Where’s the kitchen: Wisconsin Dells

When visiting an area like the Wisconsin Dells, and staying in a vacation rental, I usually try to cook foods from the area.

The local press has recipes for Potato Spinach Casserole, Cauliflower Cheese Pie, Grilled Bacon-Wrapped Olives and Pan-Roasted Chicken with Lemon-Garlic Green Beans.

But we can’t eat foods that rich every night, so I settled on something quick and easy that the whole family can enjoy, Chicken Tacos.

And even though you can often find a ton of spices in the kitchens of popular vacation rentals, there’s no guarantee it will include chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, paprika, ground cumin and crushed red pepper flakes.

So yes, I am cheating by using a pre-made taco mix to keep things simple. Use your preferred brand. We always have cheddar cheese and flour tortillas as well as chips and salsa on hand for snackers so I only needed to pick up a few items to complete the meal.

The kitchen at our Sand County Service Company vacation rental has all the tools necessary to make a great spread for dinner tonight.

In the frying pan:
Ground chicken
Diced tomatos with chile peppers
Dark red kidney beans
Taco mix
Onion diced (optional)

If using a traditional pan add 1 tbsp of your oil of choice. Heat the pan slightly then add onions (optional) and ground chicken. Cook chicken until no longer pink and add tomatos, beans and taco mix.

On the table:
Flour or corn tortillas
Lettuce
Salsa
Cheese
Sour cream

A note about tortillas, read the nutrition label. Try to find wraps that are under 80 calories. You’d be amazed by how many are 120 calories or higher each. I like to wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and heat them in the oven. We set all the food in bowls on the table so everybody can fix their tacos the way they like.

Erysse likes chicken, lettuce and cheese, but no salsa. Aren only wants a cheese quesadilla. I load mine down with jalapeno peppers when I can, and Chris is more particular about the salsa. You never know with Iden – he’s still experimenting.

Best of all this meal is quick and easy to make, no matter what you find in the kitchen.

Kari Haugeto

Kari is a serial entrepreneur with an education addiction and a profound curiosity that, more often then not, fuels some pretty incredible adventures. Currently her attention is focused on social and digital media technology and she is developing a project with her family of five and a variety of sponsors to share their cross-country adventures online in an interactive, socially responsible, educational and authentic manner.