Making cookies…in a jumbo muffin tin?

What?! You don’t have to bake cookies on a cookie sheet?

Nope. You don’t. Shocking, I know.

In my quest to create the best peanut butter cookie a home cook can make, I decided to try baking them in a jumbo muffin tin! (turns out other people have thought of this, too…)

Surprisingly…or not surprisingly…these make really delicious cookies that don’t spread out too much.

My peanut butter cookie recipe has no butter. Just peanut butter, sugars, an egg, vanilla, baking soda and a teensy bit of flour. So, in the science of it, these are very likely to spread.

The muffin tin keeps them from spreading and helps the baking soda rise even more. It is amazing.

If you’ve never used a jumbo muffin tin to bake…I highly recommend you try it. You will have to check, check and triple check your cookies as they bake so you don’t burn them – or make them over browned on the bottom. But, let me tell you… it works.

Chat with ya next time on the next new baking hack I discover!

(Also, thank you to my mother-in-law who got me the jumbo muffin tin. Love ya!)


Potting up plants – what does that even mean?

Good Sunday morning!!! I’ve been busy already today potting up tomatoes and eggplant.

But what exactly does potting up mean?

When you start seeds in a smaller seed tray, the plants can only get so big and stay happy for a short time. Just as kids grow and need bigger shoes, plants grow and need a bigger space for their roots.

That’s why gardeners have so many plastic or biodegradable pots around. As the seedlings grow out of their first home, we “pot them up” to the next size.

For tomatoes, this also helps strengthen the stem. If you’ve ever noticed, there are what look like tiny hairs all over the tomato stem/stalk. When put in the dirt, those “hairs” create roots and help make the plant stronger. That’s why when you pot up or plant out tomatoes, you bury them deep, so those hairs help the plant grow strong.

There are some plants, like squash, however that you don’t want to start in a small seed cell. You want to keep the roots in tact until you plant them in the ground. Many people don’t pre-start squash plants because their roots are so finicky but I’m trying to out run the squash vine borer this year, so I started them early and am hoping for the best.

Some plants, you don’t want to start early in cells at all. Those include carrots and, for me, nasturtium. Both like to be direct sown and left alone to flourish.

Got any questions about starting seeds and potting them up? Drop me a note or comment below.


Am I starting a baking business? Maybe…

White & rye sourdough bread with caraway seeds and honey.

Almost everyone dreams of someday being their own boss and becoming a successful entrepreneur.

A small, teeny part of that dream for me, might be coming true. Maybe.

Just yesterday, I put out a note into the Facebook universe to see if anyone in the Myrtle Beach area would like some to buy some homemade sourdough bread.

After years of trying recipes, tweaking them and starting over, I think I have finally found a base recipe that I’ve changed enough to call it my own. So, I thought, why not see if others would like some… Within a few minutes, I had orders!

Some from people I know and some from others I don’t. They’re all on my friends list, but when you’re in the news business, as I am, you “friend” people from all over the place.

Wait… Am I leaving my job, you ask? No, definitely not. I like my job. I do not plan on leaving. I also don’t want to get ahead of myself with excitement over a new idea.

The pieces to start the dough!

Instead, I am going to take things step by step. Steps that actually started years ago.

The first was nearly six years ago when I created my sourdough starter. Her name is Sally. Sally has been through good breads and bad breads. She’s a trooper.

The second was starting the Pig Dog Farms brand with this website and on social media. The third was testing and testing bread recipes, tweaking them and testing them again.

The fourth step, the one I am in now, is putting the word out to see who is interested. I am also working with a friend to get a logo and read up on what I am allowed to do in South Carolina when baking and selling things out of your home. Thankfully, the state has the Home-Based Food Production Law (Cottage Food Law) that allows what I’m doing.

Dough rising with a bit of oil to stop sticking

So what’s the fifth step? I’m not sure right now. I think I’ll stick at step four to see if I get any repeat customers.

If you’d like some homemade sourdough bread and live in the Myrtle Beach area, let me know! I make white with honey; white/rye with honey and (optional) caraway seeds; and white/rye/whole wheat with honey. I also make delicious cookies. Just send me an email – pigdogfarms@gmail.com.