Drying Fresh Herbs

Drying fresh herbs yourself is easy, saves money, and gives the best flavor. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
Almost everything I cook has a fresh or dried herb in it—and even if you barely cook, I’d bet you have at least a couple of jars of dried herbs in your kitchen. But as I explain this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, drying fresh herbs yourself, whether homegrown or store-bought, is an easy DIY project that will result in far better flavor and cost far less than commercially packed jars of dried leaves.

The column focuses on tips that will help you successfully dry a range of fresh herbs, but the first step may be to grow your own. Many herbs grow well in pots on a windowsill or deck. If you have more space, you can plant many types of perennial herbs now and see them pop up on their own year after year. Some can even grow until they produce seeds that you can save to cook with or to replant, such as fresh cilantro and its seed, coriander. And like sourdough starter, herbs love to be used: the more you cut them to use fresh or to dry, the more they grow and produce.
Learn about drying and using herbs

Spring Vegetable Quiche

I soon expect to gather enough asparagus and baby spinach for my first spring quiche. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
If you’ve been reading my latest Twice as Tasty columns for the Flathead Beacon and some of my other recent work, you know that spring has been oh-so-slowly arriving in Montana, with days of sun, snow, rain, frost—and sometimes all four in a single morning. The garden is beginning to wake up, with the greens we let go to seed last fall sprouting in freshly weeded beds and my first round of cold frame seeds showing signs of life. Walking onions and chives have been available for harvesting in small quantities, and rhubarb and mint will soon be big enough for the first crisp and mojitos.

However, the asparagus is still stubbornly in hiding from freezing overnight temperatures. As soon as we consistently get nights just a couple of degrees warmer, I expect to gather enough of it and baby spinach for my first spring quiche.
Learn to make Spring Vegetable Quiche

Savory Herb and Sour Cream Scones

Grab spring’s first herbs for savory scones, hearty salad, and flavor-packed curry. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
No matter how cold or gray it is, it feels like a little bit of spring when I spot the first herb and bulb shoots poking through ice and snow. Although I freeze, dehydrate, and otherwise preserve homegrown herbs to use all year, I’m always eager for the first fresh cuttings. Once enough have popped up that I can do more than sprinkle them as a garnish, I make savory scones packed with fresh herb flavors.

I share a savory version of my favorite scone recipe in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon. In early spring, I use chives and parsley, the first herbs that appear in my garden or I can get fresh locally. As the weeks pass, I start to swap in sorrel, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, dill, and more.
Learn to make Savory Herb and Sour Cream Scones and more

Quick Beer–Cheese Dip

Beer–cheese dip is easy yet decadent, even with homemade ingredients. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
With chilly temps and that big sporting event (you know I mean the Olympics, right?) happening this weekend, it seemed the perfect time to share my favorite beer–cheese dip in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon. This dip is easy yet decadent; we usually think of special-occasion recipes as being difficult, but not so here. The recipe in my column gives you store-bought ingredient options, but you can also bump the decadence up several notches by using homemade versions.

Let me be clear: when I make dips like this one with homemade ingredients, I don’t start by saying, “OK, I’m going to smoke the cheese and chilies, make the chili paste and mustard, roast the garlic, and then I can make dip.” Nope. All those ingredients are staples in my fridge. When I want to use them in dip (and everything else), I just set them on the counter, mix them into dip, and dig in.
Learn to make Quick Beer–Cheese Dip