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December 05, 2013 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-12-05

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the b-sid

2B - Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

I

FOOD COLUMN.
Finding the hidden
holiday treats of
Ann Arbor

NETFLIX PIX
Daily Arts Writers dig through recent
Netflix releases to find the shows worth
revisiting or discovering.

-

Jics the most wonder-
ful time of the year,
people: parties for host-
ing, marshmallows for toasting,
caroling out
in the snow
... and in the
world of food,
there's a lot
more going
on than just
chestnuts
roasting on NATE
an open fire.
Say what you WOOD
want about
commercial
businesses capitalizing on the
holiday season; if it means J get
those holiday treats I've been
waiting 10 months for, then I
don't care.
As a kid, I remember feel-
ing like the holidays had really
only begun when my mom came
home with a carton of eggnog. It
was super rich, probably imita-
tion stuff that IShad to dilute with
skim milk to make drinkable, but
every November, I'd look for-
ward to slurping the concoction
from those gaudy, winter-themed
glasses (envision pixelated pine
trees beneath a sky of uniformly
arranged snowflakes) that were
dug out from the back of our
cabinet at only this time of year.
It wasn't the eggnog that I cared
about, but instead what it symbol-
ized.
Truthfully, I haven't changed
much in that regard: I still get
really into this whole holiday
cheer thing. And here to help are
a number of local eateries and
national chain restaurants, which
oh-so-generously shove "limited-
time" products in my face deco-
rated with bright-red ribbons and
jolly, happy snowmen. But hey,
like I said before, I don't care.
So - in no particular order - I
present my top-six picks for Ann
Arbor holiday treats.
Achatz Handmade Pie
Company Turkey Pot Pie
Forget Banquet!, Achatz's
handmade pies are the way to go.

An independent business with
a number of locations scattered
throughout Ann Arbor and metro
Detroit, Achatz Handmade Pie
Company is currently offering
its seasonal turkey pot pie filled
with everything you love about
Thanksgiving. A combination of
shredded turkey breast, verdant
green beans and sweet notes
from golden sweet potatoes and
plump cranberries is wrapped in
rich, salty gravy and topped with
an herbed crouton crust. And yes,
they'll ship it to you. Does it get
any better thanthis?
McDonald's Eggnog Shake
I know, I know, how classless
for a food critic to suggest order-
ing anything at McDonald's. But
let me reiterate a recurringctheme:
I don't care. The eggnog shakes
here are actually the best. The
eggs, the nog and the shake prob-
ably aren't real, but I know for a
fact that the chemically preserved
cherry on top is ... well, mostly,
anyway. Just try it; don't think
about it.
Don't knock
McDonald's
delicious
Eggnog Shake.
Zingerman's Candy
Manufactory Peanut Brittle
Nothing says Christmas like
peanut-brittle. Whether you're
planning on enjoying the treat
yourself or just stuffing it in par-
ty-favor to-go bags, Zingerman's
Candy Manufactory (who knew
that was even a word?) has per-
fected the art of peanut-brittle
pulling. Watch the video on their
website to see why - instead of
making a huge, molten mess your-
self - you should probably just
leave candy-making to the profes-
sionals.

Starbucks Pumpkin
Spice Latte
Not to be a hipster about this,
but I liked Starbucks' Pumpkin
Spice Lattes (we'll call them PSLs)
before they were cool. And you
want to know a secret? I know
how to make them even better.
Listen. Normally, a grande-sized
drink at Starbucks has four pumps
of flavored syrup. Take advantage
of this knowledge (and act obnox-
iously pretentious in the process)
by askingyour barista for a"Gran-
d6 Pumpkin Spice Latte, three
pumps pumpkin spice, one pump
white mocha" instead of your
standard PSL. Modeled after a
cappuccino Ihad in Traverse City
a few years back, this customized
Starbucks drink will - I promise
- be your new winter favorite.
Iorio's Gelateria Bourbon
Caramel Gingersnap Gelato
Though this really shouldn't
require any persuasion on my
part, allow me to sing the praises
of this boozy holiday muddle of
awesome: Taste the dense, silky
gelato swirled with sweet and
sticky caramel. Freshly baked gin-
gersnap cookies add a welcomed
hearty texture, and the dash of
strikingly dark, barrel-aged spirits
the perfect taste-bud punch. Am I
making myself clear?
Roos Roast Holiday Blend
To wash everything down,
grab a locally roasted bag of beans
and brew a cup of joe. The Holi-
day Blend at Roos Roast is mildly
spiced to trigger those warm clove,
cinnamon and nutmeg notes, just
the pick-me-up your Monday
mornings are probably looking for.
I went through a full pound during
Fall 2012 final exams. Don't judge
me.
And with that, I say, 'let it snow,
let it snow, let it snow.' Deck the
halls; we need a little Christmas.
Joy to the world! Still not feeling
the holiday cheer? Go check your
heart; it's probably three sizes too
small.

"Dexter" - "American Horror Story"

Okay, so maybe right before finals isn't the
best time to get into this highly addictive drama
about friendly neighborhood serial killer Dex-
ter Morgan (Michael C. Hall, "Six Feet Under")
... butI mean, c'mon, it's "Dexter." Regardless of
the last few seasons, the first four are fantastic
and John Lithgow's Trinity stands with Hanni-
bal Lecter as one of the greatest on-screen seri-
al-killers of all time. But what brings the series
alive is Hall's constant ability to change. He's
never simple enough to just be a one-note mur-
derer. Instances of change are visible in every
episode, but the impact is invisible because the
results are always drenched in blood.

Midway through the bewitching third sea-
son of "American Horror Story," Netflix has
released the series's second installation, "Asy-
lum," for streaming. The real showcase of the
season is Sarah Paulson's mesmerizing portray-
al of Lana Winters - watch as she braves the
horrors of 1960s mental health care and stead-
fastly rivals Jessica Lange (in both the fictional
world and in performance). Unlike the more
focused first season, "Asylum" skillfully juggles
manyterrors, from the devil to mad scientists to
aliens. Look out for Ian McShane's serial-killer
Santa in episode eight, a surefire way to get in
the holiday spirit!

0

DO YOU ENJOY THE CULTURAL
BOUNTY OF ANN ARBOR?
DO YOU WANT TO WRITE ABOUT IT?
APPLY TO BE A DAILY
COMMUNITY CULTURE WRITER.
Email arts@michigandaily.com to request an application.

WARNER BROS PARA
"Doctor Who" "It's Always Sunny..."

No, I'm not telling you to watch 50 years
worth of television, but the classic BBC series
just celebrated one hell of a milestone. I mean,
how many shows have a 50th anniversary? To
call the series addictive would be an under-
statement, so be warned: It is definitely not a
good idea to plunge into the Doctor's world dur-
ing finals week. And with the 12th Doctor (Matt
Smith) set to regenerate into Peter Capaldi's
Number 13 come Christmas, new fans have the
perfect jumping-on point.

Season 8 just landed on Netflix and, like
those before it, it's filled with the same offen-
sive, crude, deceitful, selfish and shallow antics
fans have come to love and expect from "The
Gang." A personal favorite from the new season:
"The Maureen Ponderosa Wedding Massacre."
The horror-themed episode showcases how
insane (and huge) the McPoyle family is and
includes a cameo from director Guillermo Del
Toro ("Pacific Rim," "Pan's Labyrinth"). Just
don't drink the milk.

S.

f

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