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Guilty Pleasures: Foods I Hate to Admit I Love

As I’ve unpacked boxes in our new house this week, I’ve had a lot of time to think, and with not much food in my house, my thoughts have often turned to food…

I like to think of myself as having refined tastes when it comes to food, but I’ve been pondering some of my favorite recipes. Now, I’m not so sure. I really enjoy a good Jell-O salad (no shredded carrots or lime Jell-O though). I prefer Miracle Whip to mayonnaise on sandwiches, and I can eat a whole batch of no-bake cookies by myself (they’re made with oatmeal—that makes them healthy, I figure).

Despite having never lived in Utah, I have some decidedly Mormon Utah tastes. I’d like to blame my mom, but she really is a gourmet cook and never served such food. In fact, she cringes when she sees the Miracle Whip in my fridge.

Where did these taste preferences come from? Does it indicate a lack of sophistication? Could anyone enjoy the following recipe as much as I do?…

White Trash Dip

1 can Hormel Chili (I prefer the vegetarian version)
1 small block of Velveeta

Put both in a bowl and microwave until the Velveeta melts. Then, stir. Serve with tortilla chips.

You’ll occasionally have to put this back in the microwave. It tastes kind of plasticey when it gets less than lukewarm.

Special thanks to my friend, Heather for introducing me to such a delightful treat!


EmilyCC lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her spouse and three children. She currently serves as a stake Just Serve specialists, and she recently returned to school to become a nurse. She is a former editor of Exponent II and a founding blogger at The Exponent.

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  1. Mark IV says:

    As proud white trash, I agree that your version of chili con queso is truly delightful.

    Have you ever put Fritos on a plate, poured a can of chili over them, topped with shredded cheddar, microwaved the entire mess, then eaten it with a spoon? If not, you don’t know what you are missing. That dish has kept many missionaries alive.

  2. Deborah says:

    I am ashamed to admit that, as a direct result of this post, I will be making chili dogs for dinner . . .

  3. jana says:

    Your white trash dip recipe was one of the very first things I ever cooked on my own–except I used Ro-Tel tomatoes instead of chili. 🙂

    However, since my childhood days of velveeta and corn dogs I’ve become quite a healthy eater/cook. A few weeks ago my kids (aged 9 & 11) had twinkies for the very first time. They didn’t like them at all. Too sweet and oily, I think. Their favorite ‘junk foods’ are turkey jerky and chocolate pie (a concoction I make with tofu, peanut butter and honey). When we make jello it is almost always the Japanese-style kanten that comes from seaweed (not Jell-o brand because it’s from animals)

    Somedays I wonder if I’ve totally messed up my kids–is it really possible to be American and not know Hostess snacks??

  4. EmilyCC says:

    Sorry to have not responded for a while, we haven’t had consistent Internet access for about two weeks! Mark, I will definitely have to try the frito microwave idea.

    Jana, where do you get the Japanese jello? I must admit, if I think too much about what makes Jell-O congeal, I do get a little grossed out.

  5. jana says:

    You can get Japanese jello from an Asian market. It’s often called kanten or agar agar. You can usually find it at health food stores, too. Generally it’s not flavored like regular jello–you add your own fruit juice or diced fruit (it’s great with a bit of almond extract and fresh strawberries!)

    It’s a slightly different texture than regular jello, but not too much different. There is also a much greater variety in preparation–some of my favorite flavors have milk or chocolate mixed in. There’s also an awesome, very Japanese, style recipe where you mix it with red beans. 🙂