I have a confession...I'm a bit of a food blog junky! I follow several food blogs via social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest), blog feeds (Bloglovin'), and good ol' fashioned email.
Last week, while trying to think of a fun, simple dinner for camp-set-up night, I happened to get my weekly email update from Macheesmo, a Colorado blogger who also camps (and has great takes on traditional meals, and makes cooking less intimidating). The subject of that email: A Camping Trial. Perfect timing!
Embedded within the mouthwatering recipe suggestions was this little nugget:
"Oh and did I mention that a bunch of other families are coming with us? We will have 4 toddlers at our campsite so it’s sure to be a party. I’m in charge of dinner and I’m making fancy walking tacos (like these)! Can’t wait."
I was in! I scoured his site for more suggestions along with several other blogging sites, and pinned some great ideas to my Better than Glamping board (if nothing else, Pinterest is good for bookmarking recipes!). I always try to find the original page source for recipes before saving them. I like to give the chef/author their dues.
After clicking through all my saved recipes, reading the steps and ingredients list, I decided the first trip out for the year needed to be easy, in case we inevitably forgot something. After going over the menu with Dawn, we settled on the Walking Tacos for dinner 1 and grilled meat and potatoes for day 2. Dawn took meat and potatoes and I took the walking tacos, and set to my shopping list.
Original Ingredient List 1 pound chorizo 1 tablespoon olive oil 1-2 tablespoons Old El Paso™ taco seasoning mix 1 (15-oz. can) pinto beans, drained Romaine lettuce, chopped 1 tomato, diced 6-8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated 1/2 white onion, diced 1 red jalapeño, diced 1 avocado, diced 6 small bags of chips
While at the store, I decided to simplify things a bit. Beans aren't always as ideal as you think while camping, plus they can be messy and what if we don't eat the whole can, what do I do with the extras? Nixed! Grated cheese: buy it in the bag, not worth the effort camp-side. Tomatoes: too messy and I was feeling lazy. Jalapeno? Chorizo is spicy enough, plus we're adding taco mix. And lack of ability to thoroughly rinse the oil from the cutting board, knife, and hands can lead to disaster. Gone. Avocados: they were all rock hard = not good eats. Skipped this time. I so wanted 6 bags of Fritos for the traditional walking tacos. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a pack with enough individual bags so time to get creative: Mix bag that also had Doritos! Let the crowd choose their own creation. And finally the taco mix. I'm not totally against these mixes, but Alton Brown makes one that I love!! However, I realized I was running out of time (shopping at 7 pm the night before leaving and still had to work a full 8 hrs the next day), so I needed to get something. Let's get creative! Here is what my augmented ingredient list eventually looked like for this meal:
For the meat filling:
1 pound ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 packet seasoning mix: Have you seen the liquid packets from Frontera Fiesta? Nice clean ingredient list, and not much more expensive
1/2 white onion, diced
Romaine lettuce, chopped (I bought a pack of hearts and took 2 minutes to chop them up, but you can get the pre-chopped stuff too)
Bag of shredded Mexican cheese mix
Large pack of Lays single serving chips
We simplified things and followed the directions on the flavor packet:
Brown Beef & Onion in your cast iron skillet (what, you don't have one? well you should, but that's another post!) over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is cooked through and nicely browned, about 8 minutes.
Stir Sauce into skillet; heat through, about 1 minute.
Let meat mix cool a bit (or it will burn you through the bag!)
Let campers choose their chips, and then assemble with toppings.
Walk to fire pit and chill with your favorite beverage.
We also bring some extra ziplocks with us for leftovers if we have them. We did have a little. Will be perfect for breakfast burritos in the morning!
And now you have leftover chips for snacking too!