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Personalized Cookbooks from TasteBook

Personalized Cookbooks from TasteBook

So everyone has probably been invited to at least one kitchen shower in their lifetime right? Bring a gift and also fill out this retro recipe card and bring a kitchen doo hicky (mine= corkscrew, spatula, wooden spoon) that you can’t live without to throw in the doo hicky basket when you get there. Right?

Let me just preface this by saying I have nothing against the kitchen shower. In fact I rather like the kitchen shower. HOWEVER, the recipe cards could use a kick in the pants. I mean. I’ve tried the recipe card thing and they always end up falling between my stove and the counter. By the way they’re not very helpful down there and I’m currently waiting for “Braised Brussel Sprouts” to catch on fire down there…

Ok. So, my cousin got an invite to participate in a modern day kitchen shower where instead of bring recipe cards, everyone collaborates prior to the shower to create a personalized recipe book for the bride-to-be from all of her favorite ladies in waiting on one site.

Personalized Cookbooks from Tastebook

Personalized Cookbooks from Tastebook

TasteBook, has turned the recipe card concept on its head and given it a modern day spin.  It’s a site that offers personalized, hard back, cook books with personalized recipes.  There are over 100,000 recipes from top sites, cookbooks and magazines to choose from OR you can input your own to make this a very special collaborative shower gift.

There are instructional videos on the site to help you figure out how to get started, but here’s a quick breakdown on starting your group gift for the bridal shower. First, choose a point person. You are in charge.

1. Go to the site and click Join (It’s FREE)

2. Click “Create a TasteBook” on the left hand side

3. Choose your cover- These are some pretty awesome photos, and you could do a few if you wanted to (Cupcake themes, Cookie Themes, Locally Grown, Vegetarian etc.)

4. Name your TasteBook  (Sara’s Cookbook: Recipes for a Lifetime, Erin’s Seasonal Cookbook, Meghan’ and Jon’s Newly-Wed Cookbook)

5. Now, you can either drag and drop recipes from existing TasteBooks, or import your own

I suggest importing your own, you can type it in right there and add your own personal photo. OR. You can choose from hundreds of recipes that are already available from Cooking Light, Coastal Living, Food & Wine, Epicurious and more!

Or you can import your own. (can you tell which I prefer?)

So once you have imported your recipe. Share it with the other people who will be attending the shower.

Send an email to the friends you want to help you collaborate, with your sign-in and password information. Everyone can then sign in and add a recipe to the TasteBook and personalize it by clicking on the “Create” “Recipe Page” Tab.

Once everyone has input their favorite recipes with photos, you (the responsible one) will go back in and order the TasteBook, adding a dedication page and forking over your credit card number.

The books start at $19.95 (those include 25 recipes) and range to $29.95 (50 recipes) and $39.95 (100 recipes). Someone pay for it or split it. Trust me this is pocket change in the grand scheme of your bridesmaid bank account withdrawals.

Once you have created and ordered your book, you can share it with all of the attendees via email, so everyone then can keep a copy of said TasteBook on file in their account on the site.  Here’s how you SHARE.

6. Click on the “Share” tab on the top

7. Select the TasteBook you want to share with friends and then import your address book from your e-mail account.

8. Click “Share TasteBook” and an email will be sent out to all of your friends!

Now, if you’re short on time and you waited until the last minute to do something cool for your bride-to-be you can always purchase a TasteBook that has already been created. Click “Shop TasteBooks” and you’ll see a whole bunch of organized books with titles like “Mostly Mediterranean, Classic Cocktails, and Stealthy healthy.


You can search by the recipient, buying items…for the Organic and Healthy…for the Perfect Hostess or … for the Dessert Maven.

Also, you can keep  Grandma’s old shortbread recipe with the new digital version, by ordering recipe sleeves (Pack of 10- 7 x 10 for $4.95) to keep everything together.

Then….click the gift box box and get FREE GIFT WRAPPING with a personalized sticker. SO great!

Over the years, I have found that table numbers are just one of those things that is left until about 5 minutes before the reception starts. People remember the place cards but forget about the table numbers.  So people know where they’re supposed to go, and then poof…a sea of tables without numbers. NIGHTMARE.

There are so many great DIY Table Number ideas out there. You can use numbers, your favorite locations, names pertinent to the people sitting at them. I worked one wedding where the couple used postcards of every place they had ever visited. Another friend had table names that match the people sitting at them. A table full of college friends sat at a table named after their favorite college bar, while the bridal party sat at the “VIP” table. There are so many different ways to go, and here’s the bet part you can DIY and save tons of money!

Below are some of my favorite Table Numbers and Names projects! Happy crafting!


DIY Table Number Templates from Martha Stewart

DIY Table Number Templates from Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart offers templates that you can just print out yourself onto heavy card stock. There are two choices for border styles- one with a regular looping scallop, and one with more “free form” loops. There’s also a template without a number in case you’d rather insert your own text.

Directions: If you want the table numbers to be visible from two directions, print two per table, and place cut along the outer oval line and slip them into a place card holder or easel.



DIY Photo Table Numbers from Martha

DIY Photo Table Numbers from Martha


Another Martha Stewart inspired Table card is one with a photo of yourselves. The bride and groom hold up a number…a la Sesame Street, and VOILA! Table Card. Personally, I think these would be more adorable if you made funny faces in them. These are really great for an informal weddings or even showers.  Stick with the black and white though so it doesn’t clash with your flowers or centerpieces. Have them made into 4-by-6-inch matte prints and mount them on colored tented card stock to match your theme!

Directions: Glue each photo onto 4 1/8-by-6 1/8-inch paper. To make the “tent,” start with a piece of 11-by-17-inch card stock and cut a strip that is 17 by 4 3/8 inches (each piece of card stock can make two); fold strip in half width wise. Score, and make a fold 2 1/8 inches from each end to form flaps for base. Glue photograph to one panel of the tent. Overlap base flaps by about 1 inch; use double-sided tape to secure.




DIY Wine Bottle Table Numbers from Martha Stewart

DIY Wine Bottle Table Numbers from Martha Stewart

Three cheers for Martha and her DIY ideas. Here’s one more from the MSLO family.  If you and your hubby are serious wine aficionados, or your wedding is being held at a swanky upstate or downstate winery, consider making the wine you’re serving at dinner double as the table number.

Directions: Just cover existing labels with graphic numbers printed on cover-weight paper using double-sided tape for a very chic look.



DIY Map Table Numbers- Photo Courtesy of

DIY Map Table Numbers- Photo Courtesy of

So here’s that location idea I was telling you about. Use postcards, or maps, or just text on pretty backgrounds. Here, instead of table numbers, Elizabeth and Charles opted for names of Hawaiian islands instead of actual Table numbers.

Directions: Print out Location Names on translucent clear vellum paper and place on top of any image you’d like behind it. In this case it’s a map. But it could be pretty much anything, as long as you can read the word. Then head to your local craft store for antique looking frames and insert. Done and Done.

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March 2009