Thursday, August 17, 2023


I kid you not, these chicken thighs are the BEST of the BEST and quick and easy to make. They are SUPER moist, SUPER tender and SUPER flavorful. We couldn't stop eating them and they are going straight to the TOP of my FIVE STAR recipe list.

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs  (thawed)
Milk to cover
1/4 cup melted butter

1 tablespoon Coleen's seasoned salt (click here for recipe)
3/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons paprika

Put the chicken in a large bowl and cover with milk (I use 2%). Let this sit in fridge for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the flour, seasoned salt, salt and pepper, and paprika until well mixed. NOTE: I've only ever tried this with my own seasoned salt mixture (click here for recipe)I can't tell you if any other seasoned salt mixtures would taste as good.

Drain the milk off of the chicken and put the chicken in the flour mixture and toss to coat evenly.

Preheat your oven and an EMPTY 9 x 13 baking dish to 400°. When the oven hits 400°, put the melted butter in the hot baking dish, spreading it around so the entire bottom of the pan is covered.

Set the floured chicken on the melted butter and put back in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over and bake another 20 minutes. That's it!!

Chicken comes out SUPER tender, SUPER moist and SUPER flavorful.


Saturday, August 5, 2023


I don't know about you, but I have ruined a LOT of expensive shrimp over the years by not cooking it properly. I have been known to turn $20 dollars worth of beautiful raw shrimp into a bowl of shrimp that has the texture erasers!!  Very frustrating for sure!!

Well, not any more, my friends!! I have found the easiest, quickest, most fool proof and certainly most delicious way to cook RAW shrimp. Where has this recipe been all my life?? Am I the only one who didn't know this trick?

1 cup cold water
2 cups ice (I just used an ice cube tray full)
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup white sugar

Mix the brine ingredients well, then add 1 pound of large raw shrimp (roughly 25 shrimp to the pound) that have had the heads, shell and back vein removed (leave the tail on if you want).

Stir the shrimp GENTLY into the brine and make sure it reaches all of the shrimp evenly, then chill (shrimp in brine) in the fridge for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, drain the shrimp and RINSE WELL UNDER COLD RUNNING WATER.  Drain and BLOT DRY with paper towels. Keep shrimp cold while your broiler heats up.

Put a DRY (no grease) cookie sheet (with a rim) under the broiler (about 6" from the flame) and preheat it for FIVE FULL MINUTES.

While the pan is heating up, put 1 tablespoon olive oil in a bowl and add 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/8 to 1/4 cayenne pepper (but no salt because the shrimp will still have a little salt from the brine on them). Stir until well mixed and then add the shrimp and GENTLY toss to coat all sides of the shrimp.

After the pan has pre-heated under the broiler for FIVE MINUTES, put the shrimp on it (they will sizzle). Quickly put the HOT pan full of shrimp under the broiler.

Broil (6" away from flame) for 2 minutes, then flip the shrimp over, and broil for 1 more minute.

Remove the shrimp from your broiler, AND TAKE THEM OFF OF THE HOT PAN IMMEDIATELY(or they will continue to cook and get rubbery). That's it!! Easy as pie.

Shrimp cooked with this method are extremely tender and flavorful. This is a great technique for ANY recipe that calls for pre-cooked shrimp.  It is also a GREAT method to cook shrimp for a big crowd!!


Monday, May 29, 2023



We call this lasagna (which it isn't) but it qualifies as serious comfort food and has all of the rich, familiar lasagna flavors.

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (browned and drained well)
4 cups of beef broth (I used canned)
(1) 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
(1) 12 ounce can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon dehydrated onion flakes
1 teaspoon dry oregano
2 teaspoons dry basil
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed (don't leave out)
1 teaspoons salt (leave out if you use bullion)
1 tablespoons sugar (don't leave out)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (1/2 tsp if you like heat)
3/4 pound of rigatoni noodles
1/2 pound of mushrooms (thick sliced)
2 to 3 cups Colby Jack cheese shredded

Brown the ground beef and drain it very well. In a large crock pot (see note below), Mix the beef broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, onion and spices. Use a whisk to mix the sauce together well, then stir in the meat and mushrooms. Cook on high for 4 hours (see note). Stir once in a while during the 4 hours if possible (but not absolutely necessary.

After 4 hours, Stir in the DRY unboiled rigatoni, make sure you push them under the sauce (add a little extra hot water if necessary). 

Continue to cook for 30-ish more minutes. Sprinkle the surface with shredded Colby jack cheese and put the lid back on for about 5 minutes or until cheese is nicely melted. Serve.

NOTE: My crock pot is a large oval and wide slow cooker, which works well for this recipe, as opposed to a small/tall one.  The main cooking time is 4 hours on high, but if you are going to be away from the house all day, just turn it down to LOW and cook for 8 hours before you add the noodles. If you are using one of those smaller/taller slow cookers, you may have to adjust the cooking time.

NOTE: Noodles tend to fall apart if you leave them in the crock pot for much more than 30 minutes, so don't be tempted to add them early. Thirty minutes is perfect.

NOTE: This recipe uses rigatoni noodles, which are large diameter tubular noodles that have ridges on them. However, any kind of thick walled (sturdy) noodle (like rotini) will work for this recipe. Just make sure you do NOT BOIL THEM before you add them to the sauce. They cook in the sauce and soak up all of that extra liquid. 

NOTE: I like dehydrated onion in this recipe, but if you don't have that, just saute a small chopped onion along with the ground beef.

NOTE: You can use your favorite cheese. We happen to like Colby Jack cheese, but mozzarella works well too.

NOTE: This reheats very well.