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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!

Burned

I’m not sure why I tried to cook today. I was exhausted and inattentive. I walked away for just a minute. I tweeted a few tweets. I Facebooked a few comments. I repinned a few Pinterest pins.

And then this happened. I shall try again tomorrow after I have had a good rest. But for now, let us celebrate learning experiences and some giggles together.

A Contest

Leave a comment by 7:30pm tomorrow night sharing your last cooking mistake. A random winner will be chosen via random.org and announced Friday night, June 1st at 8pm PST. Winner will receive a Trophy Cupcakes gift card for a dozen cupcakes valued at about $42!

 

Two Macaroni Salad Recipes

The three-day weekend.

A time for gardening.

A time for barbecuing.

And a time for pasta salad with tiny American flags in it. The question, however, is which pasta salad will you prefer?

TUNA PASTA SALAD:

  • 1 pound of your favorite-shaped pasta, cooked & cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3-4 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 cans of tuna packed in water, with juices
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 8 oz. of cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and enjoy.

SWEET PICKLE PASTA SALAD:

  • 1 pound of your favorite-shaped pasta, cooked & cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip
  • 10 oz. jar sweet gherkins, cut into small pieces
  • 3.8 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Combine ingredients, enjoy, declare that this is the very macaroni salad that you have ever had and then share this blog post with all of your friends and family and Pinterest followers.

 

Memorial Day

Memorial Day. The day we remember and honor those who died while serving while in the United States Armed Forces.

This is my grandma and grandpa on their wedding day. Grandpa served in World War II.

Fortunately, grandpa made it back from war to raise five children with grandma. He lived a long and happy life until he passed away a few days before his 90th birthday. He was one of the most beautiful souls I have ever known.

This makes me appreciate the meaning behind Memorial Day even more. To those who have served our country and their families who supported them while they were away – thank you. And to the families of those who were lost while serving – thank you.

 

Butterscotch Milkshake Recipe

Summer is only one month away and if there’s something we all need to know to prepare, it is how to make an awesome milkshake. A great milkshake is all about texture & flavor.

And maybe a little extra butterscotch sauce at the bottom.   INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups loosely packed ice
  • About 2 cups lukewarm water
  • One 1.5 quart container Dreyer’s Slow Churned Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1/2 to 1 cup milk
  • One 12 ounce jar butterscotch ice cream topping

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It is best to set your ingredients out since this process goes quickly and this will also help the ice cream to warm up just a bit, making it easier to scoop out.

Start with about two cups of ice lightly stacked in blender.

Add enough water to cover the ice.

Blend until slushy and there are no big chunks of ice left. A tamper, which comes with better blenders, will help with this greatly but if you don’t have one, you can just stop blender often to shift ingredients around with a long spoon.

Drain as much excess water as you can.

Place about 1/2 cup of milk and half  of the ice cream into blender. Don’t pack ice cream too firmly.

Pour in one container of butterscotch sauce. Oh momma. Blend ingredients on lowest setting that works and use tamper to help keep ingredients moving. Turn up blender speed as needed but remember that dairy doesn’t like to be churned quickly or it will get frothy – thus, slow-churned ice cream. Add the rest of the ice cream. Continue to blend. Add a little more milk but only as needed (up to one cup).

The fast food industry has nothing on a homemade or an old-fashioned diner milkshake. Serve proudly. Your milkshake is now better than theirs.

 

Heavenly Chocolate Pudding Parfaits Recipe

The proof of a delicious parfait is in the pudding. And the graham cracker crust. And the Irish cream enhanced whipped cream.

These little sweethearts are lovely for a party. Individually decorated pudding parfaits topped with a wee bit-o-cocoa powder.

PUDDING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 7 ounces of high quality chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together powdered sugar, cornstarch, and salt.

Add milk, vanilla and egg yolks.

Whisk well to dissolve cornstarch and beat eggs. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble forms and sputters.

Break chocolate bars into small pieces.

That’s about right.

It won’t be pretty at first, but the outcome will be delicious. I promise. Reduce heat to low; still whisking, cook about 1 minute or until chocolate is melted.

Stir butter into hot pudding.

Place plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding (to prevent skin from forming); chill a few hours. Before serving, whisk pudding until smooth.

To make pudding parfaits, process 1 package (about 9 whole graham crackers) until crumbly. Add 6 ounces of melted butter and process until butter is well combined.

Press graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of a serving dish and then add pudding.

To make whipped cream, whip 2 cups of heavy whipped cream in a mixer until soft peaks form. After soft peaks form, add 4 tablespoons of Irish cream (or for non-alcoholic version, add 1 teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract) and about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Using a large decorating tip, swirl whipped cream on top of pudding. For extra pretties, dust with cocoa powder.

Best when served in tiny cups with extra skinny, long silver spoons. As soon as possible.

Simply double graham cracker crust to make this recipe into a chocolate pie.

 

How to Make Perfect Homemade Pancakes

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And then one day it dawned on her that she owned a bed & breakfast yet there was not a basic pancake or maple syrup recipe anywhere on her blog. And so she had pancakes to solve the problem.

But, you know, she only had one.

PANCAKE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk (+ 2 tablespoons milk for thinner pancakes)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

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Whisk pancake ingredients together until well combined and smooth.

Place your very best non-stick pan on a burner and preheat to low. It will be tempting to pour the batter upon the pan before it is hot, but do not give in to the temptation. When the time is right, pour 1/4 cup of better into the pan and spread in a circular motion just a wee bit to make about a four-inch pancake.

Wait until a few of the bubbles burst, then flip.

Yes. Yes, indeed, you can have a perfect first pancake.

In fact, you can have 11 perfect pancakes all in a row.

PANCAKE TROUBLESHOOTING

The outside is too dark and the inside is raw:

  • Burner is too high – Turn down & allow to cool to new temperature. Trying to cook them faster will only result in pancakes that are raw in the middle.
  • Too much sugar – Start batter over & follow measurements carefully. More sugar in pancakes is not better.

Batter is too thick or too thin:

  • Check to see if you measured carefully.
  • Consider measuring out 8 ounces of flour in weight instead of measuring cups as it is better to measure flour by ounces rather than cups depending on the humidity in the air where you live.

Pancake sticking to pan:

  • Make sure you didn’t add to much sugar.
  • Make sure your pan doesn’t have scratches or worn spots on the non-stick surface.

Pancakes fall apart while cooking:

  • Make sure your burner is preheated.
  • Make sure that you measured the flour correctly. You might need a little bit more.
  • Only use large eggs. Smaller ones will not serve your purpose properly. If you only have small eggs on hand, use three instead of two large ones.

Pancakes are too flat:

  • Make sure you measured the milk correctly.
  • Make sure your baking powder has not expired.

MAPLE SYRUP INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoons pure maple extract
    (or 1 tablespoon imitation maple flavor)

Place ingredients in pan. Whisk ingredients together well. Turn heat on to medium-high and stir occasionally. Watch for syrup to boil lightly and whisk gently while cornstarch thickens the syrup.

Delightfulistic.

And then she celebrated. And she had a second pancake.

 

Balsamic Red Onion and Sausage Tart Recipe

This recipe is guest approved.

It is savory with a touch of sweetness. It is the Balsamic Red Onion and Sausage Tart… With Fresh Herbs and Le Gruyère Cheese Perfectly Melted On Top.

But, you know, I had to stop the name somewhere.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Pillsbury pie crust
  • One 14 oz. package smoked beef sausage
  • 1/2 large red onion
  •  8 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon each finely chopped, fresh rosemary or basil, oregano, and thyme
  • Salt & pepper
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated

First spray a tart pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350F. Line pan with a pie crust. A Pillsbury pie crust rolled out a little bit will work just fine. (Pillsbury isn’t sweet like the off-brands). Bake pie crust for 15-20 minutes until done.

Cut beef sausage into large, bite-sized pieces.

Yeah. Like that.

Thinly slice red onion and then cut slices in half.

Finely chop fresh herbs.

Whisk eggs, milk, freshly chopped herbs and salt & pepper together.

Pour most of eggs into cooked pie crust.

Begin browning sausage pieces over medium high heat and then add onions.

Cook until onions are caramelized and then add balsamic vinegar. Allow to cook for a couple more minutes.

Place onions and sausage into tart pan with the eggs. Place tart pan into oven and then pour remaining eggs in. If pan is very full, place a half sheet baking pan underneath to prevent dripping. Grate cheese over the top.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until a knife poked into the center of the tart comes out clean. Serves 4-5 people.

Le tart. Le sigh.

This recipe can also be made in a pie pan. Just add a couple more eggs to the recipe.

 

 

Northwest Autumn Salad Recipe

Because I will be making milkshakes soon. Because it is spring and because I am a Northwest girl through and through, I introduce you to a Pike Place inspired salad.

This week I had a first. This might be a good place to admit it only took me four plus decades to visit Alki Point in Seattle. < hangs head in shame >. Yes, I really did grow up here. And I’ve been to Seattle close a million times but I purposefully wandered my way to Alki while doing an errand in Seattle this week. Nothing was going to stop me. It’s so beautiful that it will not take me four decades to visit again.

See the Space Needle in all her glory? She is 50 this year so the city painted her orange just like when she was first built for the World’s Fair in 1962. I love Seattle and could talk about Washington and it’s beauty for hours but I will now introduce you to our beautiful food.

The Northwest Autumn Salad… with Salmon Pear & Blackberry. She is fresh. She is lovely and she is perfectly delicious for a dinner party or brunch.

While walking through Pike Place recently, I was handed some smoked salmon. I took two steps further and was handed a piece of perfectly ripened pear by another merchant. I knew right away that there was something amazing happening. As I enjoyed them both, my taste buds were dancing.

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • A couple of big handfuls of spring lettuce mix
  • 3/4 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon (Think: Wild, Northwest and Copper River whenever possible) Never settle for “farm fed” salmon.
  • 1/2 ripe pear, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

You could toss the salad together, but I prefer to create beautiful layers. Starting with the lettuce, sprinkle the other ingredients on top and enjoy the Northwest on a plate.

SALAD DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

  • Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Simply shake the salad dressing ingredients together in a container with a lid & drizzle on your gorgeous salad. This recipe makes about a cup of dressing so you will have leftovers for another day. Just save in the fridge.

 

Coconut Date Squares Recipe

I’m digging way back in my archives today for a scrumptious take on cake squares. There was once a time when my pictures were tiny and my goal for blogging seemed to be to see how many exclamation points I could use to get my point across. But today is a better day. 

Sour Cream Coffee Cake + Date Balls = Coconut Date Squares

Yes, that is correct – moist, delicious coconut date squares. Holy moly, they almost make me want to return to the days of exclamation points. Cakey and chewy.

CAKE INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream

First make the sour cream coffee cake batter. Stare at it for just a moment or two.

COCONUT DATE TOPPING:

  • 2 cups pitted and chopped dates
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 16 graham cracker sheets (2 sections per sheet)
  • 2 cans sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups grated, sweetened coconut

Process graham crackers, dates and walnuts in food processor until crumbly.

Split crumble in half. In the first half, stir in sweetened condensed milk.

Spread cake batter evenly into half sheet pan (I use parchment paper, but baking spray is sufficient). Gently spread sweetened condensed milk mixture over the cake.

Stir coconut into second half of crumble and somewhat press into the top layer.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until a fork poked into the center of the cake comes out clean.

FROSTING:

After the squares have cooled about 15 minutes or so, drizzle with a simple powdered sugar frosting (Stir together about 2 cups of powdered sugar & a couple of tablespoons of water until frosting is smooth and reaches the consistency you would like.)

!

 

Lemon Coconut Scones With Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

What do pancakes, scones and frosting all have in common? Well, if you plan things very carefully, lemon coconut scones with cream cheese frosting…

              

Lemon Coconut Pancakes + Orange Scones + Cream Cheese Frosting

= Lemon Coconut Scones With Cream Cheese Frosting

First make the scones from the blueberry citrus scone recipe. Replace the orange juice & zest with the juice and zest from two lemons. Replace the blueberries with a cup of coconut. Or you know, just add them both. After all, Y.O.L.O.

Form the scone dough into 2 discs (or 4 discs for 16 smaller scones). Use a little flour to help form if dough becomes sticky. Cut each disc into quarters.

Bake at 400 degrees for about 20-25 minutes or until light golden and done in the middle.

Make the cream cheese frosting and add some extra lemon juice to thin it down a little.

Remove the lovelies from the oven. Could they even be more beautiful?

Why, yes. Yes, they could.

And a touch of toasted coconut takes them way over the top and back down again. Lemony. Coconuty. Cream cheesy. Most impressive planning.

Toasted coconut can be tossed over a medium high heat in a saucepan or baked on a cookie sheet until golden brown. And, yes, it is worth the trouble.

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