Facebook Twitter Gplus Flickr Pinterest LinkedIn
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 in 2014! You can learn & laugh with Deanna & her friend Buffee (yes, that's her real name) during their cooking demos at the Washington State Fair this September and hear their The Old Hen podcast soon. Here's to starting from scratch. Thank you so much for supporting us!

No Bake Coconut Date Ball Cookies Recipe

You’d think most kids might run if you were to mention coconut and walnuts in the same cookie but when I was little, this was my favorite holiday cookie. I still love making them today because they are as yummy as I remember and easy too!

The recipe as I wrote it out many, many years ago. :)

2 cups of pitted & chopped dates – To make it easy, I purchased this container & it is just the right amount without the work! Yay!

2 cups of mini marshmallows – Have you ever imagined roasting one of these? I have imagined it and it hurts because the stick is to short.

1 cup of chopped walnuts – Sometimes I think about how many times I have taken a picture of chopped walnuts and wonder if you’d start to notice if I just recycled the same picture over & over again. Do you think you’d notice? Don’t worry, these are fresh.

2 cups of graham crackers

…and to think, I lived without a food processor for 40 years! Crazy!

Turns out that each package of graham crackers is one cup so 2 packages made the 2 cups that I needed! Sometimes it’s the little things…

Enter this recipe’s better half – 1 can of sweetened condensed milk.

Pour in & stir until it forms a dough – Work your magic sweetened condensed milk. Work your magic!

About 1/2 a bag of coconut or more – (singing) Oh what a lovely bunch of coconut!

Roll dough into about 1 inch balls – My high school friend always said that my hands should be in pictures. This is for you, Susie! I’ve made it! I’d give you my autograph but my hands are too sticky.

Roll each dough ball into coconut.

I just hate it when I don’t get even rows. I’m a little compulsive that way.

And there she is in all her glory – the Christmas platter filled with Mom’s coconut date balls! They aren’t the cutest kids in school but they will be a favorite this holiday season. I promise!

For gluten free option, just find all products in a gluten free label. They will be available at a natural foods market. 


Rice Krispies Peanut Butter Balls Recipe



  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® cereal
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
Mix peanut butter & butter together. Add powdered sugar and then the Rice Krispies.

I hope no one was planning on having PB & J tomorrow.

Holy cow. That’s 728 fat grams you’re eyein’. Good thing these are little treats.

The after-shock of baking is always pretty messy here.

14 cups Rice Krispies® – I hadn’t ever made peanut butter balls with Rice Krispies before today.

Place 6 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels & 8 tablespoons vegetable shortening into double boiler & melt slowly over a low heat, stirring often until fully melted.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Roll peanut butter mix into a zillion 1 inch balls (or, you know, about 54 if you make a single batch).

Allow to harden in a cool place. If you make a one batch, you can place them on a tray in the fridge for about 20 minutes to set the chocolate.

I’m sorry to share a recipe that isn’t new but I was so glad to be introduced to Rice Krispies peanut butter balls that I had to share it. It’s really yummy.

P.S. These can be kept in the fridge or freezer for Christmas. Package carefully so they stay pretty!


White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Recipe

The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast

The inn is Christmas cozy. We’ve put up the Christmas tree, pulled out the comforting seasonal breakfast recipes and have started baking for our Christmas Cookie Crunch! You can click on the link above to find Christmas cookies and packaging ideas which we will continue to update for you. We’ve just started so be sure to visit back often!

Taste of Home
I am a cooking magazine and cookbook addict and my daughter is catching the bug too. She found these treats in a Taste of Home  Christmas edition and just had to make them for you. She adjusted them to her liking and came up with these pretty cookies to add to our Christmas Cookie Crunch fest!

Our favorite part came first… melting the white chocolate in a double boiler (make sure not to let even a dribble of water to mix into your chocolate!) The smell of this is Christmasy to me because my mom made white chocolate almond bark every year when we were kids. It quickly became one of my favorites.

While the white chocolate melts, place foil on a cookie sheet.

Smear – love it when verbs sound like the action “smeeeeaaaarrrrr” – the white chocolate onto the foiled pan. Then chill while you prepare the peppermint and red candy.

Place some candy canes in a baggie (let out air) and seal. Roll over with a rolling-pin until crushed.  Our Christmas Cookie Crunch just became very literal.

Net, melt one packages of red Wilton candy disks in the microwave about 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between cooking time until they are smooth and melted.

Stir in 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract.

Spread the red love all over the white chocolate evenly.

Ooooo… Ahhhhh….

Sprinkle the peppermint pretties all over the red chocolate layer! Then place candy in fridge to chill again until hard (about 10 minutes or so.)

Finally, carefully separate the candy from the foil. Easy peezy!

Break into small (or XXL in this case) pieces!

Hurry and take the picture before mom comes over & gets all particular about the lighting!

We’ve been serving these as our evening treat to our guests and they love them. Brittany even got a sincere compliment from her little brother – that is no small feat!


Almond Roca Bars Cookie Recipe

Oh my goodness! Oh my goodness! So much for baking without sampling! I just made these bars for church and they are Hoops & YoYo delicious!!

1 cup brown sugar – I do love a leveled measuring cup!

1 cup butter – softened

1 egg yolk – I’m pretty proud of this picture

2 cups flour- Nothing better than Christmas music while you bake using a red Kitchen-Aide!

1/2 t. salt

Can you tell I have been traumatized by stubborn baked goods that won’t come out of the pan one too many times? Baking spray is my new best friend even when recipes don’t call for it!

Press mixture into 11 x 15-inch cookie sheet – Peanut butter jelly spread out, peanut butter jelly spreeeeaaad out… funny and a little embarrassing, the things that go through your head while bakin’.

20 oz. semi-sweet chocolate – Semi-sweet chocolate always makes me 100% happy!

1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds – or if you find that you have a little of each, you mix them together like I did. :)

Bake for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Bake until light golden Be sure not to over bake – Wow, not sure what angle I was at when I took this pic!

Melt chocolate & gently spread over baked dough.

Sprinkle with almonds. Cut into bars while still warm. - Go nuts! Seriously worthy calories right here!

Stunning, really, don’t you think? Happy baking!


Happy Thanksgiving!

We were up early today as many of you have been, putting the turkey in the oven. I have gotten the turkey prepped and it’s roasting. He is trying to take all of the credit but I’ll only let him have it if the turkey is still frozen in the middle at serving time like it was when he made it 17 years ago. As we slid the pan into the oven, I could not but help thinking what is a blog about food without a Thanksgiving post?

What do I love about food? Why do I write about it? It seemed fitting to take a moment to reflect on being thankful for food and to consider the special memories around it – the joy, the tears, the traditions and thankfulness.

One of my happiest and scariest memories of my life happened in the kitchen. My mom always did a lot of baking for the holidays and even worked in a bakery for about 25 years. I loved watching her do her magic, especially during the holiday season. One happy day when I was about 5 years old, I was helping her. I was mesmerized by the spinning of the electric mixer, watching it go around and around until I was so caught up in it that my long brown hair was literally caught up in the mixer too! Thankfully, mom was standing right next to me and immediately turned the mixer off. She remembers my hair being tightly wound up in the beater and having to carefully and lovingly untangle it. I have asked her why she didn’t have pictures and she recalls being too worried about me to even consider a photo – bless her heart!

Some of the most significant moments created with food at the table are embedded in my memories forever – every funeral, reunion, and wedding.  Meals delivered to someone’s home with loving care in celebration a new baby, a successful surgery, or perhaps in a time of grief have brought people together in ways they never thought possible. Anyone who has ever delivered a meal to our door on one of those occasions has changed any prior judgments I may have had of them before that moment. They were from that point on seen as a caring person. Anyone willing to make a meal and deliver it to your door with love has to be a good person.

Besides the partly frozen turkey, there have been dinner rolls that could pass for rocks, far too many dirty dishes to even count and mincemeat pies left almost whole if it weren’t for grandpa’s piece taken out of the pie. There will be no mincemeat pie this year.  I will miss grandpa and his contagious laugh so much.

The years of avocado green Kitchen-Aide mixers, grandma’s massive leftovers from making too much food and even lumpy gravy have made me appreciate everything I have and most of all the people I love for they will not all be around the same table forever.


The Innkeeper Hits the Town to See Steamy Kitchen

toh snow

Brownies aren’t the only thing I’ve been creating from scratch this year. It took us about six months of spinning in circles to turn our house into The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast. During this time, we designed everything  from the B&B interior design. marketing, menu, the fire pit, brochures, river path and so much more… all from scratch too. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten out much this year!


I was finally able to sneak out this week to a foodie gathering in honor of Steamy Kitchen foodie blogger, Jaden Hair, for her new book, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner.


When you get lost it’s an opportunity to meet someone new, a gas station attendant.

Of course, not until I was able to get myself adequately lost between I-90 and Queen Anne Hill and back to I-90 and again Queen Anne Hill did we actually find Bustle. I’m so glad that I had invited my mom because the saddest of situations becomes a gigglefest with her along for the ride and that makes every stupid turn more fun.


Bustle on Queen Anne

Via a detour through China Town, we found our way back to Bustle on Queen Anne, a hip new coffeehouse, loaded with French pastries, sandwiches, beer, wine and personality. I got to meet one of the owners, Jimmy Curran, who was a perfect host. Be sure to check out Bustle… just don’t get directions from me.


Raspberry Almond Mazarine Tart

We arrived 20 minutes late and I turned in my dessert entry. I made a Raspberry Almond  Tart which received raves from fellow foodies. I brought home about a quarter of it and the leftovers were gone in no time. Yummy!


The big winners were the creators of the flavored butters and Swedish chocolate cookies.

Congrats, fellow foodies! I’m sorry for the poor pictures, I forgot to bring my camera so I had to use my iPhone.


Mom was excited about the gift bags. We do love gift bags! We morph into Hoops and YoYo when we see them.

Once we chilled from our big adventurous drive out to Queen Anne, we chatted with some lovely people. This was our first offline foodie social though, so it was hard to resist saying LOL and BTW instead of actually laughing out loud or saying “by the way.” Help! I’ve become a social media geek and can’t get out!


Mingles and munchies! Jimmy from Bustle says a few words.


Best coffee ever and my own copy of Steamy Kitchen Cookbook, ready for Jaden’s signature.

With the hustle in the Bustle, I completely forgot to ask Jaden for a picture together, so until we meet again I have a stunt photo to insert here…


Jaden & Deanna

Yep, that’s us. Practically BFF’s with a little cropping and cutting. :) Really, Jaden was fun and sweet as could be. I’m so excited for her as she take the next steps in her foodie adventures!


Bella Cupcake Courtue cupcake wrappers by Carrie Middlemiss

After the treats, a Q&A with Jaden and prizes, we ended the evening with a gift exchange. I was so excited to walk away with a new product that I’ve been wanting to try! Bella Cupcake Courtue cupcake wrappers. Check these pretties out!




Thanks ever so much…

You can buy your pretty little Bella Cupcake Couture cupcake wrappers here! Thank you, Carrie!

Also, a huge thank you to Jaden Hair for specifically choosing “sunny” Seattle to visit on her book tour and to Keren Brown from Frantic Foodie who put on the event. What a fun night!

Update: Jaden was on CBS, The Early Show on December 4, 2009!


Orange Creamsicle Smoothie Recipe

Nothing says welcome to winter like a frosty orange creamsicle smoothie. Okay maybe not so much, but I told a lovely guest of ours that I would be posting this recipe and I am a couple of months behind on my promise! Honestly, I’m not big on the idea of liquid pumpkin and gingerbread drinks anyhow so I’d rather have this liquid sunshine even when the leaves start falling.

So let’s get started making orange creamsicles in a glass!

Fill blender with about 5 cups of ice.

Add water up to the 4 cup mark on the blender.

Blend ice & water until you get a water slushy. Before we had a B&B, we used to use a wooden spoon to jolt the blended process as needed. I don’t recommend it though, unless you enjoy the extra fiber of wood chips in your drinks. We’ve never regretted buying our Vita-Mix blender. It is perfect for our business!

Pour out all excess water. Your remaining ice should look something like this. Snow cone anyone? A little water left at the bottom is okay.

Place entire can of frozen orange juice in blender.

Okay, not the entire can, just the O.J. :)

Blend O.J. in at slow speed and increase a little at a time as needed. At this point you have created a tasty slushy but we’re going over the top now to add the creamsicle flavor!

Oh yeah, baby, slow churned vanilla ice cream.

Measure two cups of ice cream and squeeze it into the blender.

Again, blend slowly and increase speed as needed. Use the stirring stick as much as possible so you can avoid high speeds. For years I tried to figure out how they made such good smoothies at some places while others were frothy, foamy and just plain disgusting! When it comes to the texture, slow is the answer. Dairy products are as temperamental as pie crust. Take it easy on them and they’ll treat you good… well, uh, maybe not if you’re lactose intolerant.

I had to chuckle when I took this picture. I’m not a huge fan of milk so we always have this lame little container of fat free stuff in our fridge. Goes well with fatty ice cream, you think? Pour about a half a cup of milk in if your smoothie doesn’t blend well.

And there it is. I always feel like singing the hallelujah chorus when I make these for guests cuz they’re just plain that good. Please understand, I’m not trying to brag. It took me at least seven years to figure out that fast blending ruined every smoothie I ever tried to make. When you work that hard to find the frothy  busting truth, one feels like singing!

There she is in all her curvy beauty. It’s okay you can stare. Make these for all of your friends but please be sure to slip into the conversation that you got the recipe on this crazy lady’s blog… The Clever… something or another.



The Great Quiche Fiasco of 2009






Phew… :)


Taco Quiche Recipe

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was dragged to brunch. Brunch was scary for the little girl because it meant two things.

One, it meant that two meal opportunities were condensed down to one meal opportunity. This was not a good thing for the little foodie blogger in the making.


Two, the main dish at brunch was always quiche – ewy gooey, lukewarm, tasteless (except for the broccoli!) quiche. The very name sounded ewy gooey.


Then one day the little girl grew up and decided she was going to invent a quiche that was firm, hot, and filled with flavor. This blog post is about one of the many flavorful quiches that she now makes.

Enter taco quiche. Ole’!


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and get ready for a fiesta! Chop about 1/2 cup of yellow onion and toss into frying pan.


Add about 1/4 pound of ground beef and sizzle, sizzle, sizzle.


Drain grease and rinse well. Pat down with a clean paper towel to help remove as much excess juice as you can so that it doesn’t make your quiche ewy gooey.


Add your favorite taco seasoning in the amount the package says to add for 1/4 pound of beef (or just add 1/4 of a package of taco seasoning), but instead of adding water, try this trick…


Drain the olive juice from the can of sliced olives. Use about 1/4 cup.


Add the olive juice to the meat instead of water.




To prepare the quiche pan, just spray with cooking spray. By the way, never ever, ever use baking spray for savory dishes! It has a sweet taste that will ruin your savory meals. Save the baking spray for the sweet recipes. Gives me the shivers just thinking about using it on a savory dish!


Place your homemade pie crust in the pan. That is unless you cheated like I did. In that case, place your store bought pie crust in your pie plate. If you do make a homemade crust, check the sugar content. Again, this is a savory dish so you don’t want a sweet crust. When it comes to pre-made crusts, Pillsbury is a great brand to use as the off brands sometimes have too much sugar in them.

Preheat oven to 350F. Bake pie crust for 15-20 minutes until done.


Okay, meat is cooked, pie crust is baked. Time for the filling!  Place nine eggs in a medium bowl and beat well. Add salt & pepper to taste. I use this trick to help me decide how much to use… I shake the salt and grind the pepper about two times each per egg when I make quiche.


Now we add the milk. Wrong!

Now we add the half & half. Wrong!

If you’ve survived ewy gooey quiches like I have I am sure that you will put your foot down with me and declare heavy cream! Yeah for heavy cream! Just 1/8th of a cup will do.


Next add the olives that were left from the can we drained above and about 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese.


Add 1/8 cup of taco seasoning.


Now for my favorite part! Cilantro! Chop a small handful and add. Mmmmm…. smells better than Tijuana!


Finally the grand finale – taco beef! Stir in well.


Pour quiche mixture into baked pie crust and place on a cookie sheet just in case it drips.


Bake for about one hour.


Serve hot with your favorite toppings like finely chiffonade lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, salsa and, of course, extra cheese, please!


And she and her blog readers lived happily ever after.


Halloween Treat Ideas

Our community center had a Haunted House and dotter and I provided a bake sale for the event. Culinary geeks that we are, we overworked ourselves and could hardly keep our eyes open while selling them.

Adorable, creative, tired witch.

A cookie tombstone cemetery on crushed Oreo dirt. Want to make your own? Here is a list of some of those we laid to rest:

Bitby A Snake

C. U. Later

I. Slipt

I. Will Return

B. R. B.

K. A. Put

Ima Goner

Red E. Ornot

I. M. Dead

Ghoulia Child

Berry M. Deep

Izzy Gone

U. R. Next

Barry A. Live

I. B. Gone

Miss Fortune

Silly monsters for the kids. Okay, every baker has their regrets; hindsight tells me that his hair looks like a unibrow – Now that’s scary!

Big googly-eyed spiders!  They’re web designers.

We made the spider’s bodies from cake balls.

Jack Skellington was the hit of the night! Dotter made these. She gets really crazy about Jack!

Little carrot raisin muffins feel prettier with a ribbon.

Adorable, creative, tired witches feel prettier with black lipstick.

Speaking of witches, how about witch finger cookies, complete with wart! How? We used icing to stick a green M&M on them and then covered them in a simple powdered sugar icing which was a creepy green. The fingernail is a sliced almond.

And finally… six feet under bars. We used jewelry boxes lined with cardstock. We then placed 7 layers bars inside each box and laid the toy skeleton to rest on top of the bars and wrapped them. We covered the top with theme fitting scrapbook paper and added a little RIP label and of course a ribbon makes everything better.

I hope you have a wonderfully spooky Halloween and use this weekend to connect with people in your community. What a fun time to meet the families in your neighborhood!


Now for our little Halloween contest! We’re sorry, this contest has ended but…

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR THREE WINNERS! Just for fun, be sure to check out the fun that our winners are having with their toy skeletons we affectionately have named Dead Stanley! You can follow their travels from Texas, New York and Washington here.

PLEASE NOTE: This item does contain nuts.

I’m giving away three sets of “Six Feet Under Bars”! Here’s the spooky scoop:

  • Just leave a comment and include your favorite Halloween treat idea link on this post Here’s an example of a cute treat link!  http://blog.thecelebrationshoppe.com/tag/fun-halloween-treat-ideas/
  • If you win, I will be sending you two Six Feet Under Bars!
  • Leave your comment with a way for me to contact you if you win (either a blog link or email)
  • Deadline to enter is October 27, 2009 at noon (recorded by the time stamp of your comment).
  • The winners will be announced & bars will be mailed out tomorrow afternoon so you can receive them quickly. Be sure to check your email or back here to see if you won so that you can email me your mailing address on time.

* One winner will be chosen using the Random.org integer generator.

Happy Halloween!

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