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The coolest ever: When the weather heats up, you know I am craving a dry, chilled rosé full of luscious fruit. This spring, why not reach for Paso Robles’ HammerSky Vineyards, whose rosé recently won a prestigious double gold medal from the Rosé Competition held at SIMI Winery in Healdsburg late last month? … My other sweaty go-to: popsicles! I recently discovered Ruby Rocket’s low-calorie, low-sugar ice pops made with (gasp!) real fruits and veggies. Did I mention that these chilly pops also offer the benefits of healthy probiotics? What can I say? I’m a glutton for “nutritious” desserts (find these awesome summer treats at Whole Foods and Fresh & Easy in SLO) … Looking to perk up a Sunday afternoon hanging in the backyard? Combine fruit juice and dried or fresh herbs (I like Meyer lemon juice, zest, brown sugar, and basil) in a jar. Shake it up, then pour it all into your everyday ice tray. Add a few toothpicks and bam! You’ve got yourself a sweet, gourmet snack beloved by kids and grownups alike.

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Tonight is the night, folks! Experience the soon-to-be revamped Downtown SLO Thursday Night Farmers Market. Over the next six months, you’ll notice a roll-out of enhancements, including a “Fresh Picked” music series kicking off with Damon Castillo Band (6 to 9 p.m.; music at the new harvest stage located in the Union Bank parking lot; visit for more information) … It’s almost time for the Paso Robles Wine Festival Weekend this May 14 through 17, so be sure to get your tickets, slackers (go to for events and tickets) … Speaking of too much wine, Roll Out the Barrels’ month-long events are happening right now! ’Till May 3, wineries in the area will be putting on all kinds of special shindigs. For instance, Saucelito Canyon will be pouring a heritage zinfandel wine flight each Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., culminating in a live band and 2014 rosé release May 2. Similarly, Edna Valley Vineyard will celebrate SLO Wine’s 25th anniversary with a special flight of small production chardonnays and pinot noirs through May 2 (plan your wine adventure at

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Icing on the cake: HoneyBee Cakery is at it again with crafty, delicious, hands-on cupcake decorating classes held at The Bunker in SLO. Join in on the yummy fun this April 10, featuring a how-to on crafting your favorite Adventure Time characters like Beemo and Princess Bubblegum. Or, stop by the April 12 class and enjoy a creative free-for-all including four cupcakes, paint, brushes, “cupcake paint,” and toppers (both classes $25; sign up through [email protected]) … Box wine is supa fine! Did you know that my fave new comfort food spot, SLO’s Pizza Republic, features Hope Family Wines’ Troublemaker Red on tap? Yes, you heard right. On tap! Get your hands on a glass and pair it with their fresh-baked sausage and salami ’za for a real-life happy meal … Sign up for a Pasture to Plate pork class held by FARMstead Ed this June. You’ll listen to local producers and chefs as they tackle “the other white meat,” then wrap up the session with a barbecue alongside J&R BBQ Masters (sign up at Oink-oink!

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