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Food Blog Posts

Barbecue sliders on a plate.

September 21, 2021

These slow cooker barbecue chicken sliders are perfect for tailgating parties or a Monday night dinner.

Various finger foods arranged buffet style.

September 16, 2021

Food safety when cooking and serving food at a tailgate is a lot like serving food at home. The same basic rules apply. You just need a little more planning and a few extra supplies.

Keep hands and surfaces clean

  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after preparing food.
  • No running water where you are tailgating? No problem.  It’s easy to set up a handwashing station. Here’s how:
  • Use a table or another flat, elevated surface to set up a water jug with a spigot faucet, hand
  • ...
A woman stands behind a kitchen counter of breakfast toast and toppings.

September 13, 2021

Don’t think of breakfast as a meal that has to take a long time to prepare. One of my favorite breakfast meals is toast. I start with whole-grain toasted bread as my foundation to build a healthy meal with lots of fun, tasty, and nutritious toppings. 

a bowl of uncooked rice

September 7, 2021

It’s September and that means it’s National Rice Month! Try some of these recipes to celebrate.

sliced bell peppers and cucumbers on a plate

August 23, 2021

Whether you are tailgating or celebrating your favorite team at home this fall, food is always a part of the festivities. If you want to have some lighter fare at your gathering, this Spinach Dip Makeover will fit perfectly.

Blueberries ripen on a bush.

August 17, 2021

School is back in session, and mornings can be hectic. But you don’t have to put breakfast on the back burner. If you are looking for a way to make your morning routine a bit easier, check out this blueberry oatmeal dish.

A woman stands in a kitchen with food products on the counter.

August 9, 2021

You’ve likely heard natural sugar is okay, while added sugars should be limited. But what's the difference and why does it matter?

Sliced red, yellow and green bell peppers

August 6, 2021

Bell peppers come in a rainbow of colors and have many health benefits. The variety and amount of time a bell pepper spends on the plant determines its color and ripeness.

A plate of sweet potoato fries

July 19, 2021

Video by Jonathan Parrish

Cooking food in an air fryer gives you that crunchy texture you love without the added calories of deep frying. This recipe for Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Fries features Mississippi-grown sweet potatoes, olive oil, and spices—that’s it!

Whether you serve these as a side dish or a fun snack, you’ll enjoy the health benefits of sweet potatoes, including fiber, beta carotene, and vitamin A. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that has antioxidant properties that can help protect cells from damage. For savory sweet potato fries, use garlic powder,...

A child smiles at the dining table.

July 12, 2021

With my kids out of school for the summer, snacks are an important part of our routine. Check out three of my family's favorite nutritious and filling snacks.

A lady in a kitchen holds a smoothie and gives a thumbs up.

June 30, 2021

As the days heat up, I’m looking for ways to cool off! This recipe for a Strawberry Swirl gives me all the health benefits of whole fruit with the refreshing coolness of a frozen drink.

A plate of chicken wings cooked in the air fryer.

June 18, 2021

If you love fried chicken wings but want a healthier option, these Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings cooked in the air fryer are for you!

Canned fruits and vegetables on a shelf.

June 18, 2021

Are you planning to can fruits and vegetables this year? Whether you’re new to canning or you’ve done it for years, Extension has resources to help you make sure it’s done safely. 

A cup of Orange Delight sits on a counter.

June 11, 2021

If you are a fan of The Food Factor and are of a certain age, you may remember one of my favorite childhood flavors—the Orange Julius®. A trip to the mall wasn’t complete without a stop for a creamy, frozen citrus treat!

Woman smiling at a table.

June 8, 2021

The kids are out of school, and for some of us, our schedule is a little bit out of routine. As a mom of four, I know how hard it can be to keep those summer bellies full, so I want to share some of my go-to tips to help.

Close up of triangular watermelon slices on a plate.

May 24, 2021

Whether your summers are filled with activities or dedicated to relaxation, these recipes from The Food Factor can help you make meals and snacks a breeze.

Closeup of soft granola bars on a plate.

May 18, 2021

Keeping a healthy snack on hand is a good way to avoid impulse eating. These Soft Granola Bars, filled with whole grains, dried fruit, and honey instead of sugar, are a tasty treat when I want something sweet, and they keep me away from the vending machine or drive-through.

A woman stands behind a kitchen counter.

May 11, 2021

Although people tend to use the terms salt and sodium interchangeably, salt and sodium are two different things. Sodium is a mineral we all need to live. Table salt by weight contains about 40% sodium and 60% chloride. Most Americans eat too much. Here's how to reduce the amount of sodium you eat.

a small bowl with a serving of fruity French toast casserole with a 9x13 pan in the background

April 30, 2021

Using up extra bread has never been so tasty! Whether you want to make something special for your family’s weekend breakfast or you are entertaining company, this Fruity French Toast Casserole is loaded with flavor.

I love incorporating fresh seasonal fruits, such as blueberries and strawberries, into this recipe. But you can also use canned or frozen fruits, which you can often find on sale. By choosing a healthy whole-grain bread, you’re starting your day with a hearty serving of fiber that will see you through a busy morning. And you can use leftover whole wheat rolls or hamburger buns, which helps you avoid food waste and save money.

Chicken alfreado in a colorful bowl

April 19, 2021

Alfredo sauce is a favorite comfort food in my circle of friends and family. Loaded with butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese, traditional alfredo sauce packs a lot of calories and unhealthy fats into one dish. So I was excited to find this recipe for Chicken Alfredo with a Twist! It’s a Food Factor Makeover!

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About Extension for Real Life

Extension for Real Life is a product of the MSU Extension Service’s Office of Agricultural Communications.

That’s a long way of saying we are professional communicators who get to talk about food, families, 4-H, flowers, and farming for a living. Pretty good gig, right?

The three main writers for the blog are Ellen Graves (Seamstress of Social Media Strategy), Susan Collins-Smith (Content Connector) and Keri Lewis (Captain Cat Herder). But we get by with a lot of help from our friends in Ag Comm and Extension!

You can reach us at 662-325-2262 or extreallife@msstate.edu

Recent Posts

Barbecue sliders on a plate.
The slow cooker is a great way to get dinner on the table quickly or serve a crowd. These barbecue sliders are an economical and easy main dish.
The Food Factor: Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Sliders
Various finger foods arranged buffet style.
It’s tailgating season! That means football, food, and fun. But if you’re not careful, it could also mean a round of food poisoning for everybody.
4 Tips for Food Safety at Your Tailgate Party