Mon10202014

News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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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