Video Testimonial: Great Family Cookbook for a Daughter

Looks beautiful! Our customer chose this customizable recipe binder and added extra recipe card protectors.

 

Weekly Winner Video: Lynnette’s Family Cookbook

We loved this cookbook Lynnette made a few weeks ago. She was the only one who entered our weekly contest, so she automatically won $75 in free products from Cookbook People. Nice job Lynnette!

Click here to enter your own video.

Weekly Winner Video Contest: Win $75 in products in just 5 minutes

Win $75 in products with a video review of your purchase.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Shoot a video of our product on your phone/camera.

  2. Email it to us at info@cookbookpeople.com.

  3. You’re entered in our weekly Video Testimonial contest!

Some weeks we only get 1 or 2 contestants, so the odds are really good you can win. Please be aware that we publicize all entries on our site and via email.

Interview with one of our founders

Check out this quick interview with Ted Miller, one of our founders here at CookbookPeople.com.

100 New Recipe Card Designs Just Released

We’ve just finished making 100 new recipe card designs, available exclusively through CookbookPeople.com. Every new design includes a nice free conversion chart as well!

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💕 You NEEEED these pretty recipe card dividers. N.E.E.D. 💕

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Pretty "Lemon Linen" design recipe card dividers


We made brand new recipe cards this week!

Why not add a little color to your kitchen for under $6.00? They look GORGEOUS! See them here!

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!
    Grandma-baby-cover
  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!

Erin

Oiling Wooden Spoons and Wooden Spatulas

So you’ve bought a wood spoon or spatula (or both) from somewhere (hopefully us right here!) If you bought bamboo, you are pretty much done. It’s such a hard, non-porous wood that it’s not going to absorb a lot of oil. If you bought something of another hardwood, such as the beechwood in the above example, you should apply a quick coat of oil to it to give it a much more interesting, pretty color, as well as vastly improve it’s life span.

We really recommend walnut oil. It gives this really rich, interesting color, and it smells absolutely fantastic.

Just go to your local grocery store’s olive oil section, and you’ll probably find one bottle somewhere in there of walnut oil. Buy the smallest bottle, because you’ll really only use a tablespoon or two of it. Pour it onto a paper towel, give it a wipe, and in 20 seconds you’ll be shocked at the difference!

If you’re likely to cook for somebody with very extreme nut allergies, there are other (less deep and pretty) alternatives. Coconut oil, rapeseed oil and mineral oil all work well.

Here’s a look at own tests of oiling spoons and spatulas with different household cooking and mineral oils:

Here’s a link to our spoons and spatulas:

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The 9 Best Organized Recipe Websites

A quick google search of course brings you to heavy hitters like AllRecipes.com and FoodNetwork.com, but sometimes you want quality over quantity (and clever people who know how to top search engines). Besides, a lot of the recipes on those sites are kind of bland, or have been modified 20 ways until Tuesday to make palatable in the comments, which means what gets voted up isn’t actually what was cooked.

Here are a few of my own favorite recipe websites organized for carefully curated cooking content:

  1. Serious Eats has a fantastic Food Lab column that I love.  Beautiful easy-to-follow photographed instructions and fantastic recipes. J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is a genius! Plus, they describe not only what you are doing but why, which can be helpful in learning cooking in general.
  2. The Kitchn is another genius recipe site organized with just fantastic quality. You’ll be in there for years trying to get through it all.
  3. I love Nonna’s Cooking for it’s super-simple interface and lots of user additions.

    Beth from Budget Bytes

  4. Budget Bytes is the best site on the internet for cooking within your means! Beth not only tells you how to cook, but what it’ll cost per dish. Smart.
  5. BBC Good Foods proves that the British do indeed cook well.
  6. Food Wishes does a really good job with photography and youtubes of the dishes. Browse there and get hungry! Here’s a nice one I made recently:

  7. Saveur has more of an international, experimental flare, as does
  8. Smitten Kitchen is great for it’s fantastic recipes organized by seasonality.
  9. The New York Times cooking section is brilliant because they thoroughly test everything, and the selection is enormous.

Well, these are my faves. What do you look for?

Good cookbooking!

Erin

Family Cookbook: Turn Family Recipes Into a Cherished Heirloom

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.

Kitchen Conversion Chart – Magnetic

In a single 10.5″ x 15.5″ refrigerator magnet you have access to the following information:

  • Teaspoon/Tablespoon/Cup/Fluid Ounce conversion
  • Fahrenheit/Celsius conversion
  • Baking pan dimensions and volume
  • Ounce/Pound conversion
  • Egg boiling time
  • Freezer shelf lives
  • Guidelines for cooking a steak rare/medium rare/medium/well done
  • Guidelines for roasting beef/lamb/chicken/pork
  • Dry spaghetti measurement
  • An inch ruler
  • Plus conversions for altitude, bread, butter, cheese, chocolate, cocoa, corn, cottage cheese, egg, flour, gallon, gelatin, gram, herbs, lemon, marshmallows, onion, orange, pasta, pint, quart, raisins, rice, sugar, turkey, water, and yeast.

Carefully designed to match nearly any kitchen or refrigerator, we invented this kitchen conversion chart to be durable, washable, useful, and (of course) beautiful.

It will easily and attractively fit on any side-by-side fridge door, yet also look great on over-under fridge doors. The tans, yellows and umbers in the chart help it match practically any modern kitchen cabinet from oak to cherry to mahogany to maple to white, while also showing nicely against stainless steel refrigerators.

This chart packs so much information that great cooks will wonder how they did without it.  Magnetic Chart

Look-a-Like KFC Fried Chicken

Want to try making fried chicken like the Colonel? We don’t have the Official Recipe, but our test kitchen came up with the closest equivalent. Give it a shot!

1 frying chicken, cut into frying pieces
1 1/2 cups flour
1 Pkt. (dry) Good Seasons Italian Dressing (The 11 or so herbs and spices!)
1 Envelope Lipton (or other brand) Tomato Cup of Soup
2 eggs, well beaten
2/3 cup milk
Vegetable oil to cover bottom of your skillet; about 1/2 inch deep.

1. Combine eggs and milk. Set aside.
2. Combine flour with the Italian dressing and soup mix.
3. Dip chicken pieces in milk-egg mixture and roll them in the
flour-seasoning mixture. Repeat procedure.
4. Fry pieces over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, turning often.
5. Remove from fire. Drain and serve.

3 Ingredient Pie

What could be easier?

Possibly from the depression (the one in 1929) or maybe even earlier.   A pie with only 3 ingredients?

It is similar to a custard pie, but not as heavy.  I usually put cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg in mine, though I have made it with coconut, which is delicious!  It really is versatile, you can even make a chocolate version by adding cocoa powder and chocolate chips sprinkled on top.  My husband’s favorite is orange, I just put a few drops of orange extract in the filling and zest some orange peel on top.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups real cream
  • Pie shell (homemade or store bought)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine sugar and flour in a mixing bowl
  3. Hand whisk in cream a bit at a time
  4. When thoroughly mixed, pour into pie shell
  5. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the filling is set

You can serve it hot, but I prefer to chill mine and serve it cold with some nice hot tea.  I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

Erin

 
 

Ham and Cheese Sliders………..Yummy!

These Ham and Cheese sliders are simple and crowd pleasing sandwiches. Ham and melted cheese topped with a poppy seed butter sauce.

I know what you are thinking…ham and cheese sliders; does that really require a recipe? The answer is YES it does. These have so much flavor. Sure you have your classic ham and cheese sandwich as the base of the recipe but then you top it with a flavorful poppyseed sauce. The sauce is a combo of Worcestershire sauce, onion, mustard, and butter that makes these anything but ordinary. These can be made ahead for a party and are kid friendly because they are small and familiar.

I hate mustard but couldn’t taste the little bit of mustard in the sauce. I don’t know about you but sometimes I just want to cook something that I know kids will eat without complaining about it.

These are great as an appetizer or make it a meal.

Ingredients
  • 24 white dinner rolls
  • 24 pieces honey ham
  • 24 small slices Swiss cheese
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • ⅓ cup miracle whip
Poppy seed sauce:
  • 1 Tablespoon poppyseeds
  • 1½ Tablespoons yellow mustard
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Instructions:
  1. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise and miracle whip. Spread onto both sides of the center of each roll. Place a slice of ham and a slice of Swiss inside of each roll. Close rolls and place them into a large baking dish or heavy cookie sheet. Place very close together.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the poppy seed sauce ingredients. Pour evenly over all of the sandwiches. You do not have to use all of the sauce! Just use enough to cover the tops. Let sit 10 minutes or until butter sets slightly. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for 2 additional minutes or until tops are slightly brown and crispy. Serve warm. Note: Sandwiches can be assembled ahead of time. I don’t like to do it more than a day ahead because they can get soggy from the mayo mixture.

Erin

 

Bacon-Wrapped Smokies with Brown Sugar and Butter

Salty goodness from the bacon and sweetness from the brown sugar. The best of both worlds.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (16 Oz. Size) Little Smokies Sausages
  • 1 pound Bacon, Strips Cut In Half
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar, For Sprinkling

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut the bacon slices in half and wrap each smokie with a half strip of bacon. Place all the wrapped smokies in a single layer in a baking dish, or rimmed sheet pan. Then melt the butter and once the butter is melted, pour it over the smokies. Then take some brown sugar and sprinkle evenly over the smokies. Bake for about an hour or until bacon is nice and crisp

I guarantee if you make these, they will be gone! I made them for a gathering and everyone just kept eating them, and eating them.

Erin

Stuffing In A Bundt Pan

Even if you have already gotten your ingredients for Thanksgiving stuffing, no worries,  you can still make this recipe and bake it in a bundt pan. Any stuffing recipe will work I would just add an additional 3 eggs to your recipe to ensure the stuffing stays moist.

I think this is absolutely gorgeous and will definitely be a show stopper on your dining table!

 

Erin

Or you could just use a recipe binder….

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I understand that every time someone asked for her recipe, she said “over my dead body!”

It’s a bit of a ghoulish post, I know, but it is Halloween!

Erin

Thanksgiving Turkey Fruit Tray

There is always a request for a fruit platter at our Thanksgiving meal.  Here is a unique twist.

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Thanksgiving Cheese Tray Turkey

Salami, Crackers & Cheese

Some mild cheddar and colby jack cheeses, salami, and Flipside Pretzel crackers for the feathers. Two peppercorns for the eyes, half a pistachio shell for the beak, and toothpicks for the legs (basically whatever you can find in the pantry) and a folded fourth of a piece of salami for the waddle, and that’s how you make a cheese tray turkey.  This is an easy make ahead platter that all will be talking about.

Recipe Cards: An Overview

There is no simpler way to track a favorite recipe than the recipe card. A deceptively simple rectangle of paper, the modern recipe card is the ultimate low-tech tool for saving and sharing recipes for current and future generations. Thanks to the internet, there are also now a variety of free options for creating beautiful recipe cards that will do your recipes justice.

There are generally 3 sizes of recipe cards to consider. The 3×5” card is the standard card for most of the last 100 years. (Our own 3×5 recipe cards can be found here.) The old recipe card boxes they fit into were designed for America’s small kitchens. As kitchens expanded, so did the capacity of recipe boxes and binders to allow for the now standard 4×6” recipe card. (Our 4×6 recipe cards are here.) The vast majority of all current recipe cards are this size. In the past decade a few brands have expanded to 5×7” recipe cards. (Ours are here.) You may want to avoid these, however, because while they may fit your own binder they may not fit a friend’s binder you wish to share with.

Most recipe cards are designed with around a dozen horizontal lines going across them. Try to choose cards that also have lines on the back to provide you with more space. A good rule of thumb is to use the left side of the card to create an ingredients list column.  The right side should be used to make a second column that lists ingredients. In this way you simplify the preparation process.

Recipe cards come in all varieties of colors and designs. Traditionally, they have had fairly tacky simple line art, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Many modern recipe card designs have become their own art form, with ornate paintings, drawings and even photographs. Whichever you choose, try to find ones that allow for plenty of space for writing, with a simple interior that won’t make your writing hard to read after years of use. The artistry of the card should be most pronounced around the borders.

Before the numerous online recipe sharing sites sprang up, the recipe card was the traditional method of sharing favorite recipes with friends. These cards are seeing a popular resurgence, as the hand-written instruction carries a warmth and personalization that simply can’t be duplicated with a “submit” button.

If you are like many family cooks, you have a collection of hand-written cards handed down from previous generations. To ensure they survive to see the next generation, look into recipe card protectors. These plastic slips are very inexpensive, and for a few pennies you can save a priceless written heirloom.

Lastly, a quick Google for recipe card templates should yield a variety of printable recipe cards that will be typed in Word or Acrobat, or can be printed out and then written on by hand. But we’ve gone through that hassle for you and have put more than 400 free recipe cards in one place.