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!

Monday, December 31, 2012

I went to a friends house for a gift exchange over the holidays and had SOME fun. There were all kinds of goodies laid out to eat, but the one thing that I could NOT stay out of of was this potato salad. I know what you're probably thinking. Meh...it's just potato salad. But it's NOT! This is SO good. I'm not much of a Miracle Whip kinda girl but in this salad...oh man...yummy!!! Barbara didn't know the exact amounts for this recipe so I had to do some tweaking to get it just right and it'll probably never be as good as hers but it turned out pretty stinkin' good, if I do say so myself! Make sure you dice the pickles yourself. According to Barbara it makes a world of difference. And who am I to argue with an expert potato salad maker??

Barbara's Potato Salad


1 5-pound bag of red potatoes ~ chunked and boiled but not mushy....you want them to hold their shape
1 1/2 cups diced Baby Gherkin pickles (don't cheat and use relish...it's not the same)
1 cup diced red onion
3 hard boiled eggs - diced
1 22-ounce container Miracle Whip
Salt and pepper to taste

After the potatoes are boiled, drain them.

Add the chopped Gherkins, diced onion and chopped hard boiled eggs. Mix gently.

Add the entire contents of the Miracle Whip and gently stir to coat potatoes.

Salt and pepper to taste then chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

This is all you need.

Chunk the potatoes then boil them 
until soft but not mushy.

Dice the pickles, onion and boiled eggs.

After the potatoes are done, drain 
them then add the diced stuff.

The add 22-ounce container of 
Miracle Whip and give it a stir. 
Add salt and pepper to taste. 
Chill it or eat it warm. 
Both ways are yummy!

So good!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

 What Christmas would be complete without Corn Flake wreaths? Being a big Rice Krispie Treat fan, to me...the wreaths are always a treat. Even if they DO leave my tongue green. This is a great project to do with kids. You know how kids are...the messier and more colorful, the better. Now...I have to admit, I've never made these before but I've seen them around for years. A good friend shared with me her recipe so I'm here to share it with you. If you've never made these, then get on the stick....they're yummy! An old fashioned holiday favorite!

Corn Flake Holiday Wreaths

1/2 cup butter
48 large marshmallows
3/4 teaspoon Vanilla
3/4 teaspoon almond extract ~ optional
1 1/2 teaspoons green food coloring
6 cups corn flakes
Green sugar sprinkles ~ optional
Red Hots

In a large microwave safe bowl, melt butter in the microwave.

Add marshmallows and toss to coat.

Microwave for 1 minute. Stir.

Microwave for another minute.

Stir until marshmallows are melted.

Add vanilla, extracts food coloring

Pour over Corn Flakes and stir

Shape into wreaths with buttered fingers  (or spray your hands with cooking spray.)       

Sprinkle with green sugar sprinkles

Add Red Hots for Berries

Here's the goods.

Melt the butter then add the marshmallows.

Melt the marshmallows then add 
the extracts and the food coloring. Stir.

Then add the corn flakes.

Stir until coated then scoop out by
 the spoonfuls and shape into wreaths. 
Sprinkle with the green sugar. 
Then add the red hots.

I found the easiest way to make 
a wreath was to form a circle then 
punch out the middle with a large 
cake decorating tip.

See? Perfect!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bacon Jam

 Bacon jam is all over the internet. My curiosity got the better of me and I decided to make some. I mean...really. How bad could it be? Bacon? Gooood! Jam? Goood! Guess what??? I was right. Well...me and a ton of other people who have made it and loved it! I ate some on toast but the next thing I'm going to eat it on is: (in this order) toast, then bacon jam, then a fried egg on top. It's gonna be delicious...I just know it!

Bacon Jam 

2 pounds bacon ~ diced and cooked crisp
2 medium yellow onions ~ sliced
6 cloves garlic ~ minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup brewed coffee
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels.
Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings.

Add onion, garlic, pepper and cayenne to the pan and cook over medium-low heat until onions are soft and translucent. .
In a medium bowl, combine the vinegars, brown sugar and coffee.
Add vinegar mixture to onion mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
Add the bacon and cook on low until thick and liquid has reduced about 30 - 45 minutes.
Store in jam jars.

Makes about 2 cups.

Here's what you need.

Dice the bacon and cook crisp.

Slice the onion.

Drain off all but 3 tablespoons 
of the bacon fat. 
Drain the bacon on paper towels.

Add the onion and spices 
and cook until translucent.

Then add the liquid mixture.

Add the bacon to the onions and cook.

You want it nice and dark. 
This is not nice and dark.

Neither is this.

This is!!!

I wanted mine chopped up a bit so 
I threw it in the food processor for a few pulses.

Perfect and perfectly delicious.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I'm not much of a breakfast person...but if I DO eat it, I tend to gravitate to pancakes or french toast...muffins or bagels...that sort of thing. Most of the time when I cook breakfast, it's for dinner. So the other night when I couldn't think of anything else to make for dinner, I decided to make french toast. On a whim, I added some brown sugar. I've added granulated sugar from time to time but adding the brown sugar was the way to go! I told IT Guy that this was the best french toast I'd ever had in my life. It didn't need any syrup...but I'm nobody's fool...I added it anyway. But man-oh-man...was this ever tasty!!!

Brown Sugar French Toast


3 eggs
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup half and half
1 teaspoon vanilla
dash salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 loaf french bread, sliced 1/2 thick
butter for the pan

In a baking dish, beat the eggs with the half and half, vanilla and salt. Stir in the brown sugar.

Lay a few slices of bread in the egg mixture and allow it to soak for 3 - 5 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

Heat a large skillet on medium heat and melt some butter in the hot skillet.

Add the soaked bread and cook until golden brown. Flip to brown the other side.

Place on a cookie sheet and keep in a warm oven until all the bread is cooked.

Serve with maple syrup.

Here's the stuff for the yummiest 
french toast on the planet.

Mix the eggs, half and half, vanilla and salt.

Then add the brown sugar.

Let the bread soak for a few minutes.
 Both sides.

Then toss in a pan to cook.

Flip once to reveal the golden 
brown puffed up deliciousness.

Serve with maple syrup 
or whatever makes you smile.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

My mom gave me this recipe years and years ago, before IT Guy and I married. Then I used to make it for my kids when they were little. They loved hearing the blender whirring because that usually meant this treat was on its way. The original recipe called for a raw egg. (Remember this was given to me back in the 70's when people weren't concerned about salmonella.) If you can lay (hahaha!!) your hands on a FRESH raw egg, you can use it in this recipe if you want. I know some people are squeamish about raw eggs. I am one of them. I certainly would never eat a raw egg by itself. But I promise you can't taste it in this recipe! I've changed the raw egg to meringue powder and actually got the same results. The egg white/meringue powder gives this drink a little froth and foam. If you like Orange Julius', then you'll love this!

Breakfast Julius

6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate
12 ice cubes
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons meringue powder (or for you brave souls, 1 raw egg)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Serve immediately.

Makes 6 1-cup servings

Here's the goods.

Plop everything into a 
blender and give it a go!

Pour into glasses and drink!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

This little crock pot meal just can't get any easier. Throw everything in the crock pot in the morning and let it go all day until dinnertime. Your house will smell amazing! The smell of the green chilies cooking along with the spices will have you smiling! This is especially yummy during those cold winter evenings when you're craving something warm. It's especially good as leftovers the next day. One of IT Guy's favorites!

Green Chili Stew


1 - 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
2 15 ounce cans diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted with garlic but regular diced works)
1 4-ounce OR 1 7-ounce can diced green chilies (depending on your preferred heat level...add more if you want)
1 medium onion ~ diced
2 cloves garlic ~ minced (leave out if you're using the fire roasted with garlic...unless you like a LOT of garlic)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste

Dump everything in the crock pot and simmer on low all day, stirring occasionally.

Serve with heated flour tortillas.

How easy is that?

The stuff.

Throw it all in your crock pot 
and give it a stir. I let mine cook 
on high most of the day because 
my stew meat was a little frozen.

Serve with flour tortillas!!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Chocolate Tart

I have a good friend in CA who makes an incredible chocolate tart. In. Cred. Ib. Le. She's been making it for years and loves to make it for anyone who asks. The recipe was given to her with the stipulation that she never share it. And she hasn't. I've begged, pleaded, bribed her children to spy for me and even offered to pay her (okay...not really on that last part) for the recipe. No dice. That girl is NOT giving that recipe up for love or money. What's a chocolate loving girl to do? Why...make her own chocolate tart, that's what. This tart was also incredible. I think one thing that makes my friend's tart so spectacular is the extra love she puts in hers but I gotta say...mine runs a close second.

Chocolate Tart


Chocolate Cookie Crust:

1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter

Mix crumbs and butter. Press mixture firmly and evenly against bottom and sides of pie pan. 

Set aside.


1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 12-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs ~ room temperature

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Heat the heavy cream and milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat, until it just begins to simmer.

Remove from the heat.

Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted.

Add the sugar and salt and whisk until well combined.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs and then a little of the chocolate mixture and stir until combined. Then add the egg mixture to the remaining chocolate mixture, stirring until completely blended.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the filling is set.

Cool for 15 minutes then place in the fridge to chill completely.

Serve with whipped cream.

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

Mix the chocolate crumbs and the butter and press them into your pie or tart pan. 
Mix the chocolate crumbs and the 
butter and press them into your pie or tart pan.

Simmer the cream. 
Simmer the cream.

Then add the chocolate chips. 
Then add the chocolate chips.

Stir to melt the chocolate then add the sugar and salt. 
Stir to melt the chocolate then 
add the sugar and salt.

Oops. I was supposed to mix some of the chocolate mixture into the eggs to temper the eggs. 
Oops. I was supposed to mix some 
of the chocolate mixture into the 
eggs to temper the eggs.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the crust. 
Pour the chocolate mixture into the crust.

Pop it in the oven and.... 
Pop it in the oven and....


Allow to cool for a bit then chill for several hours or overnight. Serve with sweetened whip cream. 
Allow to cool for a bit then chill 
for several hours or overnight. 
Serve with sweetened whip cream.