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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 and food truck plans as seen on New Day Northwest. Here's to starting from scratch. Talking about The Old Hen online? Our hashtag is #theoldhen .

Easy Coconut Macaroon Cookies Recipe

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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.

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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.

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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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Stuffed Jalepeno Poppers Recipe

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Zip! Zap! They are like an exciting comic book on a plate. You enjoy the bacon and cheeses then suddenly. Zowie! You have found an adventure. You have found a stuffed jalepeno popper.

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Ingredients

  • 12 fresh jalepeno peppers, cut in half and seeds removed (It is best to use disposable gloves for this process to prevent accidental burning. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do. )
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2/3 cup high quality bacon bits
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Place jalepeno peppers on a baking sheet.

Put cream cheese, garlic, mozzarella, bacon bits, salt, & pepper in mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.

Generously fill each jalepeno half with cream cheese mixture.

Place each filled jalepeno pepper face down in Panko crumbs until well-coated.

Put back on baking sheet crumbs facing up.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

For added zing, serve with barbecue sauce.

Makes 24 spicy appys. A must-have for every spicy party. Zing!

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Peanut Butter Maple Truffles Dipped in Granola Recipe

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If there is one combo I am sure of on this planet, it is maple and peanut butter. I’ve known this since I was five and my grandpa sat beside me giggling while I ate my pancakes topped with peanut butter and maple syrup. He called me his “Peanut Butter Girl”. Ever since, it has been my goal to share this beloved combo with the world.

Today, I present thee with truffles – Peanut Butter Maple Truffles Dipped in Granola.

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  • 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • Dash of sea salt
  • 1 cup Golden Girl Forest Maple Granola
  • 2 – 2 pound bag Ghirardelli Chocolate Melting Wafers (total 4 pounds)
  • Remaining 1 1/2 cups granola from bag of Golden Girl Maple Granola (for rolling)

Using a mixer, mix peanut butter & butter together. Add powdered sugar, maple extract, salt and then the cup of granola.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Roll peanut butter mix into about 4-5 dozen 1-inch balls. A small cookie scoop will help keep measurements equal or if you’re experienced with balls, you can just eye it. (This joke inserted here just for naughty, loyal readers.)

Place chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl, heat in 30-second intervals stirring in between each and continue until almost melted. Stir remaining unmelted chocolate into the melted for a gorgeous chocolate. Place remaining granola in a medium bowl.

Dip each ball into melted chocolate. Allow excess chocolate to drip back into chocolate bowl. Roll balls into granola and place on another tray lined with parchment paper. Allow to harden in a cool place. If you make a one batch, you can place them on a tray in the fridge for about 20 minutes to set the chocolate.

Because the world needs more truffles. And more maple and peanut butter combos. And sweet grandfathers who giggle while their little five year old granddaughter makes major life decisions about what to have on her pancakes.

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Homemade Hamburger Buns Recipe

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Hard ciabatta buns housing chicken salad make chamber of commerce lunches exceptionally awkward. Don’t ask me how I know, I just do. Corn dogs purchased for $9 at the county fair that are covered in unsweetened, bread-y cornbread deserve a first class ticket into the garbage can. Whole wheat bread grilled with American cheese makes a kid wonder what they did wrong in life to deserve such punishment.

But the perfect bread? Well, that changes everything. Just as a waiter or waitress should not overshadow the company across your dinner table, a bun should simply enhance and showcase the oh-so-important star of the show… the fillings. I have just the thing for your grilled burger sammiches this summer… perfect homemade buns.

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Makes 6 large hamburger buns.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110F or less)
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 egg (for brushing tops before baking)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds (optional)

Place yeast in a medium bowl. Pour in water and whisk. Set aside.

Measure oil. Set aside.

Place all dry ingredients in mixing bowl. Stir dry ingredients together.

Using dough hook attachment, add yeast mixture and oil to dry ingredients and turn mixer on medium speed. You can turn up speed as dough comes together. Kneed until dough comes together and pulls away from sides of bowl. This can take 3-5 minutes.

Remove dough hook and place mixing bowl in a warm place so dough can rise. Cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise until about double in size.

Form dough into balls for the size hamburger buns you would like to have. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper with plenty of room in between for them to rise again. If making sliders, buns can be very small, if larger, you can use for full-size hamburgers. Keep in mind the buns will double in size as they rise one more time.

Beat egg well. Set aside.

After buns have finished doubling in size again, preheat oven to 350F.

Gently brush buns with egg wash. Top with sesame seeds if desired. Bake about fifteen minutes or until light golden brown.

And, yes. If you must, you can substitute the flour with whole wheat flour… even though the little grilled cheese loving girl in me disapproves.

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Steak Salad Recipe

The older I get, the more have to face the fact that green needs to be the most prominent color on my plate. Gone are the days of pasta and cheese. Enter rainbows of veggies… okay, and blue cheese dressing… and beef.

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Serves two.

Salad Ingredients

Cook steak, make dressing, and fry leeks according to instructions given and set aside. Then divide in half and place ingredients on two plates in a sexy fashion.

It helps that she’s easy on the eyes. I can go green. No prob’.

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Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing Recipe

Well-aged, savory, and a wee but sassy. I present thee with the amazing (very grown up) blue cheese dressing for your summer salad.

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup salad oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup crumbled blue cheese

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Of course, the exceptionally responsible of us would use this dressing for salad… the rest of us just found a way to make our hot chicken wing dip at home. Amen.

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Chicken Makhani AKA Indian Butter Chicken Recipe

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When my kids were little, they learned about various countries by studying not just the history of the country, but the foods. Son and dotter had to cook dinners that represented the country they had been learning about. In my home? Imagine that. I wish I had found my love for Indian food back then. I suppose this time mom is the student.

I know I’m a little late to the game, but I have finally figured out which Indian foods I can eat and still have tastebuds left after trying them. I had to ask a nice lady at our favorite Indian restaurant which dishes were hot and which were not after a few visits of dead buds tuckered out from all the heat. One bite of the super spicy stuff and I can’t taste anything else.

Butter Chicken has a little zing to it but not much. If you like things really spicy, you can add more green chilis or just leave the seeds in. Me? I’ll be the one with the taste buds in tact, thanks.

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Indian Butter Chicken Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 green chiles, stems removed, cut in half, and middles removed
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, roasted in oven for 20 minutes then remove skin
  • 5 tablespoons kasoori methi
  • 2 tablespoons red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 4 whole green cardamom seeds (husks can be left on)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (add a teaspoon or so more if finished product is too acidic)
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, diced into large bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Place two tablespoons of the butter and olive oil into a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add diced tomatoes. Cook tomatoes down for about 10-15 minutes. Stir in ginger, chiles, garlic cloves, kasoori methi, red chili powder, paprika, cardamom seeds, and honey. Simmer for about 5 more minutes.

Carefully pour sauce in a blender. Cover lightly and blend on lowest setting. Work blender up to medium speed until sauce is smooth. Set aside.

Clean large sauce pan.

Place last two tablespoons of butter in saucepan over medium heat. Saute chicken pieces in butter until cooked through to 165F on inside and light golden brown on outside. Pour sauce over chicken. Stir in cream.

Continue to simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Sauce will thicken and spices will settle, making this a dish you will adore.

Serve with Basmati rice (with some peas & carrots mixed in) and naan bread.

I couldn’t of been whiter in that moment I asked for help, but it has allowed me to find a love for Indian food. And by Indian food, I mean Butter Chicken and rice and naan bread. Happy buds.

 

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Homemade Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese frosting Recipe

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I admit, my memories of carrot cake are a bit abnormal. When a bakery shelf becomes your natural before school nap habitat, you catch glimpses of bakers taking full sheetcakes out of a room-size, ferris-wheel oven.

You watch your mom carefully remove parchment papers the size of a small child off bottom of each cake. You drool as each cake is cut into the sizes requested for each special-order customer.

You nap some more.

You wake up to dozens of 8-inch carrot cakes decorated with cream cheese frosting and carefully placed in a revolving case.

You pretend you can eat the cakes through the glass. You run to the back next to your momma’s side when you notice a customer giggling at your dramatic, cake-longing expressions.

You watch the carrot cakes go out the door one by one as customers proudly carry their box out to their cars to their celebrations.

You play with plastic cake decorating embellishment toys. (Even though I was shaped like a muffin and never danced, the ballerinas were my favorite).

You laugh as, once again, the baker purposefully trips and pretends to drop a gorgeous wedding cake and your mom’s heart rate drops. “You jerk,” she replies to the man who signs her paycheck. This is almost a daily occurrence.

 

IMG_0813Preheat oven to 350F.

Carrot Cake Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Dash of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, grated
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)

Place dry ingredients into mixer and mix until stirred together. Stop mixer and add remaining ingredients. Mix well.

Butter and then flour 2 8-inch pans or one 9X13 pan. Pour batter into pans (or pan).

Bake for 45-55 minutes. Cake is done when fork comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool completely. If baking in 9X13, just wait for cake to cool completely, make half a batch of frosting, frost top of cake, and serve out of pan.

If making 2 8-inch cakes for a layered cake, make complete recipe of frosting. Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and freeze overnight or for a few hours then place on platter and frost. The easiest way for beginners to frost a cake is to use a decorating bag with a large tip to decorate. This alleviates crumbs that can happen when spreading with a spatula. Freezing your cakes before frosting also helps cut down the cakes and creates a moister cake.

 

Frosting Ingredients

  • 8 ounces unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • Sea salt (to taste – this might take up to a teaspoon)
  • Few drops of water if needed

Mix frosting ingredients together on lowest setting until powdered sugar is combined. Turn up speed and whip for about 8-10 minutes. If frosting is too sweet, it needs more salt.

And then you grow up and you realize. Cake is community. And you start a food blog. Cuz everyone deserves to have a community of happiness. And cake. And jerks. And happiness.

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Southwest Salad Recipe

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I’ve had some fantastic Southwest salads and I’ve had some horrible ones. One restaurant served theirs covered in a vinaigrette – heavy on the vinegar. I couldn’t eat it. I puckered up, pecked at it like an Old Hen would, cut my losses, and left the place $18 poorer and pretty darn hungry.

So, because I love you, I present thee with a Southwest Salad which will be more pleasing than a prissy plate of lettuce & vinegar every single time.

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Makes two large salads or 4 medium salads.

Ingredients

  • 1 small can black beans
  • 1 recipe of Southwest Rub
  • 2 chicken breasts, butterfly cut in half
  • 1 cup Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped into about 1-inch squares
  • 1 ear corn on the cob
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalepeno, minced
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, diced fine
  • 8-10 stalks cilantro, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons grated cheddar
  • 4 tablespoons grated pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Tri-color tortilla strips (or regular tortilla chips will do)

Rinse black beans well and place in saucepan in water. Boil for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.

Turn on grill (or oven to 350F. Prepare Southwest Rub and set aside. Butterfly cut chicken breasts and coat with Southwest Rub. Allow chicken to sit for about 20 minutes then grill until middle of thickest part reaches 165F.

It is wise to invest in a good meat thermometer to be sure any meats you cook reach their safe temperature for eating. 

Place corn cob in a pot of boiling water. Leave in water for three minutes and then place in a bowl of ice cold water for a few minutes. After corn is cool enough to handle, cut corn off of cob.

Place lettuce on plates. Top each plate of lettuce with corn, tomatoes, bell peppers, black olives, red onion, cilantro, cheddar and pepper jack cheese.

Slice chicken at a slant for an extra stylish look and place on top of salad.

Drizzle with desired amount of ranch dressing.

Dice avocado right before serving (so it won’t brown). If preparing in advance for a crowd, you can drizzle and toss avocado with fresh lime juice. Keep everything except chicken refrigerated until ready to use.

Decorate sides of each plate with tortilla strips and a couple of lime wedges. Lime wedges are ever so delightful squeezed upon your salad.

Budget-friendly, fresh, flavorful, and comforting. Eating out (on the patio) is so very perfect.

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Southwest Rub Recipe

One has not lived until one has entered into a simple shop at Pike Place Market in Seattle and asked an old Mexican woman which spices to buy if one were to want to cook authentic Mexican food. How she sold me a basket full of spices without speaking a single word of English I will never know but I’m glad she did.

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Will coat about 4 chicken thighs or 2 butterflied chicken breasts.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground paprika molido (regular paprika is also fine if you don’t have this)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (can be halved if you prefer your seasoning less spicey)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Coat chicken well with rub. Allow to sit for about 20-30 minutes. Brush off excess rub. Grill as usual. For added zing, drizzle fresh lime juice over chicken while it grills.

Make sure with a meat thermometer that the inside temperature at the thickest part of chicken reaches 165F. Less than 165F will make your family sick. Too far over 165F will make chicken dry. For these reasons, it’s good to watch it very closely. If using a different meat than poultry, just look up the safety temperature for that meat. 

This recipe can be baked at 350F in the oven for about 20 minutes as well. Just make sure middle of chicken pieces reach 165F.

Thank you, lovely Mexican lady. Your smile and your wordless sales abilities have changed my world.

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