Foods that make you happy
- phelana May 16, 2011 03:32 AM
As I embark on my 50's I am seeking a more positive outlook on all aspects of life..INCLUDING what I eat...
So, I ask, what foods make you happy?
For me a fresh summer home grown tomato with a little coarse salt and freshly ground pepper.
Follow your food bliss!
Don't be so pompous as to diminish what someone else likes to eat...as trivial as it may seem to you. Even with two years between your post and mine, I feel the need to respond this way.
Maybe that fresh tomato is exactly what takes the OP to that special "ancestral" place. There is nothing wrong with that.
I've enjoyed many tomato sandwiches with s&P (and a touch of mayo or salad dressing). I'd much rather have that than alot of meals I've paid for at popular restaurants.
I actually share in the OP's emotional experiences with the lowly tomato.
You're reading way too much into my post and two years too late. I share the OP's enthusiasm for summer tomatoes and with little more than salt and pepper, there's hardly a better bite on a sunny August day. But when it comes to the wholly subjective experience of what foods have an emotional effect on me, reminiscing about my grandmother's cooking is hardly a judgment about the OP's preferences or a commentary on the tomato.
A perfect apple pie (my own)
Mashed potatoes and roasted chicken.
Perfectly roasted duck breast.
Tapas and sangria.
Oh, forget it - like Harters, FOOD makes me happy when it's good quality and properly prepared. :-)
well, if it doesn't make me happy, i'm not eating it - life's too short. but some of the really blissful moments:
- fresh summer corn & tomatoes...preferably NJ
- the first bite of a perfect flourless chocolate cake
- the first spoonful of gelato
- my homemade granola
- polenta & oatmeal in various forms (creamy, baked, pan-seared, sweet, savory...)
- pristine sashimi
good guess, unfortunately. and i actually don't even eat polenta, oatmeal or granola anymore, because all grains wreak havoc on my system these days. grr.
i'd kill for a piping hot slice of thin-crust pizza with a blistered, chewy crust or a piece of fresh, gloriously glutenicious bread...any grain will do. i didn't bother mentioning those because i haven't had anything resembling them in years, so i try not to torture myself by longing for them ;) enjoy some for me, please!
my cousin also is Ciliac..she was over this past weekend for dinner...I made a paella and some great spanish apps. She ate a tiny bit of the paella. Turns out 9 yrs ago she found out this was the case...dropped like 35 lbs...eats so wonderfully now. Amazing thing is that 5 yrs ago she started to very slowly reincorporate the glutenous dishes into her diet and can now eat them, albeit in small quantities. She still isnt doing pizza but many other wonderful grains.
Those with celiac disease cannot ever incorporate gluten back into their diets. Ever. Even 1/70th of a piece of bread can cause serious damage internally. I, too, have celiac. The only way to heal is a lifelong strict adherence to being gluten free, unfortunately.
I, too, would kill for a piece of pizza or fresh pasta or a thick piece of ciabatta bread or a croissant. But the reality is that is not going to happen so I focus on the things I can have! :-)
I'm the same way and also love a good slice of thin crust pizza. It's not just the gluten that does me in, it's also the tomato sauce. A friend of mine just partnered with a few others to create a bake-at-home pizza place and they offer gluten-free crusts with all sorts of amazing toppings (for instance, butternut squash puree, fontinella cheese, arugula, pancetta, herb-grilled chicken, shaved Parmesan & fresh rosemary is one kind they offer) and while it's not the REAL kind of pizza I crave, it will make a fine substitute. Horrible cramping is too high a price to pay for a few seconds of indulgence.
Other foods that make me happy -- including my digestive system include:
Braised broccoli raab
Grilled chicken and avocado in the same bite
mussels in white wine and garlic
tacos al pastor
crunchy red apples
discontinued TJs organic orange rooibos tea
cornbread made with bacon drippings
bitter aperitifs (although the occasionally wreck my gut)
Really perfect specimens of fruit at the peak of ripeness and eaten at room temp, my favorites being strawberries, mangos, tomatoes, Tuscan melons and peaches.
Super fresh raw things from the sea also please me to no end: uni, oysters, prawns, scallops, geoduck, belly cuts of various fish.
I'm making myself drool a little, and it doesn't help that I've had coffee and raisins for lunch...
Home grown tomatoes, which I can never find even at farmers' markets, would be high on the list. I also love a perfectly ripe peach or pear. I also like eating shrimp with cocktail sauce, or a small piece of dark chocolate.
I don't eat much carb anymore, but certain carbs have always made me feel quite happy. Now that I haven't indulged very much in more than a year, I find that the occasional carb splurge doesn't do it for me any more.
A summer tomato - yesss!
Fresh Carolina shrimp
Gorgeous, briny, freshly-shucked oysters
And if someone could make a Portuguese pastel de nata magically appear before me I would be the happiest lady!
California Navel Oranges. When I start checking them and they start getting in seasoin, sweet, and juicy, then I know spring is just around the corner.
Bing Cherries, melons, sweet corn. SUMMER!
When my spare ribs come out of the smoker perfect. VERY HAPPY.
Roasted Hatch Geen Chile might make me the happiest of all.
so many things... a BLT with the perfect tomato, a barbecue potato chip, a spoonful of liverwurst, a ripe peach, a bite of foie gras, ankimo, a sliver of truffle, yellowtail sashimi, a raw oyster - these things all actually fill me with euphoria through each bite. most food makes me feel happy, content and nurtured, but certain things send me to another world.
My grandma hums when she cooks, so I guess cooking makes her happy.
My brother will hum and dance when he is eating something that he enjoys.
So now my 2 yr old nephew will also hums and dances when he eats cookies.
Earlier tonight I was dancing and humming while dipping broccoli in ranch dressing.
Eating food makes me happy,
I enjoy thinking about what I will eat next.
I vicariously enjoy food when my friends tell me what they have had to eat when they go out.
But, to answer your question...fresh garlic butter with a lot of garlic. For special occasions, I love to dunk just about everything on my plate in it, the meat or seafood, the veg, the potato, the bread. Joy!
Fried oysters because I indulge in them so rarely, but not the ones I got today at Sam the Clams in Southington, CT. They were over breaded, alas, and greasy. On the other hand, the order was so large, and the price was so low, that I'll have lunch tomorrow (even taking the breading off) for less than any where else,
Home grown tomato sandwich on squishy white store bread slathered with Hellman's, Maldon and freshly cracked pepper eaten over the kitchen sink. Zowie! A beautiful crispy edged fried egg with home fries and thick cut bacon shatteringly crisp. Warm from the sun berries in a bowl with fresh cream.Sweet simplicity
shecrab must join the tomato sandwich thread, where we wax poetic about squishy white bread, mayo, fresh summer tomatoes and salt! we tend to go on about dukes and hellman's….
PS, sue in mt. p -- harris teeter periodically has duke's on a BOGO deal! ;-). (which i'm sure that you know). on a terroir related tangent, i was just craving some smoky bones smoked chicken today!).
I love so much food (so much), it is hard to say. Fresh, tasty, quality, well-prepared - YUM.
I do have single out amazing home grown tomatoes, right off the vine, still warm from the sun!
And ripe, juicy, drip down your face, peaches! From the local farm!
OMG, I can't wait for summer!!!!!
sorry for all of the !, but I guess I am excited ;-)
Obligatory tomato sandwich
Overstuffed veggie grinder/sub/whathaveyou on great bread (aka Hudson St Market version)
good bbq beef ribs
juicy porterhouse, med rare
home grown tomato w/fresh mozzarella
peanut butter toast dipped in hot chocolate
chicken liver pate w/good rye bread
brown sugar baked bacon
roasted corn on the cob, buttered and w/grated cheese
meatloaf w/mashed potatoes and gray
prime rib (rare) w/creamed horseradish
steamed crab legs w/melted butter
artichoke dipped in (Best Foods) mayonnaise
bbq kettle chips
Italian bread (seeded)
home made blue cheese salad dressing
chili (no beans)/cheese fries
cioppino (best eaten in San Francisco)
coffe ice cream w/hot fudge
San Francisco sourdough bread
home made guacamole w/warm freshly made tortilla strips
freshly made warm flour tortillas w/butter
strawberries dipped in dark chocolate and white chocolate
blenheim apricots (triple mmmmmmmm)
Reading this thread made me realize there are too many to pick. But there's one I always feel compelled to *say* makes me happy.
We live in western Texas, and if you are under the assumption this makes for pleasant winters, you would be surprised by what a Blue Norther really brings. Blustery, icy, menacing gusts that lay into every crack in your well-laid plans. On those days, there is nothing so satisfying as standing at the stove stirring my oil and flour, chopping onion, celery and bell pepper, and finally - finally! - stripping the meat from chicken that's stewed down into its cozy stock. Andouille, cayenne, even okra (although it's against The Rules) finish off the pot, and with a warm slice or chunk or three of thick crusty bread slathered with butter... Nothing better than a simple, perfect chicken and sausage gumbo.
Deep-fried things such as Fish & Chips (well made!), Tempura, fried oysters, veg fritters.
Anything with avocado.
Argentine-style butterflied grilled chicken with chimichurri sauce.
Really 'well-made' mashed potatoes.
Pork fried rice.
Anchovy thin sliced pizza.
Crunchy tacos from the Taco Bell.. sorry to admit that:(
I like your philosophy, phelana. I'm right there with you on the tomato. A fresh tomato is more than just gustatory pleasure; it's an emotional experience combining all the senses and including intangibles like taste memory. My other two, off the top of my head, are chocolate pudding and mashed potatoes with extra butter, salt and pepper on the side. These two actually serve a dual purpose: they lift me up if I'm down, and if I'm up, they make me even happier. Nice OP.
my latest is full fat greek yogurt--plain...i literally sigh with happiness, my eyes roll back a little and my shoulders drop a few inches.
good sharp cheddar on rye bread
pastured eggs fried in ghee
grilled halibut, simply prepared on top of salad
a fig bursting it's seams with honeyed concentrated sweetness, still warm from the sun, pulled right off the tree and eaten in dappled sunlight
a cup of Irish Breakfast tea, brewed strong, sweetened with rice milk
A big juicy slice of freshly opened watermelon.
Piping hot, creamy and gooey macaroni and cheese
Peanut M and M's
Ripe, juicy peaches and nectarines
Vegetable matza ball soup when the weather is cold
Matza and butter on passover. Or any time of the year.
And pretty much anything makes me happy as long as I'm sitting on a blanket onthe beach watching the waves. A true California girl, I am!
Two recent meals that made me very happy utilizing some similar ingredients.
Last nights dinner
1. Pan seared and oven roasted Cobia over a mix of roasted and cubed sweet potatoes and artichoke hearts with minced oil cured olives
This mornings breakfast
2. A fried egg served a top of a mix of pan roasted red potato and artichoke heart cooked in evoo and a touch of butter with slivers of garlic and hot smoked pimenton. Would be a wonderful tapa eaten any time of the day.
This kinda simple food just does it for me.
NC soft shell crabs, steamed oysters, fresh from the ocean NC fish - all varieties - shrimp.
Fresh from the farm vegies & fruit - NC strawberries and blueberries.
My own shrimp & grits.
It's not just the food, but where and when you have it. Food that is related to family gatherings, special Holidays or a food that no one or place does it better. Here a few of my Happy Foods.
Fresh Zeppole from Lucibello's in New Haven for St. Joseph's day.
White Clam Pizza, hot from the oven with Foxon Park White Birch Beer at Pepe's on Wooster St.
Hot Dogs with Gulden's with onion rings at Chick's Drive-In in West Haven, CT.
Fried Clams with Onion Rings from The Clam Castle in Madison, CT
Filet Mignon, med rare with mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms and onions at Ruth's Chris.
Hot lobster roll at Dino's on Rt. 5 in Wallingford, CT
Steamed lobster at Abbott's in Noank, CT
A cup of Matzo Ball soup and a Pastrami on Rye with sauteed onions at Weintraub's in Worcester, MA
My moms Turkey Meat stuffing at Thanksgiving.
Mom's Lemon Meringue Pie that she always made me for my Birthday growing up.
and many, many more.
If you mean food that makes me happy(er) when I am unhappy - then foods that are self-indulgent and just for ME but not so unhealthy that I end up feeling gross.
Examples are smoked fish on black rye with horseradish, soft boiled eggs, fresh raw peas, spaghetti with oil and garlic - plus of course a decadent cocktail served in a fancy glass.
A nice bowl of pasta in tomato sauce.
I spent a weekend in Las Vegas where we did nothing but eat at every turn...pizza, fancy restaraunts, AYCE buffets, absolutely everything I laid my eyes on. And it was all very VERY good!
But nothing even came close to sitting down with the hot steaming bowl of pasta, after the 5 hour drive, when I got home. That was home in a bowl and made me tremendously happy!
Apricots, warm from the sun, picked off my own tree; August tomato about 4-5 in the afternoon- 'tomato soup' warm from the sun- on a left over biscuit; roomtemp cornbread, 'fried' in a castiron skillet, the next day in a bowl with buttermilk and fresh cracked pepper. Lambfries from the Cattlemens's restaurant in Oklahoma City - any day, any time.
I've had some of my happiest food out on the porch, especially early morning or in the evenings. Dining outside helps me to enjoy the good food that much more, no matter what it is. I love when I have or make the time to go outside to eat.
There are also specific foods that bring me joy:
ripe apricots, actually, almost any stone fruit that's ripe and sweet
uni and ama ebi, probably because I eat them so infrequently living where I do
roasted corn on the cob
soup or oatmeal in the winter
persimmons and black walnuts, especially when foraged with my dog on my mom's property
birthday dinners (or breakfasts in bed, for that matter!)
Most food prepared with love makes me happy. But the following do make me the happiest:
- braised short ribs
- osso bucco
- foie gras
- chicken liver terrine
- duck breast
- creamy mashed potatoes
- pork belly
- herb risotto
- fresh grilled squid, especially tentacles
- sweet lobster
- sea bass baked in sea salt
- fresh corn on the cob slathered with butter and chives
- fresh figs
- fresh almonds and walnuts
- most preparations of lamb
- sweet watermelon
- freshly picked raspberries
- fresh goat's cheese drizzled with new olive oil with Croatian prsut
- homemade baked beans with bacon and maple syrup
- chicken skin
- pork cracklngs
- creamy polenta with chanterelles and morels
- anything with fresh white truffles
- fresh herbs and veg that I have grown and nurtured with passion
I have to slap on the 'good quality foodstuffs of all kinds make me happy!' addage to my post. ;
But I also feel the foods that make me happy fall under two broad categories.
Foods that make me happy: Healthy, Light, and Clean%3
- Brown rice and pasta (way more than regular)
- FRESH fish and shellfish cooked in lots of garlic and lemon and some wine
- Summer tomatoes from the farmstand. They deserve their own category! Seriously, anything involving a summer tomato, with fresh herbs thrown in, is bliss
- Actually, fresh herbs in general make me very happy. I have learned to appreciate the beauty and power of just-snipped tarragon, basil, oregano, dill, rosemary, and the like.
- Garlic in anything. The more garlic the better!
- Fruit salsas
- Fruits: strawberries, raspberries, mangos, peaches
- Vegetables: spinach, green beans, asparagus, red bell peppers, rainbow chard, morels
- Greek yogurt, especially with fruit or honey
- Homemade chicken soup
- Roasted chicken with root vegetables
- Greek-style lamb and classic Greek sides
- Leafy, beautiful green salads. I could eat one every day, so long as I could play with the variety of the leaves and the proteins involved.
- Tea. I travel the world through tea!
Foods that make me happy: Maybe I won't weigh myself tomorrow!
- Creme brulee
- Vanilla bean frosting and ice cream
- Homemade waffles and sausage
- Coq au vin
- Garlic mashed potatoes with cream and roasted garlic, preferrably from Yukon Golds!
- Sweet, smoky ribs with creamy coleslaw
- Bread! Fresh, beautiful artisan breads and butter are just heaven
- Cheeses, especially Brie, Camembert, and chevre
- Beer-battered onion rings
- A great, char-grilled burger on a beautiful roll with tons of flavor
- A medium/medium-well steak with wine sauce, crispy onions, buttery mushrooms, etc
- Chocolate truffles
- Polenta, either grilled or creamy
- Anything involving dark chocolate and raspberries/strawberries/nuts
Fresh steamed broccoli... one of my perpetual cravings
Watermelon on a hot summer's day
My Oma's matzah ball soup
Home made gnocchi!
what did you eat that made you happy today? For me, texture, color and taste blending together in sweet harmony...I had a cheese pastechi, a locally made pastry here in the Dutch Caribbean. It's fried so I indulge once a year..it was flaky and chewy and lovely..I shared with my dog so am even happier as is she...
-perfectly seared scallops
-noodle dishes from Asian street stalls
-grilled shrimp with plenty of lemon for squeezin'
-freshly squeezed grapefruit juice with lots of ice cubes
-any kind of fruit flavored gelato
-salted pistacios--get cracking!
-anything (well, most things) that comes from a shacky looking place on a tropical beach
I concur with many of the responses here that any well-prepared meal makes me happy. We mostly eat at home and I love the delightful feeling after a meal that comes together in just the right way which fortunately is often in our house or we are just hungry people who like to eat anything. If I had pick certain foods that always make me happy it'd be Grandma's Southern home cookin' of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, string beans, cornbread and stuffing.
So much! Everything delicious but especially:
Mashed potatoes with gravy (probably my number one comfort food)
Gelato (I always get lemon plus one other fruit kind)
Chicken noodle soup
The happiest feeling is tackling a new cooking project, and having it come out beautifully, and then sharing it with loved ones.
How about adding some Buffalo mozzarella with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar? That paired with a superb glass of wine and I am content.
Eating good food makes me happy... but what really make me happy is when i make something great and can share it. I bring leftovers to a foodie friend at work, give away my tamales and jams, love that everyone asks for my recipe for beans. Those food items then become something that make me smile and savor when i eat them. If that counts
Especially if it's from your local neighborhood shop. For my 40th birthday I made my own flavor: Chocolate Boysenberry.
Other foods that make me happy: My Mom's cooking.
Be it her magical Meatballs in Beer Sauce, Bean Dip, Potato Salad, Lasagna or the awesome Chinese feast she made for me on my 16th birthday, my Mom rocks!
Great chocolate, cheese & wine are a close second. ; )
So many things...just a few would be:
Fried Chicken (nothing fancy, bread it with flour S&P...keep all the fancy pants stuff for restaurants that charge three times too much)
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Country Ham Biscuits (salty as hell...don't rinse or boil my cured ham, please)
Nahunta Sausage (hot please)
Barbecue from Eastern North Carolina (Pete Jone's Skylight Inn if I'm buying it)
Trini Geera Pork
Trini Bake & Shark
Do I have to stop?
Dozen kumamoto oysters
Tomato sandwich w/kettle chips squished with gobbs of mayo on rye
Grilled corn cob
Reese peanut butter cups
King Crab Legs
Onion bagel w/ schmear
Lemon merinque pie