Monday, September 9, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway -- We Laugh We Cry We Cook by Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph

Disclosure: I participated in this event on behalf of Wendy’s Bloggers for Zondervan. I received a copy of We Laugh We Cry We Cook to facilitate my review. 

 (Available in soft cover, e-book and audio download -- Pricing varies depending on format purchased)

Two of my favorite genres of books to read are inspirational and cooking.  So, when I heard about "We Laugh We Cry We Cook" and how it combined the two, I couldn't wait to get my hands on a review copy.  With my busy schedule with the girls, I usually don't find time to read books until the wee hours of morning, or on the weekends, when my husband takes over for a few hours to let me catch up on household chores or simply relax.  We have been hit yet again with a cold, leaving us home bound for the past week, thus giving me more time in the evenings when the girls go to bed early to read.  And, this is the book I picked up and ended up reading cover to cover in two evenings.  

About the Book:

"Mother and daughter team Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph could not be more different—for instance, Rachel is a vegan while Becky thinks bacon makes everything taste better—but they have always been extremely close. When Rachel recently became a new mom, she discovered that she needed her mother’s friendship and advice more than ever. With hundreds of miles separating them, mother and daughter decided to stay connected through their mutual love of food and all things funny and cooked up a food blog called “We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook,” where they dish about food and life.  Now, this dynamic duo is set to release a hilariously touching new food memoir by the same name.

In their book We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook (Zondervan, ISBN13: 9780310330837, $14.99, 8/6/13) Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph share humorous family stories about the differences that test them, the foods that entice them, and the love that binds them.  Though fun and food are plentiful, it’s their faith that sustains Becky and Rachel. Without preaching, they share gratitude for the God who loves us and gives us our daily bread (and veggies) -- alongside a helping of grace when life gets crazy.  

From food for a family reunion of thirty, to lunch for a party of one in a high chair, to a hot meal for a sick friend, Becky and Rachel demonstrate grace, acceptance, and love to others through the bonding gifts of humor, caring, and cooking. The book also includes dozens of delicious recipes to tantalize everyone’s taste buds, so that food choices never have to divide families at mealtime."


Each chapter not only contained inspirational stories about Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph (mother and daughter), but they also included some of their favorite personal family recipes.  I ended up marking up these recipe pages, to try at a later date --- which I hope will be this upcoming weekend:

CHAPTER 10: Recipes Kids Love to Eat and Make

Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal (veg/V/gf), 27

Super Hero Green Smoothie (veg/V/gf), 28

90% Fruit Soft Serve, 29

Nate’s Favorite Hairy Cheese Pizza (veg), 29

Just the recipe names alone make your mouth water, huh? :-)  I am crossing my fingers that our picky eater, Savannah, will love at least one of the kid-friendly recipes, which I will have her help me make.  I don't know about your kids, but whenever I can get my girls to help me with a recipe in the kitchen the better.  Not only are they getting to learn their way around the kitchen and see how different ingredients can be combined to make a meal, but they always feel good about lending a hand, and are eager to try out the new dish they helped me create. :-)  Crossing my fingers!!!!

One recipe from the book I was eager to try out was the Pineapple Coconut Cloud Cake recipe, from Chapter 9 "Breachin' Recipes."  Needing to bring a dessert to a recent end of summer BBQ, I thought this would be perfect as everyone loves pineapple, especially during the summer months.  Unfortunately, the girls got sick a few days before we were supposed to go, so my plans to bake this cake to try had to be delayed.  It wasn't until last night that I finally found myself in the kitchen, with the help of my little chef, Savannah, whipping together this cake.  I love recipes like this that only require a few ingredients, and my daughters can help me with.  The recipe was simple to prepare -- I only needed a box of angel food cake and 20 oz. can of crushed pineapple with the juice.  Savannah stirred it together and we baked it in the oven for 20 minutes.  About an hour later, after it cooled, I had Savannah help me spread Cool Whip all over the top, along with sprinkles coconut.  At first, I wasn't sure if we would have enough Cool Whip, even though I bought the big tub, as Savannah kept having to test it prior to spreading.  And, when I wasn't looking, she would take a quick swoop of the Cool Whip she had just helped spread on the cake.  But, I am happy to report that the Pineapple Coconut Cloud Cake did make it to our dinner table for dessert, and everyone loved it (including Savannah)!  I wish I had made this for the cookout we missed, as I know it would have been a hit.  Next time! :-)

But, in the meantime, I will continue to try out great recipes from this mother/daughter memoir, to share with family and friends.  And, I let my mother read the book the other day, and we have been having great conversation about it.  Not only do we talk about the recipes, as we are both fans of cookbooks and cooking/baking, but we find ourselves relating to Becky and Rachel.  The mother/daughter bound is so strong, and it is great to be able to read a memoir like this, where silly banter, humor, honesty and love are shared, along with some great recipes.  I grew up hearing how important it is to get your family around the table for a meal, and thanks to this book, I have some great dishes to try out and share with my family.  And, maybe when my girls grow up, we will write a book together, or at least I will be able to share this soon to be best-seller with them. :-)

So, if you love reading memoirs, books that have recipes interspersed between chapters, or are just looking for a good book to read, why not pick up a copy of We Laugh We Cry We Cook?  This inspirational and heartwarming book will surely rank high on your favorite's book list -- I know, as it already does mine! :-)  And, the recipes included are a bonus, which include vegan and gluten free ones!

Stay up-to-date on new releases from Zondervan, as well as happenings with the authors of  "We Laugh We Cry We Cook" by following them on Facebook and Twitter:

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We Laugh We Cry We Cook can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and


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Author Bios

Becky Johnson is the author, co-author or collaborator of more than forty books ranging from family humor to brain science to inspiration and now, memoir. She’s a natural storyteller and spent many years entertaining and inspiring audiences of women. Today she loves getting creative in the kitchen and writes a humorous food blog with her daughter Rachel ( She and her husband, Greg, live in Denver, Colorado and love spending time with their grown children and their growing families – especially their five fabulous grandsons.

Rachel Randolph writes and speaks about young married life, parenting a toddler, and her and her husband’s unlikely journey to veganism with humor and honesty. She shares a food blog with her mom, Becky Johnson. In their “virtual kitchen” laughter and love are the key ingredients to every dish. Rachel is married to Jared, a high school football and baseball coach. They live near Dallas, Texas with their little boy Jackson.

Disclosure: I participated in this event on behalf of Wendy’s Bloggers for Zondervan. I received a copy of We Laugh We Cry We Cook to facilitate my review.

1 comment :

  1. i remember spending days baking cookies with my mom, it was an awesome bonding experience and yummy too