It all started with a sweet tooth that just wouldn't let up. So, like the gift-giver I am, I satisfied the craving with an experimental "french vanilla crumb cake." I know you're wondering what I mean by that. Well, I visualized this cake looking totally different from what you see to the left. I wanted these brown sugar crumbs to lay on top of the cake similar to a classic coffee cake. But the consistency of the mix was too thick and heavy, so they fell right through the cake batter down to the bottom leaving interesting streaks and patterns LOL. That's actually what you're witnessing there. Thank God for accidents though because it came out looking great, and surprisingly very delicious! No seriously, I wish I could give you a bite right now.
Let my mistake become your treasure :) It's quite simple, folks. Why reinvent the wheel? I used a simple french vanilla cake mix via Betty Crocker #supermoist. (Follow directions on box)
Then, I proceeded to make my failed attempt turned #win of a streusel mixture.
I used: 1 cup of brown sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon, about 3/4 of flour, and about 1/2 cup of melted butter. I mixed it up until it was creamy verses chunky, isolated crumbs. Oh well! Next time. You don't have to do it my way. Some people add granulated sugar, but why add more sugar on top of brown sugar?! I mean my sweet tooth isn't THAT desperate.
Anywho, once you've made your mix, top it all over your cake batter in the pan and bake! If your mixture falls to the bottom like mine, no worries. I promise it's all good!
Since I made soup joumou for New Years, everyone has been asking me for the recipe. Soup Joumou = squash soup, but mark my words the most delicious finger-licking thing ever! This is just one of the reasons I'm proud to be Haitian-American. Haitians prepare this soup on the 1st of every year in remembrance of Haitian Independence Day.
*Disclaimer: I had never made this soup on my own before. But being away from family this time around, I had to tackle it if I wanted to stay in line with tradition ;) It turned out pretty darn good!
Here's what I did:
*Note: You can use whatever ingredients you like; I omitted some items I never actually liked lol Also, depending on how much soup you intend to make, you'll need a sizable pot (or 2)! Also, I'm not big on measurements. Sorry. I go with what feels/tastes right. It works for me :)
squash (i used the frozen cooked squash)
salt & pepper
beef or chicken bouillon (maggi)
spinach or other green leaves you like)
*Other recipes will have more or less ingredients. So some research to find out what you may like!
*Prep time is quite long, so brace yourselves! Music or some form of entertainment is highly recommended.
*It will get hot, so pop open a window if you don't have AC.
Step 1: I used small cuts of beef and marinated it with my spices (diced onions, diced scallions, lime juice, pepper, maggi, crushed garlic, chopped bell peppers and chopped celery). I even put a small tsp of vinegar to bring out flavors. Lastly, I added my chopped parsley spg and a tsp of cayenne pepper. I let that marinate in the fridge overnight.
Step 2: Prepare the vegetables. Wash, peel and cut your potatoes, carrots, cabbage and spinach down to your liking. Use your big pot to Boil the contents (in about 8-10 cups of water depending on how much soup you want).
Step 3: Now you can start to cook the meat (w/ all the spices) until it's almost fully cooked but not yet. You don't want to cook it all the way/or overcook it because you're going to cook it more in the squash.
Step 4: In the vegetables pot, you can now add your frozen squash. To help it dissolve faster, I put it in the microwave for about 1-2 minutes. I suggest defrosting yours about 30 minutes or so before you use it. For my big pot, I used 3 frozen squashes. You may need more or less depending on the consistency you're looking for. I like my soups thick and creamy, so the more the merrier.
Step 5: Stir and let it boil. Then add your meat into the squash mixture. These flavors combined will smell divine!
Step 6: The last ingredient you should add are your noodles because they will soften quite fast. Let it boil.
Step 7: Continue to taste and adjust as you see fit. Add more salt or lime if you like.
*Almost forgot, I added a couple of thyme for aroma while marinating the meat.
It's a process! I hope to get better at it the next time around. Enjoy and let me know how your soup turns out!