Tator Tot Hotdish

Tator Tot Hotdish, a midwest classic and my favorite item at the Great MN Get Together! So simple and easy, maybe not good for you but really good to eat!


  • 1 bag of tots

  • 1 large can of cream of chicken or cream of celery

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 yellow onion diced

  • 1-2 cups corn depending on your liking

  • 1 cup of shredded cheese


  1. In Large fry pan, brown ground beef with diced onion and season to your liking. (I use Lowrys, garlic salt, and pepper)

  2. Add corn and cream of chicken soup. Mix together and place in 9x13 baking dish.

  3. Top with tots and cook for 40-50 minutes at 375, or until golden brown.

  4. Take out and top with cheese, cook until melted. Enjoy!

3-Ingredient Strawberry Jam

A couple weeks ago we went strawberry picking up the road from our house at Berry Hill Farm; in Anoka, Minnesota. This was our second year going and the boys had blast! Strawberry picking is at its best middle of June to the beginning of July, so not a very long season at all. At this farm its $2.50/pound plus all the great memories you make and fun you having picking your OWN berries! 

We picked about 10pounds of berries this year, the boys probably ate a pound while we were there! I decided before we went that I wanted to make some homemade jam, but I didn't have any pectin. Thanks to Pinterest I found a recipe that I modified a bit and Oliver and I started making our jam. This recipe is super easy and fairly quick, but I did choose to seal my jars, like you do when you can, simply because I wanted the shelf life to last longer. 

With sealing your jars, your jam should last up to one year on the shelf. The process is very simple, place in large boiling water pot (jars should be completely covered) let boil for 10 minutes. You should here the tops make a "popping sound" or sealing, meaning it has done its job! If you choose not to seal your jars, your jam will last in the fridge for about a month, but always be sure to smell/taste test it before you enjoy! 

INGREDIENTS: Makes about 1 to 1.5 jars

  • 3-4 cups strawberries, depending on the size of your berries (washed and hulled)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice (fresh or concentrate)


  1. Wash and hull strawberries. Add to large container and mash until desired consistency. 
  2. Add lemon juice and sugar, stir. 
  3. Place in pan and bring to boil, then continue cooking on low/medium until it starts to thicken. (There will be a light pink foam that forms on top, this is when I turned the heat off)
  4. Using a ladle, place jam in jar, cap with lid.
  5. At this point you can either seal them by boiling (see above) or let sit at room temperature before placing in refrigerator.  
  6. Enjoy!

Thank you Pink Blush Maternity for partnering with me on this post and providing us with these adorable outfits! You can shop our looks by clicking the images below. My outfit (shorts and tank top) are all from pink blush, super comfortable and the top is nursing friendly! Oliver's white shirt can be paired with any type of bottom and for any occasion, making it the perfect closet staple! Attikus's romper was an adorable pattern, soft/high quality material, and perfect for these hot summer months! Hope you enjoyed today's post!

xoxo Mari 


Recipe credit goes to my Mother in Law! It's the perfect dish to use up that leftover turkey, as it's savory, cheesy, and soo yummy! Sorry no pics, it got eaten before I could take any!


  • 3 cups turkey shredded (perfect leftover thanksgiving turkey)
  • 3 cups cubed french bread
  • 8oz shredded or cubed havarti cheese
  • 1 TBsp flour
  • 1 TBsp dijon mustard
  • 3 TBsp melted butter
  • 4 large eggs beaten
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 
  • red pepper flakes or hot sauce (optional for extra kick)



  1. Preheat oven to 350 
  2. Butter a 2 quart casserole dish
  3. In a large bowl combine turkey, bread and cheese
  4. In separate bowl, combine flour, mustard, melted butter, eggs, salt and pepper (red pepper flakes or hot sauce at this time) whisk all together 
  5. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and let sit for 5 minutes
  6. Pour into casserole dish and bake for 50-60 minutes or until puffed or golden brown. 


SOUP: Chicken Wild Rice


  • 2 chicken breast (cooked and shredded) I chose to boil mine on the stovetop in chicken broth
  • 1 cup wild rice (cooked per package instructions)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots 
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 stick of butter 
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 48oz jug of chicken stock
  • 1 TBsp of poultry magic (comes in glass jar with green lid)
  • 1 pint of half/half
  • 2 TBsp sherry wine
  • whole milk (optional)
  • salt/pepper to taste


  1. BE PREPARED! The wild rice takes 60 minutes to cook. Once done, set aside. 
  2. In the mean time cook chicken, shred and set aside. 
  3. Then in large pot, melt 2 TBsp butter with chopped carrots, celery, red pepper and onions until veggies become tender. 
  4. In small saucepan melt remainder of butter (6 TBsp) then add flour and stir. This should be clumpy and thick. Gradually add the broth, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil and starts to thicken.
  5. Once at your desired thickness, add to large pot of veggies. Then add cooked rice and chicken to large pot and stir all together. 
  6. Add sherry wine and half/half, TBsp of poultry magic and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let simmer for about 10-20 minutes. (Can add whole milk to make soup thinner if you like)
  7. Enjoy with saltines or crackers of your liking! 

COOKIES: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

CALLING ALL POTBELLY COOKIE LOVERS! I'm pretty sure I've about perfected this copycat recipe for the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and they are amazing! 



  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1.5 cups oats
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350. (Although I set mine to 300 because our oven is very powerful!)
  2. In large mixer, combine sugars, eggs, softened butter, and vanilla until smooth.
  3. In separate bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda and oats. 
  4. Add dry ingredients a little at a time to the wet ingredients. 
  5. Mix in chocolate chips. 
  6. On cookie pan place large balls (3 inches) of cookie dough, cook for about 8-12 minutes depending on your oven or until outer edges are golden brown. 
  7. Let stand until cool, middle of cookie should look a bit doughy!

SOUP: Beef Stew


This recipe was originally from my mom's brother and has been a family tradition of serving it on Halloween. It's delicious, warm and fills the belly. Great left over, Enjoy!


  • 1lb beef stew meat
  • 1 large jug of tomato juice
  • 1 large can tomato soup
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bag of carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 stalk celery, chopped 
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed
  • 1-2 cups water or chicken/beef broth
  • 5 beef cubes
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic salt
  • 1 box small shells 


  1. In Dutch oven cook stew meat with salt/pepper and garlic salt. Add worcestershire sauce and allow meat to brown. 
  2. Add tomato juice and tomato soup and beef cubes. 
  3. Add chopped onion, bay leaves, and celery seed. Cover and let simmer for 3 hours. (The longer you cook it though, the tender the meat)
  4. Add chopped carrots and celery, water or broth until your desired consistency 1 hour before serving. 
  5. Cook noodles, set aside. 
  6. Serve in a bowl of noodles with soup on top. 

Fajitas: Chicken & Peppers

Note: This original recipe is From the Pioneer Woman HERE


  • Costco bag of red/yellow/orange peppers sliced
  • 2-3 large yellow onions
  • 2-3 large chicken breast
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • couple sprinkles of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar


  1. Slice peppers and onions and place in large zip lock baggie
  2. Thaw chicken breast and put in separate large zip lock baggie 
  3. Add olive oil, worcestershire, garlic, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, sugars to each bag. (Yes, each amount in each separate bag) 
  4. I let marinate anywhere between 2-6 hours, depending on when I get time to prep
  5. You can either throw it all on the grill with the veggies in tin foil, or on the stove top in a two separate fry pans, or my favorite way to cook it is in the oven baked. My oven is a double oven so I bake my chicken at 400 and I roast my veggies in a 9x13 pan at 350, stirring occasionally. 
  6. Cook to the desired doneness, we like our veggies limp lol and the chicken just at 165. 
  7. Serve on tortillas (guerrero brand is our favorite) with sour cream, cheese, avocado, cilantro or they really are just good plain!



PASTA: Cajun Chicken Penne


  • 1 box penne noodles
  • 1 pint heavy whip
  • 2 chicken breast cooked (I like mine either grilled or baked)
  • 1 stick butter 
  • 1/2 bottle of poultry magic cajun seasoning (find at local grocery stores)
  • broccoli florets
  • mushrooms
  • 5 blend italian shredded cheese


  1. Bring water to a boil and cook penne pasta, set aside.
  2. Cook chicken with salt and pepper either on grill or in oven.
  3. Cut broccoli florets and steam cook in microwave, drain, set aside.
  4. Wash mushrooms and steam cook in microwave, set aside. 
  5. Melt stick of butter in large pot pan, careful not to burn.
  6. Add 1/2 bottle of cajun seasoning to butter, stirring until it becomes paste like. 
  7. Slowly add pint of heavy whip to pan, constantly stirring to make a sauce. 
  8. Add noodles, cooked mushrooms, broccoli and chicken. Stir all together. 
  9. Top with a handful of cheese. 

Serve with french bread and salad! Makes about 6 servings. 

*I have to give the credit to my MIL for this recipe. If you like creamy pasta with a savory cajun twist this stuff is the BOMB, it won't disaapoint! Also NOTE I'm not a photographer so my pictures are not always the best lol 

Apple PIE

I'm not a pie goer. Actually I don't even really like pie, but my great grandma made an apple pie a few weeks back and it was SOO GOOD! This is pretty much her recipe (she basically told me she just puts these ingredients in it) and her trick is to place the butter and brown sugar on top to make it extra yummy. Enjoy!


  • Store bought Pie crust
  • 6 apples, peeled and cored
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
  • 4-5 thin slices of butter (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Place bottom of pie crust in un-greased pie pan, pressing dough along the side
  3. Peel and core apples, slice and place in bowl
  4. Add lemon juice, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar. Mix together and place inside dough. 
  5. Place thin slices of butter on top, sprinkle brown sugar on top and put top of pie dough over it, pressing the edges together. 
  6. Bake for about 40 minutes. Cover edges of pie with tin foil for first half to prevent burning.