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Cookbook crazy 

Get lost in these pages: Kendra Aronson's SLO Farmers' Market Cookbook has been successfully crowd-funded and will be in the hands of its Kickstarter backers (and everyone else) before Christmas! Want to meet the author and ask her about her experiences compiling local recipes? She'll be at a book signing and launch party at General Store Paso Robles this Dec. 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.! (General Store Paso Robles is located at 841 12th St. in downtown Paso Robles and is ground zero for cool locallymade and artisanal holiday gifts, FYI!) ... Speaking of reading and drooling, local cookbook author Brigit Binns' collaboration with Sunset magazine is pretty perfect for bringing holiday cheer to any local kitchen. Eating Up the West Coast is full of vibrant regional recipes and is available now at Trust me, it's a good one, but beware: It may ignite your wanderlust.

Drink to this

Get sour! Word on the street: sour beer producers Libertine Brewing Co., now with tasting rooms in both Morro Bay and downtown SLO, is slated to debut a new Pluot Wild Ale to its lineup sometime around this January. Those crazy kids are always up to something, aren't they? ... Early bird pricing for the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance/Visit Cambria event, Blendfest, ends Dec. 14 (get your tickets for the February collision of waves and wine at before then to get a sweet deal) ... Luis Wine Bar will host an evening of eclectic beer, wine, and live holiday jazz this Dec. 4 from 7 to 10 p.m. Sip on mulled wine, Anchor Christmas Ale, or whatever looks good on the posh hangout's ever-changing menu (no cover; 1021 Higuera St., downtown SLO). Wear an ugly sweater if the mood strikes!

Food coma be gone

Thanksgiving detox: Feeling flabby, but still want to dig into warm, comfort-food favorites this winter? Try this recipe for cauliflower mash, guaranteed to give you the rich fluffy texture you crave with zero food coma feeling. Take a pound of fresh steamed cauliflower, 1/4 cup soymilk, a clove or two of garlic, a pinch of cornstarch, and a dash of Italian seasoning, plus a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (it's good for you and delicious—you can find it at the SLO Natural Foods Cooperative). Mash. Taste. Gush! ... If you need a little healthy midday pick-me-up, try a fresh twist on the not-so-good-for-you pumpkin spice latte. Blend a handful of ice, a whole banana, a dollop or two of fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt with a half cup of pureed canned pumpkin. Flavor with cinnamon, nutmeg, and honey. How often do you get fiber and flavor out of a healthy snack? It's a Christmas miracle!

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