Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Aries dinner for a Scorpio

I was shopping the other day and saw these zodiac necklaces that I instantly loved. I thought it would be cute for me to wear each of my mini's sign, so I bought them. (I would like to add a sidenote here, the necklaces that I just linked are not the exact same necklaces that I bought.  They are similar, but the necklaces I bought were $12 each and I have the packaging to prove it.  So settle down, Mr. McGhee.)  

When I showed the necklaces to the minis, they were fascinated with the concept of the zodiac. So last night, Mr. McGhee and I were putting the minis to bed and talking about the zodiac. My oldest mini has spine issues and a couple of years ago, he was dealing with back pain. Mr. McGhee and I were desperate to help him find relief, so we took him to our local mattress store and told him to pick out any mattress he wanted. We did this not having a clue how much a mattress can cost. Of course, my mini picked out the most expensive mattress in the store and now his back pain is better, but someday we will have to tell him he can't go to college because we are still making payments on his mattress. I am fairly certain Queen Elizabeth doesn't even sleep on a mattress this expensive.

Anyway....the minis and I like to hunker down on this mattress during bedtime prayer. Poor Mr. McGhee gets stuck on the beanbag chair, but our beanbag chair is called a love sac, which is funny still after 10 years of owning it. So, last night my oldest mini was laying across my legs, my middle mini was on top of me demanding a soft, scratchy, sorta tickly back rub, and my tiny mini was snuggled next to me demanding a medium, tiny cicrcly rub on the underside of her arms. And I am laying there struggling for oxygen, but treasuring the moment. Meanwhile, Mr. McGhee was reading to us what our zodiac signs me. We discovered that my mins personalities match their zodiac signs of Leo, Gemini, and Pisces pretty closely. 

As those of us on the mattress were marveling over these new found nuggets on information, Mr. McGhee says "wow Heids, you are a classic Aries."  It says this about Aries.....

If a business idea comes their way, they tend to plunge right in. Aries are more then willing to take a gamble and follow their dreams and goals. However, if success is not immediate, they tend to lose interest and give up easily. Aries are notorious for not finishing what they have begun. This is due to the low tolerance for boredom and lack of patience. If the excitement is gone from their business idea, they go off and search for it elsewhere.

I looked at him and gave him my look. You know, my look that says, did you really just say that to me?  Granted, it may very well be the truth, but everyone knows the key to a successful marriage is knowing when to tell the truth and knowing when to lie.  It's like that Kenny Roger's've got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.  Same concept applies to marriage.  I thought of giving him my best Beyonce "oh no you didn't" head bob and finger pointing, but instead I decided I am going to prove Mr. McGhee wrong.   

So, tonight's dinner is step one in showing my commitment to this resolution.

Yogurt-Marinated Chicken (from Rodale Whole Foods Cookbook)
  • 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt  
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 tsp skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup whole grain bread crumbs (grind up that sliced bread you have sitting in your pantry)
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp sage
1. In a shallow dish, combine yogurt, lemon zest, and nutmeg. Add chicken and turn to coat evenly with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 475. Lightly oil a 9 x 9 baking pan.
3. In a shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, basil, and sage. One piece at a time, lift the chicken from the marinade and press the chicken into the crumbs, coating each side lightly.
4. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in the baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes on each side or until golden, crisp, and cooked through.
Roasted Edamame with Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper (from Makes roughly 2 cups
  • 16 ounces frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper (or 1-2 teaspoons alternate seasoning)
1.  If you have time, thaw the edamame for an hour or so in a strainer over a bowl (to catch the melting liquid) before baking. This will reduce the roasting time.
2.  Preheat the oven to 375°F.
3.  Pour the edamame in a strainer and run under warm water for a few seconds to melt any ice crystals. Spread the edamame on a clean dish towel and pat gently with another dish towel to dry them as much as possible.
4.  In a mixing bowl, toss the edamame with the olive oil, salt, and pepper (or other seasonings). Taste one of the edamame and add more seasonings if desired.
5.  Spread the edamame in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast for 30-40 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes and watch for the edamame to begin puffing and turning golden-brown. Their color will also darken, the exterior will be dry, and you'll hear them "singing" as steam escapes from inside the bean.
6.  Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the roasted edamame to a serving bowl. They are best if eaten within a few hours of roasting.
Beet Salad

Step one is to roast your beets.  You can buy beets if you must.
  • 6 beets, peeled and cut into eighths
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/8 cup orange juice
  • 1/8  cup balsamic vinegar
1.  Preheat oven to 400. 
2.  Put peeled beets into a dish and drizzle with olive oil. 
3.  Add fresh thyme.  If you don't have fresh thyme, use dried.  If you don't have dried thyme, skip this step. 
4.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
5.  Roast until beets are soft, around an hour 15 minutes. 
6.  Mix orange juice with balsamic vinegar and pour over cooked beets.

Next step is to make the brown-sugar walnuts for the salad topping.
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • handful of walnuts
1.  In a pan, melt butter over low heat. 
2.  Add brown sugar and stir. 
3.  Add walnuts and stir constantly for 3-5 minutes. 
4.  Cool walnuts on parchment paper. 

Final prep step is the Citrus Vinagrette.
  • 2/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon honey
1.  Whisk all ingredients together.  Tell yourself you are wonderful because you are.  I am too.  We make our own salad dressing.

Roasted Beet and Artichoke Salad
  • 5 handfuls of spinach leaves
  • feta cheese
  • roasted beets
  • one can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • red onion, sliced
  • brown-sugar walnuts
  • citrus vinagrette
1.  Toss all ingredients together.

So, there you go.  This Aries is going to prove her Scorpio wrong!  I'm going to end this post with a zodiac description of Mr. McGhee.....
Scorpios make excellent doctors, surgeons, scientists and leaders, they are perfectly suited to any form of business that makes a difference in the world, greatly impacts people and society and a most importantly, Scorpio has to be in a power position, this is why these careers are suited to the Scorpio, they all demand one person in supreme control giving orders and leading a unit of people/practices. In business, Scorpios tend to easily gather wealth, they make very wise business decisions and they are very conservative about spending their money. Scorpios are known for making money and hiding it, they will not announce it due to to fear that others will take the same route and becoming a possible competitor, or worse try to use the Scorpio to their advantage to use them for their money.
Did you read that and roll your eyes and gag?  I did too.  And, Mr. McGhee, if you're reading this....I'm going to find that money you're hiding and use it to buy a farm.
No, really.  Mr. McGhee, if you're reading this, I am forever grateful for your "Greg-ness" to balance my "Dharma-ness".