Family Cookbook Project Offers Seven Tips For Creating a Great Family Cookbook

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Winner of the 2006 WebAward for Best Family Website, The Family Cookbook Project has helped thousands of families create and print family cookbooks to preserve their family heritage and food traditions. Here are seven tips to creating a successful personalized cookbook.

Recipes are a family tradition that is passed on from generation to generation. However, sometimes a special family food recipe can be lost forever with the passing of a family member. Many families are working together and creating family cookbooks to collect and preserve mealtime treasures.

Once a labor intensive task, now families are using the Internet to simplify the project. "A website can provide step by step instructions and tools to help the family member serving as cookbook editor to contact others and encourage them to enter their favorite recipes directly into the online system," says Bill Rice, Co-Publisher of the Great Family Cookbook Project. "The editor then simply reviews and edits the recipes, selects printing options, and sends the cookbook to be printed. The finished printed cookbooks are received in a few weeks time and can be enjoyed and preserved forever. With the all the efforts many people put into genealogy and creating family trees, here is a way to trace not only the family but some of its most important traditions."

Here are some tips from to help make your family's personalized cookbook a success:

Invite everyone to participate – Don't just invite the family cooks. Everyone has at least one recipe that they can contribute to the cookbook. Use email to invite and stay in touch with contributors. Let them see what others have submitted to encourage them to keep adding their best recipes.

Tell your family's story – A Family cookbook is more than just a collection of recipes; it's an opportunity to tell your family's story. Start out with an introduction that describes the family today and then look back to your common roots. Add photos of family reunions or from the kitchen around the holidays on the section dividers.

Tell the recipe's story – Don't just have contributors include the ingredients and directions to a recipe. Have them also include why that recipe is special – when they first used it, when they usually serve it or variations that they have tried. This can help bring a recipe to life.

Edit for consistency – Everyone has different shorthand when writing a recipe. It is the job of the editor to make sure each recipe is understandable and spelled correctly (luckily, we have spell checking software!). Also check for duplicate recipes with different names. Denise's Pot Pie might also be simply Chicken Pot Pie submitted by another family member.

Index your recipes – Searching through a cookbook can be fun, but not when you are looking for a particular recipe. Make sure your cookbook has an index at the back to help people find what they are looking for.

Share your cookbook outside the family – Always print more than what you think you need. Family members always want more once they have the family cookbook in hand and reprinting can be more expensive than ordering a few extras the first time around. Remember, family cookbooks make great gifts and never go out of date.

Find a printer who meets your needs – Unfortunately, many cookbook printers require minimum orders of 200 cookbooks or more. However, you can top quality organizations that can professionally print your family cookbook with quantities as low as 50 cookbooks. Some even offer the option to take the files to your own local printer. Find someone who will help guide you through the entire process.

For more information on how your family can make a family cookbook, go to

About the Great Family Cookbook Project

The Family Cookbook Project is dedicated to helping individuals and families collect and preserve the time-honored recipes that are so important to our family traditions. The Family Cookbook Project ( was recently named the Best Family Website by the Web Marketing Association's WebAward Competition ( the second year in a row. Another WebAward winner was The website has helped thousands of families and groups coordinate the creation of personalized cookbooks by provides step-by-step instructions and online tools to create a valuable family heirloom. Personalized cookbooks are also used by schools and church groups as important fundraisers.


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