for a list is great. I am going to try that. I recently found a to-do list that I misplaced around New Year's. Sadly, I never did write all those thank-yous. It seems almost insulting to be writing a Christmas thank-you note in February.

    Looking forward to that nutella recipe.


  3. Anna

    February 10, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Great to hear your thoughts on organizing! I just love my notebook — blank pages mean that I don't have to fill in certain dates or days of the week and I like that I can look back on thought processes or things that I might not have gotten to, like this recipe. It works well for me, but I'm interested in hearing what works well for everyone else. Thanks for sharing!

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