The House of Creativity All Decked Out for Valentine’s Day ♥ ♥ ♥

Here’s my very own House of Creativity, all decked out for Valentine’s Day!  Wouldn’t it be great if I could make smoke rings in the shape of white hearts come from the chimney? (Someone should invent a Valentine heart chimney insert!). Right now, snow is pouring down outside my window, big heavy flakes, a little bit heart-shaped, filling the sky . . . Of course, there is perfect music for this . . .

♥                    ♥

See my windows full of hearts?  Our house is at the end of a long street; people come to a stop sign here and face my house, just like this.  Because of all the one-way streets, pretty soon everyone has to pass this stop sign in order to get where they’re going on this island.  I feel a certain responsibility to provide a some entertainment for people when they get here; it’s perfect for the short attention span!  So I decorated my windows with leftover spray snow from Christmas.  I made heart templates, little and big, from a piece of clear acetate.  I’ve also made templates from cardboard, but they get a little soggy after about the twentieth heart!  You could probably do it all faster with heart doilies!

We got a Valentine from a very special person yesterday!  She knows who she is! (Thank you 1000 times ) Here it is, on our kitchen wall this morning, before the sun came up.  This will be here from now on, every Valentine’s Day, forever! I love it!

What, I asked myself, can I give the girls this snowy Saturday that has it All?  It needs to be sweet and Valentiney, it needs to include chocolate (yes, of course it does), it needs to be delicious enough to give away to someone they love, but simple enough so it’s not a lifetime in the kitchen; it needs to look good on a tea table; it needs to make the kitchen smell good; and it would be very handy if the ingredients were in my cupboard NOW.  I thought about my chewy, bendy chocolaty Brownies (so here’s the recipe for those, particularly appreciated by kids, in case you are so inclined ) but I was looking for the true Valentine coup de grace, I wanted something heart-shaped.  And, so, Voila!


I love the flavor of orange with chocolate . . . this is an easy-to-make heart-shaped tea biscuit with melty chocolate chips, the perfect little thing to put on a saucer next to a cup of tea.

Here’s how it’s done; a concise recipe will be waiting for you at the bottom of this post, (if you make it through this whole thing 🙂 and actually, that’s not all that’s waiting for you at the bottom!)

Preheat the oven to 400°; put softened unsalted butter and cream cheese into a deep bowl . . .

Add grated orange zest (P.S. I hope you have one of these wonderful zesters!  They’re like razor blades you drag lightly across the fruit, easy, painlessly, gathering the zest in the tray; then pop into your recipe! Best new invention since a MacBook Pro!)

Excuse me, time out:  Water came to a boil, need to stop and fill my cup!

OK, toss the orangy goodness into the bowl . . .

Use a hand mixer to beat everything together until smooth . . . mmm, cream cheese, butter and orange . . .

Scrape down the batter in the bowl . . .

Add sour cream for richness and tender crumb.  BTW, Don’t you think that when the world lost Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald that an overall mistake was made? Don’t you want to say, please, put them back?  They left us music divine.

 H E A V E N 

Stir in  two tablespoons of granulated sugar . . .

Gradually beat in a little flour until well blended . . .  Oh-oh, check out the top of the refrigerator, we have company . . .

Speaking of Valentine’s!     

More beating of the flour . . .

Add mini chocolate chips  — if you like walnuts, which I do, you can add them here too . . . which I would if we hadn’t run out!  Almost had all the ingredients; but trust me, with them or without them, the word is  Y U M.

Stir well, my little darlings . . .

Put a heaping tsp. of dough into each cup of an ungreased miniature muffin pan (I took this photo to show you what a heaping tsp. looks like) . . . I used my black-iron heart muffin pan, which I’ve had for a hundred years — I’ve truly gotten my money’s worth out of it!  When it’s not in use, it makes my pantry wall look cute by hanging there.  I know a secret about this muffin pan, I’ll tell you at the end of this post!

You want to fill the cups completely down into the little points, around the curved tops, so you have good shapes, and level the surface of the dough.

And bake 15-17 minutes until light brown . . .

Now look who showed up . . . Girl Kitty!  Speaking of heaven!

We are complete: we have Beauty on the table, Beast is on the fridge, biscuits are in the oven, and all’s right with the world.

♥   ♥    ♥

Have a basket ready, line it with a clean tea towel . . . pop the biscuits right out of the pan into the basket, you don’t have to let them cool first.

Beautiful and delicious, they can bake as you put on the tea water, and be done by the time the tea has steeped . . . the orange is what you smell first, the chocolate melts on your tongue, and you are happy. ♥

I’m only tellin’ it how it is.

I tried them with this delicious new honey I put on everything these days (it came from Door County by the way, Pat, and all you others who know about and love that neck of the woods — you have the market cornered when it comes to butter burgers and honey!) — but I have to say, although it was delicious, it was gilding the lily; these tea biscuits are good just as they are, straight from the oven; you don’t need butter, you don’t need jam or syrup; you need nothing more.  If you are looking for additional cuteness, and who isn’t, you can always sift over a little powdered sugar!

Serve one of these tea biscuits next to a cup of breakfast tea; put them in a basket for a tea party; or if you have a fun Valentine’s tin — they are a wonderful surprise, arranged on a lace doily and dropped by a friend’s house.

And, the secret I had about this muffin pan?  Are you ready?  OK, this pan, along with the heart-shaped Emma Bridgewater tin in the picture above — they are my Valentine gift to one of you. We’re having another drawing, and even though every one of you is totally deserving, one lucky girl is going to walk away with these two memories of Valentine’s Day 2012!  Just leave a comment below (click on the tiny gray letters that say “comment” and you’ll be entered!  I figure if I do this often enough and long enough, sooner or later, every one of you will win something with love from the heart of the home and me!   That’s my plan.

♥  ♥  



Have you heard Paul McCartney’s new Valentine song?  Go get a tissue, this is wonderful.  I hear love for his new wife in this song, but I think I hear a bit of yearning for Linda too.   Sad. 🙁 But Beautiful.

Bye for now girls . . . have a wonderful weekend!


  • 1/4 c. unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 – 3oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • grated zest of one orange
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 c. self-rising flour
  • 1/3 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts (opt.)
Preheat oven to 400°.  In a deep, medium-sized bowl, using a hand mixer on slow speed, beat together butter, cream cheese, and zest until smooth. Scrape down the bowl, add sour cream and sugar and beat well. Gradually beat in flour until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.  Put a heaping tsp. of dough in each cup of an ungreased miniature muffin tin (heart-shaped if you have it, but just as delicious if it’s round), filling the space completely and leveling the surface of the dough.  Bake 15-17 minutes until light brown.  Pop biscuits out into a basket lined with a tea towel … cover to keep warm.  Can be reheated.  Makes a dozen tea biscuits.  Make these for you and someone you love. 
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1,830 Responses to The House of Creativity All Decked Out for Valentine’s Day ♥ ♥ ♥

  1. Anne Rowe says:

    Flutter not, O heart of mine,
    For I lust after this pan “o” nine,
    And tho receipt makes number 12…
    On difference I shall not delve,
    But rather hope upon my “floury” sleeve,
    Gift or wishes to receive!
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you, Susan, Joe and those precious kitties!

    • sbranch says:

      For sure you get the wishes, and maybe the gift too, very clever poem Miss Anne.♥

    • Dina Steele says:

      Sitting here by the fire with my big “orange” and white tabby curled up next to me reading about delicious “orange” and chocolate chip scones – a great combination! Susan, thank you for always making my heart “smile” and sharing your beautiful life and thoughtful musings on a regular basis. I look forward to them so much – I treasure your inspirations – and I would equally treasure winning one of your drawings!

    • Jennifer Seale says:

      Love love love your cozzy heart! Thanks for sharing with us!

    • Pamela Schmunk says:

      Tis’ truely divine, be thou my Valentine!
      Make merry and toast, Oh, my glorious host
      For on the morrow we shall dine
      Not on nine nor twenty,
      Warm hearts and full tummies all shall have plenty.

  2. Michelle says:

    I love, love, love Valentine’s Day! (It’s the day my dear husband asked me to marry him—16 years ago tomorrow. We were just 20-year-old BABIES at the time….and I love him more with each passing day!). Thank you for sharing this delicious-looking treat recipe with your adoring fans! 🙂 I can’t wait to make up a batch!

  3. Tina in Ky says:

    I’m not a huge Paul McCartney fan, but I love this song!! I had never heard it until I saw your post!! Thank you.. the tea biscuits looks scrumptious!!

  4. Marie C. says:

    Oh, gosh! I don’t think I have a snowflake’s chance in you-know-where, but I would ADORE that heart-shaped pan! Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained! But thanks for the opportunity, and have a Very Happy Valentine’s Day!

  5. Bonnie Uliana says:

    Thanks so much for the wonderful tea biscuit recipe. It looks delicious, can’t wait to try it. Thanks also for the wonderful blog. It is my treat to myself to come home from work, make some tea and check out your blog. One of my favorite parts of the day!


  6. Kit says:

    Your biscuits look wonderful! As does your pan. I have to say, I bet you could get that little Jack kitty in commercials with that lovely mustache of his! He always reminds me of a French gentleman….LOL Happy Valentine’s Day! Kit

  7. Sherry Winchester says:

    Lovely little pan to whip up some wonderful nummies in! Please enter me in your drawing…..And the kitties are absolutely charming…I have one of mine on my lap as I type this…my handsome Torti boy Duncan….
    Thank you, Susan!
    @sambawoman on Twitter

  8. Mischelle says:

    Oh how I wish I had a basket full of those warm beauties in my classroom right now to enjoy with my afternoon tea! Must finish my tea and run home to my own kitties! Maybe I’ll make the scones for tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day Tea!

  9. Helen says:

    Valentine’s Day is right up there with Thanksgiving as my favorite holidays……one all about nothing but LOVE…..and the other all about nothing but GRATITUDE (and food of course:)……celebrations of the heart.

  10. I love how you decorate your house. I love how, in America, Valentine’s is for everyone, not just for couples. I love your heart shaped muffin pan. I love Paul McCartney . . he was my first ‘true love’ crush {blushes} . . (I remember hiding behind the sofa, peeking out at him, mortified with embarrassment that I might be rumbled! ) I’d forgotten that tomorrow is Valentine’s Day 🙁

    In Wales, we celebrate Dydd Santes Dwynwen . . on 25th January . . the Welsh equivalent of Saint Valentine . . a tale of old legend . .

    • sbranch says:

      What is rumbled?

    • Marilyn says:

      I can attest to the fact not everyone realizes that in the US Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love for everyone: your spouse, kids, parents, friends, etc. 🙂

      I have a gardening friend in Portugal who I met on line almost 10 years ago. She and I quickly developed a bond and became good friends. A couple years ago I sent her a generic -for -a -friend, Valentine’s Day card. She wrote back and said she had never received a Valentines Day card from a woman before !!!!!!!!

      I quickly wrote back and said that in the US Valentines are also exchanged between friends, family and school children in their classroom. I found out that in Portugal, Valentine’s Day is strictly observed between couples in a romantic relationship, only.

      We had a good laugh over this difference in customs!

      Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

      Marilyn (in Dallas)

  11. Jen says:

    Oh my goodness you had me at “orange and chocolate”. I will be making these for my mother for Valentine’s Day. I can’t think of a better gift. And the muffin pan….how darling! It is a gray, cloudy day here in Michigan but reading your blog always brings sunshine to our little cottage! 🙂

  12. Linda Morrison says:

    Susan, I love your kitties! SWEET! I hope your Valentines Day is filled with lots of LOVE! Thanks for the wonderful blog! I look forward to it everyday!

  13. Janine from California says:

    Looks scrumptious.

    I just put up your shelf paper on the interior walls of my kitchen cupboards and now I smile each time I open the cupboard door. What a difference! Cute!

  14. MarySue says:

    Susan: With all your talents and success you remain so real. Every time I read your blog I feel like I’m your dear friend. Thank you for the smiles you generate on this face and in this heart.

  15. Teresa Jensen, CA says:

    Kitty love. Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  16. Judy Zuk says:

    Thank you for sharing another great giveaway! The heart-shaped pan is like a kitchen piece of art and I can see why you hang it up when not in baking use. Baking biscuits and cornbread is just so delicious in cast iron and comforting too. Can’t wait to make this recipe……mmmm chocolate chips and orange in biscuit form…..mmmmm. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe and furkids and all the girlfriends out there too!!!!!

  17. Denice says:

    Thanks for the tea biscuit recipe and Happy Valentine’s Day!

  18. Flo says:

    Another great recipe!

  19. Lisa says:

    Oh, cannot wait to try these scones – orange and chocolate are one of my favorite pairings, too! Please enter me for a chance to win your heart muffin pan. I would love to bake these beauties in your special pan. You really are too cool! 🙂

  20. Susan says:

    Thank you for the wonderful recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

  21. Linda Mickelson says:

    I have been collecting everything heart shaped over the years…pottery, ornaments, tins, cookie cutters and would absolutely love to add the muffin pan and Emma Bridgewater tin to the collection. Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤ ❤ ❤

  22. Grace says:

    I just love this cute muffin tin! Thanks for the recipe too- I was just thinking today “I wonder what I should make for Valentine’s Day?” and I knew you would have something clever. I think I will make this for breakfast tomorrow for my honey!

  23. Kathleen Martin says:

    Susan I agree with your comment about Paul McCartney’s valentine song being at least in part about Linda. Also, do you mind if people pin favorite items from your website to Pinterest?

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t mind because I understand that Pinterest always includes the source? Have to admit it’s a little scary to watch everything go away, but I’m getting kind of used to it — at least that link makes me feel better about it! You are so sweet to ask!

  24. Sandy from New Vineyard says:

    Hi Susan!
    Once again was so happy to read your blog. It’s like having a very special visit or getting a special letter in the mail. Also appreciate the chance to be entered to win the pan and the tin. I loved watching Jack tackle the shoe to get the ball and enjoy the personality differences between him and Kitty Girl. I have a cat that is getting older and tuckers out easily, but she’s still a love! Hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day! P.S. Have you had any luck in finding the book “A New Vineyard”?

    • sbranch says:

      No, not yet! Probably going to be one of those good things to watch for when I go to second hand bookstores. ♥

  25. Erin Stroud says:

    ACK!! I have all the ingredients, but lack the cute little pan in which to make them! I’ll hang onto the recipe, just in case I win, or else make them round. But I love all things cast iron, truly. I live in Lodge country (still making quality cast iron kitchenware in the good ol’ USofA), so I’m hooked. Thanks for your day-brightening blog, Susan. I’m glad your Joe recognizes what a gem you are!

  26. Jennifer Cooper says:

    What a sweet gift. Have a Happy Heart day.

  27. Michelle says:

    Oh my….I think I may have just found the “heart” of my next tea party with the girls. The pan would be divine…but the recipe has won my heart. Thank you once again for sharing. xxoo

  28. Jeanine says:

    I just love, love, LOVE your blog! It brightens my day! Thank you for sharing your gift of spreading joy and happiness. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  29. Karen says:

    Can’t wait to try the yummy biscuits!!! Cute, cute muffin tin! My 4 year old LOVES the music…bops his head to the beat!

  30. Jenny says:

    Your muffin recipe sounds absolutely delicious! I can’t wait to try it!

    And I love how you call your kitties Beauty and the Beast. I’ve nicknamed my trio of kitties The Good, The Bad and The Pudgy. And they live up to these names every day!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

  31. NANCY BIRD says:

    Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, I thought you might enjoy this message written in the 1800’s on a postcard mailed from New Brunswick, Canada :
    Remember me is all I ask
    And if remembrance be a task
    Forget me

  32. Rosemary (Sissy) says:

    What a wonderful gift you have…to share your heart with the “girlfriends”. Not only your true heart but the heart shaped baking tin and the heart in your recipe…thank you and Happy Valentine’s Day!

  33. My annual heart-shaped meatloaf cannot compete with your chocolate and orange heart-shaped muffins! I must have that muffin tin! The Emma Bridgewater tin would look fantistic on my white kitchen shelves. Thank you for your wonderful portrayal of domesticity.

  34. Mary says:

    My daughter gave me your little purse-size notepad with magnetic cover and I just love it! I showed my girlfriends today and they had never heard of Susan Branch. 🙂 So I told them about your website and said that they had to check it out because it is so neat. Two more fans heading your way! Thanks for your great blog – I love it!

  35. Tina says:

    Happy valentine’s day Susan!!

  36. Pat Proctor says:

    Oh my,I can smell them,what a nice gift ,Happy Day to you and yours.

  37. Carolyn mixon says:

    The warmest of valentines day wishes to you and Joe – Thanks for making our world a more warm and happy place to be in. –

  38. Barb :0) says:

    Happy, Happy Valentine’s Day to You and Joe …..
    and to Jack and Girl Kitty :0)

    I truly Heart this pan ….. and the muffins too :0)
    Thank You for the chance !!!!!

  39. Balisha says:

    I love Valentine’s Day. I wrote my post today about making cut out sugar cookies for my kids classes, when they were in grade school. Your muffins look delicious and I will be trying them tomorrow.
    Hope you and yours have a wonderful day tomorrow.

  40. Caroline C. says:

    I would love to have that precious heart shape pan and the Emma Bridgewater Tin!!!!! I almost missed out on this opportunity. I was so excited about the recipe that as I was reading your wonderful blog, I was simultaneously copying the recipe. Then off to the cupboard to see if I could immediately make these yummy biscuits. It wasn’t until today when I was checking to see if there was any new posts did I learn of this wonderful possibility! I didn’t win the lottery the other night, but maybe I have chance here. Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

  41. Janice Russell says:

    I always say I don’t have time to read blogs — that is, except for YOURS. It is the secret little gift I give myself at the end of a busy day — not every day, but several times a week. I love the recipes, looking at your lovely photos, reading about what you’ve been doing, and you just generally lift my spirits. It is obvious you love your home — as I do too. I think that’s one reason so many women identify with you. Some of us actually LIKE being “home makers.”

  42. auntie m says:

    Heart pan love here. Tea biscuits sound like a very good thing on a wintery afternoon.

    Those kitties make me want to go kitty shopping!

    • nanette says:

      hi to you, Auntie m!
      your name was lovely to see……….i am “auntie n” to all my nieces!

      and your comment was SO cute!

  43. Deb says:

    I *heart* your heart pan and I would love to have one for my kitchen! I have been collecting your cookbooks since you started to publish!

    _\m/ *I love you* as American sign language .. 😀 Stay Warm and say Hello to Baby Girl and Jack for me!


  44. Jean Smith says:

    I enjoyed your post and look forward to trying the delicious tea biscuits. I share your hunch about Paul’s valentine, I definitely heard an old and endless love song. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your Heart. Jean

  45. Vicki says:

    I can smell these little biscuits in the oven. That does look like a dandy zester, I’m going to have to look for that. My kitty love, Midge, is sitting behind me in the chair as I type. She’s all black with beautiful gold eyes. She’s my ‘little cupcake’ who was found by my son about 12 years ago, one night outside the grocery where he worked when he was in high school. (she was 4 weeks old). Happiness is lace curtains and a kitty cat in the window. Random thoughts but happy ones! Happy V day Susan!

  46. CAROL OLIVER says:

    Fabulous, Love the Blog…Love the House…and the Recipe…(Is this Recipe in one of your Books?)
    I would so love this Heart Tin..My fingers are crossed….I have so many Hearts…every day I wear different Jewelry Hearts…and when I take Christmas down…Valentine goes up all over the House…Thank you for this…The Biscuits look great.. would love to make them…and EAT them…HAPPY VALENTINE DAY SUSAN…..XO

  47. Pamela Jo says:

    Oh, how sweet the heart pan and tea biscuits look! The kitties are adorable little sweethearts, too! The sweetest Valentines, really! My “Sweetie” bought some tea for me for Valentine’s Day. It’s from the Charleston Tea Plantation which is “America’s Only Tea Garden” according to the info on the package, and it is wonderful. I will have to make some of your tea biscuits to enjoy with the tea! Thank you for sharing the recipe! Very timely! Wishing you and Joe a very happy Valentine’s Day! ~xoxo~

  48. Lee Brown says:

    You have made me a tea drinker again. Love the recipes and pictures. Valentines to all. Tt is better to give then to recieve!

  49. Linda Goetsch says:

    Happy Valentines Day to you Susan!!! I spent my chilly winter day baking “Pecan Pie Muffins” for my daughters families, my parents, and not the least- my own Sweet Valentine Hubby! Those along with a pot of cheesy corn chowder will make for a cozy Valentines Day here. ( I bet those muffins would have looked & tasted(?) even better in your cute heart shaped muffin tin!!! Many thanks for the chance to win it…..

  50. Chris C. says:

    Thank you for all of your posts, recipes and sharing so much with us.
    We are all so special receiving the love you pour into all that you do.
    I love all things “heart” and the tea biscuits look so yummy…
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe and your kitties….

  51. Pamela Betz says:

    Since I have all of the ing. and we are getting snow tonight, I’m going to bake some for my husband tomorrow. He’ll love them!

  52. Lorie says:

    Susan, you always make me smile. Your videos and pictures are the best. So relaxing after a hard day at work. Please keep up the good work and adore those kitties…Have a very Happy Valentines Day. I saw Paul McCartney on the Grammy’s last night. Beautiful song…..

  53. Those muffins look so yummy. I’m going to try them soon. I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

  54. folksmith says:

    I would love to win the cast iron heart shaped muffin pan and the tin. OMG! i love them both

  55. rj chiodini says:

    love love love your make me feel like i am on the island and your home with you and joe and the kitties..thank you, susan branch 🙂

  56. Sandi says:

    This would be the best Valentine’s gift.

  57. Caroline Delao says:

    Oh glory be, you hold my heart in your artistic hand, I love the heart shaped pan for muffins and the beautiful red heart tin. How wonderful to come to a stop and see such a beautiful house filled with love, windows filled with hearts what a great idea.

    Thank you so much for being you!!!!

  58. Gloria Howard says:

    Hi Susan,
    Happy Valentine’s Day! The tea bisuits look so great,especially baked in that
    fabulous heart shaped pan.

  59. Karen J says:

    What a treat it is reading your blog. It makes me feel like I am in your warm and inviting kitchen! Thanks for the recipes.

  60. Yael says:

    Awesome post! I would love that sweet little heart tin! Thank you!

  61. Karri Jindrak says:

    Oh my dear you bring so much light to valentines. I’m making these tomorrow with my baby girls…mmmm. I may have to munch on a few chocolate chips to hold me over till then:).

  62. Chrissy Thrower says:

    Darling little Sue Sue! Your biscuits look delish and I can just about taste one with a yummy cup of hot Cinnamon tea! Gotta make some very soon. I just made some devils food cupcakes with chocolate buttercream to which a red cherry heart and a dusting of red sugar was added. They are festive to take to school.
    Every time I see Jack with his little moustache..I just have to giggle! He really is unique.
    A very Happy Valentine’s Day to you and Joe..and to all of your GIRLFRIENDS!
    Have a very SWEET day. Tah Tah for now…Chrissy

  63. Kay Swanson says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you! I just got done making red velvet mini cupcakes, frosting them with cream cheese, and adding a plump red raspberry on top to give them an extra-special touch…very festive and they will soon be treats for our friends and neighbors! It’s been a perfect “kitchen day”…a gentle snow falling and low temp. outside, and quiet time for me to do what I love! Oh yes, I can’t decide what I like better-Kitty or your recipe…O.K., they are both special! Thanks for sharing! P.S. I’m very fond of the heart pan, as well!

  64. Christine Stadler says:

    Oh, Susan, you bring such comfort with your writing and your recipes. Happy almost Valentine’s Day!! I must confess that I have been a loyal fan of yours for quite some time. Actually, I remember rushing out to buy the newest issue of Country Living Magazine so that I could add your latest recipe and charming illustration to my personal collection. I have held onto many of those issues to this day. Don’t try to be too accurate when you do the math, girls! I am also remembering a sweet tea party hosted by the Friends of the Library in Haverhill Ma. many years back. A thoughtful, dear friend invited me along as a birthday gift. She was absolutely certain I would be thrilled to meet Susan Branch, the Guest Speaker! How did she know?! You were kind and gracious, (naturally) as you tirelessly signed each and every book with a smile.

    Thank you for providing nurturing, inspiration to each and every one of us. You have taught me to elevate the existence of each day. When our senses appreciate the beauty, smells, and sounds around us, joy is immediately evident despite our worries or sorrows. I recently lost my mom, this past May and miss her terribly. Like you, Susan, she loved her kitchen, her recipes and her cooking. Thanks for inspiring me to continue to express my own sense of creative expression. You are the best!

    Christine in Connecticut

    • sbranch says:

      I remember that event in Haverhill! Nice to hear from you! I’m sorry about your mom, it sounds like she was very special.♥

  65. Cindy says:

    Okay, I absolutely ADORE that cast iron heart shaped baker, AND the red Valentine tin, AND your kitties! This time of year has me nibbling scones and such with a nice pot of coffee or tea in the afternoon. Anything heart-shaped grabs my attention. I could just see myself baking your lovely chocolate orange tea biscuits and making up cute bags of them for my sweet friends….and my daughter in college. She loves her mama’s baking!

  66. Jody Walunas says:

    when I grow up I want to be just like YOU! love the heart pan

  67. Judie G. says:

    Hope, I’m not to late!!!! This recipe reminds me of mornings making tea and goodies for a gathering of family & friends, girlfriends that is! I have since moved many miles away but this brought back wonderful memories of good times with good friends. Sitting around the kitchen table on a cold winter morning, wood fire crackling, the smell of freshly baked goodies and wonderfully hot tea!!! I love my memories. Thank You for bringing them to mind!

  68. Lael Michele says:

    ahhhhhh that heart pan is too too cute! Happy Valentine’s day to you and Joe! <3

  69. Doreen says:

    I make these amazing — and healthy — banana muffins, which would be so much better if they were amazing, healthy, LITTLE HEART banana muffins that I might not be able to stand it. Of course, I’m terrific at overcoming obstacles such as these….Thanks for another warm visit to your blog and Happy Valentine’s Day!

  70. Catherine says:

    It’s drawing close to the 10 o’clock hour and here I am once again ~ comfy in my room at the end of another busy day ~ with my Ipad (new love of my life) looking at Girl Kitty and Jack videos ~ and thinking the only way this evening could be any happier is if that sweet heart muffin pan was sitting on my kitchen counter with warm muffins in it … what a yummy thought … Of course if I had warm muffins in the house I think there might be a few missing from the pan ~

  71. Kathie says:

    I have had several cats who retrieve things and a special love of “Black and Whites”, as we call them. Our “Black and White” is called Norman and he’s eleven years old. In our little town on the prairie, coyotes abound at night, so our kitties NEVER go out. Norman and his significant other, Bodecia, a gray and white tabby/calico, rule the house and the home and delight us. They are both mature, though, and I miss their youthful forays which I see your Jack being into in every video. What fun Jack is providing to all of us. I too, love orange and chocolate. I’ve planned a fun Valentine’s Day for my husband and I….and my special daughter who lives with us. I am in your age bracket, Susan, and my daughter is a great help to us at home. Tomorrow, your muffins for breakfast and a strawberry trifle for dessert Valentine’s evening. So much to do. I’d better hit the hay! Thanks, Susan. We love you.

  72. Dorothy Ann says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day Susan * Joe !
    Happy Valentine’s Day to Every * Delightful Girlfriend on yesterday’s * today’s and * tomorrow’s posts to Susan!

    Oh! Susan…your lovely home is indeed all decked out for Valentine’s Day with those tiny-snow hearts in the windows, welcoming all who stop by. If you showed me photos of all the homes on your street today, but didn’t tell me which was yours, I would still know. Your home is the one with those adorable hearts! I mean, of course…yours is “The House of Creativity”.

    Love those sweet new photos of Jack and Girl Kitty. You know, they could very well be on the cover of “Cat Fancy” magazine. By the way, may I say, Jack does remind me of the classic movie actor, David Niven. Same mustache! Through your little holiday video connection, you sent us girlfriends a clip of the skating scene of “The Bishop’s Wife”. I was so enchanted by that clip of the classic movie, that I ordered the DVD for Christmas for my husband @ the TCM site.
    I placed it in his Christmas Stocking and we happily watched it on New Year’s Eve. Thank you Susan.

    Yes, I would L* O *V *E to be part of your new Valentine’s gift drawing of the heart-muffin pan and love tin. You are spoiling us! And, because of your delicious recipe for the Orange & Chocolate Chip Tea Biscuits, I now know what I will be baking tomorrow for my “sweetie”, Ron!
    Au revoir…Dorothy Ann

  73. Dorothy Ann says:

    Bonjour Susan…

    I just read your 2:23 am reply. Bless your little heart! What are you doing up so early? It’s not even 3-4 pm your time….the time you say you are usually up and about.
    Oh My Gosh! I am still on my computer. It’s 11:50 pm here in Pacific Northwest Washington and I just went back to your blog/comment page to copy your new Tea Biscuits recipe, that I plan to prepare tomorrow, and there you were!

    I knew you would “get” the connection of Jack with David Niven…I just knew it! Jack’s mustache is so classic…so handsome…so David Niven!
    Now, girlfriend, you go and have a wonderful early-start to your day.
    Merci beaucoup for your lovely reply…Dorothy Ann

  74. Donna F says:

    Many thanks for your ‘heart felt’ offering. What girlfriend wouldn’t just love this gift? Wishing you the very best of Valentine’s Day.

  75. Vera says:

    Happy Valentine’s day from Germany – love your heart decorated house, cats and the recipe — want to start making the tea bisuits right now – great to be home today, not having to work and have snow outside…. Thanks for the idea ! Vera

  76. Wendy says:

    Oh, my! That <3 pan is just too lovely and a great decoration when not fill with lovely, hot, sweets. It would go so well with my <3 cookie cutters I hang with red ribbon in my kitchen. Love, love, love it. Thanks so much for sharing your scrumptious recipie and playing this giveaway game with us. Happy Valentine's Day!

  77. Lydia says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day Susan! Thank you for beautiful post after beautiful post. And for the YUMMY recipe. 🙂

  78. Tracy says:

    The muffins look delicious but it was the ‘beast on the fridge’ that made me smile this time. >wink< Here's to feline companionship! Tracy 🙂

  79. Beth says:

    A post with Jack and Girl kitty makes everything super special! Fur friends are special blessings…I blog about my fur baby, Muffin, every Monday (Muffin Mondays!) Love seeing what yours are up to, too!

  80. Thimbleanna says:

    Your house is just adorable Susan — you’re such a sweetheart. And a true girlfriend — look at you there — sharing a recipe with us AND a giveaway. Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

  81. maybaby says:

    Thank you for the recipe, can’t wait to try it! Now if I win the heart shaped pan to make them in, that would be very nearly perfect. Happy Hearts Day!

  82. Linda Napier says:

    I enjoy your blog so much. Thanks for the recipe, those little heart tea biscuits look so yummy! Happy Valentine’s Day to Sue & Joe. plus the kitty’s. lol

  83. Oh Susan, I’m so glad I came by here first thing this Valentines morning! Your watercolor of the primrose made my day! [I must try to find some primroses!]
    The recipe and directions are well done, just like being there with you in the kitchen! It is delightful to visit with you and come away inspired for the holiday!

  84. cindyfarm says:

    Love Paul’s new song!! Can’t wait to make the tea biscuits for my valentine. Thank you so much for making every day special!

  85. Diane Harris says:

    Hi Susan, I’ve been very busy working so taking a moment for me before tackling the day and dove into your blog. I pinned a few things onto Pinterest; have you gotten into it yet? It’s so addictive! So you’d better stay away. 🙂

    We have a rescue black & white part siamese kitty, who was originally named Groucho for “his” mustache, but when we found out that she was a girl, we called her Cleopatra! Love kitties! Purr!

    Have a lovely day!

    • sbranch says:

      I know, I’m avoiding it. I look every so often, but I’m not going there. At least this week! 🙂 Have a wonderful day!

  86. queenmum says:

    Dear Susan,
    I would so love to receive the heart items, so that I could make heart muffins for the wonderful man who loved me in spite of my badly battered heart, and helped me find love again. Happy Valentine’s Day to you!
    xoxo from queenmum

  87. Laurie G. says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

  88. Carol says:

    Just what I need today – to try the orange chocolate chip Biscuits- thanks for making my day and love the beautiful watercolor flowers – such a lovely gift you have.

  89. Sharon McKnight says:

    Looks like a great project to make with my “grandgirls” – they’re 4 and 2 and love to bake with Granny.

  90. Jill says:

    Hello Susan! I made the scones on Sunday night……OMG!! I’ve been eating them two at a time! Thank you so much for sharing. I know you hear this all the time but just reading and looking at the artwork on your blog really makes my day!

    Happy Valentines Day!

  91. Tracy says:

    Love love love the heart shaped pan! I gave my hubby a “beer bouquet” for Valentine’s Day – six craft beers in a customized silver bucket with a t-shirt, peanuts and a bottle opener. Not too romantic, but it suits him 🙂 He renewed my subscription to so I can continue my family history pursuits. True love! <3 Happy Hearts Day, Susan (PS: LOVING your hearts on my desk top!)

  92. Janie O says:

    ……………………………..♥♥♥ Happy Valentines Day ♥♥♥……………………………….

    Oh Sweet Susan, YOU are the Queen of Hearts!! Your heart snow flakes are Sooo Beautiful ♥ Thank you for All of the Love ♥ Sir Paul was amazing on the Grammy Awards. The Kitties are Purrrrfectly adorable! Can’t wait to make the Love Biscuits ~ Mummmmm ♥ Wishing you and Joe an extra Sweet Day for celebrating Love Love Love ♥ XOXO for all the Love and Joy you bring into our Hearts ♥

  93. Debbie Ann T. says:

    Oooo, be still my heart. . .love the pan, tin, recipe and Paul’s new love song! Susan you are the best. <3

  94. Pamela says:

    Roses are red,
    Violets are blue,
    Your kitties are sweet,
    And so are you!
    Thanks for all the Valentine Love!
    Coming right back at you all with hugs and kissesXOXOXOXO

  95. carol pfeiffer says:

    susan, I would love to have the heart pans!!!!!!!!!!XOXOXO

  96. Debbie says:

    Hi Susan, Happy Valentines Day!!! meow to your kitties
    My sister is one of your greatest fans and she would love that heart shaped tin!!!! Her name is Christine please pick her!!!!! Have a wonderful day there on your magic island.

  97. Amy B. says:

    I am going to have to make those tea biscuits very soon! Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  98. MaryElise says:

    I love the tea biscuit recipe. Orange & chocolate together are absolutely divine! I will definitely be making the biscuits soon. The heart-shaped baking pan is so perfect for them too 🙂

  99. This is my first time to leave a comment ,but I just had to tell you how much I love reading your blog. I have most of your books & enjoy them very much. I set them out on the counter for all to see during their “matching” season or holiday. I love the heart muffin pan & have been looking for one. I did not want one of the non sratch type because I love to cook in iron cookware. I am lucky to have my Mother’s iron skillet & griddle pan. I also have my Mother-in-law’s skillet & corn stick pan!! Thanks for all your time you spend on helping us to enjoy our families with your books & ideas!!

  100. Lori from Maine says:

    Yummy for my tummy – plus beautiful for my kitchen! Love from SW HBR

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