Conveyor Belt Sweets Cafe (回転スイーツカフェ)

Macaroons, pancakes, crepes, ice creams, etc. flowing through a 38 meter long conveyor

All you can eat sweets with drinks included within 40 minutes cost 1,800 yen

Cafe Ron Ron in Harajuku, Japan is the first of this kind of restaurant delivering sweets to the customers using a rotating conveyor, similar to the popular conveyor belt sushi restaurants.

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What to Do With a Perfect Avocado

Melissa Clark wrote . . . . . . . .

A perfect avocado is a lucky find. Neither granite-hard nor squishably soft, it should yield only slightly when pressed, maintain its integrity when sliced, and feel like butter on the tongue when eaten.

Sadly most of the avocados I bring home fall short in all kinds of fibrous, mushy, black-speckled ways.

The mediocre ones get trimmed to salvage the good parts, and then smashed into guacamole, other dips or onto those ubiquitous slices of toast, in order to hide their disfigurement.

But when I do get some good ones, I like to show them off. Sliced into crescents and fanned out on a plate, they become the heart of a stunningly simple, elegant salad.

Mellow and creamy, avocados work well with pungent, bright flavors. Here, I drizzle them with a salsa verde-like dressing seasoned with red wine vinegar, a little chile, some garlic and piquant herbs. Then, for more texture and freshness, whole herb leaves are strewn over the plate along with briny capers for a salty bite. That’s it — no lettuce, no tomato, no onion, nothing to distract from the avocado’s glory.

Serve it as an appetizer or side, with grilled or roasted meat or fish, or make it the foundation of a light lunch with chunks of a torn baguettes and soft, tangy goat cheese.

To get the neatest avocado slices, halve them, twist the pieces off the pit, and cut the halves into quarters. Carefully use your fingers to peel off the bumpy alligator skins, starting at a corner. Using this technique on ripe fruit, the skins will pull right off without bruising the flesh beneath. Use your sharpest knife for slicing.

Though it’s best to cut up the fruit close to serving, you do have some wiggle room. Sliced and kept covered at room temperature, they’ll last for about an hour or so. The dressing can be made 6 hours ahead. Store it at room temperature as well, so the herbs retain some of their texture. Then assemble everything on plates just before serving.

Parsley and cilantro are chopped into a garlicky salsa verde-like dressing.CreditAndrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Because avocado quality can be so dicey, I’d suggest buying a couple extra just in case one ends up a dud. Worst-case scenario: You only get nice ones, and have to eat an extra avocado the next day.

Source: The New York Times

Sourdough Pretzels

Ingredients

3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup sourdough starter, unfed/discard
180 g bread flour
216 g ivory wheat flour
35 g nonfat dry milk
1 tbsp organic sugar
1 tablespoon butter or canola oil
1- 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 egg for egg wash

Method

  1. Mix and knead the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a cohesive, fairly smooth dough. It should be slightly sticky; if it seems dry, knead in an additional tablespoon or two of water.
  2. Cover the dough and let it rest for 45 minutes. It will rise minimally. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased work surface, fold it over a few times to gently deflate it, then divide it into 12 pieces, each weighing about 70 g.
  4. Roll each piece of dough into an 18-inch (46 cm) rope. Shape each rope into a pretzel.
  5. Boil 6 cup of water with 2 tbsp baking soda. Blanch pretzels in batches for 30 seconds each side.
  6. Brush each pretzel with egg wash (1 egg + 1 tsp water).
  7. Bake the pretzels for 25 to 30 minutes, until they’re a light golden brown. (There’s no need to let the shaped pretzels rise before baking.)
  8. Remove the pretzels from the oven, and brush with melted butter, if desired.

Makes 12 pretzels.

Source: Adapted from King Arthur Flour

What’s for Breakfast?

Japanese Breakfast Set

The Menu

  • Ham and Eggs with Salad
  • Miso Soup
  • Beef Small Bowl
  • Seasonal Vegetables
  • Cooked Rice

Study: Obesity Alone does not Increase Risk of Death

Researchers at York University’s Faculty of Health have found that patients who have metabolic healthy obesity, but no other metabolic risk factors, do not have an increased rate of mortality.

The results of this study could impact how we think about obesity and health, says Jennifer Kuk, associate professor at the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, who led the research team at York University.

“This is in contrast with most of the literature and we think this is because most studies have defined metabolic healthy obesity as having up to one metabolic risk factor,” says Kuk.

“This is clearly problematic, as hypertension alone increases your mortality risk and past literature would have called these patients with obesity and hypertension, ‘healthy’. This is likely why most studies have reported that ‘healthy’ obesity is still related with higher mortality risk.”

Kuk’s study showed that unlike dyslipidemia, hypertension or diabetes alone, which are related with a high mortality risk, this isn’t the case for obesity alone.

The study followed 54,089 men and women from five cohort studies who were categorized as having obesity alone or clustered with a metabolic factor, or elevated glucose, blood pressure or lipids alone or clustered with obesity or another metabolic factor. Researchers looked at how many people within each group died as compared to those within the normal weight population with no metabolic risk factors.

Current weight management guidelines suggest that anyone with a BMI over 30 kg/m2 should lose weight. This implies that if you have obesity, even without any other risk factors, it makes you unhealthy. Researchers found that 1 out of 20 individuals with obesity had no other metabolic abnormalities.

“We’re showing that individuals with metabolically healthy obesity are actually not at an elevated mortality rate. We found that a person of normal weight with no other metabolic risk factors is just as likely to die as the person with obesity and no other risk factors,” says Kuk. “This means that hundreds of thousands of people in North America alone with metabolically healthy obesity will be told to lose weight when it’s questionable how much benefit they’ll actually receive.”

The study was published in Clinical Obesity.

Source: York University


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