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.






Roasted Strawberry & Yellow Summer Squash Snack Cake

This cake requires roasting the strawberries before making the cake.  This means the recipe is perfect for berries that are not so perfect.  You know the ones.  They are on sale and maybe aren’t the juicest or sweetest, but they were darn cheap.  The roasted strawberries are placed on the bottom of the pan with cocoa powder and sugar.  The cake is then flipped over, so the ooey gooey strawberry deliciousness is on top when served.  I think it is best when served warm and the chocolate chips are still soft, but it is also tasty when found hidden in a lunchbox.  Even Newt wanted a taste 🙂


Yield: one 8×8 pan


Roasted Strawberries                                      

2 cups fresh strawberries or about 1 lb

1 T sugarIMG_20140627_132306908_HDR

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Wash, hull, and quarter strawberries.  Toss with sugar.  Roast for 30 minutes on a silpat lined cookie sheet until berries are soft and juicy.



1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup finely grated yellow summer squash (or zucchini)

1/3 cup + 1 T sugar, divided

3 T + 1 T cocoa powder, divided

3/4 t baking sodaIMG_20140627_144636086_HDR

1/4 t salt

1 egg

1 t vanilla

1/4 cup whey or milk

1/4 cup oil

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°F.  Mix together 2 T sugar and 1 T cocoa powder in a small bowl.  Butter the bottom and sides of an 8×8 pan.  Place cocoa sugar mixture in pan and shake around until all sides are coated.  Spread the remaining cocoa sugar mixture evenly across the bottom of the pan.  Place roasted strawberries in an even layer along the bottom of the pan and set aside. IMG_20140627_133011927_HDR

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, 3 T cocoa powder, and 1/3 cup sugar.  Add in vanilla, oil, egg, and whey.  Mix until well combined.  Stir in chocolate chips and squash.  Gently spoon mixture into the pan on top of the strawberries.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Let cake cool for 10 -15 minutes and then flip over onto serving dish.  The berries and chocolate mixture will now be on top.  Slice and serve while still warm.  Refrigerate leftovers.



Garlic Scape Pesto

Last week, we received 2 lbs of garlic scapes in our CSA share.  We ended up using half of them to make pesto to pack in our lunches.  I am sure my patients appreciated my garlic breath on the day I ran out of gum.  The pesto has a very strong garlic flavor, so I wouldn’t recommend trying it unless you love garlic.  Pretzel thins and wheat thins are a great match for the pesto, but I ended up making our favorite wheat crackers to go with it.  If you have never made crackers before, I suggest you give it a try.  They are pretty quick to make and taste a zillion times better than store bought.  The hardest part is rolling the dough out very thin.  I usually just give up and just make thick crackers.  They may not look as pretty, but they still taste good.


Yield: 3.5 cups


1 lb scapes (or about 18-20 large scapes)

1 1/4 cups olive oil

1 cup walnuts

8 oz romano or parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper


Wash and dry scapes thoroughly. Cut or break scapes into 2 inch pieces to make blending easier. Shred cheese or break into hunks (depending on how powerful your blender/food processor is). Add olive oil, lemon juice, scapes, walnuts, and cheese to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.


This week’s CSA share:  a yellow squash, kale, green onions, lettuce, chard, peas, and more scapes.


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.