Last Friday evening, we attended the “cruise” on El Camino Real in Atascadero. My husband and I agreed that it was by far the best one yet!

Barbie Butz is an independent columnist for The Atascadero News and Paso Robles Press; you can email her at bbutz1@outlook.com

Congratulations to Terrie Banish and her team for their organizational skills in putting on events like that. It was a treat for us to be able to see such beautiful, classic vehicles parading El Camino Real.

We did not make it out to the Mid-State Cruizers Car Show at Atascadero Lake Park, but from all reports, it was a huge success, as was the evening event, “Dancing in the Streets” in downtown Atascadero.

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It was a weekend that was alive and well here in Atascadero.

We’re reaching the end of our summer Concerts in the Park series and the Movies in the Gardens events this weekend. Mark your calendars for Saturday, Aug. 27. The concert starts at 6:30 p.m., and the movie begins at 8 p.m.

I am dedicating this week’s recipes to two of our graphic designers who work at the Atascadero News. They do the layout for the paper and the magazines. I am always impressed with the designs they come up with for my columns.

So, here’s a “shout out” to Neil Schumaker and Evan Rodda. They say that they and some of their family members try the recipes. I think many of our readers will want to try this recipe for an apple-pecan pie bar!

Remember, we are getting ready for fall, so put this recipe on your list.

Apple-Pecan Pie Bar

Ingredients:

Crust:

2 +1/3 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, melted

Filling:

2 medium Granny Smith apples (about 1⁄4 pound), peeled, cored, and diced into 1⁄4-inch pieces (about 2 cups) 

5 tablespoons butter, divided 

1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon 

21⁄2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped

6 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

3⁄4 cup maple syrup

11⁄2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9×13- inch baking pan with foil, leaving extra foil at the ends to hold onto while lifting bars from dish. For the crust, combine flour, sugar, salt, and melted butter in a medium bowl. Stir until dough forms. Press dough into the bottom of prepared baking dish. Chill in freezer for 10 minutes. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the edges of the crust begin to turn light golden brown. Remove from oven and lightly butter the sides of the dish. Make filling by cooking apples, 1 tablespoon butter, and cinnamon in a medium skillet, over medium heat until apples have softened (about 8 minutes). Spread apples and pecans over crust. Set aside. Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter and add to a medium bowl. Add eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla; whisk together. Pour over apples and pecans; bake for 40-45 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool for 2 hours, cut in bars and remove from pan. Then watch them disappear!!

I love this quote:

“Fall…The time when everything bursts with its last beauty. As if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” Lauren DeStefano

Get ready for the grand finale, ‘cause it will be here soon!

Cheers!