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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 .

Northwest Autumn Salad Recipe

I introduce you to a Pike Place inspired salad.

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This week I had a first. This might be a good place to admit it only took me four plus decades to visit Alki Point in Seattle. < hangs head in shame >. Yes, I really did grow up here. And I’ve been to Seattle close a million times but I purposefully wandered my way to Alki while doing an errand in Seattle this week. Nothing was going to stop me. It’s so beautiful that it will not take me four decades to visit again.


See the Space Needle in all her glory? She is 50 this year so the city painted her orange just like when she was first built for the World’s Fair in 1962. I love Seattle and could talk about Washington and it’s beauty for hours but I will now introduce you to our beautiful food.

The Northwest Autumn Salad… with Salmon Pear & Blackberry. She is fresh. She is lovely and she is perfectly delicious for a dinner party or brunch.

While walking through recently, I was handed some smoked salmon. I took two steps further and was handed a piece of perfectly ripened pear by another merchant. I knew right away that there was something amazing happening. As I enjoyed them both, my taste buds were dancing.

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • A couple of big handfuls of spring lettuce mix
  • 3/4 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 ounces smoked salmon (Think: Wild, Northwest and Copper River whenever possible) Never settle for “farm fed” salmon.
  • 1/2 ripe pear, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

You could toss the salad together, but I prefer to create beautiful layers. Starting with the lettuce, sprinkle the other ingredients on top and enjoy the Northwest on a plate.

SALAD DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

  • Juice from 1/2 fresh lemon (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Simply shake the salad dressing ingredients together in a container with a lid & drizzle on your gorgeous salad. This recipe makes about a cup of dressing so you will have leftovers for another day. Just save in the fridge.

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Seven Layer Salad Recipe – Only Better

Was there ever a potluck where seven layer salad was not present when we were kids?

Anchor Hocking Presence Trifle Footed Dessert Bowl available at amazon.com


Although similar, it seems everyone has their own special take on how a seven layer salad should look. Mine? Well, I prefer 3 times 7 for an abundant 21 layers. The best bowl for layered salads and desserts is the trifle bowl. It’s always such a gorgeous memory maker.

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LAYERED SALAD INGREDIENTS:

      • 1 head of romain lettuce, chopped
      • 1 cup frozen peas
      • 1/2 large red onion, finely diced
      • 1 1/2 cups bacon bits
      • 3 hard-boiled eggs
      • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
      • 1 bunch green onions, diced
      • Salad dressing (recipe below)

Chop one head of romaine lettuce. I then cut it into squares so that the pieces are a very friendly bite-size.

Begin your layers with the lettuce.

Then frozen peas.

Then finely diced red onions.

Then, um, bacon. Lots and lots of bacon.

Then a diced hard-boiled egg.

Then grated cheddar cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.

Finally, top with green onions.

That sums up the seven layers and then we top with the dressing. Oooo, the dressing!

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

          • 1 cup sour cream
          • 1 cup mayonnaise
          • 1/2 cup sugar
          • 2 tablespoons vinegar
          • Salt
          • Pepper

Whisk ingredients together and pour 1/3 of dressing over the first seven layers of salad.

Repeat this for the next seven layers and dressing. And then once again – only for the last time, place the dressing on top of the red onions so the top can be gorgeous and cheesy and bacon-y. Allow to set long enough for the peas to defrost and the dressing to drizzle down into the salad.

You can play with the layers if you like, introducing new ingredients to your liking or remove the peas for the kid’s sake.

 Voilà! Memories made with lots of layers and lots of love.

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Pesto Pasta Salad with Homemade Pesto Recipe

Pesto, so very comforting and refreshing all at the same time, especially when you mix it with chilled pasta.

To make this salad, boil 16 ounces of your favorite pasta. Follow package time for boiling and do not add noodles to water until water comes to a boil.  Drain well when done and rinse with cold water to help chill pasta. Set aside.

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This is trottole pasta which is oh so perfectly delightful.

What you will need for the pesto:

  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounce container of pine nuts
  • 4 ounces of fresh basil (this can be purchased in the produce department of the grocery store if you don’t grow your own)
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Pulse garlic and pine nuts together in food processor.

Add remaining ingredients and pulse until well blended.

And just like that, you will have pesto.

Add pesto and 1 cup of mayonnaise to chilled pasta and stir. Add a little salt to taste if desired.

 

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Ranch Red, White and Blue Potato Salad Recipe

Some of my favorite memories are from the Fourth of July. My parents would take us to the local parade and we’d grab the best seats on the street – in front of the doughnut shop. We’d stand in honor of the American flag as the troops opened the parade. And because our morning doughnut wasn’t enough sugar, we’d rush to catch the candy tossed into the street. We went to our favorite park with our cousins for picnicking and playing until sundown. Potato salad was always a must. We would end the day with fireworks and pretend to be asleep when we arrived home so mom & dad would carry us into bed after the best day ever. We were never more free than on Independence Day.

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Ranch Potato Salad

  • 3 pounds small red, white & blue potatoes*
  • 1 1/2 cups ranch salad dressing
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup of cooked & crumbled bacon (or store-bought bacon bits)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 bunches green onions, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Boil potatoes for about 20 minutes. To test doneness, poke fork into a potato. If fork slides out easily, potatoes are done cooking. Drain and then cool potatoes on a baking sheet. After cooled, cut potatoes into bite size pieces. Place cut potatoes into a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Makes about 12 servings.

*If you cannot find small blue potatoes, you can use large ones & just cut them to a similar size as the others for the same cooking time. But, of course, any potato will do.

Additional note: Fat free or lite dressings or lite mayonnaise will give your salad a tangy flavor. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Happy Independence Day!

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Balsamic Strawberry Salad Recipe

Every April in the Seattle area we try with all of our might to hope spring into existence but we all know in our hearts that the truest sign of spring is the strawberry booths on the side of the roads. I’ve been known to risk my well being with my sudden, cheery urge to pull over just so I can purchase a box of spring. The glorious ways to use strawberries in recipes are endless but in this salad, they remain the star of the show.

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Balsamic Strawberry Salad

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • ½ cup strawberry jam
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small lime
  • Couple dashes of salt
  • 4-6 Stalks of flat leaf parsley
  • 4 Sprigs of mint (for garnish)

Rinse & drain strawberries to clean. Remove stems from berries and cut into quarters. In a separate bowl, passionately whisk together jam, balsamic vinegar and juice squeezed from half of the fresh lime. Stir dressing together well. Pour dressing over strawberries. Chop parsley leaves until very fine and add to salad. Stir together well. Add salt a little at a time to taste. The salt should simply help bring out the other flavors in the salad. I recommend draining most of the dressing off of salad before plating. Place salad in tall clear bowls or martini glasses to bring out its beautiful colors. Garnish each serving with a sprig of mint. Makes about 4 servings.

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Superfood Salad

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What a lovely parade of healthy treats! Our doctors and Jamie Oliver have taught us to eat colorful foods. I do believe this lovely more than qualifies.

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This colorful salad is full of goodness for your body and really yummy!

  • Fresh baby spinach (I do love all things mini!)
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Homemade sugared pumpkin seeds
  • Grated flakes of dark chocolate

 

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Top with raspberry poppy seed dressing

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 a cup of raspberry jam (sugar-free works great too)
  • 2 teaspoons of poppy seeds
  • Dash of salt & pepper

Place all ingredients in a container & stir (or place in a jar with a lid & shake).

Of course, as with any salad, all things are optional. Play with it and figure out what you like! The reason I chose this rainbow of colors is because many of them are superfoods – believe it or not, about 15 percent of my cookbooks are healthy ones. 🙂

 

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Radish Salad with Raspberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Recipe

Lookie! Lookie! Lookie!

I went to the store and I fell in love. Purple. Tubular. Shinnnnnneeeey. The nice thing about falling in love at the store is that you don’t have to wait for something to love you back. So I bought them and made them my own.


When I returned home, I remembered that I didn’t really like radishes because of their severe bite. The bad thing about falling in love with something that gets fresh with you at the store is that you can’t give it back.

So I sliced them real pretty. Nope, still didn’t like them. I chopped all three bunches and tossed them into a bowl. Looked tasty but it didn’t help.

I decided to add some chopped pecans. They might be good with radishes.

I bargained with my pantry for awhile and walked out with some dried cranberries. Yum.

I have fallen in love with red onions this year so why not? Besides, they delightfully matched the purple radishes and this made me insanely happy.

Eventually if you stare at the makings of a salad long enough it will cry out for a dressing. I listened and poured 1/2 cup of olive oil into a jar.

Added a couple of tablespoons of balsamic vinegar…

and I just happen to have about a 1/2 a cup of homemade raspberry jam. Yep. Raspberry vinaigrette sounded good.

All I needed then was all things small… poppy seeds, salt and pepper.

Placing the lid on the jar (I love these lids) I was smitten with the most gorgeous dressing I’d ever made. I tossed all of the ingredients together in an attempt to justify my spontaneous, uncontrollable radish purchase and…

I love radishes.

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Chopped Pizza Salad Recipe

What could be a healthier way to eat a family favorite like pizza than out of a salad bowl? I can’t make any promises that it will become a replacement but I can tell you that we’ve been eating a whole lot more salad at our house since we created this recipe!

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You can vary the ingredients a lot to your liking but here are the measurements we use for our pizza salad.


Take 8-10 mini tomatoes and cut each tomato in half… and again… and again until you have 8 pieces. Placed chopped tomatoes in a bowl.

You will need just a little bit of chopped onion (maybe one slice). They can be strong, so it depends on what your family likes or on how much onion breath you want to deal with in your home.

The tinier you chop the onion, the better. Toss the chopped onion into the bowl with the tomatoes.

Oh fresh herbs how I love thee. If I could just remember that I have thee growing in a planter at my house, I would stop paying so much for thee at the grocery store and love thee even more.

We are creating a tomato marinade so we’ll need some fresh basil and oregano to get that pizza sauce flavor into our salad.

Remove the herbs from their stems and chop…

into teeny tiny pieces and add to the bowl with tomatoes and onions.

Add about a tablespoon & 1/2 of olive oil.

Stir ingredients and set aside to marinade while you make the rest of the salad.

Choose a big, beautiful head of romaine lettuce. Slice into strips then cut in the other direction so that you end up with little squares.

Now for our chopped pizza salad “toppings”! Cut a big handful of pepperonis into quarters.

Toss into salad bowl.

Cut 5-6 pieces of Canadian bacon into small squares and add to salad bowl.

Add one (drained) can of sliced olives to salad.

Oh olives, how I love thee. Alas! Why cannot I grow thee in my mushy Washington soil?

Who could forget the cheese? Toss in a large handful of grated mozzarella!

Oh mozzarella, I do love thee… but forget it, I shall never own a cow. Three sheep, four goats, eleven chickens a cat, a hamster and a dog are enough to throw a girl over the edge.

Finally, add about 1 cup of your favorite ranch dressing to your salad.

Lastly, add the marinated tomatoes, a bit of salt and pepper then stir the chopped salad well.

Più delizioso! I hope you and your family enjoy this new twist on an old favorite! I do believe that Jamie Oliver would be proud that I know my veggies!

Health Tip: Try one new fruit or veggie with your family each week. Write the name down, buy it, Google it to educate yourself on how you can best put it into a meal or snack and keep a record of your favorites so you can enjoy them again & again!


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Chilled Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Pasta Salad Recipe

This is one of my favorite summer pasta salads. How could one go wrong changing a BLT into a salad?

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Here are the ingredients for the BLT salad. Oh yeah, and some crispy, cold romaine lettuce.


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First, cut one pound of bacon into small pieces and place in frying pan on medium-high heat.

I recently discovered low sodium bacon. I think it is so much better than regular bacon. Okay, maybe I didn’t recently discover it. I just finally gave it a chance.

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While bacon is frying, place at least six quarts of water into a large pot to boil.

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Bacon is sizzling and nearly done!

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Back to the noodles… after the water has come to a rolling boil add two 16 ounce packages of noodles to the pot.

I’m embarrassed to admit this but when I was a young “cook”, I didn’t realize how important it is to add the noodles after the water was boiling.

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When bacon is finished cooking, allow it to cool by placing it on a plate covered in a couple of paper towels. This will soak up the excess bacon grease.

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Chop up one medium onion into small pieces.

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Noodle check! Yep, perfect.

Another thing that I have learned about cooking pasta is that it is a very good idea to follow the cooking time on the package. The noodles come out perfect when you set the timer.

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When pasta is al dente, drain and rinse with cold water until the noodles are completely cold.

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I love tossing cold pasta into a bowl!

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Add 1- 1/2 cups of mayonnaise, bacon and diced onions to pasta and stir.

The smell of bacon cooking always seems to bring the family to the kitchen! That’s funny, I could swear that I had more bacon than this a minute ago.

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Gently mix in about one pint of small tomatoes and salt & pepper to taste. When pasta salad is all mixed, place in fridge to chill.

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While the pasta salad is chilling, slice a crispy head of romaine lettuce and place on each dinner plate and top with your BLT salad.

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The perfect summer dinner!

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