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As my sister and I were out of town last weekend (see “Scenes from L.A.”), our family’s Mother’s Day was a bit belated this year. Happily, we have a flexbile mom who was happy to postpone the celebration! Also happily, these kinds of special events provide an excuse to go all out on a decadent meal.

While I enjoy the adventure of planning a menu, it’s also fun to experiment with ones that have been planned for you. Epicurious.com allows you to search for menus (as well as individual recipes) from past issues of Bon Appetit and Gourmet based on an event, time of year, or specific ingredient. I didn’t find quite what I was looking for in their Mother’s Day files, but under Seasonal ideas I came across “Springtime Country Menu,” which sounded just right.

So, in honor of my mom, my sister, J, and I made the following on Sunday:

  • Crispy Bruschetta with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes and Mint
  • Radicchio, Grapefruit and Spinach Salad
  • Farfalle with Asparagus, Roasted Shallots and Blue Cheese
  • Lemon-Pistachio Tart
  • My dad brought the wine – as suggested, we had Côtes du Rhône (white during appetizers and a red with the meal).

    Photo by Bon Appetit. Ours didn't look quite as pretty, but tasted great!

    A few recipe notes:

    ~Bruschetta: The unexpected mint flavor was a nice change from the more conventional choice of basil. Rubbing the garlic on the warm toast made the kitchen fabulously fragrant!

    ~Salad: Interesting combination of ingredients. I would recommend leaving out the fennel seeds if you are not a fan of licorice.

    ~Pasta: Perfect for blue cheese lovers! Make sure to use a creamy blue so the pasta doesn’t end up dry. We combined a couple different types recommended by the friendly cheese counter guy at Whole Foods, and we’ll certainly be buying the buttermilk blue again (great flavor and price).

    ~Tart: The crust puffs up a lot, so next time I’ll try weighing it down with pie weights or beans while cooking. The lemon custard is amazing – we had a little left over which made for a wonderful breakfast spread!

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