What's For Dinner?

I must admit, cooking is one of those chores that I would love to outsource. Although I don't, as a rule, dream of the day my children grow up and move out, I do look forward to not having to feed so many people. When they all move out, (in like 15 years) I will stock up on food from Trader Joe's and when my husband asks, "What's for dinner, dear?" I will holler from my spot among my garden or my books, "Look in the freezer, dear"

However, those days are far off, and so I do try to find inspiration to make decent meals for my family. I usually make the same things in a rotation of about ten entrees, give or take a few, and there have been a few real duds, such as the "goulash" I made by combining several kinds of leftovers in one big pot. My family was not impressed. It might have even caused a little conflict.

As much as I don't love cooking, I do love reading and was excited to find the book, Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist at the library. I though it was a book about community which is a big idea for me right now. If I had known that it was mainly a book about cooking and eating, I might have thought twice about bringing it home.


I am glad I did though, because as I read about how much enjoyment Shauna gets from feeding the many people in her life, I felt inspired to make this same task more of a delight in my life. It isn't that I hate cooking, it is just the monotony of providing 21 meals a week that really begins to wear on me.

A last, remaining breakfast cookie

The book is full of descriptions of beautiful meals and beautiful community. Although, some of the community that I can develop with my large family is going to be different than what she can do, (I don't foresee taking my entire family to Paris for a week and eating fine french food at restaurants anytime in the very near future), I can work to develop a community around the table, right where we live.

So, in the last two days, I tried three of her recipes. White Chicken Chile, Breakfast Cookies, and Mango Curry. The first two were well loved by my family, and were so easy that I could see adding them to our rotation, giving my family some relief from the same few dishes we had been eating.

The White Chicken Chili was so easy in fact, that after I had finished serving and eating dinner, I made an extra batch of it to freeze. I actually cooked dinner twice in one night!

I hope you enjoy the recipe here, which I adapted from the book, and I hope you can get your own copy of the book, so you can try more of her great recipes. Then, invite some people into your home, put out the fine china, or the jelly jars and paper plates, and start building community right where you are.

White Chicken Chili

6 chicken tenders, cut into small chunks
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
6-8 cups chicken broth
4 cups cooked or canned white beans
1 jar salsa verde (green salsa)

Brown chicken, onion and garlic in a large soup pan until chicken is cooked through and onion is transparent.

Add cilantro, chicken broth, beans and salsa verde to pan.

Cook over medium heat for 20-30 minutes until flavors have intensified.

Serve with more chopped cilantro, tortillas or tortilla chips and sour cream.