Miriam’s Mashed Potatoes Waiting

A fabulous complement to Coq au Vin, meatloaf or any dinner celebration.

6 large Yukon gold potatoes, 8-10 medium
2 tbls butter
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 tbls shredded white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup whipping cream, whipped

Peel potatoes and cook until done. Drain and mash, adding the butter, milk and cream. Beat until fluffy.

Spoon into a greased casserole dish, beat the whipping cream until stiff and spread over the potatoes. Scatter the shredded cheese on top and dash paprika over the cream.

Bake at 350° until topping is golden brown.

*Recipe adapted from Best of Friends, Too!

Copyright © 2019 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.

Un Fabuleux Dîner Français

A themed dinner party can be loads of fun and doesn’t have to be expensive. I decided to get creative with decorations, linens and recipes I already had on hand as we sought to celebrate and remember our trip to France this past summer. With a small group of 6, an embroidered tablecloth I had purchased in Provence, my pretty white and silver china, and three mini pots of autumn mums, my table was ready for a decadent dinner.

One of my favorite cookbooks is Williams-Sonoma’s FRENCH because it takes me back to the years of living in Europe and the fabulous French inspired meals we ate frequently. While out of print, used copies can be found on Amazon for a very reasonable price. Planning the menu, of course, had to begin with this treasure.

While on our tour in Provence this year, we attended two cooking schools, one at Le Cordon Bleu and the other courtesy of Anne Sophie Pic, a Michelin star chef. The plating class included the appetizer for tonight’s menu, Tomato Chutney with Poached Egg – which I found to be delightful and so flavorful. It absolutely was a must to include! Mashed potatoes are traditionally served with Coq au Vin, and this recipe will give you undoubtedly the creamiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever tried. From start to finish, the flavors in this meal are delectable and highly complimentary! The presentation will wow your guests, and then they can impress you with audience participation with the crêpes bar for dessert.

The Menu

Appetizer: Tomato Chutney with Poached Egg
Wheat French Bread
French Wine

Entree: French Country Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette
Miriam’s Mashed Potatoes Waiting
Coq au Vin

Dessert: Fresh Sweet Crêpes Bar with strawberries, banana slices, chocolate and caramel sauce, fresh whipped cream

I hope your French dinner is as beautiful and enjoyable as ours. After all, no matter what you serve, it starts with a guest list of fabulous friends!


Copyright © 2019 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.

Autumn Apple Harvest

For over two weeks I have been slicing and peeling apples by the dozens thanks to some very generous colleagues with a bounty to share. I’ve already made 5 pies, 3 dozen apple cinnamon muffins, apple cake, apple onion & yellow squash gratin, AND two dozen caramel apple cinnamon rolls. What’s next on the menu?

You’ll be the first to know when I finally decide… and hopefully I’ll get them finished before the pears and plums show up.

Read More

vegetable topped with apples

Apple Onion and Yellow Squash Gratin

3 T. roasted shallot olive oil
3 small white or sweet onions, sliced
1/2 tsp. dried sage (or 1 tbls chopped fresh sage)
course salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 yellow squash, peeled and sliced
3 small apples, peeled, cored & sliced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. In a 10 inch skillet, heat 2 T. oil over medium heat. Add onions and 2 T. water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add sherry and sage and cook until liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

In a 2 qt shallow baking dish (or 9″ square dish), arrange squash in overlapping layers; season with salt and pepper. Spread onions evening over squash. Arrange apples in an overlapping layer over the onions. Drizzle with remaining 1 tbls. olive oil. Cover tightly with foil. Bake 45 minutes.

Uncover and sprinkle cheese on top. Raise the oven temp to 450º and bake 10 minutes longer, or until the cheese has melted and is golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Copyright © 2019 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.

Apple Cake

Apple Cake

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
5 cups thinly sliced, peeled, diced apples
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Heat oven to 350º. Spray a 13×9 pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients at low speed until moistened; beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or cool with shipped cream, ice bream or caramel sauce, if desired.

*Recipe taken from The Pillsbury Cookbook

Copyright © 2019 Montana Mountain Maven / Tina R. Cusker. All rights reserved.