Make Ahead Chicken Pinwheels. A Road Trip. And Dust.

July 31, 2014

First thing tomorrow morning, we’re hitting the road for points south–Charleston, SC first and then on to Florida. In the meantime, I am realizing just how much my house needs to be cleaned. 

Now if you’re wondering why a road trip would make me see my need to clean, it’s because whenever we take an extended trip, we open our home to a pastor or missionary family while we’re gone. With the high price of lodging on the Outer Banks, some families just can’t afford to vacation here so it’s a nice little thing we can do to bless someone else.

However, having someone come and stay in our home means that I have to decide just how many things I need to accomplish in the housekeeping department and how many things I’m willing to let slide.

And at this point?  

I’m leaning toward letting a few things slide. As long as the bathrooms and kitchen are fairly clean, and the first layer of dust has been removed from the coffee table, we’re good right? (At least that’s what I keep telling myself.)

Of course, with this sweetheart waiting for me, I may just toss the dust rag and leave today!


Before I close (and before I go back to cleaning toilets), here’s a little recipe bonus for you. This is one of the dishes we served at Sarah’s graduation party; the recipe is from a sweet church friend, Melanie Coward.

Give this a try soon–it’s perfect for a light summer dinner or for a party of your own.


Make Ahead Chicken Pinwheels
Yields 48
A make ahead sandwich for parties or a light dinner.
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2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled, diced
1/2 C diced red pepper
2 green onions, diced
2 C grated sharp cheddar
16 oz. deli sliced chicken (or ham)
Six 10-inch flour tortillas
Leafy lettuce
  1. Mix together all ingredients except meat, tortillas and lettuce.
  2. Spread the mixture generously on tortillas all the way to the edge.
  3. Add 1-2 slices meat and lettuce
  4. Roll up in a log and wrap in Saran Wrap or wax paper.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. When ready to eat, slice each log into 1-inch sections and arrange on a platter. (Use fresh parsley as a garnish, if desired.)
  1. The secret to this recipe is that it uses red pepper instead of tomato, which a lot of other pinwheel recipes use. Tomatoes can make the other ingredients soggy when sitting overnight so the pepper keeps that from happening; it also adds a lovely dash of color. In addition, the diced apple adds great crunch, sweetness, and even more color. (Recipe can be halved.)

16 responses to Make Ahead Chicken Pinwheels. A Road Trip. And Dust.

  1. Have a wonderful, safe trip! Get in all those grandma, grandpa and auntie hugs you can!

    Hugs to all of you (with a special hug for Noah)!

    Linda in Pittsburgh

  2. Come on down, Grandma and Grandpa Smith! Can’t wait to be in line behind Noah, Meagan and Nathan for our own hugs!! 🙂

  3. Have a wonderful trip! That grandson of yours just gets cuter and cuter.

  4. I hope you have a great trip, that is a wonderful idea to let someone stay in your house and I am sure they will NOT be looking at your dust! We have friends coming to stay with us up in Wake Forest next week, years ago I would have been cleaning for a month but at this point, I am just glad they are coming, my friend said if you feel you need to clean like crazy, we are not coming, we just want to see YOU, so I figure as long as their bathroom is clean, they have clean towels and bedsheets and yes, the kitchen is wiped down, I’m good!!!

  5. Have a wonderful vacation! And, what a great blessing to those visitors the Smiths are.
    One question, the notes at the end of the recipe mention red peppers instead if tomatoes making a difference-I did not see red peppers in the recipe. What am I missing?
    Travel safe.

  6. Have a great trip!! Enjoy your time with the family and that sweet, sweet baby Noah. Will be anxious to see the pictures! 🙂

  7. Hi Becky, it is always a bit of a revelation when I suddenly have to view my home out of someone else’s eyes. Eep! We too have lent out our home when we were going to be away and the last time, instead of killing myself cleaning and leaving for holidays exhausted, I decided to adhere to a somewhat lower standard. I realized that it might actually be a relief to our guests if everything wasn’t perfectly clean and tidy – that way they didn’t need to leave it that way for us! Everyone could just relax 🙂

  8. Have a wonderful trip. After reading your post,my mind starting spinning (maybe it was the pinwheels spinning). We have visited the OBX over the years (insert smile) and had wonderful times. While vacationing I often notice empty houses. I am wondering if somehow the real estate companies could ask the owners of these houses if they would like to donate 1 week to a missionary family?

    • CeCe,

      That is a WONDERFUL idea!! There really are a whole lot of vacant, beautiful homes in this area from season to season.