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Chocolate "Kielbasa"

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The name may sound confusing for this simple yet festive and surprising dessert.  I couldn't find a better translation to an unpretentious home treat of the 70-80-s when it became very popular in Russia. The stores were practically empty at some point, and not many people could successfully bake. This no-bake dessert did not require any skills and came to a rescue when nothing more could be served. Young kids loved it and many teenagers (including yours truly) enjoyed making it in a company of friends. On Christmas this past December it was tried once and again with great success.
While it's very simple, the chocolate "kielbasa" is an example of a classic decadent dessert. It is high in calories and very tempting. You just cannot stop eating it, slice after slice... don't even try to make it if you are on a diet or are addicted to chocolate. :)

Red Lentil Soup with Ginger

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

After visiting a newly opened Indian store I was inspired by rows and rows of lentils they have for sale and endless spices where many of them were new to me.  It was incredible to learn and see in one place how many varieties of lentils exist. The quick lentil soup I usually make is not vegetarian (it contains a bouillon cube and bacon that makes it similar to pea soup). Today's soup is also quick and easy, but hearty and filling in spite of being entirely vegetarian. I never added ginger to a soup, leaving it mostly to meat dishes. I was, oh, so happy to have added it this time. Please do not skip this step: ginger completely changed the taste (and after taste) of the soup - added fire, depth and mystery, if you will.
I used red lentils because it takes just about 15 minutes for them to be cooked through. :)