Facebook Twitter Gplus Flickr Pinterest LinkedIn
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 .

Brown Sugar & Bourbon Glazed Ham Recipe

I present thee with Brown Sugar & Bourbon Glazed Ham No Easter is complete without a glazed ham. We’re adding a party today with a bit of bourbon whiskey. She is glorious. And sweet. And glorious.

Brown Sugar & Bourbon Glazed Ham Recipe

Brown Sugar & Bourbon Glazed Ham Ingredients

  • 10 pound smoked ham (approximate size will vary)
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Take ham out of refrigeration 1-2 hours before roasting. Poke whole cloves into sides of ham. Place ham in a large roasting pan with about 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid (or you can cover with foil). Preheat oven to 275°F and start roasting.

Preheat oven to 275°F.

Place remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan and whisk together. Cook on medium-high heat until glaze thickens.

Coat ham with half the glaze. Roast for 15 minutes per pound. So, a 9-pound ham will bake for about 2 1/2 hours.

Finally, when ham has a half hour of cooking time left, use the remainder of glaze to coat again.

Easter is a time to be humble and grateful which is going to be tough when you pull this baby out of the oven, but you can do it.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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.


Makes about 42 sandwich cookies.

Preheat oven to 350°F.


  • 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)


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.



Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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.


I shall name him Shnookiewookiewoolsiewoosie.


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.


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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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.


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


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.)


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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

How to Cook Prime Rib with Red Wine Mushroom Gravy


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Raspberry Almond Mazarin Tart Recipe


One of my favorite Scandinavian treats is the mazarin tart. It is rich and regal yet one of the easiest things one could make for friends… the perfect dessert.


Preheat oven to 350F.

Dough Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 teaspoon sea salt

Cream butter & powdered sugar. Add egg yolk (save egg white for filling). Combine. Add flour & sea salt. Mix well. Place some flour on countertop. Separate dough into six equal pieces. Press into six 4-inch tart pans with removable bottoms. Make sure bottoms and sides are covered as you would a pie crust. Set aside.

Filling Ingredients

  • 7 ounces almond paste
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white (remaining from above egg yolk)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Whip butter and almond paste until combined well. Add sugar, egg, egg white, almond extract, and sea salt. Whip together. Spoon filling into tart crusts. Place all tarts on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Cool until they can safely be removed from tart pans.

Topping Ingredients

  • 1 cup Strawberry or raspberry preserves

Spread a few tablespoons of preserves over the top of the almond tarts while they are still somewhat warm.

Serve on a pretty little plate.  Add a few fresh raspberries on top and drizzle with chocolate if desired.

This recipe can also be made in about a 10-inch tart pan for one large tart.

Alternate Topping

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sherry wine

Mix together well to make a lovely glaze. Spread over top of tarts after they have cooled. Allow icing to dry for several hours before serving.

These are an impressive holiday dessert but also easy to make ahead and refrigerate for a hot summer evening.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Maple Boys Recipe


If you’re looking for a special Christmas morning breakfast, you have come to the right place. These adorable little boys have become a tradition at family gatherings. Everyone loves them and all of their maple-y goodness.

This recipe makes about a dozen Maple Boys.

These are perfect for making on Christmas Eve night and then refrigerating & baking the next morning.

  • 5 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup of instant mashed potatoes stirred together with 3/4 cup of warm water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk (110 degrees or cooler)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups flour (approximate)

Place yeast into a large mixing bowl. Add lukewarm water at about 110 degrees. Give a little stir, then add sugar, potatoes, salt, milk, shortening, eggs, and about 2 cups of flour. Using paddle attachment, mix well.

Continue to mix in flour 1 cup at a time until dough wants to “hug” the beater as shown in this picture. This will take about 5 cups total. Dough will have gone from somewhat soupy to more elasticity. This isn’t an exact measurement because the amount of flour you’ll need depends on how much moisture is in the air.

This is the time to switch to the dough hook. Knead with dough hook for about 8-10 minutes on medium speed. If mixer sounds burdened, remove from mixer stand, add a 1/4 cup of warm water and knead by hand. It probably just means you added too much flour.

Cover with a clean warm, damp towel and let the dough sit in a warm place for an hour or until dough has doubled in size.

Turn happily risen dough onto the flour-covered countertop. Coat with a little bit more flour and roll out to about 1/2 inch thick.

Find a gingerbread boy cookie cutter that is about 5-6 inches tall. Swoosh in flour a bit so it doesn’t stick to the dough then use to create Christmas magic. If you don’t have a gingerbread boy cookie cutter, you can just cut into rectangles and make baked maple bars. I promise you that they will taste just as amazing.

If baking on the same day, place oven on 350F to preheat. Place boys on a baking sheet coated with non-stick baking spray or parchment paper.  Let sit on the tray in a warm place until doubled in size (about 45 minutes). After they’re done rising, bake for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown and done in the middle.

If making the night before, cover with non-stick spray coated plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Cool for about 15 minutes before frosting.

Finally the almost holy maple frosting.

  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 ounces of (salted) butter, softened
  • 8 tablespoons of water
  • 8 teaspoons of maple extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

You’ll also need about 1 cup of powdered sugar & a teaspoon or so of water mixed together to create the white frosting for the gingy cuteness.

Your family might actually have a hard time deciding between gift opening and Maple Boys. Okay, maybe not, but there’s no better way to start Christmas morning than to spoil them with both.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Gingerbread Boys Cookie Recipe

What would the holidays be without gingerbread boys?

Sugar, spice and everything nice… we could all use a little more of these things in our lives. Start celebrating today with these cookies which win in the category of “Most likely to make someone smile.”

And don’t even get me started on Halloween skeleton gingies.

Makes 18 three-inch gingies

Gingerbread Boy Cookies

Preheat oven to 350°F.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar together. Add baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, white pepper, molasses, and eggs. Mix until well-combined. Slowly add flour. Mix just until combined.

Roll out gingery goodness onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/4th of an inch thick.

Swoosh cookie cutter in flour for easy release from dough each time you cut out a gingerbread boy. Remove excess flour from each cookie and place on parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Everyone alike every one unique.

In line for the oven. Bake for about 8 minutes. Allow gingerbread boys to cool completely. Decorate with a simple powdered sugar frosting

Powdered Sugar Frosting

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water

Stir well and pipe with a decorating bag onto gingerbread boys. Allow to dry overnight or for several hours before plating or wrapping.

Happy, spicy cookies. May your holiday season be filled opportunities to quite literally spread smiles to everyone you love.

P.S. Little miniatures make a big impression at dinner parties.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

It’s the Little Things

Some original pictures from this post have come up missing.

Day 9

Whenever you have gone to a very fancy party, restaurant or event, you have noticed it is the little things done with love that make all the difference.

Creativity without love = showing off & guests who leave with a void in their hearts

Creativity with love = inspiration & guests who wish they could return again tomorrow

If you cannot spend a lot of money on guests, you can always give away plenty of love & inspiration. It’s always fun to see what you can make with things you have on hand.

Here is a little box decorated with some scrapbook paper (old cards & calendar pages would work just wonderfully), rosemary, and a pine cone (which didn’t look too good on the back so I used that to my benefit as it was easier to glue since it was already flat). Fill box with verses, pictures or quotes.
This mini lunch bag is prettied with a ribbon misfit from an old craft project, scrapbook paper and an old phone clip. The clip is still useful as it can be repurposed in many ways. Fill bag with candies, a pretty soap or a mini candle.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 12.17.03 PM

Buy your holiday decorations plain and you can redesign them for other holidays like this cute little bunny. Add a lemon thyme wreath, and he hops from Easter to Christmas!


These Halloween boxes I found on clearance make for a perfect Christmas box with festive papers, a big black bow & shiny button. Inside? Bell candies or actual bells, of course. P.S. Black bows are always so very classy.

As we all know by now, the odder the juice glass, the more delicious the juice. Find inexpensive food safe bottles with fancy toppers for juice. You could not help but giggle if someone served juice to you in a shorty baby cutie glass like this. Am I right? The dollar store would perhaps be a great place to find something like this.

Make sure to buy them brand new & without perfume inside. Do not under any circumstances buy them from a second-hand store. They must be new & never used for perfume!

Remember this holiday season, in the midst of all the recipes, ideas & sparkles you are bombarded with, it is the little things done with big love that will count the most.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017