Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes

Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes

by Shauna Niequist


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310328179
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 04/09/2013
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.54(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Shauna Niequist is the author of Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet. Shauna grew up in Barrington, Illinois, and then studied English and French literature at Westmont College in Santa Barbara.
As an author and blogger, Shauna writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life—friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God.
Shauna is married to Aaron, who is a pianist and songwriter. Aaron is a worship leader at Willow Creek and is recording a project called A New Liturgy. Aaron and Shauna live outside Chicago with their sons, Henry and Mac.

Read an Excerpt

bread & wine

A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes

By Shauna Niequist


Copyright © 2013Shauna Niequist
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-32817-9



my mom's blueberry crisp

My mom's dad is Irish, a storyteller and twinkling-eyed joker, and her mom is German, a rose gardener and meticulous baker. They met in the third grade in Vicksburg, Michigan. My grandpa's family moved away at the end of that school year, but my grandparents reconnected at the end of high school, and my grandpa insists he remembered her beautiful face all those years. They were married just before my grandpa joined the navy, and my mom, their first child, was born at Pearl Harbor.

Neither one of them grew up in religious homes, but when they married, they decided that religion was important and that they wanted to join a church. They visited all sorts of churches before settling at Lake Center Bible Church. Over the years they were members at other Bible churches for a few seasons, but these days they're active members and volunteers at Lake Center once again, almost sixty years later.

My dad's family is 100 percent Dutch, and they built a large produce company in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They owned farms all over the world, and a warehouse, and their trucks delivered produce to stores, restaurants, and hotels all over the country. My dad and his siblings all worked at the warehouse or in the fields or driving trucks. When each child turned five years old, they began spending Saturdays at the warehouse with little wagons, moving produce around, filling orders.

They were faithful members of a Christian Reformed church in Kalamazoo, a church that was strict and orderly, that emphasized observance of the Sabbath and thriftiness and looked down on frivolity and high emotion.

They were meat-and-potatoes people, men who worked long days on the farm and ate accordingly. Some days the farm lunch was a loaf of white bread and a pound of bologna per person. They'd fry the bologna in a frying pan with butter and make a tall stack of sandwiches for each of them.

And then six brothers—my grandfather and my dad's five uncles—all died of heart attacks before they were fifty-five. When I was born, my parents knew something had to change, that my dad had inherited those same dangerous genetics, and that nutrition was a way to stand up to what seemed terrifying and inevitable.

My mom was enamored, like all new moms are, with how perfect and pure her new baby was. She only wanted to feed me things that were healthy and whole. Because of that, and because of my dad's scary family health history, my mother became a health food person way before it was fashionable.

When other kids were eating Froot Loops in whole milk and Twinkies and Little Debbie snack cakes, my mom fed my younger brother and me whole grains, tofu, and skim milk. We ate almost no processed foods and very little red meat, and we never had "junk food"—soda, chips, store-bought cookies—in our home. While our friends were having hamburgers and sloppy joes on soft white buns, we were eating tuna over whole grain pasta and lentil burgers and muesli.

This was a time and place—the suburbs of Chicago in the early 1980s—when yogurt was weird and hummus was downright horrifying. In my school lunch, I had whole grain bread, all-fruit preserves, and the kind of peanut butter that had been ground from peanuts at the health food store, a place that smelled like vitamins and mulch. I also had a massive bag of carrots and sometimes an apricot fruit leather, which is just as luscious as it sounds. Why would anyone ever want to eat something whose greatest selling point is its textural similarity to leather?

These were the days when trading at lunch was a major feature of social politics, and I was deeply embarrassed about my lunch. I longed for white bread, American cheese, Cheetos, Hawaiian Punch. This was before Whole Foods and Trader Joe's and farmers markets with live music and cute, scruffy organic farmers peddling kale. This was when health food stores, tofu, and lentils were all vaguely suspect, and not at all upscale and respectable. Now half my friends get CSA boxes and many of our playdates involve the farmers market. Our friends and family are an assortment of gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan. Whole grains and quinoa are ubiquitous. Back then, though, this kind of stuff made you weird.

Exhibit A: the year my mom handed out mini-toothbrushes on Halloween, feeling that after all that sugar, a good brush would be thoughtful. Seriously? I was already hanging by a thread socially. I was already a pastor's kid, which is uncool on a thousand different levels. I already had a weird, organic, all-brown lunch. Now we're the toothbrush-on-Halloween family? Mom, you're killing me.

Now that I'm an adult, I appreciate how much effort this must have entailed, how expensive it was, how loving it was for her to feed us in that way. But as a child, all I knew was that my lunches were weird and that my cousins didn't want to sleep over at our house unless they could bring their own breakfast because they were absolutely terrified about what might turn up on their plates at our house. My cousin Melody always packed her own cinnamon-raisin bagel because she didn't want to risk Grape-Nuts or whole wheat pancakes for breakfast.

My parents and their friends started a church the year I was born, and part of being a church family means that your weekly calendar runs on a different rhythm than other families'. Sunday mornings were workdays, and often Saturdays too, so the weekend really began for us on Sundays after church.

After we got home from the early service, my mom and my brother and I would wait to hear my dad's heavy footsteps coming down the long, tiled hallway after the last service. He always went straight to his closet to change from his church clothes into his Chicago Bears sweatshirt, and when he walked through the study door, the weekend began. He was tired but happy, loose, easygoing.

Sunday afternoons were family time—private, casual, silly. We got to watch the Bears game while we did our homework in the study instead of doing it at the kitchen table like we usually did. My mom made sushi for lunch, and for dinner, blueberry crisp.

My mom baked her blueberry crisp in a round, blue earthenware baking dish, deep enough for there to be several inches of warm, bursting berries under the sweetness of the crisp topping. The dish had a fitted lid and handles on each side, and she would bring it down to the study with potholders and with the lid on, so that even if we had seconds, it was still warm.

She topped each bowl of crisp with a scoop of Breyers vanilla bean ice cream, flecked with dark specks of vanilla, and the ice cream melted into the crisp layer and the hot berries in thick, creamy rivers. Those Sunday nights were some of the only times we had ice cream at home, a special treat. More than that, it was a treat to taste summertime in the middle of winter, to taste the flavors of the lake back at home in the suburbs.

Since my brother, Todd, and I were little, our family spent every summer in South Haven, Michigan, on the shores of Lake Michigan. South Haven is a beach town an hour from where my parents grew up. My dad's parents had a cottage there, and both my grandfathers had sailboats in the marina. It's the town where my parents had their first date, and the setting for most of our family's richest memories.

South Haven is the blueberry capital of the country, and at the end of the summer every year we'd bring home bags and bags of blueberries to freeze. I remember getting home from the lake just in time for school to start, and while we unpacked and sorted sandy towels to wash, my mom covered the kitchen counters with towels, picked through the berries, washed and sorted them, and p

Excerpted from bread & wine by Shauna Niequist. Copyright © 2013 by Shauna Niequist. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


author's note....................     9     

on bread and wine: an introduction....................     11     

part one....................          

my mom's blueberry crisp Blueberry Crisp....................     21     

what the table is for Mini Mac & Cheese....................     28     

hungry Nigella's Flourless Chocolate Brownies....................     34     

start where you are Basic Vinaigrette....................     40     

go-to risotto Basic Risotto....................     49     

enough....................     55     

the chopping block Steak au Poivre with Cognac Pan Sauce....................     60     

on tea and pajamas Breakfast Quinoa....................     68     

run Green Well Salad....................     74     

hummingbird Goat Cheese Biscuits....................     83     

part two....................          

delicious everywhere Watermelon Feta Salad....................     93     

jazz and curry Mango Chicken Curry....................     100     

open the door White Chicken Chili....................     105     

baking cookies with batman Breakfast Cookies....................     112     

morning, noon, and night Sweet Potato Fries with Sriracha Dipping Sauce.........     118     

what my mother taught me Real Simple Cassoulet....................     123     

cupcake in the oven....................     128     

feasting and fasting Robin's Super-Healthy Lentil Soup....................     133     

love and enchiladas Annette's Enchiladas....................     139     

meeting mac....................     146     

part three....................          

hail mary....................     153     

magical white bean soup Magical White Bean Soup....................     161     

present over perfect Bacon-Wrapped Dates....................     166     

the bass player's birthday....................     173     

russian dolls....................     178     

on scrambled eggs and doing hard things Goat Cheese Scrambled Eggs..............     184     

happy new year Dark Chocolate Sea Salted Toffee....................     190     

swimming in silence Esquites/Mexican Grilled Corn....................     197     

part four....................          

what money can't buy Gaia Cookies....................     207     

last-minute lunch party Maple Balsamic Pork Tenderloin....................     213     

city love....................     218     

better late than never Brannon's Caesar Salad....................     223     

swimsuit, ready or not Farmers Market Potato Salad....................     229     

the mayor of the river Mar-a-Lago Turkey Burgers....................     234     

pont neuf Simplest Dark Chocolate Mousse....................     241     

take this bread Sullivan Street Bread....................     248     

come to the table....................     256     


four-week book club/cooking club discussion guide....................     261     

four-week book club/cooking club menus....................     264     

four-week book club/cooking club menus....................          

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Bread and Wine resurrects the table as the center of the home, the place where food and drink morph into fellowship and long memories. This book transported me back to the kitchens of my life --- to the fellowship and joy and sorrow of what happens when the family gathers around the table to be family. Churches need books about kitchen tables because they value the home and family and the treasured memories of family stories told at the table. -- Scot McKnight, Northern Seminary

Bam! Yummo! This is a tasty and delicious book you’ll want to savor from cover to cover. -- Margaret Feinberg, Author of Wonderstruck and Scouting the Divine, (

Shauna Niequist has written a book of surpassing delight. To enter it is not simply to be a reader but to be a friend. I did not want it to end. -- John Ortberg, senior pastor of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and author of Who Is This Man?

No one combines all my treasured things like Shauna does in Bread and Wine: beautiful words, delicious food, recipes like the ones you jot down on the back of a napkin in shorthand, with hints and adaptations written off to the side, real-life stories, laughter. Then I read a sentence like this: “Love isn’t something you prove or earn, but something you receive or allow, like a balm, like a benediction, even at your very worst,” and I decide to send this book to everyone I know. -- Jen Hatmaker, author of Interrupted and 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess

This magnificent book is a feast for the soul! A wise, thoughtful, and delightful read that will nourish your heart. -- Ian Morgan Cron, bestselling author of Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: a Memoir . . . of Sorts and Chasing Francis

Shauna Niequist has a way with words that makes you feel more human, more alive. Every phrase is woven together in a way that inspires wonder at the most ordinary of events we are prone topass by. This book will make you hungry --- not just for food, but for life and love to the full. It certainly did for me. -- Jeff Goins, author of Wrecked: When a Broken World Slams into Your Comfortable Life

Bread and Wine is a new book about an ancient meal, but more than a meal, a book about the people seated at the table, and about the laughing, and about the joy of saying hello and the pain of saying good-bye. After reading this book you may feel as you do driving away from dinner with a friend --- grateful and full. -- Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

Shauna Niequist’s beautiful word painting in Bread and Wine is a poetic reminder to appreciate the rituals, people, and sensory experiences of our everyday lives. Her words invite us into her kitchen, and her stories challenge us to remain attentive to the many delights that complement life’s hardships and the ways in which we can share them with others. -- Kelle Hampton, New York Times bestselling author of Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected

Bread and Wine is one of those rare books that grabs all of you ---your mind, body, and spirit. Shauna’s soulful storytelling made me laugh, reminded me that I’m not alone, and gave me a new lens on some old struggles. There’s something sacred about this kind of truth telling. I couldn’t put this book down. -- Brene' Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Daring Greatly

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Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
pattierwr More than 1 year ago
Sometimes you read a book and it's a fun, fast story. Other times, a book might be difficult and much slower. For me, this book was a little of both. Some parts were fun stories about food and friends, and other parts were difficult, prodding me to put its truths into practice, in the tender places in my heart. This is Shauna Niequist's third published collection of essays. I find her writing delightful and difficult. Beautiful, always. She has a way of delving into the truth of the experience of being a woman, a wife and mother, a minister, a friend. She doesn't shy away from the hard things or the scary things, yet at the same time she's quick to point out the positive and happy things too. I am drawn to her writing over and over again. Her second book, Bittersweet, spoke to me on a very deep level about the dichotomy of life: the bitter things that come along with the sweet things. We can learn to appreciate both. Easy? No. True? Absolutely. The past few weeks have been truly introspective as I examine myself from many angles, learning what my strengths are (and learning to accept those strengths without denial or bragging, two sides of the same coin) and my weaknesses. One of those weaknesses I confess to you here: Hospitality is rarely easy for me. It's not in my nature to open my home and invite people over on a whim, or even on a plan. I was raised by parents who didn't often entertain, so I didn't really have a model for hospitality. Over and over again throughout my ministry marriage, I've been stretched in this area. For me, Bread & Wine has been an experience not only in cooking, another weakness I see in myself, but also in challenging me to open my home. (Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book from the author.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is rich and full; not a word is wasted, not paragraph is superflous. It is just right. I have noticed since the release of her second book, Bittersweet, in 2010 how Shauna's voice, leadership and influence have steadily grown. Somewhere along the way, Shauna made the wise, but hard choice to let the bittersweet season of her life transform her, develop her, shape her and through it all she emerged more articulate, more beautiful, more dynamic. She speaks to this in "Learning to Swim", the very first chapter of Bittersweet, but this quiet resolve is revealed to us breathtakingly in Bread & Wine. She is at her best (yet!). Shauna has a strong and special gift with words and humor and wisdom and storytelling. This has been polished, even perfected through her persistence and hard work. Bread & Wine is written in her mother-tongue; about food, family, friendships, hospitality. As effortless as it reads, any writer or book lover understands it takes a lot of time, courage and hard work to make words flow seamlessly, arranging and choosing them in a manner that communicates most clearly. Bread & Wine is her most vulnerable book to date. From Cold Tangerines to Bittersweet her story unfolds, and in this book her voice has new clarity as she opens up more of herself to her readers. This is a brave thing to do and I admire her for it. I loved reading about her childhood and family, about her memories and milestones, her preferences and personality, and about her people- those close friends who walk through life's ups and downs. Shauna is magnetic and brilliant, and her writing demonstrates this. She balances conviction with grace, vulnerability void of easy trip-ups, strength with fragility, questions and answers. Shauna invites her reader in on a whole new level in Bread & Wine. She is really offering up a piece of herself, offering up her love language, her experiences and her recipes to us all, making them seem doable, making us feel capable. This is not a cookbook. This is not a how-to book. This is not a book for moms or chefs or wives or people with the gift of hospitality or anything else super specific. This is a book about people, about sharing who you are and what you have with those entrusted to your sphere of influence. Bread & Wine is a gift not just because the writing is so sharp, the technical skill so beautiful, although that is certainly true. It is a gift because she poured out part of herself. Whenever someone does that, lets us really see in, it is a gift and should be treated as such. Her writing causes me to sit up a little straighter, to notice things with a bit more clarity, to prioritize my life with more conviction, to live with more intention, to hold onto hope, to be gentle, to lean in, to celebrate, share, write and on the list goes. Her writing is life-giving to me, and to so many of my friends. That sort of what's magical about Shauna; so many of us feel a strong connection to her, like she speaks for us, as well as to us. Thousands of us feel this in our own unique way. Bread & Wine has a powerful, rich cumulative effect, actually. Each chapter seems to build on the last, not chronologically, but layered, intangible. This book is really a book, not simply a series of blog posts or vignettes to stand alone. Bread & Wine is best savored and understood as a whole. Hear me on this: I believe Shauna is one of the most compelling and influential writers of our day, her voice resonates deeply with so many of us, for so many reasons. I don't want you or anyone you know to miss out on this opportunity to learn, to grow, to be encouraged and inspired, to lean-in and to listen to her story that we may better live our own.
ChiliPepperKW More than 1 year ago
Wow. What a book! It my life long manifesto regarding food in written form! As soon as I saw the cover of this book I knew I would love it. I am Italian and our whole life revolves around the table. I knew that anyone who could write a whole book as a love letter to food must be a kindred spirit.  And this book lived up to every expectation. Eating is not the highlight of a meal. The table, chairs, centerpiece and food set the stage for what will  happen around the table. Namely, life. The people around the table, the discussions that take place  at the table, and the memories shared there are our life. They are the difference between eating and a  meal. Eating is consuming fast food while running between point A and point B. A meal is when you take time to gather with the people you love around a meal, whether fast food or gourmet, and together share life. And that is the philosophy Shauna Niequist presents in this book. And that philosophy is the reason it has made it's way to my favorite book list and I will be giving a copy of Bread and Wine to all my girlfriends for Christmas. DISCLAIMER: I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.
DeannaM More than 1 year ago
I received a complimentary copy of Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes by Shauna Niequist from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. When I first sat down with my glasses on ready to dig into this book I thought I might be bored with Bread & Wine. When I realized how food-oriented the book was I questioned my liking for such material. It's not that I don't like to cook and bake, I enjoy it when I do get in there, but I am lazy. After a long day corralling my young ones and fighting and sometimes slaying the laundry dragon, I am tired and scramble to put something together. Or worse yet, feed each individual when hunger strikes. There's actually an appendix for me on that one. But, here's the thing: I'll read a book an any subject once to give it a try and see what insights that author brings to life. My goodness, to my delight and joy, I was enthralled by Niequist's ease and flow. Her work is more like a cohesive collection of essays that shifts one's thinking about food, the dinner table and life differently. Each chapter is her monologue to you, to bring you into her world, her thoughts, her life. It's in the process of listening that it dawned on me Niequist was rubbing off on me, stirring the cook in me. Bread &Wine is dusted with new recipes to try and play with if you want to taste the foods she describes so well. Even if you're not ready to jump head-first or even to toy with the idea of heading into the kitchen, your mouth will be watering. She teaches you recipes are to be tinkered with until they become your own. For Niequist food is about life. There's the physical sustaining energy found in food. As well as the spiritual and emotional connections that food can concoct between family and friends between bites. Memories are recollected at the instigation of certain tastes and smells. Her cookbooks are the foodie's album as scrapbooks are to moms with a camera. Milestones are marked by food, sometimes in a celebratory manner or other times in grief. Food can comfort the soul as it nourishes the body. I would recommend this book for any woman. We all face trials in life and have moments full of joy. Bread & Wine contains both and celebrates life. It is a great book to have at your bedside for leisurely reading or in your purse as you wait at the doctors' office. The chapters are short and sweet, heartfelt and engaging, the perfect ingredients for a delightful read.
LaurenFrancis More than 1 year ago
As a young twenty-something, this book helped shaped what it looks like to begin creating an inviting home. It's less about the presentation and the space and the ammenities and more about the heart, care, and love shown to people. This book has recipes that even the least-experienced (read: me) kitchenista can handle - which is a God send. If you're a lover of food, friends, family, or just a book...grab this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book brought me many tears of joy, gratitude, memory, hope, and healing.  It also inspired me to get myself into the kitchen and around the table!  Shauna writes in such a way that you forget you are reading words on a page and instead feel as though you are sitting across from a dear friend, laughing and sharing insights and stories together over a delicious glass of red wine and the yummiest blueberry crisp.  Can't recommend this book enough.  It is perhaps the icing on her three layer cake of books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
eheinlen More than 1 year ago
I found this book tedious and, overall, did not enjoy it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If we were sitting down, enjoying a cup of coffee this morning, I would tell you about a book I read recently. A book I loved. A book I’d recommend in a heartbeat to anyone who loves food and people, and who loves to feed the people they love. In her third memoir, Bread & Wine, Shauna Niequist combines her favorite recipes with stories about life and faith and family. Shauna writes about food and community, how time around the table brings people together. While the premise of this book will ask most to open our homes more often, to share meals more often, Shauna writes of her journey toward a life of balance. As a person who doesn’t have a problem filling my days to the brim, it was refreshing to be reminded about right priorities. To be reminded community matters more than another thing on the calendar and another feather in my cap. My life is full of work I enjoy, but when I’m too tired at the end of the day to invest in family and community, then my day is too full. This book was the inspiration I need to begin creating space. Space in my calendar for spontaneity, space for a good meal, space for family and friends. Space in my home for people to come, to feel welcome, to find comfort. And it starts today. Creating space. Emotional, physical, spiritual space. Disclaimer: This book was given to me through Zondervan’s Booksneeze book reviewing program. All thoughts in this review are my own.
staceb More than 1 year ago
There are a few recipes that I would be willing to try like the Basic Vinaigrette which seems easy enough for me to learn.   Or, Annette's Enchiladas that are made with chicken, sour cream, and green chilies.  Sounds spicy!  And the Farmer's Market Potato Salad has olives in it.  Ooh, yummy.  Dark Chocolate Sea Salted Toffee sounds the best one yet.  I think I'm actually going to try this one.
Books5 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book. Shauna is a really amazing writer, and I can't even describe the extent to which I wish she were my godmother or mentor. I'm just 20 years old, so some of the content wasn't perfectly relatable to my life, but the feelings behind her writing sure are. She is truly a gem of a writer. You should buy this book.
mojo_turbo More than 1 year ago
Shauna Niequist writes about the beautiful and broken moments of everyday life–friendship, family, faith, food, marriage, love, babies, books, celebration, heartache, and all the other things that shape us, delight us, and reveal to us the heart of God. Shauna is the author of Cold Tangerines and Bittersweet. Her new book “Bread & Wine” is a wonderful collection of her stories and favorite recipes. At first, I didn’t quite really understand this book before I got it, I couldn’t tell if it was a cook book or a book on the Christian walk, but it turns out… that it’s both! Shauna explains it in her book, “It’s not, actually, strictly, about food for me. It’s about what happens when we come together, slow down, open our homes, look into one another’s faces, listen to one another’s stories.” Through her book she explains how food becomes this beautiful place to come together as people and build community. She talks about hospitality and how both preparing food and inviting people over can resonate as a spiritual practice.  Our God is a creator God (a chef?) and He made us to live with each other in Community. Shauna’s book has so many wonderful moments that really tie together some of the best experiences that we all enjoy. Shauna is a great story teller, each chapter is filled with terrific emotion and just this wonderful sense of coming around the table, laughing and passing plates.  Like I said earlier, most chapters end with a recipe that somehow tie back to what she was talking about. To be honest, I have not cooked or baked any of her suggestions (because my wife does the cooking in the house) but I could tell they were delicious just by reading them. I have a great imagination. Thank you to Zondervan publishing for a free copy of this book for a fair and honest review.
CozyLittleBookJournal More than 1 year ago
Finally! Someone who GETS it! As much as I love, love, love those glossy cookbooks with gorgeous pictures of food and home decor that looks like it came right off of Pinterest, the truth is those are ALL KINDS of intimidating. I can't get mine to look like that. Would people eat it if I did? My house is too messy to invite people over anyway. Besides, all of that looks so fattening... Shauna Niequist knows all that. She thinks the same things. And you know what? She says DO IT ANYWAY! Enjoy food. Enjoy those moments in your life when food memories are made. Food is an essential part of our lives, not just because we need to eat to live, but because so many of our family and social memories are tied up in food. Yes, food and entertaining can cause anxiety and guilt, especially in women, but we can't let that take away all our wonderful experiences with food and loved ones.  In a lot of ways this book was a healing journey for me. I have had all of the same fears and anxieties as the author (I was particularly affected by the chapter about having a house that is too messy, too small, or too unfinished to entertain...but doing it anyway) but I also miss having that wonderful, positive relationship with food, particularly with sharing food with friends and family. Shauna Niequist really inspired me! Having said that, I haven't yet tried any of the recipes included in the book. Turns out it actually is a little harder for me to try something new without those bright, glossy pictures. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. I was not otherwise compensated in exchange for a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
lovetoteachLB More than 1 year ago
 Wow, I love this book.  Love, love, LOVE this book!!!  I know a good book review summarizes the book first and gives you an overview of the contents.  But I figure you've already read all of that so I thought I would just skip over that and get to the heart of what I loved about the book.  From the very first chapter I felt like I knew the author, Shauna Niequist, even though this is the first book I have ever read of hers.  Her writing is very personable and I appreciated her honesty on her life situations.   I believe I could walk into her kitchen anytime and we would talk about whatever subject comes up.  I learned from her chapter "Start Where You Are" which talks about having people over for a meal even if you just serve them frozen pizza.  She then goes on to explain how she enjoyed having people over and started reading cookbooks to find out how to cook.  She, of course, is a fantastic gourmet cook so it was assuring to read of her beginning hospitality and how she was able to take it to higher levels. Shauna told about her travels and writes about her own personal experiences with over indulgence.  Her husband needs to eat gluten free but she is working on middle ground for herself......some fasting , some feasting.  I love it!!  (Have I said that before?)  To top it all off, she ends almost each chapter with a delicious recipe!!  I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to cook.  Or not.
sarahsmithstorm2 More than 1 year ago
I was looking so forward to this book coming out. When I heard other bloggers were getting this book for review, I was jealous and wanted it. Thankfully, I was able to get my hand on this and have enjoyed every chapter along the way. Bread & Wine: A love letter to life around the table by Shauna Niequist is a book that you will enjoy each chapter. I want to sit down and read it in one space, but I am trying to savor the journey. This is a book with a collection of short essays about different life topis. You don't need to read it front to back, although I am, but this is a book you can pick up and read a chapter and then skip to another essays. The essays are written about faith, food, marriage, babies, running, and trials. It's a dose of everything and that is what makes this book wonderful. I also love all the recipes in her book.. Some seem so simple and she has made me feel better about my lack of cooking skills. What I also love about this book, the writing. Shauna writes as if your sitting down with her and her friends at the "table" or drinking coffee with her. She relates to her readers and she makes the reader a part of the conversation. I love this book and highly recommend it !
Cheria More than 1 year ago
Title: “Bread & Wine” Author: Shauna Niequist Publisher: Zondervan “Bread & Wine” is just a bit different from most books that I read. I am not sure what I expected, and was wondering why I agreed to review it, but was pleasantly surprised to find that I truly enjoyed reading it. Shauna told of different events that occurred around the table with family and friends. This got me to thinking about some very special events around my Granny Cook’s table as I was growing up. One of my first memories around Granny’s table did not even involve food, but a very special friend of mine…Granny and Granddaddy did not allow pets (dogs or cats) inside their home. They believed all animals should be outside the home. Being the first grandchild I got away with a lot of stuff that other grandkids didn’t, so I would sneak in their big red Chow, Bozo. We were best of friends and we would crawl up underneath the kitchen table and I would fall asleep with my head on his body. Other memories at Granny’s table were during revival time at our church when our Pastor, along with the visiting preacher, would come for a meal and sometimes spend the night or nights. The door was always open to friends, family and anyone else who happened to stop by, and always included a meal. The table was large enough to feed several at a time, but the men were seated first and if room, next were the ladies…children were always last to be fed and always enough food to feed us all with plenty leftovers for the next day. Fried chicken was the best (homegrown, killed, cleaned and cooked)…yummy. Thanks to Shauna for helping to bring back some very special memories for me. This is a very interesting story of life around the table, along with some recipes. I strongly encourage reading this book and I’m sure it will bring back some memories to you also.
readermontana More than 1 year ago
This was the first of Shauna Niequist's books I have read, so I started reading it - not knowing what to expect. It is written in a very different way than I have experienced in books – essay style. It is like she is holding a conversation with you in her kitchen about things in her life. Food is a major topic – as well as wine :) Her choice of food was not the kind I am used to eating, so it was interesting to read her recipes and see how she put together things to make something that, from her perspective, were delicious. I must say – most of the ingredients she says she always has in her house are not found in mine, but then I am from the South and do not normally do 'health-food' type foods. I did earmark several of the recipes in the book to try and she made me realize how easy it is to freeze fruit to use later in the season. Her way of bringing people around the table together – cooking and enjoying the food and fellowship – was great and she made you feel you there with the others, enjoying the food. The traditions she keeps are great – makes me feel good that people are still doing that in the world we live in – that goes so fast and furious. Reading this, it makes me want to go back and read her earlier books and see if they are like this one or different – which I will do. The book was interesting and I would recommend it as a fun book to read and, if you are someone who goes the health-food path, you will love it. I received a copy of “Bread & Wine” from Zondervan via Handlebar bloggers in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of BREAD & WINE: A LOVE LETTER TO LIFE AROUND THE TABLE WITH RECIPES by Shauna Niequist from Zondervan. When they say “with recipes” that’s exactly what they mean. Each chapter is an essay focusing on an aspect of food, with a correlating recipe included at the end. The book makes a great bedtime read – you can absorb one essay and daydream about the recipe to be made the following day. It is a great way to ponder the information while your mouth salivates. Shauna’s writing is catchy and familiar. It feels as if she is sitting in the room with you sharing a glass of wine. Her stories about food reminded me of the times my friend and I travel to different ethnic restaurants. The essays have that gentle, friendly quality. Next time she’s in town, I’ll share BREAD & WINE with her. We might even have our own bread and wine party. My mouth is watering just thinking about the descriptions of food included within the pages. My mother was excited to read it after me. As a lover of food, she’s always eager for fresh recipes. Without much time on her hands, the essays were the perfect length. I highly recommend this to my “hungry” friends.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Shauna Niequist in her new book, "Bread And Wine" published by Zondervan brings us A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes. From the Inside Flap: This is what I want you to do: tell someone you love them, and that dinner's at six. Bread & Wine is a collection of stories about life around the table-about family, friend- ships, and the meals that bring us together. It's about Bacon-Wrapped Dates and Mango Chicken Curry and Blueberry Crisp. It's about the ways God teaches and nourishes us as we nourish the people around us. It's about recipes, entertaining ideas, and meals to share with friends and family, made by hand and with love. Many of the most sacred moments in my life, the ones in which I feel God's presence most profoundly, when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly, take place around the table. Something extraordinary happens when we slow down, open our homes, look into one another's faces, and listen to one another's stories around the table. This is my love letter to life around the table. For me the best time of the year was always Thanksgiving. It was the one day when everyone was home, we all were pitching with the food or preparing the table and we spent a lot of time together talking, playing games, eating and having lots of fun. It was a magic time. Shauna Niequist understands magic time and she has given us "Bread and Wine" so that we can experience magic time and pass it on to others. "Bread and Wine" is not a cookbook even though it has some outrageously great recipes that are not difficult to prepare and are supremely delicious. Somehow it is that moment when everyone is at the table, sharing their experiences, listening to each other and having fun. Each chapter has a story that brings you into that moment and then makes you want to go cook. If you are stressed or feeling burnt out read a chapter I guarantee you will feel oh so much better when you finish. Magic time. Jesus likes to eat and hang out and have fun. You will find Him in The Bible at dinner parties, weddings-the big feast in Heaven is the marriage supper and He tells us He wants to eat with us. He likes magic moments also. "Bread and Wine" will help you experience it. This book is a great gift to give to friends and family so that they can experience the moment also and pass it on. I recommend this book highly! If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours non-stop, commercial free Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from DeChant Hughes Public Relations. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
September_Vaudrey More than 1 year ago
The pages of Bread & Wine invite you to experience life around the table with Shauna Niequist, a writer of remarkable skill, humor, and depth whose authenticity and warmth is magnetic. Shauna's use of language is delightful and rich, and her humor never fails to surprise me and make me laugh out loud. Each of Bread & Wine's short chapters tackles experiences common to most everyone--family dynamics, parenting, friendships, change, and loss. The book left me feeling invited--heck, excited--to be more intentional about life around my own kitchen table. Although Shauna is a good deal younger than me (I am 49), and in a different life stage than me, I closed the last page of her book hopeful and deeply motivated to renew my commitment to investing in the relationships that matter most--and with some great new recipes to try on my friends! I have read Niequist's other books, Cold Tangerines: Celebrating the Extraordinary Nature of Everyday Life and Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way, which are terrific. Bread & Wine feels like the best of the bunch, and left me hungry for book #4.  Shauna, when will you be cooking up another helping?
LeighKramer More than 1 year ago
About 5 months after I moved to Nashville, I read Shauna Niequist's Bittersweet. It met me exactly where I was at. A month later, Shauna spoke at Edgehill Cafe, one of my favorite coffeehouses. After the reading, Shauna mentioned her next book would be about the intersection of food, hospitality, and faith. The topic immediately resonated with me. I'm at my best when I'm improvising at the stove and I have loved ones around my table. The table creates room for sustenance, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Two years later, it was a thrill to receive a copy of Bread & Wine to review. Equal parts memoir, manifesto, and cookbook, I read Shauna's essays, underlining, taking notes, and nodding my head in recognition. I marked up the recipes (spoiler alert: I want to try them all). I respond to Shauna's writing, as if I've jumped in to the middle of conversation with her, as if we're debating what's the best Chicago pizza (Lou Malnati's) or discussing the hard things of life. Bread & Wine is Shauna's best work yet. I can offer no higher praise.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bread and Wine is a tremendous storybook. These stories make you feel like you're there, around the table and in the kitchen and wrist-deep in the mess of cooking for all of your friends...but at the same time, these stories throw you deeper into your own. They take your heart to this place in Chicago while also setting a place for you around your own table - whether that's the dinner table or the potter's bench or somewhere else altogether. You find yourself encouraged and inspired not just because we all like food (and who doesn't?) but because the very real, very authentic telling of these stories invites you deeper into your own story, where you can just kind of camp out for awhile and be ok with that. I'm only giving the book four stars because I was unable to try the recipes. Unless you have a good grocery store close, some of the ingredients may be hard to find. (Almond meal, for instance.) But if you can get your hands on them, then get your hands in them because the recipes do sound delicious. It looks like a book for foodies, and maybe it is. But it is a book for the rest of us, too. Those of us who just want a story and a place around the table.
Julie12 More than 1 year ago
This book is so wonderful. It's like sitting down with your very good friend, at her kitchen table, while she shares life stories, recipes, her triumphs and tragedies, and her faith in God. It was one of the sweetest, yet poignant, books I've read in a long time. I found myself laughing out loud and shedding tears when Shauna struggled with losing her babies and moving away from dear friends. I love how real she is! She doesn't filter what she wants to share. She shares it all and it just makes you like her all the more. There is no pretense - just honest sharing of her heart. So much of it I could relate to. I also want to be just like her and give amazing dinner parties where I don't worry about my house being like a magazine, but just sharing good food, great conversations, and laughter. The recipes sound so good and there are many that are gluten free because her husband, Aaron can't eat gluten. I have marked several that I want to try out because they sound amazing. I also love that she encourages us to try the recipes and tells us that we can do the ones we may think are complicated. I love that encouragement! I was sad when the book was done because I felt like I had lost a friend - like I was one of those friends that moved away. However, I don't have to worry because I will pick up her book again and again to make those recipes and read a snippet here and there of her lovely book! I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wow good book I love it