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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 .

Banana Cream Pie Recipe

Banana Cream Pie. Delightful vanilla pudding topped with fresh bananas. It’s a classic and you don’t need a box to make it.

Banana Cream Pie Recipe

Vanilla Pudding Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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, taking care to dissolve cornstarch.

Whisk in egg yolks.

Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble forms and sputters.

Reduce heat to low; still whisking, cook 1 minute. This is when the magic happens. The vanilla pudding with thicken.

Remove from heat; immediately pour through a sieve into a bowl.

Stir butter and vanilla into hot pudding.

Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding (to prevent skin from forming). Place in refrigerator until pie crust has been baked and has cooled.

Shortbread Pudding Tart Crust Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (one cup) of butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Cream together butter and powdered sugar. Add flour and vanilla and combine until lovely dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F. After the dough is finished chilling, use a little flour to help roll the dough out to be about 1/4 inch thick and a little wider than the pie or tart pan of your choice. Place in pan. Pinch the edges if using a pie pan. If using a tart pan, just press into pan and then trim off edges. Leftover dough can be refrigerated or frozen for later use.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until crust is a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to it out to cool.

Putting It Together

  • 1 recipe prepared vanilla pudding (above)
  • 1 recipe prepared crust (above)
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 fresh lemon

When ready to serve, slice two bananas into small discs. Put in a medium bowl and drizzle fresh lemon juice over them. Stir to gently coat banana slices with lemon juice to help prevent browning. Place pudding into crust and spread even.

Place pudding into crust and spread evenly.

Arrange banana slices over pudding however you like them to be.

Top with whoop cream. Use a large decorating bag with border tip for pretty swirls as pictured or just spread over the top when ready to eat.

Here’s to thinking outside of the box.

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Grilled & Filled Nectarines Recipe

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This sexy little vixen was featured on New Day Northwest recently. You must try. Like, today.

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INGREDIENTS:

Olive oil
3 ripe but firm white nectarines

Filling:

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
4 ounces butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Garnish:

6 fresh mint sprigs (optional)

Place a grill pan or prepare the outdoor grill over medium – high heat. Cut the nectarines in half and remove pits. Lightly brush inside of nectarines with olive oil so they don’t stick to the grill.

Place nectarines with the cut side facing downward onto grill. To get great grill marks, do not move the nectarines while they cook.

Grill until marks are well formed and they are slightly softened and heated through, about 5-10 minutes.

Combine filling ingredients and mix until smooth. Divide the filling equally, topping the cut side of each grilled nectarine. To take things over the top, use a large decorating bag and large decorating tip to create an amazing swirl on the top. Garnish with fresh mint.

Sweet baby Jesus, it’s take-my-breath-away gorgeous every time.

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Fresh Start Balsamic Fruit Salad Recipe

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Fresh starts are a good thing. I’m pretty sure we don’t give ourselves enough of them. Fresh starts are a result of proper grieving. Proper grieving happens not only after big, life-changing moments but also needs to be a part of our every-single-freakin’-day processing. We need to grieve when other drivers are rude to us, when our go-to coffee shop discontinues our favorite syrup flavor, and when we make a silly mistake in front of co-workers. We don’t need to cry over teeny-tiny everything, but we do need to acknowledge the feelings we have over the incident, talk ourselves through it with healthy, truthful words, and move forward without ignoring the lil’ bruise to our ego.

Have I ever mentioned that I’m a counselor too? Yeah. That. For realz. For the last twenty years, I’ve helped many people find their fresh starts and this always – and I mean always – includes grieving the past. There are textbook guidelines for grieving but there is no perfect recipe for getting over stuff. I mean, sometimes it just comes on too fast to keep up with the grieving. And sometimes we just don’t want to grieve yet. And sometimes no one has ever told us how important grieving is for the soul. And sometimes we excuse every bit of pain in our lives which just allows the stink to take up residency in our soul.


May I recommend a weekend away alone at your favorite B&B to find your fresh start? And may I recommend this fresh start salad to nourish your beautiful person in the meantime?

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Balsamic Fresh Fruit Salad

  • 4 nectarines
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 pint fresh blackberries
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 2 kiwis, diced (optional)
  • 3/4 cup apricot jam (for sugar-free, use sugar-free jam)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 basil leaves, minced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 4 Sprigs of mint (for garnish)

Rinse & drain nectarines & berries to clean. Cut nectarines in half. Set 4 halves aside.

Dice the remaining nectarines and place in large bowl. Peel and dice the kiwi and add to bowl. Remove stems from strawberries and dice then add to bowl. Add remaining berries to bowl as well.

In a separate bowl, passionately whisk together jam, water & balsamic vinegar. Add minced basil leaves and salt & pepper to taste. The salt should simply help bring out the other lovely flavors in the dressing.

Pour dressing over diced fruit & berries. Stir in gently until fruit is well-coated.

Place each nectarine half on a plate and top with diced fruit salad . Garnish each serving with a sprig of mint. Makes 4 servings.

You got this! Here’s to your fresh start. Also, this might be a good time to admit that I still haven’t forgiven Starbucks for ditchin’ their almond syrup eight years ago. Do as I say, not as I do.

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Mini Almond Mazarin Tart With Fresh Fruit Recipe

Buttery crust and almondy filling but the real topper is the glazed fresh fruit. Fancy yet simple. Plain yet colorful.


Preheat oven to 350F.

CRUST INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 sticks (one cup) butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of almond
If butter is chilled, things will simply take longer to come together but will eventually become a lovely dough. Press dough into about 16 – 4 inch tart pans.  If making less tarts, just save extra dough in fridge for another day.

ALMOND FILLING INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 7 oz. almond paste (make sure it’s fresh & soft)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
Combine filling ingredients until well beaten.

Filling will be a little runny.

Place some almond filling into each tart. Place tarts on a cookie sheet and bake..

Prepare fruit by rinsing & cutting. You can use any fruit you like with these tarts. Most berries (especially raspberries & blueberries) and stone fruits (cherries, peaches, nectarines) go best with almond.

To coat fruit with a glossy topping, place about 3/4 cup of apricot jam with a few tablespoons of water and heat until thinned. Allow to cool a bit before using.

Remove from oven when tops are golden brown.

Pile fruit upon tart in a most glorious fashion and drizzle with apricot glaze. Adorn with fresh mint if desired.

Perfect for breakfast, a tea or dessert.

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Yogurt Parfaits

I love it when things are so simple and so beautiful all at the same time. These lovelies are just that. Perfect for a Saturday morning. Or Sunday. Or Monday. Or Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or Thursday.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Yoplait Boston Cream Pie Yogurt (or vanilla pudding or your  own favorite yogurt )
  • 2 cups of fresh mixed berries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Chopped nuts or granola (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)

Clean berries and drain well. Stir lemon juice and sugar into berries. Allow berry mixture to sit for at least a half an hour so that the sugar draws out the juices in the berries. Layer yogurt and berries into a pretty glass bowl or tall glass. Adorn with a sprig of fresh mint.  If you’d like to make things difficult, add chopped pecans or granola and whipped cream on top.

Yes, simple and simply perfect. Even for Fridays.

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Balsamic Strawberry Salad Recipe

Every April in the Seattle area we try with all of our might to hope spring into existence but we all know in our hearts that the truest sign of spring is the strawberry booths on the side of the roads. I’ve been known to risk my well being with my sudden, cheery urge to pull over just so I can purchase a box of spring. The glorious ways to use strawberries in recipes are endless but in this salad, they remain the star of the show.

Balsamic Strawberry Salad

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • ½ cup strawberry jam
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small lime
  • Couple dashes of salt
  • 4-6 Stalks of flat leaf parsley
  • 4 Sprigs of mint (for garnish)

Rinse & drain strawberries to clean. Remove stems from berries and cut into quarters. In a separate bowl, passionately whisk together jam, balsamic vinegar and juice squeezed from half of the fresh lime. Stir dressing together well. Pour dressing over strawberries. Chop parsley leaves until very fine and add to salad. Stir together well. Add salt a little at a time to taste. The salt should simply help bring out the other flavors in the salad. I recommend draining most of the dressing off of salad before plating. Place salad in tall clear bowls or martini glasses to bring out its beautiful colors. Garnish each serving with a sprig of mint. Makes about 4 servings.

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Country Caramel Pears

Looking for a beautiful and unique fall treat to make on a rainy day? Why not try caramel pears! They are super yummy and very pretty. Just follow the recipe for caramel apples on the package of Kraft Caramel Bits only use pears that are perfectly ripe. (I found these caramel bits at Safeway. The little dots melt easier than the cubes. Yay for Kraft!)

After the pears are caramel topped, dip the bottoms into chopped pecans. Be sure to place the caramel pears into the refrigerator as soon as they are made so that the caramel stays put. They can be removed from the refrigerator up to 15 minutes before serving.


For an extra special touch, find some sticks in your back yard, widdle them to a point and use them instead of popsicle sticks. Tie a sweet bow from country-style ribbon around each stick and enjoy!

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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017