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Food Blog Posts

A grouping of various kinds of cast-iron cookware sit on a kitchen counter.

September 12, 2018

Here in the South, a good cast iron skillet will never go out of style. Before using a new skillet, follow these steps to season it.
(Photo by Jonathan Parrish.)

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Close-up view of an ear of field corn encased in brown husk ready for harvest.

September 7, 2018

Field corn is harvested after it has dried sufficiently, which means the husks are brown, not green like the husks of fresh sweet corn. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

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A plate with zuchinni, freshly baked chips, and a bowl of hummus in the center

August 31, 2018

Hummus is a popular dip, but why pay top dollar for the pre-made varieties sold in the store when you can make your own?
(Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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The ingredients and equipment to make honey lemon vinaigrette are displayed on a kitchen table, including honey, olive oil, half of a lemon, salt, pepper, minced garlic, a small glass bowl, a stainless steel whisk, and a citrus juicer.

August 24, 2018

Summertime means eating more salads. So have you ever eaten a salad and thought about changing the dressing to fit your taste? It’s easy and fun to do. And the good news is, you don’t have to make a lot to try new flavor combinations. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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Four browned, seasoned catfish fillets on a white plate garnished with lime wedges.

August 15, 2018

August is Catfish Month and when you need a quick meal on the table in no time, catfish is your friend! With some cornmeal, spices, and some olive or vegetable oil, you can pan fry some Mississippi farm-raised catfish to have supper ready in 20 minutes or less. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A pepper plant is shown in the garden.

August 14, 2018

Your summer vegetable garden is likely winding down, but you still have time for another round of fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)

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Children stand around a large garbage can while they shuck the husks and silks from ears of corn.

August 6, 2018

Gardens are great outdoor classrooms, and schools are increasingly embracing gardens to enhance their students’ learning. Home gardens are also perfect for hands-on outdoor experiences that are both fun and educational.  

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Colored pencils, paper clips, tacks, markers, a ruler, scissors, and a pencil rest at the top of a chalkboard with Back-to-School Lunch Tips written on it in white chalk.

August 3, 2018

Students will be headed back to the classroom this month, and it’s important to make sure they have the proper nutrition to fuel their learning. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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Stirring corn salad in a glass bowl

July 27, 2018

If you’re looking for a fresh and low-fat summertime potluck food that features locally grown produce, this fresh corn salad is quick to make and is a crowd pleaser. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Art Shirley)

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A pitcher of iced, flavored water sits in the center of a halved watermelon, bowls of cubed watermelon, limes and jalapenos.

July 24, 2018

It’s hard to stay hydrated in the heat and humidity of summer if you aren’t a fan of water. Sodas and other caffeinated and sugary drinks can contribute to dehydration, so what should you do if you just can’t drink another glass of plain old water? (Photo by Jonathan Parrish)

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Freshly blanched green beans in a bowl.

July 20, 2018

If you have a lot of fresh produce you want to preserve, freezing is the fastest and easiest method. But before you throw those veggies in a freezer bag, check to see if they should be blanched. (Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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Homemade pico de gallo in a white container placed in the center of a wooden bowl of tortilla chips.

July 13, 2018

Summertime means homegrown tomatoes, or tasty tomatoes picked up at the local farmers market. One of my favorite ways to use these seasonal treats is a fresh summer salsa that’s delicious on top of grilled fish or chicken, a healthy addition to a baked potato, or the perfect match for tortilla chips and taco salad. I personally love tortilla chips with lime! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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Two ears of seasoned grilled corn on a platter.

July 6, 2018

Sweet corn is a popular crop in Mississippi, and different varieties grow throughout the warm months. It’s an affordable, fresh, and locally grown treat. Whether you like to cook it in the microwave  or cream it like your grandma taught you, corn is one of those foods that sings summertime! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A pint glass jar filled with homemade taco seasoning sits on a kitchen countertop.

July 3, 2018

It’s TACO TUESDAY! Don’t you hate reaching into the cabinet for that little packet of taco seasoning, only to find you forgot to buy any? 

Save yourself an extra trip to the store, and mix up your own taco seasoning! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A product display of Greek yogurt, buttermilk and kefir.

June 21, 2018

If you’re lactose intolerant, you may roll your eyes when you think of dairy. Yes, June is National Dairy Month, but what good is that to you? (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A sliced, ripe watermelon sits on a table outdoors.

June 19, 2018

Choosing a ripe watermelon at the market is easy if you know what to look for.  (Photo credit: Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A graphic depicts a woman preparing to clean a refrigerator after storing a recalled food item.

June 15, 2018

June is National Healthy Homes Month! Do you know all the steps to take to ensure your home is safe and healthy for your family?

A regular cleaning regime can keep your home free of dust, dirt, mold and pests. But did you know your refrigerator should be in this regular lineup? (Graphic by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

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A parfait made of seasonal, locally grown blueberries, strawberries, granola, and yogurt.

June 8, 2018

June is National Dairy Month, and what better way to enjoy a healthy dairy treat than a fast, easy fruit and yogurt parfait? (Photo by Jonathan Parrish)

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Natasha Haynes, an African American female wearing a plaid dress shirt stands in a kitchen and uses tongs to mix food ingredients in a stainless steel bowl. A tall bottle of olive oil is on the table.

May 25, 2018

If you want an inexpensive vegetable, this time of year you can find zucchini *everywhere.* If you have friends with big gardens, they might even give it away. Some of my Extension agent friends in other states joke about locking their car doors to keep people from putting bags of this versatile squash in there when no one is looking! 

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A white bowl contains red grape tomatoes, sliced strawberries, sliced red apples, green sugar snap peas, orange carrots, and a dark purple grape.

May 15, 2018

Every weekend before I go grocery shopping, I clean out the refrigerator and experience guilt.

Partially full yogurt containers past their expiration date. Shriveling squash. Browning celery. Leftovers I saved with good intentions but never ate. (Photo by Kevin Hudson)

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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

Three young people drive ATVs on a marked course in a field during a safety training.

Mississippi State University Extension 4-H members participate in the hands-on portion of an ATV Safety RiderCourse as Greg Biggs, 4-H agent in Madison County looks on.

4-H Contest Raises ATV Safety Awareness
A grouping of various kinds of cast-iron cookware sit on a kitchen counter.

Cast-iron cookware should be seasoned before the first use and periodically throughout its lifetime.
(Photo credit: Jonathan Parrish)

 

How to Season a Cast Iron Skillet
A person holds a canister of dry powder pesticide and a measuring spoon of powder over a fire ant mound.

Fire ant mounds will pop up throughout the year. Keep a dry powder pesticide on hand to treat them. (File photo by MSU Extension Service)

How to Treat Individual Fire Ant Mounds