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Open-Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

Gluten-Free Open-Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

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I’m majorly in the mood for a late summer picnic! We have a great park nearby where we live and in the center is a great pond for swimming and nice little “beach” too. I picnicked there with my good friend and our kids before school let out, and I haven’t been back since. My kids go there several times a week with my husband – lucky kids! I’m ready to go a few more times before it gets cold out. A picnic is the perfect excuse to go. My other good friend, Becky, and I are teaming up to share picnic-friendly foods. She made some pretty darn amazing Quick Pickled Cauliflower (made with everyone’s favorite hot sauce!) And I’m sharing one of our favorite quick lunches that is perfect for picnics – Open-Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches.

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A few months ago, I found the most amazing gluten-free rolls I’ve ever tasted in my life. I stopped by Whole Foods to pick up a few things and was ravenous. I was grabbing some bread for my kids and I noticed some new-to-me rolls in the gluten-free section. I snagged a few bags to keep in my freezer because I noticed they were big enough to make sandwiches and when I squeezed the bag, they bounced back. Most gluten-free baked goods don’t do that. I tore open one of the bags as soon as I got to the car and took a huge bite. It wasn’t one of those times where I was so hungry anything tasted good – you know how that is? This time it was like I was hungry, but the rolls stopped me dead in my tracks and I realized they were spectacular. Basically, I love these rolls so much I buy a bag whenever I’m at Whole Foods. But I think my fellow gluten-free peeps in Boise have caught on because they sell out all the time. That was the case one particular day when I went in specifically for those rolls. I was so bummed because I had some smoked salmon in my cart (more gushing about that in a second) and really wanted to have a salmon sandwich when I got home.

Kim and Jake's Gluten-Free Peasant Loaf-4

I had no idea that Kim and Jake’s also made peasant bread. There were a few loaves on the shelf and given how good the rolls are, I decided to give it a try. HOLY MOLY. Their bag made me laugh because it says something like, “Get a tissue handy. You’re gonna need it when you taste how good this bread is.” Not a lie. BEST gluten-free bread ever. (And I special order GF bread from San Francisco sometimes. Ha!) So my lunch became Open-Faced Smoked Salmon Sandwiches – all inspired by that spectacular bread. (more…)

5 Varieties of GF Ice Cream Sandwiches

5 Amazing Gluten-Free Ice Cream Sandwiches

5 Varieties of GF Ice Cream Sandwiches
This post is sponsored by Pamela’s Products as part of an on-going partnership. I’m so happy to be a Baking Partner again in 2015!

School started today, and both my husband and I are beside ourselves with joy. Ha! We had a great summer, but there’s always that little sigh of relief when we get back to normally scheduled programming, i.e. school. Boy, has it been quiet this morning! Even though school is back in session, it’s still plenty warm out and we are hanging on to every last second of summer we can. At least until Labor Day, right? July was National Ice Cream Month, and we ate plenty in celebration. Maybe you did too! But truth be told, it’s always Ice Cream Month at our house. We especially like ice cream sandwiches, and even more so if they are homemade. It’s been a lot of fun to have a freezer full of these gluten-free ice cream sandwiches to pull out after dinner and eat outside on the porch.

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This year I am partnering again with Pamela’s Products to develop some exciting new recipes using their large assortment of gluten-free baking mixes and all-purpose flour blend. One of our favorites is the Sugar Cookie Mix. You might remember the Peach Custard Bars I made last summer using the same mix. They were delicious!

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This time I’m sharing five ways to transform the already-amazing sugar cookie mix into a colorful assortment of gluten-free ice cream sandwiches.

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Coming up with the flavor variations was a lot of fun. It was hard to narrow it down to just five! And five was down from 8-10! I knew we couldn’t just make one variety and call it good. Of all of them, our very favorite was the Lemon Poppy Seed filled with berry sorbet. Holy moly! Batch after batch of the cookies disappeared very quickly. I had to keep reminding my kids that we hadn’t even added the sorbet or ice cream yet. The little sneaks! And last night my youngest begged me to make another batch this week to go in their lunches. Love it – it is pretty hard to resist the tangy lemony flavor. So Lemon Poppy Seed is the main recipe, and the other variations are listed below and in the recipe notes.

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From top to bottom: toasted coconut, matcha vanilla bean, cacao nib, lemon poppy seed, triple ginger, toasted coconut, and matcha vanilla bean again.
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Lavender Pavlovas with Summer Berries-9

Mini Lavender Pavlovas with Summer Berries

Lavender Pavlovas with Summer Berries
I think the very first time I even heard the word “pavlova” I was watching an episode of Martha Stewart Living. Martha made mini pavlovas that she formed into perfect spheres. When they came out of the oven and cooled completely, each one was broken in half through the middle and a perfect scoop of passion fruit sorbet was placed inside. I was intrigued. But it took a long time for me to actually make pavlova. Years. And now it’s become one of our very favorite desserts, particularly in the summer when berries and stone fruit abound.

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Summer heightens my affection for lavender. It seems like it’s every where I look these days and I adore it. Adding a little lavender to these mini pavlovas makes them extra special. There’s just enough ground dried buds for a pleasant lavender essence, but not enough to remind you of perfume (or worse, soap!).

Lavender Pavlovas with Summer Berries-2Lavender Pavlovas
Each mini pavlova should have a crisp, melt-in-your-mouth shell with a chewy, marshmallow-y center. The fruit should be ripe and juicy. Typically there is a cream of some sort too. I used to serve them with yogurt, but my love affair with coconut cream is going strong, so that’s what I used for this recipe. Summer is the perfect time for pavlova because they are at their very best when the weather is dry and warm. Humidity makes for pavlova that doesn’t dry out enough – the surface becomes sticky quickly. But it’s not impossible! I made them when we lived in New York successfully. They just don’t keep quite as long…which usually isn’t a problem. Ha!

Lavender Pavlovas with Summer Berries

I made two variations – neither of which could be determined the clear winner. It was neck-in-neck and we decided we loved both equally. There is something quite wonderful about the deep, dark chocolate mousse with that hint of lavender, the overt sweetness from the pavlova, and the slightly tart blueberries. It just tastes right. Like nothing else could possibly add anything that isn’t already there. And I suppose that’s how I feel about the combination of strawberries and lemon too. Lavender goes well with each element and they all go well with each other, so everything is in harmony.

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Since it’s still the beginning of the month, it’s the perfect time to check out what’s available and in-season during June. This month’s #EatSeasonal round-up is laden with beautiful summer berries and other produce. So many gorgeous recipes from my fellow food bloggers!

6Jun6june blogger photos and linksBlueberry Mint Gin Cocktail by Vintage Mixer

Bourbon-Cherry and Almond Dutch Baby by Floating Kitchen

Breakfast Strawberry Shortcakes by Completely Delicious

Strawberry and Mango Kale Salad by Project Domestication

Spinach Salad with Grilled Strawberries, Asparagus & Walnuts by Simple Bites

Blueberry Greek Yogurt Waffles by The Lemon Bowl

Rhubarb Crumb Bars by Bless This Mess

Chocolate Cherry Cake with Chocolate Oat Streusel by Climbing Grier Mountain

Super Summer Detox Salad by Well Plated

Blueberry, Feta and Honey-Caramelized Onion Naan Pizza by Kitchen Confidante

Cumin Orange Shrimp-Stuffed Cucumber Boats by Cookin’ Canuck

Blueberry Buckle by Foodie Crush

Keep reading for the mini lavender pavlovas recipe!
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