From appetizer to dessert, this menu celebrates the first hints of spring.
Credit: Becky Luigart-Stayner

This menu features traditional recipes inspired by world cuisines from Ireland to Spain, and several dishes highlight spring flavors. Fresh herbs add definition to classic dishes, and our shopping list and prep plan will help you do much of the work ahead of time so you can welcome guests with ease.

This menu offers a choice of entrée (Garlic-Studded Rosemary Roast Rack of Lamb or Brown Sugar and Spice-Crusted Ham) as well as two dessert selections (the kid-friendly Easter Egg Cookies or the sophisticated Ginger Angel Food Cake with Coconut Frosting). Complete the meal with coffee or tea, and you'll have a spring feast to remember.

Quick Tip: Everyone can play a role in assembling this family feast. Recruit young helpers to decorate Easter Egg Cookies or assist in frosting the Ginger Angel Food Cake. Entice Dad, with a glass of White Sangria, to carve the roast.


Up to 2 days ahead:
• Bake and decorate Easter Egg Cookies; store in an airtight container. (Or bake the cookies ahead and let the kids decorate them on the big day.)

Up to 1 day ahead:
• Prepare White Sangria through step one; refrigerate.
• Make syrup and cut up fruit for Basil-Lime Fruit Salad; refrigerate separately.
• Bake Ginger Angel Food Cake with Coconut Frosting.

The night before:
• Marinate Garlic-Studded Rosemary Roast Rack of Lamb.
• Prepare Smoked Salmon Dip, and refrigerate.

2 hours ahead:
• Put Brown Sugar and Spice-Crusted Ham in the oven.

30 minutes ahead:
• Place Garlic-­Studded Rosemary Roast Rack of Lamb in the oven.
• Toss the fruit and syrup for Basil-Lime Fruit Salad.

As guests arrive:
• Add sparkling water to White Sangria.
• Set out Smoked Salmon Dip and crackers.

(See page 2 for our shopping list.)[pagebreak]


Produce department:
4 kiwifruit
2 large mangoes
2 small oranges
2 lemons
2 medium Vidalia or other sweet onions
1 1⁄2 pounds small red potatoes
1 1⁄2 pounds small fingerling potatoes
1 pineapple
1 pound strawberries
1 lime
1 green apple
1 peach
1 pound baby carrots
1 head garlic
1 bunch fresh dill
1 bunch fresh basil
1 bunch fresh rosemary
1 bunch fresh chives

Meat counter:
1 (5-pound) bone-in 33%-less-sodium smoked, fully cooked ham half
3 (1 1⁄2-pound) French-cut racks of lamb (8 ribs each)

Refrigerated section:
1 (8-ounce) tub light cream cheese
4 ounces smoked salmon
11⁄2 dozen eggs

Dairy section:
1 pint buttermilk
Fat-free milk

Baking and spice aisle:
All-purpose flour
Cake flour
Granulated sugar
Powdered sugar
Brown sugar
Baking powder
Baking soda
Black pepper
Cream of tartar
Ground allspice
Ground cinnamon
Ground coriander
Ground cumin
Ground ginger
Vanilla extract
Coconut extract
Flaked sweetened coconut
Food coloring (optional)
Cooking spray
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Table salt

Dried and canned fruit aisle:
Golden raisins

Beverage aisle:
1 bottle sparkling water

Wine aisle:
2 (750-milliliter) bottles white Spanish Rioja

Liquor store:
Peach schnapps