Category Archives: General Cookbook

Family Cookbook Project During the COVID-19 Crisis

Our hearts go out to anyone in our Family Cookbook community that have been affected by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, either through sickness, loss of a loss loved one, loss of employment, or the effects of social distancing. This affects all of us and only together will we rise above and beat this crisis.

With the forced isolation brought on by social distancing and quarantines, we have seen an increase in the number of recipes being added to the system each day. Our system is designed to handle any increase in traffic with minimal impact to the user. We hope this also corresponds with an increase in trying new interesting family recipes since dining out options have been limited.

As a Family Cookbook Project editor, here are some ideas to add a silver lining to this crisis.

  • Reach out to your contributors and ask them if they have any extra time to contribute a few recipes to your cookbook.
  • If you’ve already printed your cookbook, now is a good time to unlock it and ask contributors to start working on volume two.
  • Add to a recipe story. Family Cookbook offers an online ability to add comments to recipes that you’ve tried in memories that you have. Ask people to contribute their stories to the recipes they make and try.
  • Use your extra time to review for more than 50 professionally design covers available for your cookbook and get it ready for printing.
  • Create a specialty cookbook. Do you have a lot of dessert recipes or maybe ethnic recipes? Consider creating a small cookbook with just those recipes. These kind of cookbooks make great gifts.

These are just some simple ideas to help you take your mind off of the difficult times we are experiencing and look forward to a brighter future.


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 Write A Great Recipe Title

Your 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 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!

Using Standard Measurements for Your Recipes

For many generations, recipes were handed down by word of mouth from mother to daughter. Recipes consisted of a little of this and a smidgin of that. The food always came our great – or at least that is what we told out mothers!

Today things are different. Computers make is easy to write down our recipes and share them with friends and family members over the Internet. However it is important to remember that cooking has a language of its own. It is a language of ingredients and measurements and directions. I believe the most important of these is measurements. If we did not have standard measurements for cooking, “T” could be a teaspoon, a tablespoons, a thimble full or a truck load! Here are a list of Standard Measures Abbreviations commonly used in recipes.

teaspoon……………………… tsp.
tablespoon…………………… tbsp. or T.
cup…………………………….. c.
quart…………………………… qt.
ounce…………………………. oz.
pint…………………………….. pt.
gallon…………………………. gal.
inch…………………………….. in.
pound………………………….. lb.
milliliter…………………………. ml
liter……………………………….. L
milligram……………………….. mg
gram……………………………… g
kilogram ……………………….. kg
millimeter……………………… mm
centimeter…………………….. cm
meter……………………………. m
Celsius…………………………… C
Fahrenheit……………………. F

Another important thing about standard measurements is that they don’t work if you don’t use them! Including an ingredient in your recipe without a specific amount is likely to leave someone trying the recipe for the first time scratching their head and wondering what to do. Remember know one will know unless you include it in your 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!

5 Ways To Improve Your Family Cookbook Over The Holidays

The holidays are a time when we get all of our family together and celebrate together with food, fun and festivities. It is also a great time to motivate others in the family to contribute to your family cookbook project.

Here are some ideas to help you work on your cookbook during the holidays:

  • When you see family members, remember to talk about the cookbook and how excited you are as it moves forward. Others will see your enthusiasm and be more willing to help contribute.
  • When someone brings a delicious dish to a family gathering – ask for the recipe. People are often proud of their food creations and love to share recipes. If they don’t have it with them, let them know contributing recipes is easy on the website. Encourage them to give it a try.
  • Take photos of all the great food being shared. Photos of dishes really bring recipes to life. Photos can be easily added to your recipes on and can or do not have to be included in the printed version.
  • Ask for suggestions for the cookbook cover and recipe layout design. currently has more than 50 cookbook covers to choose from including your own custom cover – with more on the way. It also allows you to select from 15 different recipe layout options. Print a hardcopy of several of the designs and ask family members what they think. Not only will the choice be easier to make with feedback, but you will get them more interested in contributing to the cookbook.
  • Use the index to show family members the recipes in the cookbook. If you’re close to having your cookbook completed, bring the cookbook’s index and a cover page printed from your printer to family holiday events. Show it around and let people see who and what has been submitted already. Maybe they will see a recipe that is missing and want to contribute or maybe they will place an advance order for the final edition.

With so much time spend in the kitchen around the holidays, it’s no wonder that cooking and recipes and cookbooks and food are talked about constantly as everyone pitches in to prepare our holiday get together. Creating your family cookbook will become a valuable resource for generations to come.


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!

Deadline to Print for Christmas Delivery

If you are planning to use your cookbooks as Christmas gifts this year, you have just about 2 weeks until the Christmas print deadline.

If you plan to have your cookbooks printed by us and in your hands by Christmas, the deadline to order and make payment is Monday, November 30th. There will be an extended deadline, but expedited shipping will be required. Let us know if we can help!

With the pandemic quarantine , so many people had extra time on their hands and put it to good use and worked on their cookbooks. We are now seeing historic levels of editors submitting cookbooks for printing already. So don’t wait until the 30th if you can get your cookbook submitted earlier.

The earlier your cookbook order is in production, the earlier you will receive your cookbooks!

Freezing Cookie Dough Saves Time

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 November 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 at least 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 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! Named Best Publishing Website

The Family Cookbook Project ( has been named the Best Publishing Website in the Web Marketing Association’s 24th annual WebAward Competition for Web site development. The Family Cookbook Project creates personalized cookbooks for individuals, families, church groups and schools. This is the fifth year that Family Cookbook Project has been recognized for their Website excellence.

“The Great Family Cookbook Project is a website dedicated to helping families collect and preserve cherished recipes into a printed cookbook that can be passed down from one generation to the next,” says Chip Lowell, Co-Publisher and Technical Director of the Family Cookbook Project. “We are proud that our efforts have been recognized by the Web Marketing Association with this WebAward. We will continue to develop our site to help families, schools and church groups create both online and printed cookbooks that become treasured heirlooms.”

The Family Cookbook Project Website was started as a project in 2004 to help one family collect and organize a family cookbook. Overwhelming feedback from those who used the website led to its continued development and public launch. Currently, more than 81,000 families and groups have started family cookbooks using the website and contributors have entered more than 2 million individual recipes.

“Personalized cookbooks have been around since the 1950s, however the process of collecting and organizing recipes has always been a labor intensive project for the cookbook editor,” says Lowell. “Now it’s easy and cost effective to have your very own cookbook printed. The Family Cookbook Project website provides step by step instructions and tools to help cookbook editors invite others to participate and allow 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 then received by the editor in only a few weeks”.

The Family Cookbook Project Website previously been recognized as the Best Publishing Website in 2011 and Best Family Website in 2005. It also was recognized in 2012 and 2009 with the Standard of Excellence WebAward.

More than 2,000 sites from 45 countries were adjudicated in 96 industry categories during this year’s WebAward competition. Entries were judged on design, copy writing, innovation, content, interactivity, navigation, and use of technology. The competition was judged by a team of independent Internet professionals representing a variety of relevant disciplines of Web site development. Judges included members of the media, advertising executives, site designers, creative directors, corporate marketing executives, content providers and webmasters.

About the Web Marketing Association

Since 1997, the annual WebAward Competition is conducted by the Web Marketing Association, an independent organization founded with the purpose of evaluating and recognizing the standard of excellence on the World Wide Web. Award programs run by the Web Marketing Association include the WebAwardCompetition for Website Development, the Internet Advertising Competition and the MobileWebAwards.

About the Family Cookbook Project

The Family Cookbook Project is dedicated to helping individuals and families collect and preserve the time-honored recipes that are so important to our family traditions. The website at www.familycookbookproject.comprovides step-by-step instructions and online tools to create a valuable family heirloom. Personalized cookbooks are also used by schools and church groups as important fundraisers. Groups looking to create cookbooks for fundraising efforts, can also check out

Great Gift For The Chef In Your Life

Buying an interesting gift for someone who likes to cook is always a challenge. I mean how many squash peelers or specialized kitchen gadgets does a person really need anyway?

Whether you were looking for a Christmas gift for a chef, or a birthday gift for someone who loves to cook, one gift that would be truly appreciated is a personalized cookbook from the Family Cookbook Project.

Your chef can take the collection of recipes collected over many years from different sources and simply enter them into our simple, easy to use software program. When complete, all of those recipes would be contained in a single beautiful personalized cookbook.

After entering the recipes, the software will help the user create a custom cookbook cover or select one of our templates, create automatic indexes and have printed cookbooks delivered directly to their door in a few short weeks.

Family Cookbook Project personal cookbook software is available at

Here is the link to give as a gift:


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!

Scary and Fun Halloween Recipes

Our Family Cookbook Editors have contributed more than 2 million recipes since started in 2004.  Most recipes are every day tried and true recipes that the family grew up with for generations. Some are specialty holiday recipes that only were made once a year.

Here is an assortment of Halloween recipes for your to try with your family this October 31st. Click on the image to be taken to the recipe.


How to Get Your Recipes Into Your Family Cookbook

Many people who have entered recipes in the past into a word processing program, like Microsoft Word, often of ask us for a way to import these recipes into Family Cookbook Project.

Unfortunately, there is no automatic way to import these recipes into our system because each source uses its own layout and there is no way for us to identify what information needs to needs to be entered into our fields.

Cut and Paste

The good news is that it’s quick and easy to copy and paste a recipe into Family Cookbook Project using cut and paste on your computer.

Here’s how: Simply highlight all the ingredients in your source document and hold down the Ctrl key while pressing the “C” key on your keyboard. Next go to “add a new recipe” in your family cookbook site. Click in the ingredients box and now hold the Ctrl key while pressing the “v” key. This pastes what you have copied into the field. Repeat for title, directions and notes and you are done!

This process also can be used to import recipes from other websites. However, remember to credit the source of the recipe in your recipe notes.

Scanning recipes

Another way editors look to add recipes is by scanning. The problem with scanned recipes is that the system can not read the text to create titles and indexes and other parts of the cookbook. The computer just sees them as photos.

Here is a blog post that should help answer your questions:

Moving recipes between cookbooks

If want to transfer recipes from one cookbook to another, you can do so by using the Recipe Transfer Tool.  Go to Editor Tools>Publishing Tool. You will find the link at the bottom of the page since it is still in the testing (beta) phase. This tool offers step by step instructions on how to move your recipes to the new cookbook.


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!