This gift will most likely benefit more of the female population, but it isn't to say that it cannot be gifted to a guy. I have just never found a guy who would be interested in receiving said gift. That said, this Revolution Gift would be a great idea for couples or families as well.
Revolution Gift Idea #7:
I got this idea from my husband's grandmother (my grandmother-in-law?). The Christmas Hubby and I got engaged, Grandma gave these gifts to each of the girls in the family (such as my Mother-in-Law, Aunts-in-law, Cousins-in-law, you get the picture). What made it personal is that the recipes in the cookbook were all FAMILY recipes that she had gathered over the years. She typed them up and placed them on cards. Each woman got her own unique book, created from a photo album, wherein she slipped each recipe card into a plastic pocket. GENIUS!
As I stated earlier, there has yet to be a boy in my life that would desire a cookbook as a gift. But I KNOW they exist (and major props to you, Culinary Guys!). So don't count this out as a Guy Gift. I have found that women really appreciate this kind of gift, especially if any of the recipes have personal meaning to them. I could also see how couples and families would enjoy a conglomeration of new recipes and meaningfully familiar recipes.
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How to Construct a Cookbook
You could go about this in 3 ways....
1) Using a service such as Morris Press Cookbooks, one can submit all of their info, and for the right price, they will print you REAL cookbooks (bound, covered, etc). If you ever get the cookbooks that churches or fundraisers sell, Morris Press is often the printer. The work on your end will be greatly diminished, and the books will look extremely professional and published, but you will be paying a good bit of money out of pocket for these gifts. You also have a minimum order number (I believe it is 100). So, unless you have a LARGE family and LOTS of friends, this may not be the route for you.
2) After gathering recipes, organizing them and creating the pages of your Cookbook (ie: doing all the HARD work yourself), you can use the printing center at Staples, Kinkos or Office Max to have the books bound for you. It will have a more professional look, and will cost less than something like Morris Press. There is also no minimum order amount. The printing centers offer several binding options, including hardbound (WOW!) or a comb binding. So if you want a more professional look, and have the monetary flexibility, this would be a great option for you.
3) If you are looking to REALLY save money and give something that is truly homemade, I would highly encourage the simple (but special!) route Grandma used. Spend some time checking the stock of photo albums at discount stores, such as TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or even Kohls. You'd be amazed at the nice albums you can find for an amazingly reasonable price! To make it even simpler, I've used $2 3-ring binders from an office store (ie: Staples). You can fill the binders will photo album pages (found at places like Kmart. Staples may even sell it, but I am not certain, so don't quote me on it). If the photo album pages are hard to come by (particularly 3-ring pages), I've simply used plastic page covers (they come in packs of, like, 150).
If you are using photo albums/binders with album pages, the recipe cards will fit right into the plastic pockets. If you have extra recipe cards, use those. Index cards fit as well. While you are welcome to HANDWRITE each recipe card, this could really eat up your time (especially if you are giving this gift to several people). And your hands will hate you for it. I recommend typing up the recipes in a Word document, and copy/pasting several per page. Then, print and cut out each recipe, gluing them to a recipe/index card. Slip each card into the plastic photo pocket (you could also just forgo the recipe/index card all together, and just tape it inside the plastic photo pocket. GO GREEN!).
If you cannot acquire some photo filler pages, this totally works with plastic page covers. It will use more paper, but you can just put the recipe on an 8x11-inch piece of paper (make it nice and big with a fun font!), and put the papers back to back in a page cover. Again, it will just have more pages.
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I cannot stress what a great gift this was to receive. Here are photos of Grandma's gift to me from 4 years ago:
Yes, I still use this recipe book. ALMOST. EVERY. DAY. And, if you can't tell from the AWESOME QUALITY photo (are you sensing my sarcasm? And my desperate desire for a NEW CAMERA?), I have continued adding recipes into the previously empty photo pockets. This book is now busting at the seams with Meal Cookin' Goodness. I love it! All of my recipes are in one place, organized, and protected by the plastic from spraying bits of food (I am a messy cook, but I do clean up well). I love that each pocket contains something that Grandma spent time typing, cutting and pasting JUST. FOR. ME (not to mention YEARS of taste-testing in her kitchen!)
Do you have a lot of great family recipes? Spend some time gathering and organizing them over the next few weeks. This could be the start of a historic project that will be passed along for generations to come! Maybe you have a close-knit group of girlfriends. See if they will pass along 5 of their favorite recipes to you, and combine them all into one awesome Girlfriends Cookbook. Is there a newly-wed couple in your life? This would be a perfect gift to get them through those first few years of marriage, where everything is new (including daily homecooked dinners)!
Personal. Economical. Special. Simple.
I love this gift, and enjoy making it as much as I enjoy giving it! So gather recipes, throw on some Holiday Music, and let your Creative Juices flow!
I would love to hear more of your Revolution Gift Ideas. The Holiday Season is UPON US! Send them my way, so I can joyfully share them with the rest of the community (and possibly utilize them myself!)
Check back LATER THIS WEEK for Revolution Gift #8!