Tag Archives: Summer

Summer Cooking: Savory Meatloaf in a Solar Oven

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

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

Continue reading

Vegetable Garden Update: July

by Tammy Taylor~

Well, where to start??  This year my garden has struggled.  Hard.  It started by a bull jumping my garden fence and trompling the tenderly transplanted seedlings to the ground.  Not to be detered, I replanted by seed.  A late start, yes.  Buyt I just have to have my garden!

But spring skipped us.  I mean ALL of it.  We got no storms as is typical in our NE Texas spring season, but we got no rain either.  Then the heat & humidity of our summers hit – again with no rain. It’s a sad thing, but I’m making adjustments to try to squeak by.

The veggie garden has been a struggle this year. As much as I hate being Debbie Downer, unless we get rain soon my garden will be done for the year. #TxHomesteader

Continue reading

Don’t Let Dangerous Mosquitoes Ruin Your Day

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

Y’all know since we’ve added our Porch Addition, RancherMan & I love to spend our evenings out there.  Aaaaaahhhh – it’s been a hard day, it’s been hot & humid and our bodies are tired, let me tell ya!   So we get together in this lovely outdoor living room, swinging gently, sipping something cold and talking about our day.  This is our comforting routine almost every night.

But, this time of year there’s something threatening to cut short these special evenings together – Mosquitoes!  Dang they’re everywhere!  Their bites can transmit all kinds of nasties!  You really do have to be careful and protect yourselves.  What’s a country girl to do?

Continue reading

Healthy, Cold, Sweet Treat ‘Ice Cream’ Using Bananas & Fruit

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

It’s hot, hot HOT out there, y’all! I mean hot as in temps at 100 degrees or HIGHER several times this week.  WHEW! Here in NE Texas it seems we went from winter to summer with nary a mild spring day between!  So I’m focusing these days on cooler foods and cold desserts.  But I wanna keep it healthy too.  RancherMan loves, loves, LOVES ice cream, especially when it’s this hot outside.  But it’s just not healthy to indulge in such a high-fat treat too often.

I’ve written before about making a mock fat-free ice cream using frozen bananas and pudding mix.  The pudding makes the ice cream more creamy and less icy.  But I was looking for something even a little healthier.  So I started making our ‘ice cream’ using the frozen bananas for the sweetness and frozen fruit for an extra punch of flavor.

Now that it's hot outside I whip up a frozen sweet treat. It's like healthier ice cream using frozen bananas and berries. Delicious, cheap and healthy. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Continue reading

Wearing Sun UV Protective Clothing

by Tammy Taylor

*contains affiliate link

Summer’s HERE, y’all!  We’re experiencing above-normal temps and have once again gone from winter directly to summer with no delightfully-cool spring temps between.  RancherMan & I work our homestead every day, so much of our daily activity involves being outside.  Sun protection is important but we both hate the feel of sunblock.  Plus I don’t like the thought of slathering chemicals on my skin every day either.

So we’re careful to protect our skin by covering it instead – wide-brim hats (helllooooo cowboy!) and long-sleeved lightweight shirts are often worn while mowing the yard or doing hours of tractor work.  But c’mon – although it helps, that’s not much actual sun protection.  I need to find clothing that protects us while keeping us comfortable.

I hate slathering sunscreen on my skin every day. All those chemicals! But we work outside each day & sun protection is important! I've opted to protect my skin with sun-protective clothing. #TaylorMadeHomestead

Continue reading

Solar Cooking: Hard-Boiled Eggs In The Solar Oven

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

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!

Continue reading

Garden Update: August

by Tammy Taylor~

Whelp, it’s August y’all.  In TEXAS!  August typically means hot and dry weather.  Late July and early August are usually when I quit fighting the garden altogether and let it go dormant.  I mean, when it’s this hot nothing wants to set fruit anyway.  And during our typical summer when the taps of rain turn completely off in June, it’s impossible to keep the garden watered too.  Oh you can mulch and you can water and of course it helps.  But the water you drop on the garden will probably be wicked away quickly without really soaking into the ground next to the plant’s roots.

But this year our July was different.  Oh it was stiflingly hot and humid, but we got rain.  NINE different days of rain!  And not just a paltry 1/8″ but good, healthy 1-inch rains!  So although the garden is still bound to go dormant this month I’ve been lucky to have some harvest remaining.

Continue reading

Solar Cooking: Cheesy Chile-Chicken Casserole

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

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

Continue reading

How To Protect Your Skin WITHOUT Using Sunblock

by Tammy Taylor~

*contains affiliate link

Sun protection is important, y’all! Our ranch is located in Northeast Texas where heat & humidity are the daily forecast almost every day during summer months.  But our work days are filled with outside chores such as working cattle or repairing fences, gardening or mowing pastures. Even though we spend many hours in the sun, I shy away from using sunblock whenever possible. Why?

Although sunblock is marketed as safe and effective, I just don’t know how I feel about slathering chemicals on my skin several times each and every day. Now don’t get me wrong, there are times when it makes sense to use sunblock.  But today I’m sharing seven easy ways I’m able to protect my skin from the sun’s harmful rays without resorting to sunblock.

Sun Protection is important but for me sunblock is used only as a last resort. Come see 7 easy way I protect my skin without sunblock #TaylorMadeHomestead

Continue reading