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!



Thursday, December 8, 2016

White Chocolate Cashew Clusters

Does anybody know what time it is????????? It’s candy time!! That’s right….candy!! And one of THE best candy recipes I’ve ever come across is this little number. I can’t even remember where I got it, it’s been so long but I’ve been making it for years! On a scale of 1 – 10 in the ease of prep category…I’d say this is probably a 4 or a 5 for a first time candy maker but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy-peasy!

White Chocolate Cashew Clusters

1 cup cashews
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
6 ounces white chocolate

Toast cashews for 5 minutes in 350 degree oven. 

Reduce heat to 200 degrees to keep cashews warm. 

Place sugar in a small skillet and cook over medium heat until sugar begins to melt and turns golden and caramel-y….stirring constantly. 

Remove from heat. 

Add butter and stir, then dump in the cashews, stirring quickly. 

Working very quickly, form cashew clusters with 4 – 5 nuts, using a small greased spoon and fork. 

Cool completely then dip clusters in melted white chocolate. 

Let set until firm.

Makes 12 – 15 small clusters

* The reason the ingredient amounts are so small is because of the sugar. Once the sugar has caramelized, it sets up very quickly and becomes brittle, making it difficult…almost impossible to form the clusters. I’ve doubled this recipe but have had a second person working with me to make the clusters.


Here we go! 
Here we go! 

 The sugar starting to melt. It will clump up like this but the longer you cook it, the smoother it gets. 
The sugar starting to melt. It will 
clump up like this but the longer 
you cook it, the smoother it gets.

.See how it's caramelizing? Still a few sugar lumps but it's getting there! 
See how it's caramelizing? Still a few 
sugar lumps but it's getting there. 

 Done! Just the right color and texture. Don't overcook!! There's nothing worse than burnt sugar. Unless it's Creme Brulee!! Yum! 
Done! Just the right color and texture. 
Don't overcook!! There's nothing worse 
than burnt sugar.Unless it's Creme Brulee!! Yum!

 Our cashews all clustered up. Ready for the white chocolate. 
Our cashews all clustered up. 
Ready for the white chocolate. 
Cashew clusters all dipped and 
done and ready to eat.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Chicken & Dumpling Casserole

Don’t you just love chicken and dumplings? I do. I enjoy them in almost any form. Homemade, store bought or restaurant dumplings....bring it! I’ll eat it in any form or fashion. Like this casserole. Now the “dumplings” are really a dumpling unless you consider the dough in this to be one BIG dumpling...but the taste is the same. And this is SO simple! As I was throwing this together I realized that I didn’t have any cream of chicken soup so I made my own and it was awesome. Normally I don’t do that...I just go the easy route which is opening a can but don’t be shy about making your own. Anyway....very good casserole right here. Easy to make and easy to eat!

Chicken & Dumpling Casserole
 
1 rotisserie chicken ~ shredded (about 3 cups chicken)
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups chicken broth
1 10-ounce can cream of chicken soup
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
 
Cut the butter into pats and add to a 9x13 inch baking pan. Place the pan in the oven and allow butter to melt for about 5 - 10 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn.
 
Scatter shredded chicken over the butter in the pan.
 
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt and pepper with a whisk.
 
Add the milk and whisk until smooth.
 
Pour milk/flour mixture over the chicken. Do not stir.
 
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken broth and the cream of chicken soup until smooth.
 
Pour over the broth mixture over the chicken mixture in the pan. Do not stir.
 
Bake uncovered for 40 - 45 minutes until lightly golden brown on top.
 
Allow to sit for about 5 -10 minutes before serving.

Here we go. You can see my little bowl of homemade cream of chicken soup on the right. Pretty ding-dang tasty.

Cut up the butter and melt it in the 
pan in the microwave. Then add the shredded chicken. Oops, not pictured.

Whisk together the flour, baking 
powder, and salt and pepper.

Then add the milk and 
whisk until smooth.

Pour milk/flour mixture over the 
chicken in the pan. DON'T STIR!!

Mix the chicken broth and the 
cream of chicken soup together.

Then pour over the chicken 
in the pan. DON'T STIR!

Bake and serve!




Thursday, December 1, 2016

Cinnamon Toast Breakfast Bake

There’s nothing better than breakfast for dessert....or dinner, right? I’m not much on breakfast for breakfast but serve it to me any other time and I’m okay with that. This little casserole is easy and works for just about any time. I served ours with a cream cheese frosting but maple syrup would be great, too. It reheats nicely in the microwave if by chance you have any leftovers. Keep this around for the upcoming holidays when you need a quick and easy dish to serve!

Cinnamon Toast Breakfast Bake
 
1 loaf french bread ~ cut into 1/2 in slices
1 cup milk
6 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 teaspoons cinnamon ~ divided use
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup ready made (or homemade) cream cheese frosting OR maple syrup
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray.
 
Arrange one layer of the sliced french bread in the bottom of the prepared pan.
 
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla, 3 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and nutmeg.
 
Pour half of the egg/milk mixture over the sliced bread in the casserole dish.
 
Arrange the remaining bread on top of the bread in the dish and pour the egg/milk mixture over everything.
 
In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and the remaining cinnamon and sprinkle it on top of the soaked bread.
 
(At this point you can cover with foil and chill it for several hours or overnight to cook later.)
 
Bake for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
 
Allow to cool about 10 minutes then serve with cream cheese frosting or maple syrup.

Okay....so I forgot to put 
the eggs in this picture. Duh. They were sitting RIGHT THERE! But anyway...here's everything else you'll need.

Slice your bread then put a 
layer in the bottom of the dish.

Whisk together the eggs, milk, 
nutmeg and half of the cinnamon.

Pour half of the egg/milk mixture 
over the first layer of bread then 
start a second layer of bread on top.

Mix the brown sugar and the 
remaining cinnamon together.

Then sprinkle it over 
the soaked bread in the pan.

Bake!

Serve with cream cheese frosting or maple syrup! Maybe even sprinkle 
on a few chopped pecans! Yum!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pizza Nachos

We love pizza around here. The cheap kind or the “designer” kind. We are SO not picky. We also love anything pizza flavored so these pizza nachos were right on the money. The nice thing about this is that you can dress it how ever you like your pizza. IT Guy and I are pretty traditional so I went with sausage but almost anything will work. The key is to put the cheese on first so the chips don’t get too soggy too fast. But that’s what forks are for, right? Use a sturdy chip with this recipe...none of these lightweight chips will do. Enjoy this yummy treat next time it’s pizza night at your house!

Pizza Nachos
 
1 bag tortilla chips (use a sturdy chip. I used Santitas)
1 cup pizza sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 pound Italian sausage (or whatever meat you like)
1 4-ounce can sliced olives
1 small onion
 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
 
Line a baking sheet with foil and spread chips in the bottom of the pan.
 
In a large skillet, saute the onion then add the sausage and cook until the meat is done.
 
Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and half of the cheddar cheese over the chips.
 
Scatter cooked sausage over the cheese then add the olives or whatever veggies you’re using.
 
Drizzle sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
 
Bake for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and nachos are hot.
 
Serve immediately.

The goods!

Cook up your onion and sausage.

Line a baking pan with foil 
then spread your chips on top.

Sprinkle half of the cheese 
on top of the chips.

Top with meat, olives 
or whatever you're using.

Drizzle with sauce then 
add the remaining cheese.

Bake until the cheese is melted 
and the nachos are hot then serve!


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Cheesy Sausage Potato Soup

Soup is always a big hit around here, year ‘round. Well...except for #1 Son who’s not a fan. He says “I don’t like to drink my dinner”. Whatever, man. You don’t live here anymore! Now IT Guy, he IS a fan of soup and was a HUGE fan of this one. Filled with tasty goodness this is a family pleasing soup for sure!

Cheesy Sausage Potato Soup
 
1 small onion ~ diced
2 stalks celery ~ diced
1 pound Italian sausage
4 cups frozen diced hash browns
1 32-ounce container chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
 
In a large dutch oven, saute onion and celery in a little olive oil for a few minutes, until tender.
 
Add sausage and cook until sausage is done.
 
Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper.
 
Add the frozen diced hash browns and and bring to a boil.
 
Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
 
Add cream and grated cheese. Stir to combine and melt cheese.
Serve!

Here we go...let's make soup!

Saute the onion and celery for a bit.

Add the sausage and 
cook until meat is done.

Add the chicken stock.

Then the potatoes. Simmer 
for about 30 minutes.

Then add the cream and cheese.

Simmer until cheese is melted 
and soup is heated through.

Serve!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

I think sweet breads like this lemon loaf or a banana bread is a great snack, don’t you? They’re easy to throw together, you don’t have to mess with a bunch of waiting around like you do for cookies. One pan in the oven...done. Around here this kind of thing doesn’t last too long. Lunches, snacks, okay...even breakfast. This lemon loaf is really good. Refreshing and light and it doesn’t feel like you’ve eaten something super heavy. It’s yummy!



Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf
1 2/3 cups flour
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 cup butter ~ room temperature
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8x4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, poppy seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, lemon zest and butter and mix until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time then add vanilla and lemon juice.
In a large measuring cup, stir to combine the milk and sour cream.
Beginning and ending with flour mixture, alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the lemon sugar mixture until just combined.
Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for 45 - 50 minutes until done or toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool in pan 5 minutes then brush top with lemon glaze. (Recipe follows)
Remove from pan. Slice and enjoy.

For the glaze:
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Combine ingredients in a microwave safe measuring cup and heat until sugar has dissolved and mixture is hot.



Let's get to cookin'!




Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.




Next combine the sugar and lemon zest. Run that around with a whisk a little bit.



Add the butter and combine until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs, one at a time, then the lemon juice and vanilla.




Combine the milk and sour cream.




Starting and ending with the flour, 
add the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the mixing bowl a little 
at a time until everything is mixed.




Add batter to prepared pan and bake.




All baked and so pretty!




Next combine the 1/4 cup sugar 
and 3 tablespoons of the lemon 
juice in a microwave safe bowl 
and heat until sugar is dissolved...
about a minute.




Pour the glaze over the warm bread. 
You can poke a few holes in the loaf 
to help get the glaze evenly distributed.




Allow to cool then slice and eat!