My apologies, dear reader.  I am so very behind.

My commitment is to blog every Tuesday and Friday, but today I find myself running rather late: to post this, to meet friends for drinks, to clean up my house before company comes.  It’s been a heckuvaweek for this tired teacher, but I feel encouraged knowing that I can present you with these:

tortilla rolls with salsa

My mom’s famous tortilla rolls, adapted by yours truly.  When you read over the ingredient list, you may think “Uh, that sounds weird.”  But rest assured, they are CRAZY DELICIOUS.  Never a one left behind.

These are infinitely adaptable (olives? ham? fresh herbs?) and perfect for football watching.  It’s just so satisfying to dunk things, like fries into ketchup, chicken nuggets into honey mustard, tortilla rolls into salsa.

Since I work in a Jewish school and we’re off Monday for Yom Kippur, day of atonement, consider my tortilla rolls an offering of repentance.  Once you try them, I bet I’ll be forgiven.

PS: We’re reading Fahrenheit 451 in class right now, Ray Bradbury’s classic vision of a futuristic, television-addicted society in which books have been banned to protect citizens from the “danger” of ideas.

As part of our fantastic class discussions, students have been batting around the idea of banned books and the power of reading, how society controls and shares information, etc.  So, we’re curious: what book has had the biggest influence on you, made an impact, changed you in some way, made you think? It can be from middle/high school, college, or more recently.  Any book works!  We’re compiling a list and would love to add yours.


Buy the freshest tortillas you can; they’ll be softer and more pliable, thereby rolling easier.  If you’ve never bought corn relish before (and really, why would you have?), grocery stores tend to stock it in one of two places: with the marinated artichoke hearts or with the olives, usually on the highest shelf.  You won’t need the whole jar, but fear not, the stuff will keep forever in the fridge.

ingredients: tortilla rolls platter

8 oz. cream cheese, softened (use reduced fat if you wish)
½ cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup corn relish
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried parsley (if using fresh, increase to 1 T)
fresh flour tortillas

accompaniments: salsa of your choice

Combine the first five ingredients in a small bowl, blending thoroughly (you can easily do this a day or two ahead).  Smear a large spoonful or two of the mixture onto a tortilla, spreading thinly and leaving a border around the edge.  Roll up the tortilla tightly; place on a platter.

Repeat until all of the cream cheese mixture is gone.  Cover the plate of tortillas with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 10-15 minutes to firm them up, making them easier to cut.  You can also leave them longer like this, just make sure they are covered well.

When it’s time, slice each tortilla roll-up into half-inch rounds with a sharp serrated knife.  Re-arrange on the platter and serve with a bowl of salsa.



  1. What an interesting combination of ingredients! I’ll have to give this a try. I agree- anything you can dunk is good! One of the most influential books I’ve read is “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. I realize that this totally outs me as a business strategy geek, but there it is. =)

  2. That’s a pretty tough question. There are so many books in my life that are memorable, but not life altering. They’re just really good books. But the book I turn too when I need a little humour and perspective is “Candide”, by Voltaire. My high school crush introduced me to it and for about the next ten years I read it at least once a year, usually during finals!
    PS Can I say that it makes me smile that you are a 1st generation Indian-American lesbian that teaches in a Jewish school? I love the modern world! (But I don’t love corn relish so I may skip this recipe.)

  3. For me I would say Charlotte’s Web. I no longer remember if it was the first book I ever read but it was the one the drew me in at an early age and left me wanting more. I became a lifelong avid reader thanks to Wilbur and company.

  4. The book that my kids and I shared when they were in middle school was The Giver, by Lois Lowry — totally cool. and I know my son swears that Ender’s Game changed him at that age. As for me, and even though my husband hates the way James Michner writes, hands down it goes to The Source — pretty much solidified my religious perspective when i was in my 20s.

  5. Interesting recipe. Not sure how I feel about corn relish – never tried it. I’m not crazy about salsa… I wonder how these taste on their own? As far as a book that made me think, it would have to be “This Present Darkness” by Frank Peretti. It really made me examine my spiritual beliefs. It was recommended by a friend about the time I was really struggling with the faith I had been raised in (20 years ago). I re-read it about once a year…

    • okay, even if ya’ll are skeptical about the tortilla rolls (I’m telling you, SO GOOD)–thank you for the books you’ve listed. many are among my favorites (The Giver, Charlotte’s Web) and others are currently in my pile to read right now! (Candide, Good to Great).

  6. i love wraps to serve at parties or while tailgating. this is different from what i usually do, so i’m excited to try it out. thanks!

  7. Just tried out these delicious wraps at a cookout yesterday & they were a huge success! Not a single one left, just as advertised!

    • bluejeangourmet

      Kate, glad they turned out so well for you!

      Lauren, I hope you give them a try…I really think they pair well with football 🙂

  8. I tried these over the weekend and they were great! I couldn’t find corn relish, so I subbed with some onion relish I found and some “Mexicorn” – canned corn with red and green peppers. They were plenty tasty on their own, but the salsa gave them an extra kick! And SO EASY! I am kitchen-incompetent, so if I can do it, anyone can!

  9. I’m waiting for my pita chips to get done in the oven and checking out the last several days’ posts. I, too, have been a teacher (ESL, but also “regular” high school English, too) and I was so captivated by this post, first because of the book question, and second because I just bought tortillas at the store and I’m thinking my DB (it seems so silly to call my almost 46-year-old boyfriend, “boyfriend,” lol. Man I live with? Love of my life? DB for “dear boyfriend” will have to do) will LOVE these roll ups!

    Only thing is, I can’t get cream cheese… Lots of crème fraîche, lots of fromage blanc, not so much Philly Cream Cheese. Any idea what might substitute?

    As for the book question, I think I might have to say “Catcher in the Rye” because it really was a book I fell in love with. Yes, Holden is annoying (for the haters of this book, that’s usually why they do), but he is endearing, too, and I loved reading this when I was 15. Some 60 years after the book was published, I found students still respond to Holden’s voice in the book and can relate to him completely. Well, the ones who “get” Holden, that is. 🙂 There are teens today who find him annoying, too.

    I may give these roll ups a try. I forgot to get dish soap at the store today. I will head out again tomorrow and see what kind of Frenchie ingredients may substitute for things like cream cheese and corn relish! 🙂

    • bluejeangourmet

      Karin–I love hearing from you! first of all, totally get the “boyfriend” quandary. Jill and I face this often: what word to use? “Girlfriend” sounds juvenile, “partner” sounds business-y, and “spouse” just sounds like a disease. oh, semantics.

      Catcher in the Rye influenced me as well, as a writer & a person…our students read it in high school and always respond to it, as you say

      as for what to substitute, I think chevre would work nicely, as long as you’ve got it nice & softened. as for corn relish, you could use fresh/canned corn and jarred pimentos or roasted red peppers, if you can find them? maybe some minced cornichon? an alternate Parisian version? I may have to try this myself! let me know how it turns out (& what the DB thinks!)

  10. I love tortilla rollups… but I’ve never seen your version. They sound really tasty!

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