What Makes You Happiest in the Kitchen?

In February our theme here at The Kitchn is The Happy Kitchen. In the never-ending pursuit of cooking better, smarter, and more nourishing meals, we've found that staying happy is one of the most important parts of staying motivated. So we're curious: what makes you happiest in the kitchen? I took a quick poll of our team, and here are some of the things that make us really happy in our kitchens...

  • Sara Kate: Good music, clean counters, sharp knives, hungry bellies.

  • Emma: A new recipe and a free night to make it.

  • Cambria: The smell of something good baking in the oven - granola, chocolate chip cookies, a loaf of bread, and how it warms up my kitchen, which is otherwise VERY cold in the winter because there's no heater.

  • Ariel: When I'm able to get creative in the kitchen without having to go to the grocery store. I hate having to go to the grocery store for just one thing. Shopping your pantry and being able to work around a recipe makes things so much easier and fun.

  • Anjali: The fridge on a Sunday evening after shopping at the farmers market. Having so many possibilities for fresh and tasty meals for the week ahead makes me feel ready for whatever Monday might throw at me.

  • Faith: I get a jolt of joy every time I use up something that is just about to go bad in my fridge. I feel such satisfaction every time I clear something out and put it to good use, instead of wasting it.

What about you? What makes you the happiest in your kitchen? Is there something specific that has recently been making you especially happy? A new ingredient? A recipe? A little improvement?

(Image credits: Lucy Hewett)