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'Fess up if you use a recipe from an "oft ridiculed" souce!

Like Aunt Sandy, Guy Fieri, etc...
I'm not sure if I do, but it's likely something in my rotation is based on something like this as a holdover from my early cooking days.
Please share if you do :)

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  1. ugh- I'll make the velveeta/rotel dip for parties. I DONT LIKE TO ADMIT THIS BUT IT IS SO DELICIOUS!

    2 Replies
    1. re: carlee134

      Yup, it's a crowd favorite around here as well and even though my stomach hates it I can't resist it and always suffer the consequences.

      1. re: carlee134

        No shame in the Ro-tel dip. Never knew it before I got to Texas but I have made up for that in the last 20+ years.

      2. I know that people love to hate her, but I actually like a few of Rachel Ray's recipes.

        1. From Peg Bracken's I Hate to Cook Book, chocolate mousse made in the blender by combining egg yolks, melted chocolate and brandy--and then while it is running pour in hot cream until the racket stops. Serve cold in tiny cups.

          3 Replies
          1. re: escondido123

            I learned to cook in part from that book and still have my well used copy. My Godmother gave it me at age 6. However I have no memory of that recipe-probably due to the brandy, LOL!

            I have no prejudices when it comes to recipes. I have made great ones and bad ones from any number if chefs/cookbooks/websites.

            1. re: escondido123

              From the same book, Pedro's Special. A childhood favorite that my mom made in the 60's and 70's and I still do today.

              1. re: escondido123

                From that (hilarious) book, one of my crowd-pleasers: "French Beef Casserole" - I think the dried tarragon makes if "French." Yum!

              2. Don't know if this qualifies, but my porkapalooza recipe for slow-roasted pork shoulder pretty much comes from this website (with my own addition of toasted fennel seeds and more cayenne, and I serve it whole):


                I don't even know how I came across the recipe, but the website was ridiculed by some of my >cough, cough< CH friends for also pimping desserts made from cake mix, etc.

                I've made this several times, with the above mentioned deviations (deviant that I am), and everyone LOVES it. In fact, I'm lucky when we have leftovers. 7 people recently managed to gobble up a 9 lb. shoulder.

                3 Replies
                1. re: linguafood

                  I like the detailed photographs. Good website for a beginning cook. I particularly enjoyed the picture of the pork w/ bone circled and marked.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    I have absolutely no qualms about using a doctored up cake mix. It turns out quite good, better than most recipes I have tackled from scratch. Folks always eat the whole thing, so what's not to love? Also, there are so many variations when starting out with a cake mix.

                    1. re: cstout

                      Wasn't pineapple upside down dace invented for canned pineapple and yellow cake mix?

                  2. I make the peaches and cream (or strawberries and cream pie) from the old Betty Crocker cookbook. Very simple, and quite delicious.

                    16 Replies
                    1. re: dkenworthy

                      Who could ridicule Betty Crocker?!?! They're messing with my childhood if they do!

                      1. re: Cachetes

                        Seriously. Seeing the old Betty Crocker binder mentioned THREE times in this thread depresses me. I can't imagine why someone would ridicule it. It provides straight forward, foundational recipes with real ingredients and traditional (in terms of American home cookery) preparations. I have recommended it several times when I've been asked for examples of good starter cookbooks. Guess I've opened myself up to ridicule in doing so, but so be it. It's a fixture on my kitchen shelf, and I intend to keep it there!

                        1. re: charmedgirl

                          Thank you defenders of Betty - I also grew up with the binder and learned to bake from it - cakes made with butter, sugar & flour, with photos to show you creaming stages etc. No mention of cake mixes that I can recall!

                        2. re: Cachetes

                          I still have mom's Betty Crocker. Those olive cheese puffs are still a mega-favorite (p. 286).

                          1. re: DuchessNukem

                            I have no Betty Crocker to comfort me, please share the olive puffs recipe.

                            1. re: cstout

                              I checked with Aunt Betty, she said you're okay to have the recipe. ;)


                              I add cayenne and garlic powder. Can substitute Swiss, pepper jack, etc.

                              1. re: DuchessNukem

                                I make a version of these too - they are probably the most popular and requested appetizer I have ever made.

                                1. re: DuchessNukem

                                  Had no idea there is a website for Betty Crocker. Thank you very much. These cheese puffs have popped up (pardon the pun) at various & sundry teas, baby showers & parties over the years, but have never latched on to the recipe. Am so glad to be able to make my own now.

                              2. re: DuchessNukem

                                I have never heard of these, but will definitely try them. The dough is very similar to my mom's cheese straw recipe (only hers has ton of cayenne in it). I think it counts as legitimate food! Can't go wrong with salty olives and sharp cheese!

                              3. re: Cachetes

                                I think a lot of people view Betty Crocker as "old fashioned". Then there's the ones who have never actually cooked from the book, but instead know the "packaged food" side of Betty Crocker....cake mixes and the like.

                                I know whenever I need a basic recipe for something (especially for baked goods), my red Betty Crocker book is one of my first resources I look at.

                                1. re: juliejulez

                                  Exactly. My sister inherited my mother's old copy, full of notes and notecards, etc. We still go back to it for those tried and true recipes, especially for cookies and cakes.

                                  1. re: Cachetes

                                    Yup, someday I'll get "the binder" from my mom. Even now, often when I ask her about a recipe she made when I was a kid, she says "oh it was from the red Betty Crocker". Most recently it was her whole wheat waffles that I loved growing up.

                                    1. re: Isolda

                                      My mom's was "the binder", I'm guessing she got it either in the early 70s after college or in 1975 when she got married. The one I have is this one: http://www.amazon.com/Betty-Crocker-C...

                                      Edit to add: This is the one my mom has, looks like it's from the late 70s: http://www.ebay.com/itm/BETTY-CROCKER...

                                      Another side note, how cute is this one? I might need to bid on it... http://www.ebay.com/itm/1950-Vintage-...

                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                        Cool links!

                                        You sent me on a search, and this is the one my Mom had (that my sister now has):


                                        She got married in 1963, so it makes sense.

                                  2. re: Cachetes

                                    Wow, I haven't thought about Betty Crocker in years. I wonder if my mom still has her copy? All the raves here made me go look at it on Amazon and I saw quite a few recipes that sounded great. I think I'll have to pick up a copy.

                                2. Plenty! Rachel's goulash, Paula's gooey butter cakes and piggy pudding, all things Ina ( though I don't believe she belongs in this category )

                                  1. I make Paula Deen's corn casserole every Thanksgiving. I don't think she created the recipe, but I refer to her cookbook for it.

                                    Recipes from the Simple and Delicious magazine (Taste of Home family) have always turned out well.

                                    The Cake Mix Doctor has some nice cakes.

                                    1. Is Joy of Cooking still uncool? Not that I give a rat's patoot, but it's my go-to when I'm trying to replicate something from my Midwestern childhood, and a lot easier to find stuff in than my mom's old BH&G looseleaf thing.

                                      I think Rachael Ray seems to be a smart, sweet person, and I've liked some of the recipes she's posted in Parade and similar publications. We just have such different philosophies about cooking; I've been unable to watch some of her shows that I've been stuck with (TV in doctor's office or whatever), though that might be a further proof of advancing curmudgeonhood …

                                      11 Replies
                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                        It's a sad day when Joy Of Cooking is considered uncool.
                                        Damn whippersnappers. :)

                                        1. re: bbqboy

                                          Another Joy of Cooking defender here! LOVE that book, although I mostly use it for reference,

                                          1. re: soccermom13

                                            At the tender age of 55 I learned how to skin squirrels from a copy I gave to one of my beautiful nieces.

                                            Joy of Cooking is still a gold mine that continues to produces nuggets.

                                            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                              Count me as Joy of Cooking user also. I don't surf it for fun as much as I should, but rather use it as a reference for various techniques, cooking temps and times, etc. But you are right- there are nuggets buried therein.

                                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                Oh that's trendy nowadays- just watch one of the Duck Dynasty shows! Mama Kay cooks squirrel often!

                                            2. re: bbqboy

                                              Seriously. Besides experimenting on my own, I basically learned to cook by reading it from beginning to end!

                                            3. re: Will Owen

                                              Call me uncool then. I have 3 editions of Joy and my original, to me, edition of the BH&G, which I occasionally refer to even now after 42 years.

                                              But surely these are not in the "oft ridiculed" category!

                                              1. re: Will Owen

                                                the day the Joy of Cooking is considered "uncool" is the day I hang up my apron

                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                  I have seen the 1999 version denigrated (but not the earlier ones). That said, the 1999 revision is the one I have and still use. Uncool or not, it's a truly valuable resource.

                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                    "Is Joy of Cooking still uncool?"

                                                    STILL???? when was the Joy uncool??? NEVER.

                                                  2. Many of my holiday cookie "family" recipes actually come from the Betty Crocker cookbook (mom had the red binder, I have the red paperback). Growing up I thought they were passed down from generations, but, not really... unless you count "passed down" as being everyone has the same book that they get the recipe from.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                      Yeah, I still have and use that book, esp. for pies and cookies. Actually, maybe only for pies and cookies. And pancakes. And quick breads. I have the red ring-binder one from 30 or so years ago when I left home for college.

                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                        TOO true Jj; several of my "family' Christmas cookie recipes I found in there, after my mom passed away and they were no where to be found in her wonderful, contact-paper-covered recipe box - I got her BC cookbook among others, and realized the mexican wedding cakes, rum balls, etc. were from the BC!

                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                          When my son graduated from culinary school, one of the presents I gave him was a copy of the BC cookbook! He had eaten the apple pie and the cheesecake from that book throughout his childhood, and I figured it would be nice to pass that along.

                                                          He loved it!

                                                          1. re: bear

                                                            I received mine when as a wedding gift in 1976. This is the edition:


                                                        2. Paula Deen's baked grits with Velveeta and Rotel tomatoes!
                                                          Never any left.

                                                          1. I have a 30 minute meals cookbook from Rachael Ray the earlier years that I occasionally look through, like when my toddler tries to "read" my less preferred cookbooks, and some of them aren't bad. I have to adjust some seasoning to our preferences, but not terrible.

                                                            1. Betty Crocker has my go-to banana bread recipe.
                                                              White pizza dip (a staple for the Super Bowl) is from a freebie Lipton cookbook and has their Savory Herb and Garlic soup mix in it.
                                                              Several Rachael Ray recipes are in our family's regular rotation, but almost all are meatballs/meatloaf: chicken parm meatballs, spanakopita meatballs, faux gyros. I also like her ravioli vegetable lasagna, but she's got a different recipe listed on the FN website now than the one I printed several years ago.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: truman

                                                                Rachel Ray's spanakopita meatballs are pretty delicious. I use dark meat turkey instead of chicken, and sub cumin and coriander for the grill seasoning. Makes a great sandwich in pocketless pita!

                                                                1. re: truman

                                                                  My go-to banana bread recipe is from Betty Crocker too. I've never had another that is even close to as good; I actually pass on other banana breads, as I find them disappointing compared to the recipe I use.

                                                                  Time to go find some over-ripe bananas.....

                                                                2. I love all the responses!
                                                                  It just goes to show that just because something can be the butt of jokes doesn't mean it isn't good.
                                                                  I don't think Joy of Cooking or Betty Crocker are really fodder for much ridicule, they're just older. And sort of classic.
                                                                  Thanks for sharing!

                                                                  1. One of my favorite fish sauces came from a booklet on a Captain Morgan rum bottle.

                                                                    1 stick salted butter
                                                                    1 block Philadelphia cream cheese
                                                                    Garlic to taste I mash a whole clove.
                                                                    1 T of relish or finely chopped pickled citrus

                                                                    Melt butter, add garlic, melt cream cheese, add relish.

                                                                    Add 1'4 cup rum and stir into a smooth sauce. Serve immediately on seafood.

                                                                    Generic cream cheese does not work nearly as well. The rum melds the broken concoction together. It will quickly break again when cooling, so don't plan on saving any for later.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                      How could that be anything but delicious?

                                                                    2. Is The Silver Palate oft-ridiculed? There are several recipes I still make from it. A variation of Chicken Marbella that removes the sugar, along the lines of the CI updated version. Also, a chicken liver pate and 3 ginger cookies. My husband uses the chocolate chip cookie recipe. Maybe some others, that book still lives in prime real estate in my kitchen.

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: tcamp

                                                                        I haven't seen the Silver Palate ridiculed. Though it's from an earlier era -- the store opened in the 70s and the cookbook appeared in early 80s -- so it's considered passé by some.

                                                                        1. re: drongo

                                                                          Ha, I'm probably considered passé by some so I guess it is a good fit.

                                                                          1. re: tcamp

                                                                            Silver Palate carrot cake is wonderful...my mom makes it once a year for me as a special birthday request!

                                                                          2. Some of my favorite holiday cookie recipes come from Family Circle and Women's Day circa 1992.

                                                                            1. Paula Deen's Southern fried chicken recipe is my basic go-to recipe. Also, my SO had cooked a balsalmic glazed fish that was quite delicious. Her source was Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals.

                                                                              For potlucks I often make a cheesy potato casserole from the Ore-Ida website. Surprisingly, many people ask for the recipe.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: dave_c

                                                                                Love those cheesy potatoes. We just returned from a family vacation in the Outer Banks, and enjoyed these with our Deep Fried turkeys! We had a crowd, so we had to make four casseroles!!

                                                                                1. re: macca

                                                                                  I forgot to mention the potato chip topping too! lol

                                                                                  1. re: dave_c

                                                                                    We usually use crushed corn flakes- but use the chips when we do not have any corn flakes- on vacation, it was with crushed potato chips!
                                                                                    Have also added cubed leftover ham and broccoli- and try to convince myself it is a bit more healthy this way! We got the recipe from my cousin in Ohio- and it is crazy- it is one of those recipes that almost everyone likes. Lots of casserole recipes from our relatives in the Mid West!

                                                                              2. Not sure if Martha Stewart is ridiculed. (I KNOW that many people here like her Mac & Cheese recipe, which I haven't made.) But I do have one of her books with a recipe for foiled baked pork tenderloin with raisons, orange juice and thyme, etc. It's a keeper.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                  I think Martha definitely qualifies as defined by the OP. I have been making her delicious, “Beef Stew with Jason” recipe for years. It is from her pre-incarceration show, and it's also a keeper.

                                                                                2. I make Paula Deen's Creamy Macaroni and Cheese and Cheesy Squash Casserole all the time. Our guests love both of them and request them often. A friend has paid me to make a couple of pans of the macaroni and cheese for her family parties.

                                                                                  1. The pioneer woman. Even though her voice and writing style drives me nuts. Most of her recipes are culled. But apparantly we have the same tastebuds

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Goatjunky

                                                                                      I have no shame in using her recipes. Everything of hers I've made my SO has LOVED.

                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                        Agreed. I've gotten so many rave responses from things I've made off her site that I'll try pretty much anything she puts out. And yes, sometimes she's a bit cheesy, but I love the step by step photos. Gotta love PW!

                                                                                    2. I have a recipe which must have come from the kitchen at Campbell's Soup. Circa 1970.

                                                                                      Porcupine balls (is what we call them.) Basically a meatball, with rice mixed in, cooked in Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup.

                                                                                      (For that authentic Momma Hambone experience, cook them in a pressure cooker and let the bottom burn.)

                                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: hambone

                                                                                        Oh, my: had forgotten about porcupine balls. When Mr. Pine and I were first married (starving students), we must have eaten a whole "tribe" of porcupines in our 1st year!

                                                                                        1. re: hambone

                                                                                          When I was a teenager my boyfriends mom made porcupine balls. Hers didn't have mushroom soup though, they were booked in some sort of tomato sauce. Never got the recipe.

                                                                                          1. re: rasputina

                                                                                            That would be an interesting thread...

                                                                                            The recipe that got away...

                                                                                            Mrs. Hambone and her siblings all talk about their dad's stuffed quahog (baked clams if you aren't from Rhode Island.)

                                                                                            Nobody wrote it down before he died and it is lost.

                                                                                            1. re: hambone

                                                                                              Great idea! Why don't you start that thread? I'll bet it would be fascinating to learn about the various Chowhound lost treasures (and who knows, maybe someone will actually "find" the recipe they lost!)

                                                                                              And sorry about that lost quahog recipe.

                                                                                          2. Macaroni and cheese from The Vegetarian Epicure. Hoppin John and Limpin Susan from the White Trash Cookbook.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: ratgirlagogo

                                                                                              Nothing to ridicule in The Vegetarian Epicure in my world. Anna Thomas helped us be very happy vegetarians for several years in the late 70's and early 80's. Good stuff!

                                                                                              1. re: bear

                                                                                                That's how I feel about both VEs as well. I think I learned a lot from them and also think they helped usher in an entirely different kind of vegetarian cookbook than had been common before. Not just "here is how you can physically survive on a vegetarian diet" but "here is some kick-ass vegetarian food, from many cultures that have been making these dishes for a long, pleasant time."

                                                                                            2. I'll add that I've made a few things following approaches I saw on Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen show. They've always worked well.

                                                                                              When I first saw the show, I thought it was jaw-droppingly strange, but it grew on me. I actually find the schtick refreshing and often clever. It's like a recurring SNL episode, but where the food is actually serious.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Bada Bing

                                                                                                It was the same with me. Wasn't sure at first, but now I think it's fantastic. Your description is spot on.

                                                                                              2. Sweet chicken bacon wraps, from Paula Deen. Gone faster than any other app I've ever served at parties.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. Absolutely! Rachael Ray's vodka cream sauce is amazing. (To be fair, I got it via Smitten Kitchen...) But I always get compliments on it, and it is fantastic!

                                                                                                  I also got hooked on a Pioneer Woman recipe a few years back - an eggplant, tomato and pasta dish. Delicious, though I haven't made it in a while...

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: ItalGreyHound

                                                                                                    That reminds me that I've never actually made a vodka cream sauce. I've eaten and enjoyed it. Just never done it myself. Must rectify.

                                                                                                    1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                      You must! This one's a good 'un. Super simple, and delicious. Great tomato flavor - but I usually end up using a 40 oz can of Dei Fratelli crushed tomatoes instead of the called-for 32 oz can in the recipe...


                                                                                                  2. Grew up with the Betty Crocker cookbook, won a bunch of state fair blue ribbons with her recipes as a kid, and still dip in here and there for old tastes I have to satisfy, like her gingies, rhubarb custard pie (different pastry recipe though), and plain old sloppy joes.

                                                                                                    There's a cookie recipe I got out of a Taste of Home magazine that's kickass. Double chocolate with cocoa and chocolate chips. Found it! Chocolate Truffle Cookies. http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/ch... If you make them, just keep in mind that they don't keep well.

                                                                                                    1. Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies count?

                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: ahuva

                                                                                                        I guess generally speaking "back of the package" recipes could be ridiculed by some but those cookies never fail to please most people I encounter.

                                                                                                        In that same vein, my go-to chocolate cake from the back of a can of Hershey's cocoa.

                                                                                                        1. re: tcamp

                                                                                                          The Hershey website has several good recipes.

                                                                                                          My favorite is the York Peppermint Patty Brownie!

                                                                                                          1. re: hambone

                                                                                                            Two ridiculed sources come to mind:
                                                                                                            1. I have one of those "From the Back of Cans" cookbooks. Hardly gourmet collections, but some nice comfort food items.

                                                                                                            2. One of Mr Pine's favorite chicken & yogurt dipping sauce recipes came from Parade magazine. Also have a couple of good garden vegetable sauce recipes from there.

                                                                                                      2. I love cooking from those self-published community cookbooks (you know, the ones done as fundraisers by schools, Girl Scouts, etc.) especially the ones from the 60s and 70s. You'll see some absolute crap recipes alongside something complicated, like Beef Wellington opposite taco casserole with cream of yuck soup. But I do sometimes use cream of yuck in that addictive King Ranch Casserole.

                                                                                                        1. And I forgot to mention that Sunset Easy Basics is one of the best cookbooks ever! We have a copy from my husband's family (I'm guessing it's from the early to mid 70s) and I use it regularly. It has the best banana bread recipe I've ever tried.