Quick and Easy Turkey Day Gourmet

Want to impress your Turkey Day guests, but loathe spending all morning in your tiny apartment kitchen? Whip up these tasty crostini and prepare to bask in
compliments to the chef.

Urban living lends a different perspective to the holiday season, especially in New York.  Busy schedules and crowded airports deter us from going home to visit our families for Thanksgiving. Instead, we rely on hoped-for invitations from friends-of-friends left behind in the city.

Fortunately, lesbians are famous for adopting their friends and lovers as official extended family members. This means celebrating and giving thanks for the year passed, sharing time together, watching football and giggling over the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, after New Year’s Eve and Gay Pride, naturally. I can’t resist a big party with food, friends and good times. I don’t know about you, but I have an extremely diverse group of friends. Every culture, race, sexual orientation, dietary restriction and religion is represented at my table—forcing me to dig deep into my bag of culinary tricks I call “global soul”.

Here are a couple recipes to get the party started, just in case you get invited to your first potluck this year. Like I always say: eat well, live happy.

Fig and Goat Cheese Crostini
1 1/4 cups chopped fresh figs
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup coarsely chopped orange sections
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
1/4 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
40 (1/2-inch-thick) slices French bread baguette, toasted
1 1/4 cups (10 oz.) crumbled goat cheese
5 tsp finely-chopped walnuts (or a combination of cashews, hazelnuts and pecans)

1. Combine first seven ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until figs are tender. Uncover and cook five minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
2. While sauce cools, lay baguette slices on a baking sheet and toast at 350 degrees for six to eight minutes. Don’t burn the bread!
3. Preheat broiler.
4. Top each toasted crostini with one teaspoon of the fig mixture and about one teaspoon goat cheese. Arrange on a baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with toasted walnuts. Broil 2 minutes or until nuts begin to brown. Serve warm. Makes about 20 delicious bites. When serving, drizzle a little honey as a garnish if desired.

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