Balsamic Strawberry Crostini: A simple Italian starter that’s the perfect way to enjoy juicy, ripe berries! Fresh strawberries and imported strawberries in syrup are served on toasts smeared with honey-sweetened mascarpone cheese!

platter of crostini

I am thrilled to introduce you to my last guest poster, my sweet friend, Roz, of La Bella Vita. Roz has a gorgeous blog that shares her passion for food, gardening, and travel…often focusing on the sensational food from her Italian heritage.   We initially met via Foodbuzz, and posted comments on each other’s blogs.

It wasn’t long before I had an inkling that I might actually know Roz…despite her living in the Carolinas, and me in the Midwest. Read on to see how serendipity reconnected us.  Besides her exceptional blog, you can find Roz on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook. She is sharing her beautiful  Balsamic Strawberry Crostini with you today.

What an honor to be asked by my good friend, Lizzy, to write a guest post for this awesome blog!   Not only because she’s got a great food blog, but also because Lizzy is a friend of my sister Kelly since childhood.   Lizzy and Kelly met in 3rd grade in Ames, Iowa, grew up a few blocks from each other, and even went to the same church together.   Their friendship continued through high school, college years at the University of Iowa, and beyond to this day!  

It was totally bizarre when Lizzy and I found each other’s blogs and realized who we were!   For this guest post, I thought it would be cool to share some photos of Lizzy and my sister.   Liz was sweet enough to send me old photos that she had digitized (I’ve got to do that with my old photos too!).

High school Halloween party 1978
As seniors in high school, Halloween Night…Kelly is the clown and I’m Raggedy Andy 

Kelly and Liz at high school reunion in Ames, Iowa

Kelly and me at our last high school reunion

Balsamic Strawberry Crostini

And now, it’s time chat about the recipe that I prepared for Mother’s Day:  Balsamic Strawberry Crostini!  My daughter gave me a gift of some outrageously rich and decadent imported strawberries from Italy and immediately my mind thought of using them for a sweet dessert crostini!   Italian mascarpone cheese is sweetened with some local honey and spread on top of toasted slices of Italian bread sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.  For the topping, I added fresh strawberries to the Italian strawberries in syrup and added some high-quality balsamic vinegar.  Perfecto!

Balsamic Strawberry Crostini
Balsamic Strawberry Crostini

Italian bread, sliced diagonally
8 oz. mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 Tbsp. local honey
Fresh strawberries
1 cup Frogole imported Italian strawberries in syrup
balsamic vinegar

Slice bread diagonally.
Spread butter on both sides of bread.
Sprinkle with mixture of sugar and cinnamon (about 1 cup sugar to 2 tsp. cinnamon to start).
Broil for a few minutes on each side; do not burn.
Set aside.
Blend local honey with mascarpone cheese.
Spread a big dollop on each slice of bread
Cut up strawberries.
Blend with imported Italian Fragole strawberries in syrup.
Sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Blend in 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar (add more to your taste preference).
Top each cheese-covered crostini with the strawberry mixture.
Garnish with mint, basil, and fresh whole strawberries.

Buon Appetito!!!


Grazie tutto to Lizzy for the privilege of being a guest poster,
Roz from ‘la bella vita’

I wrote this about Roz on another post:

Those of you who are regular followers of my blog may remember the serendipitous reunion between me and a fellow blogger.  Roz, of La Bella Vita, commented on my blog one day, which lead me to hers. I was immediately awed by all her marvelous food, gorgeous photography and especially her kind heart. She had oodles of fans and followers, and I knew I’d be back. She mentioned in her bio she was from Iowa…well, what the heck, so was I.

Then I learned she was 100% Italian…hmmmm…and her photo resembled a friend from my hometown, Kelly. I just had to ask. Yup, she was the older sister of one of my dear friends since childhood.  Roz was the beautiful, mysterious, popular older sister who we only knew by the portrait in their family room…she was busy with high school activities while we were still immature and squirrelly.

After we reconnected, I reminded Roz that Kelly and I took a college road trip to St. Louis one weekend and were treated to one of her  home cooked, gourmet dinners. I’m still hoping we’ll be able to meet again in person.

I’ll be back on Monday! xoxo