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Family Cookbook!  

Hi!  Thanks for dropping by for my big reveal!

Three years ago, my youngest daughter asked me to make a family cookbook with the recipes they grew up eating.

My father's mother had an old cookbook that he had drawn all manner of amazing pictures in.  As an adult, he never drew, other than his work as a design engineer.  I remember seeing that amazing book once.  I am utterly heartsick that no one knows what happened to it, and he so long gone.  :(   I'm hoping this book will be a sweet memory from me to those after me, like Grandma's book.

As you know, I am an overachiever and doing anything "simply" is just not something I can conceive.  I MUST make things as fantastically all inclusive and over the top as I can imagine.  This would be a good time to stop by a couple of posts I did of a book I made consolidating all our family ancestry (that Shutterfly used in a promotional video).  I spent eight years creating that book.

Post announcing my book was being used in a Shutterfly video.
My Ancestry Book and directions on how to make your own.

I have made many, many books and used several different on-line publishers.

This cookbook was a fun book because both my daughters worked on it with me, across country.  Everyone contributed recipes they wanted in the book.  We all made the recipes and took pictures of them to be used in the book.

When it was time to start designing the book, I canvased them for the look and feel they wanted the book to have.  They decided that it should be a mixture of modern cookbook and scrapbooking styles.  So, basically, every page would look different. 

I'm going to share a few of the 111 pages here.  First I want to cry that they cropped every page wrong so that the bottom is chopped off and there is a larger top margin.  They did not crop where their preview showed, but this is not new.  They even cropped the front cover badly almost removing the girls entirely from the outer photos.  I repositioned the title here for you. It's right at the right edge in reality.  Please know as you look at these, they were all painstakingly and PERFECTLY centered.  It's always a nightmare publishing even with templates and previews.  :(   Also, The lighting was bad when I took these pictures, so the colors are wonky.  I do hide faces as I don't like putting my loved ones on line.   Also, I have added a watermark to each picture.  They are not on the actual book.

One last disclaimer - As I used some elements from other designers, in addition to my own, in the creation of the book pages and since I did use the inspiration of existing recipe cards, though I changed them and painted every pixel myself, to be sure I'm free of wrong doing, I put a READ ME file on the CDs I put in the back covers and have told the girls directly.  No one can ever sell the book or any part of the book or the recipe cards or give a book to anyone not a direct descendant.  So, I'm hoping that covers me well legally - it is indeed all personal use.  

The top center photo was Thanksgiving 2013.  There are pictures of them at four different ages cooking on the cover, and one of me!
This is the index.  (My logo isn't on the actual page, it's just a watermark here.)
I ended up using a lot of old photos which gave the book a wonderful feel of history and happy times with loved ones still here and others now gone.  I used photos I had taken of the girls cooking as they grew up, and photos of family long gone actually eating some of the recipes.  I included photos of the events that certain recipes were always eaten at and photos of the person I got the recipe from.  I found lots of photos to tie into the recipes, like a photo of sugar eggs with chocolate Easter scenes inside I made when they were little, on the page for it's recipe.
Remember, I warned you the colors in the photos are wonky!  The left page is special kid food we made.  I used origami for this design as we did a lot of that as they grew up.  The right page is actual photos of sugar eggs I made them along with the memory and directions.
Stitches?  Yep.  I did a LOT of sewing!  That's my wedding picture and my dear parents who live in my heart.
Both of these are creations of my oldest daughter when she first left home and lived in Nashville.
The left page was from the birthday extravaganza the girls gave me this summer.  There's a post about it if you scroll back just a couple of posts.  I hate how hiding faces ruins the beauty of the pages.  :(
The right page is in my daughter's rebuilt house after the tornado.
The shish-ka-bob pictures were taken at the cabin for the Birthday Extravaganza!
The "buttons" by the title on the right page are actually the much loved dishes from Pier 1 that the food is pictured on, but doesn't show. 
If you ever need a truly elegant dessert, you should my the left page which is a signature dish of my oldest daughter!
The left page is pictures of church fellowships and some of our favorite pass-a-dish recipes.  The right page shows them with with their father (his recipe).  One is 18 mo. and the other 2 yrs. in the photos.
The right page is fun because my oldest daughter (shown) was given that book for high school graduation...Oh The Places You Will Go.  It was the perfect motif for showing on maps everywhere both of them have been in the world so far.  No copyright infringement intended.  This is for our personal use only and it is a memory of their lives, so it's in this book.
Nearly every element on every page represents a memory.  For instance, the raggedy apple tree and the red wagon were how we collected the apples from the raggedy tree behind our trailer and we made these recipes and more from them!  The bees are also a big part of the memory as little one was thought to be allergic to them and it was a constant concern.  So it was crucial to keep the fruit picked up to reduce the number of bees about 5' from our home!  The free food was also such a blessing during times where money didn't know where we lived!
The left page was our first "Christmas at Thanksgiving", in my daughter's pre-tornado house...just a couple of months before it was destroyed...and only a couple of months after buying it, her first house.  The cats are for the many cats that have been important in their lives.
The photo shows her with a red balloon animal I learned to make for her birthday.  It's also a fun memory as she gave us Night At The Museum II for Christmas one year and the animated shiny red balloon sculpture was my favorite part.
The girls are making these cookies in the photo and the four of us made the cookies you see on the right page the year before I started this book.  They, as well as tons more kits, are available in my store for your digital scrapbooking!
This is fun because both their father and his parents worked for NASA.  Grandpa helped put the Saturn IV up (the big one in the pic) and Daddy the space shuttle.  These are mission patches, stickers and pins that I remember him bringing home for them.  The right page is the first and last candy houses I made.  The first was 100% candy.  The last was gingerbread and candy.
The left page has my mother's father and step mother featuring his favorite cake recipe.  I love this picture because that was the day I first thought I was expecting my youngest, but it wasn't confirmed till we were home from the trip.  I was!  :)  The recipe on the right page has been one of my most popular posts ever in the many years and thousands of posts on this blog!
I got to take some photos of my older daughter cooking some of the recipes for the cookbook, which was good for current photos.  My younger daughter lives far away and though I got food pictures from her, I wasn't able to get any of her currently cooking, except a shot last Thanksgiving when she was home...yeah!  It's on the cover.

I got to use pictures of family members to go with recipes from them.  I even got to use several pictures of the girls with cousins at many Christmas celebrations through the years on a page for things Grandma always made for Christmas.  The page for frostings and icings features many of the cakes I made for them growing up.
Cake pops my youngest has made as gifts for so many weddings and baby showers on the left, and those Christmas cousin pictures on the right.
Every recipe has an area where memories and funny stories connected to it are shared.   

I had been trying to finish the book to be a Bridal Shower gift for my youngest who just married on Oct. 18th, but just couldn't seem to find the inspiration for the four blank pages at the end of the book.  I wanted to leave them for the girls to add recipes over time.  I asked what style they'd like for those pages.  They said recipe cards.  I Googled recipe cards for ideas as I'd need to design 16 cards, four per page.  No inspiration to finally finish it.

After the wedding, I took ideas from Google, altered them and painted every pixel myself.  Voila!  The last four pages were done!!!  Still no inspiration for the back cover though...so I just "scattered" all the cards in a jumble and that was the back cover!  Yeah!  Ordered!  Of course, exactly one week after the wedding!  Grrrrr!  LOL, it reminds me of the couple who can't get pregnant until they adopt, then poof!  Guess there's a universal truth about what can happen when the pressure is finally off!
Again, the lighting was bad when I took the pictures.  It's white!  And again, please read the disclaimer above.
Then I got to thinking ... just like with my Ancestry Book, I wanted to attach a CD envelope to the inside of the back cover and give them each a CD with all the pages to the book, and covers.  That way, they can load the book into their computers and use their computers as the cookbook (like I do since you can make the print SO LARGE!!  :)  Also, this way, they could upload it in the future and print additional books so each grandchild could have one.  It also carries the "Read Me" file stating that a little of what I used creating the book was not my original work and forbidding anyone ever selling the book or recipe cards or even giving a book to anyone outside our immediate family, to cover myself legally from anyone wanting to hurt someone for Christmas!

Ok, that's a given and not new ground for me...but...another thought occurred to me later...a truly giddily fun thought!  It started small, then grew...    I had created 16 recipe cards for the book....    I could turn them into REAL CARDS to match the book!  I altered them into both 3x5 and 4x6 cards (to fit the boxes the girls already have).  Those files would go on the CD's too so that they could always make more cards to match their books!

I printed one set of each at Staples so that....and I think this is just TOO FUN...I would attach a second CD sleeve next to the one with the disc, and would put a set of the cards in the other sleeve so each daughter will have 16 cards that match her book!  Can_not_wait_for_Christmas!  There is something truly otherworldly for me when I've spent years working on something on the computer and then it's there in real life...tangible...useful....AWESOME, AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!
Isn't it sweet that the reflection of my ceiling light looks like a glowing heart on the table?  I don't know how because there are six lights around a center of three!  Such a fitting mystery for all the love I have put into this gift!

This is the inside back cover with the CD and 3x5 recipe cards.
This is the inside back cover with the CD and 4x6 recipe cards.  In retrospect, I wish I'd have attached this set lower because the larger cards are no longer centered vertically, but the sleeves were empty when I attached them and hindsight is always 20/20!! 
I ended up printing more recipe cards for each of the girls and bundled them festively with red ribbons and bows!

Thanks so much for sharing my reveal!  I am SO GLAD it's finally done!  I'm really looking forward to giving them for Christmas gifts!  Have a great day and God bless you and yours! 

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