Cookbook review: 'Cougar Football Cookbook' shares recipes from coaches, past players

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 27 2013 3:55 p.m. MDT

"COUGAR FOOTBALL COOKBOOK,” compiled by Holly Mendenhall, Deseret Book, $16.99, 136 pages

From breakfasts in a section called “Pre-Game Warm-Ups” to desserts (“The Point After”), “Cougar Football Cookbook” includes more than 100 recipes from former Brigham Young University football players and coaches and their wives compiled by Holly Mendenhall, the wife of coach Bronco Mendenhall. It’s a fun peek into the menus and favorite recipes of some of the past players and coaches.

There is a wide variety of recipes, such as ones designed for a watching a game, including O-Line Poppers from Sara Brown, wife of Terence Brown, a BYU offensive lineman in 2005 and 2008-11.

Pat Edwards, wife of longtime coach LaVell Edwards, shares a story with the Chocolate Chip Cake recipe (included below) that was given to her by Cindy Meyer, the wife of Ron Meyer, who was head coach of Southern Methodist University when BYU won the Miracle Bowl.

“Cindy and I were good friends, and I know how badly she must have felt after the game,” Pat Edwards writes. “I wrote to her and told her that I knew the loss was hard on her but that friendship is more important than a football game. She agreed that a friend is to be valued, and to prove it she sent me this wonderful cake. I make this cake every game day."

Others are personal favorites or family recipes — and give a bit of a glimpse to what a few of the past players might be regularly seeing on their dinner tables at home — like “Ena’s Famous Chicken” by Michele Lewis, wife of former BYU tight end Chad Lewis, who played from 1993-96, and “Wendy’s Slow Cooked Sweet Potato Chili,” from Wendy Nielsen, wife of former BYU quarterback Gifford Nielsen.

Some appear to be simple recipes and others are more complicated. A drawback is there aren't any photos of the recipes to show what the end result might look like.

All of the authors' proceeds go to the Thursday’s Heroes charity, a program started by the Holly and Bronco Mendenhall Foundation to “honor children and families who were facing significant life challenges,” according to the Thursday’s Heroes website at www.broncomendenhall.com/thursdays-heroes.

Arrangements are made for these families to visit the Thursday practice prior to a weekend game, and the families receive gifts and autographed items, join in the Friday team meal and other game day events.

Chocolate Chip Cake

Makes: 8 servings

1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix, such as Duncan Hines

1 package (4-serving size) instant chocolate pudding mix

½ cup sugar

¾ cup canola oil

¾ cup water

4 eggs

1 cup sour cream

¾ cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together cake mix, pudding mix and sugar; stir in oil and water. Add eggs one at a time; beat with wooden spoon after each addition. Stir in sour cream and chocolate chips; pour batter into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake 50-60 minutes; cool one hour before removing pan.

— Pat Edwards, “Cougar Football Cookbook

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