We're bringing families together, one family recipe at a time ...

New Family Cookbook How-to Get Started Guide

We've just added several new get-started guides all about how to create your family cookbook.

If you're wondering how to use the cookbook and recipe publishing system at Family Recipe Central to create your family cookbook, be sure to see these helpful tutorials ...

Improvements to Recipe Editing and Recipe Ingredients

We've made a few adjustments to the Recipe editing module at Family Recipe Central that our users will want to know about.

Recipe Ingredients - Reordering the Ingredients List

The inability to re-order the items in the recipe ingredients list has been a frustrating limitation on our system. After you put your recipe ingredients in and save the recipe, you may want to change the order of one or more of the ingredients in the list. Worse, if you update an ingredient such as fixing a spelling mistake or rewording the ingredient description, the system will change the order of the updated ingredient in the list, usually moving the item to the end of the list.

We're currently working on an update release that will include a number of enhancements to the recipe ingredients list including a drag-and-drop interface to easily reorder the list.

In the meantime, we've provided an interim solution that makes it possible to reorder the ingredient list.

Default Photos at Family Recipe Central

Images and photos add an extra dimension to just about every form of content at Family Recipe Central including your user profile, family group home page, your recipes and cookbooks and your personal and group blog posts that you can create.

In the spirit of "pictures provide a much more interesting view", we've added a few default images that you should be aware of.

User Profile

We have been using a default gravatar image for your user profile picture. Many of you may not have registered at Gravatar, so you end up with a unique auto-generated image (Gravatar keeps track of the unique image they create based on your email address - remember, email addresses are unique across the Internet).

By the way, Gravatar is a convenient way to handle your user profile picture that can follow you everywhere you go on the Interent where the Gravatar system is used to provide user profile images.

cute gravatar sample image

For the most part, the auto-generated Gravatar images are kind of cute ...

What is Food Porn Doing on a Family Recipe Site

Food Porn? Come on, this is a family site!

If you're a food and recipe enthusiast and you're familiar with the many great food blogs and recipe sites online, then I'm pretty sure you're also familiar with the term "food porn".

If not, then food porn is probably not exactly what you might be thinking. After all, this is a family friendly site, so get your thoughts out of the gutter. I think you'll actually find out that food porn is quite wholesome and provides true g-rated entertainment value.

Food porn is a provacative term generally referring to the spectacular presentation of food in advertisements, cooking shows and other visual media including the great proliferation of food blogs on the Internet. The intention of this close-up, glorified presentation of food is to appeal to your eating desire.

For example, the popular food show "Iron Chef" scores high on the scale of spectacular visual presentation of food. The truth of the matter, the show's audience is probably more vicariously entertained watching the food presentations than actually cooking and preparing the recipes and dishes featured on the show.

In the United States, food porn also takes on a slightly negative context when applied to the food industry that some would say goes too far in marketing less than healthy, high fat content, artery clogging food in an irresistable and tantalizing manner.

Across the blogoshpere, food porn, in a mostly "tongue and cheek" manner, refers to the myriad of food blogs that feature spectacular photographs of food. Spectular food photography has most definitely become part of the pop food culture today. If you're interested in food, it's good fun to gaze at the food photography that people are turning out every day.

Thin Crust Pizza Dough - Video Step by Step Instruction

Pizza is definitely a popular convenience food. And while it may seem easier to have that pizza delivered from your local pizza shop, you may not realize that homemade pizza dough is really not that difficult to prepare.

If you're a pizza fan, nothing quite compares to a fresh, homemade pizza!

Food and Holidays - Ideas For Your Family Cookbook

Almost every holiday we celebrate comes with a vast lineup of traditional recipes we like to prepare. We know the familiar holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, Easter, and the 4th of July that immediately bring to mind the expectations of memorable food associated which each holiday. Of course the Thanksgiving turkey, the Christmas ham, and of course we can't leave out those barbecue ribs at the 4th of July.

The food that we enjoy at holidays and the many recipes that we prepare at the celebration of each holiday provide great ideas and themes for your family cookbook. You can create entire sections of recipes and memorable stories in your family cookbook around each of the holidays that brings family together.

If you have enough ideas and recipe material, you can even dedicate an entire family cookbook theme to just one holiday. A collection of Thanksgiving recipes with pictures and stories about the family thrown in, for example. Or a collection of all of the dishes that were served at your last Christmas holiday gathering. Perhaps something like the "Hill Family 2008 Christmas Recipe Cookbook" as another example. The holiday food ideas for your next family cookbook are almost unlimited.

OK, so much for the well known holidays ... I'm sure you get the idea.

But you might not be aware of the many lesser known food holidays throughout the year. Whether some of the more obscure food holidays and food celebrations offer good ideas and themes for your family cookbook, you'll have to decide. But I assure you, the field is wide open.

Cooking Up a Story - The Art of Food Photography

You can have a lot of fun creating and composing your recipes and cookbooks at Family Recipe Central. One of the features that our users appreciate is the ability to embed and include photographs in your recipes and cookbook pages. And, sooner or later, this introduces you to the challenge for "Food Photography".

When I became interested in publishing my own recipes and the creative process of putting a family cookbook together, it didn't take long to realize that shooting pictures of food is not as easy as it looks. Or maybe it's not so much that it looks easy. But how often have you compared your own food pictures to the stunning food photography we often see in cookbooks or on some of the food websites around the Internet, and scratched your head with the question, "how do they take such great food photos"?

Cooking Up a Glossary of Cooking Terms at Family Recipe Central

See our newly added "Glossary of Cooking Terms" under the "Help" section at Family Recipe Central. It's a modest collection of cooking terms at the moment, with about 60 entries or so.

We'll continue to add cooking terms and definitions on an ongoing basis, but it's a nice start to kick off the section.

Recipe Index Cards are Popular and Easy

Once you start entering and keeping your recipes online at Family Recipe Central, you'll find that printing your recipes on recipe index cards is simple and convenient. I must confess, as much as I really appreciate working with recipes online, I still prefer to read recipes from a printed copy while cooking in the kitchen.

For the environmentally conscious, if you're committed to saving the trees, then by all means, you can bring your notebook computer into the kitchen and refer to your recipes online as you cook. But there's something familiar and comfortable about keeping recipes in journals, index cards, or just piles of scrap paper (although, that gets pretty disorganized).

Of course, with a little bit of improved technology, we're all about solving the hard-copy recipe chaos!

At Family Recipe Central, we suggest a "best of both worlds" solution. You can manage your recipes online with all the convenience and facility to share, collaborate and organize your recipes. And keeping your recipes online provides easy access to your recipe collection no matter where you happen to be. For the kitchen, when it's time to cook, with the push of a button, print any recipe in a clear, beautifully formatted 4x6 inch or 5x8 inch index card, as well as a full 8½ by 11 inch page if you prefer.

Printing your recipes on standard index cards is pretty economical too. No expensive special photo paper necessary for your ink-jet or laser printer needed, just ordinary standard index cards that you can find at any office supply including Staples or Office Depot. At last check, a 500 pack of 5x8 inch plain (not ruled) index cards was about $10. That's about 2 cents a card.

We like to use 5x8 inch index cards. They're large enough to contain a more detailed recipe on a single card, yet still convenient to store in a recipe file box or small 5x8 inch 3 ring binder (more about that in a moment).

Most ink-jet and laser printers today can easily print 5x8 index cards. Similar in size to photo paper, index cards typically load into an adjustable printer tray. And some printer models allow a 5x8 index card to be fed individually, similar to an envelope single feed.

At 2 cents per card, you can afford to print a fresh copy if you spill some sauce on your recipe index card while you're cooking in the kitchen. But we like to protect the index cards with the thin plastic film protectors you see in the pictures below. A 25 pack of 5½ x 8 inch top loading plastic sheet protectors runs about $5. You can protect 2 recipe index cards per sleeve (front and back), so it's quite affordable. If you spill something on the sleeve, it easily wipes off clean with a paper towel.

Soup to Nuts - musing about food expressions

Soup to Nuts - now how did that saying get started?

We hear the common colloquialisms, expressions and idioms everyday, and usually just take the words for granted. We're almost numb to their meaning. Do you ever stop to listen to the words, and wonder "where did that expression come from"?

I had that pause the other day when someone mentioned "soup to nuts" in the context of what we were talking about (and I honestly can't even remember what we we're talking about). OK, we know that soup to nuts means everything from A to Z, or maybe more accurately, everything from start to finish.

But just how did the phrase "soup to nuts" come about? In the spirit of the general food interest here at Family Recipe Central, I thought I would "spill the beans" (another shameless food related saying) and dig up the derivation of the expression "soup to nuts".

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