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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 .

Hawaiian Barbecue Pizza Recipe

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One of my very favorite things to make is pizza crust. It is easy to work with, opens the doors to so many flavors, and makes everyone oh so happy. This luau on a flatbread is so refreshing yet comforting – the best of both worlds with chicken, pineapple, melt-y mozzarella, and cilantro. And, yes. It includes bacon. Because, well, bacon.

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Pizza Dough Recipe

  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine yeast and water in a mixing bowl. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes. Add olive oil. Measure out flour and salt. Turn mixer on low speed and add dry ingredients. (Adding salt first can kill the yeast so be sure to add at same time as flour.)

Stop mixing when everything comes together. Remove dough from beater and cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean towel. Place in a warm location and allow to rise for one hour. Preheat oven to 450F. Roll out dough as thin (or thick) as you like. Adjust baking time accordingly as a thin crust will not take as long to bake as a thick one.

Pizza Toppings

  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce
  • 1 can diced pineapple, drained (save pineapple juice to enjoy later in a cocktail or pineapple dessert, perhaps)
  • 1 pound chicken breasts – grilled, baked, or slow-cooked
  • 1 cup bacon bits
  • 1 jalepeno minced
  • 1-2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro

Place rolled-out unbaked crust on a baking sheet or a pizza stone. Brush crust with barbecue sauce. Top sauce with pineapple pieces, chicken, minced jalepeno, and then mozzarella cheese. Bake on lowest shelf if you have a thick-crust pizza. Bake until cheese is melted fully and crust is golden brown (about 10- 15 minutes).

Another fun option, is to grill your pizza dough on both sides and then add toppings after crust is almost fully baked. Bake until cheese is fully melted.

After pizza is done, remove from oven and top with remaining ingredients.

A lot easier than cooking a 180-pound pig in the ground and will still have you doing the hula in no time.

 

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Pineapples Wearing Shades Cookies Recipe

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No matter how cool you are, you’re probably never gonna be as cool as pineapples wearing shades cool. Pinterest has made chalkboards, foxes, pallets, and owls popular; and, lordy, I don’t know who is responsible for this, but bless them. Pineapples with shades. Here is my ode to the hottest new Pinterest tropic. I mean, topic.

Decorated vanilla sugar cookies with pineapple royal icing. They’re the hipster version of retro pineapple upside down cake. No. Wait. That would be pineapple upside down cake. But, really. Do we care? They’re way too adorbs to worry about such things.

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Cookie Recipe

Cream together:

  • 2/3 c. shortening
  • 3/4 c. sugar

Add & beat together well:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 1 T. milk
  • 2 3/4 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Refrigerate dough for about 1 hour. This is an important step. Why? Because it will make the shortening or butter in your cookie dough cold again which will make the dough firmer and this prevents overusing flour while rolling out. Overusing flour creates dry cookies. So be sure to chill, yo.

After dough has chilled, preheat oven at 350F.

Dust clean counter top lightly with flour. Roll out and cut into shapes using a pineapple cookie cutter.

Bake about 15 minutes. Length of time needed for baking depends on how thick you roll your cookies. If you roll your cookies very thin, the baking time may be just 6-8 minutes.

 

Royal Icing Recipe

  • 3 T. meringue powder
  • 4 c. sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 -6 T. pineapple juice
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. Royal icing has never smelled so heavenly. You’re welcome. 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.
This recipe is perfect for outlining, leaves, and such. For the middles, add a little extra water or pineapple juice to thin frosting just enough that is won’t run outside the lines you have placed on your cookies. With practice, the thickness you want will come natural to you. Too thick, every move you make shows. Too thin and it runs all over. You want to find a thickness that is juuuuuuust right.
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To decorate, just do criss cross lines over your pineapples. Add a little curve to them. Then do the same thing going the opposite way.
For leaves, just use the firm frosting and decorate with a Wilton Decorating Tip, No.352 Leaf.
A simple round decorating tip is great for everything else.
Oh. And don’t forget the party umbrellas. You know, cuz pineapples cool like dat.
If you’d like to put cookies in a clear little bag, just allow them to dry overnight or (if your frosting is especially thick) maybe two nights. Then they will harden and be ready to bag & bow!
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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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How to Make Easy Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream Recipe

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I have to be honest, I wasn’t a fan of homemade ice cream the first time I made it. In fact, my ice cream maker sat in the top of a barn for about 8 years after the overwhelmingly creamy, ultra-thick blackberry misadventure of 2006. The recipe had too much heavy cream ratio for this girl. Bleh. I decided to try making ice cream again one last time – my way – before putting my practically new ice cream machine into a garage sale. And it was good. It was more than good. It was perfect.

I did a very (un)scientific poll to find out what everyone’s favorite ice cream flavors were – I posted a Facebook status to ask my friends. So, without further ado, I now introduce you to everyone’s favorite ice cream… chocolate chip mint.

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Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • Small amount of green food coloring (optional for your visual well being)
  • 1 1/2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 10 pound bag ice cubes, for chilling
  • 3 cups Ice cream salt, for chilling

Put all ingredients into ice cream canister and stir well. Place blade in & lid on canister tightly so that no ice cream salts get inside.

Finish putting ice cream maker together completely. Plug in machine to make sure everything is set up correctly. If successful, unplug for now and go to the next step.

Place ice all around the bottom of canister. Carefully pour a layer of ice cream salt over the ice. Continue these layers until you reach the top of the canister. Plug ice cream maker in again and allow it to church until it stops (or almost stops) on its own. This will take about 20-40 minutes. You can serve right away, but it is best to freeze in an air-tight container for a couple of hours first so ice cream can firm up.

Oh, that joy that fills my soul… er… um… ice cream maker. I may need to make some to sell at my next garage sale.

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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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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
  • 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.

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Spinach Salad With Honey Mustard Dressing and Fried Onion Crisps Recipe

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Glory. glory. I didn’t think I could love spinach salad anymore than I do. And then I added homemade  crispy, sweet fried onion strips. And. my life was complete. And, the point of having salad in the first place became obsolete.

Here’s a recipe for about 4 people so that you, too, can enjoy this healthy unhealthy creation.

Ingredients 

Divide all ingredients between two – four dinner plates. Refreshing with a wee bit of sin. You’re welcome.

 

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