Strawbunny Cupcakes

This weekend, we spent time on the back deck. We mowed. We took an hour-long walk around the neighborhood. We cheered on our Cardinals as baseball season began. That’s right folks, believe it or not, it’s spring! Easter is around the corner and it’s time to open the kitchen window, tie on the apron, and do some spring baking. Fresh strawberry cake has always been a favorite in our house. In fact, we had a strawberry cake from The Cakery at our wedding. When we moved to North Carolina, we fell in love with Maxie B’s strawberry cake, and tried to recreate their magic by making mini strawberry cupcakes with buttercream frosting. These strawbunny cupcakes are a take on our previous recipe, with a few springy updates.

This time around, we added a beautiful green buttercream grass by using a natural food coloring that we found on Amazon. This was our first time using natural food coloring, and we approve! It really made a nice springtime green. Truth be told, these cupcakes are dense. They’re more like strawberry muffins, really. But they’re still delicious and the bunny ears peeking up from the grass are just irresistible. The bunny ears are from Bissinger’s, and come in both milk and dark chocolate varieties.

Bissinger’s is a St. Louis chocolatier that has been around for over 350 years. They’re well-known not only in St. Louis, but around the world, thanks to their dedication to crafting excellent chocolate. We are lucky to have them in our town. If you’re in St. Louis, you can visit one of their three locations. At the Central West End location, you can grab an espresso or glass of wine along with your chocolate confections or try one of their other tempting desserts such as their white chocolate bread pudding, chocolate cheesecake, chocolate brownie, and more.

These strawbunny cupcakes are super easy to make. In all honesty, you can use any flavor of cupcake and frosting that you’d like to hide these little bunny ears in. Simply bake your cupcake, then cut a small incision in the center of the cupcake.

Next, pipe a small amount of frosting over the incision.

This incision and frosting will help the ears stay centered. Push the bunny ears downward into the cupcake until you feel they are steady. This might break the cupcake a bit, but that’s okay because the green grass frosting will cover any imperfections. Pipe the grass using an upward motion to cover the cupcake.

Continue covering the cupcake in green grass frosting. If there are any gaps or holes in the frosting, go back over it with more. You can’t really have too much frosting here.

When you’re finished, your cupcake should resemble an Easter bunny hiding in the grass.

They’re simple, but oh so cute. I love these little guys. Bissinger’s has a great line of Easter products that will help make your Easter basket one to remember. All of their products are exquisite. Try the solid chocolate eggs (great for portion control) or the Easter molasses caramel lollies, featured in the picture below.

Aren’t these products gorgeous? I just couldn’t stop photographing!

No matter how you celebrate Easter, if Bissinger’s is involved, it’s sure to be a sweet one. Not going to lie, we’re kind of jealous of this giveaway! Bissinger’s is giving one lucky reader a 2 lbs. Centerpiece Easter Bunny. This fabulous bunny is 15″ tall, made of milk chocolate, and is sure to impress your guests this spring season. To enter:


  1. Leave a comment on this post
  2. For an additional entry, head over to Instagram! Follow @newlywedchefs and @bissingers, then tag some friends that might also be interested in entering this contest.

And yes, we check that you actually follow us, Bissinger’s, and tag at least one person. Winner must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the USA. All entries must be received by April 5th, 2017 at 11:59pm CST. Maximum entries per person: 2 (one blog comment and one Instagram comment). Winner will be selected at random and announced on this blog and also contacted via e-mail and/or Instagram. Good luck! Oh, and if you need help eating that 2 lbs. chocolate bunny, you know who to call. 😉

Strawbunny Cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:

1 cup freshly puréed strawberries (about 10 large berries)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup whole milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 egg whites

For the Frosting:

2 sticks butter, super soft

3 cups powdered sugar

1 pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons whole milk

Natural blue and yellow food coloring

Bissinger’s Chocolate Bunny Ears


Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, mix together the milk, vanilla, and strawberry purée.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to mix. Add the egg and egg whites and blend until combined. Next, add half of the flour mixture and continue to mix. Add the strawberry mixture, and mix again. Finally, add the remaining flour mixture and combine, scraping the sides of the mixer to get all ingredients in the batter.

Fill each muffin tin and bake for about 12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

While muffins are cooling, prepare the frosting. Beat all of the ingredients together until light and fluffy. Add blue and yellow food coloring until desired green is reached once mixed. Using a knife, cut an inch-long incision in the middle of each cupcake, then pipe a small amount of frosting over the incision. Carefully push each Bissinger’s chocolate bunny ear into the cupcake until steady. Pipe green frosting around the bunny ear to resemble grass. Continue to top cupcakes with green frosting and bunny ears. Enjoy.

Makes 12 cupcakes



Creamy Tomato Soup

If I served you this soup, you would have no idea that it’s Whole30 approved. You’d probably say, “Wow, Whitney, this is soup is great!” Then, I’d tell you when you were finished that it was also Whole30 approved. At any given time, I have a few brave friends who are trying out Whole30 (shout-outs to the original Whole30 warrior: My Sister! And also, Abby! Adriane! Ben! Andy! Rikki! Matt!). I’ve tagged a few Whole30 recipes on Pinterest that are my go-tos, but I also like the challenge of creating original recipes that are Whole30 approved that could earn a seal of approval at any normal dinner party. This recipe was created while I was doing Whole30 and missing cheese…and all things creamy, really. The coconut milk adds a nice creamy texture to the soup and makes me barely miss the heavy cream. The key here is to make sure that the coconut milk you’re using is full fat (the really thick stuff). We like the one from Trader Joe’s. If you’re not on Whole30, I recommend topping the soup with a nice blue cheese right before it’s served.

Oh and hey, if you’ve been following along on our Instagram account (@newlywedchefs), you probably noticed that I was in Denver this week. What a great town. I’ll work on a full travel review in the coming weeks. Also, you’ll want to follow our Instagram account in the coming days because we have a SWEET (hint hint) giveaway from a local company we love dearly. Thanks, friends! Happy SPRING!

Creamy Tomato Soup (Whole30 Approved)
Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 45 min.


1/4 cup coconut cream (available at Trader Joe’s)
28-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, diced
2 tablespoons dried Herbes de Provence
1 quart chicken stock
Hot sauce
Kosher salt
Black pepper


Heat a large dutch oven over medium and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté onions for 4 minutes along with a pinch of salt. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the tomatoes with their juices, chicken stock, coconut cream, a dash of hot sauce and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Cook soup for about 30 minutes.

Transfer soup to another container and blend with a stick blender (or a traditional blender, in batches). Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper.

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lagostina and 5WPR. The Newlywed Chefs received a Lagostina Risotto Pan as compensation for this post, however, as always, all opinions are 100% our own.

Update: This giveaway has ended.

Congrats to @meagansinnobrien who won via Instagram! 

It’s an exciting day, bloggy friends! You may recall about a month ago we wrote about a new partnership we have with Lagostina. Well, today we’re featuring their gorgeous risotto pan (linea patrimonio), and one of YOU will soon have one show up on your doorstep! Woot!


Photo Credit: Lagostina USA

We love working with brands and companies that we truly want to promote. If we didn’t believe in them, we wouldn’t write about them or encourage you to check them out. Lagostina makes elegant, smart, stunning additions to any kitchen and we are proud to be working with them.

Here are some facts about this beauty:

  • 4-qt. cap.
  • Tri-ply sides are polished 18/10 stainless steel with an aluminum core and nonreactive stainless-steel interior.
  • LAGOPLAN® base combines five alternating layers of aluminum and stainless steel for rapid, even heating.
  • Ergonomic cast stainless-steel handles provide a steady grip.
  • Tight-fitting lid locks in heat and moisture.
  • Cherry wood and stainless-steel lid features double-wall construction—and ingeniously inverts to create a serving trivet.
  • Ideal for use on any cooktop, including induction.
  • Made in Italy
  • Retail Price (Williams-Sonoma): $199.95

Another reason why we like this versatile pan so much is because we can use it for other things besides risotto. And, check it out: the lid flips and doubles as a trivet!

It’s so pretty! And just in case your guests are wondering what’s for dinner, you can give them a huge hint…(it’s not mac and cheese).

Although you could make other dishes in this pan, you really ought to try making risotto. I think risotto is misunderstood. Most of our friends haven’t attempted making risotto because they think it’s so hard. It requires skill. But here’s the deal: yes, it might require a longer cook time than other dishes, but it’s really quite simple to make. Since Neil is now a mushroom convert (I knew he’d come around), we decided to make a wild mushroom risotto. To make this crowd-pleasing dish, start out by cooking the mushrooms in the Lagostina risotto pan.

Then, after sautéing the shallot and garlic, add the risotto, wine, and some of the chicken stock. From here on out, you add just a ladle at a time, stirring consistently as the risotto absorbs the liquid. Each batch of risotto is a little different. You don’t want it to cook so long that the texture becomes gloppy, or too short that the rice is still crunchy or the liquid is soupy. You really just have to make it, feel it out, and get to know what kind of texture you enjoy. Ours usually takes at least 6 cups of liquid and 40 minutes of cooking, if not more.

There is a debate in the food world whether you really need to continuously stir the risotto, or if every now and then will do. We like how ours turns out when we stir it, so we’re going to recommend that. Actually, Neil’s exact instructions as I was writing down this recipe is to “stir like an Italian grandma.” So do that. And keep doing it.

At the end of cooking process you’ll add cheese, herbs, and the sautéed mushrooms. And that’s it, folks! It makes a great side or as a meal on its own. This dish is creamy, rich, delicious, and makes great leftovers for arancini.

We are excited that one of our dedicated readers will get to win a Lagostina risotto pan. You can win by entering here on this blog post, and also by heading over to our Instagram account for a bonus entry. To enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post
  2. For an additional entry, head over to our Instagram account (@newlywedchefs), follow us, and tag some friends that might also be interested in winning.

And yes, we check that you actually follow us and tag at least one person. We won’t, however, check if you’re friends. That’s between y’all 😉

Winner must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the USA. All entries must be received by March 3, 2017 at 11:59pm CST. Maximum entries per person: 2 (one blog comment and one Instagram comment). Winner will be selected at random and announced on this blog and also contacted via e-mail and/or Instagram.

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 60 min.


3 cups wild mushrooms (we used crimini and shiitake), sliced

8 cups chicken stock

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 shallot, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

1 teaspoon dried herbes de provence

2 tablespoons butter

Kosher salt

Black pepper


In a medium pot, bring chicken stock to a boil then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer as you prepare the mushrooms.

Remove the lid of the Lagostina risotto pan and set aside until needed for serving. Place the 4-quart body of the pan on a burner over medium high heat. Once hot, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and mushrooms. Cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring every few minutes. If the pan looks really dry, add a little more olive oil. After 15 minutes, add a pinch of salt and pepper, stir, and remove from heat. Set mushrooms aside for later use.

Place the risotto pan back over medium heat and add 3 more tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallot and cook for 1 minute. Then, add the garlic and stir. Add 2 cups of arborio rice and stir for 1 minute.

Add the wine to deglaze, and scrape up the sides and bottom of the pan. Add 1 ladle (about a cup) of stock and stir continuously. Once the liquid is absorbed, add 1 more cup of stock and continue to stir. Repeat this process of adding 1 ladle at a time of liquid and stirring until the rice absorbs the liquid, the adding another and so on.

Every batch of risotto is different. Some rice is super thirsty, some is not. You’ll need at least 8 cups of hot liquid throughout this process. When your rice is cooked to your liking (taste it, it shouldn’t be crunchy), and is no longer absorbing liquid, turn the heat off. Add the butter, grated Romano cheese, herbes de provence and the sautéed mushrooms. Stir until all ingredients are well combined.

Use lid of the Lagostina risotto pan as a trivet and serve hot.

Chocolate Orange Cake

My goal was to have this recipe posted for you lovely readers so that you’d have a nice dessert option for Valentine’s Day… oops, it’s the 18th of February. Finding time to write new posts has honestly been challenging. I absolutely love this blog. I love the people we meet, the recipes we make, the stories that are told, (I could go on), but since we’re not full time bloggers, our posts can be a little less frequent depending on what else is going on. If you’re interested in more frequent updates, be sure to check us out on Instagram. That being said, it feels great to be writing a new post.

So, since this recipe was intended for Valentine’s Day, I’ll ask… how was the big day? Did you go out with friends? Cook with a spouse? Binge watch This Is Us? (I’m only on episode four, but so far I’ve cried during each one). On V-Day we cooked one of our favorite meals of tenderloin filets, twice baked potatoes, and ate this cake for dessert. Side note: Let me tell ya, Neil grilled those filets better than he ever has- medium rare with a nice crispy outer sear. Whew. They were good. Anyhow, back to dessert. When deciding what to make for Valentine’s Day, Neil had the idea of making a chocolate cake with orange in it, topped with chocolate orange ganache. So friends, that’s what I made.


It’s perfect for special occasions like Valentine’s Day or birthdays, but also makes for a great dessert to bring to dinner parties, work events, or showers. I hope you enjoy this recipe and file it away for when you need a chocolate cake with a little bit of an elegant twist.

If you’re in St. Louis, go enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend. If you’re elsewhere, we’re sending some sunshine your way.

Chocolate Orange Cake

Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 35 min. Rest Time: 40 min.


For the Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup brewed coffee

For the Ganache:

16 oz. high quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon orange extract


Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 9 x 13″ glass pan and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs, orange extract, vanilla extract, and coffee.

Turn on the mixer and slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well to combine. Pour batter in the buttered baking dish and bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Set glass dish on a wire rack to cool.

While baking, prepare the ganache. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy whipping cream over medium high heat. Right when cream barely begins to boil, turn heat off and add the chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts and becomes very smooth. Add the orange extract and continue to whisk. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before pouring on cake.

Pour ganache on the cooled cake and smooth it with an offset spatula. Allow ganache to set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Beef Brisket

Update 1/28/17: This giveaway has ended. Congrats to our winner, Barbara Martinez! We’ll e-mail you with details on how to claim your prize. Thanks to all who entered, and check back next month for another Lagostina giveaway! 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lagostina and 5WPR. The Newlywed Chefs received a Lagostina Domina Vitamin Pressure Cooker as compensation for this post, however, as always, all opinions are 100% our own.

If you think this beef brisket looks good, you should see the cookware that made her so beautiful. Lagostina is one of the premier brands of cookware available. Period. Their products are stunning and perform even better than they look. Today, we are featuring the Lagostina Domina Vitamin Pressure Cooker. Don’t be scared and run off because you’ve seen horror footage from the 1960s of pressure cookers exploding. Nowadays, most pressure cookers are built with safety technology to prevent any mishaps from occurring.


Photo Credit: Williams-Sonoma

We like this pressure cooker because it reduces cooking time by AT LEAST half, while providing the same end result as slow cooking all day. Also, even if you aren’t going to use the pressure cooker option, the pot itself can be used for everyday cooking.

Here are some great facts about this stunning pressure cooker:

Domina Vitamin Pressure Cooker

·         7.4 Qt. capacity

·         Exclusive, patented one-handed drop lid opening system

·         Superior safety: lid clicks to let you know when it is hermetically sealed

·         Two pressure settings: 6psi is ideal for vegetables and preserves up to 35% more nutrients; 10psi is ideal for meat/fish and cooks up to 2x faster

·         Exclusive LAGOPLAN® 3-layer aluminum and stainless bonded base for optimal and uniform heat distribution

·         Set includes steam basket, recipe book and measuring cup

·         Available at

·         Retail Price $249.95

We used this pressure cooker to make a flavorful and melt in your mouth brisket within just an hour, which usually would have taken two or three times as long in a slow cooker. This recipe is super simple to make. First, season your beef brisket with salt and pepper.

Brown all sides of the brisket using the Lagostina Domina Vitamin Pressure Cooker pot and then take it out to rest.

Sauté veggies, add tomato paste, add liquid, and place your brisket in the pressure cooker.

Follow the instructions to safely lock the lid and bring to the right pressure.


About an hour later, remove the brisket and allow to rest before slicing.

Discard vegetables and strain the remaining beef jus through a colander. Return this juice to the pot and cook over medium heat until liquid reduces by 1/2. Serve jus with the brisket.

We are excited to start a partnership with Lagostina and to celebrate, we’re giving away one of these beautiful Lagostina Domina Vitamin Pressure Cookers to one of our readers. You can win by entering here, and also by heading over to our Instagram account for a bonus entry. To enter:

  1. Leave a comment on this post
  2. For an additional entry, head over to our Instagram account (@newlywedchefs), follow us, and tag a friend that might also be interested in winning

Winner must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the USA. All entries must be received by January 27th at 11:59pm CST. Maximum entries per person: 2 (one blog comment and one Instagram comment). Winner will be selected at random and announced on this blog on January 28th.

Beef Brisket

Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 10 min. Pressure Cook Time: 60-75 min.


2 lb. beef brisket

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

5 cloves garlic, smashed

1 red onion, quartered

1 6-oz. can tomato paste

2 cups beef stock

1 cup beer

1 bay leaf

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Black pepper


Generously salt and pepper all sides of the brisket. Remove the lid and heat Lagostina Domina Vitamin Pressure Cooker pot over medium heat. Once hot, coat the bottom with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Brown all sides of the brisket, allowing each side to cook for 2 minutes. Remove the brisket and set aside.

Continuing to cook over medium heat, add the celery, onion, and carrot to the pot. Stir with a wooden spoon, and add a pinch of salt and pepper. After 3 minutes, add the garlic and tomato paste. Continue to stir for 1 minute.

Add the stock, beer, and bay leaf to the pot. Stir and scrape up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the pan. Set the brisket on top of the vegetables and liquid, so that the liquid reaches up on all sides of the beef.

Place lid on the meat/fish setting and seal according to the Lagostina Domina Vitamin Pressure Cooker instruction manual. (We found that using our gas stovetop, our heat needed to be on high to seal, then medium low throughout the duration of the cooking. Please become familiar with the instructions, as cooking time/procedure may vary depending on your stovetop.) Carefully release the steam according to the instruction manual and remove brisket. Allow brisket to rest for about 15 minutes before slicing.

While brisket is resting, prepare the jus. Using a colander with a bowl positioned underneath, strain all remaining contents of the Lagostina Domina Vitamin Pressure Cooker, discarding the vegetables but keeping the jus. Return jus to the Lagostina Domina Vitamin Pressure Cooker and cook over medium high heat for about 15 minutes or until liquid has reduced by half.

Serve sliced brisket with jus.


Tropical Smoothie Bowl

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lucky’s Market. The Newlywed Chefs were paid for this post, however, as always, all opinions are 100% our own.

Ah, January. The time of year where our jeans and budgets have somehow become a little more tight. Neither of us made resolutions, but this time of year, like the rest of the world, we seem to watch what we eat a little more. We’ve tried a lot of “cleanses” (read: diets) over the years, but my goodness, food and drinks bring us joy, and when you take away that joy completely, it’s just sad! For us, cooking is a way for us to reconnect with each other and the ones we love. We break hot crusty bread and pass the soft butter across the table to a couple we’d like to get to know a little better. We clink wine glasses in celebration of our new neighbors and their first house purchase. We grab coffee with friends at a local coffee shop to hear about their adventures as first-time parents. For us, food and drink go beyond simply food and drink.

So, that’s the hardest part of dieting for us. When you limit the food, the craft, the joy of cooking, you also limit other things in our life that we don’t so easily want to sacrifice.

That being said, we can’t eat dessert every night. We can’t make mac and cheese every weekend. We can’t split a bottle of wine too frequently. Why? Because it’s not healthy. Hmm… now we’re faced with a difficult situation: how do we balance a healthy diet, enjoy the culinary world, and not sacrifice the other aspects of life associated with food and drink? We’re still trying to figure that one out. The best we’ve come up with is that as with most things in life, it’s about balance.

The diets that work for us are the ones that still allow us to feel like we have some joy while balancing the satisfaction that what we ate was actually healthy.

Smoothie bowls are all the rage on Instagram. They’re pretty. They’re healthy. They’re easy to make. The flavor combinations are endless. Maybe they’re a little too trendy. As Neil put it, “I really didn’t want to like that smoothie bowl… but I really like it.”

They’re a great way to pack in your serving of fruit and also sneak in healthy seeds such as flax or chia. After watching our sugar intake the past few days, fruit tastes incredibly sweet. I feel like even though these bowls are healthy, we actually are cheating and shouldn’t be eating them.

The frozen produce at Lucky’s is perfect for making smoothie bowls. They have a new line of private label frozen fruit that comes in premixed flavors so you don’t have to buy a bunch of random fruits. In this recipe, we used their tropical mix, “Life’s a Beach!” (clever). When you buy private label items at Lucky’s, 10% of the profits from the purchase are reinvested back into the community. Also, all of their organic produce is 10% off on Sundays (our preferred meal planning/grocery day) through the month of January.

We hope you enjoy this simple recipe and enjoy a healthy, yet delicious start to the new year.

Tropical Smoothie Bowl

Prep Time: 15 min. Cook Time: 0 min.

Smoothie Ingredients:

1 (heaping) cup Lucky’s Market Tropical Blend frozen fruit

1 fresh banana

1 cup almond milk

Suggested Toppings:

Shredded coconut

Fresh fruit (Kiwi, strawberries, mango, pineapple, etc.)

Seeds (Flax seed, chia sheed, etc.)


Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour smoothie in a bowl and top with suggested toppings.

Makes 1 large smoothie bowl