There is almost nothing like the feeling of passing down time-honored traditions to the next generation. For many families, this takes the form of making Grandma’s recipes with their own children and the hours spent in the kitchen will be remembered for years to come. When it comes to preserving those family recipes with custom recipe books, SimplePrints makes the process easy.
Create a Family Recipe Book
One of the most common ways that people use to preserve family recipe books is to use companies that mass produce custom cookbooks and they will turn them into spiral bound cookbooks. While this is a good option for standard text-only cookbooks, you can’t add personalized photographs - an element that is essential for us at SimplePrints. When it comes to creating a recipe photo book for your family, we can offer a more personalized approach.
How to Create Online Recipe Book with SimplePrints
There are two ways that you can import your family cookbook recipes into the SimplePrints app.
Create an image using a digital art program with text and custom graphics
Scan or take photos of the images
The first option is to use a digital art program such as InDesign or Canva to create images with custom text. With any of these programs, you can add the text for the recipes, graphics, and photographs of the finished recipes or of your family creating them together. Then, you can export the recipe as PNGs and import them to the SimplePrints app.
Bonus tip: SimplePrints photo books are square, so the PNGs you create should also be shaped as squares for the best fit.
The second option is to scan recipes or take photos of the handwritten recipes. The biggest risk with this option is that the images might be difficult to read due to blurriness, old or worn paper, and sometimes challenging to read handwriting.
Here’s how we suggest getting around this hurdle (while still saving Grandma’s recipes):
If you have family recipes that are written on an old paper, it can feel essential to keep that piece of history around. You can scan this recipe and create a side-by-side image in a PNG with the recipe typed out so that the recipe is easy to follow, while still capturing the history behind it. This option allows you to keep the original spirit of the recipe while giving a clear “translation” of the image.
One of our favorite things about creating a photo book with SimplePrints is that you can easily create a photo collage online. This is a great way to include photo tutorials for complicated recipes, such as braiding bread or getting the perfect braise on your meats. Capture those special family techniques with cooking photos and be sure to include them in your recipe book.
One of the first steps to creating your custom recipe book is to decide which categories you want to include and how many recipes of each category you will put in the book. SimplePrints custom photo books start at 20 pages but have a max page count of 200+ pages.
Common categories for family cookbook recipes are:
Extra Pages to Consider
You might consider adding some of these extra pages to the back of your custom recipe book for reference or to the front as an index:
A complete list of all the family recipes in the book
Organize the recipes in the book by category or alphabetically and create a list so that future readers know where to find the recipes.
Important dates to remember
It’s never a bad idea to write down birthdays, holidays, and important anniversaries in the captions for the recipes. But you can also write down time sensitive cooking information. For example, if Thanksgiving is on Thursday and Grandpa always started preparing the turkey three days ahead of time, write down both dates so you don’t forget to get started on your meal prep.)
Have you ever lost one of your measuring cups and you are left measuring out all your ingredients with a ⅔-cup scoop? In these cases, it can be helpful to keep a page of quick conversions on hand.
1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
4 tablespoons = ¼-cup
16 tablespoons = 1 cup
1 ounce = 2 tablespoons
1 cup = 8 ounces
1 pint = 2 cups
1 quart = 4 cups = 2 pints
1 gallon = 4 quarts = 8 pints
There are the classic substitutions like using salt and baking powder to mimic baking soda in a recipe and then there are the unique ones that your family uses. Maybe your grandmother grew up during the Great Depression and used crumbled crackers instead of breadcrumbs in her meatloaf or you have created vegan options for your Grandpa’s famous barbecue sauce. These substitutions are an essential page in any DIY cookbook!
Other substitutions to include are:
Substitute vegetable shortening for butter, with a one-to-one ratio
Substitute one tablespoon or cornstarch for two tablespoons of flour to thicken soups or sauces
Substitute one cup of brown sugar for one cup of white sugar plus two tablespoons of molasses
Substitute one cup of molasses for one cup of honey
Substitute one cup of buttermilk for one cup of milk plus 1 tablespoon of acid (lemon juice or vinegar)
If you love to cook with your kids, then creating a book with children’s cooking recipes (with pictures) is essential. You can savor the time spent mixing up batches of cookies or watching baking competitions and trying to recreate the results at home by creating a photo recipe book that you will both treasure for years to come.
Collect all your child’s favorite recipes, from dinner ideas to wild desserts, and take photos while you bring the recipes to life! Then import the recipes and the photos into a custom kids cookbook for your child.
Don’t forget to include kids' cooking ideas, such as bizarre (or just extra-fun) recipes that your child has discovered that they love. Whether this takes the form of peanut butter and pickle sandwiches or marshmallow fudge, let your kid have some input on the recipes that you include and make it their own!
Bonus Idea: Host a kids cooking party to celebrate a birthday or holiday and use your new custom recipe book as your guide to which recipes to choose!
Recipe Books are the Perfect Holiday Gift Idea
It can be challenging to find great gifts for grandparents ideas or gifts that you can give to your adult siblings, uncles, aunts, and other family members. Lucky for you, your new photo cookbook is the perfect holiday gift! When you create a DIY family recipe book with the SimplePrints app, you can order the photo books in bulk. These treasured photo books will make your holiday celebrations extra special.
Guest Blogger: Cameya Martin
Cameya Martin is a mother, a wife, a self-identified horse-girl, and a writer. She writes articles for small businesses, memoirs for people, and fiction for herself.