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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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Stuffed Strawberry French Toast Recipe

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When I was a little girl, the only thing I would eat at restaurants during breakfast time was strawberry and whipped cream covered pancakes, waffles or French toast. I was a picky palate and my grandparents spoke my language. I was their oldest grandchild and used it to my advantage when holding a breakfast menu.

Oatmeal? No.

Bacon & eggs? No

Omelet? No.

Hashbrowns & sausage? No.

Strawberry anything and black coffee at the age of five? Yes!

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Ingredients:

  • One recipe of homemade whipped cream
  • 8 large eggs, farm fresh is best
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter (for frying)
  • 1 loaf high quality white bread, unsliced
  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, cut into quarters
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar

Make whipped cream, cover mixing bowl with saran-wrap when done and place in fridge until ready to use.

Remove & discard strawberry stems and then cut into quarters. Place in a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Using a strainer that fits well on the large bowl, quickly move the strawberries into the strainer then place the strainer on the bowl so that the strawberry juices can drip down into the bowl. Set aside.

In a shallow and large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and vanilla with a fork until well-beaten. Set aside. Cut six slices from the loaf of bread – into about 1 1/2 inch slices each. Cut each piece almost in half again as if to cut into two slices but not quite.

Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large, (preferably) cast iron pan. Give the butter your full attention so it melts and then sizzles a bit but doesn’t burn. If pan gets too hot, turn heat to medium.

Quickly dip inside fold of one slice of bread quickly into the egg then dip the outside, making sure to coat the outside of the bread completely. Once coated, open the bread so the inside fold is facing downward and place into frying pan. Cook until egg is cooked and toast is golden brown. Do NOT lift bread to early. Test to see if it’s ready to flip first but nudging it with the spatula. If it slides freely, then peek to see if it’s golden brown. If it is, then it’s ready to flip. Fold toast in half again and toast both of  the outsides of the bread until golden brown as well. Repeat until all six toasts are finished cooking. As each toast is finished, it can be placed on a baking sheet and loosely covered with foil and placed into the oven at 170 degrees to keep warm until the others are done.

Place strawberry juices into a small saucepan using a spatula to be sure to get all the sugar and juices out of the bowl. Heat strawberry juices on medium heat and allow to simmer. Keep a close eye on sauce to be sure it doesn’t over cook – about 3-5 minutes should reduce the juice into a loverly strawberry sauce. Set strawberries aside again until ready to assemble.

To plate, Place each toast upon a plate. Open toast up and drizzle bottom half with strawberry syrup. Pile about 1 cup of strawberries into bottom of toast as well. Then place whipped cream upon the strawberries. Bring top half of French toast up and over the whipped cream. Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar until you smile. If desired, place a small dollop of whipped cream on top of each French toast & place one strawberry into it.

How I ended up spending my life creating a million delightful breakfasts (my least favorite meal of the day for almost forty years) I’ll never know. But I am sure of one thing… grandma-mom & grandpa-dad are up in Heaven eating strawberry-filled breakfasts, drinking Folger’s Coffee & enjoying the show.

Why “grandma-mom” and grandpa-dad”? Well, I hear their oldest grandchild was kind of a nut.

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Mini Peanut Butter & Chocolate Do-Si-Do™ Pies With Maple Whipped Cream

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do-si-do (ds-dn. pl. do-si-dos 1. A movement in square dancing in which two dancers approach each other and circle back to back, then return to their original positions. 2. One of the most popular cookies in the world – the Girl Scout’s crunchy oatmeal sandwich cookie with creamy peanut butter filling that keeps you coming back for more.

In a way, this post is simply a do-si-do… a Girl Scout returning to Girl Scouts – in a very spectacular and high-calorie fashion.

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But, you know, calories don’t count if the dessert is a mini. And you share it with a friend. And you square dance enough.

DO-SI-DO™ CRUST:

  • 2 – eight ounce packages Do-Si-Dos™ Girl Scout cookies
  • 1 stick of butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Place cookies in food processor and process until they become crumbs. Add melted butter and process until all the crumbs are moistened. Use 8  (Aprox. size:  4 3/8 in. dia x 1 3/16 in.*)  small pot pie pansPress 1/4 cup of crust mixture into each mini pie pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

*You can use any size pans or ramekins for pies as long as they are oven-safe and singles since this pie is made to be served from the tin. For example, mini tartlette pans are perfect for parties or large gatherings (makes about 16) and a regular pie pan is perfect for a single pie to serve at a family dinner. 

PEANUT BUTTER FILLING:

  • 1 – eight ounce package cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup maple whipped cream (recipe below)

Place cream cheese, powdered sugar and peanut butter in a bowl. Whip together with a mixer until completely combined. Using a spatula or large spoon, gently fold maple whipped cream into peanut butter mixture until mixed in. After pie crusts have cooled, place about 1/2 cup of filling onto each pie crust. Spread filling out so that the top is flat. There will be room still for the chocolate topping.

CHOCOLATE TOPPING:

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sugar

Melt chocolate over low heat in a double boiler. Whisk in heavy cream and sugar until completely melted together. The color will turn back to a nice dark brown again when everything is combined. Pour about 1/4 cup of chocolate onto each pie. Gently spread where needed so it covers the peanut butter filling completely. Chill pies on a level tray in the fridge for about an hour or until chocolate topping is firm. If serving later, it’s best to keep them in the fridge until served.

MAPLE WHIPPED CREAM:

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons maple extract
    (or 1 teaspoon vanilla instead for the plain-hearted)

Whip heavy whipping cream until it reaches soft peaks. Add powdered sugar and maple extract and whip until it reaches stiff peaks. One cup should go into the peanut butter pie filling (see directions above) and the remaining two cups are for decoration. If saving for later, cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for up to two days. If the whipped cream looses its stiffness, it can be rewhipped until stiff peaks are reached again. When ready to serve pies, place whipping cream into a decorating bag with a border decorating tip. Decorate stars around edges of pie and place a swirl in the middle of the pie. If desired, place a Do-Si-Dos™ Girl Scout cookie into the middle swirl on each pie.

Happy 2016 Girl Scout Cookie season. You know, with whoop cream on top.

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Cream Horns and Chocolate Covered Strawberries Recipe

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 12.42.01 PMIt’s my birthday. It’s not a big deal, really. I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve survived quite a few. One involved being snowed in but that was okay. I just pretend I’m Laura Ingalls Wilder (we share a birthday and we’re soul sisters). I’m pretty much a first-born introvert so that birthday was easier to get through than the one which involved a rotating restaurant, a piano and singing waiters. Or the surprise party which actually was a surprise.

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My favorite birthday might have been the one that included Polynesian fire dancers. And grass skirts. And a roasted pig. It’s a toss-up between that one and the year I discovered Baskin Robbins ice cream cakes. It’s hard to choose, really. This year I’m starting my day with a Diet Coke, chocolate covered strawberries, a Facebook post from dotter that made me cry and a boiled egg so things are looking up. If anyone would like to send over a Polynesian fire dancer, I’ll roast the pig. But I digress. Laura Ingalls would not approve.

Once you begin being naughty, it is easier to go and on and on, and sooner or later something dreadful happens. – Laura Ingalls Wilder

Speaking of things that are nice to look at, part of my birthday celebration this year is sharing a beautiful and super easy recipe with you. Cream horns. You’re welcome.

To prep strawberries, rinse a small container of them off then drip dry on a paper towel until very dry. Dip in chocolate and allow to cool while you make the cream horns. Dipped strawberries can be made the night before.

Remove a box of puff pastry from the freezer (Puff pastry is found in the freezer section of the grocery store). Puff pastry is moody. There are two things you must know before going any further… First, you can only defrost puff pastry by placing in the fridge overnight or by setting it out on the counter for 40 minutes. If you defrost it too long in either place, it will stick together. Second, preheat oven to 400 degrees. This step is not optional with puff pastry. Not preheating will give you limp puff pastry. Don’t ask me how I know these things, I just do.

Cover a thin rolling-pin or sugar ice cream cones in foil. Ice cream cones will give you a cone shape which is also very fun. Spray foil with baking spray and place on a baking sheet.

Cut puff pastry into 8 long strips. A pizza cutter works well for this. Roll puff pastry strips around rolling-pin (or cone). You don’t have to roll terribly tight. When one runs out, attach another. It will take about 4 strips to make one cream horn. Beat one egg in a small bowl and brush on the puff pastry as you go to help it stick together.

Perfection not necessary. Brush each cream horn with the beaten egg for a glossy finish.

If you have leftover puff pastry, just roll in parchment paper and then wrap in plastic. Keep in fridge for up to a few days (since it’s now rolled in parchment, that’s okay) or return to freezer for another birthday.

Sprinkle with Wilton’s White Sparkling Sugar for a classy touch. If you don’t happen to have this on your cupboard, you can use a little bit of regular sugar. But I do recommend getting some as soon as possible. I mean if you can’t have fire dancers, at least you can enjoy some big, sparkly sugar.

After at least 20 minutes, you will have this. It is normal and healthy to feel a sense of joy and pride in this moment for it is glorious.

After cream puffs cool, remove carefully from rolling-pin or cones. Place them on a parchment paper and drizzle chocolate over them. But only if you’re obsessive about your desserts. And chocolate. And drizzles. Like me.

If you’re in a hurry or if your room is too hot for chocolate to cool – you know, from fire dancers – just place cream horns in fridge to harden chocolate.

Make whipped cream.  Using a pastry bag (no decorating tip needed), fill cream horns with goodness.

Adorn cream horns with freshly dipped chocolate strawberries. Laura Ingalls would approve.
It is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all. – Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

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Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe

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Whipped cream is so delicious that it is almost a dessert in and of itself. It is simple. It is sweet. To make, start by placing a very clean mixing bowl into the fridge or freezer before using to chill for 15-20 minutes.

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour heavy whipping cream into a mixer. If you’ve never made whipped cream, you will find it in a milk-type of

If you’ve never made whipped cream, you will find it in a milk-type of carton in the dairy section. “Heavy whipping cream” is the very best. And the most sinful. And the most delightful.

Mix on medium to medium-high speed for about 3 minutes watching continuously.

You are looking out for what are called “soft peaks.” This is when the whipped cream can stand slightly by itself as in the picture above.

When you reach soft peaks, add powdered sugar. Taste to make sure it is the sweetness you enjoy from whipped cream. Mix just about 30-60 seconds longer to reach hard peaks. This is when the whipped cream is obviously about to form a peak that stands on its own. If you like, stir in a teaspoon of vanilla extract or almond or mint or orange or… well, let’s just say the possibilities are endless. Once you’ve had real whipped cream, you can’t go back to the can.

Great uses for whipped cream:

  • cakes
  • fruit trays
  • crepes
  • pancakes & waffles
  • pudding
  • ice cream sundaes
  • and, oh, so much more!
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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017