Yard Sale Rules

I originally posted this last spring but the tips are still great! Spring is around the corner and soon the yard sale signs will start blooming. You can find some great bargains but some things should be avoided. Follow a few simple yard sale rules and you’ll save money and find some wonderful items.

Yard Sale Rules

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Mama’s Beer Battered Fish

Unlike pretty much everyone else in my family I’m not a big fan of fish. Even my grandchildren love fish of just about any type and made in nearly every way. The one type of fish I will happily eat is beer battered fish. And, although I’m sure the British would disagree, we Irish folk can make the ultimate fish and chips dinner! I made this for our family dinner and it was the first time I made this fish for Andi and the girls. We also had a special little guest; Andi’s nephew Zayden came to dinner, too! Everyone absolutely raved about the fish and the only complaint is that there wasn’t enough! Next time I will have to make a lot more fish! If you try it I’m sure you’re going to absolutely love Mama’s Beer Battered Fish.

Mama's Beer Battered Fish

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Keller Whole Roast Chicken

My very dear friend, Peg is coming for dinner and I’m going to serve chicken. That may seem like a kind of cheap and commonplace dinner to serve to a close friend but I’m making this chicken in a way I know Peg will love. I usually call Peg my Guinea Peg because I like to try recipes on that poor woman but I’ve already tested this recipe and all I can say is I have no problem serving it to people I care about! It’s simple but very tasty and since it’s the recipe of a world-famous chef I call it Keller Whole Roasted Chicken.

Only 3 ingredients needed to make Keller Whole Roast Chicken

When I made a whole roast chicken in the slow cooker I was disappointed. We’re a crispy skin kind of family and that skin was definitely not crispy. I vowed to go back to roasting my whole chickens in the oven. I’ve always made a darned good roast chicken but this chicken takes only 3 ingredients! And that includes the chicken!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Thomas Keller let me give you a tiny bit of background. He is a world-famous chef who has run extremely successful restaurants for more than 20 years. In fact one of his restaurants has more than a four month waiting list for a reservation! I’d say the man knows what he’s doing.

To make this juicy roast chicken you must, I repeat, must follow the directions exactly. I know you’re going to worry about the temperature you’ll roast it on and the amount of salt. Don’t worry your pretty little head. I’m here to tell you that this roast chicken is going to be perfectly cooked and perfectly seasoned!

First, you must allow the chicken to come to room temperature. Give it 45 – 60 minutes out of the refrigerator before you begin to cook.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Yes, you read that correctly. Just do it. We won’t argue later because you’ll be too busy gobbling up the chicken!

Next grab a bunch of paper towels and dry the heck out of the bird inside and out. Don’t let any moisture remain in or on the chicken. This will cause steam while it’s roasting and you do not want steam!

Only 3 ingredients needed for Keller Whole Roast Chicken!

Get out your kosher salt and pepper. Season the inside of the chicken liberally with the salt. I’m talking about 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons. Then season the inside with pepper. 1/2 teaspoon is fine.

This is the only “hard part” in the recipe. You’re going to truss the chicken. I could try to explain it in a series of pictures but I think you’ll find Thomas Keller’s instructional video easier to follow.

Now for the part you’re going to want to “adjust.” Get about a tablespoon of kosher salt ready and steel yourself. You’re going to sprinkle that salt from at least 18 inches above on to the bird. Start by sprinkling salt on the back of the chicken. Then flip the chicken and sprinkle the salt (from on high) on the sides and all over the top of the bird. If you’re not worried you used too much salt you haven’t used enough!

Put the chicken on a rack (it must be on a rack) in a roasting pan and put it in the oven. Then leave it alone! Do not peek. Don’t succumb to your need to check on it. Do not open the oven unless you see black smoke pouring from around the door (it won’t). Leave the darned chicken alone!

After 50 – 60 minutes (depending on how big your bird is) check the temperature. It should be 165 degrees.

Put the chicken on a cutting board to rest for 5 – 10 minutes. You want the juices to have settled nicely.

See the salt in that gorgeous, golden, crispy skin? It looks like too much but in this case “too much” is really “just perfect”!

Your chicken will be tender, juicy, perfectly seasoned and will give you bragging rights with family and friends. Peg was amazed that the bird didn’t burn at that temperature and that it was so juicy with wonderfully crispy skin! That’s the beauty of Keller Whole Roast Chicken!

Only 3 ingredients to make Keller Whole Roast Chicken!


Keller Whole Roast Chicken

Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 4 - 6

This juicy, delicious whole roast chicken only needs 3 ingredients including the chicken!


  • Whole chicken, 4 - 5 lbs.
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature (45 – 60 minutes)
  2. Dry the chicken thoroughly inside and out. Do not leave any moisture!
  3. Season the chicken inside with kosher salt (1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons) and black pepper
  4. Truss the chicken (see video).
  5. Season the outside (front, back & sides) of the chicken with about 1 tablespoon of kosher salt.
  6. Place chicken on rack in roasting pan and roast at 450 degrees for 50 – 60 minutes. Do not open oven while roasting!
  7. Check the temperature of the chicken in the thigh, near the body, not touching bone. You want it 165 degrees.
  8. Allow chicken to rest for 5 – 10 minutes to allow juices to redistribute.
  9. Slice and serve.


Follow the directions exactly for a perfect result!

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In an Irish Family – Mama’s Boys

There’s an old saying “A son is a son ‘til he takes a wife but a daughter’s a daughter all of her life.” This may be true of a lot of families but in all the Irish families I’ve known (and I’ve known a lot) sons and mothers are very, very close. It’s not that they’re not manly. Irish guys all seem to be tough guys. But in an Irish family, Mama’s boys are more the rule than the exception.

In an Irish Family - Mama's Boys

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The Comfortable Coop’s One Year Anniversary!

Wow! Time flies when you’re blogging! This is the anniversary of the day I started The Comfortable Coop. And what a year it’s been. I’ve learned some things and still have a tremendous amount to learn. I’ve really gotten back into the things I love because of The Comfortable Coop and I’m grateful for that! But most of all, I’m grateful for the people who have become friends because of this blog! Thank you so much for sharing yourselves with me! I can hardly believe it but it’s The Comfortable Coop’s One Year Anniversary!

The Comfortable Coop is a year old!




Forming Habits for a Cleaner Home

Do you have one of those friends or family members with a home that never seems messy? How can they do it? With children, work, and life in general it can be really hard to keep your home neat and tidy. It’s really just a matter of habit. Most of us have heard it takes 21 (or 28) days to form a habit. While this may not be quite accurate it is possible to start forming habits for a cleaner home.

Forming Habits for a Cleaner Home

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Caesar Pork Steaks

I can’t think of many dinners that are as easy to make as this one! Because it needs only three ingredients and very little prep work, this is one of my favorite “fancy” meals for days when I’m dreaming of having my very own personal chef. Gerard Butler (shirtless, of course) feeding me bonbons while I wait for dinner would be cool, too. If you like Caesar salad I guarantee you’ll love Caesar Pork Steaks!

Caesar Pork Steaks take just 3 ingredients to make!

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Why I Thought I Needed Viagra

Before I begin I want to make something very clear. I am now and have always been female. This, you might think, would preclude me from the whole Viagra line of medications. But, no! I wasn’t ever going to disclose this story but Mr. Comfortable, no doubt out of revenge for the “If the police should ask..” story, insisted I share why I thought I needed Viagra.

Why I Thought I Needed Viagra

I admit that at times I can be a wee bit naïve. Okay, okay. I can be incredibly naïve. I think I proved that with my encounter with the drug dealer in Virginia. Keep in mind that I was born and raised in a small town and I now live a few miles outside a village with one traffic light. Seeing the gritty side of life isn’t part of my usual experience.

When I first had my spinal cord injury I had to go to the Pain Clinic at least every two weeks. The doctor would insert insanely large needles into my spine in order to ease the pain of his not having a larger summer home. In trade the doctor would prescribe huge doses of really dangerous drugs which he expected me to take quite frequently. I didn’t as they didn’t end the pain, although they did make me care less about it.

Over the years this doctor and I formed a relationship. I knew his middle name so I could holler at him in true mom fashion when he hit a nerve with the needle of the day. I knew about his family. He knew about my family. I called him Kiddo and he called me Old Lady. He was actually a year older than I. I felt I could talk to him about my pain even if it wasn’t in my back.

And that’s how I ended up thinking I needed Viagra. You see, when the first commercials for that product came out they never actually stated what the medication was supposed to treat. The original commercial showed a man throwing a football at a tire and missing. Then he takes Viagra and the next time he throws the football it goes right through the tire! Good for him!

Why I Thought I Needed Viagra

I thought about this new wonder drug and the very next time I saw the Pain Clinic doc I told him I thought I needed Viagra. I have to give him credit. He didn’t laugh. He didn’t ask me to drop my drawers so he could determine if I really needed it. He calmly asked me why I thought I needed Viagra. So I told him.

“I’ve been having a lot of pain in my shoulder.” The doctor nodded. “And you think Viagra will help with that.” It wasn’t a question. I told him I did. Then I told him about the poor man with the football and the tire and how Viagra clearly helped his shoulder since, after taking it, he could get the ball right through the center of the tire!

It was at this point the doctor put his hand over his mouth and tried to look as though he were pondering my request. I believe it was just to hide his grin. “Well,” he said, “Viagra isn’t really for sore shoulders. You see, when a mommy and daddy love each other the daddy can’t always make the mommy…you know…happy.” I was completely puzzled. Did the mommy really care how well the daddy could throw a ball? “Dear Lord” moaned the doctor. “It’s for when a man can’t get an ere…” My startled look must have tipped him off that I’d finally understood.

I could feel my face growing incredibly hot. In the reflection from the towel dispenser I could see how red I was. Mr. Comfortable, no darned help at all, finally gave in to his overwhelming need to laugh out loud. And he didn’t just laugh. He nearly fell out of his chair. This only prompted the doctor to give in and he ended up leaning on the counter laughing so hard he was snorting. “Viagra! She needs Viagra!” I was obviously the funniest patient he’d had all day. Maybe in his entire career.

Why I Thought I Needed Viagra

And to this day when a commercial is aired for that particular line of male medications I can hear the raucous laughter of my doctor and Mr. C. But I really did have a good reason why I thought I needed Viagra!

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

This week I decided to take it easy making our weekly dinner with Pete’s family. And there’s not much easier than putting everything into the slow cooker and walking away! I love my slow cooker! I’m making the meal here and I can carry the slow cooker to Pete’s. The lid on my slow cooker locks so I don’t even have to worry about spills in the car! This week’s family dinner is Slow Cooker Pot Roast!

Slow Cooker Pot Roast

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