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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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Enjoy a fresh Indian take on guacamole

Freshly made guacamole easily finds a place in Indian cuisine, swapping tortilla chips for crispy pappadums. The golden, crunchy rounds, often served as an appetizer here in California, are typically made of lentils, black gram or chickpea flour. At home, prepare a store-bought packet of pappadums by frying in hot oil, roasting on a gas stove or heating in the microwave oven.

My version of guacamole is reminiscent of a thick chutney that is not only delicious, but also loaded with nutritious monounsaturated fat. Avocados provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins and folic acid.

I also add curry powder and garam masala and give the dish a light tempering with mustard and cumin seeds. Some of the most common ingredients in curry powder include turmeric, fenugreek, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, mustard seeds, cayenne pepper and cardamom.

The key to making the perfect guacamole is to keep tasting as you add ingredients and adjust according to your palate.

A few useful hints: Use fresh, ripe avocados – if the avocado is very dark green (nearly brown), it’s probably too ripe to use and will get mushy once you open it. Red onions are the way to go, especially for Indian guacamole. Freshly chopped green cilantro, lime or lemon juice and green chili enhance the flavors, but you can omit the chili if you are afraid of spices. The curry powder and garam masala compensate well for the chili and provide great flavor while giving it the signature Indian zing and taste.

Serve this simple and tasty appetizer with a glass of crisp white wine to give your cocktail party that added pizzazz.

Gitika Baveja is author of “Indian Flavors to Savor: The Easy Home-Cooked Way.” For more recipes and to order a cookbook, visit flavorstosavor.com.

Indian Guacamole

• 1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed with fork

• 1/4 small red onion, chopped

• Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

• Pinch of salt

• Pinch of garam masala

• 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, or to taste

• 1 small tomato, seeded and diced (optional)

• 1/2 green chili, finely chopped (optional)

• 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

• 1/2 teaspoon black whole mustard seeds

• 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

In small bowl, combine chopped onion, garlic, cilantro, green chili and avocado. Give a generous squeeze or two from lime or lemon. Add salt, garam masala and curry powder. Stir, check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Heat oil in small saucepan, add mustard and cumin seeds and cover over medium heat until seeds pop, 1-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir into guacamole. Serve immediately with pappadums.

Note: Pappadums, or papad, left, are a delicious traditional Indian crispy snack available at Indian grocery stores; cook according to package directions. You can heat pappadums in the microwave for 1 minute – they taste as good as fried but are a much more healthful alternative. Pappadums are sold in different flavors – I prefer the plain udad lentil ones for this guacamole recipe.

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