Stance: Studies on the Family

Brigham Young University Student Journal

Category: Uncategorized (page 1 of 16)

Killer Recipes: Homemade Pizza Crust

You know that feeling on a lazy Friday night, when you don’t feel like doing anything but watching TV and eating some of your favorite comfort food? I know I do, and while I have many comfort foods I love, pizza has always been a favorite! Ordering a pizza always seems to be the go-to pizza option, but sometimes it’s hard to decide on a certain type of pizza, or adding more pizza toppings makes the pizza more expensive. So, why don’t you just make your own pizza!? You can just buy your favorite toppings from the store, and odds are you will have enough toppings leftover to make at least one or two more pizzas. My husband and I love doing this. It’s quick, easy, and so much fun! I have had a hard time finding a really good pizza crust recipe that gives me the thick crust and crunchy outside crust with the soft inside that I love—until I found this recipe. It’s my favorite pizza crust recipe, and I hope you all enjoy it!

½ tablespoon of active dry yeast

2 ½ cups of flour

1 teaspoon of sugar

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 cup of warm water

1 teaspoon of salt

In a small bowl, combine the warm water, sugar, and active dry yeast. Set it aside, and let it rise for aboutten minutes at room temperature. Also, preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, in a big bowl, mix the flour, salt, and olive oil together. Sometimes the olive oil will create little clumps in the flour. If this happens, you can try to press them out with your fingers, but it will not affect the bake or the taste either way in my experience. After the yeast has risen for about ten minutes, combine the yeast mixture with the flour mixture. Mix either with a bread mixer or with your hands until smooth and the dough stops sticking to your hands. You can add a little bit of flour if the mixture is still too sticky. Then, roll the pizza dough into a circle and transfer it to a buttered or oiled pizza pan. Add your favorite toppings! I personally love doing tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and cherry tomatoes. This is your time to create exactly the pizza you want. Then back the pizza at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15–20 minutes. The more toppings you put on, the closer to 20 minutes it will need to bake. When the crust has a light brown color to it, it should be just about perfect.


Provo Gem: The Soap Factory


This place has a ton of character to it. Although I complain about the construction and zero parking and bipolar weather most of the time, it really is a great place to live and explore. There are so many startup companies around here that you can’t ever truly be bored (unless you’re hungry at 11:30 pm on a Friday or Saturdaythen you’re in trouble because nothing is open).

There are some real gems in our backyard, and I think it’s important that we give each of them a shoutout. The one that I’m going to focus on today is The Soap Factory!

This place is so much fun. I went on a date here back in 2015 and when I tried to go back later, it was closed! Have no fear, the company only moved to a bigger location, and it’s now on Center Street.

It can be a little tricky to find because it’s on the second floor; it is not a shop that you walk past on a sunny day, but it’s a rare find if you ask me. It’s a pretty cheap date for a really great time. It’s $5 per person (studio fee) and then 5 cents per gram for whatever products you make. (A bar of soap is usually less than $5.) There are literally over 400 shapes, 150+ essential oils, plus colors and paints to create your own healthy, all-natural soap, scrubs, lotion, lip balm, and tons more. This place is full of creativity. You choose the scents/oils you want in your product, the mold/shape of it, and then you paint it to your liking.

I personally think that this a great place for all ages and relationships. A girls’ night, birthday party, couples date, you name it. The first time I went here was on a blind date and *luckily* the date was a smooth one. You can easily strike up a conversation while creating your art, but it also allows you to have silence if 1.You really want to concentrate on your work and 2.The date is struggling.

I highly recommend checking this place out and don’t forget to make a reservation. Just try itI promise you’ll thank me later.


Killer Recipes: Amy’s Famous Cheesecake

Graham cracker crust:
1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs
1/2 C sugar
6 T melted butter
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon together. Add in melted butter and mix until mixture is sticky enough to put into a pie plate. Push mixture into the pie plate to form a crust and then refrigerate while making the rest of the recipe.

Cheesecake mixture:
2 eggs
3/4 lb of softened cream cheese
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat together the 2 eggs. Add in softened cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat all ingredients until smooth. Pour mixture into cooled graham cracker crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Test the cheesecake to make sure the top is cooked enough, but not too much. Tap your finger on the top lightly and make sure your finger doesn’t just fall through the cake. Take out of oven and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. Turn oven temperature up to 425 degrees. Make the following top layer while you wait for the oven to get to 425 degrees.

Top layer of cheesecake:
1 1/2 C sour cream
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Carefully pour it onto the hot cheesecake that you just
took out of the oven. Put cheesecake back in oven for another 5 minutes. After it is cooked, let

Cool at room temperature for about 20 minutes before covering and putting it in the fridge. Serve
either plain or with berry pie toppings. Enjoy!

Vintage Ice Cream vs. Modern Ice Cream

Ice cream is a beloved treat all across the world. Nowadays, it seems that most ice cream shops are in a buffet set up, either where you make it yourself or the store puts it together for you. I absolutely love these places because I choose exactly what ice cream and toppings I want. But what about the old-fashioned ice cream parlors? We don’t see many of those around anymore, but they are still here and absolutely delicious! There are pros and cons to both types of ice creams shops. I mean, how can you go wrong with ice cream!

I will refer to modern ice cream shops as ice cream bars. At ice cream bars, you are allowed to select the flavor of ice cream or ice creams you want. From there, you can choose the toppings that you want. Depending on where you go, you may have to pay for each topping separately, or the final price may be calculated from the weight of the final product. If you are paying by weight, the fruity toppings will make your final purchase cheaper. Unfortunately for me, I am a complete chocoholic, so mine are always more expensive—but they are always worth it! Basically, with modern ice cream shops, the main pro is that you are in charge of your order. You get to pick exactly what you want—no questions asked. The main con is that sometimes these shops lack in quality because of their vastness of ice cream and topping selections.

I have only been to a few vintage ice cream shops, but from what I have seen, you get an experience along with amazing ice cream. The waiters are dressed up like they’re from the 50s and the whole shop is decked out like you just walked into a scene from Grease. Generally, you have to pick an ice cream creation that the shop already has on the menu, but they do not skimp on ice cream and toppings! Generally, vintage ice cream shops serve their creations in old-fashioned milkshake glasses or vintage glass bowls. It comes with mounds of ice cream and with the syrup pouring over the top and dripping down the side to make a pool of deliciousness on the plate below. A lot of vintage ice cream creations will also come with a baked good—cookies, brownies, cakes, etc. If the shop makes their baked goods in-house, then you usually have a winner. The main pro to vintage ice cream shops is that the quality goes up a notch from modern ice cream shops in the ice cream and presentation. The main con is that the ice cream generally comes in large portions that are pretty expensive, so you end up paying more money to oftentimes not even finish eating the delicious treat.

Granted, this opinion piece does come from my own experience, so go out there and try them both for yourself! Sometimes different moods call for different shops. If I just want a lot of cookie dough, sprinkles, marshmallows, syrup, and more on my ice cream, I’ll just go to an ice cream bar. But if I am in the mood for a whopping amount of ice cream and a baked good that is simpler in its contents, then vintage ice cream it is!

Treat yourself to some ice cream today—you know you deserve it!


Nickel City

The bleeps and the bloops. The colors and the high scores. The defeated growls and the triumphant cheers. There is so much to take in when you walk into a classic arcade, and it just makes you want to get started! With the big trend of nostalgia and all of the 80s paraphernalia that’s so popular right now, getting in touch with the games that entertained a generation is a great way to ride that nostalgia wave.

The first thing that you realize when you walk into the Nickel Mania Arcade is how many machines there are. We couldn’t count the exact number of games, but dozens of little heroes battled little monsters along the walls. My wife and I bee-lined for the classic arcade games. We started pouring our coins in the likes of Joust, Pac-Man, Galaga, Donkey Kong, Rampage, and Centipede. As we competed with each other for the highest scores, we soon started to lose track of time. It was like we had fallen into a weird time loop filled with digital golden coins. It truly was a perfect date.

The arcade receives a standing ovation from my family. It is a great place to spend some time either reminiscing about your days of youth or thinking about how far video games have come.


“Special Time”

The year is 1991, my husband and I just had our fifth child, and the oldest is only seven. In the next seven years, we will add four more children to our family. I loved having all of our kids close in age; our home seemed like a constant party to me, and I love parties. What we lacked in peace and quiet, we made up for in planned chaos.

However, there was a certain problem that began to stand out in that memorable year of 1991: I began to notice that moms are always having to say, “no” in one form or another. Needless to say, when five young children were repeatedly asking for individual things such as wanting to go to a certain fast-food place, begging me to play Barbies with them, or asking if they can help me put gas in the car, I would have to reluctantly respond with, “not this time.” Saying, “no” to five kids, all day long, was wearing on me, emotionally. Don’t get me wrong; we did fun things all the time, every day, but it was always in a group setting. I longed for the chance to create one-on-one time with each child so that I could be a “yes” mom. I needed to come up with an invention that would satisfy me.

Plato said that “necessity is the mother of invention,” and it was necessary that I invent something that would turn me into a “yes” mom instead of a “not this time” mom. The day of invention came and there was no question as to what to call it. Out of desperation to be a “yes” mom and to be able to be alone with each child, I easily named my invention “special time.” Once I had a name, I came up with a plan. The first thing I did was to choose a night of the week that our family could set aside for individual “special time.” The next step was to write on the family calendar, on that night, each week, the name of one of the five children, until each child had had a turn. My plan included the goal of each child getting to do something they wanted with each parent. I wrote the names of the children, in birth order; Stephanie, Brian, Chuck, Missy, and Emily. Then I alternated “mom” and “dad” with each child. Therefore, it would take ten weeks for all of the kids to have had a “special time” with each parent.

I was determined that this goal would not be like a New Year’s goal where it would fizzle out within a few weeks. We needed simple “special time” rules so that we could continue this for the duration of raising our family. The first rule was that it could only last about an hour. The next rule was that “special time” would not become a “shopping spree.” This was a time to enjoy each others’ company and to be able to say, “yes.” The last rule was that each child could choose where or what they wanted to eat and what they wanted to do for an activity. Many of our “special times” were spent driving to pick up whatever fast food they wanted and then coming home to watch one of their favorite videos. We had a room we could go in, to be alone, and the rule was always that the other parent would be sure to take care of the other four children so that “special time” would not be interrupted.

It took no time at all to realize what a blessing this idea was. It was so peaceful to be in the car with just one child; I could ask all the questions I wanted and listen to everything they had to say, never being interrupted by either a more talkative child or a baby crying. And the best thing of all? If they asked to help me put gas in the car, I could say, “yes!” I immediately reveled in my new life of being a “yes” mom!

One “special time” that stands out to me was the time my four-year-old son had chicken pox. It was his time for “special time” but obviously we could not go anywhere where there were other people. His choice for dinner was McDonalds and his choice for an activity was to drive around and look at the Christmas lights. We went through the drive-thru to get our food and then proceeded to drive around town enjoying the beauty of the lights everywhere. After about twenty minutes, he asked if we could go home. This night together was proof that “special time” could be as simple as it needed to be, yet special enough to stay in my memory for over twenty-five years.

My “invention” was out of the necessity, for me, to be a “yes” mom. Your invention can be anything you need it to be. Everyone in your life deserves to feel special, whether it be immediate family, friends, small children, adult children, relatives, or colleagues. Choose who it is that you feel needs your extra attention and set aside some reasonable amount of time to be with them. I promise that you will quickly feel the blessing of one-on-one time, and that one day, you will look back and hold those memories in your heart as some of the finest in your life.

The Whole “Keeping Track of Money” Thing

My mom has always been fantastic at money management. She’ll sit down in front of the computer with all the receipts for an entire month and keep track of where any money was spent. She makes a grocery list and looks for coupons. She shops sales so that she can get the best deals. She has a budget with an amount set aside for everything that we might spend money on. Ever since my siblings and I were little and first started earning money, my mom has had us set aside some money every month to save to go to college and to serve missions. When my dad changed jobs and started getting a smaller paycheck, my parents went through the budget and decided what to cut. We got rid of most of our channels on TV, my mom started making homemade bread, and we stopped buying a lot of unnecessary items.

My mom is excellent at the whole “keeping track of money” thing. I, on the other hand, am not. There was one time when I was in high school that I had to keep a budget for three months for a project. Of course, I went to my mom for help, and she told me all sorts of things about money management, but I mostly just rolled my eyes and did the bare minimum to complete the project. Back then, I didn’t worry much about money. I didn’t make very much in a month, but I also had very few expenses, so it just wasn’t a big deal! But now I’ve moved on to a different story. Now I have to pay rent, buy my own groceries, pay for myself at restaurants, and pay for my own gas. Life is expensive! So this month, I decided to make a budget. I wrote down everything I could think of where I might spend money, and then I called my mom (of course) to see if I missed anything. But then came the hard part: staying within my budget!

I haven’t had a budget for long, but I’ve learned a few things already:

1) There are always unexpected expenses!
2) Some of those unexpected expenses can be controlled but some can’t be controlled.
3) It’s a lot of work to keep track of all my expenses; it’s easy to lose those receipts or forget that I bought something.
4) It takes a lot of self-control to stay in a budget, especially when I really want to buy ice cream at the grocery store!

Hopefully, I’ll get better at the whole “keeping track of money” thing. Maybe one of these months I’ll even manage to spend less than I earn! But until then, at least I’ve taken the first few steps towards successful money management.


New Month, New You

To all of our Stance readers, Happy March 1st!

Although the happy feelings of Valentine’s Day are over, that doesn’t mean that we can’t continue showing our love for others. For me, I’ve never seen Valentine’s Day as only one noteworthy day of love to one significant person, but to everyone! It’s a day to help others not only feel of your love but also of God’s love for them. Helping others see and reach their potential is one of the most beautiful things we can do to help others come unto Christ and know that we are each a child of God. I’m making it a goal this month/year to love others and show them my appreciation more often than just on holidays. Who’s with me?!

Here are some ideas of things that you can do today to help others feel loved, without breaking the bank!

  • Call someone to let them know you’re thinking about them, and share your love and appreciation for them in your life.
  • Send a snail mail letter. I think a handwritten letter is one of the kindest gestures you can give. It shows that someone values you enough to sit down, ponder on what to say, and use their time towards making you smile. Pass it on!
  • Make someone their favorite meal instead of going out to eat.
  • Leave sticky notes around the house or on someone’s car to say that you’re thinking about them.
  • Pick someone up and go on a drive. Talk and enjoy your time together.
  • Make a movie fort, and enjoy a night in together with some popcorn.
  • Create a treasure hunt of your favorite memories with someone.
  • Simply listen.
  • Smile at strangers.
  • Send a text with a picture of your favorite memory with a certain person.
  • Pray for your enemies.
  • Pray for an opportunity to serve someone today.

Whatever you decide to do, help at least one person know that he or she is valued and are enough. So here’s to you, our Savior and loving example, and every gem we come in contact with every single day.


Alexa Canady—First African American Woman Neurosurgeon

In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to do an article about an important African American figure in history from the realm of families, whether it be science, education, research, etc. I found a woman whose biography touched me, and she has touched the lives of many through her work.

Alexa Canady started with normal, American beginnings like most of us. While growing up in Michigan, her parents instilled in her a love for learning and a need for working hard. These attributes helped Canady reach the achievements she made throughout her life. After attending the University of Michigan for college, she continued there for medical school. Although she faced difficulty on her path to becoming a neurosurgeon, including discouragement from her advisers to pursue that career, she persevered using the same desire and hard work that her parents had taught her. After completing medical school, an internship, and a residency, Canady became the first African American woman neurosurgeon.

Canady specialized in pediatric neurosurgery and worked with various neurological illnesses including issues such as trauma injuries. In 1987, at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, she became the director of neurosurgery. Her accomplishments and contributions were great throughout her life as a pediatric neurosurgeon. She retired in 2001, moved to Florida, and continued to work as a part-time neurosurgeon at the Pensacola Sacred Heart Hospital in Florida. She never stopped giving of her amazing talents and abilities, which blessed the lives of many families and children.

If you would like to learn more about Alexa Canady, you can visit her biography on, which is where the majority of the information for this article came from. You can also visit various other websites that commemorate her marvelous contributions to improving the lives of children.


Killer Recipes: Skillet Chicken and Veggies


This recipe has become one of my go-tos. It’s super easy, tasty, and makes me feel healthy because of all the vegetables I’m eating! It’s a great quick and low-maintenance dinner for your family—or, if you’re a college student like me, it can be dinner and leftovers for the rest of the week!


1 ½–2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 zucchini

1 yellow straight-necked squash

1–2 bell peppers

1 C broccoli

(You can really use whatever vegetables you want; just make it about 4 cups total. Some other good vegetables to try are carrots and cauliflower.)

3–4 cloves of garlic

1 packet marinade

(I like to use Grill Mates Mesquite marinade, but again, you can choose to your liking. Along with the marinade, you’ll need whatever ingredients are needed to make it—usually about ¼– ½ cups of oil and some water.)


  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Make the marinade following the instructions on the packet, then let the chicken marinate for at least 15–20
  3. While the chicken is marinating, chop all the vegetables.
  4. Mince the garlic.
  5. Place the chicken and garlic in a medium skillet. Sauté on medium-high heat until chicken is browned and cooked all the way through.
  6. Remove the chicken from the skillet and add all the vegetables. Sauté until browned.
  7. Add the chicken back into the vegetable mixture and stir over low heat for 3 minutes.
  8. Enjoy!

Note: You can use 1–2 T of coconut oil to sauté the chicken and vegetables if you want, but I’ve found that there’s usually enough oil in the marinade already to get the job done.

By Natasha Andersen

Older posts