Sunday Funday – a Birthday Feast of Grilled Lamb

Ok, so it wasn’t only lamb… but that’s where we started and everything else was planned around it, naturally.

I apologize for the lack of Sunday Funday posts lately, and my only excuse is, of course, having too much fun. Yup, this summer has been a good one so far. I hope you feel the same, and that you’re loving it so much that you couldn’t care less about my lack of Sunday Funday updates 🙂

Last weekend was a pretty great one. No, make that fantastic. I was in the kitchen bright and early on Saturday, and then broke for a workout around noon. Nope, I didn’t head to the gym or go for a run. Instead, I helped Ben tackle an 8 foot wide, 4 foot high pile of logs and branches that have accumulated in our yard over the four years we’ve lived here. Nasty ice storms will do that. To get rid of it all, we’d load up as much as we could onto a big tarp and then drag it all the way across the back yard and up a little hill around the side to the front of the house, where we’d then pick up all the pieces and throw them in the car. Not unlike all the sled pulls I’ve done with my trainer. My hubs was psyched to see the pile go, but I secretly wanted to keep a few heavier logs so that I always have the option of a heavy backyard workout. Anyway. each trunk-full took 2 or 3 tarps worth of brush, and we filled the trunk 3 separate times for drop-offs to the local yard waste collection spot. In other words, we earned a big feast.

And feast we did. Ben’s birthday was last week and we celebrated Saturday night with family and friends. Last Hanukkah, I bought Ben the rotisserie attachment for our grill. Aside from using it once for a chicken over the winter, the thing has been a bit lonely so we broke it out and put it to use for a boneless leg of lamb marinated in Moroccan spices.

And although we planned for the lamb to be the star, it was hard for anyone to choose a favorite part of the meal…

Spicy Marinated Olives & Moorish Fava Bean Dip with a Rainbow of Veggies, both brought by my Mother-in-law

A “seafood course” of smoked salmon with lemon thyme, brought over by our lovely neighbors, and Grilled Mussels in Spicy Coconut-Tomato Sauce. Recipe coming soon. Like, really soon, I promise. You might even hold your breath…

The Main Event:

A giant vat of sangria that I was certain was too much for our crowd. Turns out that even the “just one drink”ers stepped up. It was that good.

Rotisserie grilled lamb marinated in special blend of Moroccan spices, a la Emeril.

An oldie and always goodie: Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad with Tahini Dressing. I added a touch of cumin and honey.

Bon Appetit’s Roasted Eggplant Salad with Cinnamon-Cumin Dressing and Raisins. (I used barley instead of couscous.)

Grilled Squash and Artichokes with Cilantro-Pistachio Pesto (I have to recreate this one!)

Grilled Chicken Breast marinated in my favorite new marinade (I’ll be making it again, for sure.)

Watermelon-Arugula Salad with Feta, Mint, and Candied Pecans, brought by my Mother-in-law.

Digging in. Dad’s (first) plate.

See, I told you it was hard to pick a favorite.

And you haven’t even seen dessert!

You don’t get to, either. The sangria was long gone by then and hence the camera was put away. But rest assured that Ben’s birthday cake of choice was a good one: a good ol’ fashioned Dairy Queen ice cream cake, in Mint Oreo Blizzard. I couldn’t resist make a double batch of irresistibly fudgey brownies. And just so we could all feel a little better about ourselves, there was a big bowl of beautiful fruit too.

I’m pretty sure I’m still full from this one.

What fun have you been up to lately?

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8 Responses to “Sunday Funday – a Birthday Feast of Grilled Lamb”

  1. 1

    Ricki — July 8, 2012 @ 8:16 am Reply

    Happy Belated Birthday to Ben!! Wow, truly a feast. That is one amazing spread. And the photos are stunning! The butternut-chickpea salad is one of my all-time faves, too. Glad you all had such a great time! 😀

  2. 2

    Kate — July 8, 2012 @ 9:02 am Reply

    I’m glad your lack of posting is due to good things!

  3. 3

    Bonnie K — July 8, 2012 @ 4:52 pm Reply

    Wonderful looking feast. I’m envious. 🙂

  4. 4

    Joanne — July 8, 2012 @ 10:24 pm Reply

    Lucky husband! I’m proud to say I’ve made both the butternut squash and the eggplant dishes. Can’t wait till you post the zuke/artichoke recipe!

  5. 5

    Shannon — July 10, 2012 @ 2:28 pm Reply

    oh man, what a meal! happy birthday to ben, for sure 🙂 lots of recipes in here i need to try out!

  6. 6

    Sara — July 22, 2012 @ 1:04 am Reply

    I wish I could get lamb here. Did you buy the Sangria or make it? I have been looking for a good recipe.

  7. 7

    Jenn @LeftoverQueen — August 9, 2012 @ 2:22 pm Reply

    Sounds fabulous! Can you cook for my birthday this year!? 🙂

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