Make a Cherished Family Recipe Book


A family recipe book is a way to record the lifestyles and some history of a family. Family recipe books can be used to record the most popular and enduring recipes of each family member and in the process bring the entire family closer together. Unlike some recipe books, family recipe books can and should include all types of meals, drinks, and desserts. Each meal, drink, or dessert represents the person who had it recorded in the book.

How to Set Up the Cookbook

Recipes in a family cookbook represent the common history of an extended family. Starting out, it would be best to determine who the most common ancestral relative is and develop the book from there. From that point, you have several options on how to organize the book. Two ways that you can organize it are:

  • By families
  • By what meal they are for

The most common of these ways is by what meal they are for. The reason for this is that it makes it easier to have subcategories. Having things broken down into subcategories like low-fat dinner meals helps make it easier for the person cooking to choose the recipe.

One of the most important things you need to do before starting is to make a plan. Your plan should factor in:

  • How big you want it to be
  • If there is going to be a theme to it
  • When your deadline for completing it is
  • What you will include as content, not just recipes
  • How to publish it

What to Include With Your Family’s Recipes

The recipes represent the family as a whole but also the individual who came up with the recipe. If your cousin has a very good recipe using black cherry puree, it might be a good idea to tell how he came up with the recipe. It will add interest to your family history.

Family Gatherings

Another recipe to include in the books would be ones that represent good times that all of your family have had. These recipes would be ones that a family member would cook at times of gatherings. It could be their favorite Christmas recipe, or it could be a pork roast that you all would enjoy during the summer.

A good example of meals that one could put in this area comes from meals prepared for family reunions. Meals prepared for family reunions are generally easier in terms of complexity of the recipes but are easy to make large quantities.

Weight Loss and a Healthy Lifestyle

Weight loss and having a healthy lifestyle is also an option to put into your family recipe book. This is a common problem for families to go through. Weight loss meals are also generally seen as healthier meals as well. With these recipes, it would be a good idea to put into the recipe book tips on how to lose weight. These tips should come from family members who have had weight problems or health-related problems that were improved through dietary changes.

An example of a health-related problem where eating a specific type of diet would help is wound healing. Among the best foods to accelerate wound healing are:

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Tofu
  • Fish
  • Cheese
  • Beans


The binding of the cookbook is a very important aspect of building it. There are many different choices in how you can bind your book.


Case binding (aka hardcover binding) is probably the most common form of bookbinding and is considered very durable. Most major books even now are hardbound. Casebound books, in addition to being durable, are seen as more impressive.

Softcover Binding

The second most common form of binding is perfect binding (aka softcover binding). This binding is made of heavyweight cardstock paper and is usually laminated. It is of a lower quality than a hardcover, but it is also proportionally cheaper to make and ship.

Further Advice

A good additional source of information can be found here. Building a family recipe book can be used to rekindle familial relationships. You may not be able to be together often. When a family member uses the cookbook, they will have happy memories of days gone by.

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