Cookbooks and recipes with Xulon Press

Whipping Up Your First Cookbook

Food for thought, writing your first cookbookThe moment has come to compile your favorite recipes in a fun cookbook. You may be wondering where to begin, where to get your recipes from and how to make your cookbook unique. Compiling a cookbook may not be as hard as you think! But first, why not dabble in writing about your favorite dishes? The list below can help you get started.

  • Passing down family traditions and recipes. Your cookbook may be a way to share a unique cultural background with exotic cuisines that you have fond memories of making. You can also commemorate deceased relatives by dedicating your cookbook to them, or initiate new food-inspired family traditions.
  • Sharing your love of food through writing. For the foodies out there, connecting to your audience members with your love of food can bring you and your reader closer together. Those who love a variety of cuisines can bond with you when you reveal ways food has inspired, sustained and comforted you.
  • Telling your story. Some writers may decide to write a memoir surrounding the healing and nourishing properties of food. You can kill two birds with one stone by incorporating autobiographical content with the recipes.  What events took place in your life and what dishes helped get you through them? Include this in your book.

Once you have decided which recipes you are going to include in your cookbook, be sure to be as accurate as possible in describing the measurements, ingredients, preparation and methods. Bear in mind that readers buy cookbooks to replicate the recipes; being concise will motivate them to try them out. Before jotting down your recipes, give them a test run. Record details and calculate the factors that your reader should know (if you need examples, consult cookbooks to get an understanding of this style of writing). Use your own unique voice, your own terminology and make the directions clear. Using mouth-watering adjectives (decadent, crisp, juicy, pungent, etc.) also brings your food to life. It is a major plus for your personality to shine thorough.

Next, take pictures, since any food-related content is highly visual. Pictures should be simple, but artistic in nature, preferably using natural lighting. You are marketing your cooking ability. Lastly, be sure to include a Table of Contents for readers and an index. These tools only organize the contents effectively, reducing the time it takes for readers to find what they want. Food has the power to heal, comfort, nourish and bring people together. A scent wafting through a house could bring your spirit to a better place. Think of favorable dishes that have a special meaning to you. These could be the recipes you may want to include in your book. Bon Appetit!

Things To Stir into the Pot:

  • What recipes do you have the most experience in?
  • What individual foods or dishes are you connected to? (e.g. Your mother’s baked ziti, your sister’s Eggs Benedict)
  • Is there a target audience you want to reach? (e.g. diabetics, vegans/vegetarians, desserts only, etc.)
  • Are there any dishes you can improve on? Starting with a well-known dish can give you ideas, but making it your own will make the dish stand out. You may want to inspire readers to try doing a savory chicken pot pie your way or a decadent chocolate cake that’s known to bring anyone out of their funkiest mood.
  • Think back to instances when you have been given certain foods that have helped you cope with a variety of life’s circumstances. Begin recording the ingredients, prep time and instructions.
  • Are there any “weird” flavors or dishes you have tried that are tasty? Including items like this will make your book more exciting and distinguished.

Krystina Murray is a Staff Editor at Xulon Press with over six years of editing experience. When she isn't helping writers improve their manuscripts, she devotes her time to crafting poetry and short stories, maintains an exciting food blog and completes copy writing advertisements for small businesses.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *