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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 .

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Rice Krispie Turkey Drumstick Pops


Are you ready for Thanksgiving? Well, you will want it to arrive even sooner after you see these adorable, edible place settings. get a leg up on your turkey day prep now…

To make these darlings, you will need to order these little plastic bones in advance: Rubie’s Costume Bag’O Bones Costume Package (10 Piece) These are fantastic for this recipe because they can be washed and used again.


  • 3 1/2 cups rice cereal
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups white miniature marshmallows
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 10 ounces peanut butter chips (butterscotch chips instead if someone has nut allergies)
  • 12 ounces Wilton dark cocoa melts (milk chocolate is great for kids)

Measure rice cereal and set aside.

Melt butter over medium heat while watching closely. After melted, stir in marshmallows & sea salt and melt completely. Stir in peanut butter chips and, again, melt completely while stirring. Set aside just long enough to cool to touch.

Press rice cereal mix onto each bone so it looks like a turkey leg. Place on a sheet tray covered with a parchment paper.

Melt chocolate over a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, you can just put about a half inch of water into bottom pan and place a little smaller pan on top of it. This will keep chocolate from being over direct heat and prevent scorching.

How to melt chocolate in double boiler:

  1. Place about 1/2 inch water in bottom pan.
  2. Place top pan over bottom pan.
  3. Turn heat on high until water boils.
  4. Leave pans on burner but turn off heat and place chocolate in top pan, making sure not to get water in chocolate.
  5. Stir chocolate occasionally while it melts.

Dip each “turkey leg” into chocolate. Use a spoon to help spread the chocolate over all the rice cereal parts. Tap a bit over pan to allow some of the excess chocolate to fall off. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Pan can be placed in a fridge or freezer for about 10 minutes to firm chocolate or just place in a cool location. Make sure plastic legs are cleaned of chocolate before serving. Break off any excess chocolate.

Serve with name tag attached or in a bucket. Fun for your country barbecue or Thanksgiving table setting. No bones about it.



Homemade Cake Doughnut Recipe


The only way to properly follow up a post about Spanx is with a cake doughnut recipe. Amirite? And the only way to follow up a doughnut recipe is with a frosting recipe. And the only way to follow up all of the above is with sprinkles.

You can take the girl out of the bakery but you can’t take the bakery out of the girl. And this is why I need Spanx.


Fill with Crisco shortening and then preheat doughnut fryer to 375F. Look up your appliance’s instructions (or look for fill line) to decide how much shortening to use.

Prepare a baking sheet with an old, clean towel (or several layers of paper towels) on it to place doughnuts on after frying.


  • 3 cups flour (plus about 1-2 cups more for rolling out dough)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 T. canola oil

Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Stir well then set aside.

Pour all wet ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk until eggs are beaten and all are well incorporated.

Combine wet ingredients into large bowl with dry ingredients. Stir gently just until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Dust counter, doughnut cutter, & rolling pin with flour. Roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut doughnuts & doughnuts holes out and lay on a baking sheet so they are ready for frying.

Fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Look for middles and edges to become golden brown before flipping.

Place fried doughnuts on baking sheet covered with a towel to drain excess grease off doughnuts.

Eat while hot or wait for doughnuts to cool a bit before frosting. This chocolate frosting recipe is fantastic.  Or if you are feeling rather maple-y this maple frosting recipe is top notch.

If you would like to keep it simple, you can use this vanilla frosting recipe:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you can use clear vanilla for pure white frosting)
  • 1 tablespoon water

Makes about 24 cake doughnuts and 24 doughnut holes.

Tips For Making Homemade Bakery Goods 

When measuring flour measuring cup into flour canister. Level off top of measuring cup with a butterknife. Do not pack the flour into the measuring cup (like you would brown sugar) because you will get too much into your dough.

Stirring too much will make doughnuts (and pancakes and scones…) tough and rubber-y.

Wait for the oven or fryer to preheat every single time. If you begin before the preheat, your puff pastry will flop in the oven and your doughnuts will be full of grease from the deep fryer.

Don’t panic. If you’re afraid of your doughnuts under-cooking, just try one first and figure out how long you need to fry on each side then repeat.

Don’t forget the sprinkles. And Spanx. And sprinkles.


The Two Questions Every Mother of the Groom Receives

I am getting ready to attend my baby’s wedding.


The first question one receives as the mother of the groom is, “Do you like his fiancé?” 

When the first question is asked, I light up like a Christmas bubble light from the seventies. You cannot get me to stop talking about how wonderful my dotter-in-law to be is. She’s creative and silly and kinder than necessary and real and, like me, she speaks in many accents & languages – even though the only one we really know is English. She makes my son so very happy and I love her. Tearing up just thinking about how much I love both of them. I could bubble on and on but I will contain myself.

The second most important question is, of course, “What will you wear?” 

Then the second question comes out of nowhere faster than you can say, “But I haven’t even lost the baby weight yet.” I mean, it’s only been 21 years since he was born. I mumble. I stumble. I sweat more than someone wrestling with skinny jeans on a humid 110° day in Pennsylvania.

I was once a banker girl who wore dresses, nylons, & high heels to work six days a week and, since that wasn’t enough, to church again on Sundays. Now, yoga pants are the meat and potatoes of my daily attire. They work well when meat and potatoes are the meat and potatoes of your diet.

Dotter was kind enough to gently coax (forcibly push) me back into a shopping dressing room. I can’t remember the last time I was in one for my own sake. It was a tough love moment. She won. And we both survived.  After two shopping trips and about seven stores, Dotter asked, “Mom, so are you saying yes to the dress?” We cheered for a few minutes and then she confronted me about my eyebrows. I tried to tell her even though I might not be entirely pleased with the results when I pluck my own eyebrows, at least I look like I am. She said, “Make an appointment.” I can tell this is going to be like the time my kids took me hiking and kept promising we were almost done. We had only just begun.

Next stop, Spanx. If you ever consider telling others you are considering Spanx, don’t. Stuff it in.  You will get the same reaction as when you announce you are pregnant. You get advice. You get horror stories. You get a lot of “good luck”s. You get scared.

I imagine things will turn out similar to my high school graduation where the audience thought I was singing off tune because I was crying; while, actually, I was crying because I was off tune.

I will, indeed, be emotional seeing my baby get married; but, I might actually be in a straight up panic because, well, Spanx.

Inside I’ll be bubbling over and at the same time just trying to contain myself.


Fuzzy Navel With Fresh Ginger Recipe

It is a beautiful thing when girls get together to celebrate the happy happenings of one of their own. Today was my new dotter-in-law’s bridal shower – a celebration filled with joy and pretty treats and naughty gifts and laughter and joy.

img_2880It is even more fun when there is yummy food and marquee letters.

img_2848And heart banners made with love.


And fuzzy navels.


Fuzzy navels in mini mason shooter jars, that is. Why not make some today to celebrate a fellow girlfriend?

Fuzzy Navel With Fresh Ginger

  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup peach schnapps (the fuzzy)
  • 4 cups fresh orange juice (the navel)
  • About 1 tablespoon minced ginger (just peel & grate with microplane fine grater)

Place all ingredients into a large pitcher. Stir well. Shake with ice if desired.


Makes 6  8-ounce glasses but when shared in mini mason jar shooters, they’re even more delicious. Just ask the girls.



Lemon Garlic Pasta With Fresh Salmon & Asparagus


Never buy farm fed salmon again. Always look for wild salmon. Farm fed salmon are mushy and have less flavor. Wild salmon are much happier and it shows. Stick with wild and your dinners will go swimmingly. Here’s a quick & simple dinner for those routine school nights when you need a little wild in your life.



  • 1 pound wild Alaskan salmon (look for the glorious Wild Copper River Salmon around May)
  • 2 cloves elephant garlic
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 10 stems)
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • Zest & juice from 1 fresh lemon
  • Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place salmon on a baking sheet with a piece of foil under it. Top with butter pieces. Season with salt & pepper. Place garlic cloves on baking sheet as well so they can roast while the salmon bakes. Place in oven for about 20 minutes.

Bend asparagus gently to find the weak spot. Break asparagus ends off at the weak spot. Discard ends.

Place a large saucepan of water over high heat. Add a dash of salt. Bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice-y cold water and set aside.

When water comes to a boil, place asparagus tops into saucepan for 2 minutes. Using tongs, quickly remove asparagus from hot water and place into prepared cold water bath for about a minute, then remove and set aside.

Bring hot water to a boil again and add pasta. Boil for as long as instructions on box say (pasta varieties all cook for different lengths of time). Remove from heat when al dente and drain hot water.

Place pasta and asparagus into a large bowl. After salmon is done cooking, remove from oven. Remove skin and place salmon in pasta bowl.

Remove garlic skins and place cloves into a blender or small food processor with olive oil and process until minced (or you can smash it with a knife). Add olive oil & garlic mixture to pasta.

Grate lemon zest over pasta. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into pasta. Stir well. Salt & Pepper to taste. Serve topped with parmigiano reggiano.

For added splurging, you can also drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Oh, for all that is holy and wild.




Homemade Caramel Sauce


You need this recipe in your life just like you need a pumpkin spice candle, and a maple leaf wreath, and decorative gourds. Yes, you do. And you can have it in just five minutes.

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Caramel Sauce featuring Pumpkin Pecan Cream Cheese Bread Pudding or, you know,  Pumpkin Pecan Cream Cheese Bread Pudding featuring Caramel Sauce. Either way, your life will never be the same.

Homemade Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

This is one of those recipes where mise en place is key. Have all your ducks in a row. Be a good scout, always be prepared. Okay, you get the idea.

Melt butter over low heat in medium-large saucepan. After it is fully melted, stir in brown sugar and salt. Turn heat up to medium to medium-high heat and watch closely.

When sauce starts to boil and get foamy looking, simmer for about three minutes over medium heat

After simmering, carefully add in heavy whipping cream. The sauce’s reaction to the cream is pretty jumpy, so be careful.

Stir together and remove from heat. Allow to cool about 20 minutes before using so you don’t burn yourself. Fresh out of the pan caramel sauce is very hot.

And now when you tell your friends your Caramel Sauce is homemade and they ask, “Homemade homemade?” and your all like, ‘Yeah, like homemade homemade!”  You can be all proud and stuff. Because you are awesome sauce. And that’s not just the caramel talkin’.


Homemade Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes With Maple Cream Cheese Syrup Recipe


Light the pumpkin candles. Cue the Christmas song list (Yes, Christmas. Because, well, one cannot get enough Christmas music.) Download the free “Turkey For Twelve” eBook. But, most importantly, print this recipe for tomorrow is officially fall.


Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes Recipe

  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup pecans (optional)

Place pumpkin, buttermilk, lemon juice, eggs, canola oil, sugar, spices, baking powder, sea salt, and pecans in medium bowl. Whisk until eggs are well beaten and combined with other ingredients.

Gently stir in flour until mixed in. Do not stir too much or pancakes will become rubbery.

Heat non-stick pan over low heat if using a gas stove. If you have an electric stove top, I recommend testing a small pancake first over about level 5 heat. Some can range (no pun intended) as high as level 7 for pancakes.  Just get to know your stove top and preheat to the same setting every time you cook pancakes.

Pour about 1/3 cup pancake batter into pan. Quickly spread into a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Cook until bubbles form around edges and the ones in the middle begin popping.

Flip pancake and cook until becomes somewhat puffy in middle – showing you the center is fully cooked.

Maple Cream Cheese Syrup Recipe

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 cup maple extract (Can use less for lighter maple flavor or none if you’d like plain cream cheese syrup.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together in blender on medium-low speed. Pour into saucepan and heat until syrup reaches a boil. Whisk for about 1 minute while syrup thickens then remove from heat.

And with a collective sigh, the people fell for fall and everything pumpkin spice all over again. Glory be. Glory be.


Homemade Chocolate Brownies Recipe


How about being able to say your bake sale brownies are made from scratch without fibbing? How about PTA moms begging for your recipe? How about the pride when your kids asking for extra brownies in their lunch so they can share with friends?

Just when you thought there was no such thing as a moist, chocolate-y homemade brownie with perfect chewy edges outside of the box, here she is. And she’s easy… easy-to-make, that is.

Homemade Brownie Recipe Made With Real Chocolate


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. high quality semi-sweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. flour (about 1/2 cup but it’s best to measure in ounces)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 9X13 baking dish by spraying with baking spray.

Place about 1/2 inch of water in a saucepan. Place another saucepan over the water-filled one while making sure not to get any water in the top pan. Turn heat on high. Place chocolate & butter in top pan. Wait for water to boil then turn burner off. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted together.

Place eggs, salt, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla into a medium bowl. Whisk together well. Stir melted chocolate & sugar mixture in well. Stir in flour. Stir in pecans if desired.

Pour batter into 9X13 pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until somewhat firm and top has a shiny crust. Allow to cool before cutting them for as long as you can muster.

Your life is about to change for the better this school year. Bake on, popular girl. Bake on.


Homemade Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream Recipe


The first blackberry I see every summer reminds me of one of my favorite moments with my grandpa while Friday campin’. He grabbed an old Folgers Coffee can and said, “Hey, let’s go find some blackberries. We gathered five berries over five hours. Grandma laughed but the blackberries never really mattered cuz it was the best day ever.

Everything blackberry is happy. Amirite? So today, in the spirit of an old Folger’s coffee can full of blackberries, I present thee with Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream.


Photo & Styling: Ariel Tustin of Whiskey & Honey 

Blackberry Swirl

  • 1 pound blackberries
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Toss blackberries into a medium saucepan. Add sugar, fresh lemon juice, salt and cornstarch. Set aside for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow sugar to draw out the juices from the berries. Smash blackberries as much as you like (or not) with potato masher.

After sugar has drawn out the juices from the berries, evaluate if you have 2 or 3 cups of liquid in the pan. If it looks more like 3, stir in one more tablespoon of cornstarch before heating. No need to stress too much about adding more, though, as you can always stir in a little water after it thickens to make it the sauce the consistency you like.

Allow to cool to room temperature. If making a day or more ahead, you can refrigerate.

Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or, better yet, the scrape out the insides of one vanilla bean)
  • 10 pound bag ice cubes, for chilling
  • 3 cups Ice cream salt, for chilling

Put all ingredients into ice cream canister and stir well. Place blade in and lid on canister tightly so that no ice cream salts get inside.

Finish putting ice cream maker together completely. Plug in machine to make sure everything is set up correctly. If successful, unplug for now and go to the next step.

Place ice all around the bottom of canister. Carefully pour a layer of ice cream salt over the ice. Continue these layers until you reach the top of the canister. Plug ice cream maker in again and allow it to churn until it stops (or almost stops) on its own. This will take about 20-40 minutes.

After vanilla ice cream is done churning, quickly layer ice cream and blackberry swirl into a large container.

You can serve right away, but it is best to freeze in an air-tight container for a couple of hours first so ice cream can firm up.

Blackberry ice cream and memories of grandpa… melts my heart.




Brown Sugar, Walnut & Plum Pound Cake With Maple Frosting Recipe


Walnuts. Plums. Brown sugar. Basically, we are going back into time. The month is August. We’re reaping the blessing of summer but ready to enjoy the dark, moist desserts of fall. We are in heaven… or, you know, at a family reunion where great aunt Margie is still making her best homemade treats for the family reunion – treats we shall never fully appreciate until they are gone.


Brown Sugar, Walnut & Plum Pound Cake Recipe

Preheat oven to 350F.

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup plum jam
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

Cream together brown sugar and butter. Mix in eggs. Then add dry ingredients. Lastly, mix in plum jam & walnuts.

Spray bundt pan with baking spray. Pour batter into bundt pan evenly. Bake for about 40 minutes or until knife poked in middle comes out clean.

Allow to cool for about 15 minutes then carefully turn onto platter.

Maple Frosting Recipe

  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ounces of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoons of water
  • 1-2 teaspoons of maple extract
  • Dash of salt

Whip all ingredients together well. Spread over top of cake. Top with 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts if desired.

It is time to pull out the old recipe cards and bring back the days of sugar plum everything.

© Deanna Morauski 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016