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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 .


Things don’t always go as planned.



Simple Salmon and Cheesy Rice Recipe

I’m not a big seafood fan but I do love salmon. I also love that salmon is so easy to cook and can be enhanced with so many various simple recipes. Sweet, lemony or this simple salmon…


A tip when it comes to shopping for salmon is to buy the wild salmon. Farm fed salmon is often mushy and nearly flavorless. Always wait for the wild salmon! I purchased this awhile back and just froze it for another time – still a hundred times better than the farm fed salmon.

First, line a baking sheet with at least one inch sides with foil. Salmon skin tends to stick to the foil (instead of the baking sheet), making clean up easier.

Cut 6-8 thin squares of butter. I heart little squares of butter.

Place salmon pieces on foil and place butter squares on top of salmon as pictured above. Season to your liking. A house seasoning such as Spike or Johnny’s will work great along with some salt & pepper.

Bake at 350 degrees for about a half an hour or until salmon reaches 145 degrees in the middle of the thickest area of the salmon. When fully cooked, you can drizzle fresh lemon juice over the salmon for added flavor if you like.

Now for the easy cheesy rice. Place two cups of long grain basmati or jasmine rice into rice cooker.

Pour 2 cups of water over rice.

While rice is cooking in rice cooker, place a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Place about a half of a chopped yellow onion and a couple of tablespoons of crushed or minced garlic into oil to cook. Heat until onions look somewhat clear.

Add 1 1/2 – 2 cups of chicken broth or milk to the saucepan.

Add the cooked rice into the saucepan and stir.

Stir in about 1 1/2 cups of your favorite cheese. This recipe would be especially wonderful with sharp cheddar or even a few different kinds of cheeses.

Finally, toss in about 1/2 cup of chopped celery and salt & pepper to taste.  Stir for the finish.

Scoop cheesy rice up with a measuring cup or some other fun shaped container and plate with the oh so lovely simple salmon. If you like, use a decorating bag to swirl some sour cream on top of the rice and add some chopped green onions for flavor and beauty.



Kitty is giving me the stink eye



Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake Recipe


I have been hunting for this recipe for years. Turns out, I didn’t really have to look all that far for there it was right in our old family cookbook. I am convinced that I have now found the cause of my chubby childhood for these chocolaty bars were at every family reunion as far back as I can remember.

Start your ovens! Preheat to 350 degrees.


As with pretty much any recipe that was created by our grandmothers, this starts with 2 cubes (1 cup) of butter. Melt in a saucepan.

Add 1 cup of water.

And 4 tablespoons of Hershey’s Cocoa. I like to use the Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa. Stir, bring to a boil and remove from heat.

In a bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, 2 cups of sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt.

In another container, combine 1/2 cup of sour cream and 2 eggs.

Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture. Ignore my spoon and, instead, whisk together.

Then add sour cream mixture to chocolaty goodness.

I repeat. Chocolaty goodness. If you’re feeling nutty, add 3/4 cup of chopped pecans.

Spray a 18 x 12 x 1 baking sheet with baking spray and pour, pour, pour.

And just because I cannot stop looking, another picture of it in the tray. Bake for 20 minutes.

In a saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter. I just use the same pan.

Add 6 tablespoons of milk.

and 4 tablespoons of Hershey’s Cocoa. Again, I use the special dark. Bring to a boil and then remove from burner.

Add 1 pound (1 box) of powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Stir frosting and set aside until cake is out of oven.

As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, gently spread frosting.

Welcome back, Texas sheet cake, welcome back. I love you.

I will share. If I have to.


Superfood Salad


What a lovely parade of healthy treats! Our doctors and Jamie Oliver have taught us to eat colorful foods. I do believe this lovely more than qualifies.


This colorful salad is full of goodness for your body and really yummy!

  • Fresh baby spinach (I do love all things mini!)
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Homemade sugared pumpkin seeds
  • Grated flakes of dark chocolate



Top with raspberry poppy seed dressing

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 a cup of raspberry jam (sugar-free works great too)
  • 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds
  • Dash of salt & pepper

Place all ingredients in a container & stir (or place in a jar with a lid & shake).

Of course, as with any salad, all things are optional. Play with it and figure out what you like! The reason I chose this rainbow of colors is because many of them are superfoods – believe it or not, about 15 percent of my cookbooks are healthy ones. 🙂



Sugared Pumpkin Seeds Recipe


For a unique spin on pumpkin seeds, try these yummy treats. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Separate pumpkin seeds from stringy pumpkin bits. Discard stringy pumpkin insides and rinse seeds. Dry rinsed seeds a little bit with a clean dishtowel and set aside.

Beat 2 egg whites with hand mixer until frothy.

After egg whites are frothy, add:

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup white sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dash of freshly ground nutmeg

Mix well.

Stir in pumpkin seeds. If you like, toss in a cup of pecans as well for a fun touch.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spread pumpkin seeds onto baking sheet.

Bake seeds for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Sugar coating will harden as seeds cool.

These are great on superfood salad.

Bonus: The taste of these reminds me of a cereal. I cannot figure out which one though. When you make these, if you can figure out which cereal it is please post it.


Honey Glazed Pecan Chicken Recipe


There is nothing as lovely as a big jar of fresh honey. I love my honey guy. He’s a keeper. His last name is Combs. Would I kid about something like this? No, I could not.

With the introductions out of the way, let’s get started with the recipe. I am sure you’ll want to make it for dinner tonight so I will not keep you waiting any longer.

Pour five tablespoons of honey into a medium size bowl.

Add one cup of brown sugar.

And because that is not enough sweetness, add one cup of white sugar.

Melt one & 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) of butter.

Add butter to your sugar overload.

Stir ingredients together and set aside.

Brown chicken pieces by pouring a few tablespoons of oil into a frying pan, wait until oil is hot and then add chicken, salt & pepper both sides of chicken.

Brown chicken on both sides.

Place chicken into a baking pan.

Poor as much of the honey glaze over the chicken as you like. Just be sure to leave room for the broth that will cook out of the chicken in the baking dish.  As long as the chicken does not come in contact with any leftover glaze, you can save the glaze in the refrigerator for another time.

Check that out. I was so fast at chopping the pecans you didn’t even get to see it happen. Sprinkle as many chopped pecans over chicken as you would like and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until chicken is done.

You hear it but right now I am singing, “Glory! Glory!” This is even more exciting than the other day when I got my laundry all caught up.

My suggested back up singers would be fresh green beans and cornbread topped with homemade whipped honey butter… but only if you want your guests to come back begging for more.


Pumpkin Pecan Coffeecake with Cream Cheese Swirls Recipe



Nothing says autumn more than colorful fall leaves and pumpkin desserts. With the leaves still falling at the inn, I just had to make an autumn breakfast treat for our guests. One mention of it on Facebook and Twitter made for recipe requests. This recipe was just invented last night and deserves to be shared. Enjoy the taste of autumn!

Pumpkin cake:

  • 15 ounces of pumpkin (1 small can)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray baking spray into 9×13 pan or two 10-12 inch round cake pans (I used two 12 inch tart pans – the kind that the bottom is separate from the edges).  Place wet ingredients into mixer & blend. Stir in chopped pecans. Add dry ingredients & mix until combined. Pour into pan (or pans) and set aside.

Cream cheese swirls:

  • 2 eight ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup of sugar

Mix well & place into a pastry or decorating bag. Decorate pumpkin cake with swirls (or just drop by tablespoons full all around the top of the cake).

This is why the call it baking with love. It takes time and lotsa dirtied bowls to create masterpieces.


Place ingredients in a food processor.

  • 1 stick of cold butter
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg

Pulse food processor until streusel forms into crumbly pieces. If it forms into a ball, you have pulsed it too long. If you end up with a big ball of streusel, it’s okay. It happens to the best of us. Just make tiny pieces & sprinkle over coffeecake.

Finally, bake your lovely autumn-y coffeecake for about 45 minutes, checking occasionally with a fork. Poke fork into coffeecake & when the fork comes out of the pumpkin cake clean, your loveliness is ready to come out of the oven.


  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • A couple of tablespoons of water

Place powdered sugar and water into a bowl & stir well. Add additional water a teaspoonful at a time if needed until it reached a pourable yet somewhat think consistency. Allow coffeecake to sit for about 30 minutes & then drizzle icing all over the coffeecake.

Taste autumn. Serve to guests & wow friends.

Come back and leave fun comments soon!



How to Make Homemade Pumpkin Puree


As convenient as it is to go pick up a can of pumpkin at the store, there is great satisfaction in making your own. And if you’re not into having the largest pumpkins in the neighborhood, you can just buy cute little sugar pumpkins a week before Halloween, carve them, and then bake to make your puree. Less waste. More satisfaction. Yay team!


Sugar pumpkins work best. If using jack-o’-lanterns, bake before molding occurs and clean well first. Large pumpkins usually do not work well as they are flavorless.

Cut pumpkin into about 4- to 6-inch pieces.

Remove stringy insides of the pumpkin and the seeds. Separate seeds and save for roasted pumpkin seeds. Stringy pumpkin guts can go in the garbage or compost pile.


Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay with cut side down on a baking sheet.

Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour or until soft.


Remove pumpkin from the skin.

Place the pumpkin into a food processor and pulse until pureed.

Preserve in airtight container in refrigerator until ready to use.


The Prettiest Little Tea Bags I Have Ever Seen

Tea Forte Super pretty, very delicious and oh so peaceful.

Besides the obvious beauty, where do I even begin? I do love a cozy cup of tea but these tea bags are especially special. One pleasant surprise I had when using one is that they stand in the cup while you poor the steamy hot water over them. I didn’t have to worry about my tea bag falling into the water. The flavors are a delight and I was able to use the tea bag more than once because everything about it is so high quality. Lovely, Tea Forte, simply lovely!

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