An avocado walked into a mousse: 'Avochocolado'

Photos Courtesy of Blanche Shaheen
“Avochocolado” is on the menu of food blogger Blanche Shaheen, who demonstrates how to make it in a YouTube video shot in her Los Altos kitchen.

Once upon a time, I was in the 5 percent minority of Californians who do not like avocados.

Friends and family thought something was seriously wrong with me as they tried to ply me with guacamole and chips, to no avail. From birth, I always thought the texture was too mushy and the flavor too bland. Then one day I had an avocado awakening, which started with the simple concept of avocado toast.

Local brewers warm up with yuletide ales

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A beer-tasting flight at Eureka! enables drinkers to work their way up to a toasty holiday brew.

For many Los Altos residents, the holiday season calls for a holiday beer. While there is no standard definition of a yuletide-style ale, many local beer purveyors have a working agreement on what their customers are looking for.

Stuart Keith, assistant manager at Jane’s Beer Store in Mountain View, said most beers that are specials around the holidays begin with a style called a “Winter Warmer.”

Dreaming of a white and red (wine) Christmas

Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
The delicious black currant and tobacco flavors in the Magnificat make the wine the ideal pairing with steak for two.

With all of the jubilee and celebration of the holiday season, the intimate moments are often the most wonderful.

Of the many happy events of the season, I will most cherish two nights in December: a family pasta dinner eaten from plates on our laps as we watch “Elf,” and an at-home steak dinner date with my husband.

Sweet potato and pumpkin make a splash on the side

Photos Rita Held/ Special to the Town Crier
Spice up the simplicity of sweet potato, above, and pumpkin, below, with splashes of Marsala and bitters for an adult take on the classics.

Fast-to-cook sweet potatoes and pumpkin straight from the can inject seasonal flavor with minimal effort with the addition of a splash of liquor.

Sweet potatoes are one of my autumn favorites, and I often bring my Marsala-Whipped Sweet Potatoes to family holiday dinners.

Chocolaty character of stout beers blends spicy, sweet ingredients

photo Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Aged coffee beans join beer in Modern Times’ bourbon barrel stout.

Dark beers like stout highlight flavors reminiscent of coffee and chocolate, resulting in a great canvas for brewers to blend nontraditional ingredients in their beers. From fruits and vegetables to coffee, vanilla, chocolate, spices and even peanut butter, the variety of unusual stouts produced by California breweries is growing and changing all the time.

Autumn ales

Following are some recommendations for the autumn season.

LA native starts winery from tiny space in SF

and Sheehan-Stross

The first shipments went out last month for a winery born in Los Altos and realized in a Haight-Ashbury apartment.

Los Altos native Luc Bergevin started Foot of the Bed Cellars as a direct-to-consumer monthly subscription wine service fixed at $15 per bottle.

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos