“Everybody got to deviate from the norm…”

by Katie Pizzuto on January 9, 2011

in Fast Food,Food Shopping,Guilty Pleasures,Health

I’ve got a friend who is a HUGE Rush fan. He’s seen them live more times than he’s visited his in-laws, owns every bootleg known to man, and can recite each member’s biography with the nostalgia of having lived it himself. But one summer night, after a couple of Bombay Sapphire martinis had begun to take hold, he made a startling confession to me about a guilty pleasure—Barry Manilow. Yeah, it’s ok, laugh…God knows I did. But despite the fact that I can still remember how silly he looked singing a horrible rendition of “Could It Be Magic,” it only serves to make me respect him even more because, after all, we are human, and we ALL have a guilty pleasure—not just in music, but in gastronomy, too.

See, here’s the thing, I love foie gras, caviar, a fine Burgundy and Pellegrino. But I also love (and I can admit this because you’ve never actually met me) White Castles, Beefaroni, Tab and those little wax bottles with the liquid sugar rush inside. I’ve dined at some of the greatest restaurants in the world and had meals that are indelibly etched in my memory, but it doesn’t change the fact that every once in a while, when no one is home except me and the two cats, I will sit down to a peanut butter & Fluff sandwich…on WHITE bread, not the healthy stuff. The cats get a little peanut butter, too, just in case they’re thinking of ratting me out. And if you’ve never had the pleasure of treating yourself to a Drake’s Yodel or Ring Ding, do me a favor: put down the Riedel stemware, step away slowly, get in the car and drive to the market as fast as you can, forgoing the need to stop for any idiot pedestrians.

Perhaps it’s a matter of taking back that sense of empowerment—of telling all the health guru fucknuts to go to hell, of disregarding the holier-than-thou opinions of your foodie/wine geek friends, or of simply flicking that little angel off your right shoulder in order to pay closer attention to his nemesis on the other side. Certainly by now we are probably opting for the whole grain choices in the pasta and bread aisles, bringing home 2% (or worse yet that intolerable skim) and leaving the whole milk alone, or at the very least cutting down on the amount of meat we eat. But why? Is it always because we’re trying to improve the way we eat, or are we sometimes compelled to do it for fear that someone will open our refrigerator and chastise us for its contents? You’re gonna tell me you’ve never felt pressured to give up that delicious whole milk that washes down the fresh-out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies?! You’re gonna tell me you’ve never hidden a box or can or bag of something in a dark recess of your kitchen cabinets (or worse yet, in a completely different room) only so you could eat it in the comfort of late evening’s solitude? Bullshit you haven’t.

So I asked around, and when promised anonymity, several friends and co-workers have admitted to the following gastronomical “guilty pleasures”:

–       UNCOOKED Ramen Noodles, right out of the container, crunch and all
–       McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets…what, that’s not bad enough? Did I mention she dunks them in the chocolate milk shake?!?
–       Spaghetti with ketchup (a distant cousin of my beloved Beefaroni)
–       Skillet-fried Spam with pineapple
–       Frozen Pop-Tarts

So my question is, what’s your guilty pleasure? Don’t sit there with your nose in the air and tell me you live on haute cuisine, because I know somewhere deep down, in places you don’t talk about at cocktail parties, you WANT that NYC dirty-water dog, you NEED that cold left-over pizza. It’s ok, the first step is admitting it.

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

1 linsey January 9, 2011

I dont think the page is long enough … but back in the uk my favourite sunday night treat was to get cold yorkshire pudding, with cold stuffing and cold mashed potato and mash it all together and soak it in cold gravy ….. with a dash of ketchup on top … if it was lamb roast day then mint sauce would be added too.

OMG i miss that

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2 Katie Pizzuto January 9, 2011

Sounds good to me! Like a bubble and squeek!!

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3 Joe January 9, 2011

Are they still “guilty pleasures” if you don’t feel guilty about them? Okay, maybe I’m a little guilty:

Music: while I try to maintain an edge of obscure and snobby by mixing Frank Zappa and King Crimson into many playlists, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t plenty of Katy Perry on my iPod.

Food: unbelievable. I can pretty much say I’ve tried every creation Taco Bell’s put on an ad. Beef jerky dipped in French Onion Dip, Funyuns, those little chocolate donuts, Quiktrip taquitos (a regional delight, but I’m sure there’s something similar at 7-11), hashbrowns smothered in velveeta, quarter pounders w/ cheese, Miller Genuine Draft, boxed wine (mostly for cooking, but I steal a glass here and there), tater tots covered in chili, cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, chives, salsa, ranch dressing…

…I’m getting indigestion just thinking about it.

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4 Katie Pizzuto January 9, 2011

I keep wanting to hit Taco Bell but fear it will become yet another guilty pleasure. And I adore Zappa, but heard Katy sing unplugged and that kid can actually blow!

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5 erikagwen January 9, 2011

Wine cheese. I can’t buy it or have it in the house unless there is a party or something about to happen b/c I will find every reason in the world to have some. Cooking dinner, need a nibble – wine cheese. Getting a glass of water – wine cheese. carrot for the dog – wine cheese for me.

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6 Katie Pizzuto January 9, 2011

Ewwwwww! LMFAO.

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7 Kimberly January 9, 2011

Oh my gosh, Krystal burgers — love ’em! (very much like White Castle) When were kids and took the obligatory summer trip every year from North Carolina to Memphis, TN to visit our grandparents, my Dad would always stop at the Krystal Burger in Knoxville and we’d get tons of Krystal cheeseburgers — man, I love those things!! The closest thing I can find now are the White Castle microwaveable cheeseburgers in the local supermarket here, and yes, I DO buy them from time to time and enjoy an unspeakably unhealthy, but totally delicious, meal! : )

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8 Katie Pizzuto January 9, 2011

Never nuke the frozen White Castles. Put some water in the bottom of a broiling pan, put the burgers on top of the pan and tent it with foil so they steam in the oven….wayyyyy better!!

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9 Dragon January 9, 2011

A & W onion rings are my guilty pleasure…..they are so good.

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10 Katie Pizzuto January 9, 2011

Yummmm!!

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11 Benito January 9, 2011

Even Julia Child had a huge fondness for eating hot dogs in airports. She’d be standing there, taller than everyone else around her, ordering a few nasty hot dogs in that loud, warbling voice.

The one I’ll admit to here: Subway meatball subs. There’s really nothing about the sandwich that is good, but somehow the separate elements work well together. Just don’t order one early in the morning when the meatballs and sauce are cold!

Speaking of Krystals… There are plenty in the Memphis area, but I’m in a weird spot where the closest one is A) not great and B) far enough away that they’re cold by the time I get home. Since I got hit with a craving this weekend, I cooked up a mess of sliders and wrote about it for the blog. It’s not a guilty pleasure if you cook it yourself, right? 😉

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12 Katie Pizzuto January 9, 2011

I agree. Homemade sliders are not in the guilty pleasure realm.

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13 linsey January 9, 2011

Anthony said his guilty pleasure is Swedish fish … personally i would add Tatertots to that because I have tasted them and anyone should feel guilty after eating them!! Yuck!

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14 Anthony January 9, 2011

Personally I love filet mignon stuffed with lobster and a really good potato and vegetable on the side …. but definitely the Swedish fish. My wife hides them in the house just to see the smile when I find them!

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15 Katie Pizzuto January 9, 2011

Dude, steak and lobster are NOT guilty pleasures so only the Swedish Fish count 🙂

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16 Bruce January 9, 2011

Og god …….. where to start.
Food …… Kraft Dinner , and I make a really nice homemade fried rice dish (but I add cut up fried hot dogs once in a while instead of shrimp/chicken, etc. ) ……. both are relics of my student days ……..
I don’t know why …. but every once in a while I gotta stop by and get a Big Mac … nothing else … just a Big Mac.
But the biggest guilty pleasure are Butter Tarts ….. a bakery near my house makes the most amazing Butter Tarts … don’t get between me and my BT …. , I can forgo any dessert except these (and …… well ….. creme brule, but that’s another story).
Music … I am a rock and roll guy …. but in the car, when nobody else is there …….. I flip to the Country and Western Station …….. and I have been known to sing in the car … like Islands in the Stream by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton ……….. I’m so embarassed now.

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17 Katie Pizzuto January 9, 2011

Gotta remember the hot dog thing next time i make fried rice at home, LOL. And don’t feel bad, my husband will gladly belt out Lucille to anyone who will listen but Islands in the Stream, bub?!? Wow…..

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18 Peter Minde January 9, 2011

Guilty pleasure? Pecan sandies!

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19 Katie Pizzuto January 10, 2011

One of my father’s as well!

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20 David from Seattle January 10, 2011

Corn dogs with mustard and cheap beer, like Budweiser. At least I am properly pairing my drink with the food. Also love a hot dog with melted cheese and coleslaw. Potatoes, love potatoes any way they are made. One of my favorites is cheese fries and a hoppy microbrew. What a great meal. I guess there is just something about beer with guilty pleasure food.

Then, of course, there is chocolate; a subject unto itself.

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21 Katie Pizzuto January 10, 2011

I adore corn dogs, but you can keep the Bud. No matter how good the guilty pleasure is, I can’t drink that stuff.

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22 Anne January 10, 2011

I try to stay away from processed food, but sometimes nothing hits the spot like a cheese sandwich – Home Pride white wheat bread, Miracle Whip and Kraft American sliced cheese. Actually, it sounds pretty good right now…

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23 linsey January 10, 2011

Fish finger(stick) sandwich – butter, white bread, ketchup and four fish fingers …..mmmmmmm

Melted milk chocolate eaten from the wrapper if its foil. Cadburys only though!

Faggots (from Franks the butcher, Wisbech UK) burnt ones preferably – sliced with ketchup on top.

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24 linsey January 10, 2011

just incase you are curious to what a faggot looks like from my local butcher – here is as close a photo as i could find

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lancashire/2690770238/

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25 Katie Pizzuto January 10, 2011

What’s it made of?! I know you mentioned once but i was lost in the laughter at hearing “faggot” and forgot!

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26 linsey January 10, 2011

basically its pork and offal like liver etc … the ones at Frank’s though you cant taste the offal … so its more like a rich meatloaf/meatball

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27 Sarah January 10, 2011

Great read!

A guilty pleasure of mine is a McDonald’s cheeseburger. I feel a little wrong after I eat it, but it always goes down so easy. A hot dog at a sports game is another one. Loaded with onions, ketchup, mustard and relish.

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28 Bren January 11, 2011

uncooked noodles! oh my word!!! wow… I can understand the chicken nuggets..i do those, too, but in choco leche!? hilarious !

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29 Katie Pizzuto January 11, 2011

Does everyone notice that Bren did not actually confess a guilty pleasure?! 🙂

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30 Jillian January 11, 2011

ICE CREAM!!! Any shape, size, or flavor…it’s all good =) It’s gotten so bad I’ve finished pints of Ben and Jerry’s…in the store! with no spoon LMAO!

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31 Katie Pizzuto January 11, 2011

I here ya….a pint of HD Rum Raisin doesn’t stand a chance against me.

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32 Don January 12, 2011

Awesome Katie! I am far from a foodie, although I love a high class meal when I can get one. For me, the word guilty really plays in here, because I can eat McDonalds all day and not feel one ounce of guilt, but there is one indulgence that on occasion I have been known to order. Chicken Fried Steak with white country gravy (hopefully with leftover sausage link slices) some eggs over easy, Hashbrowns and Toast! I can feel my arteries hardening as I speak! This one is almost always a “while I travel” meal, because if I am out with the wife or kids they will look at me like I am going into cardiac arrest just for placing my order!

Also, I had a glass of whole milk yesterday with a very heart healthy omelet (egg whites, spinich Mushroom and Swiss Cheese). But the milk! It was like drinking a vanilla shake with my breakfast…YUM!

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33 Katie Pizzuto January 12, 2011

I completely agree….if you don’t have a sense of guilt when you are done eating it, it doesn’t count. And dude, that definitely sounds like a heart attack on a plate….in other words, yummy. And honestly, I’ve given up on buying the low-fat milk in my home. My husband grew up on whole milk and loves it, and my son as well. Neither of them have health or weight issues, so they get what they want for the most part. I’m not a milk drinker, and when I need it to bake with there’s no way in hell I’m substituting with low-fat crap, so whole milk it is!

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34 LabHorror February 5, 2011

Lady Gaga for music, and for food guilty pleasures: I absolutely adore the crunchy Cheetos. They are so artificial-cheese-corn-and-salt, but they are my orange-stained childhood.

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35 Katie Pizzuto February 7, 2011

Always been a puffy Cheetos person myself 🙂

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36 Heavy Pete February 8, 2011

1. Nuked chicken nuggets with Thai peanut sauce and a drop or two of Tobasco sauce.

2. Cold thin-crust pizza, warmed in the oven to ultra-crispiness, with ranch dressing on the side.

3. Pepper, salsa, and avocado omelets…with ice cold beer. At 7am.

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37 Katie Pizzuto February 8, 2011

WAIT ONE MINUTE!!! You didn’t fess up a musical guilty pleasure!!

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38 Katie Pizzuto February 8, 2011

That third one’s a keeper, BTW 🙂

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39 Heavy Pete February 9, 2011

A musical guilty pleasure? Fine.

“It’s a Sunshine Day”: The Best of the Brady Bunch.

(An updated version of one of my favorite tracks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrGOg4b7zOc)

It’s just begging for a hardcore version…

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