SEATTLE — Freedom Dinners began when Kelly Welk invited her friends to dinner, and asked them to pay for their seats, all to benefit the anti-trafficking organization Rescue:Freedom. From there the effort grew, and since the first dinner five years ago, Welk has hosted over 500 people and donated $35 thousand. Welk joins New Day Northwest to make a Balsamic Grape Crostini and talk about the reason behind her Freedom Dinners. 

You can attend the next Freedom Dinner or host your own!

Rescue:Freedom is an organization based out of Kirkland, Washington, that aims to rescue women and children from sexual slavery. Rescue:Freedom International uses outreach, education, awareness programs and vocational training, to help protect communities where trafficking is likely to occur. Rescue:Freedom is always accepting donations and volunteers

Check out Welk's book "Dinner Changes Everything" filled with recipes and hosting tips from her Freedom Dinners.

Balsamic Grape Crostini with Blue Cheese 

From Dinner Changes Everything, Kelly Welk/Freedom Dinners

Ingredients:

4 cups seedless red grapes, halved

4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 shallots, minced

1 teaspoon raw sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 baguette, cut into 15-20 slices

6 tablespoons butter, softened

5 ounces blue cheese (plus more to garnish with)

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, to garnish

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425
  •  Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl then spread onto baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • Turn oven to low broil and move the oven rack closer to the top element
  •  In a small bowl blend the softened butter and blue cheese, set aside.
  • Cut the baguette into ¼ inch slices (15-20 pieces).
  • Place the slices on a baking sheet and spread with butter and blue cheese mixture.
  • Place under the broiler for a few minutes while keeping a close eye on them- they can burn fast.
  • Take out when bread is lightly toasted and the butter and blue cheese is just starting to melt.
  • Top the crostini with 1 tablespoon of the roasted grape mixture, a few small crumbles of blue cheese, and a few fresh thyme leaves

Prep the Day Before:

  • Slice baguette and place in storage container or plastic bag
  • Combine grape mixture, cover and refrigerate
  • Prepare the blue cheese and butter mixture, cover and refrigerate
  • Crumble extra blue cheese for the garnish, put in a bowl, cover and refrigerate
  • Prep the fresh thyme, place in a small bowl and set aside

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