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Your Once Famous But Now, "Oh My God I Cant Believe I Used To Serve This" Dish

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We all started somewhere right? What was your signature dish, the thing that you, "had nailed" that you would serve your guests when you were just a clumsy, uneasy on your feet chowhound, that today you would never even consider serving?
I'll start...I'll overlook my "Fancy California Dip" the one I made in my Betty Crocker Blender, (Sour cream and Liptons Onion Soup Mix) when I was 10 and move right up to my early twenties and the dish of the day was, "Sam's Blue Cheese Chicken"! My face is getting hot just typing this but if I wanna hear yours I gotta share mine right?
Whole Chicken (cut up)
Wishbone Italian Dressing
Bob's Big Boy Blue Cheese Dressing
Milk
Green Giant Mushrooms in a jar

Soak the chicken in the Wishbone for hours....then Broil chicken, (have not used my broiler in 10 years) and baste with "marinade" Meanwhile dump jar of Bob's in a sauce pan, add enough milk to thin it to, "Sauce" texture and add a jar of mushrooms.
When chicken is cooked through, (read overcooked) place in a large dish and pour blue cheese sauce over the top......yea. Kinda gives me the poopies just thinking about it! I don't even think I served a side with it.....wow.

Your turn everyone!

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  1. Not nearly as fancy as yours! A meatloaf from a wine cookbook: ground beef, chopped onions, red wine all squished together with bacon strips on top. Awful, terrible, like a greasy brick, but I served it all the time to guests, it being the only "fancy" recipe I could follow at the time. God knows what side dishes I conjured up. Finally, someone told me "enough with the meatloaf!"

    1. Bubbles, I hate to say it, but your chicken dish sounds really good to me!

      I have one from my high school days that I still make. It calls for cream of mushroom soup (I always used Campbell's fancy "golden" version), onion soup mix, brown-and-wild rice mix, and a cut-up chicken. Dump rice mix and dry soup mix in a casserole pan, top with chicken pieces, then mix soup with a can of milk and pour over all. Bake for a long time (an hour or so). It's oh so high in sodium and thus is really, really good.

      Nowadays, I've upgraded the recipe to use free-range chicken, organic mushroom soup, some sauteed fresh mushrooms, Penzey's bouillon instead of the dry soup mix, and bulk (non-boxed) brown rice and wild rice. But it's still virtually the same thing...

      Anne

      3 Replies
      1. re: AnneInMpls

        Ohhhh I was raised on the "chicken and rice and soup" casserole. I still make it today, too - it's a great standby on those nights when you just can't come up with something to cook for dinner.

        1. re: Suzy Q

          Top it with a generous dusting of smoked spanish paprika, and you almost forget you opened a can of condensed soup to get to the deliciously salty chickeny result.

        2. re: AnneInMpls

          My mom used to make something REALLY similar like that when we were little, and I loved it!

        3. Apricot chicken. 'Nuff said

          2 Replies
          1. re: gemmous

            I made that Once! I had to, everyone in town was making it. (O_O)

            1. re: gemmous

              I don't get it...
              never had it, but apricot chicken sounds like a good thing.

            2. Wild rice stuffed cornish hens. It doesn't sound that bad, cornish hens stuffed with wild rice mix (cooked), wine and soy sauce poured over it, then baked for an hour, but the (very) last time I served it, somehow it was covered with dish soap or something...you get the picture...yuck. Now I can feel the back of my neck getting red, LOL!

              1 Reply
              1. re: lilfoodiegirl

                welcome to the pink-faced cooking club!

              2. Tuna potato chip casserole. I believe this involved canned cream of mushroom soup and flaked canned tuna, dotted with potato chips and baked in a casserole dish. Went over okay in the dorm, as I recall. Another one of our gang used to add ice cream to pancake mix. Made for an interesting breakfast.

                6 Replies
                1. re: omotosando

                  I plead guilty to the canned soup tuna casserole offense. I do occasionally make tuna casserole on the rate Lenten occasion but I make my own cream sauce and use home made bread crumbs instead of potato chips.

                  1. re: Kelli2006

                    I look forward to Lent specifically for tuna casserole! Well, that and the whole redemption thing. But I can't imagine Lent without the crunchy, cream, savory goodness of cream of mushroom mixed with tuna.

                    1. re: JungMann

                      That's a Lenten comfort food I miss. I miss a lot of the foods my mom made that were laden with cream of crap soup.

                  2. re: omotosando

                    my aunt used to make this when we were young and it was our favorite. she would bring it to easter dinner (god only knows why). god we loved that stuff.

                    i do make tuna casserole still but like kelli2006 i made my own mushroom thyme cream sauce and use homemade bread crumbs, not potato chips.

                    1. re: omotosando

                      Hey, I've got to confess, I still like tuna potato chip casserole dish. Tastes we learned to love when youngsters often never disappear. (And Lipton onion soup and sour cream are still a favorite dip of mine. My girlfriend cannot believe that anyone can eat anything that salty, but it's no problem for me, due to years and years of conditioning.)

                      1. re: omotosando

                        Ooo! I like it with corn flakes instead of potato chips. lol!

                      2. When I had first started to cook with frequency, my workplace had lots of potlucks. My (very well received) contribution usually was mini-cheesecakes. I don't recall the entire recipe, but vanilla wafers were placed into cupcake liners in a muffin tin, the cheese cake batter was poured next and the topping was canned pie filling, cherry IIRC.

                        (shuddering, happy no one is looking over my shoulder while I unburden my self...)

                        circa late '70's/early '80's

                        I like to think I can do better now! ;-D

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: meatn3

                          These cheesecakes were a staple dessert when I was growing up in the Midwest. I loved them with cherry pie filling, and would probably still enjoy eating one for old time's sake.

                          1. re: butterfat

                            Not JUST for old time's sake. I do the cherry mini cheesecakes in Christmasy cup cake papers EVERY Christmas. But then I do the tuna noodle casserole once in a while too. When you get old, you don't worry anymore about lack of inness.

                          2. re: meatn3

                            Haha, I've made these a few times as well.

                            1. re: meatn3

                              My Grandmother used to make these all the time, and I think I would still enjoy them now. However instead of the pie filling, she used fresh fruit brushed with melted apple jelly. Good times.

                              1. re: lizzy

                                Your grandmothers topping sounds good!

                                My tastes for sweets has changed over the years and canned pie filling is just too much for me now. I don't think I've had one of these since '85, got burnt out from making them so often I suspect! I never had a big sweet tooth... I fell into making those mainly because I didn't have much of a repertoire for transportable dishes, they were quick/easy, and there were never any leftover!

                                1. re: meatn3

                                  I concur on canned pie filling being too much. Once the weather cools down I might have to break down and make a batch. They are definitely a crowd pleaser.

                              2. re: meatn3

                                These are a favorite of mine, as well. I still like them, canned cherry pie filling and all. It was the one treat that my mom would allocate when she made them - I think a batch made 12, so we each got three to eat or save as we wished...

                                1. re: meatn3

                                  My mom made these for years, and they were a real favorite of mine. She would make huge batches for family parties and would mix it up between cherry, blueberry, pineapple and chocolate toppings. I could easily eat the entire batch. No need for embarrassment here!

                                  1. re: meatn3

                                    LOL Those are still a Xmas staple at my Mom's! And yes, I confess I do love the still!!!

                                  2. Mine isn't a recipe, it's simply that I used to serve fish before I really knew what the heck I was doing with it. Certainly not the easiest (or smartest) thing to do for company, but I thought my talents were well above what they actually were. So you'd get a nice sauce over a dried plank of fillet-of-something. Fortunately I got better at it. So rather than famous, it was probably more like "infamous".

                                    I used to also do a big near frozen head of iceberg lettuce with a ginger dressing (Benihana-style). It's still a guilty pleasure of mine, but something I no longer subject guests to.

                                    The one I wish people would stop asking for is an appetizer of kielbasa with stone ground mustard wrapped in fillo with an egg wash. Been doing this for 20 years now. I'm sick of it, but I get asked for it all the time.

                                    12 Replies
                                    1. re: Panini Guy

                                      That doesn't sound so bad to me, PG... then again, "pigs in a blanket" are one of my greatest guilty pleasures of all time, and I still insist that my aunt make them every year for her Christmas tree-trimming party. The party started out as a fun afternoon for all the cousins, as well as a way for her to get out of decorating. That was over 20 years ago, and she, too, is pretty tired of making them (especially since all of us "kids" who attend to the party are now in our mid-20s to -30s!).
                                      The recipe:
                                      Boars Head Frankfurters; Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.

                                      Separate each pre-shaped triangle of dough, and stretch it slightly, to flatten it and provide a little more surface area. Beginning at one corner, roll the frank into the dough, covering as much of the meat as possible. Slice each wrapped frank on the bias, into 1.5 inch pieces and line up on a cookie sheet. Bake until dough puffs up and the tops, as well as the frank tips, are lightly browned.
                                      Serve with spicy mustard. So bad, and yet, so good. Especially alongside a handful of Ruffles potato chips with Knorr Leek Soup mix & sour cream dip.

                                      1. re: vvvindaloo

                                        OMG! My mom used to make those but would add a slice of processed cheese on the cresent roll or stuffed inside a slit in the hot dog. We'd get those with a pool of catsup for dipping.

                                        I shudder with the memory.

                                        1. re: Dee S

                                          I would totally eat that. With the pool of ketchup. And cheese is required.

                                          1. re: Firegoat

                                            I will also confess to a love for pigs in blankets. With or without the ketchup!

                                            1. re: Suzy Q

                                              Pigs in blankets are a classic. How can you not love little sausages wrapped in pastry? Very guilty pleasure, but definitely a pleasure. Good thing I don't see them made so often, I can't stop eating them when they are around...

                                              1. re: moh

                                                in a potluck situation pigs n blankets, meatballs in sweet and sour sauce or bbq sauce, dave's weinies and velveeta sausage dip is always the first gone.

                                                1. re: Firegoat

                                                  Isn't that the truth. My mom has a small Christmas party for me, my siblings, and our families every Dec.23. A nice relaxing evening without a formal meal, but tons of appetizers/finger foods. No matter what she puts out it is always a race to the crockpot of grapejelly and yellow mustard meatballs.

                                              2. re: Suzy Q

                                                I just attended the Egullet Heartland Gathering and a very prominent Chicago attendee, made and served these. He used kosher mini dogs and cresecent rolls. They were wiped out.

                                              3. re: Firegoat

                                                I would eat that too. Yum. (Except I'd have to skip the ketchup...)

                                              4. re: Dee S

                                                My mom used the stuff that was like cheese whiz but was cheese in a jar! I don't remember what it was called. And no Boar's Head, we had good old Oscar Meyer or whatever hot dog was cheap, cheap, cheap.

                                                As for me, I learned to make Tater Tot Casserole in the 7th grade and still make it about once a year for my hubby. Ground beef, cream of mushroom soup, spices and Tater Tots (gave the recipe to my neighbor and she topped it with a bunch of cheddar cheese, kids loved it!) , still tastes good! Can you say "heart attack in a casserole pan"?Those things tasted good because they were full of fat! Still love it, just don't make the stuff very often!

                                                Oh and the mustard and grape jelly with meatballs? Mom did either mustard and grape jelly with sliced hot dogs (the cheap ones again) or with ketchup and grape jelly. Of course, you have a dish of sesame seeds to dip them in after the sauce! Hate to admit it, but have actually made this for parties, not recently, and people loved it! I won't tell the recipe!

                                              5. re: vvvindaloo

                                                Those were a standard item for dinner just about every week when I was small. I hated them, particularly the crescent roll, and my dad only liked all-beef hot dog which I despise as well - ugh!

                                                1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                  Love the pigs in a blanket. Thankfully my mom didn't start making them until a few years ago when I was already out of the house. I was already pretty fat growing up, and I probably would have added on another ten pounds if those had been a household staple.

                                              6. There were a couple back in the day...

                                                A salmon "souffle" that was made in a 9x13. You line the baking dish with sliced sandwich bread with crusts removed, then top it with a mixture of flaked, canned salmon mixed with a couple of egg yolks, some sour cream, and some parsley, then top that with a mixture of beaten egg whites with mayo and dill (hence the souffle part). Bake and serve in squares.

                                                The other was a "cheesecake" that was also made in a 9x13. The crust is just a short pastry dough with some chopped walnuts in it, patted into the bottom of the pan and baked. The filling was cream cheese thinned with dissolved but unset lemon Jell-O. You chill that till firm and then top with two boxes of your fave Jell-O, for that shiny, stained-glass look. As my tastes became more developed, I substituted fresh berries for the Jell-O topping, thinking that that redeemed the recipe!

                                                1. Terrible pasta was my mainstay for many years.

                                                  When I was about 12, I did lots of the cooking for my family: tuna noodle casserole, chili and cornbread, cream of broccoli soup. All probably pretty bad (or maybe not, who knows? The cornbread was respectable and made in a nice cast iron skillet).

                                                  But the worst--because I thought it was the best--was my spaghetti with meat sauce, a thick gloppy affair with lots of diced green pepper, onions, barely browned ground beef, canned tomatoes, oregano. It's so far from the Bolognese sauce I love now that I feel very sad about how much I loved it. But my family seemed to enjoy it.

                                                  My other shameful pasta dish is one I made all the time when I was 19 and a vegetarian and first met my now-husband. It was penne pasta with sauteed red onions and red peppers and creamy pesto FROM A PACKET (Knorr I think). (This did not seem odd to me at the time.) And probably some pregrated Parmesan.

                                                  I really thought my husband enjoyed it at the time and we even served it to our poor grad student friends at dinner parties but now (ten years later) he teases me about it every chance he gets.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: butterfat

                                                    uh, your pasta dishes seem wayyy too familiar. now i'm turning red! that's how i make spaghetti sauce, minus the meat...oops. and my family likes it!!!

                                                    and the pesto pasta sounds OK minus the packet sauce...

                                                    1. re: butterfat

                                                      My go-to pasta was Lawry's sauce packet, made with meat and the 1/4 c red wine to make it special. Wouldn't mind a small plate of it right now ...

                                                      1. re: butterfat

                                                        What's so embarrassing about Knorr pasta sauces? They were my go-to "fancy" meals for years! My specialty was the Knorr Parma Rosa sauce over tortellini. throw in some garlic bread and a salad and there was my typical date meal throughout my 20's. No wonder I didn't get married until my mid-30's when I finally learned to cook.

                                                        1. re: Divamac

                                                          Diva, I use Parma Rosa to recreate a dish I had in an Italian restaurant....it is fabulous. I shared with an Italian friend and she made it for her family with tremendous success....they thought she made it from scratch.

                                                          2 envelopes Parma Rosa sauce mix made according to package directions
                                                          1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing and browned in small pieces (think small clumps; like what you'd put on pizza. Not like ground beef)
                                                          1 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from casing and browned in small pieces (think small clumps; like what you'd put on pizza. Not like ground beef)
                                                          1 pound sliced cremini mushrooms (saute in some pork fat)
                                                          8 ounces pepperoni, diced
                                                          1 pound of your favorite sturdy pasta (orrechiette, shells, farfalle), cooked
                                                          Cheese, if desired

                                                          Prepare sauce according to package directions. Combine all non-pasta ingredients and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes. Toss with cooked pasta. Top with your favorite italian cheese.

                                                          Sometimes I'll add some other ingredients but this is the basic dish. I like to saute the mushrooms in the sausage pan to get all the fond.

                                                          1. re: Dee S

                                                            That sounds really fantastic! And for the record, I don't necessarily think that using stuff out of a package or a can is a bad thing, particularly when you add in other fresh ingredients. It would be wildly impractical and inconvenient to have to make everything from scratch every single time.

                                                      2. My excuse is my bf loves the dip so I am still guilty of my crime. I make the spinach dip made with Knorr soup mix.

                                                        Also when I was a lot younger, 14 maybe, I would marinate chicken breasts in raspberry salad dressing and then either prepare them in a pan or in the oven. At the time I thought highly of them, now I look back and think chicken shouldn't be cooked and still be a shade of pink.

                                                        16 Replies
                                                        1. re: lizzy

                                                          Actually, there are some folks that cook their chicken slightly pink (eg. Hainese chicken). And some chefs in more upscale restaurants are cooking chicken that way as well as it preserves the moisture better. Perhaps you were just ahead of the curve. ; )

                                                          1. re: Miss Needle

                                                            Ha! A trailblazer at 14 and I didn't even know it!

                                                          2. re: lizzy

                                                            Lizzy, there is never any need to apologize about the Knorr soup mix spinach dip. This is a well-beloved entity with many fans on the board! Many sub-threads have extolled the virtues of this wonderful dip. Many pockets of cellulite exist thanks to this simple yet perfect recipe. No apologies. Just make more dip!

                                                            On the other hand, I do recall combining Kraft mac'n'cheese with canned corn with bits of red pepper in it. But my excuse was that I was very very young.

                                                            1. re: moh

                                                              I must have missed those threads, and to think I outed myself for no reason. Glad to see the dip has a following, and not just with the people who show up for our Super Bowl party. :-)

                                                              1. re: lizzy

                                                                Oh, that just reminded me of one. Velveeta, salsa and browned sausage, heat and serve with tortilla chips, keep warm in a crock pot. What the heck is Velveeta anyway?

                                                                1. re: mrschef1

                                                                  That sounds sort of good. I'm not a fan of Velveeta, but I'm sure the nice creamy texture against the salty sausage and spicy salsa would be pretty good - in a gross and fattening kind of way. I'd eat it. I'd probably eat too much of it.

                                                                  1. re: Avalondaughter

                                                                    The thing about the velveeta/sausage dip is that it smells SO darn good. If you bring it for an office potluck and start it in the morning to get the cheese completely melted, you'll have people sniffing around by 10 a.m.

                                                                  2. re: mrschef1

                                                                    I went to a party a week ago and this exact "queso with meat" dip was served, in a small crock pot.

                                                                    Velveeta is, of course, is colby, swiss and cheddar, blended all together, or at least that's what the commercials claim. That totally doesn't explain its texture, or its flavor.

                                                                    1. re: Ashforth

                                                                      I bet that cheese dip was eaten up about as fast as it was put out too.

                                                                    2. re: mrschef1

                                                                      One of my friends in college used to make something like that all the time! I ate the heck out of it even though I knew it was SO bad for me.

                                                                      1. re: mrschef1

                                                                        My brother loves this so I always make it for him for parties

                                                                  3. re: lizzy

                                                                    Lizzy I agree with Moh. I love that spinach dip - and it is favorite of my nieces at our yearly Christmas party.

                                                                    1. re: lizzy

                                                                      lizzy, you are welcome to join the "knorr's spinach-vegetable dip in bread bowl" club. the membership is growing, and especially plumps up (ha!) beginning around thanksgiving through the superbowl parties! we're loud and we're proud! ;-)

                                                                      go kn-orr's! go kn-orr's! go kn-orr's!

                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4801...

                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                        I am so joining! I especially love your Ode to Knorr's Spinach Dip, I've been guilty of #5 more times than I would like to count.

                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                          I made the dip for a bbq last Friday night...low fat. It was gone...seeded ryebread bowl and all! No shame in my game.

                                                                          As for a recipe I would care to forget...ok cream of mushroom soup mixed with sour cream, salt and pepper...pour over chicken breasts wrapped with chipped dry beef...and broccoli added. Bake and serve...

                                                                          1. re: rHairing

                                                                            After all this dip talk, I made it myself yesterday, and it is good!

                                                                      2. My "famous' college dish was fajitas, just like mom used to make. Perfectly seasoned with the packet of "sauce" mix, just like tacos! It's been at least 10 years since I made them, but the college boy set did seem to like them.

                                                                        1. This one was my sisters, but it fits the bill: She always made something she called "Chicken Divine" I imagine it was supposed to be a version of Divan. It was chicken layed with broccoli and, if I remember correctly, a mixture of cream of mushroom and dry onion soup mix...

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: mrschef1

                                                                            one of my college roommates used to make a similar pseudo- chicken divan, but with lots of paprika instead of the dry onion soup mix. i tended to make other plans for dinner when she decided to whip it up ;)

                                                                          2. Saucy Boston Beanwiches (learned this in Home Ec class in Pennsylvania ~~ will NOT disclose year; my family loved Loved LOVED them)

                                                                            Slices of white bread
                                                                            Canned baked beans
                                                                            Sliced tomatoes (so help me God I used canned sliced tomatoes)
                                                                            Bacon slices (cut in half)
                                                                            Cheese Sauce (standard white sauce to which I added tons of American Cheese)

                                                                            Place bread slices on cookie sheet.
                                                                            Top with baked beans and two slices of tomato
                                                                            Criss cross two slices of raw bacon over and broil until bacon is browned and crispy (or often burnt in my case)

                                                                            Put on serving plates and ladle cheese sauce over.

                                                                            Made this a hundred times. They would invite guests over and ask me to make this concoction.

                                                                            I am old enough to have many others, but this is sure my finest. I promise, none of my husbands or my children were ever served this dish.

                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                            1. re: laliz

                                                                              You can buy CANNED tomato slices??? Is this really a thing? I thought tomatoes didn't react well with metal or where they jarred (which still seems weird)?

                                                                              1. re: starlady

                                                                                The cans interior is coated with an enamel. Whole, sliced, diced, crushed, puree and sauce - the inside of the can is generally white!

                                                                                1. re: starlady

                                                                                  I have not looked for canned tomato slices in at least 20 years.
                                                                                  Maybe they don't exist anymore; but certainly diced tomatoes are sold in cans so I don't understand the question.

                                                                                  1. re: laliz

                                                                                    Sure, I've seen crushed tomatoes, whole tomaotes etc in cans, but sliced seems to elude my imagination. It's just when I get a can of tomatoes for say pasta sauce there is no way that they could keep their shape so how would sliced tomatoes still be in ...well.. slices? there is no skin to keep them together, and being thrown around in shipping etc wouldn't they end up more..well I don't even know...

                                                                                    1. re: starlady

                                                                                      I think the confusion lies in your question regarding the reaction of tomatoes in a metal can. If crushed, whole, diced or any other shape are fine canned, then sliced shouldn't be any different right?

                                                                                  2. re: starlady

                                                                                    Look for stewed tomatoes in a canned, they are slices

                                                                                    1. re: starlady

                                                                                      Do NOT knock canned tomatoes. I use them in almost everything I make. I've tried buying whole tomatoes, but I never use enough of it, so most of it ends up sitting there going bad. Solution: canned diced tomatoes. Unless I'm using them in a sauce, I just rinse them off, and it's like they were just cut.

                                                                                      1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                        i use canned tomatoes quite a bit. a real pantry staple. i tend to buy the whole peeled ones.

                                                                                  3. There's a potato casserole that still stands as a staple when serving ham. Not chowish in the least but it is really good with ham!

                                                                                    1 2lb package of diced hash browns (no peppers or onions)
                                                                                    2 cans cream of potato soup
                                                                                    16 ounces of sour cream
                                                                                    8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar

                                                                                    Preheat oven to 350.

                                                                                    Defrost hash browns. Mix with soup and sour cream. Top with cheddar cheese. Back for at least one hour at 350.

                                                                                    I play around with adding spices every now and then but that's about it. Can't replicate the texture or flavor by trying home made.

                                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Dee S

                                                                                      Dee S,
                                                                                      You just made my Irish toes go all tappy! That just sounds so good to me, might me super good with a thick cut steak too, you know all "steakhouse" like. I like to call all dishes with cream "o" soups Ghetto Fabulous....that my friend sounds Ghetto Fabulous...going to keep it.

                                                                                      1. re: bubbles4me

                                                                                        I'll admit, it's better the next day. I like to bake it with half the cheese mixed in and stir a couple times. About 15 minutes before it's done, I top it with the rest of the cheese. If you change the soup to something other than cream of potato, you change the flavor drastically!

                                                                                        I'm kind of suprised to hear other people make this! I know convenience foods were popular in the 50s/60s and everybody made up their own things. Cracks me up that a dish like this was considered "elegant".

                                                                                      2. re: Dee S

                                                                                        In Mormon culture, these are called "funeral potatoes" because they're almost always served at the lunch following a funeral (and not because they'll hasten your death). My mom would actually boil potaotes and grate them and she used cream of chicken rather than cream of potato, but basically the same. Oh, and they are usually also topped with crushed cornflakes or potato chips.

                                                                                        1. re: Dee S

                                                                                          Oh my aunt is REQUIRED to make a double batch of something similar every Thanksgiving and Christmas! Hers is
                                                                                          pack of frozen diced hash browns
                                                                                          can of cream of chicken soup
                                                                                          tub of sour cream
                                                                                          block of velveeta

                                                                                          Mix and pour into 9X16 baking dish.

                                                                                          Top with crushed cornflakes and 1/2 cup melted butter.

                                                                                          Bake at 350 for 45 - 55 min.

                                                                                          It's such a wonderfully, disgusting dish that we all love!

                                                                                          1. re: Dee S

                                                                                            My mom still makes this dish. She uses whatever cream soups she has in the house. We call it the hashbrown dish. Always a big hit. Sometimes I'll have a scoop for old time sake. Wouldn't miss it if she stop making it though :P

                                                                                            1. re: Dee S

                                                                                              With the conrflakes on top... I don't care if it's not gourmet, I love this dish! And it's ALWAYS a hit a potlucks. Always. My roasted vegetable lasagne sits forlorn, but this dish gets gobbled down. Because it's that good.

                                                                                            2. "Calico Chicken" :
                                                                                              chicken pieces
                                                                                              can of tomato sauce
                                                                                              can of mexicorn
                                                                                              mix it up, bake and serve.
                                                                                              *shudder*

                                                                                              1. Beef Stroganoff. Beef and sour cream with noodles. What could be better.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: Cameraman

                                                                                                  We make hamburger stroganoff. HB, onions, mushrooms, Cream of Mushroom Soup with S&P, garlic powder and sour cream over noodles. It's my DH's comfort food.

                                                                                                2. It was the late 70's. It was called Boeuf Bourguignonne. It used canned mushrooms and a packet of french onion soup.

                                                                                                  **hangs head in shame**

                                                                                                  1. Actually, that sounds pretty good, with the exception of the overcooking and the canned shrooms!

                                                                                                    1. My family and college friends loved my "chicken enchiladas". Cooked shredded boneless skinless chicken breasts, mixed with cheddar cheese, chopped onions and a can (yes, can) of green chilis. Roll into flour tortillas, top with a mixture of canned (yes, canned) enchilada sauce mixed with cream of chicken soup. Top with more cheese, and bake. I thought I was so cosmopolitan ... So sad.

                                                                                                      1. Slice and bake cookies. It used to be SUCH a big deal for me to cook.

                                                                                                        1. "Impossible Cheeseburger Pie" from the 80s. Remember those 80s impossible pies that were basically crappy casseroles with biscuit mix on top? WTF were we thinking?

                                                                                                          Also when I was about 15 I'd make "Fiesta Chicken" that was glorified stir fried chicken jazzed up with a little spicy V-8 and served with spanish rice. Lame.

                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: charlesbois

                                                                                                            cheeseburger pie! Growing up, my mom and grandmothers always cooked ethnic food for us (Filipino food), so me and my little brother always thought it was a huge treat when we'd get 'American' food (other than hamburgers, spaghetti, Domino's pizza, and lasagna). One of these were those cheeseburger pie kits, that I helped put together. I remember the biscuit topping and it being dry, so I had to douse it in Banana ketchup in order to get some moisture in that piece!

                                                                                                            In college, many of my weekend meals (i went to a school that offered a limited dining plan-ironically enough, JWU which has a culinary prog.) were comprised of minute-rice (brown if i was feeling healthy), a tin of canned chicken (which kind of looks like tuna-fish but chicken-er, haha), a tin of tomato paste (CVS by me didn't sell diced tomatoes) and 'seasoned salt' which comprised every spice on the CVS kitchen aisle. I would mix everything together in a tupperware bowl and put it in the microwave (no kitchen) and let it 'meld'. I would eat from the bowl while sitting in my bed. I always warned my roommates not to eat any, but after a late night of partying and what not, we would find our selves eating from this giant bowl. So it was a bit more infamous than famous, because it would be the 'Last Resort' bowl. More often or not, it was a pity ploy, because I would stop by friend's rooms on my floor eating my sad bowl of canned-chicken-tomato-rice and they would take me out to lunch :)

                                                                                                            1. re: charlesbois

                                                                                                              i remember it well and unfortunately, so does my son so about once a year a still cave in and make it but only when he's really sick :)

                                                                                                              1. re: charlesbois

                                                                                                                I had a Bisquick "Impossible Pies" recipe book that was my go to whenever I wanted to serve something "special." And I seem to recall that some of the recipes included Hamburger Helper mixes, you know for that real homemade touch. Oy.

                                                                                                                1. re: SharaMcG

                                                                                                                  As a teen, when I wanted to impress friends and family I would break out the Helper! I also made beef stew with cherry coke instead of wine - my secret ingredient.

                                                                                                                  1. re: SharaMcG

                                                                                                                    you must, must promise to NEVER reveal the secret "Impossible Pies" book to my son.....please I beg of you!!

                                                                                                                    1. re: SharaMcG

                                                                                                                      To this day, I can't eat anything with Bisquick in it. My mom made pancakes, biscuits, and chicken pot pie - all with Bisquick. It wouldn't have been so bad if only ONE of those had been made with Bisquick, but it was just weird to eat pancakes that tasted like chicken pot pie and chicken pot pie that reminded me of pancakes.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Al_Pal

                                                                                                                        Easy Bisquick chile rellanos.

                                                                                                                  2. Hawaiian Chicken
                                                                                                                    Boneless skinless chicken breast marinated in pineapple juice and soy sauce, grilled until almost done then topped with a slice of ham, a pineapple ring, and a slice of swiss cheese and then placed under a foil tent to finish cooking and to allow the cheese to melt. Nothing necessarily wrong with it, but it is not what I consider sit down dinner party food and yet, at 18, it is what I served to my guy at the time and his brother and sister in law.

                                                                                                                    1. I was married the first time in 1955, and while my mother had refused to allow me in the kitchen before dinner (after when all the dishes were dirty was a different matter), nevertheless I had somehow managed to learn to make a pretty decent Sauce Bolognese helping in the kitchen when my church had huge spahetti dinner fund raisers, so guess what my signature dish was? But people did seem to love it, and it was a frequent request. As time marched on during the first marriage, and I found myself with a fantastic cooking teacher, the spaghetti fell by the wayside.

                                                                                                                      When I married the second ime and was at the point where we were all tired of abalone five nights a week, I pulled out the old Balognese magic, and it was a great success about three or four times, both just for family as well as for friends.

                                                                                                                      Then one day I was making a rather large batch for a pool party that night. And something happened. My spaghetti muse ran away with the water sprite? Don't know, but whatever it was, I could NOT get that neccessary garlic undertone to set up. By the time a girlfriend arrived to help me put out beach towels and such, I must have added at least one full head of very aromatic garlic, but it still tasted like tomato sauce with a little extra salt. I asked the girlfrind to tast it, and her response was, "Needs garlic!" That was thirty or more years ago. Tried to make it again shortly after that with the same "needs garlic" result. Haven't even tried since then.

                                                                                                                      When the muse leaves, to paraphrase Elton John, "The bitch is GONE!" And she still ain't back!

                                                                                                                      Oh! And then in my first husband's poor student days, there was "Virginia baked Spam," complete with pinaapple rings and maraschino cherries on top. That one's not gonna make a come-back either! OR tuna/cream of mushroom casserole!

                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                        caroline, i love seeing your posts.

                                                                                                                        1. re: fara

                                                                                                                          Thank you! You know, I've been thinking... Maybe garlic oil would make a decent Balognese...

                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                            how did you chop or smash the garlic? i assume you add it when there is only oil in the pan?

                                                                                                                            1. re: fara

                                                                                                                              It was over twenty years ago. hmmm Make that over thirty. My garlic press is well over forty years old, so it's reasonable to assume I sauteed the crushed garlic in olive oil with the onions to prevent the garlic from burning. Looking back, the most logical explanation was that that year's garlic was not the most fragrant grown. But my cooking repertoir is large enough that no one has ever noticed I don't do sauce Balognese. '-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                my suggestion? don't use a garlic press. smash the garlic clove while it's still in the skin with the flat blade of a knife. then peel the skin off, cut the brown end off, and lightly brown the smashed cloves in oil before adding the onions. keep the cloves in the sauce during cooking. for a stronger garlic taste, which may become more bitter, slice the garlic - the smaller the pieces the more intense the flavor.

                                                                                                                      2. I also am guilty of the Velveeta/sausage/salsa dip in a crockpot. Haven't seen it lately around, but it sure used to be a party staple. Another party staple from my college days was something called "Dave's Weenies" after a journalism advisor at KSU. It involved taking some packages of regular hot dogs, (you could use little smokies - but to be authentic it was the cheap regular hot dogs) and cook them in a crockpot with a glaze that I remember included ketchup and grape jelly... unfortunately I don't recall what else. Sounds odd now, but they were always a hit and a party wasn't a party without a crockpot of these going.
                                                                                                                        And while we discuss bisquik..... there were always the sausage/bisquik balls that had to be made.

                                                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                          I made that a million times ~~ I would still make it for the correct occassion ~~ only with meatballs and tomato chili sauce (instead of hot dogs and ketchup) and grape jelly in the crock pot. Best if made a day or so ahead as the sauce really penetrates the meatballs.

                                                                                                                          1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                            Easy dump cake (and I still make it occasionally)

                                                                                                                            1 can pie filling (cherry is best) dumped into an 8 x 8 casserole
                                                                                                                            1 box Jiffy cake mix sprinkled over the pie filling
                                                                                                                            1 stick of butter or margarine, melted and poured over cake mix
                                                                                                                            Bake @ 350 for about 30 minutes (keep and eye on it) till brown & bubbly
                                                                                                                            Serve hot with ice cream.

                                                                                                                            I learned to make this when I was about 9 and really thought I was QUITE the baker, then. I reminded my siblings of this dish when we were together last month, and they all said they would make it again if they could find those little boxes of Jiffy cake mix.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Cheflambo

                                                                                                                              No Jiffy cake mix?? No problem. Use my mom's recipe:
                                                                                                                              9 x 13 pan
                                                                                                                              2 cans of pie filling (mix or match)
                                                                                                                              Top with 1 regular box of cake mix (Pillsbury or whatever)
                                                                                                                              Pour on 2 cubes melted butter.
                                                                                                                              Bake 30-35 minutes

                                                                                                                              1. re: jjw

                                                                                                                                Hey, that's also my recipe!

                                                                                                                                Only I add a couple handfuls of chopped pecans on top of the cake mix, before pouring the butter on top of the whole mess.

                                                                                                                        2. I still make this a couple of times a year because people love, love, love it. It is true white-trash food.

                                                                                                                          2 packages shredded potatoes
                                                                                                                          1 pint sour cream
                                                                                                                          1 can cream of mushroom soup
                                                                                                                          1 pound breakfast sausage, browned and drained
                                                                                                                          11/2 pounds shredded cheddar cheese
                                                                                                                          2 cans Ro-tel tomatoes, drained.

                                                                                                                          Mix everything together and put in a large (or two small) casserole dishes. Bake at 350 for about an hour or until browned and bubbly.

                                                                                                                          I swear there is never a crumb of this left no matter how highbrow the crowd is.

                                                                                                                          1. Sweet and Sour Cocktail Meatballs, of course! Roll bite-size balls made of 2 lbs. of ground beef combined with a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix, an egg and some breadcrumbs. Combine a large jar of grape jelly and a jar of Heinz chili sauce in a large, deep pot and heat until the jelly has melted into the chili sauce and it's all bubbly. Don't brown the meatballs first; just add them to the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Very gently stir to cook evenly for about 20 minutes. Serve in a chafing dish with toothpicks. I've been married 37 years and started making that dish about 36 years ago, when my mom gave me the recipe. (I think it was from a Heinz or a Welch's magazine ad.) My extended family and friends, to this day, request this dish for parties.

                                                                                                                            The other dish, also from my mother, is "Mildred's Chili." She served it to my sister and me when we were growing up in small-town western PA and, as far as we both knew, it was chili con carne. Browned ground beef, canned tomatoes, sauteed onions and garlic, green peppers, celery, a can of tomato soup (undiluted), and drained & rinsed kidney beans, seasoned only with salt and pepper - no chili powder, cumin or cayenne. I had no idea that this wasn't chili until I ordered the real thing in a restaurant and nearly blew off the top of my head. However, Mildred's Chili is still a staple in our family.

                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: Deenso

                                                                                                                              I grew up in a small town in western PA and what I thought was chili was made with tomato soup and served with white bread and butter.

                                                                                                                              1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                Could it have been McKeesport?

                                                                                                                                1. re: Deenso

                                                                                                                                  no, but I recognize McKeesport.

                                                                                                                                  Wesleyville, a small town just outside of Erie

                                                                                                                                2. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                  Chili for my Philadelphia Irish Catholic family was also hamburger and tomato soup. No spice, no beans. It actually was pretty good when mixed into the ubiquitous mashed potatoes. I still make it for my dad when I visit. He loves to get a taste of my Mom's cooking when he gets the chance, and so do I. But I would never make this in my regular life any longer.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Divamac

                                                                                                                                    OH. MY. I thought my Irish ma was the only one who ever put chili over mashed potatoes...she did make her own chili, though...for her spaghetti, it was just spaghetti with plain jarred Ragu, no meat or sausage.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Val

                                                                                                                                      chili with (white) bread and butter sandwiches cut in quarters

                                                                                                                              2. Thomas English Muffin Pizzas...the "recipe" (jarred sauce, sliced Kraft cheese) might have appeared on the english muffins packaging at one point.

                                                                                                                                remembering...10 years old...friend over after school...taking out the "ingredients" and making them an after-school treat....ah, those memories! I was famous for those pizzas, ah!

                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                  Those were great. The "gourmet" version was to toast the muffing first so it did not get soggy with the sauce, First a slice of pepperoni and then the Ragu (it was the only sauce available), then the slice of cheese, then a little dollop of sauce. then sprinkle some green box parmesan and under the "top brown only" setting of the toaster oven. then the important burn the roof first bite. finish up and outside for some baseball.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                    jfood, my friends and Iwould have left my moms house and walked to yours for the "gourmet" version! half the fun was burning the roof of your mouth :)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: jfood

                                                                                                                                      My Mother's riff on it was to use "party rye" (little mini loaf), salami, mozzarella, tomato paste and the green box Parmesan.

                                                                                                                                      This was a huge hit at her parties and we (the kids) felt so important putting them together - we had our little production line humming!

                                                                                                                                      My brother and his kids still eat this frequently for snacks.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                        ah meatn3, at our house "party" rye meant mini reubens...and my sibs & I are very familar with the assembly line concept...Mom was usually applying 1960's makeup while we took the reins.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                          Salami was exotic as it got at the deli counter in W. Fl. in those days. My father had to "import" corned beef, pastrami, bagels, good rye, etc. on his way back from business trips!

                                                                                                                                          I just saw party rye at the grocery store - hadn't thought of it in years!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                                                            heh...you STILL have to import good bagels in SW FL, in my opinion! This is a great thread...really brings back memories...I swear they've changed that Lipton's Onion Soup mix...the sodium has always been astronomical but a few years ago, I could no longer "stomach" it in our meat loaf...I got such cramps from it (two different times so I knew that was what caused the cramps)...or maybe it's just me (aging process)? It's okay though....forced me to find a better and healthier meat loaf recipe so all's well.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                      These are still a family favorite! My mom's version ( and she just got my brother's kids, age 7 and 9, hooked on these, so yet another generation will carry these on) - lightly toasted english muffin, spread with tomato paste, sprinkle of oregano and basil,topped with swiss cheese and slices of salami. I confess, I still make these once in a while.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: jeanmarieok

                                                                                                                                        alk & jeanm-what I rolled my eyes at as a kid..becomes comfort food as an adult...who would have thought :)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                          This was a treat when my parents were going out with friends for dinner, and my sister and I ate before they left. We always had sauce and meatballs in the fridge, so we'd make these. But to fancy them up a bit, we'd call them Kizzonli's (our fake Italian for Kids-Only's).

                                                                                                                                          1. re: katecm

                                                                                                                                            Kizzonli's!!! I hope you don't mind but I am so stealing that fabulous title and sharing it with my kids.

                                                                                                                                            Fantastic!

                                                                                                                                    3. I'll add in, with a lowered head ... a standard, go to "company dinner", even if they were here two months ago was a marinated flank steak, marinated in soy sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, garlic and just a dash of milk. Broiled in the oven, usually. Served along wth sauteed mushrooms, a rice dish of some sort, and a green salad. The other is halved chicken breasts with pesto slid under the skin, broiled (again!) served with pan juices, steamed rice and green salad. Seeing a pattern here? If I got adventurous, I'd serve chocolate mousse (but from scratch) for dessert.

                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: lrostron

                                                                                                                                        Why the lowered head? I don't see anything shameful about this.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: lrostron

                                                                                                                                          Other than the milk, that is a very traditional recipe for Bistek. Sub thick-cut grilled onions for the mushrooms and perhaps a papaya salad on the side for some acid and you have a classic Filipino meal!

                                                                                                                                          1. re: JungMann

                                                                                                                                            A month or so ago, I did swap out the mushroom for grilled sweet onions amd went with the rest of the menu. That explains why one of our last guests, a visiting Filipino prof at Stanford was so impressed! I had not a clue...

                                                                                                                                          2. re: lrostron

                                                                                                                                            One more vote for the "huh? What's shameful about that?" category. Nicely seasoned, simple broiled meats are lovely. Rice and salad, who doesn't like them?

                                                                                                                                          3. So did anyone else ever get Hot Dog Pie when they were kids? We were poor as church mice growing up, and my mom would take a box of Jiffy cornbread mix, spread it in a round pie plate or layer cake pan, and stuff it full of cut-up hot dogs. When it came out we ate slices with ketchup and mustard - kind of like a poor man's corn dog, I guess. I made it often in college for the girls in the dorm, and everyone ate it up like crazy. Guess the simple pleasures are sometimes the best ones!

                                                                                                                                            1. I think the all time most embarrassing "stand-by" that I used to serve to guests AND actually take to parties was a concoction we called Happy Dogs

                                                                                                                                              Just in case your curious....you use the little cocktail wieners - not the smokies but the regular hot dog ones, not canned but sold in the hot dog section in vacuum sealed packages with 25 or so in a pack You next warm them up in a sauce that is equal parts ketchup, brown sugar and bourbon (hence the happy part).

                                                                                                                                              I have to admit, if I stumbled across them at someones party, I'd probably sneak off to the garage, backyard or bathroom to eat a few, but only behind closed doors!

                                                                                                                                              The last time someone asked me to make them (yes, I'm not kidding - it was just 3 months ago!!) I told them I lost the "recipe"

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: chicaraleigh

                                                                                                                                                I knew those as Drunken Hot Dogs!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: nofunlatte

                                                                                                                                                  A friend of mine had a small explosion in her oven when making a similar recipe. It was called "Bourbon Hot Dogs" IIRC. She was supposed to open the oven door every so often to let out the fumes but had forgotten. The explosion blew the oven door open.

                                                                                                                                              2. How about a dip made by blending Spam and Velveeta (or was it CheeseWiz?)

                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                1. re: ChrisOC

                                                                                                                                                  I made one that was salsa, velveeta and browned breakfast sausage. Very popular football game food back in the day!

                                                                                                                                                2. Brown package of ground beef. Add 1 jar of brown gravy. Add 3 cups cooked white rice.

                                                                                                                                                  Serve. Top with Kraft Grated Parmesean. Serve to unsuspecting children.

                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: mrsbuffer

                                                                                                                                                    I still cringe when I remember the time I served a very well-traveled boss a fresh tomato and mozzarella salad made with the packaged mozzarella that has no taste and the texture of plastic. I didn't even know there was such a thing as fresh mozzarella. I wondered why he ate the tomato and left the cheese. A few months later we were in NYC at a nice restaurant (with the same boss) and was served the same salad with fresh buffalo mozzarella and realized my mistake. that was pretty close to 20 years ago and it still hurts.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Springhaze2

                                                                                                                                                      I used to bring a Watergate salad to picnics and potlucks years ago.... It was wildly popular, in the Midwest anyway, back in the 80's....a concoction of pineapple tidbits, walnuts, mini marshmallows, pistachio pudding mix and, of course, COOL WHIP!! Almost gags me to think about it now.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: uppingstx

                                                                                                                                                        i know that watergate salad was ubiquitous. it makes me laugh to call it "watergate" salad, as if jean-louis palladin would have let that out of his kitchen.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: uppingstx

                                                                                                                                                          My mother still does make a salad with apples, peanuts, mini marshmallows, pineapple and Cool Whip. We know it as Taffy Apple Salad, and it tastes just like a taffy apple. I still love that salad.

                                                                                                                                                    2. Does anyone remember Chicken Tonight jarred sauces from the early 90's? Well, I was young and in college and thought they were the greatest thing ever. Especially the chicken cacciatore sauce. My boyfriend (now husband) and I made them often. We SO thought we were cookin'.

                                                                                                                                                      "I feel like chicken tonight... like chicken tonight!" (arms flapping up & down like wings).

                                                                                                                                                      UGH.

                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                                                        lynnlato, for your viewing pleasure: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJ9M7b...

                                                                                                                                                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GdiNk...

                                                                                                                                                        oh goodness, ENGLISH chicken tonight!!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZLkbC...

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                          Ohmagawd! I can't believe you found these! The commercial and the jingle really was the best part of Chicken Tonight.

                                                                                                                                                          I cannot believe they had English CT. I'll bet the tikka masala was way better than the flavors we had. Ha!

                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for these links!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                                                            lynn, i'm lovin the youtube. i was singing that stupid song all day, thanks to you! even flapping my arms to amuse myself. ha, it made me laugh. there is just something light and innocent about that ad that makes me smile.

                                                                                                                                                            my husband grew up as a young adult in england, and he remembers the ads! i doubt he ever ate it, though. (he liked my chicken flap song performance.)

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                              I'm flappin' right along w/ ya, sista. I agree, there is something catchy about their marketing. That's so cool that you both experienced CT on opposite sides of the pond - ha!

                                                                                                                                                              Now, the country french chicken tonight... ugh, I don't think I could stomach that these days!

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: lynnlato

                                                                                                                                                          Never heard of it. Blessedly, we were out of the country, with a Bolivian maid and cook. She'd have loved it.

                                                                                                                                                        3. Ooooh,something an ex-boyfriend made for me and I just LOVED: 1 package Stovetop Stuffing chicken flavor stuffing (prepared). Mix w/ 1 can cream of mushroom soup and 1 can of corn. Dump into a casserole or pie plate. Bake until heated through and a nice crust develops on the top!

                                                                                                                                                          Sits like a brick in your stomach.

                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Petrichor

                                                                                                                                                            this reminds me of a tetrazzini shortcut dish my brother and i used to eat at a friend's house in the '80s. She gave me the recipe, but my mom refused to make it for us! Basically:
                                                                                                                                                            shredded chicken breast (boiled in broth)
                                                                                                                                                            mixed with water chestnuts, celery and condensed cream of mushroom soup, poured into a casserole, and topped with pepperidge farm or stove top stuffing mix.
                                                                                                                                                            i remember loving this as a kid, but i am not so sure that i would enjoy it now. perhaps i will fish out the whole recipe and give it a shot, for old times' sake.

                                                                                                                                                          2. Thank god I was only 13 and so were the poor souls who ate this but it was my version of sloppy joe. Late night sleep overs had me in the kitchen playing chef. For dinner (at about 1a.m.) I would make my sloppy joe: ground beef, bacon, canadian bacon- browned, then add kraft american cheese and kraft bbq sauce, mix. Place on a toasted buttered hamburger bun with a side order of Rice A Roni. No wonder I weighted 240lbs

                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: misnatalie

                                                                                                                                                              Mine was soupy biscuits. They got me through college. 1 can of Campbell's vegetable beef soup in a saute pan, with a can of water. Stir. Turn on medium low heat. Open a can of Pillsbury buttermilk refrigerator biscuits and arrange them over the top of the soup. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Heaven!

                                                                                                                                                            2. Bubbles4me, I just want to say thank you for starting this topic. I don't think I've ever enjoyed reading a thread as much as I have this one!

                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Firegoat

                                                                                                                                                                Firegoat my pleasure! I agree this has turned out to be a really fun thread! I did think of another "famous" dish I made years ago. Kinda the same deal as the Blue Cheese Chicken as it, big over the top flavors, goopy and not at all balanced.
                                                                                                                                                                Cut up Chicken
                                                                                                                                                                I bottle Russian Salad Dressing
                                                                                                                                                                I jar Apricot Pineapple jam
                                                                                                                                                                I packet Lipton Onion Soup Mix
                                                                                                                                                                Mix the goop together, por over chicken and bake...
                                                                                                                                                                Maybe not as out of whack as the other one, in fact this might taste yummy on chicken wings.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: bubbles4me

                                                                                                                                                                  I've had that (never actually made it myself) and it was really good; although like someone else said, that soup mix is getting really salty (can't be my tastebuds dontcha know?)

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: bubbles4me

                                                                                                                                                                    I went to a dinner party recently, where the hostess served this. No lie. It wasn't terrible. It was just....... surprising.

                                                                                                                                                                2. Like past wives, I never regret or am ashamed of past dishes.

                                                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                    Yes, I have to agree, even though I've enjoyed reading this thread. I left being embarrassed of my love of Dolly Parton in high school. :-) I always thought it would be fun, if a Chowhound friend ever came to town, to put out a huge spread of not-so-Chowhound foods, and present it like it was the fanciest meal in town, just to see if they would say anything! Heh, heh... anyone want to come over for dinner?! ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                                                                                                                                      Good one Sam! Ain't it the truth? Jr. just arrived in Thailand this morning, but his goal is still to return to Columbia to teach and settle down. Are the women really as beautiful as he says?
                                                                                                                                                                      Caocito

                                                                                                                                                                    2. Oh dear. Some of these brought back memories. I suppose I am lucky in that I learned how to fix a standing rib roast with baked potatoes and fresh baby peas from the garden, complete with Pillsbury crescent rolls, by the time I was 10. When I broke out and had my own kitchen at 18, I trusted my Silver Palate cookbook and no one shuddered.

                                                                                                                                                                      In my retro mid-20s, though, I yearned for the soupy casseroles of my youth--tater tot (with beef, french cut green beans, cream of chicken or celery, and lots of tots--no cheese) or a pan-cooked conconction we later dubbed alpo.

                                                                                                                                                                      Beef & rice--AKA alpo

                                                                                                                                                                      Brown 1 lb ground beef in saute pan. Drain.
                                                                                                                                                                      Add 1 can Campbells cream of mushroom soup
                                                                                                                                                                      1 cup Minute rice (white, duh)
                                                                                                                                                                      1 can milk

                                                                                                                                                                      Stir, cover, turn off heat, and don't touch the pan for 5 minutes, then stir again, and if rice is tender, serve with a side of cold Del Monte blue lake green beans.

                                                                                                                                                                      However, now that I'm much older, I make the adult version, and gosh, it's tasty. Never for company, but it brings back the experience in a less deadly way...

                                                                                                                                                                      Brown 1.5-2 lbs grass-fed organic ground beef (or ground turkey thighs from Whole Foods) with 1 finely chopped red onion and 8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms; add sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

                                                                                                                                                                      Meanwhile, microwave 1 bag of Whole Foods frozen brown rice and 1 bag of frozen petite peas (must be petite) for 5 minutes. Set aside.

                                                                                                                                                                      Add 1 can Wolfgang Puck mushroom soup to meat mixture and stir. Then add 1 can Amy's mushroom soup and stir; letting it all cook down for about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 can of organic milk--I use whole, 2% or half and half, depending on what's in the house.
                                                                                                                                                                      Stir, stir, stir.

                                                                                                                                                                      Dump in rice/pea mix, and simmer covered for 2-3 minutes. If feeling puny, add a few handfuls of organic baby spinach, stir until wilted. Taste, re-season, and eat in a bowl.

                                                                                                                                                                      I've redubbed it White Trash Beefy Risotto.

                                                                                                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: fatladysings

                                                                                                                                                                        I have a White Trash Beefy Risotto, too. But I just brown ground beef and onions (mushrooms if I have them) sprinkle flour over the mess and add milk to make a creamy gravy to which I add s & p, worcestershire, sometimes red wine, sometimes a splooge of dijon and serve over (regular) white rice. Very fast, very kid friendly. Pretty fattening, so I too use 2% and no oil.

                                                                                                                                                                        My 'once famous' was Souper Rice! Minute rice cooked IN Campbell's Cream Of Something. The up side of that was that it was VERY cheap and took a total of 6 minutes :)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: fatladysings

                                                                                                                                                                          Hey, you could make an original Al[po and a Whit Trash Beefy Risotto and have a blind taste-off! Does Food Channel still do those local Iron Chef cook off promos?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                                                                                                            You guys are making me remember all kinds of horrific dinner parties where everyone tried to make crepes ( the 70's) with something creamy inside. I myself have been thinking about those "cocktail" meatballs with the jelly/chili sauce presentation. They kind of sound good.
                                                                                                                                                                            My mom, may she and her cooking disasters rest in peace, made us potatoes out of a can. She called them Potatoes O'Brien and she browned them in oil. my dad hated them. I ate them but I can still recall the tinny salty taste.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: fatladysings

                                                                                                                                                                            I like anyone who insists in their recipe ' must be petite peas'

                                                                                                                                                                          3. i have unfortunately had many atrocities over the years but my all time worse can be summed up in two words:

                                                                                                                                                                            canned asparagus

                                                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: chicaraleigh

                                                                                                                                                                              there are fans of canned as well as fresh asparagus. count me among them! but you have to stand over the sink and eat the long spears with your fingers directly from the jolly green giant can. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                the mere thought of it makes me want to run for the hills! It took me literally 20+ years to even attempt asparagus after that. Quite frankly, I still have an aversion to canned food in general.....

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chicaraleigh

                                                                                                                                                                                  me too. my parents used to foist that on me a child and I still have nightmares about canned asparagus. There was also this other casserole with canned asparagus, water chesnutts, cheese sauce and god only knows what else that we were forced to eat. I didn't know fresh asparagus existed until about 2000 when I ate it whever we grilled out (we meaning friends, not parents). The difference was astounding. Now I'm a little bored of grilled asparagus but it's still worlds better than that canned mush.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: alkapal

                                                                                                                                                                                  One of my old roommates used to eat canned peas and canned carrots with ketchup. They smelled so bad! I used to have to leave the room.

                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: chicaraleigh

                                                                                                                                                                                  capetowngirlie, oranges in cordon bleu?

                                                                                                                                                                                4. chicken cordon bleu casserole! not stuffed but layered, chicken breasts browned in a pan, then into a casserole dish, topped with slices of black forest ham, cheese and sliced oranges, covered with white sauce, topped with bread crumbs and baked. i thought it was fancy but i was in my early twenties, oh my, lol!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. My famous burritos - I wooed my future husband with this dish.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Ground beef, 1 onion, 1 green pepper - browned
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 large can Rosarita refried beans + 1 small can.
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 jar med. salsa
                                                                                                                                                                                    1 can cream of mushroom soup
                                                                                                                                                                                    simmer then load with sour cream and cheese on a flour tortilla.

                                                                                                                                                                                    It ends up sort of looking like dog food. mmmmmmmmm....

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. what a great thread! i've been laughing out loud reading all the posts and feeling a bit of nostalgia.

                                                                                                                                                                                      mine was shake 'n baked pork chops (or chicken legs) with a side of frozen mixed vegetables. you know, the kind with the carrot cubes, corn, green bean pieces and lima beans. my college friends seemed to like it, though almost everything tastes good when you're stoned.

                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rebs

                                                                                                                                                                                        "my college friends seemed to like it, though almost everything tastes good when you're stoned."

                                                                                                                                                                                        And if it doesn't taste good, it is funny, so it is a win-win situation... :)

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                                                          HA! A HUGE factor in serving Souper Rice successfully....

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: moh

                                                                                                                                                                                            In reply to classic "college" observation, my friend and I used to make a tuna-mac & cheese with canned or frozen vegetables. Make Kraft Mac & Cheese, add extra milk or milk and cream of something soup, drained tuna and vegetables, mix and bake until bubbly. We still laugh about our "goulash" even though we're not stoned ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                        2. King Ranch Chicken Casserole with everything from a can except the cheese. This was a friend's idea of fancy cooking.
                                                                                                                                                                                          I used to buy the hard-shell taco kits and fry up some cheap ground meat. Yum; nice and greasy!
                                                                                                                                                                                          Then, for years, I grilled country-style pork backbone. I would marinate them in Woody's Cookin' Sauce and then never stop slathering on the Woody's. If the sauce didn't burn, while on the grill, they were OK, and people raved about how tender and juicy they were. I could have practically had the same results in the oven by just pouring the Woody's over them and baking. Oh, .... I did that....

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. when i was in high school, i went to a public boarding school. my friends and i - bless us, all skinny at the time - used to eat a second dinner around 10 pm, usually consisting of lipton noodles and sauce, or velveeta shells and cheese, or kraft mac and cheese. i became well known for my kraft mac and cheese - they would ask me, "why is yours always so much better than everyone elses? what's your secret? you make it again tonight!" and i would never tell them my secret.

                                                                                                                                                                                            it wasn't until about 7 years later that i revealed that i used one stick of butter per box of kraft mac and cheese.

                                                                                                                                                                                            brilliant. its amazing. of course, when my friends found out, i think they were pissed... thats a lot of butter over the course of 2 years or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                            also - im addicted to frozen meatballs, warmed up, served in a sauce of equal parts brown mustard and grape jelly. i still make it for parties. i like to ask people to guess whats in it... no one has been able to, and i never tell them. they eat them like theres no tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. My grandmother on Friday night would cook a pound of spaghetti,, drain it, add two cans of Campbell's Tomato soup, plut in into a round pyrex bowl, and layer Kraft American Cheese slices on top. It would then be placed into the oven until heated through.

                                                                                                                                                                                              It would always be served with tuna salad on iceberg lettuce.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Skinless, boneless chicken breasts, marinaded in a mixture of yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, S&P and then dredged in a mix of parm and seasoned breadcrumbs. I used to fry it in butter and olive oil, then I switched to baking it (drizzled with olive oil) served with a rice pilaf and Greek salad

                                                                                                                                                                                                When I was 22-23, this was my go-to "fancy" meal for entertaining. I made it a few years ago, and was disgusted by how gloppy the breading was.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Oh, dear. We were all being virtuous and lefty and semi-sorta-vegetarian. I used to make this pie, with a whole wheat pastry crust with cream cheese as the shortening. Yes, of course it came out leathery...that's how you knew it was virtuous. Filled it with more cream cheese and sliced hard boiled eggs and sauteed (well, OK fried) onions and cabbage. Very popular around 1979.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. My first "fancy" dessert was found in one of those coupon recipe booklets:

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 box of prepared coconut cream pie filling
                                                                                                                                                                                                    mixed with 1/2 stick of cream cheese and 1 cup whipped cream
                                                                                                                                                                                                    then mix that with 1 angel food cake that's been torn into bite size pieces
                                                                                                                                                                                                    spread the whole lot in a 9x13 pan
                                                                                                                                                                                                    top with cherry pie filling...for even coverage you'll probably need 1&1/2 cans

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Tacky? Certainly lol but boy it was tasty!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I used to compete in 4-H cooking contests when I was a kid. One year I did "Chinese New Year Rice", a type of fried rice dish. I decided to use bacon fat instead of vegetsble oil. Yes, in front of judges and an audience, I started my demonstration by glopping bacon fat into an electric skillet. I cringe a little when I think about it now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: amethiste

                                                                                                                                                                                                        why? Bacon fat is great to cook with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: The Professor

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes bacon fat is delicious. However one of the judging criteria was that the dish was healthy. Bacon fat does not really fit the bill. I know that a little in moderation is fine but I don;t think the judging would have been that nuanced.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: amethiste

                                                                                                                                                                                                            You're probably right.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            But then again, given that criteria, I wonder what they'd think of something like margarine, which is probably worse for you than bacon fat!
                                                                                                                                                                                                            LOL.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. I didn't know how to cook when I got married. I had to ask a friend how to tell when water was boiling! Eventually I learned to be a pretty good cook, but along the way I subjected my friends & family to some fairly horrid dishes. For example - hamburger "pie" , a standard in our house in the old days.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Recipe: Add a can of cream of tomato soup to a pound of hamburger meat, salted lightly & browned in its own fat, top with instant mashed potatoes & bake until the top browns. That's it, friends. No pepper, no herbs or spices, no onions or garlic, no kidding. The kids loved it, but II shiver when I think that I served it to guests!