The holiday season: the season I can always count on to be the most comforting. Not only do I look forward to the warm sensation of hot cocoa and the cool nodes of eggnog, but I begin to binge the classic Christmas films people know and love. And I may get a few recipe ideas in the process.

This holiday season, I recreated three unique dishes featured in films fit for a cold December night, using simple ingredients friendly to my college budget. 

Concluding my experimentation, let's just say some snacks should have stayed on screen. 

Who Hash, "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000) 

What seemed like a meal only The Grinch could love, I thoroughly enjoyed my spin on this holiday breakfast. 

The original Who Hash recipe consists of diced meat and canned white potatoes. From this description alone, I knew this would be a dish I needed to elevate. Sticking to the broad elements of the dish, I swapped out the canned potatoes for one medium sweet potato and the typically used corned beef for maple-apple chicken sausage, courtesy of Trader Joe's. 

Because The Grinch loves green, I added a frozen pack of fire-roasted peppers and onions for vegetables, which saved me the money and time it would have taken to dice them myself. 

Lastly, to give the dish some spice and pizzazz, I did not skimp on salt, pepper, garlic salt, and nutritional yeast. 

Carolina Noguer

This Who Hash turned out to be a pleasing combination of salty and sweet, something the Grinch definitely needs. 

Banoffee Pie, "Love Actually" (2003) 

To woo a man she thinks hates her (but is secretly in love with her), newlywed Juliet gifts Mark, her husband's best friend, a truly unique sweet treat for the holidays. 

She presents him with a "banoffee" pie, a toffee pie filling enclosed by a golden crust and topped with banana slices. 

Because my budget won't allow homemade toffee, I bought the next best thing: Trader Joe's Cinnamon Sugar Toffee Trio for $4.99. 

In a medium saucepan, I boiled about one-half cup of water, melting three toffee squares into the mixture. To cream the consistency, I added milk and white chocolate instant pudding mix. Because I do not own butter, I added some spoonfuls from my tub of Greek yogurt to the mixture. 

To form the crust, I took leftover sugar cookie granola from Target and placed it into a ramekin. Over the granola, I poured the pie filling and placed the bowl into the refrigerator to cool the filling and harden the crust. 

After a couple of hours, I topped the dish with a generous amount of 'extra creamy' whipped cream and banana slices. 

Carolina Noguer

Visually, I wouldn't call this banoffee pie pretty or a pie. Taste-wise, the dish had potential, but I think my addition of salt to enhance the filling's flavor did not do this dessert justice. 

Frozen Hot Chocolate, "Serendipity" (2001) 

Out of all the recipes, I give this one extra points for being the simplest. 

Another early 2000s rom-com, "Serendipity" features John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale on their first date, which takes place at Serendipity 3 in New York City. There, they order a staple frozen hot chocolate topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. 

To match the Serendipity 3 trademark dessert, I blended ice, milk, and, you guessed it, Trader Joe's organic hot cocoa powder. After a couple more ice cubes and spins in the blender, the beverage came out more frozen than a Wendy's frosty, which is what I would have liked. 

Again using the whipped cream nozzle, I dressed some on and took a sip. The icy consistency and pretty plain flavor of the hot cocoa powder made this frozen hot chocolate likely inferior to Serendipity 3's delicacy.

Carolina Noguer

Although a fun flavor test this was, I think I'll go back to sipping on peppermint mochas and chewing soft gingerbread cookies by a cozy fireplace this season.