What If I Don't Have Family Recipes?


The majority of people who book Family Cookbook sessions have some sort of heritage attached to their recipes, be it that they were passed on from relatives, brought over from the Old Country, or are adaptations of immigrant dishes. But when I say we all have food memories and dishes that are special to us, I mean it. There are a whole lot of families out there who don’t necessarily carry passed-down cooking techniques or have decades-old handwritten recipe cards. Here are a few ideas about having a Family Cookbook session when you love food, but it’s not part of your heritage.


Your Staple Dishes

Sure, my family had kugel and matzo ball soup and latkes and all the Jewish staples ready for special Jewish holidays. But, my mom always had staple dishes for Thanksgiving and even just regular dinners that weren’t really attached to anything other than the fact that we liked to eat them.

  1. Holiday foods: Green beans with slivered almonds and pearl onions was always on the table for Thanksgiving. Same with special pumpkin pie with Chinese five spice. If there are any dishes your family HAS to have during the holidays, that’s great cookbook material.

  2. Everyday dishes: Again, your recipes don’t have to be incredibly unique or blogger perfect. They are special to you and that’s what matters. Do you frequently find yourself making certain foods over and over again for your family? Does Grandma have that one lemon cookie recipe she makes for the kids all the time? (My husband’s grandma made rootbeer cookies, OMG!) Your personal cookbook can even be adaptations of recipes in your favorite cookbooks or Food Network blog posts—there’s no one way to do it.

Recipes for Your Kids

What are your kids going to want to know how to make? Do they have any favorite foods in childhood and adulthood? My favorite way to put this is, what foods will your kids call you about late on the weekends when they are homesick? My grandma made the best, fluffiest scrambled eggs West of the Mississippi, and I still have yet to master her technique because we never wrote it down. I don’t want that to happen to your kids!

Custom family cookbook

We Love Food, Really, but We Don’t Cook

Not to worry! Sometimes, a full Family Cookbook session isn’t for everyone. If you love baking boxed-mix cakes or throwing together a Jell-O mold with your kids, we can still do that. Regular documentary family sessions are a great way to capture your family cooking and being together, without the pressure of making a cookbook.


Thanks for reading! Documenting family food stories is something of immense joy, and I would love to tell your story. Get more information about The Family Cookbook as well as pricing by filling out the form below.


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