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Brigham Young University Cougars Cookbook
BLT Wagon Wheel Wraps

Rise and shout, the cookbooks are out!

The Utah-BYU football rivalry is always hotly debated. Now you can put some of that heat to good use in the kitchen with "The Brigham Young University Cougars Cookbook" and "University of Utah Utes Cookbook," both by Jenny Ahlstrom Stanger (Gibbs-Smith, $14.95 each).

Fans can cook up dishes dedicated to their favorite teams for tailgating and TV watching, such as Blue Zone BBQ Chicken Salad, Helaman Hall Hoagies, Whack-a-Coug Wraps and Mighty Ute Meatballs.

"They're all winners for tailgate parties, and they all can serve large groups of people and are easy to transport," Stanger said.

Some of the recipes are familiar favorites given fan-themed titles, such as BYU Hawaiian Haystacks or Utah Man Sliders, which are mini sloppy joes. The Crimson Night Chicken Puffs are a version of Savory Crescent Chicken Squares, which became a classic after winning the 1974 Pillsbury Bake-off. Dried cranberries give them their crimson appeal.

Stanger said she was approached about writing a BYU cookbook by editors at Gibbs-Smith Publisher, whom she met while seeking a publisher for her first book, "Fabulous Freezer Meals" (Brigham Distributing, $17.95).

Stanger, who lives in Elwood, is a BYU graduate in family life education, and has taught cooking classes at Thanksgiving Point and other venues.

After the BYU book, she was asked to do the Utes cookbook.

Stanger said the BYU book captures her favorite memories with food.

"For as long as I can remember, I've attended BYU football games with my grandpa, my parents, and then as a BYU student."

She attended BYU-Hawaii for two years and worked as an Especially For Youth counselor at BYU-Idaho, so she was familiar with both of those campuses, as well.

"I have a very good memory for food, smells and tastes. And it seems most of the BYU events I've been involved with, they have served similar food such as mint brownies, sugar cookies, sparkle punch or BYU Creamery ice cream," she said.

The Popcorn Popping Balls comes from the song "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree" sung at football games. Happy Valley Fudge was inspired by the "to-die-for" fudge sold in the BYU Bookstore, she said.

"The Carillon Bell Tower Breadsticks are similar to The Pizza Factory breadsticks sold down the street from BYU," she said. "That's where my husband first met my parents. It was on our second date, and it wasn't planned. And I was rather embarrassed."

The Snickers Salad may sound like an odd combination — it's slices of apple and candy bar pieces smothered in whipped cream. "But it's really good. It's one of the best things I ate at BYU-Idaho."

Her "Y" Mountain Trail Mix was inspired by many hot and sweaty hikes up "Y" mountain. The Wagon Wheel Wraps came from the BYU/Utah State rivalry for the Old Wagon Wheel, a tradition since 1922.

"Also the Holy War Hot Dogs were inspired by J Dawgs on the corner of BYU campus," said Stanger. "Our family loves the Helaman Hall Hoagies. We could eat one of those every day."

Although her roots are with BYU, Stanger contends she's a fan of both schools.

"Some of my favorite memories have happened at the University of Utah. My dream came true to dance in a large kickline with my drill team during our high school state basketball tournament at the U., and I got to attend the opening ceremonies of the 2002 Olympics at Rice-Eccles Stadium. I also met my first boyfriend on campus at the U."

Since Stanger wasn't as familiar with the U.'s food traditions, she talked to students and members of the Alumni Association and the Crimson Club. Ki-Yi Fries came from the Ute's fight song.

What about Crimson Night Chicken Puffs? "Crimson Night is a tradition every year where students party from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m." Stanger said.

The Champion Cheese Pull-Aparts were a riff on the cheesy breadsticks served at The Pie Pizzeria, a campus hangout.

The Crunch the Cougars Nut Mix and Yummy Utes Skillet Nachos are two of Stanger's favorites.

"The nuts are a family snack we have for tailgate parties," she said. "The nachos are a great quick family meal."

She came up with Red and White Cinnamon Bears, "Because I just love cinnamon bears dipped in white chocolate!" she said. "And I thought Forever Red Apple Cider would be delicious in a thermos at a cold football game."


1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4-1/2 cup salsa

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 pound bacon, cooked

3 Roma tomatoes, diced

6 leaves green leafy lettuce

6 10-inch tomato or spinach flour tortillas

In a bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sour cream. Stir in the salsa and onion. Spread equal amounts of cream cheese mixture on each tortilla. Lay the bacon and tomato on each tortilla, followed by a lettuce leaf. Tightly roll up each tortilla, wrap securely in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

When ready to serve, cut each wrap into six pieces. Secure each piece with a toothpick if necessary. Lay cut side down on a large platter and serve. Serves 6. — "Brigham Young University Cougars Cookbook"


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium green bell pepper, chopped

1 small zucchini, chopped

1/2 cup salsa, plus more

15-ounce can chili with beans

1 bag tortilla chips

1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

Sour cream

1 2.25-ounce can sliced black olives

In a 12-inch skillet, heat oil over high heat. Saute the bell pepper and zucchini for 2 minutes. Stir in the salsa and chili and cook until hot. Remove mixture from skillet and then wipe skillet clean.

Arrange some of the tortilla chips in a single layer in the bottom of the skillet. Spoon chili mixture over chips. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover with a lid and cook over medium-high heat about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream and olive slices. Serve with salsa on the side for dipping, if desired.

Serves 4-5. — "University of Utah Utes Cookbook"


24 frozen dinner rolls, thawed but still cold

24 wooden chopsticks

1/2 cup melted butter

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dill weed

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Roll out each roll about 6 inches long and then wrap around the chopsticks, leaving 2 inches at the bottom for a hand hold. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover with a light cloth and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake twists for about 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. While they are baking, combine the butter and spices. Remove breadsticks from oven and brush with the butter mixture. Serve breadsticks warm. For a fun presentation, stand the breadsticks upright in a vase. Makes 24 breadsticks. — "Brigham Young University Cougars Cookbook"


2 pounds roasted, salted peanuts

2 cups sugar

1 cup water

1 cup red M&Ms

1 cup white M&Ms

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large saucepan, combine the nuts, sugar and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir frequently using a long-handled spoon once the mixture starts boiling. Reduce heat to low. Cook on low heat for 30-35 minutes, or until mixture is no longer wet and sticky and the peanuts resemble sugar-coated nuts.

Pour nuts on two foil-lined baking sheets and bake 15 minutes. Toss cooled nuts with the M&Ms and store in a dry place for up to two weeks. — "University of Utah Utes Cookbook"


Butter for greasing pan

2 11-ounce bags Kraft Caramel Bits (unwrapped caramels) or 1 20-ounce bag caramel squares, unwrapped

1/2 cup milk

8 cups crispy rice cereal

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup red M&Ms

1/2 cup white M&Ms

Heavily grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with the butter. Combine caramels and milk in a large saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and add cereal; stir to coat. Stir in the chocolate chips. Press mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle red and white M&Ms over top and press down lightly so they stick. Refrigerate for at least an hour until firm enough to cut. Serves about 20. — "University of Utah Utes Cookbook"


1 medium onion, diced

Red chili pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 cups chicken broth

1 15-ounce cans great Northern beans

2 tablespoons parsley

1 tablespoon lime juice

1-1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup cold water

Blue corn tortilla chips

Grated cheddar cheese

Diced tomatoes

Sour cream

Chopped green onion

In a large saucepan, cook onion, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and the garlic in oil until tender. Rinse and drain the beans and set aside. Cut the chicken into cubes. Add the beans, chicken, broth, parsley, lime juice, cumin and soy sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally.

Combine the cornstarch and water until smooth; stir into chili. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with the blue tortilla chips and top with the cheese, tomatoes, sour cream and green onions.

Serves 8. — "Brigham Young University Cougars Cookbook"

e-mail: vphillips@desnews.com