Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Wishing you all a very Happy Halloween!! Here is a picture of the cookies I made for my son's class...just wanted to share with you!! Have fun trick or treating!

Monday, October 28, 2013

NYC Walking Chocolate Tour

In honor of National Chocolate Day, I wanted to share pictures from my recent visit to NYC for  a chocolate tour of the city. We had a wonderful, funny tour guide named Alex, and he was quite knowledgeable about not only chocolate, but about the city and architecture as well. We visited multiple bakeries, and chocolate shops, sampling their treats along the way.Enjoy the pictures!

Our tour guide Alex, had a great sense of humor and did a great job of showing us around the city.


Our group gathered at the Chelsea Market, where Food Network lives. We then walked to a little chocolate shop called the Chocolate Bar. It was a quaint little shop where we each sampled a small piece of chocolate. It was good, but I was  honestly thinking to myself that I hoped we would be sampling more than a one inch square piece of chocolate! From there, we walked to one of the oldest chocolatiers in NYC, Lilac Chocolates. . At this stop, we sampled a small piece of dark chocolate, along with a delicious piece of  butter crunch toffee....which truly was divine.
   As we walked along, out guide Alex gave us lots of information about the city, and different types of buildings, street signs his French accent, which made the tour that much more fun!
Our next stop was Magnolia Bakery ,  ,which is infamous for its cupcakes. We were each treated to a chocolate cupcake with a creamy chocolate frosting. Unfortunately, I ate mine before I remembered to take a picture of it...sorry about that.
We continued our walk until we came upon Milk & Cookies,www.milk&  ,where we were each given a large chocolate chocolate chip cookie. At this point, some people were a bit full, but as a chocolate lover, I was happy to sample mine.It was delicious!
We then moved on to a place called Xocolatti's  ,in SOHO. Here, as you can see, the walls were stacked with candy boxes, making it a very attractive place to shop.My only disappointment came when they told us we would be sampling a piece of white chocolate, with mango and topped with....are you ready? PAPRIKA!   Now, I love white chocolate , but I was less than enthusiastic. However, I tried it , and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. I loved it.....chocolate, with hints of mango, and then the paprika hits you at the end. Normally, I would never have tried something like that...but I am glad I did because it was really good......and $25 per pound!

Next, we went to the place I would have to call my favorite of all....a specialty shop called Bisous . They make French macaron cookies in a wide array of flavors. Of course, we sampled chocolate since we were on a chocolate tour. These were magnificent....decadent and absolutely delicious. I have added this store to my list of possible online gifts for the holidays. Definitely my new favorite treat!

Our next stop was Pasticceria Bruno ,on Bleecker Street. We passed Murray's cheese shop, and although the huge wheels of Parmeggiano  Reggiano were calling my name, we walked on. At Bruno, we sampled cannoli, which we were told beat Bobby Flay's in a throw down....but hey, he is Irish,so was to be expected! I did a little shopping at this stop and bought some cannoli and cookies to bring home to my hubby and boys. It was a beautiful bakery, but quite expensive.
   Our final stop was at Vosges,  where we sampled chocolate with chipotles in it. It was good, and spicy! Again, not my typical choice, but a nice treat .
   All in all, we walked over 40   city blocks, which I would have to say took care of our calorie intake for the day! It was a fun evening, and something I would suggest if you are in NYC and love chocolate! Find more information at .  Now, I have to start planning for the cupcake tour!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Fresh Corn Salsa

When corn is in season, we eat it like crazy! This recipe literally takes 5 minutes to prepare,and involves no cooking whatsoever! Serve it as a light side with fish or chicken,as a topping for a taco, or as I am here ,with some plain old tortilla chips! When the ingredients are fresh, you really don't need to do much to them! Enjoy!

2 ears of fresh corn, kernels removed
1 large clove of garlic,minced
1/2 of a small red onion ,minced
1 large plum tomato,seeded and chopped
1-1/2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1-1/2 Tbsp. canola oil
1/2 tsp.salt
1/2 tsp pepper
fresh parsley,chopped
   Mix the corn  kernels along with all of the other ingredients. Mix well and let sit for a few minutes so the flavors develop. That is it!!! Easy!
Serve with tortilla chips if desired.

*** For a little heat, add some minced jalapeno pepper.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

My New Etsy Shop

Exciting news!! I have been hard at work creating a new Parnell's Pantry Shop on Etsy! It is not yet "officially" open, but will be in a few days. As of now, the shop will be featuring a variety of seasonal wreaths, including fall,Halloween,Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Each week,there will be a variety of different items available for purchase. I hope that you enjoy the variety of items that will be available to you. It is my intention to add a number of different things as we head into the busy holiday season. All of the items will be made by yours truly, and I hope that you love them as much as I do!! Whether you are shopping for yourself,, looking for a unique,handmade gift,or just browsing, I hope you will stop in often and see what is new and exciting!

You can find the link to my shop at the top of the blog's main page,or at . I am posting a few sample wreaths for you to see, and there will be many,many more to come! Enjoy!!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Grilled Clams


This is a recipe from Ina Garten that I tweaked a bit. It is quick and simple, and it cooks in 5 minutes. I threw in a little extra bail and garlic, as well as roasting  my own tomatoes to add to the mixture instead of using sun dried tomatoes.
 24 littleneck clams,scrubbed
 3 cloves of garlic, minced
 1/4 tsp. pepper
 3/4 tsp salt
 1/4 c. fresh basil, chopped
 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
 3 Tbsp. olive oil
 1-1/2 c. fresh,toasted bread crumbs
 1/4 c. toasted pignoli nuts
 6 sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped( I roasted a bunch of grape/cherry tomatoes w/oil,salt & pepper instead)
2-1/2 Tbsp. butter,melted

Mix together all of the ingredients except the clams. Lay the clams out in a single layer on your grill, and  they will begin to open over 5 minutes time. As soon as they are fully open, toss in a bowl with the bread crumb mixture,and toss well.Drizzle on the melted butter and serve.


Monday, July 29, 2013

Watermelon Sorbet

I love this cool, refreshing treat! Easy to make, and delicious!

6 c. Seedless watermelon
1-1/2 tbsp of lime zest
1/2 c. Fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt
1c. Sugar
2c. Water

Purée the watermelon in a blender or food processor. Strain and set aside.
In a saucepan, combine sugar and  2c. Of water. Cook over low- medium until sugar is dissolved. This is your simple syrup.
   In a large bowl, combine the strained watermelon, lime zest, lime juice, salt, and simple syrup. Refrigerate for about two hours.

Pour half of the mixture into an ice-cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions( this literally took less than ten minutes). Spoon into freezer containers and freeze until ready to use...if you can resist eating it immediately!

Blackberry Ice Cream

This is a Ree Drummond recipe. A very, very berry flavored recipe. Sweet ,creamy and delicious. It does call for eggs, which I made sure to heat to at least 160 degrees to avoid any potential raw egg related problems. She also makes hers with semi sweet chocolate...I made half with and half without.


2 pints of fresh blackberries
1-1/4 c.Sugar
1-1/2c Half and half
Juice of half a lemon
1-1/2 c. Cream
5 egg yolks
4 oz.Semi sweet chocolate( I used good old Nestlé chocolate chips)

In a saucepan, combine the berries, 1/4 c of sugar and the lemon juice. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until the berries break down and become syrupy.strain into a bowl, pressing down on the berries with a spoon to extract all of the juice.Set aside to cool.

In another saucepan, combine the half and half and remaining cup of sugar. Over low-medium heat, mix together until sugar dissolves.
  In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale yellow and thick. Take a small amount of the half and half mixture and add it to the yolks, while whisking. This will temper the eggs so they do not curdle. Then add the entire yolk mixture back into the half and half mixture, and cook, whil stirring, until it becomes thickened, about 5 minutes(this is the custard mixture)....I also used a thermometer here to make sure my mixture reached 160 degrees in order to avoid any egg issues.
Strain the mixture into a bowl. Add the heavy cream to the berry juice, then add the custard mixture. Mix well. (At this point, I strained it again, so that the texture would be smooth). Place the mixture into two plastic containers and refrigerate for at least one hour.

 Using half of the mixture at a time, pour into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions( usually about 20 minutes). Remove and spoon into a container and freeze until firm( at least one hour). If adding chocolate, do so at this point ,then freeze.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pasta with Corn Thyme and Parmesan

This recipe comes from a new magazine ,Celebrity Cooking, and it is from Curtis Stone. I gave it a try last night,and it was really delicious! Easy to prepare and screams summertime with all of the corn. Give it a try, you will be happy you did.

1 lb. of bowtie pasta
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. thinly sliced shallots(use onions if you do not have shallots)
6 garlic cloves,finely chopped
1 c. dry white wine
4 large sprigs of thyme
2 c. fresh corn kernels(about 4 ears)
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan
1/4 c. fresh chives
salt & pepper to taste

  Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for about 7 minutes.  Reserve 1/2 c. of the pasta water before draining. Set pasta aside.
   In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Add garlic and shallots(or onions), and cook,stirrring for about 3 minutes.Add the wine and the thyme. Raise the heat to med-high, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until at least 3/4 of the liquid evaporates.
Add the corn and cream, and reduce heat to med-low. Cook for about two minutes until the corn is hot.Keep warm over low heat. Season with salt and pepper.Add the pasta, and if too thick, add a bit of the reserved pasta water. Sprinkle with parmesan and chives. Enjoy!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Avocado Basil Dressing

I came across this recipe a very long time ago in Southern Lady magazine. It is creamy and cool, perfect for your summer salads. Throw all of the ingredients ino your blender or food processor, and you are ready to dress your favorite greens!

3 ripe avocados,peeled and seeded
1 shallot ,chopped
2-1/2 c. buttermilk
3 Tbsp. fresh basil
1/4c sour cream
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. sugar
2-1/2 tsp. garlic,minced
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2tsp. Freshly ground black pepper

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lemon Pound Cake with Limoncello Cream

The cream on this cake is delicious! Although it is a pound cake with whipped cream, it is cool and light. Perfect compliment to any summer meal.The recipe comes from Southern Lady Magazine.

Cake Ingredients:
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. butter
4 tsp. lemon zest
5 eggs
2 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp.vanilla extract
1/2 c. milk
Fresh Blueberries
Fresh Strawberries
Fresh Blackberries

   Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Butter a 10 inch round pan and line with parchment.(alternately, use two 8 inch will have enough batter for this).
  In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar,shortening,butter,and lemon zest.Beat until creamy, then add the eggs, one at a time.
   In a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Gradually add the flour and milk to the butter mixture,until blended. Pour into the cake pan(or cake pans) and bake for 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Limoncello Cream:
2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1/4 c. Limoncello
   Whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Slowly add the sugar. Add the Limoncello until blended. Spread on top of the cake and garnish with fresh blueberries,starwberries, and blackberries. Add lemon zest if desired.