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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 plans. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Almond Pavlova With Nutella Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries Recipe

The pavlova is as fun to say as it is to make. You see, making one is an event. It is not difficult if you follow instructions well; but, like all good things in life, it does take some time. No drama, baby, just patience.

Preheat oven to 250°F.


Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (preferably caster sugar which is extra fine, not as gritty as regular)
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1/8 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 2 pints variety fresh blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries

Let eggs come to room temperature. Place egg whites in mixing bowl and save egg yolks for another recipe.

Whip egg yolks until frothy and white. Sprinkle cornstarch and vinegar over eggs. Whip together. Add sugar a couple tablespoons at a time while continuing to whip. Add almond extract. Whip until glossy and has stiff peaks.

Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper. Form three 8-inch circles about 2 inches high each with meringue.

Bake for 1 1/4 hours. Reduce heat to 150 and bake another hour. Turn oven off and allow to cool completely in oven (about an hour).

While waiting for pavlova to cool, you can make the whipped cream and prepare the berries.

To make whipped cream, whip heavy cream in a clean mixing bowl. Once it reaches soft peaks, add Nutella and powdered sugar. Whip to stiff peaks.

Rinse berries and allow to dry on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. I like to cut the strawberries into quarters so they are easy to enjoy; but, if you’re looking for just a little more drama, you can leave all or some of them whole.

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How to Make Emoji Cake Pops

Must haz all da feelz for Valentine’s Day. Cake pops + emojis = Valentine’s treats. Nothin’ could be sweeter.

You will want a sturdy styrofoam block or a Wilton Cake Pops Stand before entering to world of cake pops because you will need to prop them up after dipping. Either of these can be purchased online or at a craft store.


Cake Pop Recipe

First, bake a 18.25 oz. cake mix. Allow to cool.

Then grab one 16 oz. container of store bought frosting. It’s important to note that you can only use 3/4ths of the container though or your cake pops will crack after coated.

Place 3/4 of the container (or 12 ounces or 1 1/2 cups) of frosting into all of the cooled, baked cake. Did I mention using only 3/4ths of the container of frosting? I recommend placing cake & frosting in mixing bowl and mixing until well-combined.

Form into about 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet. Form the same amount of cake into a poop emoji by pressing it into a flat but thick triangle then forming some curves with your fingers and a little curved tip at the top. Freeze on tray for 15 minutes to set.

During the wait time, melt chocolate and yellow candies.

Remove cake balls from freezer once they’re chilled. Poke top of lollipop stick into melted candy just about 1/8 inch, then insert a lollipop stick into cake ball. Reform the top a little bit again as it might get a little bit flat from sitting on the pan.

Royal Icing Recipe

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. 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. Use decorating bag and a simple round tip to decorate.

For Silly Face Emoji Dip in yellow candy, place one eye candy (yes, I know) on the right side of where you’d like the face to be. Allow to dry. Finish off face using black royal icing and I just carefully broke a thin pink heart to make the tongues. After drawing the mouth, tongue can be glued onto black frosting before it dries to complete the look.

For Poop Emoji Dip in dark chocolate candy, place eye candies in place. Allow to dry (nice thing about these is they can be carefully laid upon parchment paper on baking sheet to dry since they’re kinda flat anyhow). Finish off face using white royal icing to draw his stinky little smile.

For Love Emoji Dip in yellow candy, place two red hearts for eyes. Allow to dry. Finish off face using black royal icing for the smile.

If you like, you can let frosting on cake pops dry overnight and then place a clear bag over the top and wrap a bow around the bottom of the cake pop. You can also carefully place the cake pop stick into a matching striped paper straws making for an extra cute delivery.

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“This Is Us” Birthday Banana Muffin With Twinkie Frosting

I don’t know how it happened. I decided to check it out but was full of doubt. I turned on the TV, watched the first episode, and I’ll be darned if I didn’t sit there bawling my eyes out. Any emotional constipation I may have been suffering from before watching was gone and I quickly become a fan.


And since I’m not alone, I’m sure there is someone out there who needs this This Is Us – themed recipe for their loved one who will be celebrating their birthday soon. Have a co-worker who can’t stop talking about it? Got a Facebook friend who posts about how much they cried over this week’s episode… every… single…. week? Yeah, that person. They need this muffin.

Banana Muffin Recipe

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs, bananas, fresh lemon juice, flour, baking soda, salt, chopped walnuts. Mix well. Place in large muffin tins with liners. This recipe will make 10 large muffins (or 20 regular size). Bake for about 35 or until top of muffin is light golden brown and springs back when touched.

Twinkie Filling Frosting

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk milk & flour together in a saucepan. Place over medium high heat and watch closely. Continue whisking until thick. Cook for about one minute while whisking. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.

Place butter & sugar in mixer on high speed until light & fluffy. After flour & milk mixture has cooled to room temp (important), add to mixer and whip until light & fluffy. It should look almost like whipped cream or, you know, Twinkie filling.

Note: For a very white filling you can substitute butter with white shortening. Shortening just won’t taste nearly as lovely.

Don’t forget the sprinkles and the candle… or your friend may get emotional.

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How to Make Your Own Ged Bedder Badket

Years ago I shared this photo with my Facebook friends.

This is my “ged bedder badket”. It hadbs eberythin’ I neeb to feel bedder when I hadb a code in my node.


Since then, I have seen many friends post their own special variations of this idea on trays, in baskets, or whatevs. It always makes me smile. I thought others might also find this idea helpful when fighting through the cold & flu season. I like to make sure I am stocked up on my favorite soup (boxed Lipton soup – not the white meat kind cuz I’m picky that way), Ritz Crackers (in snowflake shapes cuz they’re the only kind to enjoy with your Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup (without the white meat), medicines, and other important stuff just in case someone needs a “ged bedder badket”. This is such a fun way for everyone in your family to help to care of each other.

Ged Bedder Badket Ideas

  • books
  • highlighter
  • pen
  • blank notebook (I love lists)
  • Post-its
  • magazines
  • audiobooks
  • TED Talks
  • Music
  • soup
  • crackers
  • juice
  • 7-Up
  • water
  • tea
  • medicines
  • iPhone – the new I-need-something bell (preferably more up to date than pictured above)
  • iPad
  • laptop
  • movies
  • hobbies
  • tissues (I hate tissues so I prefer soft napkins)
  • remote control
  • thermometer
  • whiskey for what ails you (if you’re my grandpa who swore by it)
  • your twenty-five pound, one-nutted cat with a drooling problem (or your pet of choice)

Tray and Basket Ideas

(Click on pictures for more information on each)



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How to Roast a Whole Chicken

If you are new to the whole roasting a whole chicken thing, you’re gonna dig this post. Roasting your own chicken isn’t only easier than getting a pre-roasted chicken home without leaking in the car, but it’s oh so yummy. Oh, baby, nothin’ like it.

It only takes about an hour and half of roasting time and a few minutes of prep! So don’t be, well, uh, chicken. Give it a try.

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Preheat oven to 350°F.

They say not to name your farm animals. But, since her days are over already, we’ll take the risk of becoming too attached and call her Girdie. Here’s what you’ll need…

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (at least 4-5 pounds in size)
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 cup dijon mustard
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10-20 baby potatoes

Remove all loose pieces from inside chicken. They may be in both ends so check thoroughly. If you have no use for these, you can throw them away.

IMPORTANT: Wash hands thoroughly in between steps so no ingredients are contaminated with chicken juices.

Place Girdie in a large oven-safe pan with sides no higher than about 4 inches high. This will allow her to tan (brown) nicely.

Cut lemon in half. Squeeze lemon juices all over chicken while guarding with your fingers so no seeds drop into the pan. Place lemon halves inside Girdie. Poor Girdie.

Smear mustard, sea salt, and pepper all over chicken. Toss a few bay leaves on top of Girdie. May she roast in peace.

Place Girdie in oven to roast for an hour.

Cut potatoes in half or quarters so they are similar sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and add to roasting pan with Girdie. Cook for another half hour to 45 minutes.

IMPORTANT: Check chicken with meat thermometer to make sure Girdie has reached 165°F in her most voluminous places. Poultry must always reach this temp before it is safe to eat!

When done, remove roasting pan from oven. Allow chicken to rest for about 30 minutes before cutting into it.

Save and refrigerate loverly broth for other recipes.

Look at you. You did it. Soak in the praise of thy people. You and Girdie make a great team.

 

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Kale Salad

Kale doesn’t try to fit in with everyone. The flavor is a bit stronger than your average lettuce so some snub kale; but, the health benefits make her worth getting along with.

A light, lovely dressing is the answer. Coat salad with this healthy dressing as you would a Caesar, and you will be pleasantly pleased, have one more veggie friend, and be a bit healthier than you were yesterday.

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Kale Salad Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted in saute pan over medium high heat for a few minutes
  • 1 bunch kale, julienne-cut (thin strips)
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (or a mix of both)
  • 8 ounces parmigiano reggiano, large grated with potato peeler

Place all ingredients except parm in a large bowl. Toss together.

Lemon Dressing Ingredients

  • Juice from 1 large, fresh lemon
  • 2 ounces grapeseed oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Shake the salad dressing ingredients together in a container with a lid.

Drizzle over kale salad.  Toss salad until well-dressed.

Top salad with beautiful parmigiano reggiano.

Here’s to lean and green… and to more new, bold veggie friends.

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Homemade Chocolate Brownies Recipe

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How about being able to say your bake sale brownies are made from scratch without fibbing? How about PTA moms begging for your recipe? How about the pride when your kids asking for extra brownies in their lunch so they can share with friends?

Just when you thought there was no such thing as a moist, chocolate-y homemade brownie with perfect chewy edges outside of the box, here she is. And she’s easy… easy-to-make, that is.


Homemade Brownie Recipe Made With Real Chocolate

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. high quality semi-sweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. flour (about 1/2 cup but it’s best to measure in ounces)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 9X13 baking dish by spraying with baking spray.

Place about 1/2 inch of water in a saucepan. Place another saucepan over the water-filled one while making sure not to get any water in the top pan. Turn heat on high. Place chocolate & butter in top pan. Wait for water to boil then turn burner off. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted together.

Place eggs, salt, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla into a medium bowl. Whisk together well. Stir melted chocolate & sugar mixture in well. Stir in flour. Stir in pecans if desired.

Pour batter into 9X13 pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until somewhat firm and top has a shiny crust. Allow to cool before cutting them for as long as you can muster.

Your life is about to change for the better this school year. Bake on, popular girl. Bake on.

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Southwest Salad Recipe

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I’ve had some fantastic Southwest salads and I’ve had some horrible ones. One restaurant served theirs covered in a vinaigrette – heavy on the vinegar. I couldn’t eat it. I puckered up, pecked at it like an Old Hen would, cut my losses, and left the place $18 poorer and pretty darn hungry.

So, because I love you, I present thee with a Southwest Salad which will be more pleasing than a prissy plate of lettuce & vinegar every single time.


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Makes two large salads or 4 medium salads.

Ingredients

  • 1 small can black beans
  • 1 recipe of Southwest Rub
  • 2 chicken breasts, butterfly cut in half
  • 1 cup Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped into about 1-inch squares
  • 1 ear corn on the cob
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalepeno, minced
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced fine
  • 8-10 stalks cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons grated cheddar
  • 4 tablespoons grated pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Tri-color tortilla strips (or regular tortilla chips will do)

Rinse black beans well and place in saucepan in water. Boil for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Turn on grill (or oven to 350F. Prepare Southwest Rub and set aside. Butterfly cut chicken breasts and coat with Southwest Rub. Allow chicken to sit for about 20 minutes then grill until middle of thickest part reaches 165F.

It is wise to invest in a good meat thermometer to be sure any meats you cook reach their safe temperature for eating. 

Place corn cob in a pot of boiling water. Leave in water for three minutes and then place in a bowl of ice cold water for a few minutes. After corn is cool enough to handle, cut corn off of cob.

Place lettuce on plates. Top each plate of lettuce with corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, red onion, cilantro, cheddar and pepper jack cheese.

Slice chicken at a slant for an extra stylish look and place on top of salad.

Drizzle with desired amount of ranch dressing.

Dice avocado right before serving (so it won’t brown). If preparing in advance for a crowd, you can drizzle and toss avocado with fresh lime juice. Keep everything except chicken refrigerated until ready to use.

Decorate sides of each plate with tortilla strips and a couple of lime wedges. Lime wedges are ever so delightful squeezed upon your salad.

Budget-friendly, fresh, flavorful, and comforting. Eating out (on the patio) is so very perfect.

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Eggs Benedict Recipe

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I’m on a kick lately. Back to basics… the traditional, if you will. The basics are good for the soul. Here are some others I’ve been in touch with lately:

  • Take road trips.
  • Be happy.
  • Be kind.
  • Be silly.
  • Keep learning.

There’s something about going back to the basics that refreshes the soul. Sometimes we get too fancy, too complicated, too side-tracked. And then there’s Eggs Benedict – classy and uncomplicated.


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Two servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 English muffins, toasted
  • Butter
  • 4 pieces of Canadian bacon (or several slices of Black Forest ham)
  • 4 poached eggs
  • 1 recipe of hollandaise sauce
  • 1 green onion, diced (optional)

Toast English muffins and butter them. Place each on a plate.

Fry Canadian bacon or ham until hot. Place on English muffins.

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Poach four eggs. The best way to do this is to heat water in saucepan on high until it starts to boil. Place a paper towel on a plate and set aside. Turn heat down to medium high. Stir until water forms into a circler rotation in pan. Crack an egg open and drop into middle of pan. Allow to cook for about 4 minutes.  Remove egg from water with slotted spoon and place on plate. Continue until all four eggs are cooked. Eggs will look imperfect and this is perfect.

If you’re not a fan of the runny yolk and like an over-hard egg, you can cook them for about 8-9 minutes. This isn’t traditional, but you should enjoy your eggs the way you like them. You can also use fried eggs or scrambled eggs. This dish is delightful either way. 

Make hollandaise sauce and pour over your eggs. Oh, sweet Baby Jesus.

She may seem prissy and hard to figure out, sure, but she is so much more than that. She is comforting. She is saucy. And she is empowering. And, once you realize you can make the basics, you can do anything.

 

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Old-Fashioned Date Bars Recipe

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

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Preheat oven to 350F.

Ingredients

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

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.

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