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The Cooks Palate Blog

Entries in writing a cookbook (4)


How To Make a Cookbook using The Cooks Palate Publishing System

View Recipe of The Week

The hardest part of making a cookbook is figuring out how to get started.  There are two major issues.  First, how to get your recipes electronically entered in a useful way, and second, how to turn those recipes into a finished manuscript, suitable for printing.  The two programs that comprise the Cook's Palate Publishing System, the Cook’s Palate and the Publisher, work together to solve these problems.

The Cook’s Palate allows you to enter recipes in any fashion.  The database makes sure that all recipes are in a unified format.  The software scales the recipes to the correct serving size and analyzes the nutrition.  When all of the recipes are entered, you just select the recipe lineup you want for each chapter.   The Cook’s Palate orders them in the chapter and alphabetizes them to create your cookbook.

Once the recipes are configured in chapters, it is time to import them into the Publisher.  When you open your newly created cookbook in the Publisher, a “wizard” guides you through the process of creating a finished manuscript.  The wizard asks you things like what size is your book, what binding do you prefer, are you going to sell your cookbook in bookstores, etc.  You can also choose from a selection of template pages to insert pages such as a forward, acknowledgement,  or introduction.  There are a total of 15 template pages to choose from.  It also creates a cross-referenced index.  When you have finished with the wizard you have a complete manuscript ready for editing.

The Publisher’s powerful editing tools allow you to make global edits to the recipes.  If you don’t like the font, or the size of the font, or even the color for any section, you can make the change in one recipe and the Publisher will change it in all of the recipes.  You can insert pictures, photos and drawings anywhere in the manuscript.

If you want to write a story as part of your cookbook, you just insert a page break, which gives you a blank page and type away.

See how easy it is to get your first cookbook in print with The Cook's Palate Publishing system.


Book Review: A New Taste of Galena

A New Taste of Galena - Amazon

Buy The Cookbook: A New Taste of Galena.  Recipes that pass the test of time.

Recipe From the Kitchen of: Fried Green Tomatoes

213 North Main Street. Galena, Illinois 61036


Galena is a town of 3300 in the Northwest corner of Illinois on the Mississippi river adjacent to Iowa and Wisconsin.  In celebration of their 150th anniversary they have written a cookbook using The Cooks Palate Publishing software that celebrates the local cuisine.  The town was once an important hub on the Mississippi, but is now most remembered as the home of General Ulysses S. Grant, and for being one of the ten prettiest towns in America.
Though the book had many contributors, Bible Alive, a teaching and outreach organization of St Matthews Lutheran Church, assembled the book.  Many of the local Restaurants both sponsored the book and contributed recipes.  We have included a Fried Green Tomato recipe in our weekly recipe today.
A New Taste of Galena has over 500 recipes, all submitted by the local cooks and chefs from the town. This is not a trivial cookbook.  It is more along the lines of “A Joy of Cooking” for a small town. The nutrition is included with each recipe and the book includes everything from appetizers, to desserts and even beverages.  The recipe collection is too extensive to go into here, but suffice to say, there is something for everyone.
There is a very interesting section in the back of the book that discusses foods from biblical times.  It tells what foods were prevalent and how some of them have been re-discovered in modern times.  The book, along with its many pictures of historic Galena, provides a fascinating snapshot of small town America.

This is an example of how some communities use The Cooks Palate to develop and promote fundraising cookbooks.  This book is available for sale in our online store and in Amazon

Tell us what you think.  Could your community benefit from a raising funds with a book like this?



Cookbook Writing Made Easy

  Download the Recipe of the Week: Mexican Beef StewIt  is unfortunate that many cooks enter recipes in The Cook’s Palate, but don’t realize they can create an instant cookbook manuscript merely by importing their Cooks Palate cookbook into our Publisher software.   Since The Publisher has professionally designed manuscript layout templates, authors can populate a template with 1 mouse click when importing cookbooks.  It also automatically assigns chapters and creates a cross referenced index from the imported cookbook file.
Writing a cookbook is easy when you use the right tools.  Beyond the basic manuscript template, The Publisher has templates for most types of pages that you might want to include, such as a foreword, acknowledgement, table of contents, introduction and many more, based on your selections in the import wizard.  If you want a section that we don’t have a template for, no problem.  Just enter a page break to get a blank page, and type away.  We see this a lot in family heirloom cookbooks, which are a combination of family history and recipes.
One unique feature of The Publisher, is it’s ability to globally edit entries.   If you don’t like the font type or size for the instruction paragraph, for example, you can change it with 1 click and it will automatically be changed in all of the other recipes.  Pretty cool.  This capability is available for any section of a recipe or page.  You can add images of any type to any page.  Simply place your cursor where you want the image to go and import the image, or move it around until you get it where you want it. 
With this kind of manuscript creation automation, writing a cookbook is a breeze.  The project becomes more and about creativity, than labor.  Your preliminary draft will be complete within the 1st hour.
Most authors don't realize that because the manuscript is in The Publisher, the same source data for the book can be re-purposed in multiple cookbook formats.  With print-on-demand books, you can order small quantities in multiple sizes and formats.  The same file can produce a practical spiral bound cookbook which lays flat on the counter or a hard cover bound coffee table book. Or, why not both?  Tell us which would you prefer?



How To Start Writing Your Cookbook

Download No Knead Bread Recipe

Many cooks would like to write a cookbook, but they can’t visualize doing it.  The project seems overwhelming.  In the next few postings we will outline a “how to” process for you.  Today we will concentrate on getting organized.  I think when you understand the process, most of the barriers to getting started will fall away.

To start, we assume you are using The Cooks Palate software or another recipe database program to begin writing our cookbook.  Word processing programs are not recommended for recipe data entry because they are text editors and the recipes cannot be scaled, calculated for nutrition or intelligently indexed or managed.     To get started, rather than trying to define the whole cookbook writing process, just start entering recipes into the recipe database.  The old writer’s adage “write a page a day and pretty soon you’ll have a book” applies here.  After all, that’s what your cookbook is, a collection of your recipes.  You can worry about chapters, indexing, images, layout etc. later. 

You can enter your recipes without regard to where they will be placed in the book or how many they will serve.  You can estimate that recipe entry will take between 10 and 15 minutes each.  Once you have entered your recipes, organizing the cookbook is simple.  You just select your first chapter name, (appetizers, first course, etc.) and then click on the recipes that you want to add to that chapter.  The Cook’s Palate puts them in the chapter and alphabetizes them.  Do that for each chapter and your basic cookbook will be complete.

In the next few postings we will show you how to, when writing your cookbook, customize your basic cookbook by scaling recipes and adding keywords for the index.  We will also show you how to create the layout of the book manuscript with images, artwork and commentary for print.  You will be able to choose between physical formats such as a spiral bound book, a soft cover book and even a full color, hard cover, dust jacketed, coffee table book.  All of these styles are library quality books that can be sold in bookstores, used in fundraises or as family cookbooks. 

What questions do you have about your "writing a cookbook" project?