Winter Squash and Mushroom Risotto

You can use all sorts of winter squash and mushrooms in risotto, making it a showcase for homegrown or locally farmed or foraged varieties. Learn more at
I feel lucky that my homegrown winter squash has held up so well in storage this year. First deer that found their way into the garden attempted to gnaw through their thick skins. Then we had several huge temperature swings throughout winter, including an extended power outage during subzero temperatures. Yet the squash kept in storage until now, ready for the delicious risotto I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon.

You can use all sorts of winter squash in risotto, from the pictured kabocha to delicata, butternut, or pumpkin. The same goes for mushrooms; cremini are readily available, but as local mushroom farming becomes more popular, it’s becoming easier to mix in oyster mushrooms, chestnut boletes, or other varieties. I recommend making your own vegetable stock too; it likely won’t be as thick or salty as store-bought broths. If you make a large batch and then freeze it in 1-cup portions, it will be ready to defrost for a range of risottos.
Learn to make Winter Squash and Mushroom Risotto


Honey-Chili Butter Biscuits

Biscuits made with homemade buttermilk or yogurt whey and butter flavored with honey and ground chili are irresistible. Learn more at
At my recent fermentation workshop for Free the Seeds, we talked not just sourdough and vegetable ferments but dairy ones too. Cultured buttermilk, which I use in the biscuit recipe I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, is among the easiest dairy products to make at home.

Homemade yogurt is a close second: Buttermilk takes less hands-on time but requires a powdered starter culture; yogurt can be made with what’s left from your last batch but needs slightly more monitoring. I bring it up here because you can drain its whey and use that in the biscuits instead.

The biscuits themselves are flaky and tasty, but smearing on a bit of butter flavored with honey and ground chili makes them irresistible.
Learn to make Honey-Chili Butter Biscuits

Brine-Braised Breakfast Potatoes

A just-emptied pickle jar still holds a fabulous ingredient for sautés, salad dressings and more. Learn more at
Two questions come up often when someone lets me ramble on about pickling and fermenting: What do you do with all of those pickles, and what do you do with the leftover brine and whey? In my Twice as Tasty column this week for the Flathead Beacon, I give the basic answer for both questions: Use it.

Pickles can be more than snacks and condiments. I have so many uses for pickles that I created a special recipe collection, The Pickled Picnic, to accompany my pickling cookbook. Once I empty a pickle jar, it still holds brine, a fabulous ingredient for sautés, salad dressings, and more. When I make yogurt and cheese, the leftover whey has multiple uses, giving a two-for-one punch to every gallon of milk I buy.
Learn to make Brine-Braised Breakfast Potatoes

Making Friends with Ferments

I’m excited to be teaching a free workshop, Making Friends with Ferments, on March 4 at the 8th annual Free the Seeds. Learn more at
One of my favorite spring-transition traditions in Montana is Free the Seeds, a free, daylong seed giveaway and workshop fair that teaches about real seeds, real food, and real skills. I’ve been teaching workshops at the event for several years and am excited to be back in person for the 8th annual Free the Seeds on March 4.

As I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, my Making Friends with Ferments workshop is just 1 of 27 on the day’s schedule for this year, with the others ranging from garden plants and skills, to keeping bees and chickens, to topics aimed at this year’s theme: cultivating community.
Learn to make more about making friends with ferments