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!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Have you ever had was one of those days that you just couldn't make yourself go to the store? I have those days on occasion so it's always an adventure when it comes to preparing dinner. I know that I ALWAYS have tortillas and green chilies in my kitchen so it was just a matter of coming up with something to go with those two things. I remembered back to when I was a very young bride and one of the things I prepared at least once a week was something similar to this dish. After scrounging in my pantry and fridge, I managed to gather the ingredients for this Mexican dish. Pretty tasty for a throw together meal!! Don't you love it when an idea comes together?

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

1 10-ounce can red enchilada sauce
1 10-ounce can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 7-ounce can diced green chilies
Salt and pepper
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken
3 cups grated cheese - divided use
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 dozen corn OR flour tortillas

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray

In a medium bowl, combine the enchilada sauce, soup, sour cream, green chilies and salt and pepper.

In a separate medium bowl, combine 2 cups of the cheese, onion and chicken. Toss gently.

In a flour tortilla, place a spoonful of sauce then some of the chicken/cheese mixture. Roll up and place seam-side down in the prepared pan. Continue until all tortillas have been used.

Sprinkle any chicken/cheese mixture over the top of the enchiladas, then spread on the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with reserved 1 cup of cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Here's everything. Well..almost. I forgot the green chilies.

Combine the enchilada sauce, sour cream and cream of chicken soup. Salt and pepper, too!

Oh yeah...here's where the green chilies come in.

Then in another bowl, toss together the chicken, cheese and green onion.

Start filling your tortillas.

Spread any filling or sauce you have leftover on top of the enchiladas.

Top with more shredded cheese. Then bake it up!

This was REALLY good!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

This cake is the ultimate in yumminess! I can't remember where I found this recipe but everytime I make it, I think chocolate can't get any better!! Give it a try and see if you don't agree!

Praline Chocolate Turtle Cake

½ cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa (sifted)
2 cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 cup hot water
1 jar hot fudge topping (I prefer Mrs. Richardson’s if I can find it)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cut two 10” circles of parchment paper and lay in the bottom and up sides of two 9” greased cake pans.
To make the cake: Heat the butter, brown sugar and sweetened condensed milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. Divide the sugar mixture between the two prepared pans. Sprinkle ¾ cup pecans over the sugar mixture and set aside to cool. Combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, sour cream, oil, vanilla, and vinegar and combine. Add the hot water slowly and combine until batter is smooth. Pour the batter into the cake pans – over sugar mixture – and bake until a wooden pick comes out clean – 35-40 minutes. Cool cakes in the pans for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pans and turn cakes out onto cooling racks. Remove parchment paper and cool completely.
To assemble the cake: Soften fudge topping in microwave until warm but not runny. Spread half of the topping over the sugar mixture side of one layer, letting it run down the sides. Place the second layer over the first – sugar mixture UP – and drizzle with remaining fudge topping, letting it run down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup pecans. Place in refrigerator to allow fudge topping to set up. This cake is best if it sits in the fridge overnight. Decadent!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Here's a fun and fast scone recipe that will delight! You can, of course, substitute any berry you'd like but with strawberry season in full bloom around here, using strawberries just made sense. Give 'em a try....they're yummy!

Strawberry Scones

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar (I like to use vanilla sugar)
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup half and half
1 egg
2 cups diced strawberries - divided use (I like to freeze my berries before I fold them into the dough)
Strawberry glaze ~ recipe follows

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix well. Cut in butter and shortening. In a separate bowl, combine half and half with the egg then add to dry ingredients. 

Gently fold in 1 cup of the diced berries.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Roll dough out to ½” thick and cut into biscuit size rounds. Because the berries will release their juices as you work the dough, make sure you sprinkle on plenty of flour as you cut them out.

Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cool before glazing

Here we go!

Combine the flour, sugar, 
baking powder and salt.

Whisk together the half and half the egg.

Cut in the butter and shortening 
with the flour then add the egg mixture.

Blend it well...

...then add the strawberries.

This will be a wet dough so make 
sure you use plenty of flour for 
dusting when you pat out the dough.

Cut into 2 or 3 inch circles 
and place on baking sheet.

Bake 'em up until just lightly golden.

Strawberry Glaze

1 cup diced strawberries
2 cups powdered sugar

In a medium sized bowl, mash the berries then stir in the powdered sugar. Drizzle on top of cooled scones.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup berries. 
Mash the berries and stir into the sugar.

Then dunk the top of the scone into the berry glaze. 
Twice. Yes...I dunked twice. 
Once...then I let it dry, then I did it again. 
Don't judge.

Allow the glaze to dry. 
These are pretty stinkin' delicious!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

When I went to stay with my son and daughter-in-law after their new baby was born, a family friend was kind enough to bring us dinner one evening. She brought comfort food at it's best. A roast...potatoes, carrots, homemade sourdough bread, green beans and a very yummy concoction made simply with okra, yellow squash and onions. I asked someone "in the know" how she made it and got the basic low-down. I decided to give it a try on my own. IT Guy is a huge fan of fried okra so I knew he would love this...and I was right! It was easy to throw together and we 
thought it was delicious!

Miss Betty's Dish

1 pound okra - "coin sliced", tips and end removed
2 - 3 yellow squash - large dice
1 large onion - large dice
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup flour
oil for frying

Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat.

In a large bowl, combine all diced veggies.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper then the cup of flour. Toss the veggies and flour together until all veggies are well coated.

Add enough oil in the skillet to cover the bottom of the pan. Place enough veggies in the pan to cover the bottom in one layer. Allow to cook for several minutes until the bottom is golden brown. Turn the veggies over in large sections to cook the other side.

When done, remove to a plate and repeat with remaining veggies.

Here's all you need.

I sliced my squash in half lengthwise 
and then in half lengthwise again.

Combine all cut veggies a large bowl.

Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with flour. 
Toss to combine.

In a hot skillet with oil, 
place enough veggies to make one layer. 
Cook until golden brown.

Then flip it over to cook the other side. 
Repeat with the rest of the veggies.

Can you say yummy????

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

When we lived in California, we lived right down the street from a Trader Joe's. LOVE that store! One of the things they sold there that I really enjoyed was a spinach salad. It had the raspberry dressing...but it also had feta cheese, dried cranberries and candied pecans. Oh. So. Good. Once in a while, a friend and I would go there and pick ourselves up a salad, pretend it didn't have an calories whatsoever and just enjoy it. Yum. Since moving to the south, we DO have Trader Joe's but the stores here don't carry the same salad. Must be a regional thing or something. Well..never fear! I made my own version of their salad and I have to say...I'm pretty impressed with myself. If you're into froo-froo salads like this...you will love it! So good. I told IT Guy...psshhhh....TJ's aint got nuthin' on me!

Spinach Salad 
with Raspberry Dressing 
(and other yummy stuff)

1 bag Spinach
1 4-ounce container crumbled Feta cheese
1 6-ounce bag Craisins
Candied Pecans ~ recipe follows (or buy ready made)
Raspberry Dressing ~ recipe follows (or buy ready made)

Pile it on your plate and eat!!

Here are all the salad fixin's.

Raspberry Dressing

1 6-ounce package fresh raspberries
5 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons honey
Cracked black pepper to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil

In a blender, place the raspberries, Balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey and black pepper.

Blend until well combined then while blender is running, drizzle in the olive oil.

Makes about 2 cups of dressing. Store in the fridge in a jar with a well fitting lid. Shake before using.

The ingredients for the dressing.

Put everything in the blender EXCEPT the olive oil.

After everything's blended, drizzle in the 
olive oil while the blender's running.

Here you go!

Candied Pecans

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup pecans - halves or very rough chopped
1 tablespoon butter

Cover a small cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place sugar in a small skillet and cook over medium heat until sugar begins to melt and turns golden and caramel-y….stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add butter and stir, then dump in the pecans, stirring quickly. 

Immediately turn pecans onto parchment paper. Separate with two forks and allow to cool. The pecans can be broken into smaller pieces once they are completely cooled.

For the candied pecans.

Heat the sugar over medium heat in a medium sized skillet.

As the sugar heats, it will start to melt. 
First it will get kind of lumpy. See?

And lumpier. Don't panic! It WILL melt. 
Just keep stirring so it doesn't burn. Yuck.

See how melt-y it is? 
Remove the pan from the heat.

Stir in the butter and let that melt.

Then stir in the pecans.

Working quickly, spread the pecans 
out onto some parchment paper. 
When they are completely cooled, 
you can break them into smaller pieces.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I originally saw this on....where else? Pinterest!! The ones I saw were made with homemade marshmallows. Now I'm sure those would be divine...but I didn't have time to do that...nor did I want to. So store-bought marshmallows to the rescue! Now...I did not follow any particular recipe here...I just sort of flew by the seat of my yoga pants. If you want to crumble your own graham crackers, that would be marvy. But again...I went the easy route. Already crumbled crumbs for THIS gal! I think any kind of chocolate would work but I had semi-sweet on hand so I went with that. Here's my technique for these little guys.

S'mores on a Stick

1 package large marshmallows
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips - melted
A little bit of oil to thin the chocolate
Sucker sticks

Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Add a little bit of oil (maybe a tablespoon) to thin the chocolate for easier dipping. Stir well.

Pour your graham cracker crumbs into a bowl.

Dip one end of a sucker stick into the chocolate about 1/4 inch.

Plunge the dipped end into the marshmallow.

Then dip the marshmallow into the melted chocolate about half-way.

Place the dipped marshmallow into the cracker crumbs and roll it around to cover the chocolate.

Place on parchment paper to set up.


This is all you need.

Get your dipping station all set. 
Parchment paper: check. 
Graham cracker: check. 
Melted chocolate: check. 
Sucker sticks: check.

Dip the sucker stick into the chocolate 
a little ways then insert the dipped in into a marshmallow.

Dip it in some chocolate.

Then roll it around in the cracker crumbs.

Let the chocolate set up a little while then eat!