From Pucks to Potlucks: Hockey Moms Stick Together

Hockey moms Julie Pederson and Kathy Lesnar talk about recipes for potlucks

It’s hockey season and I live in Minnesota, the State of Hockey. That means a lot of team meals and potlucks.

Even though my kids played hockey in South Dakota where’s it’s not school-sanctioned, there’s one thing we have in common across the sport—once a hockey mom, always a hockey mom, even after our kids have shot their last puck in high school.

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hockey fans

We may not wear our player’s photo button on our puffy winter coats anymore, but we’ll always proudly wear the “hockey mom” title. 

hockey moms
Kathy Lesnar and Julie Pederson

It’s been a few years since my guests, Kathy Lesnar and Julie Pederson and I screamed from the bleachers together. I thought it would be fun to swap a few stories and share the recipes that our hockey players loved at team breakfasts and potluck dinners.

Like caramel rolls, biscuits and gravy, crockpot spaghetti at the hotel, egg bake, pancakes and butterscotch muffins. Of course, it wouldn’t be the Midwest if we didn’t include Casey’s breakfast pizza on that menu. 

Listen to Funeral Potatoes & Wool Mittens Season 2 Episode 14, on all major podcast platforms and on YouTube.

From hotel hallway knee hockey, parent bonding over beer in the lobby, and driving to games in blizzards, lifelong friendships were formed on and off the ice—among players, parents, even grandparents.

hockey team by bus

Recipes for Team Meals and Potlucks

It seems like every family, not matter the sport, has their favorite go-to recipe for team meals and potlucks.

What’s a good slow cooker for transporting hot food to a potluck or team breakfast? My sister Kalli and my stepmom Margaret use the Presto Traveling Slow Cooker. (affiliate link)

In this episode, we talked about the Wednesday morning breakfasts that the parents served to the boys varsity and JV teams at the rink. It was right after their 6 a.m. practice, before they headed off to school.

Kathy would triple or quadruple her recipe for caramel rolls made from frozen bread dough. The recipe is from a Sioux Valley Hospital (now Sanford) NICU community cookbook.

The hungry hockey players loved when Kathy and Julie served biscuits and gravy. They’d use Pillsbury Grand Flaky Biscuits, Heinz Homestlye Country-Style Sausage Gravy, and add Jimmy Dean Hot Sausage.

And if you really want to win the hearts of hockey players, follow Julie’s reputation for the mom who brings 2% chocolate milk and Casey’s breakfast pizzas. We LOVE Casey’s breakfast pizza in the Midwest!

On my team breakfast menu was hash brown and sausage egg bake, and butterscotch muffins. I shared those recipes below, along with my butterscotch monkey bread that we talked about.

Even more fun, my son, Sajen, brought up some of these meals in his podcast episode. Check out Season 1, Episode 11 below.

At a team dinner at the Bouchard’s, Michelle (Luc’s mom) made Alfredo pasta for a team potluck. It was very tasty and my son Sajen asked me to get the recipe. I did. It’s a jar of Prego Homestyle Alfredo.

boys hockey team at a potluck

Even though I have my sister’s delicious Alfredo recipe, to this day, I stock the Prego sauce in my pantry. Because it’s unrealistic to think we have time to make everything homemade all the time.

Sleepover Breakfast Recipes

As if they didn’t get enough of each other on the ice and in the locker room, when our boys were young, they often had teammate sleepovers.

Kathy shared a beloved pancake recipe from her husband’s grandpa.

One year, for Sajen’s birthday sleepover, I made cake batter pancakes. It takes a lot of sugar to recuperate after an all-night knee hockey tournament.

Hockey Families Stick Together

Between the three of us, we had seven hockey players in our families. Seven! Nine, if you count the one season each that Julie’s daughter, Colleen, and Kathy’s daughter, Grace, played. There’s no way you can spend that much time together and not become friends.

Sajen Perry (6), Austin Lesnar (22), Sean Sullivan (13)

Julie’s sons Joseph and Sean.

Joseph and Sean Sullivan
Sean Sullivan with Kathy Lesnar

Kathy’s sons Logan, Hunter and Austin.

From Kathy: This is so special to me. State hockey just after Tristan passed away.  Austin brought Tristan’s helmet to the bench each game during that state tournament.  TK31 forever. Tristan was a big part of our family and Austin did this on his own.
The game our goalie was hurt and Hunter called Kyle and borrowed Tristan’s old Ranger goalie equipment. Stepped in and played goalie against Pierre.  Big brother there to protect him in the net.
Austin Lesnar, from one uniform to another
Hunter Lesnar, from one helmet to another

The Lesnar family has a long, long history of serving in the United States Military. Thank you for your service and may God continue watching over your soldiers.

In addition to the three boys, their daughter, Grace, played hockey for one season.

My son, Sajen, and my daughter, Kalani.

Whatever sport or team your kids are, or were, involved in, I think you’ll be able to relate to our amusing and heartwarming recollection of our time as Brookings Ranger Hockey Moms. Not to mention, the recipes are good for all the potlucks you’re cooking for.

Good luck to you all this hockey season!

Sweet wishes,


Butterscotch Monkey Bread

Staci at Random Sweets
The addition of butterscotch pudding sets this monkey bread apart.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 10
Calories 551 kcal


  • 1 Bundt pan


  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1½ sticks
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 3.5 oz cook and serve butterscotch pudding mix, NOT instant pudding mix
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 30 oz refrigerated biscuit dough, 4 (7.5oz) tubes


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease Bundt pan.
  • In a medium bowl stir together dry pudding mix, sugar and cinnamon.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar together. Whisk until bubbly.
  • With kitchen scissors, cut each biscuit into four pieces, letting them drop directly into pudding mixture. Toss pieces around to coat fully and drop into Bundt pan. When half of the biscuits are in the Bundt pan, drizzle a few tablespoons of the caramel mixture onto the coated biscuit pieces.
  • Finish cutting and coating all the biscuits and adding to the Bundt pan. Evenly pour the caramel mixture over the pieces.
  • Bake 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit 10 minutes. Invert pan onto a large baking sheet and lift Bundt pan off.


Calories: 551kcalCarbohydrates: 72gProtein: 5gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 871mgPotassium: 220mgFiber: 1gSugar: 32gVitamin A: 423IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Bundt, butterscotch, caramel, pudding mix

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

Ham and Cheddar Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole

Staci at Random Sweets
Make two pans for a team breakfast.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 191 kcal


  • 12 oz breakfast sausage links
  • 4 oz diced fully cooked ham
  • 9 eggs, large
  • 3 cups milk, whole or 2%
  • teaspoons dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt, optional
  • 1 tablespoon onion flakes, optional
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
  • 30 oz frozen hash brown potatoes
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, reserve ½ cup for topping


  • Using kitchen scissors or sharp knife, cut sausage links into bite-size pieces. Cook over medium-low heat until fully cooked. Drain grease.
  • Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter or grease 9×13 pan.
  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs until well beaten. Whisk in milk, dry mustard, pepper, and optional garlic salt, onion flakes, and liquid smoke.
  • Stir in 1½ cups shredded cheese, sausage, ham, and hash browns.
  • Pour into baking pan. Top with ½ cup shredded cheddar. Cover with foil. Let sit overnight in refrigerator, or bake right away. (If refrigerating overnight, remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking.)
  • Bake at 350°F for 70-85 minutes, REMOVE FOIL AFTER THE FIRST 40 MINUTES of baking. Dish is done when the center is set. Remove from oven. Let rest 10 minutes. Slice and serve. Refrigerate leftovers.


If you double the recipe and bake two 9×13 pans at once, it may take longer than 85 minutes for them to bake fully. They may take about two hours. You can use any mixture of meats and/or vegetables you like. Bacon, ground sausage, broccoli, mushrooms, etc., to equal about 3 cups of filling.


Calories: 191kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 11gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 366mgPotassium: 260mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 293IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 143mgIron: 1mg
Keyword breakfast, breakfast bake, casserole, hash browns

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

Butterscotch Muffins

Staci at Random Sweets
A hockey player's favorite, these butterscotch muffins will make you jump out of bed in the morning.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 18 muffins
Calories 241 kcal


  • muffin pan


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 3.4 ounce package instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 1 3.4 ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 18 muffin cups or line muffin pan with cupcake papers.
  • In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, instant butterscotch pudding mix, instant vanilla pudding mix, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, water, and pure vanilla extract.
  • Gently stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture just until combined with some flecks of flour still visible.
  • Scoop muffin batter into cups about 2/3 full.
  • Stir together the brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon. Spoon the topping onto each muffin cup, lightly pressing down with the spoon, just enough for the topping to slightly stick to the batter.
  • Bake at 350°F 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Store in airtight container up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months.


Calories: 241kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 3gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 194mgPotassium: 53mgFiber: 1gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 55IUVitamin C: 0.04mgCalcium: 45mgIron: 1mg
Keyword brunch, butterscotch, cinnamon, muffins, pudding mix

All text and images © Staci Mergenthal • Random Sweets

Tried this recipe?Mention @RandomSweets and tag #OurSweetMidwestLife

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