I started out with a boxful of loose recipes, a lifetime of photos, and no idea how to proceed. After spending several hours researching templates and websites to facilitate my project, I finally settled on this software (click HERE). It turned out to be perfect for my needs.
The process really was as simple as the website promised: I downloaded the software, chose my cover and section dividers, and began entering my recipes and adding photos. It turned out there were some compatibility issues with the Word for Mac version (and apparently that version has since been discontinued), but all it took was a few minutes on the phone with the company's great technical support person and I was back to work.
My cookbook ended up being 150 pages long and includes a heartfelt introduction and sections for appetizers, soups and stews, side dishes and salads, meat and main dishes, breads and muffins, cookies and candy, desserts, and breakfast along with pictures of everyone from great-grandparents my children barely remember to my brothers and me when we were small. When I thought it was finally finished, I printed a black and white copy and proofread and corrected it several times before accepting the fact that it would never be perfect. In the end, I submitted my Word document to the same company I purchased the cookbook software from; they sent me a PDF copy for approval before doing the final printing.
The finished cookbook appears in the photo at the top of this blog post. I gave copies to my parents, my brother and his wife, my children, and my niece. I even gave a copy to my ex-husband; peace on earth, goodwill to men, and all that. My sincere wish is that everyone who owns this little piece of family history will use it often and that it will become one of the most battered, soiled and stained cookbooks in his or her collection.