Favorite cooking smells

wizardnmMarch 23, 2008

When I was making German Potato Salad today I remembered how much I love the smell of the bacon and onions cooking together on the stove.

Do you have certain combos that you really like the smell of?


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I love the smell of a pot of tomato sauce simmering on the stove.

So simple but I love the smell of toast in the morning.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 11:56PM
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garlic and butter or oil. enough to make you stop and smell the roses!


    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 12:00AM
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Coffee and citrus in the morning....followed by toasting bread.
Simmering onions and celery...add garlic for another layer of smell.
Apple pie, vanilla cookies, roasting anything with garlic, frying bcaon, meat on the grill....I love the smell of grilling chicken!
Onions and peppers frying in olive oil...
I love cooking smells....even fish and cabbage!
Linda C

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 12:18AM
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I'll have to go with bacon and onions as well. Roast turkey has to be another favorite. Both are one of those things I'll step outside to clear the olfactory and come back into the house to enjoy the smell all over again.

But I only enjoy the smells during cooking. After that I turn our Nature's Air on (air purification system) to get the house back to neutral.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 7:10AM
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Bread. That tangy - yeasty - sweet - earthy smell of bread baking just gets me every time.

The Dinner Chronicles

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 8:04AM
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All of those. Wine deglazing any browned meat. Bread, turkey roasting, pie baking, dressing, potatoes boiling... all at one time. Coffee and toast.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 8:15AM
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Bread and a turkey roasting top my list of favorite smells. And to add to that, just about anything cooking outside: my BIL's beef tenderloin on the grill, fish frying in a skillet, coffee in the morning, and flaming marshmallows - lol! I grew up with family camping trips and lots of Girl Scout outings that included cooking over a campfire. "Everything tastes better out-of-doors!" (a cookbook title)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 8:38AM
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It's definitely a Greek beef stew that's baked in the oven - onions, garlic, cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, raisins, red wine, cumin, tomatoes, etc. All those aromatic ingredients releasing their scents at once is amazing.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 8:54AM
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Carol Schmertzler Siegel

Cookies baking. The smell of French toast with cinnamon on the griddle with bacon.

Definitely coffee.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:27AM
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I love certain smells at different times of the day.

Moring - toast, bacon and coffee
Afternoon - Burgers grilling on the grill
Evening - garlic and olive oil in a saute pan
Late evening - cake or cookies baking

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:40AM
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Freshly baked bread, especially a herb bread.
A good beef or lamb stew - think Lancashire Hotpot.
Frying onions.
Anything lemon-y.
A spag. bol. sauce with lots of basil.
Freshly-baked cake or biscuits (cookies) or scones.
A roasting, stuffed chicken in the oven.
Anything herb-y or spicy, and it really doesn't matter which herb or spice, except possibly asafoetida!

Some smells I don't like:
asparagus (I like it eating it, though)
boiled eggs (I like eating those, too!)
burnt sugar
browning flour for gravy
pawpaw (what you probably call papaya - don't like eating it, either)
frying garlic (I like eating it, though)
milk, especially when it's added to a cup of tea.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:40AM
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Vanilla and almond extract. Reminds me of the baking my mother used to do.

And there is *nothing* like waking up to the smell of bacon and coffee.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:52AM
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apple pie, pumpkin pie, cinnamon rolls, yeast bread, coffee brewing (although I drink tea), snickerdoodles baking, turkey roasting, bacon frying, onions and garlic sauteing...mmmmm. Now I am hungry!!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 10:13AM
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I second those that Sheshebop mentioned. That's also one reason we like to have liver for dinner from time to time. It goes so well with the bacon and onion in the gravy. The kitchen smells just wonderful while it's being prepared.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 10:24AM
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Bread, cake or cookies baking!! A ham or turkey roasting in the oven!

Smells I don't like (but love eating): steamed broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus.

Yesterday, the house smelled heavenly - in the morning, a spice cake was baking in the oven (made with egg beaters and canola oil, though in retrospect I could have switched out the canola for unsweetened applesauce). In the afternoon, the ham and the rolls made for a delightful combination, and fortunately, overpowered the asparagus in the steamer.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 10:42AM
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Waking up to smell the coffee.

Bread baking.

But especially -- curry.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 12:05PM
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Yep! What y'all said................


I like it all.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 1:06PM
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Reading about all those yummy aromas makes me feel like cooking!

I love all of them, especially bread baking.

I also love the aromas that waft through the house when I'm preparing Indian food. All those spices!

Ham baking is a good one, especially towards the end where just a tiny bit of the sweet glaze has burnt and adds a slightly bitter edge to the wonderfully sweet, meaty aroma.

When I'm making my red sauce for Mexican dishes, the perfume of the saute of onions, garlic combined with the pulp scraped from the ancho & guajillo chilis I've soaked is delicious.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 1:25PM
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Like Deanna, I like them all, even the liver and the fish and the cabbage.

My favorite, though, is probably cinnamon rolls. I used to come in from doing morning chores and could smell Grandma's fresh cinnamon rolls and Maxwell House coffee, it made me want to go back outside just so I could come in and smell it again.

Then I didn't like to drink coffee, I just liked to SMELL it.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 1:32PM
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Pretty much all of the above for me too...except maybe the fish and cabbage! I like savory smells better than sweet.

One of my most favourite though is garlic and onion sauteing in olive oil. Also lemon and garlic in white wine or broth, or just garlic! Peppper, onion and sausage is pretty darn good too!

......and then there is home made bread.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 3:07PM
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Burnt microwave popcorn.

Just kidding!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 4:30PM
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Popcorn! Forgot about that!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 4:54PM
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Nobody's mentioned what I'd list as #1: the smell of smoke-pit bbq! Coming in just a whisker behind would be most anything with onion in it. The aroma of the Cajun 'holy trinity' as it cooks is true nirvana to me. And I make a spinach casserole that involves sauteeing green onions and Italian parsley in butter. It doesn't permeate the whole house like some things do but, up close, it's heavenly! Bacon...cinnamon toast...pot roast...hamburgers on the grill...a marinara sauce with garlic and basil simmering away...bread fresh out of the oven. Oh, yum!

Even though I like broccoli and cauliflower a lot, they sure don't smell particularly enticing while cooking. But the only thing that actually 'puts me off my feed' is a whiff of coffee in the air. (Weird, I know.)

They're not 'cooking smells', just 'kitchen smells' -- but I truly love to sniff cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries and limes.

And not to hijack the thread but, Rachelellen, is your recipe for red sauce posted? If not, I'd love to try it if you're willing to share!



    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 8:38PM
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Oh gosh! I don't have a recipe! It's one of those things I just make! Next time I make it, I'll try and write it down and post it in it's own thread. I haven't made Mexican food for a while, so I'll try to get to it soon!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 8:57PM
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I think one of my favorite smells is the smell of banana nut bread baking in the oven. I also like the smell of bacon and eggs in the morning.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 9:27PM
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If you can, rachel, that would be great. Anchos I can get. Guajillos -- not. What should I sub?


    Bookmark   March 24, 2008 at 10:09PM
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Ruthanna, you just made my mouth water with the Greek stew!

I can't handle smells first thing in the morning. (When I had to open the restaurant, I'd spend the first three hours green in the gills. My boss once told me "Honey, don't ever get pregnant; the morning sickness alone would kill you." She was probably right.)

Once I'm past that initial queasy, though -- baking bread, anything with cinnamon in it, brownies, garlic and butter, pizza (or lasagne) baking, these sherried mushrooms DH makes, curry, and this is a weird one but rice cooking.

Oh, and one I will never ever be able to smell again -- grandma's brunswich stew simmering.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 12:11AM
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For me, there's nothing like the incredible aroma of Cuban sofrito, with garlic, onions, peppers and herbs. Also, Mojo Criollo, with its heady garlic, onions and citrus smells.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't include the wonderful smells of Oregano, Basil, and even Rosemary (when used sparingly), and spices like, Smoked Spanish Paprika, Cardamon/Cardamom, freshly-ground Cumin, and last but not least, Nutmeg, which is supposed to be a mild hallucinogen, so, use only as directed.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 1:26PM
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Oh too many to put in writing. Mine are along the lines of ones already mentioned:

Onions and celery cooking in olive oil
Chicken on the grill
Steak on the grill
Walking into the crabhouse and smelling Old Bay or when we cook them at home ourselves
Fresh cantaloupe & strawberries
Pot Roast in the Oven
Turkey in the oven
Apple Pie

etc., etc., etc. :)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 3:05PM
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The first thing that popped into my mind is GARLIC. Yeah I like lots of other smells, chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, popcorn, etc. But garlic just tops the list. Can't help it, I love the stuff.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 3:33PM
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lowspark I left that off of my short list but YES garlic is an awesome smell in anything!:)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 3:36PM
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Bacon and popcorn always get me salivating. But my absolute favorite smell is when you open a new can of coffee. I remember that smell back to my childhood. My parents were always big coffee drinkers.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 4:16PM
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Baking apple pie

Fresh squeezed oj or breaking open a juicy orange

Homemade beef veggie soup simmering

And the general aroma of the kitchen when making jams or pickling!

French toast

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 4:27PM
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Seems like cooking = aromatherapy to most of us.

When I pop popcorn in the microwave the smell hangs around evrytime I use the microwave for awhile. While I love the smell of popcorn, it can get to me at the wrong time..


    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 5:45PM
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Guajillos are a mildly hot, fairly sweet pepper with a rich flavor. I bet you could get them over the internet without much trouble...and postage shouldn't be all that bad...they aren't heavy. :D

Watch for a new thread, as soon as I get a chance I'll post my recipe. I'm curious as to what others use for their red sauce, so it will be an interesting thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: Guajillo peppers

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 6:29PM
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Oh yes...that first sniff of coffee from the freshly opened container! That, is heaven on earth. If I could find perfume like that, I would wear it. LOL

*I love the smell of anything cooking on our Traeger wood pellet grill.
*Anything baking in the oven
*Fresh sliced cucumbers or watermelon or cantaloupe or lemons or limes
*Garlic, onions, mushrooms in butter (Macaroni Grill!!)
*Popcorn (my biggest ever weakness, as long as it has lots of butter
*Just about everything listed by everyone above, can put me over the edge
*The aroma of tomato preserves being made
*I could go on and on......

    Bookmark   March 25, 2008 at 10:42PM
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Nancy zone 6

I used to make a cranberry-apple dessert during the holidays that smelled absolutely wonderful. I thought it tasted great too, but DH & his family won't eat fruit based stuff, so I didn't make it long. The aroma was so great though, just had a holiday aroma with the apples & cinnamon, it was worth it for that.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 10:06AM
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Met a guy once that had one of these french fry trailers that are part of the traveling carnivals that go to little towns in the midwest. He said the secret to getting customers was to pan fry onions. He said he started them before the first batch of potatoes went in and had a line by the time the potatoes were done. :-)

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 1:03PM
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Apple pie

Baking bread

Freshly brewed coffee

A piece of quality beef over hardwood coals.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 1:27PM
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I think my all time favorites are:
Stuffed turkey slow roasting in the oven
Anything chocolate baking
onions and celery sauting
Apple pie
And the smell of a charcoal grill, it reminds me of summer!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 1:48PM
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Anything on the grill especially chicken or steak, fresh coffee anytime and the scent of baking bread.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2008 at 2:39PM
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Oh geez, I forgot about the smell of the turkey and pumpkin pie and fresh rolls on Thanksgiving, that wonderful melange of aroma.

Now I'm hungry. I also just read on the internet that apple, cinnamon and pumpkin were most likely to attract men. So, a dab of pumpkin pie behind the ear, anyone? LOL


    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 3:28PM
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Well, everything you've all mentioned especially garlic, onions, bacon, coffee and some of the complex soups I make.

And then, I love the smell of certain foods when they're still in my garden. The smell of strawberry vines when I weed them, and especially the small of my tomato vines. My husband dislikes the smell of the vines, but I will brush and rub and shake mine around (which also helps them pollinate themselves). I just started a full flat of heirlooms tomato seeds and just thinking of it makes my mouth water - yellow, orange, red, pink, green, purple, black. Then there are all the herbs of course, the smell of basil - we have a big flat of those going ... or rubbing rosemary and thyme and crushing some tarragon in my fingers. That makes me think of all the pesto we froze last summer that we're mostly through now (30+ bags). I love the smell when we put the hot pasta over the pesto and then stir it up. Wow.

Oh, and the smell of fresh melons, such as a really good, ripe, luscious cantaloupe.

I could go on and on - produce from the garden is a winner for me! Maybe because of all the sweat and hard work!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2008 at 9:24AM
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