Category Archives: philosophy

Deli rolls and appetizer philosophy

Deli rolls

These deli rolls — spread a thin layer of cream cheese on a slice of deli meat and then roll dill pickles in it — are a reliable hit at parties. People are consistently surprised by the combination. I really enjoy them, and the presentation is somewhat festive, too.

This time I made them with ham and turkey. They’re also tasty made with roast beef. For ease of creation, work with whipped cream cheese (it spreads much better). For presentation, slice rolls in even sizes — I usually cut each small pickle in half; if there’s a larger one, maybe it’ll get cut in thirds.

I landed on this to take to a recent gathering after a bit of a struggle. It seems finger foods are always difficult for me to come up with. I want them to be:
• simple and relatively fuss-free in preparation,
• use normal, high-quality ingredients, and
• still be at least somewhat healthy.

This is a difficult set of criteria in appetizer land, it seems. I lean toward the safe and easy cheese & crackers or the straightforward chips & salsa. The appetizers I like, I don’t have recipes for because they’re generally so simple. But then when I need an appetizer for something, I have no way to look through the cards in my recipe box, since most likely there isn’t a recipe recorded for what I most like.


How to cook

As you’ll see below I just list the ingredients, no amounts or measurements. This is how 95% of cooking should be done. So many people would enjoy cooking more, and make better food, if they got there faces out of those cookbooks and just started cooking. They treat the act of cooking like some scientific procedure (by the way, this rant excluded delicate baked goods, so save your emails).

Recipes are great for what ingredients you may want to use, but should be treated as an idea-started, not some government mandated edict. Cooking times are also useful, so we’ll look at those, but as far as following a recipe to the letter when it comes to amounts of ingredients, I say “use the force Luke.”

I read this recently at Food Wishes, a cooking vlog I stumbled upon a bit ago. I embraced this cooking philosophy before I knew there was really another way to cook; this is who I am in the kitchen.

Read the rest of the post here.