HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

What is your crisis/stress comfort food?

  • 85
  • Share

What do you eat when the week has been too long, you are tired and stressed, and you need to eat xxxx right now or you'll bang your head against a wall? Mine is chocolate....and no nouvelle flavors, like with bacon or lavender added. Just give it to me straight, please and no one will get hurt.

I've been working long days on a project, thru the weekend, eating lunch and dinner (usually a sandwich) at my desk every day. Today I really needed a chocolate fix and luckily there were some dessert samples left over from a tasting. Chocolate mousse to the rescue! I feel SO much better. My hips won't thank me and I expect my pants to be a bit tighter tomorrow but right now I do. not. care.

What does it for you, hounds? Sweet, savory, spicy...do tell!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Potato Chips. I used to eat a small bag a day...minimum. Now I try not to eat them, but when stress is in the air, I need my chips. If things are really getting me down....onion dip or con queso is added to the mix

    1. Kraft mac & cheese, blue box, the whole box (which by the way is WAY smaller than it was in the '70s when I discovered it), only a small pat of butter instead of a half a stick.
      Shrimp cocktail, with genuine Guaymas shrimp (or an oceanic equivalent
      A pound of big fat red cherries in season (despite some diarrhea the next day)
      Freshly made tortilla chips, with freshly made salsa, preferably a green with some tomatillos
      An Original Drumstick ice cream cone
      A Dove Bar, dark chocolate, vanilla ice cream is the only way
      linguine with a little truffle oil and a healthy grating of good parmigiana and pepper
      A perfect little champagne mango, even though they're a pain to prepare compared to a peach
      A couple of ounces of good tequila (depending on the circumstances and time of day)

      2 Replies
      1. re: EWSflash

        I do the mac & cheese thing, but instead of adding milk, I just increase the butter.

        1. re: FoodPopulist

          *raises hand*

          Guilty.

      2. Chocolate
        Potato chips
        Pizza
        Feta doused in EVOO and herbs with a piece of naan
        Peanut butter
        Anything dipped in kewpie mayo and sriracha

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chi_Guy

          I have never eaten feta as food unto itself. I wonder why not.

        2. Pasta (thick spaghetti or rigatoni preferably) with butter (Kerrygold preferably) and grated cheese (Pecorino Romano preferably).

          8 Replies
          1. re: Rilke

            Sounds perfect. Maybe add some garlic salt.

            Chocolate
            Something with sour cream

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I was taught to always salt the pasta water, never the finished dish, but I love garlic salt and will consider it an exception :-) Going to try it next time.

              1. re: Rilke

                Hello there. You didn't ask, but may I suggest...please not garlic salt. Pecorino Romano (my cheese of choice, too) is plenty salty...if you want to notch it up, fresh garlic tossed around the pan with the butter will do ya right. Fondly, your little Italian-American friend. :)

                ETA: The garlic in butter idea comes from this delicious recipe from Julia della Croce, so if you'd like to go all out with eggs and parsley, here is more info:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/609291

                It is what brings YOU comfort, so dowutchalike, by all means.

                1. re: kattyeyes

                  Well, I would have subbed out the cheese . . . but I also love egg yolks with pasta, so that recipe is also something I want to try . . .

                  Good thing I like pasta so much ;-)

                  1. re: Rilke

                    You will love it. It's an old favorite of mine. And with you on the cheese--I never have parm in the house! :) And if you really want to take it to an extreme comfort level, think about getting crumbled sausage in on the action. I never tire of pasta, myself. :)

                  2. re: kattyeyes

                    I'm sure your way is better, but it's not "comfort food" to me, since it requires more cooking than boiling water.

                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                      I think you're confusing "comfort food" with "convenience food." Ma's apple pie is certainly a comfort food, but not quick 'n dirty by any stretch. Certain comfort foods take time and love. Lucky for me, the nice people at Frito-Lay jam-pack each cheery orange bag of potato crisps with all of that, leaving me just a few other more labor-intensive options when I seek comfort in food form.

                      1. re: kattyeyes

                        As you noted before, it's different for different people. When I'm stressed, I don't want to deal with anything complicated. Thus convenience is an element of comfort food for me. Some people cook to relieve stress; I don't.

            2. A twiced baked potato

              Potato knish

              Potato pancakes

              Cheesy smashed potoates

              well you get the idea...I only eat potatoes when I'm feeling over loaded. Rather load up on taters.

              2 Replies
              1. re: HillJ

                Colcannon - ham pieces with cabbage, in creamy mashed potatoes. We've been low carb for a year and a half, and I;'m craving it. Dunno if I'll cave or not. I came from a rice eating southern family and learned to love potatoes after I married and had kids. I love 'em almost any way now, but, sigh, they're not low carb and really put the pounds on me. I allow myself some homefries with bacon & eggs occasionally, but would love spuds everyday.

                1. re: Nanzi

                  Oh, man, I love colcannon.. haven't had it in forever. Have you tried making it with mashed cauliflower? or even swapping half the potatoes for cauliflower? Might not fit the bill if you're super-craving the real deal, but it might be an okay substitute otherwise.

              2. acini de pepe or orzo in chicken broth with a little sprinkle of grated pecorino romano on top

                3 Replies
                1. re: cgarner

                  Me, too, but with pastina and 1/2 a lemon or lime in the broth...garlic and oil to start and an egg scrambled in to finish if I'm feeling so inclined. :)

                  A bag of Munchos and a caffeine-free Coke--great for when you're on the road and you need something to eat RIGHT NOW, like IMMEDIATELY, IF NOT SOONER!

                  A little cheeseburger from Five Guys or Quarter Pounder and fries from Mickey D's.

                  Oatmeal cookies with M&Ms (like Nanny made) or Duncan Hines Butter Recipe Golden with homemade chocolate frosting.

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    that's funny you mention the egg scrambled in
                    my daughter's first non baby food meals were pastina with broth and a drizzle of beaten egg... sometimes a few leaves of baby spinach... whatever baby didn't eat, Mommy would finish
                    My Grandpop would put a squeeze of lemon when he put spinach... I always thought it was a "Sicilian" thing...

                    1. re: cgarner

                      Spinach or escarole in my fam. I think it IS a Sicilian thing!

                2. Gin . . . . sometimes, tequila.

                  1. M & M's...Lays potato chips.....

                    And when eaten in combination the result is strangely like Chips Ahoy! cookies.......get a glass of mik!

                    1. I had one of those days yesterday, what saved me was a strawberry pop-tart. It was the most interesting thing in the vending machine.

                      But usually vanilla ice cream does the trick.

                      1. I was going to say homemade baked mac and cheese, but if I've just gotten home from work and I'm tired and hungry, it's going to be some long pasta, flat or round, I don't care, buttered and covered up with shredded sharp cheddar. And I will eat it till it's gone, whether I'm still hungry or not.

                        Then I have to get up and have a cookie and park myself in front of the TV.

                        1. Blue box mac & cheese (I have a feeling it will get a lot of mentions on this thread)
                          mashed potatoes
                          Swiss cake rolls, eaten by methodically unrolling
                          crab legs - I love to spread a beach towel, sit on the floor, and start breaking legs

                          1. Cookies, preferably soft w/ chocolate chips

                            Chicken Nugget meal from McDonald's

                            1. Roasted, salted peanuts in the shell
                              Baked Cheetos (NOT the snack size bag)
                              chocolate pudding
                              fried (in butter) spaghetti
                              the aforementioned blue box mac n cheese

                              1. Another vote for blue-box mac-&-cheese (sometimes with some broccoli florets cooked along with the mac to make me feel healty - lol!), served along with Gorton's or Mrs. Paul's breaded fish sticks. Comfort food from my childhood. :)

                                1. Pie of all sorts, reminds me of my Mom and that destresses me for sure. Love pie especially strawberry-rhubarb.

                                  1. I fresh crusty baguette, warmed, with butter and strawberry jam.
                                    With extra cold milk.

                                    1. If I'm feeling weak or a little under the weather, to the ramen shop across the way.

                                      If I'm feeling 'to-heck-with-the-world', to the local wings place with a vodka tonic on the side.

                                      1. Tired and stressed means give me the wine, pronto. With a pound of cheese on the side. However, if I'm feeling under the weather, I love a great big bowl of brown rice with COPIOUS amounts of butter and salt.

                                        1. Popcorn! With plenty of butter and maybe some truffle salt.

                                          Or gummies or Swedish fish.

                                          I just read that over and I think I just might be a sick puppy.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: chicgail

                                            i knew a girl in college that *lived* on swedish fish during finals. about a week before, a case of swedish fish would arrive, courtesy of mom. i always wondered if her mom just thought she shared with her friends, or if she knew that her daughter ate nothing but sugar for a week and a half straight...

                                            me... maybe a can of hearts of palm, or a punnet of grape tomatoes in season. i can't eat most of what i'd consider comfort foods anymore. sigh.

                                          2. Savoury and spicy. I rarely crave chocolate or sweet things.

                                            Very creamy and buttery mashed potatoes.
                                            Honey and garlic chicken wings or Buffalo wings.
                                            Thai noodle dishes with oodles of spicy sauce and toasted salted peanuts.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: chefathome

                                              Pizza
                                              Homemade oatmeal raisin cookies. Making them calms me
                                              Onion rings
                                              Spaghetti with marinara
                                              Diet coke
                                              Quaker chewy granola bars
                                              Bananas. Healthy, I know, but they do trick.

                                              1. re: Miri1

                                                Cooking and baking calm me, too. And you can add onion rings to the list! I love making (and eating!) those suckers. I don't deep fry, though.

                                            2. ice cream by the pint.

                                              1. Not really a stress food since I tend to not eat if I'm really losing it (and that's fortunately rare), but peanut butter is a comfort food for me. I eat about two average-size jars a week, which means that I'm eating 60g+ fat worth of peanut butter daily. A perk of trying to bulk up. I'll quit once I gain some weight, but until then...

                                                1. Cheese and avocado crispy tacos
                                                  Tomato sandwich on rye with extra mayo and jalapeno kettle chips scrunched in
                                                  Mac n' cheese with some fresh garlic, serrano chile
                                                  Wine
                                                  Reese peanut butter with a dollop of more peanut butter on top
                                                  Thin spaghetti with lots of butter and grated parm regg.
                                                  Drumstick and the coveted end with chocolate tip.
                                                  Filet O' Fish with extra tartar sauce and a small fries squished together...stress gone!

                                                  1. Chocolate-covered halvah and brandy. It's been clinically proven.

                                                    1. Starchy things of the savory kind: Crackers (Cheez-Its if I have them on hand, but any sort will do), tomato focaccia, bread with a slice of good cheese on it, bruschetta, bagels with scallion cream cheese, pasta, polenta, pizza, potato pancakes. If I'm stressed at breakfast, biscuits with sausage gravy are especially tempting!

                                                      1. Martinis.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: JonParker

                                                          Cottage cheese and potato chips
                                                          Scrambled eggs and toast with butter
                                                          Cinnamon toast
                                                          Idahoan instant mashed potatoes with butter
                                                          Homemade vegetable soup wit matzo balls.
                                                          And, like tonight, egg noodles with butter and cottage cheese. Hard day, soft, comforting dinner.

                                                        2. Plain cheeseburger and small fries from McD's.
                                                          Thai curry from our local delivery place or Korean spicy wings with coleslaw..mmm.
                                                          I rarely cook comfort food- because I rarely keep anything out of the ordinary in the house- but if I am feeling in need of it PIE is a great sweet. Specifically strawberry rhubarb or TJ's berry pie with a glass of milk. I don't cook or know where I can even buy great ones, (thankfully) but a great brownie always makes me feel nice.

                                                          1. J&B.

                                                            Plain fried rice with just eggs and chopped celery.
                                                            Chicken noodle soup. Campbell's Classic is fine.
                                                            Noodle King (生麵皇) Wonton flavor or Abalone & Chicken flavor instant-noodles-in-a-bowl; or similar.

                                                            1. I make my mother's variation of the Moosewood's vegetarian pasta carbonara that includes broccoli and carmelized onions. Not a traditional carbonara, but the whole pasta+creamy/cheesiness in a giant bowl also makes me think of my mom.

                                                              1. These days, it's a very, very protein-heavy salad. Minimal greens (I like a nice mix with arugula, frisee, etc), good olives (usually brine cured, but I'm also very into the tuna-stuffed or anchovy-stuffed), lots of pecorino romano, turkey breast, a small can of tuna in olive oil, sliced avocado all on top. S&P. I tend to want salty rather than sweet when stressed.

                                                                1. Vodka.
                                                                  Oh, food...
                                                                  Generally, I'm a stress non-eater. I'll nibble whatever is around like applesauce cups or crackers just enough to get by until whatever problem has passed, then I'll be famished and head out for a steak and loaded baked potato.

                                                                  1. Walking back to the office from a stressful emergency visit to my bank this morning, I was unable to resist the siren call of girls selling boxes of Krispy Kremes outside the BART station. I don't even particularly like Krispy Kremes, but the thought of the intense sugar-fat hit was irresistible!

                                                                    1. Fried catfish (black iron skillet), Black-eyed Peas (with Trappy's Pepper Vinegar), and Collared Greens with apple-wood smoked bacon (with a dash of white, or malt vinegar).

                                                                      Hunt

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                        I'm with you, Bill! Sounds like home!

                                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                                          Bill,
                                                                          Were the Collared Greens convicted or acquitted?

                                                                          I prefer turnip greens, myself.

                                                                        2. At home, it's rotini pasta, butter, shredded parm (no powder for me, please), and a touch of garlic salt. Away from home, it USED to be chocolate Hostess cupcakes with very cold milk. Hostess cupcakes were never a high-class cuisine item, but I find them really disgusting now compared to even 10 years ago, so now I am searching for a new away from home sugar-fat anti-stress bomb.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: laskiblue

                                                                            How about a Ring Ding? I used to LOVE those things and haven't eaten 'em in years, but they'd hit the spot back when. Or maybe a Suzy Q?

                                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                              Did you grow up on Drake's cakes, too? Love them all!

                                                                              1. re: njmarshall55

                                                                                You bet! I was also a Yodel girl. Those and Hostess, before Big Chief Big Wheel became politically incorrect! ;)

                                                                                Oh, no, check this out! She says Big Hwh-eels! Such pretense over humble snack cakes! HA HA HA!
                                                                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIGqqi...

                                                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                  Will do. We'll have to compare CT places, too...seem close by.

                                                                            2. re: laskiblue

                                                                              Ha! Another vote for garlic salt. I feel vindicated!

                                                                            3. Ice cream, chocolate or cream cheese-scrambled eggs if I must have something NOW.

                                                                              Loaded baked potato or roast chicken with mashed potatoes and peas if I have time/want to spend the time cooking it.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                                Well done!

                                                                              2. Meal: Spicy Texcoco-style chicken soup from my local taco shop, a plain quesdilla, and lots of salsa.

                                                                                Dessert: Dark chocolate bar or ice cream (mint chip, chocolate peanut butter, or coconut)

                                                                                1. Chicken and dumplings! Even on a hot day, there is absolutely nothing better when I need to de-stress...or even when I don't!

                                                                                  1. A great big baked potato mashed with butter, sour cream, salt, pepper and chopped green onion. Taken to bed with a cat and extra comforters, and the phone and the remote and a great big old huge enormous bottle of wine. Gotta have something in my tummy before I tackle a. the wine and b. the phone calls I'm going to make to everyone I know, telling them what a crappy day I had. :)

                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                                                      Boy - that sounds good!!! Thanks for sharing the "recipe" - Lol!

                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                        Eating in bed especially with a messy concoction can be tricky...plus cats poking their nose into it and you trying to keep them off it...is even more tricky.

                                                                                        1. re: huiray

                                                                                          Yeah - but it can be fun. Maybe not hygienic, but fun as an occasional thing. I could never do it of course, because the dogs that also share my bed would attack & shred me in a way that would even horrify Hitchcock.

                                                                                        2. re: mamachef

                                                                                          this sounds like the perfect end for my next rotten day, and I have just the cat!
                                                                                          Makes me long for a tv in the bedroom once again...pillows and comforters with movie marathons are a treat I only get in hotel rooms. It's hard to smuggle in the cat.

                                                                                        3. I feel like Deanna Troy ship's counselor for admitting this but chocolate all the way for me too. It elevates my mood and gives me a bit of energy when I need something Now.
                                                                                          In gentler, slower times it was a baked potato with butter and sour creme. Last winter my friend did quite a bit of juicing during dreary feb. and march, and his juices were like elixirs of the gods. Instant rejuvenation. Right now watermelon is pretty amazing too.

                                                                                          1. Indian curry - any sort.

                                                                                            1. Stress comfort food usually there's no time to cook - Supermarket Deli Fried Chicken, their potato salad and Hawaiian rolls.

                                                                                              Supermarket of choice - Albertson's. I think they use a pressure fryer. Their chicken seems to turn out juicier than using an open fryer.

                                                                                              1. Mac and cheese. I love me some blue box, but I really try not to buy it (sometimes fail).

                                                                                                Most of the time, for me, it's elbows, a little pasta water, butter, milk, extra sharp cheddar, and sriracha. Stir the cheese into the pasta etc. over very low heat, and it makes a nice, creamy sauce.

                                                                                                1. Potato chips: Old Dutch preferably
                                                                                                  Cheesies: Hawkins or the supermarket generic brand carried by what was IGA and now is I don't know what for sure
                                                                                                  Spaghetti with lots of tomato sauce and some good parmesan.

                                                                                                  1. A really thick, medium rare ribeye and a bottle of merlot.....works wonders every time.

                                                                                                    1. Depending on the depth of my despair:
                                                                                                      Kugelis
                                                                                                      Farina made with milk and topped with dabs of butter and grape jelly
                                                                                                      Grilled Cheese- American on fluffy white
                                                                                                      Borscht
                                                                                                      Scrambled Egg Explosion
                                                                                                      Smoked Kielbasa
                                                                                                      Country Ham
                                                                                                      Dark Chocolate
                                                                                                      Trickling Springs Butter Pecan Icecream
                                                                                                      Hot Roast Beef Sandwich on fluffy white and fries soaked in brown gravy

                                                                                                      1. Almost forgot, (ok, was embarrassed) Pudding Skin. I pour the warm cooked pudding into a nice-sized baking pan with edges. Why? More skin to pudding ratio.....and... sigh, pudding skin doesn't grow back.

                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                          You are not alone, I love pudding skin too--and was also made to feel ashamed and embarrassed about it!

                                                                                                          What's wrong with those people???

                                                                                                          1. re: Vidute

                                                                                                            HA HA HA, "pudding skin doesn't grow back." :) This is right up there with people who like brownie edges, so they wind up buying the edge pan. I have a preference for "innie" brownies, however.

                                                                                                          2. Cookies. Any flavor, but must be homemade, by me. The baking process is half the de-stresser...when a friend of ours found this out, he told my husband they should try to keep me stressed out as much as they can since I baked like 3 batches of cookies in a week one time.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Maggiethecat

                                                                                                              Agree about homemade sweets AND the process being part of the de-stresser. Bonus: you get to lick all the bowls, spatulas, etc. Though chopping a slew of vegetables is also a zen-like task. :)

                                                                                                            2. Single malt Scotch whisky

                                                                                                              1. Well yes, if time is of the essence, it is hard to beat cheap scotch (Lauder's) and Lay's potato chips. But with a bit more effort one can whip up meatloaf and mashed potatoes, or saffron risotto with mushrooms. Shrimp scampi is an upper, too. The best cure for despair, however, calls for making homemade soup. Somehow the act of dicing carrots and onions and simmering broth banishes the worst of black clouds. Baking bread can be equally mood elevating-- and you can pound on something in a socially acceptable way.

                                                                                                                Anyone else cook their way out of the blues?

                                                                                                                1. That's easy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM9jT...

                                                                                                                  Although I might add some collards and mashed sweet potatoes and maybe a nice slice of ham.