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

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)



Print Friendly
 

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.

img_4229


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.

 

Print Friendly
 

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.

img_3518


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.

Print Friendly
 

Homemade Chocolate Brownies Recipe

email

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.

Print Friendly
 

Southwest Salad Recipe

email

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.


IMG_0733

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.

Print Friendly
 

Eggs Benedict Recipe

email

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.


IMG_0707

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.

IMG_0697

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.

 

Print Friendly
 

Old-Fashioned Date Bars Recipe

email

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

IMG_0326


Preheat oven to 350F.

Ingredients

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

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.

Print Friendly
 

Roasted Butternut Squash

email

I’ve always disliked squashed squash.

Pumpkin ravioli? Meh.


Soup? Even more meh.

Overcooked? There are not enough mehs in the world.

But I’ve wanted to like it. I’ve tried with my whole heart. I’ve even ordered it at fancy restaurants to be sure I wasn’t judging my squash over a bad recipe.

IMG_0179

But, I’m not a quitter. So, last September I accepted the gift of a butternut squash from some amazing gardeners, my in-laws. I was scared but excited.

And so it sat.

And sat.

It was moved to a new location.

And it sat.

And here we are in March.

Today I was brave. What I found was what I had wondered all along. Would I like roasted squash better than squashed squash?

Yes. Yes, I would. And with the excitement level of a chihuahua I am happy to say I love roasted butternut squash. I admit. I did use bacon in my recipe but I can say with ease that I would love this dish even without the bacon.

Ingredients

  • 4 strips of thick-cut bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 fresh butternut squash, diced into one inch squares (or, you know, one from last September)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • Couple of dashes of sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Spread out bacon pieces in (preferably) in a shallow non-stick roasting pan. (A half sheet pan with sides or a 9X13 baking pan will work too. Line with foil for easy cleanup).

Put remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss until well-combined and coated with maple syrup and salt & pepper.

Place squash mixture upon bacon pieces.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Give a gentle toss and serve on a platter.

Dare I say? I might even like the leftovers ground into a soup puree in the food processor. But tossed and roasted will always be my very favorite.

Print Friendly
 

Lemon Bars Recipe

email

As an oldest child, I remember having special privileges – privileges like staying up late with mom to watch Dynasty. Once a week, we would make lemon bars and snack ourselves into the world of shoulder pads and male stunt doubles in awful wigs playing the roles of over-privileged, fighting women.

Lemon bars never made me feel entitled, though; nor, did they throw me into cat fights. After all, many of us oldest kids understand with great lemon bars comes great responsibility. I washed plenty of dishes & piles of laundry and babysat my siblings to earn my guilty pleasures of watching Dynasty.


And, when I hadn’t, I just sneaked behind my dad’s armchair to watch from the hallway. Don’t tell mom.

IMG_0147 (1)

Lemon Curd

  • Lemon zest from 3 fresh lemons
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (this will take about 3-4 juicy lemons to create)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (milk is fine substitute in this recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter

Place lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and egg yolks into a saucepan and whisk together well. Then whisk in cream and cornstarch until cornstarch is dissolved.

Cook’s notes:

  1. Don’t add the cream before the sugar because the lemon will curdle the milk. Don’t add the cornstarch before the sugar because, well, the lemon will deactivate the Wonder Twin Powers of the cornstarch… it’s all that acid-y science stuff. Basically, sugar brings everyone together. 
  2. Save egg whites in fridge for an egg white omelet or 1/4 cup will replace one large egg in other recipes.

Now that no participants are deactivating other participants and egg whites have been rescued from the trash, place saucepan over medium high heat. Cook while whisking continuously. Remove from heat when you see it start to thicken. Stir in butter until fully melted.  Set aside. Mmmmmmm.

Cookie Bar Dough

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Place all ingredients together in mixer. Mix until combined.

Lemon Bars Assimilation

Press cookie bar dough into an 9X13 pan. Pour lemon curd evenly over cookie bar dough in pan. Bake at 350 for about 30-35 minutes.

Best if served when cooled to room temperature and refrigeration will make them firmer for a cleaner cut – not that mom & I did this. Like. Um. Ever. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar through a sifter if desired. Cut into delightful, golden squares.

Your Own Creative Touch

There are many ways to make these lemon bars your very own. You can mix 1/4 cup of poppy seeds into the cookie bar dough.

Or, how about spreading a thin layer of strawberry jam over the dough before adding your lemon curd.

Or, how about this craziness? Cream cheese filling in the middle? Don’t have a cream cheese filling recipe? No worries. I’ve got your back…

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter (or 1/2 a stick) softened
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • Dash of salt

Whip ingredients together for a few minutes. Use as a filling in between the cookie bar layer and lemon curd in your lemon bars.

Print Friendly
 

How to Make Butter-y Homemade Croutons

emailIMG_0097

I don’t mean to brag, but I made a couple of bad choices that led to a good choice this week.

Choice 1: I’d purchased a really long, skinny loaf of French bread from the grocery store. I don’t remember what I bought it for now; but, whatever good intentions I had fell apart. While my intentions fell apart, the French bread loaf got firmer.


Choice 2: I chose to ignore the issue. It didn’t go away.

Choice 3: I decided I would try to redeem myself. It might’ve been too late, but I was willing to take a knife to my now brick-like loaf of bread. The result is delicious, and now I have good intentions of using these butter-y beauties upon a salad. I’ll let you know how my salad choice goes.

In the meantime, here is my homemade butter-y croutons recipe. It’s versatile and dependable… even when our intentions are not.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Ingredients

  • 1 long, skinny cheap loaf of grocery store French bread (or a short, chubby one)
  • 1 cup (yup, two sticks) of the best butter you can find (I always use salted)
  • 3 T. garlic powder (or 4-5 fresh garlic cloves)
  • Light dusting of salt

Allow loaf of French bread to sit out uncovered over night. Using a bread knife cut loaf of French bread into about 1/2 to 3/4 inch squares. Spread squares over a half sheet pan (preferably one with edges).

Melt butter completely over low heat. At the end, add garlic powder or minced garlic if using fresh. Stir together.

How the butter-y goodness kisses the bread cubes is up to you. I like quickly dipping a spoonful of squares into the butter with a slotted spoon, then placing them back onto the tray. Some might prefer to drizzle. Some may prefer to mix them all together in a large bowl. Whatever your method, make sure the bread cubes are well-covered with butter mixture.

Place all butter-coated bread cubes upon the tray again. Spread them out well. Dust a wee bit of sea salt over the croutons.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes until croutons are golden brown as pictured. You may like to toss them a bit mid way through the baking cycle.

Other things you can add to the butter mixture include Beau Monde spice (celery flavor), onion powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, etc.

Get creative. After all, it’s your very own bad bad good choice.

 

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