Night Sky: Cassiopeia

How this Fast Diet Lifestyle works: Eat these meals tomorrow, for a calorie total of less than 600. On another day this week, eat the meals from a different post, another day of eating 600 calories or less. Eat sensibly the other days of the week. That’s it: a simple way to lose weight and be healthier. Welcome to ominousthespirit who is now Following.

A ‘constellation’ is a group of stars that appear to form a picture. Modern astronomers world-wide recognize 88 constellations, each occupying a designated area in the sky. The constellations seen from the northern hemisphere are the ones that inhabit mythologies from Europe and North America. Constellations seen from the southern hemisphere are ‘man-made’ — that is, astronomers who did not know their names [if they had any], created the names and the pictures that they formed during the 1600s and 1700s. Some constellations are seen seasonally, like Orion in the Winter, but some are seen all year ’round. In the Northern Hemisphere, there is a group of star pictures which are made up of the circumpolar stars. Cassiopeia or Cassiopeia’s Chair is one of them. I remember my mother pointing it out to me when I was a child — it was my first constellation. The ancient Greeks had stories to explain why these pictures were in the sky and here is the myth of Cassiopeia:

She was the Queen of AEthiopia, ruling with her husband Cepheus. Cassiopeia was very vain about her good looks, and her daughter Andromeda had inherited her mother’s beauty but not her personality. Cepheus and his wife were lining up suitors for their daughter’s hand when disaster struck. Cassiopeia had bragged that she and Andromeda were prettier than the the Sea Nymphs and Posiden, their father and God of the Sea, was upset. So he sent a sea monster to wreck havoc on coastal towns of Ethiopia. An oracle told the king and queen to chain their daughter to a rock as a sacrifice to the monster. So, with a few tears, they did. Just when all hope was lost, the hero Perseus came flying out of the sky on a winged horse, Pegasus. Perseus tried using his sword, but to no avail. Saying, “Avert your eyes, Andromeda,” he took from his satchel the head of the Gorgon Medusa and turned the monster to stone. Perseus then rode back to the palace with Andromeda and asked to marry her. Cassiopeia turn him down, because he wasn’t good enough for her daughter, and Perseus was rather annoyed at that. Saying, “Avert your eyes, Andromeda,” he took from his satchel Medusa’s head, and turned the Cassiopiea to stone –right there, sitting on her throne. The gods put her in the sky, to remind women not to be vain about their looks. As her constellation circles the Pole Star, her chair is sometimes right-side up, and sometimes up-side down — a terrifying punishment for the foolish queen.

Cassiopeia has five stars, shaped like a ‘W’ or an ‘M’. It is visible all year in the Northern sky. Once you see it, you will find yourself picking it out again and again. Happy star-gazing.

For some reason, shirred eggs always struck me as elegant, an elevated way to prepare eggs, so for the hoity-toity Cassiopiea we will have them for breakfast. Since Perseus saved Andromeda with his sword [and the Gorgon’s head], we will impale some meat for our dinner — along with some vegetables.

Shirred Egg: 147 calories 8.5 g fat 2 g fiber 10 g protein 10 g carb 106 mg Calcium   NB: The food values given above are for the egg bake and fruit only, not the optional beverages.  PB GF – if using GF bread  I learned to prepare this dish when working on my Girl Scout ‘Cooking’ badge. I still eat it because it tastes so good. Easy to serve to guests, as well.

One 2-oz egg 1 Tbsp half&half = 10% milk-fat salt & pepper to taste 1½ tsp Parmesan cheese 1 oz melon  half a slice of 70-calorie whole-grain bread, toasted Optional: blackish coffee [53 calories] or blackish tea or mocha cafe au lait  [65 calories] or lemon in hot water   Optional: 5-6 oz fruit smoothie or berry-yogurt smoothie [88 calories]

Heat the toaster oven to 325 F. Spritz a 1-cup ramekin with cooking oil or spray. Break the egg into the cup, and pour the half&half on top. Sprinkle with cheese, add salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 12-15 minutes, then let sit 2-3 mins. Plate with the toast and fruit. Serve with your choice of beverages. 

Shashlik: 292 calories 10g fat 3 g fiber 19 g protein 32 g carbs 53.4 mg Calcium   PB GF – if using GF bread  Here is the meal of nomadic herdsmen in the grasslands of Asia and Eastern Europe. Originally made with lamb or beef, this Ukrainian version uses pork shoulder. It can be enjoyed with or without the bread. The recipe is from natashaskitchen.com. For the flatbread, I used Mongol Bread, full recipe in the blog about Kublai Khan, 4 May 2022

Sv 2 = Fast dinnerGrill or broiler.
5 oz pork sirloinCut pork in 1” pieces and put in a bowl.
1½ cloves garlic, pressed
½ medium onion 
Cut onion in 1” pieces. Press garlic and add both to bowl with pork.
2 pinches salt
pinch pepper
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir everything to combine.
1½ Tbsp red wine
2 tsp olive oil
Add oil and wine. Stir to combine. Cover, put in fridge 3-4 hours.
wooden skewersCover skewers with water for 20 mins. 
Preheat grill/broiler. Before cooking, set to medium.
3 oz Bell pepper, 1”chunks
3 oz zucchini, 1” chunks
Skewer meat and onions, but not too closely together. Skewer vegetables separately.
Strain marinade and boil it briefly.
Grill 4 mins on all sides until cooked. 
Flat bread =86 caloriesServe in flatbread with drizzle of marinade.

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