Home Cooking

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!



177 Responses to Home Cooking

  1. Lori says:

    Yummy! In a recent tweet you mentioned making cranberry coffee cake. Any chance you could please share that recipe? Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      I am so torn, because that cake is ridiculous in its deliciousness, so good I wanted to run to the computer and send it out immediately. But I’m supposed to be writing a cookbook! I’m testing recipes for it. I’m having to fight my natural impulse. Can you wait? I promise to hurry!

      • Lori says:

        Of course! I will be waiting with bells on. (Whatever that means.) Love, love, love the new blog! You have outdone yourself, Susan.

        • JFETZ says:

          Hi Lori
          I thought I would let you know where “with bells on” came from. Years ago when people traveled with horse and buggy – many horses wore bells. If a carraige broke down, often the good samaritan who stopped to help was rewarded with the bells from the horse whose carriage needed help. So…the expression, “with bells on” means basically that you will be there with bells on…aka – you will be there having experienced no mishaps.

          I was told this when I got my horse who is a pacer and used to race but can also pull a pretty little buggy.

      • K. F. Ross says:

        I agree that we need the recipe! My husband asked for it a few minutes ago. He’ll be disappointed that he has to wait! 🙂
        Thank you, Susan Branch!!

  2. Tricia B. says:

    Hi Susan,
    Was unable to open the section of “How to Cook” – just curious to see it? Love exporing your new Blog!!
    Thanks,
    XO Tricia B.

    • sbranch says:

      If you look off to the right of How to Cook, you’ll see “Artichokes” — that’s just the beginning . . . 🙂

  3. Tricia B. says:

    Oh thank you and bless your little round head!! This blog is full of wonderful delights and surprises!!! I am afraid I won’t get anything else done today!!
    You are precious!! XOXO, Tricia B.

  4. Cheryl Colazas says:

    Hi Susan,
    I think we must have the same carrot cake recipe, at least all the ingredients you listed are in mine! I just recently made the cake twice, once for a friend from Romania’s birthday. The Romanians were very unsure about having carrots in a cake, but they loved. The second time was just last week for a good bye party for a good friend. We all live in the Middle East and this friend and her family are moving back to the states. Soooo, I thought I would make her favorite carrot cake, a recipe from her grandmother. Everyone loved the cake, who wouldn’t, it’s delicious, unfortunately, it isn’t my friend’s recipe! Oops! She doesn’t add the pineapple or raisins (the good stuff!). Her husband now wants her to make my recipe. I have no idea where I got it….maybe from my big sister.
    Thanks for letting me share!
    Cheryl

  5. Sharon from Carlsbad says:

    Dear Susan, (and yes, I do mean dear! so very dear!),
    I baked your coconut cake for my 20th wedding anniversary the other day. Just two tiers but a fluffy, white cloud it was…and so delicious topped with California strawberries sliced to resemble two hearts. One needs to really stir those eggs before adding them to the lemon filling-or it may get lumpy. And, I did not know if I had beaten the frosting long enough for the ultimate peaks. Surely, though it was like tasting a cloud. Its necessary to refrigerate it, too, or your coconut cloud will deflate. Thank you so much, Susan, for sharing this cake with us. It was a l o v e l y anniversary.
    xoxo

  6. Vickie T. says:

    Hi Susan, I have been a fan of your books (and Willards) for a while now. I love your blog and am having so much fun exploring it. I can’t wait to try some of these recipes! Thank you!

  7. Danielle says:

    Hi Susan,

    Congratulations on your blog! I love, love, love it!!! We just recently spoke via email about music. I had asked you for some recomendations for French cds. Since then I have been singing, baking, and eating to La Vie En Rose morning noon and night. Makes me so happy : ) My most favorite cake in the whole world is your coconut lemon cake. I just make it a few weeks ago. How soon is too soon to make it again?….haha! I look forward to all your updates, recipies, videos, ect on this site. It’s really great. I loved seeing your studio. It’s like a window into your creative world. I also love the England section. I’ve been saving my pennies for a long time. I know I’ll get there one day. Until then, I’ll explore through your eyes.

    Happy Summer!

  8. Darlene says:

    Susan, Just want to say hello and congratulations on your Blog! I love it!! Whether I’m reading here, or one your many books, I am always left feeling inspired and filled with creativity. Thank you for sharing what you do so beautifully!!! xoxo

  9. Gaylene says:

    Love that you have listed the Book and page number your recipes are from!

  10. Janelle says:

    Hi! It’s me again! Our FAVORITE Susan Branch recipe is the chicken enchiladas. They are so stinkin’ yummy! Oh no – a craving has started……….I better go drink a Skip and Go Naked so I can forget about cooking today. Too hot!

  11. Gail Buss says:

    Hi Susan…..wow, while looking at your blog……..came across the Coconut Cake……….Coconut is about my most favorite thing in the world. Love a Devils food cake with white buttercream icing and coconut on top…….yummy. Now which do I make first…….the coconut or the pineapple upside down cake??? I better ask Joe what he wants. Gail B.

  12. dawn says:

    My favorite of your recipes are your grandma’s old-fashioned molasses cookies and your tomato soup. And we use your cold and flu medicine in the winter to warm up after brisk walks in the snow with the dogs!

  13. Jean says:

    Susan

    I Love You, when oh when are you going to give us a new cook book. I know you have a lot more in you……..so please think about this. It would make us so happy. I love reading your books. , they bring joy into my life and I know so many people feel like this. I love your drawings and everythink about you. You are the BEST as my grandson Marcus would say. Love Your Faithfull Friend Mi Ma

  14. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Hello Sweet Sue ….I Made Your Cheesebugers McSue Last Night! Herbster Loves That Special Sauce! lol omggggggggggggggggggg They were Beyond Yummy! & Tonight on Our Menu…Your Lemon Linquini… Yum…I’m making it with Steamed Shrimp & Asparagus Spears….The Perfect Sunday Summer Supper! Twirling into Yummy Delight! (Now I’m sooooooooooooooo Hungry!) Byeeeeeeeee! xoxo Poof!

  15. Debbie says:

    You have a way of making each day and new experience extra special.
    I love the way your your words compliment your charming art work.
    How fortunate for all of us that you do what you love and share it with others.

  16. Barbara I. says:

    I just love your blog. I even look to see whats new on your blog at work.
    It is such to make you smile. Loved the pants and quilts flapping in the
    breeze. Please don’t ever stop, it makes my dull day and I smile.
    The news media about the coverage of the hurricane.
    Over Kill thats the news media.

  17. Susan, Is there any chance you could share you receipe on your Brownies, you made a couple of weeks ago???? I than can put the choclate sauce on them. HUMMMM. Janice

  18. Sharrie Mezzanotte says:

    Oh, dear Susan……PLEASE oh PLEASE include the chocolate cake for the tree bundt pan in your new cookbook(drooling ,waiting as patiently as possible with frequent chocolate attacks daily).

    Great blogs, but the bird blog hysterical…we have an agressive hummingbird that we dubbed “the Sentinel”. Do you have any of THOSE or have they left for fall ? HE thinks this is HIS domain….sending him your way to play nicely with your other gatherers. 🙂
    Warmly,…hungry,
    Sharrie

    • sbranch says:

      We had lots of hummingbirds in California, zipping right under our noses, here and there in our garden. There was a huge hedge of brush nearby — with the red flower, they lived in there — aren’t they wonderful? The little nests are so adorable. I think they’re very good luck. We have no Sentinel, but I think I want one. I’m working on that recipe for you…watch this website for updates on that!

  19. Jacqui G says:

    Susan, made the Parmesan Spaghetti Squash from the Autumn Book the other night. It was just me & my daughter- we were both feeling sad that we don’t experience Fall here, so I decided to make a Fall-tasting dinner. Needless to say, it was delicious. We ate it all on it’s own, no Salmon or anything, and it was wonderful:) And yes, your cookbooks are filled with tried and true recipes- I’ve made dozens of and never met one I didn’t like:)
    Love, Jacqui

    • sbranch says:

      I love that! Thank you Jacqui! One of the “mystery items” that was growing in our compost heap was a great big spaghetti squash!

      • Karen P says:

        Just picked up a spaghetti squash yesterday because I love it but don’t really have a recipe for it….am going to try the Parmesan Spaghetti Squash now that I’ve been poring over the Autumn book. Made the yummy Chocolate Sauce today for the NFL Kick-off Game “festivities” here in Green Bay! Can’t wait for everyone to try it (as I already have….by the spoonfuls!)

  20. Jane Alexander says:

    I think before today is over I’ll be making some cornbread ready for butter. Just seeing the word “cornbread” in this blog made my mouth water. Also seeing lemon coconut cake makes me want some…..I’ll have to think about making that!
    We are having lots of flooding here in NJ and Pa. School is out today because of it. And my cousin in Texas emailed about the fires near Nacogdoches, and asked for prayers. My three children and grandchildren are smelling the smoke from fires near Houston.
    Blessings!

  21. Angie says:

    Susan~ I love your recipes and have several of your books. My 16 yr old asked if I would make “the stuffed peppers you used to make a long time ago”. It’s your recipe from Vineyard Seasons and they’re so delicious! I opened the book and found inside the cover my Mom’s Happy Birthday note from 18 yrs ago. Love that I’ve found you on Facebook and your blog. 🙂

  22. Meg says:

    Do you have a good homemade biscuit recipe?

  23. Sweet Mormor says:

    My favorite – Fall has come again – excited to display your Autumn Book on my grandma’s hutch – it’s always close at hand but I put it right out front now for the season – not only filled inside with “wonderfulness” – it looks beautiful, too! Oh I can hardly wait for your next book! Patience is a virtue? 🙂

  24. Pat Mofjeld says:

    I love to get the Autumn book out about now. I’m hoping there is a Winter book someday. (???) 🙂 But we LOVE the lemon pasta recipe from the Summer book, too!

  25. Risa says:

    Hi Susan,
    I have all your books stored away in my friend’s garage. I am 120 miles away and I want to make your Baked Lemon Noodle recipe.
    I bought your books way back in 1990-91? Whenever you first published.
    Is there anyway you can email me the recipe so I can make it for dinner.
    Sincerely,
    risa

  26. mary says:

    Susan I love your website! I have, and love, all of your books! You make me laugh!! Thank you!! You remind me of how nice it is to be surrounded by cute, pretty, special, homey items from my life. These items remind me of happy, warm times with my family. No clutter here…..just special comforts! I’ve been a fan of yours for many years! Thank you so much for sharing your very special ways!! You’re GREAT!!!

  27. evelyn says:

    gonna try those molasses cookies…YUMM!
    your blog is so inspiring, always gets me out of a “blah” mood 😀
    God bless!

  28. Barbara I. says:

    I enjoy your blog and all your receipes. I have almost all of your
    cookbooks. I spent the better part of the morning looking at
    them today because I remembered a potato receipe about
    roasted potatoes. I looked and I looked in found it in your
    summer book. Cheese roasted potatoes, yum , will make them
    with the steak dinner I am having on Sunday. Have made them
    before and they were great. Keep up the wonderful blog your
    adventures are so, wish were there with you, and we can be.
    Thank you
    Barbara I.

  29. Kathy C. says:

    Hi Susan,
    Maybe I missed the “Pancake” book. Am I too late to get it or is it finished yet?
    So looking forward to getting it.
    KC

  30. Mame says:

    Hope you’re having the time of your life! I’m enjoying the trip vicariously through you and Joe. Can’t wait to try the sweet potato pie for the holidays. Love the aromas that are milling about in my head…

  31. Patricia says:

    Hello Susan! (said with a blubbering kind of sound, as I have a bad cold)…
    yesterday I was “under the weather” with said bad cold, and guess what I did
    to pass the time? I read your “Autumn” book out loud to our newly-adopted Yorkie, Daisy Grace (the “Grace” for Grace Kelly, glamour epitomized). Daisy
    just loved looking at (and walking on, from time to time) the lovely watercolored pages… each one more mouth-watering than the next!
    Ahhh. dilemmas abound: which recipe to tackle next? Daisy will have to help me decide… I’ll spread out the book and see what page she flips to!
    We’ll light all the candles over the mantle, put on some Edith Piaf, and plan for some ultra-delicious Autumn meals for this weekend! And maybe, if we have time, pop “Hocus Pocus” in the DVD player for added fun! Candy apples, anyone?

  32. Patricia says:

    Susan… I just had an idea…
    Since so many of us “fans” have all your coookbooks (mine are all first editions!), maybe you could create an adorable “master index” of some kind for us all (with, of course, your charming watercolor designs going around it!) , perhaps on heavy cardstock (maybe laminated, too!), that we could tuck in our shelves along with the cookbooks themselves (kind of like “Gourmet” used to do years ago for their magazine).
    It would make it soooo much easier to look up a favorite recipe! Although, I must admit, researching a particular recipe in each book’s index is so much fun as it makes one more aware of other delicious recipes not tried yet!
    Thanks, Susan! As always, your artwork makes our world so much brighter!

  33. Cathy in Golden, CO says:

    Has anybody tried the Scallops, Mashed Potatoes, and Corn Chowder in the Autumn Book? It’s become one of our favorite recipes. Soooo wonderful. I love this book. So many wonderful recipes.

  34. Jeannie M from NC says:

    I just discovered on your blog that you have a pesto recipe! I have tons of basil waiting for me in the garden and no recipe for pesto! Where can I find yours?

    • sbranch says:

      Either Heart of the Home or Vineyard Seasons … and it’s a really good one. I’m in Arizona right now, or I would get that recipe for you!

  35. Bev Clawson says:

    Dear Susan,
    First let me say how much I truely love your style and books and recipies and just everything! I made your coconut cake with lemon filling for my husbands birthday party and it was a big hit! I’ve been ordering treasures off your website for years now and have loved everything! Which brings me to a question. in 2008 I bought a pendant from your “charming jewelry” that says ‘Best Mom in the World 2008’ and was wondering…are you still making things like that? I just LOVE your jewelry and also have bought the ‘for luck’ charm and the ‘driftwood pearl bracelet’ and just always want more wonderful Susan Branch things!!!
    Thank you, thank you for your blog! I look at it often and it always cheers me up! I have 4 small children and it is for sure my guilty pleasure! I thought of you guys when u went through New Mexico cause thats where I live!! After all we do have the best green chile!
    Love, Bev

  36. Margy says:

    Where are you now? Fun to hear all about the train trips. Just pulled out my autumn book. Always a treat to pick out something to make that we love but forgot about during the summer. Thank you for all of your inspiration and beautiful art.

  37. Marianne says:

    I’m making your corn soup for my husband this evening! Hope it tastes as good as it looks from your photos!!

  38. Cindy Ellison says:

    I’ve always loved your recipes! They are the best. I like it that your recipes have been “tested” and have stood the test of time with your family. Old family recipes always seem to be the best with that secret ingredient of LOVE ♥

  39. Kirsten Wichert says:

    Oh, Susan! It’s killing me that you’re here so close! I feel like you’re a best friend that I want to see!!!! Is that wierd? (I live in Paramount, but go to Seal Beach to walk on the pier(I walk with a walker, so the sand is a no-no.) I often bring a book and my knitting. After looking at the recipes above, I am going to make corbread this a.m. and also maple butter for it. I switch from Honey butter to maple in Fall! I use real maple syrup mixed in danish butter…..YUM!

    • sbranch says:

      We walked with my mom and uncle on the pier yesterday, after lunch at Mc something where we ran into lots of the girls from the Flying Geese Quilt Guild who were having lunch there!

  40. Jane Hutfles says:

    What lovely messages, pictures and recipees. I feel like you are one of my best friends. ( oh yes, your calendar is the best too!) I think your last Willard had a recipee for a bean, or chili type soup with low Weight Watcher’s points. I copied it down and lost it. How or where would I obtain it again? It had taco seasoning in it too. Thanks and keep sharing. Jane

  41. KATHLEEN FULLER says:

    HI SUSAN,
    WENT ON YOUR WEBSITE TO SEE IF THE BOOK OF DAYS & CALENDARS FOR 2012 WERE AVAILABLE AVAILABLE YET & GOT SIDETRACKED BY THE LAURA ASHLEY STORY…….I TOO WAS/AM A LAURA ASHLEY LOVER….I STILL HAVE A FEW PAIRS OF THE COURDEROY D G’S LEFT. TIME TO BRING THEM OUT…..
    BUT WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE IS “I HAVE ALL(YES ALL) OF YOUR COOKBOOKS & HAVE GIVEN THEM TO MANY PEOPLE AS BRIDAL SHOWER GIFTS……ALONG WITH A HEART SHAPED WAFFLE IRON, SOOO SPECIAL………(CRATE & BARREL IN BOSTON ALSO HAD HEART SHAPED CHAMPAGNE FLUTES FOR AWHILE A FEW YEARS AGO!!!! (ENOUGH HEART INFO)
    “I NOTICED” YOU DID A SPRING, SUMMER & AUTUMN COOKBOOK SERIES………”I WOULD LOVE TO SEE A “WINTER COOKBOOK” IN THAT SERIES??????? ANY CHANCE”????
    MY DAUGHTER & I WERE ON MARTHA’S VINEYARD LAST WEEK……NO SUSAN…….

    • sbranch says:

      No, here I am! In California! I’ve got all the stuff together to do a winter book, now if I can find some minutes and hours to go with the other things! Thanks for writing Kathleen!

  42. Aggie says:

    Hi Susan,
    Do you make black bean soup? Looking for a tried and true recipe.

    • sbranch says:

      I have one, but it’s at home. . . remind me and I’ll give it to you later (it hasn’t been in any of my books!) — in the meantime, you might like to try “normal” bean soup on P. 35 of Heart of the Home — delicious!

      • Aggie says:

        Thank you Susan….now that you are back (wow – what a return adventure!), when you get time, please post black bean soup recipe.

  43. Waneta says:

    Hi Susan, I’m new at this computer business so here goes. Want to order some cookbooks and arug or two but can’t figure out how to do it. Would you direct me. Thanks. Love all this stuff.

  44. Lisa says:

    I am trying to find a wonderful corn recipe that Susan has in one of her books and unfortunately, I cannot find my recipe book. Can anyone share it with me? It has niblet corn, creamed corn, Jiffy mix, and I cannot remember the rest of it. Thanks all.

    Lisa B.

    • sbranch says:

      mmmmm, that’s my Corn Pudding on P.54 of Autumn. First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
      1c sour cream
      1 – 14oz. can corn, drained
      1 – 14 oz. creamed corn
      1/2 c. butter, melted
      1 beaten egg
      1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
      1/4 tsp. cayenne
      1/4 tsp paprika
      opt. heated maple syrup
      Mix first 7 ingred. and pour into buttered 9″ square baking dish. Sprinkle top with paprika; bake 1 hour. Heat maple syrup, if desired, and serve pudding in a puddle of syrup, hot or warm. Serves 8-10.

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        This is a “staple” at our house at Thanksgiving time! Sometimes I add finely chopped green/red fresh bell peppers…

  45. Lisa says:

    Oh, Susan, thank you so much. I am making it tomorrow – we are supposed to have a nice cool front come through. Texas has been horribly hot this year. I cannot wait to make it. You’re a doll. Thank you tons.

    Lisa B.

  46. Fern says:

    I love your calendars, and these recipes are great! 🙂 I’m a fan of the Vineyard, and have family there 🙂

  47. Mischelle says:

    Susan,
    Last year I made a very simple cranberry recipe that I am almost certain came from you. Of course now I cannot find it again so I am hoping you can help! It was the one where you simply bake cranberries with some sugar? It was delicious and soooo easy and as I am dreaming of the holidays already I would love to find that recipe again.

    Love your recipes, your art, your books, your blog,….. Love YOU! Such an inspiration!

    Thanks bunches!
    Mischelle

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Mischelle! Yes, that’s my recipe, It’s three to one, cranberries to sugar, in ungreased baking dish, unstirred. Set oven to 350, and stir 2 times during half hour of cooking, when berries begin to pop, it’s done!

  48. Michele says:

    Hi Susan,
    I received an e-mail that I believe is your newsletter titled “Willard”. I did not read it right away and horror of horror’s I somehow deleted it. Is there anyway that you can resend that to me or let me know where I can go to read it?
    I love what you do. I was born in Chicago but when I was 10 my Dad’s job relocated us to California which was back in 1959. Fall is my favorite time of year and we don’t have much of that here. I do what I can to decorate my home to bring that feeling of fall alive. When you share pictures of autumn and winter as well as the insde of your home I can feel a calm come over me. I know that I have been imprinted with the change of seasons and I really miss them. I think the change of seasons is good for the soul and I have to say that I feel an angst that I don’t get to experience them. At least not like the mid-west or back east. Well, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

    You have been blessed with a wonderful gift that we are all the beneficiary of.

    Blessings,
    Michele

  49. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Good Evening – although you’re probably snoozin’ by now! I just got home from watching 3 granddaughter’s 3 different soccer games, the first one started at 8:30am & it was brrrr, cold! And, I took a big, hot, pot of your “Autumn Spiced Cider” and ladled it out to the team & all the families! You were a big hit, as was I, the very nice grandmother, ahem, they all loved it & thought the orange juice (I used High Pulp) in it was the secret ingredient that made it so tasty! The apple cider was from Barsotti Farm from our Apple Hill area above Placerville. One little girl, after tasting it, asked if it was the kind in the little package you mix with water, because she wanted to get some! I politely said “no, this was homemade”! I’m sending out the recipe & suggesting they all buy your “Autumn” book because it is so wonderful and has other great recipes! Thanks from all of us, for such a yummy recipe!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you Joan, what a nice story, I could just feel the cold — nothing like hot cider at a game this time of year! You are the Fairy Grandmother!

  50. I am looking for your turkey gravy recipe. Where can I find it.

  51. Jackie Hutchinson says:

    I am looking for the gravy recipe, where can I find it?

  52. Diane Durand says:

    Is it alright to “pin” recipes from your site onto boards via Pinterest? All pins have your website attached and give credit and ownership to you. Have you heard of Pinterest? I just started doing it, and my goodness, it is like wildfire.. everyone I know apparently has been hooked on it for a good while. Here is a link: http://pinterest.com/about/

    • sbranch says:

      I do know about it! It looks like such fun, I could LIVE there! But, then, who would write my blog? Which I already love so much? So I am trying not to look at pinterest.

  53. Diane Durand says:

    So, we can “pin” from your site to Pinterest? I just want to make sure. I do not fully understand Pinterest yet… and cannot even figure out how to install the pinterest bookmark bar yet, for easy pinning… lol. I cut and paste the website onto my board, and it shows up with the photo and the link to the original site. PS. I have loved your artwork, calendars etc, for years. One of my sons is 27 now, and has gotten a kick out of your recipes, since he was 11-12. Especially the ones that evoke a special feeling or memory, as in: no bother to eat a baloney sandwich unless you have potato chips with it, or even better, putting the chips inside. (The Summer Book.) Right now he is a doctoral student at USC, working on his Ph.d in Public Health. When he and his sweetie get married, I will pass that book on to them:)

    • sbranch says:

      I think so, I don’t understand it either, but I believe everything on it has a link to its original source, and that makes it just fine with me! Please say hello to your darling son!

  54. Diane Durand says:

    Aw… thanks Susan! (for the hello to my son.. 🙂 🙂 I will tell him for sure.. he comes home to TX for Thanksgiving next week! Yes, you are right.. every photo on pinterest comes with a link to the original website. Thank you so much for getting back to me…sincerely, Diane 😀

  55. Karen P says:

    I have a food-related question that I know you’ll know the answer to. How do you tell when buttermilk is bad? It’s sour to begin with so I never know! I think I usually throw it away, after using some for a recipe, when it’s probably still good.

  56. Elaine Golling says:

    Hi Susan ~ I am going to make your pumpkin cheesecake for the first time for Thanksgiving. (I can’t wait to try it!) Here’s my situation: Tuesday is the only day that I have available to make it. Do you think it will keep well until Thanksgiving? If so, should I do anything special, like cover it? Maybe cover it with a dutch oven?? Any advice would REALLY be appreciated!
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  57. Susan Curtin says:

    A fan of yours for years. Just so you and your fans know, your stuffed bell peppers are the best … even better than America’s Test Kitchen’s! Thank you for that and tons of other great recipes.

    • sbranch says:

      LOL, well that just makes my day (probably my mom’s too, since that’s her recipe!!!). Thank you!

      • susan uptain says:

        Hi Susan, I’ve been meaning to tell you I recently visited Washington D.C. and while I was there I went to the Smithsonian Museum and saw Julia Child’s kitchen! It was amazing. It is all set up just as she left it, all her pots and pans right down to the note pad by the phone. I just stood there feeling like I was in her house. Later when I was home I got on the web site and read more about the history of the objects she had left behind. Wow!

  58. Vickie Beireis says:

    Loved the cooking with kids blog entry today. It was a true reality check on how cookies “should” look. Definitely not like the ones in the magazines. LOL
    I wanted you to know I have been using the Autumn book this season for recipes and serving ideas. Got tons of rave reviews on the Red Pear, Black Grape, Spiced Pecan Salad (pg 47). I took it to three different potlucks!!! Also the idea for serving olives in a rounded out sourdough bread bowl with fresh rosemary and sage was gorgeous! I put the “bowls” in a basket lined with Christmas fabric. People thought I was sooo creative so I had to ‘fess up and sing your praises. Thanks so much for your wonderful ideas.

  59. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Yesterday, at a luncheon, I gave your “Homemade Recipes, Personal Recipe Binder” to 6 of my old GFs for their Christmas gift. They’re from BYF (Baptist Youth Fellowship), I joined in the 7th grade – something like 1956! I told them the books were to keep those old family recipes, near and dear, (& the ones written in their loved ones handwriting)! And, I said the book was written by my “new best friend” Susan Branch! Ha! And, they were all going to check out your Blog, as soon as they got home! 🙂 They’ll love it! xoxo

    • sbranch says:

      How fun, what a good party that must have been! Thank you Joan! I bet people call you Joanie — I’m tempted everytime!

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        You’re welcome! One old BYFer still calls me Joanie, and a few more folks, and I miss it (& it’s better than “Chipmunk” that my little brother called me way back when…not sure if it was because of my cheeks or my nuttiness, have to ask him!) & you have my permission!!! Love, Joanie

  60. Cynthia Mann says:

    Susan, I am looking for your recipes that go with your gift baskets that was printed in the Country Register. Plus, I was wondering if you had anymore ideas for gift baskets.

    Thank you,

    CINDY

    • sbranch says:

      Here are the gift baskets . . . I could very likely go on all day with ideas for gift baskets. Think about a Tea Basket with a book or old movie, a mug, tea, honey, scone or tea cookie; or a cookie basket with recipe, cookie cutters and decorations; a coffee-muffin basket with coffee and homemade muffins or tea bread; a cheese basket with cheeses, breads mustards, pickles, etc; a romantic basket with chocolates and a split of champagne . . . Back to school basket for college kids with favorites to take back with them . . . etc. There must be kazillions of ways to make a sweet and special gift in this way. Good luck Cynthia!

  61. A friend’s young daughter is moving with her husband to their first post in Tacoma, WA. I’ll be attending their going away party on February 4th. I would like to give them a copy of your Heart of the Home cookbook but I don’t know where to buy it. (Plus I’d rather buy it directly from you rather than have some third party get the proceeds.) But I was unable to find a link on your site that would enable me to purchase your Heart of the Home Notes from a Martha’s Vinyard Kitchen … it’s not under “Shopping” … Do you still sell it?

    I have been cooking (and collecting recipes) for well over 50 years and find your presentation not only charming, but the recipes delightful, well written and easy to follow. Kudos!

  62. Susan Christman says:

    I received your “Homemade Recipes” binder from my daughter for Christmas and have been busily recording my favorite recipes in it since I got it. I am running low on the inserts and am wondering if they are available to purchase separately? That would be so wonderful! Would you let me know how to go about getting them? Thank you so much!
    I have used your calendar in my kitchen for quite a few years and just LOVE it! I also have a few of your other products and love them all!

    • sbranch says:

      Are you talking about extra recipe pages? We have them Here . . . scroll down and look for “Extra recipe pages.” Hope this helps! Thanks so much Susan!

  63. ida kemperman says:

    I would love to have your recipe for home made marshmallows. Where can I find?

  64. Margot says:

    Do you think that scones can be made in your cast iron heart pan? I was just thinking that I always loved your stationary and stamps and calendars of course, when in 2002 a co-worker of mine pointed out your recipes and I never knew that you wrote cookbooks! I started with Summer several Summers ago.

  65. Margot says:

    Do you think that scones can be made in your cast iron heart pan? I was just thinking that I always loved your stationary and stamps and calendars of course, when in 2002 a co-worker of mine pointed out your recipes and I never knew that you wrote cookbooks! I started with Summer several Summers ago.

    My black and white kitty tried to lick the whipped cream from my cocoa while I was reading your blog today!

    • sbranch says:

      Smart kitty! I would think scones could be made in that pan, but I haven’t tried it, so I can’t be sure. I cut my scones with a cookie cutter into heart shapes.

      • Margot says:

        That would be easier, since my recipe says to make a circle on a cookie sheet and cut into triangles.
        Yes that little stinker is smart, just like my two big boy stinkers. Why does everyone who comes into my home have to be male??? I like to sew dresses.
        He likes yogurt and fish too. LOL

  66. Margot says:

    I am having trouble sending emails to you for the past couple of days or even reading the blogs. As you can see one ended up here twice. I think this is the blog where I asked about the Apricot Dream from the towel, but it must not have gone through. Anyway…I was wondering if the apricot dream was a real recipe from one of your cookbooks??? I love to apricot anything.
    You must be tired as you were up early today. I am thinking afternoon nap. 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, I’m thinking that too 🙂 No, I made up apricot dream so it would rhyme! Sorry!

      • Margot says:

        Boo Hoo Maybe we could make our own. It was that trip to visit family in Switzerland at 16 that started me on the apricot fetish with apricot tart, and my Aunt Martha in CA who made homemade fruit rollups.

        • sbranch says:

          They’re so pretty in a tart!

          • Margot says:

            Tastes great too! Too bad about the fabric. I love your tiny drawings and your handwriting. I only know three people, my aunt, my mother’s cousin and my friend from college, who have such unique writing that I love to receive letters from them. Penmanship is an art form in itself. We were always told to practice our penmanship in grade school. I copied the chart so much that I have been told my writing looks like a school teacher’s. Yuck! I can’t draw at all, but I can sew. 🙂

          • sbranch says:

            I used to sew a lot before I started painting — it was my first love!

    • Margot says:

      I have now looked through all the cookbooks of yours that I own and I cannot find Apricot Dream. 🙁
      I have a confession. I have a dishtowel collection too, but I never thought of it that way. Now I even buy them as hostess gifts to fit my girlfriends’ kitchens.

      • sbranch says:

        Who wouldn’t love that for a hostess gift!

        • Margot says:

          No more heart recipe cards! Great gifts! Do you still have some material with the cupcakes and hearts on a blue background? I saw the quilt I assume you made as a background in your on-line store.

          • sbranch says:

            We’re getting more in I think . . . We did have that fabric, from my Tea Party line, but it’s all gone!

  67. theresa says:

    Hello Everyone !
    I made that wonderful chicken stock recipe this weekend and your right ! It’s the best !! Thank you for that step by step , picture by picture instruction! Some of us aren’t so great in the kitchen and need all the help we can get! ( Me ! ) I just made my husband some Ramen noodles and used it in that. He really liked it. I am going to make a big pot of chicken and ( home made) noodles for dinner tomorrow. I just love your web page! It’s like sitting in your kitchen and talking girlfriend to girlfriend ! Thanks again , Theresa

  68. theresa says:

    Hi
    It’s me again ! I just finished the chicken and noodles !! We haven’t even had dinner yet , but I had to snitch a few from the pot!! I knew the broth would make all the differance !! All I can say is YUM YUM YUM ! Have a great evening ladies !

  69. Monica Colson says:

    Years ago I had a recipe of yours for homemade chocolate milk made from milk and I think semisweet or milk chocolate chocolate chips that you melted in the milk on the stove. I seem to remember it made at least 4 cups maybe 6 cups so it was a rather large recipe. It also had an optional add in of butterscotch or peppermint schnapps at the end. That’s all I can remember about the recipe. I thought it came from one of your recipe books but I’ve searched and searched and have never found it again so maybe it came from when your recipes appeared in a magazine (Country Living, I think). If this rings any bells can you tell me where I can find the recipe again? We LOVED it and used to make it all the time when we lived in a place we could enjoy winter.

  70. Susan Uptain says:

    Susan Can we talk about yoyr stove for a moment? I got a stove just like the one in your kitchen for Christmas!! My husband had it restored and worked on and it is going to be installed soon. I see that on the left side of yours you seem to have an oven, I have a giant broiler, on the left side of mine. It is huge and takes up the whole space. On the other side there is an oven. Does your stove have a broiler on the other side? Were there stoves made with two ovens and no broiler? I jist love this stove it is beautiful!!

    • sbranch says:

      I have two ovens with a broiler under each one. There are tons of different configurations…you can get four burners and you can get six. They’re wonderful stoves. So happy for you!

  71. Ellen Wilkins says:

    I sent this request yesterday but don’t believe it went through. Don’t know what I am doing wrong but I’ll try again… Many years ago I bought a small box filled with roughly 2″x 2″ cards — each card had your artwork as well as little words of wisdom. I LOVED these and attached them to gifts, enclosed them with letters, etc. I am wondering if you would consider creating these again and offering them for sale.

    Thank you,
    Ellen Wilkins
    South Burlington, VT

  72. Lisa says:

    Susan

    When can we expect your new cookbook? Also,do you actually have those little cards that Ellen asked about,would love them! I have a whole set of your recipe cards that i have had and used for years,but i have only one card left and don’t want to use it for fear that there will be no more!! Thanks for all you do!

    • sbranch says:

      Hopefully in the fall for the book — sorry, but the little cards were manufactured by a company I designed for and licensed the use of my artwork to — and that company has gone out of business! Another loss from this crazy economy! We do have lots of recipe cards in our web store — scroll down, they’re near the bottom. Happy day Lisa!

  73. Robin Capalbo says:

    your recipes are always so inspiring-bought the ingredients to make your Butternut Squash soup over the weekend–can’t wait…and thank you for your blog today (Thursday, Feb 16)…I was losing my mind trying to figure out how to leave a reply..silly me, because it wasn’t there to begin with.
    I just thought it was me and my “electronical black thumb”!!

    • sbranch says:

      Look at you, your thumb has turned green!

      • Robin Capalbo says:

        Not really, Susan–yesterday, upon returning home from the gym I neglected to take my iPod out of my sweatpants and I washed it. After unsuccessfully drying it in a low oven and putting in a bag of rice to soak up extra liquid, I had to throw it out. I have no excuse now for not getting an iPhone. When did life get so complicated??

  74. Janet says:

    Hope it’s OK to leave a question here. I just finished watching some videos from the “Susan Branch Channel” on YouTube – on my new iPod – and there was one of you and Joe making roast chickens under bricks with garlic and lemon thyme – in the oven. I think you said it was Joe’s deal pretty much – and it sounds DEE-licious – and I was wondering if maybe Joe might “donate” it to the website or blog. If it’s not a family tradition/secret… Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      You won’t believe this but chicken is on our shopping list . . . that’s going up soon, SO good!

      • Janet says:

        Great news – can’t wait! I love “whole chicken” recipes – they’re usually so easy – and this one just sounds so yummy. How can you miss when you have chicken and garlic?? I guess this Joe fellow has figured out a few things for himself in the kitchen – chicken & garlic, chocolate ice cream & coffee. Do I smell a book cooking??? Or has Joe – like Susan – have plenty of projects on the burner, thank you very much… :>)

  75. cathy sorensen says:

    how long do you bake the peach &plum crisp @ 350 degrees? Not indicated in first edition book. thanks

  76. Helena Adams says:

    I have lost two favourite books — your “Home Cooking” and Vineyard Seasons.” Are you ever going to have them released again?!

  77. Hi there Susan,
    Love reading your blog sooo much! Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside…
    The link for the Molasses Cookies above doesn’t seem to be working. Could you please point me in the direction of that recipe as it sounds exactly like the one my dear granny used to make.

  78. Darlene says:

    Hi Susan, or anyone that may be able to help with a question about Annie Hall’s butter cookie recipe. Should the dough be divided before chilling and what’s the right amount of time to chill the dough for cookie cutter cookies? I chilled it for a couple of hours but thought it was too hard to handle so I left it at room temp for a bit but not sure if I’m doing this right. Thanks!

  79. julie boden says:

    is the 2 Tbs. butter in the pesto recipe just for toasting the pine nuts, or do you put 2 Tbs. in the pesto itself?

    we love this recipe, and i just want to make sure i am doing it right!!
    thanks,
    julie

  80. Dear Susan: I loved your “A Fine Romance” and “Isle of Dreams” and all your cookbooks. I share one of your recipes each month with my readers of a garden newsletter. Last month I told them about your picnic sandwich but can’t find my Summer Cookbook (Found Heart of the Home, Christmas and Autumn books but not the one I am looking for. Just moved.) I need the Roasted Veggie Dressing from page 31. Could you please give it to me. Don’t ever stop creating books. I look forward to them. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH. Kathryn

    • sbranch says:

      Here you go Kathryn … Whisk together 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 2 mashed anchovies, 1 Tbsp Dijon, 1 crushed clove garlic, 1 Tbsp minced parsley, 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary …. then, in thin stream, whisk in 1/2 cup olive oil.

  81. I started typing this but I lost it. So I repeated my comment.

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