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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 .

Almond Pavlova With Nutella Whipped Cream and Fresh Berries Recipe

The pavlova is as fun to say as it is to make. You see, making one is an event. It is not difficult if you follow instructions well; but, like all good things in life, it does take some time. No drama, baby, just patience.

Preheat oven to 250°F.


Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (preferably caster sugar which is extra fine, not as gritty as regular)
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1/8 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 2 pints variety fresh blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries

Let eggs come to room temperature. Place egg whites in mixing bowl and save egg yolks for another recipe.

Whip egg yolks until frothy and white. Sprinkle cornstarch and vinegar over eggs. Whip together. Add sugar a couple tablespoons at a time while continuing to whip. Add almond extract. Whip until glossy and has stiff peaks.

Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper. Form three 8-inch circles about 2 inches high each with meringue.

Bake for 1 1/4 hours. Reduce heat to 150 and bake another hour. Turn oven off and allow to cool completely in oven (about an hour).

While waiting for pavlova to cool, you can make the whipped cream and prepare the berries.

To make whipped cream, whip heavy cream in a clean mixing bowl. Once it reaches soft peaks, add Nutella and powdered sugar. Whip to stiff peaks.

Rinse berries and allow to dry on a sheet pan lined with paper towels. I like to cut the strawberries into quarters so they are easy to enjoy; but, if you’re looking for just a little more drama, you can leave all or some of them whole.

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Your To-Do List This Weekend

This might just be my favorite video I’ve ever stumbled upon on Facebook. Let’s reconnect this weekend…. and more often.

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Authentic Homemade Pho Recipe

I’m about to show you the pho-shizzle pho-sure. I mean, this recipe is pho-nomenal. You will keep this one handy pho-ever. Un-pho-gettable. Pho-real. No pho-king chicken broth here. This is the real deal, baby.

You will need cheesecloth to drain your broth, so be sure to purchase before making. This is an all day recipe, so you’ll want to begin around 11am for a 6pm dinner.


Broth Ingredients

  • 5 pounds beef bones*
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 5 quarts water
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed or cut in half
  • 3 slices fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce**
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place beef bones and onion on a baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.

Place remaining ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil then turn heat down to medium-low and simmer for six hours. Broth will slowly reduce to about half of the water you started with.

Lay about 4 layers of cheesecloth inside of a strainer. Remove large items out of the broth and throw away. Gently pour the rest of the broth over the cheesecloth and into a clean pot.

Soup Ingredients

  • 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1/2 – 14 oz.  package pad Thai rice noodles AKA rice sticks (preferably wider, fettuccine-like ones)
  • 2-3 pounds London Broil steak, thinly sliced

After broth is finished cooking, add green onions.

For the noodles, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and boil for as long as package instructs – most likely about 3 minutes. Add a scoop of noodles to your bowls. The benefit of cooking noodles this way, is they will remain a gorgeous white and they won’t soak in all of your broth, leaving you with just noodles. for this same reason, I recommend storing leftover noodles and pho broth separately.

Lay strips of London Broil steak on top of noodles in your bowls. Pour the hot pho broth over your steak and noodles. The hot broth will cook the meat for you quickly. The eat will be a little pink in the center. Add toppings & sauces as desired.

Pho Toppings & Sauces

  • Fresh* or canned** bean sprouts
  • Hoisin sauce**
  • Cilantro (optional)
  • Fresh lime wedges
  • Fresh basil, chiffonade
  • Sriracha sauce**

Everyone can enjoy the toppings they wish on their pho.

Making homemade pho from scratch with make you a pho-natic. Good pho-you!

*Available at Asian markets

**Available at regular grocery stores in Asian aisle

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How to Make Emoji Cake Pops

Must haz all da feelz for Valentine’s Day. Cake pops + emojis = Valentine’s treats. Nothin’ could be sweeter.

You will want a sturdy styrofoam block or a Wilton Cake Pops Stand before entering to world of cake pops because you will need to prop them up after dipping. Either of these can be purchased online or at a craft store.


Cake Pop Recipe

First, bake a 18.25 oz. cake mix. Allow to cool.

Then grab one 16 oz. container of store bought frosting. It’s important to note that you can only use 3/4ths of the container though or your cake pops will crack after coated.

Place 3/4 of the container (or 12 ounces or 1 1/2 cups) of frosting into all of the cooled, baked cake. Did I mention using only 3/4ths of the container of frosting? I recommend placing cake & frosting in mixing bowl and mixing until well-combined.

Form into about 1-inch balls and place on baking sheet. Form the same amount of cake into a poop emoji by pressing it into a flat but thick triangle then forming some curves with your fingers and a little curved tip at the top. Freeze on tray for 15 minutes to set.

During the wait time, melt chocolate and yellow candies.

Remove cake balls from freezer once they’re chilled. Poke top of lollipop stick into melted candy just about 1/8 inch, then insert a lollipop stick into cake ball. Reform the top a little bit again as it might get a little bit flat from sitting on the pan.

Royal Icing Recipe

Place all ingredients into mixer. Turn on low speed until powdered sugar is incorporated into a frosting. This prevents powdered sugar snow in the kitchen. Continue to mix until the frosting is stiff – like whipped cream.  If you remove the whisk attachment, the frosting should stand up pretty much straight. Use decorating bag and a simple round tip to decorate.

For Silly Face Emoji Dip in yellow candy, place one eye candy (yes, I know) on the right side of where you’d like the face to be. Allow to dry. Finish off face using black royal icing and I just carefully broke a thin pink heart to make the tongues. After drawing the mouth, tongue can be glued onto black frosting before it dries to complete the look.

For Poop Emoji Dip in dark chocolate candy, place eye candies in place. Allow to dry (nice thing about these is they can be carefully laid upon parchment paper on baking sheet to dry since they’re kinda flat anyhow). Finish off face using white royal icing to draw his stinky little smile.

For Love Emoji Dip in yellow candy, place two red hearts for eyes. Allow to dry. Finish off face using black royal icing for the smile.

If you like, you can let frosting on cake pops dry overnight and then place a clear bag over the top and wrap a bow around the bottom of the cake pop. You can also carefully place the cake pop stick into a matching striped paper straws making for an extra cute delivery.

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“This Is Us” Birthday Banana Muffin With Twinkie Frosting

I don’t know how it happened. I decided to check it out but was full of doubt. I turned on the TV, watched the first episode, and I’ll be darned if I didn’t sit there bawling my eyes out. Any emotional constipation I may have been suffering from before watching was gone and I quickly become a fan.


And since I’m not alone, I’m sure there is someone out there who needs this This Is Us – themed recipe for their loved one who will be celebrating their birthday soon. Have a co-worker who can’t stop talking about it? Got a Facebook friend who posts about how much they cried over this week’s episode… every… single…. week? Yeah, that person. They need this muffin.

Banana Muffin Recipe

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together shortening and sugar. Add eggs, bananas, fresh lemon juice, flour, baking soda, salt, chopped walnuts. Mix well. Place in large muffin tins with liners. This recipe will make 10 large muffins (or 20 regular size). Bake for about 35 or until top of muffin is light golden brown and springs back when touched.

Twinkie Filling Frosting

  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Whisk milk & flour together in a saucepan. Place over medium high heat and watch closely. Continue whisking until thick. Cook for about one minute while whisking. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes.

Place butter & sugar in mixer on high speed until light & fluffy. After flour & milk mixture has cooled to room temp (important), add to mixer and whip until light & fluffy. It should look almost like whipped cream or, you know, Twinkie filling.

Note: For a very white filling you can substitute butter with white shortening. Shortening just won’t taste nearly as lovely.

Don’t forget the sprinkles and the candle… or your friend may get emotional.

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Happy Camper Cocktail Company

You may have read my post about A List Nanny Services after visiting the Seattle Wedding Show? Another treasure I discovered while at the wedding show was a camper. A super-fun camper you don’t want to miss out on.

What do you get when you have a camper…

and a whole bunch of happy….

and some seriously lovely cocktails?


You get the Happy Camper Cocktail Company.

Happy Camper Cocktail Company is a “garden to glass” cocktail catering company. They bring cocktail hour to you with their unique mobile bar options, including a vintage camper bar. They bring everything you need to party, from their house-made mixers, bar equipment and draft system to fun, licensed and insured bartenders, lawn games, & snack and dessert bars.

The Happy Camper Cocktail Company can turn any breathtaking spot in the Evergreen state into the perfect party spot. In addition, they create and serve locally sourced craft cocktails that will thrill your guests, because they believe the special moments in your life deserve special drinks.

A family business, the Happy Camper Cocktail Company is a dream come true in liquid form. Through this company they bring people joy daily, and witness the most important moments of our lives, all while working alongside one another.

What’s really exciting is Happy Camper’s view on local food. 

Seattle’s newest bar is on wheels and on a mission. The Happy Camper Cocktail Company takes the farm to table experience one step further with their vintage trailer mobile bar, serving garden to glass cocktails across the state. In a mobile bar complete with draft system, they park anywhere the host chooses and serve handcrafted cocktails that wow guests with freshness and flavor. The flavor comes not from secret ingredients, but local ones.  

“We love trying new craft cocktails and we love supporting our neighbors and sustainable farming by buying food locally. When working in corporate event planning and planning our own wedding, I realized it was hard to find a caterer to serve craft cocktails for events,” said owner Belinda Kelly. Together with her husband and young son, they decided to take the leap from the corporate world and start their own mobile bar. After several months of renovating their 1966 Aladdin Hideaway camper, Happy Camper Cocktail Co. was born.

In the months since, this couple has brought the small farm experience they’ve come to love as residents of Enumclaw to their clients via handcrafted cocktails with family farmed ingredients.  Events booked since their start in May have included weddings, birthday parties, corporate events and music festivals, so business is looking good for the Kelly family, the little family with a love for Washington and a big dream.

Be sure to check Happy Camper out. It is everything wonderful a small business can be; and, did I mention cocktails?

Happy Camper Cocktail Company on Facebook.

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Individual Apple Crumbles Recipe

Because I had to try out the dicing attachment on my food processor, because the honeycrisp apples were staring at me in the store, because I buy cinnamon in bulk and own way too many canning jars, it is time to make apple crumbles.

Ingredients

  • 8 medium honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and diced or sliced
  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick (or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 0.74 oz. packet Alpine apple cider mix (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly ground
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 recipe oatmeal streusel

Place apples in a large bowl with lemon juice and sugars. Stir and allow to sit for about a half an hour. The sugar will draw the juice out of the apples.


Melt butter. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Add flour, salt, cider mix, nutmeg, and cinnamon into bowl with apples. Stir well.

Stir butter into apples. Divide apple filling between 6-8 eight-ounce mason jars (or small baking dishes).  Top with oatmeal streusel. If you have leftover streusel, it can be saved in freezer to top muffins later.

Oatmeal Streusel Recipe

  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Place ingredients in food processor. Pulse until well-combined but crumbly. Pulsing will help to control how fast ingredients come together so you can get the perfect texture you need.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place apple crumbles on baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes.

Enjoy hot or cold. Top with high quality or homemade ice cream if desired. In other words, top with high quality or homemade ice cream. Because sometimes individual desserts are the best way to come together.

 

 

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A List Nanny Services

Last weekend was the Seattle Wedding Show. What a fun event! While I wandered from row to row, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the florists, venues, cars, and dresses. But, in the midst of it all, there were a few special venders who stood out to me. I just had to share them with you. At the top of my list is A List Nanny Services.

A List is owned by the lovely and oh-so-fun Marquita Evans. Marquita is the oldest child and grandchild in her family which instantly equated to being “the babysitter”. She started her career as a preschool teacher in 2003 and received a degree in Early Childhood Education.


Marquita shifted to being a private nanny a few years later which was where the idea for event childcare arose. A family visiting from California for a wedding hired her by referral to care for their child while they attended wedding festivities. She realized that would be her niche and the launch for A-List Nanny Services was in 2008.

A List has hand selected nannies who have received background checks, CPR/First Aid training, and have completed a hands-on practicum to ensure clients will receive the A-List experience!

Here’s a free sample of the joy A List brings!

Their booth stopped me in my tracks. Such an essential service to offer. Safe childcare and happy kids! Of course, A List Nanny Services isn’t just for weddings. You can contact them for your next event and feel really great about it.

A List Nanny Services on Facebook

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Roasted Rainbow Carrots

Some foods are so colorful, so glorious, so flavorful they can be tossed into the oven with just a smidge of prep and come out looking like a glorious dish from a top-rated restaurant. Enter rainbow carrots…

Preheat oven to 350°F.


Start by either choosing carrots which are similar size or slice the large carrots down the middle the long way so they are similar thickness as the small carrots. I like to keep the stems attached for added drama.

Just place carrots in a cast iron pan or baking dish. Take the fancy-pants garlic oil we made and drizzle over carrots. Sprinkle with sea salt & freshly ground pepper, and, if desired, some fresh thyme.

Roast for 20-30 minutes. You can drizzle with balsamic vinegar if you like or you can just enjoy the way they are.

Rainbow carrots. Sweet and simple. No drama… except for the stems.

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How to Make Homemade Garlic Oil for Dipping

A drip, a drizzle, a dunk… you will love this simple trick to making your own flavorful garlic oil. This is your one way ticket to becoming more gourmet than you were yesterday.

Ingredients

  • 24 ounces grapeseed oil
  • 1 small bulb garlic

Pour grapeseed oil into a medium saucepan. Peel garlic and cut cloves in half or you can just smash each garlic clove with a large knife until it bursts open and then peel & place in oil. Place garlic cloves in grapeseed oil.

Heat oil over medium-low heat until it is hot. You don’t want the oil to come to a boil. The garlic cloves should not fry or the oil will become bitter. Turn off heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

Pour oil back into original bottle or store in a pretty glass bottle. You can repurpose used garlic cloves in a recipe or store them in your bottle of oil.

Garlic oil is perfect for cooking, dipping French baguettes in, and can be combined with balsamic vinegar or amazing salad dressing.

 

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