By Tasty Table Blogger Jenny Stauffer

Well, I just cannot believe the holidays are here! Doesn’t time fly by faster the older we get? I know many of you will be dashing here and there, from party to party, house to house and may need some new ideas of how to entertain or what to bring to eat. Maybe some of these recipes will inspire you to try something new! Also check out my post from last year for other ideas!

Pastry Shell Appetizers

I have no specific one recipe, but rather am using these handy pastry shells as a springboard as ideas for different appetizers. You can find these as “tart shells” in the frozen section of your grocery, and my favorite are the mini “phyllo shells”. These are easy to fill and a little special and fun appetizer. Here are some combinations I have used. Keep in mind, you can make your favorite hot dip recipe, fill these, and bake until warm and brown.

Fill and bake with:
– pimiento cheese
– BLT or mini tomato pies-mix together equal parts of mayo and grated parmesean cheese. Add chopped tomatoes, bacon, basil, and spring onions.<
– cream cheese, salsa and cheese-can add cooked sausage or add the Velveeta dip we all have had.
– Buffalo chicken dip
– store bought Cajun crab dip or spinach dip
– chicken salad/tuna salad
– slice of brie topped with red pepper jelly

-Also, these can be filled with key lime or pre-bought lemon curd and topped with whipped cream, served cold.

Southern Living’s Sausage and Egg Casserole

Years ago, I helped to host a baby shower, and I volunteered to make this. We have all had a million versions of sausage and egg casserole. This one received rave reviews. I just picked it off of one of my Southern Living magazine recipe cards! Back then (I am talking seven years ago, crazy enough) I still cut and pasted all of my recipes! I think it’s the addition of the dry mustard and the Worcestershire sauce. I’m not sure, but you can’t beat waking up and having this ready to bake!

1 pound ground pork sausage
10 white bread sandwich slices, cubed
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1. COOK sausage in a skillet over medium heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well.
2. PLACE bread cubes in a lightly greased 13 x 9-inch baking dish; sprinkle bread evenly with cheese, and top with sausage.
3. WHISK together eggs and remaining ingredients; pour evenly over sausage mixture. Cover and chill casserole for 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
4. BAKE at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Peppered Pork Roast with Cherry Salsa

Source: “You’re Invited”
This is so delicious and a great combination of sweet and savory. The colors are nice for this time of the year, too!

1 (3-pound) pork loin roast
1-2 T cracked black pepper
2 tsp garlic salt

*Rub pepper and garlic salt on all surfaces of pork roast
*Place pork in a shallow pan and roast in a 350 oven for one hour, until thermometer registers 155-160 degrees.
*Let roast stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
*Serve with Cherry Salsa

Cherry Salsa
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup chopped green chiles
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/3 cup red cherry jam
1 ½ T vinegar
1 ½ T fresh chopped cilantro
Combine onion, green pepper, green chilies, cherries, jam, vinegar, and cilantro.
Mix well.  Cover and chill several hours or overnight (best).

Bread Pudding with Fruit and Warm Whisky Sauce

Source:  “You’re Invited”

This is one of the first recipes I made for my husband.  I created a whole meal, and this was the dessert. It was impressive, and easy then (!), and it still is one of our favorite desserts.

4 cups milk
10 cups cubed bread
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 T vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries

Whisky Sauce recipe
Preheat oven to 325.  In a large bowl, pour milk iver bread cubes. Soak for 30 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine sugar, eggs, vanilla. Mix well.  Stir egg mixture into bread mixture.Fold in fruit.
Pour into a well- greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for one hour thirty minutes.
Cool completely.

Whiskey Sauce
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs (can use pasteurized)
1/3 cup whiskey

Combine butter and powdered sugar. Stir in whiskey. Serve warm over pudding.