Hawaii-bound?

LOCATION:  In our tiny house in Mission, Texas
WEATHER:  Hot (really muggy) in the AM. Wind change from the north and cloudy.  Cooler.  High 80

CLASSES:  2 water aerobics classes
STEPS:  10,299

I took my morning walk and returned drenched with sweat.  Yuck!  Thank goodness for air conditioning!

George is busy building a shelf for our new bar refrigerator.  It will be nice to have it elevated, and he will build a wine rack within the shelving.  He loves doing this like this.  Photos of the finished product to follow.

While we were doing water aerobics, black clouds formed above our heads.  It really got windy as the wind shifted from the south to the north.  The palm trees were swinging in the wind, and rain drops started falling.  We continued swimming, and the clouds magically disappeared.  False alarm!  There was a 60% chance of rain, but it fizzled out.  Too bad for the farmers as we really need the rain.  However, this cold front will stick around all week, so I’m not sure how many days we will be in the swimming pool next week.

There was a pet parade this afternoon, but it wasn’t much, probably due to the windy weather.  A few golf carts loaded with people’s dogs drove around the neighborhood. 

Our friends came over for margaritas and to talk about a possible trip to Hawaii in January.  They own a 2-week stay at a condo on Kaui.  It looks like travel to Hawaii is possible as long as you quarantine and/or get a negative Covid test before departure.  That would be so fun! Starting to dream!

Speaking of Covid, my former employer, Mayo Clinic, lit up one of its buildings in purple in downtown Rochester, MN to honor the many Covid patients they are caring for as well as all the Covid patients and their loved ones. 

DINNER:  I turned to my lover boy Jacques Pepin for dinner again tonight.  I modified the chicken recipe a bit to accommodate some leftover Thanksgiving turkey breast….

SUPREME OF CHICKEN with BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND SHALLOT SAUCE

2 T butter
1 T olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 cup shopped shallots
1 c diced white button mushrooms
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1 T ketchup
1/2 c water

Corn and Peas…

2 T butter
1 T olive oil
2 c corn
1.5 c peas
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 T chopped chives.

Heat the oven to 180.  Heat 1 T of the butter and oil over high heat in a heavy saucepan or skillet large enough to hold the chicken breasts in one layer.  When hot, add the chicken breasts, and sprinkle them with the salt and pepper.  Saute’ uncovered for about 3 minutes on each side.  Transfer the breasts to an ovenproof plate, reserving the drippings in the pan, and place them in the oven.  Continue cooking for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.

Add the shallots and mushrooms to the pan drippings and cook for one minute over high heat.  Add the vinegar and ketchup and continue cooking for another minute.  Add the water, and cook until the water is reduced by half.  Add the remaining tablespoon butter and stir until incorporated.

Meanwhile for the corn and peas….Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add the corn, peas, salt and pepper.  Saute’ 3-4 minutes. 

To serve, arrange a ring of vegetables on each of the 4 plates.  Cut each breast in half crosswise on a slant and place the breast pieces in the center of the vegetables.  Coat the chicken with the sauce and sprinkle on the chives. 

We really liked this.  I modified the recipe to use up an-already cooked turkey breast (instead of the chicken).  So, I skipped the first part describing how to roast the chicken.  I just warmed up the turkey with some turkey fat leftovers and continued on with the recipe.

ASPARAGUS WITH SHALLOTS

Good thing I had a bunch of shallots!  Asparagus was ridiculously cheap during our last shopping trip – $.89 for a huge bunch, so we just had to buy them.  This recipe was a great way to use them…

1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed
1 T good olive oil
4-5 shallots cut into thin slices
1 T butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Cut the asparagus on the bias into 2-inch pieces.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the asparagus and shallots and cook 7-8 minutes, until the asparagus is just tender.  Stir in the butter, salt, and pepper and toss to mix. 

This was super easy and tasty.  I didn’t have quite enough shallots, so I added a few scallions.. 

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