Taylor Moran is a country girl through and through. She has a passion for the cowboy way of life and said if she could live in the saddle she would.
“But that doesn’t pay the bills,” she said.
Born and raised in Arvada, Colo., a suburb of Denver, Taylor spent time in the McLaughlin area as a child, when her mother Beth (Schmidt) would travel home for the Major James McLaughlin Celebration.
Taylor loves the wide-open spaces of South Dakota and the people of the area.
“I have met so many awesome people here. I am related to a lot of them,” she said. “People are so kind and generous here. They go out of their way to help you.”
Taylor is the daughter of Bob and Beth Moran and has one brother, Jay. She graduated from high school in Colorado, and tried going to school to be a veterinary tech, but the classroom was not to her liking.
“It was too buttoned down,” she said. “I am a hands-on learner and didn’t like all of the book time it was taking.”
Taylor knew she was not for city-life so when her uncle Lance Keller told her mom to send her to work for him in South Dakota, she quickly packed her bags.
She has been in South Dakota since Oct. 11, 2011.
“My mom knew the exact date,” she laughed. “They expected me to be back home by Christmas, but I love it here.”
She has lived near McLaughlin, north of Glenham, near Wakpala and two years ago, bought a house in Mobridge.
Taylor worked for the McLaughlin Livestock Auction when she first came to South Dakota and also worked at Herreid Livestock and now works at Mobridge Livestock.
She was a yardman earlier on, but now works penning cattle that have gone through the ring.
In her stint as a yard worker, she said she worked many long days during peak cattle sale times and saw the sun rise and set many days.
She also spent time at Oahe Veterinary Clinic as a large animal assistant.
She also works part-time at the Mobridge Tribune and Reminder in the production department.
Taylor has four horses, Domino, Cochise, Mojo and Spurs. She lost her best friend, her cattle dog Smitty last year. He was named for her grandpa Schmidt who ran the Jo Dee Cafe in McLaughlin for years. She hasn’t had the heart to get another dog yet.
“The horses are kind of like having dogs,” she said. “They each have their own personalities, they are all different.”
If she had her wish, she would be living on a ranch, working cattle and riding horses.
Taylor goes to as many brandings as she can and is looking to help some producers out with calving this spring.
“Branding and calving are my two favorite seasons,” she laughed. “I have always loved being in the outdoors and when I’m not I feel locked up, especially in the summer.
Because of her desire to be outdoors all of the itime, Taylor’s cooking usually is what is quickest, although she does cook when she is at home.
“I am a big meat eater,” she said. “I am not picky and will eat anything except onions. Onions are gross. I have never been a fan.”
She does have a sweet tooth. Kit Kat bars are her favorites.
“You’ve heard ‘What would you do for a Klonike Bar?” she asked. “For me, I would do just about anything for a Kit Kat.”
Taylor said she would describe herself as outgoing and friendly, but also bullheaded.
“My mom cried when she saw I had red hair cause she knew I would get teased about it,” laughed Taylor. “It kind of made me tough.”
That is a good trait when living the cowboy way of life.
Taylor Moran’s Recipes
Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Bars
1 pkg. (11 oz.) Kraft caramels
1 Tbsp. milk
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 box Lorna Doone shortbread cookies
Line a 9×13-inch pan with tin foil with ends of foil extending over the sides. Then spray with cooking spray.
Arrange a single layer of shortbread cookies on bottom of pan.
Microwave the caramels and 1 Tbsp. milk on high for one and a half to two minutes or until completely melted. Stir after each minute. Pour over cookies and spread to cover.
Let the caramel layer harden before topping with next layer.
Microwave both the chocolates together on high for two minutes or until melted. Stir after each 30 seconds. Pour on caramel layer and spread to cover. Let stand for two hours before serving.
Any type of meat (rib-eye, sirloin, hamburger)
Wide egg noodles
Cream of Mushroom soup
The amount of ingredients depends on number of people you’re serving or how many days you want leftovers.
Cook the meat to your liking then add the soup to pan. Turn heat off after a minute or two.
Boil noodles as per the package directions.
Once all is prepared, mix together and serve.
Crazy Good Casserole
4-5 boneless chicken breasts
6 strips of bacon
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups Monterey cheese
1 box (16 oz.) pasta of any kind
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
Cook and crumble bacon. Set aside. Cut and cook chicken in the same pan you cooked the bacon in. Add 1 Tbsp. of garlic and a dash of salt and pepper. While chicken is cooking prepare pasta. Spray a 9x 13-inch pan. Preheat oven to 400. Add chicken, cream of chicken soup and 1 cup cheese to pasta and stir well. Place all in pan and top with bacon and rest of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes.
2 (16oz) sour cream
2 cups cheddar cheese
10 strips of bacon crumbled
1 pkg. ranch dip mix
1 large (1 lb.) bag frozen hash browns
Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl, mix in hash browns. Spread in a 9x 13-inch pan. Bake for 45 minutes at 400.