Welcome!

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, July 29, 2013

S'mores Cheesecake

I was having a FB exchange with Wanna Be A Country Cleaver the other day about baking. We were discussing what we felt the need to bake. She ended up making some kind of Red Velvet Cake creation (yum!) and I told her I had all the ingredients to make a S'mores Cheesecake...and I did. It's probably a good thing we don't live closer....we'd each be in BIG trouble, I think, with all the goodies there are to share!

S'mores Cheesecake



Crust:

2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup sugar
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter – melted
1 cup mini marshmallows
½ cup fudge ice cream topping - warmed

In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Stir until all combined. Pour into a 10-inch springform pan. Pat mixture up the sides and on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with mini marshmallows then drizzle with fudge topping. Chill while preparing the cheesecake.

Filling:

2 8-ounce blocks cream cheese - softened
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows

Combine cream cheese and condensed milk in a mixer on low speed until smooth. Add vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, until blended, but do not overmix. Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows. Pour over crust and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until almost set. Sprinkle with an additional ½ cup of mini marshmallows and return to oven for about 5 minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown and puffed.

Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen. Break up pieces of graham cracker and stick in the top, and then drizzle with more warmed fudge topping. Chill overnight then remove sides of pan.

The goods....
The goods....
Mix together the cracker crumbs, sugar and the melted butter.
Mix together the cracker crumbs, 
sugar and the melted butter.
Dump it into your springform pan....pat it on the bottom (hehe) and up the sides.
Dump it into your springform pan....
pat it on the bottom (hehe) and up the sides.
Sprinkle in some marshmallows and drizzle with some fudge topping.(I realize that my definition of "drizzle" might mean something different than yours.)
Sprinkle in some marshmallows and 
drizzle with some fudge topping.(I realize 
that my definition of "drizzle" might mean 
something different than yours.)
Combine the cream cheese, vanilla and condensed milk until smooth.
Combine the cream cheese, vanilla 
and condensed milk until smooth.
Then add the eggs.
Then add the eggs.
Stir in the mini chips and marshmallows.
Stir in the mini chips and marshmallows.
Gently pour that into your chilled crust. Bake!
Gently pour that into your chilled crust. Bake!
Sprinkle with a few more marshmallows then let those get all golden and puffy in the oven.
Sprinkle with a few more marshmallows 
then let those get all golden and puffy in the oven.
Let it cool for a while them stick in some broken graham crackers....
Let it cool for a while them stick in 
some broken graham crackers....
...and then "drizzle" with more topping.
...and then "drizzle" with more topping.
Slice it up!
Slice it up!
Yum!
Yum!

Praline Pecan Cheesecake

This cheesecake is decadent and scrumptious. Your life will never be the same once you've tried it.

Praline Pecan Cheesecake



Crust:

2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted

In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the crumbs into the pan and pat down into the base and 1-inch up the sides.

Sprinkle with ½ cup praline pecan pieces. (Recipe follows)

Praline Pecans

1 cup pecan pieces
½ cup powdered sugar
Few drops water

Place pecan pieces on a lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and toss. Sprinkle with a few drops of water and toss until coated and pecans are sticky. Bake in 325 degree oven for 5 – 8 minutes. Let cool and break into pieces.

After sprinkling crust with praline pecans, drizzle crust with ¼ cup (or more to your liking) of caramel ice cream topping. (I prefer Mrs. Richardson's...so good.)

Place finished crust in refrigerator while assembling cheesecake filling.

Filling:

2 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
dash vanilla

¼ cup Butterscotch-Caramel topping for drizzling

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 – 2 minutes.

Add the sour cream and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well mixed but not overbeaten. Pour the filling into the chilled crust-lined pan and smooth top with a spatula. Drizzle Butterscotch-Caramel topping over filling and swirl with a knife.

Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cheesecake should jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in roasting pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Slice into 16 servings with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut. Sprinkle cheesecake with remaining ½ cup praline pecans and drizzle with more Butterscotch-Caramel topping.

Serve and enjoy!


These few ingredients make delicious fast praline pecans useful not only for this cheesecake but for other recipes as well.
These few ingredients make delicious 
fast praline pecans useful not only for 
this cheesecake but for other recipes as well.

All spread out...waiting for the sweetness
All spread out...waiting for the sweetness

The sweetness...aka: powdered sugar
The sweetness...aka: powdered sugar

A yummy sticky mess....
A yummy sticky mess....

...that turns into yummy crunchy goodness
...that turns into yummy crunchy goodness

Our cast of characters for the cheesecake
Our cast of characters for the cheesecake

Starting with the crust
Starting with the crust

Batter up!!!
Batter up!!!

The cheesecake before all the toppings go on. A naked cheesecake, if you will.
The cheesecake before all the toppings go on. 
A naked cheesecake, if you will.

All done!
All done!

Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake

I guess I'm really on a sweet kick lately. Maybe because it's so stinkin' hot and humid here in the south right now that nothing HOT sounds fun to eat. So...here is a cheesecake for you! It's a fun twist on a pineapple upsidedown (is that one word or two? Questions like this keep me awake nights.) cake. Light....refreshing and different!! And easy! Did I say how easy it is? It's easy!

Pineapple Upside Down Cheesecake



1 20-ounce can sliced pineapple, drained and juice reserved
1 10-ounce jar of maraschino cherries (you only need 8 cherries)

Cut a round of parchment paper and lay in the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Remove 8 pineapple slices from can and drain well, pressing between layers of paper towels to remove excess juice. Place the slices in the springform pan. Repeat process for cherries then place a cherry in the center of each pineapple ring.

Crust:

2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
1 stick butter, melted

In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the crumbs into the pan on top of pineapple and cherries and pat down into the base and 1-inch up the sides.

Filling:

2 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
dash vanilla
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, well drained between layers of paper towels.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs one at a time and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 – 2 minutes.

Add the sour cream and vanilla. Add well drained crushed pineapple. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well mixed but not overbeaten. Pour the filling into the chilled crust-lined pan and smooth top with a spatula.

Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. The cheesecake should jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in roasting pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Place a round of parchment paper on top of cooked cheesecake. Turn cake platter upside down on top of parchment covered cheesecake and flip the whole thing over. Remove bottom of springform pan and the parchment paper that was in the pan to reveal your upside-down cheesecake. Slice into 16 servings with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.

Serve with pineapple syrup (recipe follows) and whipped cream.

Pineapple syrup:

Juice from the sliced pineapple
Remaining pineapple slices, finely chopped (I use my food processor)
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Stir all ingredients together on medium-low heat until mixture thickens and boils. Remove from heat and let cool. Spoon over plated cheesecake.



Our cast of characters.....



....and what they look like all mixed up and thrown together. Purdy!!! (I'm not sure where the rest of the pictures for this recipe ran off to. But you all are smart cookies so I know you can make this without all the pictures this time!!)

Creme Brulee Cheesecake

By now you all probably know of my love for creamy desserts. With cheesecake being at the top of my list and creme brulee being at the tippy-top. Looovvveeee it! So why not combine the two! Awweessooommmmeeee! That's all I can say. I made this and shared it with two or three other families...which I was happy to do. But...now I have to make another one because we didn't get enough. Plus the person I actually made this for...had her wisdom teeth removed and I figured this would be soft for her to chew. And I was right. She was nice enough to set aside a piece for her mom but ate it before her mom could get it because it was the only soft food in her fridge. Haha..I thought that was SO funny!

Creme Brulee Cheesecake



Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Wrap the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan in foil. Set aside.

Crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 stick butter, melted

Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl. Press into the bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Place in fridge for a little while.

Cheesecake:

2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese - softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time until well mixed. Gradually add sugar. Add sour cream and vanilla and beat until combined.

Pour cheesecake mixture into chilled crust. Set cheesecake pan into a large roasting pan and fill with water halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Creme Brulee:

2 cups of heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract

In the top of a double boiler, mix cream and sugar together and heat over medium high heat for about 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine egg yolks and vanilla. Slowly add egg mixture to heated cream, whisking all the while. Mix and cook until well combined....about 10 minutes.

At this point, remove the cheesecake from the oven.

Carefully pour cream brulee mixture into the middle of the cheesecake. It will go underneath the cheesecake mixture...that's ok.

Return cheesecake from the oven and bake for 30 - 45 minutes until no longer jiggly.

Set on a cooling rack for an hour or so then place in the fridge to set up.

Shortly before serving, turn your oven to broil.

Sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with about 2 - 3 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cheesecake under the broiler until sugar has caramelized. (Or just a kitchen torch for this step.)

Slice and serve!

Okay...here's what you need.
Okay...here's what you need.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and little cinnamon.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, 
butter and little cinnamon.

Press the mixture into a 9" springform pan. Chill for a bit while you're making the cheesecake.
Press the mixture into a 9" springform pan. 
Chill for a bit while you're making the cheesecake.

In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add the eggs ~ one at a time.
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream 
cheese until smooth, then add the eggs ~ one at a time.

Add the sugar.
Add the sugar.

Then the sour cream and the vanilla.
Then the sour cream and the vanilla.

Pour into the chilled crust. Wrap your pan in foil then place into a roasting pan. Fill with hot water then bake.
Pour into the chilled crust. Wrap your 
pan in foil then place into a roasting pan. 
Fill with hot water then bake.

Meanwhile...in a double boiler, heat the cream and sugar over medium heat. Slowly add the beaten eggs, whisking all the while, and cook about 10  minutes.
Meanwhile...in a double boiler, heat 
the cream and sugar over medium heat. 
Slowly add the beaten eggs, whisking 
all the while, and cook about 10 minutes.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Carefully and SLOWLY pour the egg/cream mixture into the center of the cheesecake.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven. 
Carefully and SLOWLY pour the egg/cream
 mixture into the center of the cheesecake.

Return the cheesecake to the oven and continue to bake for 45 minutes...or until no longer jiggly. Cool on a wire rack. Chill.
Return the cheesecake to the oven 
and continue to bake for 45 minutes...
or until no longer jiggly. Cool on a wire rack. 
Chill.

Before serving, sprinkle with sugar.
Before serving, sprinkle with sugar.

Place under your oven broiler until the sugar caramelizes.
Place under your oven broiler until the sugar caramelizes.

Then slice and eat!!! Do you see the layers????? Fun, huh? It's like magic! The creme brulee mixture stays separate from the cheesecake mixture. Awesome!
Then slice and eat!!! Do you see the layers????? 
Fun, huh? It's like magic! The creme brulee mixture 
stays separate from the cheesecake mixture. Awesome!

Burritos/Burros

When we lived in Arizona, we called "burritos", "burros". I thought everyone did that. So the first time I ordered a "burro" after we moved to California, the waitress thought I was nuts. I conformed to the Cali way while I was there but I always revert back to "burro" when we go to Arizona. "Burros" are all over Mexican food restaurant menus there so they don't think I'm crazy. Not much any way. Whatever you call them, make sure you try these. They're terrific. And it's easy to switch up the insides to suit your preferences!!

Burritos/Burros



2 pounds ground beef
1 medium onion ~ diced
1 packet taco mix (or homemade, 3 tablespoons)
1 10-ounce can Rotel tomatoes ~ do not drain
1 - 2 cups frozen corn
1 15-ounce can refried beans (optional)
1 15-ounce can black beans (optional)
1 cup cooked rice (optional)
2 cups grated cheese

In a large skillet, fry the ground beef with the onion. Drain.

Add taco mix, tomatoes and corn (and refried beans, if using). Stir to combine.

Allow to simmer for 20 minutes. 

Add grated cheese on top and allow to melt, then stir through.

Heat a large flour tortilla in the microwave for 15 seconds and add 1 cup meat mixture.

Add salsa, guacamole or sour cream, if desired.

Fold tortilla around filling. Repeat until all filling is used.

You can also fry or bake these after you fold them to make chimicangas!!

Makes about 10 burritos/burros

Here we go!
Here we go!


Cook the ground beef and onion together then drain.
Cook the ground beef and onion together then drain.


Add the corn and tomatoes or whatever filler you like. Combine and simmer for 20 minutes or so.
Add the corn and tomatoes or 
whatever filler you like. Combine 
and simmer for 20 minutes or so.


Sprinkle with cheese. Allow the cheese to melt.
Sprinkle with cheese. Allow the cheese to melt.


Stir the melted cheese into the meat mixture.
Stir the melted cheese into the meat mixture.


Heat up a flour tortilla then scoop some of the filling inside.
Heat up a flour tortilla then scoop
 some of the filling inside.


Add your favorite condiments, roll 'em up and eat!!
Add your favorite condiments, roll 'em up and eat!!