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January 16, 2020

Venison burger on a bun sitting on a white plate.

Video by Jonathan Parrish

You may not know that our “set” for The Food Factor is a real kitchen in the home of one of our team members. Her husband loves to hunt and share food, so while we are working on the show we often get to sample a variety of venison dishes.

We found this flavorful recipe for Spicy Venison Burgers in a venison recipe booklet from Cornell University Cooperative Extension and thought it would be perfect for The Food Factor!


Several small and compact violet flowers on long stems with green foliage.

Mississippi Medallion Plants: Proven Performers

May 7, 2019

Do you want surefire performance in your landscape and vegetable garden, but don’t know what to look for when you go to the garden center?

 A mixture of small broccoli florets, diced carrots, eggs and cheese baked as a frittata in a large black cast-iron skillet.

The Food Factor: Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

May 3, 2019

Remember when you bought that head of broccoli on sale, but didn’t have a plan for it? Wash it, chop it, and let’s get dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

Frittatas are not just for fancy brunches! This nutritious, one-pan meal can be made with whatever vegetables you have on hand, though broccoli is one of my favorites. And it comes together so quickly, you’ll be out of the kitchen in no time!

A plant with variegated, triangular leaves.

What’s This Plant?: Client Q&A

April 30, 2019

Do you have a mysterious plant coming up in your yard and you’re not sure how it got there?

Extension has answers. Our experts can tell you what it is and the best ways to eradicate, control, or manage it.

A small clear glass bowl holds baked oatmeal with blueberries and a stainless steel spoon.

The Food Factor: Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

April 26, 2019

Some mornings, it’s hard for me to make healthy breakfast choices. Whether I’m running out of time or tempted by a hot breakfast sandwich from the local fast food restaurant drive-through, preparing ahead of time helps me stay on track. I may even start experimenting by adding bananas in the pan first or swapping honey for the brown sugar.

A group of tomato plants tied around a wooden stake in black plastic containers sitting on a shelf.

What to Do in Your Garden in May

April 23, 2019

I spent a lot of time working in my yard during April. I planted several pots, pruned my shrubs, and put down a fresh layer of mulch. It would be easy to sit back and admire my hard work, but with the warmer weather coming in, there’s still so much to do! 

A display of produce including red raspberries in a small clear glass bowl, green broccoli florets in a small clear glass bowl, 2 red apples behind the bowls. Does that work?

The Food Factor: Fruits and Veggies – Do you Measure Up?

April 18, 2019

I get it. You’re busy. It’s hard to squeeze a lot of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.

And, if you’re like me, when you hear a recommended number of daily servings, you just want to roll your eyes.

A red-throated hummingbird hovers over a red geranium.

How to Attract Hummingbirds

April 16, 2019

Hummingbirds are fascinating creatures and fun to watch. We usually begin to see them in Mississippi in March. Here are a few tips to draw them to your landscape.

A flower pot with three types of full sun flowers sits in the sun.

Container Gardening for Sun

April 12, 2019

If you have a sunny area where you’d like to try out some plants, consider putting them in a container for a trial run.

Plant them in the ‘thriller, filler, spiller’ fashion for a container with lots of visual interest. The thriller is the main focal point. A filler plant will help fill in the majority of the pot, and the spiller plant will grow to flow over the sides of the container.

A closeup of a red variegated coleus plant.

Container Gardening for Shade

April 9, 2019

Container gardens are a quick and easy way to spruce up your porch, deck, or landscape. Just make sure you choose the area you want to place the container before heading to the garden center. (Photo by Michaela Parker/Cindy Callahan)

Homemade ranch dressing in a clear glass bowl atop a turquoise blue plate, surrounded by baby carrots, broccoli florets, and grape tomatoes.

Make Your Own Ranch Dressing

April 5, 2019

If you’re like me, a full bottle of salad dressing often expires before I can use it all. Plus, ready- made salad dressings tend to be loaded with hidden sugar, salt, and fat.

By making your own ranch dressing, you can control the fat, the flavors, and the portions.

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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