Wednesday, September 26, 2018

DIY Taco Seasoning

Several years ago, we began making our own taco seasoning.

Tacos are a regular in our household. Perhaps I should just call them nachos. Put chips in the bottom of a bowl and top with your meat, beans, cheese, lettuce, salsa, sour cream and whatever else you like to add (olives and guacamole are two occasional additions in our household).

When I was little, my family called it "Taco Slop" because it made a big 'ol sloppy mess in your bowl.

Anyway, we have this stuff a least once a week, and I was constantly running out of the seasoning. I would forget to buy more and the packets just kept getting more and more expensive anyway.

Looking for alternatives, we came across this recipe from and have been happily using it for the last 7 years. I believe the original recipe was written for approximately 1 packet size but we just make a big batch and store it in a pint jar in the pantry. In fact, I was just whipping up a batch of taco seasoning this week when I realized I had never posted here about here ya go.

The recipe below makes just over a half pint of mix, what you see pictured here. Just pour all the spices in the jar, cover and shake. Done! We use about a heaping teaspoon to season a pound of meat but you can adjust it to your tastes.

diy taco seasoning, homemade taco seasoning
Pin it

Bulk Taco Seasoning

prep time: 5 minscook time: total time: 5 mins


  • 6 T. Chili Powder
  • 3 T. Cumin
  • 2 T. Sea Salt
  • 2 T. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 T. Paprika
  • 1/2 T. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 T. Onion Powder
  • 1/2 T. Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 T. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes


Combine all ingredients in a pint jar (or a small bowl) and mix together. Cover and store.


Use 1 - 3 T. of mix per pound of ground beef or chicken.

Adapted from original recipe at (
Created using The Recipes Generator

DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

An Anime Birthday (again)

The Girl turned 15 a couple weeks ago. FIFTEEN. She was SEVEN when we moved to Colorado...and that was only a couple years ago, right?

I say this every time one of my children reach a milestone, but "Where has the time gone?"

Every year for their birthday, the "Pickles" make their birthday cake request. I have a lot of the cakes documented on my amateur cake decorator's blog, The Creative Cake Maker...though the blog has been woefully neglected for several years.

So, this is the fifth year The Girl has requested an anime related birthday cake for her birthday.

In 2014, it was a Pokemon cake, so I made a Charmander Tres Leches Cake. Awwww...

In 2015, she was all about Dragonball she requested a Dragonball Z Cake (surrounded by seven Dragon Balls).

In 2016, It was a Naruto Birthday Cake (look at all that black fondant!!!). The top has the Akatsuki cloud and the sides have the Akatsuki symbols in their respective colors.

Last year, in 2017, it was a cross between Naruto and furries.

This year, One Piece is her newest anime obsession so she requested a One Piece birthday cake. She even helped me put it together and decorate it, which was a first.

Wonder what next year's birthday cake will be...

DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Vintage Recipe: Carol's Corn Casserole

I'm digging into old recipe boxes and rediscovering the family favorites hidden inside! You'll find carefully handwritten recipe cards, newspapers and magazines clippings and even some hastily scrawled directions on scraps of paper, all from years (and years) ago! They're all getting scanned and transcribed so you can enjoy them in your own home kitchen.

Carol’s Corn Casserole uses both creamed corn and whole kernel corn as well as a box of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. The recipe also gives instructions for easily increasing the servings of the recipe without having to double the whole thing.

DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.

Monday, September 3, 2018

You Know You're A Canner When...

About six years ago, I learned how to waterbath can from one of my neighbors. Then in the fall of 2015, I learned how to pressure can. That opened up new worlds for me and my little hobby practically turned into a way of life.

Usually during the winter, I can meats, beans and stock. Then in the summer, I can fruits and veggies and I makes lots of pickles. We now have more food in the pantry that I canned than we have of food that was commercially canned. Let me tell you, that is a GREAT feeling.

The other day when I got the sales paper, I noticed Palisade peaches were on sale for 98 cents a pound.

Palisade Peaches are rarely less than $1.99/lb near me so I immediately began imagining all the things I could can from those peaches (peach jam, peach salsa, peach pie filling, sliced peaches...) and figuring up how many pounds I would need.

And I thought..." can tell I'M A CANNER!"

And that sparked an idea for "You Know You're A Canner When..." a fun list of all those so-called crazy things canners do.

I started to jot down just a few things, but soon the ideas were flowing. I just kept writing them down...then I asked Mr. LH for ideas (he could see some of my quirky habits better than I could)...

I turned some of the list into a printable...

"You Know You're A Canner When..." digitable printable on Etsy. Or purchase it already printed for you from Zazzle.

which also found its way onto a t-shirt...

"You Know You're a Canner when..." t-shirt available on Etsy (as shown), on Amazonon Zazzle or on Redbubble.

But I wound up with so many more phrases than I could fit on any one printable or shirt (I'll have to make another soon) they're being listed here for your enjoyment.

How many of them describe you?

You Know You're A Canner When...

  1. You can spot a vintage jar from across the thrift store.
  2. A weekend spent canning at home sounds perfect.
  3. (insert random food) goes on sale and you buy 20 pounds.
  4. You go back to the store the next day because the 20 pounds you just bought won't be nearly enough for everything you discovered you could can with it.
  5. You refer to food as either "high acid" or "low acid."
  6. You can identify the age of a jar by looking at its logo.
  7. You find yourself eyeing the neighbor's fruit trees.
  8. Mason jars have replaced your drinking glasses, your flower vases, and your plastic food storage.
  9. You plan your garden based on your canning recipes.
  10. Your freezer has more scraps than food.
  11. You feel guilty buying commercially canned food.
  12. You stare lovingly at your pantry shelves.
  13. You think pressure is a good thing.
  14. You give canned food away and worry you'll never see those jars again.
  15. Extra canning rings are stored everywhere in your bins, on bungee cords, on hangers...everywhere!
  16. You have to move because your jar stash has outgrown your home.
  17. You are not at all concerned about the zombie apocalypse (or a power outage/blizzard, etc).
  18. You look forward to cleaning out the freezer.
  19. You're more excited about making stock from the turkey carcass after Thanksgiving than you are about the holiday. (I am also guilty of buying extra turkeys on sale just for canning)
  20. You have an impressive jar stash (and it keeps growing).
  21. The "PING" of sealing jars is music to your ears.
  22. Your refrigerator is full of various half-full mason jars (and you're the only one who can identify everything).
  23. You put your life on hold because the (insert ripening food here) is finally "ready to be canned."
  24. Food goes on sale you immediately check to see if you can can it and dream up everything you can make with it.
  25. Your friends post pictures of their kids/grandkids/pets on social media. You post pictures of food in jars.
  26. You check out the canning exhibit at the county fair, critique everything, and wonder if it was all processed correctly.
  27. A stranger mentions canning and you feel like you've just met your bosom buddy.
  28. You buy jars whenever they go on sale because...they're jars.
  29. You tell people you're growing "salsa" and "pickles" in the garden.
  30. You're the only person in the house who thinks the sound of the pressure canning weight is soothing.
  31. Someone posts free or cheap jars and you treat it like it's an emergency (gotta get them first, right?).
  32. Your spices, dry goods and leftovers are all stored in mason jars.
  33. You have a kitchen shelf dedicated to canning books and canning journals.
  34. You can whip up a tasty meal in under 15 minutes with a stove, a pot and a few jars of canned food.
  35. Finding a hidden case of jars in your home is cause for celebration.
  36. A jar breaks in the canner and you observe a moment of silence for both the broken jar and the loss of food.
  37. You buy vinegar by the gallon.
  38. You find out Ball has a jar coupon in the newspaper so you buy 40 copies.
  39. Your kitchen looks like a crime scene after pickling beets or pitting cherries.
  40. You think “Canning Season” is year-round (because is).

DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Winter Sowing Tomatoes

Every year in February (or sometimes March), I would start my tomato seeds. I would line up my little peat pellets and drop in a couple tomato seeds in each. The only place in our house that is even remotely ideal for starting plants is at the back door. So I would have my little 10 gallon aquarium squeezed in between the sliding glass door and the dining room table. Cords were stretched across the floor for the heating mat and grow light.

It was less than ideal. And while the seeds germinated just fine, the little seedlings still struggled to grow.

Late last year, I discovered a new way to start my tomato plants. It's called winter sowing and it promises to NOT take over my dining room every winter.

Basically, you start your seeds in empty gallon sized milk jugs that have been cut in half and filled with a rich soil ideal for seed starting. The seeds are planted and the milk jugs are sealed (with the top left open) and left outside in the elements. Nature does its thing and the seeds do their thing. When conditions are right inside the milk jug (think of the jugs as mini greenhouses), the seeds will germinate. The warmer conditions within the milk jugs keep your plants thriving even when the temperatures get really low outside.

For three months, we saved all our milk jugs from the recycling bin and in early March, I winter-sowed about 5 different varieties of short-season tomatoes and then some mint and catnip, just for fun. We got a couple of decent snowfalls after that and some fluctuating temps. The seeds didn't start to sprout until about late April. That really worried me because as mentioned before, I was used to starting the seeds indoors between mid Feb - Early March and waiting only about a week for germination.

By June 1st (official planting day!), some of the plants were so big they were trying to come out the top hole of the milk jugs!

I got a bit carried away transplanting the seedlings into my Earthboxes so there aren't any pictures to show how big they were. But here they are now at the beginning of September...

Big, lush and full of tomatoes (and trying to poke through the tops of the hail guards)!

I've already been harvesting tomatoes off of these plants for about four weeks - that NEVER happened before when I would start my seeds indoors. It was well into October before they looked like this last year!

So far, we've been able to harvest the Glacier and Supremo tomato varieties and both are VERY good.

And FYI, the hail guards that these tomato plants are sitting under do a great job of also providing just enough shade from the intense sun. My bean plants, sitting just a couple feet away from these tomatoes, don't have any shade and they are fried.

DISCLOSURE:This post may contain affiliate links. I earn from qualified purchases. Thank you for supporting Little House In Colorado.