Saturday, October 24, 2020

Butter Molds


Well, I've been MIA all summer. I did share a lot over on Instagram(@parnellspantry), but with everyone home and so much going on, it isn't always easy to keep up. I do plan on sharing a few posts this week recapping all that went on over the summer with our garden as well as some of the treats and dinners we've made. For today, I am sharing a fun idea to make your fall dinners a bit more special. 

   I am a firm believer in planning ahead as much as possible. Making fun shapes out of butter is something you can do very far in advance which means one less thing to worry about when the holidays roll around. I use the same molds I use for making chocolates, but I use butter instead. All you need to do is soften your butter and firmly press it into each cavity in the mold, then freeze. It's easy!  Here are a few I've made for Halloween and Thanksgiving....

   I used both plain butter and herbed butter. To learn how to make your own herbed butter,click here..


I made these for Halloween...perfect fun little addition for the kids' waffles,pancakes or toast. Don't mind the fingerprints on the knife..I had a "helper" who couldn't wait to dig in!


I also made some turkeys,which would look great on any Thanksgiving table. How nice would it be to have one at each place setting or maybe one plain and one with herbs?

Once you've frozen the butter, pop them out of the molds and layer them on a freezer safe container using parchment paper between the layers.

Have fun!

Monday, June 15, 2020

Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe is adapted from a Paula Deen recipe. I changed the frosting to a cream cheese base( Ina Garten recipe) ,which I think gives the rolls a really rich,decadent finishing touch. These would be a great start to the morning on Father's Day.You will have leftover frosting, which you can refrigerate and use for other treats!

Dough Ingredients:
1 pkg. yeast(1/4 oz)
1/2 c. warm water
1/2 c. scalded milk
1 c. sugar(divided)
1/3 c. melted butter
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
3-1/2 -4 c. flour
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 c. melted butter

Cream Cheese Frosting:(Makes a lot of frosting)

  1 lb..cream cheese,softened(use a block, not a tub)
3/4 lb.softened butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1-1/2  lbs sifted powdered sugar

- In the bowl of your mixer ,combine ingredients and spread on top of the warm cinnamon rolls. Save extra frosting for cupcakes or more cinnamon rolls.

To Make the Dough:

  -In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in the warm water. Set aside and let bloom.

- In a large bowl,( I use my mixer), combine milk, 1/4 c. sugar,1/3 c. melted butter,salt and the egg. Add two c. of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead on a lightly floured surface for approximately 5-8 minutes. Place in a well greased bowl and cover with plastic. Let rise until doubled(about 1-1/2 hours).

-Once doubled, punch down dough. Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 15x9 rectangle.Brush with remaining melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon and 3/4 c. of remaining sugar.(You may have a lot, use your discretion)

-Beginning at the 15 inch side, roll up the down and pinch the seam to seal.

- Cut into 12-15 even slices.

-Place the rolls in a baking pan that is buttered and sprinkled with a little sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise.( about 45 min.)

-Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool slightly and frost while still warm.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Ricotta Cavatelli

 This is a recipe from Michael Symon. It is fun to make,and is ideal for having your children help out in the kitchen. With just a few simple ingredients,you have a delicious dinner, with plenty leftover to freeze for another night.

3 c. flour
3 eggs
16 oz. ricotta

-Pour the flour into a bowl and make a well in the center.
-Add eggs into the well.
-Mix gently, then add the ricotta and salt.
-Mix well until all ingredients are combined.
-Place on a lightly floured surface and knead a few times to develop gluten. this can also be done with
 a stand mixer and a dough hook.
-Form into a ball or disk, and wrap in plastic wrap.

-Let rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour or up to 3 days.
-Remove from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured surface.
-Cut into strips, then cut into small pieces,about 1 inch in size(no right or wrong size here).
-Using your index finger, roll off of the tines of a fork to make the indentations(they catch all the sauce)!
  You can also use the tool made for making gnocchi and pasta shown here.

-Place all the pasta on a baking sheet lines with parchment.
-Boil water ,then add the amount of pasta you need.When they float to the top, they are ready.

Add the pasta to a saute pan with your favorite sauce. Cook a few minutes more,
-Add some freshly grated parmesan and enjoy!

*** To freeze any extra uncooked pasta, lay out on baking sheets and freeze. Once frozen, you can place in a freezer bag or container and keep frozen until needed.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Easter Bread

Being quarantined here on Long Island has given me ample time to play around in the kitchen. I'm not going to lie, that is what I usually do on any given day anyway. I found and made this bread last year and we all loved it,so I wanted to share with you in case you are looking for something new for your spring holiday tables. The good news is it doesn't require yeast, an ingredient that isn't easily found as of late.I cannot remember where I found this recipe, but  am glad I did. It is dense, has more of a cake consistency and is sweeter than regular bread. The icing adds an additional touch of sweetness and it makes a wonderful centerpiece or addition to any table. Simply add different colored sprinkles for whatever theme you are creating. I recommend using the almond extract, however, in a pinch, vanilla extract can be used.  In times like these, we work with what we have...not worth risking a trip to the store right now. This is also a fun recipe to make with the kids, who love to help with the rolling and braiding process.

Bread Ingredients:
 3/4 c. shortening
 1-1/2 c. sugar
 3 eggs
 3 egg yolks
 1c. ricotta
 1 tsp. almond extract
 6 c. all purpose flour
 1Tbsp. baking powder
 1 tsp. salt
 1/2 c. milk

- In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the shortening and the sugar.
-Add the eggs and yolk, mix until well blended.
-Add the ricotta and almond extract. Mix well.
-Add the salt,baking powder ,and add the flour and milk,alternating each.

Blending shortening and sugar.
 Add eggs and yolks.
 Add almond extract. This is my favorite brand.
 Adding salt and baking powder.
 Mix in ricotta.
 Mix in flour and milk.
 Batter should look like this.
 -Empty onto a sheet of lightly floured surface . If using parchment, there is really no need for any more flour.
 -Divide the dough into three equal parts.
 -Roll each one into a rope about 18 inches long.
 -Braid them together and tuck the ends underneath the dough.
 -Bake for 45-55 minutes(mine took an hour) at 350 degrees.
 -Remove,cool and glaze.

 Braid ready to bake.
 Mini braids .
 You can make wreaths as well,place on top of dinner plates with a decorated egg inside if desired.
Glaze Ingredients:
1-1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. almond extract
sprinkles, if desired.

 Let baked breads cool before drizzling with icing.

-Mix all ingredients, except the sprinkles, together.
-Drizzle over the bread allowing it to drip down the sides
-Sprinkle the sprinkles on top if desired.

Enjoy and stay healthy!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Corona Crazy

I hope this post finds you well. If you are like me, you are navigating your way through this crazy time as best you can. Kids are home from school, family members are not working, so much uncertainty yet I've seen such wonderful things going on in my neighborhood. Friends have been providing food and treats to another  friend ,who along with her husband and parents ,were all diagnosed with the virus. People are doing their part, trying to stay home except for necessary shopping and we are all trying hard to support our local small businesses. Here is a bit of what has been going on around here...

   At first, I was concerned my children would be out of sorts with the schools,playgrounds,malls and other favorite places shutting down, but I am happy and proud to say that they have adjusted well. Schoolwork is getting done, we are doing a lot of reading, movie watching ,gardening ,baking and cooking and it has actually been very nice to just pause and enjoy each other. As many of you know, my son Mikey has autism, and having local swings and shops shut down hasn't been easy, but we are managing,and for that,I am grateful. We've taken a lot of walks in empty parks and preserves,doing our best to remain socially distant.


My son Timmy loves to garden with me , so when all this began, I ordered some organic soil from Amazon and we started out tomato plants indoors. We planted 26 varieties of heirloom tomatoes,two of each for a total of 46,because we always like to give plants away to friends in early summer. I also ordered biodegradable pots,but have not yet received them, so we used plastic cup, cut a few drainage holes in them, and that was that. He has also been taking his college courses online,and so far, that is going well. This is a great project for those of you interested in gardening and looking for something constructive to do,especially with the kids.

We've also kept ourselves busy with lots of cooking and baking. Everything from chicken cutlets, pastas, BBQ to cookies, nut cups and brownies. Just an example of the love in the community....I mentioned on facebook that I was running low on flour. The next day, a neighbor left 5 pounds of flour( and my favorite Cadbury creme eggs) on my porch. The day after that, another friend left 10 lbs. of flour. The day after that, the 12 lb bag I ordered arrived. I now have 27 lbs of flour and am prepared to share with anyone who may need it.


Another wonderful thing that has been happening is that local florists have been giving away flowers that were slated to be used for events that have now been cancelled due to the virus. One florist stood in the street handing out roses to passersby. Another gave away gorgeous plants so they wouldn't die,and I was given this beautiful peace lily. When another local shop was offering flowers, I stopped in and was given an enormous amount of gorgeous blooms. Rather than keep any, I put together 15 bouquets and delivered them(with gloves on and a quick drop off on porches) to some deserving ladies around town. I hope that they were able to smile and enjoy this simple act of kindness that was meant to lift their spirits. A very big thank you to all the local florists that so generously donated their flowers.

 My friend sent me a pic of the roses I dropped off for her.
 These were donated by Dalsimer Florist!

 This lily was given to's simply beautiful! Thank you Masters & Co Florist!
 Thank you Art Flower & Gift Shop!
In our town, one woman has collected funds and has been ordering from local small food businesses and providing meals to hospital workers, EMTs, police and fire depts, utility workers and many other essential workers who are so selflessly going out everyday to save lives,help people and hopefully, help us see an end to this trying time. This is helpful to both the businesses and the workers.

I also had to make a trip to the local Costco and was so impressed by their organization,efficiency and kindness. It was a relief to be able to get some of the supplies we needed. Plenty of social distancing, updates on product availability and very well stocked.


I hope, that wherever you are, you are well, staying safe at home and that we are all able to get back to our normal lives as soon as possible. Until then, be sure to check in on friends and neighbors, help when and where you can, and follow the guidelines we are being given to conquer Corona once and for all. Be well!