Cooking with Private Chef Marisa Franz | The Kitchen in Missoula | Enjoying your Organic Produce | Week 4

The Kitchen In Missoula

The Kitchen In Missoula

The Kitchen in Missoula, takes your culinary expectations to new heights. They provide awesome food at reasonable prices for events and weddings.

Private Chef Marisa Franz shares her cooking expertise with us about how to use the food you get in your CSA share, from the Farmer’s Market or what you grow in your own garden!

Week 4 | Friday | July 31, 2015

Today’s topic cause it’s gardening that everyone can do know matter where you’re at, no matter how big your yard space is. We’re gonna talk about herbs!

How to grow them, how to dry them and how to use them!

I got 3 new herb plants this weekend at the Kalispell Farmer’s Market from the Bunting Farm in Kalispell! I got Peppermint, Thyme and Rosemary!

Mint, is such a great starter herb, it will grow anywhere, you can neglect it, you can try to kill it it will survive. I highly recommend putting it in it’s own container, otherwise it will take over your whole garden. It likes to be the star of the show, I have found putting it in the container.

I don’t acutally grow the mint, my gentlemen friend grows the mint, it’s the one herb he loves. It has i’ts own enormous Costco potter plant all to itself. I bodly suggested putting the lemon mint and  chocolate mint in with the regular mint and I was told the peppermint needed it’s own pot because he wanted to see how big that one plant could get?

It’s 2 1/2 feet wide and 2 1/2 feet high in one month, and we almost killed it it was super hot out at the end of June, and we forgot to water it for a couple of days, and it was just dry and crumbly, and we thought about tossing it and starting a new one but I said let’s just plant it and see, it’s such a hardy herb i bet it will come back and come back it has! I’m glad it’s in its own container because otherwise it would probably have taken over my whole yard.

My brother’s episode 57 he said Mint was one of his favorite things. Bunting Farms had that chocolate mint and many others. Catnip is a mint that spreads.

It is a mint, it grows real wild, real fast!

We have just Peppermint. I can’t stand the taste of spearmint, I just don’t like that flavor.

My favorite thing to do, is just snip some off, rinse it off and put it in a glass of water. I have a big 40 oz, water bottle, I’ll just toss a couple of mint sprigs in there and  it just gives a nice light flavor to the water. I keep it on the stem, I so I don’t have to worry about drinking the mint leaves.

I’ve hosted quite a few baby and bridal showers over the years, I like to do a mint lemonade. You can use the mint sprigs to make the lemonade or as a garnish. You can do a big thing of water with cucumber and lemon any sort of citrus, it’s a great way to flavor your water and you get a snack at the end too! It’s awesome!

west k, and lemonade 027

I would be neglect not to share this link to my good friend Dacia’s post on Hippie Water

Mint grows anywhere, you can use it for so many things, mostly I would use it in drinks. We don’t drink a lot of mojitos around here, but it’s great for that. You muddle them at the bottom, which basically means you smash them up to release the flavor and the oil.

One thing I do use a lot of mint on a lot, if I’m making Greek food, or Middle Eastern food or Thai food, I’ll sprinkle fresh mint on the top. I did a seasoned beef last week with some hot chills, a little almond butter, soy suce, and some honey and I chopped fresh mint and basil on top and it really brightens up a dish. So those are little things you can use mint for.

Jackie’s Secret Spider Spray = Peppermint food flavoring or essential oil and water in a spray bottle! Scares them right away!

Herbs in Containers

So if you live in a city, in an apartment, you live in a duplex, in a small space. Buy a couple of pots, with the dish, get a bag of potting soil you can plant any herbs you want you can put them out on your deck during the day and bring them in at night when it’s cold and then bring them in permanently once winter hits.

My brother is the real person  with a green thumb in the family, I mean the kid can just look at something and it grows.

I have never had the green thumb for indoors. Take everything I say about growing indoor herbs with a grain of salt.  … That being said …

Great Container Garden Herbs.


Lemon Thyme

Creeping Thyme

English Thyme




Container gardens is a great place to dabble. One they’re really pretty to look at but you can use them to cook too!

There are a couple of different kinds of thyme, lemon that grows great with chicken, regular English Thyme, and Creeping Thyme that is more of a ground cover.

They grow well on their own in their own container.

Rosemary is another great container herb to start with.

I’ve had good luck with Oregano.

You can start from seed if you want. This is my first year starting vegetables in the garden from seed. I think the best way to do it if your a first time gardener. Go to home depot or a garden store, buy some starter plants for a few bucks a piece. You can get pots and potting soil there too. Literally follow the directions on the bag. That’s all you have to do, it’s very easy. They need the most water when you first plant them and the roots are getting established. Thyme needs to be watered regularly. Rosemary on the other hand, the soil likes to dry out Rosemary is like my nemesis. But rosemary, John and I are on I want to say it’s our 9th Rosemary’s still alive but it hasn’t gotten any bigger, and I don’t know if I’m not watering it enough or  if I’m watering too much because of all the plants around it. I might not win the battle, but I will win the war and I will grow Rosemary eventually.  I’m working my way through the list of what not to do.

Those are all good ones to grow in containers.

I have chamomille right now, I wanted to do it to grow in tea, It hasn’t grown that much.

I need to check my soils, I’m thinking maybe my ph is off or my soil is acidic I’m callling it a wash this year,

I’ll do better homework before I started next year

2 Great Herbs to Start With

Tarragon and Chives and Sage

For 5 of 7 years, I had renters in here and I lived out of town.

I planted a tarragon plant and a chive plants 7 years ago, and  they are still alive, they survived 5 years of renters. The tarragon plant is probably close to 4 feet tall! It’s ridiculous.

They just keep coming back. Those two great herbs that will boost your confidence those are good. The tarragon is kind of like the mint I gave it the room to grow and it

The thing I love about the chives is the purple flowers and the bees love them. 

The bees love them and they are edible!

I might thin it back this year, so I can help my other herbs grow more.

What do you use Tarragon for?

I’m not a fan of tarragon, licorice and fennel are hard for me.

I’m a big fan of Julia Child and the roasted chicken recipe in her book comes with a tarragon butter sauce, and its the kind of sauce that you just lick the pan! The tarragon with the b utter kind of cuts a lot of that licorice flavor out for me. Tarragon goes really well with any sort of poultry. I don’t use it for much. I use it to look at because I’m not a huge fan of that flavor profile.

IDK why but I’m in love with Tarragon this year. I’ve been cutting it up and putting it on my salads. Do you put tarragon on fish at all? 

I think anything you put a butter on. I think that would be good. It’s quick and easy and retains the flavor.


I tend to start doing in August, taking them and drying them in my house, so I can use them all winter long.

This works for sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano. Those are the four big ones that I use.

i cut most of the leaves off, I take kitchen twine, maybe a dime thickness and make little bundles, wrap kitchen twine, and hang a string across a door and I clothes pin, those dry bundles of herbs, takes about a week,

depending on how hot the house is,

once they are fully dried,

put them in a quart size zip lock, write the date on them and try to use it within 6 months

Fresh herbs are better then dried, but dried herbs you grow yourself are so much better then anything you get in the store.

I usually only buy spices in bulk

Penzeys use them up quickly.

I like being able to dry my own,

aside from the tarragon

all you need to do with the sage once it’s dry is leave it whole leaf, or crumble it

if you don’t have a place to hang you can lay herbs flat on that and set that on the counter and let them dry on a cooling rack. Both are easy and get the job done.

Sage will usually last long enough at Thanksgiving, goes good with turkey, the oregano usually gets picked at the end of the season with the tomatoes because I put a ton of it in tomato sauce.

The thing is general rules of thumb, make sure they get sunlight, make sure they get watered everyday, (except the Rosemary needs water only every other day or so) is a food website who just had an article on how to grow Rosemary, I’m gonna follow this step by step.

Sage brown butter sauce, cook the butter till it starts turning brown, kind of fries the sage.

Releases the oils, pour over the sweet potato gnocchi

Vanilla Cardamon Cupcakes

Make a phenomenal vanilla cardamon cake for this wedding.

I’ve baked a lot of cupcakes, and this is the one I’ve got the most positive feedback from. It’s gonna be fun, I start baking and then just freeze them by the time I get there they’re just right to frost! Easiest to make everything ahead of time, make the frosting and then fill my piping bags while everything’s cold. One of my favorite parts of baking is figuring out how do the math!

Marisa runs The Kitchen in Missoula! Please Like her page on Facebook today!


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