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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 .

How to Make Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup Recipe

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Canned soup is a nice way to welcome your family home from a long day but homemade turkey noodle soup is outta this world delicious. I still reminisce about my first memory of grandma’s turkey noodle soup and how much better it was than even chicken soup.

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Ingredients

  • 6 quarts water
  • 1 turkey carcass (or about 2 cups leftover turkey, chopped)
  • 2 cups flour (plus 1 cup for rolling out noodles)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 8 ounces frozen peas & carrots
  • Sea Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • House seasoning (optional)
  • 2 stalks fresh sage, chopped (optional)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Chicken Better Than Bouillon (optional)

 

First, just save your turkey bones and you’re halfway there. Place them into a large pot with about 6 quarts of water. Turn heat to high and wait for it to boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes.

Remove all bones from broth and place on a sheet pan to cool. Pick out all turkey pieces you can find and place them back into the broth. Turn heat to low. Throw away leftover bones. If using turkey pieces only, disregard carcass-separating instructions and just leave turkey in broth.

Place flour, eggs, and salt into a bowl.

Mix ingredients until dough forms.

Place about a cup of flour out on counter and place flour on dough & rolling pin.

Roll dough into a long strip. Before folding, make sure dough is well floured so it can be separated again when unfolding the noodles.

Fold rolled dough downward in half a few times.

Cut into thin strips. A pizza cutter can be handy for this. Unroll and place in a pile, again with plenty of flour so they don’t stick together. Set aside & let noodles rest for a few minutes.

Add onion, chopped celery and peas & carrots to broth. Add seasonings like salt, pepper, a house seasoning, and maybe even some of your favorite chopped herbs like rosemary, thyme & sage. Sage will give your soup a similar flavor as traditional stuffing. Stir in some Chicken Better Than Bouillon if soup is bland and needs more meat flavor. Bring broth to a boil again.

Add noodles a few at a time. The reason for the boiling temp and adding a few at a time is so they don’t clump together again when the fall into the pot. Of course, my kids have never complained about clumped noodles. In fact, they have always laid claim to them. Give a gentle stir a couple of times while adding noodles.

After adding noodles, place lid on pot and allow to simmer on low for about another 45 minutes.

Mmmmm… cozy in a bowl.

Variations

Chicken: Use raw chicken cut into pieces, boil until chicken is fully cooked, remove chicken to cool, place chicken back into broth and disregard skin, bones, etc.

Beef: Use leftover pot roast cut into small pieces and Better Than Bouillon Beef. This is not a recipe for beef stew. Here is the recipe for beef stew.

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Chocolate Crackle Cookie Recipe

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One of the most admired cookies in all the cookie kingdom is the Chocolate Crackle Cookie. Shiny and crackly on the outside and delightfully chewy on the inside.

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Preheat oven to 350°F.

Ingredients

  • 10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place chopped chocolate and butter in double boiler over high heat. When water in bottom pan comes to a boil, turn off heat but keep double boiler over hot burner. Stir chocolate & butter occasionally until fully melted.

In mixer, whip butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add eggs & vanilla. Mix well.

Turn mixer on low speed and add melted chocolate & butter mixture to mixing bowl.

Add baking powder, salt, flour, and (if desired) cinnamon. Mix just until combined.

Place parchment paper on baking sheets. Drop about six scoops of batter on each baking sheet. I use a heaping cookie scoop per cookie. Note: Batter will be thick yet a little runny.

Bake for 15 minutes.

This is a must add to your cookie platter this year and every year. All hail Queen Crackle.

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Game Day Whoop Ass Pies

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Here a new play on a classic dessert… the Whoop Ass Pie for game day. Go Seahawks! Not a Seahawks fan? Here’s the recipe so you can adjust to your team colors… if you must.

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Game Day Whoop Ass Pies

  • 1/2 cup butter (or 1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 recipe of Light & Fluffy Filling (recipe below)
  • 2 food colorings in your team colors
  • Candy sprinkles (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F

Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl on high speed until light & fluffy. Turn speed to low and add wet ingredients. After wet ingredients are combined with butter mixture, add wet ingredients.

Split batter in half. Stir one food coloring for your team colors into batter very well, and then the second color into rest of batter.

Line baking sheets with parchment papers.

For large whoopie pies, use an ice cream scoop to make pies. For smaller ones, use a cookie scoop. Drop scoops onto baking sheets. Place in preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until tops of pies bounce back when lightly touched.

After pies have cooled, turn upside down and use a decorating bag to cover with filling. Place second pie of opposing color (See what I did there?) on top of filling to sandwich pies together. If desired, roll sides into pretty sprinkles.

Light & Fluffy Filling

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla… or mint, or almond, or maple (you get the idea)

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 almost room temp, add to mixer and whip until light & fluffy. It should look almost like whipped cream.

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

Super fun to serve upon matching cupcake liners placed upside down and with a sign reading “Whoop Ass Pies”. And, preferably, when your team is winning.

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The Two Questions Every Mother of the Groom Receives

I am getting ready to attend my baby’s wedding.

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The first question one receives as the mother of the groom is, “Do you like his fiancé?” 


When the first question is asked, I light up like a Christmas bubble light from the seventies. You cannot get me to stop talking about how wonderful my dotter-in-law to be is. She’s creative and silly and kinder than necessary and real and, like me, she speaks in many accents & languages – even though the only one we really know is English. She makes my son so very happy and I love her. Tearing up just thinking about how much I love both of them. I could bubble on and on but I will contain myself.

The second most important question is, of course, “What will you wear?” 

Then the second question comes out of nowhere faster than you can say, “But I haven’t even lost the baby weight yet.” I mean, it’s only been 21 years since he was born. I mumble. I stumble. I sweat more than someone wrestling with skinny jeans on a humid 110° day in Pennsylvania.

I was once a banker girl who wore dresses, nylons, & high heels to work six days a week and, since that wasn’t enough, to church again on Sundays. Now, yoga pants are the meat and potatoes of my daily attire. They work well when meat and potatoes are the meat and potatoes of your diet.

Dotter was kind enough to gently coax (forcibly push) me back into a shopping dressing room. I can’t remember the last time I was in one for my own sake. It was a tough love moment. She won. And we both survived.  After two shopping trips and about seven stores, Dotter asked, “Mom, so are you saying yes to the dress?” We cheered for a few minutes and then she confronted me about my eyebrows. I tried to tell her even though I might not be entirely pleased with the results when I pluck my own eyebrows, at least I look like I am. She said, “Make an appointment.” I can tell this is going to be like the time my kids took me hiking and kept promising we were almost done. We had only just begun.

Next stop, Spanx. If you ever consider telling others you are considering Spanx, don’t. Stuff it in.  You will get the same reaction as when you announce you are pregnant. You get advice. You get horror stories. You get a lot of “good luck”s. You get scared.

I imagine things will turn out similar to my high school graduation where the audience thought I was singing off tune because I was crying; while, actually, I was crying because I was off tune.

I will, indeed, be emotional seeing my baby get married; but, I might actually be in a straight up panic because, well, Spanx.

Inside I’ll be bubbling over and at the same time just trying to contain myself.

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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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Chicken Makhani AKA Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

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When my kids were little, they learned about various countries by studying not just the history of the country, but the foods. Son and dotter had to cook dinners that represented the country they had been learning about. In my home? Imagine that. I wish I had found my love for Indian food back then. I suppose this time mom is the student.

I know I’m a little late to the game, but I have finally figured out which Indian foods I can eat and still have tastebuds left after trying them. I had to ask a nice lady at our favorite Indian restaurant which dishes were hot and which were not after a few visits of dead buds tuckered out from all the heat. One bite of the super spicy stuff and I can’t taste anything else.


Butter Chicken has a little zing to it but not much. If you like things really spicy, you can add more green chilis or just leave the seeds in. Me? I’ll be the one with the taste buds in tact, thanks.

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Indian Butter Chicken Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 green chiles, stems removed, cut in half, and middles removed
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, roasted in oven for 20 minutes then remove skin
  • 5 tablespoons kasoori methi
  • 2 tablespoons red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 4 whole green cardamom seeds (husks can be left on)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (add a teaspoon or so more if finished product is too acidic)
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, diced into large bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Place two tablespoons of the butter and olive oil into a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add diced tomatoes. Cook tomatoes down for about 10-15 minutes. Stir in ginger, chiles, garlic cloves, kasoori methi, red chili powder, paprika, cardamom seeds, and honey. Simmer for about 5 more minutes.

Carefully pour sauce in a blender. Cover lightly and blend on lowest setting. Work blender up to medium speed until sauce is smooth. Set aside.

Clean large sauce pan.

Place last two tablespoons of butter in saucepan over medium heat. Saute chicken pieces in butter until cooked through to 165F on inside and light golden brown on outside. Pour sauce over chicken. Stir in cream.

Continue to simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Sauce will thicken and spices will settle, making this a dish you will adore.

Serve with Basmati rice (with some peas & carrots mixed in) and naan bread.

I couldn’t of been whiter in that moment I asked for help, but it has allowed me to find a love for Indian food. And by Indian food, I mean Butter Chicken and rice and naan bread. Happy buds.

 

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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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Homemade Rich, Meaty Bolognese Sauce Recipe

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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.

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Ingredients

  • 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.

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Fresh Roasted (or Grilled) Restaurant Salsa Recipe

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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.

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

Ingredients

  • 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.

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