Only 3-Ingredients For Quick Cake-Mix Cookies!

by Tammy Taylor~

Did you ever want to make up a  batch of cookies in a flash, but really didn’t want to go through the whole ordeal?  You know, pull out your cook book, look up recipe, pull out all the ingredients, etc?  Well boy do I have exciting news for you: Cake Mix Cookies!  Only 3 ingredients, y’all, mix ’em up, bake ’em up, DONE.  Recently we were invited to a dinner at a family member’s house and I asked what we could bring.  The hostess requested RancherMan’s famous Green Bean Casserole so of course we made that to contribute to the meal.  But I thought it would be a nice touch to bring something sweet that we could graze on as we visited. Maybe finger food that wouldn’t dirty up any additional dishes for our hosts. Enter cake-mix cookies.  Since it’s so simple I don’t need to look up a recipe.  I just mix & bake.  Check it out, y’all

Cake Mix Cookies, only 3 Ingredients. If you find yourself needing cookies in a flash try cake mix cookies. Only 3 ingredients: 1 Box of Cake Mix, 1 Stick of Butter, 1 Egg! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How To Harvest Mammoth Sunflower Seeds

by Tammy Taylor~

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I love sunflowers!  As a matter of fact they may be my absolute favorite flower.  I mean, what’s not to love?  They’re super easy to grow, they bloom prolifically and I’ve always said “Yellow is a HAPPY color!”  I plant a row of Mammoth Sunflowers at the edge of my garden every year.  I love the look of the cheery yellow blossoms.  And my mom always comments about how beautiful they are when she visits.

This year I planted the sunflowers along the chicken fence side of the garden.  Those huge sunflower plants offer shade during the heat of the day for my chickens.  Oh, and our bees love them too. That’s a lot of bang for my package-of-seeds buck! But now it’s time to harvest those sunflower seeds.  Come see what I did.

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The Amazing Traveling Basket: Shopping

by Tammy Taylor~

Recently RancherMan & I enjoyed a vacation with my siblings in New Braunfuls, Texas.  It was a great time filled with family, sight seeing, shopping & some pretty fancy restaurants.  We all even got to enjoy a concert at the famous Gruene Hall.  And as luck would have it, we were visiting during Market Days weekend too.

Market Days is an outside market filled with vendors of many different kinds.  Craftsmen were selling anything from hair clips made from vintage silverware to hand-made leather pistol holsters.   Then I spied a vendor who was selling baskets, and  I’ve wanted a basket for years.  To me they’re beautiful and very functional pieces of art.   On this day I picked out a gorgeous, roomy hand-made basket with leather handles.  It even had strips of bright pink woven in.  Since becoming a breast cancer survivor I enjoy having splashes of pink around me.  This basket is beautiful, I love it!

I bought a handmade basket and look forward to using it in many various ways. Today I share the main way I use my basket: shopping! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Beekeeping: Feeding Your Bees With A Frame Feeder

by Tammy Taylor~

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Busy as a bee!  Our hives have increased this year thanks to us performing splits and capturing swarms.  All our bees are busy, busy, busy these days!  During the spring when everything was abloom they had all they could harvest.  Those girls were coming & going from the hives with pollen pockets full!  But now that the heat of our NE Texas season is starting to set in the blooms are not quite as prolific.  Oh there are still wildflowers blooming, and the bees are all having a hayday in my garden alright.  But with the fading blooms and the fact that we’re trying to boost some of those smaller swarm hives, RancherMan & I decided perhaps we need to give them a little feed.  There are many ways to accomplish this, here’s what we do:

There are different ways to feed your bees sugar water when they need a little help. We like using a frame feeder best. #TaylorMadeHomestead Continue reading

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Fresh Garden-Veggie Pico de Gallo in Minutes!

by Tammy Taylor~

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RancherMan & I love pico de gallo.  That zesty mix of tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapenos is one of our favorite ways to enjoy garden veggies.  This year RancherMan even requested that I plant a pico de gallo garden to assure we can enjoy that culinary delight whenever we like.  I was, of course, happy to oblige him!  I always have onions and garlic planted anyway.  Of course I have tomatoes planted every year as well.  And c’mon, there’s never gonna be a garden season when I don’t have copious amounts of jalapenos growing out there.  So I just needed to include cilantro in my planting plan to fulfill his request.  Recently we were invited to a family cookout so we told them we’d bring fresh homemade pico de gallo.  You’re not gonna believe how quickly it all comes together!

Fresh pico de gallo in minutes using fresh garden vegetables. Ripe tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro. ENJOY your veggies! #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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Using Natural Materials: Straw In The Garden

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know we live in Texas.  You also know it’s typically hot and dry during our summertime months.  So I’m careful to mulch our garden heavily.  Mulching helps the plants in many ways.  It not only conserves that precious moisture, but it also moderates soil temps.  I like to mulch with natural materials whenever possible.  A typical gardening year will see me mulching with grass clippings, leaves or spent hay.

But I have a section of my garden that holds my Concord Grapevine.  I’ve trained it to grow along the fence.  It’s LOADED with grapes!  But I’ve also vowed to keep the Bermuda grass from creeping into my garden.  So all the walkways in the garden plus a wide perimeter swath is mulched with wood chips.  But the grapevine is right at the lifeline.  So to keep bermuda from creeping in around the grapevine I surrounded it with 3 bales of wheat straw.  The purpose was just to deny sneaky Bermuda the sunlight as it attempts to grow beneath the bales to get into my garden.  Permission:  DENIED!

But those straw bales are several years old now.  They’re just spent and starting to deteriorate.  I need to replace them.

I use organic matter for mulch in my garden - often grass clippings or spent hay. But come see how a bale of straw does double duty! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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5-Minute Beehive Stand Using Cinder Blocks & Posts

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I are still New-BEES!  Our apiary started out with two established single-deep beehives back in May of last year.  That first beehive stand was built using repurposed 2″x6″ boards that were 6-ft long from raised beds that we tore out.  We added a deep to each hive last year & saw those bees safely through the winter.  This spring we split them into four hives.  Now we needed another hive stand so we built another like the first from purchased 2″x6″ boards.  Then we caught not one, not two, but FOUR bee swarms this spring!  (I KNOW, how exciting!!)  But these swarms are being caught & brought to our fledgling apiary faster than we can build stands.  RancherMan decided to change direction.  He wanted to build the next stands using concrete cinder blocks and 4″x4″ 5-ft long wood posts.

Beehive Stands Put Together In 5 Minutes? YES! We're Using Concrete Cinder Blocks & 4x4 Posts. Come See How Easy It Is! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How To Make A Cute Clothespin Apron

by Tammy Taylor~

My baby sister has recently been bitten hard by the ‘green’ bug.  Oh she’s been environmentally-aware all her life, but now all of a sudden she’s taking it to the next level.  These days she’s even making her own homemade yogurt and cottage cheese.  And although she’s always enjoyed hanging a few things on the line, she’s transitioning into hanging more & more clean laundry under that blue Texas sky to dry.  Not only does she love the savings, but she’s discovered there’s really no substitute for that amazing aroma of sunshine on clean laundry!

When she had a birthday recently I put on my thinking cap. Y’all know we like to make homemade gifts whenever possible, but what would she like. Hummm…  I KNOW!  I’ll make her a clothespin apron!

For very little money I made a clothespin apron. I used fabric from a thrift store and some cotton cording. See my easy tutorial. It was an awesome gift! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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