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Self-improvement vacation

Posted 7/17/2018 2:39pm by Shiloh Avery.

Self-improvement vacation

This past winter I went down a rabbit hole. What began as a new obsession with behavioral economics soon morphed into self-improvement.  I know, I know, it’s a leap, right?  But behavioral economics teaches us about human behavior and an understanding of our own behavior can lead us into improving that behavior. 

It’s now mid-July and I’ve been down in that rabbit hole since sometime last year.  Listening to book after book on changing my mindset, improving the workplace, motivation, creating unique customer experiences, learning learning learning. 

Just as our bodies wear out about now from the constant physical part of our work, it turns out our minds can wear out from all that learning.  I rely on audiobooks to keep me awake for that super early Saturday rise and load and drive to market, and last Saturday I’d finally just had enough of the non-fiction.  The drive had begun to feel long again after many years of not even noticing the distance.

So I downloaded a young adult dystopian fiction novel and like magic, the drive suddenly wasn’t long enough.  I arrived at market suddenly like I’d just driven to the neighbor’s house and indulged in a few “driveway moments” before getting to work.

Don’t fret teachers, I will get back to the learning.  Sometimes, one just needs a vacation from self-improvement. I mean, don’t we need some time to just sit back and enjoy the improvements we’ve already made?  Like we’ve just built a new deck—we don’t want to just rush into the next improvement project without even spending a moment just enjoying the new deck right?  So yeah, I’m on a self-improvement vacation.

I definitely think this heirloom tomato tart is improving my self though (maybe that's just improving my mood, but that counts right?). This is definitely on of our favorite summer tomato dishes. 

Recipe of the week:

Tomato Tart

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

8 sheets of phyllo dough, thawed

1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs

8 ounces cream cheese

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced

Flaky sea salt ·     


Basil leaves, for garnish

Step 1    

Preheat the oven to 375°. Brush a large rimmed baking sheet with 2 teaspoons of 
the olive oil. Lay 1 sheet of the phyllo dough on the baking sheet; keep the rest covered with damp paper towels. Brush the phyllo with 2 teaspoons 
of olive oil and sprinkle all over with 1 tablespoon of the breadcrumbs. Repeat the layering with the remaining phyllo, olive oil and breadcrumbs. 

Step 2    

Bake the crust for about 
25 minutes, until golden 
and crisp; rotate the baking sheet halfway through 
cooking. Let cool completely.

Step 3    

In a food processor, pulse 
the cream cheese with the mayonnaise until smooth. Spread the cream cheese mixture in the center of the tart, leaving 
a 1/2-inch border all around. Arrange the tomato slices 
on top and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and pepper. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and garnish with basil leaves. Cut into squares and serve.


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