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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 soon! Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen . Thank you so much for supporting us!

Cobb Salad Flatbread Recipe

I am pretty much made of giggles and tears and hugs and values and creative ideas. But, if I’m honest, I am made of grilled cheese and water.

Why? Well, when I was little, my parents worked very hard but still had to keep the budget manageable so we three kids were allowed one choice from lunch or dinner menus – grilled cheese and water.

My children are made of Rice-A-Roni, boxed mac & cheese, and cream-of-mystery-soup casseroles. It was all this young momma knew how to cook back then. As a result, I’m still trying to convince them that crepes from Heaven aren’t evil and I continue to get teased by friends who endured many nasty tator tot casseroles in the nineties. What did they expect from a girl made out of grilled cheese & water?

“But how can I make a casserole without cream-of-mystery soups?” you might ask. No canned soups were harmed of this wonderful Tator Tot Casserole. Try it, and you’ll never go back.

Anyhow, back on topic. My latest love is cobb salad. Gobbs of cobb. I used to crush on chef’s salad but now I’m cheating with cobb. Traditionally, the dressing is a red wine vinaigrette – nothankyouverymuch. I am a huge fan of ranch dressing so that’s my preference and it works great for this flatbread. I don’t use blue cheese dressing because I already have blue cheese in the list of goodies.  The result? My not-so-cobb-y Cobb Salad Flatbread.

Cobb Salad Flatbread Recipe

FLATBREAD

  • 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 5 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.

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.

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

CHICKEN

Cut 2 chicken breasts down the middle so they are thinner and bake more evenly. Coat with olive oil then sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350F until 165 degrees in the middle (about 15-20 minutes).

BUTTERMILK RANCH DRESSING

Place in blender:

  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 cups of mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, grated

Chop fine & add:

  • 1/2 bunch of green onions
  • leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh oregano
  • leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley (or Italian parsley)
  • leaves from 3 sprigs of fresh basil

Finish off with 1 teaspoon of lemon pepper, and salt & black pepper to taste.

Blend on low until well-blended.

SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED 

Spread as much dressing as you would like over the baked flatbread. if there is remaining dressing, it can be saved in the refrigerator for about a week.

Sprinkle toppings over dressing.

TOPPINGS

  • 2-3 c Greens – such as kale or romaine lettuce
  • 2 Cooked chicken breasts, diced
  • 1 c Blue cheese
  • 1 Avocado, diced
  • 2 boiled eggs, diced
  • 1 c Black olives, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 c Bacon bits

Gotta go. Dotter is texting – asking for one of my recipes for real food. There is hope for my little Rice-A-Roni girl, mac-&-cheese son, and this grilled-cheese-&-water momma yet.

 

The Old Hen on New Day NW on Feb 9th

Deanna will be on KING 5 – New Day Northwest on Monday, February 9th (11am in Seattle area). You won’t want to miss her segment with inspiring, adorable, delicious Valentine’s Day treats. 10885537_10152989106344697_5506018570876607233_n

 

A Recipe from Pam in the Sand

Meet my friend, Pam.

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Pam is a Midwest girl who now lives in Egypt with her husband. They are teachers there. She has made a hobby of making cultural faux paus and learning to cook with simple ingredients. She has ridden too many camels and has actually exclaimed, “Do I have to go to the pyramids again?!” (Haven’t we all?) I must introduce you to this talented, fun, and oh-so-talented friend of mine.  You can read about her adventures on her website Pam in the Sand. She’s a kindred heart of this Northwest girl, only, you know. She’s making salad in the dry desert and I make desserts over here where we get nearly tropical levels of rainfall every year. Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 12.50.44 PM

Egyptian Salad

2 Tomatoes cubed

2 Cucumbers cubed

 1 Onion chopped

2-3 leaves Arugula chopped

1 T. Lemon juice

1 T. Olive Oil

Sea salt & Pepper to taste

 

Mix all ingredients together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let “cure” for 30 minutes at room temperature.

 

Grilled & Filled Nectarines Recipe

This sexy little vixen was featured on New Day Northwest recently. You must try. Like, today.

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INGREDIENTS:

Olive oil
3 ripe but firm white nectarines

Filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Garnish:

6 fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Place a grill pan or prepare the outdoor grill over medium – high heat. Cut the nectarines in half and remove pits. Lightly brush inside of nectarines with olive oil so they don’t stick to the grill.

Place nectarines with the cut side facing downward onto grill. To get great grill marks, do not move the nectarines while they cook.

Grill until marks are well formed and they are slightly softened and heated through, about 5-10 minutes.

Combine filling ingredients and mix until smooth. Divide the filling equally, topping the cut side of each grilled nectarine. To take things over the top, use a large decorating bag and large decorating tip to create an amazing swirl on the top. Garnish with fresh mint.

Sweet baby Jesus, it’s take-my-breath-away gorgeous every time.

 

Outdoor Recipes on New Day Northwest

10481346_10152545420519697_969058966076616375_n Margaret Larson and I with our “Happy Camper Cookies” doing a fun after air time selfie. She is one of the kindest souls on the planet. IMG_00021-1024x682-1 Here is the Northwest Salad we shared and I will post the other recipes and more details about our upcoming The Old Hen on Tour Food Truck as soon as I can. 10487827_10152539214644697_2095441084_n Dotter and I couldn’t be more excited.

 

World’s Worst Dog Sitter

I was recently asked to dog sit for some friends. I probably should’ve confessed that this was to be my very first dog sitting experience. And I suppose I could’ve let my friends know that I am allergic to dogs. I also would’ve let them know there’s a reason this innkeeper isn’t allowed out of the B&B often but I couldn’t help myself. You see, for the first time since our short-lived experience with a poorly-trained akita who tried to kill my beloved cat 20 years ago, I was excited to meet Doc – a well-behaved golden retriever – to try my hand at this taking care of a large pup experience.

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This is how I knew I was at the right house.

Doc has the ability to say a million words with one sweet, adoring look but on this particular occasion, I think he was simply asking, “Please hold me.”

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We had a great time playing and napping. It was easy to see that Doc was sweet and innocent.

The next morning, however, I was ready to explore the city so, being the elaborate breakfast-maker I am, I made a little toast for breakfast and was on my way.

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“Please hold me.”

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When I returned home, Doc greeted me like we’d been friends for years. I love him.

The next morning I was feeling rather creative, so I made myself piece of toast. In an attempt to butter my toast while it was still piping hot (the only way to butter your bread), I seemed to of misplaced the butter. I’m not exactly sure how one loses a stick of butter for two days. But, evidently, it can happen. I searched high and low. Since the only two people in the house were Doc and I, I knew it surely had to me that had lost the butter because all the puppy who says a million words had spoken to me so far was, “Please hold me.” And, me? Well, I’m 45 so I voted myself most certainly guilty of having a bad memory, counted my loses and hoped I would never have to explain to Doc’s owners why there was an entire stick of butter under their child’s bed or up on a bookshelf a year from now.

I opened a new stick of butter, buttered my cold toast, and (because I hadn’t learned the first time) placed the stick of butter on the countertop, and went about my day. It involved funky food trucks so I was exceptionally excited.

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“Leaving again? Please, hold me.”

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Once again, I returned home to this pure sweetness. And then I realized that the things on the countertop in front of the butter had fallen to the floor. I’m no detective, but my guess was that Doc was responsible for the first stick of butter coming up missing – wrapper and all.

I finally caught on to the parties that were taking place while I was away and placed the new stick of opened butter up higher than before… right next to the box of lemon tea. I felt good about my uber-intelligence and went about my evening, pouring another glass of Diet Coke, like a responsible dog sitter does.

Doc took the chair and I took the couch – this was our unspoken agreement ever since I’d discovered that adorable golden retrievers are no exception to my allergies. We watched the Food Network together. By now, I had also decided I’m pretty good at this taking care of dogs thing.

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The next morning, I was feeling ultra-creative, and I made myself a piece of toast. I went to pour a glass of Diet Coke for myself, like all responsible dog sitters do, and turned around to check on my toast. Instead of buttered toast, I ended up with a buttered toaster. The toaster is higher than the countertop after all; but, in all of my undeniable responsibility, I had forgotten that toasters get hot. I turned to Doc for help since he was the only other person in the house and he simply said with his big, brown eyes, “Please hold me.”

Since the box of lemon tea was standing by innocently, I gently rinsed off the buttered-infused tea bags and set aside the idea of using soap in a feeble to preserve their lemony goodness. I laid them carefully upon a towel to dry and decided I would figure out what to do with the greasy coating later since I had to leave again.

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“No… really… please, hold me.”

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Doc and I were reunited again that afternoon. A path of half-chewed, butter-licking-good lemon tea bags greeted me at the door. And that was when I decided that Doc loves butter as much as I love Doc. And that’s a lot.

On my last night with Doc I went out one last time.

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“We’re watching Food Network again tonight, right? And you’ll hold me, right? Also, I like butter.”

I was on a mission to buy lemon tea to make up for my dog-sitting shenanigans. When I returned from the store, there was a dog license notice on the door. It said, “Pay within 10 days.” and I’m sure I’m the blame. I don’t know why. I’m just sure I am.

And that. That was when I knew that I was the worst dog sitter ever – because my dachshund eating my car’s entire dashboard to get a ball out of the glove compartment back in 2002 wasn’t enough evidence that I should just stick to innkeeping.

Please hold me.

 

 

A Successful Breakfast

What is a successful breakfast?

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A successful breakfast at my table is not defined by the perfect oily, French-pressed coffee.

Breakfast here is not defined by my witty personality and mischievous, sparkly brown eyes and humble ways. See what I did there?

Breakfast is not defined by the number of guests at my table.

Breakfast here is not defined by the clean plate club – although, admittedly we do rejoice when this occurs.

No, breakfast here is not defined by those things.

Breakfast at my table begins with laughter over foreign language misunderstandings, it is where friendships are made, and where conversations end with address exchanges, international hugs and cheek kisses.

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I love my breakfast table and you are welcome anytime.

 

Paper Straws Make People Talk Funny

My name is Deanna. I have a paper straw addiction. Or as I prefer to call it glorious, fun-filled, party-waiting, colorful straw collection. I have bragged about my straw collection to my friends. This has created a curious following of, not I, but of my straws. And they are worthy of such a following. Okay, maybe not but they’re really funzies to look at and they make my friendsies talk in a new language when they use them – the language of placing “ies” at the end of every word that will accept it. Or maybe that was the mojitos at the other end of the strawzies (exception to the “ies” rule: add a “z” when necessary to force the word to accept the “ies”. This is serious stuff folks – no jokezies.

Side note: I love the word “folks” – it’s not used nearly enoughzies.

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In honor of the Fourth of July or Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day or President’s Day or whenever you are feeling especially patriotic or British, I present thee with red, white and bluesies.

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Purple. Party of four. Evidentially, I’ve already had a purple bash. Funny, I don’t remember it.

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And it’s time to have a Halloween party for one. It’s always hard to use the last one of each color though. It’s more likely that I will skipzies Halloween this year and save my straws.

I’ve become accustomed to buying things out of season so that I can get them on the clearance section. I’ll be on the look out for Halloween straws next November. Merry Christmas to me.

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Brown. Perfect for chocolate milk which sounds really good right now. But only through a paper straw.

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Tiffany blue. She’s loverly, no? Reserved for when you want to feel expensive.

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Gentle pink for a baby shower and bright pink for tweens. Can you even contain your excitement? Oh but wait. It gets better.

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Lady bugzies! But to fully appreciate them, you need a close-up.

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I know, right? Lady bug infested straws… a whole new level of paper straw adorableness.

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Orange you glad I didn’t add “zies” to the end of orange?

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And, finally, honeydew green. And that is my straw collection so far. For more paper straws, you can check them out online here at The Sugar Diva and other sites.

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The lovely thing about paper straws is that they have oh so many uses – and every one of them makes people smile. For example, check out the red straws cut into threezies here. Please. Make the cuteness stop. And the muffin liners?

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Well, I plead the fifthzies

 

Fresh Strawberry Mojitos Recipe

It’s strawberry season – a time for strawberry soup, strawberry tarts,and, of course, the ever-popular and completely adorable strawberry cut-out cookies. This year I thought I would jazz things up with a wee bit o’ rum for you. You’re welcome.

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The mojito is, perhaps, one of the most beautiful drinks. Ever. Add fresh strawberries, and you’ll have a full on party in a punch bowl. Oh wait, that’d be the rum. The strawberries are just the cherry on top. Well, actually they’re strawberries. Well, you know what I mean. I’ll stop now.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pints fresh strawberries (local and in season are best)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (can adjust amount of sugar to your liking)
  • Juice from 3 fresh limes
  • Leaves from 1 package fresh mint
  • 1 bottle 750 ml dark or light rum, chilled
  • 1 – 2 liter bottle club soda, chilled

Hull and slice fresh strawberries. Place berries into a medium bowl. Add sugar and freshly squeezed lime juice (not from a bottle) and stir. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes so sugar has time to bring out the strawberry juices. Place mint leaves in a large punch bowl and mull (crush to bring out the minty oils). After strawberries are very juicy, add to punch bowl. Stir in rum and club soda slowly.

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Serve in the tallest, most lovely fluted glass you have. Over ice. On the weekend. At a dinner party. The taller the glass, the more beautiful and party-filled it shall be. Party on, my friends. Party on with your minty freshness.

 

Whitman’s Chocolates, Miami Vice and My Dad

Less than three months ago, I said goodbye to my daddy forever.

I hadn’t planned on it, but today I sorted through some of his belongings with my mom.  In the midst of boxes and boxes of nuts and bolts, old keys, and a glorious amount of pens that probably don’t work anymore, we happened upon so many memories. In between old sermon notes, stacks of barbershop quartet music and wood-working books, we came across various cards I had given him through the years thanking him again and again for being a great dad for me and grandpa for my children. It was meaningful. And difficult. And although I don’t feel it yet, I am sure very healing.

My favorite, though, were the giggles mom and I shared as we happened upon things like these…

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A can inside a can. Only my dad. I mean really, can your dad do the can can? Mine can.

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This sweet little number  makes me so happy – I’m guessing from the early eighties.

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To top the can inside a can,  how about a Whitman’s Candy box inside a Whitman’s Candy box. Did I mention that my dad loved Whitman’s Chocolates? Or maybe he just needed more storage boxes.

That Disney ticket? Yeah. That’s from the trip where my dad went down Splash Mountain at the age of 75. It was brilliant. Dad got stuck in the back seat and I got conned into the front. We were drenched  by the end of the ride and my kids loved it. What I wouldn’t give to do it all over again one more time.

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Ladies & gentlemen, I introduce you to the original imdb.com. I am not kidding you when I tell you there is an index for the cards in the front of the files. Dad kept this for his TV Guide crossword puzzles. I am willing to bet we shall find about 294 old TV Guides from the seventies and eighties in a box later on, one of which is bound to have Alf on the front cover. I don’t miss Alf.

On a completely unrelated note, I really miss the Carol Burnett show.

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And for the grand finale? I present thee with a Whitman’s Candy can inside of a Whitman’s Candy can. You’re welcome.

 

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