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, February 28, 2012

I found this recipe over on Bakerella's website. I'll never, ever be as talented as she is in the cake pop department, but I sure can make a good cake! I really enjoy a moist cake so I decided to give this one a try. It was all she said it was! Very moist and tasty! I followed her directions to the "T" and it came out great. I used my own filling and frosting on it but if you have a favorite frosting, by all means use it. Just wanted to share her recipe and I included 
my chocolate filling and frosting recipes for you, too. 
I LOVE CAKE!!!

I included her recipe below but you can click here to go to Bakerella's page to see the recipe on  her website. While you're there, have a look at her magnificent cake pops. Oh my...the woman's phenomenal!! 

Moist Yellow Cake


1 cup (2 sticks) of butter (room temperature)
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs (room temperature)
3 cups of sifted self-rising flour (White Lily)
1 cup of whole milk (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (McCormicks)
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease and flour (3) 8 inch cake pans.
  • Using a mixer, cream butter until fluffy.
  • Add sugar and continue to cream for about 7 minutes.
  • Add eggs one at a time. Beat well after each egg is added.
  • Add flour and milk (alternating to creamed mixture), beginning and ending with flour.
  • Add vanilla and butter flavoring to mix; until just mixed.
  • Divide batter equally into three cake pans.
  • Hold each layer about 3 inches above your counter and carefully drop the pans flat onto counter several times to ensure release of any air bubbles. This will help you have a more level cake.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes (depending on your oven) until done.
  • Cool in pans for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Remove and immediately wrap each layer in plastic wrap to seal in moisture. Cool completely on wire racks.
  • Once cooled, you are ready to assemble your cake.
  •  

Here’s a little trick to add moisture into your layers:
  • Combine 1 cup of sugar and 2 cups of water.
  • Bring to boil and boil for approximately 3 minutes. Let cool.
  • Pour liquid into a spray bottle or pouring bottle.
  •  

Cake assembly:
  • Unwrap first layer and using a serrated knife, level off the top of your cake.
  • Place layer onto your dish. Take a straw and poke holes into the layer. Using your spray bottle, spray top of layer several times; enough to give it a little moisture. Be careful – don’t add too much.
  • Add a layer of frosting to your bottom layer. Repeat on second and third layers.
  • Frost the sides.
  •  


 
Here's the stuff for the cake. 
Grease and flour 3 8-inch cake pans.


 
Cream the butter until fluffy. Then add the sugar 
and beat that for about 7 minutes.


 
Add the eggs one at a time.


 
Then add the flour and milk alternately, 
beginning and ending with flour.


 
Add in the vanilla and butter flavoring.


 
Divide among the greased and floured pans.


 
Bake 'em up. Let them cool for a bit then 
wrap the layers in plastic wrap to retain moisture.



Chocolate Frosting

6 cups sifted powdered sugar, divided use
1 1/3 cup cocoa
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
¾ cup milk, divided use
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Beat 2 cups powdered sugar, cocoa, butter, vanilla extract and about half of the milk in a large mixing bowl until creamy.

Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar and milk and mix until smooth.

Makes about 4 cups frosting.

 
Now for the frosting. 
Here's what you need.


 
Mix 2 cups of powdered sugar, the cocoa, 
vanilla and butter in a mixing bowl.


 
Then add the remaining powdered sugar and the milk.


 
Whip it until it's fluffy and creamy.



Chocolate Whipped Cream Filling

1 ½ cups heavy cream
¾ cup powdered sugar
2 – 3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla

Whip cream for a couple of minutes. Add powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla and continue beating until cream reaches
spreading consistency.

Divide in half and spread between layers of cake.

Frost with chocolate frosting.


 
Here's what you need for the filling.


 
Whip the cream a bit then add in the
powdered sugar, cocoa and vanilla.


 
Continue beating until it looks spreadable.


 
I brushed on the sugar/water mixture on my layers 
ike Bakerella suggested. The moister the better!


 
Start assembling the cake. 
Divide the filling between the first and second layer 
then frost the sides and top with the chocolate frosting! 
You'll have plenty of frosting!!


 
Chocolatey goodness!!!


 
Rich and decadent!



Monday, February 27, 2012

As always...Mexican food is welcome around here. I had some chicken tenders that needed to go into something so when I dragged them out of the freezer, I espied some frozen green chilies from my fabulous MIL. Ta-da!!! Here you go!! I know most chicken chili has some sort of white beans in it, but I'm more of a pinto bean kinda gal...so that's what I used. Delish!!

Chicken Chili



1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 7-ounce can diced green chilies
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 tablespoons chili mix (recipe follows)
3/4 cup water
1 15-ounce can pinto beans
1 15-ounce can corn
1 15-ounce can petite diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large dutch oven, sauté onion and garlic until tender. Add green chilies and cook a few minutes longer.

Add chicken chunks and cook until chicken is cooked through.

Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for two hours.

Top with grated cheese and sour cream.

 
The goods....


 
Saute the onion and garlic for a 
little bit then throw in the green chilies.


 
Toss in the chunked chicken, 
stir and cook through. 


 
Add the chili mix and the water and stir.


 
Then add the pinto beans, corn and tomatoes. 
Stir it up and let it simmer for a couple of hours, 
stirring every now and then.


 
Mmmm.....yum!


 
Top with grated cheese and sour cream!



Chili Mix

2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine in a small bowl and mix well. 
Store in a covered jar. Use 3 tablespoons for chili.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

So, so good! That's all I have to say about these. If you're not into messing with puff pastry...you can use thin slices of pound cake and that would taste great, too! The custard in this recipe doesn't have eggs in it, so if you have issues with eggs, 
this pastry cream is for you!

Two Fruit Napoleons



 
Here's what you'll need for these napoleons.



Berries

1 ½ cups strawberries - crushed
1 ½ cups berries - crushed
½ cup sugar

Mix berries and sugar together in a bowl and chill.


 
I used frozen berries and put about 
3 - 4 cups whole berries in a bowl.


 
Then I mashed them up, but did not pulverize them. 
I wanted some of the juice to come out and to have 
some chunks of fruit. Then I put in about 1/2 cup 
sugarand allowed it to chill in the fridge.


Pastry Cream

1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, whipped with 1/4 cup powdered sugar

In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt.

Pour in the milk and cook over medium heat, stirring with a wire whisk until mixture thickens and boils.

Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.

Pour into a medium sized bowl. Press plastic wrap onto the top of the pastry cream and chill.

When mixture is completely cooled, fold in sweetened whipped cream.
 
Combine the milk, cornstarch, sugar and salt. 
Cook until thick and bubbly. 
Remove from heat and add the vanilla. 
Place in a bowl and cover with plastic 
wrap and allow it to chill in the fridge.


 
Then whip 1 cup of heavy cream and f
old that into the chilled pastry cream.



Napoleons

2 sheets (1 package) of puff pastry

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Roll out puff pastry a little larger than it comes out of the box.

Using a cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Using a cookie cutter smaller than the first one, press it into the center of each round, but not all the way through. Prick centers with a fork. Transfer to a cookie sheet. (I was able to get 12 rounds out of one sheet.)

Brush the edges of the round with a beaten egg then sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake rounds for about 10 minutes until lightly golden brown.

While rounds are still hot, press the centers down with a fork. Allow to cool.

Fill one round with pastry cream, top with another round and fill with more pastry cream. Ladle a scoop of berries over the top. Top with whipped cream.


 
Unwrap your pastry and roll it out a little larger. 
I probably made this about 3 inches longer, but no wider.


 
I used a 3 inch cutter and a 2 inch cutter for my rounds.


 
Cut the pastry with the larger cutter then go back and press down with the smaller one but don't go all the way through.


 
Place them on a cookie sheet then prick the centers.


 
I brushed the edges with a beaten egg and 
sprinkled the whole thing with sugar...but that step is optional.


 
Right after they come out of the oven, 
take a fork and press the centers down. 
Let them cool.



 
Using two pastry rounds, fill one with the pastry cream, 
then top with another pastry round and more cream...


 
....then some berries!! 
Yummmm!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Oh my but these were good!! I've seen TV chefs do this but I never tried it until now. Just a different twist on an old classic meal. You can make a little or a lot and one thing that I really liked about it was when I reheated the ravioli the next day, they were just as crispy as when I had cooked them the day before. I just placed them on a cookie sheet and heated them in the oven for about 10 minutes and they were perfect! I'll be making these again as a meal, but I think they would be awesome served as an appetizer with some marinara sauce on the side!! I love double duty food!!!

Fried Ravioli with Meat Sauce



Frozen Cheese Ravioli - thawed
1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 medium onion – diced
2 cloves garlic – diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups Panko crumbs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs - beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for frying

In a skillet, sauté onion and garlic in some olive oil. Add the sausage and cook until  done. Add marinara sauce and heat through. Cover and keep warm.

Heat 1 cup of oil in a skillet on medium heat.

In a shallow bowl or pie pan, combine Panko, oregano, parmesan cheese and salt and pepper.

In a separate shallow bowl or pie pan, beat two eggs.

Working in batches, dredge thawed ravioli in egg then in Panko mixture. Gently place in hot oil and fry for a couple of minutes until lightly browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in 300 degree oven until all ravioli are cooked.

Ladle a scoop of meat sauce on a plate then top with a few ravioli and serve!


The ingredients.


Saute the onion and garlic then add the sausage. 
Make sure you remove the casings if you're using links.


After the sausage is done, add the 
marinara sauce, cover and keep warm.


Put the eggs in a shallow bowl and beat 'em up! Then combine the Panko, parm, oregano and salt and pepper in a second shallow bowl.


Dredge the ravioli in egg then in the panko mixture. My ravioli were almost thawed. I think that worked out really well and once they were in the hot oil, they were fine.


Add them to the hot oil and fry for a couple of minutes on each side until they're nice and golden brown. Drain them on paper towels and keep warm in a 300 degree oven.


Serve the ravioli over the meat sauce!! So good!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chocolate Chex Mix

I made this on Valentine's Day because I was in the car for a while and had time to think about what my next kitchen creation should be. Don't think and drive!!! This is what happens!!

Chocolate Chex Mix



8 cups Corn Chex cereal
1 11-ounce package Caramel Bits (found in the baking aisle)
1 12-ounce package Mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - cut into 4ths (or you can use several of the small bite-sized packages)
1 cup white chocolate chips - melted
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips - melted

Spray a large cookie sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.

Combine cereal and half of the quartered peanut butter cups in a large bowl.

In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt caramel bits with 1 tablespoon of water for 1 minute. Stir. Heat for another minute and stir until melted.

Pour melted caramel over cereal/peanut butter cup mixture and stir until well coated.

Spread mixture onto prepared cookie sheet.

Sprinkle the other half of the quartered peanut butter cups over the coated cereal.

Drizzle melted chocolates over cereal mixture and allow to harden. Break into chunks.




Here's the goodness.


Combine the cereal and half of the peanut butter cups.


Melt the caramel bits....


...then pour over the cereal. Stir to coat then 
spread onto a greased cookie sheet.


Top with the remaining peanut butter cups.


Then drizzle with the melted chocolates. 
Allow it to harden.


Break into chunks then enjoy!!