Hidden Hills Community Register • October 2023

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PUBLISHED MONTHLY OCTOBER 2023 Happy trails, with Esther, collette & bowie Community Calendar & events • crossroads kitchen • pianist jake justice spooky season alert for your pets • halloween treats • phoenix desert ridge resport & spa

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CALENDAR Upcoming Events 18 BULLETIN BOARD Fiesta 2023, City Council News, Community Updates 20 A NIGHT OF EMPATHY The David Labkovski Project Event 22 CANINE CARNIVAL A Howling Success at Hidden Hills Community Center 24 CROSSROADS KITCHEN Chef Tal Ronnen Brings Culinary Excellence to Hidden Hills 32 PIANIST JAKE JUSTICE A Musical Evening at Hidden Hills Community Center 36 OCTOBER 2023 in this issue SPOOKY SEASON ALERT Protecting Your Pets from Halloween Hazards 40 HIDDEN HILLS TRAILS Safe Horse Riding with Esther, Collette and Bowie 42 ENCHANTING EQUESTRIAN EXTRAVAGANZA Quinn’s Magical 7th Birthday Bash at Spring Valley Arena 28 STOP PUTTING LIFE OFF Breaking the Procrastination Cycle 44 UNVEIL THE HALLOWEEN SPIRIT Spooky Treats 48 PHOENIX DESERT RIDGE RESORT An Oasis for All 50 14 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023

Autumn’s Vibrant Community News

Wishing you all a delightful October, filled with the golden hues and crisp air of autumn. As the leaves change and the season ushers in its unique charm, we present to you another edition of The Hidden Hills Community Register and Resource Guide

Published each and every month, this magazine is tailored exclusively for our beloved community. It stands as a testament to our dedication to shedding light on the positive facets of our community – its vibrant people, pressing issues, upcoming events, and varied interests. Consider this your go-to monthly guide for everything Hidden Hills, brimming with invaluable insights and local knowledge.

It is worth mentioning that this publication reaches your hands owing to the immense support of our advertisers. Their contributions enable us to offer this magazine to our neighbors without any cost. We deeply value the diverse perspectives and creative inspirations our residents, spanning all age groups, bring to this magazine. Your unique stories and viewpoints truly breathe life into its pages.

We are more than just a magazine; we are a platform for sharing the tales that make Hidden Hills what it is. Should you ever have a story to tell, an idea to share, or a desire to contribute, we encourage you to reach out. Send your thoughts, stories, or suggestions to editor@ hiddenhillsmag.com.


This community publication is created exclusively for you and all of our Hidden Hills neighbors and is made possible with the generous support of these local businesses.









































Published by your friends and neighbors, exclusively for our community
nic & hayley Mattson lonna Weber
Thoughts? Story Ideas? Want to be involved? Editor@HiddenHillsMag.com October 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 15



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THURSDAY OCTOBER 26, 2023 5:30 - 7:30 PM


OCTOBER 26, 2023

5:30 - 7:30 PM

Join us for a magical Halloween mixer! Enjoy enchanting cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, charming entertainment, a costume contest and so much more.

Join us for a magical Halloween mixer! Enjoy enchanting cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, charming entertainment, a costume contest and so much more.

RSVP to Jennahway Salisbury by October 23, 2023 at jsalisbury@belmontvillage.com or 818-222-2600.

RSVP to Jennahway Salisbury by October 23, 2023 at jsalisbury@belmontvillage.com or 818-222-2600.

©2023 Belmont Village, L.P. | RCFE 197609518
by ©2023 Belmont Village, L.P. | RCFE 197609518


10/1 ESC Pancake Breakfast 9 am 10/2 Theater Meeting 10 am 10/3 Farmers Market 2 - 6 pm 10/3 Board of Directors Executive Session 4:30 pm 10/10 Farmers Market 2 - 6 pm 10/11 Parks and Rec. Committee Meeting 11 am 10/13 Movie Night: “A QUIET PLACE” 7:30 pm 10/17 Farmers Market 2 - 6 pm 10/17 Board of Directors Open Session Meeting 6:30 pm 10/18 Equestrian Services Committee Meeting 6:45 pm 10/19 Recall Election 6:30 pm 10/21 P&R Halloween Party 4 - 7 pm 10/24 Farmers Market 2 - 6 pm 10/25 Architectural Meeting 6:30 pm 10/31 Farmers Market 2 - 6 pm 10/31 Halloween
18 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023



Once Upon a Time in Hidden Hills

As you read this, the Fiesta has already taken place, continuing its longstanding tradition. This year’s theme, “Once Upon a Time in Hidden Hills,” aimed to make it the most memorable Fiesta ever. The event unfolded over the weekend of September 30 and October 1, which is why coverage could not be included in this issue. However, anticipate a showcase of all the excitement and photos in our November edition.

City Council News

During their August 28 session, the City Council greenlit the Long Valley Road Parking Lot contract, marking the first phase of the Long Valley Road/US 101 Northbound On-ramp Improvement Project. The project will be funded by Los Angeles County’s Measure R and Measure M traffic funds. In the same meeting, the council also approved legal services for the City’s Library Project, instructed city staff to draft an amendment to the General Plan concerning the City’s Sphere of Influence, and made changes to the municipal code. These updates grant more administrative control over lot line adjustments and minor allocations.

The Hidden Hills City Council convenes on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 5:30 p.m. Meetings are accessible through Channel 3 (Charter/Spectrum Cable), Zoom, or can be streamed from the city’s website at hiddenhills.org.

Malibu Search & Rescue Team Hosts Annual Trail Race Fundraiser

The Malibu Search & Rescue Team cordially invites participants and sponsors to their Annual Fundraising Trail Race Event at Malibu Creek State Park on Sunday, October 22. Attendees can hike, run, or race in 5k or 10k distances, with a special 1k Run/Walk available for children. The event seeks to generate funds to aid the team’s life-saving missions, as it primarily relies on private donations for equipment and supplies. The day will feature awards, food trucks, a Beer Garden by Malibu Brewing Company, and various booths. Donations, vendor participation, and volunteers are highly encouraged, with opportunities to contribute items for drawing and products. All proceeds will directly benefit the team’s efforts. Those wishing to register can do so at this link, and for more information or to volunteer, please contact (844) 920-MSAR (6727). Sponsorship inquiries can be directed to Neal Thornhill at (818) 730-1875 or R22@malibusar. org. The Malibu Search & Rescue Team has been a dedicated all-volunteer organization since its foundation in 1977, serving various areas around the Santa Monica Mountains.

Blackboard Connect

In case of urgent situations like a wildfire evacuation, the City of Hidden Hills employs the Blackboard Connect service to disseminate critical alerts through voice calls, emails, and text messages to its residents. It’s mandatory for all landline phones in the city to be registered for this service. Residents can also opt to include other contact details, such as mobile or work phone numbers and additional email addresses. To

ensure you receive timely alerts, it’s highly recommended to visit the City’s Blackboard Connect web portal to either create or update your contact profile—even if you think you’re already in the system.

For access to the Blackboard Connect portal, visit the City’s official website at hiddenhillscity.org. If you require help with the registration process, feel free to contact City Hall at (818) 888-9281 or email staff@ hiddenhillscity.org.

HIDDEN HILLS MOVIE NIGHT PRESENTS October 13th 7:00PM Refreshments at 6:30PM ENJOY THIS SPECIAL FEATURE IN OUR THEATRE Sponsored by The Parks and Recreation Committee PG-13 TRICK TREAT H a l l o w e e n P a r t y O c t o b e r 2 1 OR 4 - 7 P M MORE INFORMATION TO FOLLOW C o s t u m e c o n t e s t , D J , F o o d T r u c k s , g a m e s & S p o o k y s u r p r i s e s OCT 13 • 7 PM Movie Night: A Quiet Place OCT 21 • 4-7 PM Halloween Party: More info to follow 20 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023

A NIGHT of EMPATHY & ENLIGHTENMENT The David Labkovski Project Event

The artful abode of Minette and Simone Rubin of Hidden Hills graciously hosted an educative and interactive event spearheaded by the David Labkovski Project (DLP) — a noble venture aimed at Holocaust Education through Art. The evening seamlessly blended history, art, and perspective, bridging the gap between the poignant chapters of the past and the diverse realities of today.

The Art of Empathy

Labkovski’s collection of over 400 art pieces is not merely a representation of history but serves as a medium for students to perceive and communicate both brutality and humanity. DLP’s methodology has been instrumental in enhancing empathy among officers and cadets at West Point, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between art, language, and history.

The Journey of Healing

A distinguished documentary titled “Healing through Art,” which won a Telly Award, encompasses the essence of DLP’s educational approach, portraying art as a source of solace and resolution, allowing learners to delve into themes of anti-semitism, discrimination, resilience, survival, and witnessing history.

Voices of the Future

Aliza Lam, a DLP student ambassador, shared her experiences and insights during the event, emphasizing the significance of interactive learning and peer education. “Through my personal experience, I noticed that students were more receptive when they learned from a peer. I think students felt more comfortable delving into these uncomfortable topics with a peer docent who created a safe space,” said Aliza. She encouraged her peers to partake as docents and embrace leadership roles within their communities.

A Universal Language

Leora Raikin believes, “Art is a universal language and has the ability to transcend language and culture.” The DLP continues its journey with an upcoming exhibit and lectures at Temple Etz Chayim, Thousand Oaks, on November 6 at 7 p.m.

A Canvas of Learning

Guests, wrapped in an aura of anticipation and curiosity, were treated to a sophisticated dinner, after which they delved deep into the realms of art reading. Leora Raikin, DLP’s founder and executive director, presented an interactive discourse, elucidating the nuances of critically interpreting art from historical and personal perspectives.

Leora Raikin, alongside illustrious attendees like Leah Hornik, Aliza Lam, Caren Weakly, and Gabby Vanderlaan, illuminated the evening with insights and reflections, helping participants foster a connection with art pieces that resonate with life before, during, and after the Holocaust.

Empowering the Observers

DLP’s initiative is unique and groundbreaking. It encourages students to transit from mere observers to engaged participants and eventually into educators and community leaders. The project, sponsored by Synergy Academics, focuses on enlightening students in Grades 8-12, arming them with the knowledge and leadership skills necessary to educate their peers and communities about the harsh realities of discrimination, anti-semitism, and the Holocaust.

For more information visit David Labkovski Project or for reservations and details on upcoming events email info@davidlabkovskiproject.org.

22 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023

CANINE CARNIVAL A Howling Success at Hidden Hills Community Center

This past July, the Hidden Hills Community Center was bustling with wagging tails and gleeful barks as it hosted a remarkable Canine Carnival. Organized by the Hidden Hills Equestrian Services Committee, the event was an unforgettable gathering for both dogs and dog lovers alike.

One of the standout moments of the evening was the dog agility demonstration by Dr. Tracy Golden, a Hidden Hills resident and agility champion. Her skilled maneuvers and the enthusiastic performance by her canine companion left the audience in awe and set the tone for an exciting evening.

Resident dogs leaped into action, quite literally, during the High Jump Competition. The palpable energy and enthusiasm of the dogs, combined with the cheers from the crowd, created an electrifying atmosphere.

Participants had the opportunity to showcase their dogs’ unique skills and irresistible cuteness in the Best Trick and Cutest Dog divisions. The competition was tough, with every pooch putting their best paw forward, making it a delight for everyone in attendance.

The Vivace pizza truck served up delicious slices, keeping spirits high and bellies full. Ice cream and specially curated doggie snacks were also provided, ensuring that both twolegged and four-legged attendees were well catered to.

The event stipulated that only well-socialized dogs could attend, and it was clear that the community respected this, contributing to a smoothly run and enjoyable evening for all.

It’s safe to say that the Canine Carnival has set a new standard for community bonding and dog-friendly activities in Hidden Hills. We look forward to more such events in the future!

24 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023
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Quinn’s Magical 7th Birthday Bash at Spring Valley Arena

Quinn’s 7th birthday celebration at the Spring Valley Arena was nothing short of enchanting, epitomizing the ideal childhood memory. This special day was accentuated by the presence of Nedra from the Arabian Horse Riding Academy, who graciously provided horses, adding a magical touch to the festivities. The children were excited to be around such magnificent creatures, filling the air with giggles and shrieks of delight while parents watched, their faces illuminated with smiles.

The arena, adorned with colorful balloons and streamers, was resonant with the happy hum of laughter and lively conversations. The gentle and well-trained horses allowed the kids to interact and ride with ease under the watchful eyes of Nedra and her team.

The sparkle in Quinn’s eyes was the highlight, reflecting the unforgettable moments she was living. The cake cutting was another joyous affair, with Quinn making a wish and blowing out the candles amidst a chorus of ‘Happy Birthday.’

This gathering was not just a birthday party; it was a tapestry of precious moments and joyful experiences woven together by the shared happiness of children and the presence of Arabian horses. The day left an imprint of sweet memories on everyone’s hearts, especially Quinn’s, making her 7th birthday remarkably unforgettable.

28 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023
October 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 29
COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS 30 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023


Chef Tal Ronnen Brings Culinary Excellence to Hidden Hills Community Gathering

On September 8, Chef Tal Ronnen of Crossroads Kitchen, renowned for his exquisite vegan Mediterranean cuisine, graced the Hidden Hills with his presence for a food tasting and community gathering event. The much-anticipated event was hosted at the community center by the Parks and Rec committee, a generous gesture to bring the neighborhood together through the universal love of good food.

Chef Tal Ronnen, with his extensive experience and a commendable journey in the culinary world, has time and again surprised guests with his innovative, mouthwatering, and entirely vegan creations. His philosophy, “This cuisine shouldn’t be judged by what’s missing; it should be judged by how great it tastes,” has helped to elevate vegan cuisine to new heights, redefining perceptions of what plant-based food can achieve.

The event in Hidden Hills served as a splendid platform for community members to gather and partake in the culinary brilliance of Chef Tal Ronnen. The Parks and Rec committee organized the gathering, fostering a sense of community and shared enjoyment. The ambiance was vibrant, filled with eager conversations, laughter, and a shared appreciation for high-quality vegan cuisine.

The dishes served at the event were a testament to Chef Ronnen’s commitment to quality and taste. The Mediterranean-inspired fare kept the guests coming back for more, with many praising the unique flavors and textures of the dishes. The community members, irrespective of their dietary preferences, were in awe of the flavors presented, highlighting the universality of well-crafted food.

Chef Tal Ronnen’s visit to Hidden Hills for the food tasting and community gathering was a resounding success, a convergence of culinary innovation and community bonding. It was a beautiful reminder of the endless possibilities within plant-based cuisine and a day marked by the shared joy of delicious food, conversation, and community spirit.

Crossroads Kitchen Calabasas is open to our community every day for brunch, lunch, and dinner, with seating inside the beautifully decorated restaurant or on the waterfront patio. Reservations are recommended, but not required. The luxurious private dining room can also accommodate intimate gatherings or larger parties.

There is a happy hour at the bar Monday through Friday from 3 to 5:30 p.m., as well as takeout available on multiple online ordering platforms.

Visit the Crossroads website or call (747) 230-4210 for further inquiry.

32 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023
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COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS 34 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023
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September 8 brought an enchanting culmination of food and melody to the Hidden Hills community center. Following the delicious Crossroads Food Tasting, the community was serenaded with the harmonious tunes of Jake Justice. The event, organized and hosted by the Parks and Rec committee, was a splendid way to celebrate the communal spirit and artistic fervor that thrives within the local area.

Hailing from Thousand Oaks, Jake Justice is not just a pianist but also a gifted composer, innovative producer, and passionate songwriter. Having embraced the piano from the tender age of three and started composing by eight, Jake has lived a life steeped in musical richness and artistic expression. For Jake, music isn’t just a form of art; it is his lifelong passion and an essential part of his being.

With his early years marked by teaching piano lessons at 16, he went on to explore the world of music more deeply at Brigham Young University. At BYU, Jake’s pursuit of musical excellence saw him partaking in diverse jazz ensembles, forming a band, and crafting his debut solo piano album, the hauntingly beautiful “Siren Suite.”

Jake draws his compositional inspiration from romantic maestros like Rachmaninoff, Chopin, and Debussy, blending classical subtleties with modern melodies to create a unique symphony that speaks to the soul.

Beyond classical piano, Jake has ventured into producing music and has made his mark as a DJ at various national events, including the renowned Ultra Miami Music Festival in 2018. Whether producing electrifying beats or performing classical piano at a world-class level, Jake’s versatile talents have entertained and inspired many.

In 2023, Jake Justice inaugurated The Portal Music Academy. It is not merely a school but a comprehensive musical ecosystem offering in-person and online experiences. The academy, launching online in fall 2023, aims to be a sanctuary for learning, covering a spectrum of musical elements, including piano essentials, music production, sound design, and college-level music theory.

The audience, still lingering on the flavors from the Crossroads Food Tasting, found themselves immersed in a musical journey that was both exhilarating and emotionally moving. The blend of exquisite food and enchanting music made the evening memorable for everyone present.

PIANIST JAKE JUSTICE A Musical Evening at Hidden Hills Community Center 36 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023
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Spooky Season ALERT

Protecting Your Pets from Halloween Hazards— From Toxic Treats to Stressful Scares

As the spooky season approaches, we want to take special care to protect our pets. Halloween is the season of candy and lots of chocolate. Most of us know that chocolate is toxic to dogs. During this season, veterinary hospitals treat dozens of chocolate toxicity cases. Oftentimes, dogs may also eat the wrappers of the candy, which can contribute to an intestinal blockage, which often results in major surgery. Another less-known but hidden ingredient in some candies, especially gum, is xylitol, an artificial sweetener. This ingredient is especially toxic to dogs and, even in small amounts, can cause liver failure. If you’re taking your dog trick or treating, be aware of candy dropped on the ground that your dog can pick up and eat without you noticing in the dark. This is especially a concern in Hidden Hills the day after Halloween once the crowds die down.

Halloween also poses a threat to dogs and cats escaping from their homes through an open door. If you are opening the door for trick-ortreaters, make sure that your pets are secure and cannot escape. Holidays can also be stressful for anxious pets. Guests coming and going, as well as the doorbell ringing can cause anxiety in some pets. Consider securing your pet in a room with some soothing music, or look into products that reduce anxiety, such as a Thundershirt. If your pet is especially anxious, talk to your vet about anti-anxiety meds before the holiday.

One of the most fun parts of Halloween is seeing cute pets dressed up in costumes! If you do plan on taking your pet out for trick or treating, please consider these pointers. When trick or treating in dimly lit areas, as in our neighborhood, consider a light-up device on your pet to make sure that they are visible in the darkness. Dog costumes are always adorable, but sometimes pets don’t like them. Make sure the costume is not too constricting, and your pet can move freely. Also, make sure there are no parts of the costume that the pet can chew on and ingest. Pay attention to your pet’s behavior to make sure he is comfortable with the costume as well as with the crowd’s out trick or treating. We want this to be a fun experience for everyone involved, dogs and pets included.

40 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023
410-4086 October 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 41
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Horseback Riding with Esther, Collette, & Bowie

On a gentle day in Hidden Hills, as the seasons subtly shifted, Esther and her daughter, Collette, strolled the trails. With the trees transitioning to autumn, Collette rode Bowie, the pony, in quiet exploration.

Esther deeply valued these times, observing her daughter delight in simple wonders, like a squirrel’s swift climb or the first hints of leaves changing. Everything felt calm and serene.

As the day came to a close and the sun cast a soft golden light on the path, both Esther and Collette savored the peaceful signs of the changing season.

42 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023

Stop Putting Life Off...

Breaking the Procrastination Cycle and Getting Productive

Margie Chiang, Education Coach
"Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our handand melting like a snowflake."
44 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023
- Francis Bacon, a leading figure in natural philosophy and scientific methodology in the transition period from the Renaissance to the early modern era.

As the Early Decision deadline for college applications draws near, procrastination emerges as a common challenge. This challenge is not limited to teenagers but is also experienced by adults.

Do you ever find yourself consciously putting tasks off until the last minute?

Do you feel overwhelmed by starting a project, leading you to delay it indefinitely?

If “yes,” you are not alone.

Regardless of age, procrastination affects many people and can be a challenging habit to overcome.

What is vital is to approach the angst with empathy and compassion towards yourself, as you are not alone.

Overcoming procrastination requires patience, dedication, and self-reflection.

With the right mindset and strategies, you can learn how to manage procrastination, become less anxious, more productive, and lead a fulfilling life.

Understand why you procrastinate

As with all behavioral concerns, understanding "the why" is essential. Why are you holding back from completing a task? Why are you preventing yourself from reaching your potential? What is the root cause of your procrastination?

• Are you afraid of failure?

• Are you overwhelmed?

Once you understand why you procrastinate, you can develop strategies to address it.

Let's take the example of fear of failure. Instead of viewing failure as a negative outcome, regard it as an opportunity for learning, which leads to growth. In addition, set realistic expectations. If goals are established at a starry high, the outcomes look so far away, leading to discouragement and even shame. Instead, set realistic milestones and take baby steps. The consistency of moving forward is what will manifest success.

Establish specific goals and deadlines

Establishing particular, measurable goals with deadlines can help keep you accountable and focused. Try using a simple to-do list or calendar to keep track of your deadlines.

You would be amazed at how inspiring it is to check off boxes for completion as each tick gets you closer to the finish line!

Prioritize tasks

Determine which tasks are most important and prioritize them accordingly. Admittedly, this planning takes time and analysis, but doing this prevents haphazard execution. Planning execution tasks can help you stay focused on what needs to be done first, avoiding wasting time on less critical tasks.

Commit to a routine

Establish and schedule your tasks for specific times during the day. For example, before I retire from the day, I view my tasks for the following day and the week. In the morning, the first item I look at when I flip open my laptop is my list of prioritized tasks. This helps create a sense of structure and accountability.

Eliminate distractions

Identify and eliminate any distractions preventing you from finishing tasks. This includes phone calls, social media accounts, deliveries – anything that will pull you from tasks' completion. So put your phone on silent, log out of social media accounts, clean off your desk, and focus. Admittedly, this is challenging, and I often stray on this one, but I return 'back to the track' when I see time slipping away.

Practice self-compassion

Procrastination often involves negative self-talk, such as "OMG! There is no way I can do this!" or "I'm not good enough." Replace such sentiments with positive affirmations, such as "I can do this!" or "No one can stop me!"

Take breaks

Take short breaks every hour or two to prevent physical discomforts such as eye strain and back pain. Breaks can be as brief as 5–10 minutes and involve moving around, such as stretching or walking around to clear the head and refresh the body.

Celebrate wins

Celebrate your goal attainments and reward yourself for completing tasks on time. This can create a positive feedback loop and motivate you to keep going.

Embrace support

If procrastination is wreaking havoc on your life, seek help from friends, family, or a professional. They can offer support through guidance so that you can overcome procrastination to lead a fulfilling life.

October 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 45

Unveil the Halloween Spirit

alloween is a time for creepy crafts, fanciful costumes, and, above all, deliciously spooky treats! This year, enchant your friends and family with devilishly delightful Spooky Specter Truffles and Frightful Halloween Cake Pops. The truffles, a concoction of white chocolate, heavy cream, butter, and crushed Oreo cookies, are adorned with edible candy eyes and optional plastic spider rings for a ghoulish touch. Rolling them in cocoa powder and sprinkles complete their ghostly appearance. Meanwhile, the Halloween Cake Pops are a healthy, almond flour-based treat with the hearty flavors of pumpkin and dark chocolate, brought to life with natural food coloring for that eerie Halloween look. These treats are not just delectable but also double as spooky décor, sure to spread the Halloween vibe around!

spooky specter truffles


2 cups (12 oz) White Chocolate Chips

1 cup Heavy Cream

2 tbsp Unsalted Butter

½ cup Crushed Oreo Cookies (check for ones without dyes)

¼ cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Edible Candy Eyes

½ cup Orange and Black Sprinkles (check for ones without dyes)

Plastic Spider Rings (optional)


Prepare the Ganache: Place white chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl.

Heat heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to simmer.

Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate chips, allowing them to melt. Leave it for about 2 minutes, then stir until smooth.

Mix in the butter until fully incorporated and the mixture is glossy. Mix in the Cookies: Crush the Oreo cookies into fine crumbs using a food processor or placing them in a ziplock bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.

Fold the crushed cookies into the chocolate mixture until well combined.

Chill: Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until the ganache is firm enough to shape.

Shape the Truffles:

Once the mixture is set, use a melon baller or a small ice cream scoop to portion out the truffles.

Roll each portion between your hands to form a smooth ball.

Decorate: Roll each truffle in cocoa powder, colored sprinkles, or both, until well coated.

Place candy eyes on each truffle to give them a spooky specter look. Optionally, you can add a plastic spider ring on top for an extra creepy touch.

Chill Again: Place the decorated truffles in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes to firm up before serving.

Serve & Enjoy: Arrange your Spooky Specter Truffles on a serving platter.

Enjoy the enchanting combination of creamy, crunchy, and chocolaty in every bite, sending shivers of delight down your spine!

48 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023

halloween cake pops


2 cups almond flour

1 cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened)

1/4 cup honey or pure maple syrup

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 70% cocoa)

24 lollipop sticks

Optional: Natural food coloring (orange, green, and black)


Preheat Oven & Prepare Pan: Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C).

Line a 9x9 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides (to lift out the cake later).

Mix Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, honey or maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined.

Combine Dry Ingredients: In a separate bowl, mix together almond flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spreading it evenly.

Bake for about 25–30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.

Form Cake Pops: Once cooled, lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang.

Crumble the cake into a large bowl.

Roll the cake crumbs into small, tight balls (around 1 inch in diameter).

Melt Chocolate: Place the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl.

Melt them in the microwave in 20-second increments, stirring in between, until smooth.

If desired, divide melted chocolate into separate bowls and mix in natural food coloring to get different colors.

Assemble Cake Pops: Insert a lollipop stick into each cake ball. Dip each cake pop into the melted chocolate until fully coated. Place on parchment paper and let them harden.

Decorate: Using colored chocolate or healthy, natural colored writing gels, create spooky faces, or Halloween-related designs on the cake pops once the chocolate coating is set.

Serve & Enjoy!: Once the decoration is set, the Halloween Cake Pops are ready to be served.

Notes: For extra protein, consider adding a scoop of your favorite protein powder to the batter. If you do, you might need to adjust the amount of pumpkin puree to keep the batter from being too dry. Store any leftover cake pops in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or refrigerate for a longer shelf life.

October 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 49

JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa

50 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023
Photos by Elyse Glickman & The Hotel Californian

With cooler weather arriving, and the holiday season on the horizon, October is the perfect time to begin planning winter getaways, be it a golf or spa weekend with friends, a week of family time, a destination wedding, or a business retreat that will linger in the minds of the participants. While the planning process can be fun, the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa is also ideal for travelers wanting a plug-andplay kind of vacation with the “choose your adventure” mindset built right into the 869 room/81 suite resort. And if your fourlegged best friend is joining the fun, no problem. The $80 million transformation of the 316-acre property has everybody covered.

The first things many Southern Californians consider when booking a getaway in nearby Phoenix are family-friendly features, outdoor activities, a glamorous spa, and a well appointed golf course—and the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge checks all of those boxes. One of the resort’s star attractions is Wildfire Golf Club, with two panoramic 18-hole championship courses designed by Arnold Palmer and Nick Faldo. Revive Spa incorporates luxurious and rejuvenating facials, massages, and body treatments and updated fitness center along with relaxation rooms, a palm-lined sanctuary pool, cabanas, a sauna, steam rooms, fitness classes, a bistro, and a salon.

Wellness extends to the great outdoors with bike rentals and easy access to nearby hiking and fitness trails. True to JW Marriott tradition, there are several activities designed for children and young teens with a variety of interests, from athletic activities, to art and culinary sessions. As the pickleball craze has swept the country--and Southern California in particular—the resort now boasts a Pickleball Center where guests can book hourly court time on 17 lighted courts as well as group and one-on-one instruction with a certified pickleball instructor.

The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge’s status as a true desert oasis was recently and dramatically enhanced this year with the opening of the 140,000-square-foot AquaRidge WaterPark. The $18 million pool refresh encompasses an improved “lazy river,” Wildfire Grove, and Havasu Playground with three new water slides, including the only dual-person vertical wall tube slide at a resort west of the Mississippi. Although these refreshed amenities will appeal to the kid in everybody, the luxury enhanced Sedona Springs (which includes personalized concierge services and a stargazing area) and exclusive adults-only Sky Island (with an infinity edge plunge pool, hot tub, and fire pits) will satisfy guests just wanting to chill out. Sky Island also includes exclusive space for weddings and private events overlooking the lake and

golf course.

Poolside food and beverage outlets include Havasu Bar & Bites and a food zone area with shaded tables and seating, Canyon Creek Bar for kid and adult-friendly refreshments, and Desert Ridge’s Taqueria for a savory meal pre- or post-swim. Those who wish to splurge on a more luxurious pool experience can book a Canyon Creek Day Suite with prime access to the lazy river, a secluded area with lounge seating, a private bathroom, air conditioning, multiple TVs, and a personal towel bin along with amenities such as seasonal fresh fruit, chilled water, and sunscreen. The original, kid-friendly Wildfire Grove includes the popular “Just A Splash’ pool bar with its Southwestern and barbecue menu. Optional Wildfire Cabanas are equipped with a misting fan, spacious couch and TV, seasonal fresh fruit, chilled water, sunscreen, personalized service, and two chaise lounge chairs.

Guest rooms and suites come standard with dramatic Sonoran desert and mountain views, lush garden landscaping, and complimentary bottled water. However, the most recent design upgrades incorporate contemporary furnishings, accessories, and lighting with themed elements (fire, water, earth, and sky), floor-to-ceiling soundproof windows, a JW Luxury Bedding Package, spacious living room sitting areas, plush robes, Smart TV, andAromatherapy Associates Bath Amenities. In addition to the lavish presidential and ultra-premium suites, the resort offers Patio Fire Pit Rooms and wellness Suites for those who want to enjoy the resort’s best amenities in a more private and customized setting.

Like other JW Marriott properties, this one is home to several upscale and casual restaurants that have earned a following among Phoenix residents. Chef Angelo Sosa sets the culinary direction with Tia Carmen, touted as one of “The 12 Hottest New Restaurants in Phoenix” by a local magazine when it first opened. While the restaurant’s foundation is inspired by his aunt’s prowess in the kitchen, he also delves into local landscape, farmers, and communities to forge a creative food menu. Meritage – An Urban Tavern, adjoining the Wildfire Golf Club, attracts locals and visitors alike with creative pub food favorites as well as 50 different Arizona craft beers. Twenty6 is a reliably chic cocktail and bourbon bar with creative bites, and later this year, Asian-fusion fans can discover Chef Sosa’s Kembara.

Rooms begin at $287 per night. For more information, visit marriott.com/en-us/hotels/phxdr-jw-marriott-phoenix-desertridge-resort-and-spa, or call (480) 293-5000 for reservations.

October 2023 | The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide 51
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa 5350 East Marriott Drive, Phoenix, AZ 85054 52 The Hidden Hills Community Register & Resource Guide | October 2023
25149 Eldorado Meadow Rd. | Offered at $6,888,000 "Your Local Hidden Hills Office" Serving Hidden Hills for over 40 years 747.888.0508 | DanaandJeffLuxuryHomes.com | DRE# 00944676 | 23500 Long Valley Rd, Hidden Hills, CA 5 bed 6.5 bath | 6,520 sq ft on nearly 2 acres 5360 Round Meadow Rd. | Offered at $5,500,000 4 bed 3 bath | 2,379 sq ft on over an acre The listing agent, brokerage firm, and seller make no representation or warranty regarding the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of any information, including but not limited to square footage measurements, property boundaries, room dimensions, lot size, or any other details related to the property

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