Treasured Recipes: A blank canvas for your favorite foods


 Cooking is a BIG DEAL in my house. My wife and I are semi-foodies, loving to make amazing food, willing to go really far out of our way for a good meal (prepping ramen eggs or bone broth days in advance). On the other side of the coin, we have been known to settle for Taco Bell (and enjoy it) on a lazy night. To support our food habit, and sometimes just to read, we have stacks of cookbooks, from Ramen noodles to Paleo, Whole30 to heart clogging sandwiches.

Recently, the publisher of the cookbook Treasured Recipes reached out and asked if I had interest in cooking from their book and giving some feedback. It sounded like a lot of fun so I agreed.

Here is the kick- Treasured Recipes is a blank cookbook. There are no recipes.

Treasured Recipes (a Blank Recipe Book ): Your Favorite Recipe Journal and Organizer
148 pages
Rockridge Press
ISBN-10: 193975495X
ISBN-13: 978-1939754950


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To be clear, I was not duped. I became aware this was a blank cookbook pretty quickly after starting to speak with them. As a ‘Favorite recipes journal and organizer’, this book is well formatted. Eight color-coded sections with space for 15 different recipes, inspirational cooking quotes for each subset, a table of contents, a website to download additional page templates if you need more room.

This is not the first blank cookbook on the market. There are several created each year, themed around family, tradition, etc. This one stands out by being so vibrant and colorful. Unfortunately, it also made it difficult to use during the Christmas season as it is more apt to include delicious hot weather cocktails and summertime foods. Putting themed holiday recipes felt wrong and like a misuse of the book.

The paper quality of Treasured Recipes is pretty great. The pages are thickish and smooth, not pulpy or too thin/tissuey. This opened up the possibilities of how far we could push the cookbook. We already have several custom cookbooks with family recipes: spiral bound or re-purposed day planners. Testing this book out and really seeing what we could do with it was going to be fun.

It was assumed that standard ballpoint pens would work just fine. This book is probably best suited for colored pencils to add any real details... So we skipped those and took a different tactic entirely.



Homemade Goldfish Crackers:
We opted to start off with using just watercolor markers. Using Akashiya Sai watercolor brush pens, the first recipe was lightly written. The pages didn't soak up the color too quickly, instead, held the color well; only really having issues when my heavy hand was laying it on too thick.

Painting in a cartoon Goldfish turned out to be pretty easy and fun.




30-ish minutes ‘before the end of the world’ Rolls: (Recipe at End)
Here I used a fine point black Sharpie pen to write all text. More Akashiya Sai watercolor, but actually applying water to it to blend. The paper held up okay but took a long time to dry. I probably wouldn’t suggest going full watercolor.

Both of these tests had color and ink that soaked through to the page behind. This bleed through would remove several potential pages for recipes, potentially cutting the space inhalf. If someone really wanted to apply ink and color, they should consider reusing the space; break out a glue stick and add pockets to the reverse sides of pages. This would be good for holding spare paper or labels from preferred brands. Alternately, pasting a photograph of the food they made.




Total perspective- Treasured Recipes is a cool starter book. For someone who wants to capture and organize their recipes and thoughts, it can serve that direct purpose. It can also be a bit more robust than just text on the page, but you may need to be reactive if something goes wonky.

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Disclosure: As stated above, this book was provided for review purposes by the publisher. While I appreciate having access to the book, please recognize that any flaws or problems with the book will be called out regardless of how the source material was received. 





RECIPES:

Goldfish Crackers
Ingredients:
8oz Shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese
4 tbsp Butter
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp cold water

* Pulse all ingredients (except water) in a food processor until dough looks like coarse sand.
* Pulse in water one tbsp at a time
* Remove dough and wrap in plastic, chill for 20 minutes
* Roll out dough fairly thin onto a floured work surface, cut into shapes
* Bake at 350 degrees for approx 15 min or until crispy.

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30-ish minutes 'till the end of the world' Rolls
Ingredients:
1 cup and 2 tbsp warm water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 cup flour

* Heat oven to 400 degrees
* In a mixer, combine water oil, sugar, and yeast. Once yeast is thoroughly moist, rest for 15 minutes.
* Add flour, egg, and salt. Mix with bread hook until dough is soft and smooth
* Grease muffin tin
* Form 12 balls and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown

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