Winding down 2020

LOCATION: In our tiny house in Mission, Texas
WEATHER:   Quite nice, but super windy.  High 80

STEPS:  10,560
CLASSES:  Chair yoga and 2 water aerobics

I squeezed in a much-needed haircut this morning between all of the classes.  The beauty shop is super conscientious about Covid prevention.  It is always amazing to me how much hair I have when I get it cut.  There was a lot on the floor!

The afternoon was quiet as George was playing chess and I read.  It was too windy for him to do his touch-up painting he wants to do on our tiny house.

These Facebook memories popped up from 5 years ago.  We drove our Airstream all the way through Baja, Mexico to Cabo San Lucas.  Then, we rented an AirB&B with our daughters and stayed in this wonderful house near the beach for a week.  We watched whales swimming by from our deck. Great memories!

Everyone is fed up with 2020 and are hoping that we turn a corner in 2021.  This cute billboard (only in Texas!) says it all….

DINNER:  The last few Jacques Pepin meals have been disappointing, but this one was spectacular!


2 T  basil pesto (Jacques made his own;  I used some we bought at a Harvest Host farm where we camped this fall)

8 large sea scallops (I couldn’t find any here, so used ahi tuna steaks instead, which Jacques suggested)

The rice was actually a risotto.  I deviated a bit from his recipe, using the technique/recipe I usually use for risotto, but adding more mushrooms than usual.

2 T olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup white or rose wine
1 tsp thyme
1/2 cup diced white button mushrooms
3/4 cup Arborio rice
3 cup chicken broth – keep hot
3/4 tsp pepper
1 T butter
2 T parmesan
basil for garnish

In a big pot, saute the onion, mushrooms, and thyme in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes, then add the rice and saute a few minutes more, until the rice starts to turn a bit brown.  Add the wine and stir until absorbed.  Then, add 1 cup broth.  Stir.  Keep the broth hot and add a cup at a time after it absorbs.   Stir continuously.  Continue the process for about 15-20 minutes.  The rice should be plump, having absorbed all the broth.  You may have leftover broth.

Meanwhile, slice the scallops (or fish) almost in half, keeping it still intact, like a book.  Stuff each with about 2 tsp of the pesto.  Heat oil in the skillet and brown the scallops (fish).  My tuna steaks were still a bit frozen, which resulted in browned outside and still rare inside, which is the way we like tuna. 

Right before serving,  add the butter and Parmesan to the risotto.  To serve, divide the rice among four plates.  Arrange 2 scallops (or a small tuna steak) on top of the rice.  Sprinkle with shredded fresh basil leaves. 

Yum!  We paired it with a light red wine. 

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