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News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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