Cinghiale in Harbor East (Baltimore, MD)

So last night, I went to dinner with Carron and Mara to Cinghiale in the revived Harbor East area of Baltimore. It is really nice down there now! I am also proud to say that i got over being nervous to take pictures of each course. I was thinking that they might think i am a food critic or something and treat us better than normal! ha. So a little side note, for all you foodies out there. Check out the book, Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl. I promise anyone who loves food will enjoy it.

So, there are two sections of Cinghiale. One is fancier and the other is more of a wine bar with more relaxed, but cool dining. Here is the web site's definition of the each side:

The Osteria (Oh-stir-EE-ah) is adjacent to the Enoteca and is a dressier space. This section of the restaurant has the feel of an elegant tavern with white table cloths and mahogany and leather banquettes. It also features a large farm table for a special family style dining experience.
The Enoteca (E-no-TECH-ah), which means collection of wines in Italian, is the playful section of the restaurant for tasting, drinking and discussing wine and will offer 40+ wines by the glass in half and full pours and wine flights as well.

We ate on the Enoteca side and the menu immediately impressed and excited me, especially because they had a prixe fixed for $27 where you get an appetizer (Primi), main dish (Secondi) and a dessert (Il Dolce) that was prepared by the pastry chef. I started out with a glass of pinot grigio that was delish. I wasnt going to have wine because of my run in the morning, but i couldnt resist. I was in a wine bar!

They brought us fresh, warm foccacia and regular italian bread, and then asked if we would like some olive oil for dipping. We, of course, said yes and the server went around and made this pretty little half moon on each of our plates. I swear, it is all about the presentation to win me over! For my primi I decided on I Marubini which was Local Red Pepper Soup with Ricotta Stuffed Pasta. It was so freakin amazing, I savored every bite. The small bites of ravioli type pasta were so fresh and i felt like there were a ton in the soup, even though the picture doesnt show it. They also drizzled a little olive oil on top of the soup and it looked and tasted awesome.
For my secondi, I chose the Gli Spaghetti which was House Made Spaghetti “Alla Chitarra” with Tomato & Basil Sauce. When the plate came out, i was worried because it looked like NOTHING. Since I was trying to get a good carb load for my run, I felt like it wouldnt be enough. But, of course, it was plenty and i couldnt even finish it all. Also, i think the bowl they put it in was TOO big. We had to ask for parmesan, but they brought over this huge piece of fresh parm with a huge grater, which made us forget we had to ask.
For my il dolce, the pastry chef had prepared a small pound cake with fresh sliced peaches and peach ice cream. The cake or shortbread was not overly sweet which made me like it better. It was perfect with the peaches and peach ice cream and a great, smaller size.
So overall, the atmosphere of this place was very inviting and just plain COOL. The couple next to us had done a wine sampling of like 5 different wines, which is something i want to do next time. The food was great and I want to go back to try the sandwiches (on housemade ciabatta) and some of the other appetizers. Check out the menu, if you enjoy reading them as much as I do. Does anyone else like to read cookbooks? I sometimes grab a cookbook to read while i am watching tv. It gives me ideas and inspires me.

Will be back post-nap to tell you about the 18 mile training run this morning. I am exhausted!

Cinghiale on Urbanspoon



18 miler tomorrow!

So today was an early start because of an early work meeting. Since I was running late, I woke up and packed a whole wheat pita with PB and fig jam for breakfast. I stopped by High Grounds and picked up a hot, skim caramel latte for the drive to work.

For lunch, i had to go out again because i didn't have anything to pack from home. So I went to panera and got a bowl of the Turkey Chickpea Chili, half sesame asian chicken, and an apple.

I couldnt end up eating the salad because i opened it and the salad was brown and slimy. I tried to pick out some of chicken and almonds to eat. Oh and I ate all of those fried wonton things. of course those were fine - it was the lettuce that was bad!

The apple was good - like my background? my passenger car seat! :)
During the afternoon, i had a 100 calorie popcorn pack and that held me over until getting home.

So tonight i am going with some friends to this semi-new restaurant in the revived Harbor East area - but i am going to do the full review tomorrow. Off to bed to get lots of good rest before my 18 mile training run tomorrow. But i will say, i had a great pasta carb load tonight...yummm.


Recap of Thursday (8.28.2008)

Things have been busy, but i have had this to post for a full day now! So back to Thursday...

Breakfast included:
16 oz. skinny caramel iced latte from High Grounds. High Grounds Coffee Shop is my corner coffee shop (literally on the corner of my block) where they roast their own coffee beans. They are also selling their coffee in our local Whole Foods in Harbor East. Their coffee is like none other and they are super friendly which a great way to start any morning. I love waking up and smelling the coffee beans roasting!

Standard Power Oatmeal mix. I packed my oatmeal + mixers to bring to work and used hot water instead of skim milk. Mixers included ½ a banana, sprinkle of raisins, almonds, ground blueberry flax, and then a spoonful of PB.

Oh and this is what was staring at me through my window as I got in my car to leave for work. He makes it so hard to leave!

Mid-morning snack was:
Boysenberry smashed fruit from TJs a small whole wheat pita with PB and homemade fig jam. My grandmother needs to start selling this fig jam – it is amazing. She picks the figs fresh from her neighbors’ fig tree (they have asked her to do this because otherwise they go to waste) and then somehow whips up this fig jam. I helped pick the figs one day, but now I need to learn how to actually make this jam.
supplied by High Grounds! Since lunch supplies are low, I picked up one of their packed lunches to-go this morning. It includes whole wheat pitas, carrots, celery, two small containers of hummus, and some grapes. You can choose chips or a banana to go with it. Since I already had my banana the morning oatmeal, I chose Original Sun Chips. They have a lot of other healthy lunch options, which is great and so convenient!

Oh and this is what I have with me every day at work to make sure i am getting enough water. It is a little over 32 oz. I try to fill it up at least twice a day.
Afternoon snack:
It was going be Stonyfield peach yogurt, but I opened it to find it looking very strange. Tons of liquid on the top and the yogurt was separated. Looked at the expiration and it said Aug 18, 2008! Man! I need to look at that more closely before buying – because I know it has only been in my fridge for about a week! So I was hungry and craving chocolate at this point. I resorted to the company vending machine which is never good. I came out with Entenmann’s Brownie Little Bites and was feeling guilty the entire time because I knew I was going to have to write about it on here!! But they tasted really good – and I savored every little bite.

So Thursday night was tough because an old friend of mine from high school passed away very suddenly a few days ago. We hadn't been in touch too much over the years since high school, but I wanted to pay my respects and I am glad I did. Such a tragic loss. Afterwards, a few of my friends and I went out for a drink, but since we hadn't eaten dinner, we decided to get some food. We all split a few appetizers and a pizza. I had some of the crab dip with warm pita, one half of a southwest egg roll, some calamari with marinara and then 1 slice of mushroom pizza. I also had a bud light and then a few sips of a sweet creamsicle shooter of some sort. See, I told you it was a bad food night! whew - time to get back on track.


My Disclaimer

I know I am a little late with the post for yesterday - it was a long day yesterday. I am working on pulling it together now and should post soon.

I just wanted to give a quick disclaimer for readers (not even sure there are that many out there - ha) explaining the purpose of this blog and a few of my views. I am not on a diet or plan to ever be. I really just don't believe in them, especially the fad diets that are out there these days. I also don't count my calories. Now, this doesn't mean that I am not aware of the fat, sugar, sodium, calorie, etc. content in the foods I eat. Because I am. But I am not going to kill myself worrying about it. I enjoy food too much to deprive myself of the things I love.

With all that said, the purpose of this blog is to track my eating and workouts to help me be more consistent in my food choices (making healthier ones) and keep up with my workouts. I also plan to review the restaurants I frequent and post some recipes I make or news ones that I come up with. Guaranteed you will see me splurge with food (just wait until you see my post about dinner last night - you will gasp) and slack off from my workouts, but I welcome any suggestions or ideas relating to helping me stay more consistent and give me more ideas for eating healthier (especially while eating out - i find that the hardest). The blogs listed in my Blog roll have truly been an inspiration to me!

What I have yet to see is a healthy french fry recipe - could someone please send me one? They are my ultimate weakness.

Ok - back to work. Will be back with a full post soon! :)



This day flew by...and I won something!

I can barely remember what I had for breakfast! Ok, well i woke up late, so figured i would grab breakfast on the way to work. I grabbed a few snacks for in between meals, but didnt have time to pack a real lunch. So I picked up a small, skim, vanilla iced latte from Dunkin Donuts and a wheat bagel with veggie cream cheese on the side. I only ended up eating one half of the bagel because i got to work and had meeting after meeting until 11am! This is not normal - usually that bagel would be gone in about 2 mins. So around 11am, I had a cherry pie larabar. This is one of my favorites.
For lunch, I went out to my favorite place Buon Giorno. This is my favorite pizza place in the entire world - i kid you not, they make the best pizza i have every tasted. I feel like I could eat an entire pizza. But i never have. I think 4 slices is the most i have ever eaten. ha - that is ALOT. So, i am trying to limit myself to having their pizza once or twice a month - if that. So, today i ordered the house salad with grilled chicken. It came with the house dressing, which is a creamy balsamic dressing. It was HUGE - i couldnt finish all of it. Took a picture of if in the car before returning to work.
I hope none of my co-workers saw me.
So for my afternoon snack, I had a bowl of oatmeal with the normal fixings, PB, banana, raisins, and almonds. Here it is in the morning when i threw it together.
After getting home from work, Kevin and I took oscar for a run around the park. He wanted to carry the football and practice throwing and catching on the run. (our co-ed league starts up soon) So we were those people running and throwing and catching the football. It was fun and I think i caught more than he did. My throws were right to him too! ;) We probably ran about 2.5 miles.

Does anyone else find it hard to not snack while making dinner? i am trying to find good snacks to eat while cooking. These veggie chips are pretty good. I probably had about 2-3 handfuls.

Oh, and a few dark chocolate covered raisins. Seriously - that was all I ate. I promise.

So dinner tonight was coconut crusted tilapia, with sweet potato fries, and a mixed of cooked spinach, tomatoes and onions (and a small amount of asiago cheese). I have only been able to find this fish at Safeway in my area - it is amazing!

Here it is ready to go into the oven. The foil is to protect the baking sheet, so that there are less dishes!!

Here are the sweet potato fries - shoot, i forgot the foil! I just sprayed the pan with some Pam and sprinkled with salt and pepper. They were done in about 20+ mins at 400 degrees. BUT, they could have used more time - i was hungry and just ate them with a little bite left in them.

Here is the spinach cooking. I started with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh garlic. Then i added in the onions and fresh spinach. Once the spinach had cooked all the way down, i added fresh tomatoes and a sprinkle of cheese. OH, and lots of fresh pepper!
Here is my plate from above - this dinner was amazing.

So dessert is going to be my last pudding pie! Tonight, I got a call from a number i didnt know at my home number. Usually it is just telemarketers, so I dont answer, but it looked like a cell phone, so i picked up and I am glad I did! Turns out that I won the door prize at this dog fair thing a local church was putting on at the park. Oscar and I were walking through there about a month ago and I put my name into their raffle. I won! I never win anything - seriously. I enter those contests at Pioneer Woman like EVERY day! But I won a $25 gift certificate to Dogma - this awesome pet store right in Canton! I am so excited to go down there and pick out something cool for oscar. I think he needs a new collar!!



Dinner, a Dog, and Dishes

So, i added a section for my 2008 race calendar tonight! It lists what races I have completed this year and then future races, to be completed. The Bagel2Beer marathon is something my father organizes every year and we are going to use it as the longest training run - 20 miles! The Baltimore Marathon is the big goal. I have completed 3 marathons, but it has been 3 years since I have done one, so that makes it scary again. This will be Kevin's first marathon, so it should be exciting. This weekend, we are doing an 18 mile training run. We have been officially training since April/May of this year. Our longest runs so far have been a 15 and 16 miler - each a few weeks back. We will use the Galloway method, something i had never used until this year, but definitely see the value after using it during the Frederick half marathon.

Now on to dinner! I decided to cook up Trader MING's (I just noticed it said this - ha) Kung Pao chicken stir-fry, which is just so good.

Please note my stylish bowl - circa 1990, when the Arizona motif was in - hand-me-down from my sister and her husband. These are still hanging on - because they really are the perfect size bowl!

Dessert was a pudding cup - not pictured. My dog, Oscar, has become a committed beggar of food. Probably doesn't help that i like to eat dinner on the floor sometimes. ;) But, he has very good techniques. First, he sizes up the food.
Then he looks up at you with the sweetest face - ever. (You'd think he hadn't had a treat in months.)Then he goes in for the kill, lays on my leg and looks up at me with one sad eye, like he might die from starvation.

I always fall for it.

One more thing - I need a new dishwasher - ASAP. A few weeks ago, I spent my day-off at home, all day waiting for a certain home-improvement store to arrive and install the new one. They never showed and I had to call them to find out that the installer was on the way to the store to pick up my dishwasher. This is 30 mins after the latest time they were supposed to arrive at my house. I got a refund because i didn't want my money going to that store anymore. Then, I started my new job, where I don't have any vacation saved up. So, for now, it is hand-washing for me. And this is what my sink looks like pretty much every day. And I hate doing dishes. Love cooking and making a mess, but hate cleaning it up.


Early Start

This morning, I woke up pretty early so I was able to get out and take Oscar for a walk in the park. He loves those days (and so do I). It was actually cold this morning, so i opened up all the windows while this cool weather is around! When i got back, i made up what is becoming my standard oatmeal breakfast mixture. So filling and good!
1/2 c oats
apprx. 1/2 c skim milk
2 tbsp raisins
pinch of salt
pinch of cinnamon
few almonds
1/2 banana
1 spoonful of reduced-fat PB.

To answer Kim's question (thanks for the comment! :)) - I use less milk or water than it usually calls for or KathEats uses - mainly because I like my oats a little drier. I don't actually measure the milk - i just pour it in until it covers the oats and then mix it around with the raisins before putting in the microwave for about 2 mins. Then, I pull it out and mix in all the other ingredients.
I took a picture of my lunch before leaving for work which i think i will have to begin doing because I don't work in a place where pictures would be allowed - alot of sensitive data (i know, BORING). I used leftover couscous and mixed in some teriyaki tofu, spinach, and tomatoes. I was a little worried that it wouldn't fill me up, but it was amazing heated up for lunch!

I had the apple pie larabar for my mid-morning snack and then had my chobani mixed with oatmeal squares and strawberries in the afternoon. I ended up swapping out the laughing cow and multi grain bread for a pudding pie, which i had for dessert at lunch. Figured i would save the bread and laughing cow for a sandwich later this week.

Just got back from a 3.45 mile run with Oscar - my shins were killing me after the first mile, so i stopped and stretched them out for a few seconds. They started feeling better after that, so I am assuming that was just because i was still a little sore from the 10 miler on Sunday. There is this great course mapping tool that tells you the mileage of any course you run or walk. They also have saved courses that others have saved in your area. Great resource for runners! Check it out www.usatf.org/routes

I got back and did 3 sets of 30 sit-ups and sets of 15 modified push-ups. Oscar was still trying to catch his breath - must be hard running in a fur coat! I will be back later to post dinner and also explain why i am doing all of this running!



Newbie Mistake

So this morning i was excited to start the week off right with taking pictures of everything i eat. Unfortunately i had left my camera hooked up to my computer with the power on, so it was completely dead when i went to go use it. It was charging all day at work, so i just got pictures of dinner. Here is a run down of what i ate today:
½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk
2 tbsp raisins
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp blueberry ground flax seed
1 banana
1 tbsp reduced fat PB

AM Snack:
½ cup cherries

1 small slice leftover pizza
Blueberry/peach oatmeal cobbler w/ ½ cup 2% fage
3 multi grain crackers w/ babylel cheese

PM Snack:
Remaining fage with 1/2 c quaker oatmeal squares
½ cup cherries

So dinner was sun-dried tomato chicken sausages with steamed Brussels sprouts and pine nut couscous. Also had to try the Lemongrass rolls from TJ - had two of those.

Started out the sausages alone and they were lonely, so I added some onions and red peppers.

This is by far my favorite brand of couscous - so delicious and EASY.

Brussels sprouts - mid steam.

Here is a shot of my plate before i devoured it. I tried to stick with good portions.

Because the milk was about to expire in a few days and there was so much, i needed a quick way to use it up. So i decided to use the sugar-free, fat-free instant chocolate pudding mix.

They are not joking about the whole instant thing - this stuff whips up in 2 minutes!

So quick and easy and the individual graham cups keep the portions sizes down.

These are going into the fridge and maybe i will pull one out later if i need something sweet. I am still full from dinner though.

So as far as workouts go for today - Kevin and I threw the football around in the park for about 20 mins, but my legs were pretty sore from yesterday's 10 mile run, so figured i deserved a day off!

The HILLS are on tonight - cant wait! :)



Healthy Pizza

Using Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough (which is only 99 cents), TJ fat-free pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and some fresh veggies - I made up a veggie pizza that was delicious!
First, I started by sauteing some garlic and veggies I had on hand in about a tablespoon of olive oil with oregano. The veggies included white onions and red, yellow and banana peppers from a produce stand on the way home from the beach last weekend. I have found that the best way to really get that good caramelized flavor and color is to turn the heat on medium high and just leave it for a good 5 mins.
Next up was rolling out the whole wheat dough in some flour. well, maybe a little TOO much flour...I love my pizza dough roller from pampered chef! first time using it.

Then I added the sauce, veggies, and CHEESE. I love cheese. It makes everything better. (the flour was everywhere - please disregard for now as I dont yet have photoshop to remove these items from the picture)
Here it is right before putting in the oven at 425 for 12 mins. Oh - those fresh tomatoes were an addition by Kevin - I said he could put them on half.

Here it is after pulling it out of the oven

Here is my one huge slice - I stuck with just one slice, but it was probably the size of two. There are always workarounds. ;)
Then, for dessert, I heated up some of my blueberry/peach cobbler and added some roasted, unsalted almonds, a few spoonfuls of vanilla Chobani (greek yogurt), and some drizzles of honey. YUM. Hit the spot! And yes, I did use the same plate that my pizza was on. I was trying to save water, well actually, my dishwasher is broken, so trying to use the least amount of dishes possible! Remember, it all goes to the same spot - a quote I heard alot growing up!


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