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I love to cook from scratch but every now and then I can't resist...(insert name of convenience food here)

Kraft Dinner

Sloppy Joe's made w Manwich

Instant Ramen Noodles

Campbell's Tomato Soup

The Superbowl dip made with Ro-tel and the seemingly soon-to-be-extinct (or at least hard to find!) Velveeta

What about you?

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  1. *Nathan's hot dogs

    ... With bacon, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized shallot, spicy relish, ketchup, mustard, and cheddar cheese.

    ...Or with dennison's chili, relish, raw onion, and lots of cheddar cheese.

    *Hot links

    *Juanita's tortilla chips with Philadelphia cream cheese and Mrs. Renfro's salsa

    *Pops cereal

    *McCormick country gravy

    *That one weird processed cheese ball that has almond sliced all over it (with club crackers of course!)

    1 Reply
    1. re: WishyFish

      ...and you've reminded me:

      Hebrew National's

        1. re: Siegal

          With a little Worcestershire sauce mixed in!

          1. re: Siegal

            I make a clone of Lipton onion soup mix, which makes it cooking from scratch, right?

            Am I the only person who remembers when the dip was called California Dip? I swear it was printed on the boxes that way.

            1. re: DuffyH

              What blend do you use for your faux-Lipton? I've seen a few but haven't gotten around to trying any. Partially because I still have a few boxes of Lipton to get through.

              1. re: Kontxesi

                <What blend do you use for your faux-Lipton?>
                Here it is. Enjoy. :)

                ¼ cup minced onion
                2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
                ⅛ teaspoons onion powder
                ⅛ teaspoon celery seed
                ⅛ teaspoon sugar

                4 tablespoons = 1 packet of Lipton

                I like low sodium or regular bouillon, ideally half/half, but do not attempt it with sodium free. It's just not worth the trouble.

                Also, the original recipe calls for 5 tablespoons to equal one packet, but I found that a bit too strong for dip. YMMV.

                EDIT - I found a real made-from-scratch California Dip on a blog. Not sure what the rules are for pasting in comments from blogs, so follow the link and read Susan's comment: http://leitesculinaria.com/10358/reci...
                It sounds quite delish.

                1. re: DuffyH

                  I get the Simply Organic French Onion Dip packets - tastes as good as Lipton's but without the additives. Still perfect with Lay's Ripple potato chips!

                  1. re: janeh

                    I learned to make the clone when I was gluten free (long story short, they now think it was h. Pylori) and found that I prefer it for several reasons:

                    1. It's cheaper
                    2. No additives
                    3. It takes less than 5 minutes to mix a huge batch
                    4. I always have the ingredients on hand, for those dip emergencies, which is a big honking deal with 4 grandsons frequently around. :)

                    1. re: janeh

                      Glad to hear you like that packet, I haven't read the best reviews so never tried it. I've seen it at Whole Foods is that where you buy it?

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        There's no Whole Foods w/in 100 miles! I buy it at the local natural foods store. The only other thing I use it for is in a brisket recipe. A true Lipton's aficionado might taste the difference, but I'm happy with it.

                    2. re: DuffyH

                      I use this same recipe without the sugar and it tastes just like lipton. Sometimes I will throw in Penzey's toasted onion instead.

                      1. re: DuffyH

                        I've made an 'emergency' onion dip with dried onion bits, sour cream and-- soy sauce! Yes, that does work to give that traditional onion dip taste! I have to admit though that I read about it elsewhere- didn't come up with that myself.

                        1. re: janmcbaker

                          This reminds me of the time I was newly wed and living halfway around the world... I roasted a turkey and when it came time to make gravy I was not having the success my mother did. Time differences kept us from connecting via phone so I was searching the cupboards and came across soy sauce. I added a bit to the pan gravy and voila, it was perfect. Later my mother called me back and I explained that, at the last minute I remembered her trick of adding soy sauce. It was then she reminded me that the only time she ever used soy sauce was on new year's day when she made the most inauthentic chop suey in the western hemisphere... every January 1st.... oh, well, it worked. I haven't needed it since but I know it's there!

                    3. re: DuffyH

                      I remember and still think of it that way.

                    4. Trader Joes : Frozen hash brown potatoes with eggs, Italian country salad with meat or fish.And their frozen spinach pizza.

                      1. The masala burgers from trader joes, or that premade kale/spinach salad they have.
                        I also cave in and buy those amy's frozen indian meals here and there- i have never figured out how to make indian quite right.
                        And do french fries count? Randomly i'll have to have those.....(after a long night of drinks!)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Ttrockwood

                          Oh yes, for sure to the french fries!!

                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                            Yes - those Amy's Indians are good.

                          2. Blue box/Kraft dinner

                            Frozen mozzarella and spinach ravioli from Costco

                            The frozen salmon burgers from Costco with a bit of the basil mustard spread from ikea.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: autumm

                              Basil mustard......?!?! I am a mustard junkie, might have to make the 45min ea way trip to ikea just for this!!

                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                I hate mustard and this stuff is pretty great. It's closer to a mayo/mustard combo with a note of basil in the background. It's great with fish. Kinda reminds me though totally different of the mustard at Joe's Stone Crab in Miami beach. (which was my first positive mustard experience)

                              2. re: autumm

                                I'm crazy about those spinach raviolis from Costco (and the funny cheese blend you sprinkle on). Even though I make it a point to always have a nice hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano in my fridge, that crumbly frozen cheese mix just gets me.

                              3. Velveeta and shells (I have never actually had the Kraft blue box version of mac and cheese)

                                Campbell's Tomato Soup with Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers

                                "California onion dip" - Sour cream and Lipton onion soup

                                Lipton's "Cup a Soup" (getting hard to find)

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Springhaze2

                                  My daughter and I have that dip a few times a year. So, so yummy.

                                  1. re: Springhaze2

                                    Ohhh, the Lipton cup o soup... Chicken w/double noodles for me please ! I eat it quite frequently. Target has it.

                                      1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                        A quick check tells me that getting Wolf's here in NJ might be tough but I'll keep my eye out for it. ...Thanks

                                    1. Velveeta shells and cheese

                                      Onion dip (sour cream and french onion soup mix) -- I make this one all the time for parties

                                      1. Instant ramen noodles, the spicy chicken ones, for breakfast. My husband walked in on me the other week and asked me "what in world are you eating?"

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: cleobeach

                                          my local Asian store has an exotic assortment of instant noodles. Way more interesting that the grocery store selection. I used to keep a supply in my desk at work to take care of sudden hunger surges.

                                          1. re: Sharuf

                                            There's a brand of instant noodle at the 7-11 where I am that actually has real cooked meat in it - beef shanks, or stewed pork belly. Along with the noodles and spice package, there's a hot spice packet (so you can do spicy or not) and a foil packet with the meat and sauce.

                                            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                              I know I've picked a good instant ramen if there are at least 3 little packets of "fixins" including some kind of hot chili oil.

                                        2. Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup
                                          The now-defunct Franco American CANNED Macaroni and Cheese- I STILL dream about it!!!
                                          WW Smart Ones Mac & Cheese.

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: jarona

                                            You've reminded me of another one jarona:

                                            Lipton's Chicken Noodle Soup - nothing else will do if I'm under the weather

                                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                              Breadcrumbs..that Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup was a close second to my lovely Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup. I loved the fact that the Liptons had tons of those teensy noodles..but those noodles in Campbell's so overdone--so squishy...just like the macaroni in the Franco American..It was just so awful but so decadent at the same time:)

                                              1. re: jarona


                                                Campbell's Homestyle chicken noodle has the short skinny noodles. They're still a little overdone, so it's the best of both worlds. ;)

                                              2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                For me, it's Mrs. Grass chicken noodle soup when I'm sick. I go through boxes and boxes of the stuff.

                                              3. re: jarona

                                                When I was a kid I loved Macaroni-O's that was like macaroni and cheese (not the tomatoey one). I guess that was the first thing I ever "cooked" on my own. I dumped it out of the can, put it in a small au gratin dish and topped with butter saltine crumbs. I was probably 8 or so. I'm pretty sure it was horrid.

                                              4. Jack in the Box tacos (2 / $1 -- how can they make any money that way?)

                                                Burger King's new BBQ rib sandwich -- $1! Very tasty. Also their Hershey's pie is gooey and good.

                                                TJ's tandoori lamb from the freezer and their saag paneer from the shelf-stable indian collection.

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: Sharuf

                                                  Even though I've dabbled with JITB tacos (and liked 'em), you have to ask yourself if something is "cheaper than food", then it's probably suspect somewhere along the ingredient chain.

                                                  "Cheaper than food", BTW, is the motto of my favorite burger joint ever, Krazy Jim's Blimpy Burgers in Ann Arbor. They, however, sold nothing for $1, except for the drinks. The burgers started at around $3, and were very obviously made from good ingredients. (The restaurant is currently without a home, as the voracious U of M bought the property on which what should have been classified a landmark to create post-grad student housing. They're determined to reopen, and I'll be there when they do.)

                                                  1. re: annagranfors

                                                    I took a cooking class from a guy who operated a very small dairy. In the course of things he said if you're getting really cheap food somewhere either animals, a farmer or someone along the supply chain are being abused.

                                                    It's worth thinking about.

                                                    1. re: rainey

                                                      This is exactly what I try to not think about!

                                                    2. re: Sharuf

                                                      I also can't resist JITB tacos every once in awhile. I think I read somewhere that they're a mix of texturized vegetable protein and beef. (Like 30% beef though.)

                                                      1. re: Sharuf

                                                        This reminds me. Taco Bell volcano tacos, nachos and burritos. OMG when I was pregnant I ate that crap every other day....
                                                        But then they got rid of the volcano (spicy) menu. :( it was a sad last 4 weeks of pregnancy..... Sigh

                                                      2. Boxed mac and cheese.

                                                        tater tots

                                                        frozen pierogi served in chicken soup.

                                                        Fish sticks during Lent for nostalgia.

                                                        1. It sounds like you are talking more junky/guilty pleasures? Not things like canned tomatoes, tomato paste, dried pasta, loaves of bread/rolls, etc?

                                                          For me it would be frozen french fries, frozen gyoza, wholly guacamole, I love beets (sweetfire flavor), frozen flatbread pizza like TJ's gruyere/ham/onion or American Flatbread revolution one.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: foodieX2

                                                            Totally on the wholly quac. I've been burned by bad avocados before a party one too many times so there is always a pack in my freezer just in case.

                                                          2. Instant mashed potatoes. They are in no way any sort of equivalent to actual potatoes, but every couple of years or so I desperately want them. Nothing like sitting down to a big bowl of salty wallpaper paste, when the mood strikes.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: Daisy.G

                                                              I love the garlic ones with jarred brown gravy. Haven't done that in years. Mmmmm.

                                                              1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                Oh, that sounds wonderful! *Two* kinds of instant salt paste in one bowl. I feel a craving coming on...

                                                                1. re: Daisy.G

                                                                  I actually prefer the instant to homemade, probably b/c I was raised by a mother who served boring homemade mashed potatoes at every other meal, so I got my fill of them.

                                                                  1. re: HeyImBack

                                                                    And I was raised by the opposite kind of mother, one who didn't like potatoes, so didn't think they were worth the bother and served only the paste kind from a box. The first time I tasted real mashed potatoes at a friend's house, I was amazed at how delicious they were.

                                                                    1. re: Isolda

                                                                      This is my husband, who I don't think ever saw or tasted a real potato before he met me. He's come a long way.

                                                                  2. re: Daisy.G

                                                                    we have a similar feeling abt stouffer's stovetop boxed "dressing." in fact, OH prefers to real especially on thanksgiving.

                                                                  3. I keep dried pasta and jarred sauce (usually Barilla) in the pantry.
                                                                    Some nights are just too "meh" to cook.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. Rick Bayliss' Mexican sauces are delicious.

                                                                      I'm not adverse to shortcuts now and then either. Sometimes something is just plain better than mine and sometimes they've put together a lot of ingredients I'd have to do a lot of shopping to get.

                                                                      1. Oh, goodness. I guess confession is cleansing for the soul. Some of my friends who're convinced I'm a food snob aren't gonna like this: I'm quite fond of Rice-A-Roni and really never tried making something similar from scratch.

                                                                        And although I occasionally make my own sausage patties for breakfast, I must admit that I really love the breakfast sausage meat that comes in the white plastic "chub" in the meat case (near the Scrapple, which I also cannot make anything like store-bought).

                                                                        8 Replies
                                                                        1. re: shaogo

                                                                          My MIL makes this divine thing with a family box of cooked chicken Rice a Roni, corn, and an entire batch of Rotel dip. You mix it together while it's all hot and let it set for a bit to thicken. I could eat an entire batch by myself.

                                                                          1. re: shaogo

                                                                            Rice-A-Roni from scratch is quite easy - speak up if you'd like a recipe or two.. And can be much less salty -- I usually have to add at least 1 C. of plain rice to the package mix to dilute the salt level.

                                                                            1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                              As long as it is easy, I would love you to share:)


                                                                              1. re: brilynn79

                                                                                Here you go - I use a 10-inch skillet with a tight-fitting lid
                                                                                15 - 20 minutes prep, plus 20-25 minutes additional cooking time
                                                                                Paraphrased from P. 414 - Dinner A Day cookbook - their name for dish is "Edith Pilaf"

                                                                                4 T. butter, divided
                                                                                1/2 C. sliced almonds
                                                                                1/2 C. dried angel hair pasta (capellini)
                                                                                1 C. white rice
                                                                                14.5 oz. can vegetable broth
                                                                                2 T. water
                                                                                1/4 C. dry sherry, white wine or water
                                                                                1 1/2 tsp. dried tarragon

                                                                                Saute the almonds and 1 T. butter, melted, in a large skillet until lightly toasted, about 3 min. Remove almonds and set aside.

                                                                                Break capellini into 1-inch pieces into the same skillet. Toast capellini about 2 minutes, stirring. Remove from skillet and set aside with the almonds.

                                                                                Melt remaining 3 T. butter in the same skillet. Add the rice and toast, stirring, until it's lightly brown - about 5 minutes.

                                                                                Add the toasted capellini & almonds to the rice, add the broth, water, sherry & tarragon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover the skillet and simmer 20 - 25 minutes, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.

                                                                                1. re: brilynn79

                                                                                  And another version - my sister uses this recipe (don't know source)

                                                                                  1 ½ tsp. chicken bouillon granules
                                                                                  ½ tsp. dried oregano
                                                                                  ½ tsp dried thyme
                                                                                  1/8 tsp. ground pepper
                                                                                  2 Tablespoon fresh parsley for garnish
                                                                                  1/1/4 c. water
                                                                                  1- 4 oz can mushrooms
                                                                                  2 oz vermicelli spaghetti, break into 1 inch pieces
                                                                                  1 ½ tsp . margarine
                                                                                  ½ c. chopped onion
                                                                                  ½ c. instant rice

                                                                                  Melt margarine in skillet. Saute onion, rice & spaghetti until lightly browned.
                                                                                  Stir water, bouillon and spices (except parsley) together. Add to browned rice mix. Bring to boil. Cover & simmer 10 minutes. Fluff pilaf and stir in parsley. Serve.

                                                                                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                    Thanks for sharing...even I can handle those recipes!

                                                                              2. re: shaogo

                                                                                I am fond of Rice-A-Roni and HAVE tried several times to make something similar from scratch...but it is invariably not as good. Plus, RAR is cheap and there are so many different flavors...

                                                                              3. Cordon Bleu meatballs. Only in Quebec, alas.

                                                                                1. Campbell's cream of mushroom soup (eaten undiluted). Kraft Dinner (original version, made with milk and butter). Whipped cream from a can. Fried spam.

                                                                                  Lipton's instant chicken noodle soup, but only when I'm sick (that was about the only time I had it as a kid).

                                                                                  I occasionally crave a can of chef boyardee ravioli, or zoodles. This goes go unsatisfied, because I can't get them, and canned goods are too heavy to stick in my luggage like the KD.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                                                                    I love their Beefaroni with melted cheddar on top.

                                                                                  2. Progresso vegetable soup. Love it! Instant mashed potatoes I prefer them.

                                                                                      1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                        I love that stuff almost as much as the Jambalaya. If it wasn't loaded with salt it'd still be a favorite of mine but I just can't handle that much sodium.

                                                                                        1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                          We keep a few boxes of Zatarans on hand as well.

                                                                                          1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                            I keep it around too! I love the black beans and rice.

                                                                                            1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                              Agree. For a packaged mix, it doesn't seem like a packaged mix. And they make a LOT of food so great for easy lunches later

                                                                                            2. Rotel added into rice
                                                                                              Sabra Hummus
                                                                                              Zatarans rice and bean mixes
                                                                                              Ducan Hines Cake Mix
                                                                                              Bush Baked Beans

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                Love Sabra hummus .... add some good pita breads and tabouli salad I'm a happy camper !!!

                                                                                              2. Kraft mac and cheese (seems to be the theme!)
                                                                                                Roasted chicken and vegetables seasoned with dry onion soup mix

                                                                                                1. I have loved Kraft Dinner my whole life, always had a box in the cupboard. But now, I can't stand it! Tastes like chemicals no matter how I make it. I miss the old KD taste. Is it me or has it changed?

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: escondido123

                                                                                                    It's not just you escondido123. It truly does have a chemical taste now. Like you, I have loved it my whole life but no amount of "doctoring up" makes it taste good. :(

                                                                                                    1. re: Aislyn

                                                                                                      So is there another brand out there that does the trick for you or do I just have to give up on that particular treat?

                                                                                                  2. Any frozen pizza.

                                                                                                    Ramen noodles.

                                                                                                    Bloomin onion.

                                                                                                    1. A can of Hormel Tamales. About once a year. Must be eaten with warm sourdough bread dripping in butter!

                                                                                                      1. Progresso Tomato Basil soup (a must-have to accompany grilled cheese)

                                                                                                        Fish sticks

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: kcshigekawa

                                                                                                          Is it sweet? I want to find one that isn't super sweet like Campbell's.

                                                                                                        2. campbell's cream of chicken soup, add some can corn, over rice. It's a childhood comfort food for me.

                                                                                                          1. Progresso Soups - great for convenience.

                                                                                                            Traditional Chicken and Noodle

                                                                                                            Chicken and Wild Rice

                                                                                                            Chicken and Rotelli



                                                                                                            Chicken and Orzo with Lemon (new - Ilike to squeeze fresh lemon juice into it)

                                                                                                            Chicken Tortilla (new - I like to put shredded cheddar and crushed tortilla chips in)

                                                                                                            Stauffer's frozen mac in cheese with broccoli

                                                                                                            Zataran's rice mixes as mentioned by several

                                                                                                            Campbell's cream of mushroom soup - saute bs chicken breasts in butter, cover with soup and 1 can of milk, simmer until chicken is done. Serve with white rice and a vegie side - the "gravy" from the soup is delicious over the rice. I grew up with this and it is still a favorite today.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: Jeanne

                                                                                                              I've done the chicken and mushroom soup thing before, except I do half white wine, half milk and add sautéed mushrooms. Very tasty.

                                                                                                              1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                And their corn souffle and the late great asparagus souffle.

                                                                                                                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                  That spinach soufflé is good. I have been known to thaw a couple out, transfer them to a soufflé dish and serve them without necessarily announcing that it's convenience food.

                                                                                                                2. Breadcrumbs, you are pure evil. Everyone knows Hounds partake of only the finest cuisine. Cuisine like:

                                                                                                                  Hamburger Helper
                                                                                                                  Hormel Roast Beef Hash
                                                                                                                  Campbells Chunky Steak and Potato Soup
                                                                                                                  Pasta Roni (Parmesan)
                                                                                                                  Ramen (Roast Beef flavor only)

                                                                                                                  And yes, from time to time we make a meal of Velveeta Chili con Queso & chips. Doesn't everyone?

                                                                                                                  Last, but not by any means least, Nachos made with Hormel Hot Chili and shredded cheddar. This one really doesn't belong on the list, because it's got 3 ingredients, if you count the chips, which I do, plus it doesn't taste nearly the same with homemade chili, which makes the can count as cooking from scratch.

                                                                                                                  EDIT - And any brand of frozen corn taquitos. Love me some taquitos!

                                                                                                                  1. DiGiorno rising crust pepperoni pizza.

                                                                                                                    Another onion dip made w/ mix and sour cream fan here too.

                                                                                                                    Pacific Natural Foods roasted red pepper and tomato soup

                                                                                                                    Any kind of hot dog

                                                                                                                    Sabra Hummis in Extremely Spicy, or Tribe Hummus in an "8 spice" or something like that flavor.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                      I bought a DiGiorno rising crust pizza for my picky son. I figured he'd love it, since he only likes crappy food, but nope, even that was too "gourmet" for him.

                                                                                                                    2. Ramen - right there with you. I usually cook 'em up with an egg swirled in at the end.

                                                                                                                      Kraft Easy Mac & Campbell's Soups - easy meals the kids can whip up themselves

                                                                                                                      State Fair Corn Dogs - the nostalgia factor

                                                                                                                      Tastykake Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes

                                                                                                                      Entenmann's Marble Loaf Cake

                                                                                                                      Store-bought cookies (sometimes)

                                                                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                        MMmm, corn dogs. Make them the State Fair minis and I'm a happy, happy little camper.

                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                          Never had the minis. I'll have to look for those!

                                                                                                                          1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                            They taste just like the minis at Cedar Point amusement park. :)

                                                                                                                        2. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                          I've never heard of adding an egg to Ramen at the end..I've seen people add mustard and ranch (A little ranch is good, but not a lot) but I've never heard of adding an egg! I'm going to try this next time! Thank you for the idea!

                                                                                                                          1. re: futurechef17

                                                                                                                            I see in your post below that you like to experiment with your ramen.
                                                                                                                            I think you'll enjoy experimenting with eggs. Quite a few variations can be done by varying time, temp and whole egg vs beaten.
                                                                                                                            Personally, I tend to add the egg about one minute into the process in order to keep my noodles from getting softer than I like. I keep the heat high if I'm drizzling in a beaten egg for "faux egg drop" and turn it down if I'm going for a "poached" whole egg.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Bryan Pepperseed

                                                                                                                              I've done frittatas with eggs and ramen.

                                                                                                                              Also crunched up ramen on salads.

                                                                                                                              Grind and coating for chicken.

                                                                                                                              1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                Thanks. Having chicken tonight. Might just give it a try.

                                                                                                                            2. re: futurechef17

                                                                                                                              My mom always has added eggs and spinach to her ramen.

                                                                                                                              1. re: futurechef17

                                                                                                                                A lot of 'authentic' ramen soups usually have half of a soft-boiled egg in them.

                                                                                                                            3. Campbell's Cream of Potato Soup, diluted with a small amount of milk (about 1/3 of the can)

                                                                                                                              Eggo Waffles. I have a Belgian Waffle maker, and could make my own waffles, but I'd be consuming a lot more than the 190 calories in two Eggos. I'm as fond of these for dessert as I am for breakfast.

                                                                                                                              Pop Tarts. Of course there are better pastries in any of the half dozen or so bakeries between my home and workplace, but a Pop Tart makes a nice Friday mid-morning treat when I don't have time to stop at a bakery, or when I can't budget more than 200 calories. I just wish they would bring back Dutch Apple.

                                                                                                                              1. Local brick oven pizzeria pizza.

                                                                                                                                Indian food.

                                                                                                                                Chinese dumplings (jiaozi), bought and stored frozen.

                                                                                                                                IKEA meatballs. Seriously, I'm not horsing around ;-)

                                                                                                                                1. Ramen Noodles are always good..not saying that because they are simple to make but because you can make them in so many ways (meaning adding spices to it for different style flavors) personally I love to add Natures Seasoning, white pepper, a little bit of garlic salt, SOMETIMES Pepreaka (I know I misspelled it but I do not feel like looking it up) after the noodles are done, strain and add some more natures seasoning and the flavor packet (IMO it works the best with the chicken flavor!) if you like mexican food then simply add ground cumin, natures seasoning, pepper and seasoned salt! you can also use cajun seasoning! :) after I discovered the power of my spices with ramen noodles I haven't made them plain again!

                                                                                                                                  1. Classico pasta sauce
                                                                                                                                    TJ boxed tomato & roasted pepper soup and chicken broth

                                                                                                                                    1. The Barrilla frozen dinners that you heat up in a skillet - they're like crack. There's a lobster ravioli one lurking in my freezer calling my name.

                                                                                                                                      1. Another vote for Kraft mac and cheese in the blue box. My spin is to cook only 1/2 to 2/3 of the noodles so that it's even more salty.

                                                                                                                                        And also another vote for Campbell's tomato--yes, mixed with milk, and served with a grilled cheese sandwich.

                                                                                                                                        And once every few years, Jell-O (any flavor) with Cool Whip. Not that this one even has a scratch equivalent...

                                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: Erika L

                                                                                                                                          I love Jello chocolate pudding with Cool Whip about once a year.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                            I like the "non instant" chocolate pudding (cooked on the stovetop). The best way to serve is complete with a nice thick skin on top!!!

                                                                                                                                            1. re: jbsiegel

                                                                                                                                              I *just* learned how to make pudding with nice chocolate chips, sugar, milk, cornstarch, and vanilla. So good, and not expensive at all. It takes me marginally more time than the instant, and better texture (and magnificently thick skin on top). Now I'm curious about what other flavors I could make. Maybe I'll start by just adding a little almond extract.

                                                                                                                                        2. Instant Chicken and Dumplings: A box of frozen pierogies (the kind filled with mashed potato) and some cut-up-into-chunks raw boneless skinless chicken breast, in a deep baking dish with chicken stock (from a carton or can) poured over to completely cover. Cover tightly with foil to make airtight and bake for an hour and a half.

                                                                                                                                          1. Spaghetti-Os with crushed up Ritz crackers
                                                                                                                                            Ramen noodles with a pb&j sammie
                                                                                                                                            Pop-tarts (toasted with butter)
                                                                                                                                            Pre-made French Onion dip and chips
                                                                                                                                            Vienna sausages

                                                                                                                                            1. My trashiest sandwich: Smokey Links (not the cocktail weenie-sized, the ones that are like a slim hot dog) steamed and sauteed with onion, Hellman's, mustard, and cheddar cheese on spongy white bread.

                                                                                                                                              Really embarrassed to admit this one: canned roast beef in gravy over instant mashed potatoes. With lots of butter. Sometimes I just want this for lunch or at 1 AM when I can't sleep. (I see now that I have friends in this thread.)

                                                                                                                                              Pizza rolls. Or frozen french bread pizza.

                                                                                                                                              Cream of soup made with milk or...cream. Add fresh snipped herbs and some lemon pepper. Drink as is, or with toast crumbled up in it.

                                                                                                                                              Instant pudding, a whole bowl. If I can hold out, mock eclair/boston cream pie made with instant vanilla with extra vanilla extract added.


                                                                                                                                              Oh, dear.

                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: scoyart

                                                                                                                                                Wait...so, like, Li'l Smokies have a big brother named Smokey Links? How have I never known this?!? You put that sandwich on a potato bun, and we might be soulmates.

                                                                                                                                                Also right there with ya on the instant pudding. I had a pretty hardcore pudding habit when I was in grad school...now I won't keep the stuff in the house because I will eat the whole stinkin' thing once it's made.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                                                                                  Smoky Links rock. A few years ago OM made a sort of hybrid between a Smoky Link and a Classic Wiener. It was part of their XXL line. Sadly, they only made it one year. It was SO good! :(

                                                                                                                                              2. I have two:
                                                                                                                                                Shake N Bake Pork Chops and Campbell's Alphabet vegetable soup :-)

                                                                                                                                                1. Stoufer's Creamed Chipped Beef

                                                                                                                                                  1. Frozen pizza

                                                                                                                                                    Pizza rolls


                                                                                                                                                    Frozen Chinese dumplings

                                                                                                                                                    Dip made from ranch dressing and hot sauce

                                                                                                                                                    White eagle Hot Dogs!

                                                                                                                                                    Sweet Italian sausages!

                                                                                                                                                    Ben and Jerry's ice cream!
                                                                                                                                                    (Despite having a ice cream maker)

                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                    1. re: YAYME

                                                                                                                                                      I've been trying my hardest to make from scratch pizza rolls that taste just as good as my guilty pleasure of totinos pizza rolls.

                                                                                                                                                      but I can't and I'm so mad about it!

                                                                                                                                                      I love Ben and Jerry's as well. Classic favorite is Cherry Garcia newer favorite is Americone Dream.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                                        M-m-mmm, pizza rolls. :)

                                                                                                                                                        I've made taquitos and mozzarella sticks before, but frankly, there's little taste improvement with a lot of labor. I've decided it's not worth the hassle and now buy them when I want them. I imagine pizza rolls would be much the same.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                          exactly. I was trying to get away from highly processed foods but maybe those pizza rolls will just have to remain a guilty pleasure.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                                            Our Super Bowl nachos were fake. Heat up some Hormel hot chili with beans, pour it over chips, top with shredded cheddar, stick under broiler for a minute.

                                                                                                                                                            Chili nachos, yum!

                                                                                                                                                            BTW - I've tried this with homemade chili... no dice. It's got to be Hormel Hot or the taste is just wrong. We do shred the cheese ourselves. We're not barbarians. :0

                                                                                                                                                    2. Tater Tots.

                                                                                                                                                      Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup, I swear, it's the only one with magical healing powers.

                                                                                                                                                      1. Last night I made a crockpot meal of chicken and "dumplings". The "dumplings" were Pillsbury Grands flaky biscuits that I baked in the oven then poured the chicken and sauce on. Both my SO and his friend were raving about how good the biscuits were.

                                                                                                                                                        So, another addition, Pillsbury Grands biscuits.

                                                                                                                                                        1. Fried chicken (Church's).

                                                                                                                                                          Trader Joe's Mac & Cheese.

                                                                                                                                                          Safeway deli's broccoli salad.

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: sydthekyd

                                                                                                                                                              I didn't actually intend to list them as a group, lol.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Frozen French fries
                                                                                                                                                            Frozen onion rings
                                                                                                                                                            Frozen pizzas ( i have a few different brands I buy, none are fabulous, but ehh)
                                                                                                                                                            Frozen dinner rolls (there's a brand I like, white and green packaging I think?)
                                                                                                                                                            Farm Rich Mozeralla sticks
                                                                                                                                                            Sabra Hummus
                                                                                                                                                            I like some dishes made with cream of whatever soup
                                                                                                                                                            Progresso's Tomato Basil soup
                                                                                                                                                            Yeah to the French onion dip
                                                                                                                                                            Marie's Blue Cheese salad dressing and the Italian salad dressing made with the seasoning packet you buy
                                                                                                                                                            Grands biscuits
                                                                                                                                                            Tater tots
                                                                                                                                                            My new one, Wegmans has a fabulous jarred pesto sauce
                                                                                                                                                            I'll also use jarred pasta sauce in a pinch. If I'm making spaghetti I'll make it, but I'm not making homemade marinera for my frozen mozzeralla sticks mentioned above.
                                                                                                                                                            And really, don't even get me started down the snack aisle.

                                                                                                                                                            I thought of more. I usually buy already shredded cheese and I have a green can of Parmesan in my fridge. I prefer the taste of freshly grated, but this is cheap and sometimes I'm poor.

                                                                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                              You do add meat etc. to the Manwich, right ?

                                                                                                                                                              Just checking. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                  Bartender, gimme a Manwich, on the rocks ! :-D

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                    I have always assumed the directions on the can read, "Just add Man."

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Wahooty

                                                                                                                                                                      "It's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A., it's fun to stay at the Y.M.C.A.. They have everything for you men to enjoy,
                                                                                                                                                                      You can hang out with all the boys ..."

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                  I'm so with you on the Marie's BC. I know how to make blue cheese dressing but it's just not that much better and it's almost the same price and less prep time as opposed to making it. I do make it if I feel it is a major component but I have have zero issues with using Marie's or one other brand, I want to say Lighthouse. I find the cost-benefit to be much more in favor if homemade with vinnaigrette.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ErnieD

                                                                                                                                                                    I agree too. I often make my own but Marie's is great.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: ErnieD

                                                                                                                                                                      Yes, it is fabulous! You might also find the same cost-benefit with the Wegmans jarred pesto I also mentioned, if you have a Wegmans in your area. :)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                        I have used Marie's Blue Cheese Vinaigrette for years. So delicious on a salad with romaine.....thinly sliced purple onions.... red seedless grapes...a bit of smoked ham or chicken and maybe a sprinkle of toasted nuts.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                      In my younger days I would stack up frozen cooked onion rings and pour hot Cheese Whiz in the hole.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                                                                                        And now? You have a different technique? :)

                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                                                                                                        Marie's creamy Italian with garlic dressing is so good.

                                                                                                                                                                      3. Barber's frozen breaded Chicken Cordon Bleu. Seriously good for no effort whatsoever.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. Nachos made with Amy's canned refried beans, grated sharp cheddar, scallions and black olives from a can.

                                                                                                                                                                          Any new Trader Joe's frozen food (this is really hit or miss--some are good and some are really gross)

                                                                                                                                                                          Cup o Noodles, with the nasty little freeze dried veggies and about 1/4 of the powder dumped out

                                                                                                                                                                          Triscuits and Cabot extra sharp cheddar, along with a lot of red wine, preferably a cheap Pinot Noir.

                                                                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Isolda

                                                                                                                                                                            Packaged instant ramen are VERY bad for you, loaded with fats, sat. fats, sodium, etc.:



                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                              Um, did you note the subject of this thread? I dare say 99% of the foods listed here are very bad for us.

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                Absolutely. I never intimated nor suggested all other foods listed here are healthy by any means.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Kraft Dinner

                                                                                                                                                                            Campbell's Tomato Soup

                                                                                                                                                                            Instant mashed potatoes

                                                                                                                                                                            jarred queso dip ~~ mix w/bag of frozen corn and bake.

                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                              Funny how everyone who says "Kraft Dinner" is instantly recognizable as a Canadian ;-)


                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                                We've always called it Kraft Dinner. Folks are from the midwest, I'm from California.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Susangria

                                                                                                                                                                                  Ooops sorry.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Irony is I call it Kraft mac & cheese and I'm in BC.

                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                                  Born in New Jersey, raised in Southern California. Always called it Kraft Dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: escondido123

                                                                                                                                                                                    Interesting. What does the box say there? Ours says "Kraft Dinner"

                                                                                                                                                                                3. re: laliz

                                                                                                                                                                                  On the Campbell's Tomato Soup: I always grow an excess of tomatoes every summer, and I'm always looking for a recipe that tastes just like Campbell's Tomato Soup! No gourmet ingredients, no special techniques--I want to make tomato soup like Campbell's from my homegrown 'maters.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                                                                                                                                                    pine time,

                                                                                                                                                                                    I've made this clone before and it's awfully close, if not identical. It's up to you to convert your homegrowns to sauce and paste. :)


                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thanks, DuffyH! I can do tomato sauce & paste, no problem. Will give this a try this summer. I'm already counting the days till 'mater-planting (usually get the 1st plant in by end of March).

                                                                                                                                                                                4. Enchilada sauce. It is great to have that on the pantry shelf, tortillas, I can make my own but again it is a convenience thing. Mary Kitchen corned or roast beef hash. I always have Kitchen Basics stocks on hand.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Querencia

                                                                                                                                                                                      Made me think of Pillsbury flaky layer biscuits. Also Ore-Ida hash browns skillet fried in butter, plus smoked oysters with Tabasco sauce and a touch of salt, Geisha in a can works for me. I also prefer Del Monte sloppy joes over Hunts Manwich.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                                                                                                                          Smoked oysters are sheer culinary joy. How you have the restraint to actually take the time to add Tabasco and salt is beyond comprehension. I immediately open the can....stab with either a tiny little 3 prong fork or a wooden ka bob skewer and inhale. People have suggested that serving them on a crisp whole grain cracker with cream cheese is delicious too.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                                                            Pre-fry up some bacon. Cut into 1/2" pieces, Open can of smoked oysters. Poke toothpick through oyster, then bacon. Grab that glass of riesling .......

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                                              Same set up would work with seasoned flour dusted pan fried (in the bacon grease) chicken livers! Good Grief I need a cold shower just thinking about the fatty tender lush goodness.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                Back when salad bars were in all the restaurants, better ones would have smoked oysters with all the different salad components. Smoked oysters on a big, yummy salad are delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                                                              What's your favorite brand of smoked oysters? I love them but haven't eaten them in years.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jeanne

                                                                                                                                                                                                Whatever is at the store when I am in a buying mood. Geisha and Crown Prince are delicious. I don't treat myself to them very often because they are so rich but I love them.

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                                                                                                                                I had my first smoked oysters midway through a long, tough camping trip (one of the naturalist guides with us pulled out her secret stash as a treat to share). I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Somehow, since then, they haven't measured up to that one blissful moment up in the Sierra Nevadas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: khh1138

                                                                                                                                                                                                  My first one was with my dad I was about five. I was a *goner*@ first bite. Even as a tiny kid I wanted the luxurious foods:(

                                                                                                                                                                                          2. Kozy Shack rice pudding. It's so good, I can get past the misuse of the letter "K."

                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Kraft Mac and Cheese from the box

                                                                                                                                                                                              Stouffers scalloped apples

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I have so many favorites...

                                                                                                                                                                                                All sorts of ramen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Tostitos Queso in a jar.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Hamburger helper.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup.
                                                                                                                                                                                                All sorts of things made with onion soup mix.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Stove Top stuffing.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Packet gravy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Green bean casserole (made only with 'convenience' items)

                                                                                                                                                                                                14 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                  <Tostitos Queso in a jar.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't like to yuck on someone's yum, but that stuff is just nasty. Proper queso needs to be made from scratch, using the finest process cheese food. Velveeta is really the only way to go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I mean, we've got to show respect for the chip, right? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                    That stuff is great :) Or at least I thought so a few years ago.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                      My friend, you haven't lived until you've tried Kraft Mac n Cheese with extra Tostitos queso dumped in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oddly, I've never tried Kraft, nor any boxed mac n' cheese. I grew up on Mom's stovetop Velveeta version and have no desire to broaden my culinary horizons. I do make the sauce in the microwave, but otherwise it's the same.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        but I'll take your word for it. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: joonjoon

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the best way to doctor up Kraft Dinner is with a big spoon of salsa. Yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: ErnieD

                                                                                                                                                                                                              What's Ro-tel? I've seen it mentioned before, but never asked.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It is a brand of canned tomatoes with chile peppers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: CanadaGirl

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I grew up in Southern California, and never heard of it until I married my husband and visited his family in Arkansas. It's a staple there, especially when mixed with melted Velveeta cheese (another thing I had never eaten before).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We live in LA, but we can and do find a few cans of RoTel in a few grocery stores, and the Velveeta squirred away at the end of some aisle, to mix up a batch for my husband for special occasions like New Years, the World Series, etc. It's inexplicably delicious. And should really only be eaten maybe twice a year.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: khh1138

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I grew up in SoCal, too. Mom's from the midwest, so Velveeta was a staple in our home. A guilty pleasure is still a can of chili mixed with Velveeta. If you've had the skillet queso with chips at Chili's you've had this treat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Dude and I like to eat it a couple of times a year - for dinner.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I think I know what's going to happen to that can of chili I have in the cupboard! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: khh1138

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oddly enough, we never eat canned chili as a food in and of itself. It's an ingredient in something else that's even more calorie-laden, always cheesy and always deliciously unhealthy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Conversely, homemade chili, although mine is thick enough, is no substitute for canned. It's one of life's little mysteries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Campbell's French Onion soup. With all the discussion of other Campbell's varieties perhaps nobody like this one. That surprises me. I like this well enough not to even have attempted real French onion soup on my own.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Hot Dogs on white buns with canned BBQ Beans

                                                                                                                                                                                                              alternated sliced and heated in warmed canned BBQ beans over rice

                                                                                                                                                                                                              so wrong

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Baker's Corner cheesecake from a box! I make little individual cheesecakes using muffin liners and freeze them before putting on my topping - usually cherry filling. For the Super Bowl I used mini marshmallows and mini-chocolate chips as my topping and it was a huge hit!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Rao's marinara sauce. you can simmer chicken in it, scallops, shrimp etc. and always comes out perfect. at $7-9 a jar not cheap but still is cheaper than a dinner for 3 for a plate of marinara and spaghetti at a local italian restaurant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I love Rao's balsamic vinegar and have been tempted to try the marinara. Thanks for the tip! :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Duffy, the only other Rao's flavor I tried was the eggplant one. All are very good and a good base for a quick dinner. I add sauteed chicken, shrimp, veggies. etc. no need to add more flavorings or spices. sauce comes out perfect every time. there's threads on CH on how expensive it is etc. and one should open a can of tomatoes and start from scratch. But as I said, if you do the math it hell of a lot cheaper than going out to dinner. I can use the sauce 2 times to serve 3 people.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: trolley

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thanks, trolley.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I agree about the homemade tomato sauce, but we all face those times when we either don't have our sauce already made, or don't feel like going to the store to buy the tomatoes. I'd love to have a jarred sauce that I felt was good enough to serve my family.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll grab a jar soon. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Trader Joe's cornbread mix. Bake up a batch, buy a family pack of Church's fried chicken. Some Safeway deli 'slaw. A 6-pack of Diet Pepsi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mark me as not-a-fan of TJ cornbread mix. Mine was quite dry and the kernels were too chewy. Do you change the directions / add other ingredients? I could go for the rest of that meal, though!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agree about the dryness. I actually put in a can of (drained) corn niblets, as well as adding about 1/2 cup of plain yogurt, which adds moisture and richness without the high fat.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I buy a packet of taco seasoning for the meat of my choice.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Put it in a casserole dish with a handful of frozen corn and pour over the Trader Joes corn bread batter. Bake it off until the cornbread looks done.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Serve it up with sour cream, avocado or any other Mexican condiments.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Nothing made from scratch there and it's very well received.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Annief123

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Interesting dish, I'm not familiar with that style of preparation. Is the meat raw when you put it on the CB batter ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. I love Maruchan Ramen Creamy Chicken. As a kid, this always came with a chunk of government cheese and pickled vlasic pepper rings. I use Tillamook, the closest I can get to that govt cheese flavor and texture. Also Kraft Dinner, though my more expensive boxed meal favorite is Amy's Whole Wheat Shells and Cheddar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Campbells bean and bacon soup. Also the split pea.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I love rotel and velveeta dip with packaged salty corn chips. (velveeta is not hard to find in Kansas City)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i also really like canned hot hormel tamales.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Tina's Red Hot Beef Burrito

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pizza Rolls

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. A frozen dinner. This happens once a year.. where I just can't hack it to make dinner and instead buy a 'frozen dinner.'

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In the past.... like years ago:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            --canned frosting (straight from the can..)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            --Boboli pizza crust with boboli pizza sauce
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            --Frozen sweet potato fries

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            16 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              <--canned frosting (straight from the can..)>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cream cheese or double chocolate.... yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I still sometimes get a jones for spaghettios with meatballs. Then I o.d. on them and they taste disgusting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let's hope we don't someday find you unconscious in a hotel room, lying on the bathroom floor that's littered with empty SpaghettiO w. Meatball cans ......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  At least I'll have a smile on my face. An orange-tinged smile, but still. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  <--canned frosting (straight from the can..)>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cream cheese or double chocolate.... yum!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've been known to do this. Your brand of choice?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Leepa

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    There's more than one brand? Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But in a pinch, the Pillsbury doesn't completely suck. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Well I just Googled that out of curiosity, and cannot in good conscience see you deprived of adding some variety to your 'sweet' life .....


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Now you have the trifecta of cake frostings.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey thanks! I would absolutely buy Duncan Hines. He's got a killer devil's food cake mix. I don't ever bother to make that one from scratch, his is so moist and dark.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Duncan Hines seems to be *the* defacto brand in Canada, followed by Betty Crocker. I don't ever even remember seeing Pillsbury frosting on the store shelves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Someone might have to do a taste-test or comparison of all three brands...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'd love to do it. Let me run out and stock up on insulin....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Believe it or not: my family swears by the Sam's Club frosting.. it's even more slutty-delicious than canned-frosting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Is it sold in cans, or are we talking about the stuff they use to frost their cakes?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We just celebrated Mom's 80th B'day with a Sam's carrot cake. Loved it! All gone!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    This is the frosting they put on the custom-order cakes. (I believe it is individually put on the custom-cakes--whereas carrot cake, the behemoth chocolate cake, the german cake, and coconut cake are all pre-made.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      <This is the frosting they put on the custom-order cakes. (I believe it is individually put on the custom-cakes-->

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      That would probably be the stuff that was on Mom's cake. It was a round carrot cake, decorated with roses and her name. It didn't suck. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: GraceW

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Slutty-delicious ? Explain thy self ! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          LOL. Duncan HInes has been my go to. I'll check out the others.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Frozen tater tots. My very first time eating 'em was in high school, at Taco Bell. So for years I only knew them as Mexi Fries. Until my college graduating year I started dating this gal who originally hailed from SoCal. We were at a (guess where ?) at a mall food court and she said my Mexi Fries are just tater tots. I disagreed. We somehow had a big argument over it, didn't talk to each other for 2 weeks.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: LotusRapper

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      At BK we can get Tater Tot slices. I think they're called hash brown crowns or some silliness. No matter what they're called, they're nom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I like to have them for breakfast with a cheeseburger, plain. And a Coke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "I like to have them for breakfast with a cheeseburger, plain."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Breakfast of champions ?!? :-O

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Graham crackers sandwiched with canned frosting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. French fries, pizza, ice cream, chips, coke!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Seasoned canned beans that you just heat & eat without having to add seasoning like Luck's or Margaret Holmes brands

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Canned pork & beans - I always season these up

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Marie Callender's Chicken pot pie, only eat about once a year

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Uncle Ben's or Rice A Roni Rice Mixes - a few times a year

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Frozen tortelloni or ravioli- I'm not a pasta maker (yet) so I buy them frozen and doctor them up

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pasta sauce - I keep a couple of jars for emergency

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          But to be honest, I cook from scratch 80% of the time. I don't make my own bread 80% of the time. Sometimes I just want fried chicken from the supermarket deli because they just make it better than me.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            <Sometimes I just want fried chicken from the supermarket deli because they just make it better than me.>

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            EVERYBODY makes better fried chicken than me, except for KFC. What happened to them? We used to like it, but the last time we went it was icky. One of us had strips, the other some wings. Both were bad. We hadn't been in several years, we think something changed. Maybe it was our taste.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The supermarket stuff is pretty darn good. :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I make decent fried chicken but I can stop by the store anytime they're open and they have it hot and fresh cause they cook it all day long. It's perfectly seasoned and @ $5.99 for 8 pieces, the plus is that I don't have to use my stove or wash those dishes to enjoy it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              KFC used to be the only fried chicken I would buy, but that was years ago and as you said, it is not like it used to be....too greasy and bland.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: Cherylptw

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm with you on the Marie Callender's, when on sale I pick a few up. To my shame, I also fiend the cheap beef pot pies, like Banquet or Stouffers and occasionally buy these, as it was one of the better tasting things in the rotation of food as a kid. A few times I have made Salisbury steak from Fanny Farmer, as I cannot bring myself to buy the frozen dinner, which was another childhood favorite.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. I usually use Hazan's marinara as my "base sauce" but recently used one can of tomatoes to two cans of "Italian style" stewed tomatoes as a base for sauce in lasagne and realized I'd found a new go-to sauce recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              There's something so cheap about them, but it was sooooo much better than my regular sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I am shame, personified.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: shanagain

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tar me with that 'shame' brush, too. I used to cook my tomato sauce all day, first sautéing onions, garlic, adding fresh herbs at the end... it was a labor of love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Then one day I was in a hurry, grabbed a can of San Marzano tomatoes, pureed them, tossed in some dried onion flakes, minced garlic from the jar in the fridge and some Italian seasoning. Left it on a slow simmer and OMG! Just like you, I've got me a new sauce.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That it only takes 5 minutes doesn't make me a bad person, does it? :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: DuffyH

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Remember the scene in the movie Tootsie, when Dustin Hoffman and Terri Garr were in the diner and he poured ketchup into a glass of hot water and drank it like it was tomato soup ? Loved that !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Thought about a few more.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Duncan Hines Brownie Mix

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Enchilada sauce out of the can

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                We make our own BBQ sauces but I'm a sucker for sweet baby rays.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There is a Top Chef Frozen meal I like, It's the ravioli and chicken. It's probably the best one of the bunch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What are those Pillsbury biscuits that you can pull the layer off of?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sometimes I cut the sweetness of my cakes with a middle cool whip

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Sandwich_Sister

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Pillsbury flaky layer biscuits, also great leftover buttered and browned in the toaster oven.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. My boyfriend and I have been addicted to Bacon & Sour Cream chips lately. So bad for me!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. So I have possible new one that I will be making this weekend to try. Boxed Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits!! I am super excited. I read the reviews on Walmart's website (yeah I know, probably real culinary geniuses posting on that site, but still...) and the reviews were positive, so I'm hopeful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Pimento cheese is basically a staple at our house. You can go classic with it and put it on white bread or saltines. Put it on whole grain pita bread from the store (which I also love.) Sometimes on some Tostitos with Tabasco. Heated in the microwave to melt the cheese. YUM.