New York Needs Hotdish.

So basically, I’ve been having a pretty good time out here in the big apple. It’s a pretty cool city! I gotta say though, I’m having a heck of a time getting around. I usually don’t feel this small. I’m from farm country, and I can usually see right past the tallest buildings that we’ve got. Here’s a totally different story!

Anyway, I was wandering around and doing some touristy things like buying a postcard for my mom and trying to see if I could get in to go see Hamilton (it turns out that show’s harder to get into than Harvard) and just generally wandering around. And wouldn’t you know it, I got all kinds of turned around. Now, like I said, I’m used to just being able to see where I need to go without so much as having to stand on my tippy toes, but I was straight up LOST.

I tried to check out my phone’s map, but my fingers are a bit too big to really use that thing well, and I honestly am a bit clueless when it comes to technology. So I just picked a direction and started walking, because I figured that I’d run into something I’d recognize eventually. It’s not like I can just hail a cab.

Eventually I found where I needed to be but boy was I pooped! I must have walked six miles. Then it hit me: this is why New Yorkers always seem to be so thin. They walk EVERYWHERE. And it’s not just an amble, either. No, they were passing me like crazy. They have their walking shoes in high gear.

Now, in Minnesota, when we’ve got a lot of stuff to do, we like to fuel up with some good old fashioned hotdish. It’s delicious, it keeps you warm, it sticks to your ribs, and it gives you all the pep you need to finish the job at hand.

I figured, since it can get pretty cold in New York, and since people are walking everywhere all the time, they’re gonna need a heaping helping of hotdish. All that pizza can’t be too good for you, so it can’t be too bad to change things up once in a while. And best of all, you can make it with stuff you can find at a bodega, and you don’t need a big kitchen to prepare it. It’s perfect for New York!

Also, hotdish is so easy to play around with that it fits perfectly with all the different cultures that live here. You can just change the recipe a little bit in all kinds of different ways. Change the meat, change the topping, change the veggies, do whatever you like. It’s still gonna be a hotdish, and it’s still gonna be good. I feel like that might be a good metaphor for New York.

Ho ho ho,


That’s a spoonful of heaven, right there. (image:

Tater Tot Hotdish


1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onions (1 1/2 medium)
1/2 cup chopped celery (1 medium stalk)
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup Green Giant™ Steamers™ frozen cut green beans, thawed
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 bag (16 oz) frozen tater tots (4 cups)


  1. Heat oven to 375°F. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef, onions and celery over medium heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.
  2. Stir in both soups, the green beans, garlic powder and pepper; spoon into ungreased 2-quart casserole dish. Top with tater tots. (If you want to throw some shredded cheddar on there, too, it wouldn’t be a bad idea.)
  3. Bake uncovered 40 to 50 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and tater tots are golden brown.

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