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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 .

Watermelon Salad Recipe

Some things should not go together. You know, like Diet Coke and peppermint gum at the same time, for the combination of these two items tastes like mold to your taste buds. Don’t ask me how I know this. I just do.

Watermelon, cucumbers and tomatoes, however, do go together. Again, I just know.


  • One small, seedless watermelon (cut into small, bite-sized squares) – I’m sure we can all agree that cute little squares taste best.
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1/2 pint yellow cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1 English cucumber (cut into small, bite-sized pieces)
  • 1/2 red onion (thinly sliced) – optional

Place chilled salad ingredients into a large bowl.


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

Simply shake the salad dressing ingredients together in a container with a lid & drizzle over your gorgeous salad. Give salad a gentle toss and serve.

Other things that do not go together include out-of-towners and round-abouts. I can feel my protective instincts going all Starship Enterprise defense mode just thinking about it. Also not good, arguing newlyweds and a comfy couch. Turns out, your odds of making up after an argument are better if you have a bad couch. Again, don’t ask me how I know. And finally, starches with starches is not a good idea. For example rice served with pasta, potatoes and bread is a bad combo if you’d like to ever see your feet again.

But isn’t it nice that in a world where many things do not go well together that we have found this beautiful salad.

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Fresh Balsamic Cherry Salad Recipe

He who likes cherries soon learns to climb. – German proverb.

Yes, one learns to climb when one likes cherries. Why? Because one would want to put this cherry salad into the pretty bowls which are kept up on the top shelf in the cupboard. I spent much of my childhood up in trees and on top of counter tops. I was happy. And short. And happy. There is nothing quite like finding that spot in an old tree that makes the perfect reading place. My choice? Peanuts and Archie comic books and an occasional Laura Ingalls Wilder book woven into the mix – all of which has very little to do with cherries. But I associate cherries with happy childhood memories – like dad keeping a big bag of fresh cherries next to his favorite chair every June through August. I remember stealing some and spitting the pits into the yard, hoping for a cherry tree to sprout up.


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 orange
  • 6 cups fresh cherries
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt (optional)

A few hours in advance or night before:

Place water and sugar in a pan. Add the zest of the orange. Cut the orange into slices by peeling and cutting out each segment (this is easier than it looks but worth it). Place orange segments into sugar water. Leave at a low boil stirring every once & awhile. After about 5 minutes, remove from heat. Cool and then chill. Chill cherries as well.

On serving day:

Prepare cherries by removing stems, halving and pitting them. Place in a large bowl.

Poor chilled orange simple syrup and balsamic vinegar over cherries. Add finely chopped parsley and, if desired, salt to enhance the flavors. Stir well.

Allow salad to sit for about 5 minutes and then drain off excess juices.

Take the pretty bowls down from the top shelf and serve with a sprig of mint. Climb your favorite old tree, bring a comic book and relive your childhood with this very grown-up salad.



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Two Macaroni Salad Recipes


The three-day weekend.

A time for gardening.

A time for barbecuing.

And a time for pasta salad with tiny American flags in it. The question, however, is which pasta salad will you prefer?



  • 1 pound of your favorite-shaped pasta, cooked & cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 3-4 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 cans of tuna packed in water, with juices
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 8 oz. of cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Combine ingredients and enjoy.



  • 1 pound of your favorite-shaped pasta, cooked & cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups Miracle Whip
  • 10 oz. jar sweet gherkins, cut into small pieces
  • 3.8 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 8 oz. cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Combine ingredients, enjoy, declare that this is the very macaroni salad that you have ever had and then share this blog post with all of your friends and family and Pinterest followers.

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Market Salad Recipe

I introduce you to a Pike Place inspired salad. Enter: The Market Salad.

Market Salad

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 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.

Market 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 – hence an abundant 21 layers. The best bowl for layered salads and desserts is the trifle bowl because it is on a pedestal and, therefore, rather showy. It’s always such a gorgeous memory maker.

seven layer salad recipe

Seven Layer Salad Ingredients

      • 1 head of romaine 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, therefore the pieces are a very friendly bite-size.

Begin your layers with the lettuce.

Then frozen peas.

Finely diced red onions.

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 probably the very best part – the dressing. Oooo, the dressing!

Dressing Ingredients

          • 1 cup sour cream
          • 1 cup mayonnaise
          • 1/4 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 while topping each with dressing. Finally, 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 maybe remove the peas for the kid’s sake.

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

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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.

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.

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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Radish Salad with Raspberry Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Recipe


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.

Salad Ingredients

  • 3 bunches radishes, sliced
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 1 recipe raspberry dressing recipe




Raspberry Vinegarette Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil into a jar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 a cup raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds
  • Sea salt
  • Course pepper.

Whisk together until emulsified.

Toss salad ingredients together and stir in dressing.

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!


  • 8-10 mini tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 medium onion, grated
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh oregano, stemmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 5-6 pieces of Canadian bacon, diced
  • 10 ounces mini pepperoni (or chopped regular size pepperoni)
  • 1 cup olives, sliced or chopped
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • Sea salt
  • Coarse ground pepper

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

Place tomatoes, onion, basil, oregano, olive oil. lettuce, Canadian bacon, pepperoni, olives, cheese, and ranch dressing in a medium-large bowl. Toss salad right before it’s time to serve. Add sea salt & pepper to taste and toss again.

Più delizioso!

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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?

This is one of my favorite summer pasta salads.

  • 1 pound bacon, cooked, drained, & cooled
  • 1 pound pasta, cooked, drained, and cooled
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • Sea salt
  • Course pepper
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

Place bacon, pasta, onion, mayonnaise, tomatoes, salt & pepper in a large bowl and stir well. Place romaine lettuce on the salad plate and top with pasta salad.

Any extra pasta salad should be stored separately from lettuce so lettuce stays nice & crisp for future use.

The perfect summer dinner.

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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017