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, January 28, 2016

Homemade Cajun Seasoning

I went to make a new recipe the other day and I needed some cajun seasoning. Imagine my horror....okay, annoyance....when I went to my spice cabinet and realized I was OUT! I ran to the grocery store to grab some real quick and of course...they were OUT! Then I had one of those “DOH!” moments when I thought...make your own, you crazy person! So here we go. Homemade cajun seasoning...so none of us will ever run out again.

Homemade Cajun Seasoning
3 tablespoons smoked paprika ~ can use regular
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon pepper
3 tablespoons onion powder
1 -2 tablespoon cayenne pepper (depending on your heat index) ;-)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme

Mix everything together in a bowl. 
Store in a sealed container.

The line-up!

Mix everything in a small bowl. Done. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Raspberry Chipotle Honey Wings

I love chicken wings for a couple of reason. One is that they’re just yummy and there are so many ways to cook them and the other way is because they’re pretty cheap. So when I bought a 4 pound pack of wings a while back, I decided right then and there I was going to cook the whole ding-dang pack in one sitting. And I did. There are so many bbq sauces out there to try that I picked one I’d never had before to use as a base for the sauce that goes over these wings. Ummm...so yeah....GOOD doesn’t begin to describe these. IT Guy and I polished off a 4 pound pack of wings in TWO days. I could’ve eaten more but wanted to save some for lunch the next day. I fried my wings before tossing them in the sauce, but baking them would work too. Just baste the wings every 15 minutes or so until the wings are done. I prefer the frying method, but that’s just me. It’s a little more work but worth it, in my opinion. I like the crunch! So so so so so so GOOD!!

Raspberry Chipotle Honey Wings
1 4-pound pack of wings ~ tips removed then remaining wing split
1 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Raspberry Chipotle BBQ sauce
1 cup honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon - 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper ~ depending on how spicy you like it
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Heat 2 - 3 cups of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Place flour in a gallon sized zip-top bag.
Crack eggs into another gallon sized zip-top bag then add the milk. 
Squish the eggs and milk together in the bag until well mixed then add all the chicken wings and toss to coat all wings.
Add half of the wings to the flour and toss until wings are coated. (I like to do “like” pieces together so they all cook the same...I’m OCD like that.)
Drop the wings into the hot oil and fry on both sides until golden brown and done.
Drain on paper towels.
In a small sauce pan, combine the BBQ sauce, honey, soy sauce and ground mustard. Simmer mixture for about 10 minutes.
Place cooked chicken in a large bowl then pour the warm sauce over the chicken and toss gently to coat.
Remove to a plate and dig in!

Let's cook some wings!!

Combine the eggs and 
milk in a zip-top bag.

Add the chicken and coat, making 
sure to get all the chicken covered.

Then drop the chicken into the bag with the flour and toss to coat. I did this step in two batches.

Next fry the chicken in oil over 
medium heat.

Make the sauce! combine the bbq sauce, honey, ground mustard, soy sauce and cayenne pepper in a saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes.

Place the cooked chicken in a large bowl then pour the sauce over the chicken and toss to coat.

Oh yeah!!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Oven Baked Chicken “Talking Toes”

When my kids were little, I would make taquitos quite a bit because they were yummy and because my kids would eat them with no problem. But somewhere along the way the word “taquito” transformed into the words “talking toes”. So now whenever I make them, that’s what we call them. Weird, right? It’s funny what families do to words that other people don’t do or would think was strange. It just makes sense in our family. Anywaaayyyy...try these yummy little guys soon. Baking them instead of frying them takes some of the work out of making them since all you have to do is assemble and bake. Brushing some melted butter on top helps to crisp them up a little and give them a nice golden color but you can totally skip that step. Don’t forget all the yummy sides....salsa...guac...sour cream!!!

Oven Baked Chicken “Talking Toes”
12-15 small flour tortillas
2 cups cooked chicken ~ shredded
1 14-ounce can refried beans
2 cups guacamole ~ homemade or store bought, divided use
2 cups shredded Monterrey jack cheese
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Season shredded chicken with salt, pepper and cumin.
Spread beans on each of the tortillas.
Spread guacamole on top of beans.
Add some chicken and cheese and roll up each taquito.
Brush tops with melted butter and bake for 20 - 30 minutes until golden brown.
Makes about 15 talking toes. :-)

Hear we go!!

Did you know you can shred chicken 
in your mixer? Oh yes you can!!!

See? Nice and shredded and SO easy!

Start building your "talking toes"....hehe....

Brush with some melted butter...if you want. 
But why wouldn't you...because...butter!

Then bake!

Let's eat!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Funnel Cakes

I have to tell you guys something. I love Fair Food. All that junky stuff you eat at carnivals and fairs.....I love it. Foot long corn dogs? Yep. Cotton Candy? Gimme! Big ole corn on the cobs slathered in butter? Come to mama!!! And yes...even funnel cakes. Those swirly circles of fried dough dusted with powdered sugar....I can do some damage. So I decided to make my own here at home and guess what? They’re super good! I used a basic pancake batter from a mix and fried the cakes in oil and ta-da!!! The trick is to keep your oil level up so the batter has something to float on...otherwise you’ll have just some funky looking pancakes in the bottom of your skillet. Super fun little treat once in a while when you need something to entertain the family!

Funnel Cakes 
Oil for frying ~ I used about 2 cups in a small skillet
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
Heat your oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
In a medium bowl, combine the Bisquick, milk and egg until well blended.
Pour into a squeeze bottle. (Or you can use a spouted container but I highly recommend the squeeze bottle. They’re pretty inexpensive at Hobby Lobby or Walmart and are reusable.)
When oil is to the right temp, squeeze some batter in a circular motion close to the oil. I made my cakes about 4 inches in diameter.
Fry cakes for about 30 seconds on each side then transfer with a large slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
Dust with powdered sugar....I do both sides...because I can!
This makes about 10 4-5 inch cakes but you can halve the recipe very easily.

Who wants some fair food?? Let's go!

Mix together the Bisquick, milk and egg until smooth.

Pour batter into a squeeze bottle.

Then swirl into the hot...but not TOO hot...oil. Cook for 30 seconds on each side.

Drain on paper towels then sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Very yummy, guys!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Taco Meatballs with Cheesy Rice

So what can I say about this other than how yummy and easy it is? I served this right out of the pans onto our plates but you can also put it in a casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese then heat it up in the oven for a few minutes if you want to serve it at the table. Serve all your favorite taco toppings with this to dress it up any ole’ way you like.

Taco Meatballs with Cheesy Rice
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 package taco mix
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups rice ~ cooked according to package direction to make 3 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Salt to taste
Extra cheese for sprinkling

Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

In a medium bowl, combine the taco mix and the water.

Add the ground beef and stir to combine.

Make meatballs about the size of a golf ball.

Cook meatballs in the hot skillet until done on all sides.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.

Add the sour cream, buttermilk, cheese, garlic salt and salt.

Stir over medium heat until cheese has melted.

Pour cheese sauce into the cooked rice and stir.

If desired, place rice in the bottom of a baking dish, then arrange meatballs on top. Sprinkle some grated cheese on top then heat in a 350 degree oven until cheese has melted...about 10 minutes.

Serve with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

The line up!

Combine the taco mix and water then add the ground beef and stir.

Make the meatballs and cook 'em up!

Make the cheese sauce. Super easy!

Add the cheese sauce to the COOKED rice and stir.

Serve the meatballs over the rice with all your favorite toppings!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Toffee Chip Pecan Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are one of my favorite kind of cookies. They’re soft and sweet, but not TOO sweet and delicate. Yum! Also....toffee is like one of my bff’s. Love it. I prefer it without chocolate but I’ll eat that too. So adding toffee chips to my favorite sugar cookie recipe just made good sense and adding pecans because well...pecans. Yummy cookies, guys!

Toffee Chip Pecan Sugar Cookies
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup toffee chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup sugar ~ for rolling cookies
Place parchment paper on cookie pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Cream sugars with butter and shortening. 
Add egg and vanilla and mix well. 
Add dry ingredients and mix well. 
Stir in the toffee chips and chopped pecans. 
Scoop into 1 inch balls and roll in 1/2 cup sugar. 
Place on prepared pan and flatten dough balls a little bit with your hand. 
Bake for about 10 minutes.
Allow to cool about 10 minutes then remove to a cooling rack. 
Makes about 2 - 3 dozen

Here we go...let's make some cookies!

Cream the sugars with the butter and shortening.

Then add the egg and vanilla.

Next, the dry ingredients.

Add the pecans and toffee chips.

Roll into balls then into the 1/2 cup sugar.

Flatten a bit then bake!

Don't forget the milk!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Tomato Cream Sauce with Sweet Sausage

I ran across some fun pasta the other day so I had to come up with a way to serve it. I kind of think of Italian food like I do Mexican food...there’s a ba-jillion ways to serve the same ingredients. But, it doesn’t make me love either one any less. Love, love, love them both. So making this tomato cream sauce to go with our new pasta was like eating something brand new! This is super good, comes together in a flash and the leftovers are great!

Tomato Cream Sauce 
with Sweet Sausage
1 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes (do not drain)
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound Italian sweet sausage ~ casings removed
1 medium onion ~ diced
2 cloves garlic ~ minced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
8 ounces pasta (I used calamarata) ~ cooked and drained. 
In a large skillet, cook the sausage until done. Remove to a plate. 
In the same skillet, saute the onion and garlic for 10 minutes. 
Pour in the chicken stock to de-glaze the pan. 
Add the canned tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil and red pepper flakes.
Allow to cook for about 10 minutes. 
Stir in the cream then add the cooked sausage. 
Allow to heat through then serve over pasta.

The line-up!

Brown the sausage then remove to plate. Brown the onion and garlic in the pan.

Add the chicken stock. Then add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil and red pepper flakes.

Add the cream and allow to cook for about 10 minutes.

Then add the cooked sausage to the cream mixture and heat through.

Serve over pasta and enjoy!