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May 20, 2009 05:52 AM

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:

                                      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:
                                          'Guacamole' made with Cottage Cheese and Jello(!!!):
                                          Wow, I didn't know Mole Verde was made with Italian dressing and Cream Cheese:
                                          Tilapia Veracruz, sounds interesting. Tilapia, lime juice, cilantro, stuffed olives, tomato, SHREDDED CHEDDAR AND JACK CHEESE:

                                          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.