Serious Eats: Talk

Guily Pleasures and other Embarrassing Pantry Items

On the heels of top 10 things you'd never have in the kitchen.... what are some of the things you keep around, even though you're a little embarrassed by it?

Me?

1. Pasteurized processed cheese food slices. I prefer it on sandwiches to good cheese; I don't know why. I blame my mother for denying me in my youth.
2. Sugar-coated cereal. Golden Grahams is my favorite, Capt'n Crunch and Cinnamon Toast Crunch are close seconds.
3. Individual Jello cups, the kind with the fruit in them.
4. Instant lemonade mix. It's my roommate's, I swear! Never mind that I make cups of the stuff as well....
5. Lipton iced tea bags - this hangup, I suspect, is uniquely my own. I'm a tea snob, and I always feel a little dirty buying Lipton tea dust. It's like a wine snob buying Boone's Farm.
6. Seasoning salt. I resisted the stuff for years, but now I find it kind of useful on things like chicken breasts and french fries.
7. Canned cream of mushroom soup. Like the French's onions, it's really only used twice a year, for green bean casserole. Yet, for some reason, it's in the pantry year-round....
8. Instant mashed potatoes. Okay, I'm lazy. And it makes an acceptable side with a little sour cream and garlic powder.
9. Bisquick. I don't use it for biscuits or any other advertised usage, I use it for those trashy appetizers that just don't taste right without it.
10. Bush's chili starter. Please see: lazy. But it's also surprisingly good.

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