Tag Archives: Solar Cooking

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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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, and 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, 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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Preserving The Harvest: Garden Jalapenos

by Tammy Taylor

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I’ve been using my solar oven pretty heavily this year and I’ve finally dehydrated all my excess garden tomatoes for the summer.  (again for those of you asking, I have a * Sun Oven solar oven and I love it!)  I’ll use the dehydrated tomatoes in numerous ways – to make tomato paste for homemade pizza and to thicken my homemade blender salsa, among other ways.  This late into summer is usually so very hot and dry that the garden stops producing and I just try to keep the garden watered enough to struggle it along in hopes of getting some kind of tiny fall garden production.  This time of year 99% of my garden is out of production but we do have one last veggie going strong – FIERY-RED JALAPENOS!

I'll Use Dehydrated Jalapenos For A Little Home-Grown SIZZLE In Our Food. #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Solar Cooking: Homemade Marinara Sauce

by Tammy Taylor

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Several months back I bought my very first solar oven – I’m in LOVE!  I’ve used it to cook bread and dehydrate garden veggies, but today I’m going to use it to cook homemade marinara sauce.  All the recipes I saw instructed you to cook your garden tomatoes for up to 3 hours to thicken the sauce – It’s hot & humid here in NE Texas and simmering a pan on the stove for that length of time didn’t appeal to me at all.  Luckily I didn’t have to, the solar oven did a fantastic job and all the cooking heat was left outside where it belongs!

I love solar cooking, it keeps that cooking heat & humidity out of the kitchen. Today I'm making homemade marinara sauce using NO EXTRA ENERGY! #TaylorMadeHomestead
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Solar Cooking: Dehydrating Garden Produce

by Tammy Taylor
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I love my solar oven and I use it often.  I love that it takes no purchased energy to run and most of all that it leaves all the cooking heat outside where it belongs.  I recently began dehydrating overage veggies from my garden.  I freeze them as well from time to time but dehydrating them looks pretty cool in my pantry.  It also reduces the volume to store by quite a  bit and it works well for use in wintertime Endless Soups – my favorite application.  I decided to try to use my electric dehydrator trays to dehydrate in my solar oven – BIG MISTAKE!  Although I left the solar oven’s lid unlatched so it wouldn’t get too hot inside the oven, it apparently doesn’t take very much heat at all to do this:

Solar dehydration failure - don't use your dehydrator rack in the solar oven! LOL #TaylorMadeHomestead
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