Category Archives: Editor Tips

A fun Idea For Your Family Reunion Cookbook

Family reunions are a great opportunity to create a family cookbook and get lots of people to participate. A family reunion cookbook motivates family members to communicate before the event and helps get everyone excited!

We have hundred’s of family reunion cookbooks under our belts and we’d love to work on yours. Our site is perfect for communicating with larger groups of family members via email and keeping everyone motivated.

Here is a fun idea for your Family Reunion Cookbook – a family directory section!

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start by creating a custom recipe category entitled “Family Members”.
  • Next, add your family member’s names and email addresses into the invitation tool so you can invite them to participate and directly add recipes and bios to your cookbook account.
  • Next ask everyone to use the add a recipe tool and have them enter their name as the title of the recipe, Their photo as the recipe photo and their bio as the personal notes. They can leave everything else blank and all of the bios will be together in one section in the back of the book.

You might want to also include a family tree so everyone knows how each other is related.

The other way to create a family directory would be to have everyone email you their info and photo and you create custom pages for each one.

Family members can even pick up the cookbooks at the reunion!


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!

Recipe Layout Tool Upgrade on

Family Cookbook Project is pleased to announce a major upgrade to the Recipe Layout Tool within

The recipe layout is what formats the design of the recipes within the cookbook. When you add a recipe, you are only adding the data. It is the recipe format tool that takes that data and organizes it into a well-designed recipe consistent throughout the cookbook.

The recipe layout controls the size and font of the recipe title, ingredients, directions and comments. It can also allow for one or two columns of text in the ingredients to save space.

Finally, it determines where any photo will be displayed if there is one attached to the recipe.

Here are some of the major changes:

Side by side viewing – The first thing you will notice when you select the Recipe Layout tool is the ability to see all of the options as thumbnails without having to click a pop-up link for each. The options are now laid out like the covers and dividers allowing you to see them all side by side. You can click on the thumbnail for a pop-up window full-sized view.

Recipe Level Layout – We have always forced all of the recipes to be in the same layout for consistency within the cookbook. However sometimes you need the text just a little smaller so it will fit on a page. Or a recipe is very special and you want to highlight it. Now you can. Each recipe edit page now contains an option to change the layout for that one recipe. We recommend using this sparingly. We also offer a global reset button to get all of the recipes reset back to the original layout if needed. You can also choose the recipe photo position uniquely for any recipe – which also has a reset option incase things get to “messy”.

Custom Layout Import – Custom Recipe Layout can import settings from any static layout we offer as a starting point and then you can change as aspect of that layout to fit your needs.

Photo Positions – We have increased the number of places a photo can appear on a recipe than just above the title and at the end of the recipe. There are four new positions for photos:  After Title/before Ingredients; Top of recipe fade out (1 pic only); Left or Right side of Ingredients. The Recipe Layout Tool also shows you these options side-by-side. You can select your recipe photo position like the layouts above. You’ll see them listed with thumbnail views. Simply click the button to use one and save.



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!

Introducing New BBQ Cookbook Covers

Both Chip and I, the two founders of Family, love to grill, smoke and BBQ. Cooking meat, seafood and veggies outside is kind of a guy thing (even though I know women that are excellent pitmasters!).

I was working on a new cookbook for my family featuring my favorite BBQ recipes and I did not find a cover that I really liked ever though we have a great library of cookbook covers to choose from.

So I had our professional designer come up with a series of cookbook covers that I loved so much that we are making them available to all of our cookbook editors to use.

Here are the new BBQ Cookbook covers:

If you are interested in BBQ and great BBQ recipes, be sure to join our Facebook BBQ Recipe group.

On Pinterest, we have two boards Food Guys Love and Family BBQ and Grilling Recipes to check out and follow.

Finally, here is a fun video we created for the BBQ community.



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!



6 Way to Enter Your Recipes into a Family Cookbook

It’s true, the hardest thing about working with is getting all of our beloved recipes entered into the system so we can create a one of a kind cookbook for family and friends.

You have several options when you want to enter a recipe into your own recipe book.

Here are some of my favorite:

Typing – This is straight forward. You open the Add A Recipe form and use your keyboard to type in the recipe and click on the save button (don’t forget the last part!).

Other People Typing – One of the features that makes unique is that we make it easy to invite others to contribute recipes to your cookbook so you don’t have to do all of the work. Use the invitation tool and have others submit recipes that you can then edit. It’s a great way to build a family cookbook and brings everyone together.

Cut and Paste – If you already have many of your recipes in a text format, like in a Word document, you can cut and paste the recipes into the form. This also works when you find a recipe on a website and you’d like to include it in your cookbook.

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!

Import a recipe from a website – We have created a tool to import recipes from some websites. However, it does not always work because every website is different in the way it lays out its recipes.

From your quick start editors menu, click on the Recipe Center button. There you will find a link to “Import Recipes from another website”. This will allow you to take the URL from the recipe page and try to import it into your cookbook. If that does not work, you can cut and past the ingredients and directions into a new recipe page which is very easy to do.

Dictate recipes – If you don’t like to type, you can also talk your recipes into text form that can be cut and pasted into the Add A Recipe form. To see how to do this, see the recent blog post How to Dictate a Recipe Into Your Family Cookbook Project.

Use a photo – One of the most asked questions we get is “How can I scan a recipe and use it in my cookbook?”

If you have a recipe box or collection of recipes that you would like to scan and use as your recipes in a family cookbook, it can be done. However, a problem with scanned or photographed 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.

So you have two options:

You can include the scanned images as photos attached to recipes that you have typed into the system. This preserved the original form of  the recipe card and makes the recipe highly readable.

Second, you can upload the recipe card image on the Add A Recipe form as the recipe itself and just type the recipe title and contributor name. This saves typing and you get to use the image as the entire recipe. You can add personal notes if you want.

So however you get your recipes enter your recipes into, it is the first step to creating what will certainly be a treasured family heirloom to be passed down to future generations.


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 make a One-Of-A-Kind Wedding Cookbook

Here’s an idea for a truly unique wedding gift for a special couple – a printed cookbook filled with the bride and groom’s favorite family recipes and photos. It’s a great way to bring both families together before the wedding, makes a wonderful bridal shower theme, can be used as a wedding favor and gets the new couple cooking with family favorite recipes.


Here’s how to create your own wedding cookbook:

It starts with a bridal shower.

One thing every new bride to be needs is great recipes to feed her family, especially with everyone needing to stay at home so much more these days. Both families as well as friends can help get this started by contributing recipes as part of a bridal shower!

When you send out your bridal shower invitations, include a link to your cookbook, use the Invitation Tool and add everyone’s email. This will send everyone a link that will allow them to contribute their recipes. Set a deadline for entering recipes about three weeks from when the invitations are sent. Remember people will always wait until the deadline!

Get both of the mother’s to contribute the most recipes if possible. This way both the bride and groom with have lots of recipes that they grew up with in their cookbook. Using Family Cookbook Project’s Custom Categories Tool, you can even create a special category for each mom’s recipes.

As the recipes are being entered, start planning how the cookbook will look.

Select a cover – Family Cookbook Project offers several cookbook covers specifically for bridal cookbooks or wedding cookbooks. You also can create a custom cover with the name of the cookbook and a photo of the couple.

Write an introduction – The best bridal cookbooks will have an introduction written by the individuals giving the bridal shower. An introduction can be used wish the couple well wishes and to talk about the importance of family.

Add Photos – Photos can help bring your cookbook to life. You can add photos of the lucky couple on top of recipes, or create custom pages to highlight photos of the bride and groom as they were growing up and while they were dating.

Print your cookbook – Make sure you give yourself enough time to order your cookbooks and have them printed, at least 3-4 weeks if possible. Be sure to order enough copies for each attendee as well as several extra copies for family members that can not attend the event.

For the event, make some of the dishes from bridal cookbook and serve them at the event. Include a place card with the dish name and include the page number from the cookbook.

Finally, if you are looking for a great wedding favor, you can print additional cookbooks and give them to everyone attending the wedding!


Bill Rice’s son is getting married in June. Bill 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!

Subscribe to the New Family Cookbook YouTube Channel

Our job at Family Cookbook Project is to make the process of creating your own personal cookbook as easy as possible for you, our editors.

That’s why we recently added the new “How-To” section of with step-by-step directions to some of your most common requests. You’ll find it the second option in the black navigation bar along the top of every page of the site.

However we also know that seeing can be easier to understand  that reading. That is why we have started the new Family Cookbook Project YouTube Channel.

We have started creating a series of video walk throughs to help you see how some of the tools are used in  Here are the first videos in the How To playlist:

  • How to get started  – This tutorial walks you through the steps needed to create your account and takes a quick look at your editors account.
  • Editor Homepage Intro – Take an introductory video tour of the family Cookbook Project editor’s homepage and see all of the options available to create your own personal cookbook.
  • How to select a cookbook cover – Family Cookbook Project has an entire library of professionally designed cookbook covers that you can use on your custom cookbook. This tutorial show you have to select the cover that is right for you. Future tutorials will cover how to create a custom cover for your personal cookbook.
  • How To Use Custom Categories – Custom Categories allow Family Cookbook Project editors to change the default recipe categories in their cookbook to be personalized for their needs. It offers the flexibility to create your own custom recipe book the way you want it to appear.

In addition to the How To videos, we also have a Features and Benefits Playlist which will show videos we use to promote and show why creating a custom recipe books is a great idea. Here are the first videos in the Features and Benefits playlist:

Please let us know how you like these videos and what topics you’d like to see covered. Also you can help us by subscribing to the YouTube Channel and have any new videos delivered directly to your video feed.




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 Our Cookbook Editor’s Say


Lucille Curcio and her Christmas Cookie Cookbook

In January, 760 Cookbook Editors responded to our survey and the results are outstanding! I have been sorting through the data and we will release the results next month, but many of the comments provided were very touching and heart warming and I wanted to share some of them with you.

I’ve also included some of the wonderful photos our editors have submitted with photos of them and their cookbooks. The photos do not necessarily go with the quote they appear with.

Quotes from Family Cookbook Editors

This company made it as easy as possible for a non-computer type like me to navigate the tasks.
–Nancy, A Cookbook for Nancy’s Grandchildren

I made this cookbook as a gift to my daughter for her 29th birthday. The recipes were collected from my mother, grandmother, sister, mother in law and my own collection. Both mothers and grandmother have passed away. So the sentiment and hard work behind this book has several meanings. My daughter cried when she read the inscription and realized what was in her hands, what was just given to her. Thank you for creating such a wonderful website for all of us to share. Blessings,
–Kathy, Kay Kay’s Recipes

Getting in and out of the website to add recipes is so convenient. The templates offered for organizing and recording recipes are really useful and well done! I’m glad to have a continual (lifetime) repository for important recipes I want to save for the family. We published our first edition in honor of our first daughter’s wedding and gave cookbooks to extended family members and close friends. It included pictures of her wedding. Many of us refer to it often for recipes and get reminded of such a lovely time. I also really enjoy the clever quotes provided by Family Recipe Cookbook. The spiral binding, page dividers, and format look really nice. We hope to collect more recipes and publish another edition when another daughter gets married.
Jeri Spurling, The Veree Tastee Family Cookbook Project

I have created cookbooks for non-profits from several different cookbook printing companies. Family Cookbook has been by far the easiest to work with and best to obtain the end product I wanted.
–Debby, The Family Cookbook

Your user-friendly program made my project enjoyable to put together. The professional book that you published after my editing made me look like a professional cookbook author. The best part for me and the greatest compliment to you is the reaction from my family when they opened their gift of the cookbook. They were teary-eyed with memories of the recipes, gratitude and love for Gramma Anne. Thank you so much for an enjoyable & excellent product.
–Elizabeth, Gramma Anne’s Favorite Recipes

Katy Hale with Cardinal Cooks! Friends & Family Favorites 2020

Creating my cookbook started out as a family cookbook, but as time went on, my family members were not very helpful. So I decided to make a cookbook that I could leave for my two daughters to have when I’m no longer alive. Turned out to be the best decision I could’ve ever made. Now, the family members that didn’t contribute actually want to purchase a copy of the cookbook because I included recipes I personally created as well as family recipes mom made while growing up in Mississippi. It’s been very easy adding the ingredients list and editing the recipes. It’s taken me a little more time to add the instructions to the cookbook because I’m going through each recipe, making it, and then editing the instructions so it’s easier for my daughters to make it with better directions. Once this treasure of a cookbook is complete, my daughters won’t have to wonder, “Now, how did mom make this!” It’s already documented.
–Shamecca, Blessed Hands

I was thrilled when I received my finished published cookbooks! They turned out better than I ever expected! It was such a joy to create it as I planned it as a surprise Christmas gift for my daughters. I had always wanted to pass down our family favorite recipes from their grandmothers and other family members. It was an emotional experience when they received it! Thank you!

Sheree Reese FAMILY COOKBOOK The website was very user friendly, so I found the process very enjoyable. The only frustration I felt came from my actual family!
–Lenore, The Knutzen Family Cookbook with Family Friends

My daughter-in-law begged me for years to give her all my old Italian and Portuguese recipes that were handed down from my relatives. I finally decided to do it, so I researched a dozen sites that offered cookbook programs. I actually started a book on two of them…but finally gave up. They were difficult to maneuver, impossible to edit, and low on the totem pole with customer service. Thank goodness I finally found The Great Family Cookbook Project! It is well organized, has lots of options, customer service is great if you ever need it (not likely) … and SO easy to use that when I gave the first version to my daughter-in-law last Christmas, I actually had to LIE to tell her how hard I worked to put it together!

This is a wonderful – and easy! – way to share those family recipes that get passed down through the generations. I was able to not only add the recipes, but I could also add photos of the finished meals!
–Elise, The Gillem Family Cookbook – Our Favorites Through the Years

The Balogh Family Cookbook is our first cookbook as a memory of my mother who was an amazing person and who has provided us many great recipes. My son and I translated her handwritten recipes from Hungarian to English in order to preserve the recipes for the next generation.

I am still working on my cookbook. My mother died four years ago and it has taken me a long time to be able to look at her recipes without crying. Now I realize she would be so proud to know I am doing this for future generations.
–Vicki, Momma’s Memories

Starting this project initially was just a way to organize my recipes to share with some friends. Once I saw how easy it was to use the software, I decided why not do a cookbook for charity. I serve on the board of The Salvation Army and our family has a scholarship fund at the local community college so with my sister’s help we decided to offer the proceeds from the sale of our cookbook to go to these two organizations. Within a couple of weeks of receiving our cookbooks it was sold out and we were able to share the proceeds with two deserving nonprofits. It has been a very rewarding experience that helped others in need and was a great gift to our family.
–Jinger and Karen, Jinger’s and Karen’s Favorite Recipes

I first used this site to make a cookbook so my kids would have our family recipes. I had so much fun making it and the response from our friends and family was so great that I made a second cookbook for wedding gifts. Now I’m making a third one also for gifts. I recommend Family Cookbook Project to all my friends. Thanks.

I volunteered to head up our family cookbook. It was the easiest project I have ever done. Cookbook staff is great and no question is too small.
–Gail, Eaton, Jorae, and Plunkett Reunion Remembrances Cookbook

With my parents retiring, it seemed like the perfect time to memorialize some family recipes. It started as a gift for my mom, but she is enjoying contributing and making the food so we can get photos of it too. It has become a family project. She also has a lot of great family memories to add.

Barbara Cortese and The Inserra and Cifarelli Family Cookbook

Francie’s Family Favorites was a work of love for me. I’m Francie’s third child and one of eight. It took me about two years to complete the cookbook. The main reason it took some time was that many of Mom’s recipes were actually just a list of ingredients, often with no or very general amounts. So I had to work with Mom to formulate actual recipes. This turned out to be the best part of the process. I got to spend hours visiting with Mom chatting about the recipes, her cooking experiences over the years, and many more family memories. I finished the cookbook in time for Christmas 2019. Mom passed in May 2020. I spent much of this past holiday season making recipes I’d enjoyed Mom making over the years but never made myself. Using the cookbook keeps me close to her. Thanks.
–Chris, Francie’s Family Favorites

Our grandparents owned a restaurant for many years. Our cookbook project allowed us to share precious family memories and recipes with the whole extended family and have them contribute treasured recipes from all the different cultures that have joined our family in the succeeding generations.
–Nanette, The Doherty Family Cookbook

It was a fun project. I gave a cookbook to each of my 5 grandchildren for Christmas this year along with various kitchen utensils. The age range is 13-27. They said it’s the best gift they ever got and will cherish it.
–Elaine, Gaga’s Secret Recipes

2 years ago, I realized I wasn’t going to live forever and wanted to created an impartation to my children that I called “The Heritage”. It was a deep message from my heart and a collection of works, included over 70 recipes that I wanted to put together in a book to be given to them and later passed on. Thank you so much for making this daunting task, not only less difficult but do-able! The Family Cookbook website is a great tool to help make my dream a reality.

The best part of the site is that it is a site designed to get you up and running, making a cookbook for those who have no experience in doing something like this. There are lots of places online where you could self publish a book, but no other options that I know of that specialize in making a cookbook. You guys have really hit the exact balance between making this process as simple as it could have been with maximal results.

Cory and Cory’s Cookbook: All Time Favorites

I have numerous cook books taking up space in my kitchen. Many of these have pages tagged of my most loved recipes. I loved the idea of having ALL my recipes in one place, as well as writing recipes for homemade dishes that my family loves. My boys’ loved this idea and asked if their significant others could add to the book too. I then opened it up to the girls and their mothers (more family recipes to be kept). The only thing that I asked is that every recipe they added must have been tried previously…thus the name of our cookbook “Recipes that Don’t Suck”. I can’t wait for the day that we finally have it finished!
–Lisa, Recipes that don’t Suck


This is just a hand full of the wonderful comments that our editors have provided to us. We will be adding additional comments down the road.


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 Dictate a Recipe Into Your Family Cookbook Project

If you have a pile of recipes that you need to enter into but are not looking forward to having to spend your days typing, there is an easier way. You can dictate your recipes using speech to text software built into your phone or computer. Your recipes are  turned into text that can be edited and then cut and pasted into the Add a Recipe form in your editor account.

There are several very easy ways to dictate recipes.

Mobile phones – If you use an iPhone, simply open up your notes application and create a new note. Next, look at the bottom right corner of your pop-up keyboard. You’ll see a little microphone. Click on this and you can start talking and the software in the phone will change your words into written text.

You might have to do some editing because it does not always get it right, but it still can be a great timesaver.

Microsoft Word – while typing is certainly the most common way to create documents, you’re not limited to using the keyboard. Word will let you dictate your writing using voice recognition. This works on both a Mac and a PC.

Make sure your computer has a microphone attached. This can be built-in like on a laptop or a separate microphone you plug into the computer. Make sure you are in the home tab of a word document and then look for the microphone icon on the right side of the menu bar that says dictate.

Remember to speak clearly and speak punctuation out loud as you go. For example you can say “new line“ if you want to drop down a line. When you finish a sentence, you just say the word “period”.

Dedicated application – There are also other commercially available apps that you can use to dictate your recipes. However, with a simplicity of your mobile phone or word processing software, I don’t know why you would need it.

Dictating your recipes can be a great timesaver. Once you have the text in a document, then you can simply cut and paste that recipe into in the Add A Recipe form and you are good to go.

By the way, this entire article was dictated on my iPhone. Good luck!


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 Edit Your Family Cookbook

So your recipes are all entered, your cookbook cover is selected and you have a great recipe layout. So what else do you need to do before sending your cookbook to print?

Edit it of course! That’s why you are the Editor! Once thee cookbook has been sent to print, you can not make any changes what appears in the PDF file is what gets printed. So you need to review the cookbook page by page to make sure you are happy with everything you see.

Here are some specific things to look for:

The first thing to do is checking for typos and missing info. Start at the from of the front of your cookbook is click on the intro pages, if used, and read them out loud to make sure they sound correct. If you see any red lines under the text, it means the spellchecker thinks a word may be misspelled. Next move on to any custom pages you may have created and do the same thing.

Next it is time to review the recipes. Go to view recipes by table of contents and select the first category. Check you recipes for:

  • Misspelled words underlined in red
  • Consistent use of measurement abbreviations
  • Ingredients used in the recipe but not listed
  • Ingredients listed but not used
  • Are the directions complete and understandable?
  • Does the recipe fit on one page?

Save any changes you made.

View the recipe in your selected layout by clicking on the “See your recipe” button above the recipe title. This will show you how the recipe will look in your cookbook. If only a few words appear on the second page, consider shortening the directions or personal notes to make it fit on a single page.

Be sure to save any changes before moving to the next recipe. Use the dark green buttons on the top of the recipe to move forward and back without having to go to the table of contents each time.

Next, it is time to look at the overall layout of your cookbook. Start by generating a proof by clicking on the link to “Preview cookbook” in the black navigation bar in your editor account. You can review it online in your browser and the pages will be laid out just like a printed cookbook.

  • Check for text that creates extra pages and consider rewriting to shorten.
  • Look at the placement of the photos
  • Look for blank pages. Most will be be necessary for the layout so that key pages, like category dividers, always appear on the right facing page.
  • Make sure the contributor list does not contain duplicate names. If so, go to the view recipes by contributor and correct the names so they match exactly.

Once you have completed your edits and saved everything, you are ready to place your print order!


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!


Family Cookbook Project Introduces New “How To” Center

Family Cookbook Project answers hundreds of emails a week with basic questions on how to do various aspects of creating a family cookbook. So we came up with the idea to put all of those answers in one place.

Welcome to the new Family Cookbook Project Editor Education Center. Here you will find the answer that age-old question “How do I…”.

When you don’t know how to do something, start here and get specific instructions on how to accomplish most aspects of creating the perfect family cookbook.

You will find a link to the How To Center in the black navigation bar on every page of



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!