making my own pastry/cookbook ?

Joined Nov 6, 2001
lately I have been thinking about writing my own pastry and cookbook and would like some ideas from other members who have done this or atleast attempted to ?
Im not looking to publish or make any money what so ever, just for my own use...Just looking for ideas >>> Style, paper used..bindings..books used to help..websites..layouts..anything ideas at all basically..I have started using microsoft word to print the recipes and introduction etc but with all the members here I thought somebody might have some good tips or pointers and point me in the right direction, or maybe even doing it with someone else to? Who knows ?thank you in advance for any help that you might have..

Joined Apr 28, 2003
I've done a digital version using a plain text .doc and taking digital pictures of nearly everything I make so when I finish my schooling, I'll turn it into a sort of personal cookbook or transform it into a website.

Pictures is a definate so you can see how whatever your recipe is for, turned out. Experiment with text styles but don't use more then 2 different text styles per page for the sake of uniformity. If your recipes have a theme, try to match a background with that theme like a faded Chinese monestary with bamboo stick boarders for Chinese recipes or mini Eiffel tower's boards for French cuisines. Try to seperate your recipes in some manner by alphabetical order or by theme (course or style).

If you know how to use MS Access, you can create a data base of your recipes instead of a cookbook.
Email me @ [email protected] if you need more suggestions or want to colaborate on you project.
Joined Mar 12, 2004
As a writer, I can give a few ideas, but keep in mind that these are just my thoughts. Writing is a highly personal endeavor and you may disagree with everything I am about to say.

Start with a small notebook for jotting down ideas and recipes while working in the kitchen. Nothing is easier or more convenient than pencil and paper. A laptop in the kitchen may seem like a good idea, but probably isn't the first choice when your hands are covered with dough. The idea here is not to let good ideas and thoughts slip away--write 'em down.

I do not like applications like MS Word, or any text editor or word processor for any writing that will be more than a few pages. As your project grows, you will find yourself wasting lots of time and loosing ideas while you try to find the correct spot in a very long document. Programs like Word will work well later on when you want to format and publish your work, but while it is still a work-in-progress, it is not the best tool.

Another reason a lot of writers don't like word processing programs is that all of the formatting and layout options only get in the way and can act as diversion from getting the writing itself. When you are deeply involved in developing an idea, the last thing you want is to be sidetracked into thinking about fonts, paragraph alignment, etc. that is meaningless until the book is completed. BTW, if it should happen that you decide to publish your book, virtually every aspect of the layout will be handled by the publisher. They will want nothing more than a text file and images.

For getting your work into the computer, I like to use a note editing program that allows you organize your work in a hierarchical structure that you define, such as Chapter, Subject, Topic, etc. They are much easier to work in than long text documents because they allow you to create items and rearrange them on the fly. Most such programs are shareware and only cost $20-30. If you are on a Mac, I can give you the names of some programs. I am not familiar with software options for Windows.

So for me, a book is a three step process; gather notes and ideas, organize and write the information, and finally format and publish. While they may overlap, keeping them somewhat separate is the most productive.

Hope that helps.
Joined Feb 21, 2001
Thinking about fonts and paragraph alignment is half the fun for me. I realized when I finished pastry school that what I had done with all the notebooks was in fact write a book. Trouble is, it was all done in word and pagemaker is better for stuff like books if you want to fool around. And pagemaker won't open word files. This is what I did to learn how to use pagemaker the todd english fan club home page
Joined Mar 12, 2004
As I said, we all have our opinions and working preferences, but IMHO mise en place applies as much to writing as it does cooking.

Your mileage may vary. Void where prohibited by law.
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