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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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Cherry Rosemary Quinoa Granola

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Growing up, ‘granola’ was a bad word in my book.  It brought back memories of a health food store in Oak Park, IL that I would rather have forgotten.  It was a typical mid-1980’s health food store, with that universal musty carob powder and B vitamins smell.  My mother would drag me inside to peruse the rows of bulk dry goods, the canisters with wan-looking yogurt-covered pretzels pressed their waxy faces against the insides of their jars in a way that reminded me of abandoned puppies. And there was a frozen yogurt machine in the corner that dispensed pure disappointment in the form of a soul-crushingly tart and icy ‘alternative soft serve’.

To the eyes of an adult, there clearly was some kind of appeal here, but much like the Iran-Contra affair, this was something my six-year-old self was unable to fathom.

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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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