Thu09182014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Simple traditions from New Delhi

 Image from article Simple traditions from New Delhi

Gitika Baveja wrote her first two cookbooks in India after watching some of her young female friends leave their family homes for marriage without much background in cooking and housekeeping basics.

Now living in the United States, Baveja has written an English-language book of recipes for the Bay Area community, because "you spend a lot of money on (restaurant) Indian food, and it's not satisfying enough for the people I know."

Baveja wrote, photographed and self-published "Indian Flavors to Savor" (Morris Press Cookbooks, 2006), from an apartment off Homestead Road at the junction of Los Altos, Sunnyvale and Cupertino.

"When I was growing up, I would sit for hours on a ledge in the kitchen watching my mother cook, enamored. Now, when I eat in a restaurant, I come home and try the dish my way. It's just a passion," she said.

Baveja, who works in the high-tech industry, said, "My work is more stressful. When I come home and cook (in the evening), it's relaxing."

Her cookbook focuses on northern-style dishes, seasoned by Baveja's upbringing in New Delhi.

"In the north, we are also very cosmopolitan. I'd make a lot of Western dishes even when I was in India," Baveja said.

Most of the recipes are intended to take only 15-20 minutes to prepare. The book incorporates healthful spins on traditionally guilty treats, like an olive-oil version of halwa, a sweet that typically relies on rich dairy products.

"There is a misconception that Indian food is very fattening," Baveja said. She described the dishes Westerners are likely to encounter in American-Indian restaurants as filled with butter and cream, more like wedding dishes than everyday fare in India.

"If you put two cups of butter in, people will like it," Baveja said. But she seeks to offer an alternative in her cookbook: a guide to the Indian cooking techniques that infuse flavor without resorting to fat.

"It's satisfying to share knowledge and recipes," she said.

She is interested in leading cooking classes at some point to teach trickier techniques, such as tempering dry spices in a hot pan. Novices have occasionally filled a kitchen with billows of spicy smoke when tempering goes awry. "Indian Flavors to Savor" offers a crash course in such techniques in its first pages, in addition to a plethora of hints crucial for the novice cook: when to add garlic to a skillet, how to balance unfamiliar spices and on which ingredients it is OK to "cheat" and use the canned. With a guide to cookery terms and an English-Hindi introduction to Indian spices, Baveja tries to entice even the most timid chef to an experiment with curry.

"It's really a misconception that Indian food is spicy. You need to know your tolerance level. The food isn't spicy if you don't make it spicy," Baveja said.

Her potato cutlets, subtly flavored with the homemade spice mix garam masala, coriander powder and a hint of red chili, have the crispy, panfried flavor of comfort food. She adds large pearl tapioca to the cutlets, which lends a delicate, surprising substance and texture to the potato patties. They are eaten dipped in a sweet, salty cilantro and mint chutney, which adds a vibrant color and a bite of fresh, raw herb flavor to the side dish.

Baveja's masala tava salmon is lightly coated in spiced rice flour and panfried, resulting in tender, fragrant fish inside a crisp, rich crust, pungent with a hint of mango powder. Her chickpea curry is a standout beginner's dish, low on fat and smoldering with an earthy, sweet, chopped ginger, onion and tomato base.

For more information about "Indian Flavors to Savor," e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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