BOOK REVIEW: My top pick of the year!

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

By Shauna Niequist

If there’s one book I could recommend you should read this year, this it the one. If you crave an all-round feast to nourish you physically, spiritually, and emotionally, this is IT.

A bold statement? Perhaps, but it really is THAT good!

I came across this gem courtesy of my daughter, Charlotte. This summer, she kept offering me snippets of the author’s thoughts, anecdotes, and recipes, until I decided to download the book onto my Kindle. That was my only regret- if I had known I would actually use this as a RECIPE book, I would have gone for the “real thing” to dive into with pages I can splatter whilst making dinner. Never mind, I’ll put it on my wish list!




So what makes this book different from any other recipe book written by an interesting person? You might cry, you will laugh, you’ll definitely get hungry, and you’ll probably be challenged. Here’s what I appreciated most:

Vulnerability. Shauna Niequist is…well… an open book! Her transparency is refreshing and encouraging with a healthy dose of reality.

Humour. Oh my, she is both quirky and hysterical, with the ability to laugh at herself in a positive way, and shed a ray of sunshine on even the most heartbreaking of stories.

Honesty. She is a no-nonsense, down-to-earth, food-loving mother of two adorable little boys, who has struggled with issues from infertility to self-esteem, and is willing to pour her heart onto paper.

Hospitality. Niequist truly has the gift of hospitality. She loves to mother, nurture, feed… and her favorite place to be is around her table with people. It’s becoming a lost art, and it’s such a simple, beautiful thing. I found this incredibly challenging.

Deliciousness. Yes, her recipes are AMAZING! With a wide variety of yumminess from bacon-wrapped dates to mango chicken curry, a great selection of gluten-free fare (thanks to her husband) and something for every occasion, but for me it’s her PASSION for making and eating the tasty morsels that jumps from the pages. It’s invigorating and contagious! Makes you want to delve into your pantry and get cooking!

So I did:

Here’s my first ever Basic Risotto (it was soooo good- well worth all the stirring!)




And this “Green Well Salad”… pears, goat cheese, walnuts, maple vinaigrette….




Ridiculously srumptious.

Shauna is the daughter of Bill Hybels, Founder and Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, U.S., and wife of worship leader Aaron. She has authored two other books (which are on my “to-read” list!), has a great blog, and even writes for my favorite magazine, Darling. Check out her website:




There truly is something for everybody in Bread & Wine. Even if you never venture to attempt a single recipe, I urge you to read the book. But trust me, you WILL want to try the recipes…

If you’re tempted, here’s the Amazon link: Amazon

Happy reading, cooking, entertaining, and eating… and have a fabulous Friday!