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Making a Mini Cookbook: Recipe Advice Please!

Some of you have probably read that I'm fleshing out the idea of doing a mini cookbook as a wedding favor. I still have to find out how I would get them printed and wrapped, but I love the idea so much I started thinking about what recipes I would put in it. Even if it doesn't work out for the wedding I'd want to give them out for some other reason.

I has evolved into a "A day in the life of" kind of deal. I did one favorite breakfast and lunch dish for each of us, and I tried to make the dinners a full menu:

Breakfast: (her) banana bread and (his) sausage gravy and biscuits

Lunch: (her) Asian peanut sauce noodle salad and (his) mile high Italian sub

Dinner: (her) vegetable minestrone, peppered ribeye, and chocolate cupcakes; and (his) avoglemono soup, braised lamb shank, and flan (or panna cotta).

Cocktails: include two to four of our favorites, since those recipes will be short and easy to fit in. Probably white rum cosmopolitans as a nod to my college girlfriends, a mojito because that's his favorite, and a dry Chopin martini because it's something everyone knows we both love but no one else ever orders.

Does anyone have suggestions for making the "cookbook" more well rounded? I thought I did a pretty good job of not repeating anything (like two chocolate desserts).

Other considerations are that recipes have to be fairly short to fit in a little booklet, and easy enough not to overwhelm non-cooks but interesting enough that even avid cooks will be interested (example: everyone can make banana bread, but have you made my banana bread?)

Ingredients-wise, minestrone and lamb shanks seem similar to me. Is that a problem?

So far the booklet will be: cover photo of us cooking together, thank you to the guest on the inside cover, a wedding program on the facing page, a progression of recipes with some photos or anecdotes (we fell in love with avoglemono at our favorite college date restaurant, bought our first cast iron when we were starving graduates and couldn't afford steakhouses, etc.), and a food/love quote on the back cover.

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  1. To be short and concise, add a bibliography of cookbooks that contain recipes that you particularly like citing the author, title, publisher, year and page. Many public libraries have a cookbook section so people can look up the books that you cite. I live in a 'burb of Philly that has a population under 30K and a library loaded with cookbooks.

    1. A family recipe or two from each of you might be nice, if that's appropriate. Something your parents and/or grandparents made that you loved.

      also, a recipe for something delicious served at your reception.

        1. re: chicgail

          I agree with adding in some family favorites from both sides. A nice addition that could be any dish. If trying to fill space-maybe to include appetizers, snack or sauce favorites.
          Such a great idea-I am crossing my fingers for you to find a way to get printed that doesn't cost a lot! (Maybe check out some of those promotional companys that do personalized items--such as Branders or the like.)
          Best of luck-your guests will love it!

          1. re: dklipscomb

            Good heavens, what a fabulous idea. I wish I could have stolen your idea this time last year...it would also be perfect for the 50th anniversary party I'm doing for my parents at the end of the month.

            I agree w/ family favorites....recipes that your friends and relatives will associate with the two of you.

            1. re: danna

              My mind is still wandering on the how to have printed and not cost you so much.
              In searching the internet have a few sites you might want to look at:
              www.48hrbooks.com
              www.cookbookco.com
              www.grandrpublishing.com
              I live in a very small town-but wonder if those ads on TV for companys to get brochures and booklets made-might be of help

        2. I think you could do more with less - especially if you find the printing costs are high. In the spirirt of your getting married and coming together as a couple, you could give recipes for a meal you would both enjoy - a compromise menu!

          I think you're right to be concerned about how long the recipes are - you hate to have tiny print or to go on for two pages.

          1. I love this idea... I did something similiar as christmas presents one year to my friends and compiled my most requested recipes. After I typed and printed them out, I just took them to Kinko's and had them copied and sprial bound. My thought is that for a wedding, you might want to do something a little bit more sophisticated. I know you can do memory books online through walgreens, kodak or mpix. It might be worth looking into.