Value of an Antique Family Cookbook

Sometimes I enjoy watching Antiques Roadshow to imagine what treasures might be lurking in my own home. LOL.  Recently a participant brought a smallish notebook that she said was her grandfather’s cookbook.  He had worked as a chef in the Alsace-Lorraine region of France in the last century, and his cookbook contained his collection of classic French recipes that he enjoyed creating as well as eating.

The Antiques Roadshow participant opened the little cookbook, hardly more than the size of a small 3” x 5” recipe card, and revealed the handwritten pages to those of us paying attention. Its pages were obviously well-used, and contained about 100 entries printed in a neatly-spaced handwriting captured in the still strongly-visible ink of a fountain pen. Some recipes even had sketches showing how the recipe should be properly garnished or plated.Continue reading

Carving a Place in Your Summer Luau Party

Got a summer luau party coming up? I always think about carving watermelons and other fruits to make a nice edible centerpiece for a summer luau party. There is nothing so pretty as a watermelon cornucopia of sliced fruits to make a nice statement on the summer luau party table. The colors are so lovely, and the bountiful fruit is large enough for a crowd.Continue reading

Top 3 Ways to Bind Recipe Books

You’ve finally completed your family recipe book files using cookbook-making software, and now you want to make it a nice finished product at the local quick print store. There are many options available to bind recipe books together in either full-page or half-page formats.

I personally prefer a smooth finish to bind recipe books, but other bindery styles are more popular. Here are what many experts say are the top 3 ways to bind recipe books:

Perfect Binding – This method to bind recipes books is used primarily when a heavier weight paper is used for the wraparound soft cover and the recipe book has lot of pages (up to maybe 2 inches thick). A flexible adhesive is used to stick the cover onto the edges of the content pages.  When done properly, this type of binding is, well, perfect. Many thick magazines and paperback books use perfect binding.  See above for sample photo of perfect binding.

 Continue reading

Free Trial Download Offers a Taste of ‘Matilda’

Did you know that we offer a free trial download of Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software? Yes, we do. We want you to try before you buy and refer others who can do the same.

The free trial download is accessible from our home page under the “Software” dropdown. Click “Free Cookbook Software Download” and the page will pop up with the download link. Or you can use this URL to go direct: reading

Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe Lost Forever

The lemon meringue pie recipe that made Aunt Gertrude famous has been lost, her youngest niece lamented to me recently.  Her Aunt Gertrude passed away at age 92, still sharp as a tack, yet no one in the family ever thought to get that lemon meringue pie recipe from her.

How sad. A heritage of family enjoyment and tradition lost forever.Continue reading

Slice of Pear Lime Pie Nets Ruth’s Rave Review

On a recent trip to another state, my dear friend Ruth ate a slice of pie. That slice of pie was what she has come to call “the best slice of pie I’ve ever eaten.” Her discovery was in a small Texas town, and the slice of pie she enjoyed was an unexpectedly good union of pears and lime.

“The pear and lime combination was such an interesting grouping of flavors in a slice of pie,” Ruth recalls. “And, it was not too sweet; the slice of pie actually had a compelling bitter flavor almost like marmalade that was softened by really good vanilla ice cream.”Continue reading

Fancy Food Products We May See on Supermarket Shelves (Maybe)

Get ready to taste some new flavors, according to the latest from the summer Fancy Food Show sponsored last week in New York by the National Association of Specialty Food Trade (NASFT).

International fusion tastes were evident, especially tastes from India, as were touches of lime added to various fancy food combinations. Also, gluten-free style foods were more prevalent, according to the press materials issued after the show. More than 70 countries and regions reportedly participated in the Fancy Food Show. Continue reading

Gourmet Delish-us @ Under $1 Bargain Stores

Under $1 bargain stores are quite popular these days, especially when the cost of food has risen by 10% in some areas of the country. Many under $1 bargain stores offer a variety of canned food products, some fresh produce, and either frozen or refrigerated items that are good enough to serve guests, let alone your own family.

For example, last week Ruth and I went to visit two of our local under $1 bargain stores, and found quite an exciting variety of foods from around the world. From exotic spices to even not-half-bad wine, the under $1 bargain stores can be a treasure trove for making an inexpensive but impressive three-course meal for four.Continue reading

A Trifle Easy Dessert for Fourth of July

Considering the origins of this country, an interesting dish for a large Fourth of July party would be an American version of English trifle.  Some years ago I made a layered red, white and blue Jell-O dessert for a large Fourth of July party and it was so pretty I remembered to take a picture!

For this year’s large Fourth of July party I plan to add fresh fruit to the trifle mixture and a touch of fruit liqueur (instead of the traditional sherry) to sparkle it up.Continue reading

Super Summer Grilling of Ripe Fruit

If you haven’t pulled the grill out for outdoor cooking this year, now is the time. With Fourth of July just around the corner and the whole summer ahead, grills are bound to get a workout this year.

Summer grilling at home is easier and less expensive than going out to a meat-oriented chain restaurant. And, for vegetarians, summer grilling at home is a wonderful way to cook vegetables and even pastas (in a grill-proof pot with water, silly).Continue reading

More About Our New Decorative Recipe Boxes

We have so many beautiful new decorative recipe boxes that I wanted to finish telling about them before we sell out.  Among the features we consider prior to bringing a product online and into our website are the same attributes you’ll want to consider when buying a decorative recipe box:

1. Size  (a 4 x 6 recipe card box also holds the traditional 3 x 5 recipe cards)
2. Shape (most are rectangular in shape)
3. Quality (is the recipe card box made of wood, tin, or heavy cardboard?)
4. Durability (will the hinges endure, or are they a bit flimsy and bound to break?Continue reading

Disposable Recipe Cards

One of the great things about using Matilda’s Fantastic Cookbook Software is that all your recipes are neatly organized in one place and ready to be printed to use at a moment’s notice.

Sometimes I just print the recipe I want instead of having the family cookbook on the counter. I call these my disposable recipe cards or recipes because I can print them out in any format I choose: full page, half page, recipe card size, whatever is best at the time.Continue reading

Stinky Tale of Hazmat in the House

The sequence of events and facts in the following story are absolutely true. The names have been changed to protect the, well, you’ll figure it out.


While I was visiting my dear friend, Ruth, and enjoying tea at her kitchen table, I noticed a rather large gap along the baseboard of her kitchen cupboard.  “My, that’s big enough for something to live in,” I remarked.  Ruth replied, “Oh, yes, I know. I need to fix it one of these days.”Continue reading

What a Hoot: Trailer Trash Theme Dinner Party

Last weekend I attended a most unique dinner party that featured a trailer trash theme. It was the first time I’d even heard of such a thing, and I admit it was a lot of fun.

The hostess had a large back yard, and used it to full advantage. (No, she didn’t haul in an old Airstream for the trailer trash theme party, but it would have been a nice touch. LOL) Continue reading

Father’s Day Grillin’ & Chillin’ Favorites

Time to dust off the grill and pull the patio cushions from storage so that Dad can have his special moments enjoying some Father’s Day grillin’ & chillin’ favorites. I thumbed through my family cookbook to devise the Father’s Day grillin’ & chillin’ favorites menu below. Most of the tastes are strong and guy-oriented, so they are sure to please most anyone who likes bold flavors.

Father’s Day Grillin’ & Chillin’ Favorites Menu
Here are some of the favorites tastes of the Dad-types in our family.  Mix or match as you like, and if you want to add these ideas to your family cookbook, be my guest.Continue reading

Pretty New Recipe Card Boxes & Recipe Card Tins!

I really like the newest recipe card boxes we’ve added to our line. The one shown above is called Calabrian Fruit, a brightly colored recipe card box that features some of the fruits harvested in Calabria Italy, especially the bergamot orange, which helps give Earl Grey tea its distinctive flavor.

Some of our other new recipe card boxes are made of beautiful craft woods, and still others feature some great new prints and graphics that are suitable for most everyone’s kitchen.

I’m really excited about our new Recipe Card Tins, though.Continue reading

Empty Nesters: Preparing Downsized Servings

My AARP magazine always has some lovely recipes for twos, presumably for couples who’ve let their fledglings fly from the nest into their own territory. For some new empty nesters who’ve sent their last kid off to college, preparing a reduced amount of food each day can be a difficult adjustment, but one that can be learned.

For example, instead of automatically preparing five sandwiches (including three for unexpected visitors), the empty nester’s household food consumption can probably be cut in half. That’s a large amount of food to be deleted from the shopping list, but in reality, many groceries in the house are for the benefit of children’s appetites and pleasing visitors, not the empty nester.Continue reading