Recipe Cards: An Overview

There is no simpler way to track a favorite recipe than the recipe card. A deceptively simple rectangle of paper, the modern recipe card is the ultimate low-tech tool for saving and sharing recipes for current and future generations. Thanks to the internet, there are also now a variety of free options for creating beautiful recipe cards that will do your recipes justice.

There are generally 3 sizes of recipe cards to consider. The 3×5” card is the standard card for most of the last 100 years. (Our own 3×5 recipe cards can be found here.) The old recipe card boxes they fit into were designed for America’s small kitchens. As kitchens expanded, so did the capacity of recipe boxes and binders to allow for the now standard 4×6” recipe card. (Our 4×6 recipe cards are here.) The vast majority of all current recipe cards are this size. In the past decade a few brands have expanded to 5×7” recipe cards. (Ours are here.) You may want to avoid these, however, because while they may fit your own binder they may not fit a friend’s binder you wish to share with.

Most recipe cards are designed with around a dozen horizontal lines going across them. Try to choose cards that also have lines on the back to provide you with more space. A good rule of thumb is to use the left side of the card to create an ingredients list column.  The right side should be used to make a second column that lists ingredients. In this way you simplify the preparation process.

Recipe cards come in all varieties of colors and designs. Traditionally, they have had fairly tacky simple line art, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Many modern recipe card designs have become their own art form, with ornate paintings, drawings and even photographs. Whichever you choose, try to find ones that allow for plenty of space for writing, with a simple interior that won’t make your writing hard to read after years of use. The artistry of the card should be most pronounced around the borders.

Before the numerous online recipe sharing sites sprang up, the recipe card was the traditional method of sharing favorite recipes with friends. These cards are seeing a popular resurgence, as the hand-written instruction carries a warmth and personalization that simply can’t be duplicated with a “submit” button.

If you are like many family cooks, you have a collection of hand-written cards handed down from previous generations. To ensure they survive to see the next generation, look into recipe card protectors. These plastic slips are very inexpensive, and for a few pennies you can save a priceless written heirloom.

Lastly, a quick Google for recipe card templates should yield a variety of printable recipe cards that will be typed in Word or Acrobat, or can be printed out and then written on by hand. But we’ve gone through that hassle for you and have put more than 300 free recipe cards in one place:

Recipe Cards


We’re giving away recipe cards!

We’re crazy-passionate about recipe cards. Maybe you can help us tell the world and get a nice set of free recipe cards while you’re at it. Here’s how:

1. Post a link from our site on your own personal or business website or blog. Please post this page:
Write something nice about us, post an image of it, or just say whatever you fancy.

2. Email me at with the link to your site (so I can verify it!), a link to a particular recipe card set you like on our site, and your home address.

3. In about 2 weeks I’ll ship you those cards for free (Americans only–I can’t afford to ship to Venezuela). I’ll even cover postage and handling. With luck they’ll arrive in about 3 weeks.

Why am I doing this? I think it might create a little buzz for us, and who knows, maybe some links pointing to our site will get Google to notice. Maybe not. Guess I’ll find out.

I’m limiting this to the first 100 people who contact me, and one card set per person please.

Recipe Binder of Safe Foods for Allergy Sufferers

A special recipe binder devoted to allergy-safe recipes can make cooking for others a lot simpler – and safer!

recipe binder helps organize allergy-safe recipes

If you have children or work with children, or if you enjoy entertaining with meals that you lovingly prepare, it’s a good idea to create a recipe binder that contains helpful hints and recipes for allergy sufferers.

With more than one in 12 children in the United States suffering from food allergies, it’s a safe bet that many of the favorite treats that you meant to share with your child’s class will be banned from the classroom.  After all, no one wants to risk an allergic reaction in any child – or any adult, either.

On the other hand, no one wants to deprive them of the treats and socializing that come with parties both inside and outside of classroom either.

One way to avoid this dilemma is to build a recipe binder that contains helpful medical information and tried and true recipes for the goodies that you want to be able to enjoy and share with friends.

The following 8 foods are responsible for more than 90 percent of allergic reactions:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Wheat

In your recipe binder, keep a list of these allergens and include with them the symptoms and treatments for each, along with emergency medical procedures and contacts.

Also, include safe food substitutes that will work in favorite recipes.

You can find safe recipes at the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network at, and The Kids with Food Allergies Foundation at

Check them out and try them. Pick out a few favorites that you can make to ensure that everyone who visits your home – or any event where you have a hand in the food – can feel welcome and safe.

For more information, contact us.

Help Your Grad Get Started with a Family Recipe Binder!

A recipe binder will be an invaluable aid to your grad as he or she heads out into the world!

College boy ready to cook with the help of his recipe binder

Ready to get cooking!

At last, after all the anxiety you’ve had over your small innocent child’s education, worrying about whether they were getting enough to eat, enough sleep, after all the worry of how well they would do when taking their finals, you daughter or son at last has graduated and is heading off into the big wide world.

Well, good for them. They are all grown up now. They should be proud of themselves, and you, I know, are so proud of them.

But there you are, back home, still worrying “will they be getting enough to eat”? In the past mothers’ might have carefully hand-written the cherished family recipe onto elegant cards in a recipe box as an heirloom gift for their departing daughters, but times have changed in lots of ways, and change is not always a bad thing. Today a family recipe binder is a highly appropriate gift for any graduate. Here’s why:


  • Having a family recipe binder will give them a sense of support and stability. Your children may have to move far away from you to college or to where the work is, but those family recipes will show them that they will always had a strong centrality of family support – and because of that they will grow in strength and thus gain the confidence to move forward in life.
  • Everyone needs to cook for themselves. Don’t for one minute think that cooking is just for women! With the onset of popular TV shows young men are just as likely to be in the kitchen showing off their culinary skills – and they are certainly going to need some of those skills. Dining out is going to be beyond many a graduate’s budget, and cheap dining out will not impress a date as much as a home-cooked meal. His friends too will feel more comfortable in a homely atmosphere knowing that they are all in the same boat and will have to make their way across many stormy seas before they are really doing any serious earning!
  • Young men and women alike are increasingly in need of your advice and your recipes, especially if they haven’t had much practical experience. Kids seem so busy these days, often too busy to spend their afternoons watching and learning from mom’s (or dad’s!) cooking in the kitchen! They are more likely to be sitting at the kitchen table or in front of a computer, plowing through the piles of homework, or out at soccer practice, or music lessons, or any of those other required activities in the life of a modern American child. Now all the hard work has paid off – but maybe for the first time, they’re going to need to know how to prepare a nutritious meal for themselves!
  • Using a recipe binder makes it easy for them to add new printed out recipes or cuttings. Most parents these days are happy to send e-mails – hey, how would you ever communicate with the kids otherwise? Were you really expecting a weekly letter from college? No, we have to learn to keep up with them! So a message from Jimmy Jr. requesting that dish that you used to have on Friday evenings after soccer practice is easily replied to over the internet, and can be printed out and added to the growing full-page recipe binder or quickly popped into that recipe accordion file!
  • A collection of family recipes will give them confidence and inspiration to discover new ideas of their own. Now your daughter or son has made a start in life and has the beginnings of their expanding recipe binder to work with, they will gradually find their own recipes, perhaps on the internet, or they will try new dishes that they have found from living in a more cosmopolitan or culturally diverse society. And they will have you to thank – their growth of wisdom may have all started from the care that you gave when they were so in need of those, at times imperceptible, firm family foundations.

A recipe binder makes cooking at college ease!

So contact us today to learn more about the wide range of recipe binders and recipe organizers and choose the perfect gift for your departing graduate!

A Recipe Organizer for the Cook Without a Compass

A recipe organizer can help those of us who are a little lost in the kitchen find their feet.

Recipe organizer

Lost in your own kitchen?

Recipe organizers to help you cook!

I’m not a cook in the best sense of the word, but more like a ‘meal preparer’ without a compass. My fridge is a hodge-podge of ingredients that I thought looked tasty in the grocery aisle, but I don’t necessarily have the know-how to put them all together. What can I do with celery, strawberries and ground turkey? They’ve all been sitting in the fridge for days and I think I better do something with them before they rot! Some of us are blessed with excellent cooking skills and some of us get by, but we ALL need some kind of recipe organization in the kitchen.


Time to Get a Recipe Organizer  

I have a friend who uses recipe organizer software. She can print out whatever recipe she needs and take it into the kitchen to refer to. Other people like the more traditional recipe box with index cards. Some use accordion style binders to keep all those loose printouts and cuttings from recipe magazines tidy. I prefer my recipe organizer binder. Instead of recipes scribbled on pieces of paper and stuck in a book never to be seen again, I finally got organized and consolidated them into a binder.  I use a binder especially made for recipe organization with pretty paper that I love to look at. It makes me feel like a real cook, a cook with a compass.


A Recipe Organizer is an Essential Resource

Now I when I check my eclectic collection of items in the fridge, I know I have a resource to rely on to help me figure out ways to actually use them. If you are a bit clueless about cooking like I am, a recipe organizer is essential. Contact us for more information about creating a recipe organizer for your particular needs.

Making a Family Cookbook Can Be Easier Than Being Around Family!

 Making a family cookbook will help you appreciate your family more (even if they do drive you a little crazy sometimes).

Make a family cookbook - they'll thank you one day!

Making a family cookbook can be easier – and quieter – than your actual family!

No family is perfect. There will always be bickerings and grudges and those two siblings who always seem to rub each other the wrong way. Sometimes it seems like we all bring out the worst in each other. What keeps us all together? Well, there might be several things, but chief among them has to be the meals we share. That’s why making a family cookbook can be such a rewarding project–it’s a wonderful reminder of what we all have in common.

Making a family cookbook can be difficult, especially when you consider the old family tomes of cookbooks passed down from generation to generation.  By the time they come to you, the pages might be brittle, the ingredients a little dubious. (What in the world is celeriac?) Often you run the risk of missing that one little ingredient grandma kept to herself.  By the time you get around to deciphering old styles of cursive written in pencil in the 1920’s, you might just say ‘forget it’ to the whole idea and go back to grabbing other people’s recipes off the internet.

Taste and smell are often the best triggers of old memories, so when you (literally) close the book on those old recipes, it is shutting the door on those old memories – the tastes of generations of your family.

These days, technology makes it easier than ever to immortalize the flavors your family has enjoyed for decades, if not longer, without the need to call your mother or aunt – or some cousin who has stolen the recipe for Grandma’s cobbler and won’t give it back.  (At least the one you got didn’t taste like Grandma’s cobbler, so she must have messed with the ingredients just to annoy you because you cut the head off her doll when you were both nine–stupid doll!)

We have all sorts of tips, tricks, and techniques to keep your family cookbook current and available for future generations.  Contact us today to learn about methods of preserving family recipes, software that works with your home computer, notepad, or other devices which keep your recipes where you need them, at a moment’s notice, without the hassle of calling up that cousin because you know they’ll just lie about how much baking soda to use anyway, because they’re just jealous.


A family cookbook contains something for everyone – so however much cooperation you get from other family members, they’ll be sure to thank you for putting it all together – one day! A family cookbook can be just as telling about your ancestry as a family tree – maybe more so, because it is what you and your people have always thought of as home. Every family has its ups and downs, but it is the bedrock of your life – keep a family cookbook, and you will keep home with you, wherever you go.

Eight Reasons to Give Your Mom a New Recipe Binder This Mother’s Day

A new recipe binder will make Mom’s day!

There are few people in our lives more important than our moms. She’s the one who helped you with your homework, hugged you when you fell off your bike (after she had scraped the grit out from the wounds ooohh!). She encouraged you and supported you, even with your craziest plans, and, maybe the most importantly, she’s the one who brought your family together around the dining table every evening to talk over the day’s pleasures and pains. When Mother’s Day comes around it’s sometimes hard to find a gift that really acknowledges her hard work. Here are eight reasons why we think a recipe binder–or a recipe box–make a great Mother’s Day gift.

Recipe Binder Selection

A selection of some of our newest half-page recipe binders.


1. Help her organize her recipes. 

Dotted Cottage Rose Recipe Binder Tabs

Tabbed dividers from Dotted Cottage Rose recipe binder

Chances are your mom is still busy when it comes to cooking – even if you’re not relying on her to feed you anymore, there’s still those special family holidays and reunions! Organizing a meal can get overwhelming very easily though, even for her – especially when there’s family over she hasn’t visited with for a while. With a recipe binder she can have all those recipes stored in one place – and all our recipe binders come with tabbed dividers to help categorize them. Page protector sleeves make adding more recipes to the recipe binder a snap! No more rummaging through bookshelves and in cupboards!


2. Help her pass on family favorites.

Pass a recipe binder on for future generations!Nothing takes you back like the taste of a cake or pie your mom made regularly when you were growing up – and few things matter to her more than passing on these precious traditions that she worked so hard to cultivate and maintain. It’s more than just a cake – it’s your family’s cultural heritage. As time passes and those family recipes are used less regularly, they’re all too easy to forget – what was it she used to make every Thursday after soccer practice? What was the frosting she always swore by for that chocolate cake? A recipe binder will help her document all these important details for future generations.


3. Help her get started on creating a family recipe collection.

Like many of us, your mom may have been meaning to collect all her recipes in a family recipe binder for years but hasn’t gotten around to it yet. She may not do the school runs any more, take you to ballet class or football practice, but hey, she’s a busy lady still! A recipe binder will help her out – you can fill it with recipes you know she loves to make, or you might want to give her a recipe binder with just page protectors and dividers, so she can decide what recipes go in there. From a selfish point of view it’s in your interest don’t forget – it will make it simpler for you to crib those favorite recipes if they are easy to find!


4. Show her how much you value those meals she used to make.  

If your mom doesn’t cook so much these days now that you kids have all grown up (well supposedly!) then a recipe binder that you’ve filled with some of the most cherished family favorites she’s made over the years can still be a wonderful gift. What better way to show her how much all her hard work has meant and continues to mean to you? Maybe she’ll be inspired to make those cinnamon rolls you all used to enjoy every Sunday again – but even if not, it’ll still bring back some great memories.


5. Help ensure a favorite recipe doesn’t get lost forever.

Favorite Recipes for your Recipe BinderYou remember those things…oh what were they, you know, they were sticky and brown and sort of flattish and…we had them that time when… Well,you get the picture. My own mom used to bake a cake that we all loved and for years after her passing my sister and I would check her old recipe books, bake something that we thought might be ‘the one’ only to find that it wasn’t. Was it just the way she made it, we wondered? Did she even have a recipe or was it in her head? Then, one sunny Sunday in my sister’s garden and we were talking about mom, I saw a coy look on her face. She half whispered, “I’ve found it!”. And there it was in an obscure recipe book, the dull title ‘Sultana Loaf’. Mom had even marked it with a pencil and we hadn’t noticed! So the moral of this story is; if you still want to taste those things that you so loved when you were younger, make sure Mom writes those recipes down and hands them on! Buy her a recipe binder or box for recipe cards, and buy yourself one too so that you can duplicate her recipes.


6. Share and pass on your own recipes.

Recipe Binder helps share recipesOkay so what about new young moms! Come on Grandma! Share those recipes of yours with your family so that all the little things that you have learned over the years get passed along. The most precious present a young mom or mom-to be can have is the knowledge that she is carrying on, not just the family genes, but those most important hints and methods and nutritional meals that will make her life a little easier when she is worried about what to put in the hungry little mouths around the table. With so many young moms having to work to make ends meet, those old recipes are coming into their own again. You can keep on giving her advice and tips and jot down a recipe for her once in a while, but if you organize it all for her in a beautiful recipe binder, she’ll be able to keep consulting it for years!


7. Make it easier for her to save money and eat healthily with good, home-cooked meals.

I remember when I was a girl that eating at a restaurant was a really big deal. It was a time when there was not much spare cash around for treats. We have got more used to going out to eat in the last few decades (or do I mean half century – whoops! where did that time go?!) but of late we are all having to tighten our belts (literally and metaphorically!) and the cheapest way to eat wholesomely is around the kitchen table. Mom, Grandma and Great Grandma knew all about thrift and nutrition. They may not have learned these things in schools or in magazines or on on TV, but if you look at some of those old recipes you’ll see that Mom ( and Mom’s Mom) really did know a thing or two about eating healthily, cheaply and probably most importantly, satisfyingly. A recipe binder will help ensure that those recipes don’t get forgotten even when the lean days are over – and will make the prospect of cooking dinner rather than ordering a pizza a lot less daunting!


8. A recipe binder is beautiful – and will remind mom of how special she is longer than flowers will!

Dotted Cottage Rose Recipe Binder

Full-page recipe binder – Dotted Cottage Rose design

A binder that you invest in now will last a long, long time. I have talked to many of our customers in my time with The Cookbook People, who tell me that the old one they have had for the last thirty years (seriously!) is at last falling apart and they are ready to start again with a new binder and maybe add some new recipes to the old ones. Well, maybe help them out with one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give this Mother’s Day. And remember that , yes, we all have computers but those recipe websites have a limited life span and the surest way to keep those precious foodie moments alive in the memory is the hard copy! So, feel free to buy the candy and the flowers, Mom will love them, and you, just as always. But how about that extra little gift that can say ‘I love you, Mom’ and show her that you recognize how truly special she is.


Happy Mother’s Day!

Make a Recipe Box For Your Spring Recipes!

A recipe box that’s just for the Spring and Summer months can be a great tool in helping you uphold your favorite family traditions for the Spring holidays.

It's that time of year again!

It’s that time of year again!

The winter holiday season lasts a long time, involving a lot of work and a lot of eating!  Come March, it sometimes feels like we’re still recovering from it all – I know at this time of year I tend to stick to very simple meals for my family, both to save hours in the kitchen and to save my bathroom scales from the result of more feasting.  My poor recipe box sits neglected at the end of my counter, still crammed with recipes for pumpkin pies, chocolate pies, cakes, tips on roasting the perfect turkey – and I’m no longer very inspired by them.  Stuffing? I’d rather nibble a stalk of asparagus.

Spring recipes for your recipe boxes

Mom’s Hot Cross Buns. I didn’t make these!

So when Easter comes around it often seems all too soon, and many of us can feel somewhat unprepared.  If you celebrate Easter, you may remember some wonderful cooking from Easters past – I especially remember my mom’s hot cross buns – but after all the work of Thanksgiving and Christmas it’s easy to feel reluctant to head back into the kitchen for another day of cooking and baking.  Last year I was full of good intentions – but with all the fuss of coloring eggs with the kids, finding a decent ham, inviting family over and preparing the traditional egg hunt, those hot cross buns never did get made.  All the cherished traditions from Spring are starting to get overlooked, and of course it makes me a little sad – I don’t want to deny my children of the delights my own mother passed down to me!


Is there a solution?  Of course there is!  With Easter only a week away, I’m starting to do what I probably should have done sooner – I’m setting up a new recipe box that’s specifically for my lighter, simpler Spring and Summer recipes.  Having a couple of separate recipe card boxes can really help keep things cooking –  your recipe cards aren’t all crammed in one place, and you can look for your favorite ways to prepare an Easter ham or rabbit-cookies or carrot cake without having to wade through all the hearty, rich recipes of winter.


To make things more fun, there are so many beautiful designs to choose from when purchasing a recipe box for the Spring – some that seem just perfect for the season!  So take an hour, collect your favorite recipes for Easter, Spring, and Summer together.  Read through them – get inspired!  If you can, do it with your mom, sisters, or friends – you can exchange great ideas and keep some of your fondest family memories alive.  And finally, give these treasured recipes the home they deserve.  Suddenly, the prospect of preparing the meal to celebrate Easter sounds like a lot of fun.  Doesn’t it?

Spring Lemons Recipe Box

My Favorite Recipe Box for the Spring!

Making a Family Cookbook: A Unique Story

 Make your family cookbook special by including the most memorable family recipes – good and not-so-good!

The idea of making a family cookbook is a popular one.  Actually starting one “from scratch” is a process that will include talking to family members old and young, and organizing all your information in a way that beautifully displays your traditions and heritage.  Everyone’s family has traditional meals that are served every year.  This is especially true for the holidays but also includes special times like birthdays and anniversaries.

It's a great story for your family cookbook.

You’ll laugh about it one day!

In my family stories of lasagna from scratch and homemade pasteles abound.  In my husband’s family, their favorite story is grandma making corned beef and boiling it long enough to make leather out of it.  Oh, it was served every March for St. Patty’s day, but instead of eating it they chewed on it and spat it back in their napkins.  In fact, the eldest daughter didn’t know she could actually EAT corned beef until she had it at someone else’s house in her twenties.  Grandma’s corned beef recipe probably won’t make it to the cook, but that’s part of the fun!  Should I exclude it from the cookbook altogether?  I think I’d rather include a section for stories like that at the end of the cookbook.  Or maybe a story like that should be paired with one of grandma’s more successful recipes.  Maybe I will include my father’s stuffed peppers and next to it include the story of his split pea soup.  We were drinking water with green pebbles that night!


The love and effort it takes to mess up a meal for your family and keep on cooking is something to be admired and remembered.  That is part of the beauty of making a family cookbook.  It becomes a part of the history of your family that you can pass down to your own children.  Whether you are using cards in a box, or binders with page protectors you can create and add to your own family cookbook with grace, elegance and humor that will become a unique work of art for your family to cherish for generations.


Take a look at our many styles and contact us to see how we can help you capture your unique family traditions.

A Recipe Binder Can Prepare Your Teen For What Lies Ahead

They’re about to head out on their own – but a recipe binder you’ve put together for them to use will help them stay healthy and organized.

As teens move through the high school years, we want to prepare them for what’s ahead.  We want them to be able to fend for themselves when they are out on their own, especially if they’ll soon be heading off to college.  Here’s one way you can help them get started – put together a recipe binder.

Some great recipe binder designs your teen will love!

Some great recipe binder designs your teen will love!

recipe binder can contain all the dishes you fixed for them over the years – perhaps starting out with the simpler ones.  Since organization is key to getting anything done, that’s where to start.  Simply label dividers for your recipe binder, preferably with pockets, to have a place for the different types of recipes that you want to put in.

You might want to include how to read food labels and price information.  How to select the right equipment.  How to measure dry versus wet ingredients.  A glossary of cooking terms is helpful too.

You might also want to include an extra section for general household tips.  These might cover how to do anything, from sorting laundry to putting together a grocery list to polishing shoes – or even tying a tie!

To make the binder extra special, add photos of your teen making the dishes and cleaning up. The illustrations are important, especially in a how-to manual.

Making a recipe binder is a fun and practical way to prepare your child for the things to come, and it’s a nice way to spend time together and build memories,too.  And, wherever your son or daughter are heading, enabling them to enjoy those great meals you provided for them as they grew up will mean they’ll always feel close to you.  What better way to stay connected?

For more information about creating a recipe binder, contact us.

A recipe box or binder that’s just for you.

A recipe box just for you can make cooking dinner a joy.

Recipe Box and Binder

Have your own personal recipe box.

You may have given quite a few recipe boxes, recipe binders or recipe card sets away to relatives or friends as gifts this year. But have you thought about how much you might benefit from a simple recipe keeping solution yourself? Now a new year is well underway and it’s time to think about your own kitchen needs – and maybe give yourself a gift for once!


Recipe collections are often passed down through the generations, but not everyone has a Great Aunt Sally who made the world’s best mac and cheese. Some of us were raised by busy single parents who just didn’t have time to cook. Some simply don’t have a family legacy in the kitchen. Many of us may still have the family recipes, but still want their own collection to help them find their style as a cook. It’s great to keep passing down traditions, but all great traditions change and grow with time. After all, it is your family too!


Another reason to start a personal collection is if you or someone close to you has a special diet. After all, grandma’s collection from the 40’s probably doesn’t have too many vegan options, to say nothing of gluten-free possibilities. Sometimes diet restrictions can feel overwhelming and isolating. Starting a collection that fits your needs can empower you to handle your specific needs.


So, consider starting a personal collection of recipes, in a recipe box or binder. If you’re starting out, starting over, or just getting adventurous in the kitchen, a personal collection can be a great way to encourage you to develop your skills. A recipe box is good place to start – recipes written on smaller, easy-to-find cards can make things seem less daunting! Most recipe boxes come with subject dividers to help you keep things organized, and you can buy dividers and protective covers for the recipe cards separately too.


To start, don’t over think the project. Choose a system that lends itself to easy organization, and then start collecting recipes. You can find them online, of course, but don’t stop there. The library often has a large selection of cookbooks, including specialty books that you might not consider buying for yourself. Take them home and try them out, then copy your favorites to cards for your recipe box or binder.


A personal collection can be an empowering aid in the kitchen. It can help you to break out as a cook in your own right – and it keeps cooking fun! Even if you already have the family cookbook, it’s never a bad time to start your own collection to be passed down for generations to come.

Create A Family Cookbook from Your Printed Recipes

It’s easy to create your own family cookbook.


In the past, pre-printed cookbooks used to be one of the main sources of recipes.  The other source was passing the recipe from one individual to another on a 3” x 5” index card.  What’s more, people had time to hand-write their recipes out in notebooks, creating a family cookbook to sit on the shelf along with their favorite recipe books.

Organize Printed Recipes into Family Cookbook

Pages of recipes printed from the internet get disorganized – make them into a family cookbook you can feel proud of

Nowadays, things are not so simple, or organized!  With less time to spare and more information available, many of us still haven’t gotten around to writing out those old family recipes – but have started turning to the internet to find ideas. That’s no bad thing – the web has many excellent recipe sites bringing an a vast range of recipes right to our fingertips.  But of course, computers, tablets and smart phones aren’t too good around food or liquid – besides the risk of spillage, it’s not easy to scroll through the instructions (especially with a touch-screen device) when your hands are covered in flour!  So, when it comes to putting these recipes to the test in the kitchen, printing off the recipe is still the best option.  The result is we have a wealth of fantastic new recipes and ideas, but many of them end up scattered around the kitchen printed on loose pieces of paper with no way to organize them.  Meanwhile the family cookbook, once shared through the generations, seems to be falling by the wayside – ironically at a time when preserving, sharing and passing on recipes has never been easier.


Maybe you’re someone who wants to rekindle the family cookbook tradition, or perhaps you simply want a tidier kitchen.  Either way, with all these great recipes – whether it’s something your mom wrote out for you or from your internet research – you have a wonderful opportunity to create and maintain an organized collection of recipes that you can feel truly proud of.  Instead of being overwhelmed by the all the print-outs you’ve kept, the scraps you’ve been given, and the bookmarks to more great recipes you’ve saved on your computer – you can collect all these favorite finds and bind them together to make your own, new, family cookbook.


Making a family cookbook that is customized to your family may be simpler than you think.  First of all, place each of these printed recipes into a page protector.  This allows you to wipe off the page if any food or crumbs should get on it during food preparation.


Pick out a recipe binder in your preferred color or design.  This can be your favorite color, or it can be coordinated with your kitchen.  You may choose a simple, plain binder which will allow your family to decorate and customize the outside of it with craft paint or markers.  Many ring binders allow for a paper insert for the front, back and the spine, so you and your family might want to try drawing a design together.  Alternatively you might prefer to select a more ornate binder that your family all will love.


The next question you may ask is how to organize the inside of the book.  There are different ways to do this.  Some may want to organize by type of dish such as appetizer, casserole, soup, stew, cakes, or cookies.  Others may want to organize the book by what is contained in the dish such as having a section for beef, chicken, or pork.  Using basic tab dividers which are made for binders, organize the cookbook in a way that will be easiest for your family.  Some more expensive binders include pre-printed tabs.


Putting together a family cookbook is an activity in which the entire family can become involved.  If you have children, they will enjoy decorating the outside of the binder and the dividers for the different sections.  They also may enjoy helping to place the recipes inside the plastic page protectors.  In the end, you will have a product that your family will use and will remember the joy of making.


For more information and ideas, please visit us!

Planning to Get Organized This Year? Start in the Kitchen with a New Recipe Binder

A recipe binder might not help you keep all your New Year’s resolutions – but it’s a great start!

After the New Year celebrations died down, was one of your resolutions to ‘be more organized’? So many of us start the year with good intentions, only to get overwhelmed before the first month of the year is out. When it comes to organization in the home it can be hard to know where to begin. If you’re anything like me, that feeling starts when you look around your kitchen.


Recipe Binders

Cooking for guests and family can be a joy, but it sometimes results in your kitchen looking like a hurricane blasted through it. When you write down notes for recipes, they can become scattered across your kitchen counter and even get lost in the mess. Cooking your favorite recipes gets extremely difficult when you have to look through heaps of disorganized notes. One thing that can save you from this is a specialized recipe binder.


There are various types of recipe binders that can work in your favor whether you’re a big time chef or someone who is new at cooking up meals. Full page recipe binders have 8.5″ x 11” paper dimensions as well as 4″ x 6″ and 5″ x 7″ recipe card holders. You can easily organize these binders with divider tabs that state what each recipe is for.


If you or someone you know is getting the hang of cooking and needs a little extra help, why not try a mini recipe binder? These binders are small enough to stack on a tiny shelf for safekeeping. Each binder comes with protective sleeves that will guard your precious recipes from the grease splatters and sauce spills. A handy-dandy recipe binder in any size will carry on the family tradition of home cooked meals for generations.


If you’d love to keep your recipes well adapted and organized, contact us! We’ll help you and your loved ones find the perfect binder for all your cooking needs.

Customer Writes about our Cookbook Software

“Um Mom, what’s for dinner?”

This is usually the first sentence I hear when my kids get home.  Sometimes I know what dinner is going to be…sometimes I even have all the ingredients and everything prepped and ready.  But some days this daily ritual gets away from me, and my answer is “well, it’s a Mommy invention”.

This used to strike fear in the hearts of my children.  They’d look at each other, communicating with glances as only siblings can, expressing their trepidation at the idea.  You mean that woman can look at what she has in the house and miraculously turn it into dinner?  Is that even possible?  “Mom, don’t you need a recipe?” one of them would ask quietly…

They’ve learned though that Mom can cook.  They’ve asked me to keep track of some of these “Mommy Inventions” for when I can’t think of what to cook.  My youngest has even requested his own cookbook to take with him when he’s grown.  Gulp.  That means I need a way to organize all these recipes…the ones we like, the ones we’ve made up, the ones we’ve made our own adjustments to…yikes!

Since organization isn’t exactly my forte, I started looking for some options.  I needed something simple, that I could periodically update, and where I could make more than one copy.  While the boy child is the one who wants the cookbook, presumably the girl child will eventually move out and need to feed herself too, right?  That’s where cookbook software comes in.

Matilda’s Fantastic cookbook software allows you to customize your cookbook exactly the way you want it.  You can add in your recipes as you find them, and when you’re ready just print the whole thing out on your home computer as many times as your little heart desires.  The system is user friendly, comes with several pre-loaded templates, and even has measurement converters for those of us who aren’t so mathematically gifted.  It’s a simple way to share your family traditions and keep track of those recipes that tend to get lost in the shuffle.  This is a great tool, and even comes with a free trial so you can try it out.  Genius!

Suddenly the idea of my kids being able to cook for themselves seems a little less daunting.  Now if I could just get them to not grow up…

Organize your treasure trove of family cooking secrets with recipe software

Where do you keep your favorite recipes? Are they in cut-out form, floating freely in a shoe box in a cabinet somewhere? Maybe you’re more organized and use an arbitrary alphabetical system. Is your apricot pudding recipe filed under “a” or “p”?  Or you might own a slowly disintegrating library of specialty cookbooks and only have a few favorites from each one. If you rely on your favorite recipes, why not get it together and load up some recipe software?


But I’m no computer geek, you’re thinking…

To the average computer user, the term “software” conjures up equally scary terms like “downloading,” or “customizing” or even paying large amounts of money for something that gums up your computer requiring a visit by your computer geek nephew, who just makes things worse. But good, robust and user-friendly recipe software – namely, an application that uses the power of a database to do one thing well (organizing for retrieval and printing) – can be just the thing to keep you from having to file your apricot pudding recipe under “a” and “p” or float free in that shoe box.


The best software does what?

Well, it’s not so much what the software does; rather, it’s what the software makes the user do to make it do what it does. Computer geeks call that “UI” – or user interface. The rest of us call it “the stuff we have to do to make the software work as designed.” If the stuff we have to do is so complicated and difficult that the return on the effort is outweighed by the effort itself – well, you get the picture.


What good recipe software does…

It’s simple, really. Good recipe software loads up ready to use so that the user can start amassing a collection of favorite family recipes immediately. And here’s the kicker: the UI – did you forget that abbreviation already? It stands for “user interface” – has to be intuitive. That means the software design is so straightforward that you can start using it without going through a week’s tutorial with your geeky nephew.


Good stuff in, great stuff out…

Now that we’ve got the intuitive UI (see previous paragraph if you’ve forgotten that abbreviation again) issue settled, the real reasons the user puts all the recipe information into the recipe software are these: (1) instant access of everything now; (2) total organization with no paper clips, shoe boxes or grease-stained, torn cookbooks; (3) a variety of print options that allow things like “A Book of Favorite Recipes Enjoyed by my Computer Geek Nephew.”


The Cookbook People have the recipe software you’re looking for. It’s easy to use, feature rich, and also has a wonderful family bio section that makes it a truly unique product. Visit us to see our demo and download our sample application. You’ll love what this software does, and at a really reasonable price.

Use Page Protectors! Crusty food does not always add vintage charm to cookbooks

Busy cooks can be proud of themselves for creating a custom cookbook in a binder.


Sometimes, when you are busy creating the kind of recipes that cause your family members and houseguests to declare you the World’s Best Food Maker Ever, you can lose sight of the importance of organization.


Once you’ve spent time putting all of your culinary inspiration on paper and dragging out the ever elusive three-hole punch so that you can file them away in your super tough sexy kitchen binder, it’s natural to just want to sit back and enjoy the feeling of awesomeness that is sure to follow.


Not to rain on your parade, but you aren’t finished. Unless you made that cookbook to sit on a high shelf and look pretty, it’s going to get splattered. You will crack an egg and inadvertently drag mucus across its pages. Your dog will bump your knee while begging for a drop of cookie dough and you’ll accidently toss a shiny chocolate chip onto the recipe page where it will go unnoticed until it becomes one with the paper. Even if you do manage to carefully scrape it off, it’s gonna leave a mark.


Do you want this kind of crusty chaos mucking up your beautiful collection of culinary inspiration? No. Don’t try to add vintage charm to your cookbook with unidentifiable splats and splatters. Go the extra foot. Drop your recipes in recipe page protectors. Hey, you won’t have to bother with the elusive three-hole punch that way, either.

Some Handy Tips for Making a Family Cookbook

Every family has favorite recipes. Some people keep their go-to formulas taped to the inside of a kitchen cabinet, some keep them tucked neatly into color coded binders. Some people write in their cookbooks so the changes they’ve made to traditional recipes will be accessible in the future when their kids want to recreate the taste of home.


Whether you family is living in the same town or scattered all over the globe, making a family cookbook can be a source of joy for years to come.


It may sound like a big project but it’s really quite simple. First, you need to pitch the idea to several members of your extended family that are in charge of their own home’s menus. Make a list of favorite dishes that they are known for, and ask for those recipes first.


They can submit them as handwritten, photocopy or scan them directly out of the cookbook they use, or retype them into a document and email them to you. Don’t worry about making the format consistent or perfect. Families aren’t perfectly formatted. Your family cookbook will be cherished all the more for its individuality.


personalized binder is a perfect way to store the components of your family cookbook. Each person participating gets a binder with a personalized cover, spine, and inserts. Pick a designated time of year to “add” to the binder. Some families make a recipe exchange part of their holiday tradition. Tastes change so much from year to year and new recipes are always being discovered and created. It’s a wonderful way to record the history of your extended family’s growth.