Tag Archives: sushi

One Busy Week in Review

Tis the Season for holiday hecticness! I’m almost done with Christmas shopping. I have a few more small items I want to get Bryan, but other than that, I think all I have to do is finish wrapping gifts and tucking them under the tree! It certainly has been a busy time, ever since we got back from our little mini-post-Thanksgiving-vacation in Tennessee. I haven’t had a lot of time to post, so let me share a semi-brief recap.

Let’s start with last Friday. A dear friend and coworker, Grace, is moving away soon, so a group of us got together and had a sushi lunch at Murasaki downtown to celebrate and wish her well in her new endeavor.

That night, I started decorating for Christmas. I pulled out all the Christmas China and stemware and started setting up the dining room.

 Saturday was a wonderful day! Bryan came home from work around 9:30AM (my night shift man) and we decorated the Christmas tree! It’s a sky blue, white,  and copper/brown theme this year, and of course we always hang the little wooden bear ornaments.

I attempted my first batch of homemade English Muffins, using Simply Life’s recipe. They turned out pretty good. I used white wheat flour instead of the recommended combination of whole wheat and all purpose, and my yeast was a bit old, so I added a little extra “for good measure” and I also think the heat on my stove was a little high for the griddling process, so they were slightly different from the recipe, but they were still tasty. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture.

But since those had to rise twice, I decided to make some Pomegranate Orange Scones using ingredients from last week’s basket. They were so good!

I even got a “retweet” from the recipe’s creator, Gina @runtothekitchen.

I bought a white tablecloth for the dining room and two cranberry red taper candles for the crystal candle holders we got at our wedding five plus years ago (not shown). And I put up the mini tree in the dining room with all of my “produce” ornaments. Yes, there’s a little chef’s coat that says “Bon Appetit,” one of my favorite sayings, and all kinds of hand-crafted ornaments from Poland in the forms of fruits and vegetables! I found them at Sur La Table last year, my mom bought several pieces for me for Christmas and I bought several more in the after-Christmas online sale. Now, that’s my kind of tree!

There’s even a precious little garden gnome with his own produce wheelbarrow!

I found a special treat in the Christmas decoration boxes this year that I had forgotten about from last year. Tucked neatly under the tree skirt was my set of Christmas pint glasses that I purchased last year on after-Christmas clearance! I love the gold lettering, even if they do have to be hand-washed.

After a day full of decorating (and cleaning up from decorating), Saturday ended with a dinner of Chicken Lentil Soup with my friend Shannah, and some coffee and scones. I love hanging out with like-minded friends (and including coffee with fellowship is always a win).

Sunday started with going to morning service with Bryan at Heritage, followed by teaching 2nd grade Sunday school. This week’s lesson was on the Trinity and Unity of God. That afternoon included some fellowship and a time of rest for me.

Monday night, I had lunch with a new friend Tami from church. It’s amazing how God can bring people from different backgrounds together to have such a special bond in Christ!

Monday night, I had the privilege of attending a ladies’ banquet at Locust Hill Baptist Church and hearing Gracia Burnham share her testimony of God’s grace through being a missionary in the Philippines, being captured, being rescued the same day her husband was killed, and walking in faith while raising her children without him. I remember praying for their release back when I attended a small Christian high school in Ohio, and tonight I had the pleasure of meeting Gracia and shaking her hand. She took my hand and hugged my neck, and graciously agreed to let me share her story on my blog. She truly lives up to the name Gracia, as she walks in grace towards her fellow mankind, even sharing the Gospel with her former captors! And I pray for those in attendance who do not know Christ, that they will remember the words they heard and trust Him alone for their salvation.

Tuesday night was Bible study. We served a baked potato bar and salad bar, which is always fun. And we discussed topics relating to confrontation, edification, and our obligation for accountability among fellow believers.

Wednesday night was Shepherding Group. We love our Shepherding Group at Heritage Bible Church and are thankful for how the Lord is knitting this diverse group of believers together in His Name and for His Glory! Bryan and I went out for a quick date night dinner before Shepherding Group for a little “us time” in the middle of this busy week.

Thursday night was my office Christmas party. In the last couple of months, our good friend Dave joined the team, working in IT, so it was fun to have him and his wife Rachel with us at the party this year. I thought the food was great, the decorations were well done, and overall, it was a good time had by all. We left early, since Bryan had to work, but it was just long enough to have a nice meal, mingle for a bit, and relax with friends. Plus, it’s always fun to have an opportunity to get dressed up a bit.

Friday was our Sunday school Christmas party (no, not the 2nd graders – our adult Sunday school that we’re apart of when we’re not on rotation to teach – the LifeBuilders class with Pastor McCormick). What a refreshing time to catch up!

On top of all this is full-time work as an Executive Assistant, plus blogging here and for Milk and Honey Organics, trying to keep the house clean, laundry done, and yard in decent shape, and still see family and friends, all while staying sane.

Next week shouldn’t be quite as busy, but it is a busy time of year for sure. We’re looking forward to welcoming our brother-in-law James home from Afghanistan and seeing family for Christmas!

Oh, and one more exciting thing for me over the past week or so was having some very positive feedback on Twitter from my posts using PepperPlate.com as a Meal Planning Tool! Check out what they had to say:

Today was filled with fellowship with my friend Gina, running errands, hanging out with my sister and her boys, babysitting the neighbor kids so they’re parents could wrap up Christmas shopping for them (this included making shortbread press cookies and gingerbread and teaching them to play Blokus, along with much laughter).

I hope you had a fun-filled week and are beginning your preparations for worship tomorrow. Good night!

I hope you had a wonderful time

Whirlwind Week Recap

I haven’t updated since last Friday and even before then, it’s been hit and miss for a while. This might be a bit random and stream-of-consciousness, but here goes…

Bryan’s job has been interesting, to say the least, over the last several months. They’re short-handed and still adding on more projects, which has made it virtually impossible for anyone on the team to meet deadlines, even when working 60 to 90 hours a week with no overtime compensation. So, we had a tough decision to make. After much prayer, seeking of counsel and deliberation, and a final discussion with his superiors, he handed in his resignation and his last day will be this Friday. In some ways, it’s scary; in another way, it’s a relief. I know it sounds crazy to leave a job in this economy and time of year without having something to fall back on, but I know he’ll work hard to do odd jobs and make ends meet. He’s definitely proven he’s a hard worker! (So, if you need odd jobs done, let us know!)

About two weeks ago, we put the house on the market and sold one of our vehicles. The one-car-household thing may be a slight challenge with Bryan looking for a job, but it should be okay. We praise God that we are debt-free, except for the house. This helped with our decision. We’ve limited our expenses and will be shopping at Aldi and the Farmer’s Market more regularly, and we’re committed to living simply. My long-term goal is for him to be in a job that he loves, something like photography, carpenter-type projects, or be able to learn graphic design and/or web design. So, if any of you need a photographer for your holiday card this year or hear of someone looking for a wedding photographer, let us know! Meanwhile, there are still items for sale on the Sale page of this blog! (hint hint)

I’m praying that the house sells quickly and that my job remains stable until it does, or at least until Bryan finds something else. Whatever happens, we know God is our Jehovah Jireh (the Lord will provide) and our El Shaddai (God Almighty). We’ve been studying names of God in Sunday School with our fourth graders for the past year and a half. It’s been a great study and we’re thankful for the continual reminders.

Here are some snapshots to capture the past bit:

Jan and I went to the Saturday Morning Market downtown. Check out all the beautiful peppers! And this wasn't even half of them! Who knew there were that many different types of peppers! I didn't buy any of these, but I did get a ton of mustard greens, turnips and turnip greens, beets and beet greens, butternut and yellow squash, green onions, West End Coffee Mistletoe Java blend and Great Harvest Bread! All for about $30 (and $12.50 of that was the bread)! It was Jan's first visit to the market; we'll definitely be coming back!

I had an amazing workout with Judy at the gym last night, followed by a dinner of a turkey/ham sandwich on wheat bun with lettuce and mustard, organic carrots, and a giant Fuji apple. Bryan also made apple pie, but there's none left for a picture.

I had lunch with some friends/coworkers at Sushi Murasaki downtown today. It was amazing! We had miso soup, seaweed salad, and two huge plates of sushi. My favorite is the Genji roll, but they serve a special on Tuesdays that came in a close second: all I remember is that it had the word "sexy" in the title (notice the roll that's missing a few pieces; it was warm and tasted like it had cheese on top). Everything was delicious! I even liked the BBQ Eel this time! I wish I could take pictures of food for a living! Maybe someday...along with my other million and one dreams.

Dessert was bite sized fried cheesecake (pomegranate on the left, mango on the right). Yum! And just the right size!

Tonight I made a pumpkin smoothie (aka milkshake) for dinner before our 8PM volleyball semi-finals (which we won - yeah!-so we'll be in the final game next week). The "smoothie" had 2 cups of prepared pumpkin, 2 scoops vanilla ice cream, and 1 cup milk, plus cinnamon, fresh ginger, cloves and nutmeg blended together; then I topped it with my most recent trail mix. It could have used a little more liquid and maybe a few dates for some added sweetness. I think next time I'll try fat free yogurt or a frozen banana instead of ice cream or plus the dates. The trail mix went very well with it.

Fresh Ginger in the shape of the Eiffel Tower.

There’s more going on, but I’ll spare you the details tonight. God is good all the time! And I can be calm and joyful as a result! He’s been so good to bring songs and scripture passages to mind. Isaiah 26:3 has been a good one, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Another good reminder is in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The Philippians passage has been a strong tower for me this week.

Someone said, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.” Who holds my future? Thankfully, not me. The Creator God, who knew my goings and my comings, my thoughts and my steps, before the foundation of the world–He holds my future! And so, we wait and trust, knowing that God is our loving creator, gracious Redeemer, friend and defender, provider and keeper to the uttermost.

Last Week Recap in Pictures

Saturday, August 14th: Beautiful Baby Shower

Adorable Mini BLTs and Raspberry Lemonade (hosted by Erin of http://www.17dovestreet.com)

Guest of Honor Heather S. chats with friend Heather W. (author of wifemomrunner.blogspot.com)

One of her many adorable gifts! I want one!

Thursday, August 19: Rachel took me to Bin112 for dinner and dessert. We split the blueberry mascarpone cake and I enjoyed this cup of decaf!

Friday, August 20: Lunch with Grace & the Analysts - Chinese Green Tea

Seaweed Salad, Fig and Cheese Bites

Another Giant Plate of Sushi!

A Fresh Dessert: Cantaloupe with a Dollop of Cream and a Chocolate Drizzle

Saturday, August 21st: Cookout at Isle of Palms - Bryan cooking with nephew Isaac watching (& waiting to play in the water)

Birthday Picnic at the Beach with Bryan's brother Chad and his wife Julie (and baby boy): Happy Bday to Julie!

Oriental Lunch with Coworker Friends!

Today for lunch, we went to a local Chinese restaurant with my friend Grace (who just completed her PhD at Clemson!! Congrats, Dr. Grace Li!!). There were a total of 5 ladies that went. Grace knows the owner, so she spoke with him and told him to bring us $5 worth of authentic cuisine to try. Now, this isn’t something that will happen often, if ever again, but it happened today! And I’m not revealing the restaurant name because I don’t want the workers harrassed with people expecting $5 meals.

Rice Noodles and Shrimp with Dumplings

We started with edamame and seaweed salad (two of my favorites)!

Then he brought out Almond Shrimp, which was long skewers of tempura shrimp over a bed of shredded lettuce, drizzled with a creamy citrus sauce and almonds. It was absolutely one of my favorite dishes I’ve ever had!

Then he brought out Beef Donburi and steamed rice. It’s basically like pot roast with green onions. It was also very tasty. At this point, I thought he was done. We were all fairly satisfied.

But then he brought out a plate of Rice Noodles with shrimp and green onions and some dumplings. The dumplings were so good! Then, he topped it all off with a gigantic plate of sushi rolls!!

Sushi Sampler

The center one was the Genji. I think it had crabsticks on the inside, and then the whole roll was dipped in tempura and fried, and then topped with small chunks of tuna.

The creamy orange colored one is the Crazy Girl. This was hands down the favorite at the table (and the first to go). It had fried shrimp on the inside and a spicy mayo crab salad on the top.

He also brought the Eel Cucumber roll. This was a first for me, but I actually did eat it and it was fine. Probably not something I’d order again, but at least I’m not scared of it anymore. It just tasted like seafood with cucumber and avacado. Maybe I’m crazy, but I just can’t hear the word ‘eel’ without thinking of the shrieking eels in The Princess Bride!

There was also the Rainbow Roll (three colors of raw fish on top), a Shrimp Tempura roll, a Tuna roll, and a California Roll. There was so much, we had to bring 3 boxes back to the office to share with coworkers! And I’m still going to get to have sushi for dinner tonight!