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. 128 Vineyard Seasons
With a pineapple-orange filling; an orange-coconut icing.
p. 126 Heart of the Home
Three-layer, pineapple and coconut, walnuts, shredded carrots, and cinnamon. The perfect birthday cake.
Coconut Layer Cake
p. 108 Summer Book
Three layers; old-fashioned boiled frosting with lemon filling.
Banana Cream Pie
p. 127 Heart of the Home
This is the one that people oooh and aaaah over, and it tastes even better than it looks! I strongly recommend using a homemade pie crust so you get the flaky goodness with the banana and cream.
You bring the bread:
Three recipes for cheesy, herby, stuffed French bread
p. 41 Summer Book
p. 44 Summer Book
A sandwich-to-go, made in a whole, round loaf of French bread, layered with everything from roasted red peppers to herbs, garden tomatoes, goat cheese — all dressed in a mustardy balsamic vinaigrette.
p. 60 The Summer Book
White beans, red onion, olive oil, perfect for any summer dinner.
Spicy Mango Salad
p. 82 Girlfriends Forever
Fresh lime, sesame oil, crushed red pepper, mint, cilantro and cold sliced mangos. Cannot get any better than this.
p. 88 Girlfriends Forever
You may have tasted this before, but you’ve never had one better. Add shrimp or lobster pieces, and you have the entire dinner in a bowl.
Pine Nut Salad
p. 44 Vineyard Seasons
It’s delicious, cold and flavorful with pine nuts, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese — and it’s also a cute salad because it’s made with alphabet pasta.
p. 26 Vineyard Seasons
Spicy with a little splash of Tabasco sauce; Joe loves them.
p. 80 Autumn Book
Sesame oil and lime juice with deep-fried leek frisee garnish.
p. 92 Heart of the Home
Lemony parsley sauce poured over sauteed chicken breasts.
Wild Mushroom Ragout
p. 53 Autumn Book
Serve this with barbecued steaks … mixed mushrooms, herbs, and cognac. Beautiful dish.
Clear Tomato Soup
p. 36 Heart of the Home
Make this when your garden tomatoes are ripe and juicy and freeze it for winter.
p. 40 Heart of the Home
An elegant soup filled with clams, shrimp, scallops, in a herby tomato broth.
p. 89 The Summer Book
Three grilling sauces; beer/lemon, brown-sugar/Cajun, and bourbon/apricot.
p. 74 The Summer Book
How to roast all kinds of fresh vegetables.
Linguini in White Clam Sauce
p. 100 Heart of the Home
The best recipe for this I have ever tasted…and the ingredients can be kept in your pantry for instant gratification at any time!
p. 70 The Summer Book
Good hot or cold, your basic summer pasta.
p. 46 The Summer Book
The way I like to make them…
Cocktail Ribs and Chicken Wings
p. 32 The Summer Book
Chewy, spicy, ginger, soy, honey, brown sugar; delectable summer starters. Finger lickin’ good.
Your web site it with out a doubt my favourite place to visit! It makes me feel happy when I feel sad and even more happy when I am already happy. I have pre-ordered your book “A Fine Romance” and look forward to it. My question is why is it that I can access some of your recipes but not others?
Hi Carol, so happy to have you here! I’m not sure which recipes you can’t access. I tried several of them, they all came up for me. Let me know if you can, so I can fix them! Thank you!
Trying to make Lemon Butter cookies from A Fine Romance and no liquid is mentioned and my cornmeal flour dough is not holding together(?)
Thank-you. I tried again and it must something with my computer because some of them were accessible and some not. Tried again and like magic there it was “The Orange Cake”.
Yay, so happy to hear it Carol. You are going to love that cake!
Hi Susan, just made your White Bean Salad for the fourth time this season. It is so good. The first time I used cauliflower but when I made it the second time I didn’t have cauliflower but used brocolli instead and it was good too. Today I added some cilantro – so good – I absolutely love cilantro – just call me coriander girl, lol.
Happy 4th of July. We’re celebrating Canada Day on the first. Aren’t we lucky girls to live in such beautiful countries, yes we are!
THANK YOU SUSAN! I know what my little girls and I will be cooking for their Daddy this summer. XOXO
Thank you Arlinda!
Sorry to ask this when you’re swamped with comments during a giveaway but could you jot down that recipe for the lime drink with sweetened condensed milk? I have an abundance of limes and can’t remember what else goes in it. Thank you so much.
Here you go Cindy, Basil Lemonade. YUM!
Just made the Lemon Linguine. Very good, but I used whole wheat pasta which tends to taste a little bitter. Anyone else have that?
Your popovers, p. 149 Heart of the Home, are so easy & delicious! I substitute some whole wheat or oat flour in for 1/2 c. flour.
Just received a copy of your new book “A Fine Romance Falling in Love With the English Countryside.” It is truly a beautiful and informative book that is written with true love and respect of all that is English. My husband and I have been visiting England nearly every year since 1997 with particular interest in The Lake District as I, too, am a Beatrix Potter lover and member of the BPS. You have caught the very essence of the area. We have also visited many of the areas you touched upon in the book, plus some that we have not seen. Those will definitely be on our 2014 visit. We will be taking our 5th Transatlantic voyage on the QM2 since 2008 next month (10/13). It is a beautiful ship and provides many relaxing opportunities as well as interesting lectures and shows. Kudos to you for writing and illustrating a book that I will read over and over again,
Well, thank you so much Lois! Have a wonderful crossing. Let us hear how it went when you get back.
I have all your lovely and inspiring books but it’s nice to have these links all in one place too! Thanks Susan! For always thinking of everything! <3
Good Morning Susan,
My husband and I traveled to California. We got to visit with your new neighbor. So much fun!
I took Fresh Corn Salad from page 73 of your Summer book to a recent family reunion picnic — everyone loved it! And in an effort to use up the last of the summer fruit still on the market, I made the Peach Salad from page 87, but I substituted a mango for one of the peaches. Had it along with a bagel for breakfast this morning — DELISH!!! Thanks for all the terrific recipes and kitchen inspiration, Susan!
My pleasure, so glad to hear about it. Isn’t food talk the best? I almost want off the road just so we can get back to the food, the house, the seasons and the decorating! Not to mention, the kitties!!! But this is fun too, and that time will come, when we hunker down for winter.
Loved the Spring Tea are we going to see a Summer Tea?
I think so!
I have had many of your cookbooks for years and just this 4th of July we decided to do an old fashioned menu so my niece and I looked through the books and found your Blueberry Pie recipe and decided that would be our perfect ending to the meal. We made two of them and my family devoured them! I have since made another one and doing it again tomorrow! Just delicious and so simple. Thank you for all your books, paintings, stories and recipes, and your blog and website. Have a great rest of your summer………many hugs from the East Coast of Maryland! Kathye
How nice to hear Kathye, thank you!
I read “A Fine Romance” (twice!) in preparation for a trip to the U.K. with my mom and I was so excited when our tour stopped in Grasmere so I could try the famous gingerbread. Now I am on a quest to try to duplicate the recipe, and I wondered if you ever did come up with one. I loved your book and recommended it to at least 5 people who recommended it to others too! I now have gotten “The Summer Book” too and can’t wait to try some of the recipes. I’m especially looking forward to the lavender cookies as I am an avid herb gardener. Thanks so much for the delightful book!
It’s such a thin kind of gingerbread, not the cake style I’m used to. I also thought it might really be more of a ginger cookie if you think about it that way. You might start with a chewy cookie recipe. I didn’t try myself, and now it’s been a little too long for the memory. But I know we kind of hashed it over, Joe and I, and thought about black pepper, or candied grapefruit. You should try, while the flavor is still fresh in your mind. How wonderful they stopped there! Isn’t that the most adorable town?
I am so excited to discover you online today!! I bought Heart of the Home and several others back in the early 80’s when I lived in Rhode Island where I grew up. I adore the books!! In fact my Vineyard Seasons is the first edition! Live in Atlanta now but I still use your recipes all the time! And the books just make me feel like I am home again. Today I was looking for a new potato salad recipe. After discovering your website I decided to just do my favorite…Greek Potato Salad p.47 Vineyard Seasons. Why fix it if it’s not broke!! Thank you Susan!!
That’s right Denise, if it ain’t broke! Nice to meet you here!
Re~visiting some of these recipes …brings a blush to my face…the oh next time I’m baking I’m going to make~~ blush&grin …whoops someone (that being meeee) forgot….When my husband was living ..your 3 layered Carrot Cake was his favorite~~~ I made it for years…what memories our family has because he realllly loved it. Now with this ”visit” I think there’s at least 10 recipes that should be fixed–just from my quick looking…I wanted to ”do some new”meals..win win once again ..thanks …
I have all your books and I am a big fan! I have probably made most of your recipes, but I have to say the potato salad in Heart of The Home is the absolute best! I sure hope you will continue to write more cookbooks. Also, I would love it if you would do a cooking class. I would travel from Texas to Marthas Vineyard just to attend. It also happens to be my most favorite place on earth!! Thank you Susan for your inspiration!
The very first time I found you online…I just fell in love with it. Just love the recipes. How do I get a copy of your recipe book?
I do have several . . . but you can check in our web store, we have some of them there. We definitely have my Autumn book, and now is the perfect time for it!
Your ALL time BEST recipes mentioned above is missing your Tomato Basil Soup in the Autumn cookbook. What a shame! I ADORE that recipe! I make it all the time in the “cooler” months and have served it to guests at parties. I always use WAY more basil that required and maybe a little extra garlic too (since one can never be sure what size the cloves were YOU used..) For years, I just used run of the mill canned tomatoes (Progresso), and then one day, I saw Trader Joe’s had Italian plum tomatoes for $3.99 a can. Yikes! I thought the price was outrageous, but since I love your soup, I was willing to splurge. Well, I have never bought any other kind of tomatoes since! The soup is DELICIOUS and my go to recipe when I am craving “comfort food”. And oh yes, if I serve it with grilled cheese sandwiches —- HEAVEN!! 🙂
OK, now I have to go make tomato soup at 5 am, despite never having to eat again after last night, your words are making my mouth water! And I agree, SPRING for the good tomatoes! 🙂
Hi Susan, I was just reading your post and saw the picture of the scalloped potatoes and sausages, yum. Got to thinking , my hubby said he would be home from out of town tonight and I wanted to make him something yummy. I’m going to make the chicken an dumplings for him 🙂 Then I saw someone said the popovers are delicious and he loves those. Just wanted to Thank You for your cookbooks and the inspiration you send our way!! I love that statement “Sense of beauty is the gift of God” how true! 😀
It is, and aren’t we SO lucky to have that!?
Imagine my utter delight this past Saturday when my husband and I were sitting outside the Boulangerie Maison Villatte on Main Street in Falmouth, MA enjoying a quiche Lorraine and fruit tart when who other than Susan Branch and her husband pull up in their beautiful van. I just had to speak to her and let her know how much I loved her books and her illustrations!! She was so very kind and friendly. Completely made my weekend!!! Thank you Susan.
That was fun Ann Marie — usually I’m pretty incognito, but not when I’m getting out of that van! Nice to have met you! xoxo
I just finished the book called Martha Vineyard Isle of Dreams yesterday. I read book called A Fine Romance last year. I didn’t realize I read the books backward in order. I haven’t read the first book called The Fairy Tale girl yet. I really loved to read the words in handwriting. It’s easy to read. I loved 2 books and kept in book shelf. Keep it good work. Bravo!!! Please keep writing.
Thank you Pamela… I wrote them backward too, so we’re in the same boat! xoxo
I just discovered your website! Where have I BEEN?? I wanted to let you know that your Summer Book is one of my favorite books ever (and I’m a bookaholic!). We have a “camp” in Maine where we spend several weeks each summer, and that is where the Summer Book lives and has for years. I’ve made so many recipes to share with our dear friends in Maine, and each has been devoured and praised. Favorites this summer: Norton Farm Chevre and Cherry Tomatoes (which I served with toasted baguette slices) and Lemon Linguini. Susan, you are a blessing!
Thank you Ellen!
Hi Ms. Branch-
Thank you for the refreshing trilogy, so full of honesty, humor, and real-life. I am on the third book, “Isle of Dreams” and I’m so excited you met Joe! My family and I have frequented The Black Dog store in Annapolis, Md. when we day trip from our homes in Bel Air, Md. As a matter of fact, I am drinking from a “Black Dog” mug as I type this! It’s amazing how small the world is, how everything that happens is meant to be, and how faith will get you through anything. Thanks for sharing your gift for words with the world, and for being so honest about your feelings. I can not get enough of Susan Branch and am now trying to get hold of copies of ALL your books!
🙂 Thank you!!!!!!!
I am looking for your pea salad and also your corn salad recipes. I have your summer cookbook, but it is Montana in our trailer which is in storage for another month. I would really like to make these two salads, it don’t remember the ingredients. Could you send them to me or tell me how to find them?? Thanks so much, Shirley I. Wenatchee, WA
I have your summer cookbook in my camp trailer in a storage unit in Montana and we live in Washington. I want to make your pea salad from that book. Does anyone have the recipe.? I believe it has cashews in it. Shirley
Looking for the recipe that uses blueberries & Jiffy corn muffin mix. I know it’s in one of your books. And, yes, I read them backwards as well. It’s how I got them sent for some reason. I’m on the first one ‘The Fairy Tale Girl’ now after reading the first 2 in the wrong order. You are so talented, I’m so jealous. All the best to you.
Here you go, it’s on this BLOG POST . . . I put the longer version in my new book Heart of the Home… but without the Jiffy Mix, so you can do it either way. Don’t be jealous, I’m normal. Fat, say dumb things, cry at old movies, and all that too! 😀 xoxo
I love your site so very much; new , late comer, but feeds my soul in so very many ways! And I found you now! We lived in Aberystwyth, Wales for three years and I miss the land there so much. Thank you for sharing a taste of love and beauty
Some sort of gremlin here in my blog, because I think I just saw this comment, but just in case! I Googled Aberystwyth, what an amazing looking place! Lucky that you were able to experience that for 3 years!
I love your site so very much; new , late comer, but feeds my soul in so very many ways! And I found you now! We lived in Aberystwyth, Wales for three years and I miss the land there so much. Thank you for sharing a taste of love and beauty… look forward to your books!
I had to go look at Aberystwyth ~ it must have been magical!
I had a fire two years ago that did not total all my belongings but the adjusters said all my books most go. I have not replaced all of them. I would like to make your roasted vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette for a dinner party 4ht of July week. I just saved page 74 of the summer cookbook but, need to other pages to complete my menu. Would you please send it to me as I can not get the cookbook in time.
I’m sorry Marilyn, I’m at sea! In a boat! So I don’t really have access to it! Maybe someone else can help you…
Could I please have your stuffed pepper recipe? I thought I had it in one of your cookbooks but can’t find it.
Not sure there is one … Although I do love them! I think my mom used to fill them with a kind of spaghetti sauce, crumbled hamburger cooked with tomatoes, garlic, celery, basil all mixed with rice. I LOVED them.
What was the swordfish pasta recipe you had made with mayonnaise?
Mmmmm. Swordfish pasta? I don’t remember it. I have spread mayo on swordfish when grilling to give it a bit more moistness. Sorry, that’s probably not helpful!
My partner, Karen Pulford has lost UR 1st edition book & would live 2 have UR recipe 4 banana bread. Anyway I could that?
I didn’t think I had a recipe for Banana bread in that book (or in any), but I just checked, and I’m right. So sorry I can’t help!
I moved not too long ago, and your cookbook I relied on for banana bread is missing! It was the recipe that used strained carrots. I checked your website and can’t find the book to replace it. Can you please help me identify which book contained the fabulous banana bread recipe? I used to bake it in four small loaf pans and loved every single bite. Thank you.
I’m sorry to say, I don’t think that’s me … I’ve never had a recipe for Banana Bread… I just Googled, there are a lot of banana bread recipes, but so far, I’m not finding strained carrots, all I’ve found are recipes with grated carrots … Google and see if you can find it! Sorry, wish I could be of more help!