Create a DIY Family Heirloom Cookbook

Farmers’ market berries remind you of Grandma’s famous pies. And you really want to learn how to make your dad’s signature potato salad that everyone raves about — if only he’d share his secret ingredient! The summer season is ripe with opportunities to cook, bake, and celebrate together as a family. And, for many of us, recipes are a great way to commemorate this special time.

‪So why not create a cookbook chronicling your family’s tried-and-true recipes and the new ones that become fast favorites? It’s the perfect DIY to do with your kiddos — you’ll not only introduce them to healthy cooking, but you’ll share a piece of family history.

What You Will Need

  • Favorite family recipes (old and new!)
  • Digital camera
  • Notebook or computer
  • A sense of adventure!

Creating Your Heirloom Cookbook

1. Aim for recreating a long-lost recipe once a week. Have your kids write their grandparents, asking them to share their favorite dishes. Encourage the family to identify some new ones they’d like to make too. For dessert, your kids might enjoy these healthy popsicle recipes that they can adapt by choosing their own ingredients. Then they can host a fun taste test!

2. Once you’ve selected some promising recipes, create your shopping list and head to your local farmers’ market for those fresh ingredients. Having the kids help here will not only make your life easier, but they will have a blast.

3. Take pictures throughout your prep and cooking! You’ll look back on those snapshots of your little one with flour all over his nose for years to come. Once you’ve captured the moment, remember to upload your pictures into a digital album on your computer and save for later.

4. Document your cookbook-making journey by taking notes! Write down who created the recipe, any special tips they shared or you discovered, and favorite quotes about the food. Think of it as a journal that preserves the best mealtime memories. We’ve created a PDF file you can download and update on your desktop.

5. Once summer is over, organize a digital cookbook that you can share with the entire family. Include recipe instructions, notes, and favorite snapshots. Save your family cookbook as a PDF that can be easily e-mailed to friends and family (this is also an eco-friendly choice). Or create a custom heirloom copy with online photo editing and publishing tools like iPhoto, Shutterfly, Artifact Uprising, and Blurb. If these sites don’t suit you, there are tons to choose from online.

While your family will enjoy the new additions to the meal circuit this summer, they’ll really love the memories you created with this cookbook!

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