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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Recipe - Nacho Stacks

(If you're interested in the camp - 
I'm also blogging about it today on SFR Brigade - The Best Day Job in the Universe )

I just finished a three-day space camp. I’m the one and only Klingon lunchlady, which means the kitchen is mine during June and July. This year marks my ninth summer slinging instellar hash. Our campers are ages 10 - 14. I have a really good idea of what they will eat and what they pass over. I’ve got portions down to a science. Best rule of thumb - if it is sweet, they’ll eat twice as much as a regular serving. If it is healthy, six servings is plenty for all the kids at a camp. Don’t get me wrong, I offer them plenty of healthy fresh fruit and veggies because I get to eat all I want while I’m working the camp and I *love* melons, strawberries, peaches, plums, grapes, etc, etc, etc. I do my best to offer a moderately healthy main dish, too. And plenty of desserts. Full campers equal happy campers.

This recipe is easy and delicious. Modify it to whatever your family will enjoy. I set everything out and let the kids add their own toppings. Amounts in parantheses are the amounts I serve for a camp, just for kicks.

Nacho Stacks, serves 6 - 8 (serves 50 - 70 kids and teens)

1 lb bag corn chips (3 - 4 giant Costco size bags of corn chips)
1 quart or so canned chili (2 gallon cans, Costco saves the day again)
2 - 3 normal size cans condensed nacho cheese sauce, mixed according to directions (1 gallon can Rico’s condensed cheese sauce which makes 6 quarts of sauce, Wal-Mart fails, they quit stocking it at our local store. I am sad. It was great stuff, plain cheese so no spicy peppers for kids to complain about. I need to call the manager about this one.)
12 oz bag shredded lettuce (4 -5 bags, more if the older teen girls on our staff are eating, less if it’s the guys)
1 c. grape tomatoes (honking Costco package of grape tomatoes. Kids eat a surprising amount of these. Or maybe it’s just my boss eating them all.)
1/2 c. sour cream (2 c. sour cream, most kids pass on it or can’t figure out what it is.)
1 c. salsa (2 - 3 c., most kids don’t want spicy)
1 c. guacamole (2 c. guacamole for the six kids who like it.)
1 c. sliced olives (1/2 gallon sliced olives. They eat these like candy.)

Heat chili in one pot, cheese sauce in another. Crockpots are great for this. Small dip crockpots, usually 1 - 2 quarts, can heat everything in about an hour. (If you’re making the monster portions in 6 quart crockpots, plan on at least 2 - 3 hours on high.) Set everything out in separate dishes and let people build their own nacho stacks. The order listed is the recommended order for adding toppings, but hey, do it your way.

Recommended side dishes: Sliced watermelon (1 decent sized seedless watermelon feeds an entire camp.); 1 dozen peanut butter bars (recipe will post another day, if I can wheedle it out of the local bakery, and plan on at least 6 dozen of them for a camp); 1 dozen donut holes (6 - 9 dozen, and you’ll still run short); 1 gallon lemonade (3 gallons lemonade, 3 gallons fruit punch)


  1. Can I say I'm 14 and come to space camp? I want to come! :D

    Mmmm. Nachos.

  2. Sorry, I forgot to make it clear. The camps are only for ages 10 - 14, but the private missions are for ages 10+. That means adults can come, too. Please come visit!


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