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What is your favorite "non-houndish" guilty pleasure?

  • c

I have a cold and have had a very stressful day. So, for lunch, I wanted my favorite comfort food. It's an item that is so maligned, my love for it almost disqualifies me as a true chowhound. The offending item? A McDonald's hamburger.

Let me clarify the fact that this is not one of the hoity-toity promo specials of the month. We're talking about the 89 cent, pickles, mustard, ketchup, "where's the beef" little burger hiding in the undistinguished bun.

As I was enjoying my treat, I figured that every hound probably has one or two items that they would be hesitant to divulge their love for in public.

So, back to my original question...

What is your favorite "non-houndish" guilty pleasure?

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  1. Spam, specifically Spam and eggs, or Spam and velveeta on a toasted english muffin. Spam, spam, spam! (I can hear the Monty Python boys now . . . )

    9 Replies
    1. re: Erika

      An unsalted butter sautee'd("grilled") Wonderbread and American Cheese. It has to be Wonderbread(now with more vitamins!). It has to American Cheese---which I absolutely can't stand in its non-melted form. Oh the horrors of tensile, cakey orange glop( how I imagine the mouthfeel of cadaver flesh after they've dragged the quarry). And this is a new guilty pleasure. As a child I couldn't even stand the smell of American Cheese. So, when I'm not enjoying a crustless, grilled brioche and Maytag Blue(soooooo goood) I'm slicing my Wonderbread special in triangles and accompanying with a dill pickle slice. Sometimes I pair it with the traditional Campbell's tomato soup. Garnish? Cracked black pepper over the grilled cheese.

      1. re: malcarne

        Oooooohhhhh Yeeeaaahhh.... grilled cheese made with Velveeta or presliced American cheese, and a bowl of Campbells tomato soup made with whole milk...

        I'm regressing as I think about it...

        1. re: lala

          Big second on the grilled cheese sandwich with velveeta.

          My comfort soup, especially when I'm sick, is Campbell's Scotch Broth--no substitutes.

          1. re: lala

            oh...that's right...if pairing with Campbell's you gotta use whole milk. :) FYI: I've attempted my Wonderbread special accompanying it with a (homemade and deli-bought)tomato bisque. It just ain't the same. From ordinary materials come great things.

            1. re: lala

              I have a variation on the Campbell's Soup theme:

              My favorite is Cambell's tomato soup, yes, made with whole milk, with plain cooked spaghetti and extra pepper and a little garlic powder mixed in just before serving. If I'm too lazy or too stressed to cook spaghetti spoon-size shredded wheat will do.

              But I hear you on the grilled cheese: that particular combo (the tomato soup and the G.C. is my son's all time favorite.....)

              1. re: lala

                Saw a documentary on Andy Warhol a while back in which it was argued that the soup work had less to do with the arbitrariness of modernity than the fact that his mother had given him campbell's tomato soup for lunch every day as a child.

                Macaroni and cheese with canned tuna fish does it for me.

                1. re: lala

                  Once when I was in law school we had a spate of miserable weather-- on my way home from classes, I stopped at the supermarket and picked up some Campbell's and velveeta and pepperidge farm white bread for making this tasty treat. Some friends were also in the market (we all lived in the grad student ghetto) and saw what I was making. They begged so hard to come over for lunch that 15 of us ended up taking turns making grilled cheese all afternoon. (No spam, I was in a vegetarian phase at that time . . .)

                  Then we washed it down with oreos and milk!

                2. re: malcarne

                  YESYESYES. My dad was a salesman for Campbells Soup so we got lots of dented cans growing up. Tomato soup and grilled cheese with Kraft singles was a truly wonderful meal, especially on meatless Fridays when the alternative was fried flounder!

                3. re: Erika

                  I'm with you on the Spam. Just fried on a sandwich. One of the few things from when I was a kid that's just as good today. Try the hot and spicy if you can find it.

                4. In addition to the perfect glazed old-fashioned donut, macaroni and cheese, oreo ice cream, and Stouffers Vegetable Lasagna, my newfound treat that sounds so gross, but until you try it, don't knock it...

                  One slice of challah or white/egg bread as you have, a layer of creamy Skippy, a layer of light brown sugar pressed into the peanut butter, and one more slice of bread. I refuse to call it a sandwich because I hate sandwiches in general. I don't mind this concoction however. Somehow satisfying and comforting, I guess due to its relation to the peanut butter and jelly.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Emme

                    I like it! But then my favorite comfort food is a slice of white bread with Skippy peanut butter and a glass of chocolate milk.

                    1. re: Emme
                      Jennie Sheeks

                      Mom used to make a variation on this she called Candy Bar Toast; buttered toast topped with peanut butter and brown sugar. It was a Saturday morning treat she'd make when she was too lazy to make pancakes for us.

                    2. If only you could get mustard on your McBurger!

                      1. h
                        hillvalley (formerly specialteach)

                        Last month during the hurricane I ate more fluffer nutter sandwiches than I want to remember. (Needed a food that would last for a while in case the electricity went out.)

                        My "chain food" guilty pleasures are french fries from Burger King and spinach and artichoke dip from the Cheesecake Factory.

                        (By the way, the wait at Cheesecake is on purpose, so if I need some comforting I always get takeout.)

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: lissar

                            Peanut butter and marshmallow Fluff, on white bread.

                        1. Definitely a fluffernutter. And a HoHo for dessert.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Ellen

                            I forgot about the Ho Ho's!

                            Don't forget the ice cold, nonskim milk.

                          2. Kraft Dinner mixed with canned cream of mushroom soup! If I'm feeling really festive, I also throw in sliced hot dog weenies. Yes, it's totally gross, but I allow myself this shameful pleasure whenever I have a cold.

                            1. Right now it's chewy Spree candy.

                              1. A hunk of iceberg lettuce with tons of Russian (or Thousand Island) dressing from a bottle.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: christina z

                                  You *do* know the proper way to eat that? Stand in front of kitchen sink. Hold head of lettuce in one hand, bottle of dressing in the other (cap off). Take a bite from lettuce, a swig from the bottle, and chew. Nothing to wash! This is what I call "Bachelor Salad" (Pat. Pending).

                                2. I shudder to admit it, but...

                                  a 79 cent plain crispy taco bell taco sometimes hits the spot exactly.

                                  I repent! I repent!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Celeste

                                    Oh yeah, the McDonald's little cheeseburger with extra pickles. And the little taco, too (with sour cream)! I can finish it before I pull away from the drive through into traffic!

                                  2. things i eat when i'm alone, usually after a long weekend of cooking/entertaining:

                                    - a plate of oreida tater tots with ketchup

                                    - sandwiches made with wonder bread (i second all the other confessions of wonder bread indiscretions)
                                    a. spread with a thick layer of condensed milk
                                    b. stuffed with oscar mayer ham, best foods mayo, and lay's barbeque potato chips

                                    - chicken in a biscuit

                                    - pioneer fried chicken

                                    no dinner guests or girlfriend to horrify, just pure feeding.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: diep

                                      Amen on the tater tots. Anytime I throw a party, I always end it with a nice round of tater tots for the hangers on.

                                      1. re: diep

                                        Tots are awesome, especially with ketchup and Old Bay! It's not TV and burgers night in the Xochitl10 house without them!

                                      2. My favorite guilty pleasure involves not just food, but reading material as well. When I'm in a really bad mood, my favotite thing is to buy an Entenmann's Chocolate Cake with Marshmallow Icing and a People Magazine. If there's a knock in the door, the cake is quickly shoved in the fridge behind the bread, the People shoved under a massive pile of unread newspapers.

                                        I also love dipping Utz unsalted potato chips into ketchup.

                                        I buy a Devil Dog, scrape out most of the cream filling and enjoy the cake with a glass of milk.

                                        Just mixed up some Russian dressing (ketchup, mayo and relish) and dipped a Trader Joe's cod fish stick in it.

                                        Processed cheese spread on a cracker with mango chutney.

                                        My-t-fine chocolate pudding, served hot with a layer of cold milk poured on top.

                                        Sadly, I could go on and on.

                                        1. Hostess Cupcakes. Eat the chocolate top last.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: sbp

                                            Oh yes...after you've eat the cake part around the marshmallow filling, and then devoured that part. What a delicious mess!

                                            1. re: Ariel

                                              And one more... Entemann's Glazed Popems? The box...

                                          2. Plain, not iced, raspberry Pop-tarts, toasted with butter.
                                            Campbell's cream of chicken soup with lemon juice and rice added.
                                            Top ramen. Cup 'O Noodles spicy wonton.
                                            Maybe this is too houndish, but every night when I work late I come home and have parmesan melted on buttered sourdough toast. My favorite food in the world, with a nice glass of cheapish red wine.

                                            1. j

                                              boston market creamed spinach.
                                              frosty's from wendy's.
                                              and reading cookbooks or cooking related magazines while i eat..............

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: jaimegirl1799

                                                I, too, love reading cookbooks or cooking related magazined while eating. Especially if I am guiltily indulging my favorite treat alone (when the kids and the hubby are distracted): Korean instant noodles. I sometimes eat them for breakfast. My husband has grown used to this strange habit of mine.

                                              2. I had one today -- a coney dog from the A&W drive-in -- a generous sized frankfurter, beanless chile, and slather on some extra hot sauce. Their onion rings are hard to resist too.

                                                I also like the two-for-$1 tacos from Jack in the Box - they fry them to order so they taste like the real deal, unlike the tacos with prefab baked shells from Taco Bell.

                                                Then there are the nice crunchy hash browns from McDonald's. Their fish sandwiches are good enough to eat -- way better than their burgers IMO.

                                                1. Fried Spam and grits.

                                                  Stick pudding stirred into grits. Turns the whole thing gray but is delicious.

                                                  Tuna casserole made with Kraft Dinner, Campbell's cream of mushroom soup (cheap, if you buy it in packs from Sam's Club), some milk, and Chicken of the Sea tuna in oil. Stirring it makes this great sticky sort of crickly sound.

                                                  Potato chip sandwiches made with Merita bread, Duke's Mayonnaise, and Lay's potato chips.

                                                  Sandwiches made of Merita bread and canned sardines mushed up with mayo, powdered mustard, Tabasco sauce, and granulated onion.

                                                  3 Replies
                                                  1. re: Sandy

                                                    I just read through all of the entries as of this morning, and you have managed to combine things together that I would never DREAM of!!! You win the creativity award for today...any one want to second my nomination?

                                                    1. re: SPARK
                                                      Mike McEllliott

                                                      Well, Spark, up through the third paragraph I was willing to give Sandy just a VERY honorable mention (notwithstanding my ignorance of "stick pudding"--I got the gray part). However, when I got to the potato chip sandwiches, it was all over but the crunching. This is truly a pleasure one should feel guilty about. So, yes, I definitely second your number one vote for Sandy.

                                                      1. re: SPARK

                                                        Thanks for the vote.

                                                        I realized after posting that many (most?) people on the list might not be familiar with some of the items:

                                                        Stick pudding is a liver pudding with cooked rice in it, stuffed into a sausage casing. Also good just plain so or sliced to make sanwiches. My 13-year old likes to take stick pudding sandwiches to school to gross out her friends. Probably unknown and unavailable outside of South Carolina

                                                        The sardine mixture is really a kind of dip, using grated onion and served with Ritz crackers at oyster roasts. I discovered its use as a sandwich spread by having some left over, but since I don't want to bother with grating an onion for a sandwich, I just use the granulated onion or onion powder. Visually it's an ugly gray with little black flecks, proving the point that it doesn't have to look good to taste good.

                                                    2. A sleeve of Ritz crackers, a stick of butter & Smuckers grape jam. Slather a hunk of butter on the cracker,top with jam. Eat the whole sleeve of crackers.

                                                      Also, Beenie Weenies. Vienna sausage sandwich on Wonder Bread with Miracle Whip not mayo.

                                                      McDonalds fish sandwiches with extra tarter sauce, no cheese.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: claracamille

                                                        Your ritz crackers just reminded me-- a stick of butter, and a bag of oyster crackers (or, if you have to be highfalutin', saltines or stone ground wheat crackers. Just drag the crackers across the stick of butter. Mmmm, salty.

                                                      2. A Chiko Roll and Potato Scallops.
                                                        You have to be Australian ...

                                                        For Chiko Roll, see URL.
                                                        Potato Scallops are thin slices of potato dipped in a batter and deep-fried.
                                                        Put the two together and eat sufficiently often and the arteries will definitely sieze up. But they certainly make a great guilty pleasure.

                                                        Link: http://www.simplot.com.au/brands_chik...

                                                        1. Peanut butter cup sandwich: peanut butter on one slice of toast, Nutella on the other. Mmmm. Only on very special occasions, though (cold, flu, or depressingly rainy Saturday).

                                                          1. Jeno's Crispy & Tasty frozen pizza (sells for about $2.19 in the freezer section). Tastes like salted cardboard, but sometimes that's what I want.

                                                            And the fried chicken dinner (the one with the apple cobbler) from Hungry Man. Vegetables don't even suggest any distinct flavor other than chemical butter, but it's very comforting as my mom used to serve it...

                                                            1. A whole tin of smoked oysters in oil on Ritz crackers.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: Karen of SC

                                                                Yeah! That's what I want right now!

                                                                1. re: Karen of SC

                                                                  MMMMM that those smoked oysters, how I long for them. Also, sardines from the can (in oil, not tomato or mustard sauce) on saltines.

                                                                  Plus beer with either of the above.

                                                                2. Heinz Worcestershire Sauce, guzzled straight from the bottle.

                                                                  Sourdough toast with a LOT of mayonnaise.

                                                                  Slices of cheddar cheese spread with BOTH mustard and (Heinz) ketchup.

                                                                  1. 1. A ripe banana (not brown, but too ripe for most people) slathered with Peter Pan peanut butter.

                                                                    2. Swanson's chicken pot pie. I love the top crust.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Zorra

                                                                      We used to love it when our parents went out because that meant we got to eat Swanson's chicken pot pies. I still will not eat another brand.

                                                                    2. One reminds me of my late dad, we kids always thought it gross but it worked somehow
                                                                      * white american cheese sliced thin on white bread topped with a thin layer of Smuckers strawberry jam and another slice of white bread
                                                                      * White bread lightly toasted topped with cheese and dill pickles sliced crosswise and broiled til bubbly
                                                                      * new fav is mini bagels toasted with cream cheese and topped with halved grape tomatoes and sliced scallions

                                                                      1. I've decided grilled cheese isn't a guilty enough pleasure. One I've developed in the past 5 or so years(god knows why) is late night Maruchan Ramen blocks. I actually blush if someone peers inside my grocery cart and spies a stack of my salty snacks. I never had a taste for Maruchan Ramen. I never had to survive on nothing but in college. I love the packaging. I ALWAYS add a generous helping of dried red pepper flakes to the water as it boils. My favorite flavors are roast beef, cream of chicken, roast chicken and, a new one(at least in Chicago), Shrimp/Lime/Chili.
                                                                        Its almost an aesthetic draw: that perfect coiled hunk of noodle, the little, soft foil packets of laboratory grown brown powder, the miniature bits of dehydrated vegetable matter. It's all so scifi.
                                                                        Friends just sigh and look the other way.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: malcarne
                                                                          torta basilica

                                                                          A white-bread twist - chicken sesame top ramen with slices of Monterey Jack cheese thrown in while still boiling, so it all melts into a gooey mess. Throw some extra toasted sesame seeds on top & a feast for me when I don't feel good... Eat straight out of pan.

                                                                        2. j
                                                                          Judith Hurley

                                                                          Scrambled eggs with jam on top.

                                                                          1. Oscar Mayer bologna fried in butter till curled and crispy served on white bread with ketchup and butter.

                                                                            Heart attack on a plate!

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: DeeS.

                                                                              Try your fried bologna sandwich with peanut butter - no ketchup. My dad loved fried bologna - thick sliced. D.

                                                                            2. Peanut butter and mayo on toast.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: PeteEats

                                                                                OK, I'm sorry, but EEWWW! That's really gross. You must have a strong stomach. How did you ever come up with that combo in the first place?

                                                                              2. pancakes for dinner

                                                                                also an 'everything sandwich'. The latest incarnation was chicken nuggets, eggplant, cheese, olives, peppers, sweet pickles, spinach, mayo, ketchup, mustard and honey, on toast. With those curly honey/BBQ fritos on the side. (those honey/bbq fritos are kind of a guilty pleasure all by themselves).

                                                                                1. Anything with sweetened condensed milk on it...actually I lied....sweetened condensed milk from the can with nothing else.

                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Karl

                                                                                    This is the only food I have found where the low fat version is just as amazing as the regular. I love to drizzle it around the bowl while I am eating.

                                                                                    1. re: Karl

                                                                                      I drink it straight too, but only when no one's there to judge :) It's good over rice krispies too, since it automatically adds the sugar.

                                                                                      1. re: Emme

                                                                                        I am more of a stick your finger in the can kind of gal myself.

                                                                                    2. Anything with sweetened condensed milk on it...actually I lied....sweetened condensed milk from the can with nothing else.

                                                                                      1. Nutella, straight from the jar.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: Chorus Girl

                                                                                          Either Betty Crocker Rich and Creamy brand, or in a pinch Duncan Hines, cream cheese frosting... from the tub... with a spoon... or a finger...

                                                                                        2. j
                                                                                          Jennie Sheeks

                                                                                          Taco Bell Bean Burrito with two packets of hot sauce -I swear they put an addictive substance in that hot sauce. I've managed to wean myself down to just only indulging once in a blue moon.

                                                                                          Celeste Four Cheese Pizza for One - Ok, last time I houndishly doctored with proscuitto, and artichoke hearts. Sacrilege (!) I know. But usually it's eaten undoctored, when I'm sitting in bed after a long day and paired with a glass of red wine.

                                                                                          Pepperoni Pizza Hot Pockets - Strangely I don't want these at home, just at work.

                                                                                          Cheetos - There's something disgustingly satisfying about licking the orange residue off my fingers.

                                                                                          Top Ramen with julienned pepperoni and chopped scallion - Mmm, salty, greasy, spicy.

                                                                                          1. I used to have this horrible addiction to Campbell's tomato soup, but after years of looking for a substitue, I finally found an organic tomato soup that I love even *more* than Campbell's!! I get it at Trader Joe's - its Pacific Organic Creamy Tomato. It's very creamy (no need to add milk) and very tomato-y. Great with grilled cheese (had it for lunch today, in fact, with a grilled havarti on multi-grain.) I love it when a sort of embarassing, definitely guilty pleasure can be replaced with a delicious and reasonably healthy alternative!

                                                                                            1. Tuna sandwich on fresh white bread with pickled chiles and potato chips on the sandwich

                                                                                              Fresh soft Wonder bread with butter and sugar on it

                                                                                              Bread with condensed milk poured over it (desert when we were kids)

                                                                                              Oreo cookies in a glass, fill the glass with cold milk, smash up and eat with a spoon

                                                                                              Hot choclate pudding with whipped cream from the can

                                                                                              Saltine cracker with marshmallow fluff on it

                                                                                              1. Tuna sandwich on fresh white bread with pickled chiles and potato chips on the sandwich

                                                                                                Fresh soft Wonder bread with butter and sugar on it

                                                                                                Bread with condensed milk poured over it (desert when we were kids)

                                                                                                Oreo cookies in a glass, fill the glass with cold milk, smash up and eat with a spoon

                                                                                                Hot choclate pudding with whipped cream from the can

                                                                                                Saltine cracker with marshmallow fluff on it

                                                                                                1. j

                                                                                                  i just remembered another obvious, and VERY guilty pleasure
                                                                                                  raw chocolate chip cookie dough!
                                                                                                  homemade or store bought, it don't matta baby
                                                                                                  also, i got this one from my mom when we were growing up and she made cake and there was leftover icing-
                                                                                                  spread chocolate(it was always chocolate) icing on a saltine cracker, top with another saltine. put in the freezer and eat as needed.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: jaimegirl1799

                                                                                                    HA! My Mom did those with graham crackers instead of saltines, but the saltines would have been waaaaaaay better. Good for your Mom.

                                                                                                  2. Spaghetti-o's, even right out of the can, and deviled ham in those cute little cans with the put tops.

                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: srr

                                                                                                      Spaghetti-o's from the can? Me too!! They taste so fake and mettalic, and so good.

                                                                                                      1. re: srr

                                                                                                        Oh yeah... Underwood devilled ham. I used to eat that stuff by the can. I still could. Give me that and a package of Stone Wheat Thins and I'm set.

                                                                                                        Also, Hawkins brand Cheezies. I think they're a brand sold only in Canada--come in an orange cellophane bag. I've been addicted to those since I was about five years old. Cheetos, and other cheese puffs, just don't do it.

                                                                                                        1. re: srr
                                                                                                          Jennie Sheeks

                                                                                                          Oh, I'd forgotten about devilled ham. Mom used to mix it with mayo & dijon mustard and spread it on sandwiches when I was a kid. I think I have to buy some today to see if it's still as good as I remember it.

                                                                                                        2. I'm a little late to this post... but had to add my favorite: Kraft Mac & Cheese.

                                                                                                          I love the stuff. The real stuff is good too, but kraft is what I grew up on and I can still down one or two boxes at a time - alone...

                                                                                                          1. t

                                                                                                            I found this thread most enjoyable and amusing, but thought I had nothing to contribute to it...until last night.

                                                                                                            I was making a quiche for my daughter, and had a little bit of cheese (mozzarella, shredded, about 2 tablespoons) leftover.

                                                                                                            Rather than throw it away, rewrap such a small amount or add it to the quiche...

                                                                                                            I heated a non-stick skillet and cooked the cheese on high till parts of it were dark brown and I could peel it off the pan. It was nicely crispy and crunchy.

                                                                                                            I realize I do this almost every time I have a little bit of leftover cheese. Don't know what to call it... just burnt cheese.

                                                                                                            1. I can't believe I read the whole thing!

                                                                                                              Feeling a little robbed that it never occured to me to put Nutella or icing on saltines, but overall, a little queasy.