Category: Cooking

Cherry Heart Tarts

We’re so excited to introduce our limited edition Potter’s Pastries Collection of Soy Glass Candles & Room Sprays. They are here for a limited time and smell as delicious as freshly baked pastries. To celebrate this collection Molly and the team at Monica Potter Home did some DIYs to match our scrumptious new scents! Here’s a fun and easy recipe for Molly’s favorite Cherry Heart Tarts. Shop our Cherry Tart Candle & Cherry Tart Room Spray!


HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 box of pie crust
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • Cherry jam
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • Heart cookie cutter
  • Fork
  • Rolling pin

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. While your oven is heating, sprinkle a little flour on your surface and roll out your dough until its about ¼ inch thick. Using your heart cookie cutter, begin cutting out hearts from the dough. Gather the scraps and roll out again to get as many hearts as possible.

You want to divide the hearts out equally to ensure that you have a top and bottom for your tarts. On the bottom heart, place a spoonful of cherry jam into the middle. You want to make sure that the edges stay clean. Once the jam is in place, carefully lay the top heart over the jam and bottom heart. With a fork, crimp the edges of the tart, sealing the hearts together.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and move the hearts onto the paper. With a pastry brush, carefully brush the tarts with the beaten egg and sprinkle the tops with sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Risotto Balls

I made risotto a few nights ago for dinner and had some leftover. I wanted to try to make something different with the leftovers and decided to try these rice balls. I have never made these before, so I just started adding ingredients I thought would work together. We were all pleasantly pleased with how delicious they were. If you prefer less spice, keep the red peppers flakes out.


  • 2 cups cooked cooled risotto
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • small bites of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 1/4 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
  • Oil, for frying
  • Marinara sauce

Combine the rice, Parmesan, eggs, red pepper, ¾ cup breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning together in a bowl and mix evenly with your hands.

Begin scooping out small amounts of the rice mixture and forming them into balls. Once formed, make a hole in the middle and place a piece of the cheese in the middle, sealing the hole up with additional rice. Continue forming balls until all the rice mixture is used.

Place oil into a frying pan and allow for it to get hot. While the oil is heating up, begin rolling each of the rice balls in the remaining breadcrumbs, evenly coating each ball.

Begin placing the rice balls into the hot oil, until the coating is golden brown. With a slotted spoon remove rice balls from the pan and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Transfer them to a baking sheet and place them in a warm oven to keep the rice balls warm while you cook the remaining rice balls.

Once they are cooked, serve them on top of marinara and enjoy!

Saltine Toffee Bars

I wanted to make something for a potluck that I was going to and my friend asked me to bring a dessert. I recently had these for the first time a few weeks ago and fell in love with them. Just be forewarned, that you will not be able to just eat one…trust me…I know! Oh…I forgot to mention…these are definitely not on your diet! Enjoy!


INGREDIENTS

  • 40-50 saltine crackers- depends on how big your cookie sheet is
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 bag chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed nuts (you can use almonds, pecans, walnuts or even heath bits)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the saltine crackers evenly on the cookie sheet.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add brown sugar. Whisk the butter and sugar until it is combined and boiling. Simmer for a few minutes, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened.

Pour the caramel mixture over the crackers in an even layer. Bake for 6 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top of the caramel covered crackers. Return the pan to the oven for 2 minutes, to soften the chips.

Remove the pan from the over and using a spatula smooth the chocolate until it evenly covers the caramel. Sprinkle the nuts over the chocolate right away, to ensure that the nuts stick to the chocolate. Pop in the fridge for 10 minutes to completely cool the bars.

Once hardened, break the toffee into pieces and store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

Vegan Buckeyes

Being from Ohio, buckeyes have been a sweet treat that we make often in our house. A friend of mine has a son who has Autism and is on gluten and dairy free diet. It was his birthday and I wanted to make him something to celebrate so I decided to try to make buckeyes with ingredients he could eat. I am happy to say, he loved them. They were absolutely delicious and the only way I will make them now. Give them a try!


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ½ cup of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup melted Earths Balance dairy free butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups of enjoy life chocolate chips

Start by mixing the peanut butter, dairy free butter, powdered sugar and ½ cup of the Enjoy Life chocolate chips together.

Once it is well mixed together, roll small balls out of the dough. Place on parchment paper and pop in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

While the dough is freezing, melt the remaining chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 15 seconds. Once the chocolate is melted, begin dropping the frozen balls into the melted chocolate, coating them completely.

Remove the chocolate covered balls and place them on parchment to harden.

Store in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

Basil Pesto

One of the best things about my summer garden is basil. It grows so well and I am always looking for things to do with it. I harvested a bunch of it and decided to make some pesto. Pesto is one of my absolute favorite sauces and I love how versatile it is. I like to make huge batches of it and freeze it so I have it on hand whenever I need it. Definitely give this recipe a try!


INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups of fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Combine the garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse.

Once it is minced, add the basil leaves, salt and a splash of oil and pulse until it is coarsely chopped and combined.

Slowly begin adding the remaining oil until the pesto is smooth.

Lastly add the cheese and mix one more time.

Serve over pasta or store in freezer bags to store for future use.

Pumpkin Gnocchi

Gnocchi is one of my most favorite things in the world. I love how fluffy, soft and tender they are, and how you can pair them with any kind of sauce and have an entirely different flavor palate. My friend introduced me to this Pumpkin Gnocchi recipe a few years ago and I haven’t looked back since. I save this recipe for my annual fall dinner party with my girlfriends. It’s become tradition and something we all look forward to every fall. This year however, I decided to alter it and make it gluten free. It turned out well, however, the gnocchi was much denser and heavier than normal. It still tasted delicious but the texture was compromised a bit. But for those of you that follow a gluten free diet, try this out with gluten free flour.


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • Fresh sage
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Fill a stockpot with water and heat until it comes to a rapid boil. Add salt to the water for flavor. In a medium-sized bowl, combine pumpkin, egg, salt and nutmeg. Mix in flour in small batches to ensure that all ingredients are well mixed. Continue mixing until the dough is well formed and easy to handle. It will be somewhat sticky, so make sure to dust your hands and board with flour for easy handling and rolling. Roll out the dough and forms long strips (like snakes). Using a knife, begin cutting small pieces of dough to form your gnocchi. You can use the tines of a fork to give the gnocchi ridges or leave them smooth. Add your gnocchi to your boiling water and lightly stir the water until the pasta floats to the top. Once it floats remove the pasta and place in a skillet with the butter, sage and pine nuts. Turn the skillet on, melting the butter and slowly infusing the sage flavor while toasting the pine nuts. Toss until the butter is melted and plate your pasta. Top with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and serve. Hope you enjoy this rich and festive dish!

Bruschetta

Making bruschetta is pretty self-explanatory. So I’m going to show you how to make your very own olive oil dressing to drizzle over it instead. It’s as simple as it is delicious. And it includes one of my favorite words: peppercorn. (Not made from corn.)


HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

  • A sprig of basil
  • Olive oil
  • Peppercorn
  • Erlenmeyer flask

Step 1

Chop up your sprig of basil (removing the stem) and add it to a bowl.

Step 2

Pour olive oil in the bowl and let it soak.

Step 3

Add a handful of peppercorn (or cloves) to spice it up.

Step 4

Then stir it up and let it sit for a day or two.

Step 5

Pour it into an Erlenmeyer flask and use it at your next party.

Step 6

Google “Erlenmeyer flask”.

Iced Coffee

Everyone knows how much I love my coffee. I’ve been a tad obsessed with my Monica Potter Home coffee since it debuted with my MPH Signature Ceramic Mug. Since I live in California most of the year, I like to have pitchers of iced coffee on hand to beat the warm days of summer and fall (lets be real here…summer lasts until almost December in California.) I like to make a fresh batch every few days, but if I am in a hurry I can make a quick to go cup with one cup of coffee and 2 tablespoons of condensed milk. If you are a coffee lover, try this recipe out! It is as delicious as any Starbucks recipe and will save you loads of money over time!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • 6-8 cups strong coffee
  • One 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk

Once your coffee has brewed, transfer it to a large pitcher. Add the can of sweetened condensed milk to the pitcher and stir. Place it in the fridge to cool for a few hours. Serve over ice. A trick that I like to do is to make coffee ice cubes. Pour some brewed coffee into an ice tray and place in the freezer. That way your iced coffee will never be watered down again.

Caprese Bread

One of my favorite salads is Caprese Salad. I was going to a dinner party and my friend asked me to whip up something fun to bring. I was trying to think of something different and fun and decided I was going to try to make a Caprese bread. I’d never made it and didn’t have a recipe, so I just threw some things together and it ended up being so tasty. If you like Caprese salad and crescent rolls, then you need to run to the store, get the ingredients and make this now!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Handful fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 oz mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • ½ carton cherry tomatoes, divided
  • 4 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tubes of crescent rolls
  • 2 tablespoons Italian herbs

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, crescent rolls (cut them into small balls), Parmesan cheese, Italian herbs and minced garlic. Arrange them in a Bundt pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stuff cubed cheese and tomatoes in crevices of dough. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Top with fresh basil and serve. Makes 1 loaf.

Pot Stickers

I was in Ohio for the last few weeks and was happy to be reunited with my boys. One of Liam’s favorite dishes is my Chinese pot stickers, so I wanted to make them for him. The prep time is a little time consuming, however the end result is absolutely delicious. Give these a try!


WHAT YOU WILL NEED

  • Pork filling
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
  • 2 stalks green onions, minced
  • ½ cup bamboo shoots, minced
  • ½ cup waterchestnuts, minced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • Wonton wrappers

In a large bowl, combine pork, cabbage, bamboo, water chestnuts, green onions, , sesame oil, soy sauce and corn starch.

To assemble the dumplings, place wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pork mixture into the center of each wrapper. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrappers with water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges to seal.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pot stickers in a single layer and cook until golden and crisp on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes. Add about 1/3 cup of water to the skillet and cover to steam the pot stickers thoroughly. Let them cook an additional 7-8 minutes.

Remove from skillet and serve immediately with soy sauce, if desired.