Mixed Berry Pound Cake with Lemon Frosting

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I have my dream job. Some of you already know this, but I’m am a board certified music therapist working in the public school system here in St. Louis with students who have special needs. Although the school year is wrapping up for me, I am looking forward to summer break. I plan to do the following (hold me to these people): go to the pool, go to Florida, get better at food photography, spend more time on the blog, learn bass guitar, learn ukulele, go to the pool, repeat.

Anyhow, with all the business the end of the year brings, it’s important not to let the growing to-do list bog you down, and find ways to practice self-care. For me, self-care equals cooking (lucky you) and blogging about it. So, after a very busy Tuesday, I came home, put my bag down, and put my apron on.

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This pound cake is deeeeeense, but I like it. If you’re looking for a light and fluffy cake, look elsewhere. We’re talkin’ two sticks of butter, six eggs, thick icing, and berries bursting with summer flavor. We seem to always have leftover berries that don’t get eaten quite fast enough, and this is a great recipe to use them.

For those of you currently in school or who work for a school, you got this! Finish the year strong and celebrate your achievements with a big ol’ slice of this cake. You deserve it.

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Mixed Berry Pound Cake with Lemon Frosting

Prep Time: 30 min. Cook Time: 70 min.

Ingredients:

For the Cake: 

2 sticks butter, softened
2.5 cups sugar
2.5 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
2 lemons, juiced and zested
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
6 eggs
2 cups mixed berries, roughly chopped

For the Frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a bundt pan very well (get every nook and cranny!) and set aside. Combine 2.5 cups flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk and continue to mix.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix on low until well combined. Using a spatula, fold in the berries. Pour batter in the bundt pan and spread evenly. Bake for 60-70 minutes or until a knife inserted in the cake comes out clean.

Cool for at least 30 minutes in the pan, then flip the bundt over onto a cooling rack and cool the rest of the way (this could take an hour).

To make the frosting, whisk all frosting ingredients using an electric mixer until fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. Generously spread frosting over cooled cake. Enjoy!

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Fresh Spring Rolls + Peanut Sauce

 

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Our buddy Leo is Filipino. Back when Neil and I were in college, Leo would welcome us to his house and cook an amazing homemade Filipino meal every time we visited. Some of the most memorable dishes were fried plantains, paella, and fresh spring rolls. I had spring rolls at Vietnamese restaurants, but never really understood the art and time that is poured into these beautiful rolls before meeting Leo. He taught that they’re not that hard to roll once you get the hang of it. First, you want to make sure your mise en place is set up properly. Hot water, rice sheets (found at most global or asian grocery stores stores), cooked chicken (or other protein), and plenty of veg.

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Place the rice sheet in a bowl and pour hot water over it. Let it soak for about one minute, using your fingers (don’t burn yourself!) to carefully loosen it up in the water.

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Once again, I should have gotten a manicure before shooting this post. Sorry, y’all.

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Next, lay the wilted rice paper out on a flat surface. I know, it looks weird, it feels weird, let’s just acknowledge it now and get over it.

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Okay! Moving on. Lay it out on a flat surface and begin to build your wrap.

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The sky is the limit here. We always include some sort of protein (most often chicken), and various crunchy veggies for a nice contrast in textures. The next few pictures could be presented in flip book format. (Ah, I used to LOVE flip books!) For this recipe we used chicken,

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red pepper,

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carrot,

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cucumber,

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… and cilantro. Again, the sky’s the limit. Kale, sprouts, roasted pork, bacon, sauces, whatever. Load it up!

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Then it’s time for the most technical part of the spring roll- WRAPPING. Welcome to How to Wrap 101. If you’re a perfectionist when it comes to holiday gift wrapping, you will be a pro at this. If not, well, keep practicing. Okay, starting at the bottom of the wrapper, bring it up to the middle of the wrap and around your fillings.

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Tuck it in tightly. If your wrapper is sticking, simply rub it with a bit more hot water to help it along.

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Next, grab each side corner of the wrap and bring them toward the middle, sticking them down as close to the middle as the filling will let you stretch.

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If you can, meet both sides in the middle and press gently so the rice paper sticks to itself.

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Finally, as you roll the spring roll over itself, tuck in the ingredients very tightly. Fold until all of the wrapper is rolled.

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Place each spring roll on a plate and cover each layer with a damp paper towel to separate and keep fresh. Serve with our peanut sauce. This sauce has been featured in a few of our recipes, and honestly, I could take a bath in it. It’s the perfect combination of creamy and sweet, finished with a hint of heat.

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Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

For the Spring Rolls:

20 rice paper sheets
1 lb. chicken tenders
1 red pepper, 1/2″ thick strips
1 cucumber, 1/2″ thick strips
1 carrots, 1/2″ thick strips (shredded carrots work well also)
1 handful cilantro, chopped

For the Peanut Sauce:

1 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flake (optional)
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
5-10 tablespoons hot water (until desired consistency is reached)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°. Place all chicken tenders on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Cool and cut into thin (1/2″-ish) strips.

Set up the mis en place (bowl of chicken, red pepper, cucumber, carrot, cilantro). Place one rice paper sheet in a shallow bowl and cover with hot water (about 150°) for one minute. Use your fingers to move the rice paper around and loosen the gluten. Once wilted, place on a flat surface (a cutting board works well).

Place chicken, red pepper, carrot, cucumber, cilantro, and any other toppings just below the center of the rice paper. To fold the roll, first bring the bottom of the roll to the center and around the ingredients. Tightly tuck the wrap under the ingredients. Next, bring outside left and right edges of the wrap to the center and gently press. Roll the wrap forward over itself to complete the wrapping process. Press all edges of the wrap to seal.

To make peanut sauce, place all ingredients except water in a food processor and blend. Add hot water one tablespoon at a time and continue to blend until desired consistency is reached. Some like a thicker sauce, some prefer a thinner sauce.

Dunk spring rolls in the sauce. Repeat. Makes about 20 spring rolls.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Lemon, and Parmesan

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Look, Ma! We’re on TV! We had a really exciting week over here at The Newlywed Chefs. If you’ve been following our story on Snapchat you’ve seen seen some behind the scenes coverage of when Dana Dean, reporter for KSDK (the NBC station here in St. Louis), came to our house to shoot a segment for “Show Me St. Louis.” This was the first time our little blog has been featured on TV and it was such a fun experience.

We have so, so much respect for Dana. Not only is she an excellent reporter, but she also does all of the video, lighting, and creative work behind the scenes. We were expecting a huge crew to roll up to our house and try to all fit in our cozy kitchen. The fact that she does the entire story from beginning to end by herself makes the excellent show even more impressive in our eyes, and boasts the show’s all around great journalism.

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For the show, we made one of our go-to side dishes. It’s easy to make, features simple  ingredients, and will make a brussels sprouts believer out of anyone. All you have to do is prep the ingredients, make some delicious bacon (BACON!!), sauté the brussels sprouts in the bacon fat, and add the rest of the ingredients.

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We made this dish for the first time a few years ago for an Easter side and we just keep going back to it. You can watch our segment on KSDK here!

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Lemon, and Parmesan
Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 20 min.
Recipe Adapted From:  Simplebites.net

Ingredients:

1 lb brussels sprouts, stems removed and thinly sliced
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 lemon, juiced
5 strips applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/4″ pieces
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Cook bacon over medium high heat in a large pan until crispy. Remove bacon and place on a plate with paper towels to rest, reserving bacon fat in pan. Add brussels sprouts to the bacon fat in pan and continue to cook over medium high heat until brussels sprouts are translucent and cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Turn off heat and add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and parmesan. Toss with tongs. Add the bacon and continue to toss. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with additional parmesan cheese.