52 Recipes - Minibook Project from the Nerd Nest


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One of my ongoing goals in life is to try one new recipe a week. It doesn’t always happen–sometimes life gets too busy–but starting this goal is how I learned to cook years ago. It keeps me from falling into a rut of making the same 15 things over and over again (though there are plenty of recipes that are in my “repeat often” pile). It encourages me to expand my horizons.

And though I’ve been doing this for a long time, I’ve never documented the process. Some new things I make are winners and get added to our recipe book. Sometimes, things are edible but I wouldn’t even make them again. Rarely, the things I make are terrible and we have to eat back-up frozen pizzas. Always, I learn something. This year, I’m making a minibook to document the new recipes I try to keep track of what I think of them, using the Recipe Template Sets I collaborated on with Alexandra Rae Design.

This round, I tried a lot of different meat dishes. We tend to stick with a go-to of chicken around here (chicken tenders and breasts, to be exact), so I tried to get out of my box a bit. A lot of the recipes were pretty simple, but that’s what I needed to focus on cooking the different kinds of meat properly.

I also tried turnips for the first time, made a new cookie recipe with Jonas, and took over one of the family recipes that Jake always makes.

Recipes Tried: 5. Asian Salmon in Foil / 6. Perfect Roast Chicken / 7. Roasted Turnips & Butternut Squash with Five-Spice Glaze / 8. Braised Lamb with Garden-Vegetable Medley / 9. Ranch Pork Chops / 10. Chicken and Dumplings / 11. Oatmeal Cookies from the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book: 14th Edition / 12. Eggs in a Bowl

*I noticed after photographing that I wrote Ranger Cookies on the Oatmeal Cookies page. I’ll have to fix that!

52 Recipes - Minibook Project from the Nerd Nest

I’ve switched things up in my process a little bit since the first 52 Recipes Minibook update. Then, I was resizing our first Template Set, an 8.5 x 11. Now, the new sets include a 6×8 design, which is perfect for my minibook, as well as letter and half letter sizes.

I still wanted a bit of pattern behind the recipes, so I used the digital papers that coordinate with the recipe sets for digi pages (printing them off on letter sized papers with two 3×4 cards from the coordinating card sets). I scaled down some of the recipes to a width of 5.5 inches so I could print two recipes on a letter page and could use up some scrap paper to back them.

In addition to the journaling cards that go with the Recipe Template Sets, I used other cards from my stash.

With these changes, I kept a lot of things the same throughout the book: I’m using the same combination of stamps on each spread to rate the recipes, I’m using stickers and handwriting for the recipe titles rather than the title on the template, and I’m using little to no embellishment to ensure all 52 spreads will fit into this little minibook!

Keeping some things consistent in an ongoing mini like this allows for creativity in other areas, such as changing color schemes in each spreads. That way there’s both consistency and creative freedom!

52 Recipes - Minibook Project from the Nerd Nest

Do you have awesome recipes you think I should try next? Leave links in the comments, please!

Selected Supplies: Recipe Template Sets (6×8 Recipe Template, Strawberry Shortcake Cards and Papers, Salt & Pepper Cards and Papers, and Summer Vegetable Cards and Papers) // Studio Calico Handbook, 6×8 Page Protector 1, 6×8 Page Protector 4, stamp, cards from past Project Life kits and 4×6 paper pads // Project Life Ready Set Go Value kit, Midnight Core Kit/a>, and journaling pens // StazOn Jet Black ink.