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, November 29, 2011

Oreo Chocolate Overload Cheesecake

I made this the other day for an after Thanksgiving dessert. You guys do that too, right? Please tell me you do so I know I'm not the only one. Our Alabama kids came the day after Thanksgiving and we NEEDED some more dessert because the two pies and the lemon bars we had on Thanksgiving day wasn't enough. Anyway..I was glad I made it because I think it's one of the best cheesecakes EVER! The filling was nice and creamy...then the chocolate was the crowning glory! And also I know it was good because it's GONE!

Oreo Chocolate 
Overload Cheesecake



Crust:
26 oreos – crushed in a processor
½ cup butter – melted
Combine crushed oreos and melted butter. Stir well. Pour into a parchment paper lined spring-form pan. Press onto the bottom of the pan. Chill while preparing filling.

Filling:
2 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
dash vanilla 
½ cup mini chocolate chips
15 oreos -  crushed into large chunks, divided use

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps.

Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 – 2 minutes. 

Add the sour cream and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well mixed but not overbeaten. Fold in the mini chocolate chips and half of the crushed oreos. Pour the filling into the chilled crust-lined pan and smooth top with a spatula.

Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cheesecake should jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in roasting pan for 30 minutes.

Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim.

Topping:

Remaining crushed oreos from filling
1 cup chocolate ice cream topping

Sprinkle top of cooled cheesecake with chunked oreos. Drizzle with ice cream topping.

Slice into 16 servings with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.



Here's the goods...


Whiz some Oreos in your food processor.


Then mix them with some melted 
butter and pat them into a springform pan. 
Chill the crust while you make the filling.


Cream the cream cheese until nice 
and smooth then add the eggs one at a time.


Pour in the sugar....


...and vanilla and sour cream.


Make sure its well combined but don't overmix it.



Crush up some more Oreos into big chunks.


Toss the chunked oreos and the 
mini chocolate chips into the filling.


Then pour that into the chilled crust.


Wrap the pan with foil, then put 
it into a large roasting pan with 
some hot water and bake it up.


Sprinkle with some of the crushed Oreos..
then drizzle with some ice cream topping 
then sprinkle with more Oreos. Chill for 
several hours or overnight. Slice and eat!

Monday, November 28, 2011

This cream sauce is oh, so delicious. It's perfect over pasta if you need a quick and easy side dish. I served it with roasted chicken and it was great. You can adjust the garlic to your liking, too. Add some shrimp or chicken along with the pasta and it's a meal!

Garlic Cream Sauce for Pasta



2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 - 2 cloves garlic - minced
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups pasta - cooked and drained

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add garlic and stir.

Add flour and whisk a few minutes.

Slowly add the cream and whisk until thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add to cooked pasta and toss to coat.

 
The goods.


 
Melt the butter then stir in the garlic.


 
Dump in the flour and whisk that around for a bit.


 
Then pour in the heavy cream.


 
Cook that until it's nice and smooth.


 
Pour over the cooked pasta.


 
Then dig in!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Well...fiddle-dee-dee...I made these the other day to have on hand for Thanksgiving. Yeahhh...that didn't work out so well. We ate them before we even GOT to Thanksgiving.These would be a GREAT if you need to take a little something as a gift during the holidays. I'll be making more of these, for sure!

Scarlett Almonds ~ Sweet and Spicy



1 pound raw almonds
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

In a large bowl, whisk egg and water until frothy. Add almonds and stir to coat.

In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.

Pour over almonds and toss to coat.

Spread onto a parchment paper lined rimmed cookie sheet.

Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every fifteen minutes. Allow to cool then separate. Store covered.

Makes 1 pound.


The line-up.


Combine the egg white and the water.


Beat it until it frothy...like this.


Dump in the nuts and stir to coat.


Then dump in the sugar and spices. 
Stir to coat.


Spread out into a single layer on a 
parchment paper lined rimmed 
cookie sheet. Bake them about 45 
minutes making sure to stir every 15 minutes.


Allow them to cool 
then break them apart.


So tasty!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A long time ago...when #1 son was little, a bunch of us young moms got together with our kids and did a home preschool. We had lots of fun...the kids had a blast and best of all....it was free! I think there were 5 or 6 moms involved. Over the years some of us lost touch with one another. I know that was the case for me and a couple of the girls. Fast-forward to today. One day, a year or two ago...I got an email from one of the moms (Hi Donna!) who used to be in the preschool group. She and her husband were moving to the area and she was asking me questions about it. We had a few conversations about the area. Then about that time....Words With Friends became all the rage. And that's where we are now. Donna and I keep 4 games going with each other all the time...and yes..she wins most games. But it's fun. I say ALL of that so I can say that this recipe comes from Donna. I only have one question for her. Why did you wait so long to share it???

Albondigas (Meatball) Soup



Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
3 T. onion minced
2 T. bread crumbs
1 egg slightly beaten
1 t. salt
1/8 t. cumin powder
1/4 t. ground pepper
1/2 t. oregano or Italian seasoning
2 T. raw rice
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce - divided use (I used El Pato Mexican Tomato Sauce for extra zing)

Mix all ingredients, except use only 1 - 2 tablespoons of the tomato sauce. Reserve the rest for the broth.

Form small meatballs. Set aside.


Caldo (Broth) 

1/2 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 c. bell pepper chopped
1 T. oil
6 cups beef broth
Remainder of tomato sauce
2 - 3 cups chopped veggies (carrots, celery, zucchini, yellow squash, corn)


Saute onion and bell pepper, add garlic and stir.  Add beef broth and the remainder of the tomato sauce.

Bring to roiling boil. Add uncooked meatballs one at a time so boiling doesn't stop.

Add diced vegetables.

Add 1/4 cup uncooked rice, if desired.

Cover and simmer for 25 minutes.

Tastes better if prepared a day in advance.  Freezes well.

 6-8 servings.


Here's what you need. I'm showing a product here called "Better Than Bullion". I used it instead of canned broth. It's in the soup aisle and comes in beef or chicken flavors. Worked great. Just use one teaspoon of this to one cup of water. I also am using El Pato Mexican Tomato Sauce instead of plain tomato sauce. It gives a little extra kick and we love it.


Mix all the stuff for the meatballs then form them about the size of a walnut. I used my smallest cookie scoop so they would all be the same size.


Sauce the bell pepper and onion then add the garlic.


Add the broth and remaining tomato sauce to the pot.


Then add the meatballs, one at a time...and the rice if you're using that. I found that I really liked the added rice. Add the chopped veggies here, too.


Yum! IT Guy was a HUGE fan of this...we all really liked it! Thanks, Donna!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Country Apple Coffee Cake

I'm sure a lot of us are expecting out of town company this week and might need a quick and easy breakfast treat. This goes together really fast and is so delicious. We devoured it pretty quick. Double the recipe and put it in a 9x13 inch pan if you're feeding a crowd!

Country Apple Coffeecake



2 tablespoons butter – melted
2 granny smith apples – peeled and diced
1 16-ounce can flaky biscuits
1/3 cup brown sugar – packed
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 egg
½ cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 1 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray.

Sprinkle 1 diced apple in the bottom of the prepared cake pan.

Cut each biscuits into fourths and place on top of apples, pointed end up.

Sprinkle biscuits with remaining diced apple.

In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, corn syrup, egg and pecans. Stir until well mixed and spoon over apple/biscuit mixture.

Bake for 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown. Top with powdered sugar glaze, if desired.

Here's the line-up. 
Here's the line-up.

Spread one cup of peeled and chopped apples in a 9-inch cake pan. Cut the biscuits into fourths. 
Spread one cup of peeled and 
chopped apples in a 9-inch cake pan. 
Cut the biscuits into fourths.

Place the cut biscuits, point side UP, over the apples. 
Place the cut biscuits, point side UP, over the apples.

Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of apples. 
Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of apples.

Mix the melted butter, brown sugar, corn syrup,  pecans, cinnamon and the egg in the medium bowl. 
Mix the melted butter, brown sugar, 
corn syrup, pecans, cinnamon and 
the egg in the medium bowl.

Pour that over the apple/biscuit mixture in the cake pan. 
Pour that over the apple/biscuit mixture in the cake pan.

All ready to bake. 
All ready to bake.

Warm from the oven! 
Warm from the oven!

Serve with a powdered sugar glaze for extra yumminess. 
Serve with a powdered sugar glaze for extra yumminess.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Muzzy's Cornbread Dressing

"Muzzy" is what IT Guy's family called his maternal grandmother. She was a  southern gal from Paducah, Kentucky and the sweetest little lady. From the day I married IT Guy, she treated me as if I was one of her own grandchildren. Always welcoming me with open arms and a smile. I just loved her. Muzzy passed from this life about 10 years ago or so and we all miss her. She didn't profess to be a chef, but she had several things she made very well. One was potato salad (I need to pick my mother-in-law's brain for that recipe) and another was this dressing. It was handed down from her mother and she passed it along to my MIL who in turn gave it to her children and grandchildren. My MIL has been making it for 60+ years...and I know I've been making it for half that time. I even gave the recipe to my mom and SHE makes it, too. It's a basic southern biscuit and cornbread dressing recipe but you really can't beat it. There's something to be said for a recipe that's lasted 6 generations. Our family is spread out from South Carolina to Arizona to Utah to Texas, and we don't get to spend a lot of holiday time together, but every Thanksgiving we know we're all sharing Muzzy's Cornbread Dressing across the miles.

Muzzy’s Cornbread Dressing



For the cornbread:

2 cups cornmeal
1 ½ cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2/3 cup oil
2 eggs
2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together.  Add oil, milk and eggs and stir well to combine. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake for 30 – 45 minutes until golden brown and done in the center.  Crumble when cool and allow to dry overnight.


Here's the stuff for the cornbread. 
Here's the stuff for the cornbread.

Mix the dry.... 
Mix the dry....

..add the wet then pour it into a 9x13 inch pan. 
..add the wet then pour it into a 9x13 inch pan.

Bake it up then cool it down. 
Bake it up then cool it down.



For the biscuits:

I'm sure "back in the day", homemade biscuits were used, but for ease of preparation, we just use Bisquick.  

6 cups Bisquick
2 cups milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a large bowl, combine Bisquick and milk. Drop by large spoonfuls into a 9x13 greased pan. Dough will all come together when it’s baked to resemble a lumpy cake. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and done in the center. Crumble when cool and allow to dry overnight.



The biscuits. How easy, right? (Just so you know, the date on the milk shows 2010. These pictures were taken last year. I normally don't keep year-old milk in the fridge. :-)    )The biscuits. How easy, right? (Just so you know, the date on the milk shows 2010. These pictures were taken last year. I normally don't keep year-old milk in the fridge. :-) )

Mix the milk and Bisquick. 
Mix the milk and Bisquick.

Press it into a 9x13 inch baking pan. No need to be neat or precise. You're going to crumble it up anyway. 
Press it into a 9x13 inch baking pan. 
No need to be neat or precise. 
You're going to crumble it up anyway.

All baked. Let it cool. 
All baked. Let it cool.

Break up the breads and put them into a large bowl. 
Break up the breads and 
put them into a large bowl.

Then with your hands, crumble and mix it all together. At this point you can just let it hang out in the bowl overnight to dry out some. 
Then with your hands, crumble 
and mix it all together. At this point 
you can just let it hang out in the 
bowl overnight to dry out some.


In a large skillet, sauté the following in some butter or olive oil:

1 ½ cups chopped celery
1 ½ cups diced onion

Sauté until tender.

In a VERY large bowl or new clean dishpan, mix together the breads and sautéed veggies.  Add grated hard boiled eggs, 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning (more to taste), and salt and pepper to taste. Pour in 1 can of the chicken broth and stir well. Add more broth from a second can so that dressing is very moist but not soupy.

Transfer dressing to 2 greased 9x13 inch pans. Sprinkle with paprika

Bake at 350 for 1 – 1 ½ hours until lightly browned on top.

The breads for this dressing can be made several days in advance and frozen. In fact, it’s easier to make it ahead of time so that you’re not doing it all in one day. Just thaw before assembling.

This recipe can easily be halved for a smaller crowd. 


Now...here we have the rest of the ingredients along with the crumbled breads. 
Now...here we have the rest of the 
ingredients along with the crumbled breads.

Saute the onion and celery in a little butter or olive oil. 
Saute the onion and celery 
in a little butter or olive oil.

Dump the veggies, the grated hard-boiled eggs, seasonings and chicken broth into the bowl with the bread crumbs, making sure you get the dressing very moist but NOT soupy. 
Dump the veggies, the grated 
hard-boiled eggs, seasonings and 
chicken broth into the bowl with 
the bread crumbs, making sure you 
get the dressing very moist but NOT soupy.

You will probably need to use 2 large cans of broth, maybe even crack open a third to make sure you have enough moisture. Nothing worse than DRY dressing. Yuck. 
You will probably need to use 2 
large cans of broth, maybe even 
crack open a third to make sure 
you have enough moisture. Nothing 
worse than DRY dressing. Yuck.

Pour the dressing into a couple of pans...about 1 - 1 1/2 inches thick. Sprinkle with paprika then bake it up. Cover with foil if you see the dressing browning too quickly but remove the foil towards the end to make SURE it's browned on top.Pour the dressing into a couple of pans...about 1 - 1 1/2 inches thick. Sprinkle with paprika then bake it up. Cover with foil if you see the dressing browning too quickly but remove the foil towards the end to make SURE it's browned on top.


This is the list of ingredients you will need for the cornbread dressing:

1 box Cornmeal
1 40-ounce box Bisquick
Baking powder
Salt
Oil
Eggs – 1 dozen
Milk – ½ gallon
Poultry Seasoning
2 large onions
1 bunch celery
2 – 3  48-ounce cans chicken broth
Paprika for sprinkling on top of dressing


The yummiest dressing EVER! 
The yummiest dressing EVER!

This is the typed recipe for the dressing from my mother-in-law that she sent to me at least 30 years ago. Long before computers and email. I love it and keep it in my recipe binder all torn and tattered. 
This is the typed recipe 
for the dressing from my 
mother-in-law that she sent 
to me at least 30 years ago. 
Long before computers 
and email. I love it and keep 
it in my recipe binder all torn and tattered.