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For the Holidays: An Appetizer

During this festive (and frantic) time of year, most of us are called upon to take some thing to some party  some time. Often, these parties take place at work or shortly thereafter, and it is impossible to take anything that has to be kept warm. Even if I am coming from home, I am not mad keen on carrying a crock pot of Swedish meatballs through the snow and up a steep and icy driveway wearing my 3-inch black party boots.

The following is a not-too-haute recipe that will please most of the people most of the time, is portable, storable and will never leave a mark on your red cashmere twinset unless you literally massage it into your sleeves.  It also has a red and green quality that is Christmas-appropriate. You may use light cream cheese if you prefer, and I tend to use fresh jalapenos, Kalamata or other “real” olives and a little more hot sauce than called for in the original recipe. If you know that you are serving a crown that can’t eat spicy food (at the Gastric Ulcer Survivor Support Group Christmas Party, for example) go easy on the jalapenos and hot sauce. If you are preparing these for folks who hate cilantro (like my father or Giada di Laurentiis) you can leave it out.

 Spicy Tortilla Roll-Ups


Yields: 30 servings


  1. 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  2. 1 (2 ounce) can chopped black olives
  3. 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
  4. 1 (4 ounce) jar sliced pimento peppers, drained
  5. 2 green onions, minced
  6. 3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
  7. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  8. 10 (10 inch) flour tortillas

1. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, olives, chiles, pimentos, green onions, hot sauce and fresh cilantro. Spread the mixture onto tortillas. Roll the tortillas up and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Slice the roll ups and serve.


About imagineannie

I feel like I'm fifteen - does that count? I'm lots of things, I get paid to be the Managing Editor for a local news publication, and I love my job. I am also inordinately fond of reading, animals (I have four), elephants, owls, hedgehogs writing, tramping in the woods, cooking India, Ireland, England, avocado toast, Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Little Women, Fun Home, Lumber Janes, Fangirl, magic, Neil Gaiman, Jane Austen, YA books, not YA books, classical music, Salinger (OMG SALINGER), Brahms, key lime pie, indie music, podcasts, sleeping in, road trips, marmalade, museums, bookstores, the Oxford comma, BBC, The Miss Fisher Mysteries, birdwatching, seashells, kombucha, and stickers. Not a huge fan of chewing gum, jazz, trucker hats or dystopian and/or post-apolcalyptic fiction (but I'll try anything).

6 responses »

  1. These sound delicious! I love food that has a little bit of a bite to it! That’s how we do it, in South Texas! 🙂

  2. Hi Ramblinghousewife! We wouldn’t have it any other way, even here in the frozen Midwest. Actually, my husband is in San Antonio right now, consuming his body weight in green chile. I am insanely jealous.

  3. Sounds like my kind of appetizer! Yum!

    I want to know…what kind of mailable food gift would you make? Any ideas for me?

  4. Sounds yummy, Annie. I hope I have a few opportunities to serve them. We usually chow on munchies all day Christmas in lieu of lunch, so these will at least be served then.

  5. katie, (who knew you were related to Nickel Creek?!) I am making goodies to pack and send to my father in law in San Francsico, and I am shamelessly stealing from here:

    I also think barks and brittles would mail well with some bubble wrap. I’m still trying to think of a non-sweet pack-and-send; my cheese straws keep well but they are terribly fragile.

  6. Barbara, I hope you get to make them – I’m actually heading out right now to buy the ingredients to make them for a Christmas party at church tomorrow….


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