Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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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

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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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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