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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 .

Poppy Seed Thumbprint Cookies with Meyer Lemon Filling Recipe

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Thumbprint cookies are probably some of the very best cookies in all the cookie kingdom. I’ve been waiting for Meyer lemons for months, therefore I didn’t just want to make just any old recipe with them hence this very special post. I wanted to try to make something I’ve never seen before. If I didn’t accomplish that, seems like I may have at least decided upon the world’s longest cookie title ever…  Poppy Seed Thumbprint Cookies with Meyer Lemon Filling.


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Makes about 2 1/2 dozen thumbprint cookies.

Poppy Seed Thumbprint Cookies Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1  t. vanilla extract
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 cups of flour.
  • 1/8 cup poppy seeds

Cream together butter and sugar, then mix in egg, vanilla, salt, & flour until dough combines together.

Scoop out a small ball of dough – cookie scoop works great. Either roll each cookie dough ball in poppy seeds if you like a lot, or sprinkle them on each cookie. Place about a dozen per half sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Almost makes me happy.

Using something very small, press the “thumbprint” in the middle of each cookie. Or if you rather, you know, your thumb. Make sure there are no open sides that your filling will be able to drip out of. You can just press suspicious cracks closed with your fingers before baking.

Probably makes me even happier.

Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until bottoms of cookies are light golden brown.

While the cookies bake, so maybe let’s make the filling.

Meyer Lemon Filling Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • Zest from fresh Meyer (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water

Regular lemons will work fine too, but there is something very special about Meyer lemons. They’re like the perfect love child of lemons and oranges.

You can adjust the liquid to the thickness you desire by adding more or less. Hence, it is wise to start with less as you will want your icing pretty thick for these cookies.

Finally, using two small spoons, scoop some icing into one then control the amount you need to fill each thumbprint with the other spoon.

In conclusion, happiest.

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Basic Pie Crust Recipe: Tips & Secrets for Making a Perfect Crust

Once you have a great basic pie crust recipe, making pie becomes something one dreams about. Well, wait no longer. I got you. It’s easy and once you read through the tips, you’ll have a lovely, flaky crust every time.

basic pie crust

Basic Pie Crust Tips and Secrets

  1. Chill – The butter needs to be cold. The dough needs to rest in the fridge before using.
  2. Don’t smother with attention – Pie crust is an introvert in the world of pastry, so take it easy and handle with care. Too much touching will overwork the gluten in the flour and make it rubbery.
  3. Don’t drowned it – Use as little water as possible. Again, too much will make the dough rubbery.
  4. Nobody wants a soggy bottom – Be sure to parbake your bottom crust or, well, your bottom will be soggy… and rubbery.
  5.  Weight matters – use pie weights (or dry beans) to weigh down bottom crust for the parbake. This (and refrigerating and using less water) helps keep the pie crust from shrinking while baking.

Pie Crust Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons very cold water (approximate)

Place all pie crust ingredients in food processor except for water. Pulse until butter is incorporated with flour & sugar. Preheat oven to 350F.


basic pie crust

Continue to pulse and slowly add water until mixture begins to form a dough. Keep in mind, less water is best. Yeah. Like that.

Without touching dough too much, form into two balls. Gently wrap dough balls in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 – 60 minutes.

basic pie crust

Yeast dough loves to be played with but pie crust does not. A cold pie crust is a flaky pie crust. Keep things cool by not touching the crust too much.

basic pie crust

Roll each dough ball out into a large circle – just a little bigger than your pie plate.

basic pie crust

The easiest way I’ve found to transport the pie crust into the pie plate is to fold it in quarters.

basic pie crust

And then place it into the pie plate and carefully unfold.

The Parbake

Pre-bake (also known as parbake) the bottom pie crust to prevent a soggy pie. To do this, place a piece of foil over the bottom crust. Place about a cup pie weights or dry beans. Beans cannot be used for eating after this as they will no longer cook properly, but they can be saved for another day of pie making.

Simply fold extra crust under and then pinch along the entire pie to for an edge. A little flour on the fingers helps the fingers not to stick to the pie crust as you do this.

Bake pie crust in preheated oven for about 13 minutes or until crust edges are light golden brown.

Pour filling into bottom pie crust.

The Topper

Place second pie crust over the pie. If you like, you can use a cookie cutter to cut out a small circle in the center and then place it over the pie. If you want to get fancy, you can do lattice work. Otherwise, you can just place the crust over the pie and then cut some slits in the middle of the top crust.

The Edge

For the edge, just fold excess under and then pinch again all around the edge. The edges look prettier with practice. Rustic is okay. No worries.

Brush top pie with beaten egg. Place in oven and bake for about 45 minutes (depending on your recipe) or until top crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Allow the pie to set for at least a half hour so the filling can set well. It will still be warm enough to enjoy with ice cream if you like.

basic pie crust

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Pavlova With Nutella Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries Recipe

The pavlova is as fun to say as it is to make.

You see, making a pavlova is an event. It is not difficult if you follow instructions well; but, like all good things in life, it does take some time.

almond pavlova recipe

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, then 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 then whip together. Add sugar a couple tablespoons at a time while continuing to whip, then add almond extract. Keep whipping until it’s 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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Authentic Homemade Pho Soup Recipe

I’m about to show you the pho-shizzle pho-sure. I mean, this recipe is pho-nomenal. You will keep this one handy pho-ever. Un-pho-gettable. Pho-real. No pho-king chicken broth here. Authentic Homemade Pho Soup is the real deal, baby.

Authentic Homemade Pho Soup

You will need cheesecloth to drain your broth, so be sure to purchase before making. This is an all day recipe, so you’ll want to begin around 11am for a 6pm dinner.

Authentic Homemade Pho Soup

Broth Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beef bones*
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 5 quarts water
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or cut in half
  • 3 slices fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce**
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place beef bones and onion on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.

Place remaining ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil then turn heat down to low and simmer for six hours with lid partially covering pot. Broth will slowly reduce to about half of the water you started with.

Lay about 4 layers of cheesecloth inside of a strainer. Remove large items out of the broth and throw away. Gently pour the rest of the broth over the cheesecloth and into a clean pot.

Soup Ingredients

  • 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/2 – 14 oz.  package pad Thai rice noodles AKA rice sticks (preferably wider, fettuccine-like ones)
  • 2-3 pounds London Broil steak, thinly sliced

After broth is finished cooking, add green onions.

For the noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and boil for as long as package instructs – most likely about 3 minutes. Add a scoop of noodles to your bowls. The benefit of cooking noodles this way, is they will remain a gorgeous white and they won’t soak in all of your broth, leaving you with just noodles. for this same reason, I recommend storing leftover noodles and pho broth separately.

Lay strips of London Broil steak on top of noodles in your bowls. Pour the hot pho broth over your steak and noodles. The hot broth will cook the meat for you quickly. The eat will be a little pink in the center. Add toppings & sauces as desired.

Pho Toppings & Sauces

  • Fresh* or canned** bean sprouts
  • Hoisin sauce**
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade
  • Sriracha sauce**

Everyone can enjoy the toppings they wish on their pho.

There’s nothing like authentic homemade pho soup. Making pho from scratch with make you a pho-natic. Good pho-you!

*Available at Asian markets

**Available at regular grocery stores in Asian aisle

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How to Make Emoji Cake Pops

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

Emoji Cake Pops

Emoji Cake Pops

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, consequently, 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 seems like a great time to 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. Finally, 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.

Emoji Cake Pops

For Silly Face Emoji Cake Pops 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 just carefully break a thin pink heart to make the tongues. After drawing the mouth, the tongue can be glued onto black frosting before it dries to complete the look.

Emoji Cake Pops

For Poop Emoji Cake pops Dip in dark chocolate candy, place eye candies in place. Allow to dry (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.

Emoji Cake Pops

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

If you like, you can let frosting on emoji 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

Surprise your favorite fan with their very own This Is Us Birthday Banana Muffin with Twinkie Frosting. You must… because, well, all da feelz!

This Is Us birthday cupcake

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, as a result, I didn’t sit there bawling my eyes out. Due to this, any emotional constipation I may have been suffering from before watching was gone and I quickly become a fan.


how to make your own this is us birthday muffin

And since I’m not alone, I’m sure there is someone out there who needs a 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. Since they need this muffin, let’s get started.

"This Is Us" Birthday Banana Muffin with Twinkie Frosting

This Is Us Birthday Banana Muffin with Twinkie Frosting

  • 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 tops of muffins is light golden brown and springs back when touched. Either that, or you can poke it with a fork and if it comes out clean, they’re done.

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 rather white filling you can substitute butter with white shortening. Because shortening just won’t taste nearly as lovely.

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

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Individual Apple Crumbles Recipe

Because I had to try out the dicing attachment on my food processor, because the honeycrisp apples were staring at me in the store, because I buy cinnamon in bulk and own way too many canning jars, maybe it is time to introduce you to apple crumbles. You know, since I love you. Another good reason to do this is… well, duh.

apple crumbles recipe

Apple Crumbles Ingredients

  • 8 medium honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and diced or sliced
  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick (or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 recipe oatmeal streusel

first of all, place apples in a large bowl with lemon juice and sugars. Stir and allow to sit for about a half an hour while the apples and sugars marry into a lovely sauce. The sugar will draw the juice out of the apples.


Melt butter. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Add flour, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon into bowl with apples. Stir well.

Stir butter into apples. Divide apple filling between 6-8 eight-ounce mason jars (or small baking dishes).  Finally, top with oatmeal streusel. Consequently, if you have leftover streusel, it can be saved in freezer to top muffins later. Because delicious.

Oatmeal Streusel Recipe

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Place ingredients in food processor. Pulse until well-combined but crumbly. Pulsing will help to control how fast ingredients come together so you can get the perfect texture you need.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place apple crumbles on baking sheet due to the possibility of dripping in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is golden and crisp.

Enjoy either hot or cold. Seems like a moment for high quality or homemade ice cream if desired. In other words, top with high quality or homemade ice cream. Because sometimes individual desserts are the probably best way to come together.

 

 

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Roasted Rainbow Carrots

Roasted Rainbow Carrots… Some foods are so colorful, so glorious, so flavorful they can be tossed into the oven with just a smidge of prep and come out looking like a glorious dish from a top-rated restaurant. Enter rainbow carrots…

Roasted Rainbow Carrots

Roasted Rainbow Carrots Ingredients

  • 6-8 rainbow carrots
  • 3 tablespoons garlic oil (or olive oil and minced garlic)
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh thyme leaves(optional)
  •  2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.


Start by either choosing carrots which are similar size or slice the large carrots down the middle the long way so they are similar thickness as the small carrots. I like to keep the stems attached for added drama.

Just place carrots in a cast iron pan or baking dish. Take the fancy-pants garlic oil we made and drizzle over carrots. Sprinkle with sea salt & freshly ground pepper, and, if desired, some fresh thyme.

Roast for 20-30 minutes. You can drizzle with balsamic vinegar if you like or you can just enjoy the way they are.

Rainbow carrots. Sweet and simple. No drama… except for the stems.

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How to Make Homemade Garlic Oil for Dipping

A drip, a drizzle, a dunk… you will love this simple trick to making your own flavorful garlic oil. This is your one way ticket to becoming more gourmet than you were yesterday.

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces grapeseed oil
  • 1 small bulb garlic

Pour grapeseed oil into a medium saucepan. Peel garlic and cut cloves in half or you can just smash each garlic clove with a large knife until it bursts open and then peel & place in oil. Place garlic cloves in grapeseed oil.

Heat oil over medium-low heat until it is hot. You don’t want the oil to come to a boil. The garlic cloves should not fry or the oil will become bitter. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Pour oil back into original bottle or store in a pretty glass bottle. You can repurpose used garlic cloves in a recipe or store them in your bottle of oil.

Garlic oil is perfect for cooking, dipping French baguettes in, and can be combined with balsamic vinegar or amazing salad dressing.

 

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Homemade Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

If one is going to break one’s new year’s resolution with homemade pasta, one might as well add alfredo sauce, right? The way homemade pasta clings to this sauce is absolutely dreamy.

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup (8 oz) fresh parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated (or fresh grated parmesan will work too)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper or white pepper to taste
  • Homemade fettuccine pasta (or store bought), cooked
  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
  • About 6 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Place butter in a medium-large saucepan over medium-low heat. After butter has melted, add cream and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.

If making homemade noodles from this recipe, this sauce can be poured right into a large bowl with the pasta & chicken, and the amount of sauce per pasta will be perfect.

You won’t get that special connection with boxed pasta & alfredo mixes, baby. And they say two wrongs don’t make a right.

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