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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.

OR

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!

My wonderful friend Jenn is getting married this summer to her college sweetheart, and last weekend we threw her a shower in Kennebunkport, Maine. For those of you who haven’t looked at a map since 5th grade, Maine is not exactly close to New York. But, after just a little bit of travel, the weekend turned out to be one of the best in awhile. We all joked that Jenn picked us to be her bridesmaids not because she loves us, which she does, but because she knew that with all our powers combined shit would get done.

And done it did. Good times in Maine last weekend, minus the rain. Here are some ideas I wanted to share from cute little seed personalized seed packet favors and menu cards to amazing chocolate centerpieces and strata. Yes, Strata. It’s pretty darn good. The love goes into the details. I think we had the best damn bridal shower prizes on the east coast. Who doesn’t love getting matching wine glasses and a bottle of deliciously alcoholic vino to take home?

Jenn & Jason, who also happen to be featured in this month’s Modern Bride in an article called, “Divine Inspiration,” are incorporating sunflowers into their wedding, so we wanted to do the same thing at the shower.

I found these personalized Sunflower Seed packets that we tied with yellow raffia online, and placed in front of each place setting.

One of the other bridesmaids who is also simultaneously planning HER wedding made these adorable chocolate sunflower lollipop centerpieces. She literally melted the chocolate, and poured them into sunflower molds and added sticks. Super cute. Plus everyone got to take one when they left!

We also made individual menu cards, which sounds like a lot of work, but really totally worth it. Putting the effort into the details makes a difference. We printed everything on translucent paper and then pasted them onto card stock with alternating yellow and green polka dot ribbon.


My cousin got an invitation in her in-box from Kate Spade for a Champagne & Cupcakes party promoting their Spring line.  I thought it was such a cute idea that I needed to pass it on as a shower idea.

Shower’s are stuffy no matter how you try to shake ’em up.  BUT, lately more “unconventional” showers are starting to pop up like daises among the perfect little begonias.  Throwing an unconventional shower might shock the brides Great Aunt Milly, but we are moving forward and there’s no reason you can’t incorporate a little bit of tradition with a whole lot of fun for a shower. 

Before you start to plan though, ASK THE BRIDE WHAT SHE WANTS. I know it’s supposed to be a shower for her, and she’s not supposed to know anything about it…blah blah blah. But if you throw something she is going to hate, better to know before you call the caterer.

So, throwing a Champagne & Cupcakes Shower is different and super cute. Host one in the early afternoon  or even later on as a cupcake cocktail party. Cupcakes and Champagne make everyone happy.  These are some of my favorite east coast cupcake connoisseurs.

Babycakes NYC-New York, NY – “Delicious Everything-Free Cupcakes”- Oprah loves these gluten free, refined-sugar free, vegan treats!  And they deliver!

Crumbs – New York, NY- The Red Velvet and Boston Creme Cupcakes are INCREDIBLE.

Petsi Pies– Somerville, MA & Cambridge, MA- Known for their Coconut Creme Cupcakes and Whoopie Cupcakes filled with whipped cream!

The Baltimore Cupcake Company– They specialize in custom made cupcakes in a variety of flavors and a pretty amazing portfolio of “cupcake cakes.” Definitely worth checking out.

Fresh Cupcakes– Charleston, SC- These really are the freshest little desserts on King St.   The Pumpkin are surprisingly sweet and the Mint Chocolate Chip is my personal favorite.

Polka Dot Bakeshop– Charlotte, NC- Don’t you just love the name? They have the traditional Vanilla, Chocolate and Red Velvet, and the not-so-traditional including Smores, Mexican Hot Chocolate and Espresso.

Feel free to add any of your favorite local cupcake spots to the post and skip the “stuffy” in your next shower.

 Baltimore Cupcake Company
“Angel” Cupcake Cake

Angel Cupcake Cake

Baltimore Cupcake Company
“Miss USA” Cupcake Cake

Baltimore Cupcake Company

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