A Week of Summer Snacks – Creamy Pinwheels


We’re only a week into this blog and I’m pretty sure you can already sense I have a disturbing fondness for cream cheese.  It’s true.  I love the stuff.  I love it in sweet dishes – pies, cheesecakes, trifles, cream cheese frosting (Yum!) – and savory dishes – as a spread, in appetizers, or mixed with something awesome and stuffed into anything that can be stuffed!  Cream cheese is a great vehicle for almost anything!  It’s sort of the glue that holds some dishes together.  I often use light cream cheese to make a dish a little healthier, but I need to emphasize this – fat-free cream cheese is the devil.  I’m not sure how it’s made, but it is not interchangeable for full-fat or light cream cheese.  It doesn’t melt right.  The texture is just…wrong.  It even tastes a little – I don’t know – off.  I try to stay away from fat-free cream cheese, but I never mind using light.

But I digress.

As usual.

If you haven’t ever made these easy-peasy snacks, you’re in for a treat!

There was a time, back in the early 90’s that you couldn’t go to a party without seeing these.  I realize now that it was probably because, as young couples, we were perpetually broke and this recipe is not only inexpensive and yummy, it makes a lot!

I’ve made these little appetizers/snacks a lot over the years and we love them.  The tang of the black olives and the zip of the green chilies blend perfectly with the cream cheese and they are wrapped together in a flour tortilla cocoon.  It makes for a perfect, creamy little bite!  I always serve them with a little salsa for dipping, but I can honestly just pop them right out of the refrigerator without the salsa.  They’re addictive!

I’ve made them the same way for the past 20 years.  This past Christmas, I decided to switch things up a little.

It’s who I am.  I’m a culinary rebel.  I like to live on the edge.

Okay, it’s not that big of a change, but it’s a good one!  When I was making them for Christmas, I mixed bacon and cheddar into the cream cheese instead of olives and chilies.  Oh, man!  They were awesome!  I also made a batch in which I stirred taco seasoning into the cream cheese and mixed in shredded chicken and Colby Jack.  Yum!!  I even strayed away from just using white tortillas and made a batch using those beautiful green tortillas.  Have you seen them?  They’re gorgeous.  There is also a pretty orange-y one made with sun-dried tomatoes.  They work great for this recipe!  You’ll want to be sure that if you use cheese, you use the finely-shredded variety.  It just works better.

My point is that you can change up the ingredients you use for the filling.  As long as you have the glue (the cream cheese) and the cocoon (whatever tortilla you choose), you’re all set!

Creamy Pinwheels

  • 2 8-oz pkg. cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 small can chopped black olives
  • 1 small can chopped green chilies
  • 2-3 large flour tortillas

Mix softened cream cheese, olives and chilies together until well-blended. Spread several spoonfuls of the mixture on a flour tortilla, covering it from edge to edge, and roll the tortilla up tightly. Continue until all of the mixture is used. Cover rolled tortillas with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove from refrigerator and slice tortilla roll-ups into 1/2-inch pinwheels, discarding ends (or eating them, if you’re  me!).

Keep covered and refrigerated. Serve with salsa.


Rebelicious Ideas:

  • A bag of bacon pieces + finely-shredded cheddar
  • Taco seasoning + shredded chicken + finely-shredded Colby Jack
  • Chopped pepperoni + finely-shredded mozzarella
  • Pulled pork
  • Finely-chopped fresh vegetables (I like broccoli, red bell pepper, carrots, and green onion.)
  • Other ideas for dips: BBQ sauce, marinara, hummus, ranch dressing, nacho cheese

See?  There’s no limit to the things you can put into these snacks!

Cream cheese makes the world go ’round!




2 thoughts on “A Week of Summer Snacks – Creamy Pinwheels

  1. These look yummy! I agree about the cream cheese! The fat free is terrible and what is it exactly??? I recently discovered Greek yogurt cream cheese! I am in LOVE! I only saw it in the Kroger brand. It has 3 grams of fat, 2 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein in 2 table spoons. It’s great! I’ve served it with pepper jelly twice now and didn’t tell anyone what it was until after. Nobody knew the difference! 🙂 I want to cook with it and see what happens.

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