Home Cooking Fall

 

About My Recipes
(and scroll down for some good ones!)

hen I was trying to figure out how to write a cookbook all those years ago, I knew I wanted to decorate the pages with my watercolors and put in my favorite quotes — I knew I would handwrite it; I wanted it to be “real,” like the recipes in an old family recipe box. But that meant my recipes had to be the best in the world (I was reaching for the moon) — they had to be delicious and dependable, many times tried and true — because no one cares about a pretty cookbook if the recipes don’t work, right? A cookbook should be something a person depend on kind of like a dictionary. The dishes should be so good they might go all the way, to the highest of all accolades: “family favorite,” and therefore passed down to sons and daughters, sisters and best friends, creating generations of wonderful dinner parties, homey kitchens and successful cooks, providing a great big heart of the home for the whole world! That was what I wanted. Good cooking carries magic in it; a house, big or little, that smells good from cooking, is the place everyone wants to be.

asy, quick, elegant, and delicious” — I said it to myself over and over. I only ignored that phrase a couple of times and it was always with “quick” — because there are a couple of cakes in my books, some with three-layers, with delicious filling and amazing frosting, that had to be included no matter how long they took — my Orange Cake for example; people love it; always worth it for the bonus “kissing of the cook” that goes on after they taste it. Here is the recipe for that, and a few other favorites you’ll find in my books. They’re guaranteed to please, and make your kitchen the heart of your home.

Remember, Life is short, eat dessert first.

p. 105 Autumn Book
Soft, bendy, old-fashioned, gingery, frosted cookie my Grandma was famous for.

p. 98 Christmas from the Heart of the Home
Really, after the title, need I say more?  OK, yes, there are also cranberries in this!

p. 82 Christmas from the Heart of the Home
Perfect butter cookie, useful for so many kinds of cookies, including cookie cutter cookies and candy canes. Plus suggestions for nice ways to give them away.

p. 103 The Autumn Book
This frosting hardens as it dries making it perfect for decorated cookies and as “glue” to hold gingerbread houses together.

Sweet Potato Pie (best said out loud with a southern accent)
p. 141 Vineyard Seasons
Smooth and spicy with a crunchy pecan topping.

p. 123 Heart of the Home

p. 124 Heart of the Home
The crust is a combination of crushed chocolate wafer cookies, fresh coffee granules and butter. The mousse has bittersweet chocolate and creme de cacao in it. 

p. 114 Christmas from the Heart of the Home
Everyone’s go-to for Christmas morning (Valentine’s Day too!), walnuts, spices, cranberries, apple. Powdered-sugar-dusted. Yum.

p. 132 Vineyard Seasons
Chocolate covered almond brittle you can mail.

p. 61 Autumn Book
Crusty on the outside, tender on the inside, serve it hot with Bee Butter, delicious with ribs, pork chops, or chili. Or for chilly-day tea.

p. 35 Heart of the Home
Long-time simmering makes your house smell wonderful on blustery days. Delicious soup, good all winter.

p. 44 Autumn Book
Gorgeous, buttery crisp potatoes, covered with “fall leaves” made from colored potatoes..

p. 77 Heart of the Home
For any special dinner.

p. 103 Girlfriend’s Forever
To make this faster, get all your veggies at the salad bar, already chopped. Wonderful meat loaf, good for sandwiches too.

p. 75 Autumn Book
One of my favorite things to make, everyone loves them, baked with apples and sweet potatoes, all in one pan.

p. 47 Autumn
With pomegranate seeds, blue cheese, red onion, and a balsamic dressing.

p. 27 Autumn
Make some and give some away.

p. 45 Heart of the Home
This is something you could serve in shot glasses as an appetizer at a dinner party…beautiful color, light and creamy.

p. 43 Autumn Book
Serve with roasts, chops, whole roasted chickens with the Caramelized Onion Sauce.

p. 59 Heart of the Home
Hot baked fruit with walnuts, butter and brown sugar, to serve as side dish for turkey, pork chops, ham… not too sweet but if you pour over some cream, you could serve it for dessert.

p. 60 Vineyard Seasons

p. 84 Autumn
How can something so classic be this easy?!

p. 94 Heart of the Home
This turns into a fun party when you add the Margaritas!

p. 82 Autumn
Twice-baked potatoes with shrimp, green onion, cheese, and parsley.

p. 11 Heart of the Home
Stuffed red potatoes, Artichoke Dip, and Bubbly Cheese Bites.

P. 29
Killer Football Game Food

p. 92 Heart of the Home
Lightly floured boneless chicken breasts (or thighs), served with lemon-butter parsley sauce.

p. 24 Heart of the Home
(Can look like a Christmas present!)
You can make this without the bread and serve with chips, it’s good either way!



34 Responses to Home Cooking Fall

  1. Annie Gruber says:

    I can’t wait for your next cookbook! They are such treasures! Are you going to do spring? Your friend in all adventures, Annie

  2. Janet says:

    Just finished viewing your videos on YouTube and wondering if we might get the recipe sometime for the chickens Joe was roasting in one of them. They were on their way INTO the oven – flattened [more or less] with a brick and covered with lemon thyme and garlic. I think. I can almost smell them now. A very appealing recipe as I am a bit of a chicken freak. Please, Joe? Thanks!

  3. Liz says:

    Susan,Your words and work of art makes me smile. I truly enjoy Willard. Have a happy spring and tell the kitties that Bella,Barney say Hello!!!

  4. Having a hard time finding your books in my area now that Borders book stores are gone in Maine Mall So. Portland ,Maine. Have tryed to order from your web site and it won’t go through. Help me order things I want from your sight. Thank you.

  5. Linda Johnston says:

    O.M.G. I think you could be the “deep-down-inside” me thats been trying to get out for YEARS. I was just intruduced to you by a new neighbor…..I don’t know how you’ve escaped my attention for so long……..I even LOVE glass jars!!
    I’m glad I’ve found you and I’m planning on filling my cookbook shelves with some of your books……..I just finished reading “summer”…..and I really don’t want to take it back to the library…..but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!
    A new fan,
    Linda

  6. Dawn says:

    I just bought my college age daughter one of your cook books. We plan on putting all of her favorite recipes so when she goes to graduate school she will have them to cook. I was wondering how I can get more of the blank three ring pages to put in her book? I would appreciate if you could help me. Thanks, Dawn

  7. Randi Bault says:

    Dear Susan,
    Just had to say I have made your “Chicken Enchiladas” many times. They are the best! So yummy with a side salad and Spanish rice. Everybody loves this dinner.
    Muchas Gracias! —-<–@
    Randi

  8. Peggy Kuhlman says:

    I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your books and blogs. I have all of them. We are very much the kindred spirit as “Anne” of Green Gables would say. Frequently at every season change I go thru the books and look for old favorites recipes, try new ones, or just to look at the beautiful artistry. Please keep living and sharing your good life and inspiring us all.
    Peggy

  9. maryann howell says:

    love love love your “a fine romance” please do another! love all of your books and after my collection was completed I have started buying them for my three adult daughters. They also have made wonderful girlfriend gifts.
    thank you for the many wonderful joyful inspired hours you have given me.
    maryann

  10. Shelia mcguckin. says:

    Are you going to sell your lavender tea soon ?

  11. PAULA says:

    What a wonderful trip you are taking, going from bookstore to bookstore. I hope to see you when you get to California. You are such a delight. Love, Polly.

  12. Jacqueline Coppola says:

    Dear Susan,
    I first started reading your books when I received The Heart of The Home as a wedding gift (26th anniversary on Sept. 5th). I cannot wait to read your new book about your adventures in England. All of your books through the years are masterpieces & cherished gifts, they have especially brought much happiness & joy during my 2 and a half year struggle with breast cancer. Thank you Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      Jacqueline, how kind of you to tell me. I’m humbled and happy you feel that way. Here’s to surviving cancer and going on to a wonderful joy filled life. Happy Anniversary!!

  13. I just bought your 2014 calendar and how cute and the little saying are so sweet. I plan to get my daughter one. I have been on your web-sight for about an hour now a new favorite.

  14. Carolyn Weinert says:

    I have all of your books and have used your wall calendars for many years. Thank you for all that you do. Will you have a new cookbook out in the near future? I just love your recipes and art work.

    • sbranch says:

      My new book about the English Countryside just came out…there are a few recipes in there. I have a breakfast book half finished at home (I’m in CA now for a few weeks), maybe if I get myself in gear I can get it done later this winter.

  15. Emily says:

    I just love your books. A friend in book club introduced me to you. I am hosting A tea party and so wish you could join us. I have searched your books for ideas for my tea. I purchased a Fine Romance and my daughter gave me three of your books for Christmas. I have always loved beautiful China and all Victorian things. Keep your lovely books coming and adding those bright spots to our days. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  16. Cassandra says:

    There’s one word that describes your work the best, Susan; cozy. Happy New Year!!!

    Cassandra

  17. Shirley Graham says:

    Have “ordered” your new book A Fine Romance from the library & am waiting for it to come in. Can’t purchase right now but as soon as I can I will buy it for my daughter. Your blog is such a lift in January (or any time) but especially in the cold weather. My husband ordered my calendar and waiting for that too! Love S

  18. Jeanne says:

    It is a sad day when I log onto your site, Susan, and there is not a new entry. I know you can’t write to us EVERY day, but I want you to know how much I look forward to them. What is there not to love about everything you write- your life and adventures, Joe and the kitties, those wonderful recipes that you share, and the musica and quotes. I LOVE that I discovered you and am a better person and cook for it! Thank you, Susan, for being you!

    • sbranch says:

      I wish I could write every day Jeanne! I enjoy it so much. But I have these calendars due soon so they are taking all my time right now! Love you being here … thank you!!

  19. Dede Bazirgan says:

    Susan, I hadn’t received a Willard newsletter in quite awhile (turns out I think because I changed my e-mail!) But as I was thinking about it I walked past the Best of British store in Newburyport, MA and saw your English romance book in the window!!! I am an anglophile and I haven’t put it down! Our 45th anniversary is coming up and I want to do exactly what you and Joe did! I have been to England twice but never really explored the countryside. What a memorable trip you had. I am jealous, but I am going to put the “bug” in my husband’s ear!
    Best wishes to you and Joe!
    PS: I also have all your books! Love you!!!
    Dede

    • sbranch says:

      I need to get up to the Best of British . . . I’m dying to go there. I haven’t sent out a Willard in way too long. But I have a plan!

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