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Jun 13, 2006 10:57 AM

Slightly shocking Kraft dinner variation

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A good friend was wallowing at home for a much-deserved weekend alone during which she indulged in a diet of junk food and bad movies. Now, you have to understand that this person is almost fanatical in her commitment to healthy eating - heavy on the veggies and fish - so when she told me what she had for dinner Saturday night I almost had a heart attack.

Kraft dinner. Bad enough. But then she said she was all out of milk and used white wine instead. She told me it was delicious - a little like fondue on pasta.

This just sounded like a Chowhound news flash to me. But should I have posted it on "Not about food?"

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  1. Ummm... What's a Kraft Dinner? I assume it's a pre-packaged meal made with dry artificial ingredients of some sort. Is it sort of like the flavorless radioactive waste Kraft mac n cheese?

    9 Replies
    1. re: biltong

      It is Kraft Mac N Cheese. It's a regional thing. The only folks I know that call it Kraft Dinner are Canadian.

      I have to admit, it's a guilty pleasure, indulged once a year or so.

      1. re: Gayle

        My husband goes for Kraft, whereas I prefer Top Ramen for one of "those" indulgences.

        Now and again it is fun to "fall off the wagon" in this way--all white wine instead of milk--sounds intriguing.

        1. re: Funwithfood

          When I think about the volume of Kraft Mac N' Cheese, Top Ramen, and canned soup I ate as a kid I find it hard to believe I ever made it here...

          1. re: JudiAU

            do you mean to tell me this stuff isn't good for you??

        2. re: Gayle

          They used to call it Kraft Dinner back in the 40's. Listen to just about any Great Gildersleeve radio show and you'll hear it.

        3. re: biltong

          Oooo I forgot it's not called that in the US. What we in Canada call Kraft Dinner is called Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (I think) in the states and yes, it's that neon orange ersatz cheese sauce with pasta mixture.

          When my kids were small I used to buy it by the case. Once in a while I would think I was giving them a thrill by making real macaroni and real cheese and they didn't like it. Nowadays the only time it is prepared in my house is when we have visitors with small children who are addicted to the stuff. Or, about once a year, when I am feeling depressed and need to comfort myself with gluey food.

          1. re: Nyleve

            I grew up pretty much in the US and my family called that stuff Kraft Dinner. Much to my mother's chagrin, since she was trying to feed 4 kids quickly after teaching all day, I would not tough the stuff. My brothers liked it and my sister was oaky with it but there was no way I was going to eat something that color. Prior to discovering that crap in a box she used to make the real thing. I was spoiled for anything less.

            1. re: Nyleve

              Until 30-40 years ago it was called Kraft Dinner here, too. After the fancier (and to my taste hugely inferior) "creamier" version came out, that was called Macaroni and Cheese to distinguish it from Kraft Dinner, and then somehow the nomenclature evolved into Original M&C and Deluxe M&C.

              I do make several varieties of Mac & Cheese, all very good if I do say so, but every so often I REALLY want those skinny straight noodles and the radioactive-orange cheeselike substance...

              1. re: Will Owen

                "every so often I REALLY want those skinny straight noodles and the radioactive-orange cheeselike substance..."

                And really, who wouldn't?

                Actually when my kids were small and addicted to the stuff, I couldn't even fool them with my homemade, even if I used bright orange cheese because it isn't possible to buy those straight elbows. The crooked elbows are a dead giveaway.

          2. Growing up, I had NO kitchen duties at all. So when I got to college and had to cook for myself, I had a number of kitchen mishaps.

            The most famous one was - in the middle of making Mac 'n Cheese I discovered I was out of milk. Looking in my fridge, I thought "mayo is white"....

            boy was that tasted like a gloppy cheese sandwich so I added pimentos for a new southern dish -- "Mac 'n Pimento Cheese". Of course, it wasn't good enough to repeat.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Pssst

              LOL- my brother and I used vanilla ice cream in place of milk once.

              1. re: salsailsa

                Genius!!! Desperate times call for desperate measures!

            2. Not Kraft, but my college 'dinner wonder' was a package of Alfredo Noodles 'n Sauce, 1 lb ground beef browned, and 1 block frozen spinach cooked, everything tossed together. All the food groups and made like 3-4 dinners' worth.


              1. s
                Splendid Spatula

                My first dish UI ever made, and source of intensely pleasant memories was Kraft mac and cheese, baked with slices of spam on top. To really gild the lily, you put brown sugar on the spam and run the casserole under the broiler.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Splendid Spatula


                  Split weenies work pretty well too...

                2. I had never heard of macaroni and cheese, let alone Kraft's version, until I went to college (quite a long time ago) - my mother wouldn't bring stuff like that into the house. But my housemates did - IIRC, on sale, they were 5 or 6 boxes for about 89 cents, maybe less (as I said, it was a l-o-o-o-ng time ago), very amenable to a student budget .

                  I am embarassed to admit that not only do I still love the stuff, but I prefer it to real (and even upscale) mac and cheese. I guiltily eat it only every couple of years or so, because my "gourmet" variation is to make it with butter and heavy cream (ah, the days when one used full fat dairy products with impunity)and use only about 2/3 of the packet of the day-glo orange powder.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JRL

                    Here in Canada on one of the TV networks, there is a commercial for Kraft Dinner. It is a scenario where a couple of college guys are attempting to boil a pot of water on a hot water radiator in order to cook their beloved Kraft Dinner. It is a poor students staple but now the price has reached .99 cents Canadian which these days is not too far from the American price.