The psychology of taste

Now, since this is actually a baking/food blog, I better darn well post something relating to it! So, to start us off (and I promise I’m posting this for some content, not for self-promotion), this is a story I wrote for ASU’s online research magazine about the psychology of taste.

In good taste: Research explores food preferences

You’ll learn about the genetics behind taste and more.

Fun fact: I’m a “supertaster.” Which actually isn’t something I want to tell my insurance company!

Tomorrow: a post on Dubrovnik, Croatia (yes, you’ll have to sit through about 10 more travel posts, but I’ll try to space them out!)

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Welcome to Venice, Italy

Venice was the first stop on our Mediterranean cruise. When we arrived, we went straight from the airport to the ship to check in (which took hours), and we had to fill out a form with very personal questions (about constipation, etc.). Then we grabbed some drinks on the boat, then headed into the city. We did pretty much what you’d expect for our first time in Italy–we ate! We found a cute cafe right on the Grand Canal with a view of the Rialto Bridge and ate authentic Italian pasta.

We walked around the city, winding our way through alleys and over bridges–stopping for gelato, of course. We took a gondola tour through the city as well, and saw beautiful palaces (most of which are now government buildings or banks) and famous landmarks (ahem–Marco Polo’s house! Our gondolier even started calling out “Marco…Polo!”). Getting into the gondola was very unsteady, and we had to arrange ourselves around the boat so we wouldn’t tip. Many of the bridges were very low and the gondolier had to duck under–but that never stopped him from singing! (Or from yelling at the other gondoliers in Italian).

Unfortunately we had to be back on the boat early in the evening, so we didn’t get much time in Venice. But we got a little “sampler” and I know I’ll be going back one day!

A little history: Venice is comprised of 117 islands and 150 canals–complete with more than 400 bridges to cross them. The city began as a place of refuge from 5th century barbarian invasions, but eventually developed into a powerful city-state in Italy.

Fun facts: St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) floods more than 35 times per year–4 times the 1970 rate. Also, there are fewer than 20 licensed plumbers in the city of Venice!

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A small rant…updated

Scroll through, then finish with the updated portion…hehe

Here is an excerpt from a Facebook update/comment exchange that has me in a tizzy:

My status update:

Why aren’t tutus in style? Like, for everyday wear? Like, for women my age?

Friend’s comment:
you’ve gone insane.

Me:
shush YOU

Me (again):
I’m thoroughly disgusted by everyone’s intolerance. Carrie Bradshaw can wear tutus and her friends are very supportive!

Friend (again):
fine. wear a tutu. see how supportive your friends are.

Me:
well i already know they aren’t!

Me (again):
Why is this so unreasonable? http://www.modcloth.com/store/ModCloth/Womens/Cosmic+Dust+Skirt

Friend:
that is a pseudo-tutu. That you could make work. I had in mind something more like this: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Multilayer-Pettiskirt-Sytle-Tutu/dp/B002RSOUCW

Me:
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not Lady GAGA or Amy Whinehouse

*The end*

I also messaged Kristina of Pretty, Shiny, Sparkly on how to best rectify the situation. I’ll update you on the latest news.

Okay, enough of that. I’ll post trip pictures this evening!

UPDATE:

My message to Kristina:

You are a fashion wizard, so here’s my dilemma:

I’m only 23. I think tutus are adorable. I don’t think this is too much to ask!

Like this one on ModCloth: http://www.modcloth.com/store/ModCloth/Womens/Cosmic+Dust+Skirt

But apparently my friends will disown me if I wear it–I don’t seem to have the fashion power of Carrie Bradshaw!

Is it really so unreasonable to ask that they come in style for just a while? How do I rectify the situation?

Thanks so much,
Kirsten

P.S. I bought the ZiGi boots from your post the other day! I’ll try not to wear them the same day as you, though, so there are no awkward moments. 😉

Kristina’s response:

Kirsten,

1. Get smarter friends (just kidding!)

2. Tutus ARE awesome!!! They work great alone or under skirts, and are a pop of femininity and whimsy. I think they’re great. The trick is to select tutus that fall or drape (sorry Carrie, but the tutu in the SATC TV opener was too ballerina style poofy to be successful mainstream)

3. blush toned or nude colors are fabulous (like the one you picked out), but don’t neglect black! It works great with black tights and a black 3/4 length fitted bodysuit!

I think the key here is that you’re worried about looking too costumey – definitely a thin line for tutus. Here’s what I’d do:

With the Modcloth tutu, I’d pair it with a neutral (blush/nude/etc) camisole, even one with lace detailing would be spectacular. Then I’d throw on a well-worn, scuffed jean jacket (preferably cropped but any one will do) with the sleeves rolled up. Rock it out with some less feminine shoes (I wore my tutu with boots the other day) and I think you should be well on your way to showing your friends that yes you CAN rock a tutu and remain friends. They’ll probably go out and buy one after seeing your ensemble!

Another tip, you can also wear a long tunic (like a soft, longish, grey tunic, perhaps sleeveless) OVER the tutu, so that the bottom 2-3 inches of the tutu are showing. That’d be cute, too!

However you rock it, don’t forget to send a pic of the finished look my way. 🙂

xoxo

Kristina

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Return to normalcy?

Well, as promised, I have returned home! And I plan to spend the next few days entertaining my not-yet-existent readers with photos from my trip through Croatia, Greece, Italy, and Spain!

However, though I’m back home, there’s nothing normal about it. Still getting settled into my parents house (again) and very nervous about the job search that is now underway.

But there is a lot to be optimistic about! I’ll still be teaching Wilton classes at Michaels (shout-out to my wonderful students!), I’m taking a one-day photography class specifically for my Nikon (check out Sarah Goodman Photography on Facebook for more information), I’m going to take a brief series of oil painting classes with my dad and my grandma, and I plan to cook/bake a lot! And, although I don’t want to be a traitor to Wilton, I found the new Duff Goldman brand cake decorating supplies at Michaels. I’m stoked to try them out! (If only to tell my students how inferior it is to Wilton *wink*). We’ll see!

Plus, I caved and ordered some awesome boots just in time for 110-degree Phoenix weather! I found the blog Pretty Shiny Sparkly’s recent outfit post late last night and fell in LOVE with these ZiGi Boots. By the way, the feet pictured below do not belong to me.

It makes me want to be a fashion blogger. So I guess we’ll see just how many directions I can take this blog without alienating my reader(s)! But I figure the absolutely fantastic Pioneer Woman can talk about calf nuts and chocolate sheet cake in the same sentence, so I’ll give this a go.

Until tomorrow…

Daydream Baker

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Big news!

I have a blog!

You’re welcome, everyone!

Since summer is upon us, I will try to update this thing regularly. However, I’m going to fail immediately. Know why? On Saturday I leave to go on a two-week Mediterranean cruise. I will be incommunicado. No Internet. No Facebook. No blog. Actually, I will be checking my e-mail for a very important reason, but I won’t be announcing that unless the outcome is good. But I’ll be back in a few weeks, and I’ll post photos of my trip and stories that feature me as the heroine.

After that, I will also be posting about my cooking, baking, and cake decorating adventures. It’ll be a hoot. Tell your friends! I told mine, but they just looked at me and asked me not to communicate with the world. I refused. So here I am!

I will also post stories of my life, because I happen to think I’m interesting. At least pretend you do, too. kthx.

Next stop: Venice, Italy.

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