Exit 34 in North Bend, Washington. Just 30 minutes east of Seattle on I-90. 10 minutes away from Snoqualmie Falls & Snoqualmie Casino.

Evening Magazine Visits The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast

We had some very special visitors this week at The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast. We invited some of our previous guests over for brunch. Oh, and King 5 Evening Magazine happened to stop by too.

We are being featured on Evening Magazine because we are a finalist in their Best Northwest Escapes contest.

So I made some danishes… two trays just in case one of them burned from my happy, scattered, nervous brain waves.

Like a good girl scout, I was prepared with all of the fillings.

Even more than a crowd of 12 people could eat, I’m sure.

I lined up my serving wares.

Food safety (and a picture) first!

… all as Mike waited for his million dollar shot which I believe involved the magical rolling of the spiral omelet.

Tyler graciously waited for his 2pm breakfast in the midst of all the camera hoopla by killing time on his phone and chatting.

Rhonda and Everett enjoyed the Cake Wrecks books. Who doesn’t?

Streusel makes everything prettier. And tastier.

The suites are ready for their camera time. Or so I thought.

Mom pulled the danish out of the oven while I showed the camera guy and host around.

Finally. Breakfast… er lunch… um, almost dinner for Michael King and our other guests.

Or breakfast. I’m so happily confused.

The truth is, however, that no matter how well lined up things are, there is always room for some improvement. This I shall share on Thursday afternoon before our segment airs so that you have the behind the scenes scoop – hopefully that which does not show on air at 7pm on channel 5 on Thursday, May 3rd. Did I mention it’s this Thursday?

Michael, I look forward to hearing what you think of the fresh duck eggs and, Mike, I hope you made it to your next camera shoot on time. Thanks, guys for a fun day!

 

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Cherry Limeade Recipe

About a year ago I promised to share my cherry limeade recipe from dotter’s graduation. I have no excuses for the delay. But I come bearing glad tidings of fresh limes. And cherries. And pretty straws.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups fresh lime juice (from about 12-15 limes)
  • Zest of two limes (optional)
  • One five ounce jar maraschino cherries (with juice)
  • 3-4 cups cold water

Makes about 8 cups of cherry limeade.

Place one cup water and one cup sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Give a whisk and watch closely as you prepare limes so that it does not burn or boil over.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, round up your limes and squeeze the livin’ daylights outta them.

Including the pulp or zest in your cherry limeade is completely optional but does prove that you’ve completely grown up. To be even more grown up, you can add a little bourban or vodka.

After water & sugar have lightly boiled (I call it a rumble) for several minutes, you will be left with simple syrup. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Why make an ade with a simple syrup instead of simply sugar and water? Although there are recipes for both, I prefer making a simple syrup because it leaves no doubt that you will have a smooth ade when your done. Just say no to gritty sugars.

Two limes zested and all limes juiced. Check. Place lime juice in a pitcher. Add the simple syrup and cold water.

Be sure to only get the green zest from the limes since the white underneath the green is very bitter. And by bitter, I don’t mean in a good way.

Stir in an entire jar of cherries.

Add lotsa ice, a couple of cutie paper straws, make sure there is a cherry spontaneously floating on top in the perfect location and enjoy. Next to tulips. You know, ones that match your drink.

In other news, here is the winner of The Pioneer Woman’s new cookbook! Congratulations, Alvina! I hope you enjoy Ree’s lovely piece of art.

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Boston Cream Pie Napoleons

Sometimes my recipe ideas are well thought out and planned. Other times, I happen upon a miracle while looking at the ingredients I already have on hand. This happened one day last year while Jessica and her husband were visiting us at The Old Hen.

This is the “this” that happened.

This recipe is actually a combination of a couple of recipes I’ve posted in the past. Put them together and light, fluffy puff pastry meets puddingy goodness which meets cream cheesy chocolate ganache which meets waistline.

First, make homemade vanilla pudding. Chill in ridge overnight or for about 3 hours. Don’t worry, it’s much easier than you might think and much better than boxed.

Store bought puff pastry is perfectly acceptable since we’re making everything else from scratch. Defrost on the counter for 40 minutes.

Roll out puff pastry sheets on a little bit of flour. Cut each sheet into three equal strips.

Bake at 400 degrees in a preheated (preheating is very important) oven for about 20 minutes or until puff pastry is fluffy and light golden brown.

CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE GANACHE INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened

Using the best chocolate chips you can buy, place chocolate in a double boiler on very low heat. After melted, stir in heavy cream.

Add softened cream cheese and sugar. Stir in until cream cheese is melted (using a hand mixer works best).

Loveliness.

After puff pastry has cooled to room temperature and pudding has chilled, cut each sheet of puff pastry into two layers. Spread pudding over first layer of puff pastry.

Place second half of puff pastry upon pudding then spread with ganache.

Repeat layers until you reach 5,496 calories. The top layer should be ganache. You know, cuz it’s prettiest. Carefully cut into 4 pieces. A gentle back and forth motion with a serrated knife while holding the pastry works best. Using a large decorating bag and large tip, decorate top with fresh whipped cream.

Serve with fresh berries and coffee. And a fork. And a knife. And a few napkins. The good news is that if you can stop at one, it’s only 1,374 calories.

This recipe makes a total for eight servings (four from each sheet of puff pastry).

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The Pioneer Woman’s Steakhouse Pizza

Yesterday I wrote about my visit to Ree Drummond’s Seattle book signing this week. I thought you might enjoy a sneak peek at one of her latest recipes so I took one for the team and made the steakhouse pizza recipe (pages 141-144). This is the CliffsNotes version. You might like to enter to win the full version found in her lovely new cookbook by commenting on the book signing post here before midnight tomorrow – Friday, 4/27.

Cheese. Steak. Pizza.

PIZZA DOUGH INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 scant teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine yeast and water in a bowl. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Add dry ingredients.

Turn mixer on low and slowly add olive oil.  Stop mixing when everything comes together. Remove dough from beater and cover bowl with handiwrap. Place in a warm location and allow to rise for one hour.

Time for steak. The ignite button is broken on our grill so I asked son to light it for me. I may have handed him my pink lighter just so I could get this picture.

PIZZA TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 skirt steak or flank steak (2 pounds)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 red onions, halved & thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (divided)
  • 2 cups good marinara sauce
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • Steak sauce to taste
  • Shaved parmesan cheese

I also sent son to the store for groceries which means that he came back with flank ribs instead of flank steak. But he uses a Mac so it balances out.

Flank rib steaks it is. Sizzle. Sizzle. Season steak with salt & pepper. Grill both sides of steak over medium heat for about 2 minutes each. Steak should be nice and pinkish red in the middle, so don’t overcook.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees and arrange oven rack to very bottom position.

Yeah, like that. Set steak aside.

Slice red onions thinly.

In a large pan, saute onions in olive oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.

Slice steak thinly.

Stir 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar into marinara sauce.

Roll out pizza dough and place on baking sheet.

Spread sauce over pizza dough. I used all 2 cups but think we might have liked less.

But it was most certainly delightful in flavors.

Son also declares that our store does not sell fresh mozzarella so he brought back the squared stuff.

It worked just fine too. Layer pizza with onions and then cheese and bake for 12-15 minutes or until crust is light golden brown and cheese is melted.

When it’s done, add steak and then fresh chopped green onions. I completely forgot the parmesan but I didn’t tell son or he might have realized that I make mistakes too. Add a dash of steak sauce here and there.

In the midst of a few mistakes, we found perfection. Thank you, Pioneer Woman. Thank you.

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The Pioneer Woman Comes to Seattle and Book Give-Away Contest

Last night I was able to sneak out of the inn for a fun little night in Bothell at Third Place Books. The mission? To get my copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier signed.

After a week of extreme spring cleaning, I told myself that I deserved it.

Before the signing, I found a couple of my Facebook friends. This is me, Ninfa and our cameras.

This is me, Melissa and our super smart glasses. And I’m not sure why, but my perced lips.

Mom & I had an opportunity to move from row 493 up to row 5. We took it. All we had to do was sit apart from one another. Here is my cutie mom about 6 seats down the row from me. Whenever Ree said or did something funny, we looked at one another and laughed.

I knew she was a good woman. She has a Mac. She also had a power point though, so I guess that kinda balanced things out.

Can’t say I’ve ever put it on a power point presentation but I did that too. That’s why I have to use a Mac. It balances things out.

Ree may have sang a love song to her dog, Charlie. And she may have cheated on him a little bit with Earl while in Seattle.

And I may have taped the end of it. Her song started out lovely but then this happened. And it was hilariously adorbs.

Here’s me, my recent spray tan, my mom and Ree.

She was sweet enough to accept my business card as though she had never seen one before and I heard that she stayed at least until midnight to sign every single book. She is such a kind heart – so humble and fun. I love her. Maybe one day we can put Sun-In on our hair together. Or maybe, you know, just sing My Endless Love. I’ve never sang it to a dog before but I did do a very similar rendition at a wedding once.

To celebrate endless love and Sun-In and magical Macs that balance all quirky things out, I’m giving away one autographed copy of Ree’s new book.

To enter to win, just leave a comment on this blog post and let us know who or what you would sing My Endless Love to if you were to sing it to someone other than, well, you know, a human. It just plain makes things more fun. Enter by midnight on Friday, April 27th and the winner will be randomly chosen using random.org.

Coming tomorrow: The Pioneer Woman’s Steakhouse Pizza

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Pinterest

I often look at all the cute ideas on Pinterest and think to myself, “If only I wouldn’t have to dust it, I would so make that.”

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Coconut Shrimp in Cilantro Orange Sauce Recipe

Fresh. Fried. Sweet. Savory. The gang’s all here to please you.

Although this recipe takes a little effort, it brings a big pay off with delicious flavors.

First, prepare cilantro by tearing leaves off stems and placing leaves in container. Set aside.

COCONUT SHRIMP & SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • One bunch fresh cilantro
  • One pound shrimp from the seafood department
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups coconut
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • Canola oil, Crisco shortening (melted) or vegetable oil
  • One 12 ounce bag broccoli slaw
  • One 8 ounce bag sugar snap peas

Give the shrimp a quick cold water rinse. Toss with some salt & pepper. If you like, now is a good time to remove the tails. I keep them on as it makes eating the shrimp more of an adventure.

Beat together three eggs in a bowl. Mix in a dash of salt and set aside.

Place panko bread crumbs, coconut and some salt & pepper in a bowl. Toss to mix and set aside.

Ready for the breading line up. Preheat pan with enough oil to cover bottom of pan to a medium-high heat.

Dip shrimp in eggs and then in coating then place in hot pan.

Cook until first side is golden brown then flip to cook other side.

If you can’t fit all the shrimp in one pan at a time, you may need to clean out oil and start fresh for multiple batches to prevent coconut leftovers from burning and tainting the flavors of your shrimp.

SAUCE INGREDIENTS:

  • One 14 ounce jar orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup cold water
  • One 11 ounce can whole peeled Mandarin orange segments (with juices)
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Place orange marmalade, sugar, red pepper flakes, Chinese five spice, garlic, and soy sauce in pan. Whisk together over medium heat.

Whisk cornstarch and cold water together well in a small bowl. Pour into saucepan and stir together with sauce.

Stir in can of Mandarin oranges and juices. Stir until sauce comes to a boil. After the cornstarch does it’s thickening magic, remove from heat. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Place broccoli slaw in a serving dish, add sugar snap peas. Top with shrimp then with sauce and finish with cilantro.

When serving shrimp with tails, remember to provide a small dish for discarded tails.

And this shall balance out thy sins of this, this and especially this. Amen.

 

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Two Cocktails to Welcome Summer

A guest post by the amazing Warren Bobrow

The Easter and Passover holiday weekend is now behind us.   I’ve been dreaming of warmer weather and this past weekend although windy was just the taste I’ve been seeking.  The lovely summer season to follow is filling my cocktail driven wishes and below are two little numbers that will take a couple weeks to source all the ingredients, but I promise you- the results will charm you and your guests with your professional and idiot-proof cocktail prowess.  It’s really very easy to prepare once you have the proper ingredients.

But I must warn you. 

These are not drinks for the meek.

They are powerful reminders of mind soon to be under matter.

Quietly Bemusing Cocktail

The Ingredients:

Makes one cocktail of varying intensity. Add more vodka for more intensity!

  • 2 Shots of Home Infused Grilled Lemon Vodka (I used Bluewater Vodka from Seattle)
  • ½ Shot Grand Marnier
  • ½ Cup freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice (ALWAYS use fresh squeezed juices!)
  • Juice of one lime (same, if you use bottled, go to the back of the class)
  • Tomr’s Tonic Water Syrup (Essential, order here)
  • AZ Bitters Lab Más Molé Bitters (4 drops)
  • Ice/Fresh Seltzer

Method to the Madness:

Add the home infused Lemon Vodka to a mixing cup ¼ filled with ice

Add Grand Marnier

Add Juices

Add Bitters

Add Tomr’s Syrup (1-2 oz or to taste)

Shake until shaker is frosty

Pour with bemusement into a tall cocktail glass and top with seltzer, garnish with slapped mint, and be prepared to experience “a confusion of impressions

(What is slapped mint?  Put a piece of mint in your hand and slap your other hand onto it, that physical motion releases the oils from the leaf and your mint is now slapped!)

To home infuse lemon Vodka.  Zest four lemons, well scrubbed.  Add the zests to a cheesecloth bag with a string attached with a pinch of pink peppercorns and Star Anise pods (one or two)

Place Vodka in the freezer for about two weeks.  Remove cheesecloth bag from bottle with the string and serve or mix as desired…

To Tell the Truth Cocktail

Makes two cocktails that hopefully won’t send you flying

Ingredients:

  • 4 shots Aviation Gin from House Spirits in Oregon
  • 1 Cup Grilled Pink Grapefruit juice (recipe below)
  • 4 Tablespoons of Royal Rose “Rose” Syrup
  • Bitter End Thai Bitters
  • Seltzer Water

(Slice pink grapefruit into thick rounds to preserve juice, sear in a cast iron pan or grill over charcoal, then juice, you may have to use quite a few of them for the amount of juice needed)

Preparation to the flying lesson:

To a cocktail shaker, fill ½ with ice

Add Aviation Gin

Add Grilled Pink Grapefruit Juice

Add Royal Rose “Rose” Simple Syrup

Add 4 drops of Bitter End “Thai” Bitters

Shake and strain into two short rocks glasses

Blast with a bit of seltzer water for lift.

Garnish with a chunk of grilled grapefruit moistened in Royal Rose Syrup

Keep your seatbelt securely fastened about your waist. There’s turbulence ahead!

 

About Warren Bobrow

Warren is a unique writer/mixologist on everything from cocktail flavoring and wine writing to restaurant reviews. He also writes for Edible Jersey, Voda Magazine, Foodista and Tasting Panel Magazine. Warren is the “On Whiskey” columnist for OKRA Magazine in New Orleans part of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.  Warren writes for Williams-Sonoma on their Blender Blog and also for Foodista.

WEBSITE: www.cocktailwhisperer.com
TWITTER: WarrenBobrow1

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Things I Learned While Pressure Washing

Today I used a pressure washer for the first time. So that I might not ever forget and so other newbies might be forewarned, I am making a list of things I have learned about using a pressure washer.

Poor Martha Stewart garbage can lid

  1. When someone says “Sure, you can use the pressure washer” with a smile on their face, go do dishes instead.
  2. When someone says, “You might want to get some rain boots.” What they really means is, wear your scuba diving suit with oxygen tank.
  3. Paint can chip off of things easily and it looks pretty in the yard. Kind of.
  4. When cleaning out a bin, what you put into it will come back to you. In your face.
  5. Small clay pots give way to pressure washers in a big way.
  6. Old Martha Stewart garbage can lids do not hold up under pressure.
  7. Pieces of clay pots happen to tuck nicely under a large barbecue grill.
  8. Once you start, you cannot stop. Mostly because if you do, everyone will know when they see your deck half sparkling clean and half covered with moss that you got lazy.
  9. You don’t need new lawn furniture. You just need a pressure washer.
  10. Pressure washers are better than streusel topping. Almost.

 

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Slow Cooked BBQ Pork Ribs Recipe

On a rainy day in Seattle, you can hear the raindrops fall upon the outdoor barbecue. To make things feel better and cozier and yummier, make these slow cooked ribs and have friends over and play games. Or skip the friends and the games and just eat ribs.

In case you live in Arizona, this saucy sauce can be used for grilling as well. Just reduce the juice to 1 1/2 cup and simmer sauce for a few minutes in a saucepan.  Brush on to ribs for the last couple of minutes of cooking time and set some sauce aside for serving. Be sure the raw park doesn’t come near the serving sauce.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-2 pounds pork ribs
  • 4 Tbs. of vegetable
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • One 10.75 oz. can of tomato puree
  • One 10.75 oz. of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. smoked paprika (not regular paprika)
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 Tbs. molasses
  • 1/3 cup BBQ rub (I use Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub)
  • 2 1/2 cups cranberry juice
  • 2 Tbs. yellow mustard
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste

Braise pork ribs by heating some olive oil in a pan, turning heat to medium high and cooking all the sides of the ribs until browned.

Yeah. like that.

Cook diced onions in olive oil until somewhat see-thru. Preheat oven to 250F.

Add the rest of the sauce ingredients (best to get these measured out ahead of time so they’re ready to go.

Place ribs in baking pan and cover with the saucy sauce. Cook for about 6 hours or until meat is tender and easily falls off the bones.

Perfectly perfect served with cornbread muffins or scalloped potatoes. And rolls of paper towels. And preferably while using your best Southern accent.

 

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