Mack's Corner

This Week

It's the shoes.

If I go on vacation, I go to eat. I go to New York, or Chicago, or San Francisco, or New Orleans. I don't go to the beach, I don't go to the woods, I go to eat. Diets all go away, no more rules. One year we went to San Francisco and Napa Valley to eat and walk for four days. We ate at 5 different restaurants and walked 50 miles. So I'm fat and in good shape at the same time. We ate at Farallon, The Slanted Door, Terra, Bistro Jeanty, and The French Laundry (for all you foodies out there).

The first four were all great, really, really good. Each one had several world-class things, but at The French Laundry, everything is world-class, all 12 courses. It almost hurts your brain the way they keep coming out with something that tastes better than the thing you just had. Of course, the thing you just had was only 2 bites and you kinda wish they would give you a bowl of it and a big spoon. I even asked the waiter if he could bring me the 3rd course again, this was after I had licked the plate and had stuff on the tip of my nose. He said no. I'm not sure if he didn't want to do it because he knew there was more to come or because he didn't want me to lick any more plates. One of the best things they had was the butter. How many times have you gone to a restaurant and thought that the butter was one of the best things, either the butter was really good or the food was really bad. The butter at the French Laundry is made by hand by a woman in Orwell Vermont. She calls her place "The Animal Farm" … get it? Orwell / Animal Farm … cute uh…. She makes 60 pounds a week and Chef Keller at The French Laundry gets all of it and then salts it himself with Fleur De Sel. At one point, according to the waiter, he needed her to make more so he bought her another cow. If you ever go there for dinner, you'll find out that you have to wear a coat and tie, actually, only a coat but my mom would haunt me if I ever did the no-tie look, it's just not right. PK, my wife was all dressed up, she even wore her dress crocs (shoes). You probably didn't know there were dress crocs, if they're black, they're dress. Of course, I wore my dress hiking boots. You have to at least wear comfortable shoes if you're going to dress up, that's one of the rules, plus nobody looks at your feet, usually. We got invited back to see the kitchen, which I've always wanted to do and as soon as we walked in all the cooks pointed at my feet….envy maybe?

God's like that: He's got big plans for us, every day. God is good all the time, every time… even next time …. Be sure to wear your comfortable shoes. Every day is world-class.

I think my next trip will be to Orwell Vermont … maybe I'll start a butter only diet or invent a new lipstick and call it "Butter Lips".….


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:

Mediterranean Diet:

So you're at a parking lot party, all spread out and you need to take a bunch of food. Here you go..

This is from Bobby Flay.. Honey Mustard Chicken - serves  5 - 8

Two 4-pound chickens, each cut into 8 pieces or 8 pounds of drumsticks or thighs .. 16 pieces total

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

1 cup honey (Keto use 2-3 Tbsp of sweetener along 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar and 1/2 oil and along with the mustard & pepper and blend/shake to emulsify)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°.

On 2 large rimmed baking sheets, toss the chicken and olive oil, season with salt.

Roast until nearly cooked through, about 20 minutes for the breasts and 25 minutes for the legs, thighs, and wings.

Pour off the fat from the baking sheets.

Preheat the broiler and position a rack just below the center.

In a saucepan, bring the honey, mustard, pepper, and a pinch of salt to a boil.

On 1 of the baking sheets, toss all of the chicken with the honey mixture.

Turn the chicken skin side down and broil for about 5 minutes, basting with the honey mixture and shifting the baking sheet, as necessary, until the pieces are browned.

Turn the chicken skin side up and broil for 5 minutes longer, basting occasionally.

The chicken is done when it's cooked through and the skin is deeply glazed but not blackened.

Transfer the chicken to a platter. Done


Spaghetti with Lemon, Chile and Creamy Spinach - serves 4 - 6

1/2 pound whole-wheat spaghetti or any long thin pasta (Get good pasta like De Cecco in the Blue & Yellow box <>  )
(Keto use riced cauliflower and make it more of a rice dish instead)

1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1 tbsp red chile flakes

10 ounces baby spinach

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice - use real lemons

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese or Romano

In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the yogurt with the flour until smooth. The flour is a starch and keeps the yogurt from curdling and breaking… 

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and chile flakes and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and garlic is soft, about 5 minutes. This flavors the oil…

Remove garlic and let cool. Finely chop ..  

Be careful Here!!! If you add the yogurt to hot oil it will bubble and splash!!!

Add the yogurt to the oil and bring to a small bubble simmer over moderate heat, stirring. Don't let it boil... Watch!!!

Add the spinach by the handful and cook until wilted, stirring.

Add chopped garlic.
Stir in the lemon zest and juice and season with salt and pepper.

Add the Parmesan and stir.

Add the spaghetti to the skillet and toss well to coat. Mound in bowls. 
Sprinkle with more Parmesan and serve right away.

Both recipes are easy to double or triple to make mass quantities.. need to feed 20? Easy…


How about saving a kid's life!!

When you give Platelets it's like giving St Jude $700 - $1000. If we don't give them, they have to buy them.

Giving Platelets is like giving blood, it just takes longer (1 1/2 hours) and you get all of your blood back (so you can do it every week if you want) . I know it's a long trip to go all the way down to St Jude, but you may be saving a kid's life . plus you get to watch a movie while you're there. Call Kim at 901.595.2024 and she'll set up an appointment and treat you like family. Just tell her you're from Hope.

Directions: From Poplar, turn north on Third Street, then right on Lauderdale/Jackson Ave (first right after you go under the expressway). Enter through the north guard gate (you'll see the Danny Thomas Pavilion. Gold top).

Tell the guard at the gate that you are here to donate blood. The guard will instruct you where to park. You will then enter the hospital by the red side door closest to the blood donor parking lot. The Blood Donor Center is in the southwest corner of the hospital on the ground floor.

Appointment times are generally available Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Except on Tuesdays, they start at 9:15 am.

See you online this weekend. It's going to be great!!!


Posted by Mack Oates at 8:55 AM