Shortcut to Festive Red Berry Crostini

 Short•cut  noun: a shorter, quicker, or easier way  to do something

This holiday season,  my survival plan involves taking some short cuts. I’m not talking about traveling the back roads (although all Wilmington locals know this is how we roll). I’m talking about cooking short cuts… to make healthy eating… and entertaining less stressful. It occurred to me, last week when I made my ‘colder weather red berry sauce’,  this could  be doubled and frozen for putting together festive appetizers like these red berry crostini.

IMG_0025This simple short cut allows you to  serve  your family and friends appetizers with the same standards you have for the rest of the meal:  made with fresh ingredients,  superb in taste, and  stylish. Join me in making a double batch of this healthy and delicious red berry sauce for Thanksgiving, freezing half, and  making festive Red Berry Crostini in December.  What cooking short cuts are you taking to survive the holidays?

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Festive Red Berry Crostini

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

    for the slow-cooked red raspberry cranberry sauce

    • 12 ounce package of frozen red raspberries
    • 12 ounce pakcage of fresh cranberries
    • 1/4 cup water

    for sweetening, option 1/Traditional

    • 1 cup sugar

    for sweetening, Option 2/Reduced Sugar

    • 1/3 cup Monk Fruit in the Raw Bakers Bag
    • 1/3 cup Stevia in the Raw
    • 2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar

    for the crostini

    • 1 French baguette, sliced into 1/4 inch slices (about 60)
    • 3/4 cup olive oil(for brushing)
    • sea salt
    • 2 cups red raspberry cranberry sauce (recipe below)
    • 12 ounces goat cheese
    • 1 cup chopped pistatchios
    • 1/2 cup parsely, chopped

    Instructions

    for the slow-cooked red raspberry cranberry sauce

    1. Add frozen red raspberries, fresh cranberries and water to a 3 or 4 quart slow-cooker. Stir to combine. Place the lid on slow-cooker and set on low for 8 hours.

    2. Stir once or twice during cooking; replace lid to cover completely.

    3. At the end of cooking, the berries will have cooked and formed a sauce. Now add either sugar or alternative sweeteners. Cool and use as topping for crostini.

    For the crostini

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange baguette slices on two large rimmed baking sheets; brush both sides with oil and season with salt.

    2. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. (If undersides are not browning, turn crostini over once during baking.) Let cool on baking rack.

    3. Spread each crostini with goat cheese and top with a spoonful of red raspberry cranberry sauce. Sprinkle with parsely and chopped pistachios. Serve immediately.

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