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Cooking is Therapeutic

by Meghann on May 31, 2011

Today was a stressful one.

I made a lot of headway with Healthy Living Summit (I still don’t have a definite answer when tickets go on sell, but it will be soon!) and worked on my freelance articles. Basically I parked my booty at a Starbucks after I met Becca for lunch and stayed until after well after 7:00. By the time I did make my way home, all I wanted to do was get in the kitchen and put my hands to work cooking something fabulous.

And that’s exactly what I did.


Whole Roasted Chickens was something I mastered back in college. It’s one of those things I was once afraid of, but after trying it “for fun” one time I discovered how easy it was and kept at it. I was good at it, but after moving to Orlando and living on my own for so long I sort of lost reason to roast one.

Yesterday Derek and I were browsing the chicken section of Publix when memories started flooding back to me of juicy chicken from long ago. When I suggested the whole chicken as a dinner idea for this week Derek confided in me that he didn’t like dark meat I know shocker!), so my whole chicken dreams quickly shifted to whole chicken breasts.

Luckily the concept was still the same – coat under the skin with olive oil, rub with paprika, Mrs. Dash, salt and pepper, squeeze lemon juice, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.


See? Easy!

It was nice to let my mind escape for a few minutes in the kitchen. The only thing that needed my attention at the moment was the chicken breast and I gave it to it.


The results were even juicier and flavorful than I remember whole chicken being. I don’t know what it is, but roasting chicken with the bone in always dictates much more palatable results than plain boneless, skinless chicken breast purchased at the store. i think the secret is seasoning the chicken under the skin and then re-securing the skin back over the breast before baking. When it’s done I just feed the skin to Maddie and enjoy a moist piece of breast on it’s own.


The rest of the meal was kept simple.

Just steamed broccoli


and reheated White Cheddar Cornbread (still so, so GOOD)


Ice cream is good for releasing the mind too πŸ˜‰


I also had a serving of trail mix at Starbucks.

Do you find cooking or baking soothing? It’s right up there with running in my opinion. πŸ˜‰

1 Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) May 31, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I definitely think baking and cooking are on par with running in terms of clearing the mind. You can have a crazy day and then just lose yourself in either!
Liz (Little Bitty Bakes) recently posted..Easy Mango Pudding

2 Lindsey May 31, 2011 at 9:27 pm

I think I find baking more soothing than cooking. I love cooking but always seem to get flustered easily. But baking I do when I have more time and can enjoy it…if that makes any sense?!

That chicken looks so good! I have never made a whole chicken but have been tempted a few times.

3 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 31, 2011 at 9:28 pm

I love cooking and baking. Whenver I am stressed out, I head for the kitchen!
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey recently phases

4 Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet May 31, 2011 at 9:29 pm

Baking is definitely one of the best ways for me to relax. Especially if it involves lots of stirring!

I love the taste of whole-roasted chicken, but it’s always been hard for me to figure out whether the chicken is done…

I hope your work was productive, and that you have a less stressful day tomorrow πŸ™‚

5 Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out May 31, 2011 at 9:30 pm

I agree. Cooking is very therapeutic. Looks great, too!
Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out recently posted..Pre Race Day Jitters

6 Cate May 31, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Definitely agree! πŸ™‚
I have a new recipe for whole roasted chicken I want to try soon. I have never cooked one before.
Cate recently posted..New Running Trails

7 Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 31, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Oh Derek, Derek, Derek. The dark meat is the best part.

8 Rachel June 1, 2011 at 12:33 am

Oh man, I think the skin is the best part!
Rachel recently posted..Pina Colada Pancakes

9 erica May 31, 2011 at 9:34 pm

lol. i think i’m one of the few that finds cooking/baking frustrating. :/
i always seem to overlook buying a key ingredient and realizing it only after i’ve started cooking!!!

10 Holly @ The Runny Egg May 31, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I love cooking/baking when I’m not rushed to throw something together. I like when it is planned and thought out — and I can take my time.

Maddie is super lucky — my favorite part of making chicken is having the skin!
Holly @ The Runny Egg recently posted..Tomato Face

11 Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat May 31, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I’m definitely more a baker than a cooker when it comes to stress relief. Maybe it’s because I know I’ll get a sugar kick once I’m done πŸ™‚
Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat recently posted..Salsa Carrots

12 Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 31, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Baking is so soothing to me! It’s my favorite stress releaser πŸ™‚
Kate (What Kate is Cooking) recently posted..Eat Your Beer

13 Kaitlyn @ 7 Plates May 31, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Looks really good! Hope your stress goes down soon!
Kaitlyn @ 7 Plates recently posted..Chocolate Protein Pancakes

14 Gina @Runningtothekitchen May 31, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Cooking is definitely therapeutic for me particularly chopping/dicing. I love the monotony of it sometimes when I just don’t want to think. Dinner looks great!
Gina @Runningtothekitchen recently posted..Ireland Day 6 &amp 7- Killarney

15 Chelsea May 31, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Your posts seem a little down lately….I hope everything is okay.

PS Your dinner looks super yummy!

16 Shannon @ A Pinch of Ginger May 31, 2011 at 10:01 pm

I totally agree with you!! I love to cook and it is a great release at the end of a stressful day πŸ™‚ Give me my sneaks to run, and then stick me in the kitchen after to cook dinner and I’ll be a happy relaxed girl πŸ™‚

17 melissa (fitnessnyc) May 31, 2011 at 10:05 pm

looks like a great southern meal! sorry to bug you about tickets!
melissa (fitnessnyc) recently posted..My Favorite Runs-1-5 Miles!

18 Erin May 31, 2011 at 10:21 pm

The crispy skin is the BEST part. I can’t understand how you don’t eat it!

19 Cat May 31, 2011 at 10:46 pm

YES! Cooking is definitely therapeutic. One of my faaaaavorite ways to decompress hands down!
Cat recently posted..Ain’t Like You to Hold Back

20 Jamie Sometimes Healthy Girl May 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Hmmmmm, I really enjoy cooking. But I don’t know if I find it therapeutic! I always mess up my kitchen, which inevitably stressed me out. However, I do feel accomplished when I see what I’ve made πŸ™‚
Jamie Sometimes Healthy Girl recently posted..Why I Love Summer Running in NYC

21 Jemma @ celery and cupcakes May 31, 2011 at 11:02 pm

I totally agree! It’s great to get in the kitchen after a stressful day or week and get your bake on!

22 Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food May 31, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I do find cooking soothing and that chicken looks AMAZING! πŸ™‚

I can’t wait to snag a ticket to the HLS! πŸ™‚
Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food recently posted..Shopping for Dreams…

23 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife June 1, 2011 at 12:08 am

I am more of an exercise person (for soothing, stress relief, happiness, etc), than a baking one. BUT if I am in the mood, I can spend well over an hour in the kitchen.

your dinner looks great!

24 Alaina June 1, 2011 at 12:13 am

Baking definitely helps me. It calms me and I love the smells wafting from the kitchen.
Alaina recently posted..My First Marathon

25 Khushboo June 1, 2011 at 12:49 am

Hi, just wanted to let you know that the link is misspelled, so you might wanna change it (summit is missing an β€˜m’) πŸ™‚
Khushboo recently posted..Pro-tein versus Con-tein

26 Ashley @ The Drunk Squash June 1, 2011 at 1:18 am

Oh I so agree, cooking dinner is my favorite part of the day. It’s such a great way to get my mind off of the day, plus afterwards I get to eat!
Ashley @ The Drunk Squash recently posted..Loafin’ Around

27 Christine June 1, 2011 at 2:08 am

This concept reminds me of Izzie on Grey’s Anatomy. And yes, I agree- I was stressed last weekend and made 5 dozen of the best chocolate chip cookies ever (random- the recipe called for instant pudding).
Christine recently posted..A New Reading Companion

28 Brenna [fabuleuxdestin] June 1, 2011 at 3:15 am

WHen I have a stressful day my favorite thing to do is cook. I can finally relax and let my senses take over! Love it
Brenna [fabuleuxdestin] recently posted..Good Eats in Bordeaux

29 Cara June 1, 2011 at 5:48 am

I love cooking and baking when I’m stressed out, even when I’m not it is still soothing! It is right up there with running and cleaning, two other tasks I find calming and do to stay grounded!

30 Hillary June 1, 2011 at 7:05 am

Baking/cooking has become my go-to stress reliever of late, right up there with working out. In fact, my co-workers have started to notice when I’ve had a “bad day,” because the next morning, there will be cookies/muffins/bread in the break room for them! I like it for exactly the reason you just said: it’s something to focus all of your attention on, even if just for a few minutes, with no other distractions. And the results are always rewarding ; )
Hillary recently posted..Super Cool and Minty Fresh

31 Courtney June 1, 2011 at 7:56 am

I love seeing some real MEAT happening up in here! Nice!
Courtney recently posted..Paleo Pizza

32 Hope June 1, 2011 at 8:06 am

That chicken looks fantastic! I really need to make this. The last time I made a whole chicken was when I made the engagement chicken! Yes, it really did work! πŸ™‚

I totally agree with you! I think cooking and baking are extremely therapeutic to me. I could have the worst day imaginable and come home and start cooking dinner and slowly everything falls into place and makes me happy πŸ™‚
Hope recently posted..Loving the Grill &amp Stressful Morning…

33 Laura @ Starting Out Fit June 1, 2011 at 8:51 am

I look forward to cooking almost every night. Part of me wishes I could be a chef/cook in my own restaurant…. if only the hours didn’t suck! πŸ˜‰

34 effek June 1, 2011 at 9:02 am

This recipe SO looks like ‘the engagement chicken’ from Glamour magazine!!!!

35 Lauren June 1, 2011 at 11:53 am

Your dinner looks fantastic!
Lauren recently posted..Run in the New Year

36 Anna June 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I find baking and cooking relaxing from time to time. When I was in school, I would often use it as a distraction from studying or something I could do after a long day. Now that I am living with my brother’s family, I like to experiment on the weekends with my niece πŸ™‚

37 Steph @321delish June 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I totally find cooking therapeutic! I love coming home and just having some fun in the kitchen, trying something new, or whipping up an old favorite. My chance to just relax and be me, and know that I’ll have a yummy result to enjoy when its all said and done!
Steph @321delish recently posted..…And 45 is not 48- or 50

38 Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life June 1, 2011 at 3:52 pm

OMG I looove to cook and bake. After a long day at work it is the only way to calm me down!
Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life recently posted..Banana Bread Cookie Dough Balls

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