How to create a family cookbook

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How to create a family cookbook

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How to create a family cookbook

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How to create a family cookbook

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How to create a family cookbook

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Use our cookbook building tool to upload family favorites (even handwritten recipes) and cherished memories.

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How to create a family cookbook

Today I’m doing something a little different on the blog: Reviewing options to make a DIY cookbook. And I’m not just reviewing them, I’m highlighting all their best features so readers can have a clear idea about the best platform to make a cookbook on.

But why? I make cookbooks as well, but the thing is: The Family Cookbook isn’t a DIY cookbook maker. I take great joy in providing one-of-a-kind experiences for my clients that include much more than just a book. For those of you who are new here or just need a refresher, The Family Cookbook designs a fun, candid photo session with a professional photographer capturing you and your family making your special dishes together. Then you upload your recipes to the online system and a professional designer lays out your favorite photos with your recipes resulting in a high-quality family heirloom cookbook. We print on luxury materials with linen and buckram cover materials and smyth-sewn bindings that are sure to last generations. If you’d like to know more about the process, fill out the form below to request the information guide.

But I get a lot of inquiries from people around the country where a Family Cookbook experience just isn’t right for them at this moment. So I wanted to provide a quick guide of the platforms I found that can help them put together their own DIY family cookbook.

Here I’ve listed out the highlights of 6 the best DIY cookbook platforms and give some details about their systems. I didn’t actually order any books from these platforms, but having gone through 75 printing companies to find the right one for my clients’ books, I’ve become pretty good at analyzing book quality from images alone. Read through to find more details about making a DIY cookbook with these companies and if you don’t want to go through this entire post, at the bottom of each section I’ve listed some highlights so you can easily compare.

Also, I didn’t look at printing companies like Shutterfly because I wanted to focus on platforms that are meant for DIY cookbooks specifically. Shutterfly and other DIY book printers print a wide range of books and their models are very different from these custom cookbook websites.

Preserve your family food traditions
get the family cookbook info & pricing guide

Get all the details about how The Family Cookbook designs an amazing experience creating a custom cookbook with your family. Leave your email (your info will never be shared with a third party) to receive The Family Cookbook Info Guide and get started with your experience.

How to create a family cookbook

A Family Cookbook experience includes a family photo session as well as custom cookbook design.

Comparing DIY Cookbook websites

Create My Cookbook

Create My Cookbook is probably the biggest DIY online cookbook system. They’ve been around for awhile and have some pretty good reviews.

Book designing & features: Putting the cookbook together seems pretty straight forward. The editing software is all online and the tutorial when you first login takes you through every step of adding recipes, photos, and designing the book. There are a few set templates you can choose from or start from scratch with a blank template. From the blank template you can choose 9 layout options for recipe pages, either with or without a photo. You can also add pages with just photos, dedication pages, title pages, dividers, story pages and a few others. As far as customization goes, there seems to be a lot of options, including a number of font styles and sizes, which will be applied to all the recipes in your book. You can upload images from your computer or connect to Facebook and import photos from there. I can see the Facebook feature being useful to get photos from relatives to include in your cookbook.

You can add multiple contributors to your book so friends and family can directly input their recipes. The recipe box feature keeps track of which recipes you added to your layout, which is pretty handy.

Two pretty great features of Create My Cookbook are the We Type It and design services. Starting at $5, you can take pictures of your recipe cards and their staff will type everything up for you. It’s a huge time saver and helpful for those who have a hard time with old cursive handwriting. For a flat fee, you can upload up to 100 recipes and their team will design your entire cookbook, too.

You can calculate a base price before you sign up for a free account. The price depends on how many black and white vs color pages you want to print, so the price will be higher if you have a lot of color photos in your book.

Book types & quality: There are 4 book formats that all measure 7.75×9.75 and can hold up to 260 pages. The wire-o options include a softcover version and a hardcover version (basically a binder with a permanent wire inside). The wire-o versions lay flat and say the covers are spill-resistant. Next, there’s a ringed binder option. At first this option confused me since it just looks like a binder you can pick up at any office supply store. However, you can customize it with a photo and text, which makes it much more homey. It lays flat and is a great option for people who might want to add more recipe pages in the future.

The hardback book option also has a spill-resistant cover, and the quality of the binding looks pretty decent. They are casebound, and casebound books are not attached to the spine of the cover. So too much use and the contents of your book could come away from the cover. The pages do not lay flat but they look like a nice glossy paper that should hold up fairly well in the kitchen.

The E-cookbook is a great option and the price goes down if you order an E-book alongside a printed book. You can use the E-books online, or as a PDF on your computer, or on their app, and they are searchable.

Create My Cookbook Highlights

4 binding options, 1 size, no minimum order

Free account with the option to add contributors

Option to have book typed and designed for you for an additional fee

Software is easy to navigate and has Facebook integration

Lots of customization

Best for: Those who only want a few cookbook copies and like a lot of customization options. Also great for people who don’t want to type their recipes or fiddle with design software or want an electronic copy of their book.

How to create a family cookbook

Family cookbooks are classic homemade gifts. Make yours extra special by adding a little family history to the mix and celebrating the people and places behind the recipes you love. We’ll show you how in 4 simple steps.

1. Pick a Theme and Plan Your Cookbook

One of the great things about a cookbook is its versatility. You choose what goes in your cookbook, how long it is and what it looks like. With so many options, it is helpful to pick a clear theme to guide your project and keep it focused.

Your cookbook could include recipes for your whole family, or just the dishes you enjoy in your household. Perhaps your book honors one specific ancestor or relative. Think of ways that your recipe book can tell a part of that ancestor’s story.

Another creative option is to create a cookbook based on your family’s heritage or ethnicity. Are there certain ethnic or religious foods that are important to you? Your recipe book could focus on those dishes that have a special cultural or religious significance for your family.

If you don’t have many family recipes, these historic cookbooks can help you get an idea of the types of dishes your ancestors might’ve eaten.

Once you have your theme, it’s time to answer some logistical questions:

  • How many books will you be making?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How will you deliver the final product to everyone?

Having these details decided before you begin will ensure your project doesn’t get out of hand!

2. Gather Your Recipes, Photos and Stories

Now it’s time to gather your recipes! Begin by writing down or making copies of the recipes you already have. If you’re fortunate enough to have old, handwritten recipes, scan them to preserve their original look, grease stains and all.

If you’re gathering recipes from other family members, send requests for recipes, photos and information about the book you’re compiling. Ask for memories associated with the dish, such as who it came from and when it was served. Encourage people to get back to you by giving a deadline or asking them to bring the recipe to a family gathering.

How to create a family cookbook

Alternatively, you could host a family potluck dinner and invite family members to bring their favorite dishes (along with the recipes). Take a picture of each relative along with the dish he or she brought and ask relatives what they remember eating on special occasions, and for their memories of a certain dish.

This would also be the time to do a little research on some of the religious or cultural dishes in your recipe books and traditions associated with them to ensure the story is preserved for future generations.

Once you have all the recipes you need, make sure that there are uniform measurements and directions for each. For older recipes check out this article on converting old measurements.

3. Design and Create Your Family Cookbook

Now comes the fun part! Choose how you are going to create your book and how it is going to look, then bring it to life. You can choose to make your project resemble a classic cookbook, a simple binder, or even a collection of recipe cards.

How to create a family cookbook A collection of recipe cards, complete with pictures and details.

You can create a simple cookbook with recipes, stories and inserted photos in Word. Make copies at a copy shop (where you can have it spiral bound if you want).

Another option is to create your cookbook using a digital photo-book service such as Snapfish, Shutterfly or MyCanvas. Depending on the size and type, books usually start around $20 (search online for coupon codes before placing your order).

If you plan to make a large number of books, consider a self-publisher such as

Keep in mind the goal of your project. Is it a gift for a recent grad or family member? You might consider a space for note-taking. Is your book honoring a specific ancestor? Consider including a short biography page at the beginning of you book.

Here are other elements to consider:

  • Table of contents or index
  • Chapters or sections
  • An introduction from you
  • Blank pages or room for notes

Tip: It’s helpful if the book can lie flat on a kitchen counter, or be propped up for easy reference while cooking.

4. Share, Celebrate and Eat!

Congratulations, your cookbook is done! Celebrate the culmination of your hard work by hosting a family dinner party or book launch. Now all that’s left to do is savor your family’s history.

Everyone in my family loves to cook and eat great food—and it’s always been that way. My sister and I grew up cooking with our mom, who—before it was trendy—chose farmer’s market produce and experimented with vegetarian options. She also always cooked from scratch, which I have always admired and emulated. Spending time in the kitchen together was one of our most common family activities, and it’s what solidified cooking as a way to bond with each other over the years. The kitchen is our abiding happy place, but that doesn’t mean what we’ve prepared hasn’t evolved over the years. My sister and I are in the process of creating a collaborative family cookbook that traces the origins of our family recipes and captures the way we eat with the families that we’ve started. Once it’s done, we’ll gift the photo book to all the grandparents—and keep copies for ourselves and our children. Here are some of the ways we’re making it personal:

1. Upload Tattered Handwritten Recipes

Almost exactly ten years ago (whew, time flies!), my mother and soon-to-be mother-in-law threw me a surprise wedding shower. As a wonderfully personal gift, everyone who came hand wrote their favorite dish on a recipe card for me. Just this past week, my husband’s grandmother passed away, and I’m so grateful to have a few of her signature recipes written out in her own hand to remember her by. Instead of rekeying her instructions, I chose to scan and upload the recipes right into our cookbook along with her photo.

2. Scan Vintage Family Photos

The retro theme of the “What’s Cookin” Mixbook photo book template lends itself beautifully to showcasing vintage photos of family members. For the recipes that have been around for decades, include a classic portrait to weave a sense of history into your project. You can even convert your photos to black and white or sepia tones right in the Mixbook editor.

3. Uncover a Lost Family Tradition

Perhaps there’s a dish your parents or grandparents remember from their childhood. Ask them to dig up an old recipe, or find a recipe online that approximates their taste memory. Once you find one that everyone likes, you can update it with local ingredients and modern sensibilities to create a new family recipe with a strong nostalgic tie to the past.

4. Establish a Few New Traditions

My sister and I didn’t grow up making bunny cakes on Easter, but for whatever reason it’s become a new family tradition. Each year we try to out-bunny-cake each other. Our new tradition is really good spirited fun with a pretense of cutthroat competition, which our bizarre senses of humor find hilarious. Something about the innocence of making a bunny cake juxtaposed with smack talk is inherently funny to us. A page in our book is dedicated to pitting bunnies against one another.

5. Weave In a Little Humor

Beyond our silly bunny cake humor, my sister and I love to tease my mom about how she’ll say she’s going to “fix” dinner. Growing up in Pennsylvania, that was the accepted colloquial language. Now that we’ve moved to parts of the country where nobody talks about “fixing” dinner, we love to ask her how dinner has broken! On a page dedicated to my mom’s favorite recipe, I’ve included an homage to my handy mother who can always fix dinner.

6. Include Photos of Tablesettings & Family Meals

In our family, the tablesetting is just as important as the meal itself. I’m not talking fancy—just artful. My dad didn’t typically cook when I was a kid (though like many dads he worked the grill like a pro and flipped a mean Mickey Mouse pancake), but he got involved in meal prep by setting a beautiful table no matter how insignificant the meal. A designer by trade, he simply couldn’t help himself—and it’s a tradition my sister and I carry on with our families. My dad’s signature was creating a flourish of a napkin inside a water goblet, but there are many other variations on a well-set table in my family, which are worthy of capturing in photographs and sprinkling through our book.

7. Showcase Step-by-Step Close-Ups

Beautiful food photography is quite compelling, and even more so when it’s of the food you know and love. Borrow a page from celebrity chef cookbooks and snap shots of your favorite dishes styled on family dinnerware. Whether your plates are perfectly campy or beautifully heirloom, your photographs will be deeply meaningful.

8. Tell a Few Stories

From the time I was experimenting with cooking falafel in a hotplate on top of my parents’ brand-new counter and it split right down the middle (oops) to the time we were frantically trying ridiculous ways to thaw the turkey in the hours before Thanksgiving dinner, we have lots of classic family stories that revolve around meals. My sister and I plan on identifying four or five classic tales of kitchen follies, and writing out a short story or haiku that captures the memory, which will go down for the ages as family lore.

9. Interview Family Members

Consider interviewing family members from 2 to 102 about their favorite foods, guilty pleasures, and meal memories. Getting the answers down in print will be interesting now—and in twenty years when kids and grandkids page through your family cookbook. You may be surprised how the more things change, the more things stay the same.

10. Commission Some Artwork

Everyone loves artwork created by children. Have the kids in your family draw pictures of their favorite meals, plus some of the recipes you plan to feature in the book. You can even have them write down family kitchen rules like “mom says: please do not put the tomatoes in the fridge” to add a little humor and personality to your favorite recipe pages.

How to create a family cookbook

It can help to begin the layout and design of your family cookbook even if you don’t have all the recipes and photos on hand. Sketch out a table of contents listing all of the recipes you hope to include as a guide for yourself. Gather up the photos for the photo book and recipes you do have and begin sourcing the others from your loved ones. Finally, follow these steps to get your family cookbook started.

How to create a family cookbook

Sign in to your Mixbook account or create a login and password if you are a new customer.

Hover over Photo Books and click to choose Family or Recipe/Cookbooks.

Click Start a Blank Book to create your own cookbook from scratch or click to preview one of the existing templates.

When previewing a style, click the X to close or click Start Book to begin.

A new window opens and asks you to add your photos. Choose how you will upload your photos:

a. From your device

b. From My Photos (previously uploaded photos)

e. Google Photos

6. If prompted, allow your social media or photo accounts to use Mixbook to access your photos.

7. Click Upload Photos and choose any images you would like to add to your Mixbook project.

8. Click Add to Project when you are done choosing images.

9. When prompted if you would like to autofill your book, choose No, thanks.

How to create a family cookbook

Personalizing Your Custom Family Cookbooks

10. Drag and drop images into the placeholders in the book.

11. Click an image once and move it around using the cross arrows icon for better positioning if needed.

12. Click Edit to add a border, shadow, or other special effects.

13. Double-click any text you would like to change and enter your updated text.

14. Once you’ve added an image and any desired text to the cover, you can click the arrow next to Spine – Front Cover to turn the page.

15. Organize your family cookbook by type of food – appetizer, salads, entrees, side dishes, and desserts. Continue adding photos to the pages of the book for each category.

16. Double-click text boxes to update each recipe title.

17. Double-click the Ingredients sections to update the ingredients.

18. Double-click the Directions text box to update the instructions.

19. Consider adding a helpful hint or a favorite memory if you wish.

20. You can also click Stickers to add cute graphics or text art to dress up the pages with a pop of personality.

21. To add more pages, click the drop-down arrow next to Page Tools and then choose Add Blank Page or Add Theme Page.

22. When you are happy with your family cookbook, click Preview to double-check everything. Then click Edit to go back and make changes or Order to proceed to checkout.

23. When ordering, choose the size, paper type, cover style, and quantity. Then click Add to Cart to complete your purchase.

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  • How to create a family cookbook

    Preserve Family History

    It’s easy to make your own cookbook. Unlike other cookbook publishers, our 89 years of expertise as a cookbook printer will ensure your family cookbooks are a huge success! A few reasons why family cookbooks are so successful include:

    • Family cookbooks are unique keepsakes that will be passed down through generations.
    • Include stories, photos and recipes to bring family history to life for years to come.
    • A family keepsake cookbook can also be sold to raise money for a fundraiser.

    How to create a family cookbook

    Making a Family Cookbook is Fun & Easy!

    Learning how to create a family cookbook is a piece of cake with our 8 easy steps. Your family cookbooks will capture the spirit of your family and become a treasured heirloom.

    • Use one of 3 ways to submit recipes.
    • Choose from 3 cover styles. Design your own custom cover or use a FREE full-color stock design.
    • Create custom dividers or choose from FREE full-color stock designs.
    • Customize your family heirloom cookbook with personal pages and photos.
    • Add FREE features included in our base prices. Other options are also available.

    Friendly cookbook publishing consultants are always ready to assist you. Our goals are simple: to make publishing your family cookbook affordable and enjoyable.

    “[Our family cookbook is] absolutely beautiful…I am [grateful] for the way you all worked with me to achieve an amazing finished product…This cookbook was a labor of love for me, and it’s something I will proudly pass on to future generations of our family.”
    Michelle Kloncz
    Maplewood, MN

    How to create a family cookbook

    How to create a family cookbook

    “Behind every recipe you love is a story you want to share.” With that philosophy in mind, longtime friends Bill Rice and Chip Lowell formed the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website for collecting recipes and creating cookbooks. What began 12 years ago as a way for Rice, a Wellfleet resident, to compile all of his family’s beloved recipes has turned into a successful business that has amassed more than 1.2 million recipes, and printed tens of thousands of cookbooks for customers across the United States and Canada.

    “It really is a labor of love that we have been able to put together something that people can really use,” says Rice, who has worked in the Internet marketing industry for nearly 25 years. “One of the things that made this take off is its simplicity.”

    Creating a cookbook through the Family Cookbook Project is as easy as signing up on the website to become a member (memberships start at $7.95 per month) and uploading recipes. Through the site, users can invite their family and friends via email to contribute recipes. Not only does this method allow everyone to get in on the cookbook-making fun, but it also makes the recipe-collection process much easier, says Rice.

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    Fall is usually a season of anticipation. As soon as the breezes begin to cool, pumpkins appear in stores, magazines hit stands with this year’s crop of Thanksgiving recipes, and we all start thinking about menus for everything from Diwali to Hanukkah to New Year’s Eve. And while this season will be different and, in many ways, more challenging than any other before, there are also some opportunities to make it more special than ever before.

    But one of the hard realities of this year is that a lot of our traditions, our flagstones in the hectic seasons, won’t be happening. In an effort to keep ourselves and our family members safe, many of us won’t be joining around the family dinner table any time soon. That also means you may be left without your custom of driving to Grandma’s house and enjoying Aunt Karen’s broccoli casserole or Uncle Pete’s fudge.

    Whether you’ll be alone for the foreseeable holidays or limited to your immediate family of just a handful, there is one thing you can do to make sure everyone can cook the family-favorite meals they don’t want to miss: a personal family cookbook. Chances are there are certain recipes that are sacred and traditional to you and those who celebrate with you. Now is the time to be sure they are all written down, collected in one place, and shareable.

    The cookbooks you create will be more than just a resource for the holiday season, they will be a reminder of the resilience and fortitude of this whole year. They can be as simple as a digital file of recipes that can be e-mailed to friends and family or delivered on thumb drives, or as complex as a real bound book with hand-drawn illustrations or photographs to accompany.

    If you have kids, they can help create pictures or drawings to include or design the cover. If you usually have to split time between two family gatherings, you can collect all the recipes from both and combine into one book and share with both families, so that everyone can have a fuller sense of what your extended family celebrations look like.

    Take the opportunity to talk to the keepers of the old family recipes. If nothing is written down, get on a FaceTime or Zoom and have them walk you thru it so that it isn’t lost. Record those chats if you can; you can include the video or audio file with the final book. If your holidays, birthdays, or family gatherings are usually potlucks, the masters of each dish offered can provide the recipe.

    Everyone should get in on the action, even if they aren’t the cooks in the group. If you have family or friends who usually take care of wine or beverages, have them offer some pairing ideas, and if others are usually in charge of decorating the table, some tips and tricks on tablescapes or flower arranging will make the book even more complete.

    If you have people who come every year and don’t do a thing, ask if they will send you some favorite photos or write down a funny or poignant anecdote to include. The header for Aunt Millie’s famous layered Jell-O mold will be so much more meaningful if Uncle Ken writes down the story of the year she unmolded it and all the layers detached and slid around the buffet like tectonic plates.

    Whatever direction you take with your family cookbook, the creation will help build that anticipation you might be missing this year, will give you a project to keep you focused in a positive direction, and will result in a very special gift to offer those who usually grace your table and cannot this season. You will give them all the ability to make those special dishes for themselves, not just this year, but always.

    A six-week writing class that teaches you how to write about food, compose a proper recipe, and style food for photography. Go deep into your food memories and create a family cookbook.

    The next class starts in October 2022.

    A six-week intensive class series, takes you step-by-step starting with your vision, to instructions on writing recipes, and food styling tips for professional-looking photos.

    This class is for:

    1. Home cooks who want to organize their recipes.
    2. Sisters gathering family recipes to honor a parent.
    3. Professional chefs who want to self-publish.
    4. Mothers who wish to honor a bride-to-be or young mother.
    5. Family members keen on creating a family keepsake.
    6. Anyone who has favorite recipes to share with friends.

    Taught via Zoom with weekly live instruction, each week I keep you on task with weekly assignments, to help you actually FINISH your family cookbook, with templates to make it easy.

    Here are the six steps covered in class: Six Steps to Writing a Cookbook

    The next class will start in October 2022. Sign up below for a free introductory class.

    “Definitely exceeded my expectations! Loved the intense focus on format, mechanics, logistics of constructing a BOOK and the nuts and bolts of recipe documentation. The templates are super helpful, the links are wonderful.”.

    “The community of classmates is really nice. Your warm presentation style is personal and encouraging but, you set a tone of “You can do it! Get it done!”

    “Ellen provides an excellent framework, and a wealth of information, for writing your very own family cookbook. The classes were just the right combination of instruction, food stories and anecdotes, and encouragement to move forward with confidently completing such an enormous project. I’ve wanted to do this for a long time for my children, and never would have gotten going without the invite to the class from a friend, or the professional and personable direction from Ellen – highly recommend!”

    Over the years, families develop and cook recipe after recipe. Some of these recipes work their way through several generations and some even begin their journey in other countries. People like to protect those treasured family recipes and creating a digital cookbook is one of the ways you can do just that. Digital cookbooks allow all the members of the family to have a copy without having to spend a lot of money on printing and publishing costs.

    Step 1

    Send a message to all of your family members. Ask them to send you their favorite recipes. Request that they send the recipes through email, if possible, so you do not have to re-type every single one. Ask people to send interesting stories that might go along with each recipe to include in the cookbook.

    Step 2

    Collect the recipes in a file on your computer. Open a recipe email. Click “Control” and “A” to select the entire recipe if they wrote it in the body of the email. Press “Control” and “C” to copy the recipe. Open a blank Word document. Click the page of the document and press “Control” and “V” to paste the recipe into the new document. Press “Control” and “S” to save the recipe.

    Step 3

    Print all the recipes and arrange them in whatever order you want for your cookbook. Sort them by categories, such as appetizers, main dishes and desserts. Use different branches of the family as a basis for sorting the recipes.

    Step 4

    Open another new document in your Word program. Start adding the recipes to your cookbook by copying and pasting the recipes from the previously saved files. Add the recipes in the order you chose. Format the recipes in the font style and color you prefer.

    Step 5

    Read over your cookbook, carefully looking for typos and mistakes in the recipes. Take special note of the ingredients lists.

    Step 6

    Go to an online site to create a PDF file of your cookbook (see Resources). Follow the directions for uploading your Word file and creating the PDF document.

    Step 7

    Send the PDF cookbook file as an email attachment to all the family members who want a copy of the cookbook, or print it to send in the mail.

    How to create a family cookbook

    “Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy. And cooking done with care is an act of love.” – Craig Claiborne.

    Can you make biscuits like your mother used to make them?

    Perhaps you are known for your lasagna, fried chicken, or a particular dessert.

    Do family members often ask you for advice about how to do something kitchen related? Then creating a legacy cookbook is the perfect opportunity to share your kitchen know-how and give them a keepsake to treasure. After all, sharing knowledge is a great way to leave your mark on the next generation!

    How to Create a Legacy Cookbook

    While the thought of putting together a book might seem daunting, it is not that difficult. And thanks to so many tools, both digital and physical now available, you will find creating your heirloom cookbook is quite enjoyable. The hardest part might be in deciding what recipes to include. So, let’s get started.

    Determine the Format

    Unlike in the past, creating a legacy cookbook now means deciding whether you want a physical copy with bound pages or a digital cookbook – website, video, podcast, or even a documentary style. To help you make the decision, consider these factors:

    • Printed– All recipes will need to be typed, handwritten, or copied and put together in a pleasing layout. It also offers a way to share pictures and anecdotes about your family. Those pages will then need to be bound in some fashion (some companies do this, or you can purchase the binding materials and do it yourself).
    • Website – Sites such as Wix, WordPress, and others offer various free templates and tools that will allow you to design a digital legacy cookbook. You can make changes, update recipes, add notes, and include videos and pictures. Then share the site with those you want.
    • Podcast – If you are particularly media savvy, a podcast is a fun way to share recipes. As you talk about the recipes, perhaps bring another family member or friend to give their thoughts. Then share the recipe, possibly making the recipe as you tell the story making the dish special.
    • Video/Documentary – If you are comfortable in front of the camera, consider a cooking show version of how to make those family favorites. Again, bring in family and friends to help, and share their stories about the dish or special family memories.

    What about Pictures

    Do you have pictures from family get-togethers? Perhaps you have pics where everyone is around the table and enjoying a holiday meal. These pictures are priceless, especially if you include the names of the people in the picture!

    Also, as you create a legacy cookbook, take time to include the stories, interesting tidbits, and fun facts that make your family unique. The next generation (especially the younger generations) might not think those stories are vital right now, but the day will come when they want to know their roots and an heirloom cookbook will be a great place to start.

    Organizing a Legacy Cookbook

    There is no wrong way to do this! For example, you might choose to group them by seasons, holidays, or special family events, whether breakfast, lunch, dinner, or desserts, or perhaps by categories – appetizers, soups, main dishes, veggies, etc. Then it is up to you. Not sure where to start? No problem. Gather the recipes first, and then see what organizational style best suits you and the format you are planning to use for your cookbook. Just be sure to include a table of contents so people know where to find a specific recipe.

    Choosing the Recipes

    There are two basic approaches to this: making all the selections and creating a solo project or reaching out to other family members and asking them to contribute favorite family recipes.

    If you opt to make all the recipe selections independently – a bit of a monumental task – a good starting point is making a list of those recipes you are often asked to share. Then start flipping through any cookbooks you have, looking for those pages that are stained, splattered, dogeared, or perhaps slightly damaged. Chances are, these less than perfect pages contain the recipes you have made the most because they are favorites. If you have made notations on any of these pages, be sure to include those with the recipe. If you opted for a printed format, consider making photocopies of any recipes with your handwriting in them. There’s something extra special about those notes that make the recipe more personal!

    How to create a family cookbook

    Measurements, Terminology, and Ingredients

    Consider adding a page that explains things like specific abbreviations: tsp. is teaspoon, lb. is a pound, and so on. Abbreviations for cooking terms are not as commonly taught in school as they once were. Also, providing definitions or explanations for cooking words like sauté, a roux, simmer versus full boil, and so on will help keep the recipes from seeming difficult.

    Put it Together

    Once you have collected all the recipes, pictures, and stories, it’s time to put them together. Yes, it will take a bit of time, but you are crafting an heirloom. And, whether you choose a hard copy or digitized version, your legacy cookbook will be a prized possession.

    So, what recipes will you include in your cookbook? We would love to know. Why not get started on your legacy cookbook today. After all, the holidays are right around the corner, and it would make a wonderful gift!

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    November 18, 2015

    A family recipe book makes a great gift. We offer tips on how to assemble and publish one, just in time for the holidays!

    How to create a family cookbook

    Photo credit: Flickr user Michael (original: CC 2.0

    Looking for a DIY present that your family will really use? Making a family recipe book is a present that’s easy to put together, and hard to put down once you’ve started leafing through its pages. and remembering the delicious taste of your parents’ cooking! Depending on how you decide to put them together, a family recipe book makes a low-key stocking stuffer, or an heirloom to be added to and passed down to your children. Here are our favourite ideas for creating (or updating) this classic keepsake:

    Grow it through your family tree

    Ask each family member to contribute their favourite recipes, then bind them together with family photos of your home cooks. Don’t forget to name the most-requested ones after their contributors: that chili gets a lot tastier when it’s Grandpa’s 5 Alarm Chili (and it’s even better if you can put a photo or crayon portrait alongside it as illustration!) If there are older recipes in your family that are hiding in between the leaves of floury old cookbooks, this is your chance to dust them off and preserve them for posterity. Recipes are also a wonderful way to re-tell family stories and get your little ones cooking—because you’re in charge of choosing recipes and photos, you can break down your kids’ favourite dishes to show them, photo by photo, how to cook up something wonderful with you.

    Hand-make it

    A simple binder with loose-leaf pages or a notebook is the classic way to start a family recipe book—because everyone can contribute! This family project is best combined with some creative kids who love to draw. Kids can decorate recipes with potato stamps and drawings (for inspiration, check out illustrations from Mollie Katzen’s early cookbooks). You can also try pasting in handwritten card recipes that have been floating around in boxes (or in other cookbooks), writing in descriptions and recording dinners your family loves.

    Build it online

    If you’re short on time, there are lots of apps and websites that make it easy to assemble and print your recipe book – including this one! You may be used to searching our recipes section for kid-friendly ideas, but did you know that you can also use our website to create and print your own cookbook? It’s easy, and lets you round up all the recipes you love in a flash. If you prefer to use templates, this free premade one is great. Photo printing sites like Shutterfly and publishing sites like Blurb also feature beautiful templates and will ship right to your door (or to your relatives’ doors!). If you think you’d like to make this a gift that keeps on giving every year, apps like Cookbook Cafe let you keep a running list of recipes online, to be added to anytime and printed out when you’re ready.

    The best thing about a family recipe book—besides how satifying it feels to hold it in your hands—is that it’s really a way to bring back happy memories. Just tasting a dish you love can conjure up your childhood, or make your house smell exactly like your grandmothers’ did on a long-ago winter evening. Enjoy taking your family on a trip down memory lane, and enjoy cooking up some new memories in the process!

    Looking for more DIY gift ideas? We’ve got plenty here and here. We’d love to hear about your family recipe books as you work on them—if you have great printing suggestions, template ideas or just a wonderful recipe to share, please drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter!

    How to create a family cookbook

    I created my own Family Cookbook with Mixbook and received, free of charge in order to complete this review. As always, all opinions are my own.

    Create Your Own Family Cookbook With Mixbook

    During COVID-19, many families have found cooking to be the #1 past-time in the house. Now that life is starting to go back to normal, don’t let those moments and recipes pass you by. Family recipes are some of the most treasured pieces of personal heritage found in any home. From a favorite meal to award-winning desserts and even cooking techniques, the recipe collection is a prized heirloom worthy of sharing. Creating a family cookbook complete with high-quality images of the food you’ve created is a wonderful way to pay tribute to some of the best bakers and home chefs in your family, and it’s a great way to preserve and share time-honored flavors.

    How to create a family cookbook

    Love Or Hate, Cooking Is A Part Of Life!

    I have a love / hate relationship with cooking. I do honestly usually enjoy it but I get in ruts and end up making the same 4 to 5 meals over and over again because I can’t think of what else to make. For years now, I’ve been wanting to create a cookbook with our tried and true recipes in it so I’d be able to grab one book and have dozens of options at my fingertips that I know will be good. Well, now I have it! Thanks to Mixbook, this dream is now a reality! My 16 year old daughter and I worked together to create our very own family favorites cookbook and we couldn’t be happier with the results!

    How to create a family cookbook

    The Process: Creating Our Mixbook Family Cookbook

    It can help to begin the layout and design of your family cookbook NOW, even if you don’t have all the recipes and photos on hand. Sketch out a table of contents, listing all of the recipes you hope to include as a guide for yourself. Gather up the photos and recipes you do have and begin sourcing the others from your loved ones to build your collection of must-have recipes.

    How to create a family cookbook

    Once you have an idea of what you’re wanting your cookbook to look like, head over to Mixbook and choose a book design and size. (There are hundreds to choose from so you’ll be able to make the book that’s perfect for you!) They make it easy with step-by-step selections.

    How to create a family cookbook

    After you’ve done this, now you can get to work adding your recipes and photos! We took it slowly, page by page and added all our favorite recipes. With almost every single one, we made sure to include a photo too as I love seeing what recipes should look like when finished! Plus, adding a colorful photo to each page helps with the overall visual appeal.

    How to create a family cookbook

    Creating our custom Family Cookbook was extremely easy with Mixbook but it did take some time to get all our recipes added. We just did a couple a day over about a five week time span so it wasn’t too overwhelming. It was nice as we were able to customize each page, background, and information with just a couple clicks. Adding pages to expand our book was also a breeze.

    How to create a family cookbook

    Because I know we’ll continue finding great recipes over time, we did include some blank pages at the end so we can attach recipe cards or hand write new ones in.

    How to create a family cookbook

    By the time we finished, our Family Cookbook ended with 183 pages. All in all, we are thrilled with the entire process as well as results. This book will be cherished for years to come and I’m actually planning on ordering additional copies to gift each of our kids in the future!

    How to create a family cookbook

    So if you’re loving this idea, start your Mixbook Custom Cookbook today so you have lots of time to create. These books make great gifts and Christmas will be here before we know it!

    Connect With MixBook

    I’m a city girl turned country by my awesome husband and we have three busy boys and two darling daughters. I love spending time with my family, reading Karen Kingsbury novels, and catching up with friends while our kiddos have play dates. I’m blessed beyond measure and can’t wait to see what God has in store.
    Follow Miranda on Pinterest | Twitter| Blog | Instagram

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    This post currently has 9 responses.

    This is such a great idea, what a wonderful way to honor yours and your family recipes! I would definitely love to do this. It might take me some time to prepare, but now I know where to go to get it done! Thank you so much for your sharing, your book turned out beautiful!

    I’ve always wanted to make one of these for my family.

    This is such a wonderful idea to keep all the long time family recipes safe and recorded.

    This sounds really neat and is a great idea for Christmas gifts!

    This is a great idea. The only problem is that most things (at least in my family) there is no recipe for.

    That’s the way my dad would cook. A little of this a little of that, never measuring anything. I sat with him and we actually ‘created’ the recipes we all loved by FINALLY measuring the ingredients and writing everything down so we had something tangible to pass down.

    This is such an awesome idea! I have so many beloved family recipes passed down from my mother and mother-in-law. It would be wonderful to organize them into a high-quality cookbook.

    This is such a visually appealing cook book. What a wonderful book to create as a family. Most families have favorite recipes they hand down.

    Whoa!! This is so cool!! It would make an awesome gift idea! I too, often get into recipe ruts and would really benefit from having an amazing family recipe arsenal!

    From tater-tot casserole to picadillo, food forges special memories for everyone. In fact, thoughts tied to taste equate to some of life’s strongest associations, and favorite recipes can summon up warm recollections of baking holiday cookies or savoring comfort dishes during a bout with the sniffles.

    As Americans tiptoe out of the pandemic and with dinner parties and family gatherings once again crowding the social calendar, there’s never been a better time to ask your closest companions for their favorite recipes. Whether it’s your best friend’s baklava or your aunt’s perfected whiskey sour, it’s easy to compile your own family or group cookbook. Here are some pointers to get you started.

    How to create a family cookbook

    1. Remember, anyone can be family.

    Your homemade recipe book can fly farther than grandma’s handy family Rolodex. Anyone who is special to you might have a couple of tasty concoctions to share. Crafting a cookbook is a wonderful way to combine your different circles into a sensory memory book.

    2. Select your platform.

    Cookbook presentation can take on a digital, print or hybrid form. Let the personality of your cookbook determine your choice. If you plan to share a collection of traditional recipes, you might want to hand print the recipes or have contributing individuals pen their own to showcase authentic penmanship and flair. On the other hand, a Word document is easy to edit, revise, print and archive.

    3. Choose a universal format.

    Your father probably writes recipes differently than your best friend. It is a good idea to decide upon a universal format for all recipes. This will increase readability and consistency throughout the cookbook. Will you write out or abbreviate measurements? Will you list the ingredients in the order that they are used? Address these questions before you start commissioning submissions, so that anyone contributing a recipe can present their entries according to your specifications.

    How to create a family cookbook

    4. Categorize, categorize, categorize!

    Be sure to sort your recipes into digestible categories—appetizers, desserts, cocktails—that can eventually be organized under a loose table of contents. Keep in mind that your sorting should follow the recipes you have, so fret not if you lack a salad or sauce section.

    5. Pick a design software.

    Digital software can make cookbook design a quick and fool-proof experience. User-friendly programs like Canva and CreateMyCookbook offer easy-to-use templates, titles that can be personalized, tables of content and templated recipe pages. Sites like Etsy also sell customizable recipe cards that can easily be incorporated into a printed cookbook.

    6. Make room for visuals.

    Whether you want to include family photos, clip art or pictures of the dishes, cookbooks beg for some visuals. Not every page needs to have photos, but a smattering of images throughout the cookbook helps bring the publication to life.

    7. Assemble your materials.

    How to create a family cookbook

    A number of office supply stores will help you create hard-cover books, but if that option is too expensive for your budget, you may opt to assemble your recipes, printed on durable card stock, in a sturdy binder. With a few transparent sheet protectors and tab dividers, presto, your book is ready for distribution.

    8. Plan ahead for additional submissions.

    Your cookbook should lend itself to expansion as new recipes and memories are made. With that in mind, keep the table of contents and the recipes themselves free of page numbers.

    9. Add a title and personal notes.

    Think of your title page as your cookbook’s mise-en-scène. It sets the stage for the productions to come. Choose a font that complements the title, and add some illustrations that whet the appetite. Perhaps you’ll want to include a family photo or some hand-drawn art.

    Individual recipes often benefit from personal notes that recommend suggestions for side dishes or occasions that benefit from the dish under discussion: Best served with Brussels sprouts! The perfect sandwich for afternoon tea! Everybody’s favorite at the Fourth of July picnic!

    10. Share your collection.

    Once you’ve made your masterpiece, share it widely—with family and friends and anyone with a healthy appetite. If you can’t offer everyone a hardbound copy or a binder stuffed with recipes, consider sharing a PDF by email or flash drive. Remember, good food and memories go together like coffee and dessert.

    Food is a great way to bring family together, and beloved recipes that conjure precious memories of home deserve a special place in your family tree.

    With Christmas right around the corner, a homemade recipe book also makes the perfect gift, and something meaningful to share with your loved ones.

    Discover how you can turn your family recipes, both old and new, into a treasured collection for years to come…

    1. Round up your best recipes

    Start by gathering your recipes. Either write them from memory, or make copies of the ones you already have. If you’re fortunate enough to have old, handwritten recipes, scan them to preserve their original look, grease stains and all.

    You can also ask your family members to contribute their favourite recipes, sharing memories associated with the dish, such as who it came from and when it was served.

    Once you have compiled your collection, divide them into categories like breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert, or separate by seasons.

    How to create a family cookbook

    2. Test your dishes

    Now that you have your recipe collection, it’s time to cook! This is the fun part, and one hungry members of your household will also enjoy. It will also help you refine your recipe by making a note of details such as measurements, cook times and temperatures, including any tips and tricks that help bring it to life.

    How to create a family cookbook

    3. Take beautiful photos

    Now that you have perfected your dishes, it’s time to capture them in all their glory. Bringing them to life deserves some attention. For the best results, we suggest using a professional camera, such as the Nikon Z Series Mirrorless Camera range. Teamed with the NIKKOR Z Mirrorless Lens, it offers super high-resolution images to perfectly capture every delicious detail for future generations.

    How to create a family cookbook

    4. Share your stories

    Including some family history and celebrating the people and places behind the recipes you love will make your book extra special. This could be warm or funny blurbs contributed by various relatives about their fond memories of the dish, and/or your own associations with the meal.

    How to create a family cookbook

    5. Pick a design

    Now that you have your recipes, photos and stories, it’s time to put them all together. Start by picturing how you want your book to look. Will your recipes be uniformly typed out or handwritten? Do you have a desired colour scheme or font?

    Take inspiration from recipe books you already own, craft projects and mood boards. Don’t worry if you’re not a graphic design whiz, there are plenty of easy templates available for free on sites like Canva, or online directories such as Fiverr to easily match you with a freelancer to design it for you.

    Once your final product is prepared, you can share it with your loved ones as an E-book, or easily get it printed and bound at your local stationary store. Your family will love it!

    How to create a family cookbook

    Purchase any Nikon Z Series Mirrorless Camera or NIKKOR Z Mirrorless Lens and share your favourite food snap for your chance to win a kitchen upgrade package from Electrolux. Plus a Beefeater BBQ to be won each month! Find out more here.

    How to create a family cookbook

    Alright friends. Today I’m sharing the motherload of tips for creating a family cookbook template in Microsoft Word.

    In case you missed it, I have a series of blog posts I’ve written over the past year or so that delve into how to create, bind, and print a family cookbook. The posts I have in this series so far are:

    • The 4 Best Binding Options for your Cookbook
    • Easy Print Settings to Print Your Cookbook at Home
    • FREE Printable Cookbook Covers
    • Categories for Cookbooks

    My family has LONG been a collector of recipes. It might be a problem, actually. Besides collecting recipes, my family has been generous in sharing those recipes and has been aggressive in asking for recipes from neighbors and friends. In fact, just the other day, my son text me during church to tell me to “get Angie’s cinnamon bread recipe. puuuuulllleeeeeeez.” I kid you not, AND he is 9 years old. Ha! So it seems that my children have already caught the bug.

    I remember the cookbooks my mom typed up on the library typewriter and photocopied for the family from my youngest years. If I had to guestimate the number of cookbooks she wrote, I’d say there were probably at least a dozen, but that number is on the conservative side. These cookbooks were her labor of love and a way for her to document family favorites, which often included funny stories from the farm.

    As I got older, I started helping her compile recipes into digital cookbooks for printing. In total, I’ve worked on 5 different cookbooks for family and our church. With that, I’ve learned a trick or two about the best way to work in Microsoft Word to create a cohesive cookbook with a proper table of contents.

    Before I move on to how to do this, let me address that there are cookbook printing companies that will do this all for you. When our church was looking at printing a cookbook, we found that it was costly. Not only that, but you are handing over the reins to someone to create your cookbook. (I realize I may be a bit of a control freak because I didn’t want to hand over any control to a company.) We opted for my homemade Microsoft Word version for our church, saved a ton of money, and never looked back.

    So first things first. If you are using Microsoft Word, you must create a word document with a style that can be applied throughout the entire cookbook. I refer to this as a template, but I actually think this is an incorrect term. It is a template in the sense that all recipe titles, ingredient tables, directions, notes have the same style depending on the recipe element. I am by no means a Microsoft Word guru, and I often need to Google how to do something unique. With that said, forgive me if I do not use the exact technical terms.

    Second things second. I created a video where I walk you through how to actually make a “template” in Microsoft Word. This end product is available here as a download. The video is longer than I wanted it to be, but it really does go into the details of how to make your cookbook and update as you see fit. I hope to put up another post on how to bind your cookbook should you choose to print it in the near future.

    For the cookbook template and the video, the three fonts I used are Bodoni 72 Small Caps, Catandra Script, and Century Gothic. If you do not have those fonts, it’s not a game-changer. Just know that when you open the document, you will need to update your template to the fonts you wish to use.

    1. Select text that a font is missing.
    2. Choose the new font from the fonts you have loaded on your computer.
    3. Make sure you are on the “Home” tab and have the newly applied font text selected; click the Styles Pane.
    4. Whatever portion of the template you are editing, click the specific style’s far-right triangle and select “Update to Match Style.”

    Here is the video that thoroughly explains using the template or how you can make your own.

    How to create a family cookbook

    Create the best keepsake gift filled with not only memories but the instructions to recreate favorite dishes those memories are attached to. To meet the growing demand for custom cookbook orders for small families and friend groups we have created the Keepsake Cookbook collection available for a limited time. Order as few as 12 books and include up to 90 recipes enjoying the benefits of free typing and formatting of recipes, a professional quality cover and dividers.

    Simply collect your recipes and sort them into categories. You may have up to 8 dividers. Our suggested divider list is:

    • Appetizers, Beverages & Dips
    • Soups & Salads
    • Breads & Rolls
    • Vegetables & Side Dishes
    • Main Dishes & Meats
    • Desserts
    • Cookies & Candies
    • Miscellaneous

    Divider title names can be changed and you do not have to include all 8. Many family cookbooks only have 6 or 7 dividers.

    Recipes can be submitted in the following ways:

    Mailed Paper Submission – Mail your recipes to Cookbook Specialists along with the order form. Make copies of your recipes and send us the copies as these will not be returned. Keep each category separated by clips or in individual envelopes. We also prefer you number the recipes so we know the order they go in to the book.

    Emailed Submission – Speak with one of our Customer Service representatives on options for emailing either a file or photos of your recipes.

    Mailed Electronic Submission – We can accept recipes on a flash drive so if you have them in a Word Document or images of each of the recipes we can provide guidance for placing the files on a flash drive so our typist can easily type them into the book in the correct order.

    Recipes can be handwritten we just ask that you take a moment to print any recipe authors names since signatures are hard to read. Recipes will be typed in our standard format using our suggested abbreviations in a non-continued recipe format.

    Design selections to choose from:

    Recipe Design – You can select from two different recipe designs and either standard font size (10 point) or large print (12 point). For books with large print there is a limit of 60 recipes allowed. Books are limited to 100 pages so we recommend avoiding long stories added to the recipes as this will mean some recipes will need to be removed.

    How to create a family cookbookRecipe Design A How to create a family cookbookRecipe Design B

    Covers – Select from one of our 5 popular pre-designed covers. The Family Favorites Designer Frame has a space to allow for you to include a photo in either portrait or landscape. Photos can be emailed or a copy mailed with the recipes. Covers are printed on cardstock and the outsides are coated making it easy to wipe them off and protects them from sticky fingers and spills.

    Dividers – Choose one of the 3 pre-designed dividers designs and from our list of paper colors. Dividers are printed in black ink on standard bond paper.

    Binding – Books are bound with Spiral PlastiKoil binding. This durable binding allows books to lay flat when in use or even fold over on themselves like a spiral notebook.

    Additional – Included is a FREE title page, publication number, table of contents and an alphabetical index by category. You can also have 5 free personal pages starting on the back of the table of contents. Personal pages can be used to include a message about why you created the book, a dedication, memorial, brief history, favorite cooking tips, or we can provide lined notes pages.

    Once your book is created we provide you with a free PDF to review and proofread. Books take approximately 2 to 4 weeks to complete from start to finish.

    Shipping – Is based on current carrier rates and is in addition to the book price.

    Reorders – Are available at current pricing at the time the reorder is placed. You can contact us for a reorder quote at any time after you receive your books.

    Contact – Our customer service people are happy to answer any questions you may have and we encourage you to call or email. 1-800-838-1679 or [email protected]

    Download a PDF copy of our Keepsake Cookbook Order form HERE

    Click HERE to download an interactive recipe form or click HERE
    to download a printable version.

    Want to engage your employees by creating a collaborative cookbook? You’ve landed in the perfect place.

    If there’s one thing you learn while working in an office, it’s that food brings people together. Involve your whole team with a dedicated workplace recipe group where their recipes can be contributed to an employee cookbook.

    How to create a family cookbook

    How to create a family cookbook

    Your employees can upload as many recipes to your company cookbook as they’d like

    Creating an employee cookbook for your company is crazy simple. With Morsel, we have a simple way to easily invite all of your coworkers to one team recipe group. Once they’re in the group they can add as many recipes as they like, sharing them with the whole team. It’s so easy, it’s kind of addictive — just like Rob from Accounting’s famous chip dip.

    No offense to the stress balls you gave out last year, but this is an employee appreciation gift that they’ll actually use (even outside of work).

    How to create a family cookbook

    This is an employee benefit that rolls real deep!

    Gain access to serious discounts for teams of 10+ employees.

    Once recipes have been added online, let’s print a tangible copy. A great gift to your team any time of the year!

    Employees can create/join unlimited private groups with their friends and family.

    Watch as your #random Slack/Teams channel explodes with engagement.

    How to create a family cookbook

    Easily ship gift cards or send codes instantly to your employees.

    Morsel makes getting your team started in creating an employee cookbook super simple. Chat out the details with your account rep and when you’re ready to get rolling, we can instantly send your team personal invites to join.

    Throwing Morsel subscriptions into a swag bag? We got you. For a heightened experience, we can also ship gift cards directly to your office.

    How to create a family cookbook

    If you are looking for a meaningful Mother’s Day gift a senior loved one and the entire family will appreciate, consider creating a family cookbook. Several generations can work together to create a permanent keepsake to treasure. It can be as simple or as detailed as you’d like.

    Here are a few tips to help you get started.

    Tips for Developing a Family Cookbook

    • Gather recipes: Reach out to family and friends who you would like to include in the cookbook. Would you like to limit it to multiple recipes from your immediate family? Or are you hoping to have fewer recipes but from a broader network of loved ones? The first step in creating your cookbook is determining how many recipes it will include.
    • Consider your budget: Determine how much you will have to spend on the project. Will you be financing it entirely on your own, or are other family members able to pitch in? Even if funds are limited, you’ll still be able to create a cookbook. It will just be a simple version.

    Once you’ve determined your cookbook’s scope and budget, you can explore your options. There are a variety of online resources that allow you to add photos, recipes, embellishments, and more to your personal cookbook. Some helpful websites are:

    • Shutterfly: This site makes it easy to develop cookbooks in a variety of sizes. You can also opt for softcover or hardcover books. Prices begin at under $10 a book.
    • Heritage Cookbook: Another budget-friendly option, Heritage allows you to create cookbooks in a variety of formats. They range from plastic coil or wire bound to softcover and hardcover. Each book can hold about 60 recipes. A minimum order of four is required with a starting price of $11.25 a book.
    • Create My Cookbook: From gifts to fundraisers, this site allows you to put together your own cookbook. They even have an ebook option. You can buy books individually or in bulk.
    • Snapfish: You can easily create a softbound or hardbound cookbook for under $13 using this online program. It’s available in two different sizes with up to 150 pages.

    Whatever platform you decide to utilize, the result will be a family heirloom you’ll all treasure for years.

    If you are looking for other gift ideas to honor the senior women in your life on Mother’s Day, we have some you might want to consider. Mother’s Day Gifts Ideas for Grandma has suggestions for splurge and sentimental gifts, as well as those to support wellness and life-long learning.

    Learn More about Heritage Senior Communities

    If you or a senior loved one is interested in senior living in Michigan or Indiana, we invite you to consider Heritage. Call the community nearest you to learn more today!

    ‘The Current’ is the official Snapfish US blog, a place to find fresh and easy inspiration for the photographers and creators in us all.

    ‘Tis the season for home-cooked meals! Nothing says holidays like cooking family recipes with your loved ones. A custom cookbook is a perfect keepsake photo gift that can be passed on for generations. Keep grandma’s top-secret stuffing recipe and all your favorites together in a photo book, along with photos you’ve taken of your delicious holiday dishes.

    Showcase your favorite recipes in a book with custom designs

    It’s easy to design a custom recipe book! First, select the size and type of photo book. We offer a variety of sizes for you to choose from – 8×8, 8×11, 12×12, 11×14, 7×5, 5×7, and 6×8. Our cover options include hardcover, layflat hardcover, premium layflat hardcover, softcover, linen, and leather.

    After selecting your book, pick a design. You can try one of our premade photo book designs, like our Farm to Table Cookbook, or select the “Design Your Own” option for complete creative freedom over your book.

    Once you’ve chosen your design, it’s time for the fun part — personalize your cookbook with your recipes, photos, holiday-themed embellishments, and backgrounds! For more information on the process of creating a photo book, check out this helpful article or watch these handy YouTube tutorials.

    Make it a family activity

    The most memorable family bonding is over food. We love the idea of creating your holiday cookbook with the entire family, so you can reminisce on past holiday memories and traditions together. Keep the classics in the recipe book and have every family member add a dish of their own to make it completely unique to your crew.

    After receiving your cookbook, you can spend time with your loved ones preparing the dishes for the holidays. Fun tip: try playing a “What’s for dinner?” game with the family. During holiday months, have one family member close their eyes, flip to a random page, and point — whatever they’re pointing to is what you’re cooking that night!

    Give the perfect holiday gift

    A holiday recipe cookbook is a perfect gift for friends and family. Has your sister-in-law been bugging you for your prized quiche recipe? Surprise her with a cookbook of all your favorite dishes. Another idea is to show grandparents the legacy of their recipes by gifting them a recipe book with photos of loved ones making their dishes. A custom cookbook is a perfect gift for anyone in your life who enjoys food, from the novice cook to the master chef.

    Try this recipefrom the Snapfish family, to yours!

    This Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie is guaranteed to be a hit at your next holiday meal. Warning — you might have to fight over the last slice.


    • 3 eggs
    • 1 cup light corn syrup
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extra
    • 1 ¾ cups pecans
    • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1 unbaked deep-dish pie crust or homemade pie crust blind baked in a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish


    1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
    2. Stir together the eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract.
    3. Mix in pecans and chocolate chips.
    4. Place pie crust in a deep-dish baking dish or cast-iron skillet.
    5. Pour pecan mixture into pie crust.
    6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, then let cool to set fully.
    7. Enjoy!

    If you order a custom cookbook, don’t forget to share pictures of it and your home-cooked food with us on social media! You can tag us in your photos with @snapfishus on Instagram or Facebook or use the hashtag #snapfish. Don’t forget to follow us on YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest, too.

    We love cooking in The Mad House. I really enjoy teaching the boys new recipes and sharing with them recipes that have been passed down through the family. I want to make sure that I leave them with a legacy of lots of delicious family recipes. I was delighted when Newcastle Building Society set us a ‘Customise Your Life’ challenge of customising your cookbooks with your top 10 family recipes as it spurred me on.

    How to create a family cookbook

    I have been including printable recipes on the blog for a long time, so it was simple enough to print them all off to start our project. I also gathered together some materials to make the customising of our book (which I purchased from We love Bread and Jam).

    How to create a family cookbook


    • Blank book
    • Glue stick
    • Stickers (we were sent ours by a lovely lady in a facebook group)
    • Pens
    • Pencils
    • Stamps
    • Tape
    • scissors

    How to create a family cookbook

    Yes I have lots of our family recipes on the blog, but there is nothing like a cookbook stained with fingermarks where the pages have been turned and marked with flavours and smells of all the meals within.

    I picked a good quality blank book with thick pages, so that we could colour in and the colour not transfer through.

    I started by printing out all the recipes and we cut them to size.

    We then glued them in place before embellishing each page.

    How to create a family cookbook

    We wanted to make notes on who’s favorite it was and also any hints and tips that we had for making the recipe too.

    How to create a family cookbook

    Why “Customise Your Life”?

    Newcastle Building Society appreciates that everyone is an individual and no two person’s needs are ever the same – especially when it comes to savings. That’s why they’ve developed its CustomISA, which allows savers to spread their tax-free savings across as many Newcastle ISAs as they like each year and is designed for savers who would usually have to decide between sacrificing rates on their ISA for access or access to their own money for a better rate.

    To celebrate CustomISA’s flexibility, we are inviting a select number of bloggers to be part of a #CustomiseYourLife Blogger Challenge and our challenge was to create a customised family cookbook. I can not wait to see what the other bloggers have done.

    Pocket Money

    I love using crafting time to discuss things with the boys and we discussed this pocket money infographic that Newcastle Building society sent us. The boys are 8 and 10 and both get £2 pocket money a week and the opportunity to earn £2 more by doing chores. Mini said he certainly spends his money on sweets, not food! Both the boys were surprised that a quarter of 7 – 12 year old kids use a mobile phone to go online as neither of the boys have a phone and neither do most of their friends.

    How to create a family cookbook

    I would love to know how much your kids get for pocket money and how old they are.

    A couple of months ago, I mentioned my partnership with Land O’Lakes, whose tagline is ADD A LITTLE GOOD™, which started me thinking about ways that I could bring good to others as an individual. There are all sorts of ways to bring good to others, from something as large-scale as volunteering in the community to something as simple as holding an elevator door for someone.

    I decided that moving forward on a project that I’ve been planning in the back of my mind for years was a great place to start. I’ve been wanting to create a family cookbook. But when I say cookbook, I mean more than just a recipe collection. I mean a book that holds memories, photographs, history, tradition. and maybe even a few secrets. But also, recipes.

    My favorite cookbooks have always been those that include a glimpse into the author’s life. I love seeing photographs of the food, but including an introduction to a recipe, be it long or short is just as important to me. It’s a story about the creation of the recipe. It’s an anecdote about the first time you tasted it or made it for somebody else to taste. It’s the setting or a memory of standing tiptoe on a stool as a child to reach your grandma’s counter and peer into her mixing bowl as she worked. It’s a recipe card written in your mom’s familiar script displayed on the page. It’s connection.

    Today I want to share my thought process and ideas on how to gather, preserve, and share memories and traditions to create that perfect personal legacy that will be cherished for generations.

    Gather Recipes, Memories, and Materials

    I think (and this was my big problem) that you can’t be afraid to mess up. I’m guessing that most of your loved ones will just think a mistake here and there adds to the charm. and it will make them feel like it’s okay to take their own pencil to the book once it’s in their hands.

    Now, I’ve been talking about this project as a family cookbook, since that’s what I’m working on, but I think it’s also a fun idea to gather a close group of friends and do the same thing! If you have a close group of friends, why not create a “friends cookbook” that is rich in food and memories connected with each individual, a couple of people together, or the group as a whole. Don’t forget the photos and quotes!

    I see a Friendsgiving cookbook in my future.

    I think ADD A LITTLE GOOD™ is a thoughtful tagline, but I also think of it as a way of life, and it’s become a personal mantra. Remember, it’s the little things. How will you bring a smile to someone’s face today?

    This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Land O’ Lakes, Inc . All opinions are my own. ADD A LITTLE GOOD is a trademark of Land O’Lakes, Inc.

    How to create a family cookbook

    As we head into spring, perhaps you have not added ‘recipe organization’ to your spring cleaning list. Whether the family recipes are in yours and your loved one’s heads, dirty index cards or on folded papers shoved in books, it is time to get them organized. Family Cookbook Project allows everyone to work together to get those recipes into one spot and create a family cookbook!

    How to create a family cookbook

    Family Cookbook Project as an app-style storage for those recipes of yours and when you ‘invite’ other family or friends to your cookbook they add their recipes also. Once you have them all together, print or order bound cookbooks. It is free to get started with up to 50 of your own recipes to design and print. If you decide to upgrade your account you unlock more features such as allowing others to become contributors to work together, unlimited recipes, customizing options, download sizes, etc.

    How to create a family cookbook

    I was able to add my recipes in and it is as easy as clicking the “add recipe” button and following the simple layout. I can add photos, dividers and more. The book I have is the standard 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ size, but they have larger 8 1/2″ x 11″ available as well. Customize or choose their cover options, graphics, layouts and more. It sounds like a lot to build an entire cookbook, but their website easily guides you. The hardest part is making sure you did not leave a recipe out before ordering your physical books!

    How to create a family cookbook

    Creating a free account is simple to start adding in those recipes. If you want to add it and print out on your own, you can! The upgrade allows such better customizing and that option is available.

    Get started today and finally organize that ‘kitchen paper’ drawer! They make great wedding and college care package gifts as the kids leave home and you can pass on those family recipes to them in an organized book. Once you create your free account, enter the giveaway below and you could win the upgrade + 3 printed cookbooks!

    How to create a family cookbook

    Enter to win!

    3 readers will win an automatic upgrade to a lifetime membership and a credit for 3 printed cookbooks (5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ size, a $124 value). Enter below by March 31, 2021. Open to US, CAN, UK. Good luck!

    The new cookbook by Food24 is the ideal present for the cook in your life.

    Are you thinking of your Christmas gifting ideas yet? We’ve got some exciting news to share. Yesterday, together with McCain , we launched a rather nifty digital tool that gives you the opportunity to preserve your favourite family recipes in a printed cookbook.

    This is the first time in South Africa that bespoke technology has been developed for a cookbook to provide a powerful and personal combination of digital media and traditional print, direct to you, our readers.

    How to create a family cookbook“Friends and family gathered around a table or a braai is where we share news, discuss ideas, relate the details of our day. We celebrate over food, we mourn over food, we bond over food.” says our Head of Food, Natalie Wilson.

    “South Africans are a people that puts immense importance on family and tradition and, with all the restrictions that have been imposed on us, we may find ourselves feeling a little left out and distanced from our loved ones. This innovative project has been designed to bring technology and print together to create something that truly belongs to the creator and is a unique gift for those looking for something different for their family and loved ones this festive season.”

    Each cookbook contains a total of 48 recipes:

    • Six of your family recipes with pictures or notes uploaded by you, the home cook.
    • Six of Food24’s most popular recipes like Peppermint Crisp tart and our seafood classic, Pickled fish .
    • Six McCain recipes featuring their products.
    • The remaining 30 recipes are a personal choice where you get to select five categories and receive six drool-worthy recipes from each: Baking, Desserts, Starters, Vegan, Vegetarian, Diabetes-friendly, Braai, Pasta, Salads, Under 30-minute recipes.

    We’re so proud to be working on this project with another family-focused brand like McCain. We’ve also got a dedicated section on our website where you can find enticing McCain recipes, cooking ideas and useful kitchen tips.

    Danielle de Villiers, Senior Brand Manager at McCain says, “2020 may be the Year of the Pandemic, but it was also the Year of Home Cooking. As a family-owned business, McCain cherishes the opportunity for us to connect over food and maintain our sense of family and community as we venture into the future. We make real food that people love and this cookbook is intended to feed real moments of togetherness. We’ve partnered with Food24 on this project to provide a product that can be kept by families and friends for years and years to come, creating new memories while cherishing old ones.”

    The cherry on top

    The normal cost of the book is R400 ex VAT but McCain is giving away 2500 FREE personalised cookbooks. All you need to do is buy two McCain products and WhatsApp a photo of your till slip to 066 412 1584 to enter and stand a chance of getting a 100% discount on your book. So make a beeline for that freezer aisle!

    Click HERE to create your own personalised family cookbook now!

    Natalia Hubbert/Adobe Stock

    One of my most prized possessions is an old notebook, held together with a thick rubber band, containing the handwritten recipes of my Belgian grandmother (who to this day, is still the best cook I’ve ever known). It’s actually more of a scrapbook: a hodgepodge of recipe cards, torn pages from ancient culinary magazines, and her favorite dishes copied onto butter-stained pages, all written in her beautiful script. Although I would do anything to be able to cook alongside her again, I know that when I want to remember how she made the small delicate Belgian waffles she was famous for, or her bright green asparagus soup, or her Cake aux Olives et au Jambon, that I will always have her instructions right there waiting for me. Recently, I have thought about organizing and making copies of her recipes so I could share them with family members and also pass them down to my own children one day. Truth be told, I want to keep the originals for myself (sorry, cousins!), but that doesn’t mean I can’t find a way to re-create this little treasure trove of recipes and memories. Here are some tips and ideas for starting your own family cookbook to share and savor.

    1. Don’t Wait

    If you have older members of your family who are known as the keepers of all food knowledge and traditions, start asking them now to write everything down. Better yet, ask to cook alongside them so you can observe and record while they cook. If your Nonna is a bit cagey about how she makes her Sunday gravy, then the best way to get a reliable recipe is to watch what she does every step of the way. Most likely she doesn’t measure ANYTHING, it’s all eyeballing, a splash of this, a dollop of that. So you will have to ask a bunch of questions, pause at times to take a measurement, and then take photos and a bunch of notes. Moleskin makes a sturdy recipe journal for recording recipes (Buy it: $30 from Food52).

    While you’re writing everything, consider asking a younger member of the family who’s handy with a smartphone camera to take photos and video of the cooking sessions. It will be something to cherish down the line and can also be helpful backup when you can’t remember how much crushed pepper to add to the sauce.

    Natalia Hubbert/Adobe Stock

    2. Be Original

    If you have inherited handwritten recipes and other members of your family are clamoring for them in all their handwritten, stained, scribbled glory, then consider having multiple copies scanned and compiled at a professional printshop. Depending on your budget, you can have them bound in a variety of ways (3-hole, booklets, spiral) with a selection of paper stock, and in black and white or color. You can personalize the covers with a collage of family photos and even solicit memories of particular recipes from relatives to include on the facing page of the recipe (“I’ll never forget when the dog stole this baked ham right off the dining room table at Easter!”). Requesting a PDF of the final version ensures you’ll always have a backup to make more copies down the road. If you are keeping the originals for yourself, consider having them protected or sealed to prevent damage or yellowing, or keep them in an archival storage box.

    Natalia Hubbert/Adobe Stock

    3. Bedazzle a Binder

    If you have some crafting skills and want to create just one keepsake for your immediate family that is more personal, then consider creating a handmade binder that combines recipes, mementos and traditions. Pinterest is a great place to start for inspiration, then hit the crafting store for binders, inserts, scrapbook decals, etc. If you plan to cook out of the book regularly, consider transcribing the originals onto typewritten pages for a more uniform and usable look (Google “cookbook recipe templates” to find numerous sites that offer free downloadable pages).

    4. Get Artsy

    Consider adding recipe photos to your project, since every cookbook is more appealing when there’s a beauty shot to accompany the recipe. For the best results, photograph the finished dish during the day, in natural light, and from up above (and why not have fun styling it with your favorite tableware and linens). If you’re the artist or expert doodler in your family, then consider accompanying the recipes and stories with your own drawings. Some of the most beautiful cookbooks lately are illustrated with whimsical pencil and ink drawings or watercolors, which give a personal touch.

    Image caption goes here

    Several weeks ago Susan e-mailed me to ask how to get a cookbook published. This is a question that I get frequently and here is how I answered her. “I don’t know what to tell you. Publishing cookbooks the traditional way is a dying template. If you are the hottest thing on TV, a publishing house will be interested in you and back you up, if you are not, they don’t care. I just got my last book published the traditional way. I don’t think that will happen again. You should explore publishing the book yourself and selling it on line. Or perhaps you should start blogging to get your name out there, include recipes, and then follow up with the cookbook.” I promised her that I would update and post the following piece I wrote a while back about publishing a family cookbook as that information might be of help.

    Create Your Own Family Cookbook

    The recipes your family loves are an important part of your heritage and a very special gift to preserve and pass along to future generations. These days it’s easier than ever. Recipes and photos can be collected via the internet and publishing software for your home computer makes it possible to design and print the finished book or to send it electronically to a local copy shop or a community cookbook publisher for finishing. Here’s how:

    1. Make a plan: Before you start there are several important things to decide.How do you want the book to look? Do you want the recipes to be hand written or printed? Do you want the book to be in full color, partial color or black and white? Do you want a loose-leaf book, spiral-bound book, tape- or velo-bound book or a booklet? Keep your answers to these questions in mind when researching your production options.
    How many pages do you want to include in your cookbook? How many copies of the book do you want to print? These two questions affect the cost of your cookbook, so you will need to have some idea of these figures when negotiating production costs.
    How do you want to produce the book? Do you want to design and produce the book on your home computer, work with a copy shop or have it produced by a community cookbook publisher? Software is available that will help you produce your cookbook at home. Copy shops and community cookbook publishers offer their own guidelines to make the job easier. There are many web sites that offer services for family cookbook authors. Be sure to check out costs and production time for several different options before making your decision.

    2. Collect the contents: It’s time to ask family members to test and send you their favorite family recipes along with any stories or traditions that make the recipes special. Ask for photographs and title suggestions as well. Those who have a home computer can scan the photos and scan or type the recipes to make your job easier. If all recipes will be printed, send contributors a sample recipe for style. Remind them that it is important to use standard measuring cups and spoons when testing the recipes and to include details such as the sizes of baking pans and the volume of casseroles. Be sure to set a deadline and send postcard or e-mail reminders a week or so before recipes are due.

    3. Organize the book: Now that you have collected the recipes, stories and photos for your cookbook, you can decide on the Table of Contents. Do you want to arrange the recipes by generations (e.g. 1850- 1900, 1900-1950, 1950-2000), by family members (Great-Grandma’s recipes, Grandma’s recipes, Aunt Sue’s recipes), by food categories (e.g. Appetizers, Vegetables, Meats), or something else? Where do you want the photographs and family stories to go? How do you want the recipes organized within chapters? Choices include: alphabetically by title, seasonally, or something else. Do you want an index? Do you want to include blank pages so additional recipes may be added by hand?

    4. Produce your cookbook: If you have made arrangements with a copy shop or community cookbook publisher to produce the book using hand-written recipes and original photographs, organize the materials and any introductory material you are providing following the publisher’s directions. Be sure to make a copy of everything for your own records. If the book is being done electronically, organize the materials in a file. Check all recipes to see that they are in a consistent style and that all essential information has been included. Recipe style guides that are available from bookstores and on-line book dealers are helpful with this. Deliver the materials on a disc, CD, or by e-mail as prearranged with the producer.

    5. Enjoy: Share your unique cookbook with other family members, giving it as gifts to special friends, passing it along to your children and grandchildren and knowing that this important part of your heritage has been preserved. Once your cookbooks arrive, you might want to consider putting it on line or creating a web site that includes several recipes and sales information.


    On Line Information:
    Use your favorite internet search engine to find community cookbook publishers, copy shops, and other families’ experiences in writing a heritage cookbook. The following addresses offer information on researching and writing family history as well:

    Style Guides:
    The Recipe Writer’s Handbook, Revised and Updated, Barbara Gibbs Ostmann, Jane L. Baker and Antonia Allegra, John Wiley and Sons: 2001.
    Recipes Into Type: A Handbook for Cookbook Writers and Editors, Joan Whitman and Dolores Simon, HarperCollins: 2000.

    Will Write for Food: The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Blogs, Reviews, Memoir, and More, Dianne Jacob Marlowe and Co.:2010
    Recipe for a Cookbook: How to Write, Publish, and Promote Your Cookbook, Gloria Chadwick, Copper Canyon Books:2008.
    The Recipe Collector: Collect, Organize and Share Recipes With Family and Friends, Brent T. Huesers, Lusions Publishing: 1997.
    Meals and Memories: How to Create Keepsake Cookbooks, Kathy Steligo, Carlo Press: 1999.

    Published: Apr 21, 2015 В· Modified: Jul 19, 2021 by Lois В· This post may contain affiliate links В· 5 Comments

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    Family Cookbook Ideas – here are a few ways to create a family cookbook to give to your daughter or other family members. This project works nicely with the Kitchen Art from Old Family Recipe Cards project I created a few years ago. They’re both a beautiful way to save and collect family favorite recipes to pass on to the next generation and make GREAT GIFTS!

    How to create a family cookbook

    I gave my daughter the perfect gift for her bridal shower. a family cookbook filled with all her favorite recipes. MixBook works GREAT with helping you organize your recipes and create a family heirloom to pass on to your family!

    Shutterfly Cookbook

    This family cookbook was not only easy to put together, it was fast. Which was good because I thought of making this cookbook for Olivia only 2 weeks before her bridal shower. Nothing like waiting for the last minute, right?

    I have so many of Olivia’s favorite recipes already posted here on my blog , so putting the cookbook together was pretty easy. I wanted to make it personal so I created a Shutterfly Cookbook.

    Included in the cookbook are recipes, stories and I added photos of the two of us as Olivia was growing up.

    Printable Recipe Binder

    Another easy way to create your own family cookbook is to use the Printable Recipe Binder I created.

    Keep all your favorite recipes organized with this beautiful printable recipe binder set. The pages can be instantly downloaded and printed at home.

    The “Recipe Binder and Family Cookbook” is perfect to give as gifts for bridal showers, weddings or work on it as a family project!

    • Meal Category Pages including a section for Holiday Recipes.
    • Full Size Recipe Cards/Pages for you to print and add your family’s favorite recipes.
    • Family History Page – take a little time to write down a special note regarding your family.
    • Kitchen Conversion Chart
    • Cute Kitchen Art/Printable
    • Grocery List
    • Meal Planner Printable

    How to create a family cookbook

    Create your Own Family Cookbook

    This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase after clicking on a link I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, click here.

    Click on the photos below for more information on creating your own Family Cookbook.

    Shutterfly Recipe Book

    Here’s the cover of the Shutterfly Cook Book. A collection of recipes shared from Mother to Daughter.

    How to create a family cookbook

    The first page included a special note to Olivia and a few photos of the two of us together. I love the first photo of us together from her third birthday party.

    How to create a family cookbook

    One of her favorite soups, my recipe for Loaded Potato Soup Recipe

    How to create a family cookbook

    How to create a family cookbook

    This recipe is for the Crescent Roll Fruit Tart that I have been making for her birthday for years now. Also included is a photo of her Olivia taken on her 5th birthday and on her 20th birthday.

    How to create a family cookbook

    Her favorite cookie recipe, Peanut Butter Blossoms, made with three types of chocolate candies.

    How to create a family cookbook

    And finally here’s a photo of Olivia and I together at the shower. Putting this cookbook together was so much fun and I know it’s something Olivia will treasure.

    How to create a family cookbook

    If you’d like to read more about Olivia’s bridal shower and wedding, please check out these posts:

    • What to Serve for a Bridal Shower Luncheon
    • How to Decorate for a Spring Bridal Shower
    • How to Create a Bridal Shower Memory Jar
    • How to Create a Cookie and Punch Table
    • Photos from Our Daughter’s Wedding
    • A Wedding and a Funeral – yes, this happened to our family.


    Reader Interactions


    November 01, 2018 at 6:20 am

    This is a wonderful idea. I would love to make one for my daughter, but I never write recipes down seems like I just do them. Maybe I should start because my daughter has her own family now and she is constantly asking me to make some of her favorite dishes that she grew up eating. Maybe I should learn to write recipes just not sure where to start to learn to write them. I am getting older now and she would love one of these books I have hand written a lot of things down for her but never put anything together for her to keep as a keepsake someday.

    November 01, 2018 at 9:42 am

    I hope you take advantage of this idea and get your recipes together as a keepsake for your daughter. What a nice gift it would make for her. one she would treasure forever! Thanks for visiting.

    Maria Asay says

    April 23, 2015 at 4:18 am

    What a great idea! Your cookbook looks amazing.

    April 22, 2015 at 3:50 am

    I have used shutterfly for so many books but never thought of a cook book. I am working on one now for my daughter since she will be leaving home soon so I will check this out, thank you!!

    April 21, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    What a great project!

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    How to create a family cookbook

    How to create a family cookbook

    Families make history every day in the kitchen and around the dinner table. Your aunt’s blueberry pie and your special turkey stuffing are the ingredients of memory. Collect these special recipes into a holiday gift book and you’ve also helped your child explore family history and develop reading, writing and organizing skills.

    Here’s how to get started:

    1. Decide on a theme. It can be holiday recipes or ethnic specialties. Or maybe you want a general cookbook with a few recipes in basic categories, such as main dishes, vegetables, salads, soups and desserts. Special bonus: This will help your child learn about the food groups that make up a balanced diet.

    2. Collect the recipes. If your family is gathering this holiday season, ask each person to bring along a copy of a favorite recipe. Or ask relatives to send them by mail or email.

    You might want to set up a form to make sure a crucial instruction – the oven temperature, for example – isn’t forgotten. It could include this information:

    • Name of recipe
    • Name of person contributing it
    • A brief description of where it came from, why it’s special
    • List of ingredients, including quantities
    • Special equipment that might not be in everyone’s kitchen – a bundt pan or a food processor, for example
    • Cooking directions, with temperature
    • Number of people it serves
    • Any special advice: What’s the secret to keeping the soufflé from falling or the bottoms of the cookies from getting burned? Is there a good variation of the recipe, substituting butterscotch chips for chocolate ones, for example?

    3. Choose illustrations. Your child can illustrate the cookbook with his own drawings. If you have access to a scanner, you can also use family photos as illustrations. Ask relatives to send you photos or look through your own collection for pictures of memorable family moments. You can also scan mementos: An invitation you’ve saved from your child’s birthday party could be used to illustrate a cake recipe or the handwritten recipe from a great-aunt can be used on the page that tells how to make her special coffee cake.

    4. Prepare the recipes. Have your child help you read them over to make sure all the necessary information is included. You can simply photocopy them if you’ve set up a form for your contributors to follow. Or you can type them into your computer and print them. Put the recipes in categories and alphabetize them; both are good skills for your child to practice. Make a table of contents.

    5. Write a short introduction. Ask your child to help or let her dictate it to you. Be sure to include the date.

    6. Ask someone else to proofread.

    7. Assemble. If you have a big family or lots of recipes, you may want to leave the printing to a copy shop. A three-ring binder works well as a cookbook because you can add recipes in years to come. Use notebook dividers with pockets in them so the recipient can stash extra recipes in each section. Use plastic sleeves on the pages to splatter-proof them.

    Your cookbook doesn’t have to be in book form: You can make a CD-ROM of the contents and send it to far-away family members. Or have a tech-savvy relative design a family Web site to display your efforts.

    Additional Resources

    If you’re feeling ambitious but don’t know how to create a Web site, Creating Family Web Sites For Dummies by Janine Warner is designed to help beginners. It’s available in paperback or can be downloaded as an e-book.