Category Archives: How to Ideas

Free Family Tree Tool

FamilyCookbookProject.com is often asked if users can include a family tree in there personal cookbook and we also say “Of course! You can have as many custom pages as you wish in your Family Cookbook.”

The hard part is creating a good looking family tree graphic without being an artist or computer wiz.

We have found a free online tool that can help you create a simple family tree from scratch or you can use one of their pre-designed templates.

The website is Creately.com and we have no connection with them. We just found this tool and thought our editors would be interested.

To get started you can pick one of the templates and then create an account. You can have up to 3 charts going before you are required to pay. You also have the ability to start from scratch and build your own design.

If you plan an including your family tree in your cookbook, be sure to export the image as a Jpeg file. This can then be included as part of your introduction or on a custom page in your cookbook.

Here is another family tree created using the tool.

 

Bill Rice is is his family’s genealogist and 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 Goes French and Spanish

Have you ever wanted a recipe to make Étouffée or use a  jalapeño in a recipe in your family cookbook?

We are pleased to announce that FamilyCookbookProject.com can now display both French and Spanish accented characters.

Until now, inserting accented characters in your text resulted in question marks replacing the characters. Now you can use these characters in your title, contributor name, ingredient list, directions, and personal notes.

Each field has a drop down menu for “Insert Characters”. When you need to use an accented character, simply click on the pull down menu and select the one you want. If you have a keyboard that uses these letters, they can be automatically included when you type them.

French uses five different types of accented characters. In no particular order, they are:

  • ç – the cedilla (la cédille)
  • é – the acute accent (l’accent aigu)
  • â/ê/î/ô/û – the circumflex (l’accent circonflexe)
  • à/è/ì/ò/ù – the grave accent (l’accent grave)
  • ë/ï/ü – the trema (l’accent tréma)

Spanish Letters and Accents include: á, é, í, ó, ú, ü, ñ, ¿, ¡

The tool also allows you to insert special characters like degrees º, Trademark ™, Copyright © and common fractions like ½.

 

Recipe Search Tool Update

One aspect of our FamilyCookbookProject.com website that always gets a lot of traffic is our Recipe Search Tool. This allows anyone to search for interesting recipes from thousands of family cookbooks that have not not been marked private.

We are currently reworking the programming behind our recipe search. The database has grown to more than 2 million recipes and was effecting the  entire publishing system as editors were getting their cookbooks ready to print for Christmas.

We hope to have the search tool back online shortly.

In the mean time, you can use Google to search our recipes Here is an article How to Use Google to Search Within a Specific Website showing with easy to follow pictures on how to do it.

https://www.wikihow.com/Use-Google-to-Search-Within-a-Specific-Website

 

A Mother’s Gift

We owe our mothers so much. They give us life, they nurture us, feed us and teach us.

Our mothers are also often our first teachers in the kitchen. From them we learn table manners, what a family meal is and how it brings us all together. Our lessons start when we watch and mimic what we see in the kitchen and at the dinner table. As we grow and understand, we are taught by being allowed to become a “mother’s helper” and do some of the simpler tasks of getting the family meal prepared. Later in life, we use all of the years of learning by contributing our favorite family dishes when the family gathers at holidays, taking some of the pressure off of our mothers.

As a mom, it is important to pass those life skills on to our children so they have the same foundation in the kitchen that we learned from our parents.

Here are some simple ideas to consider when teaching the next generation how to prepare the family meal:

Teach measurements– Find tasks for young ones that allow them to stay in one location, but keep them busy. Give them a measuring spoon and ask them to count how many teaspoons are in a cup of flour or water. Once they fill the cup, use it in your recipe.

Name the tools – Many of the tools of the trade in the kitchen have specific names and specific uses. Teach the names of the tool as well as their purpose in preparing the meal. That way when you ask for a wisk you don’t get a potato masher!

Plan meals together– For most families, dinner usually includes a main dish or entre, a side dish or two providing a starch and vegetable, and if we are lucky a dessert. Discuss why certain side dishes go together and how to plan a well-balanced meal.

Use recipes – Many mothers have made their favorite family recipes so many times, that they don’t even use a recipe any more or they never had one from their mother. Trial and error can come later, to start have a set of family recipes that can be used to provide step by step instructions to a young chef. If you don’t have them, write them down as you make a dish and start collecting them.

A great way to help mom collect and share her family recipes is to help her create a family cookbook. The Family Cookbook Project (www.FamilyCookbookProject.com) offers a gift certificate that can printed out and included in a Mother’s Day card. This gift will help any mom create an easy online family cookbook that can then be printed and shared for generations to come.

Mom’s can also give themselves a gift to help preserve their family food traditions. By creating a family cookbook and collecting your family recipes, you will be creating a helpful guide for future generations.

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!

How Much Does Printing a Family Cookbook Cost?

One of the most ask questions we at FamilyCookbookProject.com receive from people considering creating their own personal cookbook full of family recipes is “How much will it cost to print my cookbook?”

The cost of printing a cookbook has two variables: The number of pages in the cookbook, the amount of color and the number of copies to be printed.

If you think about it, this is fairly straight forward. More pages means more paper and ink need to be used to create the cookbook. Color images printed using 4 different inks so they are more expensive than black and white page.  So much of the cost is based on the materials being used to create the cookbook.

The number of copies is important because the printing press and bindery equipment must be set up for each cookbook. The cost of this set up is split over each cookbook, so it you only print one cookbook (our minimum) that set up cost will have a larger impact on the price per copy than if you printed 100 copies.

You will find the complete pricing for the use of the site at http://www.familycookbookproject.com/price_to_print_a_family_cookbook.asp

You will also find a way to estimate the cost of your cookbook printing at the bottom of the page, however the actual cost will be determined by the number of pages contained in your cookbook when you send it to print.

If you already have a Family Cookbook Project account, go to the Publishing Center and you can get a quote based on the current number of actual pages in your cookbook. You also can adjust these totals to see what the impact on pricing would be.

Lowering the cost of printing

The best way to lower the cost of printing your family cookbook is to lower the number of pages.

To save pages, go to Layout and Design Center in your editor’s account.  Under Recipe Layout, choose any or all of these options to save space:

  • Choose Arial or Times Roman, Two Column Small for the smallest type face.
  • UNcheck Print my recipes in non-continued format
  • UNcheck Force recipe photos to be on same page as recipe
  • CHECK Print Directions and Comments as single paragraphs
  • Under Recipe Sorting, choose Print my recipes in book order – shortest to longest

 

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

Whether you are adding a family favorite on FamilyCookbookProject.com, starting a blog, or entering a recipe contest, learning how to properly write a recipe is a valuable skill any food lover can use.

Below are a few standards and general rules of thumb when it comes to writing a recipe.  It is important to accurately communicate the ingredients and process, so your recipe can be recreated by others.

There are five parts to a great recipe, the Title, Ingredient List, Preparation Method, Number of servings and Comments. Each one plays an important part in the overall recipe.

Recipe Title:
This is the  name of your recipe using words that accurately describe the dish.  Feel free to have a little fun and make it catchy!  You want people to keep reading and be inspired to make the recipe themselves. Which would you rather have, a “chocolate chip cookie” or a “Grandma’s Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie”.

The Ingredient List

The ingredients tell the reader what is needed to make the recipe.  List all ingredients in order of use, as described in step-by-step instructions. When several ingredients are used at the same time (in the case of baking, often all the dry ingredients are sifted or mixed together at once), list them in descending order according to volume. If there is an issue over preparation, list in order, so for example if you need the zest and juice of a lemon, list the zest first and then the juice since that is the order you will do the preparation.

If the recipe has different elements (a pie, for example has a crust, a filling), break up the ingredient list with headings such as “Crust” and “Filling.” On the FamilyCookbookProject.com Add a Recipe form, there is a checkbox to make a multipart recipe. This is handy for creating sub recipes within a larger recipe.

Try not use two numerals together. You need to set off the second number in parenthesis. This comes up with sizes of packages. For example, “1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese.”

If an ingredient begins with a letter instead of a number, freshly ground black pepper, for example, capitalize the first letter, as in “Freshly ground black pepper.”

If the preparation of an ingredient is simple, place that technique in the ingredient list, as in “2 eggs, beaten” or “1 stick butter, softened.”

If an ingredient is used more than once in a recipe, list the total amount at the place in the ingredient list where it is first used, then add “divided.” In the method part of the recipe, indicated the amount used at each step. For example “1 cup all-purpose flour, divided” then in the method “Sift 3/4 cup of the flour with the…” and later “Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of flour on top of…”

Use generic names of ingredients (semi-sweet chocolate chips, not “Tollhouse chips”

The Preparation Method

The recipe directions tell the reader the specific steps needed to make the dish. Where helpful, indicate the size of bowls and cookware. For example, “In a large mixing bowl….”. The same hold true with level of heat when cooking on a stove top.  For example, “Simmer over low heat.”

Separate each step into a different paragraph. If you are mixing dry ingredients in a bowl, for example, use one paragraph for all the instructions for that step.

State exact or approximate cooking times, with descriptive hints for doneness, if appropriate. For example, “Sear 1 minute on each side,” and “Bake 18-22 minutes, or until crust is light golden brown.”

Comments

Personal notes helps make a recipe come alive. Writing about your favorite memories of the recipe or the person who first introduced the recipe to you helps to make the recipe more interesting and personal.

Use this area to also communicate anything additional information someone would need to know to recreate your recipe at home. You can also offer ideas for alternate ingredients, tips, or serving suggestions.

Anytime you are sharing a recipe from an outside source, make sure you give credit where credit is due.

Time and Servings

When you start a recipe, you want to know how much time it will take to make and how many people it will serve. Preparation time includes all the measuring, chopping and other preparation of ingredients. Cooking time refers to the total time the food takes to cook, including any preliminary cooking needed.

Pictures/Videos

One of the best ways to get someone interested in your recipe is to include a photo. How many times did you look through a cookbook and say “my that food looks good”. Photos also help the person making the recipe know if their final product looks right compared to the original.

 

 

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.com and COVID-19

Our hearts go out to anyone in our Family Cookbook Project.com 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 Project.com 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!

Understanding Recipe Privacy

We at FamilyCookbookProject.com believe recipes are meant to be shared. Sure we all have our “secret recipes”, but if they are not written down and shared, they will not be enjoyed when we are gone.

However we give you the control to determine when and where you share your recipes.

When you or a contributor adds a recipe to your online cookbook, there is an option to make your recipe private. If you check this box just above the save button, your recipe will only be available to those individuals who are logged into your online cookbook. Some people choose this option when a recipe is not yet ready to be shared publicly or they simply want to limit the people who have access to it.

However, there are many benefits to sharing your recipe publicly. Public recipes are indexed by Google and other search engines. You can access your recipes simply by entering your name and the recipe name into Google. Online access from any computer without having to remember your log in information is very convenient.

Family Cookbook Project also searches the public recipes to look for the best recipes to be included one of the Family Cookbook Project’s “Best of” cookbooks we publish. We also promote public recipes on our Facebook pages and on Pinterest. This allows us to highlight your recipes to the other Cookbook Editors, which is truly an honor.

We believe recipes are made to be shared, just like the dishes that are made from them. So next time you enter your favorite recipe into your Family Cookbook Project online recipe box, be sure to mark it public so it can be shared.

 

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 Custom Recipe Layouts in a Family Cookbook Project

One of the things that we are most proud of at FamilyCookbookProject.com is the ability to give complete control of every aspect of making a cookbook to the project’s editor. We provide professionally designed options that are perfect for most people, but some have visions of something different.

We have already covered creating custom categories and custom cookbook cover or recipe category dividers. This article will cover creating a custom cookbook recipe layouts.

FamilyCookbookProject.com currently offers 19 pre-set recipe layouts that set three aspects of your recipes that are perfect for most editors:

  • Font type
  • Font size
  • Number of columns for ingredients

However if you want something different, that is where custom Layouts come in. You can control each section independently – title, contributor name, ingredients, directions and personal notes.

In addition to the font type, size and columns above, you also can control:

  • Bold text
  • Italic text
  • Justification of text
  • Label of the Comments Field

This option is not for someone who does not have strong computer skills, but it can be very effective in displaying your recipes exactly how you wish them displayed.

 

 

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!

Customizing your Family Cookbook Cover

One of the things that we are most proud of at FamilyCookbookProject.com is the ability to give complete control of every aspect of making a cookbook to the project’s editor. We provide professionally designed options that are perfect for most people, but some have visions of something different.

Our last article was about creating custom categories. This article will cover creating a custom cookbook cover or recipe category dividers.

A custom cookbook cover was the third most popular cover option last year. Some people simply have a white cover with a photo, others with graphic design skills create beautiful designs to personalize  their cookbook. Creativity knows no limit with Family Cookbook Project.

  • When creating a custom cover or divider, here are the specifications to use:
  • Images MUST be in JPG format to be used in your cookbook. GIFs and BMPs will not import correctly.
  • Your images should be 150-300dpi resolution – or they may seem pixilated in printing.
  • Full page with Bleed Custom Covers and Dividers must be sized at 6″x9″ with 4.75″x7.75″ active content or 1800 x 2700 pixels.
  • Full page non-bleed Dividers and other images must be sized at 5.5″x8.5″ with 4.75″x7.75″ active content or 1650 x 2550 pixels.
  • Also, do NOT upload files of the following type — they will not work: .doc, .pps, .ppt, .txt, .htm

If you wanted t o have a special photo on your cover, we suggest to use a page layout program or even a word processing program like Microsoft Word and design the page exactly the way you want it and save it as an image using the guidelines above. Then you can simply upload the image to the FamilyCookbookProject.com site and your custom cover is complete.

 

 

ill 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!