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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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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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