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Scary recipes from Kraft Magazine

I admit it, one of my guilty pleasures is that Kraft Foods magazine called "Food and Family" that I got just by sending them my spam-catcher email address. Very occasionally there's a recipe in there that I'd try, or like, or could modify with real food ingredients using their prep method, but that's just the excuse I tell myself to justify getting the magazine.

In reality I get it to cackle.

This month, on the first page, no less, I was paid off handsomely. A summertime favorite recipe: Guacamole... Read along with me. ;D

Avocado, right, yeah, that's a given. Lime juice *nod nod* yep. Garlic, yep yep keep it coming... Miracle Whip Dressing....


It's like every one of the recipes they come up with gives me much the same reaction "what the heck is THAT doing in there?" but still, Miracle Whip in "guacamole"? Some things should never be committed to paper. :)

What are some scary recipes from food manufacturers that you either tried, or just like to laugh at?

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  1. When I was a child, there used to be TV ads for Kraft which featured a pair of disembodied hands assembling a dish while a calm baritone (Bruce Marsh, IIRC, but who knows?) dispensed instructions, which always included some Kraft product.

    I remember these because someone made a spoof movie later which featured a scene recreating these ads. At first, it seemed perfectly OK, but then the instructions got more and more complicated (always featuring "Graft" products). The hands tried to keep up, but eventually were just throwing food into the pan, making obscene gestures, etc. My brother and I almost fell off the couch laughing. Wish I could remember the movie's name - any help?

    20 Replies
        1. re: KevinB

          I remember that spoof! I think it was a Firesign Theatre skit (could be wrong about that...). What I recall very clearly was the voice instructing the hands to peel an apple to create a single long spiral of peel, after which something was done to the apple and the peel was to be replaced onto the apple using toothpicks! It was hysterical, with the hands expressing frustration as they attempted to stick the peel back on and it kept coming off and breaking apart.

          On this topic, I used to do recipe development for a large multinational food corporation to use in their marketing publications (fyi - not Kraft). It boiled down to this: create 5 recipes using the specified product, in places where this product has no business being. This meant that I would prepare a dish and add just enough of the product to it to be significant (in terms of usage) but not so much that it would entirely ruin the dish. Sometimes I had to make it a number of times, removing tablespoons of the offending ingredient until the dish tasted ok again.

          It's an art.

          1. re: Nyleve

            Now that I think about it, I think I'm wrong about the Firesign Theatre. What I do know is that I saw this particular spoof as part of some kind of satiric film or bunch of skits on film. I am almost positive it also included a piece wherein someone tries to clarify the different sizes of canned olives. He starts with large, figuring that they must be large. Then comes medium, which he figures is smaller. This is followed by extra large, mammoth, colossal, extra colossal - go ahead, try to put those in some kind of order! To this day I can't look at a can of olives without thinking about that skit.

            Am I the only one who remembers that?

            1. re: Nyleve

              I found it. It's still hysterical. Best laugh I've had in a long time.

              It was called Groove Tube. Here it is:

              1. re: Nyleve

                That's it. I thought Kentucky Fried Movie, but I always get the two confused.

                  1. re: KevinB

                    I watched it twice and it still makes me cry.

                  2. re: Nyleve

                    ROTFLMAO!! So great! I remember those Kraft tv ads during commercial breaks of The Carol Burnett Show. I guess because I was a young, impressionable kid, I kind of liked the recipes! Now it's just eww.

                    1. re: Nyleve

                      LOVE it. Favorite part is when she quickly releases the onion. I laughed like a moron.

                      1. re: Nyleve

                        Tears streaming down my face! This is just classic...easy lube!!!

                        1. re: Nyleve

                          OMG. I watched this at work, where I don't have sound on my PC. Co-workers thought something was wrong when I started snorting with laughter. The toothpicks in the apple were a lovely touch & made me think of Sandra' Lee's Kwaza Cake.

                          1. re: PattiCakes

                            OK, one of you owes me a new computer screen!

                            that was BRILLIANT.

                      2. re: KevinB

                        I recall those ads, mostly during the Christmas season, during the annual broadcast of things like a Charlie Brown Christmas and Frosty the Snowman. I remember there being a lot of Cheez whiz, mini marshmallows and Miracle Whip.

                        1. re: Sooeygun

                          Yes. Marshmallows are always part of the recipe.

                        2. Morganna, I have been thinking about this as well when the latest issue arrived in the mail yesterday. I view it as "food comedy" or one big advertisement for Kraft products. Personally, I love the zillion recipes they conjure up with Jello as the main ingredient. OTOH, my 17 yr old DD is looking forward to making the Oreo/ice cream "cake" recipe. I think she is the perfect target audience for them. She desire something tasty without too much effort or skill.

                          1. Yeah, I've always thought that most of what is in their publications is unappealing to say the least.

                            1. Enchiladas made with Campbell's tomato soup as the base for the sauce. Now, I don't mind Campbell's tomato soup - it's kind of like boxed mac and cheese for nostalgia. But, on enchiladas? I never tried it. Maybe it's better than I think, but I am skeptical. Maybe it would pair well with guacamole made with Miracle Whip. Ha!

                              1. I've definitely seen recipes for guacamole that call for mayonnaise. I wouldn't make 'em, but I've seen 'em. So I guess this is kinda sorta the same.

                                Ritz cracker mock apple pie is the gold standard for scary recipes, I think. Also from Kraft! They are the masters.


                                11 Replies
                                1. re: small h

                                  I'd have to agree with you on that one. It also takes apple pie to an all new level of unhealthiness- refined carbs in lieu of apples with pastry...

                                  1. re: salsailsa

                                    Yes, nothing like flour & water encased in a flour & water shell. It's almost brilliant, actually. Like a spaghetti sandwich.

                                    1. re: small h

                                      but it is something to give to someone who hates fruit of any kind, even apples.... haha. And yes, i've done this. It was..... horrifying, yet tasty in a horrible way.

                                      1. re: kubasd

                                        It actually has some Chowhound fans - who also say it works fine with plain 'ol soda crackers, which are cheaper than Ritz and have much less fat. See this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/599440

                                      2. re: small h

                                        Okay, I had to laugh!!! Here in New Orleans we have a po'boy that is the equivalent to the spaghetti sandwich..... it is a french fry po'boy !!! I know it is terrible to think about but it is oh so good to eat. It is normal served with mayo and roast beef gravy on french bread.

                                        Just thought I would share a good laugh.

                                        1. re: rebeccadwebb

                                          Hey, a french fry sandwich makes plenty of sense to me - it's in the knish & pierogi family. Now if you were stuffing a potato skin with fries...

                                            1. re: rebeccadwebb

                                              Wow that sounds good! i love french fries with gravy... add french bread... perfection! YUM!

                                        2. re: small h

                                          Looking at the web site is a real flash back in time.
                                          'Guacamole' made with Cream Cheese: http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/...
                                          'Guacamole' made with Cottage Cheese and Jello(!!!): http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/...
                                          Wow, I didn't know Mole Verde was made with Italian dressing and Cream Cheese: http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/...
                                          Tilapia Veracruz, sounds interesting. Tilapia, lime juice, cilantro, stuffed olives, tomato, SHREDDED CHEDDAR AND JACK CHEESE: http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/...

                                          Seriously, I think we need E_N's take on which of these recipes are authentic:

                                          1. re: small h

                                            <Ritz cracker mock apple pie is the gold standard for scary recipes, I think. Also from Kraft! They are the masters.>

                                            nonono! That pie has been around a whole lot longer than Kraft owning Ritz crackers!. We made that pie when I was 7 (just after WWII). That pie was created during WWII by Ritz because apples were hard to get in cities...

                                            That pie is VERY weird!

                                            1. re: ChefJune

                                              Oh, interesting. I had no idea Ritz crackers had been around so long.

                                          2. The Coca Cola company has some winning recipes sure to make you the host with the most as well......


                                            The best thing about this page is that they have both the "Heritage" recipes, and then some new stuff done by the Culinary Institute of America!

                                            Some great standouts are Japanese Pickled Cauliflower, Indian Curry, French Onion Soup (I'm literally laughing to tears right now), and who can forget that old gem....Cola Cake!! (made with coke and marshmallows, and frosted with coke icing, mmmmSUGARY!!!). Enjoy!

                                            8 Replies
                                            1. re: acooknamedmike

                                              Coke actually kind of makes sense as a meat glaze, especially for ham- some acid, some sugar (I mean HFCS) and combine it with a savory component and you're set to roast.

                                              And then there are the Diet Cherry Coke Lentils, which have no justification.

                                              1. re: beachmouse

                                                I seem to recall a recipe that made the rounds 25 years ago or more using Coke or Dr. Pepper in a pot roast. Kinda gave it a sauerbraten-ish overtone.

                                                I had a Sam's CLub (maybe Costco) spiral-cut, bone-in ham for Easter. I didn't want it to get dried out when I heated it up, so I put gingerale in the bottom of the roasting pan before I tented it & put it in the oven. I poured off the liquid before I finished it with the pre-packaged glaze, but everyone said it was the more delicious, moist spiral-cut they had ever had. Who knoew? I probably should have had onion soup onion dip too.....

                                                1. re: PattiCakes

                                                  patticakes, was there any hint of the ginger? (i, too, think spiral cuts tend to be dry).

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    Alkapal: not really a hint of ginger. It just kept it moist & seemed to add to the background sweet tast of the ham. To be very honest, if I didn't have a can of gingerale on hand, I probably could have subbed Sprite. Somehow "gingerale" sounds less tacky?

                                                    Hey Roland, I do like ginger beer. Bet that would have been good with the ham!

                                                  2. re: PattiCakes

                                                    My Virginia grandmother used to bake her hams with ginger ale. In the older days she would have used a locally brewed ginger beer. It's a classic way of preparing ham.

                                                    1. re: Roland Parker

                                                      Glazing big joints of meat with something sweet I can see, but dropping a cup of coke into your minestrone soup? Sorry....do not want.

                                                    2. re: PattiCakes

                                                      I think Alton Brown used Dr Pepper in a ham recipe...I can't be making that up, can I? Nope, here it is:


                                                    3. re: beachmouse

                                                      "Diet Cherry Coke lentils"..... There are no words, no words.

                                                    1. re: Cinnamon

                                                      cinnamon, you are the best! thanks for that side-splitting survey of 70's weight watcher dishes, and the links to lilek's and cate's. hil-freakin'-larious.

                                                      1. re: Cinnamon

                                                        "Would you like Polynesian Snack? With beautiful flower?"

                                                        "Where is fork? Is Snack for to eat with hand?"

                                                        "You like canned bean sprout? And buttermilk? And pimiento? And fruit piece? Mix all together? No? Oh. Maybe Snack is not for you."

                                                        LOLOLOL! Even more hysterical than the video clip upthread--and that was FUNNY!

                                                        Edit: No, wait! How 'bout this tablescape one?!!!

                                                        These are fantastic!

                                                        1. re: kattyeyes

                                                          I love the comment on that one "What the hell's in that bowl-- bong water?!" :-D

                                                          1. re: LindaWhit

                                                            Still laughing right along with you:

                                                            "Is that why the ceramic animals are so drawn to it? Is it their magical pond?"

                                                            "Why have they gathered? What do they want?"

                                                            Makes me want to make a crazy tablescape (and I do NOT do tablescapes EVER!) even tho' we're not having company! I might give it a go just to be goofy. The thought of making some sort of punch and having my own knickknacks "gather" is tempting. I can't NOT laugh when I even look at the picture.

                                                            1. re: kattyeyes

                                                              so may videos posted today that I can't watch until I get home! darn security settings on our network.
                                                              Once for a baby shower we made some frothy pink punch and floated teeny rubber ducks in it. it was hilarious. :)

                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                kattyeyes, did you click on the link to look at the "close-ups" of the animals' faces? that *really* made me guffaw. i was in bed early morning as i was reading, and laughing so much my sides hurt. tears were coming to my eyes on every new page. it was just as snarky as "lilek's unforgettable food". i absolutely LOVED it.

                                                                1. re: alkapal

                                                                  I just did now--what is up with alien cat?! The sleeping white cat on the sideline is so typical. "Your silly party bores me. Keep staring at the bong water and wake me up when they bring out the shrimp!" We are definitely cut from the same twisted cloth--I was in tears, too.

                                                          2. re: Cinnamon

                                                            I got the book version of that website from the remnant book store. 100+ pictures and snarky commentary for like $1.99. My mom, who did the odd diet during that era, thought it was hilarious.

                                                            1. re: beachmouse

                                                              beachmouse, i'm envious! now i have to look for it!
                                                              edit: amazon has it new for $3.49!!

                                                            2. re: Cinnamon

                                                              And a string of even more scary recipes (and funny commentary):





                                                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                thanks linda whit!

                                                                hey, i might try some of that "tinted rice"! ;-).

                                                                funny lines,

                                                                -- for eggs divan: "Even the glass chicken on the table looks a little wary. Like it’s waiting for the right moment to make a break for it when those babies fully erupt."

                                                                -- or for clams inverness: "Well, how about something for the seafood lovers out there? Here we have a shot of the Jersey shore after illegal corporate dumping ...."

                                                                -- for "meals men like": "Lea & Perrins tells us Men like:
                                                                Stew in a fancy silver chafing dish! And what stew is it? Why “Company Stew”!
                                                                Maybe it’s just my anticipation of the upcoming film, but I’m getting a bit of a Sweeney Todd vibe here...
                                                                “Did the police ever find Betty’s missing boarder?”

                                                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                                                  updated link because those didn't work today when i tried them.

                                                                  hope this link works.

                                                              2. Hey, my nephew (16) made the jello/sour cream/pretzel salad for Easter dinner & the 2 & 3 year old grand kids couldn't get enough of it. You are dissing the CLASSICs, sistah!

                                                                Holy cow, I just checked out the Weight Watcher recipies. The Melon Mouse looks like a plated brain, and the Rosey Perfection Salad?? OMG. Red cabbage in a jello mold? No wonder people lost weight. Sandra Lee can't even come close!

                                                                1. Of course Miracle Whip does not belong in guacamole, mayo does! I personally love guacamole and if the avocado is good and perfectly ripe it does not need anything other than a pile of chopped tomatoes, onions, etc on the side so people can mix to their liking. However there have been times when good avocados are not available and I have added some mayo to give it a creamy texture. Surprisingly on those occasions I have received many compliments.

                                                                  No need to rake me over the coals for adding mayo at times. I have heard it all before.

                                                                  1. This has become a very funny thread. Thanks to all for the GREAT links. Laff-a-minute.

                                                                    1. Morganna, are you one of those Krafters that are outraged that you have to PAY for the magazine now?

                                                                      Kraft's message boards will both frighten you and provide you will many laffs.

                                                                      Personally, I think the scariest recipes come from Campbells:

                                                                      KOUNTRY KITCHEN KASSEROLE

                                                                      1 can cream of mushroom soup
                                                                      1/4 can water
                                                                      2 teaspoon mustard
                                                                      1 cup shredded cheese
                                                                      2 cans sliced potatoes
                                                                      1 can sliced black olives
                                                                      1 can sliced mushrooms
                                                                      1 box frozen peas
                                                                      1 can lunch meat, sliced

                                                                      Combine all ingredients but the lunch meat in a big bowl.
                                                                      Pour into casserole dish. Top stew mixture with the slices of lunch meat. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes or until hot.

                                                                      Frankfurter Creole Chowder

                                                                      1 pack frankfurters, cut into small slices (turkey franks are ok)
                                                                      1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
                                                                      2 tablespoons margerine
                                                                      1 can split pea and ham soup
                                                                      1 can cream of potato soup
                                                                      1/2 cup water
                                                                      1 can Rotel tomaotes (do not drain)
                                                                      1 can corn (do not drain)

                                                                      Brown sliced franks in margerine, add italian seasoning. When brown, add everything remaining ingredients and stir well. Heat through and serve.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                        Can you spell s-o-d-i-u-m? Minimum monthy requirement, all in a single serving. eeeeek.

                                                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                                                          If I had to pay for the magazine, I wouldn't be getting it. :)

                                                                          1. re: Morganna

                                                                            me either, Morganna. I don't remember how I started getting this, but if they want money, that is NOT gonna happen.

                                                                            Once there was a coupon for a free bottle of Kraft salad dresssing...I keep hoping for another one :)

                                                                        2. You know... I may cringe, but my dad used to have guac w/Miracle Whip and Fritos Scoops at leat 3 times a week for lunch after he retired. It was one of his favorite things in the world.

                                                                          1. At my wedding shower, my aunt gave me a Campbell's Soup Cookbook. I know my aunt's personality and based on past gifts, I knew it was given as a joke, but not everyone knows her, or got the joke. After the shower, my best friend was looking at it and said, doesn't she know you cook professionally.

                                                                            I still have it on my cookbook shelf. There are actually a couple of recipes in it that I might try one day.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                              LOL- I inherited a bunch of cookbook's, one of which was a Campbell's cookbook from 1978 (no joke). It's HILARIOUS!!!

                                                                              I do love the green bean casserole, though..... and the cheddar cheese soup makes a mean mac & cheese base.....

                                                                            2. Oh, some of those combinations has bile raising in the back of my throat! LOL.

                                                                              I will admit..I made guacomole pretty traditionally for myself, like a sauce. But church picnic people and most big gatherings, most people just want a 'guacomole dip'. And when you're using 12-15 avacados, not everyone is perfect, and for mass quanities people, it will sit a bit before the buffet line runs through. To keep it from turning brown I make it as normal and add real mayo I make myself or regular jarred mayo..not much, a few tablespoons.

                                                                              Yeah, i've heard it all before too. But it keeps the masses happy. And I don't have to throw out $30 worth of avocados in "oh that's kind of spicy (you mean flavor?)slightly brown guacomole".

                                                                              1. Hehehe I completely agree. I think one of the reasons the recipes are so scary is that Kraft's products for the most part are procceed, fat ladened, imitations of real food. I would rather eat my burger plain that put a piece of Kraft singles on my burger.

                                                                                but anyways so they have to come up with recipes that use their brand of products. Like Kraft Miracle Whip.

                                                                                They do come up with some decent ones, once in a while, or things where you could subsitute the processed crap for things made from scratch.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                  I need to watch my sodium, so those Kraft recipies (or Campbells) are enough to make me retain enough fluid to float a boat.

                                                                                  1. re: PattiCakes

                                                                                    I watch my sodium too. I try to his about 2000 mg of sodium or lower each day. Restaurant food contains sooo much sodium but its a good splurge once in a while.

                                                                                2. I enjoy my Kraft's magazine..The recipes are hit and miss. Just like a lot of other cookbooks/magazines. For a free publication it's high quality. Good coupons. Hot dogs..dressing..crystal light (yeah I don't don't make those items from scratch)
                                                                                  Reading this thread makes me ready to eat my ham melts with my Kraft Velveeta singles I have in my fridge. I wish other companies would send me free magazines like this. I like to get those little glossy cookbooks they sell at the checkout lines at rummage sales.yard sales. Most of them are geared toward a specific company.
                                                                                  Yep..I use Kraft products occasionally..gotta eat something in between the oven roasted chickens..beef tenderloins..stone crabs..fresh corn..etc. My budget insists.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: rochfood

                                                                                    They are great for budgets. We have a newer Campbell's cookbook and though we could make chicken parmagiana from scratch...sometimes, we just heat up breaded chicken patties, throw on some Prego and bagged Italian cheese blend and call it a day. Just like we saw in the Campbell's cookbook :) But at least the pasta with it is whole wheat!

                                                                                    1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                      withnail, what kind of "recipe" (as OP requested) is "sandra lee" -- other than the butt of all chowhound jokes and scorn?

                                                                                      1. re: alkapal

                                                                                        Well, I suspect some of the male board members think she's a "dish!" ;)
                                                                                        And no matter what anyone thinks of her, this is hysterical:

                                                                                        1. re: alkapal

                                                                                          How else do you react to someone who suggests you serve frozen ravioli with cheez whiz sause to your father for his birthday? Does Kraft make cheez whiz?

                                                                                        2. That is hilarious!
                                                                                          I've found so much ammo on this page for my white trash cooking blog that II cant wait to start cracking :D
                                                                                          Check out this Kraft ad from Quebec

                                                                                          1. There is now a show on the weekend called What's Cooking (well, actually Kraft's What's Cooking). Haven't watched it but the promos try and make it look like it is a real cooking show and not a half hour ad for Kraft products.

                                                                                            Although, I am judging it without watching. Has anyone seen this show?

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Sooeygun

                                                                                              Who's hosting it, Sandra Lee? :) Just teasing. That sounds like it would be hard to watch unless you thought of it as an SNL skit.

                                                                                              1. re: kattyeyes

                                                                                                The Campbell's cookbook sounds awesome.

                                                                                                Though I once received the Magic Bullet.. I had been lusting after that thing for ten years... Worst gift ever. I even tried their juicer. I still think there are bits of grapefruit pulp on my ceiling.