Compound Herb Butter

I save homegrown herbs in many ways, but one of the easiest may be mixing them into butter. Learn more at
I save homegrown herbs in many ways, but one of the easiest may be mixing them into butter and freezing them, as I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon. This technique for making compound herb butter is also ideal for a bunch of fresh herbs you’ve purchased but won’t use up before they start to fade, since you only need 2–4 tablespoons for each stick of butter.

I typically mix up small, fresh portions of flavored butters to use immediately, like my favorite lime butter for grilled corn. Small batches of compound butter keep well in the refrigerator for a few days. For longer storage, freeze “logs” of herb butters and use them throughout the year.
Learn to make Compound Herb Butter


Frozen Strawberry Syrup

Take just one bag of fruit from the freezer and turn it into a jar of syrup for the fridge. Learn more at
The first year I canned fruit syrups, I gifted my sister a couple of jars. The next year, she asked for a full box of jars filled with the jewel-toned syrups. In her house, they get used more often than jams: drizzled on pancakes or waffles, stirred into yogurt, blended into smoothies, and more.

I like making summertime fruit syrups because I can pair fruit and herbs in the same way I do for shrubs, ending up with a sweet concoction rather than a sweet-and-tangy vinegar-spiked one. The downside, as with jelly, is that it takes a lot of fruit to fill a canner-load of jars. So I created a recipe for my Twice as Tasty column this week for the Flathead Beacon that takes just one bag of fruit from the freezer and turns it into a jar of syrup you can keep in the fridge.
Learn to make Frozen Strawberry Syrup

Roasted Winter Squash Puree

This month, I’m breaking down my favorite pumpkin pie recipe by its homemade components. Learn more at
When I planned my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon this month, I knew I wanted to share my favorite recipe for pumpkin pie. But I quickly realized I didn’t have enough space to print the full scratch-made version. Instead, I’m breaking down the pie recipe by its homemade components: spice mix, pumpkin puree, pie crust, and the final filling and baking.

There are several advantages to this—beyond staying within my word-count limit. Each component is presented as a standalone recipe, showing you how it can be made in advance and put to other uses. You can also choose how homemade you really want your finished pie to be. You could make your own spice mix but buy canned puree. Or you could mix and roll your own crust but use a store-bought spice blend that’s already in your cupboard.

If you do decide to go entirely homemade, spreading out these recipes over a few weeks will hopefully make the project seem less daunting. You’ll also get to enjoy bonus goodies, like roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin cookies, and pie crust snacks, along the way.
Learn to make Roasted Winter Squash Puree

Fresh Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

Broccoli and cheese soup has long been a staple in my kitchen, but my recipe has evolved. Learn more at
Broccoli and cheese soup has long been a staple on my fall and winter menu, but my recipe has evolved over the years. The first version I learned from my mom; besides fresh broccoli and sharp Cheddar cheese, it was simply seasoned with a bit of oregano. Once I began making it in my own kitchen, I jazzed it up (as Mom would say) with extra-sharp Cheddar and a little mustard and lemon juice, and when I began to successfully grow broccoli in my own garden, I created a freezer-based version of the jazzed-up recipe. Once I fell for grilled broccoli, I began grilling instead of steam-blanching it for even more flavor in the soup pot.

My latest rendition of a broccoli and cheese soup, which I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, returns to fresh, lightly sautéed vegetables for just a touch of the roasted flavor. This is the way I make the soup with the last of the season’s broccoli, and it’s my preferred recipe for fresh store-bought broccoli. I’ve made one more ingredient addition, potato, for a thicker, chowder-like texture.
Learn to make Fresh Broccoli and Cheddar Soup