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!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Four Cheese Chicken Pasta Casserole

Here's a casserole that my family thought was delicious. It has something for everyone. Protein...carbs....dairy....it just pleased the whole bunch! The nice thing about this is that you can change the cheese to suit you...leave out the meat if you want....switch the pasta. (Although I like using any of the "corkscrew" type pasta because I think they hold on to the sauce better...but that's just me and my weirdness talking.) I guess the best way to describe this is a macc & cheese dish with chicken added. We just call it yummy!

Four Cheese Chicken 
Pasta Casserole

8 ounces radiatore pasta
3 cups cooked chicken, sliced
4 tablespoons butter – divided use
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups whole milk
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese – shredded
1 cup Gruyere – shredded
1 cup Havarti – shredded
1 cup Parmesan – shredded, divided use
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Dash nutmeg
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
Dash Paprika

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and pour into large bowl.

Grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring until bubble. Gradually stir in the milk and continue cooking, stirring, until thick. Add the cheddar, Gruyere, Havarti and half of the Parmesan cheeses. Stir until cheese melts. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over pasta and mix. Gently stir in cooked, sliced chicken and pour mixture into prepared casserole dish.

Combine bread crumbs, remaining ½ cup Parmesan cheese. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter and pour over bread crumb mixture. Stir well then sprinkle over pasta mixture in casserole dish.

Bake for 25 minutes until bubble then turn over to 400 degrees and bake for another 5 minutes to brown the bread crumbs.

Serves 4 - 6

Let's get going! (Pepper?? Where are you???)

Melt the butter then throw in the 
flour and cook that for a bit then...

Add the milk and stir until it thickens.

The cheeses I used were Parmesan, 
sharp Cheddar, Gruyere and Havarti.

Throw that in the thickened milk mixture.

Then add the salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Pour that over the COOKED pasta.

Add the cooked, sliced chicken.

Stir together the remaining parm, 
bread crumbs and melted butter. 
Sprinkle it over the pasta mixture and...

...bake it!! Creamy and delicious!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Grilled Shrimp with Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce

I love shrimp!! Always have, always will. IT Guy...not so much. So when I grilled him a steak I decided to grill me some shrimp, too cuz I knew he wouldn't touch it! Woo-hoo!!! So delicious! This shrimp is a little bit spicy but not bad...although you could certainly increase the amount of red pepper flakes if you want more heat. It was perfect for me, though. Loved every bite!

Grilled Shrimp 
with Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce

1 -2 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
5 garlic cloves  ~ minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes and salt in a zip top bag.

Add shrimp and marinate in the fridge for 2 - 3 hours.

Grill for a couple minutes on each side until shrimp is pink.
Serve with garlic butter dipping sauce. (recipe follows)

Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce

1/2 cup butter ~ melted
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Stir to combine and heat for 30 seconds in the microwave or until warm.

Okay...so here we go.

Add the soy sauce, olive oil, 
lemon juice, salt, garlic and red 
pepper flakes together in a plastic zip top bag.

Then add the shrimp and let it 
hang out in the fridge for a couple of hours.

In the meantime, soak your 
skewers if you're using the wooden kind.

Here's the stuff for the dipping sauce.

Combine it all in a bowl and heat it 
in the microwave for about 30 seconds 
to warm it up, right before serving.

Skewer the shrimp then grill them 
for a few minutes per side until they're no longer pink.

So good!!!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken

I'm forever looking for ways to NOT turn my oven on in the summertime. With our kitchen getting full evening sun, it's no fun to have to mess with any more heat than I have to. So my crock pot is my best friend during the summer months. This is such an easy dish. Put everything in the crock pot, then let it go. No stirring until the very end. I love this dish!!!

Creamy Crock Pot Chicken

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 10-ounce cans cream of chicken soup
1 10-ounce can cheddar cheese soup
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Spray your crock pot with cooking spray.

Place chicken breasts in the crock pot.
Combine the soups in a bowl with the garlic powder, salt and pepper and pour over the chicken.
Cover and cook on low 6-8 hours , until chicken is tender.
With two forks, shred the chicken.  Serve over rice or noodles.

The list...

Add the chicken to the crock pot. 
Mix the soups together in a bowl
along with the seasonings and pour over the chicken.

OR...do like I did. I mixed the soups 
in the crock pot then added the chicken
 then added the seasonings then ladled 
some of the soup over the chicken.
 Saved myself a bowl to wash.

This is half was through cooking. 
At the end of cooking time, remove
 each piece of chicken to a plate, shred 
and place back in the crock pot to warm through.

Serve or rice or noodles. SO easy!!! And good!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Creamy Dreamy Lemon Pie

This little pie is exactly what the name suggests. Creamy and dreamy. I think lemon is so refreshing. The filling would be great to use in little tarts, too. Maybe throw some raspberries on top for something different. Just an all around yummy pie!!

Creamy Dreamy Lemon Pie

7 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4-5 lemons)
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter ~ sliced into 8 pieces
1 cup heavy cream ~ whipped

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 9 inch pie shell ~ baked

In a medium saucepan and bring 1 inch of water to a simmer over low heat. In a medium glass bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar for about 2 minutes until smooth. Whisk in the lemon juice and zest until combined.

Place the mixing bowl on top of simmering water. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula until it begins to thicken, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as you stir.  When it coats the back of spoon, it's done. This will take about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Whisk in the butter, one slice at a time. Wait until each piece almost disappears before adding the next.

Place saucepan in an ice water bath to cool to room temp.

In a mixing bowl, whip cream and powdered sugar until stiff. Gently fold into COOLED lemon curd mixture. Pour mixture into baked pie shell.

Chill several hours or overnight.

Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Let's get started. Oops! 
Left out the powdered sugar!!

Juice your lemons. See this juicer? 
That was my moms when she was first married.
 It's about 60 years old!

Mix the egg yolks and sugar
 together for a couple of minutes.

Then add the lemon zest and lemon juice.

Place the lemon mixture over some 
boiling water and cook and stir about 10 minutes.

When it coats the back of a spoon, like this...it's done.

Then add the butter.

Cool in a water bath to room temp.

Whip the cream with the powdered sugar.

Then fold into the COOLED lemon mixture.

Pour into the baked pie shell. 
Chill several hours or overnight.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Banana Bread

Did you know that today is National Banana Bread Day? Weird, I know. I think every day of the year is designated as some sort of national food day. Who sits around and thinks of those? Whoever it is...I want THEIR job! Anyway...in honor of National Banana Bread Day, I'm posting the banana bread recipe I have used for years. I got it from an old friend many, many years ago and I've been using it all this time....which is at least 35 years. It never fails to make the most moist, scrumptious and delicious banana bread. You can make it plain or add all kinds of fun stuff to it. The last time I made it I added chocolate chips...because really...who doesn't love banana and chocolate? But nuts are good...dried cranberries are tasty....a little coconut...anything that makes your heart go pitter-pat. And it freezes beautifully. It makes cute little mini loaves, too. So...go celebrate by making some banana bread for your loved ones! Now, I'm off to make cinnamon rolls!!

Banana Bread

1/3 cup shortening
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1 cup add-ins:
Chopped nuts
Chocolate chips

Cream shortening and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Sift together dry ingredients and add to shortening mixture alternately with mashed banana, blending well after each addition. Stir in add-ins, if using. Pour into well greased loaf pan and bake for 45 – 50 minutes at 350 degrees until done. Let cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan and cool completely.

Our ingredients.....

Cream the shortening and sugar 
together until fluffy.

Add the eggs....

Mash up the bananas. I just do 
it by hand with my potato masher.

Add the bananas....

alternately with the dry ingredients.

Spray your loaf pan with cooking spray. 
I even like to put some parchment paper 
down to ensure that the loaf comes our clean. 
Parchment paper is GOOD!

Here's the batter....

I added chocolate chips to mine.

Bake it up, let it cool....

..then slice and eat!