Tag Archives: Solar Cooking

Summer Cooking: Savory Meatloaf in a Solar Oven

by Tammy Taylor~

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We’ve been dealing with quite the heatwave here in NE Texas.  And much of the country is in the same grip of summer heat too.  When it’s this hot outside I try to keep the cooking heat out of our home.  For me, that means I’m using my solar oven almost every day.  (have I mentioned how much I love that thing??!!)

Today I’m sharing how I used my Cook-Once, Eat-Twice method of cooking to whip up two large loaves of meatloaf.  Sure, I used my solar oven to do the cooking. But my recipe below uses a conventional oven.  So whichever method you choose, you’re guaranteed to get a delicious meaty comfort-food entree with plenty leftover for the freezer too for quick heat-n-eat suppers another night.

I'm cooking up our favorite comfort food - meatloaf! I'm using my solar oven to cook it but the recipe includes standard oven directions too #TxHomesteader

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Solar Cooking: Hard-Boiled Eggs In The Solar Oven

by Tammy Taylor~

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I love my solar oven.  I’ve said it time & time again, I hate to fire up my electric oven during the heat & humidity of our Texas summers.  Not only does it cost fuel for the stove to operate, but boiling eggs adds even more heat inside our home.  That requires our air conditioning to work overtime cooling it back down, therefore costing even more money.

Several years ago I bought a solar oven and I absolutely love it!  What a great item in your Emergency Preparedness toolbox! Then at a Mother Earth News Fair I attended a few years ago, a solar-cooking seminar presenter told us how easy it was to cook ‘hard-boiled’ whole eggs in the solar oven without even using water.  Color me intrigued!

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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! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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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 make ends meet while 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…

It's hot & humid outside, but I'm not adding it inside our home. How am I going to cook tonight's supper? You won't believe it! #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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