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My Best Friend’s…Dinner

February 26, 2010

It’s no secret that I have issues comparing myself to others.  I’ve mentioned before how, when I go to a party or even the grocery store, I often feel either over or under dressed, too quiet or too loud, and too tall or too…tall!?  Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one thinking these insecure thoughts because when I glance around at others those issues seem to be the last thing on their mind.  I guess some people just have their stuff together and don’t care what others think, and while I aspire to be one of these people, I have to admit that I also struggle with feeling jealous of them.  That’s why it continues to amaze me that I have been friends, for more than a decade, with a girl who has her act together more than any one else I know.  And instead of being remotely jealous of her, I simply just want to be more like her.  

My best friend Nadia isn’t just super-model gorgeous, but she is also kind, generous, a fabulous mother of 2.5, an understanding wife, and a great friend.  Every time I see her she makes me feel like a million bucks.  For example, I told her only recently about this blog and not only has she been reading it every day, but she posts the most supportive comments (you can’t miss her…she’s the one who signs off with all the XOXO’s – love it!), and tells everyone she knows how great she thinks my writing is.  

Among her many other talents, Nadia is a fantastic cook and is the best at presentation.  I’ve already mentioned what a challenge presentation is for me.  When she comes over I throw something together and we sit in the kitchen and serve ourselves from the stove.  If I’m feeling particularly hostess-y I will hand her a separate salad bowl to go along with her dinner plate.  But that doesn’t happen often because I’m usually calculating how much extra space that bowl will take up in the dishwasher, which equals an additional 2 minutes of standing over the dishwasher, which equals 4 minutes if I use a bowl as well, which equals too much time for me to commit to offering her that extra bowl.  But when I go to her house, as I did last night, she not only cooks up a storm but serves it up beautifully and clean up is the furthest thing on her mind.  


Skewers of fresh mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and basil.


One of these skewers rolled onto the carpet when she was serving them to me and Nadia didn’t blink an eye.  She just calmly washed it off and proceeded to eat.  If it had been my carpet?  I would have dashed into the kitchen, dropped the plate on the counter, located the Resolve spray, and scrubbed until I wore a hole in the carpet.  

Olive bread with gorgonzola and honey.


I almost risked a horrible stomach ache to try this amazing combination but at the last minute I managed to refrain.  Instead I had bits of the cheese with honey and let me tell you, this combination is a keeper.  


Caesar salad with homemade dressing.


Sauteed mushrooms and tomatoes, oven baked potatoes.


Baked salmon with onions, capers, and potatoes.


While the salmon was easily the highlight of the evening, every single thing Nadia served was delicious and in proper serving plates.  I felt like I was eating a 3-course-meal at the Peninsula Hotel. 

Afterwards we had some of the Oatmeal Balls that I made yesterday and a new cookie recipe that I tried but that ended up tasting like a rubbery Larabar.  Trust me, you don’t want this recipe. 

Oatmeal Balls (oatmeal, rice cereal, peanut butter, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips).


We had these along with a cup of tea and some great conversation.   

Thank you Nadia for a great dinner and for being such an amazingly supportive, nice friend.   

Love you lots!   XOXOXOX 

45 Comments leave one →
  1. February 26, 2010 9:56 pm

    i want to be friends with the two of you if only for the food! but i know the company would be even better!

  2. February 27, 2010 12:05 am

    Hi there,

    I am new to your blog and loving it! This was so beautiful to read. Thank you!

    Your friend sounds absolutely wonderful. The food looks so delicious. I wish I had more friends that I could cook for. I am sure it is so much fun for both of you. Ahh, the power of food and friendship. Makes me want to cry. 🙂

    Thanks again for a wonderful post!

    – Christina

  3. February 27, 2010 12:24 am

    I have gone through therapy due to my lack of confidence and low self esteem. I also suffer from social anxiety.
    It is tough – very tough. I try to surround myself with situations that I enjoy and feel my best in, but of course there will be times that I feel totally out of my element.
    I know that pretty much everyone goes through the same thoughts. Therapy has taught me to not judge so quickly. The most confident looking person may be cracking inside or have health problems or have a horrible life outside of the party.
    What’s important is that we except ourselves for who we really are and know that we are beautiful.
    I have a problem with repeating certain situations in my head over and over; making them HUGE – when really it wasn’t that serious and everyone else has forgotten about it.
    It is extremely difficult to overcome these feelings and fears. Something that will take me many years of practice.

    Just so you know, you are more than beautiful and I would have never expected you to feel this way. You stand with pride and poise – I hope this helps you start to re-think your fears. =)

    • February 27, 2010 7:10 am

      Tasha – Wow! Thank you so much for your very kind words. I totally agree that the most confident people could easily have issues that I am not aware of and while I try to remember this I have to admit it isn’t easy. I feel out of my element very easily among the Indian/Pakistani community, not so much the rest of the world, and I think this is because I am only half Indian.

      Anyway, I really appreciate you sharing your experience with therapy. Not that I wish this on others, but I am relieved that I am not the only person who feels this way.

    • dave permalink
      February 27, 2010 9:03 am

      Hi Tasha, I hope you feel better soon and that the therapy can help you to recover and get past the negative things. I can understand some of the same things. Have a good week.

  4. February 27, 2010 2:37 am

    I think everyone (well at least women) compare themselves to some extent.

    Your dinner looks so good – and healthy!

    I want to be like Nadia too!

  5. February 27, 2010 4:39 am

    I’m really bad about comparing myself to others too, so don’t worry– you’re not alone!

    What a beautiful meal!

  6. February 27, 2010 4:42 am

    Nadia´s truly amazing – evrything looked SO good!
    Beautiful meal 😉
    Have a great weekend, Ameena!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  7. February 27, 2010 4:47 am

    You are beautiful, my dear.

  8. February 27, 2010 5:08 am

    oh what a great looking meal! ha, yes your friend did a great job but I’m sure she appreciates all the effort you put into when having her over!

  9. February 27, 2010 5:31 am

    wow nadia really knows how to put together a meal! it’s so awesome that you have a friend like her who is so supportive (and a good cook to boot haha)

  10. traynharder23 permalink
    February 27, 2010 6:29 am

    i compare myself WAY too much. time to stop. maybe that is what i will give up for lent! =D

    salmon. yum yum.

  11. February 27, 2010 6:49 am

    Every thing looks lovely…I’ve gotten to old to compare myself to anyone else…just think when your 40 you can stop doing this….took me about that long. Have a fab weekend. Your computer geek could have been good round here yesterday when computer smelled like it was burning up….ish!

  12. February 27, 2010 7:23 am

    Can I come be friends with BOTH of you??!! You both sound like such lovely women!! 🙂 What an incredible spread your BFF laid out. I will have to try that cheese and honey combo. Looks so fabulous!!

  13. February 27, 2010 7:50 am

    What a beautiful tribute to your best friend! She sounds spectacular. But I have to say, you are too! It’s obvious from your writing that you are so funny, caring, and refreshingly honest. I love your stories!
    Dinner looks fabulous!

  14. Kyle permalink
    February 27, 2010 8:26 am

    @homecookedem & @ Can you stay for dinner…
    DITTO!!! mmm…. I never thought of the cheese, honey & olive bread! Drooling at 6 am (while a tsunami is headed our way – thanks for taking my mind off of it for a minute Ameena 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  15. February 27, 2010 8:39 am

    I think it’s only human nature to compare. No shame in that, we all do it. It’s just you’re strong and honest enough to admit it.
    Nadia sounds lovely. And boy she sure can cook! For someone as lovely as that to be best friends with you says mounds about your personality as well, don’t forget that girl!
    Awe your post makes me wanna call up my bff for a long overdue girl date. We often have playdates with the kids but it’s been a long time since we’ve gone out just the two of us. Hope you have a super weekend! Woot woot for best friends!

  16. dave permalink
    February 27, 2010 8:56 am

    Enjoy your day. 🙂 Don’t worry too much I am sure there is no real reason for you to. It is nice to see your food posts, I am sure people like to see the colours and bright and interesting pictures, but also it’s good to see what other people cook or eat too. I think other people will mention for me about being hungry. 😛 Yes your friend sounds like a nice person too, I am glad you have two people like eachother. Congratulations to both of you for your friendship.

  17. February 27, 2010 9:03 am

    It’s so great to have a true friend who you can be yourself and feel yourself around 🙂
    I’m gonna say that that is a beautiful and delicious spread of food you two laid out! Love it 🙂

  18. traynharder23 permalink
    February 27, 2010 9:05 am

    lucky! i’m still getting major acne and i’m not eating peanut butter- do you think i tmight be related to nuts? or just hormones in general?

    anyways, hahhaha i’m glad you think we’re cute. a blender bottle is this bottle that has a wire iwse in it (it’s shaped like a ball) and you jus tSHAKE it to mix up smoothies. i’m amazed by it.

  19. February 27, 2010 10:11 am

    Wow girl, what a friend you have!!! And that meal sounds pretty amazing, I must say.

  20. Susan permalink
    February 27, 2010 10:27 am

    It’s great to have friends like Nadia! Heck, I want to be friends with her! But I’d be willing to bet major dough that she values you just as much as you do her ; )

    Have a good Saturday mamacita!

  21. February 27, 2010 11:28 am

    What a beautiful friendship! Having a few great and supportive friends who are always there for you is what life’s about (and if they can make great food that’s a big plus!! ) haha



  22. Nadia-the BFF permalink
    February 27, 2010 11:30 am

    OMG….ameena your fabulous site never ceases to amaze me….and your over the top, ridiculous compliments….well, i don’t know if i’m so deserving of them! can i just say ameena and i have been friends for 14yrs and i must admit it’s been the most consistent and wonderful friendship. in those years, she takes extremely great care of me and lately every time i see her, she has delicious new surprises for “the pregnant girl” which i’m just loving! and i wish i had a picture of every post meal at my house, where ameena, single handed is doing every bit of the clean up and dishes….every time to the point where i’m pushing and struggling to get her away from the sink! yeah, who else would put that kind of effort into your dishes? and i have to add, it is more than pleasurable to be at her amazing home with her organic recipes and healthy delicious meals, you soooo underestimate yourself girl! this site is just the most uplifting thing in the world, can’t say enough, thank you all for your beautiful comments. ameena, you rock!!!!

  23. February 27, 2010 11:30 am

    Your friend sounds fantastic! But you, my dear, are equally as fantastic. I know how it feels to be constantly comparing yourself to others; I’m guilty of this as well. I think the important thing to remember is that we’re all different and we should all be different; just think how boring the world would be if we were all the same. That being the case, not everyone is going to like us, just like we’re not going to like everyone else and that’s perfectly normal and okay. I think we just get too caught up in the belief that we have to be perfect to everyone, and it’s just not possible.

  24. Heavenly housewife permalink
    February 27, 2010 12:27 pm

    Your friends food looks amaZing daaaaahling, but don’t sell yourself short. We are very alike in how we compare ourselves to other people. It’s not good. We are all divine in our own way, and u, my dear are fab!!!
    *kisses* HH

  25. February 27, 2010 12:42 pm

    You & Nadia seem like so much fun… you’re both such beautiful women! We all bring different things to the table… Nadia can cook a mean salmon dinner and you can put your cleaning abilities to the test. (I have OCD tendencies, too, so I feel like I can make that comment. :)) There’s nothing better than a friendship that’s 14 years strong AND counting!

  26. February 27, 2010 2:31 pm

    I think all women feel those insecurities. Some time between 12 and 13 girls go through this rite of passage where they start to realize they’re not as pretty as everyone else and they commence a lifelong habit of comparing themselves. At least that’s what happened to me. 🙂 Sounds like you had a super Friday night. And it seems like Martha–I mean, Nadia–is a great friend.

  27. February 27, 2010 2:55 pm

    Oh my, that looks like the most delicious meal ever. That meal is right up my alley. I have an incredible love for sauteed mushrooms, potatoes of any kind, and salmon. Yum. The skewers look great too.

    Enjoy your Saturday 🙂

  28. February 27, 2010 3:17 pm

    Frick, I’m loving the bond you two obviously have. I’ve yet to stumble upon such a great friendship but when I do, I hope it’s similar to the one that you two share. 🙂

    All that food looks like it was fabulous! I’ve been considering eating seafood again and that salmon looks awesome. Unfortunately I still can’t bring myself to eat it.

    Nadia is right, you ARE a wonderful writer. 🙂

  29. fitandfortysomething permalink
    February 27, 2010 4:21 pm

    You are so beautiful and should not ever feel insecure!
    Enjoy your evening with your friend. The food looks great!

  30. louisianagrown permalink
    February 27, 2010 6:11 pm

    Oh gosh, I surely hope that friends of mine will describe me like this one day. Being an an awesome hostess is definitely on my list of life aspirations, and to be half as good as your friend would be fine with me!

  31. February 27, 2010 7:07 pm

    comparison and jealousy are wreaking havoc on me…things r not good…u do have a great blog – and u are fantastic…i honestly have no NO doubt of that.

  32. actorsdiet permalink
    February 27, 2010 7:56 pm

    i always feel like others are “better” at entertaining than me. but really, i think i’m just inspired!

  33. whydeprive permalink
    February 27, 2010 9:25 pm

    Ameena, I LOVE reading your blog so much. You always crack me up, always. You’re so honest and I just love it.
    I feel like some people are naturally good hostesses. I on the other hand am not. Like you, I think about things like “how many more dishes will I have to wash if I do this?” The only reason my boyfriend gets to eat off my plates is because Im too cheap to buy paper towels. During the week if he comes over, I make him bring his own dinner.
    Now that Ive made myself look like a real winner, your friend Nadia does sound pretty amazing!

    And those skewers with the tomato and mozzarella – NOTHING BETTER!!

  34. February 28, 2010 4:28 am

    First of all – don’t we all have Nadia’s in our lives? Ughh— it’s a “hate to love” situation…haha – but remember YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, YOU ARE FANTASTIC, AND YOU ARE SPECIAL JUST AS YOU! Trust me – I am the biggest comparer in the world – it prevents me from getting involved in relationships because I never understand why someone would want “me” – when they could have someone more active, prettier, taller, curvier….etc etc…
    I’m learning that we need to love ourselves and recognize that we all have something that makes us “special”.

  35. February 28, 2010 6:48 am

    I want to be more like Nadia too! She is an amazing hostess — all her food looks delicious, is arranged perfectly, but even more than that she sounds so cool and collected…and fun! Sounds like she’s a fabulous friend. 🙂

  36. February 28, 2010 9:15 am

    I love coming here Ameena. You are so wonderful, sweet and a great great writer with great humor infused everywhere!

    I am so happy you have such a wonderful friend. it sounds like you both just simply adore each other.

    and what a delicious meal! I made baked salmon with lemon, spinach and capers was good but THAT looks wonderful.

    have a great day

  37. February 28, 2010 9:41 am

    Thank you so much for your sweet comment! I see you all over the blog world and tune in often but never comment…. so rude. Sounds like you and your friend are lucky to have one another.

  38. February 28, 2010 1:00 pm

    I read several of your posts earlier this morning and I’m impressed. I like your writing style and you subjects. I look forward to coming back. Thank you for the comment you left on my blog!

  39. Passive Non-aggressive permalink
    March 1, 2010 12:51 am

    I’m still surprised that you feel insecure. I know a lot of women not half as beautiful or talented as you are and they are so confident and collected .

    Maybe Nadia can tell you what’s her secret 🙂

    Wishing you both a happy long lasting friendship .

  40. Incandescent Chimera permalink
    March 13, 2010 5:04 pm

    Wow!!! your food looks amazing. You must be quite the chef then 🙂

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