tina’s favorite tuna melt

This is a recipe intended to highlight some our local favorite partners and while substitutions might be simple, for the best flavor, please step out and support these fabulous businesses: Ridgeline Spice Co & Furrow and Fly. In case you hadn’t heard, La Cuisine, our sister store also stocks the Ridgeline Spice products!

Tuna Melt

Reminiscent of a simple meal from my childhood, I was low on time (or maybe it was energy), yet wanted a tasty meal at home rather than taking the time to go out. Let’s be honest, Furrow & Fly English muffins are the best there is and I had a spare package in the freezer! To increase the nutritional value, I designed this recipe with more veggies than a typical creamed tuna might have. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do…

Tuna Melt

Servings: 4
Author: Tina Cusker

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 lg. can tuna, well drained
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 1 tsp Sweet Bell Pepper Ridgeline Spice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 Furrow & Fly English muffins
  • 4 Cheese slices, provolone or swiss

Instructions

  • Over medium heat, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onion and mushrooms, saute until tender.
  • Whisk in flour. When combined, slowly whisk in milk.
  • Lightly boil until thickened.
  • Add tuna, peas and spices. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Toast English muffins. Top muffins with a cheese slice when hot. If you want the cheese melted further, slip into a hot oven for 2-3 minutes.
  • Using a ladel, top the English muffins with the creamy tuna. Serve alongside a generous green salad.

Copyright © 2021 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.


Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

If you’re looking for the moistest, most wonderful caramel and chocolate nugget, you are in the right place. Every time I make these cupcakes, they get rave reviews. They include a couple of baking shortcuts, which is an even bigger bonus. Yes, you have got to try them!

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cupcakes

Servings: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 1 box (3 oz.) Jello chocolate instant pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream

Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter use Irish butter, if possible
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • garnishes (pretzels, caramel or chocolate caramel candy)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Line cupcake pans with liners.
  • Using a stand mixer on medium speed, beat together the cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, oil, milk and sour cream. Beat until well combined, about 2 minutes.
  • Scoop the batter evenly into cupcake liners. I prefer to use a retractable ice cream scoop or large baking scoop.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the tin and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, make the frosting. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Once melted, add brown sugar and cream. Stir constantly over medium heat until sugar is dissolved.
  • Add salt. Allow to bubble for exactly 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  • Beat in confectioner's sugar 1 cup at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Frost the cupcakes using a pastry bag and tip or with an icing spatula. Top with a pretzel and drizzled caramel, or consider adding a chocolate caramel candy.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

See? I told you, you would not be disappointed — but do try to share a few!

Blessings,
Tina

Copyright © 2021 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.


French Cheese Soufflé

While soufflés have a reputation for being challenging to make, following a few simple techniques can deliver you a beautiful soufflé each time. This is one of those recipes that encourages the exact right kitchen tools for an accurate result. In case you were thinking about getting rid of that old wooden spoon, think again!

1. Start with a spotlessly clean bowl and balloon whisk (an electric mixer with a whisk will work too)
2. If you don’t have a copper bowl, a pinch of cream of tartar is the secret ingredient to stabilize the egg white foam
3. Use a rubber spatula to fold (sweeping over & under motion) the egg whites into the soufflé base. Your goal is to keep the egg whites as puffy as possible

cheese souffle
French Cheese Soufflé
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Easy Zucchini Ribbon Alfredo

Zucchini Ribbon Alfredo

Easy Zucchini Ribbon Alfredo

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 6-8 medium zucchini squash
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp pressed garlic
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • chopped basil, tomato & fresh grated cheese to garnish

Instructions

  • Cut the Zucchini in half lengthwise and use a teaspoon to scoop out the seedy center. Then using a vegetable peeler, carefully peel zucchini into long ribbons. Place in large bowl and set aside.  
  • In medium saucepan, heat olive oil on medium low, then add garlic. Cook garlic until it is golden brown, then add in the whipping cream. Bring to a simmer on medium heat—about 4-5 minutes—then add Parmesan, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to simmer once again and stir frequently until cheese is melted—about 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to lowest and keep warm. 
  • In large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium heat, then add zucchini ribbons. Sauté ribbons until they just start to soften about 3-5 then salt and pepper to taste. If there is excess moisture at the bottom of the pan, drain before adding the Alfredo sauce. 
  • Mix sauce into noodles completely. Serve with fresh diced tomato, torn fresh basil, and shaved Parmesan. 

Notes

Reduce the carbs and calories and use zucchini ribbons instead of pasta!

Copyright © 2021 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.


Let’s Party…. Olé!!

It’s Graduation season and we are ready to host again! You don’t have to live along the southern border to make it a Mexican themed dinner. We might be the Montana State Bobcats, but who doesn’t like a little tequila and tortillas?

We are fortunate to have a Mexican market in town, so I plan to hit them up (the morning of) to pick up thier fresh made salsa, queso and guacamole, but the rest I was able to purchase at the neighborhood grocery store. Don’t forget an assortment of tortillas for your gluten free or vegetarian guests.

This was a super easy menu to compile because it started with a mainstay in our house… I have been making this burrito recipe for 30 years. Burritos Bellingham was a favorite of my husband’s from college. His mom would make large pans of the burritos and send them with the boys to college because they freeze beautifully. You can make two extra large pans at a time, serve one for dinner and freeze the second for a day when you don’t feel like cooking or have unexpected company. They are from a family favorite cookbook, Best of Friends, Etc. by Darlene Glantz Skees, which I’ve shared with you many times before, but of course, I am known to tweak for my own personal preferences.

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La Cuisine is Open for Business

We even have French market baskets…
PC: Lord & Co.

I haven’t been writing in the blog lately because my days have been filled with the most exciting adventure for us, to date…. We have opened a kitchen retail store, La Cuisine! Yesterday, April 1st began the online launch and we plan to open the French inspired storefront in July. Let’s just say opening a new business is pretty all-consuming but so energizing at the same time.

Cooking classes too… COVID-19 has separated us in more ways than one and it’s time to focus on rebuilding and maintaining relationships with those we love most – our friends and family. La Cuisine strives to provide families and homes with distinct culinary tools and skills to create delicious meals while cultivating memories in the kitchen and around the table, the heart of every home.

We are in the middle of some fabulous Grand Opening giveaways this weekend. Celebrate Easter while you win gorgeous pieces for your home. You’ll definitely want to check them out — just be careful to follow the giveaway rules for each day as we like to change things up a bit from day to day.

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