retro cocktail olives recipe cream cheese and beef wrapped green olives

My husband's grandma makes these amazing olives for every family gathering. They're so perfectly retro- an olive, cream cheese, lunch meat on a toothpick.As people filter in, drop their coats and get the kids settled, they all grab several at a time from the platter and if you're late to the party, you're out of luck because they'll be long gone!

A few years ago, I arrived early enough to help out in the kitchen and got to learn how she makes these little jewels. They're messy, fiddly, pretty time-consuming, considering how quickly the plate is emptied but if you're looking for a great retro recipe that is sure to impress, this is the one! I brought these to a 1950s cocktail Christmas party two years ago and everyone loved them.

retro cocktail olives recipe cream cheese and beef wrapped green olives

You will need:

a jar of green olives, drained
a pack of cream cheese
thin sliced corned beef lunch meat

First, let the olives sit on a paper towel so the brine dries a bit. Wet olives are a pain to roll. Wash your hands well because you'll be digging in the cream cheese.

Grab a little ball of cream cheese, flatten a bit and wrap it around the olive. Seal the olive in the cream cheese with your fingertips or roll it in your hand so its completely covered. You have to work quick because the heat of your hands will soften the cream cheese too much and it'll be a sticky mess if you aren't careful. Your first few will be a mess but keep it up!

Slice the corned beef and wrap one long thin slice around the cream cheese covered olive. Secure with a toothpick and set on the plate.

This is a great recipe to do with someone else because one person can be the cream cheese roller and the other can handle the corned beef. Pj's grandma and mom usually sit and make these a few hours before the party while they're waiting on the main dishes to cook. You can also make them the day before and keep them covered in the fridge.