The last couple weeks have pretty much been a P90x flop.  I have done the workouts here and there, but not consistently and I have all the excuses in the world.  I was sick for a few days with a cold, worked late 2 days last week, went for a run and didnt feel like it afterwards, etc, etc, etc.  

I am trying to come up with a way to incorporate it into my exercise, without losing my running endurance.  It is really hard for me to get up early in the morning and get it out of the way.  I dont feel that I am cut out for early morning workouts.  I like entirely too much TV that is on later.  And I dont have a DVR.  So, there you have it.  

This morning, I made breakfast tacos.  Egg whites, grilled corn tortillas, tomatoes, green onion, and avocado.  No cheese because we were all out, but surprisingly, I didn't miss it.
I eventually mustered up enough motivation to hit the gym and wanted to do something different.  I ended up doing a 40 min treadmill hike.  I set the treadmill to the "Hills" setting and cranked up the speed to a fast walk.  It was pretty tough.
I came home and picked up a favorite cookbook of mine that was starting to collect dust.  Sometimes I get caught up searching the internet for recipes and dont use my cookbooks enough.
I decided to go with Giada's classic marinara sauce.  It was simple and straightforward and didn't have a million ingredients.  The house smells great right now.  Tomorrow night, I plan to use it as I try re-create one of my favorite dishes from the Tomato Palace in Columbia, MD.  
I picked up a new stuffed animal for Oscar and he had a blast playing tonight.   He loves stuffed animals, especially the squeaky kind.  He is a very manly and tough dog. ;)
Lucy was trying to figure out what that thing was and whether she should be scared of it.

I hope everyone enjoyed the weekend.  Be back tomorrow with more Giada.


Meli in Fells Point

This past week was Baltimore's Restaurant Week.  Last night, Kevin and I went out to dinner with some friends at Meli in Fell's Point.  The menu looked great and I was excited to try the place Baltimore Magazine voted "Best New Restaurant" in 2009.

We started out with some drinks.  Pinot Grigio for me.  Kevin ordered the girly mango cosmopolitan.  :)
The restaurant week deal includes three courses for $35.  My first was the Baked Goat Cheese Salad: Mixed Greens, Toasted Almonds, Blossom Honey Vinaigrette.  It was a big portion that also came with radishes and sliced pear.  The pear was not ripe at all, but otherwise, this was a great salad.
I chose my entree based on the sides that came with it.  The Braised Lamb Shank was served with Butternut Squash Mashed, Seared Brussels Sprouts, Candied Bacon, Pan jus reduction.  This dish was incredible.  I think this was only the second time in my life that I have had lamb, but the meat was so tender that I didn't even need a knife.

I chose the Galaktoboureko for dessert.  What, you havent heard of it?  Yeah, me neither.  This is a Traditional Greek dessert of baked Phyllo filled with custard and drizzled with a Citrus Honey Glaze.  It. Was. Awesome.  I blinked and it was gone.

We had a great meal and the service was good.  My only service complaint was when the waitress asked us which water we wanted for the table.  She named Pellegrino and some other fancy water and gave us no other options.  We had to ask for tap.  Umm, I am just not one of those fancy water type of people, so to not even offer it turned me off a bit.

Would I recommend Meli as a great place for dinner in Baltimore?  Most definitely.

Meli Patisserie and Bistro on Urbanspoon



Real Simple Recipe, Possible Wedding Venue & a Race

Having Monday off for MLK's birthday allowed me to sleep in, walk Oscar twice, run 6 miles, go out to lunch with a friend, grocery shop, and plan a nice dinner.  Great day.  

I was searching around the Real Simple website and found a recipe for Chicken Cacciatore that looked easy and I already had most of the ingredients on hand.  

We served it over leftover Basmati rice and topped with grated Parmesan. The only change I made was to add yellow peppers to the sauce.  

This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Wedding planning has officially begun and we have made two visits to the same venue.  And currently dont have plans to visit any other places.  I guess you could say we really like it.  :)  

More info to come as we make some of the decisions!  Exciting stuff.

On the running front, I signed up for the George Washington Birthday Marathon 3-person Relay with my Dad and Kevin on Sunday, February 14th. (Valentines Day!)  I am so happy to have a race coming up so that I feel the pressure to train.  I took the middle, 7.3 mile leg, so as long as I keep up the 6 mile runs, I should be fine.  

Enjoy the rest of your Monday evening.



Clean Bill of Health

I am happy to report that my computer has a clean bill of health.  I want to share some of the pictures I have snapped over the holidays and into the new year.

The best oatmeal raisin cookies ever.  Once I steal the recipe from my mom, I will be sure to post.

No room in the fridge or freezer?  No problem.  A pile of snow acts as a perfect cooler for wine and grapefruit vodka.

I took this shot at my parent's house and thought the icicles on the bench looked cool.

On New Years Eve, Kevin and I stayed in and celebrated with cheese and wine.

We also made a delicious dinner of spinach salad, seared white sea bass, carrot/parsnip mash, topped with crispy pancetta.  We had picked up the fish from Frank's Seafood in Jessup, MD earlier that day.

For the spinach salad, we used this great "Powerhouse Salad Kit" from Trader Joes.  Spinach, dried blueberries, dried cherries, dried edamame, walnuts, and a blueberry cherry vinaigrette.

We added a little crumbled goat cheese because thats how we roll.

The powerful Vitamix whipped the carrot/parsnip mix until it was silky smooth.  That thing is no joke.  Love it.

Some other good eats over the past few days...Salad with grilled BBQ shrimp.

Real Simple's Slow Cooker Cuban Braised Beef and Peppers served over Basmati Rice with sliced avocado.

Off to watch the rest of 24.  Enjoy the rest of your Sunday night!



Unplanned Hiatus

Well hello there.  Its been awhile.  Time flies when you are having fun, right?  Unfortunately, the photos I want to share are sitting on my NEW (and very exciting) camera that I cant attach to my computer because it was recently attacked by a virus.  Once I get that annoying thing off my computer, I will be back to show you the delicious eats.  (so yes, I am writing this post during a break at work ;))

In the meantime, I wanted to give an update on P90x.  The last update I gave was on Day 8.  That was a long time ago.  I can honestly say that I stayed strong until around Day 20.  Kevin got sick in the middle of week 3 and had to take time off.  I tried to stay motivated, but it is so much easier to have someone else suffering along next to me.  

The engagement  happened.  Kevin left for a few days to spend time with his family in Ohio.  And well, we got off track.  Not completely, meaning we probably still completed 3-4 workouts a week.  

But, I am happy to report that the new year has brought a new commitment to doing this thing the right way.  We started with the Week 5 workouts:

  1. Chest, Shoulders & Triceps/Ab RipperX.  Not sure if I will ever be able to do one-handed pushups, but I tried and will continue to try.  Who cares if I only go down 1 millimeter.  I loved how sore I felt after this one.
  2. Plyometrics.  Extremely sore from the workout above, but made it through.  Used a lot of the modified (easier) moves.
  3. Back & Bicep/Ab RipperX.  Felt pretty easy, but it was probably because I need to use more weight.  Now that I am more familiar with the moves, I will increase my weight going forward.

YogaX is next up, so here's to me not wimping out halfway through!

Switching gears...this post needs some pictures and luckily I have some from my old camera.  Oscar and Lucy time.  

Oscar enjoying the snow.  He might love snow more than treats.

Lucy will have no part of the snow and instead spends her time near warm lamps.

Happy New Year everyone!


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