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May 26, 2020

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

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!


slices of French toast on a colorful plate

The Food Factor Makeover: French Toast

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.

Ideas to Help Avoid Stress Eating

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.

four hummingbirds feed at two feeders.

Keep Hummingbirds Coming Back to Your Yard

April 13, 2020

Hummingbirds are now out in full force. The arrival of these tiny acrobats marks the beginning of spring, and people love to put out feeders for them.

A person running with purple tennis shoes on.

Tips for Exercising At Home

April 8, 2020

I had a friend challenge me recently to pick up one good habit during this period of social distancing. Use this time to establish good habits for health and exercise!

A light pink native azalea.

Top Six Plants for Shade

April 6, 2020

With some spare time on your hands, now is a great time to think about ways to spruce up your landscape over the next year.

Three bags of frozen food sit on a counter.

7 Tips to Help Stretch Food Budgets

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.

Easy Recipes for Cooking from 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!

A person spreading mulch in a flower bed.

Gardening Tasks for April

March 26, 2020

Everyone’s normal routine is being flipped upside down. Employees are working from home, kids are out of school, and social gatherings are postponed. Boredom and stress are setting in. Gardening to the rescue! 

peanut butter chocolate granola squares on a blue-gray plate

The Food Factor: Peanut Butter Chocolate Trail Mix Bites

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.  

A graph showing the number of cases of coronavirus with and without protective measures

What is “Flattening the Curve” and How Do I Help?

March 18, 2020

“Flattening the curve” is an important concept in discussions about the coronavirus, but what does it really mean?

“Flattening the curve” refers to the lines on a graph documenting the number of cases compared to the timespan of an outbreak.  Normally, when a virus or illness hits a community, there is an early peak in cases (the number of people who get sick), and then the rate of infection slows down, causing the peak to drop. But if that first peak is high, the number of people needing treatment can overwhelm the healthcare system.

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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.

Blog content is created by a core team of communicators, including Susan Collins-Smith, Ellen Graves, Natasha Haynes, Keri Lewis, Michaela Parker, and Jonathan Parrish. 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