Keepsake Cookbooks – Low quantity orders perfect for small families or close circle of friends.

Create the best keepsake gift filled with not only memories but the instructions to recreate favorite dishes those memories are attached to. To meet the growing demand for custom cookbook orders for small families and friend groups we have created the Keepsake Cookbook collection available for a limited time. Order as few as 12 books and include up to 90 recipes enjoying the benefits of free typing and formatting of recipes, a professional quality cover and dividers.

Simply collect your recipes and sort them into categories. You may have up to 8 dividers. Our suggested divider list is:

  • Appetizers, Beverages & Dips
  • Soups & Salads
  • Breads & Rolls
  • Vegetables & Side Dishes
  • Main Dishes & Meats
  • Desserts
  • Cookies & Candies
  • Miscellaneous

Divider title names can be changed and you do not have to include all 8. Many family cookbooks only have 6 or 7 dividers.

Recipes can be submitted in the following ways:

Mailed Paper Submission – Mail your recipes to Cookbook Specialists along with the order form. Make copies of your recipes and send us the copies as these will not be returned.  Keep each category separated by clips or in individual envelopes. We also prefer you number the recipes so we know the order they go in to the book.

Emailed Submission – Speak with one of our Customer Service representatives on options for emailing either a file or photos of your recipes.

Mailed Electronic Submission – We can accept recipes on a flash drive so if you have them in a Word Document or images of each of the recipes we can provide guidance for placing the files on a flash drive so our typist can easily type them into the book in the correct order.

Recipes can be handwritten we just ask that you take a moment to print any recipe authors names since signatures are hard to read. Recipes will be typed in our standard format using our suggested abbreviations in a non-continued recipe format.

Design selections to choose from:

Recipe Design – You can select from two different recipe designs and either standard font size (10 point) or large print (12 point). For books with large print there is a limit of 60 recipes allowed. Books are limited to 100 pages so we recommend avoiding long stories added to the recipes as this will mean some recipes will need to be removed.

Recipe Design A
Recipe Design B

Covers – Select from one of our 5 popular pre-designed covers. The Family Favorites Designer Frame has a space to allow for you to include a photo in either portrait or landscape. Photos can be emailed or a copy mailed with the recipes.  Covers are printed on cardstock and the outsides are coated making it easy to wipe them off and protects them from sticky fingers and spills.

Dividers – Choose one of the 3 pre-designed dividers designs and from our list of paper colors. Dividers are printed in black ink on standard bond paper.

Binding – Books are bound with Spiral PlastiKoil binding. This durable binding allows books to lay flat when in use or even fold over on themselves like a spiral notebook.  

Additional – Included is a FREE title page, publication number, table of contents and an alphabetical index by category. You can also have 5 free personal pages starting on the back of the table of contents. Personal pages can be used to include a message about why you created the book, a dedication, memorial, brief history, favorite cooking tips, or we can provide lined notes pages.

Once your book is created we provide you with a free PDF to review and proofread. Books take approximately 2 to 4 weeks to complete from start to finish.

Shipping – Is based on current carrier rates and is in addition to the book price.

Reorders – Are available at current pricing at the time the reorder is placed. You can contact us for a reorder quote at any time after you receive your books.

Contact – Our customer service people are happy to answer any questions you may have and we encourage you to call or email. 1-800-838-1679 or book@cookbookspecialists.com

Download a PDF copy of our Keepsake Cookbook Order form HERE

Click HERE to download an interactive recipe form or click HERE
to download a printable version.

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Outdoor Food Hacks for Holiday Weekends

Food Hacks for outdoor entertaining.
Tips for making outdoor entertaining easier

Here are some outdoor food hacks we have collected from friends over the years that make outdoor eating and entertaining easier.

  • Serve desserts, pasta salads and diced fruit in individual plastic cups with shrink wrap over them. Serve beverages in canning jars all pre-made with lids on them.
  • Have a tote with a lid handy to collect plastic wear in when your event is over fill with water and a little soap swish everything around and then dump out water and take dishes home to wash and reuse.
  • Wet dish/bath towels can be placed in plastic bags and frozen to make easy cold packs.
  • Don’t forget to grab a power strip to plug slow cookers into.
  • Set up a hand washing station near the food that includes soap, water (repurpose empty laundry detergent bottles or an old water cooler) and paper towels.
  • Use painters tape to identify foods that are allergy friendly. You can color code for foods that are gluten free, peanut free, diary free or soy free. Have people with allergies go through the line first to avoid cross contamination.
  • Foods on a stick are easy to serve and easy to clean up. Consider grilling kebabs or even hot dogs on sticks.
  • Cook your own food options work well for those trying to avoid allergens and germs. Consider having a nice hot grill available and encourage people to grill their own food.
  • Divide chips up in individual sandwich bags for easy grab and go convenience.
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Cookbooks as Customer Appreciation Gifts

Customer sitting with shopping bags. Custom cookbooks as appreciation gifts
A gift for customers that have supported your business that they will love.

Looking for a spectacular gift to hand out this year to the customers that have supported your business? Cookbooks make great customer appreciation gifts!

Gifting cookbooks is a time honored tradition for many companies and is the perfect way to say thank you. Collecting family and employee recipes to tuck into the pages makes this a keepsake item customers will cherish. Custom cookbooks are also a great way to keep your business contact information handy for customers and keeps your business name in front of the customer.

Start today and have your books ready to hand out at the start of the holidays. Creating a custom cookbook is as easy as.

                Collecting/Sorting Recipes

                Entering Recipes Online or mailing them in to be typed

                Selecting design options for your cookbook

                Reviewing a PDF proof copy of your book

                Enjoying your books when they arrive!

Contact us for a free information guide or call and we can talk through the easy steps for creating your custom cookbook. Start today for the perfect gift this holiday.

Visit: www.cookbookspecialists.com

Call: Lea Ann At 319-334-8608

Email: book@cookbookspecialists.com.

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A Legacy of Cookbook Printing

Cookbook printer
Owner of Cookbook Specialists, Sheri Hartkemeyer

What do you get when you mix years of experience with passion? Quality custom cookbooks!

In the spring of 2018, Sheri Hartkemeyer expanded her business Print Express, Miller Printerie  and Brennan Printing to include G&R Publishing and General Publishing and Binding. Combining state of the art printers at her production facility along with an amazing team of designers and customer service people, Sheri leads a group of dedicated professionals that put customer service as their number one priority.

With changing times, Cookbook Specialists is always looking to adapt with customer’s needs. Some customers still communicate entirely through mailed letters and phone calls, while others video chat and provide electronic versions of their books through a multitude of software options. Providing no-tech, low-tech and high-tech options, we meet our customer’s needs and work with their abilities.

Often, self-printing means being completely self-sufficient, but Cookbook Specialists provides customers with resources and suggestions to help them prepare for success. We love to see our customers succeed in cookbook sales, because that is how we succeed. 

Bringing the past alive in the present is one of our secret talents. Revamping and revitalizing older cookbooks for our customers are ways we help our former customers succeed. We can work with you to recreate your book to accommodate a more economical package, revitalize it to sell to a new demographic or update it and keep selling.

Out of the box approaches allow us to provide you options so you end up with a final product you love. Our goal is to provide the most economical services possible, but we are willing to provide solutions to make your dreams a reality. 

As a full-line printer we can provide you with a complete brand for your cookbook including business cards, letter head, memo pads and so much more. Let us help you create a complete package to make your cookbook a selling success. We also print History books, Class Reunion books, and City Celebration books.

We have over 100 combined years of experience under this roof in creating custom, keepsake cookbooks that have helped fundraise, sell for profit and preserve heritage. No matter your reason for making a cookbook, whether as a family gift or to sell or fundraise, we are here to help you through the process. 

What do you get when you mix years of experience with passion? Quality custom cookbooks!

In the spring of 2018, Sheri Hartkemeyer expanded her business Print Express, Miller Printerie  and Brennan Printing to include G&R Publishing and General Publishing and Binding. Combining state of the art printers at her production facility along with an amazing team of designers and customer service people, Sheri leads a group of dedicated professionals that put customer service as their number one priority.

With changing times, Cookbook Specialists is always looking to adapt with customer’s needs. Some customers still communicate entirely through mailed letters and phone calls, while others video chat and provide electronic versions of their books through a multitude of software options. Providing no-tech, low-tech and high-tech options, we meet our customer’s needs and work with their abilities.

Often, self-printing means being completely self-sufficient, but Cookbook Specialists provides customers with resources and suggestions to help them prepare for success. We love to see our customers succeed in cookbook sales, because that is how we succeed. 

Bringing the past alive in the present is one of our secret talents. Revamping and revitalizing older cookbooks for our customers are ways we help our former customers succeed. We can work with you to recreate your book to accommodate a more economical package, revitalize it to sell to a new demographic or update it and keep selling.

Out of the box approaches allow us to provide you options so you end up with a final product you love. Our goal is to provide the most economical services possible, but we are willing to provide solutions to make your dreams a reality. 

As a full-line printer we can provide you with a complete brand for your cookbook including business cards, letterhead, memo pads and so much more. Let us help you create a complete package to make your cookbook a selling success. We also print History books, Class Reunion books, and City Celebration books.

We have over 100 combined years of experience under this roof in creating custom, keepsake cookbooks that have helped fundraise, sell for profit and preserve heritage. No matter your reason for making a cookbook, whether as a family gift or to sell or fundraise, we are here to help you through the process. 

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Creating a Cookbook During a Pandemic

Sitting creating a cookbook during a pandemic for fundraising or as a holiday gift or to sell.
Using time wisely to create a cookbook.

The world of cookbooks is ever evolving and spring of 2020 will bring a whole new realm of cookbook evolution.  The good news is with people home more they are cooking more, so cookbooks that were gathering dust are being cracked wide open. Moms and grandmas are answering questions ranging from boiling water to how to bake bread. It’s a time of returning to basics and more people will be making sure they have a good quality cookbook in the cupboard from here on out.

What about e-books, what about online recipes? Right now homes are filled with families trying to juggle online learning and work emails. With only so many devices and so much Wi-Fi, a trusty cookbook is always there. What about printing off recipes? Many families are conserving toner for the really important stuff as printers work overtime for school and work obligations. Have you tried to prepare a recipe from your phone when at that same moment your friend calls? This is a recipe for how phones end up falling into the soup!

You may have thought about creating a family cookbook in the past or maybe wondered about one for your business to earn some extra profits. You may have even considered a fundraising book for your favorite group or organization. This is the year to create that book! People need your recipes now more than ever. If you or others in your group are at home with extra time on your hands, now is the time to collect recipes and be ready to have your book printed in time to sell for the holidays! If you are creating a family book, you can start now then easily kick back and relax this fall/winter while everyone else scrambles to buy gifts, knowing you have a box of cookbooks you can hand out that will be a prized keepsake for years to come.

If you are finding social distancing making recipe collection a challenge, we have resources to help you out! From interactive PDF recipe forms to contributor logins for our website and even a script for calling people up and asking for their recipes over the phone! You can contact us for solutions that fit your project!

Once your cookbooks are printed, we have a wealth of ideas for getting them out to the masses! Check out our blog on Social Distancing Cookbook Sales.

Create your cookbook and bring joy, instruction and great meals to the kitchen.

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Social Distancing Cookbook Sales

Suggestions for cookbook sales while social distancing
Ideas for selling cookbooks while social distancing.

So how do I sell my cookbooks during a pandemic? Well this is one blog I didn’t think I’d ever write but drawing on many years of experience from customers all over the nation, we have some great ideas to get your cookbooks selling and delivered safely.

First start planning your cookbook sales today! You can never start too soon for the planning of your cookbook sales, even if you don’t have a retail price point yet.

  • Start a waiting list. Make sure your waiting list has space for the person’s name, how many books, and the best way to contact them when the books arrive.
  • Let everyone know. Get the word out on social media that you are creating a cookbook. Tell people why you are creating a cookbook. If it’s for a fundraiser talk about the project it’s raising money for. If it’s a book to promote healthier eating, talk about how the recipes in your book are going to make healthy eating great. Whatever the reason for your book let everyone know about it.
  • Make sure people can contact you. Set up a dedicated email or Facebook page for your cookbook. Making sure people can contact you with questions and orders will make it easier. If you don’t have access to internet, then provide a phone number and/or address people can contact.

Next prepare for the selling of your cookbook. During a pandemic, handling cash can make some people nervous so plan ahead for how you will collect money. Here are ideas some of our customers have used.

  • Have a specific checking account so people can write checks. Make sure you are clear to them who the check should be made out to and then as soon as you know your retail price you can have people start mailing checks in.
  • Check out sources like Venmo, PayPal and Square. See if any of them are possibilities for accepting payment electronically. Make sure to read the fine print to see what fees apply and make sure you price your book accordingly.
  • If people want to pay by cash have them plan ahead. Ask for exact cash or ask how they are paying so you can have exact change ready. If you are fundraising and not having to charge tax for your book consider making it an even $10, $15, or $20.

Finally – Delivery of the books may seem like a daunting challenge but with a box of plastic zipper bags and you are ready to go.

  • Plan ahead. Put people’s names and contact info along with how many books they want and if they are paid for on slips of paper or index cards that can be dropped in the bag along with the number of books to be delivered. Have people plan a route where they can swing by and drop off books to houses in their area.
  • Take a copy of your cookbook to your local post office. Ask them for shipping options to determine what will work best for you and allow you to package/label cookbooks at home for easy mailing. You may consider calling your post office and asking for assistance and see if there is a best time to stop by and the person you should ask for.
  • Shipping department. If your book is for a group or organization, check with other members of your group to see if someone has a business with a shipping department. Ask them the best way to package books to ship from their location and what the pricing would be. Drop off books packaged and labeled for them to ship. Ask them how they would like to keep track of shipping costs and what method you should use for reimbursement.

With a little planning and some thought you can get cookbooks out to the masses even during a shut down.

Written by: Lea Ann Huegel, April 2020

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A Sense of Community Through Recipe Collection

A recipe card with the note, A sense of community through recipe collection.

Sharing recipes is a connection people have had for centuries. Sharing recipes with one another as family, friends and even community is something that binds us together. From recipes scrawled on napkins at potlucks, those mailed in letters, ripped from magazines and clipped from newspapers, recipes come to us from a variety of sources. In my kitchen are my grandmother’s cookbooks filled with added recipes in her handwriting and ones tucked in from other sources.

As our world faces a time of concern and many people are in isolation due to the COVID-19 virus, now the sharing of recipes may be a life line of hope. For groups, organizations and churches reaching out to isolated members and ensuring they have daily contact over the phone will help alleviate anxiety and offer some light into their day.

We can provide you with the resources to set up a recipe collection project to give isolated people a project to work on. We suggest the name “Project Recipe Box.”

The idea is to call those that are isolated and check in on them. Below is a sample of what could be said:

With all the extra time we have on our hands right now, we are starting a project called “Project Recipe Box.” We are reaching out to collect the very best recipes our friends/family/members have. Over time we hope to have a nice selection of these so that we can eventually compile them into a shareable cookbook. I’d like to call back on (insert date) and have you read me your favorite recipe over the phone so I can add it to our collection. I would also like to add your favorite memory, quote and any unique history fact you may have about our group/family/organization. The book can be a collection of many things – recipes, memories, quotes, history, etc., all combined into 1 book.

 Once you confirm the date/time that you will call back make sure that you follow up. We can provide you with a PDF form you can print off to collect recipes or an interactive PDF that you can sit at the computer and type the recipe into. If you don’t have a printer available to print the forms, we can mail you forms to write the recipes on. For downloadable options see below or contact us and we will email them out.

Having this type of interaction will give people, especially seniors something to do. They can spend time looking through cookbooks and deciding which is their favorite recipe. They also have a phone call to look forward to!

For organizations, this project also provides you with the resources to create a fundraising cookbook to help with the recovery for so many, after things start to settle in place. Cookbooks make great holiday gifts, so planning this may help make someone’s holiday brighter by providing an easy gift purchase option and have money go for a great cause.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions you may have about collecting recipes. We are happy to help you set up a “Project Recipe Box” to keep the sense of community going.

Additional Ideas:

Weekly post one recipe from the box on social media

Collect favorite cooking/baking tips and hacks

Short stories could be placed instead of recipes, so have people share a story of a shared meal.

Have kids create recipes. These are often funny and can be shared to create smiles. Have them write/draw out their recipes, then snap a photo to share.

Do you have artists in your group? Have them create drawings that could be used for covers/dividers. (Feel free to contact us for recommended dimensions.)

Encourage members to dig through old memory boxes for additional information that can be used to create a history of your group.  We also do genealogy and history books so we can offer suggestions on how to collect information like that as well.

Funny stories – Ask people if they have any funny stories about cooking/baking. These days we could all use a good laugh.

Download Printable Recipe Forms Here

Download Interactive Recipe Form Here

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Teaching Children to Read Recipes

Child Cooking
Teaching Children to Read Recipes

Recipes are full of numbers including measurements, times and quantities. Having children read and measure ingredients teaches them about volume and size. Being able to properly estimate the true size of a cup or half cup helps them learn portion control in serving and eating. Learning the value of time and being able to manage their time for things like homework and chores. Math skills can be exercised by doubling or halving recipes.

Recipes are a lesson in science. Actions and reactions create the dishes we eat. Bread rises because of yeast, salt brings out sweetness, butter melts, eggs run or bounce depending on if they are raw or boiled. Even basic concepts like adding heat to water to cause it to boil is a science lesson waiting to be learned. Allowing children to play at cooking, reinforces skills they will use in the school science lab.

Recipes teach us about our history. From recipes off the back of boxes to ones passed down through the family, there are recipes we use to celebrate holidays or special occasions. Consider Thanksgiving and how interwoven recipes and food are with that day. Learning where recipes came from and passing them down gives us a personal history and becomes part of our identity. A grandmother’s cookie recipes or mom’s soup recipe to help us get well are a part of our personal history that can be learned and passed on.

Memories are waiting to be made in the kitchen. Spending time helping a child select a recipe for a meal and then to help prepare it teaches them responsibility and how to plan and prepare. Not only is there the opportunity to discover the science, history and math of a recipe, but there are so many more topics that can be introduced. Discussing how food affects health, where food comes from, how plants grow, jobs related to the food industry, and food/kitchen safety. There’s also that extra bonus of spending time with a child and the chance that they may open up, talk about their day and let you know what’s going on in their life. Most importantly the memory of cooking with you in the kitchen gives a child a memory of time spent together.

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Use a Potluck to Boost Sales

Cookbook, Potluck, Fundraising

Having a plan on how you are going to sell your cookbooks when they arrive is an essential part to a fundraising cookbook. Combining cookbook sales with food is a perfect combination for success.

Hosting a potluck featuring some of the recipes in the book gives your community a chance to try out the recipes and fall in love with your book. Here are a few tips from our customers that will help make this a successful event!

  • Encourage people bringing dishes to the potluck to use the recipes they submitted. Have index cards ready so you can list the name of the recipe and the page it can be found on to set next to the dish.
  • If a recipe has been submitted in memory of someone consider placing a framed photo of them next to the dish made from their recipe.
  • Have pens handy and encourage people to autograph each other’s cookbooks. This is a perfect keepsake! Think back to the days when people signed and left little notes in year books. Imagine the treasure of opening your cookbook to a handwritten message from a friend.
  • If the potluck is close to the holidays consider inviting a youth group to set up a gift wrap station with donated paper and accept donations for gift wrapping.
  • Some groups may find it fun to have a “photo booth” where people can pose with the cookbook and a few staged kitchen utensils. These photos will also be perfect to share on social media to spread the word even further.
  • Have a table for children to sit and create “bookmarks” for the cookbook. Encourage people to buy the cookbook as a gift and include their child’s bookmark as a special touch.
  • No time for a potluck? Feature a few of the cookie/bar recipes from the cookbook and have a coffee or tea party.

Planning ahead for the potluck will also give people a chance to pick up copies they pre-ordered at the event as well. Try to set the date by the time you approve your order for the cookbooks so you can use this as a launch party. If you already have your books it’s never too late to boost sales with a potluck. Go ahead and put those cookbooks to good use and let them sell themselves.

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Starting a Personal or Family Cookbook

The idea of creating a cookbook can seem overwhelming, but in reality, creating a cookbook these days is as easy as rounding up ingredients for a recipe. Let’s take a look at the beginning steps of a cookbook.

The best starting point is to obtain a copy of our cookbook guide. This will give you a basic understanding of the different parts of a cookbook. The guide will also give standard options for submitting recipes.

Gather, select, and sort your recipes. There are a variety of ways of doing this, but knowing if you are going with an online submission or sending the recipes to us to type, will give you a starting point. Dividing the recipes into categories as you go, also makes sorting easier.

Set a submission date goal. Having a goal gives you something to work toward. We suggest setting a submission date that is 6 weeks before you want the books in hand. This allows extra time and takes the pressure off. (Books can be completed in as little as 2 weeks with rush processing, but allowing extra time takes pressure off you during the proofing process.)

Call or email questions. In today’s world, a lot of people are surprised when we answer the phone. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. If it’s after hours, write down your question or email it to us right then, so you can get it off your mind and keep working. Then, as soon as we are back in the office, we can discuss the question and get you back on track. As with all technology, there can be glitches. If you do not get a reply in a reasonable time, try contacting us again.

Support, having a trusted friend or family member to confide in, ask to help, or work alongside can make the project a fun adventure. A second set of eyes that knows you, is a valuable tool to spot errors and make suggestions.

Get started today by requesting a free guide online, by email or phone!

Request guide online at: bit.ly/cbkguidefm

Email: book@cookbookspecialists.com

Call: 1-800-383-1679/319-334-8608

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