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What's your guilty pleasure?

  • m

What do you reach for when you're not looking for "foodie" food, but rather something either pre=packaged (GASP!) or really quick to throw together, that you would never admit to eating in the light of day? :-)

One of mine is a can of Worthington vegetarian chili, eaten cold right out of the can. Or if I'm feeling ambitious, heated with cheese on top. White bread with a slice of American cheese, sometimes with a pickle. Wavu Lays potato chips with sour cream and onion dip. Leftover fish sticks from the day before, eaten cold in front of the fridge.

What's yours?

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  1. A big dollop of chunky peanut butter on top of a Hershey's Miniature or Nuggett in one bite!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Weavo

      Oh no- you mean that when I sit down in front of the tube tonight with my pretzel rods in one hand and jar of peanut butter in the other I should feel shame? I guess I'll also confess that I've done the same thing with the chocolate too. And mixed handfuls of roasted peanuts with plain M&Ms, which somehow tastes better than peanut M&Ms.

    2. Chowhounds have MANY! it's always fun to revisit these topics :) my personal favorite is just to attack the jar of almond butter, PB or tahini with a spoon. even better if i happen to have some dark chocolate chips on hand to sprinkle in there! (clearly Weavo and i are on the same wavelength...)


      3 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Sometiems I get out the jar of marshmallow creme/fluff and go at it with a spoon... and sometimes I'll drizzle the spoon with chocolate syrup. Messy good! :) Or a can of French's fried onions, right out of the can. Standing in front of the cupboard, of course.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Campbell's condensed cream of mushroom soup. Undiluted, either heated or straight from the can.

          Overcooked pasta with butter, salt and pepper (or steamed rice with butter, salt and pepper).

          Melted chocolate mixed with peanut butter and spread on crackers.

          Kraft dinner, eaten straight out of the pot in front of cheezy TV, with a can of coke.

          1. re: amokscience

            YES. I don't really feel guilty about it though. :)

            1. re: Aravisea

              Indomie ramen. I don't know how they get that much salt and fat into one little block of noodles. . . :-P

            2. re: amokscience

              ...mushed up in a bowl eaten with a spoon. Same goes for original Chips Ahoy! (NOT CHEWY). A combination of oreo and ch. chip is also good. If you want to get really gross add pudding/whipped cream.

            3. 6 full size peanut butter cups & a glass of milk or more than one piece of cheesecake at a time...and always in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping!

              1 Reply
              1. Cheez whiz on my homemade cheese steaks!

                2 Replies
                1. re: howchow

                  That's not a guilty pleasure, that's tradition!

                2. freshly baked chocolate chip cookies made with frozen chocolate chip cookie dough

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: brooklynkoshereater

                    Why would you bake them when they're so good raw?

                  2. I'm sorry, I don't see how on earth a can of cold, vegetarian chili can possibly be considered a guilty pleasure. Admitting it publicly might bring on some guilt, but wow.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: John E.

                      re the veg chili... it's guilty because of the sodium.

                      1. re: Miri1

                        Oh yeah. That's why all of the Chef Boy-r-dee, Spaghettios, etc. got put into the box for the food shelf this year. A very occasional can of Spam is the only canned item of that type we have anymore. It's amazing how much sodium is in the prepared frozen food products as well.

                    2. Heinz canned beans in that sickly sweet unidentifiable "tomato" sauce, warmed on the stove with cut-up hot dogs mixed in. Eat piping hot, looking out the window on a snowy day, with slices of generic, ordinary sandwich bread to sop up after.
                      Meets every criterion for unhealthiness that I can possibly imagine, but also brings back a million childhood memories, sooo... nutrition be damned.

                      Also, anything that gets eaten straight out of its container over the sink or in front of the open fridge. This happens more often than I am willing to admit to myself.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                        And the bread buttered and I'm there too. A schoolday lunch from years ago.

                        1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                          "Also, anything that gets eaten straight out of its container over the sink or in front of the open fridge. This happens more often than I am willing to admit to myself."

                          It's even worse if you eat it with your hands (like spaghetti).

                          1. re: melpy

                            we would visit my mom and she'd have a chocolate silk cream pie in the fridge, in it's tin, in it's box from Bakers' Square, and A FORK, which we would all takes turns eating from throughout the day, standing there in front of the fridge, letting all the cold out as if we were rockefellers.

                          2. re: Whats_For_Dinner


                            I saute the franks with peppers and onions; then add garlic and the beans and a little soy sauce. It was a childhood meal we had over rice. But I'm just as guilty about any-old bread; toasted or just fried in butter while the beans cook.

                            1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                              Love these. I add a little Tobasco or Frank's Red Hot - not too much, or it becomes inedible. It's really the only instance I can think of where there's such a thing as "too much hot sauce."

                              I sort of have a tendency toward spoonerisms, so in our house we call these beanies & weens. Which always seemed sort of appropriate, since my vegetarian roommate and I used to make them with tofu dogs instead of the real deal. (Also, tofu dogs are now "weens' in my head, although not aloud.)

                            2. Kettle chips and some sort of bad-for-me onion dip, at least homemade.

                              A big box of Raisinets.

                              Peanut M & M's.

                              The very occasional peanut butter creme-filled Funny Bone.

                              Ritz crackers with peanut butter and jam; at least four in a stack and stuffed into my mouth all at once.

                              Terrible, just terrible...

                              10 Replies
                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                We were separated at birth, with the exception of Funny Bones, which I don't know at all. How's Reese's as a sub for that?

                                1. re: roxlet

                                  "separated at birth" Oh, that's funny...right down to the Ritz stacks with peanut butter and jam?

                                  Reese's are a good sub; I actually was thinking of making some tonight at home, but they are a candy, where Funny Bones are chocolate cake with a peanut butter creme filling and a chocolate coating, a variation of a Hostess filled cupcake thing or a Devil Dog or a Ring Ding. Funny Bones are made by Drakes.

                                  Wow, I had to think for a moment about those names; I haven't had any of those things in many years, just the occasional Funny Bone. Two in a pack, I don't share.

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    Funny Bones are my kryptonite, I am powerless against them. My wife only gets them a couple of times a year, and it's always the same; it takes every scrap of my willpower to make the box last for even two days. Then she will say something along the lines of "I don't know why I even buy these things, you just scarf them down like a dog", and forgets about them for another 6 months. It's all for the best, I suppose.

                                    You mentioned kettle chips earlier- have you ever had the Herr's Dark Kettle chips? They are amazing- a whole bag full of what is normally a coveted stray glorious mistake in an ordinary bag of chips. Why aren't all potato chips dark? They're at their best that way.

                                    1. re: TongoRad

                                      Recently, at a work celebration we had some trendy cupcakes rather than a cake (from Crumbs)..anyway the one I got was chocolate with a light peanutbutter filling. Delicious and amazing!
                                      I remarked to everyone (a group of about 15) that it tasted like an upscale Funnybone.
                                      Do you know that not one person knew what the heck I was talking about!?!?!

                                      These people havent lived!

                                      1. re: TongoRad

                                        Yes, Herr's Dark Kettle chips, the ones that almost got away, but didn't, thank God. I used to search through entire bags of chips for the dark ones.

                                        What is it about funny bones??? I 'm actually glad they're not so mainsteam and understood, more for us.

                                      2. re: bushwickgirl

                                        I once received a home made birthday cake, chocolate cake and icing with a thick layer of peanut butter between the layers. I was delicious. My other comment was that I had never known anyone to make home made funnybones.

                                        1. re: phantomdoc

                                          I think if you wanted to make funny bones at home, a cocoa-based chocolate cupcake with a peanut butter/confectioner's sugar filling and a chocolate glaze would do it; I've looked at a few recipes online. I wonder if they'd taste the same...

                                          From another chow thread, if you're in a part of the US where funny bones are, gulp, not available, they can be ordered online:


                                    2. re: bushwickgirl

                                      BWG - i just LOVE you - "four in a stack and stuffed into my mouth all at once." Love it.

                                      ETA: ok, just noticed how old this post is, but it doesn't change how i feel.

                                      1. re: mariacarmen

                                        No matter the age, I still do it that way!!

                                    3. Chopped liver and crackers, a real cholestoral-fest!

                                      1. ramen, buffalo wings, reese's cups, white rice

                                        1. Kraft mac and cheese, maybe a throwback to my college days. I make a couple different recipes from scratch on a regular basis, but sometimes I just crave the box.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: BubblyOne

                                            I'm with you on the Kraft mac & chese - and it's the powdered version - not "delux"!!

                                            This week my thing is Captn Crunch peanutbutter...I havent had it in years but thought I'd treat myself! Every night I have been eating it by the handful...yuummmmmmmmm

                                            1. re: NellyNel

                                              I tried the delux once and hated it, ha!

                                          2. Mac and cheese mixed with cut up hot dogs.

                                            My biggest guilty pleasure though....Taco Bell. Especially after a nighttime gig.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: CurlieGlamourGirlie

                                              I can only admit this here; Onion rigns. From IHOP, Norms or jack in the Box. With a diet coke, of course (as if the diet coke negates the calories from the rings!) yummmmm.

                                              Also Gorton's frozen breaded or battered fish filets, baked till crispy and slathered in tartar sauce.

                                            2. No Yolk Egg Noodles tossed with cut up, browned hot dogs, butter, parmesan cheese and parsley. My mom used to make it for my sister and I as kids. I still love it, however I'm not allowed to eat it around my husband or he'll vomit.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: krisrishere

                                                Kris - I have to admit I was almost gagging!!

                                                Having said that -
                                                Last week I was "this" close to buying a can of Spahettios with sliced franks!!
                                                Gosh I had an urge for it in the worst way!

                                                1. re: NellyNel

                                                  Don't hate on my NuNu's and Hot Dogs :) ha! It's definitely a comfort meal that I indulge about once or twice a year.

                                                  1. re: krisrishere

                                                    HA HA!!
                                                    nu nu's huh?!!!!

                                                    Actually having thought about it - it does sound quite tasty!!!

                                                  2. re: NellyNel

                                                    Spaghetti-os (with the funky don't-want-to-know-what-they're-really-made-of meatballs) are probably the only food pleasure I feel any guilt about, but they give me a big smile when I break down and indulge in a can every few years or so. They just taste like childhood ... I'm right back there, chomping them out of my groovy, little thermos every time I have 'em.

                                                    If they actually still made them, I'd have to add the nasty 5-10 for a dollar Banquet "Mexican" TV dinners. They were utterly heinous but, like the nasty canned pasta, tasted of childhood. I could never figure out what went into the brown mystery goo all over the "enchiladas" ... probably best for that recipe to remain in the murky realm of the unknown, anyway.

                                                2. Chips (usually Kettle Chips) and dip (or salsa, which makes me feel much less guilty)
                                                  Chopped liver (a very rare treat)
                                                  Smoked fish dip and crackers
                                                  Genoa salami and/or pepperoni slices, rolled up with cheese

                                                  1. I have what others consider as guilty pleasure. For me, I don't feel guilty at all.

                                                    I eat bacon alone.
                                                    I like can soups

                                                    1. Fried bologna sandwiches with cheese and sauerkraut. Double the guilt if I make a little Russian dressing to go on top.

                                                      Underwood deviled chicken spread; add to the can one package of softened cream cheese and a bunch of stuffed olives, chopped. Serve it on white bread as finger sandwiches.

                                                      The staff at our restaurant know that I'm in "guilty pleasure" mode when I start stuffing chicken breasts (or worse, filet mignon) with stuff like cream cheese, ham, other cheeses and I dump it in egg wash, bread it, and stick it in the fryalator. I'll usually toss some sort of obscenely fattening sauce on top of these creations. And while I'm in front of the frying machine, I'll have a basket going with onion rings and another with some sort of potatoes.

                                                      Finally, I don't have much of a sweet tooth; but when I'm in the mood, the Oatmeal Raisin cookies from one of my local bakeries are just divine as the "outsides" for ice cream sandwiches (made with Rum Raisin ice cream, of course).

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: shaogo

                                                        I want one of those ice cream sandwiches right now please.

                                                        1. re: shaogo

                                                          Shaogo - wow I love the idea of your Underwood tea sandwiches!!!

                                                          I am a great fan of Underwood Deviled Ham (tho the fat content has kept me away for years)
                                                          But the next time I feel like being a bit wild - I think I will have to try as you describe!!

                                                        2. Too many guilty pleasures to name, but I just arranged a home-alone-for-three-days menu that revolves entirely around cheap tinned fish. Salmon and sardines . . . sauteed, mashed, fried: I'm doing it all.

                                                          The cat will be the only witness, but she's on board with the plan.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: onceadaylily

                                                            I bet she is. Salmon skin and bones, yum yum.

                                                            1. Betty Crocker garlic instant mashed potatoes made with cream and lots of salt and pepper, although lately it doesn't love me as much as I love it. :(

                                                              1. Guilty pleasure that turned into a requested appetizer: Bacon-wrapped Tater Tots. With a sour cream dipping sauce, chives or scallions mixed in.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: BubblyOne

                                                                  mmmm....kinda like potato skins?

                                                                  1. re: pie22

                                                                    I was watching Rachel Ray's talk show at a friends a few years ago and this won some kind of appetizer of the year contest. Of course, "tots" peaked my interest and I've been making them ever since, with a couple of changes. Enjoyed by foodies and the more un-adventurous alike:)

                                                                2. Martini olives, ice cold straight from the jar with a sharp cheddar and water cracker chaser.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. My response could go here or on the new Trader Joe's post since all three items come from TJs. Lately, in the afternoon when I get a little hungry, I take a few slices of Columbus brand Calabrese salame (a little wider in diameter than pepperoni). I top that with a chunk of gorgonzola, and on top of that, I add a small dollop of red pepper spread (the one with eggplant and garlic). I pick the whole thing up and eat it like a little taco.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. Mine are those wafers with the white sugar between them. When I was a kid my grandmother always had a big box of them, so it was the Sunday treat when we went over there for dinner.
                                                                      Now they have them in the snack box at the office, 65 cents and I get a pack of 4, luckily there are only 6 packs in the box and they go rather quickly. I avoid buying them in the store at all costs.
                                                                      I think the ones my grandmother had were Nabisco.

                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                      1. re: roro1831

                                                                        Yes, I believe they're called...wait for it...sugar wafers! Often multicolored, slightly crispy yet melty, sweet and scrumptious little snacks. The wafers themselves don't really have much flavor; it's mostly from the sugar. I know this because I've taken them apart to eat like an Oreo.

                                                                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                          They don't taste like much but they have a fun texture. My mom used to have them in the house all the time - apparently they served them with ice cream in ice cream parlors back in the day. My day doesn't go quite that far back!

                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                            My day either, but I believe you're right about the ice cream parlor connection.

                                                                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                              Yep, didn't they used to be called Ice Cream Wafers even?

                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                Oh, quite possibly, but that would have been before me. I've only known them as sugar wafers.

                                                                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                                                  Your day obviously goes less far back than mine then! :-)

                                                                            2. re: buttertart

                                                                              Oh wow!!
                                                                              I forgot about the sugar wafers! I used to love them!
                                                                              I used to munch on them endlessly!

                                                                              1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                I just got pulled back in time. I used to fight for the 'strawberry' ones . . . that vivid pink. Those cookies just melted on the tongue.

                                                                                1. re: NellyNel

                                                                                  There's a world of Turkish hazelnut-filled ones out there just waiting for youuu...

                                                                            3. Not quite in the spirit of the question, but definitely my guilty pleasure: an occasional late-afternoon cappuccino or glass of wine at either of two good local restaurants.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: comestible

                                                                                You are just too good to be true! is that IT???

                                                                              2. i've fessed up on similar threads and so am "out of the fridge." the 3 biggies on my list are fish sticks and kraft mac and cheese (not the powder, the day-glo orange stuff in a can), bologna and american cheese with mayo on white air-bread. and hostess chocolate cupcakes.

                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                1. re: appycamper

                                                                                  I respect the fish stick. As for Hostess, we had a falling out when they not only changed the Ding Dong over to a plastic wrapper, and discarded the foil, but made the choclate coating so thin that it was all but impossible to pick off in one smooth layer, no matter how skilled you were.

                                                                                  Also, I'm making red beans and rice on Saturday, and I have to have 'air bread', lightly buttered, to go with it, or it's just not the same. When I tell my boyfriend what's for dinner, if I use the words 'with butter bread', he has a fork in his hand before I even finish the sentence.

                                                                                  Happy birthday!

                                                                                  1. re: onceadaylily

                                                                                    thank you! never developed a ding dong habit but completely understand the desire to peel without picking bits. ooh just remembered the sno-ball cupcake with coconut...

                                                                                  2. re: appycamper

                                                                                    Ooh- try the bologna rolled up in a piece of lettuce instead of the bread!
                                                                                    Kraft macncheese, original powder
                                                                                    Frozen fried clams (heated up of course)
                                                                                    Hostess Twinkies, two of them licking the piece of liner after eating them
                                                                                    Hostess cupcakes, ditto the liner
                                                                                    Haribo gummi frogs

                                                                                    Never was much of a Ding Dong fan.

                                                                                    1. re: appycamper

                                                                                      Love the bologna and cheese - that was a staple for me growing up. BUT...it has to be Miracle Whip instead of mayo. And...those Snowball things with the marshmallow and coconut on the outside instead of the chocolate cupcakes.

                                                                                    2. Great question! Well done you have unearthed a garden of 'guilty' pleasures. It's SO good to be 'normally human' and to read the responses of others who are equally so.

                                                                                      1. Danish Wedding Cookies. I seriously cannot get enough of them. And I don't even like coconut very much!

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: sydneythekidd

                                                                                          Bringing this thread back to life because I was browsing the boards while munching one of my guilty pleasures: Double Stuff Golden Oreos. I can't stop. And if they're around, I'll go for Mother's Taffy cookies. And Ritz with whipped butter. And Trader Joe's mini peanut butter cups, frozen, eaten right from the freezer, while standing in front of the freezer. Late at night when no one is around to see.

                                                                                          1. re: Miri1

                                                                                            There's a Chinese expression for this particular pleasure: "tou chi" - stolen and eaten. It is fun, isn't it.

                                                                                        2. Mine is pretty nasty. Tostitios hint of lime chips, their smooth cheese dip, heated and mixed with a bit of hot sauce poured on the top with real bacon bits that have been crisped in the microwave sprinkled over the top. Stroke on a plate.

                                                                                          1. My guilty pleasure(s) (ok, I can’t pick just one) – when I have a weekend alone, usually while hubby is out hunting, I will go to the Chinese market, buy a HUGE 3 or 4 pound lobster and some clams and have that for supper. Just that, no potatoes, veggies or dessert. Oh can’t forget the vat of melted butter.

                                                                                            About once a month I buy a big pack of chicken wings and make homemade hot wings, for just me. Last week for some reason I was all over fried bologna as a snack – not helping my high cholesterol here!

                                                                                            We like tortilla chips, doused in shredded Tex-Mex cheese and microwaved or baked for a few minutes, served with bottled Picante sauce (if we are lacking shredded cheese Cheese Whiz will do in a pinch).

                                                                                            1. My guilty pleasure is something my Mom used to make when I was little. She called it a cream cake. In a big Tupperware bowl, alternate layers of Nilla Wafers and whipped cream. Leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours, flip upside down and un-mold. The cookies get all soft and absorb some of the cream. Now when I'm feeling nostalgic I'll make a little mini one for myself and eat most of it in the dark, by the light of the refrigerator.

                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                              1. Hostess cream filled cup cakes or ring dings. Can't go near them or they'd disappear plastic and all.
                                                                                                Can't imagine how much hydrogenated fats I consumed as a kid.

                                                                                                1. Anything with freeze-dried "blueberries". Must be in quotes, as the purple, chip like things in pre-packaged "blueberry" pancake mix just aren't berries. Also, tomato sammich with american cheese and lots of miracle whip. And campbell's tomato bisque or alphabet veggie with beef stock -- undiluted, often cold from the can. Childhood is calling.
                                                                                                  And, of course, can't forget the kraft mac and cheese (or Kraft dinner, as the canadians call it) - eaten straight from the pot, on the sofa, watching world's dumbest something or other. Follow that up with hagen daas and add a bottle of cheap white merlot, and you have my favorite meal when my husband is out of town.

                                                                                                  1. I'm so relieved to see others who enjoy undiluted soup straight out of the can. My faves are cream of mushroom, vegetarian "alphabet" soup, and bean w/bacon dipped into tomato soup.

                                                                                                    other real secret real guilty pleasure, chef boy ar dee mini spaghettie w/mini meatballs. Straight out of the can of course.

                                                                                                    1. What comes to mind immediately is pre-packaged, vacuum-sealed Oscar Mayer bologna.

                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                      1. Kiddie cereal. I bought like 3 boxes of Monster cereal before the end of Halloween. Count Chocula is awesome, followed by franken berry tne boo berry.

                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                        1. re: jester99

                                                                                                          Oh! That's another one. I love me some Cap'n Crunch!

                                                                                                        2. I haven't had a Banquet chicken pot pie since I was a kid, but that with a side of mashed potatoes in front of tv watching Marcus Welby. Warm and yummy. Also, stuffed quohogs from the local drivein in Westport, Massachusetts. Grilled cheese with tomato, spaghetti with melted butter when I had a fever--or anytime actually, clamboils in summer. I've moved on from the Banquet pot pies, but I still think about them.