July 9, 2014

Bread & Wine Dinner

I love any opportunity to link up with other bloggers!  So when Rachel emailed me about her new link up, I couldn't wait to write my post.  I love this Bread & Wine Project link up because it combines so many of my favorite things: recipes, cooking, community, and of course the much obsessed over book Bread & Wine.  

As you can read in my post about my love for the book Bread & Wine, this book changed the way I look at serving people in our home.  Food is something we all need to survive, which makes is a common thread between people of all backgrounds, races, and religions.  I believe serving food to others can be the start to something big.  I believe that opening our homes to believers and non-believers serves as a way for God to work through us.  I believe that gathering around for a meal can be just another way for God to show out and that alone brings me so much joy.

"At the very beginning, and all through the Bible, all through the the stories of God and his people, there are stories about food, about life changing with the bite of an apple, about trading an inheritance for a bowl of stew, about waking up to find the land littered with bread, God's way of caring for his people; about a wedding where water turned to wine, Jesus' first miracle; about the very first Last Supper, the humble bread and wine becoming for all time, indelibly linked to the very body of Christ, the center point for thousands of years of tradition and belief. It matters. It mattered then, and it matters now, possibly even more so, because it's a way of reclaiming some of the things we may have lost along the way." -Shauna Niequiest, Bread & Wine

After finishing Bread & Wine I literally couldn't get in the kitchen fast enough.  The night after I finished it just so happened to be the last night of the All Star Break.  Chris had practice, but would be done early enough to eat dinner.  Our best friend made the All Star Team and was getting back from Delaware that night, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to cook.

I made three recipes from Bread & Wine, and all three got the seal of approval.  That my friends, is a successful night!

In the spirt of Bread & Wine, I listened to my music loudly, made a huge mess, and danced around the kitchen for a few hours.  Thanks to this book, I had a whole new outlook on my time in the kitchen.  I can honestly say I have never been so joyful while cooking a meal.

I decided to try Annette's Enchiladas, Esquites/Mexican Grilled Corn, and Nigella's Flourless Chocolate Brownies.  I was really bad at taking step by step pictures because I was having way too much fun in the kitchen to stop and photograph every step.  It was way more fun to just enjoy cooking and making a mess without thinking about which picture would look best on the blog.

Annette's Enchiladas
from the book Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist

1    cup sour cream
1    28-ounce can green enchilada sauce (Las Palmas is best)
2    4-ounce small cans green chilies, diced
3    cups cooked chicken, shredded or diced
2    cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
12  corn tortillas
1    cup chicken broth

 Mix green sauce with chillies and sour cream.
Smooth 1 spoonful of the sauce mixture around the bottom of a 9 by 13 pan.
Simmer the chicken broth in a skillet, and before placing each tortilla in the 9 by 13 pan, use tongs to pass the tortilla through the broth for just a few seconds.  If you leave the tortillas in the broth for too long, they'll fall apart, so just dip each one in for a few seconds to soften it before putting it in the enchilada pan.
Layer 4 tortillas over the first layer of sauce.
After tortillas, add half the chicken, then one-third of the sauce, then one-third of the cheese.
Repeat so there are 2 full layers.
Finish with a layer of 4 more tortillas, the remaining third of the sauce, and the remaining third of the cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees until warmed through and the cheese is melted, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Let sit at least 15 minutes before cutting.  Top with chopped cilantro.

Serves: 6

I decided to make mine in two separate pans so that I could freeze one for later!  It worked out perfectly with 6 tortillas in each pan!

"This is serious comfort food--like eat it with a for straight out of the pan in the middle of the nigh comfort food." -Shauna Niequest

Esquites/Mexican Grilled Corn
from the book Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist

12    ears of corn
1/2   cup mayonnaise
1/2   cup Cotija or feta cheese, crumbled
        juice from half of a lime

Shuck the corn, removing both husks and silks, and then soak the ears in water for at least 30 minutes. This keeps them from burning on the grill.
Grill on high for 8 to 10 minutes, turning often.  What you're looking for is a mix of char and deep yellow kernel.  When the corn is done, allow it to cool, and then cut the kernels off the ears. 
Mix together mayonnaise, feta cheese, lime juice, and cayenne, adjusting to fast.  Mix with corn, and garnish with cilantro before serving. 

Serves: 6 to 8

Instead of grilling the corn, I used a nifty trick that my Nana taught me.  If you put the whole ear of corn in the microwave, husk and all, for a minute and a half and then turn it for another minute and a half, the corn comes out perfectly.  The husks and silks come off so easily it is unbelievable!  Chris isn't a fan of feta cheese, but I LOVE it.  So I made this side just for me and then made corn salsa for the boys.  I only did two ears of corn and just adjusted the rest to taste.  I was so excited that I made enough to have leftovers.  It's my new comfort food!

Nigella's Flourless Chocolate Brownies
from the book Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist

1         cup semisweet chocolate chips
1         cup butter
1         cup sugar
1         teaspoon vanilla
1         teaspoon almond extract
3         eggs beaten
1 1/2   cups almod meal or ground almonds
1         cup walnuts, chopped

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 chopped walnuts and stir again,  The batter will be a little grainy at this point because of the almonds, but don't worry a bit.
Pour battre into an 8 by 8 pan, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top has set but the brownies are still a little wiggly.  Let cool completely, then cut into 16 small squares.

I'm going to be honest, I had really low expectations for this dessert.  Maybe that is why I fell in love with it, but nonetheless it is a keeper in my book!  I'm all about anything that is gluten free these days.  I'm not 100% gluten free, but I have been trying to be conscious of gluten.  This recipe isn't missing gluten which I love!

"But the almond meal in these brownies makes them heavy and dense in such a good way, and the addition of almond extract makes them even more fragrant and rich." -Shauna Niequist

I feel like I owe Shauna Niequist a huge thank you for a delicious meal and making me realize how much fun and joyful that cooking and especially cooking for others can be.


  1. Love it! The enchiladas and esquites have become a staple in our house! In fact I am making them both for my entire mom's side of the family on our beach trip next week! Love this!! Cannot wait to try out the brownies!

  2. I LOVE how much we're all obsessed with Bread & Wine--that just proves what an incredible book it is! I want the whole world to read it. SO good. And I'll be totally honest--I've only made one recipe from it so far (the corn which was incredible!) but am planning to make two or three this weekend when I'm off. These are probably going to be my top picks :) YUM!

  3. I cannot wait to try out that cookbook! It looks amazing and I am always hungry after looking at you girls' recipes. :)

  4. Don't forget to add your link to the link up so everyone can see your yummy creations!!

  5. Oh how delicious this whole meal sounds. I was so obsessed with those recipes while reading the book, and I don't know why I haven't made them yet!

  6. I have been wanting to make the enchiladas for so long! I really need to. And the corn and brownies look incredible! I can't wait to make a few more recipes from the book :)

  7. I loved this book too! Those enchiladas look like they turned out great!