Chilly? OK, then Chili!

It’s chilly here this morning!  It’s pouring rain outside in gopherland; wind is whistling through the ditch, rivulets of rain are slashed sideways on the windows of the trailer, streaming down in sheets.  Gene Autry is singing on the stereo cause we’re still out here in the wild west.  Here’s the garden from our living room — photographing through wet windows seems to turn the photo into impressionist painting  . . . What’s not to love?

This is the kind of day in October California people dream about.  It’s been sunny and warm everyday since we got here; we’ve been having dinners at our favorite restaurant at the beach, sitting outside in the balmy air, eating shrimp, watching the sun drop into the Pacific . . .  but not today!   Today it’s fall just the way it is New England, blustery and windy;

Today people on the Central Coast of California get to light their fires, wear their new boots, put on a warm sweater, read under a quilt, shop for pumpkins, light the stove to make chili and cornbread, and pretend they really do have a fall.  We know it will be short lived and “summer” again in a couple of days, (which it must be since we are all looking forward to the Remnants of the Past Antique Show here in San Luis Obispo this weekend); we need to get all the enjoyment out of this storm as possible.  Strikes me as the perfect day to make Chili!  Good!  I was hoping I would have the chance to give you this delicious recipe, I was saving it for a day like today . . .  put on your apron, make a cup of tea, get out your big soup pot . . . and here we go.

But first.  Potholders.  Saw this photo, had to show you.  Maybe the old crocheted really darling ones are too small for our 21st century hands, but a couple of them on top of the regular ones can make the whole pile look more interesting….aren’t they cute? 

OK, here we go.  My recipe for Chili is on page 78 of the Autumn Book for all of you that have that book, prop it up in front of you, otherwise the recipe will be printed at the bottom of this post.  The first thing you do (after you light a little candle for romantic support), is cut 3 lbs. of beef chuck into 1″ pieces. (Or, better yet, ask Joe to do it!)

While he doing this for you, heat 1 Tbsp. canola oil in a large heavy pot.

Brown the beef, but don’t cook through, over high heat, in three or four batches, giving the pieces a little space so they brown well.  As each batch is done, remove them to a bowl.  Add a little more canola oil when needed (3 – 4 Tbsp. total).

Mince 4 cloves of garlic …. add to the pot about 3 minutes before the last batch of beef chunks are brown.  Then put all the meat and juices back into the pot.

One of the reasons this chili is so deep, dark, and delicious and has such gorgeous color is because it calls for a quarter of a cup of chili powder.  I look for the best; and find it in large bags in the Mexican food aisle; if you can find it, you want “medium hot” from roasted chili pods.  But as usual, any kind will work.

Add the chili powder, along with a little flour, oregano (I’ll give the whole recipe at the end so you don’t have to pay attention to the amounts right now), and ground cumin. Stir well.

Pour in 2 1/2 c. beef broth.  Canned is fine, but there is also a product I really like called “Better than Boullion” — it comes in a jar you keep in the fridge — it’s like a rich beef paste you mix with water.

Stir well, cover, and simmer, setting your timer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t scorch the bottom.  Over time, as it’s simmering, add in one more cup of beef broth.

Rinse two cans of pinto beans and allow to drain well while the chili cooks.

When the time is almost up, and you’re ready to serve, chop some red onion and fresh cilantro leaves for garnish.

When the timer goes off, add in the drained beans, stir well, heat through and serve.

Serve this chili with a spoonful of sour cream, sprinkled with red onion and cilantro — in a wide bowl, or if you’re in front of the TV, you could have it in one of those huge latté cups. Wonderful with corn bread, or even those corn toasties you can buy premade at the supermarket; also delicious with buttered sourdough toast.  Dessert can be Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce (in Autumn Book too)!  Or ice cream and that delicious chocolate sauce you made a couple of weeks ago (if there’s any left!).  Here’s the easy recipe.

T   O    U    C    H    D    O    W    N        C    H    I    L    I

  • 3-4 Tbsp. Canola oil (use a Tbsp. at a time as needed)
  • 3 lbs. beef chuck, cut in 1″ pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. chili powder
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 3 1/2 c. beef broth, divided
  • 2 – 15 oz. ans pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
  • garnishes: chopped red onion, sour cream and chopped cilantro

In a large heavy pot, heat oil, and brown beef chunks (not touching so they will brown well)  in 3 or 4 batches, removing each batch to a bowl, adding a bit more oil when needed.  When last batch is almost done, add garlic and cook 3 minutes more.  Put all beef back into pot, stir in chili, flour, oregano, and cumin. Slowly stir in 2 1/2 c. beef broth (save last cup for later). Stir well, cover and simmer, 1 1/2 hours.  Stir occasionally; over time, add last cup of broth.  At the end of the cooking time, add drained beans, stir well, heat through and serve with garnishes. 

 And one more thing  . . .



Kellee is in the process of putting up some of the wonderful old potholders we found while wandering around on this trip in the vintage section of our web store.  xoxo Have a great day! 


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133 Responses to Chilly? OK, then Chili!

  1. laurie says:

    I have the book with the recipe,, we’ve had this many many times,, my family loves it in winter too, I would let it cook on the woodstove all day,, then ad the beans at the last bit.Thats some rainstorm you had, wow, i love the sound of rain, I have 26 minutes of a rainstorm and thunder on my ipod and i put it repeat , sometimes fall a sleep with it going until the thunder booms and wakes me up, rather startling.You know we have the very same pot holders, my gramma’s,, although mine aren’t as clean looking.Yours are very clean,,enjoy the rest of your day!

  2. Good Evening Susan from wild, wet, and windy west Wales . . I’ll pass on the chilli, which looks delicious, but being vegetarian I make mine with all beans, but oh, what bliss it must be to have a whole aisle dedicated to Mexican food . . Now, those tlws a twt (small and pretty) pot holders! 🙂 I want some . . and I want pumpkins too . . here they will only be on sale for a week or so before Hallowe’en, and as soon as Hallowe’en is gone so disappear the beautiful pumpkins from the shelves of the green grocer . . such a sad fact. I love my pumpkins and bake, bake, bake for the short time they are available to me, filling the freezer and larder shelves with goodies to see me through the winter months ahead . . Thank you for sharing a little piece of your home with us again today!

    • Linda Pintarell says:

      Just had to reply to Deborah Celtic Heart. My Welsh ancestry is from Llandudno where my grand mother was born…such a lovely village…I visited there many years ago. Hope to go back. Our family name is Wynn-Williams although my grandmother married an Italian (Pintarelli) in the Colorado mountains – a coal mining town. Just checked your blog page. Last post (a while ago) shows a Georgia O’Keeffe tree – and today my netflix movie is GEORGIA O’KEEFFE. Coincidence..I think not!

      • sbranch says:

        We’re all related!

      • to Lynda Pintarell, that is a very traditional Welsh name, my mother was Williams too. I do hope you will return, it is too beautiful a country to miss. Thank you for visiting my blog page, I hope to have something fresh soon but am suffering a dreadful writer’s block, so do stop by there again. I almost always write about home with my own photography. I must track down that movie, I hope I can find it in the UK.

      • Laura Ann says:

        Linda, I, too, have Welsh ancestry and with the name Williams, too! Sadly, I don’t know where in Wales they came from. And, coincidentally, my grandmother married an Italian in the Colorado mountains in a coal mining town! I guess we really are all related.

  3. Joann says:

    I love the rainstorm and I know exactly what you mean. In summertime in Colorado, there’s a lot of sunshine as well and a great dark day with rain and clouds puts us all in the mood for baking and warmer foods….it’s wonderfully thought-provoking and mind-stilling. The change of scenery is so good for the soul.
    On a selfish note, however, you can feel free to bring the sunshine back out for the weekend…..’cause I’m coming Susan!!
    And that storm you’re having now? It will be in Colorado while I’m heading West…..
    I’ve made this recipe and it’s DELICIOUS….guaranteed!!!!
    Joann in CO

  4. Charlene Hisayasu says:

    I have been planning a girlfriend trip to Remnants of the Past for a few months. Rooms reserved in Arroyo Grande and all! Today, I am fuzzy-headed with a cold. My husband is out in the rain buying more lemons for my hot water with lemon & honey. Yes, he is a honey, too! He knows that I will be sad to miss this grand event…and miss meeting Susan Branch! On a positive note, I am still doing my laundry to pack for the trip! Drinking lots of fluids and reading G. Taber’s Stillmeadow Daybook. Praying for a miracle cure… 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Sending a little prayer…you have until Sunday noon to get better, that’s not tooo bad!

      • Charlene Hisayasu says:

        Thank you, Susan! Your thoughtfulness and sweet reply is a wonderful pick-me-up! 🙂 Girlfriends are actually leaving Friday morn for antiquing up the coast from the San Fernando Valley! Hoping to still be in that van! 🙂

  5. Maryellen says:

    Your potholders are precious! I have a little collection myself. We used to have a bazaar table at our church festival each summer. We had one lady who would donate a pile of the cutest potholders ever (that she crocheted during the past year.) I used to wait until the end and buy what were left, but that ended quick. I would always arrive when they opened and buy them all – little jumpers and sunbonnet britches, flower baskets and doubles joined with little ruffles. Mine are spotless, because I keep them in a drawer 🙂 – I need to think of display ideas . . .

    • sbranch says:

      Yes, your friends want to see them! Or at least I would if I came over, wouldn’t want to go rummaging through your drawers!

  6. Ann Y. says:

    Yes ! I love days like that when you can make good – stick to your ribs and cozy- kind of meals. On days like that when people ask what’s for dinner I say “the menu and the forecast are the same….Chili/Chilly !” Love that recipe…..can’t wait to enjoy it again.

  7. deezie says:

    Hi Susan
    Oh Chilly, rainy days are one of my favorite kinds of days, I am so happy for you that you are getting a day like that in California. Love the way that chili looks. I have that book so I am sure I will be trying that recipe soon. Love the pot holders. They remind me of ones my Noni(Grandmother) used to make. I love them
    Happy day Susan

  8. Jody Thomas says:

    I just had to comment on this one….first, the CHILI is one of my favorite recipes in the fall; ‘it ain’t fall without chili and cornbread’ I say. Your fall book is almost my favorite (I say almost because my first one of yours I had and given to me as a gift is Vinyard Seasons, which has to be the favorite). I gave the Fall one to my sister for her ‘new kitchen shower’ when she had it re-done, and she loves it too. Second, I have many of those handmade potholders; my Nana (Great Grandmother) did a lot of tatting, and I’ve been lucky enough to have them. I’ve got one that is small and white (okay almost white) with a big red flower that stands out. that’s my favorite one.

  9. Sandy says:

    Loving this autumn day in California even if summer is coming back in a couple of days. Wish I could go to the “antique fair” with you — have fun!

  10. Sharon from Maine says:

    Yummm-Susan that chili sounds wonderful! Would be just the perfect thing to make on a day like it is here in Maine, overcast, windy and getting colder — I just got my clothes in off the line and my hands are cold! Getting ready to start the wood stove in the morning because it’s supposed to drop down to the 30’s tonight. ———It sounds like you and Joe are having fun out there in California, rain and all. I wish I were closer, I’d love to go to that antique show you’re headed to this weekend. I can’t wait for next week so you can tell us about all the goodies you’ve seen! Thanks for all you do for us! xxoo Sharon

  11. Judy Currie says:

    You are speaking to my heart again this day, Susan. Our “chill” came through last Friday and I have been wanting soup or chili ever since. I am a bit under the weather for now and husband would never attempt such as this – in our marriage contract, I cook and he cleans – but feeling stronger each day and tomorrow I think I will try to make that chili. Thanks for posting the recipe as my Autumn book is packed away with all the other books. I will be waiting for your post on the Remnants of the Past Antique Show because I love your adventures – and kinda gets me out of the house. Judy C sends best wishes for your journey

    • sbranch says:

      I’m going to take lots of pictures of the show! I know it will be wonderful!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        Do please post photos of the show for the rest of us who can’t get to it! Also, Susan, I’ve looked at your chili recipe in the book but haven’t tried it, but definitely will now that I see photos of it. However, it won’t be for a couple of days as we are having temperatures in the high-80’s–very strange for October here! 🙂 Our standard recipe for chili uses hamburger, onion, kidney beans, tomatoes, tomato soup, chili powder, and–are you ready for this?–sliced carrots!!! I know it sounds strange but it is really good! So you can see how “different” your recipe sounded to me, however, it looks very good and I will now give it a try–thanks! 🙂 Might have to call it “Susan’s Western Chili” on my recipe card… 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          It’s that Tex Mex thing…simple but complicated. I’ll take lots of pictures of the show so you can all see it!

  12. Kirsten Wichert says:

    It’s raining here, too! Love it, love, love it! Fall arrived here yesterday just in time for my birthday. How nice……I’m pretending that it is here to stay. You know it rarely rains here in L.A. My garden needs it. I need it. I slept like a baby last night because it was so cool. Your blog says it all! Autumn is so special.
    You are so generous to share your recipes with everyone even though they (for the most part) are in your books. I, for 1, couldn’t live without them (well, maybe I exagerate a little?). The Autumn book has soooooooooo many good things in it! I especially like the knee sock warmer. All the recipes are delish! I can taste that chili now. 😉

    • Kirsten Wichert says:

      Oh, I forgot to say…I bought all the ingred. for the white bean salad and the lemon rice. I’m going to make both today. I know these are summer recipes but they sounded so good. I eat cold salad all the time.

  13. I think I’m getting used to the idea that summer is really over and today I’m staring outside at the rain. I can’t see the mountain outside my window because the clouds come almost to the ground. It seems like the perfect day for a pot of chili.

    Yesterday I made something similar with Indian Korma sauce. Just ground beef, a cut up sweet potato, some peas and (I cheated) a jar of sauce. Quick, easy and so yummy. My husband raved!

  14. Marilyn says:

    I’m practically drooling at the sight of that chili ! 🙂

    Have you ever noticed that chili seems to taste even better on cold, wet days? It seems to warm both body and soul.

    Stay warm and dry….and enjoy that chili!!

    Marilyn (in Dallas)

  15. Betty Williams says:

    I’m a fairly new reader in North Idaho; enjoy your stories so much. We’re getting drizzly rain today (also yesterday) and it’s quite chilly. I had my granddaughter and her little toddler over yesterday for tortilla soup lunch, also great for cool days. By the way, I used to make those potholders back in the day. I’m an 80-year old lady and don’t crochet any more – hurts my fingers.
    Another btw: I have a quilt made before the Civil War, made by a 16-year girl, one of my husband’s great-greats. It’s hanging in my bedroom.
    Have a great day.

  16. dottie says:

    Loving the rain here in OC, too, Susan. My warm up the tummy dish is chicken and dumplings today though I love trying new variations of chili. I made your Apple Pie from one of the early books yesterday — and it is a huge hit — even made me remember that it isn’t that I don’t like apple pie — it’s that I only like an apple pie when I’ve MADE it myself. Odd, isn’t it? Yes. And even when I’m trying out a new recipe I have to tweak things — added extra spices to your pie — allspice, ginger and cloves went in along with the cinnamon and nutmeg.

    • sbranch says:

      Why not, sounds good! Throw in some whole fresh cranberries next time maybe!

      • dottie says:

        Hubby loved the pie and loved making fun of my “I don’t like apple pie unless I MAKE the apple pie” thinking. Cranberries would be a wonderful addition to an apple pie! What I appreciated most was that your recipe turned out a not too sweet pie — I think that’s why I tend to believe I don’t like apple pie – too much sugar drowns the apple flavor.

  17. Barb Kucera says:

    I love your autumn book Susan. It’s the first of your books that I ever bought and still my favorite. I haven’t made the chili yet but now I will because it’s getting cooler here on the east coast and chili is just the thing.
    I could come to the antique show this weekend….hope all you girls have fun (and Joe too!)

  18. Brenda says:

    Looks yummy! Just made hubs a large pot of chili last week for him to eat while I was away. He had a cousin stop in over the weekend and I think they polished it off on hotdogs. Yours looks like a good change of pace from our usual ground beef style.

  19. Val says:

    I love chili but also that you guys got an early taste of fall while in California. 🙂

  20. Margie from Lavender Cottage says:

    OMGosh….I must make chili….this weekend for sure. I was in a bit of an accident and I can’t eat anything hard (I landed on my face…what a klutz) so I think this would be perfect. You’re a genius!! I haven’t been able to eat much of anything since Thursday but Chili is perfect with cornbread. Also, love the potholders. The only problem is that I use them for decoration and my baby cat, Pearl, likes to get them and take them away. Some times I find them and some times I don’t. She eventually brings them back but I’m not sure what she’s been doing with them. She is a very odd little girl kittie. My older cat, Sadie and I just roll our eyes over Pearl’s ridiculous habits!! Well, girls, I made it through a day at work and I’m ready to head home and hit the couch. I’ll pull out my chili recipe before I collapse, though. Have a great evening!!

    • sbranch says:

      Great to hear from you Margie. Pearl is proof positive that people who think “all cats are alike” are just wrong!

  21. Glenda says:

    It is raining in Utah too! I love it love it love it! We have an apple orchard, a pear tree, and a plum tree. We had high winds earlier so it knocked down quite a lot of fruit off of the trees. When the rain slowed, I ran out and rescued all that I could. I am dehydrating pears now. I can’t wait to do the apples, with the cinnamon and sugar. It will take a little longer with the cooler weather, but worth it. My beloved wanted chili yesterday so badly (raining then too) but I didn’t have the ingredients. Instead made a beef brisket with rosemary, thyme, onions, garlic etc. He was happy. I think I am going to the store now though to get the ingredients for your chili. Looks so good and such a perfect day for having chili! Enjoy you rainy day there and I will enjoy mine here. We are so fortunate aren’t we?. Such a joy to hear and smell rain and oh so cozy! 🙂

  22. Joyce says:

    Can’t wait to try this wonderful chili recipe. I just bought the autumn book a few weeks ago and liked it so much that I ordered the Christmas one. Your rain storm sounded so cozy…wish we could share some of that great rain. It is extremely dry here in the mountains of North Carolina. Enjoy the rest of your visit and thanks for your beautiful blog.

  23. Lori C. says:

    Susan Darlin’!
    If you want a super treat for a stormy evening (to go along with your chilli) – snuggle up with Joe and watch Cary Fukunaga’s version of Jane Eyre (starring Michael Fassbender, Mia Wasikowksa, Jamie Bell and Dame Judy Dench) – this is truly a wonderful gothic version of this timeless classic!
    On a sunnier note, my friend is flying in Saturday to California, and her sister and her are heading straight from the airport to catch the Remnants of the Past antique show! Are you selling your calendars there? Hope so! I told her to snag me one, and to tell you hello! Woo-hoo!

  24. Nellie says:

    This sounds simply amazing! Quite the thing for a blustery, rainy day. Here in East Tennessee, we have sunshine and temps into the low 80’s, so chili is going to have to wait awhile.
    I hope the weather doesn’t interfere with the week-end “doings.” xoxo

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Sun is coming out for you Joann — sunny and in the 70’s for this weekend. Our California seasons come in 1 or 2 day increments. We’ll be peeling off the warm clothes in a few days.
    Susan, all of us at work wish we were at home making your chili! If anyone in the Pasadena area is fixing it now, set some extra places at the table and put out the welcome sign. We’ll bring the wine.
    As always Susan, your light shines bright on a grey day. Thank you.

  26. Susan Simon says:

    Wow… I bet our friends in Glendale are loving this weather… our friend Mike loves thunderstorms and never gets to see them out there; rain like this is the next best thing, and needed to help with the water deficit out there! In the meantime, I think we are having California weather here after a week of misery. Sunny, deep blue skies, and balmy temps in the 70s. Wonderful… and with the fall colors on many of the trees, beautiful. Enjoy the rainstorm; I’ll enjoy the sunshine and warm breezes while they last.
    Making that chili will have to wait til our weather turns chilly again. I am headed back outside to read and wallow in the return of summer… even if it only stays for a little bit!

  27. Melissa Routh says:

    Hi again from Utah! We are having that same cold, rainy front that you are experiencing in Cali! OK, so now it really does feel like Fall. So yes, my Autumn book is now on the coffee table so I took a look and decided to make your brownies for my best friend who just buried her dear Mom yesterday in Chicago. 🙁 I had just enough time to pick some of my zinnias also for her before the rains came. The brownies are fab, I hope they lift her spirits a little. XO Melissa

  28. Jen says:

    I’ll second the gingerbread cake and lemon sauce. Quite emphatically, in fact. It was a taste sensation!

  29. Jennie says:

    Hi Susan~
    My whole family loves your Touchdown Chili- We have it every opening Sunday of the NFL (along with your yummy cornbread) and we have it interspersed all season long. Unfortunately, most of the touchdowns seem to come from the other teams- but we’re used to that, and consider this meal our reward for being loyal fans!

  30. Jerri Ellen says:

    Hi Susan,

    I’m south of you on the coast in San Juan Capistrano. I decided this rainy day called for my first pumpkin pie of the season. Hobo, my cutie cocker spaniel, is watching my every move in the kitchen. I think I will turn on the gas fireplace, too! We are heading to the coast of New Hampshire and Maine on Sunday to visit family and fall foliage!! Love ya…

  31. Lin says:

    That sounds yummy! I have a similar recipe that has “real” beef, too, must try yours and compare! Amazingly, after some real fall weather and lots of rain here, we are beginning a wonderful week of Indian Summer, temps in the 70’s and not a drop of rain in sight!

  32. paat addison says:

    good afternoon susan, its cold and wet here in oregon, with the snow levels down to 5,000 feet and we live at 2,000 feet. makes it a perfect day for soup or chili for supper and grilled meatloaf and cheese sandwiches. definitely a day to wrap up in warm sweaters, light the woodstove and enjoy a hot cup or 2 or 3 of tea and watch the rain come down. we get to enjoy the fall here with all the splendid colors, and the cold temperatures. i do have to get the rest of the Halloween decorations up and get out an extra quilt for tonight as the temperatures will drop to freezing, i guess we can truthfully say tomorrow the frost will be on the pumpkins. i love this weather and this season, and i look forward to the snow this winter, all the more good reasons for making more soup, or chili for supper. have a great day today susan. 🙂

  33. Pam Bradley says:

    Susan! I couldn’t believe the photos of your precious crocheted potholders. Just last month when I was visiting my sister in Oregon, we rummaged thru my mom’s possessions … I took a couple of ceramic chickens and a couple of those beautiful VERY OLD potholders. Would love to share the pix with you. They are so precious to me, I was going to just frame them … Can I TWEET you a photo?

  34. Pom Pom says:

    Just today I perused The Autumn Book again. I love it!
    Our leaves are changing and the temps are cooler. The kids at school can’t WAIT for Halloween!
    Me, I’m excited about going to Maine at the end of the month!

    • Jerri Ellen says:

      We are headed to Camden next week! If you haven’t been to Camden, be sure to include it…it is so lovely!

  35. Jacquelyn W. - Bainbridge Island, WA says:

    Chilly and rainy here today too. Looks like Autumn is really here. Almost time to join the rest of the “Snow Birds” and head for Southern Nevada and Arizona. Your Chili recipe looks so good … guess what’s for supper at our house tonight… served in front of the fireplace. I made a yummy apple pie yesterday from local apples so will have to have some of that too. I’ll save slices for you and Joe to have with your Chili! Thanks, Susan.

  36. Martha Ellen says:

    Hi Susan, enjoy your rainy day in CA! We have had plenty of those lately in VA. Today has been a beautiful sunny day–so beautiful that I divided over 100 daylillies and put them in a sunnier bed. I’m going to try that wonderful chili the first chance I get! It looks wonderful! Your vintage items are so lovely! Need to order something soon. Enjoy your time in CA!

  37. Gert says:

    Oh Susan..I love these! Certainly a cool rainy day dish! We’ve never made it with the sirloin before but it looks scrumptious! I love the picture out your ‘rainy’ window! It really does look like a painting! At first I thoughtnyou got the effect using a software, such as Photo Shop..who knew …God could create such beauty? smile~ I pray your weather cooperates and the sun shines for you this weekend!

    xoxo Gert

    • sbranch says:

      Odd but true, we have sun right now! We expected to have this storm for 2 days, but it’s looking less and less like it’s going to happen. No matter, we’re happy with whatever we get!

  38. Melissa says:

    Just made chili 2 days ago myself! Here in the PacNW it’s already cold and rainy, so it’s perfect chili weather (also chicken noodle soup weather-which I am making today).

    One question; where can I find those corn toasties? I saw them mentioned in a previous post/recipe and and been searching for them since but I haven’t been able to find them. Are they in the bread isle?

    Thanks! Soak up some of that sunshine for me 🙂

  39. Ginnie says:

    I keep calling for Joe to come to the kitchen to cut up the beef, but he’s not answering! 75 girlfriends must be in line ahead of me.

  40. Sandra says:

    The quotes you use on your blog posts really add a lot; so enjoyable and spot on!

  41. Isn’t it odd that certain foods are considered “seasonal” comfort foods and I think of Chili as a Fall/Winter food….I always make my Mothers’ recipe…and recently started adding ground turkey breast for a healthier version vs the usual ground sirloin. I think for a change I am going to make my brood the recipe that you just gave us and I have always added kidney beans and pinto beans sounds interesting to me? I think it would be fun for your “girlfriends” to send their Chili recipes in and then we can all make the ones that appeal to us throughout the cold months ahead??? We are having lovely warm weather in Indianapolis, IN this week and the sky is just a beautiful blue and the warmth of the sun is more pleasant than the searing summer sun….I even went out and cut back my lilies for the second time to enjoy the sun. I also enjoy a nice calm rain; unfortunately every rain this summer came as a storm with quarter size hail and in our little neighborhood everyone had to have new roofs put on and we are finally getting ours put on this weekend!!! We all need to get out and enjoy this Indian Summer especially those of us who live in the Northern States!!! Susan, thanks for the Chili recipe.

  42. Country Gal says:

    Love your pot holders they are so cute. Chili looks YUMMY! I make mine differently and in a slow cooker. I will have to try your recipe . Love the photos the first one of the garden through the rain soaked window is fantastic. Have a wonderful eve.

    • sbranch says:

      Must be thousands of ways to make chili! One of the things I love about it. Am always looking for BEST…. so far, this is it, but am open to suggestions (and happy to try them!).

      • DonnaRay says:

        My first time to be at your blog and this lively discussion about chili. We once had a sledding party where every family brought their own pot of chili and we poured them all together in a huge pot over a gas burner…..not THAT was some good chili!! I’ll be visiting often now that I’ve found such cheerful women.

  43. Lee Ann G. says:

    Yummy! ♥ Will definitely be trying this recipe very soon. Ready for some good chili now that the weather is cooler. My hubby is really the chili chef around our house. That is one thing he really enjoys putting together, but sometimes he makes it a little too spicy hot for me. I think it is the manly ego thing to see how hot he can make it without tearing up like a girly girl. he he He is going to love seeing your recipe because he is all about lots of good beef and your recipe looks so hearty and delicious Susan. Thank you again for sharing another one of your awesome recipes with us. I do not have your Autumn cookbook with my collection yet. It is on my wish list though.

    ♥Lee Ann

  44. Cyndi Harp says:

    I definately will cook your chili. I don’t care for Kidney beans. I have been useing black beans but will gladly try the pinto beans. Looks so yummy.

  45. MoeWest says:

    It’s cool and drizzly where I live too and chili is what I had for supper. It’s one of the dishes my hubby loves to cook. We’ll have to try your version next time. We use kidney beans in ours and more veggies, sliced mushrooms, green pepper, shredded carrot, onions and celery. Your picture of the red and white striped potholder is just like ones that my MIL used to make. Have a great weekend!

  46. Jeanie says:

    I enjoy all your recipes, I am collecting all your cook books I love them!!!! I have been thinking you should have a cooking show on the food network that would be fantastic!!!!!!!!!

  47. Hi Susan! It’s chilly and raining in Idaho too. I lit the fire, made some tea, but on a sweater, but did not make any chili. After reading your post … I think I’ll make some chili too!!

    Susan and Bentley

  48. Lisa R says:

    You have the prettiest bowls Susan! Your chili looks scrumptious! Oh my, how I love those sweet potholders. Now I want to go dig out my yarn and crochet hooks and whip some up! Your owls are darling too. Have you always collected them? I see them everywhere now. So cute.~

    • sbranch says:

      I love dishes, I love birds, so owls have always been a part of the bird thing. We got owl dishtowels for the web store this year, you’re right they’re everywhere now!

      • Lisa R says:

        We kindred spirits understand each others love affair with dishes! My husband calls me the Imelda Marcos of dishes. He’s right. I’d rather have a pretty bowl, cake stand, dessert plate, etc., any day over a new pair of shoes! : )

  49. I’ll have to say my fave is your corn chowder in the Autumn book … we make it again and again and again … company loves it …

    but then again, the chili is a winner, too.
    And speaking of winn(t)er … in Chicago, it’s just around the corner …

    nice catching up again
    love from East Dundee, IL
    Don and Joy

  50. sheila says:

    The kind of weather I can only dream about right now, but I’m happy for everybody who “get to light their fires, wear their new boots, put on a warm sweater, read under a quilt, shop for pumpkins, light the stove to make chili and cornbread, and pretend they really do have a fall.”

    wonderful, wonderful way to spend a day 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      I hear the whole country is going into Indian Summer for the weekend! Except lucky Dallas, which (they are saying!) is finally getting a good rain storm!

  51. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Yesterday, here too, chili & cornbread served with rain – whoopee! And, I made your Corn Soup recipe for today’s get together with the Potted Ladies, our garden club. We’re decorating shellacked pumpkins! Right now, no rain, maybe later, or we’ll have to pretend it’s a dark & stormy day! I have some of those sweet red & white crocheted potholders hanging in my kitchen, one round, & 2 cute little dresses, treasures from a Grandma! I’ll be in OR this weekend tappin’ my toes at a Jazz Festival, but I’ll be with all you wonderful ladies (& Joe) in spirit in SLO. The best to Judy and her new location, and to you, Susan, visiting with all your girlfriends! Looking forward to the blog, to see what I’ve missed! Love this blog, so much fun & great pics. xo

  52. Hi Susan, I am a newcomer to your website/blog and keep reading where everyone loves your cookbooks. How many do you have and can I purchase them on your website or are they in bookstores? I think the Autumn book sounds like one that I would love to have, please let me know the best way to add your cookbooks to my collection. Thanks!!!!!

  53. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Rise & Shine Sweet Sue…Oh how I Loved Your Rainy California Autumn Day….Splash!…& I’ve Made Your Touch~Down Chili Many Times! it is Truly~Scrumptious! :-)… Looks like You have a Huge Fun Weekend coming Up…Yesterday was Herbster’s 63rd Birthday & Your Coconut Cake was a Hit ( I Made it for Jonathan’s Birthday too!)….Beyond Yumminess! Thank You! wishing You & Joe a Delightful ♥♫Thursday…& a Magical Up Coming Weekend! Yay! Twirling into Joy! xoxo Poof!

  54. Ah oh, you keep Better than Bouillon in the fridge? I bought some last week and used it twice. Now it is in the pantry. Oh dear…

    • sbranch says:

      We put ours in the fridge, maybe you don’t have to! Read the side of the jar, and I will too!

      • Pat Mofjeld says:

        We refrigerate ours, too. A friend told me about that product when I was complaining that there were never enough “drippings” in the roaster from the turkey to make as much gravy as we’d like for a lot of company…if you add it to the pan drippings, it helps and tastes really good. (and I’m NOT on their payroll, just wanted to share this hint!) 🙂

      • Joan Lesmeister says:

        I too use that & the chicken also (our daughter took a soup cooking class from a chef, and that was his secret soup ingredient!). I called the company a year or two ago, & the rep said once it is opened, it’s better to keep in the frig & use up within a week or so. I have to admit I use mine longer – eeeek – still. I have tried to freeze it in little globs & wrap in plastic, but it doesn’t freeze solid, taste was ok. So far, so good!

      • It says “best if kept in the fridge” or something like that. So I moved it to the fridge and hopefully we won’t get sick!

  55. Karen P says:

    I LOVE that you have an avocado tree! I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to have one in my yard! I’d make guacamole and eat guac and chips for lunch..EVERY DAY!

    • sbranch says:

      I know exactly how you feel, Loooooove avocados! That’s why they call California the land of milk and honey …. avocados, oranges, limes, artichokes, and so many other things all growing around here.

  56. Sheryle Towle says:

    LOVE that chili recipe & your vintage finds! Thanks! Enjoy the rest of your adventure! Sunshine has returned to New England. Just in time for the fair! We are going on Sunday; it will be sunny & 80 degrees! Crazy!

  57. WendyO says:

    Well, I didn’t have the ingredients for this recipe, but after reading and looking at your delicious chili I did go home and make a yummy chicken chili that I did have all the ingredients for! I will be trying your recipe soon! Thank you for the inspiration!

  58. Virginia says:

    Yesterday would have been perfect weather for chili. Not enough time to prepare it after work, but it will definitely be on the menu for the next blustery day. For those of us who do not work from home (wish I could!) and are therefore not around to stir the chili pot, have you, or anyone else tried this in a slow cooker? If I brown the meat and put all but the beans in the pot, seems like it would work. I’ve made your chili in the past, but only on a weekend day when it could be watched over. The thought of unlocking the front door after work and walking into a house smelling of chili cooking is pretty enticing.

    Off topic, I sent an email to [email protected]/~susanbs3/susanbranch/ on Tuesday requesting permission to use an image. It didn’t bounce back, so I assume it was received…? It’s not that important, but I thought I’d follow up.

    Thanks for ordering up perfect weather for Sunday. See you there 🙂



  59. Mary S. says:

    Love your blog and sharing the rain with you!! And the chili recipe looks wonderful!!
    We really do have distinct seasons here in the middle of California! It is chilly here in Fresno and I am loving it!

  60. Donna Bradley says:

    Oh Susan, those were the cutest little vintage potholders you shared with us. They add so much to your kitchen! I can hardly wait to try the Chili recipe. Just had to let you know that the other day I made your Zucchini Nut Bread and it was delicious! Thanks for inspiring us with your great photos, wonderful recipes, and sweet touches from your home!

  61. Hi Susan, I would love to add your many cookbooks (how many are there?) to my collection do I have to purchase them on your website or can I find them in book stores? Thanks

  62. Sandra Gillanders says:

    Love the chili recipe, perfect for a fall evening by the fire. Going to make it this weekend. It makes enough so we can enjoy the left-overs for several meals. Love to have it in frig when we are too busy to cook we still have a wonderful dinner. Sending big hug to you and have a great time at Remants of the Past this weekend. xoxoxo

  63. deb says:

    It’s funny how alot of us are in the chili mood! We had a lovely week here in AZ, temps down in the 70’s, rain, and just plain gorgeous weather! I made vegan chili as well, instead of meat, i used butternut squash cubes, black beans, and the usual chili fixings, & for liquid, apple cider & veggie broth! Just the perfect thing for eating by the firepit! Will be thinking of you this weekend and hoping your event is STELLAR!!! =)

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