Author Archives for Lisa @ Modern Hen Home

About Lisa @ Modern Hen Home

Hi friends and welcome! I'm Lisa, a wife and mom all about faith, food and feathering our family nest. Here at Modern Hen Home, I share simple, sometimes old-fashioned recipes, easy crafts and DIY. Painting relaxes me and hunting flea-markets is my favorite past time. Stop by for a visit, leave me a message, then let's connect on facebook!

The Morning I Shot My Chic White Pumpkins

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Painting pumpkins makes me giddy… and shooting them even more so. 

I found that out this week.

I’ve never painted pumpkins before, at least not a solid color.

White pumpkins have been a decorating trend for years, but I had only admired them on other people’s stoops, straining my neck as I drove by.

You know the homes I mean…. the ones that have it…

...major autumn curb appeal.

The ones with gorgeous mums and big wreaths on their front door and a scattering of pumpkins positioned just so.

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Easy Pineapple Lime Marinade

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Pucker-up, Buttercup! Ready for an easy and delicious sweet and sour twist to your next chicken dinner?

Lime citrus gives this zippy sauce its pizazz and sets it apart from the typical bottled brand you can buy in any store. Last week I shared with you a recipe for Hawaiian Pineapple Cake I recently made that called for a can of crushed pineapple — juice reserved. Well, I saved mine to make this amazing marinade for an out of this world zesty chicken and vegetable stir- Continue reading

Subtle Decorating for Autumn

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It sure has been hectic around our house.

That’s why I am easing into fall with just a few decorating changes. I like to slowly transform our home by pulling in colors that mimic what’s happening naturally outdoors by using items I already own.

We still have a lot of green happening outside, which I love, but now and then I catch a glimpse of yellow and orange in the trees.  The sun seems brighter and it certainly feels like fall is just ahead.

In the photo of the magnolia wreath above, you can see the faded green leaves contrast nicely against the warm suede tones peaking from the rear. Although it’s been hanging on my office door all summer, I think it will look great for autumn, so I’m moving it downstairs.

I also like to layer with wood trays, earthy toned candles, and brass candlesticks. Subtle changes like these add to the room’s coziness, without being heavy. This works well since we’re still having plenty of hot days, yet cooler evenings.

Vignettes need texture to contrast with smooth and glossy pieces to keep the display interesting. And as you can see, for every shiny vase, tray or planter I have included an item with a rougher texture, like the leafy green succulent and sphere ball above, and the white floral, tiny clay bowl and bird’s nest in the photo below.

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Mixing warm and cool colors.

My favorite pop of color is cool blue. It works really well with autumn’s warm oranges, burgundy and browns. It’s an inviting, friendly shade that most people feel drawn to. Think of a pair of denim jeans. They’re comfortable, casual and seem to go with everything.  They’re also relaxing, which I think blue is too, so I try to have a shade of it in every room — all year-long.

And that’s what I’ve done these last few weeks since the kids have gone back to school — dusting, bring in warmer colors, rotating and reusing pieces I already have.





Before & After: Vintage Copper Boiler

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While camping with my family over the summer I bought this old copper boiler from an antiques store. It was sitting outside in a corner of the shop’s front porch covered in cobwebs and rusty grime.  With a little elbow grease I could see flowers displayed in the tub or maybe I would use it as a novelty storage bin I thought.  Since it was left out to rust and the price tag was reasonable, I purchased it with hopes of gussying it up and giving it a new life.

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Hawaiian Pineapple Cake

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Do you remember the theme song from Gilligan’s Island?

The tv show where Skipper and Gilligan get shipwrecked on a deserted island with Mary Ann, Ginger, The Professor and Mr. and Mrs. Howell.

“Just sit right back
And you’ll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip,
That started from this tropic port,
Aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailin’ man,
The Skipper brave and sure,
Five passengers set sail that day,
For a three hour tour,
A three hour tour…”

I loved that show.

The words to the song make me want to rent every episode and watch them with my sons.

My sister and I looked forward to seeing it every day after school.


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Sofa Slipcovers Made From Drop Cloths

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When I was growing up in the 1970s my sisters and I played in every room of our house — especially the living room.

With four girls running from room-to-room then plopping on the sofa at the end of each chase, we put a lot of wear on the comfiest piece of furniture in our house.

Mom said our home was lived in — no museum care taking or plastic covers over our green floral couch.  She was easy-going about things like that.

Of course back then when we were making forts in the living room with cushions, Mom didn’t know washable canvas slip covers could be sewn from painter’s drop cloths or I’m pretty sure she would have made them.

Now that I have my family, I know how much work it is to keep our home looking tidy. We like to lounge, watch movies, eat buttery popcorn, read and wrestle with the dog on our couch, too. Or as my grandma used to call it… the davenport.

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Save Time With Early Morning Freezer Pancakes


The other morning before school my two teenagers notified me they had nothing to eat for breakfast. Well, we had oat and nut cereal, fresh fruit, and yogurt but that’s not what they had in mind, nor the usual fare they prefer. I had forgotten to pick up frozen waffles when I was at the grocery store. But we did have a half bag of multigrain pancake mix in the cupboard I had been meaning to use up. So I made a bowl of batter and “magically” whipped up two plates of warm flapjacks they devoured before skipping walking off to the bus stop.

With quite a bit of batter left I went ahead and made the rest and decided to freeze them. I’ve never frozen pancakes  Continue reading

Some of My Favorite Thrifty Finds

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I love the thrill of a good thrifted find. Some of my favorites have been picked up during a quick drop into Goodwill or a garage sale while running errands. It’s fun to change out accessories on tabletops and shelves when the mood strikes, so I’m always on the lookout for unique and inexpensive things I can rotate in a vignette.  And it’s amazing how a $2 bauble can make a room feel like new… much easier than rearranging furniture.  Cheaper than a maid, too!  (Not that I have one, or that there’s anything wrong with having one.) I’ve been inspired to clean our whole house just by plopping down a used tiny statuette in the middle of the coffee table.

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Vegetable Lasagna Alfredo

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This delicious lasagna is one of my favorites — hearty, packed with veggies, and loaded with savory cheese. It’s also easy to prepare a large batch the day before a big gathering then bake when you are ready. Lasagna is also great for those busy weeks when you need to get a lot of mileage out of cooking time. I cut leftovers into serving squares, wrap in cellophane and freeze. When the kids need a quick snack or meal they can simply uncover and reheat in the microwave.

Vegetable Lasagna Alfredo

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, sliced thin
1-1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 – 6 oz bag fresh baby spinach leaves
6-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 – 15 oz. jar Bertolli Alfredo Sauce Light
1 – 15 oz. jar Bertolli Garlic Alfredo Sauce
2 – 9 oz boxes Oven-Ready Lasagna noodles, uncooked
1 – 15 oz container of ricotta cheese
1 – 8 oz bag of shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese

In medium sized pan sauté garlic, crushed red pepper, onions, bell pepper, and carrots in olive oil until onions are transparent. Add bag of spinach leaves and basil, continue sauteeing until wilted. Turn off stove and set aside to cool slightly.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine both jars of Alfredo sauce together in a mixing bowl. Ladle a large spoonful of sauce across the bottom of a 10 x 14 baking dish then layer with uncooked lasagna noodles. Spread ricotta cheese over the noodles and half the cooked vegetables. Top with 1/3 of shredded cheese. Add next layer of noodles and cover with sauce to cover then repeat with ricotta, vegetables and 1/3 shredded cheese. Top with final layer of noodles, cover with sauce and the rest of the cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top and place on a sheet pan (to catch any bubbling). Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 10 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly brown on top. Allow dish to rest 15 minutes, slice into squares and serve. 


Fall-ish Begins & Best of The Blog August 2014

I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day friends!  It’s hard to believe summer vacation is over and the fall-ish season begins. Of course summer is still here according to the calendar, so let’s enjoy every bit of it until the cooler weather settles in (at least here in Michigan) and the calendar officially changes.

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Today is the first day of school for the boys and they were ready-to-go, however I think they would take a few more weeks of sleeping in and hanging out if offered. Summer break was short this year. Our fall calendar has already filled up, too, with sports dates, apple festivals and craft fairs. I’m kind of excited about all the traditional stuff that goes on over the next few months. What are your favorite September traditions?

There were some great recipes and other fun posts in August. In case you missed any, here’s the round-up: The Best of Modern Hen Home – August 2014.  Once you click on the link, scroll down to see each day’s posting. Reader’s favorites for August were:

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

Banana Pudding #5Frozen Yogurt Bananas

photo 2Baked Brie With Jezebel Peaches

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Fried Green Tomatoes With Spicy Northern Beans

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10 Lovely Chalkboard Ideas

Photos from Pinterest

Photos from Pinterest

I hope you have the best September ever! Thanks for stopping by!


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