recipe scrapbook
 

August 5, 2008

Pineapple Tidbits

Filed under: ashley, tips & tricks — Ashley @ 2:43 pm

This past weekend, I spent some quality time with my mother and several of her dear friends. One friend, Ms. Carol who has know me since I was a baby, had just recently returned from a family vacation in Hawaii and was gracious enough to share one of her pineapples fresh picked from the Dole Plantation.

Carol also shared a few tidbits of information about the pineapple, and expertly displayed her new found pineapple cutting skills.

To cut a pineapple, you first remove the crown (the pretty leaves at the top). Then sit the fruit on its base and cut it into quarters lengthwise from top to bottom. Take each quarter and remove the meat of the pineapple by laying your knife flat and slicing all the way through just above the skin. From there take each skinned quarter, and slice however you’d like.

The pineapple was absolutely delicious. It was sweet, tender, and juicy.

According to her Hawaiian tour guide, Carol says consumers are supposed to check the bottom of the pineapple near the core area; if it is white and tender, there’s a good chance you’ve got a good fruit. However, if it is brown and firm, the pineapple may be dry inside. Other than that, there are no other real external signs of freshness. She says pineapples are usually ripe once they are picked from the plantation, so there is no need to let them sit and ripen at your home. In fact, the longer it sits, the less likely you’ll be able to take advantage of the tender juicy fruit inside. She also says that she learned that those special tools that core pineapples simply get rid of the most nutritious part of the fruit.

That’s it for me, until next time…
Ashley

January 30, 2008

Typos Add Character

Filed under: editing your cookbook, tips & tricks — Ashley @ 2:20 pm

When you order a Secret Ingredients Keepsake Cookbook, you are a sent a PDF preview allowing you the opportunity to view and proofread your cookbook exactly how it will be printed.  Recently I’ve noticed we have two different types of customers: the ones who go back and fix every single error they find, and the ones who believe that minor typos, as long as the recipe is still coherent, add character to the book.  I personally would be the latter of the two, but one of my favorite aunts would fall into the first category.  Either way, to each their own.

That’s why Secret Ingredients gives you a preview, so you can decide which category you fall into.  If I created a cookbook and noticed I left a period out in one recipe and spelled butter with one “t” instead of two in another, it wouldn’t bother me one bit.  I figure the person who gets a copy of my cookbook would still love it, and be just as appreciative even if a few typos made it through.  To me, minor typos add character and reinforce the fact that someone went the extra mile to create a personal gift for you.

My aunt on the other hand would make it her duty to make sure every word was entered correctly, and every punctuation mark was in its place; and that what makes her, and her gifts, so special.  I know that when I receive a gift from her, there’s no doubt that it’s from the heart, and that she’s gone above and beyond the call of duty to make sure the gift is as close to perfect as possible.

So as I mentioned before, to each their own.  Typos with character, or flawless creations; either way we’re going to love the great personalized gift you’ve taken the time to make for us.

That’s it for me, until next time…
~Ashley

January 23, 2008

Tips & Tricks: Copy + Paste

Filed under: tips & tricks — Kate @ 2:03 pm

Do you already have your recipes in a word processing document or on a personal website? If so, you’re in for a real shortcut when you make your Secret Ingredients family cookbook!

Feel free to copy and paste into our recipe form from Microsoft Word or any other word processing software. Keyboard shortcuts really come in handy, so here’s a quick refresher for PC Users. To copy text within a document or a personal website, highlight the text and press Ctrl + C. To paste the text, click your cursor where you want to place the text and press Ctrl + V on your keyboard. (Mac Users: Your keyboard shortcuts are similar but look for the apple key instead of Ctrl.) Easy!

Our new website, which is scheduled to launch at the end of April, will make you very happy that you entered your recipes into our site. Not only will you be able to make multiple cookbooks (yes, both Heirloom and Keepsake at the same time within one account!), but you will be able to email your recipes to friends and family members at the click of a button. For more handy tips, stay tuned to our blog!

Have a wonderful day,
Kate

January 16, 2008

New Year, New Look!

Filed under: New features, tips & tricks — Ashley @ 5:17 pm

Happy New Year   Happy New Year from the team at Secret Ingredients.  You all are in for some very exciting changes in our products, services, and website.

Over the next few months, our team will be putting the final touches on several upgrades.  Most of you already know about the return of our signature product, the Heirloom Cookbook.  The new and improved Heirloom Cookbook will return to the print line in late April.  Within the cookbooks, your personal photographs will now be printed directly onto the dividers, and we’ve also tweaked our font styles as well.  If you plan on ordering an Heirloom Cookbook in late April or May, be sure to contact a Customer Service Representative to reserve your cookbook binder now.

Our Keepsake Cookbooks are also getting a new look.  They will increase in size from 4”x6” to 5”x7”.  This will give you a little more room within you cookbook.  All orders for Keepsake Cookbooks in the 4”x6” size must be in by April 1st.  After that, Keepsake Cookbooks will only be sold in the new 5”x7” size.  Stay tuned for more information regarding the Keepsake Cookbook size change.

With our upcoming website upgrades, your user account will look very different.  However, the new changes will make creating a cookbook so much easier.  You’ll no longer have to have separate accounts to create several different types of cookbook.  The new website will have a drag and drop recipe feature that will allow you to create different cookbooks at the same time.  There will also be an improved spell check feature, all cookbooks will come with previews, and users will be able to email recipes directly from their account to family and friends.

That’s just a few of the things you can expect as Secret Ingredients enters into the new year, with a new look.  Be sure to check the Blog, emails, and newsletters regularly to stay posted on these new developments.

That’s it for me, until next time…
~Ashley

November 20, 2007

Working With The Best!

Filed under: cookbook ideas, customer service, tips & tricks — Ashley @ 2:00 pm

At The Secret Ingredients you get the best of the best when it comes to your customized cookbook needs. Here are just a few reasons why you’ll only get the cream of the crop at The Secret Ingredients.

1. Best Customer Service: We make it a point to keep an open dialogue with all of our customers as they work on their cookbook projects. We are always here to answer any of your questions before, during, and after you create a cookbook. As always, feel free to contact one of our Secret Ingredients Customer Service Representatives via email at info@heirloomcookbook.com, or via phone at toll free 866-697-3247.

2. Free Membership: Creating a Secret Ingredients Cookbook is a completely free service to you. Most cookbook websites require their users to pay membership fees simply to start a cookbook project; that’s money you’re spending before you’ve even seen or received a finished product.

At the Secret Ingredients there are NO MEMBERSHIP FEES, and setting up your account is easy. Just select the type of cookbook you would like to make and setup your account on the Get Started page. From there you’re all set to enter your recipes and customize your cookbook, free of charge.

3. Quality and Look of Our Products: From the high quality three-ring leather binders of our Heirloom Cookbooks, to the professional binding of our Keepsake Cookbooks you’re getting the best looking products on the market. You won’t find any flimsy spiral cookbooks here, and all of our cookbooks come with the best paper and are produced with the highest quality printing methods.

4. Variety of Products: The Secret Ingredients is no one trick pony.  We started with one signature product and quickly saw the need to add variety and spice for our customers.  There’s the Heirloom Cookbook that comes with the three-ring leather binder in three different colors. You can also choose from a variety of divider sets, font styles, and paper colors.  Our Keepsake Cookbooks come with several different cover options that you can customize yourself that are perfect for any occasion. The Secret Ingredients also offers Cookbook Kits. You get the same classic look of Heirloom Cookbooks but with the added convenience of the newest trend of DIY. Don’t forget, we also offer gift certificates.

5. The Sky’s the Limit: We have cookbooks that hold as few as 25 recipes or as many as 250. The size of your cookbook is completely up to you; the power is in your hands.

6. Cookbook Previews: When a customer finishes a Keepsake Cookbook, they’re sent a preview of their finished project. You’ll get an exact replica of your cookbook via email for your final approval before your files are sent to the printer.

***Coming Soon: Cookbook Previews for Heirloom books!

7. Quick Turnaround: Once your files are sent to the printer, you can expect to receive your order within 2-3 weeks. We also offer express shipping too.

8. Reordering Is Easy: Once your files are in your Secret Ingredients account, they stay there. That makes it that much easier to reorder more cookbooks in the future. Just contact a Secret Ingredients Customer Service Representative and we’ll be happy to help you with the reordering process.

**Don’t forget, when reordering Keepsake Cookbooks you have the option of changing your cover as well.

9. We only give you what you need!: Most cookbook websites make their users order in bulk; not here. If you only want one cookbook, you only have to order one. If you want 100 cookbooks, we can help you with that too.

10. Blog, Blog, Blog: The Secret Ingredients Blog is updated almost daily with helpful tips, company updates, and of course yummy recipes that everyone is welcome to try for themselves and add to their own Secret Ingredients Cookbook.

If you didn’t know working with Secret Ingredients meant you were working with the best, now you know.

That’s it for me, until next time…
Ashley

November 15, 2007

Tips for Holiday Orders

Filed under: Holiday gifts, holiday ideas, tips & tricks — Kate @ 4:41 pm

With Holiday Deadlines just around the corner, we’ve got some tips for you today to make your ordering experience smooth and fast, so you don’t have to worry last minute!

  •  TIP: Keepsake BooksAfter you place your Keepsake order, one of our team members will send you links to a complete preview of your cookbook!  We do not print your order before getting your final approval, so be sure to look out for our preview email.  We will need your final approval by December 3rd, so contact as soon as you can if you have changes.  (Don’t worry, we’ll call you if we don’t hear from you to make sure you received the email!)

    After you place your Keepsake order, one of our team members will send you links to a complete preview of your cookbook!  We do not print your order before getting your final approval, so be sure to look out for our preview email.  We will need your final approval by December 3rd, so contact as soon as you can if you have changes.  (Don’t worry, we’ll call you if we don’t hear from you to make sure you received the email!)

  • TIP: Reordering Holiday Keepsakes from Past OrdersReordering a Keepsake Cookbook for the Holidays is as easy as 1-2-3.
    1.     Choose the Holiday cover you’d like your Keepsake Cookbook to have.
    2.     Contact a Secret Ingredients Customer Service Representative at toll free 866-697-3247 or info@heirloomcookbook.com
    3.     We’ll take care of the rest!

    Reordering a Keepsake Cookbook for the Holidays is as easy as 1-2-3.1.     Choose the Holiday cover you’d like your Keepsake Cookbook to have.2.     Contact a Secret Ingredients Customer Service Representative at toll free 866-697-3247 or 3.     We’ll take care of the rest!

  • TIP: Last Minute GiftsCookbook Kits and Gift Certificates are great last minute gifts!  If you don’t have the extra few moments to put together a cookbook, cookbook kits and gift certificates can do the trick.  The gift recipient still gets an awesome personalized gift, plus they get to make sure their gift is exactly how they want it thanks to you.

    Cookbook Kits and Gift Certificates are If you don’t have the extra few moments to put together a cookbook, cookbook kits and gift certificates can do the trick.  The gift recipient still gets an awesome personalized gift, plus they get to make sure their gift is exactly how they want it thanks to you.

Please let us know of any questions and have a wonderful day!
Kate

October 31, 2007

More Than Just A Cookbook

Filed under: cookbook ideas, tips & tricks — Ashley @ 1:27 pm

Every once in a while we come across a customer that makes their cookbook more than just a cookbook.  We encourage you all to do the same.

Heirloom Cookbooks in particular are great way to not only pass down family recipes, but legacies too.  Recipe pages aren’t just for recipes; use them to share your family’s history, or a favorite memory.  Some people like to put these kinds of things in the Notes section, but why not use a full recipe page at your own discretion.  Fill a recipe page with family jokes, quotes, a poem, or an inspiring scripture.

With several photographs, and hundreds of recipe pages to play with, you can turn your cookbook into a delicious display of incredible family history.

That’s it for me, until next time…
~Ashley

October 29, 2007

Woman’s Day Gives Excellent Advice about Holiday Shopping

Filed under: Holiday gifts, holiday ideas, tips & tricks — Kate @ 1:22 pm

I love holiday festivities!  Gathering with friends and family, caroling with hot chocolate, Christmas lights, wearing my favorite color red, Dirty Santa, and all the delicious baked treats are just some of my favorite things about the season.  However, festive times can easily lead to overindulgence.  Before you know it, it’s January and all the weight missing from your pocketbook has gone straight to your waistline! 

Woman's Day

Start this Holiday season off the smart way!  In the November 13th issue of Woman’s Day, Mary Hunt tells us how in her article titled A Festive Christmas Without Breaking the Bank.  This article gives you great tips on setting a budget for your Holiday shopping and ideas on thoughtful, custom gifts that are inexpensive.  Secret Ingredients is very excited to be included in this list!  Be sure to pick up your copy of Woman’s Day today! 

Reminder:  Our Keepsake Cookbook Coupons expire on Wednesday!

Have a great day,
Kate 

October 26, 2007

Trick or Treat for Adults

Filed under: holiday ideas, tips & tricks — Ashley @ 1:44 pm

Halloween night doesn’t just have to be about the kids.  This Halloween, invite some adult friends over, cook a delicious meal, and throw a spooky recipe sharing party.

Tell your guests to bring generic recipes, or go with a theme; perhaps Fall and Winter themed recipes or ones that are geared specifically towards Halloween.  Although your friends won’t be going home with a bucket full of candy like the neighborhood kids, they’ll certainly be able to add several treats to their recipe collection.

If you’re expecting a lot of trick-or-treaters, hand out recipes with the candy. Since most parents inspect their kids stash at the end of the night, finding the treat of a brand new recipe in their kids bucket will be a welcomed surprise.  Also, if you and all your friends have kids, you can still make a night of it.  Have everyone meet at your place, and serve the kids something light for dinner like sandwiches or wraps. (This is also a great time to take pictures of the kids in their costumes.). Send everyone on their way with a designated adult or older sibling and let the adult dinner party and recipe swap begin.

That’s it for me, until next time…
Ashley

October 24, 2007

Mommy’s Little Helper

Filed under: cookbook ideas, family cookbook, tips & tricks — Ashley @ 12:34 pm

When starting your Secret Ingredients Cookbook Project you may be overlooking a very valuable assistant at the end of your apron strings.

People always talk about how great it is to get kids involved in the kitchen; it’s where young people can work on early math skills through measuring ingredients, and they can also boost their level of responsibility by learning how to provide for themselves in the kitchen when it comes to snacks and small meals. Well the same applies when creating a cookbook.

Kids can play an intricate part in choosing pictures, cookbook titles, and help with the wording for dedications.  Older children can also work on their typing and computer skills.  Kids will also be highly impressed by the amount of recipes that have been collected and are being passed down in their family.
Working on a cookbook with children can also inspire impromptu bonding sessions in the kitchen.

Don’t forget, creating a family cookbook is just that: for the family.  Don’t hesitate to get all family members involved.

That’s it for me, until next time…
Ashley


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