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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 .

Stuffed Artichoke Dip Appetizer

There are a few members of the vegetable kingdom that are especially stuffy. The artichoke is one of the stuffiest, especially after this recipe… Stuffed Artichoke Dip.

Stuffed Artichoke Dip

  • 2 large artichokes
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 12 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 8 ounces gruyere cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 ounces cubetti pancetta
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon course pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.

How to Prep Artichokes

  1. To prepare artichokes for cooking, use a peeler to peel outside of stem off. Discard peelings.
  2. Hold artichoke on its side and cut off about 1 inch across the top and trim the very tip off the bottom stem. Discard removed pieces.
  3. Trim bottom stem off so artichoke can sit level on its own. Mince stem and set aside.
  4. Using kitchen shears, trim the pointed ends off of each artichoke leaf and discard. Rub trimmed leaf edges with lemon. 
  5. Open artichoke up and cut out all the small, thistle-like leaves inside & discard. Watch out because they are very spiky.
  6. Remove furry center (this is called the “choke”). A rough-edged grapefruit spoon works perfectly for this. Discard choke. Set aside artichokes for a bit.

Preparing the Dip

Place minced artichoke stem, 2 tablespoons of juice from the fresh lemon, mayonnaise, gruyere, parmesan, garlic, prosciutto, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Mix well with hand mixer.

Fill artichokes with stuffing. Set each artichoke on a foot of foil. Bring sides up and cover top of the artichoke. Place both in a baking pan. Bake 30 minutes and then peel back the top of the foil to reveal stuffing and bake another 30 minutes.

If entertaining guests, you can sprinkle with grated cheese or more prosciutto for added beauty.

To eat, pull leaves from outside, dip into the stuffing. Glide top teeth over inside of artichoke leaf, grabbing the soft part of the petal to eat with the stuffing. The circular area inside which is attached to the stem is the artichoke heart. The stem and the heart are the very best parts… your reward if you will.

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How to Make Bacon Jam Recipe

Your life is about to get much better. You’re welcome.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, fine diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple extract
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup high-quality, large bacon bits or 1 cup home-cooked bacon, crumbled

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add diced onion. Cook onion until translucent. Add minced garlic, stirring occasionally.

Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Cook down over medium heat for about 5 minutes. After it cools, the liquid portion will become a thick sauce.

This jam is a perfect addition for various recipes like atop a burger or in these brussel sprouts. It is especially fantastic on olive oil-coated, oven-toasted French bread as a bruschetta appetizer as shown.

Make this as hostess gifts for all of your holiday parties, and you will be invited back every year. Unless, of course, you over do the martinis. That, I cannot help you with. But there will always be bacon jam.

 

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Homemade Indian Naan Bread Recipe

Naan is especially practical when eating Indian Butter Chicken. Yeah, that’s it. Practical. Spread garlic butter over naan, and it becomes a delight. Toss taco makin’s inside naan and you have full-on rebellion that is completely worth the calorie consequences. The fun is, well… you know,  naan-stop.

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Naan Recipe

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Set aside 1 cup of flour for rolling out naan.

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Whisk in sugar, yogurt, and baking powder. Whisk in 1/2 cup flour and the salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups flour. Combine and then knead naan  in bowl for a few minutes, sprinkling as needed with a little of the flour set aside for rolling.

Cover naan bowl with a towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.

While naan rises, make garlic butter recipe below.

After naan has doubled in size, press down and divide into eight pieces. Place some flour on countertop and roll each piece into an oval shape. Place rolled-out naan on a baking sheet for about ten minutes.

Place a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. If you don’t have cast iron, non-stick will also work. When pan is hot, put a piece of naan in frying pan. Watch closely. Cook for about one minute, then flip, and cook other side for another minute.

Place hot naan on a plate and use a cooking brush to quickly spread garlic butter on it. Continue cooking naan until all eight are ready to enjoy.

Garlic Butter Recipe

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Stir butter, salt, and garlic together well.

I can’t wait to hear your practical, delightful, and rebellious ideas for naan.

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Peanut Butter Cup Caramel Corn Recipe

My dear friend introduced me to this caramel corn a few years ago. It came in an adorable container and cost more than I could afford to maintain the habit. This was a good thing because had I been able to go back for more, I would’ve lost control. But I just had to make my own, eventually. You know, for emergencies.

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Ingredients bless-ed ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 3/4 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white Karo syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 – 8 oz. packages Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Minis, some cut in halves
  • 1 – 10 oz. package Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips
  • 1 – 12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 cups salted cocktail peanuts (NOT honey roasted or dry roasted)

Preheat oven to 225°F.

Get two half sheet pans out, spray lightly with non-stick spray and set aside.

Place canola oil & popcorn in a large saucepan with lid. Cook over medium-high heat. Once popcorn starts to pop, shake pan continually while keeping over the heat. When popping sounds slow down, remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Add peanuts to popcorn. Set aside.

Melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Add brown sugar, white syrup, and sea salt. Stir well. Mixture will come to a boil. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

Drizzle caramel over popcorn & peanuts then stir gently (it will be very hot) until popcorn is well coated.

Spread caramel corn on baking sheets.

Bake in oven for 45 minutes (to dry caramel well) then remove from oven. Place Reese’s Minis on caramel corn while hot so they melt onto popcorn.

Melt Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips in a glass bowl in microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir and place back in microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring in between until almost completely melted. Stir when done until last bits are completely melted. Drizzle over caramel corn.

Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and drizzle over caramel corn in same way at peanut butter chips. Sprinkle nuts over melted peanut butter and chocolate drizzles.

Allow caramel corn and toppings to cool completely. Break into chunks to serve or gift.

Makes perfect little gifts when placed in a clear gift bag with a fun tag attached. Your friends will sing your praises forever and all the land will be addicted. You’re welcome. I’m sorry. You’re welcome.

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Hot Cheesy Crab Dip Recipe

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Need a snack? Feeling crabby? Sorry. Cheesy puns, I know.

Moving on. Here’s a party favorite… for your next shindig, game day or, if you’re feeling especially worthy, just because.


crab dip

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound crab (or imitation crab meat for a more affordable option), diced
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 jalepeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
  • Dash of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 pound white cheddar cheese (preferably Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar), grated

Mix all ingredients and about half the cheddar together in a bowl. Save the other half of cheddar for top. Place dip in about an 8X8 inch baking dish. Sprinkle other half of cheddar on top of dip. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until bubbling and cheese is melted.

Serve with high quality crackers or sliced french bread coated with olive oil then toasted under oven broiler until golden brown on both sides.

Leftovers can be refrigerated and rolled inside a tortilla for when you’re fishin’ for another snack. I can’t stop myself.

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Sweet Pepper & Tomato Balsamic Bruschetta Appetizers

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You will never disappoint with this appy. It will make everyone happy.

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  • 1 large sweet yellow onion, fine diced
  • 1 each of red, yellow & orange peppers, fine diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bunch basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, fine diced
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 2 bags pre-sliced bruschetta bread (or 2 long thin French bread thinly sliced)
  • 1 cup olive oil (approximate) to brush onto bread

Toss onion, bell peppers, & garlic into a bowl. Set aside.

Pour olive oil into a pan & heat on medium high. Watch closely. Add pepper mix and stir occasionally.

While pepper mix heats, place cream cheese, basil, & salt and pepper into a bowl. Mix well. Set aside.

When peppers are finished caramelizing (onions should be translucent), remove from heat and stir in balsamic vinegar, a dash of salt, and tomatoes. Set aside.

Stunning, really.

Time to toast the bread. Brush olive oil on both sides of sliced french bread. Broil 3-4 minutes on each side – until golden brown. I have learned the hard way not to turn your back on the broiler. It has a dark side, trust me. Keep an eye on your toast.

Wait to assemble toppings and toast until just before serving.

Now for the assembly. First cream cheese-y goodness.

And finally the topping, carefully place a spoon of bell pepper mixture upon each bruschetta toast.

 

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Crab Cakes Recipe With Garlic Aioli

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Dare I say? The Hallmark channel is playing Christmas movies starting today.  I am more excited than usual this year for the sappy, cheese-y goodness of Hallmark Christmas movies.

Thanksgiving and Christmas event planning is underway. Tailgate parties have started. It is officially time to work on your appetizer game. These appys are the coziest in all the appetizer kingdom.


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Preheat oven to 350F.

Crab Cakes Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Panko crumbs
  • 1 T. mustard
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 2 t. Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 egg
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound crab
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups herb-seasoned croutons

Stir all ingredients except croutons together.  Allow to sit for about 1/2 hour so Panko-crumb binding can moisten.

Measure croutons then grind well and set aside.

Form crab mixture into patties then coat each in ground croutons. Crab cakes will be fragile.

Spray baking sheet with non-stick spray or brush with olive oil. Place crabcakes on pan. Bake for about 30 minutes. Outer breading will be light golden brown and crispy.

Garlic Aioli Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients well and serve along side crab cakes.

Small patties or ball-shapes are perfect appetizers. Larger patties can be placed on a toasty bun with ice-cold lettuce and garlic aioli. No matter how your serve these flake-y goodness, no one will walk away crabby.

Tasty Tip: Speaking of cheese-y goodness… leftover flakes of crab cakes? Just gather and save to sprinkle on top of some homemade mac & cheese. Pair with a Hallmark Christmas movies and your favorite wine.

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Stuffed Jalepeno Poppers Recipe

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Zip! Zap! They are like an exciting comic book on a plate. You enjoy the bacon and cheeses then suddenly. Zowie! You have found an adventure. You have found a stuffed jalepeno popper.

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Ingredients

  • 12 fresh jalepeno peppers, cut in half and seeds removed (It is best to use disposable gloves for this process to prevent accidental burning. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do. )
  • 1 cup cream cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 2/3 cup high quality bacon bits
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Place jalepeno peppers on a baking sheet.

Put cream cheese, garlic, mozzarella, bacon bits, salt, & pepper in mixing bowl. Mix until well combined.

Generously fill each jalepeno half with cream cheese mixture.

Place each filled jalepeno pepper face down in Panko crumbs until well-coated.

Put back on baking sheet crumbs facing up.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

For added zing, serve with barbecue sauce.

Makes 24 spicy appys. A must-have for every spicy party. Zing!

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Queso Cheese Sauce Recipe

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Is there anything that brings Americans and Mexicans together like queso sauce?  And our love of siestas. And fiestas. Well, and margaritas. Yeah, margaritas trump them all. But I have to say, queso sauce has to be runner-up. Just start with a couple bricks of cheese and build from there…

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounce brick of medium cheddar cheese (or white cheddar)
  • 8 ounces Velveeta cheese (from a brick or 12 slices)
  • 1 – 4.5 ounce can mild green chilies
  • 1 fresh jalepeno, minced
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup salsa or pico de gallo
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Grate medium cheddar (store bought grated cheese won’t melt nearly as nicely as freshly grated). Unwrap and/or dice Velveelta cheese. Set both aside.

Place cream in medium saucepan over medium heat. Watch closely while cream is scalding.

Add cheeses to heavy cream. Continue stirring as cheese melts.

Add remaining ingredients. Salt & pepper to taste.

This makes about three cups of undebatable, bless-ed goodness in a bowl. So good, it borders on, well,  being politically incorrect.

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