Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Gem

It's been too long... I know... let's not talk about it. Instead we'll talk about a book that I can't shake.

I just finished reading a gem - a literal gem. "Bread and Wine" is a gem because:
1) it's by Shauna Niequist which automatically equals gem status
2) it's got real-life, honest raw stories in it
3) the side dish to those stories are BOMB recipes
4) it has to do with Jesus, building community, food and wine

So really, what's not to like?!?!

Here's the thing I can't shake about this book: Shauna is my people - she writes from such an honest perspective that it just tugs at the little places in my heart that people usually can't get to - you know - the depth you feel when the community around you is real, vulnerable and beautiful, the body image, bathing suit season stuff, the Jesus is in our breaking bread and being around the table stuff, the trying to find balance in life stuff. These are topics that tug at my heart strings and stuff that makes my soul come alive (okay maybe not the bathing suit season part, but the rest of it).

Pinky promise that I'm not related to or friends with Shauna and getting paid to rave about her. I truly just think she's that great and if I could write a book, it would be similar to all three of hers - or maybe an intricately weaved combination of the three. I just feel like she speaks to my soul, she understands women, community, the important things in life and she's honest about the hard stuff.

Here's something she blogged recently that I seriously could not get over because it's exactly what I needed to hear and something that is the perfect picture of why I love her writing.

Below is the recipe for Flourless Brownies - holy smokes these are STUPID GOOD. Let's just say I made them three times in a 24 hour period. They are gluten free, delightful, so not healthy, but so delicious with fresh raspberries - nothing better and I am not even a chocolate lover. Sweet Jesus, just make them. And then go buy the book because there's way more goodness where that came from. You'll thank me later - probably just for the book suggestion and not for what will happen to your jeans after you read it. :)

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract (the secret weapon)
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups almod meal (or finely ground almonds)
1 cup walnuts (optional, I make them without because of my potential to end up in the hospital)

- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Melt the chocolate and butter over low heat in a saucepan, stirring until glossy and smooth
- Take the pan off heat, mix in the vanilla, sugar and almond extract, and let it cool for just a few minutes
- Stir the eggs into the saucepan, then add the ground almonds and optional nuts and stir again. The batter will be a little grainy at this point because of the almonds, but don't worry a bit.
- Pour batter into an 8x8 pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top has set but the brownies are still a little wiggly. Let cool completely and then cut.

You're welcome!

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