Cookies, cookies…

If you are looking for a cookie recipe that is sure to please, you are in the right place! No matter the season (or day) I make either treat, they never stick around for long.I’ll start with a family recipe from my grandmother, Shirley. She made these every Christmas and they are my dad’s favorite, hands down. As a result, I have received the torch and have committed to continue the tradition. I have no idea where she got the original recipe, so she gets the credit this time around. 

Vanilla Icebox Cookies
Serves: 4-5 dozen cookies1 1/2 c. butter, softened
3 c. brown sugar
3 eggs
1 c. chopped nuts (I prefer pecans, Shirls always used walnuts)
4 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. vanilla

Mix thoroughly all ingredients, starting with the butter, sugar & eggs. Roll into 8-10 inch long, 2″ diameter logs after dough is chilled. Store logs in the fridge in wax paper, twisting the ends of the paper to seal. Refrigerate overnight before cutting in thin slices. Bake at 400º for 4-5 minutes, depending on how thick you cut the slices. I typically bake one log at a time, so the dough can last in my fridge for up to a week. After all, fresh out of the oven is always best for any cookie! 

Salted Caramel Cookies
Serves: about 3 dozen cookies Read More

What is your inspiration?

Yes, this is a new adventure for me and I am at the point where I am truly inspired. It’s a project that has been on my mind for months, letting any excuse repeatedly get in the way of moving forward. There’s risk when starting something new. There is a trade off toward the other ways I was spending my time, and there is always the unknown. After attending Rachel Hollis’ documentary last week, Made for More I simply decided…. NOW IS THE TIME to let my inspiration become a reality.

If you have read the About page,  you know fullsizeoutput_42efthat I recently hosted a housewarming party in our new house.  I LOVE to bake, so of course no party is complete without something sweet. The good news is my husband has a very gracious team of colleagues who are happy to enjoy any leftovers, regardless of the purpose or event.  My waistline appreciates their support!

This gorgeous sterling silver tray was my grandmother’s. When she moved into an assisted living cottage so my grandfather could receive memory care, I was blessed to receive several of her beautiful serving dishes. Thanks to The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond’s cookbook Year of Holidays, I found the perfect finale for the party! The Lemon Creme Pie, Cherry Cheesecake & Chocolate Caramel shooters were a hit and pretty darn easy to make.  Since I don’t have 50+ shot glasses in my china cabinet, I hit the digital waves to purchase some clear plastic mini dessert cups with demitasse spoons. This option made clean up easier too – what’s not to love about that?! Read More

It’s Launch Day…

I am a wife, mother, and a teacher. We have learned to especially love traveling after living 8 years in South Korea, Germany and Belgium. With two grown children, we now share our home with two furry friends who have the pleasure of joining us at the lake, hiking, or cross country skiing. But what is my passion? Making my house a home, being creative in the kitchen, and sharing them both my friends and family. Every time we host an event, whether it be Christmas dinner, a causal gathering, or an Oktoberfest party, the guests almost always comment on my ability to comfortably entertain.  They often say I have the ability to make it look easy. While I take great pride in delivering a tasty and sophisticated event, it has taken a lot of years and practice to get to the point of making it “look” easy. After all, we all know it requires organization, prior planning and the ability to cook does help a bit… I want to show you how easy it can be.

Whether it is home decor, designing tablescapes, cooking, baking, sending caramels to friends near & far, or sewing curtains & pillows, I enjoy creating and sharing it all. The result… Montana’s Mountain Maven.

This blog is designed to share recipes, creative ideas, connect you to the resources I enjoy and to collaborate with my readers to find even more fun ways to make our homes a special place.

I hope you find inspiration that encourages you to share life, your home, and your gifts with those you love. There can be much joy found around the dining room table and it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive when your heart is in embedded in your offering.  I thank you for joining us and I look forward to our journey ahead.


By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. ~ Proverbs 24:3-4 (NIV)


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