bread & wine: review

As a long-time fan of Shauna Niequist, I was ecstatic to receive Bread & Wine a couple of months early to read and review. Don’t tell her, but in my mind, we’re actually really close friends and her books are just emails she’s written to me.

Is that indicative of how brilliant she is as a writer, or just creepy of me? I’ll never know.

Anyway, as my life would have it, I received it about three days after giving birth, so it took me a while to pick it up. Okay, I lied. I picked it up that day, but cried almost enough tears to fill the Nile River through the introduction, so I decided my hormones needed some space.

Nearly two months and happy hormones later, I got to reading. And for the first fifty pages or so, I started feeling ravenous/overwhelmed, and thought to myself, “I picked the wrong time to read a book about life around the table.” Lately I’ve been caught stuffing PB&J down my face around 2pm, after I realize I have forsaken lunch. I kept wishing I could bring a post full of pictures of a fancy dinner party, with laughter, lush appetizers and way too much dessert. Then I read this on page 71…

“We all have those stretches–busy parenting seasons where the nights feel like a blink and the days wear on and on, or work deadlines that throw off our routines, or extended family commitments that pull us in a thousand directions. What heals me on those days when it all feels chaotic and swirling is the simplicity of home, morning prayer, tea, and breakfast quinoa.”

And hope was restored.

So early Easter morning, I got up and adventurous with some delicious breakfast quinoa.
Here’s how.

First, take a trip to Trader Joe’s.


Here’s what’s in the bag:


You’ll need approximately 4 eggs, 1 large onion, a package of chicken apple sausage, 2 cups quinoa, 4 cups water, 1 tablespoon olive oil, goat cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

A protein explosion, basically.

Next, get out your copy of Bread & Wine and turn to page 72. Wipe the olive oil/tears/grease off the page and get to cooking.


Slice and soften the onion in olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Then slice the sausage and add it to the same pan. Watch it cook and let your mouth water.


Next, make sure you occupy your baby/dog/spouse/roommate. And take a few photos of them.


Pour quinoa and water into a small pot. Bring it to a boil, then turn the heat down to simmer for about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let it cool for 5 minutes. Oh, and start the tea.


Scoop quinoa into bowls and then stir a scoop of onions and sausage slices into each one. In the onion & sausage pan, prepare the eggs however you wish–fried or scrambled. We chose scrambled, and we also cheated. The recipe calls for one egg per bowl, we went with two. After they’re cooked, scoop those on top of the rest and add a handful of goat cheese to each bowl.

IMG_0679Eat it by yourself with a book and cup of tea, at the table with your spouse, or on your front porch with friends. Then go buy Bread & Wine, and whatever season you find yourself in . . . entertaining friends, survival-mode, or in-need-of-spiritual-refreshment, read. Then cook. Then eat your way back to sanity.

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