Junk Food Confessions

Let’s be honest. We all have our vices and hidden underneath or behind our pantry shelves somewhere probably lies a half eaten box of Little Debbie chocolate cupcakes. It could possibly be our box of stress-relief after a long days work or when you need to quietly sneak your kid some sugar contraband just so that they can leave you alone to write your blog post. Either way, I know nearly all home cooks are guilty, at some point, of eating outside their “local, seasonal, organic and sustainable” repertoire. Why? because sometimes we all need our junk food fix and I would never judge anyone based on their box of Twinkies.

This thought came to mind again when Todd showed me a funny comic strip about a gardener dad and his kids. The images showed a proud dad and family surrounding their newly built organic garden planter. It had all the signs of a family committed to living a healthier, greener and natural way of living and eating. And then the caption is from the Father who proudly boasts about their accomplishment and decides to take the family to celebrate at “Burger King!”.

I laughed out loud. Really loud. Why? Because after a long days work on the garden, all I want is a greasy burger too, at In-n-Out. Add me a side of animal fries (extra crispy please) and neopolitan shake and I’m fueled up to plant another ten rows of organic vegetable seedlings.

The truth is, we all have our little junk food secrets that some of us would never publicly admit. Why? probably because many of us here are committed to fresh eating, home cooked meals, sustainable agriculture, ya-da, ya-da and more ya-da. Yes, it’s fabulous that we all are focused to a better food system and more sustainable food culture. But I’m not judging anyone and would never think less of an organic farmer who snuck a snickers bar (or two) on occasion.

Gordough’s doughnut eating fest with friends in Austin, TX. Instagram @DianeCu

So I wanted to be the first to list out some of my vices. I try my best to be a conscious citizen in this food world, thus our garden collection of almost 40 fruit trees and 10 vegetable plots. But dang-it, sometimes I just want a bag of potato chips. Sour cream and onion flavor, please.

I’m opening up to you all here, so please don’t think less of me. And let me know your confessions? I’ll love you more for it.

I’ll list my top 5 junk food vices, starting with favorite first:

Confession #1. Potato Chips. Potato Chips and more Potato Chips. I have a love affair with anything crunchy, salty and potato-y. I affectionately call them “my chippies” or “my crunchies” and when others reach for an afternoon espresso, I reach for my favorite bag of kettle cooked chips.

And when I have a headache, a bag of sour cream and onion potato chips will cure me faster than a bottle of Advil. How sad is that?

Confession #2: French fries. And I’m not talking about any fancy shoestring or “frites”. I’m talking about those thick, greasy, salty wedges of potato fries that you get from those little local burger joints. When I get a chance to sneak-in my drive thru moments, you can find me placing an order of large french fries with extra ketchup. Oh, and malt vinegar mixed in with the ketchup too! Pretty please!

Confession #3: One doughnut. I don’t have much of a sugary sweet tooth, but when I feel like a bad girl, I scream out for a simple glazed doughnut or a handful of doughnut holes. That’s it, that’s all I need and when I want one, I want it NOW.

Confession #4: In-n-Out hamburger, animal-style fries and a Neapolitan shake. I don’t care if the lettuce isn’t locally sourced. I don’t care if the potatoes aren’t sustainable. I don’t care to know the farmer who brought in the tomatoes. This occasional meal warms my soul, fuels my spirit and makes me duper happy.

Confession #5: Almond Joy candy bars. Gosh, I haven’t had one of these in years, but I still remember the days when one of these made me so satisfied when I needed to sneak in some guilty sugar pleasure. The combination of sweet coconut, coating of cheap chocolate and that surprise bite of almonds in the middle is the bomb!

Now, it’s your turn.



{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. Sarah

    Sour gummy candies of all sorts (the only criteria being non-geletainy).

    Any kind of corn chip with chemical cheese flavouring.

    Handfulls of chocolate chips right before bed.

    (also, we have a house rule of always having an emergancy cake mix and tub of frosting in the back of the cupboard, hahaha, but it gets made fairly infrequently.)

  2. Kat

    1. Large McDonald’s Fries, unsalted with ketchup. That’s the only thing I eat from McDonald’s, and I eat it a lot. Waaay alot.
    2. Taco Bell Hard Shell Tacos. People tell me it’s not “real” Mexican food, especially when I live in AZ, but I don’t go there for real Mexican food. I go there for hard shell tacos. #softshelltacosarefoldedburritos
    3. Baby food puffs. Is it ridiculous for a high school student to still eat these things? I love them.
    4. Strawberry Pocky
    5. Those flavored goldfish things.

  3. MST

    McDonalds fries and chocolate shakes. Mounds bars. Fortunately my husband shares that one – it’s become tradition on any road trip to buy a Mounds bar at the first gas station and eat it as we drive away. Jamoca almond fudge ice cream from 31 Flavors. Hot buttered white bread toast.

  4. Liz

    *Dairy Queen vanilla cone with Crunch Coat…really any soft serve ice cream will do, but this is my #1.
    *Peanut butter & chocolate
    *Basically anything gooey & fudgey i.e. under-baked blondies, brownies, etc
    *Rainbow chip frosting in a tub <—WORST one…never eat it but think about it!!

  5. Liz

    the “all natural” Cheetos…I pretend that they are healthier but we all know the truth.
    dove bars

  6. Celestine

    Twizzlers (strawberry), NY cheese pizza, and spicy hummus w/ pita chips!

  7. Lauren

    I thought of a few others:

    Moon Pie (I won’t buy any other snack cakes, but can’t live without these!)
    Kroger brand chocolate chip cookies (like Chips Ahoy, but crunchier. And I am usually a homemade cookie snob)
    Bacon, bacon and more bacon
    Potato chips topped with chopped raw onions (I always do this at cookouts…SO. GOOD. Bonus points if some stray chopped bacon makes its way on there too)
    Biscoff cookie butter
    Peanut butter on a spoon dipped in mini chocolate chips

  8. Lauren

    I’ve never been to the west coast, so never tried In & Out burger. Sounds right up my alley. My similar indulgence meals: steakburger sliders dipped in extra seasoning, fries and a salted caramel pretzel shake from Steak n Shake; slaw burger with fries (and these fries are a fry lover’s dream- thick, fresh-cut, soggy with grease…my favorite) and a cobbler shake from Cookout (a delicious chain in NC, SC, VA & TN); and the world’s most perfect grilled cheese and seasoned waffle fries from Friendly’s. I was fortunate to have TWO of these meals yesterday on a road trip from VA to GA- a happy day indeed. It got me thinking how funny it is that I can be so obsessive about fresh, scratch-made home cooking, yet when it comes down to it I’m pretty easy to please after all. Haha. Great post!

  9. Joanna

    Peanut butter and cheese are mine. Also any kind of cake (without fruit in it). If it’s in the house, I cannot control myself.

  10. Kesha

    I love a ginormous spoon of peanut butter dipped in milk chocolate chips and white chocolate chips! Oh my word! So good! I also have a weakness for peanut M&M’s, under baked chocolate chip cookies, and under baked brownies! Oh and I like to mix my own peanuts with milk chocolate chips,peanut butter chips and white chocolate chip! Delicious:)

  11. Jenna

    I’ve given up junk food for winter (which it is now here in Australia) – so at the start of my 2nd month without eating it. Feeling good but LOVED reading all the comments – felt like I was living vicariously through everyone!

  12. Mary Clay @ Cooking With the King

    SUCH a good post. Let’s see… Cake. Cake with extra frosting (caramel, please). Hint of Lime chips (the only chips I can’t resist). White chocolate m&ms. Slightly-underbaked cookies, straight from the oven. Fudge or pecan pie. Cheese grits.

    Can’t you tell I’m southern? 🙂

  13. Peggy

    CHIPS of any kind: tortilla (which I’ll eat with an entire jar of store-bought salsa, none of that fresh stuff in the refrigerator section, please), popchips, kettle, pringles, Lay’s original potato chips, I can’t stop.

    Also swedish fish. AHHHH.

  14. Dana Ivy

    Amazing post. Here are my confessions – please don’t tell anyone.

    Like you- fries. Unlike you- I will take any kind!
    Chocolate covered raisins – yummmm.
    Cheesecake – plain – preferably from Cheesecake Factory.
    Licorice Nibs.
    Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.
    Domino’s Pizza!!! – My husband and I order this almost every Sunday night. Shhhh
    York Peppermint Patties.

    Damn, I have a lot of vices. Now I want it all. Thanks in advance for keeping this to yourself 😉

    Dana Ivy
    http://www.iadorewhatilove.com – Check out my blog!!

  15. Courtney

    Man oh man, what a great topic.

    Microwaved nachos.

    Mashed potatoes – the boxed Betty Crocker kind. I could easily eat an entire box.

    Chips, especially kettle cooked. Especially barbecue or sour cream and onion. Or Lay’s or Ruffles sour cream and onion. Also, French onion dip.

    Chips Ahoy.

    French fries.

    Domino’s pizza. Ugh such a guilty pleasure! Periodically I try to make up excuses why we need to order Domino’s instead of quality pizza. “I think everywhere else is closed” “I think they’re having some kind of special” “They have a new crust! It…it….might be better” Also their cinna stix.

    A chocolate frosted donut from Dunkin Donuts.

    Totino’s pizza rolls.

    Boxed mac & cheese.

    This was really therapeutic.

  16. Jessy

    My top weaknesses: bananoffee pie, molten lava cake, thin crust pizza, fried chicken and salted caramel ice cream! 🙂

  17. Annie

    Popeye’s Fried Chicken, spicy please.
    7-Eleven taquitos

    Yeah, I’m in deep.

  18. Dani Fiori

    I thought I recognized that PB&J donut! YUM. Great post, now please pass the devil dogs! Xo

  19. Laura

    French fries, seasoned, salty, and with the skin on. Homemade cookies and brownies (bite sized finger food, no need for forks!) Popcorn. And Doritos…no matter how big the bag is, it is always a single-serve bag. Yum!

  20. Julie

    The bag of cheetos I eat once a year in my car so no one knows. The small batch cookie dough without egg that my sister and I used to make to eat raw. The fruit gummies (granted, they are organic) but they are basically just jelly beans masquerading as a healthy snack, that I sometimes give my child when I really should be cutting up fresh strawberries or apples to give him. Oh, and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups – try it with a smore instead of a chocolate bar – delicious!

    1. Courtney

      Haha thank you for mentioning Cheetos and eating in the car. That’s what I do when I order a chocolate frosted donut from Dunkin Donuts. It’s like it never happened!

  21. Jenn L.

    Herr’s Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips are SO GOOD. They are my favorite and I gorge myself every time I’m in the states that sell them. Ruffles S&O are a far, far second to Herr’s. Sour Punch Straws. They are incredibly bad for you, zero nutritional value…but they taste so good and chewy and sour and sweet and omg I need some now.

    Also gushers, white chocolate covered pretzels (Flipz!), Coke, and Snickers Ice Cream Bars…

  22. Shari Kelley

    I would like to hang out with all of you! I’ll bring Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cement Ice Cream from Culver’s, Hagan Das Swiss Almond Vanilla Ice Cream, and Baskin Robbins Praline’s and Cream Ice Cream.

  23. Susan

    Coke. Coke. Coke. Sour cream potato chips. Cheetos. Cheez-its. Chinese peanut sauce on noodles. Snickers. Reeses peanut butter cups. Homemade chocolate pudding. Onion rings. And the list goes on….

  24. Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac

    Salt and Vinegar Kettle Cooked chips and dark chocolate — my ultimate guilty pleasures.

  25. Kelly Senyei | Just a Taste

    I have no shame in admitting this … a chocolate-dipped vanilla cone at Dairy Queen. Pure heaven!

  26. cindy

    In-N-Out animal style everything is one of my favorite junk food indulgences…and that american cheese all melty with bits of griddle onion is a serious sirens song. Also, there’s a place in Reno called Super Burrito (2 locations, 1 in Sparks, 1 just west of the airport, FYI 😉 and they have a Chile Relleno burrito that kills me. It’s so awful/good and is exactly what it sounds like — a whole chile relleno stuffed into a bean and cheese burrito. I have been known to stow one in my carry-on for my husband whenever I fly home and the dudes in security check always ask “Burrito?” with a knowing smile. I am also nuts for this coconut yeast donut from Doughboys (also in Reno). It’s probably great that I don’t live there anymore or I’d be lost in a bermuda-triangle of too-easy-to-access-junk-food-vices.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Cindy- I grew up and lived in Reno, Sparks and Carson City! Will make a stop by Super Burrito the next time I’m in town. -d

  27. Priscilla - She's Cookin'

    Absolutely! I can’t escape my craving for crispy and salty chips and crispy fries – they can be fat or skinny, but they better be crispy! Then there’s pizza and the occasional sweet – dark chocolate, plain, or with nuts (Almond Joy), or coconut (Mounds), See’s or Trader Joe’s, any will do 🙂

  28. Pam

    1) McDonald’s french fries. No other brand will do. They are the absolute best.

    2) Swiss cheese. I cannot keep it in the fridge. I love when it gets a little warm.

    3) Almost any crunchy/sweet deep-fried chicken like Orange or Sesame Chicken. Cannot stop eating it.

    4) Phish food Ben & Jerrys.

    5) Lays plain potato chips. Love that thin crispy crunch.

  29. Megan {Country Cleaver}

    We could be junk food twins!! Although I don’t have an In-and-Out up here in Seattle- will Dick’s burgers do instead? 🙂

  30. Roberta

    Five guys fries with a light sprinkle of Cajun powder, Hawaiian Maui Onion or Sweet Barbecue kettle chips, milk chocolate with nuts, coffee ice cream, and lastly, but somehow with the biggest craving power, a chocolate topped chocolate cake donut. I need to go find me a little somthing sweet.

  31. Sarah

    Wow brand gluten-free cookies. I can eat an entire bag in one sitting!

  32. jenjenk

    oh my gosh. you nailed it. i am always ashamed of some of my ridiculously awful secret cravings.

    #1 Kraft Macaroni & cheese. with the bright orange powder imitation cheese substance. it’s awful. i know it is, but i love it anyhow.

    #2 Tito’s Taco. It’s questionable what kind and quality of meat they use. I acknowledge the fact that the tacos aren’t good. I just like them.

    #3 Ramen. There’s enough fat in that bowl of deliciousness to permanently harden my arteries. I still can’t stay away.

    #4 Pizza. Not the good kind of gourmet pizza. Domino’s or Shakey’s style. Awful cardboard crust, weird tomato sauce, sad excuse for “cheese” products. Some days I just have to have it.

    #5 Costco Polish dog. I should move this up to number 1. you really don’t know what kind of parts are in a hotdog but i just love them. I love it topped with sauerkraut, onions and mustard. All gooey and meaty. Darn it. I’m hungry. I need to go and get one now. Bye.

  33. Caroline

    Dark chocolate! I eat some every day, am completely addicted. And salt and vinegar potato chips! Love those but they are dangerous because I can’t stop until the bag is empty. French fries too but I am quite picky and they have to be really good so I don’t eat too much of those luckily (since really good ones are not that easy to find).

  34. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    French fries and almond joy are my nemesis! Kudos for keeping it so real here 🙂

  35. Kristie V

    I’m with you on the potato chips…preferably kettle cooked salt and black pepper.

    A close second is creamy blue cheese (or pretty much any stinky cheese). If it’s in the fridge, it WILL call to me.

  36. Alicia

    Now I want an In-n-Out Burger, and naturally there are none around here! Thanks a lot, Diane! 😉

  37. Terry Covington

    Cheetos. And about once a year I let myself have a Hostess Fruit Pie, about 5000 carbs (exaggerating, but pretty high up there).

  38. terri

    in no particular order, potato chips (especially salt & vinegar), tortilla chips, string cheese, chocolate…

  39. Great post, now I know that you’re one of us, hahaha.

  40. Rachael (Fuji Mama)

    Poor Brother’s Salt & Vinegar Potato Chips. Swoon.

  41. Emily

    Best topic ever. Hands down.

    McDonald’s is my number one guilty pleasure. Love their fries so much…I can even eat them cold. After that? Anything chocolate…or sweet n salty…

  42. Martha Cravens, PhD

    eek! Totally the In-n-Out Burger!! And Kettle chips — salt and vinegar, as scoops into small curd cottage cheese. GUMMY BEARS!! Cadbury Fruit and Nut bars!! Hilarious, great post!!

  43. Angela

    One plain old fashioned donut and 2 donut wholes.

    Eskimo Pie or if I’m feeling fancy the haagen dazs version.

    Ok, this one is really bad but Jack-in-the-box tacos and I live in a California town FULL of really good Mexican restaurants, taco stands, and taco trucks.

    Milky Way or Mounds.

  44. Dani G.

    Oh, yeah! Anything chocolate. Marzipan and dark chocolate. Any kind of chocolate truffles. I also crave a good cheeseburger every now and again, loaded with everything even chili. And the fries have to have mayo as well as tons of ketchup! 🙂 What else? A big plate of loaded nachos with guacamole and sour cream. I’ll be thinking about this all day! 😀

  45. Amanda

    This should be the official confessions from a sustainable home cook week. Love it. My vices in no particular order: Oreos, In-n-Out burger with the American cheese, Snickers, plain salted kettle chips, Doritos, Cheetos, and (ahhh!) Coca-cola. Sometimes, I combine a couple of these.

  46. alexandra @ sweet betweens blog

    what a fantastic, honest post! I’m with you on so many of those items. I actually brought with me a regular sized bag of Lay’s Sour Cream + Onion chips for my 13 hour drive from TN to NJ on Sunday. That’s it. Just potato chips.

    I also, thanks to my friend and food blogger Lesley [Lesley Eats], am a fan of Lay’s Dill Pickle chips dipped into sour cream. Full fat. None of that “lite” or “fat free” stuff when I’m indulging!

    And last but not least, the Duncan Hines brownies you can buy in the freezer that you put straight into the preheated oven. A little undercooked so you eat it with a spoon. So bad, but so, so, SO good.

  47. Sara

    Nacho cheese Doritos. They remind me of junior high, in a good way. Love that you are sharing this, because it is so true, no matter how “perfect” we try to seem.

  48. Candice

    Diane – have you tried Round Rock Donuts? If so, do you feel Gordough’s is better? I would love to try Gordough’s the next time I visit Austin (if it’s better than Round Rock).

    My vices are coffee, ice cream, french fries, chips, and Haribo gummies.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Hi Candice- I have not tried Rock Round yet, but it’s on the list. Thank you!

  49. Gina

    Yes- all of the above for me. Only add cake- growing up in a house with a professional cake decorator- cake is something I really need. Plus it has to be her cake- no other tastes quite the same. At the moment we live about 1200 miles apart & she’s going through chemo- so our usual visit in the summer & her baking my youngest’s birthday cake won’t be happening this year. But hopefully I will get that cake as soon as she’s feeling up to it later on.

    (you now have me really missing In & Out btw. This So Cal native lives way too far from them now- makes missing home that much harder)

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Gina- I know you will be getting that special cake soon. Wishing her a speedy recovery so she can bake again. xoxo

  50. Malgosia

    YES! I talk about this a lot on my blog. Chips in any way, shape, or form. I’ll eat a whole large bag in one sitting if given the opportunity. Usually sour cream and onion. But really, if it’s crunchy and salty, I’ll eat any flavour.

  51. Michaela | Serif and Spice

    Being gluten free, my junk food choices are limited now, but I will eat half a bag of tortilla chips in a blink of an eye if I’m not paying attention—even more if there’s guacamole.
    If I could find a local restaurant with a dedicated gluten free fryer for french fries, I’d probably eat a pound of them right now. I’m craving them badly as I haven’t had any since March.
    Oh, and chocolate of course. We have a piece or two everyday after dinner. It’s required. There’s always room for chocolate.

  52. Alyssa

    Chocolate-Covered Jujubes! Best food invention ever. There is probably not one ounce of nutrition in them, but when they’re on sale, I can’t help but buy them.

  53. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    I’m a big In n’ Out’er too! Much the same as your order except add chopped chili’s…so good! I always laugh at the In n’ Out radio commercial where the guy boasts about how the lettuce comes straight from the field and the tomatoes are “vine picked” Well duh!! of course they are. They don’t fall from the sky. It’s still good though in fact I want one now and it’s only 8am 🙂

  54. Abbe@This is How I Cook

    Ooh-I love potato chips, too. They are always in my pantry. and I confess to eating chocolate chips without the cookie. And hot fudge without the ice cream. But must have french fries with ketchup.

  55. sharon

    My last meal request would be a cheeseburger and a dry martini followed by a hot fudge sundae with extra fudge.

    And, like Alyssa, I adore tortilla chips but with a nice hot salsa not guacamole.

  56. Andi

    Movie theater popcorn with extra extra butter!

  57. Christine Davis

    This is so funny, I clicked on your post as I’m stuffing myself with Nestle Toll House chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. They don’t have choc chips here in Italy but I was craving so I had my friend in NYC ship to me a bag of Toll House choc chips here in Milan! Am with you on #1 and with French Onion dip is even better and my other vices are homemade guacamole and Tostitos (scoop of course!) and the occasional McDonald’s and Mallomar cookies (how I miss American junk food!!!)… Thanks for the great post…looks like my NYC pals will be getting a mule list from me!

    1. White on Rice Couple

      Christine- oh, french onion dip. The kind that you mix sour cream with french onion soup bag mix? YES. YES. and thank you for the reminder. -d

  58. Linda

    Peeps! And I can’t tell you how happy I am that they now make them for ALL the holidays (best when they sit out and the outside gets crunchy)!!! And Mounds…..dark chocolate all the way. And chocolate/peanut butter ice cream. The kind where the ice cream is chocolate and the swirl is that salty sweet peanut butter. And the Oreo McFlurry at McDonalds.

    I think I’m in a coma now…lol

  59. Gina

    I never crave salty things EXCEPT fries, preferably from Five Guys. On the sweet side, anything loaded with chocolate is a vice. Sugary candies need not apply, they never beat out chocolate. ever.

  60. Alyssa | Queen of Quinoa

    Tortilla chips, dunked in a vat of guacamole. There is nothing more comforting, salty and delicious in my mind. For my sweet tooth, it’s ooey, gooey chocolate chip cookies, which I have yet to recreate the perfect gluten-free chocolate chip cookie. I’m on a mission to make them fabulous. Mmm…now you’ve got the wheels turning…

  61. JulieD

    French fries are mine…through and through, I can be totally full and eat a huge cache of fries. I love caramel creams and salted caramel candies. Anything banana candy and I love gummy candy too. And love that you shared that Gourdough’s photo! I made a copycat recipe this weekend and posted it today! I ate so many of those doughnuts!! eeek!

  62. Kaitlyn

    Great post. Thanks for sharing :). I wrote a post along the same lines recently as well.

    Ice Cream. Oreos. Donuts. M&M’s. Chick-fil-A. Steak & Shake. love.

  63. Christine

    You’ve got one in your photo – the cinnamon sugar doughnut from Gourdoughs. mmmmmmm. Also a a really good burger. Ice cream sandwiches. French fries.

  64. Tieghan

    Love this post! My vices would be peanut butter and gooey chocolate chip cookies!

  65. Tamera

    Ice cream. Sour cream & onion chips. French fries. No burgers for me, I’m a vegetarian, but every Wednesday night at pub quiz I eat a Boca burger, does that count? Chocolate in pretty much any way, shape or form (from Valrhona to the most lowbrow crappy Easter or Halloween chocolate I can get my hands on).

    Have I mentioned ice cream?

  66. Averie @ Averie Cooks

    Oh I love this post!

    Coffee, chocolate, champagne, (hardly baked) cookies, super fudgy brownies.

    My vices center around coffee, booze, and chocolaty desserts. I don’t eat meat, really don’t crave salt, but sugar and gooey things, yes, please.

    Going to check back and hope others chime in 🙂

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