Sand Art Brownie Jar Recipe = Simple Gifts of Holiday Cheer


Ingredients for one 32 ounce canning jar:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup packed brown sugarIMG_1258.jpg

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup baking cocoa

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup vanilla or white chips

1/2 cup chopped pecans


First In a small bowl, combine flour and salt.  Then in a wide-mouth 32 ounce canning type jar layer the ingredients listed in order. [Target only had blue jars…]

Begin with the flour and build from there. Cover the jar/s and print off the recipe then attach to the jar. Cover and store in a cool, dry place up to 6 months.

Give as a gift of love.

❈❈❈ ❈❈❈ ❈❈❈

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS: Instructions for the recipients to supply and make the brownies.

3 large eggs

2/3 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


To prepare brownies: Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, oil and vanilla. Add brownie mix; stir until blended.

Spread into a greased 9-inch square baking pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (do not over bake). Cool on a wire rack. 

Who doesn’t like Brownies.? I was given this gift with the instructions many years ago. I unearthed this Sand Art Brownie Recipe to give to friends who love chocolate and like to bake.  If anyone can tell me how the pictures of the jars online come out so perfectly…let me know the trick to that, please?


Sand Art Brownie Jar 2018

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen!

Cardinal Faith is the bird 2017

CKatt © 2018

Happy Holidays!

Peace and Joy to all wherever you may be today.

I’ll be dropping by Fiesta Friday#255 to share with all the fabulous cooks the Sand Art Brownie Recipe. The co-hosts this week are Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Diann @ Of Goats and Greens

Posted in Desserts, Slow food and art in the kitchen | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Pumpkin time = Soup Recipe and Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

There was a pumpkin I bought to make Pumpkin Souffle sitting there near me, cute as a pumpkin. It was six inches in diameter, beautifully symmetrical in shape and looking a little presumptuous.  “Like Hey, I’m still here! So what’s the deal?” Abandonment issues, I suppose, because I ditched the Pumpkin souffle idea, when I couldn’t find the original recipe I had read. Nertz.

Never mind.  Here’s the scoup* on the soup and seeds that I made from this delightful pumpkin.

How to cook one small pumpkin on the stove top.

~ Take a sharp knife and cut the top of the pumpkin out like a lid. Remember to account for the size of your hand to be able to scoop out the seeds with the flesh. Put seeds in a bowl to clean later.

~ Steam the whole pumpkin in a covered heavy cast iron ceramic pan in water.  Fill the pan about 2/3rds of the way up, after you deposit the pumpkin with the cut out lid loosely placed back in the top. If the pan lid doesn’t completely close, not too worry, as the pumpkin cooks and settles the lid will close. Medium heat to get the cooking started for 10 minutes and then lower the heat to simmer. 

~ Check the pumpkin for water level after about 20-30 minutes. Add water if or when needed. After another 20-30 minutes, take a fork and see if it goes all the way through the side of the pumpkin. Check the pumpkin’s lid – lift it off and see if all the pumpkin has turn soft and a darker color. If you see whitish uncooked part continue to cook. 15-30 minutes more…check on it. I keep the temperature low so as to not burn the bottom of the pumpkin. A heavy cast iron pot acts like an little oven.


Fresh Roasted Pumpkin Seeds © Ckatt 2018

How to roast Pumpkin Seeds

~ While you wait the pumpkin seeds can be cleaned of the excess stringy pulp and washed in a sieve with cold water. Do not dry the seeds with paper towels as they will stick. Then dry them in the oven at 300F/150C for 30 minutes on an oiled baking pan. Add flavors by spicing them up and cooking another 30 minutes. (They are so delicious.)

Pumpkin Soup Recipe: adapted by me here, from all recipes – Retrieved 12-9-2018

Prep:15 m  Cook: 1 hour  Ready In: 1 h 15 


Scratch Pumpkin Soup © Ckatt 2018

♡ Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt*
  • 4 cups pumpkin puree 
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley*
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream** substituted milk 
  • 5 whole black peppercorns* 

♡ Method

Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns in a large pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered. 

Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender. 

Return to pan, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir in heavy cream. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley. 

♡ Notes: Using half of the freshly cooked pumpkin, I halved the recipe, substituted milk for cream, and used cracked pepper. Used homemade broth with water. Added a teaspoon of thyme. Cut the pumpkin into small pieces. Added three tablespoons of fresh shredded chicken toward the end of the cooking and pureed the soup with an electric hand blender. 

The pumpkin was naturally sweet. The other half of the pumpkin was frozen to make a pie in the future. Yes.

By the way, I read that most “Pumpkin in cans is really squash.” Hmmm. Just another one of those food substitutions to make me wonder about what Is in pre-made foods.

Slow food preparation in winter is relaxing. There are so many days that are cloudy that I cannot paint without extra lights. I need natural light to “see” the colors.  Cooking is one way to enjoy the time of darkness, learn new skills and try new recipes. 


Squash at the Minneapolis Farmers’ Market © Ckatt 2018

Have a beautiful rest of the week.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.

It’s Friday! The sun has returned!

I be taking this food adventure over to Fiesta Friday to share with a wide foodie community.  Thanks to Angie and co-hosts this week are Antonia @ and Kat @ Kat’s 9 Lives.

If your looking for festive, fun food ideas for the holidays, this is the party to see or join.


Posted in Farmer's Markets, Soup, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

“Ways to Clean the Oven” = Stress Reliever – Roasted Chicken Story

I made Roast Chicken last Friday. It was a 4 -7/8 pound bird. I cooked it 20 minutes for each pound as per every site I checked on how long to cook a roast chicken. The inspiration came from binge watching Chef Curtis Stone. Chef Stone has a series on Youtube that shows how to do all the basics. It took me a while to figure out that his kitchen oven was this super duper oven. Chef Stone said to cook it for 50 minutes at 180 degrees. I had some doubts and began checking online… and there are lots of opinions about the temperature.

At the end of my temperature and time research I calculated for 5 pounds times twenty minutes, which equaled – roast the chicken for 110 minutes at 350F and set the timer. Also kept checking at regular intervals. There are so many opinions on how to roast a chicken…but this method worked to achieve a crisp golden skin and a moist chicken.

Prepping the chicken is easy. Roasting a chicken is a practice in patience. (That’s okay. I can use some practice in patience.)

Thanks to Chef Stone, I achieved three goals. Roasted a chicken, made bone broth and learned how to carve a chicken properly. What appeals to me about Stone’s cooking is that his recipes are designed for a home cook like me.

The chicken was delicious and I used the bones to make broth; then I made soup and various meals with potato and veggies. Froze some stock for later and some left over chicken.

Roasted Chicken Basic Ingredients:

1-4lb chicken – found a chicken with “no hormones and no antibiotics ever”

olive oil

salt and pepper

roasting pan and a rack to set the chicken on


Check the link for Chef Curtis Stone’s method with Roast Chicken.  Curtis Stone

Towards the end of the roasting, while checking the chicken, I pulled the tray and rack out together and when I pushed the tray back in, I missed the rack. Ehem, the tray tipped in the back and grease started to flow. Quickly I righted the tray and pushed the rack back.  sooooo. @#$%^ & so forth. No damage – but a cleaning job had to scheduled.

✍︎ How to Clean a Vintage Stove 

For the cleaning I used a non-toxic way to clean the vintage oven. Lemon and vinegar and baking soda are useful for non self-cleaning ovens. (What would I do without the www?)

At Momtastic Web Ecoist I found a formula that actually works. Thanks for the green cleaning tip.

Quote from this handy site:

“Crusted-on foods inside oven: Mix two parts white vinegar to one part lemon juice and spray or sprinkle it onto the bottom of the oven. Let it sit for about five minutes, then sprinkle on a liberal amount of baking soda and leave for another ten minutes. Most of the mess will wipe right out without scrubbing.”


Notes: The process is easy. I did repeat the process and rinse the whole thing several times, okay more than several times, that works well. In addition, I used Dawn liquid on a soft sponge to finish off – to do a de-grease and remove any remnant baking soda inside the stove. I discovered that Dawn liquid detergent works great on cleaning the stove top some months ago.
Okay then. Cleaning is my way to de-stress. Life throws curve balls and I just keep on swinging or cleaning. How do you de-stress?
Now, let me see if I can get the stove bottom back in the stove? Success!
The stove is now ready for making granola. No more baked chicken smell. (Whew!)
Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.
Have a happy day wherever you are in your life.



Posted in Food Humor, Poultry, Slow food and art in the kitchen, Soup | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jim’s Apple Orchard Part 2 = Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store Visit

Here’s the rest of the photos about Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store in Jordan Minnesota. And this isn’t the half of what is there. Hey! It’s all fun. Enjoy.

It’s closed for the season now. But there’s next season to visit! Oh and they have lots of puzzles for sale. Candy? Cookies? Snacks and Puzzles? What more can a person ask for to while away a winter’s evening?

Here’s a further sampling of the candies, cookies, popcorn and fresh baked pies! Oh my!


Gummy Snake Candy

Pearson’s is a local Minnesota Candy Company


From all over the world

Licorice or Cookies to eat while you make puzzles?

A photo Op in the Booth with a Doctor Who Call Box?

These Sultana Cookies are yummy.

There is Art and Kitsch Galore to see.


Did I mention rows of Pop Corn and Chip Snacks?

Luscious Pies made on the Spot and Apple Strudel


And your Fortune told by a machine!

Jim’s Apple Orchard and Minnesota’s largest candy store is an amazing experience for any age.

Enjoy your holidays!

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.

Have a happy day wherever you may be.



Posted in Desserts, Food Humor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Siamese Cat = What a cat thinks about…


The Siamese cat plays at being


Aloof and noble.

This temple cat

He’s smarter than you.

A wild one!

Play along will ya?

Lady get a clue!


For all the cat lovers… a little fun with photos. Siamese cats were known for living in and guarding the temples in the country of Thailand. I have read stories in the news of Siamese cats that have thwarted burglars by attacking them. Siamese can be very aloof. They have a habit of talking. I have known a few Siamese cats in my life. Each one distinctly unique in personality. (Of course.)

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen.

Have a playful day wherever you may be.

© CKatt 2018

Posted in Art and Architecture, Food Humor, photography, poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments