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 .

Teriyaki Chicken Recipe

As our family has steered farther and farther away from fast food, one of our favorite take-outs has become teriyaki chicken. If you’ve been to enough teriyaki restaurants or store delis, you know that not all teriyakis are created equal.

It’s such a treat to be able to create our favorite take-out at home.


Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound chicken thighs or breasts
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, grated using micro grater
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated using micro grater
  • Salt & pepper
  • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Over medium heat, cook chicken in oil. Start with a hot pan. The key to perfect chicken is not to over-cook it but chicken can never be underdone. Chicken is done when the thickest part is 165 degrees and no less. A good meat thermometer is a must for a home cook.

While chicken is cooking, place the rest of the ingredients (except for the salt & pepper into a medium bowl or pitcher. Whisk well and set aside.

When chicken is done, cut it into bite-size pieces. Toss back into pan on medium heat again.

Immediately pour your sauce over the chicken and stir as it heats up. It will become thicker. Cook for about 5 minutes or until thick. Salt & pepper to your liking. If you like a bit of heat, toss in a few crushed red pepper flakes. Use sparingly as they are very spicy. My high school friend and I learned this years ago when we mistook them for bacon bits and piled them on our salads once at a salad bar. H-h-h-h-ot.

Serve with some steamy rice or simply in chilled lettuce for a healthy wrap. For a fun touch, find a food-safe container to press a serving of rice into and then turn upside-down on your plates. Ice cream scoops, cookie cutters, or a heart-shaped bowl are all fun options for shaping rice. Happy take-out to you. Only, you know, in.

How to Cook Rice

Rinse and then place 2 cups of rice into a saucepan with 4 cups of water & 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Stir. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down to lowest setting then cover with lid. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Print Friendly
 

Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe

9553edda49167640d33ffa27976bb2d9There are some recipes that we probably shouldn’t know how to make from scratch, like alfredo sauce. Alas, it is my joy to bring them to you even so.  You know, for special occasions.

I begged a restaurant waitress to ask the chef for this recipe and, somehow, I walked out with a list of ingredients and free access to make this buttery, cheesy calorie-loaded dish at home as soon… as soon as I figured out the chef’s technique and quantities.

Oh dear. Oh me. Oh my. Help me.


Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • Ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine (optional)

Melt butter in medium-large sauce pan on low heat. After it is melted, sprinkle in flour & whisk. Cook for a couple of minutes on medium heat while continuing to whisk.

Measure other ingredients so they are ready to go when the time is right. Blend milk, cream and cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth in blender.

Pour milk, cream & cream cheese mixture into pan while still whisking. Sauce will thicken within a few minutes of cooking.

Stir cheese & seasonings into sauce and allow to melt while whisking. Add white wine (optional).

Following instructions on package, cook fettuccine (or your favorite kind of pasta).

Drain pasta when cooked and toss with some olive oil and perhaps chopped parsley.

Place sauce over pasta and perhaps some grilled chicken breast and top with whatever you like such as sliced green onions, diced tomatoes or parsley  for a little dazzle of color.

Print Friendly
 

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce and Garlic Bread Recipe

IMG_0044-200x200

It’s a snow day here in the Seattle area.

I’m thinking about hopping onto a sled later. Or maybe I’ll just blog. Or maybe I’ll open the B&B for snacks & coffee to the people waiting on the side of the freeway for Snoqualmie Pass to open. Or maybe I’ll just blog. Yeah, I’ll blog.


Spaghetti Sauce:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 – 1 lb 12 oz. can Italian recipe crushed tomatoes
  • 12 oz. tomato paste
  • 3-4 stalks fresh basil
  • 3-4 stalks fresh oregano
  • 1 – 187 ml or 6-7 ounces chardonnay or chicken broth (add more if sauce is too thick for your liking)
  • 1 can olives and olive juice, sliced or chopped
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: sliced mushrooms

To make the sauce, place Italian pork and ground turkey in pan to cook. Salt & pepper meat.

Chop herbs, mince garlic and dice onions while meat is cooking.

When meat is almost done cooking, add a few tablespoons of olive oil if needed. Then add diced onion. If using ground beef instead of turkey, drain meat.

After onions are golden and almost translucent, add garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, chardonnay, and salt & pepper to taste. Add drained & chopped or sliced olives with juice and, if desired, add mushrooms.

The Noodles:

Follow time instructions on package to cook noodles and remember not to add the pasta until your water is boiling. Keep things interesting by using different kinds of noodles when you make spaghetti. Penne, linguine or Cellentani are all fun options. If you decide to mix them, be sure to pay close attention to the cooking times. Add longest cooking first then add the noodles with the lesser cooking time as you count down. After draining the water off the pasta, stir in a bit of olive oil for added flavor and to prevent your noodles from sticking together.

Garlic Bread:

  • 1 loaf French bread
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for frying onions)
  • 1/4 medium diced yellow onion, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh basil

Heat olive oil on medium heat in a small pan. Add diced onions and fry until golden brown. Remove from heat and cool onions.

Place butter and remaining ingredients in bowl.

Blend ingredients together until well combined.

Cut bread in half lengthwise.

Spread butter liberally onto bread.

Place in oven and keep oven door a wee bit open so you can keep an eye on your bread.

Remove from oven when golden brown and top is slightly crispy. Cut into slices for all to enjoy… except for the poor people sitting on the side of the freeway. In their cars. In the snow. I am a terrible person.

A terrible person who reeks of garlic and is enjoying her fireplace all to herself. Just for now.

Print Friendly
 

Tator Tot Casserole Recipe

email

Once upon a time there was a little girl who adored church potlucks. She really couldn’t decide which she loved best, hugs from snuggly grandmas or their comforting dishes that sat upon the potluck table. One dish always stood out in the crowd, okay, maybe two. The first was a blackberry crumble. I… er… she was old enough to bake and wanted so badly to ask for the recipe but somehow it felt inappropriate to do so at a funeral.


The other was tator tot casserole. Although anyone can throw together some tots and cream of mystery soup, homemade is always the very best.

 Tator Tot Casserole Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1 pound ground chicken, turkey or beef
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 16 ounces chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • One 16 ounce package tator tots
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese

The first step to this sinful, saintly dish is one medium diced yellow onion.

Cook in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil until golden brown (caramelized) then remove onions from pan and set aside.

Cook 1 pound of your favorite ground meat. Season with salt & pepper. I know I’m repeating myself, but I find ground turkey more flavorful than beef. Healthier too. We need all the health we can get because like I said, this dish is quite sinful.

Preheat oven to 350F.

If using ground beef, remove meat from pan and drain excess grease.

Place meat back into pan over medium heat and add onions back in as well. Add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

Sprinkle about 1/2 cup of flour over meat & onions.

Stir flour into mixture and cook for about five minutes while continuing to stir so that flour cooks (otherwise your sauce will taste like raw flour).

After flour is cooked, add about 16 ounces of chicken (or beef) stock.

Enter, my new favorite brand of stock.

Add about a cup of milk (more or less as needed). Continue to stir over heat.  Over time, the sauce will thicken. You can decide how thick you would like your sauce to be.

Just having some fun with my new camera. Peas and thank you.

Add fresh or frozen peas & carrots to your liking. Celery or water chestnuts can add a nice crunch if you like. Season with salt, pepper and your favorite house seasonings (like Johnny’s, Spike or Lawry’s). Now is a great time to try your sauce for flavor & see if it needs anything. The meat is cooked, after all.

Fill bottom of dish with meat sauce. Place tator tots in an orderly fashion on top of sauce. I used two 8 inch pans (since I was taking one of them to a couple who is celebrating having their first baby) but this recipe works great for one 9 X 13 pan.

By the way, have you heard of this great website, Take Them a Meal, yet? You can organize meals for loved ones so easily here.

Bake about 20-30 minutes or until tator tots are golden brown & sauce is bubbly.

Do three hail Marys, take communion, complete one Zumba class and then add grated real cheddar cheese over tots.

Bake again until cheese is melted and bubbly and sign up to take Zumba class regularly.

Consider yourself snuggled by a grandma, then go eat an apple. I’m sorry. You’re welcome. I’m sorry.

Print Friendly
 

Individual Shepherd’s Pies with Sage Recipe

There’s just something about meals that are served in individual servings that makes one feel special.

These individual buttery, sage pot pies are a cozy treat that your family will appreciate after a long day of being lost in the crowds.


Dice and cook one yellow onion in olive oil.

Cook until caramelized, then remove from pan & set aside.

Cook ground beef or ground chicken in same pan. If cooking ground chicken, add a little olive oil. Add onions back into pan. Cook until done. If cooking ground beef, drain most of grease.

When done, you should have a few tablespoons of oil in the pan with meat.

Sprinkle a scant 1/2 cup of flour over meat. Stir well.

Stir flour into meat and cook for a few minutes.

Pour in 1 cup of milk and continue to stir. Quickly add another 3 1/2 cups of chicken or beef broth and continue to stir until it becomes think like a gravy. You can use water in place of the broth but broth is tastier. Thickening could take about five minutes depending on how high your heat is.

For a fancier shepherd’s pie, replace a cup of broth with a Cabernet or port wine.

Add salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of ground sage (or 1/2 bunch of freshly chopped sage). If you like, add your favorite house seasoning like Lawry’s, Johnny’s or Spike.

Add two – three tablespoons of beef (or, if you prefer, chicken) base to gravy.

Stir in and allow to melt completely.

Add your favorite veggies. Perhaps, celery, carrots or peas…

For individual shepherd’s pies, fill about 3/4ths full with gravy. These short jars took about 3/4 cup each – enough gravy for about 6 servings.

Using a decorating bag (or a Ziploc bag with a hole cut out of the corner), swirl mashed potatoes over the top of the gravy. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes and then broil until tops of pies are golden brown. When done, top with a little butter and freshly chopped chives or parsley.

Serve hot and in front of a cozy fireplace. With family. And play games. And talk about your day. And share smiles. The end.

 

Print Friendly
 

General Tso’s Chicken Recipe

A family favorite of ours when we go out to eat is General Tso’s chicken. Of course, how delicious it is depends on where we find it. Sometimes it’s too spicy, sometimes too flavorless and every once and awhile, we don’t see any chicken in it at all. I won’t even mention the grocer’s deli where we cannot tell how long the chicken has been tanning under that heat lamp. Why not go for fresh and flavorful?  And, yes, super easy!

bda905ae7dffc2b804b2a6955613a7a8

Sauce


Place in blender and blend just until combined:

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger or about a tablespoon of freshly minced ginger
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch

Set aside just for a moment.

Place into medium large saucepan on medium heat for a couple of minutes:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons crushed red peppers or a few dried whole red chili peppers (use more for spicier dish)

Gently whisk blended ingredients into saucepan. Continue to whisk on medium heat for a couple of minutes until thickened. Salt & Pepper to taste.

Keep warm until ready to pour over fried tempura chicken.

Tempura fried chicken

Whisk homemade tempura ingredients together:

  • 2 well-beaten egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 cups ice-cold water
  • 1 3/4 cup sifted flour
  • 1 teaspoon sifted baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Coat with tempura:

  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast or thighs cut into about 1 inch pieces

Pour about 1 to 1 1/2 inch of oil in saucepan that has high edges. Preheat oil to 350 degrees and maintain temperature. Cook about 10 pieces at a time so that the oil does not lose it’s temperature. Flip each piece over half way through cooking time. After center of chicken has reached at least 165 degrees. Remove with tongs and place on a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain excess grease.

Serve with rice or veggies and garnish with green onions if desired. Put in take-out boxes and serve to your family. They will ask you to pick some up at the same place again next week.

Tempura is optional. This recipe is just as delicious without the tempura breading. Just cook chicken, drain juices and stir into General Tso’s sauce. Tempura can also be purchased in grocery stores in a box if you would like to skip a step but, truth is, it’s not much easier than making it your very own self.

 

Print Friendly
 

Saucy Balsamic Burgers Recipe AKA Saucy Balls

email

Meet the burger that knocked Joey Fatone off his feet

320252_459738810727720_1330339730_n-1


 

Once upon a time a foodie blogger ordered a burger at a restaurant. She fell in love. She had to go home and recreate the burger. But then she was too busy. And then the restaurant closed. And she was sad.  So sad that she forgot how to write a correct sentence. But then while playing in the kitchen she figured out the secret recipe. And it was good. But not good enough. So she recreated it about eight more times. And then it was worthy of sharing. And she was so happy she could cry. The end.

These tasty burgers are soaked in a sweet, balsamic sauce and tucked inside a light & fluffy puff pastry with perfectly melted & herbed goat cheese (or cream cheese).

BURGER INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 20 ounces ground turkey
  • 1 pound country sausage
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, minced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 sheets puff pastry (or 2 boxes)
  • 1/2 cup flour (for rolling out puff pastry)
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened (or goat cheese if you prefer)
  • 2 sprigs chopped fresh basil leaves
  •  4 sprigs chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 6 sprigs bunch chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary leaves
SAUCE INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Defrost frozen puff pastry by leaving on the counter for 40 minutes or overnight in the fridge. Be prompt about using it after the defrost time because it comes folded and can stick together if left out of the freezer too long.

Combine ground turkey & country sausage together. Add minced onions, salt & pepper and mix well.

Form meat into 36 firm, one-ounce meatballs. A cookie scoop works great for measuring, then just press meat together until a firm meatball.

Heat olive oil in frying pan on medium-high heat.

Add a little more salt & pepper to tops & brown burgers in frying pan. It usually takes about three turns each to brown the entire meatball. You never want to ever under cook pork or chicken but in this case, there will be more cooking time in the oven so to prevent the meat from becoming too dry, just brown them for now.

Place burgers on a tray. Set aside.

Whisk together brown sugar and cornstarch in a medium-large saucepan but do not turn burner on. Add chicken broth & balsamic vinegar & whisk all ingredients together. Add salt & pepper. Finally, turn burner on and cook over medium-high heat, stirring once & awhile so that it doesn’t burn. Cook until sauce boils and you can see that it has begun to thicken. Sauce will continue to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside..

Preheat oven to 400F.  This is very, very important. If you do not preheat, things will not cook properly – especially puff pastry. It will come out soggy and limp instead of puffed and flaky so be sure to wait until the oven actually reaches 400F before placing burgers in oven.

Using a little flour & a rolling pin, roll out 4 puff pastry sheets and then cut into 9 squares each.

Finely chop herbs. Mix cream cheese together with the fresh herbs.

Place 1 tablespoon of cream cheese mixture in the middle of each puff pastry square.

Place one burger on each puff pastry square on top of the cream cheese.

Fold four corners of puff pastry up around the burgers until they meet in the middle. Press together. Close up additional openings so that the puff pastry “hugs” each burger.

Turn Saucy Balsamic Burgers over and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. You can fit 18 on each baking sheet (3 rows of 6).

After all burgers are wrapped, use beaten egg to brush top of each puff pastry so that they will become golden brown and shiny while baking.
Bake burgers for 25 minutes or until pastry is puffed, flaky and light golden brown.

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 12.32.09 PM

Serve with warmed sauce and garnish with parsley if you like. These make a perfect tray of 36 appetizers.

Perfect served with a salad or fresh fruit. Saucy balsamic burgers can also be made larger for a main course.

8860084_600x338

One more look, shall we? Oooooo. She is saucy indeed.

Saucy balsamic burgers can be made in advance. Follow all steps except baking. Save burgers on the sheet pan, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Refrigerate sauce as well. Brush with egg wash and bake just 25 minutes before you need them ready and reheat sauce.

 

 

Print Friendly
 

Lasagna With White Wine Sauce Recipe

For the sauce:

  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 – 1 lb 12 oz. can Italian recipe crushed tomatoes
  • 1 – 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 3-4 stalks fresh basil
  • 3-4 stalks fresh oregano
  • 1 – 187 ml or 6-7 ounces chardonnay (mini bottles from 4 packs work great)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Optional: chopped olives, mushrooms
It’s easy to convert this sauce recipe into spaghetti sauce. Add one six ounce can of olives with juice. Just dice olives in food processor or blender for a few pulses & then add to sauce.

 


For layering:

  • 12 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 ounces grated mizithra cheese (optional)
  • 4 ounces grated parmesan cheese

To make the sauce, place Italian pork and ground turkey in pan to cook. Salt & pepper meat.

Chop herbs, mince garlic and dice onions and turn oven onto 350F to preheat while meat is cooking.

When meat is almost done cooking, add a few tablespoons of olive oil if needed. Then add diced onion. If using ground beef instead of turkey, drain meat.

After onions are golden and almost translucent, add garlic, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, chardonnay, and salt & pepper to taste. Add drained & chopped olives and mushrooms if desired.

In a 9 x 13 baking pan, layer all ingredients:

  1. Sauce (important to begin with sauce)
  2. Single layer of uncooked lasagna noodles (almost 4 per layer)
  3. Sauce
  4. Cheeses (all four kinds)
  5. Single layer of lasagna noodles
  6. Sauce
  7. Cheeses
  8. Single layer of lasagna noodles
  9. Sauce

Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

Remove foil. Add grated parmesan on top of lasagna and return to oven uncovered for an additional five minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve with your favorite bread and wine. Garnish with fresh basil.

Surely goodness and mercy.

 

Print Friendly
 

Homemade Chicken Fajita Seasoning Recipe

email

When I was little and we went to Mexican restaurants, I always thought that the people who ordered fajitas were crying out for attention. The waiter or waitress would bring their platter of sizzling fajita goodies to the table and everyone would stop talking to watch the presentation of the noisy dish. Maybe deep inside I was jealous of the attention their dish received while I ordered a soundless dish.

6137972783_18021a807e_o


Finally, as an adult I decided to make the jump and order fajitas for myself. I was embarrassed when they arrived. Everyone stopped and stared. They were lovely. They were sizzling. They were delicious. The only thing that could make them better was if I could make them at home. And now I do. And I must share.

6137972441_382242e2c1_o

First, make the fajita seasoning.

        • 1/2 teaspoon Chile de Arbol Powder
        • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
        • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
        • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
        • 1 teaspoon paprika
        • 1 teaspoon chili powder
        • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
        • 1 teaspoon oregano molido
        • 2 teaspoons  Rio Grande Chili Blend
        • 2 teaspoons onion powder
        • 3 teaspoons ground cumin

These spices can usually be found in the Mexican food aisle or baking aisle at the grocery store.

Stir seasonings together well using a whisk to prevent lumps in the cornstarch.

Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into frying pan. Cut chicken into strips (use 10 thighs or 6 breasts). Salt and pepper well.  Stir after a few minutes of cooking and season with salt & pepper again.

It’s all about getting the right amount of salt and pepper!  Use too little, and the other flavors won’t be present. Use too much and all you’ll taste is salt. Keep testing to get the right amount.

During the last five minutes of cooking time, add one medium diced onion and 1/2 a bunch (or a whole bunch if you love cilantro like I do) of chopped fresh cilantro.

After chicken is almost fully cooked, add 1 cup of water (or as I prefer to use, black olive juice that I often save in the fridge for such a time as this). Also add the juice from one fresh lime. Add all of homemade seasoning mix

Stir well and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is still juicy but most of excess juice is cooked out. If you like, you can chop some colorful bell peppers and let them simmer with the chicken just like they do in Mexican restaurants.

Place inside of a warmed tortilla shell with chicken and  add trimmings if desired. Less attention but all the flavor of a Mexican restaurant sizzling fajita dish.

This recipe is perfect for one pound of ground taco meat as well.

Print Friendly
 

Easy Fried Chicken Recipe and a Graduation

This week was dotter’s graduation.

255000_10150225157404697_6255474_n

I am excited to see the professional’s shot of this one. Finding the kids we know in my copy is like playing Where’s Waldo.


260289_10150225158724697_828454696_7023477_4181741_n1

Besides the graduates tossing their caps in the air to celebrate, there were grad parties throughout the town. Parents went dizzy trying to attend them all and everyone rejoiced.

img_4051

Then it was time for our shindig. You know it’s going to be a serious party when this shiny girl comes out of the pantry.

img_40581

To keep myself from burning out on any one project, I bounced back and forth from decoration prep to food prep. This banner is easy to make. Just choose your color theme. It’s best to choose 3 main colors & stick with those. I cut a triangle with scrapbook paper folded in half in the size that I wanted with a paper cutter then I used that as my pattern for the rest of the triangles. I may or may not have used a few antique hymnal pages for this project as well. I caught up on all my favorite shows while I punched two holes in the top of each one and strung them with matching ribbon, placing a solid colored triangle in between each word. Kitty loved swatting at the ribbons. To finish the project, I used high quality red, glittery sticker letters.

img_4059

Pinwheels are easy to make too. They add a whimsical touch to the party decor. Two-sided cardstock works best.
img_3855

Just cut into 4 inch squares, cut each corner toward the middle of the paper using a paper cutter while leaving about a one inch space in the middle to keep the paper in one piece. Bring the right side of each cut piece toward the middle and use a pin to hold the pinwheel together. Mine were just for decor, so I used a hole punch with brads through the corners since it didn’t matter if they spun.

img_40611

To make the pinwheel handle, I used black straws and cut slits for the brads to continue all the through the back of the straw.  For a longer handle, I squished the end of one straw and pushed it into a second straw.

img_4106

Even the window boxes were adorned with pinwheel fun to help continue the decorations to the back deck.

img_4066

All of dotter’s favorites, like these gorgeous bruschetta appetizers, were served and quickly became the favorite of many. See the mini flags? Another easy way to put a smile on guests faces! Just fold matching paper in half, cut flag out & fold around toothpicks and secure with double sided tape. The cuteness is overwhelming.

img_4078

Simple chicken drumettes are always a hit.

Ingredients

  • 2 pound chicken legs
  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 3 cups flour
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper

Preheat frying pan (or deep fryer) filled with canola or vegetable oil to about 350 degrees (medium heat). Do not use olive oil as chicken won’t turn out as crispy.

Dip chicken legs in buttermilk then dip in flour. Dip in buttermilk again and into flour again.

Place coated chicken legs into frying pan (or deep fryer). Cook for 25-30 minutes or until thickest part of meat reaches 165F in the middle.

Add salt, pepper and your favorite house seasoning (we used Johnny’s) on both sides of chicken. Serve hot or can be refrigerated and served cold.

Another way to cook chicken is to fry it until golden brown then place on a baking tray and allow to finish cooking in a pre-heated oven at 350F until chicken reaches 165F in thickest part.

img_40691

Beautiful World Bread is a must for every bless-ed occasion.

img_40831

I remember exactly when I got this recipe from a friend. I was stunned at how simple to make these meatballs are and there are never any left after any of our parties. Not even one.

img_4090

Salmon dip with crackers hidden in the midst of all the other treats.

img_40911

Every home we partied at had a “shrine” in honor of the graduate. Here is ours.

img_4073

We added advice cards and an album to place them into when each guest filled one out. Young children were included in the fun – oh how sweet their cards are.

img_4080

Mini corndogs with mustard and homemade ketchup, twice the fun and half the calories, kind of, if you limit yourself. If you can stop at one. But no one can.

15799041758_f20d08ca0c_o

The to-go treats were hand-decorated sugar cookies.

img_40961

But, you know, flower cookies on a stick are only popular with everyone over the age of 2 and under the age of 120.

img_4093

Strawberry lemonade and cherry limeade in canning jars for all. The regular plastic lids for the jars (or wide-mouth lids) are so very handy! These cuties were seeing how long they could keep their hands in the ice. The recipe for both of these delicious drinks will be coming very soon for it is almost summer and these recipes will be necessary.

img_4118

img_4119

Volleyball for the teenagers.

img_410211 img_4104

And hobby farm for the kids.

img_4117

Talky talk for the grown-ups all around the house.

img_4068

A very red plate day for dotter.

img_41201

But wait, for there is the after party.

img_4121

It comes with giggles.

img_412211

And hot chocolate, only, you know, perhaps with a few melted high-quality chocolate bars melted inside… until 2am.

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