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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 .

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
  • 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.

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
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups carrots, grated
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple (with juice)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins (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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How to Make Easy Chocolate Chip Mint Ice Cream Recipe

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I have to be honest, I wasn’t a fan of homemade ice cream the first time I made it. In fact, my ice cream maker sat in the top of a barn for about 8 years after the overwhelmingly creamy, ultra-thick blackberry misadventure of 2006. The recipe had too much heavy cream ratio for this girl. Bleh. I decided to try making ice cream again one last time – my way – before putting my practically new ice cream machine into a garage sale. And it was good. It was more than good. It was perfect.

I did a very (un)scientific poll to find out what everyone’s favorite ice cream flavors were – I posted a Facebook status to ask my friends. So, without further ado, I now introduce you to everyone’s favorite ice cream… chocolate chip mint.

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Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 5 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • Small amount of green food coloring (optional for your visual well being)
  • 1 1/2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 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 & 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.

Oh, that joy that fills my soul… er… um… ice cream canister. I may need to make some to sell at my next garage sale.

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Fresh Roasted (or Grilled) Restaurant Salsa Recipe

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I haven’t met a soul yet who can resist Mexican restaurant salsa and chips. We get full before our meal comes. Amirite?

How spiffy would it be to make your own salsa at home and have the power of making your salsa as mild or spicy as you like? How awesome would it be to have the power to say you’ll skip the 2,794-calorie burrito platter and just get full on the chips & salsa freebies?

Your answer is here. Let’s salsa.

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If oven-roasting, preheat oven to 350F. If grilling, turn grill on medium-high.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 medium tomatoes, stemmed & cut in quarters (I like vine-ripened but fresh outta the garden are for sure the best)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into quarters 1-3 jalepeno peppers, stemmed & cut into quarters (removing seeds is optional)
  • 4 garlic cloves, remove peels after roasting
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional, great addition when using out-of-season tomatoes)
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 3 green onions, roots removed then diced
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves only

Drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over a half sheet pan that has sides. Place tomatoes, onion, peppers, and garlic cloves on pan. Drizzle with a couple more tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Place pan in oven for about 20 minutes or until sizzling. If grilling, place larger items on grill and turn occasionally until charred on outside edges. Place smaller items in a cast iron pan drizzled with olive oil to heat up.

Place all ingredients into a large food processor and pulse until the texture of restaurant salsa as pictured above. Sample with a tortilla chip to be sure the flavoring is right and that there is enough salt to bring out all the gorgeous flavors of your salsa.

Now that you’ve saved 2,794 calories, let’s do margaritas, you zesty little thing.

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Red Wine, Steak, and Mushroom Risotto

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I’m going to be honest with you. I’m not a huge fan of eating mushrooms – it’s a texture thing. But, you absolutely cannot beat the flavor they add to dishes… especially saucy ones. If you can relate, please promise me you will chop some ‘shrooms up real fine and use them. I promise in return you will never regret it.

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pound stir fry beef, cut into about 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced or diced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 2-3 tablespoons beef Better than Bouillon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Sour Cream (optional, for topping)

To prepare for all that is holy and lovely, pull all ingredients together ahead of time. Cut onion and mushroom and heat olive oil on medium-high in a somewhat deep frying pan.

Place olive oil into large frying pan over high heat. After oil is hot, fry beef until browned. Set aside.

In same pan, saute mushrooms until softened and a beautiful brown. Using a straining utensil, remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

Add more olive oil if needed. Place chopped onions into oil. Cook until translucent and caramelized. They will begin to brown. Add minced garlic. Then add Arborio rice and stir until rice is translucent around the edges yet white in the center.

Finally, the finicky side of risotto… the babysitting.

Pour red wine & a cup of beef broth into risotto. Stir and cook on medium heat until wine is nearly all absorbed by the rice.

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This recipe is brought to you by the word “Stir”. Don’t even think of walking away. I love this spoon. It is a hand-carved reminder that I am loved. If someone can take the time to hand-carve a beautiful spoon for me, I can certainly stand here and hand-stir my risotto.

Continue to cook and add broth in this same fashion – one cup at a time about every 5 minutes – until broth is gone but, more importantly, until risotto is al dente (not mushy and not crunchy). The dish should be a little creamy. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons beef Better than Bouillon to your liking.

Stir in cooked mushrooms, butter, parmesan cheese, basil, and beef. Add salt & pepper last since you can’t be sure how much salt you will need until after the parmesan has been added.  If desired, sprinkled freshly grated parmesan over the top and perhaps some freshly chopped basil.

Keep trying new things, brave souls. Keep giving hand-made gifts that cannot be found on Amazon. Keep stirring up lovely things. Keep being saucy.

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