Hand round blue plate with egg eye and chilli smile + title: Treasured Memories in our Family Cookbook: Father's Day Burgers & Sunny Side Up Cake (and the day we fried an egg on the sidewalk!)

Treasured Memories in our Family Cookbook: Father’s Day Burgers & Sunny Side Up Cake

Some of my most treasured memories are of the times I spent with my grandfather. Especially the year when my Mom and I made him burgers and ‘Sunny Side Up’ cake on Father’s Day. These kind of memories really should have a place in our family cookbook. I want to record those smells or flavours that so strongly bring back my childhood.Continue reading

little girl with long ginger hair and stripy clothes feeding a treat to a jack russell with bone shape overlay containing text: Easy Dog Biscuit Recipe for Your Family Cookbook

Easy Dog Biscuit Recipe for Your Family Cookbook

Do you have a dog biscuit recipe in your family cookbook? After the last dog food scare, I started making homemade dog treats for my dog. Not only are they easy to make once a week, they are very economical, and I know what my dog is eating!

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Gift your grad a family recipe binder

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!

After all the anxiety over your child’s education – worrying about whether they were getting enough to eat, enough sleep and how well they would do in their finals, you daughter or son has graduated and is heading off into the big wide world.

But there you are, back home, still worrying,

“Are they getting enough to eat?”

In the past mothers’ might have carefully hand-written the cherished family recipes onto elegant cards in a recipe box as an heirloom gift for their departing daughters, but times have changed. Today a family recipe binder is a highly appropriate gift for any graduate. Here’s why:

A family recipe binder – home away from home. 

Your kids may have to move far away from you to college, or to where the work is, but family recipes will remind them that they’ll always have the strong family support they need to move forward in life. Cooking up a favourite dish is a way of connecting back to their roots and feeling the comfort of home away from home.

Everyone needs to cook for themselves.

Dining out is going to be beyond many a graduate’s budget and this maybe the first time they need to know how to prepare a nutritious meal for themselves. With the onset of popular TV shows, guys are just as likely to be in the kitchen showing off their culinary skills as girls. Whether they’re eating alone or making a meal for friends, those family recipes will come in really handy!

Easily add new printed recipes to the recipe binder. 

Even when you’ve given your kid all their favourite recipes, they’re going to develop a taste for some new ones. With so many great online recipe sites, they can easily find new recipes to try, print them out and add them to their recipe binder, or quickly pop it into that recipe accordion file!

So why not go ahead and choose the perfect gift for your departing graduate from our wide range of recipe binders and recipe organizers!

People helping themselves at a buffet with title: Forget Potluck! Always Have Enough Food to Feed a Crowd

Forget Potluck! Always Have Enough Food to Feed a Crowd

Once I had a potluck dinner party and no one brought anything! I was mortified when there wasn’t enough food to go round and, as a result, I developed a reliable system to make sure I always have enough food to feed a crowd.

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Greek salad on wooden table with title: Greek Salad Makes Catering for a Crowd Easy

Greek Salad Makes Catering for a Crowd Easy

With ripe tomatoes and cucumbers hitting supermarkets just about now, the fresh taste of my easy Greek Salad recipe is a great choice for a crowd.

Known in Greece mainly as country salad, or horiatiki, the Greek Salad we know here is a combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, feta cheese, and Kalamata olives, all dressed up with an olive oil and vinegar blend.

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Sunny outdoor table and chairs with flowers in pot and open book, captioned: Why not make (and Sell) a Bed & Breakfast Recipe Cookbook?

Why Not Make (And Sell) a Bed & Breakfast Recipe Cookbook?

Last time I visited a Bed and Breakfast, I asked for a copy of a recipe for a particularly delicious morning pastry. The hostess obliged by hand-copying the recipe for me on a sheet of guesthouse stationery.

But wouldn’t it have been nice if I could have bought a copy of the Bed & Breakfast’s recipe cookbook?Continue reading

Glass tubes containing chopped peppers surrounding paper with text: How to Create Great Family Cookbooks with Our Easy-To-Use Templates

How to Create Great Family Cookbooks with Our Easy-To-Use Templates

When we started designing Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software, I began to understand why easy-to-use recipe templates are the key to creating great family cookbooks.

We borrowed the idea of using a template from the crafting world. Sewing hobbyists use patterns. Interior decorators use stencils. Painters and muralists use outlines. So, using a recipe template to automatically produce a professional-looking family recipe cookbook makes total sense. Continue reading

Colourful flower ice-lollies overlaid with text: Delightful Flower Flavored Foods

Delightful Flower Flavored Foods

Have you noticed that some of the most delightfully unusual foods nowadays have slight flower flavors? You can find these flower flavored foods in everything from entrees to desserts.

And there’s such a wide range of choices that even the picky American palate will find something to love.

Here are some of my favourite flower flavored foods:Continue reading

Vintage writing ephemera with text: Writing Biographies for Your Family Cookbook: 5 Simple Strategies

Writing Biographies for Your Family Cookbook: 5 Simple Strategies

How can you capture the essence of someone’s story when you’re writing biographies for your family cookbook? This can be really hard to do, especially when your subject rambles or hopscotches through years of a life well-lived!

Through my experience of interviewing members of our clan for our family cookbook, I’ve developed some simple strategies to keep my interviewee on topic.Continue reading

couple holding recipe book in kitchen with title: How to Create a True Custom Cookbook

How to Create a True Custom Cookbook

On one of my internet surfing expeditions to spy on my competition (yes, I do that regularly), I was happy to see that Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software still leads the pack in helping you create a custom cookbook at home.Continue reading

Cookbook People recipe binder and dividers with text: Achieved Professional Quality Cookbook Making at Home

3 Hints to Know You’ve Achieved Professional Quality Cookbook Making at Home

Just about everyone interested in cookbook making at home wants to achieve a professional quality recipe book.

But how do you know you’ve achieved professional quality cookbook? Continue reading

China cup, saucer and jugs with text Bring Back Traditional Tea Parties!

Bring Back Traditional Tea Parties!

When I think of traditional tea parties, I think of a somewhat formal, yet comfortingly familiar routine that brings sanity to the crazy world.

But, oh my, tea parties have a whole new meaning these days, don’t they?

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hands trapped in green code matrix overlaid with cooking utensils and blank spiral notebook and title: Taking the 'Tech' out of Recipe Software so It's Easy to Use

Taking the ‘Tech’ out of Recipe Software so It’s Easy to Use

Recipe software, recipe book software, cookbook software, whatever you want to call it to make your own cookbook, the key to your success is how easy it is to use.

Nothing is more frustrating that knowing you need to accomplish something with your recipe software but don’t understand how to do it. Add a deadline, and waah! You can be in tears in no time. Continue reading

Panic-stricken woman in stripy tshirt holding clock + title: Last Minute Hostess Gift? Make a Cookbook!

Last Minute Hostess Gift? Make a Cookbook!

You are going to be late for a dinner party this evening, and you forgot to pick up a hostess gift, too.  What do you do? Solution: Notify the hostess you’re going to be late and quickly make a gift cookbook!Continue reading

Slices of red onions overlaid with text "Onions, nothing to cry about"

Onions: Nothing to Cry About, Really!

Where would we be without onions? For that matter, where would our family cookbooks be without onions as a key ingredient for homemade appetizers, entrees and side dishes?

Stuffed onions, creamed onions, onion soup, onion rings. About the only recipes I can think of without onions are dessert recipes – and I’m sure there probably are sweet onion desserts out there somewhere.

Historians say onions were first used in China, India and Egypt, and many of these cultures used onions as medicinal ingredients. Continue reading

Woman lying on sofa making notes in book superimposed on chopping board surrounded with cooking ingredients and overlaid with text: 5 Therapeutic Benefits of Making a Recipe Book

5 Therapeutic Benefits of Making a Recipe Book

You might not think it. But making a recipe book can have as many therapeutic benefits as cooking!

We’re all familiar with the therapeutic effects of cooking: We methodically measure out ingredients for the recipe. We follow a proven recipe plan, successfully combining different components and techniques. And then we enjoy the delicious outcome of our efforts.

The stages of making a recipe book can be therapeutic, too:Continue reading

Group of kids looking writing in book with text: Class Cookbook: Fabulous Memento Instead of Traditional Yearbook

Class Cookbook: A Fabulous Memento

Last year about this time, my young neighbor Jessica came to my door. She asked if she could have one of my potluck recipes for a cookbook she was making for her classmates. She was a senior, and thought it would be fun to create a class cookbook for her classmates to use in the future.

Jess thought a class cookbook would be a fabulous memento of her last days in high school. Plus all her high school friends could write their fond farewells in the cookbook.

Class cookbook instead of a yearbook

In my day, your friends wrote on the pages of your high school yearbook. I don’t know what kids do now, but back then your “status” was made by how many people signed your yearbook. You would “save” whole pages for your most special friends to write a poignant dedication you could look over throughout your lifetime.

Jess planned to get recipes from each of her friends to include in her class cookbook. But she needed a few other good, sensible recipes to round out the selections and categories. To fill out the gaps she was asking for recipes from people she felt had good taste. (Flattering to be included in that category.)

Most of the recipes Jess had for her class cookbook were not fancy or expensive. There was lots of really good, quick college dorm fare. A fabulous memento indeed!

Organizing a class cookbook

I gave Jess a few of my favorite, easy recipes to add to the ones she had already collected for her cookbook.

I also made a few suggestions on how to organize her class cookbook. I suggested she added some photos and also some information about her friends.

Jess told me she was entering all the information in Word, and she planned to make copies of the class cookbook for every friend who wanted one.

Oh my.

I just couldn’t help myself! I gave her a copy of Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software as an early graduation present. And off she went to finish this fabulous memento of her last days in high school!

Happy Cookbooking,

Erin

open book on table with title: 7 Enemies of Family Recipe Keepsakes and What to Do About Them

7 Enemies of Your Family Recipe Keepsakes

Preserving family treasures, including the keepsakes in your family recipe cookbook or recipe scrapbook, can be a simple matter if you know what you’re doing.

Ever since the Library of Congress lamented the loss of deteriorating books during the late 1980s, we’ve been hearing more and more about conservation techniques to save family heirlooms and museum displays.

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Photo of tape measure, spoon and apple pieces on wooden worktop with text: The Dirtiest Inch in Your Kitchen

The Dirtiest Inch in Your Kitchen

A young friend recently sent me an email. She wanted to warn me about the dangers of not washing off the tops of cans before opening them.

After all, dirt can accumulate on the cans in the warehouse or on the grocery store shelf.

And then there are the diseases carried by critters of all kinds walking about on the cans. To say nothing of reports of bugs and small rodents found in bottles and cans – ugh! (We kids always laughed at my dear Mom, who would habitually check the glass Coke bottle after she took her first sip!)

Aside from the obvious good advice for removing any accumulated dust, I remembered an even greater bit of wisdom I once heard about the dirtiest inch in your kitchen.Continue reading

7 Meatless Dinner Meal Plans to Go Veggie-tarian for a Week

More people seem to be thinking about trying a vegetarian meal plan with meatless dinners. That’s great news for all the critters in the world that get scooped up as dinner fare.  That’s also great news for the long-term health of our nation. May 13-19th happens to be national Vegetarian Week, so why not join in?

If you are trying to go vegetarian (even just a little bit) but don’t know how to start, consider experimenting with one week’s worth of meatless dinner meals to try veggie-tarian dinner cooking.  The following meatless dinners and meal plan ideas are not necessarily organic, vegan or gluten-free, but they are meatless dinner meals:

Veggie-tarian Dinner Day 1
Fresh vegetable soup (any veggie combination)
Whole-grain bread slices, Spinach-stuffed mushrooms

Veggie-tarian Dinner Day 2
Baked potatoes topped with cottage cheese and barbecue sauce
Steamed broccoli florets, Raw carrot sticks with dressing as a dip

Veggie-tarian Dinner Day 3
Chili beans made with TVP (textured vegetable protein) over nutty brown rice
Spinach salad with choice of dressing, Homemade croutons

Veggie-tarian Dinner Day 4
Roasted vegetable sandwich with chipotle mayonnaise on toasted rye bread
Homemade potato chips, Pickles

Veggie-tarian Dinner Day 5
Saffron rice, Steamed Brussels sprouts
Cole slaw, Hummus with saltine crackers

Veggie-tarian Dinner Day 6
Spaghetti topped with sliced Roma tomatoes, crushed garlic, chopped parsley and olive oil
Green salad with cucumbers, Breadsticks

Veggie-tarian Dinner Day 7
Black bean & avocado tacos (or burrito wraps)
Chips & salsa, Roasted corn on the cob

Preparing seven meatless meals in a row doesn’t seem that hard to do, given I put the above meatless meal menu plans together in just a few minutes. By the way, a vegetarian section is a wonderful resource in a family cookbook. Vegetarian eating can be very healthful and delicious!

Happy Cookbooking,

Erin