Graphic Design

Family Cookbook

I forgot to share the best gift that I made for my family this Christmas! I made my mom, stepmom, sisters and grandma a family cookbook of all of our dessert recipes. It took me hours and hours and hours. I also had to bake more than I care to so I could take photos — but it was all worth it.

Cookbook

I designed the book from cover to cover using Adobe InDesign. I designed the cover using a lot of the last names in our family as an interesting graphic element.

Once all of the pages were complete, I uploaded them to Shutterfly as images and put them into their blank photo book template — they call it Digiscrap. It shows a step by step guide on how to upload your own custom template onto a blank photo book.

The only downside to the blank template was a lack of measurements. For example, I made a jpg for the spine to fit into their template, but that spine wrapped around the whole book, so the words are partially on the cover (if you look at the first photo you can see what I mean). It would be great if they suggested art bounds and text bounds for the covers and pages. Not a big deal, but something to keep in mind if you ever design your own and use Shutterfly to print it.

Cookbook pages

Other than the spine mishap, the book is gorgeous. I’ve used Shutterfly before for photo books and they don’t disappoint. I love how the photos printed, which I was a bit nervous about because I am in no way close to being a professional photographer.

snowball

The recipes in the book go way back — we have one from my great-great-great grandma — and I even included pro tips from family members who are known for each recipe.

Cookies Page

Ever make a cookbook of your own? Did you use a template or design your own?

I am really glad I designed mine myself. I learned a lot through the process. I would definitely do things a bit differently next time, which will be next Christmas when I tackle the family entrée and side recipes! We make such yummy food in our family, I didn’t have time to fit it all in one book.

I can’t believe I forgot to share it — I’m so proud of it.

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Recipes

100 Days of Real Food Cookbook review

Between bathroom renovations and power outages, I almost forgot to share a different kind of post for A Smith of All Trades — a book review!

I have been following 100 Days of Real Food for a few years now and the woman behind the blog, Lisa Leake, just published her first cookbook. Lisa’s blog is about cooking with real ingredients and cutting out processed foods. She has a ton of great recipes to share, as well as tips for cutting back on pre-packaged, over-processed foods. While I’m not 100% processed food free — I might not even be 50% — following her blog has been eye-opening for me as to the simple changes I can make to get rid of some, well, crap. Instead of buying frozen pizzas, we make our own from scratch. Box-mix cookies? A thing of the past. Bisquick for pancakes and biscuits — I can easily make my own. I even make our whipped cream instead of buying the canned stuff!

And you guys know I love to can some food from my garden veggies. And it is always yummier than if I buy it from a store. Real food = delicious food.

Some of our favorite meals have come from Lisa’s blog (The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot — it really is the best and we are actually having it for dinner tonight!), so when I had to opportunity to review her cookbook I couldn’t refuse. Turns out, this recipe is also in her book.

100 Days of Real Food cookbook

100 Days of Real Food is a beautiful cookbook. That might seem a strange thing to mention first instead of, say, the recipes. But it truly is beautiful. Every page has a photo, which is essential (in my opinion) to a good cookbook.

It also has all sorts of recipes (it is a cookbook after all), from simple to more complex. She also explains in great detail about transitioning to real food. I’ve read some of her tips on her blog, but just from flipping through it seems like there is a lot I haven’t seen yet. She has a whole section on tips to convince skeptics (ahem, my hubby) that real food is the way to go. I’ll definitely be reading that section.

I think I might be most excited for her recipes for kitchen staples like salad dressings, bbq sauce, tomato sauce (hello, new recipe to can!) — these are the things that I am so used to just buying from the store but that have sooo many added ingredients. I think having these recipes on hand will make replacing the over-processed versions much easier.

OK, enough of my rambling. Obviously I like it. Check it out!

Here’s a few of the pages from the book so you can see just how pretty it is and how yummy the recipes look.

Shortcut Eggplant Parm RecipeShortcut Eggplant Parm Photo

Veggie Corn Chowder recipe

Veggie Corn Chowder2

Frozen Yogurt Pops recipe

Frozen Yogurt Pops photo

My whole family has been getting into the real food lifestyle, so I know they are gonna want to borrow this one.

 

Next time you hear from me, I’ll be showing off our new bathroom 🙂 Hope you all have a great weekend!

I received a free copy of 100 Days of Real Food — all opinions are my own.