Monthly Archives: July 2014

My First Giveaway: Win A One-Year Subscription to BH&G Magazine This Week





Hi Friends,

I’m so excited to offer my first contest to readers by giving away a 1-year subscription to my absolutely favorite decorating magazine Better Homes & Gardens. I have been a subscriber for more than 15 years and love getting my copy in the mailbox every month. This week I received a notice from the publisher for my next renewal, along with the offer to give a FREE 1-year gift subscription to anybody I choose – that’s a full year (12 issues) absolutely free! I thought it would be fun to offer you the chance to win it!

All you have to do is subscribe to Modern Hen Home with your email address to receive posts direct to your inbox, then leave a comment to tell me you have entered in the reply box below.  You can do this at the link “Follow by Email” on the right side of the page —>

The winner will be announced on Monday, July 21st.  I hope YOU win!


Building A Chicken Coop From Scratch

Good morning Friends! I thought you might like to see a chicken coop being built from scratch at 12 Oaks Blog. I’ve been reading Ben and Amanda’s complete home makeover this past year or so, and this week they are sharing their adorable backyard chicken coop, along with what it’s been like to raise six chickens and enjoy really fresh eggs. I’ve noticed chicken coops have made a big comeback lately and sure can see why!



You can read about the coop, view their photos of the process and see their cute chickens at this link: Our Backyard Chicken Coop by 12 Oaks Blog

I hope you enjoy the read and will leave a comment for me with your thoughts about the coop and the whole idea of raising chickens from home.


Asian Summer Rolls With Savory Dipping Sauce


Asian summer rolls are the perfect salad wrapped in soft rice sheets and dipped in a spicy, sweet, savory sauce. I added red bell pepper slices for color, crunch and natural sweetness.

After searching all over my grocery store for the rice sheets, I finally found them in the healthy and organic refrigerated section.  This recipe, like so many, calls for fresh herbs and lettuce and I was able to pick them straight from my container garden, which I wrote about starting several weeks ago.   I can’t tell you how often I have snipped a few leaves for sandwiches, burgers and quick salads with one step outside the back door. Two green-thumbs up for container gardens!

Asian Summer Rolls With Savory Dipping Sauce

Dipping Sauce
1-1/4 tblsp sugar
2 tsp warm water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tsp chili sauce, such as Sriracha
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp finely shredded carrot
1 green onion, finely chopped
Dissolve sugar in warm water, combine with other ingredients, and chill until ready to use.

Summer Rolls
1 cup (approx 40) small salad shrimp, peeled and cooked (from 12 oz bag)
2 oz Vietnamese or Thai rice noodles (about 1 cup dry)
6 rice-paper rounds (about 8-1/2 inches in diameter)
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
12 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup shredded carrot
12 large fresh mint leaves
3 red-leaf lettuce, spines removed, making 6 halves

Line up ingredients in small bowls before beginning to make rolls. Fill a large bowl or saucepan with very warm water. Place a rice paper round in the hot water. Soak for between 30 seconds and 1 minute, or until rice round is pliable and pattern on the round is barely visible. Remove and place on a clean, slightly damp kitchen towel. (Rice sheets tend to stick to solid surfaces and plates.)

Place 2 basil leaves on the inner edge of the rice round, top with approximately 1/4 cup cooked rice noodles and several red pepper slices. Place 6-8 shrimp halves on top. Top with about 2 tablespoons carrots, then 2 leaves of mint. Fold 1 piece of lettuce leaf and place on top of pile. Bring the edge over filling and tuck underneath. As you continue to roll, fold in the sides. Finish rolling, repeat with the other rolls, and reserve under a damp cloth or paper towel. When ready to serve, slice in half and serve, cut ends up, with dipping sauce.

Ellie Krieger from the Food Network inspired me to make these delicious, healthy Asian rolls.

They are quite easy to make by the way. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!


Potluck Baked Beans & Smoked Cherrywood Bacon

Baked Beans

Let’s face it, if you’re going to take the time to prepare and actually bake baked beans in an oven on a hot summer day, it’s probably for a special occasion or potluck. My husband and I worked together to prepare several large pans for an event just like this recently. He crisped the bacon outdoors in the electric skillet early in the morning while it was still cool outside. I love cooking outdoors in nicer weather and have found our old camping standby, the electric skillet, great for this. Keeps the kitchen cleaner, too!

Potluck Baked Beans & Smoked Cherrywood Bacon

1 lb thick Smoked Cherrywood Bacon
1 can (7lb 2oz) Pork and Beans
1 – 28 oz can Bush’s Maple Cured Bacon Baked Beans
1-3/4 cup chopped onions
1-3/4 cups ketchup
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/3 cup prepared mustard
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp black pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Crumble cooked bacon. In 6-quart oven-proof bowl or pan combine bacon, beans, onions, ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Bake uncovered, 2 hours or until thickened and bubbly, stirring every 30 minutes.

Oh, and don’t forget to sneak a crispy bacon strip for yourself!


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