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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 .

Fresh Pickled Red Onions Recipe

And she made pickled red onions. And they were beautifully pink. And tart. And sweet, And zingy. And the angels sang.

Pickled Red Onions Ingredients

  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, optional

Cut onions in half and then slice very thin. Place onions in a medium-large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir. Stir until sugar is dissolved.


Allow to pickle for at least a couple of hours and store in the refrigerator.

Use on tacos, burgers, loose meat sandwiches, and hot dogs… so many opportunities from one sweet, little recipe. The angels approve.

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How to Make Emoji Cake Pops

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

Emoji Cake Pops

Emoji Cake Pops

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, consequently, 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 seems like a great time to 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. Finally, 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.

Emoji Cake Pops

For Silly Face Emoji Cake Pops 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 just carefully break a thin pink heart to make the tongues. After drawing the mouth, the tongue can be glued onto black frosting before it dries to complete the look.

Emoji Cake Pops

For Poop Emoji Cake pops Dip in dark chocolate candy, place eye candies in place. Allow to dry (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.

Emoji Cake Pops

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

If you like, you can let frosting on emoji 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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How to Roast a Whole Chicken

If you are new to the whole roasting a whole chicken thing, you’re gonna dig this post. Roasting your own chicken isn’t only easier than getting a pre-roasted chicken home without leaking in the car, but it’s oh so yummy. Oh, baby, nothin’ like it.

It only takes about an hour and half of roasting time and a few minutes of prep! So don’t be, well, uh, chicken. Give it a try.

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Preheat oven to 350°F.

They say not to name your farm animals. But, since her days are over already, we’ll take the risk of becoming too attached and call her Girdie. Here’s what you’ll need…

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (at least 4-5 pounds in size)
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 cup dijon mustard
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10-20 baby potatoes

Remove all loose pieces from inside chicken. They may be in both ends so check thoroughly. If you have no use for these, you can throw them away.

IMPORTANT: Wash hands thoroughly in between steps so no ingredients are contaminated with chicken juices.

Place Girdie in a large oven-safe pan with sides no higher than about 4 inches high. This will allow her to tan (brown) nicely.

Cut lemon in half. Squeeze lemon juices all over chicken while guarding with your fingers so no seeds drop into the pan. Place lemon halves inside Girdie. Poor Girdie.

Smear mustard, sea salt, and pepper all over chicken. Toss a few bay leaves on top of Girdie. May she roast in peace.

Place Girdie in oven to roast for an hour.

Cut potatoes in half or quarters so they are similar sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt & pepper and add to roasting pan with Girdie. Cook for another half hour to 45 minutes.

IMPORTANT: Check chicken with meat thermometer to make sure Girdie has reached 165°F in her most voluminous places. Poultry must always reach this temp before it is safe to eat!

When done, remove roasting pan from oven. Allow chicken to rest for about 30 minutes before cutting into it.

Save and refrigerate loverly broth for other recipes.

Look at you. You did it. Soak in the praise of thy people. You and Girdie make a great team.

 

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Kale Salad

Kale doesn’t try to fit in with everyone. The flavor is a bit stronger than your average lettuce so some snub kale; but, the health benefits make her worth getting along with.

A light, lovely dressing is the answer. Coat salad with this healthy dressing as you would a Caesar, and you will be pleasantly pleased, have one more veggie friend, and be a bit healthier than you were yesterday.

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Kale Salad Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted in saute pan over medium high heat for a few minutes
  • 1 bunch kale, julienne-cut (thin strips)
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (or a mix of both)
  • 8 ounces parmigiano reggiano, large grated with potato peeler

Place all ingredients except parm in a large bowl. Toss together.

Lemon Dressing Ingredients

  • Juice from 1 large, fresh lemon
  • 2 ounces grapeseed oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Shake the salad dressing ingredients together in a container with a lid.

Drizzle over kale salad.  Toss salad until well-dressed.

Top salad with beautiful parmigiano reggiano.

Here’s to lean and green… and to more new, bold veggie friends.

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Homemade Chocolate Brownies Recipe

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How about being able to say your bake sale brownies are made from scratch without fibbing? How about PTA moms begging for your recipe? How about the pride when your kids asking for extra brownies in their lunch so they can share with friends?

Just when you thought there was no such thing as a moist, chocolate-y homemade brownie with perfect chewy edges outside of the box, here she is. And she’s easy… easy-to-make, that is.


Homemade Brownie Recipe Made With Real Chocolate

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 8 oz. high quality semi-sweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. flour (about 1/2 cup but it’s best to measure in ounces)
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 9X13 baking dish by spraying with baking spray.

Place about 1/2 inch of water in a saucepan. Place another saucepan over the water-filled one while making sure not to get any water in the top pan. Turn heat on high. Place chocolate & butter in top pan. Wait for water to boil then turn burner off. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted together.

Place eggs, salt, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla into a medium bowl. Whisk together well. Stir melted chocolate & sugar mixture in well. Stir in flour. Stir in pecans if desired.

Pour batter into 9X13 pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until somewhat firm and top has a shiny crust. Allow to cool before cutting them for as long as you can muster.

Your life is about to change for the better this school year. Bake on, popular girl. Bake on.

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Mint Mojito Cocktail Recipe

The most refreshing drink in all the cocktail kingdom is the mint mojito. She is light, beautiful, and more daring than she appears. If your mint has taken over your garden space like mine has, it is time to entertain your neighbors with mojitos. And fast.

mint mojito

Mint Mojito Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh lime juice (this may take about 4 limes)
  • 3/4 cup club soda, chilled
  • 1 1/2 cups rum
  • Leaves from about 12 sprigs of mint
  • 4 cups crushed ice

Place sugar, lime juice, club soda, and rum into a pitcher and stir. Add mint leaves. Using a wooden spoon, press into mint leaves so that you can mull them into your drink. A couple of minutes should do the trick. You don’t want to press them too much as they would turn bitter. Stir in crushed ice.


Divide mojito into 4 – 12 ounce glasses.

You shall soon find yourself lacking enough mint to go around; yet, somehow, you will have an overwhelming number of new, minty-fresh neighborhood friends. You’re welcome.

 

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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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Eggs Benedict Recipe

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I’m on a kick lately. Back to basics… the traditional, if you will. The basics are good for the soul. Here are some others I’ve been in touch with lately:

  • Take road trips.
  • Be happy.
  • Be kind.
  • Be silly.
  • Keep learning.

There’s something about going back to the basics that refreshes the soul. Sometimes we get too fancy, too complicated, too side-tracked. And then there’s Eggs Benedict – classy and uncomplicated.


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Two servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 English muffins, toasted
  • Butter
  • 4 pieces of Canadian bacon (or several slices of Black Forest ham)
  • 4 poached eggs
  • 1 recipe of hollandaise sauce
  • 1 green onion, diced (optional)

Toast English muffins and butter them. Place each on a plate.

Fry Canadian bacon or ham until hot. Place on English muffins.

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Poach four eggs. The best way to do this is to heat water in saucepan on high until it starts to boil. Place a paper towel on a plate and set aside. Turn heat down to medium high. Stir until water forms into a circler rotation in pan. Crack an egg open and drop into middle of pan. Allow to cook for about 4 minutes.  Remove egg from water with slotted spoon and place on plate. Continue until all four eggs are cooked. Eggs will look imperfect and this is perfect.

If you’re not a fan of the runny yolk and like an over-hard egg, you can cook them for about 8-9 minutes. This isn’t traditional, but you should enjoy your eggs the way you like them. You can also use fried eggs or scrambled eggs. This dish is delightful either way. 

Make hollandaise sauce and pour over your eggs. Oh, sweet Baby Jesus.

She may seem prissy and hard to figure out, sure, but she is so much more than that. She is comforting. She is saucy. And she is empowering. And, once you realize you can make the basics, you can do anything.

 

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Old-Fashioned Date Bars Recipe

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The date. Strong and subtle. Pair him with sugar-y, oats-y goodness and you have the perfect escort for your next potluck.

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Preheat oven to 350F.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dates, diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, cut into small pieces

Pour dates, water, and sugar into large saucepan. Stir and place over high heat. After filling starts to boil, reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally. Allow to simmer for five minutes. When done, remove from burner and set aside.

Place remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Using a pie cutter, cut ingredients until they combine into a loose crumble.

Press half of crumble mixture evenly into a 9X13 pan. Set remaining crumble aside. Pour and spread date filling evenly over bottom layer of oatmeal crumble.

Top date filling with remaining loose crumble mixture evenly (do not press down).

Bake for 35-40 minutes. Top should be golden brown and filling should be bubbly hot. Allow to sit until cooled to room temperature and filling has a chance to firm up a bit.  Cut into squares.

The season of reunions and picnics is quickly upon us, so let us not forget the decadent date bar. You will never be let down.

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Roasted Butternut Squash

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I’ve always disliked squashed squash.

Pumpkin ravioli? Meh.


Soup? Even more meh.

Overcooked? There are not enough mehs in the world.

But I’ve wanted to like it. I’ve tried with my whole heart. I’ve even ordered it at fancy restaurants to be sure I wasn’t judging my squash over a bad recipe.

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But, I’m not a quitter. So, last September I accepted the gift of a butternut squash from some amazing gardeners, my in-laws. I was scared but excited.

And so it sat.

And sat.

It was moved to a new location.

And it sat.

And here we are in March.

Today I was brave. What I found was what I had wondered all along. Would I like roasted squash better than squashed squash?

Yes. Yes, I would. And with the excitement level of a chihuahua I am happy to say I love roasted butternut squash. I admit. I did use bacon in my recipe but I can say with ease that I would love this dish even without the bacon.

Ingredients

  • 4 strips of thick-cut bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 fresh butternut squash, diced into one inch squares (or, you know, one from last September)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • Couple of dashes of sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper

Spread out bacon pieces in (preferably) in a shallow non-stick roasting pan. (A half sheet pan with sides or a 9X13 baking pan will work too. Line with foil for easy cleanup).

Put remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss until well-combined and coated with maple syrup and salt & pepper.

Place squash mixture upon bacon pieces.

Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Give a gentle toss and serve on a platter.

Dare I say? I might even like the leftovers ground into a soup puree in the food processor. But tossed and roasted will always be my very favorite.

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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017