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, September 27, 2012

Sharron's Carrot Cake

I've got a good friend in California who gave me this recipe. This is the BEST carrot cake I have EVER eaten. Ever. She gave me the recipe years ago and it's a hit every time I make it. Moist, dense and yummy. I made this for my daughter's birthday dessert the other night and she was pretty happy. I have to leave out the pecans when I make it for my daughter because of allergies, but it's REALLY good with toasted pecans. Either in it or on it...or both! You have GOT to make this cake!!!

Sharron's Carrot Cake

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups grated carrots
1 20 ounce can crushed pineapple with juice
1 cup chopped, toasted pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 9 inch cake pans with parchment paper and then spray pans with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, oil and eggs. Mix on low until ingredients come together then increase speed to medium. Mix for 2 minutes.

Stir in grated carrots, pineapple and pecans.

Divide batter between the pans and bake for 45 minutes or until done.

Allow cake to cool in pans for 15 minutes then turn out of pans to cool completely.

Frosting for cake:

1 stick butter ~ softened
1 8-ounce package cream cheese ~ softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 - 3 cups powdered sugar
A little milk to thin frosting, if needed.

Frost cake between layers then frost remainder of cake. 

The cast of characters.
The cast of characters.

Mix the dry ingredients.
Mix the dry ingredients.

Add the eggs and oil and mix well.
Add the eggs and oil and mix well.

Mix well but don't overbeat.
Mix well but don't overbeat.

Add the shredded carrots and the pineapple. Juice and all!
Add the shredded carrots and 
the pineapple. Juice and all!

I like to line my pans with parchment paper...AND spray with cooking spray. You see here I used three 8 inch pans instead of two 9 inch. Either works.
I like to line my pans with parchment paper...
AND spray with cooking spray. You see here 
I used three 8 inch pans instead of two 9 inch. 
Either works.

Bake 'em up!
Bake 'em up!

Now for the frosting. Here's what you need. Also..maybe a little milk. I doubled my frosting because I needed more between the three layers. But half this amount works great if you're using two 9-inch pans.
Now for the frosting. Here's what you need. 
Also..maybe a little milk. I doubled my 
frosting because I needed more between the 
three layers. But half this amount works great
 if you're using two 9-inch pans.

Cream the butter and cream cheese together ...then add the vanilla and the powdered sugar, one cup at a time until smooth.
Cream the butter and cream cheese 
together ...then add the vanilla and the 
powdered sugar, one cup at a time until smooth.

Then frost your cooled cake!
Then frost your cooled cake!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

IT Guy and I went out to dinner the other night. I ordered these. Well...not THESE but I ordered something LIKE these. As I was eating them...and they WERE tasty...I kept thinking how I could make them at home and how much better they would be. I was so right tonight. IT Guy ordered something completely different so he had zero frame of reference when he ate these...but he took my word for it that mine were better. Really...you've GOT to try them. If you want to cut out the frying chicken part, then you can get some store bought chicken strips...and use those. But...there's something to be said for FRESH fried chicken! So, so, so, SOOOOOOO good!!!!

Crispy Chicken Honey 
Chipotle Tacos

2 pounds chicken strips
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 cups flour 
2 teaspoons Lawry's Seasoned Salt
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Heat 2 cups of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with milk.

In a large zip-top bag, combine the flour and seasonings.

Working in batches, place chicken strips in the egg mixture and coat strips.

Place 5 or 6 coated strips in the flour mixture and shake until chicken is coated with the flour.

Fry chicken until done.....5 minutes or so on each side. Drain on a paper towel lined cookie sheet and keep warm in a 300 degree oven.

Repeat with the rest of the chicken. Slice cooked chicken into 1 inch pieces.

Honey Chipotle Sauce

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
pinch ground pepper, to taste

Combine everything in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Set aside. Warm just before serving.

1 pound applewood smoked bacon ~ diced and cooked crisp
Lettuce ~ chopped
Tomato ~ diced
Shredded cheese
1/2 red onion ~ diced
Four tortillas ~ warmed

On a warmed tortilla, layer all the ingredients ending with the honey chipotle sauce.

Okay....here's the line-up.

Combine the eggs and the milk 
and then add the chicken strips.

Mix the flour with the seasoning 
and coat the chicken.

Fry 'em up, baby!

Dice the bacon....

...and cook til crisp.

Throw the sauce ingredients 
into a food processor.

Whizz it until it's smoooooth.

Slice the chicken into 1 inch pieces.

Gather all the other fixin's. 
Lettuce, tomato, cheese....get it all!!

Enjoy the wonderfulness!

Monday, September 24, 2012

With Fall coming, it's always nice to have a few new soup or stew recipes in your arsenal. This dish makes a plain ole chicken dish a little bit different and a lot more yummy! We REALLY enjoyed this!

Chicken and Sausage Stew

3 cups chopped cooked chicken (I used a rotisserie)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 ribs celery, sliced
1 onion ~ diced
2 cups diced carrots
2 - 3 potatoes ~ large dice
2 carrots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
8 cups chicken broth divided use
1 pound keilbasa sausage ~ large dice
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil in a large pot. Add celery, garlic and onion and cook until tender.

Add the potatoes, carrots, salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning and all but 1 cup of the broth.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, sauté the smoked sausage in a little olive oil until browned.

Mix the reserved 1 cup broth with the 1/4 cup flour. Add to the celery/broth mixture to thicken.

Add the meats to the stew and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or so.

Here's what you need.

Saute the celery, garlic and onion 
in the butter and olive oil.

Measure out 1 cup of chicken broth and set aside.

Add the rest of the broth and the potatoes, 
carrots and seasoning to the pot. 
Let it simmer for about 45 minutes 
or until the veggies are tender.

Dice the sausage and brown it in a skillet.

Mix the one cup of broth with the 1/4 cup 
flour and add that to the heated soup mixture.

Add the cooked meat and heat through.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

I made some oven BBQ'd ribs not long ago and needed something to go with them. I figured since the ribs had a cajun kick to them, I'd make a cheese sauce that did, too! Score! I poured the sauce over some cooked pasta but serving it over some veggies would be great, too!

Cajun Cheese Sauce

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon  pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (or more if you want spicy-spicy)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream or half & half
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter; remove from heat.

Whisk in flour and seasonings.

Gradually add heavy cream , stirring until well mixed.

Return to low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and smooth.

Add cheeses. Stir until smooth and well blended. Serve with pasta or vegetables.

Makes 2 cups.

The line-up.

Melt the butter then whisk in the flour and seasonings.

Stir in the milk and cook until thick.

Add the cheese and stir and 
cook until nice and creamy.

Like this!
Pour over pasta or veggies.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

We went to some friends house for dinner the other night and had some yummy pork loin that Jeff the Chef marinated and grilled. Always a hit! But another little gem that was at the table were these mushrooms. Now I'm not a huge mushroom fan, but these babies were ever so good! I got the lowdown on how to make them and I'm here to share. Cuz I'm generous like that!

Sauteed Mushrooms

3 boxes baby Bella mushrooms
2 sticks butter
3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

In a large saucepan (I used my cast iron)....melt the butter over medium heat.

Dump in the mushrooms and stir them around for a bit.

Pour in the Worcestershire sauce and allow the mushrooms to cook on low for about an hour or so.

You want them nice and tender and dark. Mmmmm.........

This is all you need. 
I only made 1 package of mushrooms
 because only IT Guy and I were eating them. 
Just increase your amounts if you need more.

Melt the butter then add in the mushrooms.

Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and cook.

Let the mushrooms cook on low heat 
or simmer for about an hour or so until 
they are nice and dark and tender.

Oh yeah.....

Monday, September 17, 2012

How good are these? Very. If you enjoy a chocolate/cherry combo then these will be something you'll like. Scones freeze very well so these are something you can make and throw in your freezer and then pull one out when you want to enjoy with your morning coffee or tea!
Chocolate Cherry Scones

1 1/2 cups flour
1/3  cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
1 stick butter, chilled and cut into chunks
1 egg - beaten
1/3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/ cup chopped dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking pans with parchment paper. 

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using the paddle attachment, add the butter chunks. Combine until mixture is crumbly. 

Combine the cream, vanilla and beaten egg. Add slowly to the flour/butter mixture until well combined.

Gently mix in chocolate chips and cherries.

On a floured work surface, dump out the scone mixture. Shape into an oblong. 

Gently roll dough out into an 9x6 inch rectangle then cut in half longways. Cut across strips into 4 equal parts to form 8 squares. Then cut in half diagonally into 16 triangle.

Place scones on prepared baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Makes 18 scones.

Okee-doke...let's go!

Combine the dry stuff.

Add the cold butter and mix 
until crumbly.

Stir together the cream, vanilla and egg.

Slowly pour the cream mixture into the 
butter mixture and mix until the dough comes together.

Stir in the chocolate chips and cherries.

Form into a rectangle about 9x6 inches. 
Then slice into triangles.

Place on a baking sheet and...


Then drizzle with some melted chocolate. 
Then eat!