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, March 31, 2016

BBQ Chicken Tacos with Corn & Avocado Salsa

Do you ever make something for dinner and before you have time to turn around, it’s almost all gone? Yeah? Me too!!! Like this! Crazy how fast this disappeared. I had a couple, IT Guy had a few and #1 Son and his wife each had a some.....POOF! Gone! We did have a little of the salsa left over which I promptly finished off with some tortilla chips. But seriously. Guys. So good! I know the pictures make it look like there’s a lot of ingredients...but really it’s bad. Things thrown together here and there and you’re done. Make this. Make it soon!

BBQ Chicken Tacos with 
Corn & Avocado Salsa

For the tacos:
3 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1 box taco shells
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
Place chicken breasts on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, coating both sides.
In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, chili powder, onion salt, salt and pepper.
Sprinkle over both sides of the chicken.
Bake for 30 minutes or until done.
Baste chicken with BBQ sauce and place under the broiler for 3 - 5 minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn.
Remove from the oven and allow to stand for a couple of minutes.
Heat taco shells according to box directions.
Slice chicken and place inside taco shells.
Top with salsa.

Avocado Corn Salsa
1 10-ounce bag frozen corn ~ cooked (I used the “steam in a bag kind”)
1 red bell pepper ~ seeded and diced
2 avocados ~ diced
1/4 cup cilantro
1 small red onion ~ diced
1 clove garlic ~ minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine cooked corn, bell pepper, avocado, onion and cilantro in a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, cumin, red pepper flakes, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, olive oil and salt and pepper.
Pour dressing over corn mixture and toss to coat.
Serve with tacos.

Okay....so I forgot the red onion and the sugar but everything else is here!

Combine the garlic powder, chili powder, onion salt, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the chicken breasts.

Bake the chicken then baste with the bbq sauce and broil for a few minutes.

Mix together the corn, cilantro, bell pepper, avocado and onion.

Whisk together the garlic, cumin, red 
pepper flakes, sugar, vinegar, lime juice, 
olive oil and salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing over 
the veggies. Stir to coat.

Slice the chicken and place inside the taco shells then top with the salsa!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Oatmeal Bars

Holy cow but these are good! IT Guy walked in the door from work and dove right in and could not stay out of them. These are so easy to whip up and makes a nice pan full of yumminess. Great for lunches or an evening snack. And I bet you can’t eat just one.

Chocolate Caramel 
Pecan Oatmeal Bars
1 box yellow cake mix
2 1/2 cups quick oats
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter ~ melted
Dash of salt
1 11-ounce package chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans
25 caramels ~ unwrapped
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour chopped pecans in a 9x13 inch pan and toast in the oven for 5 minutes.
Place pecans on a plate to cool.
Spray the 9x13 inch pan REALLY well with cooking spray. 
Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oatmeal and melted butter. 
Stir with a fork until well mixed.
Place half of the oatmeal mixture into the prepared pan. Press down.
Sprinkle with chocolate chips and toasted pecans then scatter the remaining oatmeal mixture on top.
Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges.
In a small bowl, combine the unwrapped caramel and the 1 tablespoon of water. Microwave for 1 minutes stirring every 15 seconds until smooth.
Drizzle caramel on top of oatmeal bars.
Cool, slice and eat!

Here we go!!!

Toast the pecans!

Combine the cake mix, 
oatmeal and melted butter.


Add half of the crumble mixture 
to the pan then add the chocolate 
chips and pecans.

Then the rest of the crumble mixture.


Melt the caramels with the water and stir until smooth. then drizzle over the cooked bars.

Cool, slice and eat!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Veggie and Kielbasa Fettuccine

I love cooking with kielbasa. Especially when there are veggies involved. I think it flavors the whole dish and let’s face it, sometimes veggies are a little boring. I love them....but every once in a while it’s nice to jazz up the flavor. This turned out really good and is super easy. Change up the veggies you want to use...I used bell peppers and onion...but throwing some mushroom in there would be great or some kind of squash. Super yum!!

Veggie and Kielbasa Fettuccine
1 1-pound package kielbasa
2 bell pepper (I used a red and yellow) ~ diced
1 medium onion ~ diced
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 - 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces fettuccine noodles ~ cooked and drained
In a large skillet, cook the veggies and kielbasa until the kielbasa has some color and the veggies are tender-crisp....about 5 minutes or so. Add the seasonings and stir.
Add the chicken stock and cream.
Cook for about 15 minutes to reduce the liquid a bit and heat through.
Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat.

Here we go!!!!

Cook the veggies and kielbasa then throw in the seasonings.

Add the broth and the cream and cook for a bit to reduce the liquid.

       Add the pasta....
...and toss to coat!

Let's eat!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Boiled Baby Dutch Potatoes

What can you say about potatoes? And how many ways are there to cook them? Lots and lots is the answer to both of those questions. But potatoes ARE a great side dish with just about anything so it’s nice to have lots of different ways to make them. These are so easy to whip up (no pun intended...whip=potatoes??? HA!) and you can make as much or as little as you like. The following recipe is for a 1.5 pound bag of baby dutch potatoes but I only made a few for IT Guy and myself. Pretty tasty little guys!!! You should try them!

Boiled Baby Dutch Potatoes
1.5 pound bag baby dutch potatoes ~ rinsed, skins on
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic ~ minced
Combine 1 teaspoon each:
dried oregano, dried rosemary, dried dill, dried parsley
In a medium saucepan, boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the butter and minced garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant....about a minute or so.
Add the boiled potatoes, kosher salt and pepper and cook until potatoes are a somewhat browned on all sides. Toss with dried herbs mixture.
Transfer to a bowl and serve!

Okee dokee....let's 
cook some taters!

Boil the potatoes until fork tender. 
Drain and set aside.

Mix up the parsley, oregano, 
dill and rosemary.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil 
over medium heat. Then add the 
butter and minced garlic.

Add the potatoes, salt and pepper 
and cook until lightly browned
on all sides. Just give the pan a 
few shakes to turn the potatoes.

Serve 'em up! Add extra butter 
if you're of a mind! :-)

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Chicken Chow Mein

So this was a nice surprise. I’ve made lots of Chinese food in my kitchen but I’ve never made chow mein. Super good! But...I have to say...if I make it again, I’m leaving out the chicken. Then it would just be chow mein...which is fine, I guess. I’d also add some water chestnuts. I wish I’d thought of adding them when I was gathering the ingredients for this dish but my brain was in low gear that day. Anyway...making this as-is is great but making it with no meat is also good. There’s plenty of crunch with all the veggies in there but I really like the idea of water chestnuts so next time those are going in too!

Chicken Chow Mein
8 ounces thin spaghetti ~ cooked and drained
1 pound chicken ~ (optional) cut into strips
1 cup think sliced celery
1 cup matchstick carrots
3 cups thin sliced cabbage
4 green onions
1 4-ounce can of water chestnuts (I didn’t put these in THIS time...but next time I will)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup soy sauce
3 teaspoons sesame oil
3/4 cup oyster sauce
4 tablespoons sugar
In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Set aside.
In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil.
If using chicken, cook the chicken for 3 minutes. Drain any liquid.
Add the cabbage, carrots, green onions and celery.
Cook for 5 - 10 minutes over medium heat until veggies are tender-crisp.
Add the cooked pasta and toss to combine.
Add the sauce and toss to coat the veggies and pasta.
Serve warm....but it’s good reheated, too!

Here we go!

Slice the chicken into strips 
then cook in some vegetable oil.

Slice and dice!

Add the veggies to the 
chicken in the skillet.

Give it a stir.

Add the cooked pasta.

Mix up the ingredients for the sauce.

Pour over the veggies and 
pasta then toss to coat.

Serve warm! Yummy!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Strawberry Cheesecake Shortcake

With summertime right around the corner....okay, a few months away...but still....I decided to get a head start on some refreshing desserts. And this one is spot on! This NO-BAKE little number is super easy and can be made into individual desserts or one big one. I opted for 6 little ones so I could use my mom’s old crystal parfait glasses she got with her S&H Green Stamps back in the 60’s. So fun to pull them out once in a while. I feel so fancy! But I can tell you if you make these in paper cups, you’re not sacrificing any flavor because they would still be delicious!!!

Strawberry Cheesecake Shortcake
1 12-ounce bakery shortcake ~ cut into cubes
1 8-ounce package cream cheese ~ room temperature
2 cups heavy cream ~ whipped
1 cup powdered sugar
1 pound strawberries ~ sliced
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries and the 1/2 cup sugar.
Combine the cornstarch and water and pour into the saucepan.
Cook over medium high heat until mixture comes to a boil and has thickened.
Add vanilla. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.
Fold in the whipped cream.
In serving glasses or a large trifle bowl, start layering the ingredients.
Begin with a layer of pound cake, then some of the strawberries. 
Add some of the cream cheese mixture then repeat with the ingredients.
Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Here we go with all 
the strawberry goodness!

Combine the strawberries 
and the 1/2 cup sugar.

Mix the cornstarch and 
water and pour that in.

Cook until thick then add the 
vanilla. Allow to cool. (I mashed 
my strawberries a little bit with my potato masher so there would be 
some smaller chunks. Your call there.)

Mix the cream cheese and 
powdered sugar until smooth.

Then fold in the WHIPPED cream.

Cut the pound cake into cubes. 
About 1 inch will do you.

Then start layering in your serving dishes.

Fun, yes?

Yummy? Definitely.