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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 .

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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10 Television Shows Featuring Bed & Breakfasts

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It is no coincidence my home was turned into a B&B. I blame Gilmore Girls. It went off the air in 2007. I spent 2008 getting ready. And opened up my gorgeous wooden doors to guests in 2009. My kids and I watched every single episode and decided this was the life we wanted. Our journey as innkeepers allowed us to travel through the stories of our guests as we opened our doors to many lovely people and hilarious moments. We were not disappointed by our real-life sitcom.

1. Newhart

An American classic. No one can deliver a line like Bob. Well, except maybe Larry… “Hi, I’m Larry, this is my brother Darryl, and this is my other brother Darryl.”

2. The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

Disney delivered once again with this quirky, fun show for kids.

3. Edge of Heaven

Edge of Heaven didn’t last long because of tough competition causing low ratings but if you love shows about B&Bs, you can find the six episodes online which aired before their doors quickly closed.

4. Fawlty Towers

And in Great Britain, Fawlty Towers had audiences cackling so hard that America had to get in on the fun.  I still have to pause and watch if I happen to land on the reruns.

5. Whoopi

You may not know Whoopi ran a B&B during primetime. Yep, she did but this show about a one-hit wonder gone B&B owner in New York was cancelled, ironically, after one year.

6. All At Sea

All at Sea is the British alternative to The Suite Life of Zack and Cody – colorful and quirky.

7. Benidorm

This series started in 2007 and is still in production. The British really know how to take advantage of the natural comedy innkeepers experience while being on the front lines of the travel industry.

8. Portlandia

I know. I know. Portlandia isn’t based in a B&B but how could I ignore this perfect skit about one? Portlandia is all the best of hipster life in one hilarious show.

9. Three in a Bed

What list of TV shows these days would be complete without a reality show? Or two? Or three… in a bed?

Four in a Bed

Well, heck, why not four?

10. Gilmore Girls

And, I have saved the very best for last. I discovered Gilmore Girls right after their sixth season had come to an end. My kids and I did nothing for one entire week except the basics and we watched every episode from season one to season five. I later found seasons six and seven on sale and we finished them all. In this show Melissa McCarthy plays my kitchen equivalent, Sookie. We’re super excited to hear the news that there will soon be four more episodes on Netflix and will include our beloved Sookie.

If a show you know of comes to mind, please list them in the comments so everyone can enjoy them too.

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Old-Fashioned Fresh Coleslaw Recipe

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Sweet, humble, colorful, and healthy. Cole slaw is all that I strive to be.

This dressing is also fantastic for other salads. One might consider making a couple batches and keeping some in the fridge for BBQ nights on the deck.

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Ingredients for the Slaw

  • 1 cup green cabbage, sliced fine
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage, sliced fine
  • 3 stalks of kale, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

When making cole slaw, it is best to cut up the salad ingredients and prepare the dressing and chill them separately until party time. Until then, never the two shall meet. This will keep your cole slaw crisp and refreshing.

Hey, Slaw. You go, girl. May I be more and more like you when I grow up.

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Easy Homemade Maple Nut Ice Cream Recipe

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I have fond memories of my parents taking us kids to Baskin Robbins when I was little. I could never understand why they chose to eat maple nut ice cream when there were 31 perfect flavors such as root beer float and peanut butter & jelly right under our noses. And then I grew up. And I understood. And now my favorite ice cream in the entire world is maple nut.

If you plan on going on a few homemade ice cream excursions of your own this summer, I recommend investing in a few large GladWare containers. They’re inexpensive and super handy for large amounts of ice cream glory.

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup maple extract
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
  • 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 church until it stops (or almost stops) on its own. This will take about 20-40 minutes. 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.

You see, some people think my blog is about my culinary genius; but, it is so very not. It is merely a continuing story of my taste buds growing up.

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