COOKING CLASSES AS GIFTS? ... Looking for an inspired gift for the cook on your list? Perhaps one of the upcoming cooking classes through Palo Alto Adult School would fit the bill. In January, classes include an "Evening in Spain" (Yannette Fichou Edwards, Tuesday, Jan. 14); "Hearty Winter Vegan Soups" (James Holloway, Thursday, Jan. 16); "Valentines Day Menu for Your Sweetheart" (Yannette Fichou Edwards, Tuesday, Jan. 21); and Champion Chili (Cindy Roberts, Thursday, Jan. 23). All classes are held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at Palo Alto High School, Room 103, 50 Embarcadero Road, Palo Alto. Each includes demonstration, participation and sampling. Fee is $50 per class, except $60 for Valentines Day. Information: 650-329-3752 or www.paadultschool.org
NO FOOD WASTE ... Laura Stec, a chef, educator and blogger for The Almanac, will teach a free workshop dealing with creating delicious meals while reducing waste, sponsored by City of Palo Alto's ZeroWaste program. "Fabulous Dishes, No Shopping Required" will be held on Saturday, Dec. 14, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Focus of the workshop, which involves a cooking demo, food samples and a raffle, is reworking leftovers plus getting tips to prevent waste in the first place. Information: Pre-register at 650-496-5910 to find out location of workshop; or visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/foodwaste or email firstname.lastname@example.org
SAVE ENERGY ... The city of Palo Alto is offering tips to save energy during the holiday season, including when one is away from home. In its "Earth Matters" e-newsletter, they advise residents to lower their thermostats (recommended 60°F), use timers on lights inside and outside the house and turn water heater to lowest possible setting.