Tag Archives: Recipe

How to Make Emoji Rice Krispies Treats

13 Aug

Hi all! I’m back with some more creativity in the kitchen. Emoji Rice Krispies Treats! (Just look at how good they came out. Believe me, I’m more shocked than you are!)

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats main

Before we get started, I need to give major props to Mister Krisp who is the one-and-only inspiration for this project. If you don’t know about her — and yes, this Mister is a her — Jessica Siskin is a NYC-based writer who just happens to make amazing dessert art with Rice Krispies treats. She has a huge following on Instagram and one of her most famous projects is her emojis. (While you’re checking out her Instagram, be sure to note her Rice Krispies tacos,  her Rice Krispies burger and oh yeah, her Rice Krispies Drake. I figured the emojis would be a great project for me and the girls to make to take to a barbeque today. (Shout out to Kelli and Rob!)

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats ingredients

The ingredients you’ll need are: 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal, 3 tablespoons of butter, a 10 ounce bag of marshmallows, yellow food coloring, Pam cooking spray and frosting in the following colors: black, white, blue, red and pink. I bought tubes of Wilton decorating icing in black and red and then made a quick mini batch of white icing and used food coloring to make the other colors. (Note: I do NOT recommend the Wilton Ready-to-decorate cans. The frosting comes out too fast and it’s very hard to control.) For supplies, you’ll need a round cookie cutter and a Wilton #3 round piping tip. (If you want blush on some of the blushing emojis, you’ll also need red food coloring and a foam brush.)

The Rice Krispies treat directions are right on the cereal box: you melt the butter in a big saucepan on low, then add the marshmallows. As they melted, I added about 5-6 drops of yellow liquid food coloring to get the emoji color.

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats melting

Then you remove it from the heat and stir in the Rice Krispies. We laid wax paper on cookie sheets (just to protect the table) and dumped the mixture in the middle. Then I used a spatula coated in Pam to spread it out and press it down so it was flat. They should be somewhere between 1/4 inch and 1/2 inch high. I kind of like how fat this one in the front came out and it’s about a 1/2 inch.

Sue at Home emoji rice krispie treats close up

After you’ve got the mixture all spread out (you might need more than one cookie sheet), use the cookie cutter to cut circles. (You can spray it with Pam so it doesn’t stick.) You’ll want to use a flat spatula coated in Pam to lift them. Do not underestimate the stickiness of melted marshmallows! Pam is your friend. Pam is sort of like the most important ingredient in this whole recipe. Use her wisely! In fact, Mister Krisp even advises spraying it on your hands to mold Rice Krispies treats. We did just that and reworked the leftovers into a new layer of Rice Krispies treats to cut from. (Like those pictures behind Sophia? You can read all about our photo wall in this post.)

Sue at Home emoji rice krispie treats cutting

Sidenote: On the first batch, I completely forgot the food coloring! We decided to still use some of them (I mean, they taste the same!) even though they looked more like rice cakes. Oops. You can see the difference here.

Sue at Home Emoji rice krispie treats 2 colors

All you have to do after you cut them is pipe on the frosting. I know this may sound daunting but if you’ve ever piped “Happy Birthday Whoever” onto a cake, you can do this. It’s just a series of little half circles and lines, plus some hearts, tongues and teardrops. (I kept this image from Mister Krisp up on my laptop as I worked.)  I don’t have any shots of me actually piping it because my assistants were totally over me at this point but here’s my advise: keep the piping tip close to the Rice Krispies treats, move slowly, and squeeze hard. As long as you stay close and go slow, you can’t screw it up.  If I ever make this again, I’ll invest some more tips because the biggest annoyance was taking the tip off and washing it before starting the next color. Here’s a process shot with just black and white icing.

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats black piping

But they really come to life once the other colors are added!

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Some of them, like the little guy on the bottom left below, call for blush. I couldn’t find a tutorial from Mister Krisp so I just figured it out on my own.

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I used some blood — just kidding! — but seriously, doesn’t it look like blood? It’s actually red gel food coloring. I put a little on a plate and used a foam brush to just dab a little color onto his cheeks. Just be sure to blot it A LOT on the paper plate before putting it on the emoji. I think it worked out pretty well for those little shy guys!

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispie Treats blush collage

It was an easy, though somewhat time-consuming, project that looks a lot more impressive than I thought it would!

So, tell me…what’s your favorite emoji? I probably use the smooch lips the most because I “speak emoji” with my kids more than anyone else but I am partial to the wink and the heart eyes too!

Hope you’ll try this fun project!

XO

Sue at Home

Sue at Home Emoji Rice Krispies Treats Pin

The Only Guacamole Recipe You’ll Ever Need

8 Aug

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Okay, maybe not just three people but I do admit I have a pretty serious obsession with guacamole. In fact, I’ve made it my life’s work to perfect my guac recipe. And today I’m here to share it with you beautiful people. (By the way, that print above is a poster from a site called Dormify and I might have ordered it if it wasn’t from a site called Dormify.)

Sue at Home Guacamole with chip

Now don’t think you’re going to get some secret ingredient here because my recipe is pretty basic. But with the right ratios of those basic ingredients, I think you’ll agree that this guacamole is pretty special.

I know I sound like I’m tooting my guacamole horn but I get requests to make guac for just about every party I go to but I recently had such a nice compliment that I figured this post was far past due. It all started when I made it for Sophia’s end-of-the-season soccer party and a bunch of people at the party asked for the recipe. Then a few weeks into the summer, I got this text from one of my fellow soccer moms: “Huge shout out to you for the guacamole recipe. I have made it 4 times for different events/people and everyone LOVES it. Thank you!!!” (So you can all thank Donna for her compliment because it made me finally get around to writing this post.)

Sue at Home guacamole ingredients

I meant to share this recipe with the Sue at Home readers years ago but…I ate it. No — seriously. Back in 2012, I photographed every step of the chopping process but then once it was in the bowl, it disappeared so quickly that I never got a shot of the actual finished product. Oops. Luckily, I got some shots this time before I inhaled it so let’s get down to business, shall we?

First off, you’ll need 5-6 ripe avocados. Don’t even attempt this recipe if your avocados aren’t ripe because you’ll waste your time and end up with crappy guacamole. (And it won’t be my fault.) I get mine at Whole Foods because I like to bleed money  they always have ripe ones. The rock-hard avocados that most stores sell won’t be ripe for about 6 days…and who wants to wait that long for guacamole?

Sue at Home Guacamole avocado and knife

You’ll need 1 or 2 vine-ripe tomatoes. I usually take most of the guts out but I leave a little to keep it juicy. Chop ’em up but don’t worry about getting them too small.

Sue at Home guacamole tomato

Most guacamole recipes call for red onions but since they’re disgusting and they repeat on me, I use spanish or vidala onions. Just a half an onion chopped up should do it. Now is a good time to mention that I use one bowl for the good stuff and one bowl for the junk because it makes me feel like I have my own cooking show. Oh — and my bowls are from Anthropologie (similar here) but you probably already knew that because I used them in the rainbow cake post.

Sue at Home Guacamole onion

Next up is the divisive cilantro. I know some people don’t like it. (In fact some people are even genetically predisposed to think that it tastes like soap. If you think I’m kidding, you’ve got to read this article in the New York Times. Apparently, even Julia Child hated the stuff.) But the recipe isn’t quite the same without it so just hope that you don’t have any of those cilantro haters in your audience. Grab a big handful off the bunch and chop it up. Technically, you’re supposed to pull the leaves off the stems but I never do and I’ve never had a complaint.

Sue at Home Guacamole cilantro

To give your guacamole a little kick without lighting your guest’s mouths on fire, a few jalapeno peppers should do the trick. This is one part of the recipe that has evolved over the years. I used to use one jalapeno, then two. Now I’m up to three or four. As long as you take the seeds out, the jalapenos will just add some nice flavor without too much heat. Just be sure to really mince them so your guac doesn’t have huge chunks of jalapeno. A couple tips: Cut the top off and then make a few little slices down the side with your paring knife. (See below) Then you can slide the knife in and separate the guts from the outside without getting seeds all over the place. And also — scrub your hands like crazy after handling jalapenos because if you don’t and you’re a contact lens wearer like me, your fingertips will burn your eyeballs like the depths of hell. (You’ve been warned.)

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Sue at Home Guacamole jalapeno

I like my guacamole nice and citrusy so I use the juice of a whole lime. Can’t you practically hear Tom Colicchio saying that my guacamole has “good acid”?

Sue at Home Guacamole lime

Two more things — which just might be the most important ingredients of all — salt and pepper. I’ve never measured the amount I put in but I can tell you that I’m very generous with the salt. Go ahead and mix everything up and then add salt and pepper to taste. I just keep adding salt until I think it’s perfect. (And to those eagle-eyed readers out there — yes, that’s the pepper shaker from the set of shakers we gave out as wedding favors 14 years ago! More on those here.)

Sue at Home Guacamole pepper

Some people slice up the avocados before they scoop them out but I find that they mush up nicely without doing that. Just scoop them out with a spoon!

Sue at Home Guacamole avocado scoop

Of course, this is just a personal preference but I like to serve my guac with Tostitos Bite Size chips. If you use a bigger chip then you end up eating more chip and less guacamole and really…isn’t the guacamole the star, here?

Sue at Home Guacamole bowl with chips

You’ll definitely want to make this fresh right before you serve it or your guacamole will turn brown. But if you need to, go ahead and combine all of the ingredients (except for the avocados!) a day in advance and keep them in a closed container in the fridge so all the flavors can party and get to know each other.

Sue At Home’s Only Guacamole Recipe You’ll Ever Need

5-6 ripe avocados 

1/2 spanish onion, chopped

1-2 vine-ripe tomatoes, chopped 

1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped 

3-4 jalapeno peppers, minced

Juice from a whole lime

Salt and Pepper to taste 

**Serve with Tostitos Bite Size chips

Chop all of the ingredients and stir until mashed and combined. It makes a nice, big, party-size portion but it’ll go fast. (One time my friends ate the whole bowl while I was busy making mojitos. True story.)

Happy Guacamole Making!

XO

Sue at Home

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Recipe: S’mores Bars

10 Aug

I’m here with a quick post to tell you about an amazing dessert I made yesterday. I didn’t photograph all the steps but I heard so many “I need the recipe!” comments at the BBQ that I brought them to, I figured I’d write a quick post to tell you where to go to find it.

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I had never made a cookie bar before but when I saw this recipe for S’mores Bars on Life in Grace, I just had to make it. 

It starts with a cookie dough-like mix of graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, vanilla, brown sugar, white sugar, and of course, butter. You start by spreading half of the dough into the bottom of a greased pan. (Follow Edie’s tip about spreading it with a knife dipped in warm water. I used the backside of a metal spatula – like this one – and the water trick made it really easy.) After the dough, you layer Hershey chocolate bars and then marshmallow fluff. 

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After the fluff, you just add the rest of the dough on top, add a handful of mini marshmallows, and bake. They were such a huge hit that I almost missed having one at the party! I was knee-deep in an intense game of cornhole and just couldn’t break away. You understand, right? Luckily I had Pablo snag one for me before they were gone.

It was a little time consuming but very easy. If I can make it, you can too!

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So head on over to Edie’s awesome blog Life In Grace and read her whole play-by-play of how to make them. While you’re there, check out her stunning home that’s full of personal style. Her sexy, moody master bedroom and colorful, busy workroom are two of my favorites.  

Happy baking!

XO

Sue at Home

P.S. If you can’t get enough of yummy graham cracker, chocolate, and marshallow treats, try my S’mores Parfaits too! 

smores parfait Collage

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies on Earth

28 Apr

I know that title is quite a claim but people, I’m about to give you a cookie recipe to end all cookie recipes. But first let me introduce you to the creator of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies on Earth, my favorite chef Tara Bench (instagram: @tarateaspoon). Here she is getting ready to serve some delicious treats to Al Roker on the Today Show.

tara on today

She may not be as famous as Ina Garten or Bobby Flay but she’s a celeb chef all right: Tara is the Food and Entertaining Director for Ladies’ Home Journal* and in the 7+ years I’ve worked with her, she’s never made a single thing that I didn’t like. Think about that for a second. Every recipe she produced–whether sweet or savory, difficult or a breeze–has been deeeeelish. And I think I’ve tasted them all! I’m also lucky to call her a friend. (She’s the awesome kind of buddy who answers all of my frantic weekend baking texts when I’m questioning my kitchen skills. Everyone needs a friend like that but no, I’m not giving you her number.)

Tara started her career at Martha Stewart and you can see it in her work; aesthetics are as important as taste. Some of her favorite LHJ recipes are Crispy Ice Cream Bars,  Frozen Blueberry Cheesecake, and Thai Chicken Patties.

But her heart belongs to chocolate chip cookies. They’re her favorite thing to make. And why not when she has perfected the recipe!?

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I’ve been on a quest to make the perfect chocolate cookie for a long time but they’ve never been quite right. They’re either too crunchy or spread too thin or not chocolatey enough. So, I finally decided to try Tara’s personal recipe and It. Is. Perfect. They’re sweet and chocolatey but not too much of either. They’re lightly golden around the edges, just enough to give them a little bit of crunchiness.  But the gooeyness–oh the gooeyness!–is the key to this recipe’s success. That soft texture remains days after they’re baked. ( But wait! There’s more! Tara even makes a gluten free version that pretty amazing, too!)

And here’s the best part: even though this recipe is so close to her heart, she gives it to friends and family all the time and she even kindly agreed to let me share it with you. Right here. Right now. (Told you she’s awesome!)

TARA’S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

4 cups flour (fluff the flour before scooping) or substitute Gluten Free All Purpose Flour for Gluten Free version (see Gluten Free note below)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsps or 1 tblsp vanilla extract (I go for the full tablespoon when I make them.)

1 package (11.5 oz bag) of milk chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli and you should to.)

1 package (11.5 oz bag) of semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Ghiradelli and reduce this amount to a little more than half of the bag.)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix. Add the dry mixture, a little at a time, and mix. Stir in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. (Eleven minutes works perfectly for my oven but be careful. Tara says “Don’t overcook”!)

Gluten Free note: If you prefer rice flour to Gluten Free all purpose flour, you can use that instead (Tara recommends this one) but be sure to add a scant tbsp xantham gum to hold the cookies together. (A “scant” tbsp means slightly less than full.)

A couple things to remember, the dough is thick! Crazy thick! It’ll look like this when you’re done mixing but don’t worry. That’s how it’s supposed to look.

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Then get ready to work your stiring muscles! No pain, no gain. Right?

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Looking good.

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Make sure your little cookie dough balls are spread out enough or else you’ll have a solid sheet of cookies. (I say that like it would be a bad thing. Ha!)

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When they come out, they look puffy and undercooked.

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But then they deflate a little bit while they’re cooling.

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And you end up with perfect cookie goodness.

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Before you get to baking, I want to urge to follow Tara on Instagram @tarateaspoon. That’s where you’ll get to see her working on her culinary delights…

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…hanging out with hottie chefs, like Curtis Stone…

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…having cookie throwdowns with her friends (I’ll give you one guess which recipe won!)…

cookie throwdown

…and rubbing elbows (or tummies!)  with all kinds of food industry celebs.

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And take note of her oft-used hashtag #wwllt which stands for What Work Looks Like Today. I had no idea what it meant but lots of food industry pros seem to like it so it’s a great hashtag to check out for foodie inspiration.

And don’t forget: Your gluten free friends don’t need to be left out! Just replace the flour with Gluten Free all purpose flour for a perfectly delicious cookie treat.

Happy Baking!

XO

Sue at Home

*With deep sadness I need to tell you that while I was writing this post, Ladies’ Home Journal closed its doors and with that, Tara and I (plus another 33 of my friends and coworkers)  lost our jobs.  I’m trying to stay hopeful that this will be a turning point in my career and that I will move on to bigger and better things. (In fact, maybe you’ll even get more Sue at Home!) But I fear that I will never have a job that I love as much as I loved being the Fashion Editor for LHJ. The kindness of the people that I worked with, the collaborative atmosphere, the quality of the work we produced, and the respect that I felt from everyone around me is a rare thing in business and I feel so lucky to have had that. But I’m hopeful for the future and excited to see what it brings.

I’ll keep you posted on the chapter. And please send positive thoughts my way!

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S’mores Parfait

30 Apr

Today I’m here with a quick and easy dessert treat. Recently, I went to a showroom preview at Victoria’s Secret and they had a tray of cake-cups from Bee’s Knees Baking Co in NYC. Looks delish, right?

beesknees

Photo via Bee’s Knees Baking Co.

I was struck by how great they all looked – and tasted! – so I wanted to come up with my own version. Bee’s Knees specializes in cake-cups, a layered dessert that’s like a portable cupcake but looks similar to a parfait or trifle. I’m going the parfait (sans cake) option for mine.

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This recipe couldn’t have been more simple. I started out with a box mix for chocolate mousse, a tub of Marshmallow Fluff, and a pre-made graham cracker crust.

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After I made the mousse by the box’s directions, I crushed the crust to make it into a crumble. (I know I could have put graham crackers in the food processor but I figured the crust would have more of a buttery flavor. Lucky me — I was right!)

smores-128Then I was ready to start my layers.

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First graham cracker crumble…

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…then chocolate mousse…

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…then Fluff.

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I didn’t like how blobby it was going to into the cup so on the next layers, I piped the mouse in with a DIY piping bag.

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Much better!

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After a few layers, I added a little more graham cracker on top and they were ready to serve. (I actually covered them with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge.)

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They were delish but when I make them again, I will definitely lower the amount of Fluff. (I used a whole jar in only 6 parfaits!) It was a little overly sweet but with a little less Fluff, they would be perfect.

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Check out these other sweet treats from Sue at Home:

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies With Cream Cheese Filling

Edible Glitter Birthday Cake

I’m a Published Writer: My Mom’s Fruitcake Recipe

Rainbow Cake: If I Can Make It, You Can Too

Oh, and I’m linking up to 33 Shades Of Green‘s Tasty Tuesday Link Party. Click over to check out the other links!

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XO 

Sue at Home

smores parfait Collage

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