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

My Bake Off entry: Cinnamon and Sugar Cream Cheese Rolls

Today was our 2nd (sort of) Annual MarComm Bake Off at work and I made the most delicious dessert ever: Cinnamon and Sugar Cream Cheese Rolls. They are a recipe from my Great Aunt Dorothy and they are like crack. My sister Emily is always in charge of making them for the holidays, but I figured I’d take a go at them for the competition.

If you want to try this amazing recipe out, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you’ll be addicted and will likely start making them every year, too. Good luck — it’s a tough addiction to fight, so I wouldn’t bother if I were you.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf of white bread
  • 16 ounces of cream cheese
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup butter
  • Powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine cream cheese, sugar (3/4 cup), egg yolks and vanilla in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
  2. Cut the crust off of the bread (discard crust, as well as heels of loaf) and roll each slice flat with a rolling pin.
  3. Spread a thick layer of the cream cheese mixture onto the flattened bread, then roll the bread into a little log.
  4. Optional: place on a baking sheet and refrigerate overnight .
  5. Combine cinnamon and sugar (1 cup) in bowl. Melt butter in a separate bowl. Dip each roll into the butter, then roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place back on backing sheet.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let cool, then enjoy!

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Back to the Bake Off…

The competition was fierce, with nine desserts in the running. Check out these mouth-watering treats. Mmmmmm. Can you say “sugar coma?”

When all of the votes were tallied, we had three winners. Drum roll?

1st place winner of the golden pie plate: Rachel *cheers*

2nd place winner of the silver whisk: Julie *applause*

3rd place winner of the bronze cookie cutter: MEEEEEEEEEEE *And the crowd goes wild! (Or, at least I did.)*

I’m pretty sure one of the first things I said was, “Dana is going to be so proud.”


Man, what a fun day. Try out the recipe. It is officially award-winning 🙂

Also, a big “hey girl, heyyy” and thank you to my coworker Amy for organizing this much-needed afternoon of fun. You’re the best.

Recipes

Pumpkin rice krispie treats

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Thank you, Pinterest for this adorable idea! These cute treats were pretty easy to make. Just follow the directions on the cereal box for regular treats and add yellow and red food coloring to the marshmallows after they are melted. Mix it all together then shape into round pumpkins with your hands. Tip: get your hands wet first so they don’t stick to your fingers. Add tootsie rolls for your stem! So cute!