Tag Archives: Solar Cooking

Emergency Preparedness on the Homestead: Solar Oven

by Tammy Taylor~

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Our great state of Texas has been hit hard by Mother Nature.  Hurricane Harvey barrelled onto shore recently, leaving devastation in his path.  Streets were impassable and the damage was great.  Even if a home was undamaged, thousands were without electricity for several days. Some are still without electricity and have no idea for how long.  These natural disasters get me to thinking about emergency preparedness.

Recent natural disasters get me to thinking about our emergency preparedness plans. A solar oven is a must when electricity is out. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Solar Cooking: Cheesy Chile-Chicken Casserole

by Tammy Taylor~

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I bought my solar oven several years ago and I’m learning more & more how to use it.  Living in NE Texas, the summers are hot, humid and sticky.  I hate to fire up the oven in my kitchen.  So it’s the solar oven to the rescue!  I’m able to keep that cooking heat outside where it belongs!

But today the temps outside are spiking and humidity is on the rise.  It’s absolutely miserable outside!  So I’ll be utilizing my solar oven to make my casserole.

Cooking using the power of the SUN? YES! Cheesy Green Chile Chicken Casserole - I used my solar oven to make the casserole, but you could bake it in a regular oven too. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Cooking With The Sun – SW Chicken w/Seasoned Brown Rice

by Tammy Taylor~

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Our homestead is located in the hot & humid south.  Here in NE Texas I do all I can to keep that  heat outside where it belongs when the temps (and the humidity) start to go up.  I have many ways of doing this.  For instance, our tea is usually brewed in a repurposed hourglass-shaped jar on the picnic table, courtesy of the sun.  And our clean laundry is almost always dried outside on our *Retractable Clothesline, even in the colder winter months.

But one of my favorite ways to keep heat outside is by using my *Solar Oven to cook our food.  My solar oven came with an enameled cooking set so I typically use those items when I’m cooking with the sun.  One of the included vessels is a double-stack black enamelware covered pan.  That will be perfect for today’s dish: Southwest Chicken served on a bed of seasoned brown rice.  Quick & easy, mix it & forget it.  The whole meal cooks at the same time!

Cooking With The Sun! Here in NE Texas I want to keep cooking heat & humidity outside. So I cooked my SW Chicken with seasoned brown rice in my solar oven! #TaylorMadeHomestead*

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Top Ten Homesteading Posts of 2014

by Tammy Taylor

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I can’t believe another year has come & gone.  This year has certainly been good for RancherMan and me as we got back to business of running our ranch after my health fiasco of last year – we are so blessed!  But now as the year draws to a close I thought if would be fun to share with you, my beloved readers, the top ten most popular posts of 2014.  Grab a cup of coffee, settle in and join me!

I thought it would be fun to share with you, my beloved readers, the top ten most popular posts for 2014. Grab a cup of coffee and join me! #TaylorMadeRanch

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Keeping Your Dollars: Saving Electricity

by Tammy Taylor

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Last week I shared a two-part segment on how RancherMan & I survive living and working here on our ranch without the comfort of a regularly-scheduled corporate salary infusion.  Those posts were wildly popular!  There are lots of you hungrily looking for ways to cut back!  Whether planning to make the leap to self employment or just looking for ways to stretch your dollars.  Now last week I pointed out that researching for the lowest cost on anything you buy is important, but it’s doubly important to research & reduce your month-to-month obligations.  Those bills are going to come around not just once, but Every. Single. Month.

Think about your recurring monthly bills for a moment. Have you just been paying them when the bill arrives without giving them another thought?  Well it’s time to take a good hard look at them.  Oftentimes you can cut out wasted money spent.  Today Let’s Look At Electricity.

KEEPING YOUR DOLLARS: SAVING ELECTRICITY. Save money by eliminating waste. There are many ways to reduce your electricity usage. #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

 

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Pumpkin Puree – Healthy Goodness From The Garden

by Tammy Taylor

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This year I planted heirloom sugar pumpkins in my garden.  and when it was time to harvest them I knew I’d first be able to enjoy them for a bit as decoration.  I love the way those little pumpkins looked propped on our cast-iron Franklin stove.  But several days later I was in the kitchen enjoying the last of my favorite pumpkin granola.   I knew that  since I planted those delicious pumpkins for use in my granola it was time to cook those babies down into puree.

But we live in NE Texas ya know.  It’s hot and humid in the summer.  So whenever possible I keep the oven off in the house during those hot days.  Thankfully I have a secret weapon for keeping that summer heat outside where it belongs, even while cooking!  Now I’m about to put my secret weapon to very good use while preparing my pumpkin puree.

Making Pumpkin Puree. I have a secret weapon for keeping that summer heat outside where it belongs, even while cooking! My SOLAR OVEN - come check it out! #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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Solar Cooking: Boneless Breaded Pork Chops

by Tammy Taylor

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Well it looks like a sunshiny day and the wind will not be high, can’t think of a better reason to use my * Solar Oven.  It’s only going to get up to the upper 50’s today but outside temps don’t really matter.  As long as the sun is shining and the wind isn’t high enough to mess with the reflectors, solar oven cooking is a GO!  Today I think I’ll try my hand at baked pork chops…

I Baked These Pork Chops Quickly In My Solar Oven. Leave The Heat OUTSIDE! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Preserving The Harvest: Dehydrating Potatoes

by Tammy Taylor

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I’ve been on a dehydrating kick this year & I love it. Recently I acquired a large quantity of potatoes and went on a mission to figure out how to preserve them all.  In the past I have preserved potatoes by cooking, mashing and freezing them so this time I think I’ll try dehydrating them.  I know that potatoes will turn black if they are not cooked before they’re dehydrated so I washed the potatoes and then pricked the skin in several places on each potato, then stacked them tightly in my black enameled covered pan.

Dehydrating Potatoes. You can buy a huge bag of potatoes dirt cheap, how do you preserve them before they all go bad? Dehydrate them! See how we did it. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Using FREE Solar Energy Instead Of Kitchen Appliances

by Tammy Taylor

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It seems utility bills are going nowhere but up.  We’re all trying to watch those dollars carefully but there are easy ways to cut that utility bill other than just trying to keep unused lights turned off.  One of the most energy-intensive acts is producing heat.  Heat for cooking, heat for melting, heat for dehydrating – it’s all digging into your wallet!  But there’s an option that often we don’t even think of that can save us some real cash – absolutely free solar energy!  Here are a few ways I enjoy using this amazing free resource to not only fill a need but also save a few bucks.

There are many ways to use FREE solar energy to replace your kitchen cooking. Sun Tea, Dehydrating Or Solar Cooking! #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Solar Cooking: Baked Potatoes

by Tammy Taylor

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I came across a great deal on potatoes recently and thought I’d use my solar oven to cook up some delicious baked potatoes.  In this case I was ultimately going to dehydrate most of the potatoes for future consumption but I read that you have to cook them before you can dehydrate them so I figured I’d kill two birds with one stone today.  Well folks it’s still hot enough in Texas in early October that it’s not exactly the best time to throw on your heat-producing oven and bake potatoes.  Enter my handy-dandy solar oven – MAN I love this thing!  (for those of you asking, I have a Sun Oven* solar oven.  I got the accessory kit so my solar oven’s been going almost every day for the past two weeks either cooking or dehydrating garden  produce.  Aaaaaanyway, here’s how I did it.

I Love My SOLAR OVEN! See how I cooked baked potatoes without adding any heat to my Texas kitchen. #TaylorMadeHomestead
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