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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 .

“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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How to Make a Rainbow Cake

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How to make a rainbow cake

If you’re on Pinterest, you’ve seen this cake before. I finally had a great reason to make one. Lucky me! It’s always so much fun to bring treats to my friends at New Day Northwest.


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If you’ve wondered how difficult they are to make, wonder no more. It’s super easy and really fun to do.

Use two white cake mixes and follow the instructions on the box. After the cake mix is well mixed, just divide the batter into 6 smaller bowls. You can put about 1 1/2 cups of batter in each bowl.

Stir one color of the rainbow into each bowl of batter. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, yellow. I learned from an audience member after the show that I left out indigo, so if you’re making this cake for science class or as a gift for a precocious weather man, you may want to be sure to include indigo. If you’re going for a bright rainbow cake like this one, I have a couple of little tips for it to turn out well…

  1. Use Wilton brand food coloring. You can find this at Michael’s Craft Store (and most other craft stores too). Why Wilton? Because Wilton food coloring is more like a paste. It won’t thin out your cake with liquid, keeping your cake fluffy. Yay for fluffy.
  2. Use more than you think you will need… sometimes when food coloring hits the oven, it fades. If you’re going for a pastel cake (awesome for baby showers and princess parties) then that’s great, but if you’re going for “Whoa, double rainbow” cool, you need bright colors.

Use an 8-inch pan. Thankfully, I own two, so this project takes me just three bakes. Coat each pan with Pam Baking Spray (different than regular Pam Spray) or coat pans with butter and then flour. This will make for easy release of your sexy cakes.

Follow the baking instructions on the box. The amount of time to bake 1 1/2 cups of cake mix in a 8 inch pan is about 15-20 minutes. To test, touch the top of the cake to see if it springs back. If it does, it is ready to removed from the oven.

Here’s the heavenly cream cheese frosting I used for my rainbow goodness. You can use whichever frosting you like, of course. I chose to make mine light blue with touches of white to look like the sky. Rainbow sprinkles would be all kinds of adorbs on the outside too. Be sure to post your rainbow cake on our Facebook wall. We love to see your pictures!

Cake Decorating Tips:

  1. Cool, wrap each layer in plastic wrap, and then freeze cake until firm before frosting. This will help prevent crumbs for step two.
  2. Trim a little bit off the top of each cake so it is level. This will make your cake more stable.
  3. Frost cake lightly & layer as you go (don’t worry about crumbs) and then place on a cake plate in freezer again to firm up frosting. This will prevent inevitable crumbs from showing on your final coat of frosting. Think of it as the primer paint.
  4. Frost outside of cake over your “crumb coating’.

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Happy St Patrick’s Day. To celebrate, let’s have some Bailey’s Irish cream and double rainbow together, shall we?

 

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Depression Era Potato Candy

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Money was tight. Sweet tooths were still alive and well. Potatoes were plentiful. The answer was potato candy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large russet potato
  • A small pot-o-water
  • 2 pound bag of powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • Yellow food coloring (optional)

Peel and cut potato. Boil until soft enough to poke a fork through very easily. Strain water and mush potato well. Add enough powdered sugar to make a clay-like candy you can form into, well, potatoes. Coat each one with a light dusting of cocoa powder or cinnamon. Cut a few almost all the way in half. Color a small amount of dough with yellow food coloring and make into tiny butter cubes. Place inside cut “potatoes”. Super-fun for kids.

If you like coconut, you can also add coconut to this dough and then dip formed balls into melted chocolate for a homemade Mound’s candy bar treat.

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Irish Apple Barley Pudding

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Irish apple barley pudding recipe


It’s authentic. It’s simple. It’s Apple Barley pudding.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 4 T. Barley
  • 4 large honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Vanilla whoop cream

Bring water to a boil. Add barley and apples. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until apples are soft enough to mush. Drain any excess water then blend apples & barley. Barley will stay whole – this is similar to rice pudding. Add sugar and lemon juice. Stir well. Allow apple barley pudding to cool to room temperature.

Layer apple pudding in a medium clear bowl (or mini bowls). They layer whoop cream. Continue until finished for a gorgeous, layered authentically Irish dessert.

Basically, this is applesauce with barley in it, but this treat is a wonderful way for kids to learn about using the supplies that were on hand during the depression era, how creativity shows its self during tough times, and Ireland culture. Tons o’fun.

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How to Make a Dessert Terrarium With Baileys Irish Cream Pudding

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Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup Baileys Irish Cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 12 vanilla & chocolate sandwich cookies
  • Meringue mushwrooms
  • Wilton shamrock candies (optional)

Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl; set aside.


In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.

 

Whisk in milk, egg yolks,  and Baileys.Continue whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble forms and sputters.

Reduce heat to low; still whisking, cook 1 minute. I know, right?

Remove from heat; immediately pour through sieve into bowl. We’re almost done. Much easier than you thought, huh?

Stir butter into hot pudding. Oh so pretty.

Place plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding (to prevent skin from forming); chill at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Before serving, whisk pudding again until smooth; divide among four serving dishes.

Isn’t she loverly? If only you could have smelled this blessedness when I made this pudding you probably would have kicked down my door to get some and I would have said “Hey, just knock. You’re always welcome.” Yeah, or something like that.

Place pudding in a small fish bowl – choose your own fun shape. I prefer the global bowl. Top with crushed vanilla & chocolate sandwich cookies. A food processor works well for the cookie crushing process.

Top with cute meringue mushrooms and, if desired, shamrock sprinkles. Have fun with your terrarium – kids love this stuff.

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Peppermint Patty Recipe

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Every once and awhile nothing will do except for a mint. A peppermint. A chocolate covered peppermint to be exact. I have just the thing to satisfy.


This recipe makes about 52 peppermint patties. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, mix together

  • 2 sticks of softened butter
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 7 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Coat hands with powdered sugar and take a small amount of chocolate cookie dough. Roll into a small ball about the size of a large marble. Place on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper.

Using a small glass, gently press down each cookie ball. Powdered sugar will help them to not stick together.

Such pretty little disks!

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, blend together

  • 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Wilton peppermint oil (not extract)
  • 2 teaspoons creme de menthe liqueur (or 1 1/2 additional t. peppermint oil)
  • 5 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • A touch of green food coloring (optional)

Gorgeous. Simply gorgeous.

To assemble to peppermint patties, take a small amount of mint filling – again, about the size of a large marble – and roll into a ball.

Flatten the ball using your hands.

Attach flat mint onto each cookie disk and place in fridge for about a half an hour to cool. This will make dipping much easier.

While cookie disks cool, place about an inch of water into a pan and choose a pan that will fit inside of the pan of water. Place on medium-low heat. Do not let even one little drop of water get into the top pan as it will be used for chocolate. Water and chocolate are NOT friends. In the top pan, place a bag of Ghirardelli’s Candy Making & Dipping Wafers. These melt nicely and prevent us from having to worry about temperamental chocolate while girls just want to have fun.

When chocolate is nearly melted, turn heat off. Stir until fully melted. Place a cookie disk on a fork. Dip into chocolate to cover the bottom then spoon chocolate over top of cookie. Tap gently over pan to remove excess chocolate A thin layer of chocolate will be perfect.

Set each cookie back onto parchment until all cookies have been dipped. If you’d like to speed up the hardening of the chocolate, place cookies in fridge again until firm.

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Chocolate, minty goodness, cookie disks and pretty dollies. A wonderful way to celebrate pretending to be Irish.

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Baileys Irish Cream Iced Coffee

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Ingredients:
  • 4 ounces Baileys Irish Cream
  • 8 ounces quality coffee
  • 1 ounce Irish Whiskey
  • Ice (optional)
  • Baileys whoop cream
  • 2 fresh clovers
Brew coffee and stir together with irish cream & whiskey for a loverly hot drink.
For a chilled coffee, place Irish cream, coffee, and whiskey in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain ice while pouring into two glasses. If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, just stir ice into drink until cold then strain ice so it doesn’t melt into your drink and water-down your coffee cocktail.
To make whoop whoop cream, just pour 2 cups of heavy whipping cream into a very clean mixing bowl. Whip until there are stiff peaks, then add 1/4 cup powdered sugar and a tablespoon of Baileys Irish Cream or teaspoon of vanilla. Whip a little bit more. Place a dollop on each drink. Decorate with a fresh clover on top if you’re feeling particularly Irish today or any day.
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Leprechaun House Cake

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Ever wonder where Leprechauns rest after a long day chasing the end of a rainbow? A little log house, of course.

1005799_1111336412233288_2108056523308503690_nI say when you go big on decorations, there’s no shame in taking it easy on yourself and using a mix for your cake.  Here’s a link to Betty Crocker’s Yule Log Cake. Now with their help on the cake, we can take it from here…


Meringue Mushrooms

Follow the instructions at the end of this post for whimsical, red-capped meringue mushrooms.

Baileys Irish Cream Cheese Frosting  (for the filling and ends of the log)

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 tablespoons butter, (1 stick),  room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 T. Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 dash of salt

Whip cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar and Baileys together until forms into a creamy, dreamy frosting. Unroll cake from towel carefully after it has cooled. Frost inside with Baileys frosting then re-roll and place on your cake plate. Using a circle tip and decorating bag, draw a swirl on each end of the log to resemble tree life lines.

I used fondant fro my leprechaun door, but for ease, I recommend coloring some of your Baileys frosting green and drawing your door on with icing.

Then we shall decorate the outside with chocolate frosting.

Cinnamon Chocolate Frosting (for the outside)

  • 2 sticks salted butter,  room temperature
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 dash of salt

Whip cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar and Baileys together until forms into a creamy, dreamy frosting. Using a star tip and decorating bag, just draw the bark onto your log, perhaps drawing a round swirl to make it more realistic.

Draw on vines (using small circle decorating tip) and leaves (using leaf decorating tip) to complete your leprechaun house.

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How to Make Meringue Mushrooms

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  • 1/4 t. cream of tartar
  • About 12 ounces semi sweet chocolate (recommended: Ghiradelli Chocolate Melting Wafers)
  • 2 T. cocoa powder for dusting

Preheat the oven to 225 F

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.


Whip egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla. Continue whipping until the whites hold soft peaks. Gradually sprinkle in the sugar so that it does not sink to the bottom, and continue whipping until the mixture holds stiff shiny peaks.

Place a round tip into a decorating bag, and fill the bag with some meringue. To pipe the mushroom caps, squeeze out round mounds of meringue onto one of the prepared cookie sheets. Pull the bag off to the side to avoid making peaks on the top. For the stems, press out a tiny bit of meringue onto the other sheet, then pull the bag straight up. Do not worry about making all of the pieces exactly the same. 

Bake for one hour in the preheated oven. The caps should be dry enough to easily remove from the cookie sheets. Set aside to cool completely.

Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in a glass bowl in microwave about 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between heatings to help it melt evenly.

Spread chocolate over the bottom of the cap. Dip the tip of a stem in chocolate, and press lightly into the bottom of the cap. When the chocolate sets, they will hold together. Repeat with remaining pieces. Sprinkle with a light dusting of cocoa powder.

Store at room temperature in a dry place or tin.

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For whimsical, red-capped mushrooms, do not add any cocoa powder to recipe and use a small brush to paint tops of baked mushrooms with the red food coloring.

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Irish Lemon Pudding Recipe

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Who doesn’t love a lemon dessert? Perfect in every way, this pudding is no exception. It’s called a pudding but starts out like a souffle and ends like a cake.


Ingredients:

  • 4 T. butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 lemons, zest and juice
  • 2 1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream together butter, sugar and egg yolk.

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For a real treat, use Irish butter. It comes with cows that have cool accents.

Add the lemon zest and juice and milk. Mix well.

In another bowl, whip egg whites until you have stiff peaks. Gently fold egg whites into batter.

Pour batter into a 8-inch pan prepared with baking spray to prevent sticking. Mini pans are fun too for individual servings.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and set.

Irish desserts aren’t terribly sweet so I recommend sprinkling with powdered sugar. Delicious served warm with a dollop of whoop cream, but, of course.

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