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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!


A green recycling bin sitting next to a black trashcan.

Easy Ways to Start Recycling

January 6, 2020

Video by Michaela Parker

At the beginning of a new year, everyone makes goals and resolutions to keep throughout the coming months. If you want to make more eco-friendly decisions, here are a few tips to help you become intentional with recycling. 

  1. If you are fortunate to have curbside recycling or drop off locations in your community, take advantage of the opportunity! Be sure to check when recycling is picked up and where drop off sites are.
  2. Know what can’t be recycled. Batteries, electronics, plastic bags, clothing, garden hoses,
  3. ...
Almonds in a white bowl.

Tips for Controlling Portion Sizes

January 2, 2020

The holiday season is finally over and life is slowing down a bit.  Everyone has made their New Year’s resolutions to be the best versions of themselves for 2020. 

Natasha Haynes.

The Food Factor: Top 5 Posts for 2019

December 16, 2019

To wrap up 2019, we wanted to share with you our most popular posts this year.

It's always fun to see what resonates with our food-loving friends. We strive to share recipes we think are healthy, fun, and realistic -- no 25-ingredient recipes here! 

A person with green gloves pruning a tree with yellow leaves.

Gardening Tasks for January

December 16, 2019

Do you have improving your garden or landscape on your New Year’s resolution list? If you don’t, you should! Each month, we are going to offer a few suggested tasks to do. So, without further ado, here are four tasks for you to complete in your garden and landscape during the month of January:

 
Sweet potato muffins on a white plate

Sweet Potato and Orange Muffins

December 12, 2019

Photo by Jonathan Parrish.

Sweet potatoes are healthy, delicious, and grown right here in Mississippi. What’s not to love? Well, I don’t love all the fat that most people add to them, whether making casseroles, baking pies, or deep-frying sweet potato fries.

These muffins are a healthy breakfast food you can enjoy at home or on the go. The recipe pairs the rich flavor of sweet potatoes with a bright splash of citrus. The golden color hides the grated carrot, and whole wheat flour boosts your fiber intake even more. With a mere 120 calories per serving and 50 percent of your vitamin A for the day, you’ll start the day off right! You could add chopped pecans for a little extra protein, or dried cranberries for extra flavor, but know they’ll both add more calories. (In my opinion, it’s worth it!)

A Christmas tree decorated with white lights.

Tips to Ease Holiday Stress

December 10, 2019

If just the thought of the holidays sets off a sense of dread, consider approaching the season differently this year.
Dr. David Buys, Mississippi State University Extension Service health specialist, has some simple, practical tips to help you. 
Photo credit: Michael Voroshnin – Unsplash

Cooked, shredded pork roast in cranberry sauce.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Roast

December 4, 2019

Our Facebook fans have asked for healthier holiday recipes and slow cooker recipes, so The Food Factor team has combined both requests into one new video: Slow Cooker Cranberry Pork Roast!

Wreath with Santa hat and white tulle shaped to look like a beard hanging on a wooden door.

How to Make a Santa Tulle Wreath

December 3, 2019

Christmas is my favorite time of year! We wanted to share a fun DIY craft to make with your family this holiday season. Natalie Ray, Extension agent in Clay County, made the cutest Santa wreath with her 4-H’ers and we had to share the instructions!

Homemade applesauce in a blue and white enamel bowl.

The Food Factor: How to Make Homemade Applesauce

November 29, 2019

Nothing says fall like the scent of homemade applesauce simmering on the stove. One of the best things about making your own food is the ability to control the spices, amount of sugar, and texture of whatever you’re making. We found small bags of apples on sale for 99 cents each in the produce department of our local grocery store. Imperfect or slightly bruised apples make great applesauce! (Photo by MSU Extension)

A group of red poinsettias.

What To do in Your Garden in December

November 26, 2019

Poinsettias, a common Christmas plant, are in bloom during December. (Photo by MSU Extension)

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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