Home Cooking Winter

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.


Easy, 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.

p. 11 Heart of the Home
Stuffed red potatoes, Artichoke Dip, and Bubbly Cheese Bites.
Spinach Salad
p. 53 Heart of the Home
P.89 Vineyard Seasons
Take you pick of the many varieties of mushrooms available for this beautiful soup. 
Kale Soup
P.37 Heart of the Home
Full of healthy things & somewhat of a tradition in the Island. 
p. 78 Heart of the Home
Turn an ordinary meal  into something special!
Tomato Cauliflower Casserole
p. 74 Heart of the Home 
A hearty casserole with a lovely crusty topping. 
p. 99 Heart of the Home
Indulge in an old-time Sunday Dinner!
p. 140 Heart of the Home
Hot, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits.
p. 87 Heart of the Home
Perfect for a cold wintry day.
p.89 Heart of the Home
Tender fish filets steamed in an oriental sauce…quick & easy!
Cornish Game Hens
p. 104 Heart of the Home 
Marinates in a hint of orange & sweet hoisin sauce for delicious flavor and color. 
p. 94 Heart of the Home
This turns into a fun party when you add the Margaritas!
p. 92 Heart of the Home
Lightly floured boneless chicken breasts (or thighs), served with lemon-butter parsley sauce.

Chocolate Cream Puffs
p. 132 Heart of the Home

Rice Pudding
p. 117 Heart of the Home
My mother’s favorite dessert! Good in the wintertime and not unhealthful. 

p. 123 Heart of the Home

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

97 Responses to Home Cooking Winter

  1. Kay says:

    Love the recipes on line. That way I can share without anyone ever borrowing my books:)

    • elicia says:

      I know ! I am not selfish at all, but I really think twice, when asked to “borrow” these. I’ve lost them too many times ! These aren’t just wonderful cookbook recipes, the book itself is amazing artwork. Makes a beautiful gift !

    • Deanna says:

      While trying to figure out what I am going to make this Christmas Eve to go with a beef tenderloin – first time making this on Christmas Eve – I noticed in Susan’s Christmas cookbook a menu for Christmas Eve. In it she lists Roasted Green Beans which is in her Vineyard Seasons cookbook. Although I have a number of her cookbooks I do NOT have this one. Does anyone have the receipe to share until I purchase the Vineyard Seasons cookbook – I doubt that I will receive it in time if I order it now. Thank You!

      • sbranch says:

        I do! So easy. Must wash and trim and thoroughly dry the beans first. After that you put them on a cookie sheet and drizzle them with olive oil and toss well ~ grind over pepper and spread them out, not too many more than will fit in one layer. Then into a 500 degree oven until tender, (6-8 minutes) turning with tongs … when they’re done and tinged with brown, pull them out and salt them and toss again. They are actually good hot or cold.

      • Margot in Virginia Beach says:

        Deanna where do you live???

  2. Christine Brubaker says:

    Just thought I would take the opportunity to tell you that I make your carrot cake (exclusively) for many a birthday or event. It is absolutely, hands down, the most favorite cake I make. Double -dee -licious! My nursing co-worker gets one every December, on her birthday, and will have no other. We have a smaller core staff of 10 in our medical office and that cake is GONE the day I bring it in. Just the best carrot cake recipe ever. Thought you would like to know about that – even thought you already know it’s the best carrot cake, ever.

  3. Paulie says:

    Oh……..I am so happy to see you put the book and page reference on these. It will save a ton of work…….how brilliant………..thank you so so much Susan! This is so handy for us. Not to mention the fantastic recipes and ideas that are endlessly joyful and so so delicious to make and to share with our family and friends !…………

  4. Marion Rose says:

    Hi Susan,
    Wanted to let you know I made you carrotcake cupcakes, so delicious!! The
    first time I baked them for my family. The second time, for a bake sale at our
    church. The woman that bought them said that they where the best cupcakes
    she had ever had and wanted to know who baked them. She eventually found me and I shared your recipe. I also told her it was Susan Branch’s recipe.
    One thing I wanted to pass on to you about the recipe. When recipes have a lot of oil, I have started to use 1/2 applesauce and 1/2 oil. When I made them again, you could not tell the difference in flavor or texture. The cupcake
    papers didn’t get as wet. I will continue to use recipes from your books, always
    so good. Love your blogs. Marion Rose of Cape Cod

  5. Paulie says:

    Susan, best pack some warmer clothes too……..this is todays headline – sorree if I dampened your day…….but best ya know – you can dilete this one before posting for sure………..

    APRIL 19, 2012

    “Coldest May in 100 years”, forecasters predict
    Britain could be facing the coldest May for 100 years, with snow, bitter winds and freezing temperatures putting summer on hold.

    • sbranch says:

      This is because when my English girlfriend Rachel told me the bluebells were coming into bloom, about a month ago, I said OH NO, and then a prayer, save the bluebells for me! And Voila, prayer has been answered. 🙂 I want that beautiful English spring, so I think this makes me very happy!

  6. Leslie says:

    Here in Arundel, West Sussex the bluebells are not fully out yet, so it looks like you may be lucky! The weather has been damp and chilly but the sun does come and go no matter what the weather picture says. You will love every minute of your time here. We are Yanks with over 20 years here on and off. Love it down to my damp socks!

    • sbranch says:

      My girlfriend sent me a photo yesterday, up, but not fully open … we don’t get there until May 11 so it’s going to be close! I need another lifetime so I can come live in England when I’m 24.

  7. Cheryl says:

    One of my very favorite cookbooks is your Heart of the Home book. Everything I’ve made from those recipes has come out perfect, and people rave. Thank you.

  8. Diane says:

    Hi Susan,

    I am backing your peach & plum crisp from your Sweets to the Sweet cookbook. The recipe tells you the temperature BUT not how long you actually bake it. Help!!!


  9. Darlene B says:

    Hi Susan, not sure where to ask this so thought I’d try here. I don’t see the honey for sale at the webstore anymore and was wondering if it will be available again. It is the best honey I’ve ever had!! I love it mixed with yogurt and blueberries from my garden, with peanut butter, scones, tea, ect. hope it will make a comeback 🙂

  10. Dot Beams says:

    Susan, I thought I had your cookbook that featured a sandwich for weekend guests (thought it was roast beef). I looked through the five cookbooks I have but did not find it.

    A friend of our is starting a Sandwich Club next month for couples and I would love to serve that sandwich when the club comes to our home. Could you let me know what book it is in and then I can buy it right away.


    Dot Beams

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Dot, I think I know the one you want . . . on page 44 of Summer. It’s a wonderful sandwich!!!

      • Sandie says:

        Oooh. I know that sandwich! SO good! 🙂 Summer is my favorite cookbook, probably because it is my favorite season. Sometimes, when we are deep into winter in CT, I pretend otherwise and prepare dishes from Summer. It makes me oh-so-happy and hopeful that warm weather will eventually return.

  11. Carla says:

    Today my daughter and I were out exploring the town in NC where she has
    just moved. It’s a very small town so there isn’t a lot to explore, but
    we had fun and ended our expedition at an “antiques” store. (Not everything
    was antique, but there were lots of delightful finds!) While looking through some
    shelves of books I spied a special book – Heart of the Home! Well, needless to
    say, buying that book made me very happy! I love recipes and have a favorite which I saved from a long-ago issue of Country Living for cut-out cookies – lettered and illustrated by Susan Branch! It’s the best cut-out recipe ever.
    Delicious with sugar and milk glaze and one my daughters ask for before any others. Thanks!!!

  12. Betty says:

    Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes. I really like your blog. It is so pretty and interesting.

  13. Janis says:

    Have made so many of your wonderful recipes. The Summer Bean Salad is my favorite for this summer! Thanks Susan ! <3

  14. Dorothy says:

    I love your cookbooks and have most of them. It is a joy cooking with them. The art teacher from my school introduced them to me and I have prepared many wonderful dinners with your recipes. Thank you.

  15. Debbie Prifrel says:

    Help Susan! I saw your zucchini bread recipe somewhere on the website yesterday and now I can’t locate it! Can you guide me to it?

    Thank you!

  16. Genna says:

    Where can I order your cookbooks? I love reading your site and the recipes!!!! 🙂
    Thank you Susan!

    • sbranch says:

      This year, all my books went out of print . . . they had a good run, and one of these days I my do my own reprint of some of them. We have a very few new ones left in our webstore . . . I think maybe only 6 Summer Books in all, and I believe they are all signed … you can find them in used bookstores, and the like, also.

  17. Cheyenne Renard says:

    Hello Sweetie, Thank you for sharing some of the memories of your trip, i felt like i had gone too with out all the walking. Can i ask what it cost to rent a home in England for two weeks? i would probley rent one for 1 week. Also what brands of watercolor do u use i saw several brands could u please tell me, i like the colors of the watercolor.I also would like to get some of the mugs like the fox are u going to carry it? if not can i get it through Emma the factory in England i def want to go there i adore China and i worked at Royal Daulton in Las Vegas the out let store.I have a collection of China and adore it. Thank you ahead of time i also have two fur babies that are the same color as Jack they could be related. I had 5 now have 2 some are in Heaven like urs are sure do miss them though .Love to you and Joe belated Happy Birthday his 60th woo hoo it sure looked fun wished i could have come to it. Also are u in CA at all any more?? Where can i send Snail mail to ? San Luis Obisbo or MV let me know ok love u xxx come visit in Las Vegas and stay with Robert and I . we will talk more and the best time to come is Feb or later its so awesome here lots to see besides casinos n stuff great shows though would love to have u come and visit since im Auzzie i know how to make a propper cuppa and nice biscuits or bickies love Cheyenne my birhtday is Oct 6th and my wish is to go to MV and see where u call home, i will let u know so u can meet for a cuppa ok wont be this fall prob when its a great time to visit the vineyard. Id love to see John Bullucci s grave from Animal House , he died way too young he was so funny in a crazy way.

  18. Shelia mcguckin says:

    I want to make the spiced pecans in your Autumn book. Can I leave out the 4tsp of hot sauce, or do I need to replace it with another liquid ?

  19. Deanna Redding says:

    I have really enjoyed your site, I have collected cookbooks for almost twenty years. I once was looking for an original coconut cake like my granny’s and I found it, and it ended up being my neighbors elderly moms recipe,just like my granny’s. He was delighted and so was I. I made 10 or more of these, as Christmas gifts:-) one more note, the grape etched glasses on your site, I have a wine server that matches. Its very unique.

  20. Darlene says:

    Hi Susan, I’m going to try your cream gravy recipe from HOTH cookbook and I’d like to check with you on how much butter to add. It says 3tbls of pandrippings and butter so I’m guessing it’s also 3tbls of butter but want to be sure. It sounds so yummy I can’t wait to make it!! Thanks

  21. Margot in Virginia Beach says:

    Hi Susan,
    Here is the long awaited pumpkin chocolate chip muffin/bread recipe.

    4 eggs, 2 c. sugar, 1 can (16oz.) pumpkin, 1.5 c. vegetable oil (canola), 3 c. flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. salt, 2 c. (12 oz.) chocolate chips. ~ 24 standard size muffins or 2 loaves or 4 small loaves

    Beat eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until smooth. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt; add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Fold in chips. Fill greased or paper lined cups 3/4 full. Preheat to and bake at 400* for 16-20 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing.

  22. Pamela C Betz says:

    Dear Susan–How can I get my hands on one of your Autumn cookbooks?

  23. I would love to try Joe’s recipe for German Pancakes. Is the recipe available?

    • sbranch says:

      It’s in my first book Heart of the Home on page 147 … but if you don’t have it, let me know, and I will post it soon!

  24. Nettie says:

    Hi Susan……I’m sitting down again with the “Autumn” book reviewing the recipe for sesame ginger shrimp……dinner tonight. Also planning the harvest stew for one night next week. Yum! My eye caught the pages of gift baskets and got my mind whirling. The cookie man is perfect to make with my granddaughter for some of the neighbors and our family. She’ll love doing it. I’m also thinking about all my friends and how much they would enjoy a basket of items personalized just for them. A big basket of gourmet treats is one of my husband’s favorite things.

    Happy Saturday!

  25. Vivian says:

    Absolutely love the stuffing recipe and make it every Thanksgiving. I have slightly deviated and will share that here. In stead of soaking in the sink of hot water – I soak in hot Turkey Stock. I make the stock the weekend before Thanksgiving and use it for gravy and stuffing and basting. Gives the bread a really nice flavor. And – I add sausage and apples.

    Thanks for a great, old fashioned recipe 🙂

  26. Jennifer P says:

    Susan – can you bake the dressing separately or does it need to be stuffed in the turkey?

  27. Bev from Melbourne au says:

    Hi Susan
    We’re celebrating thanksgiving here on the 18th before so all our family can be together. I’m hoping you have an apple pie recipe to share? Love to add it to our tradition

  28. Laura says:

    My Mom’s stuffing recipe is much the same as yours, she would add two beaten eggs to her mixture before stuffing the turkey. I think it gives it a nice moist fluffy texture. Of course I always loved the extras that got roasted off in the casserole dish, it would be crunchy on top & so soft & moist in the middle. Can’t wait until next week to make it. It always reminds me of my mommy. Thanks for the reminder Susan, Happy Thanksgiving to you & Joe!!!

  29. Ann McKenna says:

    I’m so excited to have found your website! I have been a fan for years. I have all of your cookbooks and have tried many of your recipes and have loved them all! You are the homemaker I have always wanted to be. I love all your cute and great ideas on everything in your books, calendars, etc. Your cookbooks are beautiful and so fun just to look through and I do love the recipes! I have seen pictures of your house, yard, and garden and they’re exactly what I love!
    Do you still make stickers or anything else I might not know about?
    Thank-you for sharing your talents with the world!

  30. Veronica says:

    ‘SweetSusan’ you are a tradition ! We intermingle in our thoughts and are communications’; Come what may. Our lives touch and bless. We share a universal love of life and home and family. We give and we get back blessings in return. Our words find each other at a common place,and that units us as ‘Family’. What a wonderful world this internet has become to bring us to a place where our lives can reach out and touch. This makes the impossible,possible. Possibilities are ours for the excepting. We love,we laugh,we cry; We grow, ‘together’.
    I give you much thanks for the sharing of joy and gladness that you have brought to me and to so many others that long for home; or even a sense of home if one cannot be there. For it is in the ‘Heart’. Blessings to you and Joe and the kitties this glorious season of ‘Thanks’. Veronica/Sumerduck

  31. Patricia Swarm says:

    Hi Susan
    Love to read your blog, cookbooks, etc. Is your book Autumn available to purchase? It is the only one I cannot find. Loved reading about your trip with Joe to England. Looking forward to the book when it comes out.
    Blessings to you and yours

  32. Darlene says:

    Hi Susan, I have a quick question about the molasses cookie recipe. You describe them as soft and bendy but mine were also a bit cakelike and I just want to make sure that they came out the right way and that I didn’t do something wrong. Thanks

  33. Teresa says:

    I am trying to find the recipe for the Hot Milk Cake that you once published. It is delicious! I do not find a search bar on the website. Could you direct me to it and/or tell me how I can find past recipes I may have seen? Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

  34. chris says:

    Hi Susan

    Just wanted to let you know here in England in my family your pumpkin cheesecake is a big favourite amongst my family and friends. I always save some puree so I can make it anytime of the year when we need a cheer-up.
    Another favourite is your 3 layer carrot cake this also is very popular anytime I feel in need of a slice of yummyness.

    Thankyou again for your lovely recipes

  35. Lucile says:

    I am late at finding your beautiful site. Last Saturday I bought your beautiful recipe book and tomorrow my daughter will buy a different one for me. Thank you so much and I love your site. Bless you. Now I have to make your recipes too and add them to my new cookbooks that I plan to leave it as a family treasure.

  36. Kim Mathiot says:

    Susan, I just wanted you to know that I made your pumpkin cheesecake for Christmas dinner this year (got the recipe from the 2012 November calendar), and it was a HUGE hit. I do think it is perhaps the best pumpkin dessert I have ever tasted and it was so easy to make! It came out exactly right, the first time, no tweaking the recipe. It will be a family favorite for now on. Are you putting out a 2013 calendar, btw?

  37. jacquie says:

    I made the Pumpkin Cheesecake for CHristmas and my son in law says of all the wonderful things i bake, this is the absolute best. I just put one in the oven for his 40th birthday tomorrow . We really loved it and i have made a lot of different cheesecakes . Thanks so much for the lovely calendar my husband bought for me for 2012. I loved every month, so positive and uplifting. I would like the recipes for the May month for mothers day tea. I will keep looking online for them . the coconut cake and scones look marvelous. thanks again .You have a new very excited fan!

  38. Cat says:

    Susan Branch – THE Susan Branch – has a website?! The things my mother never told me! I grew up with your books and recipes, and I am so sad the books are out of print. Mom still gets one of your calendars every year for Christmas and hangs it above the kitchen sink. I would thumb through her cookbooks as a child, imaging magical parties with enchanting menus. She made this one cake, and neither one of us can find it in any of her books. It was light, sponge-y orange layers frosted with something like orange meringue. Does that sound familiar?

    • sbranch says:

      Oh yes, my favorite cake of all, and that’s saying something. It’s called (as you might think) Orange Cake — here’s the RECIPE. Nice to meet you Cat!

  39. CATHERINE says:


    • sbranch says:

      Click HERE and scroll down until you see a bowl of cranberry sauce. It’s not in a cookbook, but if you have it already, it’s in next year’s calendar (2014) on the November page. Same to you Catherine!

  40. CATHERINE says:


  41. Jaime says:

    Hi! It appears that the link for the molasses cookie is broken! 🙁 Can you repost it? I would love to make them for Christmas! We use Annie Hall’s butter cookies every year and every year friends tell us they are the best they’ve ever had!

  42. Sherrie Collins says:

    You definitely succeeded with your ambition for your cookbooks. I learned to cook by reading your books and making your recipes. Many of your dishes have become our family favorites. Lemon Linguini begins our summers, cream puffs are my contribution to my Mom’s Christmas table, and I have made the orange cake for many wedding showers. I also bought The Summer Book for my step-daughter so she can cook for herself at college. Family traditions for sure!

    • sbranch says:

      So nice to hear Sherrie! You love some of my favorite recipes … oh that orange cake!! I’m lucky, it’s my girlfriend’s favorite, so I at least make that one once a year for her birthday!

  43. Cynthia L says:

    Many years ago I bought two of your cookbooks, mainly for the beautiful watercolors. (It was my introduction to your work!) but what I found was that no matter how many of the recipes I tried, they were always good. This is not the case for so many cookbooks. So you did indeed accomplish what you wanted!

  44. Donna Erickson says:

    Are all of the recipes in your cookbooks your own?

  45. Hi, Susan! A fast cookbook recommendation for you in case you don’t already have it: Square Meals by Jane and Michael Stern. Pure nostalgia and lots of fun to read, too. It came out in the early ’80’s but might still be available. This afternoon I made rice pudding from my favorite chapter, Nursery Food. Enjoy the day!

  46. Robin Karsh says:

    Hi Susan.
    Remember me?? (The train person)😊. One of your “first letters” written after I “found” your HEART OF THE HOME book. I read and cooked from it over and over until each page had some part of the ingredients embedded on it!! I kid you not.
    I have ALL your endeavors and don’t get me started on the emotions gotten from A Fine Romance and A Fairy Tale Girl. I’ve already ordered your next one.
    My last encounter with you was at your adorable store in Arroyo. So lovely.
    Sooo, do you think I adore you and all you have shared with me and countless others??? NAW!! 😄
    Thank you, FROM THIS ❤️ OF MY HOME, Robin
    PS… and thank you so much for answering that first letter I sent you way back then. You can only imagine!!

    • sbranch says:

      I will remember your name forever, because of our first letters to each other. Your letter to me was probably exactly and equally thrilling to me as mine was to you! 🙂

  47. Judi Patters says:

    Looking for new and Good recipes to feed my Family and Friends.

  48. Linda says:

    My daughter told me about your orange spiced stew which she absolutely loves. Where do I find the recipe?

  49. Maribeth says:

    Please can you repost the carrot cake recipe? My dad had a great recipe and i’ve lost it…
    It sounds delicious from the rave reviews!

  50. Bonnie from Bakersfield says:

    I love your Lemon Chicken recipe! I make it for myself all the time.

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