How to Make Your Own Family Cookbook

“This post is sponsored by Create My Cookbook; however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.”

When you think of some of your most wonderful memories what do they revolve around?

Trimber family celebrating Daddy and Bobby's birthday

For me, it's family....and food!

From the time I was little on, until the present, when I get together with family it seems there is always food and lots of celebrating.

Sadly, most of the family I grew up with has passed away...all of my grandparents, my mom, my dad, my brother, my brother-in-law, my sister-in-law...far too many of my loved ones.

So many times I've told my sons while we're eating a special meal or just a regular family dinner a recipe story.

Robert Trimber in his Marine Uniform with two of his brothers

How the ham and bean soup I made with the hambone leftover from Christmas dinner was my favorite growing up and that my dad would make it while my mom went shopping downtown...she did that weekly (and it was much deserved).

Grandma and Grandpap Gardner

I would tell the story of the potato salad and how NOBODY's potato salad was as good as Grandma Gardner's.

Roseann with Amy as a baby

I would tell the stories about Aunt Rose and how her cooking and baking was amazing and that when she would invite us to dinner, I would seriously almost eat nothing for the three or four days beforehand so that I could totally pig out at her house.

Photo of Rita Gardner in her father's garden

Only one of my sons remembers any of my family. He remembers my Dad, Uncle Ed, Uncle Bob, and Aunt Rose.

My other sons either weren't born yet or were just too little to remember them.

Now that my sons are older, my baby is 16, I worried that they may not remember the stories or the recipes and that's why I was so happy to put together a family cookbook.

Dad's handwritten recipe for homemade peanut butter cups

Instead of pictures of the recipes (which I have...some of them handwritten) I included pictures of the people who created the recipes and the love they shared through food.

I chose to do this through Create My Cookbook.

The site is so easy to use and the cookbook (or cookbooks!) you can create are absolutely beautiful. I'll be sharing my newest cookbook in a few weeks so be sure to come back to see it, but until then, I want to walk you through the process of creating your own family masterpiece!

How to Make a Family Cookbook

Where to Start

Stack of handwritten paper recipes and a recipe box

First, gather the recipes you're going to include in your family cookbook.

For this cookbook I pulled out my recipe box. The box was given to me by my Dad when I was a teenager. I think he must have forgotten a birthday or special occasion (he worked SO MUCH) and so, he grabbed a file box from his office and gave it to me.

I took that file box and covered it with fabric and added a little house to the front and some ribbon. I had NO idea what I would use it for but as it turned out, it became the first holder for my family's recipes.

8 recipes uploaded to Create My Cookbook to have typed

Once you've gathered the recipes you'll be adding to your cookbook, you'll have a choice to make.

Screenshot of the process to make a cookbook using Create My Cookbook

You can either manually type in the recipes OR you can take a picture, upload the pic, and have it typed by Create My Cookbook. That's the option I went with!

With that option my recipes were ready to insert into my cookbook in less than one day...some within an hour of submitting them.

As far as manually adding a recipe, I only added one recipe via that methos. It was my sister's Halushki recipe and she sent it to me on FB so it wasn't one of my handwritten gems but gold, nonetheless.

Designing Your Family Cookbook - The Theme

Ready made templates to use for Create My Cookbook

There are several theme options to start with and they are lovely, but there is also a Premium Theme option (which I used) that really allows you to use your creativity.

The Premium Theme includes patterned full-bleed page backgrounds and color text on all pages. You can see the options in the "change theme" window when designing your cookbook. 

Screenshot of the cookbook cover I created for my family cookbook

I created my own cover (front and back) and spine for my family cookbook. Again, I really wanted to personalize it by using family photos and I wanted my family to know exactly which cookbook is the one with the family recipes.

Can you add collaborators?

Yes, you absolutely can!

I didn't add anyone but you can easily allow others in your family (or friends!) access to your account so that recipes, stories, and photos can be added making it a true collaboration.


Publishing options for Create my Cookbook

The publishing process is so easy, and you can preview your cookbook before hitting the publish button just to make sure everything is just right.


Cookbook options screenshot including type of paper for Create My Cookbook

There are several options when choosing the type of cookbook you want to publish and even the paper used. You can see my selections above.

I also added the e-cookbook version so I had something readily available all the time, even on my smartphone.

Gift Giving

A cookbook created using Create My Cookbook is a wonderful way to preserve family memories.

You can order a copy for yourself and for everyone on your gift list - get more info and start creating your own heirloom by clicking here: Create My Cookbook

Pinterest image of handwritten recipes and a small recipe box

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  1. Mary Beth, how wonderful to share your Family photos and some of your memories. The Holidays brings back a lot of memories for people.
    I don't have these memories because my father died when I was three and my mother died just before I turned six. My grandmother died before I was born.
    I plan on getting this cookbook. I will go through your site to purchase it so you will get the credit for sharing with us.
    Your recipes are delicious and I wanted to thank you for posting them!
    Thanksgiving is coming up and I also want to wish you and your Family a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  2. Cindy@CountyRoad407 says:

    This is such a fantastic idea! We don't have one but we have some recipes that are treasures! Thank you for sharing this. pinned

  3. Oh, MaryBeth, I had forgotten you for a few months. As you know, Ron passed away last August and so many things have been happening. I've seen this page several times and this is the 1st time I've paid attention to your Mom's "peanut butter cups." I saved the recipe and will make this for upcoming Valentine's Day or Easter.
    Ronny and I have been doing very well. We really have. Please let me know how you have been.
    Love and blessings,
    Cheryl and Ronny