Last updateTue, 30 May 2017 5pm

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.

Giving thanks for family wines at vineyards and local tables

Courtesy of Christine Moore
Wine enthusiast Christine Moore says a vineyard in Sonoma County remains a central part of her young family’s life.

Gratitude is the heart’s memory, according to a French proverb.

As I write about wines for Thanksgiving, my heart brims with gratitude. For me, wine and family are inseparable. I grew up on a small ranch in Sonoma County. In 1998, my parents planted 30 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes. By 2001, we were selling those grapes. We named the vineyard Teac Mor, which means “Big House” in Gaelic, an homage to our father’s childhood home in Ireland, which was the only two-story structure in his small village of Leitra, Galway.

Centuries-old recipe brings modern Thanksgiving appeal

Photo Courtesy of Blanche Shaheen
Hashwa, a Lebanese/Palestinian stuffing, tops fluffy rice with lamb, nuts and spices.

Many of us promise ourselves every year that we will not give in to the holiday feast bombardment – this time we are just going to keep our mouths shut, except for arugula. Then we break that promise after the first temptation.

Let’s face reality: Low-carb Thanksgiving dinners are not a thing. The holidays are the ideal time to set aside the green smoothies, sprouted tortillas and egg-white omelets and celebrate togetherness by reveling in some luxurious carbohydrates.

No tricks, just treats for Halloween wines

Courtesy of Christine Moore
The Carne Humana red wine blend is ideal for Halloween, with loads of dark chocolate and licorice on the nose, hints of blackberry and anise and a lingering finish.

Bellows and boos, Halloween draws near!

Raise a glass with friends and a ghoulish cheer!

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