Each month, we of the PHOENIX magazine editorial team ask ourselves a different question about our favorite dining and drinking experiences in the Valley. Our picks are usually hidden in the back of the magazine among our Dining Guide restaurant listings. Not any more. Our picks are going digital! Feel free to follow us on social media (at least, those of us who tweet) and be sure to tag us (@PhoenixMagazine on Twitter and @PHXMagazine on Instagram) on pics of your favorite picks.
Happy December! As we count down the days until our inevitable New Year's diet, we're asking ourselves, "Which holiday treats will you be indulging in this month?
Craig Outhier, editor-in-chief
"Popularly, they're known as magic bars, but my family calls them Kibbles and Bits for reasons that escape me after all these years – crushed graham crackers baked under a sweet crust of chocolate and butterscotch chips, walnuts, coconuts and condensed milk. Available at Bertha's Cafe, I understand."
Leah LeMoine, managing editor
"While I'm not Jewish, I love the traditions of Hanukkah, especially celebrating the festival of lights with foods fried in oil representing the holy oil in the temple. Chompie's latkes are my go-to – with sour cream and apple sauce, or with brisket in Jewish sliders."
Lauren Loftus, associate editor
"Tamales, please! The tamale-making tradition is my favorite Southwestern tradition (in addition to putting Santa hats on saguaros). If you're like me and are no good at making them, order some from La Purisima Bakery in Glendale (or La Purisima 2 in Central Phoenix) – green and red beef are both fantastic."
Follow on Twitter: @thelaurenloftus
Mirelle Inglefield, art director
"Smith-O-Lator sugar cookies! They are delicately sweet and buttery, always fresh and festive, and decorated to perfection. Owner/baker Heather Smith and her talented crew will even create custom orders. I could a dozen Santa heads!"
Follow on Twitter: @MirelleMeow
Angelina Aragon, associate art director
"I will be loading up on Zak's Chocolate. The hot chocolate mix belongs in everyone's home, it's that good. There are also Stix Hot Chocolate that you can mix with hot water or milk. It's quick and delightful, and great when shopping for the holidays."
Follow on Twitter: @absolutely_ange