Transcribed by James Creange.

Photos by Kelcey Harris and courtesy of Simply Organic.

This month, Chef Jon Bonnell answered all of your Christmas related questions. To submit your questions for January, leave a comment on this post or send an email to [email protected].

Reader Question: What’s a typical Christmas feast like at the Bonnell household?

Jon Bonnell: Christmas at the Bonnell house typically involves something smoked over charcoal. We might do a couple of pork butts and have a taco night, or we’ll do tenderloin and make little mini sandwiches with Boar’s Head cheese and arugula. Something will be kind of put out for display, and then everybody just comes up to attack it. I don’t like to do plated or something too formal. It’s going to be something that is family style. Usually it involves a huge heavy protein off the smoker.

RQ: Do you have any fun Christmas traditions?

JB: I’m just glad that we don’t have to work on Christmas day itself. That’s about it. We like to surprise the kids. One of them understands, but one of them is still young enough. We put a boot print coming out of the chimney with the ashes and all of that. It’s pretty fun.

RQ: Do you decorate the outside of your house, inside of your house, both or neither?

JB: We decorate like crazy. Outside we have lights everywhere with a big sign that electrically says “Merry Christmas!” We like to do everything. We also like to get the kids out and string up some popcorn and cranberries to make our own garland. That’s a pretty fun one for the kids.

RQ: What’s the best spot for Christmas lights in Fort Worth?

JB: Ever since I was a kid, we always make it a tradition to drive by Luther Lake. Those guys go nights. I love to see it every single year. It’s always the coolest place.

RQ: I’m hosting a holiday party and wanted to send people home with small food favors. Any suggestions?

JB: When you’re going to send people home with stuff, you always want to try to keep it from being perishable. That’s a tricky one to get right. We like to do things like spiced pecans because you can put them into a sealed jar or container and that works well. Brittle and all of those kinds of desserts are good because they can last awhile. That’s an easy one for everyone to throw in the car and not worry about being spoiled the next day.

RQ: Do you have a favorite Christmas cocktail?

JB: Christmas cocktail? Yeah, definitely. A white chocolate martini with Godiva white chocolate liqueur or there are white chocolate vodkas that you can get. Add a little touch of peppermint to make it perfect. You can either crush some peppermint and sprinkle them in there or one little pinch of Rumple Minze works too. A peppermint and white chocolate martini is a great one.

RQ: I’ve put on at least 10 pounds every holiday season. Is there anything festive that doesn’t also have a huge calorie count?

JB: I do pretty much the exact same thing with stress and everything. And then in January, you can always meet all new people at the gym and on the Trail. It’s as crowded as can be for two weeks. The holidays are a time to indulge. We go crazy; we go nuts. Just have fun with it, and get back in shape once the new year hits.

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