Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Pepper and Goat Cheese Pinwheels -- #recipe by @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE BUDEWITZ:  For many years, Mr. Right’s sister-in-law and her late husband hosted a huge holiday party in early December, and one of the regular items on the menu was a brightly colored tortilla pinwheel, stuffed with goodies. (And by “regular,” I mean she served it every year, placing a sticky note on the tray she used identifying that it was for the pinwheels and its placement on the table. She likes things predictable. Mr. Right didn’t get that gene.)

I saw a version of pinwheels recently in the Washington Post that reminded me of my SIL’s treats and I decided to make my own version, borrowing a bit from each. I used goat cheese in one and cream cheese in another; both were hits. If your goat cheese is firm or dry, you might want to blend in a little milk or warm it slightly in the microwave to make it easier to spread. 

Fresh herbs are a must—use a combo of whatever you have. We used parsley, basil, and oregano. 

We used tomato and basil wraps, but spinach wraps would be lovely, too. For a more stuffed version, chop sturdy greens like spinach, baby chard, or arugula and add on top of the herbs. 

Two wraps served three of us nicely for appetizers. 

Pepper and Goat Cheese Pinwheels 

4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) goat cheese or cream cheese, or 2 ounces of each 

two (10-inch) tomato or spinach tortillas

6 tablespoons (about 4 ounces) jarred roasted red pepper, diced 

1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped 

a handful of greens, chopped (optional)

fresh herbs for garnish (optional)

Spread the cheese over the tortillas, leaving about 1/4-inch space around the edges. Add the diced red pepper and spread evenly. Sprinkle with chopped herbs and any greens you’d like to use. Roll tortilla, being careful to roll tightly as you start. Press edge into the roll to seal as best you can and rest seam-side down while you make the other roll. 

Slice rolls into 3/4-inch pinwheels, starting from the middle of the roll. Arrange on a serving platter and garnish with fresh herbs. 

Each wrap makes 6-8 pieces. 

Best served shortly after making, but the rolls can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to 1 day.


From the cover of BITTERROOT LAKE, written as Alicia Beckman (Crooked Lane Books; available in hardcover, ebook, and audio): 

When four women separated by tragedy reunite at a lakeside Montana lodge, murder forces them to confront everything they thought they knew about the terrifying accident that tore them apart, in Agatha Award-winning author Alicia Beckman's suspense debut.

Twenty-five years ago, during a celebratory weekend at historic Whitetail Lodge, Sarah McCaskill had a vision. A dream. A nightmare. When a young man was killed, Sarah's guilt over having ignored the warning in her dreams devastated her. Her friendships with her closest friends, and her sister, fell apart as she worked to build a new life in a new city. But she never stopped loving Whitetail Lodge on the shores of Bitterroot Lake.

Now that she's a young widow, her mother urges her to return to the lodge for healing. But when she arrives, she's greeted by an old friend--and by news of a murder that's clearly tied to that tragic day she'll never forget.

And the dreams are back, too. What dangers are they warning of this time? As Sarah and her friends dig into the history of the lodge and the McCaskill family, they uncover a legacy of secrets and make a discovery that gives a chilling new meaning to the dreams. Now, they can no longer ignore the ominous portents from the past that point to a danger more present than any of them could know.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the winner of Agatha Awards in three categories. Death al Dente, the first Food Lovers' Village Mystery, won Best First Novel in 2013, following her 2011 win in Best Nonfiction. Her first historical short story, "All God's Sparrows," won the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Short Story. Watch for her first standalone suspense novel, Bitterroot Lake (written as Alicia Beckman) in April 2021 from Crooked Lane Books.

A past president of Sisters in Crime and a current board member of Mystery Writers of America, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by her website and subscribe to her seasonal newsletter, for a chat about the writing life, what she's working on, and  what she's reading -- and a free short story. And join her on Facebook where she shares book news and giveaways from her writer friends, and talks about food, mysteries, and the things that inspire her.


  1. The pinwheels are going to be fun to make! They lend themselves to all kinds of variations. A favorite here in our get-togethers is a combination of deviled ham, mustard & finely chopped scallions. I like the idea of using tortillas made from vegetables so there's a variety of colors. Looking forward to trying the recipe posted. Thanks! My husband's fantasy is to live somewhere in Montana. His "theme" song is Merle Haggard's "Big City." I always share your "this is why we live here" comments with him.

    1. Linda, you're right -- a highly flexible recipe! And what a hoot about your husband. Glad you two enjoy the photos!

  2. These look wonderful! Thank you for sharing. :-)

  3. Do you know which herbs were used in the recipe?

    1. I used basil, parsley and oregano because that's what was fresh in my garden. (The original called for dried and I nixed that!) Use whatever you have and like.

  4. I'm taking this opportunity to plea for help. My Bookmark Swag Bag is empty for the first time ever. If you have any new or old bookmarks that would like loving readers to take them home please send them to me. I deliver to four library branches in two counties (that's all I have time for). Thank you.


    1. Nora-A, I'll pass that along to the other MLK bloggers, with your mailing address.

  5. The picture of the wrap spread out with the goodies on it is so pretty. Good Italian colors.

    1. Thanks! And if you used a red or green tortilla, they'd fit right in at a Christmas party. (Though my dear SIL would faint!)

  6. My mouth is watering! I'll be making these. Hugs. MJ