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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 .

Homemade Cake Doughnut Recipe


The only way to properly follow up a post about Spanx is with a cake doughnut recipe. Amirite? And the only way to follow up a doughnut recipe is with a frosting recipe. And the only way to follow up all of the above is with sprinkles.

You can take the girl out of the bakery but you can’t take the bakery out of the girl. And this is why I need Spanx.


Fill with Crisco shortening and then preheat doughnut fryer to 375F. Look up your appliance’s instructions (or look for fill line) to decide how much shortening to use.

Prepare a baking sheet with an old, clean towel (or several layers of paper towels) on it to place doughnuts on after frying.


  • 3 cups flour (plus about 1-2 cups more for rolling out dough)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 T. canola oil

Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Stir well then set aside.

Pour all wet ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk until eggs are beaten and all are well incorporated.

Combine wet ingredients into large bowl with dry ingredients. Stir gently just until all dry ingredients are moistened.

Dust counter, doughnut cutter, & rolling pin with flour. Roll out dough to about 1/2-inch thick. Cut doughnuts & doughnuts holes out and lay on a baking sheet so they are ready for frying.

Fry for about 1-2 minutes on each side. Look for middles and edges to become golden brown before flipping.

Place fried doughnuts on baking sheet covered with a towel to drain excess grease off doughnuts.

Eat while hot or wait for doughnuts to cool a bit before frosting. This chocolate frosting recipe is fantastic.  Or if you are feeling rather maple-y this maple frosting recipe is top notch.

If you would like to keep it simple, you can use this vanilla frosting recipe:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (you can use clear vanilla for pure white frosting)
  • 1 tablespoon water

Makes about 24 cake doughnuts and 24 doughnut holes.

Tips For Making Homemade Bakery Goods 

When measuring flour measuring cup into flour canister. Level off top of measuring cup with a butterknife. Do not pack the flour into the measuring cup (like you would brown sugar) because you will get too much into your dough.

Stirring too much will make doughnuts (and pancakes and scones…) tough and rubber-y.

Wait for the oven or fryer to preheat every single time. If you begin before the preheat, your puff pastry will flop in the oven and your doughnuts will be full of grease from the deep fryer.

Don’t panic. If you’re afraid of your doughnuts under-cooking, just try one first and figure out how long you need to fry on each side then repeat.

Don’t forget the sprinkles. And Spanx. And sprinkles.

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Fuzzy Navel With Fresh Ginger Recipe

It is a beautiful thing when girls get together to celebrate the happy happenings of one of their own. Today was my new dotter-in-law’s bridal shower – a celebration filled with joy and pretty treats and naughty gifts and laughter and joy.

img_2880It is even more fun when there is yummy food and marquee letters.

img_2848And heart banners made with love.


And fuzzy navels.


Fuzzy navels in mini mason shooter jars, that is. Why not make some today to celebrate a fellow girlfriend?

Fuzzy Navel With Fresh Ginger

  • 1 cup vodka
  • 1 cup peach schnapps (the fuzzy)
  • 4 cups fresh orange juice (the navel)
  • About 1 tablespoon minced ginger (just peel & grate with microplane fine grater)

Place all ingredients into a large pitcher. Stir well. Shake with ice if desired.


Makes 6  8-ounce glasses but when shared in mini mason jar shooters, they’re even more delicious. Just ask the girls.


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Lemon Garlic Pasta With Fresh Salmon & Asparagus


Never buy farm fed salmon again. Always look for wild salmon. Farm fed salmon are mushy and have less flavor. Wild salmon are much happier and it shows. Stick with wild and your dinners will go swimmingly. Here’s a quick & simple dinner for those routine school nights when you need a little wild in your life.



  • 1 pound wild Alaskan salmon (look for the glorious Wild Copper River Salmon around May)
  • 2 cloves elephant garlic
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 10 stems)
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • Zest & juice from 1 fresh lemon
  • Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 350F.

Place salmon on a baking sheet with a piece of foil under it. Top with butter pieces. Season with salt & pepper. Place garlic cloves on baking sheet as well so they can roast while the salmon bakes. Place in oven for about 20 minutes.

Bend asparagus gently to find the weak spot. Break asparagus ends off at the weak spot. Discard ends.

Place a large saucepan of water over high heat. Add a dash of salt. Bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice-y cold water and set aside.

When water comes to a boil, place asparagus tops into saucepan for 2 minutes. Using tongs, quickly remove asparagus from hot water and place into prepared cold water bath for about a minute, then remove and set aside.

Bring hot water to a boil again and add pasta. Boil for as long as instructions on box say (pasta varieties all cook for different lengths of time). Remove from heat when al dente and drain hot water.

Place pasta and asparagus into a large bowl. After salmon is done cooking, remove from oven. Remove skin and place salmon in pasta bowl.

Remove garlic skins and place cloves into a blender or small food processor with olive oil and process until minced (or you can smash it with a knife). Add olive oil & garlic mixture to pasta.

Grate lemon zest over pasta. Cut lemon in half and squeeze juice into pasta. Stir well. Salt & Pepper to taste. Serve topped with parmigiano reggiano.

For added splurging, you can also drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Oh, for all that is holy and wild.



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Homemade Caramel Sauce


You need this recipe in your life just like you need a pumpkin spice candle, and a maple leaf wreath, and decorative gourds. Yes, you do. And you can have it in just five minutes.

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Caramel Sauce featuring Pumpkin Pecan Cream Cheese Bread Pudding or, you know,  Pumpkin Pecan Cream Cheese Bread Pudding featuring Caramel Sauce. Either way, your life will never be the same.

Homemade Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

This is one of those recipes where mise en place is key. Have all your ducks in a row. Be a good scout, always be prepared. Okay, you get the idea.

Melt butter over low heat in medium-large saucepan. After it is fully melted, stir in brown sugar and salt. Turn heat up to medium to medium-high heat and watch closely.

When sauce starts to boil and get foamy looking, simmer for about three minutes over medium heat

After simmering, carefully add in heavy whipping cream. The sauce’s reaction to the cream is pretty jumpy, so be careful.

Stir together and remove from heat. Allow to cool about 20 minutes before using so you don’t burn yourself. Fresh out of the pan caramel sauce is very hot.

And now when you tell your friends your Caramel Sauce is homemade and they ask, “Homemade homemade?” and your all like, ‘Yeah, like homemade homemade!”  You can be all proud and stuff. Because you are awesome sauce. And that’s not just the caramel talkin’.

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Homemade Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes With Maple Cream Cheese Syrup Recipe


Light the pumpkin candles. Cue the Christmas song list (Yes, Christmas. Because, well, one cannot get enough Christmas music.) Download the free “Turkey For Twelve” eBook. But, most importantly, print this recipe for tomorrow is officially fall.


Pumpkin Pecan Pancakes Recipe

  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup pecans (optional)

Place pumpkin, buttermilk, lemon juice, eggs, canola oil, sugar, spices, baking powder, sea salt, and pecans in medium bowl. Whisk until eggs are well beaten and combined with other ingredients.

Gently stir in flour until mixed in. Do not stir too much or pancakes will become rubbery.

Heat non-stick pan over low heat if using a gas stove. If you have an electric stove top, I recommend testing a small pancake first over about level 5 heat. Some can range (no pun intended) as high as level 7 for pancakes.  Just get to know your stove top and preheat to the same setting every time you cook pancakes.

Pour about 1/3 cup pancake batter into pan. Quickly spread into a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Cook until bubbles form around edges and the ones in the middle begin popping.

Flip pancake and cook until becomes somewhat puffy in middle – showing you the center is fully cooked.

Maple Cream Cheese Syrup Recipe

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 cup maple extract (Can use less for lighter maple flavor or none if you’d like plain cream cheese syrup.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together in blender on medium-low speed. Pour into saucepan and heat until syrup reaches a boil. Whisk for about 1 minute while syrup thickens then remove from heat.

And with a collective sigh, the people fell for fall and everything pumpkin spice all over again. Glory be. Glory be.

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Homemade Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream Recipe


The first blackberry I see every summer reminds me of one of my favorite moments with my grandpa while Friday campin’. He grabbed an old Folgers Coffee can and said, “Hey, let’s go find some blackberries. We gathered five berries over five hours. Grandma laughed but the blackberries never really mattered cuz it was the best day ever.

Everything blackberry is happy. Amirite? So today, in the spirit of an old Folger’s coffee can full of blackberries, I present thee with Blackberry Swirl Ice Cream.


Photo & Styling: Ariel Tustin of Whiskey & Honey 

Blackberry Swirl

  • 1 pound blackberries
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Toss blackberries into a medium saucepan. Add sugar, fresh lemon juice, salt and cornstarch. Set aside for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to allow sugar to draw out the juices from the berries. Smash blackberries as much as you like (or not) with potato masher.

After sugar has drawn out the juices from the berries, evaluate if you have 2 or 3 cups of liquid in the pan. If it looks more like 3, stir in one more tablespoon of cornstarch before heating. No need to stress too much about adding more, though, as you can always stir in a little water after it thickens to make it the sauce the consistency you like.

Allow to cool to room temperature. If making a day or more ahead, you can refrigerate.

Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or, better yet, the scrape out the insides of one vanilla bean)
  • 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 and 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 churn until it stops (or almost stops) on its own. This will take about 20-40 minutes.

After vanilla ice cream is done churning, quickly layer ice cream and blackberry swirl into a large container.

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.

Blackberry ice cream and memories of grandpa… melts my heart.



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Brown Sugar, Walnut & Plum Pound Cake With Maple Frosting Recipe


Walnuts. Plums. Brown sugar. Basically, we are going back into time. The month is August. We’re reaping the blessing of summer but ready to enjoy the dark, moist desserts of fall. We are in heaven… or, you know, at a family reunion where great aunt Margie is still making her best homemade treats for the family reunion – treats we shall never fully appreciate until they are gone.


Brown Sugar, Walnut & Plum Pound Cake Recipe

Preheat oven to 350F.

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup plum jam
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

Cream together brown sugar and butter. Mix in eggs. Then add dry ingredients. Lastly, mix in plum jam & walnuts.

Spray bundt pan with baking spray. Pour batter into bundt pan evenly. Bake for about 40 minutes or until knife poked in middle comes out clean.

Allow to cool for about 15 minutes then carefully turn onto platter.

Maple Frosting Recipe

  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 ounces of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoons of water
  • 1-2 teaspoons of maple extract
  • Dash of salt

Whip all ingredients together well. Spread over top of cake. Top with 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts if desired.

It is time to pull out the old recipe cards and bring back the days of sugar plum everything.

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Homemade Plum Jam Recipe


Nothing makes one feel more like an old-fashioned kid like balancing while walking across a log and picking fresh fruit from a tree. One of the most underrated fruits of all is the plum. How could we possibly overlook the colors, the smells and the taste of the gorgeous plum? Let us go hipster and bring it back, shall we?

IMG_2215 (1)

Plum Preserves Recipe

  • 3 cups plums, pitted & diced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons pectin
  • 3 1/2 cups sugar

Place fruit and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in pectin, bring to a boil, then stir in sugar. Bring to a boil again and boil for one minute. Place jam in food processor or blender (fit blender lid loosely so hot air can escape). Pulse until the texture you like.

Place in jars and keep in refrigerator until ready to use.

Next up? The tire swing.

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Easy Coconut Macaroon Cookies Recipe


It is estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 laborers were needed to build the Great Pyramid at Giza (pronounced “gee-zuh”) in less than 23 years. By comparison, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris took almost 200 years to complete. But I have wonderful news. You can make these coconut macaroon pyramids in less than one hour with only one laborer and just three ingredients.


Photo & Styling: Ariel Tustin of Whiskey & Honey 

Easy Coconut Macaroons Recipe

  • 6 cups shredded, sweetened coconut
  • One -14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 dash of salt
  • 12 ounces of the best semi-sweet chocolate your money can buy (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 half-sheet baking pans with parchment paper (important). Stir sweetened condensed milk and salt into shredded coconut until coconut is completely coated. Scoop coconut mixture by 1/2 cupfuls at a time onto baking sheets. Press each cookie together just a bit so that it is a little firm.

You can form the cookies into circles with a large ice cream scoop (as ones pictured) or triangles and cookies can be small or large but the size you choose will help determine the baking time. For smaller cookies, watch closely and decrease baking time.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until cookies are golden brown on top. It is important to allow them to cool on the baking sheets before moving. Once cooled, they can be removed with a spatula.


If you like, you can heat up chocolate in a double boiler on very low heat and then gently dip or drizzle cookies with chocolate. Place in refrigerator or freezer for about 20 minutes to firm chocolate. Makes about a dozen large macaroons… er… ancient works of art.


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Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe


In this post we will explore how to cook a perfect chicken breast. We will explore traditional Chicken Cordon Bleu filling and try a new, melty, and delightful alternative recipe. And, perhaps most importantly, we shall splurge and top it all off with a new heavenly cheesy, garlic-y sauce which will change your life forever. Amen.


Cooking a perfect chicken breast comes from three very important steps:

  1. Lay chicken breast on counter and cut your chicken breast in half. the long way so that when you unfold it, it will look like a butterfly (thus the “butterfly cut”). Then, using a meat hammer, pound chicken until it it pretty much level all the way across. This will promote even cooking which will lesson dry or under-cooked areas.
  2. Soak in buttermilk. Many chicken recipes benefit from being soaked in buttermilk overnight (or around 8 hours) to help make for moist chicken. This isn’t a must, but it is another way to be sure your chicken turns out amazing.
  3. Cook to 165F in the thickest part of the piece of chicken. This is crucial for food safety and for creating moist chicken. Undercook, and that flu you thought your family had is actually food poisoning. Over-cook and you get chicken jerky. Cook to 165F, and you’ll have perfectly moist chicken every time. Meat thermometers can be testy, though, so be sure you get a reliable one. Don’t ask me how I know this. I just do. I find that digital ones seem to work best. My favorite is the iDevices brand but there are less fancified ones you can start with too.

Now that we have explored chicken breast basics, let’s get rolling with this amazing recipe.


Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 fresh chicken breasts
  • 4-8 pieces sliced smoked ham (not honey ham)
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces gruyere, grated (or you can go traditional with swiss cheese)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 – 5 ounce package croutons, ground (or Panko crumbs)
  • 1 recipe of cheese sauce (this recipe from above is below)

Pour buttermilk in 9X13 pan. Set aside.

Butterfly cut and then pound evenly chicken breasts.

Place cream cheese, grated gruyere (or swiss), minced garlic, diced onion, and a dash of sea salt & pepper into mixing bowl. Mix until well-combined.

Roll about 3 ounces of cream cheese mixture into each piece of ham (or you can use 2 slices of ham per piece if you like to be generous).

Place a ham bundle inside of each chicken breast. Coat all chicken breasts in buttermilk and leave in 9X13 pan covered with plastic wrap in refrigerator overnight. (Chicken is okay to leave in buttermilk for up to about 48 hours if you have delays that change your plans.)

When you are ready to bake, remove chicken from buttermilk, salt & pepper top of each chicken breast, coat with ground croutons (or Panko crumbs), and place in a greased pan. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes or until chicken reaches 165F in thickest part of breast. Let chicken rest for about 15 minutes before serving.

Cheese Sauce Recipe

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/4 cup mustard (regular or dijon work well)
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a medium size saucepan. Stirring continually, cook over medium heat until cheese melts and then incorporates into the heavy cream.

Pour sauce generously over your Chicken Cordon Bleu – reinvented. Breaking the cheese-y rules never tasted so good.


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