Roasted Cranberry & Brie Crostini

Over the holidays I was searching for some Christmassy recipes for a dinner party we were hosting. I love trying new recipes and am really into cranberries right now. Cranberries are a super food that often gets overlooked because of the tart flavour. Obviously, as a stand alone snack, they aren’t great, but I often add frozen cranberries to my morning smoothies and love them.  WebMD suggests that cranberries are second only to blueberries in their total antioxidant capacity.

Cranberries have vitamin C and fiber, and are only 45 calories per cup. In disease-fightingantioxidants, cranberries outrank nearly every fruit and vegetable–including strawberries, spinach, broccoli, red grapes, apples, raspberries, and cherries.

One cup of whole cranberries has 8,983 total antioxidant capacity. Only blueberries can top that: Wild varieties have 13,427; cultivated blueberries have 9,019.

Dr. Nalini Chilkov also outlines seven reasons why we should include cranberries in our diet on Cancer Schmancer. Check it out to see how cranberries can benefit your over all health and wellness.

I came across this recipe for Roasted Balsamic Cranberry and Brie Crostini on NeighborFood and it sounded delicious. Sometimes when you read a recipe you just know that it is going to be fabulous. Such was the case with this one. I knew it would be a winner and it certainly did not disappoint ~ thanks Courtney! You really must visit her blog and check-out the fabulous pictures. When I made these I was in the midst of preparing for company and in all honesty pictures were a mere after thought (and as you can see my daughter had changed my camera settings and I didn’t even get one good picture).

Roasted Balsamic Cranberry and Brie Crostini


  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • ½ a french baguette, sliced thin
  • 12 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 2 T. balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 T. rosemary
  • 4 ounces triple cream brie, thinly sliced
  • fresh thyme sprigs to garnish (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Combine the butter and olive oil in a small bowl and whisk. Brush both sides of the baguette slices with the oil mixture and place on a baking sheet. Set aside.

3. In a second small bowl, add the cranberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and rosemary. Mix. Spread the mixture out on a rimmed baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.

4. Place the cranberries in the oven and roast for five minutes. Add the tray of baguette slices to the oven. Roast for an additional 6 minutes.  Remove the baguette slices to flip them over and return to the oven for another 4­-6 minutes, or until crispy and golden. At this point, the cranberries should be popped open with juices running out. Remove both the cranberries and baguette slices from the oven.

5. Top each baguette with a slice of brie and a spoonful of cranberries. Garnish with thyme, if desired. These can be served while the cranberries are still warm, or you can make the components ahead of time. The cranberries can be chilled overnight and the crostini will keep in a zip lock bag. Simply assemble and serve at room temperature when you’re ready!

When I made this appetizer for our dinner party, I ended up with a small amount of the cranberry mixture left over. I simply refrigerated it in a covered container and served the cold mixture over a bed of greens with purple onion and feta. No dressing necessary. This made a salad that was both beautiful and delicious! In fact, it was so good that I’ve since made another batch just for salad topping. Mmmm….so good!

The combination of flavours in this recipe is so great, that I really hate to mess with it.  However, I do try to reduce the sugar in recipes when possible. Next time I make it I will try to reduce the sugar amount slightly – I might try 1/3 of a cup and see how that works.  Enjoy!

Trash to Treasure: Simple Folding Chair Upcycle

I can’t believe how long it has been since I sat down to write a post. It’s not for lack of content as I have a list of “to post” ideas, but quite honestly just haven’t had the time or stamina to juggle all that life has been throwing at as. Family life has been super busy, especially since Eden began playing club volleyball this winter. I thought Shay’s hockey was demanding until I became a volleyball mom ~ hockey seems like a cake walk now!  It has been really great for her, but it’s a huge commitment for the whole family. Unlike hockey with a few practises and a game on the weekend, Eden has 4 practises per week. The short practise is 2 hours, but the others are 3 hours in length. Her team is scheduled to play in 7 tournaments and if last weekend is any indication….that means lots of time. I spent 17 hours at the gym watching Eden and waiting between games.  As much as I personally love the game and watching her play, it was a long two days. Needless to say, my tank was pretty much empty by the time I get home and thus we had to start the week with full laundry baskets and my huge list of things that never got done over the weekend. I know this is yet another “season” in life and parenting and as I watching the kids growing-up so fast, we will put aside some of our own desires and enjoy the time we have while they are still at home. Like the last 14 years, I now the next 4 will fly by like there is no tomorrow. Deep sigh….

I am so thankful for my committed followers and the new traffic that still seems to be checking out the blog even though it has sat stagnant for long stretches between posts. With spring in the air, I am hoping to re-charge my batteries and want to attempt to write a post per. I had no intension of letting my blog slide, but I have learned – life happens and sometimes you just have to assess your priorities and go with the flow.

Trash To Treasure:

before and afterOne weekend in January, I had a few hours to burn and decided to finally get to a project that had been on my list for what seemed like forever. Quite some time ago, I managed to snag a vintage card table and chair set – you know the old folding kind. They were offered on WpgFreeShare, so the price was definitely right at free! I knew it would be a super easy upcycle, but despite this, they sat untouched in my garage. I had disposed of the table right away as I knew I wouldn’t use it, but the chairs were very appealing. I find that with family gatherings, we are constantly in need of extra chairs. The folding chairs are obviously easy to store and get a “pass” for comfort. These chairs are a great solution for the problem of limited seating. I love that the chairs cost me nothing and the fabric was on sale and cost me around $10. I don’t remember what I paid for the spray paint, but I picked it up in the USA (much cheaper) before our dollar became so bad.  I’m guessing the whole project was about $20.  I can’t say I’d want the chairs to be a permanent fixture at my dining room table, but they certainly offer a good option for when there are extra people to seat.

If there were a prize for ugliest set ever, this was a slam dunk. The metal legs were painted gold and the plastic seat covers were a hideous golden floral print. UGLY!! I had done a previous folding chair make-over, so I knew it would be easy to make these into something more charming. Spray paint and a bit of fabric was all it took!

It’s funny…I would never describe myself as a lover of yellow, but over the past few years, I’ve noticed it creeping into my colour pallet. Our walls our a strange yellowy-green colour that can look very different withCastleton Mist changes in lighting. Although I love the colour, it is not the easiest to work with. I originally chose it because we have lots of oak in our home and the orangey tone can be hard to coordinate with. The wall colour (Benjamin Moore Castleton Mist) really does complement the wood work, but when I went to choose spray paint for the chairs, the choices were very limited. I guess I could have went with black, but I really wanted a bit of colour. In the end, I chose yellow paint and a black and white print. I love the contrast and the chairs certainly look much better.

The back panel and seat were screwed on and easily removed. I added some extra padding and simply used the staple gun to reupholster the pieces.

Upcycled Folding Chair

With fresh paint and new fabric the chairs are now company worthy! 

PS It’s good to be back…I have some fabulous new recipes to share, so stay tuned!