Kids-only Sweets Shop

A new sweet shop opened last month in Sanda City, Japan that only kids in sixth grade or younger are allowed inside.

Parents must wait outside while their children explore the hidden wonders within.

The entrance

Kids enter the fantasy sweets world through a special, kid-sized door. The sign reads “No adults allowed.”

Once inside, kids are treated with samples of freshly basked sweets. They also get a special look at the manufacturing process of the baked goods, as well as a sneak peek at some new items before they go on sale in the main shop. Furthermore, they can watch the chefs bake three special surprise sweets right before their eyes. Each one only costs 150 yen.

Owner and chef Mr. Susumu Koyama explained why he built such a store:

“Nowadays, adults are so busy that they don’t always have time to listen to what their children are saying. As a result, I feel like kids have trouble expressing themselves. I want to foster more communication by encouraging an “I want to tell you something” attitude in the children and an “I want to hear what you have to say” attitude in the adults.

When I was young, I used to tell stories about what happened at school to my mother and various neighborhood ‘aunties’ and ‘uncles.’ They were always willing to listen. Growing up in that kind of environment is the reason why I am who I am today. At this new shop, I hope to revive the atmosphere of those good old days and become one of those neighborhood ‘uncles’ for the new generation.”

Source: 日本経済新聞

Character Snacks

A coffee shop in Disney Sea Tokyo is offering snacks for a limited-time only based on the Disney character Duffy.

Earl Grey chiffon cake with cassis jam

Chocolate panna cotta

Strawberry marshmallow sable cookies

Duffy, the Disney bear, and his lady friend, Shellie May

Read more …..

Boosting Vitamin D Could Slow Progression, Reduce Severity of Multiple Sclerosis

For patients in the early stages of multiple sclerosis (MS), low levels of vitamin D were found to strongly predict disease severity and hasten its progression, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) investigators in collaboration with Bayer HealthCare. The findings suggest that patients in the early stages of MS could stave off disease symptoms by increasing their vitamin D intake.

“Because low vitamin D levels are common and can be easily and safely increased by oral supplementation, these findings may contribute to better outcomes for many MS patients,” said lead author Alberto Ascherio, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at HSPH.

The study will appear online in JAMA Neurology.

MS is a central nervous system disease that causes problems with muscle control and strength, vision, balance, feeling, and thinking. It’s estimated by the World Health Organization that roughly 2.5 million people in the world have MS.

Previous research indicated a connection between low levels of vitamin D and risk of developing MS or having MS symptoms worsen, but those studies included patients with longstanding MS whose vitamin D levels could partly be a consequence, not a predictor, of disease severity. The new study looked at vitamin D levels among patients at the time of their first symptoms of the disease.

Researchers analyzed data from 465 MS patients from 18 European countries, Israel, and Canada who enrolled in 2002 and 2003 in the BENEFIT (Betaseron in Newly Emerging Multiple Sclerosis for Initial Treatment) trial, which was aimed at comparing the effectiveness of early versus late interferon beta-1b in treating the disease. The scientists looked at how the patients’ vitamin D levels—which were measured at the onset of their symptoms and at regular intervals over a 24-month period—correlated with their disease symptoms and progression over a period of five years.

They found that early-stage MS patients who had adequate levels of vitamin D had a 57% lower rate of new brain lesions, a 57% lower relapse rate, and a 25% lower yearly increase in lesion volume than those with lower levels of vitamin D. Loss in brain volume, which is an important predictor of disability, was also lower among patients with adequate vitamin D levels. The results suggest that vitamin D has a strong protective effect on the disease process underlying MS, and underscore the importance of correcting vitamin D insufficiency, which is widespread in Europe and the U.S., the researchers said.

“The benefits of vitamin D appeared to be additive to those of interferon beta-1b, a drug that is very effective in reducing MS activity. The findings of our study indicate that identifying and correcting vitamin D insufficiency should become part of the standard of care for newly diagnosed MS patients,” said Ascherio.

Source: EurekAlert!

Dessert with Pistachio and Blackberry


1½ cups (375 mL) fresh blackberries
icing sugar for dusting Choux Pastry
1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp (2 tsp) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) water
1/4 cup (50 mL) cold butter, cut into small pieces
3 large eggs

Pistachio Cream

1½ cup (375 mL) 35% cream
1/4 cup (50 mL) icing sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1/3 cup (75 mL) coarsely chopped roasted natural pistachios

Blackberry Coulis

1 cup (250 mL) fresh blackberries
1/3 cup (75 mL) sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. To prepare choux pastry: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. In medium bowl, sift together flour and salt; set aside.
  3. In heavy saucepan, over medium heat, combine water and butter. When mixture comes to a boil add flour mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and continue beating until pastry comes away from side of pan. Return to heat, stirring until pastry begins to dry. Remove from heat and add 2 of the eggs, one at a time, beating with wooden spoon until mixture is shiny and falls from spoon.
  4. Transfer choux pastry to a medium piping bag with a medium star tip. Pipe 8 circles about 3 inches (8 cm) in diameter onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Leave at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) between each.
  5. In small bowl, lightly beat the remaining egg. Brush choux pastry lightly with egg.
  6. Bake 20 minutes, or until brown and hollow sounding. Remove and cool completely.
  7. To prepare pistachio cream: In medium bowl, whip cream until streaks begin to form. Gradually add icing sugar and vanilla, whipping until soft peaks form. Gently fold in pistachios.
  8. To prepare coulis: In small saucepan, over medium heat, combine all ingredients, cooking about 15 minutes, or until mixture is syrupy. Transfer to food processor and puree until smooth. Strain through fine sieve, discarding seeds. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be prepared the day ahead.
  9. To assemble: Slice pastry in half horizontally. Spoon pistachio cream on bottom half of pastry. Top gently with lid and fill hole with blackberries. Dust with icing sugar and drizzle with coulis.

Makes 8 Rings.

Source: Gusto!

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