Social media sensation That Midwestern Mom boasts about beans in her videos

Amber Estenson, That Midwestern Mom, will promote beans for Northarvest Bean Growers Association via TikTok, Instagram and Facebook.

A woman wearing a green dress holds  a plate of hotdish.
Amber Estenson, That Midwestern Mom, made videos of edible bean recipes for Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
Contributed / Northarvest Bean Growers Association

That Midwestern Mom, yes, the Minnesota salad lady, aka Amber Estenson, aims to use her social media platforms to tout edible beans.

Estenson will promote beans for Northarvest Bean Growers Association via TikTok , Instagram and Facebook . The Frazee, Minnesota, woman has a total of nearly 1.2 million followers from across the globe.

Estenson produced three videos of making Northarvest Bean Growers recipes, which were scheduled to start posting to social media after Easter. The recipes for Great Northern Berry Bean Smoothie , Bean and Cheese Breakfast Casserole, and Fudgy Black Bean Brownies are available at and on the Northarvest Bean Growers website.

A former opera singer and elementary school music teacher, Estenson became a social media sensation two years ago on St. Patrick’s Day when she posted a video about making a green pistachio salad called Watergate.

Her tongue-in-cheek demonstration of how to make the salad, which contains a can of chunk pineapples, pistachio pudding mix, pistachios marshmallow and whipped toppings, garnered her thousands of followers.


“The internet went crazy over my cooking and affected accent and Minnesota passive-aggressive humor, playing off stereotypes,” Estenson said. The humor is evident in the video where she bashes the pistachios with a rolling pin to break them into small pieces, instead of chopping them with a knife or food chopper.

During the past two years since posting the Watergate salad video, Esteson has continued to gain followers with recipes for her signature Minnesota salads such as cookie, Snickers and lime gelatin salad with cottage cheese. Estenson has perfected making the recipes with a flair, flaunting coiffed hair, her signature “crazy eyes” look and dressed in stereotypical mom dresses accented with a pearl necklace.

“I just kind of became that character mom that everybody likes to listen to — somebody warm and welcoming,” Estenson said.

The edible bean recipe videos, each under three minutes in length, feature Estenson showing how to make the recipes. She gives information about beans and sprinkles in a little humor to the videos, which will be available on her TikTok, Facebook and Instagram platforms.

Estenson is glad to promote beans grown by Minnesota and North Dakota farmers, she said. She lives in a small town in Minnesota and has many relatives who still live near Jamestown, North Dakota, where her mother Janet (Wilkes) Estenson grew up. Janet Estenson, now a hair stylist in Frazee, is originally from Dickey, North Dakota, where her parents had a dairy farm.

Working with Northarvest Bean Growers Association to promote its product is a great fit for That Midwestern Mom, Estenson said. Spreading the good news about the Midwest, its residents and the communities in which they live is one of her goals, she said.

Estenson has the qualifications and popularity that will resonate with potential users of Northarvest Bean Growers Association recipes, said Jed Brazier, the association’s marketing and communications director.

“Obviously, she is popular online, has a good following and is right in our backyard,” Brazier said. Meanwhile, Estenson’s recipe videos are fun to watch.


“She does so many recipes people seem to get a kick out of,” he said.

Ann is a journalism veteran with nearly 40 years of reporting and editing experiences on a variety of topics including agriculture and business. Story ideas or questions can be sent to Ann by email at: or phone at: 218-779-8093.
What To Read Next
Get Local