The Guilty Pleasures of Skinny Girls

Now that sounds scandalous, doesn’t it… I pity the poor pervert trolling the web, thinking he was going to find something completely different when his Google search landed him on this page. “Steve Garvey!??”

Steve Garvey with a Dodger Dog for you

Anyway, my local grocery store was closing for renovations and selling off everything on the shelves at 50% off. I was one of the late arrivals, and missed all the good wines and gourmet products. So among other peculiar odds and ends (a squirt bottle of Welch’s jelly, some birthday candles, banana cream pudding cups), I wound up with a large package of American cheese slices. Processed food at its finest. I like to pride myself on eating practically no processed food. But I figured the cheese would make good grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids. Except that the kids, raised on fine cheddar and goudas and Emmental and camembert, refused to touch the stuff. So dad wound up enjoying grilled cheese sandwiches and gooey quesadillas. Maybe subconsciously, I planned it that way.

I have foodie friends from the east coast who have White Castle burgers covertly delivered to their home. I’ve never quite understood the appeal of the tiny square burgers with the reconstituted onions. But I do get the allure of the guilty pleasure — a seductive convergence of engaging in something forbidden, rekindling cell-level childhood memories and consuming ingredients you know you shouldn’t be putting in your body.

Here, in no particular order, are a dozen-ish of my favorite guilty pleasures. I can’t consume them often, because then they wouldn’t be guilty pleasures but rather bad habits (and, therefore, wouldn’t be very pleasurable.):

American cheese
I would never eat it by itself. I’m not even sure what it’s made of — like it’s porcine cousin, SPAM… is it food?? But isn’t it good melted into wheat bread or draped over a hamburger patty? Pure alchemy, my friends.

• Kentucky Fried Chicken
I’ve had all kinds of fried chicken, from fancy retro-Americana diners to Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles to real soul food dives in the South. And I still don’t think anyone has bested the Colonel.

Cheetos cheese puffs
Impossibly orange, this is the stuff snack food nightmares are made of. But man, they are soooo good.

• Dodger Dogs
There are better options at the stadium — Jody Moroni’s Sausage Kingdom, Gordon Biersch, etc. But somehow nothing satisfies like a classic Dodger Dog, limp and steamed in its bun, all slathered with mustard, ketchup, onions, relish and jalapeños. Gives you a reason to get out to the stadium during the dark days of McCourt ownership.

• Bon bons
An ice cream renaissance in the past couple decades has led to a glut of delicious gourmet ice cream options. But nothing takes me back to the anticipatory bliss of childhood like that old movie theater favorite, bon bons.

• McDonald’s sausage & biscuit
With a cup of coffee, if there’s a better breakfast out there I have yet to find it.

Japanese crack snacks
I did a whole post on these MSG-coated treats. Read more…

• Pepperoni pizza rolls
In your frozen food section… I don’t even know what’s in these little bad boys. But they sure are tasty!

Salami sandwiches on white bread with Lay’s potato chips
When I was a kid, my father — under the guise of spending time together — would convince me to watch golf matches with him on TV on the weekend. There was nothing more boring than watching golf on TV. But to make it more appealing, he would take me to the local market where we would buy salami, Dutch cracked white bread, Lay’s potato chips and mint ice cream bars. At home, we’d make salami sandwiches with mayo. I would put the Lay’s on the sandwich. I couldn’t replicate this particular guilty pleasure today — the market has long since closed, and it wouldn’t be the same with any other bread or salami. Lucky for my arteries, I guess…

Pub fish n’ chips
Whenever I’m in a pub, I get fish n’ chips. I drench them in malt vinegar and put enough salt on to melt black ice off a winter street in Fargo. Somehow, washing it all down with a hoppy ale makes it seem alright.

• Jack in the Box tacos
Two for .99 cents! How can you beat that? Plus they fry the whole doggone thing, lettuce and all!

What are some of your favorite guilty food pleasures? Let us know.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. paul
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 16:01:02

    Lori, like you, has a Cheeto’s jones in her closet. It’s like a trick circus dog every time I bring home a small bag. I think I could get her to do anything short of murder for those grisly neon orange bites. And like snowflakes, there is not one cheeto that is a duplicate. I’m with your kids on the processed cheese . . . 8^)


  2. Ben
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 16:15:17

    I’m on board with the McD’s sausage and biscuits. However, they changed a few years ago in an effort to reduce calories and trans-fats. (It’s McD’s! What’s the point?) The biscuits haven’t been as greasy and tender ever since. That being said, I haven’t consumed more than tw0 of them in the past 13 years.

    I want to assure you that my vegan cleanse is temporary. In fact, I have a planned off-day this Friday-short ribs and red wine are on board for my bacchanalian diversion from vegetables.


    • scolgin
      Apr 26, 2011 @ 16:18:17

      I used to do a vegan cleanse every January — plus, no booze, no sugar, no coffee! Then once I had kids, it just became too much of a hassle. Plus, it was a big drag. Now I figure, I can cleanse when I’m dead. LOL


  3. Lisa Gaskin
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 17:02:56

    I s’pose if I ate much of the above, I wouldn’t be a skinny girl 😉

    Well, we have a local restaurant that has asparagus fries and fried deviled eggs both of which probably qualify…I love breaded and fried fish…a rare treat would be uncured BACON from a bacon tree 😉 I don’t do any fast food but I do like frozen yogurt with almonds all over…


  4. Andy
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 18:29:30

    I LOVE fast food!! I LOVE jack in the box taco’s! Melinda and I used to get stoned and then eat several of them. I LOVE Kentucky fried chicken, HOT chicken wings, sliders, cheeseburgers, cheetos but they must be the crunchy ones. I LOVE sausage mcmuffin with egg. Now that I’m a skinny girl I enjoy all of these decadent things VERY moderately. Weird, when I weighed 20 pounds more I didn’t eat them and now I do!


  5. Monica
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 19:06:14

    I like the white puffy cheetos (no food coloring). Love KFC! Chi Chi’s Pizza has excellent pressure cooked chicken that tasted fried and gives KFC a run for their money! I am amazed at how wonderful Jack N The Box tacos taste! I am addicted to Cupid’s! Love blt’s with tons of mayo and thinly sliced jalapeno’s…but donuts are my guiltiest pleasure! Oh and let us not forget Girl Scout Thin Mints!!


    • scolgin
      Apr 26, 2011 @ 19:09:05

      Those are good ones! I’m afraid to go to Cupid’s — I haven’t been since I was a teenager, and I’m afraid I’d be instantly addicted again.


  6. Greggie
    Apr 26, 2011 @ 19:24:22

    When exactly does a guilty pleasure become a bad habit? How many McRib sandwiches do you need to eat to qualify? I’d rather not think about it.

    Peanut M&Ms
    Ice Cream Drumsticks
    Tommy Burger
    See’s peanut brittle
    Hi-C Fruit Punch
    Kellogg’s Sugar Coated Cornflakes


    • scolgin
      Apr 26, 2011 @ 19:28:13

      Yeah, those McRib sandwiches are weirdly good, aren’t they?? Ice cream drumsticks and Tommy’s burgers, yep. They make an ice cream sandwich in San Francisco called “It’s It,” which they sell at baseball stadiums. They’re fiercely good, and I recently discovered them in my grocery store frozen aisle.


  7. g
    May 03, 2011 @ 23:01:53

    Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Right from the saucepan.

    It’s a throw-back, for me – back to the dorms when you could make it on a hotplate or in a hotpot, with cartons of milk you bought from the vending machine. If you could swipe a few pats of butter from the dining hall, fine, otherwise you made it without the butter.

    mmmmmm! pure comfort at exam time.


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