Sat09202014

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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Baking leaves time for love


In one of winter’s hottest pop songs, “Royals,” the artist Lorde sings, “And we’ll never be royals, it don’t run in our blood. That kind of luxe just ain’t for us, we crave a different kind of buzz.”

I have to disagree. I think anyone can feel a royal buzz – courtesy of simple chocolate, hazelnut and biscuits – once they’ve had a taste of my “lazy cake.”

The lazy cake is not your typical Middle Eastern dessert, but it has been popular in the Arab world from Egypt to Lebanon and beyond for decades.

The cake is called “lazy” because there is no baking required. Instead of flour, the foundation consists of crushed English digestive or Marie biscuits – no doubt a remnant of British colonization in the Middle East. This cake is popular in the Arab Gulf States as well, because there is no need to turn on an oven, a plus in the hot desert climate.

While watching a program on the wedding preparations for Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, my laser focus turned to Prince William’s groom’s cake. I realized that his chef was actually creating a lazy cake as I saw him stirring crushed biscuits with chocolate sauce. Who knew that the same dessert my grandmother would make, wrapped in foil in the freezer, would take on a fancier form as the dessert centerpiece at the royal wedding.

The word “cake” doesn’t adequately describe this fudgy confection, which is more like a fusion of cookie and cake. I make my lazy cake with a twist, using chocolate hazelnut butter and ganache for an extra- special taste and presentation. For a variation on that same old box of chocolates, try making this addictive cake for your loved ones. They will no doubt feel like royalty.

Blanche Shaheen is a food blogger and journalist who lives in Los Altos. For more recipes, visit feastinthemiddleeast.com or youtube.com/blanchetv.

Lovestruck Lazy Cake

• 36 Marie biscuits or 20 digestive biscuits

• 1/2 stick butter, softened

• 3/4 cup condensed milk

• 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

• 4 rounded tablespoons cocoa

• 2/3 cup chocolate hazelnut butter (I use Nutella brand)

• 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Ganache (optional)

• 1/2 cup heavy cream

• 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Place cookies in large plastic bag. Pound with mallet until they resemble coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Mix condensed milk, cocoa, sugar, butter, 1/2 cup chocolate chips and Nutella in bowl. Microwave for approximately 1 minute, then mix until smooth or butter is completely melted. Gradually fold in cookie crumbs.

Take either 9-inch cake pan or bread loaf pan and line with parchment paper. Form lazy cake into whichever mold you choose, pressing down firmly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate if planning to eat that day or freeze to eat at a later time.

When ready to serve, cut into slices. You can always freeze what you don’t eat by wrapping the cake with foil.

For a fancier presentation, melt the other 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and cream in a double boiler and stir until chocolate is melted and smooth, making a ganache. I usually put chips in a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of boiling water for this method. Pour mixture over the Lazy Cake and serve.

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