Are you passionate about pies? Do you dig a delicious dessert? Do you make a mean meatloaf? Is there a stash of your grandmother's famous recipes sitting in a dusty box? Is you mother-in-law a gourmet and you want to knock her socks off with an incredible present? Or maybe you're just one heck of a chef...
If you're ready to minimize, organize, and memorialize your recipes, then you could compile all of them into your own cookbook. Here are some tips for getting started:
1. Gather all your recipes in one place - don't leave anything out, even if you're not sure it should make it into the final list.
2. Go through them one by one and create categories. For example: "discard, it's not very good", "keep but maybe not book worthy", "love this; it needs to be published". Think about whether you want to include recipes of all kinds (appetizers, soups, desserts, main course) or whether you want to focus on one type of food. Maybe you want to start a series of books.
3. Type out all of your recipes into one word document in the same font and same size. This will be important to create a cohesive, beautiful, professional-looking cookbook. If you've done step 2 correctly, this shouldn't be as daunting as it sounds. Once it's all in one place, you can edit to make sure the instructions are concise and ingredients appear in the order in which they are used.
4. Invest in photos; every cookbook should have beautiful pictures of food! Think about whether you want to take the photos yourself or purchase stock photo images. Food photography can be tricky so make sure you brush up on best practices before you start. And if you decide to use stock photos, make sure they accurately reflect the recipe's end product.
5. Before you print, think about format. Most people lay cookbooks out on the counter and have messy hands while they're reading. I recommend lay-flat pages, having everything you need to read on one page, and using a font that's big enough to see without squinting down towards the counter! Don't forget to also convert your book to a digital format for people who like to store and read recipes on their iPad.
As with all of my tips, if this seems like too much to do on your own, I'm here to help. If you have any questions or need some help getting started, feel free to reach out and I'll help you with your next steps.