Mack's Corner

This Week -

Step up or look away?

If you've never been to the Leadership Summit, you need to go. It has been at Christ Methodist the last few years, usually in August. A few years back the most interesting speakers were Colin Powell and Jimmy Carter because instead of hearing them speak on leadership, they were interviewed about different situations that they had been part of as President and Secretary of State, National Security Advisor and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. You can't have those jobs and not have some good stories. Carter talked about the Camp David Accords with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, Powell talked about the Gulf War. I'm not really a history buff but I love to hear about ordinary people (I know these guys aren't really very ordinary, but they felt like normal people in the interview) and what they did during history changing events. I could listen to any President, even the ones I don't like, talk about different events how they decided to react. Like JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Or Nixon and the Vietnam War, or LBJ getting through 1968.  Almost every time it's the President and some life long friend trying to do what they think is the best thing for the country. I love the recordings of JFK and Bobby talking during the Cuban Missile Crisis. You know how worried they are. They don't care about getting re-elected or what the papers are going to say the next morning, they're just trying not to start World War 3. They are in it, there's no getting out, can't look away!.. Imagine if you were the President and your best friend was the Chief of staff and the situation was that Israel and Iran both had nuclear missiles pointed at each other and both were really angry, riots in the streets of both countries, what are you going to do? You don't want anybody to fire a missile. You can take sides with Israel, but you might make Iran mad, don't want to do that. What are you going to do? Whatever you do will change the history of the world, you know that before you even start. You and your friend have to decide.

God's like that: He puts us in places every day to change the history of another person's life. Sometimes you and a friend get to decide, sometimes it's just you. What are you going to do, Step up or look away?

I wonder who God will put in my way today?


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

I was watching TED talks last week and I found this one:
Jamie Oliver - Teach every child about food

Jamie Oliver talks about the need to teach kids (adults too) how to cook fresh food. It's just as easy as pulling some processed stuff out of the freezer, you just have to know a few basics. You also have to buy fresh food several times a week instead of storing up TV Dinners like you're waiting for armageddon. ... Everything I put in Mack's Corner is simple, fast, and easy, but it does require a little effort. Watch Jamie Oliver. Then come back to this recipe. If you get stuck or have questions email me: 

Rigatoni With Brussels Sprouts, Parmesan, Lemon, And Leek

If your largest skillet isn’t large enough to hold 12 oz. pasta and toss everything together, dump the mixture back into the pot from cooking the rigatoni and toss.


1 pound brussels sprouts
1 large leek, white and pale-green parts only (((see note below)))
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 lemon, zest removed with a vegetable peeler, cut into very thin strips
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup dry white wine
12 ounces rigatoni pasta (((
Use good pasta: Use good pasta like De Cecco Pasta (((Read the instruction on the box for cooking time))) 
2 ounces Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for serving
Lemon wedges (for serving)

Trim brussels sprouts with a paring knife, then snap off several dark outer leaves from each; set aside. Cut sprouts into quarters (or halve if very small).

(((Wash Leek: Cut off root, then cut longways, about 4 inches up, from green part to white part, keeping leek intact. Turn it and do that same cut again. You should have it quartered longways. Then holding the green part, spread the cut part out and wash all of the dirt from between the layers.)))

Starting at root end, cut half of leek into ½"-thick rings, then chop remaining leek (((up to the light green part only))).

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium. Add brussels sprout quarters and leek rings; season with salt and pepper and cook undisturbed until deep golden brown, about 3 minutes. Toss and continue to cook, tossing occasionally, until browned all over and tender, about 3 minutes more.  

Set aside a little lemon zest for serving and add remaining zest along with chopped leek, garlic, and 2 Tbsp. oil to same skillet. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until garlic and leek are golden, about 4 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil, and cook until skillet is almost dry, about 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, 8–10 minutes or instructions on the box; drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. 

Add pasta to skillet along with reserved brussels sprout leaves, brussels sprout quarters and leek rings, and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid; toss to combine. Bring to a simmer, then gradually add 2 oz. Parmesan, tossing constantly. Cook, shaking skillet to toss pasta and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened and glossy, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide pasta among bowls. Top with more Parmesan and pepper and reserved lemon zest; drizzle with oil. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.




Posted by Mack Oates at 10:13 AM