October 8, 2011

Potato Soup and Pumpkin Pie.

This meal screams comfort food. It was very delicious!

Allana's Excellent Potato Soup

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 (10.75 oz) can condensed cream of celery soup
  • seasonings of your choice
  • garlic
  • bacon!
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, sautee onions and garlic in the butter, until the onions are translucent. Stir in the mustard, then pour in the chicken broth. Add potatoes, bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, it's time for your bacon. Cook it long enough so it's really crispy, enough to make it crumble. When it's done cooking, set aside on a plate covered with a paper towel.
  3. Combine the milk and cream of celery soup, and add to the saucepan. Season to taste with your choice of seasonings. Heat through, but do not boil. When you are ready to serve, top with crumbled bacon.

When I wanted to make a potato soup, I was expecting something a little more creamier. But even though it wasn't what I expected, it was still delicious. Instead of using diced ham like the original recipe called for, I used bacon because if I had leftover bacon I wouldn't mind, but I didn't want to have leftover ham. I just got the cheapest bacon I could find. The seasonings I put in were rosemary, parsley, a little bit of salt and a lot of pepper, garlic salt, and a little bit of Mrs. Dash garlic and herb.

This is definitely a recipe I want to try again. Next time I try it I want to leave the bacon and chicken stock out, and replace with veggie stock. I also think that adding peas and/or leeks would taste wonderful, and maybe top it off with cheese.

  •  1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
  • 1 (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (9 in) unbaked pie crust
  • heavy whipping cream
  • vanilla 
  • sugar
  1.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices, and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. 
  3. While the pie is baking, chill a mixing bowl bowl and beaters in the fridge. Right before you are ready to serve, take the bowl out of the fridge. Pour cream into the bowl and beat it until it begins to thicken. Add sugar and vanilla, and beat until soft peaks from.
  4. Serve pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
The pie turned out quite delicious! When I made the pie though, not all of my pumpkin was mixed in with everything else, so I ended up having a few small chunks of pumpkin. Make sure to mix everything in! 

When making whipped cream, the amount you make is up to you. Instead of measuring things out, I just poured the cream into my bowl until I thought it looked like it was going to be enough. The amount of sugar and vanilla you add is also up to how you want it to taste. Mine came out with a little more vanilla flavor than I had wanted because I accidentally poured in too much, but it was still delicious. I also added a little bit of cinnamon to it.

What is your favorite fall comfort food?

October 7, 2011

Acorn squash soup.

For those of you who know me, you know that I love fall. I love the holidays, the weather, and most definitely the food. So when I came across this, I was super excited to try it out. The only way I've really had acorn squash was how my mom cooked it, and that's baking it, and then putting brown sugar and butter on top. This was a little different, but definitely just as yummy! Plus, it's also just as easy.

The first thing you need to do is cook the squash. Cut it open in half and take the seeds out. Place the squash face down in a cooking dish, and add just enough water so that the bottom of the dish is completely covered. I baked mine in the oven on 350 degrees for about an hour. You know when it's done when you can poke through it easily. Then, let it cool. (The recipe I used said to just let it cool until you can touch it, but I let it cool completely.)

Isn't it pretty?
When the squash is completely cooled down, cut half an onion. Throw it into a saucepan with either butter or olive oil. You can also add some garlic here, but I didn't think about that until after. Cook the onions until they are translucent and tender.

Next, remove the flesh of the squash with a spoon and add the squash plus the cooked onion to a blender or food processor. Pulse until it gets as smooth as you would like. I added some milk to make it a little creamy, plus about 3/4 of a can of chicken stock to make it a little more thin.

 Again, isn't it pretty?

After you have the squash at a consistency you like, bring it to the pot that the onions were cooked in. Add seasonings. I added salt and pepper, plus some Mrs. Dash garlic and herb. I also added some butter.

All in all, I really liked this soup. When eating it right after I made it, I thought it was missing something, but I couldn't tell what that could be. It tasted better the next day, and even better the day after that. This is definitely something I could see myself making more often. Next time I make it I want to add fresh garlic, and possibly some potatoes.


October 1, 2011

Playing with food can be fun.

So I really wanted to try this  recipe but I didn't quite like how that would have turned out so I decided to experiment with the ingredients listed.

The first thing I did was cook up some chicken breasts. Make sure they are completely cooked, and then shred them. My chicken was frozen, so I heated up some olive oil in a frying pan, and then cooked them.

Next, cook your broccoli. I sauteed mine with some butter and garlic. Add some salt and pepper for taste. I like pepper, so I added a ton of pepper and only a little salt. Yum! I think it would also taste good if you add onions, but I didn't think about that so my dish is going to be onion less. When the broccoli is done cooking, add one can of celery soup (or any "cream of" soup). Then add milk. I didn't measure the milk out, instead I just used the can from the soup. Stir to make sure that there are no clumps of soup, and then add the chicken to the pan.

While that is sitting, cook the biscuits. I just used Bisquick and followed the directions, but I did add seasoning so the biscuits weren't plain. Make sure to not make your biscuits too big.

After the biscuits are done, assemble! You can either just pour the broccoli mixture in a bowl and top with a biscuit, or you can add rice or pasta. I had leftover rice so I used that. I also topped mine with cheese, because you can't go wrong with that. Enjoy!

Here is the final product. Sorry for the bad quality. I was using my webcam which isn't all that great.

September 17, 2011

It's called growing up.

I miss a lot of people right now. I believe that God has this wonderful plan for us, for me, but sometimes I wonder why things happen. I've struggled with this for a while now. What was the point of moving to Puyallup? What was the point of moving to Spokane? What is so special about Ellensburg? Was my relationship with him just not meant to be? Was the timing just off? Why do my best friend and I have to be separated for such a long time? Why not Bellingham? What's the point of everything going on in my life now? 

Of course, that doesn't mean that I'm not thankful for some of the things that have happened since Everett, because I am. Because of a movie, I got to know this great guy a little better. Because of Puyallup, I met some amazing people. Because of Ellensburg, I've met some amazing people. Because of Spokane, I was able to see Sara Bareilles live! Because of distance, I've come to learn that I shouldn't take people for granted and that absence does make the heart grow fonder. Because of Facebook and my mom's help, I found some people who I never thought I would see again. Because of a terrible incident and the story of a friend, I figured out what I want to do with the rest of my life.  The two deaths in the family taught me that I shouldn't take my family for granted. I've learned that it's probably better for me to let God write my story, then for me to try to write my own without his guidance.

I've learned that I shouldn't let my past dictate what my future is going to be. It doesn't matter who my dad is, or what he's done, because I am not him. I am not going to make the same mistakes he has. I've learned that it's okay to be hurt, or overwhelmed, or scared. I've learned that it's okay to ask for help. It's okay to need someone else. It's okay to lean on someone's shoulder. It's okay to need a hug. I've learned that things will get better. I've learned that out of something awful, miracles can happen. I've learned that I'm not alone.

I've had my ups and downs, but so has everyone else. I can't wait for my future. I can't wait to see what crazy plans God has for me. I can't wait to see why it was so important that I chose psychology over education. I can't wait to meet my future husband, and my future kids. And even though I can't even imagine being this old, I can't wait to meet my grand-kids.

So here's to my old friends. And here's to new friends. Here's to the people who have made an impact on me. Here's to the future. Here's to all the wonderful things to come.

Edit: I have no idea where this picture came from, but if it's yours, let me know and I'll give you credit!

July 20, 2011

class of '09.

here's to the people who were always there.
to the people who held my hand,
to the people i laughed with,
and to the people i cried with.

here's to my best friends.
the ones i could count on when i wasn't okay,
the one's who stood by my side,
even when i didn't want them to.

here's to my old friends,
my new friends,
and everyone in between.

here's to late, crazy nights,
to band trips,
to canada,
to disneyland.

here's to great inside jokes,
like four, dandelion, and sexy question mark man.

here's to the people i met and will never forget.

class of 2009, congratulations.
we finally did it!
i'm so proud of you.
Class of 2009.
Everyone's moving.
Everyone's changing.
We will be going our own way soon.
Will we remember all the fun times we had?
Will we remember the fights, the trips, the hugs, the friends?
I will if you will.
Congratulations class of '09.
We did it!


When I think about me and you,
it hurts,
but it's over now.
What happened, happened.
We both moved on,
you faster than me.
However, it's been a while.
We're starting to become friends again.
Maybe not as close as we were before,
but that's expected.
I think one day we'll get there.

I hope we stay in touch.
You're the only person who has affected me this much.
People have gotten close, my best friend included,
but never as close as you.

I sometimes hate you
because I can never stay mad at you for very long.
Other times I think you're the most amazing guy.
It's hard to let you completely go.
Sometimes I wonder if you ever feel the same way I do.

I know though,
that it's time to say good bye.
In a way I'm ready to leave you behind.
I now know,
that I could never fully separate myself from you,
we're too close.
You're scared.
I can feel it.
Don't worry.
I'm scared too.
Change is hard.
Next year we'll have an amazing summer.
And next year we'll be in college.
We'll have the time of our lives.
So let's not be scared.
Let's face our fears.
We'll always remember our times together.
What happens next is a mystery.
Next year will be different for everyone.
We'll make it through the change.
We're a family now, and we will be then.
I'll never forget the class of '09.
Everyone is beautiful.
Even if we don't feel it.
I have glasses, I'm ugly.
I have braces, I'm ugly.
I'm not skinny, so I must be ugly.
Right now.
You don't have to be skinny to be pretty.
You don't have to be perfect to look beautiful.
I know what it feels like to feel ugly.
I've been there a lot.
But if you have kindness, if you have love,
if you show compassion,
if you have passion for something.
If you have confidence.
That makes you beautiful.
Stop hiding because you're not skinny.
Stop hiding if you have glasses.
Stop hiding if you have braces.
You are beautiful.
Just believe in yourself.

This is me.

Yes that's me.
Look and you'll see.
My hair in a ponytail.
My eyes behind my glasses.
My arms reaching for someone.
My hands clapping with joy.
My heart filled with pain and happiness.
I'm the one who will never let you down.
I never try to hurt anyone.
My friends believe in me.
I live to make a difference.
I hope to have a happy life.
I dream of the future.
It's all clear as can be.
That's positively, absolutely me.
You play it cool.
You talk to me like it's no big deal.
But it is.
You don't know how much it hurts.

Usually you ignore me,.
But on the rare occasions you talk to me,
you make me feel so bad.
Like I'm not worth your time,
small, immature

Why can't you just accept me for who I am?
I love you,
Why can't I receive love from you?
I won't force you to love me.
I can't.
Just remember,
I will never forget you.
Even if you forget me.

Who am I?

i am jacqueline
daughter of jennifer and shawn
who needs love, sleep, and friends
who loves nature, god, people
who sees joy, words, compassion
who hates ignorance, hatred, cheaters
who fears failure, loneliness, success
who dreams of happiness, a loving family,a good job
who has found poems of love
resident of washington

i am a crazy girl who loves mucis
i wonder what life will be like in twenty years
i hear people crying
i see people believing
i want to be cared for
i am a crazy girl who loves music

i pretend that i am a great leader
i feel the weight of the world on my shoulders
i touch god's creation
i worry about everyone i know
i cry for all the death in the world
i am a crazy girl who loves music

i understand why love hurts
i say that we are equal
i dream about helping the children of the world
i try to be there for everyone
i hope that people can see the truth
i am a crazy girl who loves music

Compassionate, tired, daughter, sister,
Sister of Brendan and Collin,
Lover of music, nature, God,
Who feels joy, sadness, love,
Who needs laughter, joy, nature,
Who gives help, encouragement, laughter,
Who fears failure, heights, spiders,
Who would like to see a cure for all diseases,
Resident of Everett, Wa.,

Ditzy, intelligent, curious, fun-loving
First born daughter of Shawn and Jennifer
Likes music, nature, children
Feels like I'm not good enough
Afraid of falling
Would like to see the world.

This is me.

I am a daughter. I am a cousin. I am a sister. I am an aunt. I am a friend. I am a mentor. I am quiet. I am loud. I am shy. I am outgoing. I am weird. I am clumsy. I trip a lot. I tend to run into things. I read. I sing. I dance. I believe in God. I don't like my food on my plate to touch. I love trying new foods. I hate making my bed. I love cleaning the kitchen. I love animals. I want lots of kids. I want to be a foster parent. I want to adopt. I want to travel the world. I'm scared of heights. I'm scared of traveling in airplanes. I procrastinate. I hate when water drips down my arm. I want to write my own book, and I want to see it get published. I love to write. I love nail polish. I love it when people play with my hair. I love it when people rub my back. I don't like feet. I don't like people playing with my feet. I love school. I love math. I love history. I love all kinds of literature. I haven't seen a lot of sci-fi movies, but I'm trying to change that. I don't like pineapple except for on pizza. I love the sun and blue skies. I love my family and friends. I make mistakes. I'm going to school to become a counselor because I hate to see people hurt.

And honestly, the fact that you don't want to get to know me after all this time really bothers me. But I'm done letting you get to me.

The way I see it is that life is rough, but there's always something to be thankful about.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to write a blog about the things I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for my wonderful family. You are always there for me.

I'm thankful for my wonderful friends. I honestly don't know where I'd be right now if it wasn't for your support and love these past couple of months. So thank you for being there and knowing what to say.

I'm thankful for hugs and "I love you's."
I'm thankful to have the opportunity to go to school and learn.
I'm thankful for good food and clean water.
I'm thankful to have somewhere to call my home.
I'm thankful for new friends.
I'm thankful for an awesome roommate.
I'm thankful for old friends.
I'm thankful for my best friends.
I'm thankful for technology.
I'm thankful for receiving things in the mail.
I'm thankful for great movies.
I'm thankful for great books.
I'm thankful for great music.
I'm thankful for color.
I'm thankful to have a comfy bed to sleep in at night.
I'm thankful for animals.
I'm thankful to have allergy medicine so I can be around animals.
I'm thankful for cars.
I'm thankful for a lot of things.

But most of all, I'm thankful for you. Thanks for giving me hope, kindness, and so much more.

(November 16, 2010)

July 16, 2011

Reflections on High School. 8.16.09.

Today while cleaning, I found my diploma under a few things on my desk. This led me to think about high school. People say that high school is one of the best times of your life. That might be true, but it's the worst too.

I think in ninth grade, I remember coming to school in tears because of something a sibling had said in an email. I wasn't supposed to see it, so I couldn't talk to my parents about it. I told my best friend and she listened. Crying it out and talking about it helped a lot.

I remember having a lot of problems with my biological dad as well. Maybe it's just because I can remember it more clearly. There was one time he came to our house drunk, and my parents were out shopping. That was a bit scary for me. I think one of my brothers might have been home as well. I wasn't exactly sure what to do, so I just called my parents to hurry up and get home. There were many times we were supposed to go see him, but he never showed up or called. One time I was forced to go, and I cried all the way there. I never want to go because he always smells of smoke and alcohol, plus he always gets into arguments with his girlfriend. Then half the time we don't know where he lives, or what his phone number is. I couldn't even tell him that I graduated until afterward. Finally, when he does call, someone always ends up annoyed or frustrated. One time he convinced my brother to see if he could move out with us and go move in with him. A lot of the time my mom will end up yelling at him.

I also had a breakup, or two. It was pretty bad, but it could have been worse. We're still friends now.

My grandma died my junior year. It was the first death that had really affected me. She had a stroke the day of Homecoming, and she died a few days later. It was really hard to believe she was gone at first. She had been getting better, and then she died. Things were tough.

I even made my fair share of bad choices. It was never about drugs or alcohol. Just grades. I didn't do so well my junior year, so I had to play catch up my senior year. Junior year was stressful all around.

I didn't get into my dream school, which was devastating at fist. I'm over it now. CWU is my home for at least the next four years. I'm completely fine with that. After school I can move anywhere I want, and maybe Bellingham is in my future.

To top everything off, I moved my senior year. Yeah, it really sucked. I think I've said that over and over again. I didn't get to graduate with my best friends. I didn't go to prom either. A while after school ended, we moved to Spokane.

I think it's safe to say that high school sucked. But it also rocked, and here's why:

I was able to go on a trip to Disneyland. Sure, it wasn't with my family. It was with the band, with my friends. That made it even better.

I had an amazing boyfriend. Sure, things never really worked out between us. But he was there for me a lot. He's part of the reason I'm the person I am today.

I always had the support system that I needed, whether it was my best friends, people from church, or other close friends. We've gone through a lot together. Hopefully we'll beat the statistics and stay friends.

I even gained family. Cousins have had adorable babies who are growing up fast. I found out I had a long lost uncle, who has a wife, kids, and grandkids. We've been able to see each other a few times since we found out. My big brother got married and had a little boy. I was able to meet him once, and I get to see pictures every now and then.

I was able to participate in many band things, like field marching, parades, and festivals. The RHS band won second place in KZOK's band competition. And don't forget about the PSD Marching Band Extravaganza.

I have also been able to somewhat get over my stage fright. I had a few solos in band. At the end of my senior year I was able to play all major scales in front of the class and teacher. I think I did pretty good. We were supposed to have them memorized and I did, that was the easy part. I even gave a speech. It wasn't in front of a lot of people, and it was all about myself, but it's one of the hardest things I've had to do. After completing Senior Boards, I felt like I could do anything.

Even though I did make bad choices my junior year, it did lead me to some good things. I met some awesome people because of those choices, and I have no regrets for what I did. Meeting those friends was totally worth it.

Moving did help me get my confidence back up. I was able to start over. Not many people get that chance.

Finally, I graduated. I'm in the proud class of 2009. I finally did it. Everything I went through for four years was totally worth it.

My good experiences totally out weigh all the bad ones. High school was one of the worst and best times of my life so far. The beginning of my freshman year, I was very shy. Throughout the years, I've become more outgoing. My self-confidence has always been pretty low. Now, it's quite higher, even if I still have my bad days.

Even though high school was hell for me on some days, I stuck it out. I don't think I ever wanted to drop out. For all you high schoolers out there, don't drop out. Don't give up. Believe me, you'll want to. Stick through it. Everything will be worth it when you are finally handed your diploma.

March 9, 2011

Why hello there!

I got this idea from a very lovely person I know. I love to cook. I love to write. I love to take pictures. Why not combine all three of those ideas?

So that's what I'm going to do. Now, I live in a dorm, so right now I don't get to cook very often, except when I go home. So posts and new recipes might be rare for a while. I am going home for a week soon, so I look forward to cooking then.

To do this, I'm going to start by using a recipe that I have saved. I'm going to write it for you, and then I'm going to let you know if I made any changes when I made it. I'm also going to write what I liked and disliked about the recipe, and what my family (or whoever I'm cooking for) thought about it. I'll take a picture of the finished product. And ta-da! You now hopefully have some good recipes to pass on.

Unfortunately, I have saved many recipes over the years, but in most cases I didn't save who I got the recipe I got from. So, if you have seen a recipe before, please let me know. I would love to give credit to the person.

This blog isn't about being healthy. I'm probably going to post a lot of unhealthy recipes, most of them being desserts. I do try to eat healthy though, and I hope that is reflected here. Another warning, I don't eat a lot of meat. So if you are looking for a lot of good meat recipes, you are in the wrong place.

Okay. I think I have mentioned everything that I needed to mention. Feel free to use any recipe I post on here, and tell me what you thought of the recipe. And if you have any suggestions of good recipes, please share.

 I don't know the next time I will be able to cook, but hopefully it's soon. I'm looking forward to sharing with you guys. And for those who know me, if you ever are in the area of where I live, feel free to stop by. I could always use some guinea pigs, or help!