• " "
  • " "
  • " "
  • " "
  • " "

Food Blog Posts

Three plates with tortillas, fish, and a completed grilled fish taco with peach salsa on a picnic table.

August 4, 2020

Fans of The Food Factor know I like spicy food, and these tacos bring the heat! What I love about this recipe is how the peach salsa has both sweet and spicy elements that enhance the flavor of the fish.

While the original recipe recommends tilapia, you can substitute Mississippi farm-raised catfish and support your local farmers!

Cubed watermelon with spices and fresh mint.

July 20, 2020

Every once in a while, I get the urge to try a recipe that is totally different from anything I’ve ever tasted. Fire & Ice Watermelon Salad uses sweet, cubed watermelon, but adds savory flavors and fresh mint for a unique and refreshing salad.

A wooden spoon is used to stir mint leaves in a pitcher of lemonad.

July 14, 2020

Hot summer weather is here, and this mint lemonade is just the thing for cooling off! If you’re not already growing your own mint, I recommend trying it. Be sure to plant mint in a pot, because it thrives in Mississippi and will spread like wildfire if you put it in the ground!

A woman sits in a chair outside.

July 6, 2020

Video by Jonathan Parrish

There’s no better time than now to use food to build your body’s natural defenses to boost and help protect your immune system. A healthy immune system helps your body fight illness.

Merriam-Webster defines nutrition as the act or process of nourishing or being nourished. Nourishment focuses on using many nutrients from a variety of foods to give you what you need to be healthy.

So, make sure your kitchen is stocked with an assortment of foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean meats, seafood, dairy, eggs, and plant-based proteins, such...

A family eats at a picnic table in the park.

July 2, 2020

During your outdoor outings, you'll want to take some steps to ensure your food doesn't spoil in the cooler.

fruit salad with whipped topping in a clear glass bowl

June 29, 2020

Fresh, cold fruit and creamy, fat-free topping make this Red, White, & Blue Salad the perfect treat to beat the heat at your next summer gathering. A little bit of lime juice will keep the bananas from browning and adds that zesty citrus flavor I love so much!

Water poured over brown eggs in an electric pressure cooker.

June 25, 2020

Hard-boiled eggs are a quick, affordable, and protein-filled snack. They are the foundation for egg salad and deviled eggs and are tasty in a variety of salads. So use your electric pressure cooker to make easy-to-peel hard-boiled eggs!

A mixture of spices and salt in a clear glass bowl

June 15, 2020

Making your own mixes is a favorite topic here on The Food Factor. We’ve shared recipes for Ranch Dressing Mix, Taco Seasoning Mix, and Magic Meat Mixes. Today we’ve got a recipe for Italian Dressing Mix!

True confession: I don’t usually make this dressing mix for salads. I put it in the slow cooker with roast beef, onions, and peppers for a delicious alternative to traditional pot roast.

A person off-camera pours water into a glass.

June 9, 2020

Staying hydrated plays a key role in keeping our body systems working. How much water should you drink daily?

Frozen yogurt-dipped grapes sit on a baking sheet.

June 2, 2020

Do you need some quick and healthy snack ideas for the office or to pack the pantry and fridge for the kids this summer?

Clear glass parfait cups with lemon pudding layered with graham cracker crumbs topped with manadarin orange slices

May 26, 2020

Lemon Velvet Supreme is very low in fat and relies on fruit as a primary ingredient. Be sure to choose fresh fruit, such as blueberries, or canned fruit packed in natural juices, not in heavy syrup! To keep the graham crackers crispy, put this together right before you’re going to serve it. The original recipe serves six and calls for assembling the ingredients in a serving dish. If you go this route, I’d use an 8”x8” square pan.

For fun, we decided to make individual servings in pretty dishes! Note: we used 8 whole graham crackers, and that was quite a bit for our individual dishes, but would make a good bottom layer in a serving dish. Also, the graham crackers do not form a crust, so this is not a dessert you cut into squares. You just spoon it into small bowls and enjoy!

Spicy tuna on top of mixed greens, in a bowl as a dip, and in a wrap on a plate.

May 18, 2020

Do you ever get tired of eating the same old healthy salad? I do! That’s why I was excited to find this recipe for Spicy Tuna that can be used three different ways: as a dip with baked tortilla chips, as a wrap with lettuce leaves or tortillas, or as a topping for a green salad made with lettuce, mixed greens or fresh spinach.

Baked boneless porkchops on sliced sweet potatoes topped with orange slices in a glass baking dish

May 7, 2020

If you are cooking for just one or two, this recipe is for you! It features one of our favorite ingredients – Mississippi-grown sweet potatoes. You can expand this recipe as needed for a larger crowd.

You’ll want to save this recipe for a weeknight when you have a little extra time or cook it on the weekend, as it requires browning the pork chops first, then baking them.

I love the combination of tangy, sweet, and savory flavors! While the recipe doesn’t specify an order, The Food Factor crew put the sweet potatoes on the bottom of the baking dish with a sprinkle of cinnamon, then we topped the potatoes with the chops. Sprinkle the meat with a bit of salt and pepper before the orange slices.

A bowl of blueberry baked oatmeal.

May 4, 2020

My husband and I cook dinner at home 99 percent of the time. Now that we are practicing social distancing under the governor’s safer-at-home order, our kitchen is really getting a workout.

A pile of blueberries

April 24, 2020

Blueberries are a nutrient- and antioxidant-rich food. Harvesting them at the peak of ripeness ensures you get the greatest health benefits and the best taste.

slices of French toast on a colorful plate

April 20, 2020

Traditionally, French toast recipes include white bread, eggs, butter and/or oil, and maple syrup. This French toast makeover substitutes whole wheat bread for white bread, mashed banana for the egg, and cooking spray for the oil. As long as you top it with fruit instead of butter and maple syrup, this French toast has a fraction of the calories compared to the traditional option.

A person holding a fork and plate with food on it.

April 16, 2020

The current COVID-19 pandemic may have you feeling more stressed than usual. With the amount of time spent at home, all of the food in your kitchen is at your fingertips at any time of the day.

Three bags of frozen food sit on a counter.

April 1, 2020

If your income has been affected by the new coronavirus situation, you may be looking at ways to stretch your budget. 

 

Cooking at home can help.

A labeled zip-top bag of Orange Teriyaki Chicken in the freezer.

March 31, 2020

As cases of COVID-19 increase around the country, many families are practicing social distancing to protect themselves and others. This likely means you are cooking at home more and are trying to limit your trips to the grocery store. 

So, if you are cooking with more frozen items, check out these tasty recipes that have been featured on the Extension for Real Life blog!

peanut butter chocolate granola squares on a blue-gray plate

March 23, 2020

Looking for a fun recipe that you can make with your kids? These no-bake treats are loaded with fiber, use ingredients you probably have on hand in your pantry, and are a terrific homemade snack.  

Pages

 

 

 

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

Graphic showing kids wearing masks with tips for parents.
Students headed back to the classroom may be required to wear a mask. These tips can help them get ready. Graphic by Kim Trimm
How to Help Children Stay Healthy at School Amid COVID-19