Most weeks when I go to post my Thursday night dinner blog, I'm thinking, "Man, I can't believe it's Thursday already!?" But this week, I'm feeling like there's no way today isn't already Friday. This week is a' draggin'. It might also feel like Friday because this week the Louisville crew did Thursday night dinner on Wednesday. During the summer months, 91.9 WFPK- our really cool, local radio channel- does outdoor concerts on the waterfront the last Wednesday of the month. So we girls love putting together some snacks, laying out a blanket and listening to music while watching the sun set over the Ohio River. (That's Emily and me taking some snaps between sets.)
In honor of Labor Day weekend, I'm sharing with you my family's #1 summer holiday recipe-- Haystacks. For as long as I can remember, we've been having Haystacks at most of our summer family get-togethers. Assembly line-type meals like this one are great for serving lots of people because you just line up all the fixin's (as we say here) and let everyone pick and choose what they want. One recommendation: take only a little bit of each fixin' because your plate fills up quickly! My dad notoriously always has the largest of all the haystacks. The amount of each ingredient will vary with how many people you have at your gathering and how many other side dishes you have. The amounts I have here should easily serve 10 people.
Happy Labor Day weekend cooking & crafting!
by the reilly family
What you need:
- 3-4 bags Fritos
- 2 lb ground beef
- 2 bags Morningstar Grillers (for your vegetarian contingency)
- 4 packets low-sodium taco seasoning
- 3 28 oz cans vegetarian baked beans (so everyone can eat them)
- 1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 1 bunch cilantro, leaves pulled from stems
- 1 small jar green olives, sliced
- 1 large green pepper, diced
- 1 large red pepper, diced
- 1 8 oz block sharp yellow cheddar, shredded
- 1 8 oz block sharp white cheddar, shredded
- Sour cream
- 1 8 oz bottle Ortega Mild taco sauce
- 1 8 oz bottle Ortega Medium taco sauce
What to do:
Dice, shred and/or de-stem all ingredients that require it and place into little bowls (red onion, cilantro, olives, green and red peppers, cheese). Keep in refrigerator until ready. Heat baked beans in a large pot over low/medium-low heat until they are heated through. Stir occasionally. You can keep the beans on the stove over low heat for as long as you need to really, just remember to stir every once in a while. (If you want to get fancy with the baked beans try our Very Veggie Baked Beans recipe). Cook meat and fake meat with taco seasoning according to directions. Place all ingredients into appropriate containers (or leave in the one they already come in) and line up on a table-- starting with Fritos at the beginning of the line, followed by meat/fake meat, beans and all the other toppings. Put sour cream and sauces at the very end.
For each haystack, the typical order of ingredients is: a layer of Fritos, meat/fake meat, beans, cheese (to get it melty), lettuce, and all other fixin's as desired. Your plate will look something like the photo shown (from Drick's Rambling Cafe)
Some optional topping options: avocado slices or guacamole, fresh tomato slices, fresh corn grilled and de-cobbed, and really anything you can think of.