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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!

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.

 

Cinco de Mayo Fresh Fajita Pizza Recipe

This week I’ll be sharing some mix and match recipes.  We’ll put together recipes I’ve posted before that can be combined to make new, amazing fiestas. See what I did there?

Today’s mix & match:

 

         

Pizza Crust + Fajita Chicken + Pico de Gallo = Cinco de Mayo Fresh Fajita Pizza

First, make a double batch of the pizza crust here. to fill a half sheet pan. I’ve used a round pizza pan that I bought at a garage sale in Montana about 10 years ago. One of those happy memories from when my kids were little. A fifty cent pizza pan can make one feel like one is winning the lottery. I bought two and won the lottery twice.

While the pizza dough is rising, you can prepare the fresh salsa. Stir and let it rest.  I replaced the cucumbers with tomatoes for this pizza.

You can find the fajita chicken here.

Bake the crust until light golden brown. I could just sit and eat this. By myself. While watching Celebrity Apprentice.

To prepare the “pizza sauce”, just add some salt & pepper to taste to about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of  Mexican crema.

Yeah. Like that.

To assemble the pizza layer as follows:

  • Mexican crema
  • Jack & white cheddar cheese, grated
  • Fajita chicken
  • Fresh pico de gallo (Give one last stir then use a draining spoon so that the excess juices can be discarded and won’t make your pizza soggy.)

Such a lovely and easy combination to start the week. Mucho delicioso.

Handy tip: When printing recipes, choose the “remove images” option to save on ink.

 

Behind the Scenes With The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast on Evening Magazine

The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast will be featured on Evening Magazine tonight,  Thursday May 3rd at 7pm on channel 5. We don’t know when we will be on, so be sure to tune in a little before 7pm in case we are first. Tomorrow we will go back to our regularly scheduled recipes.

It all started with our window washer. We asked him… okay, we begged him to come clean our windows and he rearranged his schedule just for our top-secret shenanigans.

His payment may have involved freshly baked scones. After all, it was an emergency.

We decided we couldn’t be on a show that airs in a few states & parts of Canada without flowers in the yard so I went to the store and got some brilliantly colored and carefully chosen flowers.

The table was perfectly set.

But the kitchen still looked like this when I got the email at 10:30am that our host would be at the B&B not at 1pm but at noon.

I panicked.

So much so that I misplaced this little sippy cup that belongs to our little friend, Taye. I’m sure I’ll find it soon. I hope.

Just a few things to put away. That and, you know, get myself ready. I’m sorry, there will be no before pictures of me.

I interrupt this blog post to present thee with clean floors. Loverly.

We bought new goats just on time for this segment. We had taken a few months off from being goat owners after selling our mixed breeds and went back to these sweet pygmies. They are brothers. Their names are Ringo, George and Paul. Imagine.

Right after everything was ready, our host, Michael King and the camera man, Mike, showed up. Michael tried to catch our duck but she’s too sassy.

The chickens, however, played along well. We’ll see if this trick makes the segment.

After meeting all the hobby farm animals, they walked down to the Snoqualmie River.

This is me. It’s been a couple of months since I’d had a mic up my shirt. As you can see, I’ve missed it.

It was time to finish up the pastries and such for the camera. Approximately half of this powdered sugar ended up on me and the floor. Or, the floor and I. Or, I was floored.

After he handed the mic over to me, Michael let the camera man Mike take over and I don’t remember anything I said after that. I may have muttered something about how everything tastes better with streusel. That, and I may have made a slightly inappropriate joke when the host asked me how to use the rain shower. But only slightly. Oh gosh, I hope it was only slightly.

After the host jumped on this bed, I realized that I had forgotten to straighten it up again before the next guests came. I’m hoping they happen to read this and consider it a wonderful memory. So, if you see something about a tousled bed on Trip Advisor, just know that this is the story behind the tousling.

This is Everett. I served Everett his plate four times before he got to eat. This part turned out nicely. It was in a sneak peek of our segment last night and I don’t mean to brag, my service after the fourth time was excellent. Practice makes perfect.

Breakfast was served at 2:00 in the afternoon to our fake guests. Well, they were real but, you know, fake. All of them have stayed with us before. They were real at that time. Oh dear. I’m not sure if they’re ever going to come back again.

I may or may not have fallen on this couch when the filming was done.

And one last confession…

I may or may not have found these in the back of my car the next morning. Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

We send huge thank you to our host Michael, camera guy Mike and real guests Everett, Rhonda and Tyler. Thank you to everyone who voted for us. We can’t wait to see you at the B&B again soon and appreciate you taking the time to vote. We know it is a lot for you to stop everything going on in your lives to vote and we cannot begin to thank you enough! 

Evening Magazine Visits The Old Hen

 

Seattle Bites Food Tours Featured on Evening Magazine

When you think of Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington, what is the first thing you think of?

Yeah, me too but then I ate my way through the history of Pike place Market on the Seattle Bites Food Tour. I’m a Northwest girl, but I learned things I’d never known about Pike Place, and the very first Starbucks and the founder of this particular fish store.

Today’s tour was with Jim Dever. And his camera man from King 5’s Evening Magazine. I took more pictures of them but when I got home to share them with you they were missing. Sigh.

This is our amazing tour host, Seattle Bites Food Tours owner, Jan Marie Johnson. You would never know it, but trapped inside her entertaining, perfectly friendly, beautiful inside-and-out self is a history enthusiast.

Our tour involved an incredible amount of all things delicious. You know, like fresh whipped cream.

And asparagus to balance things out. You won’t believe how fresh and lovely and unique the flavors of this local produce are. This may or may not have been my first time eating raw asparagus. What can I say? I’m adventurous. Or at least I tell myself I am.

As you walk through the tour, you meet store owners and hear their stories. This award winning chowder story is a must hear.

To broaden our horizons, we enjoyed ethnic food from India…

and Germany. There was a sandwich from New York and some other deliciousness too but I devoured some bites before I remembered to take a picture.

And in case you were worried, more whipped cream. I may have finished this bite before anyone else did. Okay, I did. And I stand by my poor decision to be an overachiever.

Best flatbread. Ever. And did I mention there was a sandwich from New York?

Our final landing-place? A northwest winery. It was perfect. And northwesty. And delicious. And will all be on television tonight. I should warn you though, I could feel the camera zooming in on me several times and I pretty much had one of those embarrassing food dropping moments every single time it was aimed at me.

Thank you, Seattle Bites Food Tours. I love you.

Evening Magazine on channel 5 at 7pm tonight.

 

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins Recipe

Blueberry season opens in 72 days, 9 hours, 54 minutes and 28 seconds here in the Northwest. You know, either that, or in about 2 1/2 months. I do believe, however, it is imperative to have a perfect blueberry muffin recipe for any day of the year.

Preheat oven to 350F.

BLUEBERRY MUFFIN INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter (or 3/4 cup)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg (bottled is fine if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk (or almost 1 1/4 cup milk with about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice stirred in)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups blueberries

Cream softened butter and sugar together.

Line up your blueberries in a perfectly polka dot bowl (fresh or frozen – both are lovely).

Stir in remaining ingredients, then gently fold in blueberries.

For large muffins (my favorite), place two ice cream scoops of batter in each muffin liner. This will make 12 muffins.

If using a regular size muffin pan, use one ice cream scoop of batter per muffin liner. This will make 24 muffins.

I you’d like to get really crazy, you can use a decorating bag (or a Ziploc with a corner cut off) to squirt this cream cheese filling into each muffin.

CREAM CHEESE FILLING INGREDIENTS:

(optional deliciousness)

  • 1 eight ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • About 1 tablespoon of the juice of a lemon
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Cream cheese filling leftovers can be stored in fridge and added to many delicious treats.

I like to finish the filling off with a little swirl on top.

And if you are completely out of control, you can sprinkle homemade streusel over each muffin.

STREUSEL INGREDIENTS:

(never optional)

  • 1/2 stick butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 3/4 cup 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 for about 30 minutes.

Serve warm with a little butter or simply plain. Because, well, we wouldn’t want to get too carried away. Now there are only 72 days, 9 hours, 52 minutes and 37 seconds until blueberry season opens.  Let’s have a muffin to celebrate.

m4s0n501
 

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!

 

 

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.

 

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).

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