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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!

Homemade Gnocchi Recipe

How does one deal with nervously wondering how one will come across on national television? How does one deal with helping one’s dotter move out on the same weekend? Um. Well. One doesn’t. One organizes closets. One is extra chatty with guests. One makes comfort food.

I feel better about the whole thing since my inner feelings while taping the show didn’t show themselves on air. There was that one exception, however, of my double chins. I can’t decide which one of them I love best.

Dotter? Well, she is doing well too. She loves her new place and is very grown up but misses me already which makes me feel warm and cozy inside. She also only has one chin so I must have done something right.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2.5 pounds russet potatoes
  • 2 – 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Peel potatoes well. Cut into about 2 inch pieces. Bring potatoes to a boil in a large pot of salted water. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about half an hour or until a fork poked into potatoes slides out very easily. Drain potatoes.

Put warm potatoes through a potato ricer or food mill. Add flour, salt & white pepper into potatoes. Work together until becomes a nice dough.

Place a little flour on countertop and, taking small amounts of dough at a time, roll to form a long strip of pasta dough. Continue until finished. Cut rolled dough into 1 inch pieces.

If desired, roll each gnocchi over a cheese grater or fork for added beauty.

Put a fresh pot of salted hot water on to boil. Then add the gnocchi a few at a time so they don’t stick together while cooking. Allow to cook until all raise to the top of the hot water. This doesn’t take long. Drain gnocchi.

Place on a serving platter or bowl. If you like, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. There are many ways to enjoy gnocchi as there are exercises to work it off. You can go simple with fresh sage and butter or red sauce has a delightful freshness that counters the heaviness of the gnocchi well.

Dotter sent a picture of kitty this morning who is not coping with the move nearly as well. Kitty is burrowed under a bed comforter in a little ball. I can relate, kitty. And after some comforting gnocchi, my chins and I will probably do the same.

This recipe makes about six servings.

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Chicken and Spinach Lasagna With White Wine Alfredo Sauce Recipe

Does the spinach get lost in the back of your refrigerator? Perhaps it’s time to just give in and make it cheesy and buttery and try for salads again next week. As we reach the final stretch of cozy dinners before we sit in the sun and eat strictly watermelon, we might as well do it up big.

Alfredo. Yeah, that big.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cube butter (1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup white wine (can be substituted with water and/or a little chicken broth if preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Salt (Just lightly since parmesan cheese is salty)
  • Ground pepper
  • 1 box lasagna noodles
  • 1 -2 pounds shredded chicken breast
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Season chicken with salt & pepper and fry in a bit of olive oil until almost fully cooked. Set aside.

In another pan, melt butter on medium heat.

Whisk in flour.

Continue to whisk and allow to cook for a couple of minutes. Whisk in milk, cream and wine (or chicken broth).

Add garlic powder, salt, pepper and lemon pepper. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350F.

Coat a baking pan (9 x 13 or a bit larger) with non-stick spray. Scoop about one cup of the sauce and spread into bottom of the pan.  Place one layer of uncooked lasagna over the sauce. If you’re starting to feel guilty, there’s always whole-wheat lasagna.

Pour another cup of sauce over noodles then top with about 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach, a thin layer of 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, and some shredded chicken. Keep layering the same way until the pan is almost full (should make about 3 layers). Top with the remaining sauce.

If you have leftover noodles, just save them for mini lasagnas later.

If you like, add the delicious drippings from the chicken pan too. Mmmmm.

Cover snuggly with foil and place into hot oven for 40 minutes.

Fo’ sizzle.

Tomorrow, watermelon.

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Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

9553edda49167640d33ffa27976bb2d9There are some recipes that we probably shouldn’t know how to make from scratch, like alfredo sauce. Alas, it is my joy to bring them to you even so.  You know, for special occasions.

I begged a restaurant waitress to ask the chef for this recipe and, somehow, I walked out with a list of ingredients and free access to make this buttery, cheesy calorie-loaded dish at home as soon… as soon as I figured out the chef’s technique and quantities.

Oh dear. Oh me. Oh my. Help me.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)

Melt butter in medium-large sauce pan on low heat. After it is melted, sprinkle in flour & whisk. Cook for a couple of minutes on medium heat while continuing to whisk.

Measure other ingredients so they are ready to go when the time is right. Blend milk, cream and cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth in blender.

Pour milk, cream & cream cheese mixture into pan while still whisking. Sauce will thicken within a few minutes of cooking.

Stir cheese & seasonings into sauce and allow to melt while whisking. Add white wine (optional).

Following instructions on package, cook fettuccine (or your favorite kind of pasta).

Drain pasta when cooked and toss with some olive oil and perhaps chopped parsley.

Place sauce over pasta and perhaps some grilled chicken breast and top with whatever you like such as sliced green onions, diced tomatoes or parsley  for a little dazzle of color.

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce and Garlic Bread Recipe

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It’s a snow day here in the Seattle area.

I’m thinking about hopping onto a sled later. Or maybe I’ll just blog. Or maybe I’ll open the B&B for snacks & coffee to the people waiting on the side of the freeway for Snoqualmie Pass to open. Or maybe I’ll just blog. Yeah, I’ll blog.

Spaghetti Sauce:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 – 1 lb 12 oz. can Italian recipe crushed tomatoes
  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 3-4 stalks fresh basil
  • 3-4 stalks fresh oregano
  • 1 – 187 ml or 6-7 ounces chardonnay or chicken broth (add more if sauce is too thick for your liking)
  • 1 can olives and olive juice, sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: sliced mushrooms

To make the sauce, place Italian pork and ground turkey in pan to cook. Salt & pepper meat.

Chop herbs, mince garlic and dice onions while meat is cooking.

When meat is almost done cooking, add a few tablespoons of olive oil if needed. Then add diced onion. If using ground beef instead of turkey, drain meat.

After onions are golden and almost translucent, add garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, chardonnay, and salt & pepper to taste. Add drained & chopped or sliced olives with juice and, if desired, add mushrooms.

The Noodles:

Follow time instructions on package to cook noodles and remember not to add the pasta until your water is boiling. Keep things interesting by using different kinds of noodles when you make spaghetti. Penne, linguine or Cellentani are all fun options. If you decide to mix them, be sure to pay close attention to the cooking times. Add longest cooking first then add the noodles with the lesser cooking time as you count down. After draining the water off the pasta, stir in a bit of olive oil for added flavor and to prevent your noodles from sticking together.

Garlic Bread:

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying onions)
  • 1/4 medium diced yellow onion, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh basil

Heat olive oil on medium heat in a small pan. Add diced onions and fry until golden brown. Remove from heat and cool onions.

Place butter and remaining ingredients in bowl.

Blend ingredients together until well combined.

Cut bread in half lengthwise.

Spread butter liberally onto bread.

Place in oven and keep oven door a wee bit open so you can keep an eye on your bread.

Remove from oven when golden brown and top is slightly crispy. Cut into slices for all to enjoy… except for the poor people sitting on the side of the freeway. In their cars. In the snow. I am a terrible person.

A terrible person who reeks of garlic and is enjoying her fireplace all to herself. Just for now.

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