Tag Archives: Cooking

Quick & Easy: Rich, Chocolaty Hot Cocoa Recipe

by Tammy Taylor~

Recently our grandbabies came to stay with us for a couple of days.  It was cold and dreary outside, so there was no playing outside for them.  So I thought we’d pop some popcorn, plug in a fun movie and enjoy some hot cocoa stirred with a peppermint stick.  But there’s no need to resort to the packets of powdered stuff!  Homemade cocoa is delicious & only involves cocoa, sugar and milk, flavored with vanilla with a handful of miniature marshmallows floating on top.   Believe me when I say it was a huge HIT with the grandbabies!

Homemade cocoa is delicious & only uses cocoa, sugar and milk - flavored with vanilla & a few miniature marshmallows floating on top. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Top 10 Homesteading Posts of 2016!

by Tammy Taylor~

Whelp, here we are at the end of 2016.  What a great year it’s been! My veggie garden was screamingly successful this year.  And our homestead branched out with registered Angus heifers to augment the registered Hereford operation we currently have.   But it wasn’t without its darker moments too, including twin calves that died in calving and dealing with expensive yet crappy appliances.  But RancherMan & I tackled the successes and the trials together, side-by-side.  And that’s the way I always want it to be.

All this month I’ve been sharing with you the top homesteading posts on the blog for each year I’ve been writing.  I’ve linked to each of those years of Top-10 posts at the bottom of this post.  So if you haven’t already enjoyed ’em, well there ya go!

But without further adieu, here are the top 10 posts of the year for 2016:

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Easy Quick bread Recipe: Basic Beer Bread

by Tammy Taylor~

I make beer bread all the time.  Sometimes I make it flavored but oftentimes it’s just a basic beer bread.  When I want it flavored I’ll use add-ins that I enjoy such as homemade basil pesto & sun-dried tomatoes with olive oil to make a Pesto-Flavored Bread.  Sometimes I’ll chop fresh rosemary from the garden & add cheddar cheese for a delicious  Rosemary/Cheddar-Flavored Bread. Or one of our faves, cheddar cheese & diced jalapenos.  I’ve even added brown sugar and cinnamon-spiced apples for a deserty kind of apple cinnamon bread.  It’s all delicious!  But it occurs to me I’ve never written a post about my basic beer bread recipe.  Mea culpa!

Quick & easy bread recipe that requires no kneading? No rising? NO KIDDING! Check out this easy beer bread recipe. #TaylorMadeHomestead Continue reading

Homestead Hack: Shorter Cooking Times In Slow Cooker

by Tammy Taylor~

We all love our slow cookers, right?  I mean, what’s not to love??!  You plunk ingredients into the vessel and walk away.  The slow cooker does all the work!  You only have to walk in tired from a day at work and smell the delicious aroma of supper ready & waiting to serve!  Yeah, we love our slow cookers here at the Homestead, and we use them a lot.  Oftentimes for preparing our supper.  Sometimes I use it for overnight cooking when making Homemade Applesauce or simmering bones for a delicious Homemade Broth.   I know a slow cooker is more energy efficient than using the oven or even the stove top in many cases.   But I’ve found a way to speed along the cooking times while keeping it on set to an energy-sipping ‘Low’.  Check out today’s Homestead Hack.

Would you like your slow cooker to cook your food a little faster on 'Low' and save a little energy too? Check out this Homestead Hack! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Use WhatCha Got: Repurposing To Simplify Kitchen tasks

by Tammy Taylor~

My baby sis knows that I reuse various containers.  So she’s always checking with me before she sends something to the recycling bin. The other day she held up an empty container of Parmesan cheese (like you sprinkle on pizza) and asked if I’d like it.   RancherMan HATES that stuff so I’m never able to buy it.  So I enthusiastically accepted her offer.  She was a bit surprised at my excitement.  But when I told her what I was gonna do with it…

When my sis offered an empty Parmesan cheese container for me to repurpose I was excited. See how it simplifies my life in the kitchen. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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5 Frugal Things To Save Money This Week: Crappy Fridge Edition!

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I purchased all Frigidaire appliances when we outfitted our ranch kitchen.  The constant repairs on our Frigidaire microwave have been frustrating.  But more frustrating still is our crappy Frigidaire side-by-side refrigerator.  It’s by far the loudest appliance in our home with visitors stopping to listen and asking “Is that your fridge??!” It required repair while it was still under its limited warranty, then after the warranty we’ve had to repair it several times.  The condenser fan went out, the water line developed a pinhole leak and needed repair,  the ice maker died, the water line to the dispenser came loose and made a flooding mess.  But this time it’s a more expensive fix, apparently the main circuit control board is shot.  This fridge lasted only 7 years y’all, and that was with many, MANY repairs.  Frigidaire? Never again for us!

It was an expensive week for sure but we were able to find many ways to save a little cash. So c’mon down, let’s play the Crappy Fridge Edition of “5 Frugal Things to Save Money This Week”!

5 Frugal Things to Save Money This Week - Crappy Refrigerator Edition! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Mother Earth News Post – Cottage Cheese From Soured Milk

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I have been burning the candle at both ends lately it seems.  We’ve had business commitments, familial commitments and community commitments.  Truth be told we’ve been running a LOT!  So half of my gallon of milk sat in the fridge & got a little too close to it’s use-by date and ended up lightly soured.  I didn’t throw it away – I made cottage cheese with it!  It was very quick & so easy.

Homogenized Milk vs Raw Milk

Now I must say there are some very strong opinions out there on whether or not soured pasteurized milk is the same as soured raw milk.  I’ve tried raw milk before but I don’t much care for it so I buy my milk.  I haven’t done massive research on all the nuances into safety vs purity of raw vs homogenized milk.  I think there are valid points on both sides.  But in this post I’m sharing what I’ve personally done.

No Arguments!

I’ve made this cottage cheese from lightly-soured commercially-purchased milk several times.  My experience is that my homemade cottage cheese is absolutely delicious and tastes no different to me than commercially-purchased cottage cheese.  I’m happy to share this easy procedure with you.  But I won’t get into a soured raw milk vs soured commercial milk discussion, m’kay?  We’re all friends here & you have the right to your opinion and to nourish your body as you like, just as we all do!  I’m just sharing my personal experience here.  So we’re all good??  Alrighty then – here’s my post shared recently with Mother Earth News!

Half a gallon of milk got too close to it's use-by date and was lightly soured. So I made cottage cheese with it. Very quick & so easy! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Making Low-Carb Veggie Noodles, ZOODLES!

by Tammy Taylor~

*Contains affiliate link

I’ve heard about it for years, using squash in the place of high-carb pasta noodles.   Some people eat spaghetti squash as a low-carb noodle substitute.  But I’ve found for us it’s best to eat spaghetti squash just as a fun-shaped squash.  To me the taste is nothing like pasta.  (I do have a delicious Cheesy Spaghetti-Squash dish we enjoy.)

Other people swear by making spiral-type noodles using fresh vegetables.  Supposedly it’s a more realistic way to enjoy a noodle-shaped vegetable in the place of pasta.  My garden produced so much zucchini I really wanted to give the spiral-noodle thingee a try.  There are  various contraptions made to cut your squash into noodles and I decided on the Veggetti.  Now this is NOT a sponsored post, they didn’t send me one to try and aren’t paying me a cent to write this.  Heck to them I’m just another customer.  But DANG y’all, I wanna share this with you!

Making ZOODLES! Veggetti got the highest recommendations from my FB followers. So I bought one to make low-carb noodles 'Zoodles'. See how I make 'em! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Texas Heat Superstar: Growing Malabar Spinach

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

I love fresh spinach & I’m sure to plant it every year in my edible landscape garden.  It’s beautiful, leafy-green and makes a lovely border.  Oh, and you can EAT it!  What’s not to love??!  But in our part of NE Texas the window of opportunity in enjoying fresh spinach is short.  In no time our spinach bolts and becomes bitter.  But I’ve recently been introduced to a completely different kind of spinach.  One that grows vigorously in a vine.  In the heat! Malabar spinach!

Malabar Spinach - Texas Heat-Loving Superstar! Dark-green heart-shaped leaves that grow in a vine even in the Texas summer heat. Beauty, edibility and heat-loving staying power. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Homestead Hack: Free Vegetable Broth!

by Tammy Taylor~

I like to use homemade broth for my cooking.  Let’s face it – no matter what you’re cooking it’s just more flavorful when it’s made with broth instead of water.  And it’s more nutritious too!  I make my own Chicken Broth from the bones of our chicken meals.  And I’ve also made Turkey Broth with the leftover turkey carcass after Thanksgiving.  And of course I’ve simmered veggie scraps into my own vegetable broth but there’s an even easier way!  C’mon y’all, use my battle cry with me:  “USE WHATCHA GOT!”  Yeah, that’s the ticket!  Check out this ridiculously-easy Homestead Hack…

I save nutritious vegetable broth that was previously wasted and use it for something I used to have to make myself or purchase. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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