This weeks post is a little different. I’m featuring one of my all time favorite apps. As you all know, I am a woman who lives by the phillosphy that no food is off limits and I try to keep “anything/everything in moderation and proportion”. I also supplement my love for food with a bunch of exercise each week :). So please keep that in mind while reading and drooling over this post.

A few weeks ago the Bards packed their bags and drove/flew across New England to take part in their annual camping trip to Cape Cod. The Bards typically spend 2 weeks camping in tents, yes tents for 2 weeks in Nickerson State Park in Brewster, MA. I might add that in these tents we are not sleeping on the ground. We all sleep on air mattresses. I’d like to refer to it as “Glamping”. I wouldn’t camp any other way now. Thank you, Bards.

Nickerson_State_Park_4

We spend most days biking, swimming, canoeing, running and exploring Nickerson. If you can’t find us at Nickerson you can find us at any of the neighboring beaches relaxing, playing ultimate frisbee or football. Pretty great vaca if I’d say so myself. 

IMG_5604

Absolutely gorgeous and relaxing. 

IMG_5741

One of my favorite things to do camping is gather together with family and friends around the campfire and enjoy some delicious food and drink that has been prepared fireside. Mr. and Mrs. Donna and Scott Bard are quite amazing each and ever night and crank out great dinners for all of us whether on the camp stove, campfire or ordering take out. As you can imagine cooking for 10+ people for many days in a row can be quite the task. We all try to take a night and bring our own culinary skills to the table which can be quite fun. This year Mike and I wanted to try something completely new to the Bard camping menu. We brought along our cast iron skillet and some charcoal and created some ooeey gooey nacho goodness our last night. By no means is this meal healthy, but it’s not horrible if you don’t eat the whole skillet (very hard not to!)

Here is a line up of what we needed for our nachos.

-campfire ring, charcoal, matches, kindling, fold over grate (not necessary), pot holders, cast iron skillet, some tasty cocktails and a sense of adventure.

* 1lb ground beef, cooked and crumbled on campstove or fireside

*1 bag of salty and sturdy tortilla chips

*1 package taco seasoning

*1 can black beans, rinsed and drained if possible

*1 1/2 -2 bags of sharp cheddar cheese

Toppings, lots of toppings

Sliced avocado, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, pico de gallo, gaucomole, cilantro, olives, chopped jalapenos, etc etc etc 🙂

IMG_5732

Light your fire using charcoal. You don’t need a raging campfire for this recipe

1) Brown ground beef in skillet. Drain fat in the woods or leftover can) Add taco seasoning to beef and cook according to back of taco seasoning packet. Add black beans and combine. Transfer beef and beans to seperate pot/bowl. Keep some grease in the bottom of skillet.

2) Create a layer of tortilla chips on the bottom of the skillet. Add a layer of beans/beef ontop of chips. Sprinkle a generous amount of cheese ontop of beef/beans. Con’t layering in this fasion till skillet is busting at the seams with nachos. I think we had 3 or 4 layers. Place top on skillet and transfer to fire pit. (Just like making a lasagna but with chips, meat and cheese)

IMG_57333) Depending on your fire pit (grate or no grate) place skillet on hot coals or grate. We had small size flames to trace flames during cooking process. (The flame in this picture was right after mike blew on the fire, we didn’t have flames like this for the whole cooking process)

We started with our skillet (top on) on the grate and transfered to directly ontop of the coals. Use caution! Mike actually placed some hot coals ontop of the skillet as well to improve overall cooking and even heat. 

IMG_5736

4) Remove skillet from heat after 10ish minutes. Lift top to check occasionally for cheese melting and bubbly deliciousness. Remove from fire when bubbly. Let nachos cool for 5ish minutes. Serve directly from skillet.

 IMG_5734

We dug into our nachos with spoons and forks. Everyone got to choose their own toppings. We will definitely be making this again next year at Nickerson. The smokiness from the campfire made these extra delicious!IMG_5737

IMG_5740

I think I used all the topping for my plate. Go figure 🙂

IMG_5739

This recipe served approx. 8 people for dinner size portions. We did not need dinner after this one. We did get creamies though at Cobbies in celebration of my Birthday. YOLO 🙂

Calorie Count- It’s okay not to count sometimes, enjoy!