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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 .

Northwest Salad Recipe

This Northwest Salad is a crowd pleaser. Sweet pecans, lovely spring lettuce, and berries galore topped with lemon dressing. It’s dressed to impress!

Northwest Salad

Northwest Salad

  • 5-6 ounces spring lettuce
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, stemmed
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, stemmed & sliced or quartered
  • 1 recipe lemon dressing
  • 1 recipe sugared pecans
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

For this gorgeous salad, simply toss some fresh spring lettuce onto your prettiest platter. Top with fresh blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries. Cover with lemon dressing and then sugared pecans. Feta cheese also goes well with this salad but is ever so optional.

Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Simply shake the salad dressing ingredients together in a container with a lid & drizzle on your gorgeous salad. This recipe makes about a cup of dressing so you will have leftovers for another day. Just save in the fridge.

Sugared Pecans Ingredients


Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups pecans

Beat 2 egg whites with hand mixer until frothy. After egg whites are frothy add vanilla, sugar, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg. Mix well.

Stir in pecans.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spread pecans on a baking sheet.

Bake pecans for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Sugar coating will harden as they cool. Cool completely.

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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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Forty (Maybe) and Fabulous (For Sure)

Gone are the days of the run of the mill, over-the-hill parties.

Here’s a 40th birthday party theme she will love!

You know those life-long friends you couldn’t get rid of even if you tried? Yeah, I love those ones. Here are a few of ours.


Taye is helping momma celebrate her birthday. He really didn’t care at all about the photo. He just wanted the cake. Who can blame him? Cake is good.

40th birthday party

I decided upon Flo and Francis the flamingos to help us celebrate and created a little “lawn” for them to stand in with some wheat grass from the store.

Everything at the table must match the theme when I host a party. I’m kind of fickle that way. Thank you for your cooperation, green dish. These Lil’ Smokies heated up in a slow cooker with barbecue sauce are an easy party trick and are always devoured very quickly.

Cucumber cups with a little smoked salmon mixed together with minced onions and some mayonnaise and salt & pepper are a perfect party food. For this party, we topped them with olives but, oh, the possibilities.

I’m pretty much not allowed to have a party without bringing out my Saucy Balsamic Burgers anymore. This time I was a bit of a rebel and added the zest & juice of one orange to the sauce. And it was okay because it was a girl party. At least that’s what I told myself.

What party is complete without M&Ms that are screaming out to be individuals? Welcome to the party pink, green and white. Welcome.

My favorite of this party was the pink lemonade floats. Just don’t tell Flo & Frances.

Pink Lemonade Floats Ingredients

  • 2 cans frozen pink lemonade
  • 2 – 2 liter bottles Fresca
  • 1 gallon lime sherbert
Combine pink lemonade with Fresca. For a super-fun party, add a little vodka to the lemonade. Or, you know, more than a little. Place a scoop of lime sherbert and pour lemonade over sherbert. Place glorious pink and green striped paper straws into floats and smile. I mean, how can you not smile when you’re using a paper straw? Is there anything cuter?
Okay, maybe this.

Northwest Salad

For this gorgeous salad, simply toss some fresh spring lettuce onto your prettiest platter. Top with fresh blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries. Cover with lemon dressing and then sugared pecans. Feta cheese also goes well with this salad but is ever so optional.

Salad Dressing Ingredients

  • Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Simply shake the salad dressing ingredients together in a container with a lid & drizzle on your gorgeous salad. This recipe makes about a cup of dressing so you will have leftovers for another day. Just save in the fridge.

Sugared Pecans Ingredients

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Dash of freshly ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups pecans

Beat 2 egg whites with hand mixer until frothy. After egg whites are frothy add vanilla, sugar, salt, cinnamon & nutmeg. Mix well.

Stir in pecans.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spread pecans onto a baking sheet.

Bake pecans for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Sugar coating will harden as they cool.

Polka dots, oh how I love you.

Flo looking fabulous.

Cami was delighted that her mud pie ice cream birthday cake was handmade by Joey Fatone while he was here. She’ll definitely be even cooler at the water cooler this week.

Cami Dearest, Happy forty (maybe)… and fabulous (for sure)! We love you.

 

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Sugared Pumpkin Seeds Recipe

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For a unique spin on pumpkin seeds, try these yummy treats. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.


Separate pumpkin seeds from stringy pumpkin bits. Discard stringy pumpkin insides and rinse seeds. Dry rinsed seeds a little bit with a clean dishtowel and set aside.

Beat 2 egg whites with hand mixer until frothy.

After egg whites are frothy, add:

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup white sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dash of freshly ground nutmeg

Mix well.

Stir in pumpkin seeds. If you like, toss in a cup of pecans as well for a fun touch.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spread pumpkin seeds onto baking sheet.

Bake seeds for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 10-15 minutes. Sugar coating will harden as seeds cool.

These are great on superfood salad.

Bonus: The taste of these reminds me of a cereal. I cannot figure out which one though. When you make these, if you can figure out which cereal it is please post it.

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