Barbie Butz e1607969318124
Barbie Butz is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at

There are some fun events going on this weekend that should really put you in the mood for the season. This Friday night, Dec. 10, from 5 to 9 p.m., downtown Atascadero will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland with tons of snow for sledding on a massive snow-slide.

Included with the snow activities will be Bounce Houses, Joe’s Little Train, Santa and Mrs. Claus, A-Town Park Scooter Demos, live entertainment, and food and craft vendors.

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Then on Saturday evening from 6 to 9 p.m., you can attend the 35th Annual Vine Street Showcase in Paso Robles in your car. No walking the street this year due to COVID restrictions. However, it is a treat to see the houses along Vine Street all decorated and ready for Christmas.


This year Coats for Kids received a special donation from a wonderful North County family. Tim and Debbie Kopack sold their Yesterdays Sportswear business in Paso Robles and saved 70 cases of new sweatshirts for the Coats for Kids distribution to families in need. 

Due to COVID restrictions (again), our Coats for Kids team was forced to make changes in how we distribute our warm items of clothing. We worked with local North County churches and other non-profit organizations like ECHO, Resilient Souls, Lumina Alliance, Loaves and Fishes, Lighthouse, and even the San Miguel Fire Department, to help make sure that we reach as many children and adults in need, as possible, with something warm.

So, thank you, Tim and Debbie, and your sons, Evan and Chris, for your years of support for our Coats for Kids of SLO County project. You are a wonderful example of love for your community and the people who live there. 

Thank you also to the churches and organizations who joined with us this year to help keep our families warm.

Now, for the recipe of the week. With the holidays upon us, I have been looking for “party-type foods,” and here’s a dip that should satisfy party-goers of all ages.

White Bean Dip

1 can (15.8 ounces) great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (4½ ounces) chopped green chiles, drained
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup thick and chunky salsa
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
Tortilla chips to serve

Note: For Black Bean Dip, substitute 1 can (15 ounces) black beans for the great Northern beans. 


For each bean dip, process beans, green chiles, sour cream, salsa, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, cumin, white pepper, and salt in a food processor just until blended. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature with tortilla chips.

Note: For a change, add 2 tablespoons of diced red bell pepper after you have prepared the dip in the food processor.

Enjoy the season!