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, July 31, 2012

Living here in the south, macaroni and cheese is EVERYWHERE! HomeMADE mac and cheese. Not the stuff in the box...which, by the way, I am a BIG fan of. (I think last that sentence wasn't grammatically correct. This is a cooking page...not a grammer page...so whatever.) Aaannywayyy, I decided to take a basic cheese sauce and re-do your basic mac and cheese...but with no mac. I used gnocchi instead! If you've never had gnocchi, you don't know what you're missing. Little potato dumplings is what they are! And SO yummy! Mixed with the cheese...sprinkled with a little parm, a little breadcrumbs...I was a happy girl, let me tell you! THIS...you HAVE to try!

Gnocchi and Cheese

1 lb. gnocchi ~ I used store bought
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp flour
1 cup half & half
1 tsp dijon mustard
2/3 cup gruyere cheese, grated (or a combination of your favorite cheeses, 1/3 cup each)
1/3 cup parmesan, grated
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F and spray a small casserole dish with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook until they’ve floated to the surface. About 2 minutes.

Drain gnocchi and place in a single-layer in the prepared pan.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat

Stir in garlic and cook about 30 seconds.

Whisk in flour until it thickens and bubbles, then whisk in the half & half and the dijon.

Continue to whisk and cook until thickened, about 3-5 minutes

Add the cheese to the butter/milk mixture, stirring until cheese has melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour sauce evenly over the gnocchi.

In a small bowl, combine the parmesan and panko then sprinkle on top of the gnocchi

Bake  until the top is golden and bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Let the gnocchi set for a few minutes before serving.

Here's what you'll need for this yumminess.

Melt the butter in a saucepan 
then add the minced garlic.

Add the flour and cook that for a bit.

Then add the milk and the dijon mustard.

Then the cheese. Stir until smooth 
and the cheese is melted.

Cook the gnocchi...

..then place it a shallow pan. 
Pour the cheese sauce over the gnocchi.

Combine the panko and the parm.

Then sprinkle over the cheese sauce.

Bake it up!

Monday, July 30, 2012

When I was kid, we didn't go out to eat very often. I was raised a PK (preacher's kid..for those of you who might not know what those letters stand for) and preachers were not paid all that well. We didn't starve by any means...my mom was a good cook and could stretch a dollar like nobody's business. We just didn't have extra money to go out to eat. But, in the summertime, we would drive from Tucson, Arizona to Ventura, California to visit grandparents. Our trip started out the same almost every time. We'd get up early and drive from Tucson to Yuma. We'd stop in Yuma to gas up and get a bite to eat. And we'd ALWAYS stop at Sambo's. Who out there remembers Sambo's restaurants? My dad let my brother and me pick anything we wanted off the menu. I would ALWAYS go for the fried shrimp. Every time! I loved it so much. In fact, the first time I met IT Guy's parents we went to Big Boy's Restaurant (who remembers THOSE?) and I ordered fried shrimp. So the first time I saw coconut shrimp on a menu, I was all over that! So of course I had to try it at home. And the best part? IT Guy won't touch shrimp...so it was ALL mine!!!

Coconut Shrimp 
with Spicy Orange Dipping Sauce

12 ounces large or jumbo shrimp ~ peeled and deviened
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup coconut
salt and pepper to taste

Pour about 1 - 2 cups of oil into a skillet and heat to medium heat.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs.

In a pie pan, combine the panko and coconut.

In another pie pan, combine the flour, salt and pepper.

Dredge shrimp in flour.

Dip in the eggs.

Then coat with panko mixture, making sure to press mixture onto shrimp so that it sticks.

Place coated shrimp into hot oil and fry for a couple of minutes on each side. Remove to paper towels to drain.

Spicy Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup Orange Marmalade
2 tablespoon Sweet Chili Sauce (found in the Asian section of the grocery store)

In a microwave safe bowl, combine marmalade and chili sauce. Heat for a minute or so until hot. Allow to cool a couple of minutes before serving with coconut shrimp.

Okay...let's get going. 
I only show 1 egg here. I used two.

Place the seasoned flour, the eggs, 
and the coconut/panko in individual bowls.

Dip the shrimp first in the flour, 
then the eggs, then the panko mixture.

Then fry 'em.

Flip them over. A couple of minutes on each side. 
Shrimp don't take long to cook.

Combine the marmalade and the chili sauce. 
Heat in the microwave until warm.

Here you go...better than any restaurant!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

IT Guy and I have a long running feud over how to pronounce the word "sherbet". He says it's sher-BET...and even though my eyes tell me that's right...my mouth wants to say sher-BERT. So guess what I say? I say sher-BERT! Neener-neener! Ha! I had a friend tell me the other day that she made this for company. When she told me what the ingredients were I knew I had to try it. Well...bust my buttons if this wasn't the tastiest concoction! Kind of like a cross between orange sher-BERT and an orange creamsicle popsicle!! I'm going to try it with pineapple soda next time...and then maybe raspberry. A really FUN summertime treat!!!

Orange Sher-BERT

1 2-liter bottle Fanta Orange Soda
2 cans sweetened condensed milk

Pour your soda into your ice cream maker then pour in both cans of the sweetened condensed milk.

Give it a good stir then turn on your machine and go to town.

I like to freeze mine before serving but you certainly can serve this right away.

Yep...this is all you need!

Pour your soda into the ice cream maker.

Then add the sweetened condensed milk.

Stir it up....

..then start your engines!

This is what you'll end up with!

So yummy!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fried Rice

You all know my dilemma about living in the south and finding good Mexican food, right? Well...it's nearly as bad finding good Chinese food, too!! It's not AS big of a deal because IT Guy doesn't like Chinese food. I've taken to making my own here at home and it's SO much better than any restaurant can serve. This fried rice is a GREAT side dish to any one of the Chinese recipes you can find here on SFFS. And SOOOOO easy!!

Fried Rice

1 - 2 green onions ~ finely chopped
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons oil for stir-frying ~ divided use
2 cups cold cooked rice
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (optional), cooked

Heat a wok or frying pan and add one tablespoon of oil. Add the egg and cook, stirring, until the eggs are lightly scrambled but not dry. Remove the egg to a small bowl and clean out the pan.

Add the remaining oil to the pan. Add the rice. Stir-fry for a few minutes, breaking it apart as it heats. Stir in the soy sauce.

Add the green onions, eggs and veggies (if using) to the pan.

Stir to combine.

So easy...here's what you need. 
So easy...here's what you need.

Add some oil to you pan then add your rice.  Fry it around for a little bit. 
Add some oil to you pan then add 
your rice. Fry it around for a little bit.

Add the soy sauce and mix well. Then add your scrambled egg and the chopped green onion. Add some thawed from frozen peas and carrots (if desired) and stir and cook until heated through. 
Add the soy sauce and mix well. 
Then add your scrambled egg and 
the chopped green onion. Add some 
thawed from frozen peas and carrots 
(if desired) and stir and cook until heated through.

This was SO easy and so good!!!! 
This was SO easy and SO good! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Blueberry Crisp

I'm not a big fan of blueberries...they're just okay. Actually, I like the taste but not the texture. But..my sister-in-law gave me some off of her bushes the other day so I figured I'd make....something...with them. IT Guy and #1 son like them so I figured a cobbler would make them happy. Guess what? I was right! Well...actually I made a crisp and they were happy with THAT. I had a small bowl and proclaimed it a success. I figure if someone like me can enjoy something I'm not too fond of, then someone who DOES like blueberries...would LOVE it!

Blueberry Crisp

4 cups blueberries, rinsed and lightly dried
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch salt

Topping Mixture

1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons room temperature butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

In a medium sized bowl, combine blueberries, cornstarch, sugar and salt.

In another bowl, combine flour, oats, brown and white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and pecans. Cut in butter until mixture looks crumbly.

Add the blueberries into a small, greased baking dish. Top evenly with the crumb mixture. Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Here we go! Looks like I forgot to put the flour in the picture. I did use it!
Here we go! Looks like I forgot to 
put the flour in the picture. I did use it!

Mix the blueberries, cornstarch and 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl.
Mix the blueberries, cornstarch 
and 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl.

Dump them in a greased dish. I used a 9x11 inch size.
Dump them in a greased dish. 
I used a 9x11 inch size.

Then mix up the topping ingredients. This is where the flour is supposed to go. You know..the flour I forgot to put in the picture up there.
Then mix up the topping ingredients. 
This is where the flour is supposed to go. 
You know..the flour I forgot to put in the picture up there.

I just mixed it with my fingers.
I just mixed it with my fingers.

Then sprinkle it on top of the blueberries. Then bake!
Then sprinkle it on top of the blueberries. 
Then bake!

Isn't it pretty????
Isn't it pretty????

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Here's something that turned out to be easy and delicious. I'm always on the hunt for breakfast-y type things and this is perfect! As I was describing to IT Guy what was for dinner, I told him what all was in this....his response was..."well...I like all those things...let's eat!" Success!

Skillet Breakfast

4 - 5 potatoes ~ shredded
1 small onion ~ diced
Cheese ~ any kind, as much or as little as you like
4 - 6 fried eggs
Salt and pepper

Saute the onions in a large skillet over medium - medium high heat until tender. Add shredded potatoes and stir.

Add salt and pepper, cover and cook until potatoes are golden brown on one side. Flip over in sections and cook until other side is browned and potatoes are done.

Remove from the heat and add cheese. (I used three different kinds. Swiss, smoked Gouda and cheddar/jack.)

Place skillet in a 375* oven until cheese is melted and bubbly...about 15 minutes. 

Remove skillet from oven and add fried eggs on top. Serve!

Here's the goods.

Saute the onions then add 
the shredded potatoes.

Cover and cook on both 
sides until golden brown.

Remove the heat and add your cheeses....
then pop the whole thing in the 
oven for a few minutes.

Fry your eggs.....

...and plop them on top of the bubbling cheese!

Break open that yolk and enjoy!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

My son-in-law is not a big dessert person. But show that boy a pound cake and he's all business! The other night he came over to watch some big cage fighting thing with #1 son and IT Guy so I made a pound cake for them to munch on. Nothing says MMA cage fighting quite like a POUND cake...right???? Har-de-har-har....!!! They really enjoyed it. I sent some home with my SIL and the rest went pretty fast here at the house. Yummers!

Cinnamon Swirl 
Buttermilk Pound Cake

1 cup butter
½ cup shortening – I used butter-flavored
3 cups sugar
5 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Cinnamon Swirl (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 12-cup bundt pan.

Beat butter and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add 3 cups of sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition just until the yellow disappears.

Stir together the flour and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until just blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla just until blended. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle cinnamon  swirl mixture over batter. Spread remaining batter over cinnamon mixture and smooth top.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes or until a long wooden pick comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Cinnamon Swirl

½ cup flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Melt butter in the microwave in a medium sized bowl. Stir in the rest of ingredients and mix well. 

10 – 12 servings

Here's what you need for the cake and the cinnamon swirl mixture.
Here's what you need for the cake 
and the cinnamon swirl mixture.

Start by beating the shortening and butter together.
Start by beating the shortening 
and butter together.

Then add the sugar.
Then add the sugar.

Then eggs...one at a time.
Then eggs...one at a time.

Next the flour, salt and the buttermilk.
Next the flour, salt and the buttermilk.

Then the vanilla.
Then the vanilla.

Spread half the batter into the prepared pan.
Spread half the batter 
into the prepared pan.

Mix up the cinnamon swirl mixture real quick.
Mix up the cinnamon swirl mixture real quick.

The sprinkle that all over the top of the batter in the pan.
The sprinkle that all over the top 
of the batter in the pan.

Then add the rest of the batter on top of the cinnamon mixture. Bake it up and you will....
Then add the rest of the batter on top 
of the cinnamon mixture. Bake it up and you will....

...get this!!
...get this!!