Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation

June 21, 2016 By Cathy — 10 Comments
Smoked salmon, scallions and dill fleck whipped cream cheese filling that is tucked into these mini diplomas. An appetizer must for your graduation party!

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation

Today is the last day of school for my boys. It marks the end of homework, packed lunches and early morning wake-up calls for the next several weeks. It also marks the end of elementary school for my oldest son Jack. I’m still trying to figure out how that happened. Come September, I’ll be mom to a middle-schooler. Life will be all pre-teen angst and mom-you’re-so-emabarrassing-eye rolls. Somehow my sweet, little round-faced boy has been replaced by this mildly surly kid that has put the kibosh on any “mom contact” outside of our house. As middle school approaches, I expect my very presence will be enough to mortify him in front of his friends. But the truth is, I not only get it, I welcome it.

I remember a day when I was probably around Jack’s age when I began to strive for my own independence. I was walking down the street with my mom, when she reached out to hold my hand as she normally would. I took hold at first, then quickly dropped mine away. My mom looked crushed. And while my heart twisted when I saw that look on her face, I kept on walking, hands at my sides, trying to act like that grown up girl I so wanted to be.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to hold her hand. Of course I did. It’s just that I wanted to be that girl that didn’t need to hold her mom’s hand just a little bit more. And now I see that transformation happening within my own son. He’s still a ball of love at home, but one foot out that door and his game face is on.

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation

While it does sting a bit not to be able to give him a squeeze at the end of a winning baseball game or when I drop him at a friends, I also know that it’s all part of the job. I recognize that he needs to push me away just enough so he can continue to move forward. And I need to be able to give him that space so he can develop, occasionally fall down and hopefully pick himself up without me reaching out to give him a hand.

Even though I usually fall into the “it’s not really graduation until you’re a senior” camp, today I’m taking a moment to get a little warm and fuzzy. I’m celebrating my elementary school graduate with a special little appetizer diploma. I’ve blended cream cheese (his favorite) with dill, smoked salmon, lemon and scallions and wrapped it up with crunchy cucumbers and smoked salmon inside a whole wheat wrap. It’s knotted together with a chive and rolled to look like a diploma…the perfect appetizer to serve at a graduation party.

As my little graduate heads out the door for his last day of elementary school today, chances are he won’t look back to see me waving goodbye. But I think he knows how proud I am of the young man he’s becoming and how grateful I am to be his mom. And I have a feeling that when he rushes in after he hops off the bus at the end of the day, I’ll get that big hug I’ve been waiting for. I’ll just be sure to close the door first.

Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation

5 from 2 votes
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation
Prep Time
40 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Smoked salmon, scallions and dill fleck whipped cream cheese filling that is tucked into these mini diplomas. An appetizer must for your graduation party!
Course: Appetizer
Servings: 32 diplomas
Author: Cathy Roma |
  • 2 - 8 oz packages cream cheese softened
  • 2 - 4 oz packages smoked salmon divided
  • 3 scallions white and pale green parts chopped
  • 2 Tbsp dill chopped
  • 2 lemons zested and juiced
  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 3 tsp capers
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 english cucumber sliced into matchsticks
  • 8 whole wheat wraps cut into squares and then cut into fourths
  • Chives for ties
  1. In the bowl of a food processor combine cream cheese, one - 4 oz package of smoked salmon (chopped), scallions, dill, lemon zest and juice, horseradish, capers, salt and pepper and process until well combined.
  2. Thinly slice the remaining smoked salmon.
  3. Lay out a single chive horizontally and place a whole wheat square on top. Add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture in the center of the whole wheat square and top it with a couple of cucumber matchsticks and a piece of sliced salmon. Roll up and tie with chive. Trim the ends of the chive and serve.
Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation

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Filed Under: Appetizers/Snacks, Recipe, Seafood


10 responses to “Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Diplomas for Graduation”

  1. What a sweet post Cathy!! I hope you guys have a wonderful day…these look like the perfect way to celebrate. xo

  2. I’m in love with this post Cathy since I have two grown boys of my own. So sad when they can make it on their own and seem to need us a little less! This is the perfect little elegant graduation appetizer!

  3. This is such a touching post, Cathy!! We don’t have children (well, we do- but they have fur), but I can imagine how bitter sweet it is when they grow up and slowly start to gain more independence. Congrats to your son, Jack!! Middle school is a big deal!! Hope he has a wonderful few years there! These little diplomas are so perfect for a graduation celebration! I LOOOOOVE smoked salmon with cream cheese – seriously THE BEST – so these rolled beauties are calling my name! Pinned! Cheers, dear friend!

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks so much Cheyanne. Middle school is a big deal. He’s not my baby anymore! And is there any better pairing that cream cheese and smoked salmon!?

  4. Cindy says:

    Oh these little diplomas are sooooo sweet. Oh my gosh, I am going to soak up these days with my kiddos. Dylan and Gavin just got back from Malibu Creek Camping and I swear they came back middle schoolers.

  5. Cathy 2 says:

    I hate fish of any kind!
    Is there something else I can put into these cute “diplomas?”

    • Cathy says:

      Sure, you can fill them with anything like in a wrap…you can use turkey, make mini blt’s, a veggie option with hummus and vegetables. The options are endless.

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