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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!

Easy Homemade Maple Nut Ice Cream Recipe


I have fond memories of my parents taking us kids to Baskin Robbins when I was little. I could never understand why they chose to eat maple nut ice cream when there were 31 perfect flavors such as root beer float and peanut butter & jelly right under our noses. And then I grew up. And I understood. And now my favorite ice cream in the entire world is maple nut.

If you plan on going on a few homemade ice cream excursions of your own this summer, I recommend investing in a few large GladWare containers. They’re inexpensive and super handy for large amounts of ice cream glory.



  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup maple extract
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
  • 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 church until it stops (or almost stops) on its own. This will take about 20-40 minutes. You can serve right away, but it is best to freeze in an air-tight container for a couple of ours first so ice cream can firm up.

You see, some people think my blog is about my culinary genius; but, it is so very not. It is merely a continuing story of my taste buds growing up.


How to Make Easy Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream Recipe


I have to be honest, I wasn’t a fan of homemade ice cream the first time I made it. In fact, my ice cream maker sat in the top of a barn for about 8 years after the overwhelmingly creamy, ultra-thick blackberry misadventure of 2006. The recipe had too much heavy cream ratio for this girl. Bleh. I decided to try making ice cream again one last time – my way – before putting my practically new ice cream machine into a garage sale. And it was good. It was more than good. It was perfect.

I did a very (un)scientific poll to find out what everyone’s favorite ice cream flavors were – I posted a Facebook status to ask my friends. So, without further ado, I now introduce you to everyone’s favorite ice cream… chocolate chip mint.



  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • Small amount of green food coloring (optional for your visual well being)
  • 1 1/2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 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 & 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 church until it stops (or almost stops) on its own. This will take about 20-40 minutes. You can serve right away, but it is best to freeze in an air-tight container for a couple of ours first so ice cream can firm up.

Oh, that joy that fills my soul… er… um… ice cream canister. I may need to make some to sell at my next garage sale.


Rich, Meaty Bolognese Sauce Recipe


I’m pretty sure every last one of my Facebook friends has visited Italy this week. There are beautiful pictures of naked male statues standing by glorious fountains, bold red wines, and churches – oh, the churches. And I’m all sittin’ over here in Seattle listening to my neighbor’s favorite music and eating a whole wheat bagel covered in peanut butter & jelly. Perhaps this post came out of my subconscious jealousy (and by subconscious, I mean complete awareness).

Cue the neighbor’s music that sounds like the back end of an eighties boom box by the time it reaches my ears… I’m about to welcome you to my own Little Italy.

Once you accomplish the initial steps, this is a great recipe to throw in the crockpot for the remaining 4 hours. Hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day so you had to know their sauce would take at least four hours to make. Also, you know I never miss capitalizing on a great pun. Like, ever. I’m sorry. You’re welcome. I’m sorry.

You have not tried spaghetti sauce until you’ve had bolognese. I promise you will never go back.



  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots,finely diced
  • 3 stalks celery,finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 4 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground veal
  • 8 ounces country style ground pork
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cup water (1 cup may be replaced with a dry white or red wine if you’re feeling especially fancy pants)
  • 3 tablespoons beef Better Than Bouillon
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

Most meats come in about one pound packages. If making one recipe, you can freeze the other halves. You’ll be making this again soon. I promise.
Preheat oven to 350F. It is a good idea to dice veggies in advance. This is a long simmering dish; but, it is also pretty busy in the beginning. Set veggies aside.
After veggies are diced, cut tomatoes into quarters and place on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil. Salt & pepper tomatoes. Add garlic cloves (still wrapped in peels) to pan as well. Bake for 20 minutes. This is the only step that requires the oven so you can turn it off.
In a large pot, pour olive oil and add butter. Melt over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and allow to cook for a few minutes. Add diced veggies. Cook until onions are translucent.
While veggies cook, place milk, water, Better Than Bouillon, and tomato paste into a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
Remove tomatoes and garlic from oven when they are done. Place tomatoes into food processor. Remove peels from garlic (they should practically slide off) and add. Process until still a little chunky, but soup-like.
Add ground meats. Using utensil, chop meat up well while cooking. Pieces should be very fine. Allow to cook until juices evaporate and meat is beautifully browned and somewhat sticking to bottom of pan.
Add bouillon mixture to pot. Stir in. Add processed tomatoes and garlic to pot. Stir in. Allow sauce to simmer on lowest heat with a lid partially covering for about 4 hours. Make sure to check and stir once and awhile. Sauce will become more red and be kind of oily in texture as it cooks. Near the end is a good time for additional salt since it may reduce down and become too salty if you add a lot in the beginning.
When it is time to serve, cook noodles according to instructions on box. Be sure to bring water to a boil first, add noodles, then cook for as long as box says (all noodle cooking times are different).
If you don’t count the fact there are no naked male statues standing by glorious fountains, bold red wines, and churches, it’s just like I’m there. Only, you know, I’m watching the Mariners on ESPN and approximately 5,661 miles away from an ancient colosseum.


Fresh Roasted (or Grilled) Restaurant Salsa Recipe


I haven’t met a soul yet who can resist Mexican restaurant salsa and chips. We get full before our meal comes. Amirite?

How spiffy would it be to make your own salsa at home and have the power of making your salsa as mild or spicy as you like? How awesome would it be to have the power to say you’ll skip the 2,794-calorie burrito platter and just get full on the chips & salsa freebies?

Your answer is here. Let’s salsa.


If oven-roasting, preheat oven to 350F. If grilling, turn grill on medium-high.


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 medium tomatoes, stemmed & cut in quarters (I like vine-ripened but fresh outta the garden are for sure the best)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into quarters 1-3 jalepeno peppers, stemmed & cut into quarters (removing seeds is optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, remove peels after roasting
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional, great addition when using out-of-season tomatoes)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 3 green onions, roots removed then diced
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves only

Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over a half sheet pan that has sides. Place tomatoes, onion, peppers, and garlic cloves on pan. Drizzle with a couple more tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Place pan in oven for about 20 minutes or until sizzling. If grilling, place larger items on grill and turn occasionally until charred on outside edges. Place smaller items in a cast iron pan drizzled with olive oil to heat up.

Place all ingredients into a large food processor and pulse until the texture of restaurant salsa as pictured above. Sample with a tortilla chip to be sure the flavoring is right and that there is enough salt to bring out all the gorgeous flavors of your salsa.

Now that you’ve saved 2,794 calories, let’s do margaritas, you zesty little thing.


Red Wine, Steak, and Mushroom Risotto


I’m going to be honest with you. I’m not a huge fan of eating mushrooms – it’s a texture thing. But, you absolutely cannot beat the flavor they add to dishes… especially saucy ones. If you can relate, please promise me you will chop some ‘shrooms up real fine and use them. I promise in return you will never regret it.



  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound stir fry beef, cut into about 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced or diced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 2-3 tablespoons beef Better than Bouillon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Sour Cream (optional, for topping)

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.

Place olive oil into large frying pan over high heat. After oil is hot, fry beef until browned. Set aside.

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

Add more olive oil if needed. Place chopped onions into oil. Cook until translucent and caramelized. They will begin to brown. 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 red wine & a cup of beef broth into risotto. Stir and cook on medium heat until wine is nearly all absorbed by the rice.


This recipe is brought to you by the word “Stir”. Don’t even think of walking away. I love this spoon. It is a hand-carved reminder that I am loved. If someone can take the time to hand-carve a beautiful spoon for me, I can certainly stand here and hand-stir my risotto.

Continue to cook and add broth in this same fashion – one cup at a time about every 5 minutes – 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, basil, and beef. 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 basil.

Keep trying new things, brave souls. Keep giving hand-made gifts that cannot be found on Amazon. Keep stirring up lovely things. Keep being saucy.


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe


So this happened.

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It started with a couple rhubarb roots and grew into this after just a few months. Jurassic Park. Or, you know, just rhubarb. And by “just rhubarb,” I mean beautiful, tart, pink, sassy filling for pie.


Strawberry rhubarb pie. Strawberry rhubarb pie with a crumbly streusel topping to be exact. You know me and streusel. I’m all about the streusel.

Pie Crust Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup ice-cold water

Place flour, butter, and salt into food processor. Pulse until crumbly – about the size of peas. Slowly add water and process just until dough turns into a ball.

Flour counter top and roll into about 11 inch circle. Carefully fold pie crust in half and in half again. This will make getting it over to the pie plate easier. Place in pie plate and unfold. Pinch edges of pie crust to make a pretty edge.

It is best to par-bake pie crust. If you don’t, most pies will have a sticky bottom which is not nearly as yummy as a flakey crust. To do this, Place a piece of foil or parchment over crust. Fill pie with beans or pie weights. Weighting down the pie crust is a good idea to prevent the pie crust sagging and to keep the bottom from puffing up. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until crust’s edges are slightly golden.

Remove liner and pie weights to use another time. After beans have been used for weighing down a pie crust, they are no longer good for making soup.

If you prefer a pie crust top for your pie, just double this recipe, split in half, and use one for bottom and one for the top. Par-bake the bottom then add second crust to top of pie after you add the filling. I also recommend beating one egg and brushing it over top pie crust, then adding large sugar crystals on top. The sugar brings a great balance since rhubarb is tart.

Pie Filling Ingredients

  • 6 long stalks rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • About 4 tablespoons cornstarch

In a large saucepan, place all filling ingredients except cornstarch. Stir and allow to sit for about 20-30 minutes. This gives time for the sugars to do their magic, bringing out all the fruit juices. Stir in cornstarch. Heat over medium-high heat while stirring. Continue to stir and watch for filling to boil. After it reaches boiling point, it will begin to thicken. When this happens, remove from heat and pour into par-baked pie crust.

I recommend finding a friend or relative or someone you’ve never met who has a rhubarb plant so you can grow your own pie. I mean rhubarb.

Top pie with streusel recipe.


Streusel Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 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.

Bake pie at 400F for about 30 minutes or until top is light golden brown and filling is bubbly.

If you can wait, it is best to allow to cool to room temperature. If you cannot wait, I won’t judge. I will only judge if you don’t use the streusel topping option.


Easy Tomato and Cucumber Salad


This super dooper easy salad option flew off my radar for years. In fact, this very post has been a draft in my reserves waiting for me to publish since 2012. And then I saw how gorgeous it was again and here we are.

If you dislike Miracle Whip, please avert your precious eyes. If you must, you can replace the Miracle Whip with regular mayonnaise but, of course, it will have a savory flavor rather than sweet.


  • 6 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 3/4 cup Miracle Whip
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Nothing terribly fancy to see here but a fun, tasty (and don’t forget easy) option to remember when your garden blossoms this year.


7 Unique Eats in the Snoqualmie Valley

The Snoqualmie Valley is a fascinating northwest wonderland but I must admit that I did not fully realize all the amazing things to see, do, and, perhaps most importantly, taste – that is, until I opened a B&B (now closed). One of the most frequently asked questions I received as an innkeeper was, “Where’s the best place to eat?” Although there are far too many delicious places in the Snoqualmie Valley to list them all, here are seven of my favorites where your meal becomes an entirely unique experience.

Camlann Medieval Village

Step back into time, into 14th century rural England to be exact. Camlann Medieval Village in Carnation features in-character interpreters who have taken on roles of medieval persons living in a small village in the year 1376.  Camlann is dedicated to offering the public powerful personal experiences of history, including multiple learning and performing arts opportunities, built upon research of rural communities in 14th century England, to provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between those historical events and western society today. The Bors Hede Restaurant at Camlann is open year-round and there are special festivals through out the year such as the upcoming May Fests. Camlann is a perfect place for a unique and educational holiday experience. Keep up with the 14th century fun by following their Facebook page.
Euro Lounge Café

If you love coffee and you love crepes, you need to visit Euro Lounge Cafe. Sinisa and Cristina have brought their travels throughout Europe into each of their made-to-order, gorgeous crepes. Their recipe is nearly 100 years old and all of their ingredients are fresh. They have even added a gluten-free option to their menu; but, of course, they didn’t take this request lightly. Several recipes  were tried and only the best products were used to develop their gluten-free crepes.

While Euro’s crepes are unique enough to stand out on their own, the excellent and friendly service you’ll find here is what really knocks your socks off. Cristina and Sinisa put much love and care into everything they do. Even the decor of the restaurant is from 90% recycled items, including the “new” old, gorgeous wine bar which made it’s way from Bend, Oregon to North Bend, Washington. Be sure to say hi and ask them about their exciting new goals for the Euro Lounge when you stop in.

The Grange Café

The Grange Cafe offers a cozy and casual dining environment in downtown Duvall in the original Cherry Valley Grange Hall built in 1926.

Their menu features American classics prepared with local and mostly seasonal, organic ingredients. The house specialties include pasture finished pot roast and meatloaf, Beecher’s mac n’ cheese, “The Grangeburger”, homemade biscuits and gravy, organic bread pudding, local microbrews and wines along with a full bar.  The Grange is open six days a week (closed Mondays) serving lunch and dinner during the week and brunch and dinner on the weekend. There’s even a special area for children as well as outdoor dining during the good weather months and groups up to 30 people can be happily accommodated.

Did I mention they have a real pizza oven? This place supports local farmers and simply rocks.

Woodman Lodge

After visiting the Woodman Lodge several times, I finally sat down with the owner Peter La Haye to chat about his amazing restaurant. You may have seen their commercials on the Food Network but if you haven’t made your way out to Snoqualmie to check it out yet, please allow me to personally invite you to visit the Woodman now. No, really, right now. You’ll thank me.

The Woodmand Lodge is well-known their Cowboy Steak and All-You-Can-Eat Rib Nights but did you know they also serve elk, wild boar and buffalo? There is something for everyone on the menu and a lovely western bar which will take you back in time. This restored 1902 building which now boasts a sense of great food and joyful community thanks to renovator and owner Peter La Haye.


Outstanding in the Field Dinner at Full Circle Farm

Have you ever enjoyed a farm-to-table dinner in the middle of a gorgeous field at a table decorated in white linens with over a hundred other people? Yes, indeed. The Outstanding in the Field Dinners are a memory-maker and we are so very fortunate to have them in our very own northwest backyard once a year. Locations vary every summer so be sure to check out their website. A local chef cooks a perfect dinner and a Washington state winery delivers wine to the dinner table that perfectly pairs with each course.

Make new friends as the sun sets in all its beauty in the background of a most perfect dinner experience. Be sure to watch the website or Facebook page for the annual schedule for this one-of-a-kind experience.

Gianfranco Ristorante Italiano

Gianfranco Ristorante Italiano specializes in Southern Italian cuisine while using seasonal, local flavors to create crazy-delicious meals. The warm atmosphere and excellent wine selection will have you almost believing you are in Italy while you enjoy your authentic Italian meal. Gianfranco’s now has gluten free pizza and pasta available so everyone can still enjoy a taste of Italy.

Their expansive wine list features a large selection of Italian wines. Gianfranco’s also holds quarterly wine dinners featuring five courses of Italian food, paired with wine. The technique of food and wine pairing are explained and discussed while you enjoy this unique experience offered by their friendly team. Visit while hungry and visit soon.


Boxley’s (Update: Boxley’s is now closed.)

I’m giving one last nod to a Snoqualmie Valley favorite. Boxley’s will be setting their closing date soon but their music will live on so I recommend getting your reservations in soon and then following their Facebook page so you can watch for their continued music later.

Boxley’s has been named by Downbeat Magazine on their list of top jazz clubs in the world for the last 3 years. Boxley’s has made North Bend proud. They have live music every night (with an occasional exception for special events for the community).  Their roots go deep into the local community with their mentorship program designed to bring the generations of experienced jazz artists out to work with the brand new and future jazz artists. The Boxley Music Fund is a Non-Profit organization music membership program where members get access to a website with 100s of hours of music recorded live at Boxley’s.

In 2012, the first North Bend Jazz Walk to support the community at large and it was a huge success. Over 800 people come out for the festival and there was live jazz in six venues along North Bend Way. The Jazz Walk continues today and has opened doors to festivals in other cities as well. Although the restaurant is closing soon, the song will play on through this inspiring Snoqualmie Valley family. We wish them all the best!


About Deanna McCaulley: Deanna’s love for baking and cooking began as she sat upon a baker’s stool as a little girl. Her love for people grew in the midst of church potlucks. She expresses her loves today creatively through speaking, writing for her food blog, and local & national television appearances. The Old Hen has hosted guests, including celebrities, at her award-winning inn, The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast in Snoqualmie Valley, Washington which was open from 2009 through 2014. Besides subscribing to these posts at theoldhen.com, you can also connect with The Old Hen on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.



Old-Fashioned Date Bars Recipe


The date. Strong and subtle. Pair him with sugar-y, oats-y goodness and you have the perfect escort for your next potluck.


Preheat oven to 350F.


  • 1 pound dates, diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Pour dates, water, and sugar into large saucepan. Stir and place over high heat. After filling starts to boil, reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally. Allow to simmer for five minutes. When done, remove from burner and set aside.

Place remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Using a pie cutter, cut ingredients until they combine into a loose crumble.

Press half of crumble mixture evenly into a 9X13 pan. Set remaining crumble aside. Pour and spread date filling evenly over bottom layer of oatmeal crumble.

Top date filling with remaining loose crumble mixture evenly (do not press down).

Bake for 35-40 minutes. Top should be golden brown and filling should be bubbly hot. Allow to sit until cooled to room temperature and filling has a chance to firm up a bit.  Cut into squares.

The season of reunions and picnics is quickly upon us, so let us not forget the decadent date bar. You will never be let down.


Magic Bars Recipe

At church last weekend I was reminded of God’s goodness through an inspiring message, fun chats with friends, and let’s be honest. The potluck. This Sunday brought memories back of a classic – Magic Bars. No church cookbook (or blog) would be complete without this recipe so let’s have some church…


Preheat oven to 350F.


  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 – 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 – 12 ounce bag butterscotch chips
  • 1 – 7 ounce bag sweetened coconut flakes
  • Butter for greasing pan

If making graham cracker crumbs from crackers, place about 24 crackers into food processor and process until crumbs make three cups. Add melted butter and spin until crumbs are moistened.

Spread a couple tablespoons of butter around inside of 9X13 pan. It is important to make sure sides are buttered as the sweetened condensed milk will want to stick to the sides.

Press graham cracker crust makin’s down into buttered pan.

Drizzle can of sweetened condensed milk over crust until fully covered.

Add rest of ingredients layer by layer as evenly as possible so that every bar has all the flavors… walnuts, chocolate chips, then butterscotch chips, then coconut. Gently press layers into sweetened condensed milk just a bit.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

Wait about 15 minutes for bars to cool a bit before cutting. Cut into about 12 bars or smaller if you like.

To mix things up, you can exchange ingredients. Replace butterscotch & chocolate chips with white chocolate and walnuts for macadamias. Exchange butterscotch chips for peanut butter chips. For holidays, you can sprinkle with festive candies.

Taste and see that the Lord is good. Amen.

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