-->
Capicola Bites with Melon and Basil Recipe
Yields: 12 bites

12-24 thin slices of capicola (depending on size)
1 c diced melon, mango or peach
12 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced
1/4 c Balsamic Reduction

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Press a capicola slice into a mini-muffin tin so that the entire cup is covered.  Use two slices in necessary.  Do not let any capicola poke up out of the cup or it will burn.  Repeat until 12 cups are filled.  Place muffin tins in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes until capicola has molded to the shape of the cup and is slightly crispy. Let cool.
2. Toss melon and basil together until combined.  Place approximately one teaspoon of melon into cups.
3. Drizzle cups with balsamic reduction.

This printable recipe from http://www.strandedincleveland.blogspot.com/
Nutella Truffles Recipe
Yield: 32 small truffles

4.5 oz (125 g) cream-filled wafer cookies, chocolate or vanilla flavor
7 oz (half of a small jar) chocolate-hazelnut spread, like Nutella
1 c chopped hazelnuts
12 oz chocolate candy coating
Cocoa powder and white chocolate for garnish

1. Place the cream-filled wafers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse it until they are coarsely chopped.
2. Combine the wafer pieces and Nutella in a large bowl and stir well.  Press a layer of plastic wrap on top of the mixture.  Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
3. Using a melon-baller, make 1" balls. Roll ball quickly in your hands to make them perfectly round.  Place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
4. Roll the chocolate balls in the chopped hazelnuts and then roll in your hands to embed the nuts.  Place back in the freezer for 5 minutes.
5. Melt the chocolate candy coating according the package directions.  Be sure to stir regularly to prevent burning the chocolate.  Once melted, use two forks to dip the Nutella balls.  Place coated balls on waxed paper. 
6. Decorate balls with cocoa powder or chopped walnuts while still wet.  White chocolate swirls can be applied once the candy coating has hardened.  Allow to completely dry and harden before handling.

Make-Ahead Tip: Truffles can be made up to two weeks in advance and stored in an air-tight container.

This printable recipe from http://www.strandedincleveland.blogspot.com/
Nonna's Crostoli Recipe
Yields: approx 3 dozen ribbons

6 Tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 c plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 c milk
1/2 tsp salt
2-1/4 c flour
1 whole egg plus 1 yolk
3 Tbsp grappa (or brandy)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Juice of l/2 lemon
Crisco for deep frying
Confectioners' sugar

1. Make the dough mixing together the butter through lemon juice.  Dough should not be sticky or else it will stick as you roll out. 
2. Cut dough into quarters to make it manageable.  Place three quarters into a zip lock bag; put them in the freezer to keep them cold while working with each quarter. 
3. Set the dough roller at 1, the thickest setting, and work it down, sprinkling with flower as you roll, to a 3 or 4 thickness.  Cut into 2" x 5" strips
4. Fry strips in Crisco.  When crostoli begin to brown and bubble up, flip and fry for a few seconds more.  Transfer to a paper towel to drain excess oil.  Store in an air-tight tin cookie container.
5. Repeat with remaining dough quarters. 

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: Crostoli can be made two weeks in advance and stored in an air-tight cookie tin container.  Do not store crostoli in plastic.

This printable recipe from http://www.strandedincleveland.blogspot.com/
To make a pattern on your cheesecake, find a foam cut-out, in my case a snowflake.  Halfway through cooking time, place the foam on top of the cheesecake, sprinkle the uncovered areas with cinnamon and then carefully remove the foam shape.  The cinnamon will bake into the cake.

Italian Cheesecake "Pizza Dolce" Recipe
Yields: 9" round cake

1 1/2 lbs of ricotta
6 large eggs
2 c milk
1 c sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon
cinnamon to sprinkle on top

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
2.  Cream sugar and eggs until lemon colored.  Add the milk through lemon juice.  Mix slowly until well blended.  It will splatter.
3.  Place 9" round Springform cake pan on top of a backing sheet.  Pour mixture into the cake pan.  Some liquid will come out of the pan.  This is normal.
4.  Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes.  Remove cake from oven and carefully lay desired foam shape in the middle of the cake.  Sprinkle cheesecake with cinnamon.  Carefully remove the foam shape and return to oven and back for an additional 45 minutes or until firm. (See note above).
5.  Place cheesecake on a wire rack to cool.  Place on a plate and refrigerate until ready to serve.  Liquid will continue to leak from the pan.  This is normal.  When ready to serve, remove from pan, place on a cake stand and serve.

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: Cheesecake can be made 2 days in advance and placed in the refrigerator or 1 month in advance and frozen.  Defrost before serving.

This printable recipe from http://www.strandedincleveland.blogspot.com/
Fennel and Green Apple Salad Recipe
Yields: 8-12 servings

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
Juice from one lemon
salt and pepper
1/2 small fennel bulb
1 green apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1. Combine oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  Whisk together and set aside.
2. Cut leaves from fennel bulb and reserve.  Using the shreading blade of a food processor, slice the fennel as thinly as possible.  Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Add sliced apple to the fennel.  Pour lemon dressing over fennel and apple.  Toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
4. Coarsley chop reserved fennel leaves and place on top for garnish.


MAKE-AHEAD TIP: Salad can be made and refrigerated one day in advance.  The lemon's acidity will prevent the apple from turning colors. 

This printable recipe from http://www.strandedincleveland.blogspot.com/
Glazed Pearl Onions Recipe
Yields: 8-12 servings

3 10-oz packages or 2 16-oz packages of frozen pearl onions, thawed
¼ c unsalted butter
¼ c brown sugar
¼ c red wine vinegar
Salt

1. Drain onions thoroughly on paper towels and pat dry.  Roll them around on the paper towels to remove any tough outer skins.
2. Melt butter in a large skillet over Medium-High heat.  When butter foams, add onions.  Sauté over Medium heat 5-8 minutes or until onions begin to color.
3. Add brown sugar; stir to coat.  Add vinegar and salt.  Cook three minutes until a thickish syrup has formed.

This printable recipe from http://www.strandedincleveland.blogspot.com/
Stuffed Artichokes Recipe
Yields: Assume 1/2 artichoke per person

artichokes
2 Tbsp lemon juice (doesn’t need to be fresh)
chopped fresh parsley (3-4 Tbsp per artichoke)
chopped garlic (3-4 cloves per artichoke, depending on the size)
olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Fill a large bowl with water and add lemon juice.  Set aside.

2. Pull off tough outer leaves by the stem and discard.  Place the artichokes on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut off the thorns towards the tip of the artichoke.  Using scissors, cut off the prickly tips of the remaining leaves.  Cut stems off artichokes and place the stems in the lemon water.

3. One artichoke at a time, cut artichoke in a half.  If you see any purple leaves, remove the purple leaves and discard them.  Using a teaspoon, remove the choke ("barba" or mustasche) being careful to leave the heart.  Put artichoke halves in lemon water and repeat with remaining artichokes.  Wash artichokes in lemon water being sure to wash off all choke.

4. Mix together parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add a little oil, just enough to moisten mixture.  Remove artichokes from water and stuff each leaf with the garlic-parsley mixture.  Sprinkle both sides of artichoke halves with salt and pepper.

5. Place artichokes, cut side up, in a large rimmed pan.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Add water to the pan to cover artichokes about ¾ of the way up.  Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat and bring to a simmer.  Cover and simmer artichokes.  Once water is half evaporated, start basting artichokes with the water.  Once water is about ¾ of the way evaporated, flip artichokes, continuing to simmer and baste as needed.  Cooking time will vary depending on how large and fresh the artichokes are, running between 45 minutes to 2-1/2 hours.

MAKE-AHEAD TIP: This recipe can be prepared two days in advance and reheated when ready to serve.

This printable recipe from http://www.strandedincleveland.blogspot.com/