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, August 18, 2016

Pecan Pie Puffs

I try to always keep some puffed pastry in my freezer because you never know when you might have a snack emergency. These little guys turned out so yummy! And easy? Than pie! Hehe... IT Guy loved these and I loved them because of how simple they were to throw together. I could throw a couple of these in his lunch and he could eat them at room temp or reheat them in the microwave. Add one of these to a bowl of vanilla ice cream and you’re good to go!!

Pecan Pie Puffs
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter ~ melted
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1 sheet of puff pastry
Powdered sugar for sprinkling
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Unfold the pastry and cut it into 12 equal squares.
Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and press 1 square of pastry into each cup.
In a small bowl, combine the pecans, brown sugar and melted butter.
Divide the pecan mixture equally between the cups.
Bake the puffs for about 10 - 15 minutes or until pastry is golden brown.
Remove to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

How about we make some puffs??

Stir together the melted butter, 
brown sugar, and pecans.

Cut the pastry into 12 pieces.

Add the pastry to the muffin tin then 
add the pecan mixture into each cup.

Cook until golden brown.

Let's eat!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Diner Style Strawberry Pie

Do you remember when you were a kid and you’d walk into a restaurant and see all the pies in one of those carousels? The pies with the mile-high meringues or the ones with a crust so flaky you could hear it crumble? Which pie caught your eye? My gaze would almost always fall on the strawberry pie. Ruby red strawberries covered in glaze made my mouth water every time! Of course, whenever I ordered it I made sure it came with fluffy clouds of whipped cream because what’s strawberry pie without whipped cream? If you love strawberry pie, then this little gem is for you! I can almost guarantee it’ll take you back to those diner days when all you had to think about was which piece of pie you had to have right then!

Diner Style Strawberry Pie
1 9-inch pie crust ~ baked and cooled
6 cups fresh strawberries ~ quartered, stems removed
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 3-ounce box strawberry jello
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Place prepared strawberries into the baked and cooled crust.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar and cornstarch with a whisk.
Add the water and stir.
Bring to a boil and whisk until thickened, about 3 minutes.
Whisk in the jello and cook for another minute.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Gently pour the glaze over the berries in the crust.
Chill until set...about 3 hours.
Serve with LOTS of sweetened whipped cream.

Let's make a pie!

Mix together the 
cornstarch and the sugar.

Add the water and bring 
to a boil until thick.

Stir in the jell-o and cook 
another minute or so. Cool 
for about 15 minutes.

Cut the berries and dump 
them into the cooked crust.

Pour the cooled jell-o 
mixture over the berries.

Then pop in the fridge for 
several hours or overnight.

Serve with some sweetened 
whipped cream for extra goodness!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Baked Beans ~ Potluck Size

I searched and searched for a recipe for baked beans to feed a crowd and never found one to my liking. I needed to take a side dish for a family gathering a while back and I needed it BIG. Disappointed with my findings, I decided to just make my own. These baked beans are easy and yummy and like the title says...it’s potluck size! There’s no doubling or tripling ingredients...it’s done for you right here! Give these a try at your next big event!

Baked Beans ~ Potluck Size
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large baking dish (or two 9x13 inch pans) with cooking spray.
3 32-ounce cans pork and beans
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
1 cup bbq sauce (I use Sweet Baby Ray’s)
1 package bacon ~ diced
1 large onion ~ diced
In a large skillet, saute the diced bacon until almost done. Remove bacon from the pan but leave the drippings.
Saute the diced onion in the bacon drippings until soft, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the beans, brown sugar, ketchup, bbq sauce, cooked bacon and the sauteed onion.
Stir well to combine.
Pour into the prepared pan(s).
Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue baking for 30 more minutes.

The line-up!

Cook the diced bacon until almost 
done then remove it from the skillet.

Saute the onion in the bacon drippings.

Pour some of the liquid from the 
beans. The can on the left has had 
none of the liquid drained. You can 
see how much I drained off the can 
on the right. You just want to pour off the top part. Maybe about a cup or so.

Combine all the ingredients 
together in a large bowl.

Next pour into a large baking pan. 
I used a big disposable foil pan. Bake covered for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue baking for 30 more minutes.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Miss Pat's Coconut Cake

We go to church with Miss Pat. She’s known for her sewing skills and for being a great cook. She’s been making this coconut cake for years and people rave about it so I thought I’d give it a try. And you know what? There’s a good reason why people love it. It’s good! Very good! That’s not to say I didn’t have a few issues when I made it though. I picked Miss Pat’s brain after I made it and she had no idea what went wrong because she’s never had the same problems I did. Now that’s not to say the cake wasn’t good....because it was great! I think I just messed up somewhere along the way but I'm pretty sure I have it narrowed down to the brand of sour cream I used that caused the major blunder. So make sure you use a good quality THICK sour cream (like Daisy) because you’ll use it as the filling between the layers. The brand I used (Kraft) did not hold up well under the pressure of being thick enough. I had a very runny mixture that was supposed to be SPREAD between two of the layer and it ended up being very soupy. No bueno. I ended up only using half the filling mixture on my cake and froze the rest for another cake, another time.
Here are a few other things I found out from Miss Pat AFTER I made her cake:
1) you can use yellow or white cake mix (I used yellow but will use white next time)
2) substitute 1 cup “sweet” milk for the water in the cake mix
3) add a little (1 cup) of the Cool Whip to the sour cream/sugar mixture for the filling
You guys really need to make this cake...it’s super good!

Miss Pat’s Coconut Cake
1 box yellow or white cake mix (Miss Pat uses Duncan Hines)
1 1/2 cups sugar
16 ounces good quality THICK sour cream
2 6-ounce packages frozen coconut (found in the frozen fruit section), thawed
1 8-ounce Cool Whip
1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted (optional)
Mix cake mix according to the box directions. Divide batter evenly into three greased and floured 9” cake pans. (I used cooking spray and parchment paper. I might try using 8” pans next time for thicker layers.)
Bake cake for 20 - 24 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool for 15 minutes then remove cakes from pans and allow to cool completely.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and sour cream until smooth.
Stir in the thawed coconut. (Add 1 cup of the Cool Whip, if desired)
Remove one-fourth of the sour cream mixture to a medium bowl and set aside.
Place one layer on a cake plate and spread half of the sour cream mixture on top.
Repeat with a second layer.
Place third cake layer on top.
Combine Cool Whip in the medium bowl with the reserved sour cream mixture and frost top and sides of cake.
Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if using.
Place cake in fridge overnight. The longer it sets, the better it is!

Okay....let's make a coconut cake. 
But pay attention! There are some 
things you may want to tweak!

Prepare your cake pans. I think 
greasing and flouring them is the 
way to go, but I took this short cut. Cooking spray and parchment paper.

Prepare your cake mix according 
to the box directions EXCEPT use 
1 cup of "sweet" milk INSTEAD 
of the water.

Divide the batter into the cake pans.

Bake and cool.

Now we're going to make the filling. 
Use thick sour cream to ensure spreadability. Mix together the thick 
sour cream, sugar and the frozen, 
thawed coconut. You CAN add 1 
cup of the Cool Whip if you want 
to be like Miss Pat.

Now, you can see by this picture 
how thin the filling is and how there 
was NO WAY I could have used it all between two of the layers of this cake. And that's even AFTER I removed part of it for the frosting. So if this happens to you, don't let your cake swim in the filling. Just freeze the portion you don't use for the next coconut cake you make.

Add the reserved 1/4 
of the filling to the Cool 
Whip for the frosting.

I toasted some regular shredded 
coconut that I already had and 
sprinkled it on top of the frosted cake.

Totally yummy!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Chocolate Caramel Swirl Ice Cream

I haven’t made much homemade ice cream this year and shame on me! We love homemade ice cream especially because I get to use my 40 year old ice cream maker. My mother-in-law bought it for us at TG&Y (who remembers that store?) when IT Guy and I first married and I’ve used it ever since. It makes THEEEEE best ice cream! So the other day I got a wild hair to try some chocolate ice cream and since I also love caramel, I decided to throw a caramel swirl in for good measure. Oh my...simple but oh so good! You could put some marshmallow cream in there, too and I would have had I had any but the grandkids came over and ate it all. (Sad face.) IT Guy would have loved some chopped pecans in it but I’m not a huge fan of nuts and ice cream and since I was making it, I used my Power of Veto (Ha! Can you tell we watch Big Brother?) and nixed the nuts! Overall...this ice cream is super yummy and so simple!! Try it before the summer runs out!

Chocolate Caramel Swirl Ice Cream
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 quart heavy cream
Half & half
1 14-ounce jar caramel ice cream topping
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and cocoa.
Place the bowl over a pan of water and bring water to a boil. Cook mixture for about 10 minutes. (Do not allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl. You’re essentially creating a double-boiler for this mixture.)
After mixture has cooked, pour it into a 3-4 quart ice cream freezer.
Add the sweetened condensed milk and the heavy cream. Stir to combine.
Pour in enough half & half to fill the container.
Freeze according to the directions.
After ice cream is done, remove to a large plastic container.
Drizzle in the jar of caramel ice cream topping. Swirl through with a butter knife but do not mix in.
Cover with a lid and freeze several hours or overnight.

Let's make some ice cream!

In a medium bowl, whisk together 
the eggs, sugar and cocoa. Place 
the bowl over a pan of water and 
bring water to a boil.

Cook mixture for about 10 minutes. 
(Do not allow the water to touch the bottom of the bowl. You’re essentially creating a double-boiler for this mixture.)

After mixture has cooked, pour it into a 3-4 quart ice cream freezer. Add the sweetened condensed milk 
and the heavy cream. Stir to combine.

Pour in enough half & half 
to fill the container.


Transfer the ice cream to a plastic container then pour the caramel 
topping over the top.

Swirl through with a knife but 
don't mix it in! Freeze overnight.

Scoop, serve, savor!