Style, Sheets & Standards in Your Family Cookbook Recipes

Queen Elizabeth’s hats or Paris Hilton’s pooch may be considered “style” by some of the fashionista set. (I won’t venture to comment further, lest the wrath of the Internet come my way.) And, “style” is a word often used in music, film, television, art and literature.

For us family recipe cookbook makers, however, “style” is the consistency of how your family recipe cookbook will appear, particularly how the recipes will appear. Recipe consistency makes your cookbook easier to read and understand.

For example, decide if you want to use the capital T to represent Tablespoon, or do you want to have lb. instead of the word pound. We recommend spelling out these measurements in full rather that using abbreviations so there is no confusion later on. Also, we recommend initial caps (first word capitalized) because it matches the extensive lists we have in Matilda’s Symbol Builder, which makes typing fractions and degrees so easy.

While my cookbook software will automatically format everything to look wonderful, recipe consistency is really up to you. Let me show you what I mean:

Are your recipe names in all capital letters, Upper and lower case, just the first word capitalized (initial caps), or no caps?

Rhubarb Conserve
Rhubarb conserve
rhubarb conserve

Are your ingredients spaced the same with the words capitalized (or not) the way you always want to see them?

(erratic spacing between quantity and ingredient item)
8 lb. green tomatoes
8 Pounds Green Tomatoes
8 pounds green tomatoes

(2 spaces between quantity and ingredient item)
6 lb. sugar
6 pounds sugar

(5 spaces between quantity and ingredient item)
1½ Tablespoon preserved ginger
6 Lemons

When creating your own family recipe cookbook, the key to making your recipe style be consistent is to write it all down on one sheet of paper or note card as you input your first three recipes.

Keep this “Style Sheet” as a handy reminder whenever you enter family recipes in the Recipe tab. That way, you won’t need to fix it all later if you forget and type the next 25 recipes a different way because the dog threw up on the carpet, or you get back to your cookbook-making after a crazy week of driving the kids everywhere. (Been there, done that!)

Happy cookbooking,


About Erin Miller

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One Comment

  1. Please, please tell me there is a way to prevent a recipe from being continued on the next page.

    Two columns are fine. Two recipes on a page are fine — if they fit. One recipe on two pages is bad and confusing.

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