Love for Tastebook

Oh, hi! I remember you. Happy New Year! I had such a wonderful two week break from work and alarm clocks and shoes and generally leaving the house.  It’s hard to get back into the swing of things.  I thought I’d kick off the new year with a little show and tell involving one of my favorite presents to give this Christmas that I didn’t make by hand.  This, (dum-da-da-dum) is my Tastebook.

Have you heard of Tastebook?  Over the summer, I read in someone’s blog, (I think it might have been Posie), about this site,, where you could upload your own photos and type in your recipes and have a hardcover cookbook with 25 of your very own recipes printed for less than $20.  This sounded too good to be true.  And because I was on the ball this year, I immediately thought: Christmas presents!  So that’s why, in mid-July, photos of food began to appear in my Flickr photostream.  I worked on this project in secret – which was impossible for me, the lady who is usually incapable of keeping a secret – and finally in late November, after cooking (and eating) far too many batches of cookies and sweets, I ordered my Tastebooks.

I was so excited and nervous when they came in the mail a couple of weeks later.  I had worked on them for so long and had put a lot of hope into them. What if they were awful?  Well all worrying was unnecessary.  They came out fantastic.  I still can’t believe they only cost $19.95.  Well, without further ado, let’s peek inside, shall we?

Although you use your own photos for the recipes, Tastebook uses their stock photos and artwork for the cover and the section dividers.   This is the inside cover.  I chose the green to coordinate with the polka dot cover.  The book comes with ten standard sections (or chapters, as they call them): Brunch & Breads, Appetizers & Drinks, Soups & Salads, Sides & Bites, Vegetables, Pasta, Rice & Grains, Fish & Seafood, Meat & Poultry, Desserts & Treats, and Everything Else.

The theme for my Tastebook was Family Recipes and Favorites.  I wanted to capture all of the dishes that are favorites in my family – the ones that come out at every gathering -and keep them in one place.  I also wanted to share some of my favorites, the recipes I make all the time, or ones that are tasty and easy that I thought others might like to make.

The Tastebook site makes it simple with straightforward blanks to fill in for ingredients, cook time, serving sizes, etc.  Serving sizes brings up a funny story about my Tastebook – two recipes in particular.  On the site, you enter the recipe by filling in a standard form and you’re given the opportunity to preview the page before printing it.  I was so concerned with spelling and consistency from recipe to recipe that I neglected to notice something quite important.  And large.  And at the top of the page.  Here is how a recipe title and serving size should read:

And here is the truth, but needless to say, the goofiest heading of a recipe ever:

Also this one, true but silly:

Other than my goof-up, I couldn’t be more pleased with the books.  The printing is beautifully done, the quality is excellent, and since the books are spiral bound and will hold up to 100 recipes, I’ve already started to compile a new set of recipes for round two.

I would absolutely suggest that, if you want to make your own Tastebook, you light your photos well.  There are a couple of recipes that I wish I could reshoot.  The lighting was bad and the printed photos look a little washed out.

You can definitely tell the recipes I made in the summer – when I could take pictures of the food out on the deck in the sunshine – with the late-fall, photographed inside under crappy lighting recipes I made closer to the end of the project.

So what are you waiting for?  Don’t let those family recipes get lost in the recipe box.  Go start creating your own Tastebook now!  The end.



  1. Wait – I don’t get it – what’s wrong with the titles??

    I’d also like to point out that you spilled the secret to me, but it was under the spell of my Margaritas.


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