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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 .

Raspberry Almond Mazarin Tart Recipe


One of my favorite Scandinavian treats is the mazarin tart. It is rich and regal yet one of the easiest things one could make for friends… the perfect dessert.


Preheat oven to 350F.

Dough Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon sea salt

Cream butter & powdered sugar. Add egg yolk (save egg white for filling). Combine. Add flour & sea salt. Mix well. Place some flour on countertop. Separate dough into six equal pieces. Press into six 4-inch tart pans with removable bottoms. Make sure bottoms and sides are covered as you would a pie crust. Set aside.

Filling Ingredients

  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white (remaining from above egg yolk)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Whip butter and almond paste until combined well. Add sugar, egg, egg white, almond extract, and sea salt. Whip together. Spoon filling into tart crusts. Place all tarts on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool until they can safely be removed from tart pans.

Topping Ingredients

  • 1 cup Strawberry or raspberry preserves

Spread a few tablespoons of preserves over the top of the almond tarts while they are still somewhat warm.

Serve on a pretty little plate.  Add a few fresh raspberries on top and drizzle with chocolate if desired.

This recipe can also be made in about a 10-inch tart pan for one large tart.

Alternate Topping

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry wine

Mix together well to make a lovely glaze. Spread over top of tarts after they have cooled. Allow icing to dry for several hours before serving.

These are an impressive holiday dessert but also easy to make ahead and refrigerate for a hot summer evening.

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How to Cook Prime Rib with Red Wine Mushroom Gravy


This post could easily be titled “How to Make Guests Happy” for this is what a great prime rib roast dinner does.  With Valentine’s Day coming up, perhaps eating in would be a lovely way to celebrate.

Look for a rib roast or prime rib roast at your grocery store. With bone or boneless, either way is great. Most of the time, it will already be tied but if not, then use twine to tie around roast to prevent the meat from pulling apart while cooking.

Place roast in a shallow roasting pan on a rack.

Smear sides with butter.

Cut slits at about every inch across the top of the roast.

Rub olive oil into slits and all around the roast. Season with salt, pepper, and your favorite house seasonings (we like Johnny’s Seasoning and Spike Seasoning). Slice a few garlic cloves and place them in the slits.

Allow roast to sit for a couple of hours – long enough that it comes to room temperature. This will allow it to cook evenly.

Place roast in preheated oven at 450F for 20 minutes. This is why a shallow roasting pan is important. If we used a deeper pan, we wouldn’t get the lovely browning we need.

Lower temperature to 325F for remaining cooking time.

An average roast is about 13-16 pounds. Cook for about 3-4 hours or until it reaches 145 degrees in the middle (between 125-135F if you would like it to be rare).

The fact that this picture was taken before I received my new camera and while about seven people were anxiously waiting for dinner, certainly did not do this prime rib photo justice. Incredibly tender and perfectly cooked.

Red Wine Mushroom Gravy

Remove prime rib roast from baking pan and place pan over stove top burner/s on medium heat. Add a little olive oil if pan is dry. Dice one medium yellow onion and place into pan. Cook onions until golden and somewhat see-thru. After onions are cooked, stir in about one cup of diced mushrooms. Let mushrooms cook for about 4 minutes.


Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of flour and stir together with the delicious meat juices, onions & mushrooms. Continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes. This is called a roux. It won’t be pretty, it will look scruffy even but it will make an incredible gravy.


After flour is cooked, add about 1 cup of red wine and stir. Then add  2 cups of water and 1 cup of milk and continue to stir. As the gravy comes to a boil, check the thickness and add more water if needed.


Stir in about 3-5 tablespoons of beef base ad continue to season to your liking with salt, pepper, and a house seasoning. Chopped fresh herb leaves such as rosemary, thyme and parsley can be nice as well.

Serve with potatoes and green beans, perhaps.

Perfectly perfect. All seven of us agreed.

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Maple Boys Recipe


If you’re looking for a special Christmas morning breakfast, you have come to the right place. These adorable little boys have become a tradition at family gatherings and at our B&B. Everyone loves them and all of their maple-y goodness.

This recipe makes about a dozen Maple Boys.

These are perfect for making on Christmas Eve night and then refrigerating & baking the next morning.

Place 5 teaspoons of yeast into mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup of warm water at about 110 degrees and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Give a little swirl and let sit for about 10 minutes to create the sponge for your dough.

While waiting for sponge to do it’s magic, you can get the other ingredients ready…

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup of instant mashed potatoes stirred together with 3/4 cup of warm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk (110 degrees or cooler)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs

After sponge (see bubbly goodness in picture) has developed, add ingredients listed above. Mix well.

Keep mixing and add a couple of cups of flour.

Continue to mix in flour until dough wants to “hug” the beater as shown in this picture. Dough will have gone from somewhat soupy to more elasticity. Give or take, it can take about 7 cups to reach this point. This isn’t an exact measurement because the amount of flour you’ll need depends on how much moisture is in the air.

This is the time to switch to the dough hook. Kneed with dough hook for about 6-8 minutes.

Be sure to lock the mixer down or, turns out, you will end up with a dough tornado. I’ll be darned. That’s a first.

Cover with a clean warm, damp towel and let dough sit in a warm place for about an hour or until dough has doubled in size.

Have I introduced you to Scoop yet? I love how this scoop allows me to pretend I am a baker like the ones I grew up watching. My baking has gotten better since I found her in an antique shop. Okay, maybe it’s not because of Scoop but I like to think so.

While I’m at it, I thought you might like to see how I keep my flour. I bake. I bake a lot. So, I went for the charcoal caddy. The pantry incident this year is further proof that I should not keep 20 pounds of flour upon my pantry shelves. Okay, I do believe I have killed enough time and can move on to the next step with you. See how clever I was there?

Turn happily risen dough onto flour covered countertop. Coat with a little bit of flour and roll out to about 1/2 inch thick.

Find a gingerbread boy cookie cutter that is about 5-6 inches tall. Swoosh in flour a bit so it doesn’t stick to the dough…

… then use to create Christmas magic. If you don’t have a gingerbread cookie cutter, you can just cut into rectangles and make baked maple bars. I promise you that they will taste just as amazing.

If baking on same day, place oven on 350F to preheat. Place boys on a baking sheet coated with non-stick baking spray or parchment paper.  Let sit on tray in a warm place until doubled in size (about 45 minutes) or if your oven has a proofing setting, you can place them in there for about 1/2 hour to speed things up. After they’re done rising, bake for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown.

If making the night before, cover with non-stick spray coated saran wrap and place in fridge.

Finally the almost holy maple frosting.

  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 ounces of (salted) butter, softened
  • 8 tablespoons of water
  • 8 teaspoons of Mapleine
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Cool maple boys for about 5-10 minutes and then coat with maple frosting.

You’ll also need about 1 cup of powdered sugar & a teaspoon or so of water mixed together to create the white frosting for the gingy cuteness.

Your family might actually have a hard time deciding between gift opening and Maple Boys. Okay, maybe not, but there’s no better way to start Christmas morning than to spoil them with both.

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Chef Michael Symon shows how to carve a turkey

Video takes a couple of seconds show the play button.

Thanksgiving Recipes

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How to De-bone (Airline) a Pheasant

Our friends from Woodman Lodge in Snoqualmie, Washington posted this video of Chef Don Hoots showing how to de-bone (airline) a pheasant for the holidays.

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Gingerbread Boys Recipe

What would the holidays be without gingerbread boys? Sugar, spice and everything nice… we could all use a little more of these things in our lives. Start celebrating today with these cookies which win in the category of “Most likely to make someone smile.”

Cream together:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar


  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg

Slowly add:

  • 3 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350F.

Roll out gingery goodness onto a floured surface to about 1/4th of an inch thick.

Swoosh cookie cutter in flour for easy release from dough each time you cut out a gingerbread boy.

Everyone alike yet everyone unique.

In line for the oven. Bake for about 8 minutes. Allow gingerbread boys to cool completely. Decorate with simple powdered sugar frosting: Add up to 10 tablespoons of water (depending on how thick you’d like it to be) to about 2 cups of powdered sugar. Stir well and pipe with a decorating bag onto gingerbread boys. Allow to dry overnight or for several hours before plating or wrapping.

Happy, spicy cookies.


Little miniatures make a big impression at dinner parties.

May your holiday season be filled opportunities to quite literally spread smiles to everyone you love.

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It’s the Little Things

Some original pictures from this post have come up missing.

Day 9

Whenever you have gone to a very fancy party, restaurant or event, you have noticed it is the little things done with love that make all the difference.

Creativity without love = showing off & guests who leave with a void in their hearts

Creativity with love = inspiration & guests who wish they could return again tomorrow

If you cannot spend a lot of money on guests, you can always give away plenty of love & inspiration. It’s always fun to see what you can make with things you have on hand.

Here is a little box decorated with some scrapbook paper (old cards & calendar pages would work just wonderfully), rosemary, and a pine cone (which didn’t look too good on the back so I used that to my benefit as it was easier to glue since it was already flat). Fill box with verses, pictures or quotes.
This mini lunch bag is prettied with a ribbon misfit from an old craft project, scrapbook paper and an old phone clip. The clip is still useful as it can be repurposed in many ways. Fill bag with candies, a pretty soap or a mini candle.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 12.17.03 PM

Buy your holiday decorations plain and you can redesign them for other holidays like this cute little bunny. Add a lemon thyme wreath, and he hops from Easter to Christmas!


These Halloween boxes I found on clearance make for a perfect Christmas box with festive papers, a big black bow & shiny button. Inside? Bell candies or actual bells, of course. P.S. Black bows are always so very classy.

As we all know by now, the odder the juice glass, the more delicious the juice. Find inexpensive food safe bottles with fancy toppers for juice. You could not help but giggle if someone served juice to you in a shorty baby cutie glass like this. Am I right? The dollar store would perhaps be a great place to find something like this.

Make sure to buy them brand new & without perfume inside. Do not under any circumstances buy them from a second-hand store. They must be new & never used for perfume!

Remember this holiday season, in the midst of all the recipes, ideas & sparkles you are bombarded with, it is the little things done with big love that will count the most.

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The Merry Cherry Christmas Drink Recipe

Day 8

I love, love, love this commercial. So much so that I may or may not of had to go purchase these little glasses.

Okay. I did. I may or may not have also chanted “Party Party! Party!” to the clerk when I bought them.

To make this pretty little party in a mini martini glass, place these ingredients into a Boston shaker:

  • About 10 ice cubes for chilling
  • 3 ounces cherry schnapps
  • 3 ounces cherry vodka
  • 1/2 cup cranberry juice
  • 1/4 cup 7-Up
  • One lime wedge (squeeze first & then drop lime wedge in as well for added flavor)
  • 5 maraschino cherries with or without stems

Place one cherry in the bottom of each glass. Shake well & pour drink into mini glasses. Makes about 5 mini martini glasses full.

I cannot guarantee that your glasses will sing, “Party! Party! Party!” but I can guarantee you a…

Merry Cherry!

Display Idea: Tea Light candle holder with mini glasses



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Chocolate Covered Cordial Cherries Candy Recipe

Day 6

cor-dial: warm and sincere; friendly: a cordial greeting; cordial relations.

This recipe couldn’t be more cordial.

If you have ever been sad to see the boxes of cordial cherries disappear from the store shelves, you will be ever so happy to see this recipe coming. Just place 1/4 cup of butter, 6 cups of powdered sugar, 1/4 cup cherry shnapps, 4 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk, 1 tablespoon of cherry vodka & 1/4 teaspoon of salt into mixer. Turn on to a slow speed until some of the powdered sugar is mixed in with the other ingredients & then turn to higher speed to prevent powdered sugar flying everywhere.

As long as the amount of liquids you put into the recipe end up totaling the same amount listed, you can vary the liquid ingredients. For instance if you would like no alcohol in your cherries, just add more corn syrup instead of the shnapps & vodka. Same rule applies if you’d like more vodka, just lessen the amount of another liquid.

I almost skipped this picture because it doesn’t do the color of the filling justice but I thought it might be helpful to see the texture of what it should look like. Place a towel or plastic over the filling to keep it moist and set aside.

You will need about 60 maraschino cherries (with or without stems is fine). Drain but keep & refrigerate the juice as it is tasty & can be used in beverages such as pop for a fun twist.

Lay cherries on a few paper towels to allow excess juice to drain.

Wrap cherries in pretty pink filling, then roll between hands to form a ball. Place them into a flat container that will fit in your fridge.

Pretty in pink. Place in fridge for about 15-20 minutes to chill. This makes them easier to dip.

Melt 2 pounds of a top quality chocolate and stir in a teaspoon of  grated Parowax household wax for that beautiful shiny like a holiday look.

I set my cherries on a fork and then gently tap over edge of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. I then use a knife to carefully slide the cordial onto parchment to allow the chocolate time to set.

Glory be.

cor-dial: chocolaty and cherry; sweet: a cordial tasting; cordial perfection.

Enter to win a Starbucks card from the very first Starbucks. Contest ends tonight at midnight.

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Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Foodies


Tea Forte Ribbon Box Sampler – If they love tea, they will love Tea Forte… the prettiest tea I have ever seen


Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong – one of the world’s funniest books


Pastry Scraper – Works like a dream to scrape counter tops off and more.


Fresh potted herbs – No need for fancy pots, just keep them in plastic pots & place a bunch of different ones in a big basket. Perfect for in house use and then can be planted outside in the spring. They will return year after year. Great ones to start with are rosemary, thyme, basil, cilantro, oregano, flat leaf Italian parsley, sage and even green onions. Mint is awesome to garnish beautiful desserts.


Half sheet aluminum pan

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