Category Archives: Food for Thought

Family Cookbooks Make Great Christmas Gifts

FamilyEatingOkay, the important question of the month: “When is the deadline to ensure Christmas delivery of Michelle Rice’s Favorite Recipes?”

Answer: Thursday, 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!


Cookbook Cover Selection Tool

covertoolHow do you select a great cover for your family cookbook? You use our Cookbook Cover Selection Tool. Part of the cookbook design section, this tool displays images of each professionally designed cookbook cover that users can select with a single click.

The covers are divided into categories, including: Family, Farm, Food, Fundraising, General, Holiday, Kitchen, Religious, School, Wedding. There is also an option to see all of the covers at the same time. New categories and covers are already in the works and will be announced shortly.

Users also have the option to create their own custom cookbook cover and upload that to the Family Cookbook Project Website.

To view the Cookbook Cover Selection Tool, log in to your editor’s account and select “Book Options and Design”. Here you will see the cover categories displayed with a “+” next to it. Click on the category label to expand the section and see the covers associated with that category. It’s that simple.

In addition to cookbook covers, divider options and recipe layout options have been upgraded to use the same technology to display options in a convenient, easy to use arrangement.


New Recipe Feature: Multi-Part Recipes!

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

Now you can!

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

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

Multi-part recipes

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

Family Cookbook Project Highlighted in Cape Cod Home Magazine

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

Read the article on creating a family cookbook at

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

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The most important part of your recipe – the title

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s Family Reunion and Summer Planning Time!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wedding Season!

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

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

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

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

Mothers’ Day Deadline

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

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

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Getting Ready for Family Reunions

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

Wanted: Grandparents who cook


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

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


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

Tricks and Treats for Your Cookbook

Fall Pumpkins

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

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

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

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

Great Cookbook Accessories!

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


Featured Recipe from the Database

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

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

Halloween Party Punch Recipe

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

Dissolve gelatin in boiling water.

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

Add pineapple juice and chill.

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


What They Are Saying

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

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

Read more great testimonials here!


It’s the Dog Days of Summer!

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

It’s August – the Dog Days of Summer!

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

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

Add to the Story

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

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

Check it out on any of your recipes!

Get Our App for Your Phone!

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

iPhone App here
Android App here

Great Cookbook Accessories!

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

Start Your Own Cookbook!

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

Bill Rice and Chip Lowell
Family Cookbook Project
Cookbook Blog


Featured Recipe from the Database

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

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


BBQ Chicken Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

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