Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Making a Cookbook

Looking for a way to share your new favorite recipes with your friends or family?

Last year, when my brother began eating a vegan diet for health reasons, I wanted more than anything to be able to share some of my favorite recipes with him. Sure, I could have just emailed him a few...but those would easily have been lost in the email netherverse. And besides, I wanted to create something more concrete and special, a true cookbook that he could use for years to come.

I discovered the Tastebook site somewhat by accident, but was thrilled to discover that it had everything I was looking for. On Tastebook, you can start by choosing a theme for your book (I went with "Meatless Masterpieces"), and the site will create a template with recipes that fit within that theme. You can choose to include all or only some of their suggestions, and add as many of your own recipes as you like as well.


If you've been using a recipe manager like Paprika, let's say, it's very easy to copy and paste your own recipes into Tastebook and include them in your book. Tastebook includes wonderful images for you to use with their suggested recipes, and they make it very easy to upload your own images as well. The site also allows you to save your recipes in a personal online database, so that you can easily access them whenever you like. With links to the Food Network and Epicurious cooking sites, among others, they offer a wide range of truly excellent recipes for you to comb through.

You can organize and insert your recipes as you'd like. The book comes with suggested categories which are separated into sections with tabbed dividers; you can organize and rearrange these as you see fit. You can also easily generate a table of contents, and create a dedication page, if you'd like.

The book itself can be on the pricey side--if you go with their suggested book it will be $39.95. They do, however, offer the option to order pages individually which can save you some money. If you order more than one book at a time they will also discount the price. And if you join the site (it's free) they often have promotions around major holidays, etc. The quality is truly excellent, and with their "binder style" presentation, and the inclusion of several blank pockets in the back of the book, you can add recipes as you like (the book will store up to 100 recipes comfortably).

I think this is a great gift idea for birthdays, Mother's Day, etc. My brother couldn't believe how professional the cookbook looked, and neither could I!

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