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Guilty! Guilty Pleasures Dinner Party

Cheese & Sausage Biscuits

Raised an Irish catholic, I am a natural with the guilt, an expert some would say, and venturing in and out of the seven deadly sins on a semi regular basis as I do (gluttony: check), I’ve got the guilt to offer up at a Guilty Pleasures dinner party.

Guilty pleasures. Isn’t that a great phrase? And, it’s so appropriate! Sneaking that bag of crisps or chocolate bar, those deep fried treats or the haribo. Nibbling at the cheese straight from the packet after a night out. Those few stolen, guilty minutes offer rare pleasure. We all have them. Really, we do. Even if you deny it, I know you have at least one… don’t blush, I won’t tell, I promise.

Some people think, or assume that I am a food snob. Nay! I love good food, home cooked or high end. I love simple food and complex food, as long as it’s done right, it’s delicious. I try to be healthy and be nice to my body, but like (almost) everyone, I slip up.

I don’t want to brag, but I think I have more guilty pleasures than most. I like lots of dodgy food stuffs. No, I love them. CRISPS! Now, that was my first food love. My mother always said that I could live in the back of a crisp lorry with no other food stuffs quite happily. She might be right, although, where’s the pork belly? ;-) Other favourites include tinned peas, toxic green like kryptonite, with lots of white pepper. Fish fingers, flaky and crispy and less wrong now than they used to be, but still GUILTY. There’s lots more: haribo, fish and chips, instant noodles, FAT. Ooooh, fat.

Do you still respect me? Maybe a little more? ;-)

helen with her guilty pleasures

Born out of a fun conversation after a blogger meet up some months ago, six of us congregated in South London with our guilty wares in hand. Decadent as we are, we started some dirty martinis, and they were fine! Then, the food. Helen (Food Stories) started us off  with her offering of cucumber and marmite sandwiches, they were lovely, and very naughty with that white processed bread. I’ll make them again. Denise (The Wine Sleuth) our lovely host, followed with cheese and sausage biscuits. She promised they’d be so good, you’d want to slap yo mamma! And, she was right… Lucky there was no mammas there for us to slap! How have I never had these before? Next stop for me: grits.

bovril on toast

How do you follow this? Chris (Cheese and Biscuits) did admirably with bovril and butter on toast. I love bovril, it was a childhood staple, but I’d forgotten about it and bovril on toast may become a guilty staple of my own.

Lizzie cooking up her guilty dish

Next up was the most controversial dish of the evening, Lizzie’s (Hollow Legs) spam ramen which we approached with caution and devoured with speed. Delicious! A guilty triumph. This dish is very popular in Hong Kong where Lizzie grew up, and in homage to this, Lizzie used a chinese brand of spam. I loved Denise’s nickname for it: spamen noodles. That’s going to stick!

One more dish: mine. I had wanted to do crisp sandwiches with cheese and onion tayto (irish crisps), white bread and mayonnaise, but Denise was surprised and disappointed that not one guilty blogger had offered to make macaroni cheese. So, I did. I did a version of the one already on this blog, using raw buffalo milk, a sharp and strong english sheep’s cheese, cheddar and lots of pancetta including it’s rendered fat. I topped it off with 50/50 panko and grated cheese. It was nice but NOT GUILTY ENOUGH. It needed more crispy pancetta and it’s fatty flavour. Ooof.

Threaded through our guilty dishes were some wonderful wines supplied by Dan of Bibendum Wines. We blind tasted and compared some wines which was really interesting and delicious. You can read more about this on Dan and Denise’s blogs.


So, I suggest we start a craze. Have your own guilty pleasure dinner party. And do come back and tell me all about it.

Want a head start? Here are some of the recipes from ours.

Lizzies spam ramen

Denise’s Cheese & Sausage Biscuits

My macaroni cheese




  1. Ha ha! And I am standing there with my sandwiches! What a brilliant night that was! I actually enjoyed everythign I ate and no Gaviscon required! We should definitely do that again soon, I’ve since remembered more Guilty pleasures. And let’s not forget – PORK BELLY!!

  2. Lizzie – thanks! I like it too :-) It definitely says it all. What a lovely dish though!

    Angry Brit – it was! Guilty pleasures dinner party for one? ;-)

    Jules – CRISPS! I have an addiction. So unhealthy but delicious.

    Helen – there you are! Brilliant fun. I’ve thought of loads since too and the pork belly summit has to happen soon.

  3. As I said on Twitter… sounds like a great idea and I would love to organise something similar – but I reckon it would have to go hand-in-hand with a “Healthy Indulgences” dinner party to remind us all that healthy food can be soooooooooo yummy too!

  4. Did someone say grits? Niamh, I think we have to plan a virtual eating expedition around the American south soon ;-) V. funny write up, next stop Pork Belly Summit…ALL ABOARD!!!

  5. I SAID GRITS! :-) Thanks Denise. I would love that. Proper fried chicken, catfish, grits. We’d have to get tikichris on board. Oooh, salivating…

  6. Reuben Morningchilde says

    Oh this is a lovely idea! Sounds like you had great fun and a delicious evening, I can only say I’ll try to copy that, and rather sooner than later.^^

  7. annafrench says

    Oooo! Really cool blog! I’ve just discovered you. Recipes look great :)

  8. i love seeing pics of other bloggers! so THAT’s helen… very cute. this sounds like a fun get-together and sometimes you’ve just got to use naughty white bread (just sometimes).

    i’m with you on the catholic guilt thing… growing up italian-american catholic i started to rebel against the guilt! i’m sure once i have kids i’ll start utilizing guilt against them… ha ha ha!

    amy @ weareneverfull.com

  9. I’m glad that you started off with Dry Martinis- I’ve currently given up drink for Lent, and dream longingly…I think with gin, a touch of dry vermouth and a green olive, they’re called, technically, “Gibsons”…

  10. Spam ramen! That’s like a bad taste movie…
    Obviously marmite on toast is my fave, do love cucumber and marmite sarnies, but actually, looking at the pictures, that bread is not processed enough. It looks like a crusty white. To be truly naughty, it would have to be Mothers Pride style bread. (Did you know that this kind of bread is incredibly chic in France? People used to trek to Marks & Spencers in Paris to buy it).
    Pot noodles big fave with me and my teen. I tart them up a bit with spring onion and tofu.

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  12. Janice says

    I just came across your website, and would like to add my own favourite guilty pleasure – cold, leftover yorkshire pudding, spread with Lyle’s Golden Syrup.

  13. Hi Niamh – came across your blog the other day, loving it!

    I absolutely love this idea. I think I’ll have to get a few of the Irish food bloggers together to have our own version. My guilty pleasure would have to be peanut butter and jelly sambos. And peanut butter and apple slices. And peanut butter ice-cream. And just a spoon of peanut butter on its own. Yum!

    Really looking forward to

  14. aoifemc says

    I’ve been thinking about it and I’m definitely going to be hosting a guilty pleasures party here in Dublin sometime soon. What a great idea!

    Just found your blog and am looking forward to reading more!

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  16. Hello again! I had my very own Guilty Pleasures Dinner Party last night. It was sooo much fun and I just want to thank you for giving me the idea!

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