Food is a human essential. A favorite restaurant is a destination, a place to gather with family and share delicious food and memories. We gather together around food and through the food we connect with other cultures and people and learn about the world. And then, COVID-19 hit.
Due to COVID-19, our favorite restaurants are shut down, and many of us have had to go without visiting our favorite restaurants or eating our favorite dishes. But don’t fear! Many world-famous cooks have tried to brighten these dark times by releasing their tried and true recipes online. Not only can you save money by cooking at home, but you’ll also get to enjoy your favorite restaurant meal at home.
Make your own cookbook from your favorite family recipes and include a few favorite restaurant recipes. It is a great way to share your love of food and create memories with the people you love. In this post, we’ll give you some ideas on how to make a recipe book with restaurant recipes to enjoy during lockdown or years after.
Here are some restaurant classics we’ve gathered up to share with you. They make great additions to a custom cookbook and your family will be thrilled they can make their favorite restaurant dishes at home. Plus, these recipes don’t always stick around so it’s a good idea to save them while you can.
1. Andersen’s Famous Pea Soup
If you’ve ever taken a family road trip to California, you may be familiar with the Buellton cafe. Famous for its Andersen’s Split Pea Soup, generations of travelers have made the stop for some home cooking and delicious soup. It’s so famous that the visitors’ bureau even gives out copies of this famous recipe, now available online.
The recipe is easy to follow and has been a favorite for decades. It’s the perfect heartwarming comforting recipe to make for your family while we’re all at home.
2. Buddha Bowl from Fresh Restaurant
If you are looking for a delicious healthy meal that is full of freshness and flavor and is sure to please the masses, look no further than this recipe for the Buddha Bowl from Toronto’s Fresh Restaurant. The flavourful creamy peanut sauce over rice with tofu and fresh vegetables has been one of their most popular dishes for over a decade.
Make up a batch of this fresh and spicy peanut sauce and pour it over rice or noodles and add your favorite fresh vegetables.
3. Ikea Meatballs
If you’ve been missing your regular dose of Ikea Meatballs after a marathon family shopping trip then look no further. The famous Swedish store has released the recipe for their famous meatballs with cream sauce. Normally gobbled by the plateful by hungry shoppers, you can also buy them frozen to go. These are a traditional Swedish meatball recipe with a cream sauce.
4. Dollywood’s Famous Cinnamon Bread
Ok, so it isn’t a well-known restaurant, per se, but the cinnamon bread served at Dolly Parton’s theme park Dollywood, in Tennessee is so popular that they can sell an average of 350 loaves an hour to hungry visitors.
Dolly’s famous Cinnamon Bread is comfort food at its best. It is sweet, gooey, and loaded with cinnamon and butter – with a secret recipe direct from the Tennessee songbird herself. What could be better during a quarantine?
We hope you’ve enjoyed these family recipe book ideas. Don’t forget to include your family’s favorite restaurant meals in your custom cookbook. It is a great way to share food, share memories, and create new ones safely at home until we can all be together again. If you have any questions about how to make your own custom cookbook, or for more recipe ideas, contact us.
A great find at any local thrift store is a copy of someone’s well-loved community cookbook. It’s often a bit dogeared, with spatters of food on favorite pages. You’ll not only find great recipe ideas inside, but you’ll also get a peek at the heart of the community that put the cookbook together.
These community cookbooks historically are created by women’s community groups. They are also a great way to raise money for important causes in the community. During COVID-19, when we are all separated from our friends and family, creating cookbook fundraisers together is a great way to collaborate with friends and neighbors.
Here are some ideas for cookbook fundraising to help create your cookbook safely during the lockdown.
Connect Through Food
During the pandemic, many people have turned to cooking and baking as a way to pass the time at home or to relieve stress. This extra time has also sent people searching through old cookbooks for nostalgic comforting recipes. Community cookbooks are a great source of homemade, comfort food made by real people.
Often these community cookbooks are curated by community members to raise money for a local school, church, or charity. The recipes inside feature family favorites and show what the people in that community love to eat, drink and feed to their families. It’s a history book with a social twist and a time capsule of a community.
Sharing recipes and stories are also a fantastic way to stay grounded in uncertain times. Some people take up running, others learn to bake sourdough. If you can’t visit friends and neighbors to offer support, create something together. Sharing a cookbook with the community can bring people together and offer a bit of hope and comfort in uncertain times.
A great benefit of creating a cookbook fundraiser these days is that most of the work can be done online. Contributors can easily submit recipes with a click of a button and include fabulous pictures and stories to make the recipe come alive for readers. It is a way to capture a taste of the community, but also a snapshot of this time we are living through.
As an organizer, you don’t need to meet in person – simply send out an email asking interested participants to send in their recipes. If you have a team working on the project, you could schedule a zoom meeting or two to catch up – and even cook your favorite dish and share a meal as you meet. It’s the perfect way to connect and collaborate together, even if you have to stay apart.
Community cookbooks are historically a way for community groups to come together and fundraise for important causes. Now that in-person events and charity events are canceled, many causes are feeling the pinch. Community cookbook fundraisers are a way that the community can come together and raise funds safely.
Once you’ve put together your cookbook, offer it for sale to the community members who contributed and ask them to pass it on to their networks. Contactless drop-offs or porch pickups make delivery safe for everyone. Cookbooks make great unique Christmas presents that not only provide great recipes but support important local causes.
Heritage Cookbooks is proud to be a part of this long-standing tradition of bringing communities and people together to support causes that are important to them. We are especially proud to help bring families and friends together in these uncertain times.
We’re heading back into winter lockdown. It’s a depressing thought, as it also means being apart from friends and family over the holidays. But hold on, we may not be able to get together for a holiday feast, but that doesn’t mean we can’t connect over food.
Technology like zoom and other video messaging apps means that you can keep your loved ones safe and stay connected and have fun. Here are some ideas for sharing food and joy virtually this holiday season.
Share Family Recipes
A great way to connect with relatives is through passing on treasured family recipes and sharing food. Often, you can’t find these family favorites anywhere in a professional cookbook. They are handwritten, scrawled in grandma’s writing on a stained recipe card, or kept as a closely guarded secret.
Why not create your own recipe book to collect and share all these family favorites? You can also add stories and pictures to personalize each recipe. This kind of cookbook not only passes down generational knowledge, but also becomes a treasured heirloom for future generations.
Even better, make a date to cook together with your family over zoom. Gather the ingredients you’ll need ahead of time and cook the meal together while everyone is safe in their own homes. You’ll get to see your loved ones, eat some delicious food, and you’ll still have a chance to ask your grandma about her secret ingredient in her famous chicken soup.
Share Cultural Connections
Greenest City – a community organization in Toronto, offers a free online community program called Soup and Stories. Participants can pick up a free order of soup prepared by an expert community chef and then tune in via zoom later that evening for a story about the dish. It is a great way to try something new and learn more about the food’s cultural connections from the chef who made it.
You could do your own version of this event by organizing a cooking party with your best friends. Create a recipe book together that includes favorite recipes from your group of friends. You can even include recipes that remind you of memories you share, such as that epic BBQ at the beach or your trip to Thailand.
Ask everyone to submit a few recipes and stories online. Once it is all together, ask everyone to pick a dish from the cookbook to try out at home. Then meet on zoom to eat the meal together online. You can talk about the dish you prepared or talk about the recipe you contributed and the history behind it.
If hanging out playing games is more your thing, why not make a date to cook your favorite food and then meet by Zoom to play some online games with your friends and family? Bring out your favorite board game – one person may have to be the game master or get everyone to join in online through an online drawing and guessing game.
Many free versions of the games let you connect and play with friends online. Jackbox games offer many group games to choose from, like Drawful or Quiplash, or there are online trivia games that are sure to make for an epic night.
These online dinner parties may not be the same as hosting a private party for 10 in person, but at least online, you’ll get a good meal, connect with friends, stay safe, and have way fewer dishes to clean.
For help creating your own recipe book, take a look at our FAQs. We’ve got easy to follow, step by step online instructions to help you create a virtual cookbook to help connect your family and friends this holiday season.
A cookbook is a great way to raise funds for a cause, a charity, or a community organization. It doesn’t just serve as a way to raise money – it can collect meaningful recipes together, creating a valuable compendium of knowledge that might otherwise go unrecognized.
However, if you want to make a cookbook that’s financially lucrative as well as nostalgic, you need to make sure it looks as good as the recipes within. Not just any old cookbook will sell. Any cookbook you’re using to raise money for a cause should be as appealing as if it was being sold in a bookstore.
4 Tips for Making a Cookbook that Sells
Here are some of the essential building blocks of any successful fundraiser cookbook, as well as some of the best ones we’ve seen come out of the Heritage Cookbook website.
1. Let us help you
One of the many ways that Heritage Cookbook supports fundraising efforts is by offering community organizations, non-profits, and individuals free premium memberships when they’re making a cookbook as a fundraiser. This helps to save money by letting you access premium fonts and designs for free Just fill out the fundraiser form and we’re happy to support you by fully waiving your membership fee.
2. Have a Clear Message
If you want people to buy your cookbook, it should have a clear message. You can choose whether the message focuses on the contents of the cookbook (ie, the origin of the recipes, or type of cuisine), or the fundraising goal.
One of our most successful fundraiser cookbooks is the Recipes That Rock Cookbook. It had many visually appealing photos of food on the cover, alongside a clear image of the fundraising organization’s logo. The way they designed the cover made it clear what type of recipes were featured, as well as the organization that would benefit from the buyer’s donation.
3. Personalized Design
Creating a visually appealing cookbook is key to attracting customers. However, the design of your fundraiser cookbook also needs to set it apart from the crowd. A great way to do that is by making the design personal. People in your community will be more likely to make a purchase if it’s clear from the design what they’re supporting.
If you’re doing a cookbook for a school or youth program, consider asking some of the young program participants if they can lend a hand with the artwork for the cover, like the designers of Palisades Cooks did for their preschool fundraising cookbook.
4. Take Advantage of Bulk Pricing
To funnel as much money as possible towards your fundraising goal, anyone making a cookbook should focus on lowering their overhead. When you design a cookbook with Heritage Cookbook, the easiest way to do that is through bulk ordering. The more books you order at any one time, the less you’ll have to pay per book.
You can get a sense of numbers by surveying your community before you start designing your cookbook, to see how many people would be interested in making a purchase. Every community has a different price point they are comfortable with, so play around with bindings, or ask us about our special fundraising binding that really maximizes profits!
Create a Meaningful Fundraiser Cookbook with Heritage Cookbook
The Heritage Cookbook platform makes it easy to design and print beautiful cookbooks that can be used to achieve any fundraising goal. Our simple tools and easy-to-use templates make collaboration a breeze. After you’ve finished your design, just choose one of our seven beautiful binding options, including the Silver Standard, a specific binding we developed for fundraising books that deliver quality at a reasonable price point.
Eager to get started? Learn more about how it works, then log on to start your fundraising cookbook today.
Although some people are content with leaving their cookbooks in the cloud by opting for digital-only creations, many people are looking to create physical cookbooks. The feeling of decades of family or community recipes sitting in your hands is priceless. Of course, this aspect of printing your own cookbook requires additional steps and considerations, but Heritage Cookbook is here to help.
Choosing the right binding is a key step on the journey towards making your own cookbook binder or book. The binding literally holds the book together, and its structure affects the book’s durability, weight, and how easy it is to handle and use. Your cookbook will also look different depending on which binding you choose.
Balancing all these factors is very important, so we’re today here to help guide your decision.
The Best Bindings for Printing Your Own Cookbook
At Heritage Cookbook, we offer six different bindings to choose from. Prices for printing and shipping vary depending on the length of your book, but you can use our handy price calculator to figure out a rough estimate for how much it will cost to print your own cookbook.
Binders offer lots of freedom and flexibility for you to add and remove recipes, even after your cookbook is printed. Every binder-bound book will ship with your recipes inside a 3-ring binder, which has been professionally printed with your cover design. Anyone who wants the freedom to add recipes and pages later will love our binder option.
2. Plastic Coil
Choosing plastic coil binding for your cookbook is a great option. It’s one of our lightest and most flexible bindings, and it will always lay flat on your countertop, making it easy to read. It comes with laminated front and back covers, which you can design with your own cover design, or choose one of our beautiful professional designs.
Our wirobound binding is a light and flexible option, made with metal coil binding and a laminated wraparound cover. This binding makes your cookbook look professional but still gives it the ability to lay flat on your kitchen countertop.
4. Hardcover Wire
Our hardcover wire binding offers the opportunity to create a cookbook that really stands out. After you’ve ordered your cookbook, your front and back cover images will be printed on high-quality hardcovers, which are then bound with rigid hard wire. It’s a great way to get the best of both worlds – rigid, durable hardcovers with flexible wires that lay perfectly flat while you’re cooking.
Our larger bound books are 7” by 10”, and are available in both hardcover and softcover options. The softcover book is great if you want a larger, fully bound book, but are looking for a lighter, more flexible, affordable option. Our softcover cookbook is beautifully printed in black and white or color on glossy paper.
The most durable option we have available is the stunning hardcover cookbook binding. It’s the perfect way to save a lifetime of treasured memories and is sturdy enough to be passed down for generations. It works best with a cookbook holder in your kitchen but looks perfectly at home on your bookshelves once the meal is done.
Visit Heritage Cookbook To Build Your Perfect Cookbook
Whether you want to make your own cookbook binder or book, there are plenty of options available at Heritage Cookbook. Our simple, collaborative process and reasonable pricing make it easy to design every aspect of your cookbook, then send it to our printers so you can have it in your hands a few weeks later.
Want to learn more about how our process works? Get in touch today to explore the resources on our website, or sign up for your own membership so you can get started on your next cookbook project today.
It’s been said that “good artists copy, great artists steal”. Well, when it comes to formatting a cookbook, there’s no shame in using template ideas or even a pre-existing template to help you structure your own.
At Heritage Cookbook, our mission is to make the creation of beautiful cookbooks for friends or family easy. Our service includes dozens of artistic and professional templates for any occasion, along with the ability to upload food or family photos to include on the cover and recipe pages. All templates include a table of contents, section title pages, and an optional index at the back, and can be printed as a softcover or hardcover with several binding options.
Your new cookbook is sure to impress everyone who’s looking up how to whip up Grandma’s butternut squash soup or your patented recipe for Swedish meatballs. Take a look at just a handful of the eye-catching templates we offer you to create a cookbook everyone is sure to cherish.
This classic template featuring animal silhouettes is great for a well-rounded family cookbook with recipes to create a massive holiday feast. Be sure to include a photo of your family or a signature dish on the cover!
Our chalkboard template conjures up the feeling of reading the specials on the signboard of your favorite restaurant. This is a great look for anyone creating a cookbook around a theme such as the food you would find in a Parisian restaurant or an authentic Southern BBQ joint.
A great look for a cookbook of grandma’s recipes. Along with photos of her classic dishes, you can add plenty of family photos and stories to add color to your book that future generations are sure to cherish.
This colorful cookbook design is perfect for a baking or dessert-specific cookbook. Pack this recipe book template full of tasty, sweet recipes that are sure to satisfy anyone with a sweet tooth.
This festive template featuring winter snowflakes is one of our holiday-themed designs. Whether you’re making a book of Christmas recipes or giving a recipe book as a holiday gift, this template is sure to usher in the holiday spirit. We also have a green and blue variation as well!
Stars and Stripes
The ‘ol red, white and blue, stars and stripes. This template is perfect for a cookbook of classic American recipes to give away at a 4th of July BBQ.
Looking for something a little fun and tropical? This pineapple template is a great choice for those whose aesthetic is a little bit funky (and also makes a great fit for a cocktail recipe book).
Our rooster theme is great for a rural or country cookbook chock full of family classics or BBQ-themed recipes. The watercolor aesthetic also lends itself well to a diner-menu feel for a cookbook full of greasy spoon classics.
Create Your New Family Treasure Today
Feeling inspired by the designs above? Start a free membership with Heritage Cookbook and choose from many different templates to create your new family treasure or a unique gift for your friends.
To learn more about how to create your own Heritage Cookbook, watch the video below. Then when you’re ready, click here to get started!
When it comes to making a cookbook, many home chefs and enthusiastic cookbook authors believe that unless they get a major book deal, they’ll never achieve this particular dream. What if we told you that you could write your own cookbook without a publisher? There’s no need to go through the grueling process of creating a recipe, testing, graphic design, and marketing – the whole nine yards – when you can just do it yourself!
A DIY cookbook is something that you can make with the help of a few tools and resources. Today, let’s look at some of the advantages that come with a DIY cookbook project, and how the Heritage Cookbook team can help you through the process while you maintain complete creative control.
Why Make Your Own Cookbook?
The process of getting a cookbook published through a traditional cookbook publisher is notoriously grueling. First, the author has to write out a full proposal, laying out the details of what cuisine they want to focus on, and how they want to present each recipe.
Then, if the proposal is accepted (and that’s usually a big if), the manuscript has to be written, and every recipe must be tested rigorously to make sure that it can be prepared by the average home cook. After that, everything must be photographed, with each photo edited and arranged in a specific design. The cash advance that a publishing house gives you is usually barely enough, or even not enough, to cover the cost of recipe development and photography.
All this only represents a fraction of the process, as edits and revisions, binding, and marketing all have to be done before the cookbook can be released.
If you want to publish a cookbook yourself, according to your own vision and without interventions, the best way is to do a DIY cookbook. Here are some of the benefits you’ll enjoy when you make your own cookbook with Heritage Cookbook.
1. You have full creative control
When you make your own cookbook, you have full creative control. You can decide what recipes you publish, what photos you use, and how everything is laid out, as well as what type of cookbook binding you want- anything from a cookbook binder to a plastic coil recipe book. If you have a specific vision for a cookbook, this is the best way to achieve it. It’s so satisfying to hold your own cookbook in your hands, knowing that your hard work creating recipes has paid off.
2. Collaborate with friends and loved ones
Putting together a group cookbook, or recipes from an entire community can be daunting. Without professional assistance, it will likely fall to one person to be the leader and to solicit recipes, add photos, and create the design alone. That’s a lot of work.
Instead of relying on one person, collaborate with friends and loved ones using Heritage Cookbook’s easy-to-use software. Every collaborator gets access and can work from the same templates, which makes it easy to keep the design both beautiful and cohesive.
3. Do it on your own time
Need your cookbooks ready by Christmas? No problem! The quick turnaround time offered by Heritage Cookbook makes it easy to come up with recipes, then have them published and in your hands less than a month later.
If you’re on a slower schedule, that’s totally ok too. You can take as much time as you want to put your book together- there is no membership fee!
4. Choose how many you order
The best thing about making your own cookbook is choosing how many to order at the end. We have no minimum order, and definitely no maximum!
Plus, you can always come back to order more books later. That way, you won’t be stuck making an initial bulk purchase order that could eat into your profits.
Make Your Own Cookbook with Heritage Cookbook
There are so many reasons why doing a DIY cookbook will help you achieve your creative vision while saving money in the process. If you want to see more for yourself, come check out our website. We have plenty of resources to help make the process easy.
Foodies are as diverse as their culinary preferences. The thought or sight of a particular recipe could be mouthwatering for some while being completely off-putting to another. The pairing or absence of certain ingredients could make others scoff at a dish.
Knowing how foodies like to enjoy their foods is vital if you want to make a cookbook. You have to understand your audience- the people who will read your book.
Doing so can help you align recipes towards the folks who will be most receptive to your work. This piece will highlight different foodie profiles and a few simple ways you can cater your recipe book to them.
Making a Recipe Book for Your Audience
Whether you’re making a cookbook for the public or a custom recipe book for your family, you’re crafting your work for an audience. That means real people with wildly varying tastes in food and different levels of culinary skills.
Of course, you can’t make everyone happy. Nevertheless, you need to understand the core group of people you’re writing your cookbook for to create something they’ll find valuable. Laura Gladwin, an editor for Food and Drink magazine, likens this to how authors tailor their books to suit a certain type of reader.
“Just as fiction authors will create a profile of their ‘ideal reader,’” she says, “you will want to answer some key questions about the kind of person who will enjoy your book most — your typical reader.”
She’s even made suggestions on questions you can ask when trying to figure out your audience including:
- How good of a cook are they?
- Where do they buy their food?
- What kind of dishes do they like?
- What might they be put off by?
- How willing are they to take risks?
- How often do they cook for friends?
- Are they more interested in eating healthily, or impressing people, or getting food on the table as quickly as possible?
- What other cookbooks do they have on their shelf?
By asking these essential questions, you will develop a better understanding of who your audience is and how you should present your cookbook to them. If you’re making a custom cookbook for your family, many of these questions will be fairly easy to answer.
If you’re making a cookbook for others, you will want to speak to them to get a sense of what their food preferences are. You can also look to social media for answers as well, by looking at trending posts and comments/reactions on foodie accounts to see what subscribers and followers are into.
It will be helpful for you to know some popular foodie distinctions when you write a recipe book that resonates with a key audience.
An Example of Foodie Groups for Cookbook Makers to Consider
- Locavore – They only eat foods that are locally produced.
- Clean Eater – They focus on foods that are free of preservatives.
- Low Carbon Eater – They consume foods that have been produced with little greenhouse gas emissions.
- Meat Eater – They consume predominantly red and white meat, eggs, fish, seafood, fowl and dairy.
- Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian – They don’t eat meat, fish, fowl or eggs but will consume dairy and egg products.
- Ovo Vegetarian – They don’t eat meat, fish, fowl or dairy but they will eat eggs.
- Lacto Vegetarian – They don’t eat meat, fish, fowl or eggs but they do consume dairy.
- Vegan – They don’t eat any foods produced by animals.
- Pollotarian – They don’t eat red meat, fish or seafood, but they do eat poultry and fowl.
- Flexitarian – They eat predominantly vegetarian meals but will occasionally eat meat.
- Pescatarian – They don’t eat red meat or poultry but they will eat fish and seafood.
And then there are foodies based on their personalities such as:
- The Food Snob – They are very particular about the authenticity of what they eat, who makes it and whether it has “real” ingredients.
- The Daredevil Foodie – These are the foodies with the “try everything once” mentality. They will undertake the outrageous food challenges, even those that may lead to temporary discomfort (ie. eating ghost peppers).
- Organivores – These foodies insist that everything they eat is organic.
- Fitbit Foodie – These foodies count every calorie and choose many of their foods based on their nutritional content.
As you can see from the list above, our eating preferences vary tremendously. Many of your friends and family members may fall into one or more of these categories, opening up opportunities for you to create a custom recipe book for them.
Tap Into Your Audience’s Foodie Presence
Once you understand your audience’s culinary tastes and preferences, you can start to plan your custom recipe book to match their interests. That means writing a cookbook that appeals not only to their diet but also, their personality traits, cultural interests and more. The more you tap into their lifestyle (not just dietary choices), the deeper you will connect with them.
Cooking Up the Perfect Recipe for Audience Connection
- Cater to them By Creating a Theme – This is a no-brainer – if you’re appealing to pescatarians, then you should create a cookbook that’s all about seafood and fish foods. If you’re catering to organivores, then your recipes should probably contain suggestions on where readers can purchase organic ingredients.
- Highlight their Preferences in Your Recipes – Remember, certain foodies are more about personality, meaning they used specific lingo and have certain attitudes. You can tap into this by making references to pop culture or using certain slang. But do this sparingly so that your book doesn’t sound cringe!
- Help them Solve Their Culinary Problems – Ultimately, your cookbook has to serve a purpose, and that’s to help people cook the meals they enjoy. For many people, they just can’t seem to get a recipe right. If you can simplify a difficult recipe, you will become the hero for many chefs without having to resort to flashy designs.
Your Audience is the Spice of Your Cookbook
If your cookbook doesn’t appeal to a dedicated audience, it will collect dust or remain unviewed no matter how pretty it is. Cookbooks are supposed to make the art of cooking relatable to people of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences. You can only do this by getting a more intimate understanding of them. The effort you make to do so will enable you to write a cookbook that readers will thank you for!
A cookbook can be a blank canvas that allows a chef to express their culinary creativity and expertise. However, there are some rules to follow for cookbook success. Whether it’s the content of the book itself or its aesthetic, the formatting and presentation of a recipe book can make it a hit or a dud. This guide will highlight some key elements that belong in every successful cookbook and how you can incorporate these elements if you plan to make your own cookbook.
1. Establish Your Cookbook’s Concept & Direction
Cookbooks are much more than a collection of recipes. The best ones tell stories or revolve around a theme (more on this later) to make the book feel more like an experience. The best cookbooks also are written for a specific purpose and often for a specific audience – even if that happens to be for one’s family and friends.
When you make your own cookbook, you also have to think about who will be involved in its creation since it’s a collaborative project. Also, the minutiae of its aesthetics and appearance come into play as well.
There’s a lot to consider!
However, once you figure out the concept and direction of your recipe book, the rest of the process becomes much easier to execute. We’ve put a checklist you can tick off below to keep you on track.
How to Choose a Concept & Direction When You Make Your Own Cookbook
- Pick a purpose – Are you looking to educate new cooks or are you promoting a family restaurant? Are you trying to preserve grandma’s recipes or are you trying to introduce your own new creations?
- Pick a theme – Is it a specific style of cooking (ie. Italian, Japanese)? Is it keto/gluten/paleo-friendly focused?
- Pick an audience – Is this cookbook for a beginner or experienced chefs? Are you writing it for family members or the public?
- Pick a style – Is it light-hearted and witty or straight-forward in its writing? Are you going to use photographs or will you include illustrations?
2. Choose Recipes You’re Comfortable Making and Explaining
It doesn’t matter how refined your cooking skills are, poorly selected and half-baked recipes will make your cookbook bland and uninteresting. The recipes you choose when you make your own cookbook should err on the side of clarity. That means finding a balance between including all of the essential details while removing the miscellaneous ones. Your audience needs to know the necessary ingredients and preparation instructions above all else.
Additionally, give thought to the entertainment value of your recipes. You don’t need to write prize-winning literature or comically genius material, but a joke or a cleverly named title here and there will keep your readers engaged.
Ultimately, your recipes should fit within the theme of your cookbook. That means you obviously wouldn’t put a roast chicken dinner in a vegan-focused cookbook!
Must-Have Cookbook Elements
- Ingredients listed in the order they must be used
- Serving quantity of ingredients are clearly listed (ie. serves 4 people)
- The exact name of the ingredient was used (ie. “green pepper” as opposed to just “pepper”)
- Correct serving measurements have been listed (don’t forget about differences in metric and imperial units)
- Substitutes have been listed for ingredients that might be seasonal or hard to find
- Instructions for ingredient preparation has been included (ie. grate cheese, sliced carrots)
- Preparation steps have been listed chronologically
- Cook times have been accurately listed
- Heat/temperature levels have been clearly set
- Necessary cookware has been listed
- Serving and storage instructions have been listed
3. Decide on Your Cookbook’s Structure & Format
You can fill your cookbook with the most delicious recipes but if the book is sloppy and unappealing, no one will care to read it.
Tight structure and formatting are essential. But how do you structure and format your cookbook?
First off, the cover needs to shine. Again, it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece work of art, but it should draw interest from readers, even if you’re just making one for your family. People will judge your cookbook by its cover and might decide to skim it or look at in-depth based on how it looks.
Second, think about the overall structure of the cookbook – recipes, sections, chapters. To help you flesh this out, you might want to start with a table of contents and list each major section out in sequential order, like this:
- Main Course
You don’t have to follow this exact outline, but plotting out the order of chapters or sections will make your own cookbook far easier to write. To take this a bit further, you can devise a “micro” outline for each recipe itself. It may look like this:
- Recipe name
- Recipe image
- Recipe description
- Recipe ingredients
- Prep Instructions
- Serving Suggestions
The more fleshed out you can get with your outline, the easier it will be to organize your ideas to form a cohesive recipe book.
Lastly, you’ll want to think about the dimensions of your book if you plan on making physical copies. You will have to give consideration to its physical size, the type of paper and binding it’ll use, and the type of cover it will have. The size and make of your cookbook have an impact on the durability of your cookbook and the impression it leaves on readers.
4. Hone in Your Cookbook’s Style
Again, the recipes in your cookbook can be impeccable but if the book itself is a bore, then it will be ignored. Honing in on a unique style adds flair to your recipes. Think of it this way – your cookbook should be like a menu that makes your mouth water after reading and seeing an entree of interest. How so?
The Writing Style
There are many ways you can write a recipe. Take, for example, a prep instruction:
- “Cut the onions.”
- “Finely slice the onions”
- “Chop away at those onions”
They all deliver the same command – to cut onions – but in different tones. The first is one is matter-of-fact, the second, flowery, and the third, casual. There’s no right or wrong way to write your recipes. What determines how they should sound depends on your audience and the theme of your cookbook.
In addition to the tone, your writing style can be very minimal including just the bare-bone details of a recipe or it can feature lush stories about a recipe and why you chose it. Alternatively, it can be more technical, with tables and glossaries. Again, it all boils down to your audience and purpose.
The Visual Style
A recipe book without images is like a meal without seasoning – it’s bland and unappealing. Images are a must. There is a wide range of visual styles you can incorporate in your own cookbook. Just like the writing style, you will want to choose images that resonate with your audience and help you achieve the intended purpose of your cookbook.
- A kid’s cookbook would benefit from illustrations or animated drawings (if possible).
- A family heritage cookbook, on the contrary, would best be served with family photos, perhaps, black-and-white or sepia colored ones.
- A more technical cookbook may have diagrams with labels
Also, think about the graphic design and art direction of your cookbook. That means being choosy about the fonts, text size, text color, icons, and table designs you will put in your recipe book. They’re not to be chosen haphazardly!
The ideal blend of unique writing and visual style will keep your readers hooked on your cookbook and coming back for more.
5. Publish Your Cookbook With Professional Guidance
Unless you’ve published cookbooks before, your first run through is going to be overwhelming if you go about it alone. You will want to rely on professional help for the tasks you don’t have the skills or time to do.
That could apply to any part of the cookbook creation process, such as working with a writer to help you “pretty up” your recipe descriptions and titles, or a photographer who can take more professional images than you.
Where you’ll likely need help is on the publishing front. Whether it’s getting your recipe book in the hands of the public of your loved ones, turning your ideas into a physical or even digital copy is hard work.
Traditional publishing houses can put your cookbook on the shelves (or Amazon) up there with some big names, but it will cost you a pretty penny. Not to mention the length of time it takes to get it published. Self-publishing lets you skip the waiting time, but you’ll have to fund the costs of producing the book yourself, which can quickly become exhausting.
Fortunately, Heritage Cookbook can do the heavy lifting for you. All you need to do is sign-up for a membership to get started. Afterward, you can then choose some pre-designed templates and bookbinding for your book. Lastly, you simply confirm your order and your very own cookbook will be on its way for delivery!
This eliminates the need to drop huge amounts of cash and lose months of your life trying to publish a cookbook. And it’s ideal if your goal is merely to create a cookbook for friends or family members, whether that be a shared copy or multiple.
Make Your Recipe Book a Hit
There are hundreds of ways to make your own cookbook. The way it looks, the way it reads, and even the way it feels (if it’s a physical copy), can enhance or detract how your readers respond to it. Treat your cookbook like a work of art. By paying attention to the various elements listed above, you will give your recipe book a chance of being a hit among those you share it with.
It’s unfortunate when family traditions die, especially when those traditions involve flavorful and delicious recipes that brought loved ones from previous generations together.
A lost family recipe may also be a disservice to foodies who are looking for their next culinary fix. This post will discuss how cookbook makers can preserve family recipes from previous generations for the purpose of their own book creation.
Make Digital Copies of Old Home & Family Recipes
Many of you have nostalgia inherited from your grandparents, which may be tucked away in a basement corner or in the attic somewhere. That may include a box of grandma’s old recipes written on cards. If it’s not her indelibly written recipe notes, you may have an old paperback cookbook that’s collecting dust with its pages turning yellow.
These are culinary goldmines you don’t want to lose!
The simple way to preserve these home and family recipes is to make digital copies of them. You can take pictures of them using your smartphone, tablet or a digital camera. Create folders on your computer or phone to label these recipes using apps such as Google Drive or Dropbox.
Record a Family Recipe on Video
We live in an era where almost nothing can escape the lens of a camera. Of course, there are downsides to this but one of the upsides is that we can preserve our most treasured experiences and ideas. That includes a family recipe.
Whether you’re capturing grandma’s wisdom or creating a new recipe from scratch, you can record the process from start to finish. That may include everything from sorting the ingredients to providing step-by-step instructions on how to prepare it. You can record these videos on your phone or a camera and edit them later, or you can live stream them if you prefer a more spontaneous feel.
What you do with the video afterwards is up to you. It can go up on a YouTube channel or you can save it on your devices and share it mainly with your closest friends and family members.
Preserve a Family Recipe Using Social Media
Maybe you’re a bit of a show-off when it comes to cooking, a stickler for humblebrags. If that’s you, then social media platforms can be a great way to keep home and family recipes preserved. Using social media to collect recipes can do double duty:
- It allows you to show off your dishes to the world
- Your pictures will serve as a digital catalog that will only disappear if you decide to take them down
One of the best platforms to use for this is Pinterest. You can create pins and pinboards that allow you to post family recipe collections that will be visible for others to see. Pinterest also happens to be a popular destination for other foodies who are looking for culinary inspiration, so you might get quite a few people who repin your creations.
You also can use Instagram to upload your recipes as well, as long as you have high-quality photos and caption-friendly descriptions.
Create a Homemade Recipe Book to Preserve Traditional Dishes
Now we’ve arrived at our favorite method of preserving a family recipe – the creation of a homemade recipe book. All the methods mentioned above are perfectly feasible ways of keeping home and family recipes alive, but the cookbook has some clear advantages.
For one, a cookbook allows you to keep multiple recipes in one “location” – the book itself. Additionally, the cookbook format lets you tie these recipes together with themes, designs, storytelling and other elements that create a more immersive experience.
And it’s never been easier to create a homemade recipe book! For example, Heritage Cookbook can do the heavy lifting of putting the cookbook together for you. All you need to do is:
- Sign-up for an account
- Choose your bookbinding and design
- Create your book by typing or cutting and pasting your recipes, photos and stories
- Confirm your order and wait for delivery
You don’t need to run off to a fancy publishing house to make it. We take care of the production and printing work for you!
Pass Home & Family Recipes Down to Future Generations
Many of us are eager to learn about our ancestry and preserve it. We may take DNA tests to unravel our ethnic origins or we may wear traditional garb to show our pride for where we’ve come from.
But preserving home and family recipes is just as important to maintain the family heritage. The dishes that have been passed down from your ancestors should stay with you and be saved for your kids and their kids.
Pride aside, preserving a family recipe can introduce you, your relatives and your friends to flavors and aromas you never knew could be so enjoyable. Why deprive your tastebuds of such culinary bliss because of a lost recipe? It would be a crime!
And if the next generation isn’t into printed books, why not get them an ebook version of your recipe collection? It’s a new way to speak to the next generation in a language they’re sure to understand!