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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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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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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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A Birthday Party for Dotter With Owls and Fondue

It seems like just yesterday we celebrated dotter’s 16th birthday. I told her and son they must never grow up but neither one of them listened to me. Son now towers over me and dotter celebrated her 20th birthday this weekend.

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She’s my St Patrick’s Day baby. I told her over lunch the other day about the day she was born. She was mortified. It’s payback for her deciding to grow up.


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I hid her birthday party supplies up high on a shelf but since dotter is also taller than me, I discovered that my high is not high enough. Thankfully she approved. She’s into owls lately.

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But what she did not see was all the hard work and heartache that was going into our party plans. And by heartache, I mean that these are not chocolate. I forgot about them baking for an hour and a half. It’s a six to eight-minute baking time recipe. Sigh.

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Ahhhh that’s better.

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We found these adorable white chocolate shamrock mints at Common Folk in Bellevue, Washington. If you have not been, please do. And tell them I sent you. And buy mints. They are loverly.

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Finally, the big day arrived. Here is dotter smiling with her cake.

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Here is dotter thinking about how amazing 21 will be.

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Here is dotter thinking deep thoughts.

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Here is dotter… well, I don’t know what she’s doing in this picture but she’s adorable, even so.

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And here is dotter ready to eat cake.

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At dotter’s request, we did a fondue party. Here is my cheese fondue recipe.

Cheese Fondue:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup hefeweizen beer
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2-3 cloves minced or smashed fresh garlic
  • 1-2  teaspoons cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 pound block* sharp cheddar cheese, grated (or more, if desired)
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Sprinkle in flour and stir & cook for a couple of minutes (don’t skip this step or your fondue will taste yucky – like flour). Add liquids while continuing to whisk. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low heat until cheese is completely melted. Place in fondue pot or in crock pot to keep warm. If heated too high, sauce can separate, so be sure to keep over low heat.

*Block cheese is best because it’s not coated in cornstarch & will melt much better than pre-grated cheese.

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And chicken broth for cooking beef & chicken. Just heat over a high heat (electric fondue pots are best for this) & add sea salt & pepper. Let everyone know how important it is that their raw chicken doesn’t touch their plates and gets cooked thoroughly before eating.

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And this. Isn’t she beautiful? I adopted her from a thrift store. I love her.

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Fresh berries, cutie orange pieces and banana slices ready to dip into the glorious chocolate. I love the Ghirardelli Chocolate 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips because they don’t have the cornstarch coating that normal chocolate chips have. Instead of becoming a thick mess, they melt perfectly.

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Oh, yes, and mini marshmallows.

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New baby cuddles for Cindy – good for the soul.

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I love the way toddlers smile after each step they take upstairs that they aren’t supposed to be climbing up. This little guy is so cute, he makes me forget there is anything else going on in the room.

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Oh, yeah. Dotter’s birthday. Time for gifts!

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And, finally, cake. Happy birthday, dotter. My Northwest has been brighter and luckier every day since you were born.

Speaking of gifts… it is now time to give away our four tickets to the Seattle Bites Food Tour! Thank you again, Seattle Bites! Let’s do this.

Congratulations to:

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Michele, I hope you and three of your friends enjoy the tour! Congratulations!

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Cindy’s Cheese Dip Recipe

2 – 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 package ranch dressing
1/2 cup beer

Combine ingredients well and bake at 350F until hot & bubbly. Serve with crackers or chips for dipping. Share with tweeps.


___________________________________________________

I went to a tweet-up the other day. Have you ever been to one? If not, I do

recommend attending or hosting one. This tweet-up was hosted by my long time

friend, Cindy. I’ve known for about 17 years. She is my fun-loving,

serious when-you-need-to-get-real friend, and I love her. So, when  Cindy said,

“Hey, Deanna, you should come to this tweet-up at my place.” I asked, “How

high?” I knew it would be fun. And it was. Cindy said Chris down in Oregon really wanted to meet all of his Seattle

tweeps (friends from Twitter) IRL (in real life) so they planned the tweet-up (a

get-together for friends from Twitter so they can meet in real life). Without a second

thought, I packed up my saucy balsamic burgers and headed to Renton.

It was so inspiring to hear everyone’s life stories and more about each of their sweet

families. We all had a lot in common yet enough differences to make for enlightening

conversation. Little did Cindy and her husband Greg know that they would end up hosting

conversations about Oreo Castles and someone’s idea of having his ashes placed in an

hour-glass egg timer after he passes. BTW (by the way), KC, a very happy birthday to

you today! Appropriate timing? I think yes.

KC  was very well-rounded, likable and intelligent. He

was partially home-schooled. My partially home-schooled son thanks you for being so

cool. There is now hope for him. Did I mention, KC also takes teasing very well?

I can’t wait to see what photos you will take with that awesome camera of yours. Totally

jealous.

Keri was the sweetest thing. I love her already and she has one of the best blog

names I’ve ever seen. She’s a positive, upbeat person – the kind of lady I would

like to do coffee with everyday.

One of the signs of a successful tweet-up for me is when everyone agrees that

they’d like to meet again soon and they want to bring their friends next time. That

occurred.  Then again, this might have been due to  Cindy’s yummy cheese dip (recipe

below) and sweet hospitality. That is, if you don’t count the part when she shut me inside

her pantry when I was putting her handiwrap away for her. Honest, her husband

Greg witnessed it. Greg was on his way out the door to officiate a funeral. Personal

side note: When one is saying goodbye to someone who is leaving to officiate a funeral

service, one should not say, “Have fun!”  Must create an appropriate goodbye for such

an occasion.

Thank you again, Chris, for driving all the way from Portlandia to visit with us. I still

think Portland folks are weird but, you know, in a good way. I’ll be tweeting you for the

can’t miss places to go in your area when I visit Voo Doo Doughnuts soon.

The best part of the day was the tweeps.

And creating this:

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Which, according to David will someday be this:

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Fresh and Zesty Guacamole Recipe

If eating a rainbow of colors is a healthy way to fill your plate, then homemade pico de gallo salsa and guacamole are two foods we should eat every day. I could do that. If I must. Let’s make some guacamole that will knock your socks off, flop you on the couch, and make you endure an episode of Dancing with the Stars… if you must.

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GUACAMOLE RECIPE:

  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 3 avocados, smashed as much as you like
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped fine
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, stem & seeds removed  & minced (wash hands well after chopping)
  • Juice of one small, fresh lime
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 sea salt (or more if needed)
  • Course ground pepper

Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and stir.

Tip: If you want to make this recipe even easier, just make a double batch of pico de gallo and stir half of it into your avocado. Add salt & pepper & stir.

Please pass the chips. And the remote.

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Pico de Gallo Salsa Recipe

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If you love freshly grilled Mexican food, you’ve surely enjoyed pico de gallo on your favorite dish. While many focus on trying to get the grilled chicken or beef recipe down to a science, it is actually the pico de gallo that brings the fresh & sassy flavor to the fiesta. This can be made a few hours in advance and refrigerated so that the flavors have time to fully blend together.

Fresh tomatoes from the garden are the very, very best. There is no comparison.


“Cilantro, my favorite herb of all. I love you.”

English or garden cucumbers… either will work perfectly.

Add a few tears.

Add some garlic, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Soak in the beautiful colors for a moment and then stir.

Pico de gallo

  • 8 Roma tomatoes (other varieties of tomatoes will work just fine)
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 English cucumber
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt & pepper
  • Half (or whole) Jalapeno pepper, seeds removed & finely diced (wash hands well after cutting pepper)

Using a sharp knife, dice tomatoes, onion and cucumber into small pieces and place in a medium bowl. Remove leaves from cilantro stalks and chop until small and add to bowl. Remove garlic cloves from garlic bulb. Peel and then use grater to grate into bowl. Cut lime in half and squeeze juice into bowl. Stir ingredients and add salt and pepper to taste.

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Mexican Dip Appetizer

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Making Mexican dip is a must at our house when it comes to having friends over. This time I put it on a round platter for a different look. Super fun.


Mexican dip layers:

  • Beautiful romaine lettuce leaves (optional but pretty if you are making the dip on a platter) Some people chop the lettuce up & place it in as one of the layers but I prefer not to do this since it ruins any leftovers when it wilts. This makes me feel unhappy.
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 pound of ground hamburger or chicken cooked with taco seasoning (break down into very small pieces so it’s easy to scoop up with a chip)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups guacamole (we like the zesty stuff)
  • 2 cups of grated cheddar or pre-packaged grated Mexican taco cheese
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of your favorite salsa
  • 1 – 2 cups of sliced olives
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions
  • Shorty baby tomatoes to place around the edge for pretties
  • And, of course, we can’t forget the tortilla chips.

Our family loves this so much that we have even had this as our dinner. This is a popular dish but if you still haven’t tried it, beware for you shall not be able to stop eating it once you get started. Ole’!

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Homecoming Dinner Party With Cheese Fondue Recipe

Dotter has dinner parties every year before all of the big high school shindigs.

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This weekend we celebrated homecoming with a fondue party. Fondue is such a fun way to have dinner together since it takes longer to eat than most meals due to cooking your food at the table. It is easy to get your fondue forks mixed up and everyone gets to eat just what they like so it creates plenty of fun conversation! Here’s our homecoming fondue party…


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Waiting for everyone to arrive.

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One of the trickiest parts to high school dances, pinning on the boutonniere.

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Our table full of goodies… cheese filled pasta. chicken, beef, sourdough bread, herbed chicken broth & olive oil and homemade cheese fondue.

Cheddar Cheese Fondue Recipe

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup hefferveisen beer
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2-3 cloves minced or smashed fresh garlic
  • 1-2  teaspoons cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 pound block* sharp cheddar cheese, grated (or more, if desired)
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Sprinkle in flour and stir & cook for a couple of minutes (don’t skip this step or your fondue will taste yucky – like flour). Add liquids while continuing to whisk. Add remaining ingredients and cook on low heat until cheese is completely melted. Place in fondue pot or in crock pot to keep warm. If heated too high, sauce can separate, so be sure to keep over low heat.

*Block cheese is best because it’s not coated in cornstarch & will melt much better than pre-grated cheese.

Measurements can vary for your own preference. Heat in electric fondue pot at about 300 degrees until smooth. Play with the temperature as needed to keep the right texture. This sauce is great served with pieces of sourdough bread.

 

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These are the girls’ traditional garbage bag dress cover-ups. Ready to eat.

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Dessert for dipping. Yummers.

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Caramel sauce = true love.

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Homemade smooth, shiny chocolate sauce with sprinkles, graham cracker crumbs, and walnuts. Sorry, we do not serve this for breakfast at the B & B… well, maybe if you requested it we could.

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The annual stair step picture. So nice!

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Please! No more pics.

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And finally… this is dotter standing in front of her great grandmother’s mirror. She thought it would be neat to have her picture in front of it for homecoming this year. I agree.

I am so proud of her and incredibly sentimental. I love this girl!

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