My mom is one of the sweetest ladies I know! She’s always going out of her way to make other people happy. When we’re sick, she gets us a little prize from the dollar store to cheer us up, and she’s always thinking of others. And when it comes to Christmas and birthdays she’s always trying to get thoughtful gifts.

Last Christmas (2016) she had the greatest idea of all time. Shortly before Christmas of 2015, my great aunt passed away, my mom’s aunt. She was an amazing person that taught me and my entire family so much. One thing that really sticks out to everyone is how great of a cook she was. We all wanted to get our hands on her “secret” recipes. So for Christmas my mom came up with the idea to make a family cookbook for our family that featured recipes from my great aunt, my grandparents, their grandparents, and a some of the other relatives from that side of the family. The plan was for her to gather the recipes, Danielle and I to design it, and Brittany, my sister, to write a poem to commemorate every loved one mentioned in the book.

Our first step was secretly to get our hands on everyone’s recipes. Mom reached out to my cousins, and they brought some recipes over about a week later. Then, she dug through her old cookbooks and rounded up some recipes from her parents and grandparents. After she went through them she typed them up in a Pages document and shared that with me and Danielle, and I got started on the layout.  

Our layout consisted of one recipe per page. We laid out two pages and showed it to Mom to get her feedback, made a few changes, and then went to town.  When it was all said and done we finished with a 70+ page cookbook. Now, it was time to print it.

For printing we ended up going with Blurb. We printed about 20 on their Premium Magazine that has a semi-gloss cover and matte pages, and we were not disappointed. Unfortunately it took us a bit longer than we anticipated. We didn’t get the order submitted to have them in time for Christmas, but we told the family they had something special on the way. When they finally came in, my mom went a step further and wrote a personalized note on the front cover of every copy she gave out as gifts. Needless to say, my family absolutely loved them and regularly use them. I’d have to say you couldn’t ask for a better or more sentimental gift!

Our Family Cookbook