Tell us what you have cooked lately (that's interesting)


Hard to argue with such logic.


Shout out to the wife who organized a 60th birthday party for out friend Jean. She made:

Faux escargot (mushrooms) in actual snail shells
Cucumber finger sandwiches
Caprese salad
Stuffed olive leaves
Manchego cheese
Genoa salami
Pita chips
It was based upon countries Jean visited. The cake was a suitcase covered with stickers. She didn’t make that but it was amazing. She hand made the invitations and posters for each country. Seriously busted her ass for this. Jean and everyone else loved it. It was held at a place where everyone could craft their own art plaque after sanding it and painting it. A wonderful damn time. And next to a great bar. Just in case. :)


That sounds like a fun kind of party. I’m a sucker for any meal that includes chorizo though.

So I experimented with a combo of cast-iron and searzall for searing this weekend. I think it works well, but I am completely clueless on how this seazall thing is supposed to be tuned for the flame part. I get something akin to this flamey cloud just below the grate on it that kind of envelops and cooks/chars/blisters the food as I run it across.

Is that the correct description of what I should be doing here? More heat/less heat?


Ok shortening up this long ambien post because I rambled way too long last night.

Does anyone else suffer severe back pain when cooking. Especially when cutting and washing vegetables? Instread of enjoying food after making something nice I curl up in a ball on the couch when done waiting for the pain to subside. It’s a bit extra complicated as it’s not just my back, but pancrease too. If you do have pain cooking, any tips to help? Thanks, sorry for partial threadjack.


That looks scrumptious!


JP, have you checked out TENS treatment for your pain? It may help, especially if the pain is nerve related.

It used to be real expensive, but became way cheaper as the microcontrollers got cheaper. Now you can get little over the counter things from icy hot for specific things like back or joints, or you could likely get a normal tens machine through your health insurance.

It’s basically a little zapper thing that sends shocks through your skin to stimulate nerves. It has shown a lot of clinical evidence and now has FDA approval for treating various chronic pain conditions.

It’s potentially a good, non narcotic solution to chronic pain.


I have a palliative care appointment in less than two weeks. I’ve been waiting for this for months and hope they have options. I went to spectrum pain clinic and we looked at spinal implants several years ago, but they couldn’t use it in the end because I’ve had the need for emergency MRI’s of my chest. If there’s one that doesn’t involve implanting metal electrodes in the spine that could be an option I can use. Thanks :)


Yeah, they’ve made good progress with the trans dermal systems. Basically you just put sticky electrodes on your skin, and it zaps you through it.

The over the counter ones cost like 30 bucks, so if the doctor says it’s safe, it’s worth trying, even if you don’t go with a more expensive serious business unit.

Here’s an article from the NIH from few years back:


Standard kind of advice, but if the problem is with cooking specifically, not just standing for extended periods of time, you can look into the general ergonomics of your kitchen. Make sure the counter is an appropriate height for you and that you have enough countertop space to have good form e.g. with knives. You can also look into some kind of mat to stand on, people claim that the memory-foam style ones can relieve back pain because of the way it distributes weight on your feet.

Also, if there’s something specific that takes a long time, maybe see if you can automate or simplify that step? Like, if you have a Cuisinart with a slicing / shredding blade, think about if there’s ways you can use that instead of slicing manually?

They look very silly, but apparently a lot of the “As seen on TV” kitchen helpers can be useful for people with various nerve disorders (e.g. fibromyalgia, MS, etc) that prevent them from having fine motor control. Some of those might help if there are specific tasks that you can try to automate.


I was going to say the same thing as you, sir. I’d also add that he should check what type of shoes he is wearing in the kitchen. Sole support is a huge deal that affects back pain as well.


Yep. @jpinard I absolutely feel you on this and often end a night of cooking in crippling pain. I’ve had constant, life-affecting back pain every day since the 8th grade or so, and getting as fat as I have sure as heck hasn’t helped matters. I try to wear decent shoes and take breaks/change up activities, but at the end of the day, if you cook for 3-4 hours straight and look like I look, you’re gonna hurt! It sucks :(


The pain is your body fighting back at you, because with as good of a cook as you are it is the only thing keeping you from cooking and eating all day ;)

Joking aside, there is some good ideas here @jpinard. I hope that they can help you.


I have stopped just short of 300lbs and refuse to cross that barrier.

Mostly because I am this close to having to buy new pants and I fucking hate spending money on clothes because clothes are stupid.

So I guess it’s gonna be “Armando Cooks and Eats Healthy Shit” for awhile on here. . .




I’ve been trying to post stuff that is almost entirely in this category, so dig into my backlog. I have a huge collection of links to healthy but tasty recipes I’ve found - almost none are from “diet” cookbooks/websites, because they fail horribly on the delicious side that I amassed when trying to lose 40lb myself. I’m happy to share with you if you’re interested.

The good news is it’s really not that bad to make great food that’s healthy. The bad news is it seems to be a lot more effort, because a lot of things I love (and are easy to cook or add to a recipe to make it taste better) have to be cut.

For example, I made this on Sunday, and it was so good I was asked to make it again yesterday:


I have this issue as well. I do prep work sitting down at the diningroom table when it’s particularly bad. I also take breaks to sit down between items. I’m so thankful for my dishwasher because hand washing dishes is really painful.


Tonight! Lemon-Pepper Chicken, Fruit-and-Nut Bulgur Salad, Spinach-and-Strawberries Salad, and a Baked Potato :-D

Zested two lemons onto 1.5lbs of thin-sliced chicken breast, then dredged in flour seasoned with salt and rough-cracked black pepper and sauteed in a mixture of oil and butter until crisp and cooked through. Elsewhere, I sauteed half an onion, a clove of garlic, and one carrot, minced in a little olive oil, then added in kosher salt, black pepper, and bulgur wheat and toasted for 2-3 minutes. I boiled some chopped dates and golden raisins in vegetable stock and poured the bulgur mixture into that and sealed it off for 15m. I mixed in a handful of toasted, chopped cashews and some chopped mint and parsley. For the salad, I made a basic lemon-poppyseed dressing with sugar, lemon juice, salt, a little onion, a little dijon mustard, and a fair amount of oil, then poured that onto a mixture of spinach, goat cheese, sliced strawberries, and toasted almonds. Finally, for the baked potato, just a regular russet scrubbed, oiled, salted, and baked @ 400 for 1.25 hours, then split and filled with butter and shredded mozzarella, mixed together, topped with cheddar, and rebaked for 5 more minutes.

I know the portion size is a little ridiculous for healthy, but you gotta start somewhere!


I had to read that three times because I thought it said Nut Burglar Salad, and I wondered if you were trolling us a little bit.

That meal looks awesome. I’ve not had a great baked potato in quite a while and you’re giving me cravings after that description.


Easiest thing in the world to make, like Mymando said, scrub it clean, coat in olive oil and salt, and bake at 400 until soft. It doesn’t need all that cheese on top, that just makes it super unhealthy. Just takes a little bit of butter, more salt, and pepper. The skin gets crunchy and amazing. Only “trick” is to never, ever, wrap in aluminum foil.


You don’t get to 298 by worrying about things like that ;-)

Yesyesyesyes. Tinfoil wrappers or–worse!–microwavers are a blight upon the baked potato artform.

Oh, probably prick it with a fork. Just in case.