6 Tips for Making a Family Cookbook

People talk about going home for the holidays, but it's often the traditions of the holidays that create a home wherever you are. In this eight-part series, RE/MAX is taking a look at things that make a house a home and how each one can add to your seasonal celebration.

Thanks to easy-to-use online platforms, creating a book full of your family's favorite recipes is simple. Sites like shutterfly.com and createmycookbook.com guide you through the process of choosing templates and design options. Other sites, like heritagecookbook.com, also help you reach out to family members. If you're creating a family cookbook this holiday season, here are a few suggestions to get you started.

1. Gather recipes

Send family members a request via email (or snail mail, depending on your audience) asking them to contribute a recipe and food-related photo to be included in the book. Let them know whether you're focusing on a theme, like holiday cookies, or would like a particular recipe of theirs that you love.

2. Set deadlines

Be sure to let family members know you need their input by a certain date in order to include their contribution. It can't hurt to send a few email reminders in the weeks leading up to the deadline.

3. Dig out those old cards

Don't forsake those old recipe cards just because you're creating your cookbook digitally. They make fabulous illustrations to give your book a personal flair – the more sauce-splattered, the better.

4. Not just recipes

Food elicits rich memories beyond a full stomach. Try to include bites of family food lore among the ingredient lists and cooking instructions. You could ask each family member to talk about a favorite food, a memorable meal or a kitchen catastrophe.

5. Zoom in – and out

While professional cookbooks feature gorgeous close ups of food, go beyond ingredients for a project that's celebrating family. Ask family members for old photos of past family meals as well as old pictures of them to include alongside their recipes.

6. Draw in the kids

Enlist the young children in your family to help illustrate the book. They could draw their favorite foods, family members or even scrawl cooking tips in crayon for you to sprinkle throughout the pages.

The kitchen of your dreams, where you can bring your family's favorite recipes to life, may also be a wise investment. Thinking about renovating? Your Realtor can clue you in to market trends and tips for improvements that may add to your home's value. Find an experienced agent here.

More from our Centerpiece series:

Day 5 - Pets: Should You Give a Pet a Home for the Holidays?

Day 6 - Backyard: The Ultimate Snow Day Checklist

Day 7 - Neighbors: 5 Tips for a Neighborhood Game Night
Show Comments ()