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During the season for outdoor parties, reunions, picnics and delicious desserts, try bringing a new dish to the table with a recipe like this Apple-Cranberry Cobbler.

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The newly renovated and energized Brix restaurant just north of Yountville on Highway 29 may have the finest outdoor dining views in all of the Napa Valley. After being closed for nearly four months the space has been transformed. Spacious and bright, the updated dining room spills outside through large doors to an expansive lawn that is surrounded by well-tended gardens and verdant vineyards, the views melting westward into the blue-toned Mayacamas Mountains.

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Trader Joe’s is known for their affordable groceries, healthy freezer section items, and creative sauces and spice blends, but few Trader Joe’s items have caught on quite like their “Everything but the Bagel” seasoning. This tasty blend of sesame seeds, sea salt flakes, dried garlic, dried onion, and poppy seeds (everything you’d find on your favorite everything bagel) had developed a cult following. If you’re not lucky enough to have a Trader Joe’s in your area, you can now buy the spice blend online.

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Busy families often find it hard to serve fresh and quickly prepared meals. But before pulling up to the nearest drive-through window, family chefs should know that many homecooked meals can be whipped up in a pinch.