It does more for you than warm up the house a little more.When it snows a lot outside and I'm home bound, I find myself cooking up a storm. In fact, I am still eating leftovers from the huge batch of soup I made during the snow storm last weekend. Organic, creamy potato soup. Seriously, what's not to love?

I didn't stop there. I started baking. That is where I fell off the bandwagon. Cooking from scratch is one thing, but baking homemade cookies from scratch, well, that's a bridge too far, my friends. You see, when you bake cookies that are a pile of gooey, homemade yummyness, you have eat them. And not just one.  I will not divulge how many I ate but thankfully, I had helpers.

It turns out that satisfying and accomplished feeling we get from cooking and baking is an actual, scientific thing. We actually need to cook because we're the only mammals that do. It does something for us, especially in the winter when the lack of sunshine can cause us to feel more depressed.

In an article at SpoonUniversity.com, a study on 'culinary therapy' and the positive feelings associated with cooking and baking put it in perspective.

"However, this study isn't the first time researchers have drawn a line connecting making food with positive feelings. In the past few years alone, psychologists have started exploring culinary therapy, which has become a therapy technique du jour since it can treat a variety of conditions.

The repetitive motions that come from cooking techniques (such as knife skills) can help activate your brain's reward centers and release dopamine, giving cooking a meditative-like quality."

With all the snow and below zero temps due in the Quad Cities this weekend, do yourself a favor, get creative and happy, keep yourself in and cook a little. You might be surprised at how great you feel. (and try not to undo that by worrying about the calories you consumed!)