Category Archives: Food for Thought

New Recipe Feature: Multi-Part Recipes!

Have you ever had a cake recipe that really needed a specific frosting? Or a meat recipe that required a special sauce? Wouldn’t it be great if a a recipe could have sub recipes attached to keep them together?

Now you can!

Many of our editors have asked for the ability to have multiple sections or steps in recipes. We like to listen and have added it! Now you can have up to 5 “sub” recipes or steps within a recipe, each with its own set of ingredients and directions. Example? You have Carrot Cake and you want a section for the “Cake” with its ingredients and directions, then “Cream Cheese Frosting” with another set of ingredients and directions.

To use this feature, simply go to Add Recipe or Edit an existing recipe. You will see a checkbox just above the Contributor field. Check the box and it will add a section title for the main recipe ingredients/directions and also a button below the first directions “Add New Sub Recipe.” Click that button to add additional sub title, ingredients and directions sections.

Multi-part recipes

Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Family Cookbook Project Highlighted in Cape Cod Home Magazine

CCHome Cover SMIn the Winter Issue of Cape Cod Home Magazine, is highlighted in a two page spread by reporter Haley Cote. Haley met with founders Bill Rice and Chip Lowell in Wellfleet this summer and learned how the Great Family Cookbook Project was started 12 years ago and how it has grown to be one of the most successful cookbook making websites on the Internet.

Read the article on creating a family cookbook at

Here is the article if you’d like to read it. Click here if you’d like to subscribe to Cape Cod Home Magazine,

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The most important part of your recipe – the title

495379recipepic65541-Jacques-Torres-Secret-Chocolate-Chip-Cookie-RecipeYour recipe title is the single most important element of your recipe. This is because your title is a headline, and the headline in any type of content has one special and powerful property.

Think about how you read a cookbook looking for a recipe to try.  You don’t start in the front and read every page like a novel then pick the one you want. No, you scan the pages looking for a photo or recipe title that catches your eye and looks interesting!

Of all the elements in your recipe, the title has the greatest power for grabbing your readers’ attention and the greatest responsibility for enticing them to continue and read your recipe It follows that the better your title, the higher the chance of turning a recipe scanner into a recipe reader (and ultimately a recipe user).

For a recipe title to be effective it needs to consider several things:

Grab Attention – Like any headline you need to grab the readers attention.

Describe the food being prepared – “Gruel” is one of my son’s favorite dishes, however it no one outside the family knows what it is. Including the main ingredient of the dish and even how it us prepared make the title more useful. “Baked Hamburger Gravy” would be a more descriptive title for our gruel.

Be different and unique – If you have seen the recipe title before, it does not belong on your recipe!

Include the source – In family cookbooks, certain people are associated with certain recipes. Grandma’s Apple Pie or Lou’s Lemon Bars help the reader image exactly what dish you are referring to. It just does not help anyone who is not at family gatherings!

Sell the sizzle as well as the steak – This means to highlight the benefit, the reason why this recipe is worth making.

Recipe titles that address cooking and eating needs are more likely to seduce the reader into the recipe itself. A good title clearly shows the reader which of their cooking and eating needs the recipe addresses. Every readers’ need is different. For example, it could be for something indulgent or something low fat, or something quick and easy or something sophisticated and thus involved, or something refined or something rustic.

Consider the following recipe titles: ‘Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies’, ‘Quick ‘n’ Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies’, ‘Grandma’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies’, ‘Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies’. Notice how each title addresses a different need and even appeals to different audiences. Quite simply, as the chocolate chip cookie examples show, it’s all down to the words you choose for your title.

With a little thought and imagination, your recipe titles can stand out and make your readers give your recipes the attention they deserve.

Bill Rice is Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

It’s Family Reunion and Summer Planning Time!

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June seems to be one of the busiest months for families. It also is the gateway to summer family reunions, picnics and vacations.

Planning Ahead
If you are using your family cookbooks as part of a celebration, either a family reunion, Mother’s Day gift, Christmas gift, wedding favor, or other specific event, it is important that you plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time to have your cookbooks printed and shipped for the event.

Family Cookbooks uses the latest in high speed digital printing to produce your family heirlooms. Generally it takes 2-3 weeks to get the files ready for the presses, print, bind and package to ship directly to you. However, during our busiest seasons – right before Mother’s Day and Christmas – it can take much longer.

Another thing to consider is shipping. We use UPS and USPS to ship our family cookbooks all over the USA and Canada. Shipping can take an additional week to have your cookbooks reach you.

Since personalized family cookbooks can make such great Christmas gifts, editors rush to get their print orders submitted in November in order to receive them in time for Christmas time gift giving. Normally, we have a November 30th deadline for delivery in time for Christmas. Save yourself (and us) the danger of not having your cookbooks ready and submit your holiday cookbook orders in October and beat the November rush.

When setting your deadline for recipe contributions, leave enough time for you to review all of the recipes and finalize formatting before you can submit your order for printing. In just 2-3 weeks, your cookbooks should be in your hands!

Wedding Season!

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There is no better way to get wedding guests involved prior to the event than asking them to contribute recipes for a wedding cookbook. Once the recipes are preserved online, they can be shared with other family members by email, individual printed recipes or provide a valuable lasting gift for attendees at the wedding reception.

“I just received our box of ‘Jake and Julia’s Friends and Family Cookbooks’ today! They turned out fabulous! I am so pleased, and so excited to give it to them at their wedding! Thanks so much for the wonderful website! This was just what we wanted, and we received such a great response from our family members who contributed.”
–Rita Flatz, Jake and Julia’s Friends and Family Cookbooks

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April Showers Bring May Flowers – and Mothers’ Day Cookbooks!

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This is a great time of year. It’s rainy, it’s sunny, it’s warm, it’s cold. We are all getting excited for new growth and fun get-togethers outside.

Mothers’ Day Deadline

Mother’s Day is coming quickly – May 10th – and it also is one of the best times to have your family cookbook published. If you are planning on having your cookbook ready for Mothers’ Day, you’ll need to get your print orders in by Wednesday April 22nd in order to receive them on time for gifts.

Wedding season is coming, too! How about a family & friends cookbook for a shower or bridal party gift?

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Getting Ready for Family Reunions

If your family has an annual family reunion in the summer, now is the time to get people contributing to your family cookbook. A cookbook is a great way to get family members excited about getting together – and what family reunion did not feature mountains of mouth watering food and family recipes!
If you don’t want to get people contributing before-hand, use the event to collect email address and get family members eager to contribute their best recipes.

Wanted: Grandparents who cook


Cooking Channel’s hit show needs Grandmas and Grandpas for Season 3!! You (or someone you know) could be featured on the series The New Yorker calls “charming” and Parade Magazine calls “maybe the best (cooking show) on TV”.

They are looking for…
Grandmothers and Grandfathers
All ethnicities anywhere in America
50 to 100 years old
Big personalities who can cook delicious dishes
Real characters: warm, fun, outgoing, eccentric, lovable, sweet, fiery, or even curmudgeonly
Great families
Accents and English as a second language not a problem


If you know someone who might be who they are looking for, go to the website and complete the simple application. It does not cost anything to try and you might get your grandmother on a TV show!

Tricks and Treats for Your Cookbook

Fall Pumpkins

It’s Halloween time! Remember to add fun
tricks and treats to your cookbook!

As we prepare for the holiday season, many family cookbook editors are working to finalize their projects in order to give as gifts this year. Cookbooks must be submitted for printing before the deadline of Friday, November 1st to receive your cookbooks by Thanksgiving. Saturday, November 30th is the deadline to guarantee delivery without expedited shipping before the Christmas holiday.

So now is the time to contact all of your contributors with your reminder tool and tell them to enter their recipes now before it is too late. We recommend using a recipe submission deadline of October 15th in order to give you time to review the recipes, make sure all of the extra spaces are removed and words are spelled correctly, and still have time to place your order before the printing deadline.

Family cookbooks make wonderful gifts for family and friends alike. The effort you put into your cookbook now will pay off for your entire family for years to come.

Great Cookbook Accessories!

Need a nice cookbook holder for the kitchen? How about a really nice 3-ring binder for when you print on your own? Check out our Cookbook Accessories Shop and see all the fun things we have!


Featured Recipe from the Database

The Great Family Cookbook Project has over 500,000 public recipes in the system thanks to you! If you need a fun recipe idea that’s not in your own cookbook, go to our home page and use the search function to see what’s available – lots of good eats!

This recipe for Halloween Party Punch, by Micki Clark, is from The Clark Family Cookbook, one of the cookbooks created at Give this recipe a try and if you do, be sure to rate it on our site!

Halloween Party Punch Recipe

Contributor: Micki Clark
Category: Appetizers & Beverages
1 3oz. pkg orange gelatin
2 c. boiling water
1 6oz can orange juice concentrate
1 46 oz. can unsweetened pineapple juice
1 qrt. ginger ale

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.

Mix orange juice with three cans of water and add to gelatin mixture.

Add pineapple juice and chill.

Add ginger ale just before serving. Makes 30 1/2 cup servings


What They Are Saying

“I’m so excited! I’ve always wanted to put our family recipes into a cookbook and I finally did it! We’ll be giving them out at the rehearsal dinner. I used the site to create our “Recipes from the Heart” and just sent it to the printer today. This website was so easy to use and the support you get is fabulous. I encourage any of you that want to record your family recipes for our future generations, please try them out… Seriousy, an awesome website. (can you tell how happy I am that it’s done?)”
–Terry Mozer, Recipes from the Heart

“I have never written a testimonial for a computer program so this will be my first! I can’t say enough how wonderful this program is, and how easy it is to use. I started with what I thought was going to be a “small” project. Once I got started, I found it so easy to use, that I expanded the project to include my whole family, including four generations and over 700 recipes. The book is truly wonderful and I appreciate the ease of the program, and the wonderful support from you when I needed to have a question answered. Thanks to this program, our generations of favorite family recipes are in print forever. I will recommend it to everyone. Thanks again for your wonderful program.”
–Rosella Alfermann, FROM GRANDMA TO MOM TO ME

Read more great testimonials here!


It’s the Dog Days of Summer!

“Behind Every Recipe You Love
is a Story You Want to Share!”

It’s August – the Dog Days of Summer!

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It’s August. It’s hot! But fall and the holidays are going to come quicker than you think. You still have plenty of time to get your cookbook ready for Thanksgiving get-togethers. Just remember, it will take us 2-3 weeks to print and get your cookbooks to you. So plan to finish up by the first few days of November. That’s just 10 weeks away.

Right now is the perfect time to get everyone involved – and print your book for the holidays!

Add to the Story

Our feeling at Family Cookbook is “Behind every recipe you love is a story you want to share!” And we have added an awesome new feature to your cookbook! Every recipe has always offered a personal notes/comments field for a contributor when they add it to the cookbook – so they can tell their story about the recipe.

New! We have added an “Add to the Story” button on all recipes – so any contributor you have can add their own comments and stories to someone’s recipe. As editor, you can even have these stories added to the printed cookbook!

Check it out on any of your recipes!

Get Our App for Your Phone!

Get the Family Cookbook Recipes App for iPhone and Android! You don’t always have to have a printed cookbook to use your recipes – you can always access them from the web on any PC, Mac or iPad with a nice larger screen. But what about your phone? Well, we have an app for that! Here are links to get the one for your phone:

iPhone App here
Android App here

Great Cookbook Accessories!

Need a nice cookbook holder for the kitchen? How about a really nice 3-ring binder for when you print on your own? Check out our Cookbook Accessories Shop and see all the fun things we have!

Start Your Own Cookbook!

If you had this email forwarded and would like to create your own cookbook, start by clicking this link – have fun!

Bill Rice and Chip Lowell
Family Cookbook Project
Cookbook Blog


Featured Recipe from the Database

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The Great Family Cookbook Project has over 500,000 public recipes in the system thanks to you! If you need a fun recipe idea that’s not in your own cookbook, go to our home page and use the search function to see what’s available – lots of good eats!

This recipe for BBQ Chicken Pizza with Cauliflower Crust, by Kelcey Heman, is from The O’Neil Family Cookbook Project, one of the cookbooks created at Give this recipe a try and if you do, be sure to rate it on our site!


BBQ Chicken Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Contributor: Kelcey Heman
Category: Main Courses
1 head of cauliflower
3 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan
1 egg
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup barbeque sauce
¾ red onion sliced
½ cup red sauce
1. Break cauliflower into small florets and place pieces in food processor. Blend until it looks like snow.
2. Heat in microwave for 5 minutes on HIGH. Let cauliflower cool.
3. While the cauliflower is cooling, sauté chicken in skillet with a bit of olive oil, just until cooked.
4. Mix chicken with 1/2 cup of barbeque sauce. Set aside.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
6. Then strain using a fine strainer or kitchen cloth, squeeze all of the water out of the cauliflower.
7. Mix drained cauliflower, 1 ½ cup of mozzarella cheese, Parmesan, egg,
and seasonings.
8. Press mixture onto baking sheet in ¼ in layer. Bake for 12 minutes
9. Take out crust and spread red sauce on top. Cover with chicken, red onion, and cheese (in that order).
10. Drizzle the rest of the BBQ sauce on top of the pizza.
11. Bake the pizza again for maximum 8­-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.


How Many Recipes Should a Cookbook Have?

One question every cookbook editor wants to know is how many recipes should my cookbook have? Too many and printing costs are higher, not enough and the cookbook is not as valuable. What’s a family cookbook editor to do?

Looking at the thousands of cookbooks we have printed over the past decade, there is no real number of recipes that make up a good cookbook  – you have what you have.  We have printed cookbooks with just 15 great recipes and as many as 1200!  However, that 1200 recipe book was 750 pages – HUGE!
The average size seems to be around 150 recipes and that is why we use that number in our cost calculator.
When a great cookbook has less recipes, often the editor includes other content to augment the food offerings. Photos of each dish, a section of family photos, a family tree or family stories about people remembered can really add value to a smaller cookbook.
Larger cookbooks can be impressive simply by the number of recipes it contains. However, since printing cost is directly related to the number of pages that need to be printed, it is important to be mindful of your design choices when choosing your layout options.
At the end of the day, your cookbook is exactly that – your cookbook. You need to balance the number and quality of the recipes included with the needs of your family.

Thoughts From Our Family Cookbook Editors

A few months ago, we asked our Family Cookbook Editors what they thought about our website, our software, our customer service and our cookbooks. 

Here are some of the comments they wanted to share:

“A few years ago, my family printed A Peek into the Parsons Pantry.  It has been my main source of recipes ever since!  I have loved it.  I love being able to put personal notes on each recipe.  I love that the index can be alphabetical by recipe title or by contributor, or it is also organized by category.  Such a great cookbook, and I love that everyone just enters their own recipes.  So easy!”
Heather Byrd

A Second Peek into the Parsons Pantry
“I received this project as a gift from my son and have enjoyed sorting through the recipes to include specific items which the family will enjoy.”
Caroline Smith

The Smith Family Cookbook Project

“I was thrilled once I entered this website to see how user friendly it was.  It had been a while since I had taken on such a big project and I was unsure of being able to tackle thinking the site would be foreign.  BUT it was not at all,  It has tutorials for help and customer service is extremely fast at helping you.  I love that you enter the ingredients and method are entered separate.  You can include your own pictures is what I did and it turned out beautiful  The cookbook has rounded edges which to me was just a wonderful added touch!!  The website said 3 -4 weeks for printed delivery and we had our books in 8 DAYS!!  I am from Canada and I am just thrilled with this website and would encourage anyone who may be thinking doing a cookbook to definitely choose this site.” 
Karen Melnyk

Sing from Heart.  Recipes with love, from Ruth.


“It was much easier to get started than I thought it would be.  And much easier to get others interested in contributing.”
Adrienne Castle

Foothills’ Friends’ Favorites

“I always wanted to put our family recipes in a cookbook and have tried several formats.  This was without a doubt the easiest way for us to get together with our thoughts and ideas.  The fact that we made it a story book as well put charm in the book that had friends and family smile and cry.”
Charlotte  Ragsdale

Ragsdale Family Cookbook
“I love the Family Cookbook Project, what a great way to take those recipes from our friends and family and put them all in one place. I know as my Nana gets older lots of the Sunday dinner specials will become an old piece of paper that you can’t read, so I take those and save the memories for ever with Family Cookbook project! Thank you!”
Amanda McGovern

Cookies Recipes and Cookbook
“I am very satisfied with this site. It’s fun and easy to use and we will be using it again!”
Chantal  Lavigne
Leevee De Fonds/Fundraiser CIBC Sutton

“I used family cookbook project to put all my grandmother’s recipes in a book for all the grandkids and great grandkids. I was easy to use and very understanding. I plan on doing another one but with just my recipes. Thank you the great help you offer while working on the first cookbooks.”  
Nancy McInelly


“This was a fun project, made much easier by Family Cookbook friendly website.  We did it as a family project to have our family favorites in one place and at the same time, raising money for our two favorite charities.  I hoped to sell 50 but wound up ordering over 300 and we have none left.  Now we are getting requests for a second printing and/or another cookbook!  We loved every step of creating our cookbook thanks to Family Cookbook Project!”
Cheryl Doublin DeJulius

Four Sisters, A Legacy of Love from our Kitchens
“A fantastic way to collect and share family history through the tradition recipes we make and serve during the holidays!”
Judy Desroches

Family Recipes

“So easy to use and a great Christmas gift, I wouldn’t hesitate to use the website again. I spent about an hour a night plugging in recipes but also spent a lot of time looking over the covers and inserts that you can choose. The site makes everything so easy for you and the fact that you can preview everything to see if you like the cover, inserts, fonts, etc. rather than either having to print it or be stuck with it is great. Changes can always be made. If you give it as a gift, the looks you get after it is opened are priceless.”

Family Favorites Cookbook