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Podcast Episode 29: Cooking for Comfort with Samantha Seneviratne

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In this episode, we talk about cooking for comfort—not just comfort food per se, but how the actual act of cooking can be a powerful strategy for therapy and self-care.

What do you like to cook or bake to get through life’s difficult moments?

Diana will always have to say pasta. Her favorites are simple pastas with butter and cheese.

For Chris, it doesn’t matter whether it’s something he plans to eat or not. He especially appreciates recipes that engage all his senses. For example, when you’re making brown butter, you have to engage all your senses: sight, smell, sound—to recognize that moment when the butter is just right. Or frosting a cake: spinning the cake stand and pulling a spatula through.

Sarah loves not just baking, but finishing and decorating cakes. She appreciates the hands-on time, and making something visually beautiful.

Sarah also makes scrambled eggs, specifically made with this method. The constant stirring and watching for cues makes it a truly meditative act.

Interview with Samantha Seneviratne

Samantha Seneviratne is the author of The New Sugar and Spice, Gluten-Free for Good, and her most recent, The Joys of Baking. You can also check out her classes on the new Food Network Kitchen app.

We excerpted some recipes from The Joys of Baking (one of which—the Apple-Fig Tart—was one of the top-rated recipes for 2019). You’ll get a sense from these recipes—for instance the Chocolate-Rye Blackout Cookies or Coffee Creme Bundt Cake–of how candid and personal a narrative is woven through the book with her headnotes and chapter headers.

Sam talks about how the recipes she bakes during the most painful moments of her life tend to be the more complicated, hands-on recipes that help her get into an almost meditative state. Here are a few we recommend (both her recipes and others’):

https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/lemon-raspberry-pistachio-sweet-rolls

https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/browned-butter-banana-cake-with-salted-dark-chocolate-ganache

https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/salted-caramel-apple-pear-tart

https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/maple-pear-slab-pie

https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/apple-strudel

https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/marble-rye-bread

https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/classic-croissants


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