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!



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Favorite Chicken Salad

Okay...so IT Guy likes plain chicken salad. And by plain, I mean plain. And boring. He prefers canned chicken mixed with some mayo and some Lawry's Seasoning Salt. That's it. No celery, no onion. See? I told you it was plain and boring. Me? Well...I'm about making chicken salad a party! Some fresh, cooked chicken, some mayo, grapes, pecans...you get the idea. When we lived a California, a friend and I would frequent this little cafe where they served THEEEE best chicken salad ever. And it was served on purple bread. Yep...purple! That was my intro to fancy chicken salad and I've never turned back. This can be served on yummy bread, scooped with crackers or wrapped in a lettuce leaf. Super good any way you choose!

My Favorite Chicken Salad




3 cups cooked chicken ~ diced (white, dark or a combo)
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups red, seedless grapes ~ cut in half
1 cup diced celery
1 - 2 tablespoons dried dill
1 cup mayo
1 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, mix together the mayo, sour cream, dill and salt and pepper.

Add the pecans, cooked chicken, celery and grapes.

Stir to combine.

Chill for several hours to allow flavors to blend. 

Serve with crackers, as a sandwich or as a lettuce wrap.

Okay...here's the stuff. 

Okay...here's the stuff.

Mix the mayo, sour cream, dill and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Then add everything else. 

Mix the mayo, sour cream, dill and 
salt and pepper in a medium bowl. 
Then add everything else.

Give it a stir then cover and chill for a while. 

Give it a stir then cover and chill for a while.

Make sandwiches, serve with crackers or wrap in lettuce leaves! Yummers! 

Make sandwiches, serve with crackers 
or wrap in lettuce leaves! Yummers!

Okay...now really....who's looks better? I know it's difficult to make chicken salad look good, but c'MON!!! 

Okay...now really....who's looks better? 
I know it's difficult to make chicken 
salad look good, but c'MON!!!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Chicken and Rice

This recipe has been 'round the block and then some. I used to make it for my family back in the day but for some reason, I haven't made it in years. Until the other day when I thought about it and wondered to myself why on earth I stopped. Well...I'm bringing back this throw back recipe that we've all had at some point in our lives because if you're like me...you loved it then...and you'll love it now!

Chicken and Rice 



1 cup rice
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (may use cream of chicken, cream of celery or a combination)
1 cup of milk
6 - 8 chicken thighs (may use boneless, skinless or boneless skinless chicken breasts)
1 packet dry onion soup mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.

Spread rice in the bottom of the prepared pan.

Lay the chicken on top of the rice.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the soup and the milk then pour over the chicken.

Sprinkle the dry onion soup mix over the top.

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through.

Okay...this is all you need for this simple dish. 
Okay...this is all you need for this simple dish.
 

Spread the rice in the bottom of the pan then lay the chicken on top. 
Spread the rice in the bottom of 
the pan then lay the chicken on top.

Mix together the soup and the milk. 
Mix together the soup and the milk.

Pour over the chicken and rice. 
Pour over the chicken and rice.

Then sprinkle the dry onion soup mix on top. 
Then sprinkle the dry onion soup mix on top.

Cover tightly with foil and bake. 
Cover tightly with foil and bake.

Scoop and serve! Homey goodness! 
Scoop and serve! Homey goodness!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Strawberry Coconut Poke Cake

Don't you just love a good poke cake? We sure do. And combining flavors is always a good thing. IT Guy loves his coconut and he's a big fan of strawberries too so this was perfect for him. It's a great little summertime dessert to share with family and friends!

Strawberry Coconut Poke Cake



1 box Strawberry cake mix ~ made according to boxed directions EXCEPT use 3/4 cup water
1 cup crushed strawberries
1 13-ounce can coconut milk ~ found in the Asian food aisle ~ divided use
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 8-ounce container Cool Whip
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3-ounce package vanilla instant pudding
Shredded coconut and extra strawberries for garnish

Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make cake according to box directions EXCEPT use 3/4 cup water.

Stir in the crushed strawberries. (This liquid will replace the 1/4 water you didn't use in the cake.)

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the coconut milk, vanilla and the powdered sugar. Set aside until cake is done.

When cake is done but still hot, poke holes all over. Then pour 1 cup of the coconut milk directly into the holes. You don't have to cover the whole cake with the milk.

Allow cake to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pudding and the remaining coconut milk until smooth. Fold in the Cool Whip.

Frost cooled cake with the Cool Whip frosting then sprinkle with shredded coconut and arrange cut strawberries on top.

Chill cake several hours before serving.

Let's get to the cake! Oops, I forgot the powdered sugar! 
Let's get to the cake! Oops, I forgot the powdered sugar!

Mix up the the cake except use 3/4 cup of liquid. Then add the crushed berries. 
Mix up the the cake except use 3/4 cup of liquid. 
Then add the crushed berries.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake. 
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake.

Mix together the coconut milk, vanilla and the powdered sugar. 
Mix together the coconut milk, 
vanilla and the powdered sugar.

After cake has baked but is still hot, poke your holes then pour half of the coconut milk into the holes. The milk doesn't have to cover the entire cake....just make sure it goes into the holes. Cool completely. 
After cake has baked but is still hot, 
poke your holes then pour half of the 
 coconut milk into the holes. The milk 
doesn't have to cover the entire cake....
just make sure it goes into the holes. Cool completely.

Mix together the remaining coconut milk, pudding then fold in the Cool Whip. 
Mix together the remaining coconut milk, 
pudding then fold in the Cool Whip.

Frost the cooled cake. 
Frost the cooled cake.

Sprinkle with shredded coconut and arrange sliced berries on top. 
Sprinkle with shredded coconut 
and arrange sliced berries on top.

Slice and serve! So yum! 
Slice and serve! So yum!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Italian Steak Fries

Always looking for something to do with potatoes, I decided to spice them up with a little Italian seasoning. What a nice surprise! As soon as I took these out of the oven, the fam swooped in and nearly ate them all before I could serve them with our dinner. So simple and a great little addition to sandwiches or salads! Yum!

Italian Steak Fries




3 Russet potatoes ~ cut into wedges
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a rimmed cookie sheet with cooking spray. 

Place wedged potatoes in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat.

In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese and the seasoning. 

Sprinkle mixture over the potatoes until covered.

Arrange wedges on the prepared cookie sheet, skin side down.

Bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until tender.

Serve hot with Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing.


Here's all you need. 
Here's all you need.

Drizzle the wedged potatoes with the olive oil. 
Drizzle the wedged potatoes with the olive oil.

Mix together the cheese and the seasonings. 
Mix together the cheese and the seasonings.

Then sprinkle over the cut potatoes. 
Then sprinkle over the cut potatoes.

Arrange on a baking sheet. Bake... 
Arrange on a baking sheet. Bake...

...then eat! See? I told you it was easy! 
...then eat! See? I told you it was easy!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Pineapple Thai Fried Rice

I went to California a few weeks ago and while I was there, a friend invited me and some others to her home for lunch. She's a vegetarian so I knew we wouldn't be eating meat that day but I knew whatever she served would be yummy because she's a great cook. And I was right. She made this. Or something very close to it. I didn't ask her for her recipe (shame on me) but I dissected it while I was there and took mental notes of the ingredients then came home and made my own. I have to say that this is pretty close to what my friend made. And lucky for me...I didn't have to share any of this with IT Guy because he's not a fan of Asian food so beside giving some to my son-in-law, I had it all to myself. This would be great if you add some cooked shrimp or chicken to it or use this as the filling for lettuce wraps. Once you get all the ingredients prepped, this comes together in a flash and is SO good!!!!

Pineapple Thai Fried Rice 



2 cups diced pineapple
1 red bell pepper ~ diced
2 cups leftover cooked jasmine rice ~ white or brown
2 eggs ~ beaten
3 tablespoon oil ~ divided use
6 green onions ~ diced
2 cloves garlic ~ minced
3/4 cup cashews
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 - 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
1 small lime ~ cut in half
Salt to taste
Cilantro ~ if desired

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.

Add one tablespoon of the oil then pour in the eggs and scramble until done. Remove to a plate.

Add another tablespoon of the oil to the pan and add the pineapple and peppers. Saute until the pineapple is caramelized, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and green onions and combine. Cook and stir another minutes. Remove veggies to the plate with the eggs.

Add the remaining oil and the cashews and cook nuts for about a minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the rice, soy sauce and sriracha sauce to the pan and stir to combine. Cook about 3 minutes until the rice is hot.

Pour the eggs, pineapple, peppers, garlic and green onions to the rice in the pan and stir.

Squeeze 1/2 of the lime to the rice mixture and stir. Salt to taste.

Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Okay...let's go! 
Okay...let's go!

Scramble the eggs. 
Scramble the eggs.

Saute the pineapple and the peppers. 
Saute the pineapple and the peppers.

Add the garlic and green onions. 
Add the garlic and green onions.

Then saute the cashews. 
Then saute the cashews.

Add the rice, soy sauce and sriracha. 
Add the rice, soy sauce and sriracha.

Dump everything back into the pan. 
Dump everything back into the pan.

Give it a stir. 
Give it a stir.

Then serve! SO good!!! 
Then serve! SO good!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake

While I was in California, my friend let me go through all of her recipes. I discovered this little gem and was immediately drawn to it because A) I love chocolate and B) because it's SO easy! And I guess you could throw in a "C"....because it's yummy! So yeah...you guys need to try this easy little cake....soon!

Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake



1 Devil's Food cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
4 eggs
1 3.9 ounce box instant chocolate pudding
1 12-ounce package chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan very well.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, sour cream, oil, water, pudding, and eggs.

Beat for 5 minutes until smooth.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into the pan and bake for 50 - 55 minutes until done.

Cool in the prepared pan for 15 minutes then turn out onto a serving platter. Cool.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate sauce. Or caramel sauce!

Here we go! 

Here we go!

Mix together the cake mix, oil, water, eggs, pudding and sour cream until smooth...about 5 minutes. 

Mix together the cake mix, oil, 
water, eggs, pudding and sour cream 
until smooth...about 5 minutes.

Then stir in the chocolate chips. 

Then stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake and cool in the pan for a few minutes. 

Bake and cool in the pan for a few minutes.

Turn out of the pan and allow to cool completely. 

Turn out of the pan and allow to cool completely.

The garnish with powdered sugar or a chocolate sauce...or both! 

The garnish with powdered sugar 
or a chocolate sauce...or both!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Buttermilk Doughnuts

Buttermilk doughnuts. What can I say? I just love a good doughnut. I'm all about almost any kind. These are really good and guess what? There's NO rising involved. Not all doughnuts have yeast in them..did you know that? Give these a try next time you need a fun homemade treat! I glaze mine with a simple powdered sugar glaze or sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar.

Buttermilk Doughnuts



4 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs ~ beaten
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Beat the eggs and sugar together in another mixing bowl until thick and light yellow.

Gently stir in the oil and vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk to the egg mixture and beat until just blended.

Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to 1/2 inch thickness.

Cut with a floured doughnut cutter. Or you can use two cutters, one large for the doughnut and a smaller one for the center.

Heat two cups of oil in a skillet and fry doughnuts for 1 - 2 minutes per side until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels then dip into a powdered sugar glaze or sprinkle with cinnamon sugar....or both!


For a quick glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon heavy cream


Here's the stuff. 
Here's the stuff.

Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. 
Mix the flour, baking powder, 
salt and baking soda.

Combine the eggs and sugar together and beat until thick. 
Combine the eggs and sugar 
together and beat until thick.

Add the dry mix and the buttermilk alternately to the egg mixture and combine until dough comes together. 
Add the dry mix and the buttermilk 
alternately to the egg mixture and 
combine until dough comes together.

Pat into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Then cut out your doughnuts and the centers. 
Pat into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. 
Then cut out your doughnuts and the centers.

Fry 'em up! 
Fry 'em up!

Don't forget the doughnut holes!! 
Don't forget the doughnut holes!!

Drain on paper towels. 
Drain on paper towels.

Then glaze or sprinkle to your heart's content! 
Then glaze or sprinkle to your heart's content!

Yummy! 
Yummy!