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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 and her daughter (affectionately known as Dotter) Brittany's food truck plans as seen on New Day Northwest - The Old Hen on Tour coming in 2014! You can learn & laugh with Deanna & her friend Buffee (yes, that's her real name) during their cooking demos at the Washington State Fair this September and hear their The Old Hen podcast soon. Here's to starting from scratch. Thank you so much for supporting us!

How to Get Around on Pinterest

I have found a new interest addiction. Perhaps you can relate?

If Pinterest is new to you, you might be wondering why all of these people you’ve never met are following you and how to pin things. Here is my attempt to chat about the basics so that you too can enjoy this new interest addiction.

What is Pinterest? Pinterest is a website that is loaded with pictures that people have uploaded themselves or have pinned from a website or have repinned from other people who are also on Pinterest.

What is a Pin? Pinterest is an idea collector’s heaven. Each picture or video pinned represents a link to a website or a blog post. If you click on the pictures (also known as pins), in a perfect world, it should take you to the recipe, blog post or place where you can get more details about the pin like where to buy it, how to make it or other information.

What is a Repin? A Repin is a pin that someone has placed on Pinterest and what you do when you choose to place it on one of your boards. To repin a pin, just hover over a picture and choose “Repin”.

Next, choose the category, fill in a description and click “Pin It”. If you have a Facebook or Twitter account, you can click the boxes to have it post there as well. But it’s best to use this rarely as not to overwhelm your friends on your other social networks with links and pictures.

Why Pinterest? In a perfect world, we would complete all of these projects, make every recipe and buy every cool car we pin. More realistically, pins inspire us and are a never-ending to-do list.

Search: The search box is in the upper left corner. You can put anything you want to find in there and then will be able to pin the items you like. Using one word works best. If you would like to find a liver and onions recipe, then place quotations around the phrase like this: “liver and onions” to narrow your search. In case you’re curious, at this time, there is only one liver and onions recipe on Pinterest.

Add +: Just to the right of the Pinterest logo, you’ll see “Add +”. Click on that & you will see this pop up in the center of your page.

  • Add a pin: This button isn’t very handy in my opinion for two reasons. The first is because you have to type the website address into the box and there’s a much easier way to do this. The second is because even when you do find the image this way, it will only take other people to the main page of the website instead of  the direct link. What does this mean? It means if you want to pin Martha Stewart’s liver & onions recipe but used this option to do it, other pinners would be sent to Martha’s starting home page rather than directly to her best liver & onions recipe. That will leave other pinners frustrated. Except me. I’ll be fine. I don’t like liver & onions.

If you do use this option for pinning, be sure to find the direct link. Copy the link from the top of your web browser and paste it into the box.

  • Upload a Pin: When you click here, you’ll be taken to a pop up window that allows you to browse for a picture on your own computer. First choose your picture, next decide which category it fits into best. Place a description in the “Describe your pin…” box. and then click pin it. After it posts, you will see your pin. If you’d like to add a website link, you can click on “Edit”. You can also change your category choice & edit your description here.

  • Create a Board: Click here and you’ll be whisked away to create a new board for your pins. Some great board name choices might be “Recipes”(for that liver and onions recipe), “Sports” or “Quotes”. These boards are like files for your pins. Naming your boards is nothing to stress over since they can always be changed at a later date.

To organize your pin boards, click on the Pinterest logo on the top middle of your page. Then on the right side, click on “Rearrange Boards”. This will allow you to drag your boards in the order you would like them to appear. Alphabetical, by topic or favorites on top? Choose your own poison.

To find other handy tools, click on “About” and then from the drop-down menu, choose “Pin It Button”. On the left side, click on “Goodies”.

 

  • Pin It: Scroll to the top of this list and drag the “Pin It” button picture right up to your web browser’s toolbar.

Now you’ll be able to pin from any website by clicking “Pin It”. This will be your Pinterest BFF. When you use it, remember to be sure that you are on the exact page you want to be on. You can often be sure about this on blogs by clicking the title of the post that interests you. This will lead you to the page of that exact post and you can pin it.

This will be especially handy when you finally find that perfect liver and onions recipe that you are anxious to share. You won’t even have to go to Pinterest to pin.

  • Pinterest for iPhone: If you have a smartphone, you’re familiar with apps. This just tells you there’s free Pinterest app available for you.
  •  “Pin It” for Websites / Pinterest Logo: Some blogs or website might like to use a “Pin It” button to make it easier for you to pin their cool items or articles. The Pinterest Logo option is a similar item. It can be made into a link that leads to the writer’s own Pinterest page. These are both is for website designer’s use. If you don’t have a website, you can skip these two items.

Click on your name in the top right corner for more drop-down options.

  • Invite Friends: This page allows you to invite friends via email addresses.

  • Find friends: This page is connected to your Facebook account and gives you the opportunity to invite friends one at a time who aren’t on Pinterest on the left or to follow Facebook friends who are already on Pinterest on the right. You can choose them one by one or “Follow All”. It’s best to check back often since Pinterest is still pretty new and you will find more friends from Facebook who have joined Pinterest all the time.

  • Boards: We covered rearranging your boards already but you can also edit your boards here. Just click on any board. Then click on “Edit” and you’ll be able to rename, add a description of the board, choose if the board is open to just you or to everyone for pinning (None of my boards are open to other pinners. They can see them but cannot pin on to them.) and then choose the category that best describes the board.

  • Pins: This page is simply a view of all of your pins with your most recent pins at the top of the page. You can also see how many boards, pins and likes you have created.
  • Likes: If you don’t have time to organize a pin, you can just click on “Like” instead of “Repin”. You always have the option of clicking “Unlike” later or repinning it onto the appropriate board.

  • Settings: This is where you can update your email, change your email settings (great if you don’t want an email for everything that happens on Pinterest) and more.

Finally, there is the social side of Pinterest.

One of the best ways to communicate on Pinterest is by commenting on friend’s pins. Just hover over the picture and click on “Comment”.

Make your comment in the comment box and click on “Comment”.

No worries, pinners, you can delete comments that are not nice by clicking on the pin the comment was left on and then hover over the comment with your mouse. Look for the “x” on the right side. Click the “x” to remove. You can also remove your own comments if you change your mind about how awesome you thought you were being when you first typed them.

Not unlike Facebook, you can tag a friend on a pin. When you choose “Repin” you can then place an @ symbol (This is now called the at sign – If you remember life before computers, like me, you’re probably amazed at how often we now use this symbol which has gained a whole new meaning since we were kids.) in the description box and start typing your friend’s name. Choose the person you’d like to tag and finish pinning. This only works if you and your friend are both following one another.

On the left side, you will see your most recent activity. The more you get into Pinterest, the less helpful these postings become though because they are buried quickly and so far there is no way to look back further than the most recent 15 or so interactions.

One of the areas that Pinterest is probably working on behind the scenes is the social aspect as it is easy for friends to miss your tag and, for that matter, your comments as well. I’ve decided it is their weakest function but I’m sure it will improve. Until then, remember that your friends love you and aren’t ignoring you.

At the top center of your Pinterest page, you will see a few more links.

  • Pinners You Follow: Simply the people you chose to invite or connect with from Facebook or random people on Pinterest already whose pins you enjoyed & decided to follow. Click here and you will only see their pins.

  • Everything: If you click on Everything, you’ll see pins from everyone Pinterest, not just your own friends. It’s a fun place to explore. You can also choose to look by category from the drop-down menu. To follow anyone who has similar interests as you do, just click on their name and click “Follow All” under their picture or to be more specific, click “Follow” on their boards that you like most. You can always go back and “Unfollow” later if you want.

The other three options are pretty self-explanatory. Click to see “Videos”, “Popular” or “Gifts” specifically.

Interested in helping shoppers? using your new “Pin It” button on your toolbar, you can pin an item on a website and then add a price by starting with a dollar sign then type the cost in the description box. Hot pink gloves on Target for $3.98. Yes, please.

And there you have it. Let your addiction begin. Be sure to look me up. Let’s be Pinterest friends.

 

 

 

Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

There 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.

Ingredients:

  • 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 gluteny, 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 waffley 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.

Ingredients:

  • 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?

 

 

Scott Moore’s painting, “Coffee & Donuts” at Pageant of the Masters

A fun (and stunning) vacation idea today.

Scott Moore’s “Coffee & Donuts” at Pageant of the Masters 2010

Pageant of the Masters dates for 2012: July 7 – August 31, 2012

650 Laguna Canyon Road  Laguna Beach, CA 92651-1899

(949) 494-1145

 

Oh nothing much. It’s snowin’ so just sittin’ here in my cozy.

Photo credit: unknown

 

 

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

m4s0n501

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 crumble is a gorgeous, old-fashioned dessert. Traditionally a summer treat, we don’t have to wait for 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 INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds blackberries
  • 1 cup raspberries (optional)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

First, toss blackberries & raspberries in a bowl. Add sugar, fresh lemon juice,  salt and cornstarch. 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.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place these ingredients into the food processor. Blend on pulse setting until perfectly crumbly. Crumbles should be about the size of a pea.

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Yeah, like that.

Spray baking pan with non-stick baking spray and then press 3 cups 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.

Yeah, like that.

Sprinkle with rest of crumble. Admire again. Smile some more.

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.

Yeah, like that.

 

Candles

I use Hanukkah candles instead of birthday candles.

They’re prettier.

Hanukkah candles

 
© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014