Grandma’s Roasted Lamb and Vegetables

You either love lamb or you hate it. Many think they won’t like it – “It’s too gamey tasting” but in fact it can be delicious. This recipe is easy, impressive, with easy clean up. Nothing is better than roasted veggies.

leg of lamb – 1/2. whole or butterflied and boneless. (we prefer the bone in for flavor)

Suggested Vegetables: Potatoes, Carrots, Onion, whole Garlic, whole Shallot, Mushrooms, Artichoke and Parsnips

Olive oil, salt and pepper, rosemary garlic

Take your broiler pan and line it with foil. Place a V-rack in the middle. rub the leg of lamb with oil and salt and pepper, garlic and rosemary. We love Penzys Greek herb rub if you can get it. I order it on line on: https://www.penzeys.com/online-catalog/greek-seasoning.

Place the meat on the V-rack.

Place the veggies in a bowl – keep the garlic whole, peel the shallots and onions keeping whole unless the onions are too large then cut in half. Trim the tops and stems off of the artichokes, trim mushrooms, slice carrots in large chunks along the diagonal or use baby carrots. Do the same with the parsnips if desired. Over the veggies pour olive oil, add garlic powder or minced , salt and pepper and stir to coat. No measurements here because it depends upon the number of people you will be serving. You do not want the veggies “swimming” in oil. Distribute the veggies around the V-rack. In the picture below, we served 2 people, although the lamb roast could feed more. Artichokes were unavailable but, believe me, they are a wonderful addition to this meal.

Place in 350 oven for close to an hour, longer if it is a large roast. Use a meat thermometer and remove meat from the oven when it registers 132 degrees.

Br. Willis’ Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

There was a member of my congregation that moved away some years ago but he left his mark by leaving behind his wonderful, delicious whole wheat bread recipe. It was literally to die for. He has since passed away but every time I read his handwritten recipe and bake this bread, I think of him with great affection.

Some years ago I bought a whisper mill. A friend told me she thinks the store bought whole wheat flour is a little bitter when she bakes bread and that the freshly ground flour is much better.

Whisper Mill grinder and holding container
Wheat berries

The Grinder is attached to the collection bowl via the green tube as shown. The Mill is turned on prior to loading the wheat berries. It is very loud although the actual grinding is much quieter. You may adjust the fineness of the grind. About 2 1/2 – 3 cups of wheat berries equal 4 cups of wheat flour depending upon how fine you grind it.

I am not the best bread baker in the world but I did, through trial and error, learn from my mistakes. First, baking whole wheat bread is not easy as my first attempts served better as door stops than sustenance. The following is one half of the recipe that will make 2 loaves. My suggestions will follow.

2 1/2 cups very hot water – 120 degrees

Add to the water 2 pks. of yeast(check the expiration on the yeast packet), 1/3 cup honey and 1/3 cup canola oil

(If you are making whole wheat bread using no white flour, crush and add to the liquid 4 tablets of Vitamin C tablets or 1/4 tsp ascorbic acid)

Let stand to allow the yeast to bubble. Grease pans while you are waiting.

Gradually add in all 6 cups whole wheat flour OR 4 cups whole wheat and 2 cups white flour. Knead with dough hook or by hand until dough is elastic and not sticky. Add more flour if sticky. Put a small amount of oil on counter top and pour out dough. Divide dough in half and form into loaves and place in prepared pans. Put in warm spot, covered with damp cloth and let rise until 2 1/2 times the size (about 30 minutes) Place pans in unheated oven set at 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Now for my tips and suggestions:

  1. I use a mixture of whole wheat and white flour because, as I have said, my whole wheat bread tends to be on the heavier side. One friend told me to add gluten but never told me how much so I didn’t. When I have time I will experiment with that.
  2. The ascorbic acid or Vitamin C helps for greater loaf volume, faster rising and finer, tenderer crumb. Or so I am told. I have used it and with this batch I didn’t. I didn’t notice much difference but I now large bakeries use it.
  3. Make sure your yeast is new. If it doesn’t bubble in the water, chances are it is old and your bread will not rise.
  4. This recipe can also be made using 1/3 cup molasses instead of honey. I will make a darker colored loaf but equally as tasty.
  5. Many ovens have a proof option. It will heat up the oven slightly – place the loaves inside to rise.
  6. The dough in the mixer should start cleaning the sides of the mixing bowl after 5 minutes.

Chocolate Cinnamon Cake

It has been a heck of a long time since I have posted anything.   Time has gotten away from me and I do not know where it has gone.  Unfortuately, I am writing this during the stay at home orders due to the Corona virus.  After this is over we will all be overweight because we have been baking and eating too much.

Anyway,  my birthday was last week and my kids asked if I was going to bake my own birthday cake.  I didn’t think I would, but then I thought that I haven’t had the birthday cake my mother would bake for our birthdays in quite a while.  Since the Governor’s orders are to stay at home, I thought why not make it. 

This chocolate cinnamon cake is a dense cake like a pound cake.  My mom never used to frost it other than some confectioners sugar sprinkled on top, but I have included a thin glaze to use if desired.  The glaze recipe comes from my Texas Sheet Cake recipe that I make for Super Bowl every year but that’s for another post. The recipe suggest the use of a tube pan but I like making it in a loaf pan. It is great to freeze and a huge cake for the two of us would be deadly.

The original recipe calls for crisco but I have made it with half butter and I’m sure all butter would be just as good.

1 cup crisco

1 cup cocoa

1 tbls cinnamon

1 tsp soda

Mix the above in a bowl and pour over it and stir until smooth 1 cup boiling water. Then add:

1 cup milk

1 tbls vanilla

2 whole beaten eggs

Add after sifting:

2 1/2 cups of sugar

3 cups flour

1tsp salt and 1 tsp baking powder.

batter will be thin

Spoon into prepared tube pan or two loaf pans. Preheat 350 oven and bake about an hour. Do not overbake. Slice and enjoy! Especially delicious with ice cream!

Icing

2 cups confectioners sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 stick butter

1/2 cup milk

4 tbls cocoa

Boil milk, butter, cocoa till bubbly. Mix in sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth and pour over cake to drip down the sides.