How Food Network Staffers Relax In the Kitchen

We've rounded up our go-to relaxation rituals!

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March 02, 2021
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Photo of young woman preparing pizza at home

Photo by: mixetto/Getty Images

mixetto/Getty Images

It seems like everyone is looking for new ways to de-stress these days, so if your old methods of relaxing just aren’t doing it, we understand. To garner inspiration for new ways to unwind, we reached out to our fellow staffers at Food Network to hear their go-to relaxation rituals. Whether it’s lighting your favorite food-scented candle, turning on the perfect playlist while cooking or giving your kitchen space a deep clean, there is sure to be something here that will bring everyone a little much-needed Zen.

FNK_SimpleChocolateChipCookies_H

FNK_SimpleChocolateChipCookies_H

Chef Name: Food Network KitchenFull Recipe Name: Simple Chocolate Chip CookiesTalent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Networks Kitchen’s Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies, as seen on Foodnetwork.comProject: Foodnetwork.com, FN Essentials/Weeknights/Fall/HolidaysShow Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network,Chef Name: Food Network Kitchen Full Recipe Name: Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies Talent Recipe: FNK Recipe: Food Networks Kitchen’s Simple Chocolate Chip Cookies, as seen on Foodnetwork.com Project: Foodnetwork.com, FN Essentials/Weeknights/Fall/Holidays Show Name: Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Ever since college finals, I always bake cookies to de-stress. When I needed a break from studying or just wanted to clear my head — instead of lying down or watching TV — I would make chocolate chip cookies. For some reason, I felt this was a better way to take a break from my studies because I was still being somewhat productive, on my feet and using my hands. To this day whenever I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, I preheat my oven and start baking. And the best part? You get a tray of freshly baked cookies to enjoy after!

-Lauren Tom, Associate Content Producer

It sounds crazy, but cleaning makes me calm. That’s why I try to tidy up the kitchen after dinner (and before dessert) almost every night. Cleaning off the countertops and giving them a wipe-down while my partner does the dishes give us time to catch-up and wind down after work. Plus, I love that it’s a ritual we can do together. The final touch? Lighting a scented candle that sits on the now-clean counter while we eat dessert on the couch. I’m loving this honey-vanilla-scented one from Stonewall Home for the winter and plan on swapping it out for Otherland’s Canopy scent when warmer weather is finally here.

-T.K. Brady, Senior Editor

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One new relaxation ritual I’ve adopted is inspired by the Chinese gong fu tea ritual. The real tea ritual requires training and practice to master all the techniques and steps. It’s an ancient art that I highly respect, and one of these days I would love to experience it first-hand. I recently purchased a single-person Chinese tea ceremony kit that comes in a little travel case. It includes a Gawain cup for brewing a single portion, a fairness cup to pour your tea when it reaches the right potency and a beautiful porcelain teacup just for me. I sit quietly and watch the loose tea leaves expand in the Gawain, and the ritual of pouring that into the fairness cup and then into my little teacup just relaxes me. You don’t need a gong fu tea set to enjoy this calming ritual, though. What’s most important is getting good-quality Chinese or Taiwanese tea. I love JoJo Tea, which is based in my hometown, Miami.

-Carlos C. Olaechea, Digital Culinary Content Writer

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I know my day is officially winding down when the time comes to make myself a big bowl of popcorn and get comfortable on the couch. The process of freshly popping the kernels in my air popper then drizzling a little olive oil and salt over the crunchy snack has become a bit of a ritual ending to my days that truly helps me relax. Trust me, it’s well worth it to make your own rather than relying on the store-bought version or microwave bags. To me, salty popcorn is the perfect post-dinner bite and the best companion to whatever show I’m binging at the moment.

-Rachel Trujillo, Associate Content Editor

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A couple hours before bed, I’ll get a pot of roasted barley tea steeping and sip while I wind down. The tea is naturally caffeine-free, and its earthy flavor helps ground me. The tea bags come in larger-than-average sizes, so one bag is enough for two to three full cups. It's especially helpful when I need some calm or when I want my belly to feel warm, cozy and full before I sleep. It helps keep me from indulging in too much junk food right before bed!

-Maggie Wong, Editor

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Photo by: Oscar Wong/Getty Images

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No matter if I’ve had the best day ever or the kind of day that feels exactly 100 hours long, I know one sure-fire way to wind down from it all: blasting music in my kitchen as I cook. There’s something about singing along (and dancing poorly) as I’m chopping, mixing and sauteing that puts a smile on my face. And most of the time, it makes the prep work I have to do go more quickly. I’m a sucker for my own Spotify playlists — a nice mix of Mumford and Sons, Jay-Z, Billy Joel, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga — but you do you. I recommend the mix of songs on the Yacht Rock and the 2000s Hits playlists, and, if you listen to a lot of music like I do, the $9.99 premium subscription is well worth it (no ads!).

-Maria Russo, Senior Editor

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