Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Disastrous Day but saved by the Bloggers Meet

So as some of you may know...if you have been following me on Twitter ... @ayeshahalam if you want to know hehehe... I have gone back to the gym to try to undo the damage the last three years of Lahore had done on my body.. and mind... Today was day 7 . Don't know if you can relate to this but I think perhaps anyone trying to get back into shape may know exactly what I am talking about... was feeling so good yesterday... had pushed myself  harder and for a longer period of time and today... ugh... had to really force myself to get to the gym and barely managed my 20 mins of walking.. but I got there.. and I did it... have a pulled hamstring now... and will probably take a day off tomorrow but will make up for it on Saturday.... I say optimistically ... tried motivating myself with cheesy .gifs ... but all for nought

To make matters worse ... I stress eat. I wish I could be one of those people who starve themselves when stressed... if I was I would probably be able to rival the likes of Julia Roberts or any Hollywood babe who enjoys the admiration of millions. Sadly... I don't. and my friend who came over for the unfortunate lunch yesterday.. brought with her a chocolate cake. There should really be a law against friends bringing cake to a house with a woman trying to lose weight. But... there it was. In my fridge. begging to be eaten . Thankfully my kids got to a lot of it... but so did I. So came back from my now pretend workout and reached for cake. Not a good start to the day for sure

Since I am now trying to rediscover and redefine myself... and I fancy myself as a Nigella meets Betty Crocker with a sprinkling of Martha Stewart in there... I figured I would be a good home maker and wife and try and prep up for Ramazan by cooking copious amounts of Shami Kebabs and freezing them for use during Ramzan which starts day after tomorrow. Apparently its the thing to do... but I also wanted to try and make biryani... a dish that I have never successfully made. This was going to be my second attempt so I decided to take it easy on myself and use the famous Shaan Bombay Biryani Mix ...which basically is a bag of all the spices ground up for you. There rest of the work one has to do.  I was doing fine till i forgot about the part to undercook the rice. What do they mean by undercook?? is there no time schedule one can follow? How much is too much undercooking .... or too little... Chefs on tv in Pakistan and India say it so nonchalantly like its a natural thing to do... another term that has always mystified me was Dum pay rakho... what does that mean??? for how long?? how will i know when its "Dum'ed " enough??? Anyway... was another disastrous Biryani meal... with the rice far over cooked... it was actually perfectly done before the Dum Process but lesson learned for next time... shall keep a sharper eye on the meantime... there was that blasted chocolate cake

The only bright spot in my so far disastrous day was the Bloggers meet .... It was a bit intimidating seeing how many hits some of the other bloggers were getting and I felt a bit pathetic even attempting to be in the same "league" but decided to bite the bullet and go for it anyway. You can check out their blogs by clicking on their name.. really cool people and so glad I went

This was all put together by James Pham who went through a lot of trouble to find bloggers who were in town. The crowd was mostly expat and was really great to see some Vietnamese bloggers too.. The first two people there were James and Sally Thelen. Sally is hilarious to talk to and I checked out her blog when I got back... she even has an ebook... James has a really cool blog which is visually catching as well.. and yes I now feel like a totally inept amateur. The rest trickled in and turned out to be quite a noisy gathering of some really cool people. Looking forward to getting to know all them a bit better over time.

A little bit about the restaurant we met at since clearly there is no recipe to share.. ... L'Usine... its a really cool restaurant in District 1. Love their food and their prices are pretty good too. Its on Dong Khoi street and the way there may seem a bit sketchy but once you get there you will .. in my humble opinion .. enjoy the space.

You have to go through this alley and at the end turn right

Yes this is what you see when  you turn right... but don't let that scare you... seriously... take the stairs upstairs.. and this is where you come to

A welcome sight indeed and btw... their cupcakes are the best I have tried in Saigon so far... when I first entered there was a lone gentleman sitting at a table with what looked like a computer and so I naturally assumed it would be James... sitting alone... as no other bloggers had turned up...

Thankfully I was very wrong and got called over to the "happening" table

Tomorrow is another day ... no gym tomorrow.. yes hopefully will have  a recipe to share that wasn't a total disaster... and thank you to James and everyone who came out today for the Bloggers meet. Saved my day :)

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