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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 .

Garlic Duchess Potatoes

Garlic Duchess Potatoes… the sexiest potatoes in all the potato kingdom.

Garlic Duchess Potatoes

Garlic Duchess Potatoes Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes) 
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

Peel potatoes then place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Cut potatoes into about 1 1/2 inch pieces. Make them all about the same size so they will finish cooking at the same speed.

Place potatoes into a pot of water. Potatoes are done when you stick a fork into the largest pieces and it slides back out very easily. If you don’t cook them long enough, you will get lumpy potatoes and that will make this recipe difficult to accomplish, so be sure to cook them long enough.

After potatoes are done cooking, drain all water from them through a strainer. Place potatoes back into the pot, and add remaining ingredients. Using a hand mixer, mix just until butter & cream cheese are melted and everything comes together. This only takes about a minute.

If you mix potatoes too long, the starches will make them glue-like and unappetizing.

Turn oven on high broil.

After ingredients are mixed together, place potatoes into a large decorating bag with a large decorating tip at the end. Place a parchment paper on a baking sheet. It can be helpful to place a clean, dry dishcloth around the bag so it isn’t too hot for your hands. Make about 8 little circles of potatoes on the tray, making them smaller as you make them higher as in the photograph.

Place pan under the broiler for, perhaps, 15 minutes, but keep an eye on potatoes. Turn around halfway through broiling time if needed for even doneness. Remove when tops are a beautiful golden brown.

Serve with butter, gravy, or just plain as they are loverly and make a fashion statement all on their own. 

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Fondant Sweet Potatoes With Balsamic Reduction


Sweet potatoes have grown up in the Great Northwest.



  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Place balsamic vinegar in a saute pan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Turn heat down to medium and cook down until reduced to about half. Set aside.

Use a high quality potato peeler to peel sweet potatoes. I love KitchenAid for potato peelers (and for can openers, while we’re at it). Slice sweet potatoes in about 2-inch round pieces. Set aside.

Small end pieces can be cooked too. Just lesson cooking time since they’re smaller. 

Heat a cast iron pan on high and add olive oil & butter. When butter is melted and hot, place sweet potato slices in pan, flat side down. Cook until golden brown on first side, then use tongs to flip, and cook other side until also golden brown. This will take about 3 minutes per side.

Sprinkle sweet potatoes with salt & pepper. Spread minced garlic on top of each one. Pour chicken broth into pan. Cook on high and watch closely until chicken stock has pretty much dissolved away. Bottom of sweet potatoes will have caramelized.

Place sweet potatoes on serving platter or plate and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

The beauties that were once tucked into a casserole dish, covered and ashamed, topped with marshmallows are now standing in all their naked, orange glory with a drizzle of a lovely balsamic reduction. Welcome to the northwest, sweetie.

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Beer Battered Halibut Fish & Chips Recipe

While rewatching my calorie-laden episode of My Family Recipe Rocks again last night, I was caught off guard by a commercial for a weight gain pill that aired somewhere between the extra-cheesy scalloped potatoes and my mud pie that requires three gallons of ice cream to create. I mean, all this time I could have taken a pill instead of eating extra-cheesy scalloped potatoes and mud pie? Silly me. Now, bring on the beer battered fish and chips…


  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 12 ounces of your favorite pilsner beer
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2.5 pounds fresh halibut

Preheat  oil in a heavy-duty deep pan or in a deep fryer to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with two or three layers of paper towels.

Make sure the oil maintains this same temperature throughout the cooking process.

Whisk together egg yolks, beer, flour, baking powder, sea salt,  onion powder, and paprika in a medium-large bowl.

Rinse the fish with cold water and then pat dry with a paper towel. Cut into 1-2 inch pieces – whichever you prefer – but make sure that all the pieces are as close to the same size as possible so that they all cook in the same amount of time.

Serious sizzle.

Using tongs, place a few pieces of fish in the tempura batter. Use tongs to help coat the fish. Carefully place coated fish in the preheated oil. Use the tongs to adjust fish as needed. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, perhaps longer for larger pieces.

Remove fish from deep fryer when done. Place on paper towel-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with a wee bit of salt.

Enjoy while hot.

If you’d like to use frozen halibut, be sure to defrost and pat dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture before cooking.

If you like, you can add the “chips” or fries. I mean, since you have the deep fryer out and all. Cut about 4 russet potatoes into a French fry cut (mandolin works perfectly for this). Deep fry for about three minutes at 350 degrees to blanch. Allow to cool on paper towel-lined baking sheet while you cook the fish. Place fries back into deep fryer again and cook for about 5 more minutes or until golden brown. Place back onto baking sheet when done and lightly coat with sea salt.

All of this crispy, golden loveliness is not to be confused with a weight gain pill. You know, just in case you might have gotten them mixed up or something. Please pass the fries. And an apple.

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Meat Roll With Potatoes and Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Dear Vegetarians and Vegans, Please avert your eyes for we about to embark upon the meatiest recipe I’ve ever made. I’m sorry. Love, Deanna

And all the men said, “Meat and meat and meat and meat and potatoes? Amen.”

Preheat oven to 350F.


  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 package of your favorite dry packaged au jus mix
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 3 eggs to mixture
  • 1 pounds country sausage
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken or turkey
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 pounds sliced bacon
  • One 14 oz. package smoked beef sausage
Place Panko bread crumbs, grated parmesan, minced garlic, eggs, country sausage and ground chicken or turkey. Mix au jus mix into milk and then add to the rest of the ingredients. Add a little salt (not too much as the parmesan cheese already has a lot of salty flavor) & pepper. Combine until well mixed together. Set aside.
I like to use latex gloves for this job since it’s so messy.
On a half sheet baking pan covered with a layer of foil (for easy clean up), stretch bacon across pan – layering each piece a little bit over the last.
Place half of the ground meat mixture down the center of the bacon and place the sausage on top of the ground meat.
Pack the other half of the ground meat mixture over the sausage to create the circle of meat around the sausage. Lift the bacon slices over the top of the meat roll on one side, and then the other.
Use toothpicks or wooden sticks to help hold the bacon in place so it doesn’t fall during cooking time. Bake for about an hour or until ground meat mixture is 165F when measured with a meat thermometer. The most important thing to know when cooking meat is the minimum temp that it should be when done. This will insure food safety. The second most important thing to know is to make sure the temp doesn’t go much higher than the safe temp. This insures that the meat will not become dry and flavorless.
  • About 4 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds baby potatoes (smallest you can find)
  • 1-2 tablespoons turmeric
  • 1-2 tablespoons curry
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1/2 diced yellow onion (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (optional)
  • Freshly chopped oregano, basil, rosemary & thyme (optional)

Using a peeler, peel potatoes however you like. For a rustic look, I peeled the potatoes just around the middle this time. If using larger potatoes, simply cut into smaller, similar-sized pieces. Pour oil into frying pan and heat to medium high.

While waiting for oil to heat, coat potatoes in tumeric & curry powders.

After oil is preheated, add potatoes to pan. Toss occasionally during cooking and add salt & pepper. If desired, you can add diced yellow onions to the potatoes for the last 4-5 minutes of cooking time. Don’t add them too soon as they will burn because they cook much quicker than potatoes do.

You can also add minced garlic and freshly chopped oregano, basil, rosemary & thyme during the last minute of cooking time if you like. Potatoes are done when a fork poked into them slides out easily.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (or bacon grease)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • About 3 cups of chicken broth (or water)
  • Beef Better than Bouillon
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Heat diced onions over medium heat in oil until somewhat translucent.

Add mushrooms and cook until browned.

Sprinkle flour over mushroom and onions. Stir and allow flour to cook for at least couple of minutes.

Stir in chicken broth and then about 2 tablespoons of beef Better than Bouillon. Heat until Better than Bouillon has melted into gravy.

Finally stir in heavy whipping cream and butter. If you’re feeling a little wild & crazy, you can add a little dry red or white wine. to the mix. What could be better? I mean really.

Oh, yes, perhaps this? When the meat roll is finished cooking, allow it to rest for about 15 minutes then remove toothpicks and slice into 1-2 inch slices, depending on how big of eaters you are entertaining.

To serve, place potatoes on plate in a little circle and cover with mushroom gravy. Adorn with a gorgeous slice of meat roll to show off its beauty.

And every vegetarian and vegan said, “Potatoes only, please.”

And every man said, “Pass the fork.”

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Hassleback Potatoes Recipe

We’re on day four of four days of potato recipes. If nothing else, we are ready for a dinner party – and a delicious one at that.

The beauty of potato dishes is that they are easy to make yet can be quite impressive. The hassleback potatoes often get plenty of ooooos and ahhhhhs.

Preheat oven to 350F. Slice potatoes almost all the way through all along each potato. To change things up, you can slice diagonally, crisscross, etc.

Cut a yellow onion in half and then slice thinly.

Place onion pieces in between the potato slices.

Place potatoes in baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.

Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. Bake for about an hour and 15 minutes. Check for doneness by poking with a fork. If the fork slides back out of the potatoes easily, they are done.

Dress to impress with a little butter and freshly chopped parsley or chives.

Hassleback potatoes can also be made with small red potatoes, making a pretty appetizer.

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Creamy Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Welcome to day three of four days of potato recipes. Today we’re making mashed potatoes – the traditional holiday potato.


  • 5 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper or white pepper
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic cloves, minced

Do you like your potatoes creamy or lumpy? In my happy place, mashed potatoes are creamy. And they have no calories. And they hold overflowing amounts of gravy. And the gravy has no calories.

Clean potatoes, cut into about 6 pieces each (so that pieces are all similar size) and boil. Cook until a fork or knife poked into potatoes slides out very, very easily. When done, drain potatoes.

Using a potato masher, mash potatoes until there are little to no lumps.

Potatoes are ready for their big finish.

Place sour cream, cream cheese, heavy cream, butter, salt, and white (or black) pepper into a separate bowl and whisk until well-combined. Optional: Add garlic.

Stir cream mixture into potatoes.

Top with a slice of butter and serve. Hot, creamy and calorie-free. Honest. If you like, you can top with homemade, calorie-free gravy.


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Buttered Herb Potatoes Recipe

Four potato recipes, one colorful platter. Recipe number two is perfect for a party.


Potatoes. Fresh herbs. Butter. Has there ever been an easier, tastier side dish? I think not.

When serving a crowd, these potatoes are where it’s at. Just boil a five pound bag of fingerling or baby potatoes. I love the variety of small blues, reds and whites. They’re stunning. Blue potatoes are especially tasty.

Boil potatoes until a fork poked into them comes out easily.

Drain water once they are cooked and set potatoes aside.

Using a large pan (I just use the same pan), heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and fry some diced yellow onion until golden brown.

Cut potatoes into eighths (bite size pieces) and place back into hot pan with the onions. Add about one stick of softened butter, about 5 cloves of freshly minced garlic and salt and pepper.

Cook until potatoes are golden fried – oh so pretty. Toss in some freshly chopped herbs such as rosemary, thyme, sage and parsley at the end of the cooking time.

What I especially love about this recipe is that you can boil the potatoes ahead of your party time and then at the last-minute toss over heat, add  herbs, etc. and serve hot!

Thank you, buttery herb potatoes. You never disappoint!

 Five pounds of potatoes will feed about a dozen people easily and happily.

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Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes Recipe

One potato
Two potatoes
Three potatoes

Five potatoes
Six potatoes
Seven potatoes

au gratin potatos recipe

So many potatoes, who can choose a favorite? This week I’ll be sharing four amazing potato recipes and we’re starting with the cheesiest first. This is a family classic that has been updated to be creamier and cheesier than the original.


  • 2 1/2 pounds of potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • Cold salt water, to prevent browning.
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup of flour into cream mixture.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper and whisk again.
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 5 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • Butter, to coat baking pan

Rinse and scrub about 2 1/2 pounds of potatoes until clean.

Prepare a large bowl by filling with cold water and a couple of teaspoons of salt. Set aside.

Cut potatoes in quarters along the length of the potato. Cut out any undesirable spots.

Using a mandolin or…

… the quicker and easier food processor, slice potatoes thinly.

Place slices into cold salt water after each potato to prevent browning.

Slice one large yellow onion thinly and place into a very large separate bowl.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Pour 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into a medium bowl.

Whisk 3/4 cup of flour into cream mixture.

Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of pepper and whisk again.

Drain water from potatoes.

Next, place sliced potatoes, cream mixture, 1 cup of sour cream and 3 cups of grated cheddar cheese into the large bowl with onions. Using hands, combine all of these ingredients very well.

Prepare baking dish (size 9 x 13 inches or comparable) by spraying with non-stick spray or smearing well with butter.

Place a layer of potato mixture into baking dish.

Screen Shot 2016-03-06 at 3.51.20 PM

This tastes better than those au gratin potatoes they serve in fancy restaurants. – Joey Fatone, N’Sync

Then place a layer of cheddar cheese.

Then more potatoes. Pour any remaining cream mixture over potatoes.

Finally, layer top with much cheese. Bake for about two hours.

It’s a good idea to put a baking sheet on the oven shelf underneath your scalloped potatoes in case they overflow. If top gets too dark, just lay foil over potatoes for the rest of the baking time.

For a less traditional but fancier flavor, you can add some Gruyère or Comté cheeses in place of some of the cheddar, 1/4 cup of white wine in place of 1/4 cup of the milk, or add freshly chopped herbs or ham.

Serve while steamy hot.

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Homemade French Fries Recipe

My guests tonight are my son and his buddies. They have such a rough life… playing video games in front of the 60-inch flat screen to celebrate my son’s birthday.  Of course, they get perks that no one else gets, like requesting homemade french fries at the last minute. I’m such a pushover.


Here’s how you can make fries. They are so easy, I actually feel guilty blogging this recipe. Start by washing about seven potatoes and then cutting them into strips like above.

Pour a few cups of vegetable oil into a large pan. Turn on high until oil reaches 350 degrees & maintain but be sure that you don’t leave this pan unattended.

Once oil comes to 350 degrees, place fries into the pan carefully.

Using tongs, gently toss fries so they are cooked on all sides. Do not cover with a lid. Fries will begin to brown.

Drain fries when they are golden brown… easier blogged than done.

Easy peezy seasoning Just some kosher salt. Oh, yes, and a side of ranch dressing at no extra charge.  I’m sure that we could have some serious fun with these fries if we added some garlic too! Yummers!

Happy teens. Happy birthday, son!

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© Deanna Morauski 2009-2017