Thursday, December 5, 2013

Holiday Appetizer #1 Cream Cheese & Cucumber Roll-ups

Last year I posted 12 holiday dessert recipes, so this year I decided to do something a little bit different. Appetizers are a huge part of most holiday entertaining, and sometimes I spend more time figuring out what to serve as appetizers than I do on the actual meal.

The goal here is to provide some simple appetizer ideas that are easy to cook or even just assemble. There's enough to do over the holidays. Food should be simple to prepare and delicious to eat. Oh yeah, and gluten free! No complicated appetizers here. Just quick ideas that will get your party started in no time.
Appetizer #1 Cream Cheese & Cucumber Roll-Ups

This appetizer is as simple as it gets. Similar to tortilla pinwheels but without the heaviness of the bread, these roll-ups look festive and are fun to eat. Kids love to help prepare these, after an adult cuts the cucumber. Change up the flavour of the cream cheese to add some variety. The number of rolls you get depends on the size of the cucumbers you use. A word of advice: the cream cheese you get from the deli counter works better for this than the more processed varieties. It spreads better and keeps the roll-ups together.


1 large garden cucumber (English cucumbers tend to be too thin for this to work properly.
100 grams cream cheese


1- Cut the ends off the cucumbers. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin (I bought mine at the dollar store) slice cucumbers lengthwise into long, very thin strips. Place each strip on paper towels, and then cover the tops with more paper towels and allow to sit for a few minutes. If the cucumbers are wet, the cream cheese won't stick.

2- Remove the top layer of paper towels. Using a butter knife, spread a layer of cream cheese over a cucumber slice. How thick you spread it is up to you!

3- Roll the cucumber up, pressing the tip to stay using the cream cheese to help it stick. If you're having a hard time rolling, it's because the slices are too thick. I didn't need to use a toothpick to keep them together, but you can if necessary. Repeat the process with the remaining slices.

These will keep covered in the fridge for about 48 hours before they start to dry out.


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