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Food Blog Posts

A colorful display of fruits and vegetables features a head of white cauliflower in the center with tomatoes, bell peppers, yellow squash, potatoes, plums and more radiating outward.

January 11, 2019

We all know we need to eat more vegetables, but finding ways to include them in our busy lives can be a challenge. It’s easy to get in a rut and eat the same vegetables year-round, but you may find some tasty options if you try something new! (Photo by Canstock)

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January 4, 2019

If you are tired of New Year’s resolutions, let me ease your mind: these four tips are really fast, easy habits that will help you stay healthy. If you’ve got 20 seconds, you’ve got time for at least one resolution! (File photo by MSU Extension)

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A close-up of a golden brown whole-grain pancake on a nonstick griddle, with parts of two other pancakes blurred in the background.

December 21, 2018

Ready to enjoy a tasty breakfast treat without the guilt? These whole-grain pancakes will do the trick! Be sure to top with fresh or pureed fruit, such as sliced berries or bananas. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A woman holds up a turquoise blue mug while sitting on a brown leather couch and smiling at the camera.

December 14, 2018

The whole spices can be expensive, but they are strong, so they go a long way. If you’re not familiar with the spice mace, it tastes similar to nutmeg but is considered milder in flavor. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A close-up of honey-cranberry granola bars that shows in fine detail the oats and cranberries.

November 23, 2018

Making my own snacks gives me complete control over the ingredients. I love to use local honey in this recipe for homemade granola bars, which are lower in calories than most store-bought options, and are high in fiber. And the cranberries give this snack that sweet-tart combination I enjoy. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A round peanut butter and jelly sandwich sits on a white plate. It is decorated to look like a turkey, with green, red, and yellow apple slices for feathers, chocolate chips for eyes, cheese for a nose and legs, and a small bit of bacon for a wattle. The plate sits on a multicolored floral placemat.

November 19, 2018

Thanksgiving season, while full of fun, laughter, and family, can also be hectic. Having small children can add to both the joy and the craziness. (Photo by Michaela Parker/Cindy Callahan)

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A group of people stand behind a waist-high, elevated raised gardening bed full of green potato foliage.

November 16, 2018

Not into conventional gardening? A salad table just may be for you.

With these elevated gardening beds, you can grow fresh vegetables and herbs throughout the year right at your fingertips. These tables work well in small spaces and eliminate the physical demands of an in-ground garden. (Photo courtesy of Carla Moore)

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A mixture of diced onions, green and red bell peppers, scrambled eggs, and shredded cheese on a flour tortilla.

November 9, 2018

I’m always looking for ways to make healthy eating easier! This recipe for breakfast burritos makes eight tasty treats you can easily freeze for a low-cost, protein-filled breakfast on the go! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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Roasted and seasoned broccoli florets, sweet potato chunks, and whole baby carrots on a foil covered sheet pan.

October 26, 2018

Some days it’s hard to get all of my daily servings of fruits and vegetables. One way I’ve found to solve this problem is roasting an assortment of vegetables in the oven. I get to choose my favorite seasonal vegetables, which are usually more affordable. I love the texture and flavor of roasted vegetables too. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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Hands spoon a ground meat and riced cauliflower mixture into a raw green bell pepper held over a stainless steel bowl.

October 23, 2018

The days are getting shorter, and if you’re like me, you don’t always feel like cooking when you get home -- but you don’t want to eat fast food either. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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Black and white Hostein cows and light brown Jersey cows graze on green grass.

October 19, 2018

On a rainy day in early autumn, hundreds of people packed into the Mississippi State University Joe Bearden Dairy Center to learn where their milk, butter, yogurt, and ice cream come from. (File Photo by Kat Lawrence)

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Several browned bone-in chicken thighs on top of halved baby potatoes and green beans on a foil-covered sheet pan.

October 12, 2018

If you like one-pot meals but want a little more variety in your dinnertime favorites, sheet pan suppers are the way to go! If you line your pan with foil, you’ll spend less time at the stove top AND the kitchen sink. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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A close-up of a large brown Russet potato on a green plate with a white rim inside a microwave oven.

September 25, 2018

When the weather begins to cool down, I start thinking of wintery foods. But let’s face it: in Mississippi, it’s not going to be cold for a while! Instead of heating up the oven, you can save time by making a “baked” potato in the microwave! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish)

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A brown bamboo bowl filled with fried rice made with brown rice, scrambled egg, and mixed vegetables including green beans, peas, carrots and corn.

September 21, 2018

Leftover rice – whether you’ve brought it home from a local restaurant or cooked it yourself – is the perfect foundation for a fun and easy weeknight supper: fried rice. But if you’re not careful, fried rice can be chock full of calories and sodium.

Here are some tips for making your fried rice healthier! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish)

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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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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

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