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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

a table between us

I can’t imagine life without a table between us. 

I really can’t even describe my love for Shauna Niequist’s Bread & Wine.  I couldn’t tell you why I love it so much or why I’ve started it for the second time or why it’s been so good for my soul.  I can tell you, however, that it’s starting to stir passion inside of me.  It’s starting to teach me small lessons.  Some about hosting, some about friendships, and some about just being in the kitchen surrounded by ingredients.  I used to not be much of a kitchen girl.  Yes, I’ve enjoyed cooking and baking has been fun.  But, cooking has never really brought me much satisfaction.  But now, the wheels are beginning to turn.  I’m beginning to use new ingredients and realize that I don’t always have to get it right.  I’m starting to experiment and want to make healthy meals for our little family.  I want to create things that keep us strong and healthy so that we can set examples for the babies when they come.  I’ve been cooking through this book since the beginning of the year (thanks 101 in 1001 list!), but after gifting it to my friend Kayla, we decided to do cook nights where we went through her four cooking club menus through the summer months.  We trade off hosting, but it doesn’t really matter to the boys because they usually just sit outside and play with puppies or watch whatever game is on while we cook.

Meanwhile Kayla and I are in the kitchen flipping through the book to find the details of each new recipe.  She’s stirring risotto, I’m patting down steaks.  She tastes this, I taste that.  We make adjustments according to her nose and mine and we try to not scare our husbands with our new dishes.  Each time we start out timid but are so proud of ourselves by the end of it.  Our confidence grows with each little taste test and by the time the meal is complete we’re so excited to enjoy what we’ve cooked.

It’s been so much fun to try out new and different dishes these past few months.  After we finish the four cooking club menus I will have almost cooked through the whole book and I know that I’ll be better in the kitchen because of it.  It’s fun to see how my attitude towards the kitchen has changed the more that I’ve actually tried to cook compared to all the time I just “heated something up”.  ;)  Just yesterday morning I woke up super early and had this desire for breakfast cooked RIGHT THEN.  So I opened up my book and quietly crept around the kitchen as to not wake my sleeping husband who wouldn’t have been as thrilled about breakfast cookies at 5:30 AM as I was. 

Breakfast cookies
from Bread and Wine; adapted from Nikki’s Healthy Cookies from

3 large ripe bananas, well mashed
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed just a little so it isn’t solid
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a for, then add in coconut oil and vanilla.  Add the oats, almond meal, salt, and baking powder, and stir until combined.  Add the coconut, walnuts, and chocolate chips, and stir again.  Form the dough into 12 balls (I think I made 20) on a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten them a little bit.  Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes.

15 recipes down, 14 to go!

13 comments on "a table between us "
  1. I've found a new love for the kitchen this year too but I haven't read this book yet. I'm just itching to get my hands on it!

  2. okay, I'm running out today and getting this book. Its been on my mind for a while and now I think I would love it. So off to the store I go! haha Those puppies tho, oh so adorable.

  3. This is so, so great. I can't wait to start this book! I have a copy of it, I just need to start it!

  4. Oh I totally get it! I could have been shouting Amens throughout her entire book. It really just touched my heart in a way that a non-fiction/auto biography never has before. I loved it! I made the goat cheese biscuits the other day, girl they are good! I also made my own version of risotto to go with them, since I've made risotto before. I need to try these breakfast cookies! :)

  5. So awesome. I have this book on my coffee table and I am sure it would please my husband if it stirred a passion in me for cooking hahha! I really am looking forward to having time to read it though, and I definitely want to try those breakfast cookies. Were they delicious?

  6. Awesome! What a fun way to build your cooking skills and grow your friendships! I think you're my official "book recommender" now!

  7. What a fun thing that you are doing!! I'm not a a huge fan of cooking meals, I love baking, but cooking -eh. I might have to try cooking through a book too, maybe it will inspire me like it did you! And yum! Those breakfast cookies look and sound amazing! I'll have to try those out soon :)

  8. Wow! How fun that you're doing that together :) Those breakfast cookies look delicious! I need to buy some almond meal and make them ASAP.

  9. Aww I love this! I am dying to ready Bread & Wine. Hoping to get a copy soon, and looking forward to cooking for Jon when he gets back from deployment. Thanks for sharing.:)

  10. You've inspired me to check into this book! Maybe I'll love cooking more!

  11. love following along on your blog :) just wanted to tell you that! Also, I've tried putting your button on my blog but when I did, it led me to a page that doesn't work. I'd love to have your blog on my sidebar though if you get it working!

  12. So fun!! This book has been on my list for a while now, I think I need to go buy it asap!

  13. I love Bread & Wine and love that you are making a point of getting together with a friend and cooking, love it so much! I've recently started what I've dubbed The Hospitality Project where we intentionally try to invite friends/neighbors/family over for a meal each month.


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