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, February 28, 2013

Twinkie Pound Cake

Have I ever told you what I would eat for breakfast every school day when I was a kid? I'm ashamed to admit it, but I ate a Hostess Ding-Dong every day. You see...I didn't like to eat breakfast (still don't) but my mom always wanted me to go out the door with something in my stomach so we compromised on a Ding-Dong and a glass of milk. Every once in a while, I'd sneak a Twinkie in there....just to mix it up. So when Hostess went out of business, a little bit of my childhood died. Here's my homage to the Hostess Twinkie. Long live mass produced store bought cakes of chemicals and high fructose corn syrup!!!

Twinkie 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 milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Powdered sugar

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 batter into greased and floured pan.

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 30 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Split cooled cake in half horizontally. With a sharp knife make two shallow cuts all the way around the inside and outside edges of the bottom half of the cake. With a spoon, remove cake from the inside of the bottom half. Fill with marshmallow filling. (Recipe follows.) Replace the top of the cake and press down to seal.

10 – 12 servings

Marshmallow Filling

2 (7.5-oz.) jars marshmallow creme
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

In a large mixing bowl, combine the marshmallow creme and the butter.

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until all combined.

Fill cake with marshmallow mixture.

Here's what you need. Except....you 
 need TWO containers of the 
marshmallow creme. I found one 
was just not enough.

Beat together the butter and shortening.

Then add the sugar.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time. 
Then the flour and milk alternately.

Then the vanilla.

Spread batter into your prepared pan.

Then bake! Then Cool!!

Then split!!

Then cut a couple of shallow
 lines around the edges.

Then dig out the trench!

Mix up the filling!

And spread it in the trench of the cake.

Replace the top and press down to seal.

Close your eyes and enjoy!

Shredded Chipotle BBQ Sandwiches

We really enjoy barbeque around here. We also love spicy. So when I discovered a chuck roast in my freezer the other day, I knew exactly what was going to happen to it. So easy. So good. Make it as hot or as mild as you want. Put the mixture on buns...wrap it in a flour tortilla. Add cheese if you want. So many ways....but all yummy!

Shredded Chipotle BBQ Sandwiches


1 2-pound chuck roast
1 large onion ~ sliced
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp crushed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (or more if you like spicier)
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
pinch ground pepper, to taste

Place the sliced onion in the bottom of your crock pot.

Place your roast on top and add 1/4 cup of water.

Salt and pepper, if desired.

Let the roast cook all day until you can shred it easily with two forks. (I let mine cook for about 8 hours.)

In a medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients.

Pour over shredded meat and stir to combine.

Allow to heat through for a little while.

Serve on buns, in flour tortillas...whatever!

Here's what you need.

Place the onion on the bottom 
of the crock pot. Place the roast on 
top of the onions and add 1/4 cup of water.

Cook that baby all day!

Shred it to bits!

Make up the bbq sauce.

Pout the sauce over the shredded meat.

Stir it in and heat through.

Pile the meat on some buns or eat 
it straight out of the crock pot like I did.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Italian Sausage with Pasta and Broccoli

This was really yummy and a great meal. Sometimes when you're not in the mood for a heavy meal, something like this really hits the spot. Fresh veggies, no sauce and lots of flavor! See? Perfect!

Italian Sausage with 
Pasta and Broccoli

1 pound sausage links ~ any kind
1 red bell pepper ~ diced
1 medium onion ~ diced
2 cloves garlic ~ minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups broccoli floweretts
2 cups bowtie pasta
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Remove casings from sausage and cut into coins.

In a large skillet, cook the meat until done. Remove to a plate.

Saute the garlic, onion and red pepper in the same skillet. Add salt, pepper and oregano.

Cook the pasta until it's al dente then remove to a bowl.

In the pasta water, cook the broccoli for a couple of minutes.    

In the skillet with the veggies, add the cooked sausage, broccoli and pasta and stir gently to mix.

Sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese. Cover to allow cheese to melt on top.                                                                                                                                                          

Here's the goods.

Chop the veggies....

Cook the meat...

..until done on all sides. Then remove to a plate.

Cook the pasta then remove it. 
Cook the broccoli in the pasta 
water for a couple of minutes.

Saute the onion and bell pepper in 
the same skillet you cooked the meat in.

Add everything to the skillet.

Stir to combine.

Add some Parm.

Then let it melt through. Yummy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Homemade Onion Soup Mix

 I like keeping onion soup mix on hand for one reason. I use it on pot roast. I can throw a roast in my slow cooker in the morning with an onion soup mix on top...and a little water....and by the end of the day, the whole house smells divine! I figured it was high time to try my hand at homemade onion soup mix. This way I know exactly what's in it and I'll be able to save myself a little money, too!

Homemade Onion Soup Mix


1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons dried minced onion

3 tablespoons beef bullion granules OR 9 beef bullion cubes, crushed

2 1/2 teaspoons onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine everything in a small bowl and mix well. Store in an airtight container. Makes the equivalent of two packets of store bought onion soup mix.

Here's all you need. If you can 
find bullion granules, use those...
all I had were the cubes.

I used my mini food processor 
to grind up the cubes.

Then combine everything 
in a small bowl....

and store it in a jar or a 
covered container!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cajun Chicken Salad with Spicy Cajun Ranch Dressing

Sometimes there's nothing better than a salad. And when the salad's as good as this one with this spicy dressing, then there's nothing better. Oh wait...I think I just repeated myself. I hate repeating myself. Just hate it. Anyyyywayyyy....you should really try this yummy salad.

Cajun Chicken Salad with 
Spicy Cajun Ranch Dressing


1 bag greens
1 tomato ~ chopped
1/2 cup rough chopped pecans ~ toasted
3 chicken breasts ~ cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning

In a medium bowl, combine chicken and Cajun seasonings. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and add a little olive oil.

Add chicken to hot skillet and cook until done.

Let's start, shall we?

Sprinkle the chicken with the cajun 
seasonings and set aside for about an hour or so.

In a hot skillet, cook the chicken 
in a little olive oil until down and 
lightly browned on all sides.

Cajun Ranch Dressing

1 clove garlic - minced
1/2 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
pinch teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoons dill
1 - 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well combined.

Place some greens on a plate and add chicken on top.

Add a few tablespoons of dressing.

Sprinkle salad with tomato, toasted pecans and croutons, if desired.

Combine the buttermilk, mayo, 
garlic and all the seasonings. 
Put in the fridge to chill for several hours.

Assemble the salad then drizzle 
with the dressing. Top with the 
toasted pecans, chopped tomatoes 
and maybe some croutons!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! How fun are these? After seeing this on Pinterest, I decided to tweak the recipe a little bit. The original had some strawberry cake mix in it which didn't sit well with me so I eliminated that and increased the amounts of cereal and candy melts. This would be a fun little something to put in containers to hand out to co-workers or friends. And how easy to change colors for different holidays. Green for St. Paddy's Day! Red, white and blue for the 4th of July! Orange, yellow and brown for fall! So many choices!!!

Valentine Muddy Buddies


1 1/2 cups white (vanilla) candy melts (found at Walmart, Hobby Lobby or Michael's)
1 1/2 cups red candy melts
6 cups rice Chex cereal, divided
2 cups powdered sugar
1 bag Valentine M&M's

Divide the cereal in half and place 3 cups each into two bowls.

In a small microwave safe bowl, melt the white candy melts for 1 minute. Stir to smooth.

Repeat with red candy melts in a separate bowl.

Pour melted white candy melts over 3 cups cereal and stir to coat.

Repeat with melted red candy melts over remaining cereal.

Add 1 cup powdered sugar over each bowl of coated cereal and toss to coat completely.

Combine cereals into a serving bowl and sprinkle with M&M's.

Okay...here's all you need.

Divide the cereal into two bowls.

Then place the candy melts 
into two different bowls.


and coat. Then add the powdered sugar.


and coat. Then add the powdered sugar.

See? Combine into one bowl 
then add the M&M's.

Place in a cute container 
and you're good to go!