It's Halloween and Fall, So Time for Soup!

“Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble.” If this Shakespearean ode to witches doesn’t conjure up a craving for a big pot of soup on Halloween night, maybe the cooler temperatures will do the trick. Either way, it’s fall. Time to bring out the cauldron, err, stockpot and stir up comfort food at its finest. Some of my favorite homemade soups are chicken noodle, taco, vegetable with a hearty dose of ham, and one that may not sound very appetizing, but is absolutely delicious - bok choy and chicken meatball soup. The recipe was given to me by the talented chefs at Scranton’s restaurant in Pascagoula. I tasted it while judging a soup and gumbo competition on the Gulf Co

Citrus Trees' Harvest Makes Them Worth Growing in State

Citrus in Mississippi produce their crop in fall and winter. These Meyer lemons and satsumas were ready to be enjoyed at Christmas time. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman) The fall and winter seasons mean it’s time for colorful pansy, viola, and dianthus. But the changing seasons also mean that home gardeners who grow citrus will soon harvest delicious fruit -- satsuma, kumquat, Meyer lemon, oh my! I’ve been enjoying fresh-off-the-tree satsumas for about a month. A friend suggested that you don’t have to wait until the satsuma fully develops that rich, orange color. The sugars are close to their maximum content just as the fruit starts showing some yellows. I had to try this approach, eve

Check Out These Israeli Wines

Israel is certainly not high on the minds of most U.S. wine consumers. Although ancient wine production in Israel is documented through archeological evidence and chronicled frequently in the Bible, wine production and world attention has lagged among wine producing countries. According to a 2014 ranking of wine production by country, Israel ranked 58th behind wine “powerhouse” Cuba (48th) and Madagascar (53rd). However insignficant the volume and notoriety, a recent tasting showed that quality is not is not relevant to rankings. Israel has the same latitude as San Diego and features hot and rain-free summers and wet winters -- ideal for vinifera grape production. The modern era for Israeli

Food Factor: Easy Roasted Veggies

Some days it’s hard to get all of my daily servings of fruits and vegetables. One way I’ve found to solve this problem is roasting an assortment of vegetables in the oven. I get to choose my favorite seasonal vegetables, which are usually more affordable. I love the texture and flavor of roasted vegetables too. Here’s the method I use to roast veggies, adapted from my friends at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Roasted Veggies Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet or sheet pan with aluminum foil. Toss five cups of assorted vegetables in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning, and 1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Stir to coat vegeta

Best of Jackson: Ethnic Food

When you're in the mood for something other than a cheeseburger or fried chicken, try out one of these delicious ethic food restaurants in the capital city! Check out some our favorite spots in this week's Sipp Jackson post.

Peanut Acreage Falls, But Yields Look Strong

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- An application of peanut fungicide costs $15-20 per acre, so growers are relieved when they catch a year like 2018 when disease pressure is low. While statewide peanut acreage is down significantly from last year -- about 25,000 acres compared with 42,000 in 2017 -- the crop benefited from good growing conditions, with average yields of 2 tons per acre. “Peanuts were a bumper crop last year, and it’s going to be same this time. Disease pressure was probably at the lowest we’ve had in a number of years,” said Malcom Broome, Mississippi Peanut Growers Association executive director. “I haven’t heard any complaints with white mold. Growers are using routine fungicide amount

Dinner Bell in McComb Keeps Round Table Dining Alive

“Round and round she goes, where she stops, nobody knows.” The famous line from the popular 1940’s radio program The Original Amateur Hour comes to mind as diners step into the historic Dinner Bell in the heart of downtown McComb. Once inside, large lazy Susans are piled with every conceivable Southern dish are spinning slowly in the middle of round tables throughout the sprawling restaurant. On a recent Friday, each table’s lazy Susan is laden with the meat selections of the day, fried chicken and fried catfish, along with traditional accompaniments often found on a Sunday dinner table of a bygone era. Sides like chicken and dumplings, fried okra, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes, rice and

Food Factor: Slow Cooker Stuffed Bell Peppers

The days are getting shorter, and if you’re like me, you don’t always feel like cooking when you get home, but you don’t want to eat fast food either. I discovered this recipe using cauliflower rice and any ground meat while looking online for healthy recipes. I decided to try Italian sausage because I love the convenience of the meat being seasoned already. You can even find Italian sausage made with turkey or chicken if you are really watching your fat intake. A slow-cooker liner makes clean-up a snap! If you don’t use a liner, be sure to coat the inside of your slow cooker with a non-stick spray. Slow Cooker Stuffed Bell Peppers 4-6 bell peppers, depending on size 1 pound ground meat or I

All About Amarones

As if wine isn’t confusing enough, along comes the mysterious amarones from Italy to tax the brain. While most wines are simply made – pick the grapes, let them ferment and then bottle – amarones add a twist. We’ll try to demystify the process. An ancient process unique to the Valpolicella region of Veneto, amarone’s late-harvested grapes are dried by autumn breezes on straw mats in large, open-sided lodges until they shrivel to a raisin-like composition. The process, which takes roughly 120 days, results in 40-50 percent less juice but the grapes have a higher concentration of flavors and more sugar. The sugar is vinified to make a dry wine, although with alcohol levels of 15 percent or mor

Simplify Holiday Entertaining

Preparing side dishes can be time consuming. Save those precious minutes to enjoy the holidays by using refrigerated, never-frozen options like mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, baked apples, and even macaroni and cheese that can be heated in the microwave and ready to serve in minutes. Like many hosts, you are likely searching for perfection in your holiday get-togethers. While those expectations are lofty, and each year may seem more and more difficult with an ever-expanding guest list, you can make things easier by serving ready-to-eat options like refrigerated macaroni and cheese, made with real milk and cheese. Find more ideas to make your holiday sides simply delicious at bobevan

Make Halloween Healthier for Everyone

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Extra sweets around the house for Halloween can haunt anyone’s good intentions, but a few healthy tricks can make this holiday fun for everyone. Ann Twiner, Mississippi State University Extension Service agent in Sunflower County, suggested different ways to use surplus treats. “If you buy more Halloween candy than needed, you can always freeze it,” Twiner said. “Make sure you put it in an air-tight container, like a zip-top bag, and it will be fine. This way, if the candy is not in Halloween-themed wrappers, you can use it for Thanksgiving or Christmas.” Twiner also shared methods of sharing uneaten candy with others in the community. “Put some in a bag for the mail carr

Set to Open in Late Fall, Cultivation Food Hall Announces Additional Vendors

JACKSON, Miss. — Cultivation Food Hall, the state’s first food hall, will open in late Fall in The District at Eastover and recently announced two additional vendors: Gold Coast Bar and il Lupo Coffee. These are just two of the nine food and beverage concepts that will open in the food hall in addition to previously announced vendors: Fete au Fete, Local Honey, Poké Stop, and Whisk. Gold Coast Drawing inspiration from the hidden decadence of prohibition nightlife on what was formerly known as the “Gold Coast of Mississippi,” Gold Coast Bar will celebrate what made this hidden hot spot along the Pearl River legendary. Mississippi’s Gold Coast represented the fiery and seismic pull of what was

Half Shell Oyster House is a True Mississippi Success Story

Seldom do I get the jump on friends with innate knowledge of Mississippi’s’ best restaurants. However, I possess bragging rights for visiting and coming to love the original Half Shell Oyster House's Gulfport location before friends had heard about the delights awaiting them inside the New Orleans-style restaurant featuring exposed brick and scenic courtyards. Ambiance aside, Half Shell's seafood, steaks, and creative pasta dishes have put this once-local restaurant on the Mississippi cuisine map and into neighboring states with 10 locations. I've dined most often at the Hattiesburg Half Shell, but started out a little further south. A Gulf Coast friend took me to lunch in 2010 at Gulfport's

Celebrate National Merlot Month

It won’t be long before we hear more about beaujolais. November is the time when producers began to release their nouveau -- wines made from gamay grapes fermented for just a few weeks before they are released. The symbolic race to be the first producer to release the new vintage began in the 1970s. However, those who ignore the rush to buy the first beaujolais are in store for some magnificent cru wines named after the region’s picturesque villages. Georges Duboeuf, affectionately known as the “King of Beaujolais,” is credited with establishing the popularity of nouveau beaujolais. He now distributes his wines to more than 80 countries. These well-priced wines are a delightful transition to

Food Factor: Sheet Pan Greek Chicken

If you like one-pot meals but want a little more variety in your dinnertime favorites, sheet pan suppers are the way to go! If you line your pan with foil, you’ll spend less time at the stove top and the kitchen sink. This recipe calls for marinating the chicken for 20 minutes to an hour, so be sure to add that to your prep time. Cooking time is up to about 40 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes and time spent broiling to give this dish a crispy finish. We adapted this Greek Chicken sheet pan supper recipe from our friends at North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Sheet Pan Greek Chicken Marinade: 1/4 cup olive oil 3 cloves garlic, minced Juice of one lemon 1 tablespoon red wine vi

'Tis the Season For Pumpkin Everything

The weather is finally cooperating and fall is finally here! Celebrate the crisp, cool weather with pumpkin-flavored everything, whether it's a pie or a latte. Today is National Pumpkin Day, but you can celebrate all fall long with these delicious pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin Pie From Scratch Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Snickerdoodle Blondies Pumpkin Butterscotch Chip Cookies Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

Cantina Laredo Celebrates First Anniversary with Make a Wish Mississippi Donation

JACKSON, Miss. — Cantina Laredo donated $1,500 to Make-A-Wish Mississippi following the restaurant’s week-long fundraiser for the charity. The fundraiser was held in conjunction with Cantina Laredo Jackson’s one year anniversary. “We were thrilled to be able to make a donation to Make-A-Wish Mississippi, as we appreciate the work they do to support Mississippi’s children with critical illnesses,” said Scott Kyser, General Manager of Cantina Laredo. “We hope this donation will help make the wish of a child in our area come true.” Make-A-Wish Mississippi serves a unique and vital role in helping strengthen and empower Mississippi children battling critical illnesses. Wishes impact kids’ lives

Don't Knock Cracker Barrel Until You've Tried It

“Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.” In other words, keep an open mind as I provide a recap of some of the best dishes served at one of Mississippi’s favorite restaurants. With 14 locations from the Gulf Coast to the Tennessee line and from east to west, it's been a staple in our state for decades. If you haven’t visited it, let me just say that you’re missing out. I’m referring to Cracker Barrel, known for its down-home, delicious food served in a homey, quaint setting. But don’t let the name fool you. Cracker Barrel serves up excellently-prepared breakfast foods and old-fashioned dishes rivaling your grandmother’s Sunday dinner. Best of all, their prices won’t bust your dining-out budge

Sicilian Wines Are Full of Flavor

If there was ever an unofficial ambassador for Sicilian wines, he is Corrado Maurigi. Although he is the brand manager of just Tenuta Regaleali, Corrado is a booster for all Sicilian wines. However short in stature, he stands tall in waxing enthusiasm for the underrated wines of this Mediterranean island. He talks about the beautiful hills and mountains, the coast and an island that is more like a mini-continent than an extension of Italy. He inspires you to travel to Sicily and experience the vineyards first-hand. Since Roman times, vineyards have flourished on Sicily. It has a perfect climate with cooling offshore winds, lots of sun and just the right amount of rain. Its hills and mountain

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