Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Traditions- Chile Cheese Rolls

Growing up in Oklahoma with lots of cousins, aunts and uncles in the surrounding area, our Christmas celebration was casual, fun and always held at Grandma Carter's house on Christmas Eve. Grandma's silver artificial tree was set up on the coffee table in the corner by the fire place with the rotating colored light disc transforming the whole living room into a colorful, noisy ball of excitement. The uncles teased and tickled, the aunts were helping in the kitchen, the bright strobe of the camera flashed, and the presents were stacked high as the party began. Sitting on the back stairs was always a where you could find the cousins.
My mom and dad Christmas 1967 standing by the famous silver tree.

The tireless aunts doing dishes in the tiny, yet effective kitchen. Left to right, Aunt Jo, Aunt Leila, Grandma Carter, and my great Aunt Georgie.

The silly cousins sitting on top of Uncle Al. Both of my uncles were fun and loved all the kids.

The menu was simple, yet consisted of three must-haves for Christmas to begin:

Uncle Sam's Weinie Roll-Ups, yep the hot dogs rolled in crescent roll dough, baked and dipped in mustard or ketchup.

Chile Cheese Rolls, sliced and placed on Ritz crackers (recipe to follow)

A pickle and olive tray

and 8 oz. bottles of Coca-Cola

This combination was magical and festive and we all looked forward to it's simple yumminess every year.

Sadly we moved away from Oklahoma City many years ago, and no longer go home for Christmas to celebrate with the family. All the cousins have grown up and now have traditions of their own. As my kids are all young adults now, our own traditions and our Christmas eve meal have graduated to cheese fondue, mixed veggie tray, french bread, and cider and wine.

But, before I get ahead of myself, here's the recipe for

Grandma Carter's Chile Cheese Roll

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated

1 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. Chile Powder PLUS

1 container Chile Powder (buy the big one at your local box store)

In a large bowl, place cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic salt, pecans, mayo, and 1 tbsp. chile powder. Set aside.

Tear off 12x12 inch squares of wax paper and stack 3-4 sheets on top of one another and have ready nearby. Onto the top sheet of wax paper pour 1/2 cup of chile powder into the center.

Mix all ingredients together with your CLEAN hands. This is the best way to incorporate all ingredients. I know it's messy, but it works.

Shape into rolls or logs 5-7 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter. If I'm making this by myself I make all the rolls and set aside inside the bowl til all are shaped. If working with my husband or one of my young adult offspring, one of us does the messy work, and one keeps their hands clean to do the rolling/wrapping.

With clean hands (or a helper) roll the logs into the chile powder, lifting the wax paper and moving the roll around to maintain shape, yet cover in chile powder.

Slide the first sheet of wax paper off, and place newly rolled log onto a clean sheet of wax paper to wrap and store in fridge. I like to also add a second, neater wrap of aluminum foil on top of the wax paper wrapping, so it's ready for gift giving.

Add a ribbon the roll, and put it in a pretty gift bag with a sleeve of Ritz crackers and bottle of Coke.

When serving my own for guests, I like to roll the log in chile powder one more time before placing it on a pretty plate with Ritz crackers surrounding. I promise you the folks you give this to will be nice not naughty all year so they'll get another one the following Christmas.

Last night my son, the Carter namesake, came over to make these rolls for gift-giving and our enjoyment. It was fun remembering Christmas Eve dinners at Grandma's and simple pleasures.

Merry Christmas!


A voice cries: "In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken."

Isaiah 40:3-5


Renna said...

Dana, thank you so much for sharing Grandma Carter's recipe. I'm anxious to make it, and happy to have all the ingredients on hand. When served and gifted, I'll be sure to give 'Grandma Carter' proper credit. ;-)

Janea said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures. Oh how is bought back memories. We would get into trouble when we played on the stairs.
If you have anymore of recipes of grandma's I would love to have some please.
Love ya

Renna said...

Grandma Carter's Chile Cheese Rolls were a huge hit around here at Christmas. It was so good, in fact, that I've been requested to please make this often. ;-)

Thanks again, and I really enjoyed the photos, which weren't there when I first read this post.

Renna said...

Bet you're surprised to be getting a comment again on this year old post. I'm just popping in to get Grandma Carter's cheeseball recipe again. I'm taking some to my daughter's for Thanksgiving. :-)