With the warm weather this spring, a great way to have some fun with your family is to make homemade ice cream together. This activity can be done at any age, but it’s also a little messy, so the best place to do it is outside.
For this activity you’ll need gallon zip lock bags and quart zip lock bags. First, put the ice cream mixture in a smaller, quart sized bag and ice and salt in a larger, gallon sized bag (double bagging is a great way to keep these from leaking). For different ice cream mix recipes, click here. Next, place the quart-sized bag inside the gallon bag filled with ice and salt. When you’re placing the smaller bag in the larger one, be careful to make sure that the smaller bag is properly sealed to prevent getting ice and salt into the smaller bag. Now here’s the fun part: once the smaller ice mix bag is inside the larger ice and salt bag, shake it for ten to fifteen minutes, and watch as the mix turns into ice cream right before your eyes! This is a great activity for kids to see science at its best and parents to spend some quality time with them.
—Rachel Harris, Stance
With this unusually warm weather, spending time outside is a great way to spend time with your family. Eating together means being together—when people share a meal, they get a chance to relax and converse.
Exchange Park, Provo
Provo and Orem have lots of great parks to choose from when looking for a place to picnic with the family. Provo alone has at least 20 different parks to choose from.
Nielson’s Grove Park, Orem
Many of these parks offer facilities so you can play different sports. There are volleyball courts, baseball/softball fields, and disc golf fields, just to name a few. After eating together, continue the family fun by bringing your old baseball glove or volleyball net.
Click here to see a listing of all the parks in Provo and their different features. For a listing and map of Orem parks, click here.
—Rachel Harris, Stance
These bran muffins are the easiest breakfast-on-the-go! They are so delicious and so filling, and don’t even need anything to go with them (although they are delicious with butter or jam).
The best part? The batter literally lasts 30 days in the refrigerator so you can have delicious muffins all month! But let’s be honest, you’ll eat them way quicker than that.
3 cups sugar (minus 1 TBS per cup…don’t ask why)
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1 quart buttermilk
5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons baking soda
6 cups Kellogg’s All-Bran (long sticks)
2 cups boiling water
Mix together 2 cups of the All-Bran with 2 cups boiling water. Let cool.
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, and buttermilk. In a separate bowl, stir flour, salt, and baking soda together. Then add dry mixture to the large bowl with the wet mixture; stir together.
Add the remaining 4 cups of All-Bran to the large bowl, add the cooled All-Bran and water combination to the large bowl and stir until ingredients are just blended. Grease muffin pan and fill.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15-27 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the muffin comes out clean.
Remaining batter may be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 30 days!
Yield: 4 dozen muffins.
—Morgan Lewis, Stance
Psst. Let me let you in on a little secret. Below, you’ll find my very very very favorite lasagna recipe in the whole wide world. It has a classic taste, and the best part? It’s deliciously easy and practically no-fail. AND, you don’t even have to cook the noodles ahead of time. Perfect for those busy days with no time (or desire) to slave over the stove.
Fill your grocery cart with:
15 oz ricotta cheese
shredded mozzarella cheese
1 lb ground beef (or more if you like it really meaty)
2 jars spaghetti sauce
1 package oven ready lasagna noodles
The easy peasy instructions:
- Cook up your ground beef until brown.
- Drain the grease and add the two jars of spaghetti sauce to the meat.
- Take out your trusty crockpot.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the egg, about a cup of the mozzarella cheese, and the ricotta cheese.
- Scoop a layer of the meat and sauce mixture into the bottom of the crock pot.
- Cover with a layer of the oven ready noodles. Break them as needed to fit and cover the entire meat mixture.
- Top the noodles with a layer of the cheese mixture.
- Cover the cheese mixture with noodles.
- Repeat until all ingredients are gone. You should end with a layer of meat sauce.
- Then, top with as much or as little mozzarella cheese as you’d like.
- Set your little magic machine on high and cover with the lid. Go watch a movie/take a nap/go for a walk/do some laundry/cross whatever you have off of your to-do list, and when you come back three hours later, your lasagna will smell and taste heavenly. Serve immediately.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
—Courtney Johansson, Stance
In a little more than a week, it’s St. Valentine’s Day. 😉
Okay, so I’m sorry for the reminder. I think this holiday is a little overrated. But here are some not terrible ideas to celebrate this holiday with a little more style
- Coffee Filters. So you don’t drink coffee? You don’t have to in order to make this decor. This wreath is so pretty and simple to make.
- Burlap Banner. Burlap. String. Hearts. Banner—ready to hang.
- Hearts-on-a-Stick. So the look is much prettier than the sound of it. But add some nature to your sweet space! Hot glue some sparkly (or non-sparkly, whatever you prefer) hearts onto the twigs.
- Umbrella Love. Tired of the cliché wreath hanging outside your door? Take some ol’ umbrella. Add a bow. Add some fake flowers. You’re ready to go!
- Mason Jars. This craft is hipster-approved. Place a heart on a doily, and then tie it around a jar with some string or ribbon.
- String Heart. Probably a little more time intensive. But the result is darling.
- Free Printables. Feeling lazy? Just print out some printables. Free ones, of course!
- Wall of Hearts. Forget about Jar of Hearts! Try some easy 3D hearts on your walls.
- Chain of Hearts. Making chains is no longer reserved only for Christmas. Get out your construction paper, and cut them into stripes. Then fold and staple. Done deal.
- Eraser Art. Although the picture below shows this project on a canvas bag, it would be easy to make this decor for a picture or something else cute! 🙂 Grab an old No. 2 pencil, and start stamping.
See pictures of these ideas below. <3
—Katie, Editor-in-Chief Stance: Studies on the Family
With one month almost gone by in the New Year, my resolution to not eat chocolate every day is slipping.
That’s right, I am used to eating chocolate every day (my husband says I am a chocoholic). My resolution was made in an effort to feel healthier and not spend so much money buying sugar and cake mixes.
So what’s a chocoholic like me to do when those cravings start raging? Make some flourless chocolate muffins! I found this little recipe on Pinterest and it originally was posted on mywholefoodlife.com.
At first, I was skeptical of a four-ingredient recipe that was supposed to be “healthy” and taste good. But then I made them, and one bite transported me from skepticism to chocolatey peanut butter heaven (a chocoholic’s happy place). Those cravings were satisfied, and I have a guilt free snack I can eat every other day.
- Pre-heat oven to 350.
- In a food processor combine all ingredients. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times.
- Once everything is mixed well, spoon batter into lined muffin cups. I used silicone molds. The batter will be VERY sticky. I found wetting a spoon kept it from sticking.
- I topped a few of mine with chocolate chips. Feel free to do the same.
- Place muffin pan in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.
- Wait until these are completely cooled before removing from the pan.
*Note: I also added a handful of chocolate chips after combining the ingredients in the food processor.
It is January. The glitter from New Year’s has faded, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is quickly becoming a memory, and all we have to look forward to is THE GRIND. Trust me, I feel the January blues. My way to counteract them is with a treat so sweet and summery, you can’t help but feel better after eating them.
Enter: The Lemon Brownies.
The name is somewhat of a oxymoron, so I prefer the name “lemonies”. Call them what you will, this recipe is a winter-winner.
NOTE: I originally got this recipe from another site that is now out of business. This site has the same recipe, but attributes it to this source. Picture from this source.
For the Brownie
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3⁄4 cup flour
- 2 eggs, large
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
For the tart lemon glaze
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 8 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1cup icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish with butter and set aside.
- Zest and juice two lemons and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour, sugar, salt, and softened butter until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice until combined.
- Pour it into the flour mixture and beat for 2 mins at medium speed until smooth and creamy.
- Pour into baking dish and bake for 23-25 mins, should turn golden around the edges.
- Allow to cool completely before glazing. Do not overbake, or the bars will dry.
- Filter the powdered sugar and whisk with lemon zest and juice.
- Spread the glaze over the brownies with a rubber spatula and let glaze set.
- Cut into bars and serve.
-Sam Lund, Social Media Director
I need to share a few wonderful things with you all today. First is this video. It is How the Grinch Stole Christmas in American Sign Language, and you cannot tell me that this little girl isn’t the most adorable thing or that you don’t feel the Christmas spirit after watching it. Don’t even try.
The second and third wonderful things on my list are two easy-peasy recipes that you can use for your ugly Christmas sweater party, your white elephant gift exchange, or just for you, because you got your Christmas shopping done in August (go you). They are Nutella hot chocolate and frozen whipped cream. Trust me, they are so dang easy that you will wonder why you don’t do this every year!
Nutella Hot Chocolate
Recipe from here.
In a 1 – 1 1/2 quart crock pot add 1 cup of the milk and the Nutella. Whisk together until the Nutella is completely dissolved and incorporated.
Add the remainder of the milk and whisk to inocorporate it well. When it’s well incorporated the milk will be all frothy on top.
Place the lid on and turn the crock to low. Let heat completely through for 1 – 2 hours (mine took about an hour and a half).
Whisk one last time before serving to make sure everyone gets an equal amount of that great Nutella flavor. Serve topped with your favorite whipped topping or marshmallows.
Frozen Whipped Cream
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pour cold whipping cream into bowl of mixer. Using whisk attachment whisk, on medium speed, whip until it begins to thicken and you see soft peaks form. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla, continue mixing until well incorporated.
Take your whipped cream and spoon individual servings onto parchment lined baking sheet (I used my frosting tip/bag because they were already full of cream). Place in freezer for 2-3 hours or until completely frozen. Move to airtight container and store in freezer.
Merry Christmas, all!
By Sam Lund
Here’s a fun holiday treat that the whole family can help make! These delicious homemade marshmallows will melt in your mouth, but the best part is choosing your favorite toppings to roll them in. Crushed graham crackers, toasted coconut, and cinnamon sugar are some tasty options, but you can use whatever you like! Try crushed candy canes for a festive holiday twist.
Recipe courtesy of Analaine’s Home Cooking.
3 packages Knox gelatin
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups white Karo
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix the gelatin with 1/3 cup water in a small bowl, then add 1/3 cup boiling water. Mix well. Put 1/3 cup water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Add 2 cups sugar, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil. Then add 1 1/2 cups Karo and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Mix well, then pour into large mixing bowl. Stir in the gelatin mixture and blend together. Let it sit until lukewarm.
Mix on low speed to begin with, add vanilla and beat on high until peaks form and it will hold its shape. Grease a large cookie sheet and spread the marshmallow mixture onto the cookie sheet with a rubber spatula. Let the marshmallows cool in the refrigerator for about an hour. Cut the marshmallows into squares (this is easier if you use a knife dipped in water) and roll in your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
Contributed by Melissa Gee