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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 and her daughter (affectionately known as Dotter) Brittany's food truck plans as seen on New Day Northwest - The Old Hen on Tour coming soon! Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen . Thank you so much for supporting us!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Recipe

So this happened.

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It started with a couple rhubarb roots and grew into this after just a few months. Jurassic Park. Or, you know, just rhubarb. And by “just rhubarb,” I mean beautiful, tart, pink, sassy filling for pie.


Strawberry rhubarb pie. Strawberry rhubarb pie with a crumbly streusel topping to be exact. You know me and streusel. I’m all about the streusel.

Pie Crust Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup ice-cold water

Place flour, butter, and salt into food processor. Pulse until crumbly – about the size of peas. Slowly add water and process just until dough turns into a ball.

Flour counter top and roll into about 11 inch circle. Carefully fold pie crust in half and in half again. This will make getting it over to the pie plate easier. Place in pie plate and unfold. Pinch edges of pie crust to make a pretty edge.

It is best to par-bake pie crust. If you don’t, most pies will have a sticky bottom which is not nearly as yummy as a flakey crust. To do this, Place a piece of foil or parchment over crust. Fill pie with beans or pie weights. Weighting down the pie crust is a good idea to prevent the pie crust sagging and to keep the bottom from puffing up. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until crust’s edges are slightly golden.

Remove liner and pie weights to use another time. After beans have been used for weighing down a pie crust, they are no longer good for making soup.

If you prefer a pie crust top for your pie, just double this recipe, split in half, and use one for bottom and one for the top. Par-bake the bottom then add second crust to top of pie after you add the filling. I also recommend beating one egg and brushing it over top pie crust, then adding large sugar crystals on top. The sugar brings a great balance since rhubarb is tart.

Pie Filling Ingredients

  • 6 long stalks rhubarb, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 cups strawberries, sliced
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • About 4 tablespoons cornstarch

In a large saucepan, place all filling ingredients except cornstarch. Stir and allow to sit for about 20-30 minutes. This gives time for the sugars to do their magic, bringing out all the fruit juices. Stir in cornstarch. Heat over medium-high heat while stirring. Continue to stir and watch for filling to boil. After it reaches boiling point, it will begin to thicken. When this happens, remove from heat and pour into par-baked pie crust.

I recommend finding a friend or relative or someone you’ve never met who has a rhubarb plant so you can grow your own pie. I mean rhubarb.

Top pie with streusel recipe.


Streusel Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg

To make streusel, place ingredients into food processor and pulse until they are well combined but don’t let the crumbles get bigger than about the size of peas. Watch closely.

Bake pie at 400F for about 30 minutes or until top is light golden brown and filling is bubbly.

If you can wait, it is best to allow to cool to room temperature. If you cannot wait, I won’t judge. I will only judge if you don’t use the streusel topping option.

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Easy Tomato and Cucumber Salad

This super dooper easy salad option flew off my radar for years. In fact, this very post has been a draft in my reserves waiting for me to publish since 2012. And then I saw how gorgeous it was again and here we are.

If you dislike Miracle Whip, please avert your precious eyes. If you must, you can replace the Miracle Whip with regular mayonnaise but, of course, it will have a savory flavor rather than sweet.


  • 6 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 3/4 cup Miracle Whip
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Nothing terribly fancy to see here but a fun, tasty (and don’t forget easy) option to remember when your garden blossoms this year.

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Old-Fashioned Date Bars Recipe

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


Preheat oven to 350F.


  • 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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Magic Bars Recipe

At church last weekend I was reminded of God’s goodness through an inspiring message, fun chats with friends, and let’s be honest. The potluck. This Sunday brought memories back of a classic – Magic Bars. No church cookbook (or blog) would be complete without this recipe so let’s have some church…


Preheat oven to 350F.


  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
  • 1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 – 12 ounce bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 – 12 ounce bag butterscotch chips
  • 1 – 7 ounce bag sweetened coconut flakes
  • Butter for greasing pan

If making graham cracker crumbs from crackers, place about 24 crackers into food processor and process until crumbs make three cups. Add melted butter and spin until crumbs are moistened.

Spread a couple tablespoons of butter around inside of 9X13 pan. It is important to make sure sides are buttered as the sweetened condensed milk will want to stick to the sides.

Press graham cracker crust makin’s down into buttered pan.

Drizzle can of sweetened condensed milk over crust until fully covered.

Add rest of ingredients layer by layer as evenly as possible so that every bar has all the flavors… walnuts, chocolate chips, then butterscotch chips, then coconut. Gently press layers into sweetened condensed milk just a bit.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes.

Wait about 15 minutes for bars to cool a bit before cutting. Cut into about 12 bars or smaller if you like.

To mix things up, you can exchange ingredients. Replace butterscotch & chocolate chips with white chocolate and walnuts for macadamias. Exchange butterscotch chips for peanut butter chips. For holidays, you can sprinkle with festive candies.

Taste and see that the Lord is good. Amen.

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Limoncello White Chocolate Cocktail

My friends on the east coast are shoveling snow while I’m over here in the Northwest with my door open to let the sunshine pour inside. This calls for a drink that brings us all together. IMG_0146

Makes about 4 servings.


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated or finely chopped white chocolate
  • 1 cup limoncello (can use store bought or make your own in a few days time)
  • Whoop Cream (May I recommend the almond flavored whoop cream?)
  • Chopped almonds

In a double boiler (or a sturdy glass bowl that fits over a saucepan), place a little water in bottom pan. Place top pan over it. Heat slowly over medium heat. Pour heavy cream into pan and begin to heat. Whisk often to prevent burning. Add white chocolate and continue to whisk. Continue until white chocolate is fully melted.

Whisk in limoncello. Pour into mugs and top with whoop cream then chopped almonds.

Ahhhhh. I know, right? Winter and summer come together to create this dreamy springy cup of comfort. Bright and lemon-y yet cozy and comforting. Perfect to serve right before the sun goes down over your Seattle patio or while sitting in front of your fireplace in Boston this weekend.

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How to Make Limoncello

Limoncello: Sunshine in a jar. This recipe takes one afternoon to make and about four days to complete.



  • 4 large lemons, peels and juice
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 ounces vodka

Using a sharp paring knife, carefully trim peels off lemons. Set aside. When finished, place a peel with white pith upon a cutting board. Hold the end closest to you down with your fingers. Carefully carve away the white pith from the peel. Continue until all pith are removed from lemon peels.

Place lemon peels in a large jar or bottle. Add vodka. Set aside.

Squeeze juice out of peeled lemons. It should make about 3/4 cup of lemon juice.

Bring lemon juice, water & sugar to a boil and simmer for about 5 minutes. remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Add lemon syrup to vodka. Cover with a lid and allow to sit for about 4 days. I shake mine every day just to show it whose boss… mostly just because I can’t resist.

You can now use your liquid sunshine in cocktails & many baking recipes.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Basic but not boring. Golden brown disks filled with dreamy chocolate nuggets. Childhood memories all in one perfectly baked cookie. Deliciousness that makes the whole household come to a complete halt almost as fast as homemade rolls or bacon.


Preheat oven to 350F.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 T. vanilla extract (but I prefer vanilla paste)
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 2 T. milk
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Flour scooping tips

  1. Scoop lightly and generously, don’t shake flour down or try to get as much in the measuring cup as you can
  2. Use butterknife only for leveling top of flour

Cream butter and sugars together in mixing bowl. Add eggs, vanilla, salt, baking soda, and milk and combine well. Mix in flour. Gently but thoroughly stir in chocolate chips and nuts.


Place a parchment paper upon a cookie sheet. Use an ice cream scoop to measure cookie dough. Place about 9 per pan with plenty of space in between for the great spread which shall happen – almost as exciting as the great rise of the dinner rolls or the dramatic, sizzling goodness of bacon.

Bake for about ten minutes or until a sexy, golden brown.

To mix things up, you can replace half the chocolate chips for butterscotch chips or peanut butter chips. For a full-on makeover, replace all the chocolate chips with white chocolate chips and the walnuts with chopped macadamia nuts.

Until tomorrow… I’m off to make some bacon and dinner rolls.

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Spinach Salad With Honey Mustard Dressing and Fried Onion Crisps Recipe


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.


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


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Homemade Crispy Fried Onion Strips Recipe


Crispy fried onions. If you only thought they came in a can or at a restaurant, please allow me to change your life. These are perfect as a side treat, on a barbecue pork sandwich, on burgers, or if you enjoy tricking yourself to eat healthier… upon salads.


  • 4 – 5 cups canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large Walla Walla onion
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • Sea salt

Heat oil in a heavy pan. Use a thermometer to bring temp up to 375F. Accomplishing this with a deep fryer is easier if you have one.

Place buttermilk into medium bowl.

Cut off ends of onion. Peel skins off onion. Cut in half down the middle. Slice onion into very, very thin slices. No. I mean, like, you know. Really, really thin. Place sliced onions into buttermilk.

Place flour, cayenne, & baking powder stir together.

Remove some onion strips from buttermilk and dip into flour mixture to coat. Carefully place in hot oil. Fry until dark golden brown.

When finished frying, remove onions from oil and place upon a plate on a folded paper towel to drain excess oil from onions.

Enjoy while hot.



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Homemade Honey Mustard Salad Dressing Recipe

My first meeting with honey mustard dressing was at Scandia Bakery where I spent most of my teenage years. I sold doughnuts while listening to Scandinavian music by day and vacuumed floors while listening to Air Supply by night. We had a lunch counter which was very popular and one of the items I was brave enough to try was the spinach salad. It was a right of passage… a step towards growing up. Until then, I had thought I was a big deal for evolving from French dressing to ranch.


Now, here I was. All grown up and eating spinach salad with dreamy honey mustard dressing. Of course, we all know you are truly grown up when you can enjoy blue cheese dressing and not lie about it, but I’ll save that for another day.


  • 4 tablespoons regular mayonnaise
  • 5 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • Fresh-squeezed lemon juice to taste (a little more than a tablespoon)
  • Dash of sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well-combined. Taste to make sure everything is to your personal liking. Drizzle upon your favorite salad until we graduate to blue cheese.


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