Cheese Strata from Mary Ann Nagel
8 slices bread, cubed
8 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
1 pint milk
½ pound sliced ham
1 stick butter or margarine, melted
Salt, pepper, and paprika
Grease 9 x 13 casserole dish and layer with bread cubes, then ham and cheese. Mix eggs and milk and pour over all, drizzle butter on top and season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator one hour before baking. Bake one hour at 350 degrees uncovered.
Almond Cake with Lemon Verbena from Ann Baldwin
Recipe of Mary Beth Collins from The New York Times
1 small to medium orange
6 ounces roasted almonds
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sugar
2/3 cup olive oil
Lemon verbena leaves, chopped
Lemon verbena leaves for garnish
Place orange and lemon in saucepan and cover with water, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Drain and cool. If using raw almonds, heat the oven to 325 degrees and set a rack in the middle position. Bake the almonds 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. When the almonds are cool, pulse them in a food processor until ground.
Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9-inch spring form pan. When the citrus is cool, cut the lemon in half and discard the pulp and seeds. Cut the orange in half and discard only the seeds. Put the fruits in a food processor and process to almost a paste. In a small bowl, whisk the flour and baking powder. In a mixing bowl, combine eggs and salt and beat until foamy. Beat in the sugar. Fold in the flour mixture, add the citrus, ground almonds, olive oil, and lemon verbena and beat on low speed until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about an hour. Let cool for 10 minutes, unmold and dust with confectioners’ sugar. Garnish with lemon verbena.
Goat cheese spread
Recipe from Denise Byrnes
2- 8 ounces packages cream cheese, softened
8 ounce goat cheese log
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 ¼ dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup basil pesto
½ cup dried tomatoes in oil, drain well and chop
Process first 5 ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth. Spread 1/3 of cheese mixture in a plastic-wrap-lined 8 x 4 loaf pan. Top with pesto. Spread another 1/3 cheese mixture over pesto, sprinkle with dried tomatoes; top with remaining cheese mixture. Cover and chill for 8 hours. Invert onto a serving tray, discarding plastic wrap. Garnish with extra tomato slices and fresh oregano sprigs if desired. Serve with French bread slices or crackers.
Goat Cheese Pecan Finger Sandwiches
Recipe from Penny Merriman
4 ounces goat cheese, softened
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup toasted pecans, finely chopped
14 bread slices
1/3 cup red pepper jelly
Stir together goat cheese, cream cheese, pecans, and parsley. Spread on 7 slices of bread. Spread the other 7 slices with pepper jelly, then top with cheese-covered slices.
Remove crusts and cut into fourths. This is a tasty finger sandwich appetizer.