Falling Off the Wagon

For years now we’ve been good. We make things from scratch. We buy organic. We get our eggs from our chickens. We keep our high fructose corn syrup consumption to a minimum. Most of that was just avoiding processed foods.

Well, that was then, this is now.

We went to Schnuck’s today. There were lots of 10 for $10 deals which appeal to the grocery store hopping cheapskate my mother raised me to be. We were behaving for the most part. We got the makings for Rubens, phyllo to make chicken pies, milk for corn flakes. We really were being good.

But then, it happened.

There they were, just sitting in their boxes on the bottom shelf behind the glass in the frozen food section. We stopped. We looked at each other. We looked at the price. 10 for $5?!?! We just had to.

It's a Patio party!
It’s a Patio party!

Oh, Patio burritos, how did I ever forsake you?

For both of us, Patio burritos are processed nostalgia. For me, they are the taste of coming home from school in the afternoon. For Paul, they’re being in college and eating cheap. For Patric, they’re totally new. We’re corrupting our child. But in a tasty way.

I can make burritos. I can actually make fresh flour tortillas, homemade refried beans, ground beef seasoned from scratch. They’re good. But they’re not the same thing as a Patio burrito. I can’t make tortillas that thin, and I can’t make the meat just disappear into beany goop where no real beans are even visible. It sounds like it should be horrible. But it’s not. It’s so very not.

Knipple Family Patio Burritos

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Serving Size: 1 burrito

Yes, I feel like Sandra Lee. Just without the booze.

You can get all fancy and put your burrito in the oven to get it crispy. I always did the 2 minutes in the microwave first so that it wouldn't have to be in the oven as long. If there was real salsa, I put it on after. BUT if I had those little packets of Taco Bell hot sauce, I put that on it before the cheese and let it get hot, too.

And yes, you have to feel deliciously guilty when you eat these.


  • 1 Patio frozen burrito of your choice
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salsa


  1. Nuke a single Patio burrito in the middle of a plate for 2 1/2 minutes. The burrito must be seam-side down to prevent having to clean the microwave.
  2. Open the microwave and, without removing the plate, sprinkle on cheese to taste.
  3. Nuke it for another 30 seconds.
  4. Get the plate out of the microwave and scream because it is hot like fire. Put the plate down quickly in the microwave.
  5. Suck on your burnt fingers and cry a little bit. Horrible words muttered under your breath are perfectly acceptable.
  6. Go back to get your burrito out with a towel.
  7. Pour salsa over the burrito.
  8. Wait for it to cool enough to keep the skin on the roof of your mouth intact.
  9. Devour and repeat until full.

When in Rome...
Supper in the Round