Category Archives: SDH Exclusive Recipe

Pink Chocolate

The other day Luli informs me that she wants to make pink chocolate cupcakes.  So, we did.  I was planning to write a whole post about making your cupcakes moist (RRRAWWWRRR!!!), but I apparently have a poppy seed stuck under my space bar from eating on the computer (yeah, I know — unless you want to tell me how to get it out, I don’t want to hear it).  Also, I’m having some wicked braxton-hicks contractions — like nonstop.  Also, the Fetus has moved such that I can actually eat for the first time in weeks, so I’m going to go devour a box of Milk Duds.

In the meantime, here are our gorgeous Pink Chocolate Cupcakes:

Pink Ladies



  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 T powdered espresso or coffee
  • 1 cup boiling hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup and 1 T granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 c sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375.  Lightly butter, or line 20-ish muffin cups with paper liners.  In a small bowl, stir the cocoa powder, the espresso, and the boiling hot water until smooth. Let cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and mix until smooth.

Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16 – 20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.  Frost after the cupcakes have completely cooled.


  • 8 oz white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 8 oz  cream cheese, softened
  • 4 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar

In the top of a double boiler or a heatproof bowl, melt the white chocolate, stirring often. Remove from the heat once melted and let cool to lukewarm. Transfer the melted white chocolate to a large bowl, and add the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Beat together at medium speed until you have a smooth sauce. Add the confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.  Tint with red or pink dye (I use Wilton’s).  Or don’t.


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Filed under Babies: Making and Raising, Cakes, Chocolate, Food Pr0n, Kids in the Kitchen, SDH Exclusive Recipe

Yo, Cupcake…

Hey Cupcake...

When I’m tucking Luli in at night, we like to talk about what we are going to do the next day.  Sometimes we make plans to do mundane stuff like read books or play with blocks; other times it is more exotic things like make bacon or go to the bank.  Luli really likes going to the bank.  Anyhow, the other night Luli asked if we could make cupcakes, and I of course said ‘sure’ because I am not some sort of monster.  Also, I like cupcakes.

The next day Luli arose all excited for cupcake makin’.  Truth be told, I did, too.  But while I love cupcakes as much as the next person, I didn’t feel like using any of my usual recipes; nor did I feel like making the usual 2 – 3 dozen.  I figured a nice dozen would be enough.  Luli requested chocolate frosting.  I agreed.

This recipe is loosely based on Beranbaum’s Yellow Butter Cake recipe (from the Cake Bible); I’ve noticed the Joy of Cooking recipe is almost identical.  I don’t know which came first.  Mine is different.  As I’ve prattled about elsewhere, I follow much of what the fabulous Rose Levy Beranbaum teaches, but not all.  As a southerner, I generally find her cakes to be a tad on the dry side — especially if you have to refrigerate layers during frosting and filling.  Anyhow, I wanted a quick easy dozen cupcakes with a simplified, non-meringue buttercream, and here is what I came up with:

The Hussy’s Quick and Dirty Dozen Butter Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream


  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 T whole milk
  • 2 t pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons room temp unsalted butter, cut into pieces


  • 8 oz milk chocolate chips
  • 8 T room temp unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, lightly combine the egg yolks, oil, T milk, and vanilla extract.

In the bowl of your electric mixer combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt).  Add the butter and remaining milk.  Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened, then beat on medium for about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Turn speed to low and slowly add the egg mixture.  Beat on med for about one minute.

Divide the batter and pour into lined cupcake tin.  If you only fill the tins halfway, this will make about 14 cupcakes.  So either fill the tins a little more and just make a dozen, or bake the excess in a mini-pan and let your kids have their way with it.

I use my face to frost, right?

You might want to give them an off-set spatula to use.


So, if you’re lucky, you will get something like this:

Mmmm...Nice tongue prints.

Anyhow, back to the cupcakes.

Bake 17 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the cake springs back when pressed lightly in center. Remove cupcakes and cool on rack.

While cupcakes are cooling, melt chocolate in double broiler.  Remove from heat and stir until smooth.  Let chocolate come down to room temp.  Add butter and beat until smooth and shiny.

Frost your completely cooled cupcakes.  Put remaining buttercream in jar and refrigerate; this makes the perfect late night pretzel dip or can just be scooped out and eaten while one pretends to look for the mustard.

SDH Butter Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Buttercream

Cupcakes will best retain moisture when kept in an airtight container like tupperware or Vader’s hyperbolic chamber.

Behold my cake-frosting prowess!


Filed under Cakes, Chocolate, Food Pr0n, Kids in the Kitchen, SDH Exclusive Recipe

Frosty Meyer Lemon Cookies

Meyer Lemonpalooza, Part One

Growing up, our super special extra fabulous thanks for not setting the grocery store on fire treat was a package of Archway Frosty Lemon cookies.  Believe me when I say, they taste better in my childhood memories than they do in adult reality.  But there is no reason *I* can’t make something that tastes as good as the frosty lemons of my past.

A while back my go-to food site the Kitchn featured a recipe for Mandarin Orange Cookies, which they had adapted from a recipe for Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies from Tallgrass Kitchen.  So as soon as I saw this:

I knew what I was going to do.

The Tallgrass Kitchen recipe looked perfectly fine, but I wanted something a little more moist and MEGA lemony.  So I tinkered with the eggs, sugar, and lemon quantities.  And of course my frosty lemon cookies wouldn’t be complete without, well, the frosty part, so I borrowed from the Kitchn and added a simple lemon glaze.  Here is what I came up with:

The Hussy’s Frosty Meyer Lemon Cookies

  • 1 2/3 C sugar
  • Zest of 4 Meyer lemons
  • 1 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 whole egg plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 C Meyer lemon juice, plus approximately 4 T
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 3/4 C flour, sifted
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 3/4 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 C powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In food processor, pulse sugar and lemon zest fully combined.

Stir flour, salt, and baking powder in a separate bowl.

Cream butter and lemon sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and egg yolks and beat on high for about 2 minutes.  Scrape down sides.

Add 1/2 C lemon juice and vanilla and beat ‘til well-mixed.

Add dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Chill dough for 15 minutes (you can also pipe room temperature batter for Fancy! results).

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto a lined baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes until just turning golden on bottoms.

While cookies are baking, stir powdered sugar and reserved lemon juice until smooth.  Drizzle over warm cookies.

SDH Frosty Meyer Lemon Cookies


Filed under Cookies, Food Pr0n, I Jam Econo, SDH Exclusive Recipe, Uncompensated Product Placement

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cookies Will Make You Feel the Love

So I had originally intended to be all dedicated to The Food and get out a fabulous chocolate-based recipe post every day this week.  You know, because of Valentine’s Day and the love and all.   And because love = chocolate.  And because I just really love chocolate and it’s a good excuse to browse through my recipes and make a bunch of incredibly rich treats.   Especially now that I do NOT have the gestational dieuhbeeedus.

But I haven’t had a whole lot of kitchen time this week, so the good folk of the intertubes are going to have make do with a quick and dirty post today.

I came up with this tasty recipe a year or so ago when I went through a phase of combining my favorites things into one easily managed thing.  After the crushing failures that were Lamb and Valium Pasties and Wine on a Stick, I finally struck gold with these fabulous cookies – which my dear friend Big Red insists are not only edible but also tasty.

The good thing about cookies from a holiday standpoint is that you can make a giant batch and give some to many, many different people while insisting that they and they alone are your one and only.  If anyone calls you out on it, just tell them that all the love went into the four cookies you gave them and anyway you are pretty sure someone’s cat peed on the rest.  Enjoy…


  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 T instant espresso powder (you can substitute instant coffee but it will suck)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of dark chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar for dusting (colored powdered sugar is a safe way to go crazy)

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Beat the butter until light and fluffy.  Add the white and brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light and creamy.  Stir in vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time and beat for one minute.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Add all of dry mixture to sugar mixture and stir until just combined.  Add chocolate chips and stir until combined.  Chill the dough for half an hour.  Form the dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet.  Use Silpats for best results.  Bake at 350º for ten minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar when they come out of the oven.

Here Comes the Love!


Filed under Chocolate, Cookies, Food Pr0n, SDH Exclusive Recipe

Puddin’ Pop

Valentine’s Day, that most sacred and special of spiritual observances, is nigh.  So naturally we are looking for the most delicious and convenient method for transferring gobs of something into our foodholes.  I submit for your consideration, the humble pudding:


What better expresses the sentiment of “love” than a giant bowlful of chocolate pudding?  Easily carried around and thick enough to not spill while you rearrange your Snuggie during the “Ghost Whisperer” marathon, pudding is the answer to all of life’s problems.  Fancy it up and top it with some delicious fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of crushed Tylenol PMs.

And there is NO need to settle for the “instant” variety. With just about as much work, you can whip up your own batch of gourmet homemade goodness.  Also, you can put booze in it, which was not included in the terrifying list of ingredients in Snak Paks, last time I checked.  It really is a breeze – I made this batch while getting screamed at on the phone by a crazy client AND having my pants clawed off by a crazy toddler.  If I weren’t pregnant, I probably would have been drinking, too.

So here is my recipe for pudding.  Yes, sticklers will notice that it is technically a custard and not a blancmange.  For those of you who want something to discuss with your mother, a pudding (or blancmange) involves cream thickened with corn starch, custard is cream thickened with eggs, and a pastry cream is a hybrid of sorts — a custard base thickened with corn starch.  There are also sub-distinctions involving heating/cooking methods, but we need not get into that here.  Suffice it to say that usually I bake my custards in a bain marie, but not always.  This pudding is one of the exceptions.  So is zabaglione, another favorite of mine and fundamental part of tiramisu.

But I digress.

You can make regular old pudding with corn starch if you wish.  Personally, I only like to bake with corn starch (i.e., shortbread) because I have this crazy belief that I can feel the cornstarch in creams and liquids.  I also wanted wanted a pudding that I could cook on the stovetop so it would remain creamier and not develop a crust.

Anyhow, here is my recipe.  You will not be able to taste the espresso – it just boosts the chocolate taste.  You can substitute whatever kind of chocolate you want, though if you use white chocolate I would use a tad more vanilla and a bit less sugar.  You can also use whatever additional flavoring you want – more espresso for mocha, almond is nice with milk chocolate, orange zest with bittersweet, cinnamon and cayenne, cardamom and pistachio, whatever.



a Hussy Exclusive Recipe

  • 8 oz good quality milk chocolate, either chips or broken into bits

  • 1 c heavy cream

  • 1 c whole milk

  • 1 t powdered instant espresso

  • 1/4 t salt

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1 t vanilla extract

Add the cream, milk, and salt to a medium pot. Set over a medium high heat and stir until nearly boiling. Add the chocolate and espresso and whisk vigorously until it’s melted and the mixture is smooth and evenly combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks together.  While continuously whisking egg yolks, VERY SLOWLY drizzle in about one cup of the hot chocolate mixture.  Pour tempered egg mixture it back into the pot and quickly whisk together.

Whisking continuously, bring the pudding up to a full boil. Reduce to medium heat and continue whisking while allowing the pudding to boil for three minutes or until it thickens.

Remove from the heat and quickly whisk in the vanilla. Pour the pudding into a heat-proof bowl or ramekins or jam jars. Cover the pudding’s surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a couple hours until it’s set.

Top with fresh whipped cream and eat it all. Then lick the bowl and cry.





Filed under Chocolate, Food Pr0n, Puddings Custards Creams, SDH Exclusive Recipe

SDH Exclusive Recipe: Savory Morning Rolls

Well, today I’m a little swamped. First, I had to deal with the gentle folk of the Tennessee Department of Revenue. You see, my fine state eschews the state income tax because somehow, by hook and by crook, they have convinced the masses that they’re better off paying near 10% sales tax (yes, including food) and additional “personal property” taxes, business use taxes, and, my personal favorite, the Professional Privilege Tax. I capitalize it because it is important and better than me.

What this means is that all “professionals” — i.e. anyone who is licensed by the State — are required to pay an additional flat-fee tax every single year that they hold the TN license, presumably for the “privilege” of having Tennessee agree that you are fit to practice. If you are an attorney, it doesn’t matter if you make $0 or $1,000,000.00, you still owe $400 just for having a TN license. And yes, this is on top of bar dues, CLE fees, license fees, property taxes, etc. And yes, you have to pay it even if you aren’t practicing anymore, didn’t make any money, and didn’t get the fee notice on account of the DOR sent it and all reminders to your former employer from 3 years ago.

But I digress…

So I had to waddle my ungainly ass down to their office with Luli in tow. Luli, wisely, chose to come armed with her favorite wooden kitchen knife. Smart girl. I had only my giant abdomen and my residual bitterness over the whole lawyer thing. Of course when we get there, the person who handles us is incredibly sweet, understanding, and helpful and we get everything sorted out fairly quickly.

Anyhow, now the rush is on because I’ve got to hem K’s “concert” pants and try to get some lawyering done while Luli does whatever she does during naptime. I thought I would give you all a little something to do while I go take care of that stuff.

Several people have asked me about the tasty looking things in my banner. They are the awesome Savory Morning Rolls – basically brioche rolls with gruyere and prosciutto.  They are incredibly delicious and fun (you know, in the challenging way) to make. Look at this as a chance to learn how to make brown butter brioche. Or short cut the whole thing and use frozen pizza dough (thaw it first people), fresh pizza dough, fresh biscuit dough (just fold it 3 or 4 times when rolling), or even refrigerator biscuit dough.  I won’t think less of you.

Savory Prosciutto and Gruyere Brioche Morning Rolls

Mmmmorning Rolls.

Basically, these are a savory version of the traditional cinnamon roll or sticky bun. For those of you who feel like a challenge, here is my recipe:

I learned how to make brioche from the excellent Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum.  I have tweaked the recipe over time, and what follows is the recipe and method that I use when I make brioche that is to be used as a base.  The idea of incorporating savory ingredients arose out of a desire for an alternative to the typical sweet rolls I usually make for breakfasts and brunch.  This recipe requires at least two days for preparation and will yield 12 large rolls using 2 extra large muffin tins.


  • 3 level teaspoons of fresh active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of warm water (100° to 110° degrees)
  • 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup and approximately 1 2/3 cup of King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 oz (4 tablespoons) of browned and cooled unsalted butter (instructions for this will follow)
  • 4 oz (8 tablespoons) of softened unsalted butter


  • 8 thin slices of prosciutto (approximately 4 oz), lightly pan-fried, chopped into small pieces, and chilled
  • 4 oz of gruyere, grated and chilled
  • 2 oz of pecorino romano, grated and chilled
  • 1 oz (2 tablespoons) of softened unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste

(1).  Proof the Yeast.  In a small glass or ceramic bowl, combine the yeast, water, and 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar and stir until smooth.  Wrap with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 – 20 minutes or until the mixture bubbles up.

(2).  Prepare the Sponge.  Take a 5 – 6 quart metal mixing bowl and fill with hot water and let sit for 5 minutes.  Dump out the water and towel dry.  With a whisk, combine one egg and 1/3 cup of flour.  Mixture will be thick.  Add the yeast and sugar mixture and whisk until smooth and there are no clumps.  With a rubber scraper, fold in the remaining 1 2/3 cup of flour.  Scrape down the sides and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Set aside for 2 hours.

(3).  Brown the Butter.  Place 4 ounces of butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium to medium high heat.  As the butter melts, scrape or stir constantly while the solids separate and begin to brown.  As soon as the solids have collected on the bottom and changed in color to a golden brown, remove from heat and scrape entire contents of skillet into a glass or ceramic bowl.  Place in the refrigerator to cool.

(4).  Prepare the Dough.  In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and salt.  Place the mixing bowl containing the sponge on a stand mixer and attach the paddle.  Add the sugar and salt mixture and 2 of the remaining eggs to the sponge.  Mix together on low speed setting for one minute, then for approximately 2 more minutes on medium speed setting.  If the dough is still very stick at this point and has not started to clean the sides of the bowl, add more King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour, one tablespoon at a time (but not exceeding 1/3 of a cup) and beat on medium until the dough cleans the side and stays on the paddle.

Switch to the hook attachment and beat on medium high speed setting for approximately 2 minutes until the dough is shiny, smooth and tacky to the touch. Turn the speed setting to medium and slowly pour in the brown butter.  Add 4 ounces (8 tablespoons) of the remaining butter one tablespoon at a time until all the butter has been combined into the dough.  Stop the mixer and remove the hook.  The dough should be shiny and smooth, and will feel both greasy and extremely sticky.  Roll the dough into a ball, lightly coat with King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour and place in a lightly-buttered large bowl.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for until the dough has doubled in size, about 2 hours.  Once the dough has doubled in size, place the still-covered bowl in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

(5).  Shape and Fill the Rolls.  While the dough is refrigerating after its first rise, prepare the prosciutto and combine the two grated cheeses.  After the dough is thoroughly chilled, removed from bowl and place on well-floured surface.  Using your hands, lightly pat the dough down and shape into a rectangle approximately 10 inches side to side by 6 inches top to bottom.

(A).  Working from the left side to the right, fold the left third over to the middle and then the right third over that. Using your hands, lightly press and shape again until you have a rectangle approximately 6 inches side to side by 10 inches top to bottom.  Rotate 1/4 turn and repeat (A) two more times.

(B).  Using a rolling pin and working from the middle to the edges, lightly roll the dough until it is a rectangle shape about 2/3 to 3/4 inch thick and measure approximately 24 inches side to side and 12 inches top to bottom.  Cover with dry cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

While the dough is resting, prepare the muffin tins by spraying lightly with a non-stick cooking spray.

Remove cloth and spread remaining ounce of butter evenly across the surface of the dough.  Sprinkle cheese mixture evenly on surface, leaving about an inch across the bottom edge without cheese.  Cover the cheese with the chopped prosciutto, making sure that both are evenly distributed across the surface (again, save one inch along the bottom edge of the dough).  Sprinkle with freshly grated pepper.  Working from the top edge and starting in the middle moving out, carefully tuck in the top edge and roll down, making sure not to “smash” the dough down.  Work slowly and make sure that the roll is tight and firm.  Using a serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, divide the roll into two rolls.  They should measure approximately 12 inches long each and should be 3 inches wide at the widest part of the roll.  Divide each roll into six equal slices, again using a gently sawing motion and taking care not to smash down on the roll.

There will now be 12 portions, approximately 2 inches thick and 3 inches wide at the widest part.

Place the rolls into the muffin tins.  Cover lightly with plastic wrap that has been lightly sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray on the side that touches the pan and rolls.  Refrigerate the rolls overnight, or at least for four hours.

(6).  Bake the Rolls.  After the rolls have been thoroughly chilled, remove from the refrigerator and, keeping the plastic wrap on, place in a draft-free place until the rolls have risen 1 1/2 to 2 times in size.  Preheat the oven to 400°.  Beat the remaining egg and gently brush the tops of the rolls with the beaten egg.  Once the egg wash has dried, bake the rolls until the center reaches 190°, approximately 18 minutes.

(7).  Eat the Rolls.  Preferably with an endless stream of mimosas. Bask in the adoration of your fawning diners.

Breakfast: A Fine Time for Booze.



Filed under Breakfast and Brunch, Food Pr0n, Lawyer Stuff, SDH Exclusive Recipe