This was a great weekend for foodie pursuits. The local market is bursting with more colorful, sun ripened fruits and vegetable and flowers with each visit. Virginia peaches are here and glorious:
And lovely, festive squash and eggplant have me leafing though my cookbooks...
These round eggplant with varigated deep purple tones, streaked with white and ornamented with starry leaf and stem designs are so delightful. Can an unadorned vegetable be kawaii? I say yes!
The delicate petal-folds of this hibiscus plant for sale at the market caught my eye:
Some of the fresh market items we look forward to this week (ok, most of the tomatoes already went into heavenly BLTs made with amazing Niman Ranch Applewood smoked bacon, avocado, red onion, and many slices of these heirloom tomato beauties...summer's recreational meals have arrived!):
Today it was too hot to do much outside besides water the yard, so we tried a Szechuan place in Fairfax that has received glowing reviews: Hong Kong Palace. The restaurant inherited its name from the former owners of the space, and its cooking is full of Szechuan vitality, heat and savor. They even import special peppers from the chef's hometown in China for authenticity and maximum deliciousness.
We enjoyed crispy scallion pancakes to start:
Spicy beef tendon with peanuts, green herbs:
A refreshing dish of celery and wood ear mushrooms:
Flounder in Szechuan hot pot with special peppers, bean sprouts, ginger--awesome!
The service was helpful, charming and informative--we can't wait to go back and try the Cumin Lamb and a host of delicious-sounding dumplings, just to start! It is such a blessing to live in a diverse area with many proud and passionate food traditions, and we really experienced the benefit of this lucky circumstance today.
Another day near 100 degrees predicted for Monday, so I've made a bento with cooling tastes and textures:
Along with a slice of farmer's market tomato and sprigs of aromatic local basil, baby shrimp with mayo and fennel fronds fill an avocado half; golden zucchini blossoms with goat cheese, Mt Rainier cherries and a watermelon flower mingle for a refreshing lunch...
This rose in our yard is happily producing pink blooms amid the heat and dry weather:
Sophie had the right idea this afternoon, chilling underneath the hydrangea: