Saturday, January 28, 2017

Family Recipes and Kitchen Memories

Family Cookbook in the making
I've been wanting to create a family cookbook for years.  I started typing it in 2011 and just finished it in time to give it as a gift this Christmas!!! When I first came up with this idea - many years ago -  I had sent emails to family members asking for recipes but only Dana wanted to participate.  Between the two of us we compiled recipes that we remembered our parents and other family members making, along with memories relating to holiday meals and cooking in general.

When the idea was hatched we thought about how to actually put it together and we thought maybe a three-ring binder would work because we could find them at any store and we'd be able to add recipes in the future.  Between then and the time it was finished, Dana had purchased a brand new, unopened binding machine, along with all the binding combs we could ever use, for about $20 at a teacher supply store sale. 

I knew I wanted a retro, 50's feel to the cookbook, so I used red gingham paper from Hobby Lobby for the front and back cover.  I used white cardstock for the section dividers and the title on the front.  I didn't have a font that I liked on my computer so I searched the internet for a suitable font.  

I'd never downloaded a font before so I didn't know how hard it would be.  Turns out - it was super simple!  I used the Remachine Script  font from  It was free for personal use.  The download instructions on DaFont was very easy to follow.  Now that font is installed on my computer and can be used for anything.  I used that font for the cover page and all divider pages.

I typed all of the recipes in Microsoft Word.  Once I had them all typed in, I added a Table of Contents.  Once that was done, I could add recipes or move them around and re-build the table of contents.  It was super convenient.

Using the binder is pretty simple.  To punch holes in the sheets  you just center the sheets to be perforated, set the paper stop, and pull down on the handle. 

I made the cookbooks 8.5" by 5.5" (half a letter size sheet of paper).  The covers are a bit larger.  I used black cardstock to make the covers a bit sturdier.  I used glue sticks to adhere the red gingham paper to the cardstock, then I laminated all the covers.  

Since the covers are a bit larger than the paper, I had to reset the paper stop on the binder to punch the holes in the center of each cover.  Then I trimmed the binding combs to match the number of holes in my books and bound them.
Punching Holes

Of course we found some typos once it was printed and assembled, even though I'd previously checked everything.  Oh well, I guess now it will be a simple matter of making new editions in the future.


  1. I remember you asking about that project. It's not that I didn't want to participate.....well, I just forgot about it. I really wouldn't have too much to add, at any rate. Looks like a cute idea, though. Kathy

  2. I did copy your Thanksgiving Memories from your blog. So you dd contribute but didn't know it!