If you’ve ever sampled some of the fabulous fare in our Bakery or Prepared Foods areas during the holidays (or any time of year, really) you know we’ve got some very talented team members working for us. For the holiday issue of The Whole Deal value guide, we challenged team members from these departments to send us their own best, budget-friendly, small-bites recipes. Here are the two winning recipes picked by our panel of judges and more about the team members who created them: Bacon Jalapeño Stuffed Mushrooms created by Elizabeth Hernandez, Prepared Foods Team Member in our Willowbrook, Illinois store. Elizabeth set out to create a holiday appetizer that incorporated all five taste sensations ... sweet, sour, salty, spicy and savory. Plus, she wanted it to be wallet-friendly, simple to make, attractive on a serving platter and delicious. Voila! Bacon Jalapeño Stuffed Mushrooms were born. Elizabeth gives a big shout out to her store in Willowbrook, especially her teammates in Prepared Foods, “We’re a group of down-to-earth, creative people who support and assist each other to make the shopping experience for our customers personal and a delight.” Festive Garland Bars created by Elyse McGraw, Bakery Team Leader in our Pearl store in Boulder, Colorado. Popcorn in a dessert? Yep! Elyse enjoys adding unexpected elements to a recipe and using the wide variety of affordable products in our exclusive 365 Everyday Value® line. “The 365 Everyday Value® chocolate chips, they are my favorite tasting chocolate chips,” proclaims Elyse. Combine fun and value in a dessert and you’ve got two dozen Festive Garland Bars for just 32¢ each. (We do our best to estimate the cost of ingredients used in each recipes, but slight market variations are entirely possible.) Since starting as a Cake Decorator in 2005, Elyse is now the Bakery Team Leader in Boulder’s Pearl store. She loves baking the classics for the holidays — soft rolls, pies and sugar cookies — just like her mom made when she was a kid. Learn more about Elyse and see pictures of her decorative desserts in this interview on the Pearl store blog. Here are more small-bite recipes that are tasty on the palate and easy on the wallet. These all ring in at less than 50¢ a piece, because throwing a shindig doesn’t mean throwing all “cents” out the window. Got a big appetite for small bites? Our holiday pages have more favorites for holiday entertaining on a budget from years past. Plus, there are hundreds of recipes, how-to guides and videos, and much more. Of course, The Whole Deal value guide helps you share the season with wallet-savvy panache and save over $34 with a chorus of online coupons. What are your tricks for planning holiday parties without piling on the debt?