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Sunday, September 12, 2010

weekend explorations

This weekend included a visit to a nearby winery on Saturday and a really delicious Szechuan lunch on Sunday, visits to two contrasting aspects of our area which so happily includes agriculture along with great diversity...

Came home from the Saturday farmer's market with the ripe-sweet baby tomatoes above (in a handcrafted lapis lazuli bowl brought back from Kandahar by Jamison) and some larger heirloom tomatoes for our weekly BLT ritual, along with peaches, snow pea tops and interesting onion blossoms. This kitty also found them intriguing!
Saturday was glorious and fresh, perfect for a drive to Chrysalis Winery in Loudoun County, less than an hour away. This vineyard has made a specialty of wines made with the American Norton grape...
I enjoyed meandering through the well-tended grapes, ripe and bursting with sweet flavor
The winery is about to open its own dairy where it will make cheeses to compliment its unique wines, an exciting idea...
Today was misty and overcast after a night of much-needed rain. We went to TemptAsian in Annandale for a stellar meal of contrasting, fresh flavors. Eggplant before its ginger-sesame dressing...
 
and after:
 
Beef with bitter melon and black beans was awesome!
 
chicken, ginger and scallion dumplings...
and my total obsession, cilantro scallion fish rolls...
Next stop, the Korean-Parisian bakery cafe Matin de Paris for iced coffee and ginger tea. This pastry had my name on it, literally:
Nom...
Monday's bento features treats from our Szechuan meal, extended a bit by combining soba noodles with the sesame-ginger sauce. The savory eggplant and beef with bitter melon should be tasty with snow pea tops and farmer's market grapes...and fresh figs with pistachios.

Have a great week, friends!

17 comments:

Emily Ng said...

Oh...I wanna eat those food and explore with you ....make me so envy about you..haha. You always cook yummy and beautiful bento. ^.^

slushygirl said...

I am crushing on that lapis bowl! Those tomatoes just bounce right off the screen! And that dressing sounds divine! I wonder if I can make some of my own.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Emily I want to come on adventures with you! I love the hens strolling through the vineyard and a Korean-French bakery - God how wonderful! Thanks for your gorgeous blog too - it's getting richer by the day!
Blorgie1 (Carolyn Xx)

bentobird said...

Hi Emily, that would be fun! It's a pleasure to share our parts of the world with bento...

bentobird said...

Hi Slushy, thank you! I feel like the bowl been waiting for these little golden tomatoes to be happy--they just go together like peas in a pod :)

The dressing was a combo of minced ginger, sesame paste and something salty like miso, smoothy blended...will also be trying to reproduce it at home.

Have a great Monday!

bentobird said...

Hi Carolyn, thank so much and glad you liked the hens--they were full of loud personality and made me laugh! It would be fun to share some Korean-French sweets and Russian Caravan tea!

Lia Chen said...

Can you take me next time? hahaha ... I am totally hungry now because of your bento and all yummy foods :)

bentobird said...

I'd love to Lia!! Hopefully we can meet some day :D!

Sonoma Bento said...

Wow, that meal looks AMAZING, and how cool to use the leftovers in your bento. Me and hubby are trying to clear out the cupboard and the fridge, so being creative with leftovers is my mission in life now. :)

Debra said...

Someday when I get to the east coast I'm going to find you so can tag along with you. Even if you don't want me too! LOL!

bentobird said...

Hi SB, Thanks! I look forward to your upcoming cuboard and fridge bentos, sure they'll be great! One of the glories of bento is transforming leftovers into something creative and joyful :D

bentobird said...

Haha Debra...I'd love to meet up should you ever come out East! :D

Mrs. P said...

your bentos are always bright and colorful! I saw some shanghai dumplings! I wish I could have some!!

bentobird said...

Hi there Mrs. P, thanks so much! These dumplings were addicting, I have a weakness for all kinds!

gnoegnoe said...

AND WHO IS GOING TO CLEAN MY KEYBOARD? All the saliva has made it sticky :P

I would really like to get my hands on the recipe for that ginger-eggplant dish: it looks delish!

bentobird said...

LOL!!! I'm with you re the eggplant recipe, I'm still trying to learn how to cook eggplant to retain its vibrant purple tones! The sauce, I'm pretty sure, was sesame paste, minced garlic, and a salty miso or soy sauce...really yum!

Lyndsey said...

Oh what beautiful photos. I love the one with the cat smelling the flowers!