Toast the sliced almonds for sprinkling on top, if desired. Sprinkle almonds in ungreased heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until nuts begin to brown, then stirring constantly until nuts are light brown.
Use a combination of cheeses in this dish, if desired. Blend in 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar, Swiss or your favorite cheese with the 1 cup half-and-half; stir until melted and smooth. Proceed as directed. Reduce Parmesan cheese to 2 tablespoons.