1C Cheddar (we used Sweetwater Valley Buttermilk Cheddar a local favorite), grated
1/4C Mayonaise (has to be Dukes in the South!)
Preheat oven to 375°.
Place tomatoes on baking sheets lined with parchment paper in one layer. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Drop temperature to 300° and allow tomatoes to dry out for 45 minutes or until wrinkled.
Preheat oven to 425°.
Place pie crust in a 9" cast iron skillet tucking the edges under and piercing in several locations with a fork. Cover with parchment or aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Place in hot oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove pie weights/beans and bake another 5 minutes to brown base. Remove from oven. Reduce oven to 350°.
While crust is baking, roughly chop herbs.
Saute onions in butter until transparent. Adding garlic the last minute.
Mix Mayo and cheese together in small bowl.
Place one layer of tomatoes on base of crust and sprinkle with pepper. Add ⅓ of herbs and onion/garlic mixture. Repeat with remaining tomatoes, onions, and herbs. Top with cheese mixture.
Place in 350° oven and bake for 30 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes (the waiting is the hardest part!). Slice and serve.
For cake: Allow eggs to stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and flour three 8 1 1/2-inch round baking pans. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In an extra-large bowl beat eggs with a mixer on high 5 minutes or until thickened and light. Beat on medium an additional 5 minutes while gradually adding sugar, 1/4 cup at a time. (Batter will be light and fluffy.) Beat in flour mixture on medium-low until just combined.
In a small saucepan heat and stir milk and butter until butter melts. Add to batter, beating until combined; beat in almond extract. Divide batter among prepared pans.
The night before last we ate at the 3 Muses on Frenchmen street. We ordered a number of small plates, and one that I want to try at home was dates stuffed with blue cheese, wrapped with bacon and drizzled with a balsamic reduction. They were served warm and were delicious. They would also be good made with figs.
Ingredients 20 to 24 Medjool dates (12 to 16 ounces) 4 ounces goat cheese or blue cheese 12 to 16 ounces bacon, preferably of medium thickness 20 to 24 toasted almonds, optional
1 cup Balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a baking liner and set aside.
Cut open the dates: Use a paring knife to cut a slit in the side of the date. Use your thumbs to open the date slightly. Remove the pits if your dates still have them inside.
Stuff with cheese: Use a spoon to stuff a little goat cheese or blue cheese into each date. Use the back of the spoon to press the cheese into the date. If you're adding almonds, press an almond or two into the cheese. Press the date closed.
Wrap the dates with bacon: Cut the strips of bacon in half. Wrap each date with a half-strip of bacon. Secure the end of the bacon with a toothpick.
Arrange the dates on the baking sheet: Space the dates a little apart and lay them on one side.
Bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the dates to the other side.
Continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes: Keep an eye on the dates and remove from the oven as soon as the bacon is as crispy as you like it.
Transfer the dates to a plate with a paper towel to drain. If the dates seem greasy, blot the sides as well as the bottoms.
Combine vinegar and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer til thick.
Arrange the dates with toothpicks and drizzle with balsamic reduction.
The dates can be prepped and refrigerated for up to a day before baking. Keep covered.