Books from the Heart of the Home

Susan Branch Books

y Heart of the Home books are dedicated to the things that connect women, past, present, and future; courage, energy, nurturing spirit, creativity, humor, and heart. We don’t have as much time for the art (which is what it really is about) of homemaking these busy days, but we still love our homes, love a cozy nurturing environment- our devotion to home and family is second nature for most of us. My books celebrate

lthough my mother would never agree, I know she and my dad made a lot of personal queensacrifices while raising my 4 brothers and 3 sisters. But she was a fairytale mother, made the little things in life so special – our house was a kidworld and she was the queen. I don’t think any of us showed much gratitude at the time, we were too noisy and busy to realize just what was going on, but I can’t imagine who or what I might have been without my wonderful innocent childhood. I am soooooooo grateful.

know my mom didn’t feel like a queen when we were growing up, (6 loads of laundry every day takes the queen feelings right out of a person!) so when I wrote my books I tried to put appreciation for moms on every page. It wasn’t hard!

eart of the Home, my first book, and all the ones that followed, became a giant thank you to my mom, and a celebration of what it meant to be a family, “all for one, one for all.” Not only my mom, but for all moms who keep the home fires burning and make us feel so loved. (Dad’s, too!!!)

y dad built rooms onto our house (kids kept coming!), showed us how the watermelon seeds we spit out in the yard became watermelon plants (my first gardening lesson!); my mom taught me how to sew and cook and knit – my parents were the most creative people! They made something from nothing everyday! They taught by example, and showed me I could make it myself. And I could pretty much make anything – even a cookbook – even if it meant I had to hand write and paint it myself.

ach of my books has it’s own story, its own reason for being, so I’ll tell you a bit about each of them. As time has gone on, several of them have begun to go out of print. Still, if you are able to find one on Ebay or in a second hand bookstore, you may be interested to know what inspired it.

ookbooks: The mantra for my cookbooks has always been “Quick, Easy, Elegant and Delicious.” The recipes are the integrity of a cookbook; cute isn’t good enough all by itself– those recipes better work! And they do, “many times, tried and true.”

Heart of the Home Bookeart of the Home was my first book. I wrote it while sitting at my dining room table in my first house on Martha’s Vineyard. (all those years ago…). Heart of the Home is dedicated to my big family- and has lots of family recipes and dinner party recipes. Splurge and make the best Vichyssoise you’ll ever taste!, use your own garden tomatoes to make heavenly Filled Tomatoes, and don’t even think about skipping the German Pancake in the special Breakfast section. (Now out of print.)

Vineyard Seasons Bookineyard Seasons came next and was inspired by the four seasons on the New England island of Martha’s Vineyard where I live. In this one, the fans go crazy for the Lemon Noodles and my mom’s yummy Spareribs and Juice, just to mention two. Vineyard Seasons also has a special section for Tea, which is where you’ll find the recipe for my famous delectable melt-in-your-mouth Orange Cake, with Orange Icing, and Orange Filling. 2-die-4! (Now out of Print.)

Christmas Bookext came Christmas from the Heart of the Home which I’m proud to say was nominated for a James Beard Award. The thing I love about this book now, is that when it’s Christmas time, all I have to do is pull out this book and VOILA, POOF! Everything I know about Christmas is right there! From decorating, to gifts, to party ideas. Puts me right in the mood! Festive holiday recipes include Cranberry Chicken and Pears, Father’s Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce, and Sweet Potato Casserole. Ooh la la! (Now out of print.)

Baby Love Book took a little time off from cooking when I did Baby Love, a book for new moms to write in – all about mom during pregnancy, and then what happens when the new bundle of joy comes home. What I love about this book is all the stories I’ve heard about babies from folks standing in line at book signings! They make me cry! Some moms and grandmas wait a very long time for a new addition to their families and their joy absolutely bubbles over.

Love Bookove is a little Keepsake Book that tells a story, going from young love, to new love, to romantic love, to lost love; to married love; sweet, quirky and actually useful! One reason is because of the romantic menus and recipes included, such as the All Chocolate Menu, the Breakfast in Bed Menu, and much more. Lists of romantic old movies, Valentine toasts, aphrodisiacs, advise to men, and gifts for each anniversary are also handy.

Summer Bookust as the title suggests, The Summer Book is everything I could think of that relates to Summer- fabulous recipes such as (where do I start…) OK, you have to try the Potato Fish Cakes, the killer Salad Nicoise, the gorgeous three-layer Coconut Cake with Lemon Filling and the Old Fashioned Boiled Frosting – and don’t forget my famous PINK cocktail, the Skip and Go Naked – oh Yeahhhhh. The Summer Book also goes into the garden, has ideas to decorate your house for the season, and reminds us (as Julia Child said) that “life itself is the proper binge.”

Days Bookays from the Heart of the Home was next off the press. What makes this book fun to use is the heavy, smooth paper and covered spiral binding. It’s a perpetual calendar, so it’s good for any year. What makes it special is the stories we hear from readers, such as this photo and note by Kathy Nagel, who’s now on her 12th book! With her daily notations, it’s the story of her life!

“Every morning since July 1996, I have paused to thank God for the previous days’ blessings… “so that I might have roses in December.” My DAYS journals have traveled with me from New York to San Diego, from Marco Island to Northern Canada and even to Ireland and France!! I have never tired of turning the pages to a new season’s illustrations and over the years have incorporated many of Susan’s inspiring musings into my own life.

If there was ever an Rx for maintaining a positive outlook (even in the midst of some serious trials) – it is waking up to the life-loving personality of Susan Branch and remembering the Good/God parts of the previous day!! Thank you Susan!! God Bless You!!
Ps. My dozen DAYS journals, stacked under my nightstand lamp, are a visual reminder of God’s faithfulness. Please keep this book in print! And… If you’re ever in Ohio, please come for dinner!”
-Kathy Barrord Nagel

Sweets to the Sweet Bookweets to the Sweet is a collection of (one guess) SWEET recipes – all deserts, from cakes and pies, to puddings and candy and fruit desserts, cold things and hot things, all tried and true. None of them fattening because I took out all the calories. Feel free to eat the entire book in one sitting, you will not gain an ounce.

Address Book also did a full-color, better than the average kind, Heart of the Home Address Book. It’s a pretty little binder with lots of pages in it – and quotes and all the regular stuff.

Christmas Joyhristmas Joy is another small Keepsake Book; a collection of sweet and simple ideas in the quest for a joyous and fulfilling Christmas. Keeping it simple is the focus. It’s also very big on COOKIES!

Girlfriends Forever Bookne of my favorite books is Girlfriends Forever. It’s a celebration of US! I wrote it for grown ups, but after it was out a year or so, I read it again, and I think the whole thing was really written for 12 year old girls (which is basically my age for life). “Girlfriends” has great healthy recipes such as the Turkey Meatloaf (which even a man can love), the Asian Chicken Salad- and not to forget, well worth the price of the book all by itself, Spicy Mango Salad! There are Chick Flicks, the story of how I met the Beatles (She was Just Seventeen), Natural Beauty, How to be Pulled Together when Traveling, Stress Relief, and much much more.

Christmas Memorieshristmas Memories is a five-year Christmas Scrapbook. There are places in this book for you and your children to write, places for five years of Christmas Tree Photos, five years of Christmas Dinner Menus, five years of New Year’s Resolutions, and lots more. (Now out of print.)

Autumn Bookutumn from the Heart of the Home is my most recent book, totally inspired by nature. I love fall and I loved painting all those gorgeous autumn colors. Like SUMMER, it has ideas for seasonal decorating, fall crafts, autumn entertaining, and fun; plus holiday celebrations for Thanksgiving and Halloween. There’s a recipe for Homemade Marshmallows in this book! You should also try the Cinnamon Ice Cream, the Gingerbread Cake, and the Scallops, Mashed Potatoes and Corn Chowder. Lots of stories too: My House; Twas a Dark and Stormy Night, to name just two.

252 Responses to Books from the Heart of the Home

  1. Denise kilsdonk says:

    Thank you so much Susan for all the wonderful books! I own them all & made sure to buy copies for my two grown daughters, & special friends. I have always hoped you would write a spring book and a winter book to complete the four seasons. Being as creative as you, are it would not be a problem! I feel we are sister soul mates growing up with the Beatles & big families! Waiting for a new book is hard! Hurry! I wish you all the best!! Denise

  2. Donna Spencer says:

    Dear Susan,
    You had me “hooked” with your first book!
    I am the oldest of 8 and so many of your childhood memories and stories ring true for me. We did group Christmas jammie pictures too! I even gave your “Christmas from the Heart of The Home” to each of my siblings one year! I use your wall calendars each year as a sort of “daily diary of our lives” and I have now bound them together so that my daughter can go back and read what was happening in our lives every month of every past year—everything from appointments and birthday reminders to first dates, dinners out and special moments. Thanks for the memories & the beautiful way you share them. Hugs!

  3. Ann Piper says:

    Is there a way to get more pages for the “Homemade Recipes” book? I need more for a cookbook I’m putting together for my niece.

  4. Nicki Hitchiner says:

    Hi! I purchased two of your “To My Daughter” Recipe cookbooks. I love them and have been adding my recipes to them for them to use when they move out into their own places. I would love to find one “To My Son”. Do you have one? I could not locate one. Thanks!

    • sbranch says:

      No, and I have repeatedly asked the people who license my art for those recipe books if we can make one . . . and they have always said No “there’s no market for it” which I think is thinking from the stone age (my Joe is a WONDERFUL cook) but I can’t seem to change their minds. So sorry!

      • Becky Nexsen says:

        I know it’s very late to be making this reply, and it will probably never be seen, but I agree with both of you. I made recipe books for both of my sons when they left home. I scanned copies of their favorite recipes on 4 x 6 cards and just used a cheap little 4 x 6 photo album to put them. Both boys are now married and have children, but they still have the recipe books. And I know they use them because their wives have commented about it. I agree with you that it would be a wonderful idea for Susan to make a recipe book for sons!

        • sbranch says:

          Comments from the past come in with the comments of today, so here I am, and I couldn’t agree with you more. Maybe you guys could write Publications International . . . they are the ones that make the books, maybe if they heard from actual consumers rather than me, it would help. Fingers crossed because it seems like a no-brainer to me.

      • Nicole Rigg says:

        Hi! I have stumbled across your enchanting site because I am looking for that same thing – a “To My Son” Recipe Book. I have two sons, now aged 17 and 12. I’m planning to teach them how to cook their favourite meals and have been looking for a special keepsake recipe book for them to write them down in as we go. One day when they venture to the world they will use them and remember creating these memories with “Mum” (and perhaps share them with their own family one day). So do keep trying Susan … I totally agree that there is a market waiting out here! Hope it helps to pass on this message … Some of us Mums just have “boys” … the desire and meaning behind sharing these special books is no less than if we had girls! ….
        Nicole – Sydney, Australia

  5. Evie Tong says:

    Dear Susan … please tell me a little something about your “Little” books:
    Tea; Flowers; and Love-Sweethearts; they are being offered on eBay and I already have Little Dinners and the Chocolate books which I think are darling darling!!
    I have been collecting your books since I’ve read A Fine Romance and am so
    anxiously waiting waiting for your box on my doorstep! I check at least 3x daily…
    You and Joe have a well=deserved charming time on your road trip and again, can’t wait to hear all about it in your next blog/Willard?? Safe travels…With Much Aloha and Love, Evie in San Diego

    • sbranch says:

      The little books are really little, maybe 3 x 4 and only about 16 pages long (8 pages both sides), or something like that. Tied together with a ribbon. There were about, maybe, 16 of them? They were like little quote books with art about Tea, Chocolate, Girlfriends, and they came with envelopes so you could send them. The company that made them was Cedco, but I think they may have gone out of business. Thanks Evie, Aloha!

  6. Joan Doran Row says:

    Just a note to say that I pulled out your “Heart of the Home -Notes from a Vineyard Kitchen” recently and it’s inspired me to remember a lovely past and to want to cook up your lovely recipes again.
    My mother was Barbara Doran and lived in San Luis Obispo near Mr. Branch in the same complex Serrano Circle. Years and miles later your book still holds a spot in our kitchen here in Auckland New Zealand. Therefore wanted to say love your lovely books/recipes/ideas then and now along with website.
    All the best to you Susan Branch.

    • sbranch says:

      How amazing . . . Cliff’s parents, Betty and Russ, were the ones that lived on Serrano Circle. Such a small world Joan! Thank you so much xoxo

  7. Stephanie says:

    Susan,
    Just a request please . . .
    I am rewriting all my old recipes, trying to eliminate all the little scrap pieces of paper stuffed in my cookbooks.
    What I need are lined ( on both sides ), 8 1/2 X 11 1/2 inches pages. Colorful, but not decorated. No need for a space to put a photo, no fancy artwork; just lined pages.
    Recipe cards you can find; recipe pages, not so much.
    Thank you for your time.
    Stephanie

  8. Vera Fioretto says:

    Estou muito encantada com sua maravilhosa forma de ver a vida !! Obrigada por nos proporcionar isso. Beijos !

  9. Hi Susan
    My sister and I are huge fans of yours! If i have one of your books she dosent looks like shes missing Three. Is there any chance you still have—Chocolate and Christmas Joy and Love from the heart and the home? I didnt see them in your books column. I would love to give them to her because she has been my sister my friend my emotional and spirtual Angel. Our Mother passed away last May and we both depend on each other for support. She has been a God send. If you can possibly find those, i would like to purchase all three of them. I cant tell you enough how comforting and happy it makes us when we call to trade recipes and enjoy your sayings that kept our minds joyful ( Thanks to You!) I WILL be ordering more right after those (even if you don’t have them) Your heart must be HUGE to write and make those beautiful things!

    From One of your Biggest Fans
    Missie Walker

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Missie, I forwarded your request to Sheri at the Studio to see if she has anything there. I’m sure you’ll hear from her. Thank you for all your kind words, and please give my love to your sister. You are so lucky to have each other! xoxo

  10. Kris Heaton says:

    I have a Christmas Memories scrapbook. Not only do I only have one more year left to use, but my daughter would love to have one as well to record her young families Christmases. I see it is no longer being printed. But is there any where I might be able to get another copy or two?

  11. Stephanie C. says:

    I have them all!!! I never tire of reading them. Thank you for your art and domesticity Susan. Love all you do.

  12. Barbara D. Thorland says:

    Reading your current blog is like getting a super warm hug from a good friend. Makes you appreciate the good things in life and tolerate some of the not so great ones with a sense of tolerance and good humor. Looking forward to the Martha’s Vineyard book….it looks lovely in the colors of the book jacket you have chosen, and of course, your wonderful handwriting.

  13. Lana Bressler says:

    Dear Susan, This is how it went down, I’m reading your blog to my husband–looking at all your wonderful photographs and your new book piled high on a table. I said “Oh, I want mine now sooo bad!” and I swear on everything good 2 seconds later the postman knocked on my door. It arrived! So thrilled. So pretty, I swear an angel delivered it. I’m half way through, its wonderful but I’m crying too and finding myself touching pages to comfort you. You are a TRUE writer, so pure of heart. Thank you for making my and other lives brighter. We love you. Lana Bressler, Simi Valley, CA

    • sbranch says:

      Oh don’t we love the serendipity! You should be making lots of wishes for world peace, because obviously the force is with you! You are so sweet Lana, thank you, I’m so happy you are enjoying it. I love you back! xoxo

  14. Ginny Sargent says:

    Oh I feel so foolish at this point. I believe when I first heard of Susan’s third “writing of love and adventure” I thought I requested the book on “release” but I cannot tell if from my notes! Okey dokey can I ask one of the trustee folks to see if I am on a list?

    With many thanks

  15. Marie Stesner says:

    Love your books have collected all of them. Gave my sister in Wisconsin “a fine romance” it is so beautifully written neither one of us hated to see the book end. The story, the illustrations, so,so, charming.

  16. joan hixson says:

    I wish i could still get your Christmas Memories books. They always are a hit at my house at Christmas. Will they be coming back?

    • sbranch says:

      Perhaps in the future . . . when you say, “they” — do you mean the one with the 5 years of Christmas in it or something else?

  17. Irmi Knutsson says:

    Susan, you made my cold and rainy summer in Sweden just bright and shiny. Got your book “Marthas Vineyard, Isle of Dreams” from my daughter, who owns a house on your Island in order to make me come. I enjoyed every page and was sorry when it was finished, ordered immediately the next “A fine romance”. Followed each of you days adventures, even the many rainy ones and now I really feel empty – even this book is finished. And I realized that I have 25 years to catch up, so I have to find out which ones I missed. Thank you so much that you let me taking part during this time of your live! Irmi Knutsson

  18. Winifred Wright says:

    just bought two items from your site. BUT I also wanted to buy
    “Gilrfriends’ and couldn’t find witch page would allow me to place
    it in the cart!
    Please advise

  19. Jeni says:

    Do you have a journal..no dates, just pages?

  20. thomas michels says:

    wife looking for your book-Heart of the home-notes from a vineyard kitchen,please send info-where to buy it,she loves your books,thanks tom

  21. Christine Shannon says:

    I recently bought Martha’s Vineyard Isle of Dreams. It’s my first S. Branch read, and I Love,Love,Love it. I already plan to buy this book for my two cousins. A very unique book. I plan to pick up some of the cookbooks. So glad I saw this book in the book store. I love Martha’s Vineyard, and I loved how the paper pages felt and all the quotes (I’m a quote lover as well). A very inspirational book. keep up the good work!

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