Fri10242014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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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

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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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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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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