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Friday, May 25, 2012

Chili Nachos and Eating In Our Backyard

Sometimes I feel like I tell my kids NO all the day long. And lately I'm afraid I haven't been much of a fun mom. Is anyone else just ready for summer to get here and set up shop already? May sure is taking forever to get over with. And I only have one kid in school, preschool that is. Haha!
The other night, I decided to stop being such a boob and show my kids that I am capable of doing fun things. Randy was working late, so it was just us girls for the night. I made chili nachos and we ate them in our backyard on our striped picnic blanket. It was a jolly-good time. I also realized that nachos are a pretty perfect meal to eat in your backyard. The meal is one-pan and all you need are small plates, cups for water and some wet wipes to clean chili fingers. No fussing with utensils and multiple pots to dish from. For dessert I pulled out some vanilla ice cream and fresh raspberries and mixed them together Cold Stone style and scooped it into cones. It was a good night and I'm excited to eat in our backyard more.
Here is how I made these delectable nachos, one cookie sheet pan will serve 4-6 people:

-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 
-Line a cookie sheet with foil. 
-Layer a thin layer of tortilla chips on the bottom, top with shredded cheddar cheese (I like tillamook medium cheddar- their colby-jack is also good for nachos). 
-Then top with another layer of tortilla chips. 
-Spoon hot chili over tortilla chips, top with more shredded cheese. 
-Bake for 7 ish minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Don't over melt the cheese in the oven, you want the cheese melted but still gooey, not tough.
-Top nachos with diced tomatoes, cubed avocado, and fresh cilantro. Serve some sour cream with them too!

Here's how I made the chili, I made this with things I already had in my pantry and fridge. Don't be afraid to sub in different beans or make do if you don't have something:

1.25 pounds lean ground turkey
1 bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 14-15oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can pinto beans
1 8oz can mexican tomato sauce
1 cup ish chicken stock (you could also use water)
1 little can tomato paste
1 small can diced green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
kosher salt to taste

In a large stock pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Add turkey and brown. Making sure to break up the turkey into small pieces. Add onion and bell pepper, green chiles and minced garlic. Cook for five more minutes, or until turkey is completely browned. Add in tomato paste. Mix around. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and chicken stock. Stir around. Add seasonings. Allow to simmer and reduce down for thirty minutes. If the chili is too thick add more liquid. If it is too runny, allow it to simmer longer. It needs to be thicker to spoon over the nachos. Before spooning over nachos, taste and add salt and more chili powder if needed.

*If you make one cookie sheet pan of nachos, you will have plenty of chili left-over (I only used about half of it). We used it for left-overs a couple days later and it was so delicious! If you make multiple pans, you should be able to get about 2 1/2 cookie sheet pans worth.
Thanks for letting me share these nachos today! I hope you find some time to make a pan of your own and that you get to enjoy them outside. Hope your Memorial Day weekend is a good one!
images and recipes by Briana


Haley and Lance (but probably just Haley) said...

Yum, those look tasty. Perfect picnic food. Eating outside is the best.

Kar said...

Wow Bri! My mouth is watering big time!

Briana said...

Thanks, girls. They were REAL tasty.

caroline said...

love me some yummy nachos! I will have to try this one! Thanks for sharing it!