The book idea that inspired us to start this mother/daughter food blog is now a reality! We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook: A Mother and Daughter Dish About the Food That Delights Them and the Love that Binds Them, our humorous food memoir with recipes at the end of each chapter hit the shelves August 6, 2013. We are so grateful to our blog readers for cheering us on, and for our editors and marketing team at Zondervan for believing in this book. We are beyond blessed.
Click on this link to read a chapter excerpt from We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook.
Click on this link to listen to a clip of the audio version.
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About the Book
We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook: A Mom & Daughter Dish About the Food that Delights Them and the Love that Binds Them (Zondervan, August 2013)
Becky Johnson and her daughter Rachel Randolph come from a long line of laughter. The female side of their family tree is dotted with funny storytellers, prolific authors, hospitable home cooks, and champion chatters. In We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, Becky—a butter and bacon loving mama—and Rachel—a vegan bean eating daughter—share stories of their crazy, wonderful, and sometimes challenging lives as Rachel becomes a mother herself. Becky is messy; Rachel craves order. Becky forgets what month it is; Rachel is an organizational genius. (At least before baby arrives.) Sprinkled throughout are the lip-smacking, nourishing recipes they love to make and share. 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, the authors demonstrate grace, acceptance, and love to others through the bonding gifts of humor, attentive listening, and cooking … whether diners prefer beef or lentils in their stew.
Johnson, author of a number of books, on subjects ranging from family humor to brain science, and Randolph, her grown daughter, team up in this quirky memoir with recipes. Johnson, diagnosed with Inattentive ADD, is scatterbrained, sloppy, and disorganized, while Randolph likes her ducks in a row. “Organization was my form of teenage rebellion,” writes Randolph, while her mom admits that during those years, the smoke alarm often served as the dinner bell. Johnson is a self-proclaimed bacon and butter lover; Randolph is vegan. The authors toss anecdotes back and forth throughout the folksy chapters, sharing stories of a loving family in which “hospitality is a way of life.” Between slices of life, the mom-daughter duo offers an eclectic array of recipes (main entrees, sides, appetizers, soups, desserts, etc.) ranging from spicy puttanesca sauce to cashew queso and roasted corn bean salsa (Randolph lives in Texas, while Johnson resides in Colorado). Recognizing that many contemporary families, like theirs, include members with varying dietary preferences and needs, the authors provide instructions on how to alter recipes to please and appease vegetarians, vegans, and the gluten-free. Amusing, endearing, and spiced with a close mother-daughter bond, the authors interweave their humor and cooking advice with sincere gratitude for the blessings of breaking bread with family and friends.
“We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook made me want to cook, made me want to call my mom, and made me want to gather the people I love into my home and around my table with courage and honesty and hugs.”
—Shauna Niequist, Author of Bread & Wine
“A poignant memoir. Each story is beautifully rendered, exposing one layer at a time until I felt as if Rachel and her mother Becky were in the kitchen with me as I sautéed and stirred. Written with honesty, humility, and spot-on prose, I came away with a deeper appreciation for the ties that bind, for the complexities of mother-daughter relationships, and for the healing power of food at the family table. This book does as much to feed the spirit as it does the body, and I’m betting readers will be begging for seconds.”
—Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling Author of Into the Free
“….As engaging as a novel. A delicious book.”
—Dianna Booher, Author of Communicate With Confidence and Creating Personal Presence
“Someone once said, ‘She who bakes bread without love nourishes only half the man.’ I have eaten at Becky’s table many times with her husband Greg, and I can tell you firsthand that when she serves something from her kitchen, it nourishes the whole of you. For her, and her daughter, Rachel, food is a sacrament for the communion of saints gathered around their table. So are laughter and tears. Come hungry to this book’s table of contents. When you’re finished, you’ll come away full!”
—Ken Gire, Author of Moments with the Savior, Windows of the Soul, Relentless
“Unique. Special. Surprising. Entertaining. Humorous and heartwarming. You will be rolling on the floor laughing one minute and wiping a tear the next, while simultaneously whipping up a creative recipe for your family.
—Carol Kent, Speaker and author of Between a Rock and a Grace Place
“Food is increasingly dividing us. How we need Becky and her daughter Rachel, a vegan and a butter-loving mama to show us how to not only break bread together, but to make bread—and soups and all kinds of creative meals— together. This book is sure to inspire us all (with fun and pizzazz) toward the communion and healing God intended through food.”
—Leslie Leyland Fields, Author/editor of The Spirit of Food: 34 Writers on Feasting
“From the moment I received We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, it was constantly in one hand while the other tended to kid-tastrophies. Rachel & Becky created a tasty memoir full of authenticity in the trenches of motherhood. If feeding a family is love—this is one book that will nurture any mother’s heart and soul!
—Heather Riggleman, Speaker to MOPS moms and author of Mama Needs a Time Out
“A delicious, well-marinated read! Mother-daughter stories that will touch your heart and then send you to the kitchen to try down-to-earth, tried-and-true recipes. I love this book!”
—Sue Buchanan, Author of The Bigger the Hair the Closer to God
“Mom Becky and daughter Rachel are as different as two people can be, but it’s those differences that make this book delicious. If they were kitchen utensils Rachel would be a bento box and Becky a salad spinner. Not just funny, these women are real. Tucked between recipes are the vulnerabilities, passions, regrets, and joys, which make up family life. A yummy read!”
—Lucille Zimmerman, Licensed Professional Counselor and author of Renewed: Finding Your Inner Happy in an Overwhelmed World
“A heartwarming celebration of food, family, friendship and fellowship. Warming and wise.”
— Patricia Raybon, Author of I Told the Mountain to Move
“Mothers & Daughters: If you can read only one book this year–this is it. We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook is a peephole into the lives and kitchens of a mother and daughter who are determined not to take themselves or each other too seriously. The results? More laughter, less friction. Spoiler Alert: that’s the best recipe in the book. “
—Rachel St. John-Gilbert, Author of The Well-Lived Laugh
“As a long-time follower of Becky and Rachel’s blog, I knew that I would love the recipes in this book. But, what I didn’t expect was to be so inspired by Becky and Rachel’s tender, hopeful and sometimes hilarious stories about motherhood, life and relationships. As I read, I laughed, cried… and cooked, and in the process found hope, camaraderie and a refreshing look at what the mother-daughter relationship can mean.”
—Erin MacPherson, Author of the Christian Mama’s Guide series
“With a writing style as warm and delectable as the recipes and stories within We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook is a narrative about a mother and daughter, their lives and the kitchens they come from. This must-read book will inspire and entertain you!”
—Cheri Fuller, Speaker and author of Mother-Daughter Duet and What a Son Needs From His Mom
“Becky and Rachel encourage us to take time to connect, listen, be fully present. To show us how the kitchen is once again, as it always has been, a glorious place to connect, belong and feel seen and heard.”
—Tammy Maltby, Emmy award winning TV co-host and author of The God Who Sees You and The Christmas Kitchen
“I adore this delightful mother-daughter take on the passionate elements of living: food, family, and finding ourselves… and fun. Two thumbs up for this relational-foodie book that will keep you smiling, salivating, and scribbling grocery lists throughout every chapter.”
—Debora M. Coty, Award-winning author of Fear, Faith, and a Fistful of Chocolate
“Food…so important to the great stories of Jesus and true hospitality. I’ve been in Becky’s home and enjoyed about hundred great meals. This book with her daughter Rachel showcases the best of life around the table.”
—Hugh Halter, Pastor and author of The Tangible Kingdom
“With poignant stories Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph show the beauty of a mother-daughter relationship no matter the differences, and how feeding others is an act of creativity, love, and a generational legacy. An inspiring, delightful book.
—Lindsey O’Connor, Journalist and author of The Long Awakening
“Unlike Becky Johnson and Rachel Randolph, I am a writer who was not blessed with the foodie gene. So imagine my surprise to be drawn into the delicious blend of story and recipes, relationships and food, so skillfully assembled in these pages. It is such yummy heart-food that I couldn’t not read it out loud to my daughter, who enjoyed every bite!”
—Margot Starbuck, author of The Girl in the Orange Dress and Permission Granted
“Much of life happens around the table: the company, connections, and conversations. We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, brings it all together with delicious recipes, engaging stories and an extra helping of laughter. As a mom of daughters myself, I love the mom/daughter relationship that makes this book both a delight to read as well as a great resource for recipes.”
—Karol Ladd, author of Positive Life Principles for Women
“You’ll laugh, cry, sigh, and head to the kitchen while you read this book. With warmth, humor, and mutual admiration, Becky and Rachel share their cooking adventures, mother-daughter relationship, and deep faith in God’s approving presence. They prove anyone can cook, and even kitchen mishaps can prove delightful, if served with love.”
—Judith Couchman, author of The Art of Faith and a lifelong foodie
“You’ll love this book whether cooking is your passion or merely a necessity, as it is for me. Becky’s and Rachel’s funny and heart-warming stories inspire me to ‘offer healing and blessing to others’ by sharing their delicious-sounding recipes. Imagine that!”
—Joan C. Webb, life coach, speaker and author of The Relief of Imperfection
“A lighthearted look at the food we feed our families and the thoughts and feelings behind it.
—Michelle LaRowe, 2004 International Nanny of the Year and author of Working Mom’s 411
” We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook takes me back to memories nearly forgotten, and urges me forward toward tables yet to be shared. If you’re hungry for something rich and deeply satisfying, this is it.”
—Michele Cushatt, Author, speaker and butter-lovin’ foodie
“Some books are good for the mind, some for the heart, and some for the soul. We Laugh, We Cry, We Cook is excellent for all three.”
—Deena Ward Peterson, Book Reviewer at A Peek at My Bookshelf
“The book is both rich in memoir and solid cookbookery, every line laced with enticing, mouth watering, insightful love explosions for your heart and your belly. I can’t imagine a better gift to yourself or anyone who spends time in the kitchen. With so many varieties of needs out there for family gatherings (vegan, vegetarian, allergies, gimme the RIBS!), our kitchen libraries need to be miles high. Yet somehow these two women have managed to put everything you need between the covers of one book. The victorious and complicated mother/daughter relationship alone is worth the read, but trust me, your mouth will thank me.”
—Charlene Ann Baumbich, Author of Don’t Miss Your Life