Carrot Dogs and a Celebration

On labor day, we “grilled” carrot dogs.  I saw the recipe in Shape magazine and clipped it a while back, because it sounded interesting.   (For the record, I don’t know why I receive Shape, but somehow I have been receiving since we lived in Twinsburg).  I didn’t have high hopes, but I figured I would give it a try just for fun. You basically boil carrots, let them sit overnight in a marinade, and then cook them in a pan.  After I made the marinade, my hands smelled just like hot dogs.  It was crazy.   They turned out much tastier than I thought.  Drew and Newton enjoyed them as well, so we will probably make them again.  Here is the recipe if anyone wants to give it a try.


Carrot Dogs

4 carrots (washed and ends cut off)

4 T chicken stock

3 T soy sauce

1 garlic clove (minced)

1/2 inch piece of ginger (chopped fine)

2 T white vinegar

2 t liquid smoke

3 t brown sugar

Simmer the carrots in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Drain and place them in ice water.  Mix together remaining ingredients for the marinade.  Place carrots in a shallow dish with marinade and let sit overnight.  Saute carrots in 1 teaspoon of oil for 10 minutes on medium-high heat.  Turn carrots frequently and drizzle with marinade as they cook.  Place in buns (I recommend higher quality buns) and top with ketchup and mustard.  Enjoy!

Drew took vacation this week so we could get lots of yard work done.  A few weeks ago, one of our trees lost a huge limb during one of the many storms.  Our yard also flooded repeatedly.  To prevent future floods, we (read mainly Drew) has been putting in some drainage pipes.  Here is a preview of the progress so far.


Newton is greatly enjoying all the dirt.  If you look close enough, you can see it on his tongue.


As a break from all the yard work, we went on a 10 mile bike ride to downtown to celebrate.  We have been talking about eating lunch at Wildwood Market for months.  Each day they feature one sandwich and one salad.  Today’s sandwich creation was smoked brisket, kale dressed with smoky sauce, caramelized leek dressing, and cheddar cheese spread on a pretzel bun.  So yummy and totally worth the bike ride.


We ended lunch by going down the street to Amelia’s for big cookies :D, but while we were eating our cookies, the tube in my back tire popped :(.  Luckily, we were able to catch the bus back home.  It was our first time on the bus, and the bus driver was super nice and helped us secure our bikes to the rack right before it started to downpour!  Busting a tire turned out to be not such a bad thing.






Lemon Basil Gems

Two years ago, I spent my July in South Dakota on an Indian Reservation.


My parents came to visit, and my mom brought lemon basil sugar cookies.   They were awesome.

IMG_20140617_155716790_HDRThis year we are growing basil on our balcony.  Seeing all that basil each day had me craving those cookies.  I’m not sure where her recipe came from, so I adapted my favorite lemon cookie recipe instead.



Yield: about 5 dozen


3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup finely diced basil (start with 1/2 cup packed basil leaves and then dice to end up with about 1/4 of a cup)

2 cups all-purpose flour

Sanding sugar


Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and basil beating on medium speed until combined. Gradually add flour to creamed mixture and mix until well combined.

Cover dough and place in refrigerator for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

On a silicone mat, roll dough into a log with a diameter of about 1.5 inches.  Roll the log in sanding sugar until evenly coated and then wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Unwrap the dough and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place slices on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges lightly browned.*  Let cookies stand for 1 minute on baking sheet before moving to wire racks to cool.

*For a softer cookie, bake on a silpat lined baking sheet for 11 minutes or until edges are set.