Kinky Cakes: Inside The World Of Adult Bakeries

Becky Little wrote . . . . . .

In the early 1980s, Niki Novak’s sister bit into a cake shaped like a man’s, um, member. It was disgusting. It wasn’t the idea of the cake she found distasteful, mind you, but its actual flavor.

When Novak heard about the incident from her sister, she wondered: Why couldn’t you make risqué cakes that tasted good, too?

Thus was born Sweet n’ Nasty, a Boston bakery that specializes in confections shaped like boobs, butts and vaginas, as well as an alarming array of penises. While bachelorette parties are a natural source of business, you’d be surprised by how many other events the bakery has catered over the past 35 years.

Think birthdays, divorces, vasectomies, breast implants, job changes, prison releases, military deployments and even some bachelor parties. (“May your genitalia never fail ya.”)

And then there are the funerals.

” ‘Asses to asses, dust to dust,’ ” Novak says. “People just want it for their last send-off” — a final laugh. (In at least one case, she says, the cake was a final request from the deceased.)

Bakeries that make genitalia-themed cakes usually advertise them under a separate adult or erotic section of their websites. But Sweet n’ Nasty is hardly the only bakery to exclusively hustle these types of treats.

Kim Say says she hadn’t thought about making adult treats until around 2010, when someone asked her to make a cake with boobs on it. When Say realized that the customer was asking because the owner of the only adult bakery in Houston had died, she decided to start a new one, Adult Cakes by Kim.

For Say, “adult” doesn’t always mean “sexual.” Some of her cakes are infused with alcohol, or deal with the themes of adult life. “I have an entire selection of divorce cakes,” she says, noting that she can design these cakes to address specific marital problems.

For a woman who was divorcing a musician who had been cheating on her, “I got a bunch of [little plastic] guitars and then I broke them in half and I threw them all over the cake,” she says. One of Say’s customers is a lawyer who usually buys five or six divorce cakes per year to give to his clients.

Say also receives orders for breast cancer survivors. She has made flat-chested corset cakes to mark mastectomies and catered many “nipple parties” for women who have had nipple reconstruction surgery. You can order anything you want for these parties, including cupcakes that just look like huge nipples.

But there is one line neither baker will cross: tiered wedding cakes. Novak says they come with too much multiple-tastings drama.

Over the years, Novak’s bakery has received some celebrity attention. One time, when the singer Cher was signing autographs at Tower Records, a Sweet n’ Nasty employee ran over to present her with a penis pop. Cher, as Novak tells it, “was all over it.”

Novak says that her bakery is all about making people laugh while giving them something good to eat. But given the nature of her work, Novak sometimes hears customers worry about what Grandma will think when they’re picking up the cake. She says that if she hears back from those customers, “usually Grandma is the one that thinks it’s the most fun. She’s been around the longest.”

In fact, before a recent hip surgery, Novak’s 83-year-old mother worked at Sweet n’ Nasty on Sundays.

“She loves it,” Novak says. “My mother has a wonderful sense of humor. I think that’s where I get it.”

Source: npr

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Chinese-style Roasted Pork Neck

Ingredients

1 kg fresh pork neck — if in 1 piece, cut into 5 thick slices

Marinade

1/4 cup finely diced ginger
10 garlic cloves, finely diced
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons black vinegar
1 cup Shao Hsing wine
1 cup char siu sauce
1 cup Chinese BBQ sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Method

  1. Combine pork with marinade ingredients in a large bowl, cover and leave to marinate in refrigerator overnight.
  2. Next day, preheat the oven to moderate (190ºC).
  3. Remove pork from the bowl, reserving the marinade. Place pork on a wire rack inside a roasting tin, then fill the tin with water to a depth of 4 cm.
  4. Roast the pork for 15 minutes, then turn the meat over and baste with generous amounts of the reserved marinade.
  5. Roast for a further 15 minutes, then baste again. Turn oven to hot (220°C) and roast the pork for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove pork from oven and allow to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.
  7. Cut into slices about 1 cm thick and serve with steamed bok choy and cooked rice.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Kylie Kwong

Gadget: A Camping Stove That Can Also Recharge Your Gadgets

Matthew Kronsberg wrote . . . . .

A new camping stove is using mankind’s oldest communal activity—cooking over fire—to power our newest communal obsession: sharing pictures of your meal on social media.

The BioLite CampStove 2, available for $130, employs thermoelectric technology to turn cooking heat into electricity. It can run the internal fan that turbocharges your fire, and via the built-in USB outlet, power an assortment of optional LED lights. It can even recharge your phone, no matter how deep into the woods you’ve gone.

The 2-pound stove comes in two parts. Its body, a three-legged steel canister, is about the size of a large can of Foster’s beer; the second section, a power module, is equipped with three columns of LED lights to gauge your fire’s strength, fan speed, and available battery life. The module nests neatly within the stove body for easy transportation and storage.

When you’re ready to begin cooking, the fire is easy to get started. Hook the power module to the stove body and fill the combustion chamber with wood and kindling—twigs, sticks, even pine cones will do the trick—and ignite. Then, a four-speed fan forces air into the combustion chamber through holes that encourage more efficient burning, up to 95 percent less smoke emissions compared with a regular wood fire. (You can see a demo of the science here.)

Capable of heat at 10,000 BTUs, the stove can bring a liter of water to boil in less than 5 minutes, but you can control the intensity of your fire by adjusting the fan speed. The hotter the fire, the faster the battery power fills up.

Beyond the stove, Biolite offers an entire ecosystem of accessories, including a 1.5-liter kettle pot with optional French press plunger and a grill that is supported by two fold-out legs. It is big enough to cook four hamburgers or six hot dogs at a time—or even one large, split eggplant—evenly and efficiently. It’s easy to feed more wood fuel into the burn chamber, even while grilling, so there’s no worry about running out of heat before your burgers are cooked through. And because the fire recharges the battery, there is no practical time limit to how long you can use it.

The electricity is generated via a thermoelectric process known as the Seebeck effect, a phenomenon that converts a difference in temperature to electrical power. At full blaze, you’ll get about 3 watts of electrical output. Plug your phone into the built in USB charging jack, and it will charge in about the same time that a typical portable charger could do the job. And because the power module has a built-in 2600mAh battery, you can draw power when the stove is not being used.

As much they want to juice up your camping trips, Biolite has an even bigger mission in mind. The company’s clean cooking and energy technology is making its way, through NGOs and micro-lending organizations, to families across India, sub-Saharan Africa, and other parts of the world where electricity is scarce and where indoor, open-fire cooking is a source of chronic respiratory illness. As great as this quick-lighting, power-producing, anything-burning camp stove is on its own, that bigger mission might be the more compelling thing to ponder over morning coffee in the great outdoors.

Source: Bloomberg

Seven Ways You’re Ruining Your Steak Dinner

Richard Vines wrote . . . . . . .

Richard H. Turner is serious about meat. The chef behind the popular British steakhouse chain Hawksmoor doesn’t mince his words.

Grain-fed beef? Gives you an “instant slap round the chops, and then the fat explodes in your mouth like a pustule,” he says. Wagyu beef is “despicable, the foie gras of the beef world.”

Turner is the go-to guy in London for matters of the flesh. He brought the Meatopia festival to the U.K. from the U.S. and founded Turner & George, a specialty butcher shop. And he just came out with his latest book, “Prime: The Beef Cookbook.” Who better to ask about cooking steak at home?

Here are the seven top mistakes people make that leave a bad taste in his mouth.

1. Choosing the wrong meat

Buy online or go to a butcher. Supermarkets can have good steak, Turner says. “The problem is they also have mediocre steak, and it’s all mixed up together,” he says. “You are playing roulette.” If you do buy from a store, look for beef that is described as aged or matured.

2. Tossing it immediately on the pan

Turner recommends allowing the steaks to sit for 30 minutes before cooking, then drying them off. They are better at room temperature, and it can be difficult to get a crust on a wet steak. Season the steak aggressively with sea salt. Throw a handful over the tray of meat, and what sticks should be the correct amount. Avoid table salt, which contains anti-caking agents that are unsuited to steak.

3. Turning up the heat

Fine, sear it at first. But don’t leave it too hot for too long. “Once you’ve got that sear, it needs to be moved away, and it needs to be cooked at a lower temperature,” he says. “That way, you don’t tense the meat up. It doesn’t go tough.”

4. Putting it under the broiler

Turner reckons that beef needs direct, physical contact with the heat source — rather than broiling it — to trigger what’s known as the Maillard, or the chemical reaction that happens when amino acids interact with the sugars, similar to caramelization. For that browning to occur, you need a hot pan, he says. “You need that instant heat, and then take the temperature down, but it needs contact to get the Maillard going,” he says. Flip the steak frequently to keep it moist.

5. Thinking you’re macho by eating it rare

“The French will say it should be cooked rare,” Turner says. “The Spanish are worse. They have theirs all blue.” At a minimum, he likes to cook beef medium rare, but he prefers medium himself. “The fat needs to break down into the muscle,” he says.

6. Shuttling it out right away

We know you want to get your grass-fed steak to the dinner table piping hot. But for optimal flavor, you need to leave it to “rest” somewhere warm, but away from direct heat, for a period of time before serving. That means off the pan. You can use a warm plate loosely covered with a foil dome to retain the heat. That way, the juices get distributed through the meat. “Resting is possibly the most important single thing you can do to beef,” Turner says. “Cook for less time than you plan and rest for more. About 20 minutes is perfect. The flavor improves no end.” One exception: Grain-fed beef, popular in America, doesn’t need the extra time.

7. Never getting saucy

Why mess with a good steak by adding additional flavoring? For one, because sauces and steak can be delicious, especially if you eat steak as frequently as Turner. “I like to mix it up,” he says. “I’m a fan of Stilton hollandaise and anchovy hollandaise.” He also recommends beef butter created by Hawksmoor’s executive chef, Matt Brown. “It’s a mixture of unsalted butter, dripping, Maldon sea salt, and anchovies,” he says. “It’s pretty special.”

Source: Bloomberg

Study: Gray Hair May Point to a Higher Risk of Heart Disease for Men

But don’t panic if you sport silvery locks — the study only showed an association, not a cause-and-effect link, between hair color and heart risks.

The finding stems from an analysis that looked at 545 adult men for signs of heart trouble, and then cross-referenced the results with hair color.

“In our population, a high hair-whitening score was associated with an increased risk of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease,” said study author Irini Samuel. She is a cardiologist at Cairo University, in Egypt.

Atherosclerosis refers to the build-up of plaque in the arteries.

Samuel said the finding held up regardless of a man’s age or whether or not he was already known to face a high risk for developing heart disease.

The frequency with which women tend to color their hair made it impossible to include them in the analysis, Samuel noted. So, her team focused exclusively on men, all of whom underwent scans that looked for indications of heart disease, such as plaque build-up.

The participants — ranging in age from 42 to 64 — were then divided into five groups based on the degree to which their hair had grayed. The groups ranged from “pure black hair” at one extreme to “pure white” at the other, with shades of gray in between.

The investigators found that 80 percent of the participants showed signs of heart disease. And those who did registered “significantly higher” in terms of hair-whitening scores.

The researchers noted that simply getting older boosts the likelihood that a man’s hair will turn gray.

However, at the same time, graying hair may also go hand-in-hand with unhealthy “biological aging,” since both unfold along similar lines, the research team suggested.

Those lines include several forms of cellular-level degradation, Samuel explained, including an increasing risk for system-wide inflammation, hormonal changes, and an impaired ability for DNA to repair itself and for cells to divide and grow.

More research will be needed to better understand the genetic and environmental underpinnings of the link, as well as to explore whether or not a similar association exists among women, Samuel said.

Meanwhile, she suggested that any patient who believes that he or she may already face a high risk for heart disease “should have regular check-ups to avoid early cardiac events by initiating preventive therapy.”

The study findings were presented this week at the European Society of Cardiology annual meeting, in Malaga, Spain. Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary until it is published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Dr. Gregg Fonarow is a professor of cardiology with the University of California, Los Angeles. He said that a possible link between heart disease and graying hair was “first reported in the medical literature in the 1980s,” with some studies indicating a link among both men and women.

“Since then, some additional studies have suggested that premature graying of hair is a risk factor for coronary artery disease, independent of age, whereas other studies have not found this association,” Fonarow added.

The upshot, he said, is that while graying hair may turn out to be an indicator of risk, most of the focus to date has stayed centered around clearly “modifiable” risk factors, meaning behaviors that patients can change. Those include shedding weight, quitting smoking, and taking steps to reduce high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Source: HealthDay


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