Welcome!

Welcome to Simple Fare, Fairly Simple. This is a place for me to post recipes of all kinds...along with other miscellaneous fodder from my so-called life here in the south. Who knows what you will find here. Could be anything from my husband...known as IT Guy...to my kids and beautiful grandbabies that are growing up way too fast right before my eyes. But...mostly this will be a place for food. I hope you'll see something you like and if you decide to try something from the list...leave me a comment and let me know!



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The other day I scored some pork chops in the "reduced for quick sale" meat section. The package itself was big but I had no idea how huge the chops were! (They were so big I could only squeeze 6 chops in my baking dish. The others I had to cook separately to serve another time.) For 32 cents...yes...32 CENTS...I scored 10 gigantic pork chops! It was a great deal!! I knew I had to come up with something yummy to make with them and I think I did it! With a little rice and some seasonings, we had a delicious dinner. For about 5 cents a plate, to boot! How awesome is THAT???

Smothered Pork Chops


½ stick butter
2 cups long grain rice
1 medium onion – diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 ½ tablespoons crushed rosemary
1 ½ teaspoons dried sage
1 ½ teaspoons salt
6 pork chops
Seasoning salt

Lightly grease a large casserole dish.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add rice and onion and cook about five minutes until rice is browned and onion is tender. Stir occasionally.

In a medium saucepan, combine broth, rosemary, sage and salt. Bring to a boil then stir in rice mixture. Cover. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sprinkle pork chops with seasoning salt. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a little olive oil. Cook chops for 2 minutes on each side until browned. Place chops in prepared baking dish and spoon rice mixture over chops. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Here's what you'll need.
 
 
Cook the onion in the butter for a bit....
 
 
...then add the rice and cook it 
until it's lightly browned.
 
 
To the chicken stock, add the herbs and spices.
 
 
Add the browned rice to the stock and 
let it cook for a while until the rice is 
cooked and the mixture is thick and wonderful.
 
 
Season the chops and brown them in a large 
skillet for a few minutes on each side. Then put 
them in a large baking pan.
 
 
Cover the browned chops with the cooked rice. 
Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes! Yum!
 
 

Monday, May 30, 2011

One of IT Guy's most favorite desserts is Coconut Cream Pie. I decided last time I was going to make him one, I would change it up a bit. I changed the crust from a regular pie crust to a cookie crust and then added pineapple and used coconut milk instead of half & half. It turned out great, he loved it and the end result was a creamy pie that wasn't heavy. It's a great summertime treat!

Tropical Pie


Crust:

20 crisp oatmeal cookies
½ stick butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Whirl cookies in a food processor. Add butter until well mixed. Pour into a 9” pie plate and press crumbs over bottom and up sides of pie plate. Bake for 12 minutes until crumbs are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

Filling:

¾ cup sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, in its own juice. Drain well and reserve juice.
1 14-ounce can coconut milk (NOT cream of coconut)
5 egg yolks
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut

In a large saucepan, mix sugar and cornstarch. Add enough pineapple juice to the coconut milk to make 2 ½ cups. Stir into sugar mixture then bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil 1 minute then remove from heat. Whisk yolks in a small bowl and add enough of the hot mixture to temper. Add yolk mixture to saucepan. Stir over low heat for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. Stir in drained pineapple and coconut. Pour into crust. Cover surface with plastic wrap and chill for 3 hours or overnight. Up to 2 hours before serving, whip 2 cups of cream with 4 tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread over pie and sprinkle with more coconut.


Our cast of characters.
 
 
Whiz the cookies in a food 
processor then add the melted butter.
 
 
Press the cookie mixture into a pie plate 
and bake it up for a few minutes.
 
 
Drain the pineapple but reserve the juice.
 
 
In a saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch.
 
 
In a large measuring cup, dump the coconut milk. 
It will come out all lumpy and weird looking.
 
 
Just whisk it up until it smooths out.
 
 
Then add enough of the reserved 
pineapple juice to make 2 1/2 cups.
 
 
Pour that into the sugar/cornstarch mixture. 
Heat it up until it thickens.
 
 
Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl 
and temper them with some of the liquid mixture.
 
 
Then pour the egg mixture BACK into 
the saucepan with the coconut milk mixture.
 
 
Cook until nicely thickened and then add the butter.
 
 
Stir in the coconut. To make it extra yummy, 
toast the coconut if you want.
 
 
Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and then 
cover it with plastic wrap. Press the plastic wrap right 
down on top of the filling. Chill for several hours. 
The plastic wrap will lift right off!
 
 
Whip some cream and sprinkle with 
more coconut...toasted if desired!
 
 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I got this recipe from a friend in California YEARS ago. I'm not sure where she found it...maybe on the back of the Rice Chex cereal box. But it is a FUN and yummy treat and WAY better than the store bought version I've seen. I've been making this so long that I've learned to adjust the ingredients to suit our tastes. I have three grown nephews that fight over this stuff. When I made this the other day, my daughter wandered through the kitchen, saw just the ingredients sitting on the counter and she KNEW what I was making. She was a happy girl.


Muddie Buddies



9 cups Rice Chex cereal
1 cup chocolate chips
½ cup peanut butter
¼ cup butter
¼ teaspoon vanilla
Powdered sugar

Pour cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter. Microwave and stir until ingredients are smooth, about 1 – 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla.

Pour chocolate mixture over cereal and stir until coated.

Pour mixture into a large plastic container with a lid and sprinkle with 1 – 2 cups powdered sugar. Secure the lid and shake until all of the cereal is well coated. Store in the same container.


Here's what you'll need.
 

I'm making more than the recipe 
calls for with my batch. But melt the 
chocolate, peanut butter and butter together.....
 

..until smooth and creamy dreamy.
 

Pour it over the Chex and stir. 
This isn't fully coated yet.
 

But this is!!!
 

I have a BIG plastic container that I use. 
I layer the powdered sugar and coated Chex 
to make sure the sugar gets all over.
 

It works for me....
 

Shake, shake, shake until everything is nice and coated.
 

See this little nugget? We fight over these! 
They're the best ones!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

I wanted to make cakepops for a Memorial Day picnic we're going to....but my problem was transporting them. I had to figure out a way to do that. Enter IT Guy. He's good for things OTHER than techy/geeky stuff. He's also very handy with woodworking. He runs a GIANT computer (of course) driven CNC machine that can do all kinds of fancy stuff. So I asked him to design me something that would hold cakepops upright and be sturdy enough to move them. Voila! This is what he came up with. 



             Pretty cool, huh?        

                  

A while back I ordered some really cute stuff from Fancy Flours. They have the neatest stuff over there. One of things I ordered was a couple of packages of sugar ants and red checked cupcake wrappers. I made vanilla cupcakes then piped green frosting for grass then placed an ant on each cupcake. A friend gave me the little ant stickers that I placed on a serving tray.



Stinkin' cute!

Burrito Casserole

This casserole was fun to make. You know how we are around here when it comes to Mexican food. This casserole tasted EXACTLY like a burrito! How fun is that? I used fresh, frozen, roasted green chilies but if you don't have those, the canned version will work fine. Also...I didn't have a burrito mix, so I used a taco mix (I know, I know...not the same as fresh spices...but hey, it worked) and that was fine! We had some leftover that IT Guy has taken to work and had for a snack. I think one of my boys even got into it because the leftovers looked suspiciously depleted! The nice thing about this is you can leave out or add what you want. My kids are not tomato lovers, so I left those out. If you don't care for beans, then leave those out and add more rice. Whatever you like in a burrito, just translate that over to this dish. I added sour cream on top of mine and if I'd had guacamole, I'd have had that, too!!



Burrito Casserole



6 medium flour tortillas, soft taco size
1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 small can diced green chilies
1 package (1 ounce) burrito seasoning
1 can (approx. 15 ounces) refried beans
1 cup cooked rice
2 large tomatoes, diced - optional
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional
6 ounces shredded mild Cheddar cheese or blend of Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses

Lightly grease a 2 1/2 to 3-quart baking dish. Heat oven to 350°.

Slice tortillas into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Arrange half of the strips in the bottom of the baking dish. Set the remaining strips aside.

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and onion until beef is no longer pink. Add the green chilies, cilantro, beans, rice and burrito seasoning and stir to blend. Continue cooking, stirring, until hot and bubbly.

Spoon the hot filling mixture evenly over the tortilla layer. Sprinkle with the diced tomatoes and green onions. Top with the remaining tortilla strips then sprinkle with the cheese.


Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbly.

Serves 6.


Let's get started....
Let's get started....
 
Cut your flour tortillas into strips and lay half of them in the bottom of a casserole dish.
Cut your flour tortillas into strips 
and lay half of them in the bottom 
of a casserole dish.
 
Saute the onion and cook the ground beef.
Saute the onion and cook the ground beef.
 
Add the beans, rice, cilantro, green chilies and burrito (or in my case, taco) mix.
Add the beans, rice, cilantro, green 
chilies and burrito (or in my case, taco) mix.
 
Stir it up and allow it to heat through.
Stir it up and allow it to heat through.
 
Spoon the meat mixture over the flour tortillas then sprinkle the green onion, tomatoes, etc. over that.
Spoon the meat mixture over the 
flour tortillas then sprinkle the green
 onion, tomatoes, etc. over that.
 
Add the remaining cut tortillas and then sprinkle with cheese.
Add the remaining cut tortillas 
and then sprinkle with cheese.
 
Bake it up for about 15 minutes or so then enjoy!
Bake it up for about 15 minutes or so then enjoy!

Copyright © 2011 Simple Fare, Fairly Simple. All rights reserved.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I've been on a tortellini kick the last few weeks. Pasta is adored in our house and I'm not sure why I overlook tortellini when it comes to pasta dishes. But no more!! It seems like every week I'm buyin' the stuff and trying to figure out how to use it. This little dish was a hit! Just a little proscuitto is all the meat there is in here, so it's not overly heavy and would be perfect for a light summer dish or to take to a barbecue. We had it for our main dish and loved every bite.

Creamy Rainbow Tortellini



16 ounces tri-colored cheese filled tortellini
3 tablespoons red onion – finely diced
2 tablespoons shallots – finely diced
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup milk
2 egg yolks
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup grated Havarti cheese
1 teaspoon ground sage
4 ounces Prosciutto - diced

Cook tortellini in salted water until done. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add onion and shallot and sauté until tender. Pour in the cream and milk and heat until bubbly.

In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks with a little bit of the cream mixture to temper then pour back into the skillet. Cook and stir over medium heat until thick….about 5 minutes or so.

Add cheeses and stir. Add sage.

Add cooked tortellini and chopped prosciutto. Stir to combine and heat through.


Here you go...all the stuff.
 

Boil the tortellini then set it aside.
 

Saute the onion and shallot until tender.
 

Pour in the milk and cream and heat until bubbly.
 

Whisk the egg yolks then temper 
them with a little of the milk mixture.
 

Then pour the egg mixture into 
the skillet with the rest of the milk/cream.
 

Add the cheeses....
 

...and sage.
 

Then add the chopped proscuitto 
and cooked pasta. Stir and serve!!