recipe scrapbook

January 31, 2008

Heirloom Binder Reservations

Filed under: heirloom cookbooks — Kate @ 1:38 pm

Reserve your Heirloom Binders today! 

Our upgraded version of our Heirloom Cookbooks will be unveiled at the end of April. In the meantime, new and old users can still access and add recipes to their accounts. The new Heirlooms will now have the photographs printed directly onto the dividers. We’ve tweaked the look of our font styles, added a new spell check feature, and now users will get a preview of their cookbook before it is printed. If your Heirloom Cookbook is ready to be printed in late April or May, be sure to contact a Customer Service Representative at to reserve your cookbook binders.  

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…

January 29, 2008

I’m Engaged!

Filed under: family reunions, keepsake cookbooks, wedding ideas — Ashley @ 1:04 pm

Merry Christmas to me!  My boyfriend proposed to me Christmas night and now I’m engaged!  So despite all of the usual bride-to-be, “I’m planning a wedding” hoopla, something tells me I’ve got some Secret Ingredients Cookbooks coming my way.

My future mother-in-law has already told me that she plans on dubbing me “project manager” to create a Keepsake Cookbook for our upcoming family reunion this summer.  I can only imagine all of the great recipes that will be in that book; from my Sweet Potato Cheesecake that was a hit again this past Christmas, to my mother’s Sweet Potato Pie, my future mother-in-laws recipe for Pound Cake, and my future father-in-law’s awesome Gumbo recipe just to name a few.

It will be a great Keepsake Cookbook for the family reunion, but I’m sure it’ll be an even more impressive Heirloom Cookbook as a wedding gift.  That most incredible recipe collection, paired with photographs of both my fiancé’s and my family will truly be a treasured gift.

In the meantime, I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on my wild ride from fiancé to bride.

That’s it for me, until next time…

January 28, 2008

Power of the Gift Note

Filed under: customer service, gift ideas — Ashley @ 1:42 pm

Just as a reminder, although we will not be printing Heirloom Cookbooks until late April, please don’t forget the power of the Gift Note.

The Secret Ingredients offers Gift Notes for anyone that planned on presenting an Heirloom Cookbook as a gift to someone, but can not at the present moment as a result of our production halt.  Gift Notes are free of charge and lets the recipient know that you are creating a custom Heirloom Cookbook just for them that includes their favorite recipes and photographs.

Turns out, my family has been using the power of the Gift Note for years now.  I can recall several Christmas’s and birthdays where family members will open a box only to find a print out of the intended gift.  It’s unconventional yes, but at least the person knows that you made an effort, and you were thinking about them, but due to unforeseen circumstances you can’t actually present them with your cool awesome gift in that exact moment, but at least they know they’re getting a great gift.  In fact, the Gift Note is a creative way to increase excitement and anticipation for the actual gift in hand. 

So don’t underestimate the power of the Gift Note.  Our Customer Service Representative will be happy to send you one until we can print your Heirloom Cookbook in April.

That’s it for me, until next time…

January 25, 2008

Recipe Round-Up: Warm & Cozy Winter Recipes

Filed under: food bloggers, recipes — Kate @ 1:45 pm

It’s cold outside!  We’ve been very fortunate to have few clouds and rain this week in Seattle, but wow, it’s really cold out there.  I’m very thankful for these days because it’s nice to see the sun every now in then as a reminder that it still exists!

These cold winter days make cooking and anything warm feel so good.  We’ve rounded up some warm & cozy winter recipes from our favorite bloggers.  These recipes are perfect to share with friends or to eat before curling up with a good book.

Have a great weekend and stay warm!

January 24, 2008

Recipes for Furry Friends & Practical How-To’s

Filed under: recipe inspiration — Kate @ 1:40 pm

Over the Holiday season, I left Seattle and ventured back to the east coast to catch up with friends, family, and business contacts.  It was a pretty long trip- a little over two weeks- but I was excited about the visit.  My two mini dachshunds stayed with a dog sitter here in Seattle while I was away.  This was the first time I had left them since we moved in June, and I was very excited to find this particular dogsitter.  After all, this woman actually let them sleep in her bed!  Oh, the comforts of home.

When I dropped the dogs off, the sitter said, “Now don’t worry.  I’ll only give them filtered water and I make their treats out of all organic products- strawberries, yogurt, carob, etc.”  The whole time I was home, my family got the biggest kick out of Bud & Emmy’s homemade treats from the pet sitter.  I was worried that they would be disappointed to come home!

This whole experience made me curious about making my own pet treats and food at home.  I never really thought about it before, but it makes perfect sense.  I’ve done some research online but have yet to try any recipes out.  If I find something promising and Bud & Emmy- approved, I will be sure to post it here on the Secret Ingredients blog.

Isn’t it amazing the number of things we use recipes for?  Not only do recipes help us feed and nurture our families and furry friends(!), but we can also use the written recipe format to describe other things from emotional values like “Recipe for a Happy Marriage” to practical how-to’s like “ How to Get a Wine Stain out of Your Carpet”.  The possibilities are endless. 

Be sure to add some fun and variety to your family cookbook

Have a great day,

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,

January 22, 2008

Much Appreciated!

Filed under: customer service — Ashley @ 1:00 pm

Secret Ingredients had a very successful holiday season and it wouldn’t have happened without all of our great customers.

To all of you who ordered Keepsake Cookbooks, Cookbook Kits, Gift Certificates, and Gift Notes, we greatly appreciate your patronage, understanding, and patience as we worked very hard to fulfill your holiday needs. Our Customer Service Department received several emails from very happy customers, and we thank you for that. The Secret Ingredients works hard to bring the concept of preserving family traditions and memories back into mainstream cultural through our customized cookbooks. It’s great to know that we were able to accomplish this goal for many of you.

On the same note, feedback from our customers is very important. With your feedback we can continue to improve and increase the quality and standards of our products and services. All feedback is greatly appreciated and passed on to their designated departments for review.

On the topic of growth and development, be sure to check the Blog, emails, and newsletters regularly to stay posted on our upcoming website and product upgrades.

That’s it for me, until next time…

January 21, 2008

Family Recipe Demo on YouTube

Filed under: cookbook ideas, family recipes — Kate @ 5:07 pm

Here’s a great idea: Grab your Secret Ingredients cookbook, make a video of a family recipe, and post it on YouTube! This way your entire family will have access to a demo of a recipe that has been passed down for generations.

This is the Zappa Family Spaghetti and Meatballs Recipe:

January 18, 2008

Recipe for Resolutions

Filed under: cookbook ideas — Ashley @ 2:01 pm

With the New Year come the dreaded New Year’s resolutions.  I’ll be nicer to my friends, I’m going to quit bad habits, I’m going to love myself more, and the most popular one… I’m going to loose weight, exercise more, and eat healthier.

I’m not one for resolutions, but if I was, my grandmother got me a great Christmas gift to uphold the “eating healthier” one.  She got me a Panini maker!  It’s so cool, and of course it came with its very own little recipe book full of great ways to make all kinds of Paninis.

Since the grill plates are non-stick, I don’t have to add any oil to my cooking surface, and as long as I use healthy bread options like whole-wheat, and grain it’s really easy to come up with quick healthy sandwich options.  You can make sandwiches with meat or awesome vegetarian ones with a variety of veggies inside.  It’s also a cool way to try out different types of sauces like aioli and remoulades.

I’m going to keep experimenting with my new kitchen gadget, and as soon as I hit gold, I’ll share with you all my really great Panini recipes.That’s it for me, until next time…


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