Barbie Butz is a freelance columnist for The and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at [email protected]

Last week I had another birthday party, and although it wasn’t really a party because of the VIDOC restrictions, my friends did not disappoint me. Ginny and Greg Malik delivered a “birthday package” that included Ginny’s delicious carrot cake, party gifts, candles numbered 5 and 8 (not 8 and 5!!), champagne, a bouquet of beautiful red roses, and chocolates. Son Dave brought a delicious homemade lemon cake that he and his wife Shannon had prepared. Diane and Mike Schneider delivered a potted plant full of bright yellow flowers, and the Mattson family sent me a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers. Great stuff!

All deliveries were made safely and according to VIDOC guidelines. Gifts, cards and emails were received and appreciated with gratitude. The only thing missing was the chance to give everyone a hug. Somehow I missed the human contact and I hope we can do it again soon.

According to the Atascadero Historical Society bulletin, the Colonial Museum has been “spruced up” since it closed to the public. The community has painted, set up an archive room for the collections and built shelving for storage. The work continues.

Although the museum is officially closed, Jim Blaise, chief archivist of the museum, still actively responds to requests from the public for information and photographs. Requests often come from owners of new settlements seeking information about their homes. In many cases, the museum has historical photographs or other information about the house. The museum also holds many of the original deeds of sale of Colonia lands sold during the early foundation of Colonia Atascadero.

For more information about the museum and Historical Society membership, visit the Atascadero Historical Society website or call the Colony Museum at (805)466-8341.

Looking for a unique Valentine’s Day gift this year? Just in time for February 14 (this Sunday), Charles Paddock Zoo invites you to show your true love for an adopted cockroach! According to Deputy Town Manager Terry Banish and Zoo Director Alan Baker, you can give that special person in your life, who is either very hard to get or could be the perfect person, a cockroach all by himself!

Until Monday, February 15, you can bring the Madagascar Whistling Cockroach from the zoo as a fun new way to express your love, or perhaps lack thereof! Cockroaches will stay at the zoo if you’re interested!

For just $5, receive an official adoption certificate in your name for Valentine’s Day.

For this unique Valentine’s Day gift, visit the zoo’s website. The zoo has a lot of social space because it is mostly outdoors.

Here’s a quick and easy way to make treats for your loved one on Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate tacos

2 cups all-purpose flour1
cup sugar1½ teaspoon
baking powder1½ teaspoon
baking soda1 teaspoon
salt3 tablespoons
butter, spread2
large eggs2 cups
milk1/3 teaspoon
vanilla extract1
packet dark chocolate chips3 tablespoons
coconut oil3 cups
vanilla ice cream1 cup
fresh strawberries, peeled and chopped8 oz.
chopped white chocolate

skillet over medium-low heat. While the pan is heating, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk in the
eggs, milk and vanilla.
Mix the dry and wet ingredients together. Refrigerate for up to one hour. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a heated skillet, being careful not to brown it. When the butter is melted, spread the ball dough in the pan like a pancake dough. Use about 1/3 cup of batter for each taco. Cook for about 2 minutes, flipping the tacos when bubbles appear. Cook 2 minutes on the second side. Place on a cooling rack. Once cool, form taco shells between inverted muffin cups. Let stand for 10 minutes. Place chocolate chips and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stopping and stirring after 30 seconds. After 1 minute, check to see if the chips have melted. Let the chocolate cool while you fill the tacos. Put a scoop of ice cream in each cooled taco shell. Add strawberries and sprinkle with melted chocolate. Sprinkle with chopped white chocolate.

For 6 to 8 people.

Have fun! Happy Valentine’s Day!


Here’s how:

How to load…

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