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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 .

Mini Corn Dogs Recipe


Hello, my name is Deanna and I own a deep fryer.


There, I said it. Truth be told, I try not to get too carried away with grease dipped goods but somehow football season is a great time to pull it out, fill ‘er up to the line and turn to 350 degrees. Let’s make some cutie mini corn dogs!


These shorty baby corn dogs are super easy to make! Just place this list of ingredients into a medium size bowl & whisk together:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk


After batter is whisked together well, open two packages of Lit’l Smokies…


…and a package of Diamond brand bamboo forks.


Place the mini dogs on the mini forks. Check temp on deep fryer to make sure it is at 350 degrees.


When it reaches the magic temp, dip a Lit’l Smokie into the batter until well covered & quickly place over fryer, carefully dipping partially into oil. Allow to cook for about 20 seconds and then let go.  Using tongs, roll once & awhile so all sides cook.


I cook about 5-6 at a time.


Remove them with a spoon that has holes and then lay on a baking sheet that is lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.


Serve after sticks have cooled for a bit but while corn dogs are hot with dipping sauces while everyone cheers… for you.

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Parmesan Meatloaf Recipe

Sometimes the only thing that warms the soul on a cold, stormy evening is comfort food and family. This parmesan meatloaf is just the answer. It’s easy to make and is even more flavorful the next day, making it the perfect meatloaf sandwich.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


  • 2 ½ pounds ground beef, chicken, or turkey
  • 1 cup of soda crackers or oyster crackers.
  • 1 package dry packaged au jus mix
  • 3/4 cup
  • 1 cracker crumbs or Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup parmesan, grated
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 
  • 3 eggs to mixture.
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarse ground pepper
  • 1 cup celery, chopped 

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands until well-combined. Place in meatloaf in a 9 X 13 baking pan. Bake for about an hour or until center of meatloaf reaches 165°F.

To finish off, I used the juices of the baked meatloaf as a gravy start. Mmmm tasty!

Making lump-free gravy easier that one might think. There are a few ways to make perfect gravy so the cool thing is that you can use the technique that you have the best luck with. I found a couple of videos that are very helpful for anyone who is nervous about making gravy.

Gravy Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth (and leftover meatloaf juices)
  • 1 tablespoon beef or chicken Better Than Boullion base
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper

Place olive oil in a medium-large saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in flour. Keep whisking and cooking this roux for at least five minutes. It may look crumbly and awkward and this is okay.

Whisk broth into roux while continuing to whisk. 

Stir in Better Than Bouillon base. You can add more if needed for flavor. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Raise heat a bit and allow the gravy to come to a rolling boil while continually stirring. After it has thickened, you can lower heat again to a simmer.

Taste test to be sure there is enough salt.

If gravy is too thick, you can stir in a little water at a time until it is the consistency you would like.

If gravy is too thin, you can whisk together 1 tablespoon of flour with 1/2 cup milk until there are no lumps, then stir into gravy.

This is a recipe that I promise you will be on your rotating dinner menu.

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Homemade Baked Chimichangas Recipe

Many years ago I worked for a bank. I did not fit in. Every night when the tellers went to their adding machines, my skin would crawl as they clicked away. I was not a good balancer. I am detailed about artsy farts-y things and relationships but not so much in others. Lord knows I tried but I just had too good of a time with my customers & made mistakes because of it.


Me in my “big bang” theory days. After trying my hand at being a teller, I moved on and up to a corporate branch  where I would send 60 million dollar wires for large companies to the wrong country… but I had fun.

One time I was invited to have lunch with my amazing manager and the company’s vice president. My manager always saw something special in me and favored my personality while I drove our operations manager crazy with my balancing, or I should say, lack of. Anyhow, the lunch our bank’s chef made was delicious and very memorable. I happen to have the recipe & thought I’d share it with you. I did change it up just a little. Good things do come out of those who couldn’t balance a days work if their life depended on it!

Brown a pound of ground beef.

Add a little chopped onion.

After meat is finished cooking, drain a bit & add in 1/2 can of enchilada sauce and one small can of mild green chilis. You can find both in the Mexican food section of your grocery store. You can also add a little bit (tablespoon or so) of taco or salsa seasoning for added flavor.

Mmmm…. saucy!

While meat is swimming in its flavors, butter both sides of 6 large burrito sized flour tortillas.

Place a large spoonful of meat on tortilla.

Top with cheese – but, of course!

Fold right & left sides inward, then fold top downward and then fold bottom upward.

Finish off by flipping chimi over & placing on a baking sheet.

While they bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown & deliciously crispy, you can prepare the trimmings that you enjoy!

Here’s to all of those who have the gift of balancing their checkbook to the penny. We should do dinner. I’ll cook and you can balance my checkbook…

This recipe was ridiculously good and easy. My only regret is waiting 20 years to make chimis!

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Taco Quiche Recipe

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was dragged to brunch. Brunch was scary for the little girl because it meant two things.

One, it meant that two meal opportunities were condensed down to one meal opportunity. This was not a good thing for the little foodie blogger in the making.


Two, the main dish at brunch was always quiche – ew-y gooey, lukewarm, tasteless (except for the broccoli!) quiche. The very name sounded ew-y gooey.

Then one day the little girl grew up and decided she was going to invent a quiche that was firm, hot, and filled with flavor. This blog post is about one of the many flavorful quiches that she now makes.

Enter taco quiche. Ole’!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and get ready for a fiesta! Chop about 1/2 cup of yellow onion and toss into frying pan.

Add about 1/4 pound of ground beef and sizzle, sizzle, sizzle.

Drain grease and rinse well. Pat down with a clean paper towel to help remove as much excess juice as you can so that it doesn’t make your quiche ewy gooey.

Add your favorite taco seasoning in the amount the package says to add for 1/4 pound of beef (or just add 1/4 of a package of taco seasoning), but instead of adding water, try this trick…

Drain the olive juice from the can of sliced olives. Use about 1/4 cup.

Add the olive juice to the meat instead of water.


To prepare the quiche pan, just spray with cooking spray. By the way, never ever, ever use baking spray for savory dishes! It has a sweet taste that will ruin your savory meals. Save the baking spray for the sweet recipes. Gives me the shivers just thinking about using it on a savory dish!

Place your homemade pie crust in the pan. That is unless you cheated like I did. In that case, place your store bought pie crust in your pie plate. If you do make a homemade crust, check the sugar content. Again, this is a savory dish so you don’t want a sweet crust. When it comes to pre-made crusts, Pillsbury is a great brand to use as the off brands sometimes have too much sugar in them.

Preheat oven to 350F. Bake pie crust for 15-20 minutes until done.

Okay, meat is cooked, pie crust is baked. Time for the filling!  Place nine eggs in a medium bowl and beat well. Add salt & pepper to taste. I use this trick to help me decide how much to use… I shake the salt and grind the pepper about two times each per egg when I make quiche.

Now we add the milk. Wrong!

Now we add the half & half. Wrong!

If you’ve survived ewy gooey quiches like I have I am sure that you will put your foot down with me and declare heavy cream! Yeah for heavy cream! Just 1/8th of a cup will do.

Next add the olives that were left from the can we drained above and about 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese

Add 1/8 cup of taco seasoning.

Now for my favorite part! Cilantro! Chop a small handful and add. Mmmmm…. smells better than Tijuana!

Finally the grand finale – taco beef! Stir in well.

Pour quiche mixture into baked pie crust and place on a cookie sheet just in case it drips.

Bake for about one hour.

Serve hot with your favorite toppings like finely chiffonade lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, salsa and, of course, extra cheese, please!

And she and her blog readers lived happily ever after.

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Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stew in Red Wine with Bacon, Onions, and Mushrooms) Recipe

I am so excited for today! Today we are giving away our first prize at The Old Hen Blog and we’re making the most highlighted recipe in the movie Julie & Julia, Boeuf Bourguignon. If that isn’t enough, you also get to vote on what I will make next from Julia’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.


Amy Adams as Julie Powell in Julie & Julia by Sony Pictures.

Here we go with the polite rebel’s version of Boeuf Bourguignon!

Step 1: A 6 oz. chunk of baconI didn’t realize that Julia meant an actual “chunk” of bacon until I dove into making the dish so I just used what I had purchased for the recipe. It wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t rebel against her at least once during the recipe, right?

I was kind of glad, actually, because I didn’t have to remove the rind and cut the bacon into lardons – whatever those are!

Simmer bacon for 10 minutes in 1  1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry. – I thought it said 1  1/2 cups of water. See my little measuring cup in the above picture? What a dork! This is why I do not work in the field of nuclear waste.

Step 2: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. – Cool, I don’t think I have ever had my oven up that high for a recipe.

Step 3:

A 9 – 10-inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep

1 Tb olive oil or cooking oil

A slotted spoon

3 lbs lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes

Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2-3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole – I believe that she meant the bacon here – aside. Reheat the fat until it is almost smoking.

Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at a time – Again, oops; I tossed in the whole cow! – in the hot oil and bacon fat until browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon. – Okay, just in case you are lost, the browned bacon and the browned beef are now set aside in a bowl and the smokin’ fat is still in the casserole pot.

Step 4:

1 sliced carrot

1 sliced onion

In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.

Step 5:

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 Tb flour

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole (with carrots and onions) and toss with the salt & pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove the casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees. – Geez, this is definitely NOT my mother’s stew!

Step 6: Since you knew there couldn’t be just 5 steps in one of Julia’s recipes!

3 cups of a full-bodied young red wine or Chianti

2 to 3 cups brown beef bouillon

1 Tb tomato paste

2 cloves mashed garlic

1/2 tsp thyme

A crumbled bay leaf – This recipe cooks long enough that a dried bay leaf will work just fine.

The blanched bacon rind – Yeah, not so much. That seems to have come up missing, don’t you know?

Stir in the wine… I always feel so fancy when I add alcohol to these French dishes. Maybe that is why Julia wore pearls.

…and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered.

Add the tomato paste, garlic herbs, and bacon rind – Enough with the rind. I’ve felt guilty since step one!

Then cover the casserole and set in the lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when fork pierces it easily. – Confession time… I used my fast reading skills and ended up placing the casserole on the same rack as before (too high according to Julia), didn’t catch the part about covering it and went and took a nap while hoping that the stew would find it’s perfect simmering temp all on its own. I returned to a mighty fine casserole with less juice than it should have but otherwise just fine. I feel better now that I have that off my chest!

The garlic cloves are the pieces that you remove from the entire garlic bulb. 

So here is where things get tricky. I am sure there is a reason for all of this somewhere in the depths of Julia’s soul but I have not found the reasoning behind all of the casserole shifting ballyhoo yet…

Step 7:

18-24 small white onions, brown-braised in stock, page 483 – With all due respect, I am not flippin’ another page of this cookbook just for a stew, even if it is fancy enough to make me want to wear my pearls. Omg! I think these onions she is talking about are called pearl onions! They might possibly be the cutest little veggie in the world. What a coincidence. I’m still not turning to page 483.

1 lb quartered fresh mushrooms

P.S. I just used the same onions as I used earlier in the recipe. I didn’t have any pearl onions around.

(While beef is cooking) prepare the onions and mushrooms. I just browned them in some butter. Set them aside until needed.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve (strainer?) set over a saucepan. – BTW, save the sauce! – Wash out casserole – what?? – and – get this – return the beef and bacon to it. – My back hurts from spending so long bending over while perplexed re-reading this over and over again. – Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.

Skim the fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it arises. – What fat? I see none! – You should have about 1 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. – I’m pretty sure all of this was just so we could work out our arm muscles. This is the REAL reason that French women don’t get fat.

So… with that all said, you could have just added the onions and mushrooms to the casserole and stirred them in!

Boeuf Bourguignon!

Minus the casserole tossing at the end of the recipe, this was worth every bit of the seven steps to get here. Bon appétit!

Vote on the next Julia Child’s recipe! Voting ends 08.30.09.

Julia Child’s Pommes Normande En Belle Vue (Applesauce Caramel Mold) recipe

Julia Child’s Chicken Broiled with Mustard, Herbs, and Bread Crumbs (Broiled Chicken) recipe

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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017