Chris and I love to entertain, especially around the holidays. A few items in our “holiday pantry” make entertaining on short notice as easy as pie. Here are a few of my favorite “in-a- holiday rush” appetizers. I hope they will make your next gathering a little easier and more memorable.
1. Corn Salsa Bake (pantry item: Eckert’s Corn Salsa): Spread cream cheese in the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish. Top with 16oz of corn salsa. Then top with 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 and serve with Eckert’s famous Tortilla Chips.
2. Picks (pantry item: pickled vegetables like beets, okra and garlic): Chunks of pickled veggies can be mixed on picks to create a colorful display. Locally made smokies and cheeses cut in cubes are easy to thread on toothpicks or frill picks. I added a snowflake cut out of parchment paper for festive flair.
3. Goat Cheese Rollups (pantry item: dried nuts and fruit, Eckert’s Pure Honey, tortillas): Spread goat cheese in a thin layer on the tortilla. Top lightly with chopped nuts and dried fruit pieces. Drizzle with pure honey. Roll tortilla. Use honey to “glue” the end of the roll. Cut in coins.
4. Pepper Jelly Crackers (pantry items: Eckert’s red or green pepper jellies, crackers): Spread a little cream cheese or mascarpone on a cracker. Smear with sweet red or green pepper jelly.
5. Irish soda bread with prosciutto, pear and honey (pantry item: Eckert’s Pure Honey, Irish Soda Bread): Cut Eckert’s Irish Soda Bread into triangles. Smear with ricotta cheese. Top with a slice of pear, a twisted thin slice of prosciutto and drizzle with honey.
6. Mini Pie Jars: Start with your favorite Eckert’s Bakery pie. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to transfer the pie it into 4 oz jars. (I do use all of the bottom crust in the process.) Top with homemade or canned whipping cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon if desired.