recipe scrapbook
 

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

November 14, 2007

These are a Few of My Favorite Things

Filed under: Seattle, cookbook ideas — Kate @ 8:03 pm

The hustle and bustle of the Holiday season is already here.  I can feel it in every way.  Our team is busy getting cookbooks ready for the Holidays, and like you, I’m trying to find time to get my shopping knocked out so I can enjoy some of the festivities this season.  I’m in full Type A list mode!  I have 5 pages of lists going- shopping lists, “To Do” lists, and lists for travel plans. 

I always find myself craving certain foods this time of year, so in the spirit of “list making”, I thought I would make a list of my favorite things of the season:

  •  Sweet Potatoes-  I can’t get enough of warm sweet potatoes flavored with cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter.  My friend, Mara, laughed when you looked in my fridge this weekend!  She found raw sweet potatoes, sweet potato pancakes, mashed sweet potatoes, and sweet potato pieces from Trader Joes!
  • Butternut Squash- Soup, ravioli, or baked with nutmeg and cinnamon- I love it any way!
  • Pumpkin- Especially Martha’s Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter.  Click here to read more about this recipe!
  • Bartlett Pears- Bartlett pears are my favorite fruit of the season.  They are so delicious and perfectly sweet.  I like to have one for dessert or late in the afternoon.
  • Honey Crisp Apples- I eat an apple every day for breakfast.  Some would say this is boring, but it makes me feel so good and healthy.  It’s the best way to start a day!  Honey Crisps are my favorite apple this time of year.  They are very crisp and lightly sweet.   
  • Macaroons- My friend Mindy made the best macaroons last weekend.  She made them with almond extract and dipped them in chocolate.  Yumm! 
  • Hot Chocolate- Living in Seattle has changed many things for me!  I now understand why this city is so famous for its coffee and coffee-drinking.  It is very necessary this time of year when days are short and sometimes gray.  I have a new appreciation for coffee, but recently I have gone back to my childhood favorite, Hot Chocolate.  What a treat!

What are your favorite foods this season?  Email us at info@heirloomcookbook.com and tell us!  Also, if you have any other food or recipe stories that you would like to share on our blog, please email or call us.  We would love to share your story!

Have a wonderful evening,
Kate

November 13, 2007

Star in Your Own Cooking Show!

Filed under: Holiday gifts, recipe inspiration — Kate @ 4:23 pm

Have you ever thought that you might be the next Rachael Ray?  The Internet makes it easy to publish your own videos to show your family members… and the world!  YouTube is full of videos of all kinds- from funny skits to clips about pets, crafts, and pop culture.  It is one of my favorite websites and can amuse me for hours.  Now I have a favorite site for viewing cooking videos…

Recently, Seattle’s BigOven launched BigOven Videos, a collection of cooking videos from their recipe community and the Internet.  This is a really neat website.  If you are curious about learning a certain technique or would like to see a demonstration of a favorite recipe, check out BigOven’s Videos.  You may also submit your own cooking videos.  Grab your apron and the video camera, and make your own show!

BigOven currently has 73 videos and is growing every day.  Be sure to check it out!

I would also like to remind everyone about our Holiday Deadlines.  All custom book orders (Keepsake Cookbooks) need to be placed by December 1 to ensure delivery by the 24th.  To read more about our Holiday Deadlines, please click here.

Have a great day,
Kate

November 8, 2007

AJ’s Sweet Potato Cheesecake

Filed under: Holiday recipes, recipes — Ashley @ 9:53 am

I made this last year for Thanksgiving and people are still talking about it.  It’s kind of a rough recipe because I cook based on my mood and how my taste buds are feeling that day, but feel free to play with it and make it your own.  Hopefully you’ll find the same success I did.

Ingredients:

Crust

-3 packs of finely crashed cinnamon sugar flavored graham crackers
-1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
-1 stick of melted butter
Cheesecake Mixture
-4 packages of softened cream cheese
-4 eggs
-4 medium sweet potatoes
-1 cup of flour
-1 ½ cup of sugar
-1 ½ cup brown sugar
-1 tablespoon of vanilla
-1 tablespoon of nutmeg
-1 tablespoon of cinnamon
-1 stick of butter
 
Directions:

  1. Mix the crushed graham crackers, nutmeg, and butter.
  2. Mold to a spring form pan.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees to set the crust.  Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. Boil sweet potatoes until tender.  Peel and chop into manageable chunks.
  5. With an electric mixer, slowly combine ALL of your cheesecake mixture ingredients.  The batter should be smooth and creamy.
  6. Pour into baked crust.
  7. Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees; or until the center of the cake is firm (the top should be golden brown too).
  8. Let the cheesecake set and cool off for several hours.
  9. Serve as is, a la mode, or top with whip cream and sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg.  It doesn’t matter, it’s heavenly either way!

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

November 7, 2007

I Dub Thee Hostess

Filed under: Holiday recipes, holiday ideas — Ashley @ 2:41 pm

Thanksgiving is two weeks away and some of you are just now being dubbed with the title of hostess. Don’t panic.  You can pull off an awesome meal in no time as long as you keep a few things in mind.

First, consider your guest list and determine your menu. Are you having all adults over for dinner, or do you have to create a more kid friendly menu?  That’ll make the difference between a Roasted Pumpkin Casserole with Glazed Pecans versus Sweet Potatoes Topped with Marshmallows.  Can you add sausage to your stuffing or should you avoid that because you’ve got vegetarians coming to dinner?

Once you’ve figured out your menu, now you can create your shopping list. Check your cabinets first. See what kind of stock you already have like frozen veggies, gravy or broth, flour, spices, etc.  Also decide what’s best for you; do you want to do all of your shopping at once or break it up and take advantage of last minute sales?

Now that the shopping’s taken care of, come up with a plan of action for preparation.  When will you do all of your prep work like chopping veggies, boiling noodles, and greasing pie plates; the night before or morning of?  Also, are you doing all the work yourself or will you recruit the help of a significant other, kids, or whoever else is in the house that can lend a hand?  Don’t forget; timing is everything when it comes to the turkey. You’ll need enough time to thaw it out and cook it too.

In addition to a plan of action for the kitchen, consider what you hope to do with the rest of the house.  Obviously, check your supply of dishes and make sure you can accommodate your guest and that everyone will have a place to sit down to eat.  Next decide whether or not you’re going to decorate.  Will you simply add a cornucopia to the table, or do you plan to pull out chair covers, centerpieces and candles, and dress your windows as well?  And of course, if you anyone plans to stay overnight, or even if you anticipate someone needing to sleep off that extra glass of wine, spruce up your guest room or have an extra pillow and blanket on hand just in case.

Finally, as host for the evening, make sure there’s a plan for FUN!  Thanksgiving isn’t just about a group of people who only see each other a few times a year getting together to stuff their bellies and go home.  It’s a time to reflect on things and people we’re thankful to have in our lives.  Usually that comes naturally when people are having a great time.  Pull out those old board games, photo albums, and even old records to play the sounds of yesteryear.  Enjoy the food, the company, and most importantly, take some time to enjoy the moment; it’ll be gone before you know it.

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

November 6, 2007

Holiday Deadlines

Filed under: Holiday gifts, cookbook kits, keepsake cookbooks — Kate @ 1:49 pm

 

SI Christmas

Secret Ingredients’ Holiday Deadlines 2007:

  • Keepsake Cookbooks:  Order by December 1 to guarantee delivery by December 24th.  If you are going out of town and need your order before the 24th, please order before the 1st.  The turnaround time is 2-3 weeks.
  • Heirloom Cookbooks:  We are sorry to say that our Heirloom Cookbooks will not be ready in time for the Holidays this year!  We are improving the quality of the books,  and they will be ready for print at the end of April 2008.
  • Cookbook Kits: Cookbook kit orders must be received by December 17.  Email us at info@heirloomcookbook.com for more information.
  • Gift Certificates: Orders for gift certificates must be received by December 17.  You may purchase a gift certificate for any dollar amount.

November 5, 2007

Planning for Thanksgiving

Filed under: Holiday recipes, holiday ideas, meal planning — Kate @ 6:36 pm

Thanksgiving is 2 weeks from Thursday.  Can you believe it?!  My mother is coming to Seattle from North Carolina to eat Thanksgiving with me this year, and she called yesterday to remind me that she’ll see me very soon.  I’m very excited about her visit.  Thanksgiving is our favorite holiday- delicious food, family, friends, and of course, the Macy’s Day Parade!

Whether you are cooking a feast at home, traveling to see family, or preparing a dish for a Thanksgiving potluck, it’s time to start planning!  Mom and I are eating Thanksgiving dinner with friends, but we still have preparations to make for her visit, including travel plans and cooking several dishes for our feast. 

I found this great article today that will help you plan your menu and suggests a great timeline for preparing your feast.  Remember that the earlier you start, the more time you will have to relax and enjoy the day.  Thanksgiving can be stressful enough without all the cooking!  Why not plan for smooth sailing?  Click here to read this helpful article at What’s Cooking America.

Don’t forget: December 1 is the last day to order your Keepsake Cookbooks for the holidays.

Have a great day,
Kate

November 1, 2007

How Secret Are Your Secret Ingredients?

Filed under: family recipes, recipes — Ashley @ 12:17 pm

I absolutely love Desperate Housewives.  In one of their recent episodes (although the issue itself led to a much bigger story line) I thought it was hilarious when the new “old” neighbor refused to share her recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie with Bree.  It was even funnier to find out the lady actually kept her recipe box under lock and key.

So the question is; just how secret are your secret ingredients?  Have you ever refused to share the names of the fives spices in your famous Five Spice Chicken Rub?  Or have you ever been denied access to the key ingredients in your best bud’s Smoked Salmon Dip?  We’ve all heard about recipe swapping and sharing parties, but what about the other side of the scope?  What’s it like when you come across that one person who values their unique touch on a culinary treat as much as a precious gem?

We want to hear from you; share your “secret ingredient” stories with us!  Simply reply to this blog or send us an email at info@heirloomcookbook.com.

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


 
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