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Making Personalized Cookbooks

There are thousands of cookbooks on the market, but there's probably no single one that contains all your favorite recipes. So why not do something about it? You can try sending your ideas to publishing houses, but you'll probably have more luck "publishing" your own. My ideal cookbook would have the best recipes I've encountered in my family and in my travels, and every page would have full-color photographs of the food that these amazing recipes produce.

You can start by looking up cookbook publishers on the Internet, if you're interested in going that route. Most, however, are limited to black and white pages with text only. This doesn't really fit my criteria for the perfect cookbook.

I would actually choose to go with a yearbook- or scrapbook-style professionally printed book—you may have seen them referred to as "photobooks" or "storybooks" by different companies that print them. You can design these books on your own computer and then order a copy to be shipped directly to your door. You can even download the software for free from many of the companies.

Find the one that works best for you. If you're not very digitally gifted, you can opt for a regular cut-and-paste scrapbook instead. It's up to you.

Then comes the best part: making all your favorite foods!

Make dishes from all the recipes you want to include in your book. Ensure that you have all the instructions and ingredients written correctly. Note any special tips and tricks you use that might not be obvious to someone else looking at your recipes.

Take a few pictures of each dish as you finish it. Also try to get pictures of the people who introduced these dishes to you or the places where you first had them. Then type or write your recipes out for your book.

Then organize all your recipes and photos. You might go with the traditional: appetizers, main dishes, desserts, etc. Or you might want to organize them by who they make you think of, what time of year you make them, or how often you make them.

Finally, put everything together into the format that makes YOUR ideal cookbook, and share it with all your friends and family. You'll always have it on hand to remind you of your favorites. And it will encourage all the others who see it to love your favorite recipes as well.


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