Thursday, September 21, 2006

Warming up inside with dinner...

When I was in the grocery store before Jeff's birthday, one of the managers was setting up a new display of "limited edition" candy and I asked what they were going to be putting up. He showed me a new (to us anyway) Kit Kat flavor called Chocolate Mocha!

I remember trying one labeled Coffee not too long ago, but I asked if I could get a couple of these even though they were not suppose to go on sale until the next day. I wanted to give to Jeff some as he loves Kit Kats. The first thing I noticed when we opened them was the aroma was much stronger than the coffee ones. We thought the coffee ones were a bit more bitter (too much to enjoy really) and that with these, the mocha flavor was more enjoyable and pronounced. I don't know if its the same Kit Kat, just reformulated or something, but we liked them.

It was 38 outside when we woke up this morning! Not at frost level, but too close for me! I thought we could use a warm up for dinner with two spicy dishes. The first, Spicy Asian Slaw, is a recipe that can be quickly thrown together at the last minute. Broccoli slaw, carrots and green onions are tossed in a creamy and hot combination of seasoned rice vinegar, creamy peanut butter, soy sauce, fresh lime juice, canola oil and sambal oelek. Sambal oelek is a chile-type paste with garlic and can be pretty spicy, so adjust to your taste. Definitely a crunchy dish with just enough bite for us - if you use natural peanut butter, you may want to add a dash of sugar to tame the vinegar some.

What better way to finish off dinner on a cold night with a belly warming soup. I have only cooked with lentils once or twice with mediocre results, but this Spicy Red Lentil Soup was a winner with us. This is not a quick recipe, but the results are worth the wait. Once the lentils were fairly soft, they are pureed as they will eventually help thicken the soup. Fire-roasted tomatoes, fresh ginger, garlic, coconut milk, tamarind paste and spices are simmered together to let the flavors mingle and dance around. The pureed lentils are added and the soup continues to simmer until it begins to thicken a little. The coconut milk brought a smooth silky body to the soup with the tamarind brightening up the flavors with a sweet and sour combination. Fresh ginger and a jalapeno brought the heat, but the tomatoes kept it in check - I don't think I would really call this one spicy as it was only mildly hot. Jeff did note he thought it was a touch grainy, but I think this was my inexperience with cooking lentils - I could have cooked them a few more minutes before pureeing them.


  1. Oh Joe... you always come with the Kit Kats! Chocolate Mocha sounds too good! I like kit kats but for the life of me cannot find the different flavored ones... I looked for the coffee flavor, the milkshake flavor, all around my town and nothing... Even the dark chocolate ones I haven't found here yet... Well, I will sure keep looking!
    Both dishes look great, and the soup seems delicious! I love lentil soup, the addition of coconut milk is new to me, sounds yummy though!

  2. THe soup sounds awesome! I'm not huge on lentils, but when I saw the other ingredients I really perked up. Coconut milk? Fire roasted tomatoes? Tamarind? How can one go wrong with those ingredients?

  3. Joe, if you're liking lentils and wanting more soup recipes, I have one for ginger-carrot lentil soup that's fabulous. I also have cream of roasted garlic (no real cream in it -- it's potato-based), and several others that are hearty and good for cold D.C.-area winters. In fact, I may just do a big soup recipe post this weekend at CK1....


  4. Dark chocolate kit kat's so rock the partay!

  5. I made the lentil soup, Joe, it turned out great. Thank you for the recipe.My family loved it, especially, because it was all pureed. We have a 92 yr old neighbor, and I made a double batch of soup, so I could bring some for their supper. Enough for her and her brother. They are so appreciative you know. Today you helped me help someone else. Thanks, Rita

  6. Ana - I hope you can find them! The coconut milk added such a luscious mouthfeel!

    Jennifer - I agree!

    CK1 - I hope you post the soup!

    Wheresmymind - Yeah!

    Laurie - I saw the bars, but I don't think they are too new - I remember seeing them before I think.

    Rita - Glad you liked it!

  7. I recently stumbled upon the Dark Chocolate Kit Kats and thought they were amazing. I didn't realize they also had other variations. Thanks for the info - but now I have to start searching for those (and remember where I got the dark chocolate one... :)

  8. Foodie Pam - There are a ton of flavors out there! It is pretty fun trying to locate them and give 'em a try!