Monday, July 26, 2010


SUSHI. :) So, here's the story: all my life we had these amazing neighbors from Laos. Phothala is a couple years older than I and after high school headed out to Denver for college. Originally, he'd studied to become a video game graphic designer/artist of some sort. During that time he, as most other college students, needed a source of income, so he started working at a super-sketch sushi place. Although the restaurant was sketchy, he had a great older man to show him the ropes. Pho is now a great sushi chef at Sushi Sasa -- phenomenal!! 
Pho came home at one point probably 5 or 6 years ago and told me of his exciting new career and life in Denver, and I informed him that I would not eat Sushi until he could be the one to prepare it for me. (This was not as kind or sweet as it sounds... I had no real interest in Sushi at the time and, truth be told, in Cedar Falls, Iowa there wasn't much opportunity for sushi!) Little did I know, I'd one day move out to Oregon and meet loads of sushi lovers who wanted me to share this same love of the delicacy. After being offered and tempted time and time again to try sushi, I finally ended up in Denver!!! Here's how it went:

I tried my very hardest not to ask Pho too many questions before we got to Sushi Sasa in hopes to not give away the surprise, but I was able to find out where he worked and called to set up a reservation for two at the sushi bar while he was working. Ah, I love surprises!! His face was so great! That whole jaw-dropping get-outta-town-look is always great. ;) And, let me tell you, if there is ever a time to hold out for something, good sushi is it! Pho and his friend Jeff made us feel like ROYALTY!!! Pho was behind the sushi bar preparing food while Jeff, our server, was attempting to create the best matches for our 'virgin-sushi palattes'. They were bouncing ideas off each other right over our heads! It was so much fun! Hannah and I kept saying how we felt like we were the special guests on some swanky foodie show on Food Network.

Pho creating our 'cucumber rolls'.

Our cucumber rolls had raw tuna and halibut, seaweed, asparagus... and a lot of other things in it! It was placed upon a wasabi sauce and drizzled with a balsamic reduction.

Hannah and her 'lemon-drop' martini. :)

Me and my 'strawberry and pomegranate martini' which they originally 
informed us would not be possible because they'd run out of strawberries. ;)

Hannah and me and our AMAZING dessert!

This was just really out of this world. Pho used some explicits to inform the pastry chef he couldn't mess this one up. ;) Haha. He called the cake 'chocolate mousse', but it was more of a decadent, dense, moist chocolate cake.... with a mousse-like frosting. :) It was really great. Then we also had a wasabi tiramisu - tiramisu with a very subtle hint of wasabi. To top it all off Pho had seen the pastry chef making sake jell-o shots and threw two of those on the plate for us. Whew. I'm pretty sure I was stuffed at round two! Haha. 

Me and our fabulous sushi chef!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Isn't it amazing; the power of music and words put together to just send something straight to your heart?!

Ah, God's been doing some pretty wonderful things in my life lately and yet I still struggle with my place in this world. My dreams seem to conflict with other peoples' expectations of my life... why do I care, you ask? Yeah, beats me. I'm not sure. One thing I do know, and this song resonates, is that God's placed specific dreams on our hearts to make us into the individuals we are... He is the ultimate life-giver-dream-maker.

Sometimes I feel as if my dreams make me less than adequate or a bit of an under-achiever, but if they're part of the woman God's created me to be... let me tell you, I'm going to do my very best to see those dreams fulfilled and watch His mighty hands unfold this beautiful mystery we call life.

This song really sent home the one thing I'd been missing lately... of course I've got these dreams, most of them I've had for YEARS... but what have I done with them? I've harbored them, clung to them... that's not quite the best use of a dream. I'm working on letting go and placing these dreams back in the hands of their Maker, as I know He is the only one who can nurture and cultivate these dreams to their full potential.

"Surrender" by BarlowGirl

My hands hold safely to my dreams
Clutching tightly not one has fallen
So many years I've shaped each one
Reflecting my heart, showing who I am
Now you're asking me to show
What I'm holding oh so tightly
Can't open my hands, can't let go
Does it matter?
Should I show you?
Can't you let me go?

Surrender, surrender you whisper gently
You say I will be free
I know but can't you see?
My dreams are me. My dreams are me.

You say you have a plan for me
And that you want the best for my life
Told me the world had yet to see
What you can do with one
That's committed to Your calling
I know, of course, what I should do
That I can't hold these dreams forever
If I give them now to You
Will You take them away forever?
Or can I dream again?