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10 Recipes That Should Have Stayed on the Back of the Box

February 15, 2010

I’m a guy, which grants me a near-total inability to cook. Nevertheless, I still enjoy scoping out back-of-the-box recipes. Not so much for something to make for dinner, I just want to see some weird and creepy concoction the marketing division cooked up to justify your purchase.

Some are funny, some look tasty, and most are bland…but once in a while, when Stevie, the night janitor, knocks something over in the corporate kitchen, they deliver some culinary nightmares…horrors that turn even the iron-cast of guts. So, if you can stomach it, prepare yourself for…10 Recipes That Should Have Stayed on the Back of the Box

recipe11. Buddig’s Holiday Butterball

I was making a ham and cheese sandwich when I noticed this on the back of the package, and the sheer disgust I felt inspired me to immediately sit down with the keyboard to bang this out and make everyone else suffer with me.

It looks like someone coated a bouncy ball in adhesives and tossed it unforgivingly into the slums of Mexico City. Even Indiana Jones would soil his pants seeing this bad boy bearing down on him. Is it a 3-D pizza? The cross-section of Cthulu? In any case, I’m keepin’ it away from open flames and pregnant women.

What If I Ate the Whole Damn Thing? 1,900 calories and please, can we just move on?

recipes12. Chex Holiday Cutout

I had to recheck the calorie count on this one, I just couldn’t believe it, but it’s there, folks: 24 cookies and 150 calories per. I guess it should feel honored taking one of he healthiest snack foods out there and turning it into a towering beast of slick, buttered cardiac arrest, but Schwan, farther down the list, does them one better.

Still, Chex Holiday Cutout is creepy enough without that distinction. The title alone is pretty grotesque (Cutout? Seriously? You’re using that word in a recipe?), and so is trying to pass off a blatant copy of a Rice Krispie Treat, even the unnecessary patriotism, but what really gets me shriveled is that black frosting…gruesome.

What If I Ate the Whole Damn Thing? 3,600 calories and your cardiologist on speed-dial.

recipe43. McCormick Slow Cookers Cajun Jambalaya

I had to put something on here where the product is clearly the most insignificant ingredient in the recipe. In fact, its contribution was so small, they had to add another McCormick product so their seasoning wouldn’t go by unnoticed.

And even though the Slow Cookers Cajun Jambalaya, aside from being a huge pain in the ass to type out, has the most professional-looking photo, the dish looks disturbingly eww. The combo of chicken, sausage, and shrimp likewise creeps me out. I like booze, dogs, and women, but not mixed together (oh Spring Break ’98…).

It also has the most competentingest laid-out recipe and even a four-hour cooking time (the longer it takes to prepare, the fancier it is, right?)—it’s like McCormick went treacherously out of their way to distract you from realizing that their product is practically useless in this dish.

What If I Ate the Whole Damn Thing? 2,500 calories and curious feeling of emptiness

4. Armour’s Creamy Sesame Burger

“Creamy” and “burger” are two words that worry me to see so close together, but then again, this is the company that brought you Pork Brains in Milk Gravy.

The only thing vaguely healthy about this recipe is the tsp. of dry mustard and the vague reference to tomatoes. At least they were decent enough not to include a picture. If you’re dying for a visual, just check out those pork brains again…that should give you a *shudder* idea…

What If I Ate the Whole Damn Thing? 2,200 calories and more cholesterol than…ick…Pork Brains in Milk Gravy (for the record, it’s 3500mg or 1170% of your daily allotment).

recipe55. Schwan’s Glazed Carrots

Had to include something moderately healthy on the list, and what’s more creepy than cooked carrots? Fortunately, Schwan was somehow able to make it horrendously fattening by including butter and the creepiest of all sugars: brown.

In fact everything about this dish oozes out and stains the rug creepy: the texture…the texture…ecchhhh; the swarthy combination of flavors; even the recipe is sketchy:

1. Mix carrots with butter and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl.

2. Cover and cook in microwave for 8 to 9 minutes. Stir halfway through cooking time.

They don’t even tell you how much butter and sugar you should use. (For the record, I used a half-cup in calculating the calories.)

What If I Ate the Whole Damn Thing? 1,600 calories and the need for extensive therapy…or an burning desire to mince around your local preschool…likely both.

recipe66. Danger Dog Done Wright

I figured Beef Magnates (wow, can you imagine putting that on your business card? You’d be such a badass even International Swashbucklers would bow down to you [plus, switch the “g” and the “n” in “magnate” and you’d have “Beef Mangate,” quite possibly the manliest name since  “Clint Titanium-Testicles-Wolf” {whoa, imagine a business card with “Beef ManGate: Beef Magnate” <and if you’re wondering, autocorrect capitalizes the “g” when I write out “ManGate”>}]) Wright would have some manly-yet-odd recipe, and they didn’t disappoint.

For one, they win Best Title Award for the powerhouse use of alliteration, punning on the brand name and the use of “danger” in a food. For two, the dish is so manly they show only a portion of it in the picture. That’s right, you can’t capture the whole thing on film.

What If I Ate the Whole Damn Thing? 1,800 calories and a Plus 17 to your Manliness.

recipe77. Ro*Tel King Ranch Chicken

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m uncomfortable eating anything whose name includes a symbol you see on the telephone…doubly so when it looks like something the cat threw up and then left on the doorstep.*

The description’s equally creepy: “creamy, cheesy and easy”—it sounds like a cross between a prostitute and Don Knotts.

*even the name “Ro*Tel” sounds like a phone company—these guys have a serious case of corporate mis-identity

What If I Ate the Whole Damn Thing? 3,000 calories, and please press * for more options.

recipe88. orange-mocha minis

Jell-O’s just creepy by nature (it’s made from hooves, you know), but combining it, oranges, chocolate, and patriotism is more unsettling than this picture of me. However, all that can easily be forgiven due to the fact it has booze…that and you have to enter your age to view this recipe on Kraft’s website.

What If I Ate the Whole Damn Thing? 1,450 and a queasy feeling of patriotism.

recipe99. Pizza Ria Poppacrna (Poppacoronary)

If Conagra foods didn’t deserve mega props for squeezing in three of their brands into one recipe; if they didn’t get Super Mega Sexy Props for finding a way to make a snack food that combined butter, popcorn butter, more salt than the Indian Ocean, and Slim Jims (and also sneak in cheese); they’d be on the cover of TIME for doing all that and still making a snack food that’s only 800 calories. I nominate this snack food for canonization.

What If I Ate the Whole Damn Thing? 800 (Eight-freaking-hundred) calories, and the likelihood that the sodium content will use up every ounce of water in your body.

recipe10 10. SPAM Hawaiian Pizza

No list of creepy back-of-the-box recipes would be complete without some mention of SPAM. I spent all of 5 minutes scouring the SPAMsite for the most chill-inducing image I could find, and the Hawaiian Pizza, creepy on its own, entered the realm of “I Feel Icy in My Nether Regions” creepy with SPAM SCHLORPEd (honestly, the act of serving SPAM needs its own verb, and I nominate “SCHLORPE”) on top.

What If I Ate the Whole Damn Thing? 2,250 calories, a pale and sickly look, and, according to the recipe’s website, you Break the Monotony™ (no joke, folks, SPAM has trademarked the phrase, “Break the Monotony™”)


8 Responses to “ 10 Recipes That Should Have Stayed on the Back of the Box ”

  1. pancake on February 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm


  2. Nat on February 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Yeah-ick and double ick!

  3. Sara on February 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Remember that Simpson’s episode when Bart & Lisa pushed out all the pimento-y things in that loaf? They all landed in Budding’s Butterball.

  4. anncine on February 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    “The combo of chicken, sausage, and shrimp likewise creeps me out. I like booze, dogs, and women, but not mixed together (oh Spring Break ’98…).”–Fantastic.

  5. Matt Huntley on February 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    … someone call 911, my heart just stopped reading about that food.

    But I’m totally going to have to make a “Danger Dog”.

  6. Heidi on February 15, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    [vomiting just a little in own mouth]
    Matt, methinks we’ll get along just swimmingly…

  7. The Pink Hulk on February 16, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Interesting article, but you can really only use the word “creepy” so many times before it loses its effect…especially when you’re discussing food. And for the record, you used it 9 times. Nine. In one article.

  8. Sarah on February 16, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    Thank you after seeing those 10 recipes I don’t think I will desire to eat again. . . EVER.