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The Old Hen B&B closed May 31, 2014. We recommend The Roaring River B&B 425.888.4834 and The Log Cabin B&B 425.533.8278 for your North Bend get-away. Please stay tuned for Deanna's cookbook plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

9553edda49167640d33ffa27976bb2d9There are some recipes that we probably shouldn’t know how to make from scratch, like alfredo sauce. Alas, it is my joy to bring them to you even so.  You know, for special occasions.

I begged a restaurant waitress to ask the chef for this recipe and, somehow, I walked out with a list of ingredients and free access to make this buttery, cheesy calorie-loaded dish at home as soon… as soon as I figured out the chef’s technique and quantities.

Oh dear. Oh me. Oh my. Help me.


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)

Melt butter in medium-large sauce pan on low heat. After it is melted, sprinkle in flour & whisk. Cook for a couple of minutes on medium heat while continuing to whisk.

Measure other ingredients so they are ready to go when the time is right. Blend milk, cream and cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth in blender.

Pour milk, cream & cream cheese mixture into pan while still whisking. Sauce will thicken within a few minutes of cooking.

Stir cheese & seasonings into sauce and allow to melt while whisking. Add white wine (optional).

Following instructions on package, cook fettuccine (or your favorite kind of pasta).

Drain pasta when cooked and toss with some olive oil and perhaps chopped parsley.

Place sauce over pasta and perhaps some grilled chicken breast and top with whatever you like such as sliced green onions, diced tomatoes or parsley  for a little dazzle of color.


Chocolate Crepes With Almond Whipped Cream & Red Wine Chocolate Sauce Recipe

Since my birthday is close to Valentine’s Day, I always start celebrating the month of February quite early. Come to think of it, I don’t think there is any holiday I don’t start celebrating early. I suppose there is more chocolate involved with the February partying. And by partying, I mean blogging.


This might be a good time to let you now that this blog is not about being gluten-free. Or vegan. Or dairy-free. Or nut allergy friendly.

With that said, we shall gather our gluteny, non-vegan, dairy-filled, nutty supplies.

For the crepes:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Place crepe ingredients into blender (wet ingredients first). Give a blend until there are no lumps. Batter will look like a thick chocolate milk.

Turn burner for crepe pan (a non-stick pan will work as well) to just above low heat. Get 1/3 measuring cup ready. Place about 1/4 teaspoon of butter in pan. Melt & spread butter around.

My pan takes 1/3 cup of batter but test to see what works for yours. Crepes should be very thin. Allow to cook until top is done, then flip upside-down on to parchment paper.

Continue buttering pan in between each crepe and layering crepes on to parchment paper so they don’t stick together. If you like, you can keep them warm in a 170 degree oven while keeping a layer of foil over the top layer to prevent the crepes from drying. This recipe will make about 7 eight inch round crepes.

For the chocolate covered raspberries and red wine chocolate sauce:

  • 1 small container of fresh raspberries
  • 1 pound bag of the best semi-sweet chocolate you can find
  • 4 ounce bar of the best semi-sweet chocolate you can find
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cup red wine

Place chocolate chips into a double boiler a medium low heat to melt chocolate. If you have a candy thermometer, you can make sure the temperature of the chocolate doesn’t go above 110 degrees. Stir occasionally and remove from heat when melted.

Break chocolate bar into small pieces.

Try not to snitch any.

Stir it into the warm chocolate until it too is melted.

Dip raspberries into chocolate and place on parchment paper in a cool place to harden.

To make red wine chocolate sauce, bring 1 1/2 cups red wine to a boil then allow to simmer. Reduce until about 1 cup of wine is left in pan.

Stir corn syrup and reduced red wine into chocolate. Stir until smooth and shiny.

For the almond whipped cream:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

To make whipped cream, whip heavy cream in a very clean mixing bowl until it has soft peaks. Add powdered sugar and almond and mix again until it has stiff peaks.

Place whipped cream in middle of crepe as pictured above. Roll crepe gently until completely rolled. Place on plate.

Add another and another if you like. Using a decorating bag with a round decorating tip, drizzle red wine chocolate sauce over crepes. Sprinkle with chocolate covered raspberries and sliced almonds.

Let’s celebrate all things gluten-y, non-vegan, dairy-filled, and nutty. Happy February. Early.

Leftovers (not that there will be any): Crepes can be saved by just keeping on parchment papers and covering in plastic wrap. Store in refrigerator. Chocolate sauce can be stored & reheated on double boiler. Warm for next serving. Whipped cream will save in refrigerator for up to a day or two and can be re-whipped to make light & fluffy again.


Overnight Crispy and Tender Yeast Waffles Recipe



Have you ever had waffles that are not, well, waffley? We don’t ask much from our waffles, really. Do we? I mean, we want them to hold their shape when we decorate them. We want them to be flavorful – but not too flavorful should they outshine their toppings. And most of all, we want them to be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Amirite?

I don’t mean to sound presumptuous, but these waffles are the answer to your waffle-y prayers. If you would like to have them tonight for dinner, start making them now. If you would like to make them for breakfast tomorrow morning, get started tonight.


  • 1/2 cup warm water (between 105-115 degrees is best, but not hotter than 115 degrees)
  • 1 package (or 2 1/4 teaspoons) yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 – 12 ounce can of evaporated milk
  • 1 stick of butter, melted & cooled to 110 degrees or cooler
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Place yeast, sugar and warm water in a large bowl. Give a quick stir and allow to sit for about 15 minutes for yeast to activate, creating the sponge for your batter.

Yeah. Like that.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Whisk together well. Cover with a towel and let sit on counter overnight (or about 8 hours).

I promise, it all gets more beautiful in just minutes.

Plug in waffle iron. Ours is 20 years old as a gift. One cannot underestimate the value of a good waffle iron.

Nobody knows your waffle iron like you do, but I’d say about 15 minutes or so should be about the right amount of time to preheat. This is an important step. When placed upon a cold waffle iron, waffle will be limp and sad. You can test to see if the grill is hot by letting a little droplet of water hit your grill. If it sizzles madly, it’s time for makin’ waffles.

Place one heaping ladle full of batter into the center of your waffle iron. This amount can vary with the size of waffle iron so test things out to see how much batter you’ll need & then memorize it.

Cook for about 5 minutes or until light golden brown. Some waffle irons have an indicator light to let you know when your waffle is done but batters can vary this time as well so feel things out.

If making waffles for a crowd, place a rack over a baking sheet & set waffles upon it. Heat oven to 180 degrees for up to about 30 minutes. Fresh waffles are best, of course, but this will keep them crispy and toasty warm if you’d like to serve everyone at the same time.

And then the toppings. Oh the toppings.

Peanut Butter Girl

My grandpa used to call me his “peanut butter girl” because I just couldn’t get enough peanut butter and maple syrup on my waffles.

Now that we have a waffles that meets all of our demands, what are your favorite trimmings?



Chocolate Almond Heart Cookies Recipe

Adorable and simple. These sweethearts are a perfect gift for friends this Valentine’s Day… that is if they even make it out of your very own kitchen.

Cream together:

  • 2/3 c. shortening
  • 3/4 c. sugar

Add & beat together well:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons almond extract (can replace with 1 T. vanilla & 1 T. water)
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa – Special Dark
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven at 35oF and roll out chocolaty dough.

Use cookie cutters to make desired shapes. Small hearts are perfect for Valentine’s Day.

A lovely dough to work with.


Bake about 8-9 minutes. Don’t overbake as cookies will turn dry & crunchy instead of soft. Allow hearts to cool completely on a rack.

Frost cookies using the Wilton royal icing recipe, using the flooding method.

Add your favorite colors and designs. There is something lovely about light pink frosting that I cannot live without. Make a few days in advance to allow frosting to dry properly if you will be packaging your hearts.

Give away as soon a possible to those you love, lest you eat your hearts out.


Homemade Spaghetti Sauce and Garlic Bread Recipe


It’s a snow day here in the Seattle area.

I’m thinking about hopping onto a sled later. Or maybe I’ll just blog. Or maybe I’ll open the B&B for snacks & coffee to the people waiting on the side of the freeway for Snoqualmie Pass to open. Or maybe I’ll just blog. Yeah, I’ll blog.

Spaghetti Sauce:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 – 1 lb 12 oz. can Italian recipe crushed tomatoes
  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 3-4 stalks fresh basil
  • 3-4 stalks fresh oregano
  • 1 – 187 ml or 6-7 ounces chardonnay or chicken broth (add more if sauce is too thick for your liking)
  • 1 can olives and olive juice, sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: sliced mushrooms

To make the sauce, place Italian pork and ground turkey in pan to cook. Salt & pepper meat.

Chop herbs, mince garlic and dice onions while meat is cooking.

When meat is almost done cooking, add a few tablespoons of olive oil if needed. Then add diced onion. If using ground beef instead of turkey, drain meat.

After onions are golden and almost translucent, add garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, chardonnay, and salt & pepper to taste. Add drained & chopped or sliced olives with juice and, if desired, add mushrooms.

The Noodles:

Follow time instructions on package to cook noodles and remember not to add the pasta until your water is boiling. Keep things interesting by using different kinds of noodles when you make spaghetti. Penne, linguine or Cellentani are all fun options. If you decide to mix them, be sure to pay close attention to the cooking times. Add longest cooking first then add the noodles with the lesser cooking time as you count down. After draining the water off the pasta, stir in a bit of olive oil for added flavor and to prevent your noodles from sticking together.

Garlic Bread:

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying onions)
  • 1/4 medium diced yellow onion, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh basil

Heat olive oil on medium heat in a small pan. Add diced onions and fry until golden brown. Remove from heat and cool onions.

Place butter and remaining ingredients in bowl.

Blend ingredients together until well combined.

Cut bread in half lengthwise.

Spread butter liberally onto bread.

Place in oven and keep oven door a wee bit open so you can keep an eye on your bread.

Remove from oven when golden brown and top is slightly crispy. Cut into slices for all to enjoy… except for the poor people sitting on the side of the freeway. In their cars. In the snow. I am a terrible person.

A terrible person who reeks of garlic and is enjoying her fireplace all to herself. Just for now.


Homemade Blackberry Crumble Recipe


blackberry cobbler recipe

Blackberry crumble is a gorgeous, old-fashioned dessert. Traditionally a summer treat, we don’t have to wait for the sunshine anymore with frozen blackberries available year-round.   Let us celebrate blackberry crumble in January and February and March and… well, you get the idea.

Berry Filling

  • 6 cups blackberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons flour

First, toss blackberries into a bowl. Add sugar, fresh lemon juice,  salt and flour. Set aside for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow sugar to draw out the juices from the berries. Smash blackberries as much as you like (or not) with potato masher.

If using frozen blackberries, add one more tablespoon of flour.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place these ingredients into a large bowl. Using fingers, rub ingredients into the butter. When butter and dry ingredients combine and begin to hold together, you are done. Crumbles should be little larger than the size of a pea.


  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups oatmeal
  • 3/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Spray baking pan with non-stick baking spray and then press half of crumble into bottom of a  9 X 13 baking pan.

Welcome back, blackberry filling. Welcome back.

Spread all of the blackberry filling over pressed crumble.

Sprinkle with rest of crumble.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until top is golden brown and blackberry filling is bubbly. It’s best if you allow it to sit for a few hours or overnight to cool to room temperature but hot out of the oven is delightful when served with butter or vanilla ice cream too.


Beef Stew with Red Wine Recipe

There is nothing that compares to a home-cooked, slow-cooked roast but the party can continue when you use the leftovers to make a cozy beef stew.

7 tablespoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

4 cloves fresh garlic, minced

6 tablespoons flour

2 cups red wine

32 ounces beef broth

2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon beef base

1 ½ sea salt

1 ½ coarse ground pepper

1 pound roasted beef, diced or shredded

2 cups frozen diced hash brown potatoes or leftover potatoes cooked with roast

1 cup frozen peas & carrots

Chopped fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme (optional)

Place olive oil in a medium-large stew pot with onion. Cook onion until translucent and caramelized, golden brown. After onions are done, add garlic. Then whisk in about 3 tablespoons flour. Keep whisking and cooking this roux for at least five minutes. It may look crumbly and awkward and this is okay. Whisk red wine and beef broth into roux while continuing to whisk. 

Stir in Better Than Bouillon* beef base. You can add more if needed for flavor. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Raise heat a bit and allow stew to come to a rolling boil while continually stirring. After it has thickened, you can lower heat again to a simmer. Add beef, potatoes, and peas & carrots.

While the stew is heating, give your flavors one last check. You can add some chopped fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, or thyme if you enjoy living the fancy life.

Serve with warm bread on a cold day and preferably upon a rustic wooden table because it just feels right.


Tator Tot Casserole Recipe


Once upon a time there was a little girl who adored church potlucks. She really couldn’t decide which she loved best, hugs from snuggly grandmas or their comforting dishes that sat upon the potluck table. One dish always stood out in the crowd, okay, maybe two. The first was a blackberry crumble. I… er… she was old enough to bake and wanted so badly to ask for the recipe but somehow it felt inappropriate to do so at a funeral.

The other was tator tot casserole. Although anyone can throw together some tots and cream of mystery soup, homemade is always the very best.

 Tator Tot Casserole Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1 pound ground chicken, turkey or beef
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon coarse pepper
  • 1/2 up flour
  • 32 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon – chicken flavor
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • One 16 ounce package tator tots
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Cook onions in olive oil until golden brown (caramelized) then remove onions from pan and set aside.

Add and cook ground meat. Season with salt & pepper. I find ground turkey more flavorful than beef. Healthier too. We need all the health we can get because like I said, this dish is quite sinful.

Preheat oven to 350F.

If using ground beef, remove most of the excess grease, leaving a few tablespoons of it in the pan.

Sprinkle flour over meat & onions.

Stir flour into mixture and cook for about five minutes while continuing to stir so that flour cooks (otherwise your sauce will taste like raw flour).

After flour is cooked, add chicken (or beef) stock and chicken Better Than Bouillon. Continue to stir over heat.  Over time, the sauce will thicken.

Add fresh or frozen peas & carrots to your liking. Celery or water chestnuts can add a nice crunch if you like.

Fill the bottom of the dish with meat sauce. Place tator tots in an orderly fashion on top of sauce. I used two 8 inch pans (since I was taking one of them to a couple who is celebrating having their first baby) but this recipe works great for one 9 X 13 pan.

Bake about 20-30 minutes or until tator tots are golden brown & sauce is bubbly.

Do three hail Marys, take communion, complete one Zumba class and then add grated real cheddar cheese over tots.

Bake again until cheese is melted and bubbly and sign up to take Zumba class regularly.

Consider yourself snuggled by a grandma, then go eat an apple. I’m sorry. You’re welcome. I’m sorry.

© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017