SmartCooks here introducing SmartCooks Book! December 2011 edition, version 1, prototype for learning purposes only and limited distribution to family, friends and foodies.
SmartCooks Book is the project the kept me very occupied in December, hence the hiatus from writing the SmartCooks blog. I did it for two reasons:
The first was to learn how to use my new, nifty, hefty price-taggy, zippy, all-features, mucho bells 'n whistles, 15" MacBook Pro.
Me being me, I picked the hardest project possible to attempt as a first venture on the new laptop. It took a couple of trips to Mr. Apple's genii bar to figure out some of the features of iPhoto and converting documents to PDFs for printing etc.
But, I persevered, thanks to a few blue bills (joke), and good friends with wise advice on Mac products. I fumbled and lurched my way through design, photo selection and layout, even braving the pre-Christmas frenzy at the Rideau Centre (shudder) for additional Apple assistance.
I eventually settled on 24 favourite recipes in the Appetizer, Breads/Soups, Sides/Salads/Bento Bests and Meats and Mains categories. Sample page at left.
A few of you commented that I did NOT include Desserts -- Nope, I don't tend to bake 'em.... never have, never will. I leave that category to those of you more skilled.
The second reason for creating SmartCooks Book was driven by a desire to give something more personal as gifts to mark the season this year. Given that I have time at my disposal this fall for the first time in many years, I have been able to think and plan and eventually came up with the idea of combining family/friend photos with family/friend recipes, laid out in a 40-page coil-ring book. The design I settled on focussed on recipes (some from the blog) and a half a dozen pages where family photos could be inserted and then changed.
The result was a dozen different versions of SmartCooks Book. It became both a Christmas gift and a Holiday Wishes card that I'm sure elicited both groans and chuckles.
I certainly enjoyed learning how to create it, from scanning family photos into the computer to learning how to output the project as a PDF onto a USB key for printing. It kept me more than busy evenings when Husband was travelling and gave me an opportunity to pull together the best of the recipes I've been trying over the past few months -- Healthy, Holesome, Happy.
Enjoy. Wishing Happy HolIdays to all and all the best in 2012!