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    I'm a stay-at-home-mom who, as part of a mid-life challenge, decided to run a marathon for kicks. I didn't plan on it becoming a hobby, but it did. I QUALIFIED FOR BOSTON at my second marathon and slipped into the vortex. Join me as I fulfill my dream of running the marathon majors.

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Bark! Plus Burning Questions

Categories: Chocolate Almond Bark, Hostess Gifts, Recipes, Trader Joe's

We went to a party over the weekend. A friend of ours turned 50 plus they have a new puppy, their third Border Collie!
The girls with Theo, almost 3 months old.

I often find hostess gifts challenging, especially when I don’t know the people well.
With the recent cooler weather, I’ve had a wicked Martha streak going so I rode the momentum and made this:
Smoked Salt, Dried Apricot and Almond Chocolate Bark
I adapted my recipe from Gifts Cooks Love: Recipes for Giving by Diane Morgan and Sur La Table.
Besides being a tad nervous during the chocolate tempering process, making this couldn’t have been easier.

1/2 C dry roasted, unsalted almonds, coarsely chopped
2/3C chopped dried apricots
1 lb. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped.
1t coarse ground smoked salt (I found this at Trader Joe’s)

Line a 17×11 inch baking sheet with parchment paper.

Temper the chocolate.

Working quickly, use a spatula to spread the chocolate in an even layer about 1/4″ thick on the parchment. Evenly and artfully scatter the fruit and nuts over the chocolate. Use your fingertips to gently press them into the chocolate so they adhere to the surface.

Immediately sprinkle salt over the top. Set bark aside in a cool, dry spot to set and harden, about an hour. Break into irregular pieces. So good, I can’t even express it. Imagine the variations you could do too!

Burning Questions: I’d love to hear from vegetarians, vegans, carnivores, everyone please:
When you host a dinner party…
…and there are vegetarians attending do you provide vegetarian food for them?
…and there are carnivores attending, do you provide meat for them?
…and there are vegans attending, do you provide vegan food for them?

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