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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 .

Red, White and Blue Homemade Tortillas Recipe

Homemade Tortillas

Homemade tortillas, please. It just doesn’t feel right if there’s not some food at the Fourth of July picnic that is colored red, white and blue. And all the better if it is something that wouldn’t normally come that way. And even better yet if Mexican food could be incorporated in there somehow. I’m not sure why I said that but don’t warm, homemade tortillas sounds scrumptious even so?

homemade flour tortillas

Homemade Tortillas Recipe

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/4 cup water (a little more if needed)

Place dry ingredients and shortening into a bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut the shortening into the dry ingredients until pieces become about the size of peas. Use fingers to help if needed.

Add water until it becomes a soft dough.

best flour tortillas

Separate dough into three balls.

Work red food coloring into one of the balls and blue into another. Break each color into about 4 dough balls.

flour tortillas

Rolls dough balls into about 10 inch thin tortillas.

Remove excess flour from each tortilla as well as possible.

how to make homemade flour tortillas

Cook in a non-stick pan on medium heat just until each side is done – this won’t take long if you rolled them out thinly.

how to make tortillas

Stack as you cook.

fourth of july party food picnic

Roll with sandwich fillings or perhaps barbecued meat & sauces or just veggies. I’m feeling so patriotic. And Mexican. All rolled into one.


Triple Berry Pancakes With Cream Cheese Filling Recipe

I cannot help myself. I have declare this summer the summer of drunken triple berry everything. It will be a very good summer.

Enter stage left… or stage right… or does it even really matter which side of the stage they enter from?  The drunken-triple-berry-topped cream-cheese-filled pancakes.


  • 4 cups mixed fresh berries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1/2 cup bourbon (or water)
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch

Place berries in a medium bowl. If using strawberries, cut them into small pieces. This time I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  My favorite to mix in though is normally blackberries. They are so purpley and divine.

Add sugar, lemon juice and bourbon.

Give a stir and allow to sit for at least a half an hour.

After berries have had time to rest, place in a sauce pan.

While cold, stir in cornstarch until well-mixed.

Turn onto medium high heat while continually stirring. Watch for filling to boil and keep stirring until thickened. Keep warm and serve warm.

Oh momma.

Make a stack of pancakes. Or two.

A double batch of these pancakes will make enough to match the cream cheese and berry topping recipes and will feed about 6-7 people. Or, you know, less people and more food – depending on who you’re feeding. Either way, big eaters and small will be happy.


  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Keep pancakes warm on a baking sheet in 170F oven. Cover well with foil while finishing making the pancakes to prevent them from drying out.

Pancake tips here.

Whip together cream cheesy goodness.


  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter (or 1/2 a stick) softened
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Up to a tablespoon warm water, if needed to thin
  • Dash of salt

Mix well with a hand mixer.

Spread cream cheese filling on top of each pancake. Stack and then adorn with plenty of berry topping and, perhaps, a sprig of fresh mint.

Yes, indeed, it will be a very good * hiccup * summer.


Drunken Triple Berry Coffeecake Recipe

Sometimes you just need to make something so old-fashioned that it screams joy. And bourbon. And berries. Start planning a picnic today just so you can make this. Because I love you.


  • 1 c. butter, softened
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 t. pure vanilla
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 2 c. cake flour
  • 1 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 4 cups mixed fresh berries
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch

Place berries in a medium bowl. If using strawberries, cut them into small pieces. This time I used strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.  My favorite to mix in though is normally blackberries. They are so purple-y and divine.

Add sugar, lemon juice and bourbon.

Give a stir and allow to sit for at least a half an hour.

Mix cake and place in a cheesecake pan coated with baking spray.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

After berries have had time to rest, place in a sauce pan.

While cold, stir in cornstarch until well-mixed.

Turn onto medium high heat while continually stirring. Watch for filling to boil and keep stirring until thickened. Remove from heat.

Pour filling over cake mixture and gently spread over the whole cake. Place a pan under cake when baking to prevent dripping messes.

This coffeecake can be served upside-down or right-side-up. This time I made mine upside-down but if you’d like to serve it right-side-up, add streusel to the top after about 30 minutes into baking time.



  • 1/2 stick butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 3/4 cup flour (GF = 1/2 cup King Arthur GF Multi-Purpose Flour + 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small egg

To make streusel, place ingredients into food processor and pulse until they are well combined but don’t let the crumbles get bigger than about the size of peas. Watch closely. If you have leftovers, you can store them in a Ziploc in the freezer for next time.

Bake until a fork poked into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Bake time is about one hour.

After removing cake from oven, allow it to set for a few hours (or make the day before and set overnight). When cooled, remove the pan carefully.

Frost. Just because.


  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons water

Mix together until it is the consistency you would like and there are no lumps.

Old-fashioned moist cake with drunken triple berries. You’re welcome.


Pecan Glazed Bran Muffins Recipe

I love bran muffins with every fiber of my being. Even more than bran muffins, though, I love pecan glazed bran muffins. They are easy to make and a good-for-you breakfast treat that tastes like dessert.


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bran Muffin Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups wheat bran
  • 1  cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk

Pecan Glaze Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2  cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. After melted, remove from heat and add brown sugar, honey, and salt. Stir together until combined. Stir in pecans.

Coat muffin tins with non-stick baking spray and then divide pecan glaze between 12 muffin cups. Give glaze a stir in one muffin cup so that it coats the sides as much as possible then fill with a scoop of bran muffin batter. Repeat until all 12 muffins are ready to go in the oven. Place a baking sheet on oven rack under muffin tins to catch possible drips of glaze. Bake for about 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly touched.

When hot out of the oven, place a baking sheet over muffin tin. Hold together then carefully turn muffins upside-down onto baking sheet.

Cute served with a pretty paper doily underneath.

Nutty and super sweet on the outside. Good for you on the inside. The kind of person I long to be. She is a saucy, well-balanced little muffin.


The Longest Route to a Delicious Reuben Sandwich… But You Can Call Her Ruby

A Reuben sandwich can be very simple. When made traditionally, it is a lovely stack of dark rye bread, corned beef, thousand island dressing, mustard and sauerkraut.


As you can see, I have broken a few rules and quite possibly have taken one of the longest possible routes to get to a delicious Reuben – short of curing my own corned beef and baking my own bread, that is


Sauerkraut: 7-9 days (or you can buy canned at the grocery store)


Corned Beef: 5-6 hours (or you can buy pre-cooked at the deli)


Celery Preserves: 2 hours (or you can wish you had some and use thousand island salad dressing instead)

Dark Rye Bread: The length of time it takes you to take a trip to your local grocery store + 5 minutes to toast and butter. Best of extra bread is stored in the fridge – it’ll last longer.

Stack accordingly. Or, you know, the sauerkraut can go on the side. The road was long. The tastes, well, these simply could not come out of a can or be rushed. Homemade wins every time. And for taking the longest route, you may call her Ruby for short.


Celery Preserves Recipe

I promise that the looks of this post will not make you dance. If anything, it will probably have you sitting and staring at this screen in disbelief with your head tilted ever so slightly to the right. I promise you, though, when you try this you will understand. And even if after making it you still don’t understand, you will at least enjoy the tasty confusion.


  • 1 bunch celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Dash or two of salt

This will sound funny, but place a plate into the freezer before beginning this recipe.


Cut celery into about 4 inch pieces. Using a knife, tug on outer skin and pull down to strip off the outer strings of celery.

Cut each 4 inch piece into 4-5 strips. Then dice those into small pieces that are all similar in size.


Place water, lemon juice, celery, sugar and salt into pot. Stir well.


Bring to a boil then reduce to a slight boil and allow to simmer until preserves are set. To test whether or not they are set, when preserves reach 220 degrees start testing. To test, remove plate from freezer and place a spoonful of preserves onto the plate. Place in fridge for a few minutes. If the top of the preserves wrinkles when touched, they are ready to remove from the heat. By the time it is ready, the celery will have turned a rich, avocado-green color. Do not be alarmed.

When celery preserves are cooled a bit, place into a canning jar and when they reach room temp place a lid on top & save in fridge. Can be served warm or chilled.

Lovely upon mascarpone cheese and crackers or cream cheese on toasty bruschetta. A conversation piece while enjoying hors devours with friends – everyone with their heads tilted ever so slightly to the right in joyous tasty confusion.


How to Cook Corned Beef


Corned beef is incredibly easy to make. This post is simply to advertise the fact that everyone can feel confident that they can make it. You’re welcome, corned beef industry. You’re welcome.

If you like, you can soak the corned beef in a large bowl of water in the refrigerator overnight the day before you plan on cooking it. This will reduce some of the salty flavor.

Corned beef comes in the meat department in a bag that already contains its own seasoning packet. You can cook it with or without. I recommend with. The packet is pretty much pickling spices and it balances out the salty flavor of the corned beef oh so well. Place corned beef in a pot with fat side up and about an inch of water in the bottom of the pan.

Cover with a lid and bake at 325F about 3 hours for one that is about 2.5 pound (average size from supermarket).

Allow corned beef to rest for about 15-20 minutes after it is out of the oven.

Slice against the grain into thin slices. Perfect with cabbage dishes or sandwiches or when one is feeling particularly Irish, one can add potatoes and carrots to the corned beef and then add large cabbage pieces for the last 20 minutes or so of cooking time. If you haven’t yet had corned beef, you will never go back after trying it. Lucky you. Lucky corned beef industry.


How to Make Homemade Sauerkraut


This post is for the daring. For those who are not scared of fermentation. For those who happen to have some Himalayan pink salts laying around the house.


  • 1 small head of green cabbage, cut into long, thin strips
  • 1 piece of horseradish root (optional)
  • Fresh dill (optional)
  • Himalayan pink salt (do not use iodized salt)
  • Cold water

how-to-make-sourkraut-682x1024Place cabbage into a wide mouth quart canning jar layering about 1 inch at a time. Add salt over every layer and then top with thin slices of horseradish and a little piece of dill. Continue layering until jar is full. Pour in about 2 cups of water. Press cabbage down as far as possible. Fill with more water so that jar is almost full. Make sure cabbage is pushed under the level of water as much as possible to prevent molding.

Allow to set for about 24 hours with a wet towel over the top.

On day two, press down cabbage again. Fill water again. Loosely screw a lid on jar and place jar in a bowl because after a few days, jar may leak due to fermentation. Repeat the pressing down and adding water steps for about a week. If you do spot mold, just skim it from the jar and throw it away. Continue as normal. Sample sauerkraut after a week to see if it needs more salt and to see if it is ready to enjoy. If it’s not sour enough for your liking, you can continue the process for a few more days. You can serve as is or heated.

To store finished sauerkraut, just place in freezer bags (juices and all) and freeze until ready to use.

Perfect with bratwurst or served on a Reuben sandwich – in all it’s sour-y and kraut-y perfection and stuff.


Santa Fe Chipotle Burger Recipe

 If you could use a little zip and zing in your life, I have a gift for you.


She is spicy and zesty. She is sauce-y and sweet. She doesn’t care about long walks on the beach or sunsets. She wants to party and sit by the grill with an electric ice tea. She is the Sante Fe burger. You will love her.

Burger Ingredients

  • 20 ounces ground chicken or turkey
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (AKA smoked chili peppers), drained & minced
  • Sea salt & pepper (don’t skimp)
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 slices pepper jack cheese
  • 3 bell peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange)
  • 4 romaine lettuce leaves

Remove excess sauce from adobe peppers and mince well. Then combine with the burger very well. Mix in salt & pepper as well. A large bowl and a latex glove is very handy for messy jobs like this one.

Drizzle frying pan with olive oil. Shape into burgers and cook until middle of each burger reaches 165°F.

While waiting for burgers to cook, spread a little butter on both sides of each of the hamburger buns and toast under the broiler. It’s smart to keep oven door a little bit open so that these are not forgotten and burned – not that I have ever done that or anything.

When burgers are fully cooked, place a piece of pepper jack cheese on each one and cook until melted. Drain excess grease.

Green Chili Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 -4 ounce can mild green chilis
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • Dash sea salt & freshly ground pepper

For a cool, refreshing sauce to balance out the heat of the chipotle peppers, we make mild green chili sauce.  Stir mild green chiles, minced garlic, cumin, lime juice into sour cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When the hamburger buns are finished toasting, spread green chile sauce on each one. Add lettuce and some slices of sweet bell peppers for even more deliciousness.

You don’t meet a girl like this every day.


Strawberry Cookies by Dotter

Every once and awhile Dotter gets the itch to make decorated sugar cookies. This always fills my heart with warm fuzzies and my tummy with sweet treats. For a moment I lost her so I called out her name and she popped up from behind the counter.

“What doin’?”

“Oh, lookin’ for the strawberry cookie cutter.”

You see, the strawberry cookie cutter is one of the smaller cookie cutters in our collection, so it sinks way down to the bottom of the cookie cutter drawer.

She worked all night long on this batch of cookies. Her red frosting turned out a gloriously bright color.

IMG_0002And her cookies? Well, simply perfection. Happy June. Happy strawberry season. Happy cookie cutter hunting.

Cutie Plastic Strawberry Baskets

Sugar Cut-out Cookies Recipe

Cream together:

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup sugar

Add & beat together well:

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 teaspoons almond extract
  • 3 teaspoons milk
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Refrigerate dough for about 1 hour.  Preheat oven at 350°F. Roll out and use cookie cutters. Create your favorite shapes. Bake 6-8 minutes. Allow cookies to cool completely on a rack.

Outline cookies with green leaves and red berries using this royal icing recipe.

Royal Icing Recipe


3 tablespoons meringue powder or egg white powder
4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners’ sugar
6 tablespoons warm water

Step 1

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (about 7-10 minutes).

Step 2

Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.

Using a decorating bag, fill in the cookies with royal sugar frosting. Outline green and red areas of cookie. Allow red and green to dry for about 10 minutes.

To fill the outlines on your cookie, add a little water to the color you are working with too thin it down a bit. Adjust slowly so you don’t end up with icing that is too runny & dripping out of the bag on its own. Don’t ask me how I know this can happen. I just do.

Fill in centers of red and green edging with thinned icing. Star in middle then fill sides by dragging tip a bit to maneuver icing. This will prevent over-filling which will help make sure the thinned frosting doesn’t go over the edges. Again, don’t ask me how I know. I just do.

Add 5 white dots to the top of each berry using royal icing (set aside a little bit of white royal icing for this when you begin by covering with a damp towel until ready to use). If you’d like the dots to lay flat with the red frosting, just place them while the red frosting is still wet.

Tonight’s winner of Trophy Cupcakes!

Yay, Scott! Your mistake paid off!

© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017