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April 20, 2021

Chicken alfreado in a colorful bowl

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!


Seed packets on a display in a garden store.

January Garden Checklist

December 22, 2020

Staying on top of your gardening chores can be quite the task. When do you plant shrubs? When do you prune crape myrtles? That’s why we’re here!

Real Christmas trees piled with curbside garbage

How to Recycle Christmas Trees

December 18, 2020

If you celebrate with a real tree, you’ll have to decide how to dispose of it once the holiday is over. You have some good options for recycling the tree instead of sending it to the landfill.

Omelet ingredients cooked on a foil-covered sheet pan

The Food Factor: Simple Sheet Pan Eggs

December 14, 2020

If you have a large family and need new breakfast ideas, this sheet pan omelet will please a crowd and keep you from spending hours in the kitchen. Best of all, you can customize it for your family's taste preferences.

You don’t have to precook any of the toppings, but they may be a little crunchy. I prefer to sauté the mushrooms, onions, and peppers first to cook out some of the water and get the flavors to blend together a little before adding to the egg mixture. You know I love spicy foods, so I’d even add a little salsa to this for some more kick!

A person wearing a green shirt scraping a stem with a razor bade.

How to Propagate Plants from Cuttings

December 11, 2020

Propagating plants may sound like a hard task to take on, but it’s a cost-effective way to add beautiful plants to your garden. It’s yet another reason you should have friends who are gardeners!

A woman stands on the front steps of a home.

How to Reduce Stress by Moving More

December 8, 2020

Because many families are celebrating this holiday season a little differently, we might feel a little stressed. One of the things that helps me stay grounded during this time is physical activity. It’s one of the most important things you can do for your health.

A white mask hanging on Christmas garland.

Tips for a Happy, Healthy Holiday Season

December 4, 2020

Looking for the top gift to give your loved ones this holiday season? Here’s an idea: a COVID-free celebration! The holidays are normally a time when we open our homes to friends and family and celebrate together. The spread of COVID-19 has caused us all to reimagine the way we enjoy the holidays. 

Just how do you celebrate this time of year, while limiting the spread of COVID-19?? It’s not an easy answer, but here are a few tips to help your holidays be as safe and festive as possible. Please note, this information is based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease...

Hot cocoa sprinkled with cinnamon in a terra cotta mug

The Food Factor: Spiced Cocoa

December 1, 2020

Nothing says “happy holidays” like a cup of hot cocoa! This year, treat yourself to a homemade treat—spiced cocoa from scratch!

Sure, opening a premade mix is easy, but once you try these delicious homemade options, it will be hard to go back to the packets!

Enjoy, and happy holidays from The Food Factor crew!

Yellow flowers turned brown.

Gardening Tasks for December

November 27, 2020

12/12. We’ve finally reached the end of 2020. I think everyone can agree that it’s been a heavy year. Here’s to 2021, right? I hope staying active in your lawn and garden has brought you a sense of normalcy during this crazy year. If anything, hopefully it’s been a good distraction!

Oven-roasted carrots in a clear glass bowl

The Food Factor: Balsamic Roasted Carrots

November 24, 2020

Need a quick side dish? Tired of your usual preparation methods? Try these Balsamic Roasted Carrots for a budget-friendly, flavorful veggie that goes with almost any main dish!

roasted turkey on a platter with herbs, cranberries, and orange slices

Don’t Rinse Your Turkey!

November 20, 2020

Before you put that giant turkey in the sink, STOP! Rinsing your bird before baking won’t reduce your chances of foodborne illness.

In fact, if you rinse the turkey, you have a greater chance of getting sick because of cross-contamination.

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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