Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Category: Food & Culture (page 5 of 5)

Walking Apples

by Jenna Hoffman

Photo Credit: kPluto via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: kPluto via Compfight cc


Walking apples are quick, easy, and healthy(ish)! And they are perfect for enjoying on the go. What more can you ask for? I’ve been eating them since I was a child, and no matter who I share them with, they never fail to please.

1 apple (gala and fuji work the best)
peanut butter
chocolate chips

Using a sharp knife, cut out the center of the apple to make a bowl. Make sure to remove all the seeds, but leave at least a centimeter of apple at the bottom. Spread peanut butter inside the apple, then add the other ingredients as desired. Voila! Now you’re free to hurry out the door—this isn’t called a “walking apple” for nothing.



Photo Credit: SaijaLehto via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: SaijaLehto via Compfight cc

by Lauren Atkinson

Recipe by Sterling Gray in the Mecham Family Recipe Book.

If the thought of using real live yeast makes you cringe, overwhelms your meager baking abilities, or fills you with apathy, you’re not alone. And you’re not out of luck! I recently happened upon this recipe for delicious, flaky, white, homemade breadsticks. It requires only the ingredients you’ve already got in stock, and takes minimal food-handling skills. Now there’s no need to fret over yeast rising and growing and molding. Following the instructions below, even amateurs can whip up impressive and irresistible breadsticks. Plus, these breadsticks are conducive to creativity. Add some more flavor by sprinkling toppings like cheese, garlic salt, cinnamon and sugar (think churros!), or chocolate chips. Note that, like most treats, these breadsticks are best made in a double or triple batch and shared with friends, roommates, and potential love interests.

1/2 c. butter
2 1/2 c. flour
4 tsp. sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups milk

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
2. Put butter into a 9×13 pan and melt it in the oven.
3. Mix the dry ingredients first.
4. Add the milk. Mix well.
5. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 9×13 rectangle. Cut it into strips. Twist the strips if desired.
6. Place the strips of dough in the buttered pan. Once they are all placed, turn them over to get butter on both sides.
7. Bake for about 20 minutes.
8. Get creative with toppings (add them on with 2 minutes to go for maximum melting).

Chocolate Cake

Photo Credit: 427 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: 427 via Compfight cc

Fife’s Fabulous Fantasy Chocolate Cake

by Alissa Holm

Today, I am opening up the vault of my favorite recipes and sharing my absolute favorite dessert recipe. When I had this chocolate cake for the first time, I didn’t know it was possible to make a cake that was so heavenly, rich, and delicious. When I found out how easy it was to make, still couldn’t believe it. Basically all you need is a chocolate cake mix, chocolate pudding, sour cream (for moistness) and chocolate chips, and you already have the cake of your dreams. Try making this cake for your friend’s birthday, and you’ll be the talk of the party!


1 box milk-chocolate cake mix

1 lg box instant chocolate pudding

1/2 c. oil

1/2 c. warm water

1 c. sour cream

2 c. choc chips

Mix all ingredients (it will be thick). Bake at 350 degrees for 50 min. (bundt pan) or 35 min. (cake pan).


3/4 c. choc chips

3 T. butter

1 T. corn syrup

1/4 tsp. vanilla

Powdered sugar

Melt frosting ingredients together, drizzle on cake while warm. When frosting cools, sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

Bow Tie Pasta Salad

by Aimee Hancock

My mom takes this to family gatherings and always gets a lot of compliments. And, I have even made it at college because it’s quick, easy, and yummy.


1 lb. bow tie pasta (equivalent to one box of Barilla bow tie pasta)

1 bag of baby spinach

Breaded chicken (about four pieces) cut into small chunks

Crispy oriental noodles

Poppy seed dressing

1 small package of candied slivered almonds

2 tbsp butter

1­–2 tbsp sugar


In a fry pan, melt the butter and add the sugar. Then put in the almonds. Mix. Toast on medium heat and continue to stir every so often until almonds are brown.

Toss all ingredients into a large bowl, add desired amount of poppy seed dressing, and enjoy!

This can be used for a quick meal or a delicious side dish.


Tortilla Soup

by Rachel Nielsen

This tortilla soup is a Nielsen family favorite. 15 minutes to a delicious meal—it doesn’t get any better than that.




1 box chicken broth

1 can cooked chicken

1 can black beans

1 can corn

1 large tomato

1 avocado

1/2 cup salsa

1/4 cup green onions

3–4 T. taco seasoning


Tortilla chips

Grated cheese

Sour Cream





Throw all of the soup ingredients into a big pot and heat it over the stove until it comes to a boil. Dish the soup into bowls and let everyone add their favorite toppings.

The best part about this meal is that you can change the recipe depending on what you have. Last week I had only broth, black beans, corn, chicken, tomatos, taco seasoning, and cheese to top it off—and it was still delicious.

Happy cooking!

Valentine’s Day Treat: Raspberry-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

by Danielle Cronquist

For this lovely week of love, I thought it would be best to share a special Valentine’s Day treat. Even though these raspberry-filled chocolate cupcakes with raspberry buttercream frosting take a little extra time to make, they are divine.


I started by baking the cupcakes far enough ahead of time that they would cool before I filled them. You can find many different options for chocolate cupcakes online, but I am a firm believer that box cake mix tastes great. I chose to use a devil’s food cake.securedownload

Raspberry Filling

I found the recipe for the filling at It fills 12 cupcakes.


2 cups unsweetened frozen or fresh raspberries (I used frozen)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Add all the ingredients to a bowl. If you use frozen raspberries, let the mixture thaw at room temperature. If you make this ahead, refrigerate it until needed.

Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

This was my favorite part of the whole cupcake! I found this recipe at


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups powdered sugar

Beat the first four ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar.

Putting Together the Cupcakes

To remove the centers of the cupcakes I used a cupcake plunger, but if you don’t have one of these handy tools, a large water bottle cap works too. Scoop out a space on the top of each cupcake for the filling (don’t throw the extra cake away or eat it yet). Pour in your raspberry filling using a spoon. Place a piece of the removed cupcake back on top so that you can frost the cupcakes. For my cupcakes, I put the frosting in a plastic bag, cut off a corner, and used the bag as a piping bag to get a swirly design with my frosting. I wanted my cupcakes to look extra special for Valentine’s Day, so I drizzled some of the filling on top, crumbled some of the leftover cupcake over it, and topped it with a raspberry.

And now, you eat.


Menu Monday: Taco Soup

By: Alissa Holm

If you’re like me, there’s nothing that sounds better than eating a delicious bowl of taco soup with tortilla chips on a cold winter day. I had never made it myself until this afternoon, and the process was a lot easier than I thought it would be. After doing a little research and finding a decent recipe, I modified it a bit and the results were too good not to share. 



1 lb. extra-lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can corn

1 can black beans (or whatever beans you prefer)

1–1½ cups water

2–3 T. taco seasoning

¼ t. cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste


1–1½ c. shredded cheese

Sour cream

Tortilla chips

Fresh cilantro



Brown meat with onions in a frying pan. Mix in taco seasoning and then drain off the grease.

Combine all of the remaining ingredients in a pot on medium heat. Add the meat mixture and then bring to a boil. Let simmer on medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with cheese and cilantro on top, add sour cream as desired, and eat with tortilla chips.



Sharing the Tradition: Recipes for Homemade Thanksgiving Pies

by Alissa Holm

Every year, my mom bakes between 5 and 10 pies of all flavors the day before Thanksgiving. In our family, pies are more than just a dessert—they’re a tradition. Nobody knows how to make pie better than my mother, so I’ve snuck into her secret recipe vault to uncover the best recipes for the two most classic, American, Thanksgiving pies—apple and pumpkin—and added to them her famous crust recipe.  Bon Appétit!


6 to 8 tart apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced (6 cups) (Granny Smith & Golden Delicious are best – salted)
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
Pastry for one double crust pie
2 Tbsp. butter
(If apples are sweet, sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. lemon juice.)

Mix dry ingredients into apples. Line 9-inch pie plate with pastry. Fill with apples, dot with butter. Moisten the crust around its top edges so the top crust will adhere.

Cut designs into top crust and lay it over apples; press top and bottom crusts together & crimp edges. Sprinkle with sugar, bake at 375–400 degrees for 40 to 50 mins., until done.



1 1/4 cup cooked or canned pumpkin or winter squash
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup evaporated milk
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 unbaked (9”) pie shell

Combine first 6 ingredients; mix well; add eggs. Mix; add evaporated milk, water, and vanilla; mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake in 400–425 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until knife or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. To keep crust edges from burning, gently cover with strips of aluminum foil.



(makes 4 single crust pies; 2 double crust pies )
4 c. flour
1/2 cup ice water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1 3/4 cups shortening (chilled)

Hint: A secret for good pastry is to have all ingredients as COLD as possible. Crumb dry ingredients & shortening until the size of peas. Whip the egg, then stir in water and vinegar; stir into flour mixture a little at a time until it sticks together. (Handle as little as possible.) Divide into 4 equal parts; roll out between wax paper or layers of plastic cereal bag (bag works best!).

Halloween Pinterest Reviews!

In preparation for Halloween, the Stance for the Family blog staffers decided to have a holiday review night! Each staffer selected one or two crafts or recipes that had caught their eye on Pinterest and brought their creations along to share at our review night! Here are our thoughts below—complete with recipes, pictures, and our evaluations on how well they actually stack up against what’s advertised on Pinterest! (Be prepared—we had at least one massive fail!) If you’re looking for some fun Halloween recipes to try, you are bound to find something that interests you!

All the recipes and crafts we reviewed can be found on Stance for the Family‘s Pinterest account:

Pumpkin Dump Cake (by Danielle Cronquist) 

If you are like me and are a firm believer that all recipes made in October should include pumpkin, then this is perfect. A delicious fall blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nuts, the different textures and yummy flavors make this dessert stand out as a divine treat.

  • 1 29-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • ¾ cup melted margarine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first six ingredients until well blended and pour batter into a 9×13 greased pan. Sprinkle cake mix on top and then cover with pecans. Pour melted margarine over top. Bake 50 minutes. If desired, top with cool whip or real whipping cream.

I’m not a whipped cream fan (call me crazy), so I opted out of that part and still think that it tastes delicious, but it is a great addition for whipped cream lovers. Pull together this easy recipe for a fall party, a hang out with friends, or for an FHE treat. It is sure to be a hit.


Cake Mix Cookies (by Jaden Anderson)

Cake Mix Cookies are a quick and easy treat great for any time of the year. Did we mention they’re also super delicious? In a large bowl, mix together one package of cake mix (any flavor will do, but chocolate and Funfetti are our favorites), 2 eggs, and 1/3 cup of oil. Feel free to experiment with M&Ms, ROLOs, chocolate chips, or raisins. Preheat the oven to 350°F while spooning out teaspoon size balls of dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Once the oven is ready, pop the sheet in for about 7–10 minutes, depending on how soft and doughy you want your cookies. Let the cookies cool for a few minutes, and then spread on cream cheese frosting if desired. Have fun with it and add on sprinkles, candy, or anything else you like!

Here’s what we had to say about these little gems:

  •  “Love these! You could make them themed for different seasons depending on what you put on top. I love the soft texture.”
  • “Cake cookies are always great. Super easy and super yummy.”
  • “Delish! Could eat a whole lot of them. Love.”
  • “These are so great because I don’t have to choose between cake and cookies. I can have both!”


Fall Pumpkin Dip (by Alissa Strong)

I wanted to try this recipe from the moment I saw it, simply because it was served in a pumpkin. What a great way to present food at a fall- or Halloween-themed party! This recipe is definitely a great addition to any fall table.

  • 1 15oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 5oz box of instant vanilla pudding (just the powder, don’t make the pudding)
  • 1 16oz container of cool whip  (low fat)
  • 1 small pumpkin
  • ½ tbspn pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tbspn cinnamon

Mix the pumpkin, pudding mix, cool whip, and pumpkin pie spice together (by hand) in a very large bowl. Chill for several hours before serving. Meanwhile, carve your pumpkin! Spoon the dip into the pumpkin, sprinkle with cinnamon, and serve with fresh apple slices, vanilla wafers, or ginger snaps.

This recipe was easy and quick to make—definitely an activity you could get the kids to help with. My biggest downfall was choosing a medium-sized pumpkin instead of a small one. The dip didn’t even fill the pumpkin halfway! So I ended up serving the dip in a bowl inside the pumpkin, which was nowhere near as pretty a presentation as I’d intended. But as for the taste… well, here’s what the reviewers had to say:

  • “Delicious. Would be great for a fall party.”
  • “Surprisingly sweet, but not too sweet. Seems simple to make.”
  • “LOVED IT!”


Candy Corn Pizza (by Alissa Strong)

I knew a lot of people would be making desserts, so I wanted to try a main course recipe. One recipe I’ve been eyeing for awhile is this recipe for candy corn pizza! Don’t be deceived—it’s not sweet at all, although it still looks delicious!

  • 1 can (13.8 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated classic pizza crust or your favorite homemade dough
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Spray a pizza pan with cooking spray and press pizza dough into the pan evenly. 
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese into a four-inch circle in the center of the pizza dough (the “white tip” of your candy corn!). 
Take 1 cup of shredded cheese and sprinkle it into a three-inch ring around the circle of mozzarella. 
Carefully spoon the pizza sauce over the ring of cheddar cheese (this will be your “red” layer). 
Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese in a ring around the outside of the pizza sauce ring (the “orange” layer). 
Bake for 12–15 minutes or until golden brown. 
Cut into slices to resemble candy corn.

This is another easy recipe—our reviewers all agreed that it would be great to make with the whole family. Kids can help sprinkle the cheese and sauce, and they will love eating pizza that looks like candy corn! One variation parents might like to try is doing mini-pizza versions of this recipe, so that it makes more “slices of corn” and more people can enjoy it!


Strawberry Ghosts (by Alissa Strong)

  • 30 fresh strawberries
  • 8 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Wash and dry strawberries. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Stir in almond extract. Dip each strawberry in chocolate mixture; place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, allowing excess chocolate to form the ghosts’ tails. Immediately press chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze for five minutes. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining chocolate chips; stir until smooth. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and draw a mouth on each face.

I am a college student on a budget, so I modified this recipe slightly by eliminating the almond extract. The recipe worked just fine without it. (Seriously, Pinterest? You want me to buy a whole bottle of almond extract just to use 1/8 of a teaspoon? Not going to happen!) I had a lot of fun dipping the strawberries in the chocolate and making the “ghosts’ tails”—this recipe allows you to use the hull of the strawberry (the green leaves) for dipping, which is a lot easier than dipping cake balls or Oreo truffles.

It was after the chocolate dipping that my troubles started. The chocolate chips I had were way too big to use as eyes, especially for some of the smaller strawberries. So I just decided to draw the eyes on along with the mouths. The toothpick drawing took FOREVER! I’m definitely not an artist, so my ghosts’ faces looked far inferior to the ones in the Pinterest photos. But en masse, they actually looked presentable… and chocolate-covered strawberries always taste yummy! I’d probably put up with the longer preparation time for the festive end result.


Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars (by Amanda Ricks; recipe from

Ever needed to make a quick dessert, but didn’t have many ingredients or much time? These Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars may be perfect for you.

  • 1 box angel food cake mix (the one-step kind)
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 8oz pkg. reduced fat cream cheese
  • A few tablespoons of water, to be mixed with cream cheese

I let the cream cheese soften on the counter for a while then I added it to my stand mixer & beat it with a couple of tablespoons of water until smooth. I just wanted it to thin out a little bit.

In a separate bowl, mix the cake mix, pumpkin, water, & cinnamon together until it is smooth & well mixed.

In a 9×13 pyrex dish—sprayed with PAM—add HALF of the cake-pumpkin mix. Then smooth it out with a rubber spatula. Drizzle half of the cream cheese over the top of it and take a small spatula to smooth it over the top. Add remaining cake-pumpkin mix & also the remaining cream cheese just making layers.

Finally take a butter knife, stick it into the mix, and go back & forth over the top of the cake making figure “8’s” – to blend it a bit.

Preparation of these was not too difficult. I didn’t have a stand mixer, so I used a whisk instead. I also didn’t have a Pyrex dish, so I used a different kind of 9×13 and it turned out just fine. This recipe requires only a few ingredients, which was good for my pocketbook. In addition, the ingredients of this dish aren’t those that you would naturally sneak before you had the time to make the dessert (like chocolate chips or toffee chips.) Relatively healthy as far as desserts go, they were easy and delicious. As one of our Stance reviewers said, “I liked that these were pumpkin-y without being too sweet. And let’s be real—cream cheese makes everything better!”


Marbled Nails (by Amanda Ricks)

Pinterest has long fascinated me with the concept of “Marbled Nails.” According to Pinterest, if you put some water in a bowl and add in your nail polish, swirl the polish, dip your finger in, and remove, you will have a perfectly marbled nail.

Perhaps I’m reading the instructions wrong.

I got the room temperature tap water that was required. I put in some fun colors and swirled it around. I dipped someone’s finger in. The moment I’d been anticipating had arrived, and the results? Well, let’s just say they were a little different than I’d imagined. See for yourself in the accompanying pictures.


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