Facebook Twitter Gplus Flickr Pinterest LinkedIn
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 .

Chocolate Pecan Truffles

Where there is chocolate, there is a party.  In a way, I guess you could call these party balls. Add dark cocoa powder, and you have a fancy party. I tell you the truth.


  • 16 ounces high quality semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup high quality, dark cocoa powder

Place a double boiler over medium-low heat. Chop chocolate into small bits and add to pan. Stir in cream. Heat and stir until dark and dreamy. Things will not look pretty and you will think I steered you wrong for most of the melting process but then suddenly you will see darkness and the world will make sense again. It is shiny. It is hopeful. It is truffles in liquid form. Stir in chopped pecans and transfer to a shallow pan like a casserole dish.

Refrigerate for about an hour or until firm and fudgy looking. Place cocoa powder onto a plate.

Scoop small amounts of the chocolate and form into balls. Coat each one with the lovely cocoa powder.


Serve your party balls on a platter or place each in a mini paper candy cup liner. Or perhaps place four in a mini gift box with a parchment liner. The perfect little gift – a party to go.

Makes about 24 mini parties. If you are making this recipe for a group of people you don’t know very well, I recommend rolling truffles in finely chopped pecans rather than cocoa powder so that anyone with nut allergies will be aware that these contain nuts. Store covered in refrigerator until ready to serve. 


Mushroom Risotto Recipe

She is not always familiar, for she is foreign. She is not rice, for she is frumpy. She is not pasta, for she is temperamental.


  •  1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced or diced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2-3 tablespoons beef Better than Bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for top if desired for garnish)
  • One small handful fresh chives, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper

To prepare for all that is holy and lovely, pull all ingredients together ahead of time. Cut onion and mushroom and heat olive oil on medium-high in a somewhat deep frying pan.

Saute mushrooms until softened and a beautiful brown. Using a straining utensil, remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

While cooking the mushrooms in the frying pan, heat the chicken broth in a separate saucepan until warm in a saucepan. Keep warm (but don’t allow it to reduce).

Place chopped onions into oil. Cook until translucent and caramelized. Add minced garlic. Then add Arborio rice and stir until rice is translucent around the edges yet white in the center.

Finally, the finicky side of risotto… the babysitting.

Pour white wine into risotto. Stir and cook on medium heat until wine is nearly all absorbed by the rice.

Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of broth and stir and cook until broth is nearly all absorbed.

Continue to cook and add broth in this same fashion until broth is gone but, more importantly, until risotto is al dente (not mushy and not crunchy). The dish should be a little creamy. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons beef Better than Bouillon to your liking.

Stir in cooked mushrooms, butter, parmesan cheese and chives. Add salt & pepper last since you can’t be sure how much salt you will need until after the parmesan has been added.  If desired, sprinkled freshly grated parmesan over the top and perhaps some freshly chopped chives.

Serve hot and serve often for she is warm and gorgeous and comforting. For she is risotto.

To make this into a main dish, you can stir in pieces of  cooked chicken. 

© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017