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.

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!

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.

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.

True home made recipe binder – amazing!

Here’s a pretty impressive recipe binder I stumbled into. Fantastic workmanship!

I normally like a more polished recipe binder, but in this case I’ll make an exception! :)

Sneaky binders

I think instead of alcohol I’d stash some raspberry chocolate cake. Just so the boys don’t eat it all….


Free Grocery Shopping Checklist to Keep in Your Recipe Binder

Want to show up at the grocery store with a pre-filled out shopping checklist? Download this simple acrobat file and you can print it out and fill it in by hand, or just click the check boxes on your screen and then print it:

We posted about this about 4 years ago, and since then it’s become a top result for the google search “grocery shopping checklist.” But as we add a lot of visitors to our blog and users on Facebook, it seemed like a great time to let people know again.

Our focus is really on getting you the best recipe binder or recipe box or other recipe organizer possible. But I had to make this for my own binder, so I thought I’d give it away to everyone!

Make a Cookbook for $8

After buying our cookbook software, you can easily print off your cookbook at home for free. But of course it’s not really free, what with toner and paper and such. And you still might want to bind it together in something other than one of our nice recipe binders.
So here’s a great place where you can make your cookbook for around $8/each (6 books). The specs I’ve set out in the link give you 50 pages (black and white) with a color front and back cover, spiral binding and a clear plastic protective sheet over front and back. These folks do great work!

Can Cake Balls Conquer the Cupcake Craze?

They look like donut holes dressed up to look like what we used to call petit fours. Now they are “cake balls” (an unappetizing name to be sure), cake bites, cake bon bons, cake drops, cake-sicles or cake truffles. 

All I know is that the bite-sized cake ball trend started a few years ago as bakers thought of ways to use the cake trimmings they carved when making specialty-shaped cakes (ala Ace of Cakes). I’ve actually overlooked them for years….thinking they were truffles…not realizing they are something else.

Now Starbuck’s is on the band-wagon and has started selling cake balls on sticks as “cake pops,” another term used for the sweet little darlings. They are the rage at bridal showers, baby showers, weddings, birthdays, and business functions seemingly coast to coast.

To be sure, the golf-ball sized treats are easier to eat than cupcakes (see my previous blog on cupcake eating).

Basically, to make cake balls you bake a cake of your favorite flavor, crumble it up, and then mush it together with the frosting of choice.  Roll the mixture into a ball, then coat it with a hard coat icing.  I suppose you could cover them with fondant or marzipan, too.

There are some advantages to cake balls:

– Cake balls are cuter than cupcakes.
– Cake balls are smaller than cupcakes.
– Cake balls are easier to eat than cupcakes.
– Cake balls are less expensive to make or buy than cupcakes.

However, cake balls are probably more time consuming, and therefore, harder to achieve a pleasing outcome, than making cupcakes For example, with cake balls you have to make the cake, crumble the cake, combine it with frosting, form it into balls, cover the balls with icing, and decorate (optional). Six steps, including the decorating.

On the other hand, with cupcakes you make the batter, bake it, then frost and decorate (optional). That’s only four steps — two fewer steps, including the decorating, than cake balls.

Either treat is great to enlist the help of kids (their small hands are the perfect size for rolling up the cake balls, hopefully with their hands safely in plastic baggies.)

Here is a simple how-to-make cake balls recipe for the uninitiated:

Cake Balls

1 (18.25-ounce) boxed cake mix plus ingredients called for on box
1 (16-ounce) can prepared frosting
3 ounces Almond Bark Coating or flavored Confectionery Wafer Coating

Prepare the cake according to package directions. When cool enough to handle and while still warm, crumble the cake into a bowl, then use a hand mixer to break up the cake into fine crumbs. Mix in frosting thoroughly to make a paste. Chill the mixture for 2 hours. Form the mixture into golf-sized balls. Place on wax paper and freeze for at least 6 hours. Remove the balls from the freezer a few at a time and dip them into the warm melted coating using toothpicks or forks.  Place on wax paper to harden. Decorate as desired. Makes about 36 cake balls.

Some recommended cake ball combinations:
Dark Chocolate over Carrot Cake & Cream Cheese Frosting
Milk Chocolate over Strawberry Cake & Strawberry Frosting
Dark Chocolate over Devil’s Food Cake & Fudge Frosting
Orange/Vanilla Coating over Yellow Cake & Buttercream Frosting
Milk Chocolate over White Cake with White Frosting
Milk Chocolate over German Chocolate Cake with Coconut-Pecan Frosting
White Chocolate over Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
White Chocolate over Lemon Cake with Lemon Frosting
Mint Chocolate over Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Frosting

– An ice cream scoop or 1-1/2 ounce cookie dough scoop are helpful to keep portions even
– Roll freshly-coated cake balls in sprinkles, crushed nuts, or flaked coconut.
– Use chopsticks, fondue forks, or skewers to manipulate the cake balls while coating with chocolate or icing.
– Dipped balls will keep well at a cool room temperature for days; if you refrigerate them, the coating may sweat and become icky.

Can you imagine how someone will look back at our family cookbooks and recipe card boxes and wonder what cake balls were … and why they were listed in the index or table of contents or card list?  I hope by then cake balls will have a better name.

Happy Cookbooking,


How to Eat a Cupcake

Thought I knew how to eat a cupcake. I bet you thought you knew how to eat a cupcake, too.  Recently I saw a TV food show about the favorite foods of some of the top chefs in the country. One of them gushed about a local cupcake and catering company in her nearby town. 

And then she showed us all how to each a cupcake.

Most people think they know how to eat a cupcake. You take the pleated cupcake liner paper off and toss it away (or chew on it awhile). Then you dig your chops into the middle, biting off an equal amount of cake and frosting, often smudging a bit on your upper lip.Continue reading

Thanksgiving Ideas Shared by Top Chefs

Just back from vacation. It’s nice to sit back and know that my suitcase is unpacked for a long. long while. During my time away, I met with some great chefs, and they shared some interesting ideas for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.  Some of their Thanksgiving ideas and menu suggestions may be a bit radical for some, but they are fabulous all the same. See which Thanksgiving ideas shared by top chefs will work for you. They might make it into your family cookbook:Continue reading

A Bowl of Popcorn

One of my favorite foods is a bowl of popcorn. I’ll admit it publicly. Popcorn with salt and a buttery flavor is divine in my book.  I’ve been known to eat a bowl of popcorn for dinner without any additional nutrients.Continue reading

Tea Party Hostess With the Mostest

Recently it was my turn to host the monthly tea gathering and I was in a tizzy over what to make for the ladies.  The last time I was in charge, we had finger sandwiches, which were quite delicious, even if I do say so myself. But this time, I wanted to make something different to see if I could be the tea party hostess with the mostest.Continue reading