Springtime, Easter and More Lamb

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When I think back to spring of last year, I recall a lot of details, particularly related to the extreme tiredness and discomfort of growing a little human. But when I try to recall years past, everything kind of blends together. I recall bits and pieces, like Hawaii or my 30th CocktailParty, but otherwise the last five years seem to have come and gone, quietly.

But, this year, there’s a baby. A “not so little” 6 ½ month old! A little dude with big cheeks, wiggly legs and super bright eyes that are trying so hard to keep up with the constant smile on his lips. And this first spring, with our little Viggo, has already been one to remember. We’ve had several visits to Descanso to see the various gardens bloom. We started up our evening neighborhood walks where we forage for loquats. We dyed eggs for the first time, and had a delicious Easter with our friends. Little guy even had his first purée, carrots from dad’s garden. 

It’s been exciting to start new traditions, settle into routines and watch as Viggo discovers the world around him. And there’s more adventures to come. Later this month, we’ll be taking our first flight with Viggo to attend a wedding in Georgia. Snakes babies on a plane – yikes! 

But before that, there’s a lamb recipe to share. It came from the April issue of Bon Appetit. We didn’t seek it out, but came across it at an opportune moment, and decided to go for it. It required some prep work, but turned out quite tasty (and I think we’re officially ready for a break from lamb now). As in my previous lamb post, leftovers made for delicious sandwiches.
I finally made my mom's beet and walnut salad, which is always a hit at Easter dinner. It's really simple - grated beets (roasted or boiled), walnuts, sour cream, a little water, and salt and pepper.
The husband's olive bread... rising.
Little guy had his six-month check-up and vaccines before Easter and spent the weekend recovering, which meant lots of snuggles and naps with mom. But, despite feeling under the weather, he wanted to help in the kitchen.
Easter potluck plate (above) and a photo with my favorite guys (below)!
The husband pickled the leftover eggs.
Evening walks. Checking out the Little Library in our hood.
Viggo's first purée. He was really into selecting the finest carrots.
And happy birthday to me! I get to spend it with these jokers. 

Olive-Stuffed Leg of Lamb
Serves 8
1 shallot, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ cup pine nuts
½ cup pitted Kalamata olives
¼ cup drained oil-packed anchovies
¼ cup finely grated lemon zest
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ cup parsley leaves
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
½ cup olive oil, plus more
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 3–4-pound piece butterflied boneless leg of lamb 

1) Preheat oven to 425°. Finely chop shallot, garlic, nuts, olives, anchovies, lemon zest, mint, parsley, and thyme in a food processor. With motor running, stream in ½ cup oil; process until blended. Season stuffing with salt and pepper.

2) Unfold lamb on a cutting board and season with salt and pepper. Spread stuffing over top; roll up lamb from left to right. Position seam side down and tie closed with kitchen twine at 1 ½" intervals crosswise, then once lengthwise. Transfer to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet; drizzle with oil. We did something of this sort, it just didn’t look all fancy.

3) Roast until lamb is starting to brown, 30–40 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325° and continue to roast until a thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 125°, 35–45 minutes longer. Remove lamb from oven and tent with foil; let rest 15–20 minutes. 

Do Ahead: Lamb can be stuffed and tied 1 day ahead; cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before roasting. It was definitely handy to get this part done the night before. 

The full recipe found here, is served over a salad with feta. We didn’t go this route. Instead I made simple yogurt sauce.

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