Family Cookbook Project  has been helping individuals and families create and print cherished customized cookbooks full of their own personal recipes. We thought it would be interesting to learn more about the typical person who wanted to create a cookbook.

Earlier this year, we surveyed 2,041 Cookbook Editors and asked “What was the most enjoyable part about creating a family cookbook?”. We received 1,600 responses and here are some of the most popular answers:

 

 

Bill Rice is founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

The best cookie recipes can be frozen and used as needed

In our house, there is nothing like a warm, soft cookie right out of the oven. However since it is not practical to make dough for only a few cookies at a time, the next best thing is to freeze your cookie dough and pull out enough cookies for your immediate needs.

Freezing cookies also provides time saving opportunities when you want to get ready for a holiday cookie swap in October or getting ready for a school bake sale anytime.

How you best freeze cookies depends on what type of cookie you are making. The FamilyCookbook Project had collected thousands of cookie recipes if you need a suggestion.

Cookies like chocolate chip and oatmeal-raisin freeze best if you make the actual cookie beforehand. Scoop out the dough just as if you were about to bake it and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat (they can be close, but not touching). Instead of putting it into the oven, but them into the freezer for atleast 6 hours instead. Once frozen, the dough balls get sealed inside a plastic freezer bag and when it is time to bake, you are ready to go.

Cookies like shortbread or sandies, or any smooth slice-and-bake cookies can be pressed into logs, wrapped in wax paper and frozen solid. Prepare the dough as usual, then shape it into one or two logs that can be covered with wax paper and placed in a plastic freezer bag. When you’re ready to bake, let them warm on the counter for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. You might also want to let the logs thaw in the fridge for a few hours before you’re ready to use the dough. Slice the cookies into thick disks and you’re ready to put them in the oven as usual.

The third type of cookies that can be frozen are cut-out cookies, like sugar cookies and many holiday cookies. The dough for these cookies can be frozen in disks and then stacked together with wax paper between them. When ready to bake, thaw until bendable and continue with the recipe.

Most frozen cookies will need an extra minute or two in the oven. Otherwise, prepping and baking the cookies is exactly the same as in the recipe.

 

Bill Rice is founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

How to Take Great Food Photos for Your Recipes

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and with recipes that is especially true.

It’s wonderful to read a list of ingredients and see the potential in a recipe, but to look at the finished product can make your mouth water!

Family Cookbook Project highly recommends adding a photo to every recipe you can in your online cookbook. It helps people to see what to expect when they follow your recipe and gives them a standard to meet when comparing their finished dish to the original.

With the advent of digital camera built into cell phones, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to take good food photos.

Here are some pointers to help improve your recipe photos:

Use Natural Light – Make sure that the light is right – shoot the food either next to a bright window or under a pendant light in the restaurant. Don’t use your camera’s flash! Set your dish near a window and turn off any artificial lights that might be on nearby. Try to photograph with the light at your back or to the side of a dish, so that the shadows are to the side or behind it. 

Hold Still – Taking photos inside, even with ample natural light, often means you have to hold the camera very still to keep it from registering hand shake. If you have a tripod, that’s ideal. If you don’t, you can duplicate the tripod effect by resting your elbows on the table or counter and using them to stabilize the camera. Moving the camera when taking a photo will only lead to blurry unusable photos. 

Get close to the food! – Don’t stand back three feet and get the food with the stove, the dirty dishes, and all the condiments around it. Move in and get up close and personal, and let the pan…or the plate…or the cutting board fill the frame.  

Stage the shot – The food isn’t the only thing in the photo. Using plates, silverware and linens in complementary colors can help your dish come alive. Shoot food on a beautiful plate or on a table with texture and character. The more appetizing the ingredients, the better your photo will be. Plates that contain colored vegetables and/or meat, preferably in light-colored sauces, are often the most appealing to the eye in photos. Also Don’t be Afraid of a mess. A few crumbs or a smear of dressing can be beautiful, if you let them. 

Focus on the food –  If you are using a DSLR, stop down your lens to f/1.8 or f/2.0 that limits your depth of field to one part of the image only, blurring out everything around the subject, simulating a shot taken with a macro lens. If you are using an iPhone, there are apps, such as Camera+ or VSCO Cam, that will create the same effect. Remember, you want the food to be the main focus, not the background. 

Try different angles –  Get up over the food and shoot straight down on it. When shooting overheads, if appropriate, try filling up the frame with what’s already on the table such as cups, wine glasses, utensils and moving hands. You can also  think in three dimensions, You might not usually serve brownies piled in a vertical column, but stacking any flat food, like pancakes, cookies, or even onion rings, is a great way to show off texture and make the photo more appealing. You can also add dimension to your food photos by showing the dish right after the that first bite is taken, or the second and third. These are little details that make a viewer feel like they’ve sat down and are enjoying the meal. 

Get Close to Ugly Foods  – Some foods, no matter how good they taste, just don’t make good photos. But the closer you get to your subject, the more the visual story becomes about texture and color, rather than pure mouth-watering beauty.Avoid foods that are white and gloppy, such as congealed gravy on white pasty mashed potatoes. 

Size Matters –  Make sure your camera settings are set for a good sized photo. Small photos look blurry when they are enlarged on line. A photo viewed online only has to be 72 dpi (dots per inch, the measure for quality), but if you are going to print your photo, you want it to be at least 300 dpi. 600 pixels wide (a measurement for size) is a good target for minimum photo size.

Using other’s photos – It is important to note that the Internet makes it easy to find photos of recipes already taken. While this might be much easier, the photo still is the property of whomever holds the rights. Don’t always assume that because a photo is on the Internet you can simply use it for your recipe. Make sure you ask permission from the owner before you use it.

 

Bill Rice takes more than 20,000 photos a year and is Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

Cookbook Survey: Who Is The Typical Cookbook Editor?

Family Cookbook Project  has been helping individuals and families create and print cherished customized cookbooks full of their own personal recipes. We thought it would be interesting to learn more about the typical person who wanted to create a cookbook.

Earlier this year, we surveyed 2,041 Cookbook Editors and here are some of the findings related to who is the typical cookbook editor.

In terms of demographics, 91% of the cookbook editors are female and 75.58% are over the age of 50. In terms of their computer skills, 92% reported to have had at least good computer skills.

 

Why did you create your family cookbook project? *

70% To save family recipes for future generations

34.58% To create one source for all my recipes

34.15% To give as gifts

21.82% To bring my family together

20.22% Because it was fun

* Participants were able to provide more than one answer so total does not equal 100%.

 

Approximately how many contributors, including yourself, added recipes to your cookbook?

 

28.66% Editor was only contributor

51% had between 2-9

9% has 20 or more

 

Approximately how long did it take you to collect your recipes?

12% less than 4 weeks

29.34% 1-4 months

43.8% more than 1 year

 

Views on FamilyCookbookProject.com

When asked how they would rate their experience with Familycookbookproject.com, an astounding 94.28% said they had a good or better experience with 32.68% of cookbook editors responding Excellent.

When asked to rate the various aspects of the Family Cookbook Project, Receiving highest marks (Above average or Exceptional) were:

Add a Recipe page (71.83%)

Web site ease of use (71.33%)

Choice of covers (56.62%)

Overall customer service (55.60%)

Invitation tool to email contributors (50.13%)

Of the items that had the highest negative score (Somewhat below average or below average) were Choice of covers (9.33), Choice on recipe layouts (7.12%) and Photo tool (6.84).

We also asked the cookbook editors the true test of how they liked the process of creating a personal cookbook using FamilyCookbookProject.com – If you had to do it all over again, would you use familycookbookproject.com to collect, organize and print your family cook book?

95.86% would use familycookbookproject.com again to create their customized cookbooks full of treasured recipes. A full 74.8% replied Absolutely, the top answer. Only 4% said no they would not create a cookbook if they had to do it all over again.

Over the next few weeks we will release more results from the 2019 Family Cookbook Project Editors Survey.

 

 

Bill Rice is founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

The Holidays Are The Best Time To Collect Recipes

Creating a family cookbook is a very satisfying event. However getting everyone Else in your family to contribute their favorite recipes is always one of the challenges to printing your cookbook in a timely manner.

However, the holidays are a great time to motivate your contributors and gather lots of incredible recipes.

The holidays are known for two things: gathering together with friends and family in parties and dinners, and bringing out tried-and-true family favorites that don’t necessarily get made during the rest of the year.

Look at Christmas cookies for example. How often do you make Christmas cookies in July? Have you ever made a plum Pudding for September? how about a roast turkey with stuffing and all the sides including cranberry sauce for a nice Wednesday evening meal? probably not. These are all safe for the year and holidays.

The other aspect of holidays are large gatherings, being a holiday party or a dinner with extended family. Often people bring side dishes and appetizers and desserts as they are part of the meal.

This is a great opportunity to let people know what you like and ask them to contribute that specific recipe to the family cookbook. They will feel proud that everyone loves their dish and will be more likely to contribute it knowing people will enjoy it.

Asking people face-to-face is always a great way to get recipes, however reminding them via email after the holidays is also an important follow-up. Family Cookbook Project has a reminder tool that will allow you to select the people you had spoken to during the holidays and remind them to submit their recipes. This is a good time to Osco ask them to enter additional recipes that they love.

 

Bill Rice is founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

Two Recipe Contests from Taste of Home

Think you have some great original recipes in your Family cookbook Project? Here is a way to prove it and make some money at the same time!

Global Flavors Recipe Contest – Deadline January 15, 2020

We’ve got the travel bug, and we’re looking for your best authentic recipes from across the globe. We’re talking mains like tender Korean beef bulgogi, tangy German sauerbraten and Indian chicken tikka masala. Send us soups and sammies, too, like Thai tom ka gai, Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches and Moroccan lentil soup. Snacks like Puerto Rican fried plantains and appetizers like baba ghanoush are welcome, too. And don’t forget dessert! We’ll never turn down sweets like flaky baklava, French madeleine cookies and Brazilian passion fruit mousse. Send your favorite recipes from countries across the world and you could win big! Read the contest rules here.

Holiday Potluck Recipe Contest – Deadline January 17, 2020

The invitations are coming your way and you know just what to bring. Like your peppermint cheesecake bites that practically fly off the table. Or that smoky chorizo bean dip that gets devoured in a dash. Those bacon-ranch potatoes are always a hit, right? And the tortellini-caprese skewers get plucked up, pronto. If your dish leaves the holiday party without any leftovers, send us that recipe, and you could win $500! Read the contest rules here.

Prizes

Each contest will award One Grand Prize winner will be awarded $500; one first place winner will be awarded $300; one second place winner will be awarded $150; one third place winner will be awarded $75; and eight runners-up will each win a book as selected by Sponsor.

Family Cookbooks Make Great Holiday Gifts, but don’t wait until December 24th!!

Okay, the important question of the month: “When is the deadline to ensure Christmas delivery of my Family Cookbook?”

Answer: Saturday, November 30th! There will be an extended deadline, but upgraded shipping will probably be required.

Since personal family cookbooks make a great Christmas gift for both friends and family members, a great many people are working hard to get their cookbooks completed and ordered. That means the sooner your done and have placed your order, the sooner you will receive them!

We are helping more people that ever this year and we want to make sure no one in your family is disappointed, so get your cookbooks finalized and ordered ASAP!

 

Bill Rice is founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

How To Stay Motivated When Things Slow Down

Staying motivated is one of the toughest things about any long-term project like creating a cookbook.

 

Scale back expectations

Don’t try to do it yourself

Keep it simple

Make a list of activities

Set a deadline

https://www.familycookbookproject.com/create_make_cookbook_software.asp?utm_source=FCBP_Blog&utm_medium=Blog&utm_campaign=FCBP_Blog&utm_content=Stay_Motived

 

 

Bill Rice is founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!

7 Steps to Create a Perfect Family Cookbook

Creating a treasured family cookbook has never been easier.  The Great Family Cookbook Project was developed to make the process easy to understand and accomplish.

Here is an overview on the simple steps required to create a personalize family cookbook.

Step 1: Complete account set up – Here you will complete your contact information and set up some basic information like your cookbook submission deadlines for your a cookbook account.

Step 2: Invite contributors – Here you can invite friends and family members to contribute Recipes to your cookbook. If this is a personal cookbook you can skip this step.

Step 3: Start adding recipes – UN your contributors add as many recipes as you want in your cookbook.

Step 4: Send reminders to your contributors. Regular emails will help remind people to submit their recipes by the deadline.

Step 5: Design your cookbook – Here you pick a color pick a layout format and determine what will appear in your cookbook.

Step 6:  Add photos to your cookbook – Using our photo editor you can upload photos to your cookbook to specific recipes or sections.

Step 7: Get your cookbook ready to print – Once all of your recipes are entered now it is time to lock your cookbook edit the recipes and order your cookbooks.

 

Bill Rice is founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!



 

A Family Cookbook Is A Present With A Future

Recipes are a tradition that should be passed on to each generation. Although a family food treasure can be lost forever with each passing of a family member. Many families are working together and creating family cookbooks to collect and preserve mealtime treasures.

Once a labor-intensive task, now families are using the Internet to simplify the project. A website can provide step by step instructions and tools to help the family member serving as cookbook editor to contact others and encourage them to enter their favorite recipes directly into the online system.  The editor then simply reviews and edits the recipes, selects printing options, and sends the cookbook to be printed.  The finished printed cookbooks are received in a few weeks time.

FamilyCookbookProject.com, winner of the Web Marketing Association’s Best Family Website and Best Publishing Website WebAwards, is one easy-to-use Website available to help families collect their assortment of recipes into a beautifully bound heirloom that can be useful in the kitchen or given as a gift.

Whether you are looking for a great gift idea or ensuring that the foods you grew up with are enjoyed in future generations, a family cookbook is a present with a future.

For more information go to www.familycookbookproject.com

 

Bill Rice is founder and Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website that helps families and individuals collect and share food memories through customized printed cookbooks filled with treasured recipes. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest!