Lamb and Feta Burgers with Sweet Pea Mint Sauce

By Libbie Summers
Photography by Chia Chong
Wine Pairing by @grapefriend

A burger that celebrates Spring!
Lamb Recipes, Spring Recipes, Burger Recipes, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, Libbie Summers Recipes, Lamb, Summer Burgers,
Lamb and Feta Burgers (sweet pea mint sauce)
serves 4

What you need:
1 pound ground lamb
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
½ teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 Sandwich buns, split
Sweet Pea and Mint Sauce (recipe to follow)
2 tomatoes sliced

What to do:
Heat grill to medium high heat.

In a large mixing bowl use your hands to mix together the lamb, feta, cumin, parsley, salt and pepper. Form mixture into 4 equal size patties and allow to rest while grill is heating up. Brush grill with the vegetable oil and grill burgers 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and allow to rest while making the Sweet Pea and Mint Sauce.

To Assemble. Place one burger on each bun and top with a dollop of Sweet Pea and Mint Sauce and top with tomato slices. Serve immediately.

Sweet Pea and Mint Sauce
makes about 1 cup

What you need:
1 cup sugar snap peas, shelled and blanched
1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and pepper

What to do:
Add the peas and mint to the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until just smooth. With the motor running, add the vegetable oil until combined. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with Lamb and Feta Burgers.
Burger Recipes, Lamb Recipes, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, Grilling Recipes, Grilling Burgers, Sweet Peas,

Wine Pairing:  You’ve gotta go red with the lamb, but nothing too, too huge. In a Bordeaux, the predominant grapes are Cabernet and Merlot. The bigger and bolder tannins in Cabernet are balanced out with the softer, lusher Merlot. Think Tom Brady’s brawn with Gisele’s curves. So any Cab-Merlot blend (Bordeaux or not) will be great. Some Cabs even have a little minty, menthol element which will be perfect with the peas.

 

Spring Lamb Salad with Fennel Mint Dressing

Recipe: Brenda Anderson
Photography: Chia Chong
Styling: @LibbieSummers
Wine Pairing: @Grapefriend

The promise of spring found on a plate. 
Spring Salads, Lamb Salads, Lamb Recipes, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life,

Lamb and Fennel Mint Salad
serves 4 

What you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon anise seed
Juice of one lime
1 rack of lamb
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
4 cups mixed greens, washed thoroughly
Fennel Mint Salad Dressing (recipe to follow)

What to do:
In large sauté pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Add fennel, lime juice and anise seed, brown slightly, leaving fennel crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.

Allow lamb rack to come to room temperature and rub with cracked pepper, coarse salt and garlic powder. Cook rack of lamb in the same pan fennel was prepared in over medium high heat. Cook until medium rare (about 6-7 minutes) turning once halfway through the cooking time. Set aside. Let rest for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, cut the meat away from bone and slice into 1/2-inch medallions.

To assemble the salad, divide salad green among 4 plates and top with equal parts of the fennel. Top with lamb medallions and drizzle Fennel Mint Salad Dressing over to taste. Serve immediately.

Wine Pairing:
You need something with enough body to match the pan seared lamb, but you’ve also got all that great anise spice in the fennel. A Spanish rosado will go with this like a champ: these rosés tend to be darker in color, and full of juicy red berry flavors. As a bonus, they’re the big bargains of the rosé world (most are around 10-15 bucks). I love the ones made from Garnacha grapes, but I like the Tempranillo-based ones too. Plus it’s spring so why not start popping some pink?
Spring Salads, Edible Flowers, Lamb Recipes, Libbie Summers, Chia Chong, Brenda Anderson, Fennel Dressing

Libbie Loves: Easter

by Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

An Easter basket doesn’t need to be filled with only candy! Here are a few things I’m loving right now!

Libbie Summers, A Food-Inspired Life, LibbieLoves, Easter Picks, Fashion, Accessories, Chocolate, Eggs, Sprinkles, LibbieSprinkles, Shoes, Fabric, Books, Bags,

1. Printed Cotton and Silk Blend Wrap Dress from Diane von Furstenberg
@netaporter
Because I love this thin maxi wrap dress for a spring travel staple to use as a dinner dress (with silk shorts and chemise under), as a bathing suit cover up or a light wrap over jeans and a tee. 

2. La La The Lamb Necklace from Gunner and Lux
@gunnerandlux
Because an adorable lamb is not just for kids and can add whimsy to any Spring look.

3. Gourmet Chocolate Vegetable Garden by Maggie Louise
@maggielouiseconfections
Because I love the chocolate work done by Maggie Louise and this vegetable garden box is quite possible the cutest thing ever. Those asparagus spears! 

4. Dinosaur Egg Cup from RedCandy
@redcandyuk
Because I love a soft boiled egg and toast. Put it in a whimsical egg cup and I’m all in! 

5. Spring Break Sprinkles
@libbiesummers
Because these “sprinkles with a backstory” just scream SPRING!!! I love them so much. 

6. Marni Velvet Pumps from Marni
@netaporter
Because a pink velvet pump is the new neutral. 

7. Bargain Cloth Napkin Bundle from Dot and Army
@dotandarmy
Because I love this female owned Southern company! Their seersucker napkins are adorable, but this bargain cloth bundle I especially love because it reminds me of France.  

8. So Much to Celebrate by Katie Jacobs
@katiejacobsnashville
Because the details of entertaining don’t have to be difficult and Katie’s book is filled with ideas and recipes for every occasion…and it’s as adorable as its author! 

9. Rosé Amigo Circle Bag from Ban.do
@shopbando
Because round bags and round pillows are everything this season and I love a pale pink to work with any look. 

Sprinkle Angel Food Cake with Pink Cloud Frosting

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

My husband’s grandmother, Reba, used to ship homemade angel food cakes to him in college. A few times a year I like to make him one, using a derivation of Reba’s recipe because it brings him great joy. This Sprinkle Angel Food Cake with Pink Cloud Frosting was the prettiest homespun chic cake I think I have ever made and it will be the centerpiece of our Easter brunch…in honor of Reba. 

Cake Recipes, Angel Food Cake Recipes, Libbie Summers Recipes, A food-inspired life, Sprinkles, #libbiesprinkles, Desserts, Easter Desserts, Spring Cakes, Spring Desserts,

Sprinkle Angel Food Cake with Pink Cloud Frosting
Serves 12

What you need: 
1 cup cake flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cup super fine vanilla sugar*, divided (can sub regular sugar. For super fine sugar, process in a food processor for 1-2 minutes)
1 dozen egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup Hog Wild Sprinkles (or your favorite sprinkles)
Pink Cloud Frosting (recipe to follow)
1 tablespoon Spring Break Sprinkles for garnish

What to do: 
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and half of the sugar. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the egg whites, 1/3 cup warm water, cream of tartar and vanilla extract. Beat the mixture just until foamy. With the mixer running, slowly add in the reserved sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until medium peaks form (peaks will stand, but will then droop slightly after a few minutes).

Remove bowl from the mixer. Dust the top of the egg whites with some of the flour mixture and fold in gently with a spatula. Toss the sprinkles into the remaining flour mixture. Fold the sprinkle flour mixture into the batter in two parts, being mindful to fold well each time.

Spoon mixture into an ungreased angel food cake pan (I used a solid bottom non-stick, but a removable bottom works great too). Give a little jiggle before placing in the oven (do not tap on counter and DO NOT SMOOTH TOP, just a little movement. Bake until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean (about 35 minutes).

Cool upside down on a cooling rack for 2 hours before removing from pan. To remove run a knife along the outside and inside parameter of the pan and then release with a shake.

Frost cake with Pink Cloud Frosting and decorate with Spring Break Sprinkles. Serve immediately.

Pink Cloud Frosting
(a 7 minute frosting without the double burner…boom)

What you need: 
1 egg white
1 cup superfine vanilla sugar* (can substitute regular superfine sugar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 drops pink food coloring (liquid works best here)

What to do: 
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg white, sugar, extract and cream of tartar. Pour in 1/2 cup BOILING water and beat on high using a hand mixer until light and fluffy (about 5-7 minutes. Mix in food coloring just until combined.
Cake Recipes, Angel Food Cakes, Spring Cakes, Sprinkle Cakes, Confetti Cakes, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life,

*Vanilla Sugar is sugar that has been steeping with a split vanilla bean. It’s a life changer in baking! I always have a large jar working in my pantry. 1 vanilla bean will work for 3 rounds of the sugar.

 

Watch the beautiful video for this frosting!!

Easter Cake Decorating

By Libbie Summers
Assisted by David Dempsey

I love a homespun chic cake decoration for Easter and these take the cake (see how I did that)! 

1. Robin’s Egg Cake
Robin's Egg Cake, Spring Cakes, Cake Decorating, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, Malted Milk Eggs, Robin's Eggs, Easter Desserts, Spring Desserts,
What to do: Frost your cake using a frosting tinted robin’s egg blue. Cover your surface with paper towels (trust me, this gets messy). In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon cocoa powder and 3 tablespoons vanilla extract. Dip a clean paint brush into the cocoa mixture and tap off any extra. Holding the brush in one hand, tap it against the other hand over the cake to create a splatter effect. You can also flick the bristles with your index finger toward the cake. Decorate with purchased malted eggs. 

2. Peep Show Cake
Cake decorating, Easter Cakes, Peep Candy Cake, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, Spring Party, Spring Desserts,
What to do: Frost a two tiered cake with a pale yellow frosting. On the lower tier, pipe rosettes around the sides of the cake only. On the second tier, place peeps around the perimeter. PRO TIP: Leave the peeps joined as they come packaged as they are easier to shape around the cake. Save one peep for the top! 

3. Jelly Bean Tower Cake (with pom poms natch)
Jelly Beans, Fun Cakes, Kid's Cakes, Party Cakes, Pom Pom Cakes, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life
What to do: Frost 3 different tube cakes with a thick layer of tinted frosting.  Then, painstakingly, add jelly beans to cover the cakes. Top with pom poms (optional). 

4. Malted Vanilla Cake
Spring Cakes, Cake Decorating, Malted Milk Cake, Malt Balls, Cotton Candy, Fun Cakes, A food-inspired life
What to do: Frost the cake with a copper tinted frosting. Place a mound of store bought cotton candy on the top of the cake and top with malted Easter eggs. 
Get the Vanilla Malted Cake recipe HERE.
Photography by Chia Chong

5. Pink Cloud Sprinkle Cake
Spring Cakes, Easter Cakes, Libbie Summers, A food-inspired life, Spring Desserts,
What to do: Frost a sprinkle cake with an egg white frosting and sprinkle with Spring Break Sprinkles

Need a refresher on how to frost a layer cake? Watch my video HERE. 

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