Quirky Little Pig Dish

My girlfriends & I spent a lovely weekend afternoon browsing the aisles of Sur La Table, getting inspired for our upcoming baking extravaganza. We usually tackle a Martha recipe which often requires a couple of unique tools that can only be found at Sur La Table.

While perusing the clearance shelves I found a cute little frog (the one on the left of the three critters) that I knew needed a home. I couldn’t part with him and when I asked what he was actually meant to do as I was checking out, the lady helping me directed me to one of my most exciting finds in a while! These little critters were sold with terra cotta baking dishes.

Apparently they are meant to be baked in the middle of the dish to evenly distribute heat to the middle of the casserole. They went with the quirkiest baking dishes, that would make such a unique table centerpiece when serving casseroles.

I didn’t own any terra cotta dishes up to this point, so I thought one would be a nice addition to my kitchen. After doing some research, I learned a couple of things you might want to know if a terra cotta baking dish is in your future:
  • Terra cotta is suitable for food storage, serving and is oven safe.
  • Terra cotta is made of earth. While metal conducts heat, earth will absorb and radiate heat.
  • Be sure to put the dish into the cold oven. Terra cotta needs to heat and cool slowly and evenly or else it will crack. Do not heat above 400 degrees F
  • If baking in your piece (brownies, lasagna, potatoes au gratin, bread, etc), lower the baking temperature of the recipe by 25 degrees. Bake for the same amount of time
  • Do not bang serving utensils on the side of the dish to clean. Wonder how that lovely pottery piece has a slight glaze chip? Probably from banging utensils on the edge.
  • On cleaning: Do not put Terra Cotta pieces in the dishwasher. Hand washing and thorough drying is best. No need for harsh cleaners or lots of elbow grease. Usually just a few minutes in warm soapy dishwater will do the trick. If the dish was left out overnight, and is a bit crusty, simply fill it with warm soapy water, or soak in the sink until the food softens and wipe clean with a soft sponge. Leave on the counter to dry. Don’t wash, dry and put away all in 5 minutes.
So of course, I had to see what Martha had to say about baking in terra cotta. When I searched it on her site, I found this adorable spring recipe where you actually bake mini cakes in your average, untreated terra cotta flower pot. (right) Who knew you could do such a thing! I thought the idea was adorable and will probably make this someday when I need to gift during spring. The “plant” is a sprig of mint and beneath it are candy rocks. How cute is that?!?
Find the full recipe here: Flowerpot Cakes

Hi! Hello! I am Shawna, the founder of Styleberry Blog. This creative corner of the internet has become a learning haven for moms and creatives, offering a warm and encouraging nudge to those who wish to be better and do better, but often don't know where to start. From Decorating to DIY to Diapers and Paleo-ish Dishes, I strive to make the complicated simple and empower women to take action beyond their personal comfort zone. I subscribe to the Shine Theory & so strongly believe that we shine when the women around us shine and mutual support—lifting up instead of tearing down--will always be the culture here. Are you in? I hope so! Beyond the computer, I run Styleberry Creative where I work with clients to create low fuss, high function spaces that are pretty and practical in San Antonio, Texas and beyond. I LOVE making a house a home. My own studs out renovation is now complete and I am now back to working with clients. Please don't hesitate to drop me a line if you'd like to work together! I hope you’ll join me on this fun new adventure! Xo.