A new cookbook from the blissful sisters


great cookbook offers an open window into someone’s kitchen. It’s a place where we hear stories about family and traditions as told through anecdotes, pictures and recipes. In a good cookbook, we can almost smell the sautéing onion and feel the pastry dough in our hands.

This intimate experience between one cook and another is the abundant feeling found in Eat Drink Shine: Inspiration From Our Kitchen, the new cookbook from the Blissful Sisters of Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place. The sisters, also known as Jennifer, Jessica and Jill Emich, have created a beautiful cookbook with gluten-free and paleo recipes that allow the reader into their lives as well as their kitchen.

There are more than 100 recipes in the book, ranging from breakfast to dessert, and highlighting the organic, the free-range, the grass-fed and all things natural. There’s no better cookbook for the Boulder County lifestyle than Eat Drink Shine, because within its pages are recipes and stories that resonate with the pulse of this place where food and community merge.

We hear the stories of how cancer rattled, but then galvanized the sisters; how a previous restaurant set the foundation for the creation of Shine, allowing time for personal and culinary growth; we hear about the creation of families and the role food has played in their homes; and we hear how the dishes and unique vibe at Shine came to be — and how we can recreate a bit of that magic in our own homes.

A perfect example of bringing the Shine philosophy home is the recipe for the baked avocado cups. Here’s a yummy concoction of simple ingredients, prepared with a pinch of inspiration, that can become a soul- and appetite-filling way to start the day. Eggs are cracked and dropped into the crevasses of pitted avocados, placed in a skillet and baked with light herb and dressing. What you get is a delicious, balanced breakfast that plays with temperature and texture, while using the natural cup provided by the avocado.

Or consider the simple wonder of bone broth. Eat Drink Shine artfully provides the blueprint for breaking down carcasses, bones and veggies into the superfood that is bone broth. It’s tasty, easy to do and provides an opportunity to eliminate waste and use all your resources to their full potential. And it doesn’t hurt that bone broth has some very impressive health benefits.

The sisters’ cookbook also has several excellent soup recipes that are easy to whip up and carry unique healthful qualities, like the vegan wild mushroom bisque. Jennifer writes this bisque gives her a “burst of nourishment and warmth in her belly,” while Jessica describes how the act of hunting for mushrooms in the Colorado mountains is “one of the quickest ways for me to connect with the earth, with my spirit, and my gratitude for all that is available to us.” And this is just one of many examples how this cookbook applies the idea of health to food, spirit and the environment.

But “simple” isn’t a required ingredient in Eat Drink Shine. There is a wide array of recipes meant to inspire home cooks toward something more involved, and possibly more rewarding. These dishes include the seared pork chops with braised cabbage and fennel, the seafood stew with basil pesto and the dairy-free fried chicken. There are plenty of vegetarian recipes, as well.

And Eat Drink Shine doesn’t skimp on desserts. There are recipes for banana chocolate mousse, grain-free beet brownies and “good for you” jello.

What makes the Shine cookbook even more enjoyable are the beautiful photos that accompany each entry. The dishes are bright and colorful, artfully arranged and photographed in casual lighting, inspiring the would-be cook to embrace the beauty of food and the wholesomeness and artistry of home cooking.

Eat Drink Shine is meant to be a kitchen companion and it is just that. But it’s also more than that because the Emich sisters are always close by through their stories and personal tidbits, which are included throughout the recipe section of the book. For that reason, Eat Drink Shine is an intimate companion, and one you should make a connection with soon.