This year, I gave my parents a homemade cookbook filled with our family’s favorite recipes. I had been thinking about this idea for several years and slowly collected many of the recipes I wanted to include. I looked at many different options online and finally settled on the idea of creating a recipe binder myself rather than ordering a bound cookbook. This option was not only more cost effective, but I also liked the idea of being able to add to the cookbook as we developed new recipes.
I ordered the binders on a website called Zazzle. The customizable cookbooks on the website were on sale for the same cost as plain white Avery mini binders from Office Depot. When the binders first arrived, I was a little disappointed in the quality because the front of the binder was shorter than the back. However, when they were full of recipes they looked great and no one noticed the defect.
For the recipes, I contacted my grandmother in Florida and asked her to gather up her best recipes and send them to me. She sent me a large envelope stuffed with wonderful recipes that just needed to be typed up. I didn’t want my other grandmother to know about the surprise cookbook, so I went to her house prior to Thanksgiving and watched her make most of Thanksgiving dinner. This was especially helpful because she does not write down most of her recipes and does not normally measure when she cooks. Although I think I got on her nerves a bit, I asked her to use measuring utensils so that I could try and learn how to make Thanksgiving dinner.
Recipes in hand, I typed up all of them in a word document. Honestly, this requires a significant time commitment if you are hoping to type up a large collection of recipes. I typed two recipes per page so that they would be the correct size for the mini-binder. Then I printed each page on cardstock, cut it in half, and slid it into a page protector.
Finally, I decided to include a picture with each recipe. I felt that the pictures not only made the cookbook more aesthetically pleasing but it was also a really great way to include some special family memories. For example, my grandmother’s coconut cake was our wedding cake, so I used that picture for the recipe. I also dedicated two pages to my two grandfathers who passed away. One page had a picture of me and my Mom’s Dad with his salsa recipe while the other page had a picture of me and my Dad’s Dad with his BBQ basting sauce recipe. Both of my parents teared up a bit when they saw the pages dedicated to their parents. I was so pleased with the end result and both of my parents were so touched by the cookbook. In fact, my Mom has already cooked one of the recipes from the book.
I am so thankful that these family memories are now preserved in a way that they can be passed on for many generations to come!
Thanks for reading,