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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 and food truck plans as seen on New Day Northwest. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Pineapples Wearing Shades Cookies Recipe

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No matter how cool you are, you’re probably never gonna be as cool as pineapples wearing shades cool. Pinterest has made chalkboards, foxes, pallets, and owls popular; and, lordy, I don’t know who is responsible for this, but bless them. Pineapples with shades. Here is my ode to the hottest new Pinterest tropic. I mean, topic.

Decorated vanilla sugar cookies with pineapple royal icing. They’re the hipster version of retro pineapple upside down cake. No. Wait. That would be pineapple upside down cake. But, really. Do we care? They’re way too adorbs to worry about such things.

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Cookie Recipe

Cream together:

  • 2/3 c. shortening
  • 3/4 c. sugar

Add & beat together well:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 1 T. milk
  • 2 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Refrigerate dough for about 1 hour. This is an important step. Why? Because it will make the shortening or butter in your cookie dough cold again which will make the dough firmer and this prevents overusing flour while rolling out. Overusing flour creates dry cookies. So be sure to chill, yo.

After dough has chilled, preheat oven at 350F.

Dust clean counter top lightly with flour. Roll out and cut into shapes using a pineapple cookie cutter.

Bake about 15 minutes. Length of time needed for baking depends on how thick you roll your cookies. If you roll your cookies very thin, the baking time may be just 6-8 minutes.

 

Royal Icing Recipe

  • 3 T. meringue powder
  • 4 c. sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 -6 T. pineapple juice
Place all ingredients into mixer. Turn on low speed until powdered sugar is incorporated into a frosting. This prevents powdered sugar snow in the kitchen. Royal icing has never smelled so heavenly. You’re welcome. Continue to mix until the frosting is stiff – like whipped cream.  If you remove the whisk attachment, the frosting should stand up pretty much straight.
This recipe is perfect for outlining, leaves, and such. For the middles, add a little extra water or pineapple juice to thin frosting just enough that is won’t run outside the lines you have placed on your cookies. With practice, the thickness you want will come natural to you. Too thick, every move you make shows. Too thin and it runs all over. You want to find a thickness that is juuuuuuust right.
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To decorate, just do criss cross lines over your pineapples. Add a little curve to them. Then do the same thing going the opposite way.
For leaves, just use the firm frosting and decorate with a Wilton Decorating Tip, No.352 Leaf.
A simple round decorating tip is great for everything else.
Oh. And don’t forget the party umbrellas. You know, cuz pineapples cool like dat.
If you’d like to put cookies in a clear little bag, just allow them to dry overnight or (if your frosting is especially thick) maybe two nights. Then they will harden and be ready to bag & bow!
 

When Life Gives You A Lemonade Banner

A few years ago, these lemon-y tarts hit the Seattle scene. They were featured on New Day Northwest. And while they made a stunning TV debut, there were a couple of things which may have accidentally upstaged their refreshing beauty – my hair in all its outrageously fluffy, brunette glory and the cute swag banner which was draped across my display.

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Today I present thee with a little give-away.

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I was sifting through some things and I came across the pretty lemonade banner.

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And I thought to myself, ” I’ll bet some entrepreneurial little girl would love to have this for her lemonade stand this summer.”

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I’m sure it would increase her profits by at least a bazillion percent.

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Or perhaps a mom would love to use this banner for a summer party.

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Or maybe someone out there will simply display this as a reminder of what to do when handed lemons.

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So, let’s get this party started. Please leave your comment below and tell us what you will do with this scrappy little lemon-y fresh piece of art.

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A winner will be chosen then posted using random.org this Thursday, July 7th, 2016 at 7:00pm.

 

Homemade Praline Swirl Ice Cream Recipe

Everything caramel is better.  Just ask Ben and Jerry and Haagen and Daz and, basically, any nut.

Never mind the small talk. Imma just gonna let this recipe speak for itself with a moment of silence….

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Make caramel sauce first so it has time to cool to room temperature.

Caramel Swirl Ingredients

  • 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 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 looks foamy. Carefully stir in cream as it will splatter. After starts to boil again, stir in salt and vanilla. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Vanilla Ice Cream Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 5 pounds ice cubes, for chilling
  • 1 1/2 cups Ice cream salt, for chilling
  • Caramel Sauce (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Put sugar, salt, heavy whipping cream, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla 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.

When ice cream is done churning, place a half of it in an air-tight container. Add a layer of caramel sauce then a half of chopped pecans. Add  the other half of the ice cream then add other half of caramel sauce and rest of pecans. Freeze for a couple of hours first so ice cream can firm up.

Swirly goodness and mercy and peace on earth.

 

Homemade Pulled Pork Sammich Recipe AKA The Hot Mess

If you’re having a casual, little dinner party for about six people and want to go all out, let me introduce you to The Hot Mess… in the best possible way, that is. Have plenty of wet towels ready. And snobby beer. And bibs.
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Other recipes you will need if you choose to build this fabulous sammich from scratch… or, you know, you can ignore the challenge and buy some of it at the store. 
Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork in Barbecue Sauce Recipe
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • One 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes
  • One 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons. kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (not regular paprika)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup BBQ rub (I used Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub)
  • 2  tablespoons yellow mustard

Sizzle olive oil in a pot.

Place diced onion into very small pieces and add to the oil. Cook until onions appear translucent.

Add tomato puree, tomato paste, water, vinegar & molasses.

While sauce is simmering, continue to  stir and add dark brown sugar, kosher salt, pepper, smoked paprika (not regular paprika), & chili powder.

Finally, add BBQ rub (I used Grill Mates Sweet & Smoky Rub), cranberry juice and yellow mustard.

Place sauce in blender and cover with lid. Blend until all tomatoes & onions blend into the sauce. Set aside.

Preheat to 325F
On stove top over medium-high heat, drizzle olive oil in a clean large oven-safe pan. Brown pork shoulder on all sides.
Pour barbecue sauce over pork shoulder and place in oven with a lid on pan. Continue to cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the shoulder reads 185 degrees F, about 4 hours. Remove the pork from the oven and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Shred pork.

To build your sammich, cut open hamburger buns and butter the insides of each. Lay with butter sides up on a baking sheet. Watch closely while broiling until golden brown.

Remove toasted buns from oven. Top with pulled pork, coleslaw, and crispy fried onion strips.

She’s slow. She’s chaotic. She’s a lot of work. And she is sooooo worth it.

 

Homemade Hamburger Buns Recipe

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Hard ciabatta buns housing chicken salad make chamber of commerce lunches exceptionally awkward. Don’t ask me how I know, I just do. Corn dogs purchased for $9 at the county fair that are covered in unsweetened, bread-y cornbread deserve a first class ticket into the garbage can. Whole wheat bread grilled with American cheese makes a kid wonder what they did wrong in life to deserve such punishment.

But the perfect bread? Well, that changes everything. Just as a waiter or waitress should not overshadow the company across your dinner table, a bun should simply enhance and showcase the oh-so-important star of the show… the fillings. I have just the thing for your grilled burger sammiches this summer… perfect homemade buns.

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Makes 6 large hamburger buns.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110F or less)
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 egg (for brushing tops before baking)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds (optional)

Place yeast in a medium bowl. Pour in water and whisk. Set aside.

Measure oil. Set aside.

Place all dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir dry ingredients together.

Using dough hook attachment, add yeast mixture and oil to dry ingredients and turn mixer on medium speed. You can turn up speed as dough comes together. Kneed until dough comes together and pulls away from sides of bowl. This can take 3-5 minutes.

Remove dough hook and place mixing bowl in a warm place so dough can rise. Cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise until about double in size.

Form dough into balls for the size hamburger buns you would like to have. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with plenty of room in between for them to rise again. If making sliders, buns can be very small, if larger, you can use for full-size hamburgers. Keep in mind the buns will double in size as they rise one more time.

Beat egg well. Set aside.

After buns have finished doubling in size again, preheat oven to 350F.

Gently brush buns with egg wash. Top with sesame seeds if desired. Bake about fifteen minutes or until light golden brown.

And, yes. If you must, you can substitute the flour with whole wheat flour… even though the little grilled cheese loving girl in me disapproves.

 

Steak Salad Recipe

The older I get, the more have to face the fact that green needs to be the most prominent color on my plate. Gone are the days of pasta and cheese. Enter rainbows of veggies… okay, and blue cheese dressing… and beef.

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Serves two.

Salad Ingredients

Cook steak, make dressing, and fry leeks according to instructions given and set aside. Then divide in half and place ingredients on two plates in a sexy fashion.

It helps that she’s easy on the eyes. I can go green. No prob’.

 

Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe

Well-aged, savory, and a wee but sassy. I present thee with the amazing (very grown up) blue cheese dressing for your summer salad.

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup salad oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Of course, the exceptionally responsible of us would use this dressing for salad… the rest of us just found a way to make our hot chicken wing dip at home. Amen.

 

Cheesy Beef and Bean Burritos Recipe

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Our pre fourth of July weather has settled in this week. Sunshine doesn’t normally commit in Seattle until July 5th. After that, summer is perfect. But, for now, it is burrito weather. And that ain’t half bad. Things are looking brighter this week, though. I’m convinced it’s because I made a simmer-all-day kind of meal. You know, kinda like washing your car only to have it rain the next day. I made a burrito and the whole weather report flipped.

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This filling takes about 4 hours to simmer so it can be made in advance so it is ready on burrito night.

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots,finely diced
  • 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 fresh jalepeno pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 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
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon epazote
  • 1 tablespoon ground Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • 8 grande flour tortillas
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese

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.
Cut tomatoes into quarters and jalepeno in half then place on a baking sheet drizzled with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. 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 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, jalepeno, and garlic from oven when they are done. Place tomatoes & jalepeno 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 to veggies in pot. 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, jalepeno, and garlic to pot as well. Add chili powder, paprika, epazote, Mexican oregano, cumin. Add beans. Stir all together.

Allow sauce to simmer on lowest heat with a lid partially covering for about 4 hours. Filling can also be transferred to a slow cooker at this point. You’ll just want to place lid tilted and be sure to stir about every 20 minutes as normal. 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. After filling is ready, stir in chopped cilantro at the last minute.

Place tortillas out to fill. Place freshly shredded cheese (waaaaay better than pre-grated) on each one then add a couple scoops of filling to each one. Fold sides inward, then roll away from yourself. Place closure side down onto baking sheet. Continue process until all or ready for baking. If eight is too many, you can save the filling in the freezer for another time.

Bake for 20 minutes. Tortilla shells will be lightly browned and cheese will be melted. Toppings like sour cream or guacamole can be added, or you can eat plain.

Welcome back, sunshine. We’re looking at the mid seventies all week, Seattle. You’re welcome. My work here is done… and that’s a wrap.

 

Cobb Salad in a Tomato Bowl Recipe

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It’s time for summer. It’s time for salads. With bacon. Because, well, bacon. One of the least snobby is the cobb-y. There are no candied pecans, or fresh berries, lemon dressing, or anything very hob nob. These things are loverly, but sometimes you just want easy-going, casual fixins and cobb is where it’s at.

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Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breast
  • 4 large beefsteak (or comparable) tomatoes
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups ranch dressing
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, peeled & cut into wedges or diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 cup bacon bits and/or freshly cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • 4 slices freshly-cooked bacon for garnish (optional)

Butterfly cut two chicken breasts. Bake in oven on baking sheet at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until chicken reaches 165F in thickest parts.

Remove cooked chicken from oven and dice. Set aside. (This can also be done a day ahead if desired the refrigerated so it can be placed on salad chilled.)

Cut tomatoes into six wedges about 2/3 of the way down so they stay together but can be fanned out to serve as a resting place for your salad. Place one tomato on each plate.

Place 1/2 cup chopped lettuce into each tomato.

Drizzle each with a generous amount of ranch dressing. Because it’s the right thing to do.

Top with diced chicken breast.

Top with remaining ingredients and, if desired, you can garnish with bacon. I mean, who doesn’t want more bacon?

I love you beautiful cobb-y. You are my heartthrob-y.

 

 

 

 

Queso Cheese Sauce Recipe

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Is there anything that brings Americans and Mexicans together like queso sauce?  And our love of siestas. And fiestas. Well, and margaritas. Yeah, margaritas trump them all. But I have to say, queso sauce has to be runner-up. Just start with a couple bricks of cheese and build from there…

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounce brick of medium cheddar cheese (or white cheddar)
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese (from a brick or 12 slices)
  • 1 – 4.5 ounce can mild green chilies
  • 1 fresh jalepeno, minced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup salsa or pico de gallo
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Grate medium cheddar (store bought grated cheese won’t melt nearly as nicely as freshly grated). Unwrap and/or dice Velveelta cheese. Set both aside.

Place cream in medium saucepan over medium heat. Watch closely while cream is scalding.

Add cheeses to heavy cream. Continue stirring as cheese melts.

Add remaining ingredients. Salt & pepper to taste.

This makes about three cups of undebatable, bless-ed goodness in a bowl. So good, it borders on, well,  being politically incorrect.

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