County Extension

  • Pack a smart lunch

    “Pack a smart lunch” was the topic of my Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less class this past week. This is a topic in this class series because eating lunch is important if you’re trying to lose weight.
    Do any of these statements sound familiar?
    “I ran out of the house this morning and didn’t have time to pack my lunch.”
    “I didn’t have anything to pack for my lunch anyway, because there was no food in the house.”

  • Thermometers and bleach for food safety in the new year

    Last week was full of New Year’s resolutions and goals for folks to be happier and healthier this year. I bet food safety resolutions weren’t up there on your list, but I do have a couple ideas on how you can easily help keep your family and home safer when dealing with food.
    First, I suggest that you purchase three simple items that can make this task easy: regular chlorine bleach, a quick-read food thermometer and a refrigerator/freezer thermometer.

  • Make SMART resolutions for the new year

    It seems everyone is offering ideas this week for New Year’s resolutions we should be making. I don’t know the statistics on how quickly people break their resolutions, but I am sure that someone on the Internet will tell us. Resolutions don’t need to be something that’s easily dismissed.

  • This season, change the way you think about eggnog

    Eggnog, an annual tradition in many American homes, has its roots in early American history. It’s reported that even George Washington had his own favorite recipe for this holiday beverage.
    Traditionally, eggnog is made by combining raw eggs with milk or cream, flavorings and perhaps alcohol. I’m betting that George’s recipe had lots of eggs, cream, sugar and possibly rum.
    If your family enjoys eggnog, here are a couple of things to think about before indulging in this holiday tradition:

  • Calorie counting counts through the season

    Well, we’re on our way, one big eating holiday down and racing toward several more.
    I heard a quote once that I really like: “People are so worried about what they eat between Thanksgiving and the New Year, but they really should be worried about what they eat between New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving.”

  • Defrosting the turkey: Thanksgiving Q and A

    Already thinking about that Thanksgiving meal? I hope so. This is usually a busy month for us at the extension office with lots of questions related to food and food safety with people getting ready for the big eating day.

  • Take the Holiday Challenge for zero weight gain

    The holidays will be here before we know it. That means it’s time for the 2013 Holiday Challenge! The Holiday Challenge runs from Thanksgiving until New Year’s Eve and promotes weight maintenance through the busy holiday season.
    Americans tend to gain between 1 and 5 pounds during the holidays. While this doesn’t seem like much, the problem is that most don’t lose those extra pounds in the new year. Over time, that extra weight adds up. The goal of the Holiday Challenge is zero weight gain.

  • Quick quinoa quiz

    Quick: This is a quiz. What is quinoa?
                A) A girl’s name.
    B) A great word for Scrabble players.
    C) A nutritional food.
    D) All of the above.
    If you answered D, you are correct. OK, I guess this was a trick question. I wanted you to answer C – a great nutritional food – because it is. But the other answers are correct, too.

  • Enjoy fall color with winter squash

    Cooler weather is beginning to bring us beautiful autumn color in the trees and flowers. Another place we get deep, rich colors is in winter squash that is now so plentiful at local markets. They’ll be at their best price, so it’s the best time of year to add these vegetables to your family meals.

  • Making your own bee-friendly garden for three seasons

    By Judy Koehly
    Master Gardener
    When most people think of bees, the first bee that comes to mind is the honeybee, but this bee is only one of about 25,000 species known worldwide. In the U.S., we have almost 4,000 types of pollinating bees. The honeybee was adopted as North Carolina’s state insect in 1973. Not a native species, the honeybee was brought to North America by settlers from Europe. Bees native to the Carolinas are solitary bees and not subject to colony collapse.