Bread & Wine :: happy hour & giveaway!

Jami brought peonies and jasmine and champagne. And everyone brought a favorite bottle of wine.

peonies and tumblerThis little happy hour idea started weeks ago. As a way to celebrate Shauna Niequist’s new book Bread & Wine, test some new recipes and gather friends ~ new and old. My friend, Jen, and I landed on a date that would work for both our busy schedules. Then we each invited 10 friends ~ and texted back and forth til we landed on the perfect menu.bw hh 2Our Bread & Wine Happy Hour Menu:

Bacon-Wrapped Dates * Brannon’s Caesar Salad * Maple Balsamic Pork Tenderloin * Mini Mac & Cheese * Gaia Cookies

The morning of our happy hour, it rained in Austin. Praise be. We need the rain. I thought it might put a damper on the evening because we planned on having it outside. But by the time 5 pm rolled around … the weather was pretty spectacular.

All our friends found their way to our family cabin on Lake Austin. We made introductions. There was laughter. We ate delicious food.

bw hh orchid

Then we grabbed our tumblers, a couple bottles of wine and headed to the boat dock.

bread and wine dock_This is the thing in attempting a gathering: There is never time. There is always rain. And something always comes up. (Like how about I couldn’t get the oven to work? But then our neighbors, Todd and Lori, grilled it up for me impromptu? Fabulous people.)

But when we do slow down, we realize this is what life is made of … t-i-m-e with p-e-o-p-l-e. And that’s why I love Shauna’s new book. Yes, it’s filled with amazing recipes. (Oh, that grilled pork tenderloin y’all …) But more than that, she has this way of reminding you why it’s important to gather.

What’s becoming clearer and clearer to me is that the most sacred moments, the ones in which I feel God’s presence most profoundly, when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly, take place at the table. It’s not, actually, strictly about food for me. It’s about what happens when we come together, slow down, open our homes, look into one another’s faces, listen to one another’s stories. ~ Shauna Niequist

Our happy hour was about all that. It was about listening to stories and watching the water. It was about thinking out loud about how God speaks … and where we find ourselves in his story. And it was lovely. But I have to be honest.  It was also about this …

jenThat would be Jen pointing her finger at me.  Pointing.her.finger. Because I challenged her to jump off the boat dock for charity. Sheesh. Just because that dock stands 12 feet over the water. And just because it was a teensy bit cold out. Whatever.

But really.  Here’s the deal. I want this for you. Not Jen pointing her finger … no. ;) I want you to have a Bread & Wine lake house happy hour kind of night. I want you to have those sacred moments with people. The kind over delicious food and deep conversation.

So here’s the good news! It’s a Bread & Wine giveaway just for you!

To enter to win 2 copies of Shauna’s new book (1 winner gets 2 books!! One for you, one for your happy hour Jen friend) ~ tell us, what’s your favorite thing to make or serve when you invite people over?

Giveaway ends Sunday May 5, 2013 at midnight CST. Winner will be contacted via email. Winner must live in the contiguous United States. 

GIVEAWAY CLOSED >>> Marisa Pistolis is the winner!!