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!