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No Pain, No Grain: No Bake Strawberry Yogurt Tart

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I do love it when life presents you with a delicious conundrum.  In this case: What do I do when my mother-in-law presents me with a heaving gallon-sized bag of perfectly ripe and luscious strawberries from her garden?  Lots of answers to this question come to mind, such as:

1. Break out the melted chocolate and the Downton Abbey box set.  Every time the Dowager Countess is appalled by the modern world, dip a berry (this doubles as a drinking game).

2.  Create a legion of these adorable Strawberry Mice!!

3.  Make this incredibly easy, remarkably delicious and surprisingly good-for-you strawberry ta

The last one is the option I went with, which might surprise anyone who knows how much I love Downton Abbey.  But as it is, I happen to be pretty proud of this crust recipe and I don’t waste any opportunities to march it out in any number of configurations.

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The first time I put this recipe together, frankly, I wasn’t sure if it would work.  A good crust is is a lot like an awesome mom: able to handle all the sloppy, soggy, sticky things in life and do so with style…. and while staying light and crispy (that last part doesn’t really fit the mom analogy, but you get the idea).  With only 2 basic ingredients and virtually no prep time it was also one of the easiest crusts I’ve seen.  Oh, and it’s completely grain-free, did I mention that bit?  Even Mrs. Patmore would be proud.

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Healthy Snacks: Apricot Truffles

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There was a time when I mainly jogged in the morning, thinking it was a great way to start my day.  There’s crisp new air, chilly dew… you can almost hear the neighborhood cracking its joints with a sleepy stretch and every sound has a tiny echo for a lack of competition.

But then I discovered dusk.  Maybe there’s something about working from home that makes it feel so good to close my computer and literally run out the door.  Running away from the haze of a day where I am just a name in a directory that ends in “@yourcompany.com”.  I remember I’m a person again.  My music, my heartbeat and the thump of my legs that have been itching to get out of a seated position… they all bring me back to myself.

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Simple crustless chocolate pear tart (gluten free)

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Last weekend we were sitting at an outdoor table at a breakfast place in St Louis enjoying a brief warm spell.  Ours were probably the last bottoms those cafe seats would see for several months, and we were in no hurry to relieve them of their duties.  Sitting next to each of our plates was the little tried-and-true fruit medley bowl. Sometimes you can judge an entire menu on the quality of a fruit medley.  In some breakfast spots, it seems put there just to annoy you and give you something to accidentally dump your maple syrup on.  A crunchy, tasteless cantaloupe chunk served in the depths of winter is enough to confirm why every diner around you has pushed the little bowl as far from the rest of their meal as they can, like an unwanted puppy begging for scraps.

This was no such medley, thankfully.  It was rather a good one, as was our meal.  At one point a friend took a bite of fruit and lit up a little.  “What is this?” he asked the rest of us.  I leaned in.  “Pear, looks like d’Anjou pear, maybe?”, I replied.  “Well, I’m putting ‘pears’ on my list of fruit I like.”  I don’t think that was a very long list for him, so it was proud day for pears.  And after I took a bite myself, I decided they really didn’t even belong in a ‘medley’.  This was more a solo artist kind of pear.

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