Signup to receive email updates




or follow our RSS feed

Blog Archives

341 Total Posts

follow our RSS feed

Blog Banner

Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Fruits and Vegetables
gazpacho shots 01

Cool Down to a Cold Bowl of Gazpacho

A hot summer day is the perfect time to enjoy a refreshing bowl of gazpacho. This classic Spanish soup is one of the few soups that is served chilled. There are many variations to this ancient dish, but the modern version usually consists of tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, garlic, cucumbers and olive oil. Without having to cook anything, gazpacho is super simple to make. Although the ve...

Read More >

jar lifting

What to do with that Garden Produce

While your plants in the garden are coming to fruition, it's time to start thinking about harvest. When the bounty is ready, there's not much time to waste. Loads of produce can come ready all at once, and without a plan in place, they sadly could go to waste. Giving it away is one approach to decreasing food waste. Family, friends, neighbors and co-workers will likely be thrilled to ge...

Read More >

zucchini pic

What to do with Summer Squash

Most grocery stores keep one variety of yellow squash and one variety of zucchini on their produce shelves year round. However, the farmers market is a probable summer spot to find a bigger variety of summer squash, varying in different shapes, sizes and colors. Zucchini can come in the traditional green color, but you may also find yellow zucchini. Not to be confused with yellow squash...

Read More >

Pineapple
click image to view 2 more

How to Cut a Pineapple

While pineapple is delicious canned, many people agree that fresh pineapple takes the prize in flavor. This tropical fruit is generally available year round in the United States, with the majority imported from Costa Rica. Its scales on the thick outer skin are actually the fruit's flowers. One pineapple is made up of a cluster of individual flowerets that fuse together to form the entire fruit...

Read More >

olives

All About Olives

Olives have been a part of the Mediterranean region since biblical times. Here in the United States, California takes the prize of olive production, producing 95% of the olives grown in the nation. Table varieties include Manzanilla, or black "California-style," Sevillano and Ascolano. Mission and Arbequina varieties are generally best suited for olive oil. The average consumer may not care so...

Read More >

Pasta Salad Eat

The Diversity of Pasta Salad

The school year has come to a close, which means now is the perfect time for picnics and barbeques. This kickoff to the unofficial start of the summer is also the debut of summer foods, including the ever-loving pasta salad. The best part about pasta salad is its diversity. Do you want a creamy white dressing or a vinaigrette? Olives or no olives? Meat or no meat? Cheese or no cheese? Macaroni,...

Read More >

jicama-875254 1920

Tired of the Same Foods? Try Jicama!

Jicama (pronounced Hee-kah-ma) may also be referred to as a Mexican Turnip. Native to Latin America, this vegetable is the root of a plant that produces seeds or "beans." However, these beans are not for eating. Other than the flesh of the jicama, the stems, leaves and seeds are toxic, which naturally wards off hungry insects. Peel the thick, brown skin with a sharp knife to get to the white fl...

Read More >

parsley

Parsley: More Than a Garnish

I grow parsley in my garden year after year. There are so many uses for this herb that I can't imagine having to constantly buy it at the store. To me, parsley is so much more than just a garnish! The most common type of parsley is curly parsley. It has tightly curled or ruffled leaves and is a bit tougher than the second most common type of parsley, Italian flat-leaf. Italian flat-leaf...

Read More >

tomatillo MGD©

Are Tomatillos Tomatoes?

When Cinco de Mayo rolls around, the cravings of Mexican cuisine are in full force. Tomatillos are a staple in Mexican cooking, bringing a zesty tart flavor to many classic dishes. Despite the meaning of the name (tomatillo means "little tomato" in Spanish), tomatillos are not tomatoes, but rather a member of the solanaceae , or nightshade family. However, they are relatives of...

Read More >

peas-512254 1920

Pass the Peas, Please

Springtime is the perfect time to enjoy fresh peas. Experience the flavors of the three most common type of peas: English peas (also called garden or sweet peas), snow peas, and snap peas. The pods of English peas are firm and rounded. The little round green peas inside need to be removed and the pod discarded. The peas are sweet and can be eaten raw or cooked. Most store-bought peas th...

Read More >

brussels-sprouts

A New Way to Fry

If you're a kitchen gadget guru, or just a person who wants to put quick, delicious meals on the table, you must be in love with all the new modern kitchen gadgets and appliances on the market. The air fryer is just one of the ways you can enjoy delicious food with a little help from modern science. The air fryer was first released in 2010 where it got it's start in Europe and Australia...

Read More >

Quiche

Top 3 Green Foods

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, we eat or drink green food. Why? I'm sure there is tale to tell, but my eyes are too fixed on all the green to care. Green food is generally associated with optimal nutrition and good health, but I'm not talking about beer or eggs that's been dyed green. Natural green foods, colored by the pigment chlorophyll, are foods we should eat more than just one day a year....

Read More >

sweet-pepper-400149 1920

The Bright Colors of Bell Peppers

While it may not feel like it now, spring is just around the corner. The avid gardener is already thinking about what type of produce they will plant in the garden. Bell peppers are a given for many, but what color? Mature bell peppers can be red, orange, yellow or green. However, all peppers start out green before turning color as they mature. The rate at which they will turn color and...

Read More >

Flourless Banana Cookies

Going Bananas for Bananas!

One of the most familiar fruits to children and adults alike is the banana. It's no wonder it winds up on most people's grocery list trip after trip; with a peel that can come off in a matter of seconds, it serves as a convenient and quick snack option for those at home or on the go. Bananas are picked before they are ripe, which means they'll be Kermit the Frog green. Depending upon wh...

Read More >

Spiced Beef and Cabbage

Turmeric: A Trendy Spice

Used for more than 5,000 years, turmeric is native to Southern Asia and known as a major ingredient in curry recipes. This spice has been trending from food magazines to talk shows to social media, but what's all the buzz about? Turmeric is a member of the same family as ginger and cardamom. Like ginger, turmeric is grown for it's rhizomes, which are the edible root structure grown unde...

Read More >

Is Keto For You?

As the season for weight loss diets is now in full swing, you may be wondering if the ketogenic, or keto, diet is one to embark on. The ketogenic diet is one of the newest weight-loss strategies to surface the media, but it's actually been around since 1920 as an effective treatment for epilepsy in children. While there's slight variances in the many versions of the keto diet, it's basi...

Read More >

portuguese-custard-tart-758547 1920

Getting Fancy with Custard

For some, the holidays are a time to get fancy. You wear your best dress or tuxedo to the corporate holiday party, you set out your grandmother's fine china, and you actually use that dining room table as a place to eat rather than a place to store all of life's daily belongings. It's also a time to serve fancier food. Flan, crème brulee and crème anglaise are three examples of a custard that s...

Read More >

Caring for Leftovers

The stores are in full fledge Christmas mode, the Hanukkah or Christmas decorations are already up, and the holiday parties are marked on your calendar. It may be hard to believe that just a few days ago, many people were celebrating Thanksgiving. However, there may still be evidence of this autumn holiday left in your fridge, which brings up the important question: when should these delicious...

Read More >

IMG 5036

Preparing the Meal for Thanksgiving

If it's your turn to host the family holiday dinner, you hopefully have your game plan ready. There's a lot to consider, including whether or not you have the space: dining table space, burner/oven space and refrigerator space. Not to mention, what foods you are going to prepare and what foods you want others to prepare. No one wants to be working hard over a hot stove while everyone else is mi...

Read More >

Is Agave Nectar a Healthier Alternative to Sugar?

Even most children can tell you that excess sugar isn't healthy, unless of course they are bargaining for just one more piece of Halloween candy! A high sugar diet may lead to cavities and obesity and in turn, influence diabetes and heart disease. This may have you thinking about alternative ways to sweeten foods, such as agave nectar. Agave nectar isn't truly a nectar, but rather a syr...

Read More >

sauerkraut

Shout for Sauerkraut!

Sauerkraut is the German word for "sour cabbage" and is most notably known for it's use in German-inspired dishes. However, it actually originated in China and has now become one of the most well known fermented products on the market. Sauerkraut is shredded cabbage that has been fermented to impart a tangy-tart flavor while preserving the cabbage for longer storage tim...

Read More >

Turnip Fries

Root for the Turnip!

Autumn is an ideal time to savor the flavors of root vegetables, including turnips. Turnips belong to the cabbage family, and most often resemble their cousins, rutabaga and kohlrabi . They have a mild flavor and texture like potatoes, thus are delicious boiled and mashed or oven roasted. They're also ideal for soups, ste...

Read More >

tomatoes-2314638 1920

Ratatouille, the Food not the Movie

Sadly, only one in ten American adults meet the recommended amount of fruits (1 ½ - 2 cups) and vegetables (2 – 3 cups) each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you sheepishly think to yourself that this is you, start the autumn season off with a healthy start and a hearty bowl of ratatouille. Ratatouille is a French stew packed with vegetables, includin...

Read More >

bruschetta-3540405 1920

Holy Guacamole!

Is there really anything better than guacamole? It's a test to one's self-restraint to not eat the whole bowl of dip in one sitting. This mouth-watering avocado-based dip is a healthy snack when eaten in moderation. Occasionally called by its nickname, "guac," it's made by mashing avocados with salt and adding traditional ingredients, such as tomatoes, garlic, onion and lime juice. It's...

Read More >

mulberry sauce

Is it Ketchup or Catsup?

Whether you spell it catsup or ketchup, you've likely squirted this popular condiment on a variety of foods. The first documentation of the product dated back to the 1600's when Europeans brought back the sauce from China. However, this wasn't the ketchup we know today. In fact, it was derived from fermented fish and lacked the main ingredient that makes this red condiment a crowd-pleaser: the...

Read More >