Five Reasons to Make a Christmas Cookbook Now

It’s early September and yes, you really should be thinking about Christmas. At least a little. If you want to put together a lovely family memento that everybody will love, get started now on making a family cookbook.

Here are 5 reasons to start now:

  1. It will save a lot of money. American families averaged $830 in Christmas presents last year. With our software, plus printing and binding and maybe a recipe binder or two, you can still come in at under $85 and have gifts for 7-10 people! That’s around $8/person. And it won’t be a “cheap” gift–it’ll be something sincere and heartfelt!
  2. Making a cookbook as a Christmas gift is pretty easy. Get our cookbook software (Matilda’s Cookbook Software), type up your recipes, add some photos, select a template and print. Stick them in our recipe binders or have them spiral bound at a local photocopy shop for a few dollars (or do both–the nice binder for the real cooks and spiral bound for everyone else).
  3. It does take a little time though to do it right. You’ll want to pick through your recipes, collect recipes from others in the family, get photos if you want them. Do you really want to be doing this in December with everything going on? Do it now and save yourself the headache.
  4. It will be something everybody will talk about. You’ve just made something that is filled with memories of great meals. You WILL hear somebody say, “I haven’t had that in ages!”
  5. It will be a family tradition. A few years from now others will have used your cookbook and have suggestions to add. Add them in, hit print, and voila, another year of Christmas presents covered!

We’ve had thousands of great stories from our customers who have put together their own family cookbook, and you can do it to. Get started with our software and plan for a really fun Christmas present!

Good cookbooking!


Family Cookbook: Turn Family Recipes Into a Cherished Heirloom

Creating a Family Cookbook! All you need to know about creating your own, GREAT tips and resources! @amandaformaro

Collect your family’s recipes and compile them in a book for a truly delicious heirloom.

What would Thanksgiving be without your aunt’s famous pumpkin pie? If Grandpa doesn’t bring his special chocolate swirled fudge to holiday get-togethers, chances are a family riot might break out! (Well, not really, but you get the idea.)

Recipes are quite often handed down from generation to generation, handwritten on food-stained index cards or scrawled onto lined paper tattered over time.

Now imagine collecting some of those favorite family recipes and compiling them into a cherished cookbook everyone can enjoy. You’ll need a little time for this project and we all have busy lives, but, with a little perseverance and a lot of love, you can put together a wonderful family heirloom that will be cherished for years to come.

Making a list
First, make a list of all the recipes you would like to include in your book. Try to keep it manageable and don’t shoot for too big of a book to start with. Try maybe 15 or 20 recipes as a springboard and work from there. If you aren’t sure which to include, start contacting family members for their favorite recipes and ask them to contribute. Be sure to list the names of the family members you’ll need to contact for each recipe.

Collecting the recipes is the hardest part
Remember, everyone is busy. It’s quite possible that one of the recipes is only used once a year. Asking a cousin to find that recipe between her son’s soccer practices, her daughter’s dance class, work and making dinner might not seem like a big deal to you, but it’s probably not on the top of her priority list. Try to make it easy for people to submit by creating a written recipe template they can fill out, offer to let them email it to you or let them dictate it to you over the phone.

Decide on the contents
If you’re feeling especially ambitious, photographs and quotes from the recipe’s creators can make nice additions to your cookbook. If you are pressed for time, however, you may want to consider keeping the book design simple, or just using a few clip art images instead. Remember: Collecting the recipes will take time — as will collecting photographs and gathering quotes. Keep all of this in mind when planning what will go in to your book.

If your deadline isn’t looming, here are a few ideas for personalizing your family cookbook:

    • Family interviews – Try asking questions about the recipes to be included. How many generations has the recipe been handed down? Who started the tradition? What special memories are associated with this particular recipe?
    • Photos and other art – Include family photographs of holiday gatherings, vintage photos of descendants or even hand-drawn artwork from the young members of the family.
    • Handwritten recipes – Make use of original hand written recipes — even those on aging recipe cards. Scan the recipe and use it as a photo in the book. This adds nostalgia and authenticity to your collection.
    • Collection of memories – Ask family members for their favorite memories about certain recipes and the relative that usually prepares it.
    • Quotes – Did your grandma always say “A pinch of pepper goes a long way,” or do you remember her uncanny ability to never waste a thing? Quips and quotes add personal touches to the pages.
    • Food photos – If you’re feeling ambitious and you have extra time, make a few of the submitted recipes and take pictures! They will make a wonderful addition to your cookbook.

Choosing a publication method
In its simplest form your cookbook could be created in a word processing document then printed out and bound together by hand. If you prefer something a little sturdier, however, several companies offer private publication.  We here at The Cookbook People offer a cookbook making software allowing you to create this wonderful masterpiece using your home computer.

Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software (CD or Download) here


Prices for these services vary depending on the size of your book as well as the number of pages needed. There are also options for soft and hardcovers, and even hardcover with “lay flat” pages. Research the different options each company offers to find the best option for you.

Whether you decide to print the pages yourself, take them to an office printer or use online software, your results will be heartfelt and appreciated. Family cookbooks preserve wonderful memories and will be cherished by all that receive them.

Thinking Outside the BOX: Turn your Family Recipes into Memorable Gifts

Treasured family recipes are priceless, which is why they can easily be transformed into special gifts with minimum expense and just a little time. Turn your handwritten recipes into beautiful cookbooks by using Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software. It is ideal for grannies and guru’s. Even this granny can and has used it to make a family cookbook.


• 27 cookbook templates included
• Add recipe & family photos
• Add a table of contents
• Easy to use for grannies & gurus
• Alphabetizes recipes for you
• Print as often as you want for FREE
• Free trial

What a wonderful way to turn your treasured recipes into a Family Treasured Cookbook. What a great gift!  Christmas is only 53 days away!




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.

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.

Check for Fresh Eggs

How to Check for Fresh Eggs

#1. This is just what my Mum once told me. If you do this test and get sick and die, well, please don’t sue the Cookbook People. We sell delightful recipe binders and recipe boxes and write cookbook software. We aren’t organic biologists.

#2. That said, if you use this test, cook the good eggs immediately. Bacteria can get in through the water through the shell once you submerge them.

#3. Fresh eggs are harder to peel after boiling than older eggs.

#4. Always spin your eggs a little in the grocery store. If one sticks to the carton, you’ve got a bad egg. Nobody likes a bad egg.

#5. Please buy Free Range Eggs. They taste better, they only cost a little more, and the lovely birds shouldn’t spend their whole lives in little boxes. #6. Place this useful tidbit inside your recipe binder! 🙂

5 Simple Steps to a Meaningful Wedding Cookbook (and the most memorable wedding favors ever!)

Wedding Recipe Binder gift

1. Include a single recipe card with each of your invitations, and a note asking that they include a favorite recipe on it with their RSVP.

2. Enter all the recipes you receive into Matilda’s Cookbook Software.

3. Print the cookbooks at Staples for around $2-$4 each, one for each guest.

4. Make one cookbook for the bride and groom that’s bound into a beautiful recipe binder.

5. Let each guest leave the wedding with a unique gift they helped create. Let the bride and groom leave with a foundation of recipes that joins two families and numerous loved ones.

Print Free Recipe Cards

Our latest and greatest invention is the Recipe Card O-Matic. It’s simply the easiest way possible to type up 30 or 40 recipe cards, each with their own beautiful design. And it’s FREE!
Well, the free version includes four templates. For a mere $14.95 you can unlock over 60 more. But even if all you do is use the free version, you’ll have the best recipe card maker on the internet!
Follow this link to begin downloading free recipe card software!
Here are some samples of cards you can print out:
Recipe card template collection

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!

3 Rules to Prevent Your Family Cookbook From Being Donated to a Rummage Sale

It’s sad that family cookbooks are often discarded and end up at rummage sales. I see them all the time, forlorn and unwanted by most people shopping at rummage sales.  Invariably, family cookbooks donated to a rummage sale will end up on the pile of items that no one wants, to be thrown away or donated again to a larger organization that will dispose of the family cookbook along with other paper waste sold by the pound.Continue reading

French Dip Sandwich with Chinese Hot Mustard

One of the most satisfying sandwiches on many restaurant menus is the proverbial French Dip Sandwich. As a menu standard, it meets all the requirements of a best seller: it is moist, flavorful, and filling.  The versatile French Dip Sandwich can be eaten with a side of macaroni salad or potato salad, with a dill pickle or pickled egg, or just by itself (with a touch of Chinese hot mustard for the brave). Continue reading

Lard, Lemonade & Other L Words When You Have No Ideas for Dinner

If you have no ideas for dinner, one of my old tricks to spark some creativity is to choose a letter from the alphabet and work around that letter with a great menu plan that can get quite a lot of attention.

For example, my dear friend, Ruth, picked the letter “L” recently while we strolled through the local supermarket in search of inspiration because we had no ideas for dinner.  Hmm, that would be lard, lemonade, and linguine, I said to her.Continue reading

Edible Plates Make It Easy to Escape Washing Dishes

Maybe you have this same scenario at your house:  I’ll tidy the kitchen in the evening, clearing all the dishes from the sink, only to discover that by morning the sink is littered again with late night snack dishes, used ice cream bowls, and other assorted after-dinner cups, mugs, or glasses. I often wonder if there isn’t a night shift of visitors coming in to take advantage of our home and my good graces.Continue reading

Farmers’ Markets Growing in Popularity

You probably have a farmers’ market near your neighborhood. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are 6,132 operating farmers markets in the nation (USDA stats August 4, 2010), which is a 16% increase over last year.

In some major metropolitan areas, one can visit a farmers’ market every day of the week. How’s that for getting fresh-from-the-farm produce!Continue reading