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

Mediterranean Chicken with Quinoa Recipe

The first time I ever met Lorraine, I didn’t. Our friendship started when we met through a cream cheese contest. We both love to cook and bake so we found an instant online connection because of our hobbies. Over time we learned of many other things we shared, like our love for our pet wiener dogs and God and stuff. We have dreamed of her coming to visit our inn, The Old Hen B&B, or of me visiting Chicago so I can enjoy some of her Mediterranean Chicken with Quinoa.

Little did we know that we would both meet Joey Fatone before we would even meet one another. Lorraine was one of the original guests on Joey’s show “My Family Recipe Rocks”. She wrote me a little note afterward telling me that I just had to do the show as well. She must have left a good impression because they contacted me saying they would love to do a show with me. I may or may not have broken a bed while sharing the exciting news with my family. Joey and his amazing team (make-up artist included) made their way to the Great Northwest to my lil’ ol’ B&B this summer and our episode will air this weekend.

Lorraine and I? Well, we are still waiting until we get to meet one another in person and I cannot wait. She has changed my life for the better with her fun sense of humor, love for people and listening ear… even long before we shared an experience of being on the same cooking show with our buddy Joey Fatone. Be sure to try her dish, Mediterranean Chicken with Quinoa Recipe, and sneak a sip of white wine straight from the bottle just like Joey did while at her home.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
  • Approx. 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cans organic diced tomatoes
  • approx. 1 cup green olives (sliced into thirds)
  • approx. 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric (according to your taste preference)
  • dash black pepper
  • 2 cups Quinoa and 4 cups water

Cook the quinoa according to the package.

In large skillet with olive oil, saute garlic, onion and chicken until no pink remains and chicken begins to brown. Sprinkle with black pepper.

Add white wine while scraping browned bits from pan.

Stir in tomatoes, olives, oregano and turmeric. Cover and simmer on low heat (with the lid vented slightly) for approx. 15 minutes.

When quinoa is ready, spoon into serving bowls and top with chicken mixture and serve immediately.

If desired sprinkle a little asiago or parmesan cheese on top.

It’s great accompanied with a green salad or a side of steamed broccoli (or both). It is also great for leftovers — the flavors intensify!

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Lorraine Brown’s  love for cooking began with her close relationship with her mom and she shares some of her touching memories of those precious times during her episode with Joey. 

A Midwest native and Chicagoan for many years, she has multiple interests ranging from cooking, to design, to writing poetry,short stories and song lyrics.   She has featured many of her published poems on her blog (along with her 1st place winning poems “Cheaters” and “Looking Back At Me”).  It seems that many of us wear many hats these days. Lorraine has done so all her life. She’s an Actress; Co-Founder of the Chicago Bulls Cheerleaders (The Luv-A-Bulls); Former NFL-Chicago Bears Cheerleader (The Honeybears); Writer; Decorator; Cook; Photographer; Proud owner of her beloved and talented Abby the wonderdog – (a.k.a. Abigail Von Rawhide); Blessed wife to the love of her life, Greg.” 

She shares some of her many interests on her blog, “A Multi-dimensional Life.” 

 

 

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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

What does one serve at a party in the fall? Why, a summery pasta salad, of course.

Who would do such a thing? Maybe a person who just can’t let go of summer. Maybe a person who plays Christmas music in October. Maybe a confused person. Or maybe someone who has an ungodly amount of love for pesto.  Maybe me.

Pesto, I love you. Don’t tell apple cider.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound spiral (or insert your favorite shape here) whole wheat (or regular) pasta
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounce container of pine nuts
  • 4 ounces of fresh basil (this can be purchased in the produce department of the grocery store if you don’t grow your own)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 cup mayonaise
  • 1/2 cup canned  julienne-cut, sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced into fours

Boil water in a medium large pot then add pasta and about a teaspoon of salt. Boil for the length of time instructed on the packaging. When done, drain and rinse with cool water in a strainer. Place pasta in a large bowl.

Place garlic cloves, pine nuts, basil, olive oil, Parmesan cheese in food processor and process until everything becomes almost like a paste texture to make pesto.

Add pesto, salt & pepper, mayonaise, sun dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives. Stir until combined. Chill for a few of hours and serve.

If planning in advance for a party: Pesto, salt & pepper, mayonaise, sun dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives can be mixed together  & placed in a smaller container in the fridge until ready to put salad together. Cook noodles on day of party, chill and then mix pasta with other ingredients in a larger bowl.

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Top 10 Reasons to Attend Girl Fest on October 20th!

Have you ever thought, “I sure wish there was one whole day where I could learn more about what I like and who I am?” If you’re a girl (or you know one!) and you live in Washington, you will you be excited to know that such a day exists! It’s called GirlFest, and it’s a daylong celebration of everything cool about being a girl!”

Climb a rock wall!

As you may know, I was a Girl Scout and I’m still a huge fan of this organization. And today I’m passing along some exciting news! Girl Scouts is hosting an event for ALL girls in Seattle from 10-5 next Saturday! There will be a band to rock out with, cool local volunteer opportunities to check out and you can learn about being a news reporter – even meet some!

Play guitar!

And now…

The Top 10 Reason to Attend GirlFest 2012

  1. Learn to skate with the Rat City Roller Girls.
  2. Dig up fossilized shark teeth, identify the shark they came from and make a necklace from the tooth.
  3. Make play dough electronic circuits.
  4. Help make a collaborative mural that will hang in the retail store at Outdoor Research’s corporate headquarters in Seattle.
  5. Play guitar and bass with the Rain City Rock Camp for Girls.
  6. Give yourself three words of encouragement and post them on Teen Wise’s Mirror of Encouragement.
  7. Identify rock and mineral samples with women PhD geoscientists.
  8. Crush up Tums to see how they interact differently than solid Tums (when dissolved in vinegar) with the UW School of Pharmacy.
  9. Inflatables and a rock climbing wall!
  10. Discover who you are and what you love!

For the scoop on GirlFest, check out their web page!

And just for fun…

Have you made my first-place winning Savannah Smiles Frozen Lemonade Tarts yet? They will making an appearance at the GirlFest VIP party this year but you can make them at home too! If you have a daughter this is the place to be next weekend. I hope to see ya there!

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A Baker’s Dozen Plus One: A Foodie Movie List

If you love cooking and eating and watching movies about people cooking and eating, here is a carefully chosen list of 14 calorie-free goodies just for you.

Julie & Julia

Big Night

The Trip

It’s Complicated

Kitchen Stories

I Am Love

Tortilla Soup

No Reservations

Babette’s Feast

Mostly Martha

Eat Pray Love

Tampopo

Because I said So

And, finally, dessert.

Chocolat

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When Every Dish is Clean

I’m not sure how it happened. But it has been verified. And, at this very moment, every dish in the B&B is clean. I have not had this anomaly occur for approximately 19 years, 7 months and 3 days.

I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. But I was completely sure of what will not happen for the rest of the day.

No one shall enjoy wine. In fact, no one shall use a single dish for at least 14 hours when the breakfast making commences in the morning.

And I shall not look at the laundry pile, the dirty floors, the highest windows or my desk. For this. This, my friend, would explain why every dish is done.

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Ham & Cheese Quiche Recipe

They say Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche, but real men like this quiche. It’s simple, it’s delicious and surprisingly manly.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Pillsbury pie crust (or homemade)
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup medium cheddar cheese (or any cheese that melts well like gouda, gruyère, havarti)
  • 1/2 bunch chopped green onions
  • 8 oz. cubed ham, drained
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream (optional garnish)

Place homemade pie crust or store bought Pillsbury (this brand because it isn’t sweet) pie crust in pie pan, poke crust with a fork about 20 times all around and then bake for 15-20 minutes.

Drain ham on paper towels. Pat dry as well so that much of the moisture is soaked up by the paper towels.

Beat eggs, heavy cream & flour together. Blender on medium speed works well for this.

Stir in cheese, green onions, ham and salt & pepper.

Remove pie crust from oven when light golden. Pour mixture into pre-baked pie crust.

Bake quiche with a baking sheet on the shelf underneath it to help catch any possible overflow. Use a guard to protect the edges of the crust from over-baking once they are light golden brown. Bake for about an hour or until a knife comes out clean. Quiche will continue to bake for a little while after removed from oven since it’s still hot.

Serves eight or if you would like to have larger friends, six. Place a dollop of sour cream on each piece and an artful green onion if desired.

She has enticed many a gentleman and made their tastebuds dance. She is a quiche that even real men love.

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Tomato Seed French Salad Dressing Recipe

Homemade French salad dressing… Why? Because it is tomato season. Because my friend gave me massive amount of gorgeous, fresh tomatoes from his garden. Because I had leftover seeds after making spaghetti sauce. Because it’s prettier than store-bought French dressing.

If you’ve ever blanched and then removed the seeds and the stems from fresh tomatoes, you have ended up with a bowl of beautiful tomatoes ready to become sauce and…

A whole bunch of tomato seeds in their juices. You can strain the juices away from the seeds and add them back with the tomatoes but in this post, we’re going to make a fun alternative. We’re making tomato seed French salad dressing. Because we can.

This time, I started with about a dozen tomatoes. They were blanched, peeled and stems were removed. Then I removed the seeds. This left about 1 & 1/4th cup of seeds and juice for me to work with.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 & 1/4 cup tomato juice with seeds
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Add tomato juices, seeds and remaining ingredients into a canning jar or a container with a lid. Give everything a good shake. Taste to make sure the amount of salt & pepper was enough to do the recipe justice. When you reach perfection, serve on a fresh green salad. Your friends will be so impressed.

Why? Because you’re so very talented. And because your French dressing has seeds, and theirs doesn’t.

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Smoked Salmon Flatbread Recipe

I present thee with reason number 139,274 as to why I love Twitter. Meet Smoked Salmon Flatbread.

And one of the original reasons I love Twitter? Well, that would be my friend, Imelda. Imelda and I met through Twitter and after she came out to have lunch at our bed & breakfast, we found we had a kindred connection. It wasn’t long before we started having tweet-ups with other friends from Twitter.

Imelda hosted one of these events. Everything she does speaks volumes about how much she loves people. She is a creative soul with a great sense of humor. And the woman seriously knows how to dress a table.

At this gathering, I gave all of our friends a little gift. I decorated some little boxes with tweets from well-known or local Tweeps.

Then I filled each box with a handmade Twitter logo cookie and a fancy tea. You can read how to make these cookies here and find a similar cookie cutter here.

At Imelda’s party, she served some stand out dishes as well. One of them was this fresh and flavor-filled Smoked Salmon Flatbread. I’ll be making this again and again.

You can use two – 12 inch Boboli pizza crusts or make this easy homemade flatbread. Preheat oven to 425F.

FLATBREAD INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup warm water (no more than 110 degrees)
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
Place water, yeast and sugar in mixing bowl. Cover and allow to sit in a warm place until a bit foamy to activate yeast. This usually takes about 10 minutes.

Place bowl on mixer stand and using a dough hook attachment, add olive oil and salt. Then slowly add in flour while mixer is on a medium-low speed. Add until dough begins to “hug” the dough hook like in the picture above.

Remove from mixer stand and cover and let sit for another 30 minutes or until dough has about doubled in size. If you’d like to make the dough the day before you need it, you can do that as well & just keep it in the fridge overnight to rise.

Roll flatbread out into shape of your pan. This crust makes enough to cover about a 1/2 sheet pan.

Yeah. Like that. Bake until light golden brown which might take about 15 minutes. When done baking, remove from oven and brush with butter.

Ahhhhh…. mise en place.

TOPPING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup  Sour Cream
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 package fresh dill (snipped)
  • Salt
  • 8 oz. smoked salmon
  • 1/2 English Cucumber – thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion – finely chopped or thinly sliced
  • 3 T capers, drained
Gather ingredients for toppings while flatbread bakes.

Mix Sour cream, lemon, dill and salt to taste then refrigerate while the flatbread bakes at the suggested temperature.

Slice cucumbers and red onions very thin. A mandoline is handy for this.

Let flatbread cool completely. Spread the sour cream mixture on the cooled flatbread. Place cucumber on sour cream.

Place salmon on cucumber.

Spread red onion and capers on top of the salmon. Cut the pizza into wedges. If using for an appetizer, just cut into smaller pieces. This recipe is lovely for such a thing as it makes so much. Transfer to a platter to serve.

Who knew Twitter would become responsible for kindred connections? Then again, Imelda’s Smoked Salmon Flatbread will accomplish the same.

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Apple Pecan Bread Pudding With Warm Caramel Sauce Recipe

I confess. I cannot stop making bread pudding for it is one of the most fascinating of all the breakfast dessert kingdom. It is economical yet, when made correctly, glamorous. It is quite plain in theory yet as complex as you’d like it to be. It is far more wild than it looks.

BREAD PUDDING INGREDIENTS:

  • About 8 cups of French bread, allow to sit overnight so it is dry
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 large honeycrisp apples, freshly grated (or, if preferred, thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Bread pudding does not start out gorgeous. It is mushy and spongey and gooey. And mushy. This begins as you place all of the wet ingredients, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon & nutmeg into a large bowl and whisk them together well. After ingredients are incorporated, push bread into the mixture. Give everything a couple of stirs until bread is well-coated.  Cover with handi-wrap and place in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. After bread has a chance to soak in all the flavors, add the pecans and grated apples and gently fold into puddin’.

Place the bread pudding into a 9X13 baking pan coated in baking spray (or butter).

FOR THE STREUSEL:

  • 1 stick cold butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup of uncooked oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup pecans

Place streusel ingredients in a medium-large bowl and use pastry cutter until all ingredients incorporate together into a crumbly streusel. Sprinkle all over the top of the bread pudding. Loverly.

Bake for about an hour or until a knife poked into the center comes out clean.

While the bread pudding bakes, make the caramel sauce and then set aside.

FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE:

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces & softened
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter on medium-low heat, watching closely so it does not burn. After melting butter, add sugar. Stir and let simmer on medium heat until it gets boils around the edges. Stir in cream. After starts to boil again, stir in salt and vanilla. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to serve.

When bread pudding is done baking, place servings into pretty bowls (preferably glass so the caramel sauce can show off). Top bread pudding with caramel sauce and a few chopped pecans.

It cannot be tamed for it is wild to it’s core. Many will not be brave enough but those who embark upon the new, glamorous bread pudding adventure will love every bite.

Crikey that’s delicious, mate!

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Seared Scallops With Peach Salsa Recipe

My love for people with accents (since I, of course, do not have one) began when I would travel around the country to camps. My friends and I would sit and listen to our newly acquired friends from different states for hours. We’d all laugh together about how different we sounded. North Dakota was one of my favorites. I came to love copying accents. It’s become a hobby, really.

Through the years, I’ve discovered which accent I speak in the best, which one makes me sound angriest even while I’m laughing and which one sounds best when writing a recipe. And with that, I present thee with Seared Scallops With Peach Salsa while using a Norwegian accent. You’re welcome.

Make da peach salsa so dat all the parts have da chance to get to know one anudder real vell while you make da scallops.

Ya sure, you betcha, some dose scallops come packed in da juices. Be sure to rinse dem real well.

Den pat dem dry with da  paper towel and salt them real good all on dat one side dere.

Place dem all salt side down into da pan heated with da olive oil den salt & pepper da other side, like dat dere, don’t ya know? Cook dem ’til dey are da beautiful medium brown on da first side. If you try to lift dem up too early, you’ll know dey aren’t ready to flip jus yet because dey will stick to da pan ven you try to do da flippin’.

Cook da second side ’til dey medium brown as vell. Uffda.

Top with dat dere peach salsa. It’s real good, don’t ya know? Dat is fresh stuff dere. So ven you have da next pardy you have, be sure to invite da friends from all over da vorld and have da jolly laughs over dose dere accents and eat da scallops together. Den you can be thankful da recipe was not for da pickled herring and dat will make you feel good all over.

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