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What do you cook when you're completely stressed out?

hollyd Mar 4, 2010 11:24 AM

Sure we all want to EAT comfort food when we're stressed, but for me, the process of cooking really cools me down too. What's your favorite thing to cook when you've had a crazy day at work?

  1. t
    Toronto Fastfoodie Mar 8, 2010 03:35 AM

    I am in the baking camp; the more complex, the better. With baking, you really have to think about what you are doing vs. cooking, which is more forgiving. All that concentrating forces me to stop concentrating on what is stressing me out...and the carbs that I ingest as a result don't hurt much either.

    My favorite stress-bake is probably cupcakes or a layer cake. They look and taste like being a kid.

    1. mcel215 Mar 8, 2010 02:20 AM

      I'm in the chopping camp also, it's theraputic for me.

      But, if I just want to eat something because of stress, it's spaghetti and meatballs. I usually have sauce/gravy in the freezer that I can thaw in a few minutes and just cook the pasta.

      1. bushwickgirl Mar 8, 2010 01:35 AM

        Soup or pasta, as other posters have mentioned, and baking really does it for me, anything that requires a bit of concentration with nice rewards after. Putting the oven on and wonderful aromas coming from it really help and a glass of wine (or two) never hurts...

        1. Vetter Mar 7, 2010 03:30 PM

          Back when I ate gluten, it was pastry. I used to come home from law school and knock out galettes like you wouldn't believe, and then hand them out. There was nothing as satisfying as mastering that french rolling pin.

          Nowadays, I'm kind of into puddings, I've noticed. Fast, a little fussy (I'm usually grating chocolate or otherwise making a mess) and it requires a short zen period at the stove. Soothing to make and soothing to eat.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Vetter
            jvanderh Mar 7, 2010 06:27 PM

            I don't usually like to cook when I'm really stressed out. If I had a dishwasher, I might feel differently, but I run to the convenience food-- I like sugary soda and takeout sushi. It's all about the carbs! If I'm stressed but really desperate for some homemade food for work lunches or something, I might throw a hunk of meat in the crock pot and pack it up in the morning. I like to roll out pasta, knead dough, etc, but prefer to do it on a lazy Saturday :-)

          2. w
            wineos Mar 7, 2010 03:23 PM

            Pasta or Soup. Just breathing the aromas and steam from either helps!

            1. chef chicklet Mar 7, 2010 03:00 PM

              What do I want when I'm completely streesed out?
              I cook mom's food, because that's what makes me feel better. My Mom's Spaghetti with Meatballs.

              1. meatn3 Mar 7, 2010 02:21 PM

                If I have time I make soup. The entire process from start to finish is very soothing for me.

                If it is an evening after work any egg based meal will work if I want comfort. Along the same lines cream of tomato soup and a grilled cheese is often perfect. If I am in a hurry but want something heartier then grilled lamb chops are the thing!

                1. hollyd Mar 7, 2010 12:26 PM

                  I'm in the chopping camp. Chopping, rolling meatballs, making doughs. That sort of busy work with my hands. Also thing I have to tend to constantly, say, fried chicken.

                  1. Cherylptw Mar 4, 2010 04:41 PM

                    Baking...cakes, cookies, pies, pizza, bread; a dough laden creation that spells carbs and/or chocolate and requires the oven

                    1. a
                      Analisas mom Mar 4, 2010 03:36 PM

                      I make crepes. I love to make them and fil them with all kinds of stuff. My latest filling ws smoked duck with gouda and I did a creamy chipotle sauce on top. So amazing with a babyfield green salad.

                      1. j
                        JKSea Mar 4, 2010 12:26 PM

                        If I've had an absolutely AWFUL day - once or twice a year - I only want one meal: french toast loaded with melted butter and maple syrup, bacon, and a big glass of cold milk. Come to think about it, that's the only time I ever eat that meal...

                        1. ChefJune Mar 4, 2010 12:17 PM

                          Generally I make bread. By hand. I pound the dough fairly hard and take out all my frustrations.

                          Then, I usually let the dough rest in the fridge overnight before allowing it to comu up to room temp the next day to have its second rise and bake it off.

                          1. fmcoxe6188 Mar 4, 2010 11:43 AM

                            Anything with a fair amount of prep work. The routine of chopping while devising what to do next helps to calm me down and is oddly soothing. I tend to eat a lot of salads during the week for dinner- I think because of all of the chopping of vegetables I get to do. I think its also the ability to sort through something complicated that is not the main cause of stress.

                            I havent tried it yet, but I assume rolling pasta would also work :-)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: fmcoxe6188
                              weezycom Mar 4, 2010 12:13 PM

                              I agree about the chopping. I actually prep stuff for a crockpot for the next day on days like that and actually fix a sandwich or order in for my dinner that night. Then I spend a goodly amount of time chopping and not worrying about results that night -- when I'm stressed, the results usually aren't as good. However, to be able to throw everything into the crock in the a.m. and have a lovely dinner the next night is a double win.

                              1. re: weezycom
                                enbell Mar 4, 2010 05:35 PM

                                I completely agree! There is nothing quite like chopping veggies as a way to release my frustration(s)! I also may or may not eat the fruits of my labor- and might just prep for the rest of the week while ordering chinese or pizza. I suppose one can tell the kind of week I have had by simply assessing the amount of pre-prepped food in my fridge :)

                            2. ttoommyy Mar 4, 2010 11:37 AM

                              Baking cookies. It's my thing. I can bake cookies better than anyone I else I know. I love to bake in general and it always calms me down, but baking trays of perfectly shaped, delicious cookies that please everyone is such a comfort to me.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ttoommyy
                                visciole Mar 4, 2010 11:41 AM

                                +1 (Only mine aren't perfectly shaped! But they do taste good.)

                                1. re: ttoommyy
                                  boyzoma Mar 4, 2010 01:09 PM

                                  ttoommyy - please share some of your recipes - I would love to make some "perfect" cookies!

                                2. boyzoma Mar 4, 2010 11:34 AM

                                  Well, if it is a work day, that's one thing. I would either eat out or get take out! But when I want comfort food at home, I would be making a nice stew (I use a little clove and brown sugar in my stew). The smells as it is cooking are amazing.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: boyzoma
                                    JerryMe Mar 4, 2010 12:34 PM

                                    Yes - time issues. If I get home after a 12 of 14 hour day of hell, I'm not too big on the prep. But if I have time and I need to muddle over something, baking gets my attention and or elaborate prep, etc. Getting all the dishes, utensils out along with the ingredients is soothing. Then the actual baking while I clean up the mess and voila! I accomplished something!

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