Fun New Ways to Share Recipes

Giving from the Heart series

Every family has a great recipe.  I’m a recipe collector myself, and my recipe mantra is that the best recipes are shared.  I wouldn’t have any –ANY– great recipes if I didn’t taste something, love it, and ask for the recipe.  As we continue our #familyhistoryfriday Giving From the Heart series, we’re going to look at some fun ways to share recipes.  Whether you have family recipes you’d like to share or recipes from friends, sharing well-loved recipes is a great way to remember times together or even just come together.

Recipes Help You Make Someone Happy

A few years ago, I made a family recipe cookbook and gave it to everyone for Christmas.  I had collected three favorite recipes from each person, added a few pictures, and published it here.  Everyone loved such a fun and useful gift.  The next summer, we all traveled to my sister’s house for a family get-together.  She used the cookbook to plan meals for the whole week!  She knew she was making one of somebody’s favorite meals every time she made something.  The kids loved that, of course, and it was fun to find out what everybody likes, too.

My husband often tells me that one of the best things I do for teenage boys is give them good food!  I’m pretty sure this applies to everyone, though.  Fast food drive throughs do the trick in a pinch– they keep you from starving –but I would be so bold as to say that “comfort food” never comes in a wrapper.

Recipes help make someone happy.  They acknowledge taste and preference, and they can even make someone feel at home.  I have a friend whose son has lots of specific food preferences.  They’re not allergies, but they might as well be.  He doesn’t eat some things based solely on texture, and he doesn’t eat meat because it grosses him out.  A recipe that’s preference-friendly for him means the world.  It means someone cares enough to notice and want him to be happy.

Would you enjoy collecting family recipes or friends’ recipes like the cookbook above?  Would your cookbook be a way of bringing people together or capturing memories of a special event?  Whatever your goal, there are some really fun ways to share family or friend recipes.  All these styles I’ll show you can be created online and professionally published by following the steps here.

Traditional Wirebound and Mini Wirebound Cookbook

Both of the photos shown above are what I call a Traditional Wirebound Cookbook.  I’ve made a couple of these cookbooks before, and they are well-used and well-loved!  It’s really fun to have a collection of family favorites.  Plus, you can stop calling your mom every time you need that one recipe *again*!

The Traditional Wirebound Cookbook is a 6×9 book with a spiral binding (so it lays flat), and comes with 21 pages but is expandable to 51.  It has a wrap-around soft cover.  It’s about $17.  (Extra pages cost less than $1 each.)  In the product list, it’s under Storybooks and is called a 6×9 Wirebound Book.

When my son left for college, I made him what I call a Mini Wirebound Cookbook.  I wanted to give him some really easy things he could make without much experience or available time.  I mean, ramen noodles and cold pizza are “great” and all, but growing brains need a little variety.

This mini version fit the bill for me because it’s just right for one recipe per page.  In the product list, this is under Storybooks and is called a Square Flip Book.  It’s about $14.  It’s only 5.75×5.75, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space.  This small book comes with 20 pages, and although it’s not expandable like the bigger version, I love that it’s not so overwhelming for a new cook.  I’ve also seen this size used for Girlfriend Recipe Collections, which would also fit just right.  My favorite thing about this style, though, is that it has a clear plastic cover on the front and back.  The pages are extra thick, too.  Any extra protection from the kitchen of a boys’ apartment seemed like a good idea for my son’s book!

The cookbook I made for my son is off at college right now, so I can’t take a picture of the one I made, but this little ABC book shows you the size and style.  You can look at the actual book I made by clicking right here to see the preview page by page.

Unique Recipe Cards Two Ways

As much as I like cookbooks, I really like recipes written on individual cards.  Being the recipe collector I am, I often find favorite recipes one at a time.  If you’d like to do a recipe exchange, sharing one recipe with many recipients, do I ever have something amazing to show you!  Both of these ways are the clever use of a product meant for something else!

While handwriting recipes on recipe cards or printing them out with your computer does the job, I think one of the worst things about recipe cards is their susceptibility to drips and splashes and greasy fingers.  Both of the recipe cards I’m about to show you are wipe-able!  The paper is thick and has a slick surface.  I love both of these ways to share recipes with cards.

Recipe Cards from a Playing Card Deck

The first way is to use a Heritage Makers playing card deck.  I’ve done this multiple times and can’t tell you how fun and impressive these cards are to receive!  The backs of the playing cards are all the same, so you can put anything you want on the back (even a photo), and the fronts can be made all the same or made to vary.  In the case of this photo at the right, I shared my favorite potato soup recipe–54 cards of the same recipe. 

Playing card decks are about $17, which comes out to about 32 cents each!  Each card is 2.4×3.5″, which is smaller than a standard recipe card, but will fit in a recipe box all the same.

I’ve also used the playing card deck to make several sets of recipes out of one deck.  I made a fun little collection of recipes for Quick Cakes–individual cakes made in the microwave.  I gave these recipe sets as gifts last year to girlfriends for Christmas, and they were inexpensive but so fun and impressive!  In fact, I’ll share this little video with you where I showed how exactly I created the recipe sets from a playing card deck.  (And this video tutorial will give you the basics if you just want to have one recipe for the whole deck, too.  How fun would it be to send out your favorite Christmas recipe inside your Christmas cards this year?!)

Recipe Cards from 4×6 Invitations

The second way to make clever, sturdy, wipe-able recipe cards to share is using Heritage Makers 4×6 Invitations.  These are bigger than the playing cards, of course, so they’re a bit spendier, but the size is great if you’re going to a recipe exchange where you don’t necessarily need 54 cards to share.  This size is also great for anybody whose eyesight isn’t what it used to be.  These recipe cards are $1.50, but they do qualify for a Volume Discount if you order more than 25.

Since they’re invitations, they also come with an envelope.  Wouldn’t they make a fun birthday greeting?  They’re double-sided, too, so you can include two recipes or put a greeting on one side and a recipe on the other!

Connecting with Recipes

The ideas I’ve shown you for sharing recipes using high-quality products are really just simple ways to connect with someone.  Whether a unique gift or a way to commemorate an event, sharing recipes creates connection and memories.  I have recipes in my box that I’ve called by name– “Angie’s Italian Dip,” “Diana’s Fruit Dip,” “Kathy’s Frozen Banana Splits.”  When I pull out those recipes, I think of old friends I haven’t seen in a long time.  That comfortable nostalgia is a sweet feeling.  Recipes are essentially keepsakes.

So what will you do?  How will you share a well-loved recipe with someone who will be delighted to have it?  What has fostered a great idea for you here?  Comment below and let me know–I’d love to find out.

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.” -Voltaire

All these products can be created online and professionally published on high-quality materials by following the steps here.  All digital art is included (not purchased), and there are thousands of fully-editable templates free to use.  Or, create your own from a blank slate using the free software and free digital art collections.  Alternatively, if you have an idea but don’t want to digitally create it yourself, Jennifer can create your projects for you!  Direct questions here

Jennifer Wise

consultant at Heritage Makers
I'm Jennifer, and I'm passionate about connections.I enjoy helping people discover the very real benefits of preserving stories, photos, and memories because of the impact they have on children, families, and individuals. I blog weekly at www.lifetalesbooks.blogspot.com sharing tips, ideas, solutions, and inspiration, and I'm over at www.heritagemakers.com/jenniferwise, too. Learn more about me at the "About" tab.

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