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Summer in Santa Monica- and a recipe round-up



The first notes from our 
Santa Monica summer sublet:

After living in the brittle high dessert of Northern New Mexico for three years, I am drunk on oxygen. I walk Ocean Avenue cradled in moisture, intoxicated, breathing deep. And although we sleep seventeen blocks from the Pacific, I smell the ocean in the sheets. I wake with the sensation, the awareness of the sea. It infuses the day with an unnameable pleasure I can almost taste. If I could live on air I would eat the on-shore breeze with a spoon.

Steve has found his own source of bliss at Caffe Luxxe on Montana Avenue. Rich, caramel Italian espresso with the perfect artful brush of creamy foam. If further persuasion is needed to lure him into staying here, I only need to whisper, “Una bella tazza” and he'll be putty in my hands.

Things are looking up.

Our first swim into the Santa Monica Farmer's Market scene was almost overwhelming, a culinary and sensory culture shock, after the chronic and splendid isolation of our New Mexico casita. Navigating the waves of shoppers, strawberry topped rolling carts, baby stuffed double strollers and roaming hoards of white clad culinary students shouting, "Marco!" "Polo!" was at first intimidating- but soon morphed into invigorating.

We found fistfuls of organic herbs for one dollar a bunch, tomatoes so voluptuous they needed only a dab of extra virgin olive and a pinch of sea salt to become a perfect lunch, and ruby hued carrots that taste like no carrot I've ever eaten- clean and bordering on spicy rather than sweet.

Because I'm still setting up my kitchen (rounding up a few new baking pans, a small wok, and cooking utensils we were unable to jam into the overstuffed Honda Fit) I haven't developed any new recipes this week. So please bear with me. Inspiration is in the air- Santa Monica is thick with it. I'll be sharing lots of summer recipes and photographs from around town. In the meantime, I thought I'd post a quick round-up of gluten-free recipes to inspire your July Fourth celebration.

And don't forget to throw some fresh herbs into the mix- one of the joys of summer.



More Gluten-Free Recipes for Summer Picnic Fun

Horseradish Spiked Red Potato Salad from Karina

Potato Salad with Apples and Bacon from Elise at Simply Recipes

Warm Chicken and Potato Salad from The Gluten-Free Homemaker

No-Mayo Cole Slaw from Karina

Asparagus, Cherry Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives and Feta Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen

Cucumber Salad with Mint and Feta from Simply Recipes

Mango Mint Gazpacho from The Perfect Pantry (use g-free bread)

Favorite Basil Pesto from Karina

Grilled Chipotle-Lime Chicken from Gluten-Free Bay

Cool as a Cucumber Salad from Karina

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free BBQ Sauce from Elana's Pantry

Easy Summer Blueberry Crisp from Karina

Strawberry-Blueberry Tapioca Parfaits from FatFree Vegan Kitchen


TRENDING

Sunbutter Cookies

Here's an easy gluten-free cookie recipe made with sunflower butter- a post-modern peanut-free take on those retro peanut butter cookies your Aunt Lizzie used to make. You know, with those jars of Skippy peanut butter (or was it Jif?). Instead of using traditional peanut butter in this recipe, I used sunflower butter, which has a golden nutty flavor not unlike peanut butter, but slightly different. Kinda like peanut butter's wacky, geeky brother. You know, slightly nutty. Fun. Like a bright new bike. And they taste so good you just might want some more. Now, please. I adapted this recipe from a peanut butter cookie recipe (submitted by Erin Smith) to Beyond Rice Cakes , an easy, fun cookbook (especially for teens and students) by Vanessa Maltin, director of outreach and programming at the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness .

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Scones

Sconelicious. You heard me right. Because I know what you're craving.  I'm craving it, too. Something indulgent.  But not overly indulgent.  Sweet.  But not too sweet.  Something warm and tender, and laced with the autumnal spices you've been shaking and dashing and pinching with abandon.  Something using up that leftover half cup of pumpkin sitting in the fridge. Are you with me?  Are ya feelin' me?  Then let's get sconed. Karina xox

My Favorite Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

My Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes For Fall... The bittersweet, textured beauty of Autumn has always gripped my heartstrings, pulling me in deeper, connecting with some invisible part of me, so much more so than Spring. Much more so than summer's flirtatious pleasures. And Winter, well. She is a dark and icy mistress. That relationship has always been complicated. So unlike my truly, madly deeply love of Fall. Bake on, my friends. Tis the season for pumpkin. xox Karina

Gluten-Free Coconut Flour Apple Cake

As soon as I buy apples and start daydreaming about my favorite fall confections- imagining clear, cool evenings on Cape Cod and Miles Davis' haunting rendition of Autumn Leaves . September turns golden and sultry with a hint of rain, reeling me back into the closet to peel off my boyfriend jeans and fresh new flannel shirt. Faster than Gordon Ramsay can mock sashimi, Yours Truly is grabbing faded summer shorts and my favorite Patriots t-shirt to bake barefoot. See what I do for you? So go ahead, babycakes. Enjoy this new apple cake recipe. Share a slice or two amongst yourselves. Don't worry about me here in my hot little Hollywood apartment. Really. Go. Have some cake. You'll love it. Apple kisses, Karina xox

Pumpkin Polenta Recipe with Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa

Vegetarian pumpkin polenta with salsa fresca. The first gifts of Fall have arrived. Time to dig out the Crock Pot and your favorite flannel shirt. If you can find it, that is. It's got to be around here somewhere, right? You used it wore it to death last year. Or was that the year before? The harvest moon is playing tricks with your memory again. The crows outside in the oak trees caw like the crows in tomorrow's dream. Days turn into weeks and lunch turns into next month's breakfast. Hours spill through worm holes of time like so many episodes of Lost . And the Buddha imagines the universe. And gets it close to right . We're talking atoms, people. Particles of teeny tiny specks of even tinier teenier fragments of a single point of something so small the naked eye perceives it as invisible. Yet the Buddha perceived this. In 528 BC. I ponder this as I walk in a stream of brittle bronze oak leaves. The succession of days that adds up to a life is only a

Best Gluten-Free Pumpkin Muffins

We found canned organic pumpkin on the store shelves this week. So be prepared for pumpkin recipes. I, for one, Darling, can't get enough. Pumpkin is my favorite fall ingredient. Maybe because it cozies up to gluten-free flours so well. It adds moisture and depth to g-free baked goods. It flirts with cinnamon and ginger like the sexiest, inscrutable movie star. You know what I'm talking about. It's not overt. Or blatant. It's not over the top. It is subtle. Secure. Pumpkin doesn't demand to be admired. Because it doesn't have to prove itself. It's not a bully flavor that crushes gentler flavors in its wake. It doesn't bark and claw to be Top Dog 24/7. It doesn't have a deep seated need to own the room, to dominate, to control the ingredients it shares a bowl with. Pumpkin goes with the flow. It likes vanilla. And it likes chocolate. You could say, it's bi-flavorful. Which happens to be a quality I admire. Even embody and

Gluten-Free Baking Tips + Substitutions

Need wheat-free gluten-free baking tips? Help is Here. Here's what works- and what doesn't- in quirky Gluten-Free Baking and Substitution Land. From Karina, Gluten-Free Goddess®. Baking Substitutions for Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free and More Notes on GF Flours: Gluten-free non-wheat flours generally fall into three basic weights- light starch, all-purpose medium, or heavier whole grain. A blend of medium and heavy flours with some starch mixed in to lighten, tenderize, and help bind the batter or dough works best, and tastes best (too much starch can result in a gummy texture). Light, starchy GF flours include sweet rice flour, white rice flour, and the ubiquitous gluten-free starches- tapioca starch, cornstarch, potato starch (NOT potato flour, which is whole different animal) and arrowroot starch. Medium flours are akin to 'all purpose flour'- these include sorghum flour, certified gluten-free oat flour, and superfine brown rice flour. If you cannot find sorg