Oh, how I do love the holidays!
Words by Jordan Villanueva

1. Baking Chocolate Crinkles
I love baking. It’s therapeutic, and almost always results in something very delicious (unless I burn the goods, which rarely happens!). But there’s something about chocolate crinkles that takes me to a special place in my mind palace, where I dunk crinkles into a mug of Earl Grey in a cozy armchair, near a fireplace, exchanging tales of old with Sir Patrick Stewart. (I may or may not be sitting in his lap in this fantasy. I swear my mental state is intact.)

2. The Nightmare Before Christmas
and The Polar Express

I love (lovelovelove) The Nightmare Before Christmas so I tend to watch it twice a year: during the holidays and on Halloween. I also thoroughly enjoy The Polar Express and Josh Groban’s vocals (exclusively during the holidays) so that is usually watched after TNBC.

3. A Weekend with Eggnog

I choose a weekend in December or January and hole up with two cartons of eggnog. I’m lactose intolerant, but if you know me well, you know I am very bad at resisting temptation, especially when said temptation is something delicious like eggnog. [Ain’t that the truth —Ed.]

We all make sacrifices, readers.

4. Friendmas
A yearly event where friends gather together dressed in their most festive pyjama garb for a grand feast. Activities include Secret Santa, attempts to watch Disney movies on a semi-functioning television and (usually) successful attempts at making mulled wine/cider. Consumption of alcohol is almost always a guarantee and depending how much you eat, some, er, intestinal discomfort may be involved.

5. Honeyed Chicken
Ever since my friend made honeyed chicken one year for Friendmas, I was hooked. The recipe came from the official Game of Thrones cookbook, A Feast of Ice and Fire. Essentially, you combine honey and apple cider vinegar in a small pot and cook it ’til it’s reduced and thicker in consistency. You add raisins during the cooking process and when the sauce is finished, you drizzle it over a whole roasted chicken. (Breaded and fried chicken breasts or thighs work great too.)

It’s absolutely phenomenal—the sauce is sweet and tart and because chicken is so versatile, the marriage works perfectly. The raisins absorb the sauce and get plump and juicy. This dish really gets me in the festive spirit!

Photo credits
Chocolate crinkles photo courtesy of ladygouda.com
Nogman photo courtesy of zazzle.com
Friendmas 2013 photo courtesy of Andrea K. 

Honeyed Chicken photo courtesy of innatthecrossroads.com

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