Time Sure Flies…

Today marks the fifth anniversary of my blog, Ali’s Epicurean Gems.  I have attempted to post monthly over the years but we all know how the best laid plans can change when you least expect it. As I look back at how ‘simple’ my first post “Summer’s Finest Fruit” was, I realize how far that I have come in the development of the blog. While I can say I wear the hat of a co-author (Cooks to the Rescue), my personal goal now is to create my own cookbook. Some of you know that I have been talking about this idea for YEARS so I need to get it checked off my ‘list’. Cooking is a passion for me and writing about it has been a fulfilling creative hobby. Thank you all for your steadfast support.



Yesterday I visited one of my favorite charming, local antique shops browsing for unusual garden items. I stumbled across and purchased an adorable old book entitled “Betty Crocker’s Guide to Easy Entertaining”, copyright 1959. It reminded me of books my mother owned that I would repeatedly view with pure delight as a young girl. Perhaps the topic will be a chapter in my cookbook. In any case, entertaining tips will definitely be included! I had to share that I found this little treasure ~ crumbling apart as it is.

I’m only going to include one recipe in this post as the last few weeks I have been asked numerous times to share it. Those of us with tomato plants typically have an abundance of the fruit right now and I love to prepare anything I can with tomatoes. Summer’s bounty will soon come to an end and we will mourn that final harvest until next year. So enjoy this gem ~ quite simple ~ just like the first recipe I shared in the beginning.

Ali’s Tomato Pie


  • 1 – 9 inch unbaked pie crust
  • 1 ¼ c. mozzarella cheese, divided
  • ¼ c. Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, sliced*
  • ½ medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • ¾ c. mayonnaise
  • 1/8 c. half-and-half (to thin mayonnaise)
  • 3 T. fresh basil, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bake pie crust in 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until golden. Cool.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  3. Sprinkle half the cheeses on the bottom of the pie crust.
  4. Top with tomato slices.
  5. Arrange onion slices evenly on top of tomatoes.
  6. Combine mayonnaise and half-and-half in a bowl; add basil, salt and pepper and remaining cheese to mixture.
  7. Spread mixture over tomato and onion slices.
  8. Bake 40-45 minutes until golden and bubbly. Allow to rest for a few minutes prior to serving in pie slices. Garnish with basil leaves. Serves 8.

*Use whatever tomato variety you have grown; I like beefsteak tomatoes for their size and ‘meatiness’.

Bon appétit!




  1. Miriam Zijp-Koedijk · · Reply

    Hard to believe it has been five years of informative and entertaining blogs with great recipes! Keep them coming and one day, in the future, somebody will pick up your cook book in an antique store!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Easter · · Reply

    This was the best tomato pie I have ever had. You made it for my family reunion and all of my relatives raved about it and keep going back for more. You are the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ellen Higgins · · Reply

    I can’t wait to try this. Hopefully there will be enough tomatoes this week to allow me to make it. If Linda says it’s the best, I am sure it is! Happy 5 year anniversary to such a wonderfully talented chef and a beautiful human being!

    Liked by 1 person

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