Wine Industry Changes Were Abundant This Decade, and More Are to Come

The beginning of a new year gives us the opportunity to set personal goals and reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re going. That 2020 is also the beginning of a new decade and allows us to extend our reflections. Since we began writing this column more than 30 years ago, a lot has changed in the wine industry. The wines got better, for one, and especially from countries where quality wine isn’t expected. Much of is due to climate change that has provided better growing conditions to places like Great Britain and China. Adversely, global warming has brought challenges to other regions, such as Bordeaux, Champagne, and even Napa Valley. Five new grape varieties more tolerant of the heat

Mississippi Agriculture Nears $7.4 Billion

STARKVILLE, Miss. - In 2019, Mississippi’s agricultural industry faced the prospect of dipping below $7 billion for the first time in eight years, but federal payments pushed its value up enough to post a slight gain over 2018. The estimated value of Mississippi agriculture in 2019 is $7.39 billion, a 0.2% gain from last year’s $7.37 billion. Included in the total is an estimated $628 million in government payments, the largest amount of federal assistance Mississippi producers have seen since 2006. The total value not including those payments is an estimated $6.8 billion. 2011 was the last time total values prior to government payments were below $7 billion. Keith Coble, head of the Mississ

Try These Kale Varieties For Colorful, Edible Gardens

Nagoya is a long-lasting, cool-season bedding kale that also adds interest to fall containers with its colorful, highly fringed leaves. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Gary Bachman) I’m continuing to catch up with my landscape and garden work after an extremely busy fall and early winter season. This past weekend was perfect to get some much-needed cool-season color planted. I’m going to continue the theme of last week’s column on enjoying an ornamental and edible garden and landscape. The kale varieties I wrote about -- Winterbor, Starbor, and Redbor -- are not the be-all and end-all in the world of pretty and fancy-leaved kale that can be planted and enjoyed. These kale varieties have been

Poultry Retains the Top Spot in Mississippi Agriculture

Mississippi’s poultry industry was valued at an estimated $2.8 billion in 2019. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson) STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Overcoming every challenge that comes its way, Mississippi’s poultry industry maintained its 25-year streak in 2019 as the state’s number one agricultural commodity. Broilers, eggs, and chickens brought an estimated $2.78 billion to the state’s economy, down three percent from a record high in 2018. The biggest challenges came from reduced egg prices and a huge industry shift to “no antibiotic ever” -- or NAE -- poultry production. Tom Tabler, Mississippi State University Extension Service poultry specialist, said recent years have been difficult

Best of Jackson: Cakes

If you're in the market for a cake, the capital city has plenty of places to choose from. Whether it's a birthday party, just because, or any other celebration, the city with soul has you covered. Check out some of our favorite places to pick up a cake in this week's Sipp Jackson blog.

Pop the Champagne To Bring in the New Year - Just Do It Safely

When the Washington Nationals celebrated their World Series victory a few months ago, the locker room was awash in sparkling wine. Players and coaches reveled in showering themselves with sparkling wine, a victory tradition hardly uncommon in the world. No matter how much fun it seems, however, popping champagne corks can be dangerous in such close quarters. If you’re planning on opening champagne during the holidays, you might want to wear a catcher’s mask. About two dozen people die a year from flying corks, mostly at weddings. A bottle of champagne has three times as much pressure as a tire. Once untethered from that wire hood, it will travel 25 miles an hour – 60 miles an hour if, say, y

It's Not Too Late To Make the Holidays Merry For Friends and Family

‘Twas the week of Christmas, Monday rolled around, and I found myself behind on my baking and homemade gift-making. Usually by now, I’ve made a few batches of cookies and candy for co-workers and friends. My excuse is a trip to New York City (more on that food and travel adventure next week) that consumed the latter part of last week and the weekend, days normally spent preparing for Christmas. Upon my return, I quickly got to work and put together a few gift baskets containing hot chocolate mix, my aunt’s Chex mix (or “scrambles,” as she called them) and rolls of Christmas cookie dough that were defrosted, sliced and baked, just in time for Christmas. Here are the recipes I used and yes, be

Food Factor: Top 5 Posts For 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! (Well, there is a recipe for Cook's Choice Muffins, but it has 21 ingredients, not 25!) We hope you'll make some time during the holidays to try at least one of these recipes, and look forward to sharing new content with you in 2020! In fifth place... Make Your Own Ranch Dressing Everyone loves the delicious taste of this classic salad dressing, and it's awesome to know how to make your own! In fourth place... Slow Cooker Barbecue Chicken Sliders

Cool-Season Veggies Are Good In Gardens, Meals

Swiss chard is perfect for the ornamental vegetable garden. The richly colored stems of these Bright Lights add color to the garden and table. (Photo by MSU Extension/Gary Bachman) Winter is finally here, whether you go by the meteorological date of December 1st or the upcoming astrological date of December 21st. To me, it means that I’m going to enjoy the freshly harvested cool-season greens from my little urban farm. I really love growing our favorite cool-season greens in my garden for a variety of reasons. First, and most importantly, I know where and how they were grown. It seems like every couple of months, there is a nationwide recall of some type of lettuce, and, most of the time, it

Careful Prep Can Result In Healthy, Safe Holiday Meal

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A few, simple preparations can mean the difference between achieving a healthy success or suffering a major disaster during the traditional biggest meal of the year. Courtney Crist, assistant professor of food safety with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said one common mistake in food preparation happens at the very beginning. She recommended not washing the turkey before cooking it. “It is virtually impossible to wash bacteria off the turkey, and liquids that splash during washing could transfer bacteria onto surfaces in your kitchen, other foods and utensils,” Crist said. “Proper cooking will kill bacteria.” Thaw the bird in the refrigerator, under

Foodie Flashpacker Unveils Ridgeland, Miss., As America's Next Top Foodie Destination Nominee

CHICAGO, Ill. - Foodie Flashpacker Nathan Aguilera has just unveiled a list of America’s Next Top Foodie Destination nominees, which includes 33 off-the-beaten path destinations where travel bloggers say they have found some of the best food across the country, and Ridgeland, Miss., has made the cut. Nathan Aguilera, aka the Foodie Flashpacker, has spent the past six years traveling the world trying new foods in more than 60 countries across five continents. Recently, he set out to discover some of the lesser known foodie destinations in the United States. To do this, Aguilera polled travel bloggers for their opinions. “I wanted a chance to highlight some areas of the United States that may

Panera Bread Is Much More Than Just Healthy Bread

Don’t let the word “bread” in its name fool you. Panera Bread offers a lot more than delicious traditional, artisan, and healthy breads. And it’s not your average deli-style restaurant offering the same sandwiches and salads found on every corner. With locations throughout the state, Panera Bread is a popular spot with diners looking for a fresh, somewhat-healthier approach to a broad range of breakfast items, soups, sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, pastas, sides, and bakery items. And if you’re still not convinced it’s time to deviate from your regular deli spot, consider this. Anytime a restaurant has a plethora of “copycat recipes” on the internet posted by Americans seeking to recreate th

For a High-End Gift, Why Not a Great Bottle of Wine?

Spending $50 to $100 on a gift of wine may be beyond your means, but put it in perspective. You may be spending more than that on a tie, concert tickets, a watch, or a phone. Why not wine? It would be a waste to buy expensive wine for someone who can’t tell the difference between Boone’s Farm and Lafite Rothschild. But if the special person in your life collects wine or who just appreciates it, we offer some suggestions of wines with good stories. These are West Coast wines that haven’t been hit by additional tariffs yet: Two Generation Vintners Oregon Originals Pinot Noir 2017 ($100). This is a remarkable wine for a number of reasons. First, it’s delicious. Second, it’s unique in that the g

Food Factor: Sweet Potato and Orange Muffins

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 fla

Stay Comfy This Winter With Delicious Comfort Recipes By Celebrity Chef Melissa Cookston

If the winter weather is going to keep you inside, you might as well eat good! Celebrity chef Melissa Cookston’s delicious comfort recipes are sure to keep you warm this winter season and are easy to make in the coziness of your home! Taken from Cookston’s cookbook, “Smoking in the Boys’ Room” and “Smokin’ Hot in the South,” the below award-winning recipes for pot brisket chili, BBQ meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and sweet potato biscuits will help your audience prepare delicious recipes in the comfort of their home and stay warm this winter! “We’ve had a bad patch of weather here lately, and it has really been playing havoc with my schedule. I did cook a brisket a couple of days previously,

'Tis the Season For Homemade Holiday Treats

This time of year is perfect for making homemade treats and sweets to give to friends, neighbors, coworkers, or even keep for yourself. These recipes are great for the holidays, whether they're all for you or to share with loved ones! Strawberry Cranberry Jam (Christmas Jam) Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies Cream Cheese Snickerdoodles Triple Chocolate Brownie Banana Bread Buttery Seasoned Snack Mix Salted Caramel Blondies

Taranto's Took Me Back To 'Old School Gulf Coast'

Thinking about the hundreds of family-owned, neighborhood seafood joints and diners destroyed in Hurricanes Camille and Katrina makes me sad. Regrettably, there are very few left. I was intrigued when a local friend told me about Taranto’s. It’s an out-of-the-way neighborhood place that in recent years was named the Coast’s best po’boy restaurant. I couldn’t wait to visit, especially when I learned it’s in Biloxi’s Woolmarket community. Take it from me, if you’ve never been to Woolmarket, you’ll want to find it. The restaurant is cozy and quaint, but the food is the real star. Taranto’s was a neighborhood seafood market when Katrina hit, destroying the family’s homes and delaying owner Arnie

Cultivation Food Hall Announces Two New Vendors

JACKSON, Miss. - Cultivation Food Hall, the state’s first food hall, recently announced two new vendors, Yuzu Ramen and Ariella’s Pasta Bar. Yuzu Ramen is the first true ramen concept in Mississippi, offering authentic ramen, made in-house by owner and chef, Connor Mize. Ariella’s Pasta Bar is a new concept by Chef Alivia Ashburn-Townsend, to follow her first venture in the food hall, Ariella’s New York Delicatessen. Ariella’s Pasta Bar With her next concept, Ariella’s Pasta Bar, Chef Alivia Ashburn-Townsend offers classic, Italian dishes made with fresh ingredients and the simplicity that makes Italian food comforting. At the pasta bar, diners can build their own pasta dish or choose from c

Gifts and Stocking Stuffers For Wine Drinkers and Enthusiasts

This is the time of year we take to the malls – or the web – to find the perfect gifts. No matter who the lucky recipient, you want to buy a meaningful gift you can afford. Today, there are more wine enthusiasts than ever who would appreciate a gift of wine. It can be a bottle of wine – or maybe an accessory that will make their past-time a greater pleasure. Consider a special corkscrew, a book, a bottle stopper, a carafe, or even a special bottle of bourbon or scotch. Next week, we will focus on some very special wines any collector would love to have. But this week we offer 10 gift suggestions that range in price and, in some cases, make for great stocking stuffers. These may be hard to

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