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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 .

Mexican Coleslaw Recipe

Looking for a fresh, new twist for your Taco Tuesdays? You will adore this flavorful Mexican Coleslaw. There won’t be a shred of evidence you even made it by the time dinner is done. I may or may not have intended that dicey pun. You’re welcome. I’m sorry. You’re welcome.

Slaw Ingredients

  • 1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1/8 head purple cabbage, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalepeno, minced

Dressing Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 fresh lime
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Whisk dressing ingredients together until emulsified. Dress slaw at last minute so it doesn’t wilt.

Serve with Thursday Tamales. Or, you know, Bednesday Burritos. Um, er, Caturday chimichangas.

 

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Baja Fish Tacos Recipe

Fish tacos are very fresh & sassy to share with guests but are super easy to make. I do believe it is time for another game night with friends.

Fried Fish Ingredients

  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 12 ounces of buttermilk
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • About 2 pounds fresh halibut or cod, cut into about 4 inch pieces and 3/4 inch wide

Preheat  oil in a heavy-duty deep pan or in a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with two or three layers of paper towels.

Make sure the oil maintains this same temperature throughout the cooking process.

Whisk together just until combined:  egg yolks, beer, flour, baking powder, sea salt, onion powder, and paprika in a medium-large bowl.

Rinse the fish with cold water and then pat dry with a paper towel. Coat one piece at a time and carefully drop in the preheated oil. Cook about four at a time for a few minutes on each side.

When done cooking, place fish on lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt right away. Repeat the process until all fish strips are fried.

If you need to keep fish warm while preparing rest of dinner, place on unlined baking sheet in oven at 200°F and cover with a sheet of foil. Watch carefully, though, so they don’t become tough and dry.

Healthier Option: If you prefer, you can just coat a baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil, place fish pieces on tray, sprinkle with sea salt & pepper, and bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes rather than breading and frying.

Assembling Your Tacos

  • Fried fish
  • 1/4 head green cabbage, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1/8 head purple cabbage, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced in food processor
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalepeno, minced
  • Corn or flour tortillas, your size of choice
  • One recipe of Roasted Salsa
  • Cotija or grated cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Fresh lime juice

Prepare fish as listed above. Place cabbages, onion, carrot, cilantro, and jalepeno in a large bowl and combine.

Place fish sticks on tortilla and use desired toppings.

Please pass the dice.

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Oliebollen Dutch New Year’s Day Doughnut Recipe

Nothing says, “Happy New Year!” like balls. Amitrite? Everyone knows I like my balls (insert hilarious but innocent link here). Growing up, I asked one of my grandfathers what nationality we were. His reply was nothing short of insightful.

“You’re a mutt.” He replied and laughed and laughed.

What he didn’t know is this little girl was lost inside. What was I? I wasn’t blonde and didn’t like pickled herring all that much, so I must not be Norwegian. I wasn’t tall and didn’t swear like a farmer in the church parking lot so I must not be Dutch.


I was longing for something to hang on to for my native identity. In the meantime, this mutt picked up the special traditions of her closest friends and made them her own. Susie and the other Dutch kids in my school made oliebollen every New Year’s Day. The Norwegians stocked up on lefse every Christmas. Let’s just say I knew who and when to visit.

Is it coincidence when I visit Wallingford district in Seattle I get lost and find myself in Ballard next to all the Scandinavian stores and bakeries on my way home every single time? I think not. It is my viking soul calling me home.

Makes about 20 balls.


Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 48 ounces canola or vegetable oil (for deep frying)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar (for sprinkling)

Stir water & yeast together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Mix flour, sugar, and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl.

Place milk, egg & vanilla in medium bowl and whisk together until well beaten.

Pour yeast mixture into dry ingredients. Add about half of milk mixture to bowl as well. Combine. Add remaining milk mixture and combine until smooth – about 2 minutes. Dough should be very sticky.

Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and allow to rise in a warm place for about an hour. Once the dough has doubled, stir in the salt and raisins.

Heat the oil to 375°F a deep fryer. Do not start frying until oil has preheated or you will end up with balls of oil. (Never mind that oliebollen actually means oil balls.)

Form balls of dough using a cookie scoop. Carefully dip scoop in oil to prevent sticking, scoop some dough, and drop carefully in hot oil one at a time.  Be sure not to crowd too many in as it will cool the oil down and your balls will become oily.  (I know. I know.) The oliebollen will sink to the bottom of the fryer and then float up to the top. Fry until golden brown on first side for about 3 minutes, carefully flipping when required and frying another 3 minutes on the second side. Use tongs to remove the oliebollen from the hot oil and place them on a sheet pan covered with paper towels to drain the excess oil.

Sprinkle powdered sugar over oliebollen and serve warm.

I call this photo “MUST HAZ ALL DA SUGARZ”

When the Dutch made oliebollen, they were some of the first doughnuts on the planet. “My people” probably even brought them to America. You’re welcome.

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Louisiana Jambalaya Recipe

Today we’re cookin’ rice the dirty way. The way they do it in the south, baby. No shame and no beads shall be rewarded. Like many things, this recipe actually goes faster than you’d think and is pretty fun and comforting.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (more as needed)
  • 1 chicken breast, butterfly cut
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1/2 pound smoked ham, pre cooked and cubed
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, deveined & tails removed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 celery stems, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 – 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded & minced
  • 3 tablespoons worchestire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Chicken Better Than Bouillon
  • 4 stems fresh oregano, stemmed & chopped
  • 5 stems fresh thyme, stemmed
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • Freshly squeezed juice from one lemon

Place olive oil in very large saucepan over medium-high heat. Placed butterflied chicken breast in pan, salt & pepper, and cook until thickest parts reach at least 165°F (anything under 165°F isn’t safe, over 165°F gets too dry). When chicken is fully cooked, set aside on a large dish.

Heat sausage and ham in same pan and again add to large dish with chicken. Salt & pepper shrimp. Add to pan and cook until pink and opaque. Set aside with other meat. When chicken breast is cool enough, dice into small pieces.

Add butter to saucepan. Add onion, celery, and peppers. Cook until onions are translucent. Stir diced tomato, tomato paste, garlic, jalapenos, worchestire sauce, Better Than Bouillon, oregano, and thyme into pan.

Add water to pan. Bring water to a boil. As soon as water boils, stir rice into pan and cover well. Cook on low for 20 minutes. After rice has fully cooked, stir in meat that had been set aside for such a time as this.

No beads or feeling dirty needed, this dish is almost sinless.

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Pumpkin Cheesecake With Butterscotch Topping Recipe

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Ingredients for Graham Cracker Crust
  • 12 long (4 sections on each) graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Crush graham crackers in food processor. Add sugar, salt, and melted butter. Process until similar to wet sand texture.


Spray a 10-inch springform pan with baking spray (or coat with butter) and press graham cracker mixture into bottom of pan. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes then remove and set aside.

Reduce oven to 325°F.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Cheesecake Filling

  • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin spice
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree

Cream together cream cheese and sugars. Add remaining ingredients and mix until well-combined batter.

Pour cheesecake batter on top of the graham cracker crust in the springform pan. Place springform pan in about a little bit larger pan (about 11-inch pan). Most recipes say to use foil to protect your cheesecake from the water bath but I have never, ever had luck with foil. Place about 1 inch of water in a large pan (roasting pan or half sheet pan works well for this) which the doubled pans can fit into.

Here’s an example from my New York Cheesecake Recipe. Yeah, like that. I shall not be foiled again.

Bake until knife poked into cheesecake comes out nearly clean – about an hour. Top of cheesecake will be light golden brown. Allow cheesecake to sit in pan until cool. (It will continue baking for awhile while cooling).

Place cheesecake in refrigerator overnight or several hours until chilled for best results. Run a knife around cheesecake edges to loosen from pan. Remove sides from pan carefully. Run knife under cheesecake to make sure crust also removes from pan easily then place on serving plate. Top with butterscotch topping (recipe below).

Butterscotch Topping Ingredients

  • 1 cup butterscotch chips, melted
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot water

After butterscotch chips are melted, set aside. Mix remaining ingredients together in mixer until well combined. Add melted butterscotch chips. Mix until nice frosting forms. Place in a decorating bag with a large decorating tip. Place a swirl on each slice of cheesecake or each personal-size cheesecake.

Add a pecan and sprinkle with pumpkin spice if you feel especially festive.
Mini Cheesecakes

For personal-size cheesecakes, use about 6 of these cuties instead of the large springform pan… because size matters.

Wilton Mini Springform Pans, Set of 3

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The Top Five Party Games This Christmas

Tired of the same old holiday routine? Pull simple supplies together to surprise your family and friends with these Minute to Win It style games and fun challenges. Make sure everyone gets a try.

Feet in wool socks near fireplace in winter time

Although the main point is to connect with one another and welcome the medicine of laughter into your home, goofy prizes never hurt.

Be sure to play a little background Christmas music to liven up your fun party scene. Oh, and please share your nutty videos on The Old Hen Facebook page cuz we wanna laugh at… I mean with… you.

5. Jingle in the Trunk 


Strap on an empty tissue box, fill with jingle bells from the local craft store and jingle all the way to #winning. The fun starts in this video at about the 33 second mark.

4. Paper Dragon

There’s no better way to unwind this Christmas. Grab the brightest, happiest streamer colors you can find and have contestants unwind two rolls using only their arms as fast as they can.

3. The Mannequin Challenge

Strap on an empty tissue box, fill with jingle bells from the local craft store and jingle all the way to #winning. If you wanna be all official like dat, here’s the song that goes with your recording.

2. Face the Cookie

Players place a cookie on their forehead and race using (only their face muscles) to get the cookie down to their mouth to eat it.

1. Pop the Potato

This is my favorite. Two teams. One potato for each person. Do I even have to explain? Carry that potato between your thighs and squat to drop it in the bucket when it’s your turn. First team to relay through everyone first wins.

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Homemade Mint Milano Cookies Recipe

Well, isn’t this a lovely bunch of coconuts? Only, you know, there are no coconuts.

Although this recipe is for Mint Milano Cookies, you can always trade out the flavor for plain chocolate or orange chocolate. Such lovely possibilities abound.

how-to-make-mint-milano-cookies

Makes about 42 sandwich cookies.


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 – 10 ounce bag Hershey’s Kisses With Mint Truffle (or 10 ounce mint chocolate candy bar)

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Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and beat until well combined, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in flour & sea salt.

Line about 4 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place half of cookie dough in large decorating bag. You can use a round tip if you have one to make more perfectly shaped cookies, but it’s not necessary.

Draw about a three-inch line of cookie dough onto parchment paper. Try to keep cookies all the same size. Leave space in between each for spreading. You can fit a dozen cookies on each tray.

Bake for about 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Cookies will be chewy at first and get crispier as they cool.

When cookies are cool, melt Hershey’s kisses in microwave or over double boiler until about halfway melted. Then remove from heat and stir until fully melted.

Using a spatula, carefully frost the bottom of one cookie then place a second cookie on top, sandwiching them together. You can place cookies back on sheet pan and cool quicker in fridge if you’d like to speed up the cooling process – and we all know we do.

 

 

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How to Make Wool Lambs

Please forgive my fascination with wooly balls. No, don’t. They’re so much fun and the cuteness. I mean, can you even? I can’t either.

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I shall name him Shnookiewookiewoolsiewoosie.


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What you will need:

Tear ivory roving wool apart and form into little balls and push them into some old nylons. Tie a knot tightly after each ball. You can do various sizes or all the same. Do the same with the black roving wool. There is no right or wrong way. For my lambs, I made almost 2-inch ivory balls for the bodies and under 1-inch balls with black wool for the heads. If you decide to make larger lambs, they will just probably need to be put through the washer and dryer an extra time or two until your balls are firm. I know. I know. So many jokes available to me. It’s nuts.

Place knotted balls in the washing machine on a short hot water setting. Then place balls in the dryer until dry.

Use scissors to cut nylon balls apart and carefully pull balls apart from nylons pieces.

I’d say these supplies should produce at least 16 lambs.

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Heat glue gun and insert glue stick. Hot glue head onto the body.

Carefully poke nails or pins into bottom of lamb so he can stand on his own four legs. Test him to be sure you put them in evenly.

Place a small amount of hot glue on his belly.  Carefully (because a hot glue gun hurts bad enough to make a good Christian woman swear for realz) wrap curly wool all around his body so he becomes fluffy. begin and end on the hot glue so curly wool stays secure.

Cut black sheet of felt into teenie tiny rounded ears. Using a teenie tiny amount of hot glue, glue them onto the back of his teenie tiny head.

These little lambs are not safe for small children, but they are sweet enough to bring an adult woman back to her childhood. Place them up high for yourself to enjoy. If you’d like to hang them, perhaps it is best to secure the legs with a little hot glue and you can stitch a loop of gold embroidery thread through his back so you can dangle him from your Christmas tree.

They make perfect Easter decorations too. They enjoy Easter grass.

Shnookiewookiewoolsiewoosie, I love ewe.

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How to Make Wool Ball Garland

Sometimes a girl just has to break out of the traditional and make somethin’ a little funky. A little hippie. A little ballsy.

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What you will need:

  • Roving wool in colors of your choice. Oh, the colors out there. So loverly!
  • Old (or new) nylons
  • Scissors
  • Washer & dryer
  • Large embroidery needle
  • Gold embroidery thread on a spool

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Tear wool apart and form into little balls and push them into some old nylons. Tie a knot tightly after each ball. You can do various sizes or all the same. There is no right or wrong way to make your hippie garland.

Place knotted balls in the washing machine on a short hot water setting. Then place balls in the dryer until dry.

Use scissors to cut nylon balls apart and carefully pull balls apart from nylons pieces.

Thread needle with embroidery thread then pull through each wool ball in the order you’d like your balls to be in.

Tie knots at each end of your garland to help keep your balls in place.(No, all the naughty joke possibilities in this post are not lost on me. I may or may not be sitting here giggling. I’m just not ballsy enough to write them here.)

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Hang your wooly balls on your Christmas tree, or mantel, or wherever you like your balls.

It is better to hang your balls in your tree than your bra; but, that is a story for another day. Or, you know, never.

Well done! Now, enjoy your cute balls.

Okay, I’ll stop now.

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How to Cook Prime Rib with Red Wine Mushroom Gravy

how-to-cook-prime-rib

This post could easily be entitled “How to Make Guests Happy” for this is what a great prime rib roast dinner does.  With the holidays coming up, perhaps eating prime rib would be a lovely way to celebrate.

Look for a rib roast or prime rib roast at your grocery store. With bone or boneless, either way is great. Most of the time, it will already be tied but if not, then use twine to tie around roast to prevent the meat from pulling apart while cooking.


Place roast in a shallow roasting pan on a rack.

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Smear sides with butter.

Cut slits at about every inch across the top of the roast.

Rub olive oil into slits and all around the roast. Season with salt, pepper, and your favorite house seasonings (we like Johnny’s Seasoning and Spike Seasoning). Slice a few garlic cloves and place them in the slits.

Allow roast to sit for a couple of hours – long enough that it comes to room temperature. This will allow it to cook evenly.

Place roast in preheated oven at 450F for 20 minutes. This is why a shallow roasting pan is important. If we used a deeper pan, we wouldn’t get the lovely browning we need.

Lower temperature to 325F for remaining cooking time.

An average roast is about 13-16 pounds. Cook for about 3-4 hours or until it reaches 145 degrees in the middle (between 125-135F if you would like it to be rare).

The fact that this picture was taken before I received my new camera and while about seven people were anxiously waiting for dinner, certainly did not do this prime rib photo justice. Incredibly tender and perfectly cooked.

Red Wine Mushroom Gravy

Remove prime rib roast from baking pan and place pan over stove top burner/s on medium heat. Add a little olive oil if pan is dry. Dice one medium yellow onion and place into pan. Cook onions until golden and somewhat see-thru. After onions are cooked, stir in about one cup of diced mushrooms. Let mushrooms cook for about 4 minutes.

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Sprinkle about 1/4 cup of flour and stir together with the delicious meat juices, onions & mushrooms. Continue to stir and cook for about 5 minutes. This is called a roux. It won’t be pretty, it will look scruffy even but it will make an incredible gravy.

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After flour is cooked, add about 1 cup of red wine and stir. Then add  2 cups of water and 1 cup of milk and continue to stir. As the gravy comes to a boil, check the thickness and add more water if needed.

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Stir in about 3-5 tablespoons of beef base ad continue to season to your liking with salt, pepper, and a house seasoning. Chopped fresh herb leaves such as rosemary, thyme and parsley can be nice as well.

Serve with potatoes and green beans, perhaps.

And everyone said, “Amen.”

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