Home Local News What’s for Dinner Tonight? by Johanna Hicks

What’s for Dinner Tonight? by Johanna Hicks




What’s for Dinner Tonight?

               Many of you may remember the very first “Dinner Tonight” program held in Hopkins County.  The event took place at the Civic Center with approximately 125 attendees.  The program included cooking demonstrations by Extension Family & Community Health educators, and we had a celebrity tasting panel composed of county officials and media personalities. 

               “Dinner Tonight” was developed to provide busy families with quick, healthy, and cost-effective recipes that taste great.  A part of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, the Dinner Tonight program aims to improve the health and wellness of Texans through nutrition education.  Not only does the Dinner Tonight program provide recipes, it also gives weekly video demonstrations on cooking tips and techniques, nutrition topics, menu planning basics, and information on healthy living.

               As the program has grown, we have seen interest from all areas of the state to create recipes and step-by-step preparation techniques for family favorite dishes.  To find these resources, simply go to https://dinnertonight.tamu.edu.  You can sign up for a weekly e-mail blast, find delicious recipes by category, and much more!  So, don’t worry about what’s for dinner tonight!


Master Wellness Volunteer Initiative

               Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is proud to offer the 2019 Master Wellness Volunteer Initiative.  Hopkins County currently has 8 trained and active Master Wellness Volunteers, and we’d love to increase that number! 

1)      What is the Master Wellness Volunteer Initiative?  This program provides training in the areas of food safety, child and adult nutrition, health, working with diverse audiences, recognizing reputable internet sources, and much more.  Master Wellness Volunteers are not required to have previous training in the areas of health and wellness, but a desire to help others is important.

2)      What does the initiative involve?  The training will be presented in a series, but only the first and last sessions are in-person.  The first session will offer an overview of the entire training, and acquaint participants with the many resources that Extension has to offer.  The final in-person session will provide a wrap-up review and certification exam.  The other sessions may be done on-line at leisure.  Participants will be provided with the link to view the topics and complete the tasks. 

3)      When will the training take place?  The first session is scheduled for Tuesday, January 22, from 9:00 a.m. to early afternoon.  Lunch will be provided.  The final in-person training will be Tuesday, February 19.

4)      Where will the in-person sessions be held?  We will meet at the Hopkins County Extension Office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, 1200 W. Houston, Sulphur Springs.

5)      What do I do with the information?  Master Wellness Volunteers will give back 40 hours of service by assisting me with programs, events, health fairs, workshops, 4-H projects, worksite wellness, and other opportunities.  The current Master Wellness Volunteers have contributed over 900 volunteer hours this year…and they have fun doing it! 

6)      What do I get?  You will receive a name badge to proudly wear at all events with which you assist.  You will also receive the “Volunteer Connection” newsletter, which I prepare 6 or more times per year, recognizing volunteer participation, listing upcoming opportunities for involvement, providing more detailed information about some of the volunteer opportunities, and a brief interest story for personal development.

7)      Does my Master Wellness Volunteer status ever expire?  No, but yes.  After the first year, trained volunteers only have to give back 10 hours of service, but that has never been a problem!  As a matter of fact, they continue to help out in so many ways!  Some employers may provide time off for their employees to take the in-person trainings, and in some cases, encourage participation in order to bring back information that can be used in the workplace.

Watch for more details to come concerning cost and registration.  In the meantime, please contact our office if you have even the slightest interest in participating.  This is such a great opportunity!


Closing (Humorous) Thought

Change is inevitable – except in vending machines.  Robert Gallager


Recipe of the Week (from Dinner Tonight)

Citrus-Cilantro Chicken Thighs

  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


1)      Pound chicken thighs with a meat tenderizer until they are of even thickness; place in sealable bag.

2)      In a blender or food processor, puree scallions, cilantro, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, orange zest, and orange juice.  Reserve and refrigerate one-fourth of the pureed marinade. 

3)      Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken and seal bag.  Marinate chicken for at least 20 minutes or overnight.

4)      In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Place chicken in skillet and reduce heat to medium.  Cook for 6 minutes.  Turn chicken and cook for an additional 6 minutes, or until chicken reaches 65°F.  Once chicken is completely cooked, remove from skillet and top with reserved marinade.  Serves 6.

Nutrition information per serving:  240 calories, 11 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 0 trans fat, 5 g carbohydrate, 140 mg cholesterol, 30 g protein, 25% vitamin C.





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