Category Archives: Editor Tips

Anatomy of a Great Recipe

One of the keys to a great family cookbook is to have great recipes that your family and friends have come to love. Here are some simple tips to help you capture the magic of the food you make.

1. Use catchy titles. Using a catchy title will make your recipe sound more interesting. It is more interesting to people when they see the title “Gooey Triple Chocolate Cake” rather than just “Chocolate Cake”. When you are writing a title for a recipe, try to think of not only what the final dish will be, but what makes it special as well.

2. Include photos. Using images in your recipes can allow the person reading your cookbook to see what the final dish will look like and give then a guidepost to follow. Next time you make one of your special dishes, snap a quick photo and add it to your recipe the next time you log in.

3. Be specific with your Ingredients. For many cooks, include a can of crushed tomatoes in your recipe and they know exactly what you mean or maybe not. Tell them to include a 12oz can of crushed tomatoes and everyone will know exactly what your recipe needs.

4. Use step by step instructions. You might have made this recipe a thousand times, but someone new will need detailed directions for how to do it. Remember to include pan sizes, cooking times, the order that ingredients are added and how to tell when a dish is done. Also adding how many servings a recipe can make will help with meal planning.

5. Add personal notes. One of the things that make a family cooks so important is that it helps to capture the family traditions. Include a note with each recipe about how you first were introduced to the recipe and when it is typically served in your household. It makes the recipe more interesting and more meaningful to later generations.

 

Chip Lowell 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!

Be Proud of your Family Cookbook!

Family Cookbook Project has helped thousands of families and individuals create lasting treasured Mementos and preserved family recipes for future generations.

We have received hundreds of great comments about people being Family Cookbook Projects. You can see many of these comments in our what they’re saying about family cookbook section of our blog.

In fact, in a recent survey of cookbook editors 94% said that they would recommend Family Cookbook Project to a friend.

While we have loads of great comments, we have very few photos of cookbook editors with their finished product. And this is where you can come in.

If you’ve printed your cookbook, please have someone take a picture of you with your cookbook and send it to us. We would love to share these photos on social media and in our monthly newsletter.

It’s important that people that might like to start a cookbook can see that real people like you have already done so successfully.

Send your photos to photo@tfamilycookbookproject.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!

What To Do Once You’ve Printed Your Cookbook

You’ve done it. You have collected your recipes, got others to contribute their recipes, picked a cover and recipe layouts and used Family Cookbook Project.com to publish your very own cookbook.

Now what?

The good news is just because you publish your first cookbook doesn’t mean that you have to be done.

Here are some ideas on how to continue using your Family Cookbook Project.com account

Online recipe box. Many people find that they continue adding new recipes to their account even after publishing and printing their personal cookbook. It’s easy to add recipes and it’s convenient to have them all in one place.

Use the mobile app – Access to your online recipes is only a few clicks away with the award-winning Family Cookbook Project mobile app for both Apple iPhones and android devices.

Print a second volume for your family cookbook – Often times once a book is printed new people see its value and want to contribute recipes. Creating a second volume for your family cookbook is a great way to get additional people involved and to keep the project alive.

Create a Best of cookbook – Our family cookbook has over 250 recipes but I personally have about 50 that I like cooking all the time. I created a separate cookbook just of my go to recipes which allows me to find what I’m looking for so much quicker. I printed one copy and keep it right into the kitchen where I can find it quickly.

Create a personal cookbook – If you have created a family cookbook, you were allowed only to include so many of your recipes in order to give everyone a chance to participate. Consider creating a cookbook with just your recipes which will allow you to enter many more then or in the family 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!

Sports Teams Can Raise Money with Team Cookbooks

Team sports are a great way to instill valuable life lessons to our youth. Teamwork, hard work, perseverance, how to both win and lose. These things are learned by being part of a team. However the cost for running team sport program can be more than what many families can afford.  Team organizers often turn to fundraisers to help defray the costs of expenses like gear, travel, field and court time and more.

For many years, youth football programs, youth soccer programs, cheer squads, have used fundraising cookbooks as a way to bring the team and it’s community together. The team members share their family food traditions and at the same time create a lasting reminder of their membership on the team and even or raise funds for worthy causes.

Family Cookbook Project, using the power of the Internet, has been helping teams create team fundraiser cookbooks successfully and profitably. Our step by step guidance and simple online make creating a successful fundraising cookbook a breeze.

Family Cookbook Project recently added 5 new sports-themed cookbook cover option to our already extensive offerings. And more are on the way!

Cheer Fundraising Cookbook Soccer Fundraising Cookbook Cheerleading Fundraiser Cookbook Soccer Fundraiser Cookbook Football Fundraising Cookbook

 

 

 

 

 

To start your own team fundraising cookbook project, go to our fundraising specific site www.CookbookFundraiser.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!

Why Blank Pages are Important in a Family Cookbook

One of the questions we get a lot as Cookbook Publishers is “how do I remove the blank pages in my cookbook?”

It seems that when people preview their family cookbook on FamilyCookbookProject.com, they see the cover, then a blank page, then the title page, then another blank page, and so on. They want those blank pages eliminated to lower the cost of printing.

In publishing, especially cookbook publishing, a cookbook needs to be laid out in a specific way in order for the most important pages to be on the right side when the book is opened. Think about it, Whenever you open a book, the title page is the first thing you see and it is always on the right page of a two page spread. Same goes for the Introduction, Table of Contents and the section dividers.

On FamilyCookbookProject.com, if you create a preview cookbook PDF, you want to open it in your Adobe Reader program and select the option to view “Facing Pages” or “Double-up” (look under the View menu), you’ll see how the pages back up to each other.

Now with that said, there is no reason why those pages have to be blank. The inside front cover can have a family photo photo or bio of the cookbook editor. The same goes for other blank pages as well. If your introduction is one page and after it is a blank page, consider writing more, adding a photo or even making the text larger to fill up that extra space.

One benefit form using FamilyCookbookProject.com is that we provide a complete set of handy kitchen information that can be used on the back of the recipe category dividers with the touch of a button.

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!

Top Blog Posts of 2019

Family Cookbook Project is very proud of our blog Creating A Family Cookbook Project. Each week we post articles on what’s new for Family Cookbook Editors, recipe writing hints, How to make a better family cookbook articles and general cooking tips for our readers.

Here are the  most read articles of 2019:

1) 4 Family Cookbook Mistakes to Avoid 
2) How To Scan Recipe Cards into a Family Cookbook
3) Top Cookbook Covers of 2018 
4) How To Make A Bridal Shower Cookbook
5) Anatomy of a Great Recipe
6) The Easiest Way to Preserve Family Recipes
7) Highlighting recipes with recipe symbols
8) Common Peppers at your Grocery Store

 

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 Family Cookbook Project Stacks Up

A while back Family Cookbook Project did an informal survey of other cookbook publisher to see how our online cookbook software compared to the competition. We were very pleased at what we found:

Recipe Collection

US THEM*
Email blast to invite recipe contributors Yes No
Email reminders to some or all contributors to keep motivated Yes No
A growing message library that you can use to keep contributors motivated Yes No
Online storage of recipes Yes No
Send email of individual recipes easily Yes No
Show how many times a recipe has been viewed online Yes No
Track which contributors have logged in and how many recipes they have entered Yes No
Track and list recipes by contributor Yes No
Offers a unique URL for contributors to reach your website Yes No
Offers an online forum for sharing cookbook ideas and questions Yes No
Allow contributors to edit their own recipes Yes No
Lock recipe input for final editing Yes No
Monthly newsletter with editor tips and helpful ideas Yes No
Online audio help to make entering recipes easy Yes No

Cookbook Design

US THEM*
Offers pre designed color covers and dividers Yes Yes
Lets you design your own custom covers and dividers at no cost Yes Some
Offers unlimited sections and dividers Yes No
Offers unlimited free black & white photos in cookbook Yes No
Offers several recipe layouts to choose from Yes Yes
Offers Non-continued recipes FREE Yes No
Offers Graphics clipart and Quotation filler FREE Yes No
Lets you see cookbook proof for each recipe layout if you wish Yes No
Online audio help to make designing and editing your cookbook easy Yes No

Cookbook Printing

US THEM*
Low minimum print orders – just 5 copies Yes No
Offers online tool to determine how many copies your contributors will want Yes No
Fast printing turnaround using 100% digital high speed printers Yes Some
Online audio help to make printing your cookbook easy Yes No

 

We are so confident that you will find Family Cookbook Project print prices so affordable that we offer you the ability to download a high resolution PDF file of your completed cookbook and take it to another printer if you wish.

If you are interested in selling your family cookbook or creating a fundraising cookbook, Family Cookbook Project also helps you sell your cookbook at a profit.

Cookbook Promotion

US THEM*
Online profit calculator Yes Some
Sample promotion information Yes Some
Offers ISBN numbers and bar codes Yes No
Gets your cookbook listed on Amazon.com Yes No
Gets your cookbook offered on eBay Yes No

 

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

How to Bold Text in a Family Cookbook Recipe

Have you ever wanted to call everyone’s attention to a specific line an a recipe?

Do not cook longer than 10 minutes!

Add ingredients in this specific order!

Do not preheat your oven!

Certain directions are critical to the outcome of a favorite dish and Family Cookbook Project as made it easy if you want to bold your text in a recipe.  You just have to learn HTML or Hyper Text Markup Language, the programming language of every website on the Internet.

Now before you say “I’m not a computer programmer, I can barely turn on my laptop”. It’s super easy for what you want to do.

In directions, comments and ingredients when you are adding a new recipe, you can use simple HTML tags like:

<b>BOLD</b>
<i>Italic</i>
<u>Underline</u>

Replace the word between the tags with what you want to appear in that format. It’s as simple as that!

For example <b>Do not cook longer than 10 minutes!</b> looks like this Do not cook longer than 10 minutes!

If you use Do not cook longer than 10 minutes! it will look like this Do not cook longer than 10 minutes!

and if you use <u>Do not cook longer than 10 minutes!</u> it will look like this Do not cook longer than 10 minutes!

The most important thing to remember is that all tags start with “<>” and end with a “</>”. If you forget the /> then every thing else in your recipe will be based on the tag you used. Don’t forget your “</>”!

Family Cookbook Project is always looking for ways to make your favorite recipes come to life for you and your family.

 

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 Motivate Your Family Cookbook Recipe Contributors

As with any family project, getting everyone to contribute can be a challenge, especially if they have not seen the end product beforehand.

Here are some tips to keep your Family Cookbook Project contributors motivated:

The more the merrier – Be sure to include everyone, not just the great cooks. Everyone likes to be asked to participate and the more you invite, the more recipes you’ll likely get. To add contributors and send an email invitation, > Use the Invitation Tool

Set a reasonable deadline – Set the submission deadline on the “Project Information Editor” page, but don’t set it too far in the future. We all tend to put off whatever we can and contributing recipes is often one of those things. A month is usually enough time to give everyone to find the recipes they want to contribute and get them entered. Two things to remember: most of the recipes will come in just in time for the deadline and second, you can always extend the deadline if you want more recipes.

Send regular updatesUse the Reminder Tool to email some or all of your contributors on a regular basis. Remind them of the deadline and ask them to meet a specific goal, like “please add one or two recipes to each category”.

Target the biggest recipe boxes – Every family has a handful of people who are known for their cooking (you are most likely one of them in your family!). Send a personal message to them either using the remainder tool or reaching out by telephone, Facebook or with a personal visit. People are flattered when their skills are recognized. Let them know the cookbook would not be complete without their contributions.

Ask for specific recipes – Send a reminder to everyone asking for a specific recipe from your family’s past that will get everyone thinking of past gatherings. Include your memories of that dish or the person who created it. It might help remind everyone why putting together a family cookbook is important.

Use social media – As you add your own recipes to your family cookbook, it is easy to post them to Facebook or pin them to Pinterest. Sharing your recipes this way shows other family members that you are contributing and shows them they should as well.

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!