Walking Tacos

Serves 24.

Note: The “classic” dish.

• 24 single-size serving bags of Doritos or Fritos

• 3 lb. ground beef

• 3 (1.25 oz.) pkg. taco seasoning mix

• 3 c. water or beef broth


• 6 c. shredded iceberg lettuce

• 3 c. salsa

• 3 pints (6 c.) sour cream

• 3 c. guacamole

• 6 c. grated co-jack cheese (Colby/Monterey Jack)

• 3 c. finely diced tomato

• 2 c. finely diced onion

• 1 to 2 c. sliced jalapeños

• 1 to 2 c. sliced green onions

• 1 to 2 c. freshly chopped cilantro


Brown meat. Add taco seasoning mix and 3 cups water or broth, then simmer about 10 minutes, until liquid is reduced.

Transfer meat to slow cooker and keep warm.

Assemble toppings in individual bowls and set out bags of chips. Ask guests to crush their bag of chips, then add meat, followed by toppings. Fold over top of bag and shake. Ready to eat.



Furey Family Oven Caramel Corn

Makes 8 quarts.

Note: Adapted by the Furey family from “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of American Cooking,” edited by Mary Jane Blount.

• 2 c. brown sugar, packed

• 1 c. (2 sticks) butter or margarine

• 1/2 c. light corn syrup

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1/2 tsp. baking soda

• 8 quarts (32 c.) popped popcorn


Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt, and bring to a boil and keep at boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda.

Divide popcorn and scatter evenly on 2 well-greased rimmed baking sheets. Pour syrup mixture over popcorn and mix well. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on rack before breaking into large chunks. Store in airtight container.



Oven-Baked Bacon

Serves many.

Note: Bacon can be cooked ahead in large batches and rewarmed in oven or microwave on the day of your party.

• Bacon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange bacon strips side-by-side (they will shrink in cooking). Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until bacon reaches desired crispness. (No need to turn over the bacon.)

Remove pan from oven and place strips on paper-towel lined sheet. Pour off grease and discard parchment paper.



Make-Ahead Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen.

Note: From Julie Kendrick, who prefers this recipe with half shortening and half butter. She recommends using parchment on a baking sheet rather than greasing it, and finds that a long chill in the refrigerator for the dough makes a difference, too.

• 2 1/4 c. flour

• 1 tsp. baking soda

• 1 tsp. salt

• 8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, room temperature

• 1/2 c. butter-flavored shortening

• 3/4 c. granulated sugar

• 3/4 c. brown sugar, well packed

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 2 eggs

• 12 oz. bag semisweet chocolate chips


Combine flour, baking soda and salt in bowl.

In mixing bowl, beat butter, shortening, granulated and brown sugars, and vanilla until creamy. Add eggs, beating well.

Gradually stir in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Cover mixing bowl and chill at least overnight, or up to three days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and drop cookie dough in 1-inch balls onto sheet. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes, until just slightly brown, then allow to sit on the baking sheet until firm.




Makes about 6.

Note: From “Joy of Cooking,” by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker.

• 1 3/4 c. flour

• 1 tbsp. baking powder

• 1 tbsp. sugar

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 3 eggs

• 8 tbsp. (1 stick) butter, melted

• 1 1/2 c. milk


Preheat nonstick waffle iron. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

In another bowl, blend eggs, melted butter and milk.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Combine with a few swift strokes of the whisk.

To use waffle iron: Cover about 2/3 of waffle iron with batter. Close the lid and wait about 4 minutes. When the waffle is ready, steam will have stopped emerging from the cracks in the iron. If you try to lift the top of the iron and it shows resistance, it probably means the waffle is not quite done. Allow it to cook slightly longer and try again.

Serve waffles immediately or, for later use, cool waffles and wrap in plastic and store in refrigerator for 2 days or frozen for several months. To reheat, bake unthawed on a rack in a 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes, or toast in toaster at lowest setting for 5 minutes.