As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……..more Easter celebrations! What better way to welcome Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, than with a delicious luncheon? One of my family’s favorite Easter traditions is enjoying a beautiful rack of lamb. Who knew that my people, who can be super picky and particular, would grow to appreciate such a fine culinary experience?
Fresh Herb Marinated Rack of Lamb with Vinaigrette
Creamy Do Ahead Mashed Potatoes
Strawberry Spinach Salad
A fabulous meal deserves an over the top tablescape, and the centerpiece should absolutely set the tone. As a collector of all things interesting and beautiful, I decided that my bunny rabbit weathervane (vintage Target garden department) should take center stage. What I love about it is that it has height, character and dimension. To ground the weathervane, I found squares of artificial grass and I placed six of them together to create a bed. I have an affinity for rabbits, so to fill in some of the vertical space I dug out three moss covered bunnies from my collection of props. Because more of everything is always better, I scattered large colorful eggs amongst the bunnies and grass to create a beautiful and lively centerpiece.
To echo the garden theme, I chose a green square topper embellished with cabbage roses. The floral topper is another great source of inspiration. One possibility would be to fill individual bud vases at each place setting with a small mound of roses. That would actually be a beautiful party favor for your guests to take home. Another idea to draw from the floral topper would be to carry that theme into other parts of your home. A gorgeous bouquet would be lovely in your foyer, living room, kitchen or powder room. Such attention to detail is what makes our homes especially well appointed. Whether for your own home or a thoughtful gift, a beautiful source for flower delivery at home is Serenata Flowers.
As we continue setting the table, my blue tablecloth highlights the blue flowers in the topper. Pink hydrangea placemats are topped with silver hobnail trim chargers. While a plain white dinner plate can be ho-hum boring, my Lenox scalloped edge plates, embossed with butterflies, vines and flowers are a total go to favorite. Polka dot salad plates dance with all of the colors in my topper and pink napkins with white Swiss dots compliment my tablescape. My favorite part of the place setting is the white bunny rabbit napkin rings. They are in fact the piece that started my creating a beautiful home obsession 21 years ago. I found six of them at Marshall Fields on State Street on extreme clearance for $.69 a piece…….
I find that entertaining is so much easier when you choose recipes that can largely be prepared ahead of time. With this menu, all I needed to do was pre-heat the ovens, pop in the potatoes and casserole, toss the salad and sear the lamb before it went in the oven for a mere 20 minutes. Super simple!
Fresh Herb Marinated Rack of Lamb with Vinaigrette:
This recipe is good for 4 racks of lamb, or 32 ribs. I think it’s safe to estimate 3-4 per person, though the left-over’s are to die for.
For the lamb:
¼ cup fresh mint chopped
¼ cup fresh basil chopped
¼ cup green onions chopped
2 Tbsp fresh oregano chopped
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 racks of lamb
In a small bowl, combine;
Line a baking dish with aluminum foil
Generously rub mixture all over the lamb
Cover and chill overnight
Pre-heat oven to 375°
In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil
In batches, sear lamb and place back in the baking dish
Cook for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reaches 145°
Remove from the oven and place on a cutting board
Tent with foil
Slice and serve with vinaigrette
I make the vinaigrette the night before, only I hold off on adding the tomatoes until the last minute.
1 ¼ cups olive oil
¾ cup fresh chopped mint
¾ cup fresh chopped basil
10 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 ½ Tbsp fresh chopped oregano
4 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped tomatoes (I wrap in a paper-towel and store overnight in a small Zip-loc baggie)
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients, cover and store in the refrigerator overnight.
Bring to room temperature before serving
Creamy Do Ahead Mashed Potatoes:
These are my very favorite holiday potatoes because they are creamy goodness minus the messy clean up after dinner.
In a large bowl, place;
1 package of cream cheese
1 stick of butter
½ cup of chopped green onions or chives
Peel 5 lbs of potatoes
Chop into 1-2” cubes
Boil until fork tender
Drain and pour into bowl with cream cheese, butter and green onions
Using a hand mixer, beat until nice and creamy
Butter a 13×9 baking dish
Pour in the potato mixture
Pre-heat oven to 350°
Cook for approximately 1- 1 ½ hours, until just golden
Allow to set for about 15 minutes and serve
Visit me on Wednesday, April 20th, for the recipe for the Veggie Casserole and the Spinach and Strawberry Salad.
More Easter celebrations, more beautiful tablescapes, more delicious meals, more time together…..
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