Tasty Tuesday–Wing Runner STL

Time for a look at the newest concept from the good people over at Beast Craft BBQ/ Beast Butcher and Block…Wing Runner STL!

Who doesn’t love chicken wings, am I right? I was intrigued when Beast Butcher and Block announced a new sub-restaurant providing delivery and carryout wings running out of their St. Louis location, and I was ecstatic when I found out that it was also going to be offered right here in Belleville!

Wing Runner currently offers 10 different flavors of wings (plus a cauliflower “wing” for the non meat-eaters who darken the doorstep of a BBQ joint). Sides are very limited, and because it’s a separate business, you can’t just tack items from Beast onto your order. We went with a bulk pack of 50 wings (there are seven of us, after all, but we didn’t finish quite all of them in one sitting!)…you can get up to five flavors, but for our first visit, we chose the four we were most interested in.

First up, my choice, the roasted garlic butter wings:

Of course we had to try the traditional mild buffalo (they also have hot buffalo, but not all of our children are open to that level of spice):

The spicy BBQ mustard was another popular request:

And the char siu, featuring sesame seeds, was our “wild” choice:

Well, not as wild at the habanero jerk…we got a 5-piece order of those to try alongside the other flavors.

Have you ever seen a better-looking plate of wings?!?

OK, on to the flavors. The habanero jerk was HOT. Like, scary hot. Even Ryan, who is the biggest fan of heat in the house, couldn’t eat more than two wings. So, if you order those, just be aware that your face may melt off. They’re excellent…I know that on a culinary level. But my taste buds would not thank me if I ate them again!

The other four flavors were all a huge hit. I don’t think I could pick a favorite if I tried…they were all delicious in their own way. The char siu was especially amazing…it was such an unexpected flavor on wings, and that just made it taste better. The spicy mustard had a great kick, and I loved the actual mustard seeds on the wings. The garlic butter had just the flavor I was hoping for, with the pleasant addition of cotija cheese crumbled over them. And the mild buffalo was exactly what you want out of a traditional buffalo wing.

I’m hoping it won’t be too long before our next order. I really want to try the shishito lime wings, and the fish sauce caramel sounds just unusual enough to be delicious. I’m also pretty sure I need to try the dry rub wings, too, and any seasonal varieties they offer in the future! It’s always exciting to see what new ideas David Sandusky and Beast come up with, and they never fail to disappoint!

Tasty Tuesday–Cooking Through a Pandemic, the Sixth Month

Time for the sixth installment of cooking through a pandemic…can you believe it’s been a half a year?!?

Cooking for the last month or so has been a little more challenging for me now that we’re back to school. I did have a little help though…the night before school started, we had Portillo’s via mail order, the first day of school was frozen pizzas for the first in I don’t know how long, we ordered Pizza Hut one night when I just couldn’t anymore, and just yesterday, we tried out the newest concept by Beast Craft BBQ, Wing Runner STL. We also tried quite a few new recipes in the last month, some of which were huge hits!

We’ve kept up with baking cookies every Sunday after church, and we even added a new chocolate twist. We also baked brownies, a few cakes, and made baklava over Labor Day weekend since we couldn’t go to the St. Louis Greek Festival.

Maybe I’ll do this again next month, maybe I won’t…only time will tell!

Tasty Tuesday–The Omelette Maker

Confession time: I can’t make an omelette to save my life. For all of my culinary skills, when I try to make an omelette, it always tears…or turns into scrambled eggs. But I really like omelettes. So I decided to buy an omelette maker.

Yes, I know it doesn’t really make true omelettes…more like quick-cooking mini breakfast casseroles. But it’s good enough for me, because it lets everyone choose their fillings, and approximates the omelette experience.

It’s a pretty nifty machine. You mix four eggs with your choice of fillings, close it, and let it cook for about 10 minutes, and voila…two omelettes!

The best is when we have an omelette bar, where everyone can choose what they want in theirs, from meat to veggies to different cheeses:

It’s the perfect set-up for breakfast-for-dinner!

In addition to the omelette bar, I’ve made Denver omelettes, BLT omelettes (with spinach in place of the lettuce), leftovers omelettes (with salmon), as well as whatever-we-have-on-hand omelettes.

Along with the waffle maker, the Soda Stream, and the as-yet-unmentioned Ninja blender, this is one of the best things I’ve purchased in this very strange year!

Tasty Tuesday–Marinara Sauce

I have a confession to make. I’ve bought canned/jarred spaghetti sauce for years, but I don’t really like it. It doesn’t matter which kind we tried, I always thought it was too sweet, and didn’t have enough flavor. So I decided to try making my own. I already make excellent bolognese sauce (which takes all day to cook, so it’s not a an everyday occurrence)…how hard could it be? After tinkering with recipes a bit, I came up something I (and everyone else in the house) really like! Oh, and did I mention that the recipe is super easy? I call that a culinary victory!

  • 29 oz. stewed tomatoes
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh parsley (or 4 tsp. dried)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • One large white onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup red wine

In a blender or food processor, combine the first eight ingredients and blend until smooth.

In a large skillet, sauté onion with salt in olive oil until soft. Deglaze the pan with wine. Add tomato sauce and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Serve on your favorite pasta.

Tasty Tuesday–Our Favorite Cookies, with a Twist

I’ve shared our favorite cookie recipe before…now it’s time to take a look at our new twist on it!

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 cups of your favorite baking chips
  • sea salt

Preheat the oven to 325. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, eggs, and egg yolks until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the baking chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets (cookies should be about 3 inches apart). Sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven.. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Tasty Tuesday–Cooking Through a Pandemic, the Fifth Month

Another month or so has passed, so it’s time to look at back at what I’ve been cooking:

And baking:

Since school will not be returning as planned (Moose’s school district has joined the others in the area in beginning the school year remotely), I think I’ll continue this for at least one more month, or until life is “back to normal” (whatever that means) around here. At any rate, it’s kind of fun to have a record of the things we’ve been cooking and baking, and helps me plan meals for the future!

Tasty Tuesday–Blueberry Sauce

If you’re looking for the perfect addition to waffles, pancakes, ice cream, or anything else you think needs a fruit topping, this blueberry sauce is for you!

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp. butter

Combine water and cornstarch in a small saucepan and whisk until smooth. Stir in sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in blueberries; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until berries burst, 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in butter. Serve warm or cold. Refrigerate leftovers.

I’ve also made this recipe with strawberries, and it’s just as delicious. Instead of waiting for the berries to burst, gently smash the strawberries as the sauce cooks.

Tasty Tuesday–Cooking Through a Pandemic, the Fourth Month

I decided to keep my “Cooking Through a Pandemic” series going through the rest of the summer. While it seems like much of the country is back to business as usual, we definitely aren’t there yet, and won’t be until school begins again. So I’ll have at least one more of these posts to finish things out in August, assuming school does return as planned.

In the past month, we’ve had another birthday (mine), plus Father’s Day and the Fourth of July, so we’ve had some special meals. We’ve also enjoyed some family favorites, including one of our summer staples, homemade tomato soup.

We’ve kept up with our “quarantine cookies” every Sunday, and made a few other things, as well, including a birthday cake made by my girls, zucchini bread, pies for Father’s Day, and strawberry shortcake for Independence Day:

We have another birthday coming up in the next month, plus a few other special family days planned…it’s always nice to have something to look forward to!

Tasty Tuesday–Rosemary Lime Chicken

Time for a new recipe! I made this a few weeks ago, and it was an even bigger hit than chicken piccata, which everybody here loves, so it’s definitely going in the permanent collection!

  • 2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin medallions
  • Salt and pepper
  • Flour for dredging
  • 4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 2 limes, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp. capers

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge in flour. Heat large skillet over medium and melt 2 Tbsp. butter with 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Pan fry chicken until brown and cooked through, about three to four minutes per side, and keep warm. Replace butter and olive oil about halfway through, and finish cooking chicken.

After all the chicken is cooked, deglaze pan with wine. Add lime juice, lime slices, rosemary, capers, and salt and pepper, and simmer for several minutes. Pour over chicken and serve with rice.

Tasty Tuesday–Cooking Through a Pandemic, the Third Month

Here we are, almost three months after everything started shutting down due to COVID-19. At this point, some places are starting to open back up, but not like they used to be, so things definitely aren’t back to normal. I’m especially feeling that lack of normal, as I’m still only going grocery shopping once every two weeks, and pretty much no where else, and that’s hard. But cooking is fun, and something normal I can do, so I’ve continued to do a lot of it. Here’s a look back at some of the meals we’ve been enjoying in the third month of lockdown life (including one amazing dinner from Beast Craft BBQ!):

We’ve kept up with our baking, too. Sunday afternoon “quarantine cookies” are definitely a thing! We’ve had fun trying all sorts of different combinations of baking chips, but the base recipe is always the same. I’ve also made some other things, including blueberry muffins, and even quite a few cakes…a carrot cake for our 19th wedding anniversary, a red ale strawberry cake for Pentecost, and a red velvet cake for Trinity Sunday.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention two other special treats we’ve enjoyed in the last month, too. Eli’s Cheesecake kindly sent us an original favorites cheesecake sampler, which was a huge hit with everybody here, and I was blown away by the lovely gesture! We also indulged in another Chicago favorite, Frango mints…since we couldn’t go to Chicago, I had an extra little bit of Chicago sent to us!

I can’t say I care much for shopping every two weeks, and having to plan our meals so far ahead and in such great detail, but I do have a routine, so there is that. My refrigerator Tetris and pantry Jenga games have also reached a whole new level of expertise, so that’s fun. And we all enjoy having some extra-special meals to look forward to!

I don’t know if I’ll have another “Cooking Through a Pandemic” post next month…things will maybe be closer to our old normal by then, but who really knows? And even if they are, I think some things have changed for us permanently!