Seasonal brews make your feast more festive

Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
Gnoel de Abbey from The Lost Abbey in San Marcos is billed as a “holiday brown ale.”

Sure, you can enjoy a nice bottle of wine with your holiday feast, but why not enjoy some delightful winter seasonal craft brews from California instead?

Ice cream innovator offers stories in a scoop

salt straw eliza
Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier 
Salt & Straw's Tyler Malek visited Palo Alto to launch a new location for the ice creamery, and December's holiday flavors. 

A special source, ingredient or pairing can transform a recipe from food to story. During the holiday season, people pay tribute to family or faith when they dust off an ancient cookie recipe or heat oil for the sufganiyot. Tyler Malek, the ice cream creator for Salt & Straw, mused on the idea of storytelling in the kitchen in an exclusive Town Crier interview at the innovative ice cream shop’s new Palo Alto location, which opened three weeks ago. 

Homemade halawa makes a sweet holiday gift

Courtesy of Blanche Shaheen
Halawa, a sweet sesame seed paste confection, makes a tasty holiday gift.

When my mother was a young girl living in Bethlehem, chocolates and other candies were a luxury. So she ate halawa, a sweet also known as halva, a sesame seed paste confection that almost has the consistency of chocolate fudge.

Halawa means “sweet” in Arabic, and this confection is not only sweet, but also packed with calcium, magnesium, fiber and antioxidants. Halawa is ubiquitous all over the Middle East, from Syria to Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon.

Thanksgiving: The great American meal

Courtesy of Christine Moore
Christine Moore’s Thanksgiving gatherings feature favorite family recipes, right, and the most important ingredient of all – family.

The periodicals lining the supermarket check-out lanes this time of year tantalize with their gorgeous cover models: turkeys, skin perfectly browned, alluringly surrounded by bouquets of fresh herbs; mouth-watering pumpkin pies with piles of fluffy cream; and luxurious mountains of mashed potatoes and other stunning side dishes.

Ghostwood Beer Co. launches new taproom in Redwood City

Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
Red dragonfruit gives Ghostwood Beer Co.’s Pinky Brewster Hazy IPA, center, its distinctive hue, and $1 from every pint sold goes to local breast cancer charities.

Ghostwood Beer Co.’s child-friendly and dog-friendly taproom opened its doors in September in the former Back Yard Coffee space at 965 Brewster Ave. in Redwood City, adjacent to the Caltrain tracks.

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